Theological Clapback: Complementarianism, Arianism “Manhood, Womanhood & Biblical Truth” Part 6
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Hello and welcome to another one of my
Nagging Thoughts. This is the final installment in a series that I’ve been
doing in response to a two-hour live stream that was put out by Vocab Malone
on the topic of complementarianism. His video was based on the first chapter of
Evangelical Feminism which is a book written by Wayne Grudem. I will put links
to both of these resources in the description of this video so that you
can check them both out for yourselves. So this final topic that I want to talk
about is how complementarianism really does in fact complment Arianism. But
before I dive into that, I do want to take a quick moment to ask you to please
like, subscribe, share and above all, please do comment. I very much enjoy
hearing your comments and your thoughts even if I adamantly disagree. I’m
convinced that when we are able to give each other pushback in a respectful
manner that it is edifying and that it is that
iron sharpening iron. What we’re talking about here, this is in the final part of
Vocab’s video where we are turning our attention to the inner workings within
the triune Godhead as a model for marriage and particularly to justify, make sense and understand the complementarian doctrine of headship and
submission. In order to do that, Grudem is arguing that the Son is eternally
subordinate to the Father in His distinct roles and relationships. It’s
eternal. This is coming dangerously close to making an argument that Christ is
ontologically subordinate to the Father and that is how we are dovetailing quite
nicely with Arianism. Arianism was one of the first major heresies within the
church and it is a doctrine that denies the deity of Jesus Christ so that he is
no longer in The Way, but He is merely just a model pointing to the way so
we can possess eternal life. This is in direct contradiction to John 5:39. Now
the benefit of denying the deity of Christ is that now you have exalted
humanity and God is now indebted to us based on our behavior. So it becomes a
guaranteed, you know, if X then Y arrangement with Jesus, or with God (I
should say because they don’t think Jesus is God). But without the deity of
Christ, what you have is that if I follow the example and the models and the
morals put out by Jesus, then God owes me heaven and glory and, you know, whatever
else you’re really setting your treasures on. The consequence of exalting
man over God like this is that you’re in fact denying yourself the grace of God
and you’re grasping at Christ’s authority. So what you’re going to end up
doing is you’re gonna self-destruct in a marriage to a false idol and this false
idol is lifting up humanity on the cross, or on a cross, I should say. And because
none of us are righteous, our sacrifice in our humanity will never be
finished even though Jesus said that it is finished as His dying declaration on
the cross. Now likewise, this doctrine of eternal subordination of Jesus is
denying the full deity, authority and glory of Christ. It’s not officially
doing it in an ontological manner saying that this is the nature of Jesus, that
He’s unable to exercise any authority within the triune Godhead, but He is
voluntarily, from eternity past into eternity future, voluntarily subjugating
Himself to the authority and power of the Father. Now this is making such a
functional subordination a role out of Christ that it is indistinguishable from
an ontological subordination of Christ. Now the benefit
is that by doing this, by robbing Christ of His oneness with the Father and the
Spirit and relegating Him to an eternally subordinate position, it’s
exalting husband’s masculinity and making wives indebted to that
masculinity. Now the consequence of that is that it is again refusing grace for
husbands to grasp at Christ’s authority and what’s gonna end up happening is
you’re gonna self-destruct with a marriage to a false idol and this one is
gonna be lifting up masculinity on a cross so that it is never finished even
though Jesus said it was. And this is why earlier in this series I talked about
and perhaps I should go into it more (because I didn’t lose so many
subscribers as when I talked about the curse of woman), but the reality is that
complementarian doctrine is very abusive towards men as well because it is
putting men in between a woman or a wife, I should say, a wife and Christ. Now he
has become her cover and her shelter from God’s wrath. And this is, this is a
horrible place for any person to be in. And then to attach it to your manhood, so
that if something goes wrong, now you’re gonna personally attack their their
masculinity. It’s very very abusive towards men as well as women. Bottom line,
the problem is that this is a self-serving grasp at authority,
both Arianism and Complementarianism. Philippians 2, chapter 2, verse 21
says, “others are busy with their own concerns not those of Jesus Christ.”
Whenever we start looking through the scriptures to see what we can get out of
this in our human interactions, you know that you’re not in the spirit, you’re in
the flesh. What we need to be looking for is how to exalt Christ how to live in
the Spirit and that is the solution. So on that note, I do want to just read
Psalm 111, verses one through four. And I just
want to say this is the the solution to the grasp at authority for manhood in
marriage, says “praise praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my
whole heart in the assembly of the godly and the congregation. The Lord’s deeds
are great, eagerly awaited by all who desire them.
His work is majestic and glorious and His faithfulness endures forever He does
amazing things that will be remembered. The Lord is merciful and compassionate.”
So praise God, it is finished. Okay humanity doesn’t need to claw our
way back to God and men don’t need to do it either. So on that point, I want
to talk about the subjugation of Jesus and in the biblical context, it’s always
explicitly within the context of His earthly ministry of the incarnation and
the hypostatic union. So I’m gonna go to Psalm chapter 8 verses 4 through 6
and what you’re gonna see there is that God made the Son of Man which Mark 2:28
says is also the Lord of the Sabbath, the Son of Man is also the Lord of the
Sabbath, so we’re talking about Jesus Christ here. Okay, so Psalm chapter 8,
verses 4 through 6, “God made the son of man a little lower than Elohim… which by
the way, again, is not translated honestly in English by a lot of translations.
It, Elohim, is a name for God, not angels. So God made the Son of Man a little
lower than God and put everything under the Son of Man except the deity and
authority of God — and that’s according to 1st Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 27. In a
lot of renderings, it look like it was talking about man, about humanity and
it’s talking about Christ. And this is what I’m talking
about, that when we’re looking on the horizontal plane and approaching the
scriptures with that, we are just robbing ourselves of so much because it’s the
same scriptures that testify about Him. Okay.
Philippians, chapter 2 makes it clear that Christ clothed Himself in humanity.
This is the incarnation. So He put on a human nature. He did not have any
attribute of humanity in the eternal past and you can see that Numbers,
chapter 23, verse 19. It explicitly says that God is not a man. He doesn’t
participate in humanity. So Jesus clothing Himself in a human
nature cannot affect or be mingled with His eternal immutable divine nature. And
we can see this in Hebrews, chapter 13, verse 8, it says Jesus is “the same
yesterday, today and forever.” So when Jesus took on a… or clothed Himself in
a human nature, when He was on His earthly ministry, that’s what the
hypostatic union is. He has a human nature; He’s fully human. He has a godly, a
divine nature; He’s fully God. And the two don’t mix. Luke, chapter 22 verse 42 shows
that Jesus is saying “take this cup, not my, (I’m gonna insert the word human) will,
but your (divine) will.” Now does this mean that there was a separation between the
will of Jesus and the will of God? No there’s the hypostatic union. Jesus is
fully human. He’s fully God. And this is His human nature talking that about how
it does not want to go through the suffering of the cross. But when
Jesus is saying, “not my will, but yours,” Jesus is God; His will is one with the
Father. John 10:30 says that the Father and I are one. John 8:58 before Abraham, “I
am.” Jesus takes the one of the highest and
most intimate sacred names of God for Himself. So there is not a difference
between the will of Jesus (even in the hypostatic union) and the will of God. So
at a minimum, what this shows me is that when we’re looking at things like
Numbers, chapter 23, verse 19 where it says that “God is not a man,” at a minimum,
that is evidence that Christ did not have this subordinate role to the Father.
Even though He existed in a triune person within the Trinity, He did not
have this need to submit Himself to the Father. It’s His human nature while He
was here on earth that had to submit to God. So the the subordination of Jesus
does not exist in the eternal past. And there’s plenty of other places in the
Bible where it talks about Jesus sharing the glory with the Father before
creation. There wasn’t a lesser or separate seat; He shared in God the
Father’s glory. Okay, but First Corinthians, chapter 15, verse 24, this
this is what this verse says, “then the end will come when he (and it’s referring
to Jesus) hands over the kingdom to God the Father, (notice that Jesus hands over
the kingdom to God the Father) after Jesus has destroyed all dominion,
authority and power. Jesus destroys all authority dominion
and power. So that’s telling me that there is no eternal subordination in the
eternal future either. Okay moving on, Grudem in his book, he says that the
internal relationship of the Trinity “is one of leadership and authority
on the one hand and voluntary willing joyful submission to that
authority on the other hand.” And I want to say, false! Matthew, chapter 27, verse 50
Jesus krazó-ed which means He shrieked or He screamed on the cross and He sweat
like he was bleeding in anticipation of it in Luke chapter 22 verse 44. So that
is willing submission, but it is not joyful submission. Where we’re probably
getting this notion that the idea of suffering and submission is joyful is
probably from Hebrews, chapter 12, verse 2. But if you read it, you’re gonna see that
Jesus faced the cross because of his joy for what was set before Him on the other
side of the Cross, not in the cross itself. This is a huge point to consider
when we are selling submission as a beautiful thing to — especially women who
are suffering and you expect them to do it with a smile.
Jesus screamed loudly on the cross. He suffered great anguish. So we don’t have
to put this burden on women to say hey you better take it and like it. Okay
moving on, now I’m going to shift gears and go to things that Vocab said. He said
that authority is the fundamental difference within the Trinity and the
relationship is a leader, authority and it’s voluntary. Again I want to point us
back to 1st Corinthians 15:24 and remind everyone that Christ will destroy
all authority. So that is not the fundamental characteristic within the
Trinity. In fact there is no fundamental difference within the Trinity. Again I
want to remind you John 10:30 says the father and the son are one. 2nd
Corinthians chapter 3 verse 17 says the father and spirit are one. Romans, chapter
8, verse 9 Christ and the Spirit are one. So … when we’re looking
at the subordination of Jesus we’re really focused on Him going to the cross.
But let me ask you what role of hierarchy did each person
within the Trinity play in the resurrection of Jesus Christ which is
where our hope is found? Anybody can die on a cross, but only Christ can raise up.
Romans, chapter 8, verse 11 says the Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. But
Galatians, chapter 1, verse 1 says the Father raised Jesus from the dead and
John, chapter 2, verse 19 says Jesus raised Himself from the dead. So all of
the persons of the Trinity are acting in unison together as one. The only context
in which there was any role separation was during the earthly ministry and
with regards to the the functionality of the the hypostatic union there in
His earthly ministry. So the takeaway for me here is that the value of the
internal triune nature of God is for God’s ability to ontologically be and to
fully express — love, not authority. First John 4:8, it says very clearly that “God
is love.” It does not say God is submission, God is authority. That should
be a concern to believers that there is overlap and that these things are
dovetailing with one of the very first church heresies that was out there. Now
Grudem also makes, in my opinion, a very dishonest argument here where he says
that the word for “head” in 1st Corinthians, chapter 11, verse 3 where it
says, you know, the head of man is Christ, the head of the wife is the husband and
God is the head of Christ. And he says that the head means “to have authority
over another.” And this is kind of crazy because if you go to the very next verse
1st Corinthians, chapter 11, verse 4 you’re gonna see that, “any man who covers
his head disgraces his head.” So I guess the man has authority over himself, like,
that’s the point that we need to take away. This whole section by the way, that
he’s appealing to concerning “head” and he’s saying that it
is about power and authority, the word “head” here which Gruden points out is the
word kephalé which can mean a literal head. And
the section, in the context we’re talking about is actually physically covering. A
head which by the way, “head” here, I just find it just kind of ironic, this
is just not really relevant or valuable, but I just, I love that it just turns out
that in Greek the word for “head” and “authority”, they’re feminine. But in any
case, this word for head Grudem is saying it means authority and it’s very clear
from the context that we are talking about a physical head and so I don’t
really understand. That being said, there’s also another book I’m still
making my way through that makes very clear argument from contemporary
literature to the time that Paul was writing that “head” really means source. So
it’s very dishonest to me given the context First Corinthians, chapter 11.
Vocab says, hey, you know, the people that don’t have this internal hierarchy of
the Trinity, look at people like the Hebrew Israelites and you’re gonna see,
you know, that they have polygamy and all sorts of terrible things for women. But
the value of the Trinity is in the love relationship. I love Tim Keller
makes this argument that, you know, God didn’t make creation so that He could
experience love because love requires an object. He, in is triune nature, is love.
He’s able to love Himself within Himself. And that is not anything that requires
any sort of hierarchy or dominion, headship or subjugation, other than the
fact that what Christ did here on earth absolutely was a means of expressing
sacrificial love within the Trinity. The Father sacrificed His Son the way that
Abraham sacrificed Isaac and Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for His
Father and just like Isaac was willing to do the same thing. So
there’s, (I didn’t even put any of that that sort of thing in my notes), but the
point and the value, for me, that does relate to marriage and the inner
workings of the Trinity and all human relationships, especially marriage is
that it is all about love. And it’s all about giving and it’s not about
hierarchy, power and authority. And even though you shift the onus to the woman
to make it happen and you don’t flex your authority to enforce it,
this is not God’s way. He is tender and compassionate and His yoke is light
and easy. But the other thing that I just I don’t like is that since Christians
have such widespread problems with marriage idolatry and idolatry of
masculinity and headship and submission, I really don’t like that when these
topics come up, we start pointing our fingers at others. and we’ll say well,
look at look at the Hebrew Israelites; look at the the Muslims.
You know they treat women worse. I personally think that the reason why we
can’t look at ourselves is because believers really don’t understand or
take Genesis 3:16 to heart. And so because of that, we are helping to
fulfill the curse of women even within the community of believers. And that
being said, I do want to talk about, you know, some of this, you know, take a look
at people who don’t have the Trinity as a model and how their marriages are
working. Well Christians are not doing much better. We have the same divorce
rates as the the general public and even within the Bible, you’re gonna see that
we have covenant men as respected as Abraham, David and Solomon collecting
wives like they’re possessions. We have other covenant men like Judah
unashamedly paying prostitutes while condemning believing women. And even
today, if you take a look at organizations like Focus on the Family,
they are blaming women for destroying marriage for not wanting to remain
one flesh with the sexually immoral. In fact, I put this in my notes, there’s
likely not a single Christian organization without sexual immorality
that is so pervasive that the organization hasn’t already had to pay
out financially in either civil penalties or legal fees to minimize,
avoid or prevent civil penalties. So the last… So I’m not impressed. I really, you
know, I would like to see Christians have much stronger testimony before they
start pointing fingers at how bad other religions are treating marriage and
women and headship and authority and submission. Okay, moving on to the last
point, Vocab said that “the created order is fair and beautiful.” So I do just want
to say I’m not sure fair is even relevant in the conversation when we’re
talking about the created order. I mean is it fair that some of us are created
as a gnat and others of us are created in the image of God for which Christ
died for? I’m not sure. But moving on, I have heard the same argument that
submission is beautiful and the correlation between submission
and beauty in Islam which means a submission. They say it’s beautiful and
these types of arguments that are connecting beauty with submission,
they generally are coming from the benefactor of that submission. And I have
a hard time finding people telling other people to sacrifice, you know, in a way
that benefits them or they might also be believers that they themselves are
sacrificing, but they have turned it into a works-righteousness, so that it’s
elevating their head when people are preaching hardship to others in a manner
that directly benefits them and exalts their head and lifts their
head, I don’t find that beautiful. What I do find beautiful is this idea that
loving other people as ourselves (which we can find in Galatians 5:14 in the
summation of the law), that such a thing could actually fulfill our moral
obligations to love God with all our heart. That’s pretty amazing.
That’s pretty beautiful to me and it tells me so much about the beautiful and
loving, humble, compassionate, tender nature of the author of the law, that I
just cannot deny His beauty. So that’s all I wanted to say on this topic. Let me
know what your thoughts are. I am going to be filming with a Jen Grice who has a
wonderful book. Let me see if I can get it for you guys here and that is what
I’m gonna be posting next week. So I hope you’ll stay tuned for that.
I very much appreciate your time and I look forward to seeing you guys next
week. I’m trying to find the book. By the way,
this is the other book that I’m still working through — thanks Julian. Where is
Jen Grice’s book. I apologize, I thought I had it handy. Oh maybe, that’s in the
very bottom, of course. Okay sorry about this guys. Here is Jen Grice’s book. This
is a very easy read and wonderful for particularly women that are surviving
divorce and don’t want to abandon their faith because it’s being used against
them in marriage or divorce. Alright. God bless. Thank you very much for your
time. Look forward to seeing you next week!

Good, important stuff!! And again thanks for the shout out, especially for my book! Can’t wait to watch next week’s video!

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