Salsa Dancing Our Way to Complementarianism

“When the music changes, so does the dance” African Proverb

 


US Sheepherding Experiment

 

Oh good night! This has to be one of the silliest posts ever. I am planning a rather unique post for tomorrow which does involve some history. So, for today, I just had to post this up for our readers. It seems that even dancing now is not safe from being turned into a life lesson on "Biblical" gender roles by the Calvinistas.

An alert reader sent me a blog posted by the Gospel Coalition written by one their Council members who is advocating that men take “their women” salsa dancing to teach them “submission” whilst the male learns all about how to be a manly "leader". Yep. You read that right.

Now, for those readers who think that I am one of those stick in the muds who thinks dancing comes straight from the pit of hell, I provide my dancing history. I grew up in a family that loved to dance. My parents took dance lessons and excelled at the cha cha and tango. I was placed in every form of dance instruction known to mankind. Some of my earliest memories are of standing on my dad’s big shoes while he danced to his favorite polka music. Here is a true confession that I anticipate will make me the brunt of stupid ethnic jokes. The Polka Cousins played at my wedding and that was AFTER I became a Christian. I can fox trot, polka, minuet, boogie and rumba with the best of them. I can even lead in the Greek line dance with handkerchief! Nuff said.

Thabiti Anyabwile, erstwhile pastor of the The First Baptist Church Grand Cayman Islands and staunch defender of all things Calvinista, wrote an article called “Fellas Take the Ladies Salsa Dancing.”

The Gospel Coalition breathlessly jumped on the bandwagon to get this radically new form of gender specific expression out there. I can almost hear them now. “See, we have Mark Driscoll who talks dirty, replays molestations of others in his mind and drinks single malt Scotch and now we have a guy who pushes salsa dancing. We only need to get some guy who believes that “running with the bulls” in Spain points people to the Passion and we will have achieved “coolness” in the extreme. Maybe we won’t have to shave our heads to look like CJ Mahaney after all.”

Now, for all you stupid Christians out there who are not up on this latest trend of “godly” Salsa dancing, here is the Opening Dance of the World Salsa Competition. As you watch this, imagine a stretchy panted Thabiti cutting the rug with his swooshy-skirted wife.

 

 

Here are some of Twinkle Toed Thabiti’s thoughts from the article. Please read the entire post at the above link.

“1. The entire dance depends on male leadership.

There is no dance if the man doesn’t lead. The choreography is in his head. He must know the next steps, turns, and destination he desires for the couple. The woman responds to his lead. Without a plan and without leadership, everyone is left standing on the dance floor staring at each other”

This, applied to real life, could mean that a woman is unable to continue in her day-to-day activities without a man orchestrating every step. So the woman married to a soldier deployed in Afghanistan is stranded until he is able to phone home with instructions. The single woman is really left out in the cold, condemned to a life of confusion without the apt leadership of a man. How about the man desperately sick with cancer who must rely on his wife for decisions?

"2. Leadership requires a lot of communication.

But salsa teaches you to constantly communicate. While you choreograph, you must communicate with your partner by means of gentle nudges, leading pulls, and clear signals. Rough communication ruins the dance for the woman. But warm, gentle touches make the dance enjoyable. Communicate much, much more than you think you need to. She’ll dance with you if you tell her the next move in a loving, gentle way.”

I find this one interesting. Apparently the woman must wait for the man to communicate. So, does she stand there, tapping her foot? What if he doesn’t communicate because he is too busy watching hockey? Life is not a series of 5-minute songs. Real life is lived out over a long periods of time which is not well represented by a Marc Anthony song.

“3. Many couples need more tension in their lives.

Let me explain. During the dance, I noticed that when I wanted to signal the next move, often Kristie didn’t receive the signal. I was stuck trying to figure out how to nudge or pull in a way she could “hear.” Turns out that our arms were extended too far and held too loosely. In order for the signals to be noticeable, we actually needed to move much closer to one another and keep a certain amount of “elastic tension” in our arms. By keeping this tension, my signals ran like electric current through my arms into hers. And voila! She danced with me!”

Once again, a tight arm does not translate well to the complexity of day to day communication. Sometimes tension just adds fuel to the fire.

“4. Submission and anticipation are contradictions.

But another problem was her attempt to anticipate my next move. She was actually trying to help and dance with me. But her efforts to “help me lead” were hampering my ability to lead. Let me say that again for any wives that missed it: Her efforts to “help me lead” were hampering my ability to lead.

Ladies, ask your husband if there are ways you’re trying to help him that seem to hinder his efforts to lead. That may be an area where your well-intended anticipations actually usurp leadership and ruin the blessing of submission.”

So, a woman’s efforts to help her husband to lead often results in a hinderance?!  Wow, stupid woman!  A five-minute dance does NOT represent the long-term give and take of a thoughtful relationship. We have read of a fair number of incidents at SGM in which the male leaders handled many circumstances poorly. They, of course, have marginalized women by keeping them out of leadership. Could the presence of women, asking the questions and rebuking the status quo, have made a difference? I believe that the marginalization of 50%+ of the church has led to a coarsening within the faith by a male dominated leadership as unfortunately l demonstrated by Mark Driscoll, CJ Mahaney and many mega-leaders in this country. Yep, their wives are submissive. How has that panned out?

“5. Submissions depends on a lot of communication.

The man’s communication in salsa is that important. My wife’s need for communication is that deep. For our wives to honor and follow us, they need to hear a lot about what we’re thinking and doing. ! Have you ever watched competitive salsa on television? Where was your attention riveted? I’m sure you enjoyed noticing the outfits, and perhaps you made some observations about the couple. But didn’t you find yourself most taken with the woman whenever the lead gave her room to free style a little bit? The elegance. The smoothness. The artistry. Fingers poised just so. Steps taken with such grace. And, alas, the desire to return to her partner’s outstretched hand and lead. “

I find his last sentence strange. “Alas” the desire to return to her partner’s lead. Why alas? Isn’t this supposed to be a joy according to Thabiti? Maybe this was an unintended slip of the pen that shows  there is far more to gender roles in relationships than a simple dance can represent.
 

For many women, sidelined by some callous, male dominated churches and called gullible and easily deceived by Thabiti’s buddies, this male leadership thing may not be all that Twinkle Toes Thabiti has alleged.

The reports of domestic abuse and pedophilia within male dominated, patriarchal churches, such as SGM, a devoted leader in the Gospel Coalition, are raising many questions about the ability of today’s churches to effectively respond to these pressing problems.

In the midst of the horrors of the reports of abuse that are found on sites such as SGM Survivors or the alleged coverup of a pedophile at Prestonwood Church as reported on New BBC Open Forum, these self styled leaders of the Gospel Coalition are publishing essays on salsa dancing and complementarianism. Could this be akin to Nero fiddling while Rome burned? No wonder a recent Duke study indicated that more people are fleeing our churches. We don’t need a church to encourage us to salsa dance. We can get that from any dance studio in town. We need a church to teach us to face our problems seriously and to provide us with sound guidance that points us to the Gospel. Salsa dancing may be fun but it is NOT a "gospel" solution. In fact, it sounds just plain silly.

 

Lydia's Corner: 2 Kings 10:32-12:21 Acts 18:1-22 Psalm 145:1-21 Proverbs 18:1

Comments

Salsa Dancing Our Way to Complementarianism — 83 Comments

  1. Hey, Salsa dancing is sometimes described as foreplay on a public dance floor. Seems to be the next step after visions of sex in the pulpit — pastors doing their foreplay out on the dance floor.

  2. That’s just so ridic. Funny, because I know that Christie (his wife) is pretty submissive but she seems to have more sensibility than that. I thought Thabiti did too!

    Funny thing– I remember him saying one day at lunch how submissive Christie was and that she was too submissive to refuse some request he had made of her and I thought two things: (1) dude, that’s just weird and it’s weird to essentially brag about how submissive your wife is. (2). You both were Muslims. Conservative authoritarian Christianity isn’t a far cry. S’why you are so comfortable with it.

    One thing I can say is that Thabiti thinks women can teach, even with men present. He just doesn’t think women can be pastors. He wrote a blog series earlier this year titled “I’m a complimentarian…but”. I thought it was interesting considering how many of the dissenters on his blog were labeling him an egal. He is not, BTW. I find him interesting. Regardless, Christie has her following of worshipettes but she doesn’t seem to give it much attention. I just knew that regardless of how kind I thought her husband to be and what a great partnership she has–what’s working or her won’t work for me.

    They do have a huge heart for single women and took good care of the women at CHBC before they left. I just wish he had continued pursuing beefs about women in the church and could see tge truth about submission. I’m afraid though that his present company will corrupt his free thinking.. :/

  3. I love to dance! I absolutely love it! The dancing I do with my wife is freestyle. I do not lead her except a little when slow dancing.

    When we do fast dancing, stand facing each other and we both do our own unique style of dancing. I like some Michael Jackson type moves while my wife has her own style.

    We dance TOGETHER. We make decisions TOGETHER. We do things TOGETHER. I do not lead her and she does not lead me. We are equal covenant partners. We come into agreement before we make any family decisions. We always want to agree with the Lord and each other. I DO NOT have the final say, and neither does my wife. Sometimes she initiates things, and sometimes I do. And sometimes our daughter does!

    This male dominance and headship teaching is a load of crap.

  4. Wow. like that’s going to work! My husband can’t dance for peanuts!!

    Underneath it though, I feel more like crying than laughing. Dancing is such a happy, celebratory image, but what he’s actually saying is incredibly depressing and demeaning. Poor brainless women who can’t take a single step unless their husband is micromanaging them!! I was going to call it infantilisation of women — but I’m not sure that’s an adequate term. Most of us give our children more freedom to be themselves than that. It’s more like dehumanising — a woman is a blank slate for a man to write his will on. These guys are all so obsessed with gender they must be terribly insecure in their own manhood ..

    But what’s with his point #5? It seems to be in contradiction to the rest — except for that awful bit about her lead giving her freedom. I thought freedom was the birthright of every adult citizen, not something a man might occasionally grant his wife when he’s not feeling too threatened by her? Weird .. and disturbing.

  5. Who is going to lead when “Chaz” (Chastity) Bono dances on Dancing With the Stars? Just the thought of that makes me want to barf. Can you imagine how his/her/it’s partner must feel dancing with that freak? GROSS!

  6. Lynn, I would be very glad to teach your husband how to boogie, cook, and tear up the tiles. I can turn a complete spasmo into a incredible dancing machine – no charge!

  7. well… for one thing, dancing is a partnership of equals. It has to be in order to work well.

    If the man isn’t picking up what the woman is communicating to him, it won’t work, and vice versa. Just because someone is “leading” doesn’t mean that all the other partner is doing is “following.”

    (this from a major dance fan; I also think it’s hilarious that they chose salsa, since it *is* a lot more sensuous – and sexy – than most N. American dance styles I could name. But I will give them an A+ for musical taste. :))

  8. Great post Dee! The Calvinista crowd is really getting bizarre. BTW is anyone following their lead except the young sycophants who aspire to be the next Piper, Keller, Driscoll, or Mahaney?

  9. @ Arce: pick a dance that originated in the Southern Hemisphere and you’re pretty much guarantee to find a lot of hip/pelvic motion, given the strong African influence on most dances that originated in those parts of the New World. Has a lot to do with the dances that many people brought with them when they were enslaved – Congo/Angola-derived styles have a ton of hip motion.

    Compare to European dances, like the waltz and polka – there’s a close embrace, but not much hip movement. And the center of gravity is literally higher than in African-derived dances. Sometimes people see more “sex” (or scandal) in Latin and Brazilian dances than is intended by the dancers (though yes, it’s sensuous). I think that has something to do with projection… 😉

    But hey, the Viennese waltz – and many other European and N. American dances – were viewed as scandalous, back when.

    I suppose it’s a matter of perspective.

  10. I’m not sure what bothers me more in Thabiti’s article — the complementatian concept of “submission” being espoused, or the shameless and cruel torturing of a poor, defenseless metaphor.

  11. How do all those unemployed white educated males, whose job sectors were hardest hit by the recession, lead their wives when it is the wives who are at work all day supporting their families?

  12. A quote about couples dancing:

    “The follow you just received was a direct result of the lead you just gave.”

    In fact, this applies to all-things-couple. Wouldn’t Twinkle Toed Thabiti be surprised.

  13. Uhh — no matter who leads, BOTH need to know the steps.

    It’s refreshing to find a pastor comfortable with dancing!

    And Dee — you named all those wonderful dances — but the REAL question, considering the state in which you live, is —
    Do you SHAG??

  14. Married guys talking about dancing as a metaphor for husbandly leadership in a Christian marriage makes this single guy suddenly discover an inner Methodist.

  15. Eagle,

    I’m “in a straight betwixt two” favorite videos of Deacon Fred! It’s a toss up between the Wiccan Dung one and the Bible Gun Camp.

  16. Deb–

    You said:
    Deb on Thu, Sep 01 2011 at 10:18 pm
    Great post Dee! The Calvinista crowd is really getting bizarre. BTW is anyone following their lead except the young sycophants who aspire to be the next Piper, Keller, Driscoll, or Mahaney?

    You’d be surprised to know that the women are following their lead just as hard–whether married or single.

  17. Numo

    I am thinking about forming a group in heaven when the good Lord will allow me to sing on key. It shall be comprised of Elvis, Johnny Cash and Bach.

  18. J. Terry

    Mark Driscoll has shown little compassion for men who have lost jobs or even have cancer. I know a couple in which the wife is a doctor and the husband a computer whiz. He stayed home with the kids and started a small business from the home. Their children grew up happy and faithful and they have a strong marriage. Driscoll condemns this sort of thing. It’s not mach0 enough for him. He wants real men to have prophetic visions of women being raped. That’s what real men do.

  19. “I’m not sure what bothers me more in Thabiti’s article — the complementatian concept of “submission” being espoused, or the shameless and cruel torturing of a poor, defenseless metaphor!

    Excellent!

    It is so tiring. Their every experience is a catalyst for some big life lesson. They can’t just go dancing. They can’t just have kids like the rest of us. They can’t take 8 mos off..without a huge fanfare. (Only celebrity pastors and big money guys can afford to do that anyway). Their experiences have to be a big life lesson for the rest of us.

    It is all about them. It is all about their experiences. Will people ever recognize the narcissism? or get tired of it?

    Nevermind their “experiences” are very insulated and isolated because of the nature of what they do. They live off donor money and are surrounded by yes men. Young guys and gals hang on their every word. That is their reality.

  20. Cindy

    That is what is really strange. On one hand these guys preach modesty. At some of the GC related churches, there is a witch hunt on for low cut shirts on women, etc. Funny thing is they never seem to go after the guys who were tight pants pulled up under a beer belly gut-talk about obscene!

    Actually, this would be interesting to discover. Twinkle Toes is the pastor of First Baptist on Grand Cayman Islands. I am trying to talk my husband into a vacation to that little paradise. How do they deal with the swimsuit issue since that island is known for beautiful beaches as well as a great place to stash your cash offshore. Anyhoo, if I can get him to take me there this winter, I plan to do a report on the church. HmmmI wonder if I can deduct the vacation???

  21. Nickname

    How could you even ask. 5 years ago I placed the steps to the Shag on my refrigerator and REQUIRED my family to study them. My son started going to beach music night at a local outdoor mall this summer. The baton has been passed.

  22. Oh. my. goodness.

    @Lin – I agree. I am Reformed and was in full-time ministry. (FYI – left ministry not because of scandal; I was asked to stay. The whole culture became so tiresome, self-perpetuating and political. Hard to do actual ministry). Pastor narcissism is exhausting. I find myself much more attracted by worship services that are oriented around a thoughtful, disciplined, devotional work like the Book of Common Prayer that lifts up the beauty of the gospel and Jesus through readings, prayers, and SHORT sermons. Thereby, cutting off the ego needs of the minister. Oi!

    Also, how many times does headship and submission need to come up? It seems like the whole idea gets so blown out of proportion given how much actual biblical material is devoted to the topic. My wife and I make decisions…together. I just don’t get why we have to make a big deal about the guy “leading” – whatever that’s supposed to mean anyway. My wife is more tuned in to certain things and I’m more tuned in to other things – am I supposed to ALWAYS be making the decisions? What about the Proverbs 31 woman? She was a businessperson, owned real estate, etc. Sounds like she was making a bunch of important decisions on her own.

    Sheesh guys – give the whole thing a rest. If you want to call lazy men to more masculine serving expressions of love, fine. If you want to use the headship/submission thing to constantly remind women to mind their place and not be a hindrance to male leadership…please shut your yapper. For the love…

  23. On the modesty front I had a super good chuckle at a wonderful post on http://www.sojournsg.com for Wednesday, August 31, 2011 titled ‘”the modesty survey” straitjacket’.

    I agree with Dee – why no modesty requirements for guys?

    I propose the following answer:

    Because they can’t see how Jesus and the New Covenant improved the standing of women. Instead, they go to the passages about headship and take the analogy of Christ and the Church without caveat. I mean, seriously, Christ is God and we, the Church, are not. It’s the Creator/creature distinction – God is completely different from us. They impose what is implied in that distinction on the marriage relationship as if the man is a higher order of species than the woman. Bad exegesis I think.

    Besides that, if you’re constantly pulling out the “headship/submission” card in your marriage…something is wrong. How in the world is this gonna cultivate the joint effort that marriage must be in the real world. It makes the whole relationship adversarial. I can just imagine the jot and tiddle kinds of responses some wives get from their “Head”…”Now, honey, I know you have reservations about…this church we’re attending…this school we’re going to send the kids too…this decision to homeschool…but as the Head I really think we need to do X.” That’s not gonna build resentment or anything…that’s not gonna turn your wife into a quietly ticking timebomb…no…that’s how Christ loves and LEADS the Church.

    Take the lead…be a jerk…you’re smarter than your wife anyway…just like Jesus is smarter than the Church.

    Good luck guys.

  24. To finish my answer to the question: Why no modesty requirements for guys….

    It’s blameshifting…men have issues lusting after women. Men want to locate the problem outside their hearts so they go after modesty requirements. The issue is the lust in their hearts not women’s bodies.

    I’m all for modesty…I have daughters. Our culture does communicate to girls that they shouldn’t be hung up about revealing what they have. I have a problem with that but these churches with the modesty checklists and modesty police are focusing (key word here…FOCUSING…drawing an inordinate amount of attention to something) on the wrong thing.

    Teach the guys more self control and how to go to Jesus with their lust problems. Stop harassing the women about their bathing suits and sweaters…please

  25. I’ll be quiet now…for the Scriptures say, “Where words are many, sin is not absent.” (Proverbs 10:19)

  26. Matt

    “Take the lead…be a jerk…you’re smarter than your wife anyway…just like Jesus is smarter than the Church.” That has to be the one of the better statements on this issue that I have heard! And, you know, I wonder if there is some if that “I am smart, just like jesus” stuff lurking in the background? Good thinking!

  27. Matt
    I, too, have daughters and i taught them about modesty and how the way they dress can influence men. But, things do get carried too far. Have you ever watched the Duggar family? The bathing suits the girls wear are hideous and uncomfortable. Yet, even those bathing suits would have been deemed immodest 100 years ago. Where do we draw the line. For example, in some Muslim countries, the flash of a bare ankle is enough to get a girl arrested.

    As for lust problems, I think that the church is way too harsh on men in this area. Many responses are programmed into a man’s physicality by the Creator HImself. Some of the responses are darned near impossible to prevent. I recently communicated with a young man who said he confessed some issues in this area and his Bible study leader went nuts on him- embarrassing him and destroying his trust. His issues were no different than any man on the planet. He just had the guts to say something.

    Jesus didn’t bring up the issues of “committing adultery in your mind” to condemn men. He was showing us how deep our sin nature was, not to make us heap more guilt on ourselves, but to point to why we needed the grace that was to come from the Cross. We cannot, no matter how hard we try, be perfectly responsive. That is why we need a Savior, now and always.

  28. Dee,

    Thanks…the issue of lust is an interesting one and I agree the church has made this particular sin too radioactive. It’s on the extra naughty list, which, I think is why the Evangelical Church has such a hard time loving homosexuals or women who have children out of wedlock.

    The lust sin is so negatively charged…my rule of thumb is this, if you feel more guilt than remorse over your sin this is likely a tool of the Evil One to keep you from coming to Christ for forgiveness. The Holy Spirit never just uses guilt…He makes us sorry over our sin. His kindness leads us to repentance.

    If your guilt is driving you away from Christ, it’s probably not the Holy Spirit.

    The Church gets this wrong A LOT!

  29. Matt and Dee–

    Your conversation gas been so enlightening. Dee, you know where I’ve come from. Matt–you as well (if you are tge same Matt from Survivors?). I’m still trying to figure these things out and what to make of it. Truth be known, i think women have lust issues as well. I do have them at times as well. The longer I am single, the harder the struggle it seems. But all the repression of my sexuality these past years has not made it any better now that I’ve let myself just feel what I feel. I used to make a big deal about all this stuff and now I’m kinda swinging to tge other end–but not extreme. I just simply feel like I dint have the energy to care and I don’t know really what’s good or bad because what seemed like good was really not so.

    I went to dinner with a co-worker last night, who haooens to be HOT BTW, lol! And I’m very attracted to him. Sadly, I don’t think the feelings are mutual :(. But I was happy that I just allowed myself to feel attracted to him and see him as desirable, even physically, without feeling bad about it. Before, I would never have considered him because he’s catholic, not reformed, wouldn’t lead me well, etc… Now that I don’t even have such beliefs anymore, I have considered him…at my female co-workers encouragement, hahaha…

    What I realized is that he’s more kind, loving, caring and considerate and respectful of women than the guys I knew at my church. I can say that if not him, my prayer has been that I want to marry someone who makes me feel the way he does. I feel like we could be best friends but still have a physical attraction to one another. He sees me as his equal and he likes it that I’m smart. He also always gives me compliments on my clothing and notices when my hair is different.

    Last night, I saw him check out this other woman as we were talking. It did make me feel a little insecure or disappointed, but I realize that part of that is just how men are wired. I’m sure that when in a relationship or when a guy is married, that is something he has to control but i realize that all these things that the church has tried o control in men and womn just make the issues worse and makes us all overly sensitive. After reading this convo and considering, I now realize a few things. And that is what he did was quite normal honestly. It doesn’t mean a huge deal and shouldn’t have made me feel that way–ESP because we are not in a relationship. Also, I can’t expect to meet a man who will never be attracted to other women. The thing is, the men at CHBC were always diverted their eyes every instance and in the end, came off like a bunch of heartless, cold, sexless weirdos. I’m sure we can all agree that starring is just inappropriate. But men ARE going to notice other women and I think as women, we might need to understand that as well as tge fact that women notice other men.

    At tge end of tge day, isn’t it all about self-control rather than expecting that all stimuli in your environment be removed? I could never figure out how these men survived at work, tge grocery store, the beach? In fact, one of them told me they don’t go to the beach and neither did some of the other guys. Im so glad to be away from all that. And honestly, I dint believe they will be strong and will have self control with the current expectations about men and women in the church. S’why people are rushing ti get married in six months. I’ve witnessed the most awkward unions.

  30. Eagle–

    I agree! I have offered before and it still stands, I live near you and think it would be great to have so e discussions over coffee or a light meal. I’m very interested in knowing more about your experience. If you’d be comfortable with that, lmk. We can exchange info. I’d rather have lunch with you and talk about your experience than with one of those boneheads at my ex-church any day!

    -NLR

  31. Lin–

    I LOVE what you said, it makes so much sense. I think also about how dancing isn’t just dancing, how having kids isn’t just having kids… Everything is assigned this magnanimous purpose that people can’t just live their lives. At the end of tbe day, that type of living and those expectations exhausted me. It’s all about working to please God. There has to be a lesson in every freaking thing. And it’s so true that they expect us to filter our own lives through all their experiences. I have modeled this and copied this same type of behavior. I know I have run people away because of my over-purposeful living wanting more to impress others and have acceptance than to please God.

  32. Correction: your conversation HAS not gas. iPad autocorrects. Gotta get a keyboard for this thang! Lol!

  33. Matt and Dee– you know I don’t think you’re full of hot air, right ??! Hahahahaha!

  34. As far as this lust paranoia goes —

    It’s just as unfair and hurtful to pass over someone for their lack of attractiveness / beauty as it is to pass over someone because of their attractiveness / beauty.

    I’m not speaking from experience here so much as just from observation.

    It seems that some people consider even noticing beauty in someone of the opposite sex to be already sliding down the slippery slope. They get freaked out, and suddenly feel they have to ignore the person with features that are attractive or even beautiful. They tune them out, are afraid of eye contact, do their best to pretend they don’t exist (all for the sake of remaining acceptable enough to be in the God club). And perhaps apply reverse discrimination in purposely disfavoring a person with beautiful features.

    It’s so paranoia-inducing for the person who can’t freely notice beauty without turning away. It’s so antisocial, so counter to community, so unfair. And just as hurtful as any form of rejection for the person being passed over.

    I’m not really speaking from experience here. But I have observed this in church settings.

    It also seems to be combat strategy in the supposed culture war — an overreaction to culture’s emaphasis on beauty over & above other qualities. Like they put on their helmet and their combat gear and their toughest exterior to face the onslaught of evil and temptation.

  35. (didn’t mean to include the last 2 paragraphs — supposed to have been edited out — this is unbearable!)

  36. Elastigirl–

    I agree. That was my experience. A few friends outside of my church who knew better told me that. That a woman who was as beautiful as I was and also curvy, with a chest and behind would be treated as a stumbling block. I did notice that but it was hard to acknowledge–also because I don’t make a big deal of my looks as others tend to do. After awhile, I just stopped trying to talk to people, ESP men because their discomfort with me was overwhelming and made me feel like I was wearing a Scarlett letter. I’m not modest by their standards but I don’t wear low cut shirts either. But I’m Af-American, I’m shaped like a black woman and I actually think that’s beautiful. Why would I want to hide that? So yes, I do wear clothing that shows my shape. I don’t care anymore but I still don’t dress immodestly because of personal preference. Sometimes tge disdain from tge other women made me more uncomfortable than the guys who would hurry to look the other way or feel embarrassed because I stopped to converse and other people noticed. Yes, I’d even talk to the married men and they’d behave even worse, either showing obvious discomfort or guilt. I’m like dude, I DON’T WANT YOU! I’m just havjng a conversation with a person!

    They didn’t believe that men and women could be friends around there so people generally stayed separate. If a guy was friends with a girl, it was looked down upon as him taking advantage of her, and that it was hindering him pursuing marriage. They were usually given a talking to. It was ridic.

  37. “Also, how many times does headship and submission need to come up? It seems like the whole idea gets so blown out of proportion given how much actual biblical material is devoted to the topic.”

    Bingo. Why has it been elevated to a salvic doctrine? Narcissism.

  38. Reminds me of that ol’ time good ol’ Baptist boy saying:
    “You don’t dance or chew or drink with girls who do.”

    Or something like that.
    If it was good enough for Thabiti, it’s good enough for me!

  39. “My wife and I make decisions…together. I just don’t get why we have to make a big deal about the guy “leading” – whatever that’s supposed to mean anyway. My wife is more tuned in to certain things and I’m more tuned in to other things – am I supposed to ALWAYS be making the decisions? What about the Proverbs 31 woman? She was a businessperson, owned real estate, etc. Sounds like she was making a bunch of important decisions on her own””

    Oh Dear Matt, You would not have lasted long anyway talking like that about your wife to crowds full of CBMW devotees! :o)

    Matt says:

    ” I mean, seriously, Christ is God and we, the Church, are not. It’s the Creator/creature distinction – God is completely different from us. They impose what is implied in that distinction on the marriage relationship as if the man is a higher order of species than the woman. Bad exegesis I think.”

    You are making way too much sense today! Yes, as Junkster said above, they take metaphors way too far and in this case, end up elevating husbands to little christ status for their wives. It is blasphemy. (Not to mention they conveniently leave out Eph 5:21)

    Conversely, I could offer up some bad exegesis and say that the woman admitted she sinned/was deceived in garden (Adam blamed God and Eve) and therefore God allowed Messiah to come through her which makes her more special than the male. And because she is so special the males hate her and want to rule over her. Anyone buying?

  40. “It’s blameshifting…men have issues lusting after women. Men want to locate the problem outside their hearts so they go after modesty requirements. The issue is the lust in their hearts not women’s bodies”

    Yes, it is. And it amazes me they cannot see the roots of this thinking from the Islamic culture….who take it to a whole other level. But the root thinking is the same.

  41. “I LOVE what you said, it makes so much sense. I think also about how dancing isn’t just dancing, how having kids isn’t just having kids… Everything is assigned this magnanimous purpose that people can’t just live their lives. At the end of tbe day, that type of living and those expectations exhausted me. It’s all about working to please God. There has to be a lesson in every freaking thing. And it’s so true that they expect us to filter our own lives through all their experiences. I have modeled this and copied this same type of behavior. I know I have run people away because of my over-purposeful living wanting more to impress others and have acceptance than to please God”

    My assistant is out today and I had to make a ton of copies. I am copier challenged. So, I was thinking of a great life experience story I could enlighten people with as I had to make all those copies but it kept jamming and I did not know what to do and the other secretaries were giggling at me and shouting instructions on how to fix it . I had toner all over my hands and even some on my nose and I had some very bad thoughts of what I would like to do to the copier which would get me fired. But surely my humiliating experience making copies could help someone in their walk with Christ? Piper would be able to come up with something…using lots of adjectives. There is a sermon in there somewhere….I just know it.

    Well, perhaps not, since I am not a celebrity pastor and just doing things normal people do.

  42. Have you all gone to your HS reunions (I am old) and noticed the class nerd is now a world famous doctor? Or the geek who sat next to you in math class is now in silicon valley and a zillionaire?

    Don’t be so quick to be impressed with beauty. Brains are very sexy.

  43. No Longer Reformed,

    I think the good in our bodies is great. Why should it be covered up? It’s good to feel good about your body, to like how you look, and not be ashamed or self-conscious. (all of this within reason, of course).

    And as you describe, people react weirdly to attractiveness / beauty in others of the same sex. Church is just an overcharged environment where this is concerned.

    My husband is from England, and he is so relaxed about the human body. In fact, it seems England in general (Europe) is comparatively relaxed about the human body. It is not such a charged issue, and people don’t seem to have all these paranoid filters through which every thought, reaction, decision is forced through. It makes it much easier to relax and be natural and feel natural (i don’t mean free to cross boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed)

    Perhaps Americans are inheritors of the puritan thinking from way back when (oohhh it’s sinful, you must not, you cannot — which then leads to an interest in what you’re not supposed to do, but then coupled with guilt…. aaaaah so complicated)

  44. Lin, I am not impressed by people who make lots of money, nor by status as in “world famous doctor”. There are famous Dr’s that have killed their wives. The are billionaires that have ripped people off with major scams. Our government has people with “brains”. They get on the talk shows and bore me to tears. Most have zero personality or bad personality. They are stuffed shirts.

  45. One thing that dancing teaches, is that the focus should be on the woman. She is the main attraction. She is the picture while the man is the frame.

    Also, people with “brains” usually can’t dance worth a flip. Another reason that “brains” are boring.

  46. As a Calvinist, I am embarrassed by this. However, I do take my wife out for chips and salsa sometimes!

  47. John
    As a former resident of the state of Texas, I just have one question, and you better answer correctly or you are not fit for ministry. Is the salsa: mild, moderate or hot?

  48. O.k., so you take your wife salsa dancing to teach her submission. What do they recommend that a couple does to teach the husband how to love his wife … how to really love his wife … as Christ loved the church … and gave Himself up for her. It is funny (sad really) how they often forget the other half of the submission equation.

  49. The Calvinistas also teach the missionary position only. The man must always be on top and in control.

  50. Lin

    I went to a Woman’s Day program at Ed Young Jrs church many years ago. The lead speaker, a perfect size 2 with Texas blond hair, the works, spent most of the time talking about how frustrating it was to her not to be toned. Having just had baby #3, i started giggling and so did the lady next to me. So, see, your toner issue reminded me of something godly….or not, come to think of it.

  51. Lin

    I call it “revenge of the nerds”! I saw the class prom queen who married the football player. He appeared to be an alcoholic and she had lost her looks. Meantime, the class nerd was now a doctor, good looking-he grew into his ears, and an all round nice guy. Life can be funny.

  52. “Lin, I am not impressed by people who make lots of money, nor by status as in “world famous doctor”. There are famous Dr’s that have killed their wives. The are billionaires that have ripped people off with major scams. Our government has people with “brains”. They get on the talk shows and bore me to tears. Most have zero personality or bad personality. They are stuffed shirts.”

    Ok, now I hate doctors and rich people. DUH. I was thinking more along the lines of people who strive to accomplish things. Out of that can come monetary rewards or not. That little nerd who had to grow into his ears was thinking some bigger thoughts that we did not contemplate back then back then. I was just trying to make the point not to overlook the nerds.

    I am sure there are bad unsuccessful people, too. (rolling eyes) At least the bad successful person can afford a good attorney. :o)

  53. John
    At least you don’t use mild- that is for gringos. One night, at a NC church function, someone served mild Taco Bell salsa. Some ladies were twittering about how “hot” it was. I retorted that in Texas, any self respecting lover of Tex Mex food would spew it out of their mouth, not due to heat but in pure disgust.

  54. Jonathon,

    The teaching in the link you provide on 1 Corin 14 is so silly it beggers belief. So women are to ask their husbands at home. Ok, what about single women? Widows? Guess they are out of luck.

    Now, if you will please show me the LAW referred to in that passage, I would appreciate it. It must be in the OT and is clearly a LAW. But tht will be a problem. It is not there.

    If you read closely and check the Greek, you will see that verse 36 totally negates verses 34-35. Verses 34-35 are almost direct quotes from the ORAL law. You can read variations of it in both the Talmud and Mishna. And in the passage “Silent” in the Greek means totally silent. As in no talking, no singing, no sound at all.

    The letter to the Corinthian church was full of questions to Paul and he answers them. In some translations you will see quotation marks on some of them. Since Greek did not have punctuation, they had to be added. So, we have the problem that verse 36 totally negates verses 34-35

    Paul is saying “What!?” The KJV has a good translation: 36What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

    Paul is being sarcastic.

    In verse 37, the word translated as man is “tis” which means “anyone”. The translators chose to use “man”.

    Your interpretation cannot be right because we have women prophesying in the body in 1 Corin 11. The question was: Should they do it covered or not.

    Eat your wheaties and don’t do a drive by link. Stay and engage if you are so convinced.

    Let me know whenyou find that law in the Word. God’s laws are always clear and repeated.

  55. ” What do they recommend that a couple does to teach the husband how to love his wife … how to really love his wife … as Christ loved the church … and gave Himself up for her. It is funny (sad really) how they often forget the other half of the submission equation”

    Take her to the Sacher hotel for a Sacher chocolate tort…. in Vienna.

    I mean… as long as we are being shallow…..with our life lessons in submission….

  56. I guess Driscoll doesn’t qualify as a Calvinista because he advocates numerous positions and techniques then. And he’s soft on limited atonement.

  57. about nerds and HS reunions: have any of you seen the HS reunion episode of 30 Rock? If not, i highly recommend it!

  58. Submission is almost always mutual in the NT. And Paul said a man should love his wife as Christ loved the church. So the standard is a willingness to climb on a cross and hand out nails. Show me a man who loves his wife to that extent, and I guarantee you, she will not be a weak sister in the marriage, but an equal partner.

    BTW ‘head’ means ‘source’ not ‘boss’.

    Paul was the first church consultant, dealing with specific problems in specific churches. The women referred to in the Corinthian church were causing problems, and worship was being disrupted by them. In addition, there were different cultural issues in some communities that could put the faith in disrepute that in others would not be an issue at all.

  59. dee

    Excellent post. Don’t know if you noticed – but…
    In the comments section, Thabiti was under lot’s of pressure trying to explain his position.

    So much so he closed the comments. Said because he’s going on vacation. 😉

    When you can’t stand the heat – get out of the kitchen – run…

  60. Arce

    Yes… “Submission is almost always mutual in the NT.”

    Thabiti tried to twist Eph 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

  61. I am soooooooo glad I found this website! I have ached for a website like this since getting fed up with Mark Driscoll!