Tag Archives: nancy demoss

Even Mary Kassian could see through the spell!

Mutual Submission is a doctrine Christians invented decades ago to make marriage less repulsive to women’s sinful natures. We had grown tired of wringing our hands whenever we had to tell women they have to do what their husbands say. We had to find some way around it, and so we conceived a new strategy: Couple our teachings about the authority of the husband over his wife with a hasty assurance that husbands must also submit to their wives. See? Now we can assure the women we preach to that the only reason they think submission in marriage is a bad thing is because they thought they were the only ones who had to do it! Pure genius! Christian teachers latched onto it with glee and we continue to preach it to this day.

Not everyone fell under the spell, however. To my surprise, not even Mary Kassian bought into this. Back in 1992, she wrote the following on page 216 of The Feminist Gospel: The Movement to Unite Feminism With the Church:

The primary concern of Biblical feminists is the question of the ordination of women — whether or not women should be allowed to occupy the office of elder (pastor, presbyter, bishop, priest). A second related concern is the mutual sharing of authority and responsibility in the marital relationship — “mutual submission.”59

The #59 footnote is on page 278. It says:

59. “Mutual submission” is a misnomer. Besides being a linguistic impossibility, it is a concept that is absent from the Bible. See my discussion of the term in Women,
Creation and the Fall, pp. 36, 37.

The book Women, Creation, and the Fall was published in 1990. You can read the following from pages 36-37:

The one in authority is also required to submit.
Mutual submission is also an incorrect concept, for submission is the responsibility of the one under authority. Although admonitions to bend to meet the needs of a submissive partner in a relationship, as well as to lead with love, consideration, and respect, are present throughout Scripture, the one in authority is never asked to submit to the subordinate.8 The term mutual submission is thus a misnomer and is foreign to Scripture.

Ephesians 5:21 is used as the prooftext to support the mutual submission concept. Hypotasso (Greek for “submit”) in verse 21 is interpreted to mean submitting to the needs of each other. Mutually looking out for each other’s needs and altering one’s behavior for the sake of the other is in line with Christ’s pattern of self-sacrificing love and is indeed what He wishes us to do. However, interpreting hypotasso as requiring reciprocal obedience within a hierarchical relationship obviously overlooks its New Testament meaning.

Hypotasso always requires one party in a relationship to submit to the other, and not vice versa. The context of Ephesians 5:21 supports this position. In this verse, Paul makes a general call to all Christians to submit to one another in whatever hierarchical relationships they are involved in. He then gives three specific examples of relationships in which submission of one party is required. Verse 21 is thus properly understood as an introductory verse to those which follow. As James Hurley points out:

Verse 21, “submit yourselves to one another out of respect for Christ,” is thus to be understood as a general heading indicating that there will be various situations in which certain believers will have to yield to the authority of others. The following text (5:22–6:9) sets out three particular relations in which this will be the case: wives will need to submit themselves to husbands; children will need to obey their parents, and slaves their masters. The idea of mutual submission has to do with various members of the congregation rather than with the two partners of each pair.9

Although the Bible does not teach mutual submission within an authority structure, it does teach principles of conduct which are to be mutually practiced by all believers. Believers are to encourage,edify, be devoted to, and live in harmony with each other. They are to exhibit Christlike traits of gentleness, patience, and kindness. Believers have mutual responsibility to show concern, love, and respect for each other, and to esteem each other better than themselves. They are warned against being conceited and against biting, devouring, consuming, provoking, envying, hating, and begrudging one another.10 This is the mutual responsibility of both the one in authority and the one under authority. But submission, or obedience, is required only of the one who is under authority, not of the one in an authoritative or leadership position.

Now fast forward to 2015. In her True Woman 201 book that she co-authored with Nancy DeMoss, you can find this on page 195 (Location 3806 in the Kindle version):

Ephesians 5:21 instructs us to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. The passage then identifies three specific relationships that call for a submissive posture: wives to husbands, children to parents, and bondservants to masters. The concept of authority and submission extends into all sorts of other chain-of-command relationships, too—like governments and citizens, bosses and employees, church elders and congregations.

The term mutual submission is popular in Christian circles, but “submitting to one another” doesn’t mean that both parties in a chain of command are to submit to each other. It means we’re to have a respectful disposition that inclines us to submit in all the relationships that call for submission. In some relationships you may have the responsibility to govern, and in others the responsibility to submit.

In the “Personalize” section on page 204 (Kindle location 3986):

6. Ephesians 5:21 instructs us to submit to one another. How are those instructions different from the notion of “mutual submission” that’s so popular today?

I assume Mary Kassian hasn’t changed her mind since 2015. If that assumption is correct, then she has been consistent on this point for the past THIRTY YEARS. She has been bold enough to point at “mutual submission” and clearly state it’s a doctrine at odds with what the Bible teaches. That’s despite her hatred for patriarchal authority and her desperate attempt to justify it from the Greek. If even a woman as prejudiced as she is could figure this out back in 1990, then you know that plenty of God-fearing men knew it too. No, it’s worse than that. They’ve known full-well this entire time. Unlike Kassian, they either embraced it, or they let it go unchallenged. That’s why we’re still dealing with it today.

The Greek Says My Husband Can’t Demand Submission From Me!

In their book True Woman 201: Interior Design – Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood Mary Kassian & Nancy Leigh DeMoss, they make a textual argument for their position that when it comes to wifely submission, wives are only required to submit to their husbands of their own volition. Husbands are forbidden from demanding submission from their wives, and in this book, Kassian/DeMoss make an argument from the Greek text (Page 189):

The Greek word translated “submissive” is the word hupotassō from hupo “under, beneath” and tassō “to place in order, arrange, or line up.” The word is an old military term. It means to arrange under in an orderly fashion—to place in the proper position under rank. In this case, it indicates that the Lord wants a wife to voluntarily line herself up under the headship of her husband.

It’s important to note that the word for submission used for the wife’s desired attitude differs from the one used for the child’s behavior toward his parents and the bondservant’s response toward his master. In the case of children and servants, the word is hupakouō, from hupo “under, beneath” and akouō “to hearken, obey.” Hupakouō means to yield to a superior command or force without necessarily being willing, whereas when Paul tells a wife to hupotassō herself, it means to willingly put herself in the proper position.3

Although this book was co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I assume Mary Kassian is the one responsible for the content of this portion of the book. As we proceed, I’m going to refer to Kassian alone for ease of reference. Continue reading

Nice Christian Ladies Will Ruin Your Marriage.

Most married Christian men have no clue what female Christian authors write in their books or web articles. Why would they? Reading a book about relationships by a woman sounds about as much fun as listening to her whine about her feelings and emotions. It’s too bad, because when Christian men do turn a critical eye to the written works of atheists and heretics, we can expose all manner of evil and warn others to stay away. Were we to treat books and other written works that so-called Christian women write in the same manner, we wouldn’t buy them. We certainly wouldn’t give their relationship advice to our wives for their edification.

Here’s a sampling of the kind of things you can expect your wife to be taught when she buys books by these nice Christian ladies who just want what is best for her (Page 121 of When Your Husband Is Addicted to Pornography: Healing Your Wounded Heart by Vicki Tiede).

I’m going to offer a few ideas for you and your husband to consider implementing when you are ready to be sexually intimate. Encourage your husband to verbally ask you if you’d like to be sexual with him. This will help you feel respected and will allow you the freedom to say no with honesty and without repercussion.

Here’s how a nice Christian lady will ruin your marriage. Think of some nice lady, perhaps a truly born-again believer, who is soft-spoken and polite in your company, and is enthusiastic about teaching women how to be Godly women. This is the kind of person who writes books like these. They’ll nicely and politely take your wife aside and teach her how to talk to you in a specific, manipulative manner so that she can get out of having sex with you. And feel unafraid in doing so. It’s also in the guise of a book with a pious-sounding title- healing your wounded heart. She just wants to help your wife!… Supposedly.

How about a web-article by Sheila Wray Gregoire? What Does 1 Corinthians 7:5–Do Not Deprive Each Other–Really Mean?

First, let’s note what this verse does not say. Paul did not write:

Do not refuse one another, except by mutual consent and for a time…

He wrote do not deprive.

Deprive is not the same as refuse. I believe many people interpret this verse to mean refuse. Are women obligated to have sex every time a man wants it? Are we ever allowed to refuse?

Well, let’s look more closely at deprive.

If I were to say to you, “do not deprive your child of good food,” what am I implying? I’m saying that your child should get the food that is commonly recognized for good health: three healthy meals a day, with some snacks. I am not saying that every time your child pulls at your leg and says, “Mommy, can I have a bag of cheetos?” that you have to say yes. You are not depriving your child of good food by refusing a request for Cheetos.

Isn’t this exactly the kind of advice you want your wife to be given unbeknownst to you? She’s instructing your wife to think of your desire for sex as akin to a kid who wants mommy to give him Cheetos. That way if she feels tempted to turn you down for sex, then it will be okay to do it. If this weren’t a female Christian author teaching this, you’d think this was some white-trash busybody, recklessly encouraging wives to hold their husbands in as much contempt as she holds hers. But, since she’s a nice Christian lady, she gets away with it.

How about another book, this one by Mary Kassian & Nancy Leigh DeMoss? This one is called True Woman 201: Interior Design – Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood (Page number N/A.)

According to the Bible, a wife’s submission is her choice alone. A husband has no right to demand it or to try to extract obedience from her. His only responsibility is to love her, woo her, and humbly sacrifice himself for her as Christ did for the church.

Translation: “If your husband demands you obey him, he needs to mind his own business.” Isn’t that exactly how you want your wife responding to you when you remind her that she’s required to do things your way? Hey, Buddy, your only responsibility is to love, woo, and sacrifice. What do you think you’re doing trying to demand my submission??

Wives have enough difficulty accepting their God-given mandate to obey their husbands. The temptation to disobey is never not there. When a so-called nice Christian lady comes along and informs your wife that she has a way out of that, what do you think she’s going to do? She isn’t going to reply like an apologist and refute what the nice lady said. She isn’t going to say, “Wait- Christ demanded our obedience. In fact, he said in John 14:15 that if we love him we’ll keep his commandments, so I don’t think it’s out of bounds for my husband to do the same.” No. That’s how a man would respond, but your wife is not a man. Her struggle to obey you was difficult enough before this lady came along and encouraged her to give up the fight. Now she’s thinking it’s her perogative alone to submit, and if you try to enforce that, she can tell you to back off.

My advice? Don’t let your wife read female Christian authors. The nicest ladies in the world are going to politely and respectfully ruin your marriage if given the chance. Don’t let it happen.