Christian Marriage, Council for Bibl. Manhood & Womanhood, Doug Phillips & Vision Forum, Doug Wilson, Marriage

What is a Husband’s Role in His Wife’s Spirituality?

**

What is a husband’s role in his wife’s spirituality?  Is he responsible for sanctifying her?

**

Husband, wife, sanctification, Biblical role, Christian Marriage

**

I need help with this one.  David Sons has an article that was posted at Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW), Pursuing Your Wife (Part 3): The Goal of Dating is Not Marriage.  I like a lot of the article about a husband striving to pursue relational intimacy with his wife, but let me show you the tweet that made me click on the article’s link.

**

**

To me, that implies that a man is responsible for his wife’s faith.  That it is a husband’s “works” that will accomplish what she needs spiritually.  Am I misreading that?  Here’s some more from the article, but please read the whole article to be sure I’m not getting anything out of context.  It’s pretty short.

In Ephesians 5, Paul challenges husbands to a great pursuit, saying, “Love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).

Paul exhorts husbands to model their love and service for their wives after the model of Jesus’ love and service for the church. When Jesus called the church to himself, he did so with the intention of presenting her holy and blameless to the Father.

He does this through calling the church to himself (pursuit), cleansing her from her sinfulness (justification), and making her holy through his Spirit and his Word (sanctification).

His pursuit of the church was for the purpose of creating a covenant relationship with her, so that she might one day perfectly display the splendor of God’s glory (Eph. 2:19-22). Jesus did not simply pursue us to have a relationship with us; he pursued us so that, through this relationship, God might be seen as glorious (Eph. 1:3-6), and that our joy might be made full Jn. 15:11).

**

My goal as a husband is now to work diligently for the sanctification of my wife.

**

So, for me, the issue isn’t that the husband works for the good of the marriage.  It is important for spouses to be working on their marriages, but I question specifically the “sanctification” aspect as the husband being responsible for his wife’s faith or her sanctification.   What are your thoughts?  What specifically is a husband’s role with regard to his wife’s faith and spirituality?  

I think this idea is important to discuss especially in light of what we have seen going on in Christian Patriarchy in teachings by Doug Phillips, Doug Wilson, and so many others where many women are not free to live their own spiritual lives, because their spiritual lives are owned by their husbands, and essentially spiritually abused by them.

**

***Update:  After reading Cindy’s comment, I decided to see what John MacArthur says about sanctification:

True sanctification, according to Scripture, is the process of God’s transforming work in your life. In the moment of your salvation, you are declared justified by the Lord through the sacrifice of His Son and freed from the guilt of sin. From there, sanctification frees you from the pollution of sin, helping you destroy sinful patterns and relinquish your former wickedness.

And just as with salvation, sanctification is not accomplished by our will or actions—it’s the work of the Lord in the lives of His people. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul prayed that the Lord would complete His sanctifying work in their lives.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass (1 Thessalonians5:23-24).

The word translated here as sanctify literally means to be set apart—in its noun form it is usually translated as holiness. So in basic terms, sanctification is the Lord’s process of separating us from sin and setting us apart for holiness. Paul’s prayer is that the Lord would bring about that transformation in the lives of the Thessalonian believers—that their lives would reflect a decreasing frequency of sin and an increasing frequency of holiness. (Source)

 ***

236 thoughts on “What is a Husband’s Role in His Wife’s Spirituality?”

  1. Will have to look up wikipedia on lots of those terms, Cindy. I’ve never sat under any Theology and am just groping my way into all this terminology and different belief systems… but thanks again

    Like

  2. Contact me if you want, and perhaps I can help. Someone asked me last week if I would write a book on what he called “The New Calvinism,” because there doesn’t seem to be a good one.

    In a thread here a couple of months back, I talked about my own learning curve regarding these things, and it is steep. Though I was taught to look to exegesis first and even attended a seminary that purposely would not teach systematic theology, everyone has their doctrine, based on how they interpret that Scripture. At first, I thought that Covenant Theology and even Theonomy just centered around the five points of Calvinism, but they have sundry other doctrines (sundry to me) that exceed just the sovereignty issue alone. They draw on many of their unique ones to strengthen their position on gender.

    I still don’t conform to any particular doctrine, but I look more like a Lutheran (though not one) with some Quaker flares here and there.

    Like

  3. Patrice, Carmen, and Julie Anne,

    I don’t know how you all can spend any kind of time reading this stuff. I can put up with listening to/reading some of these guys, though my husband asks that I do it when he’s not around. I interrupt him with questions and polemic ranting about how a person can conclude and then teach such things. He can’t stand it. I guess if he’s not around while I read the stuff, I still end up talking about it later, but it isn’t with such frustration. And I usually don’t go more than ten minutes without having to talk about the stuff if he’s with me. I can’t help it.

    I’ll wait for the report on what’s in the book, and you can fill me in.

    Like

  4. Cindy,

    I see that this book will be sent automatically to everyone on the mailing list, and there’s no need to submit the form. I’m on the mailing list. Would have had a difficult time “submitting” for this book. Reading it…sigh.

    Like

  5. Ali,

    I was also thinking about the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition and the information that was sent to CBMW supporting the Demand for an Apology in 2010. I signed that document, though I think that elements of it and the supporting rationales/affirmations could be improved. For example, Shirley Taylor and Jocelyn Andersen wrote this:

    The patriarchal and racial hierarchy evident in parts of the Old
    Testament, which is exclusively prophetic and applicable to the Old Covenant
    Nation of Israel only, is lifted completely, in the New Testament from both Jew
    and Gentile by the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. There are no longer any
    legitimate hierarchies involved in race or gender.

    If you are Dispensational, you have a very different view of eschatology than a Covenant Theologian. Dispys believe that the New Testament Church is no longer bound to the covenants of the Old Covenant, but Covenant Theology does identify with the Nation of Israel, believing that the moral laws still apply (and not everyone can agree about what laws classify as moral ones). Many prophetic passages in the Old Covenant are believed to apply to the New Testament Church, too. By making this statement, it is not wrong for the people who made it, but it doesn’t take into account these doctrinal differences. The boys at CBMW will claim that we have poor regard for the Word of God.

    The other critical problem with CBMW in general is the fact that they’ve distorted Calvinist doctrines to wrap gender around the Doctrine of God, claiming that their gender view is the only way to properly understand God. They end up calling those who reject their views idolators. Arguing that gender is intramural (as opposed to trying to prove that there is only one possible interpretation of many of the relevant Scriptures) is a better bet, and it shows them general respect.

    Anyway, I thought it was a good example of just one of the more obvious disconnects between doctrine and how it impacts the gender debate.

    http://freecwc.blogspot.com/p/response-to-danvers-statement.html

    Like

  6. Don’t forget that heavy hitters in CBMW and TGC rallied in 2000 to have the whole phrase “priesthood of all believers” struck from the Baptist Faith and Message Statement (of the SBC). It wouldn’t fly, so they settled for the change to “the priesthood of THE believer” as a compromise. They can now say that the priesthood does not apply to all — it does not apply to women per the Danvers Statement which was also ratified that same year by the SBC.

    Cindy,

    I ask my question in complete ignorance of this matter.

    I don’t understand this, especially the part I bolded. Why would they think changing “all believers” to “the believer” would exclude women? Or anyone, except anyone who is not a believer?

    It seems a normal reading of “priesthood of the believer” would be interpreted to mean each believer is a priest, irrespective of gender, etc., and would imply the priesthood of all believers since all is a compilation of every each. Each “the” together would make “all,” none excluded. What does the Danvers Statement do to force a different interpretation of the BFM that excludes women from “the,” (and why does it have the authority to do so)? And, well, how in the heck do they manage it?

    Like

  7. Cindy K, I don’t take in all that much of these guys’ materials. They don’t make sense to me and I keep getting lost trying to figure out why they would think “this” follows “that”. Then I simply give the material a run-through and end up feeling dull and stupider than before I started. Silly, I know, and maybe partly because they raise echoes from an abusive past.

    They are poor thinkers, somewhere around high school level, but they are true pros at manipulation and delivery. And they are relentless. (I do respect persistence, lol.)

    But your thought and analysis shine bright and beautiful. You are a testimony, all on your own, that God gives gifts to whom S/He wills and that these men were not given the necessary gifts. They are usurpers.

    This morn, I listened again to the vid of the women’s conference, that you’d edited. I was sorry for two things: 1. That it is so painful that we cannot laugh at it. 2. That such good gifts as yours and the women there must be spent against a bunch of heehaws.

    There is so much to do in this world, so many things wrong and sad. I’m fairly certain that when the Biblical Womanhood people finally stand face to face with God, they will also be liable for the energy required to stand against them, energy that could have been well-spent on bringing Christ to this world. God will not leave anyone out because of it, I know, but it makes me angry that some sorrows and pains could have been relieved but weren’t because of these self-important, overly-scrubbed, mean-spirited, tiny-minded men. Arg!!!

    Carmen, thanks for doing the reading. I’d have to feel healthier than I do right now in order to manage it.

    Like

  8. And just to make a further complaint. Yesterday I read the article about the huge number of stained glass windows that these people are being put up in honor of themselves. Millions of dollars’ worth. Talk about self-congratulation, sheesh!

    The only comfort I could take is that the designs are rather awful, and that fits them. w00t

    Like

  9. Barnabus in Training,

    Let me go through the short history of this for the benefit of those who don’t know this. (I owe LydiaSellerofPurple for helping me with this years ago who put it into perspective for me.) The short answer is that they are quite related in spirit, but one is not the direct forensic result of the other.

    The Southern Baptist Convention came together in 1845 for the primary purpose of pooling money for missions efforts and to set up good seminaries to train pastors, etc. In that sense, they are a group of loosely affiliated churches who have come together in the spirit of a congregational government. They realized after a few decades that they needed a doctrinal statement, so the Baptist Faith and Message Statement (BF&M) was created in 1925. You can be charismatic and congregational (grass roots leadership), Calvinist like Spurgeon (elder led), etc, so long as you conform to the BF&M. It was revised twice since it’s inception in 1963 and in 2000.

    The Calvinists (who follow Covenant Theology [or CT]) within the SBC prefer top down, elder rule government (like James McDonald’s elders who said in recent months that any opinion that dissented from the elders was “demonic”). They’re also dominionists because of how they view their connection to the Old Covenant and because of their eschatology (either post- or amillennial). If you’re to take dominion over the world culminating in the millennium, it makes sense to take over your denomination first, a trend that really ramped up in the early ’80s. An eventual fruit of this effort resulted in Al Mohler’s appointment at SBTS at a very young age for a seminary president. The goal seems to be to take dominion over the SBC itself for CT. Consider that CT demands not only a limited role for women, it also calls for a top-down/elder rule church government. So those who follow CT in the SBC would like to change the system from individual churches coming together to pool money into a presbyterian hierarchy system of church government. The selling point seems to be to stamp out evil liberalism to make the group more conservative (resulting in things like the denouncement of freemasonry a number of years ago, for example).

    At the convention in 2000, two key things happened that are not a strongly connected, but they are related in spirit. The Danvers Statement was ratified, and as a result, all SBC affiliates were required to sign it. Those who refused left the SBC including all kinds of missionaries. Groups like the General Baptist Convention of Texas withdrew also. Women professors were dismissed from seminaries (for having authority over male students and for teaching information that concerns doctrine). Women missionaries who did not have male overseers were also pulled off the field. All this occurred to comply with the demands of the new Danvers Statement.

    At this same convention in 2000, the BF&M was revised. Striking the phrase “the priesthood of all believers” from it would accomplish two things for those who follow CT (like Al Mohler). It would make the BF&M favor a top down, elder-led/presbyterian system, making men like Mohler a new Baptist pope over the SBC, or at least their corner of it. It also advanced complementarianism. When striking the phrase altogether failed, the best that they could aim for was to make sure that the SBC didn’t affirm that the title of “priest” applied to women. It is a subtle change, but very significant in terms of the gender debate, and it was argued to be consistent with the newly ratified Danvers Statement. Women were not priests, so the priesthood could not apply to them. (Don’t forget that per CBMW, women need a spiritual overseer because they are easily deceived, are only the indirect image of God, and aren’t enough of a free moral agent to bear their own sins (like Eve), requiring an intercessor to oversee their sanctification.) So the CT folks settled for the compromise of removing the inclusive “all” from the statement (as it would have to apply to women who are Believers), and it was changed to “the believer” which was less inclusive and could be argued to apply just to men.

    Like

  10. Please forgive my grammar goofs in there. I wanted to put the dates of the SBC revision in parentheses, for one. Upon re reading, my English sounds a bit like an Italian immigrant. 😉 I hate when I think faster than I can type.

    Like

  11. Patrice,

    I am undone by your kind words. Thank you, and I give glory to God alone. I was taught from the age of four that I was to live and breathe God’s Word, and I was told to follow the Word and the Spirit, not men. (I wish that I lived up to that better than I do.) Adding or taking away from the Word is a huge challenge, for we don’t tend to see the things we are originally told about how to interpret it. I am also very grateful that I was not taught to study theology, but to look to study the Word first.

    I love your comments here, and I especially appreciated them a few months ago when we were all hashing through Theonomy. I was thrilled when you stood up to Selbrede’s evasiveness, and I said to my husband, “Someone really gets ‘it’.” This stuff is complicated at times, and your grasp of things is just as bright, beautiful and a testimony to me. That is a great encouragement to me, too. And Carmen S is impressive in this discussion as well, don’t you think? Fearless Julie Anne inspires me as well. Everybody commenting on this thread is. There’s been some good preaching here. I’m grateful and honored to have the opportunity to rant about this stuff.

    Like

  12. “I don’t understand this, especially the part I bolded. Why would they think changing “all believers” to “the believer” would exclude women? Or anyone, except anyone who is not a believer? ”

    Carmen, It is very confusing. Here is an article from 2000 concerning the writing of the new 2000 BFM that might help:

    http://assets.baptiststandard.com/archived/2000/7_17/pages/bfm_meaning.html

    “The committee’s new paragraph states: “Baptists cherish and defend religious liberty and deny the right of any secular or religious authority to impose a confession of faith upon a church or body of churches. We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers, affirming together both our liberty in Christ and our accountability to each other under the word of God.”
    ___This was offered as an update to a paragraph included in the preamble to the 1963 Baptist Faith & Message that stated: “Baptists emphasize the soul’s competency before God, freedom in religion and the priesthood of the believer. However, this emphasis should not be interpreted to mean that there is an absence of certain definite doctrines that Baptists believe, cherish and with which they have been and are now closely identified.”
    ___These two paragraphs should not be construed as saying the same thing, according to Tony Cartledge, editor of the North Carolina Biblical Recorder, and Trennis Henderson, editor of the Kentucky Western Recorder. Both wrote editorials soon after the SBC annual meeting addressing concerns about what they perceive as a subtle shift in language and meaning.
    ___The same issue was addressed by a leading member of the revision committee during a news conference in Orlando. At that news conference, Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., explained the difference between the phrase “priesthood of the believer” as used in the 1963 statement and “priesthood of believers” as used in the 2000 statement.
    ___”Baptists believe in the priesthood of believers, but it is dangerous to say the priesthood of the believer,” Mohler said. “It is not just that we stand alone; it is that we stand together–and we stand together under the authority of God’s word.”
    ___Henderson found irony in this explanation being given in a news conference after the vote was taken. This is not the interpretation he has understood to be the Southern Baptist position in the past, he said.
    ___”While I am content to stand before God under the authority of Scripture, I can do so whether I’m alone or in a crowd of all 15.8 million Southern Baptists,” Henderson wrote. “While I appreciate the committee’s efforts to at least partially restore a pair of key Baptist doctrines, I am confident it is not dangerous to be a lone priest/believer in the presence of Almighty God through the power of his Holy Spirit.”

    Why was the “s” a hill for Mohler to die on?

    Here is a view from a 2000 editorial that now seems prophetic in terms of Al Mohler

    http://assets.baptiststandard.com/archived/2000/4_17/pages/editorial.html

    And Carmen, the teaching of the concept of soul competency is just about extinct in the SBC. and was a core belief for 100 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul_competency

    Like

  13. Cindy, I have a comment in moderation (because of links) that gives an overview of the whole “Priesthood of believer” hill to die on with the BFM 2000. It is so confusing! Actually Al insisted the “s” be added in. But if one followed this (and other things) they would realize that Al Mohler is one of the most brilliant political strategists of all time. And that is NOT a compliment, folks. The “s” would serve him well. After all, now the debate is that the BFM supports Calvinist ordo salutus even though SBTS’ Abstract of Principles is written from Calvinist doctrine where the BFM wasn’t. Now, the devil is in the details and how to interpret a MAN MADE confession. Amazing!

    And the reason why Mohler got by with so much over the years is that his public persona (articles, radio, speaking gigs) was all about the “culture war” early on that most SBC’ers fell for. Had his public persona been about Calvinism from day one, and there was a blogosphere, I doubt he would be at SBTS today. He spent a lot of time consolidating his power over the culture war. And he was given way too much power too young with relatively NO experience in the trenches. But he was a good solider who saw where the wind was blowing and pleased his masters of the time. Now HE is their master. In fact, he is the pope of the SBC and most bow to him. He can publicly imply his colleagues are (other seminary presidents, pastors, etc ) heretics and no one says a word. It is the new normal. In fact, they put him on a “unity” committee. No problem.

    It is an unbrave new world. A perfect place for cowards and charlatans.

    Like

  14. Cindy and Patrice both remind me of women who love people because they KNOW our Savior. Both of you are precious.

    Like

  15. Julie Anne,

    The only remedy that I have for Husbands and Wives to elevate the potential for increased spirituality is for each to “Love” each other unconditionally.

    Hurt when the other hurts, rejoice when the other rejoices and to listen to each other.

    Don’t keep score of accomplishments or mistakes. If both offer 100% devotion it eliminates individuality and gender dominance, instead it offers humility for both.

    Maybe the title of this thread should read “What is the role of both spouses of nurturing one anothers Spirituality”.

    Like

  16. “So the CT folks settled for the compromise of removing the inclusive “all” from the statement (as it would have to apply to women who are Believers), and it was changed to “the believer” which was less inclusive and could be argued to apply just to men.”
    Removing the priesthood of all believers from a church is … I have no words, but it an attempt to redefine Christianity. It is shockingly bad.

    Like

  17. Baptists believe in the priesthood of believers, but it is dangerous to say the priesthood of the believer,” Mohler said.

    I found this that compares the 1963 and the 2000 BFMs.

    http://texasbaptists.org/files/2010/08/bfmcomp1.pdf

    So Mohler didn’t want to add “the,” he wanted to remove “the priesthood of the believer” from the 1963 BFM. And that is what they did as the 2000 BFM now reads “…the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers…”

    So it was (1963):

    “Baptists emphasis the soul’s competency before God, freedom in religion, and the priesthood of the believer…”

    (pg 8 of above link, first column)

    It has been changed to (2000):

    “We honor the principles of soul competency and the priesthood of believers….”

    (pg 6 of above link, second column)

    They did not add “the.” They removed “the.” (And changed a number of other important things while they were at it.) They removed any sense in which one can actually appeal to this document and show a unified agreement among SBs that they hold to either the priesthood of THE or of ALL believers. Now it can be — or NOT be — whoever they decide. Whoever the “they” are who decide such things.

    This article I linked to makes some other observations I think are important as well. This document appears to be no improvement whatsoever for a number of reasons.

    Like

  18. Retha,

    Some would say that those participating here are just nit-picking gadders who get our jollies by pointing out small and insignificant matters to get some kind of cruel and malicious self-gratification.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am contending for the orthodox faith, Christian liberty, the Doctrine of God (i.e. JESUS as coequal with the Father), and for the untold numbers of women who suffer unChristian discrimination and abuse — for the heart of Evangelicalism itself.

    Like

  19. You’ve got it BarnabusBecoming. I’m so glad.

    I guess that I don’t even want to think about the “the” in there because it bothers me and grieves me so much.

    Like

  20. Ali,

    I just noticed that the link to my blog via my name isn’t active. (I don’t get this Gravatar stuff.) If you want some help cutting through the ins and outs of these theology distinctions, please hunt me down at UnderMuchGrace.com. I’d be happy to tell you everything I know if it will help.

    Like

  21. Cindy K, I also appreciate the people here in Julie Anne’s living room. Every one of them. Look, I’m one of those liberal daughters of Satan but I too am accepted–how sweet is that? lol

    As Lydia says, it’s the focus on Christ himself, along with our ongoing desire/pursuit, as you state, to become more and more that which God intended when S/He first made us, to be the material outpourings of God’s own joy and delight.

    So we can be wrong and/or think another to be wrong and get hot&bothered over it (or not), but still here we are. Hah!

    I think about the precious torn-up women who write into the “married to pedophile” comment thread, and the equally precious women who gently offer support, and I tear up with the plain goodness of it.

    Certainly some of us are better than others at sorting out the shenanigans. Therapist told me that I am alive because I had a good mind which I used throughout the abusive eras of my life, a gift from God to help me get through. I am grateful! But at bottom, it doesn’t mean much without a loving heart. I’ve met fine minds wasted by underlying shabby hearts. And I’ve met a man with mental disability who had a heart so golden that I could warm my cold hands sitting next to him.

    Unfortunately, many of the cranks who run the church these days have both poor minds and stone hearts. Bummer for them! However did we allow them into power positions?

    Perhaps we might try getting rid of power positions altogether—as it is, the same old thing keeps happening, generation after generation. And always worst when times get hard, when people are looking for stability.

    Like

  22. I think about the precious torn-up women who write into the “married to pedophile” comment thread, and the equally precious women who gently offer support, and I tear up with the plain goodness of it.

    Amen, Patrice! Me, too. Please pray for the ladies who find that thread – we had 2 new ladies yesterday reaching out for help. God is at work here among this group of people – – encouraging, offering hope. I am so blessed to hang with you all.

    Like

  23. Barnabusintraining, thanks for the link to comparative study of BFMs, and Lydia, thanks for the link to the baptist standard post. Prophetic indeed.

    I’ve never been Baptist, coming from a Reformed background. It is interesting to find the same issues floating through everything, and fascinating to see how they show up in each place.

    Like

  24. Julie Anne, I saw that too. I am praying. Having a father as a pedophile, it does my heart good to see helpers for women who suffered as my mother did. Even though my mother stayed complicit and trapped, that there was a hypothetical way out for her, as shown by you all…well, it does my heart good.

    Like

  25. I prefer the following, which is my understanding of the biblical text: The priesthood of each and every believer. We are all to be priests. We are to present the gospel to those who do not believe, acting as an emissary (priest) of the most high God in the person of Jesus the Christ. And we are to pray for unbelievers and present petitions to God that He would have mercy on them. Those are priestly functions. And we are to pray for our fellow believers, which is also a priestly function. I find no gender distinction applicable in any of those functions. The best prayer warriors I know are women. Including my sister, who, when she prays about you being single and unhappy, seems to have the ear of God.

    Like

  26. Peter Attwood, I just had a chance to check the references you provided to priests teaching. Thanks for taking the time to look them up. I couldn’t think of any off the top of my head. As I reviewed the ones you provided, it seemed evident they do speak of various occasions or situations in which priests taught. However, I see nothing in them to indicate teaching is a fundamental aspect of priesthood (i.e., that all priests are required or expected to teach). But this isn’t a big issue for me. I was just curious what you had in mind. I agree with your basic point about men and women both teaching each other, which is true regardless of whether or not teaching is a fundamental priestly function.

    Like

  27. It seems indisputable that the business of a priest is to reconcile people to God and to lead them in acceptable worship. How does that happen without teaching what acceptable worship is, and identifying where people need to repent in order to be reconciled to God?

    I’ve never seen those functions done without some teaching coming into it somehow. All of this makes it especially preposterous in my ears when people say women are not supposed to teach.

    Like

  28. The business of an OT priest was to perform the rituals and ceremonies by which people were reconciled to God and by which people worshiped him. They could do all of that by obeying God’s commands to them concerning their priestly functions, without saying a word to the people. Likewise, Jesus fulfilled his office of High Priest by his obedience to the Father in offering himself as a sacrifice on the cross, and continues to fulfills it today via his intercession for us. His words as our teacher (rabbi) were distinct from his priestly ministry; they were an aspect of his ministry as prophet. And the ongoing role of believers as priests to one another in the body today is fulfilled in our intercession for one another and our mutual service to one another. Again, I see nothing in a priest’s role to indicate that teaching is fundamental to that role. And again, I don’t think it matters nearly so much as our agreements.

    Like

  29. Patrice,

    I am so sorry that you have endured such hardship. But I rejoice that you have both found comfort and have offered it to others. There is nothing like being comforted by someone who has walked through the same kinds of experiences that you have. I’m glad that you offer the comfort that you received to others — that which comes from the God of all comfort.

    I am grateful to JA for providing this forum, and for those who participate here.

    Like

  30. Concerning the BF&M — I wrote to my Baptist friend to tell her that people were shocked about the events of 2000 and the Danvers Statement. She has a source that told her that the proposed changes that were debated in 1998 were not strong enough against women to pass. Certain individuals are said to have stacked the committee in 2000.

    In 2009, Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, adopted the Danvers Statement as a part of their statement of faith. They are still using it to wage their culture war.

    Like

  31. Thank you Cindy… and everyone

    What a lot to learn…. without throwing up, or blowing a gasket!

    What ? People CAN’T follow my obvious line of logic and come to the same conclusions as ME? :-0 My naivety needed knocking!

    Although, taking it in good humour now, I have to admit that it is a particular difficulty of mine, being a high-functioning autist …. but not as far along the spectrum as ‘Sheldon’. My world, in my box, through my eyes, is perfectly logical and it was a rude awakening to find that even ‘friends’ don’t see it my way too. Please forgive me and help me if I come across too adamantly .. it’s me being too autistic rather than it being particularly a pride issue.

    Once more unto the breach, my friends! We WILL get through their wall!!

    Like

  32. I too am autie. I find 1 Corinthians helpful, which says that now we see in a mirror in a riddle. We can be perfectly logical, and in fact things really are black and white, but we don’t see a lot.

    It’s true that a particular horse and not some other is the winner of the second race next Sunday. But to us right now that is not revealed, which is why we have horse races.

    Like

  33. barnabas in training

    “They did not add “the.” They removed “the.” (And changed a number of other important things while they were at it.) They removed any sense in which one can actually appeal to this document and show a unified agreement among SBs that they hold to either the priesthood of THE or of ALL believers. Now it can be — or NOT be — whoever they decide. Whoever the “they” are who decide such things”

    Here is how it has played out. When you hear or see some of the YRR or Neo Cals talk about “Lone Ranger” Christians, this is what they are referring to. by adding the “s” makes it plural so that “some priests are more equal than others”. One simply cannot “stand alone” and be a priest. ONe has to to “under” a loftier priest in the priesthood. You cannot make this stuff up.

    If you read the 2000 article from the baptist standard I .linked to above you can see at least one guy on the writing committee got it.

    Like

  34. “In 2009, Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary, adopted the Danvers Statement as a part of their statement of faith. They are still using it to wage their culture war.”

    Grrrrrrrr! So, what in the world have we come to? Who wants to be part of Christian organization’s that adopts statements that are from other organizations instead of from scripture. Statements of faith are the new Law 🙄 I guess it’s not too surprising since many have turned Pauls writings into Law.

    Like

  35. Here’s another noodle baker from CBMW about how male oversight of women continues in heaven. (Note that they repeat the disclaimer that men and women are ontological equals, the same way that they do about their Trinity doctrine, but the doctrines themselves convey evidence that argues against equality based on essence.) I’m going to drop this bomb and then run for cover.

    >>>>Given, then, that relationships between those married on earth will in some sense remain in the new creation, it remains for us to inquire regarding the nature of those relationships. . . This headship, far from being a result of the fall-feminist and egalitarian claims notwithstanding-is a central feature of the divine created order.42 Because the new creation is, fundamentally, a return to the divine order that prevailed before the fall, it follows that male headship will remain in the new creation.
    . . .
    Finally, consider that in the new creation, those who were husbands in the former dispensation will, at last, be unencumbered by the flesh. They will be able, as never before, to genuinely love “as Christ also loved the church” (Eph 5:25). . . With both man and woman thus perfected and transformed, are we to suppose that the new creation will abandon the order established in God’s original creation? I think not. Rather, such relations will bring to each true joy, and to God, more glory than before.

    . . .

    There is so much that we cannot yet know about life in the new creation. We can be confident, though, that “God must have some very profound eternal purpose for manhood and womanhood.”52 There is every reason to believe that gender-based distinction of roles will remain. The social fabric of gender-based distinctions of roles was weaved in a pattern that accords with the prelapsarian decree of the Creator. In the new creation, that fabric will not be discarded or destroyed. The stains will be removed and rips mended. The fabric will be cleaned and pressed. But the pattern established in God’s “very good” creation will remain.<<<<

    <<<<<

    So if you were married to a husband who beat you up, you're stuck for eternity. Isn't that good to know. Men are still overseers, but they will understand the best way to love and care for a wife, and a wife will really get her mind around how to truly submit in a way that she couldn't fathom before.

    I sometimes wonder what these guys are smoking, but then I realize that it's just the Koolaide.

    http://cbmw.org/uncategorized/relationships-and-roles-in-the-new-creation/

    Like

  36. Let’s notice what he does not say. He doesn’t say that any marital relationship continues.

    He has a point, because there is some sort of male headship, but Genesis 3 makes it clear that it is profoundly corrupted into the woman turning to the man and the man ruling over her. Take that away, and we don’t know what it will look like, exactly, but we can get a clue as we learn that in the kingdom of God the greatest is the servant of all. It’s clear that the rulers of the nations lording it over them grows out of the original perversion of male and female relations found in Genesis 3, so we can’t screw around with this and expect to be disciples of Jesus for real.

    Like

  37. No wonder they like to say marriage is a foretaste of heaven on earth. ALL men will rule in heaven, hence the women’s role on earth is one of submission to all men. Get used it? Thanks, Cindy. It’s good to know their real agenda.

    The last shall be first, and the first shall be last. Hmmmm….

    Like

  38. Carmen,

    What CBMW didn’t tell you in Julie Anne’s original post of interest, “The Goal of Dating is not Marriage,” is that the real goal is the eternal submission of women and the eternal dominion of men over them.

    This isn’t just a quirky doctrine about gender that you can take up or pass on. It is a whole worldview.

    Like

  39. Julie Anne,

    I see it in the whole of the teachings of CBMW. (It’s not in the post that you quoted initially, but it’s in the grand scheme of their paradigm.)

    I thought it was a funny joke, but I guess that it wasn’t that good. (It’s what they’re not telling you about what you’re signing up for, just based on the title of that post.)

    Hee, hee, hee. I’d rather laugh than cry.

    As Lydia said earlier, you just can’t make this stuff up.

    Like

  40. http://cbmw.org/uncategorized/relationships-and-roles-in-the-new-creation/

    Cindy, Not sure if this is the same one but years back there was a similar article there and we dubbed it: Mormonism 101.

    When you study other cults such as Mormonism/Jehovah Witness like our friend Cheryl Schatz did, these things are obvious. For the rest of us, not so much. She saw JW doctrine all over ESS. And the whole thing about male/female roles, relationships on the New Earth is very Mormonistic.

    More and more we have to be Bereans because there is a lot of sicko stuff that is mainstreamed. Too many have a mentality that if Piper or Mohler says it, it must be biblical. Not true at all.

    Like

  41. Back when I was a teen in the 70s I heard this verse and tho I was not Christian at the time knew it did not mean I was God and was able to sanctify my wife (when I got married) I have had lots of years to think on it and after my wife of 25 years left I did a lot of reflecting. Our lives as husbands should reflect that of Jesus (servant savior). Though I believe God set up headship, it was never meant to be a dictatorship. We should walk in agreement as one, neither of us pushing something the other disagrees with. God entrust the spiritual care as well as the physical care of the family to us until such time as He reclaims it. If someone entrusts money with me to invest, I should return it to him better than when he gave it to me. Same with our families. Now I don’t think God holds us responsible for our family members choices, but we are responsible for our own, including the way we raise them. I should be my wife’s biggest cheerleader in all areas of her life especially in the spiritual realm. I admit I should have done better by my first wife, but by the time I got saved the damage was done and a few years later the wheels came off the wagon. See even though you live your life for Christ it don’t mean everything will work out. And no, I didn’t abuse her, maybe more the spiritual neglect that kept me from helping when unforgiveness of others occurred and bitterness crept in leading to … her leaving me for someone else. We get the kind of wife we raise. I am my current wife’s biggest cheerleader tho I am not perfect God has blessed me with her. I guess what I am trying to say is we as husbands either by neglect or action can turn our wives and children away from God, causing a delay in the sanctification process. Every action, word or deed have eternal consequences. May God richly bless your marriages.

    Like

  42. “he real goal is the eternal submission of women and the eternal dominion of men over them.

    Where do you see that, Cindy? ”

    They never come out and declare this. They make inferences in so many ways over time. They cannot come out and say it because of Matthew 22:30. But they usually work backwards. If they can get you to believe in ESS and the possibility of gender roles in the New Earth NOW, you will be easy to control NOW.

    Like

  43. It’s actually not bad. Trouble arises when polluting the truth with foreign elements. A simple instance of this is Peter’s word to honor the woman as the weaker vessel, read with the presupposition that weakness is an inferior state. That’s how the world thinks, and implementing it in that spirit makes Peter’s guidance disgusting.

    But the biblical context is that it is weakness that we are made strong, and that it is in weakness that the power of Christ rests upon us, as Paul explained. It is in Leonard Cohen’s expression, the crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.

    Like

  44. Lydia@ 11:39 AM,

    Yes, I saw that Mohler said he did not like the priesthood expressed in an individualistic sense, which is also a problem.

    I didn’t see any reference in either the ’63 or the 2000 BFM to “priesthood of all believers.” I think priesthood of THE believer was correct. However, if they wanted to adjust that to bring out a collective priesthood, they could have changed it to “priesthood of all believers.” Or they could have said “each believer is a priest and all believers together make a collective priesthood” or something similar. There were other ways to do it than leaving a big gaping hole — into which you can allow or disallow anything — between “of” and “believers.”

    “Priesthood of believers” is wholly unacceptable. I must have been misunderstanding Cindy’s concern because I thought she was saying they wanted “the believer ” instead of “all believers” because somehow that made their case about denying women the status of priest and I could not understand how that could be. Now that I see they did not want “the” and have removed it and replaced it with an ambiguous nothing, I see what the problem really is.

    In fact, with the absence of either “the” or “all” there are now two problems where before there was none: 1) The lack of affirmation of the individual as a priest; 2) The question of whether anyone is excluded from that status. It makes me wonder, if they really wanted a collective sense of an ALL believers priesthood, where then is the “all”? Or did they want even more than that? Because this way they are able to have both the absence of each believer as priest and the restriction of the priesthood to certain persons.

    And one wonders how far it would go? Would they eventually want it interpreted to mean not just men, but only certain men, such as pastors/elders? And the other thing it could easily do is deny congregational rule, because “priesthood of [GAPING HOLE] believers” readily supports elder only rule, while easily supporting the denial of both pastor only rule AND congregational rule.

    This seems to be what you are getting at. (?)

    Like

  45. Hi, just stumbled onto this blog today, researching speakers that are going to be at our homeschool conference after the fall out with B. Gothard this last week or so.

    Anyhow, I came to the realization a couple of days ago that for the last 19 years of my marriage, I have been expecting my dear, wonderful, servant-leading husband to be my spiritual guide (maybe even my “sanctifier” – is that a word?). And my frustration the last 19 years? That’s not my husband’s style. He’s never taken it upon himself to lead me spiritually. Can you imagine? Here I am thinking that’s what he’s suppose to do, and somehow I’ve failed as a wife because he wouldn’t.

    Where did I get this idea? These subtle ideas of the husband sanctifying the wife – attending two B. Gothard conferences, and then it being subtly woven into the talks at homeschool conferences.

    And two days ago it literally hit me like a ton of bricks: it’s not my husband’s job. He didn’t marry me so he could lead me spiritually. He married me because he loved (and still loves) me, wants to be with me, and wants me to be who I am and grow and flourish as I am.

    This realization is still overwhelming me. I’ve been so caught up in him leading me spiritually that I’ve failed to pursue my own growth, my own walk with Jesus. Thank goodness for the glorious grace and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ! I think I would be a ball of blubbering mess if it weren’t for that.

    Like

  46. WouldRatherNotSay:

    Welcome!

    You are FREE!!!! Yes!!

    Was this something that you came to on your own, or was it reading somewhere? Regardless, I’m thrilled for you, your new-found spiritual walk and also for your marriage.

    By the way – this teaching is very common at homeschool conferences. Now that your eyes are opened, you will see it popping out all over the place.

    I’m really glad you found the blog and shared your story. ~Julie Anne

    Like

  47. WouldRatherNotSay, Welcome!! I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit was involved in your ‘stumbling’ to this blog community today. So glad for that. Thank you for sharing about your journey and the fact that you came to a significant realization. It is good to ponder how and why you believed the way that you did and for such a long time.

    You are free to process your thoughts here. You are not alone. People have come from many backgrounds yet there is much that is similar in their stories. Trusting that you feel at home and will feel empowered to shake off what is/was extra baggage in your Christian life. This is a place to grow and to learn, along with others. It is a place to further share your thoughts as you process who you are in Christ and how to please him. Glad that you shared so freely with us.

    Like

  48. The use of “priesthood of the believer” vs, “priesthood of believers” goes back to the key issues and arguments involved Conservative Resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention.

    When the controversy between conservatives and moderates in the SBC was in full swing, one of the key arguments made by the conservatives was that Baptists have historically held to the infallibility and authority of the Bible, which the conservatives prefer to call “inerrancy.” Conservatives argued that it was vital to insist on adherence to the doctrine of inerrancy among faculty at SBC seminaries and among those in positions of leadership in the other SBC agencies (missions boards, the Sunday School literature board, etc.). The conservatives felt commitment to the absolute truth of everything in the Bible (historically, scientifically and doctrinally/theologically) was essential to keep the denomination committed to belief in salvation through Christ alone and to prevent the denomination from drifting in a more and more theologically liberal direction.

    On the other side of the controversy were the moderates within the SBC, who believed that it was inappropriate to make adherence to inerrancy a requirement for service in the seminaries and other agencies. They argued that Southern Baptists had historically banded together around their common commitment to missions (taking the gospel to the world) and that there was room within the Southern Baptist Convention for many doctrinal differences, including differing views on the issue of inerancy. Moderates felt that it should be sufficient that a person was committed to spreading the gospel and to the teachings of the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, which did not use the word “inerant” in reference to the Bible, but rather stated that the Bible contains “truth without any mixture of error” and that the Bible is our guide for “faith and practice.” Moderates felt this wording allowed a person to believe that there are no errors in the Bible in regards to its doctrinal teachings about God and Christ and how we should live, but also believe that we should not expect the Bible to be literally true in all matters (since it was not designed to be a history or science textbook).

    Conservatives often said that belief in the Bible was historically a primary unifying belief of Baptists and that commitment to inerrancy was simply believing the Bible, and that not believing the Bible was a very “unBaptist” viewpoint.

    Moderates often said that Baptists were historically unified around certain core doctrinal teachings from the Bible, not to a specific doctrine about the Bible itself. They said that a key historical Baptist doctrine was that of “priesthood of the believer” (and the and the related concept of “soul competency”), which implies that each individual believer stands before God individually and directly and is therefore capable of interpreting the Bible for themselves (with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course). Moderates therefore argued that it was very “unBaptist” to insist that others believe the same as you do.

    Once the conservatives had full control of the SBC, they took steps to solidify and codify their power and doctrines by making adjustments to the Baptist Faith and Message (and also by requiring adherence to the document by their leaders, professors and missionaries, something that had not been required previously). Al Mohler championed many of the changes, including the switch from “priesthood of the believer” to “priesthood of believers.” His argument was that “the believer” was too individualistic, as it lent support to moderates’ arguments that their individual standing before and accountability to God meant that Baptists shouldn’t impose their doctrinal views on each other. So he (and others, like Paige Patterson) pushed for the change to “believers,” in order to indicate that Baptists are collectively accountable to God and to each other, and therefore it is acceptable for Baptists to tell each other what they must believe as Baptists.

    All that said (for anyone who bothered to read all this and who still cares), there have been (as noted by Cindy K and Lydia and others above) additional implications and problems from the shift from “the believer” to “believers.” Not the least of which is the ambiguity of the new wording. “The believer” strongly implies “each and every believer” whereas “believers” could mean all believers, or just some of them. This lack of clarity, combined with the shift of focus away from the competency of the individual before God, allows the BFM to be used to support the idea that some believers are priests over other believers, or that some believers are of a different or higher order of priests than others — such as the idea that husbands having a special priestly role toward their wives that wives do not have toward their husbands.

    Amazing how a small shift of wording can make such a difference. Especially when coupled with an authoritarian structure.

    Like

  49. Wow, Lydia, I had no idea the cbmw beliefs about the role of women went that far. Of course, they are following their own beliefs to their logical conclusion. Because Christians in conservative fundamentalist circles are often so suspicious of anything intellectual or of critical thinking, they fail to make these connections or, reading the statements from cbmw which are so shocking, their minds refuse to process that something is very, very wrong with this teaching. I’ve been following your posts for a while and lurking, not out of choice but trying to get used to using the screen reader in the comment field. You, Patrice and Cindy K. are all a tremendous inspiration for all you do in encouraging others. they

    Like

  50. Another Tom,

    Amazing how a small shift of wording can make such a difference. Especially when coupled with an authoritarian structure.

    Yes.

    Thanks for the further explanation.

    Like

  51. Julie Anne and Barb,

    Thanks for the welcome. Julie, you asked what brought me to this discovery. (And I apologize for the long-winded reply – but can see from this thread that I’m not the only one who can be verbose! 😉 )

    Well, I believe a series of God-ordained events. It started a couple of weekends ago with a regional women’s retreat. The teachers there went through Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary’s lives and how even though they weren’t perfect (and in fact, some not Jewish), yet they were in the line of Jesus. The big thing I got from that was “don’t let the past define who you are today, because God and redeem anyone’s life,” and “God doesn’t care if you’re qualified.”

    Anyway, they recommended, for a different perspective on those women, reading Francine Rivers’ books about these ladies. (The ladies who spoke had different perspectives than Rivers.) I had read a lot of her fiction and really enjoyed it, so I tucked that in the back of my mind.

    Then, that next week the news on Bill Gothard came out at World Magazine. Someone in the comments there posted a link to Recovering Grace’s website. I really soaked that in. I was floored. I had NEVER heard any of those things before about him. (We never got involved beyond going to a Basic and Advanced seminar and doing one of his studies with friends, because we moved to a state where his stuff just wasn’t “popular.” And when we talked to people here about B. Gothard, they would just say he’s a little to legalistic.) After reading the stories and then some of the articles on how he twisted scripture and how the whole “umbrella of authority” thing was unbiblical and some of the stories of patriarchy (and Doug Phillips) and such, well, I was just overwhelmed and saw how my thinking had been wrong.

    To kind of give myself a break from that I decided to check out a book from the library – I love to read Christian fiction (even if some of it is predictable and dorky) because it really relaxes my mind. I went looking at our local library’s electronic collection and saw a new Rivers fiction book that I hadn’t read, “The Scarlet Thread.” (Don’t know if it’s new, or it was just new to the electronic book collection.) So, I read that book, and after I finished it, I put 2 and 2 together and began to realize my error in expecting my husband to be my “spiritual guide.” Somehow that book showed me that it is my responsibility to develop my own spiritual path. (I had been under the mistaken impression that I shouldn’t be more “spiritually mature” than my husband (I’m not 100% sure where I got that idea), so I stopped working on that so he could “catch up” to me and then be my spiritual leader. How bizzaro is that? How prideful is that – thinking that I was more spiritually mature than my husband? Sigh…)

    Then I thought, “You know, I really need to check out the speakers coming to our state homeschool convention. I don’t want to get sucked into some kind of cult-like thing again.” And when I started doing searches on those names (K. Swanson, V. Baucham, etc) I stumbled onto your blog.

    Sad part of it is, Mr. Swanson was head of our state homeschool group for several years. I never listened to his radio program, but reading some of the transcripts and seeing some of the things he has said has blown me away. It’s outrageous stuff. I do remember going to a Homeschool Day at the Capital a few years back and when he prayed for the legislators and legislature he called them a “brood of vipers” (or den of vipers – one or the other). That was the first time my hubby had ever come to a homeschool event with me and my hubby was not impressed with Mr. Swanson. Here we were talking about submitting to authorities and appealing to them to protect our ability to homeschool and Swanson is calling them vipers. I don’t think you should call your state leaders vipers. I mean, if one of his kids called him a viper, I don’t think Swanson would tolerate it. (And I’ve seen even more things like that that just turn my stomach.)

    So now I’m debating on whether to go to our homeschool conference or not. I usually don’t go to the “main sessions” where Swanson and his ilk speak. I have gotten much encouragement and help from the 1-hour workshops for our homeschool. I really don’t want our money going to support these guys. And now I’m pretty much a veteran homeschool mom – my oldest will be a 9th grader this fall. There is a lot of “support” on facebook and the web for homeschooling. And, the curriculum provider I use won’t be at our vendor hall this year, Soo…

    At this point I’ve written a letter to our state homeschool group and asked them to stop giving the patriarchy and family integrated church guys a platform. I’ve talked to my husband he’s encouraging me not to go if I feel this strongly about it.

    Like

  52. Hi again, WouldRatherNotSay. Thanks for taking the time to share more details about your journey and what things excite you and what things grieve you on the Christian landscape. As I mentioned before, you are not alone! Somehow the light goes on and you see that you have been duped by unscrupulous leaders who claim to have some kind of authority from the Creator to boss you and your family around. You are seeing how ridiculous this can get! It can get pretty overwhelming, the more you dig around for your own answers, to say the least.

    You have turned a corner and those gut feelings, that you have had all along, are now flying in formation. You are getting your own answers and are making personal adjustments. You are becoming one of those who ‘gets it’. Your heart is grieved with the hypocrisy that you have experienced and no longer want to be a part of these toxic systems. Keep checking things out. If you need some help with anything, just drop a question or comment and some folks with information in that area can be of help to you and your dear husband. You are on your way!

    Like

  53. Maybe someone posted this verse already… John 1:12 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husbands will, but born of God.

    Sounds like it’s got nothing to do with the husband and everything to do with God.

    Like

  54. WouldRatherNotSay, yes, all about God!

    Hey, Ed, if you read this, remember that we are children of God, in God’s family, and since we all know that kids do better in a two-parent home, God can’t be only male or we’d be getting less than the best. 😉

    Like

  55. Hey Patrice,

    I read it.  My response is, God is a spirit, and he (YES, HE) has no gender.  No penis, no vagina.  No sperm, no egg.  NO female partner. 

    God “created us” out of nothing.  And, since God is a spirit, we, too, are a spirit.  What GENDER is our spirit?  Male or Female?  Good question, huh?

    I say neither.  What do you think?

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  56. Where does this strange notion come from that God has no gender? Surely not from the Bible, which says that God made man in his own image and likeness; male and female he made them.

    Like

  57. Ed, I’d be fine with that but there’s no neutral pronouns for God. “It” is not ok because it denotes something without life. Our language is too limiting for such as God. It is weird, really. Why can’t there be a pronoun just for God, who is truly that exceptional, that One and Only? We don’t allow for such an idea in language.

    Like

  58. If a man loves his wife as Christ loves the church I do believe he will enable her to grow more in her relationship with the Lord. The reverse can also be true. If he does not love her as he is instructed, and creates grief and pain for her, that will make it more difficult for her to grow in her faith. Just my opinion.

    Like

  59. Patrice and Peter,

    Peter, God has no gender. He does not have sex. He does not have a penis, nor a vagina. God is a spirit. He made mankind in his image, both male and female. Together, the TWO are ONE. God is ONE. Pay attention to that word, ONE. It has nothing to do with gender. I have no idea where you are assuming that God has a gender. It is mankind that makes all this a gender issue. There is no gender in heaven.

    Patrice:

    I posted this in the two posts of council for biblical manhood womanhood posts. I hope this helps a little bit:

    We all, regardless of gender, inherit all. And yes, we are all called “sons of God”.

    John 1:12
    But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

    Romans 8:14
    For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    Galatians 4:6
    And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

    Galatians 4:7
    Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

    Philippians 2:15
    That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

    1 John 3:1
    Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

    1 John 3:2
    Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

    Revelation 21:7
    He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

    Even the Angels are known as the “sons of God”

    Job 1:6
    Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

    Job 38:7
    When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

    ****There is no gender since everyone is a son, both male and female. A female is a son.

    Ed

    Like

  60. I’m not assuming that God has gender. I’m just reading it in the Bible.

    Of course it isn’t the shadow, the picture of this reality that we experience, just as the days defined by sunrise and sunset that begin on day 4 are much less than the real days of creation defined by God speaking in Genesis 1.

    What’s remarkable is that something as intrinsic to our nature, in which God says that his image is male and female, should be absent in the God whose male and female image we are. As long as it’s not the Bible that counts for you, but your a priori assumption into which everything must fit, there’s going to be trouble.

    It is certain that sonship is for women as well as for men, but that doesn’t prove that God has no gender. It proves that the reality of gender is more fundamental than our biology, which only portrays a greater reality.

    C. S. Lewis had a good handle on these things. Read some of his stuff.

    Like

  61. Peter,

    It seems to me that you are way too carnal in your thinking. Now, if you would think spiritually about things, you might see a huge difference from the carnal to the spiritual.

    I always love when people say things like, “Nowhere in the Bible will you find, blah, blah, blah.”

    Well, Pharisees were blind to the scriptures when they knew the scriptures. Even the Apostle Paul knew the scriptures very well before his famous ride to Damascus. But nowhere in the Bible did he find that Jesus was the Messiah.

    Why? Because he was blind to the scriptures. So, when you say things like “I’m just reading it in the Bible…”, then that tells me that you aren’t looking deep enough.

    Paul had to take off his carnal lenses and put on his spiritual lenses.

    Ed

    Like

  62. Well, Ed, I’ll never be spiritual enough, God willing, to put on spiritual lenses that enable me to see things in the Bible that aren’t there and conflict with what is there. I don’t really think there’s anything especially spiritual about getting some idea and then making everything you read fit around that idea.

    And I’m not recommending Lewis as someone not to put to the test like anyone else. He just said things well, and it would be prudent to pay attention before you blow him off.

    Like

  63. Well, Peter,

    What you said sounds like the same types of justifications that the Pharisees used as their justification to stoning Jesus.  They couldn’t see.  They were blind, but they claimed to see.

    John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

    John 9:40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

    John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

    In John 9:39, Jesus was not discussing the eye sight. 

    Ed

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  64. You don’t have a good answer, and so being unwilling to put on your spiritual lenses, I am carnal. Which is fine; it’s true enough. But when Jesus disputed with the Pharisees, he showed them they were wrong from the scriptures, and they didn’t have an answer. In this dispute, you don’t have an answer from the scriptures and can only tell me I’m spiritually blind because I’m not wearing the spiritual lenses you prescribe. That’s a fundamental difference.

    Like

  65. Peter,

    I do believe that you are wrong in many many ways there.

    If Jesus did as you say, then their eyes would be opened, and they would have fallen to their knees at Jesus’ feet and repented.

    But, they didn’t do that, now did they?  Why?  Because they did not believe Jesus.

    Before Abraham was, I am.  I suppose that Jesus showed them the scripture that states that, right?

    But, if they knew the scriptures, they would have seen that already.  Can you find it in the scriptures?

    Please don’t tell me that it isn’t there, because it is.

    Come on Peter.  I thought you were the foundation of the Church!  LOL

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  66. Peter,

    For you:

    Matthew 13:
    10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

    11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

    12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.

    13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

    14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

    15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

    16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

    *******

    Mark 4:
    11 And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:

    12 That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.

    *********

    I suppose that you just think that Jesus spoke plainly to these people, huh? If those smart Pharisees KNEW the spiritual, then they would have understood what Jesus was saying.

    Also, Nicodemus. Jesus had to tell Nicodemus the following:

    John 3:
    12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

    Nicodemus had no spiritual lenses, either. He couldn’t understand what being born again was all about. He could only think of mama’s womb. That’s carnal.

    Ed

    Like

  67. That’s all true, and Mark 4:9-12 even identifies who gets to understand – those who ask him about the parables and get them explained, as Jesus then proceeded to do. It’s not at issue here that we need revelation to understand the word of God. That doesn’t support your posture, that we understand it by putting on some spiritual lenses, which you have explained means assuming a priori what it says and then making it fit, since you know that what you already believe on this question is correct.

    It simply means that you ask when you don’t understand, and Nicodemus did understand. He did so by asking his stupid question and getting the answer from Jesus, which is the way he came to understand and didn’t stay stupid. That’s still the way it works.

    Like

  68. You’ve got to be kidding, Peter?  The Hebrew scriptures are full of spiritual stuff that NO ONE will ever be able to SEE unless those spiritual lenses are put on.

    For example, do you see Jesus in the Passover, long before Jesus was born?

    If so, please describe what you SEE with your CARNAL lenses.

    I suppose that all you see in the Feasts of God is food and drink, and, of course, “obedience”, huh?

    Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

    *****SPIRITUALLY CALLED Sodom and Egypt. Where was Jesus crucified?  GREAT CITY.  GREAT CITY…SODOM/EGYPT.  GREAT CITY.  Remember those two words.  This is trying to tell you something spiritual, but are you listening.  You need to search the HEBREW scriptures now, and take a journey about that GREAT CITY.  Spiritual, not carnal.

    Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

    Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

    1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  69. Ed,

    Jesus did do as I say, and it doesn’t follow that they would have therefore understood. For instance: Matthew 22:15-22, 19:3-8, 15:2-9, 12:1-7, 9:10-13,
    Mark 2:24-27, 7:1-13, 10:2-9,
    Luke 4:25-29, 6:1-4, 20:17-18, 20:21-26, 20:41-44

    I look forward to your showing us how Jesus reasoning with the Pharisees from the scriptures would necessarily have caused them to believe.

    What Jesus did not do is to define spiritual as believing whatever he a priori believed and decided to impose on the scriptures, as you do. In fact, he didn’t even argue with the Saduccees about the proper canon of scripture. He took it from where they were and showed them the resurrection from Moses.

    Like

  70. Oh, Peter, Peter…my, my, my…

    So, Jesus asked the Pharisees the following question:

    Matthew 22:41 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,

    Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The son of David. Were they wrong?  NO!  The Pharisees were RIGHT.

    Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

    But now look what Jesus added to their answer:

    verse 45

    45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

    And what was the answer? 

    46 And no man was able to answer him a word

    But lets see what Jesus said inbetween verse 42-45

    43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?

    If David called Jesus Lord, then HOW is Jesus the SON OF DAVID.  Keep in mind that verse 1 shows that Jesus is the son of David.

    Now…what is your answer to that one, Peter?  Jesus did a gotcha on the Pharisees, and it shut them up.  They still didn’t get it.  Jesus said that David in spirit…that means that David isn’t discussing carnality stuff here.  He is spiritually speaking, and that is what Jesus was doing to the Pharisees.  But they didn’t get it.  Nor did they even know the answer.  But they knew the words of David.  It was a required course.

    So, to say that Jesus took them to where they were is way off base.  He questioned their belief system, and left it at that.  He took them to David, and they had no answer, because they didn’t spiritually understand it.  They answered the carnal correctly, however…remember, Matthew 1:1?

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  71. They didn’t know how Psalm 110 fit in, so he left them there, but I don’t see your point. Since they believed the scriptures including the Psalms, he worked within what they knew and challenged them with a problem.

    He did not here or anywhere else dream up some allegedly spiritual lenses and impose that on the Bible to make it come out as he wanted, as you’ve been recommending. WHen your own spiritual ideas trump the plain sense of the text, you can’t be corrected. Jesus didn’t argue with the plain sense of the text or impose some super-spiritual interpretation on it. What he did here was precisely the opposite: he made them look at each word, including those they had blipped over.

    Actually, it wouldn’t hurt you a bit to lose the supercilious “my, my, my” nonsense. It’s spiritual pride, and scoffing, none of which is spiritual in the least. I don’t know why you think it’s persuasive in any way.

    Like

  72. My point, Peter, is for people in general…not just you…to take off your carnal lenses and seek out spiritual matters.

    God has no gender.  The TWO are ONE.  Male and Female together is NOT A GENDER.  God is ONE.  God is NOT TWO.  God is not a female, nor is he a male. 

    Stop thinking that a pronoun proves that he has a penis. 

    Besides, your explanations of scripture is all carnal based.  You think in the carnal.  You don’t seem to spiritualize anything, and I showed you HUGE examples, that you just quickly dismiss.

    You are way too carnal for me, as are every single reformer that I have ever come across on the internet.

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  73. I never said that God has a penis, and your characterizing my view in that way doesn’t meet even the test of elementary honesty that the world expects.

    I know, Ed, that name-calling, characterizing other people as carnal in contgrast with your own spiritual self is doubtless very spiritual – but I guess I’m too carnal to understand how that can be.

    Like

  74. Here’s a thought

    We are all of born of the Father, but through the ‘womb’ of the church.. ‘the Jerusalem that is above, the mother of us all’

    🙂

    Like

  75. That’s my whole point Julie Anne.  What male with a penis is ever going to admit that he’s a she, saying, “I’m the Bride of Christ”, in a deep voice, while at the same time, brow beating female spirits into submission? 

    I suppose that God has an Adam’s Apple, too? 

    OK, I’m a lesbian trapped in a mans body.

    ________________________________

    Like

  76. Peter,

    You had said: “It’s all good clean fun. Jesus is the son of God, but then in Proverbs 8 we find him as Lady Wisdom.”

    My response: That should tell you that women are more wise than men, right?  So why are women to listen to us men again?  Cuz we got a penis?  That penis thing is what makes our gender, Peter.  That’s why I say, and you agree, that God doesn’t have one.  No penis, no vagina, no gender!

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  77. Ali,

    Now THAT is spiritual.  That is what I was talking about, Peter.  Ali has those spiritual lenses.  You need to see what she sees.

    Thanks Ali,

    Ed

    ________________________________

    Like

  78. There are several passages in scripture about nursing mothers. There’s a song I sang at church years ago: like a weaned child in mothers arms, so longs my soul for Thee, oh Lord.

    As a mom who practiced child-led weaning for my 7 children, this was a powerful illustration.

    O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
    my eyes are not raised too high;
    I do not occupy myself with things
    too great and too marvelous for me.
    2 But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
    like a weaned child with its mother;
    like a weaned child is my soul within me. Ps 131:1-2

    Like

  79. They are analogies. Analogies are never perfect or direct comparisons. CBMW exploits the analogies that suit their purpose, claiming that they are literal and direct. They ignore the others.

    Like

  80. JA, “like a weaned child in mothers arms, so longs my soul for Thee, oh Lord.”

    Do you remember the name of that song, or who wrote it? That is so lovely to me and show me how much I need metaphors and analogies that can relate my experience to the God I love.

    Like

  81. Patrice -I will try to find it when I get home. About to sing at a concert now. I sang it in high school at the Catholic Church. I loved it then and especially now after being a mom and understanding what it’s like to have a weaned child in my lap. Nursing moms would get this. I like reminders!!!

    Like

Thanks for participating in the SSB community. Please be sure to leave a name/pseudonym (not "Anonymous"). Thx :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s