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New post on the meaning of “For the husband is head of the wife the way Christ is head of the Church”

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Christians today still struggle over the meaning of Paul’s statement, “For the husband is head of the wife the way Christ is head of the Church.” What way is that? For husband to be head is a wonderful thing, but it does not mean what we usually think it does. This short piece shows how Paul challenges men not to rule their wives but to care for and love them as Christ loved the Church.

Click here for pdf copy of “For the husband is head of his wife the way Christ is head of the Church” or continue below:
What does the word “head” mean? And what did it mean when the Apostle Paul wrote it in the first century? Twice in the New Testament epistles, the Apostle Paul uses the Greek word kephale (head) in reference to the relationship between husband and wife.  In Ephesians 5: 23, the text says, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church,” and in 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read “the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is the man.”

These verses have comprised a major part of the hermeneutical battle between egalitarians/feminists and complementarians/hierarchists for a number of years. Those who argue for hierarchy in marriage argue that Paul intended kephale to signify that God wants the husband to hold some kind of authority over his wife.  Kephale would then be translated as “authority over,” “leader,” or “ruler” of his wife[2]. Indeed, this understanding is a difficult to avoid for those who speak a language in which “head” has the metaphorical meaning of “person-in-control.” Head does not literally mean “boss or authority” in English. Literally, it means the round part of your body comprised of your skull and face, at the top of your neck. The question we must ask is, did kephale have that same metaphorical meaning in first century Koine Greek?

Egalitarians, in contrast, argue instead for understanding kephale as “source” or “origin,” as in the headwaters of a river. This reading draws on the Creation account in Genesis 2, in which ha’adam (the human being created out of the dust in verse 7) is divided in two to build ‘ishshah (woman) and ‘ish (man). Thus, for egalitarians, the man is the “source” of the woman, but not her ruler.[3]

Writers, theologians, pastors, and lay people have debated this for years—but I propose a third alternative. I agree with Andrew C. Perriman that neither position (kephale as authority, or as source) is “quite satisfactory.”[4] [5]  If kephale had the meaning of either authority or origin in ancient times, it was not used that way very often. Further, the arguments on both sides beg the question of why, whichever meaning Paul intended, he didn’t use the words for “ruler” or “source/origin” directly, since plenty exist in the Greek.  If Paul meant to command a husband’s authority over his wife, he could have communicated this using the far more common and intuitive archon (ruler or power)[6], exousia (authority), despotes or oikudespotes (used in the gospels to refer to the master of a household or landowner), or kyrios (lord). The Greek language includes many more words than English and precise word choice can be used to express nuances that English cannot.

Indeed, use of the word kyrios, the term used for Jesus throughout the New Testament, would have seemed completely natural if that was the role Paul intended for the husband.  Kyrios was also the more common Greek term for the master of a household.  So when people argue that the Bible says a husband is the head of the household, that is simply not true. First, it says that he is the head of the wife, not the household, and second, in the time that Paul wrote, the word kyrios would have perfectly and precisely communicated the idea of head of the household. But Paul, guided by the Holy Spirit, instead chose a different word. Why? Because Paul did not mean head of the household or authority of any kind, but something different.

What kind of kephale is Christ?

Theologian Richard Cervin asserts, “(Paul) does not mean ‘authority over’ as the traditionalists assert, nor does he mean ‘source’ as the egalitarians assert.  I think he is merely employing a head-body metaphor.”[7]  I agree. This metaphor is clear throughout Eph. 5:21-31, which begins with the injunction for the members of the Christian household to “submit themselves one to another in reverence for Christ,” continues with the head-body metaphor throughout, and ends with a quotation from the Creation account, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (Gen 2:26).

Head plus body equals one flesh.

That kephale is “merely” part of a head-body metaphor, however, still raises the question of what role the head plays that is distinct from that of the body. Doesn’t man’s placement parallel to Christ still imply his superiority and privileged position?

Kephale is used in the context of man and woman in only two Pauline passages. However, Paul used it to refer to the relationship between Christ and the Church in several others. A look at those verses points, surprisingly, to a different meaning of kephale than is typically argued by either side in the hierarchy/equality debate.

A key to understanding Paul’s use of kephale lies in the use of a related word in Eph. 1:9-10:

For [God] has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite [“bring together”, NIV] all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth  (RSV) (emphasis added).

(The word translated “unite,” anakephalaio, is literally, “to head up.”  The word is alternatively translated as, “to sum up,” “to unite,” or “bring several things together in one.” See the kephale in anakephalaio?)

Paul used kephale in the sense of a body part in a head-body metaphor. His reference to the body is present in all the verses referring to Christ as kephale. The head performs not as a ruler but as an agent who creates unity, growth, and completion. Notice what the head does in each of these passages:

Colossians 1:17-18:  “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together, and he is the head (kephale) of the body, the church….”

(The head holds all things together.)

Col. 2: 19 (Paul is speaking of someone who pursued “idle notions”): “He has lost connection with the head (kephale), from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.”

      (The head holds all things together, promotes growth.)

Ephesians 4:15 (Paul tells us that in Christ we are no longer infants, blown here and there):  “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head (kephale), that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

(Head hold all things together, promotes growth in love, enables each part to do its work.)

Ephesians 1:22  “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”

Ephesians 1:22 is particularly helpful in understanding the difference between kephale as ruler versus as one who unites or causes the body to grow.  In this verse, Christ is one with the church, which is his body and his fullness.  The things that are subjected (hypotasso in the active voice) to Christ are under His feet (certainly at the extreme end of the body), not His head.  Thus Christ as head does not subjugate, dominate, or rule the body, but reigns in unity with it.

One more passage, Colossians 2:9-10, Paul sets Christ as kephale in juxtaposition to the worldly forces of archon (rule), and exousia (authority): “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head (kephale) [of] every rule (arches) and authority (exousias)….” The reference to Christ as kephale cannot be read as another word for ruler or authority: Along with philosophy, empty deceit, and human tradition, the passage makes it clear that none of these “elemental spirits of the universe” is in harmony with Christ (verse 8).

Literary Context

For the hierarchists, translating kephale as “authority over” in Eph. 5: 23 seems to follow from the immediately-surrounding injunctions that wives submit themselves (hypotasso in the middle voice) to their husbands (Eph. 5:22, 24). They read the passage as commanding, “Women, be subject to your husband, because he is your ruler.” That is not what the text says, however, and this interpretation rips the verse from its context. In order to understand this sentence fragment (which is what Eph. 5:22 is in the original language), you must read the entire chapter, both before and after this verse. In the long following passage (Eph. 5:25-31), kephale is clearly used in a head-body metaphor enjoining the husband to imitate Christ, not in ruling his wife, but in serving and caring for her:

23 For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the   Church, He is Himself the savior[8] of the body…. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up on behalf of it, 26  in order that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the washing of water by the word, 27 so as to present the church to himself glorious, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind, but in order that it might be holy and    without blemish.  28 So ought also husbands to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  29 For no one ever hates his    own flesh, but he nourishes and cherishes it, as also Christ the church, 30   because we are members of his body.  31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and the two will become one flesh” (my translation).

In addition to confusion of the meaning of kephale, part of the problem in understanding this passage stems from the tendency for translators to separate verse 22 (literally, “wives to your own husbands as to the Lord”) from verse 21 (“being submitted to one another out of reverence for Christ,”). The verb, “submit yourself,” is found only once, in verse 21 and not at all in verse 22, and is directed to the entire Christian community (see Ephesians 5:15-20).  Read in this larger context, Paul now can be seen as directing all Christians to submit themselves to one another (voluntarily “esteeming others as better than yourselves,” Philippians 2:3); wives to their own husbands, not because he is her ruler, but because his role as head is to give himself up for her, to nourish and care for her, and to love her as his own body.

Leading further credibility to the interpretation of kephale as one who serves rather than be served is seen in the following verses (Eph. 6:1-9). Paul’s directive on how the Christian family “submits itself” to each other continues, including children/fathers and slaves/masters. In each pairing, the dominant agent (father/master) is directed to give up the power and prerogatives of his status in order to serve his children and slaves, just as the husband sacrifices himself for his wife.

Conclusion

A careful reading of the verses referring to Christ as kephale reveals the word to mean neither “authority over” nor “source,” but rather suggests a power that unites, nurtures, and serves. Its use in a head-body metaphor encourages both husband and wife to work together to return to the creation ideal of “one flesh” unity, a unity in which the human union of marriage parallels the heavenly union of Christ and the Church.

[1] © Carrie A. Miles, 2014.

[2] Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “Kephale in 1 Corinthians 11:3,” Interpretation 47 (1993):56-57, Wayne Grudem, “Appendix I: Does kephale (“head”) mean ‘source’ or ‘authority over’ in Greek Literature? A survey of 2,336 examples,” pp 48-80 in The Role Relationships of Men and Women: New Testament Teaching (George W. Knight, ed: Revised Edition; Chicago: Moody Press, 1985).  D.A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996).

[3] Stephen Bedale, “The meaning of kefalh/ in the Pauline Epistles,” Journal of Theological Studies 5 (1954): 211-215; F. F Bruce, 1 and 2 Corinthians (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1971), p. 103. Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen, “What does kephale mean in the New Testament?” in Women, Authority and the Bible (Alvera Mickelsen, ed: Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1986), 97-110.

[4] Andrew C. Perriman, “The head of a woman: The meaning kephale in 1 Cor. 11:3,” Journal of Theological Studies 45 (1994):602.

[5] In an unpublished article, Troy W. Martin offers a succinct summary of the arguments on both sides. “Performing the head role: Man is the head of woman.”

[6]  Mickelsen.

[7] Richard Cervin, “Does kephale mean ‘source’ or ‘authority’ in Greek literature? A rebuttal,” Trinity Journal 10 NS (1989): 85-112.

[8] Referring to Jesus as “Savior” is language borrowed from the Greco-Roman honor system. A savior was someone who provided a great service to another, often at the cost of his own life. David A. deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship and Purity: Unlocking New Testament Culture, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

 

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Will Amnesty International Now Be Defending the Rights of Pimps and Sex Abusers?

I have been a supporter of Amnesty International since 1970, when a young man at my high school organized an effort to pressure the Soviet Union to allow Russians Jews to leave the country. Suspicious of some of the projects Amnesty has undertaken recently, however, I have grown erratic in keeping up my membership.

My support of Amnesty ended today with Amnesty’s announcement that they would fight for “full decriminalization of all aspects of consensual sex work.” This tragic, and stupid, mistake suggests that the people running this organization do not know what they are doing. Perhaps for all their human rights work, they have never actually been to a developing country?

According to the NY Times, Amnesty says that “its research suggests decriminalization is the best way to defend sex workers’ human rights.” But a leaked early version of its proposal contended that “sexual desire is a fundamental need and that punishing buyers ‘may amount to a violation of the right to privacy and under the rights to free expression and health.’” Amnesty is arguing not just to decriminalize the prostituted person, but also to decriminalize the buyers and the pimps. In fact, they seem to be more concerned about the freedom and health of the john than that of the prostituted person.

Have any of the 500 delegates to the Amnesty conference ever talked to anyone involved in human trafficking? The more we learn about the sex trade, the more we learn that there is very little or perhaps no sex work that is actually consensual. Despite the “hooker with the heart of gold” and “Pretty Woman” myths, no one plans to become a prostitute. Most sex workers in American cities get started as girls (mostly) and boys (in increasing numbers) who ran away from abusive family situations and/or aged out of foster care. These vulnerable children are picked up by pimps, seduced, and then coerced into prostitution. These pimps are the very people Amnesty would be protecting.

Have the Amnesty delegates ever been to a developing country, where small girls are sold into prostitution by their impoverished parents, and beaten, starved, and raped into servicing dozens of men a day? Do they know the life expectancy of a prostitute? Has anyone at Amnesty ever read “Half the Sky?” And Amnesty wants to protect the human rights of the inhuman managers of these brothels?

The leaked proposal call sexual desire  a “fundamental need ”- another expression of ignorance. Sex itself is certainly not a need. Sex is a drive, and a compelling one, but one can survive many long years without ever having sex. Calling sex a fundamental need comes close to calling in a right, which comes close to calling it an entitlement. No one has a need, right, or entitlement that allows them to violate the body of someone else. Even if they pay for it. Oh yes, that’s another thing we have learned – the sex worker usually gets nothing in exchange for his or her service. It all goes to the pimp or brothel owner.

In developing countries, it is difficult enough to get local police to enforce laws against prostitution. It is extremely naïve to believe that by decriminalizing the sex trade, it can be managed. Decriminalization will only legitimize the pimps and give them more power, the police less.

I also think of the impact of legitimizing sex work on the community. Burbank is an unincorporated area near downtown San Jose. Because of its unincorporated status, strip clubs and adult movie theaters and bookstores were allowed there. These businesses drew large numbers of the unattractive element whose human rights and sexual desires concern Amnesty. Residents regularly found used condoms, and sometimes “consensual sex workers” and their customers, on their lawns or in cars parked in front of their houses.

I agree with Salman Rushdie, who said in response to an earlier controversy at Amnesty International, “It looks very much as if Amnesty’s leadership is suffering from a kind of moral bankruptcy, and has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong.”

Even more, I agree with Francis A. Boyle, a professor or international law and former Amnesty board member, who said, “We should be protecting human beings, and not sex work.” Being forced into sex work through poverty, abuse, or abandonment is already a violation of a person’s human rights. If Amnesty is concerned about the welfare of prostituted women and girls, they would do better to work to free them from the greed and lust of the people they now propose to defend.

If you have an opinion on this matter, go to Amnesty International USA Facebook page to express it.

The deadly effects of proof-texting

Proof-texting is taking a biblical verse out of context in order to argue a point. I attended some sessions at the local Society of Biblical Literature conference, March 30 – 31, 2014, and learned about how deadly proof-texting can be. Dr. Alice Yafeh-Deigh, an assistant professor at Azusa Pacific, gave a paper on 1 Cor. 7:4 and it’s impact on the transmission of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Paul’s intention in 1 Cor. 7 was to free people from the awful mess that marriage had become in the Greco-Roman world. In Ephesians 5, he copied Jesus and the Creator in establishing, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and they two will become one flesh,” as the ideal of marriage. He directed husbands to treat their wives with self-sacrificing love, and to give up their own desires for the sake of their wives.  In 1 Cor 7, he said that marriage was not a requirement, that fathers did not have to marry off their children unless the child herself wanted it, and that Christians were called to peace, not to the rigid requirements of earthly laws and customs. 

Answering a question from the Corinthian church about whether married couples should practice sexual abstinence, Paul, in advising against it, affirmed the goodness of marital sex. He wrote, “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”  Paul intended this to signify the mutual consideration and respect that was to characterize the Christian marriage.

To say that a wife has authority over her husband’s body was a radical statement deeply affirming of women. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Yafeh-Deigh, in Sub-Saharan Africa the first half of this verse is used as a proof-text to deny women the right to say “no” to sex with HIV-infected husbands. Hence, this verse is used to effectively condemn to death the believing wives of adulterous men.

It is appalling that Paul’s words would be twisted to argue that an HIV-infected man has a “right” to sex with his wife, knowing he would infect her with a deadly disease. It is even more appalling that Christian leaders would support him in this. This is proof-texting at its most deadly, and a slander on the body of Christ.    

Empower Programs in India January 2014

Donell and Carrie with Alice, Pollachi, India

Donell and Carrie with Alice, Pollachi, India

Donell Peck and I celebrated the new year by flying to Kolkata, India. We are eager to share our excitement about the programs we conducted there.

The very early-in-the-year travel was necessitated by an opportunity to present the Empower material to 200 women leaders from throughout India.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

In Kenya two years ago, several of the Empower team had the opportunity to meet Dr. Richard Howell, general secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

According to their website, “The EFI is a national representative voice; articulating Biblical values, training our partnering members, addressing issues, and advocating for the poor and marginalized”. It is an umbrella organization for some 30,000 evangelical and Pentecostal churches in India.

Dr. Howell asked did we work in India, which we didn’t at the time. So he connected us with Koki Desai, who is in charge of EFI’s women’s ministry, and her husband, Johnny Desai, a regional leader with EFI.  David Nutter and I conducted the New Man, New Woman, New Life seminar for an amazing and accomplished group they mobilized in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India in February 2013.

Johnny and Koki Desai

Johnny and Koki Desai

Donell and I have since learned that this seminar had been a chance to “check us out”.  (Can’t blame EFI for wanting more information on us — Dr. Howell and most of the Empower team shared a small dining facility while we were in Kenya, and we do tend to carry on.) We passed the test, so EFI afforded us exposure to these outstanding women leaders.

I presented a Bible study on NMNW on all four days of the conference. Two hundred is a big group for Bible study, but I made it as interactive as possible. This was a great group! I would throw out a vague reference to a scripture in Romans, and within 30 seconds someone would give us chapter and verse. Dr. Howell and his wife, Sunita, attended all the sessions.

We haDressing Donellve had several offers to translate the study guide into local languages, as well as many invitations to come and present the seminar. Donell had her picture taken about a hundred times with excited participants, and was shown how to wear a sari by some of the ladies David and I met in Gujarat. (I am still declining to buy a sari, but did get another style of Indian dress).IMG_1425

 

In discussion with Dr. Howell, Koki and Johnny, Empower is planning to return to India, probably in January 2015. Since visiting some of the areas to which we were invited requires a helicopter, we decided the best bet was to bring together leaders from throughout India at the EFI facilities in Shillong (north-east India) and Delhi.

Following the conference, the Desais had originally planned a NMNW seminar in a hill station (retreat area) in the state of Gujarat. Johnny learned at the last minute that the retreat center had double-booked the facility. He and Koki scrambled to find us another venue and audience, which they did overnight before Donell and I even knew anything about it.

We taught the seminar for a group for a church in the Surat area of Gujarat, about a 6-hour (often terrifying) drive from Mumbai. (Don’t believe anyone who tells you that they drive on the left in India. Our drivers spent most of the time on the right side of the road, running against traffic, or at best in the middle.)

We stayIMG_0594ed in the town of Vyara. This rural area was beautiful and open. Vyara is the first town I have been in in which pigs are allowed to roam freely. Donell thought it was a good idea, as the pigs kept the town free of rubbish.

We enjoyed working with the group, although we did have to make some scheduling accommodations to allow some participants to get home in time to milk. An agency has given the tribal group we were working with water buffalo, IMG_1546and the program was thriving. We enjoyed the milk as part of the daily menu, as well as stopping along the road to watch the buffalo being milked.

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Donell and I next flew to Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, where we were met by the Bishop, who drove us to Pollachi. David and I conducted a program for this group last year. The women there are still rejoicing in the good news that they were not cursed by God! (Koki told me that the belief that women are inferior and born to be slaves is part of the Hindu karmic wheel – i.e., that fact that a woman was born a woman meant that she had behaved poorly in her last life.)

The group from last year met us with rejoicing for the Master Class. As part of the Master Class, we had reports from participants about what they had learned and what they were teaching. The good news had been shared with neighbors, relatives, Bible study groups, and in churches as far away as Malaysia.

The program was held in the same Catholic retreat center as last year, but in a different building. We were about 15 kilometers out of town, and on the second day, the car got a flat tire. The driver whipped out his phone and called the Bishop, who along with one of the other men, Jesudab, came to our rescue on motorcycles.

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We had a lot of lively discussion, especially with questions coming from three men sitting in the front row, who kept throwing up challenges like, “If women are equal to men, then why…”, followed by a verse taken out of context. We answered their questions, often by referring to the larger textual or cultural context in which the verse was embedded.

On the last day, the participants had an opportunity to share what they had learned. One of the first-row-gentleman said (to cheers from us), “I used to take a single verse and argue about it. Now I have learned to interpret scripture in context.”

Our work here is done.

One of the, “If women are equal to men, then why…” questions was, “If women are equal to men, then why did Jesus choose only male disciples?” We clarified that women were certainly among the disciples, with some of them contributing to Jesus’ support. (This group was puzzled to learn of women’s active participation in the early church. Perhaps as Tamil-speakers they do not recognize as female the names of the many women cited by Paul.)

Jesus did choose twelve Jewish males as apostles. The best explanation I have heard of this is that he was symbolically recreating the twelve tribes of Israel. But the twelve tribes were instruments of exclusivity, of the pulling in and isolation of the people of God from the pollution of their idol-worshipping neighbors. The name of the New Tribe of Israel, however, is “apostle”: one who is sent out. And indeed, the apostles went all over the world. The early church in India was founded by St. Thomas. Instead of pulling in on themselves, the new chosen people includes everyone – even women, and even those of no caste and despised in their traditional culture, as most of this group is.

Alice

At the end of the second day, Donell led the group in the “face-to-face affirmation” (created by Kristina Sachs), in which husbands and wives are asked to find each other (since the women sit on one side of the room and the men on the other), hold hands, and look each other in the eye as they tell each other that they love him or her, and wish to serve God in their marriage. Afterward we asked them to pray together. As the couple came together, there was much giggling – it had been years since many of these couples had held hands – and some of the men leant back as far as they could. But they did it, and Jesudab whispered to me, “Do that again tomorrow.” And when I forgot the next day, he reminded me.

Couples praying together in Vyara

The next day, Donell and I flew back to Kolkata, and after a few more adventures, got back to Hong Kong and then home. It was a good and very productive trip. Thank you for your prayers and support.

Submission

In the blog post (link below), Gibbs suggests that Philippians 1:5-11 is a psalm. Indeed, the NRSV shows 6- 11 in poetry form. When we sing it, include Phil 1:1-4 as we…ll. In New Man, New Woman, New Life, we use these verses to define submission in Ephesians 5:21: “Submit yourselves one to another in reverence for Christ.”

Phil 1 1-4 “If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of other.”

Now read Gibb’s post:

https://www.fastmail.fm/html/?MLS=MB-*&SMB-CF=1165064&SMR-PT=&SMR-UM=f1165064u73487&u=6d5241ad&MSignal=MR-**f1165064u73445

Jesus and Men

Because traditional gender norms so obviously restrict women’s freedom, the extent to which norms of masculinity limit men is often overlooked. Jesus’ teachings free men as well as women. Jesus’ statement that men should not treat women as sexual objects (Matt. 5:27-28), addresses concerns about sexuality that play a dominant, and unpleasant, part in men’s lives. “Aggressiveness, virility [and] sexual prowess” were important parts of a man’s claim to honor in the Greco-Roman world (Osiek and Balch 1997). Placing sexuality back into its Creation context as a tool of relationship, not as a contest in which “manhood” is judged, Jesus began to redefine what it means to be a man.

Similarly, Jesus redeemed men from a system that pressured men to: measure their worth in terms of material wealth (Matt. 6:19–20; Matt. 4:8–10; Matt. 19:16–26); subordinate themselves to the absolute power wielded by powerful patriarchs (Luke 9:59–62); participate in the endless cycles of strife, competition, and vengeance typical of honor/shame cultures (Matt. 5:38–41); or struggle to dominate, control, and be honored by other men (Mark 10: 35–45; Mark 8:27–33).

Violence against women, India

From Bishop, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, India. I invite you to answer his question. Let’s get a conversation going on this vital topic:

Dearly beloved spiritual friend and honourable servant of God

Christian greetings in the sweet name of our lord and savior Jesus Christ

Dear friend when you are coming to India for SEMINAR teaching ministry, please inform to me

Very recently the brutal rape and murder of 5 year old girl in Delhi City in India is yet another reminder that urgent and concerted action is needed to make sure that girls and women in India feel safe on the streets, in school, at work and at home.

Data indicates that a total of 48,338 child rape cases were recorded from 2001 to 2011. Of the total 24,270 reported cases in 2011, a staggering 7,112 or 30 per cent were girls up to 18 years of age. This might be just the tip of the iceberg since many cases go unreported.

The Government has taken important steps, like the Criminal Law Ordinance. Prior to that, it had also passed the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. This is promising. However, as recent cases suggest, a lot more needs to be done to enforce the laws.

Tell us what all needs to be done so children especially girls are safe in India?

How to ensure that girls and women are valued and respected in private and public spaces?

Let us know your thoughts. It is time to speak out!  Please sent your opinion and advice.

Please, kindly pray for India

Yours in christ

Bishop, India

From DAvid Wanyonyi

David Wanyonyi 2This from Apostle David Wanyonyi, Kenya (dated April — Carrie apologizes for the delay in posting!):

Dearest Empower Family,

Lovely greetings in the Name of our King of Kings and Lord of Lords Jesus Christ. We want to wish you a powerful celebration as we celebrate the risen Christ on Sunday Morning. This is to inform you that the New Man New Woman Seminar that we proposed to have the first week of this Month was not done due to the election we had the 4th March 2013 in Kenya. We changed it to be done this last week of this Month. We started the seminar yesterday (28-30)-03-2013.

We are speaking to 40 Families in Restoration Ministries Nambale. We are hosted with Bishop Andrew Simiyu the Senior Pastor of this Ministry. He is a wonderful man of God. We are on our second day of the seminar. The teachings have been longed for so long to reach these people. We were welcomed with a lot of anticipation, many brothers and sisters are receiving this teachings with a lot of surprise. They were taught that man and woman after sinning, God Cursed them. But they were surprised to hear that they were not cursed but instead the serpent was cursed. They only received the consequence of their disobedience.   They were also taught that women were not supposed to talk before men, they were to keep quiet. They were surprised when we started discussing together and in the start they were shy, but at the end of the first day things started to change by God’s Power. Here in this region of Nambale, women are taught that they should not eat with men, they eat in their kitchen, they the women were surprised when we shared meals together as a family of God.

This is what happened on the last day of the seminar. The men promised to change, not to use their wives simply as workers, but as Ezer Kenegdo (help face-to-face, or equal to the man). Women started feeling the Love of God through their husbands. Men and women started walking together with their wives and we thanked God for the reunion that we saw in this seminar.

There was reconciliation between the husband to their wives and a repentance in both parties. We thank God for what he is doing in this teachings and we thank you so much Dr. Carrie for releasing this revelation that God had given you in this book. God Bless Empower, God bless Dr. Carrie, and God bless all who lay their hands in supporting this noble Ministry.Prayerfully we are looking forward to see many families being renewed to the partner of God.

With best regards .En Agape.

Yours in His Everlasting Love,

Apostle David Wanyonyi,  Empower International Ministries Kenya.

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