7 Reasons Why Submission is not a Dirty Word

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It is not uncommon for me to conduct wedding ceremonies, and one of the questions I usually ask the couple during the premarital counseling is what the composition of the assembly is likely to be. When I preach, everybody is there more or less voluntarily, and they know what they are likely to be getting. But when families travel across the countries for a nephew’s wedding, they don’t always know. Ever mindful of Oscar Wilde’ dictum that a gentleman is one who never insults someone else accidentally, I generally want to know beforehand if a radical lesbian aunt is going to be there—if there is going to be awkwardness at the reception, you might as well be prepared for it. After all, in the services I do, the word obey is included in the bride’s vows, and the homilies will from time to time address the subject of headship and submission. I walk carefully because submission is too often considered a dirty word—a dirty word to those who despise it, or an embarrassing word to those who feel stuck with it.

So why should believers not be embarrassed by the doctrine of headship and submission in marriage? Walking carefully is not the same thing as walking ashamedly. Here are some thoughts, seven reasons why Christians should not consider submission a dirty word.

In the first place, Scripture teaches the doctrine, and teaches it plainly. This means that Christians who are embarrassed by any mention of “submission” are actually embarrassed by something else—the authority of God. That is a much more dicey proposition. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26). God and His words go together.

And that Scripture teaches this is plain enough. A woman should submit to her husband as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22). For a woman to submit to her own husband is fitting (Col.  3:18). Wives are to be submissive to their husbands, even those who do not obey the Word (1 Pet. 3:1). Older women are instructed to teach the younger women how to be obedient to their husbands (Tit. 2:4). In the church, a woman should learn in silence with all submission (1 Tim. 2:11). In the church, the women are to be “under obedience” as the law requires (1 Cor. 14:34). If she has a question, she can ask her husband at home (1 Cor. 14:35).

All our discussion of this point should therefore begin with the exegesis, with what God has clearly said. Too often, to the extent it is even addressed at all anymore, the preacher spends all his time explaining what it is not saying. But that leads to our second point.

Second, submission done right highlights and reveals the problems with submission done wrong. Anything valuable will always have to deal with fakes, knock-offs, slanders, caricatures, and misrepresentations. Biblical submission is not represented by the Stones. Under my thumb/A girl who has just changed her ways/It’s down to me, yes it is/The way she does just what she’s told.” Nor is it what we find in those vintage lame ads as you see off to the right. Nor is it the Muslim ideal, where the glory of the man is wrapped up in a sheet. It is quite right for us to emphasize that biblical submission is not represented accurately by any of the children of this world. That is entirely right to say. But we have to protest the tendency of embarrassed Christians to simply assert what submission does not mean, and to then fall silent. Biblical headship and submission is not just the absence of abuse, although it certainly includes that. The right order of marriage is something positive and glorious, and no more to be hidden than the glory of the sun, moon and stars.The right order of marriage is something positive and glorious, and no more to be hidden than the glory of the sun, moon and stars

Third, unsubmissive women are a truly destructive force. When married women walk away from God’s vocation and calling for them, the results are not just an absence of good. We are not just talking about a missed opportunity. Those who do not gather, scatter (Luke 11:23). The teaching of the Bible is not that the women are to be submissive because they don’t matter much anyway. Rather, the Bible teaches that when a wife is unsubmissive, one of the elemental forces in the home has come unmoored, and is about to wreck havoc. “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down” (Proverbs 14:1, ESV). Unsubmissive wives are a wrecking ball. She can destroy with her tongue (Prov. 27:15), she can do it through wantonness (Prov. 7:10-12), or she can do it through laziness (Prov. 19:14-15; 1 Tim. 5:13-14). And because sin is creative, there are other ways also. Now because we live in an era when pastors are afraid to admonish Christian women about anything, we appear to have all silently agreed to ignore the consequences of feminine disobedience.

In the fourth place, Scripture teaches us the consequences of obedience, and not just the requirement of obedience. This is yet one more area where we attempt to be wiser than God. We say that we have to background our commitment to headship and submission in marriage because if we don’t unbelievers will get the wrong idea. But God says that we must foreground our commitment to these things, and why? “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4–5). “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14). But instead of heading off the blasphemy of the world the way God says to do it, we try to avoid the blasphemy of the world by encouraging the exact opposite of what God says to do.

Fifth, addressing the consequences of feminine disobedience gives us the ethos to address the consequences of masculine disobedience. Make no mistake about it, men can also be a wrecking ball. Nothing said above has anything to do with “taking sides” in the purported war between the sexes. Sometimes a man tears down his family. Sometimes the woman does. Other times they both do. But if the interaction with that home is political and not pastoral, then the men involved will know it soon enough. Sin must be defined by the Word of God as applied to the facts on the ground, i.e. what actually happened. There is a vast difference between holding men responsible for their actions, and using men as a convenient whipping boy. There are those who think they are applying the standards of federal headship when what they are actually doing is applying the standards of an “evangelical” and deracinated feminism.

The doctrine of headship and submission means that men are responsible for the state of their marriages and homes. Apart from a right understanding of headship and submission, men have no point. There is no reason for them to be there, and after a while, after they figure that out, they aren’t there anymore. One of the things our culture needs to learn how to distinguish is men who are abdicating and men who are on strike.

Sixth, the Scriptures require women to be submissive to their own husbands (Eph. 5:22; Col. 3:18). It is not remarked on often enough that this excludes submission to all other men. When women reject the protective shield of their own husbands, they have to come up with makeshift shields—because all those other men are still out there. So she resorts to a therapist maybe, or vagina hat marches, or the sisterhood, or a federal agency, or something else equally lame. Why not seek protection from just one man, a man who has promised before God and these witnesses to lay down his life for you? His model, assigned by the apostle, is to imitate the Lord Jesus Himself. It seems like a good system to me.

And last, a right understanding of submission helps people with reading comprehension skills. If a woman wants to be ordained to the ministry, part of her ordination exam should include the exegesis of any of the passages cited above. She has three basic options. She can dismiss the authority of the passages, which means that she should fail the ordination exam. Or she can mangle the passages themselves, which means that she should fail the ordination exam. Or she can exegete the passages accurately and winsomely, and when ordination is offered to her, sweetly decline on the basis of Q.E.D.

And once reading comprehension of the Scriptures has been restored, reading comprehension of lesser lights is also improved. This would be a great blessing to me personally, when people finally discover that I don’t condone rape, that I believe that women are created in the image of God, and that I don’t believe that submission means that my wife and daughters should quit writing books.

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Ryan Strieby
Ryan Strieby
5 years ago

Great stuff as usual. Very encouraging!

Trey Mays
5 years ago

This may be one of the best thought-provoking articles I’ve read, Doug. Well done.

Charles Chambers
Charles Chambers
5 years ago

Thanks Doug, as usual.

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago

I am trying to figure out what practical difference it makes when a man abdicates vs when he goes on strike. I think either is disobedience.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

Think of the opposite scenario. A wife has a disobedient husband. She stays and continues to pray for his conversion. But, she refuses to follow his lead into unbelief.

Melanie Reed
Melanie Reed
5 years ago

Have done. Its not easy. Ask Catherine of Aragon. O, and millions of others. I was “rewarded” by having a secretary who was dishonest but knew how to make money off a manipulated ego have an affair with him and then demand he divorce his disabled wife for her. He took the bite of the fruit and legalized their adultery. Still praying years later. Keep all of us in your prayers. God bless.

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago
Reply to  Melanie Reed

That is heart breaking, Melanie. Your reward will be in heaven.

I am still picking up the pieces from the failures of both grandfathes and my father to be faithful to their wives. That is why I challenge the idea that there is a practical difference between a man abdicating and going on strike. The pressures and expectation s of society are not justification for either. A man whom leaves his family in either case is failing.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

Jesus was “on strike” from being the kind of king Israel thought they wanted.
Jesus was always the King He should have been.
Jesus stayed with His “Bride” until she killed him.

I remain with my Bride as well, as the King did, though I don’t think my Bride will kill me.
Don’t know that I am worth killing by comparison!

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Jesus was not obligated to be the kind of king Israel expected. A man who abandons his family is not doing the same thing Jesus did

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

j’, I am pretty sure we are saying the same thing! ; – )

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago

Your reciprocal scenario fails because you claim the woman stays when Doug clearly says the man leaves.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

Well, I don’t know what Doug means, then. I don’t want to mind read him. I think his words here are sufficiently vague to go a number of ways. I will leave it to Doug to clarify.

Sorry.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago

I’m not sure what he means either. However, I certainly know of many marriages where the wife has gone on strike: no sex for years, promises/threats to leave as soon as the last child has graduated, etc. The husbands do all of the nice guy/”servant leader” stuff that’s supposed to win her back (according to the popular Evangelical teachings) to no avail. Maybe the husband goes on a counter-strike?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

Well, first off, I would describe the marriage you illustrate as wifely abdication. She might be “on strike” from certain activities, but that is blatant sin and covenantal abdication. The worst part of that is the threat to leave. The legal ramifications for a husband who is divorced by his wife are steep and dangerous. But, what has changed is how the culture and now the church respond. That sort of thing was shamed and culturally unacceptable for my entire childhood. Now, rather than rebuking the wife, the elders rebuke the husbands. In fact, there is an unspoken epidemic of… Read more »

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

My take:
Abdication = couch potato, loafer, hands-off approach, sticking around for the free food and sex.
Going on strike = staying out late at the bar, finding a mistress, or flat-out leaving.

Could have that wrong, but it was the impression I got.

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Appreciate your reply but you may want to re-read, “There is no reason for them to be there, and after a while, after they figure that out, they aren’t there anymore. One of the things our culture needs to learn how to distinguish is men who are abdicating and men who are on strike.”

Doug is clearly talking about men abandoning their famies in the context and my point is that is practically irrelevant.

Culture may encourage men to go on strike and men’s laziness may incline them towards abdication. The end result is a family destroyed.

innocentbystanderboston
innocentbystanderboston
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

I don’t think that is what he is talking about… and here is my take: Abdication = man who married a feminist wife and allows her to take control of all decisions in the marriage, the church, the house, the children, the bills, the everything, for fear that if he DOESN’T she will simply see a judge, divorce him, take away his children, keep the house, and all the money. Going on strike = never marrying. You choose NEVER to even play the marriage game. Too many men do this, we are left with a society filled with very lonely… Read more »

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago

I think you need to re-read Doug’s post. He says, “There is no reason for them to be there, and after a while, after they figure that out, they aren’t there anymore.” This is clearly speaking of men who abandon their families. Immediately after the quote he says culture needs to be able to distinguish between abdication and going on strike. Your explanation of the differences is only your own understanding of them. You may believe he trying to communicate something similar to your comparison but there is nothing in the post to indicate that. In fact the statement “they… Read more »

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

No, Elijah was “on Strike”, now that I think about it, in the context of Jezebel, a pretty awful, and jealous wife, to an abdicate king, Ahab.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

“… In the first place, Scripture teaches …”

Doug — superb analysis of the sitch & how Bible addresses.

Might also be helpful to delve into how “nature” (an even more “accessible” and just as perspicuitous testimony — sorry to the Reformed fathers) goes about demonstrating the same truth.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

One agreement and one disagreement, a big one. First, much of this headship submission issue is quite obvious in nature. I would love to see Doug spell this out. This is especially true given Doug’s claim, with which I agree, that this teaching must be foregrounded in order to not have the Word of God dismissed. Secondly, I am very skeptical, for many reasons, that nature is “just as perspicuitous” as the Scriptures, or that nature is the 67th book of the bible. But, for the sake of argument, let’s propose a test. Can you point me to one person… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

You’ll probably require Scriptural attestation?

About Abel, I’m guessing you’ll presume without explicit Scriptural reference that He had secondhand Scripture?

How about Noah?
Melchisidek?
Jethro?

So what motivates you to discount the power of the Spirit to use the testimony He built into our very thinking, for example?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You’ll probably require Scriptural attestation? That’s kind of my point. I’m guessing you’ll presume without explicit Scriptural reference that He had secondhand Scripture? The Lord spoke directly to Cain and Abel. That is the same as Scripture. The Lord spoke directly to Noah. That is the same as Scripture. We have only three verses in Genesis about Melchizedek, so no I don’t have explicit Scriptural reference, but you are likewise presuming that it was by nature alone. That is why we don’t point to examples of people we know almost nothing about. The same is true of Jethro. So what… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

“kind of your point” should kinda include verification that Scripture or direct speaking-to by God is required for Scripture, don’t you think? When God spoke directly to Abel — is the direct speaking-to what you hold to as the means of Abel’s salvation? And which of His words, pray tell, did the trick? You hold that Noah was not saved prior to being spoken to, what? verbally & audibly by God? No — Mel didn’t get saved by nature alone. Our Reformed father-brothers got that part right — nature nor Scripture alone has any power to save nothin’. But let’s… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I will admit that you are pretty good at this debate. Wrong, I still insist, but you seem to have been down this road before. You have moved the debate on me. Your claim was that nature was just as perspicuitous as Scripture. If that is true, then you must be able to point to someone, anyone who can confess faith in the Triune God through Jesus Christ. You simply cannot, because they do not exist, as far as I know. To address your new topic, there is no magic incantation that equals salvation. The Spirit saves through a sovereign… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

I will lay off being on the offensive for a moment and answer your question. You do not need to learn about anything to be saved. The acquisition of propositional knowledge is a bonus. The heart changed and baptized is what is required. The type of hearing that scripture refers to is one that is a changed and receptive heart that God gives. The word of God is the only thing that can affect this. The word of God is Jesus.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

How do I know whether it is Jesus speaking? Is it a mystical experience? Or is it the propositional knowledge in the Scriptures? Perhaps Jesus saved me and told me to believe Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. The Mormons make that claim. Why are they wrong? Or are they? But you are again moving the conversation. My contention was that claiming that nature was just as perspecuitous as the Scriptures is wrong. I can point to numerous people who read the Scriptures, heard them taught, and accepted Christ. To my knowledge, nobody can point to an example of… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Please stipulate that I’ve never asserted nature alone. In the first place, neither nature nor Scripture is ever alone. Now to your questions. How would your brain gain some certainty as to the origin of the speaking? We are sure that the God who changes your heart will bring to mind the truth of himself eventually but not necessarily immediately. Is this a mystical experience? You bet it is! And as real as concrete. Jesus will never tell you to believe in Joseph Smith comma however others will. They might also tell you that you have to get certain propositions… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Stipulation acknowledged. But you have claimed that Scripture and nature are equally clear. You still haven’t made that case. What is most interesting about your position is that it assumes Sola Scriptura in order to refute it. You claim that only Jesus, the Word of God, can save. You know this and can confidently assert this, because of Scripture. Unless you can find this in nature, which was your claim in the beginning. But, alas, you can’t. You claim Jesus will never tell you to believe in Joseph Smith. If the Scriptures are not equal to God’s Word, as I… Read more »

Noah
Noah
5 years ago

Not to muck things up here, but since both of you seem to have thought about this more than me, I’ll throw in a question and let either of you take a swing at it. Question: When you refer to the natural revelation, what specific texts of Scripture describe the scope, nature, goals, etc. of this revelation for you? I would have to think one starts with Romans 1:18-22. If so, then perhaps @PerfectHold:disqus and @kilgore_t_durden:disqus are both right, but about different things: 1. Natural revelation is perspicuous, as perspicuous as special revelation—that is, it communicates what it intends to… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Psalm 19 is the clearest exposition of how the Lord speaks through nature and His word.

The difference, as I see it, is that natural law or general revelation reveals to us the existence of God and the fact of our creature-hood. There are numerous implications that echo from that, such as what our nature is and how it interacts with other facets of nature, and in this case biological differences in sex and roles in society.

What it cannot do is save. The Word of God is sufficient, whereas the revelation of nature is suppressed through our unrighteousness.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago

I’m tracking with you. Thanks.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

By Word of God, you mean scripture?

And when you say revelation is suppressed, you mean our foolish hearts, not what nature has never stopped saying?

Therefore scripture is also equally insufficient to save without the Spirit enlivening?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Therefore scripture is also equally insufficient to save without the Spirit enlivening?

Yes, that is right. We suppress the truth in unrighteousness, and it takes the Holy Spirit to regenerate our spirit to new life. Yes, I am a proud Reformed Calvinist. But again this is a dodge from your original assertion. Us being completely depraved and dead in our trespasses and sin, does not make nature equally as clear as Scripture.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Dear proud Reformed Calvinist — why dost a claim regarding nature’s perspicuity ruffle your feathers? >> what is peculiar in Calvinism that precludes this as a potentiality?

You’ve already allowed to babies salvation without Scripture.
You’ve already allowed that all men have ancestors that were exposed to God’s direct verbiage — and presumably you hold that this provides enough residual info for God to work His salvation in through the mind, no?

Some of us don’t find salvation worked in through cranial electro-chemical machinations — but rather through another kind of hearing.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You are misrepresenting my position.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Please clarity then — what is a baby’s means of salvation?
If you take away Scripture, nature + Spirit is all you’re left with!!

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

The only reason nature would push us away from God is because we are allergic to what it reveals.

You think scripture is easier for God-haters to swallow?

Abortion, suicide and mutilation is natural aka sinful mans response to the clear unambiguous message He created in us.

This is in accord with the lawlessness incited when we hear Him speak verbally.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Before I responded to your very cogent reply, consider this. Believer’s boy dies in infancy one second after conception. I claim multitudinous reasons to believe his little informed heart has heard the word and been saved. Your position must be full of doubts, correct?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Not at all. I believe a rather strong case can be made that the blood of Christ covers the sin of children. I believe that, because I believe in Sola Scriptura.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

But you don’t believe those kiddos believe yet?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

No, not in the same way that we do. But this is still a dodge from your original assertion. It is a different topic. Children dying in infancy being saved does nothing to prove that nature is equally clear as Scripture.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

“not in the same way that we do” — you mean to say there’s another way than exposure to Scripture?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

This is all just word games. I am trying to be patient.

I have been very clear that salvation comes through the regeneration by the Spirit. Your claim, which you seem to be unwilling to defend was that nature is equally if not more clear than Scripture.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

You yourself have presumed that if one is not an infant, one must have exposure to Scripture to be saved, is that correct? Have you asked yourself why that is? >> Must one have a certain amount of cogitatable data to work over in one’s mind to be able to be saved?? And if that were the case, then you’re requiring an act of nature (physical hearing or seeing plus cogitation) doing some work on special revelation (and combined with the work of the Spirit) to result in salvation. What is so special in your thinking about that special revelation… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You yourself have presumed that if one is not an infant, one must have exposure to Scripture to be saved, is that correct? You have flipped this conversation on its head. You made the claim that nature is as clear as Scripture. I disputed that. Now, after we have talked about Magi and kids and much else, we are still at the same place. My assertion is that the Spirit works out salvation through the Scriptures. You can try to twist this into something more than that, but I am not moving. But you still haven’t made you case, or… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Here’s how looking at tree can lead to salvation. (Put in your mind, in my story, Jesus telling you to look at a seed and see the gospel) One thousand years ago, a little Mayan boy looks up at the palm tree leaning against the gray stone temple his papa just finished carving. He sees a palm nut crash down, crushing his … (all right, I see you’re impatience — I’ll jump ahead) The boy sees that all things die and go back to dust but logic tells him that Whomever made people must love them and want to be… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Thank you. We are making progress.

I think there are numerous challenges with this, but I will start here. Where is the declaration of Jesus is Lord and the confession of faith in His death, burial, and resurrection? Is that part optional?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

The declaration that Jesus is Lord came by way of Jesus Himself & the Spirit & the angels.
It was declared by Jesus.

Through the work of the Spirit, little boy Mayo bowed his heart to those latent, incipient truths.

Though he never in this life was given the helpfulness (useful, is how the Bible puts it) of further historical info about Jesus, like your infants who die in the Lord, the information about the resurrection is there in seed form and will be grown in the greenhouse of the hereafter.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

The boy realizes that there must be a loving ruler of the universe who desires people to be restored to him, so he promptly sacrifices a turkey to the three-headed god whom the adults in the community worship by ritual prostitution in order to gain that restoration.

What about the falling nut guides him away from this conclusion, and toward the atoning blood and resurrection of Jesus?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

What guides him toward Jesus?
Why the same thing that guides any of His chosen — the work of the Spirit.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

What does the Spirit use to guide him? The name “Jesus” and the concept of “atonement” and “resurrection” just magically pop into his head? Or does He use means? Like, something in the shape of the nut or the sound of it as it hits his head causes him to understand that only the incarnation of God as man is sufficient to save men?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

“to guide him?” —

He doesn’t need guidance — he needs overthrowing, he needs conquering, he needs death not logical persuasive argument.

He needs a new heart even while his old heart and mind resist with all the gross resistance and corruption it can muster.

He doesn’t need magical incantations of the name Jesus.
He needs Jesus remaking his heart directly.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

He needs all those things, but he also needs to believe that it is Jesus who does it and not the many-headed voyeuristic llama god. I didn’t make that up, Jesus said that. And he can’t possibly do that without knowing who Jesus is. And he cannot learn that it is only Jesus who can save him, from the nut.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Can you know who Jesus is without knowing his name or any of the details of his life on Earth?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I would say can a pagan know enough about the creator God (who we know is Jesus) without knowing the details of the Bible, in order to have a faith: ie. he knows he doesn’t meet all of the Sky-God’s requirements and he appeals to that God for mercy.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Acts 17:30 would seem rather incompatible with that view.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Quite possibly. Good verse. Though I am uncertain how I would understand that verse. Pre-Christ one can’t point directly to Christ, but post-Christ one can. And if missionaries arrive in a culture they can point to Christ, but prior to their arrival what can a pagan possibly know? Only the creator God indirectly as did the non-Israelites pre-Christ

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Exactly. If grace unto salvation was available outside of the preaching of the gospel, there is no need to evangelise.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

“know enough … in order to have a faith …”?

Gotta know as much as a child — so yes he does know enough.

All humans, by virtue of their “natural” God-made nature, have sufficient material available for the Potter to work on.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

“appeals … for mercy” —

folks who appeal to God for mercy seem to fare better than many super Scripture-informed, yes?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Possibly. But you can’t believe He’s the three-headed voyeuristic llama god, because He and that demonic thing are mutually exclusive concepts. So there still needs to be something in the curvature of the nut’s fall or the pattern of the bruise on the kid’s head or something, that tells him that the thing that he needs to believe in is something that has the qualities of Jesus, and not antithetical qualities of some idol.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

We all hold / believe heretical things about Jesus right now.
But don’t worry your head too much about that — He’ll get us and Mayo straight in the end.

In the meantime, if we could get Mayo some access to Scripture, no doubt it would be very “useful for teaching, correct & training in righteousness.”

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

None of that. The sacrifice is an incipient faith. And it is that faith even though there are massive lacunae in his understanding.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

There are lacunae, and then there are things antithetical to the nature of Jesus. How far do we go with “at least he understands there’s some spiritual reality” being sufficient for salvation? There isn’t a human in the world who doesn’t grasp some aspect of either the problem the Gospel solves, or the Gospel itself. And a large percentage of them believe some kind of appeasement needs to be made to something, to make it better. But that’s hardly saving faith.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Hi Jane. I don’t want to sound like a universalist. I think that people in pagan cultures are mistaken and many of them are heading away from God. I think that the gospel turns many pagans towards Jesus. Christ saves all, and this includes those before Christ who did not really know him, but who had faith in God, or Yahweh. And Jesus atonement applies to them too. I just think that it is at least possible that there were some who acknowledged God in as much as they know him imperfectly before Christ, and therefore the same is possible… Read more »

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Hi bethyada, some interesting ideas in your linked post. Romans 2:13-16 is pretty illuminating on the outsiders-getting-into-heaven question, have you referenced it anywhere? (Since you mentioned The Last Battle, it was nicely illustrated when Aslan speaks to Emeth about taking to himself the service he had done to Tash.)

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

No articles that reference that directly.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I think I agree with all that, but I’m not saying “perfect with knowledge or nothing.” I’m saying there is a point at which recognizing that you have a problem of dysfunction with respect to the powers of the universe and there’s some kind of solution out there isn’t enough, if you are actively seeking the solution in that which is not a god, and which cannot be a god. If it were, pretty much every human could be saved because pretty much every human believes at some point in his life that there’s something that will save him from… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

I would like to claim, by the way, that there is reason to see nature as more clear and ever more pervasive than Bible could ever be.

But will you admit that only a small fraction of folks have had access to Bible while none of us has escaped the testimony of nature?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

But again, where do I go in nature to find the necessity of faith in Christ? How can I find the Triune God in a tree? Does the sun tell me of the atonement?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Of course they do, you Enlightenment-darkened little one!

Even Scripture tells you to look how His creation speaks of His glory.
Are you blind to this?
Even Scripture tells you to see how things must die to come back improved — do you not see?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

This is postmodern gobbledygook.

A tree says nothing. We can use words to describe it, but propositionally, it says nothing. The beauty of the natural world speaks wonders to God’s glory, but let’s not be silly enough to think that studying a tree will make a tribesman’s worship the Triune God through faith in Jesus Christ.

If you want to assert that, then point me to the tribesman.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

His trees say nothing?
Mountains don’t clap their hands?
The comet in her blaze, “God!” does not cry?

The Magi do not see His star?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

If you really believe that trees can speak in the same way that Scripture speaks, name one person who has studied trees without exposure to Scripture who has been saved by faith in Jesus Christ. It is really insane to me that we are arguing this point. Nature reveals God’s glory, but it does not teach the Truths of Scripture. Nature is an effect of God speaking and echoes His glory, it is simply not equally as clear as Scripture. And for the record, the Magi had much exposure to the Scriptures through Daniel. So that one is evidence of… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

You have zero direct Scriptural evidence that the Magi’s ancesters were schooled 500 years earlier by Daniel, correct?

But let’s say they were.

Are you saying anyone with ancestral exposure to Scriptures can’t claim salvation by the Spirit through nature’s testimony?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I have no idea what you mean by this. I am sorry.

Daniel had much exposure to the Magi of the past, which means that they were not led to the Christ child by nature, the star, alone. They had exposure to the Scriptures or the teachings of it, very likely though Daniel.

https://www.gty.org/library/bibleqnas-library/BQ060812/how-did-the-magi-know-about-jesus

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

All men have had exposure to the teaching of Scripture then?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

That does not follow logically from what I said.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

That’s an assertion, of course, but not an argument.

Here’s an argument:

You disallow the magi independently finding in nature evidence of biblical weight — because you have presumed that the magi’s forefathers 500 years earlier must have been taught this info by Daniel — and Daniel must have been taught it directly by God.

This line of thinking says that anyone exposed to & taught by anyone who heard God is disqualified for evidentiary value of being taught by nature.

All men have ancestors who heard from God.

Therefore in your thinking all men have Scripture.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

If you say so…

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

I’m sorry.
I see I’ve exhausted you.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I am not exhausted. I am actually quite happy to engage with you. You are clearly well thought on this. I am just looking for a defense of the claim, and not looking for obfuscation about salvation.

Let me assure I am not upset. Just looking to engage.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

So will you clarify that all men in your opinion have been exposed to Scripture? You require of me Scriptural reference to men saved without Scriptural contact. I submit Abel — you say (without Scriptural reference, just presumption) that he must have had at least indirect contact through his father. I submit Mechiz — you say no fair, we don’t know enough! Maybe he heard Scripture from ?? I submit Jethro — you say he probably heard something from Moses who maybe probably must have heard from God already. I submit Magi — you say their ancestors 5 centuries earlier… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

“A tree says nothing.” he says

But He says
“the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because he cometh to judge the earth”
“Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice”

Boy needs to read some Lewis & Tolkein

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You do know what metaphoric language is, correct?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

You do know metaphoric language can point to the Truth, correct?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Yes, very much so. But it doesn’t cease to be metaphoric. Until we hear actual words and sounds come from trees singing, it is meant to be understood metaphorically.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

BTW, the sun does tell you of the atonement, if you have eyes to see.

If you stare out with glasses made by those who think that God left His creation to fly around on its own, then of course you’ll have trouble seeing what Abel saw.

Abel saw that the right kind of acknowledgment involves blood atonement.

Where do you think he got that idea?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

We are just going to have to agree to disagree. If you can get the atonement from the sun or that seeing something die means the creator loves someone, then we are in different worlds. Abel spoke to God in person. I think that makes it pretty easy to find out what we need to do to please Him without guessing by staring at trees and the sun. I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t believe God reveals Himself through nature. He does, and it echoes His glory in majestic ways. But it simply does not equal… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Abel spoke to God in person?

Where’d you get that?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Genesis 4

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

That IS where I’d suggest you look first.

Find a conversation there?

Didn’t think so.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You have a very odd way of reading Scripture. You take metaphors about trees overly literally, and say that trees are speaking the gospel to Mayan boys when their seeds falls and plant trees. And yet, you claim that I am grasping at straws when Cain and Abel offer their sacrifices and God personally speaks to Cain, and I infer from that that God likely spoke to Abel as well. The problem with your bizarre reading is that I don’t find it to be such a stretch to think that God spoke to his brother who was there with him.… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

You didn’t mean “high probability” as much as “necessity”, did you?
Else your case falls apart.

But hadn’t you already said that all humans, by virtue of connection to others who heard from God, must be assumed to have heard Scripture?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

You can spin this however you want, but I have not been confusing here. You are trying to turn your claim of nature’s equivalent perspicuity with Scripture into one must hear an incantation. My claims have been very clear. I never said all humans must be assumed to have heard Scripture. You made that up from me connecting the Magi to Daniel. I never said I believe Abel heard God speak, because it is a necessity. I said it is a reasonable inference from the text. My challenge to you has consistently been to illustrate for us that nature speaks… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Then are you admitting that whatever Scripture you surmise that Abel might have had, it lacked this business about Jesus?

It was quite weak given your standards?

I can show you that the available truth data in nature far exceeded this in perspecuity.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I think you are doing some intentional spinning of my words. I stand by my claims. And for the record, no Abel didn’t hear about Jesus in the way we do, Jesus hadn’t been born. Abel was saved by grace through faith the same way all OT saints were. They placed their faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the maker of Heaven and Earth, and His promises. They didn’t learn this from studying trees, though the trees do attest to His glory, His creative power, and the work of His hands. I am happy to hear how… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

I recognize that those like yourself who’ve been raised and steeped in Enlightenment thinking find the biblical mode of thinking quiet full of spin. How in the world, you must ask yourself, did Abel ever arrive at the notion that his precious little milk-giving sheep should rightly be killed, its blood spilt? And why in the world, your unpoetic mind must be reeling, was a presentation of the works of Cain’s labor found as disgraceful? You must be relying on some secret command the Writer failed to reveal to be but certainly just had to be verbally expressed to those… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I recognize that those like yourself who’ve been raised and steeped in Enlightenment thinking find the biblical mode of thinking quiet full of spin. Actually I raised in a very violent and drink-filled world. I am not sure if that was Enlightenment or not, but no it was not biblical. Surely you could never find in nature such express and explicit revelations as to what life and praise means? Since I haven’t been able to, perhaps one day you could fill me in. I mean, I have spent nearly my entire life hunting, but perhaps it is out there somewhere.… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

Kilgore — I am indeed sad about the disturbing upbringing.
You’ve apparently done quite well as far as having a good head on your shoulders, thank God.

I pray you find beauty peeking out in the most unlikely of places.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I recognize that those like yourself who’ve been raised and steeped in Enlightenment thinking find the biblical mode of thinking quiet full of spin.

Why the assumption that @kilgore_t_durden:disqus got his ideas from the Enlightenment?

Also, one has to wonder: Do you think the framers of the WCF got theirs from the same source?

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Why assume Enlightenment poison?
Nobody alive today can escape it.
Best we can do is find antidotes.

WCF’ers were totally exposed to and influenced by Platonic currents of thinking that later grew into the Enlightenment.
WCF1:1 assumes a theory of knowledge that makes certainty a man-centered acquisition.
But most of the fathers escaped most of the poison by imbibing deep into Scripture.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

Interesting. I hadn’t heard about the man-centered epistemology of WCF 1:1. Tell me more about it.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

Answer this:

What kind of knowledge of God is sufficient?
Is it quantity and accuracy?
Satan has that in spades.
Does a lack of same impede the Spirit? — no, look at the infants.

So knowledge should rather be seen as positive relationship and agreeable experience.

Scripture when available certainly helps.

But nature is always there and unavoidably, inescapably acts always always always as His tool to bring salvation, often (maybe always) with head knowledge being insufficient.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

If your point is that salvation consists not only of notional knowledge, but experience and relationship as well, it is well taken. But you seem to be saying something much more … sticky.

I’m happy to answer any question you like. But I take three in your comment as rhetorical ones.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

“not only of notional knowledge” — nope, I’d be saying “no notions required” — at least, to get one in the Big House — if by notions you mean our cogitations. Our cogitations are and always be limited, even when we get up there. They’ll never be “sufficient” — not only because of our cognitive limitations but, more pertinently, because cognition never could get anybody saved, even if it were inspired. One can “get saved” being a cactus. The fact that we have these glorious cranii (what is the plural of craniums, anyway?!), is for me a great personal bonus,… Read more »

Noah
Noah
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

[Our knowledge will] never be “sufficient” — not only because of our cognitive limitations but, more pertinently, because cognition never could get anybody saved, even if it were inspired. No one here is arguing that notional knowledge is sufficient for salvation. I’m not. I’m pretty sure @kilgore_t_durden:disqus is not. We are arguing that it is necessary. Big difference. You should know that the standard Reformed position is: 1. Some notional knowledge is necessary for salvation. 2. The knowledge necessary for salvation can be found in the Gospel, revealed through Scripture, not nature. 3. This knowledge, while necessary, is not sufficient.… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

(Rushdoony was my pastor, if that helps.)

Some notional knowledge = necessary??!!

Talk to me about infants.
About zygotes and sever Downs.

Talk to me about super sentient folks with all the WRONG knowledge of what things are and what they mean — yet God steps in enlightens them all, not by tweaking their necessary pre-existent knowledge, but by blowing it all to bits.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

The notion that the Westminster Divines taught anything man-centered is laughably inaccurate.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago

@kilgore_t_durden:disqus Yes, I would agree. I wanted to to see if @PerfectHold:disqus was aware of some massive historical point I had previously missed. Seems not.

I was amused to read that the framers of the WCF were “totally exposed to and influenced by Platonic” thinking whereas the church fathers more or less “escaped” such thinking.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

I am open to hearing something I may have missed as well. I am all ears for a different perspective, but we have to be frank with one another.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago
Reply to  Noah

probably I wasn’t clear — the WCF framers = the church fathers to whom I referred.

They, like most learned men of their age, read the Classics (Plato et alles).
Yet they escaped alot of the conclusions even while they adopted a few babies that many years later are coming home to roost and poop.

Noah
Noah
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

@PerfectHold:disqus Ah. Makes sense. Well, I’m glad to hear you consider them fathers.

I see their familiarity with the classics as one of their strong points. Which probably demonstrates that the disagreement here is one larger than can be sorted out in a comments section.

Thanks for an interesting conversation. Don’t sue me if I use your line about coming home to roost and poop. Nice one.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

PerfectHold, I know we disagree pretty mightily, and honestly that is okay with me. But let’s try and be frank with one another. You are trying to argue for a very postmodern reading of Scripture. Again, I disagree, but let’s be honest about it. First off, the Westminster Divines were so steeped in Scripture that I am not sure anyone here could even come close. If anyone could escape the poison of Platonism, it was them. So let’s drop the silliness that claims the WCF is Platonism. That is pure bunk. Secondly, the type of biblical hermeneutic you are using… Read more »

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

I’d love for you to not just make this assertion on my Denver line-of-thinking = postmodern, but make the case! I’ll cop to it if valid. Postmodern = “We can’t know anything, being the disconnected islands that we are” + “We can know all because knowing = spiritual oneness with all” I am, as you’ve said before, on the flip side of all that = the Word made us, connected us to all nature + keeps us connected to nature and Himself via the Spirit. Therefore we have real experience and real knowledge. So sorry to pop your bubble about… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  PerfectHold

I appreciate that. It took quite some time for me to come out of that world. In a lot of ways, I brought much of it into my marriage. Thank God for faithful wives.

And even though I have spent that last three days arguing that nature is insufficient for salvation, I do find the natural wonder of this world quite incredible. I went to Niagara Falls once for a family vacation and I have to say that the power and wonder of God is clear there.

Not salvation, though! Lol.

PerfectHold
PerfectHold
5 years ago

So glad for faithful wives and God’s patience and doctoring.

Salvation IS there at Niagara, as Jesus said — “If you have eyes to see …”

All the knowledge / correct evaluation and assessment & acceptance & humble submission to any bits of Truth are inescapably set before all men at all times in all places.

What’s missing is not some jigsaw pieces of a puzzle, but a hearing, submissive heart.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago

Reverend Wilson, excellent post all around. One thing that might be worth considering is that today, in many churches, the wife will seek that alternative protection in the church. Elders try to become the saviors (little “s”) of a woman from an imperfect husband. I don’t mean adultery or abuse, and even then repentance and reconciliation ought to be the goal. I mean, an imperfect husband with an unsubmissive wife. The elders then seek to support her and provide for her needs, and condition reconciliation on the man agreeing to give up his headship. After all, they argue, he has… Read more »

Nathan Brunaugh
Nathan Brunaugh
5 years ago

Thanks KTD, your helpful comment added to this already helpful article. Unlike many comments on this blog :

Catman Doo
Catman Doo
5 years ago

Yep. Seen it firsthand. “If a man leads correctly, any woman will submit.” Just like God led Israel perfectly and they followed suit. Right?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Catman Doo

The thing that gets me the most is that the evidence of bad leadership is wifely insubmission.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

Kind of ruins the whole point of the book of Hosea, doesn’t it?

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Your aptness for terse responses is great.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
It’s not a one-way street.

Jsm
Jsm
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

The way the submission played out is different between husbands and wives

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Jsm

Agreed, but it is submission nonetheless. Furthermore, when we take the Word as a whole, it is clear that we are all to be in submission to one another.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Not across the board – Eph. 5 also mentions children submitting to parents. Even if parents do much to serve their children, it is inaccurate and unhelpful to describe godly parenting as “submissive”. That’s one argument for maintaining the distinction of roles within marriage.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Yes, I will concede that point. But it also says we are not to use that relationship to provoke the children to anger.
It’s clear the intent of the instructions is that we are to love one another as Christ loves the church. Even the instructions for men make it clear that the husband is to be willing to die for his wife as Christ died for the church.
The power is in the love. We are not to lord that love over anyone.
Christians should make lousy fascists.

Farinata degli Uberti
Farinata degli Uberti
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Sure, agreed. The text commands both godly submission and godly headship, in many different contexts, and both are equally important.

BDash76
BDash76
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

it is not Gender flexible….
Jesus dying for us is not the same as him submitting to his disciples lead ( which he did not do)
A man ensuring his work goes towards others- food, protection , house etc for wife is dying for his wife.
a wife obeying her husband, supporting him etc is submission

a man supporting a wife while she provides, a man obeying his wife and following her lead is NOT dying for others… Christ did not do that either
so do not pretend it is the same thing and gender neutral….

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Jesus submitted to the will of the Father.
I did not say, nor did I imply anything about “gender flexible” or “gender neutral.”

BDash76
BDash76
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

but the father is NOT the church, Jesus did not submit to the church and neither should husbands submit to their wives…

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

I agree.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Christians should make lousy fascists.

You might want to read up on Corneliu Codreanu.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Sounds like he was an excellent fascist but a lousy Christian.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

In what sense?

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

The information you provided indicates a cult of death, anti-Semitism, and violence.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

“Cult of death” primarily meant “willingness to martyrdom” in this context.

I don’t think Codreanu was any more anti-Semitic than John Chrysostom or Paul.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Yes, I saw that part. But “anti-Semitic” was the word used in the information you provided. If that’s not so, it appears you know more about him than I do. I had never heard of him until you brought him up, so I will refrain from debate on the subject, although I would still maintain that Christians should make lousy Fascists.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

He makes the fascisti italiani look pretty good.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Well, by worldly standards he wasn’t nearly as successful. But I don’t think that’s the only way to measure.

Jake Wyatt
Jake Wyatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Yes, or in other words, serve one another.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

Amen.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

“One another” can mean one to another, or all to all. It is not clear which is meant without further context.

As Ephesians subsequently mentions 3 types of submission and Colossians (which parallels Ephesians) leaves out submit to one another, Doug’s take is the likely meaning here.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Do you deny male headship? I would image submitting to a head with that beautiful cover on it would come easily!

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Good one, Kilgore. No, I do not deny male headship. But I also believe we should not lord that over our wives or our sisters in Christ.

Malachi
Malachi
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

I wonder if Abraham struggled with lording it over his wife, Sarah, what with her calling him “lord” all the time.

Christopher Casey
Christopher Casey
5 years ago
Reply to  Malachi

Not likely, he didn’t go around calling her pesant.

OKRickety
OKRickety
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

A husband not lording over his wife is the result of submission to Christ, not submission to his wife. In other words, submission is not equivalent to “not lording over”.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

Please don’t take one verse completely out of context and form a false doctrine around it. Nowhere do the Scriptures command husbands to submit to their wives. The Scriptures command husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the Church, and command wives to submit to their own husbands as the Church submits to Christ. If you believe that husbands must submit to their wives, then you also have to believe that Christ must submit to the Church. Do you believe that? The verse you cited precedes a set of verses (Ephesians 5:22 – 6:9) that explains which members of… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

I think you have taken me out of context. Please see the discussion that follows that initial comment.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

I did read the discussion and I didn’t take you out of context. Submission is in fact a one way street. There is no such thing as “general submission” of all submitting to one another.

Love is not a one way street. Service is not a one way street. But love and service are not submission.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Then you know I did not advocate that husbands submit to their wives. I did not deny, but affirmed, male headship of the family. I acknowledged that children should submit to their parents. I would also acknowledge that slaves are to submit to their masters–because the Bible clearly says that. I also pointed out that headship does not give us the right to lord that headship over those who are to be in submission. I quoted Ephesians 5:21 and said it’s not a one-way street we are indeed to submit to one another. Yes, the subsequent verses list the chain… Read more »

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

“The answer is we both submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.” You got that right. “We therefore submit to one another” And you got that wrong. “The answer is neither, but that we should each and both submit to each other…” And those two statements contradict each other. When I was a company commander, when one of my fellow company commanders said “our battalion commander said to do X”, and I disagreed with my peer, I’d figure out if my battalion commander actually did say to do X, and I would obey (submit to) my battalion commander. Neither my… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

I agree we submit to superiors. Right now, in this discussion, which of us is superior to the other and who should submit to the other, brother?

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Capndweeb

I already answered that question. See my example from my time as a company commander.

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

I’m glad you used that example. While you contend that “mutual submission” is impossible, in your example you and your “peer” (a word that does not involve one of you being superior to the other) agreed (granted, perhaps begrudgingly) to submit to your superior. In that way, you were both submitting to a higher power and thus submitting to each other. From a Biblical standpoint, let’s look at Jesus washing the disciple’s feet from John 13. I think we can agree this is certainly a submissive act on His part. And look at what He says afterward: 12When he had… Read more »

Capndweeb
Capndweeb
5 years ago

Oscar, I see a reply in my email that you left apparently on Friday, but I cannot seem to pull it up in the comments today. It’s a pity, too as it is well-written. You cite the definition of the Greek word for “submission,” refer to relevant scripture in context, and make some excellent logical arguments. In fact, you do such an excellent job, I was all ready and willing to agree with you and submit to you, but then you mentioned that you have a two year-old daughter. Since I’m clearly older than you and the Bible says you… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago

What about the kind of submission between equals that we would characterize as amiability and good manners? I yield my will to my friend’s because it will make her happy. I don’t insist on my rights because people who do that are a pain in the neck. I may recognize that a friend’s personality is more dominant than my own, and I may let her make unimportant decisions for us.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

What you describe is not submission (hupotassó [ὑποτάσσω]: to place or rank under, to subject, mid. to obey).

What you describe is – as you rightly called it – amiability and good manners, AKA, loving ones neighbor.

Love is not submission. Obedience is submission. One can submit (obey) without love and one can love without submission (obedience) to the object of ones love. Don’t confuse the two.

Melody
Melody
5 years ago

I haven’t read any of the comments yet; and at 16, I may be a bit premature – but – I can guess.

bethyada
5 years ago

That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Titus 2:4–5). “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14). But instead of heading off the blasphemy of the world the way God says to do it, we try to avoid the blasphemy of the world by encouraging the exact opposite of what God… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Culture can be both righteous and sinful, but it can also be somewhat neutral.

No…. not really.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Curry vs casserole, trousers vs kilts, ideal BMI 19 vs 25, These things are all neutral. Some more contentious things would be what constitutes nudity, specific household tasks, etc.

I am not saying that this is necessarily the case for this question, but cultural relativity is a real question to be asked and answered.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I will grant your point for topics the Bible is completely silent on. This isn’t one of them.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

But that is my point. The Bible isn’t silent but the argument in part is based on testimony to the surrounding culture. To that end it may depend on cultural expectations. Paul circumcised Timothy for the sake of openness to the gospel while vehemently opposing those who argued it was necessary for salvation.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

So, Paul taught the headship of men over their families, while….?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

I don’t really disagree with Doug. Though I know many egalitarians. What I quoted was Paul appealing to testimony. My question is that if Paul is just appealing to testimony, could that mean that it is good testimony within a culture so long that culture desires things that are not evil.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

This is actually a great question. But I think what Paul was addressing was less cultural and more general revelation. Here in the Northeast, we have our fair share of secularists. What I have noticed about nearly all of them is how outwardly they proclaim the feminist dogma, but in their personal lives, they rarely live it. I read this as them expressing verbally something that is against nature and they are merely living a contradiction. They know in their heart of hearts that males are naturally the head of the home. So, Paul should not be read as conforming… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago

Aristotle did appeal to nature here. And I agree about what you say about Paul. But Aristotle got some things wrong. And we need to show that Paul’s position is not just cultural.

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Of course Aristotle got some things wrong, but he was still very much exposed to natural law. That is why I think we should not see this as Paul addressing culture as much as it is Paul addressing natural law.

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I don’t know whether Aristotle’s words almost 400 years earlier were still representative of the culture in Paul’s day, but in any case, comparing how we respond to cultural norms in a pre-Christian society vs a post-Christian society is not really comparing apples with apples. The Greek morality was quite different from Christian morality, but I think it is even more different from the current secular morality. C S Lewis illustrated it well when he said that the difference between pagan and postmodern was the difference between a young virgin and a jaded divorcee. The pagan has seen some form… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

There is a difference between what a culture views as virtue and how well they live up to that ideal.

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Of course. I get the feeling one of us is not seeing the other’s point. Could well be me. But it helps when the culture has ideals that are actually, you know, virtuous.

I think I understand you in principle, but not in practice. What kind of harmless cultural adaptation would you propose to make to the married life of Christians in order to improve their witness?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

Well Hudson Taylor adopted the dress and food of China (other missionaries disagreed with him).

Is Paul appealing to testimony for it’s own sake. Or testimony because what he commands is righteous and the pagans agree?

I think the latter. But if his argument is based on testimony alone you cannot argue for the cultural independence of Paul’s commands.

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I don’t follow you here. What on earth is ‘testimony for its own sake’? We testify to the truth. If all you’re talking about is cultural dress and food for missionaries, sure. Eat, dress and be merry. And if you’re a missionary to New Zealand Maori, wrestle with the trickier questions like whether to get a moko or whether to join the kapa haka group. On the other hand, the marriage relationship (which is what I thought this conversation was about) should testify to the relationship between Christ and the Church. The nature of that relationship shouldn’t be hushed up… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

By testimony I mean a good testimony among unbelievers.

I agree that Ephesians 5 is more than culturally dependent, but as it seems to follow Aristotle’s 3 fold structure then it could be argued that this is just cultural the burden of proof required is assuming a high context letter.

However, it seems that other passages, including Ephesians 5 linking this to Christ, would argue for the truth of submission based on Bible teaching, and natural revelation.

BDash76
BDash76
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

so basically Christians are just supposed to follow whatever culture is around them….

right…

What next, Jezebel was regarded as evil only because of the patriarchal perspective of that time, in the 21st century she would be celebrated so Christians should follow her example?!!

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Not at all. But one can have a reputation among unbelievers for righteous behaviour.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

“Could one argue that this is the position of the culture at the time and therefore Paul’s admonishing so that the word of God may not be blasphemed was how the outsiders would have understood the ideal household?”

Sure, it COULD be argued, but that doesn’t make the argument valid.

1 Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Is that hierarchy an eternal, God-created condition, or a temporary, man-made cultural construct?

bethyada
5 years ago

Yes, I think that is the response.

I think the cultural argument is a valid one intrinsically, the question is whether it applies. I think that there is enough other material in the Bible to suggest that while such practices were cultural, they were so because of natural law (which reflects God’s law).

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

The cultural argument doesn’t apply here because the Scriptures explicitly teach that marriage is an earthly picture of something eternal – the relationship between Christ and the Church. Not to mention that God established the husband’s headship before the fall.

People who make the cultural argument do so because the concept of wives submitting to their husbands offends their feminist sensibilities.

bethyada
5 years ago

Look at the passages that Doug appeals to here. Doug is saying that Christians should act thus so that outsiders will not blaspheme. The passages are Titus and Timothy. The context here does not appear obviously to refer to the relationship between Christ and the Church (as it does in Ephesians). Paul’s reasoning is an appeal to witness. If it is as a witness we must either be in agreement with the culture (eg law abiding) or producing conviction (eg helping poor). Because the culture valued obedience of wives to husbands (as per Aristotle quote above) then how do we… Read more »

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

How do we know? Because we read more than one passage. The Scriptures address the subject of headship and submission in many passages other than the one on which you insist on focusing.

Jake Wyatt
Jake Wyatt
5 years ago

At church the women should be under obedience and if she has a question she can ask her husband at home. How does this jive with the fact that she must only be submissive to her husband?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

She (like the men of the church) is submitting to her pastors and leaders as pastors and leaders, not as men. What’s being opposed here is the idea that women in general are to submit to men in general apart from any existing relationship between them. I’m not to submit to you simply because you’re a man and I’m a woman. If you tell me to do something I am not inclined to do, I have no obligation to do so simply because you tell me to. If you’re my church leader, employer, civil ruler, that’s different.

Jake Wyatt
Jake Wyatt
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

But it seems there is a difference between the men being under obedience to the church leaders and the women being under obedience to the church leaders since only the men may ask questions at church. Should women only ask their husbands questions? If so, how does that work at a group bible study?

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

Where does it say the men may ask questions at church?

The way it works at a group Bible study is that it is not preaching, and the leaders have asked for open participation. Therefore it is not disruptive or usurpation to participate, unlike the setting that the epistles are referring to.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

She’s asking her husband at home because she’s submissive to her husband. What do you mean “how does this jive”?

Jake Wyatt
Jake Wyatt
5 years ago

That makes sense. Can she ask questions at a group bible study or should she wait until she is alone with her husband?

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

What does the Scripture say? Quote the verse.

Jake Wyatt
Jake Wyatt
5 years ago

I don’t know. That’s why I ask.

Oscar Schneegans
Oscar Schneegans
5 years ago
Reply to  Jake Wyatt

Look up 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 and quote it in this space. What does it say?

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

“One of the things our culture needs to learn how to distinguish is men who are abdicating and men who are on strike.”

Wilson, the “on Strike” part is a needed clarification I have not heard from you before! Nice Job!
Seems like Elijah was on strike at the Kerith Ravine, after a fashion as well.
I’ve been “on strike” re: communion with my church, for about 5 years.

Billtownphysics
Billtownphysics
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I don’t know if going on strike is never warranted, but working towards a normal working relationship should be continually ongoing. It is not healthy or right to for a husband to “quit” trying to be the leader and head of his family, And it is not healthy for a church member to be on a 5-year strike from church. If you believe your elders are in unrepentant sin or heresy, find another church. If not, seek to resolve the issue and get back in fellowship.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

I still go to church! I just can’t take communion with them because of our dispute, which is in the courts now.
The salient metaphorical question in my case is:
“What could Hosea do to make his marriage flourish?” Though there is no literal adulterous behavior in our situation.
Or “What could Lot do to make his wife less salty.”
????

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

For my own morbid curiosity, would you be willing to share an outline of the dispute?

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

It’s a case with a direct relationship to the recent Potiphar’s wife post. A local “Christian” abuse ministry was blind guiding my wife. I wrote to the supporting church that the “abuse” material they were using was junk research. The “president” of the ministry sued me for “harassment”, perjured herself and lost her law suit. I am still working to get the false record of the accusation expunged. My own church had a role in the case, and was also blindguiding my wife. I am still with my wife and church. Do pray for a correct response from the DOJ… Read more »

Kilgore T. Durden
Kilgore T. Durden
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

Wow. You are a committed fellow to your church.

I will certainly be praying.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago

Christ did better with worse! As always, leading by example. Even,Elijah hoped that Ahab would get better. The blind guides at the churches are still creatures, just like me. While my anger at them is just, I am not Lord over who is granted mercy, Jesus is. Since I was granted that mercy myself, I’ll still fight as hard as I can for justice, but always with the hope that everyone will receive justice and mercy. I think our host here, often models the same!???? Oh, and seriously thanks for the prayers! I am just as committed to my wife… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  "A" dad

I don’t know exactly what Doug means here.

I wouldn’t assume that being on strike is not sinful. Perhaps sinful in a different way.

Maybe these meanings?

Abdication: not attending to leadership as God expects.

Strike: sick of dealing with a contentious wife and giving up.

"A" dad
"A" dad
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

No, Jesus seems to tell us, that next to him, Elijah was the most godly man to ever walk the earth.
So why was this great man out in the desert, but still in Israel, for 3 years?
By the same token, Hosea was always faithful to his wife, but they were not always together.
Real strikers are always ready to work,and work at being on strike, as I do.
For godly strikers, their works has abandoned them, they have not abandoned their work.????????????

mkt
mkt
5 years ago

Uh oh. Based on the title alone, I sense some triggering will take place in these comMEnts.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

mkt, be polite to ME as she has already posted why she is sensitive on some subjects and why she is always ready to fight the defensive fight. Not everyone has experienced an easy life without stress, abuse and such; but everyone is free to worship at the foot of the cross and lay their burdens there.

mkt
mkt
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

I’ve tried being polite–dozens of times–by simply asking for proof/links of her hate-filled accusations. I’ve never received an iota of proof, but have been called every name in the book for simply asking. I haven’t had an easy, stress-free life either, but that doesn’t mean I can disregard the 9th Commandment and follow the “Gospel of Making Things Up.”

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  mkt

I have too. I think that many of us here have had times of great stress and unhappiness; in fact, I think very few people get through life without experiencing misery and abuse sooner or later. I am sympathetic to people who need extra gentleness, patience, and understanding. It is harder for me to sympathize with people whose unhappiness makes them lash out at others–who are already carrying their own burdens. Going after someone like Jane is simply unconscionable.

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

mkt and jilly, keep trying. ME does the same but falls off in fits of anger. So, rejoice that ME is here reading and learning.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago

So, a married woman has a job with a male boss;
A married college girl has a male teacher;
What level of submission is expected in these examples?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Standard submission as defined by those roles.

In as much as a mistress of the house rules the servants (male and female).

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

So, are you saying there is a standard of submission that is outside of scripture? Maybe contractual, or cultural?
If so, how would you delineate the priorities of submission?

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I think that the Bible assumes authority and submission in many situations. The frequent use of “servant” in the OT is an example of people putting themselves below others. See also the centurion’s comment about people under and above him.

It would depend on the situation but a submissive person obeys his authority in as much as the authority is over him in a specific domain (courts, police, army, boss, king, employer, etc.). At all times a person can disobey the authority if he asks them to sin against God.

BDash76
BDash76
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

they obviously prefer to submit to other men other than their own Husband..

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  BDash76

Very often it is the husband who is insisting that his wife work outside the home.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

How many men do you think do that, and why do they do that? Not rhetorical. I have my own….theory, I guess.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I really can’t say except for the experience of my own friends, relatives, and neighbors. I was one of the very few women I knew who were able to stay home after having children. That may have been partly due to my living in a very expensive urban area. If husband and wife got locked into a mortgage before the children came along, it might be impossible to make the payments without both their salaries. What I noticed was that if a wife was earning a professional-level salary (doctor, dentist, law partner), even if she wanted to take a few… Read more »

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I agree the amount of money the wife can earn plays into it, along with whatever they are both used to spending. I also think it has partly to do with what a wife is willing to do at home. I’ve seen wives who are not willing to do anything. They don’t work outside the home and they don’t work much inside it either. Or at least they expect a full time working husband to handle as much of the household management as the unemployed wife does. That would make a man feel like he’s being used. On the other… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I think a lot of husbands are justifiably nervous about supporting a stay at home wife past the ten year mark. Where I live, a divorce after ten years can entitle the wife to spousal support for the rest of her life, unless she is young and has skills. I expect that some home schooling families have high income husbands. What was common when I was young, and is rare nowadays among people I know, are professional men marrying non-professional women. Lawyers seem to marry other lawyers. I think that a smart stay-at-home wife makes sure her husband sees the… Read more »

BDash76
BDash76
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

hahahahahhahaha yes that is what is happening… you obviously have never stepped foot on a college campus…

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I think it would be the same kind of submission a man gives a male boss or male college instructor. You do what is asked of you with an outward show of respect. On the job you also give a certain amount of loyalty and dedication to the employer’s interests.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

The sex of the boss and teacher and the employee and the student are irrelevant. There is an appropriate level of submission related to the classroom and the job function for each, but in neither case does it go beyond that. Also, in college, the relationship is more contractual — the student is morally free to blow off anything the teacher says, provided she’s willing to take the consequences of doing poorly or failing the class.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Wow! I didn’t take you for an egalitarian. Irrelevant to God, or to you?
We know submission to God is the only absolute. All others would be contractual.
But when we prioritize submission in earthly relationships, gender has a big role.
A female working for a male manager should be very different from a man working for a female. Or a female guard in a men’s prison?? Female sargent in the army?
Can we keep pretending that we are created gender-neutral?

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Different how, exactly? (My initial suspicion is that the questions are wrong, so no answer can be right.)

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

Yes, the questions are wrong, but… Men and women are different in the roles they have been given, and to ignore those differences is disobedience to God. Men are created to rule, and women are created to nurture. Both roles are equally necessary, but we have mixed up these roles in our culture, and now they have become obscured. If a man works for a woman, he will end up in command. A woman could work for a man, but the (contractual) lines will get crossed up, and she would end up submitting to more than wages. But you already… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

That really wasn’t my experience. I was a department head with several men reporting to me, and they didn’t end up in command. Nor did they try to be. I passed along directions from my superiors and made sure the work got done. The men were cordial and cooperative, just as I was in dealing with those above me in the hierarchy. I was easy-going and disinclined to pull rank unless I absolutely had to. But that was equally true of all good managers I have worked under, male or female. Nor do I see that a woman working for… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I think wisdumb’s comment has a small amount of merit but lacks depth. A woman should run her home and that includes menservants. Deborah was a judge.

But when an entire culture has equal numbers of women in positions of authority, that probably reflects an underlying problem in the culture.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

I find this both interesting and perplexing. When I think of marriage as a dance, I have no trouble with the dictum that men lead and women follow. I may be a much better dancer than my husband, but the rules give him the lead. Similarly, a private may be smarter and more competent than a sergeant, but the sergeant gives the orders. So far, so good. Where I start having trouble is with the idea that most men have innate characteristics that fit them for leadership in society at large, and that most women do not. Similarly, I find… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Or perhaps, because God intended for husbands to lead wives, he gave men a more innate leadership ability? I think there are a couple of things that might be going on. Firstly, populations have means and averages. Individuals do not. Think of height. Men are on average taller than women, but any individual woman may be taller than any individual man. IQ is probably slightly higher in men (perhaps 5 points) but plenty of women are more intelligent than many men. I suspect that if we had a reliable metric to measure leadership, men would be higher than women. The… Read more »

Bdgrrll
Bdgrrll
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Good leadership doesn’t consist of just stereotypical male traits. Today, it depends a lot on team building, communication skills, and developing consensus. Many women do better in these areas than their male counterparts.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

Yes, that’s because God has given them ‘helper’ talents.

JohnM
JohnM
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

“But when an entire culture has equal numbers of women in positions of authority, that probably reflects an underlying problem in the culture.” Even the Swedes find they have to walk uphill into the wind to place equal numbers of women in positions of authority. Let men and women be what they are, and let things play out as they will, and there will always be prominent women holding informal authority, and a few holding formal authority, and that much is fine. Contrive, against the grain of human nature, to lift more women into authority and, well, you get what… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  JohnM

I think that women often exercise authority differently than men. In the early days of women managers, women often tried to imitate characteristically male leadership conduct which led to problems.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Even if men are created to rule, most men will never actually hold leadership positions in their occupational lives. Wouldn’t it be true to say that most men spend their working lives obeying orders rather than giving them? I wonder if the division between rulers/nurturers is intended to be seen in the home rather than the workplace.

Bdgrrll
Bdgrrll
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Huh? What sort of workplaces are you talking about? I never saw a man working for a woman manager who ended up in control. There may have been rare situations when a woman working for a man ended up working submitting to more than a salary or wages…nowadays that’s sexual harassment. My work experience includes 39 years of full and part-time work (mostly full-time) work in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Most of my work experience has been as a salaried, exempt professional, but I have also been an administrative assistant, worked in a call center, picked fruit, and… Read more »

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

Have you ever considered that you may have been spared a great deal of misery and pain during all those ‘working’ years? Would you wish the same for your teen aged daughter? We have a culture that has been formed under biblical truth and law, but has also been under assault from things like feminism. So, we have a muddled understanding of the proper roles men and women should be playing, and these may be often reversed. The Bible should be our primary authority in understanding those roles. In general, and usually, men should have leadership and warrior roles, while… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I am not remotely an egalitarian. But the only relationship a female student has to a male professor is the student-teacher relationship, it’s not a marriage relationship. Ditto employee-employer relationship. All employers get to tell all employees how to do their jobs, and nothing else. All teachers get to tell all their students how to fulfill the requirements of the class, and nothing else. How would you envision a female student “submits differently” to a male teacher than she would to a female teacher, or how a male student “submits differently” (or doesn’t submit, which would cause him to fail… Read more »

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

So disqus shows wisdumb’s question but not your response in the thread! Apologies for the redundancy! :)

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I think that there are positions that someone’s gender can make suitable or unsuitable. But many positions are, in fact, gender neutral. There is no specifically manly or feminine way to be a librarian or a city planner or a computer programmer. In my work other than teaching, I was usually being paid to think, write, and problem-solve. Whether I had girly-girl feelings while I did this was really irrelevant, and so was the gender of the person who gave me my orders.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Dunsworth is definitely not egalitarian. And she is not saying that sex/ gender is irrelevant in any possible way, she is saying that where there are situations where there is an authority, then submission to that authority exists regardless of the sex of each person. Eg. judge and defendant. The judge is in authority and the defendant is in submission and that is true if the judge is male or female and if the defendant is male or female. A male defendant is not in authority over a female judge because he is male. This does not mean that females… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

A Canadian appearing in court calls a woman judge “My lady.” That is ritualized submission!

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

Yes, yes, I know neither of you is egalitarian! My whole point is to show that submission is a hot-button topic that many Christians are unwilling to approach (for fear or ignorance). Submission is a vital ingredient in covenant, but is rarely explored carefully. There are many levels and forms, and we are taking our lead from the world rather than scripture. We can see the truth in the far extremes, but we get all muddled with anything in-between. Our culture wants to drive a wedge between the terms ‘gender’ and ‘sex’, and we act as though male and female… Read more »

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I would call the proper balance dependent submission

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

See my response to Jill.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

I think what I’m saying (and bethyada gets this) is that once you have a certain established relationship, male vs. female does not affect how that relationship functions, if the authority and submission flow primarily from the roles in the relationship. Defendants are always in submission to judges (within the powers granted by the judicial system), students (within the limits of course requirements) always in submission to teachers, etc. Even if a male student attempted to ask submission of his teacher, in what area could he rightfully ask it anyway? He has no relationship to her other than as a… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

All very true. And I think that people adjust very quickly to situations that used to seem weird and anomalous. Thirty years ago, movies might have had a scene where a man mouths off to a woman judge and finds himself in big trouble, but I don’t think many young viewers today would even understand the issue. On the other hand, I think one’s gender affects one’s teaching style because it is so much a product of personality. You may try, but you are never really impersonal in a classroom, either in presenting information or in interacting with students. I… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

It just occurred to me that a much shorter way of saying everything I just said might be:

We can discuss whether there should be ruling Queens, but if there are, then the Queen is still the Queen. And there’s nothing in scripture that indicates that she can’t order the male peasant around, that the male peasant is allowed to disobey, or that the Queen has to follow to the Duke’s political advice just because he’s a man. And how it would “look different” for the male peasant to obey her vs. the female, eludes me entirely.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I wrote a reply which I can’t find, so disregard it if it pops up. It is interesting that Christian England and Calvinist Christian Holland had no trouble with ruling queens. And Victoria was apparently quite submissive to Albert in their private family life. (I say apparently because I have read very little about Victoria to lead me to believe she could be submissive!) I suppose some people would argue that a ruling queen might be more susceptible to being influenced by unscrupulous male courtiers and advisers. But I think history shows that male rulers are just as susceptible. Flattery… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Absolutely sex (not gender, unless it’s a foreign language class ;-) ) affects the interactions, but it doesn’t really change the function of authority. Men and women are not interchangeable and your bringing up that difference of how people relate based on sex made me realize I may have missed what wisdumb is concerned about. There will be differences, but in established authority relationships that are not inherently rooted in sex (i.e., other than marriage), I don’t think those differences extend to “how one submits”, but rather how they relate in other ways. And those differences in relating will in… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I know that sex is correct, but I grow weary of recasting my sentences so there is no ambiguity! “Sex can affect the teacher-student relationship” has an entirely different meaning than “gender.” I would like a new word for sex without the sexual connotations! I think that when men and women behave with propriety in the workplace, sex is irrelevant to submission, as it should be. But, when I think about interactions I have witnessed, I can see how flirtation on both sides could sexualize submission. My preference would be to see a much less personal and intimate workplace environment,… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

I think we sometimes forget that men in low-status occupations have always reported to female bosses, and we had no problem with that in the past. Orderlies reported to female head nurses; janitors reported to female elementary school principals. Chauffeurs took orders from society women who were probably sometimes discourteous in ways no female executive could get away with today. Even in high status occupations, lawyers and accountants took orders from rich widows. No gardener or pool cleaning man would object to working for a woman; why is it different for a male middle manager to take orders from a… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

I think I agree with you; I mostly mean that if someone thinks there *is* a conflict, it’s at the level of “should I take this job,” not “are there things she’s not allowed to ask me to do, that a male boss would be?” I can’t see how a male boss could ask you to do anything a woman boss couldn’t, legitimately, or that a female employee should submit to a male boss in a different way than a male employee would.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Yes, but “legitimately” is the real problem, isn’t it?

I’m having a hard time following these comments…

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Well, if a man or woman asks you to do something he’s not entitled to ask you to do, the “way” you submit, whether you’re a man or a woman, is not to. Again, I don’t see the difference.

I agree, the way the responses appear is very confusing.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

OK, this may make my point: when a man refuses to a woman do something illegitimate, there is little room for coercion. When the roles are reversed, the coercion ‘quotient’ is greatly raised. If this is true, it’s because the man is made to rule, and the woman is made to submit. This is part of creation, and repeated by Paul.
When our culture so often denies this order, things get more and more muddled. Why can’t there be a woman drill sargent? Gosh, I don’t know!
Sadly, even christians can’t give a good answer.

Bdgrrll
Bdgrrll
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

If I understand your point correctly, you’re saying that Manager Ms. A asks her direct report, Mr. B, to do something “illegitimate”, such as fudging their quarterly sales figures to make their department look as though they are doing better than they really are. Mr. B refuses. Because Ms. A is female, she has little or no way to coerce Mr. B to comply with her demand. Why? Because she can’t demand sexual favors from him to keep her from firing him or otherwise making him so miserable on the job that he’ll quit? Of course, if it were Mr.… Read more »

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

That isn’t how I understood his example. I took it to mean that if Miss Jones asks her subordinate Mr. Smith to fudge a report, he, as a man, will have the moral fortitude to say no. But, if Mr. Smith makes the same request of his underling Miss Jones, she, being female, will fold like a tent and agree. This is premised on the idea that all women will, by nature and upbringing, give in to all men who hold authority over them. I don’t think there is much evidence from the workplace to back this up. Both men… Read more »

Bdgrrll
Bdgrrll
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Thanks, Jillybean. If you are correct, then wisdumb is saying that women are reflexively wired to submit to any request, or even any demand, that any man makes upon them. Somehow, I don’t think God gives women a pass for sin by allowing them to use the “I couldn’t help it defense. You made me with the inclination to submit to whatever any man said, so it’s not really my fault.” If that’s how He wanted to make women, he would have created Stepford wives and daughters.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

Or even “Honey, I bought a timeshare for us; the man was so persistent and I couldn’t say no.” A wife who was really that submissive to authoritarian-sounding men wouldn’t be safe to be left alone.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

The world is created to be bound by covenant, and a wife is bound to her husband by covenant. But only to her husband. This is protection for her as she is focused on family life. And she does have legal grounds to use this as a defense.

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

So, who’s the wife’s boss?

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  wisdumb

Well, I think there probably are female drill sergeants,whether or not there should be. Their ability to succeed depends on the fact that there is a strong hierarchy backing them up.

FX Turk
FX Turk
5 years ago

Hi Doug — as a devoted follower of this topic, the Bible, and your blog, and also as someone who could never attend a church with an alleged female pastor, I wanted to play devil’s advocate for a second with your 3-way disqualification of a woman as a pastor on the basis of the doctrine of male headship. I agree with your first two points: if she mangles the passage(s) or denies them, she’s not a competent handler of the Word of God and therefore not fit to lead God’s people. But it seems to me that a woman who… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

I believe you’re correct, but many times the reason why something is forbidden can be explored even though the prohibition is sufficient reason not to do it. Here, the baseline reason why women can’t be pastors is because it’s forbidden. But the fact that a state of unsubmissive women trying to get men to submit to them ruins everything it touches, is at least part of the reason why it’s forbidden.

FX Turk
FX Turk
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Here’s where I think I have to draw some black lines. “Women” are not asked to be “submissive” to “[all] men.” That’s a sexist, worldly fallacy. It’s what ruins men and women, it’s a direct paraphrase of the curse of the fall. The Bible doesn’t forbid female pastors, either: it simple fails to qualify women for the role. The set of women who meet the qualification for pastor is a null set because of the criteria to be a pastor — for example, a woman can never be the husband of one wife. In the same way a man with… Read more »

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

What about an unmarried man?

FX Turk
FX Turk
5 years ago
Reply to  Indigo

I’ll put myself out there: Timothy was the exception to the rule, a disciple to the apostle to the Gentiles, and is never made an exemplar of “another” kind of qualification for being an elder/pastor. I wouldn’t disfellowship anyone for disagreeing with me, but I’m not a fan of a young man without a wife going into a church as “an elder” when he’s not married and not elder.

Not a popular opinion, but this is me we are reading here.

Indigo
Indigo
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

I’m not a fan of it either, but that’s not because I think scripture disqualifies him. I just think a young single man has not usually had sufficient opportunity to prove himself.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

She can’t because the qualification is being male. And woman cannot be in authority over men within the church.

I would be cautious about it relating to being a one woman man. It is not fully understood what that means, and I doubt it excludes single men from eldership.

FX Turk
FX Turk
5 years ago
Reply to  bethyada

If it is “not fully understood” what that means, I suspect it’s not for lack of history and exegesis on the subject.

bethyada
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

I think that it may exclude polygamists as you say. But it may be a colloquialism meaning having eyes for only one woman, ie. faithful. See also 1Ti 5:9, a one woman husband (but she is a widow, and woman couldn’t be polygamous)

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  FX Turk

I agree women are not asked to be submissive to all men. But they are not to be unsubmissive to those men with whom they are in certain relationships.

I suppose the Bible doesn’t forbid female pastors in so many words, but it does forbid them from fulfilling the sine qua non aspects of the role — rule and teaching authority over men. So I’m not sure that’s a distinction with a difference.

jillybean
jillybean
5 years ago
Reply to  Dunsworth

Jane, would it be fair to say that in any situation in which a woman owes submission to someone other than her husband is a situation in which a man would also owe submission to that person? I am thinking of priest or pastor, doctor (to an extent), employer, judge, and traffic cop.

I think also that a feminine manner, which might be gentle and deferential, should not be taken as submissiveness. I don’t speak to men in the manner that men speak to each other. But I am not submissive to them.

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  jillybean

Yes, I think that’s right, on both counts.

Prudence
Prudence
5 years ago

My mind is cannot get around that picture. Wives submit to husbands, and husbands are to love them like Christ loves the church, giving his life for her. I gladly strive and pray to submit to my husband, and he prays to love me like Christ, presenting me without blemish (!) to God. (Can’t wait to be in glory!!) So to me that picture goes beyond ‘lame.’ It hurts my eyes and my mind. Christ crushes the snake’s head, not the church’s. In fact, Christ is the head of the church. I also must mention I am surprised this lengthy… Read more »

ashv
ashv
5 years ago
Reply to  Prudence

The ’70s were weird in a lot of ways. (For instance, a brand best known for women’s hose being repurposed for men’s polyester slacks.)

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Prudence

Prudence, the photograph is an actual advertisement by Leggs from 1970. You do realize that don’t you? Any discomfort you feel should be directed at Mr Leggs or Leggs and not anyone else. Do you protest the lurid and distasteful TV shows which are plentiful for children to watch, the explicit magazine covers in our supermarkets, the rotten, cheesy movies available to all, the extraordinary hooker style clothing for women of all ages, the murder of children by government funded PP clinics? Or do you just protest on blogs? After all, it is easier to type rather than getting out… Read more »

Prudence
Prudence
5 years ago
Reply to  Dave

Hi Dave, yes I saw it is a dated ad. I have not seen 50 Shades, but that is what that pic reminds me of. It is lurid. I do not have cable, I don’t see what is on TV. My kids use the TV to play Mario, and to watch prescreened DVD’s. When I catch glimpses in other peoples’ homes of what is on TV, yes it is shocking, and I protest by not watching. I prefer not to give up this blog, so I am voicing my opinion since I am able to. I am a mostly stay… Read more »

Dave
Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Prudence

Prudence keep up the street evangelism then. Port towns can be rough but there is also a great opportunity for witnessing in your duly life.

Are you east or west coast? When I lived in Bandon, Oregon in the 70s it was a blue collar town with hearts open for Christ. Now it is a yuppie town.

Tracy Oguni
Tracy Oguni
5 years ago

It appears you misquoted Titus 2:4. It says “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children”, and nothing about obedience.

D
D
5 years ago
Reply to  Tracy Oguni

It should have said 2:4-5.

ashv
ashv
5 years ago

The rest of the order and security of society can be addressed under the heading of “Honour your father and mother”, as can be seen in the Westminster Catechism’s treatment of it.

W. Beck
W. Beck
5 years ago
Reply to  ashv

1 Corinthians 14. “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” Who is this woman in submission to? She is not in submission only to her husband or only to her father and mother but to the men of the church. “In submission to no man but my husband”… Read more »

Dunsworth
Dunsworth
5 years ago
Reply to  W. Beck

Nonsense. In submission to no man but my husband means that I must obey my husband, so I don’t get to pick which man I’d rather listen to from among the clamor of those who might like to think that they are entitled to my submission. Also, “no man but my husband” doesn’t mean “no pastors or elders.” It means no other woman’s husband who has no pastoral or legal authority over me, no overly opinionated 20 year olds, and no busybodies with hobbyhorses, no matter how attractive their ideas might be to me. God’s order sets up superiors and… Read more »

lambchowder
lambchowder
5 years ago

Why would you ever believe in a hierarchy of two outside of a society where one gender or the other is powerless and thus can’t hope to achieve roughly equal insight into how to raise a child to face challenges particular to the more favored gender, contribute equally financially, tell you how to successfully integrate and navigate the demands of public’s institutions or extra-home environments like the workplace, drive, maybe courtship, treat elders or social superiors, prepare for rites-of-passage etc. Isn’t it better just leave the couplings of the past in the past (which didn’t work then either, e.g King… Read more »

Bdgrrll
Bdgrrll
5 years ago

It’s obvious that the Rev. Wilson doesn’t think that submission means that his wife and daughters can be authors. Good for him (and them). But what if his daughters had wanted to move out of the family home before marriage, attend a secular university to prepare for a professional career, not even as a physician, attorney, or CEO, but just a run-of-the middle-class occupation, say a nurse practitioner, accountant, or cybersecurity specialist? Chose their husbands on their own, and brought them home to the parents after dating awhile? Decided to leave the Reformed faith and became Methodists or, gasp, Roman… Read more »

wisdumb
wisdumb
5 years ago
Reply to  Bdgrrll

Yes, wise parenting does yield good fruit.

pl1224
pl1224
5 years ago

The correct phrase is not “wreck havoc”, but “wreak havoc”. Erudition counts!

–Thus saith the (female) English teacher.