A person with authority, has the authority to act on their own, but also has control over the actions of others. A person with authority, can not only control their own actions, but also influences the actions of others. However, in Greek, both of these concepts are covered by the word exousia, to have the authority, right or the entitlement to act, or control the actions of others.
When we discuss the notion that men and women should have "equal rights" this is the same as saying that men and women should have "equal authority." If a doctrine says that women should not have authority equal to male authority, then by definition, women do not have equal personal rights to men. Essentially, some Christians are teaching that women do not have equal rights in the home and church.
It is interesting to see how some teach women to "lay down their personal rights" and honour male authority.
True Woman Manifesto
- Men and women are both created in the image of God and are equal in value and dignity, but they have distinct roles and functions in the home and in the church. (9)
We are called as women to affirm and encourage men as they seek to express godly masculinity, and to honor and support God-ordained male leadership in the home and in the church. (10)
Marriage, as created by God, is a sacred, binding, lifelong covenant between one man and one woman. (11)
When we respond humbly to male leadership in our homes and churches, we demonstrate a noble submission to authority that reflects Christ's submission to God His Father. (12)
Selfish insistence on personal rights is contrary to the spirit of Christ who humbled Himself, took on the form of a servant, and laid down His life for us. (13)
While one may argue that Christ has himself modeled the "laying down of personal rights," nowhere do the scriptures say that women were created as weaker vessels in order to best model the laying down of rights; and men were created as stronger vessels, so that they may maintain authority and not lay down their rights. In fact, this appears to be based on the assumption that might makes right.