Okay, there’s that word that most people have a hard time with. It’s called submission. Some might even refer to it as a four-letter word because it leaves such a bad taste in their mouth. For me, I’ve learned to accept it as the order of life. All of us have been called to submit to someone or something at some point or the other. The word submission (Greek: hupakoe) or Submit (Greek: peitharcheo; hupeiko; hupotasso) generally means to yield, to be weak; to subordinate, reflexively obey; to be under obedience; to be put in subjection to or under.
From its definition alone you can see why some people would have a problem with that word. After all, who wants to be subordinate or consider themselves weak positionally? But when you truly understand the nature of being submitted, it really isn’t that bad at all. Submission is the ability to stay under despite agreeing. In fact, submission does not really kick in until you disagree with the one over you. As long as you agree then there is nothing to dispute. Submission is about the right attitude and not just an act of someone doing something just because he/she is asked to. When someone is truly in the act of submission, they may disagree but they submit to your wishes with a good attitude and a smile on their face and heart.
Because many have a false perception of what submission means, there is often a rejection or reluctance to carrying out its function. While there may be those in the workforce who submit to their supervisors and managers, if you take away the compensation factor then submission to these up-lines would probably go right out the window. We live in a society were submission is extremely difficult, especially for someone from a minority group whose history is deeply rooted in oppression. Nonetheless, we have been called to submit to those in authority over us.
The bible speaks of submission. In the book of Ephesians, the 5th and 6th chapter, the Apostle Paul speaks of submission within the body of believers, submission of wives to husbands, children to parents, and servants to their masters. In chapter 5:18-21, Paul reminds the church in Ephesus, how to operate in the Spirit with respect to each other. He concludes this portion of thought by encouraging Spirit-controlled believers to submit to one another. Each member of the body of Christ should serve and esteem others better than themselves (Phil. 2:3). This is the fruit of the Spirit manifesting itself in love.
Paul moves onto verse 22 to deal with everyday relationships when he writes, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Unfortunately, some take verse 21 and try to attach it to this statement in verse 22. However, verse 21 speaks to submission to one another in the body of believers, while verse 22 (as also seen in Colossians 3:18) refers to wives being in submission to their own husbands. This verse often causes major problems, especially for women living in a western society where the bible is often interpreted through the lens of democracy. The bible, however, was not written under a democracy, it was written under a theocracy.
Under a theocracy, God’s divine rule and order is established according to His will and not the majority opinion. This is important to understand as many Christians try to interpret scripture through a very subjective viewpoint of democracy which can lead to a poor understanding of a particular passage of scripture. For example, nowhere in the bible do you see any part of the body taking a vote to dictate which direction the church and its leader should follow. When God established His church, He gave the “Five-fold Ministry” (Eph. 4:11) to serve as the governing body to maintain order in the church. Yet, we have many churches and church systems today that are very much out of order as its members, finance committees, diaconate and elder’s boards are telling “Five-fold Leadership” what they can and cannot do in God’s church.
When we look at the Old Testament, we often see when God is getting ready to have a great move He chooses one man to whom He delegates His authority in order to lead. God speaks through Moses’, Joshuas, Gideons, and Davids, and expects everyone under them to follow. Can you image what would have happened if the children of Israel were allowed to vote in order to establish the next move of God when they stood at the Red Sea? Don’t get me wrong, I believe “in a multitude of wise counselors there is safety” (Prov. 24:6). However, the head must make the final decision. Like the NBA commercial says, “There can only be one!” Even in the natural we learned that a Shaq and a Kobe could not coexist. Someone has to be Mike and the other has to be Scotty. Anything alive with two heads is a monster.
Taking a subordinate role does not mean that one is inferior; it simply establishes an order of operations. Is the Son of God inferior to The Father? Is the Spirit inferior to the Son of God? Of course not! But even in the Godhead we see submission. So what about us? This is the kind of submission God expects between a husband and wife, which is an archetype for Christ and His Church. As for children submitting to their parents and servants submitting to their masters, this is to be done willingly, with sincerity of the heart, as unto the God Himself. “For there is no authority except that which God has established” (Rom. 13:1, NIV).
This brings me to one of the main points of this article. On tomorrow, our nation, the United States of America, will be engaged in one of the most important elections in history. We will be electing a new president at a time when our nation is facing the worst economic crisis we’ve seen since the “Great Depression.” Our country is at war without a concrete exit strategy in place to bring our troops home. And we still have not captured the one responsible for the 9-11. It’s time for a change! The question is who can best provide this much-needed change, Sen. John McCain or Sen. Barack Obama?
Either way, whoever wins, we must be willing to submit to his authority. Yes, we are called even to submit to the governing authorities of the land because there is no authority except what God has established. This includes the Police, Firefighters and even Meter Maids. All authorities have been established by God. That means that in 2000, President Bush was not an accident or a surprise to God; he was established. No matter what happens tomorrow (Election Day) God is establishing an authoritative figure in our nations.
Now let me make this clear. This does not mean that God is establishing the next president to be His mouthpiece in the White House. The role and function of the president and presidency of the United States of America is NOT to legislate the bible. The role and function of the president and presidency of the United States of America is to legislate the laws of the land. For all those who are looking for a president who will uphold biblical morals, STOP LOOKING FOR A PROPHET IN THE WHITE HOUSE! The president’s job is not to teach and uphold biblical standards. This is the job of the church. Passing laws to end abortion would be great but it will not stop people from having abortions. Passing laws to prevent same sex marriage would be great, but it will not stop homosexuals from sleeping with each other (Rom. 1:26,27). If we want to evoke change in this nation then the church has got to be the church and start preaching the Kingdom of God.
I don’t understand the mindset of those who vote for a particular party because they uphold two or three of what they consider to be high biblical moral values. In essence, what you’re saying is, God has a hierarchy for degrees of sin, so you vote for a party who holds the same hierarchal standard as you and God and in the meantime you over look the lesser sins committed this party. We need to understand that God is not as concerned with a person’s morals as He is with a person’s motivations. He is not as concerned with a person’s actions as He is with a person’s attitude. God is not concerned with what you do in public, but how you truly conduct yourself when no one else is looking. He is not really concerned about creating a list of rules and regulations that condemns an unregenerated soul every time he/she violates it. But God is concerned with changing ones internal motivations through the power of the Spirit living in a regenerated soul.
This is the reason why God has released us from the old covenant law so we can live in the newness of the spirit (Rom. 7:6; Gal. 5:18-23). This is the gospel the church needs preach as ministers of the new covenant (2 Cor. 3:6), not of a covenant engraved on stone (2 Cor. 3:7). God who is “pro choice” in the technical sense of the phrase (He allows us our free will) does not condone murder. However, His ultimate goal is not to make the offender just not do it because He said it’s wrong, but because he/she knows deep down inside that it’s violation to Him. That kind of conviction, which ultimately should bring about repentance, can only be made manifest in the life of a born again believer.
Does it solve the abortion altogether? Will it put an end to homosexuality? My answer is, probably not. But if the church would be the church and start teaching the pure word of God we would see a significant change in the behavior of many in this great nation. Our job is not to manipulate government. Our job is to proclaim the message of the King and help usher people into the Kingdom.
I encourage everyone to get out and vote. But when you do, vote for the individual that is best suited to handle the secular issue that are facing this nation. Let us as the church tackle the biblical moral issues that are plaguing our society. We are the ones anointed to effectively perform this mission, not the government.