Submission, Women in the Church, Ephesians 5:22, Wm. Paul Young, Patriarchy
Today, I posted a note and video on my Facebook wall and the SSB Facebook page which has received some attention. In my journey out of the abusive “Christian Patriarchy” movement which has harmed so many women, I like to grapple with Bible verses that put special rules or limitations onto women. One of the things I learned in Restorative Practices training is that it is very healthy to move toward conflict and to wrestle with it. So, I guess that’s what I’m doing as I study these verses that have been proven to be contentious to me personally.
When the subject of women comes up in Evangelical Christianity, there are a few verses that are selected out of the masses of verses that male leaders use to prove that women must submit to their husbands, that husbands are head of wives and rule over them, women must be silent in church, women must never teach men, etc. In essence, all of these verses seem to show a type of power differential and have been used by men to control women. And I believed it to be true because I trusted my church leaders. I even encouraged other women to follow these teachings.
Here is what I posted on Facebook:
The issue of women submitting to husbands (as opposed to mutual submission) is a big one in the Christian church. It is sometimes used by men improperly against their wives to control them.
One of the key passages used to justify male hierarchy is Eph 5:22 (to the neglect of 5:21 which ironically states that we are to submit to each other!!). Which one is it?? Women submit to men, or we all submit to each other? Why is this so confusing?
It’s not confusing when you listen to this and understand what happened when Bible translators improperly inserted a heading right smack in the middle of a sentence!! Everyone knows you can’t do that, but that’s what they did!
I’ve read about this from numerous Biblical scholars, but I love the way Paul Young explains it here. It makes so much sense now!
A side note: on my Facebook wall, someone asked if this is the same person who wrote The Shack. I know there are a lot of conservative Evangelicals who have issues with Wm. Paul Young because of his book, The Shack. Here is my response to her:
a lot of people dismiss him because of a fictional book he wrote to his kids. They read what other people wrote about a fictional book and make an opinion on him. He is a very learned man biblically. By all means listen and then compare with other Biblical scholars. That is what we all should do. But as I said above, it lines up from what I’ve seen in my research.
The video is only 13 minutes long. This might be the video that pulls the rug out from decades of teachings you have heard. Or it might not. But . . . I would like you to consider it, and test it. See if what Paul Young says is true.