Christian love is different according to roles

I mentioned this briefly on Dalrock’s blog.

To those under authority — such as children -> parents, wives -> husbands, students -> teachers, subjects -> governments, Christians -> Christ — Jesus gives the command to love (agape) through submission and obedience.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

John 14:8 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 [c]After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) *said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

John 15:9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

To those who are the same or in authority Jesus gives different commands which are naturally sacrificial love and love for one another:

John 13:12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and [b]you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 15:12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another.

Does authority or headship have the “right” to “demand” submission and obedience? Yes.

As Zippy is fond of saying, “authority has the right to create moral obligations.” However, let me expand that a bit.

  • Authority has the right to create moral obligations that are followed through determining a proper course of action.

This is why children that do not follow what their parents say are in rebellion. Likewise, wives that disobey and do not submit to their husbands are in rebellion. Similarly, Christians that do not submit to Christ’s commands are not acting as Christians and are in rebellion. Employees that do not submit to their bosses are in rebellion and may be fired.

However, we must all consider that children have the obligation of obedience. However, wives, Christians, and others have the obligation of submission which is to use free will to submit to the moral obligations of an authority or head. The difference is that children have no choice whereas the rest do. In particular, the wife opts into the marriage covenant, and a Christian opts into Christ as Savior. Although we don’t opt into our governments, Paul notes that God installs authorities so therefore we are to submit and obey. Children, however, need teaching, instruction, and discipline to grow up to be able to make good choices which is why they are compelled to obey.

When you understand this, you can always determine the feminists and their insidious counterpart — “Christian” feminists — through the following means:

  • Dislike of authority as bad, usually because of their experience with abuses of authority
  • Do not believe in power of authority or headship to create moral obligations
  • Do not believe in power of authority or headship to command submission or obedience
  • Believe only that it is “free will” of those under authority or headship to submit. This ignores previous free will choices made which limit free will. Namely, previous contracts or covenants — such as the marriage covenant — which in light of a lack of submission are a witness to such rebellion.

As God is good, love, and the ultimate authority we know that all things created by God are good. Hence, all are created for Good. Yet, they are often twisted by feminists and those in rebellion as something bad.

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9 Responses to Christian love is different according to roles

  1. Pingback: Christian love is different according to roles |

  2. Of course, as Althusius says with much of the Reformed tradition, such covenants also impose moral obligations for the head.

  3. @ Lue-Yee Tsang

    Yep, God fulfills His end of the bargain. Both sides are bound by the covenant.

  4. Of course, he made us this free bargain in the first place. I did not choose the power to receive it, either.

  5. Does authority or headship have the “right” to “demand” submission and obedience? Yes.

    Authority also has limits and obligations. The most obvious is that no authority can insist that one sin, that is to violate the law of God. For instance, The magistrate cannot force one to worship a false God and do it with God’s authority because they are acting on their own authority, not God’s even though they are in a position of authority. (The law must be used lawfully.) The Bible also puts jurisdictional limits on the spheres of authority, a husband does not have authority to perform the sacraments they belong to the church, likewise the Church does not have authority to raise children that belongs to the household.

    That point being said, what is astonishing is that the wife is told to submit to her own husband in ALL THINGS. The word of God lifts all boundaries, save clear and willful disobedience to the law of God. So if a husband is not asking his wife to worship Baal, murder the neighbor or rob the bank she is absolutely under his rule in all things. This submission is more absolute than master- servant, citizen- magistrate or member- elder. The obligation of the husband is to rule her for the glory of God and her obligation is to submit to him as the Church does to Christ, in other words absolutely and exhaustively.

    To conflate submission as voluntary rather than an obligation of covenant is to suggest that free will has ascendancy over God’s Word. It does not surprise me that John Piper has come out against firearms for personal (household protection). He confounds the magistrate and the home often. (feminists replace husband’s roles with government frequently). His CBMW organization has been provoking insubordination confounding the authority/submission of the husband and the wife for many years. Growing up Piper had no father and saw his mother as the loving authority of the home. As a result of his early childhood experience, he as a minister sees men as abandoning the home and their responsibility while women are stable, loving and the pillars of truth.

    In his apologetic against women in combat, he shames men for not defending women, turning a blind eye to women who want to be as god, and if not god at least like men. For all his bravado about national defense he curls up in the fetal position on the subject of home defense. His feminism results in deification of women wrapped in a pietistic blanket. He calls it complementarinism, but he is confused on who is to rule and who is to be the helper.

  6. donalgraeme says:

    When you understand this, you can always determine the feminists and their insidious counterpart — “Christian” feminists — through the following means:

    Dislike of authority as bad, usually because of their experience with abuses of authority

    While I recognize that some abuse of authority is bound to happen, I would argue that much of it is projection. People impute to others their own thinking and proclivities- especially the negative ones.

  7. Looking Glass says:

    Merry Christmas, everyone.

  8. Looking Glass says:

    Oh, and I’m with Donal on it being projection.

    The entirety of Progressivism fears certain things because they lack the Self-Control when it comes to any form of Power. That’s John Piper’s failure as well. This is why Feminism claims any Male Authority is inherently abusive, while Female Authority is inherently virtuous.

  9. Tom Arrow says:

    I am supposed to love and submit to my government? Sorry, but if Jesus says that, he must be an idiot.

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