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Submitting to one another defined

Submitting to one another defined

Submitting defined on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

I have a brand new post on the definition of Ephesians 5:21 mutual submission in Paul’s epistle. This post comes as a response to a criticism that I am a bigot because of my views of submission in Ephesians 5:21-22. This post is the second part of my response to Tom.

I have moved my blog to a new site and this post on submitting defined is found at this link: new post can be found here. My blog has moved to mmoutreach.org/wim as it is a secure site. I am no longer updating articles on strivetoenter.com/wim. Please follow the link to my new post and please subscribe at the new site to receive an email update when a new article is posted.

Ephesians 5:22 and bigotry

Ephesians 5:22 and bigotry

Accusation of bigotry on Ephesians 5:22 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Is it bigotry? Answering a critic on Ephesians 5:22 and submission

Is it bigotry to suggest that the term “submit” in Ephesians 5:22 is not in the original text and that translators who imported it into the text may be misled to believe that Christian submission is one-sided? Apparently, one of my readers says recorded his criticism saying that my view borders on bigotry. I set the challenge aside to craft a response when I had time to research a complete answer. I failed to answer in a timely fashion, and another project and ill health put this research on the back shelf. It is now time to provide the evidence for the missing verb in Ephesians 5:22. This post responds to the first part of the criticism that I copied below. I hope that my readers will find the discussion helpful.

My blog has moved. This new blog post on Ephesians 5:22 and bigotry and answering a critic can be found at my new blog address here. Please make sure to sign up at the new address of mmoutreach.org/wim as I will no longer be putting new posts on the old strivetoenter.com/wim blog site.

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

What God intended at Creation – ruler or ruled?

Ruler or ruled? Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

What did God intend at creation?

It seems that everywhere we look these days, complementarian men are quoting the act of creation as God’s intention to put the women underneath the rule of the man.  They are also quick to note that there are two different kinds of rulership of the male. The first kind of male rule is that of an autocrat, tyrant or despot who rules in spite of the woman’s own will or intention.  This kind of rule, they say, is not what is taught by Christian men. The second kind of rulership is described by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as headship and this is defined as “two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.” (pg 95 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem).  The difference between the two rulerships is that one allows the man to rule the woman for his own benefit and the other rulership has the man ruling the woman for the benefit of God as a God-ordained spiritual leader.

Let’s unpack this down to the presuppositions that are required to form the foundation of the God-ordained male rule. This post will consider the first two claims of male-only rule: 

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Ephesians 5:21, 22 and Christian liberty

Ephesians 5:21, 22 and Christian liberty

Christian Freedom on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

This post is the essence of the sermon Spirit-Filled Living part 1 by Pastor Darrell Johnson of First Baptist Church, Vancouver, BC, Canada.  If you would like to listen to the entire sermon, you can listen to the sermon here.

Spirit-Filled Living Part 1

The revolutionary and alternate understanding of human relationships in Ephesians 5 & 6 is contrary to deeply engrained patterns of behavior. Even after 2,000 years the Church has yet to work out the implications.

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Repost – Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Repost – Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Mutual submission on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

My original 2010 post crashed because there were too many comments for my blog to handle, so I am putting up this post again so that people can read the article which is no longer available because of the crash.  Thanks to one of my readers who asked me to repost.

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Yesterday I received two polar opposite views of Ephesians 5:22 by email.  One was from “NN” who has responded here in the past.  He  is a complementarian who has commented on authority in marriage, one of a handful of complementarians who have been willing to give their views on women on this blog in a respectful manner.  In NN’s email he sent me a link to his view on submission in marriage which he says is not to be mutual.  In the other email my son Ryan gave me his conclusions after a time of researching on his own the issue of authority and submission in marriage in order to present a biblical answer to his pastor.  I am going to refer to both views in this article for us to consider. 

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Taking the place of sole Master of the home – by law

Taking the place of sole Master of the home – by law

Taking the place of master by law on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

The Bible records a law that requires men to take the place of sole master in the home. We find this law in the book of Esther chapter 1 verse 22.

Let me first give a little background.  King Ahasuerus was a very wealthy and powerful king who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces.  In the third year of his reign he made a huge banquet for his nobles and officials as well as military leaders.  Then for 180 days he displayed his great riches and all that went with the majesty of his position.  At the end of all this show of the king’s splendor, he threw a seven day banquet for all the people who were present in his capital city, both the greatest of them to the least of them.  It was at that time, after seven days of partying, that the king became joyful from the wine that was served at the banquet, and in a hasty decision to show-case all that he owned that was magnificent beauty, he ordered that queen Vashti be called to appear before the king wearing her crown in order to parade her beauty before the crowd. Vashti refused to have her person put on display and this caused the king to feel great wrath and he called his wise men to find out what could be done by law to punish queen Vashti for refusing to obey his command.  In verses 16 to 19 Memucan one of the wise men said, 

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The humble God and the issue of authority

The humble God and the issue of authority

The humility of God on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

In our past discussions on Ephesians 5:21-22, we have been discussing the issues of mutual submission and whether there is authority in marriage.  In this post, we will discuss the foundation of humility.

One very important part of the nature of God that is rarely talked about is God’s nature of humility.   In fact God as the humble One is revealed in the Old Testament and also through the revelation of Jesus Christ. 

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Submission & Ephesians 5:22 comments post #3

Submission & Ephesians 5:22 comments post #3

Ephesians 5:22 on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Our discussions on Ephesians 5:22 has sparked a flurry of comments with literally hundreds of comments later and seemingly no end to the “iron sharpening iron” discussion between egalitarians as well as complementarians.  This is the place where the discussion will continue as my blog has a habit of blanking out all of the comments if I let too many accumulate under one post.  So continue discussion with this post and thanks all for your lively and irenic comments on a very hotly debated topic of authority and submission in marriage.

For those who haven’t been following all along, here are links to the previous parts of the discussion on Ephesians 5:22.

Part #2 http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2010/06/01/authority-vs-submission-ephesians-522-continuing-comments

Part #1 http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2010/05/23/authority-vs-submission-biblical-view/ Part 1 has problems because of the great amount of comments, but at least the original post can be read if the link doesn’t work.  Just scroll down to the bottom until you read the post of May 23, 2010 called Authority vs Submission a Biblical View.

Submission and the origin of authority

Submission and the origin of authority

Authority given on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

When is authority given and when can it be rightfully assumed?  These are questions that have divided egalitarians and complementarians in the area of marriage.  While egalitarians generally will agree that submission is a characteristic of Spirit-filled Christians who love and respect the body of Christ, and who serve each other with love, complementarians say that husbands are never commanded to submit to their wives because husbands maintain a God-given sphere of authority that requires sacrifice and not submission.  To a complementarian, submission is always something given to an authority.  Since they don’t believe that a wife has authority over a husband they refuse to submit to their wives.  Is this Biblical? 

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Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Authority vs submission – a biblical view of Ephesians 5:22

Mutual submission on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

Yesterday I received two polar opposite views of Ephesians 5:22 by email.  One was from “NN” who has responded here in the past.  He  is a complementarian who has commented on authority in marriage, one of a handful of complementarians who have been willing to give their views on women on this blog in a respectful manner.  

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Putting women in their place

Putting women in their place

The woman's place, from Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

The November 17, 2009 CBMW blog post by John Starke that we started to evaluate last post, is an amazing “piece of work” that exalts the 17th century writings of a Puritan named Richard Baxter who attempts to put women in their place.  Starke continues to summarize Baxter’s writings:

2. Discontentment. There is something about the sinful heart that is always wanting something other than the place in which God has placed him or her. When something other than God is the desire of the heart, it begins to desire more than the portion granted. The sinful cravings of the heart are deceitful and can justify sin or can explain away divine instruction. Baxter’s appeal to wives is to find your contentment and treasure in Christ and you will recognize the joy in resting in his purposes. (emphasis is mine).

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John Piper: "What should a wife's submission to her husband look like if he's an abuser?"

John Piper: "What should a wife's submission to her husband look like if he's an abuser?"

 

john-piper-womens-abuse

On August 19, 2009 John Piper tackles a question on an abusive husband and Piper’s answer directs women on how they should take abuse from their husbands.  The answer is typical of a complementarian who sees the husband as king and priest and the wife as the follower of her priest-king.

My comments will be below the transcript.  I recommend you listen carefully to what Piper says.  I think there is a lot to discuss especially his freudian slip calling the husband “lord”.  An edited transcript of the audio is below.

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Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

Ask John Piper – Do some complementarians deny women opportunities?

John Piper picture on Women in Ministry blog by Cheryl Schatz

On John Piper’s web site is posted a question that someone asked of him about the application of complementarianism that affects women.  The question is:

Do you think complementarianism is so important to some people that they deny women more opportunities than the Bible denies them?

I was shocked at John Piper’s response.  You really need to listen to it for yourself.  Click on the link above to hear an audio version or see the video clip. 

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Wayne Grudem – answering part 2 of his "Open letter to Egalitarians"

Wayne Grudem – answering part 2 of his "Open letter to Egalitarians"

grudem11 on Women in Ministry by Cheryl Schatz

In my last post I copied Wayne Grudem’s “Open letter to Egalitarians” and I listed the first question of his “Six Questions That Have Never Been Satisfactorily Answered”.  Today I am posting his second question, Suzanne McCarthy’s expert Greek answer, and my own challenge after that.

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1 Peter 3:6 how does Sarah’s obedience affect women in ministry?

1 Peter 3:6 how does Sarah’s obedience affect women in ministry?

Cheryl Schatz blog - obedience is it required in 1 Peter 3?

Sarah’s Obedience and the submission of women

How does 1 Peter 3:5, 6 with the Bible’s use of the word “obey” affect wives and in particular women in ministry?

Some say that wives are to “obey” their husbands in everything and that this makes the husband the “lord” or “master” of the wife.  Many hierarchists will reason that it follows then that if a wife is to obey everything her “master” tells her, if she were to be in a leadership position, then the husband would be in the position to control her decisions and her position as he is the wife’s “lord”.  But is unquestioning obedience and a role of the husband’s “lordship” what Peter is speaking of in 1 Peter 3:5, 6?

To determine the meaning of these two verses, we must first look at the complete context of the book of 1 Peter.  The book starts with a statement by Peter that Christians are chosen to obey Jesus Christ.  Obedience is a big part of Peter’s instruction, and it is always ultimately an obedience to Christ.

1 Peter 1:1, 2  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens,…who are chosen…to obey Jesus Christ…

Another important theme from 1 Peter is service toward others.  In 1 Peter 1:10-12 Peter reveals that the Prophets were not serving themselves, but they were serving us.

1 Peter 1:12  It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you…

In this service, Peter tells us that we are called to holiness in our behavior.
1 Peter 1:15  but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
1 Peter 1:16  because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
We need to note here that all of us are called to obedience to Christ.  All of us are called to serve others, and all of us are called to holy living.  We are also called to a sincere love for the body of Christ.

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Three spheres of subordination shrinks to two

Three spheres of subordination shrinks to two

In my last post I pointed to USA Today’s editorial that challenged complementarians who are willing to accept a woman as the Vice President of the country, that they should admit that they are full fledged egalitarians in the realm of society, the workplace and public life.

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum, an organization that believes the bible forbids women from voting, has taken CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) to task saying that Dr. Gushee is right in his USA Today challenge that people like CBMW have experienced an historic change in their theological position.  He writes:

Dr. Gushee’s point was essentially this: Christians must formally acknowledge that a historic change has occurred in their theological commitments and policy objectives, or reasonable observers must conclude that that their position lacks intellectual integrity.

While I do not agree with Doug Phillips at all regarding his very legalistic interpretation of women’s “roles”, he is right in pointing out that if one interprets the distinctions between male and female as rooted in the creation order itself, then it is inconsistent to not apply that principle to all three realms – marriage (home), church and society – instead of just in marriage and the church.  If we are going to remove the realm of society and civil government, then we need to rethink our interpretation of Paul.

CBMW states that they are being consistent and that:

God’s design for male headship in the home and the church does not require the exclusion of women from leadership in public life, where spiritual headship is not involved. Such extrapolation carries the biblical teaching about the role of women beyond the Bible’s own application.

The apparent inconsistency according to CBMW only comes when one overlooks the priority of the church:

Complementarians only seem to be inconsistent if one overlooks the priority of the church and misses the distinction between the church and and civil government.  This confusion is resolved when one understands that complementarians simultaneously hold a high view of Scripture, a high view of women, and a high view of the church.

I think it is time that we test CBMW’s claim to consistency and see what they have taught in the past regarding the role of men and women in Society.

In 1987 CBMW formed as a concerned group of individuals and in that year they created the Danver’s Statement which is a list of CBMW’s core beliefs.

Point 1 under Rationale, CBMW lists a concern:

The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity;

Note that the concern is not just about the home and the church but about “our culture”.  Did CBMW believe in 1987 that the difference between masculinity and femininity would necessitate different roles in society?  Their Danver Statement affirmations make it clear that they believe the “created order” that was ordained by God and it goes past an application to Christians because it is to be found within every human heart:

Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).

We find in CBMW’s 1991 book “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” that there is a “breaking point” of femininity that makes some “roles” for women inappropriate, unproductive and unhealthy:

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Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Women in ministry – asking the right questions

Have you ever found that your discussions with hierarchists goes nowhere fast because they say they have heard the egalitarian arguments before and they are not willing to listen to what you have to say? Perhaps we are missing an opportunity to engage them because we are wanting to teach them first instead of letting them teach us. What would happen if we let them teach us by asking them the “right” questions?

Those who believe in the hierarchical view which has restrictions on women that forbid women from teaching the bible to men, base their belief primarily on one verse – 1 Timothy 2:12. Instead of debating with them what this verse means, why not take one step back and ask them two important questions? First of all ask them if 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God that forbids godly women from teaching biblical doctrine to men? When you have established that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a law of God forbidding this activity, ask them when this “law” came into existence? Did it come into existence before Paul wrote it to Timothy or did it come into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2?

Let’s consider the ways that this question could be answered.

1. If they say that this “law” came into existence at the time that Paul wrote 1 Timothy 2, then it means that there was no “law” prior to the its creation with Paul. This means that women prior to New Testament times had no restrictions on teaching the bible to men. Does this make sense? Is it possible for Old Testament women to have more freedom than those women who became believers in Christ through Paul’s ministry? This doesn’t seem logical. Why would God allow women for thousands of years the freedom to teach the bible to anyone without regard to gender and then suddenly this bible teaching becomes a sin? If it was a sin, how would the women believers who were there before Paul wrote the “law” in 1 Timothy know that it was a sin? Priscilla apparently had no idea that her teaching the bible to Apollos and her correcting his doctrine was a wrong thing to do. Priscilla taught the bible with authority by correcting error.

2. If they say that the “law” that stopped women from teaching the bible to men was created before Paul wrote it down in 1 Timothy 2, and Paul was merely referring back to a “law” that already existed, where is this “law” written down? There is no such “law” in the Old Testament that could possibly be linked back to. If they try to say that the “law” was recorded in Genesis 3:16 with the phrase “he will rule over you”, remind them that this could not possibly be a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible to men. After all if Genesis 3:16 was really God’s will that wives were to be ruled by their husbands, then women would have to obey their husband’s command to teach the bible to men.  My husband, for example, has been very strong in encouraging me to teach men and women alike with the gifts that God has given me. If I am to obey my husband I will teach men the bible instead of turning them away.

So instead of quibbling about whether there is a “law” that forbids women from teaching the bible with authority, why not ask them when this “law” started? See if they can figure it out.

Today I had the opportunity to read a blog where Bob Cleveland posted a comment that I really appreciated. It is located here.

Bob commented:

If a woman has the gift of teaching she oughtta teach; to anybody who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given gift.

This really touched me. It puts the onus on the one who wants and needs to benefit from her God-given ability. I believe that this is why scripture tells us to submit to one another. We cannot take authority over someone else and force them to listen to us. The power is in the hands of the one who submits. The submission is not so that we can be under someone’s thumb. The submission is so we can benefit from what God has given as a gift to them for our benefit. When God has given his precious gifts of teaching and insight on the scriptures to a woman, we should honor God by submitting to learn. Do you want to benefit? Don’t accuse a godly Christian woman of being in sin because she has been given insight into the bible. This gift from God through her is given freely to anyone who is willing to receive it. If you want it, you should be able to freely receive.

Scripture also tells us that all of us are “needed”. God has placed his children into the body with a special gift given to each one for the benefit of the body. We are not allowed to say that some members are not needed for our benefit. Each one has been placed in the body and each one is to function for the common good.

1 Corinthians 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you“; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.”

When a man turns away from learning the bible because it is being taught by a woman, he is not really rejecting her but God who gave her what is needed for the health of the body. He is saying that others may need her, “but I don’t need her”. By refusing the good gift, he is refusing to submit to receive from God and he is judging God because of the vessel that God has himself chosen to use. Such a one has broken a direct prohibition of God given in 1 Corinthians 12:21.

If there are any complementarians or hierarchists reading this who would like to answer these questions, please feel free to interact on this post. I believe in treating brothers in Christ with respect even if they disagree with me on these secondary issues. Each of us is a member of the same body, bought by the shed blood of our precious Lord and Savior and I desire to honor other members of the body of Christ who are not the same as myself.

Jesus our example of a godly husband

Jesus our example of a godly husband

What is the godly way for a husband to treat his wife? Should he take authority over her and make decisions for her by going against her will? Many complementarians think that this is what the Bible tells the man to do and so we ask, what would Jesus do?

We know that Jesus is called the bridegroom of the church so we can learn from the way that Jesus acted towards his bride while he was here on earth. Let’s have a close look at the topic of decision making. Just before Jesus was to die, Jesus was with his disciples and he knew that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He was going back to God.

John 13:4 (NET) he got up from the meal, removed his outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around himself.

John 13:5 He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel he had wrapped around himself.

John 13:6 Then he came to Simon Peter. Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.”

John 13:8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

John 13:9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

John 13:10 Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean…”

Notice in this passage that not only did Jesus take the position of a servant, but he did not force himself on the disciples to make their decision for them. Peter balked at having his feet washed and Jesus did not take authority over Peter. Instead, Jesus explained to him that it was necessary to allow Jesus to do this act of service in order to have a share with him. It was then that Peter made the decision to allow Jesus to do his work and to serve him.

So how does this illustrate how the bridegroom should treat his bride? It shows that although Jesus could have taken authority over the disciples, he did not do that. He allowed them to submit to his service. For the disciples submission was allowing the bridegroom to serve the bride and to give himself for his own body. There was no forced submission and the servant-hood of Jesus was not for the benefit of the groom, but for the benefit of the bride.

Why is this an example of God’s way? It is because if the bridegroom takes authority over his bride he violates her personhood. The submission that Jesus gave to the Father while he was here on the earth was an act of power not of weakness. It was an act of his own will not an act of one who had taken authority over him. Submission can be a godly example of power under control and it is the means to allow another person to serve you. Jesus does not violate our will but he woos us so that we will submit to his tender service. Taking authority over a person is forced submission and it is never advocated in the scriptures.

Any thoughts about why the husband is never granted the right to take authority over his wife?

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