Saturday, February 13, 2010

Half a Sermon on Obedience

I read on the Fox news site about a pair of UK church leaders getting into hot water for preaching “Wives, submit to your husbands”. I didn’t get to hear the sermon and what was reported may have been only half the sermon, the other half being that the husbands would have been following the example of our Lord to such an extent that both husband and wife are living their lives in obedience to the commandments.

There was a line thrown in from one angry woman, “How can they talk that way in the 21st century?”

The answer to that is fairly straight forward, God’s expectations for His children does not vary according to the times. The commandments have not changed and those who claim to be above living in obedience to God’s laws might take a few moments to consider the path they’ve chosen.

There was a link provided to the original article by David Wilkes , which attempted to explain that the word “submit” had been misinterpreted, as if women were not equal. I suggest you read the two linked articles; not that it will diminish the rush to opinion.

I wonder if this story would have gotten any press had the sermon led off with the idea, “Husbands, treat your wives in accordance with their being Heavenly Father’s daughters”; no I don’t think that would have merited any space in the paper. What would society do without a little more contention?

By the way, tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. There’s still time to treat your “better half” with a symbol of affection; flowers, a box of chocolates, a simple card or some other expression of your desire to honor your relationship. The old time card is one of many shown in The Stock Solution’s Vintage Valentine Art Collection .


The probligo said...

TF, I just have to start with a little bit of pedantry; straight from my Concise Oxford which being English rather than American (I am accepting here that American might have a slightly different meaning of "submit") will fit meaning to context well.

submit v 1. v.t. surrender oneself for control etc. to submit ourselves entirely to the Divine Will)... 2. present for consideration or decision...

So, when I hear that someone is required to submit to another it does have connotations that go against the probligo's ol' grain. The thought that a wife should sumit to her husband (as you might submit to the will of your God) is anathema.

Tell me something. Do you think that your wife should submit completely to your will? In all things?

In the probligo's house, neither of us has "dominion" over the other; neither has submitted to the other.

We are a partnership.

MK said...

They also forgot that we husbands are told to lay down our lives for our wives if the need ever arises.

They always want to change the bible TF, it's almost as if they think that they can vote their way into heaven.

It seldom occurs to them that if you don't want to submit to your husband or your wife, then don't. If you don't like what's preached in the church, then walk out. You see Christianity unlike the religions of islam and leftism are not mandatory, you can leave and stay out if you feel like. The church doors don't lock when you enter.

Even if you put the bible aside, in every household, there has to be one head of the house, be it male or in the case of proby's house where the fantasy that men and women are equal persists, the female partner. You just can't have two bosses. No company has two CEOs, no country has two presidents or two kings, or two queens for that matter.

T. F. Stern said...

I'll get back to the comment section later, just got my computer back; but it's still not right. The fellow is supposed to come by and make it "right".

Thanks for not bothering to read the second link Probligo, the link which explained the use of the word submit.

The probligo said...

Sorry TF, but trying to "explain" a new meaning for a word is exactly why I started with my spot of pedantry.

That second tract is nothing short of an apologist claptrap. It is desperately trying to dig a person out of a hole of their own making. "That is not what he meant!" comes to the fore.

The meaning of the word "submit" in the English I understand is very clear. If the speaker meant something else then he should have chosen a more appropriate word. After all he was not speaking off the cuff. It was a prepared sermon; a fact that would have given him plenty of time to reflect upon what he was saying.

I stick with it.

He said what he meant, and he meant what he said.

Oh! Was that a galah in the background?

Starsplash said...

bout time I heard of a preacher preaching that sermon. For to long preachers have been trying to lay a guilt trip on men.

I have always been willing to lay down my life for my family but I got the distinct feeling and was treated as if that was of no import, when in fact it was of utmost import.

David said...

Note: I've not read the linked material, nor, frankly, am I likely to. Call be "well done" on this subject and stick a fork in me to see if you're not sure.

Poor wife. Being told to someone whose calling in the marriage is to love her and give his life for her. Of course, most men who thimp the "submit" drum, frankly, are NOT willing to submit to the injunction to "love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it," and by not being submissive themselves pretty much invalidate the wife's call to submit to their care.

BTW, in one sense, Probligo is right. Submit in the context of Ephesians 5 means pretty much what Probligo says it means. The only problem with a plain application of the word and the text in the context of our society is that we no longer have any societal concept of the "fides covenant" Paul knew the Ephesians did. And, of course, taking Ephesians 5:22 (Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands... ) so far out of context as to even cut off the dependent phrase, "as unto the Lord" let alone taking it from the context of 5: 21--"Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God," and 5: 28, "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself," echoing Jesus' own words, "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," and "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another."

Not to mention that the "love" used by Paul in 5:28 is not "phileo" or "eros" but "agape"--love that affirms the best in the one loved, seeks the best for the one loved and is ready to forgive wrongs, not seeking its return as some sort of transaction.

One last point: the KJV is really better than some "modern" translations at catching the Greek here in a very significant way. "2Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord." Yes, the possessive "your" is emphasized by "own". There's a world of hurt for families when wives hold other men in higher regard than their husbands... and when husbands earn such disrespect.

So, again, po' wife who is enjoined to submit to someone who's called to love her more than himself, to be willing to die for her, if need be, etc.

And what a poor husband who refuses to be that kind of husband.

MK said...

"Oh! Was that a galah in the background?"

Not in the background, it was crapping on your head. Now go and submit to your 'partner'.

The probligo said...

Thanks David for the religious confirmation of my interpretation.

There is another aspect which I should had added to my earlier thoughts.

Mutual respect.

T. F. Stern said...

The purpose of my entry was to make sure the second part of the scripture was brought to light. I do appreciate the in depth break down of scripture while at the same time would submit, as in offer for your perusal, I would submit that marriage is one of the ordinances which has been established from before the world was made and the interpretations by men in various ages only show their lack of obedience to God’s laws. Marriage, in its eternal nature, is a sacred ordinance intended to elevate both husband and wife to the highest order where as a lesser form of marriage, one which is not sealed for time and all eternity is in force only for mortality.

I’d not intended to go into a long drawn out explanation of marriage; however, the type of marriage mentioned by Paul is not taught among most of the Christian denominations which is why they use the term, “’till death do you part” in their ceremonies. The concept of a Celestial Marriage, one which seals the husband and wife for time and all eternity is not taught, at least to my knowledge, except in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The acknowledgement of a Great Plan of Salvation, the workings of the Atonement and each individual’s relationship to God and Jesus Christ are required in order to understand covenants made in order to achieve eternal marriage.

This is the basis for the statement, wives submit to your husbands, and the other half of that same thought, as husbands submit to the Lord. Without such an understanding none of this would matter, they must both desire to follow the mind and will of the Lord. I would have hoped that was self evident; apparently I was mistaken.

gedda fan said...

Tf,brethren - the point here may be the translation from the Greek or latin-[ not exactly sure which of the original Ephesian 5: versions survived]- note both the entire context and another translation

Let women be subject to their husbands, as to the Lord: Because the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church. He is the saviour of his body. Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so also let the wives be to their husbands in all things.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it

Not so much a submit but be subject to AS the church is subject to Christ ; there can be one head of a family- as there is one heart

T. F. Stern said...

Gedda fan;

From your comment it appears you are one of the few who understand the intent of that particular scripture, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.