Westminster Seminary (PA) Remains Mum on Whether Battered Wives Should be Excommunicated When Leaving Abusive Spouses

"Often things are as bad as they seem." – Sheldon Kopp link

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The T4G 2016 Joke

Update 4/19/2016  Correction: Brock was allegedly abusing adult pornography- not child pornography.  We tried to correct this in the original post but this one slipped through. We apologize for our error.

Something bad happened last week. Dr Albert Mohler told a joke about Googling CJ Mahaney's name which resulted in laughter by some of the 10,000 attendants at T4G 2016. So, in addition to inviting CJ Mahaney to speak, Mohler added insult to injury by apparently mocking the pain of child sex abuse cover up.

Something good happened last week. Pam and Dominic Palmer, along with SNAP, protested at T4G 2016 and garnered some media attention. Albert Mohler told a joke that caused many people to pause and ask "Do the leaders of T4G and, by default, The Gospel Coalition and CBMW actually care about the victims of child sex abuse?" This joke opened up a floodgate or comments on Twitter.

It is my opinion that those who care about the abused would never have made such a joke or laughed at its telling. It is also my belief that people who truly love those who have been abused would never have invited Mahaney to speak. Better yet, if Mahaney truly cared about those who were hurt under his watch, he would not only have rejected a speaking role but would have spent the time seeking out those who experienced pain under his watch and apologized.

A spotlight is now shining into this darkness. 

Silence is still the modus operandi but it is increasingly being questioned.

The Daily Beast wrote an article about CJ Mahaney's appearance at T4G. It is worth a read and not just because TWW got a shout out.  For me, the most interesting statement in Pastor Accused of Covering Up Abuse Returns to Spotlight was the following found at the end of the article.

Request for comment from Sovereign Grace Churches, Together for the Gospel, and Albert Mohler were not returned in time for this story.  

Frankly, I would be afraid to comment if I were them. This is the proof that these men do not truly care for the victims of child sex abuse. These poor families have become the fodder for a joke by a seminary president. Al Mohler is one of the most respected Neo-Calvinist leaders and he has now declared his true feelings. Never again will he be able to say, with a straight face, that he is concerned about child sex abuse. Never will the men who laughed at the joke be able to say the same. Never again will those who sat there and didn't walk out be able to say that they are more concerned about those who are victims than they are about the opinion of their BFFs….  unless they repent and attempt to reach out  to those victims.

From this point forward, if they remain silent, they have declared themselves. Silence is deadly thing when it comes to abuse and that includes domestic violence.

Westminster Theological Seminary will not tell me what their policy is on domestic violence.

Dr Steve Estes (pastor) excommunicated his abused ex-daughter in law.

On March 16, 2016, TWW posted The Allegedly Abusive Church Discipline Practices of Steve Estes: Senior Pastor of CEFC and Lecturer at Westminster Theological SeminaryAfter hearing about the story from David Bonner, I have spoken to four friends of the abused victim and I believe their accounts.

The situation: 

Hurit was married for a few years to Brock Estes, son of the Senior Pastor of CEFC. Brock is allegedly an excessive drinker (some would say alcoholic), addicted to internet pornography(which is NOT a victimless crime) and abusive verbally and physically. He allegedly drew a gun on his wife and, on another occasion, put her in a choke hold so strong that she almost passed out. Brock alleges that he has a *sleep disorder.* However, except for getting a prescription of Xanax,  he reportedly did not seek help for this alleged problem. (Note: any normal, non-abusive man who almost shoots his wife would get intensive medical help immediately. Instead, he got an anti-anxiety drug.) Since Brock is a prison guard, I would think the prison authorities were surely made aware of this problem…

Steve Estes and His Boys (aka *Elders*) excommunicated the wife for not following their *authority* but Steve's little boy is walking in repentance.

Steve allegedly said that his son was "the most repentant man he had ever seen in 30 years of pastoring." (See previous post.) "Voila!" Brock was walking in repentance! This is after years of boozing, cruising (porn sites) and abusing his wife. Just like that Brock has been healed!

Brock's wife, however, was disobeying the authority of the elders and Papa Steve when she filed for divorce. They said she must remain married to the abuser because, although he allegedly almost shot her, he is now a good boy. Daddy said so. Hallelujah and pass the pretzels-the meeting is adjourned.

Let's go over what Steve Estes and his men did to his allegedly (for the lawyers) abused (I believe her) daughter in law.

1. When she wouldn't return to the marriage, fearing for her life, they excommunicated her. Not only that but they declared her:

  • not a Christian
  • turned over to Satan

2. What did they say about Brock, the allegedly abusive (I believe he was) son?

 Daddy Steve declared him the most repentant man he had ever seen in 30 years! No bias there…

Note: In this statement, Daddy Steve did not deny what his boy did…

What is the problem with Daddy Steve's responses.

  1. It is readily admitted, even amongst many in the Neo Calvinist circles, that a woman can leave a marriage when her life in in danger. Good night! This poor woman even endured the exacting and ridiculous John Piper code of enduring abuse for one night. This abusive behavior happened over many, many nights.
  2. Domestic abuse is a crime and should be reported to the police.
  3. Daddy gets to judge his son.
  4. Estes' theology is whacked. A woman who flees an abuser does not become *a non-Christian.* (perseverance of the saints and all the jazz for the Calvinists amongst us.) This is precisely the problem with the 9 Marx discipline theology that has invaded the church. According to their thinking, Daddy Steve can theologically discipline his daughter by now declaring she is not a Christian because he has the authority. But his son is awesome!
  5. Repentance does not imply safety. From our post Anatomy of Evangelical Scandals: Steve Estes, Ken Ramey, Tullian Tchvidjian and the Misunderstanding of Repentance  

Analysis: A man, with a violence problem with a long time addiction to alcohol and porn, may be sad he is caught but he is still a dangerous man. Even if he is the most repentant man on earth, he will need years of counseling and observation to be sure that he is no longer violent and abusing child porn  [Update 4/19/2016  Correction: He was allegedly abusing adult pornography- not child pornography.  We tried to correct this in the original post but this one slipped through. We apologize for our error]and alcohol. It would also be wise if this man is no long allowed near guns. Does anyone know if he has been reported to the prison authorities? (He is reportedly a prison guard.)

Given that SBTS President Albert Mohler thinks that child sex abuse cover up is a joke, I wondered what those in charge of Westminster Theological Seminary believe about domestic violence since Daddy Steve is also Professor Steve at WTS,

Why does this matter?

Estes is an adjunct professor of of Practical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary.

What is Practical Theology?

According to Compelling Truth 

Practical Theology is the branch of Christian theology that focuses on the everyday or modern day implications of Christian theological beliefs. This area of theology is often the focus of pastoral ministry students, missionaries, Christian education directors, and other vocational ministry roles in Christian colleges and seminaries. The definition of one well-known seminary notes Practical Theology as, "Practical theology is the application of theological truth to all of life, particularly the life and work of the church."

Since we know that Calvinists (Westminster is a Reformed Seminary) love the Puritans we learn:

One English Puritan writer named Richard Baxter (1615—1691) has often been associated with the area of Practical Theology due to his authorship of a large, four volume book called A Christian Directory of Practical Theology. Its writing covers a wide range of practical and social issues from its time and was very influential upon its publication. His work consisted of the four areas of Christian Ethics (or Private Duties), Christian Economics (or Family Duties), Christian Ecclesiastics (or Church Duties), and Christian Politics (or Duties to Our Rulers and Neighbors). These were only part of the 141 book titles attributed to Baxter.

Today: 

Today, the Association of Practical Theology serves as an academic group consisting of scholars and ministers who research the implications of Christian faith and practice (practicaltheology.org). Areas addressed often include aspects of social justice, church growth and administration, spiritual formation, and preaching/homiletics.

So, for those of us who like the bottom line:

Practical Theology is the practical application of theology to church life. That, dear folks, involves excommunicating an abused woman, declaring her a non-Christian and turning her over to Satan.

What does Westminster Seminary teach the up and coming male only pastors about domestic violence?

Westminster Seminary supported T4G 2016 which featured CJ Mahaney and in which Dr Mohler joked about Mahaney's Google presence. Westminster Seminary was at the T4G 2016 conference where they had a book table and gave some lecturesIt is important to realize that celebrity Neo-Calvinist theologians like Carl Truman teach at Westminster. Carl Truman was one of theologians that exonerated CJ Mahaney. 

Knowing this, I wondered if it were possible that Steve Estes is teaching young men to excommunicate battered wives and then declare them non-Christians and say they are turned over to Satan. It sure seems to me that he believes this sort of thing is a correct application of his Calvinist theology.

I called the seminary twice and left messages for an academic advisor and a communications advisor asking the following questions.

-Given the recent actions of Steve Estes, what does the seminary teach in regards to a battered spouse who leaves a marriage in order to be safe?
Does the seminary teach that she should be excommunicated, declared a nonChristian and turned over to Satan? 

I said I would quote any response word for word. No answer…No surprise…

On the third try, I spoke with the administrative assistant in the Office of the President. I asked the same questions. I also said that I would be posting on this matter within a week and that, unless I had a response, I would have no choice but to think that the silence means that the seminary has some difficult standards when it comes to abused spouses. I got no response.

WTS states here that domestic violence is a crime and should be reported. I did a search of their website and Google and found very little else said. If more information is out there, it is not easily accessible and no one from the President on down is talking.

This I do know. Steve Estes is still teaching *Practical Theology* and that just about says it all. Also, Carl Trueman, who is on the WTS faculty exonerated CJ Mahaney which may mean the seminary also has some concerning theology on how to handle child sex abuse cases in churches.

It would be wise for battered women in churches with pastors from this seminary to be circumspect about discussing their situation with such pastors. Instead, they might consider getting a competent attorney and counselor outside of the church as well as resigning their membership prior to initiating divorce proceedings.

WTS: TWW is still willing to post a response on your practical theology applications on both domestic abuse and child sex abuse beyond "report it to the police."

Comments

Westminster Seminary (PA) Remains Mum on Whether Battered Wives Should be Excommunicated When Leaving Abusive Spouses — 307 Comments

  1. From the article:

    ” they declared her:

    not a Christian
    turned over to Satan”

    Oh the arrogance and foolishness of men thinking that they can mete out the judgements and punishments of God.

  2. From article:
    “This I do know. Steve Estes is still teaching *Practical Theology* and that just about says it all.”

    Yes it does. The end result of lifting men up and pushing women down is that these men think far to highly of themselves and their system than they ought to. So much so that they have lost sight of the what being a Christian means. It doesn’t matter how many years they go to school, they are in no position to teach others about Jesus.

  3. Disgusted with it all. The church needs a serious cleansing as Peter wrote about judgment beginning in the house of the Lord.

    The organized church in this country and others is completely lost it. So many are worried about exact doctrine, but like the pharisees, forget the weightier matters, like love, obedience, Christlikeness.

    Screw the whole church organization. So much of the whole thing is fake. It may have been real sometime, but not so much now.

    Thank you for the work you are doing to shed light on these gross sins.

    I know that Hades will not prevail against the church, but sometimes I don’t think this is the church that Christ meant, one that allows so much abuse and then those who tolerate those who allow the abuse.

    All those men at the conference who were speaking should have walked out when CJ got up to speak and so should all the attendees, but no. Yes, I am charging them with guilt by association because bad company does corrupt and any man who knows the good he should and doesn’t commits sin.

    Man, do these people even read the same bible as the rest of us.

    Lastly, all it takes for evil to prosper is good men to do nothing.

    I am just sick and disgusted and full of righteous anger. Also, the church I attend sent about 8 guys to that conference and one even spoke. I am so ready to just leave my church, but I don’t think the rest of the family would understand and I don’t want to be like these guys and just lord it over them. Please pray for me and my attitude.

    Sorry for the rant, but I am soooooo done with Mohler, Piper, Chander, Dever, JMac, Pratt, et al and their ilk.

    I will make the call now, these men have done more to hurt the kingdom of God from a human perspective than they have done to advance it.

    Spits on the ground! Yes, I am furious.

  4. As an addition, I don’t think these men would recognize Christ if he knocked on the church door.

  5. Dearest Deebs,

    This is not a comment particular to this posting – more like a blanket prayer for you…

    God bless you for keeping this blog going day after day, week after week. I will confess that I don’t know how you can do it – I get so overwhelmingly sad from the wickedness of these anti-Christian poseurs.

    You are doing such important work, keeping the light shining on these dark corners. May God continue to grant you the strength to keep shining the light!

  6. OCDan wrote:

    Yes, I am charging them with guilt by association because bad company does corrupt and any man who knows the good he should and doesn’t commits

    OCDan wrote:

    Also, the church I attend sent about 8 guys to that conference and one even spoke. I am so ready to just leave my church, but I don’t think the rest of the family would understand and I don’t want to be like these guys and just lord it over them. Please pray for me and my attitude.

    I get you. I feel much the same way. Hang in there with your family. They just don’t get it yet.

  7. Dee, help me out here, I don’t see why a woman or a man well let’s say a human being should remain in a dangerous marriage? For some reason, these men apparently think that she should stay around in a situation where her life was allegedly put in danger at least twice. I would think they would want her to be free and safe and after the alleged physical / emotional / etc abuse a partner who was the victim should have the say and the support to decide to leave with the blessing and help of the church leadership.

    Mr. Johnson the other day on twitter I think it was said these “Survivor blogs” are the way they are because they want to be “rebellious”. As for Westminster, I was a bit disappointed there is so much help to develop good bylaws and place safeguards with it faith groups that help everyone. Imagine if this lady stayed and God forbid something worse happened? That is the bottom line, line. Thanks for all you do.

  8. OCDan wrote:

    Disgusted with it all. The church needs a serious cleansing as Peter wrote about judgment beginning in the house of the Lord.

    Yes, you seem to be exactly where I am it with regards to this business. Cleansing time!…

  9. Something I find a little ironic about this (and more than sad), is that some of these churches and preachers act as though divorce is the end-all, be-all of horrible sins that God just won’t forgive.

    However, they will act as though child sexual abuse is nothing by comparison. They also act as though what may drive a woman to want a divorce (like domestic violence) is nothing.

    In their world, child abuse and wife abuse is “meh,” and not much to get worked up about, but goodness, go clutch your pearls in shock and incredulity if some lady wants to divorce her husband.

  10. Here’s my post about going to Elverson, PA and meeting with a number of former people. I told the church leadership that I was coming and they fled. I think the score is now Steve Estes 1 and Hurit 1. I asked Al Kimball in his office about CEFC excommunicating an alleged rape victim and if he knew that Brock almost killed Hurit. The color change in his face was priceless! A Kodak moment!

    Here’s my post about this weekend.

    https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/my-trip-to-elverson-pennsylvania-and-my-visit-to-community-evangelical-free-church/

  11. brian wrote:

    I would think they would want her to be free and safe and after the alleged physical / emotional / etc abuse

    It seems the reason they aren’t concerned with these things is because they worship marriage more than Jesus and view women as expendable as long as men take first place and marriage remains on its pedestal.

  12. Daisy wrote:

    In their world, child abuse and wife abuse is “meh,” and not much to get worked up about, but goodness, go clutch your pearls in shock and incredulity if some lady wants to divorce her husband.

    This points to the importance of men over women and children in these systems.

  13. By their fruits you shall know them.
    So many broken and desperate people need the Lord, need to learn and grow in the truth of his word.

    Yet a cancer, an apostasy, another gospel, taught by false teachers, using cultic techniques from pseudo Christian cults before them is spreading and I think beyond their group. The fruit of their lives is arrogance,selfishness, seeking of wealth and abusive power over their congregations, families, women and children. Such sadism from the hireling shepherds brings to mind the Nazis of WWII.
    At one time I could recommend so many churches to those who need one. Now I’m am more cynical, more cautious, and hesitant to recommend a church.

    Dee you’re an excellent writer and in the midst of your own caregiving responsibilities.

  14. Dee and Deb, I’m glad to see that this matter is being picked up by national media, but I’m also concerned. If the attention causes people to think twice, it will soon begin to cost them money. You two will have cost them money. Please keep a sharp eye out. I’ll be keeping you and all who are working to expose this mess in my prayers.

  15. Thank you for noting Trueman’s role in enabling CJ. I hate to say this but Todd Pruitt’s statement and the blog it was published on is one I take with a pinch of salt for their apparent enmeshment with T4G/TGC thinking. This lack of discernment both of character and abuse dynamics is something that the church as a whole has to wrestle with to be pure. With respect to those bloggers for doing well with what they do know, they still must have the humility to seek out victims and their families to hear their stories, get training, and learn more, if they are to help fellow believers grow spiritually. Their doctrines aren’t enough. At this point I see much naivety and foolishness in evangelicalism.

  16. @ brian:
    There is this meme running around in some circles that abused women should stay with their husbands ala Hosea and the prostitute. They view this book as proscriptive because they are so gosh darned literal they miss the meaning of the book as God staying with unfaithful Israel.

    Paige Patterson told an abused women to return home to her abusive husband and pray he would come to church. http://thewartburgwatch.com/2009/06/16/a-call-for-paige-pattersons-resignation-from-the-ministry/

    They are far more concerned with the abuser than the victim .Recently two men from CLC church went to court to sit on the side of the pedophile abuser.
    https://thouarttheman.org/2016/04/15/clc-leaders-bo-lotinsky-don-nalle-just-told-larry-caffery-covenant-life-church-supporting/

    Jesus-OTOH- would always go to the side of the abused and forgotten.

  17. @ Bookbolter:
    Pray for the souls of these men who have laughed at and ignored the pain of the abused. They have far more to worry about when they face Jesus who cared for the marginalized-not the Pharisees.

  18. Mara wrote:

    It seems the reason they aren’t concerned with these things is because they worship marriage more than Jesus and view women as expendable as long as men take first place and marriage remains on its pedestal.

    Yes, because they misunderstand, or choose to misunderstand, what Paul meant when he said that women were created for men and not men for women. They really think that we’re fancy accessories for men.

  19. dee wrote:

    There is this meme running around in some circles that abused women should stay with their husbands ala Hosea and the prostitute. They view this book as proscriptive because they are so gosh darned literal they miss the meaning of the book as God staying with unfaithful Israel.

    And they hope to convince singles to marry by promoting this garbage? Good luck with that. Staying single sometimes looks pretty good to me.

  20. These idiots, excuse me, people clearly don’t know their Bible if they think they have the authority to declare someone a non-Christian and say their salvation is gone. Only God can make that judgment..

  21. From this post:
    “This is the proof that these men do not truly care for the victims of child sex abuse.”

    Well here are some [real] men who care:
    http://bit.ly/1Wc3PiU
    BACA = Bikers Against Child Abuse
    http://bacaworld.org/
    Bikers protect and advocate for child abuse victims and church leaders, at best, run away. How ironic!

  22. @ dee:
    And let’s not forget ol’ Dougie Wilson, who also sitteth at the right hand of abusers in his church when they are hauled into court.

  23. dee wrote:

    Paige Patterson told an abused women to return home to her abusive husband and pray he would come to church

    I wonder – would Paige Patterson (or Pope Piper) tell an abused husband to return home to his wife? I know in most circumstances it is the husband abusing the wife – physically, emotionally, financially, but it’s not always.

  24. roebuck wrote:

    Dearest Deebs,

    This is not a comment particular to this posting – more like a blanket prayer for you…

    God bless you for keeping this blog going day after day, week after week. I will confess that I don’t know how you can do it – I get so overwhelmingly sad from the wickedness of these anti-Christian poseurs.

    You are doing such important work, keeping the light shining on these dark corners. May God continue to grant you the strength to keep shining the light!

    Amen. Youll never know all you gals have accomplished, deepest gratitude

  25. Daisy wrote:

    However, they will act as though child sexual abuse is nothing by comparison. They also act as though what may drive a woman to want a divorce (like domestic violence) is nothing.

    It is even worse. They actually put the rape and torture of children in the same category as adultery under “sexual misconduct”.

    There is something callous and dead in how they sin level. It actually desensitizes them to barbarity.

  26. Lydia wrote:

    There is something callous and dead in how they sin level. It actually desensitizes them to barbarity.

    That pretty much says it all. They have no heart, bleeding or otherwise.

  27. Steve allegedly said that his son was “the most repentant man he had ever seen in 30 years of pastoring.”

    Maybe that’s not saying much?

  28. OCDan wrote:

    I know that Hades will not prevail against the church, but sometimes I don’t think this is the church that Christ meant, one that allows so much abuse and then those who tolerate those who allow the abuse.

    I am more convinced of it all the time. “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His'”

    The true church is invisible and cannot be corralled or contained. I am coming to feel that much of what we see organized is just human endeavor, void of the Spirit.

  29. Daisy wrote:

    Something I find a little ironic about this (and more than sad), is that some of these churches and preachers act as though divorce is the end-all, be-all of horrible sins that God just won’t forgive.

    However, they will act as though child sexual abuse is nothing by comparison. They also act as though what may drive a woman to want a divorce (like domestic violence) is nothing.

    In their world, child abuse and wife abuse is “meh,” and not much to get worked up about, but goodness, go clutch your pearls in shock and incredulity if some lady wants to divorce her husband.

    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything. It is a system of roles, vows, indebtedness and slavery. No one is allowed out of their proscribed role- the abused child must still be seen and not heard and obey their elders, the abused wife must remain faithful, the abused parishioner must continue in subjugation to corrupt authority. Only those who achieve a high level of authority themselves gain some freedom in life by having the power to spin the truth their way. I don’t see any of this as the way of Christ. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

  30. I cannot imagine where this corruption ends, I doubt it is compartmentalized and does not poison the teaching there. I would welcome being proven wrong when a large number of the faculty protested or half the students went on strike but there will likely be not a peep.

    When a seminary is unwilling to answer a basic question about a “battered spouse who leaves a marriage in order to be safe” then it is worse than no use at all, it is a party to the abuse and should be shut down.

  31. dee wrote:

    @ Bookbolter:
    Pray for the souls of these men who have laughed at and ignored the pain of the abused. They have far more to worry about when they face Jesus who cared for the marginalized-not the Pharisees.

    Those of us who have dealt with them personally, have a hard time praying for these guys…..and that bothers me….I worry what Jesus will say to me one day…

  32. Patriciamc wrote:

    These idiots, excuse me, people clearly don’t know their Bible if they think they have the authority to declare someone a non-Christian and say their salvation is gone. Only God can make that judgment..

    Agreed. Compare and contrast with what Paul actually said at one point, which I quote fae 1 Corinthians to save looking it up:

    It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. And you are proud!
    … For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan for the destruction OF THE FLESH [emphasis added] so that his spirit MAY BE SAVED [again, emphasis added] on the day of the Lord.

    To me, it’s instructive that although Paul passes judgement, he requires the agreement of the congregation to give him any spiritual authority. And the laddie in question was grossly immoral, by his own very deliberate choice: not fleeing from an abusive wife. Incidentally, in 2 Corinthians, it is implied that the process worked and he repented: Paul firmly instructs the believers to welcome him back.

  33. Analysis: A man, with a violence problem with a long time addiction to alcohol and porn, may be sad he is caught but he is still a dangerous man. Even if he is the most repentant man on earth, he will need years of counseling and observation to be sure that he is no longer violent and abusing child porn and alcohol. It would also be wise if this man is no long allowed near guns. Does anyone know if he has been reported to the prison authorities? (He is reportedly a prison guard.)

    Hey Dee, did you mean to say child porn in your second sentence? Did I miss something? I don’t remember that emphasis in his case before.

  34. dee wrote:

    There is this meme running around in some circles that abused women should stay with their husbands ala Hosea and the prostitute

    Another one that crops up is the Christians in concentration camps thought. Like Corrie ten Boom. As in, those Christians REALLY suffered and are to be commended for holding fast during such trying times. Well if God called them to that and/or carried them through that, then surely a woman married to a difficult man can endure whatever cross she has to bear.

    And all I think is, ‘So you can compare marriage to a concentration came experience with a straight face and see nothing insanely wrong with such thinking.’
    (epic eye roll)
    The inmates are running the asylum.

  35. If these guys, and their seminary, are not modern day Pharisees, i do not know what is!

  36. I used to own a copy of Baxter’s *A Christian Directory* – as I’m sure you know, the TR publishing world has it back in print. My one-volume copy ran over 900 pages, at microscopic print. Rev. Baxter wanted to cover *every possible life contingency* with the proper Christian response. I thought it highly amusing, that it was printed ironically… but nope. Baxter’s book was held up as an example of the thoroughness with which we should seek for and apply theological rules to our lives.

    I kept that book for many years, even after I drifted away from the Reformed movement… as a reminder, and a warning.

  37. In a word, Pharisees

    siteseer wrote:

    Daisy wrote:
    Something I find a little ironic about this (and more than sad), is that some of these churches and preachers act as though divorce is the end-all, be-all of horrible sins that God just won’t forgive.
    However, they will act as though child sexual abuse is nothing by comparison. They also act as though what may drive a woman to want a divorce (like domestic violence) is nothing.
    In their world, child abuse and wife abuse is “meh,” and not much to get worked up about, but goodness, go clutch your pearls in shock and incredulity if some lady wants to divorce her husband.
    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything. It is a system of roles, vows, indebtedness and slavery. No one is allowed out of their proscribed role- the abused child must still be seen and not heard and obey their elders, the abused wife must remain faithful, the abused parishioner must continue in subjugation to corrupt authority. Only those who achieve a high level of authority themselves gain some freedom in life by having the power to spin the truth their way. I don’t see any of this as the way of Christ. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

  38. Eeyore wrote:

    Baxter’s [900-page] book was held up as an example of the thoroughness with which we should seek for and apply theological rules to our lives.

    When actually, of course, it is an example of the insatiable appetite of Law to control the lives of believers. Once we abandon the Holy Spirit as inadequate, and put our trust in Law (also referred to as “systematic theology”, or sometimes just “theology”) to protect us from sin and from God’s anger, there is no limit to the slavery it will impose on us.

  39. P.S. It’s no wonder that Paul devoted quite a large part of his entire life’s ministry to opposing the “circumcision party” who wanted to reduce the Gospel of the Kingdom to nothing more than a technical amendment to the Law of Moses.

  40. @ An Attorney:
    There is more to the story. I am trying to figure out how they think they can fix the future while they ignore the big elephant in the room.

    If the SBC wanted to send a message that they are dead serious about this issue, Mohler would be gone and Mahaney’s church would be kicked out. Yet, mahaney’s new SBC hotel church was recruiting Church planters at T$G, which will also be SBC. I can only assume they will receive SBC funds for church planting.

    Why grown men, in Ministry no less, cannot point to Mohler and say publicly, ‘we think what you have done is wrong, and we will not support you’…I will never understand.

  41. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Once we abandon the Holy Spirit as inadequate, and put our trust in Law (also referred to as “systematic theology”, or sometimes just “theology”) to protect us from sin and from God’s anger, there is no limit to the slavery it will impose on us.

    Exactly. You articulate it so well.

  42. @ K.D.:
    Years ago, I read a great blog post from a former pastor on this very issue. He got out of ministry and just decided to be a full-time Christian in the real world

    He said one of his biggest pet peeve is people going around saying pray for our pastor and our elders so that they may see this or that or understand this or that… meaning bad things that they were doing to people or ignoring.

    His feeling was that the pastor and Elders should know better and probably know exactly what they are doing.

    It is the people having the wool pulled over their eyes that need prayer to wake up and get out.

    It was one of those posts you find accidentally, bookmark on an old computer and now can’t find!

  43. I do not know the relationship of the the PCA to Westminster Seminary, though I’d hink they would be related. The non-binding position of the PCA is that an abusive spouse should be treated as an unbeliever and has ALREADY (unbiblicaly) divorced his or her victim, and therefore the victim is free to pursue a legal divorce and remarry:

    http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/divorce-remarriage.pdf

  44. Mara wrote:

    ” they declared her:
    not a Christian
    turned over to Satan”

    I think these men are not Christians. They have turned themselves over to Satan.

  45. Many of these churches may not allow a wife to resign her membership. Dever doesn’t like resignations. It’s worth a try but if she’s in such a church, the resignation will not come easily.

    It’s like a double divorce. The battered wife wants to leave her abusive husband and the battered wife wants to leave the church, but neither of these will happen without the church putting up a fight. Instead of the church loving the victim and allowing the victim the room to sort things out for herself, they demand that she conform to their “authority”.

  46. Mara wrote:

    It seems the reason they aren’t concerned with these things is because they worship marriage more than Jesus and view women as expendable as long as men take first place and marriage remains on its pedestal.

    But, of course they do, Marriage is representative of the ordained hierarchy in God’s kingdom …. central to the gospel …. Umbrella theology …. Danvers statement …. BF&M 2000. The entire “gospel” revolves around pat/comp doctrine. If men fall from their hierarchical positions, the entire gospel fails!
    And, lest we forget, wives will be submissive to our husbands for all eternity. Divorce is out of the question, no matter the circumstances.

  47. For me, the lack of support from the church was worse than the divorce itself. The divorce was highly stressful, but in many ways it was the period at the end of a statement that had been written long before. But the judgement of the church was them saying to me “Your well-being doesn’t matter to us or to God. You don’t matter to us or to God. All that matters is your marriage. You are not a person- you are a part of a marriage. The only way to please God is to suffer. You do not love Jesus.”

  48. Patriciamc wrote:

    Yes, because they misunderstand, or choose to misunderstand, what Paul meant when he said that women were created for men and not men for women. They really think that we’re fancy accessories for men.

    Fancy accessories With Benefits(TM).

    And you will find a LOT of “choosing to misunderstand” when the “misunderstanding” is to their own Personal Benefit.

  49. Having known several former profs and students at Westminister, I doubt that they have a position statement regarding spousal abuse or of excommunication of an abused spouse. Perhaps the PCA might? Carl Trueman, et.al at Mortification of Spin did write a post at Mortification of Spin, which I believe the Deebs did cover – maybe six months ago? Trueman is a professor of Church History there.

    Trueman, a native Brit, does see gender roles, inclusive language, and domestic violence from a vastly different perspective than many at Westminister. It is quite interesting that complementarianism is much more prominent in America than in England.

    The Seminary, as a whole, became more complementarian and inerrant under the Presidency of Peter Lillback, when several professors were purged from the ranks regarding inerrancy. (Peter Enns)

    I also know that Diane Langberg, PhD, used to offer classes or seminars at Westminister on abuse and trauma. – more than 10 years ago. I notice she is not listed on the faculty there anymore. Not a good indication of their interest in the subject matter.

  50. Nancy2 wrote:

    But, of course they do, Marriage is representative of the ordained hierarchy in God’s kingdom …. central to the gospel …. Umbrella theology …. Danvers statement …. BF&M 2000.

    “Take your workbooks and turn with Me
    To the chapter on Authority;
    Do you top the Chain of Command?
    Rule your family with an iron hand?
    Because a good wife learns to cower
    Beneath the Umbrella of Power;
    Under cover of Heaven’s Gate
    I. MANIPULATE.”
    — Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

  51. Jeff S wrote:

    Because they see divorce something that God “hates”, and marriage as permanent and (this is the key) more important than the individuals in it. Piper’s position paper pretty much says it all.

    I wonder if the reason these MenaGAWD are so into Marriage Is Permanent/Woman, Submit! is that their wives would run away from them if they ever had the option.

    So they enlist God as their eunuch harem guard to make sure their Accessory with Benefits stays.

  52. siteseer wrote:

    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything.

    Not “authority system”.
    POWER STRUGGLE.
    Dom or Sub, Top or Bottom, Penetrator or Penetrated, Hold the Whip or Feel the Whip, nothing in between, nothing else.
    My boot on her face or her stiletto heels on mine. And the only way to avoid the latter is to make damn sure of the former. FOREVER.

    “The only goal of Power is POWER. And POWER consists of inflicting maximum suffering upon the Powerless.”
    — Comrade O’Brian, Inner Party, Airstrip One, Oceania, 1984

    “There is no Right, there is no Wrong, there is only POWER.”
    — Lord Voldemort

  53. Eeyore wrote:

    I used to own a copy of Baxter’s *A Christian Directory* – as I’m sure you know, the TR publishing world has it back in print. My one-volume copy ran over 900 pages, at microscopic print. Rev. Baxter wanted to cover *every possible life contingency* with the proper Christian response

    900 pages of microscopic print, covering Every Possible Contingency and Proper Christian Response?

    (No need for anything other than Pavlov Stimulus –> Response. Here’s the Contingency/Situation/Stimulus, there’s the One Proper Response. It Is Written…)

    That’s beyond Talmud, that’s beyond Koran & Hadith, that’s just “has to use piano wire for an enema” anal.

  54. Jeff S wrote:

    I do not know the relationship of the the PCA to Westminster Seminary, though I’d hink they would be related. The non-binding position of the PCA is that an abusive spouse should be treated as an unbeliever and has ALREADY (unbiblicaly) divorced his or her victim, and therefore the victim is free to pursue a legal divorce and remarry:

    http://www.pcahistory.org/pca/divorce-remarriage.pdf

    Sorry Jeff. I had missed your comment. Yes, Westminster is PCA. I would believe that it should adhere to any PCA position papers.

  55. @ David (Eagle):
    David and Dee: Thank you for covering this important story! It is shocking that WTS offered no statement! They need to fire Estes immediately AND make a statement.

  56. I seriously doubt that WTS teaches that abused wives who seek divorce ought to be excommunicated. However, it wouldn’t surprised me in the least if they don’t even cover the issue at all in the curriculum. Jeff Crippen once said something to the effect that seminaries have not included these situations in whatever courses they do offer on practical pastoring. Who knows how many young men graduate from these institutions, ignorant of the fact that they are mandatory reporters (in most cases) in the state where they get their first call?

    Regarding Carl Trueman, Dee, have you asked him where he now stands wrt C.J. Mahaney?

  57. Mara wrote:

    From the article:
    ” they declared her: not a Christian turned over to Satan”

    Oh the arrogance and foolishness of men thinking that they can mete out the judgements and punishments of God.

    Indeed.

    Of course, I’m a bad rebellious jezebel. I would be inclined to laugh in someone’s face if they said this to me. After I got over the shock, that is.

  58. Daisy wrote:

    In their world, child abuse and wife abuse is “meh,” and not much to get worked up about, but goodness, go clutch your pearls in shock and incredulity if some lady wants to divorce her husband.

    Their priorities are out of whack.

    Then you have nutjobs like that guy who thinks a 13 year old is responsible for a rape at knifepoint.

  59. Lydia wrote:

    @ K.D.:
    Years ago, I read a great blog post from a former pastor on this very issue. He got out of ministry and just decided to be a full-time Christian in the real world

    He said one of his biggest pet peeve is people going around saying pray for our pastor and our elders so that they may see this or that or understand this or that… meaning bad things that they were doing to people or ignoring.

    His feeling was that the pastor and Elders should know better and probably know exactly what they are doing.

    It is the people having the wool pulled over their eyes that need prayer to wake up and get out.

    It was one of those posts you find accidentally, bookmark on an old computer and now can’t find!

    Look, before I taught school for 30 years, I was on church staff….these guys know EXACTLY what they are doing….as my late grandfather said ” they are just like all the other politicians.”

  60. Mara wrote:

    Another one that crops up is the Christians in concentration camps thought. Like Corrie ten Boom. As in, those Christians REALLY suffered and are to be commended for holding fast during such trying times.

    I just re-read the hiding place. When Corrie had a chance to get released, she got the h*** out of dodge! She didn’t go in on purpose. Sheesh.

  61. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    900 pages of microscopic print, covering Every Possible Contingency and Proper Christian Response?

    There is no room for the spirit here. I saw somebody ripping beth moore for saying she talked to god and god talked to her. ‘How Dare She! What makes her think she’s so special??’ was the jist of the article.

    I’m not a huge Beth Moore fan or anything but that really told me some things about the person who wrote it. I don’t remember if this was one of the pulpit and pen ‘let’s talk nasty about every female preacher in existence’ articles (there seem to be many)…

  62. Ok, this is just funny. Back on Nov. 11, 2014 Kevin DeYoung and Ryan Kelly posted a piece called “Extra-Ecclesial Gospel Partnerships: A Mess Worth Making”. The whole thing is an apologia for the existence of TGC, and includes a response to the most common concerns brought by Trueman and others.

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/extra-ecclesial-gospel-partnerships#

    In the section where they respond to charges about celebrity culture among the most well known TGC pastors, they said this:

    “We ought to give thanks to God for gifted servants in his church. We should also “honor” such men (1 Tim. 5:17), as we should those parts of the body which “lack honor” (1 Cor. 12:24).”

    Heh, heh. They actually equated these reformed celebrities with those parts of the body which lack honor. Maybe their slip is showing here? 😀

  63. Elizabeth wrote:

    I doubt that they have a position statement regarding spousal abuse or of excommunication of an abused spouse.

    My local engineering school does not have a position paper out on 2+2=4.

  64. Lydia wrote:

    There is something callous and dead in how they sin level. It actually desensitizes them to barbarity.

    The guys who do this are generally pretty pro- sola scriptura. They claim to really, really, really respect the Bible.

    That same Bible they say they revere so much distinguishes among types of sin and does treat some sin as worse than other sin.

    God gave harsher penalties in the OT for unintentional killing than for premeditated murder, for example.

    Jesus, I think, also did this in the Gospel (indicated the people guilty of worse sins than others would receive stronger punishment in the afterlife).

    Do the sin-levelers not see this stuff when they read the Bible?

  65. Nancy2 wrote:

    And, lest we forget, wives will be submissive to our husbands for all eternity.

    Are you sure that is how it goes? I thought I read that they were saying that while marriage relationships would no longer exist in eternity all females will be submissive to all males, which is even worse yet. Which would mean, I suppose that Mary of Nazareth would be in submission to Piper, Mohler et al. Talk about losing touch with reality!

  66. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I wonder if the reason these MenaGAWD are so into Marriage Is Permanent/Woman, Submit! is that their wives would run away from them if they ever had the option.
    So they enlist God as their eunuch harem guard to make sure their Accessory with Benefits stays.

    That is a good observation. I have seen more than one woman publicly breathing sighs of relief at their husbands’ funerals.

  67. siteseer wrote:

    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything. It is a system of roles, vows, indebtedness and slavery. No one is allowed out of their proscribed role-

    That and the rest of your post – yes.

    It’s reminiscent of the Pharisees Jesus upbraided for placing rules above the welfare or people. I see this sometimes among Christians today.

    Regarding the topic of this thread, some Christians act as though marriage is more important than the people who make up that marriage, and they act like keeping gender roles intact is more important than helping abused women get away from abusive husbands.

  68. NJ wrote:

    However, it wouldn’t surprised me in the least if they don’t even cover the issue at all in the curriculum.

    No time. Teaching wifely submission to husband and pew peon submission to pastors takes up all their time. God forbid they would teach anything that actually helps protect people from abuse, they’re too busy teaching future pastors how to abuse.

  69. Jesus explained that God allowed divorce because of the HARDNESS of men’s hearts. Hard hearts explains lots. No compassion, no caring, no empathy, no allowing no rights, no guilt, no victim, only the selfish will of the abuser and those who relate to the abuser.
    Do some reading on the Criminal Mind and you will find hard hearts. Unfortunately there are criminals and their accessories to the crimes in the church.

  70. siteseer wrote:

    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything. It is a system of roles, vows, indebtedness and slavery. No one is allowed out of their proscribed role- the abused child must still be seen and not heard and obey their elders, the abused wife must remain faithful, the abused parishioner must continue in subjugation to corrupt authority. Only those who achieve a high level of authority themselves gain some freedom in life by having the power to spin the truth their way. I don’t see any of this as the way of Christ. It was for freedom that Christ set us free; keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

    It also makes me wonder why we bothered to fight a revolution, a Civil War, and for civil rights. What was the point since it seems God doesn’t like it.

    I have a hard time understanding how Americans can so blindly go along with this stuff.

  71. Bill M wrote:

    Elizabeth wrote:

    I doubt that they have a position statement regarding spousal abuse or of excommunication of an abused spouse.

    My local engineering school does not have a position paper out on 2+2=4.

    Exactly!

  72. JeffT wrote:

    No time. Teaching wifely submission to husband and pew peon submission to pastors takes up all their time.

    Seriously. You can tell a lot about a person by what they think is important. You can tell a lot about a Christian by what they pull out of the bible and elevate, versus what Jesus elevated. We have a prescription for what is most important, and it ain’t gender roles!

  73. Lydia wrote:

    It also makes me wonder why we bothered to fight a revolution, a Civil War, and for civil rights. What was the point since it seems God doesn’t like it.

    You left out those heathen pilgrims who came to America to escape religious persecution.

  74. A Lutheran pastor recently preached that perhaps, *perhaps!*, in the case of abuse toward children, divorce would be all right — but not for anything “lesser.” My parents used to point to war and rumors of war as proof of the end times approaching – I see the proof of end times -comin’ when not only self-appointed clergy, but highly educated, accountable ministers teach tripe like this pastor did.

  75. Mara wrote:

    And all I think is, ‘So you can compare marriage to a concentration came experience with a straight face and see nothing insanely wrong with such thinking.’
    (epic eye roll)
    The inmates are running the asylum.

    They’re sure not making marriage look appealing to singles.

  76. Eeyore wrote:

    My one-volume copy ran over 900 pages, at microscopic print. Rev. Baxter wanted to cover *every possible life contingency* with the proper Christian response.

    Oh brother. I can just imagine.

    What’s the Christian way to make toast? What if my sock gets a hole in it, what is the godly way to handle it? etc etc. *roll eyes*

  77. @ siteseer:

    “No one is allowed out of their proscribed role”
    +++++++++++++++

    it’s like the objective is to protect the power of the one who has it.

    ultimately, I think the end of ‘pastor’ as gainful employment is in the air, and they’re very nervous (everyone in the foodchain of the evangelical industrial complex).

  78. Jeff S wrote:

    Because they see divorce something that God “hates”, and marriage as permanent and (this is the key) more important than the individuals in it. Piper’s position paper pretty much says it all.

    Agree with your take there and only wanted to ask, didn’t God divorce Israel in the Old Testament at one point? If divorce is okay for God, why do the marriage-permanence crowd want to deny it for mere mortals?

  79. Lydia, I think you’re misreading me. No, I don’t think TGC guys should be honored. I will sometimes point out terribly ironic things they say. I’m sorry if I wrote anything confusing there.

  80. Daisy wrote:

    What if my sock gets a hole in it, what is the godly way to handle it?

    You are a woman, silly! You should darn that sock, and that of your father, husband, child, pastor, or any assorted male who happens to be nearby. Because the bible says.

  81. @ Nancy2:

    They don’t seem to have 1 Corinthians 7 in their Bibles, where Paul says it’s better not to marry.
    Maybe it’s a good thing that more and more people, even Christians, are not marrying now, because it might be one of several things that causes some of these people to lose their power, and to re-examine some of their beliefs about divorce, marriage, and women.

    You cannot have a lot of their oppressive doctrine in place and working if and when women (and men) remain single.

  82. Jeff S wrote:

    For me, the lack of support from the church was worse than the divorce itself.

    I’m so sorry. 🙁

    I went through something similar – not divorce, but my family member dying. I got the same/similar reactions from Christian family and Christians at churches I went to.

    Sometimes the insensitive response by Christians is more painful than the thing that originally hurt you in the first place and caused you to seek out that Christian support. Or it can add even more pain on to a painful situation.

  83. Daisy wrote:

    Agree with your take there and only wanted to ask, didn’t God divorce Israel in the Old Testament at one point? If divorce is okay for God, why do the marriage-permanence crowd want to deny it for mere mortals?

    I keep thinking it’s so THEIR wives won’t ditch them (and would ditch them if they had the chance).

  84. Daisy wrote:

    Eeyore wrote:

    My one-volume copy ran over 900 pages, at microscopic print. Rev. Baxter wanted to cover *every possible life contingency* with the proper Christian response.

    Oh brother. I can just imagine.

    What’s the Christian way to make toast?

    Buttered by the woman just to the edges of the bread, of course.

  85. Daisy wrote:

    Agree with your take there and only wanted to ask, didn’t God divorce Israel in the Old Testament at one point? If divorce is okay for God, why do the marriage-permanence crowd want to deny it for mere mortals?

    Usually they’ll point to the fact that it wasn’t a permanent divorce since God was ultimately reconciled to his people, and sometimes talk about it as a metaphor. It’s all pretty ridiculous. The notions of permanence folks seem to be rooted in fantasy land and make Christianty look like it is a religion out of touch with real life.

  86. Lydia wrote:

    @ NJ:
    We get it already, right?

    CJ Mahaney should be honored.

    Like the current Kim of North Korea, Broadway Musical Numbers and all.

  87. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    So they enlist God as their eunuch harem guard to make sure their Accessory with Benefits stays.

    That might be part of it.

    Sadly, a lot of Christian women internalize this stuff, so the men don’t have to beat them up over it or guilt trip them as much.

    The women do it to themselves, and some of these other women write articles trying to convince yet other women that God wants them to be second man on the totem pole to their husband.

  88. Jeff S wrote:

    Usually they’ll point to the fact that it wasn’t a permanent divorce since God was ultimately reconciled to his people, and sometimes talk about it as a metaphor. It’s all pretty ridiculous.

    It’s “all a metaphor” when metaphor is to their personal benefit, and word-for-word Inerrant when word-for-word is to their personal benefit. Once you look at it that way, everything falls wright into place — “WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?”

  89. Daisy wrote:

    Sadly, a lot of Christian women internalize this stuff, so the men don’t have to beat them up over it or guilt trip them as much.
    The women do it to themselves, and some of these other women write articles trying to convince yet other women that God wants them to be second man on the totem pole to their husband.

    In some of the more dysfunctional Islamic cultures, it’s the older women who do much of the Honor Killing of the younger ones who stray.

  90. Mara wrote:

    It seems the reason they aren’t concerned with these things is because they worship marriage more than Jesus and view women as expendable as long as men take first place and marriage remains on its pedestal.

    And yet they will claim that this is what Jesus (and Paul as Jesus’ official mouthpiece) taught throughout the New Testament. If the Sabbath was made for man and not the other way round’, how much more then does the same principle apply to marriage?
    They have made Scripture a bunch of heavy black dots connected with thick dark lines which ignores any curvature between the dots.

  91. This from Westminister’s website:

    Since 1968, the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) has trained God’s people in biblical counseling, by exploringthe rich wisdom of Scripture and applying it to the complexities of human life. CCEF is closely affiliated with Westminster, situated across the street, and the Seminary’s biblical counseling courses are taught by CCEF faculty. Tim Lane, CCEF’s executive director, Ed Welch, David Powlison, Mike Emlet, and Winston Smith, are adjunct faculty at Westminster.

  92. elastigirl wrote:

    ultimately, I think the end of ‘pastor’ as gainful employment is in the air, and they’re very nervous (everyone in the foodchain of the evangelical industrial complex).

    This would make a very interesting discussion. I tend to think for a certain segment of the population they are more popular than ever. I think they are just taking advantage of the rise of cult of personality and our culture.

  93. @ Lydia:
    Keep in mind I was very wrong about megachurches 15 years ago. I predicted they had climaxed and were on their way out. Duh.

  94. @ Elizabeth:

    My next post is about CCEF, how they treated Hurit and a CCEF conference at Community Evangelical Free Church on abuse which is happening May 6. Its sick. I am trying to get statements from David Powlison, Cecilia Bernhardt and Dave Harvey. I called yesterday. I will try again in a couple of days. If they don’t respond to my last call then I will say its CCEF policy to send a domestic abuse victim back into a situation in which she can be killed.

  95. Lea wrote:

    There is no room for the spirit here. I saw somebody ripping beth moore for saying she talked to god and god talked to her. ‘How Dare She! What makes her think she’s so special??’ was the jist of the article.
    I’m not a huge Beth Moore fan or anything but that really told me some things about the person who wrote it.

    Some proponents of sola scriptura are very opposed to anyone ever saying they have heard from God or felt led by God to do anything.

    People who are extreme on the sola scriptura position don’t leave room for the Holy Spirit. Their Trinity consists of Father, Son, Holy Bible.

    I’m not a Charismatic or Word or Faith advocate, either. I think some in those groups can go to the opposite extreme of the pro- sola scriptura crowd.

  96. Elizabeth wrote:

    Sorry Jeff. I had missed your comment. Yes, Westminster is PCA. I would believe that it should adhere to any PCA position papers.

    Even though I was a Methodist, I attended a PCA church in high school. I view them as being just like the neo-cals, but with slightly better manners.

  97. Bill M wrote:

    My local engineering school does not have a position paper out on 2+2=4.

    One would think it would be self-evident that a woman in an abusive marriage can and should divorce if she so chooses, but there are Christian chuckle-heads out there who do teach that divorce is not permissible not even in cases of adultery or abuse.

  98. Lydia,

    Ok, got it. 😉

    I wish I could remember where I saw an article a year or so ago about how everywhere in the world there are urban areas, they seem to be the focal points of current human migration. Then the author went on to talk about future church mission strategy in light of the research results. It also talked about the megachurch phenomenon, the rise of multisites, and what may be coming next. Including the possible demise of the megas with the passing of the boomers.

  99. Daisy, I once read an interview (Tabletalk?) where Sproul Sr. said if he’d been writing a part of the new testament, he would have included a clear sentence about how abused Christian spouses can divorce their abusers. Reading between the lines, he sounded bummed that no such verse exists, like he wanted to be able to counsel abuse victims that they could divorce without sin, but concluded that he couldn’t.

  100. Mara wrote:

    The end result of lifting men up and pushing women down is that these men think far to highly of themselves and their system than they ought to.

    someday these men will realize that the worship of ‘authoritarian malehood’ is a worship of ‘golden bull’ . . .
    if an abused woman cannot seek asylum or sanctuary within her Church, it is NOT the Church of the ages, but some man-made hell that dispenses torment upon the tormented

    These men. Who are these men who are so hardened to the pain of suffering victims and so filled with their own importance?

    Where there is no humility, there is no grace.

  101. Lydia wrote:

    Carolyn mahaney taught on godly countertops.

    Oh yes, I’ve seen the occasional pro- complementarian article written by a woman where she is trying to convince other women that being permanently in second place in jobs, life, church, and marriage (based only on gender) is really a great thing.

  102. @ NJ:

    Maybe in these sorts of cases, these theologians or preachers could practice the Golden Rule: if they were a 5 ft 4 inch, 115 pound woman being physically clobbered by a 6 ft 4 inch, 200- some- odd pound man, would they really want to stay in that marriage?

    Or, would they even want to be in a marriage to a physically larger person where there may be no physical abuse happening, but the possibility remains, in that the spouse threatens it all the time?

    Or, would they even want to be in a marriage where the spouse is emotionally and verbally abusive all the time?

    My father was not physically abusive, but he was a non-stop critic towards my mother and my siblings, and it’s about all you can do not to go nuts when you have to be around someone that negative all the time. It certainly harms your sense of self-esteem.

    If these pastors would not want to be married to any of these types of people and would opt to divorce, they should present divorce as being an option for people who ARE in these sorts of marriages.

  103. Daisy wrote:

    Oh yes, I’ve seen the occasional pro- complementarian article written by a woman where she is trying to convince other women that being permanently in second place in jobs, life, church, and marriage (based only on gender) is really a great thing.

    What kind of indoctrination brings a woman so low as to not only debase herself in this way, but also to try to sell debasement under the rule of men as something ‘Christian’? Stories about how men treat women in patriarchal settings can be horrifying, and so I find the ‘system’ as abusive to the male psyche and it is to the female mind … when men are taught to see themselves as superior in a system that subordinates the humanity of others because of gender, I suspect that there is victimization enough to affect everyone: men, women, and children . . . we cannot replace real Christian humility before the Lord with a system that demands women bow down to the will of men, not without the brokenness of men affecting the true human dignity of all involve in a negative manner.

  104. @ Christiane:

    I apologize if you were only being rhetorical and didn’t really expect an answer, but here I go anyway. 🙂

    In my case (I used to be a complementarian), you are taught, from all the complementarian books you read and sermons you hear and maybe from complementarian friends and family, that rejecting complementarianism means you are embracing secular, liberal feminism and are not wholly devoted to God and don’t take the Bible seriously.

    That was one reason I tried very hard to cling to comp, even though I had strong doubts about it.

    As to why the men buy into complementarianism, it can be due to those same reasons I just cited, or, some of the abusive ones like it because it gives them cover to abuse woman, while I think part of it is also marketing.

    I think some Christian men buy into the snow job that if they are complementarian, it’s all romantic: they get to play the heroic, romantic, swash- buckling lead to some damsel- in- distress, and they find this very appealing.

    Like the guy who wrote this:
    An Open Letter To Rey from Star Wars Posted by Nathan Alberson
    http://warhornmedia.com/2016/03/07/an-open-letter-to-rey-from-star-wars/

    As far as I can tell, a main message of that post is that the guy who wrote it feels lost, possibly intimidated, and useless when women are strong, competent, and have healthy self esteem (i.e., when women don’t fit or even try to meet the gender complementarian womanly ideal of being very dependent on men for meaning, purpose, identity and protection).

    His understanding of his masculinity, which is informed by complementarianism, needs for women to be weak and passive for him to have meaning in life, or as a man. That’s how I took it. That is how some complementarians try to depict complementarianism. I think some men find it appealing.

    That one complementarian guy (more out-right patriarchal) liked to go on and on about how men should be noble and sacrifice themselves for women on a sinking Titanic; men are protectors of women, and women, the weak dainty things, need protection. This same guy was later discovered to have been sexually harassing his teen-aged nanny.

  105. Hi DAISY,
    I appreciate and agree with your response. I was being a bit rhetorical, but it is good to dialogue with you here. Thanks again for responding. 🙂

  106. @ NJ:
    They just reinvent themselves with a Potemkin style effort.

    The Millenials like liturgical feel? No problem. We can wear vestments and buy incense.

    There is a concrete soviet architecture inspired mega here who is building a traditional church building with a steeple on their massive campus for those who are in to that sort of thing. They already have 4 massive buildings on the campus. One, a dedicated office building for staff

    You cannot make this stuff up.

  107. In regards to the errant comparison of an abused wife “hanging in there” like Corrie TenBoom in the concentration camp…..NOT a fair analogy. She was kidnapped by the enemies of her country. An abused wife is treated cruelly by her HUSBAND who professed to love and care for her. Not the same at all……

  108. @ abigail:

    Yes. And as I said, she didn’t choose to stay when she could leave. She left.

    So abused women should be like Corrie ten boom and leave as soon as they can!

  109. I had my marriage compared to a concentration camp. Completely disgusting.

    I asked one of the people who talked to me about this: “If the gate was open that the person in the concentration camp could just walk out, do you really think any of them would stay?”

    I did get a straight faced answer of “I don’t know what I’d do in that situation. Maybe I would stay”. That someone would come to such an answer is evidence of Christian misapplied.

    One point I’ve made with people is that I do not know of any place in scripture where someone called someone else to “opt in” to suffering. I know plenty of people that chose to do it by the conviction of God, but that’s very different. Yet plenty of Christians are willing to call abuse victims to suffering. That’s pretty rich to tell someone else they have to suffer while you stay safe in your own blessed and comfortable marriage. Oh, and bonus points if you have the nerve to say “Every marriage has its trials”.

  110. brian wrote:

    Dee, help me out here, I don’t see why a woman or a man well let’s say a human being should remain in a dangerous marriage?

    They can’t have people being free to think for themselves and make their own decisions. That would undermine their authority structure.

  111. abigail wrote:

    In regards to the errant comparison of an abused wife “hanging in there” like Corrie TenBoom in the concentration camp…..NOT a fair analogy.

    That is true. When you walk into a marriage, there is a reasonable expectation that your spouse is going to treat you decently.

    Going into a concentration camp, though, you know you might be in for a bad time.

  112. Lydia,

    My first thought was “good grief”, but that could actually make for an interesting experiment. Most of the campus is typical mega, and then you’ve got this little neogothic building with a steeple, pews, a traditional liturgy, sacraments, and preaching of law and gospel instead of Osteen type fluff. I wonder how many would investigate out of curiosity and end up going there instead of in the main building.

  113. Jeff S wrote:

    That’s pretty rich to tell someone else they have to suffer while you stay safe in your own blessed and comfortable marriage.

    I was reading an article by a guy who wrote a book about things similar to what we’re discussing.

    He said he went to an older guy at his church for advice on what to do, because he was being pushed around by a co-worker at his job.

    The church guy told him to be Christ-like to yield to the harassment and put up with it. So that’s what he did.

    A few months later, church guy had to work with this guy’s company. He had to show up to the same office every day.

    The guy said he noticed that church guy did not practice what he had preached when he showed up to the job: he did not permit the people at that office to walk all over him. He did not yield to harassment or let others walk all over him.

    There are definitely Christians who think that staying in a bad situation and suffering or putting up with abuse passively is more godly and biblical – but only when it applies to other people, not themselves.
    Isn’t it convenient how that works?

  114. Daisy, I’ve long thought that for some of these people, if it was their own daughter being viciously abused in marriage, their tune about divorce would suddenly change.

  115. Daisy wrote:

    Some proponents of sola scriptura are very opposed to anyone ever saying they have heard from God or felt led by God to do anything.

    And yet most pastors speak of “feeling” or “having heard” the “call” from God to enter the ministry.

    The discussion of the Bible prescribing a way to handle *everything* in life reminds me of the 900-some commandments of Judaism and the never-ending work if Talmudic scholars to figure out how many ways a passage could or should be interpreted.

    Given that one of the greatest aims of any religion is to encourage us to be good to each other, the emphasis should be there — and on honoring God. Not how to one-up each other.

  116. Daisy wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Buttered by the woman just to the edges of the bread, of course.

    LOL. Um. I don’t think I should touch that comment.

    Well, just for the record, I found the online scan of *A Christian Directory* at CCEL. The portion where Baxter counsels women on their wifely duties is linked below. I will not attempt to sugarcoat it – it makes Piper look tame by comparison.

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/baxter/practical.i.v.ix.html

  117. @ Lydia:

    A traditional church building I can understand, but vestments and incense? No kidding? Is that a non-denom mega or have the baptists come to this?

  118. NJ wrote:

    All Trolls, which lutheran pastor?

    NJ, nobody you’d recognize; not a celebrity nor at or above the post of bishop. I’d heard about this sermon from
    someone who’d attended the early service and I used my phone to record the sermon in the late service. I later asked him in Bible class where this new guideline on divorce came from. He replied at some length, essentially that he hadn’t said what he’d said.

  119. okrapod wrote:

    Are you sure that is how it goes? I thought I read that they were saying that while marriage relationships would no longer exist in eternity all females will be submissive to all males, which is even worse yet. Which would mean, I suppose that Mary of Nazareth would be in submission to Piper, Mohler et al. Talk about losing touch with reality!

    Which further exemplifies why I have no desire to go to their ‘heaven’. My hope is in the best that this world has to offer extended into Olam Ha-Ba ,the Jewish version of an afterlife.

  120. Daisy wrote:

    siteseer wrote:

    I’m feeling like they see the whole of life as an authority system. No individual or his/her suffering matters, the authority system is everything. It is a system of roles, vows, indebtedness and slavery. No one is allowed out of their proscribed role-

    That and the rest of your post – yes.

    It’s reminiscent of the Pharisees Jesus upbraided for placing rules above the welfare or people. I see this sometimes among Christians today.

    Regarding the topic of this thread, some Christians act as though marriage is more important than the people who make up that marriage, and they act like keeping gender roles intact is more important than helping abused women get away from abusive husbands.

    Well, that’s exactly it. Remember the foundational premise of TR theology – all moral principles are transcendent, eternal, and irrevocable, since they were established by an eternal unchanging God. Any problems we have with them stem from our own sinful rebellion against them and can be discounted. The principles must be obeyed and upheld, and our own happiness is barely a consideration – after all, we can be happy in heaven, when our desires will finally be perfectly aligned with God’s, so what matter is happiness here?

    The root problem, as Nick and so many others have observed, is that TR ethics are completely OT and Law-centered instead of Christ-centered. Did Christ inaugurate the New Creation, or is He just the New Moses?

  121. Oops, there you go, Dee, publicly admitting error. 🙂

    Yours is the 4th article I’ve seen on divorce for abuse that were published yesterday. My blog was one of them (https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/04/18/a-challenge-to-abused-christian-woman-regarding-teachings-on-divorce/) and there were no e-mails sent out about this. I think this must be a Holy Spirit thing. Abused wives need to hear the message, “Women, you are free to leave AND divorce your abusive husbands!”

  122. NJ wrote:

    if it was their own daughter being viciously abused in marriage, their tune about divorce would suddenly change.

    Probably, but at least in this one case, this pastor father seemed conflicted:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2015/04/bible-believing-pastors-and-the-enabling-of-domestic-violence/

    It’s sad that a guy would be so beholden to gender role garbage that he’d allow his daughter’s physical safety and her happiness be put at risk, but I guess it happens sometimes.

    Most of them probably would put an exception in case and let their own kids off the hook, though.

  123. @ okrapod:
    I think you misunderstood me. I was speaking of how the world of Seeker Mega marketing and recruitment works. They don’t set Trends– they follow trends.

    If there were a clear case that 20 to 40 year olds were going liturgical in droves they would be only too happy to adapt some of those accouterments. I don’t mean to say it would be totally liturgical but it would be a sort of liturgical potemkin Village.

    They have to do this because is it necessary to constantly be recruiting enough new people (to replace the ones leaving) so that the few million they must have will flow through the coffers each month.

    I think the new proposed Chapel is to get more of the over 60 crowd back who actually tithed. The over sixties are leaving megachurches like crazy.

    In the megachurch world only about 3 – 8 % actually tithe as in a consistent amount each month or week. The rest of the money comes in from bodies in the pews who write checks or run their credit card through the kiosk while there. Some allow them to access their accounts to do automatic draft tithing. But that does not seem to have gone over as well as they thought it would. But it always boils down to; Not enough bodies, not enough money.

    Do you really think they wouldn’t throw on a robe and burn some incense to bring in the bodies? First and foremost it is consumer Church. You can even buy a plastic fish for your car in the bookstore and grab a macchiato right after service. Free Wi-Fi!

  124. @ Lydia:

    One of the saddest and maybe most infuriating things I ever saw when I was looking for books on a book shopping site and there was a book with a title like “Who Stole My Church.”

    From glancing at the cover and a blurb on the back, it sounded like the author (a pastor, I think) who wrote it was being sympathetic to people over 35 or 46 or 55 who felt their church had no place for them and was all about being trendy, hip, and for the college kids.

    Then I read some of the reviews people left of the book, by people who were 50 or older who said the book was misleading.

    The preacher spent the whole book chewing out older people whose churches had changed to appeal to younger people.

    The author chewed the older people out, told them to suck it up and get over it, because the faith was about winning over new, young converts, who cares about more mature people?

    I was revolted by the book after seeing that was about. I think it’s terrible that so many churches do not care at all about people who are over 35.

  125. @ Daisy:
    The Baby Boomers thought they would never grow old. They are at a loss as to how to deal with this younger generation now in pulpits … even more arrogant than them….that ironically, were raised by the Boomers!

  126. @ Daisy:
    Churches tend to look at their youth group, young families and make projections on growth. That is why they do not value singles or older people. The pastor constantly has visions of a dead Church with no money coming in because they left or they died.

    You should read some of the church marketing trade material. It is hard to remember that Jesus has anything at all to do with any of it. Most pastors, even of smallish, churches are immersed in this stuff.

    I am convinced that 9 marks of a healthy Church is all about keeping people in… as is church discipline. They just have a different system that is much more tyrannical.

  127. I am one of those literalists who thought divorced people couldn’t remarry because the remarriage would result in adultery. And the literal interpretation that woman’s salvation was gained by birthing children almost entered by mind. I stopped here because it is unreasonable and burdensome interpretation. It is all there in Scripture if you choose to interpret it legalistically and literally. So these clerics who who believe that woman must submit to their man so that there is a chance he will “be saved” are taking a big twist at womanly submission. I doubt seriously they would be singing the same song if the woman was their daughter and the daughter was in an Intensive Care Unit due to this beating! How does Westminster feel about men being battered by their wives, as some physically could and some do? Are they also mum about this? Or had the fact there are women capable of bashing men even entered their small minds? I am in many respects complementarian because I sense a woman pastor or leader will not be as common as a male pastor or leader, but if a leader like Judith preaches and leads a church, I will say “glory and amen!” If she is a elder, then “hallelujah!” If someone is called what right have to say it isn’t possible. I am a believer is mutual submission. If a man decides to stay at home a take care of the kids, then maybe he is nurturant and she is a better breadwinner?

  128. Daisy wrote:

    there are Christian chuckle-heads out there who do teach that divorce is not permissible not even in cases of adultery or abuse.

    In the case of Hurit, her ex was guilty of both abuse and infidelity, if porn qualifies as such, yet they still can’t come up with an answer. So I’m back to this seminary that can’t see the essentials yet considers themselves experts on theology. If ever there was an argument against the need for a “pastor” to have a seminary degree this would be it. Give me a humble servant who know how to love and toss these fruitcakes into the dustbin.

  129. Daisy wrote:

    The author chewed the older people out, told them to suck it up and get over it, because the faith was about winning over new, young converts, who cares about more mature people?

    I was revolted by the book after seeing that was about. I think it’s terrible that so many churches do not care at all about people who are over 35.

    We got a huge dose of this when our church went through the change. We were made to feel that our only use was to pay the bills while God did the important things through the young people. The pastor used to say “these aren’t my people” about everyone over a certain age.

    The music alone has driven many older people out of church. I can’t do pounding rock concert anymore and I feel like it’s really ironic to have to put in earplugs when you step into a church sanctuary.

  130. Lydia wrote:

    The over sixties are leaving megachurches like crazy.

    Out West here they are just leaving churches, mega or otherwise. I’ve come across more than a few 70 and 80 year old folks that attended church their entire life and don’t bother anymore.

  131. siteseer wrote:

    Daisy wrote
    The music alone has driven many older people out of church. I can’t do pounding rock concert anymore and I feel like it’s really ironic to have to put in earplugs when you step into a church sanctuary.

    Me too, and I actually like some secular rock, such as Deff Leopard. I think Deff Leopard has more musical value than some of these praise choruses but it wouldn’t be suited in a church at full decibels. Maybe it would if it were played by a string quartet. Bach wrote chorales from beer songs so making something secular, sacred should be ok.

  132. Lydia wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    Churches tend to look at their youth group, young families and make projections on growth. That is why they do not value singles or older people.

    Never noticing that the youth group is a revolving door; when they age out of the youth group, they usually leave the church. (Found a better show somewhere else?)

    And some of the tactics to lure in Young Families (i.e. with small kids who will graduate to the youth group) are straight out of Disneyland. Aim for the kids, you can’t change the channel or zap the commercials.

    I am convinced that 9 marks of a healthy Church is all about keeping people in… as is church discipline. They just have a different system that is much more tyrannical.

    “The Tithes Must Flow.”

  133. Daisy wrote:

    That one complementarian guy (more out-right patriarchal) liked to go on and on about how men should be noble and sacrifice themselves for women on a sinking Titanic; men are protectors of women, and women, the weak dainty things, need protection. This same guy was later discovered to have been sexually harassing his teen-aged nanny.

    It was more than harassing.

    I can’t describe it without getting bleeped out, but it was something you see in porn which used to be called “Keeboarping” or “Dreefing” in Boontling. Since Tab A didn’t actually dock into Slot B, ManaGAWD ESQUIRE could wipe his mouth and say “I did not know her in a Biblical sense.”

    And hitting on the help is an old shtick for the Highborn. Remember Tom Jefferson?

  134. Daisy wrote:

    I think some Christian men buy into the snow job that if they are complementarian, it’s all romantic: they get to play the heroic, romantic, swash- buckling lead to some damsel- in- distress, and they find this very appealing.

    Don’t know if I should tell you this, but I’ve always had a soft spot for rescue-the-damsel-in-distress scenarios. Like the old swashbucklers where the hero crashes through the window to the rescue.

    But I used to get that fix by playing pencil/paper/funny-dice RPGs and writing fiction.

  135. NJ wrote:

    Daisy, I once read an interview (Tabletalk?) where Sproul Sr. said if he’d been writing a part of the new testament, he would have included a clear sentence about how abused Christian spouses can divorce their abusers. Reading between the lines, he sounded bummed that no such verse exists, like he wanted to be able to counsel abuse victims that they could divorce without sin, but concluded that he couldn’t.

    So he needs it spelled out in so many exact words (in a 900-page manual of “If This, Do That”)? That sounds like some kind of bean-counter bureaucrat who’s never had an original thought in his life.

  136. Daisy wrote:

    What’s the Christian way to make toast?

    I can see the next phase of Jesus junk already – a toast imprinter in the shape of a fish. You read this great idea here first, should I patent?

  137. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    So he needs it spelled out in so many exact words (in a 900-page manual of “If This, Do That”)? That sounds like some kind of bean-counter bureaucrat who’s never had an original thought in his life.

    I know, really, he can’t make the mental jump from everything else it says about love and freedom?

  138. Daisy wrote:

    I was revolted by the book after seeing that was about. I think it’s terrible that so many churches do not care at all about people who are over 35.

    I don’t begin to understand this. Is this part of our youth-obsessed culture? I go to a fantastic non-denominational church, and even though there are many middle-age and older people, all the videos they show during the service (to go slong with a worship song or to introduce the sermon topic) feature only 20-somethings. Do they think that there’s an expiration date on faith, and older people are no longer Christian?

  139. Daisy wrote:

    Like the guy who wrote this:
    An Open Letter To Rey from Star Wars Posted by Nathan Alberson
    http://warhornmedia.com/2016/03/07/an-open-letter-to-rey-from-star-wars/
    As far as I can tell, a main message of that post is that the guy who wrote it feels lost, possibly intimidated, and useless when women are strong, competent, and have healthy self esteem (i.e., when women don’t fit or even try to meet the gender complementarian womanly ideal of being very dependent on men for meaning, purpose, identity and protection).
    His understanding of his masculinity, which is informed by complementarianism, needs for women to be weak and passive for him to have meaning in life, or as a man. That’s how I took it. That is how some complementarians try to depict complementarianism. I think some men find it appealing.

    Good heavens. That article was a bunch of nonsense. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to protect a woman or to be protected by a man, but this guy wants a woman to be weak just to prop up his self-esteem. Sorry dude, keeping someone down just to lift yourself up is not the Christian thing to do. Oh, and his use of Scripture – major eyeroll.

  140. Daisy wrote:

    Like the guy who wrote this:
    An Open Letter To Rey from Star Wars Posted by Nathan Alberson
    http://warhornmedia.com/2016/03/07/an-open-letter-to-rey-from-star-wars/
    As far as I can tell, a main message of that post is that the guy who wrote it feels lost, possibly intimidated, and useless when women are strong, competent, and have healthy self esteem (i.e., when women don’t fit or even try to meet the gender complementarian womanly ideal of being very dependent on men for meaning, purpose, identity and protection).

    He’s gotten beaten up on Facebook for this article, by both women and men.

  141. Lydia wrote:

    Churches tend to look at their youth group, young families and make projections on growth. That is why they do not value singles or older people.

    I can’t really speak about older people’s situation, but the sad thing about the singles is a Catch-22. I have read I don’t know how many adult singles (anywhere from age 30 to older) say they would love to find a church to settle down in, but the extreme “family” focus (constant sermons on marriage etc) feels alienating, so they move on.

    Churches might be able to attract and keep singles (and maybe get some occasional tithe money out of them) if they would tone down the Nuclear Family And Marriage show and throw a few crumbs at the singles.

  142. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:

    Within reason, it may not be bad to want to rescue a Damsel in Distress.

    I think where gender complementarians go wrong is they think all women are consistently supposed to need rescuing, and all men are supposed to always do the rescuing

    I think in a healthy cross-gender relationship (marriage or friendship) there will or can be times when both need rescuing.

    Maybe your girlfriend is having a bad day, so you do something to cheer her up, for example. But two months later, you need her help with something, so she helps you. I think that makes for a healthier relationship, whether it’s friendship or dating or marriage.

    I kind of felt like I was most often the Knight in Shining Armor to my ex fiance, and he was the perpetual Damsel.

    My mother raised me to be the Damsel, so I got worn out quickly having to rescue my ex all the time.

    I kept waiting for him to do his “Prince Charming” thing and lift MY burdens, but he only added to them. It was plum exhausting rescuing his behind all the time.

  143. Haitch wrote:

    I can see the next phase of Jesus junk already – a toast imprinter in the shape of a fish. You read this great idea here first, should I patent?

    I saw a pair of Jesus flip flops online several years ago.

    The advertising included shots of the footprints left behind by the flip flops on a beach somewhere; as you walk along, the words “Jesus” get spelled out in the sand.

    I used to go looking for this stuff many years ago. I found it very funny and sometimes cringe-worthy. I found some of the tackiest, stupid or weirdest Jesus trinkets.

    Some of the best were this line of sports figurines. Some company put Jesus with little kids playing sports.

    Here’s one picture (from another line of Jesus figurines, Jesus playing soccer):
    http://i.imgur.com/j8rHPpD.jpg

    I see stuff like that and really do wonder about people sometimes.

  144. Daisy wrote:

    the extreme “family” focus (constant sermons on marriage etc) feels alienating, so they move on.

    That’s exactly why I left a great Methodist church I was attending. There was simply no place for people who didn’t have children.

  145. Patriciamc wrote:

    all the videos they show during the service (to go slong with a worship song or to introduce the sermon topic) feature only 20-somethings. Do they think that there’s an expiration date on faith, and older people are no longer Christian?

    That’s sure the impression I get.

    A woman who has another blog (I don’t know if I can find this again or not), was contacted by other women, who are over 35 or 40 years of age. Some of them had been singing on stage during church services for many years.

    When they got a new preacher,the preacher gave all the over-35/40 women the boot and replaced them all with 20 something women singers instead. It’s hard to tell who is more youth obsessed at times, the church or secular culture.

    At the few churches I’ve been to the last few years, the ones with big video monitors, even if they don’t show 20 somethings in the videos, the design production is such that they’re sort of meant to appeal to that demographic. Very edgy, fast-paced graphics, and so on.

  146. @ Patriciamc:

    His web site is somehow affiliated with patriarchy guy – I think the name is Tim Bayly?

    The entire post was patronizing, even though he said at some point, ‘Honestly, I don’t mean to sound patronizing!’

    He must not remember that Princess Leia had moxy.

    Then there was also Xena: Warrior Princess in the 1990s, Charlie’s Angels in the 70s, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the 90s.

    Guys like him act like Rey from Star Wars just came out of nowhere, but there have been the occasional strong woman characters in movies and TV over the years.

  147. Daisy wrote:

    His web site is somehow affiliated with patriarchy guy – I think the name is Tim Bayly?

    Well, that makes sense. The Baylys are off the wall nuts. I looked around the site for one of the two brothers, and the feeling I got was evil. Not exasperated or offended, but that there was evil there.

  148. @ Patriciamc:

    The Baylys are the ones who fussed at the women critiquing Doug Wilson. They said that women should not be judging and correcting a man’s theology because they’re women.

  149. Daisy wrote:

    When they got a new preacher,the preacher gave all the over-35/40 women the boot and replaced them all with 20 something women singers instead. It’s hard to tell who is more youth obsessed at times, the church or secular culture.

    This happened at our church, too. They were basically fired. It was heartlessly done.

  150. Why not just let people lead who are good at leading, or sing, serve, clean the bathroom, preach, be an elder, Pastor, work with the children, be a stay at home dad or mom or both if needed. I have a confession I get rather angry when I read about this hierarchical nonsense. There is so much beauty in a serving faith that does not boast in our “rank” but as brothers and sisters looking to one Lord, one Hope, and One Salvation.

  151. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    So he needs it spelled out in so many exact words (in a 900-page manual of “If This, Do That”)? That sounds like some kind of bean-counter bureaucrat who’s never had an original thought in his life.

    Or if he ever did, it would probably die of sheer loneliness.

  152. @ Serving Kids in Japan:
    That is an unfair representation of what is one of the greatest works of the Puritan era. It was written not as a prescriptive “you must do this or else”, but as a help for young ministers, family and private devotions at a time when Baxter was forbidden to preach the Gospel. It was a “summa” or collection of Puritan thought at that time. Baxter saw this work as a way to continue his ministry during his confinement. He encouraged readers to dip in and out of it for help when facing a variety of problems.
    Another contributor here posted Baxter’s remarks on the duties of wives to their husbands. Buried in the many words is Baxter’s clear statement that a wife has a duty to leave a seriously abusive marital relationship. The New Calvinists would find no support there for Mr Piper’s or Mr Patterson’s “grin and bear it” advice.
    It seems clear to me that the New Calvinists are trying to model themselves on the Puritans with their “lists” and “marks” but they have forgotten the greatest mark of a Puritan was their ” heart work”. In other words they lived their lives as best they could before God, knowing that their words and deeds were a witness to the watching world that would either draw people to Christ (adorning the Gospel) or turn them away from Him (denominated “soul murder”). Mr Mohler’s Ill-advised joke about googling Mr Mahaney shows just how shallow their understanding of Calvinism, Puritanism and the Gospel of Christ is.

  153. @ Daisy:

    I think I mentioned this, but I went out of tow to be distracted on Valentine’s Day, went to church and the whole sermon was about marriage. Ugh! Thanks guys.

    On Music, I started getting irritated at church music in my 20s, because it was so monotonous and poorly written. A few years ago I started learning guitar and begin to pinpoint exactly why it all sounded the same, same easy chord progressions! Give me a hymn any day. I have gone full on old school with church now. Not a guitar in sight.

  154. Patriciamc wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    His web site is somehow affiliated with patriarchy guy – I think the name is Tim Bayly?

    Well, that makes sense. The Baylys are off the wall nuts. I looked around the site for one of the two brothers, and the feeling I got was evil. Not exasperated or offended, but that there was evil there.

    I agree with you. I don’t think this is a case of trying and failing to interpret the bible. Some people I give a pass because I think they mean well. I don’t feel that way with them.

    And I can’t imagine firing people from worship for being in their 30s! That’s awful.

  155. @ Daisy:

    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses. What I need is something to fight for, someone to fight for, someone to protect. If you rob me of that, you rob me of my dignity as a man.”

    There ya go. When you derive your dignity as a man from having someone to fight for and protect, then you get patriarchy.

    Sounds like someone has sourced his self-worth in the wrong things.

  156. @ siteseer:
    I, too, have seen this. Our new church has a wonderful, small praise band made up of older woman and men. One lady looks to be about 65 and plays a mean guitar! I love them. They have great voices.

  157. Daisy wrote:

    … women, who are over 35 or 40 years of age. Some of them had been singing on stage during church services for many years……the preacher gave all the over-35/40 women the boot and replaced them all with 20 something women singers instead. ……At the few churches I’ve been to the last few years, the ones with big video monitors, even if they don’t show 20 somethings in the videos, the design production is such that they’re sort of meant to appeal to that demographic. Very edgy, fast-paced graphics, and so on.

    Yes, well there is a common thread here, the idea of musicians as visual entertainment. Before anybody gets all romantic about maybe checking out some of the more conservative forms of liturgy let me explain something. At my church the choir, and the organ and any additional instrumentalists (we have a lovely but little brass group) are all in a loft (remember the old phrase ‘choir loft’) in the back of the congregation. Nobody sees the musicians. Usually even when the kiddie choirs sing they are in robes and up in the choir loft. And there are no screens or videos. Probably this would not be everybody’s cup of tea.

    I think if churches are going to copy the world (the purple lights bug the mess out of me) and use musicians as eye candy while requiring, as somebody said, little musical expertise then they will be using the young and the attractive and those with audience appeal to do so. Why would they not if that is what their game plan demands?

  158. Jeff S wrote:

    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses.

    Is that a real quote??? Pathetic. Grow up. Find something else to occupy your thoughts. Sheesh.

    These are the kind of people who run around yelling that women only like jerks, when what they mean is that women aren’t particularly fond of guys who start off by telling them how pathetic they are.

    Also! How is a woman supposed to trust a man who claims to be ‘passive and weak’ to protect them??? That sounds like a dicey proposition to me.

  159. okrapod wrote:

    about maybe checking out some of the more conservative forms of liturgy

    This is exactly what I have done. Our choir is fantastic, and sits in the loft. We do occasionally have musical performances during parts of the service that are in front. We had a fantastic flute/piano combo this week.

  160. OK, now I’ve finally gotten a chance to read this dumb letter to rey, who btw guy, is not a real person.

    * “Let’s talk about biology first, who you are as a woman”. This from a man. Darlin’, I get biology. I also get how it doesn’t apply to buffy the vampire slayer. And the skill Katniss everdeen had was archery. I haven’t seen the new star wars, but it’s star wars? So. You know. Fiction. In Space.

    * “women are more timid” which is why there are so many jokes about ‘mama bears’.

    *”don’t be part of the conspiracy{snip} to ‘murder my motivation'” What???

    And If he thinks the women in most of these movies are all ‘hard, mean, manly women’ I don’t think he’s been watching very carefully.

    Wow. That whole article is just…wow.

  161. What about protecting children from perps that seem to be targeting their churches?? There are plenty of oppressed people (both genders) that we should protect from other people that are exploiting them….. In all aspects of life, from economic, political, to spiritual….

    Daisy wrote:

    @ Christiane:
    I apologize if you were only being rhetorical and didn’t really expect an answer, but here I go anyway.
    In my case (I used to be a complementarian), you are taught, from all the complementarian books you read and sermons you hear and maybe from complementarian friends and family, that rejecting complementarianism means you are embracing secular, liberal feminism and are not wholly devoted to God and don’t take the Bible seriously.
    That was one reason I tried very hard to cling to comp, even though I had strong doubts about it.
    As to why the men buy into complementarianism, it can be due to those same reasons I just cited, or, some of the abusive ones like it because it gives them cover to abuse woman, while I think part of it is also marketing.
    I think some Christian men buy into the snow job that if they are complementarian, it’s all romantic: they get to play the heroic, romantic, swash- buckling lead to some damsel- in- distress, and they find this very appealing.
    Like the guy who wrote this:
    An Open Letter To Rey from Star Wars Posted by Nathan Alberson
    http://warhornmedia.com/2016/03/07/an-open-letter-to-rey-from-star-wars/
    As far as I can tell, a main message of that post is that the guy who wrote it feels lost, possibly intimidated, and useless when women are strong, competent, and have healthy self esteem (i.e., when women don’t fit or even try to meet the gender complementarian womanly ideal of being very dependent on men for meaning, purpose, identity and protection).
    His understanding of his masculinity, which is informed by complementarianism, needs for women to be weak and passive for him to have meaning in life, or as a man. That’s how I took it. That is how some complementarians try to depict complementarianism. I think some men find it appealing.
    That one complementarian guy (more out-right patriarchal) liked to go on and on about how men should be noble and sacrifice themselves for women on a sinking Titanic; men are protectors of women, and women, the weak dainty things, need protection. This same guy was later discovered to have been sexually harassing his teen-aged nanny.

  162. Haha- someone posted this on my FB page (because I linked that “open letter” there):

    “True story, if you suck, you’re passive, and you’re weak, having something to fight for doesn’t change any of that. It just means you’ll suck for being weakly passive in your duties. Plenty of married men aren’t very strong or dignified even though they have someone to take care of.

    And, speaking as a relatively strong and dignified man, I’m not at all going to tell a woman not to work to her fullest potential. I like being taken care of, too.”

  163. Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    What about protecting children from perps that seem to be targeting their churches?? There are plenty of oppressed people (both genders) that we should protect from other people that are exploiting them….. In all aspects of life, from economic, political, to spiritual….

    As far as I can tell, they only want to protect people who might possibly sleep with them.

  164. Lea wrote:

    Wow. That whole article is just…wow.

    I couldn’t even read the entire thing. It would make for a great comical skit on SNL or elsewhere. The knight in shining armor who has no one to save . . . and it is all because women play superhero parts in fictional movies. That guy came across as a narcissist cry baby.

  165. Lea wrote:

    *”don’t be part of the conspiracy{snip} to ‘murder my motivation’” What???

    Alas . . . the knight in shining armor victimized because of reluctant damsels . . . (eye roll)

    BTW, aren’t there fictional women more like the Proverbs 31 woman than the damsels he longs for?

  166. Jeff S wrote:
    (quoting an “open letter to Rey from Star Wars” on someone else’s blog somewhere):

    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses. What I need is something to fight for, someone to fight for, someone to protect. If you rob me of that, you rob me of my dignity as a man.”

    He then wrote on his own account:

    There ya go. When you derive your dignity as a man from having someone to fight for and protect, then you get patriarchy. Sounds like someone has sourced his self-worth in the wrong things.

    I don’t want to dig at someone who – presumably – isn’t present to defend himself, so I’ll make only one comment on our passive, weak, sucking ** friend, which is this: if he wants someone to fight for and protect, why didn’t he write an open letter to an actual person instead of a fictional character?

    This may sound flippant, but it’s not: there’s an important truth behind this. Which is that, as Jeff S observed, patriarchy is about weak men pretending to be strong by creating a fantasy in which they are the heroes. To do this, they have to create fantasy women: that is, women who are helpless infants. Patriarchal leaders, IOW, are babies who sort of want to be big and grown up (most children do) but don’t want the painful and frightening process of becoming adults. Their answer is to demand that those around them be even more infantile than they are themselves. Then, the patriarchs can “protect” their babies from the pretend monsters under the bed.

    We don’t have nearly as much of the patriarchal fantasy here in Blighty, but that’s not to say we don’t have the mindset behind it. Infantile believers here typically cling to the fantasy that everybody is a hurting, frightened child who is crying out for hugs and warm milk. Because that’s all the infantile believer can provide – (s)he has never developed the spiritual authority and resilience to move any real-life mountains, curse any real-life fig trees or otherwise solve any complex real-world problems.

    Back to our weak and passive friend for one moment:
    What I need is something to fight for, someone to fight for, someone to protect. If you rob me of that, you rob me of my dignity as a man.

    Well, there’s an element of truth in that. A human being does need something to fight for, and if that person is trapped in a church that tells them they are not allowed to fight, then it does indeed rob them of their human dignity. But our friend doesn’t want a woman to protect – he wants a baby to breast-feed (which will be anatomically challenging). If he really wants to regain his dignity as a man, he should love his Pipers and Patriarchs enough to tell them, you’re not allowed to teach that; then he should find a godly woman who will fight alongside him. Sure, he’d have to grow up. But it would be a very freeing experience for him.

  167. Lea wrote:

    As far as I can tell, they only want to protect people who might possibly sleep with them.

    Umm. Well, ummm. Actually, don’t you know. At least that is what they told me when I was a kid. And the thing is, sometimes not even then–okay a lot of times not even then.

  168. @ okrapod:

    And the other thing that ‘they’ told us when we were little girl children was that you have to play dumb and helpless because that is what boys like. Hence all the hysterical screaming about spiders and mice and such-being cute for the boys. We were using that stuff to attract male attention and basically saying to the boys, look at how helpless I am so don’t you want to come help me, except ‘help’ did not necessarily mean the same thing back then as it does now, exactly, sort of, more or less, for a lot of us, for a while.

  169. Taken together with his teaching on church discipline, I surmise that Ken Sande would advise churches to excommunicate their battered wives who dare to file for divorce. “Abuse within a marriage presents special challenges. Referring to God’s love for justice and His concern for the oppressed, some people argue that abuse also constitutes grounds for divorce. I have not yet been persuaded of this argument, but I certainly recognize the need for the church to take serious measures to deal with abuse. This may involve formal church discipline and even calling in civil authorities to protect the family and force the abuser to face the seriousness of his sin.” Does anyone know any statistics that wife beaters are also cheaters? I cannot, but I can’t think of case I know personally where a beater wasn’t also a cheater.

  170. dee wrote:

    Ahhh, the infamous Baylys who have been reported to try to find out the names of pastors of commenters so they can report them…

    That would be a real service. If the pastor he reported me to later came to me chuckling and said some nimrod emailed him about my comments then I would be confident I could stay where I was. On the other hand if the “pastor” chastised me about my online comment then it would be a strong indicator that I needed to go elsewhere.

  171. okrapod wrote:

    @ okrapod:
    And the other thing that ‘they’ told us when we were little girl children was that you have to play dumb and helpless because that is what boys like. Hence all the hysterical screaming about spiders and mice and such-being cute for the boys.

    Anyone remember the really dumb 1960s TV version of “Batman”?

    I vaguely remember one episode where Gotham City’s entire police force ends up all-female — some sort of weird TV feminism thing. Well, the supervillain of the episode just releases a LOT of mice in the area where he’s going to do his thing; all the (minskirted) female cops do is stand on chairs and scream hysterically while the mice run all over the floor around them and the supervillain does his thing without interference. (Which is why they have to shine the Bat-Signal…)

  172. okrapod wrote:

    And the other thing that ‘they’ told us when we were little girl children was that you have to play dumb and helpless because that is what boys like. Hence all the hysterical screaming about spiders and mice and such-being cute for the boys.

    I am not good at dumb and helpless (or maybe I’m just not good at being fake), but I will scream like nobody’s business if I see a mouse!

  173. Lea wrote:

    Jeffrey Chalmers wrote:

    What about protecting children from perps that seem to be targeting their churches?? There are plenty of oppressed people (both genders) that we should protect from other people that are exploiting them….. In all aspects of life, from economic, political, to spiritual….

    As far as I can tell, they only want to protect people who might possibly sleep with them.

    After all, that’s the traditional Hero’s Reward.
    (Even with the badly-done Strong Woman(TM) characters in current action movies — the hard-as-nails hypercompetent Smurfette of the team ends up falling for (and into the bed of) the nerdy Audience Self-Insert at the end.)

  174. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Well, the supervillain of the episode just releases a LOT of mice in the area where he’s going to do his thing; all the (minskirted) female cops do is stand on chairs and scream hysterically while the mice run all over the floor around them and the supervillain does his thing without interference.

    That. Is. Awesome. We used to watch that in reruns at my grandmothers I think, and there was one episode where they were going to catch a cab and batman says ‘not at this time of day, Robin. It will be faster if we run’ and we thought it was hilarious. Used to quote that line all the time.

  175. Bridget wrote:

    Lea wrote:

    Wow. That whole article is just…wow.

    I couldn’t even read the entire thing. It would make for a great comical skit on SNL or elsewhere. The knight in shining armor who has no one to save . . . and it is all because women play superhero parts in fictional movies. That guy came across as a narcissist cry baby.

    Though as I mentioned above, there are BAD ways to write a Strong Woman character in a superhero role. I remember a Web essay on the subject a couple years ago about The Strong Woman(TM) and how they often firewall it in the other direction — the SEX-AY hypercompetent hard-as-nails superheroine who’ll beat up or shoot a guy who so much as looks at her wrong (like some cross of Charlie’s Angel and Rush Limbaugh Feminazi) yet falls for and does the nasty with the weak whiny nebbish Audience Self-Insert at the end. Or requires Rescue by the Nebbish… There’s also “Smurfette Syndrome” where the main-character team is all-male except for ONE female (My Little Pony being the only major exception…).

  176. Jeff S wrote:

    @ Daisy:
    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses.”

    And he’s trying to impress a woman with this?

  177. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    Well, there’s an element of truth in that. A human being does need something to fight for, and if that person is trapped in a church that tells them they are not allowed to fight, then it does indeed rob them of their human dignity.

    You just described most of the women in “Complementarian” churches.

  178. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses.”
    And he’s trying to impress a woman with this?

    Ha. My thoughts exactly. “I suck and am passive and weak, but I would like you to act even weaker than me, so I can pretend to ‘protect’ you in some fashion, so I can feel like a big man.” How much help is this guy actually going to be in a real crisis? You’d probably have better luck with one of the players.

  179. okrapod wrote:

    And the other thing that ‘they’ told us when we were little girl children was that you have to play dumb and helpless because that is what boys like. Hence all the hysterical screaming about spiders and mice and such-being cute for the boys. We were using that stuff to attract male attention and basically saying to the boys, look at how helpless I am

    I will be eternally grateful that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles DID NOT raise me that way!

  180. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This may sound flippant, but it’s not: there’s an important truth behind this. Which is that, as Jeff S observed, patriarchy is about weak men pretending to be strong by creating a fantasy in which they are the heroes. To do this, they have to create fantasy women: that is, women who are helpless infants. Patriarchal leaders, IOW, are babies who sort of want to be big and grown up (most children do) but don’t want the painful and frightening process of becoming adults.

    Woo. That is almost a word-for-word description of the Author Self-Insert “Heroes” from Left Behind, as analyzed on the Slacktivist comment threads. How the Heroic Airliner Pilot Author Self-Insert and Heroic Investigative Reporter Author Self-Insert DON’T do anything like what those in their professions/backgrounds actually do but more like a Little Kid’s Fantasy of Being Big and Important and Really Grown-up — jet-setting around the world Doing Important/Exciting Things and Meeting Really Important People. (i.e. rubbing shoulders with the Really Cool Kids.)

    Their answer is to demand that those around them be even more infantile than they are themselves. Then, the patriarchs can “protect” their babies from the pretend monsters under the bed.

    What happens when a REAL monster shows up?

  181. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What happens when a REAL monster shows up?

    If they are anything like their pastor heros, they bounce. Or embrace the monster. Because there isn’t anything in it for them.

  182. Nancy2 wrote:

    I will be eternally grateful that my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles DID NOT raise me that way!</blockquote

    My parents were not into that either, but it seems the whole rest of the culture of the day was. I learned it from the other girls at school. I never was very good at it, but it did seem to be effective for those who were. I never wanted to be 'indebted' to some rescuer.

    Anyhow, this idea is not new to our culture. The comps did not make this up de novo.

  183. @ okrapod:

    I don’t know what I did there with the technology, but I will try to not do it any more. Apologies to Nancy2 if it looks like she said all that by herself.

  184. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    there are BAD ways to write a Strong Woman character in a superhero role.

    Oh sure! and we could easily have that conversation. I find some of the ‘this teeny girl can beat up that 6’4′ bouncer’ stuff to be nonsense (absent supernatural means). But that’s not what this guy wants to talk about. He just wants to talk about how the imaginary people in the tv make him feel bad about himself for being pathetic.

  185. Lea wrote:

    He just wants to talk about how the imaginary people in the tv make him feel bad about himself for being pathetic.

    He needs to face his real issues and not his imaginary ones . . . maybe? Well, his imaginary issues he can blame on others. Me thinks his real issues will be a bit more difficult to grasp considering he cannot even pinpoint reality.

  186. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    @ Daisy:
    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses.”
    And he’s trying to impress a woman with this?

    No. He’s asking them to dumb themselves down so he can feel good about himself.

    One of my female friends responded to my FB post:

    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”

  187. Jeff S wrote:

    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”

    What about being part of the ‘conspiracy to murder his motivation’?

    Somehow, I get the feeling this guy plays a lot of xbox.

  188. Dave (Eagle) wrote:

    If they don’t respond to my last call then I will say its CCEF policy to send a domestic abuse victim back into a situation in which she can be killed.

    To protect yourself, say instead, “Since I have not heard from CCEF, I have to assume it is CCEF policy to tell a domestic abuse victim back into a situation where she may be injured or killed.”

  189. Daisy wrote:

    Oh yes, I’ve seen the occasional pro- complementarian article written by a woman where she is trying to convince other women that being permanently in second place in jobs, life, church, and marriage (based only on gender) is really a great thing.

    These are women who are practicing to be Wives in the world of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But as Offred’s Wife found out, the men took complete control and she lost her exalted position.

  190. Someone mentioned the Practical Works of Richard Baxter. Of course I had to go take a look.

    Here’s the table of contents from Part II – Christian Economics (pages 407 to 547)

    Chapter I: Directions about marriage; for choice and contract

    Chapter II: Directions for the choice of 1. Servants, 2. Masters

    Chapter III: Disputation, Whether the Solemn Worhsip of God in and by Families as such, Be of Divine Appointment

    Chapter IV: General Directions for the Holy Government of Families

    Chapter V: Special Motives to Persuade Men to the Holy Government of their Families

    Chapter VI: Motives for a Holy and Careful Education of Children

    Chapter VII: The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives Towards Each Other

    Chapter VIII: Special Duties of Husbands to their Wives

    Chapter IX: The Special Duties of Wives to Their Husbands

    Chapter X: The Duties of Parents for Their Children

    Chapter XI: The Duties of Children Towards Their Parents

    Chapter XII: The Special Duties of Children and Youth Towards God

    Chapter XIII: The Duties of Servants to Their Masters

    Chapter XIV: The Duty of Masters Towards Their Servants

    Chapter XV: The Duties of Children and Fellow-servants to One Another

    Chapter XVI: Directions for Holy Conference of Fellow-servants and Others

    Chapter XVII: Directions for every member of the Family

    Chapter XVIII: Directions for the Holy Spending of the Lord’s Day in Families

    Chapter XIX: Directions for Profitable Hearing God’s Word Preached

    Chapter XX: Directions for Profitble Reading the Holy Scriptures

    Chapter XXI: Directions for Reading Other Books

    Chapter XXII: Directions for Right Teaching Children and Servants

    Chapter XXIII: Directions for Prayers in General

    Chapter XXIV: Directions for Families About the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper

    Chapter XXV: Directions for Fearful, Troubled Christians

    Chapter XXVI: Directions for Declining, Backsliding Christians

    Chapter XXVII: Directions for the Poor

    Chapter XXVIII: Directions for the Rich

    Chapter XXIX: Directions for the Aged and Weak

    Chapter XXX: Directions for the Sick

    Chapter XXXI: Directions to the Friends of the Sick

    http://www.ccel.org/ccel/baxter/practical.toc.html

    YIKES!

  191. Jeff S wrote:

    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”

    Not knowing your friend, is she being serious or sarcastic?

  192. Jeff S wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    @ Daisy:
    “…I suck. I’m passive. I’m weak. I don’t need more excuses.”
    And he’s trying to impress a woman with this?

    No. He’s asking them to dumb themselves down so he can feel good about himself.

    One of my female friends responded to my FB post:

    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”

    I’ll admit, I haven’t read the full thing in its original posting, but… is there any chance that this guy was actually kidding? I mean really, this almost sounds too absurd to be intended seriously …

  193. lowlandseer wrote:

    That is an unfair representation of what is one of the greatest works of the Puritan era. It was written not as a prescriptive “you must do this or else”, but as a help for young ministers, family and private devotions at a time when Baxter was forbidden to preach the Gospel.

    Sorry, Seer. I didn’t realize that you provided that link out of a sense of respect for the author. To be honest, I haven’t read it yet. But everyone’s descriptions of it made it just seem so… dreary.

    I mean, 900 pages. There are Russian novels shorter than that. 😉

  194. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Anyone remember the really dumb 1960s TV version of “Batman”?

    Really dumb?!?! It was a classic!

    Mayor Adam West (fae Family Guy) is one of the best cartoon characters ever, and he could never have happened without TV Batman.

    The really funny thing is that there are still people around today who think the episode whereof you spake was a documentary!

  195. roebuck wrote:

    I’ll admit, I haven’t read the full thing in its original posting, but… is there any chance that this guy was actually kidding? I mean really, this almost sounds too absurd to be intended seriously …

    Considering the author is associated with the Bayly brothers? It’s really, really hard to say…

  196. roebuck wrote:

    is there any chance that this guy was actually kidding?

    Honestly, I think he may have been trying to be self-deprecating as part of his attempt to convince women? Maybe? I definitely think the core of the thing was real to him.

  197. Lea wrote:

    roebuck wrote:

    is there any chance that this guy was actually kidding?

    Honestly, I think he may have been trying to be self-deprecating as part of his attempt to convince women? Maybe? I definitely think the core of the thing was real to him.

    How very very sad…

  198. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    What happens [to infantile Christian leaders who just like reassuring babies] when a REAL monster shows up?

    Well, of course that is a good question. Joking aside, I can certainly speak for my own experience here in Blighty.

    What happens is they perform a clever manoeuvre whereby they run away from the real problem, whilst maintaining the fantasy that they are the parents and you are the wean. Basically, they do it by trivialising the problem and shrinking it down to an “emotional” one (i.e., “I understand; you’ve been hurt”). Put another way, they pretend (from a safe distance) that the monster isn’t real and that you’re a poor hurt baby who’s over-reacting.

    Which kind of brings us full circle, because that’s what is presented by patriarchal infants to (for example) a woman who is being violently abused by her husband. The truth is that they couldn’t help her in a million years even if they wanted to. They can’t cure a drunk or a paedophile. So they pretend it’s all a misunderstanding and that by generating a bit of visible remorse in the abuser they’ve made it all better.

  199. Dave (Eagle) wrote:

    @ Elizabeth:
    My next post is about CCEF, how they treated Hurit and a CCEF conference at Community Evangelical Free Church on abuse which is happening May 6. Its sick. I am trying to get statements from David Powlison, Cecilia Bernhardt and Dave Harvey. I called yesterday. I will try again in a couple of days. If they don’t respond to my last call then I will say its CCEF policy to send a domestic abuse victim back into a situation in which she can be killed.

    Dave Harvey? Good luck on that. Last time I was in a Q&A with him, he resisted every effort to pin him down on what SGM’s polity really was. He is slippery.

    J.M.

  200. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    The truth is that they couldn’t help her in a million years even if they wanted to.

    They could if they helped her get away. If they told her it was ok. It’s not that they ‘can’t’ it’s that they won’t.

  201. Daisy wrote:

    I think where gender complementarians go wrong is they think all women are consistently supposed to need rescuing, and all men are supposed to always do the rescuing

    I agree. Along with teaching/forcing/patterning women to PRETEND to be weaker, less intelligent, less capable than they actually are – AT ALL TIMES, in order to not bruise any nearby maleness.

    Of course, this is promulgated all the way down churchianity’s chain of command.

    The elders below the head honcho pastorooni must operate within the parameters assigned to women relative to the pastor’s ‘man’. All the traits assigned to women in the patriarchal system are assigned to all the Beta men, relative to the higher echelons.

    And the men in the church below the elders must be the ‘women’ to the elders’ ‘manliness.’

    And so on, and so on.

    It’s turtles all the way down.

  202. Bridget wrote:

    Jeff S wrote:
    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”
    Not knowing your friend, is she being serious or sarcastic?

    Sarcastic- haha.

  203. roebuck wrote:

    I’ll admit, I haven’t read the full thing in its original posting, but… is there any chance that this guy was actually kidding? I mean really, this almost sounds too absurd to be intended seriously …

    Given that his entire open letter was just a less “smooth” way of saying all the things that John Piper teaches, I’d say it’s unlikely.

    I mean, that quote really isn’t THAT different from:

    “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.”

  204. Jeff S wrote:

    “I would like to say I’m sorry to every man in my life for whom I have stolen their dignity because I did not need them to rescue me.”

    I would like to say I’m especially sorry to all of the men whom I have been brazen enough to rescue. Next time dudes, Can keep your dignities in tact and go it alone!
    Sniff, sniff.

  205. Thanks once again for calling these leaders out on their evil ways.
    These horrible men care about their power and each other. Nothing else, nobody else. Maybe this crap will stop if and when women ever get a real voice in comp churches.

  206. Jeff S wrote:

    To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.”

    Corks of testosterone bobbing in a sea of estrogen?

  207. @ Serving Kids In Japan:
    My feeling toward this sort of Puritan work is a basic absence of knowing right wrong and a misunderstanding of the holy spirit’s function in a believer’s life. I know Baxter is extremely popular in a lot of circles. @ mirele:
    Yep. A Puritan work. They were a sin sniffing, exhausting lot.

  208. __

    The Words Of Reconciliation: “All Those Who Believe Upon Christ, Shall Be Saved?”

    hmmm…

    The Kind Folks here brought up (briefly) the person of Richard Baxter…

    Yes, “A Christian Directory” remains one of Richard Baxter’s most influential works, because it links the doctrine of ‘justification’ with the outward evidence of forgiveness, manifested in ethical behavior and human experience. [1]

    hmmm…

     Sopy_Brief: The English Puritan Divine, Richard Baxter believed that Christ’s atonement was not limited to a select few (as John Calvin states in his ICR) , but is available to ‘all’ those who believe upon Christ. 
    **Note: This is just as Jesus states in John’s gospel chapter three, verse sixteen.

    Imagine that…

    He also believed that God made mam a free agent, able to understand and choose the good, refuse the evil; to know, and love, and serve his Maker, and by adhering to Him in this life, to attain to the blessed sight and enjoyment of His glory in the life to come. 

    He also said that God restores us unto Himself by the finished work of Christ’s Redemption, which is available to ‘all’ men.

    He was not into 
    manipulation and control, but was firm in his belief that the community under his charge were knowledgeable of God’s word, and by his actions, he encouraged the diligent application of the same.  He specilized in private instruction for whole communities. These whole community encouraged by his efforts (and that for many years to come) reaped the tremendous benefits of his fruitful & devoted labors.

    P.S. He gave John Owen [2] a run for his money…

    (grin)

    **His works are available (for example) in twenty-three volumes at Logos.com for those in the TWW community that might be ‘interested’.

    ATB

    Sopy
    __
    Notes: 
    [1] http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/21451-The-Practical-Works-of-Richard-Baxter-Online
    [2] http://www.ccel.org/o/owen

  209. @ Lydia:
    Their writings on the Holy Spirit are quite profound so it is unlikely that they misdirected themselves in their other works. I suppose their heart work was a kind of sin-sniffing but that isn’t a bad thing…..Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, relying on the Spirit’s power and guidance, kind of thing.

  210. In the good ole days of Southern Baptist life, most preachers were called and equipped by God and never attended seminary. Men of God were taught by the Holy Spirit as they immersed themselves in the Word and prayer. Seminary education is OK, but it doesn’t produce one ounce of revelation, nor turn preacher boys into men of God. As we can see from the preacher boys coming out Southern Seminary (ground zero for New Calvinism) their seminary training has done more harm than good. Unfortunately, the average Southern Baptist today believes in the Holy Spirit; he just doesn’t think He does anything!

  211. Jeff S wrote:

    “To the degree that a woman’s influence over a man, guidance of a man, leadership of a man, is personal and a directive, it will generally offend a man’s good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership, and thus controvert God’s created order.”

    I think this would make more sense if we substitute the word “ego” or “pride” for “good, God-given sense of responsibility and leadership.”

  212. @ Max:

    Another way of looking at that, and one that I read somewhere in the history of something or other, is that one reason that baptists and methodists spread west so well during the days of the frontier, including when Kentucky was frontier, was that they required little or no education of their ministers compared to the presbyterians who required more and could not field enough clergy to keep up. Story was that people needed married and buried so the baptists basically let anybody who would stand up and preach do so. That was about it for the baptists but of course the methodists had circuit riders. Personally that looks like accommodation to the circumstances more than it looks like the glory days of independent study.

    And that thing about different requirements of education brings to mind that is it not so that Billy Graham was ordained a baptist because he did not meet the educational requirements of the presbyterian group he was raised in and which the rest of his family practiced? There is no shame in that. I am just talking about how educational requirements or lack thereof may play out in real life with significant results. The baptists are still lagging behind some other groups in this area.

  213. mirele wrote:

    Someone mentioned the Practical Works of Richard Baxter. Of course I had to go take a look.

    Here’s the table of contents…

    Good grief.

    Is there anything in there about not accusing people of being witches and executing them?

  214. Lydia wrote:

    My feeling toward this sort of Puritan work is a basic absence of knowing right wrong and a misunderstanding of the holy spirit’s function in a believer’s life.

    Man-o’-Manischewitz you’ve said a mouthful there Lyds, and it’s not just the Puritans and their progeny. Calvary Chapel also teaches that the only way you can understand the Holy Spirit’s ways and means is through the Bible. Your internal right-and-wrong GPS along with your internal moral compass are so fatally flawed by Adam’s imputed guilt, they cannot be trusted. When I was a teachee, I swallowed this spinner like a Lake Michigan perch swallows a minnow. Now I see it for what it is; a load of horse poo-poo.

  215. Serving Kids In Japan wrote:

    lowlandseer wrote:

    That is an unfair representation of what is one of the greatest works of the Puritan era. It was written not as a prescriptive “you must do this or else”, but as a help for young ministers, family and private devotions at a time when Baxter was forbidden to preach the Gospel.

    Sorry, Seer. I didn’t realize that you provided that link out of a sense of respect for the author. To be honest, I haven’t read it yet. But everyone’s descriptions of it made it just seem so… dreary.

    I mean, 900 pages. There are Russian novels shorter than that.

    Lowlandseer did not post the link – I did. And I did so so that people could see for themselves what Baxter said.

    Speaking of which… lowland, would you mind posting the exact quote where Baxter said it was OK for an abused wife to leave her husband? If he said it, that’s great as far as it goes, but 1) I sure couldn’t find it, and 2) it flies in the face of everything else he wrote about wifely submission in all things.

  216. Daisy wrote:

    Here’s one picture (from another line of Jesus figurines, Jesus playing soccer):
    http://i.imgur.com/j8rHPpD.jpg

    That Crown of Thorns places this image of Jesus in a very, very specific time of his life. It’s surprising that the soccer Station of the Cross was omitted in recent centuries, but what would I know about the development of the Canon, the Via Dolorosa, etc.? /sarc

  217. mirele wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Oh yes, I’ve seen the occasional pro- complementarian article written by a woman where she is trying to convince other women that being permanently in second place in jobs, life, church, and marriage (based only on gender) is really a great thing.

    These are women who are practicing to be Wives in the world of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But as Offred’s Wife found out, the men took complete control and she lost her exalted position.

    But Wife still outranks a mere Handmaid.
    (We saw that when Douggie ESQUIRE got exposed.)
    And nobody’s as vicious to the one on the bottom as the one second from the bottom. Hold the Whip/Feel the Whip all the way down.

  218. siteseer wrote:

    mirele wrote:

    Someone mentioned the Practical Works of Richard Baxter. Of course I had to go take a look.

    Here’s the table of contents…

    Good grief.

    Is there anything in there about not accusing people of being witches and executing them?

    Actually, I think that topic isn’t covered, at least in the Directory. He did publish a pamphlet about the spirit world right before his death, but it wasn’t focused on witchcraft per se.

  219. Friend wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Here’s one picture (from another line of Jesus figurines, Jesus playing soccer):
    http://i.imgur.com/j8rHPpD.jpg

    That Crown of Thorns places this image of Jesus in a very, very specific time of his life. It’s surprising that the soccer Station of the Cross was omitted in recent centuries, but what would I know about the development of the Canon, the Via Dolorosa, etc.? /sarc

    That figurine… is just… WRONG.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khf3t1GQZMw

  220. Friend wrote:

    @ Friend:
    Edited to add: The figurine is so appalling that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    I wish I could un-see that picture… did you read some of the comments?

  221. Daisy wrote:

    I think it’s terrible that so many churches do not care at all about people who are over 35.

    If the church is mainly concerned with raking in money, the people in charge would do well to remember that old people have wills. As in “last will and testament,” not just the kind of will that causes them to leave when the church has been captured by aliens.

  222. roebuck wrote:

    did you read some of the comments?

    Can’t view them on this device, will look later. I am wondering what Mel Gibson would have done… oh, sorry. It’s just the worst figurine in history, and I’m fresh out of brain bleach.

  223. lowlandseer wrote:

    I suppose their heart work was a kind of sin-sniffing but that isn’t a bad thing

    The early puritan movement was to purify the church of england of residual evidences of their previous catholic beliefs. Some of what went on had to do with religion and some of it seems to be mostly politics. Some puritans (a rather expansive term) became separatists since they believed that the c of e was beyond any further reforming. A bunch of clergy were defrocked and some separatists got out of dodge after that, and ended up eventually in what is now Massachusettes. I am perfectly comfortable with sending them back to the homeland were that to prove feasible.

    Anyhow, thanks be to God that this movement was not able to turn the whole c of e into a hotbed of calvinism.

  224. OK, I took a little initiative and did some digging. I found the following doc file from Westminster Seminary on the Puritans’ positions on spousal abuse (as we would call it today)…

    http://pcahistory.org/pca/2-267.doc

    Baxter’s position, as it turns out, is that a woman may leave her husband if her life is in immediate danger, but it’s preferable if she stays put even if she suffers. Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so. Pertinent quotations from the Directory are in the doc file.

  225. @ okrapod:
    We attended a Southern Baptist church for several years, whose pastor was the former town drunk in a neighboring community. His mother led him to Christ after he saw his dad killed in a bar room fight. He wasn’t educated at seminary, but he knew the Lord and preached with a passion … he was an evangelist, who saw many come to Christ during his ministry.

    “When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and perceived that they were illiterate and uneducated men, they marveled. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus: (Acts 4:13).

    Preachers who have been with Jesus are always better preachers than those who haven’t. Anointing is key to genuine ministry. Many ministries today (such as those TWW writes about) are more annoying than they are anointed because their leaders haven’t been with Jesus.

  226. @ Eeyore:
    Yes and that is what domestic abuse can lead to. Staying in the relationship is heavily qualified and the readers will be able to come to their own conclusions.
    @ okrapod:
    I agree. I read something somewhere yesterday – possibly in “The Worship of the English Puritans” – that the examination of “suitable ministers” was widened to include incumbents by the government of the day because they wanted to keep some control over and influence in the church. You are right to say that this led to a breach within the C of E and I think the Nonconformists, led by John Owen, made demands that couldn’t possibly be met. It was a sorry state of affairs.
    We’ve wandered a bit off topic here for which I apologise. My own position is that I’ve benefited greatly from reading Puritan works, particularly Baxter, because he sought to maintain unity within the church, even to the extent that he approved of Bishop Usher’s suggestion, that ministers and Roman Catholic priests should seek to present the basics of the Gospel together in areas where there was a dearth of teachers. Who would have thought it?

  227. Libby wrote:

    Maybe this crap will stop if and when women ever get a real voice in comp churches.

    I’ve often said that the Achilles heel of the New Calvinist movement may very well be when women ensnared in the new reformation rise up en masse, declare “Wait just a darn minute here!”, and drag their sorry husbands/boy friends out of this mess! New Calvinism will then hear their real voice as shouts of freedom ring from their lips while they are going out the door, never to return again.

  228. @ lowlandseer:
    What is interesting is that the Puritans who came here were even more authoritarian and controlling than the state Church they were escaping from!

  229. @ Lydia:

    “What is interesting is that the Puritans who came here were even more authoritarian and controlling than the state Church they were escaping from!”
    +++++++++++

    ‘and now that i’m in charge,….mwahahahahaaha…’ (rubs hands together)

    protecting one’s power becomes the objective.

  230. @ lowlandseer:
    I fully admit I am much too rebellious to want unity with those who teach anything close to what the Puritans taught about women, authority, determinism and total depravity.

  231. @ elastigirl:
    Did you see the link on the other thread topic Mohler’s disgusting joke?

    At the end of the thread there are links to articles about the sermon CJ preached to his church after T$G.

    Unbelievable!

    (I would link but device won’t cooperate)

  232. dee wrote:

    @ Patriciamc:
    Ahhh, the infamous Baylys who have been reported to try to find out the names of pastors of commenters so they can report them…

    Can you just imagine his face if he said that to me, and I then told him….well, I can’t go there. My minister, though, would look at him like he’s insane and then set him straight.

  233. Eeyore wrote:

    Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so.

    “He has the right to do so.” Really. She is nothing but property. I wonder what the PCA holds to now?

  234. mirele wrote:

    These are women who are practicing to be Wives in the world of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” But as Offred’s Wife found out, the men took complete control and she lost her exalted position.

    I just came across a blog post by one such complementarian woman, who is selling being in second class permanently, and only being valued if you are a wife and mother, to other women as being super duper.

    I replied to her post here:
    https://missdaisyflower.wordpress.com/2016/04/21/a-response-to-the-complementarian-the-beauty-of-womanhood-essay-by-abagail-dodds/

    She has her own blog, but her post was also published on Piper’s “Desiring God” site. One thing I found funny is that some of her views (at least one or two) are in conflict with some of Piper’s previously stated views about the roles of women.

  235. @ Lydia:

    if only he was within spitting distance.

    does this sermon of his reflect a new aggressiveness in the authoritarian control freakery of his SGM past? I certainly haven’t been monitoring what he spews, but this is my impression. as if he’s igniting some kind of new campaign to protect his power. as if he’s been emboldened by the T4G whatever.

    what morons, all of ’em.

  236. elastigirl wrote:

    as if he’s been emboldened by the T4G whatever.

    They live in a tin can that echos their accolades round and round. This most certainly eboldens them.

  237. Eeyore wrote:

    OK, I took a little initiative and did some digging. I found the following doc file from Westminster Seminary on the Puritans’ positions on spousal abuse (as we would call it today)…
    http://pcahistory.org/pca/2-267.doc
    Baxter’s position, as it turns out, is that a woman may leave her husband if her life is in immediate danger, but it’s preferable if she stays put even if she suffers. Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so. Pertinent quotations from the Directory are in the doc file.

    Wasn’t Baxter a man of his time, though a progressive during his time?

    These modern day Neo Calvinists want to go back to the golden age of the Puritans and they idealistically want to take away the enlightenment. Now most people don’t feel a man has a legal right to beat his wife. Let’s go back in time when a woman couldn’t vote in secular elections or own property. This wasn’t this long ago, Thanks to the enlightenment and historical progress this changed. We can’t turn back time and if we do, it really isn’t the same as it was during the time we wish to emulate. I don’t get this idealization of a time that wasn’t.

  238. The ideal of separation of church and state came from the enlightenment. Baptists were free thinkers languishing in prisons in New England as recently as the early 1800s for not financially supporting the local Puritan pastor. And were persecuted in 1700s Virginia for not being the state church of Virginia and witnessing to those who weren’t baptist. I think some would like to turn back time here and some are baptists. Let’s turn back time ala Doug Wilson and go back to 1845 in Goergia to those hallowed times that never were and we can never recreate no matter how hard we try. Do they worship their views of history or do they live in the here and now and try to make sense of the Bible while living in the here and now? Wife beating is no longer ok. In fact the enlightenment and historical change made wife beating criminal. In the Bible it is written we are to obey the law of the land. Are we being obedient to this premise if we turn back time and ignore the here and now and the laws that are part of the here and now?

  239. “Onward Wayward Christian Husband?”

    hmmm…

      Once again are we made to witness another blatant example where the wife is made to pay dearly for the ‘domestic crimes’ of her wayward ‘christian’ husband.

    How am I not surprised.

    (sadface)

    Dee, there probably won’t be an apology this time, huh?

    Sopy

  240. Mark wrote:

    Eeyore wrote:

    OK, I took a little initiative and did some digging. I found the following doc file from Westminster Seminary on the Puritans’ positions on spousal abuse (as we would call it today)…
    http://pcahistory.org/pca/2-267.doc
    Baxter’s position, as it turns out, is that a woman may leave her husband if her life is in immediate danger, but it’s preferable if she stays put even if she suffers. Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so. Pertinent quotations from the Directory are in the doc file.

    Wasn’t Baxter a man of his time, though a progressive during his time?

    These modern day Neo Calvinists want to go back to the golden age of the Puritans and they idealistically want to take away the enlightenment. Now most people don’t feel a man has a legal right to beat his wife. Let’s go back in time when a woman couldn’t vote in secular elections or own property. This wasn’t this long ago, Thanks to the enlightenment and historical progress this changed. We can’t turn back time and if we do, it really isn’t the same as it was during the time we wish to emulate. I don’t get this idealization of a time that wasn’t.

    I wouldn’t use this line of argument with a new-Cal, simply because they reject any cultural development that contradicts their interpretation of Scripture – the PCA document above acknowledges the existence and authority of secular laws on divorce, but also says Christians are held to God’s laws first. No, if you’re going to win this argument, it has to be won the way it was won with me – by proving that the TR method is ultimately not fully scriptural because it does not acknowledge the newness of the Covenant Christ brought about with His death and resurrection.

  241. Eeyore wrote:

    by proving that the TR method is ultimately not fully scriptural because it does not acknowledge the newness of the Covenant Christ brought about with His death and resurrection.

    I think I’m a bit behind here. What’s the TR method?

  242. __

    “Domestic Abused Wives Unite?”

    hmmm…

    “WIVES, SUBMIT TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS TO THE LORD. FOR THE HUSBAND IS THE HEAD OF THE WIFE EVEN A CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, HIS BODY, AND IS HIMSELF ITS SAVIOR. NOW AS THE CHURCH SUBMITS TO CHRIST, SO ALSO WIVES SHOULD SUBMIT IN EVERYTHING TO THEIR HUSBANDS,” -EPHESIANS 5:22-24

    “There is no better place for a wife than for her to be in God’s sovereign will of your pastor…”

    huh?

    SUBMIT, SUBMIT, SUBMIT…

    (sadface)

    Sopy

  243. Patriciamc wrote:

    Eeyore wrote:
    by proving that the TR method is ultimately not fully scriptural because it does not acknowledge the newness of the Covenant Christ brought about with His death and resurrection.
    I think I’m a bit behind here. What’s the TR method?

    Good question. Given the many flavors of it, there is no “one method” shared by all its practitioners, but there are a number of common themes. Not all Neo-Cals/TRs share all of them to the same degree, but you’ll find most of them at work in most of the folks in that tradition.

    1) A view of the Bible as primarily a vehicle for the exposition and transmission of transcendent propositional truths about God, humanity, ethics, and history. This tends to flatten out perceived differences between recognized literary genres in Scripture, and to view passages as being direclty applicable to all peoples and times without interpretation or context.

    2) A strong bias towards God’s agency overagainst human agency.

    3) An overemphasis on the unity of the Old and New Testaments, particularly on ethical and covanental matters.

    4) Ethics and church life are to be founded on “Anything not expressly permitted in Scripture is forbidden”, overagainst “Anything not forbidden is permitted”.

    5) The key problem – summing up all of the above – is that Jesus, His words, His works, His example, and His promises, are all read in light of Genesis/Moses/Paul/whomever, and not the other way around. Essentially, the TR/Neo-Cal movement has not taken the lessons of the book of Hebrews, particularly chapters 7 and 8, to heart. Thus, they downplay (or deny) the paradigm shift in the composition and freedoms given to God’s people by the coming of Christ and His institution of the New Covenant.

    Hope this helps.

  244. lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    Do you?

    It is a bit rude to ask me the same question that you were asked – but didn’t answer.

    My response here should have copied you in to what I believe.

    Bridget wrote:

    Eeyore wrote:
    Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so.(Baxter)”

    “He has the right to do so.” Really. She is nothing but property. I wonder what the PCA holds to now?

  245. @ Bridget:
    No it isn’t, when the question is based on an assumption that the author (Baxter) is advocating or condoning something which he quite clearly condemns. Both you and Eeyore have made that mistake. Baxter calls wife beating “inhuman cruelty” and the abusive husband “a tyrant” and states quite clearly that in such circumstances “may depart from such a tyrant.”

  246. lowlandseer wrote:

    @ Bridget:
    No it isn’t, when the question is based on an assumption that the author (Baxter) is advocating or condoning something which he quite clearly condemns. Both you and Eeyore have made that mistake. Baxter calls wife beating “inhuman cruelty” and the abusive husband “a tyrant” and states quite clearly that in such circumstances “may depart from such a tyrant.”

    His “condemnation” is quite half-hearted, as anybody could see by reading the full quotes provided in the PCA paper I linked above (hardly a source biased against him). Thus far, you have only cited phrases taken out of context.

  247. lowlandseer wrote:

    Both you and Eeyore have made that mistake. Baxter calls wife beating “inhuman cruelty” and the abusive husband “a tyrant” and states quite clearly that in such circumstances “may depart from such a tyrant.”

    It is not quite clear what Baxter advocates. If he only means what you quoted, then why does he end the paragraph with:

    “he basically has the right to do so” – as in beat his wife. I asked you if you believe the same thing – that a husband basically has the right to beat his wife.

  248. lowlandseer wrote:

    Both you and Eeyore have made that mistake.

    No we haven’t. You have left off the last sentence of Baxter’s paragraph.

    And to answer your question NO. A husband has no “right” to beat his wife.

  249. Eeyore wrote:

    Baxter’s position, as it turns out, is that a woman may leave her husband if her life is in immediate danger, but it’s preferable if she stays put even if she suffers. Also, while it is vastly preferable if a man doesn’t beat his wife (it’s a poor show of Christian love to do so), he basically has the right to do so. Pertinent quotations from the Directory are in the doc file.

    How can someone spend a lifetime studying Christ and the scriptures and come up with such a position? Seriously. No one has the “right” to abuse anyone else. They may have the freedom, as in God won’t step in and stop them, but to consider it a right? That’s disgusting.

  250. I can appreciate that Neo Calvinists believe that their doctrine is removed from time and is timeless. I just don’t believe you can divorce the times that Baxter lived from what he said. Banters opinion may have been progressive in the time he lived. Consider that woman didn’t have a right to vote or own property. They were property of their husband. We see this influence in some antiquated laws on the books in some parts of the US. There is a law in Ownsboro Kentucky where a woman may not buy a hat without her husbands permission. In Montana it is unlawful for a wife to open her husbands mail. Regarding divorce: my grandmother shamefully divorced her husband during the 1920’s. My grandfather, her husband, was crazy person who eventually committed suicide. In her community she could never remarry. She and her children were viewed as “those people ” by more respectable people in the community. Now my grandmother would have the freedom to remarry without the stricture of her community. And her six children wouldn’t be viewed as “those people.” Times change. I am saying we can’t divorce the times from the people who lived during those times. Luther was an antiSemite, but so was a majority of Europeans during his time. Calvin was a theocrat, but most principalities in Europe during his time had State churchesand were in essence theocracies. This was the era of the inquisition. Can we be too judgmental of the reformers acting like inquisitors, such as the murder of Michael Servatus? It seems these Neocals don’t see the culture of the Reformer’s or Puritan’s time as being important. I think it is really important.

  251. @ Mark:

    Then it is really important to view the culture in which scripture was written the same way and stop limiting women’s functions in the Church. You (in general) can’t have it one way for the reformers and and another way for the writer’s of scripture.

  252. Mark wrote:

    I can appreciate that Neo Calvinists believe that their doctrine is removed from time and is timeless. I just don’t believe you can divorce the times that Baxter lived from what he said.

    This is wanting it both ways. I don’t appreciate the New Calvinists for this. I call them out for this.

  253. @ Bridget:

    I “understand” that Neo Calvinists believe their doctrine is removed from time and is timeless would be more accurate. I disagree with them but I do try to understand their thought process. They believe that the corpus developed by their founders going back to Augustine is inerrant. I believe their founders were brilliant men but some of their teachings are errant. They shouldn’t be treated as definitive. I also would counter that their teachings may have been great for a particular time and culture, but this is not for an eternity. I would offend then for saying that Baxter may have been a liberal in his time and place. What would be the status of a woman who left her husband, in that culture, I would ask? It was very hard for my grandmother to be a single mother in a conservative culture that allowed her to own property. There is much to consider and Neo Calvinists and others aren’t considering this. Women in ministry I am all for if they are called. There is the precedent of Deborah in the bible. Years ago I heard from seminary professor that the role of women in ministry should never be downplayed and he turned to Deborah as an example. That professor was from of all places, DTS.

  254. OCDan wrote:

    As an addition, I don’t think these men would recognize Christ if he knocked on the church door.

    I think you’re right.
    Which begs the question:What the devil are they teaching? Because it sure has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. And I mean NOTHING.

  255. Friend wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Here’s one picture (from another line of Jesus figurines, Jesus playing soccer):
    http://i.imgur.com/j8rHPpD.jpg

    That Crown of Thorns places this image of Jesus in a very, very specific time of his life. It’s surprising that the soccer Station of the Cross was omitted in recent centuries, but what would I know about the development of the Canon, the Via Dolorosa, etc.? /sarc

    That was much like my reaction…..I mean really, a station of the cross for playing soccer? That’s just too weird.

  256. BL wrote:

    The elders below the head honcho pastorooni must operate within the parameters assigned to women relative to the pastor’s ‘man’. All the traits assigned to women in the patriarchal system are assigned to all the Beta men, relative to the higher echelons.

    And the men in the church below the elders must be the ‘women’ to the elders’ ‘manliness.’

    And when you add a sexual angle to that (Penetrator & Penetrated in an animal forced-dominance display), things get REALLY Dark.

  257. zooey111 wrote:

    Friend wrote:

    Daisy wrote:

    Here’s one picture (from another line of Jesus figurines, Jesus playing soccer):
    http://i.imgur.com/j8rHPpD.jpg

    That Crown of Thorns places this image of Jesus in a very, very specific time of his life. It’s surprising that the soccer Station of the Cross was omitted in recent centuries, but what would I know about the development of the Canon, the Via Dolorosa, etc.? /sarc

    That was much like my reaction…..I mean really, a station of the cross for playing soccer? That’s just too weird.

    Just the latest in Christianese Kitsch.

    “Ah don’ care if it rains or freezes
    Long as Ah got mah Plastic Jeesus
    Sittin’ on the dashboard of mah car…”

  258. Eeyore wrote:

    Bridget wrote:

    @ Eeyore:
    What does “TR” stand for?

    Totally Reformed.

    Or “TRULY REFORMED”, i.e. More Calvinist than Calvin.

  259. Daisy wrote:

    Friend wrote:

    Edited to add: The figurine is so appalling that I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    Oh, that’s nothing. Have you seen
    Biker Jesus figurine
    https://durkniblick.wordpress.com/2008/03/31/i-am-with-you-always-jesus-action-figures/

    Bonus: there is also a surfer Jesus figurine on the page

    I clicked on that link.
    You owe me for some brain bleach.

    “Getcha motor runnin’
    (Duh duh duh duh duh duh…)
    Head out on the highway
    (Duh duh duh duh duh duh…)
    Lookin’ for adventure
    (Duh duh duh duh duh duh…)
    In whatever comes my way…”
    — Steppenwolf, “Born to be Wild”

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