Dethroning Male Headship

I have been making the claim that feminism in the Church has been targeting not just husbands but Jesus Christ as the head for some time. My last post concerning the idea that God simply asks too much discussed this at some length. As I started looking for sources that I could point to that could bear out this claim I discovered “Dethroning Male Headship” by Shirley Taylor and stopped looking. In her latest blog post “Mothers Like Sarah” Taylor goes on a very imaginative expedition into the 1 Peter 3:1-6 and strikes feminist gold!

From:

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
(1Pe 3:1-6)

Taylor derives:

We can interpret Peter’s words something like this, “That was the way it was done back in Sarah’s day, but things have changed. We are now under grace by faith, not under the law. You have done what is right in becoming Christ-followers, and are Sarah’s daughters—children of the freed woman—if you do not fear as you keep following Christ, and, like Sarah, you will birth this new nation of God’s people.”

Does anyone else get why she is interpreting what Peter said this way. It’s a head-scratcher to me. The prominent feature that stands out in this remark is that we are in fact looking for a full equality to the point of proof-texting a matriarchy. She muddles along until she get’s to the moral of her story:

Male headship is dethroned when Peter told Christian women that they will be like Sarah, mothers of a nation of believers.

Huh?? What Gospel is this?? Taylor makes the classical egalitarian arguments about equality in Christ that are in fact Biblical but any attempt by anyone to preach verses on submission such as from Ephesians 5 are shot down as “heresy”, as I’ll show.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(Eph 5:22-25)

If you think this is some stray loon with a blog and a vanity book we need to realize that she is doing her best to promote herself within the Southern Baptist Convention and with considerable zeal. Like Empath she is reaching out to pastors and bending their ears:

(Please bear with me as I repost certain of my previous blogs. This is a repost of May 26, 2010.  In the past few weeks I have mailed over a hundred letters to Baptist pastors. I have reposted some posts that I really want them to see. Things haven’t changed.  What I said 2 years ago is still the same, and many of my new readers don’t have time to read all 270 of my posts.)

Here she is introducing the above passage as she is compelled to sneak her book into the Seminary library amongst the “heretical books”:

Sitting in the Fuller Theological Seminary Library in Houston, Texas, I began twitching. Something was wrong and my eyes went toward the books stacked on the table where I was sitting. They were books yet to be shelved and I picked up the nearest one to me. It was by Wayne Grudem.  The next book in the pile was by some unknown author, at least to me, and it made the same old tired attempt at explaining 1 Peter 3.

I had a copy of Dethroning Male Headship and laid my book on top of those heretical books against women, and thus dethroned them.

Copied below is an excerpt from my book explaining what this passage really means.

(Emphasis added.)

In light of that what do we think: “Dethroning Male Headship” is ultimately driving at? Her blog is a veritable trove of materials about equality and how women must demand it to the exclusion of almost everything else. Typical.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
(Php 2:5-8)

How can “submission” be made to be such and evil word and “equality” be the very vision of heaven on Earth?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
(Isa 5:20-21)

I’ll end with the same statement as last time:

Remember, the Father asked Jesus to go to the Cross, He asks us to count the cost when He calls us to follow Him there (both men and women).

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17 thoughts on “Dethroning Male Headship

  1. I went ahead and put it up. Its important to know that “the other side” is doing their own form of lobbying. It doesn’t look good for men in church because pastors will hear what she says, choose to ignore any heresy, and think hmmm, this ought to please my female members…..and my wife….win-win.

  2. I think this should lay to rest the claims that there is no active hypoagency or lobbying at work by feminists in the church. The CF gals would bat their eyes and demand proof if this was even suggested.

  3. I don’t seem to remember anywhere in the New Testament where Sarah is mentioned as the ‘mother of the faithful’ although Abraham is mentioned often in that context.

    This is, of course, the logical follow-up to dethroning husbands as heads of families; dethroning men as heads of governments, &c.

    It’s crap like this that almost makes me want to convert to Islam!

  4. @Eric:
    “It’s crap like this that almost makes me want to convert to Islam!”

    Hang in there Eric! God IS in control – but you’ve got to stay on the side that wins 🙂

  5. I’m a non-Christian but I respect the Christian church as an institution. Empathologism, I’ve been reading for a while now and I appreciate what you’re doing.

    Good luck disarming the hyper-individualist, egalitarian wing of your faith. You’re gonna need it. Perspectives like Taylor’s are the natural result of the current culture and they will certainly win, but it’s probably better to go down fighting.

    [Thank you, I appreciate the encouragement]

  6. What’s rather odd about all this is that submission and Christ’s headship and all that…they aren’t actually onerous burdens. If you examine how Christ actually treated his followers, it isn’t like he was putting his foot on their necks all the time. What’s actually being asked of women? If you look at what is asked of the disciples you see:
    – Them being asked to take it seriously
    – Be loyal
    – Be forgiving
    – Be generous
    – Be consistent
    – Have courage
    – Be thankful to the Lord
    – Be good to others as Christ was
    – Teach the truth of Jesus’ Gospel

    Obedience is not something that is asked blindly–in fact when Paul uses the model of ‘as to a commanding officer’ what is he talking about? In an army like the Roman Army or the Israelite army or our armies today, there are rules and regulations, your immediate superior MAY make things up on whim but generally there are rules and regulations. For an Israelite Army these are written down in the books of Moses. So this idea of it being blind slavish obedience is nonsense. The disciples generally knew what Jesus stood for even if they didn’t always understand it.

    So what is this difficult horrible submission that is being asked? Is it some kind of cult like brainwashing? Or is it simply that wives are called to be good companions and emphasize the loving behavior that is urged in the Bible?

    But I remember some of the debates in the CF about the injunction to ‘not deny one another’ from Corinthians and the feathers flying about that one–virtual marital rape apology it was! Ephesians 5? That’s making allowance for abuse!

    Heck, it’s not even martyrdom that is the problem here–we’re talking about a complete lack of a goalpost. We’re talking about an ethos in which it is not possible to say “do not deny one another” and have it simply mean that you apply 1st Corinthians 13 as a guideline to married sexuality.

  7. @ SGT Caz,

    This is a little inside baseball, but I’ll share this with you anyway.

    Taylor’s theology is like the hyena’s, the Masai tribes call them the “doctors” because they are adept at picking out the weak and eating them. The body of Christ, our faith, is being sifted by doctrines such as these, if a Church group succumbs to this “other gospel” it ceases to be a part of the body. There are no “wings” in our faith per se, we are either in fellowship with Christ, denying ourselves or we are not. We may disagree over points of doctrine but we all have fellowship and take our orders from the same head. Not so with feminists. (As I we are trying to demonstrate).

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  9. Hannah:
    Even though Islam has a lot of positive points and gathers a lot of (fake) outrage from feminists and some superficial support from MRAs, in reality Sharia Law has a lot of ‘white knightism’ deeply embedded in it. We hear a lot, for example, about how false rape accusations are deterred because a woman needs four witnesses to prove rape. But did you know that a husband also needs four witnesses to accuse a wife of adultery? If a man catches his wife in bed with some dirtbag, he needs four witnesses to get a divorce: if he can’t provide them, Sharia Law stipulates he’s publically flogged with 80 lashes and disbarred from giving legal testimony for life. No wonder they keep their women so closely guarded over there…

  10. @Eric

    That thought has come across my mind as well. I’ve thought about just jumping ship and moving to Israel.

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  12. Crap like that made me convert to Islam a long time ago.

    I am happy to follow a religion where a man can be a man, not a machine.

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  14. Are you all seriously saying that you see nothing wrong with wives being in subjection to husbands? Notice how Peter is only concerned about. winning over the man. What if the husband is a believer and the wife is not? No mention of this. I have been married for almost 30 years. My marriage is egalitarian and we have never had any issues we could not work out. No anarchy here. Would you really advise us to change our marriage structure?

  15. @Anna

    Are you all seriously saying that you see nothing wrong with wives being in subjection to husbands?

    Yah. Seriously.

    Notice how Peter is only concerned about. winning over the man.

    Not true. He’s actually concerned about the character of the wife. Her submission to her husband (even as if he were as bad as the evil masters mentioned in the previous paragraph) displays HER Christlikeness; through which a husband might be won to Christ. Regardless, her submission to Christ is manifest through her submission to her husband.

    What if the husband is a believer and the wife is not? No mention of this.

    Then he should tell her to be a Christian, and she should do what he says. Why would Peter mention something so obvious?

    I have been married for almost 30 years. My marriage is egalitarian and we have never had any issues we could not work out. No anarchy here. Would you really advise us to change our marriage structure?

    Anna, it really doesn’t matter whether you think your marriage is working. What matters is the truth, and God’s sovereignty. Now, we’ve all got a lot of work to do. Go do what you’re told.

  16. Cane
    That is very similar to what I wanted to say to Anne but have had no time. Especially the answer to her question about Peter not mentioning what to do with the unbelieving wife. I imagine Anne is so steeped in , not egalitarianism necessarily, but just the gooey feeling she gets when she reads the word egalitarian and when she claims the word egalitarian.

    if you read the Barna study link Elspeth posted (Ive started a post on it) you’ll see Anne’s solipsism reflected in a study whereby the authors conclude, at least on one specific thing, that the women answering are stating characteristics that they want to be perceived as having….not what they actually have. My angle on that was that its amazing the Barna group noted that women said they were barely influenced by media and friends but were very influenced by the bible and sermons. How did they miss this “wants to be perceived” aspect of every subset topic?

    In any case thats what Anne is doing. Therefore she is unable to even hypothetically take Peters admonition to women in the context of submission generally and conclude that the man would simply lead his wife to faith, or live his level best to do so. And that she, if she wishes to be obedient to Christ, would go along.

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