Daily Archives: November 12, 2007


My father-in-law was a hero.  A true hero.

He was a war hero.

I have hanging on my wall a shadowbox with his army induction photo, his bronze star, his purple heart, his D-day medal from the country of France and a medal signifying his belonging to the "big red one".  I have the flag that draped his coffin.
I've read the story about why he was awarded the bronze star and purple heart.  He was a tank commander during WWII.  I don't know why the guy was out of his tank, but one of Dad's men was injured and trapped between the tank/line and a German machine gun nest.

Dad rushed the nest, rescued his man and carried him back to the tank and to safety; he was injured in the process.

But he was a TRUE hero.

I never saw the photo, I didn't even know about the bronze star.  I knew about the purple heart because his injury disabled him later in life.  I knew about the medal from France because there was a controversy.  I knew about the Big Red One because he had dinner with the remainder of his unit at least once a year.  I never knew about the letter until his death.

He wanted it that way because he knew what was important.

He came home from the war, went to work for "Continental Can Company" and worked his way through Moody Bible Institute.  He married my mother-in-law and became a "home missionary", going to schools, going to the poor, going to the "back country" in Tennessee, preaching the Gospel.

That was what was important to him.  All three of his children were born in the mission field of Tennessee.

In the process, he preached on the radio, he ministered in small churches, he worked at a summer camp for poor kids.

After that, he moved to Brookfield, IL, where he pastored the church where most of his family and in-laws belonged.  From there, he moved to Greenville, MI and after that he pastored the church that I grew up in, where I met his son, my husband.

Did things go wrong in his family?  Yes, but his children made their own choices as adults that I'm not sure he had any part in.  I do believe that he did the best he could with what he was given, in the era that he lived in.

Why did he not talk about his war days?

Because he didn't want to take away anything from preaching the Gospel.  His war history was less important to him than his vocation of preaching.

I believe he was a hero of the best kind.


Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Cor 3:17  ESV)

In providence, the sermon I heard yesterday was on Spiritual leadership, taking from Acts 6.

The problem was an administrative problem but it was a problem.  When widows were being fed, one demographic was fed, while another was not...how to solve it.

Which is more important?

spiritual LEADERSHIP.....or.....SPIRITUAL leadership?

We can tend to see our spirituality as one aspect of our person, along with psychological, emotional, physical, mental, sexual, social, etc.


We can see our spirituality as encompassing all that we do.  Anything that we do that is of the Spirit IS spiritual.

The apostles understood their job to be one of discernment and proclamation of the Gospel message.  Also understanding that in their apostolic leadership role, they could not do everything; things (such as the group of widows) were slipping through the cracks.

Rather than wait on tables, the apostles decided to choose a group of men to do take care of the administrative and day-to-day details.

But wait! Wait on tables?  Couldn't they have hired that done?

No....no.  The men who were chosen were not any men, even the men chosen for this task were "of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom."

It is a false dichotomy to set up

  • the spiritual
  • against the physical.


  • the leadership
  • against the servant

In reality, it is

  • the spiritual act of leadership in discerning and proclaiming the Word and
  • the spiritual act of leadership in administration and serving

Everything can be spiritual.

  • The Apostles were doing a spiritual job
  • the Seven were doing a spiritual job.

Were all of these men equal in salvation? Yes.

Were all of these men equal in personhood?  Yes.

Were all of these men doing vital jobs?  Yes.

Were the Seven under the authority of the Apostles?  Yes.

Were they doing the same job?  No.

Were they supposed to be doing the same job?  No.

Were they all working in the Spirit?  Yes.

Does this make the seven "less" than the apostles?  Less equal?  In importance?  No...feeding the poor and caring for those less fortunate is a command.  In salvation?  No, there is no Scriptural evidence that the Apostles were more "saved" than the Seven.  In personhood?  No, they were all human.  In authority?  Yes.  The Apostles were given authority over the church, while the Seven were given authority over administration under the Apostles.

So, rather than seeing a group of leaders (spiritual) and a group of servants (physical) what we have are two groups of men, both doing spiritual jobs, both serving God in vital ways, both equal in personhood and salvation, but not equal in authority.

The pastor compared the Apostles and the Seven to the church today:

He likened the Apostles to the elders and pastors.  They are the ones who are responsible for discerning the will of God for the congregation.  They are the ones responsible for church discipline.  Even within that group, there is leadership structure.  The elders are responsible for the discerning of the long-term and overall direction, while the pastors are the ones who are more responsible for leading day-to-day activities.

He compared the Seven to the board of deacons, the ministry facilitation and operations staff.  They are the ones who carry out the direction of the elders, under the leadership of pastors.

Are any of the jobs less "spiritual"?  No.  Are the elders and pastors more important than the deacons and staff?  No, they all fill vital shoes.

Is the child with Down Syndrome who passed out bulletins any less spiritual than the pastor?  I think the pastor would say no?  Is the child less valuable, less equal in the eyes of God?  I think the pastor would say no.

Is the spiritual act of servant-hood less equal than the spiritual act of  pastoring?


I find that (for me) if I try to use a combox for longer comments, I get off track, distracted and I miss things. For me, it is easier to just make a new post.

So, these questions are from a comment in a previous post, "Mutual Submission"

1. I am assuming then that you are getting the idea of the husband being the “rightful authority” from Ephesians 5 and 1 Cor. via the word, “head?”

Not necessarily. The vast majority of times that "head" / kephale is used in the New Testament it means literal head. The rest of the times we have to, we must look to context.

Matthew 21:42 uses kephale:

"'The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord’s doing,
and it is marvelous in our eyes'?

Is a cornerstone a symbol of unity, or foundation or leadership? Or all three?

Since this verse is referencing Psalms 118: 22,23, what is the word used for cornerstone and how is that word used in other places? It is used for source of a river, a literal head of a body and to indicate a ruler/chief.

Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.(ex 18:25)

I'm only looking for a indications of how a word was used; In English a single word can have different meanings, so it is with this kephale.

1 Cor. 11 and Eph. 5 both use head to reference the husband as head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. Is this a metaphor for unity or for leadership (or both)?

Kephale is used twice in Ephesians prior to chapter 5.

(Eph 1: 21-23 ...far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Is this a metaphor for unity or leadership?

Colossians 2:9,10 For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.

Is kephale in this passage a metaphor for unity or leadership?

In context, the Eph 5 passage reads:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

It starts out, wives, submit to your husbands.  Why?  Because he is your head.

How should they submit?  As the church submits to Christ.

  • wives submit to your husband
  • because
  • the husband is the head of the wife
  • as Christ is the head of the church
  • now (so)
  • as the church submits to Christ
  • so wives submit should submit to their husbands.

Is this a metaphor for unity, for leadership or both?

(NOTE:  I believe that wives should not follow their husbands into sin or stand by them and allow them to sin.   We belong to a perfect God who would not expect us to follow Him into sin)


2. You mentioned structure vs a sinner w/in the structure. Do you think the head/body analogy was given to emphasize rightful *structure*, to show us who is the leader in the relationship?

When you look at the bullet points above we see the what (submit) the because (the husband is the head) the therefore (as the church submits to Christ) then what (wives should submit to their husbands.

  • What is structure?  husbands are the head of their wives as Christ is the head of the church.
  • what happens as a result of the structure>  wives submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ.

3. Do the other (2) examples of Head/Body in Ephesians support this view of the analogy?

Head as leader?  The one is chapter one does.

(Eph 1: 21-23 ...far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The chapter four use is a metaphor for unity in the body, but not a metaphor for marriage.

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

This does also not rule out the metaphor being about leadership AND unity (given the metaphor of "head" in chapter 1)

4. Do the other (2) examples given in 1 Corinthians 11 support this view, too?

Since that chapter is about the differences in how men and women should pray and prophesy in worship, it's hard not to read in gender roles and differences.


5. Did the people in the Jewish and Roman/Greek culture think of a human’s head as the part of the person that was the authority?

If in both the Old and New Testaments have examples where the same word is used for the literal head and leadership, it would be reasonable to read the possibility that those cultures at least accepted the metaphor.


6. Was Paul supporting the *authority structure* of slavery when he gave instructions to masters and slaves in Ephesians and Colossians?

The difference is that Christ and the church were never used as a parallel for masters and slaves.  Slavery is not a "mystery", marriage is.

7. If not, why didn’t Paul just flat out give orders to abolish the structure of slavery? Wasn’t he catering to culture by not just saying outright that it was a less-than-best system?

Daniel B. Wallace writes:

One of the implications of this has to do with the NT authors' strategy on slavery: Should Paul tell the slaves to rebel? Could he write an emancipation proclamation? When we think through this issue, it is plain that the NT writers simply could not outright condemn slavery (the disastrous results of Spartacus' rebellion [in spite of the Hollywood portrayal] would have been etched in their minds). Further, to whom would such a directive be pointed? To the pagan masters? They do not place themselves under God's law and are not a part of his kingdom program. Paul's exhortations to them would be meaningless. To the slaves? They are powerless to bring about their own freedom apart from overt actions (e.g., rebellion, running away). Further, such actions hardly comported with the gospel: change is to take place from the inside out, not from imposition on social structures. (The one exception to this had to do with ultimate allegiance and worship: civil disobedience was always encouraged when it came to having to choose between Christ and Caesar.)

Paul's letters are written to Christians, not unbelievers - he addresses Christians in marriages, Christians in slavery, Christians as master - and gives instructions to all of them.