Comments You Will Not Hear at the 07-04-10 WT Study (MAY 15, 2010, pages 8-12)(MEN SUBMIT)
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MEN, DO YOU SUBMIT TO CHRIST'S HEADSHIP?"The head of every man is the Christ." — 1 Cor. 11:3.
When I read this scripture growing up as a girl then a woman in the WTS, I had many questions. One was a brother’s head the elders in the congregation, the CO or the DO, or did they directly answer to the governing body in NY through the letters sent to the elders? Notice that this is a snippet, not the whole scripture verse.
(1 Corinthians 11:3)
But I want YOU to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God.
If the man is the head of the woman, did that mean that elders were the head of single women just as husbands were heads of their wives? Or was the headship of elders over single women the same as their headship over other men in the congregation? Was the head of a single woman the same as a man, the Christ?
***w51 9/1 p. 543 Questions From Readers ***
If not a congregational meeting, does a husband-and-wife relationship exist for her to show recognition to his headship, if he is present? If yes, then she should have her head covered. She would not show this sign of subjection to another woman’s husband. Nor would a single sister or widow show this sign of subjection to another woman’s husband. Such unmarried sisters have no male head as does a married woman. The only time the single sister would concern herself about a head-covering is when she comes under congregational conditions calling for it.
***it-2 p. 285 Lydia ***
Later, at Philippi in Macedonia, Lydia sold purple, either the dye or garments and fabrics colored therewith. It appears that she was the head of her household (this could include slaves and servants), and therefore, she was possibly widowed or single.—Ac 16:14, 15.
START OF ARTICLE
1. What shows that Jehovah is a God of order?
"YOU are worthy, Jehovah, even our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power," states Revelation 4:11, "because you created all things, and because of your will they existed and were created." By reason of his Creatorship, Jehovah God is the Supreme Sovereign of the universe and is above all of his creation. That Jehovah "is a God, not of disorder, but of peace" can be seen by the way in which his angelic family is organized. — 1 Cor. 14:33; Isa. 6:1-3; Heb. 12:22, 23.
Did you know that the WTS uses the “need” for order to allow elders and others to make rules for their individual congregations using 1 Corinthians 14:33, 40?
(1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)
For God is [a God], not of disorder, but of peace. As in all the congregations of the holy ones…But let all things take place decently and by arrangement.
***w96 9/1 p. 20 par. 3 Living by the Law of the Christ ***
Jehovah’s organization, as well as individual congregations, has to establish necessary rules and procedures in order to preserve good order. (1 Corinthians 14:33, 40)
*** w92 8/15 p.15 par.22 KeepBuilding One Another Up***
In the course of their loving work, questions may arise on matters where there could be differing preferences. Perhaps it is a local custom to stand to read paragraphs during the Watchtower Study. Group arrangements for field service and many other details about the ministry itself may be handled in a customary way. Still, would it be a disaster if someone had a slightly different way? Loving overseers desire that “things take place decently and by arrangement,” which expression Paul used regarding the miraculous gifts. But the context shows that Paul’s main interest was “the upbuilding of the congregation.” (1 Corinthians 14:12, 40) He showed no inclination to make an endless number of rules, as if absolute uniformity or complete efficiency were his prime objective.
AND THIS BLANKET ARRANGEMENT
***God’s Love book (lv) chap. 4 p. 49 Why Respect Authority?***
Of course, God’s Word does not spell out every arrangement or procedure needed to help the congregation function. Yet, the Bible does say: “Let all things take place decently and by arrangement.” (1 Corinthians 14:40) The Governing Body obeys this direction by putting in place various helpful procedures and guidelines that ensure the smooth and orderly operation of the congregation. Responsible Christian men do their part by setting an example of obedience as they put such arrangements into effect. They also show themselves “reasonable, ready to obey” those placed in oversight. (James 3:17) Thus, each group, congregation, circuit, district, and country is blessed with a united, orderly body of believers who reflect well on the happy God.—1 Corinthians 14:33; 1 Timothy 1:11.
2, 3. (a) Who was Jehovah's first creation? (b) What position does the firstborn Son have with respect to the Father?
2 Before anything was created, God existed by himself for countless ages of time. His very first creation was the spirit creature known as "the Word" because he was the Spokesman for Jehovah. The Word is the one through whom all other things came into existence. Later, he came to earth as a perfect human and became known as Jesus Christ. — Read John 1:1-3, 14.
The WTS assumes a few things here without presenting proof: 1) Where in the Bible would you refer someone regarding God existing for countless ages of time? 2) Where in the Bible would you prove that the God’s first creation was the Word, where he acted as spokesman for God, (3) that he was a spirit creature (not all Christians believe that), (4) that all other things were created through him, and (5) that he came down to earth as Jesus Christ. Does John 1:1-3, 14 prove all that?
3 What do the Scriptures say about the relative positions of God and his firstborn Son? Writing under inspiration, the apostle Paul tells us: "I want you to know that the head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3) The Christ is under the headship of his Father. Headship and subjection are essential for peace and order to prevail among intelligent creatures. Even the one 'by means of whom all other things were created' is required to submit to God's headship. — Col. 1:16.
Notice that the head of men is the Christ, a perfect person. That Christ is subject to a perfect entity. But what about women trying to be subject to the headship of an imperfect man?
Is peace and order more important than love? Did Jesus say his followers would be known by their peace and order?
4, 5. How did Jesus feel about his position with respect to Jehovah?
4 How did Jesus feel about submitting to Jehovah's headship and coming to earth? The Scriptures state: "Christ Jesus, who, although he was existing in God's form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. No, but he emptied himself and took a slave's form and came to be in the likeness of men. More than that, when he found himself in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake." — Phil. 2:5-8.
Didn’t Jesus know this was temporary, 30 years of a simple human life, 3 ½ years as the declared Messiah, death and a sure resurrection back to a greater glory than he had before. How long did his imperfect followers have to struggle as Christians to die and have to wait for resurrection?
5 At all times, Jesus humbly submitted to his Father's will. He said: "I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; . . . the judgment that I render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 5:30) "I always do the things pleasing to [my Father]," he declared. (John 8:29) Toward the end of his life on earth, Jesus said in prayer to his Father: "I have glorified you on the earth, having finished the work you have given me to do." (John 17:4) Evidently, Jesus had no problem with recognizing and accepting God's headship over him.
Jesus submitted to his Father’s will not the will of the religious leaders of his day. He followed the Torah not the Talmud of his religious community. What happens to jws that follow the scriptures rather than the “rules of order” of the WTS? The same thing that happened to Jesus, except the WTS regrets that they are not able to kill members who do not submit the unscriptural rules.
*** w52 11/15 p. 703 Questions From Readers***
We are not living today among theocratic nations where such members of our fleshly family relationship could be exterminated for apostasy from God and his theocratic organization, as was possible and was ordered in the nation of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and in the land of Palestine. “Thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him to death with stones, because he hath sought to draw thee away from Jehovah thy God, . . . And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee.”—Deut. 13:6-11, AS. Being limited by the laws of the worldly nation in which we live and also by the laws of God through Jesus Christ, we can take action against apostates only to a certain extent, that is, consistent with both sets of laws. The law of the land and God’s law through Christ forbid us to kill apostates, even though they be members of our own flesh-and-blood family relationship.
Submission to the Father Brings Benefits to the Son
6. What wonderful qualities did Jesus display?
6 When on earth, Jesus demonstrated many wonderful qualities. Among them was the great love he displayed for his Father. "I love the Father," he said. (John 14:31) He also demonstrated great love for people. (Read Matthew 22:35-40.) Jesus was kind and considerate, not harsh or overbearing. "Come to me, all you who are toiling and loaded down," he said, "and I will refresh you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am mild-tempered and lowly in heart, and you will find refreshment for your souls. For my yoke is kindly and my load is light." (Matt. 11:28-30) Sheeplike people of all ages, especially those who were downtrodden and oppressed, found great comfort in Jesus' delightful personality and uplifting message.
Love the Father—Where in the NT does Jesus address God as Jehovah? Certainly not in the Lord’s prayer.
What happens when elders are unkind, inconsiderate, harsh and overbearing? Does anyone ever counsel them? Or is it said “they are imperfect”? Are they removed as “shepherds” for abusing the “sheep” by the owner of the sheep? While Jesus’ load may be light, the WTS has burdened the sheep with “rules.”
. . .They bind up heavy loads and put them upon the shoulders of men, but they themselves are not willing to budge them with their finger. All the works they do they do to be viewed by men…
7, 8. Under the Law, how was the woman with a flow of blood restricted, but how did Jesus deal with her?
7 Consider how Jesus dealt with women. Throughout history, many men have treated women very badly. That was true of the religious leaders in ancient Israel. But Jesus treated women with respect. This is made evident in his dealings with a woman who had been sick for 12 years with a flow of blood. "She had been put to many pains" by physicians and had spent all her resources trying to get well. Despite all that effort, she "had got worse." Under the Law, she was considered unclean. Anyone touching her would also become unclean. — Lev. 15:19, 25.
Jesus called women as his followers and they too would rule in heaven with him as kings and priests. But how many jw men find it hard to believe that it will not be a relative rule as kings and priests, only over other women? I was told that many times by men in the congregation that could not accept that a woman would be given that privilege rather than only men. After all, women could not be elders, MS, CO, DO, obviously in their mind the most important thing for Christians to strive for.
Would elders today disregard the “rules” of the WTS and show consideration to a jw woman who had gone beyond the rules of “order”? I still haven’t figured out why women can’t handle microphones…where is the teaching in that? Can you imagine Jesus taking Lazarus with him and pulling Martha into the back room and telling her not to counsel Jesus?
. . .Now as they were going their way he entered into a certain village. Here a certain woman named Martha received him as guest into the house. 39 This woman also had a sister called Mary, who, however, sat down at the feet of the Lord and kept listening to his word. 40 Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with attending to many duties. So, she came near and said: “Lord, does it not matter to you that my sister has left me alone to attend to things? Tell her, therefore, to join in helping me.”
8 When the woman heard that Jesus was healing the sick, she joined the crowd surrounding him, saying: "If I touch just his outer garments I shall get well." She touched Jesus and immediately got well. Jesus knew that she should not have touched his garment. Nevertheless, he did not scold her. On the contrary, he was kind to her. He understood how she must have felt after all those years of illness and discerned that she was desperate for help. Compassionately, Jesus told her: "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health." — Mark 5:25-34.
So what would an elder have done? Pulled this woman into the backroom and counseled her about breaking the WTS rules?
9. When Jesus' disciples tried to prevent children from coming to him, what was his response?
9 Even children could feel at ease in the presence of Jesus. When people brought children to him on one occasion, his disciples reprimanded them, evidently feeling that he would not want to be bothered with children. But that is not the way Jesus felt. The Scriptural account tells us: "At seeing this Jesus was indignant and said to [the disciples]: 'Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to suchlike ones.'" Further, "he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands upon them." Jesus did not just tolerate children; he warmly welcomed them. — Mark 10:13-16.
How many elders even know the first names of the children in their congregation (I hope they know the names of their own)? Their ages, what grade in school, some of their personal interests? How many elders take any time in having a casual conversation with children in their congregation, helping them to be more at ease from door to door by spending time with them? How many of you remember the few elders who actually did this (even with their own children)?
Just like the Pharisees they just say, they don’t do.
. . .Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying: 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the seat of Moses. 3 Therefore all the things they tell YOU, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds, for they say but do not perform.
10. How did Jesus come to possess the qualities that he displayed?
10 How did Jesus come to possess the qualities he displayed during his life on earth? In his prehuman existence, he observed his heavenly Father for aeons of time and absorbed his ways. (Read Proverbs 8:22, 23, 30.) In heaven, he had seen Jehovah's loving way of exercising headship over all His creation and had made that way his own. Would Jesus have been able to do that had he not been submissive? It was a delight for him to be in subjection to his Father, and it was a pleasure for Jehovah to have such a Son. When on earth, Jesus reflected perfectly the marvelous qualities of his heavenly Father. What a privilege it is for us to be in subjection to Christ, God's appointed Ruler of the heavenly Kingdom!
Jesus observed his Father…Christians are told to imitate Christ…do jw men? Do they study the scriptures and see how Jesus acted; then why do they resemble Pharisees rather than Jesus?
Are they in subjection to Jesus or the organization?
*** w98 9/1 p. 15 par. 7 Stay Close to the Theocracy***
These make up the composite “faithful and discreet slave.” Christians show their submission to Jesus, and therefore to Jesus’ head, Jehovah, by accepting the oversight of that “slave.”
Imitate Christ's Qualities
11. (a) Whom should we work hard to imitate? (b) Why should the men in the congregation especially strive to imitate Jesus?
11 All in the Christian congregation, especially the men, should continually work hard to imitate Christ's qualities. As already noted, the Bible declares: "The head of every man is the Christ." As Christ imitated his Head, the true God, Christian men should strive to imitate their head — the Christ. Upon becoming a Christian, the apostle Paul did just that. "Become imitators of me," he exhorted fellow Christians, "even as I am of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1) And the apostle Peter said: "To this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely." (1 Pet. 2:21) The admonition to imitate the Christ is of particular interest to men for still another reason. They are the ones who become elders and ministerial servants. As Jesus found joy in imitating Jehovah, Christian men should find joy in imitating Christ and his qualities.
Why do the men “especially” work hard to imitate Christ? Are not the requirements for Christians, male or female, the same before God? Based on 1 Corinthians 11:3 are women to be imitating men directly, not Christ? Does this mean that elders and ministerial servants show Christ’s qualities better than women?
12, 13. How should elders deal with the sheep in their care?
12 The elders in the Christian congregation are under obligation to learn to be like Christ. Peter gave the older men, or elders, this exhortation: "Shepherd the flock of God in your care, not under compulsion, but willingly; neither for love of dishonest gain, but eagerly; neither as lording it over those who are God's inheritance, but becoming examples to the flock." (1 Pet. 5:1-3) Christian elders are not to be dictatorial, domineering, arbitrary, or harsh. Imitating Christ's example, they endeavor to be loving, considerate, humble, and kind in their dealings with the sheep entrusted to their care.
Under obligation or under “love” to be like Christ? Isn’t that the same as compulsion?
A social, legal, or moral requirement, such as a duty, contract, or promise that compels one to follow or avoid a particular course of action.
To force, drive, or constrain: Duty compelled the soldiers to volunteer for the mission.
I can remember a PO (COBOE) that told the other elders that now that he was in charge, it would be his way or the highway---dictatorial or humble? Can you think of domineering, arbitrary and harsh elders, I can?
Is it considerate to drop in unannounced for a shepherding visit? When the elders last called if at all, did they phone and make an appointment convenient to you? Around here they just drop by and are peeved when you don’t invite you in thinking you are hiding something.
*** w96 3/15 p. 26 How Christian Shepherds Serve You***Suggestions for Shepherding Calls
? Make an appointment: It is usually good to make an appointment. If the elder plans to handle a serious problem, it would be proper to inform the publisher of this beforehand.
13 Those taking the lead in the congregation are imperfect men, and they should constantly be aware of that limitation. (Rom. 3:23) So they must be eager to learn about Jesus and imitate his love. They need to ponder over the way that God and Christ deal with people and then strive to imitate them. Peter exhorts us: "All of you gird yourselves with lowliness of mind toward one another, because God opposes the haughty ones, but he gives undeserved kindness to the humble ones." — 1 Pet. 5:5.
How is it that the WTS has no “leaders” but has men who “take the lead”?
Are the elders “eager” to learn about Jesus, use the bible in counseling? Several elders told me that they are told by the other elders to base their comments on the elder’s manual, that there is no time to use the bible.
14. To what extent should elders show honor to others?
14 In their dealings with God's flock, the appointed men in the congregation are to exhibit fine qualities. Romans 12:10 states: "In brotherly love have tender affection for one another. In showing honor to one another take the lead." Elders and ministerial servants show honor to others. Like Christians in general, these men are 'to do nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism but with lowliness of mind are to consider that the others are superior to them.' (Phil. 2:3) Those taking the lead should certainly view others as being superior to them. By doing so, the appointed men will be following Paul's counsel: "We, though, who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those not strong, and not to be pleasing ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor in what is good for his upbuilding. For even the Christ did not please himself." — Rom. 15:1-3.
Do men in the congregation show honor to women? Do they view women as superior to men?
How is abuse of women handled in the congregation? Are women told to stay with a man who beats them up? Would they be told to move in with the man who beat them up on the street?
'Assigning Wives Honor'
15. How should husbands deal with their wives?
15 Consider now Peter's counsel to married men. He wrote: "You husbands, continue dwelling in like manner with [your wives] according to knowledge, assigning them honor as to a weaker vessel, the feminine one." (1 Pet. 3:7) To honor someone means to hold that individual in high esteem. Thus, you would consider the opinions, needs, and wants of such a person and may defer to that one where there is no vital issue at stake. That is how a husband should deal with his wife.
What does it mean “weaker”? Less intelligent, less moral, less ethical, less spiritual? How could they categorically be “weaker” and still chosen to rule in heaven with Christ?
“May defer” = means the man still has the control and deigns to let the woman have a choice with his permission. Who determines what a “vital issue” is, the man of course?
How many times the WTS use a object to define a woman’s value, a vase, a lamp, etc. Is that what women are, property or a possession?
*** w60 12/1 p. 719 par. 26 Married Believers Called to Peace and Salvation***
If a husband honors his wife as a physically weaker vessel because of being a feminine vessel, he will handle her with care and tenderness, that she may be of continuous valuable usefulness to him. He will not want to crack her or break her to pieces and destroy her precious helpfulness to him.
16. What warning does God's Word give to husbands in regard to honoring wives?
16 When telling husbands to honor their wives, Peter adds a warning: "In order for your prayers not to be hindered." (1 Pet. 3:7) That clearly shows how seriously Jehovah views the way a man treats his wife. Failure to show honor to her could hinder his prayers. Moreover, do not wives generally respond positively to being treated honorably by their husbands?
Could hinder his prayers—except for the prayers for show at a meeting/convention, when do jw men pray? At meals—for show; before family studies (if they have one)—for show; at a bible study (if they have one)—for show; privately….?? Probably not.
17. To what extent should a husband love his wife?
17 On the matter of loving one's wife, God's Word counsels: "Husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. . . . For no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation . . . Let each one of you individually so love his wife as he does himself." (Eph. 5:28, 29, 33) To what extent should husbands love their wives? "Husbands," wrote Paul, "continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and delivered up himself for it." (Eph. 5:25) Yes, a husband should be willing even to lay down his life for his wife, just as Christ did for others. When the Christian husband deals with his wife tenderly, considerately, attentively, unselfishly, it is easier for his wife to submit to his headship.
So men punch themselves, demean their own intelligence? Is the issue whether a husband will die for his family, or live for his family, spending time with them in loving and fun activities?
18. What help do men have in caring for their responsibilities in marriage?
18 Is assigning honor to wives in this way too much to expect from husbands? No, Jehovah would never ask them to do something that is beyond their capabilities. Besides, Jehovah's worshippers have access to the greatest force in the universe — God's holy spirit. Jesus said: "If you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!" (Luke 11:13) In their prayers, husbands can ask that by means of his spirit, Jehovah will help them in their dealings with others, including their wives. — Read Acts 5:32.
Jehovah’s worshippers—only jws—have access to holy spirit
19. What will our next study article consider?
19 Indeed, men bear a heavy responsibility to learn how to be submissive to Christ and imitate his headship. But what about women, wives in particular? The next article will discuss how they should view their role in Jehovah's arrangement.
If men were truly submissive to Christ and imitated, there would not be 90% of the problems in jw congregations. But here too, men hide behind imperfection.
Do You Recall?
• What qualities of Jesus should we imitate?
• How should elders deal with the sheep?
• How should a husband treat his wife?
Where is there any comment on how men treat women (not their wives or minor daughters) in the congregation?
Have you ever realized that the large percentage of “preaching” is done by women in jw congregations? Did Jesus say that his followers would be men who “lead” in the congregation or in the preaching? Why do so few jw men pioneer? Is it really because they have families to support? Did they always have families to support? Would it be possible to find examples in the WT literature of men with wives and children who find a way to regular pioneer?
Next week, “Women, Why Submit to Headship?”