Memo to Mars Hill: The Suppression of Church Women Is Not the Cure For the Feminization of Church Men

"Mars Hill men, you had better wake up. A revolution is taking place. Women in your church are waking up to the biblical truth that they are created as much in the image of God as you are. They are realizing they possess the same gifts of the Spirit as you men. They are arousing to the knowledge that when half the body is suppressed, you have as much of a dysfunctional church as when men act like women. Go ahead, Mars Hill men, and act like men."Wade Burleson

Guest Post by Wade Burleson

About two years ago two young married men expressed to me their desire to uproot their families from Enid, Oklahoma and move to Seattle, Washington to be a part of the ministry of Mars Hill. Though I was familiar with Mark Driscoll, I was curious why these young family men felt the need to relocate. The reason they gave me was an eye opener. "We want to be some place where the masculinity of God is emphasized in the home, in church, and in leadership." These two men have since left Emmanuel Enid with their families. Their wives have little or no say in family matters or financial decisions. For example, each man has taken a stand against inoculating their children and no amount of objections from mom is sufficient to reverse this patriarchal decision to prevent childhood disease by faith rather than shots. Dad's word is law in the same manner God's Word is law, for the man is in the image of God. Woman is made from man, and her only protection is to obey the man as if she were obeying God. It would seem self-evident that major difficulties will one day arise if this kind of thinking regarding male authority and female subordination persists in any family–much less any church.

I went back yesterday and listened to a young Mark Driscoll as he preached a message twelve years ago entitled Men and Masculinity. In this bizarre sermon, Mark recounts how as a lost person he never wanted to become a Christian because the only Christians he knew were "feminine men," known for their gentleness and tenderness. Then, after conversion, Mark realized that the feminization of men was not biblical. According to Mark, "Jesus is a man, not a woman. All sixty-six books of the Bible are written by men, not by women. God is our Father, not our Mother. Jesus is our Brother, not our Sister. Jesus came as a Warrior to bring down the enemies of God. Christianity is a masculine religion." Mark was too young at the time to come up with this dogma on his own. I blame John Piper, Bruce Ware and a handful of other evangelical systematic complementarian theologians who gave to Mark Driscoll his warped views regarding God's masculinity and male authority through the sermons they have preached and the books they have written.  The biblical text reveals something far different about God. Sadly, under the leadership of Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill has become a cathedral of male worship. Because of this, Mars Hill Church is in danger of reflecting more the authoritarianism of cultism than the equality of Christianity.

Today I read the incredibly tortuous account of the firing of Mars Hill pastor Paul Petry. Interestingly, it was Paul's wife, Jonna Petry, who wrote the compelling narrative that describes the spiritual abuse she and her husband endured at Mars Hill. Not wanting to solely take the Petrys at their word, I read through every single Mars Hill document that the Petrys provided on their blog in factual support of their account. I read the new By-Laws of Mars Hill (see page 112). Only males compose the church's legal standing. Only males vote on church business. Only males serve on leadership teams. Only males determine pastoral salaries. Only males convene for business meetings. Only males determine matters related to the church. Only males are the true members of the church. Females, for the sake of 'spiritual standing,' can be called 'members' and have access to the church's website, but females cannot be, in any form or fashion, in leadership at Mars Hill or considered as people with legal or moral authority.

Unless something changes at Mars Hill in the near future the church is going to implode. The cure for the perceived feminization of church men is never the suppression of church women. Instead of disciplining Jonna Petry for calling other women to prayer under the guise that she was attempting to subvert Pastor Mark's authority, Mars Hill should have asked Jonna Petry to be part of your leadership team and write the response to the hundreds of questions you have received about the growing lack of transparency and distrust of the all male leadership of Mars Hill. Jonna is obviously gifted with superb writing skills, and she would have done a much better job of communicating your message to the church than your male elders did. But, of course, Jonna Petry and other gifted women are to follow, not lead. Mars Hill men, you had better wake up. A revolution is taking place. Women in your church are waking up to the biblical truth that they are created as much in the image of God as you are. They are realizing they possess the same gifts of the Spirit as you men. They are arousing to the knowledge that when half the body is suppressed, you have as much of a dysfunctional church as when men act like women. Go ahead, Mars Hill men, and act like men. Just don't make the mistake of suppressing the women who are the only ones right now that might have the ability to keep your church from imploding.

Finally, if my friends who left Emmanuel Enid are reading this post, please know of my love for you. Because of that love I urge you to be willing to follow the leadership and wisdom of your wives. They have much to offer. By the way, they have already expressed their willingness to listen to  your wisdom and follow your leadership as well! Now it's your turn. Christianity is mutual love and mutual leadership. God calls us to be servants of one another, not masters over anyone. It's the way He intends (Matthew 23:8-11).

Lydia's Corner:  Jeremiah 37:1-38:28   1 Timothy 6:1-21   Psalm 89:38-52   Proverbs 25:28

Comments

Memo to Mars Hill: The Suppression of Church Women Is Not the Cure For the Feminization of Church Men — 146 Comments

  1. Pingback: On faith and vaccinations | Civil Commotion

  2. Wade,

    Thank you for granting us permission to publish your excellent post here at TWW.

    I want to encourage young Christian men to look to you as their spiritual mentor. They have no idea the fulfillment (in ALL ways) that awaits them if they treat their wives in the manner you prescribe. Mutual submission in marriage brings pleasure and joy beyond words to both the husband and wife.

    I am praying for their spiritual discernment.

  3. Eagle,

    I wholeheartedly agree with you! Regarding how these guys are pushed by college ministries like Campus Crusade, I can testify to that! When my older daughter took on a leadership role in her Campus Crusade group, she attended a leadership retreat prior to the start of the school year. The requirement for attending that retreat was to read Driscoll’s book Radical Reformission.

    That was the summer before Driscoll came to UNC to deliver his “Naked and Unashamed” schtick. :-( :-( :-(

    Furthermore, based on my understanding, most of the speakers who come and address Campus Crusade groups are complementarian. I am very concerned about these trends.

  4. Unless something has significantly changed (and I don’t think it has in this regard), I would not lump IVCF in with the other groups listed. I was on staff with InterVarsity over fifteen years ago and even then women were free to do everything that the men were. It is a very egalitarian organization.

    That said, I am not as plugged in as I once was and I have seen other things coming out of IV that concern me. But they are as egal as they come with women teaching and leading freely.

  5. Sallie,

    I think you’re right. One of my daughter’s friends (whose dad is a professor at SEBTS and connected with CBMW) was involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at UNC. He ended up leaving the IV group and joining the Campus Crusade group because they were “complementarian”, unlike IVCF. I have spent some time on the InterVarsity website, and if memory serves me correctly, they are “egalitarian”.

  6. Sallie,

    I just read your post about Mark Driscoll, and I want to share the link and your conclusion here.

    Macho men and dudes are the key to the future of the church

    “There is a huge shift going on amongst the most vocal complementarians. It is profound. I don’t think this has trickled down yet into most of the mainstream complementarians which is what I would consider most of the comps with whom I interact. But the leadership in this area is changing the debate, changing the parameters, and redefining the terms. I really do believe we are heading toward the point where your views on men and women’s roles will be used by many Christians to determine if you are actually a true Christian. Confessing your faith in Christ will not be enough for them. Think I’m exaggerating? I ‘m not.”

  7. Deb/Sallie:

    I also agree that some are going to try and use people’s views about women’s role in the Church as to whether they are Christian or not just as when some used inerrancy to do the very same thing to try and paint those who did not or would not say they believed in inerrancy as those who do not believe the Bible.

    It will be ugly.

  8. Mot,

    I am SO GRATEFUL that I married an egalitarian husband!!!

    Back when complementarianism first became a buzzword in the SBC, I tried to embrace it. I was faithfully listening to Adrian Rogers during those years (from 1988 on) and believing that complementariamism was “biblical”. While I still have great respect for the ministry of Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers, I now see the fruit of complementarianism, and it is ROTTEN! I have since become extremely disappointed by how involved Rogers was in the Danvers Statement, BFM2000, etc.

    My hubby and I were washing dishes together several weeks ago, and he reminded me that he has been the primary influence in my life regarding egalitarianism. He has never swayed from his stance of mutual submission. I will forever be grateful to him and wish others could experience the joy that we have as husband and wife. I am so blessed!

  9. Deb:

    What I and I am sure others find interesting is that Ephesians 5:25 which states: 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” has been removed from the Bibles of those that hold to this strict authoritarianism as it relates to women. (Tongue planted firmly in cheek)

  10. Mot,

    Although I don’t care for the English Standard Version (and will never buy that translation), here is the Ephesians verse you mentioned:

    25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her”

  11. Deb:

    How can folks not understand what that verse is saying about the relationship between husbands and wives. It seems very clear to me what that verse is saying.

  12. Deb

    I am such a rebel!

    Even though I personally know one the translators of the ESV, I don’t use it because the Calvinistas insist we should use it. Just to get under everybody’s theological skin, I continue to use the NIV. It has served me well through the years.

    My motto: I don’t care what version you use, just use it!

  13. Deb/Sallie:

    In other words, MALE SUPREMACIST = CHRISTIAN (TM).

    Just like YOUNG EARTH CREATIONISM = CHRISTIAN.

    Just like RUSH LIMBAUGH REPUBLICAN = CHRISTIAN.

    Welcome to The Handmaid’s Tale. “GOD HATH SAID!!!!”

  14. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but in the guys Q & A session some people were asking questions about the girlfriend submitting to their boyfriend in preparation for marriage. — Eagle

    If that includes “submitting” sexually, nice racket.

  15. Eagle,

    Yes, I am planning to investigate Campus Crusade and InterVarsity.

    I have already started my research. Here are recent speakers who addressed the NCSU Campus Crusade group that my younger daughter attends:

    08.25.2011 JD Greear (Topic: Gospel)

    11.03.2011 Thabiti Anyabwile (Topic: Philemon 1:6)

    02.02.2012 Tony Merida (Topic: Biblical Love)

    J.D. Greear pastors The Summit – an Acts 29 church – which attracts many of the local college students from UNC, NCSU, and maybe Duke! Sadly, that’s a very BIG maybe…

    Both of my daughters attend The Summit, and this is what greatly concerns me –> Greear is a breakout speaker at the upcoming Together for the Gospel conference. Yep, he’ll be schmoozing with Mahaney, Mohler & Co.

    Thabiti Anyabwile is Mark Dever’s ‘disciple’. He has a degree from NCSU if memory serves.

    Tony Merida is a professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Over at UNC, most of the weekly talks are given by the Campus Crusade leader. My daughter liked him a lot! J.D. Greear is a regular speaker there as well, and he spoke at UNC twice last fall (is it any wonder lots of the students attend his church which is just a few miles away?)

    09.22.2011 JD Greear (Topic: Fear-1 John 4:18)

    11.09.2011 JD Greear (Topic: Kvetching Christianity)

    Here are the recommended books for UNC Cornerstone.

    I look forward to investigating this further.

  16. Eagle,

    When my daughter started attending UNC Cornerstone in the fall of 2007, I was overjoyed! I had no clue that all of this was going on underneath the surface in Christendom. Just a year later Dee and I started our research. I am thankful that she did not get sucked into the complementarian vortex and as far as I can tell escaped unscathed. Now I am sharing this information with my younger daughter. She has even helped me choose some songs for our EChurch. May God protect them…

  17. Eagle,

    Now I’m getting sick to my stomach. Here is an excerpt from the link you provided:

    CRU Doctrine

    “Throughout these modules, you will see videos from some prominent Christian leaders – men like Al Mohler, CJ Mahaney, Chip Ingram, Mark Driscoll, Josh Harris, John Piper, and Tim Keller. Of course, we don’t endorse everything that these guys hold to. But, they would gladly agree to our statement of faith.

    So much of this content follows was adapted from two main sources:

    Wayne Grudem’s book Bible Doctrine. You will see him quoted throughout. And truly, this study couldn’t have been written in the three months it took to write it without his help in this book.

    The ESV Study Bible provided quotes and great charts to help see the ideas presented.”

    :-( :-( :-( :-( :-( :-(

    Wish I had the PUKE symbol from SGM Survivors!

    “So much of this content follows was adapted from two main sources:” <— What?!!!

    LET ME BE PATENTLY CLEAR – THE ABOVE EXCERPT FROM “CRU DOCTRINE” IS STRAIGHT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION!!! “© 2009 – 2012 Campus Crusade for Christ International. All rights reserved.”

    I am SHOCKED at their poor editing skills…

    Eagle, now you’ve gone and done it.

    My tirade against Campus Crusade (I mean “CRU”) begins…

  18. Sallie said —

    “…But the leadership in this area is changing the debate, changing the parameters, and redefining the terms. I really do believe we are heading toward the point where your views on men and women’s roles will be used by many Christians to determine if you are actually a true Christian. Confessing your faith in Christ will not be enough for them. Think I’m exaggerating? I ‘m not.”

    …all the more reason to get out.

    I have that feeling I had when I watched Spiderman being covered inch by inch by that black “skin” of identity as it crawled onto him, a dark invader taking over who he was.

  19. I always thought I was complementarian. I based that on the fact that I wanted to emulate my parents’ relationship. They are Christians and when it came to decisions, I never saw my father arbitrarily decide to go over my mother and make statements like “this is the best decision for our family” without talking with my mother.

    Now that I see what complementarianism is, I guess I am not one nor were my parents. I am trying to figure out what is wrong with a woman respecting her husband, and that husband loving her in return. When those two actions coincide in a marriage, why would the husband not consult his wife? At that point aren’t they wanting to “complement” each other? Aren’t they wanting what is best for one another?

    My husband and I have disagreements on how to do things but neither one of us willy nilly make a decision that involves both of us without consulting the other one. Honestly, this past year my husband has been really gracious toward me as I worked three different jobs. It is a temporary thing and we have had disagreements but, I think I just realized that in MD’s world, my husband is a girly, pansy man and I am possibly Jezebel.

    What does someone do if they aren’t on board with women as pastors but they aren’t on board with patriarchy either? In the calvinista world you are either with them or you are a left wing hippie that believes in reincarnation:)

  20. When I was on the fringe of Campus Crusade in the Seventies, I noticed a lot of variation in local chapters. From 1975 to 1978, I was going to college at Cal Poly Pomona, and every Saturday playing D&D at the other end of Brea Canyon, Cal State Fullerton.

    Cal Poly Pomona’s CCC was fairly mellow despite the Amway atmosphere & tunnel vision on “saving souls”, and even had a large influx of gamers in the last year I was there (where do you think I first heard of the game “Killer”?)

    However, Cal State Fullerton’s was heavily into the Satanic Panic, always trying to get us SAY-TANN-IC gamers in trouble, casting Spiritual Warfare hexes on us after the campus cops took our side, and generally acting like the “Take Back Our Christian Nation” Talibani.

    How much of that individual variation still exists, or these days are they all toeing the Party Line from HQ/Flag? Has there been a hostile takeover/coup?

  21. Although I don’t care for the English Standard Version (and will never buy that translation)… — Deb

    I assume the ESV is the new KJV, i.e. dictated word-for-word by God and dropped complete out of Heaven just like the Koran?

  22. Eagle,

    I am absolutely disgusted by those books on CRU’s recommended reading list!

    I feel a post coming on…

  23. Re Eph 5:25 translations– beating dead horse here– Piper translation: “Husbands, lead your wives, as Christ led the church…”

  24. Dave AA:

    You said:”Re Eph 5:25 translations– beating dead horse here– Piper translation: “Husbands, lead your wives, as Christ led the church…”

    How is that not 100% twisting of the Holy Scriptures? It is shameful.

  25. Mohler, Piper, Dever, Mahaney, Duncan, MacArthur… Calvinists and Complementarians.

    So how do these men treat their wives?

  26. ROBIN:

    I have a new trademarked term:

    I am “EGALIMENTARIAN”. :)

    I fall right where you do, not sure about women pastors but NOT MD & Piper’s complementarian. I cannot even call myself that because they have taken over the term to me something evil and oppressive.

    I stay home with kids, I don’t work, we have traditional roles…BUT we CHOSE them, because I wanted this. And from my experience, I would say if I would have said at MH that I thought differently, it would have been considered a “err in doctrine” which, according to the bylaws, is an offense worthy of church discipline.

  27. Jimmy:

    You said:”Mohler, Piper, Dever, Mahaney, Duncun, McArthur… Calvinists and Complementarians.

    So how do these men treat their wives?”

    Once again–your point is???

  28. Jimmy,

    Since you asked about your idols’ marriages —

    John Piper to Take Leave to Reexamine Soul

    The break from ministry will also serve as a period for him to work on his marriage to his wife of 41 years.

    The couple is “rock solid” in commitment to each other, he stressed, and there is “no whiff of unfaithfulness on either side.” However, Piper said the term “rock solid” is not always an emotionally satisfying metaphor.

    “The precious garden of my home needs tending,” he told his congregation.

    “I want to say … to you, Noel, that I want you to feel precious, precious over the ministry.”

  29. “So let me cast a little vision for you that I’m really excited about. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about and working on and delegating out and we’ve started mobilizing toward. We’re calling it Mars Hill Kids. It won’t happen immediately, it’s going to take some time. But what I want to do is I want to start preparing our children for ministry at age two…We already have tight security and security guards making sure all the kids are fine…The curriculum that this will based on is based off the “Doctrine” book, which we use for church membership. Dr. Gerry Breshears and I wrote it…And also out of this too, ultimately I’d like to see a kids’ Bible with Mars Hill illustrators, kind of cool, dark, a lot of the bloody Old Testament stories so the boys will like it too. We’re gonna do it Mars Hill style.”

    http://marshill.com/files/2011/05/22/20110522_jesus-and-children_en_transcript.pdf

    “Cool, dark”?

    Dark?

  30. To be fair to Piper, he doesn’t use the twisted Eph 5:25 in the 2007 article Deb linked.

    But in the original book, http://www.desiringgod.org/dg/id171_m.htm sold for over 25 years and never revised, he did.

    Husbands, seek your joy in the joy of your wife by accepting the responsibility to lead as Christ led the church and gave himself for her.

  31. Jimmy –

    They probably all “treat” their wives kindly, but they believe that they have the “God-given” RIGHT ” to make decisions about major issues that effect their wife and family without their wife’s agreement on the matter. It has nothing to so with how “well” they treat their wives.

    You mentioned yourself how stubborn you were/are? How do you think that plays out in families with opinionated stubborn men who think they have the RIGHT? These same men are encouraged to be manly and don’t be a sissy by freakin’ leaders in books and at conferences. They are not taught to love as Christ loved. They are taught to love by “being the head,” instead of by submitting one to another and as Christ gave his life for the Church.

    When you look at the men that MD attracts do they need the message that MD is conveying? Don’t they really need to hear about the love of Christ as portrayed by Christ? A man who loved women without objectifying them. A man who spoke to them, healed them, walked and talked WITH them and not AT them. A man who let a strange, sinning woman give him water at a well. A man who wasn’t afraid of women. A man who didn’t tell women to get married and go have babies or else go submit to your church leaders as if they are your father.

    Also, Jesus didn’t think that every woman who approached him was trying to entice him or would cause him to stumble.

    Jesus did not treat or act toward women the way many of these men do!

  32. I apologize for my part in getting us off track on this thread. In order to focus on Wade’s MEMO to Mars Hill and Mark Driscoll, here are my favorite parts of the post:

    “According to Mark, “Jesus is a man, not a woman. All sixty-six books of the Bible are written by men, not by women. God is our Father, not our Mother. Jesus is our Brother, not our Sister. Jesus came as a Warrior to bring down the enemies of God. Christianity is a masculine religion.” Mark was too young at the time to come up with this dogma on his own. I blame John Piper, Bruce Ware and a handful of other evangelical systematic complementarian theologians who gave to Mark Driscoll his warped views regarding God’s masculinity and male authority through the sermons they have preached and the books they have written. The biblical text reveals something far different about God. Sadly, under the leadership of Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill has become a cathedral of male worship. Because of this, Mars Hill Church is in danger of reflecting more the authoritarianism of cultism than the equality of Christianity.”

    “Unless something changes at Mars Hill in the near future the church is going to implode. The cure for the perceived feminization of church men is never the suppression of church women.”

    “Women in your church are waking up to the biblical truth that they are created as much in the image of God as you are. They are realizing they possess the same gifts of the Spirit as you men. They are arousing to the knowledge that when half the body is suppressed, you have as much of a dysfunctional church as when men act like women. Go ahead, Mars Hill men, and act like men. Just don’t make the mistake of suppressing the women who are the only ones right now that might have the ability to keep your church from imploding.”

  33. Ted –

    The Mars Hill children’s stuff is scary. “I’m” going to do it the Mars Hill style — because why? They can teach two year-old boys how to be a “head” over little girls? I wouldn’t want my kids anywhere near that place. He really thinks the Mars Hill style of doing things will save the little boys? Wow!

  34. I’ve recently (more or less) left a Reformed and Presbyterian Church that taught complementarianism as foundational doctrine. In fact, Susan Hunt’s books, “Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women”, “By Design: God’s Distinctive Calling for Women” and “Leadership for Women in the Church” are pretty foundational for all women’s ministries in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). And I haven’t even begun to mention Doug and Nancy Wilson and (their) his views on Federal headship, covenant theology, marriage, et cetera.

    After 30 years of wandering through the Evangelical wilderness of PCA and OPC Churches, I’d left. Totally. Or so I thought. Yet God had one more thing for me to endure. After my first Husband, an Elder, died and I remarried, my second Husband was far more comfortable in Evangelicalism. So having been well-trained in submissiveness, I found myself, again, in a PCA church. My new Husband was appointed to be an Elder. After the requisite training, which included Tim Keller, Ken Sande, and others mentioned above, we, as a couple, are invited to meet the Session (the body of Teaching and Ruling Elders) for what is, generally, a formality. I’ve done this before, am well-versed in Reformed and Presbyterian doctrine and polity, and had spent years reading and understanding the Book of Church Order as well as the so-called Secondary Standards.

    Boy. Was I surprised. Right out of the box, the tone was adversarial and belligerent. Not towards my Husband but towards me! I was completely taken aback! My first experience of this sort of Elder interview had been at this Church 17 years previously and it was quiet, prayerful, and purposed to ask me but one question: did I understand my Husband’s calling and did I support him? So that was what I was expecting. Without going into a lot of details, our first time with this church became problematic, so we quietly left. But, as I said, that was 17 years and 3 Pastors ago. Anyway, here we were…new Pastor, mostly new Elders, new Husband, no less…but the questions directed towards me were about complmentarianism. Did I understand this doctrine? Then explain it… Which I quietly did. In the middle of my explanation, the Pastor finally broke in to explain that the Session had decided not to ask me doctrinal questions. But that didn’t stop three more Elders from literally hounding me about this point of doctrine: was I prepared to submit to my Husband? If so, how was I going to model that to the younger women (a la Titus 2) within the body? What did I know of Reformed doctrine? Was I wiling to show through my life that I understood it in its fullest?

    By this time, I was answering, again, quietly, and I was beginning to couch my terms in a scholastic way, using names and words I hadn’t used except in limited circles of friends: Cornelius Van Til, Lorainne Boettner, presuppositionalism, the New Paul, federal headship, and so on, and so forth… Finally, my Husband intervened and stopped it. It had been half an hour of HIS interview! At the end of the day, one Elder said, frankly, he didn’t trust me (!) and decided my Husband wasn’t an Elder candidate (even though my Husband is a full-time, second-career missionary within the denomination, working in Haiti). Several of the Elders were in shock at my treatment, but said nothing. Later, one Elder resigned over how we were handled. Within six months we left the church, very quietly, after having been out of town for 5 weeks for our Daughter’s Wedding. Only two Elders out of 15 called us to apologize afterwards. The Pastor was not one of them. And the church ended their financial support of us…without letting us know.

    Since that time, as we have kept in touch with friends, the church has become more authoritarian, more legalistic. The Music Minister had his life made so very miserable, he quit, and after 15 years there…as have several other staff members and a couple of deacons. We pray constantly for the people left there; that God would have mercy; that the Pastor, who is spiritually abusive, at best, would be exposed and would accept the healing only Christ can give.

    Complementarianism has been a cornerstone of Reformed doctrine for centuries. It has become more codified with the inception of viable women’s ministries since the 80s and 90s…and, to borrow a line from Steve Brown, it is a lie, it’s from the pit of hell, and it smells like smoke. I’ve seen, first-hand, too many abused women, cowed children, and failure-to-thrive toddlers to imagine for a minute this is God’s Plan for a healthy home. I used to catch my breath when, from the pulpit, the philosophy of ministry was explained: to pitch the teaching to the “head of the households” (the men) so they could go home and teach their families. I remember asking, in my OPC Church, after my Husband died, “What does that make me? Are you refusing to teach me? or am I considered a head of my household now?” And the Elders assured me that they would take over responsibility for me in my Husband absence; I had nothing to worry about. (!!!)

    As I said above, I am no longer an Evangelical. I have found a different way. Glory to God for all things! Yet I grieve over that which has befallen the Evangelical church; the deception, the false teaching, the abuse. And I applaud sites like this that openly discuss the problems within the church, the suffering of those who have fallen victim to the wiles of the Evil One.

  35. Laura
    Wow! What a testimony about the serious problems with this “complementarianism” push. The moment you mentioned Doug Wilson, my stomach sank. How this man is accepted by supposedly educated men is beyond me. Guess they really, really like his bizarre teachings on patriarchy and federal headship. It makes wussy men suddenly feel powerful.

    Yes, I have heard that in some churches they are now appointing elders to “lead” the widows and make decisions for them as well as some single ladies. They believe that women have no ability to make decisions without a man in her life. You see, the Temple curtain got torn only for men. The women are still relegated to the Court of Women.

    I do not blame you for getting out. I am grateful that your husband agreed to leave with you. Some men refuse, liking their new roles at the “head” of the household. For many of these men, it is the first time they have ever been the head of anything.

    I am so sorry for you trials. Thank you for your willingness to share you struggle with us. I know it will resonate with many of our readers. I believe you represent the tip of the iceberg. There are many people leaving current evangelical/Calvinista churches over similar issues. As I have said, this generation of evangelicals and Calvinistas will be known, not for reaching out to the world but for contributing to one of the greatest mass exoduses in history. Consider that a “prophecy.”

  36. Laura,

    What an incredible testimony! We haven’t spent that much time looking into the PCA or OPC. Sounds like we need to!

    I hope you and your husband are being blessed by God. Sounds like you are.

  37. TedS
    Someone else sent this children’s deal to us. It is bizarre and very dark. There is a growing shadow which is dimming the “lights” of Driscoll & Co. I believe that Wade was correct in his assessment. This is a church heading for implosion. The only ones left will be those who must believe because their ego and security are tied up in the branding that is Mars Hill. Some people have a hard time admitting they made a mistake. This leads to cognitive dissonance. They can resolve it in one of two ways. Accept they made a mistake or go into overtime trying to defend their church.

    Just about everyone on this blog were members of kooky churches at one time or another (myself included). It is somehow very freeing to say, as I have, “I made a mistake. I’m human. Jesus can take that mistake and do something wonderful with it.” For me, it is this blog. For others it is a new mission and new friends. For others, they see Jesus more clearly. There is something wonderful to letting go of the darkness.

    But, for some, sadly, it is too hard to remove the ball and chain which is dragging them down. They have gotten used to weight.

  38. Mot
    Jimmy is not a troll but he can be a pain in the neck. I think, deep down inside, he finds us fascinating. I think there is an inner Jimmy longing to break free of his ball and chain. Keep pushing at him. He needs it.

  39. Jimmy
    No one knows how these men treat their wives – either positively or negatively. We all put on a good face around other Christians. I know of a well-known theologian (you have probably heard of him) from a well-known Baptists seminary. He was one of the leaders, wrote books, etc. He was an elder and all around role model. Problem is, he suddenly quit the seminary, told his wife he never loved her (after being married for years and having children), and moved away to teach in a secular “arts” type of college.

    So, unless I know something to the contrary, I do not know if these guys have good or bad marriages. How do I know how they treat their wives? And why should I believe that their marriages are good over bad? The same goes for you. I do not know if you are a supportive husband or an abusive husband. I would hope you are the former, but I cannot speak to the matter.

  40. Dear Dee and Deb,

    Thank you, and may God bless you for the important work you are doing here!

    Not only did my Husband also leave, he told me, on a particular Sunday morning, and in no uncertain terms, “You are not returning. You are done. This place is toxic, and I won’t have you further wounded here”. That was about one year ago. In the ensuing months, he came and went sporadically, especially as he travels a great deal in his work, and, after the Wedding trip in July/August, that was it. We had left.

    My Husband is great leader. But we lead together. We pray together, discuss together, decide together. His is a model of servant leadership. Mine is of respect due his position in our household as the priest in our home. We submit, mutually, not just as Husband and Wife, but as co-heirs in Christ.

    But I digress…

    Anytime you would like to explore more fully the PCA/OPC problems, let me know. If I can be of service, you have my email. God has blessed us richly and continues to do so.

    May God continue to bless the work of your hands…

    Laura

  41. Laura
    Consider writing a post on your experience. It could help others. Just work on it at your leisure and send it to our email.

  42. I heard the theologian who left his wife sing in chapel several times while his marriage was still intact.

  43. Thank you for the invitation.
    Eagle, thank you for the encouragement.
    I’ll be working on this…

    ;D

    Laura.

  44. Laura,

    You have rung the proverbial bell.

    I would LOVE for you to hook up with Dee and Wanda. Your story needs to be told to a wider audience.

    The codification of complementarianism by calvinistas is changing the contour of Christianity.

    :)

    For the worse.

  45. Eagle — “Maybe history is repeating itself because people don’t know it and can’t identify it. They don’t know the identification markings of a totalitarian state.”

    I tend to think “unity” is a spiritualized totalitarian state. Unity scares me. I used to be willing to pay a price for it — HA – no longer.

  46. Deb
    Correction: “When we thought it was intact.” He was the one who called me “bitter” when I got torqued about the pedophile situation.

  47. Wade,

    I’m impressed with your tongue twister and so grateful that you “get it”!

    “The codification of complementarianism by calvinistas is changing the contour of Christianity.”

  48. Dee,

    I remember it well. He was on one of those important “missions” trips in India and responded to your e-mail with the “B” word – bitter!

  49. Dee wrote:

    “…As I have said, this generation of evangelicals and Calvinistas will be known, not for reaching out to the world but for contributing to one of the greatest mass exoduses in history. Consider that a “prophecy.”…

    I don’t think they really care Dee. After all, their election was never sure anyway, it was God’s will from the foundation of the world, right? Let’em burn for all eternity, serves’em right. God’s perfect sovereignty and righteous judgement will be served, right?

  50. Dee said, “. I think there is an inner Jimmy longing to break free of his ball and chain.” ( Assuming you’re not referring to my wife, that’s a pretty funny line.)

    MOT: My simple point is this. There seems to be an assumption that Calvinists-complementarians must be bad husbands because of their orthodox doctrinal stand upon Scripture.

    But you look at Piper, Mahaney, Mohler, Dever — I’d bet the farm they treasure their wives and pay close attention to what they think and feel.

    These are men that treat their wives very, very well. We would absolutely know it if they didn’t. Their lives are so public people would know.

    As I posted before, if you’re a Calvinist or an Arminian and are a complementarian; you have a humongous obligation to your bride’s happiness and well-being. I simply don’t see the complementarians saying men should lord it over their wives.

    Mot, let’s not slander and libel any man because they’re a complementarian.
    That’s simply injust.

  51. The last I read, the “church” is referred to by God as the “bride.”
    Seems to me the Mars Hill elders and their Stepford wives exist because of one man’s insecurity and immaturity. Jesus did a lot to subvert the patriarchal society and was more of a feminist than MD is capable of acknowledging.
    MH Church elders, The Christian Taliban?

  52. Jimmy – There are *so* many wrong assumptions in your most recent post that I don’t even know where to begin.

    But I’ll drop a big hint: you seem uneducated about the realities of domestic abuse.

  53. I’d be thinking your wrong numo; I’m not unaware of domestic abuse.

    I am very aware of gender differences; often quite a vast chasm between men and women and how they perceive things.

    Of course radical feminism sees all men as potential abusers.

  54. Wade wrote:
    “The cure for the perceived feminization of church men is never the suppression of church women.”

    So well said. The cure for all our weaknesses is Christ alone. He is our authority and the model of Christian behavior. Jesus never punched a guy in the nose for asking questions. He did take a whip to those who were using religion for their own gain, though. ;-)

  55. There are bad men, there are bad women.

    2 pieces of wisdom I’ve come to respect:
    a) A woman shouldn’t marry a man who’s angry at his mother.
    b) Men, sooner or later you’ll pay for the sins of your wife’s father.

  56. Jimmy:

    Where is any scriptural backup for what you are spouting.
    I appreciate that you may have some deep wounding in your past.
    But when you say things like what you just said above, you just come across as one sick puppy.

  57. Jimmy
    And the flaw in complementarianism is seeing all women as gullible and easily deceived and I can quote from many of your favorites.

  58. Dee said: “And the flaw in complementarianism is seeing all women as gullible and easily deceived and I can quote from many of your favorites.”

    Dee, I don’t know any complementarians who believe that, thought there must be a few. However, ALL of us think there is a significant difference between men and women.

    I think studies have shown that men and women have a different perspective on justice.

  59. Anon, I had a wonderful mother; my regret is that I didn’t talk to her more often when I left home at 18, never to return.

    “Wounded?” Not so much

    Cynical? Like you wouldn’t believe.

  60. I honestly think there are many, many mainstream comps who really don’t see the problems and dangers with complementarianism taken to its logical conclusion. They are in good marriages and good churches. These issues don’t touch them because they are happy, satisfied, and have outlets for their traditionally female spiritual gifts. They simply don’t get it.

    I think the most powerful medium in getting many of them to understand is through the stories that people share. No, we cannot base our doctrine on people’s personal experiences. But stories are powerful – Jesus used them himself. And the more stories a person reads, the more it hopefully makes them pause and consider that maybe there really is something going on that should concern them.

    That, and every time someone suggests to me this isn’t really important I ask God to give their daughter the spiritual gifts of teaching, leadership and prophecy. LOL!

  61. The IVCF regional leader during my involvement at The University of New Hampshire back in the 70s, is Robert Fryling, PhD. He is now Publisher for IV Press and VP of IVCF. He and his wife, Alice, have authored several books on marriage including an workbook for engaged couples, which my husband and I used prior to publication. During subsequent years, Bob and Alice wrestled with unexpected consequences of traditional patriarchial teachings within their own marriage. Bob chronicles the journey he took in changing his perspective in Alan F. Johnson’s book, How I Changed My Mind About Women in Leadership.

    It’s my understanding that all IVCF staff must agree with their policy on women found on their website:

    InterVarsity’s Affirmation of Women

    InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA has a long history of seeking justice for women and of affirming women as created in God’s image with equal worth, dignity, and value as men. This commitment to affirming women is emphasized in several foundational documents.

    Our Purpose Statement affirms that we seek to disciple students and faculty — men and women — to grow in love for “God’s people of every ethnicity and culture and God’s purposes in the world.”

    Our Doctrinal Basis affirms the value of all people and both genders — all created in God’s image: “We believe in: The value and dignity of all people: created in God’s image to live in love and holiness. . . ”

    In InterVarsity’s sixty years of ministry to students and faculty, we have sought to introduce both women and men to Christ and have discipled them to be his lifelong followers. Even when it was not culturally popular for women to serve as leaders, InterVarsity took risks to develop female leadership at both the chapter and organizational levels. One of our Core Commitments explicity states that “we develop women and men to serve as leaders in every level of InterVarsity and ultimately for the Kingdom of God, honoring God’s gifts and calling in them.”

    I also know that each Mission Agency represented at IVCF’s Urbana Missions Conference must prominently display their policies regarding women. Hope this sheds some light on the subject.

  62. Jimmy – I did a series on “A Woman’s Freedom in Christ.” I did two posts that looked at the argument for complementarianism from history. They are both full of quotes about women throughout history that I found in books, websites, etc.

    There are plenty of men who still think the same way. Gullible and easily deceived is being charitable compared to many of these quotes.

    http://sallieborrink.com/the-complementarian-argument-from-historical-precedence/

    http://sallieborrink.com/more-quotes-about-women-from-history/

  63. Susan – Thank you for bringing up the Frylings. I had forgotten about that. I had the opportunity to meet him a number of times and he was a very thoughtful and kind man.

    My experience on staff with InterVarsity was the turning point for me regarding the women’s issue and using my gifts. After being in a Christian organization where I was encouraged and free to use my gifts, trying to fit into a regular church has been a fifteen year exercise in futility. Once you have tasted freedom you do not want to ever go back. Once you have seen God use you, it is thoroughly depressing to no longer have those opportunities.

    The problem for me is finding a church that embraces women, doesn’t go off the deep end theologically in other matters, and has opportunities for using my gifts. It is nigh unto impossible to find that combination. You can find one or two but all three? Almost impossible.

  64. Sallie,

    Thanks for sharing that information on InterVarsity. I hope more college students will take a serious look at them. I am deeply troubled by what I am discovering about Campus Crusade (CRU). I plan to write a post soon sharing my findings on their connections to the individuals we blog about here (Piper, Driscoll, Grudem, Mahaney, Mohler, etc.)

  65. Sallie, for what it’s worth my wife and I were saved in the early 70s in the Jesus Movement, and ever since then have attended full-gospel churches where women and their gifts were not ony encouraged, but celebrated.

    That said, the “full-gospel” part might turn you off, I don’t know ..

  66. Jimmy –

    FYI – Many women have an easier time with justice than men. For example, I don’t believe justice has been served over at SGM in several areas, but CJ’s men have enabled him quite well to continue on without repentance :)

    So what is your point about justice??

  67. Jimmy,

    I, too, hope you will explain what your meant with your justice comment. Who is more just in your estimation – men or women?

  68. (I say this with some caution) why do women make friends of serial murders or rapists or pedophiles in prison? It is a mystery to us men.

    (Now men will befriend women prisoners but it’s pretty well-known what they’re hoping to accomplish; starts with “S” and ends with “X.” It’s quite simple, quite obvious, we all know what they’re up to.)

    But women aren’t befriending psychopaths in hopes of improving their sex lives. Is there actually something about the female mindset that makes it so common?

  69. “I think studies have shown that men and women have a different perspective on justice.”

    Can it be proven whether it is nurture or nature? Perhaps Deborah (and Jael) are examples of the difference you are thinking of? :o)

  70. “But women aren’t befriending psychopaths in hopes of improving their sex lives. Is there actually something about the female mindset that makes it so common?”

    Proof! There you are. Only women are stupid enough to fall for convicted murderers. We know this is happening everywhere. Is there a database you can refer to Jimmy, that shows us how common this is?

  71. Jimmy,

    Do you really think these women represent the female gender?

    The reason why Dee and I are so dedicated to this forum is because of our sense of justice.

  72. All Jimmy has managed to do is let us know that he stereotypes women, but people should not stereotype men like Piper, Mahaney, Driscoll et al. Sheesh!

  73. Jimmy – I’m not sure I understand what you are saying.

    Men befriend female prisoners in hopes of having sex. Men view justice differently than women.

    Women befriend male prisoners for some unnamed reason. Women view justice differently than men.

    If you have a point, please just make it.

  74. My son was involved in CRU (the current name for Campus Crusade for Christ) from ’04-’07 at James Madison. While I have been disconcerted at their teachings in regard to gender roles in marriage, I am encouraged by their more recent collaborations with Henry Cloud. I believe they utilized his book, How People Grow for staff trainings at the national level in the last year or two. I have been lead to believe that there is some type of ongoing relationship with Dr. Cloud. If any of you are familiar with. Cloud Townsend materials, both Henry and Dr. John Townsend are squarely behind the idea of mutual submission and the utilization of women’s gifts.

    I am praying that they will be the next para church organization to change their policies towards the full utilization of women’s giftings.

  75. Wow Jimmy. I have never wanted to get with a serial killer. Let’s make some more sweeping generalizations: Why do men go after prostitutes walking around the streets when clearly there are tons of women of ill repute who will do it for free?

  76. Susan,

    I bought the Boundaries book when it first came out, and I thought it was well done.

    What concerns me is the recommended book list for CRU International. Piper, Grudem, Mohler, Mahaney, Dever… After what we have discussed in this forum about these individuals, I am very concerned.

  77. Jimmy:

    You said earlier about yourself:”Cynical? Like you wouldn’t believe.”

    You certainly prove it quite regularly with your “comments.”

  78. Eagle – I’ll try to respond to your question re: CCC and IV. But understand I’m speaking in generalizations and anyone can feel free to correct me if they think I’ve misrepresented anything here.

    I think there is a certain level of “rivalry” between CCC and IV on some campuses. They are both on the campus to reach students for Christ. I think there can be feelings of protecting your turf. Everyone is human.

    The two groups tend to be different in their approach and feel. I would say CCC tends to draw in more of the “beautiful people,” is more social, and more evangelistic. IVCF tends to draw more of the mainstream students, is more intellectual, and more focused on making disciples. I’m not saying that CCC doesn’t care about making disciples, but I think they tend more toward evangelism and entry level Bible studies. IVCF tends to be theologically meatier and more focused on the Lordship of Christ in every aspect of life.

  79. If the Petry’s are reading, I hope they fix their blog. All some folks are getting is a blank brown page. Very frustrating.

  80. Jimmy
    You need to catch up on your reading. Go on over to that bastion of comp theology-CBMW
    Please tell me to which studies you refer.

  81. Susan
    I have long been aware that IVCF has a higher view on the role of women. Thank you for your informative comment.

  82. Jimmy
    How common??? I know of no women who do such things. So, it seems rare to me. Please refer us to some stats.

  83. MEMO FROM THE PETRYS TO THOSE HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING “JOYFUL EXILES”

    “Some people have been having difficulty reading the Joyful Exiles website. Apparently, the problem is with older versions of Internet Explorer. The latest version of IE works fine, as does Google Chrome, Safari, etc. Hope that helps. Yours truly, Paul”

  84. Jimmy – that comment about serial killers and pedophiles took this to a whole new level of weird.

    As in WTF???!!?!???!!??!

    You aren’t making sense anymore – not that your other observations are that lucid (re. women).

  85. Susan,

    I used to be involved with Crusade and first learned of Cloud and Townsend through them. I remember going to a seminar on Boundaries put on by a Crusade affiliated church and recommended by Crusade staff. When I staffed a summer project (Crusade summer mission trip) in CA back in 2003, we had a half day seminar for the staff with Dr. Cloud that was wonderful. In fact, Boundaries may have been the best thing Crusade introduced into my life.

    In my experience, Crusade can be very different in different parts of the country. My experiences in New England and in California were much better than in the Midwest (where Piper et al. are a huge influence). This whole view that women should be submissive to men at all times, and that women are intellectually inferior to men, is a huge part of why I left Crusade staff seven years ago.

    Dee and Deb,
    Thanks for bringing these bad trends to light. I still know many people who go to Piper’s church, including my brother and a lot of his friends. It’s often a surreal experience talking to them because of the weird theologies they hold and it helps a lot to know that I’m not the only one who disagrees with them.

    Suz

  86. Jimmy, I have one other thought to pass on.

    People here have been very generous with their time, in trying to talk with you.

    However, there’s a limit to anyone’s patience, and I’ve hit mine.

    You need to understand that your angry and sarcastic comments are just *not* conversation-starters.

    You can say all the outrageous and unfounded and accusatory and inflammatory things you want.

    But fewer and fewer people will talk with you.

    I think Dee has shown almost superhuman graciousness and patience with you, but… I think you like to troll, as evidenced by the serial killer – pedophile – etc. comment above.

    If you ever do opt for honest and forthright discussion, we’ll be here.

  87. Jimmy, I guess it is how you define “treat well”.

    If I had a husband who read my e-mails (MD of MH) or who had to plan on Sunday how to treat me for the week (i.e. take care of me, because I am clearly incapable of caring for myself) – CJ Mahaney-, or felt keeping me away from leadership because it might get a little tense was “treating me well” then you might have a case. However, that is NOT treating someone well, that is belittling them and very pejorative. As a grown up and a Spirit filled Christ-follower I a) can manage my own e-mails b) don’t need someone to plan how to babysit me for the week or c) can handle tension, conflict and debates better then most men. I am usually the one who knows more, can point out areas they missed and generally cut anyone down to size – though I try not to, I can. I would find it ridiculous if my husband felt I might get damaged by tension. More likely, he would be telling me to be nice and gracious, not trying to shield me from anything.

    My security is in God, not men’s opinions about my faith. I know God and can move to Him on my own. Likewise, I can discern non-Godliness and move away accordingly. So can my husband. So, we both end up in the same direction because we can hear our Lord’s voice. It would be interesting if the comp. Husband went through a dark night of the soul while his wife didn’t. Would he let her lead then? See, to me, iron sharpens iron. Jesus leads, we follow, imperfectly. We push the other to Jesus and guide the other if they are down.

    It isn’t just the complementation’s view of who should lead. It is their view of what a human leader is that I see red flags on. In the Bible Elijah gave Elisha his mantle, Paul raised Timothy to take over once Paul was killed. Jesus discipled Peter to build the church, as he to was killed. A TRUE Christian leader is not in a permanent “lead” role. A good parent raises their children to follow Christ on their own (as best we can). A good pastor raises his flock to follow God no matter where they go in life (ends of the earth, Valley of the Shadow of Death, etc.). What does a comp. husband do? Lead his wife till he dies so she will become a great leader of Christ?

    To me, that is the inherent weakness in this new “leadership” model. It is not about dying so a new seed can grow. Mark Driscoll isn’t handing his brand to a new leader, John Piper isn’t handing his church to anyone, or his ministry. A good leader would only lead a congregation 10 -12 years max. Then hand it to a good disciple and go plant a church elsewhere or do something else. A husband stuck in the lead is a weak as a pastor stuck in the “leader” role. It doesn’t help unite a body. People have different callings, if one person is permanently stuck as leader they suppress all the other gifts God has given to the whole congregation, or family. And some gifts are only for a season – like parenting in the formative years.

    So, no, those pastors don’t understand leadership, so they can’t do it well. IF they did, none of them would be leading the same church or insisting on still leading in their home. IF they had treated their congregations/families well, they would no longer be needing to lead. Those who were taught/lead by them would all be leading in their giftings by now and not need a life-manager for little details.

  88. Numo:

    You said to Jimmy: “Jimmy, I have one other thought to pass on.

    People here have been very generous with their time, in trying to talk with you.

    However, there’s a limit to anyone’s patience, and I’ve hit mine.

    You need to understand that your angry and sarcastic comments are just *not* conversation-starters.

    You can say all the outrageous and unfounded and accusatory and inflammatory things you want.

    But fewer and fewer people will talk with you.

    I think Dee has shown almost superhuman graciousness and patience with you, but… I think you like to troll, as evidenced by the serial killer – pedophile – etc. comment above.

    If you ever do opt for honest and forthright discussion, we’ll be here.”

    Numo, I’ve also reached the end of my patience with Jimmy. I’m not convinced at all that he comes here for dialogue. Just to troll, and I will not take precious time out of life to deal with such nonsense.

  89. The mentality of MH and other churches that abuse will never change. They are drunk on power and blinded by pride. The only way change will come is if the people get up and walk out. All of them. Yt, is a sick way, leadership like this is what the majority want (that’s why they stay!). To say that I don’t understand it is an understatement.

    Secondly, Wade is a cup of water on a dry, dusty day. I wish I would of known him when I pastored in Oklahoma (Harrah).

  90. Suz
    That is the problem with living in a bubble. Strange doctrines and applications become the norm. We believe that the Calvinistas are creating this bubble so that people who enter their groups think it is the norm.

    I am sorry for your experience regarding women and CRU.I believe that as Piper continues to add further and further restrictions on women, slowly some people will begin to wake up. After awhile, he begins to sound a bit strange. What kind of nonsense is “endure abuse for one night?” And his buddies who do not think women can even read the Bible out loud in church. There are just so many folks who will put up with this.

  91. I personally do belive that there are some limitations to women in terms of church authority…but it seems to me that Driscoll and others go waaaaay too far. It seems that pure male arrogance and pride usurp what Jesus said…that he did NOT lord his authority DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE WAS GOD..and instead became a SERVANT. I do not see these same authortarian guys telling anyone how to SERVE their wives, to cherish them, to care for them. No, it’s all about the GUY getting his way, the OPPOSITE of humility.

    They will reap what they sow. When you mistreat your wife..you get less of what you really want every night…………..what goes around, comes around…..

  92. Suz,

    I’m going to be writing about Campus Crusade for Christ soon. Would you care to share your experience anonymously? We can keep the location where you served out of your testimony. Both of my daughters have been involved in CRU, and I am concerned about the influence this campus ministry is having on young Christians.

  93. But, for some, sadly, it is too hard to remove the ball and chain which is dragging them down. They have gotten used to weight.

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

    No one knows how these men treat their wives – either positively or negatively. We all put on a good face around other Christians. I know of a well-known theologian (you have probably heard of him) from a well-known Baptists seminary. He was one of the leaders, wrote books, etc. He was an elder and all around role model. Problem is, he suddenly quit the seminary, told his wife he never loved her (after being married for years and having children), and moved away to teach in a secular “arts” type of college. — Dee

    That sounds more like a Mid-Life Crisis breakdown, “I Gotta Be Me” sub-type.

    And they don’t all happen in mid-life; the most spectacular “I Gotta Be MEEEE” breakdown I witnessed went down in the Eighties — a Damascus Road Spectacular Conversion Experience right after the subject’s 30th birthday. Guy immediately dumped his girlfriend for a teenage boy, started trying to get into everybody’s pants (same-sex jail-bait preferred), Witnessed for it like a Calvary Chapelite to everyone he encountered, and played the homophobia card off the bottom of the deck at any objection.

    In comparison, my own mid-life crisis was pretty mild. All I did was replace my third utility hatchback with a sports car and start watching a lot of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Much less destructive.

  94. Wade,

    I’m impressed with your tongue twister and so grateful that you “get it”!

    “The codification of complementarianism by calvinistas is changing the contour of Christianity.”

    And getting it with alliteration worthy of Twilight Sparkle. :)

  95. I don’t think they really care Dee. After all, their election was never sure anyway, it was God’s will from the foundation of the world, right? Let’em burn for all eternity, serves’em right. God’s perfect sovereignty and righteous judgement will be served, right? — Muff Potter

    “In’shal’lah…”

    Suz,

    I’m going to be writing about Campus Crusade for Christ soon. Would you care to share your experience anonymously? We can keep the location where you served out of your testimony. Both of my daughters have been involved in CRU, and I am concerned about the influence this campus ministry is having on young Christians. — Deb

    Deb, you might also want to contact Eagle on that one.

    My own CCC/CRU experience was way back in the Seventies (during the peak of the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay) and most of the bad parts were more on the order of head-scratching “What Were They Thinking?” moments. I also had regular Dungeons & Dragons to serve as a reality check.

    We also had Navigators on-campus, but we didn’t have much to do with them. Just they had a rep for the most (1) in-your-face Witnessing, (2) highest percentage of flunkouts, and (3) high rate of burnout. JMJ/Christian Monist burned out in the Navs.

    And we had a really-extreme local group called “Studies in the Word of God”. They looked like they were trying to out-Navigator the Navigators, and most of my memories of Toxic Christianity of my Cal Poly years have to do with them. I think they were a local independent splinter group that disbanded soon after.

  96. The Mars Hill children’s stuff is scary. “I’m” going to do it the Mars Hill style — because why? They can teach two year-old boys how to be a “head” over little girls? I wouldn’t want my kids anywhere near that place. He really thinks the Mars Hill style of doing things will save the little boys? Wow! — Brigit2

    “Give me your children and I will make them mine. You will pass away, but they will remain mine.” — A.Hitler

  97. HUG
    I was in the navigators– there was a CCC group on campus bit we didn’t have much to do with them:)

  98. Can someone tell me what the following means:”We are not egalitarians and do believe that men should head their homes and male elders should lead their churches with masculine love like Jesus Christ.:

    Masculine love??

  99. “masculine love” The kind Jesus showed when he came down from the cross and proved his kingship by calling in 12 legions of angels to smite his enemies.

  100. Deb,

    All I can say about Thabiti Anyabwile, is that at least he had the guts to call out Driscoll and MacDonald over the TD Jakes fiasco.

    Bravo to Pastor Wade for the suburb piece that he wrote! If it wasn’t for the numerous times over the years that I have listened to and heeded the wise advice of my wife, my family would be in total ruin. Heck, if I recall correctly, even a guy as hard lined as James Dobson has counseled men that often times, the best advice they can get will come from their wife.

  101. MacDonald was a favorite author/mentor of CS Lewis (and myself) and, unlike MacArthur, no friend of the reformed camp. :))

  102. Hey all, you might be interested in following Roger Olson’s new series on The Gospel as Center, the new book by members of The Gospel Coalition. He will be covering it chapter by chapter over the next few weeks. His first post is here:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogereolson/2012/03/part-1-of-a-new-series-responses-to-the-gospel-as-center-by-members-of-the-gospel-coalition/

    (Sorry if it’s already been mentioned somewhere. I have to catch up on reading responses to your last few posts.)

  103. HUG
    One day, you will have to write a comprehensive account of your activities as a Christian way back when. I think it might make for a fascinating post.

  104. MOT
    We have addressed this statement in a few posts and will continue to do so. So how is a woman supposed to model christ since it appears that He is masculine and demonstrates masculine love. To quote our friend, Mara, it could be looked at as a “Sucks to be You Gospel.”

  105. Dave AA
    George MacDonald you are singing my song! Phantastes and Lilith-incredible! Thanks for the smile.

  106. Deb –

    Your husband washes dishes? I tremble (in a manly way) at the thought of Pastor Mark finding out. You might consider deleting that.

  107. I don’t know if this has been discussed, but from what I’ve read in commentaries about Ephesians 5 is that the v.22 is still under or goes with v. 21. I don’t understand (as I’m learning more about this) how anyone can separate the two? How is it seen separate from the entire Bible and the Gospel? What reasoning do they use? Now, this is coming from someone who lived under “complementarianism” and didn’t know the word for it, and for the life of me, I can’t remember what the “biblical” reasoning for it was… It made sense to me at the time, but I’m thinking my husband and I didn’t “see” it the same way, or at least it hasn’t been lived out that way under our roof. Praise God.

    I’ll have to look through my old Kay Arthur study and Elizabeth George books.

  108. JeffB

    My husband is proud of his domestic abilities, although I don’t expect him to do anything around the house. When he volunteers, I try not to get in his way. If more husbands behaved like mine, there would be some ecstatic wives who would demonstrate how much they love their husbands (if you know what I mean ;-) )

    No chance I’m deleting that comment! My hubby would be proud of me for posting it. He’s sick and tired of complementarianism (which is really patriarchy).

    And don’t get the idea that my husband is a sissy. His “other career” is farming. He is a man’s man as he operates heavy equipment (tractors and such). He’s rugged and can run circles around most men I know and he would put Mark Driscoll to shame.

  109. Deb

    That’s exactly how my husband is. Amazing man!! It’s just sad, because he’s more of an introvert and reflective and artistic, he’s not easily understood, I think. His recent quote is “Cupcheck time? More like cupcake time!”

  110. Deb,

    Sure, I can share about what I experienced in CRU. I still know a lot of people on staff – though I limit my interactions with them to Facebook right now – so I have some idea of what is still going on that I could comment on too.

    Dee,
    You’re right about the bubble in which strange doctrines are the norm. Fortunately, I was leery of Piper before I heard any of his teachings because of how his fan boys acted, and never really bought into anything he said. But beyond strange doctrines that are the norm in those bubbles, I see a lot of cognitive dissonance. They can talk forever on their favorite doctrine and never see that, deep down, they don’t believe it and don’t act like they believe it.

    As you said, hopefully their increasing restrictions on women will wake people up. I feel fortunate that I got out when I did and found a new church home that believes both women and men are created in the image of God, that both should take responsibility for ministry and religious practice at church and home, and that both have inherent dignity that should be respected. Piper, Driscoll, et al. treat women as objects and deny us our God-given dignity.

    Suz

  111. Queen Momma,

    You asked how anyone could separate Eph. 5:22 from 5:21 – simple, you separate them solely to make your point of view true and hope no one gives it too much thought ;)

    Actually, I have a commentary that says regarding “wives, be subject” in 5:22, “The Greek implies her submission is free and voluntary, not degrading, servile or coercive. … Though ancient society often viewed wives as the property of their households, Paul sees marriage as a loving partnership between spouses of equal dignity.” And on “husbands love” in 5:25, “Paul confronts prevailing customs, where husbands often reigned like tyrants over their household.”

  112. Suz

    My book said something I wasn’t expecting. That the wives were all divorcing at the time and had many more “liberties” than even women today, and that Paul’s comments were something not even considered at the time. I thought it might have been that the women finally understood their freedom in Christ and might have been going a little overboard in their freedom (like when a child starts realizing they can say “no!” – not that women are to be considered children, just the picture of starting to understand boundaries or freedom as the case may be). But, I did read the part that it is voluntary.

    Thank you for your input.

  113. Suz
    I am so glad that you acted on your gut. So many people wait around, hoping things will change. If a church and pastor have a Calvinista temperament, the likelihood of change is low.

  114. Suz wrote @12:52:

    “You asked how anyone could separate Eph. 5:22 from 5:21 – simple, you separate them solely to make your point of view true and hope no one gives it too much thought”

    Perfect example at the recent Shepherds conference:
    http://vimeo.com/38534629

    Mr. Baucham starts at verse 22 in his talk about leadership in the home. If you aren’t exemplary fathers and husbands, leading like Voddie says the bible teaches, then you are not qualified. He is quick to add that no one is perfect, though. Whew. How imperfect do you have to be before you are dq’d?

    I think he is doing a lot of damage. He delivers the same Voddie teaching about husbands sanctifying their wives, presenting them to Jesus and Jesus giving them (the wives) back to them (the husbands) and saying…enjoy. Huh?

    It saddens me that so many hear this and soak it up–young pastors.
    Voddie continues to be s very popular speaker spreading his version of husband leadership.

  115. Diane,

    Thanks for sharing the video of Voddie Baucham. He is a real problem!

    It is so ironic that I heard him speak in person at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (where he earned his seminary degree) in April 2005. I attended their Preview Day event, and he was the chapel speaker. I had never heard of him before, and I agreed with most of what he said that day. He’s come a long way and definitely the WRONG WAY since then. :-(

    That was seven years ago. It’s incredible what I have learned since that time.

  116. I have a double degree in History and Classics (focus on Latin). To be quite honest, I’m not entirely certain how we got to the point of having the word “submit” in the English translation of Ephesians 5:22. I got out my copy of the Latin Vulgate and it says “mulieres viris suis subditae sint sicut Domino”. “Subditae sint” is a perfect passive verb phrase meaning to place under, apply or supply. Given this definition, perhaps we should be reading verse 22 closer to “Women have placed under/applied to/supplied to their husbands as to the Lord”. The Latin words we would expect to see for “submit” are pareo/parere and oboedio/oboedire (this form is usually seen in reference to to slaves). Pareo/ parere means to obey, be subject/obedient to, comply/yield/submit, pay attention to, attend to. This is the word I would expect to see if I were to interpret the verse the way many pastors are currently doing so from the pulpit. I could go on and on about this as my inner nerd has been woken up but I won’t. One last thing – I would caution anybody against taking a verse in isolation in the New Testament. The original grammar of the time created very long sentences that have been broken up into many shorter sentences in English.

  117. Anonymous

    Thank you for your enlightening comment! I believe some Bible translators have a specific agenda to advance their cause. The English Standard Version (distributed by Crossway, which has been on board with CBMW from the beginning) comes to mind. I expecially appreciate your point about long sentences in the early versions.

  118. Deb,
    In response to Bible translations, I am very wary of English translations. I start with the Latin Vulgate and work my way forward. If I knew Greek, I would start with Greek. One of my professors was somewhat involved with the New Revised Standard Version Bible translation and knew all of the committee members. He told us a story about how the men on the committee (all men) were determined to “remove the miracles” from the Bible via their translation. The example he gave was in regards to Mary, mother of Jesus. The translation refers to her as a maiden instead of a virgin. The justification behind that was “in the time of Jesus, a maiden was a virgin”. But they knew that alternate meaning would be lost on the modern generations and therefore the birth of Jesus comes across as much more ordinary in their translation. I don’t know much about the ESV but I would be interested in learning more.

  119. “I don’t know if this has been discussed, but from what I’ve read in commentaries about Ephesians 5 is that the v.22 is still under or goes with v. 21. I don’t understand (as I’m learning more about this) how anyone can separate the two? ”

    Queen Momma, It is even worse. Verse 22 did not really have “submit”. It was added by translators. Why? Actually the entire theme starts way up in about verse 18 where it says, “Be filled with the spirit”.

    I don’t recommend sermons very often but this one is dead on
    concerning this passage:

    http://fbc2010sermons.posterous.com/spirit-filled-relationships-part-1

    Queen Momma, I also recommend Bushnell’s Gods Word to Women.

    http://godswordtowomen.org/gwtw.htm

    This woman did her homework and has hundreds of deep lessons on all the gender passages starting with Genesis from about 80 years ago.

  120. I haven’t read thru all the comments so sorry, I don’t know the full debate. But I want to let your readers know that if they are interested in domestic abuse and Christianity there is really exciting stuff going on at the blog A Cry For Justice.
    http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/
    A pastor is finally speaking up for victims of domestic abuse.

    Mars Hill sounds like it would be a honey pot, a magnet, for men who have the entitlement attitudes typical of abusers. If anyone is suffering domestic abuse in the Mars Hill community, I feel really sorry for you, and I encourage you to visit the Cry for Justice blog where you will find help and encouragement. Bless all who are true believers.

  121. Barbara,

    Thanks for bringing this website to our attention! I am planning to write a post about it later this week. :-)

  122. Deb –

    I should have checked back much earlier to see your response to my comment.

    I meant it as completely tongue-in-cheek. I wrote it as I thought a follower of Driscoll would have written it. Figured that “I tremble (in a manly way)” would have given it away if there were any doubt.

  123. I have some good news to share. I thought this was a good post to place it under as it is with regards to women in leadership. As you may know, some pastors such as Piper and Baucham are against women having ‘authority over men’ even in a NON-CHURCH setting.

    Well, last week I went through no less than three interview stages and got a job training to be a manager of sales teams. My question to these guys are: if it’s so ‘ungodly’ for women to lead men, how did I get this position? All I did was answer the questions honestly. If God is so against this sort of thing, wouldn’t he have blocked it? Given the role to someone male? I mean, the competition was pretty fierce. And I prayed for God to let me have a salesperson position if I wasn’t the right one for management. But huzzah – here I am! Headed for the top! Which gives me comfort in the light of the very unbiblical fuss over ‘female submission/roles’. Clearly God can see me as a leader, regardless of my gender. :)

  124. Anne,

    I have been thinking of you and am so excited by your news! Congratulations!!!

    I prayed about your driving test, in addition to the interviews. How did that go?

    Blessings

  125. Awww, bless you Deb. Unfortunately I failed the retake due to a freak incident. I was preparing to pull off from being parked on a hillside kerb, when a van zoomed up behind me really fast. I’d done my observations and was getting the clutch at the right position to avoid rolling downhill, when this guy came out of nowhere and was suddenly nosing my back end. I took a little too long to fix the clutch you see, and should have checked around again to catch this van in time. Unfortunately I was JUST about to pull off when there he was, filling my whole rearview mirror. I should have stayed frozen to let him pass. But the first thought that popped into my head was: “Crap, he’s waiting for me to move.” So I did, but just as I did he started to try and overtake me, and my movement meant he had to brake hard. The examiner saw it, and failed me.

    Everything else went perfectly.

    However, though I was heartbroken about failing again, God did use that emotional response to springboard me into areas that needed healing, so at least I got some deliverance out of the whole experience. :)

  126. Anne,

    So sorry you didn’t pass. Don’t give up!!!

    Your comment reminded me of what John F. Kennedy, Jr. said after he failed the bar exam for the second time.

    Kennedy quipped: “God willing, I’ll pass it then, or the next time, or when I’m 95.”

    He passed it the third time, and you will too! Still praying for you. :-)

  127. Thank you Anon1. I look forward to the sites.

    Isn’t there another verse that says wives submit, too? I think…it’s in Galations. Twos a charm, eh? I’ll have to resudy that area once again.