Wayne Grudem Doesn’t Go Far Enough. Women Are Still at Risk for Severe Injury in Churches Which Apply His Paradigm

Prepare to be amazed! This is the God we serve. Not some mean God who wants women to get severely and consistency abused before they leave a marriage.

“All violence consists of some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.” – Leo Tolstoy


Christianity Today posted Wayne Grudem Changes Mind About Divorce in Cases of Abuse which is subtitled:

Leading complementarian theologian says he no longer believes the Bible offers only two justifiable reasons for ending a marriage.

Apparently, this recent change in belief was not the result of deep theological study and hours spent in prayer. Nope, it was due to something that would have gotten any theology student in one of his classes a flunking grade… “personal experience.”

Except, sometimes personal experiences helps to illuminate Scripture. According to Grudemn:

“My wife Margaret and I became aware of some heartbreaking examples of such things as severe sexual humiliation and degradation that had continued for decades, and another case of physical battering that had gone on for decades,” he told CT. “In all these situations the abused spouse had kept silent, believing that a Christian’s duty was to preserve the marriage unless there was adultery or desertion, which had not happened.”

Today I tweeted.


Folks, Grudem will never be able to fully repair the damage he did(and continues to do) by teaching his warped view of Scripture when it comes to domestic violence and divorce. There are many of his fanboys who applied his theology in churches all over the world.

How can you tell? Take a look at the average Calvinista church and check their resources page. I bet you that Grudem’s Systematic Theology is listed as *the* theology book for the church.

However, it’s not time to jump up and down and say “Lesson learned.” Grudem still believes that a woman should be open to the possibility of abuse so that the church can pursue Christian counseling and hubby can get him some church discipline. Then, if she keep getting smacked around, just maybe this might could (as we say in the South) be a case for divorce. Sadly, woman are still not safe. Notice in the above quote what a woman had to endure before Grudem got a clue. Decades??? of abuse!!!

If the abusing spouse is a Christian, then counseling and church discipline should be pursued, but if abuse doesn’t stop then a church leader should consider that this may be a case where the victim is free to seek a divorce.

I happen to know that there are some pastors who are probably sweating this announcement. These are the pastors who have sent women back into homes with broken arms and broken hearts. I intend to tell those stories. It appears that embarrassment and scorn are the only ways to get these men to rethink their paradigm.

Folks, continue to question the paradigm. Women (and men) are at risk when Grudemn’s thoughts on abuse, past or present, are applied by unthinking pastors. We must take care of our people as opposed to using them as some experiment to see if Christian counseling *works.*


Comments

Wayne Grudem Doesn’t Go Far Enough. Women Are Still at Risk for Severe Injury in Churches Which Apply His Paradigm — 241 Comments

  1. One of the more recent statistical realities I have been faced with is that now more women beating their men are being reported than the reverse. I know of two cases where this was the case, and none personally of women getting beaten. One was a cop attempting to beat her cop husband who had to be bigger than she. The other was a woman who beat her ex within an inch of his life. She was arrested and awaiting trial in jail when she suddenly died short of that trial.

    So this can go either way with forbidding all divorce in “hardness of heart” issues. Jesus was clear that God allowed divorce in these cases because this hardness exist. Why legalistic men think they can undo that and forbid divorce, I do not know. They are being more strict than God Himself. This is just more legalistic garbage by men who think too much of themselves. They tie up heavy loads without offering to lift a finger to help anyone else. They close heaven in the face of people. There is nothing good about this legalistic trash.

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  2. “I happen to know that there are some pastors who are probably sweating this announcement. These are the pastors who have sent women back into homes with broken arms and broken hearts.” (Dee)

    “If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night …” (John Piper)

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  3. I haven’t paid much attention to anything Grudem has said since he started promoting “Eternal Subordination of the Son” heresy. If he subordinates Jesus, he has no trouble subordinating women.

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  4. From the CT article: “…if abuse doesn’t stop then a church leader should consider that this may be a case where the victim is free to seek a divorce.”

    Why does it seem to be always assumed that the church leader is not themselves also an abuser?

    Earlier in the article: “Most commentaries assume that ‘in such cases’ refers only to cases of desertion by an unbeliever,” said Grudem. But upon further examination, he realized that the phrase appears nowhere else in the Bible. Grudem looked at 52 uses of the phrase in ancient Greek literature and found that “in such cases” usually does not just refer to the one scenario the writer already mentioned (i.e. an unbelieving partner) but to scenarios similar to that one.

    On the one hand, yay that he took the time to look up the original Greek and has publicly come out that he’s changed his mind. On the other hand… he’s just now looking up the Greek for himself? I think this points to the need for pastors and theologians to be in fellowship with everyday, normal people so they can personally see the impact their words are having.

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  5. I’ve heard the reason for not getting divorced is because God hates divorce. But check out Malachi 2:16 in the NASB, RSV, Amplified, 1985 NIV to see what else God hates. Here is the Amplified;

    “For I hate divorce,” says the LORD, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong and violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore keep watch on your spirit, so that you do not deal treacherously with your wife.]”

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  6. Remember the North Korean guy who was on the news for getting shot while running as fast as his legs could carry him across the border into South Korea? This is the best analogy I can conceive to describe my fearful, hurting existence as a domestic abuse victim. I was acutely aware that disclosing that I was abused could easily bring wrath upon me by my abuser. It would be seen by him as a huge betrayal warranting severe punishment. What or how severe that punishment would be was unknown & unpredictable. So, when I read Grudem’s comments about “church discipline” I feel like I’m that North Korean running for freedom while Grudem & the men folk fire the guns. I could actually vomit right now. This is incredibly upsetting. Grudem & the rest need to understand how much literal, physical danger they are putting people in by sending them home after disclosing.

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  7. “My wife Margaret and I became aware of some heartbreaking examples of such things as severe sexual humiliation and degradation that had continued for decades, and another case of physical battering that had gone on for decades,” he told CT.

    “In all these situations the abused spouse had kept silent, believing that a Christian’s duty was to preserve the marriage unless there was adultery or desertion, which had not happened.
    ++++++++++++++

    wayne grudem, thank you for communicating publicly your new conviction. I have a few questions:

    let’s see, the Danvers Statement was drafted in December 1987. Recovering Biblical Masculinity and Femininity was published in 1991. Your Systematic Theology book was first published in 1994. it is now December 2019. You’ve been influencing the christian masses with your viewpoints for how many years, now? something like 25-32 years?

    why did it take you so long to check your work?

    these 2 women you’ve become aware of… have you considered that the reason they believed it was their christian duty to preserve the marriage unless there was adultery or desertion was because of you? because you said so?

    do you understand the power of your influence?

    do you realize that you are responsible in very large part for their suffering?

    have you considered how many women in these 30+ years have endured brutality in their marriages because of your previous teaching filtering through the layers of christian culture, suffering for which you are responsible?

    you don’t think your glib news bulletin that you’ve changed your mind will just erase all that, do you?
    .
    .
    wayne, you and your peers have been extremely careless and thoughtless with your ideological pronouncements over the years.

    you offer up your simple answers with ease from on high – they land at ground zero with destroying power in complex circumstances.

    i don’t believe any of you have any clue the lives you’ve wrecked.

    give me a reason to think you even care.

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  8. “If the abusing spouse is a Christian, then counseling and church discipline should be pursued, but if abuse doesn’t stop then a church leader should consider that this may be a case where the victim is free to seek a divorce.”
    ++++++++++++++++++

    so, wayne, should a women endure 5 more black eyes? 6? 7? maybe round it up to 10? that’s a nice round number and easy to remember for a long list rules. (this would be rule #84, right?)

    so, in the interest of understanding what you’re really saying here, let’s say your quota for black eyes is 10 more. and the clock starts once the abusing husband gets counseling.

    unless a woman remains in the marriage up to and including that 10th black eye, she will be in sin, will be looked down on as an inferior christian, in fact may not even be a christian at all, will not be considered as having a legitimate faith, will be disciplined, will be at risk of rejection from her christian community, will make God angry and may lose her salvation.

    yeah, that sure sounds like Jesus.

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  9. re

    elastigirl: but if abuse doesn’t stop then a church leader should consider that this may be a case where the victim is free to seek a divorce.”

    SMH – Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce!

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  10. My Bible teacher in High School, who didn’t believe in divorce for domestic violence, told the story of someone who reconciled after domestic violence & he killed her. He said the spouses must live separately and not reconcile. Some still don’t understand the seriousness. Of course I think divorce is required because the abuser has made a mockery of marriage

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  11. elastigirl: give me a reason to think you even care.

    I think it would look something like(IMO) , ” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

    9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

    with follow through, of course: public acknowledgement of erroneous theology, teaching and its products, suggesting to enablers who’ve been devoted to them, and therefore complicit, to make the needed course corrections and personally helping victims(with oversight by trustworthy, proven experts in the field(Dee and crew, perhaps)) by welcoming them, helping them to write their own stories and market them and in no way, shape or form write another book themselves. Maybe this would be something along the lines of academia diversity training 101: Awareness, Attention, Accommodation and finally Appreciation – Mutuality not classism.

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  12. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    I read the article and thought: it’s interesting that “that author/crowd” pulls out of scripture- for women, in a “mansplainin” way that the call for women is to “suffer for Christ” and out of the other side of that camp’s mouth is marriage essentialism, IMO. And then what a cute little last line, which I would rewrite just a little, to read: “Where are you today? Heaven?, Hell?, Not sure?”

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  13. elastigirl: unless a woman remains in the marriage up to and including that 10th black eye, she will be in sin, will be looked down on as an inferior christian, in fact may not even be a christian at all, will not be considered as having a legitimate faith, will be disciplined, will be at risk of rejection from her christian community, will make God angry and may lose her salvation.

    yeah, that sure sounds like Jesus.

    And these learned theologians appear to have no concern whatsoever about the victims of abuse, or the view of God this gross practice presents – a God who is more concerned about his institution of marriage than the people within it.

    Because ‘marriage’ is more important than the individual. Authority is more important than safety. These men know nothing about God, and care even less for victims of cruel, manipulative narcissists. All Grudem needed to do was talk to any of the hundreds of pastors influenced by his word from on high to discover how many women were and are being victimized by abusers in their own homes. Who are now supposed to thank the mighty ones for ‘allowing’ them to seek safety – if they go through all the official hoops and receive ‘permission’ from the anointed ones.

    Some will think your comments extreme. The Calvinist pastor I once sat under expressed the clueless lack of concern you describe. When challenged with the issue of DV and divorce, he asserted that the elders would determine if a woman should leave her husband, depending on the ‘frequency and severity’ of the abuse.

    My reaction was ‘Oh really. How much is too much for you? How often and how much does a woman have to be beaten up before you decide it is enough? Do you have quotas for various abuses, or do you just make it up as you go along?’

    There is something sick and horrible in this misappropriated authority these men are touting. It is Pharisaism through and through. It is the very abusive false authority Jesus condemned and forbid within his Body.

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  14. Shannon H.: Oh if only people would read their Bibles and stop listening to these foolish men.

    Shannon, you have hit on a major problem in the American church. The average Christian doesn’t pray and read the Word as they ought; thus, they are easy targets for deception. When a wolf masquerading as an angel of light enters the sheepfold, the sheep are caught unaware.

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  15. Raswhiting: Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce!

    That’s why my Mama taught me early on not to follow just any old leader. If you have a church leader who exercises this level of control over you, RUN!

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  16. Could you do my a favor and do what I do and provide a link to the statistics. What is the sample size and was it a randomized study that was conducted prospectively as opposed to looking back at some numbers. Your two incidents are merely anecdotal and do not add to the overall point that you are trying to make. Yes, some women beat men. Howevver, I find it hard to believe that there are now stats that prove it is actually the women who are beating the men in marriages-especially religious marriages which is what I focus on.

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  17. Ken F (aka Tweed): It seems battle lines are being drawn among the reformed crowd:
    https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/11/26/wayne-grudem-caves-to-churchtoo-movement-changes-mind-on-divorce-in-abuse-cases/

    “Now, we can prepare ourselves for an onslaught of church-approved divorces that are justified by women who desire an “out” from their marriage who cry “abuse.””

    Because this is all about women who just want an ‘out’. It could not possibly be that there are countless women who live in hellish circumstances. Nor could it possibly be that God has absolutely no desire for any individual to be abused by another under guise of a man-made concept of ‘authority’.

    Gee, I wonder why so many women want an ‘out’ from these heaven on earth marriages? Just a bunch of selfish feminists who hate God and hate authority, I suppose; as every believing woman who has sought safety from her abusive husband has been charged for decades.

    How holy these men are, forgoing divorce just like the Pharisees, in any circumstances. Instead of properly divorcing unwanted wives they just sent them away, leaving them penniless and unable to remarry. Ah, but they were holier than God, who actually granted people the right to divorce. Because he is a God of love and mercy, not a cruel authoritarian who cares more about his rules than the people they were designed to protect.

    For the record, I am not divorced, but I am ashamed of the many I thoughtlessly condemned through the years because of false teaching from false teachers.

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  18. TS00: heaven on earth marriages?

    I live near several SBC New Calvinist church plants. While the young men enter the church each Sunday high-fiving their dudebro brethren, their poor wives trail in behind them with no light in their eyes … subordinated and oppressed in their “heaven on earth marriages.”

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  19. Cousin of Eutychus: Challies welcomes “letters to the editor” but not comments on his blog …

    … so he can present an illusion that everybody agrees with his opinions; comments would be too much of a challenge. These young reformers have to be affirmed and just don’t know how to handle intelligent opposition to their belief and practice. I truly believe that in their heart of hearts they know they are wrong on some things, but press forward for the good of the new reformation.

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  20. Paige Rogers: Remember the North Korean guy who was on the news for getting shot while running as fast as his legs could carry him across the border into South Korea?

    This is what happens to believers who try to flee New Calvinist 9Marks churches … they are “shot” (disciplined, shunned and/or excommunicated). The struggle for female believers in such works is particularly bad; they suffer abuse of various sorts (always spiritual, sometimes physical) “while Grudem & the men folk fire the guns.”

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  21. HAPPY THANKSGIVING WARTBURGERS!

    I’ll be leaving this comment stream shortly. The grandchildren are heading this way … “Over the river and through the woods, to grandma’s house we go.” In my area, they will literally be traveling over rivers and through woods!

    (Note: I’ll return later to help you fight devils)

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  22. I suspect a bigger service is to inquire why people listen to pastors/theologians at all? What is it with the top down power of a mere title to influence so many? The whole concept of a spiritual guru/leader has become downright absurd to me but so normalized. If one is literate, one can study for themselves. Not to mention, Christ promised the Holy Spirit to all who seek Him. am I to believe that Christ gives them more Holy Spirit than others because of the title?

    I vote for encouraging people to be self governed and use reason. Once that is decided, then it’s much easier to help with that very hard exit.

    We won’t change the Jesus charlatans by shaming them. They don’t care what we think. They care about power and prestige within their groupthink bubbles. Heck, even some well known victims prop some of them up!

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  23. Cousin of Eutychus:
    Interesting that Challies welcomes “letters to the editor” but not comments on his blog; hmmmmmmmmmm…

    Challies advertises two ways to provide feedback: letters to the editor and Ask Me Anything. He used to regularly post the letters and answered the qusestions online, but he mostly quit doing that. I have sent him letters to the editors and asked questions and have never gotten a reply. He is a propagandist with no apparent desire to thoughtfully engage anyone outside of his bubble.

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  24. Ken F (aka Tweed): Challies advertises two ways to provide feedback: letters to the editor and Ask Me Anything.

    I suspect that Challies borrowed his “ask me” from Al Mohler, who has a every-Thursday Facebook Live and YouTube session called “Ask Anything.” The New Calvinists truly believe they have an answer for everything (they alone possess the true gospel) and will regularly provide answers to questions nobody is asking. “Ask ME” is the ultimate in arrogance.

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  25. Lydia: If one is literate, one can study for themselves. Not to mention, Christ promised the Holy Spirit to all who seek Him.

    I’ll take the Holy Spirit as teacher over a theologian anytime!

    (Glad you’re still out there Lydia – Happy Holidays!)

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  26. https://ncadv.org/statistics

    Dee, here are some current dv statistics. Women are still the primary victims, but men are also affected. In my area of CA we actually have shelters for victims in gay relationships who are even more loathe to admit they are being battered. Our culture continues to become increasingly more violent, and I believe the church should be the first to say that spousal violence will be dealt with immediately and firmly by leadership against the perpetrator and that the victim and any children will be provided safe haven. The authorities will be contacted. If children witness domestic violence in my state, it’s considered child abuse and must be reported by those who are so mandated. Clergy are on that list.

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  27. Max: This is what happens to believers who try to flee New Calvinist 9Marks churches … they are “shot” (disciplined, shunned and/or excommunicated).

    All of the discipline and shunning must be part of the gifts described here for which church members should be thankful:
    https://www.9marks.org/article/giving-thanks-for-jesuss-gifts/

    Jesus words are fulfilled in the church, where every child of God receives a family. If you are in Christ, and in a local church, every member of the church is a gift to you from Jesus. And if you are in Christ, and not in a church, then you are missing one of the primary means by which God intends to bless you in this age. Moreover, you are missing one of the chief ways Jesus intends to grow you and enlarge your thanksgiving.

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  28. Max,

    Write, Give us your mind…..and for a 25% discount to boot. Shouldn’t it be “we’ll pay you a consulting fee for your intellectual property for the purpose of better understanding?”

    This week on a rare occasion of my watching morning news a female leader of some program that brought diverse youth male sports teams together working on a project thanked the youth and acknowledged the one another learning. This was refreshing. These articles are disturbing.

    I’m glad my children and I are not in the bible camps of the authors of those articles. We are resilient and well, not perfect, though. Going to celebrate a Happy Thanksgiving with them now!

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  29. Raswhiting,

    “SMH – Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce”
    +++++++++++++++

    it’s worse than i thought, jim.

    (had to ask my kids what SMH meant. i got 2 answers: shaking my head and so much hair. …is it she second one?)

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  30. Mr. Jesperson: One of the more recent statistical realities I have been faced with is that now more women beating their men are being reported than the reverse.

    You are going to need to present actual statistics from a reputable source, because the experts at the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) says differently:

    *1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc.2

    * 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.” 1

    * 1 in 7 women and 1 in 25 men have been injured by an intimate partner.1
    1 in 10 women have been raped by an intimate partner. Data is unavailable on male victims.1

    https://ncadv.org/statistics (and there are more depressing stats on that page, including one in five women are raped over their lifetime, versus one in 71 men)

    Yes, women can beat up on men, but the reality is that women are more likely to be assaulted by men.

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  31. Paige Rogers,

    I am so sorry Paige,

    I hope you are in a safe space. Some of these pastors are also older and are stuck in their own evangelical/fundamentalist subculture. Pride has gotten in the way of caring for the abused and downtrodden. May today be a blessed day for you and may you find peace and rest. Sometimes the best thing to do is go to the police or at least specialists who deal with these issues. Depending on where you live there should be non-profits ready to assist. A man who beats his wife is sick and a coward.

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  32. Some days I think the church (institution/denominations) are the worst and slowest to realize harmful teachings/counsel/etc, and therefore should be the last place someone goes to for escape and healing. Do they really think God approves abuse? Seriously! Someone very close to me divorced due to adultery AND abuse. The abuse alone is a sign that the other party violated and broke the sacred covenant!

    This sounds a lot like what John Piper advocated. Grudem et al just can’t see the forest through the trees.

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  33. …continued train of thought….worse yet, ran across some deluded individual years back on CT.com (back when they allowed comments on articles) that advocated divorced people should always reconcile with their ex. Tried to argue that this person was out to lunch, but they couldn’t see how ridiculous their beliefs were.

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  34. Wild Honey: On the one hand, yay that he took the time to look up the original Greek and has publicly come out that he’s changed his mind. On the other hand… he’s just now looking up the Greek for himself? I think this points to the need for pastors and theologians to be in fellowship with everyday, normal people so they can personally see the impact their words are having.

    The irony is that Grudem was a member of the English Standard Version’s “Translation Oversight Committee”. Grudem is also described as the General Editor of the ESV. And he’s just now taking a look at the text?

    I would note that I STRONGLY suspect that Grudem, while looking at the texts, failed to look at the contexts in which the texts were written. That context is that women were considered legal property of men. Essentially, women were *owned* by their fathers, husbands or close male relatives. These men could dictate to women what they were to do with their lives.

    Consequently, for me, Wayne Grudem’s babble about looking at so many different places in the Bible and changing his mind means NOTHING to me. And that’s because he failed to look at the patriarchy inherent in the societies which wrote the Bible. And yeah, I know people who hold to inerrancy are not going to like what I am saying here, but you can’t treat the texts as if they’re flat and applicable to all people at all times. You have to look behind the texts and see their contexts. And the context of not allowing women to divorce because they got beaten on by their husbands is based firmly on the idea that women are property of men. (It’s also why it took until the early 1990s for marital rape to be listed as a crime in all 50 states.)

    It’s also the patriarchy inherent in the texts that leads to conclusions held by men like Grudem that has them drawing up lists of what women can and cannot do in churches, instead of treating women as full equals of men. These men are making a teeny, tiny concession on something but refusing to give up their patriarchy.

    Tl;dr: I am completely unimpressed by Grudem’s change, because he’s still clinging to patriarchy.

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  35. I’m just going to say that cranking out theology has been very, very good to Wayne Grudem. I found his house, it’s located in Scottsdale, and its 2020 cash value is $639,000. (By comparison, the cash value of my house in Mesa is $105,000, which is still 1/3 less than what I paid for it. Yeah, I’ve never recovered from the Great Recession.)

    Maybe Wayne can repent, sell that fancy house, move into a less expensive place and contribute the money from the sale of his home to the local Domestic Violence shelter. I’m sure that more than a few women have ended up there because they were taught that divorce is never allowed, even though they were being physically abused.

    Yeah, this sounds mean and petty, but frankly, the guy has MADE BANK off pushing this nonsense and families have been badly affected by it. This could be some Zaccheus-style repentance!

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  36. dee,

    I can give you a statistic of two. First, my friend, wasn’t married but, was living with his girlfriend, had a child together plus her child from the first marriage. She would tear into him then call the police and sit calmly on the couch. It being the 1990’s, the police made him leave. After a point, the police wised up. He had to move out and then went to court to get custody of his daughter.

    The second, one of my little sisters. Professed to be a Christian, calls me Satan when I can back myself up with the Bible. My niece and nephew told me about how both their Mom and Dad fought. It was pretty much even who initiated the pain. Their Mom, my sister mentally abused the both of them to where my niece ran away at 16. When their Dad was killed in an accident, they called me to go out to them to help be a counter balance to her. Being the sociopath she is, she made sure narrative got out, that her husband was the initiator 100%. When her kids tried to tell the truth, she said her husband turned her kids against her.

    Women abusers do exist. Why men that are abused don’t speak up is because people will not believe them.

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  37. Brian: Women abusers do exist. Why men that are abused don’t speak up is because people will not believe them.

    RAINN points out that most crimes don’t get reported, prosecuted, etc. But rapes are reported MUCH less than robberies or generic assault and battery.

    https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system

    It’s hard for anyone to report a sexual assault when we all know what happens when the case gets to court. The Brock Turner case comes to mind here.

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  38. Paige Rogers,

    Hi, Paige-Thanksgiving was always a rough holiday for me as that is when my dad would be the most physically and verbally abusive to my mom, my sister and me. It took me a while to realize I didn’t have to go through that anymore, but the memories still return 50+ years later. Now, I get to choose my dining companions, and for that I am very thankful. I pray you can find relief and respite today. As I got older, I discovered that not every family was like mine, and it was a relief. Our family violence saga has continued to my sister, and now to my youngest niece whose two young children are in foster care. My mom did find her own, happy life after leaving the 20-year marriage. My dad, now in his late 80s, finally got some psychological help and has done well in his current marriage. He no longer seems to be a rage-a-holic.

    All this to say that the scars remain, but sometimes life gets better. I am a very committed Christian, but I also think that any kind of violent or adulterous relationship needs a definite time-out, and maybe divorce for the safety of the innocent party.

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  39. Sarah,

    My Mom, who was abused besides myself, fled two states away with myself and the rest of my three siblings, who had to witness all the garbage. Knowing what the Bible said, she then divorced my stepfather, for the protection of us kids. It was later found, after the divorce, he had cheated on my Mom with my best friend’s Mom.

    When there is physical abuse, adultery should be investigated.

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  40. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes,

    My friends experience was the following:

    .The abuse wasn’t sexual.

    .When my friend was always the one removed from the home and/or spending the night in jail because it was assumed the men were always the perpetrator.

    .After a certain number of her knocking him around then calling 911, the police started an investigation. That’s where the truth came out.

    Until the police investigated, they didn’t believe him.

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  41. I’ll posit that there are abused husbands within the church.

    (Reference Ephesians 5:21-24 KJV;I Cor. 11:3)

    Because the verses stating that man is the head of the women, it would be a shame in their eyes if they spoke out against their abusive wife. So we don’t hear from them.

    If I’m on the right track, to those abused
    men out there, it’s not a shame to admit the abuse.

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  42. Many years ago I had a conservative woman ask me whether I thought abusiveness was grounds for divorce. She clearly didn’t think it was. I replied with the answer I still believe to be true and valid today: Abuse from a spouse is a violation of the covenant of marriage, as serious as infidelity is. Period. End of story. When abuse happens, the marriage is already broken and the person who broke it is the abuser. Bullies preying on the weak got some of the harshest words and actions Jesus spoke during his ministry.

    Grudem is still clueless. People like him are a danger to almost anyone in a vulnerable position.

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  43. John: Grudem is still clueless. People like him are a danger to almost anyone in a vulnerable position.

    And to think that he is a hero of the faith, idolized and adored within New Calvinism. When a movement has folks at the top like Grudem, Mohler and Piper, followers are hindered in their spiritual development … all they get are jots and tittles of religious law.

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  44. elastigirl: unless a woman remains in the marriage up to and including that 10th black eye, she will be in sin, will be looked down on as an inferior christian, in fact may not even be a christian at all, will not be considered as having a legitimate faith, will be disciplined, will be at risk of rejection from her christian community, will make God angry and may lose her salvation.

    In her heart of hearts she yearns to breathe free, like Emma Lazarus’s huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
    It is my fervent prayer that she, and many others like her can find a well-spring of strength within and leave these crushing and despotic fear-based religions.

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  45. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I’m just going to say that cranking out theology has been very, very good to Wayne Grudem. I found his house, it’s located in Scottsdale, and its 2020 cash value is $639,000. (By comparison, the cash value of my house in Mesa is $105,000, which is still 1/3 less than what I paid for it. Yeah, I’ve never recovered from the Great Recession.)

    The upper crust of the clergy have always lived sumptuously at the expense of the serfs.
    Come to think of it, in some ways, feudalism has never fully died out.

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  46. dee,

    I take it that you are responding to my comment. It was some years ago that I saw a list of domestic violence broken down by sex and the split was about 48% female victims/52% male in that list. I do not remember where I saw that, but it surprised me at the time. Looking at some more current information I see a range of stats depending on what specifically you are looking at. Some suggest that they think the numbers are skewed because men are more reluctant to report abuse than women in our culture. Some places where numbers look much higher than you obviously think would be like on this page: “1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. This includes a range of behaviors (e.g. slapping, shoving, pushing) and in some cases might not be considered “domestic violence.” This comes from this page: https://ncadv.org/statistics I could list more links, but your site likes to reject comments with too many links.

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  47. dee,

    I am wondering if the statistics I saw came from the state of Oklahoma where I was living at the time. On this page I found the following graph: “Perpetrator of Nonfatal IPV Injuries by Gender of Patient,* OCMSA, July 2000 – December 2001” Figure 4 shows a near identical count between men and women in the state during that period. Maybe it is a fluke but maybe not. https://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/IPV_Injuries_2001.pdf

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  48. Again, looking at the state of Oklahoma you can find these statistics listed: “In Oklahoma, 49% of women and 40% of men have experienced intimate partner violence at some time in their lives.” https://www.ok.gov/health/Protective_Health/Injury_Prevention_Service/Intimate_Partner_Violence/index.html
    These numbers while not as high as what I looked at years ago show many more men then what we might expect. I know that statistics can be manipulated and are not always reliable. However violence is never a good thing no matter how many men and women are affected by it each year.

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  49. Chick bashing has become an acceptable art form with theses ordinate 501c3 cult tulip pushers. Run, don’t walk to the nearest exit. The life you save may be your own… (you have been warned)

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  50. More statistic from the wikipedia page dedicated to the topic of male victims:

    “In 2013, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that from a sample of 16,000 U.S. adults, 26% of homosexual men, 37.3% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men had been a victim of IPV, compared to 43.8% of lesbians, 61.1% of bisexual women and 35% of heterosexual women.” 29/35 is not on par but closer than most people think.

    “In New Zealand, the twenty-one year Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, published in 1999, reported that of their sample of 1,037 people, 27% of women and 34% of men reported being physically abused by a partner, with 37% of women and 22% of men reporting they had perpetrated IPV.[37]”
    “The 2006 International Dating Violence Study, which investigated IPV amongst 13,601 students across thirty-two-nations found that “about one-quarter of both male and female students had physically attacked a partner during that year”. It reported that 24.4% of males had experienced minor IPV and 7.6% had experienced “severe assault”.[38]

    In 2012, two Swedish studies were released that showed men experienced IPV at rates similar to women—8% per year in one study and 11% per year in the other.[39][40]”

    The page has interesting information concerning the topic of “Gender Symmetry.” Rather or not all of this info is true I do not know. But I have become skeptical over the years about many things that are commonly thought to be true ranging from supposed church norms to supposed gender norms.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_men

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  51. Personally, I like Barbara Robert’s idea for dealing with abusers in church using 1 Cor. 5:11-13:

    1Co 5:11-But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer (abuser), or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
    1Co 5:12-For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    1Co 5:13-But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

    The Greek word for railer in 1 cor. 5:11 has been used in the LXX to describe people who are verbally physically abusive. Barbara Roberts wrote a book about her experience as an abused wife within the church, and she posts at “A Cry For Justice Blog”. Originally, she thought Matthew 18 should be the go to verse for church discipline for an abuser, but she has since changed her mind that 1 Cor. 5:11-13 allows a victim of domestic violence to use her own conscience to divorce her abuser rather than trying to through the church’s Matthews 18 discipline as it often backfires on a victim.

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  52. Wild Honey: Why does it seem to be always assumed that the church leader is not themselves also an abuser?

    If we’re talking Evangelical churches, especially those that are elder-led or elder-ruled, 40 years of adult experience tells me it should be assumed that at least some of the leaders are abusers and the rest are aware of it.

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  53. Janet: If we’re talking Evangelical churches, especially those that are elder-led or elder-ruled, 40 years of adult experience tells me it should be assumed that at least some of the leaders are abusers and the rest are aware of it.

    Time and time again, we have seen that “the rest are aware of it” … yes-men elders cover and protect bad-boy preachers … Hybels, MacDonald, Driscoll, etc. etc.

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  54. I happen to know that there are some pastors who are probably sweating this announcement. These are the pastors who have sent women back into homes with broken arms and broken hearts. I intend to tell those stories. It appears that embarrassment and scorn are the only ways to get these men to rethink their paradigm.

    Well, if that’s all that works… Keep it up, sister! 🙂

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  55. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I’m just going to say that cranking out theology has been very, very good to Wayne Grudem.

    “Writing for a penny a word is stupid. If you want to make a million dollars, Start Your Own Religion.”
    — L Ron Hubbard, later founder of Scientology

    Oh, and the name is “WAYNE GRUDEM GO WAYNE GRUDEM!”

    I found his house, it’s located in Scottsdale, and its 2020 cash value is $639,000. (By comparison, the cash value of my house in Mesa is $105,000, which is still 1/3 less than what I paid for it. Yeah, I’ve never recovered from the Great Recession.)

    What is the description of WGGWG’s house other than its price? Number of bedrooms/baths, garage size, lot size, any special rooms or amenities or location?

    I plan to retire to Arizona and have been checking prices and locations. Don’t know about Phoenix area (which includes Scottsdale) specifically, but my rule-of-thumb is double to triple the price for its California suburb equivalent. From that, $105k could get you a two-bedroom starter condo and $640k a decent blinged-out McMansion.

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  56. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I would note that I STRONGLY suspect that Grudem, while looking at the texts, failed to look at the contexts in which the texts were written.

    Because that conflicts with “THE PLAIN MEANING OF SCRIPTURE(TM)“!

    And every survivor of Spiritual Abuse knows how Single-Verse Proof Texts can be weaponized.

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  57. Ella: I think it would look something like(IMO) , ” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

    “Four times the amount” has a significance.
    According to some Jewish sources in local SF litfandom, “Twice the amount” was ha-Torah’s normal penalty for theft. “Four times the amount” was for theft of property (such as a carpenter’s tools) that additionally deprived the victim of his ability to earn a living.

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  58. Raswhiting:
    re

    SMH – Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce!

    How else can PASTOR/LEADER Grudem play God on the Great White Throne, binding, loosing, and (especially) JUDGING?

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  59. Who in their right mind thinks a church leader has any say so in whether or not you seek a divorce? Stop abdicating the priesthood of the believer and do some adulting!

    Detest Grudem’s teaching but he has only the power a person gives him, no more.

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  60. During my second pastorate a female parishioner came to me with a spiritual dilemma. Her husband, whom I never met and did not attend church, was abusing her physically, mentally, and emotionally. She stated that she was embarassed to come to me as her pastor to talk about her issue, so she wrote a major SBC pastor whom she followed by the media. His response to her was that as a wife that should be faithful to the Bible, she needed to remain with her husband at all costs and pray for his salvation.

    The husband, a long distance trucker, was expecially brutal during his last trip home and she came to me. I read the letter from the esteemed pastor as the wife tearfully stated that she felt “trapped by God.” To stay means that she will be continually beaten, to leave means she will lose her salvation.

    My response to her was that the doctrine of grace overrides all. Would the grace of God expect her to remain in a physically dangerous situation that may indeed result in her death so that her salvation might remain intact? Is that “grace?” We discussed that God’s love demanded us to be loyal to scripture, but that reason also plays a part in our decision making. (Yes, I was an SBC Moderate so to some I am a “Godless liberal.”)

    By the time our talking and praying was over, she decided that it was not God’s expectation that she be beaten on earth to live eternally with him in heaven. She asked how she might safely leave home and with the help of some loving parishioners, we got her to a women’s shelter and later she found safety.

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  61. Raswhiting:
    re

    SMH – Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce!

    Ding ding ding! This is the exact problem in a nutshell. It is the abused persons decision. Period.

    None of these guys can let go of control enough to say it, but that is the reality.

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  62. dee,

    Dee a lot of mra seem to love the idea that women are as or more abusive than men but I have never seen a stat on partners killed by their partner (or ex partner) that is even in the ballpark m v women. So.

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  63. Just some information I’ve encountered and gathered here as this topic brings it to mind.

    “When is a difference not a difference?” 3/25/2019.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvo0urvULCo

    From the video: Men and Women’s Brains are not essentially different, but everyone’s brain is different from everyone else’s and everyone’s brain is connected to the world. Brains are plastic, not static.

    Or believing they are different one might believe that “the “blue” brain grows into an armored, resilient systematizer and leader of man and the other goes down a “pink” path , is a bit marshmallowie and lands up a bit princessie and emotional.” Cast your vote!

    When is a difference a real difference?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_men

    “From 2010 to 2012, scholars of domestic violence from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. assembled The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge, a research database covering 1700 peer-reviewed studies, the largest of its kind. Among its findings:[62]
    • More women (23%) than men (19.3%) have been assaulted at least once in their lifetime.
    • Rates of female-perpetrated violence are higher than male-perpetrated (28.3% vs. 21.6%).
    • Male and female IPV are perpetrated from similar motives.
    • Studies comparing men and women in the power/control motive have mixed results overall.
    A 2013 review examined studies from five continents and the correlation between a country’s level of gender inequality and rates of domestic violence. The authors found that when partner abuse is defined broadly to include emotional abuse, any kind of hitting, and who hits first, partner abuse is relatively even.

    They also stated if one examines who is physically harmed and how seriously, expresses more fear, and experiences subsequent psychological problems, domestic violence is significantly gendered toward women as victims”

    Gender Based Violence:

    http://www.halftheskymovement.org/issues/gender-based-violence.html

    I also think holistically, or try to, in consideration of history and which gender’s voice has been the loudest and most influential and for how long. I’ve had male relatives who’ve been abused by authority figures of both genders. Predominantly, though, in my world, I’m more closely aware of more female victims than male.

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  64. Mr. Jesperson,

    I’m not sure I’m reading your document from OK right but here’s what I read:

    Figure 1: “90% of IPV non-fatal injuries treated were female”. * 1151 total patients treated

    “The rate of IPV injury among females is 8.6 times higher than the rate for males.” from this OK govt doc.

    “For all races, the IPV injury rate was higher for women than for men.”

    So, in looking at figure 4: 90% of the 1151 patients, that is, 1035 were female and for 83% of those their current partner was the perpetrator, that is 859 male current partners were perpetrators. (unless the 1151 are a mix of injured perpetrators and victims, then I don’t have enough information to get a count, I don’t think…I’m gonna assume the count is higher for female victims, which I think is a safer assumption…)

    10% of the 1151 patients, that is, 116 , were male and for 81% of those their current partner was the perpetrator, that is, 94 female current partners were perpetrators. Maybe my interpretation if off…

    For the fatal IPV cases: 45 IPV deaths occurred. 82%, that is, 37 female deaths occurred, 8 male deaths occurred.

    I’m not reading gender equality in these stats.

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  65. What Grudem and his colleagues think is of zero consequence to me. The only people who know what is right in their situation is the ones who are in the situation. We do not live under law and we do not live under a priesthood. You do not have to seek anyone’s approval for your lifestyle or for a divorce. We stand or fall before Christ alone. And Christ did not leave us a checklist “do this” “don’t do this”. Using your own wisdom and experience, seek the information of experts and make the decision that is right for your situation. No church leader lives in your shoes. No church leader can tell you how God feels about it. No church leader can tell you what the future will bring if you do or do not divorce. Remaining in an abusive situation can have disastrous effects on children. Learn to think for yourself and have the confidence to act on what your perceptions tell you.

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  66. Ella: I’m not reading gender equality in these stats.

    Thank you for digging in! This is my read of the general stats as well.

    Some of the DV literature I’ve read talks about abusive men who take small things from partners and call them abuse…(anecdotally I had an ex say his wife was abusive, but he turned out to be a liar). That might show up in a stat as parity but deaths and serious injuries seem disproportionate by an amount that makes equal stats seems quite unlikely to me.

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  67. ION: Climbing

    Managed all but the crux move of the current 6c+ problem with the orange biscuits at the climbing wall tonight, which makes me think that had the crux move had one extra hold (and therefore been the same difficulty as the rest of the route), I’d probably have sent it. Which was quite chuffing. Didn’t manage much else, mind!

    IHTIH

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  68. dee,

    I know that these are only anecdotal but in my own extended family there have been 2 extremely emotionally abusive wives and no abusive husbands. There was also a family friend whose wife was physically abusive who sought an early divorce after she threw him down a hillside. We don’t see as much written about it because for one thing, women usually don’t cause the same physical danger to men, but I have noticed when listening to the police scanner it seems like there are as many calls for domestics against women as there are against men. When it comes to extreme violence or murder, there is no comparison, though. But don’t underestimate the number of men who are suffering in silence or the number of children being abused by their mothers. I know a gentle, kindhearted man who suffered hell on earth for the last 30 years because “God hates divorce.”

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  69. Mr. Jesperson: “In 2013, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that from a sample of 16,000 U.S. adults, 26% of homosexual men, 37.3% of bisexual men, and 29% of heterosexual men had been a victim of IPV, compared to 43.8% of lesbians, 61.1% of bisexual women and 35% of heterosexual women.” 29/35 is not on par but closer than most people think.

    Yes, in surveys, it’s found that men are abused in similar numbers to women, if a little bit lower. Many studies have been cited here, and I firmly believe it’s true.

    But that does not mean the harm is the same.

    Abuse here, or “intimate partner violence”, is usually described as slapping, shoving, squeezing, pulling hair, etc. So a woman can slap a man, which, while bad, does not actually injure.

    A better measure if you want to look at the comparison between male and female abusers is to look at ER visits. Injury is far, far greater among women than among men. It doesn’t mean that women don’t slap; it does mean that men are far less likely to get beaten to a pulp than women are.

    How we define things matters. And just because the genders may slap in similar numbers does not mean that both genders are in as much physical danger.

    Now, emotional abuse is a different story, and emotional abuse is very serious and leaves serious scars, too. But I think we need to be careful about defining our terms when it comes to physical abuse, and make sure that we’re not equating slapping to breaking someone’s limbs.

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  70. The other thing about Grudem is that he has spent pretty much his entire life as a Christian teacher trying to dissect, in minute detail, what women are allowed to do vs. what men are allowed to do. And his answer? Women aren’t allowed to do very much.

    Dee even wrote about this previously.

    Imagine spending your whole life making sure that women don’t teach men about Jesus. Does he think that God will be happy on judgment day?

    What a complete waste of a life. But it’s worse than that–because he’s hurt people and dragged them down with him. What an awful legacy–women are in bondage, and we had better make sure they don’t tell any adult male about Jesus.

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  71. Sheila: Imagine spending your whole life making sure that women don’t teach men about Jesus.

    Priscilla instructed Apollos in the way of God, which prepared him for an effective preaching and evangelistic ministry (Acts 18). If Grudem would humble himself to receive instruction through a woman, he might be an effective messenger of Truth instead of twisting jots and tittles of Scripture to beat the spiritual life out of women with error.

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  72. Sheila: Imagine spending your whole life making sure that women don’t teach men about Jesus.

    Actually, New Calvinists as a group spend their whole lives not teaching much about Jesus to anyone! Listen to their sermons. You will hear a lot about sovereign “God”, but only occasional mention of Jesus, and hardly a word about the Holy Spirit. New Calvinist icons, like Piper, get quoted more than Jesus.

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  73. Sheila,

    When New Calvinism began to sweep across the American church, I listened to sermon podcasts by young, restless and reformed “pastors” at SBC church plants in my area. I sat with a pad of paper listing 4 columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, reformed icon. “God” received several checks, Jesus only a few, none for the Holy Spirit … but several for Piper, Driscoll, etc. … of course, Calvin had his share.

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  74. Ken F (aka Tweed): It seems battle lines are being drawn among the reformed crowd:
    https://reformationcharlotte.org/2019/11/26/wayne-grudem-caves-to-churchtoo-movement-changes-mind-on-divorce-in-abuse-cases/

    It’s infuriating how many of these sexists (complementarians) insist on framing everything opposed to their horrid beliefs and teachings as being “feminism” or as a “result of Me Too.”

    Not that, you, you know, even conservatives such as myself who don’t identify as feminists easily spotted the problems with their sexist theology eons ago.

    Here is a quote from the article you linked to:

    Herein lies the problem — “abuse” can be defined by almost anything nowadays. And when we redefine the Scriptures to allow for divorce in ambiguous situations, we not only deny the power of the gospel to its work and to bring glory to God, but we also open the floodgates for divorce under practically any situation.

    Re:
    “…“abuse” can be defined by almost anything nowadays”

    That is someone who reveals a profound ignorance of what domestic abuse (marital or no) is.

    Here’s a primer for the complementarians who don’t understand what abuse is, or who think anyone who is critical of comp thinks anything and everything is abuse:

    Power and Control
    https://ywcaspokane.org/programs/help-with-domestic-violence/power-and-control-wheel/

    By the way, part of the problem with complementarianism is that many of them either don’t recognize ANY mistreatment of a wife by a husband as being abusive,
    OR, there is a portion of them that recognize only physical violence – they refuse to acknowledge that abuse comes in other forms, (such as sexual, financial, relational, emotional, and verbal).

    Abuse is not limited to someone physically assaulting another person, it can include other actions.

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  75. Max:
    Sheila,

    Exactly. Church here in Nashville that had been strong CBF is now Neo-Cal with interim pastor who been pastor who refers to Piper constantly as well as the “sovereignty of God” in deterministic ways.

    When New Calvinism began to sweep across the American church, I listened to sermon podcasts by young, restless and reformed “pastors” at SBC church plants in my area.I sat with a pad of paper listing 4 columns: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, reformed icon.“God” received several checks, Jesus only a few, none for the Holy Spirit … but several for Piper, Driscoll, etc. … of course, Calvin had his share.

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  76. Brian: Women abusers do exist. Why men that are abused don’t speak up is because people will not believe them.

    I don’t think most people deny that. I don’t. I’ve stated many times on this blog and over on mine that my older sister has been verbally/emotionally abusive towards me and I had a woman boss who bullied me on my full time job a few years.

    The problem is that males abusing females are greater in number AND the culture and complementarianism fosters the male entitlement that undergirds the abuse and/or perpetuates it.

    I’m not aware of any Christian churches or denominations that instruct people that women are to over rule men (because men are more easily deceived than women, or because God created woman first),
    that women should have “final say so” in a marital dispute, that husbands should submit to their wives, etc.

    As far as me being on the receiving end of rude or abusive behavior off other women over my life, it was ironically Christian complementarianism that contributed to it, because I was taught that being a “godly” woman meant being a passive little doormat to everyone, even to other women.

    So anytime I was bullied or abused (even by another woman) I had no idea what to do, and I assumed it would not be okay for me to defend myself. So I sat there and tolerated a lot of verbal and emotional abuse off women (and men) over the course of my life – thanks to complementarian teachings.

    (Comp teachings don’t just do harm to married women but to all women, even single ones in other relationships.)

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  77. Mr. Jesperson,

    A news headline just popped up the last few days about a man who murdered a young college student to death because she “ignored his cat calls.”

    You can read more about that news story here:

    Man accused of killing Chicago student after she ignored his catcalls
    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-accused-of-killing-chicago-student-after-she-ignored-his-catcalls/

    I just don’t see men on the receiving end of that sort of behavior from women as often as I do women from men.

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  78. Mr. Jesperson: However violence is never a good thing no matter how many men and women are affected by it each year.

    Societal messages and church messages (ie, complementarian male headship teachings) bolster it more so in male on female violence.

    Are there any female based religions or Christian churches in which all are taught that men are to submit to women etc etc? I’m not aware of any.

    And yet the American Christian church is chock full of sexist complementarian teachings that instruct women that God wants men to rule over them, and that if abused, God considers it a sin for a woman to divorce her abusive husband.

    Men in our culture generally do not get hit with (pun not intended) more heavily with these “be passive and act like a doormat” garbage messages as often and strongly women do.

    I was pounded with this garbage from the time I was a child, too.

    The brain-washing with traditional gender roles and how God supposedly wants you to act and re-act when you are female starts young when you are raised in a Christian family and dragged into complementarian teaching Baptist churches.

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  79. Luckyforward: By the time our talking and praying was over, she decided that it was not God’s expectation that she be beaten on earth to live eternally with him in heaven. She asked how she might safely leave home and with the help of some loving parishioners, we got her to a women’s shelter and later she found safety.

    I’m glad she found safety, and I’m also hoping she found FREEDOM.
    Freedom from a ‘Biblical’ world view that makes no allowance for human need and human flourishing.
    If as Jesus taught, that the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not the other way round’, how long will it take for today’s Protestant pharisees to apply the same lesson to marriage?

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  80. Lea,

    Just putting the stats aside…
    Which biological sex in the United States more often, from the time they are children,

    …keeps getting messages from movies, magazines, TV commercials and the church,

    that the other sex exists as objects only there to be at their beck and call and to do their bidding, and at that, because it is God’s design, and they are entitled to attention, affection, sex, dates, etc from the other sex?

    It sure as heck ain’t girls and women getting those messages about boys and men.

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  81. Daisy,

    The married couple sitting in the pews. Say that couple, the wife is the abuser. It has nothing to do with what the pastor is teaching. From age 9 to 14, my molester abusive stepfather sat in the Disciples of Christ (liberal) church pews with the rest of us in the family. Either he was stupid or didn’t care. Two years ago my self avowed Christian sister, who goes to church every week, was taunting my 17 year nephew, her son, to to kill himself. Mr. Jepperson is right, it may not be a female only issue within the church.

    Protestantism was supposed to be pedophile free, the tagline being “we’re not the Catholic Church”. Victims and survivors withdrew because they were not being taken seriously or shunned. But, when people started to listen, they came out. Maybe if #churchtoo started to consider adult males could be abused within the churches or congregations. Pastors squashed and covered up when females reported. How is anyone to know they did for the more rare male that reported. Maybe there is a larger (false) shame for a guy to report it.

    Before Mr. Jepperson put forth the idea, I never considered it. And, I actually saw a friend go through it.

    #churchtoo needs to keep an open mind. If #churchtoo keeps saying it’s a women, children, and teenager problem, an abused husband won’t even approach you.

    Everybody’s been throwing a fit over what W.G. has and hasn’t said, #churchtoo saying he didn’t go far enough. If #churchtoo keeps saying there is no way men are getting abused within the body of Christ, maybe #churchtoo needs to go further itself.

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  82. Sheila,

    ER visits, a strawman argument. Because women, more than men, go to the ER, abused men aren’t as abused.

    My friend that I told about earlier, he was a graphics artist. Sometimes he worked from home. Sometimes he collaborated with a colleague, a female, at her house. His girlfriend would sometimes show up at the colleagues house screaming, pounding on the door. My stepfather did similar stupid stuff in front of everyone and God. The women stopped working with my friend. He lost a bunch of money. How many stories are out there where the abusive husband shows up at the wife’s work.

    Keep an open mind. Maybe that abused husband from a congregation may speak up if #churchtoo makes it known that they are willing to listen.

    My own personal experience. Spring of 1985, I’m a senior in highschool. I’m seeing a therapist. I’ve told them about the physical/mental and physical abuse. I was afraid to even tell them about the sexual abuse out of shame. I asked my therapist, county human services employee, if there was group therapy I could attend. His reply was no. They’re was only girls/women’s groups and they were for sexual abuse. There was never enough boys or young men to form a group.

    Twenty, thirty years later, the mental health fields assumptions were way off. Could the wrong attitudes of the mental health field pushed away a whole bunch of other 17 year olds. After what my therapist told me what he told me, I questioned why should I even continue with therapy. Even though I wasn’t looking for therapy for the sexual abuse, his telling me it was females only, sexual abuse only, he was telling me they were not even looking out for boys and teenagers who were sexually abused. I didn’t go back to any kind of therapy until my early 40’s.

    The #churchtoo has s great infrastructure built up. If any men actually meet the criteria that the women fall into, you may not hear from them if you keep saying it’s different with men.

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  83. Barbara Roberts,

    You’re welcome! I think it is significant that Grudem credits other male theologians, like David Clyde Jones, for changing his mind, but never cites you as a source even when Clyde Jones recommends your book “Not Under Bondage”. You’re right that it is because you are a woman. After all, Grudem doesn’t want to make it look like he has been educated by a woman! While I am glad he has changed his mind, he still falls short when he thinks clergy should decide if a victim should get divorced rather than the victim herself. Thnank you for writing the recent post at a “Cry For Justice”. https://cryingoutforjustice.blog/2019/11/28/wayne-grudems-change-of-mind-on-divorce-for-abuse-falls-short/#comments

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  84. Daisy:
    A news headline just popped up the last few days about a man who murdered a young college student to death because she “ignored his cat calls.”

    It has always been my firmest belief that it is safer to ignore these things and that’s what I’ve always done since I was 13, so I found this really scary.

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  85. Brian: ER visits, a strawman argument. Because women, more than men, go to the ER, abused men aren’t as abused.

    You can say that Brian but what about murders? Those are also massively unequal in distribution. That should back up the ER point, imo. More serious injuries, more murders.

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  86. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I know people who hold to inerrancy are not going to like what I am saying here, but you can’t treat the texts as if they’re flat and applicable to all people at all times. You have to look behind the texts and see their contexts.

    I completely agree. And I think in practice (though perhaps not in theory) a lot of inerrancy folks would hold to this, too. Otherwise, we’d see a lot more people literally selling everything they they have and giving it to the poor (Matthew 19:21). Or cutting off their right hands (Matthew 5:30).

    Given the context, I think Matthew 5:30 is metaphorical. I would suspect Mr. Grudem does, too. So I think an appropriate question for Mr. Grudem now would be, “So what?”

    If his actions for DECADS have indirectly sinned against HUNDREDS (conservative estimate) of women in abusive marriages in very tangible (i.e., not metaphorical) ways, what is he going to do to show actual repentance when rubber meets the road? I hardly think one interview is going to cut it.

    I suggest he start talking to some domestic violence survivors for suggestions.

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  87. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: people who hold to inerrancy …

    … have been found to be errant in their eisegesis. Theologies of mere men are supported and defended through presuppositions, agendas and biases. Such is Grudem’s version of reformed theology. The New Calvinist movement depends on aberrations of belief and practice where Jesus is subordinated, women are inferior, the work of the Cross is diminished, the saving message for ALL people is devalued, and a host of Biblical texts are twisted out of context to keep men on the throne in their kingdom, but not God’s Kingdom.

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  88. Brian,

    Brian,

    I agree that there are female abusers as well as male abusers. I know of particular cases in my world.

    I think, though, as the SBC “caring well”, or Credentials Committee, has done, that putting all types of issues in one basket to focus on diffuses the way that each of the issues will be addressed, lessening the likelihood that any one of them will be addressed thoroughly enough to have sustainability in a meaningful way. I also wonder if this is intentional, not on your part, but on the SBC’s part. I think each of the issues in that basket ought to be addressed in a genuine non superficial way, but I don’t think it is helpful to any of the causes to lump them together in superficial efforts. (IMO)

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  89. John: covenant of marriage

    Just wanted to point out that many happily married Christian couples view marriage as a contract, not a covenant. Covenants are made between God and humans, and thus are notoriously hard to terminate. Contacts can have actual terms that folks agree to live with, including lofty standards and deal breakers.

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  90. Sheila: How we define things matters. And just because the genders may slap in similar numbers does not mean that both genders are in as much physical danger.

    Non-lethal trauma is still trauma.

    Verbal abuse is abuse.

    Slapping might not bruise, but it can maim the psyche and destroy the relationship.

    Abuse can also threaten, silence, and marginalize the victim.

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  91. dee,

    Another crucial point is how the law defines abuse. In my state in a prior era, a law was passed to prevent abusers from coercing victims into changing their minds about having the abuser arrested. Under the new law, the police had to arrest someone if they got a call about a domestic incident.

    The unintended consequences were a nightmare. A concerned (or nosy) neighbor would call 9-1-1 about a brief shouting match between a mother and teenage daughter. The police would ascertain that the daughter used foul language, and the mother threw the car keys on the floor. They would have to pick which one to arrest. The law was later changed, but just imagine the statistics from my state in that era!

    All abuse is bad, but definitions and local practices can sometimes actually obscure risk and reality. We already knew this… ask any bruised woman who was laughed out of the police station in the 1950s.

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  92. Mr. Jesperson: 29/35 is not on par but closer than most people think.

    Mr. Jesperson,

    Did you notice this in the wiki article?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence_against_men

    “From 2010 to 2012, scholars of domestic violence from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. assembled The Partner Abuse State of Knowledge, a research database covering 1700 peer-reviewed studies, the largest of its kind. Among its findings:[62]

    More women (23%) than men (19.3%) have been assaulted at least once in their lifetime.
    Rates of female-perpetrated violence are higher than male-perpetrated (28.3% vs. 21.6%).
    Male and female IPV are perpetrated from similar motives.
    Studies comparing men and women in the power/control motive have mixed results overall.

    A 2013 review examined studies from five continents and the correlation between a country’s level of gender inequality and rates of domestic violence. The authors found that when partner abuse is defined broadly to include emotional abuse, any kind of hitting, and who hits first, partner abuse is relatively even.

    They also stated if one examines who is physically harmed and how seriously, expresses more fear, and experiences subsequent psychological problems, domestic violence is significantly gendered toward women as victims.”

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  93. Headless Unicorn Guy: What is the description of WGGWG’s house other than its price? Number of bedrooms/baths, garage size, lot size, any special rooms or amenities or location?

    I plan to retire to Arizona and have been checking prices and locations. Don’t know about Phoenix area (which includes Scottsdale) specifically, but my rule-of-thumb is double to triple the price for its California suburb equivalent. From that, $105k could get you a two-bedroom starter condo and $640k a decent blinged-out McMansion.

    It has four bathrooms and an unknown number of bedrooms (that’s from Zillow). And it looks like a tract house, to be perfectly honest. What it has going for it is that it backs up on a desert area, but has a fence blocking it from said desert area. To be perfectly honest, I’m unimpressed. If was going to live in Scottsdale, I’d live in one of the older neighborhoods that has more character.

    Housing prices are all over the map here in the Valley. You just need to decide what amenities you want and then start looking. My father, for example, decided on the east side of the Valley because he was not driving in to downtown Phoenix from the west and staring in the morning sun the whole way.

    From the low end, there are used trailers in parks that go for relatively cheap (but you have to pay ground rent), all the way to modernist mansions with spectacular views that are both *tres chic* and *tres cher*. The other thing to know is that prices in some areas are starting to skyrocket again. And rents are going up, too, leaving a lot of people out in the cold. Oh yeah, and then there are the ubiquitous homeowners associations. Pretty much everywhere has them. Except for the house my parents bought. At least my mother’s house (more character than Grudem’s) is paid for.

    I’ve lived here 18 years, I like it a lot, except for the worst of the summers, but otherwise, it’s a nice place to live. It’s very wide open. I feel cramped when I travel back East.

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  94. Wild Honey:
    If his actions for DECADS have indirectly sinned against HUNDREDS (conservative estimate) of women in abusive marriages in very tangible (i.e., not metaphorical) ways, what is he going to do to show actual repentance when rubber meets the road? I hardly think one interview is going to cut it.

    I suggest he start talking to some domestic violence survivors for suggestions.

    Oh no, he might have to learn from WOMEN!

    Regarding abuse, I remembered back to my early teen years, just after we moved to Texas. I’ve suppressed a lot of this, but apparently the 18 months between the move and my mother’s attempted suicide were FULL of violence. I remember one incident where my mother was waving knives around and I herded my siblings into a bedroom and blocked the door. My younger brother told this happened several times, not just once. And my dad moved out at one point for six months, coming back after the suicide attempt. Now, 45 years later, I’m wondering if I missed spousal abuse on the part of my mother to my father, stuff we didn’t see because it was after our bedtime or we were huddling in fear because mom was shouting again.

    For the record, my mother is a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic and she sees hallucinations and hears voices. She is on medication which works as long as she takes it. You have not lived until you’ve sat in the doctor’s office (I was invited in once a couple of years ago) and she calmly describes what she’s seeing and hearing.

    I’m sure this counts as spousal abuse, but she wasn’t in her right mind and when on medication, this wasn’t an issue.

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  95. Max: “If it’s not requiring her to sin but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, and she endures perhaps being smacked one night …” (John Piper)

    (Chuckles) Oh My! Sometimes wives might want to divorce the old goat even if he doesn’t smack her. That’s bad for business! Just hypothetically, imagine that about 10 years ago, Noel threatened to divorce me if I didn’t deal with my myriad pride issues— even if I didn’t abuse her, per se. What if I’d been so busy with a season of hobnobbing with my gospel buddies at conferences and cranking out a book per month about husbands leading their wives that I never had the time of day for her? I might have had to go on a season of sabbatical, because she could have divorced me and that would have been very bad for business, indeed. Just hypothetically.
    Oh, dear! Would you mind bringing my tea? I’m busy praying!

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  96. Friend: At my house this only works if the husband is carrying a chocolate pie.

    Maybe Noel will be carrying a crumpet to go with my tea! Uh oh gotta go! She’ll murder me to death if she catches me on this website when I’m supposed to be praying! Oh My!

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  97. Seriously, us Gospel-centric types probably employ slippery slope logic. If you let the uppity womenfolk divorce guys who smack them, next thing you know it’ll be for a season of verbal abuse and then for asking them to do threesomes and eventually for asking them to bring tea. But I’ve disagreed with Wayne before. It was about a very important Gospel issue but I cannot remember now what it was. Oops I hear her feet on the stairs……… at least I’m not surfing for smut like about half of all pastors in the last month. Who was the SGM guy who said blogs like this are as bad as smut? Good thing there are 3 flights, “AND GOD BLESS WAYNE AND MARGARET, Amen!”

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  98. Brian: his telling me it was females only, sexual abuse only, he was telling me they were not even looking out for boys and teenagers who were sexually abused. I didn’t go back to any kind of therapy until my early 40’s.

    Brian, I so appreciate your insights, and I completely agree with you about data being skewed, assumptions often being wrong, and certain victims, particularly males, being silenced and marginalized.

    A separate point, NOT yours, should also come out here, I think. In some quarters, baseless claims are made that women are the real abusers, and women will show their true awful colors when they are emboldened and given a couple of rights. There are whole movements devoted to “proving” how horrible women are. Again, I know this is not your point.

    You and most of us want every victim to have a voice.

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  99. Friend:
    A separate point, NOT yours, should also come out here, I think. In some quarters, baseless claims are made that women are the real abusers, and women will show their true awful colors when they are emboldened and given a couple of rights. There are whole movements devoted to “proving” how horrible women are. Again, I know this is not your point.

    Indeed. I don’t think this is Brian’s point but the other poster? Maybe. This is such a common thing to witness and it usually involves women talking about something that legitimately does affect them disproportionately and mra types coming in with ‘women are really the worst ones’ hot takes. Most people who care about abuse care about all abuse, but that’s not what Is happening in some of these conversations.

    We should work for more support services for men who are abused while still recognizing that the numbers are skewed still. I see often a point made that there are fewer shelters and I don’t doubt that – but I work with one of the local shelters and they started coed and had to change to women only because they had too many men abusing the system that it was a danger to the women there. It’s sad for everyone who needs support that that happens.

    Emotional abuse is still very serious and traumatizing but if control is the essence of abuse in many cases, the serious physical violence has to weigh heavily in the abusers favor. It shouldn’t be a competition but when someone comes in with the theory that women are ‘worse’ the hard numbers just don’t back that up.

    And of course many men are in fact abused by other men. And women by other women.

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  100. Wild Honey,

    “If his actions for DECADS have indirectly sinned against HUNDREDS (conservative estimate) of women in abusive marriages in very tangible (i.e., not metaphorical) ways, what is he going to do to show actual repentance when rubber meets the road? I hardly think one interview is going to cut it.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    i marvel at the lack of awareness i observe (in him, his peers, and christian leaders who adopt their conclusions [like choosing a wine because you liked the label glued to the bottle]).

    how do you tutor a full-fledged adult in cause and effect?

    i found this tidbit:

    “At around 9 months, babies are getting better at understanding cause and effect: “I push the button to make the music play.” They are also starting to understand that the things they can’t see still exist.”

    did they not have a busybox in their crib? no buttons to press?

    why can’t they see past their theology to the human lives distorted by it, which do in fact exist?

    how do you tutor a full-fledged adult in 9-month-age level things?

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  101. Lea: Narwhal tusk??? Amazing! And…odd.

    The initial and deadly attack started in a guild hall called Fishmongers’ Hall. A chef grabbed the narwhal tusk from a display and chased the bad guy onto London Bridge. Another guy grabbed the fire extinguisher. There’s actually video of the tusk and extinguisher in action here:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/11/london-attacker-subdued-by-narwhal-tusk-all-your-questions-answered

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  102. Friend: I was amazed to read about the two men in London who subdued a violent attacker by using a fire extinguisher and a narwhal tusk.

    One person commented “If a Polish chef attacking a terrorist with a whale horn can’t unite our country I don’t know what can.” Evidently, the fellow worked in a nearby restaurant and grabbed the narwhal tusk off the wall to pursue the attacker, joined by the guy with the fire extinguisher and another with his fists.

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  103. I wonder if Wayne’s daughter came home with bruises and black eyes would he look at her and say stay for a few more years to see if this continues then we will talk. I would hope he would be a tender dad instead of a big deal theologian

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  104. elastigirl: why can’t they see past their theology to the human lives distorted by it, which do in fact exist?

    I think this is by design. The New-Calvinists flood the internet and bookstores with confusing, overly complex explanations as a way to intimidate and dumb down their audiences. Their unspoken goal is to make pew-peons feel completely overwhelmed and incompetent to think for themselves. Once they have eroded discernment among the masses they can push whatever trash they want without opposition.

    These guys should go back and read 1 Cor 13.

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  105. Friend: Non-lethal trauma is still trauma.

    Verbal abuse is abuse.

    Slapping might not bruise, but it can maim the psyche and destroy the relationship.

    Abuse can also threaten, silence, and marginalize the victim.

    Yes. It can also land them in jail at the beginning of a holiday weekend on the basis of a contrived accusation, it can destroy their livelihood, it can alienate them from their friends and families. I’ve seen all of these things happen firsthand.

    I recognize that women face much more violence. Every day in the news we have stories of women murdered only because they are women. You don’t see that with men. No contest there. But abuse is a horrible thing regardless of which spouse is doing it and no one should feel pressured by the church to remain in an abusive marriage in order to “please God.”

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  106. Darlene,

    Raswhiting:
    re

    SMH – Grudem STILL thinks that the “leader” has to ALLOW the victim to seek a divorce!

    This is where common sense needs to come in. Victims of abuse don’t need to wait for permission from church leaders to escape a dangerous situation. You need to think of protecting yourself, and your children, if there are any. The church leaders aren’t going to be there to protect you the next time that punch is coming your way.

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  107. Background information: I am autistic. This means different things in different people, but my own autism manifests in a particular attraction to what-if’s, exceptions, and complex boundaries.

    I realise that for typical humans, the issue of abuse and violence is absolutely binary. That is, everyone must passionately embrace exactly one of the following two viewpoints:

     EITHER women are the victims of male abuse;
     OR men are the real (albeit hidden) victims of female abuse.

    I further understand that any attempt to moderate or broaden either of the above two viewpoints is ipso facto a vicious and deceitful denunciation thereof, and a rabid and hate-crazed touting of the other.

    This is, obviously, just one example of hundreds of binary, fight-to-the-death issues in which there are only two possible viewpoints, each infinitely narrow and separated by a vast ocean of passionate antipathy. (Think, left-wing/right-wing, science/religion, biblical-inerrancy/satanism, Spurs/Arsenal, and many more.)

    In the odd, boundary layer that I inhabit (not by choice, BTW; I can’t help this), there are many victims of violence and abuse. Every one of them is a human being, and unique. It may be that all but three of them are women – but that doesn’t help me support the person in front of me who is trying to escape from abuse. The fundamental hole in Mr Grudem’s long-marketed theology is the lumpen, black-and-white generalisations it makes about “Men” and “Women”. Which, I agree, has a disproportionate negative effect on women.

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  108. Darlene: This is where common sense needs to come in. Victims of abuse don’t need to wait for permission from church leaders to escape a dangerous situation.

    Yes, call 911 not the pastor … particularly in patriarchal, authoritarian churches where man trumps woman.

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  109. This is where academics meets real world and how he avoided that reality and became, “expert“ in biblical social order all these years is befuddling.

    And while I’m on the topic, as the chief editor of the ESV, he wrote Genesis 3:16 to be the woman contrary to the man instead of desires for the man/toward the man.

    Grudem’s mild-mannered temperament can be disarming but in reality, he has done much harm in the family and in the church.

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  110. Darlene: This is where common sense needs to come in. Victims of abuse don’t need to wait for permission from church leaders to escape a dangerous situation.

    On the subject of danger to a victim of abuse…the most dangerous time is when the abuser suspects the victim is leaving. As a victim advocate for 12 yrs., I was responsible for maintaining 24/7 on-call coverage at four local hospitals when notified a victim of sexual assault or domestic violence presented. A team of employees at the shelter trained volunteers who were familiar with DV and wanted to provide support for victims and they covered the calendar from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. when staff took over.

    When a space on the calendar had no volunteer coverage, it was my responsibility to be on-call for that evening. One such night, I received a call from the ER at the hospital and headed out to meet with the victim who had presented there. This young woman had been brought to the ER by her father and mother along with her 8 yr. old. daughter. After some counseling and information gathering, I strongly advised the victim go to the local shelter where she would be safe and there would be no danger to her father and mother at their home. The father said he was not the least bit afraid of the husband/abuser and that he’d take care of him should he cause any trouble at his home.

    Long story short….the abuser did show up at their home and when the father opened the door, he was shot as was the abuser’s wife whom they thought would be perfectly safe there. The father died of the gunshot wounds but the victim survived. The abuser was eventually apprehended by law enforcement and no longer was a threat to his wife as he was found guilty not only of domestic violence, but murder.

    My concern is that domestic violence is a very serious crime that is potentially dangerous and life threatening. Anyone who counsels a victim to stay in such a situation should take a course in the topic as offered by local agencies to become aware of the serious nature of abuse. It most always increases in intensity and frequency and ought not to be taken lightly.

    I have always regretted I was unable to persuade the parents of that woman to take her to the shelter rather than their home, as their choice cost his life and nearly that of his daughter.

    Just one of the many experiences as a victim advocate.

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  111. Muff Potter: Luckyforward: By the time our talking and praying was over, she decided that it was not God’s expectation that she be beaten on earth to live eternally with him in heaven. She asked how she might safely leave home and with the help of some loving parishioners, we got her to a women’s shelter and later she found safety.

    I’m glad she found safety, and I’m also hoping she found FREEDOM.
    Freedom from a ‘Biblical’ world view that makes no allowance for human need and human flourishing.
    If as Jesus taught, that the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not the other way round’, how long will it take for today’s Protestant pharisees to apply the same lesson to marriage?

    Thank you for your care. Here is how the story ended. We were successful in getting her to a shelter two counties away so the husband could not find her. At one point the husband came to my office and confronted me; he departed when I threatened to call the police. He later stalked me and started following me around town. He violated an order of protection I filed and later arrested when he was sitting in his truck outside my home and was drunk. I never heard from him after that.

    As for his wife, she had an old friend in an adjoining state about 6 hours away that found her a place to live and a job. The church provided me funds to use for those in need which paid her rent and utilities for six months. I prevailed on a local moving company to move her for a ridiculously reduced rate that some friends paid for her.

    She made the move successfully and was able to “exit” the marriage in about a year. Her husband was never able to “track her down.” This event occurred over 15 years ago; she has remarried and is very happy.

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  112. Nick Bulbeck: only two possible viewpoints

    A few weeks ago I was buying something, and was alone with the shop owner. He started telling me that men are disposable because women carry babies, and therefore he would defend me if anyone came into the shop and attacked me. It was weird, but I have shopped there before and just listened. Then I said, “I would fight back too.”

    He started to get offended because I had revealed myself as one of those women who get all huffy when a man opens the door (untrue, for what it’s worth).

    So I added, “I would appreciate your help, but I’d fight back too instead of hiding. Likewise if he attacked you, I would help defend you. The problem isn’t the roles of men and women. The problem is the assailant in your shop.”

    The poor guy didn’t know what to do with this idea. I told him how much I appreciated him, complimented him for having excellent products, paid, and left. But I feel for him. Rigid thinking makes his life harder.

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  113. Nick Bulbeck: I realise that for typical humans, the issue of abuse and violence is absolutely binary.

    Your whole comment is very good. It often seems that discussions like this turn into contests without much common ground between the two sides. For all the insistence some make that men and women are equal in every way, it seems pretty clear that the way they abuse others is not so equal. Whether it is primarily physical or primarily something else, it is all bad.

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  114. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: Oh no, he might have to learn from WOMEN!

    Too threatening? 🙂

    Then he can find a man whose wife abused him. Or a man who saw a father/step-father/boyfriend beat up on his mom. Or talk to a pastor who supports victims of domestic violence. He’s a smart man, he can figure it out.

    I am sorry about your mother. We have a loved one with a mood disorder (not schizophrenia) that has led to psychotic episodes. Yes, there is nothing quite like it.

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  115. Muff Potter: If as Jesus taught, that the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not the other way round’, how long will it take for today’s Protestant pharisees to apply the same lesson to marriage?

    They never will.
    Their egos are too involved in the matter.
    As in “I AM ALWAYS RIGHT! SEE? SEE? SEE?”

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  116. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: It has four bathrooms and an unknown number of bedrooms (that’s from Zillow). And it looks like a tract house, to be perfectly honest.

    Four baths still implies a large house (I’d say four to six bedrooms). Tract house looks imply an older large house. (Before particle-board and styrofoam construction became common.)

    What it has going for it is that it backs up on a desert area, but has a fence blocking it from said desert area. To be perfectly honest, I’m unimpressed. If was going to live in Scottsdale, I’d live in one of the older neighborhoods that has more character.

    Agreed on that last one. I currently live in an older neighborhood.

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  117. Friend,

    In the slightly surreal film “Rowing with the Wind”, a young Hugh Grant plays the poet Byron. At one point, he’s about to save the other poet Shelley from drowning. Shelley tells Byron: don’t risk your life for me. Hugh Grant’s character replies: “I’m not doing it for you – I’m doing it for my honour!”

    I think a lot of this “men must protect women” stuff has a subtext of “whether women want it or not”, and it’s NOT for the benefit of women. Quite the reverse; it’s part of a quasi-comicbook hero fantasy, that requires women to be weak and incapable.

    It’s easy to forget that Jesus didn’t lay his life down for the sheep in a blaze of glory. It was because he made himself nothing and died the ultimate loser’s death that he has the ultimate victor’s honour.

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  118. NickBulbeck: I think a lot of this “men must protect women” stuff has a subtext of “whether women want it or not”, and it’s NOT for the benefit of women.

    This is an excellent point! (I’m also going to have to look up that Byron movie. His life was a soap opera in itself no? )

    I also tend to think it comes off like the mob sometimes – men often talk of protecting women but they are thinking of protecting them from other men. So…the problem still needs to be addressed, no? Because the problem is the violence itself and talking of protecting women from it, theoretically if you happen to be around, doesn’t really fix it.

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  119. Headless Unicorn Guy: Muslin, fka Dee Holmes: I would note that I STRONGLY suspect that Grudem, while looking at the texts, failed to look at the contexts in which the texts were written.
    Because that conflicts with “THE PLAIN MEANING OF SCRIPTURE(TM)“!

    It seems that Grudem’s devotion to the “plain meaning of scripture™” is somewhat… selective.

    I’ve been trading comments with a former student of Grudem himself on Facebook. When he said that it was a “difficult” issue to understand, I countered that I don’t find it difficult in the least. For me, it’s a simple application of the Golden Rule — y’know, the one that Jesus said was the summation of the OT? After all, I would hate to be trapped in a loveless and toxic relationship until death, and I imagine anyone else would as well. So why should we demand that believers endure that?

    His response was to say that I don’t understand what the Golden Rule really means, and asked whether I know the OT context of that commandment in Leviticus. Apparently, the Golden Rule doesn’t really mean what it says.

    He didn’t elaborate. I’ve asked him how exactly the OT context would make it loving to demand that an abused spouse simply accept his or her misery. And, oh, I just can’t wait for his answer.

    Can anyone believe this? The Golden Rule requires parsing and context, but the plain reading of 1 Tim 2 and Mark 10 must be accepted without question.

    Crazy making.

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  120. Nick Bulbeck: it’s part of a quasi-comicbook hero fantasy, that requires women to be weak and incapable.

    Agreed. I also really wonder why the shop owner raised this topic at all. If he was trying to make me feel safe and protected, his effort backfired.

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  121. Ken F (aka Tweed),

    Thankyou for your patience with my comment; I was a bit concerned that I’d strayed from metaphor into sarcasm. I wasn’t trying to do that, but…

    There is certainly a problem with theology that both excludes women from favoured, high-status positions, and leans heavily towards those who HAVE favoured, high-status positions in cases of abuse. Inevitably, that disproportionately affects women. So, if [generic] you can only do one thing about abuse, and you want to make it count, I accept that targeting the physical abuse of women isn’t a bad thing to do.

    But every case of domestic abuse involves a person (and, often, children as well). I understand the need to address patterns in abuse (such as, the violent male sociopath who beats his wife and charms their para-church congregation, either through outright deceit or through never-ending displays of tears and guilt (which feeble-minded pastors will easily mistake for “repentance”). This pattern is real and is ruining lives every day. Even so, every time a pattern is addressed, it risks passing over those who don’t fit the pattern.

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  122. Serving Kids In Japan,

    This is a great example of a number that come to mind…. Grew up with this stuff…. “plain reading” when it is consistent with “your specific world view”… and, “need to understand the context” when it is not consistent….

    But then , I am just a divisive person…. and “I think to much”

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  123. Jeffrey Chalmers:
    Serving Kids In Japan,

    This is a great example of a number that come to mind…. Grew up with this stuff….“plain reading” when it is consistent with “your specific world view”…and, “need to understand the context” when it is not consistent….

    But then , I am just a divisive person…. and “I think too much”

    Yes, so do I.

    The gospel accounts describe one or two incidents in which a crowd wanted to make Jesus king by force, so that he withdrew and hid himself. Jesus would not be made into a sock-puppet ruler. Unfortunately, the bible can’t withdraw and hide itself, so it can’t prevent itself being made into a sock-puppet ruler.

    I think this is a large part of the appeal of using the bible as a proxy for God. It means [generic] you can create a God that serves you, whilst concealing the act of doing so.

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  124. Muff Potter: If Sola Scriptura is as perspicuous as they claim, how can this be?

    That’s easy Muff.
    All you have to do is apply circular reasoning with a hefty dose of eisegesis, and voila!, you’re home free.
    Besides, the pew serfs will never know the difference, most of them have no desire to do their own Bible homework anyway.

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  125. Nick Bulbeck: I think this is a large part of the appeal of using the bible as a proxy for God. It means [generic] you can create a God that serves you, whilst concealing the act of doing so.

    Isn’t “Who’s in charge?” the classic difference between Religion and Magick?

    Because in Magick the mortal Sorcerer is the One In Charge, in control of the summoned and bound supernatural forces/beings/gods.

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  126. Serving Kids In Japan: Can anyone believe this? The Golden Rule requires parsing and context, but the plain reading of 1 Tim 2 and Mark 10 must be accepted without question.

    1) Whenever anyone says “Plain Reading of SCRIPTURE”, I think of the “plain reading” of the demon locust plague of Revelation — “plainly” helicopter gunships with chemical weapon “stingers” piloted by long-haired bearded Hippies.

    2) It is obviously to the plain readers’ personal benefit to parse and deconstruct the Golden Rule yet rewordgitate 1 Tim 2 and Mark 10 word-for-word. “BECAUSE I WANNA!”

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  127. Nick Bulbeck: I think a lot of this “men must protect women” stuff has a subtext of “whether women want it or not”, and it’s NOT for the benefit of women. Quite the reverse; it’s part of a quasi-comicbook hero fantasy, that requires women to be weak and incapable.

    In FRP gaming and fanfic, I have a weak spot for Damsel in Distress scenarios.
    Become the Hero who swoops down and save the heroine from her horrible doom.
    The difference is I KNOW it’s a melodramatic/storytelling convention and a fantasy.
    These guy’s don’t.
    To them it’s absolute REALITY, backed up by God Himself.

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  128. Lea: I also tend to think it comes off like the mob sometimes – men often talk of protecting women but they are thinking of protecting them from other men.

    Sounds a lot like the pop version of Penal Substitutionary Atonement where Christ Saves You from what He’s going to do to you if you don’t “Accept Him As..”.

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  129. Nick Bulbeck: I think a lot of this “men must protect women” stuff has a subtext of “whether women want it or not”, and it’s NOT for the benefit of women.

    Does anyone remember the Ku Klux Klan’s obsession with “Protecting White Womanhood”?

    It always struck me as akin to a purebred dog breeder protecting his broodline’s pedigree. (And I’ve heard a horror story or two along those lines.)

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  130. It is heartbreaking what these academics have done to harm, real harm other human beings. They play in there “scholarly” minutiae, parsing syntax, etc. “They strain at a gnat and swallow a camel”. Lives of women harmed emotionally, mentally and physically are almost less than nothing for “ten years” to argue and defend their position. They love to argue their position over helping someone. Or consider if they may in their teaching be sending out others to do the harm they teach. God save us from such heartless people. It appears that by engrossing themselves in the study of theology and the Bible, they have lost their humanity.

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  131. Ken A: It is heartbreaking what these academics have done to harm, real harm other human beings.

    I agree with your point about harm, but do not consider them true academics or scholars. Yes, Wayne went to Harvard and Cambridge, but he’s in the legion of men who want to define acceptable beliefs to be ever more narrow. He and his ilk are Pharisees more than intellectuals.

    Real scholarship is not afraid of questions and ideas. Every master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation is supposed to contribute new knowledge.

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  132. Ken A: sending out others to do the harm they teach

    New Calvinism has released an army of young reformers upon the American church in the spirit of Grudem, Mohler, etc. Church history will record the harm they have done and will do to Christian ministry in the years ahead.

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  133. Nick Bulbeck: This pattern is real and is ruining lives every day. Even so, every time a pattern is addressed, it risks passing over those who don’t fit the pattern.

    I thought your entire comment was excellent, too, and I think you really touched on an important point here, as well. We have to avoid falling into black & white thinking. Human beings are complex, one size doesn’t fit all. I think with churches this is a big part of the problem. The “ideal Christian” is defined and then everyone must be forced to try to fit it. A lot of time is spent hammering square pegs into round holes- gender roles being a primary example. It’s all so unnecessary, too. When I read the Bible, I see the Christian life as being about attitudes of the heart- kindness, honesty, fairness, etc. It’s not about your outer appearance, temperament, gender, or the role you play. I just think we have to avoid going from ‘men are the spiritual leaders’ to ‘men are always the abuser.’ Yes, there are patterns, and often people fit them. But sometimes they don’t.

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  134. From what I’ve seen, people usually stick in abusive relationships too long rather than leave to early.
    and
    Abusers deserve to face swift consequences so they can truely repent, which might actually do their souls some good.

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  135. Audio of Nouthetic counseling expert Dr. Heath Lambert readying the young women pursuing MRS degrees at SBTS’s undergraduate adjunct Boyce College for ‘worst case scenarios’ in their marriages to the seminarians:

    https://boycecollege.com/2009/11/02/heath-lambert-on-worst-case-scenarios-in-relationships/

    “Dr. Heath Lambert…shows how Matthew 7:1-6 instructs women to deal with the “worst case scenario” in a marital relationship.”

    Matthew 7:1-6 ESV
    “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”

    Sounds like a real doozy. Anyone have an hour to waste listening to it?

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  136. Ella,

    As someone that supervises and advises the awarding of PhD’s, the PhD’s issued by many of these theological schools and seminaries are in a different “class” compared to what I routinely see. You can get copies of the PhD at SBTS on line if you wish.

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  137. Max: He’s probably waiting for Grudem to get back to him on this.

    Apparently, Grudem told him not to address my question at all, but to regurgitate 1 Cor 2:14 at me. No exposition or even explanation — just the verses. I can only guess at the point he’s trying to make.

    Mind you, that’s assuming that he actually has a point. He could be just handwaving my question by implying that I’m a “natural man”, and simply too worldly to understand (let alone criticize) the Sainted Wayne Grudem.

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  138. Bridget: The Golden Rule requires parsing and context, but the plain reading of 1 Tim 2 and Mark 10 must be accepted without question.
    Did you put this point to the man?

    Not yet. I might bring it up tomorrow, although so far it’s not much of a conversation. (See above.)

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  139. Serving Kids In Japan: He could be just handwaving my question by implying that I’m a “natural man”, and simply too worldly to understand (let alone criticize) the Sainted Wayne Grudem.

    Yes, pew-peons are not able to understand Scripture unless it is interpreted for you by one of the living disciples of John Calvin: Grudem, Piper, Mohler, Dever, Duncan, (insert your ‘favorite’ New Calvinists to complete the list – note: Driscoll, Mahaney, and MacDonald are no longer saints).

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  140. SiteSeer: The “ideal Christian” is defined and then everyone must be forced to try to fit it.

    I had a taste of “Ideal Christian” when I was flushing $$$ down the crapper of dating services. The “Ideal Christian” in Christian dating profiles was so Uber Uber CHRISTIAN even Christ himself couldn’t measure up.

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  141. Friend: The initial and deadly attack started in a guild hall called Fishmongers’ Hall. A chef grabbed the narwhal tusk from a display and chased the bad guy onto London Bridge. Another guy grabbed the fire extinguisher. There’s actually video of the tusk and extinguisher in action here:

    https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2019/11/london-attacker-subdued-by-narwhal-tusk-all-your-questions-answered

    Last night I heard of an online cartoon showing the three as Superheroes, posed against the background of a Union Flag:
    CAPTAIN NARWHAL
    THE EXTINGUISHER
    THE PEDESTRIAN

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  142. ServingKidsInJapan: Apparently, Grudem told him not to address my question at all, but to regurgitate 1 Cor 2:14 at me. No exposition or even explanation — just the verses.

    These people are so tiresome, as are the ‘you didn’t block quote scripture in your reply/reasoning, so you are obviously wrong’ types.

    I think they *think* they are making some sort of intelligent point but really they just sound like they are incapable of doing so. Imagine thinking ignoring the reality of life is a sound strategy for decision making!

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  143. HeadlessUnicornGuy: The “Ideal Christian” in Christian dating profiles was so Uber Uber CHRISTIAN even Christ himself couldn’t measure up.

    I decided to start dating again recently and saw a profile picture with knives and a legit hatchet (!!!) with the caption all about what a super christian this dude was. Amazing.

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  144. Friend: This mentality reduces the Bible to magic words.

    A grimoire of one-verse verbal component spells.

    “I KNOW I’M RIGHT — I HAVE A VERSE!”

    That explains why Christians are such suckers for Twitter Tweets (Pious Piper being the Twitter Twit most familiar to this blog). New Infallible Inerrant SCRIPTURE pre-formatted into single-Tweet verses.

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  145. Lea: I decided to start dating again recently and saw a profile picture with knives and a legit hatchet (!!!) with the caption all about what a super christian this dude was. Amazing.

    Welcome to living in a South Park episode.
    Super Christian Dating Services are just SURREAL.

    P.S. Was Super Christian holding the knives and hatchet? And were there enough of them to (in the words of Angry Grandpa) “Not just kill me, DISSECT me and bury me all over the yard!”?

    I wonder if he got any dates with that profile picture?

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  146. Jeffrey Chalmers: I had a biblical “literalist” play the “worldly man” label on me…. that is a common “go to” with this type…

    Yeah, he probably pulled out “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us” Scripture … these guys are so predictable.

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  147. Max,

    Back in my fundy HS, over 40 years ago, they preached about how bad movies were, and how they make movie dark so all sorts of immorality can go on! I remember afterwards saying that maybe they darkened the room so we could see the movie better?? He then started quoting some OT verse about not arguing with the foolish!

    Similar chapels had messages such a: holding hands leads to murder….. holding hands-> sex -> pregnancy -> abortion…. see, makes clear sense , and arguing with it just proves how “Carnel” or worse you are..

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  148. Jeffrey Chalmers: Years ago, not that long ago, I had a biblical “literalist” play the “worldly man” label on me….

    “Worldly” and not “Fleshly”?
    Both are the sign of someone who has become so Spiritual he has ceased to be human.

    Just last night I was reading a collection of Seabury Quinn’s “Jules DeGrandin” series (pulp occult detective, the mainstay of Weird Tales) and ran across a couple direct references to this sort of thing:

    (All of these excerpts are dialogue, not narrative)

    “She was my sister. We were born and raised in Springfield. Our father was… a tyrant. A good church member and according to his lights a Christian, so righteous he couldn’t be religious, so pious that he couldn’t find it in him to be kind or merciful. You know the breed.”
    — “The Devil’s Bride”, 1932

    “Anyhow, she asked to see a minister. He was a young man, just out of the Methodist seminary, with a mouth full of Scriptural quotations and a nose that itched to get into other people’s business.”
    — “The Devil’s Bride”, 1932

    “Accordingly, I made a careful study of your guardian. He is a very pious man; that much one sees while both his eyes are closed. Ha, but piety and goodness are not of necessity the same. By no means. Gilles de Rais, the greatest monster ever clothed in flesh, he was a pious man, but far from being good. Cotton Mather, who hanged poor inoffensive women, he was a pious man; so was Torquemada, who fouled the pure air of heaven with the burning of the luckless Jews in Spain. They were all pious — too pious to be truly good, parbleau?”
    — “The Dark Angel”, 1932

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  149. Jeffrey Chalmers: Similar chapels had messages such a: holding hands leads to murder….. holding hands-> sex -> pregnancy -> abortion…. see, makes clear sense , and arguing with it just proves how “Carnel” or worse you are..

    And yet, being a megachurch pastor never leads to greed!

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  150. Jeffrey Chalmers: Back in my fundy HS, over 40 years ago, they preached about how bad movies were, and how they make movie dark so all sorts of immorality can go on! I remember afterwards saying that maybe they darkened the room so we could see the movie better??

    Now, the young reformers darken church sanctuaries to accentuate the performance on stage, while the lead pastor and his hoochie-coochie praise team in tight pants strut their stuff. Such “ministries” would have no stage if they didn’t have an audience flocking to buy their tickets.

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  151. Muff Potter: You (generic you) occupy one or the other based solely on plumbing received at birth.

    It is what it is Muff.

    Young women are not supposed to land an F-18 on a pitching carrier deck in bad weather, and yet many do with skill, verve, and elan.
    They, despite hard evidence to the contrary (the Grudems of the fundagelical world), refuse to see that talents and giftings ARE NOT doled out according to plumbing received at birth.

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  152. Becky Thatcher: talents and giftings ARE NOT doled out according to plumbing received at birth

    To that, every female believer who has made a difference for Christ in the last 2,000 years would shout AMEN! In the Southern Baptist Convention, many (many!) churches would not exist if it weren’t for women praying, teaching, equipping the next generation in the faith, ministering to the sick and aged, etc. … in addition to dragging their sorry husbands to church. Many a fine preacher among them would have been in the pulpit if it weren’t for ungodly men who twist Scripture out of context to keep them in the pew. I have been blessed to know such godly women in my long Christian journey.

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  153. Max: Now, the young reformers darken church sanctuaries to accentuate the performance on stage, while the lead pastor and his hoochie-coochie praise team in tight pants strut their stuff.

    Max, you do realize that “hoochie-coochie” is a term from well over a century ago?

    A Victorian term for belly dancing which later had a second life in the Blues as slang for female genitalia. The term died out around 1940. You and Pat Robertson are the only two I’ve heard use it here in the 21st.

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  154. Friend,

    “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.” Says Eowyn of Rohan in Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers.

    To which every woman in the audience said, “Amen!”

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  155. Wild Honey: “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.” Says Eowyn of Rohan in Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers.
    To which every woman in the audience said, “Amen!”

    Just picking up the baton here.

    The words you quoted were spoken by Eowyn in the film version. This bit of dialogue does occur in the novel, though in a different context, and Tolkien’s version is quite interesting:

    It needs but one foe to breed a war, Master Warden, not two; and those that have not swords can still die upon them.

    If I might beg to differ with you, I believe there are many men who would also say, “amen”… But that’s nitpicking!

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  156. ION: Cricket

    To no-one’s surprise, New Zealand batted out the final (rain-reduced) day of the Second Test for a draw. However, they were a million for two at stumps, and there’s no doubt that if it had been a timeless Test, they’d have compiled a huge lead and England would’ve been crushed. So, a technical 1-0 series win for the Kiwis; but a moral 2-0 win.

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  157. Wild Honey:
    Friend,

    “The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them.” Says Eowyn of Rohan in Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers.

    To which every woman in the audience said, “Amen!”

    Another applicable quote:
    “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”
    — Mark Twain

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  158. John: When abuse happens, the marriage is already broken and the person who broke it is the abuser. Bullies preying on the weak got some of the harshest words and actions Jesus spoke during his ministry.

    Grudem is still clueless. People like him are a danger to almost anyone in a vulnerable position.

    Amen. When will the church get it that divorce is a consequence, not a cause of evil. Few who marry have and desire or intention to end that relationship. By the time talk of divorce arises, the evil has been done. And no one but the victim has the right to seek reconciliation when abuse is involved.

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  159. Muff Potter: If as Jesus taught, that the Sabbath was made for humankind, and not the other way round’, how long will it take for today’s Protestant pharisees to apply the same lesson to marriage?

    Perfect analogy! God indeed created institutions for the sake of the people he loves, not the other way around. One could add that the Church (in its proper form) was designed to serve the needs of its people, not vice versa.

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  160. Max: … have been found to be errant in their eisegesis. Theologies of mere men are supported and defended through presuppositions, agendas and biases. Such is Grudem’s version of reformed theology. The New Calvinist movement depends on aberrations of belief and practice where Jesus is subordinated, women are inferior, the work of the Cross is diminished, the saving message for ALL people is devalued, and a host of Biblical texts are twisted out of context to keep men on the throne in their kingdom, but not God’s Kingdom.

    New Calvinism in a nutshell. They’re building a kingdom, and it’s not God’s.

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  161. elastigirl: how do you tutor a full-fledged adult in cause and effect?

    My personal experience leads me to believe that one of the causes of what used to be called male left-brainedness is their inability to grasp cause/effect. I believe that high functioning autistic (Asperger’s) show this clearly. And frankly, public school tends to squash the natural experience of cause and effect in a child’s life, replacing it with rigid, controlled environments in which ‘life’ is the opening of prepackaged information. I’m guessing our digital information world makes it even worse.

    There are several Asperger’s men in my family, and they learn by rote, rarely grasping relationships like cause and effect.

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  162. Nick Bulbeck: Unfortunately, the bible can’t withdraw and hide itself, so it can’t prevent itself being made into a sock-puppet ruler.

    I think this is a large part of the appeal of using the bible as a proxy for God. It means [generic] you can create a God that serves you, whilst concealing the act of doing so.

    What an apt description of much of organized Religion, including Christianity. I think Jesus came to reveal that the way to God was through relationship, not rigid religious beliefs and practices. Most of establishment religion ignores this. One of the great, deceptive lies of New Calvinism is that the ‘way back’ to God is through rediscovering the ‘right’ doctrine. I not only think their doctrine is faulty; their entire theory of knowing God is off.

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  163. TS00: I think Jesus came to reveal that the way to God was through relationship, not rigid religious beliefs and practices.

    Personal relationship with Christ is no longer preached in much of the American church. We have exchanged relationship for religion. Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. The institution we call church is OK if it is reaching lost folks for Christ, mentoring them in the Word, equipping them to do the work of the ministry, and then releasing them to fulfill the Great Commission in their personal walk with Christ. Anything less than that is doing church without God.

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  164. TS00: I think Jesus came to reveal that the way to God was through relationship, not rigid religious beliefs and practices.

    A friend once observed that (as per John’s gospel account) Jesus didn’t say he was the only way to God; that is, John doesn’t quote him as saying, Naebdy comes tae God except through me. What he’s actually quoted as saying is (emphasis added): Naebdy comes tae THE FATHER except through me.

    I think there’s a difference.

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  165. TS00: One of the great, deceptive lies of New Calvinism is that the ‘way back’ to God is through rediscovering the ‘right’ doctrine. I not only think their doctrine is faulty; their entire theory of knowing God is off.

    Their “way back” to God is through Purity of Ideology.
    We talking “God” or “The Inevitable Marxist-Leninist Dialectic of History”?

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  166. Max: Personal relationship with Christ is no longer preached in much of the American church. We have exchanged relationship for religion.

    Actually, Max, the American One True Church I experienced during my time in-country WAS a Gospel of Personal Salvation and ONLY Personal Salvation. Altar Call, Sinner’s Prayer, ARE YOU SAVED? with buzzwords like “My PERSONAL LORD and Savior” and the sneering putdown “You have a (sneer) Religion; I HAVE A (smile or smirk) RELATIONSHIP(TM)!”

    Add Entropy over time and his Gospel of ONLY Personal Salvation ferments into a Gospel of Selfishness — MY Personal Salvation, MY Personal LORD and Savior, MY Mansion in the Father’s House, God’s Blessings on ME. Continue this to it’s theoretical End State and you have Ayn Rand Objectivism (a cult philosophy of Total Utter Selfishness) with a Christian coat of paint.

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  167. Nick Bulbeck,
    Muff Potter,

    “A friend once observed that (as per John’s gospel account) Jesus didn’t say he was the only way to God; that is, John doesn’t quote him as saying, Naebdy comes tae God except through me. What he’s actually quoted as saying is (emphasis added): Naebdy comes tae THE FATHER except through me.

    I think there’s a difference.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    I tend to agree, as well.

    i know of many people who, for all intents and purposes, have the fruit of the spirit coursing through their veins, yet do not wear the “ME: CHRISTIAN” sticker on their lapel. in fact, they wear stickers (that they have put on or else others have stuck on them) which christian culture would shriek & run from, all nervous, skittish, and terrified-like.

    i’m interested to hear more of each of your thoughts on the subject.

    how does Jesus ‘enable’ us to ‘come to the father’?

    what is the significance of the father as opposed to ‘God’?

    what is the difference between coming to God and coming to the father?

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  168. elastigirl,

    Sorry, elastigirl – missed this.

    The difference between “coming to god” and “coming to the Father” is one of relationship. God is a thing you speculate about, and make up rules to show that God agrees with you. The Father is a Person, whom you don’t get to control or turn into a sock-puppet. You have to treat the Father as though he really exists, such that you have to spend as long as it takes doing whatever it takes to know him.

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  169. Nick Bulbeck,

    thank you, nick.

    ok, i think i was on a different wavelength.

    so, what are your thoughts on people who do seem to have the fruit of the holy spirit coursing through the veins (as much as any of us seem to — there’s no blood test or scratch test for ‘holy spirit’), people who don’t wear the lable ‘christian’, perhaps even people who wear labels for other religions?

    in my view, they have found God (not God-religion and not by way rules), they have come to God, perhaps even the Father, but cognitively Jesus isn’t a part of it?

    (maybe Jesus is instrumental behind the scenes? without their awareness?)

    my parents have a friend who has a hearty relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. He doesn’t recall ever ‘asking Jesus into his heart’, has never been baptized. it just sort of happened over time, through pondering, wondering, reaching out (to nebulous ‘God’) getting a response, trial and error….

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  170. elastigirl: i’m interested to hear more of each of your thoughts on the subject.

    how does Jesus ‘enable’ us to ‘come to the father’?

    what is the significance of the father as opposed to ‘God’?

    what is the difference between coming to God and coming to the father?

    I cannot speak for Nick, but I can for myself:

    1) I’m a trinitarian, so in my view, the supernatural agency of the Holy Spirit is the enabler for ‘coming to the father’.

    2) The way I see it (from the way I view Isaiah 9:6), Both terms, God and father have equivalence, both are superlatives combining filial piety and the sheer majesty of the creator.

    3) I tacitly agree with Nick’s assessment of ‘coming to God’ and ‘coming to the father’ on the one hand, but on the other hand, I never had to travel a linear distance to get to God, he folded the very space between us to come to me in the person of Jesus of Nazareth.

    elastigirl: i know of many people who, for all intents and purposes, have the fruit of the spirit coursing through their veins, yet do not wear the “ME: CHRISTIAN” sticker on their lapel. in fact, they wear stickers (that they have put on or else others have stuck on them) which christian culture would shriek & run from, all nervous, skittish, and terrified-like.

    You’ve encapsulated nicely what C.S. Lewis had to say in The Chronicles of Narnia. I felt it too, long before I ever read any Lewis:

    [Aslan] answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true …that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him.

    Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man does a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

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  171. Muff Potter,

    “Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.”
    ++++++++++++++++

    ok, time to pull those books off the shelf!

    (never read Horse & His Boy. i loved the Voyage of the Dawn Treader & The Magician’s Nephew so much i think i subconciously thought it couldn’t get any better than that. but i was only 12 at the time.)
    ———————

    “And if any man does a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.”
    ++++++++++++++

    neat! how refreshing to read something like this.

    this applies to my new “Doctrine of Personal-Responsibility-When-Adopting-A-Doctrine”, as mentioned at the end of the comments in the blog post detailing Mr. Ebling’s troubling experiences.

    (perhaps CS Lewis wrote so figuratively to protect himself from powerful christian institutions)

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  172. elastigirl: ok, time to pull those books off the shelf!

    (never read Horse & His Boy. i loved the Voyage of the Dawn Treader & The Magician’s Nephew so much i think i subconciously thought it couldn’t get any better than that. but i was only 12 at the time.)

    Too bad the latest attempt to bring Narnia to the big screen screwed up Voyage of the Dawn Trader so bad it killed the series. I always wanted to see if they had guts enough to do A Horse and His Boy and/or The Last Battle accurately.

    (But then I always wanted to score the beginning and ending frames of The Silver Chair with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in The Wall”…)

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  173. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    “and couldn’t remember a word of it when I woke up.”
    +++++++++++++++

    tragic!

    would a notebook on your nightstand have made a difference? or was it eyes open, dream gone? like the world’s fastest Alice in Wonderland return to reality?

    considering ‘Yesterday’ came to Paul McCartney in a dream, you could have been CS Lewis the II.

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  174. Mr. Jesperson,

    Credible stats indicate that although there are occasional instances of women physically men the vast majority (upwards of (95%) are men attacking women. Additionally further investigation often finds that the women being abused came to a breaking point and were often defending themselves when physically lashing out. The simple physical size difference and strength difference makes the usual aggressor the male.

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