The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Examining the origins of their beliefs, and calling for repentance

Where does the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood get the notion that women must be subject to male authority in the church and in the home?

An examination of the book entitled “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” provides an indication:

“John Calvin…alludes” p. 150

“Calvin comments” p. 151

“In Calvin’s terms” p. 151

“Calvin properly interpreted” p. 260

“Calvin says” p. 260

“Calvin remarks” p. 263

What did John Calvin say about women?

“[A woman] is formed to obey; for gunaikokratia (the government of women) has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing; and, therefore, so to speak, it will be a mingling of heaven and earth, if women usurp the right to teach” (Wilshire, 2010, p. 79).

Where did Calvin get the idea that “the government of women has always been regarded by all wise persons as a monstrous thing”?

An examination of his “Institutes of the Christian Religion” provides an answer:

”Augustine expresses” p. 45

“Augustine considered” p. 52

“Augustine…says” p. 53

“Augustine therefore” p. 54

“Augustine justly calls” p. 62

“Augustine reminds us” p. 63

“Augustine distinctly declares” p. 71

“Augustine tells us” p. 74 (and so on, for another 900 pages).

What did Augustine say about women and authority?

The apostle puts flesh for woman; because, when she was made of his rib, Adam said, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” And the apostle saith, “He that loveth his wife loveth himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh.” Flesh, then, is put for woman, in the same manner that spirit is sometimes put for husband. Wherefore? Because the one rules, the other is ruled; the one ought to command, the other to serve. For where the flesh commands and the spirit serves, the house is turned the wrong way. What can be worse than a house where the woman has the mastery over the man? But that house is rightly ordered where the man commands and the woman obeys. In like manner that man is rightly ordered where the spirit commands and the flesh serves. (On John, Tractate 2, § 14, ed. J. Wijngaards, for womenpriests.org)

Where did Augustine get the notion that men represent “the spirit” and that they must “rule” over women, who represent “the flesh”?

He tells us in his “Confessions”:

“certain books of the Platonists” p. 86

“the books of the Platonists” p. 92

“the study of those [Platonist] books alone” p. 94

“certain books of the Platonists” p. 96

What did “the Platonists” say about women?

Let me further note that the manifold and complex pleasures and desires and pains are generally found in children and women and servants…. Whereas the simple and moderate desires which follow reason, and are under the guidance of the mind and true opinion, are to be found only in a few [all of them men], and those the best born and best educated…

Very true. These two, as you may perceive, have a place in our State; and the meaner desires of the [many] are held down by the virtuous desires and wisdom of the few…

Seeing then, I said, that there are…distinct classes, any meddling of one with another, or the change of one into another, is the greatest harm to the State, and may be most justly termed evil-doing? This then is injustice…

You are quite right, he replied, in maintaining the general inferiority of the female sex….” (Plato’s Republic)

Conclusion

The belief that women must be subject to the authority of men does not have its origin in the Bible. In other words, it is not properly called “biblical” at all. Rather, it has its origin in the human philosophy of Plato. This philosophy was incorporated into Christian theology by St. Augustine, a Roman Catholic Bishop of the 4th Century A.D.. It was carried into the Protestant Reformation by John Calvin, and today it remains alive through the work of the “Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” and other similar organizations.

What does the Bible say about basing our beliefs on human philosophies such as Platonism?

“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ” (Colossians 2:8, NASB).

It’s time for the church worldwide, and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood in particular, to stop confusing sexist human philosophies with the will of God.

“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions” (The words of our Lord, Mark 7:8, NIV).

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