Vows and Wows
Bible.org has redesigned their website. Very nice, very web2.0. But not only are they into Spiritual Formation (see what’s wrong with that at Lighthouse Trails), they also have some “sample wedding vows” for today’s Christian couples.
And that’s where the “wow” comes in.
Of the twelve they list, nos. 1,2,4,5, and 12 have expressly stated the husband’s alleged “headship over” his wife. They leave nothing to the imagination as to what they think “head” means, combining it with “over”, and that the wife is to “obey” her husband (never him obeying her). Especially repulsive is no. 12. For the man it says “I will look to Christ as Head of our home as I have looked to Him as Head of the Church.”, but for the woman it says “I will look to you as head of our home as I have looked to Christ as Head of the Church.”
Sorry, bible.org, but that makes the husband a blasphemer (taking the place of Christ in the life of another person) and the wife an idolater (looking to a man instead of Christ). This abominable trend in the churches has infected influential leaders in the Christian community, and it’s spreading rapidly. Those men love to “keep their place” and to be “head over” someone, especially women. We women are expected to spend our lives stroking their delicate egos, making them little gods over us, and believing it’s God’s divine order.
I pray that bible.org will “redesign” more than their website, and “rethink” their acceptance and promotion of Spiritual Formation. And those wedding vows don’t need just a redesign, they need to be thrown out. They can practice idolatry, blasphemy, and the spiritual adultery of Spiritual Formation, but they can’t make us join them.
“Come out of her, my people, so you will not take part in her sins and so you will not receive her plagues” (Rev. 18:4, NET).
EDIT - Added 2008-01-22
There’s an important point I forgot to make about vow #12 above. The two “I wills” of the man’s vow are supposedly reflected in the two “I wills” of the woman’s vow, but on closer inspection it’s “apples and oranges”.
The man’s vow: -- Christ as head of home -- Christ as head of church
The woman’s vow: -- Male as head of home -- Christ as head of church
In the man’s vow, the comparison is between the home and the church. But in the woman’s vow, the comparison is between Christ and the male. In other words, the two things being compared for the male are not the same two things being compared for the female. Here is another example to help illustrate:
-- a soldier as a member of the Army -- a soldier as a member of all the armed forces
-- a soldier as a member of the Army -- a sailor as a member of all the armed forces
The first set compares how a soldier relates to two groups, but the second set compares how two different service people relate to two groups. It’s meaningless and nonsensical to try and relate the second set to the first. Likewise, the woman’s “response” to the man is utterly unrelated to it. He is only vowing to do what any Christian is expected to do, while she must turn her eyes away from Christ for the rest of her married life and give her devotion to a mere human.
In other words, for the man Christ remains Lord; for the woman, the man becomes lord.
Male supremacists object to calling this what it is, blasphemy and idolatry. But “a rose by any other name”...