Monday, June 14, 2010

IS THE MAN PROPHET/ PRIEST/ KING OF THE FAMILY?

As we all know, I'm sure, the Gospel is a declaration of the who, what, and why of Christ as our Prophet, Priest and King. He is the fulfillment of each of these holy offices and has reconciled the world to Himself and has given to those of us who are part of that group the ministry of reconciliation. EXCEPT FOR WOMEN some would say.

That "EXCEPT FOR WOMEN" message is being taught by many in our day as much as the gospel is being taught. Perhaps more. Many are incorrectly saying that the husband is the Prophet, Priest and King of the family and far too many, for various reasons, have bought into that unbiblical view IMHO. I thought EVERY believer was a priest. Is that not true? Or is it really EXCEPT FOR WOMEN? What do I mean? Let me show you.

I thought because the way has been opened by our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, offering His own blood upon the mercy seat, [Hebrews 10:19-25] ALL BELIEVERS could boldly abide in the holy place offering sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to our Lord. Has that changed? Is there a new revelation that would alter that and make the man/husband the High Priest of the family? I don't think so.

Is it not true that He is our Prophet and as the new law-giver, our Moses, so that at the transfiguration we were told to "Hear ye Him." Then He commissioned us [all believers] to go into all the world sharing the gospel [Being prophets] as we go. Or is that true EXCEPT FOR WOMEN.

Am I wrong in thinking that ALL BELIEVERS are seated in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, [Ephesians 1:3] and ALL believers have dominion over the god of this world because we are in Christ [King] and all believers will reign with Him in the Kingdom that is yet to come.? Is that true? EXCEPT FOR WOMEN?

Taking away from women their position of being in Christ and all that means so their man/husband can be the priest over the family is unbiblical. It is usurping the position of the One who really is Prophet, Priest, and King over ALL who make up the Church. He is, after all, "Head over all the Church, which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all." [Ephesians 1:22-23] So..to try to make the man the Priest of the family is creating an elevated spiritual position for husbands that simply DOES NOT EXIST in the text of the scripture and is robbing a woman of her place in total union with Christ.

I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus is the "author" [pioneer--Heb. 12:2] for EVERY believer and has led EVERY believer behind the veil where EVERY believer is given the privilege/responsibility of intercession for each other as family members. I believe ALL family members are to have a personal relationship with the Father with only the ONE high Priest, who is Jesus Himself, who now as our Intercessor, does just that, with EACH believing family member also interceding for each other.

There was a time when I taught this false concept of the man/father being the Prophet/Priest/King of the home myself. I had read it, heard it from men I respected and regurgitated all I had read and heard. That continued until that day several years ago, which I have mentioned on previous occasions, when I came to a place where I became committed to saying nothing I couldn't find in the TEXT OF SCRIPTURE ITSELF.

I still may misunderstand some things or even mis-interpret some things, but it WILL be because I understand the text to be saying something which I then believe and teach. I do not see in the text that any thing we are given in Christ as a believer has been taken from a woman and reserved for her husband as her head. The man is head of the wife as Christ is head of the Church for sure. [Ephesians 5] But I believe that means the originating source. [Head doesn't mean authority as the scriptures speak of being put 'under His feet' as the proper metaphor for authority. [Ephesians 1:22] I hold to this view because of an exhaustive study of the words of EVERY text that mentions it.

And may I say..I've read Grudem on it and have answered, for myself, every objection he has to my position to my personal satisfaction.

I can only imagine the pain and hurt women have suffered for years hearing that they are less than their husband [No matter how you try to spin the concept of equality] and they are not really complete in Christ at all. They find their completeness in their husband only. That has played havoc with female Body members who are as gifted and called to minister in the power of the Spirit as anyone else in the Body of Christ. But their gifts are often allowed to rust and go unused and the entire Body of Christ is diminished because of it.

And the man under that teaching? As someone has said, "He is like a favored child that can't help but feel arrogant toward his siblings, [The female members of the Body of Christ.] and walks as a deluded male walks, in unintended prideful conceit,
provoking the resistance of God in his life." That, my friend, is a powerful statement found to be true in far too many places/churches today.

Paul B.

14 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

Are there really people who are so deluded and arrogant that they think they can, themselves, teach anyone .. cause them to learn .. cause them to believe .. bring glory to God ... etc? Do we really think we're that good?

Or do we confess that it is God Who wills us to do what we do, and we are only unworthy servants doing our duty? Do we acknowledge that all increase is attributable to the working of the Holy Spirit in commandeering our hands and feet and voices, and then convicting people of sin, death and righteousness?

IF the latter be the case, then who on earth do we humans think we are to prescribe who is/can, and who is/can not be used by the Holy Spirit? Who is also God.

I've read Job. I don't think I'm going to be making any such judgments.

Paul Burleson said...

Bob

Excellent question/comment. You certainly captured the gist of what I'm writing about and the logical question it presents. Good for you.

Chris Ryan said...

To answer your initial question, in a word...

NO.

One Prophet, one Priest, one King who is of any significance. Everyone else who grasps at that kind of power is really just playing tiddlywinks. That is, until God takes the tiddly-s away.

Paul Burleson said...

Chris,

Would you please speak a bit more succinctly. Your wordiness will be your downfall.

And while you're at it..tell us how you feel about it. ;)

Aussie John said...

Paul,

It is with the greatest delight I read this article. I'm with you with every word.

The paragraph beginning "There was a time when I taught this false concept..." is so true for myself, as well.

Twenty years ago my family and I had gone through a particularly traumatic time when we resigned from the denomination.
Coincidently(??) my best friend, also a denominational pastor and his family had gone through the very same trauma, which eventuated in his taking his life.

This crisis caused me to begin thinking through the many struggles I had with my studies for sermon preparation, when my books were teaching things, such as about the subject of your article, and I was convinced Scripture was saying something else.

I am aware that the context is wrong, but the principle revealed in Matthew 6:24 holds true in this regard; we either believe Christ IS preeminent, or that our particular brand of church and its favorite experts are.

It would appear, from the evidence, that there are far too many church leaders, and as a consequence the people they lead, who are blithely heading for eternity standing on the shoulders of great, but fallible, men of church history, and their writings, instead of the promises of God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Brother Paul, for a wonderful account. I was moved greatly while reading it. May your tribe increase.
Florence in KY

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I have a feeling that our journey's will be found out to be clones. I'm glad to know someone who understands.


Florence,

You are most welcome and thanks for coming by and commenting again.

Aussie John said...

Paul,

Some years ago, my brethren, in our last church plant decided to send me to a church conference in the N.E. of the U.S.Two years later, an individual sponsored me to attend the same conference. Each time the fare cost $5000.

The money would have been better spent if I had gone to meet you. Of that I'm certain!

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

I believe that may be one of the nicest things I have ever read.

I want to say thank you. I want to say that I don't derserve such a thing said. I want to cry.

Consider all three things done. But the only thing I really want to say is the first sentence I wrote above.

Emily Hunter McGowin said...

Hi Paul,

I'm just now getting to this post. Do I have to tell you how much I agree and appreciate it? I may not have to, but I will. Thanks for standing up for the truth, especially the truth as it pertains to women in the Kingdom of God.

Grace and peace,
Emily

Paul Burleson said...

Emily,

Thanks for stopping by. What you think and say will always be significant to me.

I will admit that your agreement with what I say here is no surprise to me since some of the best I've read on this kind of thing has come from your fingers typing a blog post.

Your thoughts and insights are always welcome here. Come by often.

Lin said...

Oh, that all the power, glory and position go to Christ alone!

Anonymous said...

Paul, thank you for this article and your blog. It is still true that evil (and false teaching) prevails because good men do nothing! Thank you for doing something - speaking out. Like Aussie John and yourself there have to be many men with good hearts who know deep down there is something wrong with a hierarchical stance but are trapped by the traditions of men around them.

I grew up studying the Word and loving Jesus since I was five years old. I have a teaching gifting (have gone on to use it in the secular world as a college instructor in and in the church wherever allowed)and always struggled with why God would give me this gifting but then say I couldn't use it. Some pastors recognized it but didn't know what to do with me, others just told me I was decieved.

What people don't realize is this is not just a peripheral issue. It goes to God's character! I was confident there was no hierarchy in scripture and didn't agree with the way the passages were taught based on good exegesis, but was trapped by the fact that I didn't want to be a woman who "usurped" authority.Even when pastor's did recognize my gifting by the Spirit they didn't know what to do. One pastor was sure God told him to have me teach from the pulpit, so he did, but felt he had to give me very strict rules in time and manner so I wouldn't operate in a "Jezebel" spirit. My poor husband is a gifted teacher himself and we loved studying the Word together, but he just didn't know what to do with the things they told him at church because he knew I wasn't "out of order."

Finally we found that when we were sent out as campus missionaries we could find acceptance and freedom. Kind of like those women who they let minister freely on the mission field when they wouldn't at home because it doesn't count as much (which is clearly racism, but in a hierarchical system that makes sense too.) We learned the benefit of meeting in homes where there could be leadership (the behaviors) but not leaders "over" as an office.

Many of our students have gone on to lead home groups of their own and have exemplary egalitarian marriages. But,they struggle with the traditions of men in formal church settings just like we did. Up until recently we advised them not to make a big deal about it. Lately though, we have been convicted more and more by the plethora of scriptures admonishing us to call out false teachers. We want to be respectful, but are so grieved at the Word of God being mishandled and God's character being maligned all for men's traditions.God does not see woman as second class citizens. Keep getting that message out there brother! Bless you. (My name is Jackie)

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