Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Ephesians Chapter 5: Gender Roles Submission in Marriage Polygamy

        1: Be followers because of this (Ephesians 4:32), followers of God as dear children 2: And walk in love 1 Corinthians chapter 13 as Christ also has loved us and has given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor[1] 3: But porneia and all uncleanness or covetousness let it not be once named among you as becomes saints 4: Neither filthiness nor foolish talking nor jesting (malicious witticism) which are not fitting but rather giving of thanks 5: For this you know that no pornos nor unclean nor covetous who are idolaters have any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God 6: Let none deceive you with vain words for because of these things is visited the wrath of God upon the children of disbelief 7: Become not therefore assembled [and] joint-partakers with them 8: For you were once darkness but now are you light in the Lord walk as children of light 9: For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth[2] 10: Proving what is acceptable to the Lord 11: And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness but rather reprove elegchō [expose/admonish] them[3] 12: For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret 13: But all things that are exposed are made visible by the light for whatever produces visibility is light 14: Wherefore he says Awake you that sleep (heed the drawing and conviction of the Lord) and arise from the dead (call on God to save you!) and Christ shall give you light (show you how to walk in his ways) Thy WORD is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path  15: See then that you walk thoughtfully (and prudently) not as fools but as wise 16: Redeeming the time because the days are evil 17: Wherefore be not unwise but understanding what the will of the Lord is 18: And be not drunk with wine wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit 19: Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord[4] 20: Giving thanks at all times for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to him who [is] God and Father Berry  [Isaiah 9:6] 21: Yielding to [being supportive of] one another in the fear of God 22: Wives yield to [be supportive of] your own husbands[5] as unto the Lord 23: For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the Church[6] and He [Christ] is the Savior of the Body [of Christ] 24: Therefore as the Church yields to Christ so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything 25: Husbands love your wives even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it 26: That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word 27: That He might present it to Himself Godhead a glorious church not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing but that it should be holy and without blemish [7]  28: So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies They who love their wives love themselves 29: For no one ever yet hated their own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it [their own flesh] just as also the Lord the church 30: For we are members of His body of His flesh and of His bones 31: For this cause shall a man leave father [and] mother and follow hard [after][8] his wife and they two shall be one flesh[9] 32: This is a great mystery but I speak concerning Christ and the church[10] 33: Nevertheless [even though you cannot fully comprehend this] so love everyone after the manner [of Christ and] particularly love your wives even as yourselves (and wives to fear[11] husbands)

[1] Christ gave himself for a lost and unbelieving world. This was done out of love, because God is love. He is the very substance and embodiment of love. Yet, a brief history of so-called “Christian” response to disagreement on doctrine and differences of opinion, is filled with horrific violence never advocated by Jesus. Our Savior said our fruits would reveal who we are. Is the fruit of our lives, love, flowing from the heart of God through his risen son? Shameful accusations against historical “Christian” persecutors, are all too often true, rightfully producing animus in the hearts of those who confuse wicked religious bigots with true followers of Christ who never advocated conversion by compulsion: e.g., This should be a matter of reflection and repentance for every believer who follows any person or doctrine that has a testimony of abusing the name of Christ by imprisoning, torturing, and killing those who disagree[d] with them. Jesus said, “By this all shall know you are my disciples, that you have love one towards another John 13:35.”

[2] Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit.” This is the biblical standard by we judge all things. The Bible says do not condemn, but the Bible also says judge all things by the Word of God. Christians must mature, and learn to discern between the biblical and the unbiblical. One of the tools for discernment, given by Christ himself, was fruit. The apostle reinforces that truth to the Christians at Ephesus, in reminding that the fruit of the Spirit causes no one to become callous or cruel, but more like Jesus himself, who embodies love, and is the TRUTH. Jesus, is our example of truth, goodness, and righteousness. Our fruit should be like his. Only God can condemn, but, using the standard of His WORD, God’s people are commanded to judge. 

[3] Here, again, is the biblical concept of discernment (judging) and reproving. Christians are commanded to reprove, rebuke, and exhort. How can the unfruitful works of darkness be reproved, if they are not first judged to be so? And what form should reproofs take? On the subject of “reproving,” where, in the example of Christ, can the example of persecution be found? Jesus said some hard things in his rebukes to the religious leaders of his day, but when his disciples wanted to call fire down from heaven and destroy some itinerant preachers of Messiah, who were not affiliated their group, Jesus said, No! Yet, for millennia, Christians have been persecuted by those calling themselves Christians. It is the opinion of this writer, that no true Christian ever imprisoned or put to death another professing Christian, over doctrine. Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” 

[4] Ephesians, chapter 5, verse :19 is used by some to ban musical instruments from church services. They claim it is because instruments are not mentioned in this verse. This is an extreme and unwarranted interpretation, and a perfect example of failing to rightly discern the Word of God. God’s people are commanded, in the psalms, to praise him using all manner of musical instruments. Satan hates this, as the Bible says that praise stops the enemy. It is erroneous to assume he has changed his mind on the matter of praise simply because instruments are not mentioned in Ephesians. The verse is instructing on what to do, not on what not to do.

[5] Dr. Sue Hyatt writes that the word “submit” should have been translated as “support,” “In the context of biblical relationships between men and women, the best meaning of hypotasso is “to identify with or support” It has nothing to do with being subordinate to, secondary to, or subject to.” (  V. 22, The phrase, “yourselves unto your own,” is translated from only one word, idios, Strong’s G 2398. The word pertains to one’s own self, or that which belongs to one’s own self (used 114 times: ex.: Luke 10:34, John. 10:3, 12, 19:27, Acts 1:7, 2:6). The translator supplement, “yourselves” adds an emphatic, hierarchal, flavor, to the command. It is an incorrect translation and the word should be eliminated. In verse twenty-one, there is also no corresponding Greek to justify the translator supplement of the emphatic “yourselves.” “Yielding one to another (being supportive one of the other) in the fear of God” is sufficient for understanding. The word, hypotasso, means the same for both husbands and wives. Hypotasso is used in 2 Peter 5:5 (Received Text), where all believers are commanded to yield to one another. Given that all believers are commanded to prefer others before themselves, the Greek word, hypotasso, when applied to non-military relationships (marriage is certainly not a military relationship), should not be translated using hierarchal terms such as “submit” or “be subject to.” 

[6] Verses 28-29 explain what Paul meant when he wrote this. 1 Corinthians 11:3 and Ephesians 4:15-16 show that Christ “as head” loves and nourishes the Church, which is his Bride. Paul may even have been addressing the issue of domestic violence and abuse, which was prevalent among the Jews and certainly would have carried over into the early Church as well. The Headship of Christ as Chief Cornerstone (Head of the Corner) is a direct reference to his function as The Capstone of the Church (only one capstone per building). 

   Jesus’ function as the head is described in Ephesians 4:15-16, which describes a human body using a building metaphor. In this passage the head is portrayed as building, edifying, and unifying the body.  

   There is no mention in this passage of ruling:

“But speaking the truth in love may grow up into him in all things which is the head even Christ from whom the whole body fitly joined together (“Fitly joined together” is a building metaphor) and compacted by that which every joint supplies according to the effectual working in the measure of every part making increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 

   This passage of scripture bears witness to the fact that Christ’s Headship has to do with the building, edifying, and unifying of His Church.

   Ephesians 5:29 tells us that Christ’s Headship also includes the nourishment of the Church.

   Christ as the kephale of the corner is the only connection between the rest of the building/Bride/Church and the Godhead. And although there are many angles (corner stones) within the Body of Christ, there is only one Head of the Corner (capstone). That is why Jesus said, “I am the [only] way the truth and the [only] life no one comes to the Father but by me.”

[7] This verse cannot be used as a basis for trinity marriage teaching, or as a command for complementarian husbands and wives to engage in a cosmic role-play portraying god husband and church wife. The Church is sanctified by Christ and His redeeming work on the cross—His death, His burial, and His resurrection, His triumph over death. Wives cannot be sanctified by husbands who cannot redeem. Husbands will not present their wives to God at the judgment. The “He” in verses 26 and 27 refers to Jesus, not to husbands. The “Himself” referenced in verse 26, is a reference to the eternal Godhead, because Jesus is God. Jesus is the God of the Burning Bush: Beloved Son Eternal Father. 1 Corinthians 7:4,14 refutes the redeemer husband fallacy by saying that the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife (else their children would be unclean, and that the wife has equal authority over the husband’s body. In Christ, according to Galatians 3:29, there is functional equality between all races and both sexes.

[8] Translating the Hebrew word, dabaq, used in Genesis 2:24 (H1692), as “follow hard [after],” would naturally be unacceptable to traditional male leadership where men are taught they must always lead and women must always follow. But even the old English word, “cleave,” suggests equality [requiring moving in sync together], which would naturally lead to obedience to the biblical commands of fidelity and monogamy--neither of which was obeyed up to New Testament times, where polygamous men were disqualified from Christian leadership. 
[9] In his foreknowledge and providence, our Creator commanded all new husbands to separate themselves from their nuclear families [after they married] and attach themselves to their wives. If they chose to live within a parental home, after their marriage, it was not to be with the husband’s family. But history records that from the Fall onward, men have generally disregarded this command, which would have served as a natural safe-guard for women against marital abuse and violence. As a side note: Obedience to leaving the husband's parents and adhering to the wife, would have also protected against the practice of polygamy, which is against God's command for one husband to have only one wife. Some have defended the practice of polygamy, claiming it is a benefit to women, and cite disparity in numbers of male to female populations. For the most part, historically, smaller male populations could be attributed to war, and to testosterone driven violence and adventure (much early violence had to do with the stealing of women from enemy tribes). If, in the beginning, audawm had not fallen through sin, these things would not have served to reduce the male population. There would likely have been much greater balance female to male ratios.

[10] As the apostle stated, the relationship between Christ and His Church is a great mystery. It is something the finite mind cannot begin to fathom. Since all our righteousness [the very best we can do] is as menstruous rags to an infinitely Holy God, complementarian efforts at cosmic role play, between god husband and church wife, is nothing less than insulting to a loving Creator. It is a useless, misguided, attempt to “flesh out” something humans are not capable understanding, much less of doing.

[11] The Greek word translated reverence or respect, in this verse, is phobeō. This is the root of the English word, phobia (fear). Examples of New Testament scriptures where the word “respect” would have been just as appropriate, if not more so, [than translating the Greek word, phobeō, as reverence] include: Matthew 21:37, Mark 12:6, Luke 20:13, and Hebrews 12:9. Another option is to translate the word with its most literal meaning of, “fear.” In Ephesians chapter six, Paul admonished slaves to fear and tremble before their lords. He was not advocating slavery. This advice stemmed from concern for their physical safety, and despite the egalitarianism of the early church, wives were in just as much physical danger from husbands as slaves were from masters. During that time, there was no legal recourse for women against domestic violence, and nothing but moral constraint to prevent husbands from beating wives. Sadly, history has shown that moral constraints without legal clout, often prove inadequate in protecting women from marital violence.

Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System examines Bible commentary and translation practices which have historically been androcentric (male centered) and even misogynistic (anti-woman). These have adversely effected understanding of the scriptures, relations between women and men, the happiness of men and women, and, in general, has hindered the work of the gospel. The book chronicles the early history of the women's rights movements, as well as the role of church leadership in aggressively suppressing both women's rights and the historical record of Christian initiatives within the movements. Through the complementarian movement, many of the same arguments used to support the institution of slavery, are still used today in suppressing the rights of Christian women. This book documents identical arguments used by Christian leaders against both movements, and is an unparalleled resource for all who desire an in-depth study of gender equality from a Christian perspective. The history of women’s rights is traced back [much further than usual] to the very first feminists…who were Christians—godly women, who brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront as they struggled to alleviate the suffering of others, and found they were hindered in doing so for no other reason than the fact of their sex. This work, provides valuable historical insight into Christian initiatives in the movements for women’s rights, that are rarely included in Christian literature. Visit this link for more information or to buy the book:  Woman this is WAR! Gender Slavery and the Evangelical Caste System