Because Christianity is bigger than Biblical manhood or Biblical womanhood (Blog of Retha Faurie)

Posts tagged ‘abuse’

Are the “sons of God” and “daughters of men” having giant children a story of tyranny and rape?

(Note: I am not teaching the contents of this blog entry. It is put out for evaluation. Correct me if I am wrong, learn from me only if I have some chance of being right.)

The men of power saw the women/ girls of the common people, and how beautiful they were. And they took and raped any women they wanted.

And God said: “My spirit shall not always be with man, he will only reach 120 now.” (Prior to that, people got a lot older.) “I cannot let any of the corrupt and powerful stay in power for too long.”

There were tyrants in the earth in those days and after that, when the men of power had children with the women/girls of the commonners, who also became mighty men who were honored, the men with authority.

And God saw that the people were very wicked (or perhaps that the wicked were powerful?) , and their imaginations and thoughts was only evil continually.

And God was sorry that he made humanity… (The story of all except Noah’s family being destroyed follows) – My paraphrase of Genesis 6:1-6

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15 reasons why “Christian domestic discipline” is a terrible, anti-Christian idea

(My regular readers certainly won’t need the teachings in this blog post. This post is for those who reach this blog via search engines. Please, regulars, be my fellow teachers here. Comment to improve on what is said here and to add to it.)

There is actually a thing called “Christian Domestic Discipline”, in which husbands hit their wives when the wife allegedly does wrong, and twist the Bible to call it a Christian thing to do. (Sources here and here.) Of course, this is a covert movement, and the practitioners “convert” others to their activities in secret.

According to a commenter on that blog, Anne Garbozi Evans,

…my research has shown, while it may very well be more frequently popping up in patriarchal circles, it is by no means limited to those congregations. The only type of congregations that all of these wife-spanking people refused to go to were ones that ordained female pastors and taught egalitarianism. Any church that taught complementarianism was fair game for them to attend: their words not mine… many said they secretly suspected they weren’t the only ones to practice wife-spanking. They also heavily discussed how to bring up the topic of wife-spanking to your friend so as to “evangelize” them on the topic. They esp. thought they had a moral duty to tell any friends going through a divorce about wife-spanking as a way to “save their marriages.”

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The church should really learn to understand abuse: Tell Christianity Today to learn it

eveTrigger warning: Sexual abuse of a teenager, and condoning of it

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This is yet more evidence that the Christian church, at large, does not understand or care about abuse:

take downChristianity Today’s Leadership Journal published an article  by a convicted ex- youth pastor, who sexually abused a teenager when he was in a position of trust over her. The nature of this article is not “I am a criminal, who caused this girl a lot of pain, having a long-term effect on her views on trust, relationships, sex, self-esteem, God and spirituality. I also hurt my wife, and others who trusted me.” It is: “I stumbled into an affair. We both did wrong. Now things are bad for me” – with a lot of preaching in between.

Many writers are telling them why they should take down the post, but this far, they are taking down negative comments instead. Commenters on more than one source told me, since yesterday, that they have left comments on that entry – and their comments were taken down. One say comments went from 75 to 15 in a few minutes, at another stage more than 20 comments disappeared again… (more…)

Christian culture does not understand intimate partner abuse – what can we do about it?

I wish it wasn’t true. I already know from sites like A Cry for Justice that the church often gives terrible advice to abuse victims. I don’t want to believe Samantha Field is entirely right when claiming that purity culture(1) Christians don’t care about or teach the importance of consent. I’ve read stories of “Christian” leaders telling women to repent for being raped. I already mentioned some abuse-condoning statements by Paige Patterson and Bruce Ware on this blog.

But evidence keeps on mounting:

Dannah K. Gresh (also the writer of “And the Bride Wore White”, who has sold more than 470,000 books, leaders guides, and curriculum pulling-back-the-shadesbearing the message of sexual purity) and Dr. Juli Slattery (a psychologist formerly from Focus on the Family) wrote a new book to give a Christian response to “50 Shades of Grey” and erotica like it, and talk about how to be sexual and spiritual at the same time. The topic of “Pulling Back the Shades: Erotica, Intimacy, and the Longings of a Woman’s Heart”certainly has merit. But their book also gives evidence of followers of Jesus not caring or thinking about intimate partner abuse – while touching on topics which certainly relates to it. (more…)

Public notice: Douglas Phillips is not God’s wounded soldier, and we are not shooting our wounded

They are out all over the Internet on the moment: Those who, in the wake of Doug Phillips resigning from Vision Forum Ministries over “an emotional affair”, are weighing in with opinions on it. Some people have been pointing out the fruit of Doug Phillips for years: He opposes protection for children from child abuse in the home, stating that “….We understand that the core problem with Child Protective Services is its existence.” His tenets give God a gender – male and make males God. Vision forum used to teach that women cannot vote, and opposes college for women. Phillips wants females to exist to serve men, even advising men at home school conferences to teach their daughters to stand behind daddy’s chair at night, at attention until bedtime, in order to be at ready hand to get the father whatever he wants whenever he wants it. (more…)

Smoke and mirrors: A review of the Danvers statement (Part 4)

6. Redemption in Christ aims at removing the distortions introduced by the curse.

It does, but the Danvers statement did not biblically back up their assertions on what distortions was caused by the curse, except for one part: The curse caused male domination. (See the discussion under point 4, in part 3.) I do not expect to see a solution in the Bible for “problems” not taught in the Bible, and as such, any solutions offered here for “removing the distortions introduced by the curse” has to be for problems mentioned in the Bible .

·     In the family, husbands should forsake harsh or selfish leadership and grow in love and care for their wives; wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority and grow in willing, joyful submission to their husbands’ leadership (Eph 5:21-33; Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).

Husbands should forsake harsh leadership. In fact, nothing teaches that they should lead at all. It say they are – not should be – the head of wives. (Eph 5:23; also see 1 Cor 11:3 which the Danvers statement did not handle up to this point.) As such, even the most hen-pecked man is “the head” in some way, but no  command is given to men to lead. And even if the two male headship verses and the Genesis prediction is turned to commands, no text would show men should rule families.

As for “wives should forsake resistance to their husbands’ authority”, Eph 5 could be understood that way, if  “head” means authority. Otherwise, she is asked to submit without him having authority. Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:3-5; 1 Pet 3:1-7 do not mention his authority either. The only text in the whole New Testament which speak of the man’s authority is 1 Cor 7:4, which in some translations uses the word authority, and in Greek has the Greek word for authority. That text say that spouses, male and female, both have authority over each other’s bodies.

This wifely submission (and perhaps husbandly lead, if you think that is in the text), if you refrain from adding to scripture – is a marriage role or two. It is not gender roles. It say nothing of the still-singles, the divorced or the widowed, who make up a very great percentage of adults. It makes no distinction between children, the girls and boys who want to follow God.

Titus 2:3-5 tells older women to teach submission to younger women. It does not command wives to submit.  Having to teach something, and having to keep on doing it is not synonymous. Nor does it give husbands leadership.

1 Peter 3 also speak of wives submitting, but it does not call men leaders either. In fact, the reason for submitting to unbelieving men is so the men could perhaps be led – to God.(:1) And husbands should do “likewise (:7)”. Likewise to what? Likewise to what was said before to wives, we may presume.

Joyfull submission? None of the texts tell women to submit “willing(ly)” or “joyful(ly).” Joyful submission to husbands, which is certainly not commanded in the Bible, is even harder than submission. Submission goes like this:

Husband: I won’t spend money on the heating for the home where you and the eight children live full time this winter, nor on our youngest who suffers from failure to thrive. I want to spend money on my tractor collection instead.”

Wife: Yes, dear. I won’t protest your decision.

Joyful submission goes like this:

Wife: Yahoo! My husband is getting an extra tractor for his collection! Rather than crying about my children who are suffering, I will rejoice in my non-farming husband’s extra tractor!

This example is not fictitious. There really is an ex-very-submissive wife whose non-farming husband bought an extra tractor while her house had no heating and her baby failed to thrive. Joyful submission is not only unbiblical, but a crazy requirement.

·     In the church, redemption in Christ gives men and women an equal share in the blessings of salvation; nevertheless, some governing and teaching roles within the church are restricted to men (Gal 3:28; 1 Cor 11:2-16; 1 Tim 2:11-15).

Something is strange about the Danvers wording here: If men and women have equal share in the blessings of salvation, but some governing and teaching roles are restricted to men, are those roles not part of the blessings of salvation? Is having a teaching/ governing role in church not a blessing, or not for the saved?

If some governing and teaching gifts at church is a blessing for only males among the saved, then females do not share equally in the blessings of salvation.

Gal 3:28

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Gal 3:28 say men and women have an equal share in “the blessings of salvation.” I believe we should not define these blessings too narrowly.

There is neither male nor female, and then the Bible gives a reason why this is so: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. The plain meaning is that in some sense there is no male or female, and “for ye are one” gives the reason why this is true. “One in Jesus” does not limit the prior part. It does not give us the only way in which this is true.

1 Cor 11:2-16 limits no teaching or governing roles to men. Read for yourself: The one task reserved for men is the role of not having anything on the head while praying. Two verses probably weakly defend the notion of men and women having an equal share in the blessings of salvation: verses 11 and 12. But the rest of 1 Cor 11:2-16 seemingly has no relevance to this point.

If you take 1 Timothy 2:11-15 on face value, it does say that a woman (singular, in the Greek and in at least one translations) should not teach or usurp authority over a man. Since Jesus said clearly that believers should not exercise authority over other believers (Mat 20:25, Mar 10:42, Luk 22:25), you do not have to read that as a gender role. Still, it is possible, if you ignore or explain away a myriad of other things in the Bible, to get to the conclusion that this verse limits some church roles of teaching and authority to men.

Note that this will not be a gender role either: The majority of men at church are not leaders or teachers. Is following the leaders a female gender role? No. Everyone in church – leaders and teachers and men and women – should be eager to learn and to follow good church leading, so that is no gender role either.

7. In all of life Christ is the supreme authority and guide for men and women, so that no earthly submission-domestic, religious, or civil-ever implies a mandate to follow a human authority into sin (Dan 3:10-18; Acts 4:19-20, 5:27-29; 1 Pet 3:1-2).

True, but not a defence of BMaW (different gender roles). This is also more problematic than it sounds at first glance. To show one problem, here is a quick story:

Cindy came to God from an unbelieving background, shortly prior to marrying a church-going man. Their church, like the Danvers statement and the Council of Biblical manhood and womanhood, emphasizes female submission and never emphasize how each woman and man have the responsibility to read the Bible for themselves. Her husband say she should sleep with his friends too. She have heard at church that she should not commit sexual sin, without sexual sin being specified, but she believe her husband is her authority, and he commands this. She can easily conclude that the real sin is the one directly preached against – disobeying her husband.

If some kinds of authority and teaching only belong to men, then the authority from men to do [x] will obviously count more than the idea, unconfirmed by men, that [x] is sin.

On the other hand, there is also a way of reasoning which could use this idea – submit short of sin – to negate submission almost completely, unless you know your husband just spoken the will of God. But an egalitarian wife who knows that her husband just spoken the will of God will also submit, and  a Christian husband also has to submit when he knows his wife just spoken God’s will. This way of thinking probably makes complementarianism in marriage meaningless.

And submitting, without following into sin, could also leave women like this out in the cold:

Annie has an abusive husband who spends his money on alcohol rather than food for his family. Annie say she submits short of sin – if he abuse their children, she does not join in doing so. She would not take money from him on payday to ensure her children gets fed – he is the head of the family and his choices for the family is law. She does not protect her children from abuse by him, for the same reason.

Of course, the way of understanding that I link to would solve that. But how much room would that leave for complementarian submission?

[To be continued in part 5]

Wife, submit. How, if the husband is abusive?

A wife whose husband was involved with alcohol, drugs and other women, and who was worried that her husband might infect her with AIDS, once wrote to Jonathan Lindvall asking for advice. She was in fear of her life. Lindvall replied, “But what is God’s purpose here? We’re all going to die (unless the Lord takes us before death). I would rather die (and enter Jesus’ presence) prematurely because of my obedience than live a long life wondering if God might have been more pleased and glorified if I had taken the risk to surrender all to him, even my life. I would rather risk reckless obedience to His ways revealed in scripture.” (From Jonathan Lindvall’s Bold Christian Living E-Mail Newsletter, Issue #88, 2001.)” -told by Prince Asbel on Amazon

Too many pastors (if there is one, it’s already too many) excuse abuse with the idea that the woman should just submit to it, that it will be to the honor of God if she submit.

Quick response: The relationship between husband and wife is supposed to mirror the relationship between Christ and the church, they say. Christ loved us first, and we responded. We follow because of our confidence that Christ’s way is right: Good, loving and wise. And why do we have this confidence? Because of Christ’s actions.

In a situation where a man’s way is good, loving and wise, while the wife’s is less so, following him in that situation mirrors the relationship Christ wants with the church. Christs way will always be good, loving and wise, while the fleshy ways of mere humans will not be so. But in the earthly walk with a spouse, there will -of course – be times when either partner is not so right, good, loving and wise that we could follow as we do with Christ.

If a man is abusive, obeying him cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, resemble the relationship between Christ and the church. When the husband is abusive, he resembles Satan, not Christ. Satan came to steal, kill and destroy. Following where Satan lead is sin.

We are told to love others as ourselves. Do we want others to suffer this way? A complementarian/patriarch who teach a wife to submit to a man like this husband is very wrong.

The devil must be resisted (Jas 4:7), even if he come in the form of a loved one. (Mat 16:23)

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