Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Open Response to Spencer


I apologize.  This is a very long post.  But, it has been stewing in me for a day or so.  Last night, I danced around my bedroom yelling at the walls discussing this with my wife.  Just ask her.  I was a craaaaazy man.
Anyway, some background.  This post was posted by a blogging friend of mine.  He made some really great points and exposed a sick practice.  Then, a gentleman by the name of Spencer began to comment on the post.  You'll see what Spencer argues for and what other responders said to him.  His final comment, which I have copied below is what caused me to desire to write this response.  But, it was too long to put in a comment on a blog post, not to mention, some of the points are generally important.  Some names you see and comments and posts I refer to can be found at the original blog post.



Spencer's last comment:

"I have clearly showed you from the Scriptures how God clearly established man is the head of the woman, and you have denied that. If 1 Cor 11 does not mean what it says, what word should God have used if he wanted to tell you that the head of the woman is the man? Apparently, saying that directly is not good enough for you. How does Gen 1:27 in any way shape or form prove that men and women are equal? It says that he created them male and female, and you are inserting your presuppositions into the text to prove what you want it to mean.
You have also denied the importance of the OT in your doctrine. Whenever Jesus was asked a question in the gospels, what was his response? “Have ye never read”? and then he would refer back to the OT. Yet your line of reasoning does not allow for this. You deny the relativity and imperativity of the OT on NT Christians. Yet this was the essence of Christ’s ministry himself. He preached from an OT. It was the only Bible he had. The Bereans in Acts 17 were said to be searching the scriptures to see whether those things were so (after hearing the preaching of Paul and Silas). What scriptures were they searching? The Old Testament. There was no NT around. So your very premise goes against the tenant of the NT.
There was a comment made about how the passage in Gen 3 had nothing to do with Eve taking authority from Adam. Yet that is beside the point, and something that I never said. The point is, Eve was deceived, as the Bible clearly tells us. Adam was not deceived. The Bible also clearly tells us this. There is a difference there, and to deny this difference between men and women is to close your eyes to scripture.
Jesus also tells us in Matthew 24:38 “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”. Note the phrase “marrying and giving in marriage.” Who did this? It was the fathers. Who started this practice? The Lord himself. He gave Eve to Adam, and Adam himself believed and confessed this: Genesis 3:12 “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” In essence, it appears quite evident that you have quite an issue with the order God has ordained in creation. If you cannot accept the fact that God has ordained Christ as the head of every man, and man to be the head of the woman as Scripture clearly tells us, you have an issue with the Lord, not with me.
Also, the history and track record of our nation is against what you are saying. The rampant divorce rate in our country today has nothing to do with parents jumping into their children’s lives and trying to control them, but with the exact opposite. Young people following your advice to a T and cultivating rebellion within themselves and running off and doing as they please. I do not deny that there are parents out there who misuse and yea even abuse their authority, but the majority of parents in our culture and nation today are doing the exact opposite and we are seeing the fruits of that today. Your teachings would have been thrown out as nonsense 100 years ago with saved or lost people. Encouraging young people to throw off their parents and do as they please once they hit 18 is found nowhere in the pages of Scripture. You find no one in the Scriptures that ever did such a thing and was blessed by God. We see an example of this in Gen chap 34 where Jacob’s daughter Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land and disaster struck and her brothers were furious. What Scriptural examples do you have to support your case? I have yet to see any scripture in your arguments. You have put forth your own opinions and held them as absolute truth without any scriptural basis for it, and used abuses of the truth to prove your case. This is very unsound reasoning. Matt 15:9 and Mark 7:7 do not address or support half of the opinions you have stated here"

My response, in which I break out Spencer's phrases and respond to them:

Spencer: “I have clearly showed you from the Scriptures how God clearly established man is the head of the woman, and you have denied that.”


Spencer. Saying the word “clearly” more than once does not convince anyone.  It merely turns them off to your argument.  Nobody likes a boaster, no matter how correct they might be.  Also, you have to look at why you are saying “clearly” more than once and at all – your arguments have been summarily deposed, one by one.  Then, you go on to spout more jargon, proof texting, and verses that are severely taken out of context.

Rather than you taking my word for it (because obviously you don’t take anyone’s word for anything unless they pound the text and quote chapter and verse) let me go to your Scriptures.
Spencer:  “If 1 Cor 11 does not mean what it says, what word should God have used if he wanted to tell you that the head of the woman is the man? Apparently, saying that directly is not good enough for you. “

You were given a good rundown of 1 Corinthians 11 by Kristen, and Erika Martin was going to chime in and give you a clue, as well.  The funny thing is that the exact same passage (key word – “passage”) that you used to prove your point actually disproves your point.  And see…that’s one of your main problems.  It’s called proof texting. 

What is proof texting, you might ask?  It’s pulling a small point out of a document that makes a conclusion that the document did not make and resting your case on that small point.  This is a classic approach to the Bible for all cults and aberrations.  

In this case, you keep referring to 1 Corinthians 11:3.  But, you can’t remove that verse from the whole passage.  If you do, it seems to prove your point.  If you take a closer look at what Paul (who is a man in Christ, just like any man in Christ, able to make mistakes, incorrect conjecture, be culturally biased, and ignorant of the future) was saying, you will agree with what Kristen said to you, which you deny she did by saying that she said 1 Corinthians 11 does not mean what it says:


Kristen:  “Look again at the passage in 1 Cor 11 about "man" being the "head" of "woman." Read the whole passage, in context. The passage is all about the sources or origins of things. "Head" here means "origin." Man is the origin of woman because she was taken out of man-- but Paul mitigates any assumption of superiority that that might entail by insisting that ever since, woman has been the origin of man, through childbirth. But, Paul finishes, God is the Origin of all of us.”



And Spencer, make sure you keep reading all the way down to verse 16.  Paul says there that if anything causes contention, stop it!  Now isn’t that funny?  If Paul’s words were the commands of God, which you claim they are, then wouldn’t we HAVE to obey them all, and stand on them regardless of disagreement?  Also, you have to see the cool stuff that Paul said about us being judged by one another.  It’s actually quite satisfying.


Spencer:   “How does Gen 1:27 in any way shape or form prove that men and women are equal? It says that he created them male and female, and you are inserting your presuppositions into the text to prove what you want it to mean.”


Let’s not even address that question, but move on to the rest of your “do what I say, not as I do” statements and proof texting habits.


Spencer:  “You have also denied the importance of the OT in your doctrine.”


I’m guessing you’re going to have to clearly explain the clear definition of “denied”, “importance”, and “doctrine”.  I’m pretty sure, if you’ll peruse the comments above, you can see that I specifically mentioned the Old Testament and its purpose in the Christian faith.  Let’s insert the word “law” in the place of the OT, though I know that will be unacceptable to you (based on your gross misuses of the descriptive which you say proves the prescriptive… We’ll chat about that in a bit).  The law was our schoolmaster to point to one reality and one reality only – that we were incapable of keeping it.  If we were, why would God have set up a system of sacrifice for EVERYONE’S sins and not just the naughty peeps?  Probably because he knew His standard was pretty high – if we broke one law, we broke the whole law.

Jesus made this point very clearly in talking about a few of the commandments.  He said, “You people think that you are just not supposed to kill your brother.  But I say, if you even hate your brother, you have killed him.”  Jesus said, “You think you’re pretty good because you haven’t committed adultery, but I say to you, if you even look upon a woman and lust after her, you have committed adultery.”  Gothard and his ilk in patriarchy look at these words and say, “See!  We have to be super dee dooper holy!”  If that were the case as we read Matthew 5, we would have to then also pluck out our eyes, as Jesus said.  In his whole sermon in this text, we see that Jesus started it off by saying that he hadn’t come to dump the law, but to fulfill it.  Then, he tells us that pretty much only perfect people can enter into the kingdom of heaven.
 
But, if we break the whole law by breaking the least of the commandments, how can we be perfect.  Answer – Christ fulfills that perfection in us.  It is quite revealing when later he answers the pesky Pharisees testing question about the greatest commandment by saying the whole law can be summed up by loving God with your whole being and loving other people as yourself, Matthew 22.  Paul reiterates this to a degree in Galatians 5, though he leaves out the part about loving God.  He doesn’t need to say that because he knows he is talking to those who are already in Christ and most likely assumes they do actually already love God with their whole being.  A few sentences later, he challenges them to be led by the Holy Spirit.  How can you be led by the Holy Spirit unless you love God with your whole being?  So, the implication was there.

 
Spencer:  “Whenever Jesus was asked a question in the gospels, what was his response? “Have ye never read”? and then he would refer back to the OT. Yet your line of reasoning does not allow for this. You deny the relativity and imperativity of the OT on NT Christians. Yet this was the essence of Christ’s ministry himself. He preached from an OT. It was the only Bible he had. The Bereans in Acts 17 were said to be searching the scriptures to see whether those things were so (after hearing the preaching of Paul and Silas). What scriptures were they searching? The Old Testament. There was no NT around. So your very premise goes against the tenant of the NT.”


Your conclusion here is one of the sickest, most twisted misrepresentations of the words of Jesus Christ I have ever heard or read.  First of all, the people that asked the questions were VERY well versed in the books of the Jewish Bible.  This was not literally the OT as we know it today, but that is a minor and mostly unrelated point.  So, being that they were well versed, why would Jesus need to tell them how to live based on the OT as you say by inserting the word “imperativity”?  They already KNEW the law and more.  They didn’t need it to be quoted back to them to tell them that they weren’t doing it well enough!  

The fact is, Jesus would use this wording to tell them another area of the law that would disprove what they were trying to prove. Now why would he do that?  Was it because he wanted to show these externally holy people that they needed to do more in order to be more holy?  I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the case because it was followed by the words, “But I say to you…”  Look at Matthew 19, the most holy passage of a patriarchy group.  The passage on divorce.  You’ll see that exact formula of conversation used there.  Jesus used the OT AGAINST the Pharisees and the “perfect” people of the day. His point was not to pile on another round of laws for them to follow, but to clearly prove to them that the law was un-followable by man.  To say otherwise is to cheapen the very reason that Jesus perpetually bore our sins at the cross.

As to the Bereans.  I’ll mention again that they did not have the OT, as we have today.  It was whatever the Jewish Scriptures of the day were.  And, what was the message that Paul and Silas brought to them?  The message of the Gospel.  So, what were the Bereans searching their scriptures for?  Proof.  The proof would have been the prophesies of the scriptures.  Proof of the coming of Christ.  Proof of his life, death, and resurrection.  Proof of their need for Jesus Christ.  Paul was a very learned man and knew his scriptures well.  He most likely commended them like any teacher would commend his students for doing due diligence rather than just blindly accepting his word.  And that fits quite nicely into my point about the purpose of the OT – to point us to Christ and reveal who, what, and why he was and is and will be.


Spencer: “There was a comment made about how the passage in Gen 3 had nothing to do with Eve taking authority from Adam. Yet that is beside the point, and something that I never said. The point is, Eve was deceived, as the Bible clearly tells us. Adam was not deceived. The Bible also clearly tells us this. There is a difference there, and to deny this difference between men and women is to close your eyes to scripture.”


So, here it is Spencer.  You’re accusing one person of presuppositions and then doing it yourself.  You’re making the point that a woman gets deceived and a man doesn’t, by the way the story of Adam and Eve was narrated.  Are you really serious?  Are you trying to say that a man is never deceived and that is the difference between a man and a woman?  Really?  So, Adam took the cranberry and chewed on it but he wasn’t deceived?  Adam’s punishment was that he now had to leave the garden, as did Eve, and work very hard, by the sweat of his brow.  Why would he need to be punished?  What sin did he commit?  After all, if he was not deceived but Eve was, what would God need to dole out consequences for?  Is there some probability that Adam sinned by disobeying God?  God said don’t and Adam did.  Who cares if an ant brought him the raisin!!!?  He still ate the pickle!  And so did Eve.  They both took part in this sinful act in their own way.  That proves nothing about the nature of a man or woman’s sin.

That’s like walking into a room and seeing a man and a woman sitting in separate chairs.  The man is slumping and the woman is sitting straight as a pole, then walking out and saying that all women sit straight as a pole, and men are lazy.  Unfortunately for you, the next chair over, some guy was actually sitting straighter than the woman and the woman you saw from the back was actually on her third transvestite surgery to attempt to become a woman after being born a man.  You see…conjecture.  Assumption.  The narrative does NOT prove an underlying definition of all humanity.  


Spencer: “Jesus also tells us in Matthew 24:38 “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,”. Note the phrase “marrying and giving in marriage.” Who did this? It was the fathers. Who started this practice? The Lord himself.”


Wow.  I don’t even know where to start.  How about here…(sorry, I’m jumping up and down yelling here and bumping into my 12 foot ceiling, so you’ll have to forgive my caps.)  THESE PEOPLE WHO WERE MARRYING AND GIVING IN MARRIAGE WERE THE EVILDOERS THAT GOD KILLED IN THE FLOOD!!!!!

Whew!  Ok.  I’ll settle down a bit now. You see, Spencer, your proof texting is getting worse as you move forward.  The fact was, Jesus was making a quick narrative of the time of Noah to describe His second coming.  His narrative was simply this: everyone was going about their own business with no idea what was going to happen next, and then the flood came.  They knew about the flood because Noah told them as we know about the coming of Christ because He told us.  But, we will be going about our business with no idea He is coming and then He’ll just come.  You cannot twist a simple summing up of what the pagans (who God killed in the flood because they didn’t give a crap about God) were doing as proof that a father needs to give away his daughter.  Do you really want to base your theology on what evildoers did, who God killed for being evildoers?

But, we don’t even need to go that far into the passage to disprove this point.  Your proof text was simply “marrying and giving in marriage.”  Your conclusion was that it was the fathers giving in marriage (not to mention the odd conclusion that God ordained this practice…we won’t even go there because this proof text can’t even begin to conclude that).  How do you know this from those words?  Couldn’t it be that male and female were both marrying?  Maybe they were marrying pigs and horses.  It could be that the mothers gave away their sons.  Maybe the brothers gave away their sisters.  Maybe the kids gave their parents in marriage after the fact.  Maybe, maybe, maybe.  You see.  You can’t prove anything from those five words.  But, what you CAN understand is that Jesus didn’t give a rat’s rear end what exactly they were doing but rather that they were just living their lives with no idea the hour the flood would commence.  Read this passage for the true joy it is – the realization that at any moment, our Christ will come back.


Spencer: “He gave Eve to Adam, and Adam himself believed and confessed this: Genesis 3:12 “And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” In essence, it appears quite evident that you have quite an issue with the order God has ordained in creation.”
 

So I pray for a car and God gives it to me.  What does that prove?  What order am I supposed to get from that?  I give my wife a gift that she asks for.  What order does that prove?  My daughter gives me something I requested.  What does that prove as pertaining to the order of things.  I’m not following you here.  But, I think its obvious that that is because you are using the single word “gavest” as your proof text in this case.  It has no meaning whatsoever as to your general point you are trying to make.

Let me make a point from this passage, and I think my point will stand up better than yours.  But, that’s only my opinion.  Test it.  Maybe Adam was just acting like a kid, trying to squiggle out of a bad situation, knowing he had done wrong.  So, what does he try to do here?  Squeal on Eve and then blame it on God!  “After all God, you gave her to me.  If it hadn’t been for that stupid act of meeting my request, we wouldn’t BE in this situation now, would we God?”

Sort of turns the tables on your argument.  I think that, if we wanted to use this verse as a proof text to conjecture the way a man is, in all of history, is that all men are lying snakes and will do anything to weasel out of a poor situation.  Even biting the hand that feeds…er…created them and even disposing with a backhanded slap, the woman of his dreams.  But then, that wouldn’t fit into your worldview about the women having the greater tendency toward sin now, would it?  Please!  Lay off of Eve already.  That narrative is dead.  Adam and Eve were both equally at fault.  God didn’t care how they got to the sinful state.  He cared that they actually were sinful.


Spencer: “If you cannot accept the fact that God has ordained Christ as the head of every man, and man to be the head of the woman as Scripture clearly tells us, you have an issue with the Lord, not with me.”


Now THIS is a softball.  First of all, we’ve dealt with 1 Corinthians 11:3 already so we’ll move on to your phraseology about dealing with the Lord rather than you.  You used the word “clearly” again.  You cannot do that!  It makes it quite clear that you have clearly lost your argument.  And the fact is, you are saying that YOU are right.  Why?  Well, if we have to take up an issue with the Lord that you so “clearly” laid out for us, then you have put your Spencer stamp on it.  Thus, for you to say we need to take it up with the Lord is to say the following:  “I’m done with you knuckleheads on this subject that I am 100% correct on.  Thus, you need to make sure that God brings you to my conclusion as well.”  I’d rather speak to the person that is spouting false truths than try and figure out which god I need to pray to only to discover that that god doesn’t exist. 

Spencer, we are to wrestle for the faith.  So wrestle.  Don’t punt.  And when you are proven wrong, admit it.  I know there are many people in your organization that will look badly upon you if you question things.  The formulas are so easy and yet there are so many of them.  It will get tiring and then where will you go?  Back to the people who tell you that being tired in the Christian life is a sin?  The Christian life is…well…let’s see what Jesus says.  “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Yep.  So refreshing, freeing (read Galatians), and frightening at the same time.  It’s frightening because, when you’ve lived a structured and guilt-ridden life for many years, trying to learn to live with no rules is hard!  I know.  Many people ask me for the rule book on how to live free in Christ.  But, by the very definition of freedom, there is none.


Spencer: “Also, the history and track record of our nation is against what you are saying. The rampant divorce rate in our country today has nothing to do with parents jumping into their children’s lives and trying to control them, but with the exact opposite. Young people following your advice to a T and cultivating rebellion within themselves and running off and doing as they please. I do not deny that there are parents out there who misuse and yea even abuse their authority, but the majority of parents in our culture and nation today are doing the exact opposite and we are seeing the fruits of that today. Your teachings would have been thrown out as nonsense 100 years ago with saved or lost people.”


This is a fine narrative but it does nothing to prove anything.  It merely tells us that you are aware that mankind is inherently sinful.  Nothing more.  You make a few assumptions, but then that is expected because your theology makes assumptions every day.  Your accusation that advice to flee spiritual bondage and evil acts by men and women is akin to “cultivating rebellion within themselves and running off and doing as they please” is very revealing to everyone that you are spouting jargon.


Spencer: “Encouraging young people to throw off their parents and do as they please once they hit 18 is found nowhere in the pages of Scripture.”


There you go again.  It is obvious that you look at leaving ones parents as doing as one pleases. First of all, let me ask, “What is wrong with that?”  I do as I please as a father, husband, man, wicked awesome employee, and wannabe writer.  My wife does as she pleases.  She pleases me and I please her, we please our children, we please others, and we please ourselves.  OOOO!  Bad!  It’s naughty to please ourselves!  Right?  Um…well…if half the Christian life is summed up by Jesus Christ words, “Love others as you love yourself,” then for me to not please myself means that I shouldn’t then please others.  So, in doing all of this pleasing, we please the Lord, don’t you think?

I’ll finish this part by saying that I wouldn’t listen to anyone who tells someone to throw off their parents at 18.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that I am agreeing with you.  I am merely stating that parents are not to be used until adulthood and then tossed away like a spent shell casing.  They are to be honored.  But honor to me looks and feels much different than the formulas you regurgitate.  Honor is not blind obedience until any age of release.  No, we are individuals in Christ.  Equals as adults.  We have no master but Jesus Christ.

Spencer: “You find no one in the Scriptures that ever did such a thing and was blessed by God. We see an example of this in Gen chap 34 where Jacob’s daughter Dinah went out to see the daughters of the land and disaster struck and her brothers were furious. What Scriptural examples do you have to support your case? I have yet to see any scripture in your arguments. You have put forth your own opinions and held them as absolute truth without any scriptural basis for it, and used abuses of the truth to prove your case.”


Wait!  Don’t stop!  Keep going buddy!  As long as we’re using the story of Dinah to prove your case for women staying under their parents authority (which in a weird way, this seems to prove that Dinah needed to stay under her brothers authority) we need to take the whole story literally, as well.  What did her brothers do after Dinah’s lover requested, AND WAS GRANTED, marriage?  Seriously…we COULD stop there.  If it is a father’s job to protect his daughter from evil hanky panky men, why would Jacob agree to a marriage betwixt Dinah and her rapest (which we get from the passages inference)?  After all, Jacob was deceived by his sons motives and went along with the plan only to later realize that his sons were idiots and would bring the wrath of the land upon him.  If this is how fathers are supposed to act in giving away and protecting their daughters, this isn’t exactly choice meat for your arguments.

But, let’s not stop there.  If we are supposed to look at the fact that Dinah’s brothers were pissed that she had gone out into the land and had been raped, as proof that women should stay under the protection of their fathers, then we also need to make allowance for what Simeon and Levi did later.  They deceived the people of the land to be circumcised and when all the men still had a grip on the gauze, doubled over in pain, they killed them all.  Would you stand on that principle?  Seriously, Jacob told them they were morons and what did the blokes say?  “Do you really want men doing that to our sister?”  And the passage ends.

One more thing about this.  Do you think a rapist is not at fault for his heinous act against a woman?  After all, you put the blame of Dinah on her own head, rather than the bloke who raped her.  Her brothers were pissed, according to you, based on her going out from under the protection of her father.  That’s ludicrous.  If that is what you believe, I fear for your daughters, if you have any.  To look at a woman who has been raped and say it was her fault for defrauding the man in his mind and laying none of the blame on the man is filthy.  It’s pure evil.

I’ll tell you what I take away from this story.  A man lived in a land where they didn’t have the high standards of Jacob’s family.  They probably had sex with women more loosely than Jacob’s family did.  So, when he saw Dinah, he naturally took her in and had sex with her.  She must have been very beautiful and loving because the Bible says his soul was smitten with her.  The love story (though much messier than your utopian definition of love stories) almost finished with all parties involved quite happy until a couple of losers messed it up.  Dinah was almost wedded and Jacob almost had some very rich friends with shared wealth.  Pure evil on all sides and yet it could have been a good ending.  Looks to me like this is more a story of mankind being total screw-ups than a definition of how we should treat each other.  Open your mind Spencer.


Spencer: “This is very unsound reasoning. Matt 15:9 and Mark 7:7 do not address or support half of the opinions you have stated here.”


Huh?  Matthew 15:9?  Seriously, what?  Was that a parting shot? Because, if it was, it was the worst proof texting I’ve ever, ever, ever, ever, ever seen.  Jesus was talking to the Pharisees!  He was telling them the same narrative as he always told them.  “You hypocrites.  You think you’re all that in following all my laws, but you worship me in vain.”  You only referenced the very last part and expected us to think that we worship God in vain because the verse said it.  Huh?  Doesn’t make much sense.

Oh.  And proof texting?  It goes for not just the whole passage, the whole chapter, the whole book, but it goes for the whole Bible itself.  The Bible is a message in itself.  If a theology is derived from a smattering of versed pulled from odd places but disagrees with the Bible as a whole, well then, yeah….you get it.  I know you do.

Funny.  I just read Mark 7:7.  Same issue. 

Spencer.  YOU are the Pharisee.  Read your Bible.  Please understand I say this with deep yearning in my heart for you to see the light.  You are so strong in your convictions that I fear for not only your freedom in Christ and the currently unrealized joy and true relationship with God that you can have, but for all those that you have put under your authority.

I will be praying that God reveals His truth to you with such a measure that you cry uncontrollable tears of joy when you think of Him.  

Finally, if you want a good book on the subject, read “A Matter of Basic Principles: Bill Gothard and the Christian Life” by Don and Joy Venoit with Ron Henzel.  ISBN: 0974252808.

Love ya buddy.  Hope to see you on the other side some day.

28 comments:

  1. Wow. Since I'm sure I agree with you, I didn't read the whole thing. :P But the parts I did read were right on.

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  2. Comments from Benjamin:

    Joe, could you post this since your blog apparently doesn't like me and won't let me comment? :)

    I would be interested to hear Spencer explain...

    1Co 15:21-22 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

    Rom 5:12-14 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

    However, we can't ignore the difficulty of this passage, which is a favorite of IFB's...

    1Ti 2:11-14 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

    Here's what they say, "Adam wasn't deceived, Eve was!" Here's my response, "Adam wasn't deceived, Eve was!" Eve took the fruit truly thinking it would help...Adam took it knowing what it was and how worthless and harmful it would be! If anyone was more in the wrong it'd be Adam, not Eve. And Adam is clearly faulted with humanity's bondage in sin...not Eve (though Paul also makes it clear that this does not take away individual responsibility for sin). As a matter of fact, SALVATION comes from Eve, not Adam. Somethings to think about...

    Also, in the O.T. it was the father of the SON that officiated the choice of the bride, relationship, marriage and everything, not the father of the daughter like the practices of hyper-patriarchalism.

    Everything else I would love to say I will defer to the following videos (or audio, should you prefer). I cannot more highly recommend that you take the time to watch these messages...sometime...anytime! Pastor Tullian has taught me so much about the gospel and it will give you much fodder for discussion in the future. If you want you can skip to 23:50 and listen to that story, I truly hope it will convince you that the rest is worth hearing.

    Videos:
    http://theresurgence.com/2011/02/24/tullian-tchividjian-evangelical-missional-christ-centered

    http://theresurgence.com/2011/03/17/tullian-tchividjian-jesus-nothing-everything

    Audio (of the same messages):
    http://theresurgence.com/2011/02/23/tullian-tchividjian-evangelical-missional-christ-centered

    http://theresurgence.com/2011/03/17/tullian-tchividjian-jesus-nothing-everything-audio

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  3. Thanks, Lewis. And thank you for the excellent post to link to from this post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kristen. I received another comment in my email notifications. Did you want that posted? It was an excellent comment.

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  5. IC, you didn't address the issue of "God made them male and female" not meaning they were made equal. I'd like to answer that, if you don't mind.

    Spencer left out the part of the verse immediately preceding his quote: "God created them in His own image." If I have two photographs taken of myself, each of which accurately represents my image, can one of the photographs be inferior in nature?

    But the Genesis account goes even beyond the photograph analogy. Chapter 2 says God took the woman right out of the flesh of the man. If I take a lump of cookie dough and pull part of it off in order to make two cookies instead of one, can one of the cookies be inferior in nature to the other?

    There is no way to read the Genesis accounts in a way that says the female is less than equal in nature and substance to the man. Not if you're being honest with the text.

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  6. IC, I deleted that comment because I wanted to change the wording a bit. Which I did above. Thanks!

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  7. Thank you, Kristen. Great analogies to prove the obvious.

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  8. ...and find out who is right and who is dead. Truly, you have a dizzying intellect. Clearly, princess bride came to mind while reading the guy you are responding to.

    Whew, 15 minutes to get through your text but I think it is spot on. You're refining your beliefs excitingly. Your analysis of "marrying and giving in marriage" was delicious.

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  9. Sounds like your guy has been taken into captivity by right hand dominant theology (aka the type of thinking from the Reformation.) There is no freedom to flow in this type of thinking. Anyway, good response.

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  10. Great, IC! Love your insights. Contrasting the brothers and father in the Dina story was really good.

    And we totally agree on Spencer's "days of Noah" application - my jaw dropped too, when I read that. That must be the epitome of mind-boggling, stupefying, unbelievably bad proof texting!

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  11. I feel for people in the movement that Spencer is in because I myself grew up in a similar environment, but instead of a father taking that control, it was a mother in the father's divorced absence. Honestly, I do wonder if a father-daughter relationship as Spencer espouses could work if all parties were striving for other-person-pleasing holiness.

    Anyway, to the point. How about a perspective on 1 Cor. 11 about the husband being the head of the wife. "But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[or the head of the wife is the husband] and the head of Christ is God."

    I don't think it is too "mind-boggling", particularly if you come to the scriptures with the bias that the father is the boss. But coming to the scriptures with the bias that men and women don't have unique roles is equally dangerous. Let's let the scriptures teach us something, and the Holy Spirit to give us graciousness as we argue with others who differ.

    Lest you think that I am a scholar, I get much of my learning from John Piper. In fact, some sermons he preached in a series on the Biblical Manhood and Womanhood matter are posted here. http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/topic-index/biblical-manhood-womanhood.

    Here is a copy-paste excerpt from one of the messages in the series.

    ON MAN BEING THE HEAD (1 COR 11)
    One other common objection to the pattern of leadership and submission is that the term "head" does not carry the meaning of leadership at all. Instead it means "source," somewhat like we use the word "fountainhead" or the "head of a river" (Bilezikian, pp. 157–162). So to call a husband the head of his wife wouldn't mean that he is to be a leader, but that he is in some sense her "source" or her "fountainhead."

    Now there are long studies to show that this is not a normal meaning for the word "head" in Paul's day. But you'll never read these articles because they are too technical. So let me try to show you something from these verses that everyone can see.

    The husband is pictured as the head of his wife as Christ is pictured as the head of the church, his body (see vv. 29–30). Now if the head means "source," then what is the husband the source of? What does the body get from the head? It gets nourishment (that's mentioned in verse 29). And we can understand that because the mouth is in the head, and nourishment comes through the mouth to the body. But that's not all the body gets from the head. It gets guidance because the eyes are in the head. And it gets alertness and protection because the ears are in the head.

    In other words, if the husband as head is one flesh with his wife, his body, and if he is therefore her source of guidance and food and alertness, then the natural conclusion is that the head, the husband, has a primary responsibility for leadership and provision and protection.

    So even if you give "head" the meaning "source" the most natural interpretation of these verses is that husbands are called by God to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership and protection and provision in the home. And wives are called to honor and affirm the husband's leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.

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  12. A+S=Bliss- Retha said, "the epitome of mind-boggling, stupefying, unbelievably bad proof texting". Mindboggling was not referencing men being the head, it was in regards to Spencer's prooftexting about the actions of the people in Noah's day. There has also been A LOT of scriptures already used in this argument. This discussion has been going for the duration of over 80 comments on 2 blogs. It is wonderful to see brothers and sisters in Christ delving deep into Gods word and have a spirit-filled discussion in which graciousness has already abounded.

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  13. Piper isn't exactly someone I have a lot of confidence in.

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  14. A+S=Bliss, I hope you did not misunderstand my “mind-boggling” comment. That referred to only the “days of Noah”part.

    As for the rest, Piper's comment leave out some important things about the verses, which are against the head-as-leader interpretation:

    They ARE the head, not they should act in a way as to be a head. This is a statement of fact, not of how they should act or how wifes should respond to them.

    “The husband is head as Christ is head of the church” cannot mean he rules as Christ rules. In that case, it would have been be impossible for a man to ask his wife to sin. Also, he would have been unable to ask anything unwise from her.

    “The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man” cannot not mean Christ is the ruler of every man. Unless you claim that Christ rules every male murderer, dictator, rapist and lunatic in the world.

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  15. I think A+S has some good points. Regardless of who espouses the points, they should be taken as the argument in themselves. To say "no confidence in" or "not a fan of" really is pointless in regards to the argument. If Confucius argues that gravity is 9.8m/s^2 we don't say, "I am not a fan of Confucius." We test the argument.

    And, to say one is the head begs the question of how that head is to be. To be is to imply not being. Therefore, to inquire as to how that being is defined is a fine pursuit and would include how one is to behave.

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  16. Unless, of course, the foundation of those arguments are said to be based in the theology of the person I rejected in the dismissal. And, in fact, they were stated as such.

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  17. Seriously. Great post. I don't have anything to add. Just had to say thank you. :)

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  18. Thanks, rachel. Meant a lot to me to write it.

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  19. To say "no confidence in" or "not a fan of" really is pointless in regards to the argument.

    I wasn't arguing. Just saying that when the Piper name comes up, whatever's cooking begins to develop a distinct smell, I lose appetite, lose interest and all the words diminish in value to me. I could say otherwise, but I'd be lying.

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  20. There is a third possibility regarding the meaning of "head" in Ephesians 5, besides

    "leader" or "source," and that is simply "physical head." Thus, the description of the

    husband and wife as head and body is a picture of unity.

    Wayne Grudem researched the usage of the Greek word "kephale" and concluded that "leader"

    was more common than "source." Yet his student, Sarah Sumner, looked at his research and

    observed that "physical head" was *far* more common than either "source" or "leader."

    (Sumner discusses her view in "Men and Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian

    Leadership.")

    I find compelling evidence for a metaphor of unity, not hierarchy, when I try to set aside

    my preconceptions about gender roles, Western-influenced visions of order, and English

    connotations of "headship."

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  21. Sorry for the spacing in my comment above. This will be easier to read:

    There is a third possibility regarding the meaning of "head" in Ephesians 5, besides "leader" or "source," and that is simply "physical head." Thus, the description of the husband and wife as head and body is a picture of unity.

    Wayne Grudem researched the usage of the Greek word "kephale" and concluded that "leader" was more common than "source." Yet his student, Sarah Sumner, looked at his research and observed that "physical head" was *far* more common than either "source" or "leader." (Sumner discusses her view in "Men and Women in the Church: Building Consensus on Christian Leadership.")

    I find compelling evidence for a metaphor of unity, not hierarchy, when I try to set aside my preconceptions about gender roles, Western-influenced visions of order, and English connotations of "headship."

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  22. Grudem's "research" claiming to find places where "kephale" was used to mean "leader" has been debunked as an "eisegetical fabrication" - see the appendix in the second edition of Bilezikian's _Beyond Sex Roles_ for a direct occurence-by-occurence rebuttal of Grudem's claims.

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