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July 30, 2013

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Maybe you could say that Paul was wrong?

RonH,

>> Maybe you could say that Paul was wrong?

Maybe it is better that Paul is quickly misunderstood. After all, in Eph 5: 25ff, Paul will command the husband to love the wife with a sacrificial love that will lose all, even life, for her support and welfare. The headship question in that case is the ultimate responsibility of the spiritual training of the family. Whom will the Lord hold as liable for success or failure? Mothers are far more capable at nourishing children, but the father has the problem of being the supportive glue (an area where fathers need to be better than what we have ... the theme of the movie Courageous).

In the cited verse, Paul was dealing with the difficulties the Corinthian church was having with specific roles held by men and women, and cited the creation of Adam before Eve as the foundtion of order. Eve made for Adam who needed the be "complete." No longer alone. Headship is set as Christ over man, man over woman in the sense of the previous paragraph. Not master/slave, but who will be placed in a position of authority, which in God's sense is grounded in responsibility. Whom will God hold for failed families. The man. That is why his role must be spoken of in terms of Christ: He gave His life, so man must give his life if this will helop his wife.

Women, we should gladly give up all for you. This doesn't help feminine self-esteem? I guess that is the man's fault, for never measuring up. Sorry.

As a sidebar, there were several visits to Jesus' tomb recorded on Easter in the four Gospels, mainly by women. One recorded visit was by Peter and John, and it is clearly not the last visit. Which was was not attended by angels? Peter and John, who saw nothing but nicely folded graveclothes, heard nothing but chirping birds (were there birds to chirp). If read carefully, you can find many cases where Jesus affirmed women. Anyone can cherry-pick a few items that would rub a woman the wrong way. Anything that is unpopular with a selfish sinful nature can do that.

DGFischer hit it on the head. The first thing that's wrong with that statement is that it assumes that Christianity does such. A true understanding of the role of women from a Biblical perspective clearly shows that women are unique and uplifted; to claim that, for instance, the husband as "the head of the woman" is demeaning is merely making a flawed judgment by depraved human standards. Claiming that Christianity is destructive to a woman's self-esteem shows a profound lack of what sound doctrine tells us of the role of women in Christianity. The best example we have of that is the person and work of Jesus Christ Himself. For whom did he accomplish His work? His Bride, the Church. For whom will he return? His Bride, the Church. Why? To reunite Himself with Her in perfect, harmonious relationship for eternity.

I'm not real sure where we are observing the destructive loss of self esteem in today's American women. In 2013 women appear to be out performing men in most or all the important categories: education, work, family, ....

The biblical view of women is that of equal co-heirs to God's kingdom, along with men. When we start to look and the objective differences between men and women, we see that they complement each other and play to the other's strengths.

The blogger's point rests on two assertions:
1) Women's self-esteem drops in adolescence and continues to be destructively low into adulthood.
2) Christianity causes low self-esteem among women.

Both of these assertions are contradicted by published psychological research.

1) Robins and Trzseniewski (2005) summarize decades of self-esteem research this way: "On average, self-esteem is relatively high in childhood, drops during adolescence (particularly for girls), [and] rises gradually throughout adulthood". Kling and colleagues (1999) found that men do tend to have higher self-esteem than women, but the size of the difference is actually quite small.

2) In my own meta-analysis of the relationship between religousness and psychological functioning (Hackney & Sanders, 2003), I found that the more religious people are, the happier they tend to be with themselves and their lives, and that included women as well as men. Readers are directed to Harold Koenig's (1998) Handbook of Religion and Mental health, in which they will see that the discussion among psychologists is not whether or not there is a positive relationship between religion and better psychological functioning, but examining the details and possible mechanisms by which religion is associated with better psychological functioning.

Hackney, C. H., & Sanders, G. S. (2003). Religiosity and mental health: A meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 42, 43-55.
Kling, K. C., Hyde, J. S., Showers, C, J., & Buswell, B. N. (1999). Gender differences in self-esteem: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 125, 470-500.
Robins, R. W., & Trzseniewski, K. H. (2005). Self-esteem development across the lifespan. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 158-162.

The following was the next link on my newsreader after this one:
A Man Under Authority from The Generous Husband blog.

I'd note that the passage in 1 Corinthians 11 also says that God is the head of Christ. (And that Christ is the head of every man.)

But it is also a central teaching of Christianity that Christ IS God

I assume here that the referent of "God" who is the head of Christ is the triune God. But even if the referent is 'only' the first person of the Godhead, the Father, I don't think it much matters in my argument.

Because either way, the idea of one thing being the head of the other is not a simple idea of overmastering alien superiority over a separate and inferior involuntary subject.

Notice also that 1 Corinthians is not talking about a relationship between any man and any woman. It is talking about the relationship between a man and his wife. The passage says that the man is the head of a (singular) woman.

Now when a man and woman marry, they become one flesh...one thing. Just as Christ is one substance with the Father and the Holy Spirit (though, in the case of Christ, that relation is an essential relationship that holds from all eternity, whereas the man and woman are freely joined together by God).

So the two are meant to act as a single unit, or, if you like, a well coordinated team.

I really doubt that the modern liberal tendency to translate "kephele" in 1 Corinthians 11 as "source" will work. Though it is true that Christ is begotten of the Father and woman was taken out of man and without Christ, man would not have been made...so there is that much truth in the idea that the head of something is its source. But there definitely is also something about authority involved in the locution in I Corinthians 11.

Teams have captains.

In a general sense (I wouldn't get too deeply into exegesis with non-Christians), I would say that the comment she made shows a complete and total ignorance of the Bible and Christianity. Neither Christianity or Paul here mean to treat women as second class citizens.

I might refer to Luke 10:38 to 42, where Jesus clearly shows he has redefined what women's roles are. In 1st century Judaism, women are basically a step above property, but there we see Mary sitting at Jesus' feet. This means she was in training as the disciple of a Rabbi (disciples of Rabbi where also being trained to be Rabbi, or to imitate their Rabbi), while Martha embraced the women's traditional role and was challenged on it by Jesus. We see all throughout the gospels that Jesus turns the ancient world's understanding of women as second class citizens on its head.

Thus, Christianity is really the only religion and first religion that directly addresses the imbalance of women's equality and worth as human beings (well Judaism might do so as well in the OT, but it's not quite so explicit).

Thus I would point out that this person has no clue what she is talking about and has grossly understood Christianity.

Teams have captains.

And there it is.

The man is the captain because he is the man and the woman is not the captain because she is not the man.

Boys will be captains and girls will not.

Offering some consolation prize doesn't cut it.

Eh?

The esteem of women had been greatly elevated in western countries, precisely because of Christian influence.

Try living in a non-western culture for a while and see how that works for your womanly self-esteem.

Teams have captains.

And there it is.

The man is the captain because he is the man and the woman is not the captain because she is not the man.

Boys will be captains and girls will not.

Offering some consolation prize doesn't cut it.

Oooh, gotcha, WL! Absolutely stunning argument by RonH; Clearly a solid grasp on what Christian doctrine says about women. Vulture-ism at its highest form. Who needs context anyway when we can simply stuff words into people's mouths?

Sarcasm included for free.

And there it is.

The man is the captain because he is the man and the woman is not the captain because she is not the man.

So everyone shall be captain.

Each player on the football team shall decide what play should be run, who should be in motion what signal the ball shall be snapped on, what substitutions are to be made and when. And so on.

And if it isn't just that way, then women don't have a good heads on their shoulders, are not smart, and cannot do things on their own. If the family doesn't operate like the 'democratic' football team, then women need to have a husband tell them every thing to do.

Excellent!

I,

A bit of Christian doctrine - call it doctrine C - holds that husbands/men hold authority over wives/women in every home and in every church in every case at all times.

The men are, as WL says, the Captains.

Alluding to 'Christian doctrine' in a generally seems to be a way of saying doctrine C is balanced by other things in Christian doctrine.

So what are they? How is it more than a claim?

What exactly about Christian doctrine balances out doctrine C?

And who weighs up the balance?

RonH

Of course, I didn't say men are captains over women.

I said that the husband is the captain of a team that we call the family which includes a the man who is the husband and his wife and (possibly) children.

Of course, you really don't have the first clue about what a team captain is either if you think a captain holds authority over each member of the team everywhere in all cases, at all times, in every respect, in all....

Out of curiosity, you think Spock is, considers himself to be, or should consider himself to be inferior to Kirk?

I am a woman, and a new Christian, and as such i empathize with women everywhere that struggle with the concept of submission to man. Men, understand where we come from. Men who have not sufficiently fulfilled the roles in relationships given to them by Jesus ought to be taken into consideration- as a single, independent lady with a background witnessing abuse from men, as the only child of a widowed mother who has overcome years of abuse from men, it is not an easy choice to be a wife under Christian doctrine. (I've even considered becoming a nun to avoid a Christian union :p )

It really is a matter of perspective. Ephesians 5:22 - "wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is 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." Paul then goes onto describe how man should spoil- just kidding- respectfully treat his wife, love her as himself etc. What i really took from all that was that marriage mirrors the Gospel: as the world itself is rich in symbolism representing God's nature and will, marriage is symbolic or Christ's relationship with the church. Is it demeaning to man to submit to Christ? These days the word "submission" carries negative connotation for pretty much everyone who doesn't fall under the categories of "white" and "male," and there are very understandable reasons as to why. People who take the lead often take advantage of their roles as leaders. The act of submission isn't inherently negative, it's something we're designed for and called to do. The word becomes negative when those called to submit are forced or unwilling. God gives us the choice to submit, and there are natural consequences that follow those who go against those laws. That doesn't mean he doesnt love us all equally- the roles He gives us are simply roles, making us all components of equal value in God's plan.

So men, do the right thing, and women, seek perspective. (Also excuse grammatical mistakes, my excuse is I'm on a nook)

SB-

Ephesians 5:22-24 goes like this:

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Notice that it never says that the husband is the head of the church. It never says the husband is the head of his body. And it never says the husband is the savior of his body. It says all those things of Christ. It looks to me like you were using the NIV on that passage and cut out a few crucial words in the middle (perhaps, as you say, because you are using a nook).

Once again, notice that Christ both is God, but, according to 1 Corinthians 11, is subject to God in exactly the same sense that the wife is subject to her husband.

Good luck to anyone who thinks they can play that out into some relationship of first and second-best that would support any kind of sexism.

Hey, thanks for the correction there- didnt intend to quote the verse that way. All the same, i maintain my points. :)

I've been around authentic Christian women and I've been around authentic atheist women: there's no question in my mind who is more empowered. There is also a reason that a fewer percentage of atheist women are married. Consider the empirical test - it is a valid apologetic.

WL,

On Christian doctrine, when does a woman have authority over a man in a family or in church?

RonH

On Christian doctrine, when does a woman have authority over a man in a family or in church?
When the man is her son, just to pick one, fairly obvious, example.

I agree with most of what has been said in the comments. The challenger is making several mischaracterizations of the biblical teaching. Paul isn't saying women aren't smart or that women can't think for themselves or that they are on a level below men.

I would also like to add that it doesn't follow from her objection that Christianity isn't true. Even if you grant that she raises a valid objection it would only prove that she doesn't like what the bible says about women. If we are to put ourselves under God's authority, we must accept what God says is right even if its not what we would personally choose.

Paul isn't saying women aren't smart or that women can't think for themselves or that they are on a level below men.

Oh really?

"Let the women keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is a disgrace for a woman to speak in church."

Anyway, this is just another command that modern Christians embarrassingly don't practice anymore. It's funny how Christians can easily distinguish between those edits that are still relevant today and those that aren't. I could never tell which ones we could ignore when I was a Christian. Of course, I could tell the ones that lacked any compassion or common sense, like the one above.

My wife keeps the silence rule in church (as do I and my children). It's called not being disruptive.

Nice try taking an admonition about a particular problem in a particular church and trying to distort it into a transcendent moral law.

Sorry. It won't float.

The real issue here is not "does Christianity Destroys Women's Self-Esteem?" it's whether the Christian God exists or not and if he exists, what does he have to say about this issue and why?

Getting at the heart of the issue seems to be the way to go here, not 'women are equal or better than men' debate talk.

If God does not even exist...then changing a person's mind on this topic doesn't really seem important.

2 cents.

Daniel T.

Yo Daniel -

Hi :)

The supposed Christian God has given His people a manual explaining His take on how we ought to live, so the part about what He has to say about it is covered. Now obviously nonbelievers will have an opposing take (and please consider how much of what they base their take on has been taken out of context from the Bible) but with or without considering "the invisible man in the sky," harmonizing with biblical standards and roles tends to create positive outcomes while opposing them brings negative outcomes. Galatians 6:8: "The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life." (I'm open to correction, WisdomLover!) A simple example of this: Habitually overeating (gluttony) causes illness, causes laziness, causes depression, causes serious physical problems in the long run. Every sin- or indulgence in the flesh- causes some kind of messy domino effect. I would say that falling out of God's roles in marriage lead to sin or is caused by sin, and from that it becomes real easy to get caught up in this negative spiral. As a former atheist I can understand that this is all hard to buy. But if you remove all the bias that surrounds Christianity and explore these ideas with an open mind, you could see how they work even from a materialist standpoint.

"1 Cor. 11:5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved."

Clearly, this proves that women did indeed talk during church meetings, and partook in them actively. We also see that in Romans that a woman was called an apostle, and that there are women with the leadership position of prophetess (Acts) and widow (paid to work in the service of the church, sort of equivalent to a nun and probably also its forbear).

Some scholars think that Paul tells women in the church to be quiet for the following: men and women probably sat apart during church meetings (like they do now in many parts of the world according to culture). Men learned the public language, and had two or three languages, the one spoken at home and the public one, while women did not learn the second public language. Probably the rule is that women who can't speak the public language should refrain during meetings from talking across everyone and asking the husband to translate (Paul tells women to ask their husbands at home). This would explain how on the one hand, women speak in the church service, but are told to pipe down by Paul so they aren't disruptive. That would have been extremely disruptive and a messy if everyone was speaking across the room in a different language.

Once again, we can see Christianity is clearly a pioneer for the equality and worth of women. Meanwhile, our culture continues to objectify and insult women by portraying them as sex images. It's Christianity that can give women higher self-esteem, because Christian men refuse to accept women as a piece of meat, and women do not define themselves only by the way they look (but define themselves as created in God's image). That doesn't always happen, but it is the principal that is there within Christianity. The idea that Christianity is somehow degrading to women is all smoke and mirrors. My experience is that it's usually non Christians who most actively bring down women and hurt their self-esteem by looking at women as sex objects or portraying them in that way.

My wife keeps the silence rule in church (as do I and my children). It's called not being disruptive.

Well that's good, but nowhere in the bible does it say that it is a disgrace for men to speak in church. If the command applies to all, why single out women only?

Actually, I agree with most modern scholars that Paul was much more egalitarian than these verses and they were probably added to I Cor later by the hand of a another (as was Ephesians which contains the other misogynistic verses about female inequality), so I'm willing to give Paul a pass on this, but not the bible.

Some scholars think that Paul tells women in the church to be quiet for the following: men and women probably sat apart during church meetings...

Sounds like a lot of speculation on the part of "some scholars". If the bible was really god's word, why make it so difficult to understand and interpret from a modern perspective? One one hand you have people like NT Wright who says we must understand the place and time to understand the meaning of much of the NT. On the other hand, you have people like John Piper who say the bible is completely clear on what it says regardless of the first century culture. What is clear is that the bible can be taken to support whatever position one wishes to take. There's nothing clear about the bible at all. How could it possibly have anything of relevence for the 21st century world?

When the man is her son, just to pick one, fairly obvious, example.

At home: The bible means husband. Anyway, being over her son would not make a wife captain.

At church: Show me where the Bible carves out such an exception.

Your question, Ron, was where do women have authority over men. Not where are they captains.

I gave you a decisive example where a woman has authority over a man.

BTW, I did not say that a mother has authority over a small boy. She continues to have authority over him into adulthood. Jesus was actually pretty explicit about that in Matthew 15 when he condemned the Pharisees for their 'workaround' of the fourth commandment to honor our fathers and mothers.

Since all men remain the sons of their mothers whether at home, at work or at church, this answer applies everywhere.

No authority that any human has over any other human is absolute though. That's what you can't seem to get through your head. When the Bible gives husbands authority in the family, it does not make him an absolute tyrant.

When the man is her son, just to pick one, fairly obvious, example.

That's nonsense. A mother has authority over her son when he is a child. A child is not a man. When he is a grown man his mother has no authority over him. Try again.

AJG,


Read Jesus' rebuke of the Pharisees referenced by WL. It's kids with inheritance claims and so forth. Adults. You may want to ask when women were granted equal inheritance with men in God’s inheritance/kingdom. Well, there is much more to go over here………….


He who wears the Crown must be the first to die. That is the endpoint, location, we are heading towards, AJG.....


Much of this is because Atheism in general in these discussions does not want anything to do with scripture’s whole text on this, such as “Be subject one to another”. It cannot bring itself, as RonH cannot bring himself, to paint a picture which houses “all of the above”.
Atheism wants to cherry pick and isolate verses from scripture’s own self described endpoints within its own stated [A to Z].


Now, that is a common straw-man technique used by Atheists. It is not “odd”.


But what Atheism offers to woman is rather odd, as we’ll see.


Ephesians is written for real adults with real marriages who have real tensions between love and respect. Marriage is a costly affair for all involved. We are two halves of a whole, simply, and the tendency of all involved is toward the Self, at the cost of the Other. Only, this manifests in different lines in the Masculine and Feminine halves. "I respect you, but do not love you" cuts, hurts, the Feminine more than the Masculine. "I love you but do not respect you" cuts, hurts, the Masculine more than the Feminine. Thus scripture's weighted directions to each, heavier along those lines. Thus to the Masculine, "Love her unconditionally”. Thus to the Feminine, "Respect him unconditionally.


Both, of course, are to die. The Self must be debased and the Other must be glorified, in both directions, not one direction, and to the uttermost, not half-hearted. The only "difference" amid this entity that is marriage’s “This-That”, amid this “Masculine-Feminine” that is love's singular e pluribus unum of the Self-Other is that he who wears the Crown must be the first to die. That is the only absolute difference.


What is rather odd is that the Christian demands placed on the husband to so abandon their own Self for the wife, his beloved, to so fashion his life atop the pattern of Christ, wherein the one who wears the Crown must be the first to die, to lose their Self……….. what is odd is that all of that in the mind of Atheism, oddly, seems far worse (to them) than what Atheism itself must point woman towards in Naturalism’s offer to them. The Atheist points at insects which make sex-slaves of entire groups within their respective colonies and tells women: “This is the mechanism whereby we men have come to have this delusion programmed into us that you women are actually valuable even if everyone, all of every society, tells you that you are not valuable.”


This is probably why the quoted data earlier in this thread unmasks where self-esteem is higher. Any woman who has a husband who dives into “Be subject one to another” as well as into “Die first” will undoubtedly feel better about themselves than the wife of the man who appeals to insect sex-slavery as the mechanism whereby he is suffering from this delusion that she is valuable even if he himself and everyone else on earth should think her un-valuable.


The other reason they have more self-esteem, of course, is just that it is true, that God is. That is to say, that Ultimate Actuality just is God’s Love and not Atheism’s indifference.


Women get it. Women are far too clever for some sort of "Mind is but a Con" game of words when it comes to whether or not they are actually valuable even if everyone on earth, including their husband, and society, should shout, "No way!"


That sort of absolute, everlasting worth cannot be offered by atheism's insects and bedrock of indifference. Thus atheism just rings false. And women trust their minds here; that is, they get that their Mind is not just some Con being played by indifference.

AJG-

You have no idea what you are talking about. After you've read the Scriptures, you try again.

Women: Atheism offers you this -- That you are valuable regardless of how society "defines" your value is but a delusion implanted in your mind, for your mind is but a Con being played upon you by Indifference.

More on that later.


But first:


How is it possible that we find no nudges pushing wives to love their husbands?


What does that mean?


I know I must have missed them so please let me know (anyone) if you find one (seriously, my search seemed thorough but, well, I’m not willing to spend an hour on this silliness).

A brief delay: “The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” If we would like to cherry pick, we can take this in its extreme literal sense and violate other verses which lend parameters and body to this verse, but, as a cherry picker, we need not. The husband’s body is the property of the wife. Hard Stop.

(Submit one to another…..?)

It gets worse,

In a quick search of the whole New Testament for the word “WIFE” and the word “WIVES” in the NIV version many, many matches show up. In exactly none of the matches, zero, do we find the wife, or wives, pushed upon, or nudged, at all, ever, to love her/their husband/husbands.

Therefore it is quite clear. (Huh?) The New Testament Covenant is an arrangement between Humanity and God wherein wives need not, ever, at all, love their husbands. In fact, we can take this lack of specific injunction and apply it in a way which contradicts other verses. And then we can hold up this absurd straw-man and shake our fists.

Ephesians is written for real adults with real marriages who have real tensions between love and respect. Marriage is a costly affair for all involved. We are two halves of a whole, simply, and the tendency of all involved is toward the Self, at the cost of the Other. Only, this manifests in different lines in the Masculine and Feminine halves. "I respect you, but do not love you" cuts, hurts, the Feminine more than the Masculine. "I love you but do not respect you" cuts, hurts, the Masculine more than the Feminine. Thus scripture's weighted directions to each, heavier along those lines. Thus to the Masculine, "Love her unconditionally”. Thus to the Feminine, "Respect him unconditionally”.

Submit one to another.

Wives, your husband’s body is your property.

Wives, you will find no nudges to love your husband. None at all. So, therefore……………….

The only thing worse than an absurd one-verse theology is an absurd one-verse straw-man.

Genesis 3:16 is proof that God's own stated end-points in scripture's [A to Z] describes inequality between Male/Female as the Dark Outside. John 3:16 restores such.


In Leviticus we find all the same endpoints when it comes to Sons, Slaves, and everything in between.


The Language and Definitions Pre-Fall is very different from the Language and Definitions after our fall into Self. Also, the Language and Definitions Post-Resurrection, where Man is again offered the Way into Other, are once again that which is found Pre-Fall.


No difference in male, female, Jew, Gentile, slave, free, and so on. All are His Beloved.


This business of slavery and male/female and all of that is an "issue" only because the atheist does not take God at His Own Word in scripture's own self-described End-Points there in Word's [A to Z] wherein Love is the Beginning and End of all things, for God Himself is His Own Means to His Own Ends, as He Himself Ransoms, Restores, and fills up all things.


"~~Behold, I make all things new~~"

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