Monday, April 15, 2013

Rebellion Against Submission

Pastors (and others) often comment how women hate the “S” word, submission, and remind women that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. They say GOD instituted social order and the role of wives and women is to submit to the AUTHORITY of husbands and men. They claim GOD ordained it to be so from the beginning of creation. They emphasize that women must bow to the command from God, and label women who stand up for what they believe is right as self-seeking egoists, disobedient to God, feminist, rebellious, and so on. Some presume that any time a husband abuses or even beats his wife that it is because she was not submissive.

But could it be that women who cringe at the “S” word are not rebelling against God at all? Could it be they are actually rebelling against the misuse of scripture? After all, women are notorious for having a strong gut sense that something is wrong, but they often cannot specify what is not meeting the “smell” test. The fact that pastors, husbands, and even female speakers emphasize the “command” to wives to submit makes it even more difficult for women to put a finger on what it is that is wrong with the command to women to submit. But they do know the teaching makes them feel extremely uncomfortable. Many women force themselves to go against that sixth sense that God gave them for their protection, and make themselves submit even though they know they are agreeing to a wrong, stupid, or even ridiculous choice.

The first thing women notice, but can't put a finger on, is the incongruity of having to submit to someone who flaunts their supposed God-given right to authority. On a gut level, they know that someone with real authority would have no need to flaunt it. Not only would that authority just be present and not emphasized, but also the person with authority would behave in such a way as to inspire trust, respect, admiration, and a sense that the person with authority loves, cares, and makes sensible decisions that favor the wife instead of himself. Wives who cringe about submission don't have husbands who put them first.
The second thing women notice on a gut level, is that husbands are also commanded to submit. Paul tells husbands and wives to submit to one another, and then goes on to tell wives to submit to their husbands. On some level, wives KNOW those directions to husbands are basically “husbands submit to your wives in the fear of God.” Yet, since pastors don't teach that, most wives can't put their finger on what doesn't add up. Men who have understood the real message of Ephesians 5 tell us the command to husbands requires much more laying down of self-will and self-service than the mere command to submit that is given to wives. It is the husbands who are to love so deeply that they leave father and mother and CLEAVE to their wives. It is the husbands who are to love so deeply, who are so besotted, they lay down their lives and die daily for their wives. Wives who cringe about submitting, know on a gut level that something important is missing, but they can't put a finger on it.

The third thing women notice on a gut level, is how scripture is being used to abuse them. The verses about submitting one to another are glossed over, the verses about wives submitting to their AUTHORITY-HUSBANDS are emphasized, and the verses about husbands loving so deeply that they die daily for their wives are covered up. The translators helped with this one. Since the passage tells us all to submit to one another, where is the verse that tells husbands to submit to their wives? Women know it is there, but they cannot put a finger on it. Check out the word “ought” in Strong's concordance. “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.” This command is taught with the emphasis one would use to say “One ought to change the bed sheets every week.” or “One ought to mow the grass every week.” or “One ought to keep their check book balanced.” Many people don't do these things with that kind of regularity, so the “ought” contains little power. But the biblical “ought” has a different meaning, which women understand on a gut level without ever having looked it up. #3784 “from the base of 3786, through the idea of accruing. to owe, fig, to be under obligation, (ought, must, should) mor. [which I guess means moral] to fail in duty:...” The meaning of ought is much closer to our “MUST.” So the phrase would read “So MUST men love their wives as their own bodies.” It is not optional husbands, it is a commandment, a requirement, a debt that keeps accruing.

The fourth thing wives notice is that nowhere are husbands commanded to take authority over their wives. Pastors say the command to wives to submit to their husbands infers that husbands have authority over their wives. Yet in the preceding verse, husbands are also told to submit to their wives, so that would infer wives have authority over their husbands. Should wives flaunt their authority, too? They claim that the husband as “head” gives him authority, but wives know on a gut level that this does not add up. If being “head” gave husbands authority, wouldn't the commands to husbands spell out to take authority over their wives? Instead the command is to love, sacrifice for, and cherish. The husband authority doctrine reeks too much like a skunk in the garage.

Once again, that sixth sense women have is correct. They ought to be cringing at the submission teaching. Their sixth sense is telling them the real rebels against God are the men who insist on being the authority over their wives. They find it grinds them the wrong way to admit the pastors who insist on husband authority are abusing scripture, are likely hateful and controlling to their own wives.

On some level, women know that the more insistent a man is that his wife submit to him, the more obvious it is that he is disobedient to and rebelling against God. It is his job to love, sacrifice for, and cherish his wife, not to rule her. These days it is husbands who are rebelling against God, who have that Jezebel spirit they talk about, who have a slaveholding spirit similar to witchcraft. These women need to stand up and do what is right, to not give in to wrong, not even for an hour.

                        Galatians 2:5
To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.”

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Loss of Submission to the Commandments of Scripture

Rather than publish this comment by “Anonymous” where no one would see it on the
"New Coalition Demands Apology from CBMW" post, I decided to make a new post of it. I am inserting sentence numbers and beginning each sentence on the left in order to refer to the quote.

“(1) As is generally the case this issue is driven by the confusion of a chaotic culture the has not only redefined terms but has lost the ability to critically consider an issue from the truth of Gods Word.
(2) This issue is bogged down by decades of misinformation, bias, revisionist history, and the loss of submission to the commandments of Scripture.
(3)All of this cloaked in a humanistic/religious hybrid ideology that ultimately seeks to cast off anything that would fly in the face of supposed liberties to express our own sinful egos.
(4) While there is no doubt that sin has caused many a man to flex his authority in sinful ways that in no wise removed the Biblical mandate of a created order that sets call a man to lead lovingly and a woman to submit honorably.
(5) While I could go on an use a great deal of textual proof I would suspect that it would simply be met by the standard talking points of those who seek to remove any point that may be antithetical to their unbiblical stance so I will simply say that no argument will stand against He (Jehovah God)who has the dictate the roles of men and woman in the home and in society.
(6) Sad to say but such rebellion is common in those given over to their own pursuits above the glory of God.

My comments: I agree with sentence 1. Our Christian culture HAS redefined the terms and as the above commenter shows, has lost the ability to critically consider an issue. From the statements Anonymous makes, it is clear he or she is incapable of critically considering the issue based on the truth of God's word.

I agree with sentence 2 as well. I have been surprised again and again at how even the trusted King James Version—the version that is the kindest to women—has a BIAS against women. If a person looks up individual words in the concordance from those apparently anti-woman passages, they will find repeated efforts to downplay the authority God gave to women and to increase male dominance. In I Timothy 5:14, for example, Paul tells Timothy that he wants young widows to marry, bear children and to be the absolute rulers of their homes. (Despot) But the translators of our current versions lost their submission to the commandments of scriptures and substituted their own commandments instead of scripture, saying wives should merely guide or manage the house. That revision and the history of that revision is what Anonymous is championing—along with many other revisions, like the one spun off Genesis 3:16, where--based on what a woman stated in the 1970's, even though they say any teaching of women is to be rejected—complementarians use illogic and misinterpretation to claim God said women desire to dominate their husbands and therefore husbands must rule their wives.

Unbelievably, I agree with sentence 3, too. Complementarianism is indeed a religious hybrid ideology. It is religious because it cannot be backed up with scripture. Complementarians claim that although in the Genesis account God never tells Adam to rule Eve, that the Genesis account sets up roles for Adam to be the ruler and Eve to be the subject. Yet scripture clearly says both Adam and Eve were to rule the earth. No one is commanded to rule the other. Although Eve was to be a helper for Adam, so was God. Since God being Adam's helper does not make Him subject to Adam, neither does Eve being a helper make her subject to Adam. Complementarianism also ends up being humanistic when one considers that it does the same thing as most humanist teaching—only the group it seeks to free to do their own thing is males. Complementarian teaching is quite humanistic in its results. Although teachers and pastors do not SAY husbands can follow their whims at the expense of their wives, they commonly do not hold husbands accountable when husbands sin against their wives, and instead hold the wives accountable for the sinful behavior of the husbands. Humanistic doctrine does the same thing, charging those who would hold the sinner accountable as “intolerant” and “judgmental,” thus allowing the sinner freedom, license, and justification to keep on sinning, and silencing and condemning the one sinned against. Complementarianism is mere religion; it follows neither God's commands, nor Christ's commands, nor Paul's commands. The one command it does follow is the command of a pagan king.

I cannot agree with sentence 4, and already made points against it in my statements above. Although it is true that “sin has caused many a man to flex his authority in sinful ways” Anonymous failed to point out that a man who “flex(es) his authority” toward his wife is already sinning against her. There is no “Biblical mandate of a created order that sets call a man to lead lovingly.” Adam was not commanded to “lead,” rule, or take authority over Eve, nor are husbands commanded to do so in the New Testament. That is totally the revisionist doctrine of men. Although men are told to love their wives, they are never told to lead them or rule them. So the “the loss of submission to the commandments of Scripture” is one Anonymous emphatically endorses with his or her 4th sentence, and with his or her 5th sentence as well.

Anonymous gives no scripture to back up his/her statements, which is probably best, since there aren't any. And I have used textual proof to back up my points. I agree with part of the second half of sentence 5: “no argument will stand against He (Jehovah God).” That part is true. The roles Jehovah God dictated are roles of equality. There is neither male nor female Gal 3:28; both Adam and Eve were given dominion over the earth. Jesus told his disciples they were not to rule over others. Jesus did not include an exception clause in his commandment. Jesus did NOT say they were not to rule over others—except for their wives. That rulership junk is what the GENTILES do. Not so with you, Jesus said.

And that leads us into sentence 6, which is so true: “Sad to say but such rebellion is common in those given over to their own pursuits above the glory of God.” That is exactly what complementarians are doing. The men rebel against God, and both do and teach the opposite of what Jesus and Paul taught, and have the audacity to call it “scriptural commandments.” Complementarians do indeed rebel and pursue their own ends rather than the glory of God. The men insist that women follow them rather than obey God. Women are to doubt, discredit, and set aside the working of the Holy Spirit in their own lives and instead listen to and obey their husbands and pastors. So the men insist that their wives rebel against God, too. The men set themselves up as gods to be revered above God. And they do it by twisting scripture, leading many astray.

They keep their women on the same level as children, thus making the words of Jesus apply to the men, and also to the women who teach such things. Matthew 18:6 “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” “Offend” is talking about causing a person to lose, or nearly lose, their salvation. “Little one” is referring to a new believer, or to a believer who is still relying on the milk of the word and does not have the skills to rightly divide the word of truth. Many complementarian wives fall into this category because from young up they are taught to deny the truth they find when they rightly divide the word of truth and to deny the leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, most complementarian women are kept as “little children” much like in some cultures women were kept as little children via foot binding. Complementarian teaching seeks to hobble Christian women so they will never grow up and never be able to rightly divide the word of truth.  Without this hobbling they cannot teach women to follow and lean on men rather than follow and lean on God.

Can a woman who feels guilty if she does not obey her husband or obey her pastor—so guilty that she wonders if she is saved, can she really be saved? Her salvation is based on her commandments-of-men works rather than on faith. Her salvation is also based on a lie that is not backed by scripture. She is taught that the commandments of men ARE scripture, and she cannot allow herself to admit they are not. So she obeys men rather than God. The apostles said the opposite, “we ought to obey GOD rather than man.” She is led astray by complementarian teachers, and Jesus said that is so terrible it would be better for those teachers to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Apparently the woe coming to them is so great they are better off dead so they cannot lead more people astray.

Matthew 18:7 “Woe unto the world because of offenses! For it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!” Jesus is declaring the same woe for those who lead “little ones” astray as he did for the scribes and pharisees who also turned people away from heaven and focused on the commandments of men.

In closing, it is ironic that complementarians would use the commandment to husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it, into a command to husbands to rule their wives. They can tack on “lovingly” all they want, but husbands still are not commanded to take authority over their wives. The authority given to husbands is over themselves; to bring their thoughts captive, keep themselves in check and to love their wives as their own bodies. That is called authority over themselves and SERVICE and servanthood toward their wives. That servanthood is SUBMISSION to their wives, not authority. Indeed, the introduction to that section tells us all to submit to one another. Husbands are to submit by loving their wives as they love themselves and as Christ loved the church—by service and sacrifice. The fruit of the spirit spelled out in Galations 5:22-23 should be evident in the behavior of husbands toward their wives. Jesus said “by their fruit ye shall know them.” Husbands who rule their wives are not showing the fruit of the spirit. If they are not kind, patient and loving to their wives, and don't treat their wives as they themselves would like to be treated, that suggests they do not belong to Christ. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9b

Instead of obeying the command given, they teach and practice a side of Christ that men are commanded to NOT emulate—the lordship of Christ. The lordship of Christ is reserved for Christ alone. Christ shares it with no man. Both men and women, wives and husbands are subject to the lordship of Christ, whether Christian or not. Scriptures never give males lordship over females. Both males and females are given lordship over evil spirits and over the earth. Both husbands and wives have a type of lordship over each other, I Corinthisans 7, but one does not have more lordship than the other, and neither have a lordship that emulates Christ's absolute lordship over others. We are all subjects and children. Christ alone is Lord. To teach otherwise is to rebel against God and scripture.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.