Saturday, February 20, 2010

Male voices

John and Michael are two very strong voices on the subordination of women. For Michael it is assumed but nuanced. For John, it is definitely acceptable to assign the husband as tie-breaker.

If a couple disagree about every single thing including how the wife sneezes - all is good because, guess what, the husband is the tie-breaker. If you think I exaggerate, no I don't. Some men and women live this life, whether egal or comp, Christian or not. But Christians destroy the soul if they teach that God uniquely wants women to experience this kind of life. It is the spiritual skewer with which the woman is attacked that makes this kind of abuse a spiritual hell, and not just general misery available to all who marry, men or women.

But men will discuss the subordination of women forever. It hangs as the jewel in the firmament, the desire of the heart, and the longing for the female in surrender. What a testimony to the world that this is religion!

Marilyn's comment on John's blog is excellent,
    I believe that we’re most alive and most truly ourselves when we love. In that sense, love liberates us, but it is also the ultimate loss of freedom. You can’t achieve an intimate marriage, for example, without some loss of independence. Intimacy is lost when decisions are unilateral or one spouse has no say in how the other spouse lives his or her life. In Biblical terms, my love for my husband flows out of my love for Christ. As II Corinthians 5:14 tells us, the love of Christ constrains us.
    For a marriage to be healthy, both spouses must lose independence. If one party does all the giving or makes all of the sacrifices, the relationship will be exploitive. As Terri said, we’re all persons first. We all need limitations and constraints.
Placing the husband as tie breaker and final decision-maker opens the door to exploitation and loss of intimacy. For some women it will be rape and violence, for others the shutting down of parts of the brain and the dissassociation of mind from body.

I have to run. Please now go and read Kurk who lists the relevant posts.


115 comments:

halo said...

Sue, a question for you:

What would you do if the Apostle Paul returned today and told you that the writings of his that we dispute are indeed intended to teach the complementarian view of gender roles?

halo said...

Would you abandon the faith or admit that you had been blind and ask for grace to see?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

First, I believe that the gender based authority is directly counter to authority grounded in morality.

Second, since we know that poverty and violence against women is a pervasive global problem, I would suggest that this needs a little more attention.

Third, I would ask him why he claimed his legal right not to be beaten as a Roman citizen, and why he affirmed the right of his brother apostles to take a wife with them on their travels. The I would ask if he would deny women the rights that they have in society today, to function as equals in the home, and to have equal responsibility in the law for their children.

Anyway, it is against the law for a mother not to take equal responsibility for her children.

halo said...

So which is it Sue? If Paul affirmed the complementarian view, would you:

a) leave the faith, believing Paul to be greatly mistaken

b) admit that you have been blind and ask for grace to see?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Hi Halo,

You are welcome to hang out, but there is an aggressive tone to your comments so I hope you don't mind if I just confirm your privilege to be here, and leave it at that.

halo said...

Sue, you state:

"I believe that the gender based authority is directly counter to authority grounded in morality"

How is this anything other than your own personal subjective grasp of morality? Given our fallenness, is it not possible that you are blind in this area? Just like we all are in some areas?

You also appeal to civil laws. But surely you are not saying they trump the authority of Scripture? Is it ok for women to claim their 'legal right' to an abortion?

halo said...

Sue, you state:

"I believe that the gender based authority is directly counter to authority grounded in morality"

How is this anything other than your own personal subjective grasp of morality? Given our fallenness, is it not possible that you are blind in this area? Just like we all are in some areas?

You also appeal to civil laws. But surely you are not saying they trump the authority of Scripture? Is it ok for women to claim their 'legal right' to an abortion?

halo said...

Sue, I do not intend an aggressive tone, I just thought you could give a straight answer to an honest question.

How is this not a cop out?

halo said...

I only meant to post that once...

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I am busy and I should not be doing this. Sorry. Just my situation at the moment. I do think that you have rephrased your questions well.

I personally believe that there is a moral component to decision-making and that to assign the decision to someone based on gender is always a bad idea. There must be some other reason, such as who knows better, who is more involved, who has a better sense of what is needed, what is right, etc. etc.

I am single now so really it has no immediate effect on my life. I am very peaceful now. I think it would be a happy thing to have a loving partner, but I would never in my life be in a comp relationship again. Certainly Paul does not oblige me to do this, so pragmantically Paul and I have no disagreement, it is better to be single than to be complementarian.

halo said...

Thanks for the reply Sue. I understand if you are busy, take your time whenever you have a spare moment is fine.

I have to say I still think you are not answering my question.

My question is not over pragmatic agreement but over theological agreement.

If Paul told you the complementarian view was right would you admit that you were blind and be open to changing? Or would you disagree with Paul 'til the death?

respectfully,
Halo

halo said...

what I am trying to say is that is it not possible that you have a warped view of complementarianism based on your personal experiences and that you could be blind to the beauty of it?

J. L. Watts said...

Halo, what would you do if 'Paul returned' and taught that Sue was right, or better yet, that he was wrong and that somehow his 'speaking by permission' has created such human error, female slavery, etc... based on man's inability to try new thought patterns?

Would you abandon the faith, tell God to stuff it because no woman is equal to a man?

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yes, I am blind to the beauty of it. Every man can give this beauty to only one woman. Peace, Halo.

Hi Joel,

Fortunately this does not impair my ability to have friends with guys.

J. L. Watts said...

Suzanne, you are better than me then. I have a difficult time being in communication with those, for very long, who view women as less than equal in the name of God.

Mara Reid said...

Yes, Suzanne, you are far more gracious than me. I can learn a lot from you and how you handle such things.

I'm losing patience with those who feel the need to cram compism (a secondary, 'thirdary', or perhaps even a non-issue) down the throats of people who are simply trying to work out their salvation with fear and trembling... people who just want to love Jesus in a simple, uncomplicated way, without so many added, extra rules for behavior not important enought to mention in the two greatest commandments or even the original ten commandments.

Thank you for your example. I have a lot to learn in this area.

Lydia said...

"So which is it Sue? If Paul affirmed the complementarian view, would you"

He can't. He never taught the comp view. That is man's very bad translation. Probably from the sin of wanting preeminance.

Besides it contradicts too many other verses about the first being last, one anothers, submit to one another, not lording it over,women prophesying, etc, etc...

The real underlying problem is the sin of wanting control over others. In the Body, that is not to be. But man always puts in his own traditions and twists the Word to his own advantage. Even to the point of teaching the sinful consequences of the fall as virtue!

halo said...

J.L. Watts,

thanks for your question. If Paul returned and told me that his disputed writings had intended to teach egalitarianism I would admit I had been blind and ask for grace to see. I would ask him to show me how I have managed to misunderstand his writings so badly.

I often pray that God would show me if I have got it wrong on this issue because it seems like such a radical thing to believe in our modern day and age, but every time I just keep coming back to the plain sense of Paul's words. I don't feel I can honestly get around his words without doing injustice to scripture.

What other objective standard do I have to go by?

So when I come to a difficult passage that seems to say something that I don't like I ask for God to show me the beauty of it because I must be blind. And He has.

It seems to me that the only other honest option is to deny the authority of Scripture, but this does not accord with Jesus' or the apostles' view of the Old and New testaments. 'The scripture cannot be broken' etc...

Plus, if I deny the authority of scripture then what foundation do I have left with which to pass judgement on moral issues? Everyone has different opinions on right and wrong, who is right? Everything then just becomes subjective opinion and it is senseless to assert that you have the 'true' way. Only Scripture can decide the matter.

I'd like to ask all of you here, is it not possible that you could be wrong on this? Could you be blind to the beauty of scripture? Are we not fallen creatures in need of 'salve for our eyes' so that we can see? (Rev 3:18).

Regards and no hard feelings,
Halo

Lydia said...

"I often pray that God would show me if I have got it wrong on this issue because it seems like such a radical thing to believe in our modern day and age, but every time I just keep coming back to the plain sense of Paul's words."

It is not radical at all. Patriarchy has been around for thousands of years. It started right after the fall.

That would be like saying an anti slavery position is radical in this modern time. After all, many thought the Word was clear that slavery was God's plan.

If the translation of Paul's words are so 'plain' then you must believe women are saved by having children. That is what it says, right? But how can it be true there is a work of salvation for women only?

Obviously, the 'plain' meaning you speak of is not so plain.

Mara Reid said...

halo, when you consider Paul's words, do you consider them against the background of all scripture or just set them on a table by themselves as one witness.

When you take all of the scriptures used by those who support the non-egal view, do you balance them against all the other scriptures that would say otherwise, including the words of Jesus Christ, Himself. Or do you just set them off on a table all by themselves with no balance from the rest of the word and draw you conclusions concerning gender from them alone?

I'm in a better mood this morning and not feeling as contentious as I did last night. Plus I've read your words further and see that you are more of an honest seeker than I originally thought so I hope you can read my words this morning and disregard my words last night. If you can't and/or I still sound contentious, no problem. Just ignore me. I don't really have time to be in this debate anyway.

halo said...

Hi Lydia,

thanks for the response. I did not mean that the complementarian view is radical historically, it certainly is not - it has been the historical position of the church and culture for most of history.

Rather I am saying it is radical in our modern day and age (at least in Western society) where it is scorned upon by the world if you tell them that a husband is called to be the head of the household and to love, lead, protect and provide for his wife and that a wife should respect and submit to her husband and affirm his leadership.

Regarding being 'saved by childbearing' I am not suggesting that everything that Paul says is equally clear. There are loads of things that I don't understand. But there are also many things that are perfectly clear.

I think this verse is simply teaching that we must persevere in our faith - that in order to be finally saved on the last day we must continue to work out our salvation because if we don't it shows that we were never born-again; 'faith without works is dead'. There are many verses that lay requirements on men too - if we don't do them we prove that we are not really born-again.

For women that means fulfilling God's unique calling on women, of which a very significant part is to have and to raise children - 'childbearing'. I think this verse cautions us against forsaking the unique mothering role God has given to women.

Obviously this is only a general pattern because in the Bible itself some women were barren, others were widowed and Paul also talks about the call of singleness.

This is only a very brief overview of that phrase but see p192 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for more if you are interested.

Thanks for the interaction,
Regards
Halo

halo said...

Hi Mara Reid,

thanks for your kind reply, that was very nice of you. Sorry if I initially came across as a bit contentious as well.

I do try to balance all of scripture and not ignore verses that challenge my view. Whether I do this fairly or am blinded by my own prejudices is something I can only keep praying for help with.

At the moment as I am reading through the bible I am making a list of all the things that women did, I do this to ensure that I have a fuller testimony of scripture on the matter. I am fully aware of Deborah, for example, who quite clearly seemed to exercise authority over a man which I freely admit does seem to contradict Paul's commands. But I think Wayne Grudem has given a very good understanding of this passage (see p131-6 EFBT) plus some other points I could mention but don't have time to here.

But I agree with you, we should not try and marginalize any of scripture since it is all God's word.

Thank you once again for you kind reply, I have enjoyed our discussion. God Bless you.

Halo

halo said...

p.s. I recently finished reading the major egalitarian work 'Discovering Biblical Equality' to check my conclusions against what the best egalitarian scholars are saying. I want to make sure that I am not making a terrible mistake!

J. K. Gayle said...

"What would you do if the Apostle Paul returned today and told you that the writings of his that we dispute are indeed intended to teach the complementarian view of gender roles?"

Halo,
You ask me the same question over at my blog. Let me answer here with a related question:

"What would you do if the Apostle Paul returned today and told you that the writings of his that Americans disputed during their Civil War are indeed intended to teach the view that one human being can own another as a slave?"

The motivations for using Paul's intentions to guide our own desire to subordinate one person over another, some twenty centuries later, seem to me highly suspect.

halo said...

Hi J.K. Gayle,

If the Apostle Paul said that, here is what I would do:

I would refuse to exalt my own personal subjective understanding of right and wrong above Scripture and I would ask him to help me see the goodness of his words.

I think it would be very foolish for me to tell the Holy Spirit that He is wrong no matter how much I disliked his words. I would not make an idol of my present understanding of right and wrong but would submit it to the Lord of the Universe asking for grace to help my blind eyes see clearly.

In other words, I would admit that I could be wrong and be willing to change.

If I didn't do that, then according to what standard would I judge the inspired Apostle to be wrong? My own preference? It would be nothing more than my humanistic opinion of what I personally like/dislike.

Now what would you do in answer to my question?

Lydia said...

"thanks for the response. I did not mean that the complementarian view is radical historically, it certainly is not - it has been the historical position of the church and culture for most of history."

And that was my point also. Lots of wrong things have been taught throughout the history of the church we would consider wrong today: State church, magistrates, slavery, God war banner, etc. All of these were argued by great men to be consistent with scripture. But they are not.

"Rather I am saying it is radical in our modern day and age (at least in Western society) where it is scorned upon by the world if you tell them that a husband is called to be the head of the household and to love, lead, protect and provide for his wife and that a wife should respect and submit to her husband and affirm his leadership."

We would have to define 'head' which is not so easy to do when it comes to the Greek. All through scripture we see Head/Body metaphors as being about UNITY. If the Holy Spirit had wanted to communicate that men are in authority over women or wives, He would have inspired clear authority words in the Greek. There are plenty to choose from. :o)

"
For women that means fulfilling God's unique calling on women, of which a very significant part is to have and to raise children - 'childbearing'. I think this verse cautions us against forsaking the unique mothering role God has given to women. "

This brings up tons of problems. The New Covenant is about making disciples. The Old Covenant was about being fruitful and multiplying. Paul actually argues it is better to remain single! How does that jive with being in a role set out specifically for women to be faithful by childbearing? Are you saying if a woman is married and barren she is in trouble? No wonder so many patriarchal groups teach that women who cannot conceive have some sin in their lives they have not dealt with. They are cruel.

the "Childbearing" in that passage is a noun. Not a verb. So, what could that possibly mean? I highly recommend you check that out.

A good place to start is with someone who has devoted a lot of time to exegeting all these passages concerning women and only seeks truth. Her website is:

http://strivetoenter.com/wim/

I also recommend her DVD series on Women in Ministry.

Continued

Lydia said...

"Obviously this is only a general pattern because in the Bible itself some women were barren, others were widowed and Paul also talks about the call of singleness."

See, this is what I do not understand. How can it be a 'general pattern' yet be so important to comps and patriarchs? Is it a law for married women or not to stay in their role of childbearing?

"This is only a very brief overview of that phrase but see p192 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood for more if you are interested."

I have read it. I have read every word of Grudem. I have studied the Danvers statement (which ironically uses very little scripture to support it)and read extensively over at CBMW...which resides practically in my backyard. I have been immersed in it for years. And I have over and over seen the contradictions with scripture. They are too numerous to cite here. We can start with the Joel Prophecy, though and go from there. And the fact there is NO prohibition on women teaching men in the Old Covenant.

I have come to the conclusion based on knowing many of the big name comp players this is more about wanting preeminance than anything about being a humble servant which is what Christ calls us to do. They have completely changed the meanings of verses such as Eph 5:21 and Galatians 3:28.

They want me to believe I come to salvation the exact same way as men but I do not receive the FULL inheritance as they do. That is a lie. It would be like saying a slave comes to salvation the same way as a Jew but does not receive the full inhritance and has different roles than the Jew.

They are also making a tertiary issue a primary salvic one which in my mind is insidious. It is teaching the consequences of the fall as virtue instead of the sin they are.

Lydia said...

" I would not make an idol of my present understanding of right and wrong but would submit it to the Lord of the Universe asking for grace to help my blind eyes see clearly. "


do you not see that many have made an idol out of this doctrine? Since I was heavily involved in Christian publishing/marketing, I can tell you the comp doctrine is a huge money maker and has catapulted many a speaker to huge fees in doing conferences and seminars. You wanna make some money? Develop a marriage seminar with roles, rules and formulas.

Why CBMW? Why not focus on all believers being humble and servants? Why the focus on roles, rules and formulas?

Why not the focus on abiding in Christ which is much harder to do than follow man made roles. (Roles are NOT in scripture. They are acting a part...pretending to be something)

The idolatry that comes from this doctrine is insidious. The focus on this comp teaching has even morphed into ESS which lessens our Savior and elevates mere men. This is being taught by many including Grudem. Grudem even goes so far in one of his books to say that God submits to us when he helps us...in order to prove 'ezer' really is subordinate. (Even though God is described as an Ezer)

The damage this doctrine is doing to people's hearts is scary. It is a sin trap for men. Just like Bruce Ware saying a woman's lack of submission triggers abuse from her husband.

Here is something worth reading:

http://searchingtogether.org/articles/women-piper.htm

Don said...

Thanks for points out that both of these people are NOT egals.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

There are many other issues on which committed Christians had to challenge the understanding of scripture.

Luther had to challenge the doctrine of one visible church on earth. Cromwell and other Parliamentarians, had to challenge the doctrine that the king was the annointed of God and could not be touched.

The abolitionists had to challenge the doctrine that the slave must obey the master.

Do you think that it would be apppropriate to go to a former slave with the scars on his back, and ask him if he would accept slavery again if the Apostle revealed to him that it was what he had intended.

I am waiting for someone to do that first, to ask someone who might have been a slave if they would accept slavery without protest if that was what Paul intended.

husband is called to be the head of the household and to love, lead, protect and provide for his wife and that a wife should respect and submit to her husband and affirm his leadership.


Mothers also need to love, lead, protect, and provide. Sometimes the leadership of the husband stands in the way of the necessary provision. It is always better to do what is morally correct and disregard the gender of the parent.

halo said...

p.s. J.K. Gayle,

I don't think the slavery analogy is a good one.

Nowhere does the Apostle Paul command believers to go and take slaves, but he does command wives to submit to their husbands.

Rather here are some of the things he says on slavery:

Paul says to slaves: 'If you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity'. (1Cor7:21)

He tells Philemon to welcome Onesimus back:
'no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother'. (Philemon 16)

He condemns 'man-stealers' or 'enslavers' (1Tim1:10).

And he commands slave owners:
'masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly.' So slaves were justly and fairly treated.

This is like in the OT when a slave would sometimes chose to remain with his master rather than go free:

'if he says to you 'I will not go out from you', because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you...' (Deut 15:16, cf Ex 21:5-6).

This is just indentured servanthood.

Plus, the Old Testament contained these commands:

'Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.' (Ex 21:16)

'You shall not give up to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall dwell with you, in your midst.. wherever it suits him. You shall do him no wrong.' (Deut 23:15-16)

'If a man is found stealing one of his brothers of the people of Israel, and if he treats him as a slave or sells him, then that thief shall die.' (Deut 24:7)

There were times when God permitted slaves to be taken from the surrounding nations, but this is best viewed as God's judgment on them, just like the slaughter of the Canaanites.

This is why the people who abolished slavery did so by an appeal to biblical commands. (E.g Theodore Weld's 1837 book 'The Bible Against Slavery'.)

I do not mean to be unkind to my egalitarian brothers and sisters, but I could just as easily say that egalitarians are like the Christians who in the 19th century used the Bible to defend something widely accepted in their culture (slavery) since egalitarians also use the Bible today to defend something widely accepted in our culture (no gender based role differences), despite it not really being supported by scripture.

Please don't take that the wrong way, it is not personal and I love you guys, but you made that argument first:)

Regards,
Halo

Lydia said...

Mothers also need to love, lead, protect, and provide. Sometimes the leadership of the husband stands in the way of the necessary provision. It is always better to do what is morally correct and disregard the gender of the parent.

9:30 AM

1 Tim 5 states (but not in the translations.. only the true Greek) that the wife/mother is the 'despot' of her home. Which means she co rules. She cannot be the "despot" if only her husband rules. So, was Paul contradicting himself? NO! He has been horribly translated by men who love their positions of authority.

Lydia said...

"Nowhere does the Apostle Paul command believers to go and take slaves, but he does command wives to submit to their husbands."

He says that all believers should submit to one another. Are you saying that married men believers are exempt from Eph 5:21?

The ONLY place Paul speaks of earthly authority in marriage is in 1 Corin 7. And he gives that authority to both husband and wife.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Paul does tell slaves to obey, and many escaped and kidnapped their children out of slavery.

These slaves gained their freedom through illegal means, and not through the acccpted legal means that Paul refers to.

I am not comparing marriage in general to slavery but the subordination of the wife. Slaves also could have kind and godly masters, just as a woman may have a good husband. But some women have harsh masters. This is wrong. We don't just preach that masters should be kind and loving, no, we preach that slavery is wrong.

Men need to think of what it would be like to walk in someone else's shoes. I now know what it means to be a single parent and responsible for everything. Lots of women here know all about that.

But how many men can imagine what it would be like to live and sleep in the same house as someone who only has to say "Hasn't God said... " in order to deny permission for anything at all.

I am sorry if this offends you but this is my view. I presume that you want to know my view.

There often seems to be a difficult in imagining the feelings of others. This is why humans are so often cruel. It is not wilful cruelty but simply a lack of imagination. Men cannot imagine being told in church that they have to do as they are told in the home.

Some men may experience a form of subordination, but they are not taught in church that obedience to their wife is their goal in life and they must have no other.

Lydia said...

"I do not mean to be unkind to my egalitarian brothers and sisters, but I could just as easily say that egalitarians are like the Christians who in the 19th century used the Bible to defend something widely accepted in their culture (slavery) since egalitarians also use the Bible today to defend something widely accepted in our culture (no gender based role differences), despite it not really being supported by scripture.
"

Actually that makes no sense. YOu are trying to make egal a cultural reaction that is modern when it HAS been the teaching of the New Covenant and it WAS the intent of God pre-fall. ONE FLESH UNION does not denote authority/follower. NO where in Gen 1-2 do we see God clearly state that Adam is in authority over Eve. That thought is read INTO the account in various silly ways.

It would be like us saying that being against slavery is a modern cultural appeal ONLY and has no bearing on the Word.

I am egal because that is what the Word teaches. It does not teach preemanance for women or men. It teaches humility and service to others. We cannot ignore all the one anothers, not lording it over verses, the first will be last, etc., and maintain that our Lord put a layer or mediator between women and Himself after the Cross. That dog will NOT hunt. We cannot all be priests in the Holy Priesthood and have a fallible human mediator between female adult believers and our Savior.

The husband cannot be the Holy Spirit for the adult wife believer.

He is simply another depraved sinner saved by Grace just as the wife. To suggest he is her spiritual leader is insidious and a mockery of the Cross.

halo said...

Hi Lydia,

"He says that all believers should submit to one another. Are you saying that married men believers are exempt from Eph 5:21? "

Lydia if you really were familiar with Grudem and Piper's main works (RBMW, EFBT) you would know what complementarians say about this verse.

"The ONLY place Paul speaks of earthly authority in marriage is in 1 Corin 7."

How about:

'wives, be subject to your husbands' (1Pet3:1)
'wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.' (Eph 5:22)

I have looked at the attempts some have made to understand these and other verses in an egalitarian way and have found them unpersuasive. E.g see Grudem's response to the claim that 'head' means 'source'.

I am responsible before God for treating scripture fairly and do not see how one can arrive at the egalitarian position without having made up your mind beforehand.

I grew up in an egalitarian church and came to this conclusion against my long-held beliefs. Rather than get into a debate with you now, if you are open to the possibility that you might be wrong I'd just suggest a close read of Grudem's EFBT since in it he answers many of the objections you have just brought up.

No hard feelings,

Henry

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Henry,

I have read in great detail Grudem's books. In some way they are flawed exegetically.

But even if they were not, we do not hold to the doctrine of one church, of the monarchy, of slavery, of all other social norms in relationships. Men now live in a democracy. If a democracy is good for men why is it not good for women? If men want power, then I think we have to reject that. Women want the authority to carry out their responsibilities in life and live a moral life.

halo said...

Hi Sue,

You said:

"Paul does tell slaves to obey, and many escaped and kidnapped their children out of slavery. These slaves gained their freedom through illegal means, and not through the acccpted legal means that Paul refers to."

If I were a slave, I think it would be best for me to obey what the Apostle says.

You mention some bad experiences of subordination. All I can say is that I agree that is an abuse of authority by the male and God will judge it very severely on the Last Day. But complementarians are not advocating the picture of headship/submission that you are portraying.

I'm sorry that you have been hurt in the past and I hope that one day you can see past that hurt.

God Bless you very much Sue, you are very special and are much loved.

Halo

halo said...

one final note for now, I have to go!

You say:

"we do not hold to the doctrine of one church, of the monarchy, of slavery, of all other social norms in relationships."

There is a difference between what is commanded and what is merely described.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

No, it was commanded that citizens obey the ruler, slaves the master, and Christians their leaders. But men don't do this. They create their own conditions of democracy for themselves but subordination for women. "Pie for me and crackers for you" kind of attitude.

halo said...

I was just making the point that monarchy is not commanded, merely described.

"No, it was commanded that citizens obey the ruler, slaves the master, and Christians their leaders."

I am not denying any of that. We should obey our rulers. And if I was a slave today then I should obey the Apostle's command, whilst doing what I could to gain my freedom (which is no longer necessary cause government commands against slavery, and I am bound to obey the government). We do have a government and laws today which we must obey, under Christ of course.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo - I cannot add to the many fine words of those said here from those more learned in the matter than I, but I want to touch on something which I believe others may have missed (or maybe I missed their reply).

You said you ask God to show you, to revel to you when you don't understand. Is that Scriptural? Do we rely on God, Who often times remarkably tells us what we already know, to confirm what we already knew? What did Paul say to do but to study the Word of God? Did he ask for special revelation? Did Peter when he read Paul's letters? Is that what he commanded?

Your answer to the child bearing issue, which is more rightly understood by gazing into the legal issues of Ephesus of the time than denying salvation by Christ alone, shows that you have relied upon your own understanding to reach a conclusion which you believe is aligned with the rest of a perceived monolithic Scripture.

Could you perhaps, while we are on that subject, show me the Scripture were women have a 'unique calling' - in the Christian writings - especially given the fact that first it places the onus on the woman and Christ Himself said that woman who didn't have children would be called blessed following the Wisdom Tradition. Is our calling physical? Do men have a unique calling as men?

I am reminded that in the Gospels, suddenly men are called to be dullards, cowards, and conformers while women see the Gospel, anoint the Lord, press Him into the right direction, bare Him, care for Him, and worship Him. The Gospels overturned the social order of women as a lower class, with Mary as the revolutionary, Ana, the Samaritan, another Mary, and other women standing up in the Light long before the men came around.

You admit that you don't understand 'loads' of Paul's words, but yet, somehow, this you believe you do? More preferably, I believe that you only seem to understand what makes you comfortable.

Regarding slavery, it is indeed a fine illustration to the point. In Philemon, Paul asked a brother to release another brother from captivity while in other epistles he commanded that slaved submit to their masters, thus, slavery is considered a biblical precept which allowed scores of slaves, black, white, yellow to be sold and 'owned' by 'Christians.' The same thing is to be said here for women submitting to their husbands. Unless we learn that Scripture is first not monolithic, and second, context plays a primary role in determining what is being said to whom, we will never fully under Paul's words.

Otherwise, we arrive at contradictions which undermine the authority of Scripture.

If there is no male or female in Christ, but yet Paul commands that the wife submit to their husbands, either we have a contradiction or ignorance for several centuries.

Excuse my reply, as this issue bothers me to no end. You may say that my eyes have been opened to the real Gospel, and I find a less than equal woman a mark which I will miss.

Lydia said...

"Lydia if you really were familiar with Grudem and Piper's main works (RBMW, EFBT) you would know what complementarians say about this verse."

Yes, of course I know what they say. I think they are dead wrong and want their own preemanance.

"How about:

'wives, be subject to your husbands' (1Pet3:1)
'wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.' (Eph 5:22)"

Henry, are you trying to be dense here? I asked you about verse 21. How are husbands exempt. This passage actually starts higher up about being FILLED WITH the SPIRIT. True believers will submit to one another. The word submit has been brought down to verse 22 by the translators. It also is for husbands.

1 Peter is a whole section on believers living among UNBELIEVERS. Exactly what recourse did a believing wife have living wiht an unbelieving husband in the 1st Century?

"I have looked at the attempts some have made to understand these and other verses in an egalitarian way and have found them unpersuasive. E.g see Grudem's response to the claim that 'head' means 'source'. "

Trust me, I have. He certainly leaves OUT loads of evidence to the contrary. And he refuses to engage anyone who points this out.

"I am responsible before God for treating scripture fairly and do not see how one can arrive at the egalitarian position without having made up your mind beforehand. "

Actually, I believed the teaching of men and was a comp for 18 years. I just thought I was too stupid and kept ignoring the contradictions in the teaching. Not to mention the Talmud they have to write to keep up with all the specific roles and rules. (Such as at what age is a boy a man so I won't accidently teach him the Word?)

"I grew up in an egalitarian church and came to this conclusion against my long-held beliefs. Rather than get into a debate with you now, if you are open to the possibility that you might be wrong I'd just suggest a close read of Grudem's EFBT since in it he answers many of the objections you have just brought up."

Did you not read our comments? Many of us HAVE read Grudem. I was also a comp for many years who was very involved in marketing these guys books and seminars. (They are making a ton off this teaching). I had to ignore the contradiction of having an earthly spiritual mediator between the wife and her Savior AFTER the veil was torn in two on the Cross.

But always remember, contrary to what Grudem teaches, this is NOT a salvic issue. Women are NOT saved by being in a 'role'.

Henry, It has not escaped me that you refuse to discuss these scriptures indepth or context. You just keep trotting out Grudem.

halo said...

J.L. Watts,

I feel you have not represented my position fairly. Here is a quick reply:

1) When I say I ask for God to show me if I am wrong on this issue I did not say that I was waiting for some supernatural revelation.

In my experience God usually answers prayers in more subtle ways such as making you realize a text you have overlooked or an argument you have not considered. Don't you think it is foolish to study the Bible without prayer for help? Do you trust your fallen mind to reach the right conclusion on these matters?

2) Regarding the childbearing verse, I did not claim this verse undeniably means what I think it means, it is one of the more puzzling ones. But I think my interpretation has good support from later chapters in the very same book:

A widow is commended if:
'she has brought up children' (1Tim5:10)

Younger widows are encouraged to 'bear children' (1Tim5:14)

I would have thought that this role being 'unique' is clear from biological necessity.

Also, women have a special homely role:
'I would have younger widows... manage their households' (1Tim5:14)

'train the young women to love their husbands and children... working at home' (Titus 2:5)

More could be added but that will suffice.

3) You accuse me of denying salvation by Christ alone. I do not. Rather, what I said was in the spirit of the Reformation saying:

'salvation is by faith alone, but not by a faith that is alone'.

Hence my use of the scripture from James, 'faith without works is dead.' Would you deny that? I could add 'work out you salvation with fear and trembling'. Obviously this verse does not mean your works save you, but they are necessary in the sense that true faith will produce them, and if they are not there your faith is probably bogus. Or 'the one who endures to the end will be saved' (Matt 24:13). This does not mean your endurance is basis for your salvation, but is a necessary fruit of it. That you endure is a sign that you are born-again. So that is the sense in which I take the 'saved through childbearing' verse, a significant way most women can work out their salvation by bearing children and bringing them up. Physical acts are not merely physical. We usually express obedience to God through physical actions.

4) Re slavery, you did not take into account the verses I listed. I do not believe it is wrong, if you were a slave in Paul's day, to obey Paul's command to submit to your master. This is to be balanced with gaining your freedom if you can as Paul also commanded. In any case, Paul does not command Christians to go and take slaves for themselves. But he does command wives to submit to their husbands. That is why I don't think the analogy is good.

5) You say "If there is no male or female in Christ, but yet Paul commands that the wife submit to their husbands, either we have a contradiction or ignorance for several centuries."

And this is exactly what Paul does. He says both! It is not hard to see that it is not a contradiction, please see some of the works I have mentioned in previous posts for the comp understanding of these verses.

6) You said: 'You may say that my eyes have been opened to the real Gospel, and I find a less than equal woman a mark which I will miss.'

I don't know of any comp author who believes that women are less than equal. They do not buy the argument that:

difference in role = difference in value to God.

I do not see that as being a logical deduction.

I close by asking if you can accept the possibility that you might be wrong on this issue? How can you be so certain that when you stand before God that he will say you have treated the Apostle Paul's writing fairly?

Thanks

Halo

halo said...

Lydia,

"Henry, are you trying to be dense here? I asked you about verse 21. How are husbands exempt."

I already referred you to Grudem's answer.So why do you say this:

'Yes, of course I know what they say.'

without engaging their answer? You do not show that you are aware of their answer. If you are then say what it is and show why it is wrong rather than repeating the question. You said you were familiar with their work.

Halo

Suzanne McCarthy said...

And if I was a slave today then I should obey the Apostle's command, whilst doing what I could to gain my freedom (which is no longer necessary cause government commands against slavery, and I am bound to obey the government).

Perhaps then we should remember that Paul recommended in the same passage that people not marry. Perhaps he could not endorse the hierarchical marriage. 1 Cor. 7 gives the impression that he does not.

Later Ephesians says that slaves are to obey and wives are to submit.

If you were a slave with a 50-50 chance that you would be beaten weekly for the next 50 years of your life, would you surrender yourself so willingly to obedience and never think of escape. No, I think escape would be on your mind and you would not want to take a 50-50 chance again.

Whatever way you cut it, whether by dissent or escape, women should not tolerate a hierarchical relationship in marriage unless it does not dehumanize her. But this kind of arrangement should never be taught to others since there is no way of knowing if the husband will impose his hierarchy and take away her adult rights as a human being to care for her own young.

halo said...

Lydia,

also, you make comments that are totally foreign to comps:

'having an earthly spiritual mediator between the wife and her Savior'

Please tell me where a comp has written this? This is such an unfair caricature that I find it hard to believe that you have read much complementarian work. If we are to have this discussion you need to engage fairly with comp views instead of tearing down straw-men. I have not treated you so.

Halo

Suzanne McCarthy said...

difference in role = difference in value to God

Women are not too thrilled with this meagre concession. A sparrow has as much. I don't know why you would think that a woman would want to be ranked with an unborn baby as equal in value to God. I mean - it is nice that you would do that, but it is also meaningless.

Here you are sitting down to a full dinner and you offer your partner a plate of celery. Nothing wrong with celery, but it is not enough to keep one alive.

halo said...

Sue,

I said I did *not* buy the argument that

difference in role=difference in value.

That is what egalitarians say is true, and hence they deny there can be difference in roles.

I find it quite unkind how you implicitly demean the traditional roles that complementarian women aspire to and thrive on. They do not see it the way you do.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo -

1.) God answers prayers, but requires much more of us than wondering what bits of 'prompting' may or may not be from God.

'Fallen mind' - Actually, considering the vast amount of non-believers who actually understand the bible and add to biblical studies a 'fallen mind' means little. Further, considering that I have the 'mind of Christ' hardly is it fallen. To say that one cannot use human reasoning to understand the bible goes against the bible.

Further, I don't trust my 'mind' to tell me anything, but I depend upon studying, research, etc... as Paul said to do. It would seem rather that those who believe that God will supernaturally reveal 'truth' are relying upon their own mind which again find themselves confirmed. I note that you are using resources to support yourself. Is this your fallen mind? Are you relying on those who many be fallen? Or is the ability to say 'fallen mind' a crutch to dismiss those with whom we disagree?

3.) I never accused you of denying it a 'Reformation' belief. Instead, I said that if people take that passage without context, they dismiss the idea of salvation in Christ alone. Frankly, the Reformation as done a great deal to hurt the cause of Christ. Or perhaps, rather, those who continue to hold to abstract Reformation principles.

5.) You don't a see a contradiction? Oh, yes, here you rely upon authors who support you, or rather who you believe are correct. It is not a contradiction, only the application which has a man over a woman makes it one.

6.) You may not see a difference, but if a man is lord over a woman, then they are not equal. If a woman must bow to a man, then there is no equality.

I have been wrong on this issue for much of my life, actually, but now, I feel that indeed, I understand what Paul was saying by the inspiration of God.

How can I be more certain that by treating my wife according to Scripture that I am being faithful? The fruits which out new marriage has produced are remarkable and honourable before God. What are the fruits of the other?

Anyone else want to answer that?

2.) And your verses prove inequality how? Commending is differently than commanding, Halo. What of the context? Compare it to what was happening during the Roman times? Oh, and you might want to examine the Roman House and just what that meant.

4.) I never said you believed slavery was not wrong. I said that for centuries, context was not seen, and it was used to secure the rights of Christians to own other Christians. Further, we can look at how Scriptures were used for segregation, racism today, to not provide for the poor, and other issues. Why? Because find support for their beliefs, measuring themselves not by the bible, but the bible by themselves.

Lydia said...

"Please tell me where a comp has written this? This is such an unfair caricature that I find it hard to believe that you have read much complementarian work. If we are to have this discussion you need to engage fairly with comp views instead of tearing down straw-men. I have not treated you "

They would never dare write that down. It is always implied in what they teach. Remember, I was quite involved in comp marketing/publishing for many years. I know what they teach and HOW they teach it. What on EARTH is implied in teaching specific ROLES?

If the husband is the leader and authority for the ADULT believing wife, where does that leave the Holy Spirit? How does that affect her personal relationship with her SAVIOR?

She should be seeking Christ. Not turning to her husband. They both should be seeking Christ. And abiding in Him alone. Us humans are fallible and saved by the same grace. The husband gets no special anointing. We are all priests in the Holy Priesthood. Women, too.

Some women do want a "daddy husband"and never seek to Abide in Christ alone or develop spiriutal gifts outside of what some tradition has taught. They never mature past their husbands in spirituality because that would mean he is not the spiritual leader.

I understand that. I saw it.

but more often, I saw the comp wives back stage commanding everyone like Patton preparing to invade Sicily,including her husband, then going out on stage and pretending like he is her great spiritual leader who makes all the hard decisions and she was just his little follower.

I saw that a lot.

What you do not understand is that many comps LIVE like egals. The celebrity ones won't admit this because it is not profitable to do so. It does not sell books with roles, rules and formulas to live by which is MUCH easier than abiding in Christ.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I said I did *not* buy the argument that

difference in role=difference in value.

That is what egalitarians say is true, and hence they deny there can be difference in roles.

I find it quite unkind how you implicitly demean the traditional roles that complementarian women aspire to and thrive on. They do not see it the way you do.


No, I have not been clear and meant the opposite.

The permutations are too complex. The formulas required to describe the ways in which women are equal and are not equal at the same time boggle my mind. I can no longer do the math.

However, I never have and never would demain the mothering role in any way. I would ask you to search my blog for any case where I have demeaned any woman for anything.

I am trying to explain that sometimes the comp teaching prevents women from becoming fully women, and disables them from the mothering role.

J. K. Gayle said...

Halo,

You said, "I don't think the slavery analogy is a good one."

Let's ignore for the moment the fact that you insinuate that I "exalt my own personal subjective understanding" above anyone else's. I'm sincerely glad that you have your own thinking about "the slavery analogy."

To be clear, I wasn't interested in an "analogy" between slavery and complementarian marriage. Rather, I am interested in the fact that you won't tolerate slavery now. You probably won't tolerate polygamy or bigamy either. You likely don't tolerate easy divorce. My interest is that you can take parts of the scriptures written to specific peoples at specific times in specific places -- and you can meld these all together as something the Holy Spirit has spoken to all of us in all places for all times. You are sifting through what pertains to you and yours as if Paul's intentions were for you.

So let me try to answer your initial question to me. If Paul were to declare his intentions, this is what he might say:

"Of course I intended (what you all in the West, some 20 centuries later) call 'complementarian' marriage. Or maybe that's what I meant. I meant so many things. And there were so many problems back then in so many different places. Corinth, yes. But also Rome, and Galatia, and Macedonia even, and Collosae, and Jerusalem even, where I'd worn out my welcome early.

But don't you here and now understand what I meant, surely intended, when writing to the Corinthians on love? Look, you'd better sit down. This might take some time. Please, would you have a seat?

Didn't you get what Matthew meant by translating what Jesus said (which you have in English as): 'but from the beginning it was not so'?

Let's not get stuck in bad analogies. But would you let me ask you a few questions? What's the divorce rate in America? And in the (so called) church in the USA? Do you really blame that on feminists or egalitarians or civil rights activists?

You're wanting me to talk about what I intended. Which time? When I was a Pharisees? Look, yes I had a lot of help with my writings. The Holy Spirit, yes. My scribes and assistants, of course. I fought the good fight; I finished the race. But I couldn't do it all could I?

Did you Americans fight your bloodiest war over slavery? Didn't you declare a public holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. who had to write many of your resistant ministers from that jail cell in Alabama smuggling out bits on toilet paper before one of you gunned him down for trying to make sure the "free(d)" daughters and sons of your slaves got their civil rights? Haven't you finally let your "free(d)" slaves participate in your government? Yes, I'm aware that your nation is still quite divided over having the child of an African as your leader. But didn't you give the right to vote to your wives and sisters and daughters eventually? Aren't some of you finally allowing some of them to preach and to teach you? Don't you see I was doing as much as I could? That my letter to Philemon was an urging? That "complementarian" marriages were an improvement over what Moses allowed and what he and David and Solomon and Abraham practiced? What the Romans enforced? What the Greek empire had begun?

But don't you here and now understand at least what I meant, surely intended, when writing to the Corinthians on love? Can't you -- yes thinking a bit for yourselves even -- get what Jesus asked when he said, 'how do you read the law' and even 'but from the beginning it was not so'?"

J. K. Gayle said...

sometimes the comp teaching prevents women from becoming fully women, and disables them from the mothering role.

Thanks Sue. By analogy, the practice of slavery prevented Joseph - so different from his 10 brothers - from many things. And the teaching of slavery prevented (and still does prevent) many of different skin colors other than unmarked (white) from taking on many God-given roles.

halo said...

J.K. Gayle

Your response shows why I find egalitarian arguments so troubling. They boil down to 2 points:

1) The Bible is all so complex and varied that we cannot possibly draw any firm conclusions about what it says on this issue. The man on the street needn't bother trying to find an answer, it is all so unclear.

2) Scripture was only written as an improvement over the situation at the time. We must move beyond that today. We are free to choose the final trajectory based on our humanistic opinions of what we think is best. William Webb all over.

With all due respect,

'How to nullify the Authority of Scripture'

or

'The Bible likened to a Large Wax Nose'

or

'No answers here'

would all be a good titles for your post.

This discussion has confirmed why I do not think egalitarianism is good for the church. It rips the heart out of the practical application of the Authority of Scripture.

The funny thing is, I do not even need the Bible to come to your conclusions.

Am I the only one that can see this???

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Not at all. Paul saw this also and wrote about it in Romans 2,

14For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

It is those who have the law and do not abide by it that bring blasphemy to the name of God. If you know to treat women as sister and neighbour and you do not do this, you blaspheme the name of God.

That is one way to interpret what Paul is saying. It sure does give the church a bad reputation when women are given the subordinate role.

J. L. Watts said...

@Halo - I would say that it is rather you and the comps who are destroying Scripture.

1.) No one here as said that. As a matter of fact, it seems that you have. What others have said is that you have to understand the context of the passage and measure it against all of Scripture. You, not so much. Grudem, Calvin and others are your measuring tool. I'll stick with Christ.

2.) Nope, no one has said that it. Unlike many today, I believe that the Scripture as written was an improvement of all situations, but we have applied so many humanistic thoughts to it, such as the humanist Calvin, that we have to peal away the layers until we get to Paul.

Halo, your presuppositions is that Comp is correct and supported by the bible; yet, I find more and more that Eg. is. And yet, if we were to bring correction, it is us who is ripping apart the Church? You know, I think Paul would know how to answer you in that, since he was accused of doing the same.


And you are right, I believe, that you don't need a bible. You already have your opinions established.

J. L. Watts said...

@Sue, Yep, Amen and Amen.

halo said...

Sue,

so Paul says we don't need the Bible to inform us as it is written on our hearts?

Why did he bother writing his letters?

Is it not because the heart is deceitful above all things and needs the Light of the Word as a guide?

Anyway, even on your view, 1900yrs of church history would testify against you.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo? 1900 years? Are you really sure about that?

And are we now to depend on Church History as the rule and guide of our faith?

J. K. Gayle said...

"The Bible is all so complex and varied that we cannot possibly draw any firm conclusions about what it says on this issue. The man on the street needn't bother trying to find an answer, it is all so unclear."

Halo - I like what you say about drawing firm conclusions. Here's where egalitarians are firm as are abolitionists. Conclusions not only can but must be drawn. And good bible reading is imperative. It's not just wiiliam Webb but it's Paul doing this. Paul revises Moses and Hosea for example. But it's not only Paul but it's also Jesus. What's unclear is not the bible per se but how those in power can use it to perpetuate and justify their power over on the basis of class race and/ or gender.

Muff Potter said...

You still here halo?

I'm jes' wonderin' by cracky.

What if Paul somehow got his self re-animated, came back and told ya'all that he never intended for a personal letter to his protege (Timothy) in Ephesus to be construed as newly legislated law jes' like ol' Moses useta' do from the fiery summit of Mt. Horeb?

What if he told ya' that there ain't no other law anywhere in the Bible that forbids wimminz from teachin' bout' the Good Lord from his Good Book?

And what if he said that when he wrote the letter he was only refutin' a pagan creation myth that was goin' around Ephesus at the time?

Jes' respectfully wonderin' halo.

Don said...

There are some verses that are clear and some are not so clear. And if you rely on a translation, any translation involves interpretation.

What I have done is study both sides, and I believe the egal position is stronger; but it takes studying both sides in their own words and not just one side.

halo said...

J.K Gayle,

don't you see the logic of your argument? If you believe that we are allowed to just 'revise' what Paul has written then anything can be justified. Just depends on which particular ideas tickle your fancy. The Bible is no longer a guide but just a wax nose you may shape as you will according to which 'trajectories' you prefer to pick out.

Paul did not 'revise' the OT but gave a God-inspired true understanding of it that we are not free to meddle with.

Neither did Jesus 'revise' the OT, rather he instituted the New Covenant and the passing away of the old, just as was predicted in the OT, e.g Jeremiah 33. He himself fulfilled the law.

Paul saw his writings as authoritative instructions for the New Covenant church. If you don't like them please just be like an honest liberal and say Paul was wrong rather than twisting his words.

Muff Potter:

If Paul said that his letter were not meant to be taken as a rule for the church then I would ask him why he said things like:

'if anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual than let him acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord' (1Cor14, near end).

Or from 1 Timothy itself:

'if anyone teaches a different doctrine... he understands nothing' (1Tim6:3-4)

You say: 'What if he told ya' that there ain't no other law anywhere in the Bible that forbids wimminz from teachin' bout' the Good Lord from his Good Book?'

The thing is, Paul himself uses the rest of the Bible to back up his claims on women not teaching! Read the reasons he gives for verses like 1Tim2:12 and 1Cor14:34 and you will notice that he roots them in the OT.

It is clear that he is not just refuting an ancient pagan myth (whatever you mean by that) because he gives a trans-cultural reason for his command. Read 1Tim2:13-14. Therefore it is still binding today.

Regards,
Halo

Examples could be multiplied many times.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo - According to whom? You? The Reformers? What Paul was doing was certainly revising the meaning, as Christ did for such things as adultery, marriage, lust, murder and a whole host of things. Matthew did it as well. So did Luke. They began to see everything through the revised Light of Christ.

As far as revising what Paul has said, is it Paul what is being revised or erroneous doctrine?

As far as Paul seeing his writings as 'authoritative to New Covenant Churches'...hardly, as Paul was still a Jew and was writing to congregations in different situations at different times. we have to stop imposing ourselves upon Paul and the writers of the New Testament. Take off the glasses of the Reformation and theological development, and get back to what Paul said, if you truly believe that what he said was inspired.

Perhaps, if you don't like what Paul has to say as a Liberal, you as a conservative should admit that?

J. K. Gayle said...

>J. L. Watts: Thank you for such clear explanations of Christ's, Matthew's, Luke's, and Paul's revising!

>Halo: Do you really hold everything that Paul wrote as authoritative for you and yours in this twenty-first century? Do you believe and engage in the mandated practice that women should veil or cover their heads when praying in 2010 because of the angels? Can you or would you own a slave? Would you obey your master in February 2010 if you were enslaved by one?

Do I believe that "anything can be justified," that the "Bible is no longer a guide but just a wax nose" to shape however I wish? No, just like you, I don't and won't.

But can I say that "Paul was wrong" at points in his life? Can I say that he himself understand how wrong he was in many different moments with many different people? Can I say honestly that he changed much, that he didn't finish everything by himself that he hoped for, that he longed for more change in his God inspired writings? Can I say that Paul's imperfections come out in his writings? Can I say that he was liberal, that he pressed for both personal but also public and religious and social and scriptural-interpretation change, that he grew? Can I reject the mere label of liberal knowing that a feminist and an abolitionist, like Jesus, will meddle with patriarchal pharisaism and status-quo slavery when love and the divine image was equally in male and female from the beginning? Yes, I can.

halo said...

Hi J.K. Watts,

You ask 'According to whom?'

According to the simple principle that God is not a schizophrenic who gives one command one minute only to change His mind later and say it was wrong. If God is like that how could we ever be sure whether He is going to change his mind again on whether women should teach men?

Jesus replacing the Old Covenant with the New is not in the category of schizophrenia because God himself planned and announced this long beforehand - e.g Jeremiah 33.

You ask: is it Paul that is being revised or erroneous doctrine?

I answer that any person who will let the text speak for itself will clearly see that it is Paul that is being revised since he repeatedly said the following:

'Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.' (Eph 5:22)

'For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church' (Eph 5:23)

'Now as the church submits to Christ, so also should wives submit in everything to their husbands' (Eph 5:24)

'Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.' (Col 3:18)

'train the young women to.. be.. submissive to their own husbands' (Titus 2:4-5)

'Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman...for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake.' (1Cor11:3,9)

Even Peter agrees, 'wives, be subject to your own husbands' (1 Pet 3:1)

'I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; rather she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.' (1Tim 2:12)

'As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission as the Law also says... For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.' (1 Cor14:33-5)

I can not imagine any straightforward person being given the Bible to read and coming to such opposite conclusions as egalitarians do. The mind boggles at how this is possible.

You continue to say: "Paul was still a Jew and was writing to congregations in different situations at different times. we have to stop imposing ourselves upon Paul and the writers of the New Testament."

I will not repeat this again because you continue to ignore it: look at the reasons Paul gives for his commands. THEY ARE TRANS-CULTURAL. Classic example, read 1Tim2:12-14. That is not a temporary/cultural reason. You are substituting the reason Paul does give for a reason he doesn't give. So that would make you the one who is guilty of 'imposing ourselves upon Paul'.

Can you not try and see that to the straightforward new Christian who comes to the Bible it is obvious what Paul is saying. Even Gordon Fee admits this with regards to 1Cor14:34 (since he discounts this from the canon he has nothing to lose here).

To get egalitarianism you have to deny the vast majority of translations on any given verse and claim they are all wrong. That is not very convincing.

"if you don't like what Paul has to say as a Liberal, you as a conservative should admit that"

I can't see anything that 'Paul the Liberal' is saying. If anything he seems more conservative than the Old Testament when it comes to the role of women.

Halo

halo said...

I wonder what most feminists think of the christian feminists who try to use the Bible to support their case. They must think you are mad.

halo said...

J.K. Gayle,

"But can I say that "Paul was wrong"... Yes, I can."

Thank you for at least being honest.

But to any of you who think you are spiritual, this is what Paul says:

'if anyone thinks that he is a prophet or spiritual, he should acknowledge that the things I am writing to to you are a command of the Lord.' (1Cor14:34)

Halo

halo said...

correction, that is 1Cor14:37 not 1Cor14:34.

halo said...

The way forward seems clear. Admit that it is possible that you might be so blinded by our culture that you cannot see the truth of scripture. Can't you even admit that is possible? I have.

"If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."

Jesus, John 9:41.

J. K. Gayle said...

Halo:
Do you really hold everything that Paul wrote as authoritative for you and yours in this twenty-first century? Do you believe and engage in the mandated practice that women should veil or cover their heads when praying in 2010 because of the angels? Can you or would you own a slave? Would you obey your master in February 2010 if you were enslaved by one?

halo said...

J.K Gayle,

I am very happy to give you a straight answer to those questions but since I have already answered one of them and have also given you verses from Scripture about the Bible's condemnation of much of slavery yet you have not paid attention and engaged what I have said. I will not answer the rest of your questions until you engage with what I have already written about slavery because it pertains very much to your questions. Otherwise I feel like I am just wasting my words.

Please read my posts 25, 31, 38, they have much to say about slavery, the most substantive one of those posts was actually addressed to you.

Regards
Halo

Suzanne McCarthy said...

halo,

I don't see any numbering system for the comments. Do you? I wish there were but somehow I don't see them. Just curious.

halo said...

Hi Sue,

there are not, I just counted from the top:)

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Okay. Thanks. I have sometimes seen people use the time stamp to identify the comment.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I have to say, halo, that once I gave up believing that God mandated the subordinate role for women, it was like walking out of a dark room into open air. It was as if I had never been out of a poorly lit house for my entire life and I did not even know that there was an outside. It did take a while to adjust, but I hope you understand that there is no going back. It just doesn't work that way.

Now that I have been in the open air, I cannot just stop believing in open air. Nor can I think of it as a place forbidden to women.

halo said...

Hi Sue,

I would like to say thank you for being such a nice host during this discussion, it is much appreciated, even when I get a little bit irked by some of the comments!

Halo

halo said...

Hi Sue,

from what you have previously described I would agree with you that it was a dark room. I am not advocating the dark room that you have experienced.

Complementarians are advocating something very different than that. I think you would do well to open your heart and at the very least consider the possibility that you might be wrong. Otherwise, if you are wrong then it will never be possible for you to find that out.

'there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death...'

Lin said...

"I wonder what most feminists think of the christian feminists who try to use the Bible to support their case. They must think you are mad."

You must think of Mary Magdalene as a feminist? Lydia? Phoebe?

halo said...

Hi Lin,

The examples of Mary Magdalene, Lydia or Phoebe do not undermine the verses I listed in my 9:22 AM comment. Wives should still submit to their husbands, and husbands must love their wives as Christ loved the Church.

Neither do the examples of Chloe, Priscilla, Huldah, Esther, Deborah or Miriam undermine the verses I listed in my 9:22 AM comment. I encourage you to read the relevant parts in Grudem's EFBT that can be read free online if you think that they do contradict the verses I listed, don't jump too quickly to conclusions:)

The Queen of Sheba is another interesting example we must take into account. I have been thinking about that recently.

No hard feelings,

Halo

J. K. Gayle said...

"Please read my posts 25, 31, 38"

Halo, I see your comments above addressed to me. Don't see where you answered any one of my questions. I'm afraid you lost me when you started numbering posts. Please know that I really hope you won't feel you're wasting your words here, but I also see from one of your most recent comments to Sue that you are feeling irked by some of our comments. Also to Lin you say, "No hard feelings."

The difficult thing here is that there really are so many feelings attached to the issue. There's personal stuff at stake for each one of us. You hit at me first for being subjective as if your somehow being less subjective is a better position always. Your divisions are quite revealing, I think (i.e., "most feminists" / "christian feminists"). Your notions of non-contradiction mask over what Paul really does, and what we're all doing here really. Paul says contradictory things, and that's okay. But it's like you're wanting us to play a board game by the rules, and you're watching the rules very very carefully when there are larger concerns of politeness and genuine attentiveness to the various players that make the rules secondary. I am sorry you don't feel like I was paying attention to what you say. I really am trying.

"[H]usbands must love" sounds so ironic, so unlike Jesus or Paul after he abandoned his Pharisaism. "Wives should ... submit" sounds just as ironic. And honestly, in February 2010, you sound to me as much like you're sifting through things Paul wrote as much as any of the rest of us. You're pretending the whole of what we find in the new testament has Paul saying always and invariably and only what "must" apply to women and slaves today.

As we're commenting here, in conversation, rather than accusing one another of being dishonest, I'd like to assume we all are trying to be as honest as possible. It's not difficult to feel irked by someone else's comments. But I hope the conversation does continue with kindness, if it continues.

Sincerely,
J. K. Gayle

halo said...

Hi J.K. Gayle,

Thanks for your kind words.

As to your question: "Would you obey your master in February 2010 if you were enslaved by one?"

I have actually answered this question, the 3 posts I referenced contain the answer as well as some important verses on slavery that need to be considered before implying the Bible is pro-slavery. I am still happy to answer your question about head coverings and whether I would own a slave today, but first you must engage the verses on slavery I have already listed.

I have to take issue with one of your recent comments:

"Your notions of non-contradiction mask over what Paul really does, and what we're all doing here really. Paul says contradictory things, and that's okay."

I do not think it is ok at all. You cannot make statements like that to frame the debate without backing it up. I dispute that Paul contradicts himself and so would most evangelical christians. It is not a given.

This is the heart of the issue, whether the Bible is the trustworthy Word of God or whether it is a self-contradictory document. If you believe it is a self-contradictory document then I would point you to the words of Jesus and the Apostles who view scripture as inspired, infallible and authoritative in everything it affirms, e.g:

With regard to the OT Jesus said:

'the scripture cannot be broken' (John 10:35)

'For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.' (Matt 5:17)

With regard to his own teachings Jesus said:

'Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.'

Jesus commissioned the Apostle Paul who likewise viewed his writings as authoritative for the church e.g:

'if anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual let him acknowledge that the things I am writing to you are the command of the Lord'. (1Cor14:37)

And he agreed with Jesus's belief in the OT:

'All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness...' (2Tim3:16)

The apostle Peter referred to Paul's writings as Scripture also (2Pet3:16).

Many, many more verses could be named that exalt the authority of Scripture as high as the heavens. It is a logical necessity therefore, that God's commands to us in Scripture are not contradictory - if they were then not all of them can be true and authoritative - we can't obey 2 contradictory statements. This would contradict Jesus and the Apostle's view of Holy Scripture. That is a point of logic which the Bible binds us to.

If Paul's writings are contradictory then it becomes inescapable that the Bible is just a wax nose that we can shape as we like - you pick this verse, I pick that one. It cannot be brought in as the authority in any matter since it contradicts itself.

Suffice to say I believe Jesus with all my heart and will not suffer his view of Scripture to be compromised, or the words of the Apostles he commissioned to be compromised. So I fundamentally and passionately disagree with you with all of my heart and soul when you say that Paul contradicts himself and that this is ok.

So if we do not share that basic Christian belief, that all the words of Scripture are true and that it does not contradict itself then we really have no debate with each other.

I am debating those who hold to Jesus and the Apostles view of Scripture and yet say it teaches that wives must not submit to their husbands, and that women should go ahead and teach and exercise authority over men in the church.

That is what many have noticed is really at stake in this debate. The Authority of Scripture. Will we 'tamper with God's Word' (2Cor4:2) or submit to all of its good and wise precepts trusting the the God of the Universe knows better than we.

Kind regards,

Halo

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Complementarians are advocating something very different than that. I think you would do well to open your heart and at the very least consider the possibility that you might be wrong. Otherwise, if you are wrong then it will never be possible for you to find that out.

'there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death...'


!!!!

I am a single working mother. The very last thing I want to subject my children to is another man in the house expecting submission.

What difference does it make what I believe on this matter. Do I need to believe that I reflect God's image only if I am in a headship relationship with a man.

Do I only live out the Christian life if I fix my eyes on some man to whom I play the subordinate role. I can't imagine.

For Paul the ideal was singleness anyhow.

I really don't think that if I now advertise myself as complementarian, some suitable husband will materialize. Sorry, but your challenge has tickled my funny bone. I wonder why you think it is important for single women, not of child-bearing age, to be complementarian.

halo said...

Hi Sue,

I think you got the wrong end of the stick from my post, I was not telling you to go and get married, singleness was indeed commended by Paul.

I still think you should view scripture rightly though and not influence other young ladies away from what scripture teaches to their harm.

Halo

halo said...

'there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death...'

my use of this verse was intended to show that we can chose a path that seems right to us but in the end it is not, and end in death. I see egalitarianism as one of those paths.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

I still think you should view scripture rightly though and not influence other young ladies away from what scripture teaches to their harm.

Aha! I honestly think that mostly middle-aged ladies read my blog. But perhaps elsewhere there may be a young woman living in her own private hell, just as I did, wondering what she had done to deserve it. I hope she realizes that God has not created her for submission to the male.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo, and I view comp as a destruction of the New Testament. You presuppose that you are correct. I believe that you are wholly wrong and your view will lead to destruction of faith for many, at the very best.

Regarding your view on the inerrancy of Scripture, it is a new belief, Halo, and one which I encourage you to seek out the foundations thereof. I find it amazing that Christ says that Scripture cannot be altered, and yet...well Christ does and so does the New Testament writers. Or, perhaps we don't fully understand what He meant. Considering the alterations of Scripture in view of Christ....

Your ploy of putting this into a 'authority of Scripture' motif is recognizable, as you will declare yourself the holder of the correct view, while the others, such as ourselves, seek to destroy Scripture.

Sorry, but I hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, and against the belief of comp.

Kristen said...

Halo, one thing. You keep saying over and over that we should read Grudem. Well, I have a request of you. Please read The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight. It is only 200 pages and is fast-paced, well-written and interesting. It will only take you a few hours to read it. The first half of it isn't even about women's roles-- it's simply about finding a more consistent way to read the Bible. Read only the first half if you like; but please read it.

Anonymous said...

Suzanne your misandry never ceases to make me chuckle. If your life was so bad before, why do you continue to dwell in it?

E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suzanne McCarthy said...

I always love the anonymous comments. People's silliness is a constant source of entertainment.

E said...

Lydia said...
...
I have read every word of Grudem.


You have my most heartfelt and deepest sympathy. :)

FWIW, I've met Grudem and heard him speak at ETS conferences, at one of which a friend said Grudem was called out by a well-known fellow complementarian for misrepresenting things about Bible translations, specifically the NIV versus the ESV.

Napoleon complex, perhaps?

Just sayin'.

halo said...

J.L. Watts

"Sorry, but I hold to the inerrancy of Scripture, and against the belief of comp."

With all due respect, your practice betrays your profession.

Kristen:

I know the hermeneutics of the best egalitarian scholars and am appalled by them. I waded through the 500+ pages of 'Discovering Biblical Equality' which was recommended to me as the definitive defense of egalitarianism. It was deeply unconvincing. William Webb's contribution was most troubling because of its implications.

I would like to read Scot McKnight's book, I have come across it before, but I expect it will just be another attempt to mold scripture into a culturally acceptable shape.

Halo

J. K. Gayle said...

>E, Where have you been? We much appreciated your comment several days ago when you said (again): "one day patriarchalism (so-called 'complementarianism') will be seen and understood for what it is or was - i.e., the gender equivalent of racism and slavery." That comment inspired me to write this blogpost.

>Halo, Thanks for the reply. I'll get to the specific scriptures you point to some time soon. But since you so passionately address the principle of non-contradiction please let me say something more about that. You are bound to that very principle when you insist (a) that because I see contradictions in Paul (b) then I must therefore also conclusively and wholly reject holy scripture (which an untrue statement and, moreover, a non-sequitur). Now, I'm sort of playing with the language of logic. Your logic here demands that you not allow the excluded middle. That is, a God-inspired infallible Bible depends on Paul's being perfectly consistent in all of his statements. This sort of reasoning is very Western and follows the elite Greek Aristotle much more closely than the multicultural Jew named Paul. He goes on and on about his pedigree, if you will, to those in Macedonia (i.e., Philippi), and he is quite aware of some of the contradictions, his writing and Greek and rather appealing to his Roman citizenship and the like. He's very Jewish that way: sounds like Elie Wiesel quoting the Midrash, "Jacob or Israel? Both. True, God ordered him not to call himself Jacob anymore, yet one moment later the Bible calls him that." Aristotle calls this sort of thing barbaric, and would through it out. But the bible - the Jewish scriptures (written by New Testament Jews like Paul) - is so full of such wordplay that it eventually (maybe all along) opens freedom up to the oppressed, and subjugated. Yes to women even. On Paul and Jesus and contradiction, I wrote a post once that you should feel free to comment on if you like.

J. L. Watts said...

@halo - Now a judge of other Christians? Sorry, Halo, but adding tradition and development to Scripture, and using a 16th century theology - not my cup of inerrancy.

I notice that you cannot answer the questions on inerrnacy, but readily assume that your doctrine is the only correct one. How much did I miss when I believed the same way.

J. K. Gayle said...

"Paul says to slaves: 'If you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity'. (1Cor7:21)"

"And he commands slave owners:
'masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly.' So slaves were justly and fairly treated."

Henry Halo,
I'm not going to get into every verse you reference. In the letter to Corinth, Paul seems to vacillate between giving commands and giving advice and repeating commands "from the Lord." For example, he's explicit when saying, "I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment.... I suppose therefore that this is good." When he's writing this, he makes his readers use their judgment as well. This isn't your "wax nose" scripture you've accused me of having. It is his advocating levels of law and situational judgment. Generally, Paul's argument (especially in I Cor. 7) seems to be that the Corinthians need to maintain the status quo as well as possible. I find it fascinating that he's treating slaves and wives in the same close context arguing for the same status quo principle. He does outline conditions (commands? or "I speak for your own profit") for "freedom" and "liberty" for slaves and for wives. When the husband dies, for example, then the wife is no longer bound (i.e., by the law) but is "at liberty." Similar conditions are presented for the slave. But the Corinthians are left to use their judgment. Paul's practical principles, his own commands, and his commands "from the Lord" are different things that he's woven together in the same text. It's tough to read this as an abolitionist document, or one that upends the household codes or political structures of first century Greece in the Roman empire.

halo said...

J.K. Gayle you say:

"you insist (a) that because I see contradictions in Paul (b) then I must therefore also conclusively and wholly reject holy scripture"

I did not say that. I said that once you allow for contradictions in Paul then the Bible loses its authority because it is anyones decision which bits they choose and which bits the think are wrong. Who decides which bits are right and which bits are wrong? Each to his own. Thus the Bible is treated like a wax nose.

If you think the bible contains contradictions it is senseless to try and justify your position on any given issue by appealing to Scripture because Scripture has errors. You may continue to do so but to most people watching it is rather odd.

You say:

"Your logic here demands that you not allow the excluded middle. That is, a God-inspired infallible Bible depends on Paul's being perfectly consistent in all of his statements."

Correct. I do not see how two contradictory statements (talking of the same thing in the same sense) can both be true and therefore infallibly God's words. If you want to deny basic laws of logic that God has given us then you have a lot of work to do. You can't just say 'this is just how Westerns think'. The writers of the bible repeatedly rely on their hearers accepting reason and argumentation in order to make their case. Eg, Apollos 'vigorously debated with the Jews and proved from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.'

Re 'Inerrancy'. I did not actually use that term, it has been added to me by J.L Watts. Although I do believe in it as espoused by Chicago Statement, I prefer to focus on 'Authority' since that is what Scripture mostly seems to claim for itself when it speaks of this matter. I think the 'authority' of Scripture entails 'inerrancy' because something cannot be false and at the same time be truly authoritative.

J.K Gayle I do not find your attempts at showing a contradiction in Scripture very forceful. You make a few vague assertions but you will have to do better than that if you are going to convince. More specifically, if you want to demonstrate that the Bible contradicts itself then you will have to do ALL of the following:

1) Show that Jesus and the Apostles' claims of authority for their writing are actually bogus and that they did not actually believe this.

2) Give specific verse references that appear contradictory.

3) Show conclusively that these verses are speaking of the same thing in the same sense, that there is no possible explanation and as such that they cannot be reconciled.

Since 1) and 3) are pretty much impossible for you to do I do not think I will be changing my mind anytime soon on whether Paul contradicts himself. Rather, I will continue to believe Jesus and the Apostles testimony about Scripture.

Re. the portions where Paul distinguishes between his own command and God's I will say the following:

Paul makes it known when he is doing this and it does not affect the vast majority of his writings, it is quite a rare occurrence. His writings are filled with numerous claims to authority which you still have not addressed. In particular, the verses I have listed are not even in this category. Note what follows 1Cor14:34. No way out for you there sorry.

Even when Paul does do this he sometimes says things like:

'but I give a judgement as one who by the Lord's mercy is trustworthy'.

Therefore I do not think I will be disregarding his judgement any time soon.

Apostle Paul versus 'Enlightened Moderns'. I know who I will choose.

Nobody has addressed one of my main arguments about Paul appealing to created order and OT scripture to back up some of his most significant commands concerning women. Thus you cannot keep writing them off as only applicable for that time. Read 1Cor 14:33-37 and 1Tim2:12-14.

Halo

halo said...

I do not feel that my most substantive points are being engaged so I will probably call it a day now.

Thanks everyone for your discussions and I hope you can understand why I find it so hard to get egalitarianism from the Bible. Maybe I am wrong and am terribly blind, if so then please pray for me that God would open my eyes to the truth of Scripture.

Thankyou

Halo

J. K. Gayle said...

"Thanks everyone for your discussions and I hope you can understand why I find it so hard to get egalitarianism from the Bible. Maybe I am wrong and am terribly blind, if so then please pray for me that God would open my eyes to the truth of Scripture."

Thanks Halo. Sounds like calling it a day now is a good idea. My own experience is that prayers are good and that recovery takes a long long time for most of us. Even Paul's Damascus road experience was the beginning of a process that never ended while he walked on this earth. The Bible actually begins with egalitarianism, in the garden. Something happened after that, which is why it seems Jesus, from time to time, had to remind those throwing around Scripture to perpetuate oppression of various classes of individuals of this contradiction: "but it was not so from the beginning." You seem most charitable, and I think most of us do understand why you find this so hard.

grace and peace,
Kurk

Kristen said...

Halo, in 1 Tim 2, you are assuming Paul's example of Adam and Eve is an "appeal to Creation order." It could just as easily be an example of how a person with more knowledge and experience (for Adam was created first), was not subject to deception in the same way as the person (created second)who had not had the opportunity for experience or education. As this parallels the situation of males compared to females in 1st century Ephesus, I find Paul's "Let a woman learn!" to be greatly enlightening as to the sense of the rest of the passage.

halo said...

Hi Kristen,

I had finished here, but before I consider investing some time to compose a response to you I would like to ask you a question:

Would you be open to changing your mind if it was shown that your argument was implausible?

Thanks

Halo

Kristen said...

Halo, as for 1 Cor. 14:33, no one has ever been able to identify in the Old Testament any "law" that says women are to keep silent and be submissive. The only possible one is in the Curse, "He shall rule over you." But that (if it is to be considered a law) says nothing whatsoever about women being silent, so "as the law also says" would have to be referring to submissiveness only. Submissiveness is an attitude of heart recommended for all Christians (Eph 5:21), and in this passage again, we see an immediate contextual reference to women needing to learn.

Slightly earlier in the same letter, Paul speaks of women praying and prophesying in church, so this passage has to be interpreted in light of other passages in which women do speak in church. I'm finding a context in Chapter 14 of uneducated women speaking out of turn, which is unsubmissive. There are a lot of other possible interpretations of the passage, but what I find is that complementarians often focus just on these few passages, and ignore the passages which speak of women actually doing things that involve authority. Complementarians love to say that egalitarians try to interpret away the sense of these passages, but then turn around and do exactly the same thing in interpreting away the clear authority held by Phoebe and Junia in Romans 16:1-2 and 7.

Scripture must interpret Scripture.

halo said...

I'll take that as a no then.

Halo

Kristen said...

Halo, I posted my second post at the same time as your reply. But here's the thing. I find the subordination of women to be morally abhorent. I used to be a complementarian, meekly swallowing my lesser role and subjugation-- but looking at the Scriptures in terms of the big picture-- the nature and character of God-- I find a position that God created half the human race to be given inferior roles (and they *are* inferior), based on nothing more than the accident of their birth, to be just as abhorrent as the divine right of kings or the assumption of the right to wealth and privilege of the old aristocracy. So in all honesty, I'd have to say no, I'm not open to complementarianism any more. I've been there, done that, and got the T-shirt. So if you want to end the discussion here, that's fine with me. I just didn't want you thinking that egals were unwilling to address the issue you raised.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Halo,

Here is my challenge. Find someone whose ancestors ran away from slavery and ask them how they would feel if they were to have to go back and obey a master.

Would you be willing to approach some former slave, or descendent of slaves and ask this question?

Would you be able to explain to another person, that God wants you to be a free man, but God wants the other person to remain in slavery.

No, you have your arguments against this so you would not do it. But this is how I feel also.

Anyhow, for many women they would rather be atheists. Really hell is such an abstract thing in comparison.

halo said...

Sue,

your argument rests on the premise that:

complementarianism = slavery

awell as the premise that freed slaves are commanded to go back to and obey their masters by scripture. Paul actually says 'if you can gain your freedom, do so'.

So it is a ridiculous comparison. Can't you even admit the possibility that your view of 'submission' is warped by your own bad experiences of an domineering male who abused his position.

No complementarians see it like you do. But your perception is of course the objective true one by which complementarians must be judged. All things must bow to the flawless perception of Suzanne McCarthy who is not capable of error, even when the bible clearly suggests otherwise.

Halo

halo said...

Kristen,

since you are not even open to the possibility that you might be wrong I do not think you even want to hear why your recent arguments are implausible.

But if there is anyone out there with an open ear listening on who is open to the possibility that they might be wrong and would like to know the other side then please say so and I will respond.

Halo

J. K. Gayle said...

Paul actually says 'if you can gain your freedom, do so'.

Paul tells slaves to obey masters and wives to rank themselves under husbands. Peter joins him and tells wives to rank themselves under husbands; and he goes further saying that wives long ago "ranked themselves under their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master."

There's a comparison between this "complementarianism" (i.e., wives calling husbands "master" and "obeying" them as they rank themselves under) and slavery (i.e., slaves obeying masters). Peter is making the comparison implicitly. Paul, whom Peter said was writing the Holy God-Breathed Writings, would likely agree with Peter. "Complementarianism" is "slavery" in the sense that good wives, beautiful ones like they remember Sarah being, both "obey" their husbands and also call them "master" in their "voluntary submissiveness" (i.e., their ranking themselves under the man in the marriage). It's not just Sue who sees that complementary = slavery. It's Peter and Paul also.

Paul and Peter would, likely, we hope, advise women who are "not slaves" per se and women who are slaves to gain their freedom if they can -- if they are in situations particularly in which the master / husband is abusive.

which is too often the case.

Kristen said...

Halo, your comments about Suzanne are inappropriate. You are disappointed that she and I find female subordination morally abhorrent and don't want to listen to you as to why we should change our sense of right and wrong to suit your interpretation of the Bible.

Believe me, I would believe female subordination was wrong even if males never abused their privilege, just as I would view the divine right of kings as wrong even if all kings were kind and benevolent. One person is not granted God-given superiority in the form of authoritative power over others under the New Covenant, merely by virtue of who they happen to be born as. God's movement through history has always been in the direction of increased justice, not less.

So-- if you don't like Suzanne's blog and you want to come here just to insist she change and insult her if she won't-- well, if it were my blog, I'd ask you to leave.

Don said...

Amen,

Egals keep resisting the oppresive teaching.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

your argument rests on the premise that:

complementarianism = slavery

awell as the premise that freed slaves are commanded to go back to and obey their masters by scripture. Paul actually says 'if you can gain your freedom, do so'.


In some ways the subordinate role of the wife resembles slavery, in other ways it does not. This is clear. I chose to make certain comparisons that you do not. This should not be a concern for you.

Paul also says that those who are single should not seek to marry. I think it is clear in Paul that the wife is not free to serve the Lord in the same way if she is married.

I do think that a wife should go back to her husband, if it is at all possible. But frequently there are circumstances that prevent it.

I notice that you have come here and without providing your name, have taken to making aggressive comments to me.

This demonstrates the reason why male authority is a sham. I do not claim t be fit to have authority over another adult, but you do.

By losing your cool, you have demonstrated the very pitfalls of your own system.

Anonymous said...

halo is the very type of person that almost drove me away from Christianity.

After coming out of a hellish marriage (to a comp pastor), I'm supposed to accept and affirm the glories of complementarianism????

Whatever happened to, "Just give me Jesus." If you tack males-rule-over-female onto Jesus, I can't do it. It's like taking grace and dumping a bucket of sewer sludge over the top of it, or tacking the word, "free" over a prison cell and expecting me to be excited about it.

Thankfully, Jesus doesn't do that to me.

Some of His more vocal fanboys do, though, like good old halo. Some people just don't get it.

Suzanne McCarthy said...

Yup. Sometimes I say that it is just like stepping in dog pooh.