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

Posts tagged ‘patriarchy’

Owen Strachan’s version of male strength weakens the church

Owen Strachan, former president of the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, loves strong men. No, I don’t say anything about his sexual preferences. He loves them in the sense Marilyn Frye observed:

“To say that straight men are heterosexual is only to say that they engage in sex… exclusively with the other sex, i.e., women. All or almost all of that which pertains to love, most straight men reserve exclusively for other men. The people whom they admire, respect, adore, revere, honor, whom they imitate, idolize, and form profound attachments to, whom they are willing to teach and from whom they are willing to learn, and whose respect, admiration, recognition, honor, reverence, and love they desire… those are, overwhelmingly, other men. In their relations with women, what passes for respect is kindness, generosity, or paternalism; what passes for honor is removal to the pedestal. From women, they want devotion, service, and sex.”

Unlike most men, Strachan and his ilk elevate the attitude Frye describes to a holy command: For them, Imitating Men and Not Learning from Women are backed up by how they understand obscure Bible verses. See this Tweet of his:

God has staked everything on men.

Strong men are the foundation of a strong marriage.

Strong men are the foundation of a strong home.

Strong men are the foundation of a strong church.

Strong men are the foundation of a strong society.

God has staked EVERYTHING on men.

Strachan probably knows that this view is indefensible, as he set it up so that only people he either mentions or follows can comment. On his less controversial tweets, anyone can comment.

The “strong men” tweet is limited in who is allowed to respond

Even so, Strachan still got a lot of pushback. For example, Rohan Johnson replied:

I see what you’ve done here. I’ll fix this for you.

God has staked everything on Christ.

Christ is the foundation of a strong marriage.

Christ is the foundation of a strong home.

Christ is the foundation of a strong church.

God has staked EVERYTHING on Christ. Not you.

Other responses reference the hymn My Hope is Built on Nothing Less: “On Christ the solid rock we stand, all other ground, or men, or women, are sinking sand”, or reminds him of Mary, who gave the news to the church that Jesus rose from the death – the news without which the church would never have started.

A woman posting as Tzedakah Ministries asks Strachan:

Question – Do you believe I as a woman am equal to you in the eyes of God? Do you have the courage of your “convictions” to answer me?

By the time I post this, it is three days later and Strachan has not answered her. His silence speaks loudly to all who will listen.

(I don’t think anyone reminded him that there was a Bible woman who also had a stake in men: Jael. But I digress.)

Strachan doubles down:

“Another way of saying this:

Christ is the spiritual foundation of everything and men are the anthropological foundation of all these institutions.

In Christ, men hold fast to–and are head of–one wife & family; men lead the church as elders; men must lead in public …” Owen Strachan

My first observation is that changing a statement that does not refer to Jesus to one which mentions Jesus is not another way of saying the same thing. The second is that he is still idolizing males. But any Christian can see his idolatry. I assume I can move on to another topic, as his lack of respect for God/ Jesus is obvious.

So, for another topic: Do you see how Owen Strachan shows the fruit of complementarian religion? Complementarians claim women are equal but do not need to have their voices heard in the church, home, and society because men will speak up for everyone. But if this actually worked, then men like Strachan would match any statement about the importance of men with an equally strong similar statement, in the next or previous tweet, about the importance of women.

I looked up if he has any (in his mind similar) woman-glorifying tweets right before or after that one. Of course, he did not. He certainly does not – as an honest complementarian would do if they really believed complementarian doctrine as written* – honor women as equals, but who have another equally significant role.

And there is such a lot even a complementarian can mention! God has entrusted (I prefer that to Strachan’s unfortunate word choice, “staked” – his word calls God a gambler, who will lose if men fail), among others, these things on women and not men:
> the survival of Moses, several times
> the return to God in the time of King Josiah (2 Kings 22:14–20 and 2 Chronicles 34:22–28 )

> the birth of every single man in the Bible and since, including God-and-man Jesus
> the news of the resurrection

God has also given almost every command and promise in the Bible to people of both sexes, after creating both sexes to rule the earth (Gen. 1:27). If the comp interpretation didn’t have such serious implications, their prejudice would be almost comical: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife” is never preached as: “…but hey, ladies (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), there is nothing in the Bible against coveting your neighbor’s husband!” Yet “an elder should be a one-woman man” is preached as: “See, elders should be men, not women!” “Fathers should bring their children up in the training and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4)” is never taught as: “Men, stay at home with your kids so you can teach them!”. Yet, mothers are asked to stay home with their children on lesser Biblical justification than that. These men’s blinkers make them miss all the women and exaggerate the importance of men – and then they say God is the author of their prejudice.

Strachan’s way of Bible reading serves only his group. In itself, this is a very human flaw, but Strachan’s theology means that the opposite group cannot correct him. Women, in his view, may not teach men. Complementarian Bible understanding exacerbates one-sidedness from a flaw anyone can largely overcome by humbly discussing your views with others, to an insurmountable obstacle to knowledge, kindness, and justice. If they actually believe in the Kingdom where many of the last will be first and many of the first will be last (Matt. 20:16), Strachan’s sort should really, deeply rethink leadership.

If a tree shall be known by its fruit, complementarianism is a poisonous tree that should be chopped down.


* Despite all my criticism of complementarian doctrine, the Danvers Statement does have: “Both Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, equal before God as persons …” as the first part of the first affirmation. One could thus expect Strachan to pay at least lip service to equality.

Is there a difference between complementarianism and “Christian” Patriarchy?

Karen D asked on A Travelogue of the Interior if there is a difference between complementarianism and patriarchy. Here is what I think:

IMO, there is a spectrum difference. I think 2 ideas are enough to qualify the holder as complementarian: (more…)

THAT question evidence: Link to Gothard material

I have said before that I have asked women, home schooling mothers who believe in men as “priests” and authority figures, what should be done if an authority figure molests your children. These patriarchy supporters were completely unwilling to say that children should be kept away from such molesters. They were so hung up not going against authority that they would seemingly rather allow a molester to continue than to risk speaking out – in an imperfect way – against one.

Of course I found that shocking. Jesus said that when you see someone hungry or in need and don’t help, what you failed to do for the least of these you failed to do for Him. He came to free the oppressed.

HowToMakeAnAppealPage10If you want proper evidence of patriarchy’s teachings on abuse and authority, Recovering Grace has a new article with a lot of diagrams and teachings, scanned straight from books of Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute, to prove that “patriarchy” really makes it impossible for the abused to get away in an approved manner.

Gothard, of course, had to recently step down because of sexual harrassment accusations himself. Imagine how many layers of authority figures a girl would have had to go through to “rightly” complain about him (without appealing to authorities too much or too little, as in the diagram from his material on the right of this page).

Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them. – Luke 11:46



Gothard lessons: When children are molested by the father, the molestation needs to be discovered at least 4 times, after the first time with the mother appealing to him to stop, then his parents or in-laws, then the church. Only if he is discovered to be molesting again after all these appeals, could he be given over to the law…


Why I believe that Christian egalitarianism – and not worldly feminism – holds the answer to patriarchy

(Note, added 21 March 2015: I said certain things of secular feminism here that applies to the large percentage of secular feminists who are liberal feminists. But radical feminists, another group of secular feminists, speak out against sadism and the sexualisation of inequality.) (Other note: Trigger warning: BDSM)

Two groups, one Orwellian message

On the popular blog Love, Joy, Feminism, there was recently a post quoting the Botkins sisters. These sisters were ranting against feminism, apparently saying that equality of the sexes is found in hierarchal gender roles. George-Orwell-1984-183x300Yes, yes. (See my dismissive hand wave.) And war is peace and freedom is slavery, typical Orwellian doublespeak. Clearly, honest answers to valuing women, with all they are and all their gifts, are not found in “Christian” Patriarchy.*

Libby Anne, the raised-patriarchal-now-atheist blog owner at that blog, then points out  some contradictions of the Botkins’ view. But this story gets worse, not better, for women’s equality. Libby Anne has a blog commenting system that puts comments with the most likes on top, and the least likes at the bottom. Someone among her mostly secular and atheist commenters made a pro-BDSM comment, and that was on top of the commenting thread. Being on top of the comment thread means a lot of people pressed the “like” button on it. This comment claimed that agreeing to a dom/sub relationship is equality, because the partners equally much agreed to it. Another commenter just below it directly mentions that she will use the previous comment – the one that say dom/ sub is equality – next time she wants  to defend BDSM. (BDSM is a sexual fetish which is all about making sex violent and violence sexy. It has people tying up; one-sidedly punishing – they call it “discipline” -; or physically causing pain to or insulting their partners; while the bottom partners allow it. “Sadism” is literally what one of the letters of the acronym stands for.)

The problem with these philosophies

It is not true that bottom partners in such relationships allow only things they enjoy. The simplest example is that punishment beatings (and other punishments) are very much part of most such relationships, and the punished partners will say these are punishments because they do not enjoy it. From punishment beatings, we have clear evidence that BDSM bottom partners will not allow BDSM actions which they do not enjoy, and most top partners will do things the bottom do not enjoy.* This, along with the very fact that it contains one-sided dominance, is evidence that this is an unequal relationship. (There is plenty of other evidence too, but this is not the best place to go into detail.) Claiming “she enjoys it” when she often does not is an erasure of female feelings and markets violence against women, telling them to find violence sexy. It also tells men that women want to be mistreated.

But readers on the site Love, Joy, Feminism, with its mostly secular and feminist readers, enjoyed this “inequality is equality” comment enough to vote it to the top of the thread: Orwellian doublespeak on the same level as the Botkins’ message. Honest answers to valuing women, with all they are, all their gifts and their personhood, are not found in secular “feminism” either, if they “like” this. Secular feminists even get angry when I oppose this form of power imbalance in relationships.

All my regular readers know how “Christian” Patriarchy, practiced by for example the Botkins sisters, promotes inequality. But not all of my readers would know that I tend to find references to BDSM mostly from atheists, and the most regular religious view that I hear mentioned by BDSM participants, when they mention anything of the sort, is atheistic in nature. I think I know why that is: When people deny God, they become more as He predicted the results of sin (Gen 3:16) will be. When they try to become as God, almost the same thing happens. How do complementarian men try to become as God? They follow a philosophy whereby the man becomes a mediator between the woman and God. It is obvious how BDSM top partners try to be as God – it even includes someone kneeling before the top/ dominant sometimes.

Somewhere, there will be an atheist / complementarian reading here, and saying: “I am not like that!” I believe you. All complementarians, and all atheists, are not in relationships like these. The average patriarchalist and atheist both has the law that say humans should be treated with dignity written on their hearts.

But neither of them has a philosophy that backs up the justice which they know in their hearts is right. When you say nothing is objectively right or wrong, and no authority exist to call anything morally wrong (atheists), then physically hurting/ degrading/ insulting someone on purpose -as sadists are prone to do – cannot be wrong in your eyes. When you say some people should be in charge (complementarians, but the BDSM community that the “sex-positive” feminists approve of often teaches that too), some people’s gifts and voices will be minimized.

The great philosophy – and Power – behind the egalitarian world view

Egalitarianism is different. When you see:

> equality – and significance and value – in the creation of man and woman

> inequality starting with the fall in Genesis 3, because of sin

> Jesus coming for the poor and oppressed

> a kingdom where “male and female, Jew and Greek, slave and free” should not count


The same power that raised Jesus from the death is available to renew us, to change our destructive urges to lord it over others, or be lorded over by another human

> a kingdom where all get the Holy Spirit and all should use their (speaking) gifts at church

> that all should submit to one another

> a whole Bible book – Song of Songs – describing an “egalitarian pleasuring party”

… then how could you – man or women – not treat your fellow Christian partner with equal love, respect and deference?

If you should love your neighbour as yourself, how could you not start by caring as much (not more, not less) about the will and plans of your partner as about your own? Christian egalitarianism not only gives a belief framework for mutuality, it also – as Christianity – connects to Christ. The One who was raised from the death gives us the power to do his mutually loving, mutually respectful, mutually submitting will. Only His power can overcome our desire for sinful oppression. This is why I think that only Christian egalitarians can, as a group, be trusted to bring real mutuality to the world.


Note: *Anybody who thinks I have not heard the standard talking points of BDSM defenders, and wants to tell me it is safe and sane and consensual and your relationship is actually equal in other ways, please first read this link, comment only if you have any argument that I have not answered in that link already, stay on topic, and please do not link to any BDSM blogs in either your comment or the URL you optionally use to fill in the commenting form.

Parents versus Sunday School, or parents and Sunday school together: Who should teach children about God?



Mother and Daughter Reading Together


If you are at all interested in a topic like this one, you probably value the the Bible highly. After all, you probably want children to be taught the Bible. You want them to be taught in the manner the Bible prescribes, or, if the Bible does not clearly prescribe something, at least in a way consistent with the principles taught in Scripture.

Me too. I heard claims that teaching children about God is mainly/ only a parental task, and children should not be separated from their parents for instruction. These claims seem to be the basis of so-called family integrated churches. This post will look at what the Bible say of teaching children. Who should do it? And does the Bible say all ages should stay together for it?

First principle: Children are people

If we forget that children are people, we would ignore many texts that the Bible gives about teaching. We will forget them for the simple reason that they do not include the word children. But children are people and some children are believers, so texts that apply to teaching people in general, or believers in particular, usually (unless we have good reason to believe the opposite)  apply to teaching children too. (more…)

What “Biblical” patriarchy think – and why we don’t care what they think of us

Blogger Sunshinemary recently wrote a blog entry that defends Doug Phillips and calls his critics wrong on the topic of authority. But there are simple reasons why their calls to us to “repent” falls on deaf ears: The things they call us to repent for is right and true – not sin – to the best of our knowledge. And they do nothing to challenge our knowledge, to tell us things we do not know and that would change our view of right and wrong.

water off a duck's back

Some messages are like water off a duck’s back to us…

Her words will be in red, and mine in black. People she quotes will be in blue and in quotes.

Submitting to corrupted authority

Easy. We should, as far as is possible for us, not support corruption, or submit to it. Does your boss give bribes to get big government contracts? Never help him with that, but you could still treat him with respect in other areas.

In Modernity reframes all authority as “abuse”, Zippy Catholic writes:

Abuse of authority is pretty pervasive in human societies, because human beings are fallen creatures and we frequently abuse the things over which we are stewards…Liberalism has always used the fallenness of actual human beings in authority as a rhetorical means of attacking authority in general.

rather than expressing outrage at actual abuse and attempting to get actual abuse corrected, distinguishing between legitimate authority/hierarchy and its abuse, authority/hierarchy in general is treated by liberalism as intrinsically abusive.

This nicely explains the gleeful reaction I’ve seen among a segment of rebellious Christian female bloggers to the recent resignation of Doug Phillips from Vision Forum Ministries after revealing that he had an affair with a woman not his wife.

No. We do not hate all authority, we hate usurping authority that is not yours to begin with. A simple example: (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…)

Gender role religion and mixed messages

Yes, I know: Most supporters of gender roles for Christian women are not half as blatant as this. But in a way, a page like this one exposes confusing ideas that the more crafty complementarians share, but will never express this way. (more…)

Marriage is not a game, Part 1: Statistics on how badly game works for marriage

Many a manosphere male, who call himself a Christian,  claims that Christian men should take advice from “game”, a system which pick up artists use to get girls for one night stands or very short term relationships. (Warning: Adult theme) (more…)

Just a coincidence?

When reviewing one of my older posts (which disagrees with a Mary Kassian idea that sex symbolize our unity with God), I found this sentence again:

Believing that sex is the main way people can understand the gospel, would lead to one of two ways of treating children: You could either get to the conclusion that the gospel is not meant for children, or that sex and marriage is meant for them.

“Biblical” patriarchy supporters  promote several books (To train up a child; Child Training tips) that imply the spirit of God cannot work in children to teach them to act right, out of love for Jesus – you have to install obedience by beating them the moment they disobey. This, insists their child raising books, readies them to obey God without your help one day when they are adults. The gospel of God’s love and mercy is seemingly not for their children.

They also believe in marrying very young if possible.  Marriage is, in their view, for the very young who never experienced decision-making apart from their parents.

I never heard one of them say sex symbolize our unity with God, but they do believe in the “man symbolize Christ, woman symbolize the church” idea, which is the logical predecessor to “sex symbolizes our unity with God”.

Coincidence – or is it?

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