It seems that everywhere we look these days, complementarian men are quoting the act of creation as God’s intention to put the women underneath the rule of the man. They are also quick to note that there are two different kinds of rulership of the male. The first kind of male rule is that of an autocrat, tyrant or despot who rules in spite of the woman’s own will or intention. This kind of rule, they say, is not what is taught by Christian men. The second kind of rulership is described by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood as headship and this is defined as “two spiritually equal human beings, man and woman, the man bears the primary responsibility to lead the partnership in a God-glorifying direction.” (pg 95 Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood a Response to Evangelical Feminism edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem). The difference between the two rulerships is that one allows the man to rule the woman for his own benefit and the other rulership has the man ruling the woman for the benefit of God as a God-ordained spiritual leader.
Let’s unpack this down to the presuppositions that are required to form the foundation of the God-ordained male rule. This post will consider the first two claims of male-only rule: …
CBMW (Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) has set itself up as a go-to organization for those complementarians who have not been able to figure out from the Bible which things are allowable for women and which things are not. But does their counsel exceed the Bible? I would like to present the evidence and then let you decide.
In a sermon preached by J Ligon Duncan III and reproduced on CBMW’s website, Ligon Duncan writes that the “teaching office” of the Church is restricted to men. But what is the “teaching office” of the church? According to Ligon, the “teaching office” is the ministry of preaching and teaching in the church that is undeniably “vested in the men who serve as the elders of the church.” So the on-going preaching and teaching to the body of Christ is to be done by men. The problem really gets sticky for complementarians when it comes to women teaching other women. …
The question has come up on this blog about whether Adam had a sin nature at the fall that would have been passed on to all of us, and if this is an issue that is important regarding women in ministry. After all, we need to know why it is that only Adam would bring sin into the world and if all of us have something “hanging” onto us from just on man, why is that? We need to know why sin didn’t come into the world through the woman. Is this because she was “under” the man so that anything she did was not placed on her account but on his account? These questions and more will be answered in this post. …
In our continuing topic of common objections to women in ministry, we come to the claim that Eve usurped Adam’s authority when she spoke to the serpent. To deal with this claim, we will be looking at both the claim that Eve rebelled against Adam in the garden and the claim that God gave Adam a responsibility to lead that He clearly denied to Eve.
In chapter 3 of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood written by Raymond C. Ortlund Jrheadship is defined as a right that the man possesses to lead women in a God-glorifying direction. Ortlund writes:
First, the issue is framed in terms of “equal rights.” That sounds noble, but does God really grant husbands and wives equal rights in an unqualified sense? Surely God confers upon them equal worth as His image-bearers. But does a wife possess under God all the rights that her husband has in an unqualified sense? As the head, the husband bears the primary responsibility to lead their partnership in a God-glorifying direction. Under God, a wife may not compete for that primary responsibility. It is her husband’s just because he is the husband, by the wise decree of God. The ideal of “equal rights” in an unqualified sense is not Biblical.
According to Ortlund’s definition of head, women are not allowed by God to have any part in “competing” with men for the responsibility of leading. This is where the idea comes from that Eve sinned against Adam by taking a leading position. According to this complementarian thinking Eve usurped Adam’s authority and his responsibility to lead the relationship. But is this Biblical fact or complementarian fiction? The only way that we will know is to test this truth claim by the Scriptures.
Is there any Biblical text that gives rules and regulations for Eve regarding who she can talk to? Are there also any Biblical texts that show that Eve could not make any decisions on her own without consulting with her husband?
In our discussions on Genesis, there has been one puzzling question. If Adam alone sinned willfully and the woman fell into sin through deception, then why did God punish Eve so severely for her sin?
I would like to propose that we have had a misunderstanding of what happened when God dealt with Adam, the woman, and the serpent. There are only two acts by God that deal with guilt and curses and not three as tradition has taught us. Let’s look carefully at the passage. First of all, let’s look at how God dealt with the serpent:
Genesis 3:14 (NASB) The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life;
God speaks of blame by saying “Because you have done this…” and the result of the blame to the serpent is a curse. It isn’t a guess that God cursed the serpent because the inspired text says “cursed are you…”
Adam is also blamed by God in a very similar way:
Genesis 3:17 (NASB) Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
Notice again that God says “Because you have…” This is God’s blame and with the blame brings a curse. “Cursed is the ground because of you.” The “you” here is singular masculine, and the ground was cursed because of only one man’s sin. …
The November 17, 2009 CBMW blog post by John Starke that we started to evaluate last post, is an amazing “piece of work” that exalts the 17th century writings of a Puritan named Richard Baxter who attempts to put women in their place. Starke continues to summarize Baxter’s writings:
2. Discontentment. There is something about the sinful heart that is always wanting something other than the place in which God has placed him or her. When something other than God is the desire of the heart, it begins to desire more than the portion granted. The sinful cravings of the heart are deceitful and can justify sin or can explain away divine instruction. Baxter’s appeal to wives is to find your contentment and treasure in Christ and you will recognize the joy in resting in his purposes. (emphasis is mine).