Posts filed under ‘Africa’

“Nyagah, Muturi going nowhere”

A few minutes ago, I caught up with one of my tight buddies from the Mount Kenya region. We ended up talking about the political prospects of some folks there. Excerpts.

Q. Uhoro wa Siakago?

A. Wewe, achana na hiyo. Heri tuongee lugha ya taifa tu au tujaribu Sheng :-)
Q. Sawaz. Nipe siasa za kwenu.

A. Siakago ni sawasawa. See, kuna clans mbili muhimu hapa kwetu. Kuna Irumbi (kubwa) na Thagara (ndogo). Kutoka Irumbi, wagombezi ni Justin Muturi (incumbent), Mbogo Kathenthe (proprietor of By Grace Academy and Ministries in Nairobi), Engineer Mathatha, Engineer Nicasio Muferethi and Joel Gatiari (former principal for the Nairobi School). Gatiari, though, is yet to declare interest in the seat. Ni rumours tu tunasikia eti yuko interested.

Q. Na Thagara?

A. Kuna Lenny Kivuti (Geomap proprietor) na Dr. Gabriel Njue (KNH).

Q. Muturi anarudi?

A. Akirudi mwaka huu, tutamwachia arudi 2012 bila ya kupingwa, I swear! Huyu jamaa haendi popote. Kura ikipigwa kwa msingi wa clans, basi huenda akapata nafasi. Kivuti pia aweza kupita kwa msingi huo huo. But if young people and the elite choose to defy clannism, then Dr. Njue atapita. Mbio za Siakago ni za hao watatu tu.

Q. Ni nini chaweza kumfanya Muturi asirudi?

A. Amegawanya wasee kwa misingi ya clans kwa muda mrefu. Wengi wetu tumeerevuka na hatutavumilia hiyo. Pili, akipata nafasi za kazi kwa vijana, yeye huwa anachukua wadhii wa clan yake tu. La kustaajabisha ni kuwa yeye ameoa Mkikuyu ilhali angependa sisi tugawanyike kwa msingi wa kikoo.

Q. Ni vipi risto za vyama huko kwenu?

A. Muturi ni ODM-K / KANU damu. Kivuti ni Narck-K damu. Dr. Njue huenda akagombea on any other party juu hawezi kupata fair nominations in any of the major parties. Baba Jimmy ana nafasi nzuri huku upande wa urais, ingawa kura ya ubunge huenda ikapigwa bila ya kuzingatia tofauti za chama. Wananchi huku wanataka mtu, siyo chama.

Q. Na vipi risto za Gachoka?

A. Aah, huko, Mutava ana-win hands-down. Joe will have to work extra-hard if he wants to return to bunge. Everyone is crying, “We want Mutava, we want Mutava.” See, huenda Mutava hana lake kitaifa katika baadhi ya mambo kutokana na urafiki wake na Baba Jimmy, lakini ana heshima zake Gachoka na anapendwa na watu. People want to associate themselves with him, especially coz of his faith. It is expected that he will leave the NCCK around June so as to be on the ground full-time.  Huenda pia akafaidika na fact kuwa Benjamin Musakwa, ambaye alimpinga Joe 1997 na pia 2002, ni ka ame-go slow mwaka huu.

Q. Kwani Joe ame-do?

A. Wacheki, wasee Gachoka wamechoka na one-family dynasty. Wanataka change. Pili, yeye ana the same issues ambazo Muturi anazo: Kugawanya wasee kwa laini za clan.

Q. Lakini si ye pia ni m-savedie ka Mutava?

A. Yeah right! We know that but his actions, especially on clannism, speak louder than words.

Q. Niaje risto ya vyama huko kwenu?

A. Twajua Mutava yuko na orezo Narc-K, lakini akitaka ku-win Gachoka, huenda ikambidi across into ODM-K sabu kuna a significant Kamba population ambayo iko ODM-K damu sabu ya Stevo.

March 23, 2007 at 11:02 am 98 comments

Owuor prophecy : Comments closed

Dear reader,

I write to inform you that comments will no longer be welcomed on the above-mentioned post.

This follows a sustained, deliberate and prolonged attempt on the part of a particular section of my readers – known for similar, well-documented behavior in the Kenyan blogosphere – to intimidate readers and wind down discussion on the said post.

It has been possible to track down specific IPs, locales, determined pattern of language use, methods and thought processes on the part of the parties concerned and such other details towards my making this decision.

In the process, it has become obvious to me that some quarters are uncomfortable with this blog in general and the Owuor post in particular.

Here is what I will not do:  I won’t delete the blog and I won’t delete the post.

It is my humble submission that there has been sufficient discussion on the said post already, so that this closure (of its comments’ section) won’t curtail any further, significant reflection on the issues raised.

Should there be any new, significant information regarding this post, I’ll certainly be careful to blog about it afresh.

I cherish free speech, and regular readers of my blog will bear me out on this.

What I’m not going to cherish – and I have been quiet on this for several months now – is any attempt to intimidate me on this blog or anywhere else.

Trust me, – I’ll tell the world about it and were anything foul to befall me before I do, several other people in the know will tell this small global village of ours about it.

March 22, 2007 at 10:43 pm 11 comments

The Morning I Heard the Voice of God

Via Desiring God

March 21, 2007
By John Piper

Read this resource on our website.

Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o’clock. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.

I couldn’t sleep for some reason. I was at Shalom House in northern Minnesota on a staff couples’ retreat. It was about five thirty in the morning. I lay there wondering if I should get up or wait till I got sleepy again. In his mercy, God moved me out of bed. It was mostly dark, but I managed to find my clothing, got dressed, grabbed my briefcase, and slipped out of the room without waking up Noël. In the main room below, it was totally quiet. No one else seemed to be up. So I sat down on a couch in the corner to pray.

As I prayed and mused, suddenly it happened. God said, “Come and see what I have done.” There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that these were the very words of God. In this very moment. At this very place in the twenty-first century, 2007, God was speaking to me with absolute authority and self-evidencing reality. I paused to let this sink in. There was a sweetness about it. Time seemed to matter little. God was near. He had me in his sights. He had something to say to me. When God draws near, hurry ceases. Time slows down.

I wondered what he meant by “come and see.” Would he take me somewhere, like he did Paul into heaven to see what can’t be spoken? Did “see” mean that I would have a vision of some great deed of God that no one has seen? I am not sure how much time elapsed between God’s initial word, “Come and see what I have done,” and his next words. It doesn’t matter. I was being enveloped in the love of his personal communication. The God of the universe was speaking to me.

Then he said, as clearly as any words have ever come into my mind, “I am awesome in my deeds toward the children of man.” My heart leaped up, “Yes, Lord! You are awesome in your deeds. Yes, to all men whether they see it or not. Yes! Now what will you show me?”

The words came again. Just as clear as before, but increasingly specific: “I turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot. There they rejoiced in me—who rules by my might forever.” Suddenly I realized God was taking me back several thousand years to the time when he dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River. I was being transported by his word back into history to those great deeds. This is what he meant by “come and see.” He was transporting me back by his words to those two glorious deeds before the children of men. These were the “awesome deeds” he referred to. God himself was narrating the mighty works of God. He was doing it for me. He was doing it with words that were resounding in my own mind.

There settled over me a wonderful reverence. A palpable peace came down. This was a holy moment and a holy corner of the world in northern Minnesota. God Almighty had come down and was giving me the stillness and the openness and the willingness to hear his very voice. As I marveled at his power to dry the sea and the river, he spoke again. “I keep watch over the nations—let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”

This was breathtaking. It was very serious. It was almost a rebuke. At least a warning. He may as well have taken me by the collar of my shirt, lifted me off the ground with one hand, and said, with an incomparable mixture of fierceness and love, “Never, never, never exalt yourself. Never rebel against me.”

I sat staring at nothing. My mind was full of the global glory of God. “I keep watch over the nations.” He had said this to me. It was not just that he had said it. Yes, that is glorious. But he had said this to me. The very words of God were in my head. They were there in my head just as much as the words that I am writing at this moment are in my head. They were heard as clearly as if at this moment I recalled that my wife said, “Come down for supper whenever you are ready.” I know those are the words of my wife. And I know these are the words of God.

Think of it. Marvel at this. Stand in awe of this. The God who keeps watch over the nations, like some people keep watch over cattle or stock markets or construction sites—this God still speaks in the twenty-first century. I heard his very words. He spoke personally to me.

What effect did this have on me? It filled me with a fresh sense of God’s reality. It assured me more deeply that he acts in history and in our time. It strengthened my faith that he is for me and cares about me and will use his global power to watch over me. Why else would he come and tell me these things?

It has increased my love for the Bible as God’s very word, because it was through the Bible that I heard these divine words, and through the Bible I have experiences like this almost every day. The very God of the universe speaks on every page into my mind—and your mind. We hear his very words. God himself has multiplied his wondrous deeds and thoughts toward us; none can compare with him! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told (Psalm 40:5).

And best of all, they are available to all. If you would like to hear the very same words I heard on the couch in northern Minnesota, read Psalm 66:5-7. That is where I heard them. O how precious is the Bible. It is the very word of God. In it God speaks in the twenty-first century. This is the very voice of God. By this voice, he speaks with absolute truth and personal force. By this voice, he reveals his all-surpassing beauty. By this voice, he reveals the deepest secrets of our hearts. No voice anywhere anytime can reach as deep or lift as high or carry as far as the voice of God that we hear in the Bible.

It is a great wonder that God still speaks today through the Bible with greater force and greater glory and greater assurance and greater sweetness and greater hope and greater guidance and greater transforming power and greater Christ-exalting truth than can be heard through any voice in any human soul on the planet from outside the Bible.

This is why I found the article in this month’s Christianity Today, “My Conversation with God,” so sad. Written by an anonymous professor at a “well-known Christian University,” it tells of his experience of hearing God. What God said was that he must give all his royalties from a new book toward the tuition of a needy student. What makes me sad about the article is not that it isn’t true or didn’t happen. What’s sad is that it really does give the impression that extra-biblical communication with God is surpassingly wonderful and faith-deepening. All the while, the supremely-glorious communication of the living God which personally and powerfully and transformingly explodes in the receptive heart through the Bible everyday is passed over in silence.

I am sure this professor of theology did not mean it this way, but what he actually said was, “For years I’ve taught that God still speaks, but I couldn’t testify to it personally. I can only do so now anonymously, for reasons I hope will be clear” (emphasis added). Surely he does not mean what he seems to imply—that only when one hears an extra-biblical voice like, “The money is not yours,” can you testify personally that God still speaks. Surely he does not mean to belittle the voice of God in the Bible which speaks this very day with power and truth and wisdom and glory and joy and hope and wonder and helpfulness ten thousand times more decisively than anything we can hear outside the Bible.

I grieve at what is being communicated here. The great need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing his word personally and transformingly in Scripture. Something is incredibly wrong when the words we hear outside Scripture are more powerful and more affecting to us than the inspired word of God. Let us cry with the psalmist, “Incline my heart to your word” (Psalm 119:36). “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (Psalm 119:18). Grant that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened to know our hope and our inheritance and the love of Christ that passes knowledge and be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:18; 3:19). O God, don’t let us be so deaf to your word and so unaffected with its ineffable, evidential excellency that we celebrate lesser things as more thrilling, and even consider this misplacement of amazement worthy of printing in a national magazine.

Still hearing his voice in the Bible,

Pastor John

March 22, 2007 at 7:36 am 6 comments

An open letter to the Lands’ Minister

Dear Sir,

I’m an orphan from Cherangany constituency, Trans-Nzoia District.

My dad, Mr. Alfred Talian, passed on before he could complete making his land’s transfer into my possesion.

Consequently, a brother of his, who had thought I would leave the homestead following my parents’ death, played some dirty tricks on me (my parents’ sole survivor) by transferring the land’s ownership to a Gilgil-based Kenya Army soldier who has been making my life intolerable.

The conniving brother to my dad also passed on, leaving me at the mercy of the soldier, who not only constantly harasses me (with the help of local police) but also ploughs into whatever little cropping I try to do on the said of piece of land.

The plot in contention is no. 793, sub-divided from no. 204.

Efforts to get help from the provincial administration (including local village elders, the chief, even up to the DC) have bore no fruit, despite the fact that they are fully aware of the facts concerning this land (beginning from the time when my dad was still alive).

I need your help for a final solution regarding this land, as well as an assurance that i will be secured from the soldier and his goons in the village.

I hope my request meets your kind consideration.

Sincerely,

Julius Talian.

March 21, 2007 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Christian, some questions for you

  • There are the naive ways to look at life’s questions, which we all could do without.  Then there are the complex ways, which we will have to reckon with – with the possibility that we could cause ripples in society, disturb some people in their comfort zones, etcetras.  Which approach to life reflects God’s will for you?
  • How do you interpret the call of faith in terms of occupation and vocation in life?
  • How ought we demonstrate our faith commitment in public life?
  • How do you stay devoted to your faith and yet also demonstrate competence at work?
  • How do you stay joyfully Christian yet also remain truely African (in the words of John Gatu)?

Bonus thought:  Christian ethics ought to find its grounding in God’s revealed nature and character, not some hapharzadly isolated texts.  God provides foundation for Christian morality, e.g emphasizing a gracious relationship with Him and fellow humans over and above isolation (what, arguably, you could call Christian Communitarianism versus enlightened liberal individualism).

March 20, 2007 at 10:54 pm 6 comments

Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 1

Via Desiring God

March 18, 2007
By John Piper

Read, listen, or watch this resource on our website.

Ephesians 5:21-33

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

If the Lord wills, both today and next week we will focus on what it means for a married man to be the head of his wife and of his home. We focus on this for two reasons. One is that the Bible says in Ephesians 5:23, “The husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” We need to know what the Bible means by this statement so that we can exult in it and obey.

The other reason is that few things are more broken in our day than manhood and headship in relation to women and families. And the price of this brokenness is enormous and touches almost every facet of life. So for the sake of faithful biblical exposition and exultation, and for the sake of recovering biblical manhood and Christ-exalting family structures, we will, Lord willing, spend two weeks on this important issue of headship.

First Things First

Our emphasis in these weeks so far has been that staying married is not mainly about staying in love, but about keeping covenant. We did eventually come around to saying that precisely by this unwavering covenant-keeping the possibility of being profoundly in love in forty years is much greater than if you think of the task of marriage is first staying in love. Keeping first things first makes second things better. Staying in love isn’t the first task of marriage. It is a happy overflow of covenant-keeping for Christ’s sake.

We have spent most of our effort in these five messages so far pondering the foundations of covenant-keeping in the way Christ keeps covenant with us. We have looked at marriage as a showcase of covenant-keeping grace and as a combination of forgiveness and forbearance. And the last time we were together we took up the question: Can you help each other change? And if so, how do you do that graciously?

Headship Seen in Light of the Gospel

Up till now we have spent little time on the distinct roles of husband and wife—headship and submission. This was intentional. Foundations in the gospel are needed before these things can shine with the beauty they really have. There is nothing ugly or undesirable in these distinctions of headship and submission when they’re seen in the light of the gospel of grace.

So now the question presses on us: What is headship? And what is submission? The plan is to deal with headship in the next two weeks and then after Easter deal with submission and other issues relating to marriage.

This week will be largely foundation for headship, and next week will be largely application. What does it actually look like in practice?

The Mystery Revealed

Let’s move into this text at verse 31. It’s a quote from Genesis 2:24: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” In the next verse (v. 32), Paul looks back on this quote and says, “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

Now why is the coming together of a man and woman to form one flesh in marriage called a mystery? Mystery in the New Testament does not mean something too complex or deep or obscure or distant for humans to understand. It refers to a hidden purpose of God that is now revealed for our understanding and enjoyment. Paul explains what the mystery is in verse 32. The marriage union is a mystery, he says, because its deepest meaning has been concealed by God during the Old Testament history, but is now being openly revealed by the apostle, namely, that marriage is an image of Christ and the church. Verse 32: “I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

So marriage is like a metaphor or an image or a picture or a parable or a model that stands for something more than a man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands for the relationship between Christ and the church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and the church relate to each other.

The Parallel Between One Body and One Flesh

You can see how this is confirmed in verses 28-30. They describe the parallel between Christ and the church being one body andthe husband and wife being one flesh. Verses 28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it . . . .” In other words, the one-flesh union between man and wife means that in a sense they are now one body so that the care a husband has for his wife he, in that very act, has for himself. They are one. What he does for her he does for himself.

Then he compares this to Christ’s care for the church. Verses 29-30: “No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.” Be sure to see the parallel: Christ nourishes and cherishes the church because we are members (that is, arms and legs and hands and feet) of his body. And husbands nourish and cherish their wives “as their own bodies.” No one ever hated his own flesh. Wives are our own flesh as the church is Christ’s own body. Just as the husband is one flesh with his wife so Christ is one body with the church. When the husband cherishes and nourishes his wife, he cherishes and nourishes himself; and when Christ cherishes and nourishes the church, he cherishes and nourishes himself.

All of this underlines what Paul calls a “profound mystery”—that marriage, in its deepest meaning, is a copy of Christ and the church. If you want to understand God’s meaning for marriage you have to grasp that we are dealing with a copy of a greater original, a metaphor of a greater reality and parable and a greater truth. And the original, the reality, the truth is God’s marriage to his people, or now in the New Testament, we see it as Christ’s marriage to the church. And the copy, the metaphor, the parable is human marriage between a husband and a wife. Geoffrey Bromiley says, “As God made man in His own image, so He made earthly marriage in the image of His own eternal marriage with His people” (God and Marriage, pg 43). I think that is exactly right. And it is one of the most profound things you can say about human life.

The Roles Are Distinct

One of the things to learn from this mystery is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are distinct. Consider the way Ephesians 5:22–25 unpacks the role of husband and the role of wife in the mystery of marriage as a copy of Christ and the church: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Husbands are compared to Christ; wives are compared to the church. Husbands are compared to the head; wives are compared to the body. Husbands are commanded to love as Christ loved; wives are commanded to submit as the church is to submit to Christ.

It is astonishing how many people do not see this when they deal with this passage. Or, seeing it, neglect it. I have in mind those who would be called egalitarians—the ones who reject the idea that men are called to be leaders in the home. They put all the emphasis on verse 21 and the teaching of mutual submission. All agree that verse 21 is overflow from verse 18 where Paul commands us to be filled with the Spirit. Verses 18b-21: “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

So submitting to one another is seen as an expression of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Husbands and wives who are filled with the Holy Spirit serve one another. They humble themselves and get down low to lift the other up. They find ways to submit their immediate preferences for comfort to the need of the other. Amen to that! May it happen more and more. I have no desire to minimize the mutuality of submission and servanthood.

Mutual Submission and Unique Roles

But the problem is that egalitarians seem to stop with mutual submission, as if that were all one needed to say about roles in marriage, or as if that is all that the text has to say. And when they stop there, most people today are left with great ambiguity and great confusion about the proper roles of husband and wife. Once you clarify for people that a husband and a wife should be mutually humble, and mutually ready to serve each other, and mutually eager to meet each other’s needs and build each other up—once you have said all that, there remains a great uncertainty as to what, if anything, distinguishes the role of husband and wife. Is it only the biological gift of childbearing that distinguishes the roles? Or is there something more pervasive?

What is so astonishing is that egalitarians don’t embrace what every ordinary reader can see in Ephesians 5. After declaring that there is mutual submission in verse 21, Paul devotes twelve verses to unfolding the difference in the way a husband and wife should serve each other. You don’t need to deny mutual submission to affirm the importance of the unique role of the husband as head and the unique calling of the wife to submit to that headship.

Jesus, the Bridegroom, Served His Bride

The simplest way to see this is to remember that Jesus himself bound himself with a towel and got down on the floor and washed this disciples’ feet (the bridegroom, serving the bride), but not for one minute did any of the apostles in that room doubt who the leader was in that moment. In other words, mutuality of submission and servanthood do not cancel out the reality of leadership or headship. Servanthood does not nullify leadership; it defines it. Jesus does not cease to be the Lion of Judah when he becomes the lamb-like servant of the church.

After calling attention to the mutuality of submission or servanthood in verse 21, Paul devotes the whole passage through verse 33 to making distinctions between the role of the husband and the role of the wife—between the loving headship of a husband who takes his cues from Christ, and the willing submission of a wife who takes her cues from how the church is to follow Christ.

What we need to hear from this text today is not just a call to mutual submission that leaves young men groping for what it means to be a husband and young women groping for what it means to be a wife. What we need to hear is what headship and submission mean. What are the positive, practical implications of being called head that give man his distinct role in marriage? It is not enough to say, “Serve one another.” That is true of Christ and his church—they serve each other. But they do not serve each other in all the same ways. Christ is Christ. We are the church. To confuse the distinctions would be doctrinally and spiritually devastating. So also the man is the Christ-portraying husband, and the woman is the church-portraying wife. And to confuse these God-intended distinctions, or to abandon them, results in more disillusionment and more divorce and more devastation.

The Roles Are Not Arbitrary or Reversible

One of the things that are crystal clear in Ephesians 5 is that the roles of husband and wife in marriage are not arbitrarily assigned and they are not reversible any more than the role of Christ and the church are reversible. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the distinctive roles of Christ and his church. The revelation of this mystery is the recovery of the original intention of covenant marriage in the Garden of Eden.

You can see this most clearly when you ponder what sin did to headship and submission and how Paul’s teaching here in Ephesians 5 is so perfectly suited to remedy that corruption. When sin entered the world, it ruined the harmony of marriage not because it brought headship and submission into existence, but because it twisted man’s humble, loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. And it twisted woman’s intelligent, willing, happy, creative, articulate submission into manipulative obsequiousness or groveling in some women and brazen insubordination in others. Sin didn’t create headship and submission; it ruined them and distorted them and made them ugly and destructive.

Recovering Roles from the Ravages of Sin

Now if this is true, then the redemption we anticipate with the coming of Christ is not the dismantling of the original, created order of loving headship and willing submission, but a recovery of it from the ravages of sin. And that’s exactly what we find here in Ephesians 5:21-33. Wives, let your fallen submission be redeemed by modeling it after God’s intention for the church! Husbands, let your fallen headship be redeemed by modeling it after God’s intention for Christ!

Therefore, headship is not a right to control or to abuse or to neglect. (Christ’s sacrifice is the pattern.) Rather, it’s the responsibility to love like Christ in leading and protecting and providing for your wife and family. And submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership and protection and provision. He wants the submission of the church to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening.

In other words, what Ephesians 5:21-33 does is two things: It guards against the abuses of headship by telling husbands to love like Jesus, and it guards against the debasing of submission by telling wives to respond the way the church does to Christ.

Defining Headship and Submission

So let me close for now with brief definitions of headship and submission and then come back next week, Lord willing, with practical application of what this headship in particular looks like.

  • Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. (See next week’s message for the biblical basis of the words “leadership, protection, and provision.”)
  • Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.

A good deal is at stake here. I hope you take it seriously whether you are single or married, old or young. Not just the fabric of society hangs on this, but the revelation of the covenant-keeping Christ and his covenant-keeping church.

March 20, 2007 at 10:30 pm 3 comments

Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

I love Charles Onyango-Obbo’s journalism, and I certainly have enjoyed his tongue-in-cheek sequel to some historical tidbits he has been bringing to our attention concerning one David Livingstone.

From my little reading of Church history, and the Christian lives I have personaly witnessed transformed into and poured out in Christ-like service for a sinfully lost and needy world, I have been a little at a loss understanding whether it is the same Livingstone everyone is having on the table.

I’ll let you read this other account of the man (from a Christian source) as you – I hope – embark on a personal journey to understand the life and ministry of a man about whom an African Christian leader told me (following Obbo’s first piece):

“I’ll judge the merit of no one’s work.  There is someone waiting to do just that for each one of us.”

March 16, 2007 at 8:00 am 1 comment

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