We are continuing our look at Ms. Evans post on The Absurd Legalism of Gender Roles found at the following link: http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/absurd-legalism-gender-roles-submission-piper
#1. [Perhaps the strongest argument against Piper’s hermeneutical approach to the New Testament household codes is the fact that the very same hermeneutic has been applied to these passages to justify slavery. All three of the biblical passages that instruct wives to submit to their husbands are either directly preceded or followed by instructions for slaves to obey their masters, with phrases like “likewise” and “in the same way” connecting them. If the New Testament household codes mean that patriarchy is a good, God-ordained system for all places and times, then to be consistent, one must also argue that slavery is a good, God-ordained system for all places and times. There’s really no getting around that.]
This, of course, is absurd logic. Unless someone else has found one, there is no biblical command for God’s followers to go out and buy other humans and make them slaves, especially after the nature of the American slave trade and industry. This is one of the factors that confuses many people when the Bible and its people talk about slaves. Most westerners think of the American and European style of slavery when this issue arises and do not investigate further to see if that is what God and his authors are actually talking about.
Then her comment that we to be consistent and call slavery good is off the wall for nothing in the Bible says that owning slaves is good, of God or a NT practice. The fact that slaves need to obey their masters and need instruction on how to do that is missing from Ms. Evans’ reasoning. Then it is her thinking that demotes women to the status of slaves not biblical teaching. Those people like Ms. Evans lean on their own understanding when they read these passages and draw faulty conclusions because they do not listen to the Holy Spirit nor accept the correct explanation concerning these passages of scripture.
Women need instructions from God on how to behave biblically and to please him. We need to ask why Ms. Evans and others like her feel that women are better than slaves and men and do not have a need for biblical guidance for their conduct in marriage? Her dislike for those instructions do not render them patriarchal, evil, sinful or human.
The failure of the arguments made by Ms. Evans and others like her is that they provide no real biblical support for their points of view. They have to distort scripture and omit large portions of it in order to make their point as we will see in the next quote.
I, (and many biblical scholars and fellow Christians), would argue the point of these passages is not that patriarchy is the best foundation for marriage, but rather that the humility and service of Jesus Christ is the best example for marriage…and any relationship. That’s a posture one can carry in a patriarchal culture or an egalitarian one, so faithfulness to Scripture does not require an embrace of patriarchy. If it seems as though I’m repeating myself, it’s because I’ve written on this topic dozens of times, including an entire series on the New Testament household codes, which you can read here.
What Ms. Evans and these supposed biblical scholars and fellow Christians forget is that Jesus was not the only one in scripture who taught on marriage. Jesus did talk specifically about divorce but gave relatively few instructions on marriage. To appeal to Jesus and make him the only example for marriage is discarding the rest of God’s divine teaching on the subject found elsewhere in the book and also states that only the gospels are God’s divine words and the rest of the NT are subjective human opinion.
Then by appealing to the generality of Jesus’ words on marriage, Ms. Evans and those on her side have great leeway and freedom to bring their own ideas into scripture and the church and alter God’s word. They do not like the specifics of biblical teaching on marriage so they go to those verses which do not exclude their sinful ideas and make their case.
Another problem for Ms. Evans in that argument is that Jesus was never submissive or submitted to any woman. He even rebuked his mother, once when as a child of 12 and the other when she asked him to solve the wine problem at the wedding they both attended. His example was one of leadership and that women submitted to his ways and teachings, remember his words to Martha when she complained about Mary not helping her.
The problem with Ms. Evans and those who are like her is that they have a problem with their roles in life and want to change them.They use absurd leaps in logic to make their point and support their demands that the bible is wrong but they do not realize that if the Bible is wrong then they have no God to believe in or honor. They destroy the very faith they want to change and ‘make better’.
That is an act of evil, not of God. We can say it is an act of evil because they are rebelling against God and his word, along with the teachings of his disciples. Many Americans look to rebellion as a good thing since their nation was founded upon rebelling against their foreign government but God does not look upon rebellion favorably as he has shown as different examples of what happens to those who rebel against God’s word and leadership.
Those rebels met with death not rewards in heaven. Ms. Evans and others are walking on dangerous ground here and their leading weaker more vulnerable Christians away from God’s word and his truth is not going to bring them great rewards in heaven but dismissal to hell. Jesus took a dim view of those who caused children to lose their faith how much more of a dim view would he take when people lead adults and teenagers away from believing in God and from following his instructions?
We know by Jesus example in that situation that he will not approve of or applaud their efforts in leading others to disobey his father and his instructions. The secular world does not set the tone for Christians nor does the secular world have it right while God and his writers have it wrong. This is one of the problems that the church needs to fix. They have to stop following the secular world to sinful ideologies and distortions of scripture. The church needs to stop listening to the secular world and start following the Holy Spirit to the truth.
Ms. Evans and people like her do not have the truth but spread their discontent and rebellion to others in the faith and that is wrong. The church needs to stop being afraid to part ways with such people for their inclusion in church membership is like keeping a bad tooth in one’s mouth. Nothing will get better but remain corrupted and in decay.