Mitch Randall, executive director-elect of the Baptist Center for Ethics, denounced “complementarianism” — the view that God creates men and women for different and complementary roles — as “theological malpractice”.
Did you know that November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women? Its hashtag on Twitter is #orangetheworld with orange being the official UN color of the Day, symbolizing a brighter future for women and girls free of violence. According to the United Nations website, the goal is to end violence toward women by 2030. Clearly, we’ve got a tremendous amount of work to do over the next 13 years!
Two days ago (11/25) Mary Kassian chimed in about the significance of this day in a post over at the Desiring God website. In it she describes how her friend Sandra was being tormented by her abusive husband. Based on how Mary describes the scenario, we assume it is a real life story. In her example, the church elders devised a plan, and members helped rescue Sandra a life-threatening situation. Mary concludes this part of her post with these words:
Her physical wounds quickly healed. But it took years to heal from the severe emotional, psychological, and spiritual abuse her husband had inflicted.
We have to wonder whether Mary Kassian ever saw John Piper’s response to question regarding a very similar marital situation.
John Piper’s response is still mind-blowing to us. The group sex remark and enduring being smacked around for one night are bizarre and frightening! Piper’s position was so upsetting to so many people that he wrote a post explaining what he meant entitled Clarifying Words on Wife Abuse.
What we found most troubling in Piper’s follow-up post was what is missing – the option for a wife to divorce her physically abusive husband. We are left wondering how Mary Kassian advised her friend Sandra regarding staying in an abusive marriage or getting the heck out! After all, her life was at stake!
In her post, Mary Kassian also wrote the following (see screen shot below):
Funny thing… Mary Kassian was a member of the committee that invented the term “complementarian” and drafted the Danvers Statement, which marked its 30th anniversary earlier this year. How interesting that she is calling to account self-described complementarian men who, as Mary puts it:
use Scripture to justify arrogant, selfish, domineering sinful behavior
Even before Dee and I launched this blog, we sometimes discussed how domineering and even abusive men are easily drawn to a religious system in which they are elevated by church leadership and tasked with being ‘in charge’ of their household. This can be a recipe for disaster!
In her post Mary Kassian had this to say to her sisters in Christ:
We do hope that many complementarian women will heed Mary’s advice and stop suffering in silence. If you ever want to share you testimony, just let us know via email. (see contact info at the top of our blog)
Earlier last week, Baptist News Global published an article that relates to what we are discussing here. The title was “Baptist ethicist says ‘egalitarian theology’ a safeguard against abuse. The article begins as follows:
The incoming head of a Baptist ethics agency says church teaching that subordinates women is partly to blame for the rash of allegations of sexual abuse by powerful men in media, business and politics making headlines in the last two months.
Mitch Randall, executive director-elect of the Baptist Center for Ethics, denounced “complementarianism” — the view that God creates men and women for different and complementary roles — as “theological malpractice” in a Nov. 22 article on EthicsDaily.com, the BCE website.
Randall, who has pastored a church in Oklahoma for over a decade, explained that if a church teaches a girl to be subservient, then it gives the idea that women are less important than men and it “empowers men to believe they have a distorted right to treat women in a lesser role”.
The Baptist News Global article further stated: (see screen shot below)
As more and more women, Christian and otherwise, come forward and speak out against abuse in its various forms (physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, etc.), there is a strong possibility that we can finally turn the tables on these various kinds of abuse.