When the curtain on male headship is pulled back, it shrinks from the light of logic and truth. Consider the most recent defense of male headship by John Piper. He offers three reasons why he believes it will endure, but in pulling the curtain back, we find each deeply flawed.
The widespread misunderstandings and mistranslations resulting in gender hierarchy are damaging to people, marriages and the body of Christ. I am going to start by diving into the most famous (or infamous) passage on marriage in Ephesians Chapter 5. It’s amazing to discover what this passage really says!
Womanist interpretation seeks to use the Scriptures to explore and empower the construction of black womanhood, the experiences of black women as it relates to the world, and the black community and church.
Throughout the ancient world, gender was identity, and gendered spheres were guarded by the long arm of patriarchy. Yet, notice how Scripture boldly defies patriarchy by celebrating women whose achievements paralleled and often eclipsed men's in business (Proverbs 31), in political strategies (Abigail: 1 Samuel 25, Esther 4:4-17), in military tactics (Jael: Judges 4:17-22, Deborah: Judges 5:7), in theocratic leadership (Deborah: Judges 5:7), in biblical exegesis (Huldah: 2 Kings 22:14ff, 2 Chron. 34:14-33, 2 Kings 22), and in righteously preserving kin (Tamar: Gen. 38:26, Ruth: Ruth 2:1-4:10).
A man and woman are seen on stage. The man has two envelopes in his hands. The words "To: Husbands" are written on one envelope, and "To: Wives" is written on the other. The
man holds the envelopes so the audience can read the inscriptions. He takes the message from the envelope marked "To: Wives" and reads it quickly.
Embracing a fully egalitarian perspective was a long twelve-year process. When all was said and done, there was one final hurdle to overcome. By the time I began pastoring in 2008, I already understood that God gifted both women and men with “speech” gifts such as prophecy. I also believed women were allowed to teach and preach, even with men present.
Sometimes we are vague about what submission means, but feel strongly that there is hierarchy in marriage and that it is of utmost importance. The apostle Paul’s letters are often the basis of these teachings. Yet, is Paul advocating hierarchy in marriage, or is he encouraging mutuality?
CBE President Mimi Haddad shares highlights from CBE’s first-ever online conference. Speakers and attendees re-examined the foundations of Christian patriarchy theologically and socially through varied disciplines.