Masculine Christianity and Its Knock Out Effect on Christians

"God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel.  He has ordained for the church a masculine ministry."  – John Piper

John Piper - Wikipedia

When I think of Reformed Theology, I immediately think of John Piper.  As the pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church where he has served for over thirty years, Piper and his church host an annual Pastors Conference.   This year's focus was God, Manhood & Ministry:  Building Men for the Body of Christ.  Here is the promotional video tor that conference which was held January 30 – February 1, 2012.

The Christian Post provided an excellent summary on this "manly" conference, including some revealing quotes from John Piper. Here are the highlights:

"God's intention for Christianity is for it to have a "masculine feel," evangelist John Piper declared…

"God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as king not queen; father not mother," Piper said at this year's annual pastors conference hosted by the Desiring God ministry. "Second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son not daughter; the Father and the Son create man and woman in His image and give them the name man, the name of the male."

He continued, "God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men; and when it came to marriage they taught that the husband should be the head."

"Now, from all of that I conclude that God has given Christianity a masculine feel. And being God, a God of love, He has done that for our maximum flourishing both male and female."

…Piper acknowledged that speaking about a primarily male-led Christian community can attract controversy. However, he outlined what he sees as God's plan in regards to the relationship between men and women.

"He does not intend for women to languish or be frustrated or in any way suffer or fall short of full and lasting joy in this masculine Christianity," he explained. "From which I infer that the fullest flourishing of women and men takes place in churches and families that have this masculine feel."

As Piper takes his interpretations of Scripture to a "whole nutha level", is it any wonder that committed Christians are leaving their churches in droves?  Our brothers and sisters in Christ are literally being KNOCKED OUT of their congregations by this kind of misogynistic babble.  I firmly believe that pastors who follow Piper's edict to establish a masculine ministry will cause an EXODUS of the faithful from organized Christianity.  As we explained in a previous post, the "Nones" are on the rise, and the nonsense we are experiencing from Mark Driscoll's antics to John Piper's Macho Gospel will only increase the momentum of this trend.

Wade Burleson weighed in with his thought-provoking post Piper's 'Masculine Christianity' Actually Emasculates.  He explained in his introductory remarks that he allowed his anger to subside before expressing his thoughts on the God, Manhood & Ministry Conference.  Here is the crux of his concerns:

I have learned a great deal from John Piper, particularly his Edwardian view that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him, but I would urge my female Christian friends to ignore Piper's conception of God and find satisfaction in the God of Scripture.

It's without doubt that male personal pronouns are predominately used in Scripture to describe God, but the sacred text does not hesitate to attribute female characteristics to the invisible God. The image of God is both male and the female. God is no more all male to the exclusion of female than He is all Jewish to the exclusion of Gentile. To say, as Piper says, that Christianity has "a masculine feel" is as silly as saying Christianity has "a white, anglo-saxon feel." The same mistake our forefathers made in excluding a particular race from full participation in Christianity is being made by our modern heroes in excluding a particular gender. Christians, particularly women believers, are learning the importance of challenging statements of men like Piper. I thought that I might not be misunderstanding Piper correctly, so I listened to the videos again. In one of the sessions Piper explains that "masculine Christianity" is where "men gladly bear all the responsibility" in the church and home.

What? Seriously? Why single out men, John? Should not God's people, both male and female, take individual responsibility for the gifts given them? Where in Scripture does it say Spirit-giftedness is restricted to gender. We are Spirit-led, not gender led…

As much respect as I have for John Piper, on this matter I must express extreme disappoint with Piper's warped perception of Christianity. He is unintentionally weakening the gospel by diminishing God. Christians should maintain an unqualified enthusiasm and satisfaction for the biblical God that expresses Himself with both male and female characteristics.

In response to one of the comments he received, Wade wrote:  "Legalism combined with authoritarianism leads to dominionism (the use of power, guilt and punishment to push down others)."  I'm not sure whether Wade investigated the speakers at this 'manly' conference, but I certainly did!  As you heard in the promo video, John Piper was thrilled to have Doug Wilson come and speak to conference attendees.  Wilson is a controversial individual, as evidenced by a Christianity Today article The Controversialist, published several years ago.  It is interesting to watch these alliances being formed.

The Christianity Today blog her.meneutics featured an interesting post on this pastors conference called John Piper and the Rise of Biblical Masculinity.  Rachel Stone posed an excellent question:  "Why do Piper, Wilson, Driscoll, and other neo-Reformed leaders feel the need repeatedly to defend masculinity, often stridently?"

She does an excellent job theorizing why pastors like John Piper and Mark Driscoll are so focused on building a macho ministry by explaining:

"I think it’s because they see the handwriting on the wall. Women are half the church (maybe more than half), and women’s voices are being heard loud and clear in and out of pulpits around the country. While gains for women are uneven, most studies show a slow but steady increase for women in church leadership. And that’s just inside the church: Outside, U.S. women are outperforming men in higher education and the workplace. When men did represent the dominant voice in Christianity—as they have for most of church history—there was no need for these public performances reinforcing both male leadership and cultural notions of masculinity."

Some of you will remember that three years ago (right around the time we began blogging), TIME Magazine came out with its 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now.  Number Three on the 2009 list was "The New Calvinism".  At that time we were just beginning to learn about The Gospel Coalition (TGC), which was established in 2007 by Don Carson and Tim Keller.  As you might imagine, TGC bloggers proudly announced that New Calvinism made the TOP TEN list.  There were multiple articles written by Justin Taylor, Tullian Tchividjian, Trevin Wax, etc.  These Calvinistas were ecstatic!

Just three years later, The Gospel Coalition website has reported this year's top ten ideas (changing your life) this way:  The Old Ideas Still Causing Us Problems

Here is what The Gospel Coalition website featured:

The Rise of the Nones: "The fastest-growing religious group in the U.S. (16 percent) is the category of people who say they have no religious affiliation."

That doesn't mean "the Nones" don't want any kind of church; no, they just want to do be free from "rigid dogma" and do it their way. The unofficial chaplain of "Not Church," a regular gathering of American expats on Mexico's Baja peninsula, said, "The underlying drive is to distance themselves from organized religion and build a rich if unorthodox spiritual life."

We believe there is a direct correlation between New Calvinism and the Nones.  Why do we believe these two "ideas" featured in TIME are linked?  Because over the past three years we have been hearing from those who have been adversely affected by hyper-authoritarian pastors, and some have felt there was no recourse but to leave their church.  From our vantage point it "appears" that to some degree the popularity of New Calvinism was manufactured through websites, conferences, and publicity (like the YRR article in Christianity Today).  As Dee would say, "Big Hat No Cattle".  Granted the overwhelming internet presence of these Calvinista groups and churches drew the attention of a good number of Christians, but as the hyper-authoritarian tactics (changing by-laws, implementing membership covenants, imposing church discipline) are being inplemented to control church members, the flock is waking up!  Watchdogs who are using the very same technology that bolstered the YRR movement, are broadcasting far and wide the abuses and strong arm tactics that are being implemented.

Incredibly, John Piper and his ilk just don't get it, as evidenced by the recent focus on "masculine ministry".  The only ones who appear to be excited about New Calvinism are the wannabe leaders who flock from conference to conference (like Together for the Gospel) rubbing elbows with their Calvinista idols.  It certainly appears that instead of attracting a throng of followers, they are driving them away in droves with their macho ministries.  This HOT idea – New Calvinism – that was predicted to change the world appears to have done just that in three short years.  The "Nones" have fled the organized church, perhaps as many as 16 million of them.  The hemorrhaging seems to be getting worse as masculinity is modeled by these macho ministers. 

Will this be the legacy of John Piper and those who stand together with him – knocking a multitude of faithful Christians out of church? 

Lydia's Corner:  Jeremiah 30:1-31:26   1 Timothy 2:1-15   Psalm 87:1-7   Proverbs 25:18-19

Comments

Masculine Christianity and Its Knock Out Effect on Christians — 184 Comments

  1. “God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel. He has ordained for the church a masculine ministry.” – John Piper

    It is serious business to declare that God ordained something. Teachers will be judged by a stricter standard. This is almost akin to making Christianity as sort of phallic cult.

    My question to Piper is who is a woman’s model for being Christ like? Since masculinity is so important and Christianity is to have a masculine feel and Jesus came as a male, what are women to do? Look to the “totally depraved” males around them as the model for Christ?

  2. “I firmly believe that pastors who follow Piper’s edict to establish a masculine ministry will cause an EXODUS of the faithful from organized Christianity. ”

    My experience has been there are plenty of woman who will defend his position. And, ironically, many of them are more agressive about defending such a view than the men are.

    However, I do agree with you that the “faithful” will exit this sort of pagan faux Christianity.

  3. Anon1 said,

    “My question to Piper is who is a woman’s model for being Christ like? Since masculinity is so important and Christianity is to have a masculine feel and Jesus came as a male, what are women to do? Look to the “totally depraved” males around them as the model for Christ?”

    We have to keep asking these important questions. Have these guys not thought through the implications of their masculine Christianity or do they just not care about the other half?

  4. For me this teaching puts John Piper’s comments about a women staying in an abusive relationship in a frightening new picture.

    Eagle – agreed.

    Have you ever read The Handmaid’s Tale? Am sorry to say that *many* things in the novel sound all too real, given the rise of this kind of thinking + the awfulness of the Quiverfull and “purity” movements… and the inevitable fallout from all of them.

  5. Eagle
    Sadly, in any male dominated theology, reformed or otherwise, domestic abuse can be treated lightly. Not always, but sometimes. Women are to submit, even to abuse. We have received so many sad reports here at TWW of women being told to endure abuse for the sake of the gospel. John Piper said that women should endure abuse for a season which he defined as one night. Can you imagine Piper enduring abuse from a burglar for one night without calling the cops if he had a chance?

    I am so sad that Piper chose to go down this road. A long, long time ago – a couple of decades) I actually liked several of Piper’s earlier books. Is it me or does it appear he has changed somehow and become hardened and more negative? Is this what happens to hardcore Calvinistas?

  6. I love that he is the pastor for preaching and vision. What is this vision stuff? Why can’t you be the pastor? Does he have to preach and have a vision and then they have some other pastor to do other stuff? Check out internet monk and their humorous post about preachers who are CEO’s. They do a spoof on Jesus being the CEO of the disciples.

    Also, I think of Piper when I think reformed but thankfully, there are other reformed men and women out there not at all like Mr. Piper. I want to amend that statement to say that when I think of Calvinism, I think of Piper. Reformed is another thing.

  7. Robin
    Then there are pastors like Mark Driscoll who have incredible visions involving sexual indiscretions. Hmmm….

  8. Robin
    Good distinction on the calvinism/Reformed thing. One of my dearest friends is Reformed and I enjoy his company as we all debate theology over lunch on Sundays.

  9. In my experience, having dipped my toe in the ‘new calvinists’ waters for a year, (outside the USA) the gender issue may just be the last straw. My take is that many in these (‘grace’ authoritarian) churches find it hard to put their finger on the real issues, as they seem so “Biblical”. Teaching on male ‘leadership’ is something to get a handle on. We left on this issue, finally, but the truth is that “right” theology has no life unless Christ Himself is lifted above scripture.

  10. “That doesn’t mean “the Nones” don’t want any kind of church; no, they just want to do be free from “rigid dogma”

    That could be true or it could also be true that these people have been burned by legalism. It could be that these people know the law and that they don’t measure up and they need to hear the gospel. I read on message boards ALL THE TIME via Mockingbird, or geneveith.com people who finally heard the gospel literally as they were on their way out the door of the church. I think some of these guys really need to stop generalizing. The quoted statement above most definitely has validity but, THAT ISN’T EVERYONE!!!! Why oh why must we lump motives into this one category.

    It seems to be more and more evident that Luther was right in his reading of scripture and the proper distinction of the law and the gospel. The reformed give law when they should be giving gospel. They use law in every case and that is not good. Sometimes law is needed a la a calvinista but sometimes a person needs to hear the gospel. That is why a pastoral heart is so necessary when dealing with your congregation. It is a most difficult task to determine what word should be administered to parishioners. Of course, if you are a CEO or just a talking head you have no choice but mow them down with law because a Calvinista can’t just give away the gospel. You may not be elect…

  11. Dee – I think Piper has turned very, very hard. Did you notice that in his tornado post he said (twice) that “God killed” people via the storms? (Actually, “God killed” comes 1st, and then a few ‘graphs down, it’s “Jesus killed.”) UNbelievable!!!

  12. Robin and dee,

    That’s part of the problem with the Calvinista crowd. There are so many terms and interpretations. It’s extremely frustrating!

  13. Anon1 said, “My experience has been there are plenty of wom[e]n who will defend his position. And, ironically, many of them are more agressive about defending such a view than the men are.”

    Over the last 15 years I’ve watched this trend grow from a trickle to a tidal wave within our church. My husband and I won’t agree with it, neither will we stand by and allow our children to be trained up in it, so we’ve become familia non grata. Most remarkably, my dear church sisters have been particularly strident in their disapproval of us. This is very painful. We aren’t the ones who changed, yet we are now accused of being “divisive”.

  14. Rose said:
    “right” theology has no life unless Christ Himself is lifted above scripture.

    This is so important! Thanks for pointing it out.

  15. Jenny,

    This is very sad but not surprising :-(

    When women lose their sense of empathy, I believe it is a sure sign of a cultish organization.

  16. Robin @ 6:34 –

    The meaning of “he is the pastor of preaching and vision” means that he is the elder that preaches and “oversees” the messages that are shared (if he is not the preacher) and he is the elder who directs the course of the church (vision). In plain words – he’s the boss!

  17. I think that it is important that the first person commissioned by the Risen Christ to tell the message of salvation was female. That is, the first Apostle was Mary Magdalene. And Jesus’s ministry was supported by women who were following his ministry, and not be the disciples, who were all just following Jesus.

    Then we have Priscilla who taught Apollo, Junia the Apostle, and a number of women who were called deacons of the church (and not some hokey created feminine alternative word ending in -ette or -ess).

    Without the WMU, the SBC would have been a very small in number organization, perhaps as small as its present vision.

  18. Jenny
    Divisive is the Christian way of sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and saying lalalalalala.

  19. Mohler and Piper need to have a convo. Mohler says Reformed and New Calvinism are the same thing.

  20. “Over the last 15 years I’ve watched this trend grow from a trickle to a tidal wave within our church.”

    Me too. And some of it comes from the choices they have made and this ridiculous paganistic doctrine makes them feel holy and pious. They cannot be like the blog queens here and simply be proud of the choices they made without making into some sort of salvic doctrine of being more holy than women who had long time careers. They are going to be shocked on J-Day when God holds them responsible for their spirituality instead of holding their husband responsible for it.

  21. Anon1,

    So are these the women who plan to flock to the Here Is Our God conference planned for this summer? Ugh!

    I see that Mary Mohler and gang have been practicing at SBTS and plan to make a presentation at T4G.

  22. Numo:

    Wonder what Piper would have said if some of his relatives or church members were killed by the tornadoes?

  23. mot

    Piper is a true believer. He would use it as an opportunity say that he needs to repent of his sins.

  24. I suppose I could do a paradigm analysis and try to explain how Pastor Piper’s apparent hyper-analytic, hyper-hierarchical epistemology has split the original inspired/inerrant paradox of male/female and masculine/feminine apart. But I’ll let others do a better job of that.

    Instead, I’m struck by how utterly absurd all this Piperology is, though sounding all quite ortho-proper and such like. So – am I the only one who is wondering …

    * Hasn’t the Church historically viewed the image of God and gender as a paradox, not just a pair of sexes?

    * What’s the goal here for women … to become “mandrogynous”? Wouldn’t that give them the parity masculinizing that they apparently need, according to the obligatory “masculine feel” Pastor Piper expects of his religion?

    * Or, instead of mandrogyny, is it possible that the even more logically consistent conclusion of Piperology is not passive “content complementarianism,” but active female-to-male transgenderism? The technology surely has advanced since the first modern transexual surgery in 1930; mix contemporary technocracy with Piperistic theocracy and problem solved, right?

    Really now, Pastor Piper … just how “masculinized” did you want Christian women to become?

    Honestly, I know they’re all serious about their New Kind of ChristiManity and all that. But don’t some of these logical extremities show that their core is just plain old silly syncretism?

    And I suppose we could just laugh it off, if it weren’t for the chilling truth that this neo-Calvinist/neo-Puritanist Piperology sets society off on a horrific trajectory for the universe as they conceive it should be, led by common dominators into dominionism.

  25. SBC preachers of old would never had sounded like Piper or Mohler. They wanted all men to repent. Mohler and Piper don’t believe it is for all men and women so they use God’s wrath as a measuring stick to see who actually is elect or not. If you agree with them then you are elect. If you don’t, well you may not be… and if they can get you to leave their church then you most definitely are not. Of course if you are a Calvinist and do horrific things to others, cover sins, and don’t seek repentance well, you are in because you are just being harsh with all of those depraved sinners who need a heavy hand and you don’t have to repent because you are a Calvinist preacher. I know the calvinistas say we are totally depraved (which I agree with) my question is why do they act like they aren’t?

  26. Piper said, “God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men; and when it came to marriage they taught that the husband should be the head.”

    That is true of course. Also noted, all of the books in the Bible were written by men.

  27. Dee:

    So you think if one of Piper’s family members died because of a tornado he would say it is because he is a sinner?

  28. Jimmy:

    You said:”Piper said, “God appoints all the priests in the Old Testament to be men; the Son of God came into the world to be a man; He chose 12 men to be His apostles; the apostles appointed that the overseers of the Church be men; and when it came to marriage they taught that the husband should be the head.”

    That is true of course. Also noted, all of the books in the Bible were written by men.”

    And your point is ??

  29. Jimmy,

    It’s a miracle that ANY women are even mentioned in the Bible given the patriarchal society that existed during OT and NT times.

  30. Brad
    You said the magic word “dominionism.” We will be talking about some of these ties in the days to come. Also, you expressed an important point. So how are women to model Christ? Are we to become transgendered? Love it. Great insight. Thank you so much!

  31. Deb:

    I think folks like Jimmy just ignore the Women mentioned in the Holy Scriptures regardless of what God accomplished through them. They just do not count.

  32. mot
    And it was the women who first went to his tomb and ran to tell the disciples. It was a woman who washed his feet with perfume and dried them with her hair while a man betrayed him.

  33. I simply added what all know; the books of the Bible were written by men.

    If I’m incorrect in that statement, let me know – dryly.

    I certainly made no comment on the many examples of women used by God in Scripture: Ester, Ruth, Eve, Sarah, Mary and Martha and my personal favorite, Abigail who, (Scriptures makes plain) was married to an idiot – Nabob. Many, many other women are prominently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

    But God, for reasons known only to Him, did not choose to have a woman write any of the 66 books of Scripture.

  34. Deb, this was very good. I noted this part of your post:

    “This HOT idea – New Calvinism – that was predicted to change the world appears to have done just that in three short years. The “Nones” have fled the organized church, perhaps as many as 16 million of them. The hemorrhaging seems to be getting worse as masculinity is modeled by these macho ministers.”

    Perhaps the NCs are experiencing the bleeding? Such an abundance of articles on church membership and the like abound lately, don’t they. CJ Mahaney wrote an article yesterday on his blog promoting his NEXT conference. In it he writes this:

    “The resurgence of Calvinism in the evangelical world in recent years has, I think, reflected an increasing concern among many Christians for purity of doctrine.”

    Real Community and the Power of the Church

    Such is life in his dream world…but I disagree. I think it is more like it is getting shoved down our throats…rather than a concern for its “purity” of doctrine.

    But to be sure, we can look forward to his NEXT conference where he will be speaking about the doctrine of the church no less–just never mind about his own church CLC that he left and has had major conflict with. I am sure he won’t be using that as an example of how to do church…or how to do the one anothers…or how to do community life. No thanks, I think I’ll learn elsewhere. :-)

  35. Excited about Doug Wilson coming, ummm… Doug Wilson and buds who are well associated with racists, Doug Wilson associated with CREC as well as his own personal variety association… Doug Wilson, seller of homeschooling literature extraordinaire, deceiver of many, himself deceived.

    Thanks, I will skip this one. Doug Wilson’s brand of Logos school legalism. Ummm… As a homeschool mom, I take special interest in the supp,osed intellectual trappings of Doug Wilson and it time to call it like I see it.

    I do not think Piper has changed. I know of people who would comment on judgmental nature in more youthful days.

  36. Jimmy:

    You said:”I simply added what all know; the books of the Bible were written by men.

    If I’m incorrect in that statement, let me know – dryly.

    I certainly made no comment on the many examples of women used by God in Scripture: Ester, Ruth, Eve, Sarah, Mary and Martha and my personal favorite, Abigail who, (Scriptures makes plain) was married to an idiot – Nabob. Many, many other women are prominently mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

    But God, for reasons known only to Him, did not choose to have a woman write any of the 66 books of Scripture.”

    Once again, what is your point??

  37. Jimmy:

    I’m going to do something I used to not do. You are just playing games and I’m not going to play. Good nite.

  38. Jimmy is another one of the Calvinista misogynist types- he hasn’t figured out that

    Happy Wife = Happy Life

    I’m guessing that Jimmy doesn’t have a very happy life.

  39. Considering how Piper & Co. seem to be very expert in using the internet technologies to their full advantage, my conclusion is he knew full well all the attention his remarks would generate. All the conversations they would start, firestorms & all. So, I’m wondering exactly what the objective was. His remarks were so darn polarizing… was the idea to rally the troops in his camp? A slick advertisement for men near and far to enlist?

    Perhaps he sees himself as cultural force, and he is simply making the most of it.

    (ahhh I so want to say something really nasty now)

  40. “So are these the women who plan to flock to the Here Is Our God conference planned for this summer? Ugh!”

    Here is our God?

    That would be their husbands.

  41. “But God, for reasons known only to Him, did not choose to have a woman write any of the 66 books of Scripture.”

    Are any of them written by a non Jew? If not, is that significant to us Gentiles?

    We do not know who wrote Hebrews. The fact the author went to great lengths to keep it anonymous for the future is quite interesting. Who knows Jimmy, you might be wrong. :o)

  42. “The discussion is; does Christianity have a masculine feel to it.”

    The manly men authors had to write down lots of things “about” women. I bet the hands shook a bit when he wrote about Jael. :o)

    (Nevermind many women were kept illiterate by the manly men in the Patriarchal society. Just like a man to now use it against them to say that God likes masculinity authority over women)

  43. Oh and nevermind Huldah who had to tell a bunch of men what the scriptures they had found, meant.

  44. “Considering how Piper & Co. seem to be very expert in using the internet technologies to their full advantage, my conclusion is he knew full well all the attention his remarks would generate. All the conversations they would start, firestorms & all. So, I’m wondering exactly what the objective was. ”

    Been following Piper for many years. When things get too quiet and he is not basking in limelight, he pulls a shock jock. He did it by inviting Warren to DG. The internet was on fire over that one from all quarters. He did it with Driscoll, Christian Hedonism and the Scream of the Damned and much more. I started seeing a pattern with him. He likes being controversial and being discussed. He did it with this declaration. He did it at the true womanhood conference. The list is endless. Piper loves this sort of attention.

  45. Do we even know who wrote Esther and Ruth? Does it even say?

    We know that Proverbs 31 was recorded by Lemuel, but it was authored by his mother.
    We also know that Mary’s words of prophecy were recorded by Luke. But Luke was not the author.

    I also wonder how many women were even taught to read making it difficult for them to write anything.

    And as one has already said. We don’t know who authored Hebrews. There is just as much evidence that a certain woman did as there is for a couple certain men.

    The fact that there are only male priests in the OT means absolutely nothing. Do you know why? Because the veil was torn in two and the way to the holy place was opened to all, including women. We are all priests before Him, not just men even though certain men, like John Piper, work hard and relentlessly to weave together a false gospel that gives the illusion that the veil isn’t torn for women. These men oppose God and the gospel and try to stitch the rent veil back up against women.

    For shame, Piper (and Jimmy) for fighting against God by fighting against God’s chosen, priestly women. Put you unholy sewing kits away, dudes, and leave the veil alone. You rush in where angels fear to tread.

  46. Isn’t there no longer slave nor free nor jew nor gentile nor male nor female but all are one in Christ Jesus? Can we ask this question: Does the Bible have a masculine feel because it was written in patriarchal societies? In this quote from Paul’s letter to the Galatians is he not introducing a whole new way of looking at our divisions? That whether or not it became a practice in the biblical writers era (though I would argue it did) is it not still our responsibility to put these ideals into practice?

  47. Hi Dee. You mentioned that I mentioned the magic word: dominionism.

    I blogged about dominionism three years ago – January 2009. It’s one of my posts that took just about the longest to write, right up there with an in-depth analysis/critique of the “Lakeland Outpouring.” My post was based in personal experiences as well as a sort of theological round-up, and then relating it to “The Seven Mountains Movement,” the “strategic-level prayer movement,” superspirituality, and a few other issues that I knew unfortunately all too well from insider experiences.

    Anyway, in case interested, here is the link.

    http://futuristguy.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/examining-the-seven-mountains-movement/

    This particular post has gotten nearly 30% of all the hits on my *futuristguy* blog since I started it in autumn 2008. This post was linked to by a few secular blogs that self-identified as “progressive” (whatever that means), and one labeled my post as providing “some relevant moderate commentary” (whatever “moderate” means). Go figure. I just figure no one can accurate label people who are paradoxical in their paradigm. We fit nowhere. Or is it everywhere?

    Anyway, looking forward to your delvings into dominionism. So much of it is a trap, appealing to a odd combination of intellectualistic theory and fundamentalist activism. But then, doesn’t every autocratic social movement have it’s academic proponents?

    Onward and upward and Christward … Brad

  48. Jimmy-

    How do you know whether men or women wrote the books of the Bible? We’re not even sure Mark actually wrote the Gospel of Mark. Who wrote the Book of Hebrews?

    All these questions make me want to sing the “Book of Love”, but I digress into silliness…sorry.

    I hear what you’re trying to say, but you’re making an unfounded assumption, in my opinion.

  49. Deb — There certainly is a disturbingly Stepford element to the rabid support of patriarchy by the women in it. Creeps me out.

    Anon1 — Anyone who (a) rides on the spiritual coattails of a human idol – husband or otherwise, or (b) makes her own personal convictions into measures of grace for others, is very fortunate that her salvation actually depends on neither.

    Dee — Divisive’s just another word for “I can’t hear you!” ;-)

    Why have all these coalitions, conventions, conferences and Christian celebrities sprung up? Whatever happened to the simplicity of a local church with a local pastor leading a local congregation in serving their local community in the name of Christ? These celebrity pastors are acting more like rock stars, and too many wannabes are blindly following them instead of Jesus.

    They all act as if Jesus isn’t enough for them. :-(

  50. I would like to know where the factoid about women not having written any of the books of the Bible comes from.

    And even though few women were literate during the time that the Scriptures were first written down, I’m willing to bet that there were women involved, one way or another. (As has been suggested above.)

    You can look at Western medieval history and bingo – there were convents where women worked at copying and illuminating manuscripts – just like their male counterparts.

    So… even if no women actually wrote the first copies of the scriptures, I have no doubt that women are just as responsible as men for the copying and transmission of the Scriptures, right up until the time that printed books started to become fairly common objects.

    Hmm…

  51. “The fact that there are only male priests in the OT means absolutely nothing. Do you know why? Because the veil was torn in two and the way to the holy place was opened to all, including women. We are all priests before Him, not just men even though certain men, like John Piper, work hard and relentlessly to weave together a false gospel that gives the illusion that the veil isn’t torn for women. These men oppose God and the gospel and try to stitch the rent veil back up against women.

    For shame, Piper (and Jimmy) for fighting against God by fighting against God’s chosen, priestly women. Put you unholy sewing kits away, dudes, and leave the veil alone. You rush in where angels fear to tread.”

    Awesome, awesome quote from Mara. I just wanted to repost it because it’s so awesome.

  52. Mara
    That was an incredible comment. “Put you unholy sewing kits away, dudes, and leave the veil alone. You rush in where angels fear to tread.”

  53. Nick
    I like what you say. We could even add “Does the Bible have a racist feel because it was written in a slave based society?” Certain theologians must be careful when they try to tread water in the “Jesus only chose men” pond.

  54. Brad
    I will read your post later today. I have been studying the roots of the dominionism movement via a couple of books. Foolish me. I thought reconstructionism died with Rushdoony. It was only repackaged for popular consumption. I listened to one of its proponents on NPR who claimed that he knew the names of the demons that “ruled” the various countries. I have gotten sidetracked with various stories recently, but I want to write about that and more on psychology and the church. Now, if Driscoll, Mahaney and Piper would simmer down so I can get to it…

  55. dee: I always thought Jesus chose men BECAUSE of the patriarchal culture. Throughout the Bible God interacts with his people on their level – his Mosaic laws did not try to overthrow the pagan culture they had coming out of Egypt, they were there to try and balance it out through rules. Likewise, the entire point of Jesus coming to earth was so that God could come and save us where we were. He didn’t try to brainwash us into being as perfect as Him, or anything like that, and always knew that we could never meet a perfect standard by legalism alone.

    But I digress. My point is that I think Jesus chose men as his ‘main’ disciples, and future apostles, simply because women were chattel back then. Even though women were extremely important in spreading the gospel (Junia, Priscilla, Mary etc) if they had gone out and tried to preach they would have been ignored. And Christianity would have gotten nowhere.

    So, Jesus chose men not because he preferred men, but because the culture did. He didn’t really have a choice if he wanted his message to be spread.

  56. Anne, that is such a good point. To say that Jesus endorsed the cultural order of His day is like saying He approved of the Roman government. Not so! Rather, this was the way things were rolling when He chose to walk among men!

    I keep having a vision in my head of all these men (Driscoll, Phillips, Mahaney, and yes-even John Piper)adopting the old standard, “Macho, Macho Man” by the Village People, as their theme song…..

    Sorry, but the ludicrous nature of their broad brush statements on gender just ask for humorous rebuttals…

  57. Jenny
    We are Americans. Celebrity combined with bombastic personalities is our culture. We have effectively combined politics+the ugly American and wrapped it all up in the blanket of piety. What we see, unfortunately, is us. Those of us who do not fit have woken up in one fashion or another due to pain or simply asking questions.I have often wondered how the church survived throughout the ages. It is by the grace of God that some have always seen the essential faith. The remnant is still alive.

  58. Dee – – Hope your wish comes true for certain someones to simmer down. Meanwhile, when the time comes, here’s the link I referred to in showing some secular/progressive responses to dominionism:

    http://theprogressiveplaybook.com/2011/08/anti-culture-lies-and-rightwash-mendacity/

    A quote from toward the end of that article: “These people aren’t messing around. They won’t be happy until they’ve ‘returned’ to a feudal holy theocracy where everyone is forced to at least pretend to agree with their delusions of the supernatural and their attendant superiority.”

    In regards to said feudalocracists, to quote the immortal words of SpongeBob re: The Plankton Who Would Rule The Cosmos, “Well, good luck with that …”

    And hey, I was reading Rushdoony in the ’70s/’80s … so that must mean there’s hope for post-dominionists!

  59. The problem with a masculine Christianity/God is that by default, then, men are more like God than women. There’s a crackpot “Christian” named William Mouser who wrote a Bible study (I use the term loosely) called “The Five Aspects of Men” and “The Five Aspects of Women.” He assigns men and women “archetypes” that they’re supposed to emulate to be holy. According to the study’s author, men should pattern their lives after the following “righteous masculine archetypes: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, Christ the God/Man and the last Adam, and Created Adam, the first man.” Women should pattern their lives after the following “righteous feminine archetypes: Wisdom the first feminine, Eve the first woman, Israel the wife of God, The Virgin Mary mother of Christ, The church the bride of Christ, and Jerusalem our mother above.”

    All of the masculine archetypes are actual persons – including God. Of the six feminine archetypes, only two are real persons, and four are simply metaphors. None of them are God. Anybody see anything wrong with this picture? There’s more patriarchal (and I daresay heretical) nonsense like God granted to men (and not women) the honor of displaying God’s characteristics of power and authority in their physical bodies and bearing. Ugh. From what I can tell, this guy has infiltrated many Reformed churches with this Bible study. A few years back, they tried to bring it to ours, but some people raised a hue and cry and our pastor decided maybe it wasn’t a good idea after all.

  60. March 16, 2012

    Deb and Dee,

    I’ve been away from reading and responding for a few weeks – lots going on with work, home and health but working through it and moving along.

    When I read this post something came to mind that is a constant fight within myself regarding what has happened to the church as we and many, many others have known it in the face of these younger hyper-authoritarian guys coming into churches and, quite literally in some (many?) cases, destroying the congregation meeting/ministering in their community. The big thing I fight with is the issue of whether I should/should not fight back or speak up in some cases and this due to being told time and again that because of my opposition to certain things or the “vision” that “my focus is off”, “not walking with/following God as I should”, “it’s not about you – what you want” and similar statements. Made to feel, sometimes, less than a person because I have a different approach/view of things than the pastor/staff does – that I must conform and not “rock the boat” and the top thing leveled at most who have questions is “you’re not saved – not a christian” or if you are you’ve “strayed”.

    Deb and Dee, there is a legitimate fear that lots of folks have when taking on these things – what if all this is of God (we know alot isn’t) and by speaking out or questioning are we really speaking out against God or resisting him? This is a real fear for some like myself….. I don’t want to be against God or a true move of God or a God directed vision/approach at a church. What is one to do?? Some of these guys and their “staff” are ruthless in what they do and yet turn around and “lead” people in a service on Sundays or other times while seeming to have NO problem with the damage they do to peoples lives and no though as to the folks that they’re running off from the church and even God in some (many?) cases.

    Yesterday I saw a friend of mine – we attended the church I was assistant organist at years ago – and I found that he was no longer attending church anywhere due, primarily, to the situation that occurred there between 2000 and 2007 (long story for another time) and he and his wife just have no use for church right now because of what happened there with the pastor and staff and the way people were treated. He mentioned how many folks had left that church (it’s still large but full of YRR’s or the SBC version of it) and what I realized is that these guys that run these churches are actually glad about all this because they are getting rid of and have gotten rid of all the people that were causing them problems and holding them back from their pursuit of the “vision” and what was interesting is that the guy who was pastor from 2000-2007 there and had this “vision” has since left and left the church with a multi-million dollar debt! Commitment to the “vision”…..? They have a young pastor there now who seems “ok” but many of the staff that came with the previous pastor are still there so I have to think there is a similar mindset/approach (maybe not identical but similar) else there would be some major backtracking. Problem is that if they decided to take a hard turn back and deal with some things that they should – they would end up loosing the young ones now and the previous guy ran all the older ones off (for the most part) so that would leave them with virtually no one on Sundays. This bothers me greatly – the notion with some of these guys that they have finally got rid the “problems” in their churches….. only problem with that line of thinking is that these “problems” are people who have feelings and have to live life in the real world and many have been damaged or destroyed. Many will never return and many have completely lost their faith period.

    What have we come to and why/how did we come to be in this situation in our churches?? God help us – God forgive us……….

  61. “Masculine Christianity (TM)” — If you’re not an I-Can-Beat-You-Up bully or cage-fight fanboy or wife-beater, “Begone from Me Ye Cursed Into Everlasting Fire, Join the Devil and his Angels!”

  62. The problem with Masculine Christianity is pride and idolatry. It’s prideful to assume that God has made men more ‘spiritually equipped’ etc than women. It’s pride to assume that women are created to be men’s subjects and that men are better at leadership, strength, courage or whatever. (Meanwhile women are, apparently, weak, gullible, naturally rebellious and sinful). It’s pride to place one gender above the other and preach that men are closer to God’s image than women. Even worse when they preach that God is closer to mens’ image than womens’ – maleness must be SO awesome that the Lord has modelled himself on it! For man is the head of woman, AND the head of God!

    Then they say ‘feminine’ like it’s a dirty word. >:(

  63. ewwww!

    Leila, Mr. Mouser sounds like a perpetrator of sophistry!

    Of course, perhaps I shouldn’t say that because “sophistry” comes from “sophia” – the Greek word used of “wisdom,” of which his “study” is apparently devoid of. Plus if I remember aright from my collegiate studies in classical Greek, it’s the feminine form, which would undoubtedly be an affrontery.

    Anyway, the bigger issue being raised here is what kind of God does this system convey – or is there actually one god for men and another god for women, in which case such preachers are really promoting multitheism instead of monotheism? And hence, what kind of “gospel” are they really presenting?

    I have to wonder if a time is coming when such nonsense will be overtly labeled as heterodox at the very least, if not heretical …

  64. We have to keep asking these important questions. Have these guys not thought through the implications of their masculine Christianity or do they just not care about the other half? — Deb

    Why would they? It’s only WOMEN. Cookers, cleaners, and breeders of sons.

    With The Handmaid’s Tale as How-To Manual for their Perfect Christian Nation.

  65. Brad: I long for the day when all Christians let the Holy Spirit of love work in them and fill their every pore. Then they’ll see the dangers of their false preachers. Until then, there seems to be a horrible pattern of “Well this pastor says the Bible says it, so they must be right. Yay Pastor!!”

    Proof-texting is hideously effective on those who don’t know how flawed it is.

  66. I just keep wondering when enough Women will get fed up with this backseat stuff and REVOLT! Maybe it will happen.

  67. You’d be amazed at the number of women who defend patriarchy so rigidly, even if their husbands have never taken it up.

  68. Anon1, Jenny, Deb,

    In recent years, I have seen a growing number of women fiercely
    defend this macho gospel too. If you try to have a rational conversation about the dangers of buying into false teachings, these women go on the attack like rabid dogs.

    Recently, I tried to have a conversation about Piper’s stance on domestic violence with a Calvinista friend who I’ve known for 20 years. She is a married mother of 3. She went ape on me. Afterwards, though I was still a bit shell-shocked, I tried to process what had just happened. I came to the same conclusion, Deb – this is a cult that she has allowed to change who she used to be. She has lost her empathy for hurting people. Looking back on other encounters with her, I realize that her heart has been hardening for several years under these teachings and the worship of men.

    This morning, I read Jeri Massi’s post on Brent Stevens. Many of you know his story – the toddler who was tortured and murdered by Dave Hyles, son of the celebrity IFB pastor Jack Hyles. Brent’s mother was having an affair with Dave, a serial adulterer. After the baby’s murder, Jack Hyles and many other Baptist leaders subsequently covered up Dave’s crimes. He went on to marry the baby’s mother and hold prominent ministry positions. Although the case remains open, Dave Hyles has never been brought to justice. As I read through the story, which I’d read other places before, I again pondered how a mother (supposedly Christian) could allow that to happen to her innocent, precious child. The same thing applies here – cultic man-worship will cause you to lose your empathy, even for your own flesh and blood.

  69. Anne,

    “You’d be amazed at the number of women who defend patriarchy so rigidly, even if their husbands have never taken it up.”

    This is such an interesting phenomenon. Why do you think this happens? What is wrong with these women??

    Deb, Dee,

    Exploring women’s defense of patriarchy and this masculine gospel would be an excellent post :) – or have you already done one? I’m just trying to wrap my mind around this (again).

  70. Mot, I don’t think the women of these churches will ever revolt. It’s too inconvenient, when all they have to do is go to a denomination that is willing to ordain them. This kinda stuff will never find them there. Moving is much easier than reforming. …and then there are women who actually agree with this kind of stuff. Some are so comfortable in traditional cultural roles that the accommodating theology just doesn’t bother them.

    Blogs like this are as close as we’ll likely get to an internal revolt. But should I be proved wrong, we’ll all be happy.

  71. Wendy,

    I’d like to write a post on women who staunchly defend patriarchy. I’m not sure there’s much on the internet about it, but I’ll be checking.

    Great suggestion!

  72. Maybe it’s because these women are turning towards the men instead of God? And the men are ruling over them?

  73. If I may play a little DA without getting hanged:
    I think the word “all” is the crucial difference between misogyny and traditionalism. When I read Piper’s quote about men assuming ALL the responsibility, I thought to myself, “Wait a second… something has changed about that quote since I last heard it.” The first time I heard that line was from Doug Wilson when he was explaining what “Biblical masculinity” was. And he gave the quote without the word “all”: Biblical masculinity, according to Wilson, was the glad assumption of responsibility. Not all responsibility, as if to say that women had none, but the ethos I took from it was “real men don’t run from their responsibility.” This is a healthy and positive message, imo, because in our society men are running from responsibility at alarming levels. For example, I know there are many single parent families with no mother, but the ones with a missing father vastly outnumber, at least from who I’ve known. Regardless, though, I want to cheer those who are fighting to train men to fulfill their callings in life from God and their obligations to society.

    When we start to say that women do not have similar callings from God and obligations to society (aka responsibility) this is just outright heinous. But the question I suppose all the controversy is really built around is: What is the nature of the responsibility of men and women in the life of the church? Surely men are not the only responsibility bearers there, the Bible is too full of examples to the contrary.

    However, shared responsibility does not have to mean shared pastorates. I hold my congregation up as a good example of this. Being in the LCMS, we have only men as “office holders,” or pastors and elders. But it is the church council who truly runs the day to day operations of the church, and I’ve never seen a more evenly split team in my life. (Though the women do outnumber a bit) This is the group that gets their hands dirty with service and leading, equipping, and training others to do the same. Since we don’t really have congregational deacons, the council kinda serves as our functional diaconate. In this council you see women who are real leaders, and who pour out their lives investing in others. But none of them are complaining that they don’t get time in the pulpit.

    All that to say, it is truly possible for men and women to work together in full harmony and sharing the responsibility according to gifting even if the church holds a traditional view of ordination. Not all churches insisting on male-only pastors (who might be considered the “leadership” by some) are trampling on the rights, freedoms, and responsibilities of women. I recognize that many do, but I don’t think being unfair is a requirement of the traditional view of ministry.

  74. Anonymous @ 10:00 pm Thurs:

    My thoughts exactly! He’s the expert now?! What is really amazing is that CJ was never just a “regular” member of any church. He has been a self-appointed leader since the beginning (as far as I can tell) . . . never experienced “life together” without a throne. But he feels qualified to teach about the local church and purity of doctrine. (I’m thinking this is “CJ doctrine” since it’s not preceded by “biblical.”)

  75. Actually Deb/Dee – this article was not one that I should have responded to with they type of post that I put up. Mine should have been after a topic that was/is similar – delete this one and I’ll re-do it for another similar article later. All this just made me think of some of the sitiuations that arise from all this.
    Thanks!

  76. ” came to the same conclusion, Deb – this is a cult that she has allowed to change who she used to be. She has lost her empathy for hurting people. Looking back on other encounters with her, I realize that her heart has been hardening for several years under these teachings and the worship of men.”

    Bingo. It is cult thinking.

    And think about this: Our hearts do not become hard when worshiping Jesus Christ. They are softened and our compassion for others grows. These women almost need an “intervention” but they are surrounded by it. They live in a bubble. They have to make you the one with wrong thinking to prop up the cult thinking.

  77. “You’d be amazed at the number of women who defend patriarchy so rigidly, even if their husbands have never taken it up.”

    This is such an interesting phenomenon. Why do you think this happens? What is wrong with these women?? — Wendy

    “He who was born in a cage
    Yearns for a cage.
    With horror I understand
    That I Love My Cage.”
    — Yevgevny Yevtushenko

  78. Mara, I love love love your comments. They weave the truth of scripture in them to point out the absurd positions of these phallic focused Christians.

  79. Just to be clear, in a previous comment I expressed a belief that these are “cultish organizations”. I have not yet labeled them as CULTS, but if these people keep up their ridiculous behavior, that day may come soon…

  80. This little none currently attends an ELCA church without joining it.

    Our pastor is female, bivo, and you better wear steel toed boots to church because she pulls no punches. And if you think you are all that good and holy (which hopefully you strive to be) she will nevertheless kill your pride and hubris with scripture.

    Nobody–and I mean NOBODY–better get between “her people” and Jesus or she will take you on. And NOBODY better try and get any of the glory and awe due to Jesus Christ. She WILL call you out.

    And yet she does that with a distinctively “feminine” feel that energizes all who hear her to love Him more, and try to obey Him better.

    And no, she is not liberal despite the organization. She is Biblical.

    So that gives me hope for the future of the organized church.

    But I have just as much hope for something new I see rising from the ashes of dying churches.

    I see women AND men moving away from “somebody has to be in charge” to “Somebody IS in charge” the way it was always meant to be.

    I see less focus on ruling and more on serving. I see less money spent for show–fancy buildings, etc–and more spent for go (getting the gospel out and helping people.)

    With the information revolution, I see a generation rising that probably will see little to no need for scheduled services at a certain place. But I do see them still finding good preaching, good music, and making a way for the gathering of the saints.

    E church is one way, unchurch and home church (not house church) is another, and some are reviving the idea of Christianity practiced individually, with voluntary association of those individuals.

    That used to be called the SBC way.

    But I seriously doubt 50 years from now there will be many flocking to church buildings for the weekly lecture.

    And we may just be in for a stronger, revitalized church because of it.

  81. [i]“You’d be amazed at the number of women who defend patriarchy so rigidly, even if their husbands have never taken it up.”

    This is such an interesting phenomenon. Why do you think this happens? What is wrong with these women??[/i]

    Genesis 3:16 “Your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.”

  82. I suspect that the forums at No Longer Quivering and Free Jinger have *plenty* of comments re. how – and why – many of the people who post there got sucked into defending patriarchy… prior to their leaving it, that is.

    I’ve seen milder forms of this kind of thinking and it scares me. Those who espouse even the “kinder, gentler” views are often all too eager to ride roughshod over those who don’t, even when they are friends.

    :(

  83. linda,

    I am SO ENCOURAGED by your comment! Would you consider writing a guest post highlighting your church experience and some of the ideas you have shared in your comment?

  84. Leila-

    I believe that many women repeat this hard line, because that is what the majority of Christendom’s leaders are spouting? If you don’t believe me, then tune in to Christian radio…

    You’ll hear many a radio broadcast/ christian author,telling you that Men not leading and women not submitting is the root of all sorts of societal problems. And even though their own relationship might not bear a strict submissive tone, their leaders probably teach something akin, and they do not want to believe that their dear leaders might be wrong…

    Piper said it…
    I believe it…
    That settles it….

    Substitute any other trusted leader or pastor for Piper, and well, you get the picture.

    That’s my take on it….

  85. Dee – re. that tweet on Rowan Williams – I would not characterize him as a “lefty”!

    He has written, said and done some very good and important things – cf. his support for women in ministry, which is something that the “conservatives” in the Anglican communion are mostly against.

  86. Deb-

    Uggh….I’ve actually listened to Nancy teach, in person (which I still don’t get how she can teach men & women about how women need to submit and not be teachers, leaders over men? huh?-anyway).

    She drives me nuts…she sounds like a used car dealer who is desperately trying to convince themselves that they don’t peddle in low grade vehicles…anyway, not to be shooting the messenger. Nancy is just one of those people that rubs me wrong, she struck me as smug when I heard he teach.

    Thanks Deb, for stirring the bad memories pot :)

  87. **Guy From Knoxville**——- are you still here???

    I’m responding right away, without reading any comments beyond yours to see if my points have already been made. Because I just want to make them even if it’s old news.

    I completely understand everything you just said. My mind responded instantly as I read.

    Let me try to trascribe: In my observation, God works even in very dysfunctional environments. I think it’s a general truth that He operates where He’s given place. That “place” he’s given (a corporate welcoming, openness, invitation) may be very muddied up with human complexity (ie, various and sundry “dysfunctionality”) – the environment may be very “messed up”, even. And even though it’s not a stretch to surmise that God is not ok with the “messed-up”-ness, I’ve observed that He still shows up somehow (perhaps sometimes more than others, mysteriously so).

    BUT — the fact that God shows up is not an endorsement of the leaders’ bad practices.

    SO – a given church environment may be bulldozing their members, politely or not, leaving them riddled with harm and confusion. The leaders clearly are off in their priorities, but yet they still have SOME motives that are good and pro-God (instead of anti-God). They’re not spiritual darkness incarnate, completely repelling the Holy Spirit whenever they enter a room.

    Obnoxious dweebs, yes.

    In my past experience, in the pastors’ efforts with high uncompromising standards which were worked out through their own personal problems, people ended up crushed and twisted and battered. But some good things happened, too. Some lives were indeed changed positively. But in my view the good did not mitigate the bad. In the end, many more lives were changed negatively (resulting in a steep and lengthy healing process, which may or may not happen).

    So, to hopefully arrive at my greater point, God can use anything. If the way one’s church’s leaders conduct business and relationships crosses too many of your personal boundaries of what is good, right, appropriate, and true, you are very much free to leave. What’s the point of being faithful to something that leaves people in a twisted heap?

    And one’s leaving is by no means a spiritual deal breaker, for you or for the church or for God himself.

    God will continue on. You are not stopping God.

    And you are not responsible for that church.

  88. Guy from Knoxville —

    A final thought –

    I’ve heard so many times “you don’t want to miss what God is doing!” “you don’t want to miss out on God’s perfect will”. An unbelievable amount of pressure loaded onto individuals with those words.

    I was always told that it all happens in “church”, and if you’re not there you will miss out on what God is doing, on God’s best, etc. Or, if you’re not in **THIS** church, you will miss out.

    hmph

    Well, that simply is not the case.

    I meet with 2 friends once a week – sometimes only one friend is there. We focus on God, we read some bible, insights are shared, we pray for many things, we pray for each other. We have quite a spiritual garden growing.

    It is powerful. God shows up. It is spiritually intense. It is more nourishing and strengthening than any “church” thing. But, then again, we 2 or 3 friends and God ARE church. We are ekklesia.

  89. The only reason I can think of that these men keep insisting on a masculine feel in the Church is because they are not secure in Christ themselves.

    God created man in his image, male and female he created them . . .

    Where does God show partiality to the male? The natural outcome of their masculine doctrine is that God would be divided within himself. It never seems to occur to these men that Jesus came to restore us from the outcome of the Fall, not perpetuate it. The veil was torn – ALL can now enter – not just the male priest. I guess it never occurs to them that a large amount of scripture was written before the veil was torn, by men under the rule of the law who were keeping with that law. Even writers of the NT would and DID have difficulties leading a different life after living so long under the law – look at Galations. Paul had to correct Peter on this issue.

    The Church should have a masculine/feminine feel!

    WHERE does scripture say that God has ordained (strong word Mr. Piper) to the Church a masculine ministry? BTW I think Piper uses specific words in specific places to make his argument seem Godly. This especially sways those who don’t search out scripture for themselves.

    Piper’s main argument of the “masculine feel” is based on an assumption that God allowed the “male” form to be used in referring to him because he IS only male and not female. God was called many things in
    OT. He calls himself “I Am.” (No male or female undertones there.) Maybe God new that fallen “men” would not respond to a “female feel.” Could Jesus have come into the world a female and been received by the men and culture of Israel? Jesus came AND tore the veil that had separated “all mankind” from God since the Fall. I don’t think that this restoration was meant as only “partial” for women; as in women still need a covering, or a headship. This seems to infer that Jesus did an “INCOMPLETE” work on the cross! The female/male issue was a result of the Fall, not an issue before the Fall. Before the Fall they both stood before God naked and unashamed (no one covering anyone for anyone). Mutual submission for all!

    Rant over :)

  90. Bridget2 – I think these guys are very insecure about *themselves* 1st (including their masculinity).

    By the same token, I have noticed that Piper and Driscoll talk about *themselves* a lot.

    Coincidence?! ;)

  91. Concerning women who militantly stand behind this patriarchy thing, and women who seem to change over time:

    i saw myself change, while in a previous church. There was a fiercely strong commitment to principle, which overrode people (how they were treated, how they were talked to, what was expected of them).

    I can remember how I talked to my dad once, over some church topic — i was so uncharacteristically harsh, blunt, expressing myself from such a black-&-white position. Which is extremely uncharacteristic of me — i see and work at understanding all shades of gray. It really bothered my mom at the time. I feel so bad about it now. As I look back, it was like I was high on something.

    The reason I had changed over time was because of how “GOD” was brought into it all. God deserves your best, your most. Your sacrifice. Give it all up. For him. If this is how God wants it, who are we to not give it our all? It is RIGHT. There is no better feeling than to know you are doing RIGHT for GOD.

    While these ideas may not be untrue, they are loaded with power. Power to change a person. Bring GOD into the mix and one can persuade and be persuaded by many things. And it is not hard to start making the principles, the ideals EVERYTHING. To the exclusion of all else, including other valid perspectives. And to the exclusion of too many things that shouldn’t be excluded (one’s personality, one’s culture, customs, your feelings, the feelings of others, variety of method, etc.)

  92. Bridget2 @ 12:39 said:

    “But he feels qualified to teach about the local church and purity of doctrine.”

    So funny it’s scary-lol-but that’s because CeeYAjay believes this:

    “And the more I studied Acts and Ephesians and became amazed at the goodness of God’s plan for community in the local church, the more that dynamic became dissatisfying.”

    Real Community and the Power of the Church

    IOW–by his study of the book of Acts/Ephesians he has always known God’s biblical/gospel plan for community in the LC. Nothing is changed it would seem. That’s a very bad sign…KY beware.

    He studied…he knows the plan…he’s gonna let us all know it. But for heavens sake do as he says, not as he does…shoot…who did God say that to in Matt 23:3? “therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them.”

    He also says this-

    “I’m praying that those who join us will walk away amazed by the goodness of God’s plan for the local church and motivated to sink down their roots in the real community that only the church can offer as the fruit and effect of the gospel.”

    As if—I guess whatever CeeYAjay’s plan is for the local church (abandonment? strife? division? leaving when the going gets tough?) must be what God’s plan is ’cause we’ll walk away amazed.

    Diane (Also anonymous when she forgets to sign her name.)

  93. Numo –

    The one’s who talk the loudest, and mostly about themselves, are the ones that I have found to be the most insecure of all. No rest, no peace, lack of patience, little comfort for others. They have deep issues (not necessarily self induced) that have not been dealt with, just submerged to rear again when the fire gets hot. We are upset about what they do to others (and themselves), yet we know they were probably hurt and in pain themselves.

  94. Diane –

    “Real” Community and the “Power” of the Church says it all. Hope he doesn’t reference “Why Small Groups.” I wish he would just STOP it!

  95. Diane –

    The “Why Plant Churches” by Dave Harvey was an interesting read. It explains “their”
    thinking. It was a related link at the bottom of CJ’s article.

  96. Eagle your last post is really making me think. Unfortunately, I think there is much of the “how’d we get here?” already going on. I certainly agree that Christianity needs to be a wider tent than many of it’s louder voices would have it be. A diversity of perspectives is certainly healthier than a my-way-or-the-highway approach, provided at least some fundamentals can be agreed on (basic creeds and such).

    From my own experience, having gone through and escaped a “reformed phase,” I really think that the doctrinal exclusivity of the YRR and other competing dogmatic brands is a reaction against the consumer approach to faith of their parent generation. “Have it YOUR way” religion is being replaced by “have it MY way, take it or leave it.” Truth be told, neither is a good option. I think the problem is ultimately that we’ve failed to consider Christ’s way. He is both radically inclusive yet unafraid to take a position on truth. We traded the art of balancing these for methodological trends, be it lights and fog machines or the recovery of narrow traditional roots.

    Jesus never hesitated to speak truth to power, but he also didn’t play the political game. I think his approach to the narrowly dogmatic leaders of today might be to call them out, but in reaction to “my way or the highway,” I think he’d have no problem walking out and doing his own thing. It’s good to fight for purity within a church, but if they show you the door for dissenting, I wouldn’t hesitate to oblige. Shake the dust off your feet, you know?

  97. “By the same token, I have noticed that Piper and Driscoll talk about *themselves* a lot.

    Coincidence?! ”

    No. And I wrote about this earlier that Piper is big on attention and seeks it for himself. He did not just take a sabbatical, he had to tell his reasons for taking a sabbatical and it was the talk of the blogosphere. In fact, I was shocked that more people did not see the underlying message of his reasons. “To work on his marriage”. So, everything he taught up to that point was not working for HIS OWN MARRIAGE? Most people cannot afford to take al that time off to “work on their marriages” so he does not live in reality, either. But he loved the attention the sabbatical brought him even though they traveled and he worked during that time anyway.

    Too bad Noel cannot be his partner in ministry then such things like that would not be necessary.

    Just a note: A friend of mine has been coming to my church for the last few months. She was going to the cool hip mega church with the young pastor. I had to chuckle when she said, “You know what? Your pastor NEVER talks about himself or his wife. He just preaches out of the bible. I have never heard anything like it. My other pastors (Sr and Jr pastors of mega) talk about themselves and their wives or kids in every sermon”

  98. Well it’s Friday, late afternoon. It’s about time to put aside the John Piper bashing and post the next reverential e-church. Piper bashing can begin again next Monday. sigh

  99. Jimmy:

    You said:”Well it’s Friday, late afternoon. It’s about time to put aside the John Piper bashing and post the next reverential e-church. Piper bashing can begin again next Monday. sigh”

    May I say in the most loving way–you are full of it.

  100. Jimmy,

    Thanks for the reminder about EChurch! We’re almost done with the post. Look for it in the early AM.

    Piper bashing? I thought the post was pretty tame…

  101. Bridget2-

    “Real” Community and the “Power” of the Church says it all.”

    Doesn’t it though?

    I am afraid small groups are here to stay, imo, at least in their theological world…so they can contr..I mean disciple you correctly in your community. You know, with the 9Marks guys (some) and TGC (some) you can’t be sanctified properly (some say not at all) unless you are in a small group and being transparent and doing the “one anothers” with each other in your covenant membership role.

    Yep–nothing says church like the word “power.”

  102. Jimmy, I’m not Piper bashing.
    I’m telling Piper and his followers to stop chasing after wind and false doctrine and stop deciding what God wants when God’s commandments are clear.

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all you soul and love your strength.
    And love your neighbor as yourself. IN keeping these two commandments, you keep them all.

    You and Piper do not love women like you love yourselves because you pull a few, obscure, and poorly translated verses out of context and piece them together with worldly duct tape to promote your misogyny. You and he also work very hard to bury or discredit the truck loads of verses that disagree with the misogyny you promote.

    If Piper loved his female neighbors like he loved himself, he wouldn’t work so hard to marginalize them and force them down into tiny boxes he’d never stoop low enough to stick his pinkie finger in.

  103. numo,

    Loved the quip about so-and-so being a lefty. But as we all know Muff is the only real liberal-lefty-soshalist-heretic here at TWW.
    haha ===> (smiley face goes here).

    Seriously though, several commenters have expressed puzzlement as to why more women don’t leave patriarchal reformed cultures or at least revolt against them. I think it can be summed up neatly with one word. FEAR. Fear that they won’t be “saved” anymore (or never were “saved”) if they dare and disobey St. Paul’s prescriptions (as their complementarian leadership sees it) and proscriptions for gender roles.

  104. Mara is right. And let us not forget…when he promotes a “masculine Christianity” he is preaching ANOTHER Gospel and people should be warned not to follow false teachers. Christianity is not masculine or feminine. It is a SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP with our Savior WHO was God in the flesh for those who were created in His Image: Male and female, He created them.

    Piper is a false teacher. And is promoting a phallic cult.

  105. It sounds like more than a few of us have bought into, in one way or the other, to one degree or the other, the gender gospel. I used to think female pastors were a no-no, because I’d been taught that way. I visited a church with female deacons one time and cringed inside. I used to try a prescribed formula for making my husband the “head” of our home. It frustrated both of us. I’ve been there too.

    But in recent years (in my circles at least), we’ve seen a much greater and wider scale push of patriarchy and male authoritarianism. Until the last 10 years or so, I hadn’t seen female militants quite like this. They now seem to have lost all rationale and compassion. Things have gotten more weird than ever.

  106. Dee and Deb, I want to encourage you to go to http://www.geneveith.com and read an article christianity today wrote about his book about vocation. It talks about the family and family roles. It is so wonderful and doesn’t play the word games that the calvinista’s play. I am thinking about purchasing the book since in 12 weeks I will have my first child! Oh, it’s a boy! We are thinking Noah. No I think I will name him either Mark after Mr. Driscoll or Al:)

  107. Wendy, what you are writing is completely resonating with me! Earlier this week I had the most unbelievable exchange with a group of “reformed” women who are really patriocentrists, not just complementarians. Someone posted a link to an article about how women are leaving the church in large numbers (not necessarily the faith) and what followed was mind blowing. One after one the women didn’t even discuss the basic premise of the article nor did they exhibit one whit of compassion toward anyone who had left the church. There was no room whatsoever for considering any concerns. Rather, the concluded that any woman who wasn’t willing to accept the Piper/Driscoll model was essentially a feminist, wordly,and not saved to even begin with. As I tried to ask questions and civilly respond to the original poster, I realized it was pointless and, after watching these “wives of patriarchy” demonstrate unkindness and almost cultlike mind control over women for several months, I left the group. I new it was pointless. The next morning I received the following e-mail….

    “As the administrators for XXXX facebook group, we need to remind you of some things. The purpose of the XXXX group is to encourage each other in the things of the Lord and all that that entails as listed in the groups introduction page. We are not gathered together in one place in order argue or debate; i.e., to call ladies out to argue about the little things that may pop up as we are discussing the bigger picture.

    The bottom line is that we are all believers and we are all reformed in our doctrine. The great thing about this group, as opposed to other Christian fb groups we may be a part of is that, since we hold to the same basic doctrinal truths, we don’t have to guard and tiptoe around every little word. We can freely express ourselves knowing that everyone else is on the same page and will not be offended.

    With that being said, in the last few posts that have garnered a good deal of discussion, ladies have perceived that you are drawing individuals out to start an argument with or to raise contentions. This is not the purpose of this group and it cannot be allowed. We have had to have similar conversations with other ladies in the past. A couple have chosen to walk away from the group, others have chosen to soften their approach. We will support whichever decision you make in this.

    However, we can’t continue in this way, with members raising concerns over things you are posting. We would like to ask you to please prayerfully consider what we are saying and to examine your own heart on this matter. You may humbly leave the group at this time if you are unable to conform to the group guidelines. If we are approached by other members or see this sort of thing continuing, we’ll have to remove you from the FoRHM facebook group. As much as we’d hate to do that, we do have to look out for the comfort, edification & well-being of all the ladies in this group.
    We are all sisters in Christ here and can glean wisdom and encouragement from one another in many ways, we sincerely hope you understand our position here.”

    Mind you,I was responding to a question and ended up asking other questions, trying to get people to think. Unfortunately, this is just one of hundreds of discussions out there where any serious discussion is immediately shut down.

  108. Robin,

    Congratulations! That’s exciting news. Are you interested in suggestions for your son’s name?

  109. “You’d be amazed at the number of women who defend patriarchy so rigidly, even if their husbands have never taken it up.”

    I have blogged and podcasted about the patriarchy movement and about what I define as “patriocentricity” for the past 7 years, ever since R. C. Sproul Jr. wrote that women should not be blogging. Since I believe this movement has been birthed and incubated within the homeschooling community, of which I am a part, I think it is important for we expose these teachings whenever we can. The vast majority of homeschoolers do not agree with these teachings and now they have spilled over into broader evangelicalism. Make no mistake about it, dominionism at the core of all of this and unless pastors get a grip on this, they will see even more cult behavior in their churches. There is a well funded and well organized group that is working to get these teachings into the church, including the Duggars show on TLC. An episode earlier in the current season showed Michelle Duggar’s handout for a speech she was making for a woman’s group and it was straight from Bill Gothard’s writings and all patriocentric propaganda. Michelle was named Mom of the Year by Vision Forum’s Doug Phillips and yet she is also the featured keynote speaker to a sold out Heart’s at Home Conference this weekend. These people haven’t a clue what is behind this stuff. And women are willingly leading this movement.

    Since I started writing about this movement, I have heard from dozens of women whose marriage were nearly destroyed as they tried to drag their husbands down the patriarchy path. Most of them find their way to my website and are so grateful and relieved to find hope for normal family relationships, both with their husbands and children. As I send them straight to Scripture and challenge them to read straight through the New Testament, God’s word pours out to their hearts and they come out of this mess, their marriages are restored, and their children are relieved. Here are the links to the podcasts that I did based on research on the patriarchy conferences and the curriculum these women use to further their case. Interestingly enough, they site Helen Andelin, a Mormon, for much of their inspiration and some even link to her teachings on their blogs. Scary.

    http://www.thatmom.com/podcasts/patriarchy-patriocentricity-series/

    http://www.thatmom.com/podcasts/patriarchypatriocentricity-series-two-2010/

  110. Muff,

    Fear. That makes a lot of sense.

    I remember watching an interview of a former FLDS woman who’d been forced to marry a relative when she was a minor. She said she lived in fear for herself and her children, and there came a time when she knew she must escape. I remember her saying something to the effect “I don’t care if I go to hell. I can’t live this way anymore.” She believed, at the time of her escape, that she’d probably go to hell for disobeying God as she’d been taught.

    So it seems with women in the patriarchal movement. They do what’s shoved down their throats – joyfully – because they believe this is the way to God. And I suppose they fiercely defend the system, because this is how they get where they want to be in their church, patriarchal community, and God’s eyes. Fear of not having God’s approval would make them stuff down legitmate questions or feelings of doubt, confusion, and righteous anger.

  111. A really good website that exposes the faulty thinking of Doug Phillips and shows the damage done to his followers…is Rethinking Vision Forum. The posts are not frequent, but it is a good place to start to get a handle on something that SEEMS to be good on the outside, but the deeper you dig, the more it smells. Note: I said followers of PHILLIPS…not necessarily followers of CHRIST! Don’t confuse the two!

  112. Numo, Muff
    Please link to the article in the tweet. “Hairy lefty” is Rowan Williams quoted self description.I would NEVER have called him that on my own. I try very hard not to politicize things.But, I do like to quote what people say about themselves because that is their own words.

  113. “Rather, the concluded that any woman who wasn’t willing to accept the Piper/Driscoll model was essentially a feminist, wordly,and not saved to even begin with.”

    Bingo. It is a false dichotomy. It is all they have. So if you are not with “them” on what we think are the B issues, then you are a feminist and do not follow Jesus. That is why they cannot allow discussion. Their house of cards will fall. They cannot contend for their beliefs. So best to censure quickly and call it divisive and arguing. Trot out some prooftexting to back it up. See? You are more Holy and Pious. It works.

  114. Oh, and concerning women who fiercely defend their own oppression in the form of Patriarchy…
    Can anyone say Stockholm Syndrome?

  115. Thatmom,

    Wow. We posted our comments at the same time and both of us mentioned Mormons. The similarities – and the support of their teachings on patriarchy – ARE scary.

    You said that patriocentricity was birthed in the homeschooling community. In my circle, the fiercest defenders of patriarchy and neo-calvinism are my homeschool mom friends. The friend I mentioned in an above comment who attacked me for my concerns about Piper’s stance on domestic violence is/was a homeschooler. (Two of her children are now grown.)

    However, I’m also seeing it now on a wider scale. As I said above, things are getting weirder.

    I’m anxious to check out your podcasts.

  116. Anon,

    I’m sorry that happened to you on the facebook forum. I can totally relate to your experience. They go on the attack when their system is questioned in any way.

  117. The article discusses Stockholm Syndrome in other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:
    •Abused Children
    •Battered/Abused Women
    •Prisoners of War
    •Cult Members
    •Incest Victims
    •Criminal Hostage Situations
    •Concentration Camp Prisoners
    •Controlling/Intimidating Relationships

  118. So much to say, so little time!

    Piper says, “God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as…male.”

    John Piper is assigning gender to God? And he is arguing that one gender over the other should predominate and characterize the church?

    This is inaccurate, irresponsibile and reckless theology.

    It is apparent to me that John Piper doesn’t understand sin’s corruption, and the effect it has had on our relationship to God and between ourselves as men and women, husbands and wives.

    The Old Covenant period was a time of preparation for what was to be fulfilled and revealed in Christ and I do not believe we are to pattern our relationships with one another as Christians based upon anything found in the law. Patriarchy or male hierarchy is a

  119. Anon 6:27

    Once again, we have a group of women who are sticking their fingers in their ears and going la la la, I won’t hear you.They are insecure women who do not stand the courage of their convictions. And they are the reason why driscoll, et al get away with it.

  120. So much to say, so little time!

    Piper says, “God revealed Himself in the Bible pervasively as…male.”

    John Piper is assigning gender to God? And he is arguing that one gender over the other should predominate and characterize the christian church?

    That is inaccurate, irresponsibile and reckless theology.

    It is apparent to me that John Piper doesn’t the full extent of sin’s corruption, and the effect it has had on our relationships between ourselves as men and women.

    The Old Covenant period was a time of preparation for what was to be fulfilled and revealed in Christ and we are not to pattern our relationships with one another as Christians based upon it! Patriarchy or male hierarchy has been completely abolished in Christ! There should be no effort to promote gender superiority, gender preference, or gender rulership within New Covenant communities. To do so is to promote sin!

    Simply put, John Piper is promoting a falsified gospel. Jesus Christ destroyed the power of sin which resulted in ruler/subject relationships between the sexes. John Piper, in what he’s saying, is not laboring to abolish sin but is encouraging its presence among believers.

    The New Order, which Christ established, abolished the division between the sexes, between nationalities, and between religions. Provisions were made out of necessity to accommodate the effects of sin during the time of the Old Covenant (O.T. divorce legislation is just one example) but the will of God is something progressive and continues to be worked out among us in the church. But for Piper to preaching this kind of thing does nothing to further the gospel. His message is detrimental to the cause of Christ!

    John Piper, John Piper, it is hard to kick against the goads.

  121. Dee said, “Piper bashing? I thought the post was pretty tame…”

    It certainly appears that some of your commentors have been in full Piper-bashing mode.

    I haven’t seen you disagreeing with them.

  122. There’s an old saying to the effect that when someone says “I see your point of view”, they’re really seeing “I’m seeing your point of view from MY point of view”. I think that’s true with what John Piper said. And, as he hasn’t actually been a woman, then he’d have to accept the validity of the thought that women might see Christianity as having a decidedly feminine feel.

    That would indicate, to me, that both views are not Spiritual, but fleshly. If we really did see with Spiritual eyes, I think we’d have to agree with Wade Burleson.

  123. Dee,

    No harm no foul. I was only injecting humour into the fact that I am indeed a liberal lefty. Please don’t think that it meant anything to you personally. In fact your blog has a level of tolerance for liberals such as myself not found anywhere else. I would have been thrown out on my ass long ago had it been anywhere else.

    May your tribe increase, and may your blog help free others, both men and women from brutal religious regimes no matter what name and rhetoric they couch themselves in.

  124. Jimmy:

    You said:”Dee said, “Piper bashing? I thought the post was pretty tame…”

    It certainly appears that some of your commentors have been in full Piper-bashing mode.

    I haven’t seen you disagreeing with them.”

    I really do not think you know what bashing is. But nice deflection.

  125. Jimmy –

    Being at odds with what Piper teachers is not the same as Piper bashing. Bashing him would entail saying untrue and unkind things about him personnally. We are, for the most part, speaking of his teachings and the effects they have on women, men, and families. It effects everyone who buys into it who then treat others according to these beliefs.

    You act as if men can teach publicly, but then no one can assess those teachings publicly. Why would that be the case? Do preachers have some special entitlement which means their teachings to the Church cannot be discussed? If you think so, then why did Paul commend the Bereans?

    I’m beginning to think, because of your own comments here and on other sites, that you hold certain men on a pedestal. You might want to think about that, Jimmy. BTW – you did ignore me the other day, though you said you didn’t :)

  126. “Being at odds with what Piper teachers is not the same as Piper bashing”

    In their world, it is the same thing.

  127. Jimmy-

    Saying that Piper secretly enjoys re-runs of the Newhart Show or that Piper sucks at basketball, would be bashing….saying that you strongly disagree with his theology, is just that, strong disagreement.

    If you can’t see a distinction, then I’m not sure what else could be said.

  128. It occurs to me that Jesus liked the decidedly feminine environment of Mary’s womb without a “Male feel” from any man hence the virgin birth.

    So a bunch of circumcised Jewish men wrote the Bible, sin-nature comes to us through the 23rd paternal chromosome.

    Proof? Jesus was conceived and born without sin and the only thing He was missing genetically were His paternal chromosomes. The ones that are different from another are the sex chromosomes; See, the Father provided the complement of chromosomes to make Jesus diploid but here comes the problem. The maternal and paternal chromosomes 1-22 are essentially the same (not perfectly because of imprinting but bear with me) If sin-nature was on any other of the other chromosomes, it wouldn’t work because the Father wouldn’t provide something that was the same as the one that carried sin nature (lest one get mixed up with the other but Jesus was always completely without sin nature the only exception for this rule of paring identical locus (which gives variation due to crossing over) is the Y chromosome that is *normally* the carrier of sin nature but not in this case.

    If I’m wrong and sin-nature was carried on a maternal gene or paternal gene again, the only unpaired chromosome is the Y that makes a zygote on up genetically a male so the Father made Jesus male to ensure His sinless and untouched by sin state.

    Now, if that was a bunch of pompous nonsense and circular reasoning, it is no worse than Piper with his male feel in the church load. He reminds me of a tomcat raising its tail and spraying everything in its environment in a show of ownership while the cat likes its own stench, the real owner of all that stuff is losing patience.

  129. Here’s Piper bashing.

    “Piper looks like a scrawny, little man with something to prove. He also has a weasel look about him. He also uses far too many adjectives and too much flowery speech to try to make his horrible doctrine more palatable. He acts like he’s scared of his own shadow. The very thought of strong women make him want to wee uncontrollably, etc, etc, etc,…”

    Some of this is fact. Some is completely made up. I’m not going to tell Jimmy which is which. I’m just demonstrating what “bashing” really is because Jimmy is so clueless on what the term means.

    I do not intend to personally insult Piper in this manner again because I agree, it’s uncalled for, unchristian, and unnecessary. I prefer to point out the extreme error of his worthless obsession with making Christianity masculine by oppressing and marginalizing women.

  130. “Jesus came AND tore the veil that had separated “all mankind” from God since the Fall. I don’t think that this restoration was meant as only “partial” for women; as in women still need a covering, or a headship. This seems to infer that Jesus did an “INCOMPLETE” work on the cross! The female/male issue was a result of the Fall, not an issue before the Fall. Before the Fall they both stood before God naked and unashamed (no one covering anyone for anyone). Mutual submission for all!”

    Bridget2 — Oh, so this! How can one co-heir in the Kingdom be inferior to another? Essentially the patriarcists are saying, “All Spirit-led folks are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

  131. DB, about eleven years ago on the old Midrash I was part of a discussion where discussing why the Virgin Birth happened. Someone (very seriously) suggested that the sin nature is carried through the male line/Y chromosome and this was why the Virgin Birth had to happen. It might have been Driscoll that suggested that at one point.

    Well, someone piped in and came up with the following scenario.

    1. cloning that does not require any male input is devised
    2. A female is cloned from female tissue
    3. Said female grows up and gets a sex change to become a man
    4. Said man can then claim to be born sinless

    The resultant question was then “Who would agree that this man was born without a sin nature?” There were no takers.

  132. When Piper say God gave Christianity a masculine feel, I want to take a picture of a bride with white dress and veil, draw a mustache on her with permanent marker, and post that on my blog as answer to him.

    (If you don’t get it, Christianity is being “the bride of Christ”…)

  133. “But in recent years (in my circles at least), we’ve seen a much greater and wider scale push of patriarchy and male authoritarianism. Until the last 10 years or so, I hadn’t seen female militants quite like this. They now seem to have lost all rationale and compassion. Things have gotten more weird than ever.”

    Wendy — Fear, power and spiritual pride are a volatile mix that can lead to irrational behavior and dangerous consequences.

    I’m a veteran homeschool mom. I saw the dark clouds of dominionism on the horizon many years ago but considered it a fad that would soon blow over. I was very wrong.

    It is taking over our homeschool co-ops and our state homeschool associations, but anyone who thinks they’re safe because it’s isolated in the homeschooling community better think again. It’s seeping into our churches because its proponents are now targeting them. They are producing media and other products designed and marketed specifically to influence mainstream, non-homeschooling Christians.

    These believers’ fear of the world makes them just as vulnerable to this false gospel as the homeschoolers are, because it promises them what the true gospel doesn’t: power over their families, their nation and their world. Control supplants compassion, and your left with graceless ideologues willing to go to the mat for indefensible, unbiblical doctrine because it’s all that stands between them and their gutwrenching feeling of powerlessness.

    God have mercy on them. God have mercy on us all.

    “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” ~ Galatians 1:6-9

  134. Jenny,

    “These believers’ fear of the world makes them just as vulnerable to this false gospel as the homeschoolers are, because it promises them what the true gospel doesn’t: power over their families, their nation and their world.”

    Great explanation. Following certain formulas gives them the illusion of control over their families; buying into certain political propaganda gives them the illusion of control over their nation and world. This helps explain things that have intensified over the years on a wider scale.

  135. Jenny wrote:

    “It is taking over our homeschool co-ops and our state homeschool associations, but anyone who thinks they’re safe because it’s isolated in the homeschooling community better think again. It’s seeping into our churches because its proponents are now targeting them. They are producing media and other products designed and marketed specifically to influence mainstream, non-homeschooling Christians.”

    Thanks Jenny. I loved your comment. I know no homeschoolers, never homeschooled, and am not a dominion theology advocate, but I see that everywhere in churches…as you suggest. It’s in most of the nearby churches close to our home. You are right. We steer clear of them. It is amazing to me that the roots are fear of the world.
    What are we as Christians to fear? This world is not out home…

  136. Hey all…

    Speaking about Grudem… He is sharing his wisdom today, Sat., via Justin Taylor at TGC.

    “Complementarian Decision-Making as a Couple”
    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/

    “…. Even though there will often be much discussion and there should be mutual respect and consideration of each other, ultimately the responsibility to make the decision rests with the husband. And so, in our marriage the responsibility to make the decision rests with me.

    This is not because I am a wiser or more gifted leader. It is because I am the husband. God has given me that responsibility. It is very good. It brings peace and joy to our marriage, and both Margaret and I are thankful for it.”

    …”The biblical ideal is loving, humble headship and joyful, intelligent submission.”

    Wow! Now promoting -.”Joyful, Intelligent Submission.” Sounds irresistible…

    Thought some folks might like to reply. And advance the conversation. ;-)

  137. A. Amos, no matter how many nice and clever adjectives they use and no matter how much spin and Christian fairy dust they want to sprinkle on it, it is still, altogether, a “sucks to be you” gospel.

  138. deb, only if I can change the locations and dates.

    Where I live there is still a great deal of “shunning” for errant Southern Baptists that have gone to greener fields.

    Feel free to e mail and we can discuss further.

  139. “God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel. He has ordained for the church a masculine ministry.”

    If “God Hath Ordained a Masculine Ministry”, why hasn’t he recited the Shahada and started bowing to Mecca five times a day?

    Because if you want a Masculine Ministry (TM), Islam will always be able to one-up you in the Hypermasculinity department.

  140. Where I live there is still a great deal of “shunning” for errant Southern Baptists that have gone to greener fields. — Linda

    “SHUN THE UNBELIEVER!!!
    SHUUUUN!!!!! SHUUUUNNNNN!!!”
    — Charlie the Unicorn

  141. DB & Wenatchee,

    I’ve heard and read endless sermons and tomes on an elusive and mystical quantity inherited from Adam. It is known in the trade (religion) as “sin nature”. What about an inherited divine nature? Any takers? Or am I the only one here who believes such?

  142. Mara –

    Did you see #26 on the Vision Forum site? Very condescending in a “biblical” way of course. If you have a different perspective you are less sanctified and not as mature in the faith.

  143. Muff, atheists would jocularly suggest that the divine nature is the same thing to by what the people made in God’s image regularly do.

  144. “I’ve heard and read endless sermons and tomes on an elusive and mystical quantity inherited from Adam. It is known in the trade (religion) as “sin nature”. What about an inherited divine nature? Any takers? Or am I the only one here who believes such?”

    Muff, I think this topic deserves a full airing. There are huge problems with an “inherited sin nature”. We are born into corrupted bodies and into a corrupted world, though. But this “inherited sin nature” and total depravity needs a good analytical airing. It is giving too many celebrity Christians reasons to be thugs after claiming they are born again.

  145. “Because if you want a Masculine Ministry (TM), Islam will always be able to one-up you in the Hypermasculinity department.”

    HUG: Islam has the same sort of “determinist” God that New Calvinism has. Seriously, if you added burquas and beheadings to some of the articles over at CBMW, there really is not that much difference when you strip away such things. Women are there for breeding, making the husband happy, helping his career along and pleasure sex. Those are her “roles”. Pretty much like Islam except our guys are only allowed ONE.

    But didn’t Matt Chandler say his wife could be any girl?

  146. Jimmy, you claimed that all the books in the Bible were written by men. Starting right at the beginning, who wrote Genesis?

    (Bible scholars do not know.)

    If you cannot answer, how do you know it was a male?

  147. Mara — Thanks for posting Vision Forum’s “Tenets of Biblical Patriarchy”. Folks should browse around their site to get an idea of just what they’re about, because they’re one of the leading ministries trying to take dominionism mainstream.

  148. Seriously, if you added burquas and beheadings to some of the articles over at CBMW, there really is not that much difference when you strip away such things. Women are there for breeding, making the husband happy, helping his career along and pleasure sex. Those are her “roles”. Pretty much like Islam except our guys are only allowed ONE. — Anon1

    So why are these guys sticking with Jesus when they could get it even more by going with Mohammed? Why are they drinking it watered-down when they could be having it straight on the rocks?

  149. HUG, I suppose we could ask the Mormons the same thing? I suppose it is all those IMAM’s and terrorists would not let them be leaders?

  150. “I meet with 2 friends once a week – sometimes only one friend is there. We focus on God, we read some bible, insights are shared, we pray for many things, we pray for each other. We have quite a spiritual garden growing.

    It is powerful. God shows up. It is spiritually intense. It is more nourishing and strengthening than any “church” thing. But, then again, we 2 or 3 friends and God ARE church. We are ekklesia.”

    Beautiful Elastigirl!

    Anybody read “Rocking the Roles of Marriage”? Just wonderin’ on thoughts about the authors thoughts about the roles of men and women?

    PS I homeschool and was completely horrified about Vision Forum Ministries! We’ve gone amazing lengths for women in this country to have the Christian church make women second class citizens again. Read “Abigail Adams: A Witness to a Revolution.” Now there was a woman for her time!

  151. Um… that sentence about second class citizens… a little awkward… Let’s just say it would be a sad day for the Christian Church to make women second class citizens again!

  152. Queen Momma
    My daughter, Abigail, was named after Abigail Adams.I wanted her to have wonderful role model. Have you ever read The Letters of Abigail and John? It is a collection of their actual letters to one another. My favorite line? “John, remember the ladies.” (When he became President.)

  153. Awesome! No, I haven’t. The book I’m talking about is actually based on their letters. It’s in story form with a ton of quotes from that actual letters.

  154. Moniker
    I loved that Viola piece. We are the bride of Christ. Can Mark Driscoll serve in such a feminine role?

  155. Moniker,

    Thanks for sharing the Viola response to Piper’s claim that Christianity has a ‘masculine’ feel. I’m so glad some rational men are speaking out.