What is biblical submission? It is a little bit of a trick question because our English bibles don’t reveal that there are a couple of different concepts relating to submission and obedience in scripture.

The word submit in English is used a few different ways as well. I can submit a proposal for consideration. I can submit to you the reader that something is untrue. I can submit my car keys to the new owners after I sold the car. Finally I can submit to the control of an authority.

The following English dictionaries define one aspect of submission this way.

  • Collins English dictionary: "unwillingly allow something to be done to you."
  • Dictionary.com: "to give over or yield to the power or authority of another."
  • Webster : "yield to the control of another."

There are 6 greek words used in the New Testament to convey something like our modern concept of submission: hupotasso, hupakouo, hupeiko, peitho, peitharcheo and dogmatizo. Keep in mind that many greek words have different meanings based on their context. It is no different in English. I may submit a proposal or submit to a search before boarding a plane. Words take on different meanings based on how they are used.

The word most commonly translated submit or subjection is hupotasso. Hupotasso is a military term used to signify a surrender on a battle field. It’s non military usage is different.

It can mean any of the following depending on context:

  • Arrange under
  • Yield to admonition or advice
  • Obey

Hupotasso is not used to convey a sense of involuntary obedience to human command or authority in the New Testament. The New Testament words that best represent that are hupakouo and peitharcheo.  Neither of these words are used in reference to church leadership.

The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states the following:

For a material understanding of the verb in the NT its considerable range of meaning should be noted, especially in the middle. Originally it is a hierarchical term which stresses the relation to superiors. But one should note that the subordination expressed may be either compulsory or voluntary. In the former case the main idea may be that of either power or conquest on the one side or lack of freedom on the other. In the NT the verb does not immediately carry with it the thought of obedience, ? I, 223, 31 ff.; VI, 9, 24 ff. ? 40, 29 ff. (Kittel).

Hupotasso, as it relates to members of the church interacting with each other is "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden."  When Paul instructs the Ephesians to "submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" it is clear that he is speaking the sense of "arranging under" or "yield to admonition or advice" He isn’t telling people to obey each other. In 1Cor 16:16 when Paul calls on the Corinthians to submit to "everyone who cooperates in the work" it is clear there is no sense of hierarchy.

Hupotasso is found the following verses.

Luk 10:17 "Then the seventy-two returned with joy, saying, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!’"

Heb 12:9 "Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life?"

Rom 8:7 "because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so."

Rom 10:3 "For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness."

Rom 13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.

1Co 16:16 "also to submit to people like this, and to everyone who cooperates in the work and labors hard."

Eph 5:22 "Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord"
Col 3:8 "Wives submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord"

Tit 2:9 Slaves are to be subject to their own masters in everything, to do what is wanted and not talk back,

Tit 3:1 Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.

1Pe 2:13 Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme

1Pe 2:18 Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse.

1Pe 3:22 who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him.

1Pe 5:5 In the same way, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Jas 4:7 "So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you."

Here are the other words translated submit or obey.

peitharcheo

Definition: “to obey authority” (Thomas)

Act 5:29  But Peter and the apostles replied, "We must obey God rather than people

Act 5:32  And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him."

Act 27:21  Since many of them had no desire to eat, Paul stood up among them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete, thus avoiding this damage and loss.

Tit 3:1  Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.

peitho

Definition: “to persuade, to have confidence” (Thomas)

It can be translated obey if spoken in the active or middle/passive.  Most of us have no clue about active or passive tenses in Greek translation.  What it means is that the word can be translated obey depending on how it used.  In Heb 13:17 the word is used in such away that leads most translations to translated it as “obey.” 

There are far too many verses to list here.  The following is the main relevant passage:

Heb 13:17  Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you.

hupakouo

Definition: to listen, attend to:—answer(1), became obedient(1), becoming obedient(1), heed(1), obedient(2), obey(12), obeyed(3). (Thomas)

Eph 6:5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ,

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.

dogmatizo

Defintion: to decree, to subject oneself to an ordinance:—submit … to decrees(1). (Thomas)

Col 2:20 "If you have died with Christ to the elemental spirits of the world, why do you submit to them as though you lived in the world?"

hupeiko

Defintion: to retire, withdraw, submit:—submit(1). (Thomas)

Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

Heb 13:17 "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you."

What would submission in the church look like if it were pursued in a manner that was truly a "voluntary attitude of giving in and co-operating".  It would look very different from what often goes on in authoritarian churches.

Biblical Submission in the church Authoritarian Submission in the church
Motivated by love and a desire to understand and co-operate Motivated by fear and a desire to avoid harsh consequences
There are always elements of mutuality Submission goes from the bottom to the top
Encourages freedom and expression Stifles expression
Alternative opinions and disagreements are seen as  opportunities to discern God’s insight and direction Alternative opinions and disagreements with leadership are possible threats and may need to be dealt with authoritatively to preserve unity
Unity through mutual love, sacrifice and understanding False unity through uniformity
Leadership encourages diversity and ensures that people feel safe to be themselves and use their gifts Leadership sets direction and keeps careful watch over all activity to ensure non-conformist ideas and people don’t gain influence.
People feel free to disagree with leadership but respect the values and direction set for the group People are afraid to voice disagreements and feel their only options are to stay silent or leave
Decision making is transparent and accountable Decision making is confined to a narrow group of insiders that feel very little obligation to explain their actions.
Leadership is truly accountable because people are free to question in an accepting and safe atmosphere. Leadership subverts true accountability by instilling fear, demonizing critics, and intimidating people.

Biblical submission is a "voluntary attitude."  What is the difference between a voluntary attitude and an involuntary attitude?  Involuntary submission it is motivated by command, rules, fear, coercion, or manipulation.  People give in because they have a tangible and an imminent fear of something terrible happening to them.

What should motivate us to submit to each other?

  • Reverence for Christ (Eph 5:21)
  • Leaders keep watch over us (Heb 13:17)
  • So the leaders have joy (Heb 13:17)
  • It would be profitable for us (Heb 13:17)
  • Clothe ourselves in humility to each other (1Pe 5:5)

There is a noticeable absence of any spiritual disaster in this list.

There are a number of different ways in which Christian denominations approach leadership, hierarchy and submission.  Some like the Baptists and Mennonites hold to flatter leadership structures where as the Methodists and Anglicans have stronger hierarchies.  In all of them free thought, transparency and bi-directional accountability are considered essential. Despite the organizational differences many denominations end up operating in a very similar manner.  In more flat organizational approaches hierarchies of influence develop and in more hierarchical organizational approaches several checks and balances are implemented to ensure the people at the top can be held accountable by the people lower down.

The proponents of Covering Theology often present themselves as God’s chosen leaders and label those who disagree with them as rebels.  There is an incredible irony to this as these same leaders have cast off centuries of solid biblical interpretation to arrive at their conclusions.  In order to accomplish this task they have redefined or skewed the traditional biblical concepts of sin, grace, submission, and faith.  This often done with flagrant disregard the commonly held values and conventions of their movement or denomination.


Vol. 8: Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (41). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

Thomas, R. L. (1998). New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek dictionaries : Updated edition. Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc.

58 comments on “What is Biblical Submission?

  1. Your article has really given me great insite into the understanding of biblical submission and its usage. And many thanks go out to God on your behalf, and may he continue to shower you with His goodness.

    I do have a question, Where does allowance play in the understanding of biblical submission? Many teach that the husband should be submissive to the wife as the wife is submissive to the husband. And they use Ephesians 5:22 as a backup scripture. They call it putting yourself under another’s mission. However, scripture does not give such a command.

    The reason I bring this up is because, when I look at the book of Ephesians it gives a clear road, encouraging the body of Christ to submit to authority/responsibility. Even if you were to take verses 22-33 out of the mix and read from verse 21 and go on into chapter six verse one, concerning parents and children, it continues to indicate the one with the submitting themeselves to the one of greater authority/responsibility. You could do the same if you just skip down to the verses dealing with servants submitting to their masters.

    Now on the behalf of the one with the greater authority/responsibility their relationship to the lesser is one more of allowance than authority. I could be wrong but I can’t recall God submitting to us, but He does allow us to do what it is He has called us to do. In the same way the husband who has been givien the greater auathority/responsibility must allow the wife, through love, to do those things which come under her responsibility.

    Please, share your thoughts on the matter with me. Looking forward to it.

  2. Hi Carl

    I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “allowance.”

    My take on Eph 5 is that 5:21 is the main principle and the rest of the chapter fleshes out this principle. If submission is “one to another” logically it can’t be about authority because we can’t be in authority over each other at the same time.

    We need to take in to consideration Jesus’ words in Luke 22:25, Mat 20:25-26, Mar 10:42-23. Leaders serve “as the younger” or “like the one who serves [at a table].” Jesus warned us against exercising authority over one another in Mat 20.

    In our culture we associate submission with hierarchical authority and I’m afraid that we come to the scriptures with that lens and it colours our perception.

    I believe the purpose of biblical submission is for every believer to gain strength, encouragement and correction by opening up to the ministry of others. The New Testament authors emphasizes submission in certain situations where it would be very beneficial for one group of people to submit. Wives had a lot to gain by submitting to husbands. I think the reverse is true as well.

    If hupotasso is a voluntary attitude of giving and cooperating or sharing a burden I can’t see how husbands wouldn’t benefit by submitting to their wives. Women are gifted by God and God can speak through anyone.

    Thanks for the comment, feel free to respond to mine.

  3. I agree that submission is to strengthen the whole body. However, authority in the New Testament is given for the same reason, not like the world uses authority but the authority given to the leader, the more mature individual, the parent, christian boss etc., is more one of responsibility. When we look at Ephesians 5 and the examples given to show relational submission it is always the less responsible to the more responsible. The wife to the husband, the parent to the child, the servant to the master. However, when you look at the reverse of each situation it is one more of provider to the one who needs because of the love that should be shown in that order as Jesus showed love to the church.

    Now, in this case, responsibility carries authority with it, just as biblical authority carries responsibilty. So the more responsible individual in a relationship must allow the one submitted to them to carry out the things they are submitting to. Not so much as the more responsible submitting to the less responsible.

    A husband loving his wife as Christ loves the church carries a greater responsibility than a wife submitting to a husband. Why, becuse the husband has the last say about things that go on in the home, and if I’m right he’s the one who will be held accountable for the workings of the family at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

    In the Garden of Eden it was not so because both parties did what was asked of them by God, but after sin enterd our existence and the punishment was handed down it became necessary.

    So the husband must love his wife enough to allow her to do the things she is responible for, the parent must allow the child to grow while at the same time govern their gowing, the master or boss must allow the employee to do what is asked of them, but at no time is submission to the lesser imposed upon the greater.

    If I’m missing something keep talking to me. I don’t care what the bible teaches, I just want to know what it is.

  4. “However, authority in the New Testament is given for the same reason, not like the world uses authority but the authority given to the leader, the more mature individual, the parent, christian boss etc., is more one of responsibility.”

    Where in scripture does it explicitly say that authority is given to the leader?
    What is different about how the world uses authority and the church uses authority?

  5. If you would read in particular Romans 13, I Peter 2:13-17. There would be no good leadership if there were no consequenses to wrong doing. It would be a very good thing if everybody were as submissive as God asked us to be. However, there would be no argument over the death penalty if we were. The only one who can decide whether consequences are carried out is the leader. But he could not do so if he did not have the authority to do it.

  6. I have a page dedicated to each of those verses. They both speak of the imperial government of Rome, not the church. While Paul and Peter instructed people to obey the government we have to be careful to import these ideas in to the church. On two different occasions Jesus instructed his disciples to lead in a manner contrary to that of the government, and to literally not exercise authority over one another.

    Mat 20:25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
    Mat 20:26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
    Mat 20:27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,
    Mat 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Luk 22:21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.
    Luk 22:22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”
    Luk 22:23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.
    Luk 22:24 A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
    Luk 22:25 And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors.
    Luk 22:26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
    Luk 22:27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

  7. Are you saying that there is no discipline within the church, for those who choose to be unsubmissive to those who have been given the right to rule?

  8. Please forgive me for not reading your article clearly. You actually answered my question about allowance in your comparison sesction, Biblical Submission in the church vs. Authoritarian submission in the church. My bad as the kids would say. Pray that I listen/read closer, not just to you but everyone.

    Again thanks!

  9. It is really sad, So many husbands take this Submission thing the wrong way, These men who hammer there wifes to submit, Are not even living as they should. I believe it the order of the headship. But not these men who are ugly to there wives. And always calling them rebellion. Wicked men repent. God does have a order, It is husbands love your wives. Be kind. It is very easy to submit to a man in this manner.

  10. Hi,

    I was wondering- could you please outline, in a very simple, clear manner- what is the nature of Biblical submission then? Practically, what should it look like? And I’m referring the nature of the relationship between a church member and a church leader. Surely, it’s not the same as all other relationships in the church. What does it mean then for a church member to submit? Submit to what? To only when a church leader speaks directly from the Bible? In what other ways does a church member need to submit to church leaders?

    Thanks.

  11. Hi Jason

    I’m not sure I can give you what you want. The bible doesn’t provide us with a clear simple straightforward model for leadership. The best we can do is look a the examples and the concepts given to us by scripture.

    The way I work these principles out in my ministry does look different than in many churches as I’m a leader in a network of house churches. In my context leadership is very relational and less about administering programs and organizing events.

    I think the way most evangelical churches work this out is legitimate so far as it is an attempt of fallen people to be faithful to Christ. My table comparing biblical and authoritarian submission gets as specific as I’d be willing to be.

    I think people in the church should give careful heed to the advice and wisdom of the leaders. They should gain the benefit of submission to leaders. Leaders should understand that they never replace Christ, people don’t follow Christ through them, leaders help people follow Christ. Which means that people could be following Christ and not following their leader.

    A leader is someone trusted to guide, so it would be normal for more people to give weight to the leaders words. The leader must always remember that the Holy Spirit can work through anyone, so they must always be open to hearing what God is saying through people.

  12. Hi,

    Thank you for your response. May I ask something regarding your chart? I notice that in your chart, there seems to be an emphasis placed on mutuality and encouragement of free expression. Is there Scripture which backs this emphasis? Or is more something inferred from the idea of voluntary giving and cooperating that you talk about?

    Thank you.

  13. Compromise on the words submission. It is world view that submission is inferior but in God context, it is about holy character. So whether authority or mature, it doesn’t matter if we get rid of world view and put on the God view, because it is about the role of each inidividual to submit to God.

    Being said that I would like to express my concern that each inidividual is unique, so many time, or everytime, the view and decision can be very much differ, so it still required some order to ensure it works, just like we submit to God, Children, wife, husband, father whatever you status is, each need to submit to what the Bible said, and notice that in the end it is God at the top end.

  14. Ephesians 5 becomes clear as to Paul’s intent when we read it as presented; “from the bottom up” rather than the popular “top down” method. I see this as Paul’s appeal to the “stronger” to change their perspective of the “weaker, more vulnerable” and his attempt to “level the playing field” so to speak.

    Let’s first look at the message (from the bottom up) to slaves and masters. We know slavery was rampant but from the beginning, this was never God’s plan nor did He establish a system of domination of one over the other among His people. We see, throughout scripture God’s efforts to protect the well-being of slaves and educate slaveholders how to treat them fairly. With the many scriptures in the OT that support fair, just treatment of slaves, we look at Paul’s admonishments to both slaves (weak and vulnerable) and masters (strongers and more powerful)

    Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ…Eph 6:5

    And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening…Eph 6:9

    Paul is not supporting nor endorsing the continuation of the practice; on the contrary, he is appealing to their sense of fair treatment one to another to ensure a peaceable relationship in an existing situation and time that permitted privileges to one to the exclusion of the other.

    We know he continued in this effort to eradicate the existing system and implement one that is patterned after mutual respect when he encouraged Philemon to change his attitude toward his slave to one of a brother in Christ. He further tells slaves that if they became a believer while being a slave, to remain in that position (because of the late hour) but if they could become free, to rather do that.

    We see his view of slavery in other places which you can research yourself that the system that allowed for one having power over another was never God’s plan and you will see progressive efforts throughout the Word and throughout history to eliminate and/or rescue those who have been oppressed by such a system.

    continued

  15. Ephesians 5 (cont.)

    Next we can briefly look at Paul’s admonishment to children and parents. Again, we know from scripture (and history) the harsh manner parents have treated their children; i.e. “Passing through the fire” and offering them to false idols, selling them as slaves. We see the relationship between Saul & Jonathan, Absalom’s rebellion against his father David, and the stoning of a rebellious son whose parents brought him to the elders of the city to complain that he was a drunkard and a glutton. Compare the treatment of the father to his son in the parable of the prodigal son.

    So Paul entreats children (weaker and more vulnerable) to be obedient to their parents (stronger and powerful) so it will be well with them in their care and then admonishes the father not to be harsh nor to exasperate the children but to instruct them in the way of the Lord.

    Children,obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

    Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Eph 6:4

    Again, Paul does not endorse nor encourage an authoritarian, harsh relationship between parents and their children, but appeals to peaceable respect between them.

    continued

  16. Ephesians 5 (cont.)

    And finally, we turn to Paul’s efforts to raise the status of wives and curtail the practices of harsh treatment toward them in an era that previously permitted polygamy, concubinage,
    marriage by purchase or by capture in war, slave-marriage, and putting away wives for any cause. He first speaks to the wife as the weaker, more vulnerable vessel:

    …..and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

    For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself the Savior of the body. Eph 5:23

    Paul is not establishing nor maintaining a system or relationship that was historically abused by husbands. He is appealing to the wife to see the husband in terms of Christ’s saving the church. He’s encouraging a new perspective and attitude toward the one who will love her and sacrifice for her as Christ did.

    But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives to their husbands in everything Eph 5:24

    Paul is comparing the church being in the care and nourishment of Christ to the wife’s being the recipient of the care and nourishment of her husband. We know this by the words of admonishment to husbands to care for (nourish) and cherish her as Christ does to the church.

    And then to the stronger, more powerful husband:

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…
    Eph 5:25

    He makes no mention of authority, control, or power in this relationship. Only “agape” love which gives itself up for another. This is radically different than the pattern of husbands to their wives which de-valued her, divorced her for any reason, and took multiple wives in total disregard for the original purpose of marriage.

    In keeping with Paul’s efforts to change the erroneous concept of the husband’s authority, we find him specifically saying that the wife has equal authority in the home and the same as the husband in the sexual relationship. Surely we cannot interpret his words as commands that encourage anything other than mutual, reciprocal, loving, respectful treatment.

    Paul’s closing remarks to these three groups of people clearly compare their relationships to that of Christ to the church. The “mystery” of Christ’s relationship to the church is Christ’s giving Himself, humbling Himself, emptying Himself, and His servanthood as exemplary of His willingly subjecting Himself on behalf of the Church. In other words, He subjects Himself not to her, but for her sake.

    Rather than the current, popular reading of this passage from the “top-down,” Paul intended it to be read and understood from the “bottom-up” position as a protective measure for those most vulnerable which was radically different from the “assumed” authority of the times.

    Hope this helps.

  17. I wanted to ask about submission to authority (bosses, government). These people are usually secular but I understand the bible says submit to the authority on earth, as long as they are not preventing us from worshiping God. I understand that judgement comes from God, and it is not our place to take matters in our own hands. So would it be correct in saying that for situations like the Egypt revolt, christians should NOT be participating in such things? Likewise if a boss is hurting someone in the office, treating them unfairly, is it our place to try and do something about it? Thanks

  18. The word of God can be the only measuring rod in which we can interpret the word. Ephesians tells the wives to submit to their husbands in everything. And everything means everything. The only time that a wife is not to be in submission is when a husband tells a wife to do something that is against the word of God. Also the passage in Ephesians says for the wife to submit to the husband exactly the same as she would submit to Christ. This is not a suggestion or a feel like it thing. This is a command. Also in 1 Peter chapter 3 the bible even goes on to say in verses 1-5 that the wife us to submit to her husband even if he is not a believer or follower of Christ. There is no exception. It goes on to further say that women should be submissive in their actions without even having to say a word. With their Godly attitude and pure heart it will win the unbelievingly or harsh husband to the Lord. And lastly it says that this is how the holy women in the bible acted to their husbands with respect and humility even if the husband was bad or no good. The end of it says that Sarah obeyed Abraham and called him Lord and that if you are obedient like her then you are her daughters. There is no interpretation here. That is what the bible says and teaches. I’ve also heard people say that the bible teaches that men should also submit to their wives. This is not true and can be found nowhere in the bible. Ephesians teaches believers to be submissive to one another. This is not talking about a marriage relationship. There are 5 times in the bible that is says for wives to submit to their husbands. There are no times does it say husbands submit to your wives. Of course we should know what the bible says about how a husband should treat his wife. I will not talk about that on here because we are talking solely about the role of submission. We are not even talking about how a man shouldn’t Lord his position over his wife. I know that and I pray that we all do. I’m trying to convey what the bible teaches for women. I want all to read these scriptures so that there is no error or reason to justify not doing right in the sight of God. Please read 1 Timothy ch2. 1 Corinthians ch .11 ch. 1-11. 1 Peter ch 3 vs 1-6. And the whole book of Ephesians chapters 4&5.

  19. Joaquim

    I don’t find your argument convincing. The Holy Spirit works according to the will of the Spirit. Out of reverence for Christ I open myself up to receive the direction God has for me through anyone, including my wife. We follow Christ together. While none of the biblical authors directly instruct husbands to submit to their wives, their understanding of how the Holy Spirit works through the whole body of Christ would have meant they would have been open to the work of the Holy Spirit in women.

    I believe the admonition to “submit one to another our of reverence for Christ” has to include husbands being open to receiving the Holy Spirit’s direction from through their wives and acknowledging the giftedness of their wives.

  20. Lt

    I didn’t give my thoughts or opinions. You however gave your opinions and thoughts. Everything that I said was a quote from the bible and it wasn’t my argument. I see you didn’t argue with the scriptures. I too am married to a godly woman who is filled with the holy spirit. Many times she hears from God in her spirit and tells me which way we ought to go and I listen to her. I don’t control or dominate her and I love her and treat her as my equal.

    You are missing the point. The point is that God through the writings of the apostles tells the wife to be submissive to the husband in everything. Those are not my words my friend. It also tells the wife to submit to an ungodly husband so that he will be won over by her attitude and heart. Not my words but it’s in the bible.

    What you are also failing to mention is that submission is more than just an act of the will but it is an attitude of the heart. You should read John Bevere’s book Undercover to get more insight. Anyways I will give you an example so you understand what I mean. If I tell my wife to cheat on our taxes and demand that she does this because I’m the head of the house. This is an extreme example and something that I would never do but so that you get the point. My wife. My wife would say something like: Joaquim I’m bot going to do that because it’s against God and I can’t do that. We need to be honest in our dealings with people. I pray that you understand my reason for not doing it. In the example my wife is still submitted to me even though she didn’t obey what I said. She wouldn’t say you jerk how could you ask me to do something so stupid. I thought you were a man of God you must be an idiot for asking me to do such a thing. That would be an act of an unsubmissive heart toward her head.

    As you can see submission doesnt mean obedience at any cost. It does always have to do with the right attitude, heart, respect, and honor to a superior, leader, or official.

  21. Pretty much every point I made in my last comment is based in scripture (e.g. 1Cor 12, Eph 5). I don’t feel the need to quote it.

    I think you lost me when you say I should read Under Cover. I have written quite extensively about the book and have read it a number of times and listened to many hours of sermons based on his book. I don’t believe in Bevere’s definition of submission because I don’t believe it is based on scripture. I have the definition of hupotasso listed on the original post on this page.

    Nevertheless the point of this website isn’t really to debate gender roles, there are other websites that do a better job of that. While I don’t find any biblical basis for the concept of Coverings there is a legitimate theological debate over what Paul and Peter thought about gender and submission.

    With all due respect I’m not interested in playing games with people that I say “should” read something or that my positions are not based on scripture.

    If you wish to offer legitimate criticism of something I’ve actually written feel free. Otherwise I’m not really interested.

  22. Hi,

    I am struggling with submitting to a home group leader. There is no relationship and I have been requested by our pastor to support him. Problem is after more than 6 months I find myself being resentful in my heart towards him. I simply do not agree with the manner in which the home group is conducted and this was discussed with him and his wife in a meeting with myself and my wife (after we had spoken with our pastor, so we had his permission and he was aware of our concerns)
    Do we continue to attend home group whilst we do not really want to be there ?(it is not only about us, there are others who benefit from our input)
    Perhaps the Lord is teaching us about submission. We do not want to bring judgement on ourselves, as happened to Miriam.
    Regards
    Wayne

  23. Hi Wayne

    Honestly I don’t really know enough about your situation to be confident in offering helpful advice.

  24. Hi,

    I’ve been led by God to do some programs outside the church…like singing events, seminars for singles etc. I also have 2 openings to minister in songs to old peoples home.

    My pastor thinks these events should be for the church. He said I bit more than I can chew at the first singing event I organized because I did almost everything by myself….but God took the glory as we had about 220-250 people at the praise night. I am just passionate for God. I may not be the best person…but I love God and I want to serve Him in a different way with all I’ve got. Now, I’m being very careful about organizing the next event. Because I’m afraid of what they’ll say. I’m being careful about involving members of the church because I do not want anything that will cause offence. I have met with my pastor a number of times to explain that the event is non-church. During one of our discussions, they said to me that the

    I told my pastor I do not want to be a pastor or have a flair to be one but I just want to set up an organization to organize events for the Lord with my money and time. My activities and commitments in church are however not reduced. But my pastor does not agree with me. Maybe because I’m a deaconess in the church. I’ve been praying about church leadership and that I do not want to disrespect authority…my search led to this website.

    I do not want to meet with him to discuss the issue anymore as I do not want to be seen as rebellious….plus I’ve met with him at least 3 times.

    Is there something I’m missing? What do you counsel?

    Crusader

  25. Crusader, the body of Christ is the church, not your pastor in a building merely. He has no say in what you do outside of the church building as in your activities. What activities or resources you give to the local church building are between you and God. If your pastor is trying to run your life outside of the church building as to what you do with your time that is not causing harm to the body of Christ (the whole world of believers) than maybe you should find a new church. It makes me question what motives could be there. We are under no command to be in any particular church building but are free to come and go. Even Paul let God decide where he should go and to what church when or what city or what should be done with his time. He would have rebuked a leader if he heard he was trying to have that kind of control in your life. It is not biblical or normal.

  26. Hi LT, I would just like to thank God for bringing you to a wider audience so they may be guided by the Holy Spirit to understand the word of God, bring the truth of God’s word and bring back everything to their rememberance all that the Holy Spirit has taught. My husband and me got married in June this year and are as they put it newly weds. We were attending a church and it was okay at first, i started noticing little things that grew bigger. Some people were chosen over others to pray in bible classes, in prayer meetings, and i was often prevented from speaking in bible studies. I have problems concerning some traumatic experiences i encountered and was seeking healing and deliverence to overcome this. At cell groups i encountered the same patterns of behaviour and it really upset me as I experienced this in my life. I felt like I was being abused and felt like I was being disciplined for something they did not tell me exaclty what I had done to deserve this. When I wanted to use my gifts I was told by my Pastor I was unfit for service and he would not allow me to use my gifting. He was implying i was trouble because i disagreed in the way he was caring for the most vulnerable and because he had assigned a friend to run the cell group without teaching him the correct way to run cell groups which allows everyone to speak and views be addressed. In our marriage counselling he brought up my past and this had nothing to do with our marriage life together. We were interrupted constantly during our counselling or it was ended for him to go elsewhere. I have addressed this issue with all parties and so I started looking into submission as im starting a project and hoped to bring light to the subjects concerning leadership, government,God, elders and husband in the church. I asked God what is going on in the churches and I believe God started to show me truth about submission which is why i came across your website.

    I kept telling the Pastor that there is manipulation going on in the church, and treated me as if I was crazy, troubled. Even though there is much to overcome because of my life, God is at work and the enemy has been hiding unnoticed to continue to manipulate the word of God to exercise control and make men gods instead of God having the ultimate power and authority. The teaching of God is clearly evident in what you have conveyed through the Holy Spirit and supported through the Word of God. I know that the enemy wants me out of that church so his deeds dont become manifest into those who cannot see. The Holy Spirit has been leading me and showing me and the table that you have outlined is exactly what has been happening to me. It is more authoritarian submission in the church than biblical submission in the church. May God Bless You and keep speaking the truth love from your sister xxx

  27. I think with respect to submission it is critical to remember that there are different spheres of authority, and we need to think about what, exactly, is included within the realm of church leaders.

    That is, whether or not I am allowed to serve in a certain area of the church is something I should submit to with being contentious – that is under the church leadership’s discretion, and they are given authority to rule over such things.

    However, I am the priest of my relationship with God in certain areas. If a pastor says ‘marry this person’ or ‘take this job’ I certainly am not being rebellious if I say ‘no’ – because none of these things are under the sphere of pastoral authority. As a priest individual believers are accountable for these kinds of decisions, and in such matters it is actually the church authority that would need to submit to the individual’s authority as priest – that is, a leader could certainly share or ‘submit’ their thoughts in these areas to the believer, and yet have to acknowledge the individual believers ultimate authority… in the same way a congregation member may suggest an opinion on who would make a good youth leader but would have to leave this in the hands of the leadership.

    What I haven’t seen commonly taught is that all the parties in the body need to acknowledge authority and honor the authority given to each one… it doesn’t just go one way.

    peace to all

  28. I am grateful for the information you have presented in this website; it is truly an answer from God to questions I have had inside and had been unable to ask to my spiritual authorites because they are implicitly forbiden and could cost me the label of prideful and rebellious. Forgive me if I am asking something that has already been answered, I am interested in knowing your thoughts on Scriptures like Luke 7:8, “For I also am a man (daily) subject to authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another Come, and he comes; and to my bond servant, Do this, and he does it”… I have heard it as basis for the teaching of how we have to be under the authority of a Spiritual Leader in order to have spirtual authority ourselves, and that when we get ourselves out from under that authority we are exposed to revenge and retaliation from Satan. Also, I will appreciate your thoughts on 1 Corinthians 4:15 where the Apostle Paul says “after all, you should have ten thousand teachers (guides to direct you) in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the glad tidings (the Gospel)”. I have heard this verse used as basis for the existence of “spiritual fathers” and how you are supposed to submit to them just as a son or daughter to a father. Even though it all seemed very nice and safe at the beginning of my walk with Christ, as I’ve grown in my knowledge of Him and I have studied my Bible more, I have encountered many conflictive issues in my heart that I am unable to resolve with the doctrine of submitting to spiritual authorities unconditionally. Thank you very much for your time and efforts, may God continue to use you to expose and explain the truth and shed light over issues like this.

  29. HI LR

    For Luke 7:8 check out my treatment of a parallel passage
    http://coveringandauthority.com/covering-and-apostolic-authority/scriptures-used-in-covering-theology/mat-85-10/

    I think spiritual fatherhood is certainly a biblical concept, but the truth is it isn’t really defined. I believe Paul’s main point is that the Corinthians have lots of people who will teach them, but they have very few people that truly care about them.

    Paul’s position on submission to leadership is well summed up in 2Corinthians.

    2Co 1:24 I do not mean that we rule over your faith, but we are workers with you for your joy, because by faith you stand firm.

  30. I have a question, I am part of a church with a congregation of over 600 with a leadership structure of head pastor who’s wife is also a pastor, another pastor and his wife who is also pastor and one other male pastor, also there are “elders” in places of authority. The Holy spirit showed me who my future husband would be, I prayed for 7 months with God as I found this difficult to believe and was having a long debate with God wether this was truly His will. I did not know the man nor speak to him during these 7 months, after 7 months I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to conway to the man how his testimony had moved me which I did, we struck up a friendship and eventually the man told me the Holy Spirit had spoken to him about me months earlier too. We fell in love and are still very much in love, when I told my leadership the reply was “lay it down” which I did not agree with as I felt I had effectively listened to the Holy Spirit and followed Gods commands. My fiance was consequencly made to leave the bible college our church runs where he was a student and we struggled though feeling offended but have forgiven and are still at the same church. Now we have been waiting to get married for over 5 months (we have been together a year) and our leaders have not directly said they wont marry us but do everything to not make this happen. There still seams to be offense in our leaders as they feel we were disobedient in not Laying our relationship down. They have more then once said they need to be sure that we will submit to them. Am I being disobedient by disagreeing with my leaders on who I love or who I marry?
    kind regards

  31. Jane

    At church services on Mothers Day in my 70-plus years’ experience, the pastor in each of five Protestant Christian denominations has taken as his theme Peter’s words on wives submitting to husbands. And on this Mother’s Day, as on every other, I leave the church, snapping and snarling. If we must speak of submission, could we not include Paul’s wider view that Christians should submit, one to the other?
    Better yet, there are hundreds of “mother stories” in the Bible from which stories could be drawn and morals could be raised, useful to all the generations within a family.
    Reading the Greek derivations of Biblical words of authority and submission, and the many comments above, have cooled my fevered brow for this Mothers Day. The “why” remains, however. Why do Protestant Christians hammer home submission of wives to husbands on a day set aside to celebrate motherhood?

  32. Well you did a good job fostering more rebellion against God’s authority. This article is sure to futher erode God’s order in the home and the Church. The Western Church has become filled with rebellion against God, His Word, and His men who he places in charge. This article is another sad example of isegetic hermanuitics…Sad…Very Sad

  33. I’d love to offer a reply but you haven’t actually challenged any of the points I make in the article. I do find you tone and nature of your comments to be below acceptable standards for discourse. Labelling someone’s honest effort to submit to scripture as eisegesis just because you disagree with them is not helpful.

    And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to everyone, an apt teacher, patient, correcting opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and that they may escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
    (2Ti 2:24-26)

    In all honesty something in this comment seems a little off. I somehow doubt someone with a doctoral degree in bible or theology would actually misspell eisegetic and hermeneutics in the same sentence.

  34. How I thank the Lord for your website discovered today… .Your teaching has brought much peace and joy to my heart as I have lacked certain knowledge “puzzle pieces” to clearly see all the angles of hierarchical authority (as previously taught by the shepherding movement and still continuing in the new Apostolic reformation teachings).

    I am no great Biblical scholar, but to me it is quite clear that Ephesians 5 :22 – 33 is about the topic of submission, NOT leadership or authority firstly, although the product of godly submission will also be a greater measure of Kingdom authority.

    The reason for my premise, is that verse 21 ends with “submitting to one another in the fear of God”, i.e. mutual submission as a way of being / doing, etc. Verse 22 – verse 33 is thus a clarification of the instruction already given (which is mutual submission). The same reason that verse 33 closes with the theme of mutual submission and what that looks like individually for both the husband and the wife.

    Here is my point: A husband truly submitted to Christ – note the theme of submission here – should not have any difficulty with showing honor to his wife; and a wife truly submitted to Christ, should not have any difficulty with showing honor to her husband – note the theme of submission. So it looks like this, if you will: Husband submits to Christ and honor his wife as equal in co-leadership of the home and family. The wife submits to Christ and she honors her husband and submits to him according to the grace of God given to her.
    (in very earthly terms I would say, he is “promoted” as being her head (AS he is submitted to Christ), and wife is “promoted” by her husband as co-leader of the home…:)

    I hope that my simple explanation clearly illustrates the point that what is required of us both ways, as men and women, is the godly characteristic of humility and submission. I feel that if we still argue over who is the head, we have not grasped with full understanding as mature believers, that the issue is submission and not headship.
    Is it not time that we stop promoting subtle idolatry in the form of headship Theology, and instead promote and live what Philippians 2: 5 teaches: Jesus, who being the very equal of God, did not consider equality something to be grasped, but willingly submitted…ensuring that we do what we are told also in this area of showing honor to one another (not because it is demanded by anyone, but because it is the character of Kingdom people) .
    Is the above tough? Yes!!! However, Scripture says: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2: 13)

    Perhaps, if the christian family stop squabbling over who is the head and who is rebellious, we will be able to show the world that the christian marriage is about the mystery of Christ and His bride, a supernatural unity that comes from laying down our lives for one another…

  35. LT

    I’m grateful to know that I’m not rebellious even though that’s how I am defined by those that say they have a knowledge of God but clearly do not. Before you gave scriptural references which is clearly the basis of your knowledge you use what we say and I’m sure by the word of knowledge given you by the Holy Spirit, good old common sense. Thank you!

    You wrote:

    The word submit in English is used a few different ways as well. I can submit a proposal for consideration. I can submit to you the reader that something is untrue. I can submit my car keys to the new owners after I sold the car. Finally I can submit to the control of an authority.

    The following English dictionaries define one aspect of submission this way.

    Collins English dictionary: “unwillingly allow something to be done to you.”
    Dictionary.com: “to give over or yield to the power or authority of another.”
    Webster : “yield to the control of another.”

    I simply through the word of God, say to my self if your or my interpretation of scripture doesn’t promote the freedom that Christ calls us to or it places me or anyone else in handcuffs of any kind, then it’s not of God. My obedience to God is out of my love and devotion to Him, I love Him Dearly.

    There are those for what ever their reasons are very skillful in the word and can use the word to solidify their points and their doctrine but only to those who are not students of the bible. We know that the bible does not contradict it self and it is clear that its also not for people that will rightly divide the word of truth. I’m not that smart but I do know the truth when I hear it!

    Hopefully you will read this and think this is not just another person complimenting me just like those who criticize me, it probably doesn’t really make a difference to you or perhaps it will. I’m not coming with flattering words I come as a servant. You encourage us everyday and I’ve never wrote you to say thank you! Thank you!
    You have changed my mind about how I will lead in the future. Truth that we entertain can not just come from our experiences because they are limited they must come from the word, we All with out taking or adding to the word formulate doctrines and theology In which we live by day to day.

    It’s good to hear another’s counsel and have an open mind. My back ground is from a very dominating, manipulating, threatening leadership, if you obey me you obey God, you don’t cross me because if you do God judgement will fall on you he promised me that. Believe in The Lord your God and you shall be established But believe in His prophets you will have success which is scriptural but spoken in order to control. If I don’t teach you what you want to know you are out of order to study it God doesn’t want you to know it yet, if I’m angry with you as your leader it is an indication that God is angry as well, if you can’t obey me you will never be a good leader, the way you know you are submitted to God is if you are connected to me and submit to my authority. If you don’t obey me God will judge you through your children, you don’t go visiting other churches because what I’m teaching you they may not teach because they have different people under their leadership.

    You get the picture, my people Parrish because of lack of knowledge! I may not be the smartest but I’m no longer lacking in knowledge partly because of you! I always knew this thought my studies but its good to hear it from someone else.

  36. In regards to “submitting to one another” is that each of us be not many masters in the sense there are others better trained and experienced in certain fields or trades than we are and that we should “submit” to them as having more authority in specific areas. It does not mean as in headship giving many hierarchial authorities. Submitting to ones wife is not exactly spelled out, but it is principled in that she “be keepers at home”. The wife has authority over the cleanliness of the home, the hygeine of the children, but when it comes to making decisions which affect the financial ends and means or the guarding/ protection of the home there is the husbands’ duty. In regards to discipline in the home and the church men are to take the leadership role. Today this has rarely become the case and is out of God’s order. Many times submission is found the order by which one finds protection as the umbrella over them for their safety, or under the shadow of the wing of the Almighty. Even in the area where the husband is not even saved, as long as his decisions concur with God’s will he is to be submitted unto by the wife. It is her chaste conversation that the unbelieving husband is won. And where the wife is not saved, as long as she “keeps” the home in decency and orderliness the husband is to submit in agreement with her requirements of the home both personal hygeine and in helping to maintain the cleanliness of the home as well. I have found that things my mother taught me about cleaning can also help my wife in certain areas. In the fact we are no longer twain but become one flesh, we are to work together to accomplish a godly home and not try to rule over the other. Never the less, there are things I best leave to her and she leave to me. I know today’s world doesn’t see things from the biblical perspective and this explains why there is so much turmoil among the youth which also carries on into adulthood. Yet the world has no excuse for lack of submission biblically or otherwise, the only hope is that men turn unto the Lord. I may have just repeated something already said. I didn’t read all the comments and am just responding to a question asked about the wife having authority. Her authority is limited, yet she still has some authority. God rewards with showers of blessings as we submit to Him in all areas as He has given us in His word. He also shows us that submitting to Him 1st causes the devil to have to flee from us as we resist his temptations. Hope that helps

  37. Ricky, I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you here. Human relationships can not be plotted on a hierarchical flow chart with neat easy divisions of responsibilities. Where in scripture does one find that a woman’s sole authority lies in keeping a home? In Proverbs 31 we see the “excellent wife” making financial decisions, farming, merchandising, producing goods for sale, acting charitably, and teaching.

  38. Great article! I would like to add though, the the English word “submit” comes from the Latin word submittere, which is where we get the idea that hupotasso means “to yield.” Instead of going from the English to Greek, it is better to go from the Greek to English, omitting Latin from in between.

  39. Hello,

    I read through your article and most of the comments. Thank you for your balanced view and putting things in perspective.

    I have a question: My husband and I have been in ministry for many years but God changed the nature of our ministry. For quite a number of years now, we served in two different churches (one abroad) and the last one in our country of origin where we are living again for the last few years.

    The church we attended the last few years, became part of another, bigger church with consent of all the members and leaders. (Unfortunately, we were not told what this would involve as all the teachings and preachings were quite good) We never had any problem to submit to our leaders or to lay down our own calling to serve and uphold the arms leaders of the churches where we attended.

    For two years now, God has been preparing us to “go out again” and minister in a neighboring town. To make a very long (sad) story short, the new church has a different view on this. They feel that we should implement our gifts and talents in the local church and that if we “feel” that God is directing us to go minister for a period of time in another town, we should first bring it to the Elders, they would pray about it and if they feel “no” or “not now”, we should submit and not go. This is not about something we”want” to do, but a clear command from God. Who do we obey then? Well, the obvious answer is God. The end of the story is that we said goodbye to the church but there is such a lot of heartache involved and they misinterpreted our hearts totally. They say that “we went” and were not “sent” by the Elders of the church. Also that we are now not under any covering and are “lone rangers”. This was never our heart! We believe in and love body ministry.

    It’s scary to hear that the leader of this Church moves people around from church to church as he feel “led” and that the Elders just obey without questioning his decision of authority! There is the example of one of the Church’s Elders being sent by him to another church and when this man arrived there for his first service, the leader, 15 minutes before the service started!!, told him, “no, I want to move you to another church”. This specific Elder holds up his example of “submission” as the norm for all members of the church. Where is God in all of this??

    Any thoughts or guidance?

    Thank you for your passion to divide the Word of Truth in the right way.

  40. Thank you for your clear concise teaching on submission within the church body. Do you have additional teaching as pertaining to the husband/wife relationship?

  41. Hi Kay

    It might seem a little like a cop out but I have intentionally avoided that issue on this website. It isn’t because I don’t care, or that I don’t have a position, it is just that debate could easily overwhelm my main area of concern here. I can tell you that I am married and that my wife and I work through all of our major decisions together. The traditional view is that women should submit to their husbands in respect and that husbands should lay down their lives and love their wives (Eph 5). One could argue that these instructions were much more relevant in the time as a typical wedding involved a man in his mid twenties and a woman of 14-16, and in many cases even younger. Regardless I don’t see where loving one’s wife could in in any way involve authoritarian domination, and I don’t know how respecting a husband could include being a passive doormat. Ultimately God is our authority and seeing as how people of both genders can receive wisdom, insight and revelation from God I thinking both partners can be fully engaged in discerning what God’s will might be in situation. Even if God somehow designed people of each gender to find their stride in certain roles there have always been exceptions (e.g. Deborah the judge). I get uneasy when people take a few snippets of scripture and construct an elaborate inflexible theology with them. I’m often astounded at how people can take Eph 5 and come up with all these rigid and elaborately defined gender roles. It is pretty obvious they aren’t honouring the text, they are just looking for proof texts for their own understanding.

    In our culture we often view these kinds of issues through the lens of rights. What rights does the husband have? What rights does the wife have? What Jesus modelled was laying down rights for the sake of the people he loved. Given our highest goal is to love one another I think that has to include some flexibility in each individual marriage partnership to find a place where both partners can flourish and be comfortable. There is something distinct about being masculine and feminine but how that looks is going to be different in each of us. I think the church has harmed a lot of people forcing people to fit in rigid roles they clearly weren’t meant for.

  42. Hi Elizabeth

    Ultimately Jesus is our high priest and we should follow him. As a church leader myself I have on occasion believed that one of the people I served was making a bad decision or discerned the will of God incorrectly. While I did communicate my disagreement with their plan of action I reassured them that even if they followed the course of action they decided on that I would still love and support them, that ultimately the decision is theirs to make because I am not a mediator between them and God, and that even if they are making a mistake God can still make the best of it.

    Wherever you go Elizabeth you are protected by faith and covered by God’s love which nothing can separate you from. The elders of this church may have been right (I kind of doubt it) but your relationship with God is based on the faithful work of Christ on the cross and your faith in him. People aren’t “lone rangers” just because they seek to be faithful to what they hear from God and in conflicts with someone else things. People are lone rangers when there is no one they trust and refuse to open up their lives to input of others.

  43. Hello LT,

    Took me a while to figure out how to address you!! Should have looked at the top of your article sooner 🙂

    Thank you so much for your balanced and loving comment. I wish that all leaders (servants) of the church, would have your heart.

    May God bless you and extend the sphere of your influence beyond your wildest imagination!

    God bless

  44. Dear LT

    I want to ask your opinion on another matter. What is your perspective about “giving people over to Satan”. There are two cases in the New Testament where it happened (1 Cor 5:1-5 & 1 Tim 1:19-20) and as far as I am concerned, both were severe cases; sexual immorality and blaspheming the Name of the Lord. Is it right that people “are given over to Satan” just because they do not feel the same about certain aspects of church as the leaders? Or because they do not want to “submit” to their authority?

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