I don't know how serious the coronavirus is. I hear both super serious and I also hear that it's being exaggerated as a conspiracy. I don't want to get it or anyone else to get it. It can kill. We know. There is so much emphasis on it right now, including with the most radical national quarantine I've seen in my lifetime. It is portrayed as so horrible, that it seems justified. To stop from spreading the disease, some are forced to stay for a long time in uncomfortable situations. They don't have a choice. The government has the authority to tell people to stay in their room for weeks without leaving. I don't hear anyone complaining that the authorities are being mean or extreme or untrustworthy because of their severe requirements.
The male headship of scripture, which is the
male headship, functions under the authority of scripture, which means also that it functions with authority from God. God designed male headship in all human institutions. The male head can and should act with authority. What I see today is that if someone differs with the male head in whatever position he may be, the one differing doesn't need biblical authority. He just challenges and just because he has a challenge, it is a legitimate, worthy challenge to be treated with a kind of gentle, docile respect, perhaps even a giddy smile.
I am a male head in several different capacities: husband, father, pastor, and teacher. I operate with scriptural authority, and that means essentially two things to me. First,
God gives me various positions of authority. God put me in these positions. As long as I'm not requiring something unscriptural in those positions of authority from God, what I'm requiring should be done, just because I have authority. Second,
even though I have authority, I focus on what scripture says. I don't major on non-scriptural areas. In those I attempt to give liberty. I give attention to what the Bible says and prioritize scriptural belief and practice.
You could say that I have two layers of authority in my positions of authority. Someone under my authority should do what I say, just because I say it. Yet, I'm not telling people to do non-scriptural things. I'm telling them to do scriptural teaching. It goes even further than that though.
I explain scripture to those under me. I study scripture. I don't take it out of context. I understand the meaning of the words and the syntax of the passages to which I refer or on which I rely. I'm saying that I'm careful with scripture. I don't just quote the passage. I expound it. I want the adherents to know why they are doing what they are doing, so that they will believe it's coming from God.
Here's what I see happen today. I work at explaining scriptural authority. I have authority already. I could just tell people. I don't stop there though. I quote the Bible and explain it. What happens? Today I see apathy, attitude, anger, contentiousness, and even defiance. Why? I have heard a number of reasons.
Not necessarily in any order, but I hear that I didn't say it nice enough. I wasn't nice. The niceness is a kind of femininity. Style is elevated above authority. Something like "gentleness" can be used as an instrument of insubordination. Everything said is true, but it doesn't have to be done because the style was sinful according to the hearer. It wasn't said nicely, so it was abusive. Command voice cannot be used. Another idea I've heard here is that authority must be earned, and it's earned through a soft approach that allows for rejection. The authority shifts from the one in authority to the one under authority.
It's good to be nice. It's commendable to treat people in a nice way, to be as nice as they want. It is not a requirement for the hearer to comply. The authority says. Add to that, the authority brings a scriptural explanation.
Also, requirements brought by authority apparently violate boundaries that restrain or inhibit freedom. The one under authority wants freedom emphasized. He requires free will. Ironic, I know. Requirement means coercion. The one in authority must respect a boundary placed by the one under his authority. The hearer needs to be able to choose
to do it or he doesn't have
to do it. You might be in authority, but you can't force him to do it. He doesn't want to do it, so he doesn't have to. His acquiescence must be earned. This is where millennials today ghost authority. They don't want a setting where they'll be told what to do. This emasculates male headship, where the authority must accommodate and accede.
No boundary dictates to authority, or else it isn't authority. Authority isn't earned. It is given by God. Sure, others might listen better if the style of communication is preferred by the hearer. However, that style doesn't change the authority one bit. Then if someone explains scripture, that doubles the authority. This response to authority is just rebellion against God at the peril of the hearers. The boundary is a capricious one. It is fiction, an ethereal boundary that doesn't even really exist, like a pink pony.
A further kind of emasculation of male headship is when the one under his authority "disagrees." Disagreement has some kind of magical property to it in the realm of authority. The one in authority will just have to agree to disagree -- in other words, be nice again, when the person not only doesn't have authority, but he doesn't have a scriptural explanation. He hasn't even worked at it.
A corollary to the previous paragraph is calling upon the existence of scriptural disagreement. "Not everyone agrees." You can find someone who will disagree with about anything, but disagreement is not authority. This fits in with the boundaries argument. Someone wants a safe space to develop his own arguments, but he isn't developing his own arguments. It's not safe, because it's a place of ugly, destructive corruption. But authority is required to wait and wait and wait....and wait....until he comes up with his argument. Until then, he does what he wants. This requires the male head to be a sissy. Not only must he wait, but he must wait with a smile. Verrryy patiently. Send flowers while waiting. Sit still and wait, letting cobwebs form while his authority is being defied. See who is in authority? Not the male head.
It is worse than all of what I've described. Today if the male head wants to, well, head, then he's hurting mental health. The one under authority hears the footsteps of the authority that he defies and feels scared. He might be confronted. He has some heart palpitations. Let's just call it PTSD. Clinical psychiatrists, most with their own serious problems, call it PTSD. The imposition of authority is a form of abuse in the emasculated society I'm detailing.
Someone in authority, the male head, should be obeyed, and with a good attitude. Someone then who gives thorough biblical argument should be obeyed, and with joy. He's put that effort in. He should get a thanks. This is manhood. It should be respected, but it is an endangered species. People want male headship to disappear, and as a part of the apostasy in which we live, it could.