Judges 12:5-6 And the Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. And when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” When he said, “No,” (6) they said to him, “Then say Shibboleth,” and he said, “Sibboleth,” for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slaughtered him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites fell.
Some years ago a pastor from a nearby church phoned me to ask a few questions about our church. He was sincere in motive I believe and just wanted to know if we were a true, Bible-believing and teach church or not. But he started in the wrong place. He asked the wrong questions. Here is his first:
Are you complementarian or egalitarian?
For those of you not familiar with these terms, they apply to two views of marriage. The complementarian is the model that says the husband is the head, in authority, and the wife is to submit to him. The egalitarian model puts husband and wife on equal levels in regards to leadership, authority, etc. [We get into trouble when we start throwing these terms around because inevitably they drag us into this “authority” arena and things go south from there].
Now, in the conservative churches I was raised and taught in, the complementary model was the one embraced. After all, is that not what Ephesians 5 teaches? The husband is the head of his wife and the wife is to submit – well, yes, but….somehow or other the actual application of this Scripture has gone very wrong. But anyway, that is not my main point here.
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