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

June 14, 2011 — 145 Comments

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. 

NN suggested that my blog readers might be interested in his views that he has recently posted on his blog. NN wrote to me about the time period since he last corresponded on my blog back in December 2009:

Since then I have meant to write up a brief logical clearly addressing the question of hierarchy in the instructions of the apostles on the marital relationship.  Unfortunately it took until now for me to actually find the time.  Nonetheless – I thought you might be interested (and possibly even your readership given the torrent of comments in that last discussion).

NN’s premise is that submission in marriage is not mutual but my son’s conclusion is the polar opposite.  First of all here is Ryan’s finding.  His article starts with the thought that the understanding of “source” for the Greek word for head (kephale) in 1 Corinthians 11 can also fit in with Ephesians 5:22-25 when you consider the context.  Ryan’s main concern in his research is whether submission is mutual or relegated to wives alone.

Ryan’s research:

I think source fits well with the description in Eph 5:22-25 also.  As I was studying this, I noticed that the NASB showed “submit” as in “Wives, submit…” in italics, which means it wasn’t in the original.  I looked at the NET (New English Translation) notes and they highlighted that 3 MSS (manuscripts) don’t have “submit” after wives in v22.  These MSS are earlier than the others and are significant manuscripts, so this is likely the original reading.  Knowing that Paul tends to write run-on sentences (not to mention there were no ‘periods’ in the Greek), I wondered if the sentence might have been intended as an extension to v21.  Check this out:

“…(v21) and be subject to one another in awe of Christ, (v22) wives to your own husbands as to the Lord, (v23) for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself the Saviour of the body.”

Doesn’t that make more sense?  Look how Paul is describing mutual submission to one another and then continuing to elaborate on how that should look in the marital relationship as a corrective to the cultural norms of the day.  We need to remember that the Epistles are often correcting specific things that are happening which sometimes we can only understand from the historical context — and this can make interpreting passages like this that much more involved.

We know that the culture was already quite pre-disposed to subduing the wife in marital relationships.  Women were meant to propagate the husbands name and were treated more like property than equals.  What is the likely outcome of such subjection of the wife is a slave-master-like obedience.  Paul seems to actually be saying here that instead of obeying like a slave, the wife should submit to her husband in a more biblical manner, thus calling her out of her ‘pit’ so to speak.  The most revolutionary part of Paul’s words would be the fact that he says all are to submit to one another, and that most definitely includes husbands submitting to their wives!

And again, as we saw in 1 Cor 11, Paul elaborates the basis for the marital relationship, this time for the Ephesians as well: “for the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself the saviour of the body.”  In other words, because the husband is the source of the wife (just like Christ is the source of the church) and therefore she his equal, they should be mutually submitting to one another in love.  (The church is also treated as the equal of Christ in the sense that the new person will have a new body and will no longer sin).  This description is a refutation of the idea that the wife is a lower-class partner to the husband, or that there are more important people in the body than others (ie. jewish believers vs. gentile believers).  It is a proclamation of the equality of all! The source relationship is a powerful foundation for equality, not hierarchy!

Continuing… “[For] as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything” (v24).  The NASB has “But”, though this reads as a continuation of substantiation for Paul’s earlier statements.  Interestingly, the NASB adds “ought to be” (italics) which actually makes it sound like Paul is commanding the wives to submit and is not in line with how what he says is actually freeing them from cultural slave-master relationship.  In other words, in everything the wives should be willingly submissive out of love and not as a slave to a master!  Why would Paul be supporting what was already culturally in vogue?

And finally, v25: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…”  Does this mean that women don’t need to be sacrificial in their love for their husbands?  Of course not!  In fact, they are the ones sacrificing everything in first century culture.  Even in our culture, the women usually have to manage the home as well as work and make meals, etc.  This is a corrective for the men who don’t participate in loving submission to their wives and families!

The conclusion is most certainly an equality in loving submission one to another in the whole body, and especially in marital relationships.  It is a corrective to the master-slave marital relationships which were typical in the first century.  The ‘new man’ should be one who treats his wife as his own flesh, as his equal, not as his inferior.

~End of article submitted by Ryan Schatz

NN’s views are opposite of Ryan’s in that NN believes that the submission of wives is the same as the master-slave relationship.  NN writes on his blog:

The Egalitarian argument runs along the lines of: “Eph 5:21 tells christians to ‘and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.’ But this is the same word used when it tells wives to “be subject” to their husbands. Since “be subject to one another” means that the husband is also “subject” to the wife, Paul’s later instruction specifically to the wives cannot indicate any sort of hierarchy in the marital relationship.” However, as discussed previously, the instruction here given is the same as that given to servants toward their masters and citizens toward the ruling authorities – it is quite clear that this instruction does imply submission to authority.

There are several problems with NN’s view.  The first is that he fails to document that the earliest manuscripts do not have the verb “submit” in verse 22. Instead the submission for wives must refer back to verse 21 which lists Christian submission as mutual.  In fact that grammar in verse 21 (one another) is reciprocal.

reciprocal — A pronoun that denotes reciprocity; that is, it indicates an interchange between two or more groups. (Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database Terminology)

The next thing that NN misses is that Paul’s reference to submission is at the end of a list of things that are the practical outworking of being filled with the Spirit which is the topic from Ephesians 5:18 and on.  Submission then is a work of the Spirit in our lives and the application is to one another.  NN continues:

But now we move on to the instruction which Paul gives to wives and husbands and note that the apostle makes a distinction in the command given. Specifically Paul tells the wife to “be subject to the husband” but does not tell the husband to “be subject to the wife.”

Paul doesn’t need to list the second half of mutual submission because verse 21 specifically and with reciprocity lists submission as a one anotherpractice that follows the outworking of the Holy Spirit’s filling.  Husbands are expected to see that as Spirit-filled Christians they are to live a life of submission to one another just as surely as any other member of the body of Christ must live out their faith. Husbands are never listed as exempted from the Spirit-filled life that is to be lived out through submission.

So why is it important for Paul to list women who are part of the culturally disadvantaged class included as a special note for submission?  NN sees this as a clear sign that wives are under their husband’s authority.  In his second recent article NN writes:

Paul gives instruction that wives are to “hupotassoe” their husbands in Eph 5:22, Col 3:18 & Titus 2:5. Just after this last passage, in Titus 3:1, Paul again instructs his audience to “hupatassoe” the governing authorities. Similarly, just before his instruction to wives, Peter uses this same term to describe the relationship of believers to “ordinances of men” and of servants toward their masters.

There is a huge problem with NN’s reasoning. While it can be documented that the cultural system of that day mandated autocratic and all-inclusive authority to the husband over every area of his wife’s life, there is no mandate ever given by God for the husband to exercise such an authority over his wife.  Remember that in the beginning God made both the man and the woman as rulers of this world. He did not give either of them the right to take authority over and subdue each other. So while the worldly system has gone off on a tangent of lordship-authority as a male right, there is no God-given authority for the husband to subdue his wife nor is there a God-given extension of authority that has listed in the Scripture the husband’s extent of power, rights or lordship over the personhood of his wife.  If such an authority is culturally mandated and not God-given then she too is a free man as a son of God, free indeed from the worldly system that dominates and subdues humans.

So what NN fails to list is that there is a turn-about regarding the worldly system when believers are transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.  While the early Christians used to be bound under a system of authority that took away their freedom of choice as the earthly rulers subdued them, took dominion over them and subjected them underneath their authority, in Christ they had become true free men who were no longer bound by forced subjugation.  This freedom extended to slaves and women who were by virtue of their position in Christ now equal as God’s sons and thus fully free.  Paul refers to this when he writes to his fellow Christian Philemon who is a slave owner of a runaway slave named Onesimus.  Paul pleads with Philemon to embrace Onesimus no longer as a slave, but as a brother in Christ.

Philemon 15–16 (NASB)

15 For perhaps he was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever,

16 no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

How were these former worldly slaves to act as Spirit-filled and empowered sons of God while their masters were not as yet brothers in Christ?  While their position as sons of God gave them freedom, they were encouraged to be slaves of Christ and for His sake to willingly submit themselves to their masters.  What was forced upon them before was removed in Christ, but living as a free men in Christ empowered and enabled them to freely submit to what lawfully was no longer an authority over them. By this act they would give a witness for Christ that would enable their unsaved masters to see Christ living in them.

NN writes:

The relevant definition of this English word “submit: to yield oneself to the power or authority of another.” This word appears throughout the New Testament and is common in other writings of the time. While several arguments are advanced in egalitarian thought as to how we should understand this word, we are discussing its specific use in the Epistles of Paul & Peter, and we can quite directly observe their use of this word in other circumstances which make immediately apparent what they mean in the use of this word.

This cannot be the meaning of submission in the Epistles since Paul specifically defined submission as reciprocal. If submission in Ephesians 5:21 were to mean to yield oneself to the power or authority of another then each one would have a power or authority over everyone else. The thought of you submitting to my authority and me submitting to your authority becomes nonsense in the passage.

Let’s look at Ephesians 5 one more time in context:

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

Here we see that there is an injunction for all of us to be imitators of God.  How are we to imitate Him?  We are to walk in love for each other and sacrifice ourselves for the good of others.  This applies to both men and women as Spirit-filled believers.  The next part is especially important because of worldly “greed”.
Ephesians 5:3–8 (NASB)
3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;
4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them;
8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
In verse 3 the term “greed” means:
as bad behavior, a disposition to have more than one’s share greed, covetousness, avarice … as a matter of being compelled to, as what is grudgingly given
Vol. 4: Analytical lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker’s Greek New Testament library
The Louw Nida lexicon further expands on compulsion as a form of greed:
to take advantage of someone, usually as the result of a motivation of greed—‘to take advantage of, to exploit, exploitation.’
…in this matter, then, no one should do wrong to his brother or take advantage of him
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Vol. 1: Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament : Based on semantic domains
Is a disposition to have more than one’s share of authority so that one creates for oneself a “role” of authority to take advantage of another’s disadvantaged position in order to exercise authority over a brother considered greed?  Absolutely!  The Bible lists the possibility that authority can be created by one’s own self instead of given by God.

Habakkuk 1:7 (NASB)…Their justice and authority originate with themselves.

Those who are greedy for authority will not let that authority go. By taking authority that does not belong to them, they are tempted to practice lording over others and this is forbidden for believers.
Matthew 20:25 (NASB)  But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
What is  listed by Paul in Ephesians 5 that should identify those belonging to God’s family?  Let’s take a look:
Ephesians 5:9–11 (NASB)
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;
Those in the family of God who are living by the Light should do what is pleasing to the Lord.  So what is pleasing to the Lord?  Here is where we find Paul’s list:
Ephesians 5:15–21 (NASB)
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Our walk that is pleasing to the Lord is one of subjection to one another.  This is the will of the Lord and it has no bounds of social standing, race or gender.

Paul then brings  us to an area where women may not see the benefit of God’s will to submit.  What might cause a godly Christian woman to not want to be submissive to her husband?  In that culture before she was “in Christ” she was without freedom and was compelled by her husband’s power that the culture vested in him, to be subject to force and his demands that she obey him.  Now that she is free in Christ, she may not want to go back to what she may see as a bondage. Submission to her may bee seen as a forced subjection.  But Paul is telling wives that their submission is not to be forced.  She is now free and her submission is not to be forced by having to obey this cultural authority over her.  She is to submit in love in the fear of the Lord.  Ephesians 5:1-2 is written for her:

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
She is no longer compelled to obey, but rather out of love and for Christ’s sake she is to honor her husband as an offering to Christ Himself.

And what about husbands who have been used to the benefits of unconditional power and control that they wielded over their wives?  They are no longer to lord it over their wives but are to be imitators of God and to walk in love toward their wives.  How do these men who yearned for power and authority, learn to give up this power over their wives?  They are to become like Christ Himself who gave up his own power to come to earth as a sacrifice for us.

Ephesians 5:1–2 (NASB)
1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.
What did Christ give up?  He gave up His rights to all authority and all power so that He could live as a mortal man.  Husbands are to be imitators of Christ who Himself existed as God with all power and authority but He gave it all up to live in humility.

The last of Paul’s instructions directly to husbands show a giving up of their cultural authority in order to love their wives as themselves.

Ephesians 5:28–31 (NASB)
28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;
29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,
30 because we are members of His body.
31 FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

Notice in verse 31 that the cultural male right is given up by the man for his wife.  The culture said that the man had the right to have the woman leave everything to join his house.  She came to him and she brought the dowry.  The dowry is money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage.  This worldly system of a woman bringing a dowry to the man and leaving all to join him is the exact opposite to what God’s will is for the marriage union.  Ephesians 5:31 is a quote from Genesis 2:24 and it is the evidence of perfect submission of the man to the woman that God established in the beginning.  The husband is the one who is to give up all to be joined to his wife.  He leaves and cleaves and sacrifices for her.  This is exactly what Jesus did for the church.  Jesus submitted Himself to the church and gave up all for her and Paul calls this a great mystery.

Ephesians 5:32 (NASB)  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

What should be the wife’s response be to such a great sacrifice of her husband’s?  She is in awe of him and gives him respect for his act of initiating a life of sacrifice for her.

Let’s sum up Ephesians 5:21, 22 on submission in marriage.  As Christians our aim is to please the Lord and one of the ways we please the Lord is through respectful submission in marriage. There is no lordship of one over the other because this is not pleasing to Christ and male lordship authority is a manifestation of the worldly system with its deeds of darkness (verse 7) that subjugates and controls and is a pattern of greed that ultimately takes advantage of the other in a covetousness lust for lordship. The husband as the “head” or source or starting point is to be the one who initiate a sacrificial giving up of himself so that by his act of submission to come to her and in giving up of  his cultural male-rights he will model the initiating and sacrificial love of Christ for the church.

I predict that those who cannot give up their rights of male authority will never fully understand the will of God in marriage.

Cheryl

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

  1. Thanks for the re-post! I’ve been wondering what you wrote that generated so much conversation! :)

  2. Thank you for posting this. It was very informative. I’ve been struggling with the concept of biblical submission myself and trying to determine what it all means lately. Most blogs I’ve come across have been ones claiming that Paul was telling women to submit to their husbands as a sort of eternal God given mandate placing men in authority over their wives “to keep order”. In other words a “you’re equal but your not” contradiction. When I read the passages in Ephesians it seemed to me as though Paul was telling husbands and wives to submit to each other (v.21) and then going on to correct specific considerations for the culture. He seemed to be telling women to submit to their husbands in a different way than how they were already doing. In other words women were already expected to submit to their husbands and that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. But women were frequently submitting to their husbands because of cultural obligation, Paul was telling them to submit to their husbands out of love giving the Church and it’s relationship to Christ as an example for how they should approach their marriage. Paul then went on to tell husbands to love their wives and elevate them beyond just sexual property. He wanted men to love their wives the way that Christ loved the Church. At the time men typically married for financial or social gain and love was rarely a consideration. So when I read it it seems like Paul’s main message has very little to do with trying to keep “order” in society by keeping women in their place for eternity but instead his concern was trying to put love as a priority in relationships, including marriages.
    Perhaps I’m wrong but I was just really glad to see that there are other, well thought out, well researched opinions out there besides just the “submit graciously to your husbands authority” position.

  3. dogmadekate,

    In other words a “you’re equal but your not” contradiction.

    Oh, the things that don’t make sense. Can’t people do better than that!? For real…
    Good point :)

  4. Cheryl,
    I’m glad you reposted this one. Too bad the discussion that followed is lost – many good arguments and insights in those. It never ceases to amaze me how Christians managed to sanctify the complete opposite of what the Bible says. (ie. Eph.5:31)

    During a recent discussion with a comp I gently pointed out that God was not even addressing “Adam” when He said “he shall rule over you” – He was addressing Eve directly. How could it be a command to follow when it wasn’t given to the man in the first place?? Was the woman supposed to tell the man what God said?? Oh dear, we couldn’t have that! 😉

  5. Elaine,

    It never ceases to amaze me how Christians managed to sanctify the complete opposite of what the Bible says. (ie. Eph.5:31)

    It amazes me too. Hard to believe in some respects.

  6. How could it be a command to follow when it wasn’t given to the man in the first place??

    It makes absolutely no sense how it could be a command to be followed when it was told to Eve since in comp thinking God speaks to the man and not the woman on commands. Many comps view that God gave the command not to eat of the tree, to the man alone, so to turn around and call what God told Eve a command to be followed, then doesn’t make sense.

  7. Many comps view that God gave the command not to eat of the tree, to the man alone, so to turn around and call what God told Eve a command to be followed, then doesn’t make sense.

    Let me clarify: Many comps lack the knowledge and understanding that God did not give the command to the man alone not to eat of the tree. He also gave the same command but with different words, to them both, while they were together.

  8. I don’t think the original post or comments are lost. I can see them in wordpress, its just that it cannot display them for some reason. I think we’ll need to upgrade to the latest version of wordpress as 2.7 may have had a bug in it in the display engine.

  9. I recently had an insight on what Paul meant by telling wives to submit in everything, and spell it out on my Dec, 16, 2010 post http://submissiontyranny.blogspot.com/2010/12/peter-models-church-wife-submission.html. Because Paul knew he was going to tell husbands to love their wives and give themselves up for their wives, he knew that wives were likely to have the same response Peter did when Jesus knelt to wash his feet. (John 13) Paul was telling wives to submit to their high status husbands-become-servants, even as Peter submitted to Jesus washing his feet. Just as it was seen as terribly inappropriate for Jesus, the high-status master, to wash the feet of his lowly disciples, so also it would be seen as totally inappropriate for wives, who are normally of servant status, to accept the service of their high-status husbands. The “in everything” Paul was talking about wives submitting to, was the sacrificial servanthood of the husbands; wives were already submitting in everything else.

    By this teaching, Paul was continuing Jesus’s own teaching of the great reversal: those of high degree shall be brought low, and those of low degree shall be lifted up. Mary speaks of it in Luke 1:52, “He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.” Jesus uses the great reversal when he uses his death to bring life and defeat Satan, and James speaks of this in James 1:9-10 “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich in that he is made low.” These are only a few of the places where the great reversal is referred to.

  10. Ryan,
    The problem with upgrading is that I will lose comment numbering. I would hate to lose that.

  11. Welcome to my blog kbonikowsky and dogmadekate!

  12. #9 Waneta Dawn,
    That is an interesting thought and certainly could be part of what Paul is saying.

  13. Waneta, perhaps you can read Charis ( http://hupotasso.wordpress.com/ ) on the topic of submitting in everything. She say the tenses are translated wrong from Greek, the message is: Wifes are subject to their husbands in everything.

    That is not a command, say Charis, but more like being subject to gravity. It is a statement that your man have an influence on you, wether good or bad.

  14. Cheryl,
    Bravo (Ryan?) for noticing this:

    “[For] as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives [ought to be] to their husbands in everything” (v24). ..Interestingly, the NASB adds “ought to be” (italics) which actually makes it sound like Paul is commanding the wives to submit

    Many Bible translations have added words which distort the teaching (link).

    Ryan also says “Look how Paul is describing mutual submission to one another and then continuing to elaborate on how that should look” which is close to acknowledging that Ephesians 5:24 clarifies Ephesians 5:21 (which I think is overlooked by most egalitarians when they consider “mutual submission”). Ryan takes Eph 5:24 and proposes the meaning “in everything the wives should be willingly submissive out of love”.

    IN EVERYTHING, IN EVERYTHING, IN EVERYTHING!

    I won’t bother proposing scenarios about what “EVERYTHING” could include… My point is that it’s impossible if the wife’s submission is understood as cooperation, yielding, support, etc. And the fact is, despite the appeal of MUTUAL submission (sometimes she yields and sometimes he does), there is no corresponding “IN EVERYTHING” said of husbands.

    Wives are subject to their husbands IN EVERYTHING! As Retha mentioned, I think the passive indicative grammar of the hupotasso verb in Eph 5:24 clarifies what Paul/God means by this.

    I take Paul’s statement in Eph 5:24 as a repetition of “the facts of life” first reported in Genesis 3:16:

    “wives are subject to their own husbands in everything” Eph 5:24 (Paul describing marriage to the Ephesians)

    “your [the wife’s] desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you” Gen 3:16 (God describing to the first woman what marriage will be like for her)

    Both are descriptive, not prescriptive. You are subject to your husband like you are subject to gravity. There is no volition involved. It’s a state of being.

    The power a husband has over his wife emotionally is what Paul refers to when he explains that “wives are subject to their husbands in everything”. Paul proceeds to instruct husbands repeatedly on agape loving (using active and even imperative forms of agape). Every husband HAS “gravitational power”. Paul is teaching him to handle this in a way which lifts up rather than tears down.

  15. Retha,
    “That is not a command, say Charis, but more like being subject to gravity. It is a statement that your man have an influence on you, wether good or bad.”

    I suspect Charis is right. I also suggest that when husbands became Christians and began serving their wives, like Christ served the Church, the knee-jerk response of wives would tend to be similar to Peter’s when Jesus knelt to wash his feet. It would seem so out of place, so unusual, so inappropriate, so shameful to the wives that they would protest and actually refuse to allow their husbands to serve them. It would be like the planation master scrubbing the kitchen floor while the slave sits down to eat. Paul was telling husbands to stop acting like the plantation master, and serve their wives, giving up their privileged status, like Jesus did for us. And wives are not to resist submitting to the husband giving up his status. Once the wives got over that first knee-jerk reaction, and got used to the new order of husbands being sacrificial instead of domineering, then the wives would again return to submitting the same way they submit to gravity–it just is.

  16. “Ryan takes Eph 5:24 and proposes the meaning “in everything the wives should be willingly submissive out of love”.
    (quoted from Charis #14)

    The problem with Ryan’s statement is that the focus is one-sided. Ephesians 5 balances out the “in everything” with “gave himself.”
    Complementarian teaching skims over what Jesus gave up for us, what He did for us. 1st, He left the comfort and continual praise He was used to getting. 2nd, He gave up His status, privilege, and rights, and became subject to pain and discomfort, 3rd, He could have regained some of the comforts of life by being called “Master” and through domination and getting the praise of men, but he didn’t. Even here, He did not claim the rights of authority. People followed Him because they sensed He had innate authority and He used that authority to set them free rather than to dominate them. In spite of the fact that Jesus was not dominating, The only time his disciples resisted His teaching and direction was when he washed feet. (With the exception of Judas, of course.) 4th, He gave himself in both life and death. He suffered big time for our sakes. He loved us so much that he gave up all status, became lower than the angels, and suffered the most horrible beating and death for us.

    THAT is the example husbands are to follow. When they focus on “in everything” for wives, they seem to give themselves permission to ignore the depth of what is required of husbands. NIV says “In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives.” So should we say OUGHT TO LOVE, OUGHT TO LOVE, OUGHT TO LOVE, like the comps do when they focus on in everything? Isn’t in everything implied in “ought to love?” At what time do they stop loving and cherishing their own bodies? That is how frequently they are to not love and cherish their wives. So it is “in everything” for husbands, too. Or as the KJV puts it, “Even as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for it.” So why aren’t they emphasizing “Even as Christ loved and gave himself” as much as they insist on woman submit?

  17. Off topic, not sure where else to put it. Are you aware that Internet Monk passed away earlier this year? I ran across this info on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Mere-Churchianity-Finding-Jesus-Shaped-Spirituality/dp/0307459179/ref=pd_sim_b_17

  18. Oops, that was last year–in April of 2010. I feel so out of the loop; I thought I saw his comments more recently than that!

  19. Waneta said: “wives would again return to submitting the same way they submit to gravity–it just is.”
    I’m just making double sure you understand what is said here: This “being subject” is not a complementarian doctrine. It is not something that some wives do, and bossy wives don’t. It’s not something you can stop, even temporarily, by saying: “This servant husband with the new heart is strange, I don’t know if it should be like this.”

    It is the simple fact that his actions have an influence on you. If you are happier when he notices your new hairdo than when he doesn’t, it is evidence of this “being subject”. If your household is happier when he is in a good mood, it is evidence of “being subject”. Bossy wives are as much subject as meek wives with bossy husbands.

    She cannot return to it. By reacting to his changing behavior, she is already showing the truth of her being subject to it. There is no ought, no command, no expectation of her, in this “being subject.” There is nothing that she is supposed to be doing. She is subject in everything – everything he do or say affect her. If he changes and become a better person, she will bloom under this influence. If he is hell to live with, she will wither under this effect he has on her. Blooming and withering are both evidence of the influence he has.

  20. Waneta @ 16

    So why aren’t they emphasizing “Even as Christ loved and gave himself” as much as they insist on woman submit?

    Because then they’d have, at the least, equality on their hands (mutual submission). And how could such a thing fair with “equal but different”?? What Christ gave is more than what the wife is asked to do.
    The husband is to give more than the wife, but can’t have none of that, no, not like Christ!

  21. Seeing this pop up and skimming back though the argument – It strikes me that I failed on a key point.
    Not in proving my point proper (as an exhaustive student of logic & reasoning I can diagram why the proof is sound and where the objections to it fail) – but most minds are not wired like mine (and that’s a good thing). Rather I feel that I failed in providing a worthy vision of biblical complementarian ideas.

    So let me drop a link to a description that presents not an argument so much as a vision for the scope of practical complementarian theology both as it applies to the relationship between the husband and the wife and how it applies to the relationship between God and the believer. – (from Hosea 2:16 & surrounding verses)

  22. NN, I would like the community here to read and interact on my blog. I would be happy for you to post your comments here. Please do so rather than a link. Thanks!

  23. Cheryl,
    My apologies – I simply felt that the length & formatting of the discussion made it potentially cumbersome to put here as a comment – but per your request here is the cut and paste.

    A Pagan Relationship with the Christian God

    It is a common meme within the christian church that we are to have “a personal relationship with God” – but too often the idea is left at that without exploring what type of ‘personal’ relationship that we are called into.

    The book of Hosea offers a stunning insight into the relationship that God has in mind. In this book, God paints a tremendous picture of the relationship between God and His people as a marriage relationship. And particularly striking is Hosea 2:16.

    Hosea 2:16 ~ “It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD, “That you will call Me *Ishi And will no longer call Me *Ba’ali.” [NASB]

    The use of transliterated words directly will immediately clue us in that this passage is rather difficult to really translate well. But stick with me – I assure you it is worth the effort. It speaks volumes about our relationship to God, and about a common misunderstanding of that relationship and God’s intended metaphor reflected in human marriage.

    To set the stage God is speaking to Israel who had gone after other gods, through the metaphor of Gomer who is the prophet Hosea’s unfaithful wife. She has prostituted herself and God declared punishment to correct her unfaithfulness and is now declaring to her that He will restore her to Himself.

    Many translations express this verse as: “It will be in that day,” says the LORD, “That you will call me ‘my husband,’ {Ishi} And no longer call me ‘my master.’ {Ba’ali}” [HNV]

    But this doesn’t really get across the full Hebraic idea of this passage. To start “Ba’al” is a word which has a primary meaning of “husband” as well as “owner,” master,” or “lord” and was commonly associated with many Cananitic deities. But “husband” is a secondary meaning associated with “Ish” which is most directly translated as “man” (male). So what is the intended meaning of statement?

    To understand this we have to look at the person being directly addressed: Gomer. Gomer has “gone after other lovers” (just as Israel had gone after other gods). She had said (Hos 2:5) ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, my oil and my drink.’ She had treated them as ersatz husbands, giving them power over her body in exchange for possessions. This is the key to understand this passage.

    In effect she had said to these lovers ‘I will treat you as “Ba’al”… in exchange for certain wealth.’ This of course is the core of prostitution and this is the essential relationship concept of the ancient pagan religions. The Romans even codified it in their formula prayers with the phrase “do ut des” ~ “I give that you may give.” They acknowledged this and reminded their gods that nature of the religion was that “I sacrifice this thing so that you will bless me and perpetuate this cycle” This was the religious concept – one appeased the gods for the singular purpose of receiving blessing. The service to the deity was only a means to another end.

    It is in this context that God addresses Gomer and through her Israel.
    God says to her, in effect, “You pursued ‘husbands’ because you thought to gain possessions. You called them ‘my Ba’al’ so that they might give you flax and wool, wine and oil, silver and gold. But not only were they not your husband and not your master but you didn’t even know what that word means. What I mean by it.”

    God does not simply tell her that the relationship would change but declares to her that her very understanding of this relationship would be fundamentally altered. He says to her – you will call me “Ishi.” For us non-Hebrew speakers we gain insight into this word by looking back to its first use in Genesis 2.

    “… But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
    “This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”{ish, ???}
    Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
    [Gen 2:20b-24 ESV]

    And the apostle Paul’s commentary on Genesis 2:
    The woman was made for the man {ish}. [1 Cor 11:9]

    God in effect tells her that she has looked at this relationship as a business exchange – Provision and possessions in exchange for physical mastery. But this was never the point. He says ‘Right religion, My religion, is not about duty-bound exchange. You were made for Me. Made to be with Me; you cannot be complete without Me. All this stuff that you have been chasing is not evil in itself but it has blinded you to what your real deepest core need is, it is was always Me.’ When God says “shall call me ‘Ishi,'” He says ‘I know that you have obeyed your own lusts and given service to other gods, other masters; but you were made for Me. All your self-centered desires lead only to death; but I shall restore you beyond your dreams, and you shall be Mine in a way you never could even have comprehended.’

    Not to say that God would not provide as a Lord or that she would not obey Him as Master. Rather He makes it clear that when she really understands what the relationship is about, His provision will be beyond her wildest expectations. He tells her that she will experience a peace and prosperity she never imagined that there will be no war at all or cause for alarm and God’s covenant will extend even to the animals. [Hsa 2:18 & 22] And He tells her that she will obey Him in a way that she had never even dreamed. He tells her that she will be set apart unto Him in righteousness and faithfulness (“betrothed” comes from the same word-root as the Hebraic word for “holy”).

    This tendency is one of the most pervasive follies of human religion and of the human spirit – often even within the walls of the congregations of the church herself. Religion often appeals through promises of blessing. But if we follow God only on the promise of blessings in our life then we have missed the core of our calling to Him. Not that those blessings are wrong: health, a good family life, financial security are blessings. But if these are our priority then we offer ourselves to God only as a prostitute – not as a betrothed, not as a lover. He is to be our Husband as our Lord, King and Master [Jer 3:14, Jer 31:32] – but these are corollaries of the central truth: that we are made for Him, that we are to be satisfied first and foremost in Him. All other blessings, though good and though He delights to give them to us are secondary to His own personal presence in our lives.

    Tim Keller eloquently captures this perversion of the christian church by saying “It is the difference between those people who pray the ‘Our Father’ and those who talk to their Father.”

    And at the end of it all, let us not forget the metaphor which God has used to express this truth. Marriage. For as God’s metaphor our marriages are supposed to reflect this truth; to ourselves, to each other, and to those around us. If I, as husband, were to provide only as my wife honors me – then I would not reflect God but the petty pagan “Ba’alim” of the Caananites, and the wives likewise in their honor. For “man cannot shut up about the gospel.”

  24. NN, Please forgive me. I had not realized that your post would end up in my blog spam box and I did not catch that until just now. Sorry that you post got left aside for a few days. It was not my intention that this happened. Thanks for respecting my wish to have the discussion posted here.

  25. NN
    You seem to be suggesting that a wife is to see her husband as lord and king and master.

    He is to be our Husband as our Lord, King and Master

    That is taking the metaphor of marriage too far for the human husband is not God. He is a sinner who is not lord or king or master of his wife.

    Maybe it is just late, but I don’t understand your point. You said:

    For “man cannot shut up about the gospel.”

    Are you trying to say that a wife seeing her husband as lord, king and master has something to do with the gospel?

  26. “And at the end of it all, let us not forget the metaphor which God has used to express this truth. Marriage. For as God’s metaphor our marriages are supposed to reflect this truth; to ourselves, to each other, and to those around us. If I, as husband, were to provide only as my wife honors me – then I would not reflect God but the petty pagan “Ba’alim” of the Caananites, and the wives likewise in their honor. For “man cannot shut up about the gospel.”

    The problem with NN’s view is that he has it backwards. Christ and the church are being held up as the example for everyone of what marriage is supposed to look like – not the other way around. There is nothing in Scripture that says human marriages are supposed to be the example to the world. The relationship of Christ and the church is the example.

  27. As you point out, husbands are not divine. It’s not Christ’s divinity that husbands are to imitate. Does this passage refer to Christ leading the church? No. Does it refer to His authority over the church? No. It is about His giving Himself up for the church. It is about sacrificial love and unity.

    “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit”
    1 Cor.6:17

  28. To comment on Elaine’s words and answer Cheryl’s question:

    Elaine said ~ “The problem with NN’s view is that he has it backwards. Christ and the church are being held up as the example for everyone of what marriage is supposed to look like – not the other way around. There is nothing in Scripture that says human marriages are supposed to be the example to the world. The relationship of Christ and the church is the example.”

    But realize the logical consequences of your statement – if the relationship of Christ and the church is to be an example of marriage then our human marriages ought to reflect this example. Therefore a rightly conducted human marriage is a reflection of a deeper truth lived on display before the world. On the other hand a human marriage conducted wrongly is in effect an enacted parable of a lie lived before the world. This is true throughout our lives, as we live rightly in any aspect of our lives we declare the gospel before the world and, conversely, failures in our lives misrepresent the gospel in our living examples.
    And hopefully this will elaborate on Cheryl’s question – A shorthand expression which has stuck with me describing this is “Man cannot shut up about the gospel – He may be telling the truth about Jesus or telling a lie about Jesus but he is always, always talking about Jesus.”

  29. NN, you say people should reflect the gospel in their marriages? For the sake of this argument, I’ll assume you are right about that.

    By that view, if a wife responds to a simple selfish demand (For example, “Make me a sandwich, now”, when both are equally busy with something else) it shows the world that Christ is selfish and we Christians are just giving in to God’s egotism. When, as patriarchal teachers recommend, a wife submits to the point of death to an abusive husband and don’t ask the help of the police, they teach a gospel, according to you. That gospel would be: Christ destroys your life, and Christians are really suckers for punishment to listen to him when they could be saved from this tyrant.

    Would, you agree that, to reflect the gospel, women have to respond to good things the man gives? When he don’t give good things, she cannot respond as to Christ? Because the gospel include that we love Christ because He first loved us, that we know that what He asks now is right and wise, and therefore we can do it.

    For that reason, I believe wifes who submit in areas where husbands are wrong or selfish, are presenting a distorted gospel. She should rather help him to overcome his flaws, as his helpmeet.

  30. Retha,
    Starting from the recognition that the Bible teaches us that our marriages ought to reflect the truths of the gospel – you as a very natural and worthwhile question which can be couched as:

    How is a woman supposed to reflect the church if the man does not properly reflect Christ?

    Before I really answer this question I’d like to start with a few side comments to ensure that some points are not misunderstood:
    ~ Most complementarians I know of would not advocate a woman staying in a context that endangers her health or see this as a Biblical mandate.
    ~ More generally, the woman ought not submit to any command of the husband which violates the instructions of God (for instance she ought not obey him if he tells her to rob a bank)
    ~ But this comes with a danger, it is a natural temptation to begin looking for the exceptions when we find a commandment uncomfortable or inconvenient. For instance, one is also called to “turn the other cheek.” Yet, most christians if they saw a someone hurting heir child would protect their child and use physical force to stop them and believe it right to do so. However, we must be careful lest “exceptions” become a way to simply disobey the command of God.

    Those said – we can explore the general question – “But what happens if the other spouse does not act as they should?” Is the husband prevented from reflecting the Gospel if the wife does not reflect the Church well? If she were to be shrewish and unsubmissive ought the husband respond by not loving her and sacrificing himself for her? Of course not! The husband is called to reflect Christ to his wife and before the world regardless of the wife’s behaviour.
    What then of the wife? Is she called to reflect the Church even if the husband is being a selfish jerk best described by a string of epithets not fit for typing here? Taking an extreme case – let us say that the husband is an unsaved jerk – not able or seeing any reason to want to reflect Christ:

    Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. {1 Pet 3:1-2}

    A sandwich will typically not violate the Word of God – even if the husband ought to have recognized how busy his wife was and not asked her. (<a href=”http://nuallan.livejournal.com/11628.html”)Indeed here are some thoughts to husbands on the proper enactment of headship) But in general disobedience is not what the wife is called to. Yes, absolutely she ought to seek to bear up and help him overcome his areas of sin – but Biblically she is called to do so from a role of submission – not through being shrewish or nagging (Proverbs has a fair bit to say about such behaviour). And just as much for the husbands – for he is told to take absolute initiative in finding ways to love and sacrifice himself for his wife whether she acts as she should or not.

  31. Since the idea of marriage as a reflection of deeper christian truths seems to have garnered interest – here is a longer exposition of it:
    (From Here)

    Ephemeral Reflections of Eternal Truths

    Eph 5:22-24 ~ “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as 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.” [ESV]

    We human beings are made for marriage, made for ultimate intimacy. We all want it; we all need it. We are made for a relationship in which we are completely known, through our deepest faults and loved despite them. A love so deep and so cleansing that it removes them from us at the cost to our Beloved. This is the Christian idea of marriage.

    Many feel disappointed in their marriage. It does not satisfy the need for intimacy, spoken or unspoken, which aches within us. The husband may be overbearing, the wife shrewish; and we long for a union of love and charity. But in fact never in human history has their been a marriage of a man and woman that completely satisfied this need. But that is the point, we must not forget the end of this passage!

    “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

    Human marriage could never live up to our need for our need was made to be satisfied in God, for a Marriage eternal and unfading. But rather Paul teaches us that human marriage is a shadow of a deeper truth. And that is the key – to understand the distinction between image, shadow and reflection versus reality; and to understand the point and purpose of the reflections at all.

    Now in the reflection there is a danger. It is the common practice of the human heart to make idols, and reflections of what we really seek often make the best idols of all. Sometimes because we become confused, often we are impatient. If we seek to fulfill our need for intimacy in marriage we are destined to be left empty, unsatisfied and consumed for a need which cannot be met as we have sought it. The shadow is not the reality. The aroma of the finest dish is not food itself and a picture of our beloved is not their presence.

    But why then the reflection at all? The Law is another example of a shadow given to us by God. The Law spoke of righteousness, but it could never make us righteous. And in the Law the Pharisees substituted the shadow for the reality of Christ. And in Galatians we are given a clear answer as to the purpose of the shadows. They are meant to instruct us, to tutor us about about a reality which we do not yet fully experience. (Gal 3:21-25)

    Just as an aroma gives us a foretaste of the dish (though it does not fulfill our hunger for it) and as a picture reminds us of the object of affections even as we miss their presence. The very world we live in passing away; yet we, the immortals, live in it and often times find it so distracting. But within this ephemeral life God has provided us shadows of His eternal realities. That we might recognize the important and learn.

    In discussion of biblical ideas of gender roles, egalitarians will often denounce complimentarian thought as elevating men to a “god-like” position in relation to women, that the husband is substituted for Christ.

    This misses the point entirely, of course the husband is not Christ. The reflection is not reality. But marriage is a God-given shadow of an eternal truth, it is to teach us about the reality yet to come. Remember your lessons in school; we learned in two ways: through observation and through practice. A teacher’s lecture or watching a Christ-honoring marriage can teach us a great deal. But most often, a great deal of our learning came through practice. Just as the endless arithmetic problems that most of us didn’t enjoy but that drilled those truths into our heads anyways; living in a marriage provides a practical instruction to us on the nature of an eternal truth. Now just as with the arithmetic problems we can do it wrong, but this fault is introduced by us, the student, not the shadow God has provided us.

    Therefore let us recognize this truth, about these fleeting reflections we are given of the everlasting. But let us also recognize the dangers in reflections; the best husband in the world is not Christ. And to forget this, even in the tiniest is to elevate the shadow into an idolatry following an illusion which will only leave us empty. Let us not condemn them for not being the reality; and be edified by them as they were meant for us. When we recognize that human marriage is not the eternal marriage then it is liberated of our disappointment and elevated to our benefit and God’s glory.

  32. NN,

    Here’s my focus on what you are saying:

    Out of two imperfect fallen human beings, one reflects the perfect ultimate being (God) and the other fallen humanity (the Church).

    Can you explain to me, the logic of possibility on this one, NN?

  33. Pinklight – rather than offer personal commentary of God’s instructions to us I think it might be most profitable to simply examine the direct words of Sacred Scripture.

    Eph 5:22-33 Paul gives us a long commentary and set of instructions on how we are to conduct ourselves in the marriage relationship:

    Wives, [submit] to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own 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 the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

    Then tells us that all of these highly practical bits of instruction for our lives are getting at a deeper truth of the gospel:

    This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

    Nor is this unique in Scripture’s explanation of this issue. Indeed several of the Psalms (e.g. 45), bits of Isaiah, Christ’s own use of the title of “the Bridegroom” & relevant parables, the entire books of Hosea and Song of Songs all speak of marriage and use it as a direct idiom for how we are to understand our relationship to God, represented as the ultimate and loving Husband to His people, His Chosen Bride.

  34. ‘Out of two imperfect fallen human beings, one reflects the perfect ultimate being (God) and the other fallen humanity (the Church).

    Can you explain to me, the logic of possibility on this one, NN”

    Pinklight,

    That is exactly what NN is saying the “sacred text” is teaching. You see, some take metaphors waaaaay too far.

    Actually, If I take NN’s teaching to it’s logical conclusion, it means that I, a woman, cannot be “Christlike” because Jesus is male and only males can represent the Christ part. That is where his interpretation of that metaphor takes us.

    And I disagree with this:
    ‘We human beings are made for marriage, made for ultimate intimacy. We all want it; we all need it. We are made for a relationship in which we are completely known, through our deepest faults and loved despite them. A love so deep and so cleansing that it removes them from us at the cost to our Beloved. This is the Christian idea of marriage.’

    For one reason, the ‘sacred text’ 1 Corin 7 negates the emphatic voice of NN on marriage. Do most people want to marry? yes. Are there some who want to remain single to better serve the Lord? yes. Paul, who wrote the marriage metaphor in Eph is one of those.

    The New Covenant is about making disciples. the OC about being fruitful and multiplying.

    NN is mapping the husband to Christ and the woman to the church in a rigid physical authoritarian sense. it is a spiritual metaphor of the type of LOVE found there. Jesus Christ is the source for the Body.

    Oh, and nevermind that pesky verse 21which kind of ruins the whole comp argument for believing men never submitting to women believers. :o)

    Some think that “sheep” means refers to ignorant smelly pew sitters and the brilliant shepherd (human) must

  35. oops, hit send too soon. I was going to point out taking another metaphor too far as in the sheep/shepherd (pastor) metaphor. it is perfectly ok and good for a sheep to grow in Holiness…sometimes even past the “pastor”. They do not have to remain ignorant sheep. :o)

  36. NN–there is no such things as “headship”. That would be the equivalent of saying “armship” in relation to the body or relationships of any kind. Is the wife the neckship? Or footship? :o)

    One has to understand how “Head” or Kephale was understood in the 1st Century. They thought of the ‘head’ as the source for the body as in eating, breathing, etc.

    They thought the “heart” was where decision making or thinking came from.

    Check out some of the passages where Paul refers to the heart (or see the Greek for when he uses ‘thinking’. etc) and see what I mean.

    The only place where a clear word for authority is used concerning marriage is in 1 Corin and there, it is used for both the husband and wife.

    And you keep forgetting Eph 5:21 which cannot be divorced from that passage in context. Thanks

  37. NN,
    I don’t think you directly answered pinklight’s question. Are you saying that the husband reflects God and the wife reflects the church? If you could answer that one directly first, that would be helpful. Yes or no.

  38. By the way I will be in Minneapolis this week giving three lectures on women in ministry and our freedom to represent Christ and teach His word. Hopefully I don’t have anyone stuck in my spam box during that time as I don’t know how much time I will have to go through email or view this blog. I have been given a very busy schedule so carry on folks without me although I do hope that NN will be forthcoming in spelling out the bottom line of what he is claiming. If I do get time to check on the blog, I will certainly try.

  39. 1, I looked up Baali, and it does not, as you claim, have a primary meaning of husband.
    Strong’s Hebrew lexicon: my master; Baali, a symbolical name of Jehovah
    Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions: “my lord” 1. a deity in the northern kingdom, variation of the name ‘Baal’
    2, Your use of Peter 3: Substitution of terms invalidates your argument. You ask if she should submit to a selfish jerk. Then you use a verse that say she should submit to an unbeliever (we agree it refers to an unbeliever). Unbeliever does not equal selfish jerk.
    The slightest knowledge of human nature would tell you the verse does not speak about obeying a selfish man. The verse speaks of someone motivated to change by submission. A selfish person does not change because his selfishness is rewarded.
    (That is one clue that submission don’t mean obeying selfish whims. Here is another, that to submit you don’t have to obey every order, even when direct sin is not present: http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2011/04/27/%e2%80%9cwives-submit-%e2%80%9d-how/ )
    3, You claim “A sandwich will typically not violate the Word of God – even if the husband ought to have recognized how busy his wife was and not asked her.” :
    The man does violate the word by the sandwich order: The word say that to love others as ourselves, to regard their interests as highly (at least) as our own. This, not submission to husbands, is one of the two great commandments. If you say he don’t violate the word, don’t you care about the simplest and first things of scripture? You see, some things in scripture is bigger than submission – Jesus himself call them bigger.
    And the wife? The Bible say we should edify, exhort and admonish our fellow believers, and to fight against sin, not encourage it. If the wife is married to a fellow believer, why does this not apply to her? You chooce to put a higher premium on submit than on other things the Bible say, without even mentioning why these Bible texts are less important to you.
    4, You think because God use marriage as metaphor, she should picture the gospel one-sidedly with her behavior:
    The Bible never say she can or should show the gospel by submitting. 1 Peter 3:1 say she may win one unbeliever, but not that she picture the gospel. The supplying leader can present a big part of the gospel this way (Hosea was specifically told to do it) but we don’t hear in the Bible of female Hoseas playing the other role- probably because she cannot present a true gospel to the world this way.

    When we read the Bible, we should follow it whole-heartedly, not add meanings (my points 1, 2 and 4) and remember only what we like (point 3)

  40. NN,
    It would be hard to see Paul characterizing the nature of marriage in the way you do, notably in respect to his own singleness in 1 Corinthians 7. He speaks to the single’s freedom from anxieties and freedom to serve with “undivided devotion”. The married man has responsibilities that “divide” his attention. This is balanced by Paul’s affirmation that marital responsibilities are good and also a “gift” (7:6). Paul teaches neither singleness nor marriage is inherently more spiritual or holy, although the freedoms of singleness lead him to say, “I wish that all men were as I am” (7:8). No pining away on his part about not being able to fully reflect anything. There are many single Christians for whom Jesus alone is sufficient for ultimate intimacy.

    Christianity was unique among religions in that it held up single adulthood as a viable way of life. Nearly all religions and cultures made an absolute value of the family and of the bearing of children. There was no honor without family honor, and there was no lasting significance without leaving heirs. By contrast, the early church not only did not pressure people to marry but it institutionally supported poor widows so they did not have to remarry. The ‘sacrifice’ made by singles was not merely ‘giving up sex’ but in giving up heirs. Clearly expressing their belief that one’s future is not guaranteed by the family, but by the kingdom of God.

  41. There are a couple of questions/arguments now coming from several people: I shall try to keep them all straight and answer in individual comments according to question:

    #34That is exactly what NN is saying the “sacred text” is teaching. You see, some take metaphors waaaaay too far.

    Actually, If I take NN’s teaching to it’s logical conclusion, it means that I, a woman, cannot be “Christlike” because Jesus is male and only males can represent the Christ part. That is where his interpretation of that metaphor takes us.
    (this topic is re-covered by several other comments but I shall try to clarify for all in this one response)

    It is quite incontrovertible that Sacred Scripture refers to the relationship between humans and God in the metaphor of a marriage relationship (and I will make no apology for referring to the Bible as either Sacred or Scripture – if you disagree with that there are much more fundamental issues to be addressed). And in this metaphor God always refers to Himself as the Husband/Bridegroom and His Chosen People as his Bride/Wife. As a metaphor – whatever you think it does or doesn’t mean the point is that it must mean something. Therefore, a right marriage relationship between a husband and wife will necessarily be a reflection of Christ and the Church (as God’s chosen metaphor this is inescapable) and a poorly conducted marriage will equally be a twisting and distortion of Christ and the Church. Now, I made no claims as to how the metaphor is supposed to be applied practically – I simply out that it is there in Scripture and therefore has practical consequences (which authors such as Paul discuss at some length).

    And on an aside – this in no way implies that a woman should not be “Christlike” – indeed the Church is herself instructed to be “like Christ.”

  42. On the topic of “being made for marriage” as raised by Lydia & Elaine (34 & 40):
    Let me make sure that I am not misheard:
    Humans – all humans are made for an ultimate marriage in which we experience ultimate intimacy. Where we are completely known, through our deepest faults and loved despite them. For a love so deep and so cleansing that it removes them from us at the cost to our Beloved. This is the Christian idea of marriage.

    But this type of marriage for which we are all made is – just as I said in what I wrote above – something that no human marriage; which nothing on this earth, will ever come close to. This sort of marriage which we all need and for which we were all made is the reality of the relationship which God created and payed for to exist between Christ and the Church.

    This does not mean that everyone needs or ought to be in a human marriage.

    Hope that clarifies the apparent misunderstanding.

  43. To Retha (#39)
    I will answer in two points:

    1) “Baali” is a possessive variant of “Ba’al” a word which is translated master, husband, lord, commander, and used as an epithet of pagan Canaanite deities. (I looked up the Strong’s reference for Ba’al for you – here it is: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1167&t=KJV) So, yes the word does have a primary meaning of “husband” and as such it is commonly used in the OT (e.g. Deu 22:22).

    2) On your assertion:

    The slightest knowledge of human nature would tell you the verse does not speak about obeying a selfish man. The verse speaks of someone motivated to change by submission. A selfish person does not change because his selfishness is rewarded.

    I appreciate your argument – it is the same fundamental argument leveled at Christianity as a whole since the beginning. “Salvation can’t be by grace alone – or people will simply say the words, get a free ticket into heaven and then act however they want to. It will simply be a free license to enable their own selfishness without negative consequences.” But of course the NT deals with this idea of true conversion (e.g. Rom 6:1), and by being an example to the world by turning the other cheek rather than fighting back repeatedly.
    So, I appreciate your arguments, I recognize the weight of psychological journals you have on your side. But I for myself am going to have to go with the Scriptures as the revealed word of God on this one.

  44. NN,
    When you say that marriage is to be like Christ and the church are you inferring from the term Christ that this means Deity or His humanity? Do you have a reference for the husband and wife being like GOD and the church?

  45. Well…. though I am not entirely sure of the question as Christ is fully and inescapably God… Perhaps you are asking about the OT Scriptural passages which refer to the relationship of God to His Chosen People in the metaphor of a marriage relationship.

    I think that I have pointed out a number of these above but here are a few compiled for convenience:

    Jer 31:32 ~ not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD.

    Isa 54:5 ~ 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.

    All of Hosea & Song of Songs… the list goes on.

    (And before anyone says “But you take the metaphor too far”… I am not even offering a suggestion as to what the metaphor of the above verses means – I am merely pointing out that it exists, and that it must mean something, and that therefore human marriage should reflect this – a point dealt with in significant detail by Paul)

  46. Jesus is both God and Man. The Christ is a term for His sinless humanity. While God expresses His relationship with Israel as a husband, He never said that the husband in a human marriage reflects God. So where in the New Testament is it ever said that marriage is a reflection of GOD and the church?

  47. As the designation “Christ” implies, Jesus is the fulfillment of Israel’s messianic hopes, who has come to gather his people under the reign of God (cf. 1:1, 16–17; 11:2). The designation reminds the reader of Jesus’ redemptive involvement with the people (1:21; 2:6; 3:11–12; 4:15–16, 21–25; 9:36–38; 11:2–6), and necessarily assumes the validity of other designations which cast Jesus as Israel’s long awaited Messiah: e.g., “Son of David,” “Son of Abraham,” “King of the Jews,” “Ruler,” “Coming One,” and “Shepherd.”

    Matthew. The College Press NIV commentary (Mt 16:15). Joplin, Mo.: College Press.

    And Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar Jona, because flesh and blood did not reveal (it) to thee, but My Father who is in the heavens.]… is very common in the Talmud and Midrashim as an expression for humanity as contrasted with God;

    Allen, W. C. (1907). Vol. 26: A critical and exegetical commentary on the gospel according to S. Matthew. The International critical commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments (175–176). New York: C. Scribner’s sons.

    I removed the Hebrew expressions from the second quote as my blog doesn’t allow for these foreign characters.

    NN, I think you are running into a problem as you are equating “Christ” as “God” when the two terms are not synonyms. They are not interchangable terms and the Bible never says that the husband is to be a reflection of God to the wife. It is a serious weakness in your argument.

  48. NN, I think you are running into a problem as you are equating “Christ” as “God” when the two terms are not synonyms.

    I am saying that Jesus, the Christ, Messiah of Israel – was fully God [the Son] who became incarnate.

    And as said before, the Scripture repeatedly uses the metaphor of marriage to describe the relationship of Christ (God the Son) to the Church with Christ the Bridegroom (a common title ascribed to Him in the Gospels) and the Church as His Bride.

    If, as your argument asserts above, you do not agree that Jesus was God then I think that there are perhaps more important and fundamental things that we should be talking about.

  49. NN,
    If you read the quotes that I gave, you will see the argument about Christ meaning the anointed one = the Messiah. The Word took on flesh. The flesh is the Messiah. Now if God wanted us to believe that the husband reflects God, He would have said that marriage reflects God and the church. As I said the term God is not the same as the term Christ as the Christ is human. It was the Word who took on flesh not the Father.

    Your view that God is the same as Christ gives you a faulty view of the metaphor of the human Christ and the church. I have found no place at all that ever says that marriage reflects GOD and the church and if I am wrong you will have to correct me. You haven’t done that yet.

    The church is made up of male and female and all of us reflect the church. At the same time all of us reflect Jesus as we are to be made in His image. None of us is to be left out in the reflection of BOTH the church and the Lord Jesus. To say that the male reflect Jesus alone would not be accurate. And to say that the female reflects the church alone would not be accurate.

    If we start with a faulty premise, then the reflection will be muddy and unclear.

  50. NN,
    Let me ask you from your view stated above, is the Father the Christ?

  51. To be absolutely clear,
    I assert that Jesus the Christ, the Messiah of Israel, is God the Son, called the Word, who took on human flesh. That He was in the beginning with God the Father and that He is God. (Jhn 1:1)

    And in accordance with the teaching of Scripture I affirm that marriage reflects the relationship between Christ (who is fully Deity) and the church.

  52. NN,
    To be absolutely clear, is the Father the Christ? Yes or No?

  53. NN,

    I had asked:
    Out of two imperfect fallen human beings, one reflects the perfect ultimate being (God) and the other fallen humanity (the Church).

    Can you explain to me, the logic of possibility on this one, NN?

    I didn’t get a direct answer but I would still like one if you are able to provide one.

    Cheryl:

    NN, I think you are running into a problem as you are equating “Christ” as “God” when the two terms are not synonyms.

    NN’s use of Hosea/Gomer indicated to me that he was doing just that.

  54. pinklight,
    NN’s confusion could be helped if he would just answer the question. Is the Father the Christ? If NN believes that God and Christ are interchangeable then it should not take him long to answer the question. As soon as he answers, his confusion will certainly be evident.

    This illustrates the fact that having a faulty premise distorts anything that is build on that premise. This is a very important thing for all of us to learn.

  55. Do I think that Jesus is interchangeable with the God the Father?
    No.

    Do I think that Jesus, who was the Christ, is fully God – just as much as God the Father (and for that matter the Holy Spirit), and that His Deity is inseparable from His humanity.
    Yes

    Do I believe that Jesus was involved in the Godhead’s communication to humans in the Old Testament?
    Yes, absolutely. (Jhn 8:58 ~ ..”Before Abraham was – I AM.”)

  56. NN,
    That is deflecting because I didn’t ask you those questions. My question is very simple, and I would like you to answer it, yes or no. Is the Father the Christ? Are you able to answer this question or do you choose to pass?

  57. Cheryl,
    Your questions was ambiguous (which can be hard to avoid when discussing the concept of the Trinity) – I answered a set of questions designed to answer your question while avoiding ambiguity.

    So to re-answer yet again: “Is the Father the Christ?”

    Is Jesus is interchangeable with the God the Father?
    – No they are separate persons of the Holy Trinity which comprises the Godhead – each of whom is fully God.

  58. My question was not ambiguous. Here it is straightforward once again. Is the Father the Christ? Yes or no? Or should we assume that your answer is the necessary: No the Father is not the Christ?

  59. NN,
    Since you refuse to answer as I suspected you might, I will provide the answers to others who do not like to play hide and seek. Let’s get this in the open.

    The answer is no. The Father is not the Christ.

    We can aptly say that God is not the Christ because of the human nature that is required for one to be the Christ. The Christ is a Greek term equivalent to the Hebrew term Messiah. It is a term that means anointed one and is a term for the human offspring that would be born to mankind as the human Redeemer. Therefore the Father could not be the Christ because the term “the Christ” is not a term of Deity but a term of the human Redeemer. The Father did not become flesh so that Father did not take on human nature and the Father did not become the Christ.

    Jesus is not just the human offspring promised to come through Eve (the promised one would be the Messiah – Hebrew, the Christ – Greek) but He is fully and completely God Almighty who took on flesh. The term Christ is not a term that He had in eternity but a term he took on as He took on flesh. It is a term in prophecy to be fulfilled in the future (from the OT viewpoint) and in actuality when Jesus Himself took on flesh, but it is not a term that is the nature of God. Therefore the term Christ and the term God are not interchangeable but are distinct.

  60. NN,

    If you have to answer yes and no then just state why for your yes and why for your no.

  61. NN
    (Minor point, meaning of Baali: http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H1180&t=KJV Baali = “my lord”
    1) a deity in the northern kingdom, variation of the name ‘Baal’)

    You say: “So, I appreciate your arguments, I recognize the weight of psychological journals you have on your side. But I for myself am going to have to go with the Scriptures as the revealed word of God on this one.”
    No, scripture is not on your side. Your interpretation is on your side. Scripture don’t say selfish in the text. And scripture clearly, in several ways, show the submission is not what you think it is, as I pointed out from scripture. What is more, I already showed that I love scripture about fighting sin and helping people out of it too, scripture you still choose not to discuss because it does not fit in with your one-sided ignore-the-rest-of-scripture argument. Your way of characterizing disagreement with your understanding as disagreement with scripture tells a lot about you, and it isn’t good…

  62. To #58 – not to be difficult but yes it is an ambiguous construction. “Is ‘A’ ‘B’?” Is ambiguous in natural language as it really asks is ‘A’ isomorphic to or have a shared property relation set to ‘B’? However it does not specify which question is being asked or what isomorphic relationship is in view. Normally natural language provides enough context that we don’t get confused but in the case of such conceptually difficult concepts as the Trinity the ambiguity is best to be careful to avoid. I specified an isomorphic operation (“interchangeable with”) to avoid this ambiguity and answered a resounding ‘No’ (many times now).

    To #59 – you do seem to recognize that Jesus, who was the Christ, was fully God.

    And if we recognize that the Christ was fully and inseparably God then to assert that human marriage reflects Christ but not God is quite exactly non-sense.

  63. NN,
    Jesus had two natures – human and Divine (God). There are times that His human nature is exposed in the Scripture that is completely opposing to the nature of God. God is not hungry. God does not sleep. God cannot die. It is incorrect to say that Jesus’ human nature is inseparable from His being God. This statement is not taught in the Bible. In fact He operates solely in His human nature at times without any hint of omniscience.

    This is why your foundation is so faulty. You have a faulty premise and you have built on that faulty premise. It is most unfortunate because you are one of the smartest people I have met. I think you need to take a step back to understand where the very foundation is wrong.

  64. CHRIST — anointed, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word rendered “Messiah” (q.v.), the official title of our Lord, occurring five hundred and fourteen times in the New Testament. It denotes that he was anointed or consecrated to his great redemptive work as Prophet, Priest, and King of his people. He is Jesus the Christ (Acts 17:3; 18:5; Matt. 22:42), the Anointed One. He is thus spoken of by Isaiah (61:1), and by Daniel (9:24–26), who styles him “Messiah the Prince.”
    The Messiah is the same person as “the seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15), “the seed of Abraham” (Gen. 22:18), the “Prophet like unto Moses” (Deut. 18:15), “the priest after the order of Melchizedek” (Ps. 110:4), “the rod out of the stem of Jesse” (Isa. 11:1, 10), the “Immanuel,” the virgin’s son (Isa. 7:14), “the branch of Jehovah” (Isa. 4:2), and “the messenger of the covenant” (Mal. 3:1). This is he “of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.” The Old Testament Scripture is full of prophetic declarations regarding the Great Deliverer and the work he was to accomplish. Jesus the Christ is Jesus the Great Deliverer, the Anointed One, the Saviour of men. This name denotes that Jesus was divinely appointed, commissioned, and accredited as the Saviour of men (Heb. 5:4; Isa. 11:2–4; 49:6; John 5:37; Acts 2:22).
    To believe that “Jesus is the Christ” is to believe that he is the Anointed, the Messiah of the prophets, the Saviour sent of God, that he was, in a word, what he claimed to be. This is to believe the gospel, by the faith of which alone men can be brought unto God. That Jesus is the Christ is the testimony of God, and the faith of this constitutes a Christian (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 John 5:1).

    Easton, M. (1996). Easton’s Bible dictionary.

  65. To Retha,
    “Ba’aliy” is transliterated from the Hebrew – it is a possessive construction of the root word “Ba’al” with a possesive pronoun suffix and would most exactly be translated as “my Ba’al.” So to understand what it means using Strong’s and how the same word is used throughout Scripture one has to jump to the entry for the word Ba’al – an honorific which carries husband as a primary meaning.

  66. A synonym of Christ = the last Adam. It would be just as correct to say that the mystery is the last Adam and His bride the church.

    And it is interesting that just as the first Adam betrayed his bride and refused to protect her from harm, so the last Adam sacrifice Himself for His bride and He protected her and brought her to Himself.

  67. To Cheryl,
    I believe that it is vital to recognize that though Christ voluntarily adopted the form and even weaknesses of a man that in doing so He never gave up his divinity. And therefore to seek to divorce any of His actions from His unchangeable existence as Deity (including such experiences as hunger and death) will create irreconcilable contradictions in any theological idea.

    Indeed this may clarify what I mean in more detail:
    Human Existance of God Incarnate
    I recently listened to a person assert that the deity of the Christ can be observed in the miraculous nature of his earthly life – that specific passages pointed to his omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. I do not believe this to be the case.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Jesus the Christ was and is Deity and possesses the attributes of Deity. However, these verses do not prove the Christ’s deific attributes and, I think, ultimately create a misunderstanding in the nature of his earthly life.

    Let us take omniscience. The verses used to “demonstrate” the Christ’s omniscience include Mark 2:8, John 2:24-25, John 18:4 which point to the Christ possessing knowledge beyond the scope of typical human experience. But, we must of course understand these verses in the light of such verses as Matt 24:36 (Mark 13:32) ~ “But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” and others. Similarly, though the Christ performs miracles these are not a specific demonstration of direct deific omnipotence – the prophets in the Tanakh performed miracles just as spectacular.

    And I do not believe that this is a matter of great Scriptural mystery. Though Jesus was and is God, when He came to earth he voluntarily took on the limitations of a man; though by nature He had all power and all knowledge He chose to forgo them and not access them – Jesus taking on human nature was essentially an act of voluntarily limiting His deific nature not a hybridization of God with man (Phil 2:6&7).

    And I believe that this point is of more than academic interest which has direct bearing on our lives as Christians. For if He chose to not access this power during His earthly life then that means that His knowledge and His miracles came not as a direct exercise of His power as God but rather came about through reliance on and obedience to the leading of Holy Spirit. And this is a vital point to recognize for this is the same Spirit with whom the Christian is indwelt. To chalk up these verses as aspects of Christ’s deity I think blinds us to the power of the Spirit in the life of the Christian; it can blind us to our own insensitivity and hardheadedness toward the Spirit of God and remove from us the Scriptural instruction into our lives in the example of the Christ’s life.

  68. (baal)
    Owner, possessor, husband, Baal. Ugaritic also has the double use of master and the name of a deity. The root in most semitic languages means either “lord” or, when followed by a genitive, “owner.”
    In addition to ba?al as owner of things, the noun in the plural is used for citizens (ba?alîm) of a city (Josh 24:11). In Jud 9 where the noun occurs sixteen times, ASV consistently translates “men,” but RSV in addition to “men” employs “citizens” (Jud 9:2) and “people” (Jud 9:46). ba?al can refer to partner or ally (Gen 14:13). Idiomatically ba?al as master of something characterizes the person (e.g. ba?al of wrath, Prov 22:24; of appetite, Prov 23:2; of dreams, Gen 37:19) or identifies occupation (e.g. officer, ba?al of the guard, Jer 37:13).

    Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

    The primary meaning of baal is master of something. While it can mean husband, it is the husband as master. That would seem to be the kind of marriage where the wife is not in an intimate relationship with the man, but is owned by him. This is the kind of relationship of master that will be left behind to take on the intimacy of complete union.

  69. NN,
    You said:

    I believe that it is vital to recognize that though Christ voluntarily adopted the form and even weaknesses of a man that in doing so He never gave up his divinity.

    This is inaccurate. The way you are using this wording, the Christ is in existence before He became man. I can see how you are very confused regarding marriage when you seem to think that “Christ” existed before the incarnation of Jesus. It is the Word who is eternal and the Word who became flesh. The Christ did not become flesh, because the Christ did not exist in eternity. It is a term for the humanity of Jesus.

    During this discussion I thought you were being tricky and maybe even deceptive but now it appears that you are just uneducated in the meaning of the term Christ. It isn’t willful on your part, it appears, but ignorance. If you remind me when we get back from our trip, I will see if I can recommend some good material for you to read. Perhaps you could also find someone with seminary education in your church such as your pastor who can help. I think it would be a good thing to get this straightened out in your head as it really is foundational.

  70. Cheryl,
    Though I find it only amusing that you attempt to… let us say educate me about how the dimensionality of time works (my PhD is in physics) – I think that I can get at it from another angle which will be more broadly tractable.

    We both agree that “Christ” as a title refers to Jesus’ (God the Son) role and work as Redeemer of the human race.
    Eph 1:3-4 ~ “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He [the Father] chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world…”

    Paul refers directly to Christ’s pre-existence “before the foundation of the world”… I am not one to argue with Paul writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

    (and while I appreciate your efforts in including bits of commentaries on the meaning of “Christ” & “Messiah” – I think that we will probably both be saved time if I let you know that these are quite superfluous, and that I am well acquainted with both the Greek ideas of Christos and its borrowed use in the NT and the more pertinent Tanakh ideas of ha’Moshiach)

  71. NN,
    You said:

    Though I find it only amusing that you attempt to… let us say educate me about how the dimensionality of time works (my PhD is in physics) – I think that I can get at it from another angle which will be more broadly tractable.

    As I said you are smart, but your PhD in physics will not suffice for this serious study of Scripture. In this you are lacking.

    Ephesians 1:3, 4 is not saying what you think it is saying. *Sigh* It is the choice that was made in eternity past “in Christ” as Christ was foreknown from eternity past. As I said, I think you need to talk to some man whom you will respect who can straighten you out. You are extremely confused on the issue of Christ. Christ is the seed of the woman and was not in existence before the Word became flesh. Paul did not say that Christ existed from eternity past anymore than he said that the church existed from eternity past. Are you seriously going to tell me that because we were chosen from eternity past that we too existed from eternity past? Seriously? All were foreknown in eternity past. Your pastor should easily be able to affirm to you that the seed of the woman did not exist from eternity past but was known from eternity past. It is a statement from prophecy, determined in eternity about the coming Messiah and the Church chosen in Him.

    I have to go now as I have used up my time. Unfortunately you will not find the view that the “Christ” existed before the conception of Jesus except in prophecy, in any theological work. The Word of God as the LORD of hosts was from eternity past. You have stepped outside the line of orthodoxy on this one. It is no wonder that you cannot recognize your error on marriage since you cannot seem to recognize the error in your foundation. I trust that if you are a lover of the truth, you will go to your pastor and get your foundation corrected. I can assure you that having a solid foundation will benefit you. You deserve to at least have that.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

  72. Cheryl,
    I believe that you would agree that the being who we call “Christ” (as a title) existed in what you call “eternity past.” So the only possible contention you can make is that He is not properly called “the Christ” in the context of eternity past. However, since Paul explicitly & unambiguously does so this contention will not bear out unless you wish to maintain that Paul was wrong to do so. Nor ought this be surprising to us – throughout the Tanakh some of the synonymous ideas to the Messiah were “the Coming King” {2 Samuel 7:12–16, Jer 30:8–9, Zech 9:9, many other} and as the “Chosen One” {an idea implicit within the concept of “Messiah” – e.g. Isa 42:1}. And since He was “Chosen” & “Coming” since before the foundations of the earth it should be no surprise when we learn via Paul with absolute certainty that Jesus is properly called “the Christ” in the context of eternity past.

  73. NN,
    You said:

    I believe that you would agree that the being who we call “Christ” (as a title) existed in what you call “eternity past.”

    No, I do not agree. The term the “Christ” was an identification of a particular man who meet the qualifications of being a physical descendent of Abraham. The man called the “Christ” did not exist before the incarnation and no spirit was ever qualified to be called the “Christ” for this is a term of a human being alone.

    o the only possible contention you can make is that He is not properly called “the Christ” in the context of eternity past. However, since Paul explicitly & unambiguously does so this contention will not bear out unless you wish to maintain that Paul was wrong to do so.

    Paul does not say that the “Christ” was in existence in eternity past and he does not say that we existed in eternity past. But both the “Christ” and we the church were chosen by God in eternity past. The “Christ” is not a title as it is an identification of a promised seed. The “Christ” is the physical son of David. He is the physical seed of Eve and the physical seed of Abraham.

    Let me ask you, since the qualification for being the Christ meant that one must be the seed of David and thus qualify to sit on the throne of David, did the seed of David exist in eternity past or was the seed of David born in time and the Word of God existed in eternity past?

    Actually let me set up two questions for you separately so that I don’t get accused of being ambiguous.

    1. According to Ephesians 1:3, 4 did you exist in eternity past?

    2. According to Ephesians 1:3, 4 did the seed of Abraham, David and Eve who is the “Christ” exist in eternity past?

  74. I would also like to add that I have worked in apologetics for many years bringing Jehovah’s Witnesses to faith in Christ. One of the things that JW’s have in common with NN is that they believe that the Christ is a spirit. I am not saying that NN is a cultist, but his agreement with the JW’s on this point is very troubling to me. JW’s believe that Michael the Archangel was raised from the dead and that he (a spirit) takes on the name Jesus Christ as the spirit being who is the Christ.

    I have spent many years proving that the Christ is a man and absolutely cannot be a spirit. It actually hurts my heart to see a Christian fighting to see the identification of the Christ as referring to spirit and not flesh alone. The very proof that Jesus was the Christ was His physical resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:4. No spirit could claim to be the Christ just as no spirit could claim to sit on the throne of David and no spirit could raise himself from the dead and claim that he was the legal son of God. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are dead wrong in claiming that a spirit could be called the “Christ” just as NN is dead wrong. I would be happy to communicate with anyone privately if anyone has a question on this matter. It is an extremely important point of Christian faith as it is the physical resurrection of the man Jesus is the ONLY legal “declaration” named in the Scripture. The word “declared” in Romans 1:4 means:

    from the basic mng.,1. ‘to separate entities and so establish a boundary’, derives the sense ‘to define ideas or concepts’: set limits to, define, explain
    2. to make a determination about an entity, determine, appoint, fix, set

    Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (723). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    As someone who has worked hard to prove the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ (only the man Jesus was resurrected as the Word of God never died) I will not have my blog present false teaching without me presenting the correct biblical response. I have very little time right now so I reserve the right to moderate comments that are against our Christian faith, unless and until I have the time to refute them.

  75. Cheryl,
    This is tiresome – here is a simple series of unambiguous yes/no questions:
    1) Would you agree that the being called Jesus existed in eternity past?
    2) Would you agree that “the Christ” (as a title is synonymous) with the being called Jesus? [i.e. Would you agree that one could not use “the Christ” (capitalized singular reference) to properly mean anything other than the being called Jesus]
    3) Would you agree that Jesus was properly “the Chosen One” and “the Coming One” – both titles distinctively associated with the Messiah – even before He actually took on flesh?

    Now let me be clear on something – if the Christ had never taken on flesh then He could not have fulfilled His work as the Christ. If God the Son had remained a Spirit and never become incarnate then He could not rightly be called “the Christ” for He would not be. And certainly His title of the Christ must necessarily encompass both His full Deity and humanity (His death could not have payed for ours were He not fully God, He could not have died for us were He not truly man). But Scripture very properly speaks of the pre-existence of Jesus – God the Son – who is the Christ, and refers to Him in His role as “the Christ” before He actually took on flesh.

    Finally

    According to Ephesians 1:3, 4 did the seed of Abraham, David and Eve who is the “Christ” exist in eternity past?

    It is clear that you are having trouble with atemporality (which is understandable so let me clarify a last point:
    I had breakfast yesterday – it was a baked oatmeal fruit tart. So we can say that “the being who is herein referred to as NN is none other than the one who had a breakfast of a baked oatmeal fruit tart on 7/17/2011.” However, I was “NN” even before I had the fruit tart. The details of my existence do not mean that I didn’t exist before those details were known.
    Let me apply this to the context of the Christ. The Tanakh clearly taught us that “The Christ” was the one who would come as God in the flesh, teach us the way of salvation, perform signs proclaiming the power and plan of God and die to pay the ransom for our sins in our place. Does this mean that Jesus was not “the Christ” before He died, or before He performed signs, etc? Absolutely not, Jesus the Christ testifies that He is the Christ long before He was actually crucified (Matt 16:16-17)

    (Just for completeness & question answering:
    As to your questions in #72 I do not see a Scripturally provable answer – I have my suspicions but I will rest no belief on them as I cannot prove it (and I recognize when I can’t prove something). However, they are ultimately immaterial to the case in point. Let us presume that I and Abraham etc. did not exist in “eternity past” – it is irrelevant to the pre-existence of the Bibles clear teaching that Jesus, who is the Christ, pre-existed as I have pointed out above.)

  76. NN,
    Your main confusion appears to be in your insistence that Christ as a “being” without identifying that He has two natures.

    1) Would you agree that the being called Jesus existed in eternity past?

    No, Jesus the man did not exist in eternity past. His nature as God existed as YHWH of hosts but his nature as man did not exist until the incarnation. You are in serious error.

    2) Would you agree that “the Christ” (as a title is synonymous) with the being called Jesus? [i.e. Would you agree that one could not use “the Christ” (capitalized singular reference) to properly mean anything other than the being called Jesus]

    Jesus does not have just one nature as we do and his title as His identification as Christ is ONLY tied to His human nature. Therefore it is improper identification to name the Word of God as the Christ since He had no human nature until the incarnation.

    3) Would you agree that Jesus was properly “the Chosen One” and “the Coming One” – both titles distinctively associated with the Messiah – even before He actually took on flesh?

    Since Jesus did not exist prior to the incarnation of the Word, the identification of the Messiah is in prophecy alone. It is improper to identify the Word as the Messiah just as it would be improper to identify the Word of God as the offspring of David. It would be a category error just as Catholics practice by saying that Mary is the mother of God. They too believe that Jesus is one being i.e. He has one nature thus Mary has to be the mother of God. That reasoning is flawed and throughout the history of the church, the two natures of Christ have been taught and defended and the church did not talk about the one “being” of Jesus. This is where your error starts and your foundation crumbles.

    However, I was “NN” even before I had the fruit tart. The details of my existence do not mean that I didn’t exist before those details were known.

    Were you human before you ate the fruit tart? Of course because you only have one nature. Was the Word of God human before He became incarnated? No. He was not human nor was He the seed of Abraham before He took on flesh. You are fully confused about Jesus as one being as you cannot separate His two natures. This is why you are in such error about Christ and the Church. You see Christ as being the same thing as the term God but the two are not the same. The church has not given these terms the same meaning nor has the church defined Christ as one being. The church has defined Christ as having two natures and the church has emphasized these two natures. When you confuse them you enter into error such that you will find yourself deceived on many things. I would love to help you, but it seems like you are refusing my help as if a woman is incapable of correcting a man. Such would be the case if you are specially qualified because you are a man.

    I cannot recommend strongly enough for you to get yourself out of the Physics mindset and into proper theology for you are confusing the categories to the point of serious error.

    The Tanakh clearly taught us that “The Christ” was the one who would come as God in the flesh, teach us the way of salvation, perform signs proclaiming the power and plan of God and die to pay the ransom for our sins in our place. Does this mean that Jesus was not “the Christ” before He died, or before He performed signs, etc? Absolutely not, Jesus the Christ testifies that He is the Christ long before He was actually crucified (Matt 16:16-17)

    Jesus was the Christ at his conception, but He was not legally declared Christ with the necessary proof until His resurrection. He was NOT declared Christ as the Word of God, nor was He called the Christ in eternity past. The term is always one of prophesy unfulfilled in the past and prophesy fulfilled in the man Jesus.

    NN, you are a very smart man, but your Physics degree has clouded your mind to make you lift up the male as being some type of uber being declared as the only representatives of God. This kind of thinking will not allow you to accept basic Christian doctrine so you continue in your error because it appears to fit into your agenda. I don’t know how else to see it. That makes me feel very sad because you are obviously gifted and knowing the truth would allow you to be so helpful to others.

    (Just for completeness & question answering:
    As to your questions in #72 I do not see a Scripturally provable answer – I have my suspicions but I will rest no belief on them as I cannot prove it (and I recognize when I can’t prove something).

    I am glad that you realize that you can’t prove something, but it is very, very sad to realize that you choose to believe something that you can’t prove from the Scriptures as truth.

    However, they are ultimately immaterial to the case in point. Let us presume that I and Abraham etc. did not exist in “eternity past” – it is irrelevant to the pre-existence of the Bibles clear teaching that Jesus, who is the Christ, pre-existed as I have pointed out above.)

    It is not immaterial at all. The Bible NEVER says that the Christ is in existence as a spirit. NEVER!! Show me the Scripture that speaks of Christ as existing in the past rather than a prophetic word about the man who will come at the incarnation. Your faith in the unprovable makes you highly questionable to be teaching anybody anything about Christ’s relationship with the husband. Seriously, I would recommend that you get help because you are a worth while person to receive correction.

    I am going to put you on moderation now because I have to get back to my study. I am preparing for an interview that we will shoot that will be a part of our next DVD and I need to get my questions ready. If I let your comments go through right now I won’t get my work done and we leave early tomorrow. I am putting you on moderation not because I don’t like you. I do like you and I think you are a very intelligent brother in Christ. But your error cannot go unchallenged so I am giving myself the necessary breathing room. Fair enough? So go ahead and post what you want. I will let the posts go through when I am in a position to respond. Thanks!

  77. Cheryl,
    (I hope that you will allow this to post as I will not make argument but limit myself to closing remarks)

    It has nothing to do with physics but of basic logic and semantic dexterity. I honestly don’t think (I hope) that you believe differently regarding the fundamental nature of God the Son’s pre-existent nature than I would. And I will be the first to point out that topics like Jesus pre-existence are very difficult to handle in discussion because our language is constructed to handle concepts like “3 golf balls” and “tomorrow” it is not constructed to handle topics like “Trinity” or “eternity”. Indeed I am greatly reassured versus some of your original words on how we should not not “equate Christ with God” – I presume that you can understand the concern that these sorts of statements might raise given your interaction with cultist groups.

    I would point out a trap of your words that perhaps you have not realized. You say

    Christ is ONLY tied to His human nature

    However, the Christ was both fully God and fully man He could not have been the Christ were He not fully God. Therefore to assert that the title of “the Christ” refers only to His human nature would be quite contrary to Scripture.

    Indeed one thing that I cannot rule out from your words which still worries me is that you would assert that God the Son did not exist as a separate Person in “eternity past” but was somehow synthesized from a previously unified Godhead in the incarnation. I suspect (again hope) that you don’t believe this but I put it out there to clarify.

    In the end I have more than exhausted what time I can devote to chasing this rabbit trail – so I will close only by stating that I believe with high confidence that you are wrong in your exact assertions about the Christ and that I can prove it Biblically…. however that it is very slight error and lies mostly in poorly constructed semantics and therefore not worth the time to quibble about.

    I sign off with the Words of Jesus who is the Christ to the Pharisees who questioned Jesus (the man in front of them) about His pre-existence: “Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

  78. It is not immaterial at all. The Bible NEVER says that the Christ is in existence as a spirit. NEVER!!

    Division.
    This view, in so many words, of Christ began haunting me once I learned about the existence of the complementarian view. I think the idea that “Christ is in existence as a spirit” or “was in existence as a spirit” before the incarnation, is one logical conclusion of “complementarianism thought”…
    I learned a saying some years ago – Logic can take one right over a cliff – but I never forgot.

  79. I remember now that when I first learned of the complementarian view I had also learned of a hierarchal view of the Trinity from the same complementarian.

  80. ‘(and I will make no apology for referring to the Bible as either Sacred or Scripture – if you disagree with that there are much more fundamental issues to be addressed).”

    I believe it is sacred and therefore not to be perverted by adding to scripture what is not there. by calling it ‘sacred’ you mean to add a red herring that anyone who disagrees with you does not agee that it is sacred. When the truth is we do not believe your interpretation of the sacred text is correct. Your use of the word “sacred” is a tactic. I was simply pointing that out.

  81. ‘I appreciate your argument – it is the same fundamental argument leveled at Christianity as a whole since the beginning. “Salvation can’t be by grace alone – or people will simply say the words, get a free ticket into heaven and then act however they want to. It will simply be a free license to enable their own selfishness without negative consequences.” But of course the NT deals with this idea of true conversion (e.g. Rom 6:1), and by being an example to the world by turning the other cheek rather than fighting back repeatedly.’

    NN, You are equating your definition of biblical submission with salvation. Bad form. And another red herring.
    ?

  82. “I remember now that when I first learned of the complementarian view I had also learned of a hierarchal view of the Trinity from the same complementarian”

    This fits in with their view of “Jesus” reporting to God in the OT. Their hierarchal ordering of the Trinity fits with this view. Which is how they can map Eph 5 as:

    God to man.
    Woman to church.

    So, they map His essence as God/authority to the husband …instead of mapping His humanity, which gave up His life for us, to the husband.

    They map the essence of God but not the loving action of Christ the human, to husbands.

    That is what I meant by taking a metaphor way to far. It is a metaphor of LOVE. Not heirarchy.

    His two natures are outlined here in Phil 2:

    6 In his very nature he was God.
    But he did not think that being equal with God was something he should hold on to.
    7 Instead, he made himself nothing.
    He took on the very nature of a servant.
    He was made in human form.
    8 He appeared as a man.
    He came down to the lowest level.
    He obeyed God completely, even though it led to his death.
    In fact, he died on a cross.
    9 So God lifted him up to the highest place.
    He gave him the name that is above every name.
    10 When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone’s knee will bow to worship him.
    Every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth will bow to worship him.
    11 Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord.
    And God the Father will receive the glory.

  83. Lydia,
    I really appreciate what you have said @79, 80 & 81. I completely agree.

  84. Can I send out a dumb layperson’s SOS? I’m no theologian (nor do I have a PhD in physics) and in fact I’m rather new to Christianity at least as an adult so I will fully admit that I need things dumbed down in this area of study, in other words I am beyond lost.
    Here’s where I am (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong):
    Jesus was fully human and fully God. To be “the Christ” he had to be fully human. So the term Christ refers to his humanity(?) I think. So I think I get that. My question is how does all of this fit into complementarian vs. egalitarian viewpoints regarding women? I’m not really seeing where these issues are connected.

    I’m sorry for being such an absolute dunce by the way, but I really am confused.

  85. I’ll take a stab at answering your question simply. I’m sure others can flesh it out more eloquently. There are two issues swimming in this debate:

    1. Comps believe Jesus, though “equal” with God, is eternally subordinate to God the Father. Jesus the Son’s role is to do the Father’s will. Egals believe Jesus as the Christ, or the Incarnate Son, was subordinate to the Father’s will while on earth as man; but is now given all authority in heaven and on earth. And Jesus the Word in eternity past was not “in submission” to the Father, but One with Him in will and authority.

    When Comps argue Jesus was the Christ for all eternity (past and future), it is part of their belief that Jesus was a subordinate member of the Trinity…hence wives can be a subordinate member of the marriage unity without affecting her equality, just like Jesus did.

    2. The other issue being addressed is whether the term Christ is synonymous with God. Comps (at least NN) say yes, it is. Because they believe that, they can then apply all the God passages to the husband. Why? Because the husband is to act like Christ…God.

    Egals take issue with this because it implies men must behave not just as Christ, Jesus the sacrificial man, but like transcendent God to their wives. And flipped, wives must respond to their husbands if He is playing the “God” role. Egals believe this is taking the metaphor WAY too far.

    Hope that helps!

  86. dogmadekate,

    So I think I get that. My question is how does all of this fit into complementarian vs. egalitarian viewpoints regarding women? I’m not really seeing where these issues are connected.

    The issue is how complementarians interpret the term “the Christ” as being synonymous with “God” and is connected to where the matter begins in the first place which is with Eph 5, where the wife is told to submit to the husband, (who is the head of the wife) as the Church submits to Christ. Since “the Christ” is taken to refer to Jesus’ divinity rather than just his humanity, the comp husband then views himself in a position like God to his wife. Being in a position like God to his wife, based on Eph 5, the comp then applies other passages where God is spoken of as a husband to his people, and he then applies those to himself.
    Hope that helps.

  87. Based on a misunderstanding of the term “the Christ”, basically this is how the complementarian reads Eph 5:

    Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head (authority) of the wife AS Christ, (who is God with authority) is the head (authority) of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, (who is God with authortiy) so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

  88. Cheryl,

    I just wanted to say that the idea of Christ existing in eternity past doesn’t compute. The idea for me divides the Trinity in such a way that God is no longer one. If Christ existed in eternity past then God is not one. I don’t think I could explain my thought process on this, especialy anytime soon, but that is what the idea in effect means to me.

  89. This Ephesians 5 issue with “the Christ” reminds me of the a similar complementarian interpretive problems with 1 Corinthians 11 where “God” is thought to refer to “the Father” when the context supports otherwise.

  90. Thank you to Kbonikowsky and PinkLight for shedding light on this for me. I get it now. I had come to believe that Jesus IS God and therefore, except when taking on the role of the Messiah, could be nothing but equal to God. Which is part of why the complementarian view was confusing to me. The Trinity is kind of hard to conceptualize I think so I wanted to make sure I was understanding the complementarian and egalitarian views correctly.

    The whole idea that comps believe the husband to be like God to their wives…I just really don’t even know what to say about that except, maybe, wow. I’m really not trying to sound snarky, but that’s just, whoa.

    I can honestly say that I really didn’t grasp the fact that this issue ran so deep so thank you both for helping me out here. I’m definately interested to see where the rest of this discussion goes and to learn a bit more about what I once considered to be something of a “side-issue”.

  91. dogmadekate,

    Which is part of why the complementarian view was confusing to me.

    The comp view in as much as the Trinity is concerned definitely confused me also…The comp conceptualizes “the Christ” as a person/being, who’s nature’s cannot be seperated from eachother, when reading Ephesins 5, therefore looking on both his human and divine nature with emphasis ofcourse on his divine nature because of the authority it entails, rather than understanding the correct use of the term/title and that his nature’s can be seperated one from another. God did not die.

    The whole idea that comps believe the husband to be like God to their wives…I just really don’t even know what to say about that except, maybe, wow. I’m really not trying to sound snarky, but that’s just, whoa.

    Wow is right. I feel the same way. It’s pretty amazing isn’t it how one can elevate themselves so highly above another and what’s more is so highly even above the person who they are to be one with! When the husband is mapped to Christ and his saving work in Eph 5, it’s “how low can he go” not how high.

  92. Eph 5
    22 Wives, to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    Looking at v23, when did God die? This little amount of context doesn’t even support the comp misunderstanding of the term “the Christ.”

  93. dogmadekate,

    “The whole idea that comps believe the husband to be like God to their wives…I just really don’t even know what to say about that except, maybe, wow. I’m really not trying to sound snarky, but that’s just, whoa.”

    No need for any concern whatsoever on being snarky, in my view. It is a repulsive idea (& ridiculous), and the negative reaction you have is nothing but logical and appropriate.

    I feel in American christian culture, generally speaking, there is this pervasive belief that harmony and the feeling of that “sweet sweet spirit in this place” must be preserved at all times & at all costs.

    Even at the cost of our natural reactions to something that is clearly wrong, harmful, unjust, etc.

    The result is surrendering one’s conscience to the institution.

    So frigntening.

  94. Elastigirl,

    It really is a horrible idea, kinda funny too actually. And it’s crazy the things people will believe. And to think that some believe that the husband being in such a position is love, is even weirder. I don’t get it???

  95. How low can you go, not how high, that is the kind of love asked of husbands by Paul. It’s about serving and giving up self and not playing God. The idea of being God to the wife is completely backwards, and that is scary!!

  96. “The idea of being God to the wife is completely backwards, and that is scary!!”

    I agree, it is scary. It has taken me years to acknowledge just how scary–that it is so scary I shouldn’t trust these folks. Right now, I won’t even give money to “Christian” organizations who teach compism. If they can take a scripture and teach that it means the opposite of what it says, what else do they teach that is the opposite of scripture? And what do they teach that misses the narrow way and walks in the ditch instead–while they claim it is the genuine path to God? It took me 15-20 years to finally see what was wrong with their teaching on marriage, and now I am beginning to see other teaching, like about the relationship between God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit that are also false, and are used to shore up their anti-biblical marriage doctrine.

    “I can honestly say that I really didn’t grasp the fact that this issue ran so deep so thank you both for helping me out here. I’m definately interested to see where the rest of this discussion goes and to learn a bit more about what I once considered to be something of a “side-issue”.”

    Dogmadekate, many people think this is a side issue and just nit picking on the egalitarian’s part. But it isn’t a side issue at all. To say that Jesus must subject himself to the Father throughout eternity, and that wives must have the same subjection/obedience to their husbands ends up effecting nearly every aspect of the life of every Christian. We are so interconnected. Since our society is so male-led, it effects nearly everything without our being aware of it. For example, who decided that houses should be square/rectangular and “square with the world?” If houses were first built by women, would we have different houses today? Who decided that taking advantage of others is power? Why didn’t the concept of serving others (like they did in Tibet, as shown in the movie “7 years in Tibet”) become the societal norm? Both of these touch all of our lives every day, yet we are mostly not aware of them. How many more doctrinal details effect our lives daily because of the pro-male power structure they teach, yet we are (or I am) unaware of them?

  97. Waneta,

    If they can take a scripture and teach that it means the opposite of what it says, what else do they teach that is the opposite of scripture? And what do they teach that misses the narrow way and walks in the ditch instead–while they claim it is the genuine path to God?

    What compels anyone to teach the opposite of the second greatest commandment? Jesus commanded, do to others as one would like done to them. So if one is in a position to be like God to his wife, one then cannot even love his wife as commanded to do so, as himself because there is no comparison between God and fallen humanity (the Church). And though a husband is not commanded to go further than that, a husband is instructed by Paul to do so. Comp doctrine teaches men to break the second greatest commandment. Is that the path to God?

  98. It’s one thing to not live up to the commandment, but it’s another thing to teach people to break it.

  99. Pinklight,
    But a comp would argue that husbands are to be loving leaders. My response? The “loving leadership” they teach, has pastors and husbands leading wives into the ditch (where the husbands have their way with them). Actually, comp teaching directs both wives and husbands into the ditch.

    Your comment about breaking the second commandment, gave me a lightbulb moment. With husbands usurping God’s place, (while they claim God told them to do it, and they deny that they are actually asserting themselves as higher than God by claiming a commandment that isn’t there and that is the opposite of what is there) they are breaking BOTH the first and the second commandment. They are loving themselves, not God, with all their heart, soul mind and strength, and their love for neighbor-wife has more to do with what she does for them, and how they can obtain obedience from her and dictate how her life shall be, not for how they can serve her.

    So they not only teach men to break the second commandment, they also teach men to break the first one. They also break the first of the 10 commandments: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Compism is men’s shrine to themselves, and they bow down to the god of husband authority…

  100. Waneta,

    But a comp would argue that husbands are to be loving leaders.

    I know. But really, the funny thing is, what would such an argument in response, that says “husbands are to be loving” change? Egals and comps both say that husbands are to be loving! So the argument in response, techinicaly only amounts to, “Well, but husbands are still to be leaders.”

    The “loving leadership” they teach, has pastors and husbands leading wives into the ditch (where the husbands have their way with them). Actually, comp teaching directs both wives and husbands into the ditch.

    I agree, at least, certainly when it comes to the comps who argue for complementarianism and at least for the reason that, teaching any to break the second greatest commandment encompasses leading husband and wife into the ditch. They are leading the way to break the commandment.

  101. Waneta,

    … they are breaking BOTH the first and the second commandment. They are loving themselves, not God, with all their heart, soul mind and strength

    That makes sense. It makes sense that the husband is usurping God’s place when he must be as God to his wife, and therefore he is taking God’s place and by doing that he is breaking the first commandment.

  102. Waneta,

    and their love for neighbor-wife has more to do with what she does for them, and how they can obtain obedience from her and dictate how her life shall be, not for how they can serve her.

    Right, and the reason is becasue it’s not about how the husband can love his wife as himself or do to her as he would like done to himself but rather it’s about elevating himself to be as God to his wife, placing himself over her, which ofcourse he himself would not want his wife to do to him. And as God to his wife he can dictate to her life to her, and obtain obidience if he wanted to from her. And what does dictating and obtaining obidience at will if he wanted to have anything to do with serving her?

  103. Waneta,

    not for how they can serve her.

    Authority first, for otherwise there would be no complementarian view, therefore this is correct. It certainly isn’t first about serving the wife. It is foremost about being in authority over the wife.

    They also break the first of the 10 commandments: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Compism is men’s shrine to themselves, and they bow down to the god of husband authority…

    So that I understand what you are saying here on this point, could you elaborate?

  104. Authority first, for otherwise there would be no complementarian view, therefore this is correct. It certainly isn’t first about serving the wife. It is foremost about being in authority over the wife.

    What’s the saying, “How often do you see people fighting over who is going to be last, a servant or a slave to another?” The comp view on the other hand, is in opposition to the the egal view, because of authority/power over the wife. There is no such thing as the “complementarian” view without authority!

  105. Authority first, wives second. That’s hierarchy!

  106. Can i go back to the Trinitarian discussion between NN and Cheryl. Cheryl, here is a passage from Col 1.15ff

    “?He is the image of ?the invisible God, ?the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by? him all things were created, ?in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether ?thrones or ?dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created ?through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things ?hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is ?the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the ?fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and ?through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, ?making peace ?by the blood of his cross.”

    My question is this, who is the He/he/him?

    Because to me, it seems like the He who is the firstborn is the same He who made all things (pre-incarnate). He is before all things (pre-incarnate) and also the head of the Church (incarnate). He is the firstborn from the dead (incarnate) has the fullness of God dwelling in him and made peace by the cross (incarnate).

    So who is the He/he/him?

    If we say Jesus Christ, this seems to contradict what Cheryl has said regarding the pre-incarnate Word (who cannot be called ‘the Christ’ and therefore cannot be the one who sustains the world and made it according to this text). If we say Word, it contradicts Cheryl because the head of the Church is the incarnate God/man who is obviously called ‘Jesus Christ’.

    So this whole debate seems like semantics over titles. Can both sides not affirm the orthodox belief in a two natured Christology, without confounding the two, nor seperating them?

  107. Patrick,
    You said:

    So who is the He/he/him?

    If we say Jesus Christ, this seems to contradict what Cheryl has said regarding the pre-incarnate Word (who cannot be called ‘the Christ’ and therefore cannot be the one who sustains the world and made it according to this text). If we say Word, it contradicts Cheryl because the head of the Church is the incarnate God/man who is obviously called ‘Jesus Christ’.

    Let’s cut to the quick. What Scripture ever calls the pre-incarnate Word the Christ except in future prophecy? If I am wrong, prove me wrong by showing just one Scripture that lists the LORD of hosts in eternity past as existing as the Christ in eternity past. Once I see your proof, we should be able to discuss your points. If you have no Scripture, then perhaps you can explain how the term “Christ” can be given to God in eternity past as His name.

  108. Cheryl,

    I’m rather confused here. With the prior discussion you had alot of things seemed to be thrown around which either meant misunderstanding and/or claims of deviance from orthodoxy.

    Therefore i gave you a simple passage and asked one simple question. Who is the He/he/him? Let me re-phrase that if you like. What name do you give to He/he/him? That is simply all i want to know.

    I believe it would solve the rather circular arguments of earlier which seemed to be dancing more around semantics from what i could see. I am not claiming any sort of pre-incarnate position on names etc, all i want you to do is fill in the blanks…what name do we give to the He in the Colossians passage?

    Can you please simply answer that?

  109. Patrick,

    I’m rather confused here. With the prior discussion you had alot of things seemed to be thrown around which either meant misunderstanding and/or claims of deviance from orthodoxy.

    No, you are not. You have seminary education so you know what the answer is to your question. I would be perfectly happy to answer your question so that others will be educated. But before I do, I want you to answer my two questions.

    1. Will you admit that you are Mark posting under another name?
    2. Please give me even one Scripture where God is called the Christ before the incarnation.

    Two very simple questions that you should be able to answer. But then Mark never answered questions and that was why I put him under moderation. It’s my blog and I will answer for others benefit, but I want you to answer my questions and we can move on. Fair enough?

  110. Cheryl asked

    2. Please give me even one Scripture where God is called the Christ before the incarnation.

    In the interests of not writing a tome pointing to the various texts I shall give a single simple answer:
    Psalm 2: “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed…” (Annointed =”Messiah” in Hebrew = “Christ” in Greek)

    Which indisputably refers to God the Son as the “Messiah” in the OT (unless one wanted to suggest that this verse isn’t actually about Jesus who proclaimed Himself to be the prophesied Christ… Heb 1:13)

    (Of course Dan 9:25 also immediately comes to mind… but I promised not to write a tome…)

    Post Scriptum: don’t worry no plans or time to actually jump back into any extended discussion – just thought I would deliver a quick answer

  111. NN,
    The Scripture you quoted is one of prophecy about a future time. Context:

    Psalm 2:6–9 (NASB95)
    6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King
    Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”

    7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD:
    He said to Me, ‘You are My Son,
    Today I have begotten You.
    8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance,
    And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.
    9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron,
    You shall shatter them like earthenware.’ ”

    This is written as prophecy about a future time and the book of Hebrews confirms this passage refers to Christ after his resurrection when he became High Priest:

    Hebrews 5:5 (NASB95)
    5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him,
    “YOU ARE MY SON,
    TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”;

    My challenge still stands. Please show any scripture that calls God “the Christ” before the incarnation. A prophesy about the incarnation and fulfilled only through the incarnation certainly does not qualify. Any Scripture that calls the LORD of hosts as The Christ would do. Or any Scripture that calls the LORD God as The Christ would be sufficient. Any Scripture outside of the incarnation will do. No doubt at all that Psalms 2 is about the incarnation. Perhaps you have a commentary from a reputable scholar who suggests that Psalms 2 calls God the Christ outside of the incarnation.

    I will get to your other tome when I have much more time.

    I appreciate anytime someone tries to answer me. Go ahead and search some more and see what you can find outside the incarnation. I have never seen it, but then I subject myself to learning when the Scriptures speak otherwise.

  112. Oh and Daniel 9:25 is another clear prophecy about the coming Messiah. But what about calling God in eternity “the Christ”? It never happened.

  113. 2:2 The kings … take their stand … against the LORD. To reject the Lord’s anointed king was to reject God himself. The Psalmist (David, according to Acts 4:25) would understand the expression his Anointed One (as in 1 Sam 26:11) to refer to the human king whom God had chosen to maintain justice in the land. Yet here is also a foreshadowing of the Messiah who was to come; that is, Jesus. To reject him is to reject the God who sent him (cf. Matt 10:40; John 12:48).

    The College Press NIV commentary. (93).

    2:2 The king is the Lord’s “anointed” (mashiah means “anointed one”, translated into Greek as christos). Every legitimate king was a “messiah” (1 Sm 16:13; 2 Kg 11:12); but the biblical writers prophesied that a greater king was coming, the Messiah (e.g., Is 9:2–7; Jr 23:5–6; Ezk 34:23–24; cp. 2 Sm 7:11–15). To reject God’s anointed king is to reject God.

    The Apologetics Study Bible: Real Questions, Straight Answers, Stronger Faith (789–790).

    The term “Christ” or “Messiah” was always seen as the term that referred to a human king who would represent God. This is why it is not a term that is referred to God in eternity past, but always points to the incarnation.

  114. I am going to answer Mark here regarding his comment as “Patrick” on post #105.

    My question is this, who is the He/he/him?

    Because to me, it seems like the He who is the firstborn is the same He who made all things (pre-incarnate). He is before all things (pre-incarnate) and also the head of the Church (incarnate). He is the firstborn from the dead (incarnate) has the fullness of God dwelling in him and made peace by the cross (incarnate).

    So who is the He/he/him?

    If we say Jesus Christ, this seems to contradict what Cheryl has said regarding the pre-incarnate Word (who cannot be called ‘the Christ’ and therefore cannot be the one who sustains the world and made it according to this text). If we say Word, it contradicts Cheryl because the head of the Church is the incarnate God/man who is obviously called ‘Jesus Christ’.

    So this whole debate seems like semantics over titles. Can both sides not affirm the orthodox belief in a two natured Christology, without confounding the two, nor seperating them?

    In Colossians 1, the context is the person that existed prior to the incarnation and continued to exist in the incarnation as Jesus. The same “person” who is the head of the Church is the “person” who created the world. However it is never said that “the Christ” created the world as this term is in Scripture before the coming of Jesus is found only in prophecy and after the incarnation is shown as the fleshly human who is the God-man. At this point I have never read anyone claim that a fleshly human created the world so the term “the Christ” as the one who created the world is not used. It is the “person” who remains constant from eternity past to eternity future, but “the Christ” has a beginning in the flesh. The Christ is always a term of flesh therefore God is never called “The Christ” prior to the LORD of hosts emptying Himself to take on flesh to become the man Jesus Christ.

    I felt that is was important to answer the question that Mark posed to me as “Patrick” even though Mark has apparently left my blog. These are very important issues and it is highly important to understand the the term Christ cannot be attached to anyone who is not flesh. The Christ is the fleshly offspring of David and The Christ in the flesh will sit on David’s throne. No spirit is ever qualified to be the seed of David and no spirit is every called “The Christ”.

    I hope this helps.

  115. Pinklight (102),
    “‘They also break the first of the 10 commandments: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Compism is men’s shrine to themselves, and they bow down to the god of husband authority…’

    So that I understand what you are saying here on this point, could you elaborate?”

    (sorry for the delay in answering. Life has been a zoo around here!) Actually, you answer the question quite well yourself! But it may be helpful to go into more detail for those who have not given this much thought.

    Any person, place or thing that is more important to us than God, becomes a god to us–a god that we are placing ahead of the triune God Almighty. There are many scriptures that tell us what behaviors indicate a true love for God. As you mentioned, treating others as we would like to be treated is one, laying down our lives for others is another, love is not self-seeking, it is not proud and does not consider itself superior, it genuinely seeks the best FOR OTHERS instead of the best for ourselves. (in spite of the comp denial of husband superiority in their teaching, the dictionary meaning makes it clear that authority includes superiority, or “ascendency.” So the comps are claiming that husbands and wives are equal, but with different roles. The husband has the role of superiority, and the wife has the role of inferior second-fiddle. Their denial is all semanics.) When we love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, there will be no room for other gods. Because God is love and His influence on us causes His love to infill us as well and also to flow out to others, we will love others and will not seek to be preeminent.

    Both the husband authority teaching, and many of the husbands who practice husband authority insist on husband preeminence over their wives. Although some claim the “job” of final decision-maker is not one they want to do, those who beat the husband-authority drum DO want that final say-so. Furthermore, the teaching tells wives to only give their view once and at the most twice, and then to shut up. Wives are not just talked to, preached to, advised to, but they are also pressured to take the lesser, the second fiddle position, and even to push their husbands into the preeminent position. Yet, the Bible tells us only GOD is to have the preeminent position. Pushing husbands into the preeminent position, when it is against so many scriptures, puts husbands ahead of God. Comp husbands are insisting on taking God’s place in their wives’ lives, as well as in their own. Because enforcing their authority is more important to them, they don’t have to be kind, loving, gentle, peaceable, forgiving, good, or patient with their wives, but the wives MUST show all these evidences of the Fruit of the Spirit. By ignoring the scriptures they don’t want to obey, excusing or explaining away other passages–like claiming Ephesians 5:21 “Submitting one to another in the fear of God,” means some submitting more than others–they have indeed put themselves above God Almighty. They have imposed their own bias upon God’s Word, and made themselves and their own desires superior to God’s Word.

    “Compism is men’s shrine to themselves, and they bow down to the god of husband authority…'”
    In other words, they have put their own teaching above scripture, and the whole complementarian doctrine is aimed at keeping themselves in the king/god position, even while they deny this is so. Any scripture they can twist to bolster husband-authority, they teach with frequency and fervency. They’ve established an entire group, Christians for Biblical manhood and womanhood, to pressure others to elevate men and husbands. Any scripture that would show their husband-authority teaching to be false they ignore or explain away. They’ve even twisted their teaching on the trinity to resemble their husband-authority doctrine, in spite of the fact that the trinity involves a 3rd “member” and therefore is a poor symbol for a 2-person relationship, even if the Father did expect subjection from the Word who became His Son, which there is no indication that The Father did, except when the Word became flesh. Their misuse of the trinity would suggest a dominant husband with 2 second-fiddle wives.

    Indeed, the discussion about Christ always being submissive to the Father is being used to argue for wives always being subject and secondary to their husbands. And that is why they are so adamant that Christ was always Christ and always secondary to the Father, even though the Bible says that The Word’s subjection has to do with the incarnation.

    These male complementarian teachers are not ignorant, they are twisting scripture purposely. (That is a VERY difficult charge for me to make! Everything in me wants to believe this is not so, but the evidence says otherwise.) They are college educated, and have many resources at their disposal. Yet a very brief look at a concordance by someone with no divinity degree makes it clear they don’t have a leg to stand on. Most of the OT uses of the word “God” refers to a plural God, including Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So the plural God, the triune God, apparently in unison said “Let us make man in our image.” Genesis indicates the triune God was 100% submitted one to another! The Father was just as submitted to the Holy Spirit and to the Word as those 2 were submitted to the Father. Genesis 1:26 is not God the Father telling the rest of the trinity what to do, nor is it God the Son or God the Holy Spirit making a meek suggestion to the dominant Father.

    Similar to how Nebuchadnezzar defended his statue, commanded everyone to bow down to the statue, and punished those who did not, the male complementarians are defending, commanding, and punishing in support of their god. Only in this case, their god is themselves. And they claim a large portion of society’s ills are the direct result of both men and women who refuse to bow down to the men’s shrine of husband-authority. If husbands just made sure that wives made themselves into their husbands’ personal whores, did everything their husbands want, effaced themselves and made sure the families revolve around the wishes of the husbands and made the husbands the centerpin, the top dog, the kingpin of the family, then families would stay intact, husbands would be loving, children would have their priorities straight, and generation after generation would be decent God-fearing people.

    But how can we end up with a God-fearing people, when the heavy focus has been to teach wives and children to be man-husband-father fearing people? The depravity in our society comes from centuries of elevating males above God, and teaching, pressuring others to do the same. Yet God says we are to fear Him, not man.

    Wow! I wasn’t expecting to end with that conclusion! But it’s as if more of the puzzle has snapped into place in my mind. 2 concepts that I thought were unrelated are actually very related, and our “fatherless,” man-fearing society is caused by doctrine that elevates males-husbands above God.

  116. Waneta,

    Thanks for posting that.

    I liked how you phrased this:

    There are many scriptures that tell us what behaviors indicate a true love for God. As you mentioned, treating others as we would like to be treated is one, laying down our lives for others is another, love is not self-seeking, it is not proud and does not consider itself superior, it genuinely seeks the best FOR OTHERS instead of the best for ourselves.

    They have imposed their own bias upon God’s Word, and made themselves and their own desires superior to God’s Word.

    “Compism is men’s shrine to themselves, and they bow down to the god of husband authority…’”

    Indeed.

    in spite of the fact that the trinity involves a 3rd “member” and therefore is a poor symbol for a 2-person relationship,
    Poor symbols for poor thinking.

    lol sad.

    Indeed, the discussion about Christ always being submissive to the Father is being used to argue for wives always being subject and secondary to their husbands. And that is why they are so adamant that Christ was always Christ and always secondary to the Father, even though the Bible says that The Word’s subjection has to do with the incarnation.

    Ah ha! I see that now.

    These male complementarian teachers are not ignorant, they are twisting scripture purposely.

    I agree that at least fifty percent of the teachers are not ignorant. It’s a fantasy world to think otherwise, IMO.

    But how can we end up with a God-fearing people, when the heavy focus has been to teach wives and children to be man-husband-father fearing people?

    Great question!

  117. “And that is why they are so adamant that Christ was always Christ and always secondary to the Father, even though the Bible says that The Word’s subjection has to do with the incarnation. ”

    This is why I find it so strange that there is even an argument out there about this. It seems to me, that those who believe that Jesus was subject to the Father for eternity and not just as the result of the incarnation have not read Phillipians 2:5-7.
    “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

    He made HIMSELF nothing in the form of the incarnation, it was the choice of Jesus to take on the incarnation it was the choice of Jesus to take on a human form. Clearly Jesus had as much say in the matter as the Father (considering how they are ONE that seems pretty understandable). And then it goes on to clearly say that being IN HUMAN FORM He is humbled to the point of obedience to the Father. It’s right there. IN HUMAN FORM. Clearly the obedience came upon the taking of the human form.

    Now, as I’ve said before, I’m no theologian or anything and I suppose I could be misinterpreting what seems to be a pretty straightforeward passage but I just don’t see how the argument that Jesus was subject to the Father even before and after the incarnation is even supposed to work considering the Oneness of the Trinity and I certainly don’t see it supported Biblically.

  118. Cheryl – Anyone

    Thought someone might like to respond to this blog post. 😉

    The Gospel Coalition

    Pure Church – THABITI ANYABWILE

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/thabitianyabwile/2011/08/19/fellas-take-the-ladies-salsa-dancing/?comments#comments

    Fellas, Take the Ladies Salsa Dancing!

    “…Besides being fun, you’ll have a wonderful model for male-female relationships in marriage. Here’s what I learned:

    1. The entire dance depends on male leadership. There is no dance if the man doesn’t lead.”

    And much more… on complimentarians…

    Seems to me to be a very ugly comparison. :-(

    Oy vey!!! :-(

    Be blessed… And be a blessing…

  119. Alternatively – salsa dancing (as with most Latin and ballroom dancing) is all about the woman and making her the centerpiece of the dance. Yes, the man leads, but he does not domineer. In fact, he should be nearly invisible. Not exactly the “lead from the front” type of male “headship” complementarians usually advocate.

    My girls are both very accomplished salsa dancers who have danced with some outstanding partners. I asked for a one word description of the best salsa dancing leaders they have danced with, and they both agreed that it would be “humble”. Conversely, the worst salsa dancing leaders are ones who are arrogant and think the dance is about them and their leadership.

    Another consideration. It is a lot easier to lead than to follow in dancing. Frankly, I don’t know how my wife does it. I know what I’m going to do before I do it but she has no idea. She is in the dark until the moment of the move and yet, she miraculously executes the moves as if she knew what was coming all along. That is really a cool thing…in dancing.

    But are we to suggest that marriage should follow the same pattern? Does male leadership really entail keeping your wife in the dark about decisions until the very last second and then forcing compliance as if she were some puppet on strings? I hope not. My wife puts up with that when we dance (and yes, we both have a great time and she is happy to follow) but I wouldn’t last 2 seconds if I tried to pull something like that in real life.

    The reality in dancing is that there is a leader, but there is no rule that it has to be the man. That is a societal norm, but not a life or death statute. I know couples where the wife leads and the man is happy to follow because, frankly, she is a better at it. I also know dance styles that are more free form and allow the woman to “do her own thing” (Lindy Hop and Tango come to mind). And then there are couples dances that are called like square dancing and round dancing where neither partner ever leads. All of these dances are great fun and if dance imitates life, as the article suggests, show a wide variety of allowable leadership paradigms in marriage.

    BTW – has the author of the article ever heard the phrase “it takes two to Tango”? I hate to break it to him but whether it is Tango or Salsa, the dance is just as non-existent without the woman as it is without the man.

  120. BTW – they closed comments in that article. Looks like A. Amos was making the salsa too hot to handle.

  121. Hi gengwall – It’s been awhile.

    Too bad you didn’t get a chance to post your comment.
    “It takes two to Tango” 😉

    Interesting take on… “the Salsa”
    “is all about the woman and making her the centerpiece of the dance.”

    Yeah – they closed the comments. Vacation???

    I’m actually surprised they stayed open as long as they did.
    And attempted to answer all the commenters – especially KR…
    She was really well spoken – Especially when she said…

    ““What you are doing is making husbands into little demi-Christs in the home, with the wives in the place of humans and husbands in the place of deity.”
    😉

    Doesn’t seem like anyone was coming to the defense of his idea of “male leadership.”

  122. Thanks, Amos. It really made me me angry when he posted questions to me but gave me no opportunity to answer them. It makes me wonder why he asked them in the first place.

    I thought it was interesting that when I pointed out a clear contradiction between what Christ and the apostles taught about the New Covenant kingdom of God, and what he claimed the apostles taught about women’s roles, he merely asserted that they knew better than I did, so I should just accept the contradiction, Another form of “sit down, shut up and know your place.” But he is apparently blind to the distortion it causes in any consistent understanding of the nature of women or the nature of the kingdom.

    But all I can do is bellyache here, since he shut me down there. I hate being shut down. It really frosts me!

  123. Hi Kristen

    How did you get on this blog? Didn’t we connected over at Baptist Women?

  124. When they run out of “Bible answers” they have these nasty habits of cutting people off, deleting the comments, or going on vacation. 😉

    They are not really interested in an honest debate or disagreement.

    He couldn’t handle your passion, fire, and knowledge.

  125. Amos– yes, I post here too. And just about everywhere else I can find where women are fighting for equality in Christianity. :)

    Thanks for your encouraging words, at BWE and here!

  126. Amos
    <3 #120 Nice post

  127. @120
    Listen…
    KR is Kristen…

  128. Kristen

    You might want to check out this site.

    They wrote an interesting post on “The Salsa.”

    *Salsa Dancing Our Way to Complementarianism*

    http://thewartburgwatch.com/2011/09/01/salsa-dancing-our-way-to-complementarianism/

  129. Amos, thanks for that link. A very good post!

  130. Hi all

    Seems The Gospel Coalition is at it again today.

    “Can Jackie O Teach Us to Be Good Complementarians?”

    What???

    Here’s the link in case anyone cares to comment.
    You never know who’s lurking and questioning this stuff. :-(

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2011/09/20/can-jackie-o-teach-us-to-be-good-complementarians/?comments#comments

    Oh Yea – They have banned me from this site – I’ve gone thru three cyber names.
    I’m running out of email addresses. 😉

  131. “And at the end of it all, let us not forget the metaphor which God has used to express this truth. Marriage. For as God’s metaphor our marriages are supposed to reflect this truth; to ourselves, to each other, and to those around us.”

    I am late to this party and have not read all comments but NN has a problem in the NC. Namely 1 Corin 7. With his scenerio, every believer would have to be married to express this “truth”. He is simply taking a metaphor way too far and adding extrabiblical proportions to it for the husband whom he makes out to be a sort of godlike figure to the wife. Blasphemy!

  132. I added a comment. (see #129 above) Why did the Jackie O writer put all the emphasis on Jackie? If Jackie made that marriage so perfect, why wasn’t President Kennedy satisfied? To hear the writer tell it, Jackie was the perfect Stepford wife, yet John F Kennedy was NOT satisfied. Yet the comp promise to women suggests if wives meet all their husband’s needs, are agreeable and submissive, the husband will be so happy with his wife, he will cherish her. Kind of like President Kennedy cherished Jackie, right? Perhaps he preferred a woman with some spunk, with her own opinions and ideas–like Marilyn Monroe. Do husbands actually value wives who “shut up and do as I say?” Not according to JFK.

  133. I finally released NN’s comment from moderation #77 that I had kept in the moderation que for an extended period of time because frankly I was so busy this summer I hardly had time to think.

    Now that we finished our last ministry trip for the year, and in trying to clean up the emails that I was not able to get to this summer, I came across NN’s comment still held in moderation. I now have time to answer his concerns. Those reading this might want to look back at #77 where NN’s comment shows up in the time order that it was written.

    NN, you said:

    I honestly don’t think (I hope) that you believe differently regarding the fundamental nature of God the Son’s pre-existent nature than I would.

    As Christians we should be in complete agreement that Jesus’ nature as God before taking on humanity was fully God. That isn’t the area that we disagree on. It is with the term “Christ”.

    You said:

    Indeed I am greatly reassured versus some of your original words on how we should not not “equate Christ with God” – I presume that you can understand the concern that these sorts of statements might raise given your interaction with cultist groups.

    I think I have made it quite clear that the term “Christ” is a prophetic term in the Old Testament for the coming Messiah and in the New Testament it is the term that refers to the human Jesus (who is God come in the flesh). What I have said, and say again is that God in His essence and nature is not called “Christ” since the term “Christ” refers to a human. God took on the nature of man and thus became the Christ, but God is not called “Christ” as His name from eternity past.

    You said:

    However, the Christ was both fully God and fully man He could not have been the Christ were He not fully God. Therefore to assert that the title of “the Christ” refers only to His human nature would be quite contrary to Scripture.

    This is not true. In fact in order to disprove what I have written, all you would need to do is to produce one Scripture that calls the pre-incarnate Word of God as “Christ” before He became man. The term for His Deity is the “Word of God” in the New Testament. The term for His humanity is “the Christ”. He was born the Christ because He became human. “The Christ” was resurrected as a human because only the man Jesus died. The Spirit cannot die. The Christ died and was resurrected and surely you can admit that God did not die.

    You said:

    Indeed one thing that I cannot rule out from your words which still worries me is that you would assert that God the Son did not exist as a separate Person in “eternity past” but was somehow synthesized from a previously unified Godhead in the incarnation. I suspect (again hope) that you don’t believe this but I put it out there to clarify.

    I said nothing of the sort. That is a fabrication.

    You said:

    I will close only by stating that I believe with high confidence that you are wrong in your exact assertions about the Christ and that I can prove it Biblically

    Go ahead and try to prove it Biblically. Your comment was held since mid-July, so hopefully you are not as busy now so you can take the time to put your money where your words are. Fair enough?

  134. Cheryl, you say Christ is a name for God-in-the-flesh Jesus. You also subscribe to head meaning source.
    How, then, should we understand 1 Cor 11:3. “the head (source) of every man is Christ.”
    Because Christ is then not the source in the sense of creating at the beginning. Christ, then, was not there at the beginning.

  135. Retha, sorry for being so slow to get to the questions on my blog. Your question is an excellent one.

    Jesus said an amazing thing in John 8:45 –

    John 8:56–57 (NASB95)
    56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
    57 So the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

    Jesus is saying that Abraham saw Him. The Jews understood this and questioned how Jesus could have been in contact with Abraham when Jesus was not even 50 years old.

    Some see Jesus coming to Abraham as a man, as a pre-incarnate revelation of the Son, but I believe that each appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament was in His resurrected flesh. How can that happen? Now that is another question. If you are interested in more, I can share.
    Suffice it to say that I believe Jesus, the resurrected man, was there at Adam’s creation.

  136. “…but I believe that each appearance of Jesus in the…was there at Adam’s creation.”
    I’MMM INTERESTED IN MORE!!! 😀

  137. Jesus, as a resurrected man, who is now no longer limited to time and space, should be able to appear as a resurrected man without respect to the limitations of time. What this means is that without limitations, He can go back in time just as He can go forward in time.

    Look at Melchizedek in Hebrews and check out everything it says about him. It sounds like a “man” who is back in time before the birth of his mother, but who is recognized by Abraham so that Abraham gives tithes to him.

    Who is the “man” who walked in the flames with Daniel? He had the form of the “son of man” which is a Messianic title. I believe that if we were able to go up to Him and see Him clearly we would have seen nail holes in His hands. This is only possible if He is unchained by time in His resurrected body.

    Also consider that the death of Jesus is said to have been from before the creation of the world, yet He died in our time. Could this resurrected Lord have appeared to Adam and was He able to be there at Adam’s creation? breathing life into Adam’s body? If He is truly unrestrained by time and as the “son of man” the Christ, Lord of all, I don’t see why not. I see hints of this everywhere in the OT.

  138. Cheryl

    Good stuff. 😉 😉

  139. Thanks A. Amos Love.

    I also updated my comment to corrected the errors. Often I do my blog work at night when my comments show my tiredness and errors can creep in. I think I fixed all my errors so that it is completely readable now. :)

  140. Hugh Ross discusses the extra-dimensional movements of God from a scientific perspective in his books “The Creator and the Cosmos” and “Beyond the Cosmos”.

  141. We tend to view God’s omnipresence from our limited space-time paradigm. Certainly, this would have been true of Jesus’ audience when he spoke of Abraham seeing him “in the flesh”. They might understand omnipresence as God being everywhere at a point in time. But they still limit those moments in our space-time. Jesus lost them when he referenced the past, which from their perspective, could not be “revisited”.

    They do not understand that in godly terms, omnipresence means not only that God is everywhere, but that God is also every-when. At this moment in our time, God is present with us here. But he is also simultaneously “present” at every spacial place at every point along our time line: past, present, and future.

    It isn’t even exactly correct to say Jesus went back in time. The resurrected Jesus currently exists simultaneously at every point in our time just as He exists simultaneously at every place in our space.

  142. gengwall,
    Thanks for your comments. You said:

    It isn’t even exactly correct to say Jesus went back in time. The resurrected Jesus currently exists simultaneously at every point in our time just as He exists simultaneously at every place in our space.

    That may be another way to say it. However what I was trying to communicate was to show that while the “son of man”, the Christ, Jesus the incarnate Word, limited Himself so that He could live as a man here on the earth and lived with all of our limitations, when He was resurrected, His body was no longer under those limitations. It may be hard for some to think through that Jesus is still a man…but a resurrected man, glorified and without our limitations, nevertheless still in the flesh.

    I was also trying to communicate that the Lord, in His human body would not have appeared in the Old Testament time without nail holes in His hands, since it was only the resurrected Lord of glory that was free of limitations. He had the DNA of His mother, before the time of His mother, in His resurrected body.

    I do think that it is okay to say that He went back in time, just as the OT says that God said that He was going to come to see if all the evil He had heard about was so. God doesn’t need to “come down” when He is omnipresent, but it is a way that God communicates to us so that we understand. In the same way the resurrected Jesus doesn’t need to go “back in time” when His resurrection body is unlimited in time or space, but I think it also helps us to understand His relationship with Abraham and Adam.

    Thoughts?

  143. Awesome. Thanks Cheryl :)

  144. “I think it also helps us to understand His relationship with Abraham and Adam”

    I agree, but that gets to my point. We understand best when thinking in terms of our own 4 dimensions but that isn’t “exactly correct”.

  145. Was just rereading much of the dialog with NN. It makes me think of another term for Jesus – the “light”. The “light” is not a term for the pre-incarnate Word and the “light” did not exist before the Word became flesh. The “light” is a term for the human Christ and only applies while that human roamed this earth. To say the “light” is God would be wrong.

    Isn’t that sort of the same thing? I wonder what NN and others would say about the “light”. If it isn’t hard to understand that the “light” refers to the human Jesus while the “Word” refers to the LORD and that both the “light” and the “Word” refer to different natures of the same “person”, then why do they have such a problem with the “Christ”? Strange.

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