Phil and I have been discussing this exact topic - how Christian should respond to the state's newly revised definition of "marriage" and what to do when pastors can no longer, with good conscience, act as state administrators
In many jurisdictions, including many of the United States, civil authorities have adopted a definition of marriage that explicitly rejects the age-old requirement of male-female pairing. In a few short years or even months, it is very likely that this new definition will become the law of the land, and in all jurisdictions the rights, privileges, and duties of marriage will be granted to men in partnership with men, and women with women.
As Christian ministers we must bear clear witness. This is a perilous time. Divorce and co-habitation have weakened marriage. We have been too complacent in our responses to these trends. Now marriage is being fundamentally redefined, and we are being tested yet again. If we fail to take clear action, we risk falsifying God’s Word.
The new definition of marriage no longer coincides with the Christian understanding of marriage between a man and woman. Our biblical faith is committed to upholding, celebrating, and furthering this understanding, which is stated many times within the Scriptures and has been repeatedly restated in our wedding ceremonies, church laws, and doctrinal standards for centuries. To continue with church practices that intertwine government marriage with Christian marriage will implicate the Church in a false definition of marriage.
Therefore, in our roles as Christian ministers, we, the undersigned, commit ourselves to disengaging civil and Christian marriage in the performance of our pastoral duties. We will no longer serve as agents of the state in marriage. We will no longer sign government-provided marriage certificates. We will ask couples to seek civil marriage separately from their church-related vows and blessings. We will preside only at those weddings that seek to establish a Christian marriage in accord with the principles articulated and lived out from the beginning of the Church’s life.
Please join us in this pledge to separate civil marriage from Christian marriage by adding your name.
The “soul of marriage” is a mystery. The apostle Paul wrote: ‘“ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.’
Satan, and the world as his helper, is striking at the soul of marriage - in (at least) a two-pronged offensive.
Both of these are an attempt to strike at the very image of God. If we have a warped view of marriage, we will also have a warped view of God.
If we have a warped view of God, we will end up making Him in our own image...which is no god at all.
The first way I see involves striking at the image of Christ and His bride.
The second way I see involves striking at the image of God in creation.
One aspect of the "soul of marriage" is reflection of Christ and His bride. The beautiful wedding dance of headship and submission shows Christians what their marriages should look like, and Christian marriages should show the world what Christ and His bride look like.
Egalitarianism teaches that there are no gender roles in marriage - since Scripture tells us that Christian marriages reflect Christ and His bride, no gender roles in marriage = no leadership, stewardship, or headship of Christ over His bride.
This assault on the soul of marriage leads to a warped view of Jesus.
The second front of the battle is "4SR" (State Sanctioned Same Sex Relationships.)
The onslaught of the world against marriage, to force the recognition 4SR as "marriage," is stunning in its swiftness. Even five years ago, we would not be having this conversation.
While I fully believe that God the Father is beyond gender (is a spirit,) He DOES get to pick what gender He wishes to be recognized as. God chose "Father" - so that's what we know Him by.
That said, since He is beyond gender, the Bible makes sense:
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
It seems that God - in His own image, created male and female. Together, they form a "oneness" that reflects the image of God.
There is more, and I want to expand, but in a nutshell, these two points are the main offensives, with various strategies within those offenses, where Satan is attacking the institution of marriage.
Last Friday, Michigan became a "gay marriage" state, by the decision of a federal judge, overturning a vote of the people. Even though the governor has requested a stay until it can be sorted out in SCOTUS, at least one country clerk has "gender neutral" marriage licenses ready to go today.
I want to be clear.
I am going to be a BRIDE.
I am NOT "applicant A"
I am NOT "party B"
I am NOT "thing one" or "thing two"
1 - A license, by definition, says that the state is giving me permission to do that which is otherwise illegal. If I must have a license in order to marry, then marriage is illegal, unless the state gives me permission to enter into a marriage.
2 - the state, by way of being the one who gives permission to marry (as opposed to God giving permission) now has the authority to define marriage (as opposed to God defining marriage.)
3 - what the state is giving "us" (citizens) permission to do is no longer "marriage" (according to Scripture.)
When is it time for Christians to opt out of a corrupt system?
Do Christians need the state's permission to enter into a covenant before God, their family, and their church community?
I don't want a "gender neutral" marriage certificate.
When caught between your faith conviction, and what the government says you should honor/do/buy...what do you do?
We hear "love the sinner, hate the sin." And when the baker loved the sinners, made friends with them, served them baked good on birthdays and other non-wedding events...opted out of baking for a gay wedding, she got sued.
She was hating the sin, while embracing the sinner. That didn't work.
Christians will increasingly face this challenge, and will increasingly find ways to comply with the law, while remaining true to their convictions...or will buckle to the state, giving up on living out their faith through their businesses.
The same is true for Christians getting married.
When the state gives you permission to marry, but what they're permitting no longer resembles "marriage" - how do Christians respond?
Do they get a "gender neutral" marriage certificate? Do they opt out of statism?
Though your kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18: 36 NIV), your kingdom has broken into this world and one day will utterly transform this world. Because this is true, Jesus, I need you to free me from both extremes of naive passivity and fear-mongering aggression. Very practically, show me what “obeying God and not men” looks like when the claims of your kingdom clash with the values of this world. How do I submit to the authorities for your sake while primarily only bowing my knee and heart to you as my King? (page 96)
I don't know what this will look like. Will the state allow people of faith to enter into marriage covenants, outside of the state's approval?
In Michigan, a pastor who officiates at a wedding that does not have the state's approval, commits a misdemeanor. Do we see "civil disobedience" in view here? Can we see going outside the state's system as "obeying God rather than man?"
If a Christian marriage is to reflect Christ and the church - if a wife is to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church...and if the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church...
what does that mean? What are the Biblical references for Christ (and God the Father in the Old Testament) as husband?
How do Christ the Son and God the Father relate to the church and to Israel?
Husbands, love your wives,
as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
that he might sanctify her,
having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
so that he might present the church to himself in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one ever hated his own flesh,
but nourishes and cherishes it,
just as Christ does the church,
because we are members of his body.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father
and mother and hold fast to his wife,
and the two shall become one flesh."
This mystery is profound, and
I am saying that it refers to Christ
and the church. (Eph 5:25-32)
Can wives be "sanctified" by their husbands? Maybe not, but they can be saturated with Scripture. She can be loved and cherished and nourished, with Christ as his model.
For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth he is called.
For the LORD has called you like a wife
deserted and grieved in spirit, (Isa. 54:5-6)
For a short time, the Husband had turned His face from His bride. She had been faithless, yet He redeemed her.
"Hallelujah!For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen,
bright and pure"— (Rev. 6-8)
The bride of the Lamb...
You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the LORD delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you. (Isa. 62:3-5)
You shall be called "My Delight Is In Her..."
In the New Testament, it was John the Baptist who recognized the Bridegroom:
You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,
but I have been sent before him.'
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom.
The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him,
rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice.
Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.
He must increase, but I must decrease." (John 3:28-30)
God presented Israel with a graphic picture when He told Hosea to marry Gomer, a prostitute - knowing that she will act as prostitutes will act...and that he will bring her back.
"Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.
And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.
And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth,
as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt.
"And in that day, declares the LORD,
you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.'
For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
and they shall be remembered by name no more.
And I will make for them a covenant on that day
with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens,
and the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land,
and I will make you lie down in safety.
And I will betroth you to me forever.
I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice,
in steadfast love and in mercy.
I will betroth you to me in faithfulness.
And you shall know the LORD. (Hosea 2:14-20)
There is a Biblical reason to see a Christian marriage as a reflection of God the Father with Israel and of Christ the Son with His bride, the church.
For I feel a divine jealousy for you,
since I betrothed you to one husband,
to present you as a pure virgin to Christ."
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere
and pure devotion to Christ. (1 Cor. 11:2-3)
How can the church expect to be treated by her Bridegroom?
...He is her refuge, (Psa 61)
...He stands up for her (Psa 94)
...He nourishes and cherishes her (Eph 5)
...She trust in His steadfast love (Psa 52)
...He speaks tenderly to her (Hos 2)
...He is merciful and full of loving kindness (Tit 2)
...He will wipe away tears (Isa 25)
...He makes her beautiful (Isa 60)
...He carries her sorrows (Isa 53)
...He came to serve (Matt 20)
...He restores her soul, He leads her in paths of righteousness (Psa 23)
In what way should a wife BE submissive to her husband?
Whether or not the husband leads, whether or not you call your husband "leader", what does the Bible say about the submission of a wife?
Submit unless he tries to lead, in which case all bets are off?
Submission until submission is hard?
Submission until you don't agree on something? Anything?
Submission to the point of where he asks you to sin?
Submission to the point where he sins against you?
Submission until he is abusive?
Submission to the point of death?
If a wife is to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ, what does that mean?
Does the church submit to the Lord Jesus Christ as her authority? What example does that set (or does not set) for wives?
There is a point to the questions. Submission of a wife is a tenet of both egalitarian and complementarian marriages. The difference (as I see it anyway) is the way the husband relates to (submits to the needs of) the wife, not the submission (or not) of the wife. Egalitarianism does NOT say the wife should not submit. (I think) that egalitarianism teaches that the wife and husband should submit equally to each other and in the same way (if there is a difference in the way that egalitarians believe that a husband and wife (in general terms, not in a particular relationship) submit to one another), this is something I would like to learn of - with sources from CBE).
AGAIN: the questions are about how a wife relates to her husband. PLEASE do not speculate or comment on how you believe husbands are to relate to their wives.
I posted the (short) list of how CBMW sees egalitarian teaching:
God created male and female as equal in all respects. Gen. 1:26-27 makes no distinction between woman and man insofar as both are equally made in His image (i.e., ontological equality), and both are given the responsibility to rule over His creation (i.e., functional equality).
Sin introduced into God’s created order many manifestations of disorder and corrupted relationships. Among the chief examples of sin’s defilement is the introduction of an illegitimate hierarchy in the relationship between woman and man.
1. Gen. 1:26-27 - shows that man and woman share the same human nature, both are made in God’s image, and both are given God’s commission to rule the earth. Not only is there equality of being or nature between man and woman, there is also, importantly, equality of function or task - both are commanded to rule. And note: no distinction is made to give the man a superior position in this rulership.
2. Gen. 2:18 - woman as “helper” is best understood as one who comes to complement (i.e., make complete something that is incomplete). So, far from the woman being subordinate to the man, this shows how indebted man should be to the woman.
5. 1 Cor. 12:7-11 - Clearly, God distributes His gifts to His people as He so wills, but one’s gender is not a factor in His giving any particular gift to a person. Women and men alike are recipients of all of God’s gifts (e.g., see 1 Cor. 11:5 for a statement of women having the gift of prophecy). Since God’s spiritual gifting is gender-neutral, and since God expects His gifts to be used in the church, it follows that men and women alike are equal in their exercise of gifts in the church.
How are these false? If this is not generally correct, why not explain how, rather than make accusations?
Another person speculated about integrity and further speculated about insecurity about a blogger using their personal information in a wrong way (so I set this blog to not require any personal information in an effort to reassure that any attack that might be leveled at my integrity with personal information need not be a concern)
What I was doing was attempting to answer concerns about CBMW teaching. I quoted commenters questions and concerns and then quoted CBMW in an attempt to answer that concern.
(NOTE: when objecting to CBMW teaching, I seldom see CBMW quoted or linked to and there are many claims of wrong teachings - or worse, accusation of lies (resorting to falsehood, which has a much different meaning that "believing falsehood") without citation.)
(edit: if there is one who would like to use this post (11 pages long in a Word doc) as a post body, feel free to email me [ellen (at) domain name.com]. Among the couple of reasons it is not a comment is the fact that it IS 11 pages long and far too large for a com box)
An egalitarian says:
This is the very definition of comp. teaching from CBMW. They have expressly stated that "submit" is always, without exception, to an "authority over", and that is "dictatorial". This is the official teaching of the organization that made up the word "complementarian".
First, the definition of "dictatorial": Tending to dictate; domineering.
Domineering: Tending to domineer; overbearing. Overbearing: Domineering in manner; arrogant (okay, we're in a circular pattern...overbearing means domineering, domineering means overbearing. What does CBMW teach on men being domineering and overbearing? (in the Thesaurus listing for "dictatorial", we see such words as arrogant, despotic, domineering, oppresive, overbearing, tyrannical...)
(From "Satisfied and Complementarian?") Nothing in Scripture advocates a demanding, oppressive leadership style from men. On the contrary, the exact opposite is commanded (Matthew 20:25-28).
CBMW teaches that Scripture teaches EXACTLY the OPPOSITE of demanding and oppressive.
An egalitarian says...
We link these things because they are accurate and documented. It's just a fact.
It's only a fact if it's true. What "facts"are being presented here? That CBMW teaches dictatorial marriages? Not with the dictionary defintion of "dictatorial". (see above: Nothing in Scripture advocates a demanding, oppressive leadership style from men. On the contrary, the exact opposite is commanded )
If you wish to distance yourself from official comp. teachings, then by all means, invent a term that describes what you believe. But this blog, as it clearly states, is about Complementarianism and Egalitarianism as defined by the organizations that are considered "official", not everyone's individual take on them.
So far, in this thread, the only "teaching" that has been presented is that of a dictatorship. I just linked to an article on CBMW that describes a marriage that is not dictatorial. So I'll distance myself from what the egalitarian claims that CBMW is teaching, but that they are not actually teaching.
I'm pretty comfortable with standing with CBMW in
recognizing before God the full equality of a woman's personhood with her talents, skills, and gifts does not give us carte blanche permission to disregard any guidelines and standards that God's Word shows us for the role of a woman in the church and home
teaching that husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church.
teaching that there should be no doubt based on these passages about the manner in which God expects men to lead (loving, self-sacrificial, nurturing) and the fact that there are consequences for not doing so.
teaching that any good leader knows that you need to gather all the facts and enlist those who may know the situation better than you before you make the decision.
teaching that "head" does not mean male dominance, where a man lords it over a woman and demands her total obedience to his every wish and command. God never viewed women as second-class citizens.
saying that the teaching of the New Testament clearly shows that women are to be respected, revered, and treated as equals with men.
believing that (y)our [the husband's] unconditional acceptance of your wife is not based upon her performance, but on her worth as God's gift to you. If you want to love your wife unconditionally, always be sure her emotional tank is full. One of the best ways to do that is to affirm her constantly. Let her know verbally that you value her, respect her, and love her. I have discovered that I simply cannot do that enough.
that according to the New Testament, being head of your wife does not mean being her master, but her servant. Again, Christ is our model for this type of leadership. Jesus did not just talk about serving; He demonstrated it when he washed His disciples' feet
believing that a husband should consider carefully his wife's needs and desires; to live with her "in an understanding way" (NASB); to take the initiative in discovering what is going on in her heart and life and to respond lovingly; to be sensitive to concerns and problems before they become major issues.
So far...I'm pretty much in line.
An egalitarian says...
"Numerous corrections"? What "corrections"? I haven't seen anyone prove an egal teaching that needed "correction". But I have seen a lot of assertions.
That is why we have a debate. If a person does not accept a correction as true, then OBVIOUSLY it is taken as merely an assertion. You cannot force a person to believe.
An egalitarian says:
"Lash out"? What is it when comps accuse egals of promoting homosexuality? What is it when comps accuse egals of not wanting to believe God or accept what the Bible says? What is it when comps accuse egals of bowing to culture?
It could be merely an appeal to look to the extremes on both sides, not just one. It could be an appeal to look at oneself (as I have looked at and examined myself). What if the comps are right? What if the egals are right? If the appeal is done as an appeal, it is not lashing out...it is an appeal.
An egalitarian says:
Maybe, just maybe, if comps here would deal with scriptural arguments, history, linguistics, etc. instead of continuing to try and make egals stop quoting what comp leaders actually say, we could make some progress.
Yes...I've asked a number of times WHY, when Paul directly instructs wives to submit (which was already happening in that culture), WHY, WHY, WHY, if egalitarianism was what he wanted to teach, why husbands (specifically) were never (specifically) instructed to (specifically) submit to their wives. That is asking for a reason from Scripture, acknowledgment that history tells us that men (historically) did NOT submit to their wives, and linguistically...the egalitarians have asked that complementarians at least admit there can be an alternate meaning to kephale. In fact, in this very thread, Sue notes: 3. Head comes from the Greek word kephale. Kephale could mean "beginning," "origin," "source," "prominence," "superior rank," or it is a live metaphor and the meaning is found within the passage. This is very lexicon based, but I have also examined the studies.
Will therest of the egalitarians do the same and at least admit that kephale may have an alternate meaning that includes authority?
An egalitarian said:
If people would pay careful attention to what is actually being said, and stop spreading misinterpretation of what is being said as though that is what egalitarian teachings claim.
I suppose, but will it go the other way as well?
We who embrace biblical equality (egalitarianism) are not "linking complementarianism with support for slavery."(...)
In other posts on this blog...
The correct analogy is patriarchy to slavery. Both are the practice of worldly patterns of positional authority: the former of men ruling over women,
Following the logic...in another post, it is made clear that one commenter sees complementarian as BEING patriarchy:
All I have ever heard of is that men can fill all roles and women can fill some roles. I just don't see how this is called complementarity. This is my problem, I see the restrictions as one-sided and an all out denial of the definition of complementarity. If there is some way to reconcile the practice of complementarianism with the definition, I would like to hear it.
Otherwise, I think one should just say that one is patriarchal and put everyone at ease in terms of knowing one's place - restricted.
If egalitarians disagree with this logic, it would be helpful to speak up, rather than have the misconception of complementarian = patriarchy = analogy for slavery. Thanks.
The same egalitarian said:
Instead, several of us have shown the similarity of arguments in favor of unilateral submission (subjugation) of women are remarkably similar to arguments in favor of slavery 150 years ago. Support of unilateral submission of women is not the same as support for slavery, but there are undeniable similarities and flaws in the arguments in favor of both.
I could note that (in fact) the Episcopal church lumps sexual orientation in with the rest of its "do not discriminate... "list. Just as sex cannot exclude them from ministry, in the Episcopal church, neither can homosexuality.
"All Bishops of Dioceses and other Clergy shall make provisions to identify fit persons for Holy Orders and encourage them to present themselves for Postulancy. No one shall be denied access to the selection process for ordination in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise specified by these Canons." -- Title III, Canon 4, Section 1 of the Constitution and Canons for the Government of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America, p. 60
The same egalitarian says...
Similarly, we are not "linking complementarianism with spousal abuse." What we are showing is that unlike with biblical equality, complementarian teachings (as published by the founding organization, CBMW) advocate a husband being an authority figure over his wife even if he is abusing her. Again, this is undeniable and deserves discerning scrutiny. Likewise, no one is saying thtat complementarianism makes husbands be dictatorial in their marriages. However, as is the case with other kinds of abuse, dictatorial husbands are still considered authority figures over their wives according to complementarian teachings.
We understand abuse to mean the cruel use of power or authority to harm another person emotionally, physically, or sexually.
We believe that the Christian community is responsible for the well-being of its members. It has a responsibility to lovingly confront abusers and to protect the abused.
In instances where abusers are unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change, we believe that the Christian community must respond with firm discipline of the abuser and advocacy, support and protection of the abused.
Since real biblical listening is linked to action, you may find that what you hear (especially if the violence has been personal and dangerous) means taking the victim for a medical examination, calling the police, or providing a temporary safe place for her to stay.
If the homeis potentially unsafe, it is wise to inform the perpetrator that his wife has revealed the violence and is staying at an undisclosed safe place.
It may be appropriate to encourage a battered woman to press legal charges, so that her God-ordained civil authority can be used to help bring an end to this evil (see Rom. 13:1-5).
It will also be important for you to point out that submission to God-ordained authority does not mean that she simply stay in the home and continue to suffer. David was submissive to King Saul’s authority (see 1 Sam. 26:23), but he fled when Saul began to physically threaten him (see 1 Sam. 19:10-18, etc.).
Love for one’s husband will mean preventing him from continuing to do evil.
I have just linked to a direct teaching by CBMW that is the opposite of what the egalitarian believes: that CBMWadvocate a husband being an authority figure over his wife even if he is abusing her, when, in FACT, CBMW supports the wife leaving, staying in a safe (undisclosed) safe place and possibly filing legal charges. Further, CBMW teaches that submission to God-ordained authority does not mean that she simply stay in the home and continue to suffer.
The egalitarian goes on:
Like it or not, we have organizations like CBMW that are advocating teachings that we egalitarians find to be incompatible with scriptural principles.
Like the ones in the links I just provided that refute what the egalitarians claim CBMW teaches?
They founded the "complementarian" movement and continue to speak for the movement and provide the definitive publications and representatives for that movement. I think that it would be a big move toward some actual discussion and away from false accusations against us egalitarians if those who claim the description "complementarian" would acknowledge the problems with what CBMW is saying it means to be "complementarian."
See above...so far I'm pretty much in agreement with the basic structure.
against abuse: check
God never viewed women as second-class citizens: check
We understand abuse to mean the cruel use of power or authority to harm another person emotionally, physically, or sexually: check
being head of your wife does not mean being her master, but her servant. Again, Christ is our model for this type of leadership: check
husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies.: check
women are to be respected, revered, and treated as equals with men: check...
The egalitarian goes on...
It would also be helpful if CBMW's terrible mischaracterization of egalitarianism could be refuted without people who reject egalitarianism telling us we don't know what biblical equality means.
And any mischaracterization of complementarianism?
The egalitarian goes on...
We certainly do, which is why we're egalitarians. In other words, stop taking CBMW's word for what it means to embrace biblical equality and call oneself an egalitarian. They have a vested interest, from the organization's very inception and purpose for organizing, in discrediting biblical equality and egalitarians. Deal with biblical equality, not the false picture of it and its adherents that CBMW publishes.
It's too long to post the whole thing here, but here are some highlights:
God created male and female as equal in all respects. Gen. 1:26-27 makes no distinction between woman and man insofar as both are equally made in His image (i.e., ontological equality), and both are given the responsibility to rule over His creation (i.e., functional equality).
Sin introduced into God's created order many manifestations of disorder and corrupted relationships. Among the chief examples of sin's defilement is the introduction of an illegitimate hierarchy in the relationship between woman and man.
1. Gen. 1:26-27 - shows that man and woman share the same human nature, both are made in God's image, and both are given God's commission to rule the earth. Not only is there equality of being or nature between man and woman, there is also, importantly, equality of function or task - both are commanded to rule. And note: no distinction is made to give the man a superior position in this rulership.
2. Gen. 2:18 - woman as "helper" is best understood as one who comes to complement (i.e., make complete something that is incomplete). So, far from the woman being subordinate to the man, this shows how indebted man should be to the woman.
5. 1 Cor. 12:7-11 - Clearly, God distributes His gifts to His people as He so wills, but one's gender is not a factor in His giving any particular gift to a person. Women and men alike are recipients of all of God's gifts (e.g., see 1 Cor. 11:5 for a statement of women having the gift of prophecy). Since God's spiritual gifting is gender-neutral, and since God expects His gifts to be used in the church, it follows that men and women alike are equal in their exercise of gifts in the church.
Another egalitarian comments:
Could both sides come to an agreement about Biblical interpretation that looks like this?
1. When the word submission is used for one person, it might, but does not automatically, mean that the other person is given authority. Therefore, two functional equals, for example, two fellow Christians could submit to each other, as in "in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."
2. Authentew is a word with the range of meaning from "compel" to "have power/authority over." It is possible that this is a word which means to use power in a way that a Christian should not.
3. Head comes from the Greek word kephale. Kephale could mean "beginning," "origin," "source," "prominence," "superior rank," or it is a live metaphor and the meaning is found within the passage. This is very lexicon based, but I have also examined the studies.
4. "Help" means to be a functional equal, since the only other use of the word is for God.
Whatever this implies, I am not sure, but it might put the woman in the role of Christ to the man, as in other ways, the man might be in the role of Christ to the woman. (...)
Let's at least say to each other - I see how you are being fatihful to scripture, according to the light you have, or the light we share, or something like that.
The term "conversation stoppers" has been applied. Even if a term has been discontinued (and the ones to whom the term was applied are not psychic and don't know the commitment to stop using it), an open commitment to stop using the term might be considered helpful.
One of the egalitarians says:
No, glennsp, it IS what CBMW teaches. They have said so explicitly. And please, stop aiming at me and aim at my arguments. If CBMW denies something or has material than contradicts what I said, provide a link or excerpt.
Before providing links, it would be helpful to know exactly what "IS" is...
I believe I have (see above links). I hope that I have managed to take aim at mistakes and arguments, rather than persons.
The egalitarian goes on...
Ask CBMW yourself and see what they say. Ask them about their document, "The Myth of Mutual Submission", and whether a husband can dictate to his wife or not.
I have to affirm at the outset that people can mean different things by mutual submission. There is a sense of the phrase mutual submission that is different from an egalitarian view and that does not nullify the husband’s authority within marriage. If mutual submission means being considerate of one another, and caring for one another’s needs, and being thoughtful of one another, and sacrificing for one another, then of course I would agree that mutual submission is a good thing. (...)
In previous generations some people did speak about “mutual submission,” but never in the sense in which egalitarians today understand it. In his study of the history of the interpretation of Ephesians 5:21, Daniel Doriani has demonstrated that a number of earlier writers thought there was a kind of “mutual submission” taught in the verse, but that such “submission” took very different forms for those in authority and for those under authority. They took it to mean that those in authority should govern wisely and with sacrificial concern for those under their authority.
It is clear that in the chapter titled "the Myth of Mutual Submission", that it is agreed that there IS such a thing as ""mutual submission", what is being argued against is the current definition that is used by egalitarians to nullify authority.
The egalitarian goes on...
And stop telling me what I see, and telling me publicly that I have problems with comprehension. Can I say what I think of your omprehension skills? (...)
That's great. But CBMW would call you egalitarians.
Please see all of the above links that demonstrate that CBMW would indeed call those who say that a husband should treat his wife with consideration, should treat her with respect, that a wife should not submit into sin, that a wife should not stay in an abusive situation, etc., etc...yes...CBMW would call us complementarians.
Cite your evidence. Show us what we've twisted. Quote them, and then quote us.
"Those who try and hide behind Comp to justify their sinful abusive behaviours do not represent Comp in any way shape or form."
and the egalitarian replied...
Who is to determine who represents comp., if not the organization that coined the term? Are you an official at CBMW? Tell them what you think and then tell us their response.
Those who abuse their wives are not supported by CBMW
those who treat their wives with disrespect are not supported by CBMW
those who are oppressive, who are arrogant, who are harsh, are not supported by CBMW
Those who sin against their wives are not supported by CBMW (I'm obviously not counting complementarianism as "sin")
Those who do not respect their wives are not supported by CBMW
To rephrase Glenn: Those who try to hide behind "complementarianism" to justify abuse, disrespect, who are oppresive, arrogant, harsh, those who sin against their wives, who do not respect their wives, are not supported by CBMW and abusers do not represent CBMW, any more than homosexuals represent egalitarians.
Abuse is sin; compementarianism is not sin.
The egalitarian says...
Yet you cannot escape the fact that only comp. gives Biblical sanction to a man doing whatever he pleases to his wife. In reality, that's how it has happened to many Christian couples. The wife has no recourse, because the pastors tell her it's her fault. That "divine right" comes straight from comp. teachings.
(From "Love and Respect in Marriage") Since God himself cannot sin, he has not delegated to anyone the authority to command someone else to sin. Thus, if a husband instructs his wife to do something that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, she may properly refuse to obey, saying, "God has not given you authority to command me to do that" (see Acts 4:19-20; 5:27-32).
Thus, we have a teaching from CBMW that instructs a wife that a husband CANNOT do what he pleases, that she DOES have recourse, that if a husband asks his wife to do something that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture that she may properly refuse.
That sounds like "recourse"to me.
Again: if a husband instructs his wife to do something that contradicts the clear teaching of Scripture, she may properly refuse to obey
CBMW directly teachings AGAINST what this egalitarian says that CBMW does teach. The egalitarian says...
Are there any comps out there who can argue issues without resorting to ad hominem? Who have actually read what CBMW puts out?
At this point, a fair question might be: have you?
(Edit: I don't want this to get lost in the com-box so I'm putting it up here.
Can you rephrase the quote so that it can be easily understood what you DID mean? If I substituted other words and said something like:
A wife who (refuses to submit to her husband's leadership), then, is like a (rebellious teenager who kills his parents). It's a heart thing to do evil or not to do it, right?...
How would you read that?
My interpretation of a comment on "complegalitarian" (although I think it might be time for them to consider a name change)
A wife who chooses to submit to her husband is on the same level as a woman who chooses to have an abortion. Ummm...another "wow".
Submission of a wife, then, is like the choice of abortion of a mother. It's a heart thing to do evil or not to do it, right? Jesus wants (us) to change our hearts, to know him, to be free and to make free, right? (Emphasis mine)
Did you get that? Submission of a wife is like the choice of abortion.
Let's look to Scripture:
Col. 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Ex 20:13 "You shall not murder.
1 Peter 3:5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,
Pro 16...17: There are six things that the LORD hates...hands that shed innocent blood,
Obviously (NOT)...wives that submit to their husbands, as is fitting in the Lord, who hope in God to adorn themselves by submitting to their own husbands...
are like (NOT)
Women who murder their babies and shed innocent blood.
I love you, ______, and I thank the Lord for the love that has bound our hearts and lives together in spiritual fellowship of marriage. I will love, honor and cherish you always. As we enter upon the privileges and joys of life's most holy relationship, and begin together the great adventure of building a Christian home, I will look to Christ as Head of our home as I have looked to Him as Head of the Church. I will love you in sickness as in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, and will be true to you by God's grace, trusting in Him, so long as we both shall live.
I love you, ______, and I thank the Lord for the love that has bound our hearts and lives together in spiritual fellowship of marriage. I will love, honor, cherish and obey you always. As we enter upon the privileges and joys of life's most holy relationship and begin together the great adventure of building a Christian home, I will look to you as head of our home as I have looked to Christ as Head of the Church. I will love you in sickness as in health, in poverty as in wealth, in sorrow as in joy, and will be true to you by God's grace, trusting in Him, so long as we both shall live.
Sorry, bible.org, but that makes the husband a blasphemer (taking the place of Christ in the life of another person) and the wife an idolater (looking to a man instead of Christ). This abominable trend in the churches has infected influential leaders in the Christian community, and it’s spreading rapidly. Those men love to “keep their place” and to be “head over” someone, especially women. We women are expected to spend our lives stroking their delicate egos, making them little gods over us, and believing it’s God’s divine order. (the bolded text is my emphasis).
My take, let's compare Scripture to the sample vow (just the "repulsive" part):
(Scripture): Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
(the vow): I will look to you as head of our home...
(Scripture):For the husband is the head of the wife...
(the vow): as I have looked to Christ as Head of the Church...
even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Scripture goes on: Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Paula called her post "Vows and Wows". I agree.
It's a "wow"...when wedding vows that reflect Scripture are called repulsive, blasphemy and idolatry.
I wonder if it would be blasphemy if the bride quoted (as her vow) Ephesians 5:22-24 directly from Scripture, the groom quoted (as his vow) verses 25-28 and the pastor quoted the rest?
Paula goes on about Bible.org and complementarian belief that a wife should submit to her own husband, as to the Lord, and as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands:
Now evangelicals can take their place beside Muslims, Jews (traditional rabbinical views), Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in making women truly subhuman.