The No-Longer Neglected Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity

But phil, you didn’t address Pierre-Paul’s point: male headship is taught by Paul in direct parallel to Christ’s headship of the church (of which we are supposed to be obedient members) and categorically not based on the relationship between Father and Son.

Please do at least make the attempt.

this is a misunderstanding…paul taught husband headship…he teaches that husband headship is a symbol of christ’s headship over the church…in the same way that a married woman is her husband’s wife, the church - consisting of men and women, married and single - is christ’s bride…

… and obedient to him.

If we are not obedient to Christ we are not members of His body.

If we will not submit to Christ’s commands we are not members of His body.

Perhaps this discussion belongs in the other thread about women’s ordination. I think it is plain that Pierre-Paul’s point was apt: women’s ordination has no necessary connection to Trinitarian ideas and if phil thinks it does he has not made his case.

i agree we aren’t part of the bride of christ if we aren’t willing to obey him…

as i understand phil, his point is that a belief in classical trinity theory safeguards us against the theory of the eternal subjugation of christ, and somehow seeing in this eternal subjugation a model for the eternal subjugation of all women to all men, whether or not they are married to them…often MH supporters diminish jesus’ divinity in order to diminish a woman’s equality to a man…

i have heard 1 Tim 2:11-14 misconstrued to suggest that eve was created in order for adam to have someone to dominate, when egw clearly says eve was created to be adam’s wife, and his equal, PP:58 (Gen 5:2 says both the first man and the first woman were named “adam”, by god)…both moses and egw teach that the submission of wives to their husbands came as a result of god punishing eve for influencing adam to sin…that is, eve’s submission to adam was not there before the entrance of sin…egw even explains that because the human nature of both adam and eve had changed as a result of their sin, the “submission on the part of the one or the other” was necessary to preserve harmony in the intimate relation of marriage, PP:58…this remarkable statement is only possible if neither adam nor eve were submissive to the other before sin, and if they were in fact each others’ equals…what egw is really saying is that the condition of things before sin, when both adam and eve had a sinless human nature, didn’t require submission for harmony to be achieved, as it does now…they were in automatic harmony as co-equals, a reflection of the automatic harmony that exists in the trinity of the godhead…

MH’s premise that the eternal subjugation of christ to the father represents the eternal subjugation of all women to all men kind of collapses when we look at the facts, which are that the godhead is a trinity of co-equals, and the creation of adam and eve as the first husband and wife didn’t feature the submission of the wife to her husband before the entrance of sin…

of course, in terms of church practice, the situation is a good deal more complicated because MH supporters have totally conflated husband headship with male headship…their view, which cannot be sustained, is that paul taught both husband headship in the home, and male headship in the church…the matter is further complicated because the mindset behind the wife-beating cultures in africa, not to mention the female domestic abuse in latin america, the rape in the carribean, and the female infanticide still practiced in places like india have influenced a majority in our church to look at women as a type of sub-species…

the WO debate in our church has exposed a deep rot in the hearts of many in our church…it has also exposed the fact that they are unwilling to acknowledge it, or seek to have it healed…

“I delight to do thy will, O God”

“And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.”

Irrespective of whether or not one considers Christ *eternally" subject to the Father, there is no question that during his life as a man on Earth he submitted himself to his father’s will, even when (possibly) contrary to his own, as in the garden of Gethsemane. This is, of course, necessarily so as he could not be an example for us to follow were it otherwise.

There’s nobody arguing in favour of Paul’s criteria for church offices of leadership who is also arguing that women are or will be eternally subject to men, so that whole argument is a red herring.

And sadly, as in your closing statement, at best an accusation and possibly worse. But as a Christian I will offer you the words of Christ; if you want people to seek healing you first must convince them they’re sick. The assertion is insufficient.

Now if I were to argue in the same vein that you’ve finished on here I’d say that it is the world opposed to Christ who calls those who depend on his word deranged and defective. I’m sure you’d appreciate the implication as much as I did.

Kevin Giles in his book, The Rise and Fall of the Complementarian Doctrine of the Trinity, chronicles the recanting and repenting of various evangelical and Reformed Christians that occurred during the summer of 2016. Although they had been staunch male headship theorists, they could no longer believe in the theory’s principal component, which is the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism. Consequently, male headship theory has been plunged into a state of crisis as the anti-Trinitarian essence of the theory has become more widely understood and rejected. As Professor of Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary Carl Trueman states: “Complementarianism as currently constructed would seem to be now in crisis. But this crisis is of its own making…” p. 37 (as quoted by Giles).

That the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism is the principle component of male headship theory has never been seriously disputed. But there is one way you can prove me wrong. Identify one Seventh-day Adventist opponent of women’s ordination who has publicly and unequivocally denounced Eternal Functional Subordinationism since the heresy came to be in 1977 and since the heresy was ushered into the Seventh-day Adventist Church by Samuele Bacchiocchi in 1987. No such Seventh-day Adventist opponent of women’s ordination has ever stood up for our precious Lord and Savior in this important respect. I would love to be proven wrong. I would love to see in the Seventh-day Adventist Church what occurred in evangelical and Reformed Christian faith communities in 2016. But those communities have stronger Trinitarian traditions than what we find in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. So I am afraid that Seventh-day Adventist opposition to women’s ordination will remain monolithically anti-Trinitarian.

I chose not to present a detailed discussion of this doctrinal catastrophe we have experienced and are currently experiencing, because I thought that my review should instead focus a spotlight on the Seminary’s video series on the Trinity. So I hope this comment will be helpful to you.


we agree on this point…however, quite apart from any exemplar necessity, we need to acknowledge that since his incarnation, jesus has been forever changed…he is not now exclusively divine, as before his incarnation, but is forever an unfathomable blend of the divine and the human…

i don’t believe this means jesus’ divinity is now less divine than it was before he took humanity onto himself…after-all, divinity is either divinity, or it isn’t, and it is the case that egw describes jesus as fully divine, as if he weren’t human, in addition to being fully human, as if he weren’t divine…but it does mean that the permanent reality of his humanity means jesus is now subject to his father in the same way all created beings must be…this in itself implies that he wasn’t subject to his father in this way before his incarnation…i believe this natural consequence of his permanent humanity stemming from his incarnation is what passages that speak of jesus’ final subjection to his father, like 1Cor 15:28, are referring to:

“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”

typically, however, MH supporters have so conflated what must be the case if jesus is fully human with his relationship to his father before his incarnation, just like they’ve conflated husband headship with male headship, that there literally is no hope they’ll ever understand this point…

whether they argue it or not, it is the logical consequence of the MH position…it isn’t a red herring if people refrain from making a logical argument only because they see it’s problematic…the point is they cannot escape that unavoidable inference without substantial cognitive dissonance, which others can see even if they don’t, or won’t…

when i look at the MH landscape, i have to say that, in all honesty, i’ve seen this movie before…born and raised in apartheid s. africa, i saw first-hand what were considered good, honourable, conservative and devout people use what they dubbed the bible’s curse of ham (the bible actually mentions the curse of canaan, not ham) to oppress black people and fully believe they were doing god’s will…i’m now seeing what are considered good, honourable, conservative and devout people use paul’s counsel on husband headship to invent male headship and oppress women and fully believe they are doing god’s will…

i am witnessing the same level of conflation, and the same species of intellectual deficits…i am sensing the same virtually biological obstacles…in the case of apartheid, it took outside pressure and even force to effect any change, and even then, the root of the problem still exists: even now you can find in s. africa white afrikaaners who believe they are victims when the government confiscates their land in order to return it to its original owners…there is no real cure for racism…i don’t believe there’s a real cure for sexism, either…i’ve come to believe that identification with the MH mantra is a hopeless case…

What do you make of the following, if you please?

No. I do not believe the Creator-of-all-that-is will eliminate dissent by exterminating dissenters.

That is not the God I know.

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OK, So let’s dispense with the “male headship” position. Paul spoke of husbands and wives, as we’ve already covered. He uses this relationship as a type of the relationship between Christ and Church.

Then he states that an elder, a deacon, or a bishop (what we now call pastors) must be the husband of one wife.

There is no possible sense in which a woman can ever meet this criteria. It is wholly independent of any MH theory (express or implied) nor any logical consequence thereof.

You have yet to address it, let alone deal with it.

And again, your only argument is to explicitly announce that your brothers and sisters who disagree with you (but agree with the word of God) are confused, ignorant, deceived, or malign.

While convenient, this is not convincing.

For the record, I have never been greatly disturbed by women’s ordination per se. But the last 20 years of arguments over it have convinced me that there are no sound scriptural grounds for it, for in all that time not a single biblical argument of any merit has been made in its favour. And so far, this thread is no departure from that trend.

For the record, I am not an advocate of male headship nor of eternal subordinationism, although I note your own argument above flirts with it quite provocatively. Perhaps there’s something in your own eye?

The wages of sin is death.

What do you make of it?

I am neither an advocate of male headship nor of eternal subordinationism. I’m not asking you to deal with Augustine or any other noted commentator of any era, I’m talking to you and I expect as a matter of courtesy that you address me.

So how about you show me where I, who am for now an opponent of women’s ordination owing solely to the dearth of biblical arguments and the morass of fatally nonsensical arguments in favour of it, also advocate MH and EFS?

I cannot apologise for the errors of others, I have enough of my own.

Finally, I draw your attention once again to Pierre-Paul’s original point: the relationship between husband and wife is not parallel in scripture to Father and Son but to Son and Church. So whether or not male headship advocates make this error, we both agree it IS an error and therefore it is irrelevant to THIS conversation.

This is a very interesting statement from a cultural context as Roman and Greek citzens were forbidden by law from having more than one spouse. Jews on the other hand were not forbidden by Jewish Law (Torah) from having multiple wives. It was not until approx 1,000 years after Paul that it was “banned” in Judaism.

I would suggest that there is one reason why Paul made this statement, and it actually has no bearing on whether women can be “an elder, a deacon, or a bishop”. The reason for the statement is not theological or cultural. It has to do with harmony. If a bishop had two wives he would have spent all his time trying to keep harmony at home and not on his mission. Paul did not have to make any statement regarding polyandry as it was forbidden in Roman, Greek and Jewish law.

Oh, now THERE is argument to logic we ought bow to.

What other things do we as a church do that are not explicitly approved via convenient and plain reading of scripture? Like “Ordination” itself? Or, try some of the commandments, they do not expressly differentiate their scope as written for women. I suppose according to this metric, they are exempt somehow?

These arguments you hang your hat on were all used for supporting race discrimination…they were as wrong then as know.

Really? That Paul wrote that an elder, deacon or bishop must be the husband of one wife was used to support racism?

Fatally nonsensical indeed.

If you cannot meet the criteria you cannot occupy the office.

Far from having no bearing, it has total bearing on the question. The bible is the Seventh Day Adventist’s sole rule of faith and practice.

Your suggestions as to why Paul might have written those criteria has no bearing on the fact that he did write them.

Sooner or later they have to be dealt with.

But once you have met the criteria and secured the office, and lost the essence of the criteria while in office, do you get relieved of the office or are you “transferred and promoted” instead?

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So you concede that the criteria are as Paul wrote.

I’m not defending the general conference, nor even the local conferences. As far as I am concerned they are lavish retirement homes for shepherds without sheep. The religious hierarchy have never had much to do with salvation.

But that’s exactly the point: if we’re going to fix things then we have to go back to insisting on the biblical criteria, not abandon them because they’re unpopular.

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It is not what Paul wrote as much as how his writings are used to promote an agenda. A great rabbi once said “If the physical evidence is against your belief, change the way how you think.”

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

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Why does the commandment only say that a man shall not covet his neighbor’s wife? Women are not mentioned as having the prohibition apply to them. Does that mean that they can covet their neighbors’ husbands? If not, why not?

Just trying to use the same logic that is being applied to Paul’s single statement to Timothy.