Submission and subordination - at last someone else articulating what I have articulated.

Remember that essay I wrote about gender and preaching. I ended it with this as my conclusion:

Christians can not deny that Christianity is about submission: submission to the Godhead, the gospel and the Church which we are called to serve. As regards whether one gender is to submit more than another, this seems an appropriate question to ask when the word seems to have become associated with subordination. In Grudem and Rainey's 'Pastoral Leadership for Manhood and Womanhood', they describe that the 'Biblical View of Submission ...requires her to submit to him..., while no passage indicates that a husband should be subordinate to his wife.'1 It is in the casual exchange of the word submit for subordinate that significant problems lie. These two words are not synonymous because the former is theological and about 'dying to self', the latter is worldly, denoting inferiority. When a woman's Christian submission is also subordinationism to men, she is denied the role of oversight in the Church.

People have not always agreed with me about the distinction but that's okay. It never was going to be straight-forward but I now see that there is someone else who is prepared to write about this casual exchange of words.

I believe Grudem has confused submission with subordination. Here you can find an example of Grudem interchanging the words “submission” and “subordination” at will. Here, at the CBMW website (which Grudem is heavily involved in) you will find a large number of articles that confuse submission and subordination and use the terms interchangeably. In the original language, hypotasso means to “yield”, “submit” or “make yourself subject to”. It is about an act of will by the person submitting that has nothing to do with status or hierarchy, authority or power.

The writer explains many of the flaws in the thinking of Wayne Grudem, whose ideas reach so many from The Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

Grudem, in his article “The Myth of Mutual Submission” claims that Paul’s statement in Ephesians 5:21, “Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ” should be more accurately translated as “be subject some to others”. Grudem states that Ephesians 5:21 is not about “the ideas of mutual considerateness, thoughtfulness, and love”. He goes on to say, “Once these terms are understood correctly, I think the idea of “mutual submission” in marriage will be seen to be a myth without foundation in Scripture at all.”


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