The Picture of the Gospel

Since Christians tell me that the relationship of a husband and wife is pretty much the same of Christ and the church, I thought that I’d re-write key passages in Scripture to reflect this idea:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Husband died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that Husband was buried, that Husband was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that Husband appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, Husband appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then Husband appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all Husband appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (All references to Jesus replaced with Husband.)
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Wife, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. – Matthew 16:17-18 (All references to Church replaced with Wife.)
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Husband and him crucified. – 1 Corinthians 2:2
And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the Wife in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the Wife. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. – Acts 8:1-3
You know, something about replacing Jesus with ‘Husband’ and Church with ‘Wife’ just throws the story off. Perhaps it’s because that they’re not the same thing – and the relationship of one just doesn’t really work as the relationship for the other.
Technically, Jesus and his fiancée are separated – a world apart. Not only that, but Jesus sent another, the Holy Spirit to be a temporary replacement until he gets back. I’m not really sure what we would call their relationship in terms of specifics. Not once does Jesus seem to use his ‘headship’ to make decisions, have the final say, or tie-breaking vote; not once does the church seem to submit the way we think that wives must. If marriage is a picture of the gospel story, then what is singleness?

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7 thoughts on “The Picture of the Gospel

  1. What the Bible says is that marriage was designed by God to be a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church, i.e. sacrificial love and service. Where you’re also missing the point, is that you fail to realize that Jesus is also given as the model for the wife, not only for the husband.

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    1. Remember the story of when Solomon told the two prostitutes to cut the living son in half so that both their claims would be satisfied? You’ve taken the same approach here with Jesus: half of Jesus is the example for men, how to be the servant leader – women are not to follow this example of Jesus; while the other half of Jesus is the example for women, how to fully and joyfully submit – men are not to follow this example of Jesus. So being christ-like becomes being half-christ-like because neither men nor women can fully follow Jesus’ example nor can they be fully christ-like. However, Jesus did put on the servant’s garb and wash his disciples feet and there were times when he gave his authority to his disciples and sent them out preaching on their own. Why is it then, that men don’t transfer their authority to their wives when the situation calls for it? Why is it okay to let the wive have authority in some areas (such as household management, decoration) but not in others (such as teaching a Sunday School class?) Complementarians in the more conservative vein ignore elements of Jesus’ story where he broke the rules that they impose upon themselves and others because it suits them to do so. I’ve seen churches that forbid women from teaching twelve year old baptized boys because they’re men and that’s not biblical. I’ve seen churches that impose strict dress codes on women and say nothing on what men must or mustn’t wear. What’s wrong with men and women both giving sacrificial love and service – would that not be mutuality; that which Scripture teaches about marriage in 1 Corinthians 7?

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      1. They don’t know how lucky they are. I had a deacon who would ask for volunteers to teach class on Sundays – but he would only accept men to teach. One Sunday he chose the guy who never could say no to teach the class. The guy who could never say no ended up having a busy week what with everyone else asking him to do something or other – by the time Sunday came around he said that he just didn’t have the time to prepare materials or plan what to teach – he just opened the Bible to a random passage and winged it.

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      2. Sounds like you have some wounds from a particularly un-fun fundy church. Not all Christians, or even theologically conservative Christians that matter, are like that in practice.

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      3. It was just a typical Southern Baptist Church. But I know of a number of non-denominational churches in this area that used to be Southern Baptists who broke away from the SBC because they were just too liberal and too far gone. So it’s not uncommon to see fundy non-denominational churches in this region. It’s a total opposite of the seeker-sensitive non-denominational church I attended elsewhere; but once you have to leave the best church ever, no other church really compares. What a lot of SBC churches out here do is call themselves “community” churches, because 80% of the churches in this county are SBC and they’ve so thoroughly ruined their own reputations that the think as long as people can’t obviously tell they’re baptists they’ll get more people to come. Were they completely honest about their affiliation, they’d get fewer visitors. I tend to call them stealth baptists.

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      4. Yeah, we have those here in CO too – however, I’d say most Community Churches (I pastor a “community church”) are not SBC or other Baptists, but EFC or other non-denominational or independent protestant church.

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