Wade Burleson has blogged on the Trinity and the unorthodox trend that has come into the church that teaches an eternally subordinated Son of God in the Trinity.
The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is composed of many Southern Baptists who are introducing to evangelicalism a novel, if not peculiar, view of Christ which has more in common with Arianism than the historic, orthodox view of Christ’s person. The theologians and teachers who write for the CBMW are teaching what they call “the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father” as a basis for their hierarchal view that the female is to be subordinate to the male. Women’s subordination to man, according to the teachings of CBMW, is not a consequence of sin or a reflection of cultural values, but is built upon the heirachical order God established before the fall as a reflection of the Trinity.
This view of the Trinity has been used by some complementarians who have a lot of sway in Southern Baptist circles to support the functional subordination of women. I would recommend that you read what Wade has written and then have a read through the comments on his blog as well. It is a frightening thing to me to see the spread of this unorthodox doctrine and how many have accepted it as gospel truth.
It also comes at a very timely place for us as we are just getting ready to release our new 2 DVD set called “The Trinity: Eternity Past to Eternity Future, Explaining Truth & Exposing Error”
The DVD will be availabe by mid October at http://mmoutreach.org/ or from Amazon.com.
(October 2008 update: The DVD is now available and a preview is available on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLe-qF2nptA.)
Is God male in some way? Many Christians think that he is. But how could God be male when God is pure spirit? God has no male sexual organs and he has no testosterone. Because God does not have a body, it is impossible for him to be structurally male. Therefore in his essence God is neither male nor female.
But some would argue that God is male in his characteristics. If that were true, then God would only describe himself in purely male characteristics. But that just isn’t so. Although God describes himself with many male characteristics, he also describes himself with female characteristics. God describes himself as a mother in Isaiah 66:13 and as a nursing mother in Numbers 11:12. God’s motherly characteristics are highlighted in scripture as well as his fatherly characteristics. God is described with both male and female characteristics therefore God is not uniquely male because of his characteristics.
So why is God always referred to with the male terms of “he” and “Father” and never “she” or “Mother”? It is because God has chosen a relationship with us as Father. It is with this relationship that God shows us his nature and his love. God is the source of all things. As source he is referred to as Father. Ephesians 3:14, 15 says:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Every family in heaven and on earth derives its name from the Father. The word family in Greek is “patria” and it is a feminine noun meaning family or lineage running back to some progenitor. God is that progenitor. 1 Corinthians 11:12 says:
For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.
God is the source and originator and progenitor and as progenitor he is called Father.
The man was also created first to be the source of the woman. Adam then became the source or foundation for the woman. But God did not keep the preeminence with the male alone. He then made the woman to bring forth every other man. The woman then became preeminent as the source of the male. God has brought equality to both the male and the female by allowing each one to be the source of the other, yet ultimately the preeminent source must be honored as Father – the progenitor of every family.
Scripture shows that God is not male, but he has chosen to call himself Father because he is the ultimate source. When we honor him as Father, we do not honor him as male, but we honor him as our source.