Am I a bigot? Apparently one of my readers thinks so. This is my answer to the second part of Tom’s criticism from. My first response to Tom is here. Tom suggested that I was a bigot because of my views on submission in Ephesians 5. In this article, I will define Christian “submitting one to another” which is far different than obedience and gender or class subordination.
Submitting to one another – first the criticism
Below is another portion of Tom’s criticism to me and my answer will follow.
Third the “submitting one to another” is defined by the rest of the passage, and the rest of the New Testament. Please remember that parents/children and masters/servants are included in this passage. In these relationships we also find authority/obedience. The “mutual submission” works according to the various relationships God has ordained. Parents “submit” to their children’s needs by raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Children submit to the parents by obedience. Servants “submit” to their masters by offering them not only an outward obedience, but also obedience that is from the heart. And 1 Peter shows us that the submission to authority is especially important when the authority is “froward”, harsh, or unreasonable– “NKJ 1 Peter 2:18 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” Not a very American concept, but there it is–it is suffering patiently under unjust authority that really brings reward. We Americans are so lusting after having no authority! Yet, look where reward in the Kingdom comes–from patient suffering under unjust authority! Perhaps we should consider the Scripture, “and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection”, and again, “if we suffer, we shall also reign with him”.
Thus, to return to Eph 5, the “mutual submission” applies to both the authoritative and submissive roles of the various relationship. Now, as to the remark about letting the words of Paul be over those of Jesus–this demonstrates unbelief in the Scriptures, for it is written in 1 Corinthians 14: “If any man think himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write are the commandments of the Lord”. Paul got none of his teachings from men, as we are taught in Galatians–he got it straight from Jesus. In Thessalonians, it is written, “if any man obey not our word in this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him”. When you read the Epistles, you ARE reading Jesus’ words!
When it comes to the teaching of submission and the Lord Jesus, please note that the one thing Jesus learned was obedience, as it says in Hebrews. Note also that Jesus was subject to his earthly parents: NKJ Luke 2:51 “Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them”. This was part of perfectly fulfilling the Law of Moses. But the command is repeated in Eph 5, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord”. So Jesus showed perfect obedience to his head, the Father, as well as to the man and woman who were his earthly parents. The Church is obedient to Christ, and so (as Ephesians so plainly says) ought the wives be to their husbands. Again, I strongly urge you to do a heart check in your attitude toward men (and women) who stand for what the Scriptures say about the authority of males in the family and in the Church. (From Tom)