Part 1. Who are you holding the cloak for?

The 33 Men series on Authentic Manhood is male headship and any church that allows women pastors should never teach this course in their church because it diminishes those female pastors and every woman in the membership. Of course that is not what the Authentic Manhood dreamers admit to. They say it is a ‘movement that leads men to live the life of truth, passion, and purpose that they were created to live.’ Please remember that anything that is sold by LifeWay Resources will promote male headship.

The 33 Men series quotes Ephesians 5:22-33 to back up their Authentic Manhood claim in marriage.

  1. God’s vision and design for a biblical marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33 (ESV): “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. … Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. … Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” 1. Victor P. Hamilton, The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17, New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990), 181.

Considering the answer Jesus gave to John and James when they asked for the privilege to sit at his right hand side when he came into his kingdom (Mark 10:38), it is highly doubtful that husbands can stand-in for Christ here on earth. But standing in for Christ is exactly what they would be doing if husbands were given the privilege by God to be heads over women. Christ does not share his headship with human males.

The scariest scriptures, Ephesians 5:22-24

Ephesians 5:22-24 is often quoted by those who teach that women must submit to their husbands.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

Those who quote Ephesians 5:22-24 do not adhere to it. The Danvers Statement Concern #8 is “The increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical Texts,” but even their writers back away from the plain meaning of this text.

The plain meaning of Ephesians 5:22-24 is:

  • Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. The plain meaning would put husbands on equal footing with God.
  • The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. The plain meaning gives husbands salvation rights, judgment rights, forgiveness ability, healing ability, miracles, obedience authority, to accept worship, to answer prayers, and the right to receive tithes.
  • The husband is the savior of the wife just like Christ is the Savior of the church. The plain meaning makes husbands saviors of their wives. Why would the great I AM, share His salvation right with an earthly man?
  • The church submits to Christ. The plain meaning makes husbands worthy of having wives submit to them.
  • Wives should submit to their husbands in everything. The plain meaning makes man divine and infallible.

Does any Christian believe that men can save their wives, and that wives should submit to their husbands in absolutely everything? Ask your pastor about this and he will begin to qualify this statement. It is qualified when they say that women should not follow their husbands into sin. It is qualified when they say a wife should not endure physical abuse. It is qualified when they make old age or infirmity of a husband an exception to allow wives to make decisions for their aged or infirm husbands.

Anyone who reads Ephesians 5:23 and insists that this scripture means that the husband literally has spiritual or physical charge over his wife, has made a golden idol and named it husband. To read this scripture that way gives man divinity and nullifies the whole Bible that proclaims only “One” God.

The plain meaning of this scripture is scary, yet it is quoted so casually that we have accepted the part we want to hear “that wives should submit to their husbands,” and have ignored the significance of the remaining part of that sentence.

(Read the complete chapter in my book Dethroning Male Headship: Second Edition available on Amazon in print and Kindle)

‘And when the blood of your witness Stephen was shed, I myself was standing nearby, approving, and guarding the cloaks of those who were killing him.’ (Acts 22:20)

It is 2016. Are you holding the cloak for those who teach Authentic Manhood?

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About bwebaptistwomenforequality

Shirley Taylor writes with humor and common sense, challenging the church body to reclaim equality for Christian women.
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