Critique on CBMW's Statement on Abuse, and you can find it on their website www.notunderbondage.com Read the whole critique on their site - its very good, but I wanted to talk about one of their first points today.
One of the first items they mentioned truly caught my attention! I learned from their paper HOW people come up with this thought of women wanting to 'rule over' their husbands, instead of what the bible actually states.
One of CBMW's points was:
We believe that the biblical teaching on relationships between men and women does notBarbara Roberts and James Synot partial response was:
support, but condemns abuse (Prov. 12:18; Eph. 5:25-29; Col. 3:18; 1 Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7-8; 1
Pet. 3:7; 5:3).
Ephesians 5:25-29 tells husbands to love their wives, a command which clearly implies that it's wrong to abuse their wives. Abuse and love are polar opposites; no-one would argue with that. But citing Colossians 3:18 (Wives submit to your husbands as is fitting in the Lord) is below the belt. It implies that in the case of wives, being abusive and being submissive are polar opposites. Only CBMW, with their distorted understanding of the woman's desire in Genesis 3:16, think that way. They claim that the woman's desire for her husband is a desire to usurp authority over him, and they base this claim solely on one author, ironically a female author, Susan Foh, who in 1975 advanced a totally novel interpretation of Genesis 3:16.Can you imagine? A FEMALE opinion!
Foh noted syntactic and semantic parallels between Gen. 4:7 and Gen. 3:16 and concluded thatI posted her Foh's paper above, and all I have to say WOW! Seriously? If we look at the story of Cain and Abel we see two brothers with opposite mindsets if you will.
the meaning of the two passages must be the same. Just as sin crouched on the threshold,
desiring to destroy Cain, and Cain was told he must overrule this temptation, so the wife desires to control her husband (by usurping his divinely appointed authority) and the husband must master her if he can. This interpretation dovetails perfectly into the lying claim of the abusive husband (and his pastor-ally) that the husband was harsh towards his wife because the wife wasn't submissive. The perfect theological excuse for abuse!
Only if you accept this aberrant interpretation, one that no commentator had conceived of for the
first 1900 years of the Christian era, do you swallow the notion that wifely in-submission is, by
definition, abusive to husbands. There has been surprisingly little debate about Foh's interpretation within complementarian circles; they have gladly accepted and promoted it, and we count this as reprehensible on their part.
Cain’s sacrifice was the result of his own works, while Abel’s was the result of his love for his flock. “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4:3-5) Cain sought reconciliation by his works, demonstrating pride, while Abel sought reconciliation by presenting a lamb (a metaphor of Christ perhaps?) that he loved.
Remember when they gave these offerings to the Lord it was a means to wash away sin, and be restored with God if you will. Cain and Abel gave to the Lord out of opposite prospectives. One was of sincerity and love towards God, and one was given out of pride. Cain got his pride hurt when the Lord rejected his offering, and he became ANGRY!
God tries to warn Cain about the power of pride, of all sin, really. “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Genesis 4:7)
Gen 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
When we surrender to temptation, in Cain’s case the temptation of inflated self-worth, we give that sin a foothold. Once established, sin can grow deep roots and eventually conquer us if we let it. God said that Eve shall have this desire for her husband, and her husband will rule over her. In the case of Cain? Cain was asked to place his pride away, so that his pride didn't not conquer him. If he would have placed it away, and gave proper offering to God as Abel did? Would not God be pleased with him also? God told him YES!
Cain ignored God’s warning about sin and seethed with anger and resentment, and allowed this to rule over him. These feelings put down deep roots in him and he finally was pushed to action against his brother. “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” (Genesis 4:8)
What about the case of Eve? Sin had already happened, and God spoke of consequences. Cain ignored God's counsel, and allowed his pride and anger to rule over him instead. Cain was given a choice. He choose sin. Cain allowed sin to rule over him, and Eve was told man was going to rule over her. COMPLETELY OPPOSITE! Abel had the proper mindset towards God, and Adam had sinned in God's eyes! COMPLETELY OPPOSITE! How can God's words on how the man will rule over her, and Cain's choice of which way he will go can equal 'same type of desire'?
We are talking apples and oranges here! Foh is trying to say the type of 'desire' was the same. I notice that CBMW doesn't point that part out to often, but now I know where they got the idea from. Thank you Barbara and James!
Cain's pride reminds me of the story in the NT in Luke 21:1-4 ASV And he looked up, and saw the rich men that were casting their gifts into the treasury. (2) And he saw a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. (3) And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than they all: (4) for all these did of their superfluity cast in unto the gifts; but she of her want did cast in all the living that she had.
Cain did the same as the rich men in the story. If we look closely the bible does have repeating themes. The woman in the story gave out of the correct attitude, and the rich men did not. Cain did the same. God called him on it, and told him basically if you also give with the right attitude I will also bless your offering. Cain instead allowed his angry and pride to rule him, and ended up killing his brother.
Who really suffered in the story of Cain and Abel? I believe in the end the sufferer was Cain. Abel went on to the live with God, while Cain had to live with the scars that he created by his sin. God’s hope for us is that we will come to understand the suffering that sin brings into our lives and this is why He asks us to repent. Like any good father, He wants to spare His beloved children pain. The same goes for the consequence of the fall. When it comes to ruling over people? If you look at human nature and history? We see that present even to this day.
I have to wonder at times if certain men take that as a slam against their gender, instead of just HISTORY! If you look at church history Eve has been blamed in the past more often than Adam. I think part of that is just culture as well. I have also heard if Eve would have 'consulted' Adam prior? If she didn't usurp his leadership PRIOR to eating the apple? WHO knows where we would be I guess. That's another silly item though. To repeat such dribble is blaming Eve again, but coming in the back door while doing it. It's silly.
The logic isn't there to compare the two stories over 'ruling over', or 'desire'.
Cain: Your desire will be the sin of pride, but it will rule over you. (man's choice)
Eve: Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (God's words)
Cain 'allowed' the desire to rule over him, but God told Eve about her desire for her husband, and how he will rule over her.
Scripture doesn't say that Eve's desire is for her husband, she wants to RULE over him! It just another excuse man makes to 'take control'. Thank the Lord there are good men that don't do this! I pray for the ones that seem to think that is right in God's eyes!
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