Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ditching Spiritual Coverings And Embracing Father’s.

Why is it that many Christian’s think they have to have a ‘spiritual covering’ in order to relate to Father? Is it necessary to have a spiritual covering other than father living in our hearts? It reminds me of a royal family, in order to talk to the ‘king’ the hierarchy of a nation, you must go through several other ‘leaders’ or people in order to get permission to talk to the ‘king’. Why does some think they can’t just go to God on their own without the ‘in between’ people. I think some elders and leaders in our local congregations forget that they too are just people who go through the same things as anyone else in the congregation. But some think they have to ‘cover’ our spiritual lives in order for us to be saved. Isn’t Fathers blood enough to ‘cover’ us for eternity? I think so.

I believe that I don’t need anyone ‘above’ me other than Father and his love! Father then becomes more real to me as I walk in an ongoing relationship with Him and what He is accomplishing in my own life. I am not saying that having mentors and others along side me to help me is a bad thing, but that doesn’t mean that in order to know what Father is doing in my life, I need someone else to cover me and make sure I am not missing the ‘mark’. Where did that idea come from in the first place? I can’t seem to find anything in the scriptures that says we have to have someone else to be our spiritual covering.

Here’s another thought! Are husbands supposed to be the wives ‘covering’? Does that mean they have authority over the wife and makes all the decisions in the family as the leader? Doesn’t this ‘covering’ seem to be the same thing about leaders in congregations and can be looked at in the same light as well? I know in my marriage my husband and I work together as a team and we make decisions together; he doesn't act as my authority, that I must ‘submit’ to him , but he is my helper and equal. Can the word 'submit' be looked at in a different light? I have always heard the term for submit meaning the same thing as ‘obey’. However, I think it may be misinterpreted…

Any thoughts about ‘Spiritual Coverings’?


Laurie said...

I think the word "submit" has gotten a bad rap and we have been fed a distorted view of what it actually means. Husbands aren't to "lord it over" their wives any more than Jesus intended for brothers (or sisters) to "lord over" one another in the Body. Life doesn't flow in relationships that are based on the desire to dominate on one side and fear of punishment or rejection on the other.

If husbands truly understand and demonstrate (enabled by Spirit of Christ himself) what it means to "love their wives as Christ loved the church" and give themselves for her, then I don't think wives (who are motivated by that same love and filled with the same Spirit of our Lord who humbled himself and became obedient to the Father and death on a cross) have any problem responding appropriately.

The greek lexicon has the standard list of meanings for the word submit but it also has this to say, "This word was a Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader." In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden."

To me this indicates something other than domination or obedience of human beings to each other as the main intent of the word. Sounds more like we are called to work together toward a common goal as we each submit to the ultimate head and leader. As we do that I think we will find that we very naturally end up submitting to one another.

Walking Church said...

Laurie is bang on.

I have found by lifting my wife up, I am lifting myself up. Does the scripture not talk about husband and wife being as one. Been married for over 25 years.

Loving one's wife as the Lord loves His beloved church is an incredible mandate - I can't do it...He has to do it in and through me, as me.

'Coverings' - not overly familiar with this...but let me ask you to read Colossians 3.3 and tell who your covering is?

Bino Manjasseril said...

Great questions, great comments!

Couple of things:
Jesus is not just our Savior, He is also our 'Lord'. Lord is someone who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler (according to the dictionary). He lives in me to lord me so why do I need another 'lord'?
I think you are right on about the word 'submit' being misinterpreted. If God meant husbands to 'lord over' wives, why would Jesus live in a wife? There must be a reason.
Jesus is our High Priest, we have no other priest other than Jesus. He is the only mediator between God and man. The curtain was torn to remove any heirarchies, human authorities and all that type of things and clear our path directly to the lap of our Father, and He invites us 'Come to the throne of Grace with courage'. He didn't say come with your pastor, elder, husband or someone else. Simply put, hierarchies remove the intimacy of any relationship, so why do we need it?

Joel Brueseke said...

Indeed, great post and great comments! I think it was Peter who said, "submit to one another," and as has been mentioned here, if the word "submit" is used properly, no one is above anyone else. Not only is it good for my wife to submit to me, but it's good for me to submit to my wife! We are both unique parts of a unit, but we are a unit.

I think the same is true when it comes to pastors, teachers, elders, and all the other parts of the body of Christ as we interact within the context of church gatherings. We are all to submit to one another. I think this is sorely abused in the church today, with pastors seemingly being on the top of the totem pole, with a hierarchy underneath them leading on "down" to the general population of the congregation.

Romans 12 and 1 Cor 12 are great sources for understanding our unique and co-equal parts in the body of Christ. We all submit to the same covering, the same Head, Jesus Christ.

Walking Church said...

Also Romans 12.10

Lifting one another above one's self...go figure...what would the body look like if we all did that?

Why would we not also lift our spouses above ourselves?

Nicole said...

Wow! great comments!

Just recently I was struggling with the whole 'husband covering' since I was in a conversation about it and the person I was talking to thought I wasn't under my husbands covering... I responded out of love and said I don't think Jon is my covering but my mate and my companion, my equal. It sounded like I had to go ask him for permission to feel things and do things and I just couldn't agree. And I thought, wow this sounds a lot like what some think leaders and elders are supposed to do in congregations! It's like the same thing...

I appreciate all of your comments, it really opens up a lot of confirmation in my heart about this!

Thanks guys!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Laurie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laurie said...

Hey Nic – Here’s a couple links to some articles online about the covering doctrine, just in case you want to read some in depth treatments of the issue with more background and such.

Laurie said...

Sorry, you'll have to cut and paste those urls.

I have to say that I could probably find things in each of these articles that I would phrase differently or hold a bit different opinion on but overall they are interesting thoughts on the topic.

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