My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Painting a picture - part 1

Last week Adrian Warnock offered quite a challenging task: to explore a certain chain of bible verses and to give words to the picture these verses paint regarding the question of what the bible has to say about authority and submission and how that in turn impacts family, church and work life. To find out if the verses really belong together and what they mean for our lives today.
Now, I’m well aware that this is “dangerous ground” as there are so many very different opinions on these questions out there and debates can get very heavy (and unfriendly). But anyway, I’ll take it up and will try to paint the picture as these verses reveal it to me (even though I think that I do not understand all of it). If you agree or disagree with that picture, please leave a comment, but - as well - please stay civil. This first part will only list the bible verses in the order Adrian Warnock put them.

All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the LORD. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. (Isaiah 66, 2)

Do nothing from rivalry and conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. (Philippians 2, 3-10)

The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23, 11-12)

But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11, 3)

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3, 18-24)

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (1 Timothy 2, 11-14)

Older women likewise are to be reverend in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, ... (Titus 2, 3-4)

I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunike and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. (2 Timothy 1, 5)

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately. (Acts 18, 26)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1, 27)

Then the LORD God said, "it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." (Genesis 2, 18)

The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adan there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. (Genesis 2, 20-21)

Then the man said: "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of ma flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. " (Genesis 2, 23)

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the womanm "Did God actually say, You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?" (Genesis 3, 1)

But the LORD God called to the man and said to him "Where are you?" (Genesis 3, 9)

To the woman he said, "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)

And to Adam he said: "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life." (Genesis 3, 17)