Monday, June 27, 2011

Have You Ever Heard This One?

"Marriage can only have one head. If it has two heads then it becomes a two-headed monster."

Implying that only men can be the leaders. If there are two leaders then it becomes a push me pull you with no direction.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niKkURpdzIQ&feature=related
"It is a bi-cranium, Madam."

Anyway, here is how the human logic flows.

It is assumed that head means "boss". Since head means boss and there can only be one boss that means that Ephesians chapter five is giving that position to the man who is the head, or that is, boss/leader etc. This saying is akin to Tuesday's saying, "Someone has to be in charge."

We have already refuted the "Someone has to be in charge" saying. So what do we do with this "Two headed monster" saying?

Well, we start with the premise that head means boss/leader in the first place. I'm not going to get all into the Greek and culture of the time argument. There are many good sources that questions the head=boss song and dance. No, I'm going to start somewhere else.

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

When a woman gets married, she suddenly gains two heads because Jesus or God should be her head or master and comp/patriarchal teaching gives her another master.

IF head means boss/leader/authority then married women have two heads and they deal with this two-headed monster dilemma anyway.

BUT if head doesn't mean boss/leader/authority then the dilemma is gone. And so is the problem of the two-headed monster. And perhaps this can then be applied: Two heads are better than one. (sorry, couldn't resist)

My whole point in this is to reveal that the two-headed monster saying, used to frighten women into submission, is human reasoning that isn't validated by scripture.

Patriarchy gives women two masters. Jesus says a person cannot serve two masters. Perhaps in light of this evidence, head doesn't mean boss/leader/authority.

The context of Ephesians 5 doesn't support it. Never is the husband told to lead. He is told to love and sacrifice. The original Greek doesn't support it. Head means a literal head or source as in the head or source of a stream. And the rest of the Bible doesn't support it.

So the two-headed monster argument falls flat because it means nothing when compared to the rest of the Bible.

4 comments:

Incongruous Circumspection said...

!!!

Verity3 said...

Oh yeah, I heard all about this one. Believed it for years.

"My whole point in this is to reveal that the two-headed monster saying, used to frighten women into submission, is human reasoning that isn't validated by scripture.

Patriarchy gives women two masters. Jesus says a person cannot serve two masters. Perhaps in light of this evidence, head doesn't mean boss/leader/authority."

I agree with your conclusion, but I am not so sure about using this verse as a reason. I've tried to make it work too, but I'm not sure how much weight this verse carries to knock down hierarchal relationships, since it is specifically about wealth. I think it is relevant, but only by extension.

I prefer to reject the "two-headed monster" argument because it is a product of human minds. It doesn't have to be anti-Biblical to be extra-Biblical (and a foundation of sand).

Mara Reid said...

True enough.
More than anything I'm trying to kick the legs out from under human and manmade structures and extensions to scripture that are taught as scripture itself.

A two-headed monster is most definitly a boogie man derived from human reasoning and has nothing to do with anything Paul was talking about.

But it is true, looking at the cultural context and original meanings of the word "head" is a far better arguement.

I've seen the links around.
Do you have any?

Verity3 said...

I haven't seen someone online seriously arguing the "two-headed monster" bit. I used to hear it in church a lot.

Or do you mean the original meanings of "head"? Retha gave Katherine Clark Kroeger's explanation awhile back.
http://biblicalpersonhood.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/why-do-some-scholars-think-head-mean-source-catherine-clark-kroeger-explains/

I personally subscribe to Sarah Sumner's conclusion that it means simply "physical head," described in her book "Men and Women in the Church."