Are “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” Biblical?

Part One

In recent months, I’ve found myself re-examining a number of doctrines and beliefs that I’ve held closely for years. I’ve learned many valuable things recently, including the need to critically examine what we believe and why we believe it, as well as to ensure that what we believe lines up with Scripture.

One of the things that I’ve long believed in is Patriarchy. I’m embarrassed now to have to admit it, but I came to believe that Patriarchy was biblical without ever first having done a critical examination on my own of the supposed “biblical” support for Patriarchy. I just took the word of certain Patriarchy leaders that Patriarchy is biblical. Recently, I started doing an examination and found that the biblical support for Patriarchy is actually quite weak, or at least the biblical support that is used in the official “Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” is weak.

This isn’t to say that I believe that Patriarchy is necessarily un-biblical or anti-biblical. However, I am starting to wonder if much of it isn’t extra-biblical. I’m starting to think that Patriarchy probably falls more into the category of a personal lifestyle decision, rather than something that’s biblically mandated as many patriarchists would have us believe. Patriarchy is a personal lifestyle decision which may work well for some Christian families, but I no longer believe that Patriarchy is something that’s biblically mandated. Those who believe that Patriarchy is biblically mandated I would refer to as “hyper-patriarchs.”

Unfortunately, many of the hyper-Patriarchy leaders have attempted to make Patriarchy a necessary component of the Gospel message itself:

Egalitarian feminism is a false ideology that has bred false doctrine in the church and seduced many believers. In conscious opposition to feminism, egalitarianism, and the humanistic philosophies of the present time, the church should proclaim the Gospel centered doctrine of biblical patriarchy as an essential element of God’s ordained pattern for human relationships and institutions.

In other words, for the hyper-Patriarchist, Patriarchy is a “Gospel centered doctrine.” To not embrace Patriarchy is to reject the Gospel. I believe this is errant teaching, if not heretical. In some Patriarchy circles, those who don’t go along with their agenda are consigned to the status of a “carnal” or non-normative Christian. In many hyper-Patriarchy circles, to reject Patriarchy is to be “feminist” or “egalitarian.” For them it’s an either/or. Either you embrace Patriarchy or you’re an egalitarian feminist. However, I can no longer view this as an either/or position.

Even if Patriarchy can be supported biblically, does that make it mandatory for all Christians? I don’t believe that Patriarchy can be mandatory unless the Bible specifically mandates it. But from my read of the Scriptures, I see no such mandate.

In this article, what I’d like to do is examine a document prepared by Doug Phillips, Phil Lancaster and R.C. Sproul, Jr. entitled The Tenets Of Biblical Patriarchy. In the Editor’s Note to The Tenets it states, “We view this as an accurate working document, and invite feedback from anyone as we attempt to improve this statement over time.” I’m grateful that they have extended the offer to provide feedback. Apparently this offer is open to anyone. My goal is help them sharpen their iron here.

The Editor’s Note in The Tenets Of Biblical Patriarchy also states:

Central to the crisis of this era is the systematic attack on the timeless truths of biblical patriarchy. This attack includes the movement to subvert the biblical model of the family, and redefine the very meaning of fatherhood and motherhood, masculinity, femininity, and the parent and child relationship. We emphasize the importance of biblical patriarchy, not because it is greater than other doctrines, but because it is being actively attacked by unbelievers and professing Christians alike. Egalitarian feminism is a false ideology that has bred false doctrine in the church and seduced many believers.

Egalitarianism and feminism are clearly humanistic philosophies, and humanists would not deny it. In my personal view, humanism often becomes an attack on biblical Christianity. There’s nothing new about that, nor is that a “crisis” that’s unique to “this era.” Humanism has been with us for many centuries, and we should always be prepared to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Pet. 3:15). Patriarchists have attempted to “give an answer” to a number of important issues, including the cultural influence of humanism. However, as I’ve come to see, this is a reactionary position, and reactionaries often tend to become extremists. Rather than seeking balance, it is all too easy to take things to the opposite extreme. I believe that these views of Patriarchy are an example of this reactionism, and these views are extremist, rather than biblically balanced.

In principle, I agree that radical feminism and egalitarianism have done much to undermine the family, the church, and society on the whole. The easy thing to do would be to blame women, and I know from personal experience that’s exactly what some patriarchists do. But in my view, radical feminism and egalitarianism cannot be blamed entirely on rebellious women (“Jezebels”), and their penchant for doing so only further harms families and churches, rather than restoring them to biblical balance. Rather than being Patriarchal, this is just misogyny.

Feminism and egalitarianism cannot be laid entirely at the feet of women. Much of the blame must also go to men, men who are either abusive and tyrannical, or on the other end of the scale, men who abdicate their duties and responsibilities to be godly servant-leaders in their homes and churches. Egalitarianism and feminism are often a reaction to abusive or derelict men. The solution isn’t in more extremism — reaction to egalitarian feminism. The solution will come by restoring biblical balance. I believe that rather than being part of the solution, Patriarchy is part of the problem.

“The Tenets Of Biblical Patriarchy” make numerous bold claims about Patriarchy, including that Patriarchy is “Biblical.” The Tenets purport to be biblical because, supposedly, each of its doctrinal points is supported by multiple specific scriptural references. But as we shall see, quite often the scriptural references don’t make the case that patriarchists attempt to portray that they do. Many of the verses cited simply do not belong under the category that they were placed in because they have little or nothing to do with that particular issue. This may have been done in order to give the false impression that there is strong biblical support for the point being made, when in fact the biblical support may be quite weak, if nonexistent. Needless to say this practice of throwing Bible references like so much spaghetti against the wall to see what might stick, when many of those verses may have little or nothing to do with the “tenet,” is dishonest. Another problem that I discovered is that there has been quite a bit of prooftexting done in order to achieve the desired outcome. This, too, is just more dishonesty.

When I started going through the verses referenced in “The Tenets Of Biblical Patriarchy,” and I discovered these discrepancies, I found myself becoming very offended. I cherish God’s Word as holy and sacred, but these tenets do not seem to take God’s Word as seriously as I do. This is not a situation where Christians are conforming their lives to God’s Word, but rather they are conforming and contorting God’s Word to their personal preferences.

If patriarchists wish to continue calling Patriarchy “biblical,” then it seems to me that they need to work harder on finding Bible references that actually do support Patriarchy. If they’re then unable to identify specific biblical support for any of their “tenets,” then they need to withdraw those particular tenets entirely. Either that or they need to change their title to just The Tenets Of Patriarchy (my personal preference would be The Tenets Of Hyper-Patriarchy). It’s not for me to say that these aren’t the Tenets Of Patriarchy. I’m sure they are. I do think, however, that they haven’t made a very good case for saying that all these Tenets are biblical.

God as Masculine

1. God reveals Himself as masculine, not feminine. God is the eternal Father and the eternal Son, the Holy Spirit is also addressed as “He,” and Jesus Christ is a male. (Matt. 1:25; 28:19; Jn. 5:19; 16:13)

Matt. 1:25 – and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

Matt. 28:19 – Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

John 5:19 – Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

John 16:13 – However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

So far, so good.

The Image of God and Gender Roles

2. Both man and woman are made in God’s image (their human characteristics enable them to reflect His character) and they are both called to exercise dominion over the earth. They share an equal worth as persons before God in creation and redemption. The man is also the image and glory of God in terms of authority, while the woman is the glory of man. (Gen. 1:27-28; 1 Cor. 11:3,7; Eph. 5:28; 1 Pet. 3:7)

Gen 1:27-28 – So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

I Cor. 11:3 – But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

I agree that God created man and woman in His own image. This isn’t said of any of God’s other creatures. Mankind also is unique in that we are the only of God’s creations with a soul. Mankind therefore has a special obligation to bring glory to God. I can only assume that these verses are included to show that the man is the image and glory of God in terms of authority. I’m not sure I understand the need to talk about authority structure in the section on being created in the image of God.

I Cor. 11:7 – For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

Eph. 5:28 – So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.

This is a good verse, but I don’t see how it relates to being created in the image of God. To me, this seems confusing to speak of mankind being created in God’s image, while at the same time talking about “gender roles.” Are we trying to say that since a man was created in the image of God, that he should love his own body, and therefore he should love his own wife? If so, this should be stated as such. This verse probably belongs in a different category.

I Pet. 3:7 – Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

This verse seems to support the statement that they share an equal worth as persons before God in redemption, not that women are subordinate or in any way inferior to men.

So, in this category, we find clear biblical support for nearly everything except the clause (their human characteristics enable them to reflect His character), which is meant to be a logical inference of what it means to be created in the image of God, although I find no clear Scripture listed for this. Since these are “biblical tenets,” I would like to see some Scriptural support for this as well.

3. God ordained distinct gender roles for man and woman as part of the created order. Adam’s headship over Eve was established at the beginning, before sin entered the world. (Gen. 2:18ff.; 3:9; 1 Cor. 11:3,7; 1 Tim. 2:12-13)

Gen 2:18 – And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

I think this verse is clear that God intended for wives to help their husbands. I like this translation; wives are comparable to their husbands. Interesting. I wonder how difficult it is for an undereducated wife to help a highly educated man?

Gen. 3:9 – Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

This was right after they both ate the fruit. Does this determine headship? Or is it just inferred here?

I Cor. 11:3, 7 – But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. … For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

I Tim. 2:12-13 – And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.

If we put these Scriptures together, I think it is clear that the husband is the head of his wife, and that the wife is to help her husband. I’ve been taught to look at things in light of all of Scripture, so remember this point later on.

4. Although sin has distorted their relationship, God’s order of authority for husbands and wives has not changed, and redemption enables them to make substantial progress in achieving God’s ideal for their relationship. (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22ff.)

Gen 3:16 – To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

Eph. 5:22, 25 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

This is basically sound, but this interpretation sounds almost defeatist to me that we can only make substantial progress in the marital relationship. What of those who aren’t called to marry? What hope do they have of their personal sanctification? In the world of hyper-Patriarchy, daughters must remain under the “headship” of their fathers in perpetuity.

The Authority of Fathers

5. A husband and father is the head of his household, a family leader, provider, and protector, with the authority and mandate to direct his household in paths of obedience to God. (Gen. 18:19; Eph. 6:4)

Gen 18:19 – For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.”

In context, God says here that He knew Abraham in order that Abraham should become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth would be blessed in him. This is a promise given specifically to Abraham. Is Patriarchy claiming Abraham’s promises for themselves? Is that why they call it Patriarchy? They want to be like Abraham? Abraham is certainly seen as the Patriarch in Scripture. Are all men commanded biblically to be patriarchs as well? If they are, then it seems to me that, in order to be biblically consistent, all men would have to do everything that Abraham did, including taking multiple wives (polygamy), have servants (slaves), etc.

Eph. 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

This one applies to at least one aspect of this point. In light of all of Scripture, since a wife is to help her husband, I think it would include helping to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord as well.

It seems that Scriptural support is missing for a great deal of this particular point. Is the father really the head of his household? Is he the family leader? Is he told to be the provider? Is he to be the protector? I’m not saying that I necessarily disagree with this. I’d just like to see the verses for these since these are called “Biblical” Tenets.

This section is about the authority of fathers. Why is the husband part included here? Surely they don’t mean that a husband is to exercise the same authority over his wife as a father would over his children, do they?

6. A man’s authority in the home should be exercised with gentleness, grace, and love as a servant-leader, following the example of Jesus Christ. Leadership is a stewardship from God. (Ps. 103:13; Mal. 3:17; Matt. 11:29-30; Col. 3:21; 1 Pet. 3:7)

Ps. 103:13 – As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him.

This verse speaks of the natural pity a father feels for his children, a prime example of prooftexting. Mothers, too, obviously pity their children.

Mal. 3:17 – “They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”

These are not “tenets.” These verses are simply stating how things are. In fact, these verses are really about God’s attitude toward us.

Matt. 11:29-30 – “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Jesus is gentle. This verse does not tell a man to be gentle. This verse does not even specifically tell us to be like Jesus, although certainly Jesus is our example. More prooftexting.

Col. 3:21 – Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

I Pet. 3:7 – Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

Finally, we get to two verses that are direct commands to men. While I agree with this principle of men being a servant-leader, the Scriptural support here is very weak. I would think this section could be bolstered quite a bit with appropriate verses.

7. The authority of fathers is limited by the law of God and the lawful authority of church and state. Christian fathers cannot escape the jurisdiction of church and state and must be subject to both. (Rom. 13:1ff.; Eph. 5:21; 6:4; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 2:13ff.)

Rom. 13:1 – Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

This verse says “every soul.” I wonder why in Patriarchy only the fathers are to be subject to the jurisdiction of church and state?

Eph. 5:21 – submitting to one another in the fear of God.

In context, this is a “one anothering” passage written to believers on how they are to treat one another. This has nothing to do with being subject to authorities of any kind.

Eph. 6:4 – And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.

If this is the passage that limits a father’s authority, then it is greatly limited indeed. I wonder why they don’t follow these limits.

Heb. 13:17 – Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

The word “rule” is this verse actually means “to lead or guide.” “Those” is probably referring to elders, hence this verse is talking about the church part.

I Pet. 2:13 – Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

And the government.

I agree that fathers should be subject to governing authorities. I just wonder if the mothers and children and all men and women everywhere ought to be as well. Are you seeing the pattern here of the heavy emphasis on verses that seem to elevate men to a degree higher than God intended?

(The other tenets will follow later in a later article.)

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This is an interesting hermeneutic. Some patriarchists teach that if we see a “pattern” in Scripture, we are to follow the pattern. They teach that patterns in Scripture are as binding as direct commands, unless those patterns are what they would call “non-normative.” What I didn’t perceive while I was in patriarchy is the glaring weakness in this hermeneutic — there are so many “non-normatives.” They can’t clearly explain why there are so many “patterns” in Scripture that, in a patriarchist’s view, are non-normative. They can’t clearly explain why some “patterns” are “normative” and other “patterns” are “non-normative.” It just seems to come down to a matter of personal preferences, and twisting Scripture to comply with those preferences.

Just a few months ago, I probably would have looked at these verses and said that they did fully support these “Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy,” and largely because I had unwittingly adopted this hermeneutic. However, because I’ve become involved in an intensive Bible study group, I’ve learned how to study Scripture more accurately and to more rightly divide the Word of Truth. I still believe that we must base our lives upon Scripture, but I no longer believe that we are commanded to live our lives according to all “patterns” that we find in Scripture.

We also need to differentiate between commands that are for us as believers today and those that were given specifically to others. Furthermore, just because God may have permitted the Patriarchs to engage in certain kinds of behavior four thousand years ago doesn’t mean that we too are permitted, let alone commanded, to do as they did. Just because God gave certain commands to Abraham does not mean that all Christian men suddenly become patriarchs as well. In fact, I find it quite arrogant that some men have decided that God is speaking directly to them when He commanded Abraham to do certain things in order to establish a new nation.

I do not see that God is suddenly establishing multitudes of new nations, all stemming from the new group of “patriarchs” today. In fact, even the definition of “patriarch” is quite arrogant to apply to a Christian father today. I like to quote from Webster’s 1828 dictionary to define terms because this is a favorite dictionary of patriarchists:

Patriarch:

1. The father and ruler of a family; one who governs by paternal right. Usually applied to the progenitors of the Israelites, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the sons of Jacob, or to the heads of families before the flood.
2. A learned and distinguished character among the Jews.
3. In the Christian church, a dignitary superior to the order of archbishops. (Webster’s 1828 dictionary)

I wonder which of these three definitions applies to the “Patriarchs” of today?

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For this article only, I would like to request that comments here only address “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy.” The authors have invited feedback on their tenets and I would like feedback on these verses as well. What do you think? Do these verses support these tenets as being biblical? Does the Bible teach these tenets? When you leave a comment, to help us follow your thoughts, please address the tenet number and the Scripture reference as well. If you have additional Scripture you would like to add to help patriarchists support these tenets, please do so. This is NOT a debate about personal beliefs, but only how these tenets can be supported biblically.

311 Responses to “Are “The Biblical Tenets of Patriarchy” Biblical?”

  1. Jen Says:

    Corrie: “There were men who God raised up who were to administer the sacraments. Men whose qualifications were laid out in scripture.

    Corrie, I know that’s what’s usually done in churches today, but could you point me to those verses, please, regarding who is to administer the sacraments/ordinances?

    Corrie: “Does anyone know the reasoning behind having fathers adminstering sacraments to their own families? Do they also baptize their own families, too?”

    Yes, they baptize their families also. It is because the father is the Patriarch.

    Mike: “SOLUTION: Women — don’t move!”

    Mike, when I asked you for help, that wasn’t exactly what I was looking for! 😉

  2. Jen Says:

    T. Reformed: “Dominion is a very biblical term. The problem isn’t the biblical term, which is a good term. The problem is with those men who have perverted into something that the Lord never intended.”

    TR, I think I’m struggling with this in a similar way as Corrie, so let me share my thoughts on this. First, I’d like to thank both you and Corrie especially for being so willing to change your positions should you be found in error. I could ask for nothing more than Christians here who are so sold out for the truth that they are willing to risk heartache when their favorite doctrines are shown to be false. I know how much that hurts.

    My personal concern with the word “dominion” is rooted in the fact that it IS a biblical word, and as such, I feel it should be used in the context it was intended. I clearly see “dominion” being used to talk about ruling over (having control over) the animals. I also see “dominion” used for earthly and spiritual kingdoms. TR, I guess I just don’t see the “Dominion Mandate” laid out in Scripture as such.

    I agree that the husband is the head of his wife and that she is to submit to him, but is that part of the “Dominion Mandate” as seen in Scripture? Does the Bible tell us that? TR, I will take it one step further for you. Does the Bible tell us that fathers (or parents) are to take dominion over their children? Is that really part of the “Dominion Mandate”?

    I think for me personally, as well, is the fact that I have experienced in real life what Doug lays out in these tenets. These tenets look good on the outside, but when they are lived out, it is nearly impossible for a wife to be submissive in the way that we were expected to be. Does a husband ruling over his wife include the fact that women are allowed no opinions of their own? I am NOT exaggerating this. Does a husband ruling over his wife include the fact that women cannot study the Bible on their own to find out what God says to us – that we must only believe whatever our husbands tell us to? Is that the Dominion Mandate of the Bible?

    I’m trying to figure this out, too, TR, and I’m a little confused. Here’s a thought I have. It’s just a thought. Whenever God repeats a command from the OT in the NT, it seems that it is fleshed out with grace. So, if we say that it is a command in Genesis 3 that a man is to rule over his wife (for argument’s sake here, let’s just assume that it is a command), and we see that when it is fleshed out in the NT, husbands are told to actually love their wives, would that be the same as ruling? Would you consider loving your wife to be the same as ruling her? Would one fall into the “letter of the Law” category while the other fit the “spirit of the Law”? If you just focused on “ruling” your wife, as part of the Dominion Mandate, would that engender a godly marriage for you? Which type of husband do you think a wife is more likely to want to submit to – a ruling husband, or one who truly loves her? If a man truly loves his wife, and she, in turn, willingly submits to him, is there then any need for him to rule over her? I realize that I am not covering all marriage situations here, but I am trying to see how the grace of the NT fits into the commands of the OT and whether or not a man “ruling” his wife is actually part of the “Dominion Mandate” according to Scripture.

  3. Corrie Says:

    “Dont forget the original release of the “tenets” in 2003 that didn’t remain online unaltered for very long. I wonder how many of you saw them before they were replaced with a kinder and more gentle version? It is what prompted that rush of critiques (such as Sandlin’s Hegemonic Patriarchy and my cult article, and the audio sermons by Hurst that Jen references under Part III of this thread). Perhaps it also prompted Hart’s militant fecundity sermon and the establishment of http://www.patriarchy.com.”

    I saw the original ones, Cindy, and I have written about them before. I am looking for them because I know I copied them when I discussed them.

    But, you are absolutely correct. The new and improved tenets are definitely a cleaned up and more palatable version of the original tenets but I wonder if anything REALLY has changed? From what I see, they haven’t.

  4. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    After reading today’s replies, it seems quite obvious what is and has been at work in patriarchy. This may be obvious to everyone too, but I think that it’s worth saying. We should pick apart the Scriptural mandates and the meanings behind them, but the missing element it the attitude and predispostion in all these things is LOVE.

    In the Gospel accounts especially, Jesus countered the legal demands (the end) of the Pharisees with an appeal to consider the law in the light of love and compassion (the means). The letter of law is our schoolmaster, but we live the law of love under unmerited favor. We are to have dominion as mankind, over all the creation. We then submit one to another. The eye submits to the hand, and the hand to the eye. We are members of one another, submitting to one another also.

    Here is the subtle shift from God to man again, just as Doug’s Jamestown statement of the day which identified history as our second consideration. We are called to love the Lord God with our all. Then we are called to love others, remembering that God is love. It isn’t about man’s role in God’s plan, but about our role IN HIM. It is a very subtle shift, distinguishing theistic existentialism (man centered, submission centered, authority centered, tenet centered, past/present centered) from Biblical theism (God centered, love centered, evangelism centered, creation centered, future oriented). Through all the conflicts and tribulations in life, when we keep God at the center, we can’t help but to be known by our love and our love for one another. Love is not puffed up and does not flaunt or assert itself. It is gentle, kind and woos us to repentance. To submission.

    Wives submit to your husbands as unto the Lord.
    Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it. The subtle shift from sacrificial love to the focus of submission and roles seems so insignificant, but there is really nothing more significant. If we are not God centered (love centered), we can be none other than man centered (law centered).

    And now I have “Choose this day whom you will serve” echoing in my mind…

  5. T. Reformed Says:

    Jen said, “Oh, wait a minute! Maybe it’s the children. I’ve heard some say that we’re commanded to take dominion, or to rule, over our own children. What do you think?”

    The Bible doesn’t expressly command parents to “take dominion” over their children, any more than it expressly commands husbands to “take dominion” over their wives. However, the same biblical principles apply that I just outlined for Corrie.

    There are a number of Scripture verses which deal with the authority of parents ruling over their children, starting with the 5th Commandment. Aside from being commanded to honor their parents, children are also biblically commanded to “obey” their parents. What would be the basis for obedience unless parents first had “authority” and “rule” over their children?

    Eph. 6:1-3 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

    Col. 3:20 “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.”

    What I find especially interesting about this last verse is that it’s put in the context of the personal responsibilities of every family member — husbands, wives and children: Col. 3:17-21 “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” What these verses describe is an authority structure — a chain of command, if you will.

    Scripture also commands parents to “discipline” their children, and that includes corporal punishment. Prov 13:24, Prov 19:18, 22:15, Prov 23:13. The exercising of corporal punishment presupposes “dominion” for without it a parent would have no lawful authority to exercise it.

  6. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Jen,

    I do appreciate your original analysis of the Tenets of Patriarchy. I must admit, I have purchased a few things from the Vision Forum catalog, and may do so in the future. Honestly, SOME of what Vision Forum espouses is very Biblical. However, SOME (like Biblical patriarchy) is not, like you are suggesting. So, my goal, like the Bereans, is to test everything according to the Word.

    Although I do not believe patriarchy is Biblical, in today’s time, I certainly agree with the authority structure commanded in the Word. Men are to be the sprirtual authority over their homes, yet we are to do so in a servant-leader fashion, like Christ to the church.

    Again, I agree with some of Vision Forum’s ideas, and some I think are a bit ridiculous.

  7. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Concerning Rush Rushdooney:

    His wrtitings and the wrtings of theonomy don’t lend themselves well to a superficial reading. We (or the person that posted the blog snippet) do the writing an injustice in our efforts to make things simple, as we make them too simple. I’ve read enough Rush to know that he didn’t mean that dominion should be applied that way. If possible, I’m sure he’d come back from the grave and start knocking heads. Although he honored the law, he was known personally to be anything but a legalist. His stuff, because it gets so complicated in its great detail, does not lend itself to sound bites. And we now live in a sound bite superficial world.

    I think this important to note as I’ve seen recent quotes (from Chancey, I think on the new Watchman article) that we shouldnt be wound up over the threat of legalism while we are swimming in a sea of antinomianism. No one here would deny that our culture and many churches are antinomian. But all this at the expense of love. But for whatever reason, Phillips and Chancey apparently don’t have that love to give to sinners saved by grace. As Zimbardo points out in his new book “The Lucifer Effect,” the love for the system displaces all other loves. Perhaps then, we might gleen something from Jesus’ message to the church at Ephesus via John on Patamos? Either these men lost their first love or never fully embraced it from the start? That is for those men to say, but pray that they might know more fully the wonderful Love of God.

  8. T. Reformed Says:

    “I think for me personally, as well, is the fact that I have experienced in real life what Doug lays out in these tenets. These tenets look good on the outside, but when they are lived out, it is nearly impossible for a wife to be submissive in the way that we were expected to be. Does a husband ruling over his wife include the fact that women are allowed no opinions of their own? I am NOT exaggerating this. Does a husband ruling over his wife include the fact that women cannot study the Bible on their own to find out what God says to us – that we must only believe whatever our husbands tell us to? Is that the Dominion Mandate of the Bible?”

    No, no and no. I’m pained to hear of such abuses. These are sick perversions of God’s Holy Word, and this is not at all the Dominion Mandate that I know and that I practice. Jen, what you describe is misogyny and chauvinism and it’s inexcusable.

    “Would you consider loving your wife to be the same as ruling her?” No, of course not. Having authority over my wife is biblically a given. How I exercise that authority is entirely dependent upon what’s in my heart for her. God commands me to exercise my authority in love. I have the same obligation toward my children, to exercise authority in love. My wife is also our children’s authority, is she not? She is subordinate to my authority, but in their lives she is no less of an authority, and she is biblically instructed to exercise her rule over them in love, just as I am.

    I’m sensing here that the difficulty in appreciating that “authority” and “love” are complimentary is that so many here have never actually been under loving authority. Authority is so often equated with abuse that we can no longer comprehend God’s design and intent. But let’s look to the Heavenly Father himself. Does He not rule and reign? Is He not the Supreme Authority? And yet do we not also see His great love for us? Why then do we have such a hard time equating authority with love in the human realm?

    The problem isn’t authority, rule, dominion, etc. The problem is sin. By all means let’s reject sin. But don’t make the grave mistake of rejecting authority itself, or equating authority with sin.

  9. Light M. Says:

    “Men are to be the sprirtual authority over their homes”

    Micah, I would be interested in learning what verse(s) you believe endows men with this spiritual authority over their homes. Thanks in advance. 🙂

  10. Corrie Says:

    In Genesis 1:27 the word used for dominion is “radah”.

    “1) to rule, have dominion, dominate, tread down
    a) (Qal) to have dominion, rule, subjugate
    b) (Hiphil) to cause to dominate
    2) to scrape out
    a) (Qal) to scrape, scrape out”

    It is in direct reference to beasts and the earth. No humans are in sight when God spoke these words, especially since the words were spoken to “them”- the man AND the woman with no qualifiers concerning the woman.

    This was not a teaching on the division of labor between man and woman. They were one and they had one purpose. It was about their relationship to the world around them and not about their relationship to each other.

    In Gen. 3:16 when it tells the *woman* that her *husband* shall rule over her (not all men, just her husband) it uses a completely different word.

    The word that is translated “rule” is mashal. I don’t know the significance of these two words and I do wonder why the same word isn’t used in Gen. 1:27 that is used in Gen. 3:16?? Anyone know?

    This passage never tells the man that he is to take dominion over his wife. It never tells the man that he is to rule his wife. What significance that has, I do not know but God is clearly speaking TO the woman at this point and not to the man.

    And, then in Gen. 3:22 it tells us that Adam and Eve have become like God, knowing good and evil and they were banished from the Garden lest they take hold of the fruit of the tree of life and eat and live forever.

    I think this is a very interesting verse for I believe it is saying that if Adam and Eve did that they would be forever damned in their state of fallenness with no chance of redemption. God protected them from themselves and put a guard outside the tree so they would not eat of its fruit and live forever in their state of spiritual death.

    That is my take on it, I am not speaking as an expert on this verse at all.

    Now, how does God define “rule” under the New Covenant?

    Luke 22

    24Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    So here I believe we see how the term “rule” is to be understood. Not like the Gentiles understand it but how Christ defined it.

    So, take another look at these verses again:

    And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.

    But ye [shall] not [be] so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.

    For whether [is] greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? [is] not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

    So, those who rule are to be like Christ as He was AMONG US, not as He is when as ruler of heaven and earth and as King who is coming back for His Bride.

    Those who rule on THIS EARTH are to belike Christ as He was among us- a servant. Not like the Gentiles who EXERCISE LORDSHIP over them and not like those who are considered benefactors because they exercise authority. This is the Gentile or unregenerate definition of “rule”. This is not God’s definition of “rule”.

    The hyper-patriarchalist has reversed the definitions and what they are practicing is the very thing that Christ condemned. In fact, the woman in the hyper-patriarchalist system is actually the ruler because she is the one who serves and the man is the one who is served if we are going to understand this verse correctly.

    to exercise lordship over, the Greek word is kyrieuo and it means:

    ) to be lord of, to rule, have dominion over
    2) of things and forces
    a) to exercise influence upon, to have power over

    “they that exercise authority” is the Greek word “exousiazo” and it means:

    1) to have power or authority, use power
    a) to be master of any one, exercise authority over one
    b) to be master of the body
    1) to have full and entire authority over the body
    2) to hold the body subject to one’s will
    c) to be brought under the power of anyone”

    the word benefactor is “euergetes” and it means:

    “1) benefactor
    2) a title of honour, conferred on such as had done their country service, and upon princes, equivalent to Soter, Pater Patriae”

    the word greatest is the word “meizon” which means:

    greater, larger, elder, stronger

    the word “younger” is neos and it means younger or recently born, youthful

    the word chief is the word “hegeomai” (recognize that?) means:

    “1) to lead
    a) to go before
    b) to be a leader
    1) to rule, command
    2) to have authority over
    3) a prince, of regal power, governor, viceroy, chief, leading as respects influence, controlling in counsel, overseers or leaders of the churches
    4) used of any kind of leader, chief, commander
    5) the leader in speech, chief, spokesman
    2) to consider, deem, account, think”

    serve is the word “diakoneo” which means:

    “1)) to be a servant, attendant, domestic, to serve, wait upon
    a) to minister to one, render ministering offices to
    1) to be served, ministered unto
    b) to wait at a table and offer food and drink to the guests,
    1) of women preparing food
    c) to minister i.e. supply food and necessities of life
    1) to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life
    2) to take care of the poor and the sick, who administer the office of a deacon
    3) in Christian churches to serve as deacons
    d) to minister
    1) to attend to anything, that may serve another’s interests
    2) to minister a thing to one, to serve one or by supplying any thing”

    Now after studying this passage and looking at the full meanings of these words, it seems to me that the way that the hyper-patriarchalists or patriocentrics teach their doctrine is unbiblical.

    They are to be like the lesser and the servant but instead they puff themselves up to be the benefactors and the chiefs, something that Christ told them not to be if they are those who “rule”.

    So, to me, we are confusing on many levels the mandate to Adam and Eve to take dominion over the earth and the interpersonal relationships that we find ourselves in on this earth.

    It is not the word “dominion” that is a problem. It is how the verses in Gen 1 are used by twisting them and by subtracting from them and by adding to them and then applied to the husband/wife relationship when Gen 1 isn’t about that.

    Gen. 3:16 still gives me some struggle as to its meaning since God spoke those words to the husband, I don’t know if we can rightly say that the husband is supposed to take them for himself and run with them. At the very least, the verses in Luke 22 and the verses in Eph and Col should govern that “rule” and it should in no way resemble the rule of the heathens/pagans that Jesus condemned.

  11. Corrie Says:

    “I’ve read enough Rush to know that he didn’t mean that dominion should be applied that way. If possible, I’m sure he’d come back from the grave and start knocking heads.”

    Cindy,

    I was just going to say this same thing. In fact, Rush was liberal in comparison to the new bigger and better patriarchy that is being touted now. I also have read enough of his writings to know that he would not be in favor of many of the teachings we have spoken about on this board.

  12. Jen Says:

    TR: “The problem isn’t authority, rule, dominion, etc. The problem is sin. By all means let’s reject sin. But don’t make the grave mistake of rejecting authority itself, or equating authority with sin.”

    I like your conclusion here, TR. I would be the last one to advocate rejecting authority. But as you here compare and contrast our Heavenly Father’s love toward us as well as His authority over us vs. abuse (sin) in earthly relationships, I think herein lies the problem. I have NO problem submitting to my Heavenly Father, even in the hard things, because He has shown Himself to love me unconditionally and therefore I desire to submit to whatever God wants me to do. I would imagine the same is true for you as well.

    And that is exactly my point in a marriage relationship as well. Most wives would very willingly do whatever their husbands wished if they believed that they truly loved them unconditionally. In this kind of situation, though, I ask you again: Is there a need for a husband to rule over his wife if he is already loving her like Christ loved the church? Does God rule over me in that way? Does He come down and demand that I obey Him? Are you seeing the difference between following the letter of the law by ruling, and following the spirit of the law by loving? And do you see that the person on the receiving end of that ruling/loving will respond differently as well?

    Regarding children, you are correct in saying that the father and mother have authority over their children. But are they commanded to “rule” over them? Is that really part of the “Dominion Mandate”? If we look at the commands of the OT regarding parenting, and compare them to what we find in the NT, do we not see grace in the NT? Is that not the spirit of the law rejecting the letter of the law — again?

    Now, to put your whole comment in context with this post, is what you are accurately describing as being biblical, part of what the Bible describes as being the “Dominion Mandate”?

  13. T. Reformed Says:

    Following up on my previous thoughts:

    All genuine authority is delegated by God. Therefore, if a ruler exercises his rule in an abusive and harmful manner, he no longer is ruling by God’s delegation.

    A chauvinistic misogynist ruler isn’t an “authority.” He’s a usurper.
    An autocratic ruler isn’t an “authority.” He’s a tyrant.
    A dictatorial ruler who demands absolute and unquestioning obedience from his “followers” isn’t an “authority.” He’s a sociopath.
    A self-seeking ruler who demands “total honor” (sucking up) from obsequious followers isn’t an “authority.” He’s a megalomaniac.
    An vengeful ruler who hands down unjust sentences by Kangaroo Court proceedings isn’t an “authority.” He’s a despot.
    A ruler who laughs at those who plead with him for aid and protection isn’t an “authority.” He’s a reckless and irresponsible abdicator.

    My point is that such a man is not an “authority” nor does he exercise “authority.” He certainly doesn’t exercise “dominion” either. He’s a phony and merely masquerades as an “authority.” The tragedy is that too many people might be impressed with his polished speeches and start to believe that he’s the genuine article.

  14. Micah Gelatt Says:

    “Micah, I would be interested in learning what verse(s) you believe endows men with this spiritual authority over their homes. Thanks in advance.”

    I would have you look closely at Ephesians 5:21-33. You have to examine closely what it means for the husband to be the head of the wife, especially since it is being compared to Christ’s headship over the church. I think this understanding is of utmost importance since this very concept seems to be so broken today, either distorted by people like Doug Phillips, or misused by male tyrants and abusers, or totally disregarded by those who think it does not apply to today’s marriages. So, “getting to the bottom of it” is crucial.

    I think the truth that men are in authority over women is Biblical. But, what does that look like? Are they rulers, dominant and suppressive? Well, although several in history have been that way, that is not what Paul is teaching in Ephesians, at all. We are to be the spritual head in the same way that Christ is the Spiritual head of the church. We are to be servant-leaders: strong, yet sensitive, bold, yet meek, lion-hearted, yet with lamb-like qualities. We are to uplift our wives, just as Christ has done for the church. We are to not think of “our needs”, but of hers and our children – again, like Christ. I could say a lot more here, but I would submit this: what I am saying is not at all what Vision Forum espouses in terms of their patriarchy notion.

  15. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    T Reformed said: “How I exercise that authority is entirely dependent upon what’s in my heart for her. God commands me to exercise my authority in love….I’m sensing here that the difficulty in appreciating that “authority” and “love” are complimentary is that so many here have never actually been under loving authority….Authority is so often equated with abuse that we can no longer comprehend God’s design and intent.

    Why then do we have such a hard time equating authority with love in the human realm? ”

    The unsaved struggle with equating authority with love because they don’t know the love of God and the sacrifice that flowed from that love. Submission flows from love and this is foreign to autonomous man. Autonomy is carnal, and liberty is granted to us by God.

    Why would a Christian have trouble with equating love with authority in the human realm? You offered one possibility: they’ve never experienced it. I offered one: that they love the system more than they love those whom the system honors and protects. In all other instances, the lack of love perhaps? Self-service. Traditions of men. Paternalistic attitudes to convince others of their power. Anything but love.

  16. Jen Says:

    Corrie, I think you have hit the proverbial nail on its head with showing us that a “ruler” under the New Covenant would be the servant of all. I think most wives wouldn’t have any problems submitting to a man who serves her because he loves her so much.

    Also, you said that Gen. 3:16 was written to the husband; I think you meant to say to the wife. I think that is significant. If God tells the wife that her husband will rule over her, does that then become a command for the husband to rule? Did Adam say, “Aha, I heard God tell you that I would rule over you, so I want you to do this and this and this”? It does sound a little out of place when we put it that way. I don’t really understand that passage, though, because it is clear in Scripture that a man is to be the head of his wife.

    I am just thinking out loud here, so don’t attack me! But I wonder if this passage would more accurately reflect this: “Just as you, Eve, will desire to dominate your husband, so also your husband will try to rule you.” In other words, does Genesis 3 show us a battle of dominance in marriage, while the NT shows us that if we want to be great, we should be the servant of all? If each spouse was serving one another, how much “ruling” would be necessary? And a wife could still recognize her husband as being her head even while they served one another. Just a thought here.

  17. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Regarding your last post, Jen….. Well said! Amen! 🙂

    http://gelatt.blogspot.com

  18. Corrie Says:

    Now, I will let my hair down a bit and tell you a little about myself so you can understand where I am coming from and where I am not coming from.

    I was brought up in a home that was not Christian. I did attend Catholic church but our home did not resemble any sort of Christian doctrine. My father was a tyrant. He was abusive. He was an alcoholic and he was a rager. He looked at my mother as his property and he let her know it every chance he got. I saw my mother kicked in the stomach when she was 8 months pregnant with my sister and I was only 3 years old. This was after my mother made a dinner that was not to my father’s satisfaction. He threw it against the wall. My mother then cowered and ran to clean it up and try to appease his mounting wrath. The more she cowered and submitted to his abuse and railings, the bigger the monster he became, the more his rage grew and the abuse just got worse. I could tell you horrific stories of how he controlled my mother and what he demanded of her and how she was under the impression that she was helpless and could do nothing other than comply with his demands. She feared for her life and I felt like it was my responsibility to protect my little sister by taking the brunt of his abuse. I wrote out many wills in my life thinking I would surely die.

    He was abusive to me. I never knew what would please him. He was fickle. He also imagine women to be the tempters of men. One time I was kidnapped and tied up in the woods by 3 men in their late teens. They were in various stages of molesting me. My friends, who had witnessed them dragging me out of the park ran and got my dad. He found me hanging from a tree by my wrists, my toes were barely touching the ground. I was in a state of humiliating undress. I was only in 4th grade. He cut me down. He took me home. He beat me for tempting those men because these things don’t happen to women unless they are looking for it. I didn’t realize in my very young mind that playing at a playground with my friends was looking for sexual abuse. I got the picture that my very essence as a female was bad.

    He never went after those men even though I knew who they were and I knew where they lived. He forbade me to tell my mother because I was like her and like all other women- a slut and a whore.

    My dad told me that my job as a female was to look pretty and be attractive but to keep my mouth shut. No one likes a woman who speaks. They just like to look. These things were actually verbalized to me at a young age.

    The message was clear to me. I am here to please men. I am here to look pretty. I have no rights as a human being.

    My dad never sexually molested me but he was inappropriate in his disgusting language concerning me and my developing womanhood. He was slap me on the rearend as I was doing dishes or snap my bra strap and then he would tell me that he owns me. He told me that women are good for three things and three things only. One of them was to cook and clean. I won’t tell you what the other two were.

    My dad died of alcoholism at the age of 50. I was there with my husband and we were able to pray with my dad and I truly believe he is with Christ today. When he died, I was the one to clean out his apartment. What I found should have been seen by no eyes. But, I am glad I am the one that found the things I did because I was able to protect the dignity of so many abused women that came across my dad’s path by burning all the video and pictures before any relative could see them.

    Before he died, he moved back to Wisconsin and I took care of him and honored him even though he treated me so poorly. I would read him the Bible and I would clean up his mess (ie., vomit, waste, etc) after his drunken stupors. Christ truly gave me love for him as a human being.

    I had become a Christian at the age of 23 and he “wanted what I had”. He left a wake of many wives in his path. Wives who even went to the great length of changing their names and hiding themselves at all costs for fear he would find them. He miserably abused and used many of my stepmothers and he was a terror to them. I have heard their stories and they are chilling to listen to.

    My mother finally divorced him and married my stepfather. When she finally stood up to my father and told him to get out, he turned into a person I had never seen before. He bought her flowers. He was nice to her. What I didn’t realize in my young mind is that it was all about control and when he finally realized he had none, he was going to manipulate my mother into doing what he wanted.

    My stepfather was a true father to me. He treated me with dignity and respect and to this day, I consider him to be my father. I love him and respect him and I always sought to obey him while I was under his roof. He is still not a Christian but he is a fine man. He never abused me or mistreated me and he treated me with respect as a person and not as some object of ownership and some sexual object like my biological father did.

    My own husband is a true gentleman and has never abused me, mistreated me or treated me as anything but his equal. He has never demeaned me nor has he ever looked at me as his property or as a creature created solely for his pleasure and to be directed to fulfill his own purposes. He treats me like a queen. I am first and foremost his sister in Christ. We do have a traditional relationship, as in he works and I take care of basically everything on the homefront. It works for us at this point in time. We just moved to Missouri. I did it for him, it was not really my desire. But, if I had told him that I didn’t want to go, he would never have forced me.

    So, that is where I am today. I do not have a problem with headship and submission when they are properly lived out according to the Bible or because I have an axe to grind or because I am supposedly angry because I have a husband who is a tyrant. In fact, I feel that I must speak out and because I do know both experiences. I know what it is like to be under the thumb of someone who views women as property and who thinks women were put on this earth for men and uses them accordingly and between men who are true servant-leaders in their families. You don’t have to have all the abuse I did to get the wrong message about your position as a female.

    I have seen many women abused by men and who have used these teachings in order to justify their abuse. My dad would have been saying “Amen” to a lot of this stuff that we have discussed. This does not negate true biblical teaching on this subject. But, it does show me that worldly thinking concerning the place of women and the rule of men can cause some very bad outcomes.

    Now, sharing this will also open me up to being exploited by those with evil intentions. I once shared a very personal story and it was taken and twisted by someone who stalked me for years, saying all manners of disgusting lies about me. Even though it is in black and white, it will not change the mind of a person bent on doing evil. Just look how scripture is twisted and used to justify all sorts of things.

    God does not take a backseat to men in the lives of women. There is no mediator between a woman and her God. She was created with the same purpose- to glorify God and serve Him forever. She was not created as some sort of hood ornament or being of pleasure. Just as a wife’s body belongs to her husband, so does a husband’s body belong to his wife. They have equal authority over one another’s bodies. Sex was not created for the male and his pleasure. It was created for the couple as a gift to give to each other. So many teachings tell us that sex is for the man but that is only half the equation. It seems like people in Paul’s day like to only concentrate on one side of the truth, too, in exclusion to the other side.

    Yes, the first woman was created for the man but every man since has come from a woman, so man is not independent of woman neither is woman independent of man. It is interesting to me that patriarchalists always cut off that verse. As we see in scripture that not every woman was created to be a wife and mother and Paul actually instructs the women that they would be happier if they remain as he is.

    While I enjoy being a wife and a mother and because I have chosen this for my life, I must be faithful according to the scriptures. But, I do not believe that this is my chief and foremost reason for being on this earth. I don’t think scripture teaches this concerning women. I also don’t want to rebel against the scriptures that do apply to me as a wife and mother.

    I also do not see that scripture teaches that daughters are singled out to view their husbands as practice husbands or that a daughter is singled out to serve her father and lose herself in his every want and whim and desire.

    What I see in scripture is a great balancing act and all of these “isms” seek to weight one side of the scale against the other so it dips in their favor.

  19. Corrie Says:

    “I am just thinking out loud here, so don’t attack me! But I wonder if this passage would more accurately reflect this: “Just as you, Eve, will desire to dominate your husband, so also your husband will try to rule you.” In other words, does Genesis 3 show us a battle of dominance in marriage, while the NT shows us that if we want to be great, we should be the servant of all? If each spouse was serving one another, how much “ruling” would be necessary? And a wife could still recognize her husband as being her head even while they served one another. Just a thought here.”

    Jen,

    Well said!

    Now why would anyone want to attack you for saying such a thing! 😉

  20. Corrie Says:

    “Also, you said that Gen. 3:16 was written to the husband; I think you meant to say to the wife. I think that is significant. If God tells the wife that her husband will rule over her, does that then become a command for the husband to rule? Did Adam say, “Aha, I heard God tell you that I would rule over you, so I want you to do this and this and this”? It does sound a little out of place when we put it that way. I don’t really understand that passage, though, because it is clear in Scripture that a man is to be the head of his wife.”

    Yes, this is what I meant! And, yes! You are exactly right. God said that to the woman. God also told the wife to submit to her husband. But, both of these verses are used to “prove” that men are to rule over and be the spiritual leaders of their wives.

    Just like I tell my children, when I say something to one of them, it does not mean that they are supposed to take that and use it against that sibling. Pretty much they are to mind their own business and obey the things that *I* have specifically told them and not to worry about the things *I* told the other child to obey. When one of them says to the other one “Ha! Mom said so that means you are this and such and that means I am that and such”, I get on the case of the nosy one. They are in big trouble with me for being a trouble-maker and a busy-body.

    I don’t think we can take a command or a pronouncement of consequence to one person and extrapolite a whole doctrine out of nothing for another person.

    This reminds me of the whole “black hole” and “white hole” theory of space that I just can’t seem to wrap my mind around.

    How would this look if we took the command for husbands to love their wives and extrapolated a whole doctrine concerning a wife’s duty to her husband to make him love her?

    The Bible does not give husbands the command to lead their wives but somehow the word “love” gets turned into the word “lead”. Or the verse that tells wives to submit to their own husbands gets turned into an encyclopedic volume on how a man needs to rule over his household, serve his wife communion, baptize her and be her priest, prophet and king.

    I am sure that my analogy breaks down but maybe someone else can pick up where I left off and make it cogent.

  21. Debbie from CA Says:

    Corrie, I’ve been stalking a long time out of concern for a dear friend deep into the hyper-patriarchal stuff, with tons of hurt in her history as a result. I just want to say “thank you” for making yourself so vulnerable. What you shared about your life is powerful. I don’t think anyone could possibly exemplify any better the dangers of Doug Phillips’ version of patriarchy vs. the grace God desires for us instead. I am deeply touched by your words. God bless you and your family.

  22. T. Reformed Says:

    “Now, to put your whole comment in context with this post, is what you are accurately describing as being biblical, part of what the Bible describes as being the “Dominion Mandate”?”

    Yes, I believe that what I’m describing is part of the Dominion Mandate. However, I also know that I don’t fit the mold when it comes to what most people think of as “Dominionists.” I have considerred myself a Dominionist, but I know that I differ significantly from many others. I believe that too many other Dominionists, Doug Phillips being a prime example, have given a very bad name to Dominionism. They took a good thing and really screwed it up. Same thing with Patriarchy. Phillips and his cohorts have screwed it all up with their self-righteous Phariseeism. So for the most part I don’t call myself a Dominionist much any more, or a Patriarch either. Too many bad connotations. Too many legalistic egomaniac autocrats calling themselves Patriarchs and Dominionists.

    “Is there a need for a husband to rule over his wife if he is already loving her like Christ loved the church?” Yes, Jen, there is. I could give you many practical reasons for the “need,” but practicalities aren’t even the issue. The issue is “what sayeth the Word?”

    “Does God rule over me in that way? Does He come down and demand that I obey Him?” If we are in rebellion, then yes. God does “come down” on us, so to speak. Of course, in the case of God, anything we do to resist him is sin, and we deserve his discipline for it.

    However, resisting the will of a husband is different from resisting the will of God, and in certain cases it might even be necessary. I don’t believe that a wife is obligated to obey and submit to a husband in all cases, no exceptions. Clearly, there are exceptions. For example, a husband cannot dictate that his wife sin. In a good marriage such exceptions would be rare. In an especially bad marriage a wife may need to not obey her husband in certain situations, especially if it comes down to a “We must obey God rather than men” situation (Acts 5:29).

    “Are you seeing the difference between following the letter of the law by ruling, and following the spirit of the law by loving?” Of course, and I trust that you likewise see the difference between following the letter of the law by submitting and following the spirit of the law by submitting. We’re talking law vs. grace, and yes, I understand.

    “And do you see that the person on the receiving end of that ruling/loving will respond differently as well?” No, I don’t see it, and I disagree. “Might respond”? Yes. “Will respond”? No way. That’s taking way too much for granted. God Himself has shown infinitely far more love toward man than any mere mortal could ever hope to show their spouse. Yet every year many millions of humans die having rejected God’s love. If men and women will reject and be unresponsive to God’s love, they can just as easily reject the love that we show. The fact that a spouse may be already saved is still no guarantee that they “will respond” to our love.

    Are we under the law? Yes, we are under the Law — The Law of Christ. And what is that Law? That we love. The “love one another”s. That, in my view, is how we “take dominion.” We love. We love our wives. We love our husbands. We love our children. We love our parents. We love our neighbors, and we demonstrate that love in practical ways, as well as by sharing the Gospel. We could save ourselves a lot of headaches by just following the Law of Christ:

    “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’.” Matt. 22:36-40

    The problem is Jen that too many spouses don’t do the “love one another”s. The problem isn’t just with unloving husbands who don’t love their wives as Christ loved the church. The problem is also with wives who won’t submit to their husbands and who openly show disrespect and dishonor to their husbands. Both are rooted in a lack of love, as well as the clear commands of Scripture.

    Jen, you couldn’t be more wrong when you said this, “Most wives would very willingly do whatever their husbands wished if they believed that they truly loved them unconditionally.” I’ve seen this not be the case too many times to know it’s simply not true. There are way too many cases of a husband who truly does love his wife and lays down his life for her. Yet she still rebels against his authority and shows him no respect. It’s simply not true that a loving husband usually makes for a submissive wife. A submissive wife is submissive not so much because of the love of her husband but because that’s what’s in her heart to do. Yes, a husband can certainly make it easier on her to submit if he genuinely loves her, but that’s hardly a guarantee that she will submit and respect him, or that she “will respond.”

    And of course it’s no different the other way too. Just because a wife submits to her husband is no guarantee that he will love her as Christ loved the church.

    This all reminds me of a sermon I heard years ago. I felt I had no choice but to admonish the pastor afterwards (discreetly, of course). He made a statement in his “sermon” that was just absurd. “Jesus commands us to love, and the great thing about it is that when we love we can expect to get love back.” I gave him one word in response, “Bunk!”

    There are simply no guarantees that when we do what we’re commanded to do as husbands and wives that our spouse “will respond” as they should. Tragically it often doesn’t happen. We do so anyway because it’s what Christ commands that we do. That’s what I call taking dominion — being faithful to do what Christ commands of me, and trusting Him with the results.

  23. Corrie Says:

    Debbie,

    Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate them.

    It is amazing what happened to me when I became a believer at the age of 23.

    Up until then, I was what you would call very “co-dependent”. I thought I could not exist without a man because that is what I had been told for so long. I was desperate to keep a man even though he was unfaithful and abusive and I would never stand up for myself and I would allow myself to be walked on in the name of love.

    But, then I became a Christian. And things suddenly changed. I no longer needed a man in my life and that I was not a full human being without one. My meaning was defined by whether or not I was loved by a man or had one in my life. I was secure and happy. I no longer felt I needed to put up with abuse. I was no longer “co-dependent”. I had Christ and that was enough for me. I broke off a relationship that was very unhealthy and never looked back. I was finally free for the first time in my life from the bondage that had *dominion* over me. All I wanted was Jesus. I was so thankful to be set free that I was content to live for Him, to share His word with others and to be faithful in all I did. My experience was very much like Paul’s night/day experience.

    And then came all the Christian men. They thought I was one of the naive women they were used to dealing with in the college and career age groups. I heard every line possible and these were from Christian men. One guy even got a job in the shipping department where I worked (I was the purchasing agent) so he could be close to me. He followed me everywhere. It was kind of scary. And then when he found out I was engaged to my now husband he went bizerk. There was another guy, before I met my husband, who was very interested in me. He told me that he was thinking about marrying me. I was stunned. He then told me that it was okay if we just “lie naked together and not doing anything”. He was exposed and his game was over with me. I later found out that he had tried this on quite a few Christian girls and the whole offer to marry would get them every time.

    My husband was 27 when we met. He had been chased by every Christian girl desperate to marry for years. He was sick of it. When he met me, he said the thing that attracted him MOST of all was that I didn’t chase him, I wasn’t desperate for a man, and all I wanted to talk about was the Lord and His word.

    There is a moral in this story somewhere. 🙂

  24. Jen Says:

    Corrie, thank you for sharing your heart with us today. It really helps me to understand why you are so concerned when others are abused. It appears that you have taken your life to the Lord and let Him put you in a place of biblical balance in your life. It is so easy to go from one extreme to another in these types of situations. I am sure that God will use your testimony to reach out to people here who are reading these things. I’m glad I got to know you a little better today.

  25. Corrie Says:

    “his all reminds me of a sermon I heard years ago. I felt I had no choice but to admonish the pastor afterwards (discreetly, of course). He made a statement in his “sermon” that was just absurd. “Jesus commands us to love, and the great thing about it is that when we love we can expect to get love back.” I gave him one word in response, “Bunk!”

    There are simply no guarantees that when we do what we’re commanded to do as husbands and wives that our spouse “will respond” as they should. ”

    T. Reformed,

    This is very true. There are no guarantees. I do like your word for what your pastor preached- “bunk”. 🙂

    People use the scriptures as lucky charms and magic formulas. You do A and B and then C will happen. It just doesn’t work that way. Our job, as you say, is to be faithful.

    People will use the verse that talks about a wife winning her husband without a word and tells women that this is a promise. Well, it isn’t. If it is that easy, then Christ would have won many when He uttered no words before the Sanhedrin and before Pilate. No one would have rejected Him and His love because His love was perfect.

    Also, many will say that if a husband is angry or upset or disgruntled it is because his wife is not submissive enough or she isn’t being the woman he needs or that she is lacking. It can’t be his fault, it must be her fault. If she were only more lovely, more submissive, more of what he wanted, then surely he wouldn’t be angry and churlish and demanding.

    No, a husband who loves his wife has no guarantee that his wife will respond in kind. I have seen this, too. It is very sad and I have seen grown men weep and despair that if they could have just loved her more, she would have not left. My husband has a co-worker that is going through something like this right now. It is very sad. She left him for a much younger man and has turned her back on her family.

    The fact is we can never be everything that our spouse needs. We were never meant to be that. Christ is our all in all. We are to find our contentment and our joy in Him. That is a hard road to walk, especially for some who are taught that we must be pleasers of men and that our meaning for life comes from men. (I am using men as in “mankind”)

    I think of all the young girls who are being taught to seek their father’s will for the color of clothing they wear? That is so odd to me. Is God so fickle with us? Where does this come from and what will be its fruit in these women’s lives? These young girls are being taught that their whole identity and reason for being is found in a mortal man.

    I would think a father whose daughter came to him asking him if he prefers the salmon or chartreuse dress would tell her that it doesn’t matter what color she wears, that he loves her just for who she is and then he would point her to God and tell her that she should always strive to please God and obey His word because trying to be a man-pleaser will only bring pain and heartache. A father who is fickle about the color of dress a daughter wears (I am not talking about wearing all black as in “Goth”) and expects her to run these inane things past him, is not going to be a father who is easily pleased.

    God is much easier to be pleased because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

  26. Corrie Says:

    Thanks, Jen. It is truly God who has supplied the balance. He gave me the love for my earthly father so I could minister to him when he needed it. I was able to fully forgive him and overlook his sinful behavior. In fact, I was the only one who would minister to him and be by his side as he died. I was told, even by another Christian, that he should “rot in hell”.

  27. Jen Says:

    TR: ““Is there a need for a husband to rule over his wife if he is already loving her like Christ loved the church?” Yes, Jen, there is. I could give you many practical reasons for the “need,” but practicalities aren’t even the issue. The issue is “what sayeth the Word?”

    TR, please bear with me as I think through all these aspects today. I think the Genesis 3 passage is a very difficult passage and when we combine it with everything else we’re covering today, we just multiply opportunities to misunderstand – both Scripture and each other.

    I guess I was thinking about two people, a man and wife, who both truly love the Lord AND who both desire to obey God in their respective roles. If the husband truly loves his wife the way God wants him to, AND the wife truly submits the way God wants her to, THEN is there a need to RULE? That is what I should have said.

    However, I absolutely agree with you that we are to only obey the Word of God. If one or the other of them, or if both, are not fulfilling their responsibilities toward each other, then there will be a necessity for the husband to exercise more authority.

    “Does God rule over me in that way? Does He come down and demand that I obey Him?” If we are in rebellion, then yes. God does “come down” on us, so to speak. Of course, in the case of God, anything we do to resist him is sin, and we deserve his discipline for it.”

    Yes, we deserve His discipline, but I just don’t see where God demands our obedience. He is long-suffering with us, even in our sin. Sometimes I wish He would hurry up and “demand” that certain people obey, that He would inflict punishment on them so that they would obey Him. Those of us who have prodigals for children right now should easily be able to see that God does not demand obedience from us. He waits ever so patiently while He draws us to Himself. He might orchestrate certain circumstances to lead us in the right direction, but He never demands obedience from us. He shows us His grace and is standing there waiting for us with open arms when we finally repent, but He doesn’t demand anything of us.

    “And do you see that the person on the receiving end of that ruling/loving will respond differently as well?” No, I don’t see it, and I disagree. “Might respond”? Yes. “Will respond”? No way.”

    You are absolutely right in responding this way when I see my poor word choice here. Again, I was thinking of a couple where both the husband and the wife were truly obeying the Lord in their respective roles. In my first comment to you about this today, I said: “I realize that I am not covering all marriage situations here, …” That thought just carried over in my mind, but not in my writing. So let me try that one again.

    I think that the person on the receiving end of love is MORE LIKELY to respond in submission than is the one who is on the receiving end of “ruling.”

    “Are we under the law? Yes, we are under the Law — The Law of Christ. And what is that Law? That we love. The “love one another”s. That, in my view, is how we “take dominion.” We love. We love our wives. We love our husbands. We love our children. We love our parents. We love our neighbors, and we demonstrate that love in practical ways, as well as by sharing the Gospel. We could save ourselves a lot of headaches by just following the Law of Christ:

    “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets’.” Matt. 22:36-40

    The above was SO GOOD, I just wanted to repeat it here. If every Christian practiced the Law of love, we probably wouldn’t need to even have this conversation!

    Me: “Most wives would very willingly do whatever their husbands wished if they believed that they truly loved them unconditionally.”

    TR: “Yes, a husband can certainly make it easier on her to submit if he genuinely loves her, but that’s hardly a guarantee that she will submit and respect him, or that she “will respond.”

    I think I almost got it right here, TR; I said, “most.” Well, maybe it’s not even that many. But I think that most wives who truly want to serve the Lord would be more willing to cheerfully submit to a husband who truly loves her.

    I know that is no guarantee, however, on either side. I’ve heard it said so many times, “It takes two to tango.” No, it doesn’t. I have seen many lop-sided marriages, where one spouse is truly sold out for the Lord and does all that they know to do, and the other spouse just does not respond in kind. Does God have a special reward for those spouses who endure such a living Hell?

    So, in my previous comments to you about this today, I was thinking in my mind about a husband and wife where BOTH were desirous of obeying God in their respective roles. I’m sorry I did not make that very clear. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    “That’s what I call taking dominion — being faithful to do what Christ commands of me, and trusting Him with the results.”

    TR, is that what God calls taking dominion? I love what you say here, but is that God’s definition of “dominion”? Is that how God uses that term? You mentioned you don’t use the term “patriarchy” anymore either? Is it a biblical term? Is that how God uses that term? My point is that we should use words the same way God uses them. We don’t throw out the term “justification” just because the New Perspective on Paul distorts that term. Why not? Because if we use the term correctly to begin with, we don’t have to defend the term. We have always used it in its proper biblical sense. I do not see that the terms “patriarchy” and “dominion” have been used in their proper biblical sense and just because someone creates a doctrine out of them does not justify their use, especially when the doctrine is severely lacking in Scriptural support, as we have seen here today.

    So your definition of “dominion” – “being faithful to do what Christ commands of me, and trusting Him with the results” is probably what I would call “trust and obey.” Dominion is about ruling, not trusting and obeying.

  28. CynthiaGee Says:

    “So your definition of “dominion” – “being faithful to do what Christ commands of me, and trusting Him with the results” is probably what I would call “trust and obey.” ”

    And I would call that, giving GOD dominion over our lives.

    “Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.”

  29. Lynn Says:

    Wow, Corrie! Even though I’ve heard many aspects of your story before, thanks for sharing your story about how Christ changed your heart and gave you forgiveness for your abusive father.

    That is hard to be so vulnerable, and I know about the other story you shared that people who call themselves Christians decided to twist around and turn against you. The main person who did that has some serious issues, and you know that as well. No person with any measure of sanity and decency would twist this on you.

    Again, thanks for sharing. Be encouraged that other people are reading this and will be ministered to because of it.

  30. CynthiaGee Says:

    “I think of all the young girls who are being taught to seek their father’s will for the color of clothing they wear? That is so odd to me. Is God so fickle with us? Where does this come from and what will be its fruit in these women’s lives? These young girls are being taught that their whole identity and reason for being is found in a mortal man.”

    You know, my daddy was an alcoholic — he went to church once in a while, but he didn’t read the Bible, and he wasn’t what most folks would call a very good Christian. But I do remember him telling me not to be concerned with outside appearances, that it was what’s inside that counts.
    Years later I found out that the Bible says exactly the same thing:
    1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning]…… of putting on of apparel; 1Pe 3:4 But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

  31. CynthiaGee Says:

    “These young girls are being taught that their whole identity and reason for being is found in a mortal man.”

    They’re also being taught that their worth is measured by how attractive their bodily appearance is to a prospective husband, and by how well those bodies will function in order to produce offspring for him — sort of like the standards applied to cows being judged at the county fair.

  32. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    Checking in before bed, I read much love here this evening. Oh what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we might become the sons (and daughters) of God! You’ve all contributed so much here, for one another, and I know because of how it has all ministered to me.

    May the seeds of candor, study and healing that have fallen into the ground here at this cyberplace at Jen’s Gems bring forth much fruit.

    I love you all (both IN CHRIST and in my own love of friendship).

  33. Corrie Says:

    “They’re also being taught that their worth is measured by how attractive their bodily appearance is to a prospective husband, and by how well those bodies will function in order to produce offspring for him — sort of like the standards applied to cows being judged at the county fair.”

    Cynthia,

    LOL! You do have a way with words. I love your analogies.

  34. Corrie Says:

    I think this is an interesting verse concerning dominion (authority/rule):

    24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

    I wonder how this fits into the whole picture? What does it mean?

  35. Jen Says:

    Corrie, it would be helpful if you would give us the reference for that verse so we could look at it in context. Thanks.

    Here is another passage that could truly be considered a “Dominion Mandate,” as it seems to be given to a wider audience than just Adam and Eve:

    You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;
    You have put all things under his feet,
    All sheep and oxen—
    Even the beasts of the field,
    The birds of the air,
    And the fish of the sea
    That pass through the paths of the seas. (Ps. 8:6-8)

    But this seems to be saying the same thing as the Genesis passage – we are called to have dominion over the animals.

    Here are some more verses on dominion. I think we need to be real careful about using passages from the book of Job as proof-texts, but taken in conjunction with the following verses, I think it fits.

    “Dominion and fear belong to Him…” Job 25:2

    “Bless the LORD, all His works, In all places of His dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!” Ps. 103:22

    “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” Ps. 145:13

    “His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation.” Dan. 4:3

    “For His dominion is an everlasting dominion,” Dan. 4:34

    “His dominion shall endure to the end.” Dan. 6:26

    “Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.” Dan. 7:14

    “Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’” Dan. 7:27

    “Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. ” I Pet. 4:11

    There were several like this last one. Other than these verses, I found verses that talked about kings having dominion, and about the law and sin having dominion, and about elders not having dominion.

    It seems to me that, by looking at Scripture, the “Dominion Mandate” only includes the animals, as far as it pertains to mankind in general. It also seems that the word “dominion” more accurately describes the role of a king, and in particular, the King of Kings. Just as I found the word “patriarchy” to be a little presumptuous, likewise I find the word “dominion” to be a little presumptuous in claiming these doctrines.

    There is another thing Doug Phillips taught me — always use the biblical words. Thank you for teaching me that, Doug. I will.

  36. Mike Says:

    CORRIE: I think this is an interesting verse concerning dominion (authority/rule):

    24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

    I wonder how this fits into the whole picture? What does it mean?”

    ——————————–

    From the context it does not appear to be related to the husband-wife relationship. The word translated “destroy” is the word “katargeo” — the same word used in Eph. 2:15 to refer to the abolition of the law. The KJV renders it as “put down.”

    The word “dominion” in whatever translation you are quoting is the word “arche,” meaning “rule.” It is thus rendered in the KJV. It is the root word for the Greek “archon,” meaning ruler, magistrate, or government leader. The rulers of Athens were called “archons.”

    The KJV uses the word “dominion” to render two different words from the Greek — one meaning “lordship” and the other meaning “power.” The English word “dominion” coes from the Latin for “rule of a lord.”

    I’m not saying that this translation quoted by Corrie is wrong. “Rule” and “dominion” are synonyms. But this passage seems to be a clear reference to earthly governments, not to private relationships between spouses.

  37. Mike Says:

    “Corrie, it would be helpful if you would give us the reference for that verse so we could look at it in context. Thanks.”

    1 Cor. 15 — talking about resurrection.

  38. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Corrie said:

    “I think this is an interesting verse concerning dominion (authority/rule):

    24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

    I wonder how this fits into the whole picture? What does it mean?”
    ____________________

    Well, you forgot the most important thing – context. You didn’t quote verse 25, which makes verse 24 make sense. He is not at all talking about a husband-wife relationship here, but of Christ’s future reign, in which He will destroy all earthly governments and kingdoms.

    In fact, Paul is writing this to show to the troubled church at Corinth that Christ did indeed rise from the dead, and therefore has the power to fulfill further prophecy concerning him, namely putting all things under His feet of authority. So, this does not deal with husband-wife relationships, yet it does deal with
    Christ.

    Hope that helps.

  39. Corrie Says:

    Jen,

    That passage is 1 Corinthians 15:24.

    Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

    Depending upon your eschcatology, this could be interesting how it is viewed. 🙂

    Below is the context of the surround verses:

    0But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

  40. Corrie Says:

    Mike, I agree with you. I looked up the words in Greek before I posted it and the word destroy basically means abolish or “put down” as you have said.

    Matt, I didn’t forget the context. I did forget to put the reference. I just figured you all could look it up like I have to do when I read VF’s tenets! 🙂

    I am not sure what you view take on the end times but I wonder how this works into the various beliefs. Has this verse already taken place? Is it to still take place?

    So, are you saying that the husband/wife heirarchy will be intact in heaven? That women will still be subordinate?

    When it says “all” dominion, it doesn’t mean”all”? It only means some?

  41. Corrie Says:

    “It seems to me that, by looking at Scripture, the “Dominion Mandate” only includes the animals, as far as it pertains to mankind in general. It also seems that the word “dominion” more accurately describes the role of a king, and in particular, the King of Kings. Just as I found the word “patriarchy” to be a little presumptuous, likewise I find the word “dominion” to be a little presumptuous in claiming these doctrines.”

    Jen,

    I agree.

    The “dominion mandate” found in Genesis 1 was given to man AND woman and they were to have dominion over the earth and the fish and the birds and the beasts. People were not included in that mandate.

    The verse in question seems to be Gen. 3:16 where God tells the woman that her husband will now rule over her. That word is different than the one found in Genesis 1 but I don’t know what the significance is concerning the difference. But, if God wanted to add the woman to the “dominion mandate” then he would have told the man that he is to take dominion over her and keep her in her place by subduing her.

    I don’t know how to look at Gen. 3:16. Is it prescriptive? I am not so sure. Is it telling her what sin’s consequences will now do in her life? If these are sin’s consequences then they are not a prescription but a description. When the NT describes sin’s consequences, does that mean we must employ those consequences or that we should avoid those consequences by NOT doing what brings those consequences?

    Whatever it is, the husband was never told to take dominion over his wife, either in the Old or New testament. He was told to love her and honor her.

    We also need to stop comparing children and parents with wives and husbands. Children grow up and they become adults. Wives ARE adults. It seems that in the patriarchal system, girls and women really never grow up into a full-fledged adult because a male always has to be in “dominion” over them.

    How does a husband “rule” his wife? What does that mean? What does that involve? Especially, what does that mean when the woman he is married to has the same Holy Spirit living inside of her that he does? How does this all play out practically and why do men feel that women need “ruling”?
    What would happen if a man didn’t “rule” his wife? (I really still do not know what that means.) Does he truly believe that anarchy will break out in the home if he treats her as a partner, a full-fledged adult and not as someone in need of “rule”?

  42. Light M. Says:

    Corrie asks: “I don’t know how to look at Gen. 3:16. Is it prescriptive? I am not so sure. Is it telling her what sin’s consequences will now do in her life? If these are sin’s consequences then they are not a prescription but a description. When the NT describes sin’s consequences, does that mean we must employ those consequences or that we should avoid those consequences by NOT doing what brings those consequences?”

    Corrie, I actually replied to this upthread, I don’t know if you saw it. I’ve C&P’d it here again for your consideration:

    One of the most common mistakes among female subordinationists is to read this verse as PREscriptive rather than DEscriptive. But it’s not prescriptive.

    Let me illustrate the difference. Let’s say you come down with a horrible case of poison ivy and your spouse goes with you to the doctor. The doctor says, “Take this prednisone 3 times a day for two weeks.” He has prescribed – in a sense, commanded – what you are to do about your situation. Then he turns to your spouse and says, “Your sweetie here is going to be really short-tempered with you while on this medication.” That’s DEscriptive (and anyone who’s ever been on prednisone can attest to the fact that it’s an accurate description!) The doctor has DEscribed to the poor poison ivy sufferer what the result will be. He is NOT commanding it … he’s just saying what the likely side effects are. Now, if he wanted to PREscribe to your spouse that it is required to be short-tempered, he would direct his comments to your spouse and say, “Be short tempered.”

    This is the essence of the descriptive “He will rule over you” in Genesis 3. However, we have been set free from the curse in Christ. So why live like we are still under it? If a man is doing what he has been commanded in the NT – loving his wife sacrificially – there is absolutely no place for “ruling over” of any kind.

    Corrie said: “Whatever it is, the husband was never told to take dominion over his wife, either in the Old or New testament. He was told to love her and honor her.”

    Amen, sister! 🙂

  43. Corrie Says:

    Light,

    Thank you for reposting that. I think that is a good DEscription and analogy.

    I truly think that if God intended a husband to take dominion over his wife, “spiritually lead” her, and all the other things we are told the Bible tells husband to do (I can’t find them), He would have just told the husband to do that very thing. But, God did tell the husband what he is to do. He is to love her and honor her and live with her in an understanding way, not despising her because she is physically weaker than he is.

    This does not negate the verses concerning women submitting to their husbands. I know that many patriarchalists believe that because the woman is told to submit means that the husband is the leader. That could be well and true. But, how does the Bible define one who leads?

    We have to go back to Luke 22 and all the other scriptures in order to define. We should not look to wordly traditions and the practices of heathens to define what that means.

  44. Jen Says:

    Corrie, I think God tells the wives to submit because He also says that the husband is the head of his wife. I don’t know if the word “head” equates to “lead,” but that is also a passage we must keep in consideration here.

  45. Micah Gelatt Says:

    The sad thing is that we should even be discussing this. I guess that is sin at work, though. Throughout history many men and women have allowed sin to distort the delicate relationship we call marriage. Because of that, we find ourselves discussing these issues now.

    It is certainly a truth that the Bible does not call for men to “lord over” or “rule” or “exercise dominion over” his wife. Any chap who thinks that is Biblical obviously does not understand much beyond his own ignorance.

    However, if we can separate some things here, I would appreciate it. There is a distinct difference between dominion and spiritual leadership. The former is a man contrived distortion of Biblical interpretation, the latter being completely Biblical. Man is NOT to have dominion over his wife, yet he is clearly to be her spiritual leader, or headship.

    Well, what does the Bible mean by this? Read Ephesians 5. It compares the marriage relationship to the relationship of Christ with His church. An incredible metaphor, to be sure. So, what does that mean? Well, as husbands we are to love and relate to our wives in the same way that Christ loves and relates to His church – as a servant-leader, provider, protector, champion, advocate, closest friend, encourager, etc.
    To quote C. S. Lewis ” God does not ravish; He woos”

  46. CynthiaGee Says:

    “Corrie, I think God tells the wives to submit because He also says that the husband is the head of his wife. I don’t know if the word “head” equates to “lead,” but that is also a passage we must keep in consideration here.”

    Jen, the Bible does say this, but it’s interesting to look at the rest of the verse.
    Paul writes,
    “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.”

    And :
    “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.”

    Now, imagine a series of mathematical sets: Christ is an (equal) subset of the set called the Godhead. Mankind is a subset of Christ, and Woman is a subset of Mankind.

    Genetics bears this out: Mankind as a species has two sex chromosomes, X and Y. Men have both the X and Y chromosome, whereas women have two X chromosomes. Now as in the beginning, all men and all women were contained in Man (Adam) and in the beginning, the subset woman ( the X chromosome without the Y) was differentiated and taken out of Man/Adam.
    Therefore, all women are not men, but Man and men still contain the female gene, whereas no woman contains the male gene.

  47. Light M. Says:

    Jen said: “I don’t know if the word “head” equates to “lead,” but that is also a passage we must keep in consideration here.”
    and
    Micah said: “Man is NOT to have dominion over his wife, yet he is clearly to be her spiritual leader, or headship.”

    I’d like to address these two comments together. The word “head” used in Ephesians 5 is “kephale,” literally, the head of the body. We modern westerners bring the connotation of “leader” to the word, but the original Greek does not contain that meaning. “Spiritual authority,” “spiritual covering,” “priest of the home,” and “chain of command” – none of these concepts regarding patriarchal marriage have a basis in scripture.

    In fact, the idea that God gives husband spiritual authority over their wives is contradicted in the Acts 5, when Ananias and Sapphira were held individually responsible for their sin.

    If “kephale” (again, literally the head of the body) doesn’t mean “leader,” what can it mean? First, in the Greek of the NT culture, the head was not understood as a rational, reasoning, organizing organ. That was seen to be the heart’s job! So to say the head of the wife means leader of the wife would make no sense to a 1st century person.

    However, the head (of the body) was seen as a supplier and nourisher of life, of life’s very essence. It can also be used metaphorically to mean source or origin.

    The entire context of the Ephesians passage is one of love and self sacrifice, not of authority or ruling. And that makes much more sense, if “kephale” means supplier/nourisher of life. It correlates much better with the context.

  48. Light M. Says:

    Cynthia, love your thoughts on XY and XX chromosomes. I’ve often imagined that when God put Adam to sleep, he removed an X chromosome from Adam’s DNA and duplicated it for the XX of the woman.

  49. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Again, I don’t think everyone is making a clear distinction between Biblical spiritual leadership and dominion/patriarchy, but I digress.

    Light said:

    “In fact, the idea that God gives husband spiritual authority over their wives is contradicted in the Acts 5, when Ananias and Sapphira were held individually responsible for their sin.”

    We can do whatever we want with Scripture, so I would contradict Acts 5 with the Fall. Adam was held responsible for Eve’s sin. She was cursed, but God held Adam accountable. Not because Adam was in dominion or ruling over Eve, but because he was her spiritual leader. Adam had a spiritual authority, of some sort, over Eve. That is a truth. What we must discover is the nature of that authority.

  50. Micah Gelatt Says:

    As far as the meaning of “kephale”, I would disagree strongly. That words appears 2336 known times in the NT period, with most of those occurrences, in context, meaning “authority over”. Not in a dictatorial fashion, void of any love and understanding. Rather, it was a metaphor that had the connotation of authority, but from a Godly perspective. I tend to think that our sinful humanity is blurring the Godly example here, and that is unfortunate.
    It is clear from Scripture that a hierarchy of authority exists, yet both husband and wife stand equal before God. It is not that one is worth more, or valued more, or even more spiritual. It is a position of authority, but again Godly authority, and not authority like we think of in fallen, human terms.

  51. Light M. Says:

    Micah said: “That words appears 2336 known times in the NT period, with most of those occurrences, in context, meaning “authority over”. Not in a dictatorial fashion, void of any love and understanding.”

    Micah, I must strongly disagree here. You are probably leaning on Wayne Grudem’s work, which has been successfully challenged and debunked by a number of NT scholars and translators. Grudem played fast and loose with his definitions and how he categorized the word kephale … in other words, he “cooked the books.” I suggest you check out Catherine Kroeger, Gordon Fee, and many others.

    Here’s an excellent excerpt from an article by Gilbert Bilzekian. Note in particular the last sentence of my cut and paste. I think it sums up the issue beautifully.

    “The word head is used five times in the New Testament to define the relation of Christ to the church. As will be shown below, the use of head is consistent in all of those texts.

    Eph. 1:22-23. The passage that immediately precedes this text exalts the supremacy of Christ in his session. But in relation to the church, the role of Christ is described as being appointed as head for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. The headship of Christ is never over the church in the New Testament. Here, it is for the church. As head, Christ gives the church fullness. He provides for the church’s growth. The function is not one of authority but of servant provider of what makes the church’s growth possible.

    Eph. 4:15-16. Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows and builds itself up. The function of the head in relation to the body is to provide it with growth. Headship is not an authority role but a developmental servant function.

    Eph. 5:23. The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which is the Savior. As head of the church, Christ is its Savior. If head had meant authority, the appropriate designation for Christ would have been “Lord” instead of “Savior” which is consistently a self-sacrificing, life-giving servant role in the New Testament.

    Col. 1:18-19. Christ is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead. Through his blood, shed on the cross, all things are reconciled to God. In a passage that celebrates Christ’s supremacy over all creation, this text describes Christ as the source of the life of the church through his resurrection from the dead and because of the reconciliation obtained through his self-sacrificing servant ministry at the cross. Headship is not defined in terms of authority but as servant provider of life.

    Col. 2:19. Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows. The function of head in relation to the body is not one of rulership but of servant provider of growth. Christ as head to the church is the source of its life and development.

    This survey indicates that head, biblically defined, means exactly the opposite of what it means in the English language. Head is never given the meaning of authority, boss or leader. It describes the servant function of provider of life, growth and development. This function is not one of top-down oversight but of bottom-up support and nurture.”

  52. Light M. Says:

    Micah said: “Adam was held responsible for Eve’s sin. She was cursed, but God held Adam accountable. Not because Adam was in dominion or ruling over Eve, but because he was her spiritual leader.”

    Again, Micah, we disagree. To say that Adam was Eve’s spiritual leader must be eisegeted into the text. One simply cannot get it out of the verses of Genesis itself.

  53. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Let’s agree to disagree here.

    I firmly believe that Scripture teaches a Biblical servant-leadership role specifically given to men. I firmly believe that Scripture teaches that men and woman stand equal in essence and status before God. I also firmly believe that Scripture teaches that we have different roles, of equal value, but different, although some of the roles are the same. Ephesians chapter 5 as well as other passages clearly teach this.

    Again, this is what I believe as Scriptural truth. If you do not, then that is your decision. Let’s just leave it at that. This dog gets awfully tired running around the same tree.

    However, all of this is not the topic of this thread, so I suggest we move on.

  54. Jen Says:

    Micah: “Again, I don’t think everyone is making a clear distinction between Biblical spiritual leadership and dominion/patriarchy,”

    Micah, this is the point I am trying to distinguish here. Could you expound on this a bit more, please?

    I looked up “head” in Vine’s. There are all sorts of Bible dictionaries available, all with their own bent, but this is the one I currently use. It seems that Vine’s also defines kephale as a sign of authority in these particular verses. This word appears to be used at least 17 times in the NT. I think it was a bit misleading, Light, to state that it was used five times to define the relation of Christ to the church, when we are really talking about a marital relationship here.

    Micah: “It is a position of authority, but again Godly authority, and not authority like we think of in fallen, human terms.”

    Could you also explain what you mean by Godly authority? Maybe some of us haven’t seen that in action.

    It is really good to hear some men here teach us some Scripture. I am really enjoying that, especially in light of these tenets. I would be interested to hear some men’s opinions/teachings on what the Bible says about these specific tenets as well.

  55. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Jen,

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    I believe Scripture teaches us that men and women are equal in essence and honor and dignity before God. It aches me to my core that throughout history there have been men that have sought to distort Biblical teaching, and force submission on women in such a way that leaves them feeling inferior. I know men in my life that have that view of women, and when we talk in conversation, my dander “gets up” and I want to grab them by the throat, and say (with love) “knock it off! serve your wife, you pig-dog!”

    However, the Spirit restrains me, thankfully. With that said, I also know that many have not seen true Godly husband servant-leadership in action. I have had the fortune to have been raised in a home that modeled it, and I married a woman who also had that privilege. So, perhaps it is easier for us to understand this issue then some. I do not know.

    If we read Ephesians, we see that Paul is putting forth a metaphor, yet one that is not completely bound by 1st century culture. He writes that we are to submit (or sub-ordinate) one to another. He goes on to say that wives should submit to their husbands, yet the word submit is not actually found in that verse (vs. 22) but we know from the context of verse 21 what he is talking about. The really cool thing is that the way this word is written in the Greek makes it have the meaning of willingly submitting. I love that. How beautiful! So many men try to wrangle their wives into submission, and in that way, “rule” over them in an ungodly fashion. How despicable! Yet Paul tells us that wives should willingly submit, or as the Greek is translated “be put under” or “put in place”, to their husbands.

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not take what i just said out of context. I do NOT believe that women should be “put in their place” as our modern vernacular would define that. What Paul is saying here is that women should willingly say, “yes! I will operate within my God-given role.” What is that role? To be a help-meet to her husband. Does she have a voice? YES! Does she have an opinion? YES! Can she make decisions? YES! Can she take communion, etc? YES! Can she help teach the children spiritually? YES! Can she understand the things of God just as well as her husband? YES! (I could go on and on here!) When a woman willingly submits to a Godly servant-leader who models his servant-leadership after Christ, she does not thereby declare herself a second-class citizen. Rather, she will flourish in her God-given role. She still retains equal standing before God, in terms of justification, etc.

    Now, vs. 24 goes on to say that just as the church is “put in its place” under Christ (meaning many things, but also His leadership), wives should have that relationship with their husbands – willingly following his spiritual guidance and service.

    Then Paul goes on to really stick it to the husbands. They get a much bigger reprimand here. Why? It’s not because they are more important. I believe it is because they fail in their role more than women do. And, the failing of husbands to be Godly servant-leaders then leads to wives who are frustrated and no longer willingly submit. It is not the wives fault, but the husbands!! How I long for the days of yesteryear when we could horsewhip idiot husbands! (just kidding, by the way – sort of)

    Then Paul really builds his metaphor, and takes it out of a cultural context, and right back to the pre-fall relationship between Adam and Eve. What Paul is saying here is that marriage itself is, and always has been a constant metaphor of the relationship between Christ and His church – but up to this point it remained a profound mystery. As Christ is the spiritual servant-leader, provider, protector of His church, so the husband should be, also. So many men miss this!! They either try this dominion nonsense hooey, lording over their wives, or they become knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who immerse themselves almost completely in their jobs, avoid all intimacy and service, watch Sportscenter all evening, make their wives serve them, and then have the audacity to ask for sex that night in bed. (I am uncoiling my horsewhip at the very thought of such ignorance)

    So, please do not misunderstand me. The Bible does not teach what DP and others espouse: Biblical patriarchy, dominion over women, etc. However, the Bible clearly teaches a grace-based relationship between man and woman whereby the woman submits willingly, in Christ, and the husband leads Christ-like, and they do this together, in the Spirit and in love! Sadly, the examples of relationships like this are so rare. Yet, they are so beautiful to watch in action.

    I don’t know if I helped or answered questions. I am looking at what I wrote and realize it is more like a novel than a post. Sorry about that.

    Jen, I am sorry for what you have had to go through. Know that God loves you, Christ has redeemed you, and my prayer for you is that the man-centered teachings of DP will wash from your mind and heart.

  56. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Holy Moly! That post was long! Does anyone need a nap after reading it? Wow! Sorry!

  57. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Jen said:

    “Could you also explain what you mean by Godly authority? Maybe some of us haven’t seen that in action.”

    Should I give examples here of my interactions with my wife, to give you an idea of what I believe Godly servant-leadership looks like?

  58. Jen Says:

    Micah: “Should I give examples here of my interactions with my wife, to give you an idea of what I believe Godly servant-leadership looks like?”

    Absolutely! I used to beg Doug to give us examples, but his focus was on vision. Reading about real-life examples is second only to personally observing them, in my book.

  59. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Well, it sounds like DP would disagree with me on a great deal! As I said in an earlier post, I have purchased items from Vision Forum before, because, at first glance, the catalog products look really great! Yet, when you start to wade through the “vision” and the ideology, it get’s a bit scary. Too bad, really because I agree with some of Vision Forum’s concepts like adventurous boyhood, chivalry, God-centered homes, etc.

    I teach a young couples Bible study so I am off to do that now. I shall post an answer to your question when I return, Lord willing.

  60. Jen Says:

    As long as you are on topic, Micah, I don’t mind the length of the comment. I don’t have limits on how much “band-width” we use!

    Micah: “the Bible clearly teaches a grace-based relationship between man and woman whereby the woman submits willingly, in Christ, and the husband leads Christ-like, and they do this together, in the Spirit and in love!”

    I wanted to start with your conclusion here. Personally, as some here can attest, I have recently been released from the bondage of legalism and I am trying to learn about grace for the first time in my life. In so doing, I have discovered that most Christians desire to know more about grace, as it seems to be so great a topic in Christianity that we may never fully understand it this side of heaven. So, you did not realize it, but you probably gave me the perfect answer to this question as I seek to put performance-based relationships in my past and learn what grace-based relationships mean.

    Thank you for spelling out this passage in Ephesians 5 for us. It was tremendously helpful. I have a couple questions for you.

    In verse 21, where it tells us to submit one to another, who do you think Paul is referring to here?

    Micah: “the word submit is not actually found in that verse (vs. 22) but we know from the context of verse 21 what he is talking about.”

    I don’t know what version you are using, but the NKJV does use the word submit. Are you talking about in the original Greek?

    Now, since you have a good marriage, I don’t know if you can answer these or not, but here goes. If the wife does not willingly submit, and the husband is loving her as Christ loved the church, what advice would you have for the husband? Are there situations where she should be forced to obey?

    And likewise, if the wife does submit, but the husband does not love her appropriately, what advice would you have for her? For example, you say this about wives – “willingly following his spiritual guidance and service.” What if he doesn’t do either one of those?

  61. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Jen,

    I am off for my Bible study, but I relish tackling your questions, because they are so important. I do have some answers to give, and I pray they are helpful. May God continue to show His grace to you this evening.

    Side note: I highly recommend Chuck Swindoll’s book The Grace Awakening. It is a book that DP will not be selling anytime in the near future. I am sure you can find it at Amazon or somewhere. If not, I will even send you my copy free of charge. Gods’ grace to you – and I will post later tonight.

  62. Mike Says:

    “Side note: I highly recommend Chuck Swindoll’s book The Grace Awakening.”

    Yep.

  63. Light M. Says:

    Jen, if I may, I would like to tell you about my marriage, which is based on mutual submission (Eph 5:21) and mutual sacrificial loving. I believe that when played out in real life, submission and sacrificial loving can actually look pretty much identical!

    My husband and I believe that we are both to submit to one another as Paul commands. In day to day life, this is pretty easy. We each have our areas of skill and interest, and so we divide the responsibilities that way. Some areas we share, some we take all responsibility for. (For instance, my husband is a terrible investor, and he will be the first one to admit it. So I handle all our retirement investments and long term savings.) If there’s a big decision to be made (e.g, whether to sink $3000 into a new transmission or replace the vehicle), and we are not likeminded, the person whom it affects most, or who has the most expertise, has the final call. In the one or two times a true disagreement over a big issue has come up in the past 20 years, we simply decided that since we were not likeminded, “we aren’t done yet.” In other words, we prayed and communicated about it until we were likeminded. But most of the time, when something needs to be done, the person to whom that issue comes more naturally simply and naturally assumes leadership, and the other one of us follows. After 20 years, it’s pretty seamless, organic, and graceful. When one of us is weary with a particular responsibility, or lacks wisdom, the other one is there with full support.

    There are folks out there who would say that it is ungodly for a husband to submit to a wife. If we are going to say that, however, I believe the parallel passage would also be true – that it would be ungodly for a wife to sacrificially love her husband. I know my husband has submitted to me and I have sacrificially loved him.

    We’ve mentioned grace in passing in the above few posts. I would say that if one word could characterize my husband’s and my attitude towards each other in our day to day life, it would be grace. Grace as a natural outgrowth of love.

  64. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Jen Writes:
    “In verse 21, where it tells us to submit one to another, who do you think Paul is referring to here?”

    I believe Paul is addressing all believers at the church in Ephesus in vs. 21, and not simply husbands and wives. That makes the most sense contextually, yet he goes on to address husbands and wives specifically in vs. 22. The original Greek language does not contain the verb “submit” in vs. 22, yet it is assumed and implied from vs. 21.

    Paul is basically saying…” everyone…submit to everyone else…now let me show you ways or contexts to do that in….”

    “Now, since you have a good marriage, I don’t know if you can answer these or not, but here goes. If the wife does not willingly submit, and the husband is loving her as Christ loved the church, what advice would you have for the husband? Are there situations where she should be forced to obey?”

    Being forced to obey would go against the text here, since Paul, when he uses the word submit (in the Greek form) implies a willing submission. This went against the common Roman idea at that times, which was a forced submission. Paul here is saying to willfully do so. So, I don’t think a husband can make a wife obey, which I am not sure I would use that word “obey” anyways. However, after talking to my wife about this question, she stated that IF a husband is really and truly loving his wife in a Godly, servant-leader fashion, then it is a very natural, God-given impulse for the wife to respond by submitting to that leadership.

    “And likewise, if the wife does submit, but the husband does not love her appropriately, what advice would you have for her? For example, you say this about wives – “willingly following his spiritual guidance and service.” What if he doesn’t do either one of those?”

    Well, this is the tricky one, isn’t it? I have met too many men that fit this description. They act proud and macho like King Saul, when a woman wants someone strong, yet spiritually sensitive like King David. I have heard and read some (like DP) state that a woman should try and win him with her sweet spirit. I do think there is truth to that, since it is Biblical. I think many of those men use it as a way to treat women as doormats. Yet, in our own church (one filled with grace, and not legalism) I have seen many women submit willingly to unbelieving husbands, pray to God for a softening of his heart, and see their prayers come to fruition, over time. Those men are all now solidly involved in our church, and are beautiful examples of Godly, servant-leaders.

    I don’t know if that answered anything or not. 🙂

  65. Corriejo Says:

    “I don’t know if that answered anything or not. ”

    Micah,

    I don’t know if there are any “one size fits all” answers to the questions but I sure do appreciate the way you have tried to answer and the manner in which you treat others. Thank you!

  66. Alisa Says:

    This may be slightly off topic from the submission discussion, but only just barely.

    I came to the realization that those who don’t allow divorce for any reason at all are just as guilty as those who encourage divorce for nominal reasons. Both camps are guilty of mishandling God’s word’s and heart on the matter, and as a result, many are sinning by hindering the Word of God in other’s lives. They will have to give an account.

    So I think Micah’s PREscription for a wife to pray over her husband is a great one, God is faithful to answer in so many situations.

    And then there’s the women and children whom God never called to sit and let His image that He wove into them be trampled and abused. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that ANYONE, be it wife or child, has to stay and take THAT. I believe a wife can seperate herself and children from such a situation and be perfectly within God’s will, in fact, even executing Gods will.

    Finally, there is the black and white, Jesus-approved scenario of adultery/sexual misconduct that makes way for a BIBLICAL divorce.

    I’ve heard some very circumspect pastors make the case for a biblical divorce on grounds of physical abuse (though I at LEAST encourage seperation) based on OT marriage covenants and divorce laws, and I think the argument had merit, but I don’t feel clear enough on it to go into it.

    Anyway, the discussion on women at different stages of the leadership/submission spectrum reminded me that there ARE recourses they are to take, and that those give them options that aren’t biblical and those who take away the instructions God did give them are both equally in error.

  67. T. Reformed Says:

    As I’ve previously stated, I’ve considered myself to be a Dominionist. However, my views of Dominionism would differ significantly from extremists like Doug Phillips. I believe that Doug Phillips and others like him have given a bad name to Dominionism, and for that reason I seldom any more call myself a Dominionist. I resent Doug Phillips very much for screwing up a good thing.

    In my view, R.J. Rushdoony was a moderate and very measured and modest man. His form of Dominionism was not at all like the radical and reactionary Dominionism of Doug Phillips. Here’s a blog entry from Chalcedon’s blog which I believe reflects that, and it also reflects my own views of what Dominionism was intended to be, before Johnnie-come-latelies like Doug Phillips screwed it up.

    Jen, I seriously doubt that this Chalcedon blog entry is a mere coincidence. It’s probable that Chris Ortiz has been following your blog carefully, and this Rushdoony quote is in direct response.

    Monday, June 18, 2007
    Dominion vs. Domination
    “It is significant that godly man in Genesis 1:26-28 is called to exercise dominion (not domination) over the earth, not other men, to develop all things in terms of God’s law-word and to make this earth into God’s realm and domain. Fallen man does not seek dominion, which begins with his salvation and his ability to rule himself, but, rather, the goal of fallen man is domination, to control other people.

    “In Ephesians 5:21-33, a husband’s godly dominion over his wife is compared to Christ’s ministry and the sacrifice of His life to redeem the Church. It is declared to be love: ‘He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.’ This is not domination, yet all too many husbands who call themselves Christian still insist on replacing dominion with domination.

    “It should not surprise us, therefore, that Christians cannot cope with an evil world given to terror and to domination. Neither should it surprise us that too often the most successful clergymen are those who exercise, not dominion but domination, because this is what the world respects.” ~ R. J. Rushdoony

  68. Jen Says:

    TR, Chris, and Rush: What an outstanding differentiation between dominion and domination! So, maybe we should say that Doug proposes “Domination” theology.

    I still think we should use biblical words in a biblical way. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  69. CynthiaGee Says:

    But T. Reformed, if we are trying to make this earth into God’s realm and domain” isn’t it GOD’S dominion that we should be seeking, and not our own?

    Here are the New Testament references to dominion:

    Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them [unto him], and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

    Rom 6:9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

    Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

    Rom 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

    2Cr 1:24 Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.

    Eph 1:21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

    1Pe 4:11 If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    1Pe 5:11 To him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    Jud 1:8 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

    Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

    Rev 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

    Who has dominion? In order of their appearance, “the princes of the gentiles”, death, sin, the OT Law, “not” Paul,
    earthly and heavenly powers and principalities, Jesus, Jesus, “dignitaries”, Jesus, and God the Father.

    Of these, death are sin are BAD things that Jesus is overcoming; we are commanded not to be like the princes of the gentiles; the OT Law has been fufilled by Jesus’s death; Paul says that he does NOT seek dominion over the Corinthians; and all of the earthly and heavenly powers and principalities will be overcome by and made subject to Jesus, as will dignitaries.
    It looks to me like the only dominion of which the New Tesament speaks positively is God’s.

  70. Cindy Kunsman Says:

    I would like to note that, despite the actions of Chris Ortiz that does not change my esteem for the ministry and work of RJR. The writings of theonomy have limitations, just as all of our human applications of God’s laws do via our flawed, human applications of them. Not diminishing that we do have “the mind of Christ,” we are still very much human, and even the elect are sometimes deceived. Theonomy can easily be taken out of context, and any application of those writings should be done so with great care. Anyone who would use the actions of Chris Ortiz pertaining to his statements concerning Doug Phillips fails to exercise good discernment.

    The true issue and unanswered question concerns the personal actions of Chris Ortiz on behalf of Chalcedon, and not the validity of theonomy. Likewise, his actions may not accurately represent Chalcedon.

    (As I said in a previous post, should such a thing be possible, I believe Rush Rushdooney would come back from the grave, take names and knock heads in response to things said and done based on the misuse of his life’s labor and reasonable worship.)

    This forum exists because one man and many other men like him have become licentious within their own sense of their liberty in Christ. They have been drawn away and enticed, so that they love their systems more than the individuals that the system originally sought to serve. Corresponding with Don Veinot this week, he stated that those at the Midwest Christian Outreach “take what they do very seriously, but they don’t take themselves very seriously.” I believe that represents a great deal of the source of the problem with Doug Phillips and even with Chris Ortiz.

    When a man’s central focus and concept of God begins with himself, it can only be existential. God’s salvation very subtly shifts to be understood as salvation of the self, because self becomes the subject. All spiritual matters then become inextricably bound to the subject of self. To criticize the knowledge (or the doctrine of patriarchy) becomes synonymous with an attack on the knower and his self-concept. He is not IN CHRIST, he is within his own conceptual framework about Christ. This is the predominant thought of our culture, where truth and knowledge derives its basis and value from that of the knower. The man who lives this existential theology has no other alternative but to take himself and his concept of self too seriously and about all things.

    But ye have not so learned Christ! We stand confidently in our human understanding of God and liberty, but if we are truly hidden with God IN CHRIST. We trust him to will and do of His good pleasure by holding fast to our trust IN HIM and not by external criticism, popular acceptance or any other external locus of control. HE has dominion over us, and on the good days, we submit to it. No longer what we were and not all that we will be, by God’s unfathomable and irresistible grace, we get better at submitting to HIM. Fear of man is a snare and the yoke of bondage entangles us when we look to ourselves as the source and focus. Trusting God, especially when circumstances look bleak, affords us the blessing of liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. Here we dissidents stand, God help us!

    So all the Doug Phillips’ and Chris Ortiz’ in the world can say and do as they will. We stand under much grace, in liberty by faith in the Author and Finisher of it. We look to Him who judges righteously and wait with full assurance that God will vindicate and redeem us.

  71. Corriejo Says:

    I was reading on Doug’s Blog. Why does he highligh the word “dominion” in the cryptic bible verses he puts up?

    It is weird. More secret smoke messages?

  72. David M Zuniga Says:

    What an excellent discussion.

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I think “Theonomy” in shorthand would be “God-Law”: God makes the laws, and men WILL obey those laws.

    As Christ said, His kingdom IS AT HAND…both right now, and forever. So true Theonomy is mere reality. The other kind of Theonomy (that which religious men love so much to exercise on their own) is moonshine and bullfeathers.

  73. Jen Says:

    Corrie, I don’t see those verses on Doug’s blog right off the bat; could you link to them, please?

    I do know that when I went to listen to Doug at Arlington, he used the word “dominion,” and then justified his use of it, saying, “It is in the Bible.” I agree; it is in the Bible. But Doug taught me to use the biblical words for what I am trying to say. That does not mean that we can take a biblical word and change its meaning or its use. The use of “dominion” in the Bible is clearly NOT how Doug is using it. If Doug wants to talk about taking dominion over the animals, or a kingdom’s dominion, or the dominion of the law and sin, or especially if he wants to talk about Jesus’ dominion, I’ll be glad to listen. But I am holding him accountable for practicing what he preaches and he taught me to use the biblical word in context.

    David, yes, God gave us His Laws. But now we must understand which laws are for us as Christians under the New Covenant, and which ones apply to others. And that makes all the difference in the world.

  74. Micah Gelatt Says:

    WARNING!! OBNOXIOUSLY LONG POST!! READ WITH CAUTION!

    Jen,

    You asked me to give some examples of what I believe a Godly servant-leader husband looks like. Well, this is tricky, but here goes:

    Let me speak from my perspective as a husband, and I will write a bit from my wife’s point of view throughout. I am very familiar with hers because we talk about these types of things all of the time.

    Decision-making: When we have a decision to make, be it buying a new sleeping bag on clearance at Wal-mart or whether or not we should pack up and move cross-country, we dialogue about it constantly. I seek her input, and she seeks mine. We do the Larry Burkett prescribed “3 days of prayer” before any major decision is reached. We hide nothing from each other in this whole process. I try to listen intently to any hesitations or concerns, yet when it ultimately comes down to it, she wants me to usually make the decision, especially in the major areas. She often says “I would go to Timbuktu with you if I knew you were following God’s will for us.” She is, according to her understanding of Scripture, yielding to my servant-leadership. Now, can she make decisions? YES! Does she often make decisions? YES! Yet, we always talk about them, and I am so confident that she can decide on her own, because God gave her a brain instilled with reason. Plus, he also gave her something that men usually do not have – intuition. That is a God-given trait, gifted to women, IMHO, to help in the leader/submission process. If her “intuition radar” goes up, then I seriously take that in consideration and prayer. It often sways my decision. Maybe that is God saying to me, as leader..”HEY ! DON”T DO IT, MICAH ! LISTEN TO YOUR WIFE, YOU MORON!” (God usually has to yell at me in that way…)

    SPIRITUAL DIRECTION: I feel that it is the husband’s duty to be the spiritual director for the kids in the home, and, in a totally different way (on an adult level), for my wife, as well. I do night-time devotions with our children every night as part of our bed-time ritual. Yet, throughout the week, both of us are constantly interacting with each child about God. We take Deut. 6 and Eph. 5:15-20 very seriously as commands to constantly infuse our home with the fragrance of God. I lead in that area, but I could not do it without her as my “help-meet.” Both roles are equally important, yet distinct in functionality. Also, she is in the Word for herself every day, but she knows that I am plowing through it much deeper than her (because I teach Bible study, Sunday school, VBS, children’s ministry, etc. at our church) and she loves to have me explain things I have
    from the Word. In like manner, I want to hear what God is revealing to her, also. Are we learning from each other? YES! Is she a student of God’s Word? YES! Yet, she wants me to “lead” in that area of Bible study and encouragement.

    PRAYER: We value our prayer time. Every Sunday morning, after breakfast and coffee (I can’t pray before I have had my coffee!!!!!) the kids KNOW it is daddy and mommy’s time for prayer together. We both pray humbly for our kids, families, church ministry, etc. I think my “leading” in this area is simply that she sees my submitting myself and my pride before God, as commanded in Scripture. It is a beautiful thing when a woman can know and see that her husband is prostrate before God, in all things. It’s “darn sexy”, says my wife.

    CHURCH MINISTRY: I would like to line up and slap the DP’s of the world who feel a woman must stay silent in every aspect of a church service or ministry. (That is my Irish blood wanting to fight!) That Scripture is often used toward much harm. Women play a VITAL role in the church community, yet my wife and I do feel that women should not teach men in a Sunday school situation. However, at our church, women and men can freely speak at any given function or ministry outlet. We both dive head-first into different aspects of our church, often together.

    I guess I could give other situations, but my brain is slowly frying, so….. The bottom line is that we feel that the Bible clearly illustrates what a Christian home should be – A man should servant-lead (and his example should ALWAYS and ONLY be Christ) in a manner which reflects Christ, and likewise a wife should graciously, willingly submit to that leadership, which also reflects a Godly pattern. We feel this is the backbone for a Godly marriage and family. Dominion theory has no place in that. Ruling or lording over has no place. Controlling women has no place. Egalitarianism also has no place. When done in a Godly way, it is a beautiful thing, we think.
    Jen, I hope this helps, and if you can think of specific situations of what servant-leadership might look like, I would appreciate it, and will do my best to answer. And, thanks for commenting on my blog.

  75. Micah Gelatt Says:

    Also, do you have a thread somehow involving the notion of “Be Fruitful and Multiply”? Boy howdy, do I have some thoughts on that tricky issue!!! What I have to say may totally blow some minds, and would result in the Vision Forum staff publically lynching me, or at least hanging me in the gallows in the Alamo. (are there gallows in the Alamo?)

    🙂


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