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Author Topic: Headship and submission discussion  (Read 1022 times)
a_ahmed
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« on: January 13, 2014, 06:41:58 PM »

MOS, many christians are not practicing but may have a christian upbringing. She far more so falls in this category. After all how Christian is modeling? Does Paul in the bible not say a woman who does not cover her hair should shave her head (should wear a veil instead). Yet how many Chrsitians today wear a veil? In fact Christians attack Muslim women for wearing a veil.

I've posted videos of priests and pastors and even a deacon with a doctorate in divinity who've become Muslim. There are several of those that studied the actual original scriptures and parchments in hebrew, koine greek, aramic translations, etc... and embraced Islam, as well as those that were hardcore evangelicals spewing Jesus is Lord and Islam is of ze devilz and once they learned about Islam embraced Islam. Smiley

I stopped posting in this thread but just posted that video because of that silly dude and his 'whites are not muslims' or whatever non-sense he was spewing. Being Muslim is not being Arab, it's being Muslim. Arabs are a minority as Muslims today. Malays, Desis are in the majority and in fact, whites are the ones sweeping the globe with conversion to Islam across Europe and North America myself included. A lot of African Americans are embracing Islam and Latinos are increasingly embracing Islam in ever increasingly large numbers.
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2014, 01:31:37 PM »

Paul uses a cultural example of head coverings as a platform to discuss the theological concepts of male and female headship while maintaining the distinction of the sexes.  

The theological intent of this passage of scripture takes precedence over the cultural norms in place at that time.   One of Paul’s points is also driving home the notion of keeping distinctions between the sexes…..maintaining the purity and equality of the sexes while clearly establishing the divine roles of the sexes as they relate to leadership.  

Too often today lines are blurred between men and women and genders adopt sexual characteristics of one another.  Paul uses this illustration to drive home the overarching theology that stands opposed to this.  Long hair (hidden with headcoverings - a cultural practice only) were representative of females while beards and moustaches were representative of men, but neither hair nor coverings are required to serve God.  They were merely cultural norms during Paul’s era that clearly indicate the differences between the sexes.  It's these sexual lines of distinction that were not supposed to be crossed that is divinely mandated.

Within scripture two categories of sin are driven home again and again….. sins of idolatry and sexual immorality.   Just as the early Israelites were called by God to be holy or “set apart” from the pagan nations around them they adhered to law and practices that made that distinction more evident.   Folks often say, “why is it a sin to eat lobster?”   It’s not that the lobster is bad, but the Israelites were set apart and did not blur the lines in all aspects of their lives.   They ate fish because fish were animals meant only for water and  did not have mixed physical characteristics like shellfish/lobsters do.  Lobsters can survive in and out of water and have a mix of features designed for land and water so they were temporarily deemed “unclean” for purposes of maintaining the idea of distinction while the nation of Israel developed.  Man then began to include other cultural concepts that indicated distinctiveness such as cultural practices for hair and head coverings, but as Paul mentions in these passages of scripture we are to “judge for ourselves” the appropriateness of these customs.   Regardless, we are to maintain the overarching theology and divine standards of God.    

The theology in these passages is about the headship of men and woman.  Men are called to lead the church and their homes.   Men are to submit to God.  Women are to submit to men as the Son submitted to the Father; yet, the notion of equality is never brought into play.   Submission does not necessitate inequality…..we introduce that notion ourselves.   Men are equal to women and women are equal to men just as Son is equal to the Father yet submits to him out of specific purpose.  

For what it's worth.


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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2014, 03:06:32 PM »

MoS,

One of the issues I have with Christianity (and especially the varieties common to the Bible Belt) is this notion that men are somehow the leaders and women ought to be submissive to their men. Nowadays, it's common to try to play this off a "separate-but-equal" kind of deal, but it's a hard sell. You demonstrate that pretty well when you write "women are to submit to men" and "submission doesn't necessitate inequality."

I find this sort of attitude to be, at best, sexist. Why should one person in a relationship be required "submit" to the other in any capacity? Why should a man feel threatened by an independent woman who is, every bit, his equal? And if he has such a woman as his mate, why should he then require her to "submit" to him? What would submission even mean?

You struggle to reconcile things which are polar opposites - equality and submission. And that struggle shows in the analogies you use, whether you use a lobster or Jesus as a proxy.
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2014, 11:06:33 PM »

Fact is all religious women wore veils. It goes back before even Judaism, Zoroastrians who carried the message of monotheism prior to the Jews also have their men and women covering their heads to this very day. Just go google "zoroastrian women" and see for yourself. You may not beleive it but go look it up their women wear veils. Zoroastrians are the ones we refer to in Islam as fire worshipers as that was one of the ways they corrupted their worship of God by introducing fire as an intermediary.

Judaism of course we know the same thing. Many orthodox Jewish women wear veils today. It's just been corrupted like with Christians lessened and loosened. Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him) she wore a veil and *drum roll* she followed the law of Moses just as Jesus did (peace be upon them all).

Christianity same thing actually, up until the last century for that matter, women were mandated before the reformation of the church to all wear veil if they enter for mass amongst Catholics for example.

Stop trying to reinterpret the meaning of it because YOU don't follow it. The fact in the matter is he basically cursed women who don't cover their head by telling them it is better than being despicable to shave their hair which is just as despicable.

You can move my post into a new thread where we may further discuss this, it's unrelated to this thread.

If there is anything related to this thread it would be that those that leave Christianity and embrace Islam don't like this hypocrisy of picking and choosing rules and laws. This bothered me very much. If something is from God it is eternally valid, you don't pick and chose or change it. Hence me running away from the church's man made rules. Christianity tries to appease the masses by letting them go and follow their desires so anything goes you are already 'saved', so.. the church will change anything just to retain followers, not exactly maintaining the truth of God is it?

Since I personally have both a Catholic and Orthodox Christian family background, the 'old women' were pretty much the only ones who would wear veils, when there were funerals women would wear veils, but mostly older women again, we were always even told as children it's the 'older women' only who wear it 'old hags', as it were.

No need to twist the story. Nuns also wear the veil, but in recent times even nuns are changing their cloths and getting more and more exposed with some having no veils.

Mary the mother of Jesus (peace be upon them both) wore the veil. Many examples of women in the bible who covered and did so to avoid being exposed to strange men, etc...
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2014, 11:09:54 PM »

http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/1-Corinthians-11-6/

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« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2014, 12:08:55 PM »

MoS,

One of the issues I have with Christianity (and especially the varieties common to the Bible Belt) is this notion that men are somehow the leaders and women ought to be submissive to their men. Nowadays, it's common to try to play this off a "separate-but-equal" kind of deal, but it's a hard sell. You demonstrate that pretty well when you write "women are to submit to men" and "submission doesn't necessitate inequality."

I find this sort of attitude to be, at best, sexist. Why should one person in a relationship be required "submit" to the other in any capacity? Why should a man feel threatened by an independent woman who is, every bit, his equal? And if he has such a woman as his mate, why should he then require her to "submit" to him? What would submission even mean?

You struggle to reconcile things which are polar opposites - equality and submission. And that struggle shows in the analogies you use, whether you use a lobster or Jesus as a proxy.


I understand what you’re saying….I truly do.  

I think it’s a hard sell if you don’t allow Christ to be Christ in the situation though.   If you disregard his authority and his purpose in the matter then the perception is often skewed as something sexist.  The concept of biblical submission shouldn’t be associated with cartoon ideas of cavemen, Vikings, warring medieval men or even Scotch-swilling tycoons of industry in the 1950s  asserting their “maleness” over women.  Those ideas have no bearing whatsoever on biblical submission.   The focus of submission should always be on the person of Jesus Christ.  

When my wife and I were married 15 years ago she wanted the reverend that married us to strike the “submission line” from the vows….and he did (begrudgingly, but he did).   At that point in time neither of us understood what submission was about.    All she knew is that she wanted to be married, “man and woman joined together”, “united as one for a single cause”, “one grand united front”!    Me, I wanted to get laid LOL......and I did.  Cool

Well, we were married, submission was removed from the vows and we were then husband and wife……2 had become 1.   Yet, no wife should ever have to submit to their husband…..that’s pure sexism!!  We’re too be equals in this partnership.  We make decisions together, we counsel one another, we start a family together, we develop our careers together, we stand before God together as one!!  

So, how does submission fit logically into that notion of 2 becoming 1 and both partners remaining equal.   Can’t be equal if one submits to the other, right?   So, why submit?  

Because God calls us to do so and his life on earth gave us the example.    

Heck, I give credit to my Muslim brothers and sisters because they understand the concept of submission very thoroughly.  Islam literally means to “submit” or “to surrender”.  

But what of submission in Christianity?   What does it entail?   Foremost, it involves humility and surrender.  As believers in Christ we are to submit to the very will of God.   As a body of believers were are also called to submit to one another and be willing to be held accountable by one another as it pertains to God’s purposes for us.  

As believers we are also called to submit to the rule of governing authorities.   Now this circumstance doesn’t always bode well unfortunately, but the idea is that governing bodies should derive their foundations on Christ and enforce their authority based upon those commonly-held Christian tenets.  Again, this is doesn’t always occur LOL, but the idea is understood nonetheless.

Our ultimate authority is found in God and God alone.  It was by his very example of submission that we find our firm foundation.   As I noted before, the Son of God in Jesus Christ is a coequal, coeternal person in the Trinity of God who submits to the Father out of divine purpose and as an example……..an example for us.  

At one point the Pharisees of the Sanhedrin approached Jesus and asked if it was right that they pay taxes.   Christ asked them to give him a roman coin and asked them whose image was stamped on the coin.  To which the Pharisees replied that it was Caesar’s image on the coin.  Christ then told them to give Caesar what belongs to Caesar and give to God what belongs to God.  In that statement he confirmed it was right to submit to the governing authority and pay out taxes as the very currency itself bears the image of Caesar.

But what then belongs to God?   What bears the image of God?   You and I do.  

Ultimately we are to submit to God as the Son submits to the Father and as the incarnate Son submitted humbly to others while here on earth.  

God works with a great deal of symbolism in his creation and purposes.   Man and woman are joined and become one, but leadership responsibility is given to the husband.   This is does not mean that the man deserves worship.  This does not mean that man is of greater importance than woman.  This does not mean that the man and woman are not equals.  This does not mean that men are inherently better than women.   God simply gave the responsibility of leadership in the church and home to men.   Men and women and husbands and wives are coequal creations under God and are meant to work together, counsel one another, sustain one another, hold each other accountable, but foremost they are to abide by the will of God in their decision making.   If a decision cannot be easily reached by partners in a home or within a body of believers, then the final decision rests with the husband in the home or the leader in the church.  It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly or to be exploited for personal gain either.   Let us not forget the tremendous responsibility God bestowed upon women in the form of child bearing, but I’ve never heard a man say it’s unfair that they can’t bear children like a woman LOL.  

Leadership decisions made within the home and church are to be based on the will and purposes of the one we claim as Lord, God and Savior.   If men/husbands make decisions that stand opposed to God’s law/will, then women/wives are to hold that leader accountable and work to correct them.  

If God had put woman in the leadership role I would have no problem with that either.  

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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 09:25:17 AM »

Also wanted to note the biblical roles of men and women in the home.   Men are the leaders of the home and church (primarily spiritual leaders), but women are the leads of the family (primary nurturers and caregivers).   Still, men can nurture and provide care just like women and women can provide spiritual guidance for men, women and children just like.  Men are also meant to be prepared to give their lives in service of women; likewise, women are exalted in scripture as blessings for men, family and church.

There's also no biblical law that says a women can't work or run a business outside of the home either.  Was common for men and women to work outside of the home.  

Again, decisions in the home were meant to be made together by husbands and wives, but if decisions can't be easily reached together for one reason or another then the it's the man's responsibility to make the final decision (in accordance with God's will) and the woman's role is to submit to the final authority given to man by God (and in doing so honors the very will of God).  Women were created as helpers for men, but that doesn't make their existence unequal or low class.....men and women are simply differently purposed.  Christ himself submitted to the Father (in purpose), to governing authorities and to those believers he fellowshipped with....he set the example of submission that both men and women were to follow.

The apostle Paul is often labeled as a chauvinist because he very directly affirms the roles of the sexes and the idea of submission in scripture.  He doesn't candycoat anything and spells out the roles in a very plain manner, but despite that direct style of presentation being offputting to some doesn't make Paul a chauvinist or the concepts he outlines sexist or in support of inequality.   Paul also clearly and repeatedly describes the equality of all in faithful, loving service to the will of God.
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« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 11:31:08 PM »

I have no idea what any of this had with any of what I mentioned initially. I'm not disagreeing with much of what you said per say, but it is unrelated to my response to your initial response.

My initial response had to do with the fact that you criticized that convert woman for not being 'truly christian' and i said well she was raised a christian but cultural at best, then stated the irony of the above how most Christians today are not practicing anything at all and just following their desires. The church itself changing itself to 'fit the times' so they attract more followers.

The irony is many christians don't practice anything but state they whole heartedly let the 'holy spirit in their heart' but at the end of the day follow whatever they want in their desires, there is no God's law anyone follows. Most christians comit adultery and fornication too but will say they have been saved. Various other such examples. So really an irony at the end to judge someone being christian or not being christian, ultimately your disagrement being hey they never were truly christian because now they are muslim.

I cited other examples of those that were hardcore missionary evangelists, priests, pastors and even that deacon and various others who studies seminaries, touched and smelled the original scriptures in koine greek, hebrew, and aramic translations, etc... etc... they preached the trinity, they preached christianity, they believed in all this but then changed once they learned the truth.

All I mentioned was how ironic it is that then Christians slander and attack Muslim women who wear the veil when Paul said a woman should shave her head if she choses not to wear a veil.

I cited various examples but anyways.
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2014, 07:52:20 AM »

It’s real simple, this girl doesn’t know what she is LOL.  

At the beginning of the clip she attended a Christian church as a kid and later she “lost her religion”.  She claimed Christianity like so many others do, but admits at 2:04 that she wasn’t a Christian.  

At the end of the clip she’s now a Muslim, but she says she has to remind herself each day that she’s now a Muslim and hopes that feeling goes away someday.

Again, this kid doesn’t know what she is.  It’s quite regrettable actually.  Product of a broken home, obvious self-esteem issues, Mother doesn’t seem to care much about her anymore……she’s really just looking to find her place in this world.  

Regarding your other comments about Christians, respectfully, I don’t really care to address them further because I’ve done so repeatedly in the past in many different threads so I’ll just let that post history stand.  If there was a question posed I'd be more inclined to respond.  I will say that I have no issue with Muslim women wearing whatever cultural attire they prefer and I also addressed the Paul and headcoverings issue as well.
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« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 09:06:45 AM »

Actually she knows what she is she is muslim and no longer christian.

And you haven't really address the veil issue at all, you went off topic talking about women submitting to men which in Islam actually the veil does not represent. The veil is a covering that women wear because of God not because of men.

And the verses are quite clear and as is the historical facts regarding the veil, it is only in recent history that christians have adopted pop culture rather than religious tradition as far as modesty and dress.

Paul was quite clear on his take on the veil, wear it or shave your head. Islam doesnt tell women to shave their head but that's besides the point.

The whole point of this was just to respond to your but she is not really christian. Which I agree she no loner is and firstly she was just raised around christianity hence cultural at best that I agree.

At least myself or some of the other examples from this thread who were not only raised or educated in christianity but much more indwelved in christianity (like the deacon guy) were practicing christians.

The point however is, you don't have a real basis as to what a christian is, because everyone makes their own christianity. You have a problem with the veil being pointed out from the bible for instance so you try to reinterpret it or change it because it doesn't suit your personal beliefs for instance when historically it's well known this very much so was a part of christianity and growing up I've seen it myself both in my catholic side and my orthodox side.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 01:09:54 PM »

Actually she knows what she is she is muslim and no longer christian.

And you haven't really address the veil issue at all, you went off topic talking about women submitting to men which in Islam actually the veil does not represent. The veil is a covering that women wear because of God not because of men.

And the verses are quite clear and as is the historical facts regarding the veil, it is only in recent history that christians have adopted pop culture rather than religious tradition as far as modesty and dress.

Paul was quite clear on his take on the veil, wear it or shave your head. Islam doesnt tell women to shave their head but that's besides the point.

The whole point of this was just to respond to your but she is not really christian. Which I agree she no loner is and firstly she was just raised around christianity hence cultural at best that I agree.

At least myself or some of the other examples from this thread who were not only raised or educated in christianity but much more indwelved in christianity (like the deacon guy) were practicing christians.

The point however is, you don't have a real basis as to what a christian is, because everyone makes their own christianity. You have a problem with the veil being pointed out from the bible for instance so you try to reinterpret it or change it because it doesn't suit your personal beliefs for instance when historically it's well known this very much so was a part of christianity and growing up I've seen it myself both in my catholic side and my orthodox side.

That’s not a problem.  If you want me to dig in further then so be it.  I address this is today because I know you've mentioned it several times in the past and again today.

First, and with respect, your opinion on the background of this young girl that has reverted to Islam is simply incorrect.  Your error and my defense are found in her own words and her words only…..I don’t have to add a thing to it.  

Second, and with respect, your understanding of 1 Corinthians 11 is incorrect because it ignores both Corinthian history and customs, and it places man-made customs ahead of the inspired doctrine of headship and submission.  

Paul uses a local custom in Corinth (that of head coverings for women) to drive home the idea of headship and submission.  The point of the passage is not about the antiquated customs of Corinth, but about the everlasting commands of headship and submission put in place by God.  

That said, why was the man-made custom of head coverings for women important to the church of Corinth?  

It was meant as a symbol of submission to the headship of their husbands.  A woman’s hair was also a vital part of the distinctiveness of her gender in Corinth.  Long hair was considered a “natural covering” for unwed women while material coverings were placed on the hair of married women to indicate her married status and her submission to her husband and God during times of worship.   Were the coverings mandated by divine law?  No they were not.

So why was a woman’s hair important to them?  Because prostitutes in pagan cultures had their heads both shaved and uncovered and this clearly distinguished them from other women.  Again, maintaining long hair and using the custom of coverings was a sign of respect for their husbands and God, but it was a custom not a divine law.   Yes, the Jews practiced it and Muslims today practice similar customs, but it was a custom only.

Those that use this bit of scripture to discredit Christians today often leave out the final verses of this passage which I will include here:

1 Corinthians 11:13-16

13 Judge for yourselves. Is it right for a woman to pray to God in public without covering her head? 14 Isn’t it obvious that it’s disgraceful for a man to have long hair? 15 And isn’t long hair a woman’s pride and joy? For it has been given to her as a covering. 16 But if anyone wants to argue about this, I simply say that we have no other custom than this, and neither do God’s other churches
.

In these concluding verse Paul himself makes two important remarks: one, “judge for yourselves” and “we have no other custom than this and neither do God’s other churches”.    When God lays down the law there is no room allowed for us to “judge for ourselves”. Man-made customs are just customs that are open to interpretation, but God’s commands are God’s commands...that simple.

Let us also not forget Paul's words to the church as Colossae:

Colossians 2:13-23

13 You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. 15 In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

16 So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. 17 For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality. 18 Don’t let anyone condemn you by insisting on pious self-denial or the worship of angels, saying they have had visions about these things. Their sinful minds have made them proud, 19 and they are not connected to Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.

20 You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires
.

Many churches invent customs that are adopted and practiced by everyone in the church in order to create a sense of unity and purpose for that body of believers….these customs act as symbols for what they believe.   Length of hair and head coverings in worship were customary practices and symbols of submission, but ultimate submission is found in the desire of the believer not in the person’s hair or a piece of cloth.

That said, what about other symbols of unity between men and women employed by the church today.  Let’s take a look at wedding rings!!   Wedding rings were introduced in marriage ceremonies in Christian churches at about the same time Islam was established……hundreds and hundreds of years after Christ ascended.   Today it is customary for married couples to wear rings as a sign of their unity and devotion to their spouses, but it isn’t a divine requirement of God.  It is merely a man-made custom utilized in marriage today as were head coverings a man-made custom of worship in the era of Corinth.  Although, if a married man or woman is seen not wearing their wedding ring they are often called out on it.

Jesus Christ himself condemned the Pharisess for putting their man- made customs ahead of his commands:

Matthew 15:1-16
1 Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, 2 “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.”

3 Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? 4 For instance, God says, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of father or mother must be put to death.’ 5 But you say it is all right for people to say to their parents, ‘Sorry, I can’t help you. For I have vowed to give to God what I would have given to you.’ 6 In this way, you say they don’t need to honor their parents.  And so you cancel the word of God for the sake of your own tradition. 7 You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you, for he wrote,

8 ‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.

9 Their worship is a farce,
    for they teach man-made ideas as commands from God.’”

10 Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “Listen,” he said, “and try to understand. 11 It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth.”

12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?”

13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch.”

15 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Explain to us the parable that says people aren’t defiled by what they eat.”

16 “Don’t you understand yet?” Jesus asked. 17 “Anything you eat passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer. 18 But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. 19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. 20 These are what defile you. Eating with unwashed hands will never defile you.”


So be able to distinguish between historical customs created by man and commands of God.  Never put customs of man before commands of God and if customs are put in place judge them accordingly and determine how important they truly are or not.  As believers in Christ our focus is abiding by his will and purpose for our lives and not our own desires and customs.  

If you need more explanation or another perspective feel free to seek one out.  There are dissenting opinions, but they aren’t held by the majority of theological scholarship.

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« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2014, 03:29:30 AM »

Man of Steel,

I had originally written a quite long response to your post, but it occurs to me that it's a bit pointless because there's a fundamental issue with that you wrote that must be addressed first - and until it is we cannot continue discussing this topic.

And that issue is that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. Or, to put it another way, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. With one you say "women were created as helpers for men" and must submit to the leadership of men, and with the other you note that: "this does not mean that the man and woman are not equals."

Unless the definition of "equal" has changed since I last looked the two positions you claim to hold are contradictory. Sorry, but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

I'll also make a few comments about specific points that caught my eye:

[...] leadership responsibility is given to the husband.

What does "leadership" mean in this context? Why would God care to give "leadership responsibility" to someone by virtue of their genitals as opposed to allowing those who are best qualified to emerge as leaders? Or are we to believe that women lack the ability to be leaders?


God simply gave the responsibility of leadership in the church and home to men.

I could ask you why God would do such a thing, instead of saying "let the best among you become leaders in your Church" but something tells me it'd be pointless.


This does not mean that man is of greater importance than woman.
It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly or to be exploited for personal gain either.   Let us not forget the tremendous responsibility God bestowed upon women in the form of child bearing, but I’ve never heard a man say it’s unfair that they can’t bear children like a woman LOL.[/quote]

Huh? What's that supposed to mean? Are you seriously suggesting that the belief that men are uniquely suited for leadership is akin to the biological fact that men lack wombs? What point, if any, are you driving at?
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2014, 10:21:57 AM »

Oh the irony of Paul talking about man-made beliefs as if they came from God lol.

So you pick and chose what you want, seems like you took his principles to heart even when it comes to not following what Paul preached such as the veil.
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2014, 10:30:32 AM »

Man of Steel,

I had originally written a quite long response to your post, but it occurs to me that it's a bit pointless because there's a fundamental issue with that you wrote that must be addressed first - and until it is we cannot continue discussing this topic.

And that issue is that you are trying to have your cake and eat it too. Or, to put it another way, you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. With one you say "women were created as helpers for men" and must submit to the leadership of men, and with the other you note that: "this does not mean that the man and woman are not equals."

Unless the definition of "equal" has changed since I last looked the two positions you claim to hold are contradictory. Sorry, but you can't have your cake and eat it too.

I'll also make a few comments about specific points that caught my eye:

What does "leadership" mean in this context? Why would God care to give "leadership responsibility" to someone by virtue of their genitals as opposed to allowing those who are best qualified to emerge as leaders? Or are we to believe that women lack the ability to be leaders?


I could ask you why God would do such a thing, instead of saying "let the best among you become leaders in your Church" but something tells me it'd be pointless.

It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly or to be exploited for personal gain either.   Let us not forget the tremendous responsibility God bestowed upon women in the form of child bearing, but I’ve never heard a man say it’s unfair that they can’t bear children like a woman LOL.

Huh? What's that supposed to mean? Are you seriously suggesting that the belief that men are uniquely suited for leadership is akin to the biological fact that men lack wombs? What point, if any, are you driving at?

I wish I had some cake!  Cheesy

You’ll have to explain to me why genders that are differently purposed can’t remain equal in nature?  

Difference in function or responsibility does not indicate inferiority or inequality of nature.  

As I’ve noted the concept of submission and headship is found in the very nature of God.  There is only one God who essence is expressed in three coequal, coeternal persons of Father, Son and Spirit.  All differently purposed, yet all equal and all one God.   The Son submits to the Father out of purpose and as an example for us, but that submission does not indicate inferiority.  

In finite terms, at my work I report to three different women.  These women are in roles of leadership and I submit to their authority.  Their role as leaders was given to them by our primary leader yet as individuals we’re still equal in nature regardless of whether or not I submit to their authority.  

God placed men in a leadership role in the home and in the church.   God placed women in supporting roles.   Men and women are still meant to collaborate together and work towards decisions together as it aligns with God’s will and purposes.   If decisions can’t be easily reached via collaborative efforts and a decision still needs to be reached then men are put in place to make the final call in accordance with God’s will and purposes.   If men’s final decision violates God’s will then he’s to be held accountable by the women, other men or a body of believers.  Within that entire hierarchy and collaboration the responsibilities of the genders are defined, but their individual natures are still equal regardless of function.

God created man first and then created women from man, but all of mankind is born through women via the unity of both sexes.  Be it a spiritual or biological function, God differently purposed the genders.  That's my only purpose in noting the significance of child-bearing responsibilities bestowed upon women and not men.  As I also mentioned, women are also divinely-purposed to function as lead nurturers and caregivers, but again men can still collaborate with women in those functions as well while remaining equal in nature.  

The book of Proverbs contains glowing scripture about women.   Paul's letters also details the equality of people and responsibility of men to give in loving service of their wives.  Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and this entails husbands giving their lives for their wives are Jesus Christ gave up his life for his church.  

The intrinsic value of human beings bestowed upon them by God is not violated because of differences in gender or function.   The inclusion of inequality is introduced by the world, not God.
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 02:52:33 AM »

I wish I had some cake!  Cheesy

You’ll have to explain to me why genders that are differently purposed can’t remain equal in nature?  

Difference in function or responsibility does not indicate inferiority or inequality of nature.

That's certainly true - women have a womb and can give birth whereas men cannot. Of course that is a biological difference between genders. There is no organ that men have but women don't which makes them uniquely suited to leadership. Because leadership isn't something biological.

So yes, gender differences don't affect equality - men qua humans and women qua humans can be different but equal. But arbitrary limitations or restrictions imposed on people based on gender ate prima facie evidence of unequal treatment.


As I’ve noted the concept of submission and headship is found in the very nature of God.  There is only one God who essence is expressed in three coequal, coeternal persons of Father, Son and Spirit.  All differently purposed, yet all equal and all one God.   The Son submits to the Father out of purpose and as an example for us, but that submission does not indicate inferiority.

Unfortunately, that example isn't helpful: the triune nature of the Christian deity is a concept utterly alien to us so using it as a reference is not helpful. You may as well try to reference how a moth feels when it sees a flame to explain sexual attraction: it's a meaningless analogy.


In finite terms, at my work I report to three different women.  These women are in roles of leadership and I submit to their authority.  Their role as leaders was given to them by our primary leader yet as individuals we’re still equal in nature regardless of whether or not I submit to their authority.

Right, so you agree that women have leadership qualities and can be competent and effective leaders. Yet you expect a wife to submit to her husband when there is a difference of opinion?


God placed men in a leadership role in the home and in the church.   God placed women in supporting roles.   Men and women are still meant to collaborate together and work towards decisions together as it aligns with God’s will and purposes.   If decisions can’t be easily reached via collaborative efforts and a decision still needs to be reached then men are put in place to make the final call in accordance with God’s will and purposes.   If men’s final decision violates God’s will then he’s to be held accountable by the women, other men or a body of believers.  Within that entire hierarchy and collaboration the responsibilities of the genders are defined, but their individual natures are still equal regardless of function.

God created man first and then created women from man, but all of mankind is born through women via the unity of both sexes.  Be it a spiritual or biological function, God differently purposed the genders.  That's my only purpose in noting the significance of child-bearing responsibilities bestowed upon women and not men.  As I also mentioned, women are also divinely-purposed to function as lead nurturers and caregivers, but again men can still collaborate with women in those functions as well while remaining equal in nature.  

The book of Proverbs contains glowing scripture about women.   Paul's letters also details the equality of people and responsibility of men to give in loving service of their wives.  Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and this entails husbands giving their lives for their wives are Jesus Christ gave up his life for his church.

I've already answered this bit in my previous post. Please refer to that.


The intrinsic value of human beings bestowed upon them by God is not violated because of differences in gender or function.   The inclusion of inequality is introduced by the world, not God.

Well... I'm not sure what your (or God's) definition of equality entails but when it boils down to "You get to make decisions because penis! And you get to obey because... well... not penis." you will forgive if I remain skeptical.
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2014, 08:27:31 AM »

That's certainly true - women have a womb and can give birth whereas men cannot. Of course that is a biological difference between genders. There is no organ that men have but women don't which makes them uniquely suited to leadership. Because leadership isn't something biological.

So yes, gender differences don't affect equality - men qua humans and women qua humans can be different but equal. But arbitrary limitations or restrictions imposed on people based on gender ate prima facie evidence of unequal treatment.


Unfortunately, that example isn't helpful: the triune nature of the Christian deity is a concept utterly alien to us so using it as a reference is not helpful. You may as well try to reference how a moth feels when it sees a flame to explain sexual attraction: it's a meaningless analogy.


Right, so you agree that women have leadership qualities and can be competent and effective leaders. Yet you expect a wife to submit to her husband when there is a difference of opinion?


I've already answered this bit in my previous post. Please refer to that.


Well... I'm not sure what your (or God's) definition of equality entails but when it boils down to "You get to make decisions because penis! And you get to obey because... well... not penis." you will forgive if I remain skeptical.

Respectfully, we've now reached an unfortunate impasse, but I appreciate the discussion nonetheless.   This happens from time to time.  I'll always be willing to share my faith and as always I pray God blesses you and yours.   I honestly can't see anyway that I (personally) can effectively move the conversation forward without simply restating everything I've already said.  I'd merely be rearranging my words yet saying the same things again and again.  Of course I can include scripture, but I don't see that as being helpful now....just an unfortunate impasse. 

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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 12:24:59 PM »

Oh the irony of Paul talking about man-made beliefs as if they came from God lol.

So you pick and chose what you want, seems like you took his principles to heart even when it comes to not following what Paul preached such as the veil.

But see, that's the point of the discussion.   Paul discusses divinely-inspired concepts of headship and submission and uses a man-made custom of veil coverings to help illustrate his point.   At the end of the passage he concludes his take on this particular custom by saying "judge for yourselves" and "we have no other custom than this".  Certainly the law of God is not to be violated (unfortunately we all still do), but customs may be appropriate in one setting and not in another so keeping them, modifying them or eliminating them does not offend God.  

There were customs in my grandparents churches that I experienced as a young child that are no longer practiced now that I'm an adult (ex: customs of dress, customs of music, customs of being seated in the church/chapel, etc....).  Now, nothing harmful about these customs, but nothing necessary either.....my grandparents followed them, for a time my parents followed them and because of my folks I followed them.  A body of believers can practice certain conventions at one point and newer generations either uphold, modify or eliminate them down the road, but God's commands stand firm regardless of generational changes or preferences.

Now, I understand Paul's ministry and what is outlined in scripture is often called into question.   I get the "liar Paul" mentality that some push.  The main examples given are the "conflicting stories on the road to Damascus".   We can discuss how these passages are reconciled down to the Greek if need be.  Paul is called into question because of conflicting records concerning the length of his ministry in Ephesus.  That can be easily answered as well.   Did Paul violate the commands of the spirit concerning the dangers of entering Jerusalem?   Did Paul discredits himself for disagreeing with Peter about Gentile circumsion?  Does Paul stand opposed to Jesus?  These issues and more can be answered and reconciled.  I'm happy to discuss if you'd like to.  I don't have every single objection outlined LOL, but I'm happy to go through what I can answer and seek out anything I don't.    
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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2014, 01:32:51 AM »

Respectfully, we've now reached an unfortunate impasse, but I appreciate the discussion nonetheless.   This happens from time to time.  I'll always be willing to share my faith and as always I pray God blesses you and yours.   I honestly can't see anyway that I (personally) can effectively move the conversation forward without simply restating everything I've already said.  I'd merely be rearranging my words yet saying the same things again and again.  Of course I can include scripture, but I don't see that as being helpful now....just an unfortunate impasse.

Sometimes it happens, it's fine.

I still do find it to be an interesting discussion though. The notion that God has put men in a position of authority over women has always baffled me. I don't understand why gender would make a difference when it comes to leadership, especially within the context of a relationship of equals. To me, it's obvious that this is largely the result of attitudes that were prevalent at ancient times, and were codified within a religious structure as a way of exercising control.

You say that this structure is what God set up, and that's fine but at the same time, that doesn't answer the question. When someone asks "why?" the answer "God" doesn't really answer much; it adds a layer of abstraction but provides no answers. The answer "God" doesn't explain why is the sky blue even if it's presented as an answer to the question. Similarly, the answer "God" doesn't explain why women should submit to men even if it's presented as an answer to the question.

This isn't meant in a disrespectful way. You are an intelligent person. You can see that the "God" isn't an answer to this type of question. Citing the Bible in support of the position or in an attempt to explain the 'why' further is acceptable, but I am likely to probe more deeply and I think that we will reach a point at which you won't have an answer other than to say "well, that's what God did." And unfortunately, I don't find that answer to be satisfactory.
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 10:40:22 AM »

Sometimes it happens, it's fine.

I still do find it to be an interesting discussion though. The notion that God has put men in a position of authority over women has always baffled me. I don't understand why gender would make a difference when it comes to leadership, especially within the context of a relationship of equals. To me, it's obvious that this is largely the result of attitudes that were prevalent at ancient times, and were codified within a religious structure as a way of exercising control.

You say that this structure is what God set up, and that's fine but at the same time, that doesn't answer the question. When someone asks "why?" the answer "God" doesn't really answer much; it adds a layer of abstraction but provides no answers. The answer "God" doesn't explain why is the sky blue even if it's presented as an answer to the question. Similarly, the answer "God" doesn't explain why women should submit to men even if it's presented as an answer to the question.

This isn't meant in a disrespectful way. You are an intelligent person. You can see that the "God" isn't an answer to this type of question. Citing the Bible in support of the position or in an attempt to explain the 'why' further is acceptable, but I am likely to probe more deeply and I think that we will reach a point at which you won't have an answer other than to say "well, that's what God did." And unfortunately, I don't find that answer to be satisfactory.

It's cool LOL!  If you ask a question and even disagree with an answer given or find the answer insufficient I don't consider that disrespectful at all.....it's honest.  

God created man first from the dust of the earth, fashioned man in his image and gave man dominion over his created earth.  God then created woman from man and established woman for man as his companion and helper.  In short, God established the leadership hierarchy in the created order of human beings.  

Will this answer be deemed sufficient LOL?  No, but stick with me.

Man's leadership role is a role of great responsibility in the home and church....not to be taken lightly or abused for personal gain.  Man stands as the representative for his home and church and is aligned with God's will and purposes.  It's not that woman doesn't also represent her home and church, but if a home or church is asked for a representative God has given men the responsibility to step forward.        

When man and woman are married they are united as one and work together, but ultimately tough final decisions that can't be reached collaboratively are left for man to determine as the leader.....he pulls the trigger.

We can also consider that it was woman that was first deceived and sinned and then convinced man to sin yet sin didn't enter the world through woman it entered the world through man when he sinned.  

In the end I can't tell you why God choose to create man before woman (when all mankind has since been born of woman), but as I stated in previous posts God works with a great deal of symbolism in his word, his creation and the establishment of his church.  

What makes man better suited to lead than woman?  Shouldn’t the most qualified lead regardless of created order or gender?

My brutally honest answer…..I can’t fully answer this.  

Although, because of what God has revealed in my life and because I understand his love and grace and faithfulness and goodness and mercy I have to believe that the roles he placed the genders in are the correct roles.  Consider my opinion, but don't take my word for it.   I ask others to be proactive and seek God for themselves....ask God to reveal himself to them so that they can begin to understand my perspective on their own.  

I also believe that God wants us to aspire to greater than what we are today….that he purposes us to fulfill more than our own aspirations.   If men are called to lead, but some men aren’t “natural leaders” then God wants us to work to become effective leaders as he’s purposed us.  That effort brings glory to God, aligns man with his will and draws us closer to him.  The same can be said for the supporting roles of women.  

God also called for genders to unite (in marriage and fellowship) and work together in decision-making  (and all aspects of life really).  Women taught right alongside Paul and Paul praised these women for their faithful service.  Yet, it was also Paul who also laid out the divinely-inspired roles for men and women in the home and church.  

So what makes an effective leader?

A leader is one who is bold enough to make a tough call, but also consults all available resources to make the most informed decision possible.  Effective leaders listen to their supporting team members and collaborate with other effective leaders who have also received counsel from their team members.  In essence, effective leaders are grounded on a foundation of effective supporting team members.  When decisions are reached by leaders all relevant participants have had their voice recognized and were considered in the process.  So goes the role of leadership of men in the home and church.   God didn’t given authority to men to function as dictators or for personal gain…..he gave men the responsibility of being effective, loving, God-fearing leaders and protectors.  He gave woman the role of being effective, loving, God-fearing supporters and nurturers who faithfully submit to their leaders as the Son submits to the Father.

I sure hope that helps clarify because I don't have much else to offer up LOL.
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