Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 3

Submission Conscience

Sunday 07/11/21

Series: Maintaining this hope

Message – Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 3

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Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 3

Past few weeks we’ve been working our way through the letter of first Peter and the last two of those weeks we’ve been looking at submission, authority and conscience towards God and how that is expressed in our relationships.

In closing last week, we introduced the topic of husbands loving and respecting their wives. 

Husbands are to respect and honor their wives

1Peter 3:7“Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as the weaker partners and show them honor as fellow heirs of the grace of life. In this way nothing will hinder your prayers.”

In the same way… Husbands are to treat their wives with consideration – which means they are to live together with them according to knowledge. 

We have a good tradition in the Christian faith of looking back to Genesis for the answer to the core questions of life. Jesus did it, Paul did it, Peter did it, James did it and so it seems best that we do the same.

What “knowledge” is the Holy Spirit through Peter referring to here? 

Well in Genesis 2:18-25,

“(18) The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a companion for him who corresponds to him.”  (19)  The LORD God formed out of the ground every living animal of the field and every bird of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them, and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.  (20)  So the man named all the animals, the birds of the air, and the living creatures of the field, but for Adam no companion who corresponded to him was found.  (21)  So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was asleep, he took part of the man’s side and closed up the place with flesh.  (22)  Then the LORD God made a woman from the part he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  (23)  Then the man said, “This one at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”  (24)  That is why a man leaves his father and mother and unites with his wife, and they become a new family.  (25)  The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”

Well the first word which needs a little attention is the word good. God said it was NOT good for the man to be alone. The word good means fruitful, morally correct, proper or convenient.

I’m not sure how much truth there is to it, but in the notes of the NET version it claims,

“Marriage, in particular, has a blessed “civilizing” influence on man. The most wild, violent, sociopathic men in history have always been single, never under the plan God gave to influence men for good. This is not good!”

The next set of words are usually translated as a helper comparable to him. Here in the NET version it says a “companion for him who corresponds to him”.  

In fact it is from those notes that I read now,

“God’s “blueprint” for creating this companion to Adam was to make a helper comparable to Adam.

Different versions of the Bible translate this idea in a variety of ways, but the idea is essentially the same in each of them:

    • Helper meet (suitable, adapted, completing) (Amplified)
    • A companion . . . a helper suited to his needs (Living)
    • A helper such as he needs (Beck)
    • A helper correspondent to himself (Septuagint Bible)
    • A helper suitable (NIV, NASB)
    • A help meet for him (KJV)

In reference to the marriage relationship, God created woman to be a perfectly suitable helper to the man. This means God gave the plan and agenda to Adam, and he and the woman together work to fulfill it.”

This is a VERY important part because it speaks to the general contentment and fulfillment of all people. Even if one is not married, they benefit deeply from being in a society filled with people who are married.

Notice how it speaks to the issue of submission we read last week. When God created fish, He designed them to live in water, to swim and to breath with gills. In that environment they are graceful, efficient and happy. Outside of that environment they are ungraceful, inefficient and unhappy…they are in fact dying. The same can easily be said of mankind. When we live within the confines of our designated domains we thrive, are fulfilled, happy and content, when we attempt to break free from our given environments we begin to die.

The woman was created FOR the man, not the other way about. To get this part mixed up is to place the cart before the horse. That being said, it stands to reason that the man must be going somewhere…doing something. Again, the NET says, “God gave the plan and agenda to Adam, and he and the woman together work to fulfill it.”

So many times the woman wants to have an agenda of her own which society tells her she not only has a right to, but that it should enjoy equal footing with the man’s. This is NOT God’s design and if we get this part wrong, the entire course of life will be off and we will find ourselves in the impossible position of seeking and pursuing a lasting contentment and fulfillment which cannot be found while living that way.

God gives to man the responsibility (and the accountability) to be the leader in the home and gives to the woman the responsibility and the accountability to help him.

This does not mean there is to be no help from the man to the woman (though in many cases this is sadly true). It means when God looks down from heaven upon the family, He sees a man in leadership, good or bad, faithful or not, to the calling of leadership. A true leader will, of course, help those helping him.

We only see “helping” as a position of inferiority when we think like the world thinks. God considers positions of service as most important in His sight (Matthew 20:25-28).

Not only was the woman to be a helper, but also she was made comparable to the man. She should be considered and honored as such. A woman or wife cannot be regarded as a mere tool or worker, but as an equal partner in God’s grace and an equal human being.”

So, these are some of the things God requires men to remember or consider as they live WITH their wives. 

Living WITH implies much…

  • They do not live FOR them, effectively replacing God with the idol of their wife. 
  • They are not to live ALOOF from their wife as if they have a life independent from them.
  • They are to live WITH them as heirs together under God’s influence which gives and leads to greater union with God (life – Jn. 17:1).

He also calls on them to honor their wives. This word means respect, reverence & esteem. Part of this comes from remembering her equality before God. She is not first your wife, she is first and eternally your sister and a special creation of God for you as a husband. Remember this is a daughter of God, honor, respect, revere and highly esteem her.

There are ways in which the wife is the greater in that she is the one who serves. Though the actual thought Jesus was conveying when He addressed the issue of who was least and who was greatest in the kingdom of God, was that of humility in which both husbands and wives may equally share. We love and serve one another! 

The scriptures say in Proverbs,

Prov. 18:22, “The one who has found a good wife has found what goodness is, and obtained a delightful gift from the LORD.”

Notice first that the wife is given to the man, not the man to the wife. Secondarily notice that in so doing God is blessing His man with someone God sees as deeply valuable. God is honoring the man with the gift of a good and godly wife.

So if the wife is a gift by which God honors the man, is it really a stretch that man should in turn honor the God by honoring the gift of his wife? 

Guzik in addressing this issue says, 

“In giving honor to the wife, the word in the ancient Greek language for the wife is a rare word, meaning more literally “the feminine one.” It suggests that the woman’s feminine nature should prompt the husband to honor her.” 

This deliberate use of a special word for wife – meaning “the feminine one” runs contrary to all the devil is teaching his children. The fact that her femininity has the power to influence the man for good and not just any good, but it at least has the potential of influencing him towards her honor is something of note!

Notice how easily it is to distort righteousness…

A woman is not being honored by her husband. In her mind she has two options, either attempt to manipulate him into a more compliant nature or attempt to dominate him through attempted acts of power and thus forsaking her femininity for masculinity. In the end, neither will result in the desired outcome. Honor has to be given it cannot be evoked or provoked. Here God’s wisdom appears foolish to men – if a wife wants her husband to love, respect, honor and be tender towards her – the best thing she can do is embrace her femininity and be soft and pliable towards him, acclimating herself to her own husband becasuse she was made FOR him. This sounds about as insane as Jesus’ words where He told us that if a man wants to be the greatest he must first be servant of all. Or that the first shall be last and the last shall be first…or if a man wants to save his life, he must first lose it for Christ and the gospel. It all seems so backwards, but it in reality it is humanity embracing our corporate femininity in relation to our husband – the Lord. We do not grasp for control, but rather surrender ourselves to Him and acclimate ourselves to His ways…then we can finally and truly live!

The Weaker Vessel

Peter also, by the Holy Spirit tells us that men are to remember that women are the physically weaker of the two. yes, this is said in the greater context of the husband/wife relationship and it is true that much of what he addresses here is in that context, but a braoder truth is that this is in many ways equally true in all of greater society which we will illustrate as we go on. This is why is it contradictory to claim that a certain order of authority is to be realized and maintained in the home and in the church, but not in greater society. A husband can hardly be the head of his wife, if she is the head of the country in which he lives. Logically such is not only a silly notion, but it is quite impossible! 

Now, this part of our lesson is of course where our society draws the line and so it is therefore where we must park for a little while!

This physical weakness of the woman is of course a generalized statement – meaning it holds true in the great majority of cases. In fact, all things being equal it holds true in 100% of the cases. Meaning, that if you have a man and a woman, both of equal age, basic proportions and health…and place them both in a program designed to optimally increase their individual strength…given the same time and opportunities, the man will ALWAYS wind up stronger than the woman. It is a simple truth which is really, very well documented at this point in human history.

As such, husbands are to live aware that their wives were created as their helpmates. Husbands are called upon by God, in the most serious of terms, to honor them and respect them in the way they live together with them. 

This is NOT to be done in a condescending way. It is to be done out of love, devotion and honest admiration for their wives. 

In all things, as Christian men and women, we need to be deeply aware and deeply convicted that our actions tell a story about or Creator and our relationship with Him.

As men, we represent the Father Who is ALL POWERFUL, yet, He is gentle, kind, merciful and slow to anger. Though it is a certain fact, that He could inihilate us with a single thought, He never allows even His anger to control His actions. He never punishes us in full accordance with all we deserve – but tempers His judgments with mercy. Men, though we are NOT the judge of our wives, should act in a similar fashion. We may possess considerable more strength than our wives, but we should use it to love, serve and create an environment of security and safety for her – never to hurt, punish or extract obedience through fear. We MUST remember that what we do as husbands – is preaching and teaching a lesson about the character of the Father which people will learn and remember…and we will give an account before God of the way we represented Him before the world!

Now, that having been said…wives have strengths and abilities the husband does not have, and in many cases women will honor their husbands with those strengths and I think here is a good place to mention something I have observed, but have little in terms of official research to back the claim.

In the same way as we mentioned earlier that the wife being feminine helps to draw honor out of the husband, the husband loving and honoring his wife by conditioning his actions according to his knowing of her – helps to draw respect and submission out of her.

Again I employ our verse, “You can do nothing against the truth”. Women actually like to submit to a man of integrity and relational strength, as well as physical strength. Listen there is a reason why perverted movies like 50 shades of gray gain traction among women. Many of the “actings out” women do in society are in response to either poor or non-existing leadership in men.

They will either grasp for control themselves, or seek some perversion of submissiveness out of their longing to have a strong and steady lead in their lives. It is the reason why so many girls gravitate to “bad boys”, why many girls in the overwhelmingly liberal age of the Obama administration, left America with young men who became “muslim” to lives of servile subjegation. I am not saying there were not many who were abducted, but there were a large numbers who left voluntarily and it was out of a perversion of this same core desire.

What I am saying here is that while the submission of a wife is both a freewill choice and a decision she is to make out of honor for God, a godly man doing what he is called to do will evoke this response out of the great majority of women OR at very least, make it easier and more attractive for those women who are at first resistant to it.

So if wives often do in fact respond to a husband who is acting as he should, men need to do AT LEAST as much – not out of obligation to their wife, but out of love and honor both to God and their wives.

Last week, before we closed I began to offer a few examples of how men using their strength for women is universal and does not need to be taught. What has to be taught and indoctrinated is the lie that women do not need the strength of men.

It is the Disney’s of the world, who through screwed up cartoons like Frozen, attempt to stir anger and discontentment with the notions of being a princess or being rescued by a strong and valiant man. 

Girls are “being brainwashed” and “reconditioned” to see these things as weaknesses to rebel against, rather than true conditions to be embraced and cherished. And here is a proof of “you cannot do anything against the truth”. 

Last week, Nancy very insightfully brought up something which I was already going to address which illustrates the physical proofs of this perhaps better than most things and that is “men who are living as transgender women” and how they out perform real women in athletics.

I’ve mentioned this in here once before but in an article in Healio News there was an article entitled,Transgender women outpace cisgender women in athletic tests after 1 year on hormones

To summarize this article…  when a man who has declared that he self-identifies as a woman and begins to take estrogen, they will still outperform women even after 2 years on estrogen. 

This of course runs contrary to the party line and so the information gets marginalized and criticized. However, the data in this article is taken from controlled studies in the U.S. Air Force one of which is called the Robert’s study.

In looking for examples of this I ran across an interesting video filmed in 2017 in a mildly active park in the UK where a man and a lady play-acted threatening and verbally abusive behavior for 1.5 hours each. 

First the man pretended to berate, challenge and speak mildly threateningly to the lady. In that 1.5 hours 7 people stopped to intervene. 

When the roles were reversed, the woman was louder than the man, raised her hand to hit him a few times and was by comparison much worse of a display and over the course of 1.5 hours only one person stopped.

Now, simultaneously they had a separate group stop those who either intervened or simply looked at them as they passed by with concern or amazement. They filmed these interviews and they revealed an native pattern even in those who felt they were culturally enlightened and supported feminism.

In the case of the man speaking aggressively and sometimes threateningly to the woman, it never occurred to them that it might have been the woman at fault – he was the aggressor and therefore he was wrong. There was an innate sense that the woman needed protection because the man was bigger and stronger.

In the case of the woman abusing the man who again, was much louder, more aggressive… One woman thought about stopping, but then thought – nah! 

Another woman agreed that there is a stereotype we all have that women have less power than men so there was no need to intervene to protect the man.

As a group of three women passed by…one thought What are you doing to him… leave him alone but said nothing. One of the others thought it was probably the man’s fault.

A man who passed by said he felt bad for thinking it because it is a bit of a macho view, but he thought the man was soft, letting her hit him like that. He thought, “I wouldn’t let a girl hit me”. Then he thought that was terrible stereotypical thinking so then he wondered what the man must have done to have upset her so much. 

I want to redirect your attention to what I said last week regarding the fact that in 1Cor. 7:10 there is no provision for the man to send his wife away (which is the same thing as separation) – but that provision was only afforded wives. 

Why? Well we concluded that even the world knows one reason – and that is because he is stronger and physically more capable. For him there is no real threat. Now, where there is a rule there are always exceptions, but overwhelmingly this is true.

The conclusion of this little video experiment in the park was that…even after generations of media manipulation, school curriculum, cartoons targeted to condition and manipulate the views of children and the general public indoctrination to the contrary – humans instinctively revert to their inner knowledge that men are stronger than women.

Again…You can do nothing against the truth!

Now less you think I’ve made too much of this whole thing… consider what you find when you search for information on the internet.

I typed in Olympic sprint races for men and women”. I did not ask any questions about how one gender outperforms another or anything competative at all.

What Google gave me was the following:

The first 2 things were Wikipedia articles.

After that was a list called “People also ask:” Which is of course intended to steer thinking. 

There were 6 things in the list, two of which were about women out performing men. 

The information offered was actually dated and inaccurate and it included the illustration I offered to you last week. I am speaking of the woman from Jamaica who set the record for the 400 meter race. It was referring back to 1988 and her time was 51.38 seconds

Truth is – that was only a record for women at the time AND since then, other women have broken it. But it was put out there as if she set the pace for the world! That both wasn’t and isn’t true! This is not to take away from her amazing achievements, but it was used to guide thinking towards a structured end.

Another thing in that list was “What are females naturally better at?” Now remember my actual query. I asked Olympic sprint races for men and women”. Nothing about this list has ANYTHING to do with the Olympics or sprint races…only about men and women which Google made the sole focus of their search results in order to steer the thinking of the general public who often does not even realize they are being conditioned and manipulated by the data offered.

This list offered 8 things women “do better than men”, “says science” and here they are…

  • Women talk to dogs better than men.
    • This is of course not objective…I mean how can you know and furthermore, who cares?
  • Women are better learners.
    • Again, not objective and empirically not true – there actually is relative equality here.
    • A 20 year study w/ 3million participants revealed little to no difference between the learning capabilities between men and women.
  • Women are the cleaner sex. … 
    • Also not true. Women showed a slight aptitude for cleaning things in the home (less than 3% more than men in several cases) but that may speak more to the tendency to “nest” than anything else.
  • Women evolve better.
    • What the heck does that even mean? Evolution is barely a hypothesis and has absolutely NO empirical proofs whatsoever. Every fossil set forth as an intermediary between man and animal is riddled with problems and assumptions. So there is no proof positive of human evolution in the first pace, so how then can you have proof that women evolve better?
  • Females know how to invest better. …
    • There is limited proof for this. Though more men by far invest than women, women evidently take less risks than men which would naturally lead to safer investments. That having been said, more men have become huge financial successes than women most likely also due to taking risks – so the data swings both ways on this.
  • Women make more efficient coders. … 
    • This was all the rage back in 2016 and still has not lost traction if Googled. However, what is not commonly known is anyone arrived at this little piece of information. It was a study conducted by 6 co-author undergrads. At the time that it went viral it had not been subjected to peer review as so was not vetted by other scientists.
    • The following year the information was in fact vetted, but the acceptance of code written by women more than men was by a margin of less than 4%.
    • It was acknowledged that this may be the result of men being overconfident and therefore more prone to some simple mistakes TOGETHER with the the fact that women are less involved in that field and therefore feel a greater need to be careful which is not unwarranted because during the vetting process they discovered that the acceptance of women’s code dropped below that of men when those reviewing the code knew it was written by women – which is a verified example of a socital bias which in truth DOES need to be rectified.
  • Women multitask better. …
    • Surprisingly not true across the board. Both men and women have a niche, but men have an advantage in concurrent multitasking (or threaded cognition which is the ability to perform two or more tasks at once) and women in task-switching. 
    • They are both valuable and different. So there is no real “winner” here, both are independently better than the other in a given expression of multitasking.
  • Women are just better at living, it turns out.

This is obviously a silly list which is completely unsubstantiated, but it serves a purpose. It proves that this world WANTS to prove the unprovable. 

Women are in fact better at some things than men – and who in their right mind wouldn’t expect that going in? 

We both have our areas of typical expertise in which we excel. This is NOT a competition. 

Wisdom and true science looks for these differences and finds ways to use them to our mutual advantage rather than deconstruct our natures and attempt to reassemble them against nature into some “new truth”.

Now, believe it or not this all pushes us towards the next verse in 1Peter 3:8 which is both genuinely godly behavior and just good old, solid advice…It says…

“(8)  Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble.  (9)  Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing.”

…which is where we are going to pick up next week.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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