An underlying root problem with Christian Egalitarianism is a belief system that is completely at odds with Biblical authority. Christian Egalitarians believe they are simply rebelling against male domination and oppression of women, but in reality they are rebelling against the design and authority which God has established.
The Bible establishes many different types of Authority
We are to submit to our civil authorities
“13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.”
I Peter 2:13-14(NASB)
We are to submit to our Church authorities
“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not [b]with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
We are to obey our employers
“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;”
Children are to obey their parents
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.”
Wives are to submit to and obey their husbands
“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
We obey God, when man’s rule conflicts with God
“We ought to obey God rather than men.”
This issue of authority is one of those areas where the fallacy of Christian Egalitarianism can be clearly seen. We understand that countries, states, cities, churches and businesses need leadership. There must be a chain of command for these organizations to properly function. In each of these areas, there are executives to give direction to the organization and settle disputes.
But Egalitarians say, in perhaps the most foundational of all human groupings, that of marriage, there is no head, no leader. For them it is a partnership of equals with no one to set the direction, or settle disputes. They have no problem with the Bible telling us to submit to our government authorities, or our managers at our jobs. Christian Egalitarians would certainly not have a problem with the Biblical teaching that children should obey their parents.
But when it comes to wives submitting to and obeying their husbands, they are ready to reinterpret or remove those passages, and deny any authority within marriage.
I believe the reason for the rejection of male authority in the home by Christian Egalitarians is that it hits them where they live. Governments can (and should) only exercise limited authority, as well as our employers and churches. But in the home, if the Bible is read at face value, the women is to submit to her husband in “everything”(Ephesians 5:24).
This scares people, such authority could be abused. So they deny it and say no one should have to be under such absolute authority of another human being, or so they think.
It must also be pointed out here that no human authority has absolute power. Not a king, not a president, not a governor, not an employer and not even a husband. Each human authority has it’s sphere of power and responsibility and its limits. Only God has absolute authority.
For instance a husband while being his wife’s head, cannot order his wife to break the speed limit. That is a law set by the civil government, and it is within their sphere of authority to make such a law. A husband cannot order his wife to cover up him committing a murder or raping or abusing people as these things violate both the laws of God and the laws of man.
If a husband is physically abusing his children or his wife or is asking his wife to violate the laws of man (as long as those laws don’t violate God’s law or usurp the boundaries God has placed on all authorities) or the laws of God then she has not only the right, but the responsibility to resist him and go to his authorities(whether civil or church) for them to exercise discipline upon him.
A wife has the right to be freed from the tyranny of husband who physically abuses her or her children or threatens her life or the life of her children.
See this post I wrote on this subject “Does the Bible allow divorce for physical abuse?”.
What they do not realize is, man’s authority over woman is not meant to crush her, but to protect her, just as God lovingly but firmly leads us as his people.
I hope that Egalitarians reading this will prayerfully reconsider their beliefs, and truly think them through from a Biblical perspective. God gives us authority for our good, not for our demise.
Only by submitting to God’s authority in all areas of our life, whether they are civil authorities, church authorities, our managers at work, as well as the authority that God has established in the marriage and in the home can we truly find peace and be pleasing to God.
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