Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 2

Submission Conscience

Sunday 07/04/21

Series: Maintaining this hope

Message – Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 2

***Video is HERE***

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Submission, Authority & Conscience towards God Pt. 2

Now you’ll of course remember that last week we were looking at 1Peter 3:1-5, and we covered a lot of ground regarding those verses, but we ended shy of finishing it, so let’s read the verses again to refresh our memories…

1Peter 3:1-22,

“(1) In the same way, wives, be subject to your own husbands. Then, even if some are disobedient to the word, they will be won over without a word by the way you live,  (2)  when they see your pure and reverent conduct. (3)  Let your beauty not be external – the braiding of hair and wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes –  (4)  but the inner person of the heart, the lasting beauty of a gentle and tranquil spirit, which is precious in God’s sight.”

“(5)  For in the same way the holy women who hoped in God long ago adorned themselves by being subject to their husbands,  (6)  like Sarah who obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. You become her children when you do what is good and have no fear in doing so.”

You’ll no doubt remember that this entire chapter is predicated upon what Peter said in the last chapter, because of the words “In the same way”, which will be said yet again a little later this morning.

We ended last week with an illustration I offered which I think clearly illustrated a ‘gentle and tranquil spirit’. To increase the potency of the illustration, I used two rather high profile women – neither of which were technically keeping the other points of this command – to dress in a modest way which does not draw undue attention to themselves. 

I imagine that any one of either of these two women’s outfits probably cost more than all the clothes I’ve ever owned multiplied by at least 2.

Nevertheless, and regardless of their typical mode of dressing, Melania Trump regularly put herself out before the public with an overall heart of gentleness and tranquility – which this passage tells us is both precious and deeply valuable to God and in truth it is also to her husband. 

When I see Michelle and Barak Obama that is exactly what I see – I see THEM

What I see when I see Trump and Melania, is Trump

Now to be fair he is rather hard to ignore and has a more than over the top and flamboyant personality, but Melania is also a strong woman. If she wanted to make her voice known, something tells me she is more than capable of it.  

Knowing the value God places upon this attribute of a tranquil and gentile spirit in women, who God created FOR man, it is no wonder at all that the devil has seen to it that the glamorization of women is so highly prioritized in the world today. 

The world understands the power women wield. Only isn’t true authoritative power at all and everybody who is being honest knows it. It isn’t native to them, but is manipulated out of men. Men surrender their power to women, who essentially prostitute their womanhood…their God given integrity in order to manipulate and control things from the side. It isn’t real authority!

To combat this, God does not only address women with this passage as well as offering warnings throughout scripture, but He specifically addresses men, because it would not be effective if men would not yield. It has only continued since the fall in the garden, because it works!

Proverbs 6:25-28,  “(25)  Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.  (26)  For by means of a harlot A man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.  (27)  Can a man take fire to his bosom, And his clothes not be burned?  (28)  Can one walk on hot coals, And his feet not be seared?”

What was stated BEFORE these words is VERY telling indeed. It says,

Proverbs 6:20-24, 

“(20) My son, keep your father’s command, And do not forsake the law of your mother.  (21)  Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck.  (22)  When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you.  (23)  For the commandment is a lamp, And the law a light; Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,  (24)  To keep you from the evil woman, From the flattering tongue of a seductress.”  

Seductress is almost immediately connected with sex in our generation, but it may interest you to know that a synonym for seductress is siren. The word here in Proverbs means she is a nonconformist, wayward, and loose.

Now here are two VERY important lessons.

Women throughout the scriptures beginning in Genesis, are told to submit to their husbands. Now you and I know that inside of the Christian doctrine this is nothing more than a continuation of the submission she was to show to her father before she was married, or to whatever male in her family who was her covering.

It is in regard to this submission that these two lessons are taken.

First – a woman is not without power – she is simply without authority. All authority comes from God. As such the only ways a woman comes to possess authority over adult men is by her power to manipulate it out of his hands or steer how he uses it from the side OR when God gives her authority, because He is judging a house or land as the scriptures say – Isa. 3:12.

Second – as I have stressed in here MANY times, a woman NOT having authority is by the decision of God, it was part of His original design and He did this, at least in part, because it best illustrates the proper relationship of mankind to God by being a living example of it in the relationships enjoyed between men and women. 

As we often refer to here in this church, “You can do nothing against the truth”. If something IS true, it will always be proved out. 

This happens in regard to authority, power and submission in the sphere of the genders more and more all the time and we are only going to see more of it since society as a whole is pushing the boundaries and they are finding that they don’t really give and they are not truly flexible! Which is why, without me truly wanting to, I feel the need to camp here for a while today.

There are countless proofs of the wisdom and validity and the applicable nature of the position of scripture on this…and for us that is enough. However, we are living in a world which does not understand, does not honor scripture and is walking about in spiritual darkness in which we are to shine as lights. 

Your lifestyle of commitment to the ways of God enumerated in scripture provides that light – but it alone does not necessarily provide understanding. It is important that YOU understand TRUTH so that when you see error, you not only recognize it as such but understand WHY it is wrong.

The world is going to offer and in fact PUSH their beliefs on everyone and understanding their narrative in light of the truth will give you a decided advantage.

Researching information on the issues of genders, gender roles, submission, authority and the like can be a bit tricky since search results are more steered than accurate. 

Also, like when you study scripture or anything – you have to consider the source, the actual supporting evidence and recognize assumptive language when you see it.

For example I Googled, women in Europe leaving successful careers for home… what Google gave me was how women are being oppressed and that the post-COVID world is harder for women than men to reintegrate back into the workplace. 

As proof for this they offered hard numbers for comparisons between men and women going back into the workforce, but then resorted to speculation and assumptive language to illustrate why this is true

All speculation was in the form of assumed and unproved inequality in treatment. This of course was contrary to other Pew Research data which revealed that there is near complete agreement, in each of the countries surveyed, that it is important for women to have the same rights as men. 

Furthermore, other search results offered contradictory information and ONE specific article was independently reviewed by a female doctor by the name Carly Snyder, MD.

It said that when women want to go back to work, employers now seem more open to stay-at-home moms re-entering the workforce than ever before.

So if you tailor your queries right, you will eventually uncover that there is a steady and growing discontentment among women in pursuing careers or even work outside the home – especially those who have children. THIS is a major contributing factor to why less women are reentering the workforce after having left it. 

Interresting note – after having taught this lesson and reviewing my notes for posting this summary of the message, I looked for the article I mentioned above. I took the actual word for word quote from the article and placed it in a Google search. All it would give me were articles to the contrary. I looked through the first 10 pages of my search and it never referenced the article EVEN THOUGH IT DID list an article from the same website. If you know anything about the way web browsers work, even if some sites are better indexed, have ads listing them at the top and are very well optimized, a direct quote should have referenced the website and article somewhere on the first page – yet it didn’t appear in the first 100 sites listed. I didn’t even check past that. Again this is all the more remarkable because Google DID list another article from that same website, but did not show the article with the exact word-for-word quote in it.

I have a friend who is rather brilliant who knows websites, SEO, how browsers gather and direct information in response to queries and he said that the safest place to bury a dead body is on the second page of a Google search…’cause almost NO ONE ever looks there! There is a lot of truth to this! By controling the search results they are steering what people believe.

However, you still can do nothing against the truth. if you read the articles they offer as an answer to searches like this… they paint a picture of womanhood which is drenched in self-absorbed, arrogant pride concerned almost entirely of self-promotion. They rebel in anger at the notion of being confined to their God given designation as wives, mothers and homemakers… considering such as nothing more than obligations unfairly strapped to their ankle like a ball and chain and the life-well of being a mother and homemaker, desgined by God to be their place of deepest satisfaction and delight is approached with deep resentment and is worn as a badge of martyrdom. They bemoan a loss of a sense of “self awareness” in getting lost in the daily grind of being a wife, mother and homemaker. So the very thing God designed them to do, the place He prepared for them which best suits them as a blessing to the world and to themselves is painted in colors of black and gray tones, symbolizing a death to self. Of course every coin has a flip-side. They are not entirely wrong in this. Any true Christian will recognize the call of the cross in any statement of dying to self, but what is not conveyed is the awakening to new life that comes from dying to self. Even the social sciences eventually came to this awareness after decades of finding emptiness in encouraging pursuits of self promoting agendas.

Just as an indugence I will offer a few quotes:

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

“Change requires sacrifice of the self, which by itself is the fulfillment of the self to the being truly desiring for that change to become a reality in the world, but to all others this fulfillment would only appear to be either altruism or self-denial.” ~ Abhijit Naskar

“The purpose of life is to live for others. The moment you start living for yourself, you die before you time.” ~ Chidiebere Prosper Agbugba

Especially after this past year, many people have learned how to make it on far less than they did before…they have downsized, spent more time with family, children’s test scores have improved (in homes where they were getting positive, healthy parental involvement)…and even though there was greater isolation from those outside the family, many have felt their family has been given a new lease on life, finding happiness and more fulfillment at home.

However, it is NOT a contributing factor which supports the feminist narrative so it is marginalized and does not typically show up in a straight-forward internet searches (especially those of hyper-left leaning browsers like Google).

What is hard to find, but is historically well documented, is that if a woman is married, has children and they live within their means – the great majority of women find greater contentment at home. This does NOT mean they do not have work they can do at or from home which generates income, but they are free to be wives and mothers. The only noted downside is when women do this alone – meaning without support groups – which again, the scriptures has supported for thousands of years. 

So the point being…if we lived within the guidelines of godliness in terms of gender expression and family relationships there is a MUCH greater degree of contentment, satisfaction and fulfillment.

Of course research will reflect different notions, but this is where you will have to be discerning of assumptive language. For example in an article I will link on the website for this message it states that “the number of stay-at-home moms who feel they’re struggling is 42%, compared to 36% of working moms.” That is a gap of only 6%. Furthermore, “the number of stay-at-home moms who smiled or laughed a lot the previous day was 81%, compared to 86% of working moms” – representing a gap of only 5%. [LINK TO ARTICLE]

What makes this assumptive and misleading, is actually addressed in this article which I appreciated. It tells us that these numbers are what they are because the women in the workforce are not alone. They are among co-workers who express similar issues. What is failed to be explored is what those figures look like when a stay-at-home-mom has a community of moms to interact and share life with. 

I would venture to say the percentages would very likely flip around and the gap would increase to reflect a greater contentment at home. 

What is also NOT mentioned is the number of women leaving the workforce at returning home (between 1999 and 2014 that number had increased by 6% and was showing little chance of slowing down).

Now…I know all of this may appear as a bit of a digression, but it is not without a point. 

You cannot trust research which is performed and presented with an agenda. This is true from most secular AND religious sources and no one is entirely exempt, which is one reason I always encourage you to look things up and study – do not take even things I teach you for granted.

Reading into the data what one WANTS to find is human nature and needs help to circumvent. Furthermore, a majority of the research conducted is looking for the wrong things. It isn’t looking for objective truth, it is looking for evidence to support a bias.

Ability vs. Submission

At any rate, none of this has ANYTHING to do with a woman’s ABILITY. 

There are MANY women who are more “together” than many men. 

Many women have more intuitive leadership know-how – in regard to how people respond to management. They often like to and are good at looking ahead and planning. 

There are a great number of attributes many women have which would make them exceptional leaders in both their relationships, their homes, in positions of instruction and in government. So the scriptural injunction is not and never has been about ability – it is about delegated authority. 

The reason the word submission (which is of course voluntary submission) is used, is because if she were to decide to act on her own – disregarding the commands of God, she is capable of doing much on her own. If she was completely INCAPABLE then it wouldn’t be submission – it would be resignation to her only recourse.  

God often gives us abilities which could be used for great personal gain, but calls on us to submit to using them in a way which serves and supports others. That is because it most perfectly represents His character.       

I have been to dinner parties where the wife of a man was so showy, so flashy, so loud and boisterous that he could scarcely be seen or noticed though he might have been physically right next to her. I have also seen women who were strikingly pretty, but who in the skill only a godly woman possesses, was able to draw the spotlight toward the promotion of her husband rather than herself. THIS is what a godly woman looks like! 

There is a sister passage, regarding all of this found in 1Timothy 2:9-13 which reads like this,

“(9) Likewise the women are to dress in suitable apparel, with modesty and self-control.” 

The word translated here as “modesty” means, an innate moral repugnance to a dishonorable act or fashion. It is grief due to the personal sense of evil. It finds its motive in itself. It implies reverence for the good as good, not merely as that to which honor and reputation are attached. 

“Their adornment must not be with braided hair and gold or pearls or expensive clothing,  (10)  but with good deeds, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God.  (11)  A woman must learn quietly with all submissiveness.  (12)  But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet. [or as Peter calls it – tranquil]  (13)  For Adam was formed first and then Eve.”

So in summary – Christian wives should seek to be godly in all their behavior. This is accomplished in their principle relationship which is with their husbands (or fathers if they live at home) and in their homes. In that relationship they are to be willingly submissive in all that does not contradict God’s word and to do so out of an obvious devotion to Christ rather than out of fear of her husband or father. She is also to dress modestly, sensibly and not audaciously, she is to be tranquil, meek and if anything, bashful towards men.

Now the scriptures move on to husbands, but I’m afraid we will be considering women here as well, NOT because the passage demands it, but our society has made it necessary. We are not forcing women into this issue regarding husbands, our society has encroached upon it and that must be addressed.

“(7)  Husbands, in the same way

In the same way as what? In the same way as the wife is submissive, you honor her as a fellow heir.

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.”

The sense of the word weaker is physical – not mental, or spiritually – just physically. 

Now I know how this falls on the ears of the modern world. It sounds outdated, outmoded and hopelessly archaic and the word they love to misuse and abuse is patriarchal. 

However, this really needs no defense in the minds of intelligent people. To illustrate it’s truth is not even hard… how many female athletes are honestly fine with competing against males as their equals?

The media may tell us they are fine with it or even welcome the chance to show they are men’s equals…but nothing could be further from the truth!

This is a good place to again remind you of Paul’s words when he said that we can do nothing against the truth. No lie can ever fully eclipse what is true.

The women’s movement was all for the removal of any distinction between men and women. They wanted to press that we are all simply humans. Of course, now they are pressing for superiority. 

To illustrate that this desire for equality on every level is not honest we need not look far.

First we have restrooms… 

Most women are NOT okay with equality in restrooms.  

Why? Well for one thing they subject themselves to being ogled in a place formerly cut off from men’s view. But primarily it is an issue of safety. 

The same woman who might lobby during the day for equality, will upon coming home to see her daughter who was abused in the locker room by boys who now share that same space for changing and showering will second guess the strength of her convictions. I doubt very seriously too many parents would be concerned that a girl might overpower and abuse their sons due to the same liberties.

Secondly, the athlete who has trained her whole life to run a mile in under 4:13 seconds, all of the sudden is racing against men who have been training their whole life to beat 3:43 seconds

Or the discus or javelin thrower, or pole vaulter…etc.

I submit that female athletes are NOT happy about this! I submit that such are NOT for 100% equality in all things because they knows that for all their training, all of their conditioning, weight lifting and countless hours of dedicated practice women cannot compete with men in terms of strength – not on an equal playing field.

This, contrary to what I supposed holds true, though only marginally so, in shooting but handguns and rifles.

Also, there has been an increase in research which suggests that the stress of corporate careers affect women more profoundly than men and in ways which more often than not negatively impact their whole lives. MOST women, even in high-paying corporate careers desire children, but find themselves in their late 40’s and early 50’s childless and either unmarried or unmarriable. Most men are not looking to marry a career, they want a wife and mother. God designed women to be HELPMATES NOT competition.

Husbands are to respect and honor their wife

Husbands are to treat their wives with consideration – which means they are to live together with them according to knowledge – meaning, they are to live aware that their wives are physically weaker than they and they are called upon by God, in the most serious of terms, to honor them and respect them in the way you 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. 

Wives have strengths and abilities the husband does not have, and in many cases women will honor their husbands with those strengths. Men need to do AT LEAST as much – not out of obligation to their wife, but out of honor both to God and their wives.

Of course this has been, and in many places in the world even today – it still is – obvious and instinctive. 

Historically, things which sprang directly from this way of thinking and being were things we call chivalrous

When a man… 

  • opens the door for a woman
  • takes out the trash
  • carries the groceries
  • mows the lawn
  • lifts heavy things
  • gives them their jacket if they are cold
  • put your arm around them
  • escort them to their car
  • walk them to their front door…etc.  

In most cases these are not things women can’t do for themselves or even do without, but it does show respect and honor and in truth, universally most women truly love and appreciate it. 

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”. 

Girls of every culture and social standing overwhelmingly will play dress up, mommy, with dolls they will have pretend weddings and care for babies. No one has to tell them to do this – it is instinctive. If equality in strength was a reality, it wouldn’t have to be taught – it would be instinctive

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!