Who is in charge? Or who cares?

Who is in charge? Or who cares?

I got a special hug today from Dr. Cynthia Kunsman a very brave lady who has been fighting a battle against authoritarian spiritual abuse.   Cynthia sent me a link to a wonderful post about marriage and the head/body metaphor.  I would like to share this link with you because I believe the article is very well written and balanced.  Here is the link  Who is in charge?  Or who cares?

Mart De Haan writes:

I’m convinced that if we really listen to the text, the right question is not, “who’s in charge?”, but “who cares?” (i.e. who cares for one another as a head and body care for and cooperate with one another?)

I recommend that you browse through the article.  It isn’t too long, but it is powerful.

Feel free to comment here and/or on Mart’s blog.  Enjoy and thank you to Cynthia for sending this hug to me today!  You can visit Cynthia’s blog here or her web site here.  Cynthia’s material on hierarchy, spiritual abuse, the Family Integrated Church movement and more is extensive and thought-provoking.

10 thoughts on “Who is in charge? Or who cares?

  1. Very good insights.  We are SUPPOSED to notice what Scripture says and what it does not say.

  2. Hat Tip to Lin!  She found that blog post first!

    Lin who responds here forwarded a link to the Who’s in charge? post.  If it were not for her and people like her keeping me informed of what goes on out there, I would have much less information to present. I am most grateful to those that do send me their personal accounts and links to good information, particularly pertaining to all these things pertaining to gender.  I feel like I’ve had a college education in some of these things, just studying what others have learned about the gender agendas through costly experience.  I’m grateful to all and I pray that the whole church can benefit from the lessons learned.

    And this was a good blog post!

  3. Submit does not mean obey; Head does not mean boss. Simple concepts supported by the text as long as people desire to understand the whole picture and use Paul to interpret Paul. He does mention Head and Body more than in authoritarian proof verses and with greater depth than authoritarians chose to recognize. This is a very concise article that really just points out the obvious truth. If we pay attention as much to what Paul didn’t say as to what he did say, lo and behold we actually get a more complete picture, especially when it comes to comparing different relationships (husband/wife, parent/child, master/salve, ruler/citizen)

  4. Funny how the links work. I saw this link from Charis/gem on another forum. I am so glad to see more and more of this sort of teaching out there. People are in bondage to all the rules and roles and we need to say: Christ is in charge! Come out of bondage and Abide deeply in Him!

  5. So much of the (modern) church seems to respond less to Jesus’ overturning of the priorities and preoccupations of the world and more with attempts to read those same prioriites and preoccupations back into the Bible.
    So it is with ‘authority’. Christian faith is perhaps the most anti-authoritarian  faith there is. It seems to presume the fruit of the spirit: kindness, etc;  and cast its community with that presupposition; not the presupposition of ‘command and control’ that we garner from the history of the Church of Rome, and that permeates our experience of the local church run as an ‘authority club’; which it is not.
    We see it over and over with people giving and taking unbiblical titles (Dr., Rev., Pastor, etc.) that is unbiblical in the very idea of titles for members of the family of God! From titles we get authority structures, power and its abuse and the failure of everyday Christians to live out ther (our) call.
    Finally, we see it come to land in those men who think that marriage is an authority relationship, rather than the ‘side by side’ relationship we see in Adam and Eve pre-fall.

  6. gengwall,

    You are right in that submit does not mean obey.  When one redefines Paul by substituting one meaning for another, the distortions that result make the bible contradict itself.

  7. Clive,

    Very good thoughts about authority.  Welcome to this blog and I hope you find the community here to be respectful and non-authoritative.  We are all truly brothers and sisters in Christ and as such we can learn from each other without anyone pulling rank.  That is the way the New Testament believers saw church and the way it should be today as well.

  8. Submit and obey are not synonyms.

    However, based on the Eph 5-6 pericope, I believe that obey can be an EXAMPLE of submission in SOME contexts, like child to parent and slave to master (today, employee to employer).  Such obedience is always limited as we are to obey God first.  But it is still there.  However, it is not there in the relationship of wife and husband and this omission is to be noticed.

  9. Don,

    Yes, you are right in that submit and obey are not synonyms.  Obedience can be chosen as an extreme end of submission if one desires to do this.  However the term obey implies a command is given.  The term “command” is one that implies rightful authority to demand an action.  The one refusing to obey then is liable for punishment.  This is the exact situation with a parent and a child.  The parent has rightful authority that demands the child to obey.  The child can choose to obey or choose not to obey.  Choosing not to obey brings punishment.

    In the situation of a wife and a husband, the wife’s submission is voluntary of her own free will.  Her husband is not told to command his wife to submit nor is he told to discipline her if she refuses to submit.

    Submission can lead to obedience, certainly.  But we must always be aware because of the way that hierarchists distort submission that we articulate the difference.  Command and obey go together.  Also sacrifice and submission go together.   The reason the difference is so important is that command and obey are opposites while sacrifice and submission are on the same level field as equals.

  10. Don,

    I should add that there definitely was submission in the Trinity during the incarnation.  No doubt about that at all.   Even Jesus gave testimony that the Father would submit to his will if he had willed not to go to the cross.

    When Jesus was in the garden getting ready to be arrested and one of his disciples cut off the ear of the slave of the high priest, Jesus said:

    Matt 26:52, 53 “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

    Jesus made it clear that if it was Jesus’ will to be saved and not sacrificed, that his appeal to the Father would be heard and the Father would “at once” give him angelic protection.  So we can see from this testimony that the Father would immediately submit to the Son’s will.  Yet the Son desired to do what the Father had prepared for him. It was his desire that the scriptures should be fulfilled by his sacrificial death.

    In the incarnation, you can get all kinds of submission (Jesus’ example of submitting to the Father is great!) and this is where the examples are.  In eternity past and eternity future, the submission outside the incarnation doesn’t appear to have anything to base the submission on.  In eternity past we do not have one person of the Godhead having a different will than the other two.  In that sense there can be no basis for submission since they are completely together as one with one united will and united works.

    Don’t you wish that humans could live that? Well, I believe we will be able to live in unity this way in eternity. Praise God!

    I hope this makes it a little clearer.

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