A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Jesus cannot be eternally subordinate to the Father and still be Lord – Ps Sam Powell

There is teaching that has taking the Reformed world by storm.  It was first popularized by Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, and then promoted by the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, founded by Wayne Grudem, Bruce Ware, and John Piper.  The doctrine being promoted has since taken off.  It is called “The eternal subordination of the Son.”

Grudem writes (and The Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is based on this principle)

The submission of the Son to the authority of the Father was not limited to the period of Jesus’ life on earth. From the eternal councils of the Trinity before the world began to the eternal state of the new heavens and new earth after the final judgment, Scripture shows a consistent pattern. The Son has always been subject to the authority of the Father. (Biblical Evidence for the Eternal Submission of the Son to the Father by Wayne Grudem)

So Grudem and those at the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood teach that the Son according to his divine nature is eternally subordinate to the Father. If Grudem is correct the Son is not sovereign by definition.  If this is the case, then it follows — the Son is not Jehovah of Isaiah 45, contrary to the declaration of Paul in Philippians 2.

But if the Son is not sovereign, then the Son is not God.

If He is not Jehovah then we have no hope of salvation.  We need to call it what it is.  The church has always called that heresy.  It’s simply Arianism raising his head again, as it always does, for if Jesus is not sovereign over all things according to his divine nature we’re back with no assurance of salvation, and life becomes again simply a game of Survivor where we try to get everyone else voted off the island so that we can win — and plunder God’s kingdom.

Salvation becomes all about authority and submission, rather than resting in the completed and finished work of Christ. What hope is there in our darkness if the Son and the Father have different wills?  What hope is there if our salvation is found in Jesus but not in Jehovah — if Jesus and Jehovah are not really identical?


This is an excerpt from Pastor Powell’s sermon, Jesus is Lord, which was delivered 8 October 2017 at First Reformed Church in Yuba City, California.

Further Reading

Why I think Wayne Grudem is unwilling to accord full respect to women (ERAS part 4)


  1. Wendell G

    In my mind, any church that embraces this theology has ceased to be Christian. While Christians may disagree on doctrinal issues, this is foundational and to pull on this thread is to unravel the entire basis of salvation.

  2. Anonymous

    I don’t even understand half of this stuff or from where it even comes but this is really something. The council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood?? This is like the Men are from Mars, Women from Venus nonsense. UGH. People are people and considering how very few true Christians there are in this world I would think pastors would be more concerned with ensuring the Bible is well understood and disseminated — much like Barbara’s YouTube lecture talking about Judges 19-22 — instead of writing untold volumes of new materials that supposedly have to do with Christian living but are like the problematic, misogynistic Focus on the Family stuff (don’t even get me started on the Dobson ‘tough love’ abuser-food nonsense).

    Jesus is seated at the right hand of God the Father. The Triune God.

    Really, I think it is more jerk men wanting to back themselves up in their assertions of women and children forever being doormats and footstools. Hasn’t anyone ever heard abusers talk about “submitting” their victims? (as in forcing sex on them, which to me is rape even if a gun or knife isn’t used and held to her head or neck)

    I loathe the words “submission” “headship” “authority” and others because of their perversions carried out by jerk abuser guys.

    Whatever happened to the verses about ‘Do not add anything or take anything away’ (I wish that was a quote, complete with Bible book, chapter and verse but I don’t know where it is written).

    In my experiences, everyone who has touted the complementarian line has been either a male chauvinistic pig abuser man or a victimized, ‘submitted’, abused woman.

    • Revelation 22:18-19
      I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.

      Deuteronomy 4:2
      You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

      Deuteronomy 12:32
      Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

      • Anonymous

        Yes! This is what I was thinking. Thanks, Barbara. The quote from Revelation is new to me and is all the more important to note.

        God gave us His Holy Word. I get nervous talking about Scripture because I don’t want to mess up and misquote or misstate it. To me, Scripture is something you treat reverently and you are treading on Holy Ground. And thanks to Barbara’s addition above, we have three Bible verses which state exactly why!

        Yet how many abusers have I seen or heard about (or read about) who distort Scripture and take apart this or that Bible verse, add to it at will and pervert the whole thing??? They are not Christians. No way. They are the devil’s spawn. Abusers should start on fire upon attempting to enter the church or something like that….. Maybe not, but wouldn’t that be helpful in making sure the LORD’s house was a true refuge and a house of prayer and worship???

        I think a lot of people who wish to serve God, who love the Lord and are true Christians are easily misled by false teachers because most of us read our Bibles and yet we don’t understand it very well.

        Sunday should be the most important day of the week. The care of the soul. Learning God’s Word. Studying Scripture. Worshiping the Triune God.

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