What to Say When Someone says Patriarchy is God’s Plan

What to Say When Someone says Patriarchy is God’s Plan April 18, 2019

From CBE:

On April 11, 2019

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series on difficult Bible passages entitled “What to Say When…”

Since the fall, women have suffered enormously under patriarchy. In the church, in the world, and in the home, women have always been subordinate to men, and as a result, they have been abused, oppressed, and silenced. Some say gender hierarchy is God’s perfect design—a pristine plan for women and men’s good and flourishing. They point to Genesis, arguing that God clearly intended patriarchy from the start. But the text tells a different story. If we look closer, it becomes clear that patriarchy was never God’s plan for humanity.

Is Patriarchy God’s Will or the Consequence of Sin?

Genesis 3:16 says, “in pain you will bear children.” It doesn’t say, “in pain you must bear children.” The distinction is there in Hebrew, too. This is an imperfect statement, not an imperative. This means that God is speaking of what will happen or is happening, not what ought to happen.

In Hebrew, this is clear in the second person (you), but not always clear in the third person (she or he). This is because the third person imperative (the jussive), looks just like the imperfect. However, in a series of clauses, like we have here, they should match. Since the first clause (“you will bear children”) is not an imperative, the third clause (“he will rule over you”) should not be an imperative either. To make it more compelling, the parallel consequences Adam receives in verses 17-18 are also imperfects, not imperatives. This means that God isn’t telling men to rule over women, he’s telling women that men will rule over them. Why?

When the humans sinned in the Garden of Eden, God told them what would happen to the world as a result of disobedience. Because people disobey God, there is constant toil (3:17-18), we’re aware of our mortality (3:19), childbirth is painful (3:16), and there is patriarchy (3:16). We don’t often hear that God’s good plan for the world is useless work, death, and pain, because we know that God’s work in Christ is always against the forces of sin and death. In other words, God didn’t curse us with death; instead, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). God didn’t curse us with patriarchy either, but many complementarians go even further—without any basis in the text—and call it a blessing! Why do we so often hear that patriarchy is God’s best for us?

As followers of Christ, we are called to holy living—fighting against the forces of sin in ourselves and in the world. We seek a better life for all people. We use technology and good stewardship to make work efficient, purposeful, and good for the earth, we work through the medical field to alleviate pain and fight sickness, and we work for gender equality.

What Does “Your ‘Desire’ Will Be Toward your Husband” Mean?

Most translations say “desire” here (see more on this below). There are many interpretations of this phrase. The words before it are about conception and childbirth. For this reason, some interpreters have said this refers to sexual desire, saying something like, “even though you will be constantly pregnant, you will still desire your husband.” This is possible, especially since the same construction is used in Song of Solomon 7:10: “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” Since it says “but your desire will be toward your husband,” it also makes sense that this would refer to the previous clause. This “but” doesn’t always show up in English translations.

Those who support male hierarchy often say that this phrase means women are opposed to men and want to dominate them. However, the translation they offer—“your desire will be contrary toyour husband” (ESV 2016)—is a stretch. The Hebrew word ’il means “toward.” Even in situations where ’il might be translated “against,” the sense of the word is still “toward,” for example, “anger toward/‘against’ Israel” (Numbers 32:14). Furthermore, the Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation that was considered authoritative in the time of Jesus, translates ’il as prosPros also means “toward.” The translation “contrary to” reflects anxiety about female influence that isn’t present in the text.

The word commonly translated “desire” is from the Hebrew teshuqah. Katharine Bushnell, a 19thcentury scholar, found that teshuqah was first translated “desire” in 1528. Before that, it was usually translated “turning.” In fact, the Septuagint uses the word apostrophe here, which means “turning away.”[1] From whom might sinful women turn away, hoping that their husbands, or anyone else, will fill the void? Turning away from the rule of God means turning toward the rule of man—patriarchy.

So What Should You Say When Someone Says Patriarchy is God’s Plan?

1. Gender hierarchy is a result of sin, not a command of God. God’s work in Christ is against the effects of sin.
2. One result of sin in human relationships is that people will turn toward each other instead of God.
3. The final destruction of sin will also mean the final destruction of patriarchy and sexism.

Notes
[1] Katharine Bushnell, God’s Word to Women (Minneapolis: Christians for Biblical Equality, 2003), XVI.124-XVIII.145.
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  • LT

    Genesis 1-2 and 1 Cor 11 make clear that gender hierarchy in some areas is not the result of sin but a fact of creation. This short argument above works only by ignoring some Scripture and taking the most beneficial reading of Gen 3 without respect to context and historical understanding.

  • Elca

    “Because people disobey God, there is constant toil (3:17-18), we’re aware of our mortality (3:19), childbirth is painful (3:16), and there is patriarchy (3:16). “ The Problem with patriarchy associated with 3:16 is that God is pronouncing a curse on both man and woman in 3:16.
    The Rule of the Father ( Patriarchy ) is seen through out the Bible and it is seen as a requirement for men to be Pastors and Elders in the NT.
    A man who ” Rules Well ” his own house is Patriarchal . So why would God allow this for His Church if it was a curse as in Gen.3:16?

    The truth is, Sin distorts what God has in mind and intended. Sin distorts almost every Biblical concept including, gender roles, ( from role reversals to the LGBTQ agenda), the speaking of tongues, the care of the earth, ( from which greed arise what we should and should not eat) and a plethora of ideas that originates with God the creator. All distorted by Sin, and Patriarchy is no different.
    This is a spiritual battle, that can only be won in the spiritual.

    When God created Adam, He did so on purpose for His Pleasure, glory ,Plan and He allowed Adam to demonstrate “Dominion” over the animals and the Woman that he also created by naming them.
    This was the First example of Patriarchy; Adam exercising “Dominion” over Eve by naming her.
    At NO time did Adam abuse Eve or the animals. There is NO record of Eve being against Adam’s Dominion before the fall.

    Secondly, Paul referenced this same creation narrative of patriarchy ( the Rule of the Father) in his instruction to women to NOT usurp the Authority of men and his defense of Male Headship, meaning Patriarchy.

    For these reasons and a consistent theme of Patriarchy in the Bible ( including the Patriots of Old) is reason to say that Patriarchy is God’s Plan.
    Now let us teach it as God intended it to be, for His Glory.

  • Nora

    Elca, I think I’m following you. For the sake of discussion, let’s say you’re 200% correct. I often learn better if I can mentally “see” an illustration or an example, or hear a discussion/explanation about a real-life situation which illustrates a point. Could you please give some practical examples of this patriarchy in action, maybe something from your own marriage, or situations you’ve observed in others who are “doing” patriarchy right. I’m not trying to do anything but get a better handle on this. Our last pastor said (twice) from the pulpit that wives were to be subservient. Now that’s a very strong word, not much more than a servant/slave or the family pet, if that. I need to understand this concept, please.

  • Wes

    1 Timothy 2:13 as well. Paul points directly to the order of creation—before the fall—to justify his proscription on women exercising authority over men in the church.

  • Elca

    I did reply, but i now see that my response was deleted. I am not sure why.

  • Luis Gutierrez

    The Bible is Jewish, but it is not God’s plan for Christians to be Jewish. Likewise, the Bible is patriarchal, but it does not follow that patriarchy is God’s plan for Christians. This is implicit in the apostolic decision no discontinue the requirement of *male* circumcision (Acts 15:28). That it has taken 20 centuries for most Christian churches to recognize patriarchy as a cultural artifact is evidence that we are sinners, not evidence that patriarchy is Christ’s will for the churches under the New Law.

  • patriciamc

    In those verses, Paul is actually refuting a teaching of the cult of Diana that said that woman was created first. False teachings were creeping into the church in part because women were not educated in religion and could not discern what was right and what was wrong. That’s why Paul said that they could not usurp, or take over, authority, but that they must learn correct teachings. This was pretty pro-female for the time.

  • Wes

    I don’t think that’s a compelling interpretation. Paul says nothing about women teaching heresies. And if that was the case, why would he permit “no woman” to teach instead of just the offenders? Also, Paul is writing to Ephesus, Priscilla’s church. Are we to assume the woman who helped Apollo’s come to faith was so “uneducated” in the scriptures that she would teach such heresies? Also, the general (rather than limited) prohibition is more consistent with the rest of scripture (e.g. 1 Corinthians 14:33-35) wherein Paul prohibits women from teaching. In fact, 1 Corinthians 14 shows that the prohibition is universal, as it is practiced in “all the churches of the saints,” regardless of the specific context.

  • Rod Bristol

    Gender hierarchy is “clear” only to readers committed to patriarchy. People argue many things from scripture that is “perfectly clear” to them, but they blithely or vigorously neglect or explain away passages that point in a different direction. It’s not easy to get outside of one’s own interpretive bubble to connect with unfamiliar truth. Jesus systematically dismantled and violated hierarchies of all kinds. He sent a woman to tell the boys of his resurrection.

  • JohnM

    You think sending a woman to tell “the boys” of His resurrection was systematically dismantling hierarchies? See, every time someone wants to cite a biblical example in support of gender egalitarianism they have to resort to such flimsy ones. Then you wonder why your case is not convincing.

    By the way, those “boys” were Christ’s chosen apostles. They carried out His commission, and most of them died as martyrs doing it. Try to remember that.

  • LT

    No, it’s clear. I am not committed to patriarchy in the least, but it is clear. Jesus was very counter cultural though he did not dismantle and violate heirarchies. He did send a women to tell men of the resurrection. And he sent women to do many other things. That has nothing to do with this point. You have not gotten outside your interpretive bubble to connect with unfamiliar truth apparently.

    What do you think Gen 1-2 and 1 Cor 11 say?

  • Elca

    Still twisting the scriptures? Women won’t the only ones spreading false docrrine. Some men were doing it as well….
    But i know will continue to twist and cherry pick because strongholds are hard to break.

  • Elca

    The Apostles did instruct male headship and female submission in the Family and the church.
    It seems clear that patriarchy did continue in the NT under Grace.

  • Luis Gutierrez

    The church is a communion, not a patriarchy. Male headship and female submission are cultural aberrations derived from original sin. For the redemption, and the sacramental economy, what really matters is the body-soul humanity of Jesus, not simply his masculinity. Under the New Law, what matters is that the Word became flesh, not that Jesus is male; else, the apostles would have retained the practice of male circumcision. The Church should stop defending culturally biased doctrines and allow Christ to call women to the priesthood and the episcopate.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8c56e096c5486ed3bff78848c12189768bad7a133060a8f7e208ba7ae76ee77a.jpg

  • Elca

    That ” communion or community of believers” has a head. It was given to male men by the creator the one who died.
    He gave requirements for men to be the Head of that communion.
    That is Patriarchal in its structure.
    Jesus was born male by design and on purpose…consistent with the 1st Adam who was male and who did sin.
    You cannot separate Jesus from his male.gender.

    If ” male headship and female submission ” is a cultural construct, then you are implying that the Apostles are conforming to a sinful culture which means they were not inspired by the Holy Spirit to so instruct but by sinful men in a sinful culture.
    Now that’s blasphemy in my opinion.

    You may be surprise to know that circumcision is still practise today by Gentiles.
    But it has nothing to do with male headship.
    Patriarchy has everything to do with God the Father.

  • Rod Bristol

    Citing the first witness to testify to the resurrection merely illustrates that something deeper that proof texting is going on in Jesus’ life and teachings. It would be flimsy as the only basis for abandoning patriarchy, but it ought to get our attention.

    Jesus systematically upset and crushed hierarchies. He lifted the lowly and humbled the haughty. To the consternation of the pious authorities of his day, he ate with sinners and respected women. He explicitly told his followers “not so among you.” He said “I am among you as the one who serves.” (Luke 22:26 – 27) He famously, unexpectedly washed filthy feet. (John 13)

    We should also note that several women carried out Jesus’ commission, named by Luke and Paul, and that most of the Twelve are never named in scripture, after their association with Jesus in his ministry.

  • Rod Bristol

    Jesus violated hierarchy and taught his followers to grow out of it. See Philippians 2:6ff, John 13, and Luke 22:26 – 27. I know it’s hard to escape your bubble, because I used to be in it. If you want to know what I think Gen 1 – 2 and 1 Cor 11 say, check out these articles: readfresh.pub/ReadGenesis and readfresh.pub/BiblicalGenderRoles . Respecting scripture often requires getting past habitual, decontextualized readings of familiar passages. This can be uncomfortable work, but the effort can be well rewarded.

  • LT

    Jesus was indeed countercultural, though “violated heirarchies” doesn’t, as of yet in this conversation, have any meaning. I have no idea what you are trying to argue with that .

    You cite three passages, none of which have anything remotely to do with patriarchy or complementarianism (which, as you surely know, are two different things). It’s not hard to escape the bubble. I have studied this thoroughly for decades. I am not in a bubble in the least. It seems to be you in the habitual decontextualized readings of familiar passages, as illustrated by the three citations you give, which again, have nothing to do with the topic.

    It will surely be uncomfortable work for you, but those of us who have been there and been through can assure you that in the end it will be worth the trouble to get out of this narrow fundamentalist mindset you have.

  • Luis Gutierrez

    The Christ-Church mystery cannot be reduced to a patriarchal marriage. The Bible is written in patriarchal language, but the Trinity is a communion, not a patriarchy, even though it has been described as a patriarchy. Divine realities cannot be reduced to the words we use to describe them, because human words are always limited. “God the Father” is not a male, “God the Son” was not a male before the incarnation, and “God the Holy Spirit” is not a male either. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 239, 370, 2779. For the redemption, and the sacramental economy, the masculinity of Jesus is as incidental as the color of his eyes. We are created in the image of God, not the other way around.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0f40a613e54577fa954ca407d87f94e0d8d79531c3e3896b6aff86458c3bf609.jpg

  • Rod Bristol

    Please forgive my apparent ad hominem; such was not my intent.

    The passages I cite have very much to do with the topic of patriarchy. Patriarchy is simply the most pervasive hierarchy in the world. It’s so habitual it seems right to many, many people. Years of Bible study confirms it for its adherents. But we both know that many people spend lots of energy over lots of years reconfirming their misunderstandings. I did.

  • Elca

    “but the Trinity is a communion, not a patriarchy, even though it has been described as a patriarchy. “ that Trinity has a head. He is God the Father. The Bible tells us so. Is the Bible wrong.?
    “God the Father” is not a male, “God the Son” was not a male …” true, but God chose to reveal himself to mankind in the male gender. Never the female. That was his choice….
    Yes we are created in his image but yet God chose men as heads of …for his glory.

  • Luis Gutierrez

    The Bible is not wrong. Our interpreting the patriarchal language of the Bible in isolation from their historical context is what needs a reality check. God comes to use where we are, so he came to patriarchal Israel as a male. If he had come as a female, he would not have been allowed to enter the temple or any synagogue. Patriarchy is for the glory of men, not for the glory of God. Are we to believe that, in today’s world, Jesus would choose 12 males to represent the patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel?

  • Elca

    “… so he came to patriarchal Israel as a male.” No! Before Israel, ( Jacob), God revealed Himself to Adam as Male.
    In Gen.3:24 we saw the first use of the male Pronoun to describe God the Creator. Was Moses wrong in his record of God as ” He “?
    Before Israel ( one of Abraham’s sons) God allowed Adam to name the Woman. This is the first evidence of Male Headship and Patriarchal rule on earth. And God saw it was good and He allowed whatever Adam named them to stand.
    At NO time did Adam abuse the animals or the woman, but he did exercise “Dominion” over both of them by naming them. This happened before “Israel ” became a Nation. Your reasoning is flawed.
    Patriarchy existed before Israel became a nation.

    ” If he had come as a female, he would not have been allowed to enter the temple or any synagogue.'” This is nonsense. God is sovereign and does not conform to people’s traditions. In fact, we are told to NOT conform to the culture around us.
    So, if God did chose to reveal as “Female” then the temples and synagogues would have NO Choice but to comply with her will. For then She would be Lord of the temples that were set up to worship her = God and the Preist would be females.

    “Patriarchy is for the glory of men, not for the glory of God.” If you see it as abusive, then yes, but then, that is not what the Father of creation endorses.
    But if you ( like me ) see Patriarchy as being patterned after God the Father, then it is to be done as He sets the example as a Wise Loving Father who rules well the Universe that He created.

    You can apply all what “If ” scenarios and it would NOT change what was done. You are engaging in conjecture and Trajectory arguments that are subjective and is an exercise in futility.

    The 12 tribes of Israel were headed by Men because that was the Pattern God gave from Creation. It followed what was established by the creator from Adam to Noah to Abraham…a consistent theme of male headship ordained and approved by the creator and was referenced and promoted by Jesus and the Apostles in the NT.

    The God of creation does not conform to the man-made culture. He transcends them all…
    It is absurd to think that Jesus and the Father were afraid of sinful men and their traditions.
    But it is a popular line of reasoning to justify one’s view against male headship. But the written word will contradict such a contrary view.

  • LT

    Can you show that in the text? Why does Paul appeal to creation and fall if the real issue was a cult of Diana? And women in the church were educated. Remember, Jesus taught women from the beginning as did the church.

    And notice in the text that the alternative to teaching or exercising authority is not “get educated” but “keep silent.” That is instructive.

    Of course there is nothing in the text that indicates anything about a cul of Diana or about a lack of education. So why insert that?

  • LT

    I didn’t sense any ad hominem, but thanks.

    I don’t see patriarchy in the passages. Phil 2:6 is about the incarnation and the model of humble servanthood that we all need toward each other. In John 13 I presume you are referring to the footwashing, but again, that is not about patriarchy but servanthood. Luke 22:26-27 was about how the disciples related to each other as disciples. Again, that’s not about patriarchy.

    I agree that patriarchy is common and habitual. But it’s not what the Bible teaches, as least in terms of the common view of patriarchy today. I think you are confusing male headship in the home and church with patriarchy but that is a most unfortunate confusion. That may well be the source of tension.

  • JohnM

    Women are mentioned by name and are part of the story throughout the Bible. Women said things, women did things, women are often commended. That is not something revolutionary that Jesus inaugurated in His earthly ministry. The passage simply does not have the particular significance you want to ascribe to it; that isn’t what it is about. If you do think the gender of the messenger and the gender of the recipients is somehow the point then you should note that it was to men that that the message was sent. Even if that narrative did signify what you claim it would be no excuse for you to dismiss and disrespect the apostles.

  • Rod Bristol

    If you lay Philippians 2 on Ephesians 5:21ff, patriarchy gets squashed between them. It’s no surprise that wives should subject themselves to their husbands; that commonplace idea helps everyone understand what “submitting to one another” means. Then comes the huge surprise that husbands should sacrifice themselves for their wives. That concept has no commonly experienced precedent, but flows from what Jesus did, described in John 13, Philippians 2 and elsewhere. Many Christian men conflate headship with patriarchy and that causes trouble for sure. Scriptural headship is not boss-ship or patriarchy, nor is it hierarchy. 1 Cor 11 makes sense only in its cultural context; it’s a deeply unclear passage for modern readers. Such an ambiguous passage should not be the foundation of doctrine. When males think they are uniquely qualified and commissioned to run home and church, they are misappropriating the text, in the same way that enslavers misappropriated the texts that teach slaves to serve their masters as they would serve Christ.

  • Rod Bristol

    I hope to be the last to dismiss and disrespect the Apostles. Referring to them as “the boys” is just an attempt to be explicit about their gender without being tedious. I contrast the relative frequency of naming merely to point out that the scripture doesn’t rank people the way Christian tradition ranks people. Christian tradition embodies many ideas and practices of hierarchy that flagrantly violate the example and teaching of Jesus.

  • patriciamc

    I know of what I speak because I read and am educated. Read several commentaries; they’ll show the teachings of Diana that were creeping into the church. Paul refers to what was understood to his readers, so he did not need to spell them out specifically. Also, women in general were not educated. So, believe what you want, what makes you feel good about yourself. As for me and my house, we will follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and will worship the Lord without the sinful, worldly male domination contaminating us.

    By the way, make sure your women wear head coverings since nowhere does it say that covering a woman’s head is just for that culture at that time. Also, remember, by your logic, we should still have slaves since nowhere does the Bible prohibit slavery but says for slaves to obey their masters.

  • LT

    I don’t know what “lay Philippians 2 on Ephesians 5:21ff.” means, but I don’t see any difficulty there. If you are talking about systematizing the two passages, I don’t see any conflict. It seems like you are trying to create one. I am also not sure why it is a huge surprise that husbands should sacrifice themselves for their wives. That starts back in Genesis and shows up throughout the OT. That was no surprise at all. Women had a tremendously high position in OT life, much more so than the surrounding nations.

    1 Cor 11 isn’t particularly ambiguous in the part that we are talking about here. There is nothing ambiguous about, “Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:3 NAU). It is true that the headcovering part has a number of interpretive issues, but even that’s not particularly challenging. And it’s not the foundation of doctrine.

    The Bible teaches that men are to lead their wives and wives are to submit to their husbands. Anyone who understands that as some type of dictatorship or women with no voice plainly hasn’t read the Scriptures. That is not patriarchy, and it isn’t misappropriating the text. It’s what the text says. It seems to me that the only way around it is to say that the text isn’t true. There isn’t anything cultural in it.

  • Wes

    This isn’t a productive comment.

  • Robert A. Pursley

    I appreciate a lot of what is presented in this article. I’m curious as to why you did not go to Genesis 4:7 in your discussion of Genesis 3:16. I’m not a Hebrew scholar, but I do believe both verses possess the same syntax and grammar. What light does this shed on how you’re reading Genesis 3:16? I’d like to hear what you have to say. I agree with you that the things pronounced in the litany of curses are a result of the Fall, consequences of sin. I also believe there is enough textual evidence to posit Eve as Adam’s helper means that she is his co-laborer in the garden, much the same way that Paul affirms certain women a co-laborers with him in the work of the gospel. There is a real equality there (it’s egalitarian in that sense). I’m not persuaded that that there still wasn’t a distinction of role between male in female in the garden. Adam is the one for whom God comes calling, not Eve. This seems significant, does it not? Adam is afforded the status of covenant head/representative and he bears the responsibility for the failure in the garden (the ground is cursed because of his failure…the same creation curse that precipitates the groaning of Rom 8). It seems that Paul’s support of his prohibition in 1 Timothy 2 is grounded by a similar outlook. That’s not to say that patriarchy [it is clearly a negative word in our current cultural vocabulary] isn’t a result of the Fall. Clearly in Ephesians 5 Paul is speaking to husbands and wives in the context of mutual submission in the church body [that isn’t patriarchy]. Yet, this mutual submission is expressed in husbands loving their wives and wives submitting to their husbands and respecting them. The Fall meant that God’s good design of creation order, which includes the differentiation of roles for males and females, would become distorted. You are right to point out the abuses. I’m simply not persuaded that the abuses are the result of a failure to appropriate a full on egalitarianism. The abuses are the result of failing to see how God’s good design and order would be taken to destructive extremes because of sin.

  • Rod Bristol

    Of course, the passages I cited don’t conflict, but they do conflict with the pervasive practices of hierarchies among Christians. 1 Cor 11 is ambiguous: the Greek word translated “head” has a range of meanings; it does not generally mean boss or leader. Various, biblically conservative commentaries gives widely different interpretations of the passage. The references to heads are in a context of honor versus shame, not authority and not hierarchy. The selective interpretation of 1 Cor 11 as mandating hierarchy is not consistent with the explicit teachings of many other passages. Again, to see this assertion explained, read the article referenced in my earlier comment. You could also read some excellent exegetical material by Marg Mowczko. Just Google the name.

  • Kate Johnson

    Patriarchy has cause far, far more harm than good. Without question. Even to men. Thankfully it’s dying off.

  • Kate Johnson

    For me, you can tell a tree by it’s fruit, and the fruit of patriarchy is rotten to it’s core. The foundation of all manner of abuse and arrogance.

  • Elca

    Sin distorts…sin even distorts love.
    I understand the strawman attack.
    But tell me, which system has no Abuse and no arrogance?
    Is matriarchy the one? Women don’t abuse others and they are not prideful?
    Isn’t there abuse and arrogance under Democracy? Is it rotten to it’s core as well?

  • LT

    Thanks, for another response. I don’t see this conflict and I don’t see this negative practice of hierarchies among Christian though I agree that there are problems. But they aren’t due to the biblical teaching on authority/headship/relationships, but to sin.

    But what do es your interpretation do to parents and children? Or employers and employees? Is there anything hierarchy in mutual submission? Of course there is. So your conclusion does not flow from the premise of mutuality as you define it. One can fully affirm mutual submission and hierarchy at the same time. Not only “can” one affirm both; they must affirm both in order to be biblically faithful.

    1 Cor 11 is not ambiguous. The word “head” (kephale) does have a range of meanings, but virtually all words do. In a given context however, a word has only one meaning. It is used three times: God is the head of Christ; Christ is the head of man; man is the head of woman.

    I don’t see the ambiguity there, but I am not driven to try to explain it away so perhaps that is part of the difference. I see your position as one explaining away what is fairly transparent in the text, whether here or other places. So you ask yourself, what is God to Christ and Christ to man? When you have answered that, you have your answer for man to woman. You say this is about honor vs. shame rather than authority vs. hierarcy, yet the text specifically identifies authority as one of the issues. On what basis do you dismiss that? The point of the headcoverings (the unclear part if there is one) is about honor, shame, and a symbol of authority (which requires hierarchy of some sort). So I think your position needs a little more work in this passage.

  • Rod Bristol

    Excluding half the people God has gifted to lead is a negative practice. Restricting the leadership of women to other women and children is a negative practice. Children outgrow their need for parental direction, protection, and more. Half of all grownups are women. Male dominance has many expressions, and it harms people in many ways, some obvious and some subtle.

    Good rhetoric often employs multiple meanings of a given word in rich discourse.

    One clue to the ambiguity of 1 Cor 11 shows in your straightening out Paul’s words into a hierarchal sequence. If Paul had intended a hierarchy, he was competent to spell it out that way. He didn’t. The hierarchy some people see in the passage puts women, at least if they are wives, at a greater distance from God than men. That conclusion is obviously wrong, so the premise is wrong. Whatever Paul meant by “head” does not prescribe hierarchy in the body of Christ. This passage is heavily laden with culture. Besides the cultural challenge, 1 Cor implies prior correspondence containing a number of questions or errors, at least some of which we can’t unambiguously infer from the answers Paul gives. Properly respecting the context of the passage is not easy from our distance in time and culture. I provide some insight to this in the lengthy article I have referenced before, beginning at page 48. Marg Mowczko has further (better?) insights in the work she has posted. It’s easy to find and read.

  • Kate Johnson

    What good has patriarchy ever done??? Don’t quote the Bible to me. List the wonderful results of millennia of male headship for anyone but males. The problem is, the supposition of male headship, that men are somehow more morally sound than woman, is not reflected in reality in any way. Statistic show men are more likely to lie, steal, cheat and kill. More likely to abuse or abandon their family, to leave their spouse when they are ill. The list goes on…. In what way have men ever shown themselves to be more worthy of headship? I’m not seeing it. What I do see is persisting with an iron age social mentality has led to all manner of abuse, done little to nothing good, and is one reason people are leaving the church in droves. Fortunately, patriarchy is dying off briskly. It’s more of a fringe mentality these days in the developed world. It’s interesting that you would automatically assume that I would advocate for matriarchy, instead of egalitarianism, but generally women don’t feel the need to dominate and suppress like many men do, they just want a equal voice.

  • Elca

    That will never happen. Just like the Church will not die off so too would patriarchy last the test of time.
    It did last from creation to this time and day.
    Do you know why?
    Hint it has nothing to do with men and their failures or success.

  • Elca

    If you do not want me to use the Bible , then i cannot and will not use man made ideology , for patriarchy is a divine design.

    It is quite telling that you are rejecting the authority of the word of God. It reminds me of the 2nd wave feminist movement goal , that is to teach women to reject the God of the bible and to rely on the sisterhood for direction and solace.

    Which begs the question, are you a christian?

  • Kate Johnson

    Yawn. I bet you think the earth is 7 thousand years old too. I don’t reject the Bible, I believe it’s an inspired book, but I do not believe it’s inerrant, a very late model theology by the way, nor do I think it obligates us to live an iron age mentality. We don’t think epileptic seizures are demon possession anymore either. I’ll ask you a question, do you believe that agreeing with your version of patriarchy is essential to salvation?

  • Kate Johnson

    Amen!!

  • Kate Johnson

    Yawn.

  • Kate Johnson

    Thank you sir. I do think we are wasting our breath with reason on Elca.

  • Elca

    You did not answer my question. Are you a christian?

  • Kate Johnson

    Depends on what you mean by that. I’m a believer, but I don’t subscribe to inerrancy or patriarchy.

  • Elca

    A christian is a follower of Jesus Christ who has accepted His gift of Salvation and has repented of their sins .
    If you reject the Word of God which tells us how to live then you are not a Christian.
    The word of God is inerrent. The error that you think is there is because of your pride .
    But i would rather be a liar than to accuse God of error.
    You seem different…you have brought a feminist lie.
    No wonder you do not want me to quote scripture.
    But even Jesus quoted scripture when confronted by the father of lies. He often said ” it is written…”
    I do not defend Patriarchy base on my own intellect but base on what is written in God’s word.

  • Elca

    It seems you are also wasting your time reading the Bible…

  • Kate Johnson

    Yawn. Clearly you don’t know the history of Christianity, or the Bible. You parrot your entrenched propaganda, without reason or understanding. I have no interest in listen to you regurgitate it. Bye.

  • Elca

    hum…

  • LT

    Thanks once again.

    I agree that excluding half the people God has gifted to lead is a negative practice. No one is suggesting we do that. That’s not the point. I also agree that male dominance has many expressions and it harms people in many ways. That also is not the point. For some reason there is the idea that if God has gifted someone to do something, they must be able to do it anywhere and everywhere. I am not sure where that came from, but it isn’t true. A man can be gifted to pastor and not pastor anywhere, much less everywhere. So we can agree that we should not exclude people who are gifted from exercising their gifts and calling.

    The question is whether God calls someone to disobey his word. My answer to that is no. You do as well, but you think his word says something different, and that is the crux (which is why you initial paragraph is irrelevant).

    As for multiple meanings, as a general rule the answer is no, unless there is a double entendre. It is doubtful that Paul used kephale to mean one thing between God and Christ and man and Christ and someone else between man and woman because the whole point is the comparison.

    With respect to 1 Cor 11, you say that Paul was competent to spell out a hierarchy. Again, I agree. But the question is, isn’t that what he did at some level? There is no reasonable reading that puts women at a greater distance from God, any more than it puts man at a greater distance from God. The passage answers that clearly. You say the passage is laden heavily with culture. What is cultural about Christ as the head of man? Or God as the head of Christ? Is that not eternal? If hierarchy is not intended, then what is the point of Christ and man or God and Christ?

    I read a little of Marg Mowcsko. She should know better than to cite LSJ as a reference to Koine Greek. That is a lexicon for classical Greek.

    There’s a reason why the NT often used kephale in terms of leadership or headship. It’s because it is what the words means in Koine Greek. There are passages that make sense no other way.

    It is interesting that Paul never says a woman is the head of man or Christ is the head of God. Why do you think that is?

  • Rod Bristol

    The whole point of 1 Cor 11:2-16 is cultural propriety. The rhetorical function of “head” is the double entendre that connects hair styles and coverings to honor or dishonor in the body of Christ. For a woman, especially a married woman, to pray and prophesy outside her home, in mixed company, with uncovered hair would have offended some of those present, detracting from her ministry. From the rest of the 1 Corinthians letter, it is obvious that the church was culturally diverse and some people needed to curtail their freedoms to avoid scandalizing others.

    Paul here and elsewhere (e.g. 1 Corinthians 10:1-5) uses allegory to illustrate a point, but the allegory should not be taken for more than Paul takes it. In chapter 10, his allegory invents the notion that those who escaped Egypt were baptized into Moses and it employs a rabbinic fiction about a moving rock. In 11:7, he reads Genesis in a particular way that is inconsistent with the text of Genesis 1:26, which says that male and female are in the image of God. He was referencing Jewish tradition to explain how unwitting offenses might be perceived. Using this passage to teach hierarchy stretches it far beyond the author’s intent and puts him at variance with himself (e.g. Galatians 5:28).

    The principles of equality and inclusion modeled by Jesus and expounded by Paul gradually overcome oppressive customs that accord power to some over others. The exceptional passages that dealt with specific situations are not the principles.

  • LT

    So why does 1 Cor 11:2-16 mention a symbol of authority if there is no authority?

    To assume that this contradicts Gal 3:28 (which is what I think you mean) is to misunderstand both passages. Gal 3:28 is talking about our standing in Christ not our functions in society or relationships. Your comments on allegory are confusing to say the least. There is no allegory employed here. Perhaps you meant analogy. Your comments on 1 Cor 10 are likewise confusing. There is no invention of a notion of anything.

    I agree that the principles of Jesus and Paul on equality and inclusion must reign. That is the testimony of the Bible from Gen 1 onward. It is only relatively recently that people have tried to create a conflict here. Jesus and the rest of Scripture clearly pronounces the equality of all humanity. It is true from creation on. To connect comp/egal with equality is a fundamental error.

  • Rod Bristol

    The contradiction you perceive is not between passages of scripture. The dissonance comes between habitual readings that fit certain customs and the principles of fellowship in the Kingdom of God. Why should we restrict the application of Gal 3:28, despite the writer’s intent to overcome human distinctions, and expand 1 Cor 11 into a global doctrine of distinctions, despite the writer’s intent to unite people?

    It takes some time and reflection to get into Paul’s rhetoric, which does not follow modern rules, and then the allegories become very meaningful. Yes, in 1 Cor 10, Paul invented a picture to draw a parallel between Christian baptism and the history of Israel. Nobody was ever baptized into Moses, except in the picture Paul drew. That picture (allegory), also references a story Paul must have known was pure fiction, but was well known among Jews. In 1 Cor 11, Paul uses one word, “head” (Greek kephale), to draw a parallel between two vastly different entities that may be honored or shamed by the cultural style in which a man or woman presents himself or herself to others. Double entendre gets the job done for Paul’s purpose, which is mutually respectful unity, not roles or hierarchies. Due respect for scripture, which employs Paul’s rhetoric, demands letting it be what it is and refraining from twisting it into something preferable.

    To say that the authority signified on a woman’s head is male authority is purely arbitrary. Some say it’s a sign of the woman’s authority. Paul says its because of the angels. Few people, in any, understand what Paul really meant by that connection. Those who think they know seem unable to demonstrate that knowledge with convincing clarity. This is just one of many reasons why this passage does not bear the weight of a doctrine that imputes authority, justifies hierarchy, or assigns roles.

  • D.M.S.

    When we don’t subscribe to the inerrancy of God/Jesus scripture.
    What are we a believer of?

  • D.M.S.

    Thank you. You just told us you’re a believer in mankind/Science.
    You’re not a believer in God/Jesus whatsoever. You just make believe that you are.
    Is Jesus GOD?

  • Kate Johnson

    My faith is not so weak that I need every word of the Bible to be literally true in order to believe the truth it conveys. I believe in God. I do not make the Bible into an idol to do so.

  • D.M.S.

    Then is God/Jesus scripture ( word ) wrong?

  • Patrick

    How about Jesus Christ The Lord?

    He took over North Africa, Europe and parts of Arabia w/ the Nicene Creed even holding their meetings. That’s when the decision was made to collate what we call the NT, very few people had read it previously and probably previous to the Guttenberg Press era.

    Our faith is in Christ, not the bible. I agree with Kate’s view here.

  • Patrick

    The bible isn’t Jesus. Your view of the bible is the way Muslims see the Koran, the literal “Word of God”. Yet in the bible, it says Jesus is The Word of God.

    Yes, some of scripture is wrong.

    Was Jesus entering or leaving Jericho when He healed that man? One account has to be wrong. That’s how oral tradition works, gets small things wrong and major things right, like resurrection, like miraculous healing.

    If your faith is in the bible, you’re standing on a house of sand amigo because unlike God, it has human input as well as Divine and above is a perfect example, who cares if Jesus was entering or leaving Jericho?

    You really think there was a multi headed sea dragon God slayed at creation named Leviathan? Psalm 74. I don’t, I think the ancient people believed it existed and sought to explain it within their religious contexts.

    We should know better today.

  • D.M.S.

    How do all of you get Lord Jesus word(s)?

  • D.M.S.

    Where specifically is the human input?

    Your ( I don’t think ) doesn’t fall under the category of being absolutely true!

  • Kate Johnson

    I believe the Bible is an inspired book of wisdom that God uses to communicate with us. I read it everyday. Do I believe the earth is 6 thousand years old? No, because I’m not brain dead, and addicted to certainty over faith. I don’t require or expect that I can put God in a little box and dumb him down to be fully explainable by us, creatures with significant band width limitations and very brief life spans. Some have made the Bible into an idol, suggesting believing every word is literally true, is essential doctrine, which it most certainly is NOT. That is literally blasphemy. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” There’s nothing about biblical inerrancy in there. Perhaps you need a refresher course on that book you think is inerrant. Sadly, I’ve often found the inerrancy crowd to have a less than stellar understanding and knowledge of scripture, and certainly little understanding of the history of the Bible. There is no more profound disobedience, than adding your own list of requirement for salvation. Jesus took a very dim view of the ones trying to do that in his day, the Pharisees.

  • Kate Johnson

    Yawn.

  • Elca

    An Intelligent response indeed…

  • D.M.S.

    Your faith is very weak if you don’t need The inerrant word(s) of God/Jesus scripture to bring you through this immoral world, and that goes for everyone on this page that agrees with your blasphemy towards scripture.
    Where else do you get God/Jesus inspired word(s)?
    From thin air?

  • D.M.S.

    The Bible is God/Jesus inspired word(s) of scripture for all born again Christians. To pilot us through this maze of immorality and deceit.

  • D.M.S.

    You do realize that you’re conversing with mostly Satans minions on this page,don’t you?

  • D.M.S.

    You’ve named this place wrong
    ‘ it should say ‘ Satans creed ‘.

  • D.M.S.

    Amazing.
    Mankind knows more than God/Jesus Holy scripture.
    Mankind even knows when they’re lies.
    I truly do feel sorry for all of your lost souls.

  • Kate Johnson

    Don’t worry about me. Worry about yourself. You are the one choosing law over grace for others, so that’s how you, yourself will be judged.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m not worried about me in the least Christ Jesus is my Lord and Savior.
    I serve Him, only.

    I don’t serve your master, Satan as you do.

  • D.M.S.

    You do know that it’s wrong in scripture for women to become clergy.
    Right?

  • D.M.S.

    Why isn’t Paul’s writing good enough for all of you?
    Jesus chose him to do His work?

  • D.M.S.

    I definitely don’t need any heresies that you teach about our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

  • D.M.S.

    You are right people are leaving God/Jesus church in droves.
    More and more are leaving every year.
    Because people want to listen to your satanic social gospel.
    Instead of God/Jesus true gospel from God/Jesus true scripture.
    Their itching ears want to hear that their sin is good and their new made up god allows their sins and doesn’t condemn theirs sin or yours.

  • D.M.S.

    You’re just as much an idiot as she is, when it comes to the inerrant word(s) of God/Jesus from His Holy scripture. The only thing that I can do for all of you, is pray for your enlightenment in the Lord.
    Peace.

  • NorrinRadd

    It has to do with the fact that it first came into being at the Fall, and even most “Christians” still gravitate toward living in the fallen state.

  • Elca

    I remember you from CBE. I am banned from that cult. They do not tolerate dissenting views or the Truth found in the Scriptures. They rather a relative truth that appeals to their audience and what makes them feel good. They are indeed blind leaders of the blind.

    “It has to do with the fact that it first came into being at the Fall…” You are wrong. For, before the Fall , Adam was exercising ” dominion” over the animals and Eve. But at NO time did Adam abuse Eve or the animals.
    Does this Fact makes you feel sad, hurt or abuse?

    It is this narrative that Paul used in his epistles to justify Male Headship and to warn women not to usurp the authority of men over her. Was Paul a male Chauvinist and a Misogynist?

    I would agree that after the Fall, Sin distorts what ‘dominion’ would look like and what a woman would desire. For she now desires to be the Head of the man, even though she is forbidden.
    This is the inevitable clash of the sexes…and she will Lose. She does not have God on her side when she desires what is not hers.

  • NorrinRadd

    First of all, I don’t think Kate was the one who named the site.

    More importantly, only a ridiculous jackass of a defective Christian would label a site as belonging to satan because of a disagreement over patriarchalism vs. equality.

  • D.M.S.

    No, I’m a bigot.
    Why is equality in God/Jesus plan for the heterosexual marriage so important?
    Scripture states that they become one flesh once they join together in marriage.

  • D.M.S.

    All Christians still sin.
    But Christians do not gravitate toward living in the fallen state.
    All Christian are to live for Christ Jesus in there daily lives of work, family, recreation, friends.

  • NorrinRadd

    I know I’ve come across your verbal excretions at various places, whether at CBE or at one Patheos blog or another.

    CBE can be a bit quick to pull the “ban” trigger. I don’t like that about them, but it’s understandable. By the nature of their ministry, they get a lot of women who need a “safe space.” I’m not able to do the gentle, hand-holdy stuff in online interactions, so when I know I’m interacting with that kind of woman, I generally just bow out of the conversation.

    For, before the Fall , Adam was exercising ” dominion” over the animals and Eve. But at NO time did Adam abuse Eve or the animals.

    The only time the word “dominion” (or “rule”) occurs, it is in reference to “them” — the ones created in God’s image and likeness, BOTH “male and female.”

    Does this Fact makes you feel sad, hurt or abuse?

    It’s not a fact, so no. But for some reason, you seem to assume I’m a woman. Interesting.

    It is this narrative that Paul used in his epistles to justify Male
    Headship and to warn women not to usurp the authority of men over her.

    Was Paul a male Chauvinist and a Misogynist?

    No, Paul was an egalitarian. He put women (including wives) on the same level as men (including husbands), gentiles on the same level as Jews, slaves on the same level as freemen (including their masters).

    I think I know roughly which NT passages you’re alluding to. We can either discuss the specifics, or I can just say, “Pffft! Wrong!”

    I would agree that after the Fall, Sin distorts what ‘dominion’ would look like and what a woman would desire. For she now desires to be the Head of the man, even though she is forbidden.
    This is the inevitable clash of the sexes…and she will Lose. She does not have God on her side when she desires what is not hers.

    This is misstated in an unfortunate misogynistic way. You are describing the broken relationship exclusively in terms of female misbehavior. It is true that “teshuqah” probably refers to the woman desiring to control her husband. But instead the husband will “mashal” her. Neither of these is the benign “rada” (rule / have dominion) of chapter 1, or even “kabash” (subdue). Both the male and female are being described negatively, and in this kind of dynamic, the stronger naturally prevails.

  • NorrinRadd

    Since Scot is here reproducing an article posted at CBE, it’s kind of unlikely the actual author will see your question about Gen. 4:7. I agree it’s odd she didn’t cite it. Doing so is common.

    FWIW, the note in the NET Bible does cite it, in making the case that the woman will seek to “control” her husband, while the man will “dominate” his wife. Both sides of the relationship are damaged.

    Your point about God calling only to Adam in the garden is, frankly, the single persuasive case I’ve ever seen for male leadership before the Fall. I’ll have to ponder that.

    In terms of the domestic code section of Eph., it is notable that the passage not only begins with mutual submission in v. 21, but ends with masters treating their slaves “the same way” the slaves had just been told to treat the masters (6:9). The paterfamilias filled both roles — husband of the wife, and master of the slaves — and it hardly seems reasonable that slaves would effectively be afforded higher status than wives.

  • NorrinRadd

    I see Gen. 1-2 as “clearly” supporting completely equal partnership between Adam and Eve, in terms of bearing the Divine Image, ruling and subduing the earth, working and protecting the garden, and whatever else.

    I don’t see hierarchy as even being the point of 1 Cor. 11. The only mention of “authority” is v. 10, where “the woman has authority over her own head.”

  • NorrinRadd

    So why does 1 Cor 11:2-16 mention a symbol of authority if there is no authority?

    It doesn’t. “Symbol” or “sign” do not appear in the Greek. Translators with patriarchal presuppositions assumed the point of the passage was hierarchy, and inserted those words to try to make sense of it. Translations like the NIV and ISV translate it more literally, which in this case is also more accurately:

    “This is why a woman should have authority over her own head…”

  • NorrinRadd

    1) Women were spreading godless myths and fables, and Paul was concerned enough to warn his emissary Timothy to have nothing to do with those myths and fables.

    2) You are mangling the translation of 1 Tim. 2:11 in several respects.

    3) Yes, the letter is in regard to the church at Ephesus, and that is one of the reasons Diana-worship is suspected as one of the contaminants. It is known both from secular history and the book of Acts that worship of Diana (Artemis) was prominent there. Prisca is a red herring. The fact that *some* women there were improperly educated did not mean that all were; conversely, the fact that one woman there was extraordinarily capable did not mean that all were capable.

    4) 1 Cor. 14:34-35, assuming they are genuine, as opposed to spurious margin glosses, make no mention at all of “teaching.”

  • LT

    You may see Gen 1-2 as that, but the “whatever else” is something I can’t find in that verse. Can you point it out to us?

    As for heirarchy in 1 Cor 11, I am not sure how you can’t see it. It is hard to imagine how it could be plainer.

    But let me ask you this: What does it mean that Christ is the head of man?

  • LT

    What does it mean to have authority over her own head?

  • Malissa

    Is that what you say when someone asks a hard question? I also would like some real life examples of the “protecting” and “serving” and “leading” that complementarian husbands do for their wives. Nora was being extremely polite, what is your justification for calling her “Satan’s minion”?

  • Elca

    “The only time the word “dominion” (or “rule”) occurs, it is in reference to “them” — the ones created in God’s image and likeness, BOTH “male and female.”. Please tell me, what were their names and where were they?
    Before I respond further, I will wait for your answer for it maybe pivotal.

  • D.M.S.

    Context.

  • NorrinRadd

    She has the right to decide for herself. (But with the understanding that her decision may send certain messages.)

  • NorrinRadd

    Since I was talking about both of the first two chapters of Genesis, there is no “that verse.”

    In 1:26-29, the male and female were equal partners in bearing the Divine Image, subduing the earth, ruling all other life forms, and obtaining food. In the chapter 2 version, God placed the man in the garden to work and guard it (2:15). God declared it was “not good” for the man to be alone in this, and so He created woman as his indispensable companion who corresponds to him (2:18). The “whatever else” comprises all the tasks humans undertake, since we realize the principles extend beyond that simple original lifestyle.

    —————-

    In light of the language of 11:11-12, “head” could imply “source.”

    In light of the “image and glory” language earlier, “head” could imply “prominence.”

    Or the whole metaphorical usage of “head” could be mostly a word-play, with the main point being that neither the men nor the women should have hairstyles or head-coverings that send the wrong messages in their culture.

  • LT

    I was actually intending for you to use the text to show what it means. That’s the point of a having a text.

  • LT

    Not sure why you are referring to the “chapter 2 version” since there is only version. But I still don’t see the “whatever else” in the text. Where is it?

  • NorrinRadd

    That’s his style. He throws the “satan” label around like bird-seed at a wedding — here, at the Patheos blogs, and probably elsewhere.

  • NorrinRadd

    Enough of your jackassery. It’s your turn: Show me in the text of Gen. 1 and 2 that the man has authority over the woman.

  • D.M.S.

    If we’re not serving our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
    Then all the rest are serving Satan.
    There are no other choices, by scripture.

  • D.M.S.

    Remember there’s more scripture than just Genesis 1 and 2. He chose those 2 chapters for a reason.
    There master Satan is pushing their agenda.

  • LT

    Jackassery? What does that mean? All I have done is try to engage respectfully.

    To your question, the man was created first; then the woman.

  • Malissa

    Bummer. Would you mind telling us again?

  • Elca

    Patriarchy means the ” rule of the Father”. Rule is not Domination or abusive.
    In 1 Timothy 3:5 a man is to ” rule #4291 Well ” as a prerequisite for Church Leadership. Abuse is the antithesis to ” Rule Well”.
    It is my contention that patriarchy started under Adam and at NO time did Adam abuse the animals or the woman that he named.

    An example in my own family life is, when an agreement cannot be found on a particular action and a decision must be made, then I as Father, and head of my wife makes the decision.
    The consequences of my decision is mine. But in-action is NOT an option, then Headship is need most.
    And yes, I consult my wife and discuss issues with our children.
    And NO I do not abuse my wife and or Children.

    Is that good enough as an example?

  • Malissa

    Thank you. I respectfully disagree that your opinion should carry more weight than your wife’s, or that you are the divinely chosen “tie-breaker”, or that your household will devolve into chaos if you don’t act quickly in every situation. But I appreciate your taking the time to explain your position and provide an example. Personally, I’ve never seen anything bad come of my parents taking the time to figure things out together and come to an agreement, but I guess every family’s different.

  • Elca

    I did not say that my opinion carry more weight. I did say, if an agreement can’t be found, and a decision has to be made, then it is headship’s right and authority to make that call.
    It is like this in every sphere of life where there is a head of a group or organization. The man is the Head of the Woman and of such has that right . She does not have that right and it was not given to her.
    Jesus also Has the right and the authority to say to His disciples, No, we are not going to build 3 tabernacles but one with Christ being the chief corner stone.
    The Pastor also has that right, to make a decision, after consulting the Presbytery , He and He alone has the God give authority to make the final decisions.

    Yes, every family is different and no, I am not perfect, and neither is my wife.
    But I believe the man has the God given right to make decisions even if His wife do not agree.

    If you are the head of a company, the same idea applies to you, a female.
    But,unlike the secular, she cannot be the head of the Family or the Church. She is forbidden.