Part 1. Desiring to BE God

Stay with me because this series is going to get really crazy, and it would be funny if it wasn’t what complementarians actually teach and believe. These are Christian seminary professors and leaders in the Christian faith and should know better.

The oft-quoted and venerated John Piper has caused another stir recently because he says that ministerial students cannot be taught in seminary by a woman. Who is surprised at that? If women can’t preach, they certainly can’t teach a man who is studying to be a preacher.

Piper has a website called Desiring God. However, Piper’s words and teachings show that his actual intent is to convince Christians that men are God on earth. That is what male headship means – that human males are to have authority over all women, not just their wives, but over ALL women.

This series will break this down and show you exactly what is being taught in churches, seminars, blogs, and evangelical churches today.

Desiring to be God, men have made themselves a woman’s savior, her advocate, and the gateway to God. In this section, you will see how male religious leaders have made themselves into man-gods, and how they want to convince all men that they, too, are man-gods.

Christians, Jews and Muslims believe in one God. Although we see God through different lenses, and we call God by different names, we worship the same God. Most, but not all, Christians believe that God is Triune, meaning that God is in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Spirit.

The Triune God causes problems as some see Christians as actually trying to divide God into three separate Gods. Christians have problems with this also, often emphasizing one over the other. Some Christians buy into the belief that Jesus is eternally submissive to God, instead of being fully God. This is called the Eternal Son Submission theology and is used as the basis for claiming that women are eternally submissive to males. Those who teach and believe that women are to be submissive to husbands because this is a commandment from God for all women through the ages, are in practice subscribing to this Eternal Son Submission theology. Because of this teaching, these Christians are in danger of adding another god to the Trinity, and this time it is a little man-god called husband.

Now, understand, they do not say that, and they would deny it from the rooftops. But they quote certain scriptures from the Bible and hold women to the literal interpretation of those scriptures, and when they do that, a husband becomes a little man-god.

A quick note to explain egalitarian versus complementarian: Egalitarians believe that men and women are equal. Complementarians believe they are not. I am egalitarian. The word egalitarian will not be used in this series, but the word complementarian will be sprinkled all through because this series is about their unChrist-like teaching that males are superior to females, both spiritually and physically.

This is how it works. Complementarians teach that husbands, or males, are to have headship, also called leadership, over women. In order for males to have headship over women, Jesus Christ would have to share his Lordship with human men. If Jesus shared his Lordship with a man – married or not – that man would become an earthly god. Whenever anyone believes that men are to have headship over women, they are subscribing to a belief that is contrary to our Christian faith, which is one God.

There is no indication in the Old Testament from the Prophets, or in the Gospels, that the Messiah would share his Lordship with human males on earth.

Women have told me that they believe that the husband is the head of the wife like Christ is the head of the church. They are quoting Paul in Ephesians, but to believe this way, you must accept that Jesus is sharing his Lordship with a human man. It is more probable that Paul meant for the Ephesians to look at their own families where husbands were already the heads, and then think of Jesus as being the head of his church family. But that is not the way complementarians want you to interpret that scripture.

Jesus makes no mention of bequeathing a husband the privilege of representing him on earth, nor does Jesus make any mention that a woman’s salvation would be dependent upon anyone other than Jesus Himself. Jesus promised that he would leave an Advocate, the Holy Spirit, on earth to lead us. With the Holy Spirit within us, women need no further representation, or role play actor, or leader, and certainly not a male head. For what leadership can a male head give that the Holy Spirit cannot?

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid,” John 14:26-27.

These words were spoken specifically to Jesus’ disciples, but all Christians have believed these words apply to those of us who are Christians, men and women alike. We believe Holy Spirit was made known equally to both men and women at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-24).

Before Jesus began his ministry on earth, John the Baptist was to prepare the way. Luke tells us that the angel of the Lord told Zechariah that his son, whom we know as John the Baptist, would be like the prophet Elijah, “And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” (Luke 1:17). Jesus says of John the Baptist in Matthew 11:14, “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.” Jesus was referring to Malachi 4:5-6, “See I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

There was no Elijah moment when husbands were commissioned for service, or were charged with the protection of their wives, and no Elijah moment when husbands were given the ability for sanctification of their wives to create a covenant relationship with God (1 Kings 19:16-19). More importantly, there was no Pentecost moment when husbands became the head of Christian women.

Yet, that is what it has come to in many religious circles, particularly in seminaries, and among pastors and others who believe that women are to be submissive to their husbands (some even believe that husbands will account for their wives in heaven). These complementarians believe and teach that husbands represent Christ and that wives represent the church. Therefore, to complementarians, husbands become the provider, the protector and the sanctifier to lead their wives into a covenant relationship with God.

This series is a chapter in my latest book “Raising the Hood: A Christian Look at Manhood and Womanhood.” All my books are available on Amazon in print and on Kindle.


About bwebaptistwomenforequality

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