Cane talks about servant leadership one of Dalrock’s recent posts.
“Servant leader is a term one uses when one wishes to obliterate and deny headship.”
I agree with this 100%. They are using it to deny headship…
“Individually the words are right, but the term servant leader has no more to do with biblical headship than the term free love has to do with 1 Cor 13.”
…but I’m going to push back a little on this. There is a single word which means servant leader: Steward. There is one king, Jesus, but He has appointed a steward over every marriage until His return (or our deaths), and that steward is the husband. He has headship in the king’s name. In Heaven there is no marriage, and no one is given in marriage. Our rule is legit not because of our worth, but by His name and decree. We are first of servants, and so are likewise served by others who are to serve us in His name.
Because our rule is not based on our worth, this makes sense of why Peter instructs servants and wives to serve masters and husbands whether worthy or not. The sin of those who use servant leader to deny headship is not their use of the term, but of their pollution of marriage with works. Under their false teachings marriage becomes a sorcery of man’s making: If he says the right words, makes the right motions, and prepares the right material ingredients, then he successfully casts the spell of Husband. As Baucham says: “That’s not the Gospel!” I see no problem with the words used in conjunction. I see a problem in saying that the Jesus-appointed servant leader (steward) does not rule in the name of Jesus unless the underlings approve of the servant leader.
Funny thing: Servant Leader, ah, dispellings, of headship are cast mostly by post-modern Protestants, but the concept of proper results based on proper formation of rituals has the distinct sense of Roman Catholicism.
You can tell exactly when “servant leadership” becomes an abomination. When it instead becomes a performance rather than a desire.
The irony is that Churches could actually disciple young men and husbands if they taught the unvarnished truth.
- Please God through desire to adhere to His will.
It’s not about performing for God. God doesn’t need men to perform for Him. Rather He wants us to desire to do His will and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Out of the heart comes the desire to do His will and that springs forth good works.
Instead they revert to teaching the heresy of performance. “Servant leadership” becomes the task about serving the wife the way the wife wants to be treated — serving her feelings — rather than God. Even if you had the most pious wife in the world installing her approval over that of God is akin to a false idol:
- Please humans/wives through the performance of our works.
This is one of the strong fallacies against Biblical authority that is ingrained in our culture, which I believe why it is so prevalent. The rule of “democracy” is an evil because it seeks to determine what is “right” and “wrong” due to popular opinion. The authority in Scripture is of a top-down model whereas democracy is a bottom up model.
- Biblical top-down — Father -> Jesus -> various authority structures (Christ-Church, overseers-body of Christ, husband-wife, parents-children, government-Christians).
- Western down-up model — democracy and rule of popular opinion
In the Western model of democracy those in “authority” are held “accountable” by those under them. That is why it is the rule of popular opinion. Unfortunately, this does not work because those that are voted into office are those who put forth the most squeaky clean image and are rotten inside rather than those who are willing to be transparent with what they do.
This is the model that the church tries to assert with it’s members rather than teaching them to be captive to the Word of God. Church authority is used to back up the “rule” of wives over their husbands or of those underneath. We know this too fails just as democracy inevitably will fail. A husband that capitulates to his wife’s feelings and demands will end up unhappier and unhappier until she treats him as worse than garbage and divorces him. Even if she is a so-called “Christian.”
The inversion of doing what the Bible says is destructive on marriages. This is the problem with twisting the teaching of Scripture to teach the reverse. However, it’s subtle because most Christians do not have a solid theological foundations to figure out where the lines blur on so-called “servant leadership.” The deception is strong.
Indeed, behavioral cycles do not just apply to individuals but also to the populace and their leaders. The populace chooses a leader that abuses their authority. They think next time they will choose someone who will be better based on their image. They continue to fail because their method is wrong. The authority there is inherently good, but it is used for evil so they believe instead that the authority is evil. Then comes the double down. Instead of choosing someone who has a track record of governing well, they choose someone with a good image and charisma. The cycle continues until destruction.
Likewise, a wife that holds her feelings as truth starts to condition a husband to obey her whims instead of Christ. By obeying her whims this makes her unhappy because he is not leading. The husband takes unhappiness to mean that she isn’t being led well by him and doubles down on performing for her. The cycle continues until destruction.
In the end, it is simply another way in which: the Church continues to choose culture over Christ.