Apr 20th, 2008 by Cheryl Schatz
One of the ways that hierarchical teaching has influenced the church since the 1970’s is in the area of the doctrine of the Trinity. In hierarchical teaching, the Trinity is no longer three functionally equal persons who share the same nature. Instead Jesus and the Holy Spirit become functionally subordinate to the point that Jesus no longer has a will that is exercised. Instead of a functional equality with the Father, it is now claimed by some hierarchists that Jesus as the pre-incarnate Son of God had to have permission to create the world since the authority even for creation rested on the Father alone. It is also claimed that the Jesus is so unequal in authority with the Father that we are not biblically allowed to pray to Jesus or have intimate communication with him. These claims more closely resemble the teaching of some well-known cults than they do of historic Christianity.
Will the church stand back and allow the Trinity to be downgraded so that the persons of the Trinity are no longer equal in authority, in their will or their work? We are now seeing a ground swell of opposition to the hierarchical teaching that tries to equate women’s subordination with an re-invented eternal subordination within the Trinity (this is not the first time in church history that the issue of subordinationism has reared its ugly head). Our new DVD on the Trinity is just getting ready for filming in early May 2008 and the second DVD in this 2 DVD set will focus on a refutation of the hierarchical distortion of the Trinity. Although the subordination of women will not be mentioned in the DVD, the foundation of the modern subordination movement that bases the subordination of women on the supposed eternal subordination of Christ in the Trinity, will be thoroughly refuted. There will also be many audio clips from noted hierarchical teachers such as Bruce Ware that documents the faulty logic used to downgrade Jesus to a lesser authority than the Father (the same logic they use to downgrade women as under the authority of all men).
Others who are bringing to light the connection between the hierarchical movement and the subordination of the Son are doing a good job at drawing our attention to the attacks on the doctrine of the Trinity from within our Christian churches most notably from within the Southern Baptist Convention.
Be sure to read Wade Burleson’s blog post and Dr. Cynthia Kunsman’s post discussing the censorship that she has experienced by merely talking about patriarchy and views espoused by hierarchists such as Bruce Ware and CBMW.
We believe that our new DVD will bring to light evidence of the tampering of the Trinity by modern Evangelicals that may shock a lot of people. One thing that I have found most disturbing is that in the written material that I have read from Dr. Bruce Ware as well as in all of the lectures that I listened to by Ware on this subject, he never fails to connect the Trinity to the women’s issue and the subordination of women. This is extremely troubling to me that he would be so passionate to limit the full usage of women’s gifts in the church that he has become passionate in the last dozen or so years to make the Trinity an issue of eternal subordination. I do want to point out that in email correspondence with me Ware has denied that he sees Jesus as less than equal with the Father in function because he sees women also in the same lower “role”. However his inability to even discuss the Trinity without bringing the women’s issue into play makes his denial very suspect. Ware simply sees the two issues so intimately connected that he cannot discuss the Trinity without making application to the “glorious” pattern of male authority over women which is a reflection of the Trinity. I related to Bruce Ware that whether women are or are not subordinated to men does not reflect on the full equality of the Son. Ware does not see it this way. He has been one of several who have dedicated themselves to teaching the eternal subordination of the pre-incarnate Christ. This is not good nor is it right.
It is about time that we set up a flag in the ground and a line in the sand and say “No more!” We will fight for the truth and expose the error. No longer should we stand by to see Jesus dishonored by those who wish to remove his full and equal function as Deity.