"There is no safe way to remain in a relationship with a person who has no conscience. The only solution is to escape." link
A year ago, we introduced A Cry For Justice: Domestic Violence and the Church. In our opinion, this book, by Pastor Jeff Crippen is the most comprehensive look at domestic violence and the evangelical church. Here is quote from the book.
Victims of abuse are often discounted by their churches. When they gain courage to seek help, they are routinely given superficial advice. accused of not being good wives or children, told they are surely exaggerating the case, and then sent home to "do better" and suffer even more at the hands of their tormentor. And when the finally leave their abuser, either by separation or divorce, most often the victim is the one who must leave their church while the abuser remains.
The church, in other words, is enabling the wicked person.
One of the most grievous examples of how the church sometimes views domestic violence comes from none other than Paige Patterson.
Paige Patterson and the abused woman link
The Southern Baptist Outpost has an article with an excerpt from audio recordings and transcripts from a conference in 2000, in which Paige Patterson explains the counsel he gave one battered woman. Here’s the quote the Outpost posted:
“I had a woman who was in a church that I served, and she was being subject to some abuse, and I told her, I said, “All right, what I want you to do is, every evening I want you to get down by your bed just as he goes to sleep, get down by the bed, and when you think he’s just about asleep, you just pray and ask God to intervene, not out loud, quietly,” but I said, “You just pray there.” And I said, “Get ready because he may get a little more violent, you know, when he discovers this.” And sure enough, he did. She came to church one morning with both eyes black. And she was angry at me and at God and the world, for that matter. And she said, “I hope you’re happy.” And I said, “Yes ma’am, I am.” And I said, “I’m sorry about that, but I’m very happy."
"And what she didn’t know when we sat down in church that morning was that her husband had come in and was standing at the back, first time he ever came. And when I gave the invitation that morning, he was the first one down to the front. And his heart was broken, he said, “My wife’s praying for me, and I can’t believe what I did to her.” And he said, “Do you think God can forgive somebody like me?” And he’s a great husband today. And it all came about because she sought God on a regular basis. And remember, when nobody else can help, God can.
Just in case someone thinks this is an Arminian versus Calvinist thing, here is a story from that post that took place in a Reformed Baptist church which is a member of all the gospelly correct organizations.
One of the gazillion pastors at this church was abusing his wife and, according to some reports, his young children. While the pastor was at work, the wife's family came to her home and got her to leave with the children. The family then called the lead pastor and requested his assistance in dealing with the abuse. He refused, saying that she would have to move back into the home in order for this to be handled in a "biblical" fashion. Thankfully, the family refused and instituted divorce proceedings. But the abused wife is the one being blamed by the church for the break-up of the marriage.
It is no secret that TWW admires the work of Boz Tchividjian and his organization G.R.A.C.E. His voice has brought renewed focus onto the subject of child sex abuse and cover up in the broader evangelical community. His organization has not only reported on the subject, it has provided resources as well as conferences and church tutorials which have begun to open the eyes of the broader evangelical church. He has also assisted universities like Bob Jones to investigate the issues of rape and cover up on college campuses.
Recently, Tchividjian has turned his eyes to the problem of domestic violence in the local church. In an article for Religion News Services, #WhyIStayed: How some churches support spousal abuse, he said that his attention was drawn to the recent Ray Rice video in which Rice was shown hitting, and then knocking out, his girlfriend (now wife). As many in the country struggled to understand why Rice's girlfriend not only stayed with Rice but also married him, Tchividjian had this to say:
As I was still processing this repulsive offense, I was came across dozens of heartbreaking tweets from abuse victims around the world using the #WhyIStayed, expressing why they had remained with the person who abused them. As I read these tweets, I began to realize how often I have heard abuse victims share that the Church was the reason #WhyIStayed.
These stories are plentiful, like the two I shared above. Here are some insights given by Tchvidjian. The similarities to the way many churches have treated child sex abuse victims is uncanny.
1. Domestic violence is a criminal matter.
I recently listened to a well-known pastor answer a question about what to do if a wife is being physically abused by her husband. Not once during the pastor’s lengthy and seemingly empathetic response did he ever direct or even encourage the victim to contact the police.
2. Making a victim return to the abuser is NOT reconciliation. (Reread the Paige Patterson story above for a perfect example.)
…churches prefer to push victims back into the arms of abusers as they congratulate themselves and praise God on another successful “reconciliation”.
3. When forced to return, the victims usually develop a warped view of God.
…victimized spouses stay with those who hurt them, resigned to the hopeless belief that is what God wants them to do.
4. Male dominated churches are the ones most likely to be dismissive of spousal abuse.
An abusive husband gets caught and says the “right” words to his friends and is quickly embraced, as the wife is disciplined by his friends for taking steps to protect her life. Too many wives within our churches are intimidated back into abusive homes by unsupportive male leaders, who exploit their authority and misuse scripture in directing them to “try harder” and “stop making him angry.”
5. Victims are told to not speak about the abuse because it is a bad Christian "witness."
Too many of us know abuse victims who have been instructed by a pastor or someone in their church to keep quiet about the abuse, and to stay with their abusive spouse in order to “work things out”. They convince these abused that doing anything otherwise is considered to be a “bad Christian witness”.
6. What is an unsafe church:
- Any church that devalues women instead of respecting them as equals to men, is not a safe place.
- Any church that silences the oppressed instead of protecting them, is not a safe place.
7. What is a safe church:
- A safe church empowers and equips all victims to walk away from those who hurt them.
- A safe church is where the abused can leave the abuser being assured that is what God wants them to do.
Here are some reasons people give why they stayed. It should break you heart. If it doesn't, get help.
From the RNS post
John Piper's view on abuse and divorce
It is no secret that John Piper holds some odd views on women as well as divorce. It is vital to understand his viewpoint because he is looked up to as a demigod in certain neo-Calvinist circles. His word rapidly becomes "what we believe" at many churches.
From A Cry for Justice website:
John Piper, prominent teacher of marriage permanency in the Reformed churches promotes his doctrine as “radical”. He teaches that divorce for any reason whatsoever is “marital sin” despite one being subject to abuse, adultery, or abandonment. He teaches that a divorced person must remain single and not remarry as long as their former spouse is still living even if the former spouse has since remarried.
…Piper forges a weapon from his doctrine to beat the abuse victim into submission. Typical of an abuser, he rallies his fans around his doctrine and regardless of the abuse, instructs them to “… articulate a hatred of divorce, and why it is against the will of God, and do all we can biblically to keep it from happening.” (This Momentary Marriage, page 159)
Here is his advice. Note that he says nothing about reporting this to the police. He also advises a woman to endure getting smacked around for a night. Then she should go to the elders for help. How reassuring is that?
With this in mind, here is a challenge to readers who attend a church.
I once attended a church which refused to allow the posting of the phone number to a local domestic abuse hotline. Why? The pastors believed that they knew how to counsel those trapped in domestic violence. I later learned that they believed a woman should stay with her abuser while they counseled them on how to "relate" better.
- Ask your pastors, elders, deacons, etc. what their policy is when domestic abuse is reported to them.
- Ask to see the resources the church uses in these circumstances.
- Ask if they believe it is appropriate for an abused person to leave the home and/ or divorce.
- Find out if they believe that abuse is a criminal matter and if they report it to the police.
- Ask them to respond to Paige Patterson's actions in the story at the start of this post.
- Ask if they believe that the victim ever causes the abuse.
- Ask if they believe the person should ever endure physical abuse.
- Ask them to respond to Piper's video or advice.
Then, decide. Does your church care about those who are abused? If they don't, maybe you should consider redirecting your donations to groups that do. Sadly, some churches only listen when they lose money.
Lydia's Corner: Zechariah 10:1-11:17 Revelation 18:1-24 Psalm 146:1-10 Proverbs 30:33
First! Good post Mom!
I have been working my way through Jeff Crippen’s series on abuse and abusers. Also enlightening as regards abusive leadership in churches. Also highly convicting. My husband and I have listened together to one that touched on issues we both find relevant from our respective upbringings. There is another that just plain reminds me of Mark Driscoll’s documented tactics, sadly. So to make long story short, PLEASE take the time to trundle through the series- I think this raises some great awareness. From Jeff’s passionate posts, I was expecting fire and brimstone, but he is a very calm and logical speaker. He also appears to be a complementarian or at least quite conservative, calling himself a Calvinist at one point. Despite this, with the disclaimer I haven’t heard the three on headship and submission yet, I think this series is useful.
Some might disagree, but I’m beginning to think churches have no business counseling on domestic violence. If you went to work and hit your employer, what would happen? If you went to the corner drugstore and hit the pharmacist, what would happen? Choose any scenario where an assault occurs, and law enforcement would be notified immediately and charges would be filed against the assailant. Only behind closed doors does the assailant commit a crime and get away with it.
There are people/agencies specifically trained to deal with this crime and it’s not churches. If a church gets involved in any way, it should only be to provide safety to the victim until law enforcement arrives.
My previous comment is awaiting moderation, but in the meantime, I wanted to add this.
In Florida, a victim of abuse would not be able to withdraw his/her complaint if I'm not mistaken. Law enforcement is aware of the "fear factor" and the state takes on the job of prosecuting (ed.) the case even if the victim refuses to. At least that was the case 10 yrs. ago.
I have presided over hundreds of domestic violence cases in my courtroom. Some are easily proved at trial, some are easily disproved in court (although those are usually determined before trial), and some are tough for the jury (or judge sitting without a jury) to decide.
…obviously I meant “prosecuting” not persecuting. LOL
Tim, my experience has been when law enforcement is called and the victim makes a report, the abuser is arrested. He is detained for 13 hours which gives the victim time to pack up belongings and children and get to a safe place, i.e. shelter. He is then normally assigned to an anger management group and sometimes community service. The victim, meanwhile, is getting much needed information about options and support from other victims at the shelter weekly groups. The shelter where I was employed afforded a 6-mos. stay during which time future plans were generally solidified.
Just letting you know that Jeff has somewhat changed his views on submission and headship since preaching that sermon series. The view he now takes on that Patriarchy is very very wrong and likely to breed and enable domestic abuse. I know Jeff Crippen well as he and I co-lead A Cry For Justice. He has come a really long way in his views on what the Bible says about male and female roles and he has realised how awfully damaging the Patriarchal approach is. Not that he was ever Hard (cruel, nasty) Patriarchal himself because he wasn’t really.
In this post, which he wrote some time after preaching his sermon series on domestic abuse, Jeff gives a bit of the history of how he has moved along that spectrum. http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2012/09/06/abuse-and-pastors-an-open-letter-from-a-pastor-to-pastors/
Well I totally agree!! I appreciate your comments especially as you seem to indicate you have much experience in this area.
Great Post O Adorable Blog Queens!!!
There’s no humor in abuse but at least we can smile while applauding you both!
There are people/agencies specifically trained to deal with this crime and it’s not churches. If a church gets involved in any way, it should only be to provide safety to the victim until law enforcement arrives.
I messed up my comment which is awaiting moderation….I Put my comments into the middle of the quote.
I have a neurological problem and I hit all the wrong keys…..Please fix it for me?
Yikes! Anger management is NOT the best treatment program for domestic abusers. Abusers can control and manage their anger. And they often abuse without any overt expression of anger.
One of the myths about domestic abuse is that it is an anger problem on the part of the abuser. Not So! Please learn more about domestic abuse before recycling this myth!
Here is an article on why Anger Management is not the right treatment for abusers:
Dr George Simon Jr also has written a lot about why Anger Management is not the right intervention for abusers:
I agree. And how’s this for a scenario? If you went to church and hit your pastor…..what do you think he would do?
About this part:
That is true in just about every facet of the Christian walk, especially among evangelicals and Baptists, not just concerning domestic abuse, but anything.
If you have clinical depression, you’re not supposed to show it in public, or at church, because that’s giving Jesus “bad P.R.”
I saw a TV preacher once give a sermon about suicide. Out of the several reasons he told Christians why they (Christians) should not take their own lives, one was because, “it would make a bad witness for Jesus.”
The TV preacher said also said something like if you (and you’re a Christian) took your life, your Non-Christian friends might get the idea that Jesus didn’t work for you, so why should they bother with Jesus?
His other reasons were bad, too. He did not show an understanding at all as to why people might want to take their own lives. I can tell you that shaming suicidal people in the form of “what would the non-Christian neighbors think?” type posturing will not convince many to hold on longer.
In evangelical world, you’re supposed to pretend to be “Happy Clappy” all the time (at least around other Christians, or when out and about) no matter how rotten you feel, or no matter what bad things are happening to you in the rest of your life.
One tip I saw in a book or blog about domestic violence said to put out tracts or booklets or tare-off phone numbers to domestic abuse hotlines in church ladies bathrooms.
That way, the abused wife can grab the number alone in the lady’s room, and her husband won’t know.
I read in some books about this topic that some men are so abusive, if they find their wife reading a book about the issue at all – books about spousal abuse – they will abuse her just for having the book, or get very angry! So the wives are told in the book to hide the book from him.
Anyway, even if a preacher at a church told me I could not post the number to a hotline (I assume this is in reference to posting the number on a public church bulletin board?) I would totally go ahead and follow the advice from that book or blog I mentioned.
I’d make up a paper with “Domestic Abuse Hotline Phone #” typed on it, hang it on the bathroom mirror, or a door of a bathroom stall, with lots of little tare-off sections at the bottom with the phone number to the abuse hotline, so a woman could rip the number off and stuff it in her pocket to use later.
I also saw that same advice for human trafficking. Women who run organizations that save sex trafficked kids and women in America post their hotline numbers and leave booklets and stuff in public bathroom stalls around America, because the kidnappers / pimps often let the kids/women attend the bathroom alone.
That is one of the only times the victims get privacy, so they can take the abuse contact info in secret.
Barbara Roberts wrote:
This is so true. The bulk of the abuse I experienced as a child and adult was very controlled and deliberate. Cold, even.
It’s interesting. Those who have read my comments for a while know I am a survivor of child sex abuse. That was at the hands of a variety of different people over many years, none of whom were my immediate family. All through that, my parents both physically and emotionally abused me. My father was a deacon. My mother was a Sunday school teacher and church pianist. And it was not Calvinist or Reformed…it was A of G.
A couple of years ago, I had been laid off at work and though getting unemployment, things were tight. So I went to a local church to see if they had a food bank. Two interesting things came out of that (the church was a Vineyard).
1) They made me fill out a 6 page questionnaire to apply for a $25 gift card to Safeway. One of the first questions was, “Are your present circumstances the result of unrepentant sin?” Seriously. And it took a month for them to get back to me.
2) When they did call me back in, the person who conducted the interview (I kid you not – for $25) turned out to be an old friend of my family from when I was a child. She asked a lot of questions about why I needed help. I was honest about the abuse and she said something interesting that has stuck with me: “We wanted to help you [as a child] but had too much of our own stuff. But we could see that you weren’t being mothered.” Interesting euphemism – and how many people were in the ‘we’ category?. She gave me the $25 and I felt like I had earned it.
I don’t trust church – or if I am honest, Christians as a group – to understand and/or help me concerning abuse issues.
A very necessary post. Thank You!
Barbara Roberts wrote:
Barbara, that’s precisely the process that was followed. The primary purpose of the anger management program was to convince the abuser of the very thing you’ve noted…that they CAN control and manage their anger. It also strongly opposed any excuses about being provoked. If I remember correctly, the required length of attendance in the group was 13 weeks.
Barbara Roberts wrote:
And btw, the program was court mandated. The abuser had no choice.
Also, abuse isn’t always physical battering. In fact, I think it usually isn’t, especially in the church. And if it’s hard to get church folks to react appropriately to beatings, imagine trying to be taken seriously when he is charming, highly intelligent, and a well-seasoned and talented manipulator when you don’t have any bruises to display.
Correction…the program was a mandatory 26-wk. (not 13 wks.)”Batterer’s Intervention” program.
6. What is an unsafe church:
• Any church that devalues women instead of respecting them as equals to men, is not a safe place.
I would like Boz to define “respecting them as equals to men”.
What does he mean? I sure like the sound of it.
But I can think of dozens of christian leaders who would agree with it in word (all smiles), but in practice somehow manage to twist it up to be consistent with a long list of things women are forbidden/discouraged from doing.
(on pain of being labeled a disappointing or inferior or even non-christian….. and given the brush-off.)
@ Barbara Roberts:
Hi Barbara, perfect timing that you have shared those links – I have forwarded on immediately. Thankyou.
“I don’t trust church – or if I am honest, Christians as a group – to understand and/or help me concerning abuse issues”
Jeannette, I feel the same way. They always blame the women and children, AND they tell us not to tell any body, we are informed that if we don’t tell any one Jesus will bless us.
I really believe women and children are safer away from church.
This is what they do at the UCC church where I practice organ on Mondays. There are tear-off strips with the number of the women’s shelter / hotline in the nearest metro area, in both the church bathroom and the office building bathrooms. I didn’t know this was a specific recommendation by DV organizations though.
Shout-out: I seem to recall ACFJ has a entire series on Piper’s view of divorce. Suffice to say it’s more than usually aberrant, and not only because he absolutely forbids divorce even for infidelity. He even makes it sound at one point like anyone who disagrees with him about divorce isn’t really a Christian.
2. Making a victim return to the abuser is NOT reconciliation. (Reread the Paige Patterson story above for a perfect example.)
…churches prefer to push victims back into the arms of abusers as they congratulate themselves and praise God on another successful “reconciliation”.
I think so many christian leaders (& christian culture by & large) are so wrapped up in being air-tight biblical, water-tight scriptural, that their measuring stick for personal and corporate success is 100% compliance. According to plain-reading black and white.
I daresay they’re terrified of not being so. Terrified of sin. Of the smallest leak of compromise. SLIPPERY SLOPES EVERYWHERE AAAHHHH!!!!
And it’s projected onto their unsuspecting, beleaguered congregations.
*No, no, no, can’t divorce. The bible says so (or Jon Piper says so). Ah, she’s back home — GOOD. Divorce box left blank, reconciliation box is checked. YES– We’re still biblical! (Jon Piper would be proud!)
*The bible says husbands are to lead (because Jon Piper says so) [it says no such thing] It’s the wife and her family’s word against the husband’s. We will back him because the wife cannot lead the husband, or be seen to. GOOD. Wifely-leadership-slippery-slope box left blank, male headship box is still checked. Ah, nothing like being biblical and scriptural. Here….taste that?…..it’s the taste of success!!
and isn’t the concept of “slippery slope” the most ridiculously subjective thing ever these days.
(does not bode well for the history books. Jon Piper you’ve been warned)
Sounds like Piper’s number-one worshipper is Piper.
You know what? I wish fervently that Jesus himself would make a private appearance to Piper and straighten him out about marriage the same way he straightened out the Pharisees about the Sabbath in Mark Chap. 2.
I was part of the group trying to get the phone numbers to the local and national DV hotlines put in the church Dee was referring to. We wanted to put shoe cards in the ladies’ bathrooms. We were denied because, get ready for this, some women who really weren’t being abused might report that they were! There was no concern shown for the women who really were being abused! We also tried to put DV educational flyers on the bulletin boards but were denied that, too. As for the pastor’s belief that they knew how to counsel those trapped in DV, I can tell you from personal experience that they did not have a clue.
Or the corollary – if we do tell, we will hurt God.
In my experience, this is true.
Exactly! I felt I did not have the words to describe to others what my (now ex) husband did to me. It always sounded so, well, not okay, but really not so bad. After all, I wasn’t “hurt” (no black eyes or broken bones)!
I wish I could say all this was behind me now but my daughter married a man just like her father and the insanity continues even though she is now divorced. This past weekend I was happily keeping the grandchildren when my ex-son-in-law tried to bully me into letting him have the children, including sweet-talking the police into bringing him 45 minutes to my house “to help work things out.” He didn’t get the children but I was an emotional wreck and physically sick. I’m still feeling pretty powerless but I can assure you that the (little “c”) church is the last place I would go for help. I am, however, still counting on the real Church of Jesus!
Just watched the Piper video and it sounded very reasonable… after all, the woman would only need to live with it for a season until she got herself to a church… … … … … and um… … er, …
…excuse me, I think I’m about to become massively unconstipated…
Abigail, I totally get it. My current church is the first time any churchy types have ever supported me against the to-be-ex’s machinations. I don’t know what makes them different. It’s a pretty youthful church and I live in a very liberal city, so maybe that’s part of it.
I pray hard th hat my kids don’t repeat the cycle. They’re old enough to have good discussion about it with me, but young enough that marriage isn’t on the horizon for several years at least.
Wow, that’s awful. That’s terrifying that those men have influence over people when they’re enabling abuse, celebrating it in Pattersons case. I sincerely hope these people get out, get help and get safe.
My experience also.
There are some truly evil husbands out there who’s wife should leave, go a long, long way – away and NEVER EVER make contact because these kind of guys will track you down and kill you, sooner or later.
There are wives who will kill you too, but they don’t generally obsessively trail you for the next 10 years.
Thank God there is a sane, healthy voice in the Christian Community. It gives me hope that there are people like you ladies and Boz that are standing up against this kind of crap in the church. I have seen so many forms of abuse in the church it's been so disheartening. Thanks for all you do to stand up for truth!!
Churches are ill-equipped to deal with domestic abuse, because they are ill-equipped to deal with conflict of any kind. Especially with conflict that cannot be easily resolved by fiat of the pastor. Unfortunately, many christians seek easy and clear-cut answers – real life is often messy and far away from that.
Complementarian churches (and pastors, …) are not ill-equipped to deal with domestic abuse, they are not equipped to deal with it at all.
Complementarianism is patriarchy under another, more palatable, name. Semantically, a patriarch is a father who rules over his family and/or clan.
Under pariarchy, the man is the ruler in his house (women, children, servants). He owns them – they are chattel. He can do with them as he pleases.
If a complementarian church protects a woman and/or her children against an abusive husband/father, this runs diametrically against their teaching that the wife and children are to submit to their husband/father (=patriarch).
Ironically enough, churches could be paragons of peaceful and reasonable conflict resolution, by virtue of Jesus’ teachings. Sadly, they are often paragons of half-truths and non-solutions, and denial.
Sexual assault levels in Alaska
I can only share the words of my friend (who left an abusive marriage) on how to respond to women in similar situations:
Don’t ask, “Why do you stay?”
Ask, “How can I help?”
Precisely because I wholeheartedly agree with your comment, Gus, permit me to differ slightly with the wording of the last paragraph. Churches could be paragons of Good Stuff by virtue of Jesus’ spirit, living in us individually and collectively. Thereby raising his teachings from the doctrinal graves into we have stuffed them in our lazy quest for cheap, easy answers – preferably, cheap easy answers for which someone else, like a pastor, takes responsibility. As, if I understand correctly, you pointed out.
My response to all this biblianistic **** is: yes, we all know there are moral absolutes and that Gods_Word declares stuff. The thing is that
Gods_Word declares otherstuff too, and
in many circumstances, more than one moral absolute is in play.
Or, as HLN tweeted under the WhyIStayed hashtag, the same God who hates divorce might just hate abuse, too.
Here’s what I’d love to see. Gatherings of believers who have the maturity and the spiritual boldness to say, in the light of everything scripture says, it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to impose no other burden on so-and-so than [this]. And yes, we know that’s different from what we said in a similar case last year. That’s because it was similar but different. And what’s more, we will stand before God and take responsibility for what we said to both, because we are confident that he is with us, that he is helping us pursue his own greatest goal of love with a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith, and that God is not a hard Master, reaping where he has not sown, gathering where he didn’t scatter and looking for any excuse to find us in error.
Jeannette Altes wrote:
So they believe that 1: God doesn’t care if one half of his (supposed) creation is hurt. or 2: that God isn’t big enough to absorb our pain.
One day the “evangelical” church is going to wake up and find that it has become completely irrelevant both to the community and most importantly, in God’s eyes. When pastors and leaders in the church routinely dismiss child abuse, spousal abuse and other blatant sins, it has become tasteless salt.
Maybe these women who go back under the churches advice, and then suffer more abuse should start suing the heck out these churches. Can’t they be charged with negligence? Or aiding in criminal activity?
I did not know you were a trial judge.
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
And what does this have to do with the current post?
“TIME ranks Southern Baptists’ rejection of sex-offender database as a top “underreported” news story of 2008″
I am so relieved to hear that. I think your children are blessed to have you as a mother. Your openness and love will help them to understand.
I am so sorry to hear about what happened this weekend. Your daughter is blessed to have you on her side.
The SBC has a child sex abuse problem. Boz says it is worse than the Catholic problem. They wonder why their denomination is rapidly declining. Let’s see: child sex abuse. domestic violence, fights between Calvinists and Arminians, gender issues,, etc. Then, they spend their time pointing outward to the sins of the world. Wow- makes me want to join…
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
Since you seem to have expertise in this area-both in the courtroom and out, could you please tell me how you know this tidbit?
Dee: After 40 years of being a member of the SBC I joined a non-SBC church at the end of June 2014. It almost seems like a dream now but I was even a SBC pastor of several different churches for approximately a total of 10 years. It all ended for me when I let it be known the way my Association reacted to a woman being called as a Pastor in the Association. I do not regret my decision to let it be known it was less than Christian they way the whole situation was handled. The leaders of the current SBC seem to be clueless that the SBC IMO is sinking very fast.
But their Ideology is Pure, and THEY ARE LOUD!
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
Yes and they did not want me anymore in the Association I was a Pastor because I was not Pure in my beliefs about women in ministry. What a heathen I am!!
Gosh Dee, I don’t think I’ve ever sent you my resume; you’d be surprised.
What sort of church discipline is John Piper thinking of? What could they really *do* to deal with an abusive husband? Maybe some of them who got themselves entrenched in their local church might actually care about being barred from the Lord’s table, or worry about their reputations being “sullied”. But the ones who are physically violent in particular? Are the elders and/or pastor planning to go all Chuck Norris on the guy until he gets the message? (I could envision Driscoll actually doing that, but Piper?)
And if she leaves but he starts stalking her? What are they going to do then, repeatedly take time off work or put other things on hold at the drop of a hat to go deal with him?
If law enforcement and the courts need to be involved at all, that should happen ASAP. Not after a season of “biblical counseling”, or the sin of ordering her to submit to more abuse, which is evil.
As for Paige Patterson, we’re just supposed to take his word for it that the husband never abused his wife again? There was no mention of any professional intervention for said husband. His implied conversion/regeneration was supposed to be enough, I guess. Now I believe God can work miracles in anyone He chooses–just look at Paul. I would not want to be naive enough to assume a complete and permanent 180* in a person with this kind of history, however.
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
Unfortunately, I have to disagree w/ the last statement. 🙁 My mother still obsessively stalks my remarried (alcoholic, narcissistic) father. 🙁 We’ve all wondered if she’ll show up w/ a gun someday. 🙁
Regarding women in ministry, is the question whether or not they should be involved in ministry or is the question should they be pastors? I personally believe that the Bible clearly teaches that women are some of the greatest agents of faith and ministry in the Bible (Sarah and Raheb even made the “Hall of Fame” list!). However, I also see clear teachings in the Bible about women not pastoring/leading over men.
I do remember at one point that there was at least one, if not more, ordained female pastors in the SBC. However, all of them were pastors to women’s prisons.
The issue at hand is that many leaders DO NOT recognize the incredible gifting, leadership and faith of the women in thier congregations. This leads to the misuse and sometimes spriritual abuse of women in the midst of these churches. When I was a member in a Soverign Grace church they REGULARLY took the word of a man over a women! I know, it happened to us! They did not and still, do not recognize how God uses women in His plan of redemption and in the role of the church. They “allowed” women to do the food and kid stuff, but never ever were they even asked about leadership questions. Why not the use of women deacons in the church? It’s biblical!!! The male-macho pastors need to read their bibles more.
I will tell you right now, I’d rather have the faith of women like Sarah and Rahab in my church than the recklessness of some of these male pastors that I know. Even so, I still believe the Bible for what it says, that women should not be spiritual leaders over men. If someone has a problem with that, don’t yell at me … take it up with the Lord!
Heard that before–no, you take it up with the Lord because IMO your view just might be wrong. BTW if you are not Southern Baptist-I know a great place for your belief about women pastors.
Back in 2000 Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker interviewed Paige Patterson (who was then president of SEBTS) on behalf of the Founders Journal.
Here's the link to the interview: http://founders.org/fj42/interview-with-paige-patterson/
Fourteen years later, it looks like the SBC has lost far more members than Patterson predicted/expected.
Who knew that Paige Patterson was a prophet? Perhaps those initials (PP) stand for "Prophet Patterson".
You guys, I accidentally went to a SBC church planting conference last night, the SNA EXP. (I say “accidentally,” because I only went for the worship team training, and to hear Shane and Shane lead worship again. It was free, so I didn’t even look to see what the conference was about.) While David Platt is truly a man after God’s own heart, & has a calling and anointing for evangelism, the SBC is painfully aware of their marked decline. They had a magician come give a presentation on the history of the SBC. They openly said that, in 1900, there was 1 SBC church for every 3,800 people. However, there’s now 1 SBC church for every 6100 people. Get this: they were focusing on sending *non professionals* out to do evangelism and church planting!! After all of the SBC’s focus on authority, credentials, then removing the “competency of the soul” statement, promoting big names, etc., they’re doing a multi-state tour to tell people that common people can plant churches!?!?!? I struggled between an internal, ” Yes, finally!” and the irony that they were using big names to tell us we didn’t NEED big names. While I deeply love the Shanes’ music & teachings, they’ve become inseparable from, and enmeshed with, the SBC. :(.
In the midst of amazing music and a sound exhortation to evangelism, there were two really sad parts about the night:
1) they had us pray in groups, aloud. While my husband and I were praying for revival, & Christ to be lifted up, the couple with us prayed that they would “Listen to the preacher, & do more of what he told them to do.” They were wearing shirts that identified them as SNA EXP volunteers.
2) Even though the magician’s history presentation was entertaining, when he got to the 1920’s, and the 1960’s, he said, “By the way, those are NOT pictures of the church. We don’t dance. Not like that anyway.” And that, my friends, Encapsulates the overall spirit of many SBC “authorities” I’ve met: looking down their nose at *different* people—not unsaved people, just different people!! Conformity is a value entrenched in their very DNA. I wanted to yell out, “And now you know why you’re declining!”
David Platt’s amazing gift for evangelism will come to naught if the SBC does not do a better job of training, equipping, & caring for their sheep.
As a worship leader, I fully endorse & support the *musical* content on the Worship Initiative website. It’s beautiful, amazing, intricate, helpful, & wekk thought out. However, all of the devotional materials and theological training comes from writers for desiringgod.org, and other TGC pastors. Their online seminary courses will be through Bethlehem. Piper’s Bethlehem. Drink them in w/ discernment. 😛
*well thought out!! 😛
I’m not Southern Baptist. However, I once … a long time ago … was a deacon in the Southern Baptist church overseas for about a year.
Regarding my opinion on women pastors, my only guide is what the Word says. I’ve found in life that His word trumps my personal preferences 100% of the time whether I like it or not. If we just decided to disregard pieces and portions of God’s word then we’d all be in a heap of trouble. The problem is that many do so today. This is how “the church” has gone down the slippery slope of many cultural discussions that fly in the face of scripture(ie. homosexual marriage, remarrying of Christians not due to adultury, etc.) I too am guilty of not always applying God’s word in my life. This is why it’s important for us to use the Lord’s word as the definitive guide in our lives and to try to hear the Holy Spirit speak to us as He forms us in to His will.
I am going to agree to disagree with you. I am sincerely glad the Bible is “clear” for you in all matters. It must be fantastic to have reached such a point in your Christian maturity. I am not there and do not expect to get there until I pass over to the other side.
BTW which verse does the Bible give to disqualify women as pastors?
You know, that’s a really good question.
@ … continued…:
Sorry, should have pondered slightly longer before posting the last one.
The further question is: What would constitute “dealing with” the abusive husband anyway? Would they need to “deal with” him merely to their own satisfaction, or to his wife’s? Would it all be OK provided he affirmed a credal statement and undertook community service by handing out some gospel tracts? After all, if he isn’t undermining the historic doctrines of the Christian faith, and is proclaiming Jesus, that’s all that counts, right?
I suppose there’s a further further question too. From what other criminal offences should church members have this form of “diplomatic immunity”?
Calvinist Janeway wrote:
Help me here. I have already outed myself as from a prior generation and no longer SBC, for a long time now. But here is something I can’t understand. I am not looking for a conflict, merely understanding.
Different church traditions use music in different ways during worship services. I get that. My little church does it with organ and piano (mostly) and choir and congregational singing and does not identify it as “worship” in any way apart from the totality of what goes on in the entire service. My children’s church has professional classical musicians (a lot of them) and the congregation sings songs from the sixteenth century of so in terminology nobody understands and without any discernible predictable rhythm or melody all in unison with a range of about five notes. They call it music, not worship per se as apart from the rest of the liturgy–all of which is worship as far as I can tell. The local SBC mega has purple lights and band and orchestra and choir(s) and worship leaders who stand up in front of the congregation and sing, but as far as I can tell do not “lead” anything and do not demonstrate any “worship” physical behaviors such as are seen in pentecostal circles–and they do identify the music portion of the service as “worship.” Specifically “worship.”
These are not only different musical styles but also different attitudes toward music as part of the service. SBC in my day did not do that, the “worship and worship leader” thing. Now they do. They have changed not only in musical style but in attitude toward music. They make a big deal of it. There must be some reason for this, but I don’t know what this is. Can you help me here in understanding what the thinking is in SBC that has brought about this change?
Now truth to tell, in my jaded sensibilities, it kind of looks like they want to be bapticostal without the signs and wonders. And it also looks like technology central perhaps to impress those who are “into” technology as such. I don’t really think there is anything too terribly wrong with those two reasons, but why call it “worship” and why classify musicians as “worship leaders?” I am missing something here.
Calvinist Janeway wrote:
Just to be clear here, Captain, when you say the couple prayed that they would listen and do etc etc, were they actually referring to themselves? As in, Lord, we pray that we will listen etc etc?
I should probably be a little circumspect in reacting to this, though, because I’m sure I used to pray like that sometimes when I was wee.
…and I’d like to know why they might be disqualified. Especially since scripture says God is no respecter of persons and Ephesians 4, Cor. 12, nor Romans 12 makes no mention of gender prohibition when referencing the various gifts.
I’ve yet to find the verse that disqualifies women as pastors, but maybe I have overlooked this verse.
Yes, well, using the bible as a definitive guide sometimes takes some “explanations.” That is what preachers and theologians do for a living, and that is partly why some denominations have some magisterial equivalent to unravel things.
Example: (I will limit this to only three will known biblical statements.) What must I do to be saved? (Not what must or did God do, but specifically what must I do?)
Acts 16:31 ESV
And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Mark 16:16 NIV
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Romans 10:9 Douay-Rheims
For if thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised him up from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
So, what about the “household” issue? Is baptism necessary for salvation? Is public confession of faith necessary for salvation? Is there a specific doctrinal belief (the resurrection) that is necessary for salvation?
I am sure you see where I am going with this line of questioning. And there are denominations and groups who take different positions on these questions, and others related to salvation. My point is that understanding the message(s) of scripture is not a simple matter, even at this level. I am going to have to forgo any idea that it is all clearly spelled out to me in everything. You do what you want in that respect.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
In other news… I had the lemon-cheese sauce on some nice salmon filets a couple of nights ago – delicious!
Have you voted yet?… (I won’t ask if Aye or Nae).
I think some pastors are looking at these difficult marriage cases as a blot on them – – that they are not able to keep their church families together and so they will keep women in harm’s way, do anything to avoid separation or divorce in order to prevent the appearance of a bad marriage. What does it look like for a pastor who has to say that he worked with a couple, but they separated and got divorced under his watch? It’s as if a failed marriage has ruined his pastor’s report card to the congregation. It’s about him and his church’s image, not about tending the flock is care.
Another issue that I’m seeing is only following the NT words of Jesus for divorce: only in the case of abandonment by unbeliever or infidelity. If there is abuse of any kind, divorce is not allowed, only separation. Sadly, who is the one who pays the most? The wife. She will likely get custody of the kids, may have been out of the work force for a decade or 2. He has the stable income and she has nothing financially and gets hit hardest financially and it’s HIS fault.
And this business of churches taking care of the battered wives? Bologna. Maybe for a time, but not for the long haul.
swit didn’t actually say that, rather that the bible should be our guide in all things.
I don’t think, having engaged on this perennial subject here before, that the ‘role of women’ is really all that relevant to the subject at hand. Men who beat there wives or other women or children are not following any kind of biblical teaching, they do not care what the bible says on anything. Allowing that anyone can fall into sin and succumb to temptation, a lifetime of abusing others is about as indicative as it can get that the perpetrator is not a Christian.
There are no doubt many facets to the abuse going on, and unsaved churchgoers with just the form of religion, even the evangelical form, but no changed life is one of them.
“I have presided over hundreds of domestic violence cases in my courtroom. Some are easily proved at trial, some are easily disproved in court (although those are usually determined before trial), and some are tough for the jury (or judge sitting without a jury) to decide.”
“tough to decide” is so frustratingly difficult. Agonizing.
My perception is that many christian leaders of churches can’t bear this ambiguity. In fact, can’t bear any ambiguity at all.
(hence the black & white & wooden ‘plain reading of scripture’, and anal preoccupied absorption with ‘we must be BIBLICAL or else!!’)
They can’t bear the ambiguity of not knowing for sure, and so when domestic abuse comes into the picture, it’s convenient to do nothing or simply shoo the couple back together and hope for the best. in either case, they are the 3 monkeys with hands over their respective ears, eyes, & mouth.
WHY is christian culture so terrified of the color gray?? Why must everything be black & white? Was everyone bashed over the head when they were kids for coloring outside of the lines? Such focus on perfection, have to be perfect.
Jimmy does point out a fact. There really are women who are ‘pieces of work’ and who really do ‘kill’ their husbands by slow degrees over the years. In my own vain life under the Sun I’ve seen it play out more than once. Smart men will get wise and leave a toxic Shelob before it gets to the point of too late.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
You are absolutely right.
With all due respect, Ken, I’m not so sure I agree that the role of women isn’t relevant to the subject at hand. Both, imo, reflect an effort to control women by a variety of means; ie. by brute force or misinterpreting scripture and taking it out of context. And frankly, if you are a woman, the lines eventually begin to blur.
The ill-treatment of women is despicable regardless of the method used.
Julie Anne wrote:
Bingo. It is all a part of the culture war they love so much so they can say, ‘we are not like them—out there’. The problem is, “we” are worse because “we” evangelicals sweep evil and cruetly under the rug and call it Christianity.
Totally disagree. I used to be on the board of a spouse abuse/rape crisis center and one of the biggest problems were the pastors who would come and tell her he said he is sorry and won’t do it again. And too many believed it and went back because the “pastor” said that.
The pastor had it backwards. But his goal was saving a fake marriage not protecting the abused.
Calvinist Janeway wrote:
But “Worship(TM)” has come to mean Kickin’ “Rock Show”, straight out of the McCartney & Wings song of the same name.
Calvinist Janeway wrote:
Wow. You sure about that?
You’ve never seen “God’s Word(TM)” used as a beatdown weapon, have you?
This sounds like a corollary of the “Salvation By Marriage Alone” vibe you see in a LOT of Fundagelical churches.
I saw an interview on a Christian show, “Lifestyle Magazine,” with actress Alison Arngrim (“Nellie Oleson” from Little House on the Prairie).
Arngrim spent the first ten minutes discussing her background in acting, how she herself was sexually abused as a child, and the rest of the show talking about child abuse in general.
It was a very informative interview, with tips on how to spot if a child may be undergoing abuse, how a group she is a member of is trying to make eradicate loophole that allow pedophiles off the hook, and she talked about some common tricks pedophiles use to groom children and get away with abuse.
Arngrim is a member of a group called “Protect,” and their site (protect.org) has more info on how to combat child abuse. She said that site also has other materials, such as sample letters you can use to write politicians in your own state to toughen abuse laws.
The interview can be viewed online:
Confessions From The Prairie: Interview With Alison Arngrim
On that page:
“Free Offer: Information Packet on Child Abuse and Neglect”
This “Lifestyle Magazine” show also has a channel on You Tube under the heading, “Lifestyle Magazine TV,” so you might be able to view the interview there. I quickly glanced over their videos and didn’t see it, but maybe I just missed it.
Arngrim brought up several points in the interview about abuse I’d never heard before, such as, states grant preferential treatment to abusers who are related to the victim.
That is, there are exemptions made for incest – such abusers do not get any jail time in some states.
She said some states also loosely define the word “family,” so that if a guy sexually molests a daughter, niece, or whatever, he can get no jail time, but that the definition is so broad in some states that they stretch the concept of “family” so thinly, it can maybe apply to a kid who is not related at all to the abuser, but who has stayed at the abuser’s home for a few weeks/months.
She said a lot of states have very lax attitudes towards child abuse and don’t consider child sexual abuse to be a “violent crime,” which she finds ridiculous (as do I), considering that there are grown men who she gave examples of, who do things such as rape three year old girls – which is violent.
The Protect.org site appears to have a lot of useful information.
Sadly, as most of you know, giving a woman the “okay” to divorce the
abusive/addictice/philandering husband doesn’t necessarily lead to her choosing more wisely the second time.
Odds are her second choice will not be an improvement over the first choice.
However, should they run from the psychopath? Absolutely. Should they begin looking for number two? I don’t think so.
Anytime a group is considered “less than” they are vulnerable to abuse so a church that teaches that women are less than men is enabling abuse.
I’m really sorry your efforts to help were blocked. I’m the kind of person who would’ve gone ahead and put the numbers in the bathrooms anyhow.
One of my sad observations about Christianity (at least the American variety) is that a lot of Christians are clueless about harmful things.
Everything from how to (or even if one should) actually help domestic abuse victims, to how to handle child abuse, to how to minister to people with mental health problems, and how to be there for folks who don’t fit into the “married with children at home” demographic.
Some segments of Christians in America have confounding views about when, how, or if to help people.
They seem more concerned with outward images than in actually helping someone who needs help, e.g.,
‘We can’t help a woman who is being abused by her husband; no, must keep up appearances that all marriages in our church are wonderful, and we must put the institution of marriage above the welfare of the two people who are actually in that institution.’
It makes no sense to me.
I wasn’t eligible to vote on whether the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (of St Andrews) should admit women members for the first time in its 751,480-year history. As it happens, the results of that referendum have been announced and the vote was an overwhelming (85%) Yes. (BBC article here.) Several pigs have been reported taking off from RAF Leuchars nearby in celebration.
The other referendum, for those curious, was on whether Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom and become an independent nation. And yes, I voted first thing this morning on that one. The polls are still open for another 2 ½ hours at the time of writing (7:30 pm BST) and the results are expected early tomorrow morning.
Information: It’s not nae; it’s ehhh… noo. “Nae” only means “no” in the context of “not any” – e.g., Ah’ve nae weans mahsel’ means I do not personally have children.
I hope this is helpful.
I’d also add their insistence that anyone who is undergoing depression or some other mental health malady should pray, read the Bible, use only a pastor for help (a so called “biblical counselor”), and their continued marginalization of adult singles / divorced / widows / childless are not helping, either.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
This is where evangelical leaders and pastors got it all wrong. If an individual slit the throat of another person in a church would you put that person under church discipline? No, of course not, you would call the police. Why? Because they broke the law and it is a legal matter.
If a husbands punches his wife in the stomach SHOULD you put him under church discipline. No! You call the police and have him arrested on a felony charge of aggrevated assult. It is ILLEGAL to punch someone. The good news to having him arrested is that it protects the wife and children and gives him the opportunity to sit in a jail cell to contemplate why he should never do that again.
A slight different topic, but abuse nonetheless … My Sister-in-law’s teenage daughter (16) punched my SIL in the face in an argument and then started slapping the SIL as well. My SIL called me over in tears. I came over and harshly reprimanded the teen daughter and told her, and her mother, that it would be the police coming the next time, not me. No issues since.
When bodily assult occurs, it is a crime. I don’t care who/what/where/when or why. No reason for bodily assult.
Piper is DEAD WRONG! I only wish that pastors like him married a 300 pound+ woman with muscles that kicked the crap out of them every once in awhile. We’d then see how much they believed in church discipline.
I skimmed that same article over the other day, about the large number of rapes and child sexual abuse in Alaska. I do see how his link is kind of pertinent to this blog (maybe not the specific blog post at hand, but the blog overall).
The article talks about how family members (or sometimes neighbors/ friends) sexually assault each other in Alaska, and it goes unreported for decades there. One reason being that there are not many police officers in Alaska, so victims have nobody to report it to.
You might want to read this:
There are many, normally joking, stereotypes about certain US states.
But this isn’t humorous.
The Bible gives me clear direction where it is clear. It also gives me clear direction as to how I should apply biblical principles. Even when I come across “grey” areas, I use the Bible to help direct my decisions/actions. That being said, I still struggle with what I should do and actually DO go against biblical teachings. In essence, I still sin!
Back to the women discussion though, I dispise how the church has treated women. Jesus and the apostles extended themselves to highlight the role of women throughout scripture. My one and only contention on the role of a woman is that it says that they should not teach or exercise authority over a man (1 Tim 2:16). I believe that women should be deacons, lead ministries, etc. I just believe that they are not called to be pastors.
Outside of the pastor role, women should and can do anything that the Lord has for them to accomplish for His purposes.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Love the media frenzy, been following coverage all day.
Best moment was watching the AJE live shot in Edinburgh be interrupted by a bagpipe version of “Wish You Were Here.”
It was sort of moving, actually. 🙂
Thus far, only two arrests have been reported (one of those involving a woman “believed to come from Merseyside”). Which makes it a most un-Scottish referendum.
Which is why I found it painful and difficult to leave the “no women can be pastors” perspective, and other gender complementarian views, to realizing yes, women can be preachers, and God is fine with women leading men. I did not arrive at that position quickly or easily.
I was brought up by a traditional mother who raised me to filter the Bible through that lens – that women weren’t to be leaders or preachers, and men should be ruler of the home, etc.
However, I kept noticing on my own, as I got through my late 20s and into my 30s, upon re-readings of the Bible, that there were an awful lot of women leaders in the Bible, women who had authority over men – and with God’s approval, at that (such as Deborah).
I also noticed women who were encouraged (even by Paul in the New Testament) to speak in and around men, that the Bible said God gave the gift of prophecy to women as well as men, etc.
Then you have the “there is neither male nor female in Christ” type verses.
Jesus Christ bucked the traditions of his day which said males / rabbis weren’t to talk to women or teach them, and he did so anyhow.
There are too many positive examples in the Bible – both Old and New Testaments – of women leading and teaching men, for me to be able to accept one or two Pauline verses about “women remaining silent” and so on, to be the verses that have “final say so” in discussions of women’s roles.
There are positive examples in the Bible of women talking in church, of leading men, of teaching men, etc, so either
1.) Paul was contradicting himself, or
2.) the, “I permit not a woman to teach” type commentary has been horribly misinterpreted for a long good while now, and/or deliberately twisted by men who don’t want women to have an equal say-so in the church
I suspected by my mid or late twenties it’s point “2” not “1.”
On a kind of related note, gender complementarian views are also horribly biased against unmarried, childless adults, both men and women. Many of these gender comp churches do not regard adults singles past 25 as being “grown ups.”
Evangelicals and many Southern Baptists (and gender complementarians) equate getting married and having babies to full-fledged adulthood. So, they disqualify unmarried, childless men from being preachers too, not just women (single or married).
I'll jump in the discussion later….but is SGM Survivors down? I can't access the site?
@ Nick Bulbeck:
LOL “woman from Merseyside.” Poor lassie gave her all to cause a ruckus but no dice. Not today!
In all seriousness, a violence-free election is a wonderful thing to behold, and rare, alas.
So if Scotland leave Great Britain, do they rename it “Good” Britain? @ Nick Bulbeck:
A book I have by a Christian duo, one author is a psychologist, IIRC, said she has noticed in her 15 – 20 years of practice, that the only husbands who come in with their wives for couples counseling, who bring up the Ephesians “wife submit to the spouse” thing, are the abusive, controlling, jerks, and they love to marshall that Bible verse to prove their position. That seems to be their favorite verse.
Christian women – at least from Baptist or evangelical backgrounds – are taught that codependent behaviors are what God or the Bible expects from them.
Being a “biblical woman” is defined, understood, and taught by many a Christian gender complementarian, to be about identical to codependency.
I know this was how my mother believed, and she taught me to believe it too. I was taught that being codependent (a total doormat) was what God demanded, wanted, and expected of me as a Christian female.
Also, other Christians – in their TV shows, sermons, radio shows, magazine articles – re-enforced this idea that being a proper Christian woman, and doing what the Bible says, means being a codependent (doormat).
And out comes all the usual verses to support that view – that women are to submit to men, let the husband make all the final, major decisions in a marriage, women are to be meek and passive, women are to not get their own needs met (that would be “selfish”), good Christian women only care about meeting the needs of others, etc etc.
Christians constantly misuse the Bible to tell women how good, godly Christian women “should” behave, and those behaviors almost always line up very neatly with codependency.
And codependency is not biblical; it’s turning man into an idol (deferring to what men want, rather than what God wants, and it’s usually done out of fear).
I’d also direct you to read this:
John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy
I’m not able to either, Eagle.
It would become Thin Britain.
“I don’t think, …, that the ‘role of women’ is really all that relevant to the subject at hand. Men who beat there wives or other women or children are not following any kind of biblical teaching, they do not care what the bible says on anything. Allowing that anyone can fall into sin and succumb to temptation, a lifetime of abusing others is about as indicative as it can get that the perpetrator is not a Christian.”
it is entirely relevant. Men who beat their wives in christian culture can indeed be following **biblical teaching — to be a christian man = being the leader, and its inferred corollaries:
*being “manly”, tough, warrior-like, figurative mesomorph = being the leader
*not being these things = emasculated, weak, insignificant, a disappointment to his peers, a disappointment to God
*not being these things = not being a bona fide christian
*not being these things = not being a real man
**[very erroneous biblical teaching]
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
It’s not limited to the hipster on stage with a guitar.
Some churches put on big, weird shows, like there was one church who put on a “Star Wars Easter” show about a year ago. The preacher dressed up like Luke Skywalker and did a whole play on the church stage with stormtroopers and R2-D2.
There was another church or two where the teens reenacted Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video during a church service. I think that was to fit the pastor’s sermon series on “fighting monsters.”
I like MJ’s “Thriller” video just fine, but a bunch of teens on stage at a church doing it was rather cheesy.
You can view one of the church MJ videos here:
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
IIRC, I think she said New York (east coast) and Calif. (west coast) were among the worst, but her group (Protect.org) got the laws changed for those states.
I believe she said there are still 30 states where exemptions are made if the abuser /rapist is a family member.
The same seems to be true in regards to domestic violence. Americans seem to regard crimes by strangers as being awful, like if a stranger rapes or beats a woman he’s never met before, they want to throw the book at him.
If, however, the woman is married to the guy (or has dated him), police and culture tend to give it a pass or not take it as seriously.
Even that is not as clear as you may think.
I’ll link you again to this page about it:
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Someone was suggesting the Union Jack would have to be redesigned if Scotland becomes independent. I just saw a page about it yesterday. I saw one article that said it would not have to change.
I was going to link you to that one I saw originally yesterday, but when I searched for that, up popped about five trillion other pages on that topic.
Here’s just one:
Scottish referendum: Future of Union Jack sets passion aflame
I really wish that story Paige Patterson told was fake. It seems unfathomable that anyone can really be that cruel to give that “advice” to an abuse victim and to be “glad” (he really said this!) that they were beaten.
(I do wonder if the ending, in which the husband was so contrite, was real.)
I bet, though, that if some man gave Paige Patterson two black eyes he would have called the police. You can bet he wouldn’t take his own “advice.”
Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:
The problem is, THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You don’t get to make those choices for her, or anyone else. Period.
I’m going to be very blunt with you. Someone(s) with your “clear” views is/are the reason I am no longer a Pastor in the SBC. I was not forced out but I believe I would have been had I not volunteered to leave. I know I am being very snarky for you but your clearness about women not being pastors is sb–I think the sb is clear enough to figure out what I meant clearly for you.
Excellent comment elastigirl. The oft touted ‘Biblical’ world view you’ve alluded to is not much more than 40-45 years old and almost exclusively American in origin. When I was a kid growing up in the Southeastern corner of Wisconsin I was a Lutheran. Oddly enough back then they also placed a high value on reason and common sense where Scripture is concerned and the uni-dimensional wooden literalism common amongst many Christian sects today was curiously absent.
Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:
Sounds like you have everything figured out for all the abused women out there, Senneca. Do you counsel at a shelter for abused women, being the expert you appear to be?
Regarding music styles, whether or not it falls under the category of “worship”, theatricallity, types of liturgy, etc., I really feel that’s outside of the scope of this discussion. Maybe even of the blog. Everyone has an opinion. The issues and tastes and background and theogy are so multivariable and flexible. Plus, I’m a writer, musician, playwright, worship leader, etc., so I won’t be very objective. I truly believe that musical styles are a tertiary issue at best, that the function of music in a service/worship/liturgy is a secondary issue at best, and we can all be friends regardless of our opinions on those. 🙂 <3
Excuse the double ‘n’ in your name please.
Hopefully, I fixed your comment as requested. 😉
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Thin? Looking at the map, it should probably be “Short Britain”
Your reasoning is the same type of reasoning that I would apply to any organization that I would belong to. If I disagreed vehemently enough about a particular topic, I would leave. I did this with Soverign Grace Ministries. My reasoning was because they did not apply biblical principles to their leadership team that were applied to church members. As we are now finding out, they also protected molesters at the highest levels.
You leaving the SBC was your decision. My question is didn’t you know that this was their position PRIOR to you becoming a pastor with them? If so, why did you join? If so, but your personal views changed, what were your reasons for changing your views?
One last question … are you sure you are not combining their stance on female pastors with HOW they treated women in other areas?
Thanks for pointing this out. Southern Baptists are wrong on this one also. I wonder more know than ever what is it that Southern Baptists are right about.
Just to give another view:
My aunt, member of a group I wouldn’t walk across the street to attend, had an abusive alcoholic husband.
It was her very fundamentalist church that encouraged her to leave, provided her with a safe haven and physically guarded her, and supported her and her five kids for many many years financially.
That group also believed that even though he divorced her and remarried, she was still bound to him. She shared their belief, but once she was free of him she remained blissfully happy and single the rest of her life.
It is possible to be extremely conservative and comp without encouraging the abuse of women.
Your triggering me way to much. You sound like the same heartless folks I had to deal with at the end of my Pastoring. You sound like it is a my way or the highway approach. I will not make time for you or others that are so clear about women. As Flo used to say to Mel on Mel’s Diner you can kiss my grits. My conversation with you is over.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Very – live and learn!
Interesting times in Great Britain…
One of the huge diffefrences between church and the courtroom is that in court we have the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Churches can take action without the need to have every point decided to such a certainty.
Holy cow Mot,
Talk about having a short fuse … I have nothing against you. I was just asking basic questions. It’s called conversation. I get that you don’t believe the same as me. That’s ok. Quite honestly I appreciate your openess in discussing the issue. If you want to stop the conversation, that’s fine. I obviously hit a tendor spot of yours in my questions. No need to answer. Take care.
I was referring to the removal, into a separate nation, of deep-fried Mars Bars, deep-fried pizza, and a disproportionate quantity of what is currently Great Britain’s dietary ill-health… not that there’s no ill-health daan saaf too!
They aren’t pure either. They like to pretend that they are, however.
Did you know that Wade Burleson has remained within the SBC with his decidedly non-complementarian POV?
But many complementarians would disagree with you. Tim Challies says women can’t read the Bible out loud in the pulpit. Wayne Grudem says women can’t teach boys after the reach middle school but they can teach infidel males in foreign countries. Some say women can’t be elders and some add deacons.
IMO, there is nothing clear about the matter since these guys seem to be quite clear on their POV. Yet, you are clear in yours as well. We have a full range of people out there, all of whom are quite clear on what the Bible is saying in the matter and everyone is disagreeing with everyone else. I find it rather amusing, I must confess.
“My one and only contention on the role of a woman is that it says that they should not teach or exercise authority over a man (1 Tim 2:16). I believe that women should be deacons, lead ministries, etc. I just believe that they are not called to be pastors”
what does “called” mean?
11 A woman[a] should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man;[b] she must be quiet
I should also be quiet? How does this work? I assume it is as clear to you as the other parts.
What is difficult for me and others we did not force our views on others-others forced their view of women on us. I could still be a pastor in the SBC if I would just have done two things as it related to my views-be quiet or lie about them. I was not allowed to be quiet and I chose not to lie.
But, even the great theologians, the NeoCalvinists, the Reformed (who are not Neo-Calvinists), the Presbys, etc. all agree that their interpretation is Biblical 100% of the time. The longer that i am at the game, the less clear I think things are.
I have come to the conclusion that God could have made it crystal clear right from the start-be it the age of the earth, the role of women, slavery, genocide, etc. It does not appear that He has done so because too many people who love God, study the Bible and want to get it right, deeply disagree.
Therefore, since I know God could make it clear yet it is not clear, I am left with trying to figure out why it isn’t perfectly clear. I am currently stuck with believing that perhaps some of these issues are not as important as we think they are.
One thing I do know-Jesus saves, God created, the Spirit is with us and He is coming again. We are to love everyone, care for the poor, downtrodden (which I believe are the abused) and hold our breaths as we race towards heaven.
And the SBC has chosen to focus on secondary issues which are most decidedly not clear because they are far easier to deal with than confronting your BFF who hid a pedophile in his church. It’s also so much more fun to point at sins of those outside of the church instead of pointing out the arrogance and authority nuts who are causing havoc in the church.
Today I talked with someone who was a member of John Piper’s church for awhile. Hoo boy, does she have stories to share. Talk about authority crazies….
Never, ever forget that CJ Mahaney and Mark Driscoll said they were called to the ministry. Boom!
I could tell you nice stories about Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard, Mark Driscoll, CJ Mahaney, Jack Schaap, Bob Jones, etc. As Ann Frank said “There is a little good in everybody.” Then again, she wasn’t Reformed!
1 comment not approved due to an extreme lack of sensitivity to the abused. Guess who?
Yup! And don’t wear your hair in braids, don’t wear gold or dresses! LOL
1Peter 3:3 Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses…
That’s pretty clear, right? /sarcasm
Let me clarify one thing. Slavery and racism are an important issues. I believe that these things can be overcome with a focus on God’s love for all humans whom He created.
But Christians throughout the ages accepted slavery and racism because it seemed like the Bible condoned these things. Some of these Christians were “celebrities” like Jonathan Edwards who held slaves. Can you imagine? Thankfully, we got smarter.
My daughter keeps telling me that silver is cooler anyway!
When the SBC was making an issue about women pastors there was not even 1% of women pastors out of all the 46,000 SB churches. IMO it was and is about control. Yea I am peeved about this issue and I am not inclined to be nice about it anymore.
As it happens, I am in a position to explain that, since the Lord has revealed it to me. *
The fulfilment of all God-given law is love; I don’t think that claim is particularly contentious. But if we all agreed intellectually, it would be easy to get along; to paraphrase Jesus, if you only love those whom it’s easy to get on with, how is that evidence of the transforming power of My kingship? I personally believe the Holy Spirit (who, contrary to popular opinion, is still here, and has always owned the Bible – not vice versa) actively leads people to different perspectives or vantage-points on many points of doctrine, that are primary to us but not to him, in pursuit of what he as always declared to be his highest goal: that we love one another.
* Translation: I’m completely up myself.
Nix the words nice and not nice. Being frank is a good thing– it is honesty minus the syrup as well as unnecessary meanness.
Well, silver is a better conductor of heat, and so might “feel” cooler when you first put it on. But it’s more complicated that that; gold has around half the specific heat capacity, but also around twice the density…
I’ll get my coat.
In a final piece of news before I go to bed, a YouGov exit poll indicates a narrow majority for the No campaign. Time will tell…
I agree. So is sexism an important issue. That’s why it bothers me when it’s referred to as a “secondary” issue. 🙁
Ignore the slaves, other races/ethnicities, and females and what’s left?
I think you missed the point of what I was getting at. Wife beating does not reflect a Christian culture, it is the very antithesis of Christianity. It isn’t biblical except in asmuch as that the bible itself condemns it. The opposite of submission is sacrificial love. Regardless of you view on submission is understood today, it could never be harmful if the person submitted to is laying down his life for you. Whatever ‘head’ means, it is not bully. Hopefully we would all be agreed on that!
Teaching women they are second-class citizens in the kingdom isn’t biblical.
But getting away from so-called complementarianism, I would argue again that habitual abusers are not Christians in the first place. That particularly in the States there are large numbers of unsaved churchgoers; religious yes, but still dead in trespasses and sins, who only do the works of the ‘flesh’. This is less so in Europe (possibly) because the nominals have largely given up attending. And of course I am talking in generalities, which is always dangerous! But it is one aspect to take into consideration.
Did you know that the inerrancy things was a red herring as well? They used both of these issues to attempt to lead people into a them versus us battle. It is always easier to fight a battle when you have the bogeyman. Patterson and Mohler did a great job defining the “bad guys.”
Funny thing about this- I happen to know that some of the leaders do not interpret inerrancy in the same way it is defined to the masses. “Those dad blasted liberals are trying to say out Bible is full of errors and is not true.” They knew this was not true but it made for a good war cry.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Wishing Scotland peace!
For those pastors left in the SBC they had better be careful about what they have to say, write, etc. about women, innerrancy, homosexuality, etc. or they will be put out also. You must tow the Party Line.
Boy did I make a botch of that answer! Not well said whatsoever. I just put myself in timeout and am emerging wiser!
Let me make a stab at this one more time. Let’s take the issue of slavery. Until the 1800s slaves were part of the landscape. Slavery was justified using the Bible. Racism-Jim Crow was enforced just a few decades ago. Interracial marriage was taboo,especially in the church which was decidedly segregated. This was justified by the Bible-in other words-very clear to the segregationists.
Now why didn’t God give us the Bible with rules-Racism is a sin; Slavery is sinful. In other words-why didn’t He say “Stop It Now!
Why did it take almost 1900 years to deal with slavery? Even today slavery is called by another name:human trafficking still exists. Thankfully, the church is jumping on board and saying it is bad and to Stop It!
As for sexism, we have men like Tim Challies who says it is against his church’s “policy” to let women read Scripture in the pulpit. I wonder if he would have let Mary say the Magnificat behind the pulpit? Would Wayne Grudem have told Mary to step aside when Jesus hit 11and stop teaching him anything?
Why did the church throw Galileo in jail for defying Scripture by saying the earth revolved around the sun in contradiction very clear Scripture?
In other words, not much is as clear as the Creation, the struggle of man, sin, Jesus and the Cross and Resurrection and the hope of the world to come.
Dee is slowly emerging from sitting in the corner….
Then there is Wade Burleson on the issue of women. So far, they haven’t booted him.
Jeff Crippen in his book, Cry for Justice, agrees with you.
I know that you have spent time on SGM Survivors, a blog that I admire immensely for the excellent support that it has given victims. On this blog, there are people who have been treated poorly by many, many churches- shunned, abused, kicked around-you get the picture. It is sometimes helpful to think of some of those you meet here as survivors as well.
Because slavery had been there for a lot longer than 1900 years. It was what was NORMAL since the first civilizations, and a fish doesn’t know it’s wet.
Abolishing slavery was what was “That’s Crazy Talk”, Abnormal and Unnatural.
Whoever somewhereintime is, their tone, etc. was beyond triggering for me. I’ve been through a lot as it relates to the issue they find so “clear” and what I’ve been going through is just a thimble’s full compared to some.
For some unknown reason, that triggered a flashback to some fantasy novels from my college days:
Michael Moorcock’s “Hawkmoon” series. (Remember that one, Nick?)
Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:
Sometimes women don’t realize that the guy is abusive until weeks or days into the marriage or relationship because the abuser hides his true nature, so it’s not necessarily a matter of the women “choosing unwisely.”
As explained in one volume I read about domestic abuse by a guy who had many years experience at counseling abusive husbands and boyfriends, he said a lot of men have a trigger point, and for a lot of them, that is marriage.
These men (the abusers) believe that the moment the women marries them, she becomes his property to do with as he pleases, which is why these men do not always show “warning signs” (or not the real “obvious” signs) while they are dating/engaged to the woman.
The author said it differs from abusive man to abusive man – some make the switch after the first time the couple has sex, while yet other abusers might consider the woman their property after the second date, still others, maybe after so many months of dating, but for a lot of men, it seems to be marriage.
You can’t blame the woman for any of that. Churches, via gender complementarianism teachings, actually set women up to date and marry abusive men.
Some Christian denominations and churches teach women that being a “biblical woman” means being codependent, which spans a lot of behaviors abusers and controllers find attractive, such as being submissive, letting the man make all or most of the choices, having little to no boundaries, a fear of saying “no” to people, etc.
Women are actually encouraged to make themselves into prime targets for abusive males (and abusive females) under Christian gender complementarian teachings (or plain old fashioned societal expectations of women), yet you are blaming the women for dating or marrying abusers, when I think that blame is unfair and misplaced.
You also remind me of Christian spokes-head Pat Robertson, who made the equally distasteful comment that women who marry abusers have the discernment of “slugs”
Pat Robertson berates woman for ungodly husband: You have ‘the discernment of a slug’
Let me share the WEIRDEST one I’ve ever seen footage of. It was on the Web, many years ago, and was said to be an actual Megachurch service:
The stage was set and dressed as a giant version of the Milton Bradley boardgame “Life”. I distinctly remember the big counter dial.
The “Worship Leader” was center stage in a red lobster fursuit, singing “Come Together” by the Beatles. “Singing” in the style of the infamous William Shatner cover of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”. As in —
“HE GOT HAIR! DOWN! BELOW! HIS KNEES!
HOLD YOU IN HIS ARMS! YOU CAN FEEL HIS DISEASE!
COME TOGETHER! RIGHT NOW! OVER ME!”
Said Shatner-singing lobster was backed up by two assistants, one on each side: a mime doing typical mime performance and a tap-dancing Strawberry Shortcake.
And at the end of the service/song/show/whatever, Lobster Boy got hooked on a fishing line and pulled up, disappearing into the stage loft.
I am NOT making that up. I have never been able to find the footage in years, but the blog where I saw it had some sort of confirmation/proof it was an actual Megachurch service. It’s the type of thing you tend to remember.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Are you sure that you didn’t eat something that didn’t agree with you, go to sleep, and have a terrible nightmare? It sounds really really awful…
1- that’s great but doesn’t seem to be the norm. Most churches, from what I’ve seen in books and blogs, encourage the woman to go back and endure more abuse, and give her lame-o advice like “submit to him more”.
2. I’m very conservative, but – no to the second part. Compism does encourage abuse, and provides rationalization of it among men already prone to abuse; it should be scrapped.
Complementarianism for women = codependency, and abusive men find codependency in a woman as alluring and attractive as moths find a flame, or sharks to blood in the ocean.
Did you ever read this page I linked you to before, twice above:
There is more than one way to interpret some Bible versions, and in a conservative way. The people at that site I linked you to are not flaming liberals.
You need to see my post to you in this same thread, here…
Ken, I get the overall jist of your point, but these abusers are people who do strongly identify as Christian and “biblical” ones at that, even if you don’t agree that’s what they are. I can personally testify that I know of the ‘submission’ verse being used to rape and force submission (with the ‘husbands love your wives’ etc bit following being conveniently ignored). I happily pulled their Bible down from the shelf and pointed out to the wife the entirety of Ephesians 5. She hadn’t seen it before. The same is done with Ephesians 6, where often “fathers don’t exasperate your children” seems to be conveniently missed.
Ken, I’ve moved out and away from this mode of thinking entirely so you won’t hear any “God said” or “The Bible said” from me, at all. But please be assured there are those within a Christian culture/environment (not lone wolves) who are forcing rape & beating their wives and children and who are using Biblical justification to do so and who strongly identify as Christian. Sorry for the long sentence.
If you wish to read further, these links below may convince you, if I can’t.
It gets even funnier (or sadder, depending on how you want to look at it).
Some men, who are normally quite staunch on the gender roles controversy, violate their own rules and beliefs on this very topic when it suits their fancy.
Julie Anne did a post about this a few months ago.
Some gender complementarian guy (was it preacher Tony Miano, maybe?) who says women shouldn’t preach or lead men in public, never- the- less attended a church where Joni Eareckson Tada (who is a lady Christian speaker and author) read from the Bible at the pulpit (and may have given a lecture of sorts? – my memory is hazy) – but Miano was fine with that.
Here you have a man who is opposed to Christian women leading or teaching men in public – he speaks out against it on his blog, books, and radio programs – but because his preacher buddy at some other church permitted Tada (a woman) to do so, he was fine with that.
Some complementarians cannot even remain consistent in when, if, to whom, or how they apply their own teachings about women.
This phrase made me laugh. I have to point out, the word ‘liberal’ in Australia has a very different history and meaning and is not used the same.
Sending a big virtual hug! Thanks for the excellent clarification, Dee!
With which paragraph do you disagree Bridg?
“I think you missed the point of what I was getting at. Wife beating does not reflect a Christian culture, it is the very antithesis of Christianity. It isn’t biblical ….
–very true. what I wanted to communicate was that the belief that the husband needs to lead the wife and wife needs to be lead by the husband in order to please God/be godly/not sin gives the husband license to be a benevolent dictator. Some men will err on the side of dictator, and wives are abused (physically or emotionally). you can embroider it all you want with words like “sacricial love” and “lay down his life for” (cold comfort for the one being subjugated — why don’t you try it). it does not change the fact that this belief system makes the husband the dictator.
“The opposite of submission is sacrificial love.”
–my thesaurus lists disagreement, rebellion, fight, resistance, and disobedience as antonyms for submission. Where did you get the idea that the opposite is “sacrificial love”?
“Teaching women they are second-class citizens in the kingdom isn’t biblical.”
—glad you agree with this. But this is the reality of comp/pat (dressed up in sweet and nice language)
“…I would argue again that habitual abusers are not Christians in the first place.”
–given time, I could come up with quite a list of people who qualify as heroes in christian culture, and who would also qualify as murderers, abusers, etc.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
That does sound very, very weird. All of it unrelated jumbled together elements – the furry Elmo-ish suits, the board game “Life,” the mimes. These churches do this stuff thinking it’s going to draw people in, but I think it repels people.
My sense of humor can go into slightly weird mode at times, but weird is not a quality I look for when church shopping.
I would love to see a video of that church service you’re recalling. I’d probably keep it bookmarked 😆
That is true. In that same book I mentioned above by the Christian duo (the lady half of the duo is a psychologist), she warns Christian women in a chapter about dating and marriage that even Christian men can be dangerous.
She warns Christian women that just because a man works as a preacher, carries a Bible under one arm, reads it every day, or attends church every week, does not mean he is safe, kind, loving, or compassionate.
She’s had men as clients who fit those descriptions, (and other, more “godly” sounding ones), who were self-professing Christians, who were abusive to their wives.
That phenomenon also keeps some women trapped longer in abusive marriages, by the way. The abusive man will appear to be godly, loving, and wonderful to everyone outside of the marriage, so nobody believes the wife when she goes to them begging for help, or to escape the husband.
Some of these men even fool the parents of the women they are married too! The parents can’t believe their nice, clean cut, loving son- in- law is abusive behind closed doors.
Daisy, you are so spot on. This is something I’ve questioned in others in the past, and until you have first-hand knowledge it can be very difficult to understand in others. When I’m able to, I often ask those who have had disastrous relationships how it started out. I had a fundamentalist male friend and it wasn’t until after ten years that I finally saw where his heart and beliefs really sat, and it was scary. He had kept that side hidden so well all along. Perhaps if he had been a boyfriend or husband I might have seen it sooner?
On charmers & con artists:
Another thing too, that I’ve read, is not only do some abusers hide their true nature until they feel comfortable letting it all hang out, but some abusers don’t unleash it all at once, but let it show slowly.
Sometimes, their abuse starts out gradual, and women sometime mistake the control as being flattering.
For example, a boyfriend may start out dictating to his girlfriend what he will and will not “permit” her to wear.
She at first may confuse this controlling and jealous behavior as, “Oh how flattering, he must really care about me to take an interest in my appearance, and I want to please my man, so if he prefers me in red pants and not green skirts, okay, I’ll make that change for my sweetie pie.”
After that stage, the guy will start adding more and more conditions on to the relationship (like dictating when and if she can have other friends, if she can leave the house and if so, for how long etc), and it may turn to physical or verbal abuse later.
By that time, the woman may not recognize that she’s being abused, because the man does not start out first thing punching her or beating her. He sets her up slowly to get to that point.
I guess this is sort of like the story of putting a frog in a pot of water on a stove and turning the heat up gradually, it takes the frog some time to catch on what’s happening and jump out.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I once had a Sco’ish sociology lecturer and didn’t get much lecture note writing happening because I was so soothed by the dulcet tones I didn’t take much of it in! LOVE both Scottish and Irish accents. And a few English ones to boot. Jordy? oooh, that’s a hard one. And I left out Wales. oops
That whole story doesn’t strike me as real. Anyone done a Snopes search?
@ Jeannette Altes:
Jeannette, when you need food or anything else, go to Catholic Charities or Catholic Social Services. No questions asked, no hoops to jump through. And no, you do not have to be Catholic. Or even Christian!
I’m not sure I want to respond and get anyone upset. I’ll pass. I know what it’s like to hurt.@ Daisy:
Your adorable blog queens have done you one better. We wrote about this story when we first started this blog back in 2009. Deb listened to the audio transcript(and played it for me) and recorded it word for word! We were concerned that the audio might disappear from the Internet. We are your Snopes!
Here is a link to the original post in which we called for PP’s resignation due to this incident. Yep- we started out blogging strong!
Catholic Homeschooler wrote:
When I was a Visiting Nurse, Catholic Charities was our go to group to help out in difficult circumstances. I am a great admirer.
@ senecagriggs yahoo:
My comment wasn’t about agreeing or disagreeing. I made an observation about what you said and asked you a question? If you don’t care to answer that’s fine, but I don’t appreciate (and don’t play the game) when people don’t respond to the specific questions posed to them, but they instead ask questions themselves.
I do feel some obligation to friends or acquaintances that before they go on a high speed road trip with a driver they don’t know all that well, that Deadman’s curve is up ahead, perhaps they should watch out for it.
That’s why I’d tell female friends or acquaintances that jumping into another relationship after being with Mr. Wrong is probably not the best move. In some circumstances I DO think its my moral obligation to give a warning. I haven’t always done so.
I wonder if “mot” might share his story.
“Complementarianism for women = codependency”
In my southern Baptist family it = my mother and grandmothers being self hating female slaves for loser, abuser, user, great grandfather, grandfather, and father. Did not like or respect any of them. Hated to see them come, loved to see them go.
My father demeaned and abused my mother, he took us to church three times a week, and read us the bible every night. He hated women, he hated teenage girls, he hated little girls, he hated toddler girls.
A great friend (and band-mate) of mine works for Catholic Charities. He is one of the most clearly and simply Christian people that I know. We have played at a couple of benefits for CC – good people all around.
Och Nick, it’s looking like nae way and thick Britain remains. The post-referendum analysis will be most interesting.
In the video clip, Pope Piper says “what kind of abuse are we dealing with here”. As if, AS IF any sort of abuse should be tolerated. The very meaning of the word allows for no situation in which it should be tolerated. I can hardly bear to listen to Piper ramble for more than 3 minutes. I see his mouth moving and I hear English words but he makes little to no sense. I am utterly flabbergasted that anyone would follow him.
This fills me with such deep sorrow! What happened to him? What could make a man that hateful? This is a broken man. So sad, so sad what he did to you, what he’s done to himself.
I love ‘girls’, women, from toddlers, my nieces, my sisters, to my wonderful and amazing 93 year-old mother. (As Nick might say, Ah’ve nae weans mahsel’)I have to honestly say, I simply can not get myself to a place of understanding how someone could hate ‘little girls’.
Nick has the luxury of sleep while we watch in trepidation! This is nerve wracking! And I am totally out of Scotch til I stock up next week when I am home. Why did I plan a trip back only six days after the vote? Good thing I am heading for the hills anyway!
I’ve heard Mr. Miano made an exception for Ms. Tada, but he refused to do so for Ms. Moore, Mr. Piper and company. Mr. Miano is no complementarian. He is a patriarchist to the hilt.
Catholic Homeschooler wrote:
True, that. Catholic Charities are the best, & they never try to drag you (kicking & screaming) into church of a Sunday, which is no small thing.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I think many of us today simply don’t realize how much of an evil slavery is because we aren’t confronted with it on a day-to-day basis. Probably the closest we get is the stories of sexual slavery we hear when women and children are rescued from same. Even so, it’s separated from us–we don’t live in those neighborhoods or those countries.
Yesterday I was reading a blog and it had a picture of three “classified” advertisements from a Tennessee newspaper in the 1850s. All of them advertised slaves. One of them advertised a “fancy girl.” I didn’t know what that meant. So I went and looked. It meant a slave woman who was sold for the purposes of prostitution. In other words, there were slave owners who owned women and prostituted them out and they had no problem advertising these human “wares” in a regular newspaper. That’s horrifying.
One of the longer and more detailed articles in Wikipedia is Treatment of Slaves in the United States. I read that after reading about “fancy girls” and it is not pleasant reading. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treatment_of_slaves_in_the_United_States In fact, it is downright wretched reading.
But there are still people out there who think that slavery wasn’t all that bad. A couple of weeks ago, the Economist (yes, that British magazine of business and economy) ran an unsigned review on its website criticizing Edward Baptist’s (yes, that’s his name) book “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism.” Part of the criticism of the book was and I quote: “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery; almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains — this is not history; it is advocacy.” Of course the Internet went crazy and the review was withdrawn after being severely mocked on Twitter and elsewhere. I think the lesson learned here is that we moderns really do not have an idea of what slavery truly means and this leads to incidents like the one I just mentioned.
I know, right ! I am totally entranced watching this. Survival tactic – well, you could head for the hills – or throw your kilt over your head!
Jonathan Edwards, an unrepentant owner of other human beings–slaves. He’s quite honored in this day, despite the fact that he owned people.
http://www.yaleslavery.org/WhoYaleHonors/je.html has more information about Edwards’ slaveholding (and notes that Yale’s earliest endowment came in part from slavery). It’s worth noting that Jonathan Edwards, Jr., his son, was an early abolitionist and wrote an abolitionist pamphlet in the Revolutionary War period. This was a time when being an abolitionist was still seen as crazy thought.
And the No vote wins. Scotland will remain part of the UK. I am glad that is the result but I understand the disappointment of those who hoped for a different result.
Agreed! And I’d add bemusing as well for myself. Y’all have to be so glad the real schism fights are over, no one’s pulling a Servetus on any other Christians anymore at least.
Are they not true Scotsmen either?
Hmm, Dee and Ken perhaps I misunderstood. Ken, I took your phrase that is the same one quoted by Dee as saying “true” Christians can’t also be abusers. Perhaps I’m missing some semantic difference here?
Albuquerque Blue wrote:
Speaking of which: Scotland has voted NO to independence, by around 55% to 45%. (One might say, given the wording of all the posters for the NO campaign, that Scotland has actually voted “NO THANKS”.)
At the time of writing (08:13 BST), results are in from 31 of Scotland’s 32 Council regions, the remaining one being the remote Highland region. However, the NO vote is around 400,000 ahead of the AYE vote, and the Highland electorate numbers around 191,000, so even an improbably high majority in favour of AYE fae the Highlands could not change the outcome.
As this was a referendum, rather than a parliamentary election, counting was divided into Council regions only for administrative convenience. That is, the result hinges not on a majority of seats but of votes cast. Thus far, there are 1,914,187 NO votes, with the “victory target” (i.e. 50% of the registered electorate) being 1,810,042. Overall turnout has been around 85% – surprisingly low, in fact, because early figures were suggesting turnout in excess of 95% in some areas. Nonetheless, 85% is still extraordinarily high, given that voter apathy has been taking hold throughout the UK in recent years.
I hope this is helpful.
You may be interested in the BBC results webpage.
No, he doesn’t. As I’m back into running following a minor achilles tendon problem, my insulin requirement has dropped and I’ve still to get the dose right. So my overnight blood sugar levels have been slightly low which has meant I’ve slept really badly.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Nick, you’re too young for that kind of issue. Makes me sad.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
Thanks for the referendum updates Nick, will dig in and read. Re: achilles, a bug bear of mine also. I purchased some of those little gel heat packs that you can press and start off a chemical heat reaction (how on earth do they work???) and I can stuff them down the back of my socks before exercise. Their portableness is really handy – I got mine for snowshoeing – when you drive for a while to get there, then have to get out of the car and head up a steep hill almost immediately. It’s an achilles killer without the heat packs. Well, that and doing step stretching beforehand also…
@Daisy, Barbara Roberts comments here about being deceived are also reflective of your comments (or vice versa) http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/09/17/dr-george-simon-on-the-ray-rice-affair/#comment-42075
I also found this helpful advice for discernment (have cut and pasted from the blog):
“In hindsight, I’d have asked questions probing deeper than just the “Are you a Christian” I’d been trained to ask. I mean, you meet someone at church, you ASSume they’re a Christian. If you even know, at that point, what that *means*. I didn’t, I’m discovering.
In hindsight, I’d have fully examined the structure and dynamics of my boyfriend’s immediate family before even thinking about marriage. (In reality we “decided” to marry on the second date and I didn’t meet his family until well after that decision had been made.) I’d study his father to see if he was entrenched in the patriocentric hierarchical man-is-king Biblical worldview making the rounds in today’s churches. I’d study his mother to see if she agreed with that mindset or just went along because the Bible says she should. I’d ask his mother’s mother if his mother was raised to just go along with what her husband suggests or demands. I’d study his siblings to see how they responded to whatever familial structure was employed in the home.”
Biblical scholars have been saying for a long time now that Paul did not write the pastoral epistles. And, that 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy were not written by the same person and we know that 3 Timothy did not make it into the canon. There is a wealth of information available on this. There is nothing really “new” about this since it was already “old news” when I was a child.
There is also nothing new about the fact that some things in scripture need some decision making as to what to believe about it. The early fathers argued a lot with folks with different opinions, and there is a whole line of ecumenical councils to hash out various things.
The idea that scripture is self-explanatory is not true. The idea that disparate ideas can somehow be twisted so that they “mean the same thing” is also not true, not matter how hard bible colleges and fundamentalists try to do it.
Check it out.
Although I’ve never been in an abusive marriage, your comment was of more than academic interest to me because it also describes the development of an abusive culture in certain church organisations (and probably other types of organisation too). It mirrors the church organisation that Lesley and I were thrown out of after we fell out with the CEO, which was similar in many respects to Mars Hill itself. At least insofar as it started small, vibrant and exciting, and small character flaws in the CEO were ignored or passed over because of his evident gifting and success in other areas.
The thing is that although many (perhaps most) abusers do escalate, it isn’t necessarily the case that they started out fully-formed with a master plan. Rather, their escalation happens because of a growing addiction to power and control, the steady loss of inhibition or such self-control as they may have, and the progressive realisation that they’re getting better at it and that their options for inflicting suffering on their victims are widening.
If that is the case, that would be important. It might offer some hope that, with better training and education throughout the church on the nature of abuse, more of it might be caught early on and – by one means or another – nipped in the bud.
Completely off topic, but in a sense responding to Nick and Haitch, here are two undercurrents from the Independence vote.
The first is Such a Parcel of argues in a Nation, written by Robert Burns,and published in 1791
Fareweel to a’ our Scottish fame,
Fareweel our ancient glory;
Fareweel ev’n to the Scottish name,
Sae fam’d in martial story.
Now Sark rins over Solway sands,
An’ Tweed rins to the ocean,
To mark where England’s province stands-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro’ many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor’s wages.
The English stell we could disdain,
Secure in valour’s station;
But English gold has been our bane-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
O would, or I had seen the day
That Treason thus could sell us,
My auld grey head had lien in clay,
Wi’ Bruce and loyal Wallace!
But pith and power, till my last hour,
I’ll mak this declaration;
We’re bought and sold for English gold-
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation!
The second is the Presbyterian view, expressed by the Free Church Continuing in their consideration of the matter. It is a lengthy document but offers a comprehensive view of the religious forces that have shaped Scotland, and helped shape the outcome of yesterday’s vote. You can read it here
But as a reminder of the temporality and transience of human aspiration, my evening Psalm last night closed the day with these words
“The God of Israel is He that giveth strength and power unto His people. Blessed be God” (68:35b).
*argues = rogues!
I read your post and it is a good one. I have an idea here that I want to bounce off your thinking.
You mentioned that a patriarchy type would “excuse” Joni Tada from the restrictions against preaching? teaching? I have noticed in the past that catholic nuns in the traditional habits they used to wear were allowed to be far more assertive and authoritative in some areas than women in other traditions. I think it may be about sex, not just gender. Neither seriously disabled women in wheel chairs nor nuns in traditional habits are presenting themselves as sex objects, even unintentionally. Maybe, just maybe, the great offense to some of the patriarchy crowd is that women would dare to be both sexual and assertive. Because some guys may be thinking “she makes me want her and then she tells me (or would/could) tell me “no” and I despise her for that and will not let her get away with that.” (The Great Rejection!) In other words, somebody thinking of sex as grab and throw and impregnate would perhaps not have wheelchairs and nuns at the top of the list for prospects. Then comes the defensive anger against women in general and the attempt to protect themselves against some really bad feelings they may have in this area.
I don’t know whether they would or not, Nancy, but your questions raise interesting points about the dynamics in those circles.
John Piper comes to mind here–his willingness to read a book written by a woman, but not to be taught in real time and space by an actual woman, because her femaleness would be in his face. Or something like that.
Patricia Hanlon wrote:
You are correct. He said that her female form would be forced upon him.
Piper said:”He said that her female form would be forced upon him.”
That is so pathetic on so many levels. Why don’t men like him just admit they are threatened by the awesome talent that God has given many women who simply wish to serve him.
“Piper said:”He said that her female form would be forced upon him.”
Is it ok for them to FORCE their male form on females? Piper is creepy.
One other thing and I will phase out of this line of discussion for now. The word is that there is a tremendous amount of sexual dysfunction out there. In a med school introductory class to psych (and that is pretty elementary) the professor said, rule of thumb, if there is a rocky marriage the rocks are usually under the mattress. From what I have read since then and what I have heard from folks over the years, I bet he was exactly right about that. Especially I think that in the comp fanatics. And, I am thinking, in the violence prone also. I do not think someone has to be diagnosable to have this problem, it seems to be pretty prevalent in the population from what I see. Just saying.
Tim, loved your list of Bible passages, but this one made me laugh out loud!
◾When Jesus said even the rocks would shout out praise to him, he meant only the boy rocks, right? (Luke 19:39-40.) At least in public?*
Piper is getting creepier by the day. If you follow his long time trajectory on what he has taught about women, roles, sex, his talks at True Woman Conferences then taking Sabbatical to “work on the garden of his marriage” after telling everyone else how to do marriage, his bizarre tweets focused on sex, women’s bodies, etc. Do people forget he was raised in a Bob Jones like environment? The older he gets the more this creepiness comes out. He needs a twitter intervention but who would dare it?
His influence with young men and women is astounding. He has hundreds of thousands of tweet followers and is practically worshiped by the Reformed/YRR movement. He has promoted both Doug Wilson and Mark Piper to a degree that surprised even me. And both of those men are extremely creepy/bizarre when it comes to women and sex.
With it all out there now, I am surprised more folks are not connecting the dots with Piper. Has it become their normal?
It HAS become the normal for many. They believe what Piper says because Piper is the one saying it(.) People stop thinking for themselves and go with whatever their current leader says. It’s easier that way, so they think, until one day they wake up and find themselves doing and saying things that don’t square with what Jesus taught nor with what they first knew and believed about God. I have been there. I have to think that many on this blog have been there with me in a sense.
My husband was emotionally abused by his ex-wife their entire marriage and the abuse continues today due to complicated custody arrangements regarding their teenage child. Its not just women who endure these horrors. My husband will probably be dealing with the ptsd for the rest of his life. Yesterday was extremely difficult because the ex has taught their child her tactics of manipulation and abuse and the two of them ganged up on my husband yesterday. They tried to pull me into it as well. Twelve hours later we finally found peace and quiet but my husband cried out in his dreams off and on all night. We have learned that simply leaving the marriage does not end the pain or trauma. Hubs has such a capacity to love but that leaves him open to the pain whereas I have hardened my heart a little. I don’t even know the point I am trying to make here as it is all so raw. If you know that a person, man or woman, has been an abuser do not enable the abuse. Do not let them tell you lies about the other person, do not let them involve you in custody matters, do not seek compromise. There is no compromise or middle ground when it comes to abuse. And if the abused person does remarry, please support the new spouse as well.
Wow, Mandy my heart goes out to you and your husband.
That anything like “The Bible Is True Because The Bible Says The Bible is True”?
If so, “Nya Ha Ha, My Dear Wormwood.”
Albuquerque Blue wrote:
That’s what “Taking Back America and Establishing a True Christian Nation(TM)” is for.
For thousands of years before Edwards, if you were a man of means you owned slaves or serfs. Slavery in the West was actually on the decline until a perfect storm came together:
1) The Renaissance caused a lot of fanboy imitation of “The Way The Greeks And Romans Did Things” — including slavery.
2) The New World opened up — all this unoccupied virgin land for colonization, and colonization requires a LOT of cheap labor.
3) Africa was already in the slave trade (to the Middle East), and this opened up a new market for them, too.
1) Like that ManaGAWD with his “Kirk” in Moscow, Idaho?
2) Slavery isn’t bad at all — if YOU’re the one Holding the Whip.
Just like my Sweet, Innocent, Polite, Wonderful brother growing up.
“Go ahead and squeal, Tattletale! Nobody will ever believe you! Because you’re the Crazy Kid and I’m the Sweet Little Angel!”
Successful sociopaths and successful abusers are masters at camouflaging what they really are. They not only groom the victim, but groom third parties as allies well in advance (sometimes years in advance) so the victim has NOBODY to go to; they all have been groomed to believe the abuser. All of them.
Thanks, Victoria. That was my favorite too, and as you saw in the linked post that gem came from one of my twitter friends.
I meant Victorious!
Seneca “j” Griggs wrote:
As Daisy and Barbara and others have pointed out, abusers often hide who they really are until after the marriage. A woman who has been fooled in this way is going to be doubly cautious about new relationships in the future.
It us true that some women have been multiple abusive relationships but they are not deliberating choosing these men; they are being chosen. An abusive man can spot a woman who has grown up in an abusive controlling environment and who has no self respect a mile away. These women do not recognize red flags. If a man I was dating told me I couldn’t, for example, wear my favorite color anymore, I would think he was a controlling jerk and not see him anymore. A woman from the abusive controlling family might think that this was an indication that he was seriously interested in her since he was treating her like her father treated her mother.
A few months ago I read one of the classic courting stories. A man in his mid-twenties approached a man in his church with a pretty teenage daughter. The father agreed that he could marry the daughter when she was of legal age, at which time he presented his decision to the girl as a fait accompli. Then, inexplicably, he had her dress in a wedding dress several nights in a row (maybe he was enjoying his dominance one last time), waiting for the date of the wedding which was not shared with her.
I hope that man was not an abuser because her father had certainly trained her to submit to one.
“With it all out there now, I am surprised more folks are not connecting the dots with Piper.”
They are scared of women escaping them, saying NO to them, there for they like John Piper.
My creepy loser father used misogyny of the bible to keep my self hating, little girl like mother trapped to him. An informed empowered women with self esteem and resources would have dumped my creepy loser father. It was critical for my little girl like mother to be well informed about female submission to husband were my father could do and say anything he wanted to her.
Women need to know abuser men see the bible and Christianity as a way to get a trapped, self hating, female slave. My father did not act anything like Jesus Christ, but he sure loved the bible, Christianity, and church.
I grew up with very negative feelings about church, god, the bible, Christian fathers and Christian husbands. I love my mother, but she is the most clueless person I have ever known. My sister says we did not have a mother, we had a sister, and not a big sister, a little sister. My father would not have liked being married to a grown woman. I don’t think any of these men would.
I was so sad to hear of this Mandy, especially the ongoing PTSD. I feel for you both. I spoke to an old school friend tonight, he has been divorced a few years now. Somehow we got onto the topic of domestic violence and he said he was the one who copped it. “Oh, but it wasn’t fists really, she would more scratch me”, he said. At one stage during an altercation in the backyard, the neighbours called the police. The police took it very seriously, and asked him if he wished to press charges against his wife. He didn’t, but if he had she would have been arrested on the spot and in the cells. I was really sorry to hear this, and I see in him a surfeit of shame and lack of confidence. Fortunately I see he is surrounded by good people who encourage him, and are giving him opportunities to get his career back on track. He has been able to keep a good relationship with his teenage daughter as it appears she wasn’t influenced by his ex-wife, and because he works a long distance away from home his daughter craves his company when he is around. So end result = not too bad, as it had the potential to be much more horrific.
Yes, they are not able to relate to whole fully human women. I see Piper’s comments on women as both infantilising combined with viewing them as sex objects. Not a healthy combination. I’ll leave it to the psychologists to draw further conclusions…
At Wed Sep 17, 2014 at 06:55 PM on the Quiz post comments I replied to your most recent comment there. Unfortunately I managed to address it to THC. I simply want to make sure you saw it.
Regarding your questions,
Ask your pastors, elders, deacons, etc. what their policy is when domestic abuse is reported to them.
Ask to see the resources the church uses in these circumstances.
Ask if they believe it is appropriate for an abused person to leave the home and/ or divorce.
Find out if they believe that abuse is a criminal matter and if they report it to the police.
Ask them to respond to Paige Patterson’s actions in the story at the start of this post.
Ask if they believe that the victim ever causes the abuse.
Ask if they believe the person should ever endure physical abuse.
Ask them to respond to Piper’s video or advice.
I think there needs to be a written uniform church policy regarding these questions because you may get different answers depending on who is asked, the individuals asked my change their minds, may leave the church or simply may forget what was said. I would put these questions in writing and present them to the church office. If the church refuses to put their responses in writing – then you have your answer; look elsewhere.
Predator recognizing Prey?
Great insight Nancy and this is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. I won’t go so far as to say that the idea of Scripture interpreting Scripture is altogether untrue, let’s just say that I believe it to be half true.
That sounds like Matthew Chapman and his wife Maranatha Owen. It’s actually a betrothal story, not a courtship story. Jonathan Lindvall who originally publicized it (see below) is careful to distinguish the two. Libby Anne has documented that Maranatha was only 13 when 26yo (!) Matthew first expressed interest in her. That’s just barely a teenager and definitely illegal. A restraining order would have been a much better solution than a betrothal.
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
You seem to mean well, but this is part of the problem. You’re basically wanting to tell the women in question what to do (“don’t date this guy” or, “don’t date right now”) – which is what abusive men do, as well.
These women allow other people to make choices for them, instead of deciding for themselves what is right for them.
There can be various reasons why women continually choose loser/abusive men, but one common reason is that the ladies are codependent.
One aspect of that is that these ladies never learned how to make decisions for themselves when they were younger. Women like this had decisions made for them by their parents, and weren’t encouraged to make their own.
In some families or churches, these young ladies grow up hearing that when they land a man, the man gets to make all the choices in the relationship (or at least major decisions).
(They are also encouraged to exhibit other codependent traits, such as, always put other people’s needs before your own.)
What happens is that these women float through life, never really knowing who they are and what they want, and they learn to take orders from people.
They become very passive. They don’t take initiative, they wait to be told what to do by other people. They never developed decision-making skills, for whatever reasons, as a kid and teen.
All of that is one reason why in some of the material I’ve read about domestic abuse, the authors sometimes advise you, if you have a woman friend who is in an abusive relationship, to refrain from telling her what to do.
It’s common for some friends in these situations to tell the woman, “You need to leave this guy,” or, “you should divorce him,” etc. The woman has to be allowed to make her own choice about it. She is already being told what to do and what choices to make all the time by her abusive husband. Nobody encourages her to think for herself and to consider what she wants and needs.
As a friend, you can give her sympathy and help with practical matters (such as offering to give her a ride to a shelter, etc.), but beyond that, she needs to come to the realization of her own that the guy is a no good bum and she needs to dump him.
A woman not ending up with loser after loser would require more than a friend giving her a well meaning warning about not dating immediately after dumping a bad boyfriend.
Some women who end up picking loser after a loser are genuinely mystified why they do it, they don’t understand it, until they go into therapy.
If your friend keeps dating abusers or losers, she probably needs to see a professional counselor, and I would highly recommend that she read several books on codependency and related topics.
Telling women not to get into “rebound relationships” is also rather cliched. Most women and men have already heard it may not be wise to date immediately after a break up, even if the break up was a generic, non violent one and the ex was not abusive.
My other, larger point is that women, especially Christian ones, are conditioned by evangelical culture and Christian gender complementarian views, to make themselves attractive to abusive men.
Then these women get blamed for being with abusers if they end up married to one. It’s quite perverse. The church sets these women up to fail, and when they do fail, blames them for it.
Guest, I’m very sorry for all that you endured and that your father was a misogynist. I saw some of your posts at Spiritual Sounding Board blog in the past. I cannot post over there under the name “Daisy” because that name was already taken. My name there is “Miss Daisy Flower.”
I can certainly appreciate how being mistreated in any way shape or form by someone who claims to be a Christian, who attends church weekly, and all the rest, can make you wary of trusting any one who identifies as Christian, and how it can influence how you view God.
I’ve had some of those issues, too, though I was not abused as you were. I’m still working my way through all this and not knowing what I think about God right now.
There are Christians who don’t have a low view of women. Some of them don’t go by any specific label, some do.
Some who have a high view of women, who challenge the gender complementarian position (the “equal in value, but not in role” malarky) call themselves egalitarians, and one of their sites is this one:
Interesting. The only thing he’s consistent about is being inconsistent, I suppose.
There is no rhyme or reason to gender complementarianism among these guys. They all have their specific quirks and rules on when, if, or how a woman may read, teach, or lead men, and then, even when some claim to have steady rules, they break them to make exceptions in one case but not in another.
This may neither be here nor there, but years ago, country singer Reba McEntire had a song about a mother who pimped her own daughter out. The girl’s name in the song was “Fancy.”
“Askin’ Mama what do I do
She said be nice to the gentlemen Fancy
And they’ll be nice to you”
Who is this Chapman couple?
I read the first link – What a disturbing read. It really creeped me out.
Thank you for the link.
Another thing I find unfair and ridiculous about blaming women for “choosing” abusers is that abusers fool everyone, not just the woman they marry.
The man will beat the woman up in private (verbally or physically), but every one at the church thinks he’s great, his in-laws think he’s swell, as does his employer.
In the story I gave you a link to earlier, Pat Robertson said a woman who married a Christian man who didn’t sound like a Christian, had the “discernment of a slug,” one of the things this man did was rip off his former church, according to the wife.
He bilked his former church out of thousands of dollars. (I’m assuming there were some men who were bilked as well, that this was not an all-woman church).
So, why is it that when an abuser or con-artist rips off a bunch of men (or men and women), that men such as Robertson don’t characterize those ripped-off men as being weak, easily deceived, doesn’t say they are to blame for being bamboozled, etc?
Some of these abusive, lying, con-artist men fool other men too, not just women, but the fooled men don’t end up with as many stereotypes as women.
If it’s the Maranatha Chapman story, it’s definitely creepy–both for the father and for the intended husband. Never did I thank God more for my dad than after reading that. I can’t even imagine someone coming after me to marry me at age 13. 0_o
@ Nick Bulbeck:
I had a similar experience at an office job I had. The new third-tier boss they hired after I had already been there a year did not start out right out of the gate being a bully, she warmed up to it, it was gradual.
In hind sight, I think that boss was quiet and passive the first few months she was new there, precisely because she was new, she was “feeling us out,” she was trying to assess who her biggest political threats were.
So, she kept her bully behavior in check until she felt familiar with all the personalities at work. Then the fun began.
Some of the stuff you discussed has been focused upon on secular feminist sites the last couple years.
Some of these sites regularly run stories about how a lot of men in secular culture feel entitled to grope women, to demand sex from women, their attention, smiles, dates, phone numbers, and some of them get very rude to extremely violent when a woman turns them down.
This also happens on dating sites. Some of these women take screen shots of the vitriol these spurned men spew on these dating applications.
If you read the whole exchange, you can see these men blow up and totally lose it – some with vulgarities, and/or threats of violence – and the woman (as you can see for yourself in the screen captures of the conversations) was perfectly polite from the start.
Some of these men get angry if the woman does not message them back in less than ten minutes. They demand and expect immediate response.
Like one lady said “hello” to one guy on a dating site on a Friday, but she lost her phone shortly there after, did not get it back until next Mon.
During that weekend, the guy assumed she was blowing him off, when she checked her account when she got her phone back on Monday, he had sent her a series of nasty, hateful messages for not returning messages all weekend long.
This kind of behavior is very common place. I experienced a little of it when I was on dating sites myself in my early 30s and later when I was in my mid 30s.
Two local, mainline, United Presbyterian Churches ( neither young nor restless ) had hired this pedophile despite the background checks they ran. They both say no red-flags appeared in the background checks. Boys and Girls club was also using him and he had a babysitting service. The YMCA had recently fired him but it didn’t show up in the background checks apparently.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
This reminded me. I wanted to add this to one of my last posts but forgot, it’s kind of related.
You have some Christian men who blame Christian women for marrying abusers. They think women should be able to spot that the guy is a creep while they’re dating, but if she doesn’t, it’s her fault if she marries one.
As I mentioned in another post, sometimes men get fooled by other jerky men, as you pointed out. You’re a guy, and your brother is a guy, and he suckered people all the time.
In another example, my father, who is no dummy, never realized that a guy at his church was a pedophile, until that information was published in a newspaper later.
Several years ago, my dad left a newspaper out on his kitchen table opened to a particular page, and I asked him about it. The paper was opened to a story about a local teacher who was found guilty of molesting several boys, ages 12 to about 14. I was like, “and you saved this story, why?”
My father said: “This guy attends my church every week. He has sat in front of me every church service the last two years. I shook his hand every Sunday.
The preacher and preacher’s wife are always speaking highly of him. They think he’s great and even kept trying to fix him up on dates with their daughter [or their niece, I forget]. But the newspaper says the police arrested him for fondling boys.”
And there you go. My father, who is a very smart, astute man, never picked up that “Church Guy” was also “Chester the Molester,” and neither did the preacher (who was a man) at the church. Men can be deceived by other men, too.
Yep. A million times that.
Not just fathers, but a lot of what is being pawned off on earnest Christian women (I was one) as what God expects of them by gender complementarians and preachers amounts to training these women to be future victims of con artists, controllers, manipulators, and abusers.
Also, it’s not limited to men. Over my life of being a submissive doormat (because I was taught that being that way was godly), and which made me so inviting to jerks and users, a fair number of mean, dishonest, abusive women mistreated me too, or took advantage of me. Women bullies and women users are also pretty adept at spotting which people make easier targets.
“twelve hours later we finally found peace and quiet but my husband cried out in his dreams off and on all night. We have learned that simply leaving the marriage does not end the pain or trauma.”
Mandy, I am so sorry.
Marriage is an enormous mixed bag. it can be wonderful, challenging, and horrific.
It is my belief that Christian culture romanticizes marriage to ridiculous and non-thinking degrees. “Authentic Christianity” hangs on marriage — if you’re separated, divorced, unhappy, un-lovey-dovey….. sorry, game over.
note to some Christian leaders: get your heads out of the spiritual clouds and quit offering the simple, non-thinking pat answers re: marriage.
Seneca, Haitch, elastigirl, thank you all for your kind words. I think that for those of us who have no experience with abuse, its easy to say “just leave your spouse, get a divorce”. We think that the divorce solves all of the problems. In reality, if there are children involved, all divorce does is keep the abuser and victim from sharing the same bed. The abuse will most likely continue. Chances are that at least one child will learn some of the tactics used by the abuser. I love my husband so much and I cannot fathom the pain he is enduring. The urge to protect and defend him is so strong but sometimes the best (and hardest) thing to do is to just be silent and rub his back. He doesn’t need me to fight his battles, just to support him during the battles. By remaining calm and regulated, he is better able to get back to that state.
I know a former church I attended had “Divorce Recovery” classes and Sunday School groups but now I wonder if they truly understand the trauma related to divorce. I hope and pray that they did not do more harm. Perhaps what is in greater need is “Learning to live with Trauma” groups, headed by therapists trained at secular institutions.
I just saw this story. I think the dog is a pug (based on photos I’ve seen on several sites). The dog, named Jersey, perished in the fire, the guy couldn’t save her.
Dog saves Brownstown Township family from house fire
“In my mind Jersey is my hero,” said Tom. “She saved me and my wife.”
“The couple is sharing their story in the hopes it saves others. Firefighters told them the fire started because they were using a surge protector.”
The articles said it’s dangerous to use a generator with a surge protector.
@Eagle – this has nothing to do with the current topic, but I was just on facebook and I noticed a curious advertisement on my page. It was for a new church in Clarksburg, and I thought maybe it was for the SGM church. But no, apparently Fairfax Community Church is planting a church in Clarksburg. Very interesting. I’m not looking for a church, but I’d rather go there any day than the SGM church. I guess this area of Montgomery County must be one of the most churched areas in the U.S.
I don’t know how you can’t not link the church/bible with what has happened to you. Even if your rational brain tries to work through it, I think it’s an incredibly difficult one. The imprinting of ‘earthly father is heavenly father’ is exceptionally strong. That’s why I find Piper’s words so gross, because of what he purports to be representing. Ugh. For a laugh once, when my flatmate and I were commiserating about the (in our opinion) low quality of Australian men (we’d both been badly let down) we came up with a phrase, “get a passport !” Meaning get out of the country in order to find a decent bloke. It did become quite funny. We’d be b**tching away, then suddenly yell out, “get a passport !” Or we’d make up a story about all the decent men being herded up and put on a remote island that hadn’t been drawn onto the maps yet. But they were out there – somewhere. So we would then have to go on a quest to find this mystical island and its men. Anyhow, sharing some silliness, and one coping mechanism…
@ senecagriggs yahoo:
Doesn’t mean we should stop using them, the subtext of your comment seems to be ‘so why use them?’I work with active child safeguarding daily & we know there is no perfect system, that while people crave to abuse they will use all the powers at their disposal to remain undetected – there is an element of irreducible risk. But, for cases like this there are many times when checks uncover horrible truths…. Sarah’s Law here is the UK, our equivalent of Megan’s Law I think, has outwitted over 700 paedophiles trying to gain access to children.
Our current systems are not perfect but they are better than nothing, & have & do save children from hideous crimes.
God grant us to get ever better ways of making sure people’s offences are tied to them & this information goes with them wherever they go.
I believe they’re betrothal proponents. I don’t have much info on them beyond that story. Apparently they speak at homeschool conferences sometimes.
Wouldn’t work, Haitch.
All the decent men on that mystical island would have already married all the decent women who were also herded up and put on the same remote island.
This is called “Salvation by Marriage Alone”.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
heh heh, that is such a HUG answer ! Now now, we can’t delete hope, even if it’s faraway…. BTW, in Indonesia, the answer you give if you are single is, “I’m not married – yet”.
Dear Haitch, I feel like I am an Asexual, but I find Australian men to be attractive. I am from Louisiana and most the women I know think Australian men irresistible.
@ Albuquerque Blue:
I appreciate saying habitual abusers cannot be real Christians looks like special pleading to get the church off the hook where abuse occurs within its ranks. Yet abuse, domination or manipulation or bullying are so against what Christianity is supposed to stand for I simply cannot believe such abusers, even if they go to church and say the right things, are in any meaningful sense Christians. They are what the bible calls false brethren, men of corrupt mind and counterfeit faith. Their lifestyle is the epitomy of self-love.
It’s a bit like a die-hard Republican in the US being in favour of open borders, more government spending, big cuts in the military and banning guns! It wouldn’t quite add up. 🙂
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
Actually, I would probably suggest they get some counsel/therapy to work through what they had experienced. It would be hard not to bring those experiences to the next relationship. It wouldn’t be good for anyone.
The man may have never been arrested or convicted of anything. He woukdn’t be in any system. These abusers can go for some time without being caught.
It’s the accent.
I figure they must have herded up all the decent men from Oz and all the decent women from California.
“Perhaps what is in greater need is “Learning to live with Trauma” groups, headed by therapists trained at secular institutions”
thanks for the interaction. just want to understand: are you saying “learning to live with trauma and the one who caused it”?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Dare I say it, we need another war in the Pacific, with this time the cashed-up Aussie troops rescuing the Yanks…
What can I say – dust off that passport ! (and don’t read Bill Bryson’s book on Oz) Confession – I’m partial to a bit of leggy Texan Lyle Lovett myself…
You are *so* right about Bill Bryson! I read that book and to this day am not sure why I finished it. Very superior and quite insulting to Aussies, imo.
I think Alex O’Loughlin and Eric Bana seem to be two of the nicer actors in Hollywood. Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, no thank you.
I don’t mind his dryness, but I couldn’t take it everyday. He was spot on with his Canberra description ! (he was joining in on the national pastime there, insulting Canberra)
Have you seen “The Oyster Farmer” ? He’s a bit of alright in that.
“Have you seen “The Oyster Farmer” ?”
I looked it up at IMDB, it is a bit risque for me, so I have not. He is adorable;)
The photos of Eric Bana paddle boarding with his daughter, too sweet.
Well I’d almost agree with you (and there did used to be such a thing as a Rockefeller Republican), but I think the Republicans would have to have 36K+ different parties making up the G.O.P. like the different versions and denominations make up Christians.
I’m still only seeing special pleading here Ken. And that’s fine, I’m interested in the what people believe and I appreciate you answering me. I think I get your perspective: People who act that way are so contrary to what a Christian is that by their very acts they disqualify themselves from being “True” Christians. As an outsider to Christianity I certainly have some disagreements with you here, but thank you for clarifying and expanding on your position. Cheers.
Eric Bana and his Ford XB Falcon Hardtop in “Love the Beast” – risque for how much rubber hits the road ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nASw2wlXoM0
Yes they can, an average of a hundred offences I think before detection. But where there is info, as with Ian Huntley & the Soham murders (UK), it must be readily available. It is a difficult & nasty facet of my job that I have to think the unthinkable about my team & keep a close eye, always ready to investigate anything (which I had to do recently). They all know if they were tempted to do something inappropriate but asked me for help, I would help. They also know if they offend I will have them prosecuted in the blink of an eye. I have also told my team how to go around me if they ever had concerns about my behaviour, or anyone more senior – they have their own clear access to safeguarding professionals without having to go through or inform me in any way.
Oh, I get the dryness,but I don’t understand why he’s so highly praised. There are far better books on Oz, with more genuine wit, than his, imo.
Mandy, one of my FB friends has gone through the same thing. Here’s a link to her blog: http://aubreycole2014.blogspot.com/
Thank you. That is a tremendous resource.
My sweet friend escaped an abusive marriage. She reached out to people in the church, and was greeted with silence. She shares her #whyistayed story here on her blogpost. http://womanbehindthecam.weebly.com/my-words/a-little-lesson-on-the-pathys
senecagriggs yahoo wrote:
I don’t think anyone at this blog assumes that only YRR pastors/ churches are capable of harboring or covering up child sexual abuse.
You seem more concerned with protecting the reputation of YRRs than that child sexual abuse is occuring.
Like some guy who chided me on another site when I posted a news article that a Baptist Calvinist preacher exposed his private parts to a teen girl in public. (The article and headline itself mentioned all that information.)
This guy left me a post scolding me, that I should not have mentioned the guy in the news story was Calvinist, and he wanted to point out that “not all Calvinists” are pervs.
No where in my comments about the news story did I imply or argue that all Calvinists are pervs who flash little girls.
He was more upset I was sharing information about a perv who happened to be a Calvinist Baptist preacher than that a kid was sexually abused by a self professing Christian.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Seriously, not only do a lot of evangelicals, Baptists, and others argue in some of their books and blogs that 1. one can only be sanctified via marriage and 2. one cannot not learn true self-less-ness apart from marriage and/or parenthood, but…
They equate marriage to full fledged adulthood. This is problematic, because people who never marry who are over the age of 30 are treated like children, or are suspected of being in arrested development.
As a Christian author mentioned on one site, this also contributes to the sexualization of teen aged girls, and may be playing a role in why some Christian ladies are into pre-marital sex.
Because evangelicals do not recognize a female as truly being a “woman” until she marries, if you’re, say, a 24 year old female, the only way you feel you can demonstrate and prove you are grown up (if you are un married) is to sexy sexify yourself, wear little skirts, stiletto heels, and start sleeping around with men.
Evangelicals need to recognize that people become adults regardless if they ever marry or not, or if they don’t marry until they are 35 year old or older.
But actual, honest to goodness Christian men can and do abuse their wives.
I take it you never read the posts I directed to you above, either?
Saying that “real” Christiais never abuse their wive reminds me of the lunk-heads who are in denial about things like mental health problems.
Despite the fact Christians can and do get clinical depression, you have un-helpful Christians who say, “Oh no, a ‘real’ Christian would never get depression.” Oh yes, they most certainly do.
Had two guys at one discernment sit years ago tell me since I had depression that I could not possibly be “truly saved.”
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Oh no, no no. I know this theory is popular with a lot of American men, but no.
I used to have a male co-worker who swore up and down that U.S. women dug British men because of the accent.
I don’t find all British guys hot just because of the accent. I’ve seen some who I find unattractive, despite the accent. The accent sounds suave and cool but cannot change the fact that the guy behind it looks like a buck toothed baked potato.
Do you know why soccer player David Beckham is hot? Because he’s hot. He could be mute. The accent plays no role in the hotness. He could stand there silent and still smolder with hotness.
Albuquerque Blue wrote:
I think the key is that understanding that a “real” Christian can be capable of acting in a vile manner, they are not obeying the teachings of Christ.
I don’t see the Bible endorsing a husband beating his wife- the Bible says a man should love his wife “like his own body” and be willing to lay down his life for her.
Whether the guy in question is a “real” Christian or not may be moot. IMO, the real heart of the issue is that the guy (who may be professing Christ) is acting contrary to what Christ taught.
To add a P.S. to my last post.
Christ did teach that not all who profess him are really his:
Jesus also gave a parable about seeds and soil, where he talked about how some people gladly follow him at first but give up later, and how false converts will spring up among true ones, etc., as is discussed here:
The Parable of the Sower / The Weeds
The “weeds” story starts out like this:
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.
25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.
26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
On a lighter note:
Sign seen on back of car full of vegetarians (apparently):
There is no “mad-tofu” disease.
Apparently there is…
Thankyou for your kind words. Thus armed, I can face the rest of the weekend.
I’m probably guilty of not reading many Australian travel guides. You might like this website, they have some great Indigenous resources http://redkangaroobooks.com/
At our local spouse abuse/rape crisis center, we also had the problem of the pastor who beat & raped his wife on a weekly basis…..and his (repeated) excuse was that he was “sorry” & wouldn’t do it again….Every. Single. Week.
Ooh, thanks muchly for that link!
I’ve yet to read a travel guide to Oz, but I’ve read some travel memoirs and quite a few novels set there. One of my favorites (though parts are very sad) is Matthew Kneale’s English Passengers, though I should be clear about its being largely concerned with Tasmania. I also liked Robyn Davison’s camel-trek memoir, Tracks, as well as Jill Ker Conway’s The Road to Coorain.
And I’ve liked a lot of theAussie films that I’ve seen, and am always on the lookout for good ones.
Am *very* interested in learning more about the culture and beliefs of indigenous people, though I realize that there’s a great deal of pain in all of it… As here, really.
Numo, the list is never-ending! Ker Conway’s and Mary Durack’s books have been on my ‘to read’ list for a long time. ‘Tracks’ the movie has just gone to DVD but I haven’t seen it yet. You might like books by Patsy Adam-Smith (Hear the Train Blow is her childhood memoir) and Sally Morgan (My Place). Wendy Lowenstein collected oral histories during the Depression, a working-class history published as, “Weevils in the Flour”, you just cry as you read it. Am nominating female authors, naturally. For more Indigenous material, check out the biography of the most interesting and unusual Olive Pink. More contemporary is Rod Moss, “The Hard Light of Day” (he has the artist edge), and his latest, “One Thousand Cuts”. I’ll save the Japanese historian/anthropologist Minoru Hokari who lived with the Gurindji people in the Northern Territory for someone else to introduce here: https://woollydays.wordpress.com/2014/02/ I think I bumped into him once at a petrol station in the middle of nowhere, both he and his bike were full of red dust. Ok, I stop now.
OK, I need to save your recs and put them on my to-read list. Many, many thanks!
I grabbed a copy of Tracks (the book) right after it came out, as I had devoured the National Geographic feature on her expedition and was very eager to know more. Her audacity in undertaking that long, dangerous crossing amazes me. I’m an armchair explorer, though part of me wishes (will always wish) for capital-a Adventures.
You rec’d Ten Canoes here last year, iirc… So keep those suggestions/names/titles coming!
Hi Daisy, thanks for your reply. I’m going to guess this is an ingroup belief thing, I still don’t see it as anything but special pleading. Though I think that may just be down to entirely different ways of identifying people as Christian.
What had sparked my comments were Ken’s about those who are or aren’t real Christians. You bring up what I agree is an important point though about the larger article. That should be a concern for Christians, and I think comments like yours and others here, and blogs like TWW and others are the seed crystals of real social pressure to start seeing those changes made. I wish you good luck in that.
Heh, hadn’t really heard the parable of the sower since way back in Sunday school. Had a pleasant flashback of arts and crafts at Awana or something based on that parable.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Doesn’t soy have naturally high amounts of aluminium? Someone with a biochemistry degree to help out here?
How about I drop you a list every now and then so as not to overwhelm you, I have lots of recommendations. You’ll just have to keep pace ! Link to some movies sorted firstly by country, then by director. http://electricshadowsbookshop.com.au/catalogues/rentalcatalogue.pdf I think highly of the two Inuit movies mentioned. I think two of the WORST movies ever made were Australian, Jindabyne, and Beautiful Kate (hoiks and spits on the ground = Haitch’s professional movie review).
I don’t have a biochemistry degree, but I can tell you that there have certainly been claims that soy beans tend to have unnaturally elevated levels of aluminium. This comes from the way they are processed after harvesting.
It is also claimed that they contain naturally high levels of other substances that are unhealthy for various reasons. I haven’t done any kind of wide trawl of the literature on this, so I’m initially sceptical about these claims – i.e., I have not personally seen enough evidence yet to jump on an anti-soybean bandwagon, but would accept the claims given more conclusive evidence. I rarely eat soy products anyway.
I hope this is helpful.
Albuquerque Blue wrote:
I think you are missing the point, here, but “the point” is getting obscured in the christianese terminology, so who would not miss the point.
The word “christian” is used in more than one way within “christianity” itself. One use of the term is cultural. One can self-identify as “christian” without actually believing that Jesus is Lord and Savior, whether or not they think that Jesus may have had some good things to say. In that sense one self identifies as “christian” rather than muslim or jewish or atheist or whatever. This is not unique to “christianity.” For example one of the guys in my med school class made sure that we knew he was both a Jew and an atheist, describing his jewishness as cultural which he wished to maintain.
Daisy has mentioned that Jesus was specific and clear that not everybody who went through the motions and said the right words (not everybody who says to me “Lord, Lord” ) was a part of the kingdom. Jesus was clear, IMO, that it is not what you say but rather what is actually in your heart, so to speak, that matters.
The other use of the term “christian” refers to those who do not simply go through the motions and say the right words but rather to those who have had their heart of stone (I am using biblical terminology) replaced with a heart of flesh. It is customary to refer to the latter as “true christians” though a better term might be “those who have been/are being actually transformed by the Spirit into new creations in Christ.” (All of this I am saying in what you would probably call in-house lingo, but it does not translate well into other terminology without losing something in the process.)
This is not the “true Scotsman” argument actually but it is an attempt to distinguish between two quite different meanings for the same word, and to differentiate between two quite different human states of being. Note, the term “christian” was not used by Jesus or the apostles as something one would become. It was a term applied by outsiders and it kind of stuck. The term probably means something quite different to non-believers than to believers, I am thinking.
When you said that acts disqualify somebody from being a “true” christian, that misses the point, since the use of the term “true christian” itself is being misused and does not occur in scripture nor is defined in creeds and such. And since “acts” are not the determining causal factor in who is or is not a believer (born of the Spirit) as Jesus called it. However, acts can be a sign and symptom (medical terms) which are indicative of what may be actually going on in somebody’s life. Not always. There is always mental illness or severe cultural deprivation or prior traumatic experiences or such, but acts (signs and symptoms) are all people have to go on since only God sees the heart (biblical again.) ” By their fruits you will know them” plays itself out not just in actions but mostly in attitudes (for want of a better word). Somebody can do what looks like all the right things (as in the statements by Jesus indicate) and still be unbelievers and “dead in trespasses and sins.”
I totally believe you when you say you want to understand how people think and what they believe. If we who are believers, however, attempt to be polite and kind and not cause offense we will never get to the heart of the matter as actually believed by believers, of whatever denominational ilk (mostly). The only way I know to say it is using biblical terminology, however, and thus the difficulties. A “true christian” (actual believer) is operating from totally different assumptions, beliefs and experiences than the “not a true christian.” Sometimes we can recognize each other and sometimes not, so a lot of us tend to operate from the position that if somebody calls themselves a christian they will be assumed to be believers unless and until proven otherwise, and even then we know we well may be mistaken either way.
Tares look a lot like wheat, so they say.
One more clarification, when I say “believers” I am not talking about a set of creedal statements (though we do believe those) but I mean those who have “seen” Jesus, as it were, and thrown in their lot with Him, win or lose, live or die, for better or worse.
Sorry for the confusion.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
If one omits beef and pork and chicken/turkey because of diseases and antibiotics and hormones, and one omits seafood (lots) because of mercury, and omits genetically modified fruits and veggies as well as anything non-organic, and omits tea/coffee/coke caffein, and all alcohol and omits water which may well be polluted including that out of the tap, and no citrus juice for stomach reasons, and certainly no sweeteners of any kind natural or synthetic, and no salt and no fats and extremely minimal carbs and obviously no mammal requires milk after the age of weaning, (and nobody forget the radioactive cabbage of a few decades ago) and on and on and on–does one not get terribly hungry, not to mention bored to tears? And, I might mention bankruptcy at the grocery store, if one lived long enough to get to the store.
We have a specialty store here in town where you can bet a box of organic mac with organic(?) cheese flavor seasoning (passes for mac and cheese) for about $10. I went in there the other day looking for sproutable mung beans, just for fun, and noted that the store was really huge with lots of customers paying those prices for grass fed this and organic that and such. Of course, the food bank of NW NC just got through trying to feed the 50+ percent of school age children classified as “food insecure” during the summer. So I went into the store and I thought, OK, I already knew where the jobs went and now I see where the money went, what a crying shame.
So, you pay your money and you place your bets. To each his own.
Hi Nancy, thanks for the detailed reply. I’m still not getting the differences you’re stating here but I think that this is a language (christianese)and basic perspective differences that may not be resolvable. C’est la vie
Well of course they didn’t call themselves Christian in the beginning, they probably called themselves Jews or something else in Aramaic, Koine Greek or Latin. But that’s a fairly accepted term and historically consistent to describe believers in the deity of Jesus Christ.
Yeah, that’s not something I can in any way judge. Because as an example I see and read Christian thought ranging from say Rachel Held Evans on one hand, and John Piper on the other, and on the gripping hand there’s Marcus Borg. And that’s just American Christians, who are my friends, family and neighbors in a similar wide ranging spectrum.
Yeah, there’s not much there I can speak to or use as an identifier as what a true Christian is. From the outside this just looks like an easy way to dump anyone who embarrasses the church or who ingroups don’t want to call fellow Christians. But hey, thanks for trying to explain further. I appreciate it.
@ Nick Bulbeck:
That wasn’t aimed at you in particular. Every nation has their share of people who resemble buck toothed potoats, including the United States. It’s amusing to me that I’m supposed to find every single British man attractive based on the accent.
I personally never found Prince Charles physically attractive, and he has the accent.
There are some good-looking British and Australian actors who have accents, but when they act in American movies, they adopt an American accent.
I don’t find these actors less attractive when I hear them speak as an American.
(Actually, I find it odd. I am so accustomed to hearing these men talk with their fake American accents on TV shows and movies, it’s jarring to hear them with their real life British or Aussie accents in interviews).
One other thought:
imo, people who identify themselves as “a Christian” are usually from evangelical, charismatic and/or Pentecostal backgrounds
– the rest of us just say either “Christian” or else whatever denom we’re in, like “I’m Catholic (Lutheran/Orthodox/Methodist/etc.).”
It’s an easy way to get past the jargon, or, at least, I kinda think so.
@ Haitch: Hah! I’ve heard/read that Jindabyne is atrocious, so I’ve never exatly gone out of my way to see it, nor do I plan on it.
One of THE worst-ever movies I’ve seen is called “Spitfire” – Katherine Hepburn starred, playing a Southern mountain girl named Trigger Hicks (?! yep, it’s true!) who was a faith healer. The plot concerns the Tennessee Valley Authority and its dam-building – Hepburn gets romantically involved with a TVA employee who’s married (but doesn’t tell her, of course). I really canNOT think of a worse candidate for that role than Hepburn, though then again, there’s Jodie Foster’s “Nell” (which I’ve avoided like the plague, so can’t give any informed commentary).
Like you, I’m a movie fan, and if I got going, I’d never stop!
@ Daisy: The thing is, there is no single “British accent.” We’ve been conditioned to think that there is by decades of BBC programs being broadcast on PBS, but if you check out the original “Upstairs, Downstairs” as well as more recent programs (like the rebooted Doctor Who), you’ll hear quite a variety of accents.
There’s the old BBC take on what a “cultured” English accent sounded like (as opposed to regional accents) vs. reality.
@ Daisy: The Beatles had Liverpudlian accents, btw, especially when the 1st came here – John Lennon went out of his way to make sure he retained his.
@ Albuquerque Blue: I hear you. Deciding who is a “true xtian” and who isn’t is way beyond my paygrade!
Equally jarring to me (ie Australian actors using poor American accents) is an American actor trying to do an Australian accent. It never quite gets there and we sound like hillbillys. I think audiences reeled when they saw Mission Impossible 2.
This is strictly imo, but there’s a ‘north Shore’ accent (ie Sydney north shore) that comes across as quite posh – enunciated vowels, different nasal intonations etc. It also seems to take in many of the private v.v. expensive schools. When I first heard it I thought they were ‘taking the p*ss’ and nearly burst out into raucous laughter. Then I realised they were indeed speaking seriously. Now, whenever I hear it, I have to bite my lip and look serious while laughing on the inside. It has strong class/pride/locality identification and faux linguistic snobbery always brings out my funny bone.
Ok, last question, Meryl Streep (with Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Doubt – what type of accent is she using there? I am intrigued.
Albuquerque Blue wrote:
Great comment. Let’s take a look at the Bible which is replete with stories about truly messed up people who God seemed to love. King David got a married woman pregnant and then killed her husband to cover it up. He also had wives and concubines. Yet Jesus was happy to be called the son of David and talked about David as well.
It is therefore reasonable to assume that Jesus knows David and is pleased to say he is a son of David! Can you imagine? For me, this boils down simply to the fact that we seem to be afflicted with terrible sin, even the supposed Biblical good guys.
Perhaps this points to the deep need for grace that we all have. Yes, there are some people who claim to be Christians who are not. The Bible tells us this is so. Where does one draw the line? I have absolutely no idea. I am with Numo on this one. That decision is best left in the one whose pay grade is way above mine.
All I know is that I will be in eternity with at least one guy who was an adulterer and murderer whose name was happily born by Jesus -the Son of David. One point to remember, David did this long after he began his relationship to God who helped him defeat a giant and raised him up to be a great king. So we can’t say he wasn’t a God follower when he did this heinous act.
This area is, to me, problematic. For centuries and centuries the catholic church has defined what is and what is not catholic. Protestantism has no such comparable system. So now just about anything and everything can be called “christian” perhaps because our secular civil rights include freedom of religion. So, I agree with having a secular nation with religious freedom, but at the same time I agree with those who have said that we suffer from “Americanism” in this country in relation to religion. I think we may have painted ourselves into a corner on this one.
BTW: I am thinking that the thing about David was not the issue of sin in his life, but the fact that he always worshiped YHWH as his god. He led Israel in that direction, did not follow the gods of the surrounding nations, and was true to YHWH as god through thick and thin to the death. He did not reject YHWH as god and god did not reject him because of his sins. (Unlike Saul who committed an act of blasphemy by offering a sacrifice instead of waiting for Samuel.)
Dee, you know I love you people. I just wanted to play a few ideas in this area.
Yes, I was aware there are regional differences, I was speaking in general terms, and most of the actors I had in mind sound pretty similar to one another.
If you watch a British show like “Keeping Up Appearances,” some of the accents from the various British characters sound different (to me). There is the upper class characters vs. the lower class ones, who all seem to sound a little different. The upper class people have more sophisticated sounded accents.
But I’ve read a few articles before that yes, there are regional differences with British accents.
I don’t hear as much variation from Aussies, though, but I don’t know if a native from that nation would say they exist.
That sounds similar to how some native Bostonians speak.
I saw an online joke about it. I found this funny picture about a year ago illustrating it:
I read some interesting article about how the middle of the road American accent gained popularity, or became ubiquitous, because most national newscasters used it decades ago. Or, it went something like that. It’s been a while since I read that article.
I can’t find the same article, but this big, long page on Wiki says it’s called “General American,” and has details of its history:
About that accent: I’m not surprised that it exists. 😉
About David, I pretty much agree. The books about him were written by people who thought he was great, but clearly *not* for his actions toward others so much as for the god he worshipped.
On the whole, David is superb problematic for me as well. He’s deeply flawed and often terribly cruel – in many ways like Henry VIII, who brought the Reformation to England solely because the pope wouldn’t give him an anullment, then proceeded to pillage the convents and monasteries, etc. Yet some praise him for being forward it honking on matters of religion. When it suited him, he was, is my take.
Btw, I don’t mean to suggest that I think the Bible isn’t divinely inspired, but haven’t been OK w/inerrancy for a good while. A lot of that is related to the way God is supposed to have mandated genocide in Joshua, but I digress!
Should read “super problematic” above.
This is making my point. If God considered him “the apple of his eye” in spite of his sin because he worshipped God without fail, then does the same apply to a jerky Christian?
As for Americanized Christianity, you are singing my song.
Should be forward thinking – I am real tired of what Android does to hyphenated phrases.
But was he a good man? There’s a disconnect there, for me, anyway.
that scripture, 1 Tim 2:16 says ‘over THE man’ not over “a” man. huge difference. it goes on to say that she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in the faith. it is clearly speaking of a wife exercising authority over her husband, not men in church. it has no bearing on whether women can be pastors. “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.1 Tim 2:12 (KJV)”
Simply that if you take who does what from Ephesians 5, the corresponding command to submit is not lead, take authority, dominate or anything like that, but love, which is defined in terms of nourishing and cherishing. There can be absolutely no excuse for anyone reading such meanings into the text itself. And yes, I do appreciate phrases like ‘sacrificial love’ can sound like so much sanctimonial hogwash if used as a cover for less savoury attitudes, indeed attitudes that are the precise opposite of love.
I’ve personally heard the ‘wise counsel of godly servant-leaders’ you need to submit to stuff from shepherding types, and it doesn’t always bear much relationship to the reality.
Well, at least I’m not alone. 😉
Good morning Daisy!
I’ve read the link in the other posts now, and I think this post very succinctly says what I would say on the ‘who is a real Christian’ issue. I would never imply Christians are marked by being totally sorted out – the NT gives the lie to that. The apostle Paul had to reprimand the Corinthians for lax morals amongst other things, but did not say they weren’t Christians. But they weren’t living up to their calling as saints.
Yet there must come a point where a life lived diametrically opposite to what the NT stands for proves an absence of real faith.
My kind of complementarianism does not involve subjugation or domination. It is not primarily about authority at all, I wouldn’t cast in such terms. If complementarianism only ever means treating a spouse as a second class citizen etc, then I am not complementarian! Care is needed in what we mean by this word. (Dreadful word really isn’t it!!)
The patriarchal complementarianism complained about here as enabling abuse does not find its origin in the bible, rather it is something imported from the surrounding society into the church. It’s not Christian in any sense.
That said, I would never argue that in working out biblical relationships (what the NT actually says about marriage and the church) Christians never make mistakes, lose the plot, do and say silly things. When genuine believers get it badly wrong, they are no longer happy with the situation, their conscience plagues them until they do something about it. This is why I think a man claiming to be a Christian could not indefinitely carry on abusing his wife.
I have given up thinking about most people in terms or good/bad. Why do I use the word most? because I believe there are some outright, through and through evil people out there: the serial killers, the Hitlers, etc.
I think the rest of us struggle: our lives look a lot like the Dow Jones average-variable but trending upward over time.
When I answered Nancy last night, I left out the hooker in my thinking that i am going to be in heaven with all sorts of people like David. (note to self: never answer when tired). When David was confronted by Nathan, he repented. Really repented-on his face on the ground repented. Deep and thorough repentance.
I think the key for David, and the rest of us, lies in his response. It is that type of response that is often lacking in abusers, pedophiles, etc. Its a quick-I’m sorry” accompanied with a few crocodile tears that prove they are not sorry.
I think those of us who know God get the need for forgiveness and repentance. There is a phenomenon that I witness all the time and that is the willingness of many people to offer forgiveness to the repentant individual. The old NY slogan “fuhgeddaboutit” is not a half bad way to respond.
Now, are there individuals who can pull the wool over our eyes and fake an apology and repentance. of course. And it is sometimes hard to tell who that might be. Time usually tells.
I admire people who go to serious lengths to prevent abusing again. People who struggle as pedophiles and want to stop will do everything in their power to stay away from kids. That is why I felt the pedophile in this story was not repentant. He moved back into the neighborhood in which he abused kids. (Although Dee and her friend intervened and he left his home after some righteous pressure.)
I do believe that there are many people who call themselves complementarians who are nice people and have good marriages devoid of abuse.
That said, I still do not think the majority of them can define what that looks like in day to day life in any comprehensive way. Frankly, it boils down to men as pastors and elders and nothing more. Within marriage, the so called submission/leader paradigm cannot be defined and many of the so called complementarian leaders have tried with subpar results. (See Wayne Grudem’s rules).
Tim Keller effectively let the cat out of the bag by saying that he and his wife are complementarian in theology and egalitarian in practice. In my opinion, game over.
I think where complementarianism loses the plot is where it says that this is God-ordained, because it basically disallows any egalitarianism in practice. If that is how God meant for things to go, then egalitarianism in practice is SIN in practice. Good fruits would not bear from a marriage that was egalitarian in practice. No good marriage would be egalitarian.
When someone says “I’m complementarian in theology but in practice I do these things that are essentially egalitarian” they are undermining their complementarian theology entirely, unless they follow it up with “And we repent of that every time we find ourselves falling into that dynamic.”
And they don’t say that, because egalitarian in practice IS effective, IS healthy. And they aren’t ready to admit this thing that would undermine all of their theology when it comes to power: that maybe God didn’t ordain *either* method but instead created each of us, regardless of gender, as individuals, and intended each couple to function in their own way because each member of that couple is a specific and discrete and purposefully designed creation, not a cookie-cutter. God knows each sparrow, surely when He puts two humans together for life, He means for them to fit one another. Otherwise, if the logical outcome of the comp system is correct, if men are men and women are women, we would have no reason to be married to THIS man or THIS woman. Instead, we’d all be equally happy and successful with ANY man or ANY woman, as long as she or he fulfills his or her God-ordained role. Interchangeable humans, that’s what comp theology leads to.
Totally get what you’re saying. But I’m coming at this from a slightly different angle (due especially to the violence of David and his military commanders).
And also because the question “Am I a good man?” has been raised repeatedly on the current season of Doctor Who. 😉
Daisy I would like to put forward the proposal that, despite being a very good man, DB can only be found attractive if he doesn’t speak. Of course I have a lovely British accent, so his doesn’t sound anything special to me. All I can hear is the pitch, which is natural, but sounds helium induced. Hope this helps.
There’s actually a name for this: ORTHOREXIA, “Correct Eating”.
Though St Thomas Aquinas would have called it “Gluttony of Delicacy”.
When you hear “Gluttony”, you think of Mr Creosote from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life. But these Orthorexics are just as much Gluttons as Mr Creosote; only flipped one-eighty. Eating still controls them and rules their lives, only it’s what they DON’T eat instead of how much they do.
“BTW which verse does the Bible give to disqualify women as pastors?”
I’ve just got to ask: Which verse does the Bible give to qualify men as pastors? I’m not aware of one.