My Things That Undermine the Complementarian Position post got WAY more attention than I expected. I want to return to some gospel-centered parenting topics that are more in line with the lectures to myself that this blog normally represents. But I read some other articles last night that I think add to the discussion of complementarian problems and distinguish what is and is not healthy submission. Hopefully, this will be my last post on this subject for a bit.
Bob Bixby at Pensees analyzes the Biblical story of Ananias and Sapphira.
“The tragedy is that because Christians don’t view submission in lesser unions as subservient to the ultimate union, the Church today is afflicted with child abuse, extortion, prideful division, and immorality. The same apostle who said, “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution” (1 Peter 2:13) also said, “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). I think that Peter would say to wives today, “Yes, be subject, but didn’t you read what I said? For the Lord’s sake.” This precludes meekly standing by with knowledge about your husband that no one else has when he is lying against the Holy Spirit in the face of the Church. Be the Church, lady, and expose the lie.
Or die with your man.
It’s hard to believe that Peter would ever want a women to be a Sapphira. I’m persuaded, however, that the Church today has many an Ananias who counts on his Sapphira to prop up the lie.”
And Andy Naselli writes of Abigail here. Andy and I don’t agree on everything, mutual submission in particular, but I respect him and have learned from his study on the subject. His exploration of Abigail was very interesting to me.
I talked about Peter’s words to wives when their husbands sin here (particularly the problem of deluding ourselves from acknowledging their sin because we are too threatened by the consequences) and about the serious issue of wives allowing or sometimes even enabling abuse of either their children or themselves here.
All these qualifiers have to be in place to distinguish healthy submission in the image of Christ from unhealthy authoritarian practices in the image of Satan. I am glad to see this discussion growing.