Archive for January, 2008

Back in 2004 Doug Phillips was wise to republish an article by William Einwechter on the exegesis of Titus 2

In Titus 2:3-5 the apostle Paul charges the older women in the church to teach the younger women “to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” The instruction for women to be “keepers at home” generally has been understood by the church as teaching that the sphere of a married woman’s work is her home. This understanding is reflected by the Puritan commentator Matthew Poole, who interpreted the phrase to mean: “housewives, not spending their time gadding abroad, but in looking to the affairs of their own families.” ([1]) The Christian woman as a housewife, looking diligently to the affairs of her family, was the standard in Puritan New England:

In seventeenth century New England no respectable person questioned that a woman’s place was in the home. By the laws of Massachusetts as by those of England a married woman could hold no property of her own. When she became a wife, she gave up everything to her husband and devoted herself exclusively to managing his household. Henceforth her duty was to “keep at home, educating her children, keeping and improving what is got by the industry of the man.”([2])

However, this view went beyond the Puritans and was the perspective of all branches of the church and a central aspect of Western Christian culture. For example, Lenski, the eminent Lutheran commentator, stated that the phrase “keepers at home” indicates domestic responsibility and that the home is the place of a married woman’s work; she is a “housekeeper” who dispenses “all good things in this domain.” ([3])

The article is thoughtful kind and uses scripture to explain this very basic Christian doctrine.

First, that from a corrupt and venomed fountain can spring no wholesome water. Secondarily, that no person has power to give the thing which does not justly appertain to themselves. [137]But the authority of a woman is a corrupted fountain, and therefore from her can never spring any lawful officer. She is not born to rule over men, and therefore she can appoint none by her gift, nor by her power (which she has not), to the place of a lawful magistrate; [138]and therefore, [those] who receive of a woman office or authority are adulterous and bastard officers before God. This may appear strange at the first affirmation, but if we will be as indifferent [impartial] and equal in the cause of God as that we can be in the cause of man, the reason shall suddenly appear. The case supposed, that a tyrant by conspiracy usurped the royal seat and dignity of a king, and in the same did so establish himself, that he appointed officers, and did what he list for a time; and in this meantime the native king made strait inhibition of all his subjects, that none should adhere to this traitor, neither yet receive any dignity of him; yet, nevertheless, they would honour the same traitor as king, and become his officers in all affairs of the realm: if after the native prince did recover his just honour and possession, should he repute or esteem any man of the traitor’s appointment for a lawful magistrate, or for his friend and true subject? Or should he not rather with one sentence condemn the head with the members? And if he should do so, who is able to accuse him of rigour, much less condemn his sentence of injustice? And dare we deny the same power to God in the like case? [139]For that woman [who] reigns above man, she has obtained it by treason and conspiracy committed against God. How can it be then, that she, being criminal and guilty of treason committed against God, can appoint any officer pleasing in his sight? It is a thing impossible.

Wherefore, let men that receive of women authority, honour, or office, be most assuredly persuaded, that in so maintaining that usurped power, they declare themselves enemies to God. If any think, that because the realms and estates thereof have given their consents to a woman, and have established her and her authority, that therefore it is lawful and acceptable before God, let the same men remember what I have said before: to wit, that God cannot approve the doing nor consent of any multitude, concluding anything against his word and ordinance; and therefore they must have a more assured defence against the wrath of God than the approbation and consent of a blinded multitude, or else they shall not be able to stand in the presence of a consuming fire. That is, they must acknowledge that the regiment of a woman is a thing most odious in the presence of God. They must refuse to be her officers, because she is a traitress and rebel against God. And finally, they must study to repress her inordinate pride and tyranny to the uttermost of their power.

http://www.swrb.ab.ca/newslett/actualNLs/firblast.htm

Yet consider now, whether women are not quite past sense and reason, when they want to rule over men. In a word, it is madness. For, were men made for women? It is true that today men are as channels through which God causes His grace to stream down upon women. For, from whence does labor come? From where do all the most excellent things and highlyesteemed things come? To be sure, it all comes from the men’s side. So God is wellpleased for men to serve the good of women, as experience shows. Yet St. Paul has an eye here to the beginning of the creation, where it was said that it was not good for the man to be alone, and that he needed someone at hand who would always be ready to help. Since God was thinking of the man, it certainly follows that the woman is only an accessory. And why? Because she was only created for the sake of man, and she must therefore direct her whole life toward him. She must confess, “I am not supposed to be without direction here, not knowing my purpose and station. Rather, I am obliged by God, if I am married, to serve my husband, and render him honor and reverence. And, if I am not married, I am bound to walk in all soberness and modesty, cognizant that men have the higher rank, and that they must rule, and that the woman who disregards this forgets the law of nature and perverts what should be observed as God commands. This then the place to which St. Paul brings back women. (Men, Women, and Order in the Church: Three Sermons by John Calvin [Dallas: Presbyterian Heritage, 1992], pp. 3536.)

http://www.swrb.com/newslett/actualNLs/govtwome.htm

it’s not really a surprise that Don Veinot, Karen Campbell, Cynthia Gee and all the rest have sold out to liberalism. I was reminded of this Thursday night as I re-read Dr. Brian Abshires brotherly response to Veinot’s vicious slander of Abshire, Phillips, and Vision Forum.

I will make your commentary study a little easier; the quick answer is that the view that you propose here is at best about forty years old, originating in Liberal universities and mainline theological seminaries in the late 1960’s and filtering into evangelical ones in the 1970’s (because we evangelicals love to have our pastors earn degrees from prestigious academic institutions even if such institutions hate God and His Word). I know, because you see, I was there when it occurred. I was at Bethel College and Bethel Seminary in the late 1970’s when this “new view” of “mutual submission” first became popular. It was a self conscious attempt on the part of certain faculty members to “adjust” evangelical theology to make it appealing to the growing wave of feminists in the church. The fact that the term “submit” (Greek “hupotasso”) which means to be “placed under” cannot possibly be made to mean “mutual submission” was ignored; certain men wanted to adjust evangelical theology to a new generation which had a priori assumed the “truth” of feminism and therefore had to construct some kind of Biblical basis. This was little different from the Temperance movement of the 19th century who assumed a priori that alcohol was the cause of all social ills and then created a twisted, distorted exegesis to insist that the wine in the Bible is really just grape juice; even though historically, linguistically and culturally this was pure invented nonsense. But just like the “all wine is really just grape juice” so has “we are really supposed to submit to one another so nobody, especially husbands have any authority.”

The rest of Absire’s tidy response if found on his http://www.christian-civilization.org website.

(not to be confused with Slandrew umm Andrew Sandlin’s Christian Culture website)

I dont’ have a whole lot of respect for the former Governor of Arkansas. The matter wasn’t helped much when I saw the squishy answer he gave on the submission of wives in the South Carolina debate.  You can see the video here

The entire issue was summed up in a brilliant quote  by Chesterton at the start of the Bayly article.

It is the final sign of imbecility in a people that it calls cats dogs and describes the sun as the moon–and is very particular about the preciseness of these pseudonyms.  To be wrong, and to be carefully wrong, that is the definition of decadence.  The disease called aphasia, in which people begin by saying tea when they mean coffee, commonly ends in their silence. -G. K. Chesterton

I highly recommend the entire article.