Progress out of Male Headship

In CBMW » Editorial (CBMW = Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. A headline organisation for Male Headship in the USA) we see a former Male Headship Church making huge steps away from male headship. Points 1 to 4 are excellent, point 5 needs work (IMHO), but the article recognises how significant this is and how challenging to male headship supporters, it also recognises that keeping point 5 (male elders) is probably not sustainable (hallelujah).

After extensive research and discussion Irving Bible Church concluded:

  1. The accounts of creation and the fall (Genesis 1-3) reveal a fundamental equality between men and women.
  2. Women exercised significant ministry roles of teaching and leading with God’s blessing in both Old and New Testaments.
  3. Though the role of women was historically limited, the progress of revelation indicates an ethic in progress leading to full freedom for women to exercise their giftedness in the local church.
  4. Key New Testament passages restricting women’s roles were culturally and historically specific, not universal principles for all time and places.
  5. Though women are free to use all of their giftedness in teaching and leading in the church, the role of elder seems to be biblically relegated to men.

Hat tip: Complegalitarian: A High-Profile Conversion to Egalitarianism.

4 thoughts on “Progress out of Male Headship

  1. Blue, with a hint of amber

    Thanks for linking to that Dave.
    I am finding these discussions / debates more and more illuminating.
    I have skim read the IBC report and find it to read not far from where I come out in the process, although in some cases by different means.
    This passage especially – sums up everything I believe male headship is, how I feel about it and my motivation to live it out.
    Within the framework of personal equality, God has ordained differing roles and responsibilities
    within the church and home. Men are called to loving leadership and headship while women are
    called to voluntarily recognize and honor men’s loving leadership and headship. Both however are
    to submit to one another which is the calling on all believers–both men and women (Ephesians
    5:21-6:9; I Corinthians 11:3,8,9; I Timothy 2:11,12; I Peter 3:1-7).
    Male headship means that a man has a holy obligation before God to lay down his life for his
    wife, his children, his family, friends, and for the people of his own congregation. For a husband, it
    means that he has his wife’s best interests at heart, that he sacrifices his own desires for hers, that he puts her first always in his affections. For an elder in the local church, it means that he leads first, last and always by serving others. For a wife, it means trusting God to work through her husband in protecting her interests and meeting her deepest needs.

    There is a talk and evening seminar on this subject on Sunday, and I will comment further following that.

    Reply
  2. Dave Warnock

    bwahoa,
    “Men are called to loving leadership and headship while women are called to voluntarily recognize and honor men’s loving leadership and headship. Both however are to submit to one another”
    Seriously, how does this work? How can it work? How can you both submit to each and yet have the man lead at the same time? It seems a logical impossibility to me.
    “For a husband, it
    means that he has his wife’s best interests at heart, that he sacrifices his own desires for hers, that he puts her first always in his affections.”
    Nope, I just don’t get it. How does this square with “personal equality” and “Both however are to submit to one another”
    Jane is now working as a teaching assistant in a primary school, helping the kids understand maths is hard enough without adding to that a new definition of equality. Can you imagine it. “Yes kids I know I told you that 1+2 = 2+1, but now I need to explain a new way of doing maths where 1 + 1 = 1.
    Let me try my a hurried first draft of my version.
    Within the framework of personal equality, God has created us as unique individuals in the divine image with differing gifts, abilities and responsibilities. Some people are especially gifted in leadership, others in teaching, others in caring etc. All however are
    to submit to one another which is the calling on all believers (Ephesians
    5:21).
    For any married person marriage means having your spouses best interests at heart, that you will sacrifice your own desires for theirs, that you will put them first always in your affections.
    For all married people it means trusting God to work through their spouse in protecting their interests and meeting their deepest needs.
    Just as in marriage both parties have a holy obligation before God to lay down their life for their spouse and their children, so in the church a leader has an obligation to lay down their life for the people of their congregation and indeed the wider community.
    Christian Leadership requires a leader to be willing to be the servant of all. For an elder in the local church, it means that they will lead first, last and always by serving others.
    For all members of a Church it means a similar trust in God to work through their leaders while supporting, encouraging and when required challenging them.

    Reply
  3. Blue, with a hint of amber

    As I have said before Dave, I believe genuine christian discipleship and holy spirit inspired conscience will lead many people to very similar outworkings of their christian walk even if their biblical mandate for it comes from opposite ends of the spectrum.
    We see this in calvinists and arminians engaging in evangelism and seeing fruit, yet are from polar opposites in how and why this happens.

    Reply

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