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Complementarianism - What do you think?


25 replies to this topic

#1 kemisz

Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:17 PM

I guess I'm having a crisis of faith here and I'm reaching out for some help.

My church teaches complementarianism - in which women must submit to their husbands and husbands must love their wives etc.

I am a feminist and though I have been a Christian my entire life, I really struggle with this principle.

I find myself angry at God.  I don't see why I should have to submit to a man.  Especially when we're all supposed to be spiritual beings  Why can't we be equals?  Will it be like this in heaven too?  Treated as second class citizens?  Why is our gender important when even marriages will not last into eternity?  Especially when God refers to our life here on Earth as being like a vapor.

Nothing rocks my faith that God exists but I struggle with organized religion - especially when it comes to women's rights.  My crisis is that I don't want to go to church anymore where my friends all tell me that it's my job to submit to my husband and pat each other on the back for not making their own decisions.  My husband doesn't want me to submit to him so why does God?      

I find myself angry at God for passages in the Bible that seem to tell me to give up and give in based on the sole virtue of having a uterus.  Especially when there are so many conflicting passages.  I've read the Bible through in its entirety twice and I'm not any closer to getting it.  When I ask my Pastor about it I don't get a satisfactory answer because he's extremely condescending.  

I don't want to fall into prideful territory in which I think I must always be on top or right.  What I want is freedom and the knowledge that God blesses me to grow and learn without confining that to home duties and Bible study.  Something my church tells me is not Biblical.  That I can stretch my wings and soar... but only at home with the children or in women's ministry or as long as my husband isn't inconvenienced.  Christian website after Christian website seems to hate feminism.

I guess I'm just looking for... I don't know.  Something.  Some kind of guidance, some lightning bolt.  Some wisdom.  He's not really talking to me right now and I'm feeling the burn of it.  When I was younger, I thought I knew it all - when I believed everything these people told me.  Now I feel like I know nothing - except that I don't want to go back into that cage.

#2 joshuakalan

Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:24 PM

I was raised in a very Christian family and this principle is one that I always fought over with many a discussion in my family turning into an argument.

I do not believe that this was ever God's intention. Rather, as our world is patriarchial (and was more so in biblical times), men have altered and manipulated the meaning of certain parts of the bible to subjugate women. This has enabled men to "justify" their perceived role.

It really, really upsets me.



#3 ezza036

Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:43 PM

OP,

I am not even sure if I have faith, but I know one thing - God, if s/he exists, did not write the bible.  Man did.  Sure - it is full of some good stuff, and a lot of the ethical rules it lays down are good ones to live by - but it was written by man.

Man is fallible.  Man can be wrong.  I forget the author of the passage you refer to, but always remember it was written by a human.  A human who may have applied his own interpretation or prejudice to the message.  Or a human who was using a language that we no longer effectively translate.

I think you should pray on it.  Make your own decisions about right and wrong based on your own study and your own understanding of what the message is.  I recall a passage about teaching a man to fish - understanding your faith is the same.  Don't just accept the fish they give you; fish out understanding and truth for yourself.

Personally, I would apply it to the modern day as a message to respect your husband; to have faith in him and to trust him.  Just as in "loving" you, he should trust in you, and respect you and your free will capacity to exercise judgment.  Perhaps in "submitting" and "loving", we are instead acknowledging a willingness to compromise for the good of the partnership, rather than ourselves as individuals.  But then as I said, I am not sure what beliefs I hold, so you may wish to take theological advice from someone who is a better christian than I.

Above all, don't let a man from 2000 years ago's take on domestic hierarchy affect your relationship with God.  Faith and trust in a higher power is a valuable thing indeed, and once lost you feel its absence.  Good luck in figuring it out.



#4 ~~lucie~~

Posted 28 December 2011 - 09:55 PM

It's also good to remember that there are lots of different ways these things are understood and lived out by Christians. I am a committed Christian but these days probably wouldn't describe myself as complementarianst but egalitarian. My husband and I are equal and who leads at home church and elsewhere shouldn't depend on gender!! "There is no longer male or female Jew or Greek we are all one in Christ Jesus"
I do believe that much of the new testament was quite revolutionary for its time ( what - I should love and respect my wife not treat her as my possession?!) but our understanding also needs to be read in the context of culture then and now.
I suppose I just want to say don't give up, keep looking to god and gods character not just the church which is often flawed. Www.cbeInternational.org has some good articles on this (Christians for biblical equality)

#5 Angelot

Posted 29 December 2011 - 08:07 AM

Oh boy.  I've been through a similar struggle!

For the record, I'm a woman who's accepted the call to leadership and ministry within the church, so that's where I stand on this stuff.

For what it's worth, I found it quite liberating to study the new testament for myself, especially in the Greek.  Time and time again I've been astonished at how much our standard translations seem to take the most conservative, the most difficult, or the most oppressive option in dealing with ambiguous phrases.  There is, for example, a world of difference between saying that women can't have authority, and saying that we shouldn't be domineering.  I should hope that no Christian leader, male or female, would be domineering!  Although I don't have time this morning, I'd be more than happy to go through those passages in detail and look at where I think some translations serve to hurt more than free women, where the gospel can be distorted, and how we might understand these things better.

As for your church - I'm tempted just to say leave, there are better communities out there.  But I know it isn't that simple.  I do wonder, though, whether it is wise (or even Godly) to stay in a place which is obviously crippling you.  Even if I agreed with their teachings, I could never endorse their pastoral methods if they are making their members miserable and limiting them.  That, to me, seems to be quenching the work of the Spirit in their midst rather than being obedient to Him.  For, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour."

I think your post answers for itself the question of what the freedom and favour of the Spirit would be like for you.  

I hope that helps.  I know that what I've written will be contentious for some.  I know that some women manage to find freedom and joy in a complementarian situation.  But I believe that for those of us who find the opposite, we shouldn't be forced into feeling the way you do; I don't see anything of God in that!  



#6 somila

Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:28 AM

QUOTE (kemisz @ 28/12/2011, 09:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Christian website after Christian website seems to hate feminism.

For many years (for over a century I reckon) there have been many Christians who do not embrace your particular church's views.  Christianity and feminism do not have to be opposite ends of a spectrum.  



#7 Lees75

Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:53 AM

OP, I don't believe that God has called you to soar only in home duties, children and women's ministry.

ETA - just thought I would follow Ange's example and say my background for context. Pentecostal all my life, married a pastor, involved in church leadership myself, had a great marriage until my husband was hurt by the church, decided he wasn't a Christian anymore and walked out on me. I am now divorced, although do believe whole-heartedly in Christian marriage.

Over my early years as an adult, I struggled with this, as my mum talks this talk, but as I have realised, she doesn't practically live it anyway - lol!  In fact, I think my parents have reached a wonderful balance. But the more I have studied women in the Bible, and God's attitude towards them, the more I realised that we have taken verses out of context and twisted them to suit our society's current Patriarchal focus; society is starting to move away from this, thankfully, but the church is a bit left behind.

I would encourage you to study Proverbs 31. This "woman" looked after her family, worked, ran the business, etc. She soared in various aspects of life original.gif

I am sure if you post verses that concern you, Ange will be able to help you understand them in context. I will chuck in my 2 cents worth.

The Bible talks about mutual love and submission in a marriage. It then follows up with wives submit, husband love. Does this mean that wives don't have to love? No. So why do we assume it means men don't have to submit?  

There are many, many Christian churches who don't subscribe to this teaching, even reasonably fundamentalist churches.

Looking at it lightheartedly, if your husband doesn't want you to submit to him, then you had better do your "good wifely duties" to him and submit by not submitting original.gif

Edited by Lees75, 29 December 2011 - 09:58 AM.


#8 Guest_- beach_baby -_*

Posted 29 December 2011 - 10:00 AM

It sounds like you need a new church!

I dont know what religion you are but im catholic and I go a catholic church and there is none of that.

Men and women are equals in my church and are shown the same amount of respect.

I believe in treating others how you wish to be treated.

#9 kemisz

Posted 29 December 2011 - 12:35 PM

Thank you, everyone, for your replies.

It has been very helpful and they have given me a lot to think about.  

Sometimes I wish I didn't feel quite so much like the weird Christian, but I can't help feeling this way and I'm glad to know I'm not alone.

Ange - I've messaged you.  Thank you for your offer.

#10 Expelliarmus

Posted 01 January 2012 - 05:34 PM

I have not heard of the teaching before, but how does submission to the husband translate into home duties and Bible study? I would have thought submission to the husband is about the husband's role as patriarch and not anything about being a housewife. Can someone explain to me how that link is made in the teachings?

FWIW OP, I believe marriages can go into the eternities and thus have an element of submitting in my marriage, however it has nothing to do with housewifery. It's a spiritual submission where if my husband is a worthy man, he will listen to God and direct the family on behalf of God. As his wife and helpmeet it's my role to support him in that and to help him meet those obligations. It actually has very little submission involved, it's almost another meaning entirely in my understandings.

#11 Guest_Buy Me A Pony!_*

Posted 01 January 2012 - 06:02 PM

I believe in complementarianism but not in the prescribed fashion that it sounds you are being taught and not in juxtaposition to egalitarianism. This is one area where I believe theologians are misinterpreting the complementary roles of participants in relationships and assigning responsibility to gender, rather than strengths in personality. Gender has no bearing on personality and no influence on capacity. People are dynamic and everchanging. To confine individuals as being at all times capable of everything, even though we generally are, is sometimes overlooking that we are also frail and suffer from vulnerability. So I think the two ideas can work alongside one another, rather than in competition.

To me a relationship is dynamic and both participants must be aware of the changing needs of the other to make things work. I think this fits with feminism so struggle to see how religious teachers can think that defining anyone's role is a good thing. Life doesn't always fit neatly into philosophy OP, philosophy simply gives structure to ideas and thinking, but we're free to pick and choose which ideas suit us best. This is where I think many christians are vulnerable in that the teachings are often regarded as being infallible but as PPs have mentioned, teachings are only there for guidance. What is important is to follow your inner guidance and listen to your higher truth rather than simply what resonates as truth for somebody else. Prayer and reflection are SO important to tap into this.

As Ange Vert suggested, but perhaps more subtle: look to others within your wider community for guidance rather than limiting yourself to someone who appears to be quite inflexible in his own ideas about this area of faith.

QUOTE (Lees75 @ 29/12/2011, 10:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Looking at it lightheartedly, if your husband doesn't want you to submit to him, then you had better do your "good wifely duties" to him and submit by not submitting original.gif

I think this is actually really wise. A healthy relationship is always communicating needs and wants whilst listening for the same.

#12 Angelot

Posted 01 January 2012 - 06:38 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 01/01/2012, 06:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have not heard of the teaching before, but how does submission to the husband translate into home duties and Bible study? I would have thought submission to the husband is about the husband's role as patriarch and not anything about being a housewife. Can someone explain to me how that link is made in the teachings?


A number of things, but primarily the requirement that a woman be silent and learn at home (a la 1 Corinthians 14).  Must dash now - hungry baby! - but I may come back and expand more if I have time.

#13 kemisz

Posted 05 January 2012 - 07:03 PM

QUOTE
FWIW OP, I believe marriages can go into the eternities and thus have an element of submitting in my marriage, however it has nothing to do with housewifery. It's a spiritual submission where if my husband is a worthy man, he will listen to God and direct the family on behalf of God. As his wife and helpmeet it's my role to support him in that and to help him meet those obligations. It actually has very little submission involved, it's almost another meaning entirely in my understandings.


I guess my question is this - why is it the man's job to get the direction of the family from God and the woman's job to support that?  

I thought, and I'll have to check the scriptures on this, that marriages were NOT for eternity and thus comes the "Until death do us part" bit in the vows.  

Sorry to be crude but is the man placed in this role because SOME part of his anatomy works as a better antennae for receiving Godly wisdom?

Ah, I guess that's my frustration and bitterness coming through at the moment.  You'll have to forgive me.  I've been a Christian my entire life and I feel like it's all crashing around me.  Of all the multiple, thousands of personalities and life experiences and abilities etc, I just can't fathom that there is only one way a family should Biblically work.  And that that way is that the man is the patriarch who receives God's vision and direction - and that the woman is the helpmeet who makes it all happen.

I'm really glad that you guys operate so well this way.  It's fantastic that you have a situation that works for you.  I'm just want to know why.

#14 Guest_Wombat Wife_*

Posted 06 January 2012 - 12:36 PM

I have a long marriage and my husband and I complement each other in that separately neither of us is completely whole. Together we are more than the sum of our parts. The union is fluid - sometimes he is the strong one and the leader and at other times I am. Each of us has had to carry the other through crises. To me, this is complementarity,

As for staying silent, I will have none of it. I too am created in the image of God and I have a mind and a voice. I will continue to use both. I will however listen deeply to my husband. I expect him to do the same to me but at times both of us has a hearing problem.

Ignore your friends. They are not being helpful to you as you process this issue. Trust God and reflect on it as prayerfully as you can.

#15 Expelliarmus

Posted 08 January 2012 - 10:42 PM

QUOTE (kemisz @ 05/01/2012, 08:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess my question is this - why is it the man's job to get the direction of the family from God and the woman's job to support that?  

I thought, and I'll have to check the scriptures on this, that marriages were NOT for eternity and thus comes the "Until death do us part" bit in the vows.  

Sorry to be crude but is the man placed in this role because SOME part of his anatomy works as a better antennae for receiving Godly wisdom?

Ah, I guess that's my frustration and bitterness coming through at the moment.  You'll have to forgive me.  I've been a Christian my entire life and I feel like it's all crashing around me.  Of all the multiple, thousands of personalities and life experiences and abilities etc, I just can't fathom that there is only one way a family should Biblically work.  And that that way is that the man is the patriarch who receives God's vision and direction - and that the woman is the helpmeet who makes it all happen.

I'm really glad that you guys operate so well this way.  It's fantastic that you have a situation that works for you.  I'm just want to know why.


It works for us because of the particular religion to which we adhere.

In a home where the man holds the priesthood, that is why it is his job to get the direction.

In my religion marriages are for eternity. I have no vow until death us do part, my marriage was pronounced for time and all eternity.

It has nothing to do with having a penis, it has to do with ordained roles.

Should my husband not be worthy to direct the family I am in no way obligated to follow his counsel. I am obligated only if he is following the Lord.


#16 Angelot

Posted 16 January 2012 - 07:12 AM

The OP sent me a number of Bible verses which are particularly difficult in this regard, and with her permission I'm going to post my response on them here, because I thought it would be a helpful contribution to the discussion.

Genesis 3:16, “…yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”

My reading of this is that this is not God commanding how things should be, but describing how they will be, after the fall when human relationships are broken and less than ideal. Certainly this matches women’s experience through much of history! I would anticipate that a good Christian marriage, one in which the reign of God is experienced at least in part, would avoid and correct the worst aspects of this dynamic, not seek to enhance it.

Romans 16:7 lists Junia as an apostle, which seems to be a female name. As far as I can tell that's poor transcribing into English and it should read Junias, a male name. This does not, however, remove evidence of female leadership in the Church at this time; notice Phoebe in verse 1 of this chapter, a deacon in the church, and Paul’s instruction that the Roman church should help her as a great benefactor (literally, someone “outstanding”) in the church. Apostleship is not the only leadership role to consider.

1 Corinthians 11:3, " But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband is the head of his wife, and God is the head of Christ."

“Head” here should not carry the modern English freight of authority or control. It’s much closer in sense to the idea of source or origin. To read into this verse notions of male control is to see something which wasn’t there at the time. Paul’s concern is overcoming contention and stressing unity and relationship, not setting up power dynamics.

This verse also needs to be read alongside vv. 11-12 of the same chapter. “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God.” As such, male headship doesn't prevent a woman from full participation; notice that in verse 4 Paul talks about women both praying and prophesying in the church (this is also relevant a bit later when we come to consider the question of silence in Timothy).

As far as the concern with head coverings goes, there are a few competing theories about why Paul thought it was a big deal, but the one I think most likely is that in the cultural background to the letter, both Jews and gentiles were concerned that men not dress, do their hair or wear make up like women. They were afraid that it was a sign of permissiveness towards homosexuality and pederasty. Likewise they wanted women to be feminine and not to present themselves like men. These concerns carried over into the early church. Part of the issue here is firstly the good order of worship, and secondly that outsiders not be able to use the behavior of believers to slander them.

Ephesians 5:23, this is my translation of vv. 21-22, "“Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. The wives to their own husbands as to the Lord, for a husband is head of the wife in the same way that Christ is head of the Church…”

I see the keys here as being that 1) subjection is mutual and freely given; it is not confined to the women, and 2) within that mutual submission, the wives are to be subject to their own husbands. Most translations leave the "their own" out, but it implies to me that the problem in Ephesus is women undermining their marriages by seeking leadership from other men while ignoring or undermining their husbands – hardly a recipe for a healthy marriage. Just as the Church can’t look to someone other than Christ without suffering an identity crisis, a wife can’t look to someone other than her husband and expect her family not to suffer.

Then in v23 we come back to statements about headship, but given what I said above about headship language stressing unity and relationship (not power and control), it makes sense in this context where the concern seems to be about mutual submission within a marriage, where the spouses are subject to one another.

1 Timothy 2, I think the key verses are 11-15. This is my translation again: "“Let a woman learn in silence and in all subjection. For I do not allow women to teach, nor dictate to a man, but to be in subjection. For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was led astray in becoming a transgressor. But she will be saved during childbearing, if they remain in faith and love and holiness with self-control.”

There are a number of things to say about this (what one commentator I read called the most difficult passage in the whole New Testament).

First, up, the word for silence has a meaning of something like like quietness, rest, peacefulness in its connotations; the contrast is with angst rather than speech. We've already seen above that women prayed and prophesied in church; it would make no sense then to read this as forbidding them to speak at all. So the key here is that this is about learning; those who don't have knowledge are not to cause disruption but to be quiet and let those who are teaching do their thing.

The verb I've translated as "dictate" has a range of meaning; it could be translated something like domineer or take authority. The core though I think is about independence; in the church no one is truly independent; those who are learning are dependent on those who have a ministry of leadership and teaching, and even the teachers and pastors are dependent on the Holy Spirit...there is no place for independence, and a woman (or man) who strove for it would be in error. But this is not primarily about sex or gender so much as about what's appropriate for those who are learning. Elsewhere Paul makes it clear that where the Holy Spirit gives gifts of teaching or leadership they should be used in the service of the community, and there he sees no distinction between male and female, for it is the same Spirit who gives those gifts.

It's also worth pointing out that this means that it's not that all women are in "subjection" (lousy term, there's no good English word for this I think; something like a humble and respectful attitude of deference would be a good way of thinking about it), to all men. Women who are still immature and learning should be in subjection to men who are teachers and leaders, but again it's not a generalisation across the whole sex.

The bit about childbirth is tricky; on the surface it can read as if Paul is arguing that salvation comes to women by means of childbearing. Of course that would make a nonsense of the gospel; we don't earn salvation, even in the labour ward. It seems that rather what he is arguing for (and this is the point of the mention of Adam and Eve) is an undoing of the curse of the fall; because of sin women suffer in childbearing. But in Christ, there is safety/health (the word for salvation and the word for healing are exactly the same in Biblical Greek) for women who are faithful, loving, holy, self-controlled, etc, as they come to the dangers of childbirth. I think this has to be read as a general principle, and a hope, rather than a specific promise to each individual Christian woman, because clearly childbirth isn't a danger free zone even with God's protection.

#17 Ailime

Posted 16 January 2012 - 11:28 AM

Love your post, Ange Vert.

QUOTE (howdo @ 08/01/2012, 10:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Should my husband not be worthy to direct the family I am in no way obligated to follow his counsel. I am obligated only if he is following the Lord.

This is how I see it too.

#18 **Xena**

Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:10 PM

I actually like to look at the website religious tolerance. I believe that a lot  of passages have been mistranslated throughout history too oppress certain sections of society. If you look at the original passages many words are 'unknown' and have been translated in ways that may not be correct- just guesses really.

I also think that sometimes we need to look at the time when the bible was written and then also the times of the translations. I believe their is some bias to the bible depending on who did the translating and the time period in which it was translated!

#19 Angelot

Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:29 PM

I've just been emailed a link to this article, which I think raises questions about women's participation in the church from a slightly different, but very interesting angle.

http://www.missionandministry.com.au/index...cs&Itemid=5

ETA: There is a link within this article to a discussion paper on the question of egalitarian and complementarian views of women as well.

Edited by Ange Vert, 21 January 2012 - 05:31 PM.


#20 Lees75

Posted 21 January 2012 - 05:39 PM

CBE International also has a lot of links to free articles that discuss the typical verses in the Bible used to support complementarianism original.gif  I have spent most of the day reading stuff re this today, as I have a lot of friends who love, love, love Mark Driscoll's teaching, and can't understand why I don't.

ETA - CBE = Christian Believers in Equality

Edited by Lees75, 21 January 2012 - 05:39 PM.


#21 katyjane

Posted 26 January 2012 - 07:54 PM

Throwing in my 2c worth -

Both 1 Cor 11 and 1 Tim 2 give creational reasons that women are to submit to their husbands. As Ange very rightly explained about "head" and "origin" I think we shouldn't overlook this and think of equality necessarily as being the same as men. God-ordained roles are not about value or worth as a human but about order (as opposed to disorder). Christ submitted completely to God and we would never say he was without power. In fact what we say about him (in Phil 2) is that he had power but gave it up - for us.
There is a group around called "Equal but Different" which might be interesting to you OP. Not my cup of tea  but I certainly don't disagree with them.
I don't think that the stay-home-mum/ housewife equivalent existed in biblical times. Subsistence living required all hands on deck to put food on the table I'd say. Not sure why we make this leap that Christian women are best off at home. I know that for my family at the moment being at home is the best thing, but I don't get that directly from the Bible.



QUOTE
Should my husband not be worthy to direct the family I am in no way obligated to follow his counsel. I am obligated only if he is following the Lord.


I think this might have been written in haste - this quotation needs a lot of explanation. What if someone is a believer and their husband is not? What might win someone over to Christ? Forceful agressive assertions of being right or love expressing itself through humble service? How do you define "worthy"?

Edited by katyjane, 26 January 2012 - 07:58 PM.


#22 Angelot

Posted 26 January 2012 - 09:35 PM

QUOTE (katyjane @ 26/01/2012, 08:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think this might have been written in haste - this quotation needs a lot of explanation. What if someone is a believer and their husband is not? What might win someone over to Christ? Forceful agressive assertions of being right or love expressing itself through humble service? How do you define "worthy"?


Without wishing to put words in howdo's mouth, I do believe she was discussing her situation where she understands her DH to fulfil a priestly role within the family.  That in and of itself would take a whole stack of unpacking in the context of this conversation, because concepts of priesthood, leadership, teaching roles and so forth differ greatly between different groups of Christians.

Apart from that, I think there is a great danger in arguing the marriage relationship from that between the Son and the Father within the economy of salvation.  Subordinationism is a heresy which misrepresents the nature of God as understood in Christianity, and to present Christ's kenosis as anything other than temporary, to fulfil the purposes of the whole Trinity, can lead to dangerous distortions in our understanding of human relationships.

#23 katyjane

Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:17 PM

Ange, assuming that I have rightly understood your last paragraph (and I do not have a degree in theology, so I acknowledge that may be a very big assumption on my part) I would still say that regardless of whether one argues for or against order in the immanent trinity, the fact that the Son does subordinate himself to the Father in the economy points to the fact that being subordinate is hardly a bad thing.
If we can not believe that God is the God who reveals himself to us in Christ, exactly how can we know him? Obviously not a question to be debated further right here as it has moved far beyond what our various ideas of submission are, but I do wonder.

#24 Expelliarmus

Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE (katyjane @ 26/01/2012, 07:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think this might have been written in haste - this quotation needs a lot of explanation. What if someone is a believer and their husband is not? What might win someone over to Christ? Forceful agressive assertions of being right or love expressing itself through humble service? How do you define "worthy"?


I did not write it in haste. If you want an explanation I am happy to expand.

If someone is a believer and their husband is not - You ask what about it? I don't know what you want to know, sorry. I think you might mean how do you subject yourself to your husband if he is not Christian? In matters of religion, you do not.  For example if my husband were to say "Right, no more church, I think we should all stop going." I would not agree and I would feel no problem in not submitting myself to his opinion/feelings/thoughts on the matter. If he insisted I would not feel obliged to stop. That is not following the Lord.

Very simplistic and open to a lot of "but what abouts -?" but it is the easiest way for me to explain as I don't know exactly what you are asking.

I don't know what winning someone over to Christ has to do with what I wrote, sorry.

How do I define worthy? Living within the tennets of my religion. There's a big list that I don't need to bore anyone with.


#25 Angelot

Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:00 PM

QUOTE (katyjane @ 28/01/2012, 09:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ange, assuming that I have rightly understood your last paragraph (and I do not have a degree in theology, so I acknowledge that may be a very big assumption on my part) I would still say that regardless of whether one argues for or against order in the immanent trinity, the fact that the Son does subordinate himself to the Father in the economy points to the fact that being subordinate is hardly a bad thing.
If we can not believe that God is the God who reveals himself to us in Christ, exactly how can we know him? Obviously not a question to be debated further right here as it has moved far beyond what our various ideas of submission are, but I do wonder.


Absolutely I would say that Christ's example of humility and service is one to follow.  What I was trying to say, though, is that Christ's obedience is not about his inherent being in relationship to the father, and nor can we argue from his example that a marriage ought to be ordered so that one partner is always subordinate, and the other always exercising authority.  We can't take Christ's obedience as the pattern for wifeliness, as opposed to the pattern for mutual love between the partners in a marriage.

I think it's an important point because arguing that Christ's subordination is the pattern for wifely subordination has become quite popular, although there are fine scholars (such as Kevin Giles) who articulate well why this is a flawed approach (in books such as this one: http://www.amazon.com/Trinity-Subordinatio...8353&sr=8-1 ).



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