Danger: Flee Churches Which Teach That Women Are Easily Deceived

Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.   Albert Einstein

dee in a burka
Guess who is in a Duke Blue burka? Special thanks to Eagle

For 3 years, TWW has been pushing back against a dangerous teaching that seems to be getting more play in the Calvinista crowd. They teach that women are gullible and easily deceived and that is one of the reasons that they should not be in leadership. This teaching is cropping up all over the place. It is seen in some of the Calvinista circles and in a number of the Family Integrated Churches.


Mark Driscoll  from our post Mark Driscoll: Narcissistic Cowboy of Knight Errant link had this to say:

“Without blushing, Paul is simply stating that when it comes to leading in the church, women are unfit because they are more gullible and easier to deceive than men. Before you get all emotional like a woman in hearing this, please consider the content of the women’s magazines at your local grocery store that encourages liberated women in our day to watch porno with their boyfriends, master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them, pay for their own dates in the name of equality, spend an average of three-fourths of their childbearing years having sex but trying not to get pregnant, and abort 1/3 of all babies – and ask yourself if it doesn’t look like the Serpent is still trolling the garden and that the daughters of Eve aren’t gullible in pronouncing progress, liberation, and equality.” 


Please note that he has nothing to say about the men who buy into the same philosophy as the women's magazines. Need I say Playboy, Esquire or the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue?  Women are deceived and gullible but these men are not?  What is Mark hiding here? I wonder…

In our recent posts on the pedophile abuse at a Household of Faith church, we were told that Gregg Harris refused to listen to an important psychosexual report on a pedophile offender because it was a woman who viewed it and "women are easily deceived." His spokesperson denied the report but we heard from the woman involved.  That response delayed pertinent knowledge getting out to the congregation who were still under the misunderstanding that all the pedophile did was "sneak a kiss." Here is what she had to say.


"Erin on Sat Jun 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

This meeting DID occur and Gregg Harris DID indeed say such a thing. My husband was the recipient of his admonition. At the meeting, which my husband attended with my oldest teenage son, it became apparent that Gregg had been brought in to squash any rebellious, divisive behavior, not seek the truth. (At this point, most of the church erroneously believed the elder perpetrated deception that it was "just a kiss" and couldn't understand all the fuss. We also DID NOT KNOW that the elders knew the full extent of the abuse case- if they did they wouldn't be defending Eddie and Patrick RIGHT?! ) My husband spoke up and said that it was important that the contents of the psycho-sexual evaluation be read by the Elders, that there were much bigger issues to consider. Gregg Harris asked if he had read it, to which my husband replied, "No but my wife has and we are very concerned about the contents." GH responded that I was gossiping and he shouldn't trust my account because women are easily deceived- "look what Eve did to Adam."  CRICKETS….. and then ONE YOUNG MAN stood and faced GH and said that he believed that I had been created to be my husbands help-meet and that I was trustworthy.  CRICKETS….

In a room full of HEADS of HOUSEHOLDS, many who had known me as a sister in Christ for YEARS, only one young man (in addition to my husband and son) dared to defend my integrity and speak against GH. If indeed  our church didn't hold to the 'women easily deceived doctrine' then why were our elders silent?  Why did all of those men sit there quietly maligning the integrity of their own wives by proxy? WHY were Gregg and our elders so set on ignoring and covering up the the truth?  Why was it so important to protect the perpetrator and villanize the victim and anyone who defended her? 

Five years later the questions remain. But that was the last straw for my husband. He LITERALLY took off his shoes and banged them together (Matt 10:14) and we never returned. In 22 years of marriage I have not heard my husband swear before or since that day- but he did. We had tried tirelessly to speak truth into that situation for months to no avail. We still live in the midst of the small community and the cover-up continues."


From where does this damaging teaching arise? The first "proof" is from the story in Genesis 3: 1-6.  Eve is in the Garden and she is deceived by Satan. Then in 1 Timothy 2:14, Paul harks back to that incident and says: "For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner."

Many of my pastors have vigorously warned about making a big, fat doctrine based on a stray verse. And that is what I believe is happening here. This is an alternative explanation by another blogger link

"Churches which do not allow women to preach or teach in a church service– where many people can hear and assess what is being taught, often allow women to teach young, impressionable children – where typically very few adults can hear and assess what is being taught.  These same churches also often allow women to teach other women."

"If these churches truly believe that the reason why women should not teach men is because women are more easily deceived, logic would suggest that women should not be trusted to teach vulnerable children and other, supposedly gullible, women.  Yet many women are trusted and even encouraged to teach children and other women, but remain barred from teaching grown men in church services.  This simply doesn’t make sense.  Surely Paul was suggesting something other than the idea of “female deception” when he brought Adam and Eve into his first letter to Timothy in verses 13-14."

"I believe that Paul mentioned Adam and Eve to correct a false teaching that was circulating in the Ephesian church which claimed that Eve was created first and Adam was the one deceived.  There are several gnostic texts which state this false, topsy-turvy thinking.  (Early church fathers, Irenaeus and Tertullian, quoted from 1 Timothy and identified the heresy in Ephesus as a form of gnosticism.)  Furthermore, in 1 Timothy 2:12, the word “to teach” is tied to the word “to domineer”.  This is a very important consideration.  Paul was not writing about sound teaching in his prohibition.  Moreover, Paul’s instructions were written in response to a particular problem in a particular congregation."

Back to the subject at hand. I want to prove the fallacy that women are the only ones who are gullible and easily deceived. This following list is not meant to be a screed against men. It merely is meant to show that men and women are in the same boat.

  • Adam, along with Eve, thought they could hide from God
  • Samson was deceived by Delilah-time and time again.
  • David thought he could hide his sin with Bathsheba by having Uriah killed.
  • Peter denied Jesus and the disciples hightailed it to a hide out because they believed Jesus was dead.
  • How about the men who led churches, teaching that African Americans should not be allowed near white women?
  • How about the institution of slavery run by men?
  • Men presided over the witch trials.
  • How about the men of the church who jailed Galileo for teaching that the earth revolved around the sun when everybody "knew" the sun revolved around the earth?
  • Copernicus was declared a sinner for his science by male clergy.
  • How about Page Patterson who refused to believe that Darrell Gilyard was molesting girls?
  • Steve Gaines thought he could hide a pedophile on staff.
  • Men who taught that we couldn't dance, play cards or go to movies.
  • Mark Driscoll's has "pornovisions."
  • The Household of Faith men believd that a pedophile who "repents" has truly repented.
  • Every last pastor who would not believe that an active pedophile was in his church.

The faith, both within the Scripture and without, is filled with examples of men who have been deceived and, in return, have deceived many others. The Bible is replete with warnings about not being deceived. Why are those warnings not gender specific if it is women who are easily deceived? I contend that today's churches, by excluding women from leadership, may be rejecting the very voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks through the lives of His beloved women. Such churches are opening themselves up to deception and danger.

Narcissistic church leaders are able to sideline over 50% of the adult population in their churches with this ridiculous assertion. For any pastor who is into hypercontrol, this is manna from heaven. Women are to shut up, never question the leaders, obey their husbands (even if he is bum) and know their place. Imagine the freedom of not having to listen to over half of your congregation?!!

Is the church missing out on valuable input from women? New statistics may indicate that the increase of feminism in the secular world may be resulting in the decline in child sexual abuse. In an article " Does the Rise of Feminism Explain Decline of Child Sex Abuse?" link .

"The rates of child sexual abuse in the United States, while still significant and troubling, have been decreasing steadily over the last two decades by several critical measures."

"From 1990 to 2010, for example, substantiated cases of sexual abuse dropped from 23 per 10,000 children under 18 to 8.6 per 10,000, a 62 percent decrease, with a 3 percent drop from 2009 to 2010, according to the researchers’ analysis of government data." 

"At the same time, the willingness of children to report sexual abuse has increased. In a 2008 survey, Dr. Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, found that in 50 percent of sexual abuse cases, the child’s victimization had been reported to an authority, compared with 25 percent in 1992."

"Indeed, Grits suspects a major cultural shift unmentioned by the Times may account for much of the decline: The rise of the women's rights movement in the 1970s and the resulting transformation of American family life. While cases like Sandusky and Lynn get most of the headlines, in reality the overwhelming majority of child-sex abuse occurs in the home, which to me indicates it's being stopped in the home." 

"Whereas women once had to climb a mountain of societal disapproval to stop an abusing husband, today she can throw the bum out with both personal and official support. Being able to leave the jerk who threatens your kids rather than feeling obligated to co-habitate could have a big preventive effect, eliminating opportunities for abuse on the front end. "

"Though this hypothesis is pure speculation, perhaps a major difference stems from women embracing and living out their hard-won equality, not just in the workforce but in the home.So first-time mothers in the 21st century arguably enter that phase of their life with more maturity and self-confidence that better enables them to defend themselves and their progeny."

I wonder. If Steve Gaines had women in leadership, would the pedophile situation have been handled differently? The same goes for my former church and for the Household of Faith and many, many other denominations and families of churches. Could churches be dangerous places for children precisely because the women are not privy to the discussion of those in authority?

Can you imagine all the things that women could know that do not need to be "received because they are deceived?" Pedophilies, domestic abuse, financial improprieties, affairs,  bad theology, etc are all able to be ignored because, well, you know, those women are soooo gullible. What a racket.

Another important point: I do not buy " the elders "consult" their wives" explanation. I have met many elders' wives who will not speak up because they are "submissive." But, even more importantly, single women have the Holy Spirit well. They have as much to say but are often marginalized by male church authority. I want the church to hear from our singles because they, too, have the Holy Spirit.

This leads to my radical suggestion to our readers. Get out of any church that sidelines women. Such an institution is paralyzing the Holy Spirit and that can, and has proven to be, perilous.

Lydia's Corner: Micah 1:1-4:13 Revelation 6:1-17 Psalm 134:1-3 Proverbs 30:1-4

Comments

Danger: Flee Churches Which Teach That Women Are Easily Deceived — 80 Comments

  1. "In 22 years of marriage I have not heard my husband swear before or since that day- but he did."

    And it sounds like he had very good reasons to swear.

  2. The whole "women are easily deceived" is nothing more than a ploy to keep women in their "place."  The reason Mark Driscoll had to use women's magazines is because there's nothing in scripture to suggest such a thing as being peculiar to women.

    In fact, Paul openly admits that he was deceived before he found Christ. (Rom. 7:11)  He warns against those who deceive the unsuspecting (men and women alike) with their smooth speech because of their own fleshly appetites. (Rom. 16:18) 

    1 Kings 13 records one faithful prophet of God being intentionally deceived by another prophet. 

    While deception is not gender specific, there is little doubt which gender is doing the deceiving today.

     

  3. FWIW, I suspect that a lot of these pastors are insecure weenies who fear women, and that the theology is just a rationalization.  No matter; I can see I don't need to send you my spare copy of Mencken's "Defense of Women."

    Best,

    Bob

  4. Amen, Amen, Amen

    A great post – thank you for this.

    The more susceptible women argument always seemed to me an unlikely interpretation simply because it doesn't chime with reality – most women of my acquaintence are far wiser and more discerning than most men (notably my wife compared with me).   What I  hadn't considered was the detail on changed rates of child abuse (my sense is that you would get similar figures in the rest of the English speaking world)  Increased gender equality has a plausible causative link with a fall (although the interaction with increased transparency would be interesting to consider here I would suggest)

    Put simply the ol' male supremacy kick always struck me as a bit creepy, and unpleasant.  The abusive effects on children I had not considered, so thank you.

  5. Dee, you said:

    "I contend that today's churches, by excluding women from leadership, may be rejecting the very voice of the Holy Spirit as He speaks through the lives of His beloved women. Such churches are opening themselves up to deception and danger…

    "This leads to my radical suggestion to our readers. Get out of any church that sidelines women. Such an institution is paralyzing the Holy Spirit and that can, and has proven to be, perilous."

    I have attended such a church for many years, still do.  Women must wear headcoverings to worship.  They may not speak at all even for announcements or prayer requests.  We used to sing hymns from time to time where just the ladies would take a verse and then just the men – that ended years ago.  Women have even been discouraged from talking about theology or their faith with each other in any setting where a man might be in earshot, for fear that he might learn something from her.  No women's Bible studies (there are men's Bible studies – women may not attend).  I could go on but you get the point.

    The Holy Spirit is discussed about as often as a woman is allowed to say anything publicly in worship – which is never.

    How strong do you suppose the correlation is between the parenthesizing of the Holy Spirit and the exclusion of women in the church?  You have caught my interest.  Not only because of the atmosphere at my church, but also because of what is happening in my own life.  Ever since I lost a child last year, I have begun to sense the Holy Spirit in my life again for the first time since before I adopted Reformed theology/Patriarchy nearly a decade ago.  It is so true that He is close to those that mourn.  I am finding that the more I question/reject Patriarchy and Calvinism (among other things), the nearer I feel Him drawing to me, and the freer I feel to accept that He loves me.  Sometimes I feel so guilty for all the questioning of all the trappings I've added on to my faith – yes guilty! – because of the far-reaching effects Patriarchy has had on me.  I feel like I shouldn't be asking all these questions – and coming to different conclusions from my husband on many things – without his leadership, and especially without him even knowing about it!  He is a good, reasonable man, but I still have no idea how to talk to him about what is happening to me – I don't even understand what is happening to me.  I just know that the Lord feels so near, so much nearer when I am questioning than when I "knew" everything.  I would gladly stay in this questioning state forever if only He would stay this close to me.

    I am so thankful for your blog, Dee and Deb – words cannot express.  If it weren't for you two, I am not sure I would have been successful in untangling my faith from the mess and I very well may have thrown it all away.  πŸ™ 

    One more thought:  I am beginning to suspect that teachings such as Family Integrated Church and the Cessation of spiritual gifts are actually consistent with – and natural results of – a desire to silence women. If there is no Sunday School or women's Bible Studies, there are no uncomfortable questions about banning women from teaching them. Likewise, if there are no spiritual gifts (which clearly the women were given in the NT church just as the men were and used them in public settings), again, no uncomfortable questions about when/how/where women may exercise theirs. Anything and everything that opens the door for a woman to use her God-given gifts and talents is decidedly squelched by this crowd – is this deliberate?  In an environment where all that the Christian needs to know is in the Bible, there is nothing you can know for sure unless it is stated in the Bible, and only (certain) MEN are qualified to clarify for us what the Bible is trying to tell us, what need can there possibly be for the Holy Spirit or for women?  Is it any wonder when those whose contributions are rejected exit the church?

  6. I'm an avowed pacifist, but that Driscoll quote makes me want to punch things (or one thing – Driscoll himself). First, he suggests being 'emotional' is a bad naughty dirty female thing – maybe he's happy being an emotionless heartless bastard, but i think having an emotional bypass tends to make one a pretty horrible person. Then he goes on about women's magazines – I've never bought one, don't read them, nor do any of my female friends (unless you count occasional mockings of dramatic headlines while waiting in line at the grocery store). So it's a huge generalisation to talk about how all women read those and follow their advice. Then it gets even more odd with all the sex stuff, because doesn't he write and talk about sex ALL THE TIME? Methinks he doth protest too much.

    And as for progress, liberation, and equality, I quite like being able to vote, study, and be considered fully human, thankyouverymuch. And in fact, many of my friends – male and female – seek me out when they want discussions about politics and world events, they know I'm interested in those things and tend to be relatively informed, always have an opinion, and enjoy having those discussions. I have a brain, and it tends to do its job pretty well. I'm not going to pretend it doesn't or switch it off just to satisfy overgrown manchildren like Driscoll.

  7. Jan,

    Reading your situation breaks my heart to the point that I'm all but in tears. Part of me wants to scream that you should run as far as you can from that church, but reading your story, it sounds like that simply won't be possible. So what I will say is that, even if the fallen sinners who run your church are treating you awfully, not only does Jesus hold you tightly, but you have a community – a family – here online who are there for you. I am so, so sorry that you lost a child last year. I am glad, though, that the Holy Spirit has been pulling you in all the more tightly. I'm at a loss as to what else I can say, I want to say more, to say how much God loves you, to tell you there are people there for you, but I don't know how to express it. Just know you are cherished and valued and worthy – not just in the eyes of people here, but in the eyes of God. 

     

  8. Jan,

    Your comment breaks my heart.Β  I am so sorry for the loss of your child, but it seems that Romans 8:28 applies directly to your situation.Β  The Holy Spirit is active in your life, and I pray that your husband’s eyes will be opened to God’s truth.

    I am so grateful that TWW is helpful to you.Β  Our husbands are wonderful Christian men who encourage us in our blogging endeavor.Β  We know we have our detractors, but so did Jesus.Β  We believe the Holy Spirit is leading us, and we are doing our best to follow.

  9. I agree with Richard.  Even if you could somehow construct this doctrine from that passage about Adam and Eve, I'm not sure how much meaning it would have because, in reality, everyone knows that gullibility is not a gender-based trait.  Sure, women like the stereotypical dumb blonde at the mall do exist.  But that's not all women, and Mark Driscoll knows that (or should know that).  If he doesn't he must have grown up in a hole in the ground.  That quote of his is digusting.  I feel like rewriting it to be about Playboy, cage fighting and Budweiser.  Oh, wait, Driscoll's actually recommended two of those things…

     

    If this is what these guys really think, it's no wonder egalitarians tick them off.

     

    Also, does Mark Driscoll have sisters?  Aunts?  Female cousins?  A mother?  A grandmother?  If so, would he say this crap to their faces?  Or will he only say it to women he doesn't know / can't see or can "Biblically" control?  'Cause if he was MY son, nephew, brother, etc., and he said something like that, he'd get a swift kick in the butt, no questions asked.

  10. Thy Peace

    Thank you for your input. We love it when our readers help us out. In fact, we have already changed how the home page shows up by using an excerpt at the suggestion of a reader.

    Our GBTC has usggested the block quote to us and we are learning how to do it. You have two technopeasants who fear learning something new so it takes us a bit of time to adapt. As I have told many people, I have a smart TV and it is definitely smarter than I. I am appraoching it like I would approach a lion in the arena. I stare at it for a few weeks. Press a few buttons, jump back and see if it attacks and begin to approach, slowly. πŸ™‚

  11. Victorious

    Loved your comment. Yep, unfortunately the onus is on men since they are the ones in charge in churches today. So, all of the pedophile incidents, all of the spousal abuse in which women are told to stay in the homes, all of the stupid theology, all of the investment scams, etc all lay on the backs of the deceieved men. Can’t pin this on the ladies.

  12. Lindsey

    Driscoll plays the “blame the women” card very well. I am convinced that one day there will be a meltdown and it will be ugly and all the Calvinsta “boys” will be in a panic, wondering what went wrong, proving once again that men are just as easily deceived.

  13. Bob

    I wonder if it all goes back to the Garden. “It’s her fault.” It is nice to be able to deflect onto others instead of taking a good, hard look at yourself. Driscoll has percious little ability to introspect. Heck, he has said he writes sermons in 2 hours while watching Mariners games. Perhaps that explains it.

  14. Dee/Deb:

    Eve was deceived by the Master Deceiver, Satan.  Adam was deceived by a "mere" woman.  So who was more easily deceived????

  15. Richard

    I liekd your comment. I agree that the transparency issue is also in play. I believe blogging has contributed to greater openness, much to the dismay of the pastors how have held tight rein on the pulpit microphone.

    We all have the capacity to be deceived. It is not gender specific. Man has a dsgusting ability to demonize people groups in order to promtoe his own superiority. So, Hitler demonized the Jews, Anglos demonized the African Americans, etc. It seems like an age old struggle. We all need to understand that we are prone to do bad things, regardless of race or gender. It is time we accept our fallen selves fully and stop pointing fingers at other people.

  16. Eagle

    It is videos like this which cause me to say that Christianity has the ebst explanation for why the world is the way that it is. Sinful men, both in Islamic countries, as well as my home town of Salem, Massachusetts, have perpetrated great evil in the name of faith. We spend far too much time promulgating the superiority of Puritan piety without also stressing the terrible sins done in the name of Jesus by these self same men. I truly believe that if some of the Calvinistas were in charge, such things would eventually happen here. Why? Because we are all sinners. They claim they understand sin but I am not convinced.

  17. Dee,

    I'm sure that the theological argument  is founded on the Garden of Eden story but, unless you  accept that the story is actually true (no, it isn't), it's pertinent to ask why  it was the woman who was chosen by the mythmaker to play the role of seductress to error.

    Because it was probably made-up by a man — an insecure man who fears women.

    Just so's y'all know, Driscoll's attitude toward women is tame with respect to the pronouncements of the early church fathers; see here for a list I compiled of some of the things *they* said: http://www.bobfelton.com/?p=16337.  Misogyny  runs deep in Christianity.

    Bob

  18. It seems to me that the same devil who is supposedly still targeting women because they are gullible would like nothing better than to undermine marriages by convincing men that they shouldn't believe or trust their own wives. Who's really being deceived here?

    I'm not an expert in Gnosticism, but I have read Irenaeus and many of the more common Christian (inasmuch as they use Christian concepts and terms) gnostic texts, and I don't remember Eve coming into the cosmology. They teach that the evil and deceptive material world came into being through the fall of a female divine being (an archon) who deceived herself into thinking she could understand God, but she is generally identified as Sophia and is never connected with Eve, at least as far as I have read. Still, the basic idea that evil came into the world because of a female being is part of gnostic belief.

  19. Jan

    I am so sorry for the loss of your child. Having dealt with my own child who for years struggled with a malignant brain tumor (she survived), I can only begin to understand the pain and suffering you have undergone. I believe that losing a child has to be the most painful struggle that anyone can have. My heart goes out to you. At the same time, I , too, believe that God is close to those who mourn. It is that pain and struggle that cause our spirits to ask the difficult questions of life. The pat answers do not suffice any longer.

    A number of years ago, when I found out that the story of the woman caught in adultery was not in the earliest manuscripts (see the notes in your study Bible) I went through a time of serious questioning that lasted for a couple of years. I was determined not to take the party line any longer but to find the answers for myself with the help of theologians through the ages. i also spent time on atheist sites, reading their books, etc. That questioning brought me deeper into the faith, utterly convinced that it is the best explanation of this life that I see even if I did not find answers to all of my questions. I don’t think I will in this life, maybe not in the next either since we are still the created ones and He is the Creator.

    That journey has given me a new appreciation for this faith and I find great joy in discovering His life in those I meet on this blog. It has given me freedom to enjoy the world that I see around me while at the same time giving me comfort that one day all tears will be wiped away. I no longer ‘fear” all the things we are taught to fear-science, government, atheists, etc. because I know it all makes sense within the paradigm of faith.

    In most marriages, it is common for one of the partners to begin to question the “system” as it is in place. This can be threatening to the other who is still content with staus quo. But status quo does not bring growth. You might throw out a question here and there. For example, “Why do I need a covering when the Temple curtain tore? Didn’t that mean that Jesus became the covering for all of us?” In other words, take him on your journey. I will be curious to see how he responds to some well-place questions.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us. It helps others as well. So many people feel lonely as they struggle to understand the faith in light of their earthy experiences and observations. It is people like you that give hope to others. As CS Lewis said “Friendship is born at the minutes when one says “”What, you too? I thought I was the only one.”

  20. Pam

    I believe that Mark Driscoll is deluded. I also believe that he is struggling with some issues inside of himself and is using his wife as an excuse not to look at himself. He blames her for problmes in his marriage. I cannot fathom why so many leaders like him. Perhaps they, too, are looking for excuses not to deal with their own sin life and they like the fact that he is able to marginalize over 50% of church members. This means less quetions for the leaders to answer.

    Female “Pastor, those pornovisions are troubling and seem unbiblical.”
    Pastor “You are deceived so be quiet. In fact, I see a visionthat you were raped as 2 year old child by your long dead grandpa and that is why you are the way you are.”

  21. Bob

    Thanks for joining in on the discussion. I do not see Adam and Eve as a myth. In fact, I see their story as a template for life through the ages. It is a story that makes sense to me- us going our own way and making a mess of it all. People use these stories to impose their own insecurities. The issue is sin and that sin is still existent in the lives of all Christians. The mistake we make is trying to pretend that somehow we have overcome the sin thing when one look at the world, and the pain that has been imposed by Christians, smashes that theory. (Pain has been imposed by those who do not believe as well but for right now I am addressing Christians issues).

    The entire Christian narrative rests on the premise that man cannot overcome his own sinfulness. So, we are stuck. I do not mean to be presumptuous but I do not see man’s basic issues being solved by any other philosophical system. Even in today’s world we see genocide. Human trafficking has risen to levels far above slavery of the last century. So we are either screwed and we die or there is something more. In Christianity, there is a promise of an end point. I believe in grace, the forgiveness of sins. I am gald to have One to whom I can go to confess those sins and be free of the guilt associated with them. But Christians have made the profound mistake of pretending we are “better” than others. We are not. We are the same except we have Jesus and now should try to live up to life that we have within but often we don’t.

    For many, this world, and the humans who inhabit it, are all there is. I cannot accept that and choose to believe that there is more.Β Jan wrote about losing a child. Many philosophies would say Β that is all there is. That child has return to the cosmos as a bunch of basic elements.(I have listened to Richard Dawkins wax eloquent on this) That is sad and somehow seems wrong to me. I believe that eternity was programmed into our hearts for a reason. Perhaps we were made for another world?

    But, to paraphrase CS Lewis, “Within this day, hour or very minute I have failed to live the life that i know I should.” And that is why I need the grace of Jesus. And I do not blame yo one iota for pointing to our hypocrisy. We deserve it. No excuses here.

    BTW, the burka picture was taken in a Panera bread in Brier Creek. One or two heads turned.

  22. There's something I've often wondered about preachers who say this sort of stuff, but always thought was maybe a bit to mean to say. These men preach some pretty negative things about women – we're basically dumb, histrionic, weak, incapable, and our only as useful as our looks. But aren't these guys pretty much all married? Do they see their own wives – and daughters – the way they describe women in general? I know there are those who do actively discourage their daughters getting an education, who stop their wives and daughters from having a job. So do they really think their wives and daughters are incapable? If yes, how can they have such low opinions of those they claim to love most? If no, why do they restrict their wives and daughters from doing things they know they  can do? For the life of me I can't work out how this sort of attitude is meant to be loving.

  23. "It is nice to be able to deflect onto others instead of taking a good, hard look at yourself. Driscoll has percious little ability to introspect."

    You have just summed up the theme of his book "Real Marriage"  πŸ™‚

    I've read book reviews from some of Driscoll's fellow complementarian Calvinists, and even some of them seemed shocked by Driscoll's blatant inability to do anything but blame his wife in that book. At least 2-3 of them stated that Driscoll deals at length with his wife's shame and shortcomings and says precious little about his own problems, save to vaguely admit that problems do exist somewhere inside him.

    I e-mailed back and forth for a short time with one reviewer who actually used to attend his church and be friends with him; she expressed  concern that he is still harboring some form of mysoginy in his heart, despite Driscoll's statement in the book that this "season" of his life has passed. As this reviewer pointed out, what evidence do we have that this season has passed for him? Especially considering that his latest book seems to perpetuate it even more.

    I know some people who idolize and revere Driscoll, and honestly, it makes me worry for them. He needs help.

  24. If yes, how can they have such low opinions of those they claim to love most?

    Pam, they justify their position and opinions by saying they are "protecting" the female against the rigors and stresses of life that they are not meant to experience….i.e. the weaker vessel.  πŸ™

     

     

  25. More from Driscoll on women, this time from one of his e-books, Pastor Dad http://theresurgence.com/files/2011/03/02/relit_ebook_pastordad.pdf

    "Proverbs 19:13 further stresses the correlation between the type of mother you choose for your children and the kind of children you will have, saying, “A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.” These two miseries simply go together. If a wife is a nag who disrespects her husband by chirping at him all the time, then the children in that home will follow her example and become fools who ruin their lives by similarly disobeying and dishonoring their dad. Wicked women not only fail to restrain their tongues in front of their children, but often intentionally attack their husbands in an effort to get their children’s allegiance, undermine the authority of their father, and bring anarchy to the home. Proverbs rightly calls this rottenness in the bones…. Whose responsibility is it? Ultimately, it is men who are responsible because they chose their wives, they let them continue in sin, and they let them destroy their children."

    More on Driscoll here, with lots of links: http://watchtheshepherd.blogspot.com/2012/03/why-im-not-fan-of-mark-driscoll-real.html

  26. Eagle,

    I have been out and about this morning.  Just drove past where you and Dee got together earlier this week.  Again, sorry I was at the beach and missed meeting you.

  27. Genesis says nothing about Adam being deceived at all. Does that mean he was not deceived but intentionally did what God had said not to do?  Adam appears to have had no deceiver at all to entice him to want what God had forbidden. Hmm . . . this is where a literal reading leads me.  

  28. Dee, thank you so much for this:

    But, even more importantly, single women have the Holy Spirit well. They have as much to say but are often marginalized by male church authority. I want the church to hear from our singles because they, too, have the Holy Spirit.

    I grew up in a HOFCC church and one of the many, many reasons I got out as soon as possible was the feeling of unease that I was encouraged to tithe my earnings as a single employed woman living on my own (which was an anomoly, by the way), yet had NO information, let alone say, in how the church functioned or was planned. I was expected to get information from my father, whom I love dearly but don't live with, who was frequently not able to attend "Head of Household" meetings. There was no option for me. I was expected to give, but not engage. Give, but only recieve crumbs if the men say so. Give, but hide whatever the Holy Spirit is doing in your life under the "covering" of male headship. Occasionally singles were lauded from the pulpit as having much to give, yet constantly backhanded. There were multiple warnings that it was "selfish" and "in danger" to live on one's own as an adult and marriage or living with a family was encouraged. (I can't give you specific sermons where these were stated, unfortunately because I've worked to block out most of the damaging ideas I heard at that church growing up.)

    I don't remember anything being said specifically about women being decieved, (again, maybe because I've blocked most of that *bleep* out of my head) but I can tell you that the idea DID permeate the congregation. It doesn't surprise me at all that Erin has a story like that. I'm sure Gregg Harris said that or something like it. The best I can hope for is that GH meant it as a joke, which still is in poor taste and reeks of bullying those he thinks he has power over: women.

    Dee and Deb, I am very grateful for your continued presence and tenacity in supporting victims, raising awareness, and speaking up for marginalized Christians. In this pooling of our voices, we are offering a loud praise to Jesus, who offers freedom and justice and patient love!

  29. The issue is far deeper than just teaching women are easily deceived.

    This pernicious move to silence women is acting at least in the spirit of the antichrist.

    The most basic teaching of the NT is that "Jesus is Lord."

    Yet these patriarchs and patriarchal churches would substitute the husband as Lord for women, and the elders as Lord for men.

    Can't beat feet fast enough to get out of such idol worship!

  30. Eagle

    Randy Alcorn is fine and I have enjoyed some of his books. I have a few disagreements with him on some theological points but then again, why should that surprise anyone/ But, I think Yancey nails it far better than him.

  31. Eagle, do I take that that when you said "offensive" you meant "offensive" to the "Calvinistas"?  I'm sure most of us would be delighted rather than offended by the second possibility you mentioned πŸ™‚

    Re the early Church Fathers, I've read quite a few myself inc. Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athanasius and Origen.  I can't say I remember any deep misogyny, but on the other hand I read most of them in a compilation rather than the full unexpurgated works, so I stand open to correction.  While I wouldn't defend any misogyny found in their writing, one has to remember the context of the time and probably also the neo-Platonism to which many were exposed and some quite absorbed in.  They were important men and often brave and godly, but we shouldn't put them on a pedestal (I remember thinking in one case how off-beam his allegorical Scriptural interpretations were!).

  32. Kolya, read Augustine's "Confessions" – an unedited version. 

    I remember being very shocked by it at age 17 or so, re. his treatment of the woman with whom he had been involved (but not married to) and the child they had together.

    There's more (a LOT more), but – as with other early church fathers – it's not the stuff that gets put in anthologies of the kind you're talking about. 

     

     

  33. Meant to say that it's Augustine's post-conversion treatment of the woman in his life + his son that's shocking.

  34. Here is a blog post I wrote dealing with a man (Mark Driscoll) who preaches that women are easily deceived when in fact, as mention by dee above, it is Driscoll who suffers from deep deceptions. One of his deceptions is what I call "The Rock Star Preacher" deception. Women can see through this deception better than men because of the nature of the deception. But because Driscoll preaches that women are the ones easily deceived, the discernment of women is rejected and hated.

    http://frombitterwaterstosweet.blogspot.com/2012/03/sex-drugs-and-mark-driscoll-pt-4.html

     

     

  35. Emily:  We visited HOFCC church a number of times and also went to a HOFCC Bible study fellowship time weekly before it eventually became a new HOFCC church in the Ptld metro area.  We most likely have mutual connections.

    I never saw singles at any HOFCC (except for older widows/widowers)  or at least was not aware of them.  I don't know how you could get proper support in that environment.  I'm amazed at the teaching that those who are adults and single, living outside the home, still need to report in to dad.  There is the sense of "ownership"of adult children by fathers in that group and other patriarchal groups that I've wrestled with for quite some time. 

    One thing that I have noticed is that in churches like this, something doesn't necessarily need to be outright said from the pulpit in black/white ways.  There really is a sense that you can get.  I would not discount that.

  36. Eagle,

    You asked: "Here's a question for you. As an agnostic which is more offensive to God. Me walking boldly into hell, with my head held high rejecting God. Or you as a woman teaching and leading me to faith, thereby developing a personal faith in God? Which do you think is more offensive?

    Think about it……."

    I have been pondering your question all day Eagle.  I'm not sure if I should answer this according to what I've been taught, or if you're looking for my opinion, so I'll give you both.

    I have heard men in my circles philosophize 'round and 'round about this type of question (with no apparent conclusion), but I don't know of anyone that would actually teach that it would be a sin for a believing woman to teach an unbelieving man about God.  Of course I have never heard of that happening either, mostly of the unspoken pressure for women not to engage in conversation with men who are not their head other than "Hi how are you?"  Especially men not in the church.  The rule for women to be silent and not teach men seems to apply only to the public worship setting – BUT there are other rules of propriety that are much more likely to keep a believing woman from leading a man to Christ.

    And of course, no one ever talks about women's place in this sort of online format.  I see some very Patriarchal-leaning women teaching, debating, even hounding men online (on Facebook, etc), while I see others completely refraining from discussing anything theological online.  Many of them have blogs which men (gasp!) might happen to read and learn from.

    Hypothetically, if I were to lead you to Christ, I would probably be applauded by the men I know.  But then (hypothetically) if that led you to come to my church, all doors would close as far as me continuing to teach you anything.  The men, if they decided to be consistent, would say, "We'll take it from here," and an artificial boundary would be put between us.  Your faith might even be questioned if you continued to come to me for answers rather than the men.  Again, I have never seen this happen, so this is only my speculation based on what's been taught.

    My opinion?  It's still in process, but I am beginning to see that making growth in the Lord all about who is allowed to teach whom, who has authority over whom, and when and where these rules apply, forces Christians to create a very, very confusing system full of artificial boundaries that distance people from God and each other and doesn't bring them closer.  There are unspoken rules to break at every turn, which stifles the Holy Spirit and any sense of community because of the fear of breaking one of them.

    With all that said, if my words were to lead you to faith in God, I would simply be happy that you, as a man, did not use the fact that I am a woman as an excuse to close your ears.  It would confirm my suspicion that you are more open to truth than many of the Christian men Dee and Deb write about here.  I don't think there would be anything offensive about it at all.  What WOULD be offensive is if someone told you to keep rejecting God till a man comes along to properly teach you and change your mind.

  37. And God promised men that good and obedient wives would be found in all corners of the world. Then he made the earth round and laughed and laughed and laughed.

  38. Another *fine* quote from Mark Driscoll…if women are so gullible & easy to deceive then why did Christ choose women to be the first witnesses to his resurrection, in a culture where they were discounted as credible witnesss due to their gender? And where on earth is the evidence that women are more easily deceived? In all my life I can't think of a single example that would back this up…

     

  39. Although full-gospel churches may have their excesses, thank God that stifling woman doesn't seem to be one of them.

    My wife and I were saved in the old Jesus Movement in the early seventies (yes, we're born again old hippies! *G*), and the only fellowships we've ever been part of have been the charismatic type. We've listened to–and have been blessed by–women pastors, evangelists, and teachers, and the Calvinista idea that half the body of Christ is of a lesser status is silly on the surface, and horrifying upon deeper study. It speaks more to the clowns who push this nonsense on their congregations than those who suffer under it, methinks.

    All that to say, if we ever were to find ourselves in a church that promoted such darkness, we'd run like billy hell.

  40. Ij

    Ah, the four corners of the earth-another literal fact that we ignore. I do not believe the Bible mentions a round earth so I take it you are a liberal? πŸ™‚

  41. beakerJ

    We are all deceived at one time or another. It’s only a few men who cannot imagine women being as “sharp” as they are. Weird, strange and insecure men, for sure.

  42. master oral sex for men who have no intention of marrying them

     

    Yes yes.  This is a tragedy.  Because, as we all now know thanks to the anointed teaching of Driscoll the Undeceivable (because the more masculine you are the less you can be deceived), this is a skill Jesus requires the woman to learn for her husband.  Ahem.

    Mickey Mouse pastoring at its best. 8)

     

     

     

  43. " I see some very Patriarchal-leaning women teaching, debating, even hounding men online (on Facebook, etc), while I see others completely refraining from discussing anything theological online."

     

    LOL! How true. I used to read over at The Scroll blog associated with CBE. Many mutualist men comment and write there. And there were a few patriarchal women who come there often and totally chide the men using proof texts. This would go on and on. I was always amazed at their cognative dissonance. They can rebuke and teach mutalist men but not patriarchal men?. They really did not think mutualist men were real men. This is the sort of attitude that goes on in certain SBC circles. women can teach men in Africa but not in America.

  44. Pam, Deb, and Dee:

    Thank you all so much for your sweet words of encouragement, they mean so much to me.  So thankful for you and everyone here.

    I should clarify that Patriarchy/Reformed theology has not been forced on me by anyone, as it has some women.  I've never been mistreated or abused.  I blame no one but myself for the negative effects it has had on my walk with the Lord, and I don't want you all to be angry at anyone on my account.  I dove right into the depths of it unquestioningly (still sorting through why this happened).

    My husband is actually a very reasonable man and has often questioned the wisdom of the constant re-hashing of women's roles, etc.  He has stayed further away from the heavier Patriarchal teaching than I have – I chose to wear head-coverings and dresses all by myself and I don't think he'd have much to say if I burned them all in the backyard.

    I have good reason to believe he will be receptive to what I have to say when I am ready to say it.  I am just not ready yet, mostly because I am extremely introverted/introspective and have a hard time expressing myself in any way other than writing (and I'd like to talk with him face-to-face).  Also because of all the things I've set aside for re-evaluation and/or rejection, Young Earth Creationism is among them.  That is the one I fear will create conflict, not so much Patriarchy or Calvinism or any of the other things.  I am praying hard right now for the right words to say.  I don't want him to get the impression that I am just swinging to other extremes, I want him to understand that I am searching for some solid ground to stand on where I'm free to roam and explore the fulness of God's love and grace for once in my life, without fear.  I want to be done with the oppressive self-loathing these doctrines have brought into my life, to live freely as one loved by God and not as one hated and constantly striving to measure up.  I'm afraid I'm going to completely overwhelm him with all of this and he'll think I'm nuts.

    Dee, I like your advice to throw out one question at a time.  Last week I told him that I was interested in studying the original feminist movement because I had found out about some of the horrible things that became of women back then because they had no voice at all in society.  Clearly men being the only ones with rights to vote, etc. did not result in protection of women and children.  At all.  I told him I could see how there might be virtues in feminism (not militant) and I'd like to read about it.  He actually encouraged me to do so.  This coming from a guy who doesn't think there was any virtue in women winning the right to vote.

    Also, he recently said he doesn't think the church we're attending is the right one for us, though we've been there nearly a decade.  If I wanted to leave it I don't think he would have any problem with it.  I am just not sure yet if leaving is the right thing to do.  They are good, kind, sincere people – just so hard to get close to, I think because of the lack of community caused by the over-emphasis on women's issues.  I don't have anything bad to say about anyone there personally – it's just that the beliefs held there have taken their toll on me spiritually.

  45. Hi Numo,

    Thanks for your pointer on Augustine.  You did remind me about this, and it is rather sad.  I think although Augustine is a giant on some issues, as well as an entertaining and erudite writer, I would not take his stance on sex and gender generally.  There are passages in City of God (otherwise a book well worth reading) where his scripture interpretations (oddly allegorical) of passages such as Noah's ark to prove the superiority of the celibate life seem very forced.  I think also he may have reacted against what he saw as a sinful youth, possibly over-reacting in the process. 

    Wonder what people will say about me in 1,500 years or so? LOL

  46. A year or two ago my husband and I were able to sit in a couple of lectures by a visiting guest speaker.  The topic was on religious art in the 1500's.  I was wowed by his lecture and had to Google for more information the instant we got home.

    I found a good article by Christopher Witcombe that I would like to share with you.  Talk about getting back to the roots of an issue.

    When we look at the art at that time, you will see the Adam and Eve account with a snake around a tree.  When you look closely, you will see that the head of the snake in these portraits is a female head.  I think you'll like Dr. Witcombe's commentary on this subject!  Enjoy!

    Art—Eve, Adam, and the Serpent

    From:  http://witcombe.sbc.edu/eve-women/3eveidentity.html

  47. Eagle!

    I'm feeling a little bit dumb right now because it just occurred to me:  The question you asked me – I assumed in my answer that you were asking that hypothetically.  As in, IF I as a believing woman were to teach you as an agnostic man about God and it brought you to faith, would it be sin?  Ummm… was I assuming rightly that that was hypothetical or did I completely miss the whole point of your message to me/should I be partying right now?  Lol!

  48. "I remember being very shocked by it at age 17 or so, re. his treatment of the woman with whom he had been involved (but not married to) and the child they had together."

    Yes! He actually thought the :Christian thing to do was to bannish her from her son forever. Why? Because he could not marry her as she was from the wrong side of the tracks and her being there was a temptation to him. They had actually had a long relationship before he bannished her.

     

     

  49. Something else just occurred to me (hope we're not getting too off-topic here) – Augustine knew no Greek, only Latin.  I wonder if that influenced his understanding of the original texts.  He appears to have thought that making no provision for the flesh meant total celibacy, whereas from a Reformation point of view we would most likely have suggested he marry the woman instead as an aid to holiness, as one of the 39 Articles puts it so nicely.

    I think though that this illustrates a topical issue – if you get away from the scriptural balance concerning relations between men and women, whether by allegorising verses, ignoring them or just not using logic or common sense – you end up with a bit of mess, even if you started out with the most sincere intentions.  I think that applies to Christian groups as much as to the world outside.

  50. BTW I had better be careful using that term "relations between men and women", hadn't I?  As it might have a bit of a complementarian or patriarchal ring to it? LOL

     

  51. Jan,

    I, too, want to Thank You for taking the time to share about your journey.  We appreciate your telling us your story.  I am glad that you are part of the team here.  πŸ™‚

    I trust that the Good Lord will help you to further explore so many of these issues, as the rest of us have and continue to do so.  I trust  that you will be at peace as you reflect on where you have been and why and what might be the best scenario for you both in the future.

    All the best!

  52. Kolya & Anon 1 – well yes, he *could* have married her.

    The interesting thing is that – generally speaking – in Gnosticism of various kinds, the physical world is seen as evil, including sex.

    So… Augustine was a Manichaean prior to his coversion, right? The question is, why would he have been involved with her for so long while a Manichaean but cast her aside once he became a Christian.

    Or … maybe becoming a Christian is something of a diversion in this case? (Maybe he decided that he ought to start looking and acting like An Upright Man… but to my way of thinking, he did *that* all wrong.)

     

     

  53.  

    Can I say something in the defense of the men who teach – “Women Are Easily Deceived?”

     

    In the defense of this so-called male-leadership cabal – It’s not really their fault. 

     

    It’ God’s fault. No really, it is, it is. πŸ˜‰

     

    The Bible says when God operated on Adam, 

    “He caused a “deep sleep” to come upon Adam,” Gen 2:21 

     

    The Bible never says He woke him up again. 

    Seems Adam has been “sleep walking” ever since. πŸ™‚

     

    I mean – It was Adam who God told – to “take care of”, and “guard” the Garden… Gen 2:15.

    It was Adam who God told – NOT to eat from the tree – Gen 2:17

    Then Eve comes on the scene. Gen 2:21.

     

    And Adam is standing right next to Eve – in the Garden – When the serpent is speaking to Eve… 

    And Adam does NOT stop Eve – And Adam eats the fruit that God told him NOT to…

     

    Gen 3:6

    …she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; 

    and “he” did eat.

     

    Best I can figure – Adam is still “sleep walking”  – Because…

    Adam did NOT “take care of”, and guard” the Garden. πŸ™

    And Adam disobeyed God and ate from the tree. πŸ™

     

    Seems to me – Adam being dis-obedient – And NOT protecting, guarding, the Garden…

    Is NOT something these so-called “Leaders” should be bragging about. 

    Or aligning themselves with. I mean, they associate with and side with “Disobedient Adam.” πŸ˜‰

     

    But – Then again – This power hungry cabal – Is probably still “sleep walking”

    And creating a nightmare for themselves in the long run.

     

    And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: 

    them also I must bring, and they shall **hear MY voice;** 

    and there shall be “ONE” fold, and “ONE” shepherd. 

    John 10:16 

     

    One Fold – One Shepherd – One Voice – One Leader

     

    {{{{{{  Jesus  }}}}}}

  54. RE: Victorius on Fri Jul 06,2012 @ 10:30 AM,

    I take it that you're refering to 1 Peter 3:7?

    I would tend to rule out "weaker" in any real sense because empirical evidence will not support the thesis that women are by nature "weaker" than men.

    Grant it, in terms of brute physical strength, men may have a temporal edge, but in the long run women will outlast men much in the same way that titanium alloys will outlast the strongest steel alloys in harsh and corrosive environments.

    It is well known that women survivors of the holocaust far outnumbered the men when the Allies liberated the death camps.

    So what to do with St. Peter's pronouncement on women as weaker vessels when a literal and wooden reading of the passage won't work?

    I would simply treat it as metaphor for the brutal cultural constraints imposed on women in ancient Greco-Roman society.

  55. At the risk of invoking ire, I do think in terms of physical strengths, men and women do "complement" each other in that sense.  This would have been particularly important in the earliest days of mankind, when masculine applied force would have been necessary for extracting minerals, hewing wood, fighting invaders and hunting (esp where large animals, inc. mammoths, were involved), and female endurance would have been necessary for the painful process of childbearing and the arduous work of agriculture.  I'm not saying that these were completely mutually exclusive: probably men and women on occasion did both. 

    To a certain extent these attributes, although they began to be diminished somewhat with the Industrial Revolution, persisted well into the twentieth century, and are probably still important in many Third World countries that lack infrastructure.

    However I do not thinking holding to this view necessarily makes me a complementarian in the sense commonly understood on this site πŸ˜‰ since I am merely discussing physical complementarities here, and I think the "Calvinista" understanding is based more on Scripture (as they interpret it) and the spiritual?

    Comments welcome πŸ™‚

     

     

  56. Muff Potter,

    I agree with your assessment of "weaker vessel" as more of a cultural metaphor.  However, see how John Gill's commentary explains this verse:

    and here "the weaker"; being so for the most part, both as to strength of body, and endowments of mind; and therefore to be used gently and tenderly, and not be treated with neglect and contempt, or with inhumanity and severity; but as, in every state and condition, the strong are to bear the infirmities of the weak; so a man should bear with, and accommodate himself to the infirmities of his wife, and hide them as much as he can, and not expose them, nor despise her on account of them.

    I've heard this type of teaching used to further marginalize a woman's value and participation in both the home and the church.

    That was my point made with a bit of sarcasm.

     

     

     

  57. Dee,       That saying ,   "love the 'sinner'  but hate the sin"     is a joke.  Like somehow  that  Christian, wait  I mean Pharasee,  is above everyone else and doesn't  sin anymore.  This is has been  taught in most churches for years and years. The Calvanists  and  Baptists  are famous for this.   

  58.  I totally agree with Julie Anne

    "One thing that I have noticed is that in churches like this, something doesn't necessarily need to be outright said from the pulpit in black/white ways.  There really is a sense that you can get.  I would not discount that."

     

  59. Kolya – Women are the ones who go through pregnancy and childbirth, though… 

    Not something men would ever want to experience, I think. πŸ˜‰ 

  60. Men might have hunted mammoth, etc, but they didn't really catch much – we mostly ate the fruit and berries the women collected while the men were out running around.

  61. About Genesis: I believe that the book of Genesis (and the rest of the Bible) is true. However, I'm not sure in what way Genesis is true. I know that it is true spiritually and it is true in the morals that it presents, and in the basic lineage; but I don't know that the book is meant to be taken hard-stone literally.

    But anyway … If rejecting, marginalizing, and silencing women in the church is like doing the same to the Holy Spirit, then would that be considered blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which is the unpardonable sin? Any thoughts? I mean, if the Holy Spirit is working through and in women, and the church is rejecting these women, then isn't the church also rejecting the Holy Spirit? What has happened to faith and love?

  62. To think that complementarian Evangelicals are among the fiercest critics of Islamic extremism even though the two worldviews share a wide range of ideas such as the role of women and mixing politics and religion.  
    The irony is just rich.  To quote Shakespeare, they do protest too much.

  63. Numo – I agree I would not want to experience pregnancy and childbirth.  Just wanting the exertions of a lizard laying eggs gives me an idea of how exhausting the process of bringing new life to the world is.

    Pam – I suspect hunters were sometimes the hunted!  ("Did you catch anything today, dear?"  "No, but a mammoth chased me for a mile".)  But joking aside, gathering must also have been a large part of early mankind's life.  Michael Crichton in Jurassic Park (the novel) made it sound almost idyllic (at least in the mouth of one of the characters), but I suspect the reality was probably a lot different.  Whether hunting or gathering, I suspect life was pretty "challenging" (as people like to say these days).

    David C, while I disagree with complementarianism and understand your remark, I think you may be thinking more of theonomists, who certainly do believe that the Law of Moses (and hence theocracy) should be the rule of law for a nation.  I would say however that they are really a minority and I am not even sure they are in the same camp as complementarians.  Also the problem for those who would wish to impose a Christian theocracy is that nobody really knows in contemporary terms what such a state would look like.  However history suggests that well-meaning attempts at building such a nation are doomed to at best compromise and at worst abject failure and disaster. 

  64. Cynthia

    The church is rejecting women. Many leadership decisions involve human beings. By sidelining women, these leaders are rejecting information that could be helpful in running a church and dealing with people. Churches make such a big deal that the running of a church is somehow a deep, spiritual, other wordly thing. In factm the majority of church decisions are very mundane. Do they really think that a woman is banned from helping them make a decision on building an extra bathroom?Β 

  65. Kolya, you said:

    "I think you may be thinking more of theonomists, who certainly do believe that the Law of Moses (and hence theocracy) should be the rule of law for a nation. I would say however that they are really a minority and I am not even sure they are in the same camp as complementarians."

    I would say that only the more Patriarchal-type complementarians are theonomic, but from my experience, all theonomists are patriarchal.  A non-patriarchal theonomist would be a walking contradiction.  The church I currently attend is both extremely theonomic and heavily patriarchal.

  66. Dee,    in regard to my last post,  I had  read your response to Bob and  that got me thinking and so that is why I posted about the "love the sinner ,hate the sin."     I know it must of  seemed out there since that was not the main subject. 

  67. Stormy

    Thanks for letting me know. Sometimes, with a lot of comments, I forget what I said and when. πŸ™‚

  68. Dee,

    I talked to a friend who just went through the CLC new members class, and she said they did not teach in there that women were deceived.  I don't know what Josh's official position is.  They do teach male leadership, though.

  69. Hi Jan,

    I would certainly imagine that most if not all theonomists are patriarchal, but I wasn't sure if complementarians of any shade might be theonomic.  Thanks for that.  Some things are just not an issue over here in the UK, though evangelicals who belong to what one might call the Sydney diocese camp seem to speak about the nation a lot (reaching it, changing it, etc) – but I would never call that theonomy as their understanding of Scripture is fundamentally different from that of what one would call professing theonomists.  They might be unhappy with some legislation (proposed or existing), but they would never dream of implementing the Law of Moses for one minute.

  70. Kolya, even as a theonomist (which I am heavily questioning the virtues of at this point), I would shudder inwardly at some of the discussions that went on in my circles. Some of the ‘solutions’ presented in complete earnestness… if the Law of Moses were to be suddenly implemented in America today, there would be a massive slaughter. How can this not be wrong, and how did I not see it? πŸ™

  71. “If rejecting, marginalizing, and silencing women in the church is like doing the same to the Holy Spirit, then would that be considered blasphemy of the Holy Spirit which is the unpardonable sin? Any thoughts?”

    Cynthia Meg, I believe there is a connection between their views on the work of the Holy Spirit and how they treat women. These churches practice a paint-by-numbers type Christianity that doesn’t depend on the Holy Spirit to accomplish their agenda. The absence of the Holy Spirit wouldn’t even be noticed. It may not be blaspheming the Holy Spirit, but it surely is outraging, quenching and grieving Him!

  72. MM, I wanted to answer Cynthia Meg’s question but couldn’t quite articulate my thoughts. You did it PERFECTLY!

  73. Thanks Jan!

    I have felt deeply all that you have shared and I rejoice with you in what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. πŸ™‚

  74. If women are more easily deceived, then why were ninety-nine percent of the world’s false religions started by men?!

  75. Emily and Julie Anne-
    Greg Harris’ admonition to my husband was NOT a joke. The ‘Heads of Household Meeting’ had been convened to deal with the pedophile case that the Pastor (dad) and Elders were referring to as “just a kiss”. My husband was trying to tell everyone that there was a bigger problem based on information that I had given him. We assumed that the leadership did not know the truth. We now know they did. They were COVERING it up.
    Was the TRUTH ignored by marginalizing a female? Yes, but they ALL marginalized my husband too.
    The feeling Julie Anne refers to was palpable: “something doesn’t necessarily need to be outright said from the pulpit in black/white ways. There really is a sense that you can get.”
    They had chosen to circle the wagon around a CONFESSED child predator and his family and protect the church from scandal. I believe this would have happened if the victim had been a boy. My burning question is WHY?? They did not shepherd the victim or her family or anyone who stood for the TRUTH.
    So I believe this speaks to a much bigger issue than marginalizing women. The Pastor’s wife and perpetrator’s mother was completely on board with the heads of household teachings. She led a women’s study which I was asked to leave when I questioned the “one size fits all” teaching on how to be a Godly wife/mother. The bottom line is an iron-fisted control that squeezes the Holy Spirit out of existence in the Body.
    Blessings to you all as you seek HIS will for your church family!

  76. It is my opinion that Jesus and becoming Christ like are what the teachings of the pulpit are to be. Not gender annihilation. Misogyny means the hatred of women. Anyone hating anybody at any time is actually hating Christ period. I think this Mark fellow is a misogynist that really serves demons and is probably possessed. He has no business being behind a pulpit. Furthermore if these men are tempted, rather than punishing the women for their weakness, why don’t they put dark glasses on the men. These men should be paying attention to the Word of God about God.