Another Mark Dever/9Marks’ Church Fail. “The Little Blog That Roared. The Controversy at First Baptist Church, Sapulpa, OK.” – by The Wartburg Watch blog

The Sapulpa Messenger:The little blog that could! Prediction: They won’t be little anymore.

via The Little Blog That Roared.* The Controversy at First Baptist Church, Sapulpa, OK —

9 Marks/9 Marxists Pastors and Expense Paid Trips to T4G Despite Cash-Strapped Churches, Thou Art The Man blog

My loyal readers may recall that nine months ago I wrote an article titled “Despite Tight Budgets UAE 9Marks Pastors Travel To T4G Conference USA.” (Link) Now, nine months later and facing a serious budget deficit, senior pastor John Folmar had the nerve to ask members to give sacrificially! In the article, I took the…

via After All-Expense Paid Trip to T4G Conference UCCD Leader Pleads For Sacrificial Giving! — Thou Art The Man

Thanks to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos For Restoring My Product Review Privileges After Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley Had Them Revoked

by Velour/MtnShepherdess ©   Cartoon courtesy of David Hayward/NakedPastor.Com ©

 

My former church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley scrubs the internet of all negative reviews about the excommunications/shunnings of godly men and women who dare to think and use the brains God gave them. For former members who have exposed and opposed the authoritarianism, nepotism, 1970’s heavy-Shepherding techniques, and Thought-Reform techniques that the pastors/elders at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley (Cliff McManis, Sam Kim, Tim Wong, Bob Douglas and any other new pastors/elders) used to control church members GBFSV tries to scrub the internet of this important information.

From YELP to Google to Amazon and anywhere else Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley scrubs the internet of negative reviews to control the narrative.

After I wrote a negative review on Amazon beneath Cliff McManis’ book which I had previously bought and described the abusive church that he leads and that I was a member of for eight years, the church had Amazon revoke ALL of my customer reviewing privileges, which I have given mostly 4-5 stars for other products. I have been a customer of Amazon’s for years and have ordered many products for myself and as gifts for other people. (Cliff McManis also claims he has a Ph.D. and another advanced degree. According to the U.S. Department of Education, they’re FAKE degrees from an unaccredited diploma mill called Faith Bible College in Independence, Missouri. A real Ph.D. from an accredited university takes eight years of very hard work to earn. In the private sector, faking degrees and education gets people fired from their jobs or not hired if it’s learned that they lied about their degrees/education. Additionally, the Missouri Attorney General brought fraud charges against Faith Bible College’s bogus ‘accrediting agency.’ The fraudster accrediting agency was banned from doing any business in Missouri. The fraudsters moved to nearby Arkansas, renamed themselves, and opened up their fraudulent business again. And they’re back in Missouri again. And I contacted the Missouri Attorney General and said, “They’re BAAAACCCCK! Go get them, again!”)

I wrote the CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, about the problems with GBFSV, the excommunications and shunnings and the Megan’s List sex offender/child pornographer that the GBFSV pastors/elders gave membership to and access to everything, including putting him in a trusted position to supervise a team of people. The GBFSV pastors/elders maintain that “child porn isn’t a big deal”. It’s a very big deal — a felony crime — and violates federal and state laws. It carries stiff prison time.

Jeff Bezos RESTORED my customer reviewing privileges! (People around the world have heard about this story on the internet and said that they commend me for my stance at GBFSV and Jeff Bezos for backing me up!)

And I just started this blog because I refuse to see that level of abuse that goes on at GBFSV and turn around and be silent.  It was terrible and painful to watch good people get kicked out for any trumped up reason, including a doctor in his 70’s and a middle-aged professional woman who volunteers with the mentally ill and the elderly in convalescent hospitals. And then the pastors/elders did it to me.

Thanks Jeff for understanding.

 

P.S. I also wrote the CEO of Google about my Google review that GBFSV had taken down and the CEO of YELP about my review that got scrubbed there too. Amazon was the first to respond!

Apostle Paul Addressed One Woman In Error Not Teaching Until She Learned Correctly, Not All Christian Women For All Time – I Timothy 2:12

 

by Velour/MtnShepherdess ©

[Note: My ex-church Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley is fond of ‘camping out’ on a few Scripture verses, even words, to prohibit Christian women from using the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given them in serving the church, including in teaching, preaching and leading. GBFSV pastors/elders’ claim this is ‘Biblical’. In point of fact, it’s not. Baptist women have been leaders, teachers, and missionaries for hundreds of years. I remembered that my Presbyterian grandmother’s (she died at 102 years old) medical missionary friends — women doctors — who practiced medicine, taught The Gospel in villages around the world, and they improved lives wherever God put them. I saw the slides as a child.

Given the Baptists descent into hyper-NeoCalvinism since the 1990’s and Complementarianism (women ‘obey’ and ‘submit’), not even traditional Baptist women heros of the faith such as Lottie Moon would be permitted to serve under today’s new hyper-restrictions. Concerned Christians have invented some new words to describe the NeoCalvinists’ Dark Ages thinking about women. “Chrislam” for having restrictions on women that are like radical Islam’s. It’s also been called “Shehad” (She+had, sounds like “jihad”), a term invented by blogger/Christian/researcher Brad Sargent/FuturistGuy https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/  to describe the NeoCalvinists’ “war on women”. I reject these NeoCalvinist teachings, which are *un-Biblical*.]

*This article is reblogged from Wade Burleson, Istoria Ministries, website with permission:

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2012/09/the-woman-of-error-in-i-timothy-212.html

The’ Woman of Error in I Timothy 2:12 Shouldn’t Teach

When the principles and practices of the kingdom of God are made subordinate to the traditions of men, the power of Spirit-filled living becomes a figment of our collective imagination.  When religious leaders place shackles on God’s people to keep them from functioning as He has gifted them to function, the church becomes a powerless shell of immobility. Without the vivifying energy of the Spirit in the body of Christ, the King’s men and women become regal attendants fighting at each rather than royal ambassadors working with each other. If you have ever experienced a dead church, you know intuitively that the deadness occurs because leadership is controlling guilty people rather than empowering gifted people. The Scripture is emphatic that the Spirit gifts His people–men and women–with gifts of teaching, service, leadership, mercy, organization, etc… Good leaders get to know their people, find out how they are gifted, and empower them to fulfill their calling.

The Bible is replete with examples of men and women gifted by God to teach and to lead. No Bible-believing Christian seems to have a problem with men leading or teaching, but women fulfilling those roles, as gifted by the Holy Spirit, seems to cause consternation in the lives of some who are more familiar with tradition than truth. We have dozens of illustrations in the New Testament of women teaching men (Priscilla, Anna, Philip’sfour unmarried daughters, and many, many more). There are also dozens of additional illustrations in the Bible of women leading men.

I Timothy 2:11-15 Is the Text Used by Men to Restrict Gifted Women

Following is the text that is used to stifle women. I have placed only four words in (bold) that more accurately translate what Paul is saying, words that are a direct translation of the Greek. The reasons for the four words I supply will be explained below:

“Let a (the) woman learn in quietness and full submission. “12I do not permit a (the) woman to teach or to assume authority over a (the) man; she must be quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15 But women (lit. “she“) will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.”

The verses above seem to say, at least on the surface and without the four words I’ve supplied, that no woman should ever teach any man; that no woman should  ever assume any ‘authority’ over any man; and that all women must always be quiet in the presence of men.  Of course, most evangelical conservative men would say that the Apostle Paul was only addressing women “in the church” and “in the home” so that women in the political world, corporate world, and secular world, are not under these restrictions. I find it humorous that conservatives complain of “potential malignancy” in one’s gospel orthodoxy if one can find a way to make this I Timothy 2 text say that it is okay for women to teach men or have authority over men “in the church.” Why is that humorous to me? Because those same conservative men have already found a way (rightly so) to explain how a woman can have leadership over a man and teach a man in every other realm of life (politics, business, etc…). Do we remember when Condi Rice, Secretary of State, spoke to the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006? She taught us Southern Baptist men a great deal about war and the bombing of terrorists, and we applauded her leadership as Secretary of State. So much for the gospel malignancy theory.

But back to the I Timothy 2 text above. For those of you “in the church” who get stuck on this text, and as a result, refuse to have women read the Bible in public at church, or teach a discipleship class with men in it, or refuse to have women serve as trustees, or elders, or committee chairpersons “in the church: lest they ‘assume authority’ over men, let me help you see how you are totally ignoring the clear teaching of the New Testament in favor of a poor and false interpretation of these I Timothy 2 verses. For all you out there in cyberland, and for a few of you in local churches who want to make women in leadership an issue of gospel orthodoxy, I will provide below a very clear interpretation of I Timothy 2:12-15 that is consistent with the rest of the New Testament’s teaching on empowering women in their giftedness. There are five basic principles that must be understood in order to rightly comprehend what Paul is saying:

(1). Paul is addressing a problem Timothy had with a specific woman teaching heresy to a specific man in the church at Ephesus.

How do we know this? There are at least four grammatical reasons:

(a). Paul gives instructions to “women” (plural) in the beginning of chapter two (i.e. how to dress modestly, live of life of good works, etc…), but beginning with verse 11, Paul switches from the plural noun (women) to the singular noun (woman). The definitive article “the” is in the original Greek (i.e. “the woman”), not the unfortunate translation “a” woman (NIV; NASB).  Paul moves from instructions to women in general (vs. 9-10) to a very direct instruction for a specific woman in verse 11. You can verify this quite easily with any online interlinear.
(b). The “she” in verse 15 is third person singular (again, the NIV and NASB unfortunately mistranslates the third person singular Greek pronoun in v. 15 with the plural English noun “women”). The “she” of verse 15 is the same woman in verse 11 and verse 12. She is the woman who needs correcting.
(c).  “…if they continue” (v.15). The word “they” is the accurate translation of the third person plural used by Paul. This plural pronoun identifies not only the woman doing the teaching, but also the man whom she is deceiving (“the woman” and “the man” of v. 12).
(d). The verb “continue” is in the aorist active subjunctive. This verb’s tense confirms that the instructions Paul gives in vs. 11-15 are designed for the woman and the man in question (v. 12), to two people who are alive at the time Paul is writing and not to those who are either dead or not yet born (i.e. Eveor women in general).

(2). The woman in question was teaching error out of her ignorance and should be shown mercy.

Mercy and love toward false teachers is one of the themes of letter we call I Timothy, particularly because the assembly at Ephesus was a church filled with people from pagan backgrounds: “As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (I Timothy 1:3-5).

Paul has already spoken of the ignorance he was in before he was taught the truth: “(I) was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and insolent; but I received mercy, because being ignorant I did it in unbelief (I Timothy 1:13).

Paul mentions how Eve sinned in ignorance: “…it was the woman (Eve) who was deceived and became a sinner” (I Timothy 2:13). The entire first two chapters of I Timothy are leading up to Paul expressing sympathy toward, and encouraging Timothy to display love to, that woman teaching error. We know that Paul wrote this letter in response to problems Timothy was facing in Ephesus, and those problems were known by Paul (I Timothy 3:14-15). This is a personal letter, not a general epistle, and proper interpretation requires the reader to delve into why Paul wrote the letter in the first place.

(3).  Paul expressed hope that this woman will be saved by Christ, even though she is in error.

Verse 15 “she will be saved through (the) childbearing” is a reference to the the woman’s salvation through the Incarnation of Christ (the childbearing). The word teknogonia is used just once in Scripture and the word is NOT a verb (childbearing)–it is a noun (THE childbearing). This is a reference to the Messiah, who was born from a woman despite the deception of Eve. The Messiah came to destroy the destroyer, to crush the head of the Serpent who deceives, and the deceived woman of I Timothy 2 will be saved through “the childbearing” if stops teaching heresy, learns of Christ in complete submissiveness (v. 11), and continues in“faith, love, and holiness in propriety.”

(4). Scripture only expresses a prohibition on women teaching error, never on women teaching men.

A similar passage to I Timothy 2:11-15 is Revelation 2:20: “But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

The problem with Jezebel was not that she “teaches and leads.” The problem with Jezebel was that she taught and led others “astray.” The only solution for a woman who teaches and leads astray is for her to first learn the truth. This is precisely the solution Paul proposes to Timothy for the woman of I Timothy 2. She must first learn “in quietness and full submission” (v.11). By the way, this is also a good practice for any man who is teaching error. He should be confronted and told to FIRST learn in quietness and submission before he attempts to teach.

(5).  The people who misinterpret Paul and attempt to prohibit women from teaching or leading men are ignoring the entire tenor and teaching of the New Testament.

God empowers His people through giftings and anoints His people to fulfill their calling through the Holy Spirit. The giftings of God are never distributed according to gender. The calling of God is never limited according to physiology. When the daughters of Philip prophecied, it was by the giftings of God and the anointing of the Spirit. When Anna taught the men in the Temple it was in fulfillment of the calling of God on her life and through the giftings and anointing of the Spirit. From Priscilla, to Lydia, to Junia, to Phoebe, and to all the rest of the New Testament women God used to expand His kingdom through prophesying, teaching and leading other men and women, God has gifted and anointed as many women as He has men.

Let’s not traditions trump truth.

©Wade Burleson/Istoria Ministries
*Recommendation: I recommend Wade Burleson’s books which can be purchased from sellers like Amazon. Wade’s most recent book is Fraudulent Authority, about abusive church leaders claiming power over Christians that God has never given church leaders.

History of heavy-Sheperding Movement Teachings Since 1970’s, Today’s NeoCalvinists’ Authoritarianism

Artcle by Velour/MtnShepherdess ©

 

Over on The Wartburg Watch blog  http://www.wartburgwatch.com/some commenters/Christians know the history of the abusive heavy-Shepherding Movement. It’s un-Biblical teachings are now spread via Mark Dever’s 9 Marks organization in Washington, D.C. and other authoritarian groups like Acts 29. The most “important mark” of a “healthy church” as Wartburg Watch commenters noted is “Love” in the Bible, which NEVER made it to Mark Dever’s 9 Marks of a “Healthy Church”, which is just abusive Shepherding all over again.

Resource/book: The Shepherding Movement: Controversy and Charismatic Ecclesiolgy by S. David Moore.

“Brad/FuturistGuy posted this on May 23, 2016:

http://thewartburgwatch.com/interesting/books-movies-tv-etc/#comment-254411

After doing some background research, the book I picked as probably the best one for overall history and analysis is *The Shepherding Movement: Controversy and Charismatic Ecclesiology* by S. David Moore.
http://www.amazon.com/Shepherding-Movement-Pentecostal-Theology-Supplement/dp/0826471609/
It would be really helpful to have a summary of key activities and indicators that demonstrate the presence of an underlying pro-Shepherding/authoritarian discipleship paradigm, and what contemporary groups function from that paradigm, and the history of the who and how that system got into those groups. I don’t yet know of any books that cover those details. Maybe a group can take that on sometime …” ]

http://thewartburgwatch.com/interesting/books-movies-tv-etc/#comment-255111

Posted by BL on May 27, 2016, Part 1:

refugee wrote:
What would you say were the 9 (or whatever number) marks of the shepherding movement? Is there a way to sum it up? I can’t seem to get my head around it. I don’t know if there is a CliffNotes version, or not.
I’ll give a shot at an overview of what I know & experienced.
Late 60s – early 70s and the Charismatic Movement swept through the US – impacting all ages (though the largest percentage were highschool & college age) AND all denominations.
People who were not believers as well as people who had been believers and church members for years. These people encountered God, and it changed them. They had tasted and seen that the Lord was good.
I know heroin addicts who stopped overnight and never went back.
I know church members that had been content with feeding on their Sunday sermons, that began voraciously reading Scripture.
I know highschool students who gathered together in groups of 3 or 4 to worship and praise God, to pray to Him and to seek His face.
People continued going to their denominational church, and would meet with other charismatics at other times. Young people who had not been church members, would go wherever they could find a church – to a Southern Baptist church on Sunday mornings, a Methodist church Sunday evening, an Assembly of God on Wednesday night.
And when there wasn’t an official church meeting somewhere, they would get together (again across all denominational lines) in homes, or offices, or the back of a motorcycle shop to worship, to share what they learned that week, to pray for each other, etc.
I say all this to point out that no man was in charge. No organization was determining who did what when.
And in response, several men already in various ministries decided that something needed to be done. There was concern that people were not being held accountable, they might not be maturing.
These were already nationally known speakers and authors, and had established relationships among themselves (that sounds familiar).
It is within the above that the Shepherding/Discipleship movement was launched.
I’ll continue in a following post on what came next.

http://thewartburgwatch.com/interesting/books-movies-tv-etc/#comment-255113

Posted by BL on May 27, 2016, Part 2:

refugee wrote:
What would you say were the 9 (or whatever number) marks of the shepherding movement? Is there a way to sum it up? I can’t seem to get my head around it. I don’t know if there is a CliffNotes version, or not.
Part 2:
The discipleship leaders were initially involved with a ministry in Florida whose leader committed sexual sins. In response to this ministry’s failure, they sought protection from such failure by committing to each other for accountability.
So, we had a large number of on-fire Christians going from one meeting to another, one denomination to another, caravaning to other cities for some traveling evangelist, spending hours reading books or listening to teaching tapes, as well as talking to and teaching each other.
The men, Mumford, Simpson, Prince & Simpson (Baxter joined later) thought that the burgeoning charismatic movement needed to be accountable to someone and that someone needed to oversee it in order for the people to grow and mature.
They named themselves Christian Growth Ministries.
And in no particular order – they emphasized the importance of:
Restoring biblical church government.
The local church.
Covenant.
Spiritual authority, spiritual covering, delegated authority.
Male authority.
Accountability.
Spiritual covering (everyone had to have a personal shepherd).
Unquestioned obedience to your shepherd.
Wives’ submission & obedience to husbands.
Honoring & serving leadership.
Not gossiping, no negative speech, no spreading strife.
This church – Elitism (we’re the ones who are doing it right).
Not making any decisions without your shepherd’s approval.
Unity (with no place for dissent or disagreement.)
Small shepherding groups.
Obeying your shepherd even if he is wrong & trust God will fix it.
Leaving this church and your are leaving God.
Shunning anyone who has left.
.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked some aspects.

The Roots of Patriarchy That We Are Seeing In American Churches by Gram3 on The Wartburg Watch

by Velour/MtnShepherdess

Conservative Christian Gram3 is a smart woman, wife/mother/and grandmother who has been “keyed out” [excommunicated from a church] for asking hard questions. She knows a great deal of history and is a logical thinker who posts comments on The Wartburg Watch.  She has been an enormous help to me in helping me deprogram from the bizarre teachings that I was subjected to at Grace Bible Fellowship of Silicon Valley.

Gram3 knows a great deal about church history, including the roots of the Complementarian/Patriarchy movement that we’re seeing in U.S. churches, and the spread of NeoCalvinism.  Gram3 and her husband Gramp3 were “keyed out” as she says, excommunicated from their church for asking hard questions.

**************************

Gram3’s post on 5/24/16   http://thewartburgwatch.com/interesting/books-movies-tv-etc/#comment-254543  about the roots of Patriarchy that we are seeing in Christian churches, NeoCalvinism:

I would add to BradFuturist https://futuristguy.wordpress.com/ that Rousas Rushdoony was the fount of Reconstructionism (the Reformed version of Dominionism) which led to Federal Vision which plagues many PCA churches to this day. Federal Vision is Doug Wilson’s theology, though it is taught by Peter Leithart who is still inexplicably tolerated by the PCA.[Presbyterian Church]
Dominionism was also promoted heavily in charismatic circles via TBN and other outlets. The connection between the charismatic form of Dominionism and the Reconstructionist version was Gary North who is Rushdoony’s son-in-law.
Reconstructionism is a perversion of standard Covenant Theology. Some consider it merely an extreme form of Covenant Theology, but I disagree. As Brad said, they wish to establish a theocratic state modeled on the OT theocracy. They take that as a pattern for how we should do government and church and family. This includes the idea of Patriarchy.
Federal Vision shifted the focus from establishing a theocracy to establishing a church that is the center of everything. There is much talk of priests, fathers as priests of their family, etc. Rather than a focus on individual conversion, the FV focuses on baptism and communion. One becomes a Christian by being baptized and one is baptized because one is born into a family headed by a Christian man.
The word “covenant” is plastered all over a lot of different things, and I think it is important to keep those things separate lest we blame people who hold to standard Covenant Theology for the weirdness.
I think a lot of Reconstructionist baggage got ported over to the YRR by guys reading Greg Bahnsen who was an affiliate of Rushdoony. He was a brilliant guy who was highly respected as an apologist in the Van Til school as was Rushdoony.
Gothard is another thing entirely, as far as I know. Wheaton in the 60’s was not a Reformed stronghold. I believe that Gothard’s views were primarily shaped by a fundamentalist mindset in reaction to a liberalizing culture. The answer was more laws and rules rather than an emphasis on regeneration and the internal work of sanctification in the individual believer. He began his work helping parents who were frustrated with their teenagers’ rebellion. Any of us who have raised teenagers can identify with their desperation for answers, and Gothard offered a System for that just like our current Female Subordinationists offer a System which supposedly produces happy marriages and families.
I think there was a lot of cross-pollination among these various streams of thought back in the 60’s and 70’s to get us where we are today. The Christian homeschooling movement is another place where ideas crossed over. Rushdoony decreed that homeschooling is the only Biblical way.
The bottom line is that people will use whatever means works if what they desire is to rule over others. We have all been useful idiots, but typically in the present it is much easier to see when other people are being useful idiots. Retrospectively, some of us have been able to realize that we were useful idiots.
That’s enough for a comment box. If you Google these names and movements, you will find a wealth of information.

 

God Calls Patriarchal Headship A Sinful Desire © by Wade Burleson

*re-blogged with permission from Wade Burleson’s blog Istoria Ministries.  ©

http://www.wadeburleson.org/2009/07/god-calls-patriarchal-headship-sinful.html

God Calls Patriarchal Headship A Sinful Desire

We live in a day when the basic family unit is disintegrating. Divorces are rampant. Live-in relationships are the norm, and homosexual unions are being recognized by governments. It is right and necessary for the Christian church to both teach and model the Biblical concept of “family” in this age when the Biblical concept of family is seldom understood. However, one of the problems we face as Christians is misinterpreting what God calls the ideal home. There is a growing patriarchal movement among conservative Christian churches, a movement where men are taught that they should have complete “authority” in the home, and that they should “rule” over their wives and children. Many of these conservative Bible-believing Christians who advocate patriarchy honestly believe they are teaching Biblical truth. It is my intention in this post to show that patriarchy is not God’s ideal, but rather, patriarchy is the result of God’s curse on Adam and Eve. When God’s grace appears in the home, patriarchy is expelled.

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, God pronounced judgment on them in Genesis 3:16-19. God first began with Eve:

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you” (Genesis 3:16).

Some conservative Bible scholars take the last phrase of v.16 to mean (1). The wife shall have a “sexual desire” for her husband (i.e. “your desire shall be for your husband”), and (2). The husband is to be the head, authority and ruler of the home (i.e. “and he shall rule over you”). These conservative scholars declare that God’s statement in v. 16 is how the husband and wife “should” relate to each other in the home, and how the home ought to be in terms of headship and governance. The man, they say, is to rule over his home; there should be no equality of authority since God established this patriarchal system from the very beginning.

However, other conservative Bible scholars rightly point out that the woman’s “desire” for her husband in Genesis 3:16 is not, at least linguistically and contextually, a sexual desire. One only needs to turn one chapter over to find the same word teshuqah, in Genesis 4:7, where it is also translated “desire.” In the context of Genesis 4:7, teshuqah is used to refer to sin’s “desire” to control Cain. Thus, letting the Bible interpret itself, the word “desire” in both both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 means “a desire to control.”

Likewise, the same Hebrew verb mashal, which means “to rule,” is also used in Genesis 4:7, just as it was in Genesis 3:16. Mashal is used in Genesis 4:7 to describe Cain’s efforts to rule over or dominate the sin that is “crouching at his door.” Again, when you let the Bible interpret itself, mashal is used in both Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 to describe someone who is having to fend off an attack; it carries the idea of warring for control or domination; a battle to see who will be ultimate “ruler.”

Using basic principles of interpretation, one comes up with a very simple explanation of the consequence of God’s curse on Adam and Eve – a consequence that has infiltrated every home since the beginning of time. Simply put, the woman will desire to dominate or control the man, but the man, perhaps even with superior strength, will fight hard to rule over and dominate the woman. Where the curse is present there is a constant battle for control. This is how things are because of sin, not how things in the home ought to be. The patriarchal societies of the world express the reality of male domination, and in certain western Christian cultures, patriarchy is often said to be ordered by God – as if God designed the home to be this way.

Likewise, in some cultures, such as the Kanu of South America, the women “rule” the home, and the men are the “servants.” These women explain their domination of men in the home with the simple phrase – “the gods have made it this way.” What both matriarchal and patriachal proponents need to understand, regardless of the culture from which they come, is that any system designed for “domination” or “control” of the other spouse is the result of sin and the curse on sin.

When the God of all grace gets a hold of a man and a woman in a marriage relationship, no longer will there be a fight to see who dominates and controls the other. Rather, there will be mutual submission between husband and wife (i.e. Ephesians 5:21 – “submitting to one another in reverence to Christ”). Mutual submission, with no thought of “control,” is God’s design for the home. It should be the effort of every Bible-believing church, pastor and teacher to instruct husbands and wives on the sinful nature of any husband or wife seeking to dominate the other spouse.

In fact, I like what Dr. Richard Hess, Professor of Old Testament and Semitic Languages at Denver Theological Seminary says in his comments on Genesis 3:16. Dr. Hess said all Christians should attempt to pull down any patriarchal (or matriarchal) system of domination and control in the Christian home, and then responds to those who object to any attempt to end patriarchy:

It is no more a sin to end this consequence of the fall than it is to use weed killer to end the promised weeds and thorns in the following verses. No, the emphasis (in Genesis 3:16) is on the terrible effects of sin, and the destruction of a harmonious relationship that once existed. In its place comes a harmful struggle of wills.

I trust that conservative, evangelical churches will continue to proclaim and model God’s design for the home. I just pray that we do a good job of understanding the subject ourselves first. Patriarchy is the result of man’s sinful desire to control and dominate and should be, by God’s grace, avoided at all costs.

In His Grace,

Wade