Adj. Pertaining to complementarianism and egalitarianism.

***Working to be a safe place for all sides to share.***


Friday, October 19, 2007

5 Lies the Church Tells Women

Sarah Flashing has linked up the following on her blog I thought was well-worth reading. It is an article written by Sue Bohlin titled 5 Lies the Church Tells Women.

In a nutshell, here they are:
Lie #1: God Created Women as Inferior Beings, Destined to Serve Their Husbands.

Lie #2: A Man Needs to "Cover" a Woman in Her Ministry Activities.

Lie #3: Women Can't be Fulfilled or Spiritually Effective Without a Husband or Children.

Lie #4: Women Should Never Work Outside the Home.

Lie #5: Women Must Obediently Submit to Their Husbands in All Situations.

I find the last one the most problematic for a couple of reasons.

First, the wording that women must obediently submit is curious. The word "obediently" is either reduntant or meant to change the word "submission" to mean something that it does not. Bohlin doesn't adress this, but the phraseology of this sentence, if accurate, belies a misunderstanding of submission in our churches on the whole. In scripture, submission is a call to respectful and humble unity, before other connotations. In light of Paul's directive in 1 Peter 5:5 (Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility.--NKJV), 'to submit' does not mean 'to do whatever your husband says,' which is basically what Lie #5 advocates.

The second point springboards from the first. Lie #5 adds "in all situations" pointing to when wives should do what their husbands say, which, in this case, is all the time. Clearly, this is unscriptural. The Bible commands women to sumbit to their husbands, as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22). One can interpret this verse in different ways, though I would clarify wifely submission to apply as long as her husband is behaving as the Lord. No woman should accept demands from her husband that lead to sin, which include demands that serve no leadership or edifying purpose in the kingdom of God (other than to indulge the husband in some sinful stroke of the ego or something related). To submit in this way would clearly violate a woman's first submission to God, and the woman is not obliged to accept his demands.

Having said all that, I would follow it with the caution that if a husband is acting in accordance with the scriptures and asks his wife to submit in some necessary action either in will or deed (or both), God has not given her the option to refuse.

Of course, I am completely aware that Lie #5 may be phrased in exaggeration, in which case I'd like to add "Whether Waking or Sleeping" to the end. Exactly to how many churches or individuals does this really apply, I wonder?

Walking the narrow path is hard, and this issue is about as narrow and hard as it gets.