RELATIONSHIP WITH RELEVANT TEXTS

© Rosemary Bardsley 2017

This section gives a brief look at how this Christological model of headship/submission relates to texts commonly referenced in complementarian/egalitarian discussions. [See Appendix #2 for expanded discussion of three significant texts].

Note: In the analysis below 'CM' refers to 'Christological Model'.

Genesis 1
The CM upholds the male/female equality and unity clearly evident in Genesis 1:26-28.

Genesis 2
The CM upholds the pre-fall role distinctives grounded by Paul (1Corinthians 11:8,9) on the Genesis 2:18-22 facts that woman was made from man and for man.

The CM upholds the pre-fall role distinctives grounded by Paul (1Timothy 2:13) on the fact that man was created first – Genesis 2:7.

The CM thus sees the pre-fall role distinctives as a divinely appointed order. But it was neither a prescribed order nor a described order. It was neither demanded nor defined. It simply was – as natural and as free and as spontaneous as the Father/Son role structure in the Trinity. It was thus non-threatening to either the male or the female; and it was non-competitive and non-divisive. It existed in the context of uninhibited and unimpeded trust and unity.

The CM upholds the unity and equality embedded in Adam’s ‘this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’ [verse 23]

Genesis 3
The CM exposes Eve’s action in verses 1-6 as rejection of God’s authority – the opposite of Christ’s submission to the Father.

The CM sees the Genesis 3:16 as descriptive of the corruption and disruption of the male/female role distinctives – a dysfunction of ‘gender hierarchy’ - resulting from the fall and God’s judgement on the fall, not as a command. In keeping with the example of Jesus Christ in redemptive reversal of the impacts of Genesis 3, both during his incarnation and by his death, and acknowledging the ‘all one in Christ Jesus’ reality, the CM seeks to undo the pain and disintegration that has cursed the male/female order since Genesis 3:16, and to restore the trust and unity in which a restoration of the original divinely created and spontaneous structure is increasingly possible.

Various OT & NT texts about women engaging in ministry or leadership.
The CM validates the involvement of duly authorized women in the full range of roles and functions, excepting the ‘head’ role. It validates also a dominant role/function of a woman when the male ‘head’ delegates, (or otherwise defers by choice or by default), that role/function to a woman. [e.g. Barak/Deborah; Aquilla/Priscilla]

Jesus’ attitude to women
The CM maintains the same equality of women evident in the extremely counter-cultural attitude of Jesus to women.

Matthew 28:18-20
The CM upholds the inclusive nature of the great commission.

Romans 5:12ff
The CM upholds the representative nature of headship (but not to the exclusion of ‘source’ and ‘authority’).

1Corinthians 11:3
The CM is grounded in the divine role structure taught in this verse. It understands that by this verse Paul introduces his lengthy section (Ch. 11-14) about appropriate order in the Church.

1Cornithians 11:4,5
The CM reflects the fact that both men and women are engaged in the same activities in the context of the local Church – praying and prophesying.

1Corinthians 11:8-10
The CM upholds the concept of ‘head’ as ‘source’, but not to the exclusion of ‘authority’. Rather it sees ‘source’ and ‘authority’ as mutually inclusive of each other.

[Note that Paul calls the head covering ‘authority’ – exousia – (NIV – ‘a sign of authority) – that is, it authorised her, gave her the right, to pray and prophesy in public.]

1Corinthians 11:11,12
The CM upholds the mutual dependence of male and female taught in this verse.

1Corinthians 12:7-11, 27-31; 14:1-40
The CM upholds the fact that there is no gender distinction in the divine distribution of the gifts and their intended use in the Church.

1Corinthians 14:33-35
The CM maintains that, given Paul’s reference to women praying and prophesying in 11:5, he does not here forbid women giving teaching in the local Church; rather he is forbidding a disruptive, inappropriate asking of questions, as indicated in 14:35. Paul’s concern from verse 26 to 40 is that everything be done in ‘a fitting and orderly way’. Disruptive women were not the only people he told to be quiet and to submit to the appropriate order.

1Corinthians 15:20-23
The CM model affirms the representative nature of headship taught by Paul in this text.

Galatians 3:28
The CM upholds the equality and unity of male and female in Christ.

Ephesians 5:22ff
The CM understands that male headship is analogous to the headship of Christ over the Church; and that this headship includes the three aspects of source, authority and representation.

1Timothy 2:11-13
The CM upholds the gender role distinction assumed in this verse. However it does not understand this distinction to exclude the male delegation of authority to a suitable trusted female. By its very nature the Christological Model exemplifies such delegation. Just as Christ did not usurp the Father’s authority, even so a woman entrusted by male headship with a delegated role or function is not taking authority upon herself; rather she is given that authority, she has been empowered to do it. [And it may be that this kind of delegation/authorisation is what Paul was indicating by his reference to head-covering as ‘a sign of authority’ in 1Corinthians 11:10.]

1Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10
The CM affirms the priesthood of all believers, male and female. It thus rejects any exclusion of women from certain roles that is based on the fact that Old Testament priests were only men.