I thought of a passage from the book of Jeremiah 29:11-13: “‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord.” It irked me that too often women are made to feel guilty for seeking the next open door. – Sarah Palin
As most of you know, this past week has been very busy for your two glam bloggers. We have been privileged to begin to experience the “community of believers” on the Internet in a unique way. So many of today’s leaders express disdain for blogging, claiming that “church” can only be done in a physical, local sense. Having experienced the TWW community for the past few years, we have come to the conclusion that community online is possible and we shall be writing about this in the weeks to come. For now, let me refer you to Chaplin Mike’s post at the Internet Monk here to get you thinking along these lines.
I truly believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through all believers and, in particular, through our TWW community. In fact, it is your discussions that often lead us to look at particular issues and individuals and so, I present today’s post!
I found it interesting that there was much discussion on Mary Kassian and some articles she is posting. I also find it interesting that she has “shut down” comments. Is she afraid of something? I think this is a possibility since some of her conclusions are based on weak exegesis of Scripture as well as pop psychology with no basis in fact. I would be afraid to take comments if I were in her shoes as well.
Complementarianism is for Dummies-Redux link
Deb did a short review of this post here. Unless stated, all quotes by Kassian are from this post.
May Kassian is responsible(along with others) for The Danvers Statement
The Danvers statement, written 26 years ago in 1986, is the epicenter of the definition of complementarianism. If you refer to Deb’s post it is important to realize that this was a “secret and invitation only” meeting. Kassian claims, in her post that she “should know what the word "complementarian" means since she helped (I assume in a complementary fashion) ”coin the term.” I am so glad she cleared that up. Now I know who to blame.
Make no mistake about this statement. There was a presupposed set of beliefs and this meeting was of like-minded individuals who sought to define what they believe and make it an indisputable doctrinal statement. In fact, it is often presented as the only possible “biblical” or “gospel.” Folks, always ask questions when someone is presenting “biblical” truth.
Egalitarians are wounded women and Kassian is not.
Interestingly, an important article that she wrote for CBMW, is not able to be viewed because the site is down, probably being spiffed up for popular consumption. However, an article from PsychoHeresy Awareness Ministries: Are Women Innocent Victims by Carol Tharp MD link quotes directly from that currently unavailable article. The title to that Kassian’s article was "For Those Who Hate Feminists—And Those Who Don’t which was found at the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Newsletter , Vol. 1, No. 2
I believe it is imperative to understand Kassian’s views on women who propose egalitarianism or contrary points of views. Her perspectives appear intended to marginalize women who disagree with her. Let me predict something. When the CBMW blog once again arises like a phoenix, I predict this article will go missing.
In the article, she makes the following points:
- “Kassian says she only had "good men" in her life.”
- “Kassian contends that a woman "who has been molested by her grandfather, ignored by her father, sexually derided by her brother, slapped by her husband, and ridiculed by her male friends . . . reacts to the wounding by adopting a feminist and/or egalitarian philosophy which assures her of worth and value as a woman."
- Kassian says such women “must be “healed” to get complementarianism.”
- “Kassian continues in the mindset of the psychotherapist, saying that the woman "needs healing of her pain before she is able to respond to truth."
- She restates her position. "Most feminists will not be persuaded by theological finesse or expertise. Theirs is a wounding of the heart and their minds and will only be set aright as their hearts are healed."
Dr. Tharp remarks:
“Remember that the cities into which the apostles moved were not filled with "good men." These cities were at least as depraved as the places where you and I live. Yet the apostles did not approach either male or female with the diagnosis of wounding nor did they ever suggest that truth could not be accepted until the pain was healed.”
“Her article leads me to assume she means that her male associates have not been wife beaters and child molesters like the male associates of the woman she describes. However, Scripture does not divide mankind into good and bad. It simply says that no one is good or does good. All have turned away and are unrighteous (Romans 3: 10-12).”
Kassian endorses a subtle form of spiritual abuse via this tactic
I believe that the “egalitarians are hurt women” assumption on the part of Kassian is part of the spiritual abuse game plan that is found in many of today’s churches. If one disagrees with a pastor, one is considered “wounded” or “bitter.” We have documented such tactics, time and time again on this blog. This is a despicable maneuver because it feigns “concern” for those poor women who were not blessed by morally superior relationships such as hers. (Old Dee, however, is very suspicious when people claim moral superiority. They are often concealing something).
Kassian exhibits a logic problem as well
How does she “know” all egalitarians are “wounded?” Having done this blog for a few years, I can say that there are complementarians who are wounded as well. Where are the randomized, double blind studies? Or did another ho-hum “observer” of the Christian ethos start a new urban legend? We have a page on this blog called “Dave’s Pulpit Myths link . For example there is “NASA scientists have discovered the missing day of Joshua’s time” fable.
Many pew sitters tend to “believe” whatever is spouted up front without asking questions. Does anyone remember the old “Proctor and Gamble are Satan worshippers” nonsense? This sort of assumption is embarrassing because it comes from an SBTS seminary professor. No wonder the world has a field day with is. The sad part of this gibberish is that some stupid or naïve men and women will promote this view based on hearsay alone.
There is also another logical problem with her argument. Since many men support an egalitarian point of view, does this mean they were “beat up” emotionally as well?
Kassian claims that complementarian relationship is supposed to be a living witness to the story of Jesus.
“Complementarians believe that males were designed to shine the spotlight on Christ’s relationship to the church (and the LORD God’s relationship to Christ) in a way that females cannot, and that females were designed to shine the spotlight on the Church’s relationship to Christ (and Christ’s relationship to the LORD God) in a way that males cannot. Who we are as male and female is ultimately not about us. It’s about testifying to the story of Jesus.”
Frankly, I am getting sick and tired of people saying that there is a symbolism in certain acts and buildings that will draw people to the story of Jesus. This is a myth perpetrated by many Christians.
For example, there is the “If we build something, people will see Christ” myth. I refer you to Robert Jeffress, FBC Dallas pastor and the bon vivant of the “build it for the Lord” crowd. He has spearheaded the $130 million expansion of the church, complete with a $12 million fountain”. Jeffress says “It has been our goal in building this new campus that it would, architecturally, point people to Christ."” See the "Jesus" fountain here.
It’s time to ask hard questions folks. How many people do you know who came to Jesus by viewing a pretty fountain? Also, how many people do you know who look at Christian marriages and say, “Wow, now I get it. Fred and Martha’s marriage has helped me to understand the Trinity?” In fact, I think there are lots and lots for people who, after being on the receiving end of some condemnation on the part of Christians, point to Christian marriages and say, “Christianity is hogwash. They have higher divorce rates than we atheists. “
Folks, we are far more well-known for our failures than our supposed “symbols.” That might be OK if we emphasized our sinfulness and our need for the grace of Jesus. But, it seems to me, that we usually emphasize our relative superiority. I want numbers, not anecdotes. How many people have come to the Lord after viewing our “symbolic Godhead marriages?”
Kassian states that complementarity does not condone the patriarchal, societal oppression of women.
Kassian makes a big deal that they (the secretive Danvers group) did not use the word “traditionalism” instead of “complementarianism “ since it could be misunderstood. Then she inserts “patriarchy” into the discussion.The seminary at which she teaches (obviously not men), Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is both a proponent of the Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS) as well as patriarchy.
Kassian is well aware that the new word for her form of complementarianism is patriarchy. Russell Moore said “… I hate … the word 'complementarian', I prefer the word 'patriarchy'…" link
She is also aware that the ESS doctrine says that women will be subordinate to men throughout eternity . I believe that she is afraid to use such terms but that she believes them. Read how she words this.
“Technically, “patriarchy” simply means a social organization in which the father is the head of the family. But since the 1970s, feminists have redefined the historic use of the term, and attributed negative connotations to it. Nowadays, people regard patriarchy as the oppressive rule of men. “Patriarchy” is regarded as a misogynistic system in which women are put down and squelched. That’s why we rejected the term”
She does not reject "patriarchy". I bet she would have used it if those confounded wounded feminists hadn’t screwed it up and alerted everyone.
I contend that June Cleaver is the ideal role model of the complementarians.
“June Cleaver is a traditional, American, cultural TV stereotype. She is NOT the complementarian ideal. Period. (And exclamation mark!) Culture has changed. What complementarity looks like now is different than what it looked like sixty or seventy years ago.”
This is disingenuous. I contend that June Cleaver is exactly the model of a true woman which is being declared by some of the most outspoken complementarians. Women are to be well-dressed, great cooks, very submissive, not speak out in church unless it is to other women or little kids, and take abuse “for a season.”
John Piper has said that women have to be very careful not to insult a man’s leadership when giving him road directions, for crying out loud. Others say women are gullible and easily deceived. (I think this last concept will be cleansed from the CBMW site-gotta keep those things secret because the poor wounded women don’t understand the deeper spiritual truth in that.)
In fact, I have a question. What, precisely, do these comps not like about June Cleaver? She seems to reflect their points of view rather perfectly.
Finally, Kassian may have some other assumption that need to be discussed.
For example, at the Deconstructing Christian Images blog here in a post called “Ain’t I a Woman," a review of Kassian's Tru Woman 101 alleges that Kassian has some rather strange ideas about men and women.if these prove true, then I believe there is a problem with her "winsome trajectory."
- Adam was created in the desert and placed in the Garden meaning he is strong and rugged and women were created in the garden meaning they are soft and need comfort and protection.
- Adam named Eve and she accepted his instruction therefore women were meant to defer to men.
- God instructed Adam prior to Eve’s appearance. He was supposed to clue Eve in which means that men are the ones who are to be the leaders.
I believe there is much more that needs to be understood about Mary Kassian’s ideas. Her conclusions on this post are merely an outgrowth of some deeply held suppositions, some of which appear to be based in conjecture. Complementarianism for Dummies is just that- for dummies. It is simplistic and condescending.
Take for example this statement “Okay, now that we’ve cleared up some misconceptions and false terminology about complementarianism…” Who is this “we?” What makes her think that things have been cleared up? In fact, I am even more confused but perhaps I am one of those wounded, uppity women needing to be pitied. I wonder, are we the dummies or is she?
Lydia's Corner: Genesis 16:1-18:15 Matthew 6:1-24 Psalm 7:1-17 Proverbs 2:1-5