Many Christian teachers teach that husbands and wives should be equally accountable to one another. We are told that neither the husband nor the wife should keep any information back from one another and that this complete transparency is the foundation for a healthy Christian marriage.
Before we get into the Scriptural arguments that proponents of this teaching make, we need to define what it means to be accountable.
Merriam-Webster.com defines “accountable” as “required to explain actions or decisions to someone”.
Dictionary.com defines “accountable” as “subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable”.
Now that we understand what accountable means we can discuss whether the doctrine of equal accountability between husbands and wives is founded in the teaching of the Bible or just the teachings of our culture.
The Husband and Wife are One Flesh
Christian teachers who teach equal accountability between a husband and wife base their doctrine on the following principle that God says a husband and wife are one flesh in marriage:
“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.” – Mark 10:7-8
So, the argument basically goes like this. If a husband and wife are no longer two, but one, then there should be nothing that one knows that the other does not.
The problem with this interpretation of the “one flesh” principle is that the oneness between a husband and wife is not a oneness of equals.
The Scriptures tell us that marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and Church:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” – Ephesians 5:22-24
Are Christ and his Church equals? Absolutely not. One leads and one follows.
Is Christ accountable to his Church? Is Christ required to explain his actions or decisions to his Church? Absolutely not. Does he sometimes explain his actions? Yes, but he is not required to do so.
Is Christ answerable to his Church? Must he justify whatever he does to his Church? The answer again is absolutely not.
The language of Ephesians chapter five on the position of the husband to the wife is crystal clear. There is no gray area here. The husband is the head of the wife “AS” Christ is the head of the Church. Therefore, the husband is not in any way accountable to his wife even though he and his wife are one as the Church is one with Christ.
Does Responsibility Always Equal Accountability?
Does this mean a husband does not have any responsibilities toward his wife? Of course, he does!
After God addresses the duty of the wife to submit to her husband in everything, he addresses the responsibilities of the husband toward his wife:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:25-29
There are several kinds of love in the Bible. There is an affectionate kind of love that is usually conditionally based upon what a person does for another. There is a family type of love that is instinctual which describes the love of a parent for a child or a child for a parent. There is a type of love that is sexually based. And then there is a love based in a choice and not feelings. This last kind of love is the one that is the strongest type of love and it is most often associated with God and his actions toward us. This is the kind of love God commands husbands to have toward their wives in Ephesians chapter 5.
Husbands are called by God to choose to love their wives by washing their wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God (teaching, correcting and rebuking them as necessary), they are to provide for their wife’s physical needs, protect their wife’s body as if it were their own and give their lives to save their wife’s life as Christ did for his Church.
But just because we have responsibilities toward someone does not always mean we are accountable to that person for how we fulfill those responsibilities.
For instance, a teacher is responsible to their students for teaching them the right materials they need to learn. But they are not accountable to their students for fulfilling those responsibilities, but rather their school leadership.
Another example would be parents. Parents have many responsibilities toward their children, yet they are not accountable to their children for how they fulfill those responsibilities.
But sometimes we are accountable to the person that we have responsibilities toward. We as both men and women have many responsibilities toward God and we are also accountable to him for how we fulfill those responsibilities. But women are also accountable to their husbands for how they fulfill their responsibilities to them as wives and mothers to their children.
Men and Women Were Created Unequal for a Specific Purpose
If a husband and wife were equal partners in marriage, like two equal partners in a business together then yes, they would be required to be completely transparent and there could be no secrets. All decisions would need to be made jointly and agreed upon together.
That is what the world, and sadly many Christian churches and teachers teach today – that marriage is an equal partnership between a man and a woman.
But the Scriptures are clear in multiple passages throughout the Old and New Testaments that marriage is not a partnership of equals, but rather it is a patriarchy or male lead relationship. And God did not just flip a coin as some people think “because someone had to be in charge”.
The Scriptures show us that marriage was purposefully designed the way it was as part of God’s larger plan shown in I Corinthians 11:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.” – I Corinthians 11:7-9
The passage above from I Corinthians that I have just shown you is one that you will not hear in most Churches today. Instead you will hear all the time how God made man and woman equally in his image.
Most Christian teachers today appeal to the Genesis account to teach that God made man and woman equally in his image:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” – Genesis 1:27
They teach “See it says male and female created he them. That means God created both man and woman equally in his image”. But is that really what that passage teaches? Does it say God created male and female in his image or does it just say that God created male and female? Read the passage again.
And while the Hebrew word for man (“adam”) can be mean mankind there are two reasons that we know it refers specifically to male human beings and not all mankind (men and women). The first reason is the key phrase “created he him” and this refers particularly to Adam, the man, the male. Therefore, we know that when it says he created man in his image, it is referring specifically to male human beings, not female human beings. The second reason we know he was not referring to creating both men and women equally in his image is because of Paul’s divine commentary from I Corinthians 11 that we have just mentioned. It clearly states that man is “the image and glory of God” and then uses “but” indicating that woman is NOT the image and glory of God. Woman is “the glory of man”.
So, it is NOT Scripturally accurate to say that men and women are equally created in God’s image or that God split his image between men and women.
And there is a reason man is created in God’s image and woman is not. Man was created by God to image him, or live out his attributes, and thereby bring him glory. Woman was created by God for man to help man in is primary mission to image God. It is not woman’s mission to image God, but rather it is her mission to help man in his mission to image God.
Man could not fully image God without being a husband and father. Therefore, God had to make woman to be his wife and the mother of his children. It really is that simple. A woman who fights to be equal with a man or one who is offended because she is not equal to a man is a woman who has a problem with God’s plan for her life.
The American Egalitarian Lie
I realize what I have just said here is extremely offensive to our culture’s modern egalitarian views. We are taught in America that everyone is equal and that men and women should have equal rights. And by extension we are taught that marriage is a partnership of equals where all actions and decisions must be discussed and agreed upon because men and women are equal.
The vast majority of Churches and Christian teachers have bowed to our egalitarian culture and in the process many Christian books and articles have been published over the last half century trying to make the Bible fit an egalitarian worldview. The primary passage that Christian egalitarians use to teach this view is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28
Christian egalitarians use Galatians 3:28 to cancel out the rest of the Bible in regard to gender roles. It really is a very faulty interpretation of the Bible. Christian Egalitarians ask us to believe the ridiculous notion that somehow Paul changed his mind about what he wrote in Ephesians 5:22-31 and he just canceled it all out with Galatians 3:28.
And we are also supposed to believe that the Apostle Peter did not get the memo from Paul because he wrote in I Peter 3:1-6 that women were to be in subjection to their husbands and show respectful fear to their husbands and follow Sarah’s example who obeyed her husband and called him lord.
This is why I have maintained for years that you have throw the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy out the door to be a Christian Egalitarian. There are not mistakes and no contradictions in the Bible. And the Scriptures interpret the Scriptures.
That is why as Bible believing Christians, we know there absolutely no conflict or contradiction between I Corinthians 11:1-16, Ephesians 5:22-31, I Peter 3:1-7 and Galatians 3:28.
I Corinthians 11:1-6 is speaking about the purposes for which God created man and woman and man’s primary mission to image God. That is why men are not to wear a head covering for worship and prayer and women are. That is also why God is always referred to in the Bible in the masculine sense as husband, father and son. It is why Christ had 12 male Apostles. It is why the priests in Israel had to be male.
Ephesians 5:22-31 and I Peter 3:1-7 are speaking to gender roles in marriage as part of God’s larger plan for man to image God and woman to picture the people of God in her submission and service to her husband.
And finally, Galatians 3:28 has absolutely nothing to do with gender roles in this world or marriage. It is speaking to the subject of salvation! The Apostle Paul was saying men and women, Jews and Greeks, slaves and freemen could all be saved and be a part of the body of Christ.
But Accountability Keeps Us Out of Sin!
Some would argue that even though the husband does not have to be accountable to his wife, because he is her head as Christ is the head of the Church, that he still should be accountable to her to keep from sinning.
I think accountability partners are a great thing to have in our spiritual life. I have several of them where we confess to one another when we fail and try to encourage one another in in our walk with God.
The Scriptures give us the following admonitions that I believe support the concept of having accountability partners.
Accountability Partners Sharpen Our Character and Make us Better Christians
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” – Proverbs 27:17
Accountability Partners Give Us Someone to Confess Our Fault To
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16
Accountability Partners Keep Our Secrets
“A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.” – Proverbs 11:13
Accountability Partners Tell Us When We Are Wrong
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” – Proverbs 27:6
Accountability Partners Encourage Us to Keep Doing What is Right
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
So, yes accountability partners are a great thing for us all to have as Christians. But that then leads us to our next point.
Why A Husband Should NOT Make His Wife His Accountability Partner
So, after reading all of the previous passages you might be asking “Why should a man’s wife not be one of his accountability partners?”
There really are two reasons.
The first reason is that it undermines his authority by making him spiritually accountable to his subordinate. The reason a husband should not have his wife as an accountability partner is same reason a Pastor should not have one his members be his accountability partner. Accountability partners should ALWAYS be equals, and never subordinates.
The second reason a husband should not have his wife as an accountability partner is because of the simple fact that she is a woman. Men and women are different. We have very different spiritual struggles and very different natures. A man cannot fully comprehend or understand the spiritual struggles of a woman nor can a woman fully comprehend the spiritual struggles of a man.
That is why the Scriptures even encourage gender segregated spiritual mentoring:
“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” – Titus 2:1-6
So, again Accountability partners are great. But wives should not be accountability partners for their husbands because they are their husband’s subordinate and because they are women and cannot fully relate to the spiritual struggles of a man.
Why Women Want to Know Everything About Their Husbands
The Bible talks about women wanting to know everything about the people around them (which would include their husbands) and how they can get into trouble with this part of their nature:
“And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” – 1 Timothy 5:13-14
And just as marriage helps to keep couples from fornication (I Corinthians 7:2-5) so too we are told that marriage is the answer to keeping women from being tattlers, busy bodies and speaking things they ought not to.
Women need men to keep them in line.
To say such a thing today would be called “sexist”. But this is what God’s Word says. It almost makes you think that maybe, just maybe our post feminist world has it all wrong and the old “sexist” world while not being perfect was far more closely aligned to God’s Word than ours is today.
In fact, the very first sin woman committed had to do with her seeking out knowledge that was forbidden to her (Genesis 3:6). But it is not just a woman’s lust for knowledge, but also her lust for power that drives her to make her husband accountable to her.
In the Genesis account we read the following:
“Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” – Genesis 3:16
And God’s statement to Eve mirrors what he said to Cain:
“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” – Genesis 4:7
So, as we can see, in the same way that Cain’s sin nature desired to control him, but he had to rule over it, so too a woman’s sinful nature causes her to try to control her husband, but he must rule over her.
Wives, It is Not for You to Know
How many TV shows have you seen where a woman breaks up with a man for keeping something a secret? And I don’t mean him cheating with another woman. I mean any secret. Women in our post-feminist culture have been taught that they can expect their men to tell them everything. Anything held back by the man from the woman is considered a breach of trust and could possibly end the relationship.
For Christian wives reading this – what would your reaction be if you asked your husband to read his email and he said “it is not for you to know”. What if you asked him for his password for his phone or social media accounts and he said “it is not for you to know”. If you are like most American women you would be infuriated. Because you have been brought up in a culture that teaches you that you are an equal partner with your husband in your marriage and you entitled to know everything he knows and everything about him.
What if your husband decided to lock you out of the bank and manage the finances completely on his own? Most American women would completely rebel. But do you know who says to his wife “it is not for you to know”?
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” – Acts 1:7
That’s right. It was Jesus Christ himself.
It is utterly amazing to me how many modern Christian teachers grab Ephesians 5:25’s statement “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” and then the just fill in whatever they think what that love means.
Modern Christian teachers teach that Jesus was a husband that lived to make his wife happy. But the Bible teaches that Jesus was a husband that lived to make his wife holy (Ephesians 5:26-27).
Modern Christian teachers teach that Jesus was a husband who never corrected his wife or tried to change her. But the Bible teaches us that Christ washes his wife’s spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God to make her the wife he wants her to be (Ephesians 5:26-27). It also teaches us that he rebukes and chastens his wife out love for her (Revelation 3:19).
Modern Christian teachers teach Jesus was a husband who was completely transparent with his wife and held nothing back from her. But the Bible teaches us that Christ does indeed hold things back from his wife and tells her there are things that are not for her to know (Acts 1:7).
Christian wives – I know a lot of the Scriptures and information I have given you here might be new to you. It might even be offensive to you. But it is what the Word of God teaches.
You will find absolutely no Scriptural support for a lot of what you hear and read today in Christian circles that basically teaches partnership marriage. Sadly, some Christian groups pretend that they teach male headship only to gut it making the man nothing more than a figure head leader.
This is not about a power trip. This is not about men hating on you as a woman or trying to make your life miserable. It is about God’s design.
So, what you need to do is follow the admonition of the Apostle Paul when he wrote:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2
You need to renew your mind. You need to unlearn the feminist and egalitarian teachings you grew up with in school and church and maybe even in your own family. That is tough process. It won’t be easy and it will take time. But if you yield to the Holy Spirit you can do it with his help.
Also, before I conclude with the men, I want to clarify something for you ladies on the subject of accountability partners. While I think it is great and valuable for women to mentor and be accountability partners with other women it needs to be the right kind of women. It needs to be a spiritual woman who will not contradict your husband’s spiritual leadership. In addition, you are still accountable to your husband as well because he is your spiritual head.
In practical terms, that means if your husband wants to know your passwords for your phone, email and social media accounts you must give it to him but he does not and I would argue should not give this same information to you. Why? Because as I said before he is your authority and you are his subordinate. He is responsible for monitoring and if necessary, correcting your behavior, but you do not have that same right and responsibility toward him.
Also, if you want to find out what it really means to be one flesh with your husband and how to have unity in your marriage see my article “Why unity in marriage has more to do with the wife than the husband”.
Now to Christian men.
I advise you to follow Paul’s admonition below:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
The Bible does not just call you to be a figure head leader as some churches teach today, but it tells you that you are to be “One that ruleth well his own house” (I Timothy 3:4). You are to be a ruler, not just a leader.
Do not undermine your spiritual authority by making yourself accountable to your wife. Make yourself accountable to other good Christian men, but not your wife. But realize at the end of the day the one you are truly accountable to is Christ who is your head (I Corinthians 11:3).
You are the head of your wife as Christ is the head of the Church (Ephesians 5:23). Your wife is not spiritually accountable for you to God, but rather you are spiritually accountable for her to God. You are tasked with teaching her (1 Corinthians 14:35) and washing her spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God (Ephesians 5:25-27).
And I encourage you to read Romans 12:2 as well and seek the renewal of your mind through the help of the Holy Spirit. You must unlearn what our American culture has raised you with and replace that with the truth of God’s Word. This is the only way you can truly fulfill your mission as a man to image God with your life and thereby bring him glory.
29 thoughts on “Why Husbands Are NOT Accountable to Their Wives”
“’Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church’ – Ephesians 5:26-29″ The Scripture reference begins in verse 25, not 26. “And finally, Galatians 3:28 has absolutely nothing to do with gender roles in this world or marriage. It is speaking to the subject of salvation!” And also of how we will be nothing in Eternity like we are in this world. There won’t be physical gender, or marriage, as the only marriage will be spiritual and we will all be the same in Christ then as His wife in a spiritual marriage, regardless of what we were(male or female) in this life and world. “To say such a thing today would be the called “sexist”. The “the” doesn’t belong in this sentence. “It almost makes you think that maybe, just maybe our post feminist world has it all wrong and the old “sexist” world while not being perfect was fare more closely aligned to God’s Word than ours is today.” The “fare” should be “far.” “In fact, the very first sin woman committed had to do with her seeking out knowledge that was forbidden to her (Genesis 3:6).” More accurately, it had to do with seeking that knowledge in WAY forbidden to her, as God intended she and Adam learn from Him as their source of right and wrong, shown by Him clothing them after they sinned and the fact that the angels and such in Heaven who know no sin are also clothed. he clothed them because He always intended they be clothed, and that they learn that from Him, learn right and wrong from Him, not through stealing the knowledge via disobedience. I believe you thought this too in a past article. “And I encourage you to read Romans 12:2 a well and seek the renewal of your mind through the help of the Holy Spirit.” It should be “AS well and seek the renewal of your mind through the help of the Holy Spirit.”
Thanks as always for the editing help. As far as Eve going after forbidden knowledge – yes I have previously said that God would have eventually clothed Adam and Eve even if they did not sin because the Angels are clothed and so are we clothed in the new world God will make as well where there is no sin. The knowledge that they were naked was not evil or bad knowledge. But I still stand by the statement in this article that the knowledge was forbidden(evens some of it was only temporary forbidden). Remember the tree was the tree of the knowledge of “Good and Evil”. So while their learning of their nakedness was good knowledge but taken before God wanted them to have it, Eve also took forbidden knowledge that was evil that was never for her or Adam to have. They learned what murder was, what theft was, what covetousness was and so on. They learned things God never ever meant them to know.
As to passwords and email, I wouldn’t be infuriated, I would be deeply hurt And I would not say another word about it, but I would feel that my husband did not trust his heart in me and I would wonder where and how I failed.
For the rest, I know there is a lot my husband isn’t telling me. That’s fine. Truthfully, there are many of my thoughts and prayers (but not actions) of which he is unaware. I don’t see a sin in that.
An excellent post, BGR. Unfortunately, however, it seems that one of modern Christian woman’s hold-ups are that, and you may be shocked to learn this, their husbands are not God. I’ve had this used against me and have heard other women use it: Though their husbands are set, by God, to be their head, their husbands are not God and thus it is perfectly fine for a wife who knows more, is more spiritual and “also has access to the throne room of God”, to ignore her husbands requests, commands or wisdom. After all, why talk to the manager when you can go straight to the CEO? This, to me, is one of the biggest issues with your subject matter – the church no longer teaches that men are the glory of God and set above women in order of authority, its all about “why deal with your husband when GOD is the authority?”. And since the church teaches that women are more holy and spiritual than men it becomes easy for women to justify sidestepping their husbands authority for their own “feelings”.
Perhaps this is something else you could do an post on: Just because women can pray, read and speak to God it does not give them the right to sidestep the authority of their husbands, which was established by God.
“…and then the just fill in whatever they think what that love means.”
He who defines wins. – original author unknown
Redefine love to mean “make momma happy” or justice to be social justice or morality to mean avoiding offense et al. The strategem of the serpent is to question what is and what it means. Christ disciplines all whom he loves, but the daughters of the serpent cry out “abuse, abuse!” after already having redefined the term abuse. God arranges the family as a patriarchy, yet the daughters of serpent thinking themselves ever wiser than God, say that patriarchy is a toxic arrangement that oppresses them and denies their dignity. Peter praises Sarah for calling Abraham “Lord”, but in Christian homes one is more likely to hear a wife call her husband “lard” than “Lord”. Evangelicals make the love of God antithetical to the justice of God and embrace antinomianism rather than the pursuit of holiness. Rational thought becomes increasingly difficult as words are used not for the content of meaning, but emotional impact apart from meaning. What the Greek philosophers called the logos (the rational and logical) is set aside for pathos (the passions and emotions). Likewise the Logos of God is filled with the pathos of fallen sinners to create an ethic more of their own choosing. Inerrancy be damned, they are too busy reforming hunan society to their own desires to love the Lord according to His definition. Christ says “If you love me keep my commands”, they say “how archaic, love is passion not action, feelz not volition”.
BGR thanks for taking the time to define and defend, heaven knows the church is in dire need of such.
@Snapper – “thus it is perfectly fine for a wife who knows more, is more spiritual and “also has access to the throne room of God”, to ignore her husbands requests, commands or wisdom. ”
She cannot do this without ignoring and violating the instruction of God in the first place. So this argument is a failed one from its inception. Ok, you trust God more? Let’s see what God has to say about the subject? God says a wife needs to submit to her husband in all things! So she is then arguing with BOTH God and her husband. She disagrees? God also says a wife should accept instruction from her husband.
It is simply a position that can’t be defended, at least not with logic or reason based on what scripture actually says.
Women – if this is your attitude, do not marry. Then you won’t be in sin for disobeying the husband you agreed to be a wife to.
Men – do not marry a woman who will not follow you. Have the discussion ahead of time and be ready to walk away if you don’t have faith that she will do what is right.
@Snapper, if our Christian walk were seen as linear, many would say I am ahead of my husband. With this in mind, I have had to realize two things:
1. It is not a race and I am not ahead.
2. No matter where my husband is on his walk with Christ I still must go to him, and God will work with and honor that because He built tgat and desires it.
Now, God also gave me common sense to know when to go against my husband (the example being when I took our child to the doctor because I was sure his arm was broken, but hubby insisted it was ok and I was just being dramatic….yes, his arm was broken.) But, I have learned that when I am conflicted it is often because I want to justify my own way and not obey hubby as head of this household. Just because it isn’t a sinful desire doesn’t mean I get to to against hubby and pretend I am following God, instead.
I have also learned that in submitting to my husband my stress levels gave decreased substantially, and life is overall smoother.
When I go my own way, it blows up in my face.
@BGR I see, so it was both the knowledge of good and evil you mean’t that you thought to be forbidden, only the knowledge of evil. Maybe so. Either of us could be right in that way I guess. Do you know of any Scriptures that say the knowledge of evil period was intended as forbidden to men, and that would exclude the possibility of God simply wanting them to learn about it, and its difference from good from Him? Make sense though, because if Adam and Eve had never known about adultery, what it is, how it’s done etc., along with any other example of sin, and hadn’t gained the sin nature that comprises naturally feeling tempted to do things that are sinful, which we inherit at birth from our fathers because of Adam, then none of this mess we see in the world would ever have happened.
This is one passage I think of showing God did not want us to know about evil:
You are spot on about this defining terms issue. That is actually on a list I keep of topics I want to write on.
Think about how secular humanists in America have redefined words:
1. Gay – used to mean happy (think Flintstones – “We’ll have a gay old time!”) but they perverted into meaning homosexual.
2. Dehumanize – used to mean to treat someone as less than human, like an animal or less. For instance we would all agree that the way African slaves were brought to America was dehumanizing. They were actually treated worse than cattle. They were chained down for months not allowed to move and lay in their own feces barely fed and many died on the way here do to such inhumane treatment. But today secular humanists have bastardized this term to mean if think homosexual men are acting perverted by having sex with other men, or if we think a transsexual has great mental problems because they want to dress like the opposite sex we are dehumanizing them. Go tell that to an African slave who survived the trip to America on a slave ship!
Also regarding the term dehumanize – we actually ridiculously say that if all human beings do not have the same rights, be it men or women or citizen and non-citizen alike that for one human being to have less rights than another is to dehumanize the one with less rights.
3. Marriage Used to mean only the union of a man and woman together as husband and wife, as of right now it means any two people regardless of gender in a committed relationship. Pretty soon if they get polymourous marriage it will mean any group of people that want to live together and have sex with one another.
4. Liberal – used to mean one who believes in individual liberty. Then FDR bastardized into meaning someone who believed in a big government that takes care of all the needs of its citizens.
5. Choice If they it is something that liberals think you should be able to make a choice about – then they just let it be called a choice. Like they think women should be able to choose to murder their unborn children. But if it is something they do not think you should have any choice about, they call it discrimination. Like when a Christian baker chooses not to sell a wedding cake to gay couple or when a Christian organization does not recognize so-called “transgender rights”.
6. Rights Liberals believe Human rights are determined by a consensus of secular humanist governments together at the United Nations. They can change to whatever they want to be each year. Bible believing Christians believe our rights come from God and do not change with the whims of society.
7. Equality To our founders it meant all male citizens(specifically white male citizens who at the time were mostly of Anglican decent) had equal rights before the law. They did not believe equality meant equal rights for all adult human beings as secular humanists and socialists in America would change it in the late 19th then 20th centuries culminating in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The founders did not think of equality as meaning equal outcomes for various groups as liberals have recast it today.
Think about how we hear all the time about “income inequality” between various groups. Anytime we hear that phrase we should immediately think “Socialism, Communism and violation of private property” because that is exactly where that talk leads to.The founders would have said “so what, that is natural order of things. Some men are smart, some men are lazy, some men are lucky. Not every smart person gets his chance, and sometimes dumb people get extra chances to succeed. Some men are born into wealth they did not earn, while others are born into poverty and of their ability and ambition become rich.” They were about equal opportunity for white men(the dominant ethnic class that founded America), they were not even about equal opportunity for all.
8. Diversity Diversity is our strength! That is what we hear all the time. But what does diversity mean? It means division. The more diverse you are the more divided you will be. So while they continue preaching that diversity is our strength, that same diversity is tearing apart the country at the seams.
I could go on, but you get my point.
I forgot to mention the two most recent and ridiculous redefinitions of words by liberals
9. Man\Woman – A person born with XY Chronozones was a man and person born with XX Chronozones was a female. Now you can be a man with XX Chromones or a woman with XY chronozones. So just like marriage, gender is not being made irrelevant and meaningless.
You are correct, but because the churches and society teach that no woman should suffer the fact that God calls wives to submit and one their husbands and that not doing so is straight disobedience to God is of no consequence! Logic says exactly as you said: A wife cannot be in obedience to God if she is disobedient to her husband. The more disobedient to her husband the further away she is from obedience to God, it’s as simple as that! I have more to say but am on my phone right now. I will add more later.
Yes, it’s important to understand that women certainly can be closer to God than their husbands, spiritually, but she will never be spiritual enough to displace his authority. Or, rather, she should never think of herself in that way. In the case of you and your child I think you were justified since their health was a risk, but to simply disobey ones husband because you think your more on the level with God is actually anti-God!
@BGR -these are not new to you but significant to the current malaise. The definition problem is also an evangelical problem. Words like “lust” which in scripture means both a positive desire or covet, a negative desire, the church defines it as sexuality. Or adultery which in scripture is sex between a married woman and someone other than her husband, but the church defines adultery to include every sexual act save sex in a monogamous marriage, but not too much sex. Another example, the word “world” which in the NT means order or arrangement the church defines as physical as opposed to spiritual. The church is still clinging to gnostic philosophical ideas and defines biblical vocabulary according to those ideas. The battle for biblical definitions is part of the battle front in the war of world-views within the church.
@BGR The Scripture you cited, checking the word translated in “malice” in Greek which also refers to “trouble” shows that God mean’t in that example that we should be as babes in times of troubles(that is babes in Christ trusting Him utterly after the manner of a small child), not necessarily that He never wanted man to understand evil, though as I said i think what you said before makes sense.
There are three areas of the modern Church that I believe should cause great alarm to the body of Christ.
1) The error of the Institutional/Traditional Church in a building approach. The New Testament clearly reveals a non-hierarchical form of leadership, in simple home type settings, where all participate rather than just spectate. Both the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches have it sooo wrong.
2) The error of teaching that all erotic media is bad for all believers. I agree with each of your perspectives on this issue, including that for some “addictive type personalities” erotic media can be a very bad thing (overly obsessed, too much time spent, attempting to force a duplication of many of the acts portrayed upon one’s wife, or allowing it to stir desires for an adulterous affair, etc.).
3) The role of men and women in marriage. We have been married for 47 years and have practiced exactly what you teach in this area and I can tell you it has worked well for us. We are happily married, have a fantastic personal and sexual relationship, and we both love the Lord with all our hearts. For those who presuppose that such an approach would create a dominating and overbearing control of a wife I can tell you it doesn’t have to be so. My wife appreciates my oversight and would never want it any other way. I have never abused her, have always appreciated her perspective and opinion, and seek to engage her in most decisions, but in areas where we differ she respects my authority in Christ and wants me to make the final decision.
In each category the Church and the World so often have it all wrong. Praise God there is someone like yourself out there who is willing to take all the flack you must take to communicate a clear, honest, biblical, and Christ honoring teaching for the body of Christ.
Please keep up the good work!
Thank you for your gracious comments and support. And to say I take a lot of flack would be a gross understatement. I get death threats on nearly a daily basis. A lot of people take me to task for be an anonymous blogger but honestly if people knew who I was they would be protesting at my employer trying to get me fired and burning things on my front lawn.
A good example would be look at what has happened to Tucker Carlson from Fox News. He says a lot of things that brush against our culture as well and he has people at his home threatening his family. This is the environment that we as Christians must navigate. They want to silence us through intimidation and we need to take that tool away from them as much as possible.
I do have a question for you if you don’t mind. Can you clarify for me what you meant but the New Testament revealing a “non-hierarchical for of leadership” for the church? In the New Testament we see qualifications given for two church offices, that of bishop(presbyter, Pastor) and the other for Deacon 1 Timothy 3:1-13 & Titus 1:5-9. I am not against home churches and I agree that we see that in the Scriptures. And I also encourage participation by all members to serve.
But not everyone can be the Pastor, nor can everyone be a deacon. God gave these offices for a reason. I very much respect and love the quiverfull folks, Christian home schoolers and those who want to practice Biblical patriarchy. I consider myself a kindred spirit with them. But one problem I have seen amongst these groups is that some of them have given up on the church as an institution separate from the family. Their home operates as both their home and their church with the father and husband operating as their Pastor as well.
It is one thing if a man is looking to plant a church and feels lead of the Lord to the call of being a Pastor. A church I attended many years ago started in a man’s garage and then became large enough to buy a building. If that is the case – Amen. But if you are just trying to avoid the church as a separate institution from the home that is a problem.
God created three separate institutions each with their own spheres of responsibility and authority – the family, civil government and church. And while I teach all the time that the most powerful of these as far as impact on our personal and spiritual lives is the sphere of family(with the husband/father as it lead) God wants us as Christians to respect the other two spheres of civil government and church.
BGR – Thanks for your request. I’d be happy to speak to it.
Let me begin with saying, if you want a good read on the subject I’d recommend you purchase Frank Viola’s work “Pagan Christianity.” In his book he explores the history of the development of the Church, from the time of the Apostles to today. He is similarly vilified as yourself…for his stand in opposition to the traditional Church model. In his work he describes the evolution of the Church from a very simple Jesus centered environment to the complicated and incorrect version it has morphed into.
I very much agree with you that the NT describes local Church as having leaders, whether we call them pastors, or elders, they are called to manifest leadership in each of the following ways:
1) Godly example
2) Loving service
3) Insightful wisdom
4) Teachers of biblical truth
5) Discipline of sinning brethren, in conjunction with a fully functioning body of believers
What they are NOT called to do is exercise “Control” over the gathering. Headship belongs to Jesus alone and He no where in Scripture indicates He shares his headship, authorizes human headship, or appreciates the usurping of His headship as relates to gathered believers. The Elder’s role is not the same as a husband’s role. A husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the Church, but Elders/Pastors are not called to headship roles, simply because the Church is not theirs…it is Jesus’ alone, since He alone died for it.
Submission in the life of those gathering is first and foremost to Jesus, and only secondarily in a voluntary fashion to those leading as their leadership manifests the wisdom, grace, life, and love of Jesus. NT leaders are not allowed to demand submission, but believers are to voluntarily submit to their leadership as their leadership reflects the leadership of Christ. When issues of sin arise and one of those gathering refuses to repent it is not a matter of the leader disciplining the sinning believer but is a matter of his leadership guiding the flock and the flock, in conjunction with his leadership, working together to confront and hopefully restore the sinning believer.
Further, there is no indication the Lord ever intended His Church to be in a physically defined place called a “Church building,” nor did He authorize the taking on of debt for that Church. He didn’t define the role of Church leaders as justifying the taking of a regular salary or title. Rather, all Church leaders should have regular jobs that provide the lion’s share of their income needs and are only supplemented by the free will giving of those who are receiving the benefits of their leadership. There is no mention of Church membership, pews, pulpits, or anything that arbitrarily defines the roles of people in the Church. Pews make listeners passive when the NT universally shows active participation in those who gather. Pulpits encourage passive listeners and thinkers rather than active communicators and students of God’s Word.
Some would tell us that because culture changes, the Church form has changed over the years and that those changes are just fine, but it seems very clear that Jesus gave His apostles a blueprint of concepts for the gathering of the Church, and when that blueprint is adhered to He breathes in and through the gatherings, and it avoids the usurpation of His headship.
I’ll leave it there for now, and I highly recommend you read Frank’s book. I think you will find it similarly mind blowing as your own teachings in the area of biblical gender roles. I have been studying, writing, and practicing this form of Church for over 30 years myself and can attest it is an amazing blessing. I have been an elder at a couple of very large Churches and have taught both Greek and Hebrew for years, so my conclusions are based in far more than some unresolved offenses with hurtful leaders…but solely based in solid biblical study. I hope this helps…
Some of what you are saying reminds me of the primitive Baptists. I knew some of them growing up(I have attended IFB churches for most of my life). You are right that the Bible does not require us to have a church building, pews or a pulpit. But it also does not forbid it. If the people of a church want to put their money together to buy a building, pews and pulpit nothing Biblically stops them from doing that.
There is no Biblical command or even Biblical principle which forbids those things – or even the playing of music for worship either(this is something else that primitive Baptists oppose).
Also Paul spoke about his right to “live of the gospel”:
I don’t think his statement that he used “none” of his rights with them, negates that fact that he was saying elders and ministers in the Word had a right to receive a living of ministering in the Word. I think it is more reflective of what you said that Pastors should not be demanding in this regard. They should take what the church can afford and is willing to pay to them.
My Pastor worked as a dry waller for many years until his church was able to afford to pay him enough so he did not have to do that any more. But I do not think it is wrong for him to not have his dry walling job any more as the church can give him enough to support himself and his family.
So I think we are close on this – and I agree a Pastor is not what a husband or father is. And Pastors should not be lords over their flocks as I Peter 5:3 indicates. But yet they are called to be “taking the oversight” over their flocks.
BGR – I’m sure there is little likelihood that you and I would be far apart from one another in these matters. We are both truly committed to the Lordship of Christ, the truth of His Word, and the wonder of His Church.
I do agree that there is nothing in the bible that forbids the formal Church structure, and I know the Lord has done amazingly great things through it. I am very strongly committed to the pattern I have seen yet I’m respectful of those who see things differently.
My prayer is that we come to the unity of Christ in the bond of peace…sharing in His mind, and that His Church be all that is in His heart for her to be, so that we all grow into the fullness of the stature of Christ.
Blessings my friend…
Tom, when I believe something strongly, I like to find something that challenges it and research it to be better versed and understand the opposition.
I would recommend you read The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn. I don’t suggest it to change your mind, but to see where the other side is coming from. To understand a different history of origins. Often, in doing so, we can better support our own beliefs.
The bible talks about those in the service of the Lord getting their livelihood from their service, so I think this is a valid way to proceed. (1 Cor 9:14 for example.)
On the subject of churches turning into huge entities with buildings and other assets is that it has its risks. The risk being that selfish ambition would displace service and obedience to Jesus, and at that point the church may no longer be used to serve Jesus and the Gospel. I don’t think the church building is the sin; I think the selfish ambition is. Pride is so hard to resist when everyone is chanting your name – people can quickly forget Who it is they should be serving and submitting to.
Much of our church practice today finds little foundation in the Scriptures and we have many problems because of it. The greatest problem is that of immaturity among the majority of believers. That immaturity leads to falling prey to doctrines of men like those BGR combats and a general lack of effectiveness in impacting the world.
I’m very familiar with Gene Edwards and Frank Viola. I’m not sure they have it all right, but they are probably right about more than they are wrong about. Where they are lacking is what I discuss below.
According to Ephesians 4, God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for the building up of the body unto maturity. Contrary to the popular, unbiblical teachings of cessationism, ALL of those callings still exist and are necessary for the body of Christ to be what God intends for it to be. These are to be servant leaders who sacrifice greatly and strive gallantly to guide the body toward the desires of Christ.
The one man show, jack of all trades pastor is simply unable to guide a group of believers to maturity. Even the Apostle Paul practiced team ministry and always worked with companions because he knew that he was not self-sufficient.
While Edwards and Viola do a good job at pointing out the deficiencies and the errors of the institutional church, they don’t seem to offer a thoroughly biblical model for replacement. For that, Watchman Nee’s works including Normal Christian Church Life and Assembling Together are preferable.
Wiscot, having read just about everything Edwards, Nee, and Viola have written I agree with your point, though I think I know why they don’t provide as strong of a biblical model for gathering as you would like. Both of these brothers appear to believe that the only way to truly know how to gather is to gather with already established gatherings who have been mentored by themselves or those they’ve previously mentored (i.e. modern day apostles). There is a logic to this thinking though it has frustrated me as well.
I have always taken a different approach. I encourage folks to read their works, learn what the Church “is not” and what “it is” and then gather with a few friends and learn, by the direct mentoring of Christ, what the Church gathering looks like from His perspective. He knows how to guide His people into all truth. He knows what is in His heart for the gathering of the saints. And He knows our experience will be imperfect but is willing to walk with us through the mistakes we will make. I feel like I’ve made more mistakes than done it right over the years, but I wouldn’t trade all I’ve learned for anything. All of us will drag along our baggage learned from the traditional man-centered Church environments of the institutionalized Church, and little by little He will reveal how those things don’t fit well into a Church He leads.
The same is so true about marriage roles, as BGR so well communicates. The Church is the strangest environment on earth it seems. We believe things about our sexuality and what is sanctioned by the Lord that have no basis in biblical truth but simply represent the conditioning of past beliefs that have been passed down to future generations, leading to confusion and most often condemnation of what could otherwise set people free. God has made us sexual beings; who are made to enjoy mental images, imagination, fantasy, and the enjoyment of erotic imagery. When so many in the Church blindly reject the obvious divine image built into our lives, as relates to how we handle our sexuality, in favor of belief systems that contradict scripture and God’s nature itself, we reveal how unthinking and conditioned we really are. It is very hard for us to “unlearn” the errors that have been passed down to us. Thanks to folks like BGR and those over at MarriageHeat and MarriedHeat these false teachings are being challenged by a far more accurate description of biblical sexuality. This is a great thing. So conversely, we all have much to learn about true biblical Church gathering that has been confused by approximately 1900 years of Catholicism and then a Protestantism that didn’t go far enough in its reformation to tackle other pressing issues of the Church.
Jesus is very patient with all of us. He guides us gently, and sometimes not so gently, into truth and then launches us into the world to correct the errors of past generations. This is happening in both the dimensions we are talking about in this blog string. I think it is a truly exciting day to be living in. Over 4 million people have been directly impacted by this blog site, and the many truths that have been shared by BGR and others here. Who knows how many have been indirectly impacted, as people begin to share what they have learned here. Frank Viola, Jon Zens, Gene Edwards, Watchman Nee and many others are similarly serving Christ in revealing the nature of the true Church. These are wonderful things.
Fast forward 500 years from now, if the Lord hasn’t returned yet…, and I suspect the Church will look very different in its approach to Church and Sexuality. Both areas are being Reformed by Christ and well they should be. The sexuality my wife and I experience far exceeds anything we previously experienced while under the cloud of sexual confusion we used to walk in, and the enjoyment of gathering with other believers while we live out the very real personal leadership of Jesus Christ in our midst is so rich. We feel blessed to be set free from generations of errors and look forward to a future healing of the Church in both of these areas.
Woman has such a need for submission, you see it very much today in the secular world: BDSM is flourishing, the dark side exploitation of this unmet need.
I also very strongly feel the need to own my woman, I have no purpose for an ‘equal’ relationship.
However, I do fear, from experience, the worldly situation: a woman will agree to submit, but when the problems come, she can just walk out, or even call the cops with some bogus story.
The problem is, that Churches are so corrupt (What Church fights Usury? They all love money MUCH more than God) that a man must stand alone with God.
Every institution God created, The family(and marriage at its center), the church and civil government has been corrupted by sin. All of these institutions have suffered various levels of corruption throughout history but I do not believe the family unit has suffered such corruption as it has in the last century or so.
The way though to repair these three institutions is for us to start back at the beginning. What is the first institution God ever created? It was marriage and by extension the family. Until we fix marriage and the family, the church and civil governments will never be fixed because both those institutions are built on the family. And what does the family’s foundation need to be. We are told that in I Corinthians:
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 3:11 (KJV)
The only way we can get back to strong marriages and strong families is to build them on Christ and his Word. Then with strong families of faith we can rebuild the foundations of our churches and civil governments.
But for now you are right, each man must stand alone and do what is right. But that does not mean we can’t attempt to find other men of like faith to join together with. In fact that is what we must do, that is one of the missions of this site.
You loss me at husbands and wives not being equal. We are all create equal as humans. With different roles/responsiblities.
Men should not be accountable to their wives on any matter. My husband deals with all matters in our home. I do not need to know his salary, the bills that come or how the money is to be used. I would never dream of questioning his authority over finances.
I am accountable for the grocery shopping based on my list and the money he gives for those items. Anything I need like clothes or household items, I will request these from him and await his approval or denial for them.
This is an excellent article and a great reminder for wives like myself. It was very eye opening.