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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)

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Once in a while I'm invited to participate in on-line consumer surveys and today I watched a few commercials.  One of them was a Subway commercial that featured a husband and wife, along with their son.  Passing the Subway store, the dad asks mom if he can get a sandwich.  She (Mommy) tells him that they don't have time, they have to get to practice.  Dad promptly throws a typical little kid tantrum, complete with body language, flailing arms, slumped shoulders.  "Come on...pleeeeaaassseeee...?

No, mom say, grow up.  And the child faces down his father, shakes his finger at him and declares, "Yeah Dad...GROW UP!"

Can you imagine the uproar at an advertisement that portrayed a woman acting like a child, with her own child telling her to "Grow up?"  Yikes...and yet men are a politically correct target.

Is this an aberration?  Are men often betrayed as being immature, stupid or incompetent  with family matters?

  • Home Improvement
  • Every Loves Raymond (I watched these shows once in a while and found them anti-men as grown ups each time)

What about advertising?

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2004, In that (Verizon) ad a bumbling father tries to help his little daughter with her homework and is treated with contempt by both the girl and her mother, who orders the father to "leave her alone" and "go wash the dog." Our campaign made 300 newspapers, and the Verizon ad stopped running a few weeks later.

See the ad here (on the right).

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Here is an ad of an idiot male parking

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A Fidelity ad featuring a young girl with an "I can't believe my father is this stupid" look and a male gloating over winning a ping-pong game.

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And of course...

45 Comments

Both complementarianism and egalitarianism have their extremes. After being told that wanting to address the extremes of both sides was a "red herring", I became curious: what are the denominations that first ordained women and what are they doing now?

The list is from Religious Tolerance. I don't like their "theology", but the list is what I was looking for. They're looking to give denominations a pat on the back for breaking the sex barrier, so I'm guessing that it's pretty accurate.

1. The Society of Friends (Quakers) began ordaining women in the early 1800's. Each local congregation is independent, so there is no set policy or unity on the topic...thus, while every congregation does not accept gay/lesbian/transgender as acceptable, the denomination is certainly struggling with the topic.

In Australia:

With this background, Quakers supported the establishment of Queensland’s first openly homosexual organisation, C.A.M.P. Inc., in 1971. In 1975, Quakers officially stated: The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Australia calls for a change in the laws ... to eliminate discrimination against homosexuals. This statement is made in the light of the Society’s desire to remove discrimination and persecution in the community. The Society also calls on all people to seek more knowledge and understanding of the diversity of human relationships and to affirm the worth of love in all of them. Yearly Meeting 1975, Minute 23

In North America, "Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns":

We seek to know that of God within ourselves and others. We seek to express God's truth in the Quaker and in the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual/transgender communities, as it is made known to us.

It is our hope to offer an oasis to those who have been spurned by the world at large. We are learning that radical inclusion and radical love bring further light to Quaker testimony and life. Our experience with oppression in our own lives leads us to seek ways to bring our witness to bear in the struggles of other oppressed peoples.

In the United Kingdom (via Wiki):

Quakers in the United Kingdom are similarly accepting; one of the first statements in Quakerism regarding homosexuality was the controversial 1963 book Towards a Quaker View of Sex, published by a group of British Quakers, which affirmed that gender or sexual orientation were unimportant in a judgment of an intimate relationship and that the true criterion was the presence of "selfless love." A statement similar to this was later adopted by Britain Yearly Meeting.

There are congregations that don't embrace this extreme end, but my point is that the first denomination to ordain women was one of the first to deal with the gay/lesbian/transgender issue - and they are far from united on it.

2. 1863: Olympia Brown was ordained by the Universalist denomination... In 1961, the Universalists and Unitarians joined to form the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). The UUA became the first large denomination to have a majority of female ministers. In 1999-APR, female ministers outnumbered their male counterpart 431 to 422.

Who is the UUA?

 

Calls upon the UUA and its member churches, fellowships, and organizations immediately to end all discrimination against homosexuals in employment practices, expending special effort to assist homosexuals to find employment in our midst consistent with their abilities and desires...

and

Universalists are Christians who believe in universal salvation. They don't believe that a loving God could punish anyone to hell for eternity. Instead, they believe that everyone will be reconciled with God eventually.

Originally, all Unitarians were Christians who didn't believe in the Holy Trinity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost). Instead, they believe in the unity, or single aspect, of God.

and

Another issue which remains at the forefront of the Unitarian Universalist community is marriage equality (i.e. same-sex marriage). Unitarian Universalism fully supports the right of all committed couples to marry. Unitarian Universalist congregations, individuals, and the UUA staff continue to work to have these marriages legally sanctioned in every state.

So...on this list, the second denomination to ordain women has fully embraced the inclusion of the gay/lesbian/transgender population into all aspects of the community.

3. 1865: Salvation Army is founded and has always ordained both men and women.

This is the first organization that has ordained women who does not struggle with the homosexual issue. They offer relief assistance to all, regardless of orientation and/or lifestyle (which is a good thing), but declare the homosexual act and lifestyle to be sin.

4. 1880: Anna Howard Shaw was the first woman ordained in the Methodist Protestant Church, which later merged with other denominations to form the United Methodist Church.

The Methodist Protestant Church is no more; what is the United Methodist Church up to?

The UMC's official position (2004) was that all people are accepted into communion, but that same-sex marriages would not be performed and practicing homosexuals would not ordained.

Also in 2004

SAN FRANCISCO (UMNS) - A complaint has been filed against a United Methodist clergywoman for performing a series of gay wedding ceremonies after City Hall issued marriage licenses to same-sex couples./p>

The Rev. Karen Oliveto conducted seven ceremonies at San Francisco City Hall and an eighth in the sanctuary at Bethany United Methodist Church during the Feb. 15 worship service. Oliveto, Bethany's pastor, said she was acting on requests by the eight gay or lesbian couples after City Hall announced it would issue the marriage licenses. The pastor, who knew all the couples, said she took the requests as "an opportunity to extend pastoral care" to her parishioners.

More recently:

An associate pastor says she disclosed her homosexuality during a recent Sunday morning worship service "to share with the congregation part of my faith journey and how I've experienced God's grace."

The Rev. Kathleen Weber shared her story during the Sept. 30 service at Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church, where she has been on staff the past four years. She is a commissioned candidate for ministry in The United Methodist Church and is on track to be ordained next year.

The fourth denomination to ordain women is far from settled on the homosexual issue - and given that a lesbian is on track to be ordained, it would appear that they are going in the more liberal direction.

This post is already long... 75% of the first four denominations to ordain women are either now dealing with the homosexual issue (or have settled it in favor of ordaining homosexuals into ministry office. 

Is this proof positive?  Not clinical proof, but history does appear to tell us that when an organization starts moving toward liberalism, the trend is to become more liberal, not to swing back.

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I write from a complementarian perspective, that is the view that I believe most conforms to Biblical teaching.

So, I can easily tell you that the solution to spousal abuse is not to eradicate or even discourage Godly men from leading their families in Godly ways.

First, we can look at preventing it. Well, perhaps first we have to define it.

The U.S. Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a "pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner."

Okay...let's define "abusive behavior". Here is a rather extensive list of behaviors that may (or may not be, depending on the couple) abusive.

The only one that I have any issue with in general is "pressures you to have sex". In normal circumstances, this is covered in Scripture, we are not to deny our partner. NOTE: IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES. If a wife denies her husband because she thinks sex is "icky" and they haven't had sex in months, it's time for her to grow up and realize that she is a grown up with a husband who has grown up desires for his wife.

If we can accept this list as pretty inclusive, we can move on to preventing it.

It's more than "don't do this list of stuff." It's a good list, but following lists merely leads to legalism.

"If I don't do the things on this list, I'm a good husband." No. No.

What we need to do is to What Godly men need to do is to teach young men growing up and older men who need to be taught HOW to be Godly leaders in their home.

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. (Eph 5:25-28 - ESV)

This is sacrificial love, a love that leads a man to put the needs of his bride before his own. A love that would allow a man to lay down his life for the love of his life.

The word "sanctify" is used - is it inappropriate to use that word in context of husband and wife? Consider the second definition (per Strong's)

2) to separate from profane things and dedicate to God

a) consecrate things to God

b) dedicate people to God

Imagine a marriage where a man is taught that in order to love his wife in a Godly way, he is to be ready to die for her; he is to be ready to give himself up for her. He needs to keep his bride away from profane things, protect her, dedicate her (and their marriage) to God.What would such sanctification look like? He would bathe her in Scripture, lead her in righteousness. LEAD her, not send her.

Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (Col 3:19 - ESV)

The KJV says, "be not bitter against". One of the meanings (per Strong's) says "- the word for bitter means: to visit with bitterness, to grieve (deal bitterly with)

What if (in term of how a husband can love his wife) this is understood to be "do not grieve your wife, do not deal bitterly with her". What would that look like?

What is love?

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

>Love never ends(1 Cor. 11:4-8 - ESV)

If this is the standard of "love", if men are taught that this is the standard by which to treat their wives, this would be a huge step in preventing abuse. How can you be abusive toward another person that you are striving to love with love such as this?

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 - ESV)

My friend did a study on this (perhaps we'll hear in the comments)...I am asked, "have I bestowed preciousness?" Do I feel as though I am honored as a co-heir?

Men should pay careful attention - if they do not live with understanding, if they do not show honor as co-heirs in Christ - their prayers will be hindered.

If that consequence does not make men who claim to be Christians sit up and pay attention...well, it should.

I believe that if men were taught (and held to this teaching) that to be in a marriage meant the commitment to love with this kind of love, many, many marriages would look a lot differently than they do; you cannot be abusive while loving with this kind of love.