John Piper & Submission

25 Mar

Rachel Held Evans did not like John Piper’s article or sermon on Six Things Submission Is Not and you can read the whole text at the following link:

So since she disagreed with it, we decided to take a look at what he said. What we found was a very good sermon on submission and we will place the 6 points here for our readers to enjoy. We may place a few comments as well but we would rather post snippets of his explanations instead so you get the full meaning of his words.

1. Submission is not agreeing on everything.

Submission is not agreeing on everything, for instance the Christian faith, because the husband in 1 Peter 3:1–6 is an unbeliever. If in that situation the husband said, “You can’t have that religion. In this family we worship ISIS (or whatever),” this wife says, “I’m sorry.” It’s possible to be submissive and refuse to think what your husband says you should think. This text doesn’t make sense without that. She has sworn allegiance to Jesus. Jesus is now her Lord and her King. She’s an alien and an exile in this marriage. This husband belongs to another god, and she’s called to live with him. Do not get divorced over issues of religion.

This is true because women are to be the helpmeet to their husbands and they cannot be that  person if they only see what her husband sees. She needs to look to see if he missed anything vital and point that out to him before he makes any decisions or acts in a wrong manner.

2. Submission does not mean leaving your brain at the altar.

Now, maybe this is the same point, but it needs to be said this way, too. Any man who says, “I do the thinking in this family,” is sick and has a sick view of his authority. I dealt with a couple one time. The wife said he demanded that she get permission to go to the bathroom. That really happened. I just looked at him and said, “You’re not well. You have an unbelievably distorted view of this fellow heir of the grace of life. You don’t understand the Bible. You’re taking a word like ‘authority’ or ‘leadership’ or ‘submission,’ and then you’re stepping away from the Bible and filling those words up with stuff you want to do. You’re not getting this from the Bible.”

Women need to think as well as the man for there will be times when the women is on her own and faced with situations that require thinking to deal with the issue at hand. Men need to learn to trust their wives and trust their judgment. This is a biblical characteristic. Women have to be trustworthy though and behave in a manner that brings trust from their mates.

3. Submission does not mean you do not try to influence your husband.

Submission does not mean avoiding the effort to influence or change the husband. The whole point of the text is, “Win him.” Her life is devoted to changing this husband from an unbeliever to a believer. Can you imagine if somebody said submission means, “Stop trying to change your husband”? Well, I get what they might be saying. But if your husband is living in sin or your wife is living in sin or unbelief, you want them to change, and you wouldn’t be a loving person if you didn’t — if you stopped wanting that. That may sound insubordinate to some. It’s not, biblically.

There is a problem here that Mr. Piper may have not noticed. There is an old saying in the sales world, ‘get the wife, you get the husband’ thus the influence brought by a wife needs to be of God and not from some evil source or someone who disagrees with their husbands’ views.A wife is not to influence her husband blindly or generally but it must be towards God and making wise, godly decisions and behavior.

We think Mr. Piper is far too general here as ‘change your husband’ does not mean you get him to do the things that only you want and deprive him of his interests. More details are needed in this point as well as biblical guidelines to govern how women change their husbands.Influencing your husband here should refer to providing the right arguments and information so that he looks wise and sees where he is making a mistake and willingly corrects his mistakes. A wife is not trying to be a mother to her husband, for no one likes a nag, but a source of wise counsel.

We also think that the words influence and change are not talking about the same thing here as a woman cannot change her husband, only Jesus and he can do that. Influencing is bringing about that change by the wife being obedient to God. She does not demand her own desires but is understanding and makes changes she needs to make in order to help her husband. Change and influence is not a one-way street. Women need to learn that their ways are not the only way to go.

4. Submission is not putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ.

Submission is not putting the will of the husband before the will of Christ. Christ is her Lord now, and for the Lord’s sake, she will submit to the husband, but he is not her Lord. Therefore, wherever she must choose between the two, she chooses Jesus. If her husband says, “Let’s get involved in a scam,” or “Let’s have group sex,” her choice is clear. I go with Jesus on this. She would say it not with a haughty or arrogant attitude, but rather with a winsome, submissive, longing one. He will be able to discern in her a longing that he not do that so that she could enjoy him as her leader.

In other words, a woman does not sin or disobey God when submitting to her husband.

5. Submission does not mean getting all of her spiritual strength through her husband.

Submission does not mean getting all of her spiritual strength through her husband. He’s not giving her any spiritual strength in this text and she’s got lots of it. Her hope is in God. She’s probably going to church on Sunday morning before he gets up, getting her strength elsewhere, getting her worldview elsewhere.

6. Submission does not mean living or acting in fear.

This God-fearing wife is fearless.

I love the Scriptures. I’m a complementarian. I believe that men are called to a unique kind of leadership in marriage. I believe that women are called to a unique kind of submission in marriage. And I think it’s a beautiful thing — the way those two roles complement and serve one another. If we probe the depths and keep digging into the Scriptures, even though they’re written in another time, they will shape a marriage today into a beautiful thing.

Even if abuse is n the marriage, the woman does not fear because her hope is in Christ and she seeks to obey him through all she faces in a marriage. The Bible tells us that ‘love casts out fear’ and if a woman truly loves her husband and loves Jesus she will not be afraid even when her husband mistreats her. She knows God’s instructions and seeks to obey him and win her husband to Christ.

Abuse is not a criteria for divorce but sadly too many busy bodies have stuck their noses in and have led women to sin because they cannot agree with that fact.Women may be upset by this but they are not immune from persecution and God did not say in what form that persecution would come or who would deliver it. Persecution of believers is not brought by Communists or Muslims, or atheists nor does it only come in the form of unjustly being imprisoned or tortured in other lands. It also comes in the home and women as well as men need to be prepared for it and learn how to respond biblically.

We are not giving license to men here to abuse their wives for abuse is not the love that Jesus gave to the church.Men are to follow Christ’s example and how he loved the church in order to know how to love their wives correctly.

So we do not find much wrong in Mr. Piper’s views on submission here. We feel that he has outlined this part of the act of being submissive quite well, though in some cases he did not go far enough in his explanations.

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Posted by on March 25, 2016 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, leadership, theology


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