"SURE! Grab that toilet brush and go at it at that brown stain on the bottom of the toilet bowl!"
Well, what would you think if your making your secret recipe of that absolutely DIVINE cheese cake? "Eh...they just want the credit for my delicious food..."
I was reading a review of Albert Mohler's Bible Q & A over at this blog. He discusses Semi-Pelagianism and why it would be so attractive to human nature. The thought that began echoing in my cerebral chamber had something to do with how well it echoed Genesis 3:16,
Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
Here's how he defined Semi-Pelagianism:
- Rather than being morally evil at birth, humans are morally neutral
- We need some help to make ourselves holy, but holiness is attainable
Compare that last one to some of the passages in Romans. Its kind of an elusive heresy, but it is subtly there.
Here's what Mohler had to say about why people would accept this view, undermining the Biblical portrayal of Grace. (Quoted from Dr. Ransom's blog)
“Why do people not see the doctrines of Grace?” The answer is that “we would like to have a part in this thing —” that is, being redeemed by Christ. This is similar to the scribes and Pharisees in the New Testament, he said, who just continually miss the point. “We can see ourselves among the scribes and Pharisees too, because — we would like to have a hand in this! This is just us — and we all know we need Grace, but what most of us want, or think we want, is enough Grace to get by. And thus, a semi-Pelagian system makes perfect sense.”
It was interesting, because this is kind of the reason why wives so adamently want to share in their husbands authority. They want to have an equal say in this, because they want some credit if all goes well, too! And if its an utter failure, "Well God shoulda made it easier..."
Because husbands are humans too, this leads into a lot more problems between wives that want to have an authoritarian position and their husbands...namely, this: Husbands ain't perfect. And they will mess up. Which makes justification for women helping out SO much easier. "Well, you were involved in the decision making process too, so it isn't all my fault!"
I think this is where Mohler's Headship theology finds its definition and meets its doom (short-lived, I know). IF the woman actually DOES submit, and leave all the decision making to the husband, giving him FULL authority in the household, than yep - its the man's fault when things go wrong. BUT (BUT BUT BUT!!! <- don't miss all those BUTS!!!) We don't live in a perfect world. And no man is going to make perfect decisions and no woman is going to live in perfect submission...there will be tension as sinful natures struggle for dominance; as Eve deals with her curse, and Adam gets fed up with dealing with Eve. Unlike the Christ-church relationship, both of our members are not perfect.
I just found it an interesting parallel between semi-pelagianism in the church and the desire to usurp authority in the woman.
So, some advice for the women - submit. We don't know why God tells us to do so (certainly we're not inferior to men?!?!), but he DOES. And that is key, here. He DOES tell us to submit. So do it.
However, I would also encourage women, when seeking a husband, to find one such man that you CAN submit to. One who you can trust to make sound decisions for your family, one you trust to respect your dignity and your own gifts, one who is strong enough to deal with rebellion when it creeps into your daily life (because it WILL). Those things are a thousand times more important than good looks and money.