Wayne Grudem: 83 Biblical Rules for Gospel Women

 A Pharisee is hard on others and easy on himself, but a spiritual man is easy on others and hard on himself.  AW Tozer

Complaining Pharisee public domain wikicommons
The Complaining Pharisee  Public Domain
 

On my recent vacation, my husband forgot his Kindle and confiscated mine to read Killing Lincoln. I did not mind since I had brought along a few books to read, just in case. True book lovers will understand what I mean by "just in case." I love reading on my Kindle. However, because I am a book fiend, I still have books that have not been read, which are strewn all over my house. I am working my way through them.

One of them was a Christian fantasy called The Light of Eidon by Karen Hancock link. I am, and always will be, a devoted science fiction and fantasy fan. I expect to be an old and confused lady living in a protective Alzheimer's Unit muttering about CJ Mahaney  and demanding that they play reruns of Stargate Atlantis.

The protagonist of the book is a young man, Abramm, who was born to be a king in his world. But, he gave it all up to devote himself to pursuing a vocation as a religious leader. He entered a religious order and spent eight difficult years during which he was devoted to learning how to become worthy enough to touch and tend the Sacred Flames of Eidon, around which the faith of that world revolved. He expected, due to his very real sacrifice and devotion, to be blessed by the Flames in this endeavor. But, he learned that the Flames, and those devoted to them, were evil. He had to confront the fact that his sacrifice to the rules was for naught. He faced terrible trials, betrayed by the religious order and sold into slavery by his royal family. In the midst of his suffering, he begins to find the truth.

While reading the book, I stopped many times, contemplating the many times we have discussed legalism on this blog. It seems to me that we are far too willing to short sell grace in order to obtain a set of rules that will "prove" our devotion. Just like Abramm, we like regulations so that we can check off all that we have done in order to substantiate that we are really Christians. 

There are some who would claim that, in the absence of rules, we would become "out of control." I would contend that those who understand grace are the ones truly understand their inability to be perfect and who pursue a life of consistent gratitude for the One who provided the Way. 

I also have a theory that there are many, who, due to the doctrine of election, fear that they might not be one of the chosen. So, they are driven to "prove" their salvation by showing how closely they adhere to the rules set forth by others who they believe hold the key to salvation. These rules and mandates must be correct since such men are obviously saved because they preach election and are admired by truly great men who must also be elect. So, if these men say that people must do (fill in the blank), they do it, hoping it means they are one of the elect. The faith becomes a set of dos and don'ts. 

Wayne Grudem is one of these obviously elect leaders. He has been focused on defining the rules for women which he believes falls under the banner of  complementarianism. Complementarians have done poor job in defining what this looks like in marriage. In fact, the more we post on this matter, the more complementrianism looks like egalitarianism except for the name. 

I think that men like Grudem realize this and have focused their efforts on "rules" for women in the church. The local church is increasingly becoming the center for Calvinistas to carry forth their agenda. We are told that the local church holds the keys to authority and can define who is, and who is not, saved. Al Mohler has gone so far to say that an individual cannot leave her/his local church unless they obtain permission from the pastors. The only reason to leave is serious theological problems. Wanna bet that, if I have trouble with the following Calvinista theology, Al would not give me permission to leave? (To which I say-watch my dust-but I digress).

I first learned of Grudem's rules for women from a great blog by Australian Marg Mowczko called newlife link. Here is how she addressed the matter.

In an article entitled “But What Should Women Do in the Church?” (his emphasis in italics), Grudem has gone to the trouble of painstakingly listing 83 church ministries in – according to him – decreasing order of the “authority” and “influence” needed to minister and participate in these ministries.  He has categorized these 83 ministries into three lists.

  • List 1 includes ministries that involve “governing authority”;
  • List 2 includes ministries that involve Bible teaching;  
  • List 3 includes ministries that involve public visibility and recognition.

According to Mowczko, this was  first published in the Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Volume 1 No.2 (Fall 1995) and was published on the CBMW (Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) website which continues to be down after 8 months. (TWW thinks they are scrubbing the site of all sorts of references to women as gullible and easily deceived, getting rid of some Driscoll material and eliminating all references to the tie in of complementarianism and housekeeping, in spite of the presence of Dorothy Patterson. Time will tell!)

Thankfully, the entire article is still available at this link. Grudem starts off with an amusing warning which rings hollow as I read his interminable lists. He states:

These lists do not rank importance to the church! 

He claims that these lists are incomplete! I am most grateful that he ran out of time or we might have had a book as thick as his Systematic Theology link with which to contend.Good night!  As an amusing side note, Dee taught this entire tome, along with my husband and another dear friend, to a mixed Sunday school class. I taught the section on women and commented that Grudem would not be pleased that I was doing so. Of course, I did add my own 2 cents which was hardly necessary since I was obviously disobeying rules!

The following are the c descriptions of church functions under each list. I cannot list all of them. You may find the comprehensive list at this  link. The numbers beside each item are Grudem's numbers. Number 1 has the most authority and the responsibility declines as the list goes on.

List 1 -Governing Authority

  • 1. President of a denomination
  • 5. Senior pastor in local church
  • 6. Member of governing board with authority over whole church (for example, elder in many churches, deacon or board member or church council member in others)
  • 7. Presiding over a baptism or communion service (but see List 3 for serving communion or performing a baptism)
  • 8. Giving spoken judgment on a prophecy given to the congregation (I think this is what Paul forbids in 1 Cor. 14:33-36)
  • 9. Permanent leader of a fellowship group meeting in a home (both men and women members)
  • 10. Committee chairman (or "chairperson") (explanation: this item and the following two have some kind of authority in the church, but it is less than the authority over the whole congregation which Paul has in mind in 1 Cor. 14:33-36, 1 Tim. 2:12, 1 Tim. 3, and Titus 1)
  • 11. Director of Christian Education
  • 14. Moderating a Bible discussion in a home Bible study group
  • 16. Leading singing on Sunday morning (note: this could be listed between 8 and 9 above, depending on how a church understands the degree of authority over the assembled congregation that is involved)
  • 17. Deacon (in churches where this does not involve governing authority over the entire congregation)
  • 22. Meeting periodically with church governing board to give counsel and advice
  • 23. Regular conversations between elders and their wives over matters coming before the elder board (with understanding that confidentiality is preserved)
  • 24. *Professional counselor (one woman counseling one man)
  • 25. *Professional counselor (one woman counseling a couple together)
  • 26. *Professional counselor (one woman counseling another woman)

Grudem speaks to this list.

My own personal judgment in this matter is that in the area of governing authority I would draw the line between numbers 9 and 10; that is, I would approve of a woman as Director of Christian Education or Superintendent of the Sunday School, or as a committee chairman within the church. These activities do not seem to me to carry the sort of authority over the whole congregation that Paul has in view in 1 Timothy 2, or when he specifies that elders should be men (in 1 Tim. 3 and Titus 1).

I am startled to note that:

  • There is more responsibility involved in counseling a man (24) than in counseling a woman (26).
  • It appears that overseeing Christian Education (11) for the church is at a lower rank than leading a home group (9).
  • Leading singing (16) has more responsibility than counseling a woman (26).

Why? Can anyone tell this easily deceived woman why?

List 2 -Bible teaching ministries

  • 1. Teaching Bible or theology in a theological seminary
  • 5. Preaching (teaching the Bible) regularly to the whole church on Sunday mornings
  • 6. Occasional preaching (teaching the Bible) to the whole church on Sunday mornings
  • 7. Occasional Bible teaching at less formal meetings of the whole church (such as Sunday evening or at a mid-week service)
  • 8. Bible teaching to an adult Sunday school class (both men and women members)
  • 9. Bible teaching at a home Bible study (both men and women members)
  • 10. Bible teaching to a college age Sunday school class
  • 14. Writing a commentary on a book of the Bible
  • 16. Writing or editing a study Bible intended primarily for women
  • 17. Bible teaching to a women's Sunday school class
  • 19. Bible teaching to a junior high Sunday school class
  • 22. Working as an evangelistic missionary in other cultures
  • 23. Moderating a discussion in a small group Bible study (men and women members)
  • 24. Reading Scripture aloud on Sunday morning
  • 35. Singing hymns with the congregation (in this activity, sometimes we "teach" and exhort one another in some sense: Col. 3:16)

Here is where Grudem draws his line.

With regard to areas of Bible teaching, I would personally draw the line between points 10 and 11. Once again, I think there is a strong similarity between a home Bible study which is taught by a woman (item 9) and the local church meeting in a home in the ancient world. Therefore I do not think it would be appropriate for a woman to be the regular instructor in a home Bible study. 

He also restricts the age at which a woman can no longer teach a young man.

In our own culture, if children graduate from high school, move away from home, and begin to support themselves, then surely they are no longer under the instruction of their mothers at home, but are functioning as adults on their own. A new household has been formed. In that case, the young men are certainly adult men, and it would not be appropriate for a woman to teach a class with them as members.

Many college students are already living away from home, supporting themselves at least in part, and functioning in our society in all other ways as independent adults. In fact, most college students would be insulted if you called them "children"! For these reasons, it seems to me that a college age Sunday School class (item 10) should have a male teacher.

I find these rankings unbelievably insulting to women and missionaries.

  • Writing a commentary on a book of the Bible for men and woman (14) is a greater responsibility than writing a study Bible for women alone (16).
  • Bible teaching to college students (10) ranks higher than Bible teaching to women (17)!
  • Working as a missionary in another culture (22) ranks far lower than teaching a home Bible study (9) or teaching a junior high school class (19). Yeah, tell that to the martyrs!

Once again I say, why?!! Can anyone tell me why? Can someone show me where this is in the Bible?

List 3 -Public Visibility and Public Recognition

  • 1. Ordination as pastor (member of the clergy) in a denomination
  • 2. Being licensed to perform some ministerial functions within a denomination
  • 3. Paid member of pastoral staff (such as youth worker, music director, counselor, Christian Education director)
  • 4. Paid member of administrative church staff (church secretary or treasurer, for example)
  • 5. Performing a baptism (in churches where this is not exclusively the role of clergy or elders)
  • 7. Giving announcements at the Sunday morning service
  • 8. Taking the offering
  • 9. Public reading of Scripture
  • 10. Public prayer
  • 11. Prophesying in public (according to 1 Cor. 11:5 and 14:29, where this is not understood as having authority equal to scripture or Bible teaching)
  • 13. Giving a personal testimony in church

Grudem than attempts to show he is a man of good will, after all. 

I personally would also draw the line between items 1 and 2. I do not think that women should be ordained as pastors, but I think it is entirely appropriate for them to have other full-time positions on the "pastoral staff " of the church (such as youth worker, music director).

However, I find this list quite odd and wonder why he felt compelled make it.

  • Giving announcements ("We need help making the coffee) comes in at (7) while giving a testimony is (13)
  • Public prayer ranks (10) but collecting the offering is (8). 
  • Prophesying in public is (11) but being the church secretary is (3).

Finally, this list was made back in the mid 1990s. Recently, both Tim Challies and John Piper, both good buddies of Grudem, have said that women should not read the Scriptures out loud in church nor should they pray behind at the pulpit. I do not know if Wayne Grudem has changed his views on these two matters. One thing I do believe is that Grudem has not become more open to the role of women within the church since compiling this list.

This brings me back to the topic of legalism. I think these lists remind me of a whole bunch of people in the New Testament who thought it was their duty to define, in depth, how to live out the faith. In doing so, they added burdens to God's people. They were called Pharisees and Jesus called them "snakes."  He did not take kindly to them making the faith about a bunch of rules and, instead, emphasized love. Could it be that these complementarians are modeling themselves after the rule makers instead of the One who took us to the Cross to give us the gift of grace? 

Let me ask our readers a question. When you look at this list, do the words "grace," "love" or "freedom" immediately jump to mind. Or do you feel weighed down, discouraged or weary? I look forward to your responses!

Lydia's Corner: Numbers 19:1-20:29 Luke 1:1-25 Psalm 56:1-13 Proverbs 11:8

Comments

Wayne Grudem: 83 Biblical Rules for Gospel Women — 338 Comments

  1. I say this will every bit of love I can muster after reading these lists….that man has some serious problems. He needs some serious counseling.

    The End.

  2. “List 1 -Governing Authority”

    Given that the definition of “mature femininity” is an inclination to yield to “worthy” men, is it really appropriate for women to be “governing” men at all? (Unless, of course, all the men under these women’s “governing authority” are automatically unworthy.) I really did expect the activities on List 1 to be deemed completely inappropriate for women based only on the name.

    “7. Presiding over a baptism or communion service”

    Baptism/communion services are more special than/different from regular services? Grudem should be consistent and do what the Catholics do – church w/communion is mass, church w/o communion is a service. But that would make many of his readers very unhappy.

    “9. Permanent leader of a fellowship group meeting in a home (both men and women members)”

    Weren’t there women in the New Testament with churches meeting in their houses? I can’t think of the reference right now. Interesting in light of the fact that Grudem deems this inappropriate.

    “11. Director of Christian Education”

    I’ve never known a ChrisEd director who WASN’T a woman…but more to the point, why is it okay for women to choose the materials that will be taught, but not to do the actual teaching? Who’s the real teacher in that situation? Who’s actually making the educational/ideological/theological choices? The ChrisEd director.

    “16. Leading singing on Sunday morning”

    I’m a singer and I’ve never heard that song leaders had “governing authority” over the congregation. Maybe I should start throwing my weight around some more, make sure the congregation knows their place. Therefore my first act as musical overlady shall be to institute the Puritan whacking stick treatment for that person in the back who tries to turn every hymn into a dirge. ; )

    “In our own culture, if children graduate from high school, move away from home, and begin to support themselves, then surely they are no longer under the instruction of their mothers at home, but are functioning as adults on their own.”

    Well, in the Lutheran view, you’re an adult in the church as soon as you’re confirmed so that pushes the age down to about 15. So I guess Lutheran women can’t even teach high school age boys. Also, his criteria for the cutoff age smacks heavily of the patriarchal/Reconstructionist idea of “jurisdiction.”

    “3. Paid member of pastoral staff (such as youth worker, music director, counselor, Christian Education director)”

    See what I said above about ChrisEd directors. It also applies to music directors in many ways.

  3. Dee,

    When I finished reading your post, Galatians 5:1 immediately came to mind.

    “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (ESV)

    It’s a simple equation in my mind:

    Complementarianism = Yoke of Bondage

  4. Not sure how I feel, i’m still trying to press my curled toes back down.

    This all reminds me of being responsible for a much loved springer spaniel, compared to some pretty house plants.

    I assure you, Henry our beloved springer and best pal gets the best of care and attention in his food, his health & medical care, his walking enjoyment, and making sure his love meter is full at all times. Our houseplants? hmmm, not sure when was the last time we watered them — ah well, it’s unfortunate but we’ll get by.

  5. So Grudem’s idea of the order of importance of different people (I feel a bit sick just typing that phrase) is:
    American men

    Women
    Schoolkids

    Foreigners

    Ugh.

  6. In many of the churches I’ve been around women would not be on staff as music directors as they are not “allowed” to lead worship on Sunday mornings! The only paid staff members who are female are those who are administratively oriented. Women are not allowed to lead anywhere that they might have to lead men. That is a manly job . . .

  7. My 1st thought: I wonder how many rules there are for Gospel Men? They certainly must have more because they are the heads of their wives/household which means more responsibility, right?

  8. I’m sitting here wondering how many better things he could have done with the time he wasted writing this list? Does he think it was a divine oversight that Jesus forgot to write up this list for us before He ascended?

    Actually, he has just proved a long-held suspicion of mine that, alongside their misogyny, comps are way too hung up on this whole hierarchy thing, wanting to arrange everybody into lines of authority. I prefer what Jesus said, “42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all”

    Please Mr Grudem, come down off your high horse and come and dance with the redeemed who care nothing for this nonsense, but simply want to hold hands and seek Jesus together!

  9. Whenever someone has to make a list like this, my first thought is legalism! He only made it to 83. I get the feeling that he was trying to make 613…

  10. I get the feeling that he was trying to make 613…

    Steve, give him time. If the sheep accept those, the list will grow. The talmud afforded more freedom than Grudem’s list!!

  11. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds the very making of a list like this bizarre? What sort of weird bubble do you have to be living in that this is something you would want to sit down and define for everyone? I also kind of lost it when he listed ‘president of denomination’ and ‘seminary teacher’ at the very tops of these lists. I have trouble imagining someone saying that unironically, and yet there you have it.

  12. Does Wayne Grudem think he’s Santa? Let’s see. He’s made a list. I’m sure he’s checked it two or more times. And he uses it to decide if women are being ‘naughty’ or ‘nice’. I think that’s pretty clear proof that Grudem does consider himself Mr Claus.

  13. I had a copy of Systematic Theology. I took Eagle’s advice and threw it out a year ago. Along with some John Macarthur and John Piper books. And like Eagle’s experience it was very freeing!

  14. In clarification to my previous comment: this feels so thoroughly antithetical to the spirit of what Christianity is that the only context I can imagine a list like this fitting is farce. It’s so…unsubtle, that it’s hard to imagine someone legitimately trying to use it to bolster their own position.

  15. I, too, have been working on assembling information, and over the course of my research I have assembled a list of my own. It’s all about:
    Great-Deals-on-Jewelry Authority
    Ranked from Most Authoritative to Most Unauthoratative
    1) Angry Turtle Gems
    5) Nordic Dwarves
    7) Germanic Dwarves
    10) Former US Vice President Al Gore
    11-16) mysterious men in dark corners of alehouses.
    58-12558) every species of ant.
    39578) Our competetors.

    need I say more?

  16. Julie Anne: My 1st thought: I wonder how many rules there are for Gospel Men? They certainly must have more because they are the heads of their wives/household which means more responsibility, right?
    Rule 1: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God…
    Rule 2: and the second is like unto it…
    Hmm…not bad for the wimmen folk either!
    My first thought after reading Grudem’s piece was like Hester’s, “Grudem should be consistent and do what the Catholics do—” Have a Pope!!! (Number 1 under Governing Authority)
    My more thoughtful thought was far more serious and edifying. He cites I Tim 3:15 one place (more in next comment) and all I Tim 3 another, including v 16. If only we’d put THIS on a par with I Tim 2:12 (cited around 15 times)
    16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
    O M G

  17. Yay, Pam, I made it onto Grudem’s naughty list. What shall I get for Christmas? How about 83 boxes of chocolates? (I promise to share)

    Tell me, am I less “authoritative” because I don’t get paid to preach?

  18. In this article about Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Piper and Grudem, I’m struck at how many more chapters there are on dealing with what a woman’s role is compared to chapters solely on men. There are some chapters on both, but with the emphasis on men these guys seem to want to prove, there should be more responsibilities, right? Why do they spend so much time defining the role of women? I’m truly baffled. http://dwynrhh6bluza.cloudfront.net/resources/documents/5153/Recovering_Biblical_Manhood_Womanhood.pdf?1343677387

    Notice the subtitle is: A Response to Evangelical Feminism.

    What is Evangelical Feminism? Please, someone enlighten me. I need to sleep tonight and would like to get this settled so I don’t have to stew about it. TIA!

  19. Julie Anne, I did a half-hearted Google for rules for men. I quickly gave up when everything was just about courtship/dating.

  20. I recall reading Grudem’s lists a while ago and getting a headache. I wonder that he (and others like him) can’t see how the singular message in all of his rules is that women are less important than men. He’s definitely part of the “sucks to be you” theology circle.

  21. When i left my complementarian church, i went to see my pastor one last time to tell him why i was planning to get a divorce. I explained about the part where i would be knocked to the ground and kicked. He was a little shook up cause he knew me pretty well and he had never guessed. In fact, he and my ex had lots of talks about being missionary kids.

    Anyway, the last thing he said to me, before i left was “According to Wayne Grudem there are 2,236 occurrences of kephale and none of them mean source,” Now I really don’t care about that because out of 2,236 occurrences only 2 mean ‘leader’ and those two cases refer to Jephthah. But, be that as it may, somehow the whole thing was like someone shouting recipes out to a drowning women. Really who cares how many times Grudem found kephale in the Greek database. Now, looking back, I can see the whole thing as a farce. But when it happened, it was traumatic.

  22. “Working as an evangelistic missionary in other cultures”

    EH? A woman can evangelise, (talk and teach about Jesus, salvation, the right American roles of women, oops, “Biblical roles of women”) to the poor sods living outside the US, but woe betide they should say the wrong thing, to males in the US? Maybe it is OK for a woman in the US to go to, say, an international restaurant and share the gospel?

    I thought I had heard and read everything that this crowd has said in my sojourn among them, but I missed that one!

    The question about the woman preaching the gospel to the people in the sinking boat, did we talk about that at TWW? I guess the answer to that riddle is: the woman can share the gospel with the guys in the boat AS LONG AS THEY ARE INTERNATIONAL WATERS!

  23. Julie Anne,

    “Please, someone enlighten me”

    That’s the definition of Evangelical Feminism. Seeking to be enlightened about things which do not concern you. LOL

    If God had wanted you to be enlightened he would have made you a man.

    “you know I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t some trouble about this.”
    John Cleese – How To Irritate People

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJSey8HRUhU

  24. There is something extremely obsessive about lists like these… and not anything good, psychologically or otherwise.

    I honestly think there is something really, REALLY wrong for a person to have to (compulsively) make lists like these.

  25. This list is from recovering biblical manhood and womanhood. These are allowable ministries for women. In my experience hearing impaired men have the same status as other men, but apparently P and G don’t think so. This stuff is toxic.

    For women …

    … ministry roles that are Biblically appropriate and deeply needed. For example:

    Ministries to the handicapped
    Hearing impaired
    Blind
    Lame
    Retarded
    Ministries to the sick
    Nursing
    Physician
    Hospice care-cancer, AIDS, etc. Community health
    Ministries to the socially estranged
    Emotionally impaired
    Recovering alcoholics
    Recovering drug-users
    Escaping prostitutes
    Abused children, women Runaways, problem children Orphans
    Prison ministries
    Women’s prisons
    Families of prisoners Rehabilitation to society Ministries to youth
    Teaching
    Sponsoring
    Open houses and recreation Outings and trips
    Counseling
    Academic assistance
    Sports ministries
    Neighborhood teams
    Church teams
    Therapeutic counseling Independent
    Church-based
    Institutional
    Audiovisual ministries Composition
    Design
    Production

  26. Numo -

    What fascinates me is that the list makers end up hanging around together and then seem to conspire to make even more lists :(

  27. Julie Anne,

    just to clarify – my comment above was firmly tongue-in-cheek. That doesn’t always translate online…

  28. Coming from a me, a missionary who’s been overseas for 15+ years, it all sounds SILLY!
    It sounds like it’s from a very “western” culture in the way these “laws” should be applied to women.

    There’s too much to do over here (sharing, caring, encouraging believers) to worry about petty stuff like that list. And I do mean petty!

    Jen

  29. Heather – I was certainly tracking with you :) Don’t mind me and my attitude, I don’t know if there have been case studies done on mothers who have been sued by their pastors, but the snark seems as if it’s here to stay. Oy!

    BTW – I have never seen that video. My younger kids may have just woken up from my laughing. Hilarious! I’m going to post it on my 22-yr old son’s FB wall. He’ll love it.

  30. Grudem writes, “Now regarding the question of women in the church, what actions should we put on this scale? On the left side of the scale we can put verses such as 1 Timothy 2:12, where Paul prohibits a woman from teaching or having authority over men. Since I think it is very evident from the context that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation in this passage (see 1 Tim. 2:8-10; 3:15), and he is giving principles that apply to the entire congregation (see 1 Tim. 3:1-16), I think that the left end of the scale prohibits women from teaching or having governing authority over the whole congregation.”
    This is a major point in his “solution” section. Grudem frequently inserts an unbiblical “in the church” into his teaching and authority statements as well, to emphasize this. The topic was discussed the past few days by Dan Phillips (who agrees with Grudem that women are prohibited from certain CHURCH teaching and authority, and comps need to decide which–draw the line–hence the lists) and Denny Burk, who expands the prohibitions to para church organizations, Christian  colleges etc. Burk is more consistent, I think, but should include secular arenas as well if he wants to be truly consistent. 
         I want to give Grudem a major benefit of the doubt here. I believed much as he did for a very long time, but without the lists.  Let’s concede, for a minute, his choice of 1 Tim 2:12 (out of thousands) as the centerpiece and greatest of all Bible verses for a woman, by which all others must be interpreted. Let’s assume he interprets it correctly.
    He cites I Tim 2:8-10 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
    Grudem says it’s “very evident from this that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation” when he next disallows a woman teaching or *authenteining* man (or men, per Grudem). He’s a theologian and I’m not, but I just can’t see how he makes this connection. Men should pray and forsake wrath only at church? Women should adorn themselves with good works only at church? 
    Dee, or others who’ve read more from Grudem: How does he restrict these lists and prohibitions to churchy activities and not apply them to the rest of life, where most of us spend most of our lives?

  31. Heath – yes, incredibly petty!

    And unbelievably time-consuming, but all “busy work.” I’d think that these guys have better things to do with their time, but evidently not…

  32. Thanks, Guys and Gals, for the creatively delightful and chuckle-worthy comments. These have ended my day with a light heart! I can now rest in peace, er, that is, sleep in peace!! :) Hardy-har-har!!

  33. Hmmm…Good thing this list was not around in Jesus day. His feet would not have been washed with tears. He would be thirsty at the well. No one would know he rose from the grave because the men were not the ones going to anoint his body. I am free to love and serve my Lord with my whole heart soul and strength. Jesus came to set the captive free and there is no man, church or list that will imprison me with their myopic, insecure,controlling restrictions. CHRISTIAN = followers of CHRIST.
    LISTIAN= followers of men’s lists. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

  34. Dee, that list just makes me feel sick and deeply tired.

    Heather, I loved that hilarious John Cleese clip – thank you for the needed mind cleanser.

    Numo, I think this sums up much of these men’s “ministries” today: self-perpetuating, time-consuming busy work.

  35. SO much ridiculousness, so little time!

    And,lest we forget, we must do all these things that we are chromosomally destined for, in an appropriately ‘feminine’ way…so in Piper’s list of much needed ministries winsome gospel woman are going to femininely handle flailing & hallucinating recovering drug addicts who get out of order, femininely duck as a bottle flies overhead as a recovering alcoholic falls off the wagon…I myself will winsomely & femininely attempt to remove the pool cues of groups of enormous teenage boys as they argue over the pool table in one of the Youth Projects I work in…I will not use any authority to chuck out young people selling drugs in a club, or making obscene comments about the young women..oh no…I will tippety tap over in my gospel heels & not raise my voice. My a**e I will!

    Seriously, I think it is time we wrote a list of at least 83 Biblical-Wiblical Gawspel rules for Gawspel Men:

    1. I will not lord it over others.
    2. My gentleness will be evident to all.
    3. I will be quick to listen & slow to speak.

    & so on…

  36. I never have heard how the 2nd part of 1 Timothy 2:12 is supposed to work for folks who think like Grudem. Has any one ever read or heard how they deal with women being silent?

  37. This is nothing more than what all other cultures have done down through the ages to confuse the “very words of God”. Do we really want to head back to 500 AD??

    I believe with all my heart and brain that the writers of the Bible were more than thoughtful, more than reciting perfect memory, more than piercing bone from marrow. I also thought them quite complete, and the fact that they felt no need for such lists is enough. Enough.

  38. I wonder if they also have a list for what should be done with women who don’t agree with or obey these rules?
    For every action there is a reaction. If a women repels or rebels these rules, how would these men respond? Verbal assaults, excommunication, shunning? And what do they recommend the husband do? Berate her, intimidate her, withhold affection, withhold resources?
    Seems to me there must be some sort of corresponding list when dealing with lack of compliance to the 86 rules.
    One truly wonders how these men can sodomize their wives and write an article on their disdain of the abuse of women. Christian Taliban they are.

  39. Garland

    Never forget that a Pharisee sees the world in the way it benefits himself. Hence-seminary president.

  40. J Terry

    I had a close encounter of a negative kind when I confronted a pastor about how creationsim was being taught in my former church. I used Grudem, his absolute favorite, as proof for what I was saying. He called me arrogant. You can’t win, even within their “approve” group.

  41. It is quite shocking to realize that Grudem is actually trying to be HELPFUL to those that think like him and wear blue glasses glued to their heads. Of course the solution is to TAKE OFF THE BLUE GLASSES, but they cannot see that from where they are.

  42. Therefore my first act as musical overlady shall be to institute the Puritan whacking stick treatment for that person in the back who tries to turn every hymn into a dirge. ; )

    Amen!

  43. Angry Turtle

    Great start of a list. Inquiring minds want to know, how does Paula Broadwell, Simon Cowell and Milli Vanilli fit into this list?

  44. “The question about the woman preaching the gospel to the people in the sinking boat, did we talk about that at TWW? I guess the answer to that riddle is: the woman can share the gospel with the guys in the boat AS LONG AS THEY ARE INTERNATIONAL WATERS!”

    Some people in my denomination (not the leadership in my church, thank God!) have said that women cannot act as translators because they are preaching when they do so. I guess it’s more important that women be kept in their place than the gospel be preached and some people saved.

  45. Sue

    The Achilles heel of this entire movement is, except for men as pastors, they cannot define in any practical sense, what a complementarian life looks like. So, each pastor comes up with his own set of rules, probably gleaned from other pastors who have their own rules. The incredible part of all of this is the absolute denial of divorce for abuse.

    I think that part of the issue is that men patriarchs cannot abuse women because they are supposed to be “loving.” Many pastors cannot accept the fact that men (and women) can be abusive because they are Christians, right? They overlook the extent of abuse that is practiced within the evangelical church, instead pretending that good comp husbands can’t abuse. or, if they do, they just had a “moment” and, with help, they will once again be the good patriach.

    Naive and dangerous.

  46. Don Johnson

    i should have emphasized what you said in your comment. 

    “It is quite shocking to realize that Grudem is actually trying to be HELPFUL to those that think like him.”

    He actually believes that he is being quite accomodating.

  47. I am not sure if folks realize just how much influence Grudem has had on a generation of young pastors. At SBTS and other seminaries, his systematic theology book was the go to book for what to believe. He was practically worshiped. Like Mohler and others, Grudem’s words were seen as coming straight from the Holy Spirit.

    He is the master of rules, roles and formula’s. I think he is akin to the Judaizers or the Nicolaitans in Rev.

    These lists do nothing but have people focused on themselves and what others are doing or not doing and a pecking order of conferring importance of persons and tasks with a fish slapped on it. Satan loves that.

  48. “I never have heard how the 2nd part of 1 Timothy 2:12 is supposed to work for folks who think like Grudem. Has any one ever read or heard how they deal with women being silent?”

    Mot, It is real simple. Jusst go have some babies and you will be saved. They teach you will be saved by staying in your “role” as wife and mother.

    They make a mockery of Christ when they interpret the Word. That is the chilling and scary thing….for them and those who listen to them.

  49. In 1981 I first encountered this Biblical fallacy when Wayne Grudem and John Piper were teaching at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota. As a young woman student who had experienced the call to ministry I worked with Lois Malcolm (now a professor of Biblical studies at Luther Seminary) to organize a petition drive to hire a woman as a Biblical Studies professor. I will never forget hearing yelling coming out of Dean George Brushaber’s office and seeing Piper and Grudem leave the office before it was our turn to submit the petition. We argued that women students deserved a role model of dedication and professional study of the Bible to encourage a lifelong love of the Word of God for women. Bethel hired a woman. We won the argument. John Piper and Wayne Grudem resigned over the matter. I have been an American Baptist Pastor for twenty-five years. I still can’t imagine what prompts Piper and Grudem’s illogical legalism.

  50. “Grudem says it’s “very evident from this that Paul is talking about the assembled congregation” when he next disallows a woman teaching or *authenteining* man (or men, per Grudem). He’s a theologian and I’m not, but I just can’t see how he makes this connection. Men should pray and forsake wrath only at church? Women should adorn themselves with good works only at church? ”

    Dave, Excellent point! Nevermind women prophesying in 1 corin 11. All we have to do is change the definition of prophesying so it means nothing in terms of men learning from a woman.

    The other problems is how authenteo is understood. It is more about domineering and false teaching. The grammar in that verse pertains to ONE WOMAN in the church at Ephesus. The entire book is about problems in the church if we go back to chapter one. Paul names name when it comes to those who are false teaching on purpose but has great mercy for those who are false teaching out of ignorance and does not name names. Paul says, “let her learn”.

    Then we add in the cultural context of Ephesus with the temple of ARtemis being a fertility cult and Paul’s play on words about “the childbearing” (meaning Messiah being born) and we have a much better understanding.

    Once this is understood within the confines of grammar (“a” woman), cultural context, Greek word used only once in the NT, it is beautiful and loving.

    WE have another problem, though. How come this exact teaching is not in other letters? How would the woman at Philippi know their limitations?

  51. What is so sad and disturbing is that these neo/uber calvinist (along with their first cousins, the crazy money grubbing, the end is near tv preachers), while such a small minority, manage to suck all the oxygen out of the room. Their lists ad nauseum and shrill hubris do great damage to the Good News. No wonder our young are fleeing and reasonable people think all christians are nuts.

  52. Mot, It is real simple. Jusst go have some babies and you will be saved. They teach you will be saved by staying in your “role” as wife and mother. — Anon1

    Make that your “role” as Breeding Stock.

    Outbreed the Heathen. “Our wombs will be our weapons!”

    Invoking Godwin’s Law, does anyone remember the word “Lebensborn”?

  53. “It is quite shocking to realize that Grudem is actually trying to be HELPFUL to those that think like him.”

    He actually believes that he is being quite accomodating. — Dee

    “Am I not Merciful? AM I NOT MERCIFUL?
    – Caesar Commodus, Gladiator

  54. Dee, or others who’ve read more from Grudem: How does he restrict these lists and prohibitions to churchy activities and not apply them to the rest of life, where most of us spend most of our lives? — Dave AA

    You mean there is a “rest of life” other than “churchy activities”?

  55. I also kind of lost it when he listed ‘president of denomination’ and ‘seminary teacher’ at the very tops of these lists. I have trouble imagining someone saying that unironically, and yet there you have it. — Garland

    You forget ‘Ordained Pastor’.

    From this, it wouldn’t surprise me if Gruden was (a) President of his Denomination, (b) a Seminary Teacher, AND (c) Ordained Pastor in his Denomination.

    “It’s Good to be The King!” — Mel Brooks, History of the World, Part I

  56. It is sad that so many pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention can not conceive of a woman pastor because they have been brainwashed to think otherwise and if they dare ever publicly or privately state that they believe a woman could pastor their ministry in the Southern Baptist Convention is likely over.

  57. Cheryl

    First welcome to TWW. Are your sermons accessible on the web? I would love to hear them!

    Thank you for filling in some info on the issue at Bethel. It is my opinion that, if the mastter becomes so personal that yelling occurs from the mouths of Piper and Gridem, then something is deeply wrong. This must be a matter that is so deeply personal to them that they cannot show the love of Christ in htier disagreement. Perhpas you comment, more than any other, illustrates my growing concern over the personal vitriol in some in the comp movement. 

    I wonder…could it all go back to the Fall? Adam blamed Eve when it was readily apparent that Adam bore equal responsibility.  Perhpas today’s patriarchs are still putting Eve in her place.

  58. Julie Anne Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 09:26 PM asked:

    My 1st thought: I wonder how many rules there are for Gospel Men? They certainly must have more because they are the heads of their wives/household which means more responsibility, right?

    Here we have Complementarian Carolyn spelling it out for you in typical Mahaney fashion which does everything to draw attention to herself/her life/how good she is and how well she’s doing look at me/here’s the model for you to follow/I’m 100% right about everything and work harder so I’m better than you kind of way.
    http://www.girltalkhome.com/pdf/A_Show_Yourself_a_Man_Plan2.pdf

    Notice how she has placed the importance of ‘honoring women’ after ‘kill a bear or lion’ even though that was not meant to be taken literally.

    She teaches its her task as a mother to instruct her son to learn from his father.

    Haven’t I read in Proverbs, among other places in the bible, verses like, “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him.”

    Listen dear readers to the sound of my voice, pay attention to the words of my lips (did that sound scriptural enough? I hope so!) Pay no attention to Carolyn Mahaney. She will lead you astray from Christ. She only works to make herself look good. She does not speak the truth. She does not preach the gospel. Her words are not the words of life. Don’t be fooled. Avoid her!

  59. Grudem writes:

    In our own culture, if children graduate from high school, move away from home, and begin to support themselves, then surely they are no longer under the instruction of their mothers at home, but are functioning as adults on their own. A new household has been formed. In that case, the young men are certainly adult men, and it would not be appropriate for a woman to teach a class with them as members.

    Many college students are already living away from home, supporting themselves at least in part, and functioning in our society in all other ways as independent adults. In fact, most college students would be insulted if you called them “children”! For these reasons, it seems to me that a college age Sunday School class (item 10) should have a male teacher.”

    This one just cracks me up. Oh the gymnastics to “implement” this one. (As it is with most of their teaching….the application brings up a ton of problems and questions)

    “In our culture”…nevermind the glaring problem there for exegesis.

    But “in our culture” today, many young men are moving back home or living with mom in their 30′s because of the economy and lack of jobs. So what then?

    Maybe it should be a rule like, If your mom does your laundry she can teach you. :o)

  60. Sue @ 12:11 a.m. – In other words, all of the ministry roles that are Biblically appropriate for women are the ones that the men don’t want to deal with.

  61. “I’m exhausted after reading all of that. Oy”

    Yep. After an entire generation of this sort of teaching from the comp doctrine, is it any wonder they are rebranding? Women have spent the last 30 years trying to figure out and follow the rules, roles and formulas set down by their favorite comp/pat Pharisee. Some are too exhausted to care anymore or are figuring out it is a dead end and does not work. Sooooo….time to rebrand!

    Now one of Grudems subordinate comrades is hijacking “mutuality” as a buzz word to mean patriarchy. The fun never ends.

    The irony is the Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden light. You would never know it reading these guys.

  62. Evie, Carolyn Mahaney needs to go reread Acts and the story about Sapphira “supporting” her husband in deception and lying.

  63. Ha. Well, in the patriarchal church I attended for almost ten years, women were “allowed” to do exactly one item on these lists: Sing hymns with the congregation. They used to do hymns where the women would sing one verse and the men another until someone complained about it, then that stopped. Women could not make announcements, they could not offer prayer requests, there was no sunday school to teach so that was not an issue, they could not have women’s bible studies at all or even attend the men’s study, they could not hold a job at all unless it was from within the home. They even stopped saying The Lord’s Prayer as a congregation because that would allow for the women to pray aloud in public. Women were not to discuss theology even at meals after church or at church functions because a man might overhear her and learn something from her, and she would have then usurped authority by teaching him something. I once overheard a woman apologize to a man for becoming “too animated” in conversation with him. Another time I was watching a baby boy swatting at a baby girl, who was being very patient about it, and one of the mothers said “She’s going to make a good submissive wife someday.” Uggggggghhhhhh!!!

    So anyway, upon comparing my experience in patriarchy with this complementarian list, I have to conclude that patriarchy and complementarianism really are quite different – but only in degree. The principle is exactly the same, I just think that complementarians are very, very inconsistent about applying the principle. Honestly, I think the complimentarians are into the arbitrary drawing of lines, which is confusing and can be downright scary. This is why they cannot define anything, ever. What the patriarchalists have going for them is the ability to define with confidence, because they are consistent.

    The issue is that the entire principle upon which both comps and pats base their rules is dead wrong. I am not sure which is worse: arbitrary, confusing rules based on a wrong principle where you never know quite what to expect (complementarianism), or a wrong principle consistently applied to go all the way to the furthest extremes where you know exactly what to expect (patriarchy).

  64. Tertullian, one of the leaders of the church in Africa, spoke about a woman he called simply, “that viper,” because she was baptizing people. And he said,

    “These heretical woman, how audacious they are. I mean they, they teach, they baptize, they preach, they do all kinds of things they shouldn’t do. It’s horrible, in short.”

  65. Thecla is a literary character of probably second century Christianity who comes to be thought of as an actual historical character by the fourth century. Thecla appears in a document called The Acts of Paul and Thecla which is one of the many sets of acts that came to be labeled the apocryphal acts….

    Thecla’s represented as being an aristocratic young woman who hears the teaching of Paul, and upon hearing the message of Paul, which is construed in this text… as a message of sexual renunciation, she gives up her fiancee and wants to go off and follow Paul on his missionary trips. Her family is very much opposed to this. Her mother goes so far as to try to have her daughter burned at the stake to prevent her from carrying out this wish, but after many lively adventures including baptizing herself in a pool of seals, Thecla does manage to become a missionary and lives to a ripe old age preaching and teaching the gospel.

  66. ‘So anyway, upon comparing my experience in patriarchy with this complementarian list, I have to conclude that patriarchy and complementarianism really are quite different – but only in degree. The principle is exactly the same, I just think that complementarians are very, very inconsistent about applying the principle.’

    Bingo! And more and more people started picking up on the inconsistency. I can remember back when Hillary was running for President and Voddie Bacham was on CNN talking about it not being right for a women to be president. He was the patriarchy wing of the movement but Sarah Palin was on the other side. Then we saw a video come out of SBTS on why it was ok for Palin to run. Palin had to be submissive at home and her husband the spiritual leader but it was ok for her to be VP. But wait! What if Palin wanted to have a staff bible study? Would she have to bring in a man to teach it?

    Actually, Baucham, while totally wrong, was more consistent with comp/pat false doctrine.

    Is it any wonder why the comps are rebranding? They brought this on themselves. And Mary Kassian. Dorothy Patterson, etc could not have their careers with Voddie’s more consistent patriarchy.

  67. Women were not neglected in ancient Israel. They functioned in political and spiritual capacities. Deborah served as Judge. (Judges 4:4) Female door keepers were appointed for the Tabernacle and the Temple to both admit and watch over those who sat among the women. In addition, since the gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to all (1 Cor 12:7-14) for the benefit of the entire congregation, spiritual manifestations came without regard to position, race or sex (Gal 3:27). Women as well as men prophesied (Ex 15:20), and kings heard the Holy Word, not only by the mouth of a prophet, but by a prophetess as well (2 K 22:14-20).

  68. It’s almost like they are taking Christ’s new covenant and putting it on a diet and exercise regime, like its not strong enough by itself. And they are the personal trainers.

  69. Women were not neglected in ancient Israel?

    Hmm. Try reading the laws regarding divorce and remarriage, for starters. Then take a look at polygamy. Took only about seven generations for that to set in after Adam. Women became property. Please. Spare us.

  70. Evie -

    Carolyn may have spent too much time in Titus 2, to the detriment of teaching the entire counsel of God that we have at our disposal. It was as if women only had a one chapter bible at their disposal. I also have to believe that everything she wrote and taught went through the approval process of men (CJ and Jeff Purswell) before it was taught. I say that because it would be consistent with the complementarian teachings themselves.

  71. Satan must be enjoying all of this bantering. How much time is spent figuring out what women can and cannot do? If this were God’s plan, wouldn’t He would have spelled it out clearly in His word? Is Grudem in a sense adding to God’s word by creating this bizarre list of rules and calling them biblical? Isn’t that against scripture? What a colossal waste of time. In the meantime, we still have people being abused physically, emotionally, verbally and spiritually. The church of the Nones is increasing in population because they can see this foolishness and don’t want anything to do with it.

  72. Dee already knows this but Grudem’s Systematic Theology is one of the few books I’ve ever deliberately executed, by which I mean got rid of in a way that means (hopefully) no-one else can ever read it. I did this as I won’t have a book that either teaches, or is sympathetic to, double predestination in my home. I left it in the boot (trunk) of a car I was sending to be crushed, shut that lid & waved it goodbye…I recommend a few more executions along this line :)

  73. For these “men” it’s all about control. That’s why they don’t have lists for themselves. If I had a list for men the first thing would be about men loving their wives as Jesus loves the church. But of course that would go way over their heads…

  74. Our common faith isn’t supposed to be about rules for men or women.Sadly most of the Christianity displayed in the public realm is quite shallow.When men turn the bible into a rule book,the Holy Spirit simply departs and what do we have left?….Dead churches…..full of men and women cut off from the grace of God.
    Jesus have mercy on us in these dark days in which we live.

  75. Beakerj,

    “I left it in the boot (trunk) of a car I was sending to be crushed, shut that lid & waved it goodbye”

    Hey, just like Goldfinger! (watched it a few day ago)

  76. Julie Anne: This is such an insightful comment. It needs to be posted again!

    “Satan must be enjoying all of this bantering. How much time is spent figuring out what women can and cannot do? If this were God’s plan, wouldn’t He would have spelled it out clearly in His word? Is Grudem in a sense adding to God’s word by creating this bizarre list of rules and calling them biblical? Isn’t that against scripture? What a colossal waste of time. In the meantime, we still have people being abused physically, emotionally, verbally and spiritually. The church of the Nones is increasing in population because they can see this foolishness and don’t want anything to do with it.”

  77. ” Angry Turtle

    Great start of a list. Inquiring minds want to know, how does Paula Broadwell, Simon Cowell and Milli Vanilli fit into this list?”

    Simon Cowell is in the upper 20,000s, and Paula Broadwell is somewhere between Paula Abdul and Paula Deen, in the mid 40s. Milli Vanilli is already covered, as taxonomists have recently recategorized them as a species of ant.

  78. Does anyone else see the profound message in this Thomas the Tank Engine clip? (My children love Thomas).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTNcPxoDgE0

    Legalists are always building “tracks” for themselves with their lists and lists of rules. They are terrified of going anywhere without those tracks. But their lists will not keep them safe. They must equip themselves with true grace – kind of like Terrence the Tractor’s wheels, which Thomas mocks, but later ends up needing to come to his rescue!

    I know that’s kind of childish – but when you’re a mommy you kind of learn to glean profound observations from everyday situations! :-)

  79. Kathi,

    What really upsets me is that Piper and Grudem’s list indicate that there are two different status positions for men. Men can either be in the status that has authority, or in the status that is below women.

    In this list, the hearing impaired, the blind and lame are all lumped together with the “retarded.”

    Honestly, cruel as all this is to women, the behaviour between one man and another makes me ill.

  80. Reading Grudem’s 83 rules left me feeling weighed down, weary, troubled.

    On the other hand, reading this article posted today left me loving Christ more; wanting to know Him more. Isn’t that the goal? An excerpt:

    “But the insistence on male hierarchy, female subordination, and gender-based service in the Church is not an essential part of the Gospel message — it’s not a part of the Biblical Gospel at all. To make an erroneous teaching a central part of the Gospel preached to a contemporary audience that IS offended by the un-Biblical insistence on male-female hierarachy is a tragic, toxic endeavor that guarantees the rejection of Christ’s offer of salvation. Preaching the true, egalitarian (Galatians 3:28) Gospel of Christ isn’t an accommodation to a feminist culture; it’s a proclamation that the social, economic, cultural, racial, and sexual divisions in sinful society are shattered in Christ and have no place in the Kingdom of God. Praise God that that message, rather than the erroneous insistence on gender hierarchy, will resound with a 21st-century audience! The true Gospel focuses on Christ; all truth is in Him, and the clutter we add in the name of “faithful exegesis” dilutes that message and elevates secondary, divisive, and, in the case of women’s teaching and ordination, false teachings.

    These are the things that turn off our audience, who will walk away from a message of hierarchy, division, and sexism and never hear, perhaps, the message we ought to focus on. Telling women today that they can come to Christ only to be limited, subordinated, and shackled virtually guarantees a rejected invitation. How different the response could be if the only offense were the offense of calling out sinners and leading them to the One whose nature is reflected, beautifully and mutually, in the women and men he created!”

    http://www.keely-prevailingwinds.com/2012/12/the-bird-boy-of-fiji-and-how-we-read_4.html

  81. 83 rules?

    Blech–my Lord and Savior started with 10, and we couldn’t keep them all straight so He summed them up into 2.

    And those 2 are challenge enough for a lifetime!

  82. Grudem’s hierarchy list looks more like the musings of a psychopath with OCD. I mean who else would take that much time for something so ridiculous. It’s just so scary how he can get otherwise smart people to follow him.
    I am keeping a copy of the CBMW book on my shelf. It is full of my sticky notes with scriptural arguments against his and Piper’s ‘ill’ logic.
    My daughter had bought this book in the CLC (SGM) bookstore a couple years ago. She was still in college and told me that his and Piper’s literary style of argument would not get a pass in her classes.
    The way they ‘prove’ their arguments is just plain nuts, and anyone with a high school education can see it. They use so many words that I think they just bank on not enough people actually taking the time to read their work and look up the scriptures they twist, misquote and site out of context.

  83. Evie, women were not considered the property of their husbands in the OT. Exodus 21:10-11 clearly allows a woman to divorce her husband.

    Fendrel is right on this, and he is an atheist BTW.

  84. Does this list remind us that these men in their ivory towers have too much time on their hands? They are paid to come up with such lists? Amazing, isn’t it.

  85. “Does this list remind us that these men in their ivory towers have too much time on their hands? They are paid to come up with such lists? Amazing, isn’t it.”

    I was thinking that same thing Anon1. It reminds me of upper management in my company. They come up with the craziest ideas that probaly looked really good on the whiteboard in the executive boardroom, but by the time they trickle down they are the biggest bunch of mess anyone has ever heard of. Some of the ideas just don’t match with the reality “on the street” if you will.

    I love Scripture, and want to live my life according to it. But this is oppressive. I can’t remember who said it, but someone mentioned “My yoke is easy and My burdent is light”. This ain’t light…

  86. What really upsets me is that Piper and Grudem’s list indicate that there are two different status positions for men. Men can either be in the status that has authority, or in the status that is below women. — Sue

    i.e. Either one-up or one-down. Dom or Sub. Top or Bottom. No such thing as equality or parity, only ANIMAL Dominance and Submission.

    Grudem’s hierarchy list looks more like the musings of a psychopath with OCD. — Patti

    No, that’s a Dake’s Annotated Bible’s margin notes.

    I mean who else would take that much time for something so ridiculous. — Patti

    Dedicated fans indulging themselves. Like doing detailed engineering drawings of Star Trek or Star Wars ships and/or equipment. Or working out detailed alternate or imaginary histories. (Don’t laugh; that’s how Lord of the Rings came to be, and Harry Turtledove made his bones as an SF writer via worked-out alternate history.) Or figuring out how My Little Pony ponies can grip things with their “gecko hooves”. Or (from my father talking about bored doctors stuck on a troopship in WW2) detailed medical treatises on how to extract a tooth via the rectum.

    However, none of these present themselves as the Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. Or claim “God Saith” in vain.

  87. I was thinking that same thing Anon1. It reminds me of upper management in my company. They come up with the craziest ideas that probaly looked really good on the whiteboard in the executive boardroom, but by the time they trickle down they are the biggest bunch of mess anyone has ever heard of. Some of the ideas just don’t match with the reality “on the street” if you will. — I’m Just Sayin’

    Which provides inspiration for a LOT of Dilbert strips, as well as being the main contributing factor to the political career of Mikhail Sergayevich Gorbachev (whose career began in the outer provinces where those central plans that looked so good in Moscow were actually carried out).

  88. Heather @ 11:46 pm

    That was my blog post about the woman preaching the gospel in the sinking boat. I originally asked it over on Denny Burk’s blog, but eventually wrote about it on my own.

    http://sallieborrink.com/should-women-proclaim-the-gospel-to-men/

    I’ve linked to Grudem’s list several times on my blog. I link to it every time it is appropriate because it is such an excellent example of how complementarians are all over the place, are inconsistent and are putting women in bondage. Does anyone really think Jesus or Paul would be on board with that list? Seriously?

    I have yet to actually read the entire list because every single time I try my eyes glaze over.

    And I agree with how incredibly insulting that list is the anyone who isn’t an American or Canadian.

    And the story above about not saying the Lord’s Prayer in church because women were speaking in church? That one will be quoted and linked on my blog before I put my head down on my pillow tonight. UN. BE. LIEV. ABLE.

  89. beakerj, “Seriously, I think it is time we wrote a list of at least 83 Biblical-Wiblical Gawspel rules for Gawspel Men:

    1. I will not lord it over others.
    2. My gentleness will be evident to all.
    3. I will be quick to listen & slow to speak.
    4.

    “Another time I was watching a baby boy swatting at a baby girl, who was being very patient about it, and one of the mothers said “She’s going to make a good submissive wife someday.” That is so stepford.

    “Telling women today that they can come to Christ only to be limited, subordinated, and shackled…” I sure wish Grudem and co. would use plain speak, then people would get their real message sooner and hopefully in response turn away from it. Though the list is still good in that gives a glimpse of complementarian true colors.

    “My daughter had bought this book in the CLC (SGM) bookstore a couple years ago. She was still in college and told me that his and Piper’s literary style of argument would not get a pass in her classes.” This comment deserves an A+! Amen!

    “The way they ‘prove’ their arguments is just plain nuts, and anyone with a high school education can see it.” Ugh, and this is what drives me nuts about their teachings when people fall for their arguments, it’s almost unbearable to think about.

  90. God knows we full-gospel folks have our own peccadilloes and drawbacks (and yea, Lord, they are many), but not allowing women to have equal standing with men ain’t one of them.

    Over my forty-plus years of walking out my faith I’ve sat under many, many women pastors and teachers. And this’ll give Grudem and his ilk a case of the vapors, but a lot of those women simply had more depth than their male counterparts.

    Selah, ya’ll.

  91. RE: Patti on Tue Dec 04, 2012 at 04:22 PM,

    Excellent point Patti! No matter how large or small the radius of curvature, circular reasoning is still circular reasoning.

  92. Pingback: Should women say The Lord’s Prayer in church? | SallieBorrink.com

  93. re: the list from biblical manhood and womanhood, and the clearly low view of ‘the disabled’. A few things:
    We’ve had a few mentally handicapped people at my church, and caring for/sitting with/looking after them has never been a ‘gendered’ role. It either primarily fell to family members, or just to whoever. The one man who came who had no other family (his carers brought him along each week), was most closely cared for by a young man.
    My uncle is completely blind and partially deaf, something that has developed progressively over his life. Last year he graduated with a master’s degree in linguistics – a course that normally revolves a lot around visual and audio ability. His disability hasn’t restricted his achievements.
    That list really makes out that ‘the disabled’ are in some way lesser, and therefore it’s ok for women to minister to/have ‘authority’ over them. That’s garbage. It devalues people and removes their dignity in a horrible way.

  94. Sallie,

    Thanks for reminding me!

    The inconsistency of comps is something that I have noticed for a long time. My former church used Grudem’s ST for Sunday School year after year, especially for the youth. Usually it was taught by some young man being groomed for elder. (This was a church where is was decided that it was inappropriate to have co-teachers be a male and female, which meant that two men were teaching either mixed male/female students or a class of just boys, if they even had two teachers and not just one. This was to protect the man and woman from each other……. When I asked whether the children were being protected from the possibility of abuse I was met with glazed stares…. They were keeping the doors open, after all! What was I worrying about!

    But back to the inconsistency part: Through Grudem’s lists it is possible to divide the church into groups; men who are leaders, men who are becoming leaders, men who might be leaders, men who are not in the “in” group, and women. And elders’ wives. We had the crappiest position of being in competition with the guys who were our husbands as they tried to figure our where their allegiance lay. My husband was ripped for “standing” with me and not “standing with” the pastor when push came to shove. The pastor told the other elders to get rid of my husband… That’s the way that some of these guys at the top of these lists live their lives. Manipulation, control, spiritual abuse.

    So while a woman could never “stand in the pulpit”, almost any man could, whether or not he had been vetted to be certain he was qualified. “Qualified” was pretty much equal to “drinks beer with the pastor”.

    The end result of that kind of culture is that woman are welcome to cook and clean but not to use their gifts. Not really.

    It is good to not be in that environment any more.

  95. “The incredible part of all of this is the absolute denial of divorce for abuse.” – Dee

    I think one of the main reasons many of them do this is out of fear that if they endorse it, the wheels might come off their own marriages.

    My former pastor, when he was in the middle of one of his affairs, would preach, “If you don’t like the what your spouse treats you, go ahead and leave.” Then, when his wife would get fed up and “catch” him in one of these affairs, he would preach, “It is never, under any circumstances okay to divorce.” He preached most often to his wife – and I didn’t see that until the end.

    I promise you, no matter how much they may protest it, most of their marriages are probably not very pretty…..

  96. I think Wayne Grudem has to be working under a different interpretation of authority than I am. When someone has authority they get to dictate and others have to listen and obey within the limitations of the situation. I’m thinking teachers, police officers, judges – etc. The truth of the matter is that I am equal with the choir member, just because the song they sing happens to have biblical truths attached to it doesn’t actually give them any authority. To act like I could have any authority over the elder in my church who is blind is absurd. Well – actually – if I wanted to I could try to get the congregation to vote him out of office when he next goes up for election – but that authority is unrelated to his blindness and actually related to the authority that the congregation has over his eldership.

  97. Its all really nothing more than oppression based on white male supremacy. Women must submit to the superior male and therefore cannot minister to men. But women can minister to the handicapped, so the handicapped are inferior to non-handicapped men. Women can minister to men of other cultures (which typically are non-white), so non-whites are inferior to white males. Boil this BS they spew down and you have a form of religious nazism.

  98. I have long said that when I preach I am not claiming any authority for myself, the only authority I claim is the authority of scripture. I expect members of the congregation to judge for themselves whether what I say is true and right. So I don’t see why my gender is of concern

    Any other view of authority leads straight to abuse, because it disempowers the listeners

  99. Thomas the Train, South Park – gotta love this place!
    These rules for women feel like the old Chinese custom of footbinding; it’s crippling.

  100. Numo, you and HUG aren’t the only ones.

    Snorting and snickering watching that youtube link you shared.. :D

  101. Heather,

    At one point we were in a Baptist church that had a good group of young marrieds that we genuinely enjoyed being with. I sat through some really bad teaching in that class. Some of the men taught because they were men. They were clearly not gifted in that area, but because they had the right set of chromosomes, they got to teach. I, on the other hand, could not teach because I was a woman. It didn’t matter that I was an experienced and gifted teacher, had done a fair amount of public speaking and teaching, etc.

    When my husband and I asked the leader of the class about unqualified men teaching and me not being allowed to, the answer we got from this seminary trained elder was that he didn’t discuss the women’s issue because it is too divisive. Needless to say, we didn’t stay there much longer after that.

    (This was the same man who was so rude and cut his wife down in front the entire class that it was only the restraint of the Holy Spirit I didn’t come out of my chair and give him an earful right there in front of God and everybody. To this day I regret not calling him out on speaking to his wife that way.)

  102. Lynne T on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 10:03 PM said:

    “Actually, he has just proved a long-held suspicion of mine that, alongside their misogyny, comps are way too hung up on this whole hierarchy thing, wanting to arrange everybody into lines of authority. I prefer what Jesus said, “42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all”

    Lynne, that is the crux of the matter – obsession with hierarchy is not Christlike n the least.

    Among many other things, he really understands little if he thinks that teaching adults (men or women) is more authorative than teaching children. If you teach children, you have the equivalent of wet cement ahead of you. They believe easily, your words exercise a lot of authority. With adults, they are way more likely to disbelieve what they hear. Plus, if you teach a 50-y.o. who will reach the age of 80, and (s)he believes you, you have a 30 year impact, maximum. Teach a 5 y.o. who will reach that age, and you can have a 75 year impact.

    Getting both a Christian attitude to hierarchy and an understanding of coming to God is a little child wrong, I don’t think he ‘gets’ the gospel.

  103. That should be: “Getting both
    1)a Christian attitude to hierarchy and
    2)an understanding of coming to God AS a little child wrong,
    …I don’t think he ‘gets’ the gospel.”

  104. And how could “2. Teaching Bible or theology in a Christian college” be so highly authorative on the teaching list? The student at a Christian college had several Bible teachers before you and, if they keep the faith, will have many after. If you teach, say, infant Baptism and that is the opposite of what others taught before you, your message will most likely be rejected out of hand.

    If it is the opposite of what others teach after you, it is likely your message will be rejected sooner or later.

  105. I read the link to Carolyn Mahaney’s post about her son, and all I can say is that she is one scary lady. I always was a bit intimidated by her and couldn’t relate to her AT ALL, and now I”m so glad I stayed away from her. She is extremely rigid and controlling! Worse than C.J. What a pair!

  106. I found Carolyn’s article horrific. If your son is 13, surely it’s time to back off a bit and give him room to figure out his own relationship with God? And since when were all godly character traits only applicable when passed through the prism of gender? I’m waiting for the pink and blue editions of the Bible — or do they already exist?

    If a child can grow up under that regime without serious psychological disturbance, that will truly be a miracle that has taken place in that household!

  107. Oh, and that part about the money — how do you be a husband -exalting complementarian and at the same time boast about being less generous, because you’re the one who has to teach the kids responsibility?
    Major cognitive dissonance!

  108. Retha,

    “And how could “2. Teaching Bible or theology in a Christian college” be so highly authorative on the teaching list?”

    Given the level of authority and power vested in the pastors in Wayne’s World, I suspect they view their seminaries as given the high task of producing God’s governing officials who will the earth. A woman would definitely compromise the mission.

  109. Wayne Grudem reminds me of Borat.

    Here’s my list of why men can’t be ordained :)

    10. A man’s place is in the army.

    9. The pastoral duties of men who have children might distract them from the responsibility of being a parent.

    8. The physique of men indicates that they are more suited to such tasks as chopping down trees and wrestling mountain lions. It would be “unnatural” for them to do ministerial tasks.

    7. Man was created before woman, obviously as a prototype. Thus, they represent an experiment rather than the crowning achievement of creation.

    6. Men are too emotional to be priests or pastors. Their conduct at football and basketball games demonstrates this.

    5. Some men are handsome, and this will distract women worshipers.

    4. Pastors need to nurture their congregations. But this is not a traditional male role. Throughout history, women have been recognized as not only more skilled than men at nurturing, but also more fervently attracted to it. This makes them the obvious choice for ordination.

    3. Men are prone to violence. No really masculine man wants to settle disputes except by fighting about them. Thus they would be poor role models as well as dangerously unstable in positions of leadership.

    2. The New Testament tells us that Jesus was betrayed by a man. His lack of faith and ensuing punishment remind us of the subordinated position that all men should take.

    1. Men can still be involved in church activities, even without being ordained. They can sweep sidewalks, repair the church roof, and perhaps even lead the song service on Father’s Day. By confining themselves to such traditional male roles, they can still be vitally important in the life of the church.

  110. Lynne, I haven’t been to Koorong in a long time either (though might go tomorrow to get RHE’s book – I now live only a bus ride away from the store). Last time I went I found it ridiculous how much of it was either dodgy kitsch or Christian diet/self help books.

  111. exactly my impression, and the odd occasion I want something, it’s easier to order online (especially when it’s right across the other side of Sydney). I cheated and got RHE’s book on Kindle

    There was a time when Koorong only stocked fairly mainstream evangelical material, but now anything goes. I remember being there with someone else a few years ago and happened to see a book called something like “What would Jesus eat?” Friend’s comment: “well, He didn’t exactly live a long life”

  112. Val @ 01:32 AM

    YYYYEEEEEESSSSSSS !!!!! (bold, shadow capitals, italics, underline, supersize text)

  113. @ LFY:

    “Another time I was watching a baby boy swatting at a baby girl, who was being very patient about it, and one of the mothers said ‘She’s going to make a good submissive wife someday.’”

    So a good submissive wife = a woman who’ll put up with a man hitting her over and over again.

  114. FormerCLCer

    We have had former members tell us how "religiously" women followed her housekeeping rules. No junk drawers, counters totally devoid of anything but counter, certain Bible verses had to be posted in the bedroom, etc. All the while, her husband was laying down rules for the SGM members. They stressed obedience to their manmade rules and emphasized sin. They forgot love and that is what is going to wound them this coming year. Mark my words. I predict that the SGM lawsuit will be the number one religious news story for 2013.

  115. Retha

    You said “And how could “2. Teaching Bible or theology in a Christian college” be so highly authorative on the teaching list?”  The answer is painful. Wayne Grudem is a teacher so  his list is taking care of his place in the hierarchy. 

  116. Val,

    I love that list!!! LOL! Is it really that much further off than their reasons for not letting women in? I don’t think so.

  117. Sallie

    I hope people from my former church read this comment. (I know many of them do). When we had our dustup on the pedophile situation at my former church, some elders spread rumors about us. One was that all of our marriages were in trouble. One of them actually admimtted to my husband that he had done so. Well, we have a breaking update. We have written about the “judging” elder from the committee to evaluate our concerns about how the pastors screwed up. He, a former well known seminary professor, suddenly stepped down, filed for divorce and is now teaching at some arts college.

    Another elder who shares head elder status with the man who spread lies about our marriage (they rotate) and who told his family that we were a “pack of liars”, is leaving his wife. These circumstances alone show the absolute inability to perceive problems in their midst which makes me doubly glad we stood firm. 

    Do not get me wrong. I am sorry for their families. But, people who live in glass houses shoudn’ t throw stones ( 1 Dee 2:3). They tell us how to live. They sit in judgment on all of us and they are messed up as much, and even more.

    Sallie, if you had said something to that man, he would have gone for your jugular. Those type of men usually do. Someimtes it is just not worth it.

  118. This whole list is just plain odd. Does he list scriptural proof text(s) anywhere in the original list that show how he came to rank level of importance for each item? I have not gone to see the original link yet and doubt I will any time soon.

    As for the Christian culture, when does us “girls” get the right to be called women? With “Girls Gone Wise” and “Girl Talk” I do not really wonder that the manly men of the gospel world (or should it be “boys”?) continue to talk down to us if they will not even dignify us as being full grown. Sad.

    Mrs. Mahaney’s post does not surprise me in the least. There are many “man-hood” ceremonies in the patriarchal/VF world and hers is very similar. The whole “can’t be a man until we’ve killed ourselves an animal” bothers me. Yes, let’s teach our young men that they can’t be true godly men until they have killed an animal to prove themselves. Really, though, the article is just teaching our children basic responsibilities with the words “godly” and “gospel” and such thrown in. I would hope that any parent would teach their children, male or female, to clean up after themselves, manage their money, etc. Though, I do wonder, if young Chad had any sisters at home, would they be cleaning his room for him?

    I will end with this non-funny funny. These people love them some Grudem! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAmzaAtvhvw

  119. “When we had our dustup on the pedophile situation at my former church, some elders spread rumors about us. One was that all of our marriages were in trouble. One of them actually admimtted to my husband that he had done so.”

    This ia a very typical form of projection used in many spiritual abuse situations. I was always blown away by what people, who dared to bring up any problems/situations, were targeted with.

    This is another reason why they are so big on “gossip”. They do it. More projection. But theirs is controlled, targeted gossip. They are very astute where they plant the seeds for maximum mileage.

  120. “Sallie, if you had said something to that man, he would have gone for your jugular. Those type of men usually do. Someimtes it is just not worth it.”

    I agree. But I can tell you what my mom used to do when that sort of thing happened anywhere. She made sure she edified the wife as much as possible depending on how well she knew her and the situation. Forget the jerk, he would not do such things in public if he had any wisdom or a pure heart. It is his wife we should be concerned with and build up as much as possible.

    I do not know about others but one thing I saw a lot in evangelical circles was a mean spirited teasing/joking. It was couched in joking terms but meant to cut to the quick. I saw this a lot in leadership circles and it trickled down to staffers and then social circles within the evangelical mega churches. It is a way to insult with plausible deniability.

    There is a general sort of hard heartedness in many sub-celeb and cult of personality evangelical circles. I can’t explain it, but it is there.

  121. I don’t think there will be much change in the alternate universe of partriarchy until some well-known female or now-adult members start talking about how it REALLY was at home…to expose the leaders as what they are – insecure, overbearing, possibly abusive.

  122. I do not know about others but one thing I saw a lot in evangelical circles was a mean spirited teasing/joking. It was couched in joking terms but meant to cut to the quick. I saw this a lot in leadership circles and it trickled down to staffers and then social circles within the evangelical mega churches. It is a way to insult with plausible deniability. — Anon1

    This is what I mean by “passive-aggressive culture”. The sweet smile before the stab in the back. The precisely-tailored insults and abuse that go over the heads of any third parties. The “You Must Be the One With The Problem” gaslighting. The saccharin-coated nastiness. And the wide-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-the-mouth Innocence and fallback to Plausible Deniability when they’re called on it. “Can’t You Take a Joke?” “We’re Only Concerned About You…” “What’s Your Problem?” “You Must Have Some Secret Sin, Otherwise…”

    I grew up with a sibling like this. It almost killed me. It DID destroy one of my writing partners, an incredible talent who only occasionally rises above the resulting voices in his mind and apologizing to everyone for existing to actually DO something. (Because if you never attempt anything, you can’t catch hell for doing it wrong.)

  123. The whole “can’t be a man until we’ve killed ourselves an animal” bothers me. Yes, let’s teach our young men that they can’t be true godly men until they have killed an animal to prove themselves. — No MOre Perfect

    Have you ever been in a rural area where hunting is part of the local culture? Or seen the Jeff Daniels movie Escanaba in da Moonlight? It’s a character comedy set in “Yooperland” (“Da U.P.”, northern Michigan), a very rural area where Deer Season is almost a religion. The main character is “a buckless Yooper”, age 43 and “never bagged a buck”. And the movie revolves around weirder and weirder attempts to bag his buck and “keep from getting into da wrong end of da record books”. And you can see from the background why “killing an animal” is so important as proof of manhood/adulthood — “If I can bag a buck, it shows I can provide for my family. Even if nothing else, I can hike into the woods and shoot a deer and bring da meat out and my family won’t starve.”

  124. “Another time I was watching a baby boy swatting at a baby girl, who was being very patient about it, and one of the mothers said ‘She’s going to make a good submissive wife someday.’”

    So a good submissive wife = a woman who’ll put up with a man hitting her over and over again. — Hester

    Gotta break ‘em early, you know.

    And what does this tell the boy? Good Christian manly-man = if woman gets uppity, hit her? And if that doesn’t work, hit her again? “WOMAN! DO AS I SAY OR I BEAT YOU!”? (Humbly and Biblically, of course…)

    We have had former members tell us how “religiously” women followed her housekeeping rules. No junk drawers, counters totally devoid of anything but counter, certain Bible verses had to be posted in the bedroom, etc. — Dee

    Was Hubby conducting white-glove inspections just like in Boot Camp? Including screaming like a DI if she left a single speck of dust for his white glove to pick up?

    This is the type of stuff a control freak with absolute power forces on his inferiors.

  125. “Have you ever been in a rural area where hunting is part of the local culture? Or seen the Jeff Daniels movie Escanaba in da Moonlight?”

    Yes, I know all about that culture and I have no problem with hunting for providing food – haven’t seen the movie, though. However, hunting to prove manhood is what bothers me. I can shoot a gun and field dress a dear with the best of them. Does that prove I am a woman?

  126. Wayne Grudem reminds me of Borat.– Val

    As in “THROW THE JEW DOWN THE WELL! THROW THE JEW DOWN THE WELL!” Borat?

  127. “But, people in glass houses should’t throw stones(1 Dee 2:3).They tell us how to live. They sit in judgment on all of us and they are messed up as much,and even more.”

    LOL(1 Dee 2:3), there are so many people that I would love to say this to(and actually will if confronted by them)…Just recently we ran into someone we went to church with. The old me would put on a smile and be nice because that is what I use to think was the right thing to do(most the time). But the new me could careless. They think that they are more superior than me anyway and being “kind or loving” will not change who they are nor will it make things better.It’s just a fallacy through out the “Christian church” that being kind and loving to these type of people will change their hearts.

    One thing about people is that if they are always sitting in judgment and pointing the fingers at others, they have a lot to hide themselves. Pointing the finger diverts attention away from whatever they are trying to cover up and usually it is a lot bigger than what they are judging others about.

  128. Yes, I know all about that culture and I have no problem with hunting for providing food – haven’t seen the movie, though. However, hunting to prove manhood is what bothers me. I can shoot a gun and field dress a dear with the best of them. Does that prove I am a woman? — No More Perfect

    Proves you’d get respected in Yooperland. Proves you could provide for yourself and your family.

  129. Not only pink and blue, but ‘mighty warrior’ and ‘seriously sick Bible stuff’ for the boys, and ‘God’s little princess’ for girls. — Pam

    Define “seriously sick Bible stuff”.

    Remember, I’ve read Dake’s Annotated AKA “seriously WEIRD Bible stuff” and I’ve been in Furry Fandom long enough to experience “seriously sick stuff”.

  130. HUG – lol, glad I would earn respect in Yooperland, even if I am a suburbanite outside of one of the top 10 largest cities in the US ;-)

  131. @ No More Perfect:

    “There are many ‘man-hood; ceremonies in the patriarchal/VF world and hers is very similar. The whole ‘can’t be a man until we’ve killed ourselves an animal’ bothers me. Yes, let’s teach our young men that they can’t be true godly men until they have killed an animal to prove themselves.”

    …or gone trekking in the Amazon or the Himalayas or Africa while channeling Indiana Jones. But hey, according to Kingdom of the Crystal Skull there’s an alien spaceship hiding somewhere beneath the Andes – maybe Doug Phillips and his buddies will find it on their next manly adventure trek and be go off to another planet. ; )

    Seriously though, I find the whole hunting thing amusing, as one of the most un-Bubble Christian homeschool dads I know hunts all the time (he’s an egalitarian Democrat who goes to conservative non-denominational churches – I don’t know how his head doesn’t explode).

  132. “Though, I do wonder, if young Chad had any sisters at home, would they be cleaning his room for him?”

    My response – YES! I definitely have read and witnessed this kind of thing in patriarchal circles. There is a transition when boy gets in his teen years where mom changes the way in which she relates with her maturing son. Not only that, sisters are encouraged to follow suit. They start treating him as if he will be the family priest of is own home one day. They are preparing him for his role when he is married. It’s coming back to me, but I had this conversation with a very close friend (who has a quiverfull of kids) and she was explaining how they work this out in their own home. There was something about it that seemed off to me, but I was drinking the Koolaid from our spiritually abusive church and so it wasn’t all that weird to me.

    It’s funny – last night I made dessert and I heard my 22-yr old son and 18-yr old daughter bickering/teasing each other about which piece of pumpkin bar they were going to get. My son was teasing my daughter by taking the piece she had cut and she was not letting him get away with it. This was all in good fun and I was in the other room cracking up at these crazy kids. But in a patriarchal home, my daughter’s behavior would have been out of line. She would be serving her older brother the piece he wanted (even if it was originally for her). Her place is below him in the home. It’s so rigid and legalistic. My daughter would have been called out for her sinful behavior of wanting the best piece and thinking of her self instead of serving her older brother. My son’s behavior would not have been in question whatsoever.

  133. @ HUG:

    “‘seriously sick Bible stuff’ for the boys”

    Isn’t there such a thing as the Boys’ Adventure Bible? And let’s not forget VF’s Jonathan Park series (archaeology + Christians + YEC = ADVENTURE!!!!). Reviews of all 100+ episodes of those are below. Description excerpt:

    “The Creation Response Team has been challenged to a ‘Battle of the Worldviews’ on national TV. Their competition is the Explorer’s Society, a group of evolutionary scientists who have become famous for their cutting-edge scientific discoveries. Join these two teams as they contend against one another at Niagara Falls, the Canadian wilderness, Mount St. Helens, the freezing Arctic of Ellesmere Island, the depths of the sea, and a German dinosaur graveyard!”

    http://yewnique.wordpress.com/jonathanparkreviews/

  134. @ Julie Anne:

    “They start treating him as if he will be the family priest of is own home one day. They are preparing him for his role when he is married. … But in a patriarchal home, my daughter’s behavior would have been out of line. She would be serving her older brother the piece he wanted (even if it was originally for her). Her place is below him in the home.”

    My God, that is sick…just sick. It sounds more like a sultan lounging on perfumed pillows, fanned with palm branches and waited on by a harem of beautiful black-eyed maidens than any kind of Biblical picture of priesthood.

  135. @ Julie Anne~

    “But in a patriarchal home, my daughter’s behavior would have been out of line. She would be serving her older brother the piece he wanted (even if it was originally for her). Her place is below him in the home. It’s so rigid and legalistic. My daughter would have been called out for her sinful behavior of wanting the best piece and thinking of her self instead of serving her older brother. My son’s behavior would not have been in question whatsoever.”

    That is horrible. So they teach sons it is ok to be selfish and want the best for themselves.

    What about teaching sons about loving their future wives as Christ loves the church? The all important “servant leadership” these guys try to sell? The daughters are trained (hate that word) for future husband submission by practicing on their brothers, do the sons get any loving my future wife as I love myself training?

  136. “What about teaching sons about loving their future wives as Christ loves the church? The all important “servant leadership” these guys try to sell? The daughters are trained (hate that word) for future husband submission by practicing on their brothers, [b]do the sons get any loving my future wife as I love myself training?[/b]”

    No, they do not. At least not in any of the patriarchy/VF circles I was in, and that is saying a lot, considering I was also a member of the CPC denom.

  137. …or gone trekking in the Amazon or the Himalayas or Africa while channeling Indiana Jones. — Hester

    Naah, there already is a Christianese way to “channel Indiana Jones” — FIND NOAH’S ARK ON ARARAT! Thus PROVING the Global Flood, the utter literalness of Genesis, and Young Earth Creationism all at once.

    My God, that is sick…just sick. It sounds more like a sultan lounging on perfumed pillows, fanned with palm branches and waited on by a harem of beautiful black-eyed maidens than any kind of Biblical picture of priesthood. — Hester

    With promises of an eternity of the same in Paradise?

    I have often said that when Christianity goes sour, it curdles into something strongly resembling Islam.

    That is horrible. So they teach sons it is ok to be selfish and want the best for themselves. — Diane

    “ME MAN! ME WANT FILL-IN-THE-BLANK! YOU WOMAN! YOU SHUT UP!”

  138. @ Ann……..thanks for the link. Having never been much of a, girlie girl, this article gave me some reasons as to why some women are.

  139. Diane asked: The daughters are trained (hate that word) for future husband submission by practicing on their brothers, do the sons get any loving my future wife as I love myself training?

    I think so, Diane. In my home, this is just not an issue any more. We have fun bantering and teasing each other. It really was hilarious and I was very close to updating my Facebook status to something like: “In the Smith household it is normal for adult children to fight over desserts. Sibling rivalry rocks!” But I refrained.

    However, I do think that if a father were present in my fighting-over-dessert scenario, a father may have told the son to “serve” his younger sister. There are fathers who really do make an effort to treat women kindly. But if the father wasn’t there, it wouldn’t be a mother’s place to correct her adult son, so she most likely would have let it go. See how confusing this is?

  140. “This is what I mean by “passive-aggressive culture”. The sweet smile before the stab in the back. The precisely-tailored insults and abuse that go over the heads of any third parties. The “You Must Be the One With The Problem” gaslighting. The saccharin-coated nastiness. And the wide-eyed, butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-the-mouth Innocence and fallback to Plausible Deniability when they’re called on it. “Can’t You Take a Joke?” “We’re Only Concerned About You…” “What’s Your Problem?” “You Must Have Some Secret Sin, Otherwise…””

    It is deceptive behavior on purpose. And it has become the new normal.

  141. Dear All
    I came across this in one of my books and tracked it down to a website whose address I’ll give at the end. Thomas Boston was a fine Scottish preacher and husband who lived and died in obscurity but whose work lives on. This is his view on the marital relationship.

    First, As for the relation betwixt husbands and wives, read Col. iii. 18, 19. ‘ Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.’ The apostle here lays down the duty of married persons one to another. He begins with the duty of the wife, as that of the children and servants, because their duty, through the subjection that is in it, is the most difficult, and being conscientiously performed, is the stronger motive to the husband, to do his duty, as well as to the parent to do his.
    And here we have,

    1. The sum of a wife’s duty to her husband.
    Self-submission to him, subjecting herself to him, comprehending the duty she owes to him in her heart, words, and deeds. The qualification of this submission, the only restriction of it, is in the Lord ; that is, so as it be consistent with her duty to God. That limitation observed, it extends to every thing, Eph. v. 24. (3.) The reasonableness of this, it should not be complained of; it is fit, just, and equitable in respect of God’s ordinance enjoining it, the infirmity of the woman as the weaker sex, and the inconveniencies arising on the refusal of it.

    2. The sum of the husband’s duty is love to her. This comprehends in it the whole of his duty; for love will always be active, and spread itself into the several duties he owes her, yea, and will season all these duties, and tincture them with kindness to her. The apostle comprehends all in this, both to sweeten the wife’s subjection on the one hand, and to temper his authority on the other. And therefore he cautions against bitterness, and that both in heart, that he hate her not, nor coldly love her, in words, and in deeds.

    Husbands and wives may not carry to one another as they list, but must be dutiful to one another, according to the word of God, as they will be accountable to God.
    Here I shall shew,
    1. The duties common to both husband and wife.
    2. Those more peculiar to each party.

    First, I shall shew the duties common to both husband and wife.

    1. Conjugal love, Tit. ii. 4. They must love one another with a special love, not communicable to another. God’s ordinance has made them one flesh, and God’s law obliges them to be one heart. They must love one another more than father or mother, yea, as their own flesh, Eph. v. 28, 31. And where that love is wanting, God is dishonoured, and the society is uncomfortable. And however scarce they may be of lovely qualities, we must love them because they are ours.

    2. Cohabitation, dwelling together; which comprehends the ordinary use of the same house, bed, and board, 1 Pet. iii. 7. 1 Cor. vii. 10. This is such a necessary duty, that an obstinate refusal in either party to dwell together dissolves the marriage, 1 Cor. vii. 15. that is wilful desertion. And if a man remove to another place for a long time, and upon no bad cause, his wife is obliged to go with him, if he desire, unless there be some imminent danger, either of her body or soul; and he is obliged to take her, if she desire. For though it belongs to the husband as the head to determine the place of their habitation, yet he cannot shake off his duty to his wife, 1 Cor. vii. 5. Gen. xii. 11.

    3. Living together in peace, 1 Cor. vii. 15. We must follow peace with all men; but there are double ties on married persons to follow peace with one another, and to watch that it be not broken. No war is so unnatural as that which is betwixt them; and none so hopeless if they make it not up betwixt themselves. Did we see a man tearing his own flesh, or a woman beating her head against a wall, we would conclude they were mad. Yet thus it is in effect where there is no peace betwixt husband and wife. The ancient Pagan Greeks when they cut up the wedding-sacrifice, took the gall, and with eager loathing flung it behind the altar, to shew that in wedlock all bitterness must be put far away. There is none so hopeless if they take it not up between themselves; for there is none to judge betwixt them but God: therefore, if they cannot clear, they should bury their controversies, yielding for peace sake. And though certainly it is most natural that the woman should first yield, yet he is a foolish man that will not sacrifice of his own right to peace, and yield, though to the weaker vessel, as Moses did to Zipporah, Exod. iv. 25, 26. Certainly whoso first yields shews most respect to God, and stands fairest for the blessing, Matth. v. 9. ‘ Blessed are the peacemakers.’

    4. Carefulness to please one another. The wife ought to suit herself to the will of her husband, so far as lawfully she may, 1 Cor. vii. 34. watching against what is displeasing, and doing in things lawful what she knows is pleasing, Gen. xxvii. 9. Tea, and the hnsband must be careful to please her too, ver. 33. It is a piece of that conjugal tenderness he owes her, not to do any thing that he knows may justly displease her, and even to humour her in things lawful and fit, for her greater comfort; for though he is the head, yet she is his own flesh. This would keep peace.

    5. Living together not only in peace, but in love, delighting in one another’s company, Eccl. ix. 9. living cheerfully and familiarly together. A careless, morose, and unconversible humour, is opposite to the end of the state of marriage, which is the mutual comfort of the parties.

    6. Honouring one another. The woman ought to honour her husband, walking under a conscientious respect to that superiority God has granted him over her, 1 Cor. xi. 7. So that she may not trample upon his character as a husband. Yea, and she must labour to walk so with others, as she may bring no dishonour to him by her indiscreet carriage, but be a glory to him by her meek and quiet conversation, 1 Pet. iii. 4. So as he is her head, she becomes a crown to that head. ‘ A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband,’ Prov. xii. 4. The husband must also honour his wife, 1 Pet. iii. 7. both in his words and actions, shewing his esteem of her virtues, praising her when she does well, Prov. xxxi. 28. reposing trust and confidence in her as to the management of his affairs, and not keeping up the knowledge of his business from her, but communicating counsels with her, Prov. xxxi. 11. This he must do when she is worthy; otherwise that must take place, Micah vii. 5. ‘ Keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom.’ In a word, he ought to carry so respectfully to her, as to shew that he looks on her as his companion, and may gain respect to her from the rest of the family, Gen. xvi. 6. and this because she is the weaker vessel, both naturally and merally, in which respect she is more easily crushed and broken in spirit, especially by the austere and undutiful carriage of her husband.

    7. Sympathising with one another in all their crosses, and griefs, and joys, whether of body or mind. Being one flesh they must shew it this way. It is a common duty we owe to all, ‘ to weep with them that weep, and rejoice with them that rejoice;’ and so both their griefs and joys should be mutnal, in a special manner; otherwise they will be as jarring strings in an instrument that mars the harmony, 1 Sam. i. 8. And they must bear with one another’s infirmities, covering them with the mantle of love, Gal. vi. 2.

    8. Faithfulness in respect of their bodies, communicating themselves one to another, according to the ends of marriage, with modesty and soberness, marriage putting the body of each in the other’s power; and therefore the apostle in this case forbids them to defraud one another, 1 Cor. vii. 5. Another piece of that faithfulness is keeping by one another, and not embracing a stranger, which is that horrible breach that dissolves the bond of marriage.

    9. Lastly, A due concern for one another’s soul and eternal welfare, 1 Pet. iii. 7. They must be helpful to one another in the way of the Lord, doing what they can to advance one another’s eternal interest; watching over one another, joining together in holy duties; instructing and admonishing one another, lovingly and meekly, each one proposing to themselves the salvation of their relative, as well as their own, 1 Cor. vii. 16.

    This is a weighty point, which few lay to heart. I shall lay before you these few things with respect to it.

    (1.) Married persons, for this end, that they may be helpful to one another’s soul’s welfare, ought to walk so together as that they may have in each other’s consciences a testimony of their integrity, 2 Kings iv. 1. They should take heed they lay not stumblingblocks before one another, nor carry so as to engender hard thoughts of one another that way. The testimony of God is above all, the testimony of conscience next, but the testimony of a yoke-fellow’s conscience after that.

    (2.) They should labour to beget and advance tho fear of God in one another, to bring them to and carry them on in the truth of religion, 1 Cor. vii. 16. They are not meet helps they are only helpful for the body and temporal concerns ; for in that case the better part has no help of them. Interest as well as duty engageth to this; for the better a man be, the better husband will he be, &c. No wonder that those who fear not God, regard not man.

    (3.) They should entertain communion in prayer and addresses to the throne of grace, praying for one another, and praying with one another, 1 Pet. iii. 7- The husband should hold up his wife’s case to God with his own, and the wife the case of the husband; and help them by prayers with them and for them, which is true Christian help. They know one another’s weaknesses, temptations, and difficulties, better than any one else, and therefore ought to be the more particular in this.

    (4.) They should be acquainted with one another’s case, and therefore inquire into the same, and observo it, that they may the better suit the help to the case, 1 Sam. i. 8. And 0 what a happiness is it for one to have one that is their own flesh to whom they may freely unbosom themselves ! And what a sad thing is it where religious conference is not observed betwixt such parties ?

    (5.) They should watch over one another. This is living as being heirs together of the grace of life, 1 Pet. iii. 7. They should stir up one another to duties and good works; and happy are they who so prove monitors to one another, 2 Kings iv. 9,10. They should warn one another of what appears sinful in their way, and so not suffer sin upon them, Eccl. iv. 9, 10. If men see a spot on their face, they will tell them of it; but spots in the conversation are most dangermis. But withal special care must be taken that there be no bitterness mixed with it, for that mars the operation; the season must be observed when it will take best, 1 Sam. xxv. 36, 37; and it should be mixed with love. Yea, sometimes entreaties should be used rather than rebukes, especially from the wife to the husband, as prudence itself may teach, and may be gathered from 1 Tim. v. 1. ‘ Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father.’ And such warnings should be kindly taken, and readily complied with, as the best evidences of love.

    (6.) Lastly, A joint oare for the religious government of the family. The one ought not to devolve that entirely on the other, but each take his share; otherwise it cannot miss to be mismanaged. Each of them owes a duty to the souls of their children and servants ; and therefore should watch over them, admonish and rebuke, and stir them up to duty ; and see that God be worshipped iu the family, that it be not neglected in the husband’s absence, or any thing else; for though the wife be the weaker vessel, she is the head of the family under her husband.

    Secondly, I come to shew the duties more peculiar to each party.

    1. The duties of the husband of this sort may be reduced to this one, viz. that he carry himself towards her as a head for her good, ruling her in the fear of the Lord. It is not a name of power only, but of duty; for he must be such a head to her as Christ is to the church, Eph. v. 23. And whoso reckon upon the authority of that name without eyeing the duty of it, put asunder what God has joined in his grant, and will join when he calls men to an account.

    2. The duties of the wife may be reduced to this one, viz. submitting herself to her husband as her head, Eph. v. 22, 23. She is not to lord it over him, but to be subject to him. And in this respect there is a reverence and fear of the husband enjoined in the wife, Eph. v. 33. 1 Pet. iii. 2. which is a due regard in the heart to his character as a husband, seeing in that God has put of his own name upon him, God himself being called our husband; a fear to offend him, flowing from love, venting itself in speaking and carrying respectfully to him, 1 Pet. iii. 6.

    Now the husband as the head of the wife owes her, 1. Protection, so as she may be as safe and easy under the covert of his relation to her as he can make her. For this cause God has given the husband as head to the weaker vessel: and therefore it was an ancient ceremony in marriage for the husband to spread his skirt over his wife, Ruth iii. 9. He is to protect her to the utmost of his power from the injuries of others, 1 Sam. xxx. 18. and particularly from the insults, whether of children or servants in the
    family, as well as neighbours, Gen. xvi. 6. And if so, surely he himself is not to bear hard upon her, but to shew her a peculiar tenderness as the weaker vessel, a tenderness to her body and spirit too; and not to suffer her, far less to oblige her, to distress herself above measure.

    On the other hand, she owes him obedience, a submission to, and compliance with, his admonitions. It is observed of Job’s wife, for as ill as she was, when he calls her a fool, she does not give him the same epithet again. Reason itself teaches, that whoso puts himself under the protection of another, must be ruled by that other, and not by himself.

    2. Provision, 1 Tim. v. 8. The husband ought to provide for his wife, and cheerfully furnish her with what is needful and convenient according to his station and ability; and lay out himself by all lawful means for her comfortable through-bearing. And this he should have an eye to, not only for the time of his life, but even after his decease.

    And on the other hand, the wife ought to be helpful to her husband by her frugal management, Prov. xxxi. 27. And God’s word and frequent experiments plainly shew, that a man’s thriving or not thriving has a great dependence on his wife’s management, Prov. xiv. 1. While he, then, is busy without doors, she should bo careful within; and therefore it is recommended to women to be much at home, Tit. ii. 5. Yet she may well go abroad when her business calls her, as Abigail did, 1 Sam. xxv.

    3. Lastly, Direction, with calmness instructing her, how she should carry in every thing, both with respect to things of this life and of the other, Prov. ii. 17. He ought to be as eyes to her, which have their place in the head, and so should be capable to guide, 1 Pet. iii. 7.

    On the other hand, the wife should be pliable and teachable, 1 Tim. ii. 11. yea, and be ready to seek instruction from her husband, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. She should be obedient to his commands and directions, ver. 34. for in every thing wherein the law of God has not bound her up, the husband’s will ought to be complied with, Eph. v. 24. Gen. iii. 16.

    The reasons of the husband’s duties are these,

    1. Because husbands are appointed to be such heads as Christ is to the church, Eph. v. 25. And if men would reflect on this, it would mako them very dutiful, and bear with many things as Christ doth, else wo would be ruined.

    2. Because thy wife is thy own flesh, thy second self, ver. 28, 29; and so undutifulness is monstrons.

    3. Because she is the weaker vessel, 1 Pet. iii. 7; for it hath pleased the Lord to exercise the woman with a special measure of infirmity, both natural and moral.

    The reasons of the woman’s duty are these.

    1. Because the woman was created for the man, 1 Tim. ii. 13. compare 1 Cor. xi. 9.

    2. Because the woman was the first that sinned, 1 Tim. ii. 14. compare Gen. iii. 16.

    3. Because she is the weaker vessel.

    Use 1. Let all such as have been, or are in that relation, be humbled under a sense of their sin in that point, and fly to the blood of Christ for pardon. And let every one look on that relation as a serious matter, in which people must walk with God, and under which they are bound to so many duties, of which they must give an account to the Lord.

    Let husbands and wives study to make conscience of their duty one to another, and frame their life accordingly. For motives, consider,

    (1.) God lays them on. Nature may storm at them, but they are God’s commands; and whoso breaketh over the hedge, the serpent will bite.

    (2.) Your marriage-vows and voluntary covenant engage to these. Though we forget them, God does not, and will not.

    (3.) Your own comfort depends upon them; and so does the happiness in that relation.

    Lastly, Death comes, and that will dissolve the relation. Therefore, before that awful event, let every one make conscience of performing their respective duties, that they may die in peace.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=6t5LAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA222&output=html_text#c_top

    I hope you can see that this gives no comfort or support to those who promote complete submission of the wife to the husband. They have no Scriptural warrant for their abusive teachings and the Puritans, their heroes, give them no support either.

    Indeed, if you look at the history of the church,the equality of women was promoted until about the time of Aquinas and then things changed.

    Regards
    Gavin

  142. ‘I hope you can see that this gives no comfort or support to those who promote complete submission of the wife to the husband. They have no Scriptural warrant for their abusive teachings and the Puritans, their heroes, give them no support either.”

    His teaching is wrong because he subcribes to the “man is superior but must be nice view”. Gavin you are following the oldest trajectory in the book….men are superior and woman created for man but man must be nice to her and then we are all scriptural so it is a good thing. Please! It simply does not work that way because it is a lie. And a horrible lie based on horrible translations and interpretations.

    It is total misunderstanding of scripture. Here are a few examples:

    Gen teaches they are comparable partners and calls Eve an Ezer. (God is referred to as an Ezer many times in the OT)

    “1. Because the woman was created for the man, 1 Tim. ii. 13. compare 1 Cor. xi. 9.”

    Total misunderstanding of very bad interpretations (translations by men, of course)

    1 Tim 2 is refuting the Temple of Artemis teaching that Eve was created first. How do we know this? Becasue the entire passage is written in that vein: Saved in the childbearing? Fertility cult in Ephesus largests temple in the world at the time. One woman “authenteo”. Let her learn….

    1 Corin 11 has been used by everybody for everything from making it a sin for women to cut their hair to the heresy of ESS that SBTS was trotting out a few years ago to map the Trinity as hierarchy that mapped to man and woman. If you notice in 1 Corinthians 11 it is a full circle argument. Man is created first but then all men thereafter come from a woman! It has NOTHING to do with gender hierarchy but with the tradition of head coverings and what to do when women are prophesying in the Body. (Jewish men covered as was tradition for their sin against God. That is no longer needed for Christ) for women this was a serious cultural issue. Uncovered women were thought to be prostitutes.

    Her being the “glory of man” does not mean she is not God’s glory but to not be ashamed of her if she decides to uncover. Added words in the text by translators are insidious. No where is the word “symbol of” in the Greek! A woman has authority over her own head. She has no mediator between her and Christ. There is much more but not enough space.

    So your dead buddy using that passage and 1 Tim 2 is just more of the same very bad translations and interpretations putting women in some sort of Christian caste system That is supposed to work perfectly when men are nice all the time.

    “2. Because the woman was the first that sinned, 1 Tim. ii. 14. compare Gen. iii. 16.”

    oy vey. Here we go. But remember, Eve admitted she was deceived. ADam blamed God and Eve for his sin. So what on earth is his point? All women are worse because Eve was first? or perhaps he is one of those who think she lured Adam to sin and that makes Adam a victim of the luring woman? Or perhaps he did not believe the Cross was enough for women and saved women are going to be deceived until Christ comes back? Driscoll actually teaches this view.

    “3. Because she is the weaker vessel.”

    Weaker in what sense? I know women who could carry John Piper out of a burning building but he could not carry them. So what does weaker vessel mean? Remember, we are reading a 1st Century text.

  143. Gavin, it amazes me that you think what you pasted above is any different than what Grudem and Co. subscribe to. They use all the same Scripture texts as your Scottish author to cut and paste to make their list.

    I don’t know what to think of you Gavin . . . continued from the previous thread.

  144. Anon 1 and Bridget
    The big difference, which I hoped you would see, is that there is perfect symmetry in the relationship, each person fulfilling and being fulfilled in the other with God as the Head. Completely different from what the moderns teach. But it is what the Bible teaches.

    It is a mediaeval development to blame Eve and “women” for Adam’s and “men’s” sinning. Nothing to do with the Bible.

    Yes and I know the significance of head coverings.

    Please read the biography of Boston and you might temper your view,I hope.

    And Bridget, you don’t need to think anything of me, I’m no different from anyone else, full of contradictions.

    Regards
    Gavin

  145. 3. Because she is the weaker vessel.”

    Weaker in what sense? I know women who could carry John Piper out of a burning building but he could not carry them. So what does weaker vessel mean? Remember, we are reading a 1st Century text.

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

    Grant it, in general terms of brute physical strength (some specifics may differ of course), 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 (1 Pet 3:7) on women as weaker vessels?

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

  146. Totally off-topic, except that it’s another list.

    Despite Jesus being fairly clear that we’re not supposed to adopt religious titles (you’re not to be called “teacher” because you have one teacher, ditto “father”), a number of traditions have evidently decided that “Pastor” is an exception to this rule and refer to Pastor Dave, Pastor Wendall, Pastormark™. I’m not saying I’d go to war over this practice – I think it’s more childish than heretical – I can’t be alone in wondering what would make a suitable list of unfortunate forenames for a Pastor So-and-so to have.

    How about:
    Salad
    Parcel
    Buck
    Participle
    Point
    Rangements
    Greements
    Kidneystone
    Crudferbrains

    For a couple of the above, it would help to remember that in UK English (other than in Scotland, the West Country and possibly Lancushurrr), the “r” in “pastor” is silent. Also, we do not pronounce “pasta” as “parsta”.

  147. “Rangements” and “Greenments”?! Heeheehee…

    *

    Gavin – anytime someone uses “subjection” and “superiority” to describe people, well… the same words were used when we (and you people, too) had chattel slavery. Here, they continued on in a very public way for nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation became law.

    So, your quote there is more of a “What’s wrong with this picture?” scenario than anything else… also a pass for men to abuse women (children, too), but it seems that you don’t see that.

  148. “The big difference, which I hoped you would see, is that there is perfect symmetry in the relationship, each person fulfilling and being fulfilled in the other with God as the Head. Completely different from what the moderns teach. But it is what the Bible teaches.”

    There is NEVER symmatry in a relationship where one is considered a superior in any way whether spiritual, material or physical. What does “ONE FLESH’ mean if the bad interpretations were going to make her a lesser being of sorts: Did not the Cross mean anything? In fact, if you check, there are NO prohibitions to women teaching men in the OT yet we are to believe there are new laws stricter laws in the NT? The contradictions are endless.

    You mention God as the head. Do you see the problem already with that view? The man is said to be the “head” of the wife in 1 Tim. So she has one head between her and Christ? That is the problem with viewing the word Kephale in any authority like terms. It means Jesus is the “source” for the Body and the husband a source of provision for the wife in the 1st Century context. That would mean somethingh like he is to make sure he provides for her education if she has been kept illiterate. She is to be a full co heir in Christ.

    The view in the piece you posted has all sorts of references to man being superior in some way but that he should just be nice about it and all will be ok. Any teaching that does not acknowledge a spiritual equality before God is false. We all know there was no physical or material equality in the 1st Century. We are certainly not going back to that bondage.

    I am sure the Scottish preacher was a nice guy. I have read this sort of thing ad nauseum over the last 20 years. I am aware of all the nice “man on top” but treats her like a queen teaching. It is not scriptural. At some point, people are going to have to dive in and figture this out. It will take years because you gotta clear up the horrible interpretatios ad translations of Gen! And you can start with teshuqa.

  149. Headless Unicorn Guy on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:39 AM said:
    Wayne Grudem reminds me of Borat.– Val
    As in “THROW THE JEW DOWN THE WELL! THROW THE JEW DOWN THE WELL!” Borat?

    When he was promoting his movie, he rode into the Toronto Film Festival on a float-sized Rickshaw pulled by scantily clad women, and the film did have some ridiculous scenes in his “interview” with a feminist study’s prof. Anyways, his goal was to come across as a sexist jerk where women had their place.

    Wayne is just detailing what he thinks that place is.

  150. Muff, I may be completely wrong, but I had always assumed that weaker vessel was to do with woman’s vulnerability as child-bearer/birther (a pretty constant state for most women in the ancient world)

    It may also refer to her vulnerability as someone with few legal rights (a man could mistreat his wife with impunity, and she had no comeback)

  151. Lynn T:

    That is just too ironic. They are just blind. They never see their own faults, only others. Pharisees–maybe??

  152. LynneT

    i just read that list. I actually think something is deeply wrong with this man. Where are the adults around him???

     

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

    I do agree. Women were to breed and many died in childbirth. The thinking was a lot like Martin Luther’s on the subject, just get another wife to breed some more. And women were culturally kept ignorant. In the Synagogue she was not allowed to speak at all. She had to wait and ask her husband when she got home. (See 1 Corin 14 which references this thinking from the Talmud/Mishna and Paul says to that, What? Do you think the word of God came only to you?)

    Wealthy Roman women are the only ones who had choices.

  154. JeffS, Driscoll posting that is narcissism on steriods. Perry Noble is a lot like Driscoll, too.

  155. Gavin

    I must be absolutely thick. For the life of me, I cannot see any division of function in the home amongst any complementarians that I know (who are healthy) that differs one iota from egalitarians and idontknowwhatatarians. I totally and absolutely give up. The only two things that it seems to boil down to is no female pastors/elders and the guy gets a tiebreak in the home. 

    If these two things represent the Godhead, then how small the Godhead is. I am not trying to be difficult. I have been reading everyone. The final straw for me was Mary Kassian. Once she threw out the homemaking card, nothing else is left. She didn't even bring up kids. 

    Until someone can show me the difference, except for body parts and the two things I mentioned, I find complementarianism amongst one of the most ill-defined  arguments that conservative Christians have going. Representing the Godhead, indeed!

  156. Dee, over in the other thread, if I’m reading him right, Gavin only doesn’t want to be called egalitarian becaue of political connotations to the word.

  157. @ HUG, looking at the ‘seriously sick’ book blurb, it’s just a book about life in ancient Israel was like. It’s (apparently) aimed at boys because talks about how different it was – as in, sleeping next to farm animals? Gross! Not having bathroom and sanitation? Eew!
    Of course the authors of this book seem to either forget or be unaware of the fact that many girls also like that sort of ‘gross’ stuff at that age.

  158. On the list from the resurgence, Driscoll fits all except 7 and 11. And the reason he doesn’t fit those two is because he doesn’t care about the opinions of others.

  159. “The big difference, which I hoped you would see, is that there is perfect symmetry in the relationship, each person fulfilling and being fulfilled in the other with God as the Head.”

    Gavin, I don’t know what you mean, unless you are talking about the perfect symmetry of obedience to one’s ruler. The husband being fulfilled by kind obedience and the wife being fulfilled by being ruled kindly.

    “. Lastly, Direction, with calmness instructing her, how she should carry in every thing, both with respect to things of this life and of the other, Prov. ii. 17. He ought to be as eyes to her, which have their place in the head, and so should be capable to guide, 1 Pet. iii. 7.

    On the other hand, the wife should be pliable and teachable, 1 Tim. ii. 11. yea, and be ready to seek instruction from her husband, 1 Cor. xiv. 35. She should be obedient to his commands and directions, ver. 34. for in every thing wherein the law of God has not bound her up, the husband’s will ought to be complied with, Eph. v. 24. Gen. iii. 16.”

    “The woman ought to honour her husband, walking under a conscientious respect to that superiority God has granted him over her…”

    So yeah, if you’re feeling that perfect symmetry with those who are superior to you Gavin, good for you.

  160. “She should be obedient to his commands and directions, ver. 34. for in every thing….”

    Where does it use the Greek “obedient” to his commands and directions? He is in 1 Corin 14 where Paul is quoting from the letter he received as he does throughout. He refutes the quote in verse:

    36 Or did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If anyone thinks they are a prophet or otherwise gifted by the Spirit, let them acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 38 But if anyone ignores this, they will themselves be ignored.[h]

    39 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way.

    The reason it has to be a quote is for many reasons. For one, it reads like we see all through the Talmud on women in worship. For another, if it is Paul teaaching this, he has contradicted himself in chap 11 with women prophesying in worship. He did not say it was wrong there. And yet another reason is becasue the word ‘silent’ hear means no sound whatsoever. No singing, no talking, etc. Total silence. And we know that cannot be true. Paul’s refutation of that quote above is best translated in KJ ironically. The gReek sort of works like a “What”! Are you kidding me! In our language. HE gets a bit sarcastic with the thinking in his refutation.

    Oh how evil some interpretations are!

  161. @ HUG, looking at the ‘seriously sick’ book blurb, it’s just a book about life in ancient Israel was like. It’s (apparently) aimed at boys because talks about how different it was – as in, sleeping next to farm animals? Gross! Not having bathroom and sanitation? Eew! — Pam

    Bart Simpson Syndrome — when you’re ten years old and male, EVERYTHING gross and disgusting is hilarious. Some of the stuff we pulled in the schoolyard during the 1960s was so clueless and crazy it’d get you in so much trouble today. Like tying hangman’s knots in any line we found that had an end dangling free. Like “Barf-O-Bits”, the school’s king of the vomit joke (including sight gags). Really clueless race jokes. Really clueless sex jokes.

  162. Gavin, a male quoting another male on marriage. Wishing instead there were some authoritative words by someone female who wrote similarly on the subject in the 1700s. Scottish would do, as it’s a wonderful accent to read in, but anything from your fair isle would suffice.

  163. I was at a Christians for Biblical Equality conference the year before. There was reference to Patriarchy.

    There was also another word which came into view. This word is: ‘Patrilineal’. A patrilineal world view has been around since the beginning of time. It can be seen in many cultures worldwide.

    The teaching that traces descent through males is called: Patrilineal. It describes family relationships traced through the male line, or societies in which only such relationships are recognized.

    This seems to be the teaching that has come through the ranks of a patriarchal belief system. A patrilineal belief system takes it one step further.

    The question is if this is a valid belief system that needs to be upheld and generated among Christians?! It would appear that this is a belief grounded and founded in the Fall and is not to be included in a New Testament belief in the Kingdom of God on the earth today. Therefore, a patrilineal belief system is at cross-purposes with the teachings of Christ in the New Testament.

  164. Haitch,
    This Yank would love to hear Cate Blanchett do an audio CD reading of Katharine Bushnell’s works.

  165. @ Barb Orlowski,
    Bushnell had much to say on how kinship is reckoned. Some Native American tribes (my own included) don’t give two hoots who your father was, they want to know who your mother was.

  166. Long ago in the Ohio river valley there was a tribe of the Algonquin nation whose polity is said to have been matriarchal. The chief could only serve at the pleasure of a council of crones, and his tenure was up for review at each solstice.

  167. @ Muff

    Yes, agreed, there are martriarchal, matrilineal groups. Nevertheless, when you have a look worldwide there seems to be a majority bent toward male descent. And, in the Christian context, it is all too evident in too many places! The ongoing harm towards women speaks for itself.

  168. Absolutely! Male domination goes back to the Fall, and is one of the things we are supposed to reverse as agents of the New Creation. If comps/patriarchs were consistent with their embrace of the curse, they would only earn food by the sweat of their brow (no cushy, sit down, writer/pastor jobs) spend their time weeding and die as young as possible. The fact that they only embrace this one bit of the curse is utterly hypocritical.

    Incidentally, while traditional Jewish genealogies were patrilineal, modern Jews determine identity on a matrilineal basis, i.e. you’re counted as Jewish if your mother was. This, I understand, came about as a rabbinical response to the rape of Jewish women. It settled the identity of their children

  169. @Barb Orlowski,

    As Muff mentioned, Bushnell brings to light the fact that the only directive given relative to marriage was that the man leaves his parents to cleave to his wife (at her home/tribe) thus the lineage would be through the woman to fulfill the prophetic words about the “seed of the woman.” Interesting how we read that directive as both husband and wife leaving their parents, but that isn’t what it says.

    Then as women began to be removed from their tribes as a result of war, they were taken as spoils of war and became part of the men’s tribes.

    Interesting study. She lists traces of adherence to this type of marriage in the Old Testament.

  170. In NM, the Native Americans have a matrilineal society, where the primary clan of the child is the mother’s and the secondary one is the father’s. A man cannot marry one of his mother’s clan, but must marry a woman from another clan, and his children will be identified with his wife’s clan. The tribe is ruled by the people of a clan that is matrilineal!

  171. So, we have Mary Kassian’s 2 jobs women can’t do – and Piper is chair of the CBMW with both Wayne and Mary on the board.

    And they insist they are all “in each other’s backyards”. If we put it all together, Dee is right – Complementarianism is ONLY men can be pastors and elders.

    And, I guess Mary isn’t on the side of the Anglican church, because she is against women pastors (called rectors in Anglicanism) but OK with Bishops (which Anglicanism isn’t). So, Mary could go to a Episcopal (Episcopalians OK’d women Bishops) congregation with a woman Bishop and a male rector (pastor), but not the other way around. Glad I got this all straight.

    Meanwhile Wayne couldn’t go to any Mainline denomination, a Mennonite church or a Pentecostal/Charismatic church (non-baptist charismatic) because someone, somewhere would violate his rules of church governance. I wonder what he does with the passages of Phoebe being a teaching deacon, but anyways…

  172. Patrilineal cultures put high value on sons. They are looking for boy babies. Daughters, well, they are second class and not so wanted in many of these homes.

    Girls are a liability to the family. You raise them and then they go to the family of the groom. The new wife in his culture does not have much status there either–she is usually under the dominion of her mother-in-law. So not only is she not loved and wanted in her own family, she is traded for goods, and then bossed around in her new family. Sounds like a de-valued and lonely existence and not much fun at all!

  173. Dear Dee
    Thank you. That is the point I’ve been trying to point out – that except for a couple of specific functions in ministry, there is no difference between the two views, certainly not enough to generate so much hot air.

    For Dana
    There is a world of a difference between Thomas Boston’s words and those modern day complementarians whose views are more in line with Aquinas in his Summa Theologica where he has this rather nice line

    “The Philosopher speaks of women as though they had not the firm judgement of reason, although the contrary happens in some women. Hence he states that’we do not describe women as being continent, because they are vacillating, through being unstable of reason, and more easily led so that they follow the passions readily”

    Absolutely no comparison.

    Now, briefly to Anon 1.
    The Greek word kephale does mean source but it obtained that meaning to counter the Arian heresy that Christ was not fully God. Its prior meaning was ‘head’, particularly that of a man or an animal, reflecting the Hebrew word ra’s.

    I’m also glad you moderated your remark on Boston from my “dead buddy” to “I’m Sure he was nice guy” because I was going to say that you sounded as winsome as Calamity Jane in Deadwood :-)

    And to Haitch
    How about this from Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, who wrote to a well known preacher in the 1700s-

    “Your sermon I read with much care, as well as attention to your request that I would sit with pen and paper by me, to mark all I could find amiss in it; but if it will be any satisfaction to you to know it, I assure you, with all my care, I was not able to make one objection…”

    And if that is a little bit lah de dah, the following is the considered judgement of Professor Margo Todd, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, on the state of women in Scotland at the start of the 17th century -

    “The Kirk was remarkably forward-looking in its recognition of verbal as well as physical abuse. Where else in the 16th century do you find the church actively punishing injury by word or deed or misusing her by word against the duty of a loving husband?”

    Regards
    Gavin

    And Dee, I hope everything goes okay with your husband,s open Lester today. Best wishes.

  174. Loving this patrilineal/matrilineal discussion. Matrilineal land ownership is still practiced in parts of the Pacific nearby – eg Solomon Islands, Bougainville (autonomous island still currently part of PNG) etc. The affected Bougainvillean women protested vigorously when a copper mine was established in the 60′s with the help of Australian government police protection.

    With the current ‘resources war’ in play, the matrilineal land ownership system is able to be subverted in different ways by the men, eg by granting logging rights to foreign companies and marginalising the key stakeholders ie the women from the negotiations. Sigh.

    Men eh? They just don’t know when to keep their place…

  175. Gavin –

    Let me be clear. I did not intend to comment on the difference between Boston and Aquinas. My comment was directed at you and your appreciation of the beautiful symmetry of the wife’s obedience to her superior husband’s rule.

    That is all.

  176. Dana
    As I have tried to make clear there is no “superiority” in such a relationship. You should have stuck to commenting on Boston and Aquinas, although your comment is inappropriate there too.

    Regards
    Gavin

  177. Gavin –

    Again, I was never commenting on Boston and Aquinas, so there is nothing to stick to.

    If you are trying to make it clear that there is no supeiority in such a relationship, maybe you should not post long quotes that describe the husband as superior. If there is no hierarchy with superiority or inferiority in a relationship, maybe you could use a word, like, say, egalitarian for clarity’s sake.

  178. Dana
    I don’t like the word egalitarian and I tend to let people speak for themselves, hence the long quotes. That way I hope to convince readers that things are better than they imagine them to be. You interpret it one way, I another.
    Regards
    Gavin

  179. Gavin,

    I suppose that some marriages are better than are imagined and some are worse. One of the biggest irritants for me is the doublespeak that complementarians use.

    You don’t like the word egalitarian, so you use hierarchical language to describe a relationship that you say has no superiority or inferiority and then tell me that is a matter of interpretation. Okay.

    If you want to convince readers that things are better than they imagine them to be, maybe you could use words according to their dictionary definitions so that we don’t have to worry about interpretations.

  180. Dana
    How about this?

    “Our high Father, God Almighty,who is Being itself, knew us and loved us from before any time, and from this knowledge in His wondrous profound love, by the for seeing endless agreement of all the Blessed Trinity, He willed that the Second Person should become our Mother, our Brother, and our Saviour.

    Whereof it follows that as truly as God is our Father, so truly God is our Mother.

    Our Father wills,
    Our Mother acts,
    Our good Lord the Holy Spirit strengthens.”

    (Julian of Norwich born 1343, Revelations of Divine Love, Reading One Hundred Forty Three)

    Regards
    Gavin

  181. Well, how about it, Gavin? I’m talking about how you apparently see perfect symmetry in a relationship described has having a superior husband ruling over an obedient wife by a 18th century Scottish pastor but you will not answer that. Instead you throw 13th century theology and now the writings of a 14th century mystic at me.

    If you’d rather not talk about the perfect symmetry you see in Boston’s writings, I understand.

    Peace. I have to go out for the day, but will check back later.

  182. Already answered you Dana. There is no superior/inferior relationship before God and I thought I’d made it clear.

    As for the examples I gave, they were to illustrate the breadth of understanding there is of the relationship and how things developed from a European perspective.

    Regards
    Gavin

  183. Gavin – you’ve made your points over and over and over.

    but you clearly haven’t argued any of us around to your way of seeing things.

    How about a truce?

  184. I just proof texted…oh, sorry. I mean, systematically theologized my ESV. In other words, I shook it like a Magic 8 Ball and out popped a list for Wayne Gruden’s biblical roles. Magic ESV Ball told me that this list was: Decidely so:

    Wayne Gruden and his stupid lists can go,

    1. Jump in a lake
    2. Jump in a river
    3. Jump in the ocean

    I choose to draw no line for Wayne.

    For he might grab a hold of it and pull himself to shore.

    And I’d rather he didn’t. For one cannot write lists while one is treading water.

  185. “The woman ought to honour her husband, walking under a conscientious respect to that superiority God has granted him over her.” Thomas Boston (quoted by Gavin White)

    “There is no superior/inferior relationship before God and I thought I’d made it clear.” Gavin White

    Gavin,
    You seem like a nice person and you’ve provided me helpful answers before on other topics, so truly I don’t want to give you a hard time. But the man you quoted to prove your point that men are not superior directly contradicts your assertion in several places. Let me explain how this is coming across: What would you say to someone who set out to prove to you that the sky is NOT blue, by pointing to a bright blue sky on a clear day with the honest belief that they have proven their point?

    You would think they are either a) playing mind games with you, or b) clearly confused about the definition of “blue.” This is why you are not getting through to anyone…

    I realize that you seem to want to end this conversation in your response to numo, and that’s fine if you don’t want to respond to me, but I just thought maybe I should point that out to you. I am really honestly confused about why you would quote a man saying the husband is superior to his wife to PROVE your point that men are not superior. Any thoughts?

  186. Gee, Gavin, I guess what we have here is a failure to communicate. It would seems that you are not making things perfectly clear.

    Dana: ” My comment was directed at you and your appreciation of the beautiful symmetry of the wife’s obedience to her superior husband’s rule.”

    Gavin: “As I have tried to make clear there is no “superiority” in such a relationship.”

    Dana: “I’m talking about how you apparently see perfect symmetry in a relationship described has having a superior husband ruling over an obedient wife…”

    Gavin: “There is no superior/inferior relationship before God and I thought I’d made it clear.”

    Maybe you can make this clear, or maybe not. Is there a superior/inferior relationship between the husband and wife? Your posting indicates that this is so. “The woman ought to honour her husband, walking under a conscientious respect to that superiority God has granted him over her…”

    You then talk about this perfect symmetry that you see. So, are you saying that the husband and wife have no superior/inferior relationship to God, but they do indeed to each other? I don’t care what Thomas Boston says, I’m asking you, Gavin White. You do get all jumpy and scattered with direct questions. You are the one that called the example you gave perfect symmetry. And no, calling an obedient wife to her superior ruling husband perfect symmetry does not clearly state that you do not see marriage as an inferior/superior relationship.

    And then changing the subject to inferior/superior status before God does nothing to help clarify.

    Gavin: “There is no superior/inferior relationship before God and I thought I’d made it clear.” Nope, not at all. Not clear.

  187. The issue of who is inferior and who is superior in the male/female dichotomy is irrelevant. It is a slight-of-hand tactic the neo-Cals use in order to draw attention away from the real issue. They may be right that, strictly speaking, there is no greater than/lesser than relationship between men and women according to their teachings on the subject (and, really, who among the pervasive depraved is superior except for the gnostics “standing in the stead”?). But, again, that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that the whole complimentarian doctrine is simply another way for church leadership to monopolize the power constructs and to enslave the laymen for their own benefit.

    Anyone with even a base knowledge of neo-reformed teaching understands that the crux of their orthodoxy rests upon the idea that you do not belong to you, but you belong to them (because they are God to you). All doctrines are built around this idea: that YOU are irrelevant to your life, your salvation, and to God. You are worthless; and the only true good you can do is acknowledge that you must be a bystander to yourself and allow the proper ecclesiastical authorities to tell you who you really are and what you are really allowed to think and do as a proxy of the “Holy Spirit” (themselves, playing God)…assuming you are actually one of the elect; it is impossible for you to really know until you die. The false and fabricated doctrine of complimentarianism is wholly devoted to this endeavor. By demanding that women and men (for men are equally tyrannized by this doctrine) fulfill “roles”, they demand that you accept that you are not who you want to be, or who you are, but who THEY want you to be and who THEY say you are.

    So the problem has nothing to do with the subterfuge of “superiority”; the problem is that by demanding women fulfill their “proper biblical roles” (a lie), they effectively, as with other doctrines, remove humanity from itself. By agreeing that we are obligated to a role based solely on THEIR interpretation of what is “orthodox”, we agree that they OWN us. We are slaves to the ecclesiastical authority. Our “God” is no further than the random neo-Cal despot behind the plexiglass.

    You think this is hyperbole. After all, your neo-Cal pastor has never said such a thing. They love women; and value them.

    Wrong. They hate women, they hate men. The love they have for humans extends no further than whatever “role” they demand people fall into. Look at every point of TULIP. Every single one boils down to this premise:

    You have NO RIGHT to YOU. You are a troublesome bit of filth which constantly stands in the way of some external force (either God or sin nature) which, by divine “election”, claims true, biblical right of ownership of your soul, mind, and body.

    So, for those arguing that complimentarianism doesn’t advocate superiority of roles…well, first, that’s a lie and you know it. Because all of the “greater gifts” are, for the reformed crowd, a men-only club. So stop lying and at least have the guts to say what you really mean. And second, it doesn’t matter anyway because the inherent evil in your doctrine isn’t with a definition of one human being being superior to another (which IS evil, and which is exactly what complimentarianism defends) it is the lie of “biblical roles”.

  188. “He begins with the duty of the wife, as that of the children and servants, because their duty, through the subjection that is in it, is the most difficult, and being conscientiously performed, is the stronger “motive to the husband, to do his duty, as well as to the parent to do his.”

    See Gavin, Right here the tone is set for the rest of the piece. The wife is in same category as children and servants. Something we see a parallel to today in comp doctrine of women being “girls” and husband as a sort of “daddy” figure. It is very sicko.

    But notice my favorite part…he is movtivated by their doing their duty. This is another parallel that has been taught so long by the comps. It falls on the woman to make him the leader, to do what should be done so HE can be the man he should be. Which means he cannot be the man God wants him to be in comp doctrine if she does not practice comp doctrine correctly.

    This has NOTHING to do with Jesus Christ. It is worldly thinking.

  189. Excellent comment, Argo. Just excellent. That one will be copied and pasted and saved by me. Thank you.

  190. Great comment Argo. And I will add that the non Cals leaders who promote this doctrine like crazy (Patterson, etc) are doing so for the exact same reason: control. Those who follow think it makes them more Holy.

    People believe it based upon faulty understanding of the bible so the guru with the rules roles and formulas becomes their Holy Spirit for them.

  191. Dana and Anon 1,

    Thank you for your kind responses.

    I think that their is great hope on out there for our faith. I used to think that the reformed theology juggernaut was insurmountable. (Even this Sunday my “non-Calvinist” pastor quoted David Platt! Ug!!! That, like, ruined my whole Sunday.) It didn’t matter how consistent your argument was, or how rational, or even how BIBLICAL, people how were wholly sold on the idea that Christianity is really this cult of death (as John Immel puts it) for humanity; that is, unless “dying to oneself” means agreeing that you have no say in your own life and your own mind and instead outsource it to the local church “authority”, who are as capricious as CJ Mahaney is hysteric, then you might as well go worship Satan.

    It is encouraging to see the resistance here that people put up to this kind of evil teaching. Even if I have to go to the blogs to find it…and, sadly, not in church.

  192. Complementarians will try to say that their rules and roles are the proper way to balance men and women as they were designed, that they are combating feminism. The truth is that this theology just perpetuates the men vs. women antagonism that breeded hardcore feminism in the first place. Just look at how much of the “failings of men” are blamed on women. “The woman you put here with me…” Women cannot be allowed to flourish in leadership because it takes away opportunities and discourages men.

    True complementarianism should allow men and women to serve together in partnership and build each other up. Advancements of women aren’t viewed as detriments to men, they are celebrated as gains for all. And likewise, advancements and success of men aren’t viewed as detrimental to women either.

  193. Well, I see I’m not the only one that was having a problem connecting with Gavin’s train of thoughts, quotes, and responses. For awhile I thought it was only me. I think he even pulled out the “this is what the Bible says” card up there a ways. So, if we disagree with the quotes, then surely we don’t believe the Bible.

  194. Argo,
    I know what you mean, my church also has let the RBDs infiltrate, I think it’s due to some of our younger men who feel God’s call on them and they find conferences to attend because they are techno informed and get an influx of ads on their devices and our older NON Calvinist leaders are not paying attention to what they are being taught, they just see the numbers and the charisma of these younger youth pastors and such drawing in some crowds because they are so “relevant.” then they hold these classes midweek teaching from books like David Platt’s to the men and the women’s Bible study just used Priscilla Shirer! And our middle age pastor who we called to our church 2 years ago is an egalitarian! The only weakness in egalitarian view pastors is that they are not on micromanaging power trips so the men who that ARE worm their way in to simpler houses of worship.
    Ugh, ugh! And I have whined too much already for anyone of them to listen to me about it, even the women just simply don’t care because it hasn’t affected their egalitarian in practice lives. Not YET anyway.
    Oh and I miss reading you over at tyranny but I’ve had trouble following and posting since the new blog format.

  195. Anon 1 – But notice my favorite part…he is movtivated by their doing their duty. This is another parallel that has been taught so long by the comps. It falls on the woman to make him the leader, to do what should be done so HE can be the man he should be. Which means he cannot be the man God wants him to be in comp doctrine if she does not practice comp doctrine correctly.

    Um, ya so that reasoning says that SHE is the leader. Oh if they would just listen to themselves!

  196. “It is encouraging to see the resistance here that people put up to this kind of evil teaching. Even if I have to go to the blogs to find it…and, sadly, not in church.”

    There is more and more resistance everywhere. But what will happen is they will simply reinvent themselves, hijack common words to mean something else and start over. It is a religion of controlling people which equals death. People who want to control people are not going to give it up that easily. What I would like to see is people move toward Liberty in both Christianity and government and stop loving to be micromanaged in both venues.

    That will take better education and personal responsibility all the way around in our society and I don’t see that happening soon.

  197. For what it’s worth, and I may be supremely naive, I thought that Gavin was not necessarily endorsing everything that he quoted. Quite recently he said pretty plainly that he does not believe in husbands having authority over wives. Assuming I’m not mistaken, then here he must have been trying to make a lesser point in his quotes, which is that the comp teaching of today is far more oppressive than historical views, even if historical views were lacking. If you are interested in the trajectory of oppression, this might be interesting; if not you will only be able to point out the flaws in the quoted rather than the positive things said that aren’t being said today.

    From observing his writing, I think often Gavin tries to provoke people whom he considers to have one-sided views into seeing the value in more moderate positions. I suspect that’s what he was going here.

    Maybe I’m missing it entirely, but that’s what I saw, which is different from what others saw, so I thought I should at least mention it.

  198. Argo, I like a lot of what you are saying. I will say that I don’t agree that Reformed beliefs are the culprit (which I think you imply in places). I know people here believe differently, but I just think equating Reformed beliefs to power hungry teachers creates a smoke screen around the real problem. The real problem is when we trust leaders who abuse us, and abusers can twist any doctrine to get their narcissistic supply.

  199. Dear Looking for You, Dana and Numo

    I think it is a paradox. I was going to say that the sky isn’t really blue but decided against it.

    To me the answer lies in Christ. The marriage relationship reflects the relationship between Christ (The Head) and His Church (His Body). There are two parts to the complete body with the head taking precedence. Similarly in marriage there is one complete body with the man as head. But what does Christ do. He doesn’t control, order, bully or beat His church into submission:he gives Himself, sacrifices Himself for it. And that is what a husband should strive to do for his wife, for her good, for her to have a complete and full life with Him as ONE. Philippians records that although Christ was fully God, He didn’t make anything of it. He was the Lord but became a servant, He was full of glory but He emptied Himself and became a servant. He humbled Himself, even to death on a cross. That is what a true husband does. He gives himself for his wife.
    So I don’t see a contradiction in what I’ve said. I find it easy to believe it. I find it harder to fulfil it. And that’s where sin and pride and temper and bullying all have their say – to make me like the first Adam, to want to be someone, to be like God, to lord it over creation and to include my wife as part of it, instead of seeing her as a help-meet, someone who complements and completes me. It is this very sin that sets the neo-Calvinists apart from the truth because they want to dictate and be the centre of attention. That is not God’s way for marriage, for the church or for any human relationship.
    Do you see what I’m saying?
    Regards
    Have n

  200. There is more and more resistance everywhere. But what will happen is they will simply reinvent themselves, hijack common words to mean something else and start over. — Anon1

    “The Principles of Newspeak”, by G.Orwell
    Appendix A, Nineteen Eighty-Four

  201. Gavin, thank you so very much for the reply. I really appreciate it. I don’t think that I agree with you completely on the more theological points, but I do think that I understand what you are saying.

    We all have beliefs and and ideals that we struggle to implement in our lives and I respect those who are brave enough to name them and admit that they are a life-long process. Bless you in your walk with the Lord.

  202. “There are two parts to the complete body with the head taking precedence.”

    You have totally misunderstood kephale. This is not a passage about authority at all even with Christ who IS our authority. It is a metaphor about being a source for needs.

    With your definition of kephale, it means women have two heads over them. You are just trying to claim this is good if the “head” between her and Christ is nice.

    Your interpretation (and the historical one) contradicts Christ’s entire message of our standing with Him.

    There are a ton of reasons people believed this lie for so long and why more are no longer buying into it.The Holy Spirit leading people to test out of the contradictions of the interpretation with the vast amount of resources at our fingertips, is one of them. The Holy Spirit could have used several words to communicate “authority” but chose not to. So man had to redefine the meaning of Kephale in the 1st Century context.

  203. Thank you, Anon 1. I do not agree with the complementarian understanding of head meaning authority or precedence. I lean more towards a metaphor about oneness, but also accept the metaphor about being a source for needs.

  204. This list is also available in Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. AS I recall, that is where I first read it.

    No more Perfect – anyone notice in the “Go Wayne Grudem” skit that the girls were barefoot and the guys all wore shoes? Odd?

  205. Thanks Gavin, but along with Anon 1, I am a little suspicious of that word Kephale…

    The bigger issue, though, is: what can women do in the church? If a couple believes the man is the head and that just means serving his wife (and I struggle to see how that is played out over time in a non-patronizing way/ it is either ignored, most comp marriages, or relegates the wife to some sort of teenage-like state of parental need). Does that view not seep into other areas?

    Now, women can’t do this and that in the church because the man is the “head”. How can a woman be a lead pastor if her husband is in the congregation? Suddenly, this whole husband serving his wife ideal becomes a Law that must be followed. Now, women who aren’t his wife are forced to serve his need to be head (by not being in charge in a church, etc.)

    This is just Greco-Roman household codes rearing their ugly heads – wives were much younger and looked down on back then, and Paul is appealing to the men to treat them better than property. I really don’t care what arguments he used on them, Jesus is my Lord, my head and my Authority. My husband is my co-heir and brother in Christ and together we are on a journey. He has no authority, nor any duty to cater to me beyond us loving and serving one-another.

    As soon as you try and twist that in today’s world, you end up with ridiculous comments (when commenters asked complementarian commenters how they were the ‘heads’) on comment threads such as: “I protect my wife from Jehova’s Witnesses who come to my door” and “I don’t let my wife read her own e-mail first”. Come on, headship is a dead cultural construct. We don’t defend our own property in England or urban Canada anymore (the female policewoman is the only one allowed do that for us – in Can. we can defend our own life, but not our property – can get charged with assult, etc.-not sure where the UK is at on all that).

    As for the rest, think of how much society has changed. My mother-in-law was making more than my father-in-law when they first married. The bank wouldn’t count her income for a mortgage, as she wasn’t considered a reliable source of income! Today, my husband and my combined incomes got us the home we wanted, the bank was happy to add our incomes together. There is really nothing the man needs to do as “head” in today’s society. Woman can pull in high incomes, climb professional ladders and make financial decisions. Men can stay home, care for kids and cook. We don’t live in separate spheres anymore, and the younger generation doesn’t have a choice, most of them can’t afford one income anyways.

    Yet there is the dinosaur church trying to shoehorn wives, and by extension all women into silly submissive roles, disregarding their talents or abilities. My husband cooks. He sometimes brings food to people in need. Most people are happy. The church leadership is alarmed. I am sick and tired of women being told they need to be ‘helped’ by men. I don’t need male leaders any more than they need female leaders – we all need good leadership. In my journey through Christianity, I have met more women in touch with and lead by the spirit than men. By that observation alone, I would be more inclined to trust a women to lead.

  206. “a help-meet, someone who complements and completes me.”

    I may have misunderstood you. This is not what a wife is. This is a very wrong relationship between any two human beings. A man is a complete human being, and can exist as a single man in the kingdom of God. A woman also is a complete human being. Treating the wife as a “completing appendage” to man is to dehumanize her. This is a very terrible thing to do to any human being. The cruelty is intense.

  207. Co-dependency is the name of the game in Christian marriages. Well, until one half starts making the other miserable. Then it’s labled as idolatry and previously revered behavior is now regarded as sinful. Oh, yeah, the spouse crying foul is blamed for desiring to be happy in he marriage.

    I will probably never listen to or read marital advice from a Christian again.

  208. EMSoli, your comment on the video reminded me – aren’t the women violating this list? They’re up the front teaching people!

    Also, I couldn’t even make it to a minute, even though I had the sound off. That was so bad it made my cringing cringe.

  209. JeffS,

    Yes, christianity is co-dependency-ville. Screwy understanding of “love”, & the obligation to be loving = no boundaries.

    “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” = this twisted me up in the most toxic relationships with toxic people. Took 3 years to unravel from it.

    Christian commentary on relationships (parenting, marriage, church) — to be avoided.

  210. Dear all
    Kephale in Greek can mean source but this meaning was developed during the Adrian controversy so head is still a valid meaning. Also to me it is an analogy and not literal. You don’t have multi-headed people running about the place. As I said, in my description of the relationship, woman is neither demeaned nor man exalted.

    As for what can women do in the church, the Scriptural examples of women leaders, proclaimers, helpers, at the very least suggests or warrants a ministerial role for them. I mentioned that in another thread.

    As for Sue’s idea of independence, all I can say is that the two become one flesh, so it is co-dependent and mutual.

    Regards
    Gavin

  211. Gavin,
    Co-dependency is terrible in a marriage. As I mentioned above, Christians laude co-dependency in a marriage until it goes bad, then they start labeling the exact same behavior idolatry.

    Co-dependency is a sickness that hurts people. It is a failure to set appropriate boundaries and an obligation to serve out of fear.

    This is one point that Townsend and Cloud make in their book “Boundaries”: there is a huge difference between doing out if fear and doing out of love. When we are sacrificing for our spouse because it gives us great joy to do so, I do not see this as co-dependency, but as a healthy and necessary part of married life. When we sacrifice out of fear (of being hurt, or even letting our partner down), then we are not healthy and it is harmful.

    I do not think “one flesh” means we do not retain our sense of identity and who we are. We are still two distinct people with our own needs and desires, even as we are one in the bond of marriage.

  212. Dear Jeff S
    I think you’re reading too much into my words. I thought I’d made it clear that you act out of love not fear, nor even from the idea of obligation.
    Similarly I don’t for a moment think that you lose your own identity in the relationship. You just change the focus so that it is no longer selfish.

    I hope that clears things up a bit.
    Regards
    Gavin

  213. In this case it was exactly your words I was responding to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codependency

    So based in your clarification, you do not believe in codependency in the marriage. I was hoping you were using the word erroneously, but I wanted to be clear about what we were talking about.

    I maintain the position that codependency is something that the church promotes through its teaching, and Sue was not wrong to bring it up. The “you complete me” idea of love is one that the church is getting from the culture, not the other way around, and this attitude does indeed result in codependency. In fact, it IS idolatry to view another person that way, but the church often doesn’t see it until the problems arise.

  214. @ Jeff & Gavin:

    I think the word you are both searching for is “interdependency.” “Codependency” has a specific (negative) psychological definition.

  215. @ Gavin:

    Thank you for your position statement earlier. If you do self-describe as “complementarian,” you sound like a very reasonable and level-headed one.

  216. “I think the word you are both searching for is “interdependency.” “Codependency” has a specific (negative) psychological definition.”

    I was very definitely meaning “codependency” with the negative psychological definition.

  217. @ Jeff:

    “I will say that I don’t agree that Reformed beliefs are the culprit (which I think you imply in places). I know people here believe differently, but I just think equating Reformed beliefs to power hungry teachers creates a smoke screen around the real problem. The real problem is when we trust leaders who abuse us, and abusers can twist any doctrine to get their narcissistic supply.”

    You are completely correct here. If Calvinism were the problem, we would not see so many abusers in the IFB. I do think some varieties of Reformed theology include doctrines that make them more convenient for abusers, but they are hardly unique in this (see the Calvary Chapel “Moses Model” for a non-Calvinist example). So no, Calvinism is not the problem.

    I also agree with you that there is definitely an anti-Calvinist slant to these comments and, like you, I don’t always agree with all the things said about Calvinism. Kudos to you for providing another voice – that’s what I love about the comments here. You are very refreshing to talk to after having been exposed to only bizarre Calvinists for the last three years. (Just found out some people at my old PCA church think unbaptized babies – even unbaptized babies from Christian homes – go to hell…yeah…)

  218. Thanks Hester. I have enjoyed the conversations here as well. I believe it is more important to find common ground among empathy and love than it is soteriology.

  219. Patti, great article that nails the problem of reading the word ‘head ”through Western eyes. I had not read it before.

  220. Gavin (5:29 PM Thu),

    Thanks for your response, it clarifies your particular take on things for me a bit, though I am still not exactly sure I understand what you’re saying.

    Coming from the ultra-patriarchal system I was in for 10 years, anytime anyone says anything that hints at husband/authority and wife/submit, my head starts to spin no matter how much they emphasize that the husband’s “authority” is to love and serve. Because I have seen how love/service gets kicked aside all too often while authority/rule remains, and then what?

    If that is how your marriage is – with you loving your wife, sacrificing your needs and desires for hers, and encouraging her based on your belief of what a husband should be as head of the home – I can admire that. But I still have significant issues with the doctrine as a whole being applied to all marriages everywhere. In most circles where this doctrine is emphasized, it is the authority aspect that is attracting people, not the love/self-sacrifice aspect. And that scares me.

    Thanks again for your response.

    PS The sky where I am is most decidedly NOT blue today! ;-) (It is gray).

  221. Patti, thanks for the article.

    So here’s a question based on that understanding of “head”- would you say that the role of servant-provider only belongs to men?

    A related question, let’s say that a pastor sees that men are not providing spiritually for their families, so he encourages all of the men in the church to take on a specific activity (building an advent wreath) and further advises that they not delegate this to their wives. For the moment, assume that there is no ill motive here and his stated goal is honest: he wants to make sure men are serving in an activity they might avoid normally as something the wife would do (because it’s of a craft-based nature). This seems to fall naturally within a role of “servant provider”, but do you think an egalitarian would balk at having an activity defined for a specific gender in church (in this instance- the pastor is not saying that only men can ever create advent wreaths)?

  222. Dear Patti
    Sorry I must have overlooked your earlier post. I’ll spend time reading your article over the weekend and let you know what I think.
    Regards
    Gavin

  223. @elastigirl Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:02 AM said:

    “Yes, christianity is co-dependency-ville. Screwy understanding of “love”, & the obligation to be loving = no boundaries.

    “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” = this twisted me up in the most toxic relationships with toxic people. Took 3 years to unravel from it.

    Christian commentary on relationships (parenting, marriage, church) — to be avoided.”

    ———–
    elastigirl, I reposted your comments as I think so highly of them. I am in total agreement. And I would go even further as to suggest that such beliefs are the perfect fermenting ground for an environment of abuse, including sexual abuse.

  224. (Just found out some people at my old PCA church think unbaptized babies – even unbaptized babies from Christian homes – go to hell…yeah…

    Hester

    One would expect such sovereign caprice from chemosh & molech, but not the God of Jacob. In order to sign on to such horrific nonsense, one has to compartmentalize “good” & “evil”. “Good” can only mean what we (reformed gurus) say it means, the same with “evil”.

    Things (ie. babies tortured by burning) that we would never agree to in good conscience as human beings now have legitimacy as the just decree of a holy and righteous god (small h,r, & g intended).

  225. Gavin – regarding your comment on the definition of kephale, I’m wondering how you figure in the Arians?

    Am asking because they didn’t come along until well after Paul was supposed to have written his pastoral letters, among other things…

  226. Muff – the MO Synod (Lutheran) isn’t certain about where unbaptized babies end up, either… from my standpoint, that’s disturbing, but I’m not certain if it’s a belief held by all LCMS members.

  227. @ Muff:

    Exactly. A God who sends a baby, unable to even comprehend the concept of disobedience, to hell cannot be loving by definition.

  228. Numo
    just a quickie.
    The development of the word came after Paul I agree. Prior to that its meaning was ” head” . Anon 1 might know better.
    Regards
    Gavin

  229. Gavin – Thanks; I know it’s late over there!

    Can you suggest some sources for this information? (Books, websites, et. al.) I really am curious as to how and why the definition of kephale might have changed during the Arian controversies. (Am a bit of a church history geek. :))

  230. “Kephale in Greek can mean source but this meaning was developed during the Adrian controversy so head is still a valid meaning. Also to me it is an analogy and not literal. You don’t have multi-headed people running about the place. As I said, in my description of the relationship, woman is neither demeaned nor man exalted.’

    Gavin, I admit, I rarely understand where you are coming from, I studied the Arian controversy when researching ESS years back. This is the first I have heard of your claim above but I am open to reading up on it if you have a resource to share.

    As to multi headed people running about the place, that is exactly where your definition leaves women: With several heads including one between her and Christ.

    The key is how a 1st Century person would have understood Kephale. The head was used as a metaphor for supplying/source.

    “As for what can women do in the church, the Scriptural examples of women leaders, proclaimers, helpers, at the very least suggests or warrants a ministerial role for them. I mentioned that in another thread.”

    Thx. For the 1st Century, what we read is quite xhocking. Nevermind there is NO prohibition to women teaching men in the OT so it is very silly so many have made a new law with bad translations for the last 1000 years. And it is getting worse in many cases, not better.

    “As for Sue’s idea of independence, all I can say is that the two become one flesh, so it is co-dependent and mutual.”

    You might be thinking of interdependence. This concept is what is being taught in 1 Corin 11. And there is no authority of one over the other in a “one flesh union”.

    When I was a teenageer, this comp stuff was never taught at church. I grew up in churches where women did anything that had to be done. And I grew up in many different SBC churches, too. I can remember after the Danvers and push for women’s roles somewhere around the early 90′s. I was in a church where an retired old pastor came to sub for the pastor on vacation. He was teaching through Eph and when he got to chap 5 he said alot of people today are ignoring verse 21. Then he said he would not preach on the parts pertaining to women because he was not a woman and had no right to. He said something about learning the hard way in life to be concerned about the parts that pertained to him only and not bother with the parts that pertain to his wife. He said he would leave that up to her and the Holy Spirit. This was a very old man who was awesome. Such wisdom and experience. We are missing so much of that today.

  231. Hmm… It seems as if the sources I’m turning up re. a quick Google search on Arianism and kephale are pretty much citing Wayne Grudem, *not* patristic/early church scholars.

    The word does show up in a footnote in a long essay by Cardinal John Henry Newman on the Arian (and other) controvery(sies), but apart from that, it seems irrelevant to what he’s discussing. I suspect to come up zeroes on this from church historians (etc.) who are not in Grudem’s circle on further searching. (Am going to look this up in Jaroslav Pelikan’s books, for one…)

    Could it be that Grudem and a few others have been claiming this whole thing in ignorance, or – quite possibly – making it up out of whole cloth?

    To the library! (as in “To the barricades!” ;))

  232. “The development of the word came after Paul I agree. Prior to that its meaning was ” head” . Anon 1 might know better.

    I think we are misunderstanding each other. I agree the word was “head” as in literal head. The question is how would a 1st Century person view the “head”? It was not viewed as a leadership position but the head was the source for the body as in breathing, eating, hearing, etc. I explained this in another thread, I think. They also viewed the heart as the place for making decisions, thinking. It was not until about 100 years after Paul the physician Galen discovered the “head” controlled limbs, etc and slowly the thinking started changing toward the head being the place thinking took place.

    it is all very interesting when you dive in. But I agree about a literal head being Kephale, I just do not think you understand how a 1st Century reader would have understood what the head represeted to them.

    But even a literal “head” does not make sense in your interpretation. NO where in the passage is the concept of authority being discussed. The Holy Spirit had some clear Greek words for authority to choose from.

  233. Dear Anon 1
    I am going to look at the various points raised over the weekend. As I said earlier, I am self taught and rely on my neutral books to guide me. Bear with me.
    Regards
    Gavin

  234. Gee, Haitch. Thanks. I feel very complimented with an i.

    Yes, “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” creates the perfect fermenting ground for an environment of abuse, including sexual abuse.

    I’m really irked — no, angry actually — that this is part of the highly influential writings of Paul. And it ends up in a pastel-colored cross-stitch, framed, and given to a couple as a wedding present.

    There is validity to the ideas in the verse, but far more than that is the inherent danger.

    just don’t know what to do with this religion of mine…

  235. elastigirl – I feel like we should start a Take Back the Bible project (like Take back the Night).

    To so twist and distort the meaning of passages like 1 Cor ch. 13 is really, imo, evil.

  236. numo, anyone,

    i’m too tired to think very hard, but are there any verses or passages in the bible that would balance out this “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”?

    Any verses that commumicate setting boundaries, standing up for oneself, not permitting another person to abuse you (whether through manipulation, control, threats, injury, violent words)?

    I’ve never heard anything based on the bible about things like this. It’s always about dying to self, humility, service, submitting, forgiving, keeping no record of wrongs, reconciling.

    So, if the bible is so great, is there anything in it to instruct people on how to deal with abuse that happens to oneself?

  237. Anon 1
    “He said something about learning the hard way in life to be concerned about the parts that pertained to him only and not bother with the parts that pertain to his wife. He said he would leave that up to her and the Holy Spirit. This was a very old man who was awesome. Such wisdom and experience. We are missing so much of that today.”

    Exactly, that was the mentality pre-danvers.

    What a weird mess the church is in right now. It makes every Christian out there look like an idiot – women can’t teach unless their husbands are approving, women can’t read scripture in case a man learns something from her, women should put up with physical abuse and take the problem to the church only. Then they accuse the world of being blind. And here is the rest of the church saying, that isn’t what Jesus taught, that isn’t the gospel – the gospel is freeing, not binding and we’ve got little to no pastoral back up.

    The few who don’t agree are hiding under rocks. Rachel held Evans is being made out to be an idiot, a liar, or deceiver or a militant feminist – she is just about the farthest thing from all of that – and the Anglican church in Australia has become more patriarchal than most evangelical denominations. I seriously need to retreat from this whole mess – I just can’t find God in it. Even if one is a complementarian this obsession and focus on it should put up red flags. Exchange the teaching about ‘woman’ for historical teachings on “jew” or “slave” and you’ve got the dark history of the church in the making. This time will be looked back on as a dark spot in church history, I just don’t know how long it will take to emerge from this worldly teaching and non-essential focus.

  238. elastigirl, a powerful and brilliant question, and also numo’s idea. I look forward to seeing what other contributors to TWW have to say…

  239. @ elastigirl – great question on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:00 PM.

    I had one initial thought because something indirectly related came up a few weeks ago. I got asked a question about “all that emphasis on spiritual abuse” and such like that I work on – is that *really* there in the Bible?

    And how I responded was basically that if we look at the topic of leaders in the churches, I suspect we’ll find at least a passage or two in almost every single New Testament book that either gives a command or shows an example of things like:

    * Qualifications, character qualities, and disqualifications for leadership, and characteristics of false teachers – those are boundaries (in Timothy, Titus, 1 Peter, Hebrews, Jude, epistles of John, Revelation).

    * Leaders who sin publicly (like Peter did in Galatians) or who have a publicly known conflict (like Euodia and Syntyche in Philippians) are confronted publicly.

    * Standing against legalism (Acts 15, Romans, Galatians) and against gnosticism (Colossians, etc.).

    I realize these are more leader- and community-oriented rather than individualistic, but wouldn’t a more communal angle be expected in the ancient world? And if it really does show up in some form in most/all New Testament books, then that’s a fairly strong emphasis.

    Anyway, it’s a starter thought to consider the concept of boundaries and that there are limits to “tolerance” – especially when it involves abusive leadership behaviors that have destructive impact on the community.

  240. elastigirl, Haitch – you’ve got me!

    he thing is, I cannot see how anyone could in good conscience take that passage – and others like it – and twist them to make them sound as if they were about bearing abuse from a spouse or any other person.

    I cannot see how they can be applied to marriage in such a way that a man is not supposed to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things and endure all things, too – nor do I think “endure” means anything like what the comp and patriarchal people say it means.

    I have never understood how the character of Jesus is supposed to be applicable to men but not to women, as so many of these people seem to be saying.

    They are taking stuff out of context – proof-texting – and making it into something that bears little, if any, resemblance to the original, in context.

    isn’t Paul talking about all of life? Doesn’t he start that passage with “If I have not love, I am nothing?” I *thought* it was supposed to be about living like Jesus.

    At least, that is how I have always read it – applicable to everyone, and having absolutely nothing to do with marriage, but with how we are to show others the love of Christ.

  241. Maybe we would be better off if we reverted to the older English translations – the ones that say “charity” rather than “love.”

    It seems to express some of the intention and meaning far better than “love.”

  242. And… if, as Jesus says, nobody is supposed to lord it over another person, but be “least of all and servant of all,” well then…

    No “authority,” not in the sense that the word is so often used. No boots on peoples’ necks. (cf. Isaiah ch. 6, where “for unto us a child is born” is preceded by statements about no more war, implements of war being destroyed or put to peaceful uses, etc.)

  243. Yikes!

    I meant to say “how the character of Jesus is supposed to be applicable to women but not to men.”

    That is not what I was taught to believe in church – in fact, there was nothing about gender roles in anything I was told as a child, growing up in a Lutheran church.

    Maybe it was there and I missed it; maybe I’d have heard something about it as I grew older (when i was no longer going to church); maybe it was implied but never stated – and maybe it wasn’t there at all, because it was not important.

  244. “Any verses that commumicate setting boundaries, standing up for oneself, not permitting another person to abuse you (whether through manipulation, control, threats, injury, violent words)?”

    Yep. here is one I tell my children all the time:

    Advice Jesus gave the disciples:

    Be as wise as serpents and gentle as doves.

  245. NIV 1 Cor. 13: 6-7 -

    Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Very interesting translation of vs. 7…

  246. “Exactly, that was the mentality pre-danvers”

    You are right. I do not recognize the church anymore. I grew up SBC and I know people like to make fun of us but ther were NO gender roles in any of the ones I was in and I was in tons because of my mom’s ministry. There were heavy on the priesthood and soul competency. I grew up in more integrated churches, too.

    Of course, back then, a mega church was a church of 500! The only celebrity preacher we had ever heard of was Billy Graham. There was no such thing then. The pastor was just another guy who happened to be a pastor. The deacons were not impressed at all. :o)

    What bothers me so much as I could go on about the commercialization and legalization of Christianity….. is that there is now a generation from whom that is the normal. And a generation of pastors for whom getting followers and being in authority is the most “spiritual” thing to them.

  247. 1 Corin 5 for boundaries:

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

  248. elastigirl: for Boundaries you can see Townsend and Cloud’s book “Boundaries”. Sadly they do not support divorce for abuse, even though their logic SHOULD support it (I do wonder if this is so they can be endorsed by Focus on the Family). Still it is a very good book, imo. They have a ton of scripture and their teaching on Boundaries was better (I thought) than what I heard from secular speakers.

    For scripture about dealing with abusive people, try Jeff Crippen’s book http://www.calvarypress.com/products/a-cry-for-justice

    He makes the case that abusers are handled differently than other “sinners” in scripture. That while we are often instructed to deal with people with gentleness, that there are some people the apostles summarily judge without going through “due process’. Alexander the Coppersmith and Diotrephes are two such examples.

    I suspect Barbara Robert’s book Not Under Bondage would also contain the kind of scripture you are looking for, though I haven’t yet read it (she is a friend, though, so I have a general sense about what the book contains)

    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Under-Bondage-Biblical-Desertion/dp/0980355346/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1352557540&sr=8-4&keywords=barbara+roberts

    As far as balancing out 1 Cor 13, we see by example in Acts that while Paul is willing to suffer abuse to reach willing hearts, once it is clear they will no longer listen he shakes the dust off his feet and leaves. This pattern is repeated over and over again. We also see God freeing Peter from prison and he leaves when God has opened the door. In the very beginning after his conversion, Paul is snuck out of the city in a basket. If we were supposed to “endure all things” then none of these examples would hold. Paul would not move on, Peter would have returned to prison, and Paul would not have allowed himself to be hoiseted out of town secretly in a basket.

    I actually was JUST having this conversation this morning because 1 Cor 13 was a scripture I used against MYSELF to stay in my marriage, and one of the points brought up from a seminary student frind of my about “endures all things” is that it is not about suffering abuse, but a perseverences of faith, which should be the flavor of the entire passage.

    Finally, 1 Cor 13 cannot mean “enduring all abuse” because even God wouldn’t stack up to that. It seems clear to me from scripture that God does not endure everything we throw at him. He does punish the wicked, and while he is patient, eventually the other shoe does drop. And we have his divorce of Israel in the OT, which shows the clear setting of a boundary and a step of no longer enduring the abuse of his nation.

    I hope that helps.

  249. This may not count as a verse to set up boundaries against abuse, but it IS Jesus telling people not to stick around if they are being persecuted.

    Matthew 10:23 “But whenever they persecute you in [a]one city, flee to [b]the next; for truly I say to you, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel until the Son of Man comes.

    Then there is this one for spouses.

    I Cor 7:12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not [f]divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not [g]send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through [h]her believing husband;

    It could be said, and in fact SHOULD be said, that the spouse that is abusing and trampling legitimate boundaries, that spouse IS NOT consenting to live with their partner. That spouse has become an enemy, a destructive and damaging force that is in cahoots with the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy. That spouse is in no way “living” with their partner.

    Just saying…

  250. I think actually the clearest boundary verse in the Bible is probably 2 Thes 3:10:

    “For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.”

  251. Jeff S – Well, I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think that’s the issue at hand.

    If anyone who harms children would be better off having a millstone tied around their necks and being cast into the deepest part of the ocean, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Jesus does not tolerate abuse.

    Of course, the people who twist passages re. gender roles and more pay very selective attention to other parts of the NT, as in this example. “Ignore it and it will go away” seems to be the way they deal with anything that contradicts or otherwise conflicts with their views.

  252. Numo, it’s the issue at hand given we’re talking about boundaries. I realize that “don’t work, don’t eat” has nothing to do with abuse and suffering directly. It does show that we are not to expect to be taken care of if we do not do our part. The person who does not work is putting a burden on others, and Paul is saying that is not tolerated.

    If a passive harm to others by not taking responsibility to work is not tolerated, we can clearly extrapolate that active harm to others in abuse is also not acceptable and will bear consequences.

  253. Thanks all for your input on whether or not the bible addresses how to handle mistreatment to oneself. The books menioned are worth checking out.

    Nothing is quite satisfactory enough, though. Nothing mentioned would have helped me in the years of being bulldozed and run through the meat grinder of godliness. At church (not in the home)

    I wanted to do my best for God. Because he’s worth it. And if that meant toughing out the prevalent insults, criticism, antagonism, and all the subtle things that were so uncomfortable which were hard to define (so maybe the problem really was “me” after all), then of course God was worth it. I mean, that mental image of jesus dying on the cross — surely i can endure THIS without wimping out.

    And all the pressure to read your bible. Have your daily quiet time. And the focus in christianville is so often on Paul, so that’s where I ended up in my quiet times. And all the focus on forgiveness, forbearance, prefering others, being patient, bearing all things, enduring all things when you are persecuted, persevering…. if Paul could endure being whipped and being in prison and still sing songs, then surely I can endure this.

    The bible verses you all have kindly mentioned simply wouldn’t have worked. Too abstract. Had I even run across those verses, I wouldn’t have made the mental connection (not with Jesus on the cross, Paul singing in prison, and the sincere desire to go the distance for God).

  254. footnote to my last comment:

    it took “giving up”, “wimping out”, capitulating and compromising to be free. So, I did become free, but with the knowledge that I failed. A personal failure. And I failed God. I deliberately compromised on God’s perfect will. All that talk of hitting the bullseye — totally disqualified myself for that.

    So, freedom ended up being in the dark underworld of the spiritual failures who gave up the race, chickened out and wimped out, gave up the prize. All for the sake of being comfortable. What a wimp. How self-centered can one be?

    I failed the bible. Therfore, I failed God.

    (i now have a much different, & healthier perpsective)

  255. elastigirl,

    Perhaps your situation mirrors mine in some respects? When we read the NT , we have to remember who it is written to. That is why I quoted 1 Corin 5. Paul is making it clear that how we deal with those outside the Body is different than how we deal with those who claim Christ. We simply do not put up with deception, evil, lording it over, etc with those who claime to be believers. If they are believers and do these things to as a way of life, they are not consistently striving to walk in the light. We simply get away from them if our pleas do not work.

    I spent years dealing with this dilemma of evil Christians in leadership. That is another reason I highly recommend reading Christ in the Gospels for years and leaving off Epistles, etc for a while. If you notice, the Epistles are usually used to control others. We can understand them much better when we know Christ. They are not as easy to twist. But the main thing is Christ becomes our standared and we can recognize deception and evil a lot quicker.

    I finally came to understand we are not to turn the other cheek for those who abuse and use us in the Name of Christ. We are to warn others of the evil.

    It is shocking how many people believe the opposite.

  256. thanks, anon1. I agree.

    Had I understood something like this before (or merely heard a whiff of it — [why can't ears can figuratively smell?]), I would not have lost 13 years of personhood.

  257. A number of years ago I was called by one of the elders in our church, who happened to be a high school teacher, and he wanted to know if I would be willing to each the Jr. High School Sunday school class. I knew all the kids in the class really well and thought it would be a great fit for all of us. Included in the class were my son, his good friend, and about 6 or 7 girls. I agreed to teach the class and started considering curriculum.

    A couple days after the next elder’s “session” meeting, this poor man called me back and told me he had to retract the offer to teach the class as the rest of the men on the board said I couldn’t teach the class because I am a woman and me teaching them would be a violation of Scripture since the Bible forbids women teaching men. i was dumfboudned, as this was the first time I had ever been exposed to this interpretation of that passage in 1 Timothy. It was quite obvious that this elder was in complete disagreement with the rest of the men nd he apologized profusely.

    I chewed on this a few days and the longer I thought about it the more absurd it became. I was already teaching my own son every single day as a homeschooler for c mother and they were in a Christian homeschooling co-op where he was being taught by other moms who presented Scripture as it related to all the other subjects they studied. I couldn’t figure out the difference.

    I started poking around and came across this Grudem article and after studying it sent it to this elder, asking him to tell me which items on the list women could paritcipate in in the church and which they could not and to show me the Scripture they were using to support us. All I got was the acknowledgement that he had received the letter but absolutely no real answers.

    I have learned in the 13 or so years since that experience that there ARE not answers to that question. It is all kept very subjective in order to be able to use the power and control at some guy’s whim. Just like complementarianiam in general, as soon as it starts being applied and defined, it all starts to crumble.

    I think this list is a brilliant tool and ought to be used as frequently as possible to lay bare all the hypocrisy and inconsistency and the sins of partiality that beset the body.

  258. all this illustrates why “the bible is the infallbile, inerrant, inspired word of God” means anything a person thinks it should mean.

    And therefore it means nothing.

    Not without much, much qualification.

    Which will engender all sorts of questions. So then all that much, much qualification will have to be qualified, too.

    ….sigh…this goofy religion of mine….

  259. What was life like before Danvers? I wonder that a lot. My grandmother, the one who really led me to the Lord many decades ago, was the adult SS class teacher in the Baptist church where I grew up. The pastor often came to chat theology with her over tea…he was a young whippersnapper and learned much from her. No one thought diddly about this gender stuff. and you are correct, there were no celebrities aside from Billy Grham. Oh, and George Beverly Shay who sang at his crusades. My grandm had all his records, too.

  260. elastigirl – my take on any church that enforces such demands (whether stated or not) is that it has crossed over into being not just cult-like, but another religion altogether.

    At least, that’s one of my conclusions after being in a very similar kind of church (well, several churches over a period of years) for nearly 3 decades.

  261. numo —

    but these things described, which you also encountered, are very commonplace. Not scary nor beyond the pale.

    (not until you find yourself feeling something akin to a pebble in your shoe that eventuates into anger — which, of course, is your personal problem.)

    It’s all quite subtle, dressed up with “glory” and “praise” and smiles and good deeds and the promise of doing our utmost for his highest.

    But this is all old news.

  262. all this illustrates why “the bible is the infallbile, inerrant, inspired word of God” means anything a person thinks it should mean.

    And therefore it means nothing.

    Not without much, much qualification.

    Which will engender all sorts of questions. So then all that much, much qualification will have to be qualified, too.

    ….sigh…this goofy religion of mine…. ~ elastigirl

    So much for the alleged perspicuity of Scripture. If it was as easy for the plowboy to understand as purported by Luther, we wouldn’t need an army of preachers, theologians, and well heeled clergy telling us what it means now would we?

  263. elastigirl – you’re right, of course, but I still think it’s an aberration, and not “normal” (i.e., healthy) thinking and behavior by a long shot.

    But then, I felt SO freed up when I abandoned my attempts at having a daily “quiet time.” It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders. “Quiet time” is pervasive in evangelical/charismatic culture… while I felt like people were being encouraged to pray in my Lutheran upbringing, the perfectionistic mentality wasn’t = still isn’t – there.

    I think perfectinonism is pervasive in evangelical culture, possibly descending from John Wesley’s ideas about “entire sanctification” and *definitely* spurred on my the 19th-early 20th c. “Holiness” movements.

  264. In other words: I think that the kind of thing we’re talking about is coming from a small subset of American evangelical/charismatic culture.

    Having experienced other kinds of church cultures both before and after my time in Evangelical Land, I’d have to say that evangelical norms are *not* (necessarily)norms in the wider world of xtianity.

    And hey… I know it takes time to deal with all this stuff. Unlike many folks, I actually had something to revert to, for which I’m grateful – and I realize that many people only have one experience of xtianity (the “xtian culture”/culture wars kind.)

    Thinking of you, and feeling for you as you’re working through these conundrums and difficulties.

  265. numo–

    oh, no. grew up in a non-denominational church (with Christian & Missionary Alliance roots), started attending charismatic / pentcostal Church of God In Christ in college (head injuries, life very difficult, desperate for something tangible instead of theoretical). have gone to charis. churches since. although a few years no where, after I freed myself.

    Am now in a very healthy Assembly of God church — believe me, i evaluate with my own personal hubble telescope constantly.

    Found out about SGM & SBC after researching this bewildering, insulting thing called “headship” i had a brief encounter with. Have been trying to understand better ever since, seeing how these things trickle down into christian culture in general & catch people unawares (as I had been caught).

  266. numo —

    “I think that the kind of thing we’re talking about is coming from a small subset of American evangelical/charismatic culture.”

    A noisy one. Ha, American culture in general is so “insular” — evangelicalism especially. “WE’RE the geunuine artical. WE’RE where it’s at. WE’VE got all figured out.”

    no, not really.

  267. elastigirl – I was in both prayer groups and churches that were charismatic, but had also been thoroughly infiltrated by “discipleship movement” ideas and actions. And *that* comes from a variety of sources, including a rather wacko heterodox Pentecostal movement known as “Latter Rain” that started up in a number of places (including Ontario, Canada and central and western NY state – central NY is “the burned-over district” that produced any number of strangenesses, including Mormonism and the huge 19th c. spiritualist fad). But the discipleship/shepherding movement also has roots in the Holiness tradition, as well as in the CMA and Lord alone knows what all else.

    The weird thing is how quickly it all seeped into charismatic Catholic and Episcopalian prayer groups back in the 70s, along with a lot of other unpleasant things.

    That Church (the one that booted me) has a person (“pastor”) who was ordained C of E but who embraces certain aspects of calvinista thought and church management techniques (as in “keep everyone under your thumb,” though that’s just a spin on discipleship tactics) as well as Third Wave/New Apostolic Reformation “strategic level spiritual warfare” thinking and actions. And that last has, imo, made That Church into a group that’s actually practicing another religion – highly dualistic (think Zoroastrianism)as well as incredibly superstitious and even “magical” – in the sense that some of the things they do aren’t any different from various rituals practiced by many in pagan and Wiccan circles. The only thing that’s different is that Jesus is invoked… but not the Jesus of the Gospels or the Creeds. Their Jesus’ death on the cross, redemption and resurrection seem to be incidental, since there is – per them – a cosmic battle continuing, where the Devil has “taken territory” and they feel that they must “reclaim territory.”

    Poor residents of said territories; this could all too easily turn into a witch hunt/excuse to kill people, and from some things I’ve read, that has happened in some parts of Latin America where spiritual warfare is being practiced.

    See talk2action.org’s superb articles on the New Apostolic Reformation and its agenda – part of which is the “reclamation” of government. (Sarah Palin is an NAR stalwart.) You might not care for much of the content on the site – I have my differences with them – but their NAR material is the thing that enabled me to put a lot of pieces of my personal puzzle into a coherent, overall framework.

  268. Re. “headship,” that was *definitely* getting a lot of circulation from the early-mid 1970s on, though at this point, I couldn’t tell you much about sources, other than that – possibly – a lot of people were taking things Bill Gothard said/published and putting their own touches on them.

    I do recall a Time (possibly Newsweek) article about some guy who was teaching a military-style “chain of command” view of relationships, from Christ on down – though I honestly don’t know if they were profiling Gothard or if it was another guy. I can tell you that there was a guest speaker at the prayer group/church/cult that I was in from the mid 70s-early 80s who promoted the headship thing in a pretty extreme way. It alarmed me then, but man, was that guy (and the people who had invited him) persuasive!

    Except that something inside me felt it was off; I felt that a LOT when I was in those circles, but got slapped down (verbally) for voicing questions and other ideas, and quickly learned to keep my mouth shut. (Because I was afraid of being kicked out and losing my friends and support system, which ultimate *did* happen, though not in that group…)

  269. …American culture is so insular…

    Yes, it is. I could rant about that, but I think I’ve done more than enough typing here for one day! ; )

  270. numo & elastigirl,

    I have argued before that much of the stuff in evangelicalism that we all here at TWW decry and militate against is not much more than 40 yrs. old. I think it’s as Americana as George Washington and the cherry tree.

    I also think that as a phenomena, it’s all happened before and will die off just like its predecessors (great awakenings etc.) did. Ironically, and in my opinion, I think it’s the old liturgical brands of ixtianity that will survive the natural selection of social evolution.

  271. Muff –

    The more derivative and processed the item, the less enduring.

    Kind of like how grainy bread and legitimate cheese will survive Wonder bread and American cheese. (can’t believe they have survived this long)

  272. Hi, numo.

    Thanks for all the exchange. My previous church, Dysfunction Community, resembled much of what I’ve learned of the Shepherding Movement. Don’t know so much about the other movements you talked about, but I’m sure they play in.

    With all my scrutiny and cynicism about all things “christian” (trademark), i was still moved to tears a few minutes ago watching the end of The Prince Of Egypt with my son.

    (yet still wondering how many days it would have taken millions of people & cattle could cross the floor of an enormous body of water, and the likelihood of an army hanging around that long to keep pursuing them, seeming to consider a vertical conflagration a mere inconvenience — like waiting for a storm to pass.)

  273. elastigirl- I will mention that Townsend and Cloud’s “Boundaries” definitely would help anybody who is being used by their church. They do include examples about saying “no” to church obligations, including service opportunities and Bible studies. This may not be precisely on target for your experience, but I think it’s a book that can help people learn to say “no” to things their churches ask– and therefore also be able to say “yes”, because if you never have the opportunity to say “no”, you’ve never really said “yes”.

    I sympathize with your feelings of trying to measure up and being called to forgive constantly (it’s crazy how the message of forgiveness and mercy is used to oppress people). One thing I did when I was feeling abandoned by the church was to just start reading the Gosples paying particular attention to when Jesus was empathizing and when he was rebuking/going hardcore on doctrine. The latter was almost always to the religious leadership and his way of dealing with the oppressed was always life giving, not destroying. But it really helps to see it, not just know it.

    I have a good friend who was abused by her husband and church and cannot walk into a church or read any of the epistles, so I understand where you’re at with the epistles. Anon 1′s suggestion is a good one, and if I may add on, when you DO get to wanting to read the epistles, I suggested starting with the Message. The Message does such a good job of capturing and presenting Paul’s letters as life giving. In most translations he comes across as giving commands on high that can feel very oppressive. In the Message, though, he just sounds so darn excited to be doing what he’s doing that it’s hard not to be infected by it (in a good way).

  274. Latter Rain stuff is bad news. I came to be exposed to the concepts in my late teens when I was still Pentecostal and the more I learned about the less I liked it. I stopped being Pentecostal about two decades ago but in so many cases the distinction between post-Latter Rain Pentecostal spin-offs and the older traditions is lost on people who were never in the tradition. The older I get the more grateful I am that I grew up Pentecostal but in the area that produced Gordon Fee (western Oregon).

    One of a few small reasons I’m amillenialist is because it makes more sense of the apocalyptic idiom as it tended to get used in ancient literature, but also because it became more apparent that in the 20th century post-millenilialists and premillenialists are both guided by different sorts of impulses to manipulate policy toward desired eschatological goals. Most American Protestants I’ve met in my life wouldn’t even know what an amillenial partial preterist was and would likely suspect it was some kind of heresy for rejecting premillenialist dispensationalism on the one hand and postmillenialist theonomistic impulses on the other. A decade ago that Mars Hill rejected both those views was appealing to me but the leadership did not stake out a positive alternative to either, I think partly out of a desire to not be doctrinaire (the positive version) and partly out of a fear that if they repudiated both schools of eschatology and replaced it with something like partial preterism it was possible that important supporters, members and associates who espoused the other views formally might withdraw support and/or money.

    The more derivative and processed the food the longer it lasts on the shelf has been my observation. :) The problem isn’t that it doesn’t last it’s that it’s nutritional value is significantly less and, trust me, I’ve been thinking about how to lose some of the pounds I’ve gained along the way making that discovery.

  275. Yes, the longer on the shelf. But, like Twinkies and HoHos and DingDongs, extinction is coming. But not before damage is done to health.

  276. Hi,Jeff S,

    Thanks for mentioning the book Boundaries. I’m sure it would have helped me back then. But I was so consumed with doing so many things in church (volunteering, there, everywhere) there was no space left in my life to do something like that.

    (Also, in addition to volunteer work hours, frustration and antagonism and demoralization is VERY time consuming. Even my personal down time was not my own. All eaten up by the institution.)

    For a while now, I’ve been focussing on Jesus the human being (also the Messiah / Son of God). But I get a lot out of his humanity.

    Even managed to blurt out at a church bible study recently, “I’m so SICK of PAUL!!” Got some looks, i can tell you.

    Thanks again for your kind commiscerating.

  277. One thing I did when I was feeling abandoned by the church was to just start reading the Gospels paying particular attention to when Jesus was empathizing and when he was rebuking/going hardcore on doctrine.
    ~ Jeff S ~

    Back in the day, I remember sitting under a pastor who assured us all that Paul’s writings are the gold standard for all matters of ixtian faith and practice. We were told that Jesus’ words are nice and certainly edifying, but in a strict and dispensational sense, they were for the Jews of the old covenant and that our faith and practice for today must be built on the Pauline writings.

    One of the things I am glad for in my journey out of fundamentalism is that I no longer have to subscribe to this view if I choose not to. It makes the old creedal faiths all the more attractive (for me anyway) because they place no such demands of dogmatic adherence on the individual believer.

  278. elastigirl – I share your frustrations with Paul!

    So many people just hammer on his pastoral epistles and never talk about Jesus’ words and actions.

  279. “Back in the day, I remember sitting under a pastor who assured us all that Paul’s writings are the gold standard for all matters of ixtian faith and practice. We were told that Jesus’ words are nice and certainly edifying, but in a strict and dispensational sense, they were for the Jews of the old covenant and that our faith and practice for today must be built on the Pauline writings.”

    That’s . . . disturbing.

    I know a lot of Christians view Paul’s writing as basically the explanation or interpretation for the life of Christ. His (and the other’s) letters do contain a whole lot more theology. But the Gospels (and Acts) are meaty too. I honestly wouldn’t think of shirking one for the other, all things being equal.

    I was actually raised with the view that Paul was kind of a jerk. My dad was an athiest who enjoyed discussing the Bible, but he couldn’t stand Paul. That attitude certainly seeped into my subconscious. I’ve found, though, when I let Paul be Paul and not the guy people make him out to be (either my dad or the people who worship him), his letters are so good and so edifying, if challenging at times.

    But when I want to see Jesus more clearly, I look at the Gospels, not Paul. Paul may have more to say about Jesus, but knowing him? We get that by seeing him in action,

  280. WTH – re. processed, you mean things like Kraft’s patented “pasteurized processed cheese food”?

    That stuff would probably survive toxic radiation levels after a complete nuclear holocaust; Hostess Twinkies might, too.

  281. numo, I wasn’t referring to anything very specific.
    I prefer Tilamook cheese if I can get it, which isn’t too hard to do where I live.

  282. I guess “cheese food” comes to *my* mind when I think of the ultimate in processed!

    Tilamook cheese: now there’s something I’ve never had the chance to try…

  283. Jeff S asked me “So here’s a question based on that understanding of “head”- would you say that the role of servant-provider only belongs to men?”

    My opinion is that the interpretation of the term head regarding marriage and family isnt about a role at all. It simply is a statement of what is or was, like the head of a river. And then analogies to help explain the kingdom of God and vice versa are used. For instance I think a woman carrying a baby for nine months and giving birth is/was a servant provider for a new human being coming into the world. The father also being ‘a servant provider’ in that equation. Does that give the parents the authority to rule their children the rest of their lives? I don’t think so. But a role in their kids lives would be to teach them how to become independent adults. But both parents simply just are their kid’s head because they came from them, like Christ came from God.
    As far as the questions about men being commanded to provide for their families, I believe that the whole passage surrounding that verse that says any man (original is not male but simply human) that does not provide for their family is worse than an unbeliever is a gender neutral scripture.
    I think Paul’s whole point in all his writings about family is that just because one family member happens to be able to provide for the needs of his or her family does not make him or her the ruler of the recipient. If I and my husband decide that I will be the main hands on caretaker to my children while my husband goes outside to find means to keep us afloat I just don’t see the logic that says that that makes him the boss. With that logic I could say that I am the boss because I am sending my ‘head’ out to get me some money.
    I need to think longer about your wreath role question. But since I don’t think the term head is about roles it might not matter.

  284. RE: Jeff S on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 12:47 AM,

    In all fairness to the Bible teacher I sat under, and looking back on it, I respect his belief system and that he believes it with all certainty. Just as I’m certain that he would now consider me heretic and apostate for not believing it as he does with black and white absolutism.

    It’s a funny thing and also a human thing that all of us would like others to believe as we do. And that’s okay in my opinion just so long as it’s not forced and divides us as human beings.

    Don’t get me wrong, Shuel of Tarsus had many great and wonderfully inspired things to say about the faith we all profess. But when we conflate the incidentals (gender roles etc) to absolute rules and regulations thundered out of Sinai, I think we miss the boat.

  285. Dear Patti, Numo and Anon 1

    I’ve now read through the various articles on headship etc and I have to say I’be found nothing that would persuade me to change my mind. I found Gilbert B’s article interesting but I feel here’s allowed himself to let other things influence his thinking and colour his judgement. I also disagree completely with some other statements he has made regarding the message of the gospel.

    http://www.google.co.uk/search?aq=f&client=tablet-android-archos&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8&q=Gilbert+Bilezikian

    http://www.openheaven.com/forums/printer_friendly_posts.asp?TID=8472

    Sorry

    Gavin

  286. The first reference should be this

    glenscorgie.com/wp-content/…/ap214_interview_with_bilezikian.pdf

    Gavin

  287. But when we conflate the incidentals (gender roles etc) to absolute rules and regulations thundered out of Sinai, I think we miss the boat.

    Indeed!

  288. When Paul pointed out man as head of woman, it was in context where the local cult had woman created first. He pointed out man was created first. Enlightening to see that he was refuting the idea MEN had to be silent with women as leaders as per the local cult.

    How far we misunderstand, going from men are equal in worship to men rule.

  289. @ linda,
    I’ve heard this before, that Paul’s letter to his protege Timothy in Ephesus was simply refuting a pagan creation myth built around the cult of Artemis and not meant to be a general proscription of women teaching the faith.

    When you think about it, it makes more sense in light of the Apostle’s passages elsewhere. Not a hint of cast-in-concrete gender roles anywhere, unless of course they are manufactured by circular reasoning in order to get the tail [1 Tim 2:12] to wag the dog, rather than having the dog wag his tail.

  290. linda, which passage do you refer to? I’ve always thought it interesting that comps insert ‘head’ into 1 Tim 2 and Adam’s prioroity of creation into 1 Co 11. Then they turn those fabrications into the ideas that man is head of woman because he was created first (1 co 11) and man has authority over woman because he is the head. (1 Tim 2) Anyway, I was just curious what you’re talking about.

    “When Paul pointed out man as head of woman, it was in context where the local cult had woman created first.”

  291. Numo,
    I just finished reading the whole academic paper that you linked to at 6 p.m..last Friday, thank you. http://equalitycentral.com/forum/index.php?topic=434.0
    Wow,that was really educational. While I hold a little bit of respect for comps who will do their homework and still see something to defend their view I find comps who defend their view through ignorant lenses quite un respectable. I can understand being uneducated enough to have never learned how to reason the language of the Bible, but there just is no excuse these days to defend uneducated opinions when so much work is at our finger tips.
    It’s simply no wonder why so many comps are against the education of women. What if women do their homework? All that’s left is peer pressure for the guys to conform to a macho standard lest they get teased for not being able to control their little kingdoms. More and more I am believing the comps view is about power and not about finding a correct understanding of God’s order. May God have mercy.

  292. Gavin White,
    I just went to read your links on Bilezekian, I was thinking I was going to find something to agree withyou on about him but I don’t know what parts you are referring to.

  293. Grateful for Mr Piper’s clarification

    Several years ago, I was asked in an online Q&A, “What should a wife’s submission to her husband look like if he’s an abuser?”

    One of the criticisms of my answer has been that I did not mention the recourse that a wife has to law enforcement for protection. So let me clarify with seven biblical observations.

    1. Every Christian is called to submit to various authorities and to each other: children to parents (Ephesians 6:1), citizens to government (Romans 13:1), wives to husbands (Ephesians 5:22), employees to employers (2 Thessalonians 3:10), church members to elders (Hebrews 13:17), all Christians to each other (Ephesians 5:21), all believers to Christ (Luke 6:46).

    This puts the submission of wives and husbands into the wider context of submission to Jesus, to the civil authorities, to each other, and to the church. This means that the rightness or wrongness of any act of submission is discerned by taking into account all the relevant relationships. We are all responsible to Jesus first, and then, under him, to various other persons and offices. Discerning the path of love and obedience when two or more of these submissive relationships collide is a call to humble, Bible-saturated, spiritual wisdom.

    2. Husbands are commanded, “Love your wives, and do not be harsh with them” (Colossians 3:19). They are told to “love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (Ephesians 5:28–29). The focus of a husband’s Christlikeness in loving his wife is “love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25).

    Christian husbands are not Christ. They are finite, fallible, forgiven sinners. They do not stand in the place of Christ. Their wives relate directly to Christ (Hebrews 4:16; 11:6), not merely through their husbands. Husbands do not have the wisdom or the power or the rights of Christ. Their likeness to Christ in leading their wives is limited and focused by these words: He gave himself up for her . . . nourishing and cherishing . . . not harsh with them.

    Therefore, an abusive husband is breaking God’s law. He is disobeying Christ. He is not to be indulged but disciplined by the church. The wife is not insubordinate to ask the church for help. A Christian woman should not feel that the only help available to her is the police. That would be a biblical failure of her church.

    3. But recourse to civil authorities may be the right thing for an abused wife to do. Threatening or intentionally inflicting bodily harm against a spouse (or other family member) is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, punishable by fines, short-term imprisonment, or both. Which means that a husband who threatens and intentionally injures his wife is not only breaking God’s moral law, but also the state’s civil law. In expecting his wife to quietly accept his threats and injuries, he is asking her to participate in his breaking of both God’s moral law and the state’s civil law.

    God himself has put law enforcement officers in place for the protection of the innocent. “If you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13:4). A wife’s submission to the authority of civil law, for Christ’s sake, may, therefore, overrule her submission to a husband’s demand that she endure his injuries. This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husband’s repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.

    4. The church should not harbor an abusive man or woman whom the civil authorities would punish if they knew what the church knows. We are called to mercy. “Be merciful as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36). But there are times when mercy to one demands justice for another. This is often the case with criminal abuse. Moreover, there are many ways to show mercy toward a guilty person who must pay fines or go to jail. We are seldom in a position where the choice is simply mercy or no mercy.

    5. For many women, the thought of a husband going to jail and losing his job and being publicly shamed is so undesirable that they often endure much sin before becoming desperate enough to turn to the authorities. What I want to stress is that long before they reach a point of desperation — or harm — the women of the church should know that there are spiritual men and women in the church that they can turn to for help. By way of caution and lament, I cannot promise that every church has such spiritual, gifted, and compassionate men and women available for help. But many do. The intervention of these mature brothers and sisters may bring the husband to repentance and reconciliation. Or they may determine that laws have been broken and the civil authorities should or must be notified. In either case, no Christian woman (or man) should have to face abuse alone.

    6. When Jesus commands his disciples, “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39), he is describing one way of love: the testimony that Jesus is so sufficient to me that I do not need revenge. This was the way Christ loved us at the end: “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Pet 2:22–23).

    But this is not the only path of love open to those who are persecuted. The Bible warrants fleeing. John Bunyan wrestled with these two strands in the Bible of how to deal with persecution:

    He that flies, has warrant to do so; he that stands, has warrant to do so. Yea, the same man may both fly and stand, as the call and working of God with his heart may be. Moses fled, Ex. 2:15; Moses stood, Heb. 11:27. David fled, 1 Sam. 19:12; David stood, 24:8. Jeremiah fled, Jer. 37:11­–12; Jeremiah stood. 38:17. Christ withdrew himself, Luke 19:10; Christ stood, John 18:1–8. Paul fled, 2 Cor. 11:33; Paul stood, Act 20:22–23. . . .
    Do not fly out of a slavish fear, but rather because flying is an ordinance of God, opening a door for the escape of some, which door is opened by God’s providence, and the escape countenanced by God’s Word. Matt. 10:23. (Seasonable Counsels, or Advice to Sufferers, in The Works of John Bunyan, volume 2, page 726)

    7. When the Bible says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27), it implies that Christians with means and strength take initiatives for the weaker. The “visitation” in this text is not for nothing. It is for help — for provision and protection. The point is: When Jesus commands his disciples, “Turn to him the other cheek also” (Matthew 5:39), he does not mean that, if I can do something about it, I should allow you to be slapped again. Again, it is the camaraderie in the body of Christ that breaks the cycle of injustice.

    My closing plea is to all Christian men, and in particular to the leaders of churches: Herald a beautiful vision of complementarian marriage that calls men to bear the responsibility not only for their own courage and gentleness but also for the gentleness of the other men as well. Make it part of the culture of manhood in the church that the men will not tolerate the abuse of any of its women.

    Topic: Church Discipline
    John Piper (@JohnPiper) is the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, MN) and the founder of Desiring God.

    http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/clarifying-words-on-wife-abuse

    Gavin

  294. Pingback: Owen Strachan Accepts New Appointment to CBMW and Biblical Roles of Men and Women | Spiritual Sounding Board UNITED STATES

  295. Rachel

    Thank you for being a missionary. I have heard that the skills of women are highly valued on the mission field and that gender roles are not so careully parsed as they are here in the US with a bunch of guys with too much time on their hands.  People are dying without fresh water and food. Many have never heard of the hope we have in Jesus and these men are inventing rules such as women not being allowed to read Scripture out loud in church.

    I would love to hear of the work that you do but do not feel you have to break anonymity to do so.