Honest scholarship demands reading both sides of an argument. Over the last several years, I have been studying and understanding what the Torah and Scripture as a whole says concerning headship and patriarchy. In the process, I read a short book by David Wilber titled, Is God A Misogynist?: Understanding the Bible’s Difficult Passages Concerning Women, and frankly, fingernails on a chalkboard would have been more pleasant. Judging from the reviews on Amazon and the names attached, it is no wonder the Hebrew roots are so anemic. Like Christendom, the teachers are slopping at the feminist trough.
I’ll not review his book here as it needs a book to correct the plethora of errors, but I do want to demonstrate from one of his quotes how utterly absurd his position is.
Paul, in Ephesians 5:22-33 clearly articulates that Messiah is to the Church (Assembly) as a man is to his woman (wife). Without question, the union between a man and a woman is to image Messiah and the Church. A fifth grader reading that passage should under stand that:
husband : wife = Messiah : Church
This is not rocket science.
So, here is a direct quote from Wilber’s sixth chapter from the section titled ‘Submission in Marriage,’ only where he speaks of a ‘husband’ I’ve substituted ‘Messiah’ and where he speaks of a ‘wife,’ I’ve substituted ‘Church.’ IF Wilber has the picture correct in his understanding, then this should make sense. Brace yourself….
A common feminist complaint is the biblical virtue of submission of
wivesthe Church to husbandsMessiah (Ephesians 5:22-24). This virtue, feminists argue, demeans and oppresses womenthe Church.21 While the Bible certainly extols the virtue of wifelyChurch submission, what many feminist critics tend to ignore is that it also extols the virtue of mutual submission (Ephesians 5:21), which would involve not only the wifeChurch but also the husbandMessiah having an attitude of submission toward the other. As J.K. McKee explains:
a believing wifethe Church to a believing husbandthe Messiah is to be expected (Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 3:18-19), but this is to be controlled by the overriding statement, “submitting to one another out of reverence for ChristGod” (Ephesians 5:21, ESV). Mutual submission also involves the submission of a believing husbandMessiah to his believing wifethe Church, and their co-equal, joint leadership of a homeplanet together.”22
Though the instructions for submission are expressed more explicitly for theIs God a Misogynist? by David Wilber, edits mine.
wifeChurch than for the husbandMessiah, the ideal of mutual submission is not diminished. As Craig Keener points out, “I believe that it is biblically impossible to doubt that Christian husbandsMessiah and wivesthe Church should practice mutual submission and servanthood (Eph. 5:21), even if it is specified more explicitly for the wivesChurch (v. 22), as all Christians should practice mutual love (v. 2), even if it is specified here more explicitly for the husbandsMessiah (v. 25).”23
See how absolutely absurd Wilber’s idea of ‘mutual submission’ is when Paul’s image of Messiah and the Church are overlaid as Ephesians 5 outlines?
In fact, the egalitarian idea Wilber and his ilk promote would best be responded to with, ‘Hath God said?’ (Genesis 3:1) Wilber would do well to put the fruit down and back away from the poisoned feminist tree. As with other things that he has authored or co-authored, he twists words to meet his agenda in order to tickle ears.