I think it is time for us to distinguish the Christian temper from various ideologies of the left and right that claim the mantle of scriptural authority. For example, socialists have confounded taking with sharing and libertarians have confounded autonomy with liberty. And both can produce Bible verses that commend sharing and liberty to us all.
But the Christian temper is not ideological. In key respects it is conservative, and in some others it is progressive. But because there is an ultimate defined standard, rooted in the nature of the unchanging God, it is not a hidebound conservatism and it is not relativistically progressive. The former preserves things just because they have managed to remain in existence for a long time, while the others don’t know where we are supposed to be going, but are really convinced of our duty to be making really good time.
Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.—Ambrose Bierce
Now the consistent Christian wants to conserve the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s accomplished work down through history. Remember I am speaking culturally here, and so would want to include more things than faith, hope, and love. I am also including trial by jury, limited government, and the rule of law. But the consistent Christian also wants to progress toward the goals that the Holy Spirit has assigned us to accomplish in the future. As the grace of Pentecost gradually overthrows the judgment of Babel, one of the things that will happen is that—through the preached gospel of Christ only—ethnic animosity will be replaced by ethnic harmony.
And so we know what to preserve from the past and what to labor for in the future because God has delivered His Word to us in the form of a book. We have the Scriptures, we have the Holy Spirit within us, and we have a waiting world before us. Ready, set, go.
Trouble begins when Christians buy into various ideological systems—and they can come from the secular left or from the secular right—in such a way as to make them either deny, serenely ignore, or radically twist plain statements of Scripture. I have often said that unbelievers are frequently more to be trusted with the exegesis of various angular passages because the unbeliever is not stuck with the results of his exegesis. Unlike the unbeliever, the evangelical cannot say, “The apostle Paul taught the submission of wives to husbands, ho ho ho.” The unbeliever can say that, and apart from the ho ho ho bit, we at least learn something about the content of Paul’s views.
The evangelical believer has to go through a lot of throat-clearing. He must say something like yes, well, technically, somebody has to break the tie, kind of like the vice-president in the Senate, largely ceremonial really, and don’t forget mutual submission, with some things more mutual than others, and then there is servant leadership, with some more servants than others, and we wind up with husbands needing permission from their wives to attend a Bible study. Check out #9 here.
In addition, because evangelicals (even the compromised ones) have “outreach” woven into their identity, there is a pressing temptation to use these worldly ideologies as a newly-incorporated feature of “biblical Christianity,” making us more attractive to whoever it is our insecurities want to attract—usually the cool kids that we think will make good Christians. The cool kids, depending on the nature of the evangelical insecurities, can be defined as including the hipsters, the commies, the libertarians, the drama department at the nearest land grant university, or the Chamber of Commerce.
But nobody makes a good Christian except for real sinners. The living stones for the divine temple are cut only from the quarry of utterly unsuitable rock. The basic qualification is that we must be utterly unfit and ill-deserving. So the task of evangelism is not to make the gospel more attractive to those we are trying to flatter into the kingdom. “For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness” (1 Thess. 2:5, ESV). The task of evangelism is not that of making God acceptable to sinners, but rather the task of making sinners acceptable to God. And the only way to do that is by preaching a gospel that hands out, no charge, the white robes of Jesu-righteousness. Then you may come. Come to the wedding feast as you are, in those fetching and expensive designer-torn jeans, and you will be bound hand and foot and thrown to the everlasting worms.
And this puts the finger on our basic problem—verses like the one alluded to above (Matt. 22:13). We want to sandpaper the Bible to make it smooth to the sinners’ touch. But God uses industrial grit sandpaper on the sinner to make him smooth to the touch of the text. The task of biblical evangelicalism is this. Man must be brought into conformity with the Word of God, which only the miracle of the new birth can accomplish. We, rejecting the necessity of the new birth, are stuck with the only alternative, which is that of making the Word of God conform to the nature of unregenerate man. In order to do this, we have to mix the teaching of Scripture with various ideologies concocted by unregenerate man.
But is there no common grace? Is all diseased? Yes, there are most certainly things we must learn from non-believers. So how are we to tell the difference between compromised syncretism and an uncompromised use of common grace? The answer is basic. Every form of compromise flatters unregenerate man, and every form of grace, including common grace, humbles him.Every form of compromise flatters unregenerate man, and every form of grace, including common grace, humbles him.
And so this is why Christians must be biblical absolutists, which is very different from being narrow biblicists. I believe in natural law, in common grace, and all the rest of that lot. We must resolve before God and the holy angels to not have any problems with any text once the exegesis is honestly done. And this is why we have angular texts given to us—given to us by the grace of a merciful God. Angular texts test us in order to find out whether we are jiggering with the text in order to make it “fit” with the tenets of classical liberalism, libertarianism, or socialism. “And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deut. 28:14). I do not dispute that the texts are angular. What I dispute is the virtue of intellectual dishonesty.
There are satisfactory answers to the problems I intend to pose, but I am not going to present them here. I want us first to meditate on the fact that the law is holy, righteous, and good (Rom. 7:12). Let these texts work as a litmus test, probing your reactions. Is the text wicked? Or is it just you?
That said, what is the reason given for not prosecuting a master whose slave died a couple days after a beating?
“Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property” (Ex. 21:21, NKJV).
And do not rush to glib solutions like because new covenant! The homosexualized-christians love to play the game of that-was-then-this-is-now, and know how to play it better than we do. Besides, it was Jesus who liked to tell parables taken from the details of everyday first-century life—like a sower sowing his seed, or a goodwife searching for a coin, or like a father longing for his wayward son. Oh, right. Then there is that one about the master who rented those guys who owned the right kind of torture equipment (basanistes), calling them in to work over an uppity slave (Matt. 18:34).
Do not try to see any solutions from a stance that is sitting in judgment over the Word. That way lies confusion. You will wind up not even knowing which bathroom you are supposed to use. You will wind up with girls in the Boy Scouts. You will breathlessly discover that the original Greek for Boy Scouts actually means “one who menstruates.” No. As George MacDonald once put it, obedience is the great opener of eyes. “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).
“socialists have confounded taking with sharing and libertarians have confounded autonomy with liberty”
as someone who leans HEAVILY libertarian regarding political philosophy, thank you for nailing down the fundamental issue plaguing libertarianism (in my estimation).
The Libertarian ideal runs off the track when it assumes that a person (not God) owns himself.
In case I don’t say it often enough,it’s a beautiful post. You could run it every Monday and I would be well pleased. I do think that perhaps you should have said Christian tempers in the plural, because there can be quite a variation there. As to the “OMG, the churchian world has been totally feminized and now husbands must get permission from their wives to go to bible study,” utter rubbish. Dalrockian. Beneath you. I have absolutely no problem asking “will this take me away from my family, what sacrifice will they be making, how will my absence be… Read more »
MeMe, I don’t have trouble with that, and practice it all the time. The trouble I have can be seen quite nicely if a women’s study made women sign a statement that husband was good with them being there.
“The trouble I have can be seen quite nicely if a women’s study made women sign a statement that husband was good with them being there.”
It seems they are consistent with both sexes on this concept. At least what appears to be the complementary group for women has the same item (it can be seen at Titus 2 Women Group Mentoring Coventant).
There’s quite the difference between, “A considerate spouse asks his or her spouse if any problem would be created by attendance at this Bible study” and “you must certify to us that you have received consent.”
In light of OKRickety’s comments I’m not sure I find this particular situation objectionable because I think they aren’t so much going for “permission” as for having the other spouse buy into the commitment it will require. But I can easily imagine a situation where this is a lot less clear.
So………would “radicalmentoring” violate #3., and thus lose the ability to learn about problems with #9, if problems with #9 were raised?????
And Wilson, I want you to be more of a “servant leader” and do what I tell you to do! ????
We ask one another for consent and support all the time. Just yesterday I asked if he would mind if I took a nap, for goodness sakes. He certainly asks if I would mind if he went and watched a game or was gone on Saturday or something. It’s consideration, it’s love. The very nature of sacrificial love suggests you are going to come into agreement.
How could anyone be married to man who was like, I can do whatever I want and she can just lump it? Or the reverse ?
‘Livin’ the dream on the latter!????
With respect, I think your criticisms of his piece here are reductio ad absurdum. Nobody’s suggesting that men should be inconsiderate of their wives, and that’s fairly clear in the text. As for contract point number 9, and this isn’t directed at you so much as the general defense in the comments here, has an extremely important phrasing that’s getting glossed over. “She willingly relinquishes the time” It doesn’t require that you talk to your wife, or be considerate to your wife, or any other such point. It requires her expressly given permission on how you will spend *her* time… Read more »
“It requires her expressly given permission on how you will spend *her* time (which is, in fact, your time)” When we get married, “our” body is no longer just our body, it now belongs to your spouse. “Our” time is also no longer “our” time, it now belongs to your spouse. “She willingly relinquishes the time” Sounds completely normal to me.I have no idea what the problem is. Also,if you can get your wife to sign off on what you are doing, you have just removed a potential obstacle in fulfilling your covenant, in making your commitment easier. You now… Read more »
“When we get married, “our” body is no longer just our body, it now belongs to your spouse. “Our” time is also no longer “our” time, it now belongs to your spouse.” It seems the problem is you aren’t operating with the same definition of ownership at the rest of the group. Ownership of an object, at the basic level, means control of that object. Further abstracted, it can also mean the right to control an object. In either case, your body doesn’t “belong” to your spouse. Your wife doesn’t get to command you to get a tattoo for instance,… Read more »
My understanding is that spousal “ownership” refers to the sexual rights implicit within marriage, and which flow both ways.
What would be his reaction if you took a nap without asking? What would be your reaction if he watched a game without asking? And, take a nap as opposed to what?/watch a game as opposed to what?
I give you credit for it being mutual. It just seems to me that if the asking on one part is a response to demanding on the other part then it’s not so much based on consideration as it is something less lovely. Hopefully it’s just what you say, but not all couples interact the same way.
You don’t see a major difference between “Honey, I’m leaving for two weeks in New York tomorrow, I put it all on your card, and I’ll see you when I get back” and “Honey, I’m tired, I’m going to lie down”?
women should have to ask their husbands permission
they are under his authority- obviously people here see that as unimportant
men should not have to ask their wife’s permission.
the is astonishing
Christians just say men are the heads, but really women are the heads.
Men should hopefully continue to leave the church.
Leave the feminist daughters single and barren!
Bdash, any time you present your view of what it means to be a Christian wife, it always sounds like a life of drudgery and silent submission to every manly whim, with no chance ever to go to a Bible Study or even have a monthly coffee with friends. Do you see this as a picture of marriage that would entice any woman to enter into it? Assuming there is a wife who is perfectly willing to be a stay at home wife and mother, do you see the husband’s role as drill sergeant and overlord, making sure she never… Read more »
You presume having a Godly husband = drudgery
No, it’s not the Godly part that equates to drudgery. It’s the constantly critical part, and your insistence that a good wife may never leave her duties to refresh herself. It’s that, in all this time, I have never heard you say one good thing about a woman, even a Christian woman who is trying to be a submissive wife. Not one single word that wasn’t a complaint about how awful all women are.
there are few Godly women in the western world, if one needs to leave his duties to “refresh” he has the wrong attitude.
I wish men were allowed this
“Honey” for the next year I would like you to go to work, dig the yard, lead the family etc- I need to ‘REFRESH” MY SELF
Believe it or not, bdash, there are husbands who don’t dig the yard or chase down burglars or remove giant spiders or wash the car. My former husband worked faithfully at his job–for which I was entirely grateful–but it was clearly understood that his time away from work was “his time.”
I think we all need occasional time off. I understood that my husband came home tired and needed to relax. Every day. What is so terrible about the fact that once a week I traded babysitting with someone and went to choir practice?
but most modern women think that a husband should have no break and if he ever relaxes he is not being a good servant leader.
Christian pastors then go and guilt men for not being domestic enough- something that was not a requirement for men for 1000’s of years and never in the bible.
only in the Western world
simply because women are unhappy that God made them a woman
You assume every husband is godly….no husband is Godly because they aren’t God. A rigid model of submission is drudgery. I always ask myself, what does LOVE demand? Because the bottom line of marriage is agape love.
I think eros is rather nice as well.
In the same way no wife is Godly
I guess husband should use that to justify not looking after their wives…
Number nine in the contract the link takes us to requires a man to have his wife’s consent before enrolling in a program of mentoring and Bible study. I can see that a thoughtful husband will consider the needs of his family before committing to a program that involves a sacrifice of time. But consent is a bit over the top. If you flip that around, you can see why that is so. When a doctor or a dentist has recommended a weekly program for me, I have never been asked to obtain spousal consent first. Nor has a priest… Read more »
“Nor has a priest asked if my husband is okay with my attending church.”
Interesting. I have 3 pastors I really like. Everyone of them was nosy, their very first question being along the lines, so where’s that husband of yours? It just occurred to me, their willingness to cut to the chase is why I like them so much.
Certainly a pastor should inquire into the situation when one spouse attends and the others don’t.
That’s a completely different thing from requiring your husband’s permission to allow you to attend. It’s not even close.
I actually do require his permission to attend.
The church may not require it, but I cannot very well go if he were strongly opposed to it.
My point being, if we are practicing these things in our own marriages, in real life, than why are we objecting to some church reflecting those same values?
“My point being, if we are practicing these things in our own marriages, in real life, than why are we objecting to some church reflecting those same values?” Because there’s a difference you don’t seem to be acknowledging between praiseworthy and obligatory. Hoping for spousal consent is not the same thing as requiring spousal consent with a formal contract. We all hope that parents are responsible and take an active role in their children’s lives. It’s entirely a different thing to make that a contract stipulation with specific requirements for proving completion in order for the league to let the… Read more »
My husband was not of my faith. I doubt I would have married him if I thought it remotely possible that he would object to my going to church. I was a pretty compliant wife, but permission to go to church or take a nap is so far beyond what a normal husband would demand that I simply can’t imagine it. I would be worried that the next thing would needing permission to make myself lunch.
Your thoughts on marrying people outside the faith?
I think that it is obviously better not to. Sometimes love gets in the way of rational judgment. My church doesn’t forbid all interfaith marriage; my husband’s faith does forbid it, but marriages between Catholics and Jews are extremely common. Problems can be serious when a Jewish family rejects a Catholic spouse (or vice versa), but that was not a problem for us. My inlaws were welcoming and accepting, and so were his. I did tell my husband, before we were married, that any child would be baptized and taken to church, and this was not an issue for him.… Read more »
Thanks Jill, I have my own thoughts. While there is the occasional circumstance that needs careful thought, Paul’s command to widows (or divorcees) about remarriage is that they must be in the Lord (believers in Christ). By extension, it seems reasonable that first marriages by Christians should be to fellow Christians. This appears to be a common Protestant position.
And there is also Paul’s command to not be unequally yoked.
Do you have thoughts about why the Catholic church would accept those of the Jewish faith? Do you still agree with them?
The Catholic church tries very hard to discourage you, and a dispensation is required. I think there are two factors: the desire not to have the determined Catholic leave the faith, and the belief (which some Protestants don’t share) that Jews worship the same God and have a covenant with Him. Obviously, a Catholic/Jewish wedding does not receive the ordinary Catholic ceremony. The Catholic is required to promise that he or she will do his best to raise any children as Catholics. If that promise cannot be made in good conscience, the wedding is off. Yes, I still agree with… Read more »
And your response to Paul (1 Corinthians 7:39)?
Well, I don’t wish any harm to my ex-husband, of whom I am still inexplicably fond, but the death of a spouse is the only certain way a Catholic gets to remarry. So I am not going to argue with St. Paul.
His comment about only marrying in the Lord. What is your take on what he means here?
I think St. Paul means that if I am ever a widow and, in the amazingly unlikely event that anyone wants to marry me, he should be Catholic this time. Or an Anglican. Or even a Lutheran. I like them all, but it is my experience that Catholics laugh at themselves more than other people do.
Of Jewish faith?
Bethyada, I can’t say for certain. I was always attracted to Jewish men because they are so often clever and funny. They understand hypochondria better than anyone on the planet, and they don’t expect women to dumb it down for them. I know very few white Catholics–not that white is an issue for me, but marrying a poor, struggling Hispanic who doesn’t speak English would be rather unlikely. And I don’t think I know a single Protestant. Everyone I know is Catholic or Jewish (or something else altogether like Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, or Sikh. I know people in every… Read more »
Thanks. I was trying to assess your thoughts on whether you think that being of Jewish faith meets the requirement of marrying in the Lord.
I don’t think it does. Though it seems like you are happy with the Catholic position that because religious Jews worship Yahweh, that is enough.
Bethyada, it wouldn’t satisfy St. Paul. But I think it is unlikely to arise! My ex’s longevity genes are very good, and who knows how many more marriages he will have after me! His grandfather left his grandmother at the age of 60 (like my husband) and had four more wives until he died at 99.
Of course I think you are free to remarry (biblically)
11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.
1. You do not require your husband’s permission to attend. God requires that you attend.
2. Even less is the pastor permitted to require your husband’s permission in order for the pastor to allow you to attend.
I agree, Jane. Obviously a priest who got to know me (which is by no means frequent in parishes with 15,000 members) would ask me if I was single or married, and I would reply that my husband was Jewish. He would not then suggest that I bring him to church!
But consent to attend church strikes me as too much like consent to say my prayers. A husband could ask me to consider his convenience in deciding which mass to attend, but I would think a demand beyond that would be illegitimate.
I agree, though it may depend on whether a husband is a Christian. If not the principle is follow Abigail’s example. If he is there may be a reason he wishes to avoid a specific congregation.
If someone revealed his total hostility toward all religious faith pre-marriage, I would expect that there might be problems ahead if I went through with the wedding. What might be more difficult is if my religious faith returned at some point down the road. But most people are not so controlling and so irrationally hostile that a wife’s attending church is that big a deal. I can see a husband’s preference that a wife not attend a particular parish or have close contact with a particular priest. I would accommodate that, even if it struck me as silly. But needing… Read more »
“And all of those are major warning signs of someone with a problem.” LOL, well gee thanks, Jilly. This covenant does not use the word “permission” at all, not once. Just saying. I’ve never even thought of the word “permission,” in my own marriage, until today, but another word for permission is simply “consent.” I can’t imagine doing anything without his consent, implied or explicit. I am seriously baffled by you people. How can one possible submit if consent isn’t even on the table? But more importantly, how can a husband even love if his consent is not needed and… Read more »
MeMe. I think the examples you gave didn’t show the kind of consent that many people would find entirely reasonable even in a marriage where the wife has promised to submit. I think perhaps people got distracted by the nap. There are many things I would never have done without my husband’s consent. Enroll in night school so that I would be out three nights a week. Take a trip home to Canada. Put a pair of Jimmy Chu slides on the credit card. Paint the living room black. Get a fourth cat. If a wife is making these decisions… Read more »
” I can’t imagine doing anything without his consent, implied or explicit.” And, for the umpteenth time, you confuse whether or not one *should* do everything with spousal consent, with whether or not they *must* do everything with spousal consent. Ideally you and your spouse are on the same page and they are supportive of whatever you must do in the name of the Lord. That circumstance however is not universal. What if God told you to do something to which your spouse did not consent? Your first loyalty must be to God. You are obligated to do what he… Read more »
It really depends. If the husband is not giving permission for a wife to attend church at all, then he’s on the road to excommunication anyway, in which case he is not deemed a Christian anyway. The time between might be a bit more delicate. but I personally would see that as one of the few areas where outright disobedience is not merely permitted, but called for.
If there is a dispute over which church to attend then the wife should submit.
Jane, would you qualify that submission of a husband’s choice was offensive to your conscience–either a denomination you regard as marginally Christian, or practices you find unbiblical?
As long as the church was identifiably Christian, as opposed to plainly heretical, I would say obedience is required. With a lot of prayer that things would resolve in a better direction.
Very wise. And also to prayerfully consider the nature of your own objection. It’s an easy trap to fall into, to believe that it’s your conscience that is offended when really it’s some less noble sensibility.
Likes a nicely ordained temple stampede every once in a while!????
Often manages to go backwards, under the auspices of alleged “progress”. ????
adad, politics is like driving a car. If you want to go backward, put it in R. If you want to go forward, put it in D.
Let’s not forget the car’s pointed toward a cliff.
Krychek gets big points for efforts at humor!
If “R” stands for Rodham and “D” stands for Donald, Krychek gets irony points as well!
Riffs on manual shift jokes to come!
A false paradigm. D’s and “progressives” aren’t anymore forward. Their diagnosis of the society is predicated on Marxism, an old idea, condemning their results to equally old outcomes, as Marxism dooms potential solutions at the outset with a deeply flawed foundation.
“the ho ho ho bit”?
Wasn’t that the first book by J J J R R Tolkien?
When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money. My thoughts. Immediate death means that the master killed the slave. That is murder, and the punishment is avengement; execution may be appropriate here. Delayed death is less clear. The verse is saying do not avenge the death for the slave is his silver (money or property). What does it mean by “for“? Does the owner… Read more »
Bethyada, would the same principle apply to the death of his child?
Yes. I think the point is that immediate death is murder. One cannot assume that delayed death was intentional. Further, one has a role in disciplining his slave or his child. It would be harder to extend this to a neighbour as there is no role for a man beating his neighbour, those fights come from animosity. Compare if an axe-head flies off and kills someone, than is not murder.
Note also that even losing a tooth (from a master assaulting them) was enough to allow a bond-slave to go free.
Modern medicine would make that principle difficult to apply. A ventilator can keep someone, who would have died instantly in Biblical times, alive for months. An induced coma in the event of brain damage would make time of death difficult to determine
Quite apart from the fact that anyone who crushed his child’s skull nowadays had better hope for a better defense!
Yes it would make it harder to defend.
The point is that the Mosaic Law is trying to show how to determine intent here.
There’s a murder case wending its way through the courts here involving two young men, a drug deal gone bad, a gun, and a death 364 days later. In this case, modern medicine makes it more clear, not less, that the death is a direct result of the shooting.
Not to undermine your point, I just think it’s interesting how that works.
Jane, we also have a sickening case right now: the capital murder trial of a live-in boyfriend who, with the mother, tortured an 8-year-old boy to death because he thought the child was gay. The torture took place over several months, escalating until it finally caused death. I would be up in arms if a three-day rule could be used to let this wicked devil escape justice. His defense is that he intended the torture but not the death, and good luck with that one I say. The “mother” is also facing capital murder charges for her cooperation.
jill, we are saying that modern medicine means that murder may still be on the table 3 days later. But the law in ancient times distinguished immediate death due to intentional murder.
If the death was a result of the ongoing torture, it wouldn’t matter when the torture started, but when it ended.
But as bethyada said, that was probably an accommodation to the lack of certainty as to cause of death, that is no longer an issue for us.
And the evil creep would still be liable for abusing a child, which is quite different from the scenario we’re discussing; he certainly wouldn’t escape justice entirely.
Lovely discussion and all, but we’re missing the elephant in the room: the master is not to be avenged because the slave is his property. I’ll grant that rousing debates around capital punishment, accidental vs. intentional death, etc. can develop from a verse like this…but what about the “property” part??
The slave is his PROPERTY; therefore, you can’t avenge the master. Hmmm…
I don’t have a big problem with item #9. But the whole thing does raise caution to me. Pretty serious commitment. How does one factor in a job and work’s expectations with this. Further, while I would have said something similar about contracts and covenants in the past, I am less convinced now. I think contract often covers what the Bible calls covenant. Granted, moderns break contracts easily, but that is a problem with us not keeping our word, not a problem with contracts. Is he really saying that there is no out of his covenant? What if someone murders… Read more »
There is a huge difference between a covenant and a contract. A contract is between two equal parties agreeing to hold up their end of the deal as long as the other person does too. If one person breaks the contract it becomes null and void,the contract has been broken. In a covenant,we agree to hold up our end, regardless of whether the other party does or not. It’s an important distinction in faith and in marriage. When God makes a covenant with us, it stands whether we break it or not. And in marriage, it’s really important to hold… Read more »
I have a problem with the whole thing too, in fact it creeps me out.
Me too. Actually the whole discussion creeps me out a little. I don’t think it’s how normal, healthy people relate to each other.
Bethyada, I just saw that your new PM has formed a coalition with the Greens. Do you expect major changes?
omg is Bethyada from NZ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
the greens have no power, The PM is in bed with another party, the greens just OBEY labour
Bdash, you forgot to point out that the PM is a woman!!!!
it may surprise you but I have no problem with female PM’s
Thatcher is my favourite
I do have a problem with our new one who started with
“capitalism is a failure”
“our economy is going to crash”
Most here are preparing for 3 years of comedy
Bdash, are you a kiwi as well? I had no idea! My sister spent a few years in Auckland and married a New Zealander.
It does surprise me.
it surprises you?
No I am not! Figure that out!!
I think you assume a lot about me, you paint this caricature of what I think of gender etc
but New Zealand gives me clear insight into what happens when people start ignoring gender
I will try to be more open-minded. I think I assumed that you believe women should only be at home and not in the public sphere, and that you think the church encourages men to be unmanly. Maybe I am wrong about the first one, and right about the second.
“But God uses industrial grit sandpaper on the sinner to make him smooth to the touch of the text.”
Just as long as it doesn’t involve anything like servant leadership,the commandment to actually agape love your wife, or horror of all horrors, the shame and deep offense of ever asking her to willingly relinquish her claim on your time?
All in good humor here, but I think perhaps Pastor Wilson had something more in mind to gently stroking his hugely overblown ego with a soft bit of flannel.
I think you might want to look at the pronoun and the antecedent to see if that is exactly what you intended to say. Whose “his” are you referring to?
That is industrial strength projection.
I strongly feel that the translation supplies an inaccurate interpretation in this case. The English says “remains alive a day or two,” indicating that he dies within just a few days. The KJV (and, I would argue, the original Hebrew) does not require us to understand that the slave dies. Instead, the slave “continues” for a few days, and we must ask where, or in what state he continues. I will quote a few previous verses because the context reveals the meaning. Exo 21:18 And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist,… Read more »
“Unlike the unbeliever, the evangelical cannot say, “The apostle Paul taught the submission of wives to husbands, ho ho ho.”
Unlike the unbeliever, the Reformed cannot say, “The apostle Paul taught that women cannot approach God like men, but must cover their heads in holy prayer, ho, ho, ho.”
” … well, technically, somebody has to break the tie ….”
Yes, Dr. Keller shuffles his feet on the headship of the husband.
But you do your own fancy footwork around the Divine Order mandated in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16.
You also bend before the power of Feminism.
“We want to sandpaper the Bible to make it smooth to the sinners’ touch.”
And that’s why Evangelical and Reformed women are allowed to pray with heads uncovered, eradicating the gender distinction imposed by God’s government.
That abrasive really works. You’ve ground down 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 to a smooth and polished finish! Congratulations.
would you also argue that braided pigtails are a sign of pride? Or, contrariwise, is it possible that one can interpret a text non-hamfistedly without thereby bowing to feminism?
The church adjusted her interpretation of 1 Cor 11 to accommodate the Feminist wave. There’s no question about that. It’s indisputable. Every church, regardless of denomination, expected women to cover their heads in worship up until the early part of the twentieth century. After 1900 yrs, the church suddenly changed her mind on the text, which just happened to coincide with the onslaught of Feminism. Go figure. Preachers today are not interpreting 1 Cor 11! Ha. They’re preserving their livelihoods. They’re preserving their universities, schools … and their homes! Honesty would put them on the street, alone … with Christ… Read more »
I notice that you didn’t answer my question. As to your new assertion that head coverings for women were a direct universal application of 1 Corinthians 11 (as opposed to a cultural expression of the submissive attitude enjoined there): Calvin states that dress is an indifferent matter. So I am less than impressed with your attempted exegesis ad populum.
1Co 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
“Calvin states that dress is an indifferent matter.” John Calvin on 1 Corinthians 11:10 – From that authority he draws an argument in favor of outward decorum. “She is subject,” says he, “let her then wear a token of subjection.” In the term power, there is an instance of metonymy, for he means a token by which she declares herself to be under the power of her husband; and it is a covering, whether it be a robe, or a veil, or any other kind of covering. [“C’est la couuerture de teste, soit un chapperon, ou couurechef, ou coiffe, ou… Read more »
Why not just a dog collar and be done with it.
A woman? Here? In a public forum, discussing God’s Word??????????
How strange. How perverse.
1 Cor 14:34-35 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is ****-disgraceful-**** for a woman to speak in the church. Emphasis mine.
Elders! Show this woman to the bleachers, for God’s sake!
Well,if I had a husband, I would be very happy for him to tell me all about the many things in scripture that I don’t understand. For example, why aren’t there any cats in the Bible? I love cats, and there are none. Why did the poor Gadarene swine have to jump off the cliff? Couldn’t Mary have listened to our Lord AND helped Martha at the same time? And those are just the easy ones. Elisha and the bears. Now that is a tough one, unless bald was a worse insult then it is now. But, Kevin, I have… Read more »
Why don’t we give you a special dispensation then – perhaps, an indulgence? – so that you can go on violating God’s Word.
Mark 8:33 “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
I have been called many things in my time, but Satan–Satanella?–has not been one of them. I don’t believe in indulgences, but I’m cool with the dispensation. I don’t actually speak in church except to join in congregational responses. Catholics aren’t exactly encouraged to say “Preach it, Father!” to the priest. So, given my demure silence at public worship, what is your problem with my posting on this blog? If it is a church, where are the stained glass windows? Where is the choir, the lectern, the pulpit, the nave, and the apse? Where is the church, where is the… Read more »
Jill Smith wrote:
Note that I’m not defending Brendler’s appeal to the Mark quotation, or the direction of his charges, or the merits of his overall position, but the use of hard language and confrontation can’t be dismissed or brushed aside simply because it is cutting and confrontational, or whether it leads to many converts or not.
See his commentary to 1 Tim. 2:9. Obviously he isn’t litigating the same question we are, but the statement I refer to clearly supports the idea of there being a cultural component attached to the attitude which the apostle actually had in view. I am sympathetic to the view that the change came about by foul means – that the reason Americans don’t wear head coverings is because of feminist rebellion. But just as the fact that “gay” used to be a perfectly good word and now has been twisted to include quite a different definition, the cultural-linguistic shift has… Read more »
“But just as the fact that “gay” used to be a perfectly good word … the cultural-linguistic shift has already happened;”
I don’t give a D-MN about a cultural-linguistic shift. The term “gay” should never be used by Christians. I conscientiously -NEVER- use it. It’s capitulation. No path to LIFE is possible if you’ve conceded to their definitions.
Call a thing what it is. Not gay. Not homo. Homosexual. Call it homosexuality. No euphemisms. No slang. No slurs.
To HELL with your D-MN cultural-linguistic shift!!!
The women in my household have never worn pants a day in their lives.
The word homosexuality is itself a euphemism. It wasn’t used in the English language until the early 1900s and didn’t appear in English Bibles until 1946. It was coined by a German psychologist who was sympathetic to gays, saw homosexual behavior as natural, and wanted a neutral term that didn’t convey moral disapproval. The first time the word gay was used to mean homosexual in movies was all the way back in 1938 when Cary Grant said it in “Bringing Up Baby.”
1. I don’t know what a “D-MN” is. Could that be part of some cultural-linguistic shift?
2. I think the word you’re looking for here is “sodomy.” No euphemisms, right?
3. I presume you know that Jesus never wore pants either. So, are you trying to illustrate how Christ-like the women in your household are, or how unlike Christ the men are?
Well, do you use the word “gay” in its old sense? Are you surprised when most people misunderstand you? Or do you just mean, now it’s been contaminated, that your refuse to use it at all? If the latter, then you already grant the point – a word can change its meaning without our giving it permission to do so. The 1895 edition of Websters is not inspired. I just want us to agree that neither is the 1895 Sears catalog.
” … what is important is that women nowadays manifest submission in the language of modern culture.” Ha! What, pray tell, is the language of feminine submission in our modern culture???? You are just writing empty words here. They have no meaning. They have no reference point. It’s a statement without any substance, hung out there to satisfy your native sense that Christians are supposed to pay lip service to some notion of female submission. Get real, dude. Come clean. THERE IS *NO* SIGN OF WOMANLY SUBMISSION IN THIS CULTURE. And if you dare to propose the wedding ring, I… Read more »
Kevin, if, as you seem to be suggesting, it is a vital creation ordinance that a woman have a physical thing of some kind on her head to indicate authority, why do you suppose God waited until Paul wrote to the Corinthians to make it known? Was it so obvious and so natural to every generation at every stage of bible history that the Holy Spirit didn’t even need to mention it in Scripture for thousands of years? Doesn’t it seem strange to you that such an important requirement was never mentioned even in passing? If it were part of… Read more »
“This leaves you with a shiny new command, which means that Paul’s appeal to nature, whatever else it may be, is not an appeal to the eternal unchanging natural order.” I must beg to differ. Paul’s appeal to Nature *-IS-* an appeal to (leave out the eternal part) unchanging natural order. Let’s put you back in high school as a senior. You are assigned a term paper in mid-Jan due at the end of May. You are a studious and responsible sort, so by the 1st of Feb you have the broad outlines constructed and printed. You understand that this… Read more »
Indighost, when I was young, it was unthinkable that any woman would have entered a Catholic church with an uncovered head. If you wanted to pop into a church in the middle of the week to say a prayer, you made do with a lace handkerchief if that is all you had. Most of us carried around a chapel doily just in case. But we all understood that this was tradition, not adherence to an unbreakable scriptural command. Just as I understood that if I went shopping wearing a hat, I was required to also wear gloves. What puzzles me,… Read more »
Jill, the passage is a puzzling one and a lot has been written about it, much more than I have read. But everything I have read on the subject of head covering is tentative rather than dogmatic. The ‘err on the side of caution’ argument is actually the one I find most convincing. It sounds as if the concerns your nuns had were for modesty and consideration for other worshipers. Those are very worthy and biblical concerns far too much overlooked today, although probably other passages than 1 Cor. 11 would be used to support them. I googled the frustrating… Read more »
Paul actually clarifies that hair is given to a woman for a covering: But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. — 1 Corinthians 11:15 So Paul is neither introducing a new law requiring an extra head covering beyond what God ordinarily provides, nor is he merely capitulating to some local practice of the Corinthians. Paul is appealing to broad, natural, creational order, and to distinct roles for men and women which relate to heads being covered or uncovered. It relates to who is the… Read more »
Thank you, Katecho. Do you understand that verse to mean that a woman’s hair is her covering, regardless of length, but that if it is long, so much the better?
Indighost wrote: Do you understand that verse to mean that a woman’s hair is her covering, regardless of length, but that if it is long, so much the better? I believe there is something about the length of hair that veils the glory of the woman (she is mankind’s glory). God providentially provides such a glory covering for most women. In those cases where a woman lacks such a natural covering, she can still honor the principle by using artificial coverings. Beyond a certain point, I don’t think that super long hair equates to superior glory. I suspect that it… Read more »
Paul references the long hair merely as an illustration from nature. He is saying that just as nature compels women to adorn their heads with long hair, so the Almighty requires an additional adornment of the head in prayer. The Greek actually makes this distinction perfectly clear. Up through v.7 in the text, Paul uses the term “katakalupto” when referring to the covering that God requires. Paul changes to “peribolaion” in v.15 when referring to the long hair as a covering. So the English translation fails at this point. “Peribolaion” or long hair is not what God is requiring in… Read more »
And besides, try reading 11:6 as if the covering was the woman’s long hair. Makes total nonsense of sentence.
You’ll have to come up another evasion.
Brendler wrote: He is saying that just as nature compels women to adorn their heads with long hair, so the Almighty requires an additional adornment of the head in prayer. Brendler offers no reason why God would suddenly require a new artificial head covering for women, and no change for the men. Either God forgot to mention this (allegedly critical) principle until then, or else artificial head gear is somehow a New Covenant thing that Paul was privy to. However, if the requirement was new for the New Covenant, then Brendler needs to explain why all of the principles that… Read more »
“If we understand the principle to relate to a woman’s natural covering and glory ….”
Which understanding violates the Text itself!!! As Brendler has shown :-D
Go play with your Rubik’s cube. It seems more your style.
Okay, first off, I think you should take a deep breath. There are bad things out there, there are wicked men, and there is a very real spiritual battle. But you are ranting. Granted that John the Baptist seemed crazy when he was really speaking a prophetic word of repentance, it would be a category error to assume that behaving like a crazy person necessarily implies you have the same job. Calm down. I would dare to call a wedding ring a sign of female submission. Laugh all you want, but you should, too – aren’t you the one declaiming… Read more »
“I would dare to call a wedding ring a sign of female submission. Laugh all you want, but you should, too – aren’t you the one declaiming against the possibility of a symbol changing its meaning?”
Yes, I’m howling alright.
Good grief! You’re the one who’s been insisting that we adjust to the “cultural-linguistic” shift!!! :-D
What’s the Latin for that logical fallacy???
I call it speaking with a forked tongue.
Balderdash. My wife took a vow to love, honor, and obey me. Her ring is the visible sign of this pledge. What’s wrong with you?
Paul is not speaking of man and wife in 1 Corinthians 11. He writes of man as man and woman as woman. Man, generically, has headship over woman, generically. Is your wife expressing her inferior standing to the male sex in God’s governmental Order in that wedding ring? Didn’t think so.
Your argument is vanquished.
She needs a head covering to satisfy the Pauline command. The ring doesn’t begin to suffice.
What’s wrong with you? Stop playing dodgeball with holy Scripture!
You brought up wedding rings, as if there were nothing submissive in the symbolism of a marriage. That was a silly claim. I make no representations about its larger social significance – although, now I think about it, I suppose I could. The universe is not inconsistent, and the sex roles in marriage are not anomalous.
“1 Corinthians 11 is pretty clearly talking about women’s role in public worship – leading the congregation in prayer or delivering an inspired word in the assembly.” No. No, no, no. 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 is *-NOT-* talking about women’s roles in public worship! You are not reading the Bible; you’re just defending your tradition. Look at the two verses appearing *-after-* Paul’s section on the head covering: 1 Cor 11:17-18 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. For, in the first place,… Read more »
Would an attractive wig be okay?
Paul explicitly, in the same sentence, yokes together the terms “praying” and “prophesying”. I notice that you are focusing on prayer, and don’t mention that. I notice, too, that if you tried to account for the whole sentence, it would make your argument seem as ridiculous as it actually is. Because, really! Could you even begin to suggest that prophesying, i.e. the gift of prophecy that Paul discusses at some length and never ever talks about outside the context of the assembled saints, has no particular connection to a church service? As if prophecy could ever be anything but a… Read more »
” … prophecy and prayer, as used by Paul in 1 Cor. 11, represent the same kind of activity.” I don’t disagree with you here. But I’m a cessationist, so the prophecy has no current relevance. And you still have the *insurmountable problem* that Paul does not begin to address the public gathering of the Corinthian church until 11:17. There’s no circumventing that truth. You can whine and complain all you want, but it doesn’t change the infallible Record. Words have meaning, pal. The instructions on prayer, which require female heads COVERED, are not specific to the church assembly. That’s… Read more »
I am grateful that you posed an argument here. But I don’t find it terribly compelling. Paul was not talking about general prayer, anymore than he was talking about general, everyday prophecies. His reference to prophecy, which was a very real and contemporary phenomenon for the Corinthians, clearly qualifies the sort of prayer he is talking about. It isn’t all the prayers. It is a kind of prayer that resembles prophecy: a public performance in the congregation that like prophecy, might suggest to the church that a woman held the reins of leadership. And you grant this. We agree so… Read more »
“If Paul has qualified “prayer” to refer to public assemblies – and he clearly did, you agreed as much ….” 1. Paul makes *-NO-* such qualification. 2. I never agreed to anything of the sort! You deceitful, donkey. The *fatal flaw* in your argument: you insist, based upon no evidence whatsoever and *-CONTRARY-* to the Text itself, that prophecy in 1 Cor 11 MUST be performed in the public assembly of the church. NO. Absolutely not. That is just your own baseless assertion. The Text is solidly against you. You’re spitting into the Wind. Prophecy could have been practiced in… Read more »
So your view is that I can prophesy in my bathtub? Privately, in a way that is analogous to private, personal, silent prayer? To ask the question is to answer it. Now, because you have no other point to make, you are trying to split hairs, as if “the public assembly of the church” were one thing, and “an informal gathering” of the saints something totally different. The absurdity of your claim is made evident by the increasing volume with which you make it. The new testament churches were house churches, for goodness’ sake! The church is gathered whenever there… Read more »
” … Paul’s remark about braids in 1 Timothy 2 ….” This is a tougher call than 1 Cor 11:2-16. You could just have easily probed me on the “holy kiss.” 1 Cor 11:2-16 constitutes one of the *longest* discourses on -ANYTHING- in the entire New Testament! The lengthy Pauline argument necessitating the godly women’s head covering in prayer is airtight and unassailable. It is grounded in immutable Reality. Its terms are clear and its force indisputable. Gainsayers have no leg to stand on here. You can either submit to God’s unchangeable Order or expose yourself as a rebel against… Read more »
No answer, then. And why would you bother discussing anything, anyway? Having decided that your opinion is Immutable Reality, what’s there left to talk about?
“Having decided that your opinion is Immutable Reality ….”
That last gasp of a desperate and losing argument. Manipulate and distort the other guy’s words, which were …
“The lengthy Pauline argument necessitating the godly women’s head covering in prayer … is grounded in immutable Reality.” Not opinion. Pure FACT.
I took you for a character guy, Farinata. This is beneath you.
Are you really marking a distinction between the text and your own interpretation? If so, I don’t see it here. I am willing to proffer my arguments without descending into jeremiad because I know I might be wrong: I argue hard because I think my arguments are good and can stand on their own, and if they can’t I want to know sooner rather than later. When I see an interlocutor who is slow to present arguments, and very quick to impugn my character, I draw certain conclusions. If those are in error, you have my apology: I don’t want… Read more »
“Angular texts test us in order to find out whether we are jiggering with the text in order to make it “fit” with the tenets of classical liberalism ….”
You’re really hanging yourself with this line, General. God have mercy. That one will come back to haunt you. God have mercy upon us all and grant an Awakening.
“You will wind up not even knowing which bathroom you are supposed to use.” What? You thought God would just ignore the Evangelical and Reformed assault on His covenantal government? God requires that his people make a distinction between male and female in prayer. He has given to man the greater rank, as His glory. The woman must have a sign of authority on her head, indicating that she is in her proper place, under the headship of man. You overthrow this Divine Order, this imposition of gender distinction from the Crown, and the King will, at length, stuff gender… Read more »
I wonder why Paul would postulate that there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ…is this the same Paul that requires distinctions between male and female in prayer?
exactly, neither male or female
stop discriminating against gays and trans people
The reason = death by discipline is inconclusive in this case.
Master has every right to discipline.
Master has no right to discipline to death.
Slave lived for awhile after discipline, so we can’t tell if it was the discipline that actually killed Slave.
Eric, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, even allowing for lack of medical knowledge back then. If a slave is beaten, seems fine a couple of days later, and suddenly dies in the night, I can see it might be impossible to determine a causal link between the beating and the death. But if he is beaten, never regains consciousness, and dies a couple of days later, the connection is clear. Or if there is internal bleeding which can take a couple of days to kill.
Jill — it’s not JUST about general connection & causation.
Intent is more clearly revealed when immediate death gets displayed.
You have no right to discipline to death.
Immediate death displays the action of an executioner, not an owner with limitations.
“But nobody makes a good Christian except for real sinners. The living stones for the divine temple are cut only from the quarry of utterly unsuitable rock. The basic qualification is that we must be utterly unfit and ill-deserving.”
Worth the price of admission to this blog, right there.
“Christians must be biblical absolutists” — yeah, but you don’t need the Bible for that.
You need the Word (Jesus), not the word (scripture).
Granted, rejecting any of the Word’s words is problematic.
Re your comments about men getting their wives buy-in on the Bible study. What then, sir, do you make of Jacob getting his wives buy-in to leave and go back to Canaan? Abraham and Sarah had fierce conversations also. I’m not a feminist, not an egalitarian, but there’s nothing wrong with a man letting his wife know that his commitment to the Bible study will take time away from their marriage.
there is also nothing sinful with a man not asking permission and doing things – cause you know he is meant to lead
It strikes me that, Douglas, though you make a number of astute points, you are not interpreting Scripture with Scripture very well. If you were, you wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss ideas based on the new covenant. You’d realize that Romans 1 is a strong argument against homosexuality, for instance, and the Bible doesn’t rely on Christians keeping the Mosaic law. Yes, Romans 7 says, IN PART, that the law is holy and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. But in no way was Paul holding up the law as that which we should be working to… Read more »
“Hey, dear, I just wanted you to know that I signed up for this Radical Mentoring group. I am telling you dear because it’s going to require some time away on my part, time with the group and time with studying and I didn’t want you to feel like I’m neglecting you. I wouldn’t want you to start feeling miserable, like I didn’t love you or something.”
Sure, and nobody here would object to that. But there is a vast difference between expecting ordinary courtesy from husbands, and forcing them to submit what amounts to a wifely permission slip, as if they were schoolchildren going to the zoo. Treating men like children, and their wives like their mothers, is a very poor way to help men lead their families.
Oh, please. I get so tired of all this. People get far too rigid. Did you read my first comment? JACOB got Leah and Rachel’s buy-in before he led them back to Canaan. I see a lot more conversation going on between husbands and wives in the Bible than you all give credit to. You all see a model of submission where husbands don’t talk anything over with their wives, but that is not the case.
Hi Pamela, who is saying that men should not discuss things with their wives? I can’t imagine that anyone would undertake a program imposing a major time commitment without discussing the implications with his wife. But that is different from demanding that he has his wife’s consent. I think Doug’s issue was the spousal consent requirement when churches don’t typically demand a husband’s permission for a wife to sing in the choir or attend a church book group.
Actually, in response to Parizo’s proposed husband-wife communication, Uberti wrote:
aww your treat your husband like your child
do not be surprised if he leaves you for a woman who respects him
Don’t know who you were directing that to, but I was absolutely opposed to requiring a husband to have his wife’s consent. I think it is treating him like a child==which is wrong.
Don’t be such a drama llama. (Stole that from the redoubtable Mrs. Merkle, or was it the other one? I can’t keep them straight.) You saw my post. Respond to what I actually said, or if you cannot, then exercise – or feign – discretion.
are you Pamela?!!
Farinata, I used that wonderful expression on my Snowflake tonight. She looked at me balefully which is a sure sign that the arrow hit its mark.
I know, right? Fantastic turn of phrase.