By M.M. Johann of The Tenets of Unbiblical Patriarchy. Originally posted here. This is part of a new series critiquing Vision Forum’s Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy. Please remember that while the contributors to this website are united in our belief that there are problems with the teachings of Vision Forum, we come from a variety of diverse perspectives.
4. Although sin has distorted their relationship, God’s order of authority for husbands and wives has not changed, and redemption enables them to make substantial progress in achieving God’s ideal for their relationship. (Gen. 3:16; Eph. 5:22ff.)
Gen 3:16 – To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.
“He shall rule” is not a command, but a statement of what will happen. It does not say if this is God’s will. Unless, of course, you see “thou shalt bruise his heel” (:15) as a command to Satan that God want him to harm humans.
Eph. 5:22, 25 – Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. … Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it …etc. (Look up the rest of the passage)
Eph 5:22 starts in the middle of a sentence in the Greek it was written in. The “wives, [submit to] your own husbands” has no verb in the Greek. It borrows a verb from :21, “Submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God.” One Greek scholar suggest a good translation of :21-22 will be “… mutually submitting in the fear of Messiah; wives (mutually submitting) to your husbands as to the Lord.” As husbands are part of “one another”, no order is given there to wives but not to husbands. In 1st century society, men and women had very unequal positions, and following these teachings would actually have brought them closer to equal.
a) Although sin has distorted their relationship,
b) God’s order of authority for husbands and wives has not changed,
To Biblically prove that his order of authority stayed the same, you would have to prove that there was authority pre-fall, and then that he will rule (Gen. 3:16) mentions God’s will, and not just a prophetic statement of how things will be.
c) and redemption enables them to make substantial progress in achieving God’s ideal for their relationship.
Yes, that is Biblical. But we have not Biblically established that authority was His ideal either pre-fall or post-fall.
Other ways Christians understand this:
While the authors of TBP believe that distinction was made between men and women in Eph. 5 because God gave them different gender roles, others believe it was made because Ephesian society put them in different roles, so applying Christian principles for the very varied positions of men and women called for different applications.
Summing it up
How reliable is this tenet? I will use a color code:
The color code:
This is adequately Biblically defended
This is not Biblically defended
4. Although sin has distorted their relationship, God’s order of authority for husbands and wives has not changed, and redemption enables them to make substantial progress in achieving God’s ideal for their relationship.