(Ephesians 5:22) “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.”
Contrary to what many people think, this is not a verse condemning women to an existence of inferiority. It is also not a verse permitting men to repress women. The context of this verse must be viewed in light of Ephesians 5:18 where we are exhorted to be “filled with the Spirit.” One of the results of being filled with the Spirit is spiritual order in the marriage relationship.
Order does not mean domination. I worked in a grocery story as a teenager. We had three managers. All three managers were allowed to tell me what to do. All three were equally as authoritative. All three were good people. But the “store manager” was the final authority. When it came down to making decisions about the store, all three had equal input but one person was accountable for the outcome. In order to avoid chaos and inaction, someone had to have the final say.
God’s order for the family works the same way. Both spouses are functionally equal. Both spouses have equal responsibilities. But in order to avoid chaos, or at the very least disunity, someone has to have final accountability. This is the order that God establishes to preserve the family. While it may appear to be a superior-inferior type of relationship, it isn’t The idea of submission only works if there is a relationship based on love and both are living Spirit-filled lives.
Renewed Thought – Godly submission isn’t about winning or losing. The basis of all godly submission for both spouses is love and the Holy Spirit.
(Gal 5:13) “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”
By now, it should be apparent that the position of “The Church” on gun control should be determined as the response of the heart to sound doctrine. Rather than be restrictive or politically prescriptive, gun control for the Christian is really about freedom of choice. You and I have the liberty to choose whatever position we have on this issue as long as our conscience towards God remains pure.
As with any issue, if we are given freedoms under the laws of our land that are not prohibitive in Scripture, we must understand the proper use of that freedom in Christ. If we stand behind a legal requirement to perform a background check for a gun purchase, then let us not use that process to falsely accuse or bear false witness against our neighbor. Let us not use the information we gain to hurt others. If we stand behind the freedom to purchase weapons without many restrictions, let us see the viewpoint of those who have been victimized and vow to protect the innocent – even those who may want to fight against our position and right to bear arms.
We must keep in mind two things. First, we must remember our reactions to other Christians who oppose our position is a testimony to the world – good or bad. Are we willing to sacrifice the possibility of eternal impact for the temporary satisfaction of casting our brothers and sisters down? Second, we must keep in mind that our ultimate goal is to think like Christ so we can live like Christ. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit must be our source.
Who said “The Church” must all agree on this issue? Do we feel we must choose because that is how the media and politics dictate? The bottomline line – is our position on gun control dictated by the flesh or the Spirit? Be honest.
(I realize this is a hot topic right now. I also realize that many readers of The Renewed Mind hold a variety of views. But unlike many posts and articles I’ve read recently, this is not an attempt at commentary or political positioning. I intend to put forward a Biblically-based approach. Sometimes, no matter what you intend, people receive what you write the wrong way. For this I apologize in advance for my failure to communicate clearly.)
(Rom 13:1) “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”
Is your position on gun control rooted in a desire for righteousness or rebellion? If we are going to hold a godly position on gun control, , we must understand the Biblical issue of submission to governmental authorities. There are many arguments over “rights” and Constitutional interpretation regarding the boundaries of how we pursue life, liberty and happiness.. But along with what we are allowed to pursue in this nation, as Christians we are called to live a life of obedience as long as it does not defy God Himself as presented by the Word of God.
The fine line we walk towards obedience is captured in Act 5:29, “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.” Some use this verse to justify why they stand against injustice. But on the other hand, we have to evaluate whether we are being asked to do something against God or are we standing against something that contradicts our own opinion. It takes some real soul-searching and honesty to determine whether our convictions are Scriptural or preferences.
No matter how you slice it, obedience is a heart issue – regardless of whether it is to parental authority, governmental authority or God’s authority. It is unfortunate but necessary to protect those we care about against evil in this fallen world. This is motivated by love. But when dislike for particular governmental officials, administrations, or even systems of laws becomes the overriding motivation for any position rather than being rooted in the attributes we obtain from God Himself (love, grace, mercy, peace, etc.), we walk a slippery slope towards living out of bitterness. So I ask again, do you hold a position on gun control because of a righteous desire or because of rebellion?