Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Demise of Marriage

There is no question that at least in the modern western world, marriage is not just deteriorating, but also diminishing. One argument for same-sex marriage is the breakdown of hetero-sexual marriage. I am not sure how that legitimizes a redefinition of marriage, but it is still made.

It is also debated whether through God or evolution, marriage came to be a relationship for family to exist in a healthy way.

There is no honest question but that major religions agree that marriage is a divine creation between a male and a female. Government involvement has been simply a consequential confirmation to facilitate certain elements (Mainly the safe raising of children.) of a sacred union.

Evolution presents a whole different scenario. If gender and marriage evolved to facilitate child rearing, it can also evolve to something else when marriage becomes unnecessary. A relevant example would be the bee colony. A queen bee reproduces, female worker bees facilitate the hive, and male drone bees simply fertilize the eggs and then die. I assert that this could be a very real possibility for human evolution.

Until recently in the western world, and still in most of the rest of the world, the roles of husband and wife were/are very clear. The male is the head of the home (Doesn't that push buttons now...), who provides for and protects his wife and children. The wife manages the home and children.

Now, the glass ceiling has been shattered (Or maybe broken...). Simply put, anything a man can do, a woman does. As Jennifer Aniston recently put it, that includes birthing and raising children without a male. In addition, the father of that child has absolutely no say in whether his child is even birthed or aborted. He is at a disadvantage in the case of a divorce, especially regarding custody of the children. In job settings, any minority participants are many times given an advantage.

The question can reasonably be asked now,“What are men good for?”“What needful purpose do they offer?” We have gone from John Wayne to Charlie Sheen. Self care for many males is the only responsibility they have. Could that be a part of why men are most often portrayed in the media as 'jerks'? Or even the breakdown of gender distinction?

This change is even more profound for women. While men have had purpose removed (Think about that...), women have had full responsibility loaded on their shoulders. Makes me wonder if evolution has had time to keep up!

Marriage is caught in this change. What was once a crystal clear identity and purpose is now weak and fuzzy. Is it any wonder a change of definition is pursued?

I have not made any judgments about this change so far. But that question begs to be asked. Think of the social experiment we have engaged in! Have we really thought out the implications (For men, women, children, social structure, etc.)? Has this 'progress' been beneficial so far? Does history give us a example (Amazon women?)? Have we considered where it will end?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gay Marriage

Same-sex relationships are not the same as a heterosexual marriage.

I don't think there has ever been a person who is not sexually broken in some way.

That brokenness may be a genetic deformity (born that way), the result of twisted modeling from within the family or outside, abuse/molestation, improper initial sexual experiences or choice (sex outside of marriage in any form).

However, nature, culture, history and religion all point very consistently to a norm. If not, this debate would have been over long ago.

Casting stones does no one any good, nor does trying to make the abnormal normal.

I would suggest our greatest challenge is not each other, but honestly facing and dealing with our own brokenness.

Scientist are not sure why two genders evolved, but it makes sense that one gender focused on protection and provision, while the other on reproduction and nurture.

It is interesting that the Bible indicates just that; Adam was created, and out of that single gender Eve was created. Both had unique purposes that brought 'completion' or 'oneness' when re-united in marriage.

It is not only the perfect setting for reproduction and the nurture of young. It is also a relationship where both genders find 'balance' in a number of ways through an exclusive, life-long commitment in marriage.

One obvious example is the physical expression of oneness in sexual union between a man and a woman. Male and female were made for each other sexually. Homosexual union does not naturally fit.

Same-sex relationships can certainly have genuine love and many other qualities. But it is impossible to match the diversity and balance of heterosexual marriage.

Same-sex relationships have every right to be defined in specific ways. They should also have the necessary protections and justice. However, to provide that within the scope of the marriage relationship is not right or logical.

I have no desire to make you defensive or offend you. I hope we can debate these issues in a polite and fair way. I know I have much more to learn, but this is what I have come to so far.

You are right that marriages in the western world have taken a downward turn in the last few decades. I have some thoughts about that for later.

In the historical context I was speaking of, marriages have been between a man and a woman across cultures, religions and human history.

You are right that homosexuality has always been around and is present in the animal kingdom. But in neither places to a great degree. Among animals there is often a extenuating circumstance.

Among humans it has been and is more often rejected as 'abnormal' or worse. If you re-consider what I listed as possible causes of homosexuality, only one or maybe two would be a choice.

There is certainly a broad genetic variation between masculinity and femininity expressed in genders. However, there is a point where a unusual genetic variation becomes abnormal. I do not say that in a moral sense at all.

The influences of society and family, abuse or molestation also must have a factor in our sexuality. Those are also amoral factors on the part of the recipient.

Our initial sexual experience may be a choice, and therefore possibly unwise. Some people experiment sexually later in life as the Apostle Paul spoke about in Romans. Those are choices.

As I stated earlier, I think we are all sexually broken. God does not excuse us because of that. We are held accountable for how we handle our brokenness.

My experience has been to tightly hold on to two truths. First,'those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God'. And second,'if we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us'.

I have had years of daily mercy, and all to brief periods of victory. I try to keep the perspective that this present time is a micro-second in the span of eternity. This is where God has led me so far.

Sometimes our battle to convince others is nothing more than a battle to convince ourselves.

I suspect you have wrestled longer than Jacob. Sometimes our measure is how hard we fight, but sometimes it is who we surrender to.

I found a little known book by C.S. Lewis to be profound; 'Till We Have Faces'.

My best wishes to you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Mercy mighty
such simple greatness
foundation of all virtues
made solely for me
victorious, no, triumphant over all shame

Mercy unmeasured
a sacred exchange
personified in a baby
perfected on a cross
the ark that saves from deadly depths

Mercy met
now, lest lost
the measure given
is the multiplied gift
in His Holy House, a Mercy Seat for me

Mercy me
fill this vessel full
mark me son
paint my portrait mercy
the enemy mercy vanquished to friend

Monday, September 6, 2010


I am a sojourner, my days like a shadow,
there is no expectation of remaining.

I am a stranger, looked on as a outsider,
“You're not from around here are you?”

I am an alien, my allegiance to another,
my home a different place, always leaving here.

I am a pilgrim, with those from all nations,
yearning for and on my way to sacred Zion.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

“We Have No Other Practice, Nor Have The Churches Of God”


What does the Bible say about gender authority?

Gregory D. Kirschmann

In our society and even the Church today, the question of authority based on gender seems not only settled, but even beyond question. The adamant assertion is that a female has the right to any position of authority in the home, Church or government that a male does.
Dare dispute that assertion, and you will likely be labeled bigoted, ignorant, a woman hater or worse. You may hear, “What about Deborah?“, or, “There is neither male nor female…“. But interestingly, I have never read or heard a consistent, complete compilation of all the biblical passages that teach or reflect gender relationships by those who support that view. Instead, you find extremely selective, partial passages taken out of context.
What does God’s Word say? Does it really place the husband as the head of the home as historical Christianity asserts? Is formal leadership in the New Testament Church to be held only by men? Is it unscriptural for women to be in authority over men? Is the Body of Christ today accepting a viewpoint and practice that is contrary to the Church of God?
Please understand, this is not about any person’s ability, no matter what gender, to exercise tremendous influence apart from any formal position of authority. This is not a question about the privilege of any gender to be involved in ministry, to be anointed in their service, to fulfill a legitimate God designed purpose, or to be ‘called’. It is solely about whether the Bible asserts a male is the God appointed authority in marriage and specifically assigned to formal positions of authority in the Church (Elder and Deacon).
There is no question that I have faulty filters that can slant my understanding of this issue ~ just as every other person, male or female, also does. That struggle does not remove our responsibility or privilege to address and understand what God says about gender authority. I do so with a holy reverence. I even fight a fleshly fear. This has been a process of deep, long soul searching and study. I still hold this matter before the Lord, looking for greater insight. I trust that the Holy Spirit has been faithful to lead me to a place of correctly interpreting the Bible in a way that upholds the Word in truth and spirit. My desire is to rightly submit to God-established authority. I believe that is the best and only way to honor, strengthen and protect every person, no matter what their gender or position.
As you ponder these thoughts, please keep in mind these things;
1. My focus in this dissertation is only to observe what Scripture says about gender authority. I do not engage in a debate about what theologians say about gender authority. That has been done many times. I simply assert that God would not make His Word so confusing, that we would be easily led astray by an overt reading without human commentary. Nor do I doubt that the Holy Spirit will do His job to guide us in a accurate understanding of what God is saying.

I also do not attempt to define how it is to be practiced. I do encourage a careful, sensitive, but obedient response to whatever Scripture and the Holy Spirit reveal to you.
2. I believe that when we live in the parameters God has established, we are released into full freedom, and not limited in any way from our God-given potential. There is no doubt that woman can exercise leadership with great skill in many spheres of authority. I believe the question that over-rides that truth is, does God allow them to exercise formal authority in their marriage and ministries over men?
I understand that what I am presenting has immense implications. However, if gender authority is what the Bible teaches, and women of Scripture were never hindered in their call by living under gender authority, then how can we do any different?
3. We all, both male and female, are under authority. While we may have certain positions of authority, we are also in the same position as the Roman Centurion, "For I, too, am a man under authority..." Luke 7:8 (NASB). Jesus honored him as having the greatest faith in Israel, simply because he recognized the importance and truth of God ordained authority. A Centurion getting top honors for faith that simply understood Kingdom authority! Among all God’s people, a Roman soldier! Is that not an incredibly potent example of the importance of authority?
The teaching today about gender authority is a recent radical turn-around. Not just from a limited period a couple decades ago, but from the basic doctrine of the Church since the Apostles! Is the doctrine of gender authority a two thousand year old misinterpretation of God’s Word, only until now correctly understood? Or is the present gender neutral authority being practiced today an disturbingly blatant distortion of God’s Word? Is it one of the major symptoms of capitulation to culture by the Western Church? I believe it was Francis Schaffer who said, “Look at a value of society today, and you will see a value of the Church eight years from now.”
Consider the recent best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code, now a movie. As Citizen Magazine puts it, “Here in a nutshell is the history of Christianity according to Dan Brown... It’s all been one big sexist plot to empower men and oppress women... Jesus was never God at all. He was a man who married Mary Magdalene, had children with her and left her in charge of the Church... But Peter got jealous of her, as did the men who followed him in later generations. So they buried the evidence of her elevated status, made sure only male-oriented Gospels made it into the Bible... In short, the entire Church has been built on lies.” It must be noted, that this assertion pollutes the entire New Testament and all of Church history with bigotry and far more!
Keep in mind that while this is a fiction book, it is also purportedly based on rejected but true facts and holy writings. Isn’t that the prophecy of 2 Thess. 2:9-12 (NASB) that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Or more recently, consider two movies that ironically came out at the same time, “A Night With the King”, and the Spartan epic, “300”. One shows a tender, loving and romantic king, the other, a twisted despot. They both depict the same king, Artixersis from the book of Esther. Guess which one is historically more accurate?
These distortions in society today can only find credence because the Church has already allowed a platform. What birthed this audacious twisting of truth? Could it be that over the last few years the Church has diluted and rejected the teaching of God’s Word regarding gender authority and other important issues? Is it not ‘politically correct’ not only in society, but also in the Body of Christ to accept women in every position of authority, and certainly not to make waves by even speaking otherwise.
There cannot be the vast separation of belief in the Church about gender authority today without one party fitting into the following passage. It should a sober warning to anyone who takes any position about this issue. 2 John 1:9-11 (NASB) Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. [10]If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; [11]for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.
It is amazing to me that in the very context of where it was first said, it is again being asked, “Did God really say?“ I ask you to lay down your position about gender authority for a moment. Take a fresh, thorough look at the pertaining passages in context, and let the Holy Spirit guide you in all truth. I love the promise of John 7:17-18 (NASB) “If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. [18]“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

I invite you to do a ‘Berean study,’ with God’s Word as your primary text and the Holy Spirit as your partner. Acts 17:10 (NASB) Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.


Do you think a Bible passage is extremely important that begins with,

1 Cor. 11:1-2 (NASB-U) ‘Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. [2] Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you.’

Don’t you think it is a very defining portion of Scripture that concludes with,

1 Cor. 11:16 (NASB-U) ‘But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.’

Would this qualification injected in the start of a discussion include your church?

1 Cor. 14:33b (NASB-U) ‘as in all the churches of the saints.’

Do you recognize the subject matter of this passage as the Lord’s commandment?

1 Cor. 14:36-38 (NASB-U) ‘Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only? [37] If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. [38] But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized.’

Does your behavior dishonor God’s Word?

Titus 2:5 (NASB) so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Each one of these Scriptures is directly connected to key passages on gender authority!

Are these not some of the most severe and strongest warnings Paul gives for any issue he writes about? Not just one warning, not two or three, but five!

If this subject is not important, why did Paul bracket it with these incredibly pronounced statements and commands?

How can we dare ignore, reject and disobey these portions of Scripture? And yet the message of these commands is flagrantly ignored, minimized, rejected, or twisted to mean the opposite of what it says. Will we not suffer serious consequences disobeying a principle that has such strong cautions around it?


First, we may not understand why God has given a certain command. That does not release us from obeying it. We may not agree with the command (King Saul, I Samuel 15). Nor may we want to follow the command (The prophet Jonah, Jonah 1). None of these reasons void our responsibility to obey.

Are you willing to obey clear, specific instructions simply because God says so?

Second, if my understanding of authority goes against the structures of authority that God has established, it is no less than rebellion. Isn’t that exactly what Jezebel did in establishing her own structure in worship and taking leadership in her marriage and the government?

Wasn’t Ahab held accountable for allowing it? 1 Kings 21:25 (NASB-U) Surely there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do evil in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife incited him.

Like Jezebel, are we not ’designing’ our own religion when we deny and distort the clear commands and instructions of Scripture regarding leadership structure in the Church?

Like Jezebel, are we seeking to structure marriage as we chose, and not as God established?

Are we caught up in a worldly definition of equality, at the expense of obedience to God and submission to the authority He has established?

As believers, we aren’t so brash as to openly encourage rebellion. But isn’t that even what ‘mutual submission’ really is, if it is unbiblical?

Samuel’s words to Saul about rebellion and rejecting God’s Word are no less true to us today; 1 Samuel 15:23 (NASB-U) "For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king."

When Christ says a key sign of the end times is rebellion, any issue of authority is too important to ignore. And when the people of God violate authority in the Church and home, do we not open the flood gates of rebellion for society?

Third, if gender equality in authority is unbiblical, what might be the consequences? Is it part of the cause of the gender, marriage and family issues we see today? The implications are huge, they run through society and governments, into the Church, and down to the foundations of marriage and family. So far the Church has been losing the battle to restore health to society. Even our witness has been feeble, if not at times damaging. Christian marriages have not been the example they ought to be. Has the Church itself opened a major door to numerous problems by setting aside the husband as the head of marriage? Doesn’t the rejection of a male head-of-home open the door to a same-sex marriage? I believe the Church posture today will be looked at as a devastating cultural capitulation in the eye of history.

Maybe our prescription for health in society has missed a key, fundamental diagnosis of what the problem really is.

There is a fourth reason gender authority is important. If a improper structure of authority puts people in positions they are not created for, it sets up not only failure for the person, but destructive consequences for all those involved around them! Is our attempt at fixing ‘inequities’ creating even greater ones? Again, could this explain at least some of the frustrations we see in society today?

There is no question that abusive authority in the home and Church has and does exist. I think women many times suffer the most in that twist. But as a result of a faulty reaction to abuse, I think the American Church has tried to establish practice and doctrine from a place of victimization rather than freedom in Christ and faithful obedience to God’s Word. I think we have exchanged a distortion for a lie as a result.

Sadly, we end up ignoring a powerful example and critical command of Christ in the very context of the issue of gender authority,

1 Peter 2:21-3:2 (NASB-U) For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, [22] who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; [23] and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; [24] and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. [25] For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
[3:1] In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, [2] as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

Scripture is filled with astounding examples of men and women being led by God through extremely difficult times of submission to ungodly authority. We are missing our very purpose and losing our testimony of God’s power and authority today because of disobedience and rebellion.

I am well aware of the implications and repercussions of this truth being re-established in Churches and Denominations where women are in leadership over men. But isn’t that what God has always called His people to? If the world has watched the Body of Christ reject truth, isn’t it time they see us reclaim truth? Could this be the Reformation of our day? If we do not return to this foundation, God will raise a new crop of obedient followers.


We have seen a major shift in the issue of gender authority in the Church and Marriage from historic Christianity (See chapter 15 of Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood by John Piper and Wayne Grudem as one excellent resource). One writer in a recent book goes so far as to say that women have been ‘lied to by the Church’. Consider for a moment the judgment that puts on literally every Saint of times past! Has historic Christianity really been abusively wrong about this vital issue?

But even more serious, would that not mean that the Holy Spirit failed to guide the Body in all truth for thousands of years? John 16:13 (NASB-U) "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth.”

I think the following four points (In order of importance.) are foundational guides to correctly understanding what scripture says about gender authority.

1. The first and most important guide is, what does God’s Word teach about gender authority?

Do you know what the passages are that relate to gender authority? How can you have an opinion without knowing and studying God’s Word before taking any other person’s view?

When was the last time you heard a sermon on the passages that deal with this? Would your pastor dare preach these passages in this day and age? Would it be a rebuke to your Church and marriage structure to even read these passages?

2. What was the practice in the Bible regarding gender authority?

What examples of the application of gender authority does scripture give? How was it practiced in Biblical examples? I think gender authority is clearly presented in Scripture as a command and consistently supported by examples.

I also assert that this Biblical command supercedes cultures. I believe that even when a perceived cultural practice (Therefore possibly an adjustable issue.) conflicts with a specific biblical command (Unchangeable.), the Word always takes precedence.

When scripture not only gives a command, but even states the rational for the command, I do not believe we should over-ride that reason because of ‘culture’. Paul in particular, states reasons for gender authority that stand apart from culture.

I also do not accept that the passages referenced here are so culturally bound, that they are pointless for our time. While cultural practices may be different in our time, that does not eradicate the many benefits of God including those practices in His Word. There is always a principle in cultural practices that we are to apply in our context.

3. What was the practice of the early Church after New Testament times?

After the writing of the New Testament, how did the Church speak about gender authority? What was their practice? When did changes occur, and what was the result?

4. What is the fruit our practice of gender authority produces?

God told the Israelites that their world would be a mirror to reflect back the consequences of their choices. There would be life and blessing in obedience, but death and loss in rebellion. Deut. 30:15-19 (NASB-U) "See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; [16] in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. [17] "But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, [18] I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. [19] "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, “

How is the American Church doing in our enlightened age? Better or worse than before? What is being reflected back by society to the Church? Why are African, Asian, South American and even Chinese denominations experiencing dramatic growth, yet being forced to denounce and distance themselves from their American counter-parts in key issues?

Is there an increase in obedience, or growing rebellion in society? Is the Church distinct from it? Has there been an increase or decrease in the health of marriages since we corrected ‘chauvinistic’ doctrine? Do Christian marriages stand apart from those of the world now?

One of the arguments the Episcopal homosexual community made in pursuing gay priests was, “The Church accepted women priests, it will learn to accept homosexual priests.” They then go on to use the same methods of re-interpreting or ignoring God’s Word that are being used to discard gender authority.

How have gender issues such as domestic violence, gender manners and sexual behavior been affected? For example, is same-sex marriage a result of our societies’ rejection of gender authority?


I believe that whatever the Holy Spirit is saying to us as a Church regarding gender authority will be in harmony with Scripture.

Passage after passage dealing with this issue is painted as insignificant or, ‘not for our time’. Time honored interpretation is turned upside down with new definitions from ‘modern’ dictionaries. Even worse, other passages are declared misleading or meaning the opposite of what they overtly say. God does not confuse us that way. Nor is that what the Holy Spirit will do with Scripture. When someone teaches a doctrine that distances and detaches itself from what Scripture teaches on the subject, they are not being led by God’s Spirit. When they indicate you need their teaching to understand what Scripture says, they are claiming the place of the Holy Spirit who Jesus promises will lead us into all truth.

This also means Scripture will be in harmony with itself. When all the passages on a particular doctrine are compiled, they should present a consistent message in both instruction and practice. Unless a major practice is specifically shifted (ie., Gentile participation in worship), there should also be consistency between Old and New Testament. They should be looked at together and understood as a whole. I have heard and read many of these pertaining scriptures dissected alone, asserting gender equality in authority. I have yet to see all these scriptures compiled together reaching a coherent conclusion.

I believe that all Scripture is profitable, and was included for our benefit.

“A low view of Scripture ensures a high risk of distortion!” I am troubled when we so discount passages that they become meaningless. I call us back to the full essence of 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NASB-U) All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; [17] so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Please note these two points in particular;
1. “All Scripture is inspired by God,” and not to be twisted, ignored, minimized or
rejected by man’s opinion at some point down the road of time. Every single
passage has the stamp of God’s approval on it.
2. “All Scripture... is profitable,” and none of it is wasted space to be ignored or
discarded. Every single passage has a divine purpose.

There can be a measure of flexibility interpreting passages that stand alone in a specific issue, but those that have supporting references of teaching and examples are unavoidably important.

With some passages related to this issue, I have also found the application of such harsh and rigid interpretations, that the passage becomes impossible to apply. The passage is then rendered pointless, and therefore ‘unprofitable’. The implication is that, “If we can’t apply it, we don’t have to pay attention to it.” I reject that conclusion. Instead, we need to search for meaning until our understanding makes it applicable.

Matthew 5:17-19 (NASB-U) "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. [18] "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. [19] "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

2 Peter 1:20-21 (NASB-U) But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, [21] for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

I believe that the common believer can read the Bible, and not be misled by the overt message.

I do not believe God would allow a careful reader to be misled in a 180 degree direction. Yet that is the assertion about many of these passages, ’They really mean the opposite of what they seem to say…’ I shouldn’t need someone’s study guide to understand the basic truths of a passage and at least be pointed in the right direction. I am amazed at the audacity of some writers who work to reverse the expressed meaning of God’s Word. When you read these passages without notes, what conclusion do you come to? I believe the Holy Spirit protects and guides sincere believers in correctly understanding truth. I believe He will be faithful to you and I also.

I believe that when it comes down to God’s Word and man’s opinion, the Word prevails.

I don’t think God let the Church be misled for centuries about gender authority until now. I believe that the historic Church has not ‘lied to the body’ on this issue. The doctrine of gender authority in marriage and Church leadership has been consistent throughout Church history. We need men and women of integrity to stand up to the clamor and pressure of modern opinion, especially in the Church! I grieve that many modern Bible teachers deny or stand silent on these passages.


I present a challenge. Have a pre-teen read these passages, and then ask them what conclusion they come to. If you were reading these for the first time, what understanding would you conclude with?
*Underlined portions are only to point out key portions that I see relating to the
issue of gender authority.

Genesis 2:18-25 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.”
24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3:16 (NASB-U) To the woman He said,
"I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you."

1 Cor. 11:1-16 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
[2] I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
[3] Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. [4] Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. [5] And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is just as though her head were shaved. [6] If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. [7] A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. [8] For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; [9] neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. [10] For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
[11] In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. [12] For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. [13] Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? [14] Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, [15] but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. [16] If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice--nor do the churches of God.

1 Cor. 14:33-38 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.
As in all the congregations of the saints, [34] women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. [35] If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
[36] Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? [37] If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. [38] If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

1 Tim. 2:11-3:15 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. [12] I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. [13] For Adam was formed first, then Eve. [14] And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. [15] But women will be saved through childbearing--if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.
[3:1] Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. [2] Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, [3] not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. [4] He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. [5] (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) [6] He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. [7] He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.
[8] Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. [9] They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. [10] They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
[11] In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
[12] A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. [13] Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
[14] Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, [15] if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

1 Tim. 5:1-2 Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, [2] older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Titus 1:5-9 The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. [6] An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient. [7] Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. [8] Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. [9] He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.

Titus 2:3-5 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. [4] Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, [5] to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 Peter 3:1-7 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, [2] when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. [3] Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. [4] Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. [5] For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, [6] like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
[7] Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.



Genesis 3:6 (NASB-U) When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Since Eve led in this disobedience, and if there is no gender authority, then why is Adam/man ultimately held responsible for the fall?

Romans 5:14 (NASB-U) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.

1 Cor. 15:22 (NASB-U) For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

The responsibility always ends at the leader’s feet.


Genesis 3:16 (NASB-U) To the woman He said,
"I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you."

The New Jerusalem Bible interprets it this way;
Genesis 3:16 (NJB) To the woman he said:
I shall give you intense pain in childbearing,
you will give birth to your children in pain.
Your yearning will be for your husband,
and he will dominate you.

What does this verse say to you?

1. Note the context. Adam, Eve and the serpent are being judged for the violation of God’s law.
2. The consequence for the woman is two fold;
A. In one of the most precious moments of a female’s life (child birth), intense
pain will be present.
B. Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.

The first part of this judgment is not our focus, the second part is where our debate occurs. There is brief but uniform biblical information to clearly understand what is implied in this second judgment.

The word used for desire is teshuwqah, from Hebrew 7783 (shuwq) in the original sense of stretching out after; a longing: intense desire. It is used only two other times in scripture;

Genesis 4:7 (NASB-U) "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it."

Here, the ‘intense desire’ is that of sin for Cain.

Song 7:10 (NASB-U) "I am my beloved's, And his desire is for me.

In this passage, the beloved has ‘intense desire’ of love for her.

We must ask, what is the subject of the ‘intense desire’ in Genesis 3:16, “Yet your desire will be for your husband” ?

The traditional interpretation is this; The woman will have an intense desire to usurp the rule of her husband (Since the exercise of authority is the context it is used in.).

I hold this interpretation for at least four reasons.

First, because the line of verse declaring desire is directly connected with “and he will rule over you.” It is important to note that Scripture teaches that Adam already had authority over Eve. Adam’s authority was not a new consequence of Eve’s sin, her fallen nature’s response to that authority was new.

1 Corinthians 11:7-10 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

1 Timothy 2:12-13 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. 13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

This curse indicates a shift, not in the order of authority, but the response of woman to that authority. She now had an intense desire to rule that would be frustrated.

Second, the word desire also has the closest proximity to the second use of the word (Gen. 4:7) where it is a wrong desire. The use of the word is also set in a negative context of judgment.

Third, Paul confirms that interpretation and consequence in the authority structure of gender.

1 Tim. 2:11-15 (NASB-U) A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. [12] But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. [13] For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. [14] And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. [15] But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

Please note that in verse 13 the order of creation is first given as a reason for gender authority. Then in verse 14 Eve’s deception is given as a second reason for gender authority, and tied into New Testament application with clear consistency. It even includes the context of childbirth! It also clearly extends gender authority into the Church structure.

Fourth, I also think the truth of this judgment of tension in the exercise of authority between husband and wife is inferred in a number of biblical passages and incidents.

Proverbs 27:15 (NASB-U) A constant dripping on a day of steady rain And a contentious woman are alike;

Amos 4:1 (NASB-U) Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to their husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!”
Here the sense of the female struggling to assert their will is indicated.

Certainly Delilah is an example in her devious badgering of Samson,

Judges 16:16 ( NIV ) With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death.

I think Sarah (Pursuing offspring through her handmaiden.), Rebekah (Putting Jacob ahead of Esau.), Miriam (Seeking along with Aaron to displace Moses.) and certainly Jezebel to name a few also show examples of ungodly desires to subvert gender authority.

Col. 3:18-19 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

In the context of commanding wives to submit, embitterment would be a natural reaction against an un-submitting wife.

Fifth, the unauthorized assertion of authority to encourage rebellion makes this judgment a profoundly appropriate consequence of both Eve & Adam’s sin. The desire to dominate will be unquenched in the woman, and the responsibility to lead will be unendingly challenged for the man.

Genesis 3:17 (NASB-U) Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife…”

Do not cultures throughout history confirm the truth of this tension? There is both the female desire for authority, but male authority ultimately superceding, over and over. I have even wondered if one of the effects of the fallen nature is not just the female tendency to pursue obtaining authority, but also for the male to abdicate authority.

I also wonder if in the very situation where man abdicated leadership under God, we are not presented a new opportunity to stand up for biblical truth when women assert leadership over men. Instead of repeating the silence of Adam, when female leadership over males is presented as a God-given right is it not a time to say, “No, God does not allow that!”


Genesis 3:16 simply states that authority resides in the husband with a frustrated tension from the wife. That gender authority is specifically confirmed in the New Testament in I Timothy 2, which also then carries that same authority structure and practice from marriage into the Church structure.

If the authority of the husband over the wife is marked by tension as a result of the fall, does it not make sense that we will see that tension at work in the Church structure?

There is an additional verse in Genesis that makes a powerful assertion for gender authority based on purpose.

Genesis 2:18 (NASB) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” There are many ideas of what position of authority the helper holds in this passage, but the overt assumption in any other setting is that it would be a position under authority.

The specific position of this helper is defined in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9 For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9 for indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. The context of this argument is found in verse three where Paul asserts that man is the head of woman.

This interpretation in no way supports a degrading view of woman. The continuing context of the passage elaborates the special, sacred creation of that relationship.

Genesis 2:20-25 (NASB) The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Solomon also gives beautiful expressions of the role of ‘suitable helper’ when he states, “Two are better than one…”, and the wonderful passage in Proverbs 31.



Judges 5:6-7 (NASB-U) "In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
In the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, And travelers went by roundabout ways.
[7] "The peasantry ceased, they ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose, Until I arose, a mother in Israel.

JUDGES 4 & 5

The issue, from a Biblical perspective, is not whether women can be used greatly by God. Of course they can. Deborah certainly affirms that. The question Deborah raises is, was her role as Judge exercised from a place of authority over men?

Deborah is called the following in Scripture;
-Prophetess (Judges 4:4)
-Judge (Judges 4:4) *a shaphat. to judge, govern:— acting like a judge
-‘Mother of Israel’ (Judges 5:7)

It is not surprising that God would raise up a woman to be a prophetess, the Bible makes it clear that God grants the gift of prophecy to women also. But they are to practice prophecy while exhibiting submission to authority; 1 Cor. 11:5 (NASB-U) But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved.

The Bible tells us of other prophetesses in both the Old and New Testaments: Miriam (Exodus 15:20), Huldah (2 Kings 22:14), Anna (Luke 2:36), and Philip's four daughters (Acts 21:8-9)

Nor is it difficult to see Deborah as ‘the mother of Israel’. That paints a picture of influence that is powerful and significant. In the context of authority, the New Testament carries a similar picture, 1 Tim. 5:1-2 (NIV) Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, [2] older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

It is unexpected that God would raise up a woman to be a Judge, especially with authority over men. I think we must look carefully at the unique exercise of influence that Deborah wielded as a Judge.
Her activities in judging disputes for others create for many the greatest question in all Scripture about gender authority. However, I do not believe that one, very debatable question overrides numerous commands and examples of practice in the rest of Scripture!

It is clearly understood that during this time God intended to be the authority over Israel. In difficult times He raised up individuals to communicate his will and lead armies. It is uniquely noted that Deborah judged in private. Nor does she ever lead an army. In fact, not only does she decline the opportunity to lead the army, the general who demanded her to, is disciplined because he simply requested she come with him! These are key differences compared to all the other Judges!

The key event is when Deborah calls Barak with a message from God. Note that Deborah does not see herself as the deliverer called by God for Israel, distinct from the other Judges. It would also seem logical for her to lead if gender authority were not present. Instead a man name Barak in chosen by God.

Barak will only lead if Deborah accompanies him. Because of this demand by Barak, he is disciplined by not being the one allowed to personally defeat Sisera, the commander to Jabin's army. Instead, a woman will, but not Deborah! To me, this has gender authority written every which way, otherwise it makes no sense at all!

Judges 4:8-9 (NASB-U) Then Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go." [9] She said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the honor shall not be yours on the journey that you are about to take, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hands of a woman." Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.

Because of Barak’s request, God rebukes him by allowing a woman to accomplish the ultimate victory! Is it not similar to Moses accompanying Joshua, except for gender?

It is similar to the judgment Isaiah pronounces with the implication that, this is not the way it should be;

Isaiah 3:12 ( NIV ) Youths oppress my people, women rule over them. O my people, your guides lead you astray; they turn you from the path.

Why is the punishment a woman doing what God called him to do, if gender authority is not in place at the time?

We also would have expected that the woman to defeat Sisera (verse 9) would be Deborah. However, with Barak’s discipline, God used someone else - and the woman, Jael was not even an Israelite, but a Kenite.

Why didn’t God use Deborah if she was in authority, and God ended up using a woman anyway?

Why is Barak referenced in the New Testament and not Deborah?

Hebrews 11:32-34 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, [33] who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, [34] quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.

Deborah illustrates an essential truth. Even in a male-oriented society, godly women can serve God with incredible effectiveness and influence. The respect in which Deborah was held is reflected in Barak and his unwillingness to face the enemy unless she was present. Deborah reminds us that what qualifies an individual to serve God is not his or her sex, but his or her relationship with God, and call by Him to ministry. All these things can be accomplished without a position of authority!


If we interpret the book of Deborah as allowing female leadership, it creates tremendous problems with specific commands in the Old and New Testament. But more so, it bases a conclusion on a position that even Deborah herself did not claim! It also makes the judgment of Barak extremely confusing. I think the individual variety of the Judges and the unique characteristics of Deborah’s ministry support male authority, while at the same time exposing the ability of God to use women in significant and marvelous ways. Of great importance, I think it also shows God’s ability to use any gender outside the formal structure of authority in powerful ways.



Queen Vashti. A woman who responded in the way those who reject gender authority approve and champion! But the book is named after Esther, who submitted to both godly and ungodly gender authority!

Why are Ruth and Esther never mentioned in the debate about gender authority?

Read the following passages, and you will understand why... these books affirm the practice of gender authority as strongly or stronger than any other books of the Bible! In fact, if gender authority does not exist, I don’t think Ruth could be a glorious book of the Bible, carrying a picture of Christ and the Church. I also think in all fairness, the book of Esther should have been named after the first queen, Vashti!


Ruth 3:1-13 (NIV) One day Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for? [2] Is not Boaz, with whose servant girls you have been, a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. [3] Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don't let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. [4] When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do."
[5] "I will do whatever you say," Ruth answered. [6] So she went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother-in-law told her to do.
[7] When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. [8] In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.
[9] "Who are you?" he asked.
"I am your servant Ruth," she said. "Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer."
[10] "The Lord bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. [11] And now, my daughter, don't be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know that you are a woman of noble character. [12] Although it is true that I am near of kin, there is a kinsman-redeemer nearer than I. [13] Stay here for the night, and in the morning if he wants to redeem, good; let him redeem. But if he is not willing, as surely as the Lord lives I will do it. Lie here until morning."

The submission of Ruth to a foreign mother-in-law, after the death of her husband is a additional picture of the importance of authority. Her posture of submission to Boaz is certainly a example of positive, powerful and protective gender authority. The position of the appropriate male being a provider and protector of a woman is consistent in both Old and New Testaments and even in cultures throughout history.


Esther 1:10-22 (NIV) On the seventh day, when King Xerxes was in high spirits from wine, he commanded the seven eunuchs who served him--Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carcas-- [11] to bring before him Queen Vashti, wearing her royal crown, in order to display her beauty to the people and nobles, for she was lovely to look at. [12] But when the attendants delivered the king's command, Queen Vashti refused to come. Then the king became furious and burned with anger.
[13] Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the times [14] and were closest to the king--Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, the seven nobles of Persia and Media who had special access to the king and were highest in the kingdom.
[15] "According to law, what must be done to Queen Vashti?" he asked. "She has not obeyed the command of King Xerxes that the eunuchs have taken to her."
[16] Then Memucan replied in the presence of the king and the nobles, "Queen Vashti has done wrong, not only against the king but also against all the nobles and the peoples of all the provinces of King Xerxes. [17] For the queen's conduct will become known to all the women, and so they will despise their husbands and say, 'King Xerxes commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, but she would not come.' [18] This very day the Persian and Median women of the nobility who have heard about the queen's conduct will respond to all the king's nobles in the same way. There will be no end of disrespect and discord.
[19] "Therefore, if it pleases the king, let him issue a royal decree and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media, which cannot be repealed, that Vashti is never again to enter the presence of King Xerxes. Also let the king give her royal position to someone else who is better than she. [20] Then when the king's edict is proclaimed throughout all his vast realm, all the women will respect their husbands, from the least to the greatest."
[21] The king and his nobles were pleased with this advice, so the king did as Memucan proposed. [22] He sent dispatches to all parts of the kingdom, to each province in its own script and to each people in its own language, proclaiming in each people's tongue that every man should be ruler over his own household.

Esther 2:1-4 (NIV) Later when the anger of King Xerxes had subsided, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and what he had decreed about her. [2] Then the king's personal attendants proposed, "Let a search be made for beautiful young virgins for the king. [3] Let the king appoint commissioners in every province of his realm to bring all these beautiful girls into the harem at the citadel of Susa. Let them be placed under the care of Hegai, the king's eunuch, who is in charge of the women; and let beauty treatments be given to them. [4] Then let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti." This advice appealed to the king, and he followed it.

Esther 2:5-11 (NIV) Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, [6] who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. [7] Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This girl, who was also known as Esther, was lovely in form and features, and Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
[8] When the king's order and edict had been proclaimed, many girls were brought to the citadel of Susa and put under the care of Hegai. Esther also was taken to the king's palace and entrusted to Hegai, who had charge of the harem. [9] The girl pleased him and won his favor. Immediately he provided her with her beauty treatments and special food. He assigned to her seven maids selected from the king's palace and moved her and her maids into the best place in the harem.
[10] Esther had not revealed her nationality and family background, because Mordecai had forbidden her to do so. [11] Every day he walked back and forth near the courtyard of the harem to find out how Esther was and what was happening to her.

Esther 2:17-18 (NIV) Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. [18] And the king gave a great banquet, Esther's banquet, for all his nobles and officials. He proclaimed a holiday throughout the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.

Esther 10:3 (NIV) Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Xerxes, preeminent among the Jews, and held in high esteem by his many fellow Jews, because he worked for the good of his people and spoke up for the welfare of all the Jews.

The example of God working through Esther submitting to the gender authority of both her cousin even after becoming a queen (A godly man, but not immediate family non-the-less.), and a very ungodly king challenges our understanding of the whole principle of authority! Adding Haman to the situation only makes it more pronounced. As a whole, the book underscores the importance of authority, even in the face of sinfulness, extreme cruelty and injustice in male leadership. When you preface that with the removal of Queen Vashti for the reason stated, there is a clear and powerful condemnation of modern reasoning and the rejection of gender authority.


In both Ruth and Esther you find a extremely strong and clear sense of male gender authority and God’s ability to work through it. Gender authority was used by God and embraced by these godly women. More surprising? In Ruth, the authority is benevolent. In Esther however, it is at the hands of what the Bible records, and secular history echoes, a very evil King. Esther and Mordecai not only submit, but Mordecai even protects that abusive authority against assassination!


I will include Abigail in this chapter, because sometimes questions are raised about her situation.

The story of Abigail is recorded in I Samuel chapter 25. The summery of it is this; Abigail was the intelligent and beautiful wife of Nabal, a harsh and evil man. David has his men watch Nabal’s sheep herd, protecting them from thieves and wild animals. When the season is over, Nabal refuses to reward David. David then prepares to kill Nabal and his male servants, but Abigail intercedes with gifts of food and a plea. David accepts the response and turns back. When Nabal finds out, he has what appears to be a heart attack and dies within ten days. David then offers to marry Abigail, who becomes his third wife after Michal (Who King Saul has given to another man.), and Ahinoam.

In II Samuel 3:3 Abigail is listed as the second of six wives of David. She bears his second-born son, Chileab (“everything of the Father”). His birth is also recorded in I Chronicles 3:1, where his name is listed as Daniel (“God is my judge”). He does not succeed Absalom to the throne as would be expected. There is no other record of his life in the Bible, and it is unknown what became of him.


1. Whether you agree with gender authority or not, going behind your mate’s back is wrong. Nor is it even a picture of mutual submission. Giving your husband a heart attack by doing so also has serious implications. Sarah is commended and remembered
for submission to Abraham’s questionable commands. Abigail quickly fades into obscurity.

2. Becoming a wife out of sympathy is not what most women dream of. Nor is being one wife of many. Having a son who does not receive the position he is due, and is never spoken of again also causes questions.

3. The question has been raised, if David had the guilt of Nabal’s death on his mind (As Abigail warned he would if he killed him.), would he have killed Bathsheba’s husband?


I cannot argue with the fact that David accepts Abigail’s plea as wise and godly. I agree that it would have been wrong for David to avenge himself. However, I deeply struggle with how Abigail went about her intervention. I also find her immediate fading to the background and the disappearance of her son a cause for caution and question.


-‘neither Jew nor Gentile’ is referred to five times.

-‘Slave nor free’ three times.

-‘Circumcised or uncircumcised’ one time.

’Neither male nor female’ is mentioned in only one of five similar passages about being one in Christ!

Romans 10:12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,

1 Cor. 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Ephes. 2:15-16 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, [16] and in this one body to reconcile both of them (Jew and Gentile) to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Col. 3:9-11 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. [11] Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

If that statement means removing gender authority, it was not very important in the scope of the other relationships mentioned. Yet, if it really was the message, it would have had revolutionary implications for it’s time. To have that idea flung out with one mention and no further explanation makes it ridiculous to accept as a valid interpretation! However, we do exactly that with ignorant arrogance!

Just as serious, why only the distinction of gender authority? Why not other gender distinctions? Who even says that was the specific distinction to be changed? Further more, that interpretation would require comparable changes in the other subjects stated in the passages.

Do you also realize that by saying that statement changes gender authority you are acknowledging that it existed prior to the change?


The context of all the references noted above is essential in correctly interpreting the meaning. They all clearly and consistently emphasis the availability of salvation to all persons! Not one of them have anything to do with changing any part of the relationship between the comparisons!

Galatians 3:19-29 (NASB-U) Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. [20] Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. [21] Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. [22] But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
[23] But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. [24] Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. [25] But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. [26] For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. [27] For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.


1. Galatians contains two dominate themes;
A. The justification of the believer in Christ apart of works.
B. The ministry of the Holy Spirit as the indwelling energizer of the our life
in Christ.

2. The letter falls into three sections;
1. Defense of Paul’s gospel and apostleship. (1&2)
2. Argument for justification by faith alone, apart from legal works. (3&4)
3. Exhortation to practice the principles and responsibilities of the
Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit. (5&6)

3. Immediate Context of chapters 3 & 4;
-Negates any claim by Judaizers that the Old Covenant is a better life.
-The Law is to be a guardian on the path toward maturity and free
enjoyment of sonship.
-Membership in God’s family comes to any and all believers with freedom,
family membership and heirship.

The context of the immediate verses;

3:26 Faith in Christ makes us children of God.

3:27 We are ‘clothed’ with Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:3-5, I Cor. 12:13).

3:28 That clothing with Christ is not restricted by culture, social rank and sex.


1. Where is gender authority specified in this passage?

2. Why not another gender distinction? For instance, why would the distinction of masculinity and femininity not be eliminated too?

3. How can you just pick gender out of the context, and change one aspect of it (authority) while ignoring the other subjects of the passage? How does that distinction apply to “neither Jew nor Greek“? Is the authority structure also removed from the work place (“slave nor free“)?

4. Are all authority structures then eliminated? Why not?

Choosing gender authority as the subject of this passage minimizes the truth that all humans have God’s salvation available. That is a sad exchange to say the least!

It must be noted here that ‘man and woman’ is always used in any other passages relating to gender roles, not ‘male and female’. If this passage were referring to gender roles, why the exception?

The term ‘Male & female’ in verse 28 draws us back to Genesis 1:27, So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Galatians 3:28 tells us that our broken image of God is restored to the image of God (male & female) through Christ! We were restored to the original design! This is part of the critical context of the Galatians passage.

Can the context of Galatians 3:28 refer to the role of authority?

What does that do to the principle and concept of authority? Is it plausible that God would remove the framework of authority between men and women in Christ, and not in government, church and family?

If you believe a woman can be in authority in government and church, but not in the home, how would you practically exercise the transitional shifts of authority?

Is the role change in all three areas (marriage, church and government) supported by scripture? Is there instruction on the ‘new’ structure and how it operates?

If equality of position is the point, then why is there not only no instruction on how that radical change is to be walked out, but instead, confusing, if not conflicting passages to the contrary?

If mutual submission is a new order in the home, how does that harmonize with the principle in Matthew 6:24 No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. (See also Luke 16:13)

Even more significant, how is mutual submission in marriage a reflection of Christ and the Church? Doesn’t that view require Christ to submit to the Church too?

What other passages validate the interpretation of Galatians 3:28 as neutralizing authority? How can such a radical change hang on one passage?


1. Salvation in Christ is being spoken of, rather than roles with each other. (vs 22,24,26,27)

2. Oneness in Christ does not obliterate the functional differences between slaves and masters (I Cor 7:20-24), parents and children (Eph. 6:1-4), Christian citizens and rulers (Rom. 13:1-7). Why then should we assert that it does so between male and female?

3. Doesn’t the interpretation that it removes authority roles in marriage conflict with I Cor. 11:3, Eph. 5:22, Col. 3:18 and I Pet. 3:1-6? And in the church with I Tim 2:8-3:15?

4. The interpretation of Galatians 3:28 removing gender authority puts the emphasis on the person, the classical view puts the emphasis on Christ. A accurate example of Galatians 3:28 would be the picture of Baptism found in Romans 6. Anyone who is buried with Christ, rises in Christ. This same interpretation is affirmed in the very context of gender authority in I Peter 3:7 (NIV) “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them wit respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life…”

5. Salvation in Christ transcends ethnic, social and sexual distinctions, it does not eradicate them.

6. I find the interpretation and practice of the early post-NT Church to be in agreement.
That includes Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, Gregory of Nyssa, John Chrysostom, Augustine. Martin Luther devotes three chapters to 3:28 and makes no such claim. John Calvin taught that freedom in Christ truly exists within limits and restrictions of a different order. None of the major teachers in the history of the church thought Galatians 3:28 abolished the male-female authority distinction in marriage or the church.

When someone proclaims they have uncovered ‘new truth’ such as this, it is a tribute to self-esteem rather than anything else. Christ promised the Church the permanent, indwelling Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16:12-15). Rejection of widespread agreement over time and among believers about issues such as this should not be picked up carelessly.

In marriage, equal gender value coexists with divinely mandated leadership and submission, just as it does in the government and church. Gender authority is a platform for protection and serving. This authority is never to allow abuse, offence, or exploitation. Nor does gender authority change our value as Paul points out in I Cor. 12:12-30.


Romans 10:8-13 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: [9] That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. [11] As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." [12] For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, [13] for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

1 Cor. 12:12-20 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. [13] For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
[14] Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. [15] If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. [16] And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. [17] If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? [18] But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. [19] If they were all one part, where would the body be? [20] As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Ephes. 2:14-19 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, [15] by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, [16] and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. [17] He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. [18] For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
[19] Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,

Col. 3:1-11 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. [2] Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. [3] For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. [4] When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
[5] Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. [6] Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. [7] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. [8] But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. [9] Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. [11] Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.


“If men exhibited Christ-like leadership,
women would submit...”

Are we not commanded to submit to un-regenerated authority (Kings, parents, etc.)?

Is poor leadership the only problem with submission, or can rebellion be a factor too?

Do either gender always submit to Christ’s perfect leadership?


The Church today tends to hold one of two views about gender authority in marriage;

1. Wives submit to husbands.

2. Mutual submission.

One of these views is setting up it’s own authority structure in violation of God’s order. The Bible says that is a serious matter!

2 Cor. 10:4-6 (Msg) The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. [5] We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. [6] Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.

That means that if mutual submission is what God has ordained, any husband who exercises gender authority as a practice is violating scripture, and every wife who submits to it is disobeying God. Conversely, if gender authority is what God intends, any husband who operates in mutual submission is abdicating responsibility, and the wife is making the same shift Satan did in rejecting the authority established by God.

Please consider carefully the following questions.

1. Is your belief about gender authority in marriage primarily directed by reactions to faulty leadership, another person’s teaching, or your own careful, Biblical, Spirit-led study of this issue?

2. What do you believe about this before God?

3. What will happen or change if you make a 180 degree change in your thinking? Are the consequences of that change guiding your interpretation of gender authority, or is God’s Word?

REMEMBER; Scripture is to be our first and final guide.

Extensive teaching that opposes mutual submission is covered in ‘Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood’ by John Piper & Wayne Gruden. In ‘Beyond Sex Roles’ by Gilbert Bilezikian a typical supporting view of mutual submission is given.

The Bible states that there is gender authority in marriage, and not mutual submission. This was established before the fall.

1. Adam was created first; 1 Tim. 2:13 For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

2. Adam is judged for listening to his wife; Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree...

3. Adam named Eve.

4. Throughout history and around the world, Society seems ‘hardwired’ for gender authority.

5. Old Testament Law, Biblical culture and examples give clear and consistent witness of gender authority in marriage.


A. Ephes. 5:21-33 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
[22] Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. [23] For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. [24] But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
[25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, [26] so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, [27] that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. [28] So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; [29] for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, [30] because we are members of His body. [31] For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [32] This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. [33] Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

*Please note; The full context of this passage is Ephesians 5:21 through 6:9. After the call to ‘be subject to one another’, it gives instructions on how the submission looks in the different relationships of husbands and wives, children and parents, and slaves and masters. None of these structures of authority listed look like mutual submission!

There are two contested words in this passage, ‘subject’ (submit), and ‘head’.

1. Subject; hupotasso ; to place or rank under, to subject, mid. to obey:— put in subjection(5), subject(16), subjected(7), subjecting(1), subjection(4), submissive(3), submit(2)

-It is always used in the context of submission to authority in the New Testament.
In love and Christ-like character we are all to humbly put others before ourselves, but that does not eradicate positions of authority! Our example Jesus, put others before himself, but without abdicating his authority.

V21 is the key verse used to justify mutual submission. Here is the crucial weakness of that argument; The context of the passage is submitting to one another, and is clearly communicated in verses 5:22-6:5, wives to husbands, children to parents, and servants to masters. It does not make sense to call for mutual submission in verse 21, and then give an extended reversal of the command in the very next verses!

How should this passage read if it were speaking of mutual submission?
-Would it not start as Jesus did, ‘You have heard... but I say...’
-Would there not be extended explanation, especially in light of the culture

The example of submitting to authority is even given using the Church. Paul communicates this in v23 saying ‘as Christ is the head of the church’. He then emphasizes the truth by inverting it in v24, saying ‘as the church submits to Christ’. Can’t be made any clearer than that!

V24 Calls for submission in marriage to the full extent that the Church submits to Christ. Consider the depth and breadth of that statement! Wives, submit to husbands as the Church does to Christ… in everything that is holy, good and right!

V31 Refers to Genesis and the man leaving home and taking a wife ~ an expression of new authority being established and leadership in action. Another powerful example is the Ten Commandments where we are instructed not to covet another man’s wife.

Does the passage not clearly expresses that the attitude in marriage is sensitive, caring authority by the husband, and respectful submission by the wife?

2. kephale ; a prim. word; the head:— chief(4), hair(1), head(50), heads(19), very(1).

There is a very recent definition in a Greek Lexicon that defines kephaleo as ‘source’, instead of ‘head’. 1981 was the first time a Greek Lexicon or commentary interpreted Kaphale as ‘source’ (Word variations~head). In the plural definition of kephaleo in that same dictionary, ‘head,’ not ’source’ was used.

-A study of Greek writings in the time period this passage was written, produced over 2300 examples of Kaphale. Every one indicated leadership or authority (Wayne Grudem, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). I must ask, why would someone choose a dictionary so distant to the original writing to define a passage? Especially when there are numerous other more appropriate ones available!

When ‘source’ is clearly intended in Scripture a different word is always used.

Note that the context of ‘head’ in verse 23 is immediately preceded AND followed by a context of authority.

Ephes. 6:1-4 (NASB-U) Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. [2] Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), [3] so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. [4] Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord

Ephes. 6:5 (NASB-U) Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;

If Ephes. 5:21 ‘and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ,’ infers mutual submission between husbands and wives, then it would also have to apply to the next two relationships of employment and children.

-It does not make sense for Paul to command mutual submission, and then instruct the submission of wives, slaves and children in the verses immediately following.

-Nowhere in Scripture is a husband ever told to submit to his wife (Or for that matter, a parent to a child, or a master to a servant).

-Peter states nearly the same ideas in a parallel passage, prefaced by the same thought. 1 Peter 2:13 (NASB) ‘Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution‘, and then Peter gives the same guidance for slaves and wives.

Does servant-leadership or Christ-like leadership nullify authority?

Only if it nullifies Christ’s authority over the believer or a parent’s authority over a child.

Mutual submission can only be a aberration of authority.

Mutual submission either means no one is in authority, or everyone is their own boss. The end result can only be everyone doing what is right in their own eyes. We also call that anarchy. Doesn’t mutual submission also create two masters?

The only qualification that Scripture ever puts on submitting, is ‘in the Lord’. If it violates the direct instruction of God, we are to flee (David), or face the consequences (Daniel).

We also must be careful not to confuse positions of authority with walking in oneness. Just as we can misunderstand authority as nullifying value, we can misunderstand it as violating unity. God is one, yet Christ is submits to the Father without diminishing His value, or disrupting their unity.

Isn’t even good authority wrong if submission is always demeaning?

If so, you would have to see Christ’s position under the Father as demeaning. If wives submitting to husbands is demeaning, anyone under any authority is dishonored then. David submitted to Saul and Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar. We don‘t see their position under authority as demeaning, but we do in how they were treated. A good parent exerts authority over their child, and we don’t consider that demeaning. At the same time a parent will even forfeit their life because of the value they place on their child.

In this passage, in several ways, a clear analogy is made between Christ and the Church, and husbands and wives in the context of authority. If you dispute gender authority, you will have to dispute that Christ is the head of the Church. Put another way, if mutual submission is what God intends, then Christ is not in authority over the Church.


This passage overtly establishes gender authority in marriage and sets attitudes for both positions. I Peter 3:1-7 virtually repeats the same principles, but with the wife responding to authority as Christ and Sarah did.

Even more important, this passage exposes the marriage relationship, in the context of gender authority, as a visual picture of relationship between Christ and the Church. What critical and powerful influence and message do we lose when we negate that picture?

B. Col. 3:18-19 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. [19] Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them.

Gender authority is once again clearly commanded.

The qualification of submission to any authority is always ‘as is fitting in the Lord’ (Also in Eph. 5:22)! I understand that injunction several ways. That submission should not violate God’s commands. The attitude of submission should reflect godliness.

The caution against embitterment only makes sense in referring to a fleshly reaction to an un-submissive wife. Especially in the context of the curse against Eve.

C. Titus 2:3-5 (NASB) Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, [4] so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, [5] to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

Here again, is clear, consistent instruction about gender authority and how to practice it. In the context of the Church, older women are to exercise reverent behavior. Reverence is only fitting as a response to positions of authority. They are to teach other women, confirming Paul‘s instructions about women teaching. Their instruction to young women in marriage specifically includes submitting to their husbands.

Significantly, this passage packages both Church and marriage in the structure of gender authority!

The end of the sentence to be subject to husbands is, “so that the Word of God will not be dishonored.” Is that not a clear, direct validation of what the Word of God teaches about gender authority in marriage?

It seems as though the Church today is more concerned about dishonoring the world’s opinion then it is God’s command!

D. 1 Peter 2:13-3:7 (NASB) Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, [14] or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. [15] For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. [16] Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. [17] Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
[18] Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. [19] For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. [20] For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God.
[21] For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, [22] who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; [23] and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; [24] and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. [25] For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
[3:1] In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, [2] as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. [3] Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; [4] but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. [5] For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; [6] just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
[7] You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

The context of this passage is set in verse 13 of chapter 2; ‘Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution...’ It then goes on to define that submission in the institutions of government, work and marriage.

3:1 ‘In the same way’ goes back to the example started in 2:21. The suffering of Christ is the immediate context! But even more profound, it clearly gives the example of Christ’s submission to unrighteous authority. The example of submission is Christ’s sacrifice for sinful man, and the incredible impact it has on those who receive it.

Peter in a clear and powerful way defines godly submission in this passage. It has the power to convert an unbelieving husband across generations and cultures. It was practiced in the Old Testament, and is carried into the New. It is a fundamental characteristic of godly women. In choosing Sarah as an example, Peter assumes the faults of Abraham, reflecting a fearless faith in God by Sarah. It connects the response of Christ to unjust authority as an example to wives in similar situations. Godly submission honors God, receiving His approval and blessing. It identifies a woman as the daughter of Sarah. It creates an inner beauty that transcends outward looks.

Verse 7 addresses an issue that only now science is discovering the tremendous implications of. Doesn’t it make sense that God would design the leader with the physical, mental and psychological characteristics to fulfill that function? Would God not also gift the ‘helpmate’ with characteristics that facilitate that purpose? Haven’t cultures throughout history intuitively recognized that truth? Our society has had to admit the ‘interruption’ that child-bearing brings to a female careers among other distinctions. Do I dare mention the impact that the monthly cycle and menopause must have in a leadership role? Peter acknowledges that difference by instructing that the wife is to be guarded as a precious delicate treasure and the husband is threatened with God’s judgment if she is exploited by his leadership.

If submission is dependant on perfection, no human authority would qualify. If marital authority is rejected because of male deficiencies, no marriage would survive, nor any authority. Rather than rejecting human authority with it’s faults, this passage affirms it in the context of government, employment (even slavery), and marriage.

It is the rejection of the message about gender authority in this passage alone, that brings home the reality of spiritual deception. How can anyone spiritually, let alone logically not only reject this passage, but even speak against it? I cannot see how a sincere person would not be struck with fear and immediate repentance if their view conflicted with just this single passage!


Submit has become the ‘S’ word in our society, and sadly, even the Church. More often than not it is taken out of the marriage vow. Mutual submission also is often the teaching from the pulpit. We twist or ignore what the above passages clearly state. Is it any wonder Christian marriages are in the same state as society’s?

Do not forget the foundation of this instruction. While wives are called to submit to husbands, men and women are both called to submit together to the lordship of Jesus Christ first and foremost.