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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dead Horses: Headship
Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
Haven't you read anything on this thread that's been said about headship not being about telling one's wife what to do? [Disappointed] [brick wall]

Yes, I have. I don't have much problem with that view. What I do have a problem with is how most cons evo headship proponents, male or female, do not require women or wives to have signs of authority on their heads, in the face of "straightforward" exegesis of 1 Cor 11, while upholding similar "straightforward" exegesis of 1 Tim 2, in defence of a whole "Creational Order". Does that make more sense?

[ 25. April 2005, 06:06: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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mousethief

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Yes. Thank you.

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Luigi
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Eutychus you said:
quote:

then Eve; and it was the woman who was deceived [arguably, a justification for her learning better now];"


You see this highlights my problem, no matter how hard we try to make this passage more palatable, I don't think it can be done. It still comes across as pretty derogatory. Apparently, as women have been prone to deception since the very beginning, we should help them to learn.

Do you believe that women have been more prone to deception since the beginning of human history? I don't. But then if I am going to try to justify this passage I've then got to justify large swathes of the OT and frankly the whole project becomes just a little implausible.

If I read that passage anywhere else I would be pretty clear that the writer didn't have a high regard for women. Why should I go to enormous lengths to persuade myself that the most obvious meaning is the wrong one? (You should read some of the attempts I have come across, that have tried to explain away the comment about chld-bearing!)

By the way I don't believe 'going against the text' is extreme. I am not a practising orthodox Jew, are you? Some heavyweight evangelical scholars would maintain that 'going against the text' has always been part of the Judeo-Christian faith.

Luigi

[ 25. April 2005, 22:02: Message edited by: Luigi ]

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saysay

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quote:
Originally posted by Leprechaun:
I do believe Christian men and women have responsibilites to model the order of creation and Christ and the church in the home and the church. Of course I don't expect people who aren't Christians to show these principles in the workplace - that would be putting the cart before the horse.

Interesting. So you have one standard of behavior that applies to Christians, and one that does not. Where do you draw the line? And how do you know where to draw the line?

Does your church teach that there are laws that apply to everyone, regardless of their beliefs, such as the Noahic commandments? Or do you believe that the rules governing behavior in secular society and those governing behavior in the Christian community are, and should remain, completely separate entities?

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Luigi
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Eutychus - re-read my post and realised it might have come across more confrontational than I intended.

Please don't assume it was intended antagonistically.

Take care

Luigi

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Levor
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saysay and Eutychus, thank you for accepting my apology, and for your apologies.

Cutting down the length of the post in light of RuthW's request.

quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
quote:
Levor
I suppose as I hear egalitarian accounts of marriage it seems to me to be fully explained as a lifelong commitment of two friends to each other in a sexual relationship. I can't see anything else in the account that's not explained by that.

I don’t see it that way, because people in a marriage are responsible for each other in a way that friends are not. When friends start making vows before G-d and their community about the role they will play in each other’s lives, I might understand what you’re talking about (and yes, I do understand that all sorts of vows are made by ‘friends’ in church about how they are to relate to one another, but I think the corporate vow applies to corporate behavior in a way that isn’t analogous to individuals making individual vows).

A marriage vow is one of the few performative utterances (I think I’m remembering that term correctly, but maybe not): the very act of saying “I promise” performs an action and creates a new reality, which mirrors the order created by G-d’s speech in Genesis.<snip> all other Judeo-Christian weddings that I know of involve similar vows being made by both parties. Thus implying the responsibility of both parties to imitate G-d/Christ to the best of their abilities.

I think you're right and this does make a difference between normal friendship and marriage. But it doesn't seem like an overwhelming difference. Good Christian friends could make a similar sort of promise to imitate Christ to each other to the best of their abilities.

So then marriage would be: frienship+sex+promise. And again, I'm curious if the egalitarians here are happy with that as a description of their understanding of marriage?

quote:
quote:
But I think the price tag of egalitarianism is even higher than the way this will be used to justify people's sinfulness.
Can I ask you to clarify the price of egalitarianism? I’m afraid that we may have also reached an impasse here, since from where I’m standing the price of absolute male headship is far too high.
Well, 'absolute' might need a qualifier. I've flagged some of where I'm coming from with my link to Father Gregory's article on Father and Feminism.

I think I'd also say that I think egalitarianism encourages a cult of individualism, an anti-authoratarian tendency, and is connected to the culture of death that various conservative Christians see associated with contemporary Western society.

These are all going to need discussion if anyone wants to make them a key part of our discussion - but it's a start of a list of the problems associated with egalitarianism from a non-egalitarian perspective.

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in Christ,
Levor

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:

I think I'd also say that I think egalitarianism encourages a cult of individualism, an anti-authoratarian tendency, and is connected to the culture of death that various conservative Christians see associated with contemporary Western society.

These are all going to need discussion if anyone wants to make them a key part of our discussion - but it's a start of a list of the problems associated with egalitarianism from a non-egalitarian perspective.

Levor, to begin with could you define what you mean by "the culture of death"?

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Levor
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Culture of death? I'll start with this as long as it is understood that this is a discussion starter.

quote:
Originally posted by jlg:
quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
I don't look for some kind of external verification of the idea first. I start with what the text seems to be saying and then see how that sheds light on what I see around me. I presume it is true and start looking for confirmation, rather than begin by comparing it to the evidence to see if it will stand or fall.

I'm sorry, but I can only see "...presum[ing] that it is true and ... looking for confirmation..." as pretty much the same as "...look[ing] for some kind of external verification...".

I do realize you are attempting to draw a subtle distinction, what with the talk of "how [it] sheds light" and all, but it still seems to me that the bottom line is you read something, look around at the world and also ponder your personal experience, and use your observations to decide if and how and whether what you read makes sense.

I honestly don't see how that differs from what all the rest of us are doing. Especially because I don't really see any other way to deal with scripture (or anything else we read or hear, for that matter), barring blind obedience to someone else or direct intervention from God on the level of Saul on the road to Damascus.

There are going to be a lot of similarities, and I may have been quite clumsy in expressing it. I think part of the difference may be seen when the gulf between text and life starts to open up.

I think Alan at one stage suggested that the command is love and that he couldn't see anything unloving about not having headship in a marriage. For the sake of how I'm using his argument statement (not necessarily what he was doing with it), one's experience of the nature of love doesn't square with the idea that headship is an integral part of marriage. So in this view one can quickly move from "I can't see the link" to "there is no link".

There were times I couldn't see any link between headship and the love command too. But for me, I start with the assumption that the specific teaching on headship is an exposition of love. And so I went looking for anything that might show why headship is an expression of love in that relationship. If I keep, after lots of research, and careful reflecting upon life, still getting a 'they don't correlate' then I have problem. But I still don't know what the answer is.

The world still comes into play but it has a (may I say) subordinate role.

quote:
Originally posted by saysay:
quote:
jlg
quote:

Levor
If gender was given to humanity for the purpose of marriage,...

OK, I've been slogging through this thread for the past couple of days, trying to get caught up with the discussion, but where did this come from?
It's obvious - Levor's actually Jewish
An assertion based on my reading of Genesis 1 & 2. Gender there seems to be given for the purpose of fixing the 'it is not good for man to be alone' problem and reaches its narrative telos in the marriage statement in the penultimate verse. Hence gender seems to be linked to marriage.

quote:
Of course, I'm not sure how he reconciles that view with Paul's instruction that it's better to remain single and celibate, but if we're not capable of doing that, we should marry.
A situation arising from the fact we are in the last days, and so a number of the created 'goods' take a backseat in light of the dynamics of God's saving activity in the world.

[ 26. April 2005, 07:04: Message edited by: Levor ]

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Gracie
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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
Culture of death? I'll start with this as long as it is understood that this is a discussion starter.

Well I've read the talk and on a first reading it seems to be against feminism. Are you saying that feminism is the culture of death? Or do you have another definition to propose?

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
I think I'd also say that I think egalitarianism encourages a cult of individualism, an anti-authoratarian tendency, and is connected to the culture of death that various conservative Christians see associated with contemporary Western society.

To judge by that link, you could out-debate me on such ideas any day, so I'm not even going to try and start.

But unless I've read you wrong, you are maintaining that your basic assumptions stem from straightforward exegesis rather than from a debate on the history of ideas, and if there is a problem with the exegesis there is a problem with the whole.

To clarify: ISTM that your fundamental defence of your position is not that it comes off better in an exchange of ideas, but that it is what the Bible teaches. If I'm mistaken there, then please feel free to correct me.

That's why I'm keen to know, for example, how you seek to apply headship on the basis of 1 Cor 11:7-9 (as outlined here and further clarified here) - because I suspect that you have already made cultural concessions in how you apply this passage today (again, I am quite willing to be corrected on this).

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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
I think Alan at one stage suggested that the command is love and that he couldn't see anything unloving about not having headship in a marriage.

And, equally I couldn't see anything loving in having headship in marriage, or anywhere else. In some situations headship may be the best arrangement, and therefore the one liable to be most loving - something analogous to Pauls teaching about eating food sacrificed to idols, it isn't wrong but sometimes it's best to do something else to avoid offense to others. But I see no intrinsic connection between "love your neighbour" and "wives submit to your husbands".

quote:
There were times I couldn't see any link between headship and the love command too. But for me, I start with the assumption that the specific teaching on headship is an exposition of love. And so I went looking for anything that might show why headship is an expression of love in that relationship. If I keep, after lots of research, and careful reflecting upon life, still getting a 'they don't correlate' then I have problem. But I still don't know what the answer is.
I'm sure the specific teaching is an exposition of love for those whom Paul was addressing, he was as aware as anyone that on the commands to love hangs the whole law. I doubt very much his instructions on marriage were different in that respect.

Did you find anything that might show why headship is an expression of love in a marriage in contemporary society? Because I'd like to know, as I can't see anything that would show that.

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Stowaway

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
I think I'd also say that I think egalitarianism encourages a cult of individualism, an anti-authoratarian tendency, and is connected to the culture of death that various conservative Christians see associated with contemporary Western society.

I have been reading this thread with interest (well the last four pages anyway) and the sheer length of it makes it a bit awkward to come in at this stage. But here goes.

Egalitarianism encourages individualism! What a surprise! Of course if you tell people that they are equal they will think for themselves and come to different opinions which they will hold confidently. And I can see how this is a problem for the church. If people hold their own opinions, how can we tell them what to think?

I blame education. As long as people are educated they will want to think for themselves. They may even think that they know better than the authorities. They may be against the authorities or even (horror of horrors) want to vote people into positions of influence.

I can see now that our whole culture has become a culture of death. Bring back the divine right of kings and the inquisition.

Like it or not, the whole basis for headship has been dismantled in our society, and we are better off for it.

It is always a popular stance to reap the benefits of a society while railing against its depravity. Do you really want to implement headship in all its fullness?

I find it strange that there are Christians around talking about authority as if it is the gospel. It is as if they believe that Paul went around the Roman Empire teaching people how to submit to authority! In fact, the early church was perceived as a bunch of rebels against the empire because they proclaimed another lord.

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ChristinaMarie
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
But I see no intrinsic connection between "love your neighbour" and "wives submit to your husbands".

I do.

I think Paul's main concern was the spread of the Gospel, so he gave instructions that would aid that, so that Christianity would not be a cause of scandal according to the mores of the world he lived in.

So, he told slaves to be obdedient to their masters, but also that masters should treat their slaves well.

He told wives to submit to their husbands, but also that both should submit to one another. I think that may be a public and private statement. Submit to one another in private, wives submit in public, so as not to scandalise the Gospel in a patriarchal society. Public arguments between husbands and wives may have had a negative effect on the Gospel. Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the Church. Note: Jesus washed the disciples feet, and most women love a foot massage.
[Biased]

Wives submitting to husbands may have been a love thy neighbour thing, in public, because if they argued in public (in a patriarchial society) it would cause lots of problems for the spread of the Gospel. In private, they could work things out, submitting to one another, as per the other instruction.

The reason for the public instruction, is not here today, in western societies.

It is a loving thing for men to help with the serving of refreshments and washing up, etc. However, I once read of a missionary in a tribal society who helped out that way, and was laughed to scorn. Only women did that kind of work. Now, if a male missionary carried on doing 'womens' work' in that society, he would be putting a stumbling block up to the acceptance of the Gospel.

Christina

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:

I find it strange that there are Christians around talking about authority as if it is the gospel. It is as if they believe that Paul went around the Roman Empire teaching people how to submit to authority! In fact, the early church was perceived as a bunch of rebels against the empire because they proclaimed another lord.

Sorry, this is tangential but I need to say this comment is not correct.


Paul said

quote:
Rom. 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
Rom. 13:2 Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.
Rom. 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,
Rom. 13:4 for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.
Rom. 13:5 Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
Rom. 13:6 For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing.
Rom. 13:7 Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.



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Alan Cresswell

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# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
I think Paul's main concern was the spread of the Gospel, so he gave instructions that would aid that, so that Christianity would not be a cause of scandal according to the mores of the world he lived in.

Which is why I said I thought it was similar to not eating meat sacrificed to idols. There's nothing intrinsically right or wrong about headship, but if by taking a particular, public, and definite stand on the issue you cause scandal (either with other believers or the rest of society) then there is a problem.

Your comment about tribal society reminds me. My comment about "contemporary society", of course, refers to the societies most of us live in - European, American, Australian ... there are contemporary societies which are different to ours.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Levor
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Not sure if this is getting too long again, RuthW. Do you mind letting me know if it is?

quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Well I've read the talk and on a first reading it seems to be against feminism. Are you saying that feminism is the culture of death? Or do you have another definition to propose?

I think what Father Gregory is identifying as feminism, I would tend to see as egalitarianism. They are different - and so some features of his talk focus only on the feminist angle, but there's a lot of overlap, and I'd see egalitarianism as more basic than feminism on the whole, so much of what he's saying I'd see applying to the more basic thought structure of egalitarianism.

quote:

To clarify: ISTM that your fundamental defence of your position is not that it comes off better in an exchange of ideas, but that it is what the Bible teaches. If I'm mistaken there, then please feel free to correct me.

Different people in our discussion see different points as key. The exegesis is key for me - but it is fairly marginal for others, and so I try to give some account of how the issue speaks to their prime concerns. Even for me, if other parts of the view are shown to have real problems, then that at least means I need to reconsider my exegesis. Otherwise, you've got me right.

quote:
That's why I'm keen to know, for example, how you seek to apply headship on the basis of 1 Cor 11:7-9 - because I suspect that you have already made cultural concessions in how you apply this passage today (again, I am quite willing to be corrected on this).
I don't think I've made cultural concessions in the sense that I think has been suggested along the lines of Alan and others. I've already indicated that I think the principle of a visible symbol applies. But I don't think in our culture a head covered actually signifies that. I think for a while the woman having a wedding ring while the husband didn't did the same work. I don't think it does now. I find it hard to see a symbolic action today that would mean what Paul is looking for - but to the degree it is possible I think we should do it.

But for me, this is more like having a 'holy handshake' than a 'holy kiss'. The action is symbolic and signs can change culturally.

That's different to the principle of headship, which isn't a symbolic action but a certain structure of relationship.

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Did you find anything that might show why headship is an expression of love in a marriage in contemporary society? Because I'd like to know, as I can't see anything that would show that.

Well, I've already suggested two lines of reasoning.

One is the way Paul grounds it theologically - including our discussion about whether some sort of 'hierarchy' is woven into Genesis 1 & 2 (I'll try and get back to that tomorrow).

The other (and subordinate supporting argument) is some of the features of our move to an egalitarian culture - my assertion that the cost of egalitarianism is too high.

The third rationale I'd add now is that I think you and Callan touched on one of the key issues of this aspect in your interchange about consequences of the Fall still applying to Christians:

quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
Hmmm ... is our natural condition to be hierarchical beings? I'd say we're first and foremost communal. I'd consider hierarchical structures to be antithetical to redeemed human nature. "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you".

I think the Bible does indicate that human beings are 'hierarchical' in our fundamental nature and that being communal involves love and submission (in more than just the mutual reciprocal sense).

In particular the verse you've quoted I think argues against your understanding of human nature. For the redeemed community that Jesus envisages in Mat 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, and especially Luke 22:25-30 is one with a clear hierarchy, with clear leaders (who, according to Luke, sit on thrones) and yet who are slaves.

It is a pattern explicitly taken from Jesus himself. So if it is 'communal' and not 'hierarchical' (playing the two off against each other) then that suggests that Jesus is not lord over the community either. As Jesus' model of being a slave-leader is the model for the leadership of the redeemed community, then that suggests the kind of hierarchy where the leaders are the slaves of the ones they lead is part of the fabric of redeemed human nature.

--------------------
in Christ,
Levor

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Stowaway

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# 139

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Sorry, this is tangential but I need to say this comment is not correct.

I presume that you mean that it is incorrect that Paul did not teach people how to submit to authority. What I meant was that the Gospel was a gospel of freedom, and that meant freedom from domination by authorities.

Some Christians took that as liberty to act rebelliously towards the authotities, and it is this that Paul is addressing. The core of the gospel is a message of liberation - a transfer of allegiance to a perfect lord.

The fact that Paul had to point out that some of the conclusions Christians came to were not correct, does not mean that his corrections are a core Gospel message.

The problem he addressed arose exactly because the content of the gospel was "Jesus is Lord" and not "Caesar is Lord" as was usually said.

I could have put it better.

[ 26. April 2005, 11:02: Message edited by: Stowaway ]

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Gracie
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# 3870

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
...Are you saying that feminism is the culture of death? Or do you have another definition to propose?

quote:
Originally posted by Levor:

I think what Father Gregory is identifying as feminism, I would tend to see as egalitarianism. They are different - and so some features of his talk focus only on the feminist angle, but there's a lot of overlap, and I'd see egalitarianism as more basic than feminism on the whole, so much of what he's saying I'd see applying to the more basic thought structure of egalitarianism.



Maybe I'm being thick here, but I don't see how either feminism or egalitarianism would be "the culture of death". Can you explain please?

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
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quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
I presume that you mean that it is incorrect that Paul did not teach people how to submit to authority. What I meant was that the Gospel was a gospel of freedom, and that meant freedom from domination by authorities.

<snip>

The problem he addressed arose exactly because the content of the gospel was "Jesus is Lord" and not "Caesar is Lord" as was usually said.

I could have put it better.

Sure, I think I see your point now.

Still, interesting isn't it? That taking Jesus as Lord did not (and does not) mean there isn't a right sense of submission to earthly authorities.

Sometimes the argument seems to be that accepting the Lordship of Christ destroys human hierarchy so that there is no longer any such thing as recognisable submission. But the example of governors continuing to exercise authority as ministers of God — even a governor as utterly corrupt as the Roman emperor — demonstrates that submission to human authorities does continue under Christ. If anything, the submission offered by one human to another is strengthened by becoming Christian.

Interesting too that biblical submission to the governor is completely unrelated to the merit of that ruler. No log cabin to White House for Roman Emperors.

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Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:

Still, interesting isn't it? That taking Jesus as Lord did not (and does not) mean there isn't a right sense of submission to earthly authorities.

Sometimes the argument seems to be that accepting the Lordship of Christ destroys human hierarchy so that there is no longer any such thing as recognisable submission. But the example of governors continuing to exercise authority as ministers of God — even a governor as utterly corrupt as the Roman emperor — demonstrates that submission to human authorities does continue under Christ.

It is interesting. It seems to me though that, rather than indicating as Levor seems to suggest that godly human relations are always hierarchical, this could equally indicate that submission to earthly powers is irrelevant to godly life. Or perhaps I mean tangential. I mean, at it's root what is being said could be "We're subject to an Empire, it's a fact of life, live with it" rather than "being subject to an Empire is the correct way to live". It doesn't imply that that particular form of authority isn't subject to change.

For instance, I've never heard anyone argue that because NT people were recommended to submit to Caesar's governers, then democracy, or monarchy, is an ungodly way to organise a society and finding an imperial power to submit to would be better. Creating a differently consituted society than ancient Rome is a perfectly valid thing to do, though the injunction to submit to earthly authority still applies.

By the same logic I don't see why relationships between men and women cannot not be similarly reconstituted without violating biblical precepts.

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Stowaway

Ship's scavenger
# 139

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quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
Still, interesting isn't it? That taking Jesus as Lord did not (and does not) mean there isn't a right sense of submission to earthly authorities.

You are never free from an abuser until you are doing what you feel is right whatever he does.

More meaningfully the question for the church was "Given that Jesus is Lord and we are citizens of his kingdom, how do we interact with the governments of this world?"

Paul's answer here is not the only answer in the Bible, nor the most developed. The fact that Paul saw authority as instituted by God did not stop him from seeing Jesus as defeating authorities in the cross.

It is only right to give due honour and pay our taxes in the places we find ourselves. After all we use the amenities so we should pay our way.

quote:
Creating a differently consituted society than ancient Rome is a perfectly valid thing to do, though the injunction to submit to earthly authority still applies.
The question is, how do you manage to move a society on? Is protest failing to submit to authorities? Are strikes? Conscientious objection? No society was ever changed without the last setup being criticised and dismantled.

To ake an extreme example, what form would submission to authorities take in Nazi Germany?

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Weed
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# 4402

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quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Maybe I'm being thick here, but I don't see how either feminism or egalitarianism would be "the culture of death". Can you explain please?

Gracie, you aren't being thick at all. It's a euphemistic way of saying that feminism and/or egalitarianism encourages women to think they have rights as individuals, including over their own bodies. This leads to an acceptance of contraception and abortion - hence the culture of death. The only way to get rid of the culture of death is to reverse the effects of feminism / egalitarianism.

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Rat
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# 3373

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quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
quote:
Creating a differently consituted society than ancient Rome is a perfectly valid thing to do, though the injunction to submit to earthly authority still applies.
The question is, how do you manage to move a society on? Is protest failing to submit to authorities? Are strikes? Conscientious objection? No society was ever changed without the last setup being criticised and dismantled.

To ake an extreme example, what form would submission to authorities take in Nazi Germany?

That is a good question. I would say that all of those are valid ways to change society in the hope of moving to a better setup. But then I think striving to build a better, more egalitarian society is a Good Thing.

I'd also say that a society without hierarchy and authority (if one were possible to set up) could be equally godly, regardless of what the scriptures say about submitting to Caesar, since 'Caesar' would not apply. I see nothing in the biblical verses that have been quoted here to suggest that striving for such a society would be essentially wrong, though I wonder if Levor would see it differently.

I'm basically thinking along the line that the biblical injunctions in those areas are more about negotiating with the fait-accompli faced by the early Christians than they are about a proscription on how to live for all time.

I am interested in how headship\hierarchy proponents see this, though, since I'm no scriptural expert. Does a move from imperial hierarchy to more egalitarian democracy violate scriptural injunctions? If not, why can't the same logic apply to marriage?

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Gracie
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# 3870

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quote:
Originally posted by Weed:

It's a euphemistic way of saying that feminism and/or egalitarianism encourages women to think they have rights as individuals, including over their own bodies. This leads to an acceptance of contraception and abortion - hence the culture of death. The only way to get rid of the culture of death is to reverse the effects of feminism / egalitarianism.

Thank you for spelling that out, Weed. Is that indeed what you meant, Levor?

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mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
Paul's answer here is not the only answer in the Bible, nor the most developed. The fact that Paul saw authority as instituted by God did not stop him from seeing Jesus as defeating authorities in the cross.

I'm sorry, I don't see this at all. I see Jesus defeating sin and death on the cross, not authorities. Can you expand on this?

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Siena

Ship's Bluestocking
# 5574

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Are any of the traditional headship proponents going to address my questions on the last page regarding how the headship model should play out in a marriage where the husband isn't Christian, but the wife is?

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Custard
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# 5402

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
Paul's answer here is not the only answer in the Bible, nor the most developed. The fact that Paul saw authority as instituted by God did not stop him from seeing Jesus as defeating authorities in the cross.

I'm sorry, I don't see this at all. I see Jesus defeating sin and death on the cross, not authorities. Can you expand on this?
I believe Stowaway's reference is to Colossians 2:15, which says (NIV):

quote:

And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

But it's blatantly talking in terms of Satan, etc rather than earthly authorities in context.

Here's v13-15 (still NIV):

quote:
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.


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Custard
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# 5402

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quote:
Originally posted by Stowaway:
quote:
Originally posted by Gordon Cheng:
[qb]Still, interesting isn't it? That taking Jesus as Lord did not (and does not) mean there isn't a right sense of submission to earthly authorities.

You are never free from an abuser until you are doing what you feel is right whatever he does.
Are you saying that any relationship which means that you end up doing something you wouldn't have done otherwise is abusive?

Maybe it's me being stupid, but it seems like a non-sequitur otherwise.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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It could be said that as it was earthly authorities (Jewish and Roman) who had Jesus executed that his resurrection defeated them too. It's a bit of a stretch to expand that to all earthly authorities. And, it's certainly an odd position to hold for someone who would consider Pauls position as "not the only answer in the Bible, nor the most developed" given how developed such an idea of defeating earthly authority is in Scripture.

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Callan
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# 525

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Originally posted by Custard:

quote:
I believe Stowaway's reference is to Colossians 2:15, which says (NIV):

quote:
And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
But it's blatantly talking in terms of Satan, etc rather than earthly authorities in context.
It may not be as simple as that. IIRC, it was believed at this time that the earthly order somehow mirrored the divine order. The obvious biblical example of this is the bit in the book of Daniel where the Archangel Michael is held up for three weeks by the Prince of Persia by which he means not a Persian nobleman but the 'authority' over Persia. There are similar themes in Revelation where what is going on 'up there' has some kind of relationship with 'down here'. Then there is all that stuff about the angel of the church at Sardis - a messenger, a real angel or what?

There are more forms of subversion than waving a banner saying: "Down with the government". In the eyes of their contemporaries the early Christians committed most of them.

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Josephine

Orthodox Belle
# 3899

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quote:
Originally posted by Sienna:
Are any of the traditional headship proponents going to address my questions on the last page regarding how the headship model should play out in a marriage where the husband isn't Christian, but the wife is?

If it were up to me, I'd find the answer to that, not in the Scriptures, but in the Lives of the Saints. I guess that's more Traditional, maybe, than the other traditional headship proponents here ....

Anyway, the Martyrdom of St. Shushanik comes immediately to mind -- she was imprisoned, beaten, and eventually killed by her husband when she refused to convert to Zoroastrianism with him. And there are many other women saints who remained faithful when their husbands converted to Islam under the Ottomans.

There are also lives of women saints who gave all of the family's fortune to the poor, over the objections of her husband, and women saints whose marriage agreements to non-Christian men spelled out how her religious needs would be met in the marriage.

There is also the promise that a believing wife may sanctify her unbelieving husband, and that is something you also see in the Lives of the Saints.

How it should work out for any given woman in such a situation, what her responsibilities to her husband should be, is something that I think would have to be worked out between the woman and her spiritual advisor. In the lives of the saints, for example, you get both St. Thomais, who stayed with her abusive husband and was killed by him, and another saint whose name escapes me, who left her abusive husband, disguised herself as a eunuch, and became a monk.

But clearly, from the lives of the saints, you can see that you can't take a few verses from Scriptures and provide definitive answers for everyone. Life is more complex than that, and Holy Tradition can handle the complexity.

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Siena

Ship's Bluestocking
# 5574

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Thank you, Josephine, for replying. I'll hasten to point out that my husband is wonderful and loving, and not in the least abusive (in fact, amazingly supportive of my church activities), so I'm very fortunate (especially since I'd make a horrible monk - yikes).

Still, from the "little t" traditional headship people, I would like to hear their version of how such a marriage should work. Gordon? Levor?

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Gordon Cheng

a child on sydney harbour
# 8895

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quote:
Originally posted by Sienna:
Thank you, Josephine, for replying. I'll hasten to point out that my husband is wonderful and loving, and not in the least abusive (in fact, amazingly supportive of my church activities), so I'm very fortunate (especially since I'd make a horrible monk - yikes).

Still, from the "little t" traditional headship people, I would like to hear their version of how such a marriage should work. Gordon? Levor?

Wow - a "little t" tradition person. I quite like that description and may steal it for some other context, although whether it turns out to be a compliment or not probably depends who you're talking to.

If there is any abuse involved in a relationship — and I'm delighted to here the way you describe yours doesn't involve any — then Christian or non-Christian, the woman ought to separate, especially if there are children involved, so that people (herself included) can be kept out of harm's way. Hopefully and with prayer this would turn into the occasion for much needed counselling and perhaps reconciliation.

By the way, abuse can certainly mean more than physical abuse, as has been pointed out on this thread. I have been using 'physical' abuse as the example as it is so clear, and for no other reason. But I believe a few of the posts just before yours, Sienna, have revealed how this issue can quickly become complex.

I hope you'll forgive me throwing in a few Bible verses but as I consider the Bible to in reality be big T Tradition, being an inseparable part of it, this is just me doing my thing...

1 Cor 7:13 says that divorce is not an option, but that if the unbelieving husband or wife decides to separate, then this shouldn't be resisted.

I don't see that there are exceptions to the submission rule just because of the issue of conversion/non-conversion, just as various bible writers (Rom 13, 1 Pet 2,4) enjoined submission to the governing authorities even though some of them were killing Christians at the time.

1 Pet 3:1-6 seems to address the issue directly, apparently envisaging living with an unbelieving husband and in this context, saying

quote:
1Pet. 3:1 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives—
1Pet. 3:2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.
1Pet. 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing—
1Pet. 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
1Pet. 3:5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their husbands,
1Pet. 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

A note of caution is sounded for me by Acts 4:19-20; a different context to be sure, but it says

quote:
Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,
Acts 4:20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

Sorry, I'm going to have to come back to this after just tossing in all those verses; apologies as I don't want to just be prooftexting but I have to go off and make breakfast for the family and get the girls ready for school!

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Stowaway

Ship's scavenger
# 139

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See, told you I was trouble.

References to the principalities and powers meaning more than just Satan and demons can be found in the works of H. Berkhof, William Stringfellow, John Howard Yoder and Jaques Ellul (at least according to Jim Wallis as I have not read all of these authors).

A quick look at Wallis's summary of this theology. Things that come under the category of powers include: state, corporations, class, politics, human tradition, ideologies.

The powers are part of God's good creation. However they are fallen along with the rest of creation. The powers now seek to separate us from the love of God. Meant to serve, they now demand allegiance and worship. Designed to unite mankind, they now seek to divide us.

Understanding the powers in this way releases the political impact of the powers scriptures.

Direct references can be found in Rom 8:38; Gal 4:1-11; Eph 3:10,11;6:10-13; Col 1:15-17; 2:13-15; but this perspective helps to pull together the political aspects of the sermon on the mount and the behaviour of Jesus and the apostles before the authorities.

The end goal of salvation is where "the kingdoms of the world have become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ"

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duchess

Ship's Blue Blooded Lady
# 2764

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Ok...I've lost the will to live after trying to keep up with this thread but I will still take time to smell the roses and answer these FAQ directed at me:

quote:
Originally posted by Emma.:
ok - to buy a condo or not - is that a spiritual decision?

still - im not meaning to have a go at you, just think its an odd position to take.

If you know how much it costs to buy a condo here, you would not ask that! Actually, it was not just the money involved (which is a huge investment for me), it was also questions I had like is it healthier for me to live with another single lady...will I not grow as much spiritually with a sister in the Lord? Turns out though every single person I talked to felt if I could afford it, buy the condo since it was a good investment...plus my ex-roomate was in a fight with the neighbors which made people nervous about me living there. I do enjoy living alone a little too much...plus my place has appreciated over $60,000USD since I bought it Jan. 2004. It turns out I could afford it by careful planning of my budget and that I am happier here than I was with my ex-roomate. I suffered enough for being molded in the image of Christ living with roomie who freaked out if I turned the soap faucet the wrong way.


quote:
Originally posted by xSx:
quote:
Originally posted by duchess:


Back to my single woman headship experience...when I trying to figure out if I should buy my condo, I consulted people and nobody told me what to do...but instead helped me figure out what my options were. Nobody was all "keep duchess down! Find fault with her! She sucks! We enjoy degrading her!" Instead, I feel loved and supported. It was a scary thing to buy my own place back in Dec. 2004 (sale closed though in January 2004). I felt more calm and level-headed about the whole matter since I got to talk it out. I did talk to some elders but I also talked to a lot of people in my church, plus others.


If I may ask a question, Duchesss?
Perhaps I have misunderstood something, but I honestly do not see what this searching for advice from elders (male or female) has to do with you being a single woman.

Surely it is sensible to seek wise advice from experienced elder people if you are young, single, vulnerable, don't know much about finance/cars/houses or whatever else it might be? Why is this more the case for single woman (without a 'head') than a single man, or indeed a married woman whose husband isn't much help in those matters?

Thanks,
xSx

My previous answer to Emma applies here. I also want to add I think ALL people can use some mentorship/discipleship in the Body of Christ. The command make disciples is clearly stated in the bible and IMHO, one of the most ignored. Single men could use help in these matters to. But to get all bible-thumping on you, I believe in my situation (read back if you have the willpower) do well to submit to guidance on certain matters. What those matters are are what's important to you, things that keep you awake at night or that you dream of all day.

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Levor
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# 5711

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quote:
Originally posted by Weed:
quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Maybe I'm being thick here, but I don't see how either feminism or egalitarianism would be "the culture of death". Can you explain please?

Gracie, you aren't being thick at all. It's a euphemistic way of saying that feminism and/or egalitarianism encourages women to think they have rights as individuals, including over their own bodies. This leads to an acceptance of contraception and abortion - hence the culture of death. The only way to get rid of the culture of death is to reverse the effects of feminism / egalitarianism.
It's a bit polemical Gracie, but I suppose that's what I get for linking to Father Gregory's strongly worded talk. Not euphemistic - just an attempt to say "some of these things go together". And in my case you can subtract contraception, and add euthanasia, divorce, low rates of marriage, and the focus on quality of life over the sanctity of life that leads to a variety of problems - including a society where rates of childbirth are very low, and the dominance of materialism.

I'm not keen to return to pre-feminist models of western society on a range of fronts - and I don't think you'll generally hear me make blanket criticisms of feminism (I realise that that's probably a bit rare among proponent of my kind of view - but it's where I stand). But I do think that feminism has been driven by egalitarianism, and I think egalitarianism is a real problem. Where egalitarianism (or feminism or anyting else) is harmful - then yes, I want to reverse those changes. But I'm not interested in some attempt to return to the 50's.

quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
For instance, I've never heard anyone argue that because NT people were recommended to submit to Caesar's governers, then democracy, or monarchy, is an ungodly way to organise a society and finding an imperial power to submit to would be better. Creating a differently consituted society than ancient Rome is a perfectly valid thing to do, though the injunction to submit to earthly authority still applies.

By the same logic I don't see why relationships between men and women cannot not be similarly reconstituted without violating biblical precepts.

Well, the argument would be that the basic structure - a society with human authority that should be submitted to - remains fundamental to human nature. The precise form of that authority can shift - democratic elected leader (president or parliment), monarch etc. So I'd go 'no' to a shift to a society with no leadership at all (no hierarchy in any sense), and would think that a shift to a democracy is fine.

(In fact I'm of the view that the ground of modern democracy is less to do with putting the power in the hands of the people, and more to do with limiting the power of leaders - a distinctly Christian political structure based off a doctrine of sin.)

Similarly I think the exact form that headship can take within marriage can vary enormously from culture to culture (and with a very multicultural society like the West, from couple to couple). The basic relationship structure remains the same.

quote:
Originally posted by Sienna:
Are any of the traditional headship proponents going to address my questions on the last page regarding how the headship model should play out in a marriage where the husband isn't Christian, but the wife is?

Sorry it hasn't been addressed before you wrote this - I don't think it was ignored deliberately, I think there's just a lot of different fronts opening up in the discussion with every couple of posts. For my part, I think I'd sign off on what Josephine has said as all examples that could well fit within the sort of principles I see at work here.And what Gordo has done so far is where I'd be going to address it scripturally.

I think the big problem with having a non-Christian head in marriage is that headship is tied to serving the wife for her growth in Christlikeness. Given that a non-Christian head is going in an opposite direction there are real problems - which is why the Bible warns against entering into that kind of relationship. That's the basic framework setting thing for me.

Once that relationship then exists it is like every other hierarchical relationship where the leader is not Christian and not actively serving Christ in the way they lead. There are particular issues faced because it is a marriage - but it is that same combination of "God over men" and "submit to authority as it has been ordained by God". And because the link between the 'raw authority' and its tie to love and its purpose is now damaged, the relationship less clearly shows the gracious purposes of the order, and more just the bare fact of the order - which can be somewhat authoritarian. It is the ruling over them like the Gentiles where the whole tenor of the authority is upside down (right way up for our natural instincts).

But this is another example of living in a fallen world. Sometimes the structures in creation oppose God and our submission to them doesn't bring any inherent good - we have to trust God for the long haul (like Christians in countries where the government persecutes them). Sometimes the submission is intrinsically linked to the good that God will give (Jospehine's reference to marriage being a way of salvation) and sometimes the good is almost entirely eschatological - and both are within the scope of Hebrews 11. Those are some scattered thoughts within the basic endorsement of Josephine's and Gordo's answers.

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in Christ,
Levor

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Demas*
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# 7147

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
Well, the argument would be that the basic structure - a society with human authority that should be submitted to - remains fundamental to human nature. The precise form of that authority can shift - democratic elected leader (president or parliment), monarch etc. So I'd go 'no' to a shift to a society with no leadership at all (no hierarchy in any sense), and would think that a shift to a democracy is fine.

We are a society which aims at the rule of law. This shared law binds us all, rich and poor, boss and worker, president and citizen.

My local member of parliament has no authority over me. Nor does the Prime Minister. Nor does the Queen.

A democracy under the rule of law is not just the Roman Empire with new names. Our politicians are not authorities to submit to but functionaries to do our bidding.

There is no heirachy - they are not higher or better than me - and the only authority they have is that delegated to them by me.

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Hamburger (note beetroot, pineapple, bacon and egg)

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
Not sure if this is getting too long again, RuthW. Do you mind letting me know if it is?

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that there is some kind of limit on how long your posts can be--there isn't. I asked that you keep the length down because the very long posts made it harder for me to follow the thread. It wasn't made in my capacity as host.

As for Gregory's little article, which lays all sorts of horrors at the feet of feminism without beginning to touch on the horrors propagated by patriarchal societies ... well, this isn't Hell, so I will try to restrain myself. But feminism is the only reason that women are able to be widely educated, the only reason women are able to take jobs other than the traditional "nurturing" jobs of teacher and nurse and the scutwork of secretarial jobs, the only reason women are taken seriously and treated as human beings--so you'll have to forgive those of us women who are unhappy about having feminism equated with a culture of death. Tell me again how many women have started wars and have instigated genocides, and then let's talk about a culture of death.

When you say that women should leave if they or their children are in danger of being harmed, you should realize that that idea only exists because feminists have said it should. It wasn't originally men running various churches who said to abused women, "Hey, your lives are valuable and worth saving--if your husband beats you, leave." It was feminists. Despite some churches' devotion to the Virgin, Christianity did not in general value women's lives until feminism came along and embarrassed Christians into it.

Feminism has certainly had some excessive expressions and is not without fault. But it has on the whole made it far more possible for the average woman to develop her God-given potential and talents, to exercise her free will, and to become the person God meant her to be. You say it's individualism, or egalitarianism, but you would have gotten to be a free and equal individual without feminism--I wouldn't.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
A democracy under the rule of law is not just the Roman Empire with new names. Our politicians are not authorities to submit to but functionaries to do our bidding.

There is no heirachy - they are not higher or better than me - and the only authority they have is that delegated to them by me.

Which is the point I was trying to make a few pages back. The Church is equally not-necessarily heirarchical (though I accept that many expression of Church are); the Congregational form of church government is similar to a democracy - the church authority is located in the gathered congregation who seek the will of Christ (who is the only Head of the Church) and delegate authority down to individuals or committees as needed to function.

As a model of how to run things, such non-heirarchical communal authority structures work in politics and churches, and I'd say they work in marriages too. Surely if such a system of structuring our lives was so antithetical to our inherent nature then it would be rare indeed for it to work?

Anyone else thinking about this relevent link. And, the rest of it which the sensible among us know by heart.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:

quote:
Originally posted by Weed:


quote:
Originally posted by Gracie:
Maybe I'm being thick here, but I don't see how either feminism or egalitarianism would be "the culture of death". Can you explain please?

Gracie, you aren't being thick at all. It's a euphemistic way of saying that feminism and/or egalitarianism encourages women to think they have rights as individuals, including over their own bodies. This leads to an acceptance of contraception and abortion - hence the culture of death. The only way to get rid of the culture of death is to reverse the effects of feminism / egalitarianism.
It's a bit polemical Gracie, but I suppose that's what I get for linking to Father Gregory's strongly worded talk. Not euphemistic - just an attempt to say "some of these things go together".
I'd just like to point out that neither you nor Gregory said that at all, Levor. You left some rather large blanks which Weed obligingly, and according to you mostly accurately, filled in. If "culture of death" isn't a euphemism in that respect, I'd like to know what you think it is.

quote:
Originally posted by Levor re: head coverings:

that's different to the principle of headship, which isn't a symbolic action but a certain structure of relationship.

quote:
Subsequently posted by Levor:
I think the exact form that headship can take within marriage can vary enormously from culture to culture (and with a very multicultural society like the West, from couple to couple). The basic relationship structure remains the same.



I'm confused. On the one hand, you seem to be arguing for a sacrosanct structure of relationship (headship), which if countered produces a "culture of death", endangers the longstanding doctrine of the Trinity, and other disastrous scenarios. On the other hand, you appear to be allowing 'enormous variation from culture to culture' on how this truth is applied, so much so that I am left wondering what distinctives are left.

What is the application today of this "certain structure of relationship"? What if a relationship based on a traditional model of male headship became unintelligible to today's culture?

Can you clearly state any non-culturally-negotiable aspects of applied headship?

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Levor
Shipmate
# 5711

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The last group of posts have been some of the most thought provoking for me so far in the thread, but don't have time tonight for anything involved.

quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
Not sure if this is getting too long again, RuthW. Do you mind letting me know if it is?

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that there is some kind of limit on how long your posts can be--there isn't. I asked that you keep the length down because the very long posts made it harder for me to follow the thread. It wasn't made in my capacity as host.
Thanks - I didn't think it was a hosty thing - my impression is you guys usually put "HOST" at the start and finish for those. But I've got no interest in making it hard for anyone to follow the thread or contribute just by the way I'm posting (and if you said it, I'm prepared to guess others wanted to). I'm sure no matter how earth shattering my thoughts are [Biased] I can afford to post a few less of them. I appreciated the feedback. Please let me know if becomes a bit of a problem again - publicly or privately.

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in Christ,
Levor

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Gracie
Shipmate
# 3870

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:

It's a bit polemical Gracie, but I suppose that's what I get for linking to Father Gregory's strongly worded talk. Not euphemistic - just an attempt to say "some of these things go together". And in my case you can subtract contraception, and add euthanasia, divorce, low rates of marriage, and the focus on quality of life over the sanctity of life that leads to a variety of problems - including a society where rates of childbirth are very low, and the dominance of materialism.

I'm not keen to return to pre-feminist models of western society on a range of fronts - and I don't think you'll generally hear me make blanket criticisms of feminism (I realise that that's probably a bit rare among proponent of my kind of view - but it's where I stand). But I do think that feminism has been driven by egalitarianism, and I think egalitarianism is a real problem. Where egalitarianism (or feminism or anyting else) is harmful - then yes, I want to reverse those changes. But I'm not interested in some attempt to return to the 50's.

This is interesting. Whenever people on this thread have mentioned the negative effects of headship as it has been taught and practised in various places, you (or maybe it was Gordon and Leprechaun?) have said that you shouldn't confuse the principle with its abuses, that these don't invalidate the system. It appears to me that here you're doing exactly the same thing the other way round. All those things you equate with "the culture of death" are not at the heart of feminism or egalitarianism, as RuthW has so eloquently pointed out.


quote:
Originally posted by Levor

... headship is tied to serving the wife for her growth in Christlikeness.

This reminds me that you made this point earlier in the thread (I couldn't find the exact place). I was uneasy with it at the time and have only just worked out why.

Do you get this idea from the Bible? Or is it your conlusion to make your idea of headship more palatable to the modern mind?

However this conclusion would suggest that a women needs a husband for her to grow in Christlikeness. In which case the man would be made for the woman('s benefit). From a Biblical point of view this does not seem to be right to me. According to 1 Cor. 11:9, "Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man". I haven't found any passage in the Bible which suggests that the woman needs the man, for her growth in Christlikeness or for any other reason. I think this view does not treat a women as an adult, but keeps her in a semi-child role, rather than being her husband's vis-à-vis as God intended.

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When someone is convinced he’s an Old Testament prophet there’s not a lot you can do with him rationally. - Sine

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Levor
Shipmate
# 5711

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I'm out of time, and this'll be a double post - but it's just sunk in.

quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
[QUOTE]I'd just like to point out that neither you nor Gregory said that at all, Levor. You left some rather large blanks which Weed obligingly, and according to you mostly accurately, filled in. If "culture of death" isn't a euphemism in that respect, I'd like to know what you think it is.

Euphemism: The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’... abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).

"Culture of death" is hardly mild or indirect. I'll agree it is vague, but I think it is harsher, blunt, and more offensive than listing the particulars. I think a euphemism is if I had said something like, "there are some elements often associated with egalitarianism that could, on balance, be improved in certain non-insignificant ways".

I think the phrase owns the offensive of the position up front. It doesn't hide it. So it's not a euphemism. It was a statement of an overgirding category.

--------------------
in Christ,
Levor

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
Euphemism: The act or an example of substituting a mild, indirect, or vague term for one considered harsh, blunt, or offensive: “Euphemisms such as ‘slumber room’... abound in the funeral business” (Jessica Mitford).

"Culture of death" is hardly mild or indirect. I'll agree it is vague, but I think it is harsher, blunt, and more offensive than listing the particulars.

Well, it's the vagueness I was having problems with. Prior to Weed's explanation, like Gracie, I had no idea what was implied by this phrase.

I think we're clear on this particular instance now, but as a point of order, if you want to argue a case, for me at least it does not suffice to 'own an offensive position up front' and leave everyone to draw their own conclusions, or take the hint, about the grounds of this position. I think it's necessary to spell out exactly what you mean.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Stowaway

Ship's scavenger
# 139

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
The Church is equally not-necessarily heirarchical (though I accept that many expression of Church are); the Congregational form of church government is similar to a democracy - the church authority is located in the gathered congregation who seek the will of Christ (who is the only Head of the Church) and delegate authority down to individuals or committees as needed to function.

Indeed. And the Quakers also instituted non-hierarchical structures as part of their faith, based on consensus. For them, the church discerns the will of God as a body. They take the idea of each person having an inner witness or light very seriously and IMO have established practices that conform more to the body of Christ model in 1 Corinthians than hierarchical charismatic evangelicals tend to do.

My experience, as one who spent ten years in churches advocating headship (and authority), is that women may have felt very safe there, but their opinions were neither sought nor valued. They were served in a sort of co-dependency, where the husband got a kick out of being the minister. The sense of superiority spilled over out of families into the church that all women become inferior to all men, and the same co-dependency was seen in all ministry relationships. Mutuality went out of the window, along with respect. And it all happened in a smiling positive environment.

But that's just my experience.

--------------------
Warning: Mid-life crisis in progress

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Weed
Shipmate
# 4402

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quote:
Originally posted by Levor:
"Culture of death" is hardly mild or indirect. I'll agree it is vague, but I think it is harsher, blunt, and more offensive than listing the particulars. I think a euphemism is if I had said something like, "there are some elements often associated with egalitarianism that could, on balance, be improved in certain non-insignificant ways".

I think the phrase owns the offensive of the position up front. It doesn't hide it. So it's not a euphemism. It was a statement of an overgirding category.

I could have said, "it is code for" or "in the context I have heard it used it has referred to", as I did in the various drafts that short post went through but in the end I was more concerned with trying to remain purgatorial than with what word I used. You know it is often used to say "feminists murder babies" whilst pretending you are not being personal.

What struck me when reading your list ("euthanasia, divorce, low rates of marriage, and the focus on quality of life over the sanctity of life that leads to a variety of problems - including a society where rates of childbirth are very low, and the dominance of materialism") is how the underlying attitude hasn't changed over the millennia. Eve still remains Eve, doesn't she? She ruined paradise and brought death into the human condition in Genesis and she's accused of doing exactly the same today. Just as in the creation myth, women today can only try to make things right again by carrying out their breeding function.

Whilst we are talking about the meaning of words, however, I might as well raise my objection to your citing in a previous post, in reply to Alan, what you see as scriptural authority for a hierarchical society, viz:
quote:
I think the Bible does indicate that human beings are 'hierarchical' in our fundamental nature and that being communal involves love and submission (in more than just the mutual reciprocal sense).

In particular the verse you've quoted I think argues against your understanding of human nature. For the redeemed community that Jesus envisages in Mat 20:25-28, Mark 10:42-45, and especially Luke 22:25-30 is one with a clear hierarchy, with clear leaders (who, according to Luke, sit on thrones) and yet who are slaves.

I didn't immediately twig which passage you were referring to so for the benefit of anyone else with the same problem here's the text from Luke.
quote:
Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But 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. For 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. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Your comment continued
quote:
It is a pattern explicitly taken from Jesus himself. So if it is 'communal' and not 'hierarchical' (playing the two off against each other) then that suggests that Jesus is not lord over the community either. As Jesus' model of being a slave-leader is the model for the leadership of the redeemed community, then that suggests the kind of hierarchy where the leaders are the slaves of the ones they lead is part of the fabric of redeemed human nature.
After long reflection I have come to the conclusion that you are taking outrageous liberties with your interpretation here. Your argument appears to be: hierarchies have leaders; this model that Christ talks about has a leader; therefore it must be a hierarchy; furthermore because Christ uses this image of (what I have decided is a) hierarchy to talk about the Kingdom in one passage, God must intend all human being to live in a ranked hierarchy on earth.

There is so much in the gospels that shows Jesus defying authority, having no regard for earthly systems of power and turning all our ideas of the ordering of human society upside down that I don't think you make the slightest indentation in his anti-authoritarian stance by the passage you cite. And Romans doesn't trump the second person of the Trinity.

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Weed

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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The problem with "culture of death" langauge for those who use it is that it means other things to other people. I immediately thought not of aboprtion, and certainly not of Eve but of war and poverty and oppression. And so egalitarianism seems to me to be a culture of life opposed to the authopritarian and hierarchical worship of death which riddles our society.

I'm not saying the same emotional impulses that lead a man to think he should excercise headship over his wife, or rule the lives of his children in detail, might also lead him to submit to a dictator, or murder gypsies in a concentration camp, or rape and pillage someone else's city in the name of "ethnic cleansing", be part of a police death squad "cleaning" the street of beggars and homeless children

...er, come to think of it, I am saying just that.

The culture of death of modern times is unthinking submission to human authority, coupled with racism, nationalism, and the rule of the powerful over the weak. And Christianity helps us wean ourselves away from it by breaking down all human heirarchies and showing us that compared with God we are all equal (even if only equally wormlike)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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Callan
Shipmate
# 525

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hosting

This thread is showing symptoms of deeply entrenched theological divisions that won't be resolved this side of doomsday combined with that element of needle that comes out of strong personal views on the matter.

[i]Takes pulse, shakes head sadly[i]

I fear this horse is dead - off to the equine graveyard it goes.

hosting ends

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Second Mouse

Citizen of Grand Fenwick
# 2793

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I'd be interested to know if anyone posting on or reading this thread has had their opinions changed at all, one way or the other. Anyone care to comment?

I've been struggling for a good while now with a sense of being called into Christian ministry. The thing I most want to do in life is to help Christians to know God better, preaching and teaching and all that goes with it. This might sound odd, or self-important somehow = but when I've preached, (which isn't often) it gives me the strongest feeling I've ever had of being in the right place, at the right time, doing what I was made to do. And this isn't just me - Christians from all over the place keep approaching me and saying, "Er, have you ever thought about entering the ministry....because you really should consider it."

So in many ways, I have a strong sense of God calling me to this, (which is very scary, but that's beside the point)

But - I'm a woman. And after 3 years hanging around with headship teaching folks while I was at university, (about 10 years ago now, but they had a big influence on me) this sometimes feels like the one thing that God can't possibly be calling me to do.

I've spent much of the past year feeling as if the whole thing was going to tear me in half, or drive me mad or both. This thread has been massively useful in helping me find a big dose of peace about the whole thing and resolving some of the arguments that have been going round and round in my head for so long - so thank you!

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RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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quote:
Originally posted by Second Mouse:
So in many ways, I have a strong sense of God calling me to this, (which is very scary, but that's beside the point)

But - I'm a woman. And after 3 years hanging around with headship teaching folks while I was at university, (about 10 years ago now, but they had a big influence on me) this sometimes feels like the one thing that God can't possibly be calling me to do.

Someone suggested privately the other day that this thread is the Protestant equivalent of the Priestly genitalia thread. Your situation is to my way of thinking exemplary of what's wrong with notions of male headship. That you should be doubting your sense of being called by God simply because you're a woman is evidence of the damage caused by this wrong-headed idea. The process of discerning one's ministry, whether ordained or lay, should not be monkeyed with by the extraneous question of whether one has a penis or a vagina.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged



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