THE UNIVERSAL WIFE
Does the Bible teach that a man’s wife is UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE? Well, let’s see:
Eph. says: "The husband is the head of the wife."
It says it just as certain as certain can be. Does it really mean that such a wife is UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE? You say it does not. But wait and see what you have done if you decide that such plain language does not mean what it says.
It says very plainly,
"THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE." Is there such a thing in
reality as a GREAT BIG UNIVERSAL WIFE who includes all the little wives? You
say NO. Then what do you mean by quoting the rest of the verse to mean a GREAT
Mark you it says “The husband is the head of the WIFE, even as Christ is the head of the CHURCH. The word EVEN means in the SAME WAY, so let us put the meanings of the words instead of the words used, which is a good rule for interpretation, and see how it reads: “The husband is the head of the UNIVERSAL AND INVISIBLE WIFE in the way as Christ is the head of the UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE CHURCH.” There you are! Remember the word church always means CONGREGATION, never anything else. A congregation is necessarily LOCAL. It would not be a congregation if it were not LOCAL. So let us read it as it means: "The husband is the head of the (LOCAL) wife, even as Christ is the head of the LOCAL congregation." A congregation is just as local as the wife is. You cannot conceive of a UNIVERSAL LOCAL WIFE, then why try to make out a UNIVERSAL LOCAL CONGREGATION?
The family is the foundation of civilization. Does that mean that there is a UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE FAMILY? You say NO. Then when it says,
1 Tim. 3:15, "The church is the pillar and the ground of truth."
Why do you get the
idea that the CHURCH means a
When we say the jury is a safeguard to the citizen’s welfare, do we mean a great UNIVERSAL JURY? Certainly not. Such language is easily understood when we consider that when we say THE WIFE or the FAMILY, or THE JURY or THE CHURCH we use the language in the INSTITUTIONAL SENSE, viz., the church as an institution, the jury as an institution.
The eagle is king of
birds. Do we mean some great big eagle, a great UNIVERSAL INVISIBLE EAGLE which
includes all little eagles? Certainly not, but the eagle as a
species. When we say the lion is the king of beasts, do we mean a great
big UNIVERSAL LION which includes all little lions? Certainly not, but we mean
the lion as a species. So when we speak of THE CHURCH we mean the CHURCH AS AN
INSTITUTION. Why do we easily understand such language when we speak of the
FAMILY, and the WIFE, and the JURY, and the EAGLE, and the LION, and then go
wild when we speak of the church in the same way? The UNIVERSAL WIFE IS JUST AS
SCRIPTURAL AS THE
A church is always
local and the Bible never uses the word in any other sense than a LOCAL
CONGREGATION. The general
-- Reprinted from The Baptist Examiner,
Copied from the February 17, 1968 issue of The Baptist Examiner