Why I Believe That King David Assaulted Bathsheba. #JusticeforBathsheba #MeToo

What I fear most is power with impunity. I fear abuse of power, and the power to abuse. Isabel Allende


Mikvah

If you think that standing ovations for pastors who confess sexual liaisons with young women drive me nuts, you haven’t been around me when it comes to the topic of Bathsheba. Years ago, I started reading the stories in the Bible with a critical eye. Exactly what did these stories say and what did they not say. Early on, the story of Bathsheba caught my eye. I sat through one too many “Bathsheba was a Jezebel” sermons which would end with women being given warnings to dress modestly so we didn’t cause godly™ men to fall. I even heard women *teachers* during Mother/Daughter modesty programs bring up Bathsheba as the slut who tempted poor David and caused her baby to get murdered by God because of her indecency. How many of you out there sat through similar sermons? How many women were made to feel guilty because they looked like women?

However, as I read, I discovered that the  “Bathsheba the Jezebel Temptress” is not found in the Bible. So, how did these wrong ideas of Bathsheba develop?

Works of Art

Famous painting seem to indicate that Bathsheba has long been viewed as the ultimate temptress by men. Here are some examples.

Willem Drost, Bathsheba with David’s Letter, 1654 (Ask yourself: What letter?)

Rembrandt: Bathsheba at Her Bath 1653 (Looks like she is holding a letter as well. Love poems??)

Modern Music

How about the hauntingly beautiful Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley?

Well your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya

Sermons

From Bible.Org: Caught in the Tempter’s Trap—The Story of David and Bathsheba

Read this pastor’s less than scholarly take on the account. Basically, he believes that Bathsheba was asking for it and she should have been bathing indoors in her master bedroom suite…

Bathsheba is not guiltless either. She may not have purposely enticed David, but she was immodest and indiscreet. To disrobe and bathe in an open courtyard in full view of any number of rooftop patios in the neighborhood was asking for trouble. She could easily have bathed indoors. Even so in our day, some women do not seem to realize what the sight of their flesh can do to a man. They allow themselves to be pushed into the fashion mold of the world and wear revealing clothes, or nearly nothing; then they wonder why the men they meet cannot think of anything but sex. We must not fail to instruct our younger girls in these matters, particularly as they enter their teen years. Christian parents should teach their daughters facts about the nature of man and the meaning of modesty, then agree on standards for their dress.

David found out who the beautiful bather was, sent for her, and the thought became the deed. There is no evidence that this was a forcible rape. Bathsheba seems to have been a willing partner. Her husband was off to war and she was lonely. The glamour of being desired by the attractive king meant more to her than her commitment to her husband and her dedication to God. They probably cherished those moments together; maybe they even assured themselves that it was a tender and beautiful experience. Most do! But in God’s sight, it was hideous and ugly. Satan had baited his trap and they were now in his clutches.

 Scripture does not tell us, but I am confident that Bathsheba acknowledged her sin also and God forgave them both.

Read the story in the Bible: 2 Samuel 11-12 NIV (Don’t cheat-read it.)

(NIV) 11 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba,the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents,[a] and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeasedthe Lord.

Challenge: Now, read through 2 Samuel 12 and point out all the verses that deal with Bathsheba’s sin, not David’s sin. I’ll give you a few minutes.

Here are the verses that I found.

0

But wait! Didn’t that guy at Bible.Org say she repented?…..No, he said he was confident she repented. This is Christianiese for “It says what I want it to say and I say Bathsheba was a Jezebel.* (One of these days, I want to explore some of these other women such as Jezebel. A few of them have been misrepresented as well.)

What does 2 Samuel actually say about the actions of David and Bathsheba?

  • David was the one on the roof, sneaking a peek at Bathsheba.
  • Bathsheba was not on the roof bathing. She was most likely in a private courtyard.
  • The word used for bathing could also mean *washing.*
  • Bathsheba was beautiful.
  • David didn’t seem to know who she was but he was determined to find out.
  • He discovered she was married and her husband was off at war.
  • David sent messengers (some translations say *guards*) to bring her to him. (Imagine saying: “Well, fellas, even though you have swords, armor, and determined faces, I’m still not coming!”)
  • She was in the process of completing her month purification routine (usually done in a mikveh.) It does not say exactly when she was doing the purification routine but mentions it right after he slept with her.
  • The chances of a pregnancy were quite high due to the timing of the monthly puritifcation ritual.
  • When she became pregnant, a guilty David had her husband killed.
  • David was told he had sinned. There is nothing said about the sin of Bathsheba.

What is a mikvah?

Since is is possible, but not definite, that Bathsheba had completed her period and her mikvah ritual when David decided to take in the show or directly after he had molested her, here is a description of the mikvah, a ritual bath. The reason that I am discussing this is because the pastor of Bible.Org. seems to believe that Bathsheba should have hung out in her well appointed bathroom instead of bathing in the nude in her *public courtyard* to tempt poor David.

Briefly: A mikvah must be built into the ground or built as an essential part of a building. Portable receptacles, such as bathtubs, whirlpools or Jacuzzis, can therefore never function as mikvahs. The mikvah must contain a minimum of 200 gallons of rainwater that was gathered and siphoned into the mikvah pool in accordance with a highly specific set of regulations. In extreme cases where the acquisition of rainwater is impossible, ice or snow originating from a natural source may be used to fill the mikvah. As with the rainwater, an intricate set of laws surrounds its transport and handling.

…Family purity is a system predicated on the woman’s monthly cycle. From the onset of menstruation and for seven days after its end, until the woman immerses in the mikvah,husband and wife may not engage in sexual relations. To avoid violation of this law, the couple should curtail their indulgence in actions they find arousing, putting a check on direct physical contact and refraining from physical manifestations of affection. The technical term for a woman in this state is niddah (literal meaning: “to be separated”).

Exactly a week from when the woman has established the cessation of her flow, she visits the mikvah. Immersion takes place after nightfall of the seventh day and is preceded by a requisite cleansing. The immersion is valid only when the waters of the mikvah envelop each and every part of the body and, indeed, each hair. To this end, the woman bathes, shampoos, combs her hair and removes from her body anything that might impede her total immersion.

Most mikvahs in that time period were located outside. 

A mikvah had to have a source of running water, such as a spring, or fresh water, such as rain. A mikvah had to be large enough to allow an average sized person to immerse his whole body. Stairs would be used to descend into and ascend from the mikvah. Often there was a wall separating the clean side from the unclean side.

Bathsheba: A victim of sexual coercion and/ or assault.

Slowly, some folks are waking up to the real story of David and Bathsheba. David and Bathsheba Is a #MeToo Story; Woman Not a ‘Seductress, was written by Sandra Glahn, an associate professor in Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary who teaches a gender studies course.

“David sent for her, he sent men for her. She is washing. That doesn’t even mean she’s bathing. She could have just been washing her hands. We are reading into that. And so what happens, instead of us seeing the argument of the book, which is David has gone from this shepherd boy, whom God has raised up, and now he’s abusing power. We should all take that as a lesson and a warning. But instead, we’re blaming the person who brought down the power.”

…Glahn explained that when people read the story of David and Bethsheba, they should identify with David by realizing that “I could fall, I could abuse power.”

Now we know more about power differentials in these sort of sexual relationships, and we know that if you have a lot of power, and you’re with a powerless person, even if it’s consensual, it’s not the same thing.

Why I believe that Bathsheba’s was David’s victim.

  • David sent his men to bring her to him. Bathsheba had no choice in the matter. This opinion is bolstered by David’s willingness to kill Uriah. David was a man to be feared. King David was a political king, not a priest. His power was absolute. Bathsheba had reason to fear for her life. The guards would not have protected Bathsheba if she screamed. They would have done whatever David told them to do.
  • No one in the Biblical story confronted Bathsheba about her sin. This is one of the most famous stories in the Bible. Surely, if Bathsheba bore blame in this situation, God would have made sure the story reflected the sin of a totally consensual relationship.

One of these days, I would like to discuss the death of the David and Bathsheba’s baby because I do not believe that God specifically killed the baby in order to punish David. However, this would be sure to cause a riot and I need to write my thoughts on the matter very carefully. I shall leave it for another day. However, if you are interested in the trajectory of my thinking, start reading here.

Conclusion:

I have spent many decades in the evangelical church, listening to stupid interpretations of Biblical passages. Sometimes, these arguments go beyond stupid and lead to the mistreatment of women in the church. I have been frustrated with supposed *pastors* who look quickly at a passage of Scripture and then proceed to diminish the role of women in the church while blaming them for tempting men. Bathsheba was not a temptress. She was a woman who was used by King David. Can you imagine being married to the guy who forced himself on you and then proceeded to kill your husband?

David got away with this because he was a political king and he had been given the power to do so. Contrary to the arguments of many at Highpoint Church, David was allowed to stay a king, not because he was forgiven, but because he held a political appointment. I wonder what would have happened to him if he had been a priest at theTemple? The Old Testament refers to a number of kings who *did evil in the sight of the Lord.” They, too, were allowed to stay in power. The Israelites demanded that they be allowed to have a king like the other nations. God warned them they wouldn’t like it but He gave them what they wanted and it wasn’t pretty.

Bathsheba has been given a bum rap by men (and women) who do not carefully read what the Bible actually says. So, next time you sing along to this song, be sure to think about it.

#IStandwithBathsheba


Comments

Why I Believe That King David Assaulted Bathsheba. #JusticeforBathsheba #MeToo — 297 Comments

  1. I agree with the sentiment in the post. Good job. A lot of the sermons that deal with modesty come across as if the the one preaching knows the hearts of all “immodestly” dressed women. David abused his power and then used power to attempt to cover his sin.

    I would still say that it is wise to dress modestly…. but at the same time, men that lack self control will always manipulate to get what they want. Many white collar businessmen with high incomes are more turned on by mature, “modestly” dressed women anyway. I struggle with lust like any man, and what turns me on has nothing to do with nudity or immodest dress. It is my own heart.

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  2. In my personal experience, a strikingly high percentage of pastors don’t care what the text actually says, don’t bother to look into the cultural and historical context of the events, and make virtually no real stab at understanding the Hebrew culture and traditions that explain the events.

    Instead, many limit themselves to truly bad opening jokes (most of which are probably cribbed from a few common sources, which must have titles something like “Awful Jokes for Humorless Clergy”), tired clichés, awe-inducing, but highly dubious stories to illustrate their points, shameless, self-promotional anecdotes, false humility that when analyzed closely is actually self-congratulation in disguise, and rambling sermons that dance all about the scriptures, connecting events and doctrines and verses that have nothing to do with one another to make some overarching point that may or may not approximate sound doctrine. Then then punctuate this nonsense on stilts by looking closely at those watching the show, lowering their voices, which quiver with manufactured emotion as the piano plunks softly in the background some weepy, maudlin tune. As the Minnesotans says, and surely as John Piper him eminence would understand: “Uff da!”

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  3. The prophet Nathan’s parable when he took David to task was pretty pointed in its assessment that Bathsheba WAS NOT at fault. The Torah had no issue calling out women who were at fault in adultery, a prophet of God who spoke for God would have no issue calling out a woman who was at fault. Nathan put all the blame on David, made it very obvious that this was a power differential crime and distinctly put Bathsheba and her husband in the victim space – she was compared to a beloved pet lamb of a poor man that the “rich man” took (stole) and had slaughtered for his guest to eat!

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  4. The OP:

    Bathsheba is not guiltless either. She may not have purposely enticed David, but she was immodest and indiscreet.

    To disrobe and bathe in an open courtyard in full view of any number of rooftop patios in the neighborhood was asking for trouble.

    She could easily have bathed indoors.

    Even so in our day, some women do not seem to realize what the sight of their flesh can do to a man.

    She could have? Does he know this for a fact?

    Is this guy an expert on ancient bathing practices?

    I admit I am not. Maybe it was common back then for ladies to bathe on a roof top.

    David could have easily averted his eyes.

    Also, this is the “men are visual and want sex more than woman” trope, and as it turns out, women want sex too and are also visual.

    When Women Wanted Sex Much More Than Men – And how the stereotype flipped.
    https://www.alternet.org/when-women-wanted-sex-much-more-men

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  5. How many of us suffer through this:

    From the post: “I have spent many decades in the evangelical church, listening to stupid interpretations of Biblical passages. Sometimes, these arguments go beyond stupid and lead to … [nonsense, sometimes evil] in the church [and beyond]. I have been frustrated with supposed *pastors* who look quickly at a passage of Scripture and then proceed to … [deliver a call to absurdity and possibly to the evil one himself].”

    Well put! At last full disclosure of what sometimes occurs in church on Sunday morning. Thanks, Dee.

    Big difference between that pastor’s statement and what you just posted: the world over can read your post and comment, respectfully. Open forum. (I actually found TWW while on assignment overseas and thank God.) By and large, our local church doesn’t work that way. (TWW readers, maybe your church does.)

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  6. You heard sermons that Bathsheba was a slut who got her baby murdered by God? Good grief. I thought I grew up in a slightly whacked theological setting. But I never heard anything even remotely close to what you’re suggesting. I suppose that helps explain your cause.

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  7. Before I finish reading the rest of the OP, can we also take a moment to debunk another common Christian assumption, this one about Joseph in the book of Genesis?

    Joseph did not immediately flee temptation, as Christians often insist.

    Here is what the Bible actually says (pasted straight from Bible Gateway, NIV version):

    And though she [Potiphar’s wife] spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

    So, Potiphar’s wife tempting Joseph went on for a period of days or weeks.

    She didn’t tempt him once, one time, and bam!, he ran off running away to flee temptation, as I so often hear it suggested by preachers who sermonize about adultery and how to resist temptation.

    If you don’t believe me, here’s the link to that passage:
    Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+39&version=NIV

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  8. The OP

    Even so in our day, some women do not seem to realize what the sight of their flesh can do to a man. They allow themselves to be pushed into the fashion mold of the world and wear revealing clothes, or nearly nothing; then they wonder why the men they meet cannot think of anything but sex.

    One man’s sexy minx is another man’s unappealing blob.

    As I was growing up, I got the message via movies and TV commercials, and boys at school who taped photos of models to their book covers, that I had to look a certain way to be considered attractive (hair always fixed up, be stick thin, wear make up, etc).

    As I grew older though, and began playing the fashion model, men seldom approached me.

    However, on occasions I had to run up to the store on errands for my mom in my early 20s or so, to pick up Yams or more milk, or what not, for the Thanksgiving dinner, I’d wear little make-up, my hair up in a messy pony tail, old, ragged capri length cut off jeans, flip flops and a plain t-shirt.

    My experience over a life time of this:

    On occasions I am dressed to kill and am made up like a gorgeous Barbie doll, men seldom bite or take an interest.

    When I go out with only a touch of make-up and dressed like a bag lady, men cannot get enough, that is when they flirt with me, ask for my phone number, etc.

    So I think some of these modesty culture advocates, like these Christian preachers or writers, need to reexamine their assumptions.

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  9. GreekEpigraph: The prophet Nathan’s parable when he took David to task was pretty pointed in its assessment that Bathsheba WAS NOT at fault. The Torah had no issue calling out women who were at fault in adultery, a prophet of God who spoke for God would have no issue calling out a woman who was at fault. Nathan put all the blame on David, made it very obvious that this was a power differential crime and distinctly put Bathsheba and her husband in the victim space – she was compared to a beloved pet lamb of a poor man that the “rich man” took (stole) and had slaughtered for his guest to eat!

    Very good point.

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  10. Jessica: You heard sermons that Bathsheba was a slut who got her baby murdered by God? Good grief. I thought I grew up in a slightly whacked theological setting. But I never heard anything even remotely close to what you’re suggesting. I suppose that helps explain your cause.

    There are some pastors who frame the story that way, yes.

    You can also find blog posts and articles by Christians who depict Bathsheba as a temptress. Dee quoted you a link to one such post in the Original Post, with long excerpts. Did you not see it?

    Not all Christians may come straight out and call Bathsheba a “slut,” but they do at times imply she was “loose” and partially responsible for what happened.

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  11. My first introduction into Jewish rituals and customs was reading “ The Ritual Bath” by Faye Kellerman. Even though her books are fiction they are based on Jewish traditions. I really recommend reading her books.

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  12. Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen – a song that describes the waning of hedonistic love (lust really) in a relationship. A broken hallelujah.

    David assaulted Bathsheba due to his lust.

    John Piper’s “Desiring God” also results in a broken hallelujah, in that it promotes lust rather than love for God.

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  13. Very good, I agree completely! It is so refreshing to hear the actual Bible expounded instead of forced through someone’s biased worldview. Another question I have is at the very beginning of the story:

    (NIV) 11 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.

    It was the ‘time when kings go off to war’. David was king but he had not gone off to war. He had sent Joab while he stayed at home and… what? What was he doing on his roof looking at Bathsheba and forming sinful plans, while his army was at battle?

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  14. Law Prof: In my personal experience, a strikingly high percentage of pastors don’t care what the text actually says, don’t bother to look into the cultural and historical context of the events, and make virtually no real stab at understanding the Hebrew culture and traditions that explain the events.

    Instead, many limit themselves to truly bad opening jokes (most of which are probably cribbed from a few common sources, which must have titles something like “Awful Jokes for Humorless Clergy”), tired clichés, awe-inducing, but highly dubious stories to illustrate their points, shameless, self-promotional anecdotes, false humility that when analyzed closely is actually self-congratulation in disguise, and rambling sermons that dance all about the scriptures, connecting events and doctrines and verses that have nothing to do with one another to make some overarching point that may or may not approximate sound doctrine. Then then punctuate this nonsense on stilts by looking closely at those watching the show, lowering their voices, which quiver with manufactured emotion as the piano plunks softly in the background some weepy, maudlin tune. As the Minnesotans says, and surely as John Piper him eminence would understand: “Uff da!”

    Law Prof, you and I have had the same experience exactly.

    When I used to work in the church office, we got continual junk mail for books of stories and sermon illustrations which were just as you described.

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  15. srs:
    “There is no evidence that this was a forcible rape”

    Isn’t rape by definition forcible?

    Being brought to the kings room by the kings guards would be “forced” to me!

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  16. This is a clear example of what I mean, when I say the Bible must be read in consultation with the Holy Spirit. I can understand how one could read the story of David and Bathsheba using only their mind and twist it to condemn Bathsheba, as the human mind can justify most actions. But, I cannot fathom how someone could read the story in consultation with the Holy Spirit and NOT come to the conclusion that it was all David’s fault and that he was the only sinner. I am afraid that too many preachers hold to the inerrancy of the words, without seeking the meaning from Him who wrote them.

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  17. Jarrett Edwards: preachers hold to the inerrancy of the words

    It seems to me that preachers hold to “their inerrant interpretation” of the words.

    What we see above is clearly adding ones own ideas to what the scripture actually says.

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  18. I agree with Bridget and Law Prof. Very often, the pastors and evangelists who most loudly claim to believe in inerrancy twist the biblical stories in ways no honest reader ever would.

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  19. Bridget: Being brought to the kings room by the kings guards would be “forced” to me!

    Israel was warned by Samuel, “And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.””

    David seemed a pretty good guy but then he was given unaccountable power. Today’s savior is likely tomorrow’s tyrant.

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  20. George,

    George: I would still say that it is wise to dress modestly…

    George,
    While I am happy that you agree with the post, I am bothered by your need to mention moderate dress. I was raised in an evangelical school where we were taught this misogynistic nonsense that Dee is talking about. I dressed very conservatively. I was a freshmen in the late 70s when Gunny Sax dresses were in vogue. I was raped by a Bible carrying senior. My dress was long sleeved, below the ankles, and fabric all the way up my neck. My sin? I let him drive me home after being warned that women do not have sex drives and men cannot say no. So don’t be alone with a boy in a car. Never, never, never does it have anything to do with modesty. It has everything to do with what boys are taught. That is what must change. Not dress. David even knew that Bathsheba was ritually cleansing. Do you know what that means? That means she had just finished her period, which for most women means she is the most fertile. Why was she bathing in the middle of the night for heaven’s sake. I would bet it was so that NO ONE would see her. She got raped anyway.

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  21. It’s an interesting take on the story.

    My suspicion has long been David stayed in Jerusalem because of chronic illness.

    I have guessed her age to be 14-16. She appears to be a junior wife, but the older wife died.

    It’s never pointed out that David did not recognize her. I think he knew her as a child in Ziklag, and she, like all the children were carried off. If this was true, Bathsheeba would possibly idolize David.

    Years past and she grew up. The servants politely reminded him he was eyeing Ahithophel’s granddaughter.

    God was apparently quite pleased with their eventual marriage. The thing about the story, is that it exposes hidden attitudes, and the political struggle against God. Its really not about sex, it’s about political influence and loyalties. Sex between two people was only the spark leading to the political firestorm.

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  22. Jarrett Edwards: I can understand how one could read the story of David and Bathsheba using only their mind and twist it to condemn Bathsheba, as the human mind can justify most actions.

    Hi Jarrett,
    I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is necessary for a rape understanding of the passage. And i do not believe that a non-rape understanding is understandable simply because of the human mind. I believe that the only reason anyone can possibly see a non-rape understanding is because of misogynistic conditioning.

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  23. Nathan Priddis,

    So then you think that Bathsheba knew how this thing of getting the king to have sex with her worked? Had she seen it before? Women bathing on the roof in come hither soapy sponging like B rated car wash movies could get the king’s men to come down and drag ’em up to the palace for a rendezvous? You think that she knew she could get pregnant and thereby secure a royal offspring for a political hidden agenda? You think that she wasn’t cleansing for sex with her husband but cleansing for sex with David her hero, cuz the hero always gets the girl? Why did the Bible reveal David’s hidden attitude but not Bathsheba’s? The Bible revealed Jezebel’s hidden attitudes so it can’t be a gender thing. Anyway, your comment has sparked an awful lot of what exactly do you mean questions.

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  24. When I moved to Charlotte back in 1982, there was a popular Christian organization led by Jim and Tammy Bakker called the PTL (Praise the Lord, or “Hallelujah”) Club. They built a Christian amusement park and sold “timeshares” for $1,000.

    Lust prevailed, another “broken hallelujah.” Jim committed adultery and his Christian Ponzi scheme collapsed.

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  25. The way that I heard the story is that David wasn’t even supposed to be in Jerusalem at that time anyway because it was war time-the king was expected to be with his troops so Bathsheba was probably totally unaware that anyone could even see her from the palace. Just saying.

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  26. You should read “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” by Joel Baden, a Yale professor specialized in the Old Testament. Academics have known for a long time that the traditional view of David as a hero is a sentimental fraud, that in fact he was a small-time regional thug.

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  27. Bob Felton,

    I think that a lot of us know that about David, and the really big issue is why God who knows all things (or so they say) chose David, protected David, used David, and had the prophets say that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David, and had Samuel call David a man after God’s own heart.

    What does this say about God? Is there something about God that we in our time have chosen to overlook, as compared to something about God which others now and in other times may have chosen to emphasize too much? Might God, no kidding, do both the acts of dying for us and also destroying us just depending. Are salvation on the one hand and millstone therapy on the other hand both consistent with who God is and how He does? In other words is there a ruthlessness about God in that he does to what we see as extremes in order to accomplish His purposes?

    And does it matter whether we like it or not?

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  28. Siteseer: Law Prof, you and I have had the same experience exactly.

    When I used to work in the church office, we got continual junk mail for books of stories and sermon illustrations which were just as you described.

    Honestly never saw one of those, but it absolutely makes sense; seemed as if they were using the same playbook—and I don’t mean the Bible. There are a lot of lazy people without an original thought in their heads, and more importantly, without God in their lives, who nonetheless want power and authority and affluence, so they pursue careers in the pulpit like Elmer Gantry. Not at all a surprise that they’d use these aids, considering so many apparently don’t have the Holy Spirit. Not as if Jesus, Paul, James, John, etc. didn’t warn us about this repeatedly, about those people who would infiltrate the church and call people to themselves.

    Lily Rose:
    The way that I heard the story is that David wasn’t even supposed to be in Jerusalem at that time anyway because it was war time-the king was expected to be with his troops so Bathsheba was probably totally unaware that anyone could even see her from the palace. Just saying.

    There’s one take I can agree with. Actually heard a pastor make that point one time, and that’s one of the few extrapolations from this passage that makes some real sense.

    Bob Felton:
    You should read “The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero,” by Joel Baden, a Yale professor specialized in the Old Testament.Academics have known for a long time that the traditional view of David as a hero is a sentimental fraud, that in fact he was a small-time regional thug.

    David was a mixed bag and the Bible makes no bones about it; it’s one of the few ancient books that’s almost 21st century modern in its frank and unflattering portrayals of major players in the narrative—some of the stories are shocking. But also understand that as an academic for the last 15 years, seeing the sausage made, having reviewed articles and sat on one journal’s editorial board, I’m about as skeptical of the trendy theorizing of academics as I am of the knaves who occupy too many pulpits, so I tend to give less credence to some of the horse manure squared that passes for cogent thought in academic journals.

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  29. I told you all that I now have medication side effects of insomnia. So last night while awake and after reading Nathan’s comment I took to google to start checking out some things.

    Firstly, this current debate about Bathsheba is new to me. In my half century in Baptistville I never once heard one word about Bathsheba as a person, only as a name in David’s adultery. Nothing more, one way or the other was being said, no sermon illustrations. In retrospect that seems odd, and now I ask why the silence on the subject.

    So I started with what is known about Bathsheba’s biologic kin if indeed her grandfather is mentioned in scripture (apparently the name is there but whether that was her grandfather has been questioned?) and I ran smack into high level politics. I plan to pursue this further.

    Then I asked who were the Hittites and does it matter and if so why? Fascinating about the Hittites and the Israeli military, what little I have found out so far. Here was have an ethic minority residuals of a former mighty empire who apparently were involved in the Jewish army at high levels. The betrayal of Uriah then was not just one man but possibly seen as an offense against an ethnic minority of some power(?) in the military.

    And then there is the list of ‘why’ questions raised by the biblical story. There are a boat load of why questions in the story. Here is only one: if it was night, and if it was a ritual bath, and if the pool for the ritual bath was outside, how could David see her well enough to think he had to have her in the absence of street lights; where did the light come from in the night? And why did David proceed after he knew who she was, he having to have known about the position of her husband as part of an ethnic minority with military connections at a significant level and her position as part of a politically recognizable family, when David could have grabbed other female flesh in the night without the complications of this scene. What was David thinking? It sure looks like a whole lot more than just sex.

    And that is only one of the questions. At this point I am pursuing the idea that David knew dang well who she was before he asked, not having night vision equipment perhaps, and had a plan which went farther than just hanky panky and it all backfired when she got pregnant. RE has suggested that maybe it was a way to keep one’s enemies close by having an insider who was an intimate. Looks a little like the daily news from DC right now. Maybe he was thinking like Ferdinand thought about Isabella that once he had ‘bedded’ her she would be so impressed that she would be his and for David that might have meant be his eyes and ears for info about her grandfather at least.

    I am looking forward to tonight’s insomnia for time to pursue some more ‘why’ questions.

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  30. okrapod:
    Bob Felton,

    I think that a lot of us know that about David, and the really big issue is why God who knows all things (or so they say) chose David, protected David, used David, and had the prophets say that the Messiah would come from the lineage of David, and had Samuel call David a man after God’s own heart.

    What does this say about God?Is there something about God that we in our time have chosen to overlook, as compared to something about God which others now and in other times may have chosen to emphasize too much?Might God, no kidding, do both the acts of dying for us and also destroying us just depending.Are salvation on the one hand and millstone therapy on the other hand both consistent with who God is and how He does?In other words is there a ruthlessness about God in that he does to what we see as extremes in order to accomplish His purposes?

    And does it matter whether we like it or not?

    The problem is we anthropomorphize God too much. He did that once that I know of, and that’s Jesus. Want to see God as a man, what would He do, how would He act? There you go, it’s Jesus. Beyond that, forget about it.

    We try to understand God way too much through our own experience and understanding. This is what makes me insane talking with people about God and why He’d do this or that, why He’d favor one group over another, one person over another, why innocent people die under tragic circumstances, why kittens get lost, etc.

    People almost invariably will not attempt to step outside of themselves and posit the true God who created the universe (and who knows what else besides), an omnipotent, omniscient God, of unimaginable power, the one who seems to be described in the Bible, but instead think “Well if it were me, I’d do this other thing rather than the thing that happened, and it seems like the more just thing to me, and assuming God is omnipotent, He either caused that thing that’s unjust or allowed it—ergo, God is unjust.”

    It’s nonsense, because God knows everything, every possible eventuality, every one of the infinite combinations of events if one thing occurs rather than another, He knows every heart perfectly, He knows exactly what sequence of events among the infinite possibilities will produce perfect justice combined with perfect mercy. God knows all, so what might seem like a great tragedy or injustice to us could actually be just the thing that leads to the best possible state of affairs. Who are we to know and judge? We are nothing, His ways are not our ways. We don’t know jack. It’s not like that’s rocket science, it’s an inevitable perspective if you assume the God described in the Bible actually exists.

    I’m so weary of those who posit some puny God NOT described in the Bible, some Zeus-type, basically a tantruming, biased infant with superpowers, and then blame God for doing what He does while imagining Him being what He is not. If God is all-loving and all-knowing and all-powerful, by definition everything He does, even those things that seem inexplicable to us, pea brains that we are, is for the greatest possible good.

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  31. This post angered me in fact I could not get past the first paragraph reflecting what he said about her, so many infuriating thoughts screaming and running through my mind that I think profanity would come out of my mouth if I try to express them. This is such and ignorant stupid pastor!!!! Whoever preached this sermon I am kissing the ground thanking God that I did not grow up in a church under someone with this idiotic theology/thinking. Can you imagine how he perceives abuse and victims of abuse? I wouldn’t even trust my kid to learn or emulate anything from him. How anyone could sit through that sermon and not throw their bibles at him I will never know! Talk about ridiculous and a simpleton.

    I never grew up in a church where bathsheeba was portrayed as a whore, slut or anything but that david sinned with her. I am so glad because I can’t imagine being taught this garbage. What he has done is blamed, shamed, and slandered her and worse has taught that what David did was her fault. Don’t get me started on saying women have to worry about what they wear and how men have lustful thoughts. Oh My Word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going nuts over that one. You know what men who have that problem its THEIR PROBLEM!!! Maybe they need to walk around blind folded then and solve their own issues. Thats like saying God purposefully tempted Adam to eat the apple by putting the tree there. Is it God’s fault Adam ignored him and followed his wife? They both were equally responsible for their own actions ( It’s called taking personal responsibility). They both obviously lusted , wanted knowledge, and wanted to be like God or why ignore his command? This is no different David lusted, he wanted, and he took with no thought to her or her husband. And for this idiotic pastor to say she enjoyed it took pleasure in it while her husband was gone! I love how he presumes to know what is in a persons mind, is he now projecting himself as God??? I think so by that statement. He’s a mind reader and not only that a mind reader thousands of years later, so stupid stupid stupid!!!!!

    Ok i’m done I can’t call him stupid anymore because i have a headache. She lost her husband and her dignity because of King Davids actions. She lost a child and no doubt probably believed she did something wrong. David dishonored God and he dishonored her. He has blood on his hands and however God dealt with him then that is how it is. However as a result of what he did we can see the trail of his child rape his daughter, one son kills the other and the last son tries to kill him. He clearly had problems.

    This pastor needs a reality check and one day he will see her and I wonder what he would say.

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  32. Great post Dee, I struggle mightily with David here, it was all his fault, to this very day ( a man after God’s own heart not with standing), I to this day wouldn’t/ didn’t consider naming my only son David for this very act.

    This is a classic example of eisegesis ( reading into the text) by the online sermon you quoted from
    We can only do sound hermeneutics after we have followed sound exegesis ( reading correctly out of the text)

    But where the rubber meets the road is, when the text doesn’t line up with current culture, will we still hold to sound exegesis ( what does the text plainly say), or alas, do we cave to what we really really want it to say?

    And we can all fill in the blank where we wished the Bible didn’t say something that we struggle to accept.
    One of mine is on April 15 th. I truly wish Jesus hadn’t answered the question with render to Caesar what is Caesar’s

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  33. From the “Let’s talk it over” Part on that Bible.org site – lets spend half the time talking about Bathsheba’s imaginary sin and how girls should dress modestly! Is there a ‘report this as terrible’ function at that site??

    4. For wives: Is your dress consistent with God’s standards or do you merely dress as the world dictates?
    5. What is the meaning of modesty? How should you apply it to your life? As parents, how can you teach your daughters proper standards of dress?

    Bathsheba was taking a bath. She wasn’t dressed at all. Turning this into a ‘don’t wear tank tops’ lesson is pathetic.

    Also the bible spends time telling is that David is the one who was not where he was supposed to be (the time when kings went off to war). NOT Bathsheba.

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  34. I found John MacArthurs sermon on Bethseeba and David. Interesting statements he makes about her.

    Now David had some problems. He was a man after God’s own heart. He was a great worshiper, a great writer of Psalms, a singer of Psalms. He had known the blessing of God. He had declared the blessedness of God. But he had problems. He was a man and he was a sinful man even though he had been forgiven by God. And he particularly seemed to have a problem with women. When he wanted a woman, he took her no matter who she might have belonged to.

    So in this paragraph MacArthur says When david wanted a woman he took her no matter who she might have belonged to!
    So how is it that any woman caught in his cross hair would have a choice if david wanted her?

    The next paragraph:

    It was at the height of his power, it was the height of his time of blessing under the goodness of God that he became infatuated with the beautiful Bathsheba who was the wife of one of his military officers by the name of Uriah. Bathsheba was not innocent in the situation. She put herself in a position to be seen by the king from the top of his palace, she was sunbathing, as it were, on her own roof. I don’t think she was innocent at all in what she was doing and David certainly was not innocent, being attracted to her. You know the rest of the story. He went to her and she became pregnant.

    So Macarthur completely contradicts his previous statement. Which is it? Did she have a choice or didn’t she? According to Macarthur women were taken if david wanted them and he took what he wanted.

    Of course she wasn’t to blame but for this fool to say she wasn’t innocent is nutty and people see why he is an abusive pastor when abuse comes out of his church.

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  35. Benn:
    One of mine is on April 15 th. I truly wish Jesus hadn’t answered the question with render to Caesar what is Caesar’s

    Oh, even the direct words of Jesus are not an insurmountable hurdle to the opportunistic faux Christian. Once heard a woman inform me that she and her husband refused to pay taxes as Christians of good conscience. When I reminded her that this point was directly addressed by Jesus, and that He’d come clearly out on the opposite side, she responded: “Well, that was then, and surely Jesus wouldn’t want me paying taxes now to a government that supports evils such as abortion.” No, perish the thought, those squeaky clean Romans to whom Jesus demanded the Jews pay their taxes, the very ones Jesus foretold would destroy Jerusalem utterly, massacring thousands in the streets, razing the temple to the ground, later torching Christians alive, beheading Paul, crucifying Jesus Himself after a day of vicious torture. Nahh, of course that lady was right and quite justified to withhold her taxes!

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  36. Katherine Bushnell said that when the Bible spoke about David as a great king these were simply political estimates that he never led his people into idolatry while still showing him as someone who at times was criminal in his actions and a terrible husband and father to boot. I always thought showing David, warts and all, was God’s way of demonstrating why a monarchy was a bad idea while choosing a guy who wasn’t going to let the nation backslide into idolatry worse than it already had at that point as it did in later generations. After all, God warned the israelites that a monarchy was not what God wanted for them, but they refused to accept this until God gave them what they wanted. Unfortunately, the disregard for women seen in Judges 19 pre monarchy still existed under the monarchy. Mieke Bal, a modern day biblical scholar, said that she thought all these stories about the mistreatment and dominance of women in the Bible was to illustrate that it was male sexual sin that was causing the problems for Israel rather than female sexual sin as the church always liked to see it. After all, it was the Levite’s mistreatment of his concubine in Judges 19 that led to civil war and further degradation of women that led Israel to it’s worse moment as a nation because “men wanted to do what was right in their own eyes” despite their refusal of God’s warnings against a monarchy. When a monarchy was put in place, it was David’s rape of Bathsheba, his son’s rape of his half sister Tamar, and later rape of his own concubines by his son when he tried to force David out of power that really destabilizes Israel as a whole. And while it was Bathsheba’s son, Solomon, who became king, he continued polygamous relationships with foreign women against God’s warnings in Deuteronomy 17: 17 that a king should not have multiple wives because he could be tempted to turn to idolatry. I cringe when I read these stories of women, but I think these stories were recorded for a reason that they illustrate wrong in the hearts of men and the way they mistreated or dominated women that created a lot of the problems for Israel as a nation. Pastors who use these stories to blame women or tell them not to be immodest are missing the point. The wrong of idolatry and sexual sin is with the men-not the women. Just my two cents.

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  37. Also TWO men came along on that CP article comments and said ‘I never heard this so it doesn’t happen’ basically (” I have never heard teaching from the pulpit or in a Bible study or Sunday school class that ever described Bathsheba as anything but a vicitm of David’s sinful desires and abuse of power. Therefore, while I think the teaching in this article on the matter is certainly correct, I wonder if the introductory premise is not a bit of a straw man.). And yet, there it is at something as generic at bible.org.

    Men either absorb these things or they are directed primarily at women and girls (and I think it’s a bit of both), who are constantly told they must dress ‘modestly’ to stop dudes from sinning.

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  38. George: A lot of the sermons that deal with modesty come across as if the the one preaching knows the hearts of all “immodestly” dressed women.

    I think a lot of men see women and start getting all lustful, and then as a dodge they blame women for dressing ‘immodestly’ and ‘making’ them think those thoughts. So they imagine women are doing this on purpose to make themselves feel better.

    When often women are just wearing something they think is 1. cute 2. comfortable or 3. weather appropriate (it’s hot in summer).

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  39. shaunaSo Macarthur completely contradicts his previous statement…for this fool to say she wasn’t innocent is nutty and people see why he is an abusive pastor when abuse comes out of his church.

    Makes perfect sense to me in light of the fact that the name for Macarthur’s very ministry completely contradicts everything I’ve seen that indicates the reality of it. In my considered opinion, “Grace to You” makes about as much sense in light of Macarthur as the “People’s Democratic Republic of Korea” makes in light of North Korea.

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  40. Bridget: It seems to me that preachers hold to“their inerrant interpretation” of the words.

    What we see above is clearly adding ones own ideas to what the scripture actually says.

    He’s not just adding to it, he’s rewriting it entirely!! I don’t think these men are confused, I think they just believe it must be Bathsheba’s fault, because she’s a woman and obviously it couldn’t be David’s fault alone! So they fix the story to make it say that. Maybe their brains get stuck on how she was naked and can’t seem to make that irrelevant.

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  41. Patti: Never, never, never does it have anything to do with modesty. It has everything to do with what boys are taught. That is what must change. Not dress.

    This is the gods honest truth right there. All these supposedly ‘inerrant’ pastors read story after story where the woman is not at all at fault and the man is squarely blamed, they read Jesus talking about plucking out their own eyes, and they still turn the blame to women. That is a problem.

    And I’m very sorry for what happened to you.

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  42. Bridget:
    Being brought to the kings room by the kings guards would be “forced” to me!

    Darn straight. Just like being driven down a dark road with no possibility of an outcry being heard!

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  43. “Why I believe that Bathsheba was David’s victim.”

    Well, here’s why I believe Bathsheba was a victim and not a Jezebel. God sent Nathan the prophet to point a finger in David’s face and tell him that he was at fault … “You are the man!” (2 Samuel 12) … and he didn’t mean “You are cool David”. God speaks through the prophets … He said it – the matter is settled.

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  44. shauna: He went to her and she became pregnant.

    He didn’t ‘go to her’ either. He had her brought to him.

    Do any of these super spiritual luminaries with their own seminaries actually *read the text*????

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  45. Lea: He’s not just adding to it, he’s rewriting it entirely!! I don’t think these men are confused, I think they just believe it must be Bathsheba’s fault, because she’s a woman and obviously it couldn’t be David’s fault alone! So they fix the story to make it say that. Maybe their brains get stuck on how she was naked and can’t seem to make that irrelevant.

    They just have their belief systems, their personal doctrines, that are the product of their traditions, but not necessarily the Bible. One of those traditions is modesty in womens’ dress (but for some reason not men), that is more a holdover of the Victorian Era in which many of their religious traditions coalesced than it is a biblical standard. They follow this almost by rote, without a second thought. It is dogma. It’s quite natural then for pastors to shoehorn virtually any biblical narrative into this paradigm. One local church has featured sermons involving speculation about which animals were likely to have existed in the Garden, so that the church leaders could determine how much skin the animal pelts that God created for Adam and Eve were likely to cover to function as a model for appropriate attire in their congregation. Totally lost on these people was the notion that Adam and Eve, having understood their grave sin, felt ashamed, recognized their humanity, lost their innocence, and it thus necessitated the death of an innocent being or two to remedy this—a foretelling of Christ. The whole point of the narrative turned into a discussion of appropriate sartorial choices in the church building! My daughter attended this church a few years ago after being invited by a fellow student with no idea what she was getting into. She was modestly attired by any reasonable measure, but the ladies there repeatedly walked up and literally draped sweaters over her, insisting she put them on, to cover her arms! They thought that a correct expression of Christ’s love was the right to force clothing onto her person, but lacking any semblance, it would seem, of genuine Christian kindness, they humiliated her and she never returned. Typical.

    We are transplants to the Deep South and we homeschool. You can imagine the attitudes among some people we’ve encountered. Female modesty in dress is for many one of the highest and most holy expressions of their dogma; among certain circles it’s an obsession.

    When I remind these obsessives that the discussion of female “modesty” by Paul in Timothy 2 was about making showy and ostentatious displays of affluence, with not one word about the amount of skin covered, they look blankly at me and say “But Paul said women must dress modestly.” I’m reminded of the movie “This is Spinal Tap”, when Christopher Guest, playing the vacuous rock star, is showing Rob Reiner, playing the interviewer, his amp, which does not just go to 10, but “…goes to 11”. Reiner asks him “Why don’t you just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number?”, at which point Guest looks stunned for a moment, then replies “These go to 11”. It’s the same old thing, same old mindset. Trying to reason with these types, you might as well be talking to a drug-addled rock star.

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  46. Of note: the child of the adulterous union between David and Bathesheba did not live – suggesting both of them were punished for the adultery.

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  47. Lea: I’m sorry…MacArthur said she was SUNBATHING??? What?

    This guy has his own seminary.

    Yes, and I served as an elder under a graduate of TMS and a former staff member at Macarthur’s church, a person who as a young man had literally learned at the feet of Macarthur. He was one of the most confused, abusive, destructive church leaders I’ve ever known. He completely destroyed the church we attended, it is no more. He is still, two decades on, trying to rid himself of the after effects of exposure to toxic theology and practices.

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  48. Lea: Do any of these super spiritual luminaries with their own seminaries actually *read the text*????

    I read the text. So let us consider this.

    He was the king. People came to him for all sorts of reasons. He was not a dolt. Perhaps. Just perhaps. Somebody coming to the king at night would not raise suspicion while the king skulking about at night could be suspicious. (Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, for example.) In that scenario then the soldiers could be enforcers or on the other hand could be an armed guard for a woman alone on the streets of Jerusalem at night during a time of war, it being the war that David stayed home from. Regardless of what was going on, here is plausible deniability in case anybody started asking questions at the time.

    I think the scripture in showing David’s history and his people management experience in both the military and in politics presents a picture of somebody who at least had enough sense to know how to survive amid his opponents for a long time, but he could not survive betrayals at the end.

    Until, somebody’s pregnancy (Bathsheba) and somebody’s rape (his own daughter) and the coalitions which determined to take him down became too much while David was by then older and as some have noted surely had what we would call PTSD given what warfare was in that day and whose major skill all along had been in battle not in the palace. “David has slain his ten thousands.”

    Did David then, in his thinking, send soldiers behind the line on some pretext if he had to call it that later, in order to accomplish some goal and hide the evidence at the time? Well, did he himself sneak into the cave where Saul was ‘covering his feet’ and leave evidence that he had done that? Were these similar plots which came from the same mind?

    I don’t know, but there had to be something that the people saw in David and God saw in David and it is interesting to try to get into his mind.

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  49. okrapod,

    Okrapod,( there must have been something that the people saw in David and God saw in David…..
    So true, it’s just an opinion but, ( because of libertine free will), if David had not accepted Gods decision for the newborn to die, and had he rebelled or voice displeasureto God, I don’t think we would have ever heard from or about David again, except for the obligatory phrase that David slept with his farthers….

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  50. Patti:
    Nathan Priddis,

    So then you think that Bathsheba knew how this thing of getting the king to have sex with her worked? Had she seen it before? Women bathing on the roof in come hither soapy sponging like B rated car wash movies could get the king’s men to come down and drag ’em up to the palace for a rendezvous? You think that she knew she could get pregnant and thereby secure a royal offspring for a political hidden agenda? You think that she wasn’t cleansing for sex with her husband but cleansing for sex with David her hero, cuz the hero always gets the girl? Why did the Bible reveal David’s hidden attitude but not Bathsheba’s? The Bible revealed Jezebel’s hidden attitudes so it can’t be a gender thing. Anyway, your comment has sparked an awful lot of what exactly do you mean questions.

    The questions you ask go back to a sexual focus, as is typified by Evangelical sermons.

    There are four women named in the lineage of the Messiah. All four did something astounding. All four at some point in their stories, made a drastic personal decision. All involved drastic risk.

    Sex is not the point with Bathsheeda any more then with Tamar, Rehab or Ruth.

    All four show more faith then the men around them. Three risked death, one walked away from her life and society, to be a destitute, homeless, foreign widow. People who do such things demonstrate motive, and God approved of all four.

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  51. Lea: I’m sorry…MacArthur said she was SUNBATHING??? What?

    Whew! It’s about time for MacArthur to hang it up … retire somewhere and go sunbathing! His teachings over the years have been more eisegesis than exegeses.

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  52. Lea: I’m sorry…MacArthur said she was SUNBATHING??? What?

    This guy has his own seminary.

    Yeah, but her name is BATHsheba and it was day time. 🙂

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  53. Here is yet something to be considered. A mystery. David protected the pregnant Bathsheba. Surely he could have denied everything and let the law be decided against her. With her then out of the way that might have solved David’s problem. Scene 2: after she completed the period of mourning for her husband David married her, grieved the death of the child (openly), ‘comforted’ her by getting her pregnant again, and at the end of his life being reminded by the prophet he named her son successor to the throne.

    If all he did was rape a piece of flesh whence all this behavior which looks a lot like some sort of love. On the other hand, her alleged grandfather being one of the top men of wisdom, maybe the wisdom ability of Solomon came from that side of the family, or at least perhaps both David and the prophet thought so.

    Or not.

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  54. Seneca

    So, when my daughter got her brain tumor, was God punishing me? Also, do you believe God kills innocent people to do a payback to the person who actually sinned? (and don’t play the Jesus card.)

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  55. Law Prof: One local church has featured sermons involving speculation about which animals were likely to have existed in the Garden, so that the church leaders could determine how much skin the animal pelts that God created for Adam and Eve were likely to cover to function as a model for appropriate attire in their congregation.

    That is…wow. And I would run screaming from any church that deemed it necessary to throw sweaters over my arms.

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  56. Lea: That is…wow. And I would run screaming from any church that deemed it necessary to throw sweaters over my arms.

    She was 16 at the time and naïve; I think at first she figured they were concerned about her being cold and thought they were odd but well-meaning people, just a little fastidious and officious when it came to ensuring guests were warm—but well, “when in Rome” and all that. But after she politely refused a couple times, telling them she was quite comfortable, no need for a sweater, but other ladies kept insisting, she realized something else was afoot. I guess her uncovered lower arms was a cause for general alarm in the sanctuary—one wonders what sort of man were they trying to protect my daughter from? A fiend who fantasized about a woman’s lower arms? And if this was his personal perversion, couldn’t he get his fill by just walking down the street any day of the week, lusting over all those illicit feminine forearms? She should’ve suspected something odd was going on there when during the Sunday School before the service, over which pastor presided, when he saw her open her New King James version, he stiffly informed her “We only use the actual King James version here!”

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  57. Law Prof: learned at the feet of Macarthur. He was one of the most confused, abusive, destructive church leaders I’ve ever known

    The end result of MacArthurism – his eisegesis will drive you crazy after a while. MacArthur has also been a leading contributor to the patriarchal, authoritarian, subordinate women, subordinate Jesus, bad-boy behavior in New Calvinism. Thousands of young reformers consider him a primary “influencer” … they line up at T4G conferences for selfies with the Master.

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  58. Daisy: My experience over a life time of this:
    On occasions I am dressed to kill and am made up like a gorgeous Barbie doll, men seldom bite or take an interest.
    When I go out with only a touch of make-up and dressed like a bag lady, men cannot get enough, that is when they flirt with me, ask for my phone number, etc.

    I wonder if that might be because when you’re “dressed to kill and made up like a gorgeous Barbie doll”, you come across as “Out of their league”.

    High school experience/damage kicks in (and most of us were Beta to Omega males in HS), and all they see is the Alpha Female Cheerleader who’s banging the Alpha Male Varsity Quarterback and thus taken. Hands Off.

    If this is the mechanism, you might actually get a reaction of hostility (manifesting in snubbing?) when you go out dressed up.

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  59. Max: MacArthur has also been a leading contributor to the patriarchal, authoritarian, subordinate women, subordinate Jesus, bad-boy behavior in New Calvinism. Thousands of young reformers consider him a primary “influencer” … they line up at T4G conferences for selfies with the Master.

    What did Screwtape say in Slubgob’s Toast?
    Corrupt one CELEBRITY and We get all his groupies and followers for free?

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  60. Law Prof: One local church has featured sermons involving speculation about which animals were likely to have existed in the Garden, so that the church leaders could determine how much skin the animal pelts that God created for Adam and Eve were likely to cover to function as a model for appropriate attire in their congregation.

    This is called “PASTOR with way too much time on his hands.”
    Or “Metastasized Fanboy geek speculation session.”
    Or both.

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  61. Max: The end result of MacArthurism – his eisegesis will drive you crazy after a while.MacArthur has also been a leading contributor to the patriarchal, authoritarian, subordinate women, subordinate Jesus, bad-boy behavior in New Calvinism.Thousands of young reformers consider him a primary “influencer” … they line up at T4G conferences for selfies with the Master.

    Interesting, because way back in the 80s, when as a young fellow without legal or logical training, I read his expositions on why he rejected the possibility of spiritual gifts being extant today, I got the impression that whether one believed in such things or not, that what one could never do was treat them in the way he treated them and use the sorts of circular reasoning he used. I got the impression that the guy was a very dishonest and ugly individual, a tight little ball of hatred for any position other than his own, and that he exuded the very opposite of Christ-likeness. It was many years later that I had the tools to pull apart his reasoning to know just how awful and fatuous it was. I’ve thought the guy was just a hateful human being for over 30 years, long before the rise of neocalvinism, T4G. or any of it, long before I served alongside a pastor who was the product of his seminary and church. Just my opinion.

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  62. This is all new to me. David was never the victim in any sermon I heard.

    This is also a story about the abuse of power. Because in the sexual assaults that have been discussed here, the real kick for abuser is the power differential.

    Maybe that’s why some pastors see this story as being the woman’s fault.

    Divine right to rule raises it’s ugly head.

    David was a voyeur and at this point a coward. Look how guilty he felt that Uriah felt his duty was with his fellow soldiers.

    David knew he was wrong. And so do many of these pastors.

    This story makes them uncomfortable.

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  63. Law Prof: when he saw her open her New King James version, he stiffly informed her “We only use the actual King James version here!”

    There seem to be a lot of fruitcakes running churches these days.

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  64. Lea: Maybe their brains get stuck on how she was naked and can’t seem to make that irrelevant.

    Like Driscollian Pornovisions, yet another look into the ManaGAWD’s sexual fantasies and obsessions.

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  65. okrapod: David protected the pregnant Bathsheba. Surely he could have denied everything and let the law be decided against her.

    It could be she had political power of her own, through her grandfather. Perhaps that is why the guards warned him before he took her and why she was protected and ultimately the mother of the next king. Because those things mattered.

    I was listening to the an interesting story about the Persian empire and they mentioned one of the women who was a descendent of a famous former king and how that lineage figured into her treatment. We forget sometimes that women occasionally had some level of power, even if it came through their lineage.

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  66. senecagriggs,

    On the other hand. (I need a stamp for that…) If the child had lived several difficult things might have happened. It might have looked like God condoned adultery, and that in the eyes of the entire nation.

    It might have been a source of continuing battle for succession to the throne, which was bad enough as it was, but remembering that God seems to have chosen a child of Bathsheba for that position-without the issue that would have ensued had it been the child who died. I don’t know, just speculation.

    Moving on with speculation, it could be that the child had survived a failed abortion attempt and had been badly damaged in the process. Perhaps the child would have suffered miserably. The history of abortion is interesting.

    And it could be that nobody makes a fool out of God but what one sows one reaps. Of note is the biblical idea that the sins of the parents are visited on several future generations, whatever exactly that means. Is that fair? By whose standards? Ours and our political philosophy-no. Would God let us tell him how to get himself under control and abide by our standards? No. How would we ever know when was what? Danged if I know.

    But does the scripture say that Bathsheba repented of something, or even had something to repent of? I must have missed that.

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  67. Headless Unicorn Guy: Like Driscollian Pornovisions, yet another look into the ManaGAWD’s sexual fantasies and obsessions.

    It has bothered me for years that men who wish to blame women for assaults or talk about modesty instead of mens behavior always go to the ‘what if she was walking down the streets naked’ well. In part because that isn’t really representative of what happens it just sounds more shocking than ‘what if her skirt was above the knees OMGSCANDAL’, and in part because if a woman is walking down the street naked in the middle of the night something bad is probably happening and it should spark compassion and not lust.

    So this could just be the same thing.

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  68. Law Prof,

    MacArthur is slick. I figure that he really doesn’t agree with the message and method of New Calvinism, but has found a new market segment for his books and speaker fees so he puts up with them.

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  69. Lily Rose: Unfortunately, the disregard for women seen in Judges 19 pre monarchy still existed under the monarchy … I think these stories were recorded for a reason that they illustrate wrong in the hearts of men and the way they mistreated or dominated women that created a lot of the problems for Israel as a nation. Pastors who use these stories to blame women or tell them not to be immodest are missing the point. The wrong of idolatry and sexual sin is with the men-not the women.

    Yes, you are speaking truth to the missing-the-point and misuse-of-power pulpit.

    As we raise our sons, we do have to warn them about the women of Proverbs 5, 6, & 7. However, because we have mainly men in the pulpit what we hear is woman-blaming, -battering, and -bullying for the improprieties of men even to the point of twisting Scripture and historical record.

    Presently, it’s recurring news that now even pastors themselves are the ones causing problems for the church – rampant child abuse and sexual harassment.

    Post 9/11, the public was asking for peaceful law-abiding Muslims to stand against the violent extremists claiming to be fellow Muslims. Today, with the outing of so many predatory pastors, one would ask, “Where are the good guy pastors that will take a stand in the pulpit and preach against predatory church leadership and against Twisted Scripture, such as lies about Bathsheba and David?”

    IMHO, this is the real culture war and it is right in the evangelical church itself.

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  70. Jack: the real kick for abuser is the power differential

    Yes!

    In “Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty,” Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson document that what a person will do with power is never evident until they once step into power. The tyrant president may be the nice guy vice president, until they are in power. The latent monster or hero comes to life when they step into the power position. It is all about power differential. “Now that I can, what will I do?” – do an Andy Savage attack or do a Casper ten Boom rescue?

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  71. Bob Felton: Academics have known for a long time that the traditional view of David as a hero is a sentimental fraud, that in fact he was a small-time regional thug.

    And these academics know this (as factual) how?
    Many of the same guys will also insist that the Exodus never took place because there’s no evidence for it.

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  72. Law Prof: I’m about as skeptical of the trendy theorizing of academics as I am of the knaves who occupy too many pulpits, so I tend to give less credence to some of the horse manure squared that passes for cogent thought in academic journals.

    I am too Law Prof, I am too.
    (horse poo-poo)^2 , HA, that’s too funny!

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  73. In my longer term church experiences of 8 or so denominations I have never heard the teaching or speculation of blaming Bathsheba. Of course, I did hear the heroic presentation of David and it does seem commendable for a man to seemingly have heartfelt remorse in the moment of Nathan’s confrontation. And the prayer for a clean heart is commendable. I’ve heard that David was not the author of all the psalms, that they are attributed to him because he was king. When I was a part of a parachurch ministry the teaching there was that while David longed to build a temple for God, God’s response was that God would build the temple and the commentary was that David had too much blood on his hands to build the temple, rather the temple would be built under Solomon’s reign. I was irritated when the parachurch ministry made the ESV their recommended translation.

    I also have never heard, from the pulpit, the story of Judah and Tamar. I have heard(from men and women) Tamar referred to as a prostitute, but I have never heard the end of the story preached, Judah’s announcement “Here is a woman more righteous than I” and he brought her and the twins into his household and did not have relations with her,( it sounds like publicly acknowledged respect and a long term place of privilege and provision, with Tamar named in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew). I’ve never heard Tamar described as a woman pursuing justice and courageously and creatively and intelligently acting in an unjust culture. I’ve never heard, from the pulpit, Leah praising God when Judah was born, different from her cry of “now my husband will love me” after the births of her previous sons. I’ve never heard of Judah’s progress in character growth arriving at a place where he could offer himself up for his father to hold him accountable if he didn’t return with his father’s favored son, Benjamin, from Egypt in pursuit of food during a famine. I have heard the “wiring excuse” an inordinate number of times in Patriarchal environments. I agree with Rachel Held Evans: https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/me-too-john-piper

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  74. Lea: It has bothered me for years that men who wish to blame women for assaults or talk about modesty instead of mens behavior always go to the ‘what if she was walking down the streets naked’ well. In part because that isn’t really representative of what happens it just sounds more shocking than ‘what if her skirt was above the knees OMGSCANDAL’, and in part because if a woman is walking down the street naked in the middle of the night something bad is probably happening and it should spark compassion and not lust.

    So this could just be the same thing.

    You know, back in the day at the Pac12 university I attended for law school, women would occasionally stage these protests sans clothing, you’d walk across campus and casually look to see what the noise was about and “Oh my! Didn’t expect to see that!” Before I got into law school I worked some private security, and occasionally you’d run into prostitutes who were wearing remarkably little clothing, practically falling out of what little there was, who needed some form of protection from dangerous Johns or angry pimps. It was all about the context, there was nothing arousing about any of it, you’d have had to be actively intending to be aroused or some kind of opportunistic creep to get a charge out of any of it.

    I don’t care if a woman is walking naked in broad daylight, means absolutely nothing. A decent man, not a pervert, will look the other way, or better yet, find out how he can help, discover what’s wrong.

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  75. Nathan Priddis: People who do such things demonstrate motive, and God approved of all four.

    Which is completely at odds with the so-called ‘doctrine of grace’ as some kind of ‘unmerited favor’ bestowed upon someone by the Almighty (a doctrine which I flatly reject btw).
    The arminian version and the reformed version are in my opinion kissin’ cousins, and any ‘differences’ between them are purely cosmetic.

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  76. If the Bible never brought up that Bathsheba sinned or needed repentance you better keep your mouth shut. Especially if you are in a pulpit.

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  77. senecagriggs: Of note: the child of the adulterous union between David and Bathesheba did not live – suggesting both of them were punished for the adultery.

    I don’t think it was “adultery.” She was not in a place to resist.

    Also… it just does not follow. The baby could’ve died due to David’s actions alone.

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  78. okrapod: It might have looked like God condoned adultery, and that in the eyes of the entire nation.

    Considering the power differential between the two, I think it’s less adultery than it was something more akin to Clergy Sex Abuse.

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  79. And to think, of all the women David deals with that we know of his interactions with Bathsheba are probably the least problematic.

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  80. Bethany,

    OH my!!!

    Lol at this: “But if it is equally wrong for a man to expose his nakedness as it is for a woman, it is not equally dangerous, for men are much more susceptible to be tempted through the “eye-gate” in this particular, than are women.”

    Also this: “David was not wicked. He was a man after God’s own heart. But in the presence of an unclothed woman, he was weak ”

    Was Bathsheba naked when he decided to get rid of her husband? Are you sure he wasn’t at least a bit wicked???

    Thanks for sharing, Bethany. This is a gem but I’m afraid I can’t read multiple paragraphs on low necklines and sleeveless clothing lol.

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  81. Max:
    MacArthur is slick.I figure that he really doesn’t agree with the message and method of New Calvinism, but has found a new market segment for his books and speaker fees so he puts up with them.

    MacArthur has flirted with the Neo-Cals for decades. I remember right after the first Evangelicals and Catholics Together document came out in the 90s, MacArthur teamed up with D James Kennedy and RC Sproul to tear the document and the signers into shreds.

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  82. Bethany:
    You’ve obviously missed a very important piece of biblical literature: http://www.momof9splace.com/sinof.html

    Oh, let’s just go full-throttle Taliban (Jesus instead of Muhammad).
    (And females: bathe with your clothes on! A man might be peeping through the bathroom keyhole!)

    Taliban rules:

    Women should not appear in the streets without a blood relative and without wearing a burqa
    Women should not wear high-heeled shoes as no man should hear a woman’s footsteps lest it excite him
    Women must not speak loudly in public as no stranger should hear a woman’s voice[11]
    All ground and first floor residential windows should be painted over or screened to prevent women being visible from the street
    Photographing or filming of women was banned as was displaying pictures of females in newspapers, books, shops or the home
    The modification of any place names that included the word “women”. For example, “women’s garden” was renamed “spring garden”.[12]
    Women were forbidden to appear on the balconies of their apartments or houses
    Ban on women’s presence on radio, television or at public gatherings of any kind[13]

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  83. Johnny Mac and the guy who wrote the Bible.Org article on Bathsheeba attended the same seminary.
    …….just sayin’

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  84. Eeyore: MacArthur has flirted with the Neo-Cals for decades.

    MacArthur is one of the few “Old” Calvinists who compromised enough to be invited into the New Calvinist inner circle. When you are invited to speak at T4G, you are considered part of the new reformation.

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  85. Even so in our day, some women do not seem to realize what the sight of their flesh can do to a man.

    I haven’t read the whole post by the pastor who made the above statement. Did he name the man?

    I ask because I’m a man, and the sight of a woman’s flesh doesn’t do anything to me. At the most, it presents me with a choice about where to focus my attention and thoughts.

    Anyway, this man who is done to by the sight of a woman… well, he needs to recognise that although he is assuredly equal in value to any woman, he is – by God’s perfect will – beautifully different from women, in that he is weaker and needs to remain indoors under the covering and protective authority of his mother or wife. He shouldn’t go out in public, recognising that – in the mystery of God’s perfect will – he is not created able to handle the public sphere.

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  86. Nick Bulbeck: well, he needs to recognise that although he is assuredly equal in value to any woman, he is – by God’s perfect will – beautifully different from women, in that he is weaker and needs to remain indoors under the covering and protective authority of his mother or wife. He shouldn’t go out in public, recognising that – in the mystery of God’s perfect will – he is not created able to handle the public sphere.

    LOL

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  87. What strikes me about this story is it’s lack of supernatural elements.
    There is no satan here. David makes every choice of his own free will.

    There’s no divine string pulling here.

    Satan didn’t lay any traps. David did this all on his own.

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  88. Nick Bulbeck: he is weaker and needs to remain indoors under the covering and protective authority of his mother or wife. He shouldn’t go out in public, recognising that – in the mystery of God’s perfect will – he is not created able to handle the public sphere.

    awesome idea!

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  89. Are these churches really teaching boys that they are helpless to resist the temptations of women, especially when they are showing a certain amount of skin? Because if so I can’t see how they will be able to function in the workplace when they become young men. I can’t see workplace culture becoming less insistent that women be treated with respect.

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  90. What I’d like to know is if there were ever any pastors that gave a sermon on this passage warning about the abuse of power in positions of authority. You know, like being a pastor. Or has the moral of this story been to sl_t shame?

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  91. Jack,

    Good point Jack, now that you mention it, yeah, it’s curiously absent, not like the ubiquitous demonology stuff found in the New Testament.

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  92. The Patriarchy Movement would likely choke if they knew the following.

    -Bathsheeba was the source of Proverbs 31. That means a woman’s teachings are part of Scripture.
    -The one who was attempting to follow the Law was Ahithophel. He was cursed in the end and became a picture of Judas and Lucifer.
    -David and Bathsheeba was a love story.
    -Bathsheeba was incredibly brave.

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  93. Robert M: Are these churches really teaching boys that they are helpless to resist the temptations of women, especially when they are showing a certain amount of skin? Because if so I can’t see how they will be able to function in the workplace when they become young men. I can’t see workplace culture becoming less insistent that women be treated with respect.

    I hope we are not left with an entirely black or white interpretation. There has to be some middle ground, not excusing an abuser because of how a victim was dressed yet understanding the need for modesty.

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  94. Robert M: Are these churches really teaching boys that they are helpless to resist the temptations of women, especially when they are showing a certain amount of skin?

    Well, if they are, they would do better to teach them what Jesus advised:

    “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:40)

    Of course, the New Calvinists may not be pointing them in this direction since they don’t talk much about what Jesus said. They prefer to twist what Paul said instead.

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  95. Robert M:
    Are these churches really teaching boys that they are helpless to resist the temptations of women, especially when they are showing a certain amount of skin?

    Yes. I heard that messaging over and over in Christian college and seminary. And I know of at least one case where the female student was expelled for having sex, but the male student was only given demerits.

    It was even stronger in the message that you have to marry young or you will live in sin the rest of your life. Choosing the wrong person was not important compared to having sex even once before marriage, particularly for women. All female worth in many churches is bound up in virginity or marriage. I’ve seen that lead to horrible marriages, nasty divorces, and even women being disowned by their families for “ruining their honor”.

    But it’s not just churches. I have heard the message that men are helpless against their hormones from secular people as well. We saw that “boys will be boys” message strongly from the parents of that California swimmer who raped the college student. “It was just 20 minutes of action…” People expect there to be no consequences for their actions because society or their parents have told them they can’t help it.

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  96. Headless Unicorn Guy: High school experience/damage kicks in (and most of us were Beta to Omega males in HS), and all they see is the Alpha Female Cheerleader who’s banging the Alpha Male Varsity Quarterback and thus taken. Hands Off.

    That’s funny because I had social anxiety disorder (crippling shyness), and I got spit on and shoved into lockers by everyone back in my schools days, both guys and girls. Even some of my teachers used to pick on me in front of other students.

    I was a shy, quiet, bookwormish, artistic type, into Sci-Fi and comic book characters like Batman.

    I sure as hey was not a cheerleader.

    But anyway it sure is confusing to me to hear these Modesty Preachers tell us on the one hand if we want to attract a man, we have to look Smokin’ Hot (because God supposedly wired men to be visual) but when we go out looking Smokin’ Hot, we’re ignored.

    But get lots more male attention when we look like bag ladies with little make-up on.

    There is a huge disconnect there.

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  97. Robert M: Because if so I can’t see how they will be able to function in the workplace when they become young men.

    They won’t have to because they will be heading into Ministry(TM).

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  98. Daisy: But anyway it sure is confusing to me to hear these Modesty Preachers tell us on the one hand if we want to attract a man, we have to look Smokin’ Hot (because God supposedly wired men to be visual) but when we go out looking Smokin’ Hot, we’re ignored.

    Oh, forgot to add…
    The other hand is, with these Modesty Preacher Guys, we ladies are told should not look TOO smokin’ hot, otherwise we are supposedly being “immodest” and may “cause a brother in Christ to stumble”

    We ladies are told by Christian Modesty Police to simultaneously look Smokin Hot’ but DON’T look Smokin’ Hot.

    It’s a very fine and tricky line to walk.

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  99. ishy: Yes. I heard that messaging over and over in Christian college and seminary. And I know of at least one case where the female student was expelled for having sex, but the male student was only given demerits.

    “HEY, BEAVIS! HE SCOOOOOORED! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH!”

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  100. ishy: Yes. I heard that messaging over and over in Christian college and seminary. And I know of at least one case where the female student was expelled for having sex, but the male student was only given demerits.

    This extends to Christian workplaces, as well.

    I’ve seen several stories where a Christian man and Christian woman, who work for a Christian- based organization, fire the woman but not the man, when they get divorced-

    Or, If both are single, and the guy gets the lady pregnant, the employer doesn’t fire the guy, only the lady.

    There was a news story a couple years back of a church that fired a woman employee for reporting to them that the male pastor was regularly sexually harassing her.

    I’ll see if I can scrounge up a link for you for at least one of those stories.

    Okay here’s one:
    Former InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Spiritual Director Alyce Conlon Files Lawsuit, Claims She Was Fired For Getting A Divorce
    https://www.opposingviews.com/religion/former-intervarsity-christian-fellowship-spiritual-director-alyce-conlon-files-lawsuit

    Conlon, who was laid-off in December 2011, claims she was fired because of her divorce.

    …Despite Conlon’s attempts at reconciling her marriage, she and her husband, David Riemer, ultimately ended their relationship. She was not allowed to return to work. Conlon claims that men that have endured similar situations have been allowed to remain at the organization.

    There is a double standard in many of these churches or Christian workplaces, where women get fired, demoted or what not, for short comings, but the men do not, not even when the men commit the same actions.

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  101. Robert M: Are these churches really teaching boys that they are helpless to resist the temptations of women, especially when they are showing a certain amount of skin?

    Sharia Law and the Taliban aka certain Evangelical Patriarchists.

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  102. Daisy: But anyway it sure is confusing to me to hear these Modesty Preachers tell us on the one hand if we want to attract a man, we have to look Smokin’ Hot (because God supposedly wired men to be visual) but when we go out looking Smokin’ Hot, we’re ignored.

    While I believe that generally speaking, looks are more important to men than they are to women, it’s ridiculous to assume that all men find the same kind of woman attractive. I guess one way to gauge how seriously to take a man’s opinion on what’s attractive is to look at his wife. Is that what you want to be? It’s best to just be yourself.

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  103. It wouldn’t surprise me if David have been looking at a number of unclothed women taking bathes at this same place over a period of time. If this was the case then it was perhaps due a combination of her special attractiveness to David and David’s repeated looking at nude bathing women that caused David to commit this sin. David’s self control that initially allowed him to look eventually broke down over time.

    Maybe people could teach the story this way for men to learn.

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  104. Thersites: I hope we are not left with an entirely black or white interpretation.There has to be some middle ground, not excusing an abuser because of how a victim was dressed yet understanding the need for modesty.

    The problem is these things have nothing to do with each other and should not be mentioned together. Anytime they are, badness happens.

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  105. dee,

    Neither you nor your daughter were punished by God. Surely you know that Dee.

    However, Scripture makes it plain that part of the cost of David’s sin was the death of their child. Bathsheba surely suffered that too; not just David. If God so chose, there were other ways to punish David without punishing Bathsheba.

    However, David did suffer further punishment, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

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  106. Law Prof,

    I bet Jesus did not keep her from a nasty audit and threats of prison. Lol Where I different with you is that Ceasar was a dictator. A “son of gods”. Different situation. The silly lady lives in a representative republic where she has the right to work within our system to overturn “Government funded” abortion with votes.

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  107. Lily Rose,

    Great comment! I have this strange way of reading the Old Testament now that I’ve done some contextual research of the ancient world. I tend to read it with this thought in mind: it could have been so much worse. Lol. The Israelites were supposed to be the light of the world.

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  108. Lea: The problem is these things have nothing to do with each other and should not be mentioned together. Anytime they are, badness happens.

    Thanks for pointing this out.

    If someone is attractive to another, maybe there is attraction. However, this has nothing to do with predation.

    A predator is a type of thief who in turn is not a shopper. This can only be applied so far because people don’t purchase each others’ company. Just to point out that a thief and a shopper are opposite even though both may end up with the goods.

    Another point about what a person sees in looking at others, and what the others are or are not wearing. Medical personnel see naked people every day but lose their license if this leads to any type of attraction. Another case of two things that seem the same but are not: a doctor or nurse looking at a body and David looking at Bathsheba. It’s David’s fault if he looked and then sinned. Doctors see a great deal with neither assault nor murder.

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  109. Lydia: The Israelites were supposed to be the light of the world.

    INHO, the Israelites’ Creator God was the Light of the World, and as a nation, they sort of zoned in and out. (Into the Light, out to the Dark Side.)

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  110. I still remember watching the movie with Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward as the title characters. The story was portrayed as one of seduction, with Bathsheba in an arranged, loveless marriage to Uriah. David being such a ladies’ man already, had no difficulty persuading her into his bed.

    In the sermons I’ve heard, David was supposed to be with his army but wasn’t; however, he was entirely at fault as Nathan made very clear. I also read somewhere that as king, David could easily have ignored Bathsheba’s message about her pregnancy and left her to her fate. Who would believe her later if she said that the King of Israel himself was the father? That he instead went to a lot of trouble to cover it up, and later married her after Uriah’s death but before his own exposure, is supposed to indicate he truly wanted her. I know later on when there was the attempted coup by Absalom, that Bathsheba had no difficulty getting David’s ear to remind him about Solomon’s succession.

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  111. jyjames: INHO, the Israelites’ Creator God was the Light of the World, and as a nation, they sort of zoned in and out. (Into the Light, out to the Dark Side.)

    NT Wright explained that they were supposed to reflect that light back into into the world because they were supposed to be following God’s guidance.

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  112. Patti,

    I would agree, I only meant that reading the passage, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, could lead to such a mistaken reading because misogyny is part of the broken state of mankind.

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  113. Max: Of course, the New Calvinists may not be pointing them in this direction since they don’t talk much about what Jesus said. They prefer to twist what Paul said instead.

    It’s not just neo-cals. There are plenty of arminian leaning outfits who view Paul’s words as the very words of Jesus by proxy too. Calvary Chapel comes to mind.

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  114. Muff Potter: Good point Jack, now that you mention it, yeah, it’s curiously absent, not like the ubiquitous demonology stuff found in the New Testament.

    That’s why the story is a great lesson. David is not upholding the honor of his position.
    The writer even states at the beginning that the king should be out campaigning to ensure the integrity of the kingdom. There’s nothing stated about David being ill or injured. If there was a reason, it would have been front and center.
    But instead he sits in his palace while guys like Uriah do the heavy lifting.
    Uriah is identified as a foreigner, a Hittite, and he orders his men to betray him, but the commander does not follow this order to letter.
    Soldiers tend to be most loyal to those in their unit. This is a dishonorable action and the commander knows it.
    David may have thought his men would throw Uriah under the bus as he is a foreigner. This may also be the reason he thought Bathsheba was fair game. God had kicked foreigners out before.
    David is out of touch.
    There’s parallels with these ceo pastors all right but they miss the real lesson.

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  115. Daisy: We ladies are told by Christian Modesty Police to simultaneously look Smokin Hot’ but DON’T look Smokin’ Hot.

    Here is a perfect example: https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/bikinis-and-modesty–2

    From my own experience — I am just testifying as a man now who has been a teenager and a 20-year-old and a 30-year-old and a 40-year-old and a 50-year-old and a 60-year old — I can testify without any doubt that at every age of my life, my masculine life, my hungry life: Sexy dressing of women is less attractive than modest beauty.

    Putting aside all the word salad and not answering the actual question, Ppiper is basically saying a modest women makes the problem even worse for all these theoretical men who are so defenseless.

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  116. NJ: I still remember watching the movie with Gregory Peck and Susan Hayward as the title characters. The story was portrayed as one of seduction, with Bathsheba in an arranged, loveless marriage to Uriah. David being such a ladies’ man already, had no difficulty persuading her into his bed.

    Maybe like some English Lit students, the pastors watched the movie instead of reading the book, and that’s how they put together their sermon. From the film. Hollywood.

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  117. Daisy: The other hand is, with these Modesty Preacher Guys, we ladies are told should not look TOO smokin’ hot, otherwise we are supposedly being “immodest” and may “cause a brother in Christ to stumble”

    While the Modesty Preacher Guy paraders his SMOKIN’ HAWT Trophy Wife before all the Betas-to-Omegas in the pews. “SEE WHAT I’VE GOT THAT YOU! CAN’T! HAVE!”

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  118. ___

    “Paid In Full With A Twist, Perhaps?”

    hmmm…

    The Hebrew Scriptures tell us that King David Son of Jessie raped his neighbor Uriah the Hittite’s wife and had him murdered in the heat of battle as to suppress exposure and then took Bathsheba as his wife.

    Fast forward:

    According to the scriptures:

    7And Nathan (the prophet) said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 2 Samuel 12:7-12

    Still our Lord brought His Son through this man’s blood line.

    Why?

    – –

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  119. Here’s an unusual post from Founders: https://founders.org/2018/08/03/sexual-sin-kills-avoid-the-strange-woman/. Founders normally posts articles about Baptist history, Reformed confessions, Calvinist theology, how to sneakily take over a church, and other related topics. This article does not fit their normal offerings. What struck me about it is the way it focuses solely on how men should avoid strange women. It would have been a great opportunity to expand the teaching to write about the importance of all people knowing how to identify and avoid walking into traps irrespective of gender. Instead, it made it sound like the problem is with strange women rather than with strange men. Statistics tell a different story.

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  120. Ah, the joys of insomnia.

    And then there is the ongoing biblical story of Rich Man, Poor Man and Helpless Maiden. The characters are presented differently than what I would have expected. According to the prophet Rich Man was the villain, Poor Man was the victim, and Helpless Maiden is barely mentioned.

    Since I almost failed freshman english in college, bear with me while I get a bit outside the norm. There are other biblical stories which have Helpless Equivalent is held captive by Something but who is ‘rescued’ by Powerful Person from said bondage.

    Abraham and his descendants snatched by God from pagan idolatry and built into a chosen nation.

    Chosen nation rescued from bondage in Egypt with starring role of Moses.

    Ever problematic Israel cobbled into an ever mightier force by David and then into riches by Solomon.

    The Messiah who is prophesied to rescue Israel.

    The Christian idea of salvation wrought by the Son of God himself.

    The end times ideas of destruction and rescue and resurrection, some say rapture in the process.

    Always there is Helpless Equivalent who cannot effect her own rescue. Always the rescue is accompanied by drastic and horrible events. Always Helpless Equivalent gets rescued whether she likes it or not, provided of course that one thinks that grace is irresistible.

    And there is Bathsheba who goes from poor man’s wife to queen mother in Israel, from poverty to staggering wealth, and for whom this apparently happened without her cooperation or even consent. Perhaps. Or not. A cinderella story with the twist that the poor man was a good man. No wonder we remain fascinated by the story.

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  121. Lily Rose,

    That’s what I always heard, was taught, growing up in church. As an adult and be coming more exposed to other creeds, dogmas, I began to hear this nonsense. Never once believed it and always believed David was the sexual offender.

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  122. Let me add one more thing to the story.

    We do not know what plans God had for Uriah and for Bathsheba if David had not intervened. We do not know if God planned for Bathsheba to eventually marry David and be the mother of Solomon when at some time Uriah died in battle.

    But if we believe that God plans things and causes things to happen, or if we believe that God knows what people will do and then arranges circumstances so that people of their free will actually choose what God wanted all along, or if we believe that free will is free but God has foreknowledge but just does not get involved, any way at all be believer we have to agree that we don’t know.

    But there are instances in scripture of mention of specific mothers who had outstanding children, like the mothers of Moses and Samuel and the grandmother of David, and the mother of Jesus, and Paul refers to the mother and grandmother of Timothy-so who knows whether God chose Bathsheba for the mother of Solomon except had other ways to get that done than what David did.

    And we don’t know what all God told Nathan; we only know the message he gave David.

    It can be interesting to see what actually happens in various circumstances and then look back and see if there are indications that perhaps the end result was part of God’s plan all along.

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  123. Daisy: That’s funny because I had social anxiety disorder (crippling shyness), and I got spit on and shoved into lockers by everyone back in my schools days, both guys and girls. Even some of my teachers used to pick on me in front of other students. I was a shy, quiet, bookwormish, artistic type, into Sci-Fi and comic book characters like Batman.
    I sure as hey was not a cheerleader….But anyway it sure is confusing to me to hear these Modesty Preachers tell us on the one hand if we want to attract a man, we have to look Smokin’ Hot (because God supposedly wired men to be visual) but when we go out looking Smokin’ Hot, we’re ignored…But get lots more male attention when we look like bag ladies with little make-up on. There is a huge disconnect there.

    Wow! Same experience here. I was terribly bullied by both girls and boys in school. I couldn’t seem to get a boyfriend no matter how attractive I dressed until I was well out of school. Even then the number of times I got hit on when I had a more slovenly appearance were more often than when I deliberately dressed more attractive. True story-I just finished housecleaning when I had to run to the grocery store down the street so I was dressed in sweats, an oversized T-shirt, no make-up, and my sweaty hair pulled up in a messy bun. At the store, this creepy man was staring at me and appeared to be following me around so I quickly got the heck out of there. While en route home, I decided to make a detour to my local christian bookstore. I was 7 months post divorce from a nasty complementarian guy with a crisis of faith that sort of drove me to find out if there was anything better than Grudem et al. out there, and I found my first book on christian egalitarianism which was something I did not even know existed before that day. While I was checking out, I looked up and there was creepy guy who had followed me from the grocery store! I quickly got in my car and drove off, and this guy followed me everywhere I went so I ended up driving to the police station to get rid of him. Thank God, he didn’t follow me home so he didn’t know where I lived. I beat myself up later because I should have been more aware of my surroundings leaving the grocery store, should have noticed he was following me in his car before I went to the bookstore, etc, but I was still very naive in those days. Yet finding out about christian egalitarianism changed my whole life so I don’t really regret it. I often wondered if the creepy guy was sent by the evil powers that be to try to keep me from the bookstore so maybe it was good that I was unaware :). LOL. Or maybe I was just lucky not to be kidnapped and raped like another girl a few years before from a local shopping mall. Someone must have been looking out for me! Anyway, I don’t bother with that looking attractive or modesty stuff because I still get hit on from time to time no matter how I am dressed.

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  124. On the modesty issue (and I only offer this as an entertaining aside): I know a church staff member who, being a supportive dad, recently posted his daughter’s swimsuit issue picture for a sports franchise on social media. He photo-shopped in a paper doll dress covering most her body. I thought it was pretty funny.

    Then there’s this from Elton John’s modernization of Aida:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fT6JfdqiAuA

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  125. Muff Potter: outfits who view Paul’s words as the very words of Jesus

    If you read Paul first, you might read Jesus wrong. But if you read Jesus first (the Gospels), the writings of Paul (his epistles) come into perspective. Beware of any preacher/teacher (regardless of religious affiliation) who camps out in the epistles, providing eisegesis of his personal interpretations without ever taking you to the words in red.

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  126. Ken F (aka Tweed): Ppiper is basically saying a modest women makes the problem even worse for all these theoretical men who are so defenseless.

    Here he says: “Sexy dressing of women is less attractive than modest beauty. Of course, it makes the eyes turn. It makes the eyes turn, but there is a world of difference between making men’s eyes turn with sexy dressing and being attractive as a beautiful or a handsome person.”

    I can’t even deal with this stuff. Maybe I’m not interested in any way shape or form in whether John Piper thinks I or any other woman is attractive? It’s still all about men – Everything out of John Pipers mouth is directed with the idea that everything a woman does should be about men.

    And still no mention of all the shirtless men found at even the most ‘modest’ church party.

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  127. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I thought I posted a response to this ‘modest is hottest’ nonsense from Piper but it looks like it didn’t post so I’ll sum up…

    Everytime Piper talks you see that he thinks everything in a woman’s life is about or should be about men. It’s so incredibly self and man-centered of him to think that way. It’s fascinating.

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  128. Jarrett Edwards: I am afraid that too many preachers hold to the inerrancy of the words, without seeking the meaning from Him who wrote them.

    Good line.

    If someone earnestly wanted to test this out, they could take a verse and see how many interpretations they can come up with on their own, as well as how many variations arise in published commentaries.

    Once you truly understand this reality, you will see the mythology behind ‘inerrancy’ of scripture, or any pastor that pretends to present the ‘real’, ‘intended’ meaning of scripture. My reply is always, ‘Says who?’.

    Even if someone unearthed a pristine first autograph, straight from the hand of the authors, men would immediately set forth to make the inspired words ‘mean’ whatever they want them to mean. Having an inspired, inerrant scripture is in itself useless, without the Spirit of God to guide one into understanding – a process that won’t be completed in this life.

    The ‘mythology’ of Christianity is that perfect understanding of scripture is arrived at by anointed, seminary-trained leaders. The fact that similarly anointed, seminary-trained leaders arrive at slightly dissimilar interpretations appears to have escaped their limited brains. When my former pastor went so far as to condemn all other interpretations than his own – even respected reformed scholars – I realized what a scam it all was. This guy was not after ‘truth’ he was after complete control of our minds.

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  129. Lea: Everytime Piper talks you see that he thinks everything in a woman’s life is about or should be about men.

    And he’s always trying to drag God into his fantasies … such as this recent tweet:

    “You will not find satisfying and durable sexual purity without knowing fearful and joyful communion with God through Scripture.” (John Piper, Twitter, 24 July 2018)

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  130. Max: And he’s always trying to drag God into his fantasies … such as this recent tweet:
    “You will not find satisfying and durable sexual purity without knowing fearful and joyful communion with God through Scripture.” (John Piper, Twitter, 24 July 2018)

    I’m afraid to ask, but what does “satisfying and durable sexual purity” mean in this context?

    Look, when it comes down to it, none of us are pure. Even those of us without sexual experience have had dirty thoughts, and that’s normal. What’s important is what we do with those thoughts. Trying to shield people (mostly men) from having those thoughts seems like it would do more harm than good.

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  131. dee: Do you mean, did he beat her up, tie her down while she fought like hell to get away? Nope. Was she supposed to sacrifice her life?

    The mentality that power differential abusive treatment (Bill Hybels, anyone?) is not ‘force’ unless the person fights and screams (what is the point, unless you know someone who might help can hear?) is disgusting. When a clever manipulator sets up a naive victim, even if she is totally cooperative, it is nonetheless abuse. He may deceive her with gifts and clever words, but he is still swindling her out of her innocence and trust.

    We need to get past the idea that it is not rape unless a woman fights to the death. I tend to believe an intelligent woman, realizing that no help is within earshot, would simply resign herself to the grossly inevitable, and assure herself that being robbed of something is not freely giving it. And an intelligent woman might perceive that active resistance may be exactly what turns on a mentally disturbed rapist. Passivity is withholding cooperation, and it is often all that a woman can do to resist.

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  132. Daisy: Considering the power differential between the two, I think it’s less adultery than it was something more akin to Clergy Sex Abuse.

    Equal recognition of what can happen in:
    religion: Hybels et al
    business: Weinstein et al
    politics: presidents, both parties or independents, etc.

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  133. I have always been bothered when preachers speak of the Samaritan woman as sinful because she had had 5 husbands and now was just cohabiting.

    I grant the scripture teaches the circumstances BUT maybe she had been divorced not of her choosing, since the men had all the rights of divorce. Maybe she did burn the toast and they dumped her. Or maybe she had been widowed 5 times. Maybe she was carrying a disease such as typhoid (hmm–community not wanting her at the well maybe? seeing correlation even when ignorant of causation? who knows?) Maybe she had no family and no means of support, and after 5 men croaked no one was willing to commit to marriage, just a “trying this out” arrangement. Yes, I believe cohabiting is sinful when willingly entered into, but not necessarily for survival.

    Maybe I am wrong. Or maybe she needs to be given a break.

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  134. Re the “modest is hottest” thing:

    We once had a pastor who was also a physician. And a woman. She was definitely not patriarchal at all, LOL.

    But she did tell us that there are some studies out there (haven’t a clue which or where) that do suggest the rise in the need for Viagra type meds correlates to women’s ever more scanty clothing. According to her a guy not used to a topless beach might at first find it stimulating even if he takes that home to his wife. But over time the view will do nothing for him.

    She advocated “middle ground” dressing for both sexes. Modest enough to leave to the imagination the details and attractive enough to keep the pot simmering. Said in cultures that do so both men and women report more satisfaction (she was an ob/gyn) and that cultures more sex saturated and revealing report less satisfaction.

    Just some food for thought.

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  135. Steve240: It wouldn’t surprise me if David have been looking at a number of unclothed women taking bathes at this same place over a period of time.

    I made this comment based on the fact that David apparently lived in the palace and I imagine the windows in the palace gave David a view of this purification bath and if this was the case wasn’t just limited to seeing just Bathsheba. We won’t know this side of eternity what really happened.

    I do admire David for being described in the bible as a man after God’s heart but do wonder what led him into this sin.

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  136. Robert M,

    Robert M,

    “Satisfying and durable sexuality” doesn’t mean anything. It’s just the internal jargon of a religious sub-group where both jargor, and Jargees, desire feelings of wellness.

    A different sub-group will have different signs of wellness. Bethel Church, might have “carpet time.” Another group might use utterance like glorawh…glorawhwh…glory to gawhhd-awh.

    There’s no actual meaning or data conveyed.

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  137. linda: But she did tell us that there are some studies out there (haven’t a clue which or where) that do suggest the rise in the need for Viagra type meds correlates to women’s ever more scanty clothing. According to her a guy not used to a topless beach might at first find it stimulating even if he takes that home to his wife. But over time the view will do nothing for him.

    Isn’t that the Addiction-Tolerance Response, where as you build up a Tolerance you require larger and larger doses for the same high?

    She advocated “middle ground” dressing for both sexes. Modest enough to leave to the imagination the details and attractive enough to keep the pot simmering.

    Sounds like the “Thiess Titillation Theory”, named after the costume designer for “Old Testament” Star Trek. Originally a way to get around the tight censorship of the day, it was basically “don’t show anything, but make it look like you’re about to”. Today this would be called “wardrobe that APPEARS to be ready for a ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ any second now”.

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  138. Lea: And still no mention of all the shirtless men found at even the most ‘modest’ church party.

    The better to show off their AWESOME Abs and Pecs (at least in their own mind…)

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  139. Daisy: I was a shy, quiet, bookwormish, artistic type, into Sci-Fi and comic book characters like Batman.

    WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS IN MY THIRTIES?
    BEFORE I GAVE UP ON DATING AND MARRIAGE?

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  140. Lea:
    Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I thought I posted a response to this ‘modest is hottest’ nonsense from Piper but it looks like it didn’t post so I’ll sum up…

    Everytime Piper talks you see that he thinks everything in a woman’s life is about or should be about men. It’s so incredibly self and man-centered of him to think that way. It’s fascinating.

    The thing you need to understand about John Piper is that he is a blithering idiot.

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  141. Headless Unicorn Guy: linda: But she did tell us that there are some studies out there (haven’t a clue which or where) that do suggest the rise in the need for Viagra type meds correlates to women’s ever more scanty clothing. According to her a guy not used to a topless beach might at first find it stimulating even if he takes that home to his wife. But over time the view will do nothing for him.

    Isn’t that the Addiction-Tolerance Response, where as you build up a Tolerance you require larger and larger doses for the same high?

    I think the issue is more likely to show up with rampant use of the internet and video’s than general society, where at least in America people are generally fully dressed…

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  142. Lea: at least in America people are generally fully dressed…

    What a person is wearing versus what is already happening in a predator’s mind:

    Medical personnel see folks without attire daily and are not predatory.

    Predators, on the other hand, have a plan played out in their own mind long before they see anybody. Nothing to do with anyone but themselves. Roy Hazelwood says it all starts in the mind of the predator planner, as a fantasy. Then they go looking for a target of opportunity (with access, regardless of attire) to play out their fantasy. A fantasy that originated in their own mind, cultivated by them.

    Instead of harping on women about what they wear, why don’t the pulpit preachers contemplate whether their churches provide access to predators who are seeking targets of opportunity?

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  143. jyjames: Roy Hazelwood says it all starts in the mind of the predator planner, as a fantasy. Then they go looking for a target of opportunity (with access, regardless of attire) to play out their fantasy. A fantasy that originated in their own mind, cultivated by them.

    Absolutely. the only way attire matters is ease of access, so between ‘immodest’ tight jeans vs ‘modest’ long skirts, which one is a predator more likely to have success with?

    Modesty should not be linked in any way with predation! Being modest will never protect you (unless it labels you as ‘outgroup’ in way, which is a different sort of problem that can easily be flipped).

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  144. jyjames:
    — “When rape victims struggle, rapists tend to remain with them twice as long as when there is no resistance.”

    See I’ve heard differing arguments on whether fighting will increase or decrease your chances and I think the reason is that it’s entirely situational. In one case struggling may get you away, in another it will get you killed. Which is why we need to stop judging what someone did or didn’t do in the situation because *you* weren’t there and the other person was. They are in the best position to judge whether struggling is wise. IMO, any encounter you survive you’ve made the right decisions.

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  145. jyjames: The quote was from the work of Roy Hazelwood.

    Yes, thank you, I saw that. I am familiar with the fbi profilers and their work – I am reading mindhunter but nothing by hazelwood. Interesting stuff.

    I would like to see detailed research on this, because the article posted didn’t really have it listed and I’ve seen something that says you’re more likely to get away if you fight. It doesn’t really matter though, because it fits with Hazelwood noting (in the article you posted) that there are different types of rapists (he said 6) that you might need to respond differently to them on a individual basis.

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  146. Muff Potter,

    “‘doctrine of grace’ as some kind of ‘unmerited favor’”
    +++++++++++++++

    grace…. ugh, another christianism that has been repeated so many zillions of times in a meaningless perfunctory manner i don’t even notice it any more.

    like an old buzzing fluroescent light amongst the ambient noise — ceases to be heard.

    i really hate what the word has become — meaningless in-crowd lingo tossed around in order to play the part and earn points for it. so wrong, since clearly there is great significance to the concept. God and the concept itself deserve better than this.

    so, if you have a minute,…. what in the world is grace in a God context? as you see it.

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  147. Well, back from the oncologist. I seem to have a drug reaction to one of the meds. Snort.

    Mad hatters were considered mad because of mercury poisoning, an occupational disease with them. I know you all know that.

    The TKD masters told the students to try to avoid situations which might lead to violence. Stay out of that part of town or that situation. Travel in pairs or groups. Do not call attention to yourself. IMO this is wise advice for everybody, but it is a crying shame that innocent people to have to be the ones to make the adjustments to stay out of trouble.

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  148. elastigirl: what in the world is grace in a God context? as you see it.

    None of my business, but grace as understood by the catholic church is a different idea from grace as understood by the baptists much less the calvinists. I had a major change in my thinking once I investigated those differences. Anyhow, each one needs to explain its own concepts.

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  149. roebuck: The thing you need to understand about John Piper is that he is a blithering idiot.

    What does that make the tens of thousands of New Calvinists who hang on his every blither? They wake up each morning to run to their device and retrieve the latest Piper Point, shouting “Wow Daddy Wow!” as they view his words in utter amazement. They then retweet the Master’s words to others as they blither together in cyberspace. New Calvinism is a phenomenon like no other!

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  150. Apocalipstick:
    Dale,

    Not really. Jim’s doing the same old shuck down in Blue Eye, MO.

    This time he’s hawking Tribulation Survival Rations — buckets of rice and dry beans at exorbitant prices — for when the Antchrist comes and No Man May Buy or Sell Unless He Has The Mark. (“Any Minute Now! Don’t be Left Behind! It’s Prophesied! It’s Prophesied!”)

    Once a grifter, always a grifter.
    God-talk or no God-talk.

    “Four-one-nine just a game;
    You be the Mugu — I BE THE MASTA!”

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  151. okrapod: IMO this is wise advice for everybody, but it is a crying shame that innocent people to have to be the ones to make the adjustments to stay out of trouble.

    True, but only in this world, not in the next, thank God. Even Jesus avoided crowds and religious leadership at times, keeping a low profile. He would tell someone experiencing a miracle to tell no one. Seems they often didn’t listen.

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  152. If there is any truth to any of the allegations against Bathsheba’s innocence then I do not believe that she wrote Proverbs 31. I think somewhere along the way, there would have been some mention of her character change. Unless of course, she was a do as I preach not as I do kind of pastor.

    To those who believe that God allows/causes evil for good down the road, do you think that maybe the baby died so that the fulfillment of prophecy that Jesus would come through David’s line could not have been questioned? Is that what you mean by God doing good even though it is evil (death)? God was forced to do evil (kill the baby) to counter David’s evil? But really that was good what God did because he is God and we have trust that that was good because God is good.

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  153. I think 2 Samuel indicates that Bathsheba was just an object to David in the way that the story is told. She is only mentioned by name once. Otherwise, it’s always “she,” “the woman,” or Uriah’s wife.

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  154. roebuck: Piper … is a blithering idiot.

    It would be funny if he were not so dangerous. He sets impossible standards where one is never good enough. He is a 7-pt Calvinist who tells people they need to examine themselves to see if they are saved yet also tells them there is nothing they can do to change god’s eternal choice on who gets to be saved. All of his messages are mixed messages. His fans think he is deep because they don’t understand him. I agree he is deep to the extent that outhouse holes are deep. The reason he seems so deep is because he is inconsistent and incoherent.

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  155. linda: I have always been bothered when preachers speak of the Samaritan woman as sinful because she had had 5 husbands and now was just cohabiting. I grant the scripture teaches the circumstances BUT maybe she had been divorced not of her choosing, since the men had all the rights of divorce.

    I think you are right, linda. From my [limited] understanding of this culture, women had no power or status. I doubt she would have been able to divorce any of her husbands, for any reason. But any of them could have divorced her for burning the meatloaf. Women were little more than property, and breeding stock.

    And once divorced, her options were limited. She could
    1) Remarry quickly
    2) Become a prostitute
    3) Beg for food on the streets.

    We try to paint this woman as if she were an ancient Elizabeth Taylor type, an attractive floozy who changed her man as often as her shoes. And Jesus comes along, and points out her licentiousness. She’s shacking up! But that’s reading the Bible through the lens of our culture, not theirs.

    In reality, Jesus went to great lengths to cross paths with a woman who had experienced massive, repeated rejection, and who was rejected by her community now. He was being compassionate, not judgemental, and with a few words, transforms her from a reject to a preacher. And an effective one. Gee, some of these guys who think “roles” are so rigid should talk to Him about that!

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  156. Max,

    “Well, if they are, they would do better to teach them what Jesus advised:

    “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” (Luke 22:40)”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    …and let’s apply some of that famous common sense. noticing an attractive person and appreciating what is attractive is not temptation nor lust.

    oh, if this silly religion of mine would stop supercharging everything with electric fear and anxiety and just relax into a matter of fact approach…

    (well, much more will have to change for me to want to participate again, but that would be a good start)

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  157. Daisy,

    ” we have to look Smokin’ Hot (because God supposedly wired men to be visual) but when we go out looking Smokin’ Hot, we’re ignored.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    mixed message extravaganza. look your best and its as if you don’t exist to christian men. no eye contact, no acknowledgement that you are present. you are invisible.

    if i could count the number of times a christian leader made a bee line for my husband and vigorously shook his hand, made introductions, casual banter… and it was as if didn’t exist. i was right there. 100% ignored.

    a stupid religion. (silly is too charitable)

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  158. dee: srs,

    Do you mean, did he beat her up, tie her down while she fought like hell to get away? Nope. Was she supposed to sacrifice her life?

    No. I was referring to because rape is defined by a lack of consent it is “forcible” whether or not the victim was beat up.

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  159. Ken F (aka Tweed): Putting aside all the word salad and not answering the actual question, Ppiper is basically saying a modest women makes the problem even worse for all these theoretical men who are so defenseless.

    The Modesty view also sort of objectifies women, doesn’t it?

    The Christian Modesty view is telling (Christian) women that if they wear Victorian-era like swim suits that cover down to their ankles, that most Christian men will find that sexy and irresistible.

    How is that any better or much different than secular culture telling women if you want to be Smokin’ Hot to attract a guy, wear a two piece bikini?

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  160. Law Prof,

    Recently, my daughter was in Venice performing at St Marks Basillica. They were told women could not enter the Cathedral in sleeveless tops. Knees must be covered and feet. (No sandals). That’s the RCC in Italy. Today.

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  161. Lily Rose: Anyway, I don’t bother with that looking attractive or modesty stuff because I still get hit on from time to time no matter how I am dressed.

    Yes, that’s been my experience. Most men seem to prefer coming up to me and flirting if I’m average to awful looking, but not usually when I look really nice.

    I don’t think most of these Modesty Teachers understand that the whole thing is subjective.

    What one man may find alluring won’t do anything for another guy.

    When I think I look awful (the baggy sweats, flip flops, little make-up), and I assume no man would want to flirt with me, is when they usually flirt with me.

    Your experience with Creepy Guy was similar to a few I’ve had with a guy or two here or there. One of mine was a college classmate who would not leave me alone for most of the semester.

    I’m glad you got out of complementarianism. I used to be a complementarian too but realized in my 30s it is false teaching.

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  162. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    (I replied to your post once before, but the blog is acting weird for me tonight. I don’t see my reply, so I will try again!)

    All I said before is that the Modesty teaching objectifies women too.

    Secular culture will tell women if they want to attract a boyfriend, they should dress in revealing clothing.

    The Modesty guys just flip this on its head and say if you want to attract a man, wear fuddy-duddy, frumpy clothing with high-neck lines.

    Both perspectives end up objectifying women, but just in different ways.

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  163. Lea: And still no mention of all the shirtless men found at even the most ‘modest’ church party.

    Exactly. The Modesty Guys and complementarians apparently have not realized that there’s a REASON why we get treated to shots of shirtless Henry Cavill in the D.C. movies, or shots of whatever other actor in whatever movie.

    (Hint: it’s because straight ladies usually enjoy looking at attractive, built guys who are shirtless.)

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  164. linda: Said in cultures that do so both men and women report more satisfaction (she was an ob/gyn) and that cultures more sex saturated and revealing report less satisfaction.

    I read an interview with a lady journalist. She was American and had to stay at a hotel in the Middle East. While there, when she had a few hours off, she went in a bathing suit to sit by their in-door pool.

    She noticed a local man off in the corner pleasuring himself while looking at her.

    She asked some guy from the region, “What is that all about?,” and he said, “Men in our nation are not used to seeing a woman in a bathing suit.”

    Where-as for most men in the USA, seeing a lady at a beach or pool side in a bathing suit isn’t as big a deal.

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  165. Headless Unicorn Guy: WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS IN MY THIRTIES?
    BEFORE I GAVE UP ON DATING AND MARRIAGE?

    Aw, I’m sorry, HUG.

    Maybe one day you and I will find our special someones. 🙂

    I’m still a nerd who likes comics characters and Star Wars.
    (About the time I will drive to a theater in the last several years is to see whatever new ‘Star Wars’ is playing, or a Marvel or DC movie that looks like it might be really good.)

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  166. jyjames: Medical personnel see folks without attire daily and are not predatory.
    Predators, on the other hand, have a plan played out in their own mind long before they see anybody. Nothing to do with anyone but themselves. Roy Hazelwood says it all starts in the mind of the predator planner, as a fantasy. Then they go looking for a target of opportunity (with access, regardless of attire) to play out their fantasy.

    This was addressed in an art installation a few months ago.

    Here’s a page about it:
    Art Exhibit Powerfully Answers The Question ‘What Were You Wearing?’
    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/powerful-art-exhibit-powerfully-answers-the-question-what-were-you-wearing_us_59baddd2e4b02da0e1405d2a

    “The installation proves that clothing has nothing to do with sexual assault.”

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  167. jyjames: “The Evil That Men Do,” by Stephen G. Michaud:
    — “When rape victims struggle, rapists tend to remain with them twice as long as when there is no resistance.”

    That reminds me of something I read about the ex-cop who was arrested a few months ago for having raped women back in the what was it, 1970s?
    I had to google to find it: the Golden State Killer, last name, DeAngelo.

    I read in one of the articles that DeAngelo heard a guy at one press meeting years ago ask something like, “how is it that the husbands of these women don’t fight back, because if it were me, I’d fight back.”

    So DeAngelo targeted that man and his wife because that guy asked that question.

    He got into their house later, tied that man up (or put dishes on his back and said ‘if a single dish falls, I’ll kill you’), and he raped his wife in front of her husband.

    One paper talks about it:
    https://patch.com/california/walnutcreek/joseph-james-deangelo-5-things-know-golden-state-killer

    These types of people are so perverse to start with, but details like that makes them seem a hundred times worse.

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  168. Daisy: Secular culture will tell women if they want to attract a boyfriend, they should dress in revealing clothing.

    This made me think of what secular culture tells men to do to attract women. It seems like it is things like being muscular and in control, drinking the right beer, driving the right car, shaving with the right razers, and using the right toiletries, and maybe using the right ED medication. I’m having a hard time trying to think of a consistent model of what a Christian man is supposed to be like, other than maybe being in control in some kind of biblically winsome way, whatever that means.

    I do believe that the evangelical culture is schizophrenic when it comes to expectations for women, as that Piper article illustrates.

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  169. Daisy: I’m still a nerd who likes comics characters and Star Wars.
    (About the time I will drive to a theater in the last several years is to see whatever new ‘Star Wars’ is playing, or a Marvel or DC movie that looks like it might be really good.)

    You might like Life and A Quiet Place
    Both are scary sci-fi flicks and crafted by talented people who know what they’re doing.

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  170. okrapod,

    thanks, okrapod. eh, i’ll figure it all out sometime. i think ‘paul’ ‘himself’ goes way overboard in flinging the word around, to the point that it loses meaning. i get really irritated with ‘him’.

    if i have insomnia as well tonight i’ll engage ya! i’ve got some good jokes. i wish you well on this health-&-medicine journey you’re on.

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  171. Steve240: I do admire David for being described in the bible as a man after God’s heart but do wonder what led him into this sin.

    “And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.”

    It wasn’t enough, it’s never enough when you (generic you) reach those pinnacle places. You want more. It’s a human failing that is the root cause of a huge inertia that fuels untold human suffering and misery.

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  172. Muff Potter,

    just saw A Quiet Place in the last couple of weeks and for a mid-to-low budget horror film it worked pretty well. Since the last project I saw that Krasinski and Blunt worked in together was the English language dub version of Hayao Miyazaki’s epic The Wind Rises I figured A Quiet Place, at worst, would be pretty good.

    As David goes, I found Jacob Wright’s book on David, King of Israel and Caleb in Biblical Memory …
    https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/david-king-of-israel-and-caleb-in-biblical-memory/C27D1077BD8050DC0DD964560BD8C6B9

    to have a persuasive case that everyone fixates on Bathsheba at the expense of the offensive war against the Ammonites he shouldn’t have been waging to begin with and that the Hebrew text drops a variety of cues that David was misusing his royal authority for personal glory and reputational concern well before the Bathsheba incident. Wright’s book is an academic monograph so it’s not light reading.

    I highly recommend the book just for the close reading of the texts that Wright does about the Bathsheba incident and the Ammonite conflict that led up to it and the ways in which David’s resorting to using the throne as a way to serve himself rather than Judah as emblematic of the abuses of Saul, which is a core element in Nathan’s confrontation and accusation of David–he had shown himself slipping into using the kingship for personal grandeur and taking credit for delegated victories (Joab was winning the war against the Ammonites at David’s behest, not unlike how Saul was taking and given credit for victories his son Jonathan had actually won). So David was in a sense becoming, if you will, a military plagiarist before he was taking the wife of another man.

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  173. Daisy,

    Well then, I learned something new! Indeed. Yes, the common line was to run! Run away and quickly!

    It would be interesting to think about why he ran though. She was probably not going to let go otherwise.

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  174. Ken F (aka Tweed): This made me think of what secular culture tells men to do to attract women. It seems like it is things like being muscular and in control, drinking the right beer, driving the right car, shaving with the right razers, and using the right toiletries,

    Can I tell you one thing as a woman who has seen the TV 1990s and early 2000s commercials for men’s body spray?

    (Back in the 80s, this was true of beer commercials…)

    They suggest if you put on their body spray, women will be instantly drawn to you.

    As a woman, I’m sitting there watching these television advertisements thinking, “Who are they kidding? This is not reality.”

    For me to be attracted to a guy, physically or otherwise, he has to have a lot of other / better qualities going on than wearing after shave or body spray.

    I’m also not going to run over to a guy just because he’s drinking a certain brand of beer.

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  175. Muff Potter,

    I’ve heard of “Quiet Place” but not the other one.

    The upcoming movie “Alpha” looks like one I may be interested in driving to the theater to see. It’s about how the first people befriended and tamed dogs.

    (I seldom go to the movie theater to see anything, unless it’s Star Wars related, or occasionally one of the super hero movies.)

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  176. Lea,

    Or maybe they just had a different experience to yours and wanted to share it. It’s not fair to imply that those men are either minimizing or too dull to pick up cues.
    I too have had a conservative religious upbringing (Seventh-day Adventist) and never heard such a thing about Bathsheba but I don’t doubt it’s happened to others.

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  177. Thersites,

    I think there are a lot of separate things going on here that we need to be clear about.

    1) Definitely rape should not be blamed on the victim.

    OUTSIDE of the discussion on rape altogether (just talking about sex and sexuality now):

    2) Men should be taught that they can control their thoughts and actions. I’ve always had a problem with the “helpless man” narrative. It makes men out to be hapless fools. Men do not HAVE to be lustful. They can be empowered to live beyond jokes and stereotypes (eg. “two heads” and other such nonsense) about themselves but always in the context of God’s power to live right.

    3) Some people seem eager to throw away the idea of modesty altogether. It cannot be that people are arguing that dress has no effect on people whatsoever. That’s untrue and people know it.
    It’s been the foundation of advertising for decades now.

    I think it irks people in an individualistic age to have to confront the idea that they have some sort of moral responsibility toward others.

    So I think both men and women have to do more heavy lifting than is comfortable for either here. Men have to really elevate much of their thoughts and conversation and sometimes do like Job and “make a covenant with [their] eyes”. Women do have to think about modesty and, yes, its effect on men.

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  178. Daisy: The Modesty view also sort of objectifies women, doesn’t it?

    Good point. “Sort of” seems like an understatement. Piper’s and Grudem’s book defines both genders in terms of the other, which objectifies both. I think women suffer more than men under this teaching, but it ultimately leaves everyone impoverished in one way or another.

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  179. Daisy: (I replied to your post once before, but the blog is acting weird for me tonight. I don’t see my reply, so I will try again!)

    I think something changed recently with the TWW settings because my phone and laptop no longer auto-populate my name and email address. I suspect that when comments go into customs they are no longer visible to the submitter until they clear. This would explain why they disappear and then later re-appear.

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  180. Muff Potter: It wasn’t enough, it’s never enough when you (generic you) reach those pinnacle places. You want more. It’s a human failing that is the root cause of a huge inertia that fuels untold human suffering and misery.

    So true. Here David already had a number of wives but as you say “it’s never enough.” David lusted after another man’s wife and due to his power was able to get what he wanted.

    Also, David wasn’t supposed to have many wives as was written about rules for kings:

    “He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” Deut 17:17

    Sadly this was a specific commandment for kings that David broke. David’s breaking this rule apparently besides the case with Bathsheba didn’t have too many consequences for David. (I am not at all trivializing what David did to Bathsheba.) Sadly the taking of many wives and especially wives from nations that God had said not to intermarry with had a disastrous affect on his son Solomon especially in Solomon’s later years.

    “Was it not because of marriages like these that Solomon king of Israel sinned? Among the many nations there was no king like him. He was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel, but even he was led into sin by foreign women.” Nehemiah 13:26

    Solomon also broke a number of the other rules of Kings that is in that same passage of Deuteronomy I quoted.

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  181. senecagriggs: Of note: the child of the adulterous union between David and Bathesheba did not live – suggesting both of them were punished for the adultery.

    Oh, that word “suggests” – it is so amusing. Because when something is not included in the text, explained or spelled out, yet someone sees it, as if it was there, it reveals more about the mind that sees it than it does about the story in question.

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  182. linda:
    I have always been bothered when preachers speak of the Samaritan woman as sinful because she had had 5 husbands and now was just cohabiting.

    I grant the scripture teaches the circumstances BUT maybe she had been divorced not of her choosing, since the men had all the rights of divorce.Maybe she did burn the toast and they dumped her.Or maybe she had been widowed 5 times.Maybe she was carrying a disease such as typhoid (hmm–community not wanting her at the well maybe?seeing correlation even when ignorant of causation?who knows?)Maybe she had no family and no means of support, and after 5 men croaked no one was willing to commit to marriage, just a “trying this out” arrangement.Yes, I believe cohabiting is sinful when willingly entered into, but not necessarily for survival.

    Maybe I am wrong.Or maybe she needs to be given a break.

    Many, many times when I have heard this story, it’s automatically assumed that she was divorced five times. The Scripture doesn’t say that. All it says is that Jesus told her, “You have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” Nowhere does it say that she was divorced.

    When Jesus says, “the man you now have is not your husband,” I imagine him saying that in a kind, matter-of-fact way; not with a judgmental, pointing-the-finger tone.

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  183. okrapod: how could David see her well enough to think he had to have her in the absence of street lights; where did the light come from in the night?

    Full moon perhaps?

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  184. Law Prof: Oh, even the direct words of Jesus are not an insurmountable hurdle to the opportunistic faux Christian.Once heard a woman inform me that she and her husband refused to pay taxes as Christians of good conscience.When I reminded her that this point was directly addressed by Jesus, and that He’d come clearly out on the opposite side, she responded: “Well, that was then, and surely Jesus wouldn’t want me paying taxes now to a government that supports evils such as abortion.”No, perish the thought, those squeaky clean Romans to whom Jesus demanded the Jews pay their taxes, the very ones Jesus foretold would destroy Jerusalem utterly, massacring thousands in the streets, razing the temple to the ground, later torching Christians alive, beheading Paul, crucifying Jesus Himself after a day of vicious torture.Nahh, of course that lady was right and quite justified to withhold her taxes!

    I actually read a post at another website saying that the Bible says we are to pay taxes for services rendered, and since the income tax wasn’t for services rendered, we weren’t obligated as Christians to pay them. (This was at a social media site I was involved in at one time.)

    I would love to see how that reasoning goes down when you’re hauled before tax court!

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  185. shauna:
    I found John MacArthurs sermon on Bethseeba and David. Interesting statements he makes about her.

    Now David had some problems. He was a man after God’s own heart. He was a great worshiper, a great writer of Psalms, a singer of Psalms. He had known the blessing of God. He had declared the blessedness of God. But he had problems. He was a man and he was a sinful man even though he had been forgiven by God. And he particularly seemed to have a problem with women. When he wanted a woman, he took her no matter who she might have belonged to.

    So in this paragraph MacArthur says When david wanted a woman he took her no matter who she might have belonged to! So how is it that any woman caught in his cross hair would have a choice if david wanted her?

    The next paragraph:

    It was at the height of his power, it was the height of his time of blessing under the goodness of God that he became infatuated with the beautiful Bathsheba who was the wife of one of his military officers by the name of Uriah. Bathsheba was not innocent in the situation. She put herself in a position to be seen by the king from the top of his palace, she was sunbathing, as it were, on her own roof. I don’t think she was innocent at all in what she was doing and David certainly was not innocent, being attracted to her. You know the rest of the story. He went to her and she became pregnant.

    So Macarthur completely contradicts his previous statement. Which is it? Did she have a choice or didn’t she? According to Macarthur women were taken if david wanted them and he took what he wanted.

    Of course she wasn’t to blame but for this fool to say she wasn’t innocent is nutty and people see why he is an abusive pastor when abuse comes out of his church.

    Where in the HECK does it say in the Bible that *Bathsheba* was on her roof while she was bathing? If I remember the Scripture correctly, it says that “from the roof he (David) saw a woman bathing.”

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  186. Tina: I actually read a post at another website saying that the Bible says we are to pay taxes for services rendered, and since the income tax wasn’t for services rendered, we weren’t obligated as Christians to pay them.(This was at a social media site I was involved in at one time.)

    I would love to see how that reasoning goes down when you’re hauled before tax court!

    I’ve been told before by tax-evading “Christians” that the federal income tax is unconstitutional, and they’ll look at you like they’re going to let you in on some Great Secret that the government is hiding from us, then they’ll quote from the Pollack case in the 1890s. “Ah ha!” they tell you, “Income taxes are unconstitutional, and the government’s been in violation for over a century and brushing this case under the rug!” There’s rhetoric in this holding that does make unconstitutional certain types of fed income taxes, but it’s been completely irrelevant for over 100 years, it was overruled and made a dead issue by the 16th Amendment, which explicitly permits a federal income tax. A constitutional amendment, of course, makes any prior court decision a null issue. This is Civics 101, just basic knowledge. These tax-evaders are ignoramuses.

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  187. SiteSeer: Oh, that word “suggests” – it is so amusing. Because when something is not included in the text, explained or spelled out, yet someone sees it, as if it was there, it reveals more about the mind that sees it than it does about the story in question.

    Ever notice how it’s (suggestion) always done in the fundagelical sub-culture with complete conviction and solemn pronouncements about ‘God’s Word’?

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  188. Tina: Where in the HECK does it say in the Bible that *Bathsheba* was on her roof while she was bathing? If I remember the Scripture correctly, it says that “from the roof he (David) saw a woman bathing.”

    Yeah, that, and how is a multi-ton stone mikvah supported by the roof structures of those times and places?

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  189. e l,

    So . . . you are saying what exactly, about Bathsheba?

    I get so annoyed at comments like yours on these kinds of threads. Why? Because when we see that a text says absolutely nothing about the modesty of the victim, your kinds of comments not only suggest that the victim in the story was not completely a victim but also suggest that just because the rest of us remind rapists and victims that modesty has absolutely nothing to do with rape, that somehow we all advocate teaching our daughters to run around naked. Again, I was raped while wearing virtually a burka with some lace on it! Oh, but I had some makeup on and had my hair fixed nicely. Anyway, just saying that your comment doesn’t fit in this thread. But then maybe you meant to provoke, IDK.

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  190. e l,

    “Women do have to think about modesty and, yes, its effect on men.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++

    hmm… what is modest is pretty darn fluid and subjective. what is innocuous at place A is electrically charged at place B — and A and B are in close proximity in space and time.

    what is modest changes depending on body type. if modesty means hiding shape, some women are built in such a way that only a high-neck floor-length sack will do the job.

    and it’s 103 degrees.

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  191. e l:
    ThersitesWomen do have to think about modesty and, yes, its effect on men.

    I’ll agree with this with one modification. The effect on men who are looking to be aroused, on the prowl, so to speak, predatory, perverts, or those unduly lustful, might be considered. A normal man should be able to look the other way regardless of how a woman is attired, or even if she is not at all attired. I gave some anecdotes of this in a post yesterday. There’s no reason for a man not on the prowl to get himself all worked up into a frenzy. True, I tell my teenage daughter to watch how she dresses from time-to-time, but not at all because of decent men, it’s because of the indecent ones, the predators. There are, perhaps, too many of that latter kind running around around churches—and at the end of the day, an indecent man doesn’t need any bare skin excuse to be indecent, anyway.

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  192. Tina: Where in the HECK does it say in the Bible that *Bathsheba* was on her roof while she was bathing? If I remember the Scripture correctly, it says that “from the roof he (David) saw a woman bathing.”

    Yeah, it’s one of those Bible stories that preachers often get wrong! Sort of like the wise men finding Jesus in the manger … actually, Jesus was 2 years old living in a house when the wise guys showed up (and it was a group of wise men bearing three gifts, not three wise men).

    The Biblical facts: (1) David was on the roof; Bathsheba wasn’t, (2) Bathsheba wasn’t sunbathing; she was purifying herself from her monthly “uncleanness”, (3) David exerted his authority over Bathsheba; she was a victim of his sin, (4) Nathan the prophet laid the blame at David’s feet; he did not point a finger at Bathsheba.

    Oh, and by the way, Noah took 7 pairs of some animals on the ark … not one pair of every species. Sorry to mess those stories up for you folks, but that’s what the Bible says!

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  193. Max: Yeah, it’s one of those Bible stories that preachers often get wrong!Sort of like the wise men finding Jesus in the manger … actually, Jesus was 2 years old living in a house when the wise guys showed up (and it was a group of wise men bearing three gifts, not three wise men).

    The Biblical facts:(1) David was on the roof; Bathsheba wasn’t, (2) Bathsheba wasn’t sunbathing; she was purifying herself from her monthly “uncleanness”, (3) David exerted his authority over Bathsheba; she was a victim of his sin, (4) Nathan the prophet laid the blame at David’s feet; he did not point a finger at Bathsheba.

    Oh, and by the way, Noah took 7 pairs of some animals on the ark … not one pair of every species.Sorry to mess those stories up for you folks, but that’s what the Bible says!

    It’s a matter of people following other people and no one bothering to check out the source. Pastors hanging with other pastors, men (for the most part) following other men in a culture where submission to the one above you in the hierarchy (rather than to Jesus, or one to another) is demanded. It’s laziness at best, idolatry at worst.

    I was once writing an article on healthcare law. There was a statistic cited in much of the literature. Looked wrong to me, but there it was, cited in several articles by all kinds of academics. I went to the U.S. government tables which the articles cited and ran the numbers myself. Then ran them again…and again…and again. Finally realized someone had made a simple math error many years before, and here all these scholars all these years had been repeating the error, citing one another, no one ever questioning whether the first article had gotten it right. So I set it straight in my article (which probably few have read, neither I nor the journal in which I published being very distinguished), made a little footnote pointing out the error. Fortunately, I work in an academic world where, for all our foibles, at least we generally want to lurch in the direction of truth, and even a very average academic like me can set the record straight without being disciplined or excommunicated.

    Thank goodness I didn’t get into the ministry, where likely it’d have been a very different result if I, a lesser light, attempted to set matters straight.

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  194. e l: Men have to really elevate much of their thoughts and conversation and sometimes do like Job and “make a covenant with [their] eyes”.

    I think there is small yet significant minority that are entirely uninterested such self control and are willing to take by force what ever they desire. Thus a lack of modesty as similar to ostentatious displays of wealth may attract unsavory types. It would be interesting if someone knew of actual research into the notion.

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  195. Thersites: I think there is small yet significant minority that are entirely uninterested such self control and are willing to take by force what ever they desire. Thus a lack of modesty as similar to ostentatious displays of wealth may attract unsavory types. It would be interesting if someone knew of actual research into the notion.

    This reminds me of a story told to me by a close friend, of her sister in law, from another country, who once asked her assistance in picking out an appropriate outfit to wear for a special occasion. As this young woman dressed very modestly, and for the most part, drably, my friend had little hope of finding something suitable in her closet. To her utter amazement, her friend took her to a room length closet that was filled to the brim with exquisite, beautiful, expensive clothing made of silk and fine wool. Most had tags on them, and had never been worn. My friend asked her s-i-l why in the world she did not wear these lovely things. Her reply was that she did not want to appear to be boasting of her wealth or good taste. She loved beautiful, fine things, but did not want to make others envious nor attract the attention of would-be thieves to how large her personal bank account may be.

    This also reminds me of the bible’s portrayal of the king who revealed all of the wealth of his kingdom to visiting, potentially war-like dignitaries, only to be reprimanded for his lack of prudence. Ostentatious portrays of all of one’s ‘goods’ just might encourage one of a covetous mindset to take what does not rightly belong to him.

    When a queen wears her finest jewels, usually at a formal occasion, she is portraying what is believed to be her own private finery, worthy of admiration. Few would accept the suggestion that such a display is an invitation to all would-be jewel thieves to attack and rob her of her private, most valuable possessions. And yet, an attack by such fiends is obviously most likely when the jewels are actually on display.

    Just a thought. And, yes, I do reject the concept of women being responsible for the uncontrolled lust of men. There does appear, as in most things, to be a need of thoughtfulness and moderation, rather than irrational extremes. Beauty would seem pointless if it must always be hidden under a bushel, and yet the wise woman is aware of the existence of remorseless thieves.

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  196. Ken F (aka Tweed): I think something changed recently with the TWW settings because my phone and laptop no longer auto-populate my name and email address. I suspect that when comments go into customs they are no longer visible to the submitter until they clear. This would explain why they disappear and then later re-appear.

    Ditto, and I do hope it is temporary! It is difficult enough to find one’s place in long comment threads. This change has made it more difficult. It would be great if the settings were on par with other sites, allowing one to ‘like’ comments, and to receive notifications of new comments. Just a hopeful suggestion. And please restore the setting so that one does not have to type name and email in each time one comments! Or are we trying to discourage frequent commenting?

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  197. Ken F (aka Tweed): I suspect that when comments go into customs they are no longer visible to the submitter until they clear.

    I don’t think they went into customs, at least not like the prior times when it came back with a notice of being in purgatory. It retried one last night and now hope they don’t re-appear as I will then have a string of comments saying roughly the same thing.

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  198. elastigirl: so, if you have a minute,…. what in the world is grace in a God context? as you see it.

    It’s a fair question elastigirl, and as okrapod has pointed out, the Catholic view differs somewhat from the Evangelical Protestant view. In Catholicism not all sin is the same. Venial sins are relatively petty and minor, and will not consign you (generic you) to hell for committing them, like say, willful adultery and murder will.

    Evangelical Protestantism (in general) makes no such distinction. Jay-walking is just as bad as capital murder so to speak, hence this from christianity.com:

    “A shorthand for what grace is – “mercy, not merit.” Grace is the opposite of karma, which is all about getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you don’t deserve, and not getting what you do deserve. Christianity teaches that what we deserve is death with no hope of resurrection.

    There was time when I wouldn’t have dared to question this paradigm, but now I do, because over time, the cognitive dissonance just got to be too much.

    As an ex-Lutheran, I am now considered heretic and anathema in both synods, LCMS and ELCA.

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  199. Nathan Priddis,

    Thank you for pointing out that Proverbs 31 (“The Virtuous Woman”) was, indeed, written by Bathsheba. This truth has been a personal inspiration for me for many years.

    And I have to say: David did a dishonorable, disrespectful, unjust, lustful and foolish thing by summoning another man’s wife and sleeping with her, then trying to cover it up instead of taking responsibility.

    David was also a brave, upright, compassionate, just man as described in the Biblical text, and someone who fell very hard. The difference between David and someone like Andy Savage is that David acknowledged his sin, took full responsibility for it, and humbled himself openly and publicly to his kingdom (sackcloth and ashes) when he finally clearly saw the destruction he had wrought and –before– his sin was publicly exposed. Later, when his son Absalom rose against him and turned the hearts of others against him, David clearly mourns and acknowledges that his past choices has brought much of this upon himself (2 Sam 16:11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.)

    To suggest that there was no meddling in his life by Satan, no whispering in his ear, no help from the enemy rationalizing his sinful decisions is very, very naive. The enemy has a bigger bag of tricks than you can possibly imagine, and he is well aware of our tendencies and weaknesses and extremely adept at exploiting them. Furthermore, as we see with Peter in the gospels, Satan specifically targets those who seek righteousness and seek the Lord with all their hearts and are chosen to be leaders in God’s kingdom for it.

    After David’s first sin, I can imagine Satan using David’s compassionate heart to convince him that it would be more merciful to “help” Uriah to die a hero’s death in battle than to allow him to be humiliated publicly with his wife being pregnant with his friend’s baby. Not to mention it would destroy their friendship and Uriah’s trust and confidence in his own leader. David’s sin would cause an awful situation for Uriah, and if you think the enemy can’t prey upon our love for others, causing us to rationalize bad and sinful decisions, you are very mistaken.

    It may be easy for us to judge and condemn David here (much as it is easy to judge and condemn Adam and Eve) — but does that mean that none of us have ever abused our power or make decisions unrighteously for our own gain? Have none of us ever attempted to cover up our foolish or wrong choices? Have none of us caved to the enemies’ clever justifications for our poor behaviors?

    OF course we have. What makes those who belong to the Lord different from those who do not is that we are willing to take full responsibility for our decisions and genuinely mourn for the destruction we have caused. We are willing to see the extraordinarily painful truth through God’s eyes, instead of our own clouded, rose-colored thinking.

    This is the gift Nathan gave David when he confronted him — a lens through which David could see the scope and magnitude of his sin through God’s eyes — and David didn’t turn his face away. He stared down the truth with courage and grave accountability.

    This is what separates the “men” from the “boys” (so to speak.) David was a man; most of the abusers we discuss on this forum are foolish, corrupt boys who will not earnestly name and own up to their sin when given the chance.

    This is why God loved David so much. He knew that, even after grave sin, He could count on David to come through with truth and honesty, shame-faced and yet giving glory to God and His righteousness.

    Bathsheba was also a star in God’s kingdom. She used the evil that befell her for good, and she taught her son Solomon well and equipped him to receive more Godly wisdom than any other person ever.

    This is a story of hope and redemption for those who choose to follow after righteousness no matter what, who choose to accept God’s forgiveness and move forward in humility, and who take adverse circumstances and make their lives shine for goodness nonetheless.

    May we all be inspired by the remarkable takeaways from this Biblical account.

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  200. Beth74: May we all be inspired by the remarkable takeaways from this Biblical account.

    Except that things are not over until they are over. It turned out that Solomon also had a weakness when it came to women, and he let his (political) wives turn his heart to idolatry. I Kings tells us that because of this God said that he would rend the kingdom apart in the reign of Solomon’s successor, which indeed did happen. God did not blame David for this, but none the less the story did go in this direction.

    For me, I don’t see any true heroes in any of this, except maybe Nathan the prophet who did have the courage to confront David.

    And BTW, we have discussed the issue previously about why it was said that David was a man after God’s own heart, an interesting discussion, and personally I am going to withhold any conclusions at to exactly why that was.

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  201. Beth74: If God clearly categorizes someone as a hero of the faith, I’m personally gonna’ take His word at it.

    Cute. Even sounds religious. But actually when Samuel said that David was a man after God’s own heart there was no mention of the Bathsheeba/Uriah affair.

    I said and repeat, I do not see any heroes in any of this, it being we are talking about the B/U affair, except perhaps Nathan the prophet. You are the one who said that ‘this is why God loved David so much’. God did not say that, and Samuel did not say that.

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  202. e l: Or maybe they just had a different experience to yours and wanted to share it.

    If they merely had a different experience they would have stopped at that instead of saying the author article was making things up. She wasn’t.

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  203. e l: It cannot be that people are arguing that dress has no effect on people whatsoever.

    It has nothing to do with rape. Women are not required to do the ‘heavy lifting’ by wearing a giant trash bag in order to prevent it.

    Modesty has nothing to do with assault. Period.

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  204. Law Prof: The effect on men who are looking to be aroused, on the prowl, so to speak, predatory, perverts, or those unduly lustful, might be considered.

    And those kind of men looks for garments that can be easily pulled up or removed, not ‘modesty’. (Excepting people who use dress as a way to identify dehumanized outgroup individuals-which can happen in a religious context precisely through the teaching that women should be ‘modest’ in whatever way the men in charge have determined)

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  205. Psalms 89:20-21 I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him.

    Ezekiel 34:23-24 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

    Ezekiel 37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

    1 Chronicles 18:14 So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.

    1 Chronicles 29:28 And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.

    ——————————————————————————

    Matthew 22:42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David.

    Luke 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

    Matthew 21:9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

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  206. d

    Beth74: What makes those who belong to the Lord different from those who do not is that we are willing to take full responsibility for our decisions and genuinely mourn for the destruction we have caused. We are willing to see the extraordinarily painful truth through God’s eyes, instead of our own clouded, rose-colored thinking.

    I don’t belong to any Lord.

    Not despite, but because of, this, I am quite willing to take full responsibility for the disastrous decisions I’ve made in pursuit of the fatuous delusion that I DID “belong to the Lord”. I am willing to see all the selfishness, stupidity and pride that lay behind this, and the hardship I have caused my family through all the decades I pursued it. And I don’t have any rose-coloured thinking to tell me that, since God has forgiven me, everyone else must too. I have made vital changes to my life as a result, and I and my family are much the better for those in every sense.

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  207. okrapod: But actually when Samuel said that David was a man after God’s own heart there was no mention of the Bathsheeba/Uriah affair.

    Maybe the tribute was premature, both the reference in Acts and the one in 1st Samuel appear to come before David was king or at the very beginning of his reign. If so it is another reason to distrust a king when even one after God’s own heart becomes corrupt.

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  208. Muff Potter,

    thank you, Muff. i do appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

    what is grace as you see it?

    excuse my pestering, here. i’m eager for ‘non-standard thoughts’, freely untethered from the programmed christian dogma. (and if it ends up more or less the same as the dogma, at least i’ll know that the source arrived at it freely and untethered. or arrived at honestly).

    i feel like my own convictions are beginning to dawn, although it’s just first light.

    for my best articulation of grace, at first light, here goes:

    that God sees me and i see God.

    like the pin prick twinkle in the night sky that is bigger than earth, which sees me just as i see it from my kitchen window. and if a piece of string were long enough to go from me to the twinkling gravity colossus we could chat through aluminum cans saying whatever we felt like saying.

    (wonder what happens to taut string in outer space; cans, of course, would collapse and you can’t talk through smushed up cans…)

    but you see, with God i don’t need the string or the cans.

    grace?

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  209. Not sure if it has been mentioned already, but I read an article on this that claimed that David was about 50 when this took place, and Bathsheba in her early to mid 20s.
    And is it not also true that David didn’t repent of his sin until Nathan called him out on it, a full 9 months after it took place ?

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  210. Richard: is it not also true that David didn’t repent of his sin until Nathan called him out on it, a full 9 months after it took place ?

    Yep, when a true prophet of the Lord points his finger at you and proclaims “You are the man!”, it has a way of shaking repentance out of you. America has enough preacher-boys and enough theology teachers … we need prophets of the Lord to call the church back to spiritual sense!

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  211. Lea: It has nothing to do with rape. Women are not required to do the ‘heavy lifting’ by wearing a giant trash bag in order to prevent it.
    Modesty has nothing to do with assault. Period.

    I think we all have different ideas about what modesty is, and that’s part of why it is so charged to bring it up. When I talk about modesty it’s because I’ve recently seen young women wearing “dresses” that in previous decades would have been more properly described as tunics. And yet up earlier in this thread an entire church seemed to object to bare lower arms.

    And yes, none of this excuses or explains assault.

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  212. Richard:
    Not sure if it has been mentioned already, but I read an article on this that claimed that David was about 50 when this took place, and Bathsheba in her early to mid 20s.
    And is it not also true that David didn’t repent of his sin until Nathan called him out on it, a full 9 months after it took place ?

    The gap in age was substantial. In order to make the story work, her age is lower. Try early-mid teens.

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  213. But she also didn’t cry out that she was being raped as Old Testament law required.I think she could have been stoned as a n adulteress if her husband had returned and found her pregnant.

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  214. elastigirl: but you see, with God i don’t need the string or the cans.

    grace?

    Grace? Here’s a straight up, straight answer to your original query:

    In the same way that I cut my kids and grandkids some slack for not being perfect, so God cuts me slack, and never expected or required perfection from me in the first place.

    Yeah I know, that’s pure heresy according to the ‘justification by transaction’ view, but so be it, here I stand, so help me God, on my conscience.

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  215. Placing the story of David and Bathsheba within the context of 1 Samuel 8 makes this is another example of the consequences of Israel choosing their own form of leadership over God’s leading. David might have been a man after God’s heart, but he was also a king, and thus not the God-intended means of leading his people. To me, this reads as a thread woven into the fabric of our rebellion against God, one that reveals the dark, ugly side of choosing human kingship. As such, it would not surprise me if God intended us to take away the view that David used his power to satiate his lust and abuse his subjects. (Not just Bathsheba; he killed her husband and forced his guards to be complicit in his sin.)

    We still demand a king today. Isn’t that what’s going on in the burgeoning church abuse scandals–the people refusing to admit their choice in leaders could be wrong? Could it be that, through these awful acts, God is patiently trying to direct our attention to what the prophet Samuel said and turn our backs on the human kingship so prevalent in our churches?

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  216. Robert M: I think we all have different ideas about what modesty is, and that’s part of why it is so charged to bring it up.

    It’s charged to bring it up because it is so often brought up in relation to assault and abuse – and it has nothing to do with it. Read stories from women who were abused or raped, even in this thread. It has nothing to do with what they are wearing.

    If you want to talk about what is appropriate to wear, well that changes culturally and over time. It is completely irrelevant to the topic.

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  217. Irene: But she also didn’t cry out that she was being raped as Old Testament law required.

    Explain to me how this would work going up against the king with his guards complicit? It would be death for her . . .

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  218. Robert M: When I talk about modesty it’s because I’ve recently seen young women wearing “dresses” that in previous decades would have been more properly described as tunics.

    BTW, I’ve seen what people were wearing in the 60’s and its shorter than most people I see now lol.

    I think when you see someone wear something you find inappropriate, maybe take a moment and realize it’s not about you, it’s their life, and they can wear whatever they want?

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  219. Lea: I think when you see someone wear something you find inappropriate, maybe take a moment and realize it’s not about you, it’s their life, and they can wear whatever they want?

    Oh gee, why didn’t I think of that? Thank you so much for showing me the light.

    OF course it isn’t my business what other people wear. I would just prefer to be able to go to a restaurant without being in danger of viewing some teenage girl’s crotch.

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  220. Robert M,

    From photographic evidence, that would have been much harder in the 60’s then it is today.

    Also, this is relevant to a story about David and Bathsheba how? Because that’s kind of my point.

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  221. Cobber: We still demand a king today.

    IMO, there aren’t enough genuine men of God to feed the flock today, so we cry for a king instead. There aren’t enough folks in the pew seeking God’s face, so any pulpiteer will do. The masses shout “Give us a king who will give us what we want and we will follow you.”

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  222. Robert M: I would just prefer to be able to go to a restaurant without being in danger of viewing some teenage girl’s crotch.

    Some have been banned from the pool for similar attire and some inappropriate behavior that went with it. The culprits can indeed dress and act like they choose, but not at that pool. When you take it off and show to the public what you got then you have no further claim to privacy since you voluntarily relinquished your privacy.

    So, yes, if it happens now, and happened in the sixties, then perhaps it happened in the 900s BC, but we will never know. I doubt however that the Hebrew women of that day were bathing naked in public as a practice. And I doubt that a man as ‘experienced’ as David needed anything more than a thought for sexual stimulation. We can all lay off Bathsheba’s clothing I am thinking.

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  223. For those who might be interested. There is a Wiki article ‘David’ which has a section on the understandings in the Abrahamic religions about David. I had no idea how Judaism, Christianity and Islam differ so much on this matter. And, not surprisingly, there is very little evidence to corroborate much of it, including the biblical claims.

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  224. okrapod: So, yes, if it happens now, and happened in the sixties, then perhaps it happened in the 900s BC, but we will never know. I doubt however that the Hebrew women of that day were bathing naked in public as a practice. And I doubt that a man as ‘experienced’ as David needed anything more than a thought for sexual stimulation. We can all lay off Bathsheba’s clothing I am thinking.

    I just made a remark about modesty because some others brought it up. I’m not connecting it with the specific story of Bathsheba. I don’t think anything in the text indicates that Bathsheba was immodest or otherwise at fault for what happened. I don’t know how people bathed in the tenth century BC, but she might very well have been surrounded by a wall and had a reasonable expectation of privacy assuming nobody was standing on the palace rooftop and looking down into her yard.

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  225. The story of David and Bathsheba begins what scholars call the Succession Narrative, which then extends through 2 Samuel 20 and then picks up again in 1 Kings 1-2. It is generally considered to be a literary unit which the writer of Samuel used as a source for his book.

    When Nathan told David about the rich man who took a poor man’s lamb, David said the man must pay four times over for what he had done. It turns out David does exactly that, as by the end of the story David loses four sons — the unnamed son of Bathsheba, Amnon, Absalom, and Adonijah. I don’t think this is the story of David sinning and then being forgiven, as many caught in sexual sin would have it. I think it’s the story of the beginning of David’s downfall.

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  226. Robert M,

    Some of the stuff in the Wiki article is amazing. In some of the Jewish thinking there is a way that it was not adultery at all between D and B. And a lot of other stuff. In Islam D was a significant prophet. And a lot of other stuff. And in Christianity every time D brushed his teeth, just about, it was some sort of messianic clue.

    If I had not already given up taking a lot of stuff seriously more than a half century ago this would certainly do it.

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  227. Robert M: I don’t think this is the story of David sinning and then being forgiven, as many caught in sexual sin would have it. I think it’s the story of the beginning of David’s downfall.

    But if you can only see one independent Verse at a time…

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  228. Max: The masses shout “Give us a king who will give us what we want and we will follow you.”

    Didn’t that spill over from pulpit to politics in 2016?

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  229. Muff Potter,

    thanks, Muff. i really like the simplicity, there. i think that’s how i always have seen it, too. even as a little kid.

    i mean, what’s the point of singing “Jesus loves me, this I know” to little kids (as was sung to me), and then when they are older morph the sweet understanding into “God requires perfection, this I know”? talk about bait and switch.

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  230. Headless Unicorn Guy: Didn’t that spill over from pulpit to politics in 2016?

    That’s been spilling for a lot longer than two years. I’ve lived long enough to see both sides of the aisle invoke the name of God and His authority for their transient little political views and causes that are here today, gone tomorrow. The right may bark the loudest, but the left has been shouting their moral superiority for years as well. This is in large part why I disconnected from politics over a decade ago. I couldn’t stand the thought of voting for someone who generally seemed to be inferior in virtue and faith to the vast majority of those who would be voting for them. Seems like the ones who manage to climb to the top of the political ladder are the worst knaves, the ones most willing to cut any deal, do any dirty deed to get what they want. This last election and the two choices at the top of the tickets were the best (worst) example I’ve seen of this phenomenon in my lifetime.

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  231. Robert M: I just made a remark about modesty because some others brought it up.I’m not connecting it with the specific story of Bathsheba.I don’t think anything in the text indicates that Bathsheba was immodest or otherwise at fault for what happened.I don’t know how people bathed in the tenth century BC, but she might very well have been surrounded by a wall and had a reasonable expectation of privacy assuming nobody was standing on the palace rooftop and looking down into her yard.

    There is a tort in our law for what David did by spying on Bathsheeba, it’s called intrusion on seclusion, and it gives the victim a cause of action for monetary damages. What happened afterwards would most like be kidnapping, and possibly even rape, depending on the circumstances (it’s hard to imagine there was any real consent), and ultimately, of course, it culminated in cold-blooded murder.

    One of the things that seals the veracity and accuracy of the Bible for me is the fact that unlike virtually any ancient text (and the great majority of official accounts that are sanctioned by ruling parties even to this day), the Bible is brutally honest in its depictions of the heroes of the faith, we see them warts and all, and this was far worse that the standard warts. One has to wonder, if the Bible is just a collection of fables put together by those in power to solidify their power base, they sure were inept at public relations—idiots, really. I mean, what kind of leader just allows that to be written? What kind of person seeking to construct a narrative after the fact that supports the legitimacy of their kingdom (like the Arthurian Legends) puts that kind of stuff about David’s diabolical evil and myriad others in there? Think of it, as awful as David often was, he was one of the better kings depicted in the Bible—just wow! Who in the heck does that other than the Hebrews? Nobody does—absolutely nobody.

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  232. Law Prof: That’s been spilling for a lot longer than two years. I’ve lived long enough to see both sides of the aisle invoke the name of God and His authority for their transient little political views and causes that are here today, gone tomorrow. The right may bark the loudest, but the left has been shouting their moral superiority for years as well.This is in large part why I disconnected from politics over a decade ago.I couldn’t stand the thought of voting for someone who generally seemed to be inferior in virtue and faith to the vast majority of those who would be voting for them.Seems like the ones who manage toclimb to the top of the political ladder are the worst knaves, the ones most willing to cut any deal, do any dirty deed to get what they want.This last election and the two choices at the top of the tickets were the best (worst) example I’ve seen of this phenomenon in my lifetime.

    I couldn’t vote for either candidate in 2016. I cast a protest vote for Snoopy.

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  233. elastigirl:
    Muff Potter,

    thanks, Muff. i really like the simplicity, there.i think that’s how i always have seen it, too.even as a little kid.

    i mean, what’s the point of singing “Jesus loves me, this I know” to little kids (as was sung to me), and then when they are older morph the sweet understanding into “God requires perfection, this I know”?talk about bait and switch.

    Yes, I remember singing that hymn in Sunday School as a child. We stopped going to church when I six years old due to parental divorce, but I always remembered the basic understanding of that song. As an adult, I tried to return to church, but the complementarian doctrine was too much for me because it made me feel as a female I am not worth the same as a male in God’s eyes-only males seemed to be perfect. I am glad that I got past that.

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  234. Robert M,

    it fairly clearly is. After the murder of Uriah David’s reign spirals down steadily until the last notable event of his reign was a plague that followed a disastrously ill-advised census after having to put down several coup attempts made in the wake of the Uriah/Bathsheba incident. The way Nathan was involved in the accession of Solomon has me skeptical that we’re supposed to assume that how Nathan handled things there was above board.

    I’ve seen a few cases made that “if” David had been on the frontlines with the soldiers he would not have been tempted and the murder of Uriah and adultery with Bathsheba could have been avoided and … that may well have been true … but that doesn’t step back to ask whether or not we should even assume the siege itself was approved of. There’s no indication David enquired of the Lord about whether to besiege the city.

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  235. Lily Rose,

    “…but the complementarian doctrine was too much for me because it made me feel as a female I am not worth the same as a male in God’s eyes-only males seemed to be perfect. I am glad that I got past that.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    i’m glad you got past that, too. what a crock o’ sht, that is.

    (just using the technical definition, of course)

    (i feel no need to hold back on this topic)

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  236. elastigirl:
    i’m glad you got past that, too.what a crock o’ sht, that is.
    (just using the technical definition, of course)
    (i feel no need to hold back on this topic)

    Yes, totally agree. LOL.

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  237. Lily Rose: As an adult, I tried to return to church, but the complementarian doctrine was too much for me because it made me feel as a female I am not worth the same as a male in God’s eyes-only males seemed to be perfect.

    “Jesus Loves ME, this I know
    I’m a BOY, that’s how it rolls!
    All the gurlz to ME belong
    They are Weak and I AM STRONG!”
    — some commenter long ago

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  238. Headless Unicorn Guy: “Jesus Loves ME, this I know
    I’m a BOY, that’s how it rolls!
    All the gurlz to ME belong
    They are Weak and I AM STRONG!”
    — some commenter long ago

    That’s it in a nutshell-and I do mean a nutshell! I don’t bother going to church anymore. LOL.

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  239. That was my immediate thought when I read the part about Bathsheba carrying out her purification ritual. The mikvah is where it is. You have to go there and wash in a specific way. She’s not some whore lathering up in order to seduce anyone who might be watching. She’s performing a religious ritual required by God in their culture. She doesn’t have any choice about where or what or when.

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