Monday, February 11, 2013

Step 1 - get a new pastor

Commenter Rootietoot said this on my post As provable as gravity:
Ok, I read as much as I could...regarding submission, my pastor explained it thusly:
A marriage is not a General (the man) and a Private (the woman), where the man orders and the woman obeys unconditionally. Instead it is more like a Colonel and a Lt Colonel, where the man has the authority given to him by the General (Christ),and trusts the woman to make decisions on his behalf, but deferring to him when necessary. It's the TRUST that is implicit here. I submit to my husband because he is a wise and godly man and I trust him. He allows me decision making, because he trusts me to make a sensible decisions and knows I will consult him when necessary. He also consults me and wants my opinion and input on decisions, as he trusts my wisdom. we both pray and consult God. It's not complicated, nor is it denigrating to either of us. In any relationship, SOMEONE has to have the final say when there is a disagreement. Since Christ is the head of my husband, who is the head of the household, then obviously he should have the final say. To me, it's a no-brainer.
(emphasis mine)
This sounds good, right? Sounds fair. Sounds equitable. Sounds...almost right.

It's not. It's unbiblical.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,  when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. - 1 Peter 3:1-2

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. - Colossians 3:18

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. - Ephesians 5:22
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:24

There is nothing conditional. There is no "if," "because," or "unless."

There's no room for translating it other than how it is stated.

Is my husband a wise man? Yes .

Do I trust him? Yes

Is my husband a Godly man? Yes

Guess what else he is...a fallen wretched sinner who is tempted by the enemy.

Do I submit to him? Yes

Why? Out of obedience to God's Command. Full stop. It has NOTHING to do with him. It is unconditional and without discretion. And when I fail, I am rebuked and I repent for my sin.

And, there is nothing denigrating about this. This is God's command. Repeated several times in the Bible, with no conditions.

It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man. - Psalm 118:8

And what does the Lord say? Submit to your husband.  

Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. - Psalm 146:3

In whom do we trust? God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23

Does your husband sin and fall short of the glory of God? Yes - and you are commanded to submit to him. 

 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,  which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.  But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. - Galatians 1:6-10

Now, notice Rootietoot said: "I read as much as I could..."

She can correct me if I'm wrong but I read that to mean, "I read up until there was something I did not like and stopped reading."

It would be quite interesting to know how many women and men read as much as they feel comfortable reading from 1 Peter and Ephesians before their equality filters kick in and they stop. "My pastor says this... (followed by supplicating, femcentric, appeasing drivel that has nothing to do with what the Bible says.)" - Time to get a new pastor. 

If you believe you will succeed without following God's commands, best of luck to you. 

If you find Christianity off putting because of God's commands, that's fine too - you may go to hell.


  1. Rootie read as much as she could as she only found your blog today. I know because I introduced her to it. I am sure she will loop back and comment.

  2. Our pastor started speaking about husbands submitting to their wives. I was ready to leave that church. But after some behind the scenes backlash, he corrected himself and I figured he had it right, but was saying it the wrong way. Wives submit to husbands, husbands submit to God. There is a role a man has to play. He doesn't get to do whatever he wants when he has a family. But he is responsible and will answer for how that plays out. No backseat driving ladies.

    That pastor was fired a couple weeks ago. Hoping we get a good one.

  3. AMEN!!!! The only 2 preachers I can think of who teach true biblical submission are John MacArthur and Michael Pearl. No pastor of a church I have attended in 54 years has ever taught it. Have you found one?

  4. Bill Pride, a generation or so ago, is also a good source, for evangelicals.

    I'll try and keep my denominational horn-tooting to a minimum since that's not this blog's focus, but Rev. Fisk, of my own Missouri Synos Lutherans, shows much of the discomfort of a modern, feminism-raised dude when hit with questions on Biblical submission, but always straight-out holds the Bible.

    Look up Worldview Everlasting on Youtube if you get a chance, and look up "Why apples can't be oranges" and "Why apples shouldn't wear hats in church". Good show in general if you want to know what my church teaches and why we believe it is what the Bible teaches.

    Uh... It is a very spazzy-show. Fair warning.

    As for pastors within the church... Ehhh. My current one (on his way out) assumes the modern/western/feminist point of view unconsciously, but again, if pressed, will confess that much as he doesn't always like it, that is what the Bible says.

    The Missouri Synod Lutheran churches are kind of random. Official doctrine is absolutely in line with the Bible. Whether a given pastor conforms to doctrine on a given area is kind of iffy, but so far I'm 4 out of 5. Problem for those of you non-Lutheran types in the audience is the whole Lutheran thing, which is a whole 'nother barrel of beans.

    Oh, very off topic: I have a kid incoming. My first. My wife is rocking the baby-bump. So, SD and RLB, any book recommendations? Pretty please?

  5. Myrrdin,
    We are Lutherans. I was raised Missouri Synod. RLB was raised ELCA. It is very random what one might get of various pastors. I'm not very interested in a denominational debate either. I find lack in all of the Christian churches who are appeasing our feminist culture to keep butts in the seats. Obviously this topic is a hot button topic for us. It's a nonstarter as far as a church is concerned. If biblical submission is glossed over or apologized for, it's not a church for us.

    Congratulations on the incoming kid! :)
    I highly recommend the book "On Becoming Baby Wise." By Ezzo and Bucknam.

  6. No backseat driving ladies.

    Amen, Giraffe!

  7. Ok, I read as much as I could because that was the time I had to read it and words were rattling in my head. I meant no confrontation nor was I trying to figuratively poop on your floor. My apologies if it came across that way. I stated what my pastor said, then what I believed. Am I incorrect in listening to my pastor (seminary trained Reformed Prebyterian) who used Ephesians 5:21-33 (21 states "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." then proceeds with the proper spousal relationship,with Christ as the head of the household)? I think I will continue to listen to him, and the elders of my church (all men, we don't hold with women being in leadership), where marriage is concerned. My husband *is* the head of the household, and I respect him as such. I would not have married him if there were no respect. That he respects me, and my opinions, is one of the reasons WHY I respect him. I don't understand why this is problematic.

    1. I am also a Reformed Presbyterian but understand how there is absolutely no wiggle room to expect that a man and his wife submit one to another, since we are given a very clear picture that earthly marriages are to mirror Christ and His Bride.

      Would anyone ever postulate that Christ has to mutually submit to His Bride, the Church? Of course not! The idea is so ridiculous that it immediately blows the whole "mutual submission" argument out of the water.

  8. Rootietoot,
    My caution is in the translation that is being used for Ephesians 5:20-21. The NIV reads as follows (starting with verse 18):
    18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Instructions for Christian Households

    21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

    Now let's look at the NKJV:

    18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.[c]

    Marriage—Christ and the Church;NKJV

    The comma between verse 20 and 21 in the NKJV is of significance. Meaning the "submitting to one another..." is part of what is wise. This is the manner in which we are to live our lives with each other, knowing to whom we submit and who submits to us. (Think employee/employer private/sergeant, child/parent, unwise/wise, student/professor) The concept of mutual submission within the same social construct is an oxymoron.

    The NKJV, after ending verse 21 with a period, goes on to separate the instruction for marriage. A very specific social construct with only one line of submission: wife submits to husband as unto the Lord.

    I have found this to be one of the most distracting differences in translations. This use of a period/comma has become a basis for households void of biblical submission. It has become foundational to the destruction of marriages that are not vertically aligned according to God's command.

    A wife who bases her submission to her husband on her subjective opinions of that husband will find great challenge when faced with decisions that CAN NOT be questioned, CAN NOT be discussed (time constraints/emergency). It was not God's intention for a wife's decision to submit to have anything to do with her feelings, emotions, moods, social norms, associations or to have anything to do with her account of her husband's worth. In a Covenant marriage, once the vows were spoken, it is only God's account of the husband that matters, and his command is for a wife to submit.

  9. You may very well be in submission to your husband out of obedience to God, that isn't how you're presenting it. What I hear you saying is you are married to a good man, a respectable man, a man of integrity and honor. That is fabulous. But has nothing to do with WHY you should submit to him.

    Let me give you an example in the hopes you can understand what I'm saying:
    There have been times and will be times to come where men will have to make a decision between bad and worse. Ugly and Horrible. It is in these times that it is/will be crucial that he can hear God's guidance. It can/will be disastrous if the decision is influenced by his wife's opinion. It has been/will be these times that she must remain silent and submit without question.

    I have been through one of these times with RLB and I failed miserably. It was that period of time that I came to know I was only in submission to him based on my account of his worthiness. I was not in submission out of obedience to God. I am very thankful RLB proceeded as he needed to. He shut me out and continued on in prayer, he had to make a decision between wrong and horribly wrong. AND, other men's lives were on the line for him to make the correct decision. It took this situation for God to speak to me about my rebellion to His Command. As an onlooker, you would have NEVER known it. RLB and I were VERY agreeable. We were on the same page. UNTIL we weren't.

    I am humbled and remorseful of my rebellion to God's command. But so very thankful that it illuminated the Truth and has allowed me to be passionate about this distinction in the hopes that other women will not make this error especially when it could be fatal.

    The enemy will use ANY means to destroy your family. God's Command for biblical submission will protect our homes when the enemy has zeroed in on our marriages for his target.

  10. Sarahs Daughter,

    If you believe you will succeed without following God's commands, best of luck to you.

    And can I ask, how's this working out for you? Really? Are you following God's commands perfectly? Because God doesn't grade on a curve you know. He demands perfection.

    I've lurked here for a while and I have to say I am becoming increasingly concerned by your legalism and self-righteousness. Seriously, as kindly as I can I'm telling you need to repent of your pride in your works.

    I'm sure you're a great mother and wife, but that isn't buying your ticket to heaven, Christ's death on the cross did that for you. But by trying to work you way to heaven you are taking that away from Him.

    Please consider this in the spirit it was intended.

    In Christ,


  11. You haven't a clue what you are talking about.

    My pride? Salvation through works? What a joke. You may have been here lurking but your reading comprehension is abysmal.

  12. @SD: You're nailing it. Keep it up. God bless you.

    @Rootitoot: "I would not have married him if there were no respect. That he respects me, and my opinions, is one of the reasons WHY I respect him." My ex-wife would have said the same thing when we married in 1982, and probably for 10-15 years after (perhaps with diminishing enthusiasm). But she was underestimating my fallenness, just as I underestimated hers (as is true of every marriage). The problem was that we had always been taught (correctly) that my obligation to love her was unconditional. So her serious failings and sins (which fell short of biblical grounds for divorce) meant that I could seek change -- through prayer, discussion/confrontation, counseling, etc. -- but I couldn't blow up the marriage. However, we had also always been taught (INCORRECTLY), and perhaps more implicitly than explicitly, that her obligation to respect me and submit to me was not unconditional. That wasn't an issue so long as she felt like respecting me. It became a huge issue when she no longer felt like respecting me, due partly to my own serious failings and sins (also falling short of biblical grounds for divorce) and due partly to the accumulation of decisions over the years where she disagreed with me. Submission/respect became something that I was supposed to earn and that applied only to decisions/courses of action that she agreed with. After 29 years and 4 kids, she blew up the marriage.

    This tale, along with however many other similar tales Sarah's Daughter has heard, is what raises alarm bells here when you make it clear that (1) you respect your husband because he (currently) makes it easy for you to do so and (2) you reject what Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 actually say in favor of the watered down, more culturally palatable gloss applied by your pastor and elders. It may not make any practical difference now, when things are going well, but it will make all the difference in the world to you, your husband, your children, and everyone who knows you when things haven't gone well (by your definition) for 5 or 10 or 15 years.

    Query: If/when a woman in your church initiates a divorce without biblical grounds, does your church step in and exercise church discipline in an effort to preserve the marriage? My expectation is that it does not, but that, effectively, the wife's unhappiness is the trump card that is sufficient in and of itself to prove that the husband has failed to love her as Christ loved the church, and therefore she can't be told not to divorce.

    Please continue to dig into these concepts here and at like-minded blogs (e.g., Peaceful Wife). If you'll do so with the attitude of asking God to show you the truth and to help you embrace it, even if you don't like it, you may find that you see your marriage quite differently. I pray that happens for you.


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