Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Really Bad Example of a Sermon About Marriage

This is edited from a sermon I just read online.

Marriage is like the trinity, The Father is in charge. Jesus ALWAYS submits to the father, he obeys, he says what his father has told him to say, Jesus sees the father in the trinity as the head, and he obeys him. It is never the other way around. Isn't it interesting? But in no way can we say that Jesus being subject to his father is demeaning. ...

In Gen. 1 God said, Let us make mankind in our image.

To be made in the likeness of God is to be made in relationship where, just as the son submits to the father, we have a couple, a head and a helper.

Wives, submit to the husband as the head - he is in charge. God solved the argument before it started, he said, I have to choose someone, okay, husbands, you are in charge. I hold you responsible.

I want to point out something that is very important. In our culture we decide that if something doesn't work we change it. But God designed humanity. God designed the world and gave it order. We submit to all authorities because God has put them there. Never in the Bible do you see God saying plan B is if it is not working, swap. You never hear, wives command your husbands, and husbands submit.

God does not say, I put you in charge now rule. He always tells authorities, I have put you in charge but what I want you to do is love. You are in charge husbands, I have decided this, too bad if you don't want to be in charge, you are in charge, says God, like I am in charge of you, so I want you to love your wives, in the same way I love the church, so far that you are willing to die for her. Use my love for you as the minimum requirement for how you love your wife.

If there is any husband who raises his voice or strikes his wife the smell of hell is close to your marriage. How dare you? Love your wives sacrificially.

It is so shameful when you go to other cultures where the gospel is not preached, women are sold. they are treated like objects. But it is an irony. In a culture where Jesus has been proclaimed and women have been raised to equality, and have been treated in every way equal but different to men, that same culture, people jettison God and the women say they want to jettison the men, they say, we want to be in charge...

Husbands ask your wives how you can be a better husband, and take notes. - The biggest mistake Adam made and we men make is we are not willing to lead. - It is difficult in any culture if you have a lousy husband. This culture has made it easy, you just divorce him. that is not necessarily, the solution love them as if they were the lord. - A good divorce? Divorce is a natural consequence of living in a culture that denies the living God.

Tomorrow I am starting a series of sermons on Christian marriage. This is an example of the kind of marriage sermon I have heard all my life. How about you? There is some truth in the sermon, but it is overshadowed by suppositions, assertions that do not come from scripture, extrapolations and a patronizing tone. How many wrong things can be in one sermon? (I found at least 9.) I only wish it were a completely unusual example!

My main point tomorrow is about the need to think for ourselves, to be discerning, to seek wisdom instead of formulas. (Don't believe about 95% of what you read and hear regarding "God's plan" for husbands and wives.) Think I can cover that in one Sunday? Me neither. But it's a start. We are going to look at this sermon, among other things.

I may post some of my sermons as we go along. We shall see.

Happy Sunday!

Hat tip to Suzanne.


Anonymous said...


This is Cynthia. I sent you an email a week or so ago, thanking you for your series on the husband as head.

Yes, this is exactly the teaching my husband and I heard for most of our married lives. Like I told you in my email, it was only when our marriage almost ended that we began to reject the formulas which had been presented to us over the years, began to think for ourselves and began to reclaim our marriage as our own before God.

I do so hope you post your sermons. There is a need for the voice!!

In all grace, love and peace,


seethroughfaith said...

Post your sermons - they deserve wider coverage than the one you quoted. It made me want to throw up ..

Anonymous said...

I'm proud (and relieved) to say I've never heard a sermon like the σκύβαλα you've copied above. I would much rather hear your sermon, and I still wish you could be my pastor.

Jules said...


Don't know what else to say.


Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

accidentally erased the doc. Wah! Later this week I'll try to reconstruct at least an outline if I get a chance.

There is some truth in the little sermon, amongst a whole lot of error. However, I think the problem comes down to the foundation.

In just this short snippet on marriage the phrase "in charge" is used TEN times! That is very revealing. A little truth (in this case it is a tiny amount--but even if it sere a large amount of truth)) cannot sustain a building that is built on a wrong, faulty, cracked, crumbling foundation.

Who is the boss? Who wears the pants? Who gets to lead?

My daughter Kris was recently told, "The husband is not the boss. He just needs to lead."

Uh huh.

And I am relieved to say that this sermon is not from one of my AG colleagues. I wish I could say that was not possible, but such is not the case. And no, it's not a Southern Baptist either.

This preacher, however, is Anglican

much2ponder said...

"Wives, submit to the husband as the head - he is in charge. God solved the argument before it started, he said, I have to choose someone, okay, husbands, you are in charge. I hold you responsible."

This sure puts a lot of pressure on the man doesn't it. Made me smile knowing how you feel about it.

Crimson Rambler said...

Strength to your arm, darlin'!!! (which being translated, signifies, "Preach it, sister!")
An Anglican, you say. I blush.

Anonymous said...

An Anglican? Oh dear.

Well, to be honest, I can't really remember a whole lot of the sermons/homilies I've heard at weddings.

I do remember the one at my own wedding most vividly, though. (And I can listen to it any time, because we have an audio CD!) It wasn't long, but he preached on our shared love for Trivial Pursuit and how (like in Trivial Pursuit, we are good at different wedges), in our marriage, we would complement each other, because we each have different gifts.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Trivial Pursuit wedges--fun image!

LOL at Dr. P. :-D !!!

Auntie Knickers said...

Fortunately, I also have never heard such a sermon. Then again, I haven't heard many sermons on marriage except a few of those homilies at weddings. I'll be interested to read yours!

seethroughfaith said...

Anglican? Just goes to show that sermons with bad foundations can be preached in any denomination!

DannyG said...

At the Domestic Violence shelter we have to deal with this type of teaching all of the time. You wouldn't believe the number of times these women are told by their pastors that their husbands wouldn't have to beat them if they would just be better, more obedient wives.

Dorcas (aka SingingOwl) said...

Danny, I used to work with a Christian counselling agency in another part of the state. I recall asking women there (and also here as a pastor) the question, "Do (did) you believe that if you finally got it right, finally loved and submitted enough, that your husband would change and your marriage would be transformed?" In all the times I have asked this, not one woman ever said no. Every one of them said yes. Oh, the burdens we bear that God never intended a human being to carry! I suppose you already know this, but Marie Fortune's book, "Keeping the Faith" is excellent for Christian women who are abused.

Diane M. Roth said...

I really want you to post your sermons on this! I am looking forward to them.

Anonymous said...

Me too!! Ken

Anonymous said...

Love your husbands as crist love the church.

Well My husband was the head of the household, he thought the finances should be left to him because he thought I coud not manage them well.

Now he managed the finances so well that we went bankrupt. But he managed to keep his business. He also managed the house so well that he refused to listen to his wife after being caught with porn. His response was that it was a pop up.

I allowed my husband to be the head to the point I was told how to think when to think, and when I dare question him, I either got hit, physically or emotionally.

We need to stop with the head of the household especially when he is acting the the butt.

God gave women a brain and he did allow us free will.