I believe the Bible to be special. I believe it to be infallible and inspired by the Author of All. Maybe you share this view.
It’s a bit of a strange concept to think about. After all, we’re talking about documents that were passed down for many generations before ever being written down, and even after that, they had to be translated into language that we understand. So there’s all kinds of crazy stuff that doesn’t necessarily make sense to us in the age we live in. There are a lot of cultural differences that make things really, really difficult for us to understand.
But that’s where our viewpoint of the Bible itself comes into play. Because if we just think of it as some other book, we can disregard all the things that don’t interest us. However, if we view it as being infallible and being inspired, than we have no choice but to look at the content as being something entirely different.
We have to acknowledge that the content is in there for a reason.
That’s just the nature of the beast. The Bible isn’t just the story of the Crucifixion and an order to love everybody with a whole bunch of filler material on either side. Sure, salvation is the focal point, but there must be much, much more to take away from what is written. We’re not saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, but we must remember them to know how we should live and how we should deserve punishment because we can’t do what we’re told.
We should always find it interesting when the Bible talks about Jesus being friends with women. This is one of those areas where you have to understand the cultural importance, because today, we don’t find anything weird about cross-gender interaction. Back then, though, it’s a completely different story. Women weren’t considered to be anything. In fact, they weren’t even allowed to be witnesses in a court case, because their testimony had no weight. Women and children were so unimportant, they weren’t even counted when numbers were reported. Jesus feeding 5,000 with a few loaves and fish? Yeah, those were only 5,000 men. They didn’t think it was important to note how many women and children were there.
That’s why the Resurrection being revealed to women FIRST is huge. That is why Jesus telling his disciples they must become like children to get into heaven is massive (along with being offensive to the disciples). These little facts are huge and important to note, because they are supposed to redefine the way we look at each other.
If we believe the Bible to be inspired, we have to believe that what is in there is in there for a reason. If you don’t believe the Bible to be inspired….well, you’ve got a lot more stuff going on that I can’t cover in a blog post.
So it’s pretty interesting to see other passages in Scripture that also deal with these issues. In the past week, it’s interesting hearing Mark Driscoll talk about the “wives, submit to your husbands” verse, and even more interesting to read peoples’ disgust with him. Maybe you don’t agree with his assessment that a nagging wife is like torture. Or maybe you’ve just made it through your life without every interacting with an annoying person. I’m quite jealous of you in that regard.
I mean, surely there must be a reason (if we hold to the inspiration behind Scripture) that this phrase is used. And surely it can’t be sexist, because Jesus himself praised women more than any other influential figure at that time. So one can only assume that there MUST be a way of submission that also praises the woman. Or you could just claim that Solomon wrote Proverbs 31 and he had all kinds of wives and concubines, so surely he can’t be trusted. In which case you might not actually believe that all of Scripture is there for a reason.
There must be a reason behind that phrase, just as there must be a reason the phrase before it is, “Husbands, love your wives.” And there might even be a reason that the instruction to the husbands comes first, so that we can better understand the instruction given to the wives. And whether or not you agree with Mark’s assessment of the meaning, you still have to consider the passage.
It has to have been there for a reason. What do you think the reason is? Like, seriously. If you read this blog post, I want you to leave a comment so we can discuss it. I’m genuinely curious, and I want to hear what you have to say.
All I know FOR SURE about the passage is that the Bible is trying to include instruction for me for some day when I am a husband. My wife needs to feel my love, and I must strive to give her what she needs. I will need to know that my wife respects and trusts me, and I pray that she understands that.
And I also know that if the Apostle Paul was here today, there would be a lot of bloggers who would hate him.
6 thoughts on “Infallible/Inspired”
I don’t have any strong opinion on this, but when I read the whole “submit to you husbands” verse, I imagine it is being directed towards women who like to undermine everything their husbands and don’t really respect them.
So basically I picture that verse as saying, “Wives, don’t be like Claire Dunphy on Modern Family.”
Claire is a PRETTY GOOD example of what not to do. But hey, she (almost) always learns her lesson, so that’s good.
Submitting is easier when the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the Church. They go hand in hand.
Exactly. Feel like they have to go hand in hand, otherwise the system is broken. It’s like how these days we love to quote “Money is the root of all evil” but don’t realize we’re leaving out the fact that it’s the LOVE of money that is. So you can’t take submission and leave out the husband’s responsibility.
I think submission is the key word. I think a lot of people, on both sides, view this as a negative word. And in the past culture, it may have been. Men were in charge, women didn’t have much say in anything, they had to submit to whatever their husband wanted. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a lot of things in the Bible wouldn’t culturally fly now days, even among the craziest fundamentalist (ie, a raped woman must marry the man in order to not be shamed.) I think the key is to maybe take the Bible as a “big picture” kind of book. We should all respect each other. In order to have a healthy marriage, the man should love and respect his wife, and I think this is important because I am still learning how to love my wife in the way she feels loved (married for only a month, but together for 4 years. I’ve had time). In the same way, there are things that show that she loves/respects me as a person, much more as her husband. Driscoll has a view that women should not question her husband, their opinion doesn’t matter, and they need to do what their told. At least, that’s how he comes across to me, and a lot of others. I don’t think that’s a healthy view of other people, much less someone I profess to love. That’s my two cents.
Thanks for sharing, Austin. Greatly appreciated.
Yeah, “submission” itself has a lot of baggage. And there’s also the issue of not wanting to “submit” due to our own pride. I know that’s what gets in my way a lot.
What the passage SEEMS to say, in this regard, is simply to sacrifice of yourself. Men and women both should put aside their pride in order to look out for the betterment of the other. Men don’t naturally get all gushy with their wives most of the time. Women don’t naturally want to tell their husbands how big and strong and important they are most of the time. But if we make a conscious effort to give of ourselves, it makes all the difference.
I totally understand how Driscoll comes across that way. I personally don’t think that’s really what he means, but admittedly, I haven’t really listened to him all that much (his style doesn’t appeal to me). I do know that what he was saying in this recent sermon people are upset about isn’t that women shouldn’t question their husbands, but they should do it publicly, so as not to undermine him. It’s the same (or at least seems to be) the same type of concept as when the Bible says not to correct a brother in public, so as to shame him, but in private, so that he can learn without you being a jerk about it.
But hey, I could be TOTALLY wrong about that.