Is Separation of Church and State Biblical?

The concept of Separation of Church and State was a core part of the founding of the United States of America.  The question is – is this concept Biblical?

Another way to ask this question is – Does the State have no business and no interest in protecting the religious unity and identity of the nation?

This is my final episode in my series “A Defense of Biblical Living” where I am responding to claims and questions of the atheist v logger Rachel Oates.  This also available as a mp3 audio download here and you can also check out my other mp3 downloads on my main audio page.

When Will Pope Francis Lose His Office for Teaching Heresy?

In March of 2018, a Catholic Priest in Poland publically stated that if Pope Francis does not change his ways that he was praying for “his quick departure to the House of the Father”. Cardinal Raymond Burke has said the Pope rather than clarifying the doctrines of the Church has been guilty of “increasing confusion”.

On April 5th 2018 ahead of a conference he was to speak at on April 7th Cardinal Raymond Burke made the following statement regarding Pope Francis’s recent interview with an Atheist journalist who stated the Pope did not believe non-believers went to hell but that they simply ceased to exist:

“The confusion and division in the Church on the most fundamental and important issues — marriage and the family, the Sacraments and the right disposition to receive them, intrinsically evil acts, eternal life and the Last Things — are becoming increasingly widespread. And the Pope not only refuses to clarify things by proclaiming the constant doctrine and sound discipline of the Church — a responsibility inherent in his ministry as the Successor of St. Peter, but he is also increasing the confusion…

Instead of clearly reasserting the truth about the immortality of the human soul and Hell, the denial only states that some of the words quoted are not the Pope’s. It does not say that the erroneous and even heretical ideas expressed by these words are not shared by the Pope, and that the Pope repudiates these ideas as contrary to the Catholic Faith. This playing around with the faith and doctrine, at the highest level of the Church, rightly leaves pastors and faithful scandalized.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/cardinal-burke-interview

At an April 7th conference Cardinal Burke almost sounded like a Protestant when he said what the Pope teaches must be in conformity with “Divine Revelation”:

“According to Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Successor to Saint Peter has power which is universal, ordinary and immediate over all the faithful. He is the supreme judge of the faithful, over whom there is no higher human authority, not even an ecumenical council. To the Pope belongs the power and authority to define doctrines and to condemn errors, to make and repeal laws, to act as judge in all matters of faith and morals, to decree and inflict punishment, to appoint and, if need be, to remove pastors. Because this power is from God Himself, it is limited as such by natural and divine law, which are expressions of the eternal and unchangeable truth and goodness that come from God, are fully revealed in Christ, and have been handed on in the Church throughout time. Therefore, any expression of doctrine or law or practice that is not in conformity with Divine Revelation, as contained in Sacred Scripture and the Church’s Tradition cannot be an authentic exercise of the Apostolic or Petrine ministry and must be rejected by the faithful. As Saint Paul declared: “There are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be anathema.”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/full-text-cardinal-burkes-address

Unfortunately Cardinal Burke threw in there the Catholic doctrines of a Papal power (a single human being who inherits the office of the Apostle Peter) along with Church tradition being equal with the Sacred Scriptures (the Bible).

He is so close to the truth, yet so far away.  I will come back to the Papacy in a moment.

And then we have the recent incident on April 19th where the Pope told a young boy that his atheist father was in heaven because he was “a good man”:

 “This is the touching moment Pope Francis comforted a grieving boy who was worried his father didn’t go to heaven as he was an atheist.

The boy, known only as Emanuele, broke down in tears as he approached the microphone to take part in a Q&A session with the pontiff who visited the St. Paul of the Cross parish on the outskirts of Rome on Sunday.

According to The National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis told the crowd that Emanuele’s father, who had recently passed away, was a ‘good man’ but hadn’t believed in god.

And he reassured the heartbroken boy that his late father was in heaven because god is ‘surely proud of him’. “

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5634241/Touching-moment-Pope-comforts-grieving-boy.html

What was the point of Jesus Christ coming to die on the cross if we can be saved by being “good”? What was the point of Christ dying on the cross to save sinners if there was nothing to save them from – eternal torment in hell?

The Pope’s heresy strikes at the heart of the Gospel itself. The Scriptures tell us:

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”

Titus 3:5 (KJV)

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

Romans 4:5 (KJV)

    “2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.  3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

 Romans 4:2-3 (KJV)

“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”

Romans 3:28 (KJV)

The False Catholic Doctrine of the Successor of Saint Peter

As much as Catholics like Cardinal Burke want to thread the needle, one of the reasons the Catholic Church is in the mess it is in today is because of its false doctrine of the Successor of Saint Peter. You don’t have to be a theologian to study this out.

Nowhere in the Scriptures does it state “the Successor to Saint Peter has power which is universal, ordinary and immediate over all the faithful”.  This was a pure fabrication of men in the centuries after the Apostles died to consolidate human power in the church.

In fact if you read the Book of Galatians will find that Paul did not seek out the authority of Peter when he was called by God as he states:

“15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.”

Galatians 1:15-18 (KJV)

So Paul shows us here that he when God called him to be an Apostle – he did not go and ask “Saint Peter”, the supposed first Pope’s permission.  He instead went out and preached the Gospel to the Gentiles and then after 3 years he finally visited Peter.   But nothing is said of Peter giving him permission, but rather simply him and the other Apostles giving him the right hand of fellowship:

“And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.”

Galatians 2:9 (KJV)

And notice again from this passage in Galatians 2:9 that it was the three Apostles – James, Cephas (Peter) and John who gave him the right hand of fellowship.  And there was no authority given to him – they simply recognized God’s gift and calling on Paul’s life.

But then we have the one that really blows away the Catholic teaching that Paul regarded Peter as the first Pope:

“11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.

13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.  14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”

Galatians 2:11-14 (KJV)

If Paul recognized Peter as the first Pope, God’s supposed single human authority over all the Church whose successors would rule over all the Churches of the world, why would he publically, not even privately, confront Peter to his face?

The point is that the Catholic doctrine of the Papacy is found nowhere in the Scriptures and Catholic tradition is not equal to the Divine Scriptures.

Trouble for My Catholic Friends

I had to say what I just did about the Papacy. I know that is extremely offensive to many of my Catholic friends both online and offline.  I have worked with and known personally many Catholics over the years whom I believe are true believers in Jesus Christ and they are saved and on their way to heaven.

They have often said to me over the years that it would shake their faith if there was not some continual succession of church leaders who kept the doctrines of the church all these centuries. I told them that I believe there has always been those who are faithful to the teachings of God’s Word but that it does not always have to be a matter of single line succession.

Sometimes church leaders have strayed little and other times they have strayed very far.  Some leaders even turned against the faith they once held proving they were never true believers in the first place.  But God has always reserved to himself a faithful remnant, just not in the way Catholics believe.

As a Bible believing Christian, a Protestant, and a Baptist I believe in the battle cry of the reformation “Sola Scriptura” – Scripture alone is our only infallible and divine source of doctrine and truth.  All other Christian writings may or may not contain truth, but they are the fallible words of men (including my own). The Bible tells us this regarding scriptural authority:

    “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

II Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

In fact the Jews did very much what the church fathers and Catholics did after the Apostles died.  They added to Moses law their traditions just as Catholic Church has its Church traditions.  Christ condemned such actions of placing the traditions of men on equal footing with the Word of God:

“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”

Mark 7:9 (KJV)

Paul later gave a similar warning about falling the traditions of men:

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”

Colossians 2:8 (KJV)

Some will try and say “Well Paul praised his followers for following the traditions they were taught”.  Yes he did, but he was referring the divinely inspired traditions, teachings, that he and the other Apostles gave to the churches:

“Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

2 Thessalonians 2:15 (KJV)

In his first Epistle to the Thessalonians the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.”

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

He was clear that the traditions that he and the other Apostles taught were not the words of men, but they were in fact the very Word of God – Divine Scripture.  “Sola Scriptura” is clearly what the Bible teaches us is to be the foundation for our faith.

So when we have a problem with a heretical Pastor or other church leader in Protestant churches – we should be able to easily throw the heretic out of office. Our Pastors must conform themselves to one thing and one thing only – the Word of God.  Our faith should not be in our Pastor or our church, but rather it is to be in God.  Churches and Church leadership can be corrupted, but God’s Word remains our one true anchor of what is true and what is right before God.

But unfortunately though, many of my Protestant brethren in recent years have become no better than my Catholic brethren in fighting against heresy in our churches.  We stand by silently while men claiming to be Bible believing Christians willingly and happily accept not only full fledge feminism into the churches today, but also homosexuality. Consider this supposed Baptist church in Memphis Tennessee that voted to approve their church overseeing marriages for same sex couples:

“A Cooperative Baptist Fellowship congregation in Tennessee voted Jan. 10 to marry same-sex couples.

First Baptist Church in Memphis capped a three-month discernment process by adopting a policy extending “privileges afforded to any follower of Christ” without discrimination based on factors including sexual orientation.”

https://baptistnews.com/article/baptist-church-votes-to-ok-gay-marriage/

This is the wickedness which we are faced with in this generation both in the Catholic Church as well as Protestant Churches.

We need to pray for faithful men of God to rise up in our churches in this wicked and heretical generation to preach against the wickedness of these men who occupy leadership positions in our churches.

 

 

Why Whites Don’t Have to Apologize For White Privilege

A North Carolina African-American woman was outraged by the fact that her 2nd grader came home with a sheet talking about “white privilege”.  The paper caused her second grader to ask his mother whether white people “are better” than him. She was angry because she thought as an African-American that it was her place to teach her son about race relations and not the schools.   You can find out more about this story here.

Below are statistics that the paper stated regarding “White Privilege” in America:

“Governors: 96% white

Top military advisers: 100% white

President and vice president: 100% white

Current POTUS cabinet: 91% white

People who decide which TV shows we see: 93% white

People who decide which books we read: 90% white

People who decide which news is covered: 85% white

People who decide which music is produced: 95% white

Teachers: 83% white”

Now let’s just take for granted that these numbers regarding white representation in these categories are right.  Next we will ask and answer a very important question – what percentage of the United States is White?

So according to the US Census Bureau 61 percent of the United States is White.  Now the “white privilege” preachers will say “See that does not match up with the fact that 85 to 90 percent and sometimes 100 percent of these key positions in our society are occupied by whites!”

I could answer some of the disparity as to why Whites occupy a higher that their demographic size proportion of these positions with the following statistics:

Marriage matters.  God’s design matters.  When you follow God’s design that a man and woman come together in marriage and THEN have children and raise them together you will have more success.

Someone might say “Well maybe whites marry more than the other races in the United States – but they divorce just as much! So how do you answer that?”  The statistics agree that relatively speaking divorce rates are the same amongst Blacks, Hispanics and whites as seen in the chart below:

First a note about divorce rates.  It is true that officially speaking they are down from their high point of 50 percent in the 1980s.  But the lowering divorce rate is deceptive in that the reason for lowering divorce rates is not because marriages are becoming more stable – it is because more people are NOT marrying and rather choosing to cohabitate instead.

Still it is accurate to say that roughly half of all marriages will end in divorce and that is a very sad state for the status of the family in our society.  As I have noted many times one of the largest reasons for divorce is because of feminist ideology which has allowed women to be the primary instigators of divorce at around 70%.

But coming back to this issue of divorce and race – notice the orange bar in the chart above.  While whites divorce at roughly the same rate as Blacks and Hispanics Whites remarrying at a significantly higher rate of 68.8 percent. What that means is Whites prefer marriage and they will most likely raise their children in a two parent home even if they divorce. Blacks and Hispanics tend to raise their children in single parent homes at a far higher rate than whites due to two factors – the first is they have children out of wedlock at much higher rates and secondly when they do marry and then divorce they are more likely to stay single after divorce.

I could list all kinds of statistics that show the relation between single parent families and poverty and crime but you can find those for yourselves on many government websites.

My point is it would be very easy to show that a sizeable part of the reason that Blacks and Hispanics do not hold positions of power at rates which match their demographic size in the United States is because of poor personal life decisions that affect their own lives and the lives of their children.  It is not hatred toward Blacks or Hispanics to make such a statement – but rather it is simply a statement of fact.

But now let’s look at this from another angle.  What if Blacks and Hispanics did not make these types of poor life decisions at much higher rates than whites? Would that completely account for the disparity in their representation in positions of power? The answer is no.

Ethnic Dominance Is a Human Trait Common to All Nations

Even though bad life decisions certainly can affect a minority ethnic group’s economic and power status within their countries it is not the only factor.  There is a significant factor that has absolutely nothing to do with bad life decisions on the part of a particular minority ethnic group that affects their economic and power status in any given nation at that is Ethnic Dominance.

Human beings naturally cluster by ethnicity and they naturally prefer their own ethnicity to others.  They consciously or unconsciously choose their own ethnicity in whom they marry, whom they associate with (like churches and other associations) and where they choose to live and they also chose societal policies which will benefit and preserve their ethnicity.

Now that does not mean there are not those that do in fact cross ethnic boundaries  – there are people like this in every ethnic group.  But these people are always a rarity. In other words is it not normal (the behavior of the majority in any group) for them to seek and prefer others outside their group.

In most countries whatever group occupies the ethnic majority tends to dominate that culture.  There are some exceptions like in the case of South African Apartheid where a minority of Whites ruled over a nation that was primary Black.

When America was founded, the majority of its inhabitants where those of British decent (English, Welsh or Scottish) and that is why we speak English and many of our laws are based in English common law. Even with large migrations of Germans and other ethnicities into the United States during the 19th century the Germans and others were forced to adapt themselves to the ways of the British ethnicity that founded the country.  But eventually these white Caucasians from various northern European nations intermarried to form a new white ethnicity here in America which continued to dominate the United States throughout the 20th century.  And yes this white ethnicity still dominates the United States today in 2018.

Why Whites Don’t Have to Apologize for White Privilege

One of the common themes I talk about on this blog is human nature.  Just because a certain behavior is normal for most humans does not make it right and just because something is not normal behavior for most humans does not make it wrong either.

As Christians we know that God created an original perfect human nature in the Garden of Eden.  I have argued from the Scriptures on this site that God created a distinct masculine and feminine types of the human nature in many places on this blog.  You can read my article “Is God more like man, more like woman, or a combination of the two?” for more on that subject.  But my point here is that there was a perfect set of human natures that God designed and sin corrupted both of those natures in different ways.

But common to both the masculine and feminine human nature is our preference for our own ethnicity.  The vast majority of both men and women tend to prefer their own ethnicity in most areas of life. So is this preference a sin?

The answer is while the Bible condemns all forms of hatred (and this would include racial) it does not condemn ethnic preference.  See my article “Is Self-Segregation a Sin in the Bible?” for an in-depth look at the Scriptures on this subject.  I argue the follow up article “Is Ethno-Nationalism a Sin against God or by His design?” that we can see in the Scriptures that while God created every nation from one blood – the blood of Adam – his ultimate plan was to divide humanity into nations by ethnic group.  It is part of our God giving programing to prefer our own ethnicity and desire to see our ethnic group grow and prosper.

This is why I do not fault Blacks or Hispanics or Asians or any other ethnic group from for preferring their own and desiring to see their ethnic group grow and prosper.  This is common to all humanity.

However while I understand their preference and their desire for the growth and prosperity of their own ethnic groups they must realize they are still in a culture that is ethnically dominated by Whites.   That is going to change over the coming decades as we know that White births are shrinking and minority birth rates are rising.

But that change is not here yet.

I am a white person with English, German, Polish, Scottish, Irish, American Indian and Jewish ancestry.  So you could say I am a majority White guy and no I don’t look Indian at all because that ancestry is really far back.

So because I share physical attributes with the dominant ethnic group in this country I may be treated differently and have some “privilege”.   Do I need to apologize for that? No I do not. And neither does any other White person in America.  Should we condemn racial hatred toward minorities as Christians? Absolutely.  When we see true injustice committed against a minority based on their ethnicity should we condemn such actions? Yes.

But we as Whites should no more apologize for being white, or preferring our own than we should apologize for gravity. 

It is the nature of how the world works and it is not a sin against God to behave in this way.  As I have argued in other articles it is actually by God’s design.  Also we as White parents need to start standing up to this White privilege garbage that is being shoved down the throats of our students at all levels of our education system.

Where Does This Leave Minorities Today?

I have said it multiples and I will say it again. The United States and Western nations in general decided to completely upend basic principles of civilization that worked for thousands of years.  Nations were built around common ethnicity, common religion (which formed the foundation for cultural values) and common language.  Families were built on patriarchy.  These systems were built with the knowledge of how human nature actually works.

Communism failed because it rejected some facts about human nature.  First it tried to take away religion from people like when Stalin had thousands of Russian Orthodox priests executed and killed many other millions of Christians.  Secondly it tried to remove private ownership and competition from economies opting for equal outcomes for all its citizens.  But what they did not realize is that human beings in general have a natural longing for belief in something greater than this world.  We were built by God to seek out our creator.  Secondly human beings only thrive when they can compete for and acquire private property. So when you take God and the ability to earn private property through competition out of the equation – you remove two of the most power forces that drive human beings.

In the same way, like Communism, our modern ideologies of multiracialism, multiculturalism, egalitarianism and feminism violate how we know human nature works.  We have been artificially holding back the dam of the natural consequences of going against human nature for 150 years and eventually that dam will break and Western civilization will fall as a result.

So if you are a minority living in the United States you have some choices to make.  You can accept the reality of racial preference and ethnic dominance and simply wait until you outbreed Whites to the point that you have just as many people or more.  In that case you will be such a large voting block that you can vote people in of your ethnicity purely based on your numbers. You can choose to do your best and wait to have sex and children until you are married.  You can choose to be a faithful spouse and good father or mother to your children. You can choose to educate yourself and live within your means.  You can choose to set yourself apart by how hard you work and not blame everything that goes wrong in your life or every missed opportunity you have on “White privilege”.

Or you can take the same route that the Palestinians take with the Israelis.

In the Gaza strip where Hamas rules, they have presided over the complete failure of then electric grid as well as water and sewage infrastructure.  They also have a 50 percent unemployment rate.  Yet despite their utter failure to manage a society Hamas is highly popular with the people it rules.  Do you know how they are so popular? The same way many minority leaders in the US are popular today.  They blame others for the suffering of their people.  They blame the Israelis.  They blame the inability of Palestinians to return to lands they once held in what is now Israel.

In the same way we have minority leaders in the United States today preaching to young minorities that the White man is holding them back.  If the White man would just give them their due then all their problems would be solved.  But this is a lie minority friends.  It is a bold faced lie.

What Does The Bible Say About Abuse?

How does the Bible define abuse? Specifically within the context the context of marriage and the family does the Bible say anything about abuse? If it does not, are there general Biblical principles that we could apply to form a Biblical view of what constitutes abuse?

The Bible does speak to abuse but it does not do it all in one place in an exhaustive manner.  There is no one chapter of the Bible dedicated to abuse.   Instead we find verses and passages through the Bible that speak to abuse in parts and we then must connect all these dots together to get the full picture of the Biblical view of abuse.

But before we look at the Biblical view of abuse we need to define what we are talking about when we use the English word “abuse”.

The word abuse is defined by Meriam-Webster online dictionary as “a corrupt practice or custom… improper or excessive use or treatment… language that condemns or vilifies usually unjustly, intemperately, and angrily… physical maltreatment”.

But I think the best definition of abuse actually comes from the origin of the English word itself which literally is “ab + use” which literally means to “misuse”.

So abuse is when we misuse or mistreat someone or something.  For the purposes of this article we confine the subject of abuse to emotional and physical abuse in marriage and the family.

How does the Bible define Emotional Abuse?

Sometimes we can mistreat or abuse others without laying a finger on them.  Instead we use a tool that God gave us that can be used for great blessing or great destruction – the tongue.   The Bible says this about our tongue:

“8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.”

James 3:8-10 (KJV)

Our words should be used to build others up, not to tear others down as the Scriptures command us to do:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”

Ephesians 4:29 (KJV)

Husbands can Emotionally Abuse their Wives

The Bible gives the following command toward husbands regarding their wives:

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

There is much debate in Christian circles as to what a man honoring his wife looks like. A few years ago I wrote an article entitled “12 Ways to Honor Your Wife” where I took my stab at the issue from what I see in the Scriptures.  In that article I referenced Proverbs 31:28 which tells of the virtuous wife that her husband “praiseth her”.  Some of us Christian husbands are really good at telling our wives when they do wrong (which is a part of our job as her spiritual head) but we are horrible at praising our wives when they do right and that should not be the case.

There will be times when we must call out our wife’s foolish behavior as Job did:

“But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”

Job 2:10 (KJV)

But Job’s words toward his wife were a spiritual rebuke toward her done in love to correct her wrong doing.  He was not running around calling his wife names with malicious intent.  He was not using his wife as his emotional punching bag when he had a bad day at work. Sometimes we may even need to correct our wives in front of our children when she does something in front of them that warrants that public correction.  But we must always be cognizant of honoring our wife’s position as our wife and as the mother of our children.

In Ephesians 5:25-27 the Scriptures give us this admonition as husbands toward our wives:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 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.”

Ephesians 5:25-27 (KJV)

Husbands are called to wash their wives spiritual spots and blemishes with the Word of God and hurling emotional dirt on them does exactly the opposite of what God is calling husbands to do.  A husband’s correction is to be done in love – not with vitriol and spite.

The Bible gives husbands this command about acting in love rather than in bitterness toward their wives:

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

Colossians 3:19 (KJV)

This is why men need to remember that as disobedient or rebellious as their wives may be and no matter how their wives may hurt them in many ways – husbands never have a license from God to act from a place of bitterness and spite toward their wives.

The discipline of a husband toward his wife should never be an act of revenge, but rather it is to be a conscious and controlled act of love.

And husbands need to realize that God is watching how they treat their wives and he says of husbands who mistreat their wives that their prayers will be hindered before him (I Peter 3:7).

Parents Can Emotionally Abuse their Children

The Bible gives the following commands to fathers regarding their children:

“And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV)

“Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

Colossians 3:21 (KJV)

Why did God address these commands only to fathers? Can mothers not provoke their children to anger as well and cause them to be discouraged? The answer is that mothers can do this just as easily as fathers but God is addressing fathers because they are the spiritual head of their home. Fathers set the example and fathers can and should address this wrong behavior not only in themselves, but also in their wives as the mothers of their children.

So how can fathers and mothers provoke their children to wrath and discourage them? Perhaps by showing favoritism between their children. Maybe they constantly tear down and call their children names and hurl insults at them.  Maybe it is that they do not discipline in love, but rather in anger or in malice. Perhaps they constantly threaten instead of warn.  Maybe they use no measure or control in their discipline.  Fathers may be too over protective or possessive not realizing that their ownership over children is a temporary stewardship God has given unlike the lifelong ownership of a husband over his wife.

Sometimes Words That Will Hurt Must Be Said

From a Biblical perspective it is not always wrong to say things to others that we know may hurt other’s feelings:

“5 Open rebuke is better than secret love. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Proverbs 27:5-6 (KJV)

Sometimes a tough word must be spoken and for the moment it will bring some emotional pain but it is for our own good.  In fact the Bible tells us that a rebuke can sometimes be an act of love:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

So in summary on this issue of emotional abuse – if we say things simply to hurt someone that is sinful. If however we speak words of rebuke that may cause hurt but it is done for the edification of the other person this may in fact be a righteous act depending on the context.

How Does The Bible Define Physical Abuse?

Physical abuse is when we mistreat others in a physical manner.  But here is the million dollar question – how do we define what is the physical mistreatment of others?

In an article entitled “Responding to Physical Abuse” Dennis Rainey writes what I would consider to be a typical Christian Pastor’s definition of physical abuse:

“Let me begin by saying that I cannot think of a circumstance in a marriage or family that could justify abuse of any kind—emotional, mental, physical, or sexual. Abusive behavior was never and can never be a part of God’s plan for a marriage or a family.

For the sake of clarity, I’m going to limit this answer to physical abuse. And by this I mean assaulting, threatening, or restraining a person through force. It would include hitting, slapping, punching, beating, grabbing, shoving, biting, kicking, pulling hair, burning, using or threatening the use of weapons, blocking you from leaving a room or the house during an argument, driving recklessly, or intimidating you with threatening gestures.

Also, I think it’s important to note that I do not, like some others in today’s culture, automatically classify spanking of children as abuse. I believe that loving, controlled physical discipline is biblical, and beneficial for a child. In some cases it can turn abusive when performed with anger or malice, and in those cases it must be stopped.”

I respect Dennis Rainey and his ministry and I agree with him in many areas of Biblical interpretation.  While I think he is definitely to the right of many Pastors and teachers today on the subject of Biblical gender roles he still does not fully embrace all the Bible’s teachings on gender roles.  On this subject we are discussing of physical abuse – I am going to partially agree and partially disagree with his definition of physical abuse and I think the best way to take it is word by word.

Before I do that I want to draw attention to the end of his definition where he states this regarding the spanking of children:

 “I believe that loving, controlled physical discipline is biblical, and beneficial for a child. In some cases it can turn abusive when performed with anger or malice, and in those cases it must be stopped.”

That last statement I believe would be absolutely Biblical except for him limiting physical discipline to children.  The Bible specifically allows for the physical discipline of adults in Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 and Deuteronomy 25:1-3. The Bible even encourages physical discipline for those who act in foolish manners when it states in Proverbs 26:3 “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.”

But I 100% agree with Dennis Rainey that physical discipline should always be done in a “loving” and “controlled” way as opposed to an angry or malicious way.

When speaking about a father disciplining his son God said:

“He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”

Proverbs 13:24 (KJV)

Christ when speaking about disciplining his churches said:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

God when speaking about disciplining the nation of Israel (pictured as his wife) said:

“For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”

Jeremiah 30:11 (KJV)

So as we can see the Bible full supports the idea that two critical ingredients of any godly form of discipline are love and control (measure).  With said as introduction to this area of physical abuse I will now look at key words in Dennis Rainey’s statement on what he believes constitutes physical abuse.

“Assaulting”

By definition assaulting is any type of unlawful touching of another person’s body.  But the key word is “unlawful”.  If a police officer chases down a person who he has just witnessed commit a crime and wrestles him to the ground to put hand cuffs on him is that unlawful? The answer is NO. In the same way if a husband engages in physical discipline toward his wife or a father engages in physical discipline toward his child this is not automatically physical abuse.  In fact this activity could be lawful in God’s eyes if it is done in a loving and controlled manner and not done with malicious intent.

“Threatening”

The Bible tells masters not to engage in “threatening” in Ephesians 6:9. The difference between a threat and a warning is that threats demonstrate a lack of control and simply seek to intimidate people into compliance with one’s wants.  When someone exercises the Biblical authority God has given them, whether it be a governor, an employer, a master, a Pastor, a husband or a father or mother discipline measures should be just, fair and well thought out.  Warnings regarding impending discipline if one breaks certain rules should be done in a controlled manner.  So in the area of threatening – I agree with Mr. Rainey because the Bible tells Biblical authorities not to engage in threatening which is very different than giving warnings which authorities should give.

“Restraining a Person Through Force”

Again I could back to my police officer example that it depends on if the restraining is lawful according to God’s law. There are plenty of times that a child or an adult may need to be restrained by force.  Adults in mental hospitals have to be restrained by force all the time.  What about when a parent has to pick up their screaming child and take them out of church or a store? Is that unlawful in God’s eyes? Of course it is not.

But what Dennis Rainey is really talking about is a husband restraining his wife by force.

Again the principles of love and control determine whether this action by a husband is right or wrong.  Let me give you a few examples that I have received via email to illustrate this.

A man’s wife is mentally ill.  She grabs a bottle of pills and pours it in her mouth to swallow them so she can die.  He grabs his wife forces his hand in her mouth and pulls the pills out throwing them on the floor.  He physically restrains her until she calms down after which he calls for help and takes her to a mental health facility. Was that wrong for him to restrain his wife by force in this case? Absolutely not.  Such restraint was an act of love.

A man’s wife is angry at him and in rage she comes at him to strike him.  He grabs her, bear hugs her and hold her by force until she calms down.  Again – was his action of restraining her by force in this case wrong? No it was not.  Rather this was an act of love on his part in restraining his wife from doing the evil she was intent on doing.

Now there are some men who get off on exercising power over their wives.  If a husband comes by and pushes his wife into a clothes closet and locks the door simply for the thrill of confining her this is an abuse of his God given power.  This is not a just use of force against his wife.  The same principle would apply to parents over their children as well.  There have been horror stories in the news of parents chaining their children to beds and locking them in rooms for years.  This is not the loving, controlled and measured discipline the Bible allows.  Such actions are sadistic and evil.

“Hitting, Slapping, Punching, Beating”

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 23:13 “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die”.  But there is such a thing as a controlled beating and an uncontrolled beating.  An uncontrolled beating is done in rage or anger but a controlled beating is done as an act of discipline.  The object of a Biblically based beating is to try to change one’s behavior, not to seriously injure or kill someone. That is why when God prescribed flogging as a method of discipline in the book of Deuteronomy he placed several controls on it.

“If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked. 2 And it shall be, if the wicked man be worthy to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to his fault, by a certain number. 3 Forty stripes he may give him, and not exceed: lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should seem vile unto thee.”

Deuteronomy 25:1-3 (KJV)

First the judge himself, or someone he directly appointed was to perform the beating.  The beating was to be witnessed and controlled by the judge who had imposed the punishment.  The man was to lie down and we know from other passages that this was face down and the stripes were applied to his back.  Why? Because there is a risk of hitting one’s face or genitals.  Typically speaking the human body is much better suited to taking a beating from the back side rather than front and this is the pattern God gives us for physical discipline.

Also the discipline was to be measured in that God did not allow them to strike more than 40 times.  The Jews in order to make sure they did not accidentally go over 40 imposed a policy of only using 39 stripes.  Paul alludes to this when he was beat for preaching the Gospel when he stated in 2 Corinthians 11:24 that “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one”.

What about punching? I do not believe God allows punching as a form of discipline.  The closed fist is weapon to be used in combat and it is not a tool to be used for discipline.  Where do I get this belief from? Let’s look at the passage below from the book of Exodus:

“26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 And if he smite out his manservant’s tooth, or his maidservant’s tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth’s sake.”

Exodus 21:26-27 (KJV)

This passage tells us that God commanded that a male or female slave that had lost their sight or lost a tooth as a result of a beating from their Master had to be freed. But there are some greater principles we learn from this passage.  Some Christians will point to the fact that Christ endured physical abuse and so did the Apostles and so too we should endure it wherever it may occur.  But I would respectfully disagree with my brethren on this.  There is a time and place to endure physical abuse when it is directly for the cause of Christ and the Gospel.  But that does not mean Christians may not flee physical abuse in various situations.  Christ fled (Matthew 12:14-16) and Paul fled as well (II Corinthians 11:33).

But in the context of punching I think this passage from Exodus 21:26-27 prohibits us from using our fists and especially punching people in the face as a form of discipline.  Think about it – how easy is it to break a tooth if you punch someone in the face? Ask any boxer it is really easy to do.  So in most cases how would a master break his slaves tooth or damage his eye? It was most likely because he punched him in the face.

On the other hand when it comes to slapping with an open hand a palm has a much smaller chance of causing any serious injury to a person.  The only way it could is if excessive force was used but then this violates the Biblical concept of using control and measure in discipline. But there is no prohibition in the Scriptures against an authority using a controlled slap across the cheek as a form of discipline.

“grabbing, shoving”

The rightness or wrongness of grabbing someone very much depends on the context.  How many parents can say they have never grabbed their child’s arm whether to keep them from harm or even to discipline them? Where is the condemnation of grabbing someone as a form of discipline that is done in a loving and controlled way? The answer is there is no condemnation of this action when done in a right manner.

But what about shoving? This I think is more akin to punching.  It has a very large chance of causing serious injury.  In fact if you were to shove someone and they fall and hit their head they could have a various serious injury as a result or even die.  Shoving someone is another way that someone could fall and break a tooth or loose the sight in their eye.  Therefore, for the same reason I think God would condemn punching as a form of physical discipline, so too I think he would condemn shoving as a form of discipline as we in authority are not to place those under our authority in danger of serious injury.

“biting, kicking, pulling hair”

When we are talking about biting, kicking and pulling hair these actions do not describe discipline but rather a fight between two persons.  Discipline is to be administered in a loving and controlled way – not in the form of a brawl.  If discipline is administered in the form of a fight it risks causing serious harm or even death to the person being disciplined.

“using or threatening the use of weapons”

Threatening to use or using weapons as form of discipline is forbidden as a form of discipline based on the fact that Biblical discipline is to be done from a place of love and control and its object is to change behavior without causing serious harm or placing the person in danger of losing their life.

“blocking you from leaving a room or the house during an argument”

From a Biblical perspective there is no prohibition on a husband or father prohibiting his wife or child from leaving the room or house during an argument.  For instance if a father or mother sends their child to their room because an argument or a husband sends his wife to their bedroom after an argument there is nothing in the Scriptures that would forbid this action.

I have actually received emails from people and heard stories elsewhere of men blocking their wives from leaving when they were in a manic state.  To allow someone to drive a car in such a state would not be wise and such an action is actually an act of love on the part of the husband.

I am not saying it is wrong for a husband to let his wife leave to cool off, but it is also not forbidden for him to make her stay.

Conclusion

It is not the Church and it is not the government that defines what is and what is not abuse.  It is God speaking through his Word, the Bible, that defines what abuse is within the spheres of the Church, Civil Government and the Family.

We have shown from the Bible that abuse is when we mistreat someone as mistreatment is defined by the Word of God.  When we mistreat someone we have sinned against that person and against God who is our creator.

We can emotionally mistreat others by hurling insults at them and speaking unkind or untrue things about them(James 3:8-10, Ephesians 4:29).

Husbands can emotionally mistreat their wives by acting in a spirit of bitterness and spite toward them (Colossians 3:19) or dishonoring their position as their wife and the mother of their children (I Peter 3:7).

Fathers can emotionally mistreat their children by provoking them to wrath and causing them to be discouraged (Colossians 3:21, Ephesians 6:4) instead of encouraging them and teaching them in the ways of God.

But sometimes husbands and fathers must use tough words and call out sin in their wives and children(Job 2:10) and even though these words hurt  if they are done for the edification of the wife or child then they are holy and righteous before God.  In other words, it is not automatically emotional abuse for a husband or father to verbally confront or call foolish or sinful the actions of his wife or child.

Verbal rebukes on the part of husbands and fathers toward their wives and children that come from a place of love and control should never ever be conflated with emotional abuse.

Not only does the Bible allow and even encourage verbal rebukes as a form of discipline but it allows physical discipline not only for children (Proverbs 13:24) but also for adults as well (Exodus 21:20-21 & 26-27 and Deuteronomy 25:1-3).

But again as with verbal discipline, physical discipline must be performed by husbands and fathers toward their wives and children from a place of love and in a controlled and measured manner(Jeremiah 30:11).

Physical discipline on the part of husbands and fathers toward their wives and children that comes from a place of love and control and is properly exercised within the boundaries of God’s law should never ever be conflated with physical abuse.

Verbal Rebukes or Physical discipline that does not come from love or is not controlled in keeping with God’s boundaries is by Biblical definition abuse.

A husband and father who comes home after having a bad day at work hurling insults and corrupt words at his wife or children is acting in an emotionally abusive way toward his family.  Even if he is not hurling insults or cursing at them – if he rebukes them from a place of bitterness and spite as opposed to love and control this may be emotionally abusive behavior on his part.

When a husband or father physically disciplines his wife from a place or rage, revenge anger or bitterness  as opposed to love and control he is engaging in physical abuse by Biblical standards.

Actions like punching, shoving, kicking, hair pulling, biting and threatening the use of weapons violate the Biblical principles of love and control which are to govern all instances of physical discipline.

A Word Of Caution On The Issue Physical Discipline

It is one thing to know what God’s Word says about the differences between physical abuse and discipline – that is knowledge.  But wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge.  As parents we have the God given right to use physical discipline with our children in a loving and controlled manner.  But we must also be cognizant of the evil world we live in where any type of physical discipline – even toward children is frowned upon.  Not only that – we have social service organizations that are just waiting to come in and take children if there is any hint of what they regard as child abuse even if that definition does not match the Scriptural definition.

So in the case of using physical discipline with children I believe we as parents need to follow Christ’s admonition to be “wise as serpents” (Matthew 10:16) and exercise this right with some caution.  That means it is probably not best to be spanking our children in the middle of a store in front of 30 people. It may mean if a child is acting unruly that we pick them up, leave our grocery cart, and take them to our car and take them home and then give them the physical discipline that is due.

I am a firm believer that small children need to be spanked.  At very young ages they really don’t understand other forms of non-physical discipline.  Obviously as parents we need to do this in love and with measure.  That would mean you don’t spank a one year old on the bottom with the same force that you do a four year old.  But as children get older there are other non-physical forms discipline we can use in taking away things like video games, TV time, computer time, tablets and phones and grounding them from friends.

On the matter of husbands spanking their wives – that is a much larger topic by itself.  Please see my article “Does the Bible Allow A Husband to Spank His Wife?”.  I originally wrote this article in September of 2016.  I have completely rewritten that article over the last couple weeks to be a companion piece with this article.

Why the Bible Allows Forced Sex in Marriage

Is forced sex in marriage wrong? If you are like most American Christians your gut answer would be YES! Of course, the Bible says it is wrong! Up until very recently I used to think the answer was YES as well. But as God began to peel back my American cultural presuppositions I realized the answer might be something other than what I was comfortable with.

In my last article entitled “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, I proved from the Scriptures that God does not allow a woman to say YES to sexual relations to a man she is not married to and he does not allow her to say NO to sexual relations to her husband whom she is married to.

But this raises another question for those Christians who accept that the Bible calls it sin for a woman to sexually refuse her husband. What if a woman does refuse her husband? Can the husband under God’s law physically force himself upon his wife who sinfully resists him?

Here are some answers I have given on this blog in the past. In one of the most popular articles on this blog entitled “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” I wrote this:

“I have not, nor would I EVER advocate for a husband to force himself physically upon his wife or to physically abuse her in any fashion. The issue being discussed is how a husband can confront a wife who chronically or willfully denies his sexual rights in marriage without just cause (be it legitimate health or mental conditions). He has the right, both under Biblical law, as well as under American law, to reason with his with his wife and try to convince her to willingly(even if grudgingly) yield herself to him, and thereby fulfilling one her most important duties in Christian marriage.”

And in my article entitled “The Rape Straw Man” I stated:

“Biblically speaking, there is no such thing as “marital rape” – HOWEVER, there is such a thing as physical abuse. While the Bible does not speak specifically to this case of a man forcing himself on his wife, I believe it is a case of physical abuse.

So what others call rape, I call abuse. In the same way that when someone is wrongfully killed it might be first degree murder, second degree murder or man slaughter what we call “physical abuse” and what we call “rape” is dependent on the relationship between the man and woman in question. There is no doubt a wrong has been committed. But what we call it, and how it is punished or dealt with is very different depending on the circumstances.”

My Change in Position on Forced Sex in Marriage

The emergence of the MeToo movement lead me to restudy and reconsider my understanding of what the Bible says about sexual consent. I have been pouring over the Scriptures for the last couple of months really asking God to reveal to me any presuppositions or cultural biases I might have on this subject and I have written many articles related to sexual conduct from a Biblical perspective recently. My last article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s”, not only traced the wicked origins of modern American sexual consent ideology but more importantly it laid the foundation for a Biblical view of when God consents to a man and woman entering into sexual relations.

Because of what God revealed to me through his Word in that study as of today I am officially changing my position on the issue of forced sex within marriage. My new position is as follows:

Forced sex within marriage by a husband toward his wife is not in and of itself a sin but it can be a sin under certain circumstances. The “Markland Letter” case which I addressed in my article “It is Not a Woman’s Consent That Matters, It is God’s” where the man forced sex on his wife after surgery would be an example of a husband sinfully forcing himself on his wife.

Now a lot of Christians at this point are shutting me down. But I want to encourage you and challenge the view you have been raised with in our culture with what God’s Word actually says on this very controversial subject.

Is All Forced Sex in Marriage Domestic Abuse and Sexual Abuse?

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Spousal or marital rape is a form of domestic violence and sexual abuse. In spousal rape, sex is forced on one spouse by the other. While the Bible does not specifically deal with spousal rape, it has plenty to say about the husband-wife relationship and its representation of Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:32)…

and God never condones rape.”

I want to quickly address the terminology I am using here. I am using the phrase “forced sex” and gotquestions.org is using “marital rape” or just “rape”. The reason I am using the term “forced sex” instead of “rape” is because the term rape in our language and culture not only denotes an action taken, but it also implies a moral condemnation of that action. Calling “forced sex” rape in our language and culture would be like referring to every instance of killing as murder. I am going to speak more to the term “rape” later on in this article.

Biblically speaking all instances of forced sex are not considered rape any more than all instances of killing are considered murder. It is the context which determines if a particular instance of forced sex is rape just as it is the context which determines if a particular killing is murder. The only forced sex the Bible ever condemns is forced sex OUTSIDE of marriage. The Bible actually addresses forced marriage and as a result of marriage forced sex in the book of Deuteronomy.

God Condoned Forced Sex in Marriage

God granted the right of men to take women as one of the many spoils of war as long as they were not one of seven forbidden nations in which everyone was to be killed:

“But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.”

Deuteronomy 20:14 (KJV)

In the next chapter God details the process by which men could take women as spoils of war:

“10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the Lord thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, 11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;

12 Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house, and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails;

13 And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.”

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 (KJV)

So in summary God allowed men to take by force women as captives of war. However, unlike the nations around them – they were not allowed to have forced sex right there on the battlefield with their captive women. Instead God had a higher standard. God made the Israelite men wait one month to allow the woman to mourn the death of her loved ones.

Even after the month – the man had to take her as his wife, not simply his sex slave as other nations also did. God commands them “thou shalt go in unto her” which is a euphemism for sex in the Bible. Now some might say “Well that does not say forced sex, it just says sex” and that is absolutely true. A man “going in unto a woman” does not denote whether it was forced or not. However there is a key phrase at the end of this passage that DOES indicate forced sex: “because thou hast humbled her”.

God’s Definition of Rape

There are many euphemisms for sex in the Bible. Men “knew” their wives, they “lay” with their wives and as we can see here they “went in unto” their wives. However there is another euphemism for sex in the Bible that specifically denotes “forced sex” and that is the “humbling” of a woman by a man.

This same phrase is used when speaking of actions the Bible actually considers to be rape (as opposed to our modern understanding that all forced sex is rape):

“23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour’s wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you. 25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.

26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her. 28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

Deuteronomy 22:23-29 (KJV)

In the above passage from Deuteronomy chapter 22 we find God’s definition of rape as opposed to our modern definition of rape. What does God call rape? Does he say it is simply when a man humbles (has forced sex) with a woman? The answer is NO. Instead we find that rape in God’s eyes is when a man has forced sex with a woman who is he not married to. The Bible covers both a betrothed (or married) woman and also virgin woman. In a follow-up article to this one I will be specifically addressing God’s command that a rapist had to marry the woman he raped.

My point in showing Deuteronomy 22:23-29 is twofold. First it gives God’s definition of rape which is the when a man has forced sex with a woman who is not his wife. Secondly in the context of the rape discussion God uses the term “humbled” to denote forced sex.

This English word “humbled” in these passages is a translation of the Hebrew word “anah” which means to “afflict”, “humble” or “force” in most instances.

Anah is used in reference to two famous rape stories in the Bible. The first is regarding the rape of Dinah, the daughter of Leah and wife of Jacob:

“1 And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. 2 And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled [anah] her.”

Genesis 34:1-2(KJV)

The second is the rape of Tamar by her half-brother Amnon:

“Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced [anah] her, and lay with her.”

2 Samuel 13:14 (KJV)

And again why was the ‘anah’ or humbling and forced sex of these women considered to be true rape and thus immoral? Because they broke God’s law in Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that condemned a man having forced sex with a woman that was not his wife.

The Humbling of a Woman in Marriage

And a final note on Deuteronomy 21:10-14 and the humbling of the captive woman who was taken by the divine allowance of God. Some have tried to say this humbling had to do strictly with the woman shaving her head. What these same people do not realize is that it was common in ancient Middle Eastern cultures for both men and women to either pull out their hair or shave their heads when horrible tragedies struck. I believe the loss of one’s entire family would qualify in this case.

Also saying that the humbling of the woman by the man does not refer to forced sex takes a very naïve approach to the situation. Can anyone with a straight face say they think most captive women after only one month would want to willingly and consensually have sex with the man who may have killed their family or at least was part of the army that did? The reality is we all know in this situation that in the vast majority of cases even after one month the man would be having forced sex with his new bride. That is just reality.

So we can as Bible believing Christians rightly say based on Deuteronomy 22:23-29 that God never condones rape which HE defines as a man having forced sex with a woman he is not married to. But we can equally say that God does in fact condone forced sex in marriage based on Deuteronomy 21:10-14.

Biblical Sex is Not Just about Giving, But Also about Taking

In their article entitled “What does the Bible say about spousal/marital rape?” GotQuestions.org states:

“Some people believe that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter. They often misuse 1 Corinthians 7:3–5 to support the erroneous view that a wife can never tell her husband that she would like to defer having sex for a time. Some men believe that the husband has a God-given right to just “take it,” in spite of his wife’s objections…

It is clear from the Bible that mutuality reigns in the bedroom. According to 1 Corinthians 7:1–5, a husband should provide sexual satisfaction to his wife, and a wife should provide sexual satisfaction to her husband. A wife does not have authority over her own body, and a husband does not have authority over his own body. They belong to each other. Does this mean that a husband can force himself on his wife anytime he so desires? Definitely not. What the passage teaches is that each spouse is to willingly, freely, lovingly submit to the other. The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse. There is no selfishness involved. Forcibly taking what has not been offered is wrong and plainly against the Bible’s commands on love and marriage.”

I would not call GotQuestions.org a raging feminist site as they do speak on submission in marriage, even if at times they water it down quite a bit. However the term “mutuality” they use in this article is a favorite of Christian feminists. In fact some Christian feminists use this passage in 1 Corinthians 7:1–5 to try to cancel out all the Bible’s teachings on male headship in marriage and they say marriage is a “mutual partnership”.

I am not denying that there is not any mutuality taught in this passage as there clearly is. But it is a limited mutuality, not an all-inclusive mutuality.

The first part of this passage from I Corinthians shows that a husband and wife have a right to sexual access to one another’s bodies:

“3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. 4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”

I Corinthians 7:3-5 (KJV)

The English word “power” here is a translation of the Greek word Exousiazo and can refer to authority or the right to do something. If we try and say here that God is saying a wife has literal authority over her husband’s body then this contradicts with the Scriptural teaching that the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church and the wife is to submit to her husband in everything as the Church is to submit to Christ in everything (Ephesians 5:23-24).

In the programming world in which I work we would call this an infinite loop. If a husband can command compel his wife to give her body to him yet she can command him not to give his body to her we can see where this ends up.

So when we take the whole of the Scriptures and especially Ephesians 5:23-24 into account we understand that the “power” of I Corinthians 7:3-5 actually refers to “the right”. A husband has the right to sexual access to this wife’s body and the wife has the right to sexual access to her husband’s body.

Are Christian Husbands Wrong for “demanding” Sex From their Wives?

GotQuestions.org claims The passage is about giving satisfaction, not demanding it. The focus is on pleasing one’s spouse and I don’t deny that this passage does reference giving one’s self to one’s spouse. When it uses the word “render” that is our duty as spouses to GIVE our bodies to our spouses for their sexual satisfaction. However it also talks about the “power” or “right” of the spouse toward their spouse’s body – this is clearly the power to TAKE or seek sexual satisfaction in one’s spouse’s body. GotQuestions.org does not like “take” to be anywhere in the conversation of sex but in this passage the giving AND taking aspects of sex as God designed it are clearly on display.

Finally as far as “demanding” sex is it is true that the wife can no more demand anything of her husband than the Church can demand something of Christ. Can she request sex from her husband as the Church can request various things of Christ? Yes. But she cannot demand anything of her husband. However, can and does Christ demand obedience from his Church in “everything” as Ephesians 5:23-24 shows? The answer is yes. Therefore since a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of his Church he can demand obedience from his wife (including in the sexual arena) just as Christ demands obedience from his Church.

Do Wives Have to be “agreeable” to Sex at “at any time”?

GotQuestions.org claims that some Christians have an “erroneous view” that “that a wife must be agreeable to sexual relations with her husband at any time and that she has no say in the matter”. I would agree that I Corinthians 7:2-5 never specifically mentions sex on demand “at any time” from a wife. But there is another passage of Scripture dealing with sex in marriage that DOES:

15 Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well. 16 Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets. 17 Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee. 18 Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee AT ALL TIMES; and be thou ravished always with her love.”

Proverbs 5:15-19 (KJV)

The Scriptures command husbands to “drink” or take pleasure from the sexual well that is their wife’s body. They are command let her breasts (symbolic of her whole body) satisfy them AT ALL TIMES or in the words of GotQuestions.org “at any time”.

Besides Proverbs 5:15-19 there is any even more powerful principle of Scripture that dictates what a wife’s response is to be to her husband in all matters:

“Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:24 (KJV)

So as we can see, the Bible commands that a wife should be “agreeable…at any time” to anything her husband asks her to do whether it is cleaning, cooking, paying the bills, putting children to bed and yes having sex with him. The only Biblical caveat to this would be if he asked her to do something sinful against God and then she has to obey God rather than her husband (Acts 5:29). It really is that simple.

But God never forces himself on his wife!

Some will take the relationship of Christ and his Church and claim “we never see Christ forcing his Church and therefore husbands may not force their wives”. Others will conflate salvation with marriage and say “God does not force us to come to him salvation, therefore a husband cannot force his wife to have sex with him.”

Let me address the latter claim first and then I will address the former. Two of the primary ways that God pictures our relationship to him is as a father and then as husband. Our relationship as individuals to God is pictured as that of a child to their father. Our relationship to God as a group, as the people of God, is pictured as that of a wife to her husband.

When God invites us to become his children this is presented as a choice:

“While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.”

John 12:36 (KJV)

Now of course we understand there is a consequence of that choice. If we do not choose to obey the Gospel of Christ this is what awaits those who disobey his Gospel:

“7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power”

2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 (KJV)

But in the context of God’s relationship to his people as a whole he sometimes compels obedience by force. In the Old Testament the relationship of God to the nation of Israel was pictured as a marriage with God as the husband and Israel as his wife. When Israel rebelled against God just after making their marriage covenant with him the Bible tells us he humbled Israel:

“2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble[anah] thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled[anah] thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 (KJV)

Remember that in the context of the relationship of a man and woman when he humbles her this is the man forcing himself upon the woman. God forced Israel to yield to him and to learn that concept that “that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live”.

But Christ Never Forces His Church!

Some will say – “Well God’s relationship with Israel was different than his Church and Christ never forces his Church to do anything”.

Earlier I said the reason I don’t use the term rape in the context of marriage is because it is like using murder to refer to all killing. Only unlawful killing (unlawful by God’s law) is considered murder. Killing in self-defense or to save others is not wrong. Even in the case of wrongful forced sex in marriage like the Markland Letter case, such action is not rape but rather physical abuse.

But now I want us to look at the definition of rape. Here is the Webster’s 1828 dictionary definition of rape:

“In a general sense, a seizing by violence; also, a seizing and carrying away by force, as females.

In law, the carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and against her will.

Privation; the act of seizing or taking away.”

http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/rape

Now someone reading this might say “See right there even in the old definition of rape it talks about a man taking a woman against her will!”. And that is very true. However as I explained earlier it is God who defines what rape is – not us. But I want you to zero in on the first definition where it says “a seizing and carrying away by force”.

Now let us turn to the New Testament. Before I give the next Scripture I want to set the stage a bit. In the Old Testament the marriage of God to Israel is pictured as a full consummated marriage after which Israel commits adultery with false gods and God divorces her for this.

In the New Testament the Church is pictured as a betrothed bride to Christ whose marriage has not yet been consummated:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.”

2 Corinthians 11:2 (KJV)

The “consummation” of the Church and Christ’s marriage is described in the passage below:

“16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (KJV)

The event described in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is what is known as the “rapture” of the Church.

Bible.org gives a brief background of the word “rapture”:

“Regarding the term rapture and its use in theology the following should answer your questions. It is taken from Ryrie’s Basic Theology, Electronic Media from Parsons Technology.

Our modern understanding of rapture appears to have little or no connection with the eschatological event. However, the word is properly used of that event. Rapture is a state or experience of being carried away. The English word comes from a Latin word, rapio, which means to seize or snatch in relation to an ecstasy of spirit or the actual removal from one place to another. In other words, it means to be carried away in spirit or in body. The Rapture of the church means the carrying away of the church from earth to heaven.

The Greek word from this term “rapture” is derived appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, translated “caught up.” The Latin translation of this verse used the word rapturo. The Greek word it translates is harpazo, which means to snatch or take away. Elsewhere it is used to describe how the Spirit caught up Philip near Gaza and brought him to Caesarea (Acts 8:39) and to describe Paul’s experience of being caught up into the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2-4). Thus there can be no doubt that the word is used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 to indicate the actual removal of people from earth to heaven.”

https://bible.org/question/where-did-term-8216rapture%E2%80%99-come

Ryrie’s definition of harpazo actually leaves out a very important part of the definition. It is not simply to snatch, seize or take away – it is do these things “by force”

Strong’s #726: harpazo (pronounced har-pad’-zo)

from a derivative of 138; to seize (in various applications):–catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force).

https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/G726/harpazo.htm

And if we look at the word origin of our English word “rape” we read:

“early 14c., “booty, prey;” mid-14c., “forceful seizure; plundering, robbery, extortion,” from Anglo-French rap, rape, and directly from Latin rapere “seize” (see rape (v.)). Meaning “act of abducting a woman or sexually violating her or both” is from early 15c., but perhaps late 13c. in Anglo-Latin.”

https://www.etymonline.com/word/rape

So now I will pull this all together for you. The Greek word which describes how Jesus Christ will take his church is harpazo which means to seize or take something or someone by force. When the Bible was translated into Latin (which Jerome finished in 405 AD) the word rapturo which was derived from the Latin word rapio (meaning to seize or snatch) was used to translate the Greek harpazo. Then in the 14th century the English word “rape” was created from the Latin to describe a man forcing a woman to have sex with him.

While English common law as well as previous laws held it was not wrong for a man to force his wife to have sex, over time the word rape came to be a derogatory term used not just of men forcing women they were not married to into sex, but also of husbands forcing their wives to have sex.

So the irony is that same word we rejoice of over – the “rapture” or seizure by force of the bride of Christ which his Church is the same word we use to condemn a husband for forcing his wife to have sex with him. Think about that. Let that settle in your brain a bit.

Is “Forced Sex” in Marriage an Oxymoron?

Now that I have proven from the Old Testament that God “humbled” or “forced” Israel to bend to his will and that Christ will actually rapture (take by force) his Bride which is the Church I want to come back to the address the following assertion from GotQuestions.org on this subject of forced sex in marriage:

“The truth is that sexual expression was designed by God to be an act of love within a marriage, and violence or coercion should never be a part of it. Forced sex is not love

When God humbled Israel would we call this anything less than an act of love on his part? The answer is we would indeed call it an act of love. Did God use violence on Israel when they disobeyed him in the dessert? You better believe he did. Did he use coercion to compel his wife to yield to his demands? You better believe he did. It is right there in the story of the marriage of God to Israel all throughout the Old Testament.

Even Christ when rebuking his Churches states:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 (KJV)

Therefore we can conclude based on the example of God himself as a husband that forced sex in marriage is NOT an Oxymoron.

Forced Sex Scenarios

Now I want to give some scenarios with force to try and help you understand this concept better.

Forced Sex Scenario #1

Let’ say a husband comes home from a long trip, his wife has no idea when he will arrive. He comes in through the door as she is working in the kitchen, he picks her up in his arms and takes her to their bedroom. He tears through her clothes as fast as possible and has sex with her.

Now this was definitely a matter of force – he did not ask her permission or even say a word to her. But if she complies willing with his forceful gesture most people would say there was nothing wrong in that scenario. In fact some women would even find it romantic. In fact the picture I have just painted would be similar to what the Scriptures paint as the rapture of the Church by Christ who is her husband.

However, if during his attempt at forced sex his wife resisted in anyway now our modern society is up in arms. “He has violated her consent!” we are told. But from a Biblical perspective as we have shown in this article – if the wife resists her husband in the above scenario and he continues to force her to his will who has sinned? The husband, the wife or both? Biblically speaking it is the wife who has sinned and the husband is not sinning by forcing her to yield to his lawful demand.

Now if the wife resisted the husband in this scenario – if he loves her – is that what he wanted from her? Of course not. He wanted to be able to pick up his wife in his arms and for her to willingly give herself to him no questions asked. Just as Christ wants his Church to willing embrace him at the rapture. But make no mistake – Christ is not going to take “I am not in the mood today” from his Church when he comes. He is taking his Bride by force!

Forced Sex Scenario #2

Let’s say a man takes a woman as his wife who clearly did not want to be his wife. In the Bible this could be a scenario where a father gives his daughter to a man she does not want marry or it could be a man captures a woman as a captive during war. So on their wedding day he goes to have sex with her and she resists him. So he holds her down and forces her. In Biblical terms he has justly “humbled” his wife.

Again who is the one sinning in this scenario? Is the wife who sinning by resisting or is the husband sinning by forcing himself on his wife? Or is it both? We know the Biblical answer is that it is the wife who is sin and the husband is right and just in forcing his wife to have sex with him.

And once again – do men who truly love and have affection for their wives want it to be this way? No. We as men want what God wants from his wife – willing obedience, but if obedience is not given willfully we follow God’s example with Israel and humble our wives and take it by force.

Forced Sex Scenario #3

I was asked in a recent comment on my blog what I thought of the scenario of a “husband shoving his member down his wife’s throat”. In other words a husband forcing his wife to perform oral sex on him – is that a sin?

So a husband and wife are having sex and he decides to take his member up to his wife’s head for her to perform oral sex on him. She resists and turns her head away so he takes her head and forces her to perform oral sex on him.

We have given several principles in this article that answer this question.

The I Corinthians 7:2-4 principle teaches that a wife has a duty to render her body to her husband and it also gives him the right of sexual access to her body.

The Proverbs 5:18-19 Principle says a husband is to satisfy himself (literally drink his fill) of his wife’s body AT ALL TIMES.

The Ephesians 5:24 Principle says that a wife is to submit to her husband in EVERYTHING.

The Deuteronomy 8:2-3 Principle shows us that God humbled his wife Israel and forced her learn obedience to his will.

Therefore we can conclude based on the witness of the Scriptures that it is NOT a sin for a man to force his wife to perform oral sex on him as she has a duty to render her entire body to him to fulfill God’s command to him to satisfy himself with her body at all times. She is to submit to him in everything, not just the things she feels like doing or is comfortable with.

Ladies – I know for some of you this is a hard one to swallow (pun intended) but scripturally speaking the Bible does not condemn such actions by a husband toward his wife.

But Forced Sex is Selfishness!

The selfishness card is often used to dismiss not only a man forcing himself on his wife but also a man allowing his wife to consent to sex when she really is not in the mood. The reasoning goes – “if you see your wife is not in the mood for any reason, then if you were being selfless you would give up your desire or need.” Others have even tried to argue that if sex is ever desired in anyway other than to give pleasure to the other person it is by definition selfishness.

However the Biblical definition of selfishness is not simply doing things for one’s own benefit or desire. But instead it is when a person ONLY does things for their benefit or desire and never considers the needs of others.

“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Philippians 2:4 (KJV)

The key phrase there in that verse which is also in the Greek is the word “also”. This verse is not saying it is wrong to look to our own needs or desire, but that we must ALSO look to the needs and desires of others well.

And I would remind anyone who says it is selfish for a man to have sex with his wife when she is not in the mood or to force her to have sex that this is selfishness to look to Proverbs 5:15-19 which commands a man to satisfy himself with his wife’s body “at all times”.

But Doesn’t Forced Sex Violate the Husband’s Duty to Care for his Wife’s Body?

It is absolutely true that Ephesians 5:28-29 teaches men as husbands that they are to care for their needs if their wife’s body. That is why what the husband did in the Markland Letter case was wrong because he violated this principle in causing severe damage to his wife’s body after surgery by forcing himself on her.

But outside of extreme conditions where a wife has not just had surgery we have to ask ourselves does forced sex in marriage by the husband toward his wife violate the Ephesians 5:28-29 principle? The answer I think in most cases is NO.

In most cases forced sex in marriage will hurt the woman’s pride, or in Biblical terms “humble her” more than anything else.

Some might ask “What about the risk of tissue tearing, bruising or rashes and other discomforts caused by forced sex?” Is there a risk of these things occurring? Yes. But who is it that is causing this risk? Is it the husband by exercising his lawful right to compel his wife to have sex or is it the woman who is causing this risk to herself by resisting her husband’s lawful demand?

Let me give some examples to illustrate what I am saying.

If a police officer pulls you over and asks you to produce your license and registration and you refuse and you refuse to get out of the car – can he use force to make you obey his lawful order? You better believe he can. And if you resist the officer in the course of his lawful actions and in the process you smack your head on the ground or get scrapes and cuts who was it that put you at risk? Was it him or was it you by your resisting his lawful actions?

If a parent goes to spank their child and in the process of resisting the child gets bumps, bruises and tears who was it that put themselves at risk and brought these injuries on themselves?

If a police officer has a warrant to enter your home and you resist and as he enters the home by force you or your home are damaged whose fault was that?

Am I Telling Husbands to Go Home and Force Themselves on Their Wives?

The answer is No. But you might be thinking – Wait you just said spent this entire article telling us it was not a sin for a man to force himself on his wife!

As you catch your breath let me explain a simple principle regarding Biblical rights. Just because we have the right to do something, does not mean it is always wise to do something.

Paul said that he had the right to take a wife yet he chose not to exercise that right:

“5 Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?…15 But I have used none of these things: neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me: for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void.”

1 Corinthians 9:5 & 15 (KJV)

He goes into more detail as to why he did not exercise his right to take a wife in the passage below:

“I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”
1 Corinthians 7:26 (KJV)

So, Paul was saying because of “the present distress”, the horrible persecution of the church, he felt it was better for a man not to exercise his God given right to take a wife.

In the same way because of the present distress of feminism and the utter hostility toward Biblical marriage I personally do not think it is always wise for a husband to force himself on his wife even though it is his right as her husband, her head and her master to force her compliance to God’s commands in this area of sexuality.

Christ admonished us to be “wise” in a world which hates the God of the Bible:

“16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.”

Matthew 10:16-19 (KJV)

Gentlemen there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you use force against your wife, it may be right and just before God – but because of the wicked society we live in you run a very high risk of going to jail for violations of domestic abuse laws or the remove of the marital rape exemption in all 50 states. All your wife has to do is make a phone call.

Instead you need to be wise as serpents as Christ admonished us to be and use other means to discipline your wife. See my article “8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal” for ideas on non-physical ways in which you can discipline your wife. These are all non-physical methods of discipline that you can never be prosecuted for (despite feminist fantasies to the contrary).

For instance, no police officer anywhere is going to arrest a husband for spending less time with his wife because she refuses to submit to him sexually. No prosecutor is going to prosecute a case where a husband refused to pay for kitchen upgrades because his wife refused to sexually submit. No jury will convict a husband of marital rape because he refused to buy his wife some jewelry she wanted because she would not sexually submit to him.

If a woman complains about these non-physical things her husband is doing to a law enforcement officer they are going to tell her “If you don’t like it get a divorce”. I have had multiple police officers and others write me since I wrote that article (“8 steps to confront your wife’s sexual refusal”) confirming this for me.

Using non-physical methods of discipline are ways that you can communicate your displeasure with your wife’s sinful attitudes but at the same time you can shield yourself from a world that is hostile to Biblical male headship.

A Final Exhortation to Christian Wives

Christian wife this all goes back to how you view yourself in God’s design of marriage.

“13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings”

Philippians 2:13-14 (KJV)

Imagine if you actually followed Ephesians 5:22-24’s admonition to submit to your husband “as unto the Lord… in everything”. Imagine if you submitted to your husband working in your body both to will and do of his good pleasure without grumbling or resisting him?

If you were to follow this pattern with your husband then the issue of forced sex in marriage would really be a non-issue.

Why Christians Should Be Proud Sexists

This last Thanksgiving I was visiting with my in-laws.  During that visit I made this statement to my sister-in-law “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!” Why would I say such a thing? Isn’t being a sexist inconsistent with Christian values?

Before I explain why I made that statement in front of many family members let me first give a little background on my wife and her family. My mother and father in-law are really good salt of the earth people who are kind and generous. Truly they have treated me far better than my first wife’s parents ever did and I actually get along with them very well.  They really do not look for confrontation and for the most part try to stay out of my marriage to their daughter.

And just for those Christian’s and others who are concerned about the phrase I just used “first wife” – I divorced her for a specific type of fornication which was adultery and God allows this(see Matthew 19:9 and also my article “If We Treated Divorce Like Killing” for an exhaustive study on Biblical divorce).

In regard to my in-laws, as kind and as loving as my mother and father in-law are – they are feminists. Don’t get me wrong, they are not drooling at the mouth, man-hating feminists and they would not even call themselves feminists. They certainly would never march in a feminist parade. My in-laws just believe in equality for men and women, partnership marriage and my mother in-law told me she taught her daughters to and I quote “be independent and not need a man”. Their father worked in a factory but he wanted better for his daughters and he encouraged them to get a higher education and have successful careers like their mother who was an accountant.

My wife and her sister are actually on different sides of their parents on this issue.  My wife’s sister is more feministic than her parents and my wife is less feministic than her parents.  My wife will at least tell people she believes in male headship in the home and she tries to a certain degree to fight her own feminist tendencies.  But it is extremely difficult for my wife because of the combination that she is very intelligent, strong willed and she was raised by parents who instilled feminist principles in her. So there are days when she full on gives into the dark side and goes full blown feminist on me.  Those are the days when she says “you can’t tell me what to do – you are not my father”.  Other days I can tell she is truly trying and waging a war against the dark side in her that she knows in her heart conflicts with the Bible and what God wants for her.

On the other hand, my wife’s sister is a completely different story. She fully embraces her dark side (aka feminist tendencies).  Her sister is also a Christian and is actually very involved in her church. She believes in partnership marriage and that her husband does not have any more say in the marriage than she does. For a very brief time when she was on the verge of her second divorce she tried to embrace submission in order to save that marriage.  But in the end the marriage still died and he divorced her.

In the beginning of her third marriage she was very submissive to her husband, but about a year or so into that marriage she returned to her old ways and fully embraced her feminist attitudes of the past.  My sister-in-law believes in the Christian feminist doctrine of “mutual submission” between a husband and wife.  One of her favorite Bible verses is Ephesians 5:21 which states “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” She uses that verse to try and explain away the next three verses in Ephesians chapter five.

Now if you are wondering how I – Mr. Biblical Gender Roles himself, ended up marrying into a feminist family that is a longer story for another day.  To that end I will just say this.  There is an old saying that “You learn more from your mistakes than from your successes” and that is especially true when it comes to choosing who you marry. And yes it was a mistake that I chose to marry into a feminist family.

But God used my mistake for his glory.  Let’s say I had never married into a feminist family and had a feminist wife.  What if I married into a traditional, conservative Christian family and found a woman that completely embraced Biblical gender roles? What if I had little conflicts with her because our world values just meshed up? If that had happened then this site probably would have never existed.

But God used my mistake as the inspiration for this site that I started back in April of 2014. And that mistake I made of marrying a feminist woman raised in a feminist household lead to this ministry reaching over 3 million people who have made more than 5 million views on this site by the end of 2017.

So with all that said as a background on my in-laws here is why I made the statement “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist!”

We were sitting around the family room as we usually do after we eat dinner together for the holiday. We usually just make small talk about how all the family members are doing and generally avoid political or religious topics as my in-laws are not very religious people and they don’t normally discuss politics.  But every now and then my sister-in-law who is a bit feisty will say something or I might make a joke about something. We both know where we stand on things.

So my sister-in-law brings a situation to my attention.  Her husband was not there because he had to work. She asked me about a disagreement she and her husband had about their kids.  He has a son from a previous marriage that is 17 and she has two daughters from her second marriage that are 14 and 16. I won’t go into the details here but I will just summarize it by saying she thought he was not protective enough of his son and allowed him too much freedom. I told her I agreed with her husband and that I allowed my sons at that age to have almost full freedom except for my four rules.  No girls in their bedrooms, no drugs and no drinking in my house or on my property and if they drove one of my vehicles in an intoxicated state I would ask for the keys and they would not drive it again.

I also added that my sister in-law needed to support her husband even if she disagreed with him.

So she turned it on me. She said “will you do the same with your daughter who will soon be turning 16?” I told her “no I will not” to which she replied “That is not fair! You can’t treat your daughters differently than your sons” and then her 14 year old daughter replied “that is sexist!”  So here we have a room with my sister-in-law, my mother and father-in-law and my five children along with my wife and I – and I have just been called on the carpet by my sister-in-law and her 14 year old daughter.

My response was “Yes mam, I am a proud sexist! I fully believe that women need added protection from their fathers until they are married to their husbands. Sons when they become men don’t need the protection of their fathers but daughters do.”

My sister-in-law’s only response was “Well admitting it is the first step.” What she meant was that she thought I was admitting to doing something wrong. Many Christians would say no Christian should say what I said and that no Christian should be proud to be a sexist.  In this article we will explore if such a condemnation of sexism matches up with the Bible.

The Birth of “Sexism”

For 2000 years Christians were proud of their Holy Scriptures that are commonly referred to as the Bible. But about 150 years ago Christians began to start apologizing for things in the Bible.  It began with Christians apologizing for the Bible allowing and regulating the practice of slavery. Eventually with the rise of feminism which was built off the abolitionist movement Christians began to apologize for the “unfair” treatment of women by the Bible.

In the 1960’s during the rise of Second Wave Feminism a new word was coined.  This new word, “sexism”, was as actually built using the fight against racism as a model.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “Sexism” as:

“1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex; especially : discrimination against women

2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex”

Now some may contend that sexism always existed – it just did not receive an official label until the mid-1960’s.  But we need to realize that along with this new label “Sexism” came a new set of morals not previously recognized in human history.

Is Discrimination Always Wrong?

Since the creation of mankind women were in fact discriminated against.  But here is a truth that every Christian must realize – discrimination is not always wrong.  To discriminate against someone is to treat someone differently based on certain demographic characteristics.

For instance we don’t allow people put in prison to vote.  That is a form of discrimination.  We don’t allow children to vote and we allow parents to make decisions for their minor children.  This another form of discrimination (age discrimination). We also only give welfare assistance to people who make under a certain amount of money – if you make over that amount you won’t get assistance.  That is discrimination on the basis of how much you money you earn. There are many college scholarships that are only available to you if you are an African American – that again is a form of discrimination based on race.

The point is, we as a society have made judgements as to what types of discrimination are moral and just and what types of discrimination are immoral and unjust.  The question for us as Christians is – does the Bible agree with American standards of what is just and or unjust discrimination?

Is Stereotyping Always Wrong?

Stereotypes are another example of something that is not always wrong. Stereotyping is simply recognizing patterns of human behavior or social norms. If you were to open a small market store in the middle of a Hispanic neighborhood than it would be silly for you not to have in stock food that Hispanics typically eat. If you were to open your store in a predominantly Chinese area it would be equally silly for you to not stock up on foods that Chinese people typically eat.  In fact in the business world – if you do not stereotype your customer base you will go out of business.

The New Anti-Sexist Movement Was Used to Condemn Historic Social Norms

This new “Anti-Sexist” movement contended that that women could no longer be seen as house keepers and mothers.  In the 1950’s and 1960’s it was extremely common for employers to choose men over women for open positions. The reasoning went that men were providers to families and women belonged in the home.  Only if there were no men contending for a position and it needed to be filled would a woman have any chance of getting that position. Even then some positions would be closed to women no matter what.

But under these newly defined social morals of Second Wave Feminism, if a business chose to hire men over women that was now classified as an immoral form of discrimination and labeled with the new term “sexist” or “sexual discrimination”.  In the same way if a person was to contend that a woman’s place was in the home as it had been since the beginning of human civilization – this would be called immoral stereotyping.

The New Feminist Formula –> Sexism = Misogyny

So if you felt as the vast majority of people up to that point had felt that women did not belong in politics, the military or most other occupations outside the home you were now labeled with this new term “Sexist”.  And the term “Sexist” was equated to “Misogynist” which means “a hater of women”.

It really was a masterful PR campaign by feminist groups.  If you dared to believe in the historic views of the roles of men and women in society you were now labeled a hater of women.

This tied into the larger egalitarian movement.  If you believed any class of human beings should rightly have any less rights or privileges than another you were now a “hater” of that group of people.  You were “dehumanizing” that group of people. This thought pattern of the 1960’s would eventually lead us to open immigration policies and to legalizing gay marriage and criminalizing any form of discrimination against homosexual and transgender people because to be human is to have equal rights and opportunities with all other humans.

Christians Who Are Ashamed of Their Own Bible

It is very common for Christians today to apologize for the Bible treating men and women differently because to do so is now considered “sexist”.  The most common way people make “apology tours” for the Bible is to say something like “God did not condone everything in the Bible”.   Others say “God just went along with the cultural customs of the times even though he did not really approve of things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy or genocide”.

While it is true that God did not condone everything that occurred in the Bible whatever he gave commands to do or to allow he did in fact CONDONE.  God does not command or allow sin in his law.  Not Ever. The real truth that so many Christians run from and cower at is that God did in fact command or allow patriarchy (Genesis 3:16, Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6), slavery (Leviticus 25:39-46), polygamy (Exodus 21:10-11, II Samuel 12:8) and genocide (Deuteronomy 20:16–18, I Samuel 15:2-3).  I encourage you to read each of the passages I just listed to confirm what I have just said.

And on this subject of sexism, God does in fact make statements and commands in the Bible through his Prophets and Apostles that are considered today to be the very definition of “sexist”.

10 Sexist Biblical Statements or Commands

1. Only Men are Made in God’s Image, Not Women

“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.”

I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)

2. Women Were Made for Men, Not Men for Women

“Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:9 (KJV)

3. Women Were Executed for Lying about the Loss of their Virginity, Men were Not

“20 But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: 21 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.”

Deuteronomy 22:20-21 (KJV)

4. Women Ruling a Nation Are No Better than Children Ruling a Nation

“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”

Isaiah 3:12 (KJV)

5. Wives Are Regarded as the Property of Their Husbands

“Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)

6. Women Are Commanded to Submit to Their Husbands

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)

7. Women Can Have their Decisions Overridden by their Fathers and Husbands

“5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her…

8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of none effect: and the Lord shall forgive her.”

Numbers 30:5 & 8(KJV)

8. Women are Called Weaker Than Men

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

I Peter 3:7 (KJV)

9. Women Are Forbidden From Teaching Men or Taking Authority Over Men

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”

1 Timothy 2:12 (KJV)

10. A Woman’s Place Is in The Home

“4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

Titus 2:4-5 (KJV)

The Choice Every Christian Is Faced With

If this is the first time you as a Christian have read these Scripture passages showing that God did in fact commanded or allow things like patriarchy, slavery, polygamy and genocide and also the 10 passages where God made sexist statements and commands your head is probably spinning.

You are faced with a moral dilemma.

You must either condemn God or condemn the American culture you have been raised in.  Before you make your decision I highly recommend you read Job chapters 38 to 40.  These three chapters are some of the most humbling chapters in all the Bible.  Simply put, they put us as human beings in our place.

In Job chapter 40 God says this to Job:

“1 Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said, 2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

3 Then Job answered the Lord, and said,4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

6 Then answered the Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. 8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Job 40:1-8 (KJV)

Before you make your decision let me try to help give a little relief in that decision process.

On the subject of slavery, God only allowed slavery under a particular set of circumstances and it was not based on viewing one race as subservient to all races as the slavery of Africans in the Americas was.  For more on this huge topic of slavery see my previous article “Why Christians shouldn’t be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible”.

Also on the subject of genocide I want you to think about this more.  In the book of Joshua we read:

“17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the Lord: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent…

21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword.”

Joshua 6:17 & 21 (KJV)

Literally God commanded through Joshua that every man, woman and child was to be killed in that city with the exception of Rahab and her family who helped the Israelite spies.  This was a command to commit genocide against these people.

But before we so quickly condemn the Israelite people and God for his commands to them let us remember that the United States dropped atomic bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima for the good of the American nation.  The United States indiscriminately killed over 75,000 people at Nagasaki and over 150,000 people at Hiroshima.  This included men, women and children.  This included pregnant women and infants.

During war sometimes it is necessary to utterly wipe out those in an enemy territory but like slavery this is a much larger discussion for a separate article that I will write in the future (justified war and its tactics).

But this still leaves things like patriarchy, polygamy and sexism which God commanded in the case of patriarchy and sexism and then polygamy which he allowed. For those who may be able to swallow patriarchy but not polygamy I encourage you to read my previous article “Was polygamy a sin in the Old Testament that God overlooked?”  I will give you a sneak preview of that with the conclusion I show in that article based on the Scriptures.  Polygamy was NOT a sin God overlooked – God cannot overlook sin nor can he allow for it.  So those Christians who condemn polygamy as allowed in the Bible are assaulting the righteousness and justice of God in order to appease their own hatred of the practice of polygamy.

Conclusion

The Bible shows us that feminism’s assertion that Sexism = Misogyny is false.

The Bible shows that God honored women like Sara (Hebrews 11:11) and Rahab (Hebrews 11:31) and that he used women as Prophetesses like Deborah and Hulda in his service. But none of these women challenged his design and order that women were made for men and that God called only men to be Priests in the Old Testament and then Bishops and Pastors in the New Testament.

The fact is Jesus was sexist in how he chose his twelve disciples.  If a modern Christian feminist were following Jesus around back then they would have said “he had twelve slots to fill and he could not find one woman to fill any of those slots! What a sexist!”

God was even a sexist in finding Judas’s replacement. He chose another man (Matthias) to replace Judas as the twelfth disciple (Acts 1:16-26) to which the Christian feminist would say “come on God – you had an opportunity to correct your sexist hiring practices and you went and did it again!”

The truth is that God tells us to honor our mothers (Exodus 20:12).  God tells us to honor our wives (I Peter 3:7).  But what really throws of “Sexism” propaganda pushers is that God actually calls men to honor their wives for their weakness in comparison to men! This means we don’t mock or belittle women for being weaker, softer and gentler than us as men but instead we honor them for it.  We honor women, not for trying to compete with men, but for humbly assuming the supporting role God has given them in his creation as wives and mothers. We honor widows and other women who choose to serve in the church in ways which do not conflict with his rules for men and women in the Church (I Timothy 5:3).

Should we as Christians be ashamed of the fact that God tells us he made men to be his image bearers and women to be help meets to his image bearers by being in subjection to them? Should we be ashamed of the fact that God says a woman’s place is in the home bearing children, caring for them and caring for the needs of her home?

Jesus Christ made this statement that should send shivers up the spines of those who seek to apologize for the Bible’s Sexist treatment of women:

“38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

Mark 8:38 (KJV)

Now many Christians will immediately respond – “Well Jesus was not speaking in any of those 10 Scriptures you quoted so he was not talking about being ashamed of those words!”

Well my feminist Christian friends let me educate you on some other things that Christ said.

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

“17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 5:17-19 (KJV)

Jesus Christ is the very Word of God (John 1:1).  He spoke his Word through his Prophets before him and he spoke his Word through his Apostles after him.  That is why Paul could make the following statement given to him by God:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

The Scriptures are clear on this matter. The Bible teaches us that it is not misogyny(hatred of women) to be a sexist and it shows us that God is in fact a sexist while at the same time loving the women he created.  If we are ashamed of the Bible teaching sexism then we are ashamed of God himself who authored every word of the Bible.  And if we are ashamed of God he will be ashamed of us at his coming. This is why as I said to my in-laws during a thanksgiving family get together that “I am a proud sexist”.

I am a proud sexist because I am proud of my God and his Word.

And on a closing side note – God used that discussion for me to have an opening to share the truth of God’s Word with my 14 year old niece.  She came to my house during the break between Christmas and New Years to spend time with my wife (her aunt). She and I get along well and we joke with each other all the time.  Despite what occurred earlier during thanksgiving my niece does have a lot of respect for me and she knows that I know the Bible very well.

She made another joke while she was at my house when talking to my wife and she said something like “that’s just because Uncle Larry is a sexist”.  I was able to take that opportunity and to talk with her.  I explained to her that when I said that earlier I meant it and it was not a joke to me.  I explained to her that being a sexist from a Biblical perspective means believing that men and women should be treated differently because men and women have different roles to play in God’s design.  I was able to have a quick Bible study with her where I took her through Genesis 1, Genesis 2, I Corinthians 11 and Ephesians 5.  I opened a world to her that she never knew existed.  She had never heard why God created men and women and why God created marriage.  She had never heard that God created women for men or that God created marriage to be a picture of the relationship of God to his people.

It was a lot for her to take in and her first response was the typical response you would expect from a 14 year old girl raised by a feminist mother – “but that’s not fair! Why would God do that? Men are not perfect like Christ and they will abuse their power over women.”  She added “plus women are usually smarter than men”.

This is what our children have been raised with.  A society that teaches them God is unfair to women, men abuse women and women are smarter than men and women should be in charge of the home.

This is spiritual war we must wage for the hearts and minds of our young people.

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)

Are Gender Roles a Distraction From the Gospel?

Should we stop teaching Biblical commandments regarding gender roles? Is the teaching of Biblical gender roles a distraction to spreading the Gospel and bringing people to Christ?

This is what a lot of Christians today believe.  In fact I personally know many preachers today who say they stand on the Word of God yet they take this approach that “teaching what the Bible says on gender roles distracts from reaching people for Christ”.

Some of these men are firm believers in Biblical inerrancy.  They would even be considered “conservative” in many aspects of their life and ministry.  They will preach on many subjects including the church, giving and general holy living topics. They don’t believe that preaching “thou shalt not bear false witness” or “thou shalt not covet” are distractions to the Gospel. But to them teaching women that God says Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing is a distraction from the Gospel.

Recently I received an email from a man calling himself Mike.  I believe his email is a very good representation of what I have actually heard from Christian ministers today even if he is not a minister. This issue needs to be addressed as we challenge our culture (sadly even our Christian culture) with the truth of God’s Word.

With that said below is Mike’s email.

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be. Your site and others like it simply muddies the waters.

If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged”, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities. When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.

I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?

My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter. We MUST focus on that. I have a brother I can’t even help understand Gods existence. Believe me when I say I understand my flaws. You should be helping your readers to understand yours.

Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith. Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you? This is precisely why we must get people believing FIRST, then LET God do his work within them. Remember that the “Judge not” statement literally covers all of scripture. I’m curious as to how or even if you will respond. I won’t hold my breath, but MY belief in God told me this needed to be said.

Respectfully Yours. Mike”

 

What follows is my response to several key statements Mike makes on this issue.  I think this will truly help to clarify these assertions that are so commonly made today by many Christians in our culture regarding the teaching of Biblical gender roles.

Shouldn’t the Gospel Be Our Number One Priority?

Mike’s Statement:

“We have so many people that we Christians need to help simply cross the line into believing in God first and foremost that this is where our number one priority should be.”

I very much believe that as believers in Christ our first priority should be reaching people with the Gospel of Christ.

Christ said this before his ascension:

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – Matthew 28:19 (KJV)

If I teach someone about Biblical gender roles and they implement that in their marriage but they have not placed their faith and trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior their following of Biblical gender roles won’t benefit them in the eternal sense.  They will die and go to hell as all those who do not take Christ as their savior will do.

It is only when they place their faith and trust in Christ that their following of Biblical gender roles will have value not only in this world, but also in the world to come when they receive their reward for the race they have run in this life.

Do you have to believe in Biblical gender roles to be saved?

Mike’s Statement:

“I’m actually curious if you really believe that those who don’t share your interpretations are not going to be saved?”

Being baptized does not save us. Being part of a particular Christian denomination like Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran or Methodist does not save us and believing in and practicing Biblical gender roles does not save us.

This is what the Bible says saves us:

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” – John 1:11 (KJV)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 (KJV)

“9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” – Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV)

It is believing in our heart that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, that he died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day for our redemption that saves us.  If we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior we become children of God and have passed from death to life.

Isn’t it wrong to judge others for not following Biblical gender roles?

Mike’s Statement:

“If you can’t even understand “Judge not lest ye be judged“, how in the world do you come to the conclusion that your interpretations are correct and everyone who doesn’t believe as you do is wrong?”

Mike is displaying the common misinterpretation of the principle of not judging people.  Let’s see what Christ actually said about judging.

“1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:1-5 (KJV)

When Christ made his famous statement of “Judge not, that ye be not judged” he explained in the verses that follow the type of judging he was talking about.  He was talking about hypocritical judging.  That means if you are doing the same thing or worse you have no business telling someone they are wrong.  Fix your own house before your try to fix other’s houses.

Christ later actually COMMANDS us to judge in the passage below.

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” – John 7:24 (KJV)

Paul later tells us not judge one another on disputable matters:

“1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” – Romans 14:1-4 (KJV)

The Apostle Paul says we as Christians should not judge one another when it comes to disputable matters.  This has to do with personal applications of the Scriptures to our daily lives. For instance one person may feel they have the freedom to drink alcohol and another person may not because they were raised by alcoholics or have a fear they may succumb to alcoholism.  The one who drinks should not judge the one who does not believe they can drink and the one who does not drink should not judge the person who takes advantage of his freedom to drink.

There may even be some differences with how one husband applies the Biblical principles of male headship with his wife and how another applies it with his.  For instance one man may allow his wife to writing out the checks for the bills and another man may never allow his wife to see the bank account or check book. This is an example of a personal application the principle of male headship in marriage.

The point is on the subject of judging – we are actually commanded to judge by Jesus Christ himself.  We are simply commanded to do it in a righteous way.  It is not hypocritical judging or even judging on disputable matters to preach what God clearly says in his word about the distinct roles for which he made men and women and what he says about marriage.  If we compare God’s Word to what Christians and non-Christians alike say that directly contradicts with clear statements of the Scriptures that is not wrong judging, that is in fact righteous judging.

How can we as flawed humans presume to interpret the Bible for others?

Mike’s Statement:

Are you not seeing just how flawed as a human you are when you make statements concerning interpretations? I certainly know the sinner I am and would never presume to make the statements you do about scripture. Knowing the mind of God is beyond all our capabilities.”

I am well aware of my own person flaws and my sin nature. I encourage people here regularly to follow the psalmist’s words:

“23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalm 139:23-24 (KJV)

And yes we as human beings can never fully understand the mind of God as the Scriptures say:

“15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” – I Corinthians 2:15-16 (KJV)

We can never fully understand God’s mind or his thoughts.  However we can understand through Christ and the Holy Spirit what God has revealed about himself through his Word.  And we are not responsible for what God has not revealed but only what he has shown us in his Word.

Christ called on us as flawed human beings to “judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24) as I pointed out to you earlier. God calls on us to submit to flawed human beings in government (I Peter 2:13-14). And God even calls on women to submit to flawed husbands (Ephesians 5:22-24, I Peter 3:1-6).

The men who gave us God’s word were flawed as well as the men who preached it after them. The difference was that Paul and the other Apostles and Prophets who gave us the Scriptures while being flawed sinners received perfect revelation from God.  He was one of the few men in the history of the world that God chose for this great privilege.   This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (KJV)

But  God actually has given the gifts and offices of Pastor and Teacher to help people interpret the Word of God:

“11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”- Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV)

What we see here is God talking about gifts he has given for the edifying of the body of Christ. God has personally given me the gift of being a teacher and I have tried in my own imperfect way as he has given me grace to exercise that gift over the years. Whether it was when I taught Sunday school classes or other groups I was exercising my spiritual gift “for the edifying of the body of Christ”.

In fact Paul warns the young Pastor Timothy not to neglect his spiritual gift:

“14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” – 1 Timothy 4:14 (KJV)

God does not want me to stop preaching his Word or teaching the interpretation of the Scriptures.  He placed this gift in me for the edification of the body of Christ as he has done with many imperfect and sinful men for thousands of years.  Do I claim that all my interpretations and applications of the Scriptures are infallible? Of course not.  Only Christ and his Prophets and Apostles were infallible as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

But God wants me in my own imperfect way to exercise the gift he has given me and other men with similar gifts to do the same until we all reach heaven where we will be perfectly unified in our understanding as we are in the presence of God himself.

Does Anyone Have the Right to Correct or Rebuke Other’s Bible Interpretations?

Mike’s Statement:

“When we get people to believe, HE will take care of the rest. People must make up their own minds WITH the gifts God gives them. That is between HIM and them. No one on this planet has the right to judge them on those beliefs except God.”

Did Paul say this to a young Pastor named Timothy – “Timothy you are a flawed and sinful man and unlike me you have not received the authority and inspiration from God to write his Scriptures. Therefore, you cannot preach any interpretation of the Bible or correct or rebuke anyone else’s interpretations of the Bible.  Let everyone decide for themselves what God’s Word teaches.”

The answer is NO.  The Apostle Paul told this young Pastor just the opposite!

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” – 2 Timothy 4:2-5 (KJV)

Does “Faith Alone” Mean We Must Only Preach the Gospel and Nothing Else?

Mike’s Statement:

“My above statement about helping people to make that commitment to believe becomes so much more important when I see these types of arguments on your site being batted back and forth. They become terrible distractions to the main mission! “Faith alone”, not works or anything else for that matter.”

It is absolutely true that faith alone saves as the Scriptures state:

“8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)

But as Martin Luther famously said “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.”  The Scriptures tell us this regarding the life changing power of true faith:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

So as we can see Martin Luther’s statement that the faith that saves is never alone perfectly aligns with the Scriptural view of salvation.

But what you are contending when you said “Faith alone” is that the only doctrine we should teach is that of the Gospel.  This is false.  Let me take you back to the great commission Christ gave and this time I will add his follow up statement:

“19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Christ told us to preach the Gospel as well as well as  teach people everything he commanded.

And what was one of his commands?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4 (KJV)

Every word of the Bible sir comes from the mouth of God. We are to live by every word – not just those words concerning the Gospel and God gives us preachers and teachers of the Word to help us to understand all of God’s Word, not just the Gospel.

If God Canceled Some of His Laws Does That Mean He Canceled All of Them?

Mike’s Statement:
“Time passing alone changes things as they become more fully understood. I certainly don’t follow food instructions from the Bible, do you?

This is a classic argument that liberal Christians and even non-Christians make to write off parts of or even the entire Bible.  Sadly I have even seen some Christians who claim to believe in Biblical inerrancy write off the entire Old Testament based on this false argument.

No I don’t follow the food instructions that God gave to Israel as a theocracy.  Here are the reasons why:

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” – Acts 10:9-15 (KJV)

“1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary… 10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” – Hebrews 9:1 & 10 (KJV)

The Old Testament contains three types of laws – Moral, Ceremonial and Civil.  The Ceremonial laws were for Israel as theocracy to worship God and make sacrifices – it also included dietary  and other cleanliness laws.  The Civil laws dealt with the punishment or restitution that was to be made for breaking God’s moral law under the theocracy of Israel.

When Christ ushered in the New Covenant with his death, burial and resurrection he did away with the first covenant including the ceremonial and civil laws of Israel. Now only the moral law of the Old Testament and all of the laws in the New Testament are binding on us as Christians.  Therefore as a Christian living under the New Covenant, I do not have to follow the dietary laws anymore.

But Biblical gender roles WERE part of the moral law of God in the Old Testament and they were even strengthen and further explained in the New Testament as I will show in the final section of this article.  So yes it is completely consistent for me to preach and teach that Christians must follow God’s gender rules and design for man and woman yet we no longer have to follow the dietary rules or other ceremonial rules and we are no longer under the civil penalties and restitutions mandated in the Old Testament.

Are Biblical Gender Roles an Unimportant Distraction From Gospel?

Mike’s Statement:
“Gender roles are simply not an important subject as long as men and women treat each other with respect. We can’t even get that done right! It just becomes another pointless distraction in the bigger picture of faith.”

Contrary to your assertion the teaching of Biblical gender roles is even MORE important when men and women are not treating each other as God has commanded them treat one another.  The Biblical doctrines of gender roles are critical to us living the lives God has called us to live.

Christ did not just die to save us from hell but rather he died so that we would live for him:

“And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV)

While we are not saved by works, Christ calls us to live for him.  How can we say we are trying to live for him when refuse to follow the purpose for which he designed each gender?

God says he made man to image him and doing so bring him glory and he made woman for man to help him in his duty to image God:

“7 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. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”

I Corinthians 11:7-9 (KJV)

God says that he made marriage to be a model of the relationship between God and his people:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 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. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 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.

28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” – Ephesians 5:22-29 (KJV)

Conclusion

To Mike and all those Christian teachers and preachers that refuse to teach the doctrines of Biblical gender roles to your people – you are in direct disobedience to the Word of God. You are not preaching the whole counsel of God when you preach only the Gospel.

I have never said here or elsewhere that if people reject the doctrines of Biblical gender roles that they are unsaved or not going to heaven.  We are saved by faith alone in Christ alone apart from works and not by following Biblical gender roles. But Christ did not save us so we could just live for ourselves anyway we want – he saved us so we could live for him in this life.

While we will not lose our salvation for refusing to follow the doctrines of Biblical gender roles and other doctrines concerning holy living we will in fact lose our reward for doing so.  If we do not run the race of this Christian life lawfully we will lose our reward in heaven as the Scriptures tell us:

“And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.” – 2 Timothy 2:5 (KJV)

“24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” – 1 Corinthians 9:24 (KJV)

“11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.

14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” – 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 (KJV)

Finally, even besides the consequences in the next life(loss of rewards) we will and are seeing the consequences of not following Biblical gender roles both as individuals and as a society in general in this life.  Since Second Wave Feminism arose in the 1960’s divorce rates have skyrocketed in our country.  While they leveled off at around 50% which is still a horrible number, the only reason they did so was because more couples just decided to live together outside a covenant of marriage.

The point is the idea of a man and woman living together for life in the covenant of marriage is becoming less and less common in our society since we as a culture left the practice of Biblical gender roles.   Marriages today are now “feelings centered” and specifically “woman centered”.  “Happy Wife Happy Life” is just another way of saying “Your wife is the boss just do whatever she says”.  And what has been the result of men allowing their wives to take over for decades – the destruction of the family unit.