Is There A Real Male Headship?
Jesus Christ is Not the Boss of the Church.
Welcome to another exciting egalitarian message on our Hub. This time I have another unique artical for you about "headship". I found the reason a loving Jesus Christ would never want to be boss or chief over the Church but as servant leader only. I have yet to see or read any articles or books from scholars that address or deal with this amazing fact even among egalitarians. This one fact should put this topic of "headship" at ease in its right perspective, and put women right up there besides the men always.
There just is no way to rationalize around this very obvious reason about this "issue" or hide from its truths in the Bible. You can start at Genesis and go all the way to the last book of Revelation in the new Testament and this fact will be there for all to see, Revelation 22:17. There is no ways around it. This major reason is also why men who advocate supreme authority over women and their wives will find themselves in hot water with Jesus Christ. Scripture has much to say about our male and female relationships that reflect back to our made in the images of the God kind in, Genesis 1:26-27.
So this should be no secret to the biblical researchers or the scholars, but for some reason they all seem to miss this very logical fact. I have mentioned this reason several times in past in my Hubs but no ones seems to catch on to what I am driving at. Maybe it is because so many do not think of the Holy Spirit as a real person but just a breath of wind? It seems that everyone forgets that the other two Beings are also like breath and wind, which is what these Holy Spirits are in essence!
One of the main reasons for this lack of understanding about head as either source of life or boss are the many false teachings that have come down to us from the pagan concepts of the Greek philosophers like Socretes, Plato and Aristotle. There teachings had become mixed with the newer works of the Gnostics and Jewish Kabballah in the first century. Satan was already laying his own ground work to keep women marginalized at the time of Jesus Christ's appearence and start of the New Testament Church. Jesus and his disciples including the Apostle Paul had to contend and deal with these disruptions.
The two Greek philosophers, Socrates and Aristotle influenced the development of thought among the early church leaders. Socrates influenced extended through his student Plato, and then through Plato's most distinquised pupil Aristotle. Socrates often referred to women as the "weaker sex" and declared that being born a woman is divine punishment since a woman is half-way between a man and an animal. He formalized Aristotles idea that women are inferior to men and are to be treated as such. I thought God made woman in their images of God from Adam's rib, Genesis 1:27; 2:22-23.
The Kabballistic Judaizers who followed the Babylonian Talmud in Christ's time also were great at putting down women as inferior and less than slaves. Listen to what the Oral Laws of the Jews said of women in Jesus' day; the Oral Law said: "Let the words of the Law be burned rather than committed to women.... If a man teaches his daughter the Law, it is as though he taught her lewdness. The woman says the Law, is in all things inferior to man. Let her accordingly be submissive. Or, Praise be to God that he has not created me a gentile; praise be God that created me not a woman. Or, It is well for those whose children are male, but ill for those whose children are females."
Along with these put downs there were also the Gnostics of that period in Greece and Judea, like Simon Magus, Acts 8:18-21. These Gnostics even forbad women to marry and put down marriage as a curse. These teachings from the Greek philosophers, Gnostics and Jewish Kabbalist, were the forerunners for the coming paganized christian churches started in Rome and later found their way into the Protestant Reformation to keep men and women divided.
We can see now why the Apostle Paul was challenged in his day in Corinth, Ephesus and much of Greece and Italy to teach men to love their wives according to the examples Christ gave to us in Ephesians 5:21-33. Even with Paul's hard work there are still to many men teaching these misogynistic teachings in the churches today. Men still teach for commandments of God there own man made ideas and philosophies mostly borrowed from pagans, Matthew 15:7-9.
Two important books to read on these false teaching are: "I Suffer Not A Woman,' Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15, in Light of Ancient Evidence," by Richard Clark and Catherine Clark Kroeger; The other excellent book is titled, "In The Spirit We Are Equal,' The Spirit, The Bible, and Women, A Revival Perspective," by Susan C. Hyatt. These two books shed much light on why woman are still marginalized today in most churches. You can find them on our link to Christians for Biblical Equality.
We know that Adam was made in the God male image of the Father and Jesus Christ. This is a very unique creation for Adam - man. So we should know that Adam - woman, Eve, was also made in the God image of the female God Ruach HaKadosh or the Holy Spirit. Here is where the problem lies with men who obviously ignore these special versus in creation in Genesis 1:2, 27; 2:18-25. Adam was not ashamed of Eve being made in God's image here! So how come so many so called religious leaders get hung up on Ephesians 5:21-33. The answer is rather easy when we look at several other Scriptures in the New Testament and Old Testament.
Even as headship of husbands over their wives is clearly taught in the New Testament we see Adam and Eve made equal to serve in God's new created earth for them in the Old Testament.. Moreover, the Bible clearly declares that the response of wives to their husbands' headship is submission in everything and we see this loving attitude between Adam and Eve. Indeed, the husband is the head of the wife as he is her source of life because she was taken and made from one of his ribs, (Genesis 2:21-22). Adam was certainly very happy about it verses 23-25.
In his own unique way Christ became the source of life for the church, as the second Adam, 1 Corinthians 15:22,45-47. As the church is subject to Christ, so wives must be subject in everything to their husbands (Eph. 5:23-24). This precept is reflected in the first marriage of humans but only for a short time until Gensis 3:1-16. Here we see the first attack on this marriage union by Satan, Genesis 3:1-4. Now God's plan of salvation for his newly created children will have to be delayed for sometime. Now that perfect union for human kinds family becomes disrupted and the result is more and more problems for the children of Adam and Eve. It doesn't take long for the one union marriage to become distorted and women to become subject to the whims of men instead of equals. Satan the devil provided his new plan of death and destruction as he had become the god of this world temporarily, John 8:41-44.
After 4,000 years of choosing from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which has brought a continual hell on earth for us humans, God sent Jesus Christ to corrrect this problem. Even though God at other times went out of his way to bring humans to His truths. He attempted to restore His family plan through the patriarchs Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and their descendants the people of Israel. The people of Israel completely failed to keep God's perfect Laws of success, the Ten Commandments. They failed because thy did not have the one ingredient in them that would have made them successful, the Holy Spirit, Romans 8:1-4. They constantly grieved the Spirit through their steady streams of sins and finally lost their great nation, Isaiah 63:10-19.
This however, has not changed God's plan for Israel and all the nations of the world. Now the Redeemer would come as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. God's plan is still to restore His ideal family plan where men and women would once again have equality and the abundant life, John 10:10. Now, verse 11, the good shepherd Jesus Christ would come to reset God's original plan on earth through a new people that would be his followers and people forever. They are called Christians or his priesthood of all faithful believers, 1 Peter 2:4-10. These people would have that one ingredient that would forever keep them as the children of God because they would be given the Holy Spirit of Grace, John 3:3-8, 1 Corinthians 3:16-19; 6:19-20, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18.
Each person would be a special temple for the Holy Spirit, and put together they would comprise the Church in the form of very beautiful woman, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,18-27, Revelation 22:17. A man and a women when they are joined together in marriage become one body or minature family that is supposed to mirror the God Family, Ephsians 5:31-32.
We must not forget here that this Bride or Church is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:4, 1 Corinthians 12:13. Of course Jesus Christ now becomes the "head" of the body because he gave his life in service to his Bride in which also dwells the Holy Spirit. At this point the wife (Bride or Church) becomes the perfect helper to Christ (as Eve became Adam's ezer) because she is put together by the Holy Spirit, who continues to dwell in her and gives the church her femininity as God's daughter.We can see how intricately woven is this relationship between the Spirit and the church in Revelation 12:1-2,5-6 and Revelation 22:17, Revelation 3:7-13. Without a doubt the Holy Spirit dwells in the church and makes her unique as the Bride of Christ as they become One. Here is the main reason why Christ is the servant husband and 'head" or source of life to the church and not the boss. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are equals in the Godhead with the Father. These Three are One and so the church or bride becomes One with them as the Temple where God lives, Revelation 21:1-3.
No doubt that among the multiple functions in regard to the church, Christ shares his authority and leadership with the Holy Spirit. The scope of his universal lordship includes the church in which God the Father and he become the final Temple, Revelation 21:22. All three Beings are present as One with their new children, 2 Corinthians 6:6,15-18, John 14:23.
So the meaning of Christ as head can be easily determined within its scriptural use with reference to the servant leadership of Christ as the source of life in relation to the church, his body. Whatever, function the head of the church performs in connection to the body defines the meaning of head in the New Testament which is source of life. Both the Holy Spirit and Christ are the churches sources of life, John 3:3-8,16-17.
In relation to the Church, the role of Christ is described as being appointed as head for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. The headship of Christ is never over the church in the New Testament because he shares it with the Holy Spirit. Here, it is for the Church. As head, Christ gives the Church new life as God the Father's "Holy Seed" and He provides for the Churches growth. The function is one of servant provider along with the Holy Spirit this makes the church growth possible, Ephesians 1:22-23, John 16:13 -14, Romans 8:26-27.
Christ is the head from whom the whole body grows and builds itself up. The function of the head in relation to the body is to provide it with growth. Christ as leader is a servant leadership role and developmental servant function. As the husband is the head of the wife as truly Christ is the head of the Church, his wife and his body, of which he is the Savior. As the head of the church, Christ is its Savior and the Holy Spirit is Nurturer and Life to the Church and really lives in the Church, Revelation 12:1, because She dwellls in us, Romans 8:9. If head had meant authority or boss He would be over the Holy Spirit. So the appropriate designation for Christ is "Savior" which is consistenly a self- sacrificing, life - giving servant role in the New Testament, Ephesians 4:15-16.
Christ is the head of the body, the Church; he is the beginning and the first born from among the dead at Pentecost. Through his blood, shed on the cross, all things are reconciled to God, In a passage that celebrates Christ's supremacy over all creation, this text describes Christ as the source of life of the church through his resurrection from the dead and because of the reconciliation obtained through his self- sacrificing servant ministry at the cross. Headship is defined in terms of Jesus Christ as servant provider of life, Colosians 1:18-19.
Now Christ becomes the head from whom the whole body grows. His function as the head or source of life in relation to the body is one of rulership as servant provider of growth. Christ as head to the church becomes the source of its life and development which He shares with the Holy Spirit, Colosians 2:19, Ephesians 4:30.
It must be noted that Christ is also head and source over every power and authority (Col. 2:10). Believers are given fullness in Christ who is head of (not "over" as the NIV has it) every power and authority. Christ is the source of growth for believers just as he is the source of the life of powers and authorities which he created together with the Holy Spirit, Genesis 1:26, Col.1:6.
Christ is the head of every man, Genesis 1:26. He breathed the breath of life into the man, Job 33:4. This is why the text in 1 Corinthians 11:3 is made in three carefully sequenced and related clauses says - the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. The question here is raised as to whether the meaning of head in this text is consistent in its use in the other references or as to whether it has suddenly changed to mean something different in this one passage other then source of life..
We must be careful that the word head, in this text is not carelessly confused with its English language meaning of boss or chieftain an hierarchical order. Like, God - head over Christ - Christ head over man - man head over woman. This top-down veritcal chain of command would then go as follows: God-Christ-man-woman. This would be manipulating the biblical text in order to make the text say what the Scripture does not teach in this passage, if these three clauses are be taken out of their original sequence and rearranged. The apostle Paul knows how to structure a hierarchy in perfect descending order as in 1 Corinthians 12:28 -30.
Paul is not structuring a hierarchy in 1 Corinthians 11:3. He is keeping with the theme developed in the immediate text. The sequence that he links the three clauses is not hierarchy but chronology. As I have already said about creation, Christ was the giver of life to the man as the source of the life of Adam ("by him all things were created," Col.1:16). in turn, man gave life to the woman as she was taken from him. Then, God gave life to the Son as he came into the world for the incarnation. When the biblical sequence of the three clauses is not tampered with, the consistent meaning of "head" in this verse is that of a servant function not boss or chief
There are two other additional considerations to be taken into account in order to get at the real meaning of head as source of life in the New Testament. There are a number of references in the pages of the New Testament to leaders from all walks of life such as religious leaders, community leaders, military leaders, governmental leaders, patriarchal leaders and even church leaders. None are ever designated as source of life or head. Other titles are used, but head is for some reason absent from the list. This simple means that head does not mean "leader" in the language of the New Testament.
The second reason relates to the constitutive elements of the human period according to the New Testament. There are many references to the elements that make up the human being. Nowhere is Head ever cited as the governing center of the person. In the New Testament, that function generally points to the to the heart or to the mind. Only once is there a reference made to the head aspiring to wield authority over the body only to deny emphatically its right to do so,1 Corinthians 12:21.
Head is used figuratively in relation to the body and always with the meaning of servant provider, never with that of authority. When the New Testament metaphor of headship is understood generically and is protected from corruption by meanings foriegn to the text, it describes perfectly the relation of Christ to the church and of husband to wife as servant life-givers. The fall had made of Adam ruler over woman (Gen. 3:16), but now Christ makes of husbands servants to their wives in their relationship of mutual submission, Ephesians 5:21. This is the true reason for Christ's male headship as servant leader and source of life to the Church. It is now because the Holy Spirit comes to live in and nuture new born again Christians in Christ as the completing link to the Church body started on Pentecost 31 A.D., that we must follow, Acts 2:38 - 39 - Then Peter said unto them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."
So here we have it. The plain truth is that Christ's male servant leadership as head, is in the Bible but only as it refers correctly to Christ's servant leadership to the church where the Holy Spirit lives and gives the Church an identity as a woman or wife.. As it should also refer to males as servants to their wives not as their bosses or chief's in some kind of paganized bad example of a Adam/Satan devised scheme.
So, we men need to remember that as Jesus Christ is head of his wife the church, where the Holy Spirit dwells, as its source of life, so are we men to love our wives and be self-sacrificing to them as Christ was. Women have the Holy Spirit also, Acts 2:17-18. Jesus Christ gave himself for the church because the Holy Spirit is there dwelling in us and makes us fulfill our "part" in the body as members of the Bride of Christ, Ephsians 5:21,23-28, 1 Corinthians 12:12-14,20-27. This should not be a mystery to us, Ephesians 5:32-33.
Jesus Christ said he is as our servant leader in Matthew 20:27-28. He is not as a boss or chief but shares His duty as the source of life as a servant leader with the Holy Spirit ,in the Bride the Church, Romans 8:26-31. In the coming future our heavenly Father will also come down and share in this Family relationship with the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ and all of Us, John 14:23, Revelation 21:1-3.
For those of you that would like to know more about Christ's headship you should check Christians For Biblical Equality's link to their webpage. I also recommend the book,"Beyond Sex Roles" by Gilbert Bilezikizian, who does such a deep study of the servant leaderhip and source of life on the subject of Christ as our head. He also has a special free article, "I Believe in Male Headship.' This article was the source inspiration for this Hub. Christ's headship is about sacrificial love for other people. Remember He gave his physical life for all of us so we can be like Him and our Heavenly Father Yahuweh and our Heavenly Mother Ruach HaKadosh, forever!
Christians for Biblical Equality
- Home | Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE)
Here is the place to find more on what Christ wants you to be. While you are at CBE research their free literature section. There is a super article by Gilbert Bilezikian titled "I Believe In Male Headship." You can know the truth!
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