“The abusive man’s high entitlement leads him to have unfair and unreasonable expectations, so that the relationship revolves around his demands. His attitude is: “You owe me.” For each ounce he gives, he wants a pound in return. He wants his partner to devote herself fully to catering to him, even if it means that her own needs—or her children’s—get neglected. You can pour all your energy into keeping your partner content, but if he has this mind-set, he’ll never be satisfied for long. And he will keep feeling that you are controlling him, because he doesn’t believe that you should set any limits on his conduct or insist that he meet his responsibilities.” ― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men link
I planned to write about the Nouthetic Counseling that Shauna received. However, our discussion was placed on the back burner yesterday when it was discovered that LBC Montgomery was planning to discuss the matter at an evening meeting. Shauna and I were concerned that they would attempt to hurt both and her Billy and we discussed how we handle this.
I then sent out some tweets warning folks that we would be listening in.Thankfully, I was told that Ken Ramey basically said that Billy was assaulted and the church tried to help her. Case closed. So, I need to have some discussions with Shauna regarding of the materials that she sent me. Hopefully I post about that on Wednesday.
In the meantime, a few months ago, Ruth Tucker, who has commented on this blog, sent me a copy of her new book titled, Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife: My Story of Finding Hope After Domestic Abuse. I had planned to write a post about the book in March. However, Nate Sparks (and he is one firebrand when it comes to abuse) contacted me and asked if I could post this interview that he did with Ruth. Ruth was pleased with his questions and was pleased that I would post it here.
I am so in awe of Ruth for transparently sharing her own experience of domestic abuse. Her own blog RuthTucker.com is amazing. I think you will find her resume quite impressive.
Birth Date: July 17, 1945
Married: John Worst (Professor of Music Emeritus, Calvin College), 3 children, 4 grandchildren
Church membership: LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids
B.A. 1967 (History) LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas
M.A. 1969 (American Studies) Baylor University, Waco, Texas
Ph.D. 1979 (History) Northern Illinois University, De Kalb, Illinois
- Associate Professor of Missiology, Calvin Theological Seminary, 2000-2006
- Visiting Professor, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1982-1999
- Adjunct Interim Professor, Calvin College, 1987-2000
- Adjunct Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary, Summers 1990, 1993
- Visiting Professor, Moffat College of Bible (Kijabe, Kenya), 1985-1989
- Instructor, Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, 1978-1987
From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions (Zondervan,983, Rev. Ed., 2004)
Daughters of the Church with Walter Liefeld (Zondervan, 1987)
First Ladies of the Parish: Historical Portraits of Pastors' Wives (Zondervan, 1988; 1992)
Guardians of the Great Commission: Women in Modern Missions (Zondervan,1988)
Christian Speakers Treasury (Harper & Row, 1989)
Another Gospel: Alternative Religions and the New Age Movement (Zondervan, 1989)
Stories of Faith (Zondervan, 1990)
Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality (InterVarsity, 1992)
Multiple Choices: Making Wise Decisions (Zondervan, 1992)
Family Album: Portraits of Family Life Through the Centuries (Victor, 1994)
Seasons of Motherhood (Victor, 1996)
Not Ashamed: The Story of Jews for Jesus (Multnomah, 1999)
Walking Away from Faith: Unraveling the Mystery of Belief and Unbelief (InterVarsity, 2002)
God Talk: Cautions for Those Who Hear the Voice of God (InterVarsity, 2005)
Left Behind in A Mega-Church World (Baker, 2006)
Leadership Reconsidered (Baker, 2008)
Parade of Faith (Zondervan, 2011)
Biographical Bible (Baker, 2013)
Dynamic Women of the Bible (Baker, 2014)
Extraordinary Women of Church History (Baker, 2016)
ARTICLES PUBLISHED in Christianity Today, Christian History, Missiology, Evangelical Missions Quarterly, The Banner, Church Herald and other periodicals.
SPEAKING includes women's retreats, mission conferences, and lectures at Bethel College, Indiana Wesleyan, Wheaton Graduate School, Whitworth College, Olivet Nazarene University, Tabor College, Messiah College, Seattle Pacific University, Bethel Seminary (San Diego), Asbury Seminary
Dr. Ruth Tucker has written a new book, Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife. I have already written a review here, but for those unfamiliar I want to be sure to stress: this is a must read book. Dr. Tucker has written a moving memoir, using her own story as a vehicle for promoting theological change in the evangelical church. After reading the book, I reached out to Dr. Tucker, and she was gracious enough to agree to a Q&A interview regarding the book. I want to thank her for her thoughtful and engaging answers. I think the reader will find her thoughts both inspiring and challenging.
- How would you sum up your personal story in just a few sentences? Why did you choose to tell your story at this point in your life?
A chance meeting of a charming young man at an upstate New York Island retreat led to a long distance love affair. Ignoring all the red flags, I accepted his marriage proposal less than six months later. During some twenty years of marriage his domineering demands, supported by the doctrine of male headship, spiraled into terrorizing threats and violent attacks. His rationale: I had provoked him.
I had to write the book. I simply had to. The moment I saw Ray Rice (on the television news) drag his unconscious fiancé out of an elevator, I vowed I would write my story.
- Some people may wonder why you would stay in such an abusive marriage for 19 years. How would you respond to them? I have often heard people say, “Why didn’t she just leave?” Can you give some insight into the factors that discourage women from leaving abusive spouses in Western culture?
Back in the 1980s before the Internet age, the idea of an evangelical minister beating up his wife was virtually unheard of. My husband was articulate, intelligent, charming, and I assumed (rightly, I think) that few people would believe me and in the process I would be terribly humiliated. But more than anything else, I feared he would get joint custody of our adolescent son. But when the terrorizing threats became unbearable—and when Carlton turned thirteen, we escaped and he was able to testify before a judge. I was awarded full custody. The custody issue may very well be the greatest fear-factor for abused women.
- Why did you wait so long to write this book—long after your marriage ended?
I had been asked to write this story some years before I did, but the dread of recounting this terrible aspect of my life always held me back. Even now I feel dread as the book is released.
- What do you mean by Black and White Bible? Aren’t we supposed to read the Bible literally—absolutes expressed in black and white? What’s the alternative?
I’ve never known anyone who reads the Bible literally—as much as they claim to do so. For example, Paul’s letters admonish women not to cut their hair, to wear head-coverings and not to adorn themselves with jewelry. It’s true there are some Mennonites and Amish who follow these proscriptions, but certainly not the wives of the men who today speak the loudest in support of the doctrine of male headship. These men say women cannot preach and teach—that they must be silent, quoting 1 Timothy 2, while at the same time ignoring a much longer passage in 1 Timothy 5 that lays out how widows should be cared for by the church. These preachers and bloggers are picking and choosing their passages.
Of course we all do that to some extent, but I think we can come to a better understanding of biblical teaching by looking at the big picture and the major themes of Scripture—particularly the teachings and practices of Jesus and Paul. We must pay close attention to the grand narratives, for example, those in the Hebrew Bible featuring the Patriarchs and their wives and Jesus and the woman at the well in the New Testament.
Do we sometimes interpret Scripture in light of present-day cultural norms? Sure we do—even as Paul did.
- You suggest that there is a relationship between domestic violence and the doctrine of male headship. What evidence do you have that so-called egalitarian marriages are any better?
The relationship between domestic violence and male headship would not exist if all husbands loved their wives as Christ loves the Church. But sinful human nature as it is can easily transform headship into domination and from there to domestic violence. A husband committed to equality in marriage may also become violent with his wife, but he has absolutely no doctrine of headship to fall back on. She provoked me simply doesn’t wash.
- Do you deal with the subject of wives abusing husbands? How common is that?
I touch on that matter, but the physically abusive wife is the exception not the rule, and therefore I don’t use the term spouse abuse. She may throw the dinner plates, but it’s unlikely that she could squeeze his arms so hard they turn black and blue and throw him against the kitchen counter and then onto the floor and kick him, as I suffered on many occasions. My ex-husband, at 6’2” was 8 inches taller than I and easily twice as strong. I didn’t stand a chance even if I had been inclined to go at it with my fists. That’s true across the board. A man who is the same height as a woman typically has 50% more upper body strength.
- In the book you discuss the phrase “legitimate rape”. Is there such a thing as “legitimate” rape? Did your ex-husband ever rape you?
The term legitimate rape entered our American lexicon with Todd Akin, a member of the US House of Representatives from Missouri. While it is true that not every single accusation of rape is the truth, “legitimate rape” is preposterous, whether in a marriage relationship or not. I discuss this issue in a chapter titled “Fifty Shades of Rape,” and that title illustrates how difficult it is to define rape. For instance, Is it rape when a young woman successfully stirs a strongly resisting young man to have sex?
Was I beat up by my ex-husband? Yes, but not as badly as many women who have suffered broken teeth and jaws and internal bleeding. Was I raped by my ex-husband? Yes, I experienced the awfulness of rape but not in a physically brutal manner as many women have endured.
- In the book, you state that you feel responsible for what happened to your foster daughter. Why do you blame yourself for the sexual abuse of your foster daughter?
I did not report my husband to law officers. I did not stand with my foster daughter; rather I arranged for her to leave our home.
- What do you hope to accomplish with this book? Who is your primary audience?
The audience I most desire to reach is the very influential segment of evangelicalism that supports the doctrine of male headship. I don’t expect to “convert” them in large numbers to the egalitarian position, but I do want them to reassess their position and how it plays out in practical terms. At the very end of the book I ask a series of questions. Here I will simplify in one question: Does the doctrine of male headship allow a husband to take the car keys or the cell phone away from his wife? It’s a very simple question and I believe that those who promote male headship must be forthcoming. A standard response is that no marriage should get to the point of fighting over phone or keys and if it does the husband must go to the male elders of the church. But that does not answer the question. What power and authority does the husband have over his wife? Keys, phone, I want an answer.
- You have devoted your career to discussing and advocating the equality of women in the Church. How does this book fit into this vision?
All of my books in one way or another relate to church history, women’s issues and biblical themes. In fact, I wrote the Bible—The Biographical Bible, that is—and a book on women in the Bible. Also Daughters of the Church (with Walter Liefeld) and Women in the Maze: Questions and Answers on Biblical Equality.
I’ve taught courses and delivered lectures at conferences on those same themes. But never in my wildest imagination did I think I would ever write a memoir that featured the most humiliating aspects of my personal life. It is a memoir, but it’s far more than that. I bring biblical issues to the fore as well as historical and contemporary matters. Saint Augustine, Martin Luther and John Calvin find their place right alongside contemporary figures.
- In the book, you discuss the use of ezer kenegdo in Genesis 2. How do you see this term mistreated in male-headship centered theologies?
At one point in the book I say that I know so well the biblical arguments for the doctrine of male headship that if assigned that side in a debate I might even prevail. I go on to say that the one claim I could not argue is that inequality is actually equality. Male headship proponents insist that women are equal but that all kinds of opportunities for leadership are denied them and that they don’t have equal decision making in the home. Plain and simple that is not equality no matter how you parse the terms.
I should have also added that I could not make the argument that ezer kenegdo in Genesis 2 in even a remote sense supports a wife’s submission or a husband’s headship. Claiming it does is nothing less than hermeneutical mischief. In the second account of creation in Genesis 2, God creates woman a “help meet” (KJV) or “helper suitable” for the man. It is downright dishonest to suggest that this term connotes subjugation. Time and again the term is used not only for God but also for strong men. King David, for example, is ezer to Israel (Psalm 70:5, Deuteronomy 33:29). There are plenty of other biblical passages I might use to argue against women’s equality, but surely not this one.
- Have you seen this video by John Piper?
Given your own experience of abuse, how would you respond to him?
John Piper is one of the contemporary figures who factors prominently in the book. Chapter 1 begins with a 1995 debate between the two of us at Pierce Chapel on the campus of Wheaton College. The topic was male headship vs. equality in marriage.
Whether you’re watching to the video or reading the transcript, you know immediately that this is vintage John Piper. He loves to put words of submission into the mouths of women. Thus Piper insists that if a husband wants his wife to engage in group sex, his wife should answer, “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. I think God calls me to do that, and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership.” Followed by, “But if you would ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can’t – I can’t go there.”
Some might wonder if he should have cut to the chase and edited down his words in the mouth of the woman to just two: “Hell, no!” because that attitude is how she must respond to abuse. Piper’s “honey” business is simply not appropriate in such situations.
- What advice would you have for anyone currently experiencing abuse?
In most cases, the church is of little help. When I consulted with my minister (who fully supported equality in marriage), he was very reluctant to get involved. He encouraged me to escape with my son, which I eventually did. Churches who promote the doctrine of male headship typically channel John Piper on the matter of physical abuse: “Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. . . .”
As I say in the book, the term abuse is very difficult to define when it comes to personal relationships. If the husband is nagging the wife about her lumpy gravy or her failure to lose weight after one more pregnancy, is that abuse? If he’s giving her the silent treatment or playing poker every night with his buddies, is that abuse? If the marriage is in trouble over such things, the couple should seek professional counseling together, and if the husband refuses, a wife might seek out a professional counselor or a good friend for advice on how to cope. But if there is physical violence, she must take a selfie for proof, begin a journal, consult an attorney and report to law enforcement.
- What advice would you have for someone whose spouse is verbally, emotionally and spiritually abusive, but has never been physically violent? When does one’s mental/emotional/spiritual well-being become just as important as their physical?
Actually, in my case, I would have preferred a beating to the terrorizing threats of my ex-husband. Knocking me against the kitchen counter and then onto the floor and kicking me tended to calm him down. But the terrorism remained in the air for days or weeks on end and kept me from sleeping at night.
Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse is not dependent on brute strength. It often goes both ways, and it often is sparked by strong differences of opinion, whether on religious, political, social or personal matters. One way to deal with such abuse is to talk with the spouse when things are calm and seek to avoid explosive topics. If that doesn’t work, I would suggest using a tape-recorder, then speak with a counselor and perhaps an attorney. No one–female or male–should live under such abuse.
15. What lessons would you want your reader to walk away with?
More than anything else I would want them to see that a marriage of equality between husband and wife is biblical and safer and more fulfilling than a marriage based on inequality.
**Cover Image from https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DQqbSCb82lo/VrzIDfkyvxI/AAAAAAAAEHw/FZHw7aa0Xk8/s1600/B%2526W.jpg**
For those interested, all of Dr. Tucker’s expansive library of work can be found here. For those not familiar with Dr. Tucker, you can read her rather impressive resume here.
Thanks for sharing this Dee. It’s an important book and I hope many, many people read it.
I’ve been seeing interviews with the author of this book online for the last couple of weeks.
The problem is with gender complementarianism, not just at times when complementarians feel that it’s been carried out imperfectly.
I am nipping that one in the bud right now, because I can totally see some complementarians coming into this thread to defend complementarianism and arguing that abusive husbands are “not true complementarians!”
In which case, here is this delightful link again:
John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy
Also, Ephesians 5:21 applies to husbands as well as to all other members of the body of Christ.
Then there is this:
“…the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife” (1 Corinthians 7:4-14)
Anyway, not only is the groundwork for abuse and sexism inherent in gender complementarianism itself (not just flawed manifestations of comp), but churches and preachers that believe in gender comp supply inadequate and dangerous advice to the abused wives who come to them seeking help or advice.
Very intelligent woman.
Thanks for posting.
But this is a guy who never uses one word when a dozen (with fluttering hands) will do. Only other guy I knew who did that really really liked to hear himself talk.
And SHE’s not going to reach them.
Because she’s female.
And that’s all that matters to them.
Regarding point 14:
A very good resource on that is the book:
The Verbally Abusive Relationship By Patricia Evans
(read chapters from that for free on Google Books here):
Consistently verbally abusive persons will never change. The dynamics with verbally or emotionally abusive relationships are similar to physically abusive relationships.
What I take away from that book on verbal abuse that I linked to – which I own a copy of and read it twice months ago – (and from articles online by other experts in the area)- is your only solution, really, is to kick the person out of your life totally, or else cut contact with him or her.
You cannot win over an abuser (whether verbal or physical) by being more nice to the abuser, being more submissive, trying to harder to understand his or her rage, etc.
Most Christians will encourage a person to stay in an abusive relationship, whether it’s a marriage, friendship, work place situation – which is a big disservice to that person.
So I would hope that anyone in an abusive relationship would ignore any Christian advice that is based on the idea that “you must stay in the relationship no matter what, and put up with it.”
Sadly, that constitutes about 99% of Christian writing I’ve seen on the subject matter, telling the abused person to stay and keep putting up with it.
Something about that reminded me of this page, which gets to a similar point about complementarian teachings and understanding about male headship:
Control: The Reason The Gospel Coalition and CBMW Cannot Actually Condemn Spousal Abuse
I don’t want to reproduce that author’s entire page, but here were a couple of what I felt were key points:
by Diary of an Autodidact blog:
Does God require that women obey men or not?
If your answer is yes, then what is the “solution” to the situation where a woman is unwilling to do what a man tells her?
Well, is he allowed to use physical “correction” to compel her to obey? (The answer for most of history was “yes,” incidentally.)
…At some point, if she does not cooperate, then some form of “physical, psychological, or emotional” pressure would need to be applied, right?
Otherwise, you have a rather uncomfortable impasse. She does not wish to obey, and he is convinced that she is living in sin for disobeying him.
Without a means of control, there is no “cure” for a lack of submission.
Less frivolously, I’ve skimmed very briefly down the page and one phrase jumped out.
Does that refer to some experiment wherein serial rapists were themselves raped in some manner, in an attempt to help them feel empathy for their victims? (It goes without saying that I’m clutching at straws here.)
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
There is a form of sexism and victim-blaming in the U.S.A., which is also practiced by some American Christian gender complementarians, who say that there is no such thing as marital rape.
They don’t believe it’s rape if a husband takes a wife sexually against the wife’s will.
Such people would say that “legitimate rape” consists of a virgin or chaste adult woman who was dressed modestly and walking about in broad daylight who was raped by a man she never met before. That is considered “legitimate rape.”
Marital rape was not made illegal in the U.S.A. until several decades ago, or more recent. I’d have to look that info up again.
The thinking in some American circles, including Christians, is that men are “owed” sex from their wives – it does not matter what the wife wants.
We also have other warped views about rape over here, like when Roman whats- his- face (hollywood director, last name Polkanski?? spelling??) raped a teen girl at his home years and years ago, and this case was discussed about what, ten years ago?, actress Whoopi Goldberg said on a TV show where she is co-host that such a case was not “rape rape” (legimiate rape), because the female somewhat consented to go to the dude’s house or get in his hot tube or whatever. Goldberg was partially blaming the girl for her own rape by whos-its, the movie director.
Some Americans still unfortunately buy into the false views that a victim is somehow to blame for her rape
– if she was wearing sexually alluring clothing at the time of the attack she was asking to be raped;
if the female victim was walking alone at night; attended a bar and had some booze;
went to a frat party and had a drink, if she did not yell or protest the sexual advances “enough,” etc.
I am a Republican, but I hate to say, some wacko male Republicans have weird ideas about this stuff. Another GOP (male) was just quoted about a week ago saying that women who are raped cannot get pregnant because they don’t want to – or some weird view like that.
To be a “legimiate rape” victim in the minds of some Americans, you cannot be a woman who has a sexual past. You cannot wear short skirts or walk alone anywhere at night, drink booze, or go to bars or parties.
“A husband committed to equality in marriage may also become violent with his wife, but he has absolutely no doctrine of headship to fall back on. She provoked me simply doesn’t wash.”
This is the only point with which I don’t quite agree. High-minded principles such as equality don’t safeguard against abuse. Hypocrites are out there. Abusers don’t look to philosophy and thereby restrain themselves. Yes, male headship both attracts and bolsters abusers, but an abusive “egalitarian” still feels provoked: You made me hit you! Any abuser worth his or her salt is adept at blaming the victim.
The Nouthetic crowd has their own book out:
“Our new book is now available – “The Abusive Wife”. . .recommended by Dr. Jay E. Adams”
Curiously, all the endorsers are male:
Nouthetic bigwig Jay Adams summarizes the book’s topic as: “Shrewish women and what the Bible says about them.”
Here is the author “Dr.” David Edgington’s mugshot for a domestic violence (assault) arrest several years ago:
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
To add to Daisy’s excellent rundown, there’s also a belief that we women just love to run down to the police station and report imaginary rapes. We do this because we enjoy suing comedians, sports idols, and movie stars. We also do this because we need a flimsy pretext to have an abortion. In this view, all women are greedy, lying trollops.
Recently a couple of teenage boys mentioned a local case of statutory rape, and I felt like I needed to sound them out. These boys are sweet and naive, not sexually active but very aware of girls. Unfortunately one of the boys said, “Well, most rape accusations are made up, and they let the guy go.” In other words, they reckoned they had nothing to worry about because rape doesn’t exist. This was my starting point to talk with them about consent, and sadly it grew out of the whole “legitimate rape” fiction. Amid such bad messages, I feel very sorry for boys and girls alike as they take their first halting steps toward romance.
What a terrible story. I’m so glad she finally escaped.
I would like to answer one question she posed about whether being ignored was abuse. I have never read that quote at the start of the article before but was completely thrown by it as a totally accurate description of my now-defunct non-violent marriage. My husband was that way due to appalling childhood abuse that he failed to address, leaving him stuck in a very early stage of emotional development (I believe) with a huge sense of entitlement as his needs were never met, and a terror and rejection of responsibility for any other person’s emotional needs. It was as real & as abusive as being physically starved to death.
I just looked this up out of curiosity, and was shocked. Only since 1993 have all states “withdrawn the marital rape exemptions.” And some states still treat it differently.
I took her comment to mean that it’s more difficult for a Christian abusive husband, who claims to adhere to gender egalitarianism, to have any biblical sounding grounds for it-
Whereas a lot of abusive Christian complementarian men love to quote “wives submit to your husband” and so on.
(Never mind such verses don’t mean what they think they mean, but such verses sound at first blush as though they support a husband ruling over his wife with an iron fist.)
I’m hard pressed to think of any Bible verses that egalitarians might like, that an egalitarian abuser can distort, to “biblically” defend his abuse of his wife, such as Galatians 3.28 (there is neither male nor female in Christ).
Even an egal like ToJo (Jones) had to make up weird stuff about “spiritual second marriages,” or whatever, to have some really flimsy, remotely sounding bible-y reason to cheat on his first wife and treat her like dirt.
This video (with an analogy) might be helpful for younger guys – though I am dumb founded that a concept as simple as consent is so incredibly misunderstood by so many males-
Consent and Tea
Well, obviously, I do realise the ubiquity and the antiquity of the standard excuses trotted out to legitimise rape. The straws whereat I was clutching was the notion of whether there might actually be such a thing as a genuinely legitimate rape IRL (as opposed to, in patriarchal fantasies). The example I gave was the best I could come up with, and even it – frankly – is nonsensical.
Aha! I had been thinking more of garden variety “egalitarians” who abuse, rather than religious ones. And thanks for the link about consent too.
Incidentally, marital rape was fully criminalised as late as 1991 here in the UK. That said, it wasn’t a change in the law as such, but a final closing of an unpleasant interpretational loophole of the existing law. The so-called “marital rights exemption” to the definition of statutory rape was removed by the House of Lords, the judgement stating that (among other things) “the fiction of implied consent has no useful purpose to serve today in the law of rape”. In fact, the Lords stated that the “marital rights exemption” had never properly been legal. Not even the European Court of Human Rights was subsequently willing to let marital rapists off the hook.
Was there a problem with using real names in the beginning of the post?
Glad this resource is out there. Very courageous of Dr. Tucker to share her story so boldly and address issues in the evangelical world that needs addressing!
It is not just Christian women that deal with these issues. I know of Christian men who have had to deal with cheating wives. The fear of losing custody of the children is very real for men, too. Plus, in this modern world, some women have financial power over men.
My point is that abuse is very much a two-way street–not that it is denied by the author, mind you–and men are conditioned not to show weakness as that would be shameful or “unmanly.” Hence, it is worth noting such a dynamic probably depresses reporting from men.
Does the doctrine of male headship allow a husband to take the car keys or the cell phone away from his wife? It’s a very simple question and I believe that those who promote male headship must be forthcoming. A standard response is that no marriage should get to the point of fighting over phone or keys and if it does the husband must go to the male elders of the church. But that does not answer the question. What power and authority does the husband have over his wife? Keys, phone, I want an answer.
This is a great question that will cause female subordinationists to squirm in their seats. And their answer – or obfuscation, or qualification – will be very telling indeed.
I’m curious about which states “treat it differently”.
The Piper video clip is strange, because Piper is a strange little guy. He provides rotten counsel to a wife who is being abused by her husband. He should not be counseling her to “endure for a season” and then ask the church to step in and discipline her husband. She needs to call 911, not her church … and definitely not Piper!! The is patriarchy at its worst. Women listening in to this: if you are trapped in a New Calvinist church, get the heck out of there and drag your sorry husband with you! Better to endure shunning for a season, than a lifetime of bondage to reformed theology with its aberrant belief and practice.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Ohio, Idaho, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. I’m not famIliar enough with them to see a connection.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Dang, and here I thought these fictions didn’t exist in Scotland. Herewith, following a brief trial, I find myself guilty of womansplaining. 😉
Some in the patriarchal movement openly recommend cutting up the credit cards of wives who will not cheerfully submit to their every whim. The more decent among them will squirm and obfuscate.
Preach it, brother Max!
“15. What lessons would you want your reader to walk away with?
More than anything else I would want them to see that a marriage of equality between husband and wife is biblical and safer and more fulfilling than a marriage based on inequality.”
This is an excellent point.
I’ve heard Pastor John MacArthur, my ex-NeoCalvinist/patriarchy-espousing pastor (a graduate of John MacArthur’s The Master’s Seminary, and the College, in California) say that they would not marry a couple unless the wife agreed to “obey” and to “submit” to her husband.
A man challenged me in a twitter duel months ago about “Christian vows” and did I accept them. So I researched the whole obey and submit thing. It turns out it comes from pagan Rome, was part of their marriage contract, isn’t even used in other Christian countries’ Christian marriage vows. So I challenged him back: Why have you adopted ancient, pagan Roman marriage contract laws into Biblical Christianity? He was flustered, blew up at me and said “I hadn’t answered the question”, and blocked me!
I don’t see any connection or pattern either. Not Union vs Confederate, not rural vs urban, no single region.
I think he just likes to hear his own voice.
Dobson (once of Focus On The Family) once wrote that abused wives “deliberately bait their husbands” into abusing them.
The credit card guys especially – their teaching really reduces women to being little children. They treat women as though women are toddlers. It’s so condescending (and sexist).
Oh my word.
If they are going to be consistent, their advice to men with abusive wives would have to consist of lots of victim-blaming bon mots, such as:
“What part did YOUR sin play in the abuse?,” “just be a better leader to your wife(*),”
“pray and have faith that the Lord will change her,” “divorce is not an option,”
“some men deliberately bait their wives into being abusive,” and
“It’s a husband’s duty to endure abuse from a wife for a season.”
* the flip side (given to abused wives): “Just submit more/ harder/ better to your husband”
You can’t make this stuff up.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
6 of those states have laws dating back to the era of their original founding as English colonies.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
In fact, some of those 6 states have statues on the books that are so antiquated as to be both unworkable and, mostly, forgotten.
“Some in the patriarchal movement openly recommend cutting up the credit cards of wives who will not cheerfully submit to their every whim.”
First off, kudos to Dr. Tucker for having the courage to write this book, I am sure it was not an easy task. I bought this book and two others of Dr. Tucker’s. It is my experience that there is no other issue that draws the ire of the patriarchal men so quickly as the egalitarian issue.
I hadn’t heard from a pastor of UCCD for nearly 3 years after I quit their church. They broke their silence when I poked fun at them for becoming egalitarian!
I mean no offense but Piper always gave me the heebie-jeebies even back in the day when I was buried hip deep in the industry. I’m not kidding my creep-dar went off the first time I saw him blathering on about something on a video I saw at a bible study and I mumbled “what a nut”. All those hand movements and well I can’t really put my finger on it. I hope that does not come across as too judgemental on my part.
Never actually heard Piper speak. I always learn something new here. Dr. Tucker shows us how this culture can be used to subjugate even educated & articulate women. Truly domestic violence can happen to anyone. Thanks for sharing. There is only one piece of advice missing. Call the police. Our jurisdiction has 0 tolerance for domestic abuse. The problem is exacerbated by the closed community that many of these churches are. There are no easy answers but women sharing their stories can inspire others to seek help. I have very little confidence that the men in these churches can be reached. If change comes, it will be from the women. I’ve said it before. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about complementarianism.
Todd Wilhelm wrote:
Yes! All the while claiming they are all about equality just different roles.
Great link. Good thing Challies caught that. Now there is a guy who made bank off Reformed. I remember when he was a basement blogger/web guy looking to make his mark.
At the beginning of our marriage my wife and I attended the church where the pastor’s wife had written the book “Me Obey Him”. Now 40+ years down the road we have seen the harm of such twisted thinking. I can still see the empty eyes of so many women who tried to follow that advice, only to realize too late that God doesn’t magically protect women from controlling husbands simply because they obeyed him.
My last sentence in the comment above should be “simply obeyed THEM”.
Bruce Warr, prof at SBTS, taught the same at Denton Bible Church back in 2009. It became the talk of the blogosphere. He said, “unsubmissive wives trigger the abuse”. Comments at Denny Burks blog were over 1000.
Of course, they ignore the problem that abusers don’t need triggers. They can make up their own as needed.
Yeah. Tony Jones could not paint Julie as unsubmissive. That would not fly with his audience/fans. Cab you imagine Rachel Held Evans supporting that? He had to turn Julue into a mental case he left his kids with while off doing ministry with his spiritual wife. Julie was the legal wife.
Rachel Held Evans was OK with Spiritual Wife and Julie being ruined, though. Just business.
That heebie-jeebie feeling one gets when under the influence of Piper is not judgment, it’s discernment. For the life of me, I don’t understand why so many young folks adore the Pied Piper. There’s something very spiritual going on in the New Calvinist movement … and it ain’t holy.
Velour, I keep praying for another movement within the New Calvinist movement … a radical movement of women who will rise up and proclaim “Wait a darn minute here!” I’ve visited New Calvinist churches in my area (SBC-YRR church plants) … it doesn’t take a spiritual giant, to discern the oppression on the faces of young women who are being forced to conform to patriarchy (or should I say, heresy). The Achilles heel of New Calvinism may very well be in the hands of women trapped in this mess. Thanks to TWW and other watchblogs for pointing out varied New Calvinist sins and the movement’s sinful leaders.
Ahhh yes, the good Dr. Ware. This New Calvinist SBC seminary professor also targets other age groups to plant aberrations in reformed theology. His book “Big Truths for Young Hearts” is designed to indoctrinate children. It was endorsed by Mark Driscoll and C.J. Mahaney, if that tells you anything. After reading Dr. Ware’s book, perhaps these young folks will grow up to read Driscoll’s porno marriage book and learn about child abuse in Mr. Mahaney’s ministry. The whole cast of New Calvinist characters give me the heebie-jeebies (to borrow from Brian’s upstream comment).
Thanks every one—Dee and Deb, Nate, and all of you who have responded.
Two issues I’d like to speak to. The first is my response to a short comment Becky made on Scot McKnight’s blog:
My publicist at Zondervan sent leading complementarians copies of the book several weeks ago. Not one has responded. I think they prefer to respond in very general terms, simply saying we oppose violence against women, but they don’t seem to want to interact on specific cases. In past years, at their invitations, I spoke at John Piper’s church (evening service) and Al Mohler’s Southern Seminary in Louisville as the featured speaker for a lecture series. In both cases I talked with the two men personally. Do either of them have a response to what I’ve written? I am eager to interact with either of them (and other complementarian bloggers) on the issue of domestic violence.
The second comment I have is that the weak responses against domestic violence is a broad cultural problem, not limited to complementarians. Years ago when Judge Carol Irons was gunned down in her courtroom chambers by her policeman ex-husband, he was charged only with manslaughter. Get this. For her murder, he was charged with manslaughter. He came into her chambers over noon hour, as I write in the book, and shot her dead. His excuse: he had provoked him. That kind of mentality is still around—–and it’s chilling.
Should be: SHE had provoked him
Uncle Dad wrote:
This is one of the best statements that I have heard on domestic violence and the church. Attempting to obey an abuser in order to receive God’s blessing which would mean that the abuser stops abusing is naive. It is asking for, and expecting, a miracle. It is akin to praying that God will heal a person’s diabetes and therefore he stops taking insulin.
God has given the diabetic a treatment for diabetes and that involves taking insulin. God has already given the woman means to stop the abuse and that means to leave the abuser. Abusers are inherently mentally ill and that illness does not have a pill. It involves years of work, assuming the abuser gives a hoot when many do not. They want someone to control.
Thank you for this comment. It caused me to do a lot of thinking this morning.
This is one of the reasons that I continuing go after authoritarianism in the church. Authority driven pastors are adept at appointing elders and other leaders who back him up. This usually involves circling the wagons and keeping members under wraps, believing that their pastor is somehow a *man of Gawd* and is always right.
This is evident to me in the Lakeside Bible Church with Ken Ramey and his capital *E* Elders. The roots of abuse in the church, be it domestic violence, child sex abuse, etc. are the same and you nailed it-a closed community.
@ Todd Wilhelm:
I just went back and reread that post. No matter how it evolved, the gospel™ boys got nervous when you pointed it out. Good for you!
This is a great comment. Would you mind if I sent it to Julie? I think it would encourage her.
@ Uncle Dad:
Ps-Your name reminds me of that song “I’m my own grandpa.”
Years and years ago I read Desiring God which, at the time, I thought was fine but not great. All was well until years later I began to hear that he has all sorts of bizarre beliefs including an aversion to muscular women. I then knew something was really off about this guy and have been shocked by how many people believe that his very utterances lead them to sanctification.
They have to strike back!
Do you know if these boys attend any of the Calvinista churches in the area?
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
How much did you drink?
So true, Max. Makes me think of Paul’s warning about this type of teaching:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. 2Tim. 4:3-4
Power, control, and entitlement tickles the ears evidently.
Dr. Ruth Tucker —— hats off to you, and GO GIRL!
My dad abused my mom for 27 years. He never abused my brother or me, but when my mom filed for divorce, he tried and failed to use us against her. My mom is legally blind without her eye glasses, and she is very shy. I’ve watched my dad slap her glasses off of her face, black her eyes, and bloody her nose on multiple occasions. I’ve seen him slap her, just because she didn’t bring him a cup of coffee fast enough. The last two or three years of their marriage, my was was extremely violent.
My dad isn’t the same man, now. After the divorce, he shacked up, for 4 years, with a real pistol of a woman, 17 years his junior. When he tried to mess with her, she dished it back out to him, in spades! Both of my parents learned from her. My parents are living together now. My mom refuses to remarry. She wants to be able to walk away at will with no legal or financial ramifications. She still owns her own house and her own truck. She can dish it back a little, now. My brother and I are now full grown adults and, hey, the truth is the truth. Our dad knows we will call him out on his behavior.
I don’t know where my dad’s abusive nature came from (maybe the company he kept?). I was very close to my grandparents (there was only a corn field between our houses, so if I wasn’t sick or in school, I was with my grandparents), and they were not at all that way.
I had a bad week last week, a bad weekend, and so far, I’m having a bad week this week — I’m not in a generous mood right now. So, if you know any of these jokers that need to have their ears tickled this week, just send ’em my way and I will tickle their ears physically. I won’t do it with a feather, either. …….. got me a spool of barbed wire out in the shed ……..
I agree . . . ‘strange’ is a good word for this person. The more I see of his brand of ‘male headship’, the more I think that it is male bullship.
Why do these guys have to live in my county?
Also, it looks like the criminal case for Edgington was dismissed from the Phoenix municipal court.
Piperism is indeed a strange phenomena … very strange when you consider the number of Millineals and Generation-Xers who wait anxiously for the next Piper Point to hit Twitter. Piperites ought to be looking at this guy as a weird uncle, rather than a living icon of faith. If they really “desired God”, they would focus more on Jesus than Piper and get delivered from his spell.
I will do whatever I can to encourage Julie. Wish I could afford the meanest junkyard attorney for her!
It is obvious why they work so hard to keep Mahaney as a viable guru. His name is forever associated and linked with them through endorsements, book forwards, video appearances, etc.
Ware is the father in law of Owen Strachan of CBMW. Grooming the next generation of entitled authoritarians.
I’m sorry you’re having such a bad time, Nancy2. I fully understand the “barbed wire” reaction to those who feel entitled to exert power and control over others. Your post about your father brought back memories of mine although he never hit me. He just humiliated me with his “you’re so stupid” or “you’re disgusting” looks. I spent years trying to win his approval. On his death bed he called for me to ask my forgiveness.
I don’t think people recognize how abusive and devastating dirty looks can be to one’s perception of him/her self. To this day I react badly to what feels like humiliation directed my way….even in jest sometimes.
Anyway, I hope the rest of your week finds happy circumstances coming your way!
I have the book, Women in the Maze by Ruth Tucker written long ago.
One of the most important aspects of her speaking up is dealing with the cliche of the abused wife. Ruth was educated and able. The reasons women stay silent run very deep and wide. It is our job to address these so that women we come across can know they are not alone and we get it.
I don’t know if the women can change these (rabid) NeoCalvinist churches who remain intractable. It seems the only solution is to vote with your feet and your wallet and leave.
Years ago, at celebration, a sovereign grace conference, John Piper was the speaker. I didn’t like him but not sure exactly why. When he mentioned masturbation, that was it for me. Of course mostly everyone was ecstatic about him.
These conferences, I think, were where CJ got the bug for them. He learned the craft. I’m so sorry that I was ever part of this horror.
We were made to go to these things, another one was a marriage retreat where some guy blamed the wife for her husband hitting her. I remember being baffled by that. And realized that trouble was brewing. I still stayed and blamed myself for the troubles in my marriage. I started thinking that death was my only hope. That’s some of the fruit of that kind of teaching. And CJ is instilling it still. It’s heartbreaking.
A BIG AMEN (to Max’s comment) from Potter too!
Isn’t it funny that when they can’t engage on real substance with any real discourse they always drop back and punt so to speak?
You sacked the guy in plain sports-speak Velour, and bruised his ego good & proper!
Yes, and take a bunch of other women with you! Husbands/boy friends will follow when they get lonely and hungry. Theology fades into the background on an empty stomach (men think they have to eat every day!).
Nick, where the phrase came from in recent US culture was a marvelous nexus of sex, politics, and religion. (Yes, I’m being snarky.)
Todd Akin, a politician from Missouri was running for the US Senate (as a pro-life conservative). Hanging in the balance was control of the Senate by conservatives or liberals. Akin, in trying to explain his belief that abortion is wrong even in cases of rape, put forth the idea that doctors had indicated rape is medically unlikely to result in pregnancy (but that was not even essential to his point). He did use the phrase “legitimate rape.” I took it to mean he was referring to cases that were “actually” rape (as opposed to cases where a women consented to sex but later regretted her choice), but if that’s what he meant, he was not given a chance to explain amongst the metaphorical cacophony of shouts that he was some misogynistic Neanderthal. At that point, he had become a political liability, and his own party turned against him.
So, the backdrop politically speaking and as characterized by the left, is that the right is waging a “war on women.” This label can apply to anyone on the right who is pro-life or who believes that companies should not have to provide birth control in their healthcare plans if it is against the religious beliefs of the company owners.
It was a cringe-worthy moment that detracted from the fact that well over 90% of abortions in the US are NOT in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Pingback: Linkathon! | PhoenixPreacher
The Pied Piper plays his flute, and the disease infested rats follow him ………..
And since these same “toddlers” are supposed to offer themselves up (even when puking their guts from morning sickness, chuckle, chuckle) any & every time Comp-Hubby gets those URRGES in his AAAREAS, I am surprised we haven’t heard of MORE Pedo scandals out of this movement.
“Just like Lysistrata, Except Christian!”
(“Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy…”)
Yes… How Muscular Women(TM) are ungodly and immoral because “Masculine Musculature on a woman can beget unnatural arousal in a man.”
That’s when I first bookmarked the Youtube addy of Josie Cotton’s “Johnny, are you Queer?”
I can’t see his name without reading it as “Bruce WAYNE”…
@ bonnie knox:
Yes, and more. Here is a link.
This Wiki article traces the idea back to 1972 when some OB/GYN professor published the concept and the alleged reasons for the concept. He was mistaken of course, but he was not the first one to think that. I heard that idea when I was in school, either in nurses training in mid fifties or else in med school in the early sixties, I can’t remember which. I am thinking that med school with all those guys was the more likely place for the question to have been raised, but I can’t swear to it. Anyhow it is an old wives tale from who knows how far back.
I find it inexcusable that pro-life people do not inform themselves better than that.
I don’t get John Piper at all. Why, when he is asked about abuse, does his mind jump to group sex?
Secondly, if a wife is fulfilling her role as the helper God created her to be, wouldn’t she say, “Honey, you are wrong about this and you need to repent right now”?
Thirdly, he did finally say, yes, go and get yourself hit one more time. Which is mind-boggling and unforgivable for a pastor to say that.
Lastly, he doesn’t get that there is no safe place “in the church” for a woman whose husband is in church leadership, much less the pastor.
They do not. All are soft-hearted and naive, with moderate Christian beliefs, and all have close platonic friends who are girls. I truly can’t imagine any of them harming a girl.
Sex is beyond them, and rape is way past their comprehension. Their ignorance about rape also comes from the news: a big story about a rape allegation (Bill Cosby et al.), followed by public blaming of the victim. False stories (such as the University of Virginia case in Rolling Stone) tend to reinforce the stereotypes.
The local statutory rape case involved a middle-aged man and a young teen girl who “loved” him. To explain the lack of consent to the boys, I compared it to the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State. Believe me, that got their attention. Beyond this, I try to provide a certain type of example to them: I’m nice, but don’t trifle with me.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
From a legal perspective, there have been attempts to justify ‘legitimate rape’ but I can’t think of a single application where it may be ‘legitimate’ whether medically or state-sponsored (eg torture).
Rape victims can describe the court process as re-traumatising and sometimes as if the rape had occurred again.
This link discusses some of the disappointing judicial and political responses:
The article also provided this comparison between India and the United States: (nb the statistics derive from REPORTED data)
“India has been described the ‘rape capital’ of the world. It may well be so if we estimate unreported sexual violations. But rape remains a worldwide tragedy, with education necessary, taboos that need to be shattered, and justice systems in need of understanding in how better to respond.
In fact, in terms of reported data, it is the United States with possibly the highest rates of rape and sexual violations of women. India’s National Crime Record Bureau reports a 7.1 per cent increase since 2010, with one in three rape victims aged under 18 years, and one in ten aged under 14 years. But in terms of reported rapes India ranks third in the world.
For 2011, India had 24,206 rapes reported. India is a nation of more than 1.3 billion people.
For 2011, the United States had 83,425 rapes reported. The United States is a nation of 300 million people.
With India, there is a rape reported every 21 minutes, but with the United States there is a rape reported every 6 minutes.
In reading reports of vile gang rapes throughout the United States, apparently a much more common occurrence than in India, education has a long way to go to reach American youth and older. The culture of silence around rape in America, for victims and perpetrators, and the families and communities who protect perpetrators, despite the high reporting rates of rape in America, are just as difficult to understand and deal with as they are in India. Shame and smearing of the victims are outcomes of the cultural crises but it is surprising to find that shame and smearing are more significant upon the victim than for the perpetrators. There are no differences between rape in India and the United States, only perceptual modifying by the media whereas in real terms rape is rape, gang-rape is gang-rape and the cultures of silences and shame around them exactly the same.”
There are many accounts of horrific abuse done to many women by men who are abusers. It cuts across all boundaries of race, class, and religion. It seems to be something endemic to men, some kind of short circuit in their internal wiring. And no I am not justifying it in any sense whatsoever, quite the contrary, I’m pointing out its universal existence and the responsibility that men everywhere have in keeping the monster locked up behind bars so to speak.
Novelist Stephen King put it this way in his book Rose Madder:
“Men are Beasts,” Rose Madder said conversationally. “Some can be
gentled and then trained. Some cannot. When we come upon one who
cannot be gentled and trained — a rogue — should we feel that we have
been cursed or cheated? Should we sit by the side of the road — or in a
rocking chair by the bed, for that matter — bewailing our fate? Should
we rage against ka? No, for ka is the wheel that moves the world, and
the man or woman who rages against it will be crushed under its rim.
But rogue beasts must be dealt with. And we must go about that task
with hopeful hearts, for the next beast may always be different.”
Thanks for this, okrapod. It’s very important in any discussion of consent, rape, sex… and more, i think.
Please do not go directly to the website of the “Christian” blogger who calls himself Biblical
Gender Roles. He loves to draw traffic to his website by upsetting people.
This glassbowl believes that, under Scripture, wives must always, always provide happy cheery sex to their husbands. And if they don’t, they are defying God, and the man can do all sorts of things to motivate them to submit.
Here’s a link to some of his vile beliefs, posted at a recovery site called No Longer Quivering (NLQ):
A small excerpt:
Step 2 – Rebuke her before witnesses
If she is still defiant after rebuking her privately take her to a Christian marriage counselor, or maybe even a sex therapist if she is willing to go. This is if she is even willing to go.
Step 3 – Bring her before the Church
If she will not listen to counselors, or refuses to go to counseling then bring her to your Pastor and his wife. If she will not listen even to them then she has chosen to act like an unbeliever, and now she will be treated as such.
Step 7 – Remove her funding
This step may only work if you wife does not have her own income. Stop giving her pocket money. Change your bank account so her ATM card becomes worthless. Cancel your credit cards. If she does have a job, stop paying for anything in her name and make her pay for any credit that is in her name. The Bible only requires that you provide her with food, clothing and shelter. It does not say that food and clothing has to be the fancy kind she likes to get.
Ruth Tucker wrote:
That is true to a point, but I’ve read over and over that secular domestic violence shelters are more effective and competent at dealing with domestic violence than most churches are.
DV shelters will take steps to protect a woman and get her away from her spouse, if she so chooses.
I actually read an article someone linked to a few months ago (I am sorry I cannot recall where it is or who wrote it) where DV shelter staff were interviewed, and they said that many churches act as obstacles at helping abused wives.
Gender complementarian churches, due to their allegiance to very questionable gender theology based on some cherry picked Bible verses, will coach and pressure Christian woman to believe they must stay and submit more to their abusive husbands, and that divorce for any and all reasons is wrong.
I don’t think secular culture places quite as much pressure or guilt on a woman to stay in an abusive marriage these days as churches continue to do.
Secular culture has their own rationales for why they water down spousal abuse, but Christians gender complementarians seem to have mastered it, and they make it sound like a woman having to stay with an abusive spouse is God’s intent for women.
I mean, churches use the name of God to oppress women which, IMO, is a tad more odious than the generic sexism of secular culture.
Many Christians do the same thing in other areas of life:
I had depression and anxiety for years. I was told to just pray and read the Bible (don’t rely on therapy or meds) and God would magically halt that.
As a single adult who is marriage minded, you often get the same thing from lots of Christians: just pray, wait, and God will magically send you a spouse. Don’t try dating sites or anything of your own effort, wait for the magical solution.
The God of the Bible is on record as having used supernatural means on occasion to help people, but I look around today and don’t always see this sort of thing happening.
The Resignation of Eve
“What if Adam’s Rib is No Longer Willing to be the Church’s Backbone?”
@ bonnie knox:
That one GOP guy is not the only one. Some other GOP politician said the same thing about a week or two ago.
I can’t remember his name. But the gist of it was that he felt that a woman cannot get pregnant via rape if she doesn’t want to get pregnant by the rapist, or he body won’t allow it, or some such.
This news story was all over my social media for a couple of days, but I don’t think I saved any links to it.
@ Headless Unicorn Guy:
I think most of the Christian sexists want a physically adult woman, but they want her to have the intellectual capacity or emotional state of a little girl, because the likely feel that little girls may be easier to manipulate and control than a grown woman.
I was indeed the fifth commenter.
My comment placed eighth because HUG (2) and Daisy (3) had made more than one comment.
Trust me: I know what I’m doing. Unless wrong-footed by a moderated or otherwise delayed comment, I would never violate the sacred space of comment-ordinality.
Through a glass darkly wrote:
Piper might make a fascinating case study for a psychologist out there somewhere. Entire books could probably be written about him and his hang ups 🙂
These young men you speak of may be on their way to becoming “Nice Guys.” The ones who think they are owed dates or sex for caring about a girl, or for pretending to care about a girl and doing favors for her.
These are the whiny guys who get upset because they believe girls only want to date or marry “jerks.” As has been noted on other sites, they think of women in terms of vending machines: if you put enough Nice coins into a woman, she should reward you with lots of Sex.
Well, that’s not how dating, women, or relationships work. Women are not objects who owe a man sex for any reason.
The Problem With “Nice Guys”
Thanks for making laugh once again! You are the best!
I have followed his trajectory going on about 15 years. Some family members became Piper groupies at Wheaton. Some even went to work and study with him. They became like zombies and we were very concerned.
What you wrote above is something I could never understand. Nestled inside his passionate snd verbose delivery on Sovereignty and what he calls grace were some sicko comments and teaching on male/female relationships and sex.
I thought he got by with it because he is really a tiny sort of nerdy guy. He looks harmless. I bet he weighs 100 lbs soaking wet. But he creeped me out early on.
There has been some debate and confusion about that blogger.
Some think he’s a Poe, others think he’s the real thing, and some say some other site outed him as being a pro-MRA (men’s right activist) atheist who is using his sexist blog to troll Christians.
This is from my book, Chapter 9, “50 Shades of Rape. I begin this excerpt with a paragraph that follows an utterly awful description of rape. In the next paragraph below, I start speaking of myself in the 3rd person. (My editor had asked why. I told her the experience was extremely difficult to write about, even though it was not violent as most rape is.)
My own account of rape, if, in fact, it was “legitimate rape,” was not a violent physical episode saturated with blood and piercing pain or even punctuated with obscenities. But it was a scene of soiled stinking air—an ugly episode of hateful “God-ordained” domination and supremacy, wholly devoid of the sweet fragrance of delightful sexual intimacy. What may have been satisfying to his incensed psyche I will never know. As for me, foul shame penetrated my very soul. I felt dirty and humiliated, utterly defeated. Polluted, that ancient Roman term of judgment seeping through the centuries into my pathetic sniffles. I slunk to the bathroom, locking the door, not able to turn toward the mirror. In those minutes while the hot water ran in the tub, I vowed that it would never happen again. One flesh had become unalterably severed. . . .
She is in her forties, a strong capable woman, albeit a wife who had been beaten and battered and pummeled and terrorized on many occasions by her husband. So one morning she is packing her bags to make an auto trip to speak at long-scheduled meetings. The husband enters the bedroom, his mood dark and foreboding. And then the threat. There is no physical violence this time, but the demand for sex—sex or stay home. No alternative. She would not be leaving the bedroom or the house until she had submitted to sex. He, as he had told the minister, and reminded her on many occasions, he was the “head of the home from the bedroom to the kitchen.”
What was I to do? Should I have grabbed the phone and tried to call 911? Phones had been broken on similar issues before. And the police? Even if I had been able to make such a call—it would have been laughable to report that my husband is ordering me to have sex before leaving town. The story probably would have made one of those lists of the silliest police reports. I suppose I could have tried to put through a call (had my ex-husband permitted) to someone in charge of the meetings and simply told the truth or made up a lie that I was sick. What were my choices? Do I succumb to the demeaning act of nonconsensual sex, fulfill my obligations, contact an attorney when I arrive back home and file for separate maintenance?
Ruth Tucker wrote:
I guess I don’t get this anymore. The last thing for me to expect from them is nothing but the mantra: we are against abuse. We believe in spiritual equality. Comps dont teach abuse. And so as they frame the debate.
But their actions speak different. The promotion and support of Mahaney and Driscoll are perfect examples of their true positions. They are authoritarian and that requires a pecking order. All else is explained away or ignored as they frame the debate
I would never want them framing your words on this issue for their following. Their following are the ones who actually have to deal with questions from the pew. I would hope the pews are the ones encouraged to ask the tough questions.
Here’s a movie I would recommend for men who think this way: “The Burning Bed”; 1984.
@ Ruth Tucker:
Oh wow. Impossible situation. I am not talking about your sadistic ex but guy like Mohler and Piper. They would publicly say how horrible but it has nothing to do with doctrine. They would also view you as weak and easily manipulated. I will never throw my pearls toward thise swine. They do not even care about molested children.
To me, it is abuse when one human forces absolute dominion over another “in all things”. It doesn’t matter if that dominion is forced through physical violence or by emotional/physcological manipulation.
“THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!
THE VOICE OF A GOD, NOT OF A MAN!”
— Acts 12:22
I wonder if that’s why he’s so much into Male Supremacy by Divine Right. Because he’s smaller and skinnier than the average woman. And I can’t read his terror of “Muscular Women” as anything other than REAL insecurity about his own manhood.
Just like the trailer-trash Ku Kluxers in the “Mississippi Burning” days of the Fifties who bragged about their white skin as the only thing that made them Superior to the blacks at the bottom of the heap, so he only has what swings between his legs to prove his Obvious Superiority to The Other.
Because Sandusky went after boys, that meant THEY could have been the ones being Penetrated. “BUT THAT’S DIFFERENT!”
Through a glass darkly wrote:
Maybe that’s his Secret Kink?
Like pastors who KNOW every male in their flock MUST be into Internet Porn?
Sounds like HIS kink is “I WANT IT WHENEVER I WANNA! HOWEVER I WANNA! I WANNA! I WANNA! I WANNA!”
Though the “happy cheery” part is real disturbing.
Like all those happy cheery North Koreans singing joyfully with great enthusiasm to Comrade Dear Leader.
It still sounds to me like a closet pedo who won’t admit to it.
bonnie knox wrote:
Let’s quote exactly what Todd Akin said here–it’s not exactly what you said, and it was NOT benign or misquoted.
The reality is that women DO get pregnant from rape. One of my college classmates was raped, got pregnant and as a devout Catholic, she gave the baby up for adoption. She got no counseling afterwards and was basically treated as disposable from the moment she signed the adoption papers. She was quite messed up afterwards, couldn’t sleep nights and mourned the loss of her daughter. She ultimately married a gay man because she knew he’d never ask her for sex. I have no idea what happened after that as I moved to another city.
This is not going to be politically correct on this blog, and I would totally understand why Dee and Deb would remove it, but I’m really, really tired of women being judged harshly for having abortions. I’ve never had an abortion, I don’t know what it’s like. But having an abortion is up there with being gay or lesbian in one of the horrible, awful sins that Evangelicals like to throw in people’s faces when they tell people how much they’re rotten, evil sinners headed straight for hell. It’s no wonder people are turning away from the church, when they’re being told that they’re murderers if they got an abortion, or that they’re going to hell if they an out gay or lesbian person.
I’ll shut up now before I go into a full-throated rant, but I couldn’t let this pass.
I agree with everything you said there.
A lot of these guys who adhere to a “male headship” view tend to be very victim-blaming.
About anytime I’ve seen Pat Robertson (host of Christian program ‘700 Club’) answer viewer questions from wives who say their husband is cheating, abusive, and/or hooked on dirty sites, Pat almost always shifts the blame to the wife: “You married him, lady. You chose to marry him.”
I’ve seen 2 or 3 cases where he overtly blamed the woman: “You have terrible discernment to marry such as jerk / loser.” He blames the woman.
To be fair to the guy, I have seen one or two letters where he held the jerky husband responsible, but I’d say about 95% of the time, he blames the wife or girlfriend for the man’s scuzzy behavior.
On at least one show, I was grateful to see the lady co-host teach Pat (when he got a similar letter from an abused woman) that a lot of abusive men hide their abusive side until after they have their victim (the wife or GF) locked into a relationship.
So no, a woman cannot always help choosing marrying an abuser or not, because while they are dating/ engaged, the guy may act as sweet as pie to her.
I don’t think that applies to these particular kids. They are alarmingly unaware, but not manipulative or sociopathic or entitled.
This whole topic came up when one of them showed me a photo of a young girl with a much older man and said the two were in love and getting married. A whole lot of kids, boys and girls alike, assumed that the relationship was just fine. It wasn’t. Adults intervened.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
To their credit, they realized that they could be victims, and that therefore the young girl was a victim too. They started to understand that bad things can go on in plain sight, undetected.
Mirele, I did not quote Akin. I’m giving Nick the background of the phrase “legitimate rape” as it was used by Akin. I’m certainly not arguing that women don’t get pregnant from being raped. Akin was mistaken on the science, but that’s not the point I’m addressing. Akin was using the phrase “legitimate rape” to differentiate hypothetically from women who might claim to have been raped if that was the only legal way they could procure an abortion. I specifically said that my take was that he meant legitimate rape as actual rape, and that is essentially what he was saying. He was taken out of context on that phrase to the point that some people thought he was blaming the victim, which he was not. Also, he did go on to say that if a woman DID get pregnant through rape, the punishment should be on the rapist [rather than the unborn child]. Of course, he did not address the ramifications for the woman, but I’m not here to argue about the ethics of abortion.
I don’t want to get sidetracked from the issue at hand. Ruth Tucker is saying that not every rape is the same, which she explained by the portion from her book that she quoted in a post above.
But the phrase “legitimate rape” in isolation, I believe, made Nick wonder if the person who said it was claiming that rape was justifiable. I’m merely pointing out that Akin was not saying rape was justifiable, nor was he saying rape was a woman’s fault. Rather, he was contrasting a woman who was actually raped to one who was not.
For the life of me, I could never understand why a guy would want to pursue and ply a woman who has no interest in him or in sexual congress with said guy. What’s the draw? I don’t get it. It seems to me that in terms of energy expenditure, it would be far more advantageous to seek out a partner who has the same erotic quotient.
Then he went on to say that the body of a woman of “legitimate rape” would automatically shut down so there would be no pregnancy. How on earth can you explain that dumb, stupid and uninformed statement.?@ bonnie knox:
It was uninformed. I don’t have to explain it because I’m not here to defend it. I’m just giving Nick the background to the phrase he asked about.
However, it was obvious from the fact that he claimed to have people on staff who were conceived during rape that he was aware that pregnancy did sometimes result (even if he subscribed to the probably widespread myth that the stress a woman goes through during rape keeps her from getting pregnant). Also the fact that he said, “assume that doesn’t work” meant he was acknowledging that rape could in fact result in pregnancy (even if he didn’t know how often).
Look, some people are upset that he is against abortion for rape victims. Some people are upset that he was ignorant about a woman’s reproductive responses to stress. I have no desire to delve into that.
But it would be unfair to characterize his phrase “legitimate rape” as supposing he thought any woman who became pregnant could not possibly have been raped.
Idaho Republican: Rape and Incest Won’t Lead to Pregnancy
During a hearing on an Idaho bill championed by anti-abortion groups, Republican state Rep. Pete Nielsen said he believed that rape and incest were unlikely to lead to pregnancy.
I really don’t get what point you are trying to make.@ bonnie knox:
Poster Nick Bulbeck asked a question. I tried to answer. I trust he had his question answered to his satisfaction.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
BINGO! Her gender disqualifies her from the get go. Well, this guys will just have to luck out.
I probably should have said: These guys will just have to *miss* out.
“Any abuser worth his or her salt is adept at blaming the victim.”
Yes, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed that part and disagreed with the author. The abuser’s m.o. is that they don’t want to face that they choose to be abusive and that their abusive nature is not the fault of their victim/s, but their *own* fault. Somehow if the abuser can blame anyone and anything outside themselves for their behavior, then they’re not required to take responsibility for their own actions.
And then the subtitle reads: “Ministering to the Contentious Woman.” Yeah, I can just imagine what that *ministering* will look like.
Jerome, I thought you were joking with that mug shot photo. But then I read a review in which the person was appalled that this author was giving advice on relationships. At least someone has their head screwed on right. 😉
The left refused to believe the rape victim Juanita Broderick because it was not in their political interest to believe her. I often think of her during this political season since Hillary is running and protected and enabled her husband.
@ Ruth Tucker:
Tim Challies wrote about the book yesterday
Did you see this at the bottom of the post on hobbies?
“This post is in response to a Patreon supporter. What does that mean? It means that I have committed to interact at varying levels with those who choose to support me (you can see more details towards the bottom of this page).”
From the Challies article:
“The first weakness is related to the fact that to some degree Tucker defines an entire theological understanding out of her own experience. She understands her ex-husband to be a complementarian and in that way an exemplar of this theology as it takes root and advances to its logical conclusions. Her understanding of complementarianism is inextricably bound up with her own experience, yet I found her marriage unrecognizable as a truly complementarian union. Her ex-husband was an abuser, manipulator, and pervert, a man who interpreted the Bible in black and white ways so he could justify abusing his wife. She gives no reason for us to believe that he was even a true Christian. In this way he represents a gross distortion of manhood rather than a faithful complementarian. Complementarians stand united in their firm opposition to this kind of “hyper-headship” as demonstrated in this important sermon by Jason Meyer.”
Yet Challies thinks Mahaney, who protected child molesters, is a true believer?
These guys are so inconsistent.
And note that Challies does not think our “experiemces” are reason to study certain doctrines more in-depth. I say just the opposite. It is the main reason people will finally question what they have been taught.
Wow…I taught a girl who was impregnated by her father…wow, just wow..
FYI- Dad got 99 years free room and board at the state hotel in Huntsville.
I read Challies’ review and found it entirely lacking, a combination of mansplaining and discounting Tucker’s lived experience. I wish someon would ask Challies the question Tucker stated in the interview above:
That question shoul be asked of all thse patriarchalists. (Not going to dignify them with “complementarianism,” which is a made-up obfuscation.) Seriously, let’s cut to the chase.
I have an old friend who was raped once in high school, got pregnant and kept the baby. She obtained a Masters degree, met a great guy who adopted the little girl. Oh yes, it happens but rarely turns out this positive.
If I remember correctly, Dobson also taught the view that one cannot get pregnant from rape.
They will answer it is OK if she is acting irresponsibly. So, can the wife take keys and credit cards when the husband Acts irresponsibly?
We have a societal problem with recognizing the reality of rape and other forms of sexual assault. There was a horrible case recently where a cop in Oklahoma City was sexually assaulting poor women of color. He was convicted on half of the counts he was charged with, but not before his victims got dragged through the mud by the defense. And he’s just one guy.
We *really* have a problem with failing to acknowledge rape as a reality in this country.
Of course not. She’s not the headship.
No!! She must submit and pray that God will change her husband, even if he drives the family into debt or gets behind the wheele drunk. She is promised that if she submits that God will change her husband. It is absurdity at its best.
Here is my contribution to trying to do my bit to remedy that. Let no one say ‘I do not know’ or ‘I do not understand’ if they have not informed themselves.
Caution: it is worse than a lot of people think.
@ Lydia: Yes, I just checked out Tim Challies call for support on “Patreon.” But, alas, the last category is only $100 or more a month. Let’s all get together and see if we can get him to add a new category of $1000 or more a month. Let’s start the bidding and ratchet it up to $5000 or more? Who knows, we might get him up to Publishers Clearing House figures!
Ruth Tucker wrote:
First of all I feel great sadness over what you endured for so many years. I have only known of you through your books, which have blessed me greatly. Two of your books, “From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya” and “Another Gospel” sit on the shelf behind me as I write this. I commend you for your courage in telling your story and addressing the issue of abuse.
Your comment above intrigues me. You say you have spoken at Southern Seminary and at Bethelehem Baptist. Did Piper and Mohler know you were egalitarian when you spoke in these venues? In your interactions with them then versus what you see today, would you say their public positions on these issues have changed in any way? Finally, what kind of response from complementarian leaders are you hoping to see?
Again, thank you for sharing your story.
Is Tony Jones (by no means a complementarian) proof that abuse is not an issue of theology but of sinful, narcissistic people, or is he the exception that proves the rule?
I didn’t go there, but the girl’s life did not turn out so well….she did not survive to her senior year in HS…
If theology is not one cause/contributor to abuse, then whyever would we be warned in Scripture to beware of false teachings and false teachers?
It also seems fair to say that abusive people show up in the broad range of theologies and denominations, and too often find a system of protection there … at least for a time. Catholic, Orthodox, Coptic, Anglican, Lutheran, Reformed, Neo-Calvinist, Anabaptist, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Neo-Puritan, Evangelical, Fundamentalist. We may not be familiar with all these streams, but I suspect we could crowdsource examples of significant abuse from just about all of them.
[Sorry for so many short and disconnected comments. Thoughts not so coherent this morning.]
It would be an intriguing exercise to go through each of those theological streams to see what their overall approaches to gender relations are,* and then track the kinds of situations that have been made public on domestic violence, sexual harassment, and related gender relations issues.
*In fact, this Denominational Chart compiled at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary covers Egalitarian/Complementarian. It appears to consider women in leadership as key indicator here.
Tony Jones did not use comp doctrine to prop up his position. He made up a newish doctrine of the “spiritual” wife vs the “legal” wife to shore up his declaration that his legal wife was mentally unstable. (He said this while he left the kids with her) He then mapped this doctrine to gay marriage and refused to marry his spiritual wife until gay marriage was legal. After all, he is a man of principle! (Rolling eyes)
Pat Robertson used a similar teaching years back that it was perfectly OK to divorce a wife with dementia as that made the marriage invalid. And he has headship leanings in a Charismatic sort of way.
Tony Jones is a diagnosed NPD who makes bank off Jesus like many celebs in ministry circles make bank off Him.
The injustice of this sort of thing makes my blood boil.
@ Ruth Tucker:
Well Ruth, I appreciate your interacting with me without payment!
These guys have no moral or ethical compass!
I agree. Did you guys read up on what happened concerning rape done by a HS football team in Stuebenville Ohio? The entire cityrallied (except a few):behind the players and there were pictures of them carrying around a passed out girl from party to party to be raped. They posted them on social media!
Internet Monk picked up on this today. CM is going to reply to Challies’ “I’M A BOY AND YOU’RE NOT! NYAAAH!” open letter tomorrow.
That’s a false dichotomy, js. It could be that sinful nature is the root cause, but that Complementarianian theology significantly exacerbates the problem (I think that’s simplistic, but its a start).
All you needed to say was “high school football”.
So “spiritual wife” is Christianese for “Soulmate”, i.e. never your wife, always the honey you’re screwing on the side?
Dr. Ruth Tucker responds to Tim Challies:
I think the complementarian mentailty is a sign of a sinful nature.
The series of my other comments was meant to lead to this: I believe there’s a logic problem in your question, js.
I think the case can be made from evidence that patriarchal theologies consistently tend to result in higher levels of abuse by men against women because it’s men in a position of power as a matter of principles and conviction, and their justification for their actions revolves around their theology.
I suspect when there is gender-related abuse by a male with a diagnosis of Narcissistic or Antisocial Personality Disorder, it’s the man in a position of power as a matter of opportunism and convenience, and their justification for their actions revolves around the specific person they’re vexing: She’s unfit, she’s crazy, she’s a liar.
Here, it isn’t abuse because the victim is a woman; it’s because she happens to be his “narcissistic supply” to create the drama necessary to make his life into a power competition he can win. But if, say, a guy with this level of narcissism had a male business partner who eventually turned into his narcissistic supply, don’t you think he’d find a justification by blaming the other man for whatever dehumanizations and abusive actions he takes?
At the core, isn’t there brokenness in both the theology and overpowering practices of patriarchy, and in the actions of those with narcissistic and sociopathic character?
bonnie knox wrote:
She corrected Challis regarding who initiated the divorce. He then issues his ‘correction’:
Quoting from Challis’ article:
Note: I changed this sentence: “For 19 years she endured this marriage before she finally escaped and divorced him” to read “For 19 years she endured this marriage before she finally escaped. They were later divorced.”
Notice that his first iteration specifically notes that she divorced him.
Yet, oddly enough instead of actually correcting his earlier statement by pointing out that he divorced her – Challis makes a generic “they were later divorced.”
That’s not really a correction as much as it is an obfuscation.
Exactly. He had no problem saying that Ruth divorced her abusive husband, even though he was wrong about it. But he can’t bring himself to say that Ruth’s abusive, and apparently complementarian, husband initiated the divorce. Why?
Maybe he is giving her the credit for escaping the marriage in the first place; admitting her strength in doing so. Maybe he thinks that remaining in that marriage would have been a sign of weakness or poor judgment. He certainly does not mince words of condemnation for the man.
And yet they claim that they’re the ones who ‘follow the Bible’, and we do not.
In the past Challies held the position that divorce is only allowed if there is adultery. But no remarriage allowed. Not sure if he still holds to this or not.
And a pastor husband!
I’m with you on Piper, Brian. Even still pix of him make me feel creepy…..
bonnie knox wrote:
Great response, Ruth. Read the comments.
I am with Ruth when it comes to the request to explain equality. Seriously? I need to explain equality in Christ with a Christian?Is thete a pink and blue Christianity? After 20 years of this ridiculousness it can get old.
Besides, I am anti discus comments as it never works for me without too much hassle.
Challies was basically trying to position Ruth as an emotional woman and therefore not credible when it comes to comp doctrine. Oldest trick in the book. But Ruth dealt with that one well.
One cannot help but remember when Jesus asked the religious big-whigs of his day if the Sabbath was made for man or not. In my opinion, the same question is begged of marriage too, but the ixtian big-whigs of today won’t see it that way.
@ bonnie knox:
There seems to be a certain amount of contention around replies to my earlier comment, for which I should take some responsibility as I didn’t express myself very well.
I doubt whether any regular Wartburgers believe there is such a thing as a legitimate rape; those out there who do believe there are rapes that are somehow justified, always pin the blame on the woman * for the man’s lack of self-control and aggressive sense of entitlement. I was trying to illustrate the absurdity of this idea by turning it around.
Bonnie’s point to me was, as I understand it, simply to explain the origin of the specific phrase “legitimate rape”. (For which, thanks, Bonnie, BTW!) I don’t believe she thinks there are legitimate rapes, nor that she supports the laddie who first used the phrase. Her point, which I believe to be accurate, was that he was trying to say “actual rape”.
* I’ve never come across any mainstream politician or pundit claiming that a heterosexual male victim of homosexual rape was “asking for it” – though that’s not to say such a claim has never been made.
I lived for almost a decade in the Twin Cities area, primarily in the 90s. The first time I saw Piper in person was at a march for Jesus-type rally that was held in downtown Minneapolis one Sunday and sponsored by three of the larger churches in the area, including Bethlehem Baptist. At the end of the march we had a rally in the parking lot, about a thousand or so collapsible chairs were set up. Thought we were going to hear about Jesus, but pretty much all we heard were these three area celebrities, the pastors of the churches, Piper the most prominent, praising each other, glorifying one another, taking turns essentially composing odes to their own greatness. My wife and I looked at each other and wondered what in the world this was–we’d seen jerks in the pulpit before, but this was something different. Jesus was just a prop to these three to lift themselves up. I think we were one of the handful in the crowd who weren’t a member of the three churches, the crowd seemed to be eating it up, we felt like throwing up.
That was our first encounter with John Piper, didn’t know him from Adam prior. Everything I’ve ever heard about the man since (and I was part of a ministry that met weekly at Beth Bap, I sat in the pews of his church and listened in person just to see what it was all about) has only confirmed that first impression.
Based on what I’ve read of her book, he husband was an actual complementarian, and living it out as some complementarians teach comp (Driscoll, Piper, etc).
Comps cannot keep getting away with this notion that these examples of abuse by self professing comp men are only due to flawed comp, rather than comp itself. But they sure do like this approach.
I agreed with the rest of your post too but just wanted to highlight this part.
If Challies were being personally harmed by some other person’s particular understanding of the Bible, or some specific doctrine, you dang skippy he’d want to re-investigate that interpretation or doctrine.
Doesn’t Challies wear eye glasses? I seem to recall seeing a head shot of him somewhere wearing glasses.
How would he like it if some denomination he pretty much agreed with came up with some new doctrine (claiming it was Bible-based) which taught something like men who wear eye glasses are prohibited from blogging, appearing at book conferences, preaching, or writing books?
I bet he would be the first one to say, “Hey, wait a minute, this doctrine is impacting me personally. Let’s take another look at it.”
He would for sure want to question that view, and at that, due to his personal experiences.
Challies doesn’t suffer the negative consequences of comp that many women do, so of course he’s happy to easily dismiss Tucker’s comments out of hand.
I’m not even remotely interested in what mindless drivel Challies has to share. He has shown his yellow stripe for more years than I care to count. His sole job is propaganda arm of the Neo-Puritan good old boys club. If you don’t believe me, try thinking through his writing logically. Good luck getting through the first paragraph. Remember this is a guy who is so against the plain teaching of Scripture and Jesus Christ that he firmly endorses his church’s prohibition against reading the Scriptures from the pulpit. Let that sink in for a moment. I have no problem calling that Satanic. I think he is thoroughly and utterly compromised in the area of gender and ethics. How could he be otherwise, when the people who put bread on his table demand allegiance to doctrines of devils?
Excellent points, Daisy!
And. And. The complementarians (usually men) get to define what “irresponsibly” is.
Do you know how that thinking more or less ends up? Please see this video:
TOONCES the Cat Who Could Drive a Car
I think I addressed this up thread.
Egal men who abuse their wives lack distorted Bible verses by which to justify their abuse.
Comp abusive men, however, have Eph 5 “wives submit to yer man” at their finger tips, which they use quite often.
It’s harder for an egal man to use the Bible to rationalize and defend his abuse of his wife than it is for a comp.
Comps have an entire interpretation system upon which to justify their abuse.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I’m sorry- who is CM?
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Glory days (Bruce Springsteen song)?
Bruce Springsteen – Glory Days
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
At one time, I think ToJo had a booklet for sale on Amazon (or somewhere) explaining this wacko theology which allows for married men having affairs or leaving the wife for the honey.
It’s very telling to me that they choose to interpret the Bible in a manner that is clearly unfair to an entire group of people (women).
They could try a little harder to filter the same text through a lens of equality and fairness, that lifts women up and gives women equal opportunities to men, but nope.
I wonder why guys like that think it’s a mutually exclusive situation?
Why can’t a Christian find a doctrine biblically incorrect and find it emotionally disturbing as well?
Why does Challies assume objection to a doctrine can be based only on one or the other? Why can it not be both?
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I do off the top of my head recall one such case. It involved a Christian university where a male student was raped (or almost raped) by another male (at least I think it was another male), but the university blamed the victim.
I don’t know if I can find that article or blog post again. Here is one:
Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist wrote:
Should read “prohibition against women reading…”
Too right! I love Toonces, too. 😉
Dee, I’d never heard of this song so I wandered over to ole YouTube to take a listen. It is hilarious! Thanks for brightening up my day!
I shared the Patheos article on my FB page yesterday. What I wrote is pasted in below. Challies has since “responded” but his response was basically dismissive and failed to deal with the true issues at stake. I stand by what I said when I shared the post. They will not address the glaring problems, but instead seek to discredit their sister in Christ as overly emotional and therefore incapable of speaking of “true” complementarianism (whatever that actually is).
I am not surprised AT ALL that no leading complementarians have responded to this book. Why?
It was written by a woman. These men do not want to be “taught” or “corrected” by a woman. They do not want to acknowledge the incredible wealth of education and personal experience Dr. Tucker has with this subject. Most of them are loathe to acknowledge how God has worked in her life because it goes against their view.
They will not give AN INCH. EVER. If they acknowledge a flaw in their system, they know they will have to respond to other problems. They will NOT acknowledge there are serious flaws with their views.
Remember, these are the same men who would rather have men die without hearing the Gospel than hear it from the lips of a woman.
Chaplain Mike from the website Internet Monk. It’s a really good website, even if the comments can sometimes seem like an all-boys treehouse club.
One of my favorite Toonces was one where they had the cat driving the car (of course) and Linda Hamilton and Scwarzenegger reprised their roles from Terminator. I think the kid actor who played John Connor was in that skit, too.
Last time I checked for that video (several months ago), it wasn’t on You Tube, which was a bummer.
I agree. There is nothing inspired by the Holy Spirit in their theology of gender role idolatry. In fact, the HS wouldn’t touch their stuff with a ten-foot pole.
You know, everytime one of the comp men talks about men being the leaders, etc., what he really means is that he gets to be the leader. They’re always really speaking about themselves, lifting themselves up and putting others down, particularly The Others (those women!).
Thank you for the explanation.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
Yep. I do have a feeling, though, that their world is actually crumbling, and they have no idea. People are on to them and are talking back and challenging them. These comps remind me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned.
Yep. I do. Hence, the snarky comment. 🙂
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
That whole situation caused a really big ruckus on this side of the pond. It just goes to show you that in a free society, people with no sense at all get to run for office.
NBC has them pulled down all the time. Ditto for Dana Carvey as Church Lady.
Daisy, I learned a the meaning of a new word: Poe. Thanks for the education. 😉
I’ll add to the car keys and phone. Does Complementrianism permit a husband to tell a wife when she must go to bed, how many hours she is allowed to be on the computer or watch t.v., what kind of clothes she can and cannot wear, if she can have friends, etc. – the list could be endless.
Now I think we all know how the Comps would answer this question. The wife is to submit in all things – and when they go into debt, she must accept that God will equip her to endure this trial. But no, she must be silent. It is not her place to correct his wrong behavior. C’mon. We all know the Comp ideology at this point. We could explain it in our sleep.
I’ve never heard of Toonces. Guess I have to get out more. 😉
LOL. I’m glad I could be of some help or enlightenment. Or amusement.
Toonces a recurring skin on Saturday Night Live (TV show) sometime in the 1990s, I think, maybe the late 1980s? I haven’t watched SNL in years and years, though.
Darn it. That should be “Toonces was a recurring skiT”
I’d say you’ve got very good instincts – and for listening to them
Maybe they should bring back Toonces. He could be a YRR church pastor who drives the church bus off a cliff!
Was Ruth Tucker’s husband similarly off the rails mentally and emotionally or was it just the comp doctrine that led him down the path of abuse? Without reading the book and just reading what Tucker has shared, I think it is much more the former than the latter.
That is a fair and good point with which I can not argue.
So if this is true, why do we hear on this blog almost exclusively about abuses within the Neo-Cal movement? If this blog is about Dissecting Christian Trends, why only dissect such a small slice of the Christian world? If the concern is abuse, should there not be concern over abuse wherever it is found in the Christian world? Understanding that time and resources are limited, and acknowledging that there have been a few other stories on abuse from other groups here, I still see here a skewed perspective against the Neo-Cals on this site and several other watchblogs. And that means there is going to be a lot more findings of abuse among complementarians, because the focus is on Neo-Cals. Since most Neo-Cals are complementarian, the abuse that is found/discussed here is going to be from complementarians, making it appear that there is a straight line from comp doctrine to abuse. My opinion is that if you did in fact crowdsource all these different groups you would find abuse to varying degrees in every one. IF you then tried to trace the origins of that abuse, you would find some abusers using doctrine to justify their sin. But most of us would understand that such justification was in itself a sinful misuse of doctrine. Let’s say for example that someone held a person in captivity in a church until they received the gift of tongues. We would call this abuse and rightly so. But even though the abuse was doctrinally rooted we would not draw a straight line from that abuser to all who believe in the ongoing use of tongues. Few of us would boldly proclaim that those who speak in tongues enable abuse.
One of the key questions here for Christians here is . . . Is comp teaching heresy? If so, fellowship and tolerance are out for those who hold comp teaching. And Christians who believe comp is heresy have just broken fellowship with a good portion of the Christian world who hold to at least some role distinctions involving some form of male leadership in home and church. If comps are heretics, they must be opposed for their own good. If not, and comp teaching is a possible interpretation among those who hold the Bible in high regard, then there should be mutual respect for differing views, fighting abuse wherever it is found no blanket statements calling those who hold the comp view enablers of abuse.
That would be a good study. This is a subject crying out for good doctoral work from someone not heavily influenced by an agenda (like a grant from CBE or being employed by CBMW).
At the core, isn’t there brokenness in both the theology and overpowering practices of patriarchy, and in the actions of those with narcissistic and sociopathic character?
There is certainly brokenness in both the overpowering practices of patriarchy and in the actions of those with narcissistic and sociopathic character. I am not persuaded that there is brokenness in the theology. I am convinced that believers should be able to hold to either comp or egal and view each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. I think there are decent scriptural arguments to make for both positions and that believers should do the best they can to understand the biblical teaching the best they can and live before God with a clear conscience. The beautiful thing about the Gordon Conwell chart you posted is that there is a real mix among American denominations of egal and comp churches. Even the same denominational grouping (Lutheran, for example) will have some groups which are egal and some which are comp. I think this is a good thing. There is a place for all who have strong views on this issue.
Do I think the complementarian view is a heresy that compels me to separate from others who claim it? No.
Do I think some groups are raising the complementarian view to near-heretical levels? Yes.
The problem is, the current batch of “experts” at the helm of groups like Acts 29, 9 Marx, and especially the CBMW seem to think that “complementarianism” (whatever it is) is essential to the gospel. That if Christians fail to acknowledge it, they are trifling with the authority of scripture, the advance of the Good News, and all kinds of other Important Stuff.
In other words, they’re the ones calling non-comp Christians heretics.
JS, it’s all very well to suggest that we all try to get along, but the Big Dogs at CBMW don’t seem particularly willing. And it doesn’t help that I haven’t seen any of them produce a firm and unambiguous statement denouncing abuse, and back it up with consistent action.
This is a post I wrote a while back about the Acts 29 Network and their requirements for membership churches. I do believe that some segments of Christianity are going to begin using a person’s belief about complementarianism as a measuring stick for being a true believer.
Agreed. For the aggressive New Calvinists who are taking over the Southern Baptist Convention with their plurality of elders governance and complementarianism – both contrary to long-held SBC doctrines – that “place” has already been carved out for them in the Presbyterian Church of America! The PCA would be a much easier row to hoe for them, rather than forcing their reformed belief and practice on a denomination that doesn’t want it. It is causing unnecessary weeping, gnashing of teeth, disunity, and distraction from the Great Commission within SBC.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
I agree with you, Sallie. Complementarianism is not the gospel.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
As one who leans toward the comp view, I think it is fine if they want to make complementarianism a distinctive of their movement, so long as they are upfront about it. These distinctive shared beliefs are what make for different denominations and movements. But if they make complementarianism a measuring stick for being a true believer, they have crossed a line IMO.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
I think you’re mostly right, though there are exceptions. I don’t think all the 9Marks, TGC people and those who support them would take such a hard line on this as you think.
I do know there is some of what you describe here among the comp crowd. The idea that if you don’t believe comp, you don’t take scripture seriously. This quite frankly must be opposed by those who do hold the comp position. Some are comp because they haven’t studied and comp is just what suits them. And some are egal for the same reason. But many on both sides are what they are because they have studied scripture and drawn conclusions. I see this same approach sometimes with YEC. If you don’t accept the literal six days you don’t take scripture seriously. I think we need to move beyond this kind of thinking.
There has to be a way of contending for what we believe without calling everyone who disagrees with us a heretic. I don’t want to go along to get along. I don’t want to suppress disagreement. And I certainly don’t want to enable abuse. But I think we can disagree more constructively and there is enough blame to go around for all.
I totally agree. Now, at the risk of sounding like SNL’s Church Lady, I really do believe that Satan is using the neo-Cals to take down a once great denomination. The thing is, God will just raise up another denomination in its place.
This is just my opinion here. No, it’s not heresy, but it is based on bad theological study. Looking at complementarianism vs. egalitarianism, it always boils down to prooftexting vs context. Comps lift certain verses out of the context of their paragraph, chapter, and book and totally ignore the certain situations Paul was actually addressing (like uneducated women falling for false teachings in Ephesus). That’s how we get teachings like, “Wives submit!” or, “I do not permit a woman to teach.” The reality is that there’s actually a lot more going on, and the result is that women truely aren’t limited and subordinated like prooftexting makes it seem.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
@js. If I understand correctly from your above comments, you don’t believe there is a straight line between complementarianism and abuse, but do believe it is possible to cross the line into heresy by requiring complementarian view as part of the gospel.
For what it’s worth, here are some thoughts based on that, plus @Sallie Borrink’s statement.
It seems to me — a hunch based on reading many posts over about 7 years here at TWW — that the strongly complementarian organizations and movements that get into trouble also tend to exhibit views on authority at the more extreme end of that spectrum. In fact, they seem to me to be patriarchal and authoritarian.
So, others topic for research are (1) Whether the complementarians who take their view to the extreme of patriarchy also tend to take leadership authority to the extreme of authoritarian as in, say, the Shepherding Movement and the “Umbrellas of Protection.” (2) Do few, some, most, or all Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan paradigms have doctrines and practices at the level of authoritarianism?
I find it intriguing that, with the prominent civil lawsuits filed in recent years against evangelicals, the defendants are strongly complementarian/patriarchal and authoritarian in their theology and practices.
* Sovereign Grace Ministries.
* Vision Forum.
* Bill Gothard, Institute in Basic Life Principles.
* Mark Driscoll and Sutton Turner, of what was Mars Hill Church.
Is it possible that a reason that Neo-Calvinism/Neo-Puritanism and its followers end up being taken to task so often by spiritual abuse survivor communities is for their authoritarianism more than their complementarianism?
FWIW, in my initial content analysis of Christian books on spiritual abuse and recovery published between about 1993-2013, authoritarianism was one of the three issues most frequently mentioned as source problems in abusive systems:
* Authoritarianism – unconditional submission to spiritual authority figures.
* Prosperity Gospel – God’s blessing is measured by wealth/material goods.
* Name-it-and-claim-it – you can do anything (or, God has to do it for you) if you just have enough “faith.”
And these three are often labeled as heretical teachings.
P.S. to the above comment. The initial study on spiritual abuse/recovery books is at the link below, in case interested.
One of the things I’m wondering is whether we are in a period where more extreme forms of patriarchy will be identified as either almost always toxic, if not heretical. This is an issue I’ve commented on before and if I can locate those comments, I’ll post a link later.
Indeed. SBC’s torch for evangelism will be passed to another. The thing about “denominations” … Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. Churches and groups of churches organized into denominations are OK only if they are continuing to point folks to the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth (Jesus is the way, the Truth, and the life). When denominations allow theo-politics to cause its mission to drift from keeping the Main thing the main thing (SBC has drifted), God will raise a faithful people elsewhere to accomplish the Great Commission. I’ve been a Southern Baptist for 60+ years and I think I’m about to get over it!
P.P.S. I found it … it was in a blog post I did on January 1st, on 10 Trend Projections and Predictions for 2016 to 2020.
So the underlying heretical teaching in both patriarchy and authoritarianism is Eternal Subordination of the Son, which has been addressed many times on this blog and elsewhere. The relevant excerpt is below.
1. Four Core False Doctrines, Three Core Toxic Systems. Since the first Christian books on recovery from spiritual abuse were published in the 1990s, three main aberrant theologies have consistently been noted as associated with abuse:
* Word of Faith, where if you can only conceive it, and believe it, then you’re “guaranteed” to receive it. Faith becomes a formula, that supposedly bends God to our will instead of us to His.
* Health-and-Wealth and the Prosperity Gospel, where God’s blessing on you/your ministry is supposedly validated by wealth. And if you are poor or suffering, surely you don’t have enough faith and these are signs that God isn’t blessing you – and maybe doesn’t even really like you.
* The Shepherding Movement, where authoritarian leaders who are higher up in the hierarchy than you are responsible to discern and decide on your behalf, and you are obligated to show them respect by your unconditional obedience. Such dictators have usurped the role of the Holy Spirit, and placed themselves in a position of mediating between you and God. And, often, they show no signs of being accountable to anyone else, though they demand you be accountable to them.
These heresies are not tied to any particular denomination, although certain of them are prominent in specific denominations, organizations, and movements. However, they do seem to lead to celebrity culture and spiritual abuse wherever you find them implanted.
I believe that, in the next few years, we will find spiritual abuse materials adding a fourth confirmed heresy to the list: Eternal Subordination of the Son (ESS). This false doctrine sets up the idea that there is a hierarchy in the Trinity, and Jesus is permanently in a role of subordination to the Father.
ESS is centuries old, but has gained more prominence in recent years from some Christians who’ve used it as supposed biblical support of (1) authoritarian overlording of everyday Christians by their “leaders,” and (2) patriarchal control of marriage, family, and church by men over women and children. It is based in a principle of “same essence, different roles,” but this often strays into a practice of “different essence, higher-valued and lower-valued roles.” In my understanding, it’s not what we say but what we do that demonstrates what we truly believe and value.
With ongoing refutation of ESS coming from theologians and from spiritual abuse survivors, the battle within the Church is expanding and clarifying. The books on spiritual abuse and recovery used to be mostly about legalism and a gimmee-God form of faith. The focus is now on what I’d call the “Toxic Trinity of AMP”:
* Authoritarianism (with leaders acting as mediators between God and believers).
* Monetarism (with its celebrity/consumer culture).
* Patriarchalism (with men subjugating women, and children, in the name of being “faithful” to “biblical truth”).
Scripture teaches us that the things which come against believers and the Great Commission fall under three categories: the world, the flesh, and the devil. While there is certainly a lot of spiritual stuff going on in SBC which would not be consider works of the Holy Spirit, I would say “flesh” is primarily ruling the day … just a bunch of young whippersnappers led by some old reformed guys who are playing dangerous games with theology. Of course, the “world” has also found its way into New Calvinism with its culturally-relevant message appealing to Millennials and Generation-Xers (holy standards no longer apply). And, yes, the “devil” shows up every once in a while … TWW continues to document that. But at the heart of SBC’s drift are wimpy pulpits and silent pews who refuse to confront the seismic change in Southern Baptist belief and practice at the hand of the new reformers.
First off, you’d have to define up-front (in say a Socratic sense) what a ‘Christian’ is. Then we’d need to lay out the markers for what ‘heresy’ is and then agree upon both parameters before any meaningful discussion could take place.
Good luck with that. I’ve found that people of faith can rarely agree even upon the color of dog doo-doo.
I agree. And you can see those prominent groups floundering amongst themselves because different leaders are using different terminology. So you have a Mary Kassain saying, “That’s not what comp is and I should know because I helped coin the term!” and others saying that comp = patriarchy and yet others constantly adding details of what comp looks like ala Grudem’s infamous list.
I do believe there are non-authoritarian comps who mean well although I think their efforts are misguided. The question is whether or not they will stick around with the more strident and authoritarian comps in the long-run. I imagine that depends on how much the authoritarian segment doubles down on telling women to sit down and shut up (both literally and figuratively).
I had not heard this term before. Back when Jessa Duggar got married, a supposed Quiverfull blogger posted a story about what she saw at the wedding, enraging many Duggar fans. It turns out it was a parody site, so I guess she was a Poe. It’s hard to parody fundamentalism since it’s kind of a parody itself.
If you believe that the talents, gifts, abilities, education, and knowledge of more than half the Christian population should be ignored and wasted, then no, it’s not heresy.
If you believe the Great Commission was directed at less than half of the Christian population, then no, it’s not heresy.
If you believe most of the New Testament, as well as most sermons, are directed only at men because, well, females just aren’t allowed to follow those instructions or use that information, then no, it’s not heresy.
If all non- Caucasians and all males under 5’9″ had to abide by the same restrictions and be marginalized in the same ways as females, would that be heresy?
Is it made a matter of salvation?
And at times it’s a parody written by Orwell or Kafka.
Alecia Pennington was born at home into a Christian homeschooling family. When she decided to leave home as a young adult, she discovered that she could not prove her citizenship. Hence she could not drive, board an airplane, apply for a job, etc. Her parents considered her a runaway and refused to help her establish an official record of her own birth. Public pressure and a long legal effort helped her establish her identity. The parents would have liked to keep this whole matter private, but it ended up in the Texas legislature.
Oh, I agree. The Reformers have total free will and are choosing to be power-hungry, and the enemy delights in this and aids where he can. As for the rank and file, I think the neo-Cal people hoped and assumed that the people in the congregations would be caught up in their daily lives (we all would) and maybe many wouldn’t be well-versed enough in the Bible to know what was really going on. Insidious.
I had read about that. Absolutely unbelievable! These groups think that the government is totally bad, identification is the mark of the beast, blah blah blah. I think this mentality probably affects many femals in this movement since women aren’t supposed to do anything but get married, have several children, and cook and clean, so why would they need documentation to interact with the outside, sinful world?
Sallie Borrink wrote:
Oh, I so agree, and yet it’s so laughable in a horrible, horrible way. I know one such family, all mild mannered and sweet. Not one of their many kids has ever seen a dentist. The girls will converse nicely with me until the dad appears, and then they go completely silent and just stare while he talks. Which he does only up to a point, because I’m obviously a total Jezebel. Va-va-va-VOOM. 😉
Sallie Borrink wrote:
Let’s face it. The reason for elevating comp teaching to gospel level is to force women to accept it, otherwise what woman would? Single comp males would have a very difficult time finding a woman willing to marry them if egalitarianism is legitimate.
Muff Potter wrote:
But you could probably find some people of faith who think that it’s a gospel issue.
An interesting and thought-provoking analysis as ever, Brad. Which provoked me to think…
I submit that there is an additional core false doctrine: the Sufficiency of Scribsher. That is, Christians no longer need the Holy Spirit (in any sense recognisable from, say, the book of Acts) because the scribshers have replaced him and, moreover, we don’t need evidence to support any of our beliefs because interpreting scribsher trumps gathering evidence that can independently be seen around us.
Like the others, it’s not tied to any one denomination and it lends itself to supporting abuse. This is the belief that enables preachers to presume expertise and authority in any discipline, based on their seminary training. Hence, incompetent nincompoops practicing nouthetic “counselling” towards people who need actual help.
This goes far beyond the mere notion that “God’s word trumps science”. It’s the belief that theologians over-rule everyone else’s subject-matter expertise.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
A couple of thoughts about your response, @Nick …
First, I believe it’s often been noted in observations and critiques of certain theological systems that a member of the Trinity goes missing in their doctrines and practices, and something else simultaneously takes that place. For instance, an overemphasis on the Holy Spirit and instantaneous change-healing-emotional expression often sidelines Christ and the long process of transformity to Christlikeness. An absence of the Holy Spirit often exalts Scripture as sufficient, as you mentioned, and dogma as absolute moral mandate replaces discernment for seeking wisdom in decisions where we have options AND the Scriptures do not give specific requirements.
A resource to consider on keeping all three members of the Trinity intact and interactive in our theology is Reordering the Trinity: Six Movements of God in the New Testament by Rodrick Durst (Kregel Academic, 2015). Dr. Durst examines 75 New Testament passages on the Trinity and delves into the full range of ordering patterns presented, only one of which is probably dominant in our theologies: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So, for instance, what tends to be the context when the ordering is Spirit-Son-Father, or Son-Father-Spirit, etc. If our theology doesn’t accommodate those distinctions, perhaps we have a flat-land doctrine [like Eternal Subordination of the Son] instead of a more robust, 3-dimensional Trinitarian doctrine. (Full disclosure: I was the editor for this book.)
Second, it strikes me as odd that some of the more current extreme forms of Reformed, Neo-Calvinist, and Neo-Puritan theologies seem to set aside the notions of common grace, the witness of nature, the witness of conscience, etc., in those who do not have the Holy Spirit in them. It’s as if they have no ability to reason. Wasn’t that doctrine clear in some of the more classic versions of modern Reformed theology? Maybe the presence of a doctrine of common grace and the ability to reason — and also of disciples having the necessity to reason with the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit together — gives us indicators to help differentiate between constructive versus virulent forms within the larger Reformed tradition.
I think the world, marriages, and Christianity would be better off if Christians dumped gender complementarianism.
Gender comp makes life for everyone, life for girls/women, and marriages worse, not better.
Goodness knows that Gender Comp isn’t going to turn culture back to the 1950s mecca of hetero- only marriages, low divorce rates, etc, that Gender Comps want it to.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
I think someone up thread asked this, maybe js?
Regardless of who first put it forward:
I’d like to ask the person who first asked that question in this thread how they view white Americans who used the Bible to justify and defend the holding of black people as slaves from the founding of the nation on through the mid-19th century?
Would that person consider it heresy that some white Christians were using Christianity / the Bible to defend the owning of one group of people by another?
Something about your post, I’m not sure what, triggered a thought or two in my mind.
The fact that a lot of people do see a link between complementarianism and domestic violence and keep shouting warnings about it should be a red flag for complementarians.
But the complementarians keep wanting to deny there is a problem with complementarianism.
Why is it that out of all the examples I’ve seen of preachers behaving in an insensitive manner to domestic abuse victims (blaming them for being abused, etc),
or making statements putting victims in more danger or that prolong the abuse (e.g., telling victims to stay and “endure abuse for a season,” or to “submit more to their husband”) and so on, they’ve all been…. complementarian?
I have not seen a plethora of egalitarian or mutualist preachers, or egalitarian husbands, who consistently pop up on blogs, shows, and in books saying victim- blaming things to or about abused wives.
That it’s more or less complementarians (especially famous preachers) giving dangerous and shoddy advice to abused wives should be some kind of warning sign that not all is fine and dandy with complementarianism, I would think.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
I posted this somewhere else the other day (on another thread I think?) but felt it might work here too:
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Scriptures?
When two things seem to consistently show up together, there are at least three possibilities for why: A causes B, B causes A, something else causes both A and B.
FWIW, that would seem to be a situation where I wonder about the causation for:
* The spectrum of complementarianism and presence of domestic violence.
* Severe spiritual abuse and/or pastoral negligence where there is authoritarianism and patriarchy.
Labeling someone a heretic is pretty significant. I have many brothers and sisters in Christ in real life who are committed complementarians to varying degrees. I have no doubt of their salvation or commitment to Christ as far as I can humanly tell. I could never call them a heretic for believing the Bible teaches complementarianism.
Many Comp/Patriarchy pastors are teaching a Semi-Arian (not Aryan) heresy, the Eternal Subordination of the Son to justify the subordination of women. These pastor/teachers have deceived many people and caused great harm to churches, to marriages, family, children, and our witness.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
This is an important point, and I’m glad you brought it up.
The seriousness of saying something is “heretical” is why, in part, I’ve tried to bring up research on theological issues, on books about spiritual abuse and recovery, etc., to try to find indicators of where the line seems to get crossed into heretical territory on the complementarian-to-patriarchal spectrum and the authority-to-authoritarian spectrum.
This is why the doctrinal issue of “Eternal Subordination of the Son” seems so important. As I see it, it changes the nature of our understanding of the Trinity and that hierarchical structure can be (and maybe has been) used as a “biblical” justification for men in authority over women, leaders over parishioners, owners over slaves, etc. It’s a different “Jesus” that creates a multi-divided humanity and a lot of not-so-good-news for those who are supposedly required to give unconditional submission to their overlords … just like in the gentile world. But didn’t Jesus Himself say that was *not* what His followers were supposed to be like?
Anyway, we need to be careful about labels, and also aware of the reality of a spectrum or scale along which a range of views on these relevant subjects occur.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
Nick: These three points of your post jumped out at me. This phenomenon of which you describe can be readily observed in any myriad of Christian sites on the Internet, where no matter what subject is discussed, inevitably demands of “SHOW ME SCRIPTURE” come forth. And the subject matter may be something as insignificant as wearing a dress as opposed to slacks to church.
All they need is a fertile womb (“She’s… Ovulating…”).
Everything else is superfluous.
Just one person’s anecdotal evidence . . . I’ve been around the circles of Reformed people for a while both old and neo-Cal, and I have not heard the ESS discussed much at all or even worked into discussions of other things. I know it’s just one perspective but just wanted to put it out there.
Who, aside from Bruce Ware, is heavily promoting this? Have you seen this teaching on TGC or desiring God or other more mainstream sources? Are there lots of abuse stories relating to the use of this doctrine? Just trying to find out because I haven’t heard much about this outside of TWW.
I see another possibility . . . when you are mainly looking for the presence of A (abuse) among B (complementarians), you are more likely to find A among B. Further, when B is a majority or traditionally held position, it is more likely that more cases of A will show up because there is a greater pool of people and where there are more people there is a greater potential for more problems.
I think it is a case where most of the voices in the evangelical realm of preachers are complementarians. I can’t think of many popular teachers who aren’t. If most of them are complementarians then of course most of the cases of foolish advice are going to be from complementarians. It doesn’t mean complementarianism is wrong, it means everyone is capable of giving foolish advice. Are they giving foolish advice because of their understanding of complementarianism, or is something else at work? That is a relevant question.
By a strict definition of heresy as a denial of the essentials of saving faith, no, I would not consider slaveholders heretics. I would consider them in sin. Using the Bible to justify sin is a common practice but is not usually the ultimate reason a sin is committed. The Bible in these cases is most often used to support an action rather than being the reason a particular sin is committed. In other words, the Bible is usually not the reason a person begins doing something, but many people look to the Bible to support them in continuing what they are doing.
Many people who seem obviously to have been born again owned slaves. Going back to the first century, Paul seems to have consider the slave-owning Philemon a brother in Christ. So if one defines heresy as a departure from core Christian belief which calls into question one’s eternal standing with God, then no, I can’t go there with slaveholders in 1800’s America. At the same time, I would never make a blanket statement that all slaveholders were truly saved. But if slaveholding is a test of salvation, it seems many of our most beloved Bible characters must be condemned, for they had slaves.
Making the connection to comp teaching I would not consider comp teachers heretics, nor would I consider egal teachers heretics. At their best, both groups are trying to wrestle with what the Bible teaches. Now you could say comps are using the Bible like the slaveholders did. But the same charge could be brought against egals. We are all prone to use the Bible to justify what we already think or feel.
And the Penningtons were leaders in the Texas Homeschool Coalition. Scary.
You are certainly entitled to your view but you surely understand that there are many who hold the comp view who are happy, have had enduring and strong marriages, whose kids are no more wacko than anyone else’s and have done it all while being respectful to others who live differently. No comp I know thinks we are going back to the Cleaver’s and most I know don’t want to.
Let me just ask you, would you think it a good thing if I issued a call to dump from Christianity all charismatic teaching? I mean, think of all the people who have been messed up by charismatic teachers like Benny Hinn and Robert Tilton. And think of all the damage that has been done in charismatic ministries which have abused people with their hyper-authoritarian ways. What if I said, “We’ve got to banish charismatic teaching from the church.”
Well, no, I would disagree with that. Now don’t get me wrong, if I never heard from Benny Hinn again I would be very happy but Hinn’s excesses and false use of the Bible do not cause me to write off an entire movement. If we were to banish charismatics we would lose much of the evangelical population in Latin America and much in the states as well. I do not agree with much of charismatic teaching. I believe it is prone to excess, sometimes sinfully and tragically so. But I also believe it has a place in God’s plan. And I do not believe that charismatic teaching itself is the problem when abuses happen. The problem is the misuse of charismatic teaching by those who wish to wield sinful authority over others.
Uppity Bimbo wrote:
I think there is another possible explanation. A general understanding and practice of comp teaching has long been the norm in evangelicalism on a popular level. But around that norm in the last forty years there has been seismic cultural change. The elevation of comp teaching is not only about women but also about men and about the value of marriage. It could be that the value of marriage as a picture of Christ and Church with attendant gender distinctions is more about upholding marriage in a world (and often a church) that has devalued it than it is about forcing women into something they don’t want.
I don’t think elevating comp teaching to a gospel litmus test is right, but I think the above is another possible explanation for its rise.
Well, js, you have hit on something here. The principal group of complementarians in America’s “evangelical realm” are New Calvinists. And they are, indeed, enjoying immense popularity among the Millennials and Generation-Xers. They are the group writing all the popular books, holding all the cool conferences, and influencing the young with new things. But, just because a movement is popular, cool, and influential doesn’t mean it is right. Complementarianism is enjoying a new season in church ranks, because patriarchy is back on the landscape. And this time, it is wrapped in a new reformed package to capture the attention of a generation who are young and gullible and looking for a way to do church differently than the generations which came before them. Praise God that the 20s-40s are going back to church … but when they become disillusioned with New Calvinism (and they will), they may never go back to church again. We’ve seen the “popular” come and go in Western Christianity … the counterfeit vs. the genuine … but, the remnant continues to stand and move forward for the cause of Christ despite the distractions which glitter like gold, but is not.
You make a set of valid points here; indeed, you might rephrase the above thus:
There is no shortage of people calling for the rejection of any and all organised religion, and not all of them are motivated by a dislike of anybody telling them not to indulge in wild carnal excesses. Many – perhaps most – of them are motivated by a distaste for the centuries of abuse perpetrated in the name of religion and enabled by an infrastructure built on and empowered by religion.
I’ve hear it from Bruce Ware, CJ Mahaney, and taught in a women’s Bible study when I was couched in “order” in the home and Trinity. I wanted to walk out of that Bible study so bad, and take all the young women sitting and nodding their heads obediently “in the glory and wonder of it all” with me. Argh 🙁
omplementarianism is sexism – as well as being Christian endorsed codependency for women. It’s not biblical.
Complementarianism causes and enables domestic abuse and sexist attitudes towards women.
Control: The Reason The Gospel Coalition and CBMW Cannot Actually Condemn Spousal Abuse
I used to be strongly like that back in my completely Christian days – but I was polite about it. I tried not to be obnoxious about it 🙂
I now find it frustrating. You have Christians who want a Bible verse to prove anything and everything, including stuff as mundane as if it’s okay for Christians to eat chocolate flavored pop-tarts.
Even when and if you do give a Bible verse to back up your position (or to show theirs is in error), they simply claim you have misinterpreted the text, or they refuse to take the cultural background or time period into consideration.
For example, in spite of the fact that Eph 5.21 says to all Chrisitans to “submit one to another,” a complementarian guy who frequents this blog
– who says he takes the Bible real serious and takes it at face value, and wants everything Bible-backed –
will never the less insist that Ephesians 5.21 does not mean “submit to one another,” (even though that is what it says) but that it really means “all submit to each other, except for Husbands – Husbands do not have to submit to Wives.”
So, you see, you can quote Bible verses at “you must cite Scripture” type of folks all day long for your position (or against theirs), but they will wave it away using their novel interpretation of the passage.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
More and more women now (ages 20 and older) are not marrying either due to deliberate choice or to circumstance.
(The ones who don’t marry due to circumstance get lumped in with the deliberate choicers by conservative, evangelical Christians often times.)
To the complementarians who pay attention to this new trend in culture of no marriage at all, or delayed marriage (most Christians are oblivious and still view society thru a June and Ward Cleaver nuclear family filter), are in a worried tizzy about it.
The volume of “You must marry and have kids NOW” garbage conservative Christians are pumping out has increased the last few years (I pay attention to this stuff).
Women who never marry, who don’t have kids (such as myself and a few other ladies who post here) are of no value or consideration to the complementarians.
There is something very wrong with a form of the Christian faith that does not work, cannot work, and is not interested in working for folks who don’t fit a preconceived role in life (i.e., being a wife and mother).
Jesus Christ never said a woman has to marry and have children to be saved or to have value. Jesus Christ never said society would be saved or even improved by everyone marrying and having children.
Jesus actually said quite the opposite: that allegiance to children or spouses and other family before Him was a great big, huge, honking no-no.
When Jesus’ mother and brothers came to visit Him, and Jesus was informed of this, he turned to the group listening to him and said of them, “here is my mother; here is my brother.”
Jesus Christ did not “focus on the family,” but evangelical Christians and the Neo Reformed guys sure as heck do.
As to the first part, if you’re talking about “research bias,” there are ways to identify and minimize that.
As to the second part, seems you’d be correct — in terms of absolute numbers of cases. But isn’t that fixed simply by figuring out the rate of abuse among different populations, where all of them are categorized according to theological perspective?
How many comps have to teach on a nutty, damaging doctrine before it’s problematic? I think one comp teaching ESS to support comp is one too many.
BTW, it’s not just the number of comps teaching ESS that is a problem, but I suspect their motivation, and not in a good way.
The usual arguments by comps for keeping women in second tier positions in churches and marriage and in culture aren’t working anymore(*), so the comps are getting ever more desperate for justifications to back up their wonky biblical interpretations, and so are reaching for things as far out as mucking around with the Trinity (ESS).
There was a Christian complementarian guy quoted in a paper published by CBMW who says women will have to be subservient to men, even in the afterlife. Julie Anne did a blog post about this guy and his paper at her blog (SSB) months ago.
That is a little akin to ESS there, in that comps try to make comp so pervasive and far reaching, it’s not enough to have married women in second class status to husbands in the “here and now,” but to keep all women in subjugation, even in the afterlife.
And the comp ESS guys want to say being subordinate even stretches into eternity past.
Reflections Of A New Defense of Complementarianism:
P.S. This is also another case of “Not All Comps” or “No True Complementarian” argumentation.
This comes up by a comp about every time a non-comp mentions some outlandish or troubling comment or teaching put out by another self-professing comp.
Yes, this ESS stuff is a part of complementarianism because there are one or more comps, well known or not, promoting and pushing it. People who are into comp need to own it.
“Not All Complementarians”
Therein lies the problem! We’ve got folks pursuing “popular” preachers, when they ought to be looking into the ministries of some unpopular ones! The Old Testament prophets would not have won any popularity contests. Likewise, New Testament preachers were so unpopular that they were beaten and executed. Yep, if you want to find the Truth preached today in all its glorious accuracy, you might just have to find you a preacher who is bold enough to proclaim an unpopular message. You usually want find those at the head of popular movements or enjoying mega-status in popular pulpits. Unpopular, but faithful, men of God are usually shut up in a closet somewhere agonizing and praying until the anointing falls, rather than tweeting their lives away as preacher boys in prayerless and powerless ministries. Too many popular ministries today are more annoying than anointed … too busy organizing their next gimmick, rather than agonizing with a burden for the mass of humanity destined for hell. May God come against the popular of this age and restore the unpopular message of Christ to the masses who are lost and undone.
Egalitarians are not using the Bible to keep entire groups of people in subjugation as comps and white owners of black people in 19th cent America did, so your comparison totally fails.
Egals are arguing people should be open to positions based on their their talents and gifts, and not be barred only due to an inborn trait, such as skin color or gender – that is something comps are doing.
The comp position has very detrimental effects on Christianity, the church as a whole, women and girls above all, and it is also damaging to men.
Don’t forget the guy at CBMW who says that women aren’t made in the image of God to the same extent that men are. Peachy.
I beg to differ on several points.
I was raised in a gender comp family and used to be gender comp myself up til my mid 30s or so.
I still skim comp material to this day on occasion, and yes, there is a big strain of gender comp who believe America would be better if we all reverted back to June and Ward Cleaver 1950s, where Mom stays at home watching the kids all day and Dad has a 9 to 5 job.
Most gender comps are very conservative and think the ’60s and secular feminism can be blamed for much of American society’s woes.
Comps think the solution to fixing American cultural rot, and getting America back to Christian morals, is to return to strict gender roles – which involved stuff like men and women should marry young, have lots of kids, the wife should be a SAHM.
Mark Driscoll (a comp) heavily promoted these views in his time at Mars Hill. He’s not the only comp to do so, that is just one example.
Gender comps often take this 1950s American ideal of family life and read it back into the Bible.
Comps assume this is what the Bible is teaching and endorsing: that all women need to marry, have kids, and stay at home and bake cookies all day.
One result of this skewed view on gender and the Bible by comps is that never-married and childless adults are marginalized, or, when not being marginalized, are shamed and criticized for having not married and had kids.
There are examples of this you can check out on line such as,
“Is Singleness a Sin?” by Camerin Courtney
(responding to complementarian Al Mohler’s anti singleness broadcast; hosted on Cross Walk)
Those happy clappy gender comp marriages to which you are refer: are usually egalitarian in practice.
Even complementarian Russell Moore admitted to it:
There are other things I could say about that post, but this is the part I wanted to comment upon.
Yep. This is exactly what I was just saying in a post above: comp, with its extreme emphasis on marriage has no room for adult singles.
Comp marginalizes, excludes, or, if paying attention to them, shames singles for being single (and/or for childless or child free).
Comp is anti-secular left wing values. I myself am right wing.
But comps are very afraid of, or hostile against (including but not limited to), homosexuality, legalization of homosexual marriage, transgenderism, abortion, climbing divorce rates, and women not needing to be as dependent on men.
So, complementarianism is not per se about protecting anything, or being “pro- ” anything so much as it is “anti,” in opposition of – it is used as a weapon, method, rallying point, or tool to fight off their perceived cultural enemies and problems.
Comp is also way, waaay, too obsessed with hetero marriage and hence views remaining single (whether due to choice or circumstance) as being wrong, bad, selfish, ungodly-
Although Jesus and Paul taught it is wrong to “focus on the family” and that being single is A-OK with God (1 Cor 7).
But yeah, comp is enamored with marriage. Marriage marriage marriage marriage marriage.
Over half the U.S. population is single now, with a big chunk consisting of the never-married (as of 204, according to news articles on the topic).
But complementarians (the ones who notice this societal shift) choose to grumble about that fact, and to complain how awful it is marriage is languishing, rather than validating singleness and helping singles.
This excerpt from a lengthy 2006 post mentions books by George Knight and Wayne Grudem, both of whom are Council Members of the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. Boldface emphasis added on the sales statistics.
Evangelicals of Opposite Opinion
Paradoxically, in this same thirty-year period in which the co-equality of the divine persons has been powerfully reaffirmed and the implications of this teaching for our human social life recognized, many conservative evangelicals have been moving in the opposite direction. They have argued that the Trinity is ordered hierarchically, with the Father ruling over the Son. The Father is eternally “head over” the Son just as men are permanently “head over” women. In this model of the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity, rather than being a charter for emancipation and human liberation, becomes a charter to oppose social change and female liberation.
This novel teaching was first enunciated by G. Knight III in his highly influential 1977 book, New Testament Teaching on the Role Relationship of Men and Women (Baker, 1977). He argued that the God-given permanent subordination of women in role and authority in the church and the home was supported and illustrated by the Trinity. For him, the Son is eternally subordinated in role and authority to the Father, despite the fact that the Father and the Son are both fully divine. He thus spoke of a “chain of subordination” (33) in the Father-Son and the man-woman relationship, and of an eternal subordination of the Son that has “certain ontological aspects” (56).
This new teaching on the Trinity came to full fruition in 1994 with the publication of W. Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994). Two chapters in this book outline his doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in function and authority. The impact of this book on evangelicals cannot be underestimated. Over 130,000 copies have been sold and the abridged version, Bible Doctrine (ed. J. Purswell; Zondervan, 1999), with exactly the same teaching on the Trinity and women, has sold over 35,000 copies. For Grudem the Son’s role subordination, like that of women, is not a matter of who does certain things as we might expect on seeing the word “role,” but rather a matter of who commands and who obeys. He writes, “the Father has the role of commanding, directing, and sending” and the Son has “the role of obeying, going as the Father sends, and revealing God to us” (Systematic Theology [Zondervan, 1995] 250) These words disclose the key issue; that is, the Son is eternally set under the authority of the Father. Grudem insists that this understanding of the Trinity is historic orthodoxy (cf. his latest book, Evangelicals, Feminism, and Biblical Truth [Multnomah, 2004] 405-43). It is, for him, what the creeds and the best of theologians have maintained throughout church history.
This hierarchical understanding of the Trinity has now almost won over the conservative evangelical community. Most evangelicals seem to believe this is what the Bible and “the tradition”—that is, the interpretive tradition—teach. However, I am also an evangelical, but I am convinced the opposite is the truth. The Bible (Matt 28:19; 2 Cor 13:13; etc.) and the interpretative tradition summed up in the creeds and Reformation confessions speaks of a co-equal Trinity where there is no hierarchical ordering.
Grudem and the many evangelicals who follow him say they are only advocating the eternal functional or role subordination of the Son, not the ontological subordination of the Son. Indeed, all Christians believe that the Son voluntarily and temporally choose to be subordinated for our salvation in the incarnation (Phil 2:4-11). The problem arises with the word “eternal.” If the Son is eternally subordinated to the Father, and cannot be otherwise, then he does not just function subordinately, he is the subordinated Son. His subordination defines his person or being. Eternal functional subordination implies by necessity ontological subordination. Blustering denials cannot avoid this fact.
“One of the key questions here for Christians here is . . . Is comp teaching heresy?
heresy, schmeresy… people sling this word around like one of those red rubber bouncy balls on the playground in a high-spirited, competitive game of dodgeball. and what fun it is to say “YOU’RE OUT!”
at the rate my silly religion is going, indeed, the logical conclusion is everyone holed up into their own ever-shrinking group, with their leader saying “your only chance to survive, or evacuate, is to leave with us” (a la Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate, 1997).
‘heresy’ these days I like driving a car: everyone driving faster than me is a maniac deserving of harsh reprimanding words; everyone driving slower than me is a moron, & it’s open season on the ridicule. the only ones driving correctly are those driving just like me.
i’m all over the place in my metaphors, and I think your mention of ‘heresy’ was simply to make the point i’ve made above. but let me cut to the chase:
In the debate on patriarchy (in all its forms), the question to ask is “what is abuse?”
i’ll go with the Cambridge dictionary here: abuse is the use of something in a way that is harmful or morally wrong.
my position is that the use of religion and its scriptures to take away someone’s freedoms because of how their DNA appears is harmful and/or morally wrong.
Another thing I wanted to say about this. I’m not sure how to explain it.
Out of all the dangerous teachings, comments, and attitudes I’ve seen about how to deal with domestic violence, they have been by and large uttered by complementarians.
I’ve been meaning to write a blog post at my own blog for quite some time explaining how even your “true version” of “biblical” comp is dangerous to women (I have explained it on this blog before)…
But, even if comp were this true, wonderful, godly belief system-
The fact is (if we want to even go with the “No True Comp” argument) that complementarianism is so easily misunderstood, often mis-applied, and exploited by narcissistic, Garden- Variety jerk husbands, and by famous (such as John Piper and Mark Driscoll), and not- so- famous, preachers and Christian commentators, is, IMO, a huge red flag all on its own.
If comp was really and truly so deeply respectful of women, provided a basis of care and concern for women, and did offer true protection of women, I don’t think we should be able to expect any popular preachers and Christian personalities (or non popular) spouting off the deeply insulting sexist rhetoric against women that we do.
(BTW, some of these same comp preachers occasionally say deeply insulting things about types of MEN they do not like.
Driscoll, for instance, used to mock and ridicule men who don’t meet his warped “manly-man” version of manhood.)
If comp were as great and respectful of women as comps say “True comp” is, we should not be seeing a regular re-occurence of demeaning, disrespectful, sexist commentary and attitudes from those who profess to believe in it.
But every month or so, there is yet another new incident with some new bone-headed thing Piper, Strachan, or some other complementarian says about women, or with how they think the church ought to deal with domestic violence.
Comp, even “true, actual, biblical comp,” still provides cover, a fertile soil, and rationalization for abusive or selfish men who mistreat women or who hold sexist attitudes.
That should maybe be an indication that comp really is not as helpful, loving, or “biblical” as ‘true’ comps think it is.
Here is a list of Council Membersjs wrote:
Here is the list of the 26 current Council Members for the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood — 20 men, 6 women. It includes seminary presidents, professors of theology, legal counsel for Christian missions/ministries, pastors, authors, speakers, elders, business people, and homemakers.
Daniel L. Akin, Ph.D.
Donald Balasa, J.D.
James Borland, Th.D.
Austin Chapman, M.B.A.
Jack Cottrell, Ph.D.
J. Ligon Duncan III, Ph.D.
Steve Farrar, Th.D.
Mary Farrar, B.A.
Wayne A. Grudem, Ph.D.
Daniel Heimbach, Ph.D.
H. Wayne House, Th.D., J.D.
Elliott Johnson, Th.D.
Peter Jones, Ph.D.
Rebecca Jones, B.A.
Mary Kassian, M.C.A.O.T.
George W. Knight III, Th.D.
C. J. Mahaney
R. Albert Mohler, Jr., Ph.D.
Heather Moore, M.A.
Dorothy Patterson, D.Min., Dr. Theol.
John Piper, Dr. Theol.
James Stahr, Th.M.
K. Erik Thoennes, Ph.D.
Bruce A. Ware, Ph.D.
It would be easy to figure out via Amazon how many books each has produced, and then find a way to evaluate how many sales and/or how influential the book has been.
And then to cross-reference with the list of Council Members for The Gospel Coalition. Women aren’t allowed to be Council Members for TGC apparently, so that leaves the 20 men of CBMW, of which 4 are on the council for TGC (Akin, Duncan, Mohler, Piper) and, if I remember correctly Mahaney used to be.
And then one could cross-reference the contributors to the CBMW Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and see what books and blogs they have. Even a cursory view of a couple of journal tables of contents gives a significant amount of information on probably partners who communicate about complementarianism (though not necessarily ESS — for that, one might commission a research project …).
I think Gram3 also mentioned that same guy? I wish she were here! She remembers the details on this better than I do.
Yes, there is/was a complementarian who taught that women are not fully in the divine image of God, because the first women was made from the man’s rib.
His view is in error, as 1 Corinthians 11 demonstrates:
The Bible teaches the genders are equal in role and worth (e.g., Genesis 1:27-28, 1 Corinthians 7:4, Galatians 3:28);
Jesus warned against seeking authority and power over another even in “role” (Matthew 20:25-26).
But what do comps do but keep trying to justify a male-only led hierarchy and power grab. They are trying to keep a system in place that Jesus specifically came to abolish and told Christians to have no part in.
Comp NeoCalvinists planned a stealth take over of seminaries and churches for some 30 years. They succeeded. Results? Comp teaching Southern Baptists now have the highest divorce rate in the nation (Barna study), higher than the divorce rate among atheists (when the national divorce rate has been dropping for years).
Southern Baptists lost a whopping 200,000 members last year. Christians – including conservatives, women, seniors – are fed up (authoritarianism, patriarchy/comp) and leaving the institutional church in droves to become The Dones.
Thank you for looking that up and posting about it.
I did see Grudem as being a complementarian promoter of ESS listed when I looked around a few moments ago on my own.
I get worn out with complementarians who don’t want to assume any responsibility for complementarianism, by saying things like, “That’s not the flavor of comp I subscribe to, ergo, that is not true comp, so I won’t bother with your argument,” or what have you.
This frees them from having to re-examine complementarianism and consider maybe it’s not so true and biblical after all.
I suppose it’s easier to see the problems with complementarianism that get pointed out as being aberrations of it than having any basis in comp itself.
js wrote: “I see another possibility . . . …Further, when B is a majority or traditionally held position, it is more likely that more cases of A will show up because there is a greater pool of people and where there are more people there is a greater potential for more problems.”
brad/futuristguy wrote: “…But isn’t that fixed simply by figuring out the rate of abuse among different populations, where all of them are categorized according to theological perspective?”
Brad, you have amazing powers. could you figure this out? seems highly relevant to me.
This raises a really important question that the NeoCals/Comps have yet to answer to my satisfaction. Aren’t *Biblical* men supposed to wear a dress (and sandals)?
After all, Jesus did.
Now I really understand why the Apostle Paul said that it is better not to marry.
Ironically. Oh so ironically:
The gender complementarians who bother to notice that more and more adults are avoiding marriage are not making marriage look appealing to singles, what with the draconian teachings about gender roles.
Some of the comps are deeply troubled that there is a lack of marriages going on, so they scream and pound their fists on tables at the young folk to marry (funny how they don’t care about any singles over the age of 29), but they make marriage sound so very unappealing.
This is coming from someone someone who had hoped and expected to be married one day.
I see the garbage complementarian promote about marriage, and how they expect abused women to put up with a jerk husband and they prohibit divorce, and I think,
“Hmm, maybe it’s good I never got married. Maybe I should stay single. I certainly should not marry a complementarian guy. A sweet, loving, considerate atheist would probably make better husband material.”
It’s so very ironic complementarians are pushing some singles away from marriage, not towards it, through their teachings, yet some of them claim they really, really want singles to marry.
Grudem’s Systematic Theology has also been reduced to a short book titled Christian Beliefs that is the companion book to his video series of the same name. It appears to be very popular in conservative evangelicalism. The video series prominently displays its endorsement by CJ Mahaney, Mark Driscoll, James MacDonald, Al Mohler and John Piper. The book and videos are aimed at new believers. Almost half of the chapter on the Trinity is devoted to the allegedly subordinate roles of the Son and Holy Spirit as a model for men and women in marriage. New believers could be forgiven for thinking that God is triune in order to provide a model for complementarian marriage authority structure.
“a short book titled Christian Beliefs that is the companion book to his video series of the same name. It appears to be very popular in conservative evangelicalism. …. Almost half of the chapter on the Trinity is devoted to the allegedly subordinate roles of the Son and Holy Spirit as a model for men and women in marriage.”
I feel sick. such an innocuous, rudimentary title, “Christian Beliefs” — just like my kids’ math text books. with the credence given to the name wayne grudem, it’s irrestistible as a bona fide resource of true truth.
I have such an uneasy feeling….
again, this reference from LT yesterday, “abusive cult leader of Teen Mania, Ron Luce, used to always say “the people who shape our culture are the ones who speak the loudest”.
and stuff the publicity ballot box.
people of influence, who have an audience, please don’t hesitate in speaking loudly on the error of ESS & patriarchy, by all its silly and sneaky names.
I don’t think gender complementarianism has a tiny number of proponents and practitioners. How about Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church, and his wife Szuszanna, who sells special Christian bathing suits for girls and women (hint: they look like knee-length dresses)? How about the Independent Fundamental Baptist Church denomination, the Duggars, Botkins, Pearls, Campbells? I could also name quite a few neighbors over the years.
There are TWW readers — and likely members of TGC and CBMW — with research backgrounds who could set up studies with clear criteria and methodologies and definitions and categories that could answer such questions.
I suspect a *lot* of what gets argued over could be resolved with basic research like this, but won’t because of lack of resources. But who would put up the funds to do such a thing? Or who has enough time on their own to invest in doing professional-level studies? So we’re stuck with the limitations of our personal observations and intuitions — valid as they may be — and opinions based on them.
In the absence of these kinds of research studies, we do at least have investigative reportage, which can give us extended case studies with personal narratives and other documentation, from which we can draw evidence-based conclusions.
Such commendations are intriguing for links they offer in reinforcing who’s in the the who’s-who chain of a “Patriarchal-Authoritarian Industrial Complex.” If interested, here’s the research process that I use for identifying the key entities and individuals in an industrial complex.
On what you are saying about the research aspects of this I agree. Here’s what I see. This issue is not being discussed through research, it is being discussed on social media and blogs. In these places, the likelihood of getting to the truth is a challenge. Is complementarianism at the root of abuse in the church? To read the watchblogs it obviously is, there can be no doubt. But do watchblogs give us an accurate picture, especially if they become known for outing a certain theological strain in their reporting? Just as I would not trust JD Hall to tell me about Ergun Caner or Lifeway, so I am not sure I can trust many watchblogs to tell me if there is a true issue within complementarianism as compared to the world and to other Christian theological perspectives. I simply can’t get past what I see as a bias against comps on so many watchblogs. This bias is exacerbated by the unrelenting ridicule and downright insults the comps face from a few commenters. Now I know that my own bias may be producing these feelings in me. But my earlier example of charismatics illustrates what I am trying to say. I do not agree with charismatic theology yet I do not think all charismatics agree with Benny Hinn and Kenneth Hagin. I don’t believe they all think Creflo Dollar should get his 60 million dollar jet. I know there are many who love the Lord and that the abusive, excessive and authoritarian things that happen within charismatica do not happen because of the theology but because of a distortion of the theology. Everyone wants to throw the No True Scotsman fallacy at the comps but are reluctant to throw it at other groups like charismatics or Muslims or other groups accused of abusive behavior.
You don’t seriously think the decline of the SBC is due to the Neo-Cals?!? If that were the case all the mainline egal denominations should be growing at a faster rate than the SBC. Any evidence for that? Your Barna info on divorce was published long before any so-called takeover. The SBC seminaries offer Reformed leaning (SBTS, SEBTS) and non-Reformed leaning (NOBTS and SWBTS) options. SBC presidents in recent years have represented differing theological perspectives as well. It is not until recent years that institutional heads in the SBC were Reformed. The decline has been hastening for years.
The SBC is dying because it is literally dying. You know as well as I that church involvement across the board has been in decline with each succeeding generation, in denominations of all stripes. The generation that was the booming SBC of the 1950s is now in their 70s and 80s and they are dying. The 200,000 people are not because all of the sudden the neo-Cals came into town and women everywhere felt subjugated and left in droves. Most are leaving in order to be with the Lord while their bodies push up daisies. It’s not rocket science and its been in the works since Mohler had acne. The SBC is not in decline because of the neo-Cals. Most of the strongest SBC churches in our area are comp and many are Reformed. I think the decline in the SBC would have been greater, not lesser, without the Conservative Resurgence and even the YRR. I believe there are a lot more young people in SBC life today than would be there without the movements of the last 10 years. But with that said, there still aren’t nearly enough younger people coming into the church to offset the deaths of the post WWII crowd. Thus the decline.
I can’t exactly figure out, then, why you even come here since you don’t trust you’re getting an unbiased, researched view. And you don’t have your own website to present your own research. What am I missing here about your reasons/purposes for reading here, then?
I read as many TWW posts as I can, and it is my opinion that Dee and Deb do a good job overall in bringing together theological sources, personal accounts, and systems information — providing a base for further investigation, analysis, and interpretation of where a situation fits in the larger picture of Christianity.
I comment here to add what I think will help move a discussion along, or fill in a gap, or offer a springboard/link to further research. And I’m sure not all my comments are always constructive.
And yes, TWW deals primarily with evangelicalism and yes, not all of it. But not only Neo-Calvinism or patriarchalism. And, as a survivor of multiple incidents of spiritual abuse (some lasting for as much as 5 years) in fundamentalist, Pentecostal, conservative, emergent, complementarian, non-complementarian, Christian non-profits, church plants, and existing church settings — I’d prefer to have the slice of it they offer here than to have nothing at all. That’s because I had to go through the aftermath of a church split in an authoritarian/strongly complementarian congregation in the late 1970s, over a dozen years before there was a single book available on spiritual abuse and recovery. So, I appreciate the value of this kind of information on abuse, recovery, intervention, and prevention.
It’s an imperfect system, but it fulfills what I see as a need for those who want to recover from spiritual abuse and/or prevent it from happening to others, given that secular media tends to cover only the relevant local stories or The Biggest Christian Scandals.
The reason I bring up heresy is precisely because of what you are saying here. In your view, all comps are taking away someone’s freedoms and doing something morally wrong by believing and teaching comp. Therefore, I am asking Christians who agree with this assessment, what should be done with the comps in the Church today? Rebuke, excommunication, re-education, separation?
TWW does a good job with what it does on the research side, for what it researches. I think there is value in that and that is why I read. What I am saying is that because of this bias against YRR types at TWW I am not sure I am getting a fully-orbed view of abuse in even the evangelical world. It doesn’t mean the articles written here are suspect, only that they are not the full picture. Indeed, there have been some suspect articles in my opinion (associations made between neo-Cals and various malcontents where the association was a bit of a stretch) but most of the articles seem to be on target, and therefore helpful. What I am saying though is that it is unclear to me whether the abuses are greater in the comp world, or in the Reformed world and I could never find out from reading TWW and most of the other popular blogs because they have a bias against these groups. So I can still read here with discernment but I am not convinced the conclusion that abuse in the church is primarily a problem of those who hold comp theology.
Perhaps YRR/Neo-Calvinism/Neo-Puritanism is not as much a source of quantitative decline in the SBC as are the same demographics and cultural shifts that affect all institutions.
But maybe that theological system is the primary source of qualitative change in the essential nature of the Southern Baptist doctrinal and organizational composition, as some comments up-thread have stated, where strategic changes over to Neo-CalviBaptist have occurred in SBC organizational structures, strategies, and entities. And that change-over can be interpreted as a different kind of “decline.” Kudzu can take over a forest, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.
That isn’t really an accurate representation of what was posted.
What do you think is proved by highlighting “top giving” and “fastest growing”? And I don’t mean that in a snarky way, I am really curious as to what this criteria proves to, or substantiates for, you.
Because if the above quoted criteria is substantiation of successful ministry – then Jesus failed spectacularly as a leader.
People kept leaving Him in droves – so His growth numbers weren’t very good.
Jesus Himself managed to grow His numbers from 12 to 120, losing a few thousand along the way.
And when He sent out His first mission teams – $$$ = bupkiss.
Not a denarii to be had between the 72 of them.
And then He made uncomfortable assertions such as “narrow is the way, and only a FEW will find it.”
Scripture, both Old and New, shows us example after example of the large, visible, organized, wealthy religious structure in all its glory – and then God sends some loner who has been wandering around in the wilderness or living in caves for a few years to tell them just how unhappy God is with their large, visible, organized, wealthy religious structure.
That may be something to keep in mind when proclaiming the wonders of the large, visible, organized, and wealthy religious structures while believing that such is THE proof of their power and prayerfulness.
God often seems to be leaning more toward the lowly and the weak, the small and despised, the foolish and the ostracized.
At least that’s the way it seems to me.
so it would take funds, eh. you had made it sound so simple! (simply do this, that & the other and bim-boom-bah bob’s your uncle). i’m a creative — i’m not all that grounded in these kinds of things.
“Simple” in the sense that if unlimited funds were available, you could likely set up well-constructed research to answer the questions that were actually being asked (plus perhaps ones that should be asked but aren’t so evident yet). But it could still takes lots and lots of time and energy and investment of expertise.
For instance, here’s what it took for the Boston Globe investigation to unravel the systematic cover-up of child abuse dramatized in the Oscar-winning Best Picture movie Spotlight:
MARTY BARON [the editor]: It took seven months from the time we launched until the first story ran on January 6, 2002. And then we investigated over the course of the following year and even beyond that. We published 600 stories in the first year, several hundred more the year after that. I calculated conservatively that it cost us over a million dollars to do that investigation when you look at staff, legal expenses, all of that. But well worth it. (Source: The Wrap, December 23, 2015, pages 24-25.)
I am believer in free religious belief which means that they are welcome to their beliefs just as I am welcome to my beliefs that they do not know what they are talking about. I get to tell them why I don’t think the know what they are talking about.
I ask and ask and ask what constitutes authority and leadership that is given to a male. I don’t believe in code words without meaning. In order to be a comp, it mean you must believe that women and, and cannot do, certain things.
Now, I get they can’t be pastors and I gat that the man in the marriage has a tie breaking vote. That, at least, is specific. But since this is an issue that is so important to comps that organizations are formed, money raise,d conferences are held, associations formed and book are written it must be more than that.
So, given that this is nothing new under the sun, what can a man as pastor do that a woman cannot. Frankly, all theology has been written for two millennia. Since women can understand it as well as men, why cant a woman get up and preach what has already been decided on like the Virgin Birth. How does a man saying Jesus was born to a virgin differ in anyway from a woman saying he was born of a virgin.
Does a male pastor get to decide how many restrooms will be in the new building? Does only a male get decide how much a bolding campaign should be? As a woman, can I say that the building campaign for $42 million is ridiculous and join another church? Is that refusing to accept authority?
I am begging comps to tell me what they believe practically. And Keller’s meme of “We look egalitarian but we really are comp” doesn’t cut it. The other one that doesn’t cut it is this. “I know what it look like in my family but I don’t know what it looks like for you.”
That means I can say that I do everything egalitarian but I am really a comp.
All I want out of comps is laying it on the line and that is something they cannot do beyond pastors and tie breakers.
This is a crucial point, @Dee, and glad you brought it up. I believe this lack of a clear, concise definition of “complementarian” BY THOSE WHO ADHERE TO IT AS DOCTRINE AND IN PRACTICE has been a key problem in figuring out whether it contributes to forms of abuse, and if so, how.
The fact that there are differing definitions and descriptions of this term FROM ITS PROPONENTS would seem to me to mean that it is definitely a spectrum of beliefs/practices — and obviously not something as monolithic or monocultural as some might want people to believe. I believe that could be backed up with a range of quotes from pro-complementarianism sources to show the scale of intensity for male authority to “rule” at various points along the spectrum. If you’ve got a clear spectrum (or 3D grid) to work with, then you could do research to identify the region where it gets into consistent connection with forms of abuse. And you could engage in theological discussion about the underlying source issues and whether it taints “the gospel” as presented and lived out at those regions of the spectrum.
And that’s in part why I talked earlier about patriarchalism as the extreme end of the complementarian spectrum — I’ve put together a mental model of that spectrum over the years. And with the patriarchal profile at the extreme end of complementarianism there seems to be an inherent pairing with authoritarianism (overlording, as in the Shepherding Movement and “Umbrellas of Protection” systems). And those who’ve been reading TWW for any length of time have likely come across a statement like, “The problem isn’t legalism; it’s authoritarianism.”
At one point I was a member of a church that decided to add a kitchen in the multi-purpose area, but since only men could make decisions of that sort the men designed the layout of the kitchen but told the women that they could choose the curtains. It was a disaster all the way around.
Now prior to adding the kitchen they just did covered dish stuff because-are you ready?- because there is no mention of kitchens in churches in the bible.
My personal belief is that people should vote with their wallets and their feet and leave Comp/Patriarchy churches. I will NEVER give any money again to a Comp believing church. I will NEVER give any money to a church that doesn’t have women use all of their gifts. (Ditto for Membership Covenants and elder-led, not congregational vote.)
There is no negotiating with these NeoCal Comps/Patriarchy promoters. Their views are extreme and bizarre. People face church discipline for disagreeing.
Even conservative Christians have ‘had it’ with Comp doctrine and are fleeing.
A whopping 200,000 members left the Southern Baptists last year yet the men in leadership who created the problems still won’t fess up.
Based on my readings in religious literature and on the Internet, Dee and Deb’s articles are right on the money. Maybe you should try another website.
In one of the SBC churches we used to attend, there was a faithful servant of the Lord who organized all church functions. Hospitality was her gift. When a young reformer took over this traditional church through stealth and deception (he lied to the search committee about his theological persuasion), he promptly dismissed her from that role (after 40+ years) and assigned one of his hand-picked elders to kitchen duty. Fellowship meals were never the same again. These young whippersnappers think they have to change everything!
Today, I was over at Intenet Monk and read Chaplain Mike’s answer to Tim Challis about Ruth Tucker. The more I think about it, the more absurd Challis is in discrediting Tucker’s argument because it’s based on her experience. Well, that’s life! We’re supposed to apply Scripture to our experience and have it guide our experience. Religion isn’t just theoretical. Challis reminds me of the PCAers I was around in high school. They could talk Chritianity, but they couldn’t “do” it. That’s where it occurred to me that Christianity is a noun and also a verb!
Now, in regards to complementarianism and abuse, the argument reminds me of what Christ said about lust. Action starts with a thought, an attitude. Once a man takes the attitude that a woman is lower in rank than he, he has started down the road to abuse. He might not actually become an abuser, but action starts with a thought, with the attitude that men are in charge and God says so. And no, I don’t buy that comp argument that men and women are equal in rank yet different in role. Women still end up with less power, so I say horse hockey to that argument.
Now remember, women are easily deceived, so she was clearly picking heretical meals. Scripture is clear on this.
Comp/Patriarchy arguments are illogical.
*Authority is vested by order of creation. Comps: Man was first and has authority over woman.
OK, does that mean that rocks, earth, water and plants have *authority* over man, because they were here first?
*Holy Spirit. Comp argument is that the Holy Spirit is fully functioning in men but not in women. Therefore the Holy Spirit is defective.
Amen, BL! Not all that glitters is gold.
It’s Friday. It’s 5:49. My hands started to shake when I read this. I know-time for a glass of wine!
I think there are a variety of reasons for the steep decline in SBC memberships. And yes one of the reasons that people are leaving the Southern Baptists is that the love affair with NeoCalvinism and patriarchy is over. People simply aren’t standing for it any more and are leaving. (Conservatives, women, seniors.)
BIG news in today from ABC News: Supreme Court revokes Scientology’s tax-exempt status as religious org after 2-year IRS investigation.
Who knows — maybe this has implications for potential IRS investigations on church non-profits that fail to follow IRS regulations …
Dagnabbit … apparently a hoax. But wouldn’t it be appropriate if the IRS would investigate religious non-profits that aren’t following regulations — like no inurement, no excess benefit, etc.?
I didn’t say that, js. I certainly wish all the non-comp, non-Cal preachers spent more time in their prayer closets! If they did, we might see a genuine revival and spiritual awakening in America … but, sadly many have become too apathetic to seek God and experience a fresh anointing in their ministries. What I was trying to point out (and believe others read properly) is that there is a vast difference between a man of God and a preacher boy (regardless of theological leaning). Power and favor rest upon a man of God who prays as he ought – you know it when you are around it – you hear it through the passion in which he preaches – you see it in the lives he touches. I don’t sense that level of anointing in the reformed movement. Granted, reformed churches are growing but where are they going?
I was young and now I’m old, js. I’ve never had a problem with form as long as there was some substance to it. I don’t even have a problem with tweeting! But, there is something greatly amiss in this idol-worshiping movement in which young folks put more focus on what some NC leader said Paul said, than devoting time to study the Gospels themselves to see what Jesus said! I truly believe if New Calvinists would read Jesus first, the writings of Paul would come into perspective. And when it does, one will find that the tenets of New Calvinism are aberrant. TWW has been faithful to report how these aberrations in belief and practice manifest through unBiblical views of authoritarian church governance and male/female roles in the Body of Christ. Praise God for their ministry!
ESS is ingrained to certain degrees in most Reformed leaning churches. People cannot even spot it because it is mainstream. PSA is a variation of it. Which does nothing but turn Jesus into a lesser god the big God had to pour out His wrath upon. The Trinity as a pecking order.
The way you keep framing life for comos is as if comps are under attack and have a difficult time finding a church to participate in. When the exact opposite is the reality! Most churches preach and teach complementarian structure for marriage relationships. Try to be in a church when you believe something different. You will have no friends, and go bonkers listening to the constant reference to it in sermons and Bible studies. Goodness, you make it sound like comps are under persecution.
They happen to be the loudest group on the platform right now. The bizarro world of Robert Morris is gaining ground. One thing that has always interested me are the original of authoritarianism in Christendom. It is the historical position from state church mentality. It has been making a huge comeback here. I see it as part of the cultural phenomenon of our society as a whole sliding toward collectivism. There is always an oligarchy. People buy into it and give up liberties.
Oops…Origins of authoritarianism…
Seriously though….this does not come from Jesus Christ.
Piper tried to shore this up with the concept of primogeniture. Sort of amusing since God totally ignored it all through the OT.
This is what I have heard. And when you take into consideration consideration how many preachers/teachers use Grudems ST books when teaching to tens, dozens, hundreds, and even thousands, the infection spread.
A better way is for the ADULTS at church to study all views and be tolerant of differing non salvic interpretations. That has not been the way. Many groups include comp in belief statements. It is confusing. For example, the change to the BFM2000 would have meant Lottie Moon was in sin!
Therein, lies the problem. There are areas in Scripture where teachings and traditions of men have superseded Holy Spirit guidance. We get into problems in Christendom when we establish creeds and force members to comply. Within SBC, soul competency and priesthood of the believer were long-held beliefs supported by Scripture. Individual believers were free to read Scripture and pray for the Holy Spirit to lead them into Truth. They then built their faith on what they believed God was saying to them and were free to do so. Statements of faith, such as SBC’s Baptist Faith & Message, served to provide essential boundaries for denominational belief and practice. Unfortunately the BFM was revised in 2000 to provide more theological wiggle room. The BFM2000 revision diminished soul competency and priesthood of the believer, with a trend toward reformed positions in this regard. The SBC is not the “free” church that it used to be, due to increasing Calvinist influence.
Mainline Southern Baptists are just now realizing that the “Conservative” Resurgence has become a “Calvinist” Resurgence. I don’t think the CR architects (mostly non-Calvinists) intended the pendulum they put in motion to swing back 500 years to resurrect John Calvin. But, certain prominent Calvinists in the CR ranks (e.g., Al Mohler) knew exactly how to take advantage of the situation at hand. SBC’s old guard Calvinists had been trying for years to take SBC back to its Civil War roots in reformed belief and practice. They couldn’t have pulled it off without tapping the young, restless and reformed movement. The old boys needed YRR energy to pull it off; they found willing young minds to indoctrinate. Their strategy is working; I’ll give them that.
I refuse to support, in truth, I blatantly oppose the annual Lottie Moon offering. If the SBC stands by article xvii of the BFM 2000, how can they name a missional offering after a WOMAN who crossed almost every gender boundary they have set??? Given the restrictions place on women by the SBC, the IMB, and the NAMB, isn’t she a horrible person for the SBC to use as a fund-raising model for modern-day missionaries? Bad enough that they would use a woman, but Lottie Moon …….. of all people! Haarrruummphhhh! ; )
That’s key. Jesus temporarily chose to be subordinate.
Heb 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels…
“Therefore, I am asking Christians who agree with this assessment, what should be done with the comps in the Church today? Rebuke, excommunication, re-education, separation?”
‘what should be done with them’?? you say it like they’re refugees or something. (hardly, they’re the ones with the power; ill-gotten in my opinion)
your question almost feels like a trap — like, you’re hoping for the opportunity to indict the egalitarian position of something heinous. of something just as scuzzy as the comp/pat powerbrokers’ assertion that comp is a salvation issue, and those who don’t abide by it are to be viewed with suspicion if not rejected altogether.
I’ve never heard anything as ridiculous & divisive as that coming from ‘egalitarians’.
to answer your question: we coexist, in the same way that a family made up of both passionate republicans and passionate democrats coexist.
we argue at times, we don’t touch the topic with a 10-foot pole at the Thanksgiving & Christmas table. when there are grave concerns for what is humanitarian or right & fair & just we implore the other with a reasoned presentation. we leave the room when discussion gets too hot. we don’t join each other’s political groups.
is that a fair answer?
and in the discourse / debate at large (not one-on-one) we call out the other group for how we view their position as foolish, dangerous, corrupt, etc. strong language is not out of the question. some individuals warrant great castigation for using what’s in the bible as a weapon (an offensive one, a defensive one, and a blunt instrument as a means to control).
For the first time in my 60+ year SBC journey, I have a different feeling about those Lottie Moon offering envelopes in the pew holders. Most of those funds will be directed to NAMB’s church planting program.
That’s what I thought of js’ question. A trap.
I haven’t had time to read each and every post made since I was last here, though I did skim a few.
I recently came across this (I haven’t read it yet but will):
Male Headship Theology Enables Abusers
The older I get, it bothers me more and more that some Christians don’t seem to realize or care that their spiritual beliefs, interpretations of scripture, etc, have a very real impact on people’s lives.
Real life flesh and blood people who might be harmed (or further harmed) by doctrines and theology. This stuff is actually lived out and applied by some people and is not merely abstract or debated on blogs.
If Doctrine X has caused untold misery for people, you would think Christians would very much want to re-examine Doctrine X.
Tim Challies’ would rather stay in agreement and perpetuation of Doctrine X.
Mostly because, I’d assume, he thinks Doctrine X is so gosh golly faithful to the Bible.
Based on his review of Tucker’s book (which I read excerpted on other sites), Challies is putting doctrine above people (which Paul kind of said no to in 1 Corinthians 13),
And do the Challies of the world never stop to think, “Hmm, maybe I am wrong about this topic? Maybe the Bible isn’t as clear on Doctrine X as I have thought in the past.”
Some people who have been hurt by the practical outworking of whatever theological views will want to discuss it; they will want to discuss their experiences from it.
If there is a pattern that shows that Doctrine X produces rotten experiences in people’s lives (or would Challies prefer the more Bible-y term “rotten fruist, a bad tree gives bad fruit”), then I think it’s worth discussing, not dismissing out right as “this is based on her experience, not the Bible!!”
The Bible actually contains verses that say to question all things and teachings, do not just accept them because someone like Tim Challies says so.
1 Corinthians 13
Something else I’d add to my comments above:
Gender comp does not protect. It harms.
Gender comp certainly does not trust – it teaches men and women to be paranoid of women. Gender comp is not very loving, according to 1 Cor 13.
A+ for your wonderful comment/insight about Comp/Patriarchy.
good gravy John Piper IS a strange little man! and hay John, abuse is abuse no matter what you want to say.
on the matter of the `me the man so me the boss` theology – there`s a couple I am friends with – the husband Canadian and very into the whole Gender comp theology. his wife is from Taiwan, tiny and quiet. And you should see her silence her large, well made `me the head` man with just one look!
warms my heart tbh!
Of course it is a trap. The comp propaganda worked for a while and now they are concerned that it isn’t. The propaganda went something like this:
If you are not comp then you don’t believe in biological gender distinctions. They used the rise of acceptance of homosexuality to scare people and label them. They promoted a false dichotomy. If you were not squarely in that camp it was a slpeery slope right into the transgender camp.
So now the debate has been in the internet public square for a while the comp position has suffered from other scholarship finally getting a hearing. So now they assume those that disagree are like them and will want to marginalized them like they did.
Grudems ST replaced the bible at some SBC seminaries
Islam is growing, too. So is Mormonism. Not sure the popular any growing argument is a good one. In fact, if saddens me that such a quest for those groups promoting rules, roles and formulas are so popular. It tells us a lot if we are paying attention.
I never said the growing argument is a good one. But Max said the neo-cal preacher boys were tweeting their lives away instead of praying for revival and another commenter laid the blame for the decline (and they were talking about numbers as the 200,000 total came up) of the SBC at the feet of the neo-cals. So my replies are aimed at demonstrating: 1) that the neo-cals are active in ministry and not lazy (though as I said to Max vocational ministry paradoxically tends to be a place for both the lazy and for workaholics to land). 2) That the neo-cals SBC churches in my area seem to be doing as well or better than non-cal SBC churches in the overall growth, shedding doubt on the idea that the neo-cal churches are the ones in decline or are responsible for the overall decline of the SBC. No statement equating numbers with faithfulness was made.
I don’t see the difference with your explanations. They are growing, like Islam, for the wrong reasons like many movements in history. These days people are attracted to authoritarianism whether at church or gov control of our lives.
A result of easy-believism that is sweeping across America. The pew is telling the pulpit “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I don’t want to expend any effort to read the Word, pray, etc. I trust you to give it to me straight.” A sure set up for the blind to lead the blind.
That is a fair approach but is quite subjective. Qualitative changes are difficult to assess and might be taken quite differently by different people. A committed non-Cal may lament an infusion of Calvinism in the SBC while another may rejoice.
Again, My reply addressed Max’s charge of laziness among neo-cal preachers and the other charge of the neo-cals being responsible for the NUMERICAL decline in the SBC. I must use numbers to explain numerical issues. It is not fair to say the neo-cals are solely responsible for the numerical decline when many neo-cal churches are growing numerically. No other assessment of faithfulness has been made.
I’d note that, in describing Neo-Calvinist type churches in your area, you used such terms as “strongest” and “doing well” and “growth.” Those are ambiguous and subjective. But they can be described, defined, measured, evaluated as to either their relative “healthy” or “toxic” impact — all of which is part of what I’ve been working toward doing in my research writing work since 2009. However, as you say, not everyone will rejoice in the results of what I am doing to profile what constitutes a malignant theological paradigm, just as much as I will not rejoice in the results of what some Christian individuals, entities, and movements are doing.
I have responded within the text of this comment because there is a lot going on in this comment. Sorry for any confusion. I have prefaced my comments with asterisks and have tried to space it out so it is easy to read.
Again, as I said to Lydia before, the focus of my earlier comments was to answer the assertions that the neb-cals are responsible for the numerical decline of the SBC. So the strong, doing well, growth words were numerically related not because I believe numbers provide the whole picture but because I was answering the specific assertion that the neo-cals are responsible for the numeric decline of the SBC.
I thought all of Lottie Moon went to the IMB. Isn’t Annie Armstrong the offering that goes to NAMB?
I have not seen the numbers (because they won’t divulge them) of Reformed only church plants with some SBC money. Such as Acts 29, Baptist 21 or Sojourn. We do know many fail but as far as tracking and sharing info —that is not happening. We know that the church planting guru at LifeWay has had 3 church plant fails in a relatively short time while double dipping at LifeWay. He, like many YRR, made it clear he only preaches and does not visit the sick or shut ins. Laziness? Arrogance? Too busy on the speaking circuit? A role model?
The other tactic was stealth takeover of older existing churches ( they targeted the debt free ones) using the playbook, Quiet Revolution, that has become so ingrained in their indoctrination the young ones have never heard of it. It is on the Founders website for free, though.
The focus on numbers and the movement entails the takeover of seminaries and other organizations along with partnerships with shepherding cults like SGM and Driscoll. Now we are reading about EFCA.
I have seen some taken over decline but that is often shored up with an influx of SBTS students. That is how it is handled at ground zero. But the Neo Cal movement really works best for those on a ministry career track. It has been around long enough we can start identifying patterns. It will be interesting to track– if they will share the data.
Watch for the big changes coming to how the SBC does missions. They have lost tons of moola and are consolidating programs.
All you have to do is call church planting in N. America, missions. Seems there is a lot hidden since the GCR lockbox and IMB debt crisis. These are not honest men.
Your comment reminded me of all that nonsense!
You would find most non-cal evangelicals believe in Penal Substitutionary Atonement. It is tenuous at best to draw a line from ESS to PSA. Especially since even many Reformed believers and scholars do not subscribe to ESS.
Darn good comment.
I know there is a big difference between the old fashioned Reformed folks and the Calvinista crowd. I have received emails and even talked with a professor that these folks dislike John Piper and some of the nonsense like ESS. However, the ones getting the publicity are the Piperettes.
Heck, I can’t even get a number of plants they have done, the ones that succeeded and the ones that failed. I cannot get numbers on whether only Calvinistas need apply to get the planting funds. It is a big secret.
I believe they are and have been following the numbers for many years. Sorry-they have no wiggle room. Just like each President must, at some point, take responsibility for the state f economy, so will he hardline ridiculous discipline applying Calvinists. The worst stories on abuse are now coming out of Calvinista churches. You must take the knocks if you plan to take the glory.
Now, for you to make that claim, you need to do what we do. We needs numbers, donations, turnover, discipline stats, etc.The word *seem* is just that and the calvinstas are really good at pretense. Remember, Owne Strachan said that complementarians (Calvinists) are the best at fighting domestic abuse. Exactly how many articles must I write before they see that they are not.
One other thing to your “seem” comment. The Calvinistas *seem* to be doing well in our area as well. But, if you talk to the average church attendee which I do (one off them is my daughter) they deny that the church is Baptist, they do not get predestination and do not believe it is taught there,they stare blankly at me when I discuss ESS and many issues surrounding gender stuff, etc. They do baptisms without teaching and hold stadium rallies.
Its a game.
And one of these is one of the most influential churches in the Calvinist movement.I guarantee that you love this guy. Check it out.
It is interesting that a stealth movement would put the whole plan online for free.
Again, my comment was to dispute the claim made upthread that the neo-cals were responsible for the 200,000 person decline in the SBC. My admittedly anecdotal evidence was that in my area neo-cal churches seem to be doing at least as well “numerically” as non-Cal. This is an anecdotal piece of evidence that may not be replicated nationwide, I admit.
As far as my sources, it comes from knowing which churches in my local association are pastored by those who lean Reformed and then looking in my state Baptist newspaper at giving records and attendance. You also get a good idea from being in an area which churches have growing attendance and which are in decline.
This is not to say that numerical growth = health or true spiritual life. It is to say my community goes against the idea that the neb-cals are responsible for the decline of the SBC.
I’m not sure that it is all bad to combine IMB and NAMB. I do think there is a lot of overlap and waste that could be trimmed with one missions arm in the SBC.
But if they in fact ARE Southern Baptist and they are growing Numerically then they are evidence that the 200,000 person decline in the SBC is not the sole responsibility of the neo-Cals, which is all I was saying in my earlier post.
Did a word get left out? I’m not making sense of this.
The worst stories “you are hearing” are coming out of Calvinist churches but who are you listening to? Those who have a beef with Calvinist churches. This is what you’ve become known for, going after the YRR crowd, so of course you are going to get more calls from them than from others. There is no proof that the worst stories are all in Calvinist churches. So often the Reformed on this site get lumped together with everyone under the sun. I have never, ever supported Bill Gothard. I warned people about Doug Phillips before it was cool. It is inevitable here that if there is a story say on an IFB church that somewhere in the comment thread you’ll see a reference to Dever, Mahaney or Piper. Guilt by association, a constant drumbeat of negativity which paints people in the worst possible light. I dare say if Steve Estes were an EFCA minister of non-Cal distinction, his story would not get as much play here as it will because of who he is. I am not saying you would ignore the story if it came to you because i know you stand against abuse, but the closer the story gets to your biggest enemies (Mahaney, Dever, Piper, Mohler) the more attention it will get here, from you and from the commenters.
If interested, here is the introduction I posted to “15 Indicators for Discerning Robust versus Hazardous Systems: Who and What Deserves Our Trust?”
* Nine elements to discern healthy or malignant leaders, and trustworthy or toxic organizations.
* Six features for a successful project, organization, or partnership.
These come out of my experiences, observations, and research over the last 40 years of involvement with a range of non-profit agencies (including about 10 church plants, one of which I was the strategist for). Also, 17 years of those 40 years turned out to be in spiritually abusive environments. So, the system I’ve been working out is at the intersection of theology, missional ministry and church planting, and non-profit organizational development.
I have already been working to break these 15 factors down into specific individual indicators, spectrums, and scales that can be used as a system for ensuring that our endeavors match with biblical mandates and measures (such as for qualified, UNqualified, and DISqualified leaders), civil laws (like mandatory reporting of known/suspected child abuse), and non-profit regulatory requirements (like spending funds for the specific purpose for which they were solicited, and not allowing “excessive benefit” financially to accrue to employees or board members).
All three of those dimensions — biblical, civil, and regulatory — are essential to measuring how healthy or hazardous a church, ministry, or agency is. For instance, substantial questions on all three have come up for Mars Hill Church under the authority of Mark Driscoll, and for Sovereign Grace Ministries under the influence of C.J. Mahaney.
Back to one of the original themes of this post, if we are going to figure out if a theological system tends to consistently result in specific kinds of harms to specific kinds of individuals, we are going to have to get … well … more specific. In terms that social transformation enterprises use, we have to “measure what matters,” and many of those specific attributes that create constructive or destructive impact involve qualitative profiling far more than just quantitative calculating.
I find it difficult to assert on the one hand that Founders is a stealth movement and on the other hand they put out their whole so-called “playbook” online for free. This is what Lydia said above.
Is there evidence Lottie Moon offerings have been used to fund NAMB. That’s all I am asking about. That would not go over well in any SBC circles if true.
Lottie Moon Christmas offerings help fund SBC’s International Mission Board (IMB). Annie Armstrong Easter offerings help fund SBC’s North American Mission Board (NAMB). In 2015, Annie Armstrong offerings were projected to be $60 million (roughly half of NAMB’s operating budget). NAMB’s church planting budget for 2015 was $68 million (over half of NAMB’s expense projections). http://www.namb.net/annualreport/
Lydia spoke accurately. “A Quiet Revolution” can be accessed on the Founders’ website at http://founders.org/library/quiet/
I’m sorry… since when are Mahaney and Co. the personal enemies of Dee and Deb? I see them simply as enemies of Christianity and basic human decency, due to their lack of empathy for victims of abuse, their thinly-veiled hunger for power, their hypocrisy, and their corruption in buying favours from each other.
Of course Christians, and even non-Christians, are outraged to see this kind of behaviour from men who claim the moral high ground. Do you mean to say that you aren’t offended by these so-called “men of God”? And if not, why not?
Maybe they just figured that all the sheep would be too dumb to notice. They certainly seem to have enough contempt for other Christians in general.
That is also true in my area. There are three SBC church plants within 20 miles of each other, all of them staffed by YRR pastors/elders. They have attracted large gatherings of mostly 20s-40s with their format (coffee lounge, free pastries, cool bands, etc.). Their members are coming from various faith backgrounds, including ex-Catholics … if you tell them they are in a “Baptist” church, most would be surprised (I’ve talked to several of them). Their churches all have neat names, with no reference to SBC affiliation in their promotions, on their church sign, or other visible sign of being “Baptist” (you might find a link to the BFM if you look for it on their website). The members go because it is an easy place to be with friends in the community, enjoy the coffee and music, and the messages from a cool “lead pastor” under a spotlight on stage don’t exhort them to live holy lives. So instead of coming out of those churches each Sunday either mad, glad, or sad at what they’ve heard … they go home unchanged from the experience and seem to like it that way.
Yes, my mistake … a slip of the key board by this old guy. Annie Armstrong Easter offerings help finance the North American Mission Board. Lottie Moon Christmas offerings help finance the International Mission Board.
I meant to say in my post “For the first time in my 60+ year SBC journey, I have a different feeling about those ANNIE ARMSTRONG Easter offering envelopes in the pew holders. Most of those funds will be directed to NAMB’s church planting program” ($68 million was budgeted for NAMB’s church planting program last year).
Let’s not forget that the IMB failed to handle finances wisely, so the NAMB gave a few mil to the IMB to help them along. And, the presidents of both the IMB and the NAMB are YRR.
Tweeting your life way doesn’t mean you are lazy! It takes a lot of effort to bang those keys! JS, it may be different in your area (I hope it is) … but on any given day, I can find the SBC-YRR church planters in my area at local coffee shops, rather than visiting sick folks in hospitals and nursing homes, canvassing neighborhoods to reach the unchurched, going into jail cells with a word of hope in Christ, handing out Gospel tracts on city streets, etc. I suppose they are being “culturally-relevant” by hanging out in the coffee shops; after all, that’s where their members are and they can do some ministering there swapping Piper Points, Mohler Moments, and Driscoll Drivel.
Too little too late. Over 1100 foreign missionaries just came home because of a funding deficit. IMB was spending in the red for years (unbeknownst to the SBC millions who kept sending them money). It will be interesting to see what the theological flavor is of new IMB appointments once the financial crisis has past. Most of those veteran missionaries who came home were non-Calvinist.
… to the tune of $210 million over a six-year period, wasn’t it? What would happen in a business if they overspent by nearly a quarter BILLION dollars in that amount of time, with that kind of annual budget? And expect no consequences …
… and here, from the IMB itself, on its financials and strategies:
They’re also purposely planting their new churches in upwardly mobile neighborhoods because that’s where the money is.
Js, here’s the deal: the jig is up. More and more people are noticing the tactics of the neo-Cal crowd and are calling them out. You seem to have a particular focus on TWW, but if you look around on the Internet, other sites are speaking out. You can debate and debate and debate the people here, but it doesn’t change the face that the neo-Cals, or neo-cons as I call them, act this way. If you don’t like what we say here, then I’m sure you’d feel at home on Puritan Board. Regardless, you’re not going to change anyone’s opinion here.
The problem is that they simply don’t care. To them, women are lower in value than men, so they don’t care. They can say their separate but equal nonsense all they want, but it’s bull.
@ Serving Kids In Japan:
This is no joke. The Founders became less active (Mohler was the real Neo Cal leader) when Founder leaded Tom Ascoll was struck by lightning.
Quiet Rev was written 30 years ago but rereleased in a shorter version. It was the very early playbook.
Mohler, instead, played the culture warrior after appointment to SBTS and built his brand. The stealth tactics of Quiet were Incorporated in SBTS curriculum as normal. ‘People don’t know the true Gospel and we have to carefully feed it to them’. That sort of thing.
The real tactics were to take over entities and States, Youth programs like Cru and so on. They are brilliant tacticians. I always said Al Mohler missed his true calling in DC. He built a strong Coalition with guys like Piper, Grudem TGC, T$G. Lots of starry eyed young men have pledged allegiance in the last 15 years.
And one of the NeoCals’ tactics where I live is to rent from Seventh Day Adventists who already have existing churches, many in nice neighborhoods, and the SDA’s worship on Saturdays.
Time mag named Mohler one of rising evangelicals I think in late 90’s. Mohler has been building his brand since his late 20’s. He had culture war radio spots and really got his name out in the secular media. He was consolidating his power in indispensability.
Now I think of Dr. Fundystans “velvet rope” experience at SBTS.
There is no transparency. As I said in my comment, there is a GCR lockbox (15 years) and hiding a huge deficit. There are some who have been trying to get financials on Reformed only church plants and are told they don’t track that. They did not track dollars going to Acts 29?
But now after financial crisis they are recruiting many new missionaries? But won’t say were they got the money,? You can assume they are men of character of you want but the evidence over the last 10 years of stealth tactics, promoting guys like Driscoll and Mahaney tell me exactly what they are: Deceivers.
They don’t need it now. It became the common wisdom in SBC seminaries long ago. However, it gives us a glimpse into how they think.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Spot on! I’ve been wondering the same about JS.
I’m not familiar with this term, Lydia … what does it mean?
The Great Commission Resurgence. A task force of big names were selected to develop strategy for the SBC. This was back when the Neo Cals were advocating for the SBC to change its name to Great Commission Baptist. Al Mohler even tweeted after the vote that the Seminary would be changing its name but it never did.
Anyway there was this task force that was selected and met in secret over a. Of time and then they voted to put the meeting minutes in a lock box in secret for 15 years. Evidently names of people to get rid of and put in power and so on
This is not the SBC I grew up in. This would never have been tolerated but it goes to show how far down the authoritarian Rabbit Hole Mohler has taken the SBC.
He might like SBCvoices. They simply pretend the last 10 years never happened and don’t allow comments they don’t like about Neo Cals.
Thanks, Lydia …and, oy!
You said up thread that the 200,000 member loss last year that the SBC had was due to those who have died. That is not true. The 200,000 who left are among the living, fed up with NeoCalvinism, Patriarchy, and Authoritarianism and are fleeing the SBC. That’s conservatives, women, and senior citizens.
If a person were running a company and 200,000 customers left, they’d have been fired.
The stealth aspect came in 20+ years ago.
Yes that would be a good spot for “js” to hang out. He will find like-minded folks there – a kindred spirit to support what he says, stroke his convictions, and confirm that he is right and the SBC non-Calvinist millions are wrong in belief and practice. You won’t find too many YRR hanging out on TWW because “We are on to you Lewis!” (remember that old TV show?). There’s no use for “js” to keep claiming that TWW commenters are accusing the brethren falsely with conspiracy theories … the brethren have already given us enough evidence to confirm our suspicions! Besides, they are out in the open and in our face now with SBC Calvinization. Do you think “js” might really be David Platt or Kevin Ezell … or maybe even Al Mohler?!
Not the mainline churches, in my experience. There are plenty of healthy churches around, and quite a few traditions that ordain women or at least give them ample opportunities to flourish, give, and lead. These “dying” traditions can provide wonderful, Spirit-filled refuge from abuse. Let’s not write them off at a time when refuge is needed.
There has been a purposeful, ongoing winnowing to eliminate those members who won’t bow down and acquiesce to the pastor’s ‘new vision.’
People who had managed to walk in unity for decades were driven out for being *divisive*.
50 years ago you would not have had stories of elderly church members (who measured their membership as active for decades) being ‘dis-membered’ for failure to tithe or attend.
In the past, the pastors served the members. Now the members serve the pastor.
And when those members can no longer service the pastor in the way he desires to be serviced, then those members are eliminated.
But let’s not forget that that deficit alternating was happening King before those yrr leaders change into their positions and they are the first leaders to really try to confront it.
Sorry about autocorrect. Alternating should be spending and King should be long.
Sbcvoices does not get me thinking, Except for some good contributions from William Thornton and Bart Barber must of the time it is the same old stuff. I come here because I believe exposure to a different take on things sharpens my thinking.
If you think people in the southern Baptist convention walked in unity before the neo cals came on the scene you are very naive. Southern Baptist Church planting until recent years would most often be by virtue of church splits.
Aren’t you aware that right or wrong most of the things you mentioned here have been part of the church planting scene for thirty years, long before the rise of the neo-cals?
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
I disagree with your assessment of them, simple as that. I believe they have mishandled things at times (Mahaney the worst of the lot obviously) but I don’t see this great conspiracy that so many here see. Nor do I think comp teaching if fundamentally immoral so I won’t fault them for that. I don’t see them as doing anything more than uniting to advance their views, which is what anybody with their salt would do. I don’t see them doing anything different than people in ministry have always done they just harnesses social media to do it. Which is probably why they also get more grief than others.
Great misreading of what I posted.
INDIVIDUALS who had been ACTIVE MEMBERS for DECADES in a SINGLE CHURCH were found to be DIVISIVE within a couple of years of the new pastor’s arrival.
Does that help?
Caps for emphasis, not for yelling.
In your rush to diversion, you failed to address my response to why people are leaving:
There has been a purposeful, ongoing winnowing to eliminate those members who won’t bow down and acquiesce to the pastor’s ‘new vision.’
Were you unaware of this?
The Eternal Subordination of the Son argument (emphasis as someone posted before on “eternal”) is a Semi-Arian (not Aryan) Heresy used to bolster the Comp argument. The SBC has been actively promoting this heresy. Result? The SBC has the highest divorce rate in the nation, even higher than atheists.
Ah, the “everybody is guilty” or the “Mom, Bobby does it, too!” defense. Got it.
The seeker megas I worked with were bad. Trust me on that. But the Neo Cals make them look like amatuers. Authoritarianism is inherent in Neo Calvinism. Just look at the history of their heros.
Welcome to American Evangelicalism. The ends justify the means. Just like Jesus. Sigh
Sounds like DC. Actually, my guess it was strategy. Help Eliff save face (Platt was talking more missionaries but not layoffs AFTER hired in several public venues. Was he ignorant or just carrying out strategy?)
Most career missionaries over 50 are not YRR. So several birds are killed with one stone using a crisis the trustees knew about. (Trustees are yes men)
These are not men of character but men who have used a lot of deceit to build their brand. Choosing Platt was part of it. He only discovered “the beauty of the CP” after his appointment because his church was not involved. Which made him qualified, how? By celebrity.
Then we have the deception he went along with in Dubai trying to make the fans at home think he was in danger.
Nope. These types want to be the face of Christendom. They have no integrity or character. It is the new normal. You can buy into the party line. Not me. I will just Ile when called a Jezebel or Pelagian.
Hee hee. I meant smile when autocorrect wrote lie. Does Mohler have control of my phone, too? He already has my church! :o)
In one takeover by Ezell's church that required a vote, they would not allow long time member shut ins (who still tithed!) to vote by proxy. There were lots of them because it was an old church. The vote only won by a few. These charlatans know exactly what they are doing. They go after debt free churches.
Ahhh … but the current church planting movement is more about planting reformed theology, than churches. A brilliant strategy by SBC’s New Calvinist leadership to bring the Millennials and Generation-Xers into SBC ranks, indoctrinate them, and within a generation full Calvinization will be accomplished, due to the attrition of older non-Calvinist members.
Then listen carefully, js. You seem like a fairly intelligent person.
Yes, even many of the conservatives within SBC were upset by the way the moderates were treated during the Conservative Resurgence. We had no idea back then that “Conservative” to some of the CR architects really meant “Calvinism”. SBC used to be such a harmonious bunch (from my 60+ year snapshot of them). Forty-five thousand SBC churches were on the same page in theology and ecclesiology and cooperated to field the greatest mission effort on the planet, the envy of other denominations. A Gospel message for ALL people was proclaimed from its pulpits in many corners of the earth. So why should us old folks who have known a better day in SBC be concerned that a handful of prominent old guard Calvinists (e.g., Al Mohler) convinced a gullible young army of reformed and restless to do their dirty work of taking over the denomination?!
Yes, it appears that poor financial management at IMB was occurring under Platt’s predecessor Tom Elliff. Mr. Elliff’s theological persuasion has been elusive. I can tell you that his brother Jim Elliff is about as reformed as you can get! And, we can’t forget that Tom Elliff played a role in Al Mohler’s dismissal of long-time librarian at Southern Seminary, Paul Debusman, just shortly before Paul was due to retire. It seems that Mr. Debusman expressed a concern about Mr. Elliff’s chapel address where he lauded the changes toward “conservatism” that occurred at Southern when Dr. Mohler took charge and started swinging the axe to fire most of the seminary staff! Southern is now ground-zero for New Calvinism … perhaps Paul Debusman saw that coming. Anyway, that’s a long story to paint the picture you may not have seen, js.
The high divorce rate is not the result of ESS teaching! I just don’t see how you can’t understand that. The divorce rate among SBC was high years ago. That Barna study is not new. You are arguing that high divorce rates resulted from something that most SBC preachers and people in the pews can not even define with precision and that came along long after the problem of divorce was well-entrenched in SBC circles.
IOW, it used to be bottom up instead of the top down it is today. That means the splits were local not devised by national leaders as they are today. The past president of our state convention, a Mohler loyalist, split 2 churches before he was ushered in to that job. He went on to alienate Campbellsville U who finally told them, we don’t want your 1 million. What was it really over? Not giving a Cal Prof tenure.
You are not connecting dots. ESS maps the Trinity pecking order to human pecking order in family/church. That was the purpose for this heretical doctrine. Sadly, ingrained comp doctrine cannot boast fewer divorces. Atheist boast the lowest divorce rate. So what is the real problem?
Yes. The 33 year old Mohler fired the 64 yr old Debusman something like 8 mOS before retiring because he dared disagree. I think Debusman was made an example and it worked. No one thought Mohler was that cruel. But he was. And everyone was scared.
I wish social media had existed back then.
In your original post, you not only referenced individuals but you referred to a better time in church life where unity was the norm. That was a general statement and is quite false to SBC life in most of the circles I’ve known.
This principle of so called “blessed subtraction” is as old as the hills. In southern lingo we talk about the people running off the preacher but there has always also been plenty of members who get disgusted with one thing or another and hit the road. This happens in SBC churches of all stripes. When the members don’t jive with the pastors and deacons, they hit the road, and sometimes with lots of bad things to say about the church in the community. This is nothing new. Just church politics 101. It has been happening for decades. Sad but true and no evidence of a master plan to grow by subtraction, a principle which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it.
Now if you are talking about the purging of church rolls, then I say, Amen. If it is done in an effort to locate and reconnect those who have stopped attending, the purging of the rolls is a great ministry to the church and to the member who has stopped attending. It makes no sense for someone in good health living in town who hasn’t been to church in 20years to remain on the church roll. A church running 200 with 700 on the roll has a problem. They also have an opportunity for evangelism starting right there with their own membership. This is not about getting a group of people who can be controlled, it is about calling for the church to be a real representation of the active members along with those who are unable to attend because of health.
Before or after Danvers?
Yes, cooperating with others who share your views to proclaim the gospel is the essence of American Evangelicalism. As old as Christianity Today and the modern Missions movement and campus ministries and family ministries and a hundred institutions of higher education and other associations. They are doing nothing different than all these groups have done they are just doing it in a new medium.
Everybody has been doing it.
..it’s just that the YRR are more organized, stealthy and have the financial backing of the leadership.
Is that it?
Not at all. Just don’t pretend that coffee shops and worship bands and funky church names started with the YRR, like an earlier poster implied. That kind of approach is right out the seeker sensitive handbook. Fine to criticize it but is more of a thing adopted by the YRR rather than a thing created.
Maybe atheists are a smaller sample of the general populace and of a higher economic level (and economics plays into divorce often). It will be interesting to see what happens to atheist numbers as their percentage in the population rises. I expect we shall see it change and not for the better.
I can connect the theological dots, I just think most of you are too invested to see that teaching about ESS is inconsequential in its overall impact on this issue. When most people out there could not even articulate what it means, how can it be some great poison that is infecting the evangelical world?
I don’t know. I suspect they got a jump by being early adaptors of technology. I wouldn’t underestimate things like desiringgod making all Piper’s sermons available online for free and MacArthur following suit later. I know lots of people here think TGC is garbage but in my view it competes favorably in appearance and content with well-established news sites, Christian and otherwise. I suspect, even though many of you think otherwise, that many Christians believed there was a real need in church life for reform, and that the 9Marks approach seemed to be a way to meet that need. Perhaps the seeker sensitive movement was leaving a lot of people empty and wondering if this was all there was and along comes this movement which seems to emphasize robust theology and a high view of God. That is attractive to many people. Perhaps the traditional church model which was already being buried under the seeker sensitive model and was reeling under the weight of cultural change was in need of renewal and this was what the YRR were trying to do.
But nobody really knows why the YRR have become ascendant. And no one knows when they will be replaced by some other movement, but that will more than likely happen. Movements come and go.
Grown women are being told to “obey” and to “submit” their husbands in all things based on this Eternal Subordination of the Son heresy in these NeoCal churches.
They live out Patriarchy in all of its misery. With arrogant husbands “lording it over them”. With children so angry at what they’ve seen in their families that they are leaving the faith.
Unbelievers scoff because they have more sense than this NeoCal rhetoric.
Christians don’t need to articulate ESS to come to the conclusion that it is a lie and a failure.
Having exited a 9Marks church, I will never step foot in one again. Mark Dever, pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, D.C., and founder of 9Marks,
decided to make up authoritarian rules to deal with problems. Binding Membership Covenants to deal with things like “members leaving through the back exits”. Dever plays a constant blame game. OK, Mark, they don’t like you and your leaders if they must flee quietly via the back exits. It’s you, Mark, not them.
Membership rolls. Dever was concerned about people being on the membership rolls but not appearing at church. Has the man no common courtesy and problem-solving skills? No phone? Simple. Call them up and say, “We have you on the membership roster, you haven’t been here in awhile, would you like your name on the membership roster or for us to remove it?” Easy. Problem solved.
Church Discipline. Salem Witch Trials II. More authoritarian control over members’ lives about everything. Dissent and thinking are punished with threats of church discipline and excommunication, which is now done for any reason.
Elder-rule. Another authoritarian control by an elite group over members who are treated like children. There should be a congregational vote by all members, men and women, about the decisions of the church.
Communion. Mark belives in a closed communion and for members only. Wow. Just wow. The Body of Christ is a Body. Visiting Christians should be able to have communion.
Mark Dever strikes me as a man who lacks love. A modern day Pharisee. He has brought so much damage to so many Christians, churches, lives, reputations, friendships.
Mohler’s War at Southern included the firing of Dr. Diana Garland, Dean of the Seminary’s Carver School of Church Social Work. Do you reckon that had anything to do with Mohler’s theology about female subordination and Dr. Garland’s gender in regard to her leadership role at Southern? Of course, Dr. Garland had publicly criticized the young Dr. Mohler’s leadership, complaining about his bull in the china shop style of managing people. Sometimes a woman just needs to stand up … I keep waiting for thousands of young women trapped in New Calvinism to rise up and declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”.
Mahaney “mishandled things”!? That might turn out to be the understatement of the decade. Not only did he preside over the debacle of SGM (and most likely covered up sexual abuse of kids), he blackmailed one of his own colleagues. He even admitted to it. In what way could a man like this possibly be qualified as any kind of leader, let alone a pastor?
On top of all that, he ran for the hills when his congregation tried hold him accountable. And Dever sheltered him in clear violation of the principles of church discipline that 9Marx and Acts 29 espouse. Which makes Dever a hypocrite. What do you think the chances are that he’d let Hurit or Shauna worship with him, now that they’re being “lovingly disciplined” by their churches?
I see much more than that. I’ve seen DeYoung, Carson and Taylor sign their names to a pack of lies in defence of Mahaney. And in the few years since then, they’ve failed to correct or retract their falsehoods. More hypocrisy.
I still see Mahaney’s name on the council of CBMW. This is a group that claims to be better at preventing abuse and protecting victims than non-complementarians. You’d think that Mohler & Co. would have the sense to dump this fool, if not out of sensitivity to his victims, then at least for public relations. Instead, they keep him around, basically spitting in the faces of everyone hurt at Covenant Life and other SGM churches. More hypocrisy.
“Uniting to advance their views”… I wonder if that’s the excuse that RCC officials told themselves to justify their sheltering of pedophiles. (Seen the movie “Spotlight” yet?)
I can’t see the actions of the Reformed Big Dogs as anything other than a conspiracy. It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
The New Calvinist movement may have begun as a conspiracy of sorts, but it’s out in the open now! Bless their hearts, the new reformers truly believe they have come into the world for such a time as this to restore the Gospel that the rest of Christendom lost for centuries. Dr. Mohler puts it this way:
“Where else are they going to go? If you’re a theological minded, deeply convictional young evangelical, if you’re committed to the gospel and want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ, if you want to see gospel built and structured committed churches, your theology is just going to end up basically being Reformed, basically something like this New Calvinism, or you’re going to have to invent some label for what is basically going to be the same thing, there just are not options out there, and that’s something that frustrates some people, but when I’m asked about the New Calvinism — where else are they going to go, who else is going to answer the questions, where else are they going to find the resources they are going to need and where else are they going to connect. This is a generation that understands, they want to say the same thing that Paul said, they want to stand with the apostles, they want to stand with old dead people, and they know that they are going to have to, if they are going to preach and teach the truth.” (Dr. Albert Mohler, President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
There just are not options out there?! Only the reformed “preach and teach the truth”?! The rest of us don’t want to see the nations rejoice in the name of Christ?! Such arrogance!!
I have visited SBC-YRR church plants near me. It doesn’t take a spiritual giant to discern the oppression on young wives – you only have to look closely at their countenance. Submitting to authoritarian patriarchal systems requiring unBiblical subordination does not appear to be producing peace and joy in their lives.
That was the school that had the counseling degrees. Now they have Nouthetic Counseling at SBTS. No state certification. This means counselors in that program will only likely be able to work in churches were they will be controlled. I wish young people had better mentors. They will be sorry one day.
So it is about cosmetics and tech savvy for you?
Oh, I agree most Pew sitters do not know the terminology. They are too busy working 50 hours a week to help pay the preachers salary and did not realize they needed to study ST to make sure they were not being taught bizarro world doctrines.
Passionate bold delivery by someone with a title behind a pulpit goes a long way. An example would be teaching only one theory of atonement as the biblical one and mapping it often in sermons. Just use the word “biblical” and it often works. One way the Neo Cals (most were indoctrinated in seminary) prop up ESS is they rarely quote Christ. Hardly mention the Holy Spirit unless it is about them being led. Their focus is on an imbalance with Gods Sovereignty which ends up trashing His attributes.
It is strange how you always focus on the cosmetic. Of course they ended up adopting those accoutrements. They work for the young. And gets them signing the membership contracts and going along with the rules of pimply faced “elders”. Reminds me of the young Mormon elders that come to my door. :o)
Yes, the program administered by Dr. Garland at Southern was, at that time, the nation’s only accredited master’s in social work run by a seminary! She “left” Southern to join Baylor, serving on the faculty there for nearly 20 years; she developed a school of social work there that now bears her name. She died last year from pancreatic cancer.
I’m a conservative I suppose … but darn it, SBC lost some truly remarkable people during the Conservative (Calvinist) Resurgence which sent too many gifted servants of God packing. The whole ordeal didn’t seem very Christian to me … and SBC is now paying the price for treating believers like that. Granted, there were some liberals in the ranks that were looney-tune off-track theologically … but many that weren’t were severed for simply challenging the young Dr. Mohler. They had enough sense and fortitude to speak up at a time when he could have been dethroned … too late to do that now; he is the new SBC.
That, in a nutshell, describes the New Calvinist sermons I have been following on podcast at SBC-YRR church plants in my vicinity. No message of the Cross of Christ for ALL people, no altar call, no call to repentance, no sinner’s prayer, no accepting Jesus. Reformed theology is a misrepresentation of the very character of God. What love is this?!
I don’t know how else to say this . . . you are a bad reader. My comment was simply a guess as to why the YRR have become popular, not my personal endorsement of any of it.
It seemed you were attempting to convince they are no different than other groups by focusing on the cosmetics instead of the cruelty and evil.
Did you see the OP Voices did on Baylor about sexual predator atheletes? An article that needed to be written but has no credibility at SBCVoices because they have not only refused to write about SGM, child molestations but have shut down anyone who mentions it.
Yet they totally eviscerate Baylor acting shocked and outraged. Why? Because they consider Baylor liberal.
This is my pet peeve. If we believe abuse is horrible and victims worthy then we don’t protect, try to play it off or make excuses for it when it comes from a side or group we agree with politically or doctrinally. We simply don’t protect or ignore evil at the expense of victims. .
Their Baylor piece might not have looked so contrived (look! We really are outraged at sexual abuse-see!) if they had first believed and cared about SGM victims….at all.
“I THANK THEE, LOOOOOOOORD, THAT *I* AM NOTHING LIKE THAT FILTHY SEXUAL PREDATOR ATHLETE OVER THERE…”
(Can somebody tell that Rabbi from Nazareth I’m getting one helluva lot of mileage out of that imagery of His?)
As did many Red Fanboys during the Cold War.
“Sermons fit for a Mosque”?
(And “altar call and accepting Jesus” one-note sermons also have their problems.)
Citizen Robespierre and Comrade Pol Pot would agree.
More likely one of their True Believer fanboys.
I saw similar “My One True Way (and its pastors/idols) Can Do No Wrong” among starry-eyed young True Believers during the late Cold War, except then it was Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Fidel Castro instead of David Platt, Kevin Ezell, and Al Mohler. (And the Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History instead of Reformed Theology.) Couldn’t change their minds and wouldn’t change the subject.
But that is The Party Line.
Not Double Down and SCREAM LOUDER!
(Or maybe that would be the reaction — there’s a lot of pointy-haired bosses out there.)
Except those 17-year-old Mormon Elders have a sense of humor about it.
Most memorable time I heard a high-pressure “Everybody’s Doing It!” the “it” was homosexuality and the mouthpiece was a sexual predator trying to groom his way into my pants.
“Once the Tong served the people. Now it is the people who serve the Tong.”
— line from an old Kung Fu episode
They have outlived their usefulness.
“Once the Tong served the people. Now it is the people who serve the Tong.”
— line from an old Kung Fu episode
They have outlived their usefulness.
“Ees Pravda, Tovarich!”
“And then we WILL achieve True Communism!”
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Any chance these guys will trigger a revolution and then turn on one another?
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Ask those in the mass graves in GULAG or Cambodia’s Killing Fields, “lovingly disciplined” by The Party.
When there are no more Heathen, start on the Heretics. (Burn Baby Burn!)
When there are no more Heretics, start on the Apostates. (Burn Baby Burn!)
What do predators eat after they’ve killed off all the prey?
I must not be as a good of a reader as I thought, because during my first reading of your comment @Lydia questioned, my impression was that you were attempting to persuade, not just present information — partly because of your use of parenthetical phrases about what you suspect the majority at TWW do/don’t believe. I took your structure of comparison and contrast as one of analytical critique of TWW and endorsement of at least some of the other “I suspect” items. On a second reading, though, I can see that the majority of what you posit makes sense as your list of possible factors in the ascendance of YRR.
In case interested in some of the personal, social, and cultural factors I perceive behind the pathological end of the YRR movement, I posted this article a year and a half ago: “Set-Ups for Being Picked Off by Authoritarian Leaders – Part 1: Susceptibilities to Seduction by Those with No Conscience.”
My initial list of susceptibilities to being sucked into the vortex of people of pathology includes the following, and I think we can interpret these as being part of the magnetic draw of Neo-Calvinism/Neo-Puritanism.
* Fatherlessness. [I’ll post another link later that delves into that a bit more.]
* Power and prestige.
* Perfectionism and pseudo-intellectualism. [In my personal interactions with adherents to YRR ideals and practices, I’m left with a clear impression that I.Q. and theological erudition is excruciatingly important to them. Unfortunately, their ways of processing information seem so conjoined with dividing things down into details that they lose the ability to perceive the whole, which leaves a dissected and detailed system, but one without any real life to it.]
* Idealism and romanticism.
* The search for security.
* False identity.
* Naïve overtrust of authorities who are authoritarian.
From research writing I did 20 years ago on the formation and emergence of new subcultures, I concluded that such movements catalyze in part in reaction against the current dominant cultures. But coupled with this is a proactive draw toward values seen as missing in the mainstream. [With “values” defined as those beliefs and practices considered important enough to embody/live out in everyday life, not mere theoretical ideals of the ways things should be.]
I believe that differing sets of values and approaches to how to process information were key to the sifting and sorting that eventually broke the “emerging ministry movement” of the 1990s into at least five different streams — one of which was the Young-Restless-Reformed submovement exemplified by its key celebrity figure, Mark Driscoll. I believe the subsequent history of Mr. Driscoll and Mars Hill Church demonstrate the worst of the toxic possibilities in the spiritual DNA of all YRR individuals and entities: authoritarianism, patriarchalism, exceptionalism, monetarism, etc.
As the saying goes, “My best editing happens after I hit [ENTER].” How about “I must not be as good of a reader as I thought […]”
Anyway, for what it’s worth, here’s the link for “Set-Ups for Being Picked Off by Authoritarian Leaders – Part 2: Dynamics of Fatherlessness and Susceptibility to Substitutes.”
It gives some of my take on why males seem to be particularly susceptible to the YRR syndrome, given the state of physical, emotional, and social absence of fathers in the past few generations.
In my opinion, when we understand the wounding that absence of fathers can leave, and see the emerging generational dynamics that amplify those wounds, the attraction to patriarchal systems makes more sense. However, when there are deeply flawed ideals about what fathers should be/do, and the residue of wounding personal experiences clouds our radar, counterfeit fatherhood can get embraced as if it were the real thing. And it seems to me that the kind of “masculinity” and “fatherhood” projected in a lot of what I see in Neo-Calvinist/Neo-Puritan function is cold and severe, dictatorial and punitive — despite the warm, brotherly, bromancerly language that sits on the surface.
I completely agree. If you are egalitarian but relatively conservative in other ways theologically, it is virtually impossible to find a church.
“I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!”
— Mythbusters intro (though there it’s said as a joke)
Again, “I REJECT YOUR REALITY AND SUBSTITUTE MY OWN!”
And a True Believer.
Defender of the Faith.
His basic core axiom of reality is “Mohler and the YRRs Can Do No Wrong. PERIOD.”
Once you realize that, everything he writes falls right into place.
Like Reichsminister Albert Speer, JS has “arranged his mind” to not be aware of this. To not see anything wrong.
Once you follow all the proper rules and say the right incantations with the right formulas, reality will change to What You Want.
Remember that best-seller The Secret?
And before that, Ritual Magick? “Let the Sorcerer recite the proper incantations…”
Remember the TV Trope of “People’s Republic of Tyranny”:
The more adjectives about Democracy there are in a country’s official name, the nastier a dictatorship it is.
And while we’ve spent hundreds of comments arguing with JS, the sound of male fist against female face continues without interruption, Praise Calvin.
Which can be stripped of spiritual-sounding theobabble and summarized in six words:
“BOYZ RULE! GURLZ DROOL! GOD SAITH!”
You know “service” also has a sexual definition, don’t you?
As in a Prostitute “servicing” a John or a sex slave “servicing” her owner.
As previous generations of “starry eyed young men” pledged alleigance to National Socialism, Marxism-Leninism, and Talibani Jihad.
Nice little indirect passive-aggressive slam there.
“There is none so blind as He Who Will Not See.”
In the words of a little momento from classic Doctor Demento:
Now I’m curious about your identity. I warned people about Doug Phillips starting in 2006 and yeesh did I get pushback since I was one of the only people willing to do so online.
Hi, brad/futuristguy. totally unrelated question here.
never heard of a futurist before. so curious — what kind of people/businesses hire the services of a futurist? is it for information to help them plan for the ‘future’? is it also to shed light on the past & present, for the purposes of planning for the future?
A key thing about the kind of “strategic foresight” work that I’m involved with is it isn’t so much predictive about what will happen, or answering an individual’s or organization’s question about “What should I/we do?”, but leading them through a process of figuring out for themselves what they WANT to do in the face of options to respond to their current conditions and trends that are changing what the future will look like, explore WHY different options/scenarios are there, and follow through to DECIDE and DO it.
Actually, in some ways being this kind of futurist is *very* relevant to the kinds of the discussions here at TWW. A lot of my comments involve discerning paradigms shifts and global cultural trends that no one can control, helping people understand how those could affect the ways the future unfolds for them, and equipping them to discern and decide for themselves what is the most preferable route forward to take given what seems to be at least possible.
Because of personal experiences as a survivor of spiritual abuse, plus much research writing about it, I can offer scenarios of both the constructive and destructive possibilities in a theological system and the trajectory forward that’s inherent in its “spiritual and cultural DNA.” I feel like sharing that distinctive body of knowledge serves the Body of Christ in safeguarding it for the future. I also feel it’s part of the “redemptive edge” the Lord’s provided to restore something positive out of the suffering of being subjected to theological and psychological terrorism from a series of malignant “leaders” in churches and ministries over the years.
Anyway, if you’re interested in a more detailed and semi-technical look, here’s the link to my tutorial on “So What’s a Futurist?”
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Nope. I have no trouble at all acknowledging that they have all done and said stupid things, some of them sinfully so. I just don’t think they are the second coming of Marx and Lenin.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
I’m nobody anyone here or in the YRR world would know and I can believe that you got pushback on Phillips. I felt some of that too.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
I encourage you to hold yourself to a similar standard to what you are holding me. Consider that some of your assertions above cross the line.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Absurd and offensive comparison.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
A shameful insinuation.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
All because of Piper and the neo-cals, apparently.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Absurd and offensive. Communists killed millions of people.
Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
Ridiculous. JD Hall has nothing on you.
Joel Barker, futurist.
You can Google him and read his bio
You have a different view of sin.
“…but leading them through a process of figuring out for themselves what they WANT to do in the face of options to respond to their current conditions and trends that are changing what the future will look like…”
thanks for the explanations. still kind of murky for me. but in light of this line (above), would you say that at least part of what you do is help your clients change the future themselves in their pocket of the world by their choices now?
I don’t necessarily think it’s some great poison in terms of overall effect, because it’s not that common a belief, but in terms of what it teaches, it is extraordinarily harmful to the faith of one who embraces it. Anything that diminishes Jesus now or at any point in time, even vis-a-vis the Father, is not of the Lord and is absolutely evil. The one common denominator amongst cults is this very thing: make Jesus less.
Indeed, sir, your thinking could use it.
That’s a good way to put it, actually. I definitely believe in God’s providence in our situations, and also in the importance of exercising our discernment and decision-making. I rather doubt this approach has the full support of people whose theology leans toward the deterministic side of the spectrum where human choice is not particularly valued …
I would add the following thought to @Law Prof’s response a couple comments earlier: If this doctrine of ESS is truly inconsequential in its impact, how is it that it seems to keep showing up — primarily among those who espouse complementarianism and particularly at the more patriarchal end of that spectrum? That’s just an intuitive hunch, based on the conversations I’ve had and statements I’ve read. But, since it is specific enough of a doctrine, it certainly would be researchable, to see what the actual correlations are. Surely some good indicators are available … however, measuring the infectious impact would be another matter …
Our next paper.
Law Prof wrote:
That is a good way to put it.
Because it gives Cosmic Justification to “Boyz Rule, Gurlz Drool!” (Or more accurately, “*I* RULE, YOU DROOL!”) Because “EVEN GAWD DOES IT! GAWD SAITH! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
“If you question what I say to you
YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER TOO!”
— Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”
And everything is “IN’SHAL’LAH… ”
“Since I gave up all hope
I feel a lot better!”
— Steve Taylor
That’s just because they had Absolute Political Power.
Just like “Take Back America and Establish a REAL Christian Nation(TM).”
One Nation Under Calvin, Led by the Predestined Elect?
Absolute Power plus Utter Righteousness is a Real BAD Combination.
I notice how you’ve taken umbrage at HUG’s remarks. I can understand that. I’m sure I would hate to have my colleagues compared with Communists and other villains of history. At the same time, I think that the Reformed Big Dogs have brought such comparisons upon themselves. When they force members to sign away their civil rights for the sake of “unity” and “membership in a local church body”, and support the superficially repentant at the expense of the truly suffering, they invite such criticism. It’s hard to blame HUG for seeing the parallels with history. No, Mahaney and his buddies have not come close to the worst acts of Communism. But I fear they’re on that trajectory. And the sooner they change course, the better it will be for them and those under their care.
May I make a suggestion? If you find it so offensive for the YRR leaders to be compared to totalitarians, you might try to contact them and ask them to stop acting in totalitarian ways. First and foremost, to get rid of the membership contracts. Now. They are utterly unnecessary, and serve no purpose that I can see but to keep the little people under control. And to dump Mahaney from anything resembling leadership. He disqualified himself from that a long time ago.
Incidentally, I recall that you offered (on Nate Sparks’ blog a while ago) to contact Kevin DeYoung, and ask him to address the untruths in the statement that he co-signed in support of C.J. Have you done so? If you have, has he responded? If DeYoung were to retract or correct his statement, that would be a good first step — it would show a willingness to listen to someone outside of the “inner circle”. On the other hand, if he doesn’t listen a fellow pastor, I’m not sure he’ll listen to anyone.
I’m inclined to agree in the context that ESS is one of the symptoms rather than the cause. The idea of subordinating Jesus in an attempt to prop up a systematic theology indicates there are some bad initial assumptions. Those bad initial assumptions lead back to some equally bad motivations.
Bill M wrote:
I think at an even deeper level of this paradigm is a style of information processing that must have everything as an either/or proposition. Therefore, all people, things, ideas, values, etc., get dissected, divided, categorized, and classified — and then declared as *THE* perfect system of understanding all things, just as God intended.
It’s a similar deep-epistemology to what resulted in such doctrines the medieval “Great Chain of Being,” and gnostic systems of aeons, and Eternal Subordination of the Son, and such valuation divisions between people as leaders/laypeople, men/women, adults/children, this race/that race, etc.
To “fix” the abuses that pool on the surface, we have to go deeper to the types of thinking that create our whole systems — go from the fruit to the root. It’s harder to do this, but if we don’t then “changes” are probably just going to be cosmetic.
Serving Kids In Japan wrote:
Bravo, Serving Kids!
Additionally I’d add to getting rid of membership covenants:
*get rid of excommunications/shunnings (and meetings with the pastors/elders
for any kind of thinking,disagreement, questioning, dissent or anything they want to control about your life)
*get rid of elder-led and have a congregational vote (including one in which the pastors/elders can be voted out)
*permit women to use the gifts the Lord gave them in all areas of the local church, including leadership
*get rid of anything that smacks of authoritarianism
*stop controlling adults’ lives and interfering in things that are none of your business
At bottom they don’t really think all that highly of Jesus but they think very highly of themselves.
Book Note: Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife by Valerie Hobbs (a book review)
@ Bill M:
“The idea of subordinating Jesus in an attempt to prop up a systematic theology indicates there are some bad initial assumptions”
hmmmm….. I didn’t start hearing about ESS until some years after I first heard about CBMW and the wonderful news of ‘headship’. 😐 (blank stare, here)
my impression (which I’ve never articulated to myself) is that the comp powerbrokers invented their new doctrine first, and then subsequently (in response to being challenged) found ESS to help prop up their new doctrine.
is there credence to my impressions?
wow, 😐 generates an emoticon! it’s not quite right, though. the mouth needs to be a bit lower, maybe a tad more narrow, to give it a kind of ironic, ‘yeah, right’ look.
I agree. And with continued challenges came the resurrection of “servant-leader,” the “equal but different”, “God-ordained roles,” “gospelly (s?) women” etc. Ugh!
The concepts behind Eternal Subordination of the Son do go all the way back to the early Church — check out this Wikipedia article.
However, it would seem a lot of the earlier *applications* dealt with power structures other than gender — for instance, the creation of a papacy — and maybe that’s because so many ancient civilizations had patriarchal cultures. In which case, the declarations of the Apostle Paul that women and men were equal in Christ would be considered quite shocking.
I haven’t studied the history of CBMW and related movements and its founders to find out if their apparent justifications based on ESS were novel or had a long-standing tradition within Western theologies.
But, in the section on “Evangelicals,” that article includes a note on George Knight’s book from 1977 which includes the “economic” subordinationalism, a spin on ESS that allows Jesus and the Father to be equal in substance, different in function … which fits right in with the claims of some pro-complementarians that men and women are “equal in value, different in roles.” So that “economic subordination” view may be relatively new … would need to check into that, but maybe someone with more expertise in theology of the Trinity and/or gender relations issue could do that and post findings.
One raised eyebrow would do the trick.
Sallie Borrink wrote:
This is definitely where I’m at. 🙁
Just my gut impression, for what it’s worth, is you’re 100% correct. The tail’s wagging the dog. They want power over women and indisputable control over both churches and their spouses, and that is their God (and a shabby, pathetic god it is). Since their feelings about the Lord are at best ambiguous and at worst hatred, they have absolutely no compunction about denigrating that Lord, about making Jesus second fiddle. One has to think that if they truly knew Him at all, the last thing they’d think to do is to subordinate Him to anyone, even the Father.
yeah, that would do it. I’ve experimented with all punctuation & other marks…. nothing to simulate anything but a unibrow. I clearly don’t want to do chores at the moment.
Law Prof wrote:
I agree, which is why – and I’m sorry to go on about it – the aberrant doctrine of the Sufficiency Of Scribshrr (or SOS, to go with ESS) is such a big toxic spillage to my mind.
SOS panders to fallen humanity’s age-long desire to create its own gods, in order to worship something that it can (at a minimum) see, and perhaps (ideally) control. The thing is that in practice it always goes further than “God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Scribshrrs”. SOS does not simply cast the Holy Spirit out of the church; it casts Jesus out as well, because whilst scribshrr itself declares Jesus to be God’s ultimate act of self-disclosure and the holder of all final authority, SOS replaces him with scribshrr. Nor is there even any real room for the Father; we have only a cultural cartel of preachers, interpreting scribshrr together and thereby defining what “God” is.
I’d put it as strongly as this: in the logical conclusion of SOS, its most passionate and diehard adherents will want no other choice than to march into hell shaking their fists at the God they have always, in truth, hated.
Law Prof wrote:
Yes. Every few generations, when whatever the current defenses of gender comp are shown to be weak, the gender comps scramble to find new defenses.
This pages discusses it:
Reflections on a New Defense of Complementarianism
You can do a lot more than that one emoticon; scroll down this page to see more:
And women are ……… foreign currency ……. not of much worth in the current market.
Oh gee. I had happily forgot about this. There was a time the teaching was focused on words like ontological, economic and such to describe the relationship of the Trinity and related gender pecking orders. You can’t get more Pagan than by claiming ones spiritual being is equal but ones material existence is not. That is right out of the Greek chain of being.
Nick Bulbeck wrote:
And lock the gates from the inside, sealing out all contamination.
Didn’t Screwtape write about how Our Father Below washed his hands of and marched away from The Enemy in all Righteousness?
A Chain of Being belief (the lord in his palace and the serf in his hovel forever) that was also universal throughout Medieval Christendom.