A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands

Article by Pastor D. Scott Meadows’ article, A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism, creates a stir among the survivor community.

 

Jeff Crippen, Pastor D. Scott Meadows, Domestic Violence, Abuse, A Cry for Justice, small__4254697416

I’ve been watching an important sequence of events unfolding in the blogosphere. Pastor D. Scott Meadows of Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed) in New Hampshire wrote an article,  A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism.  The catechism is a list of guidelines intended to help wives:  “May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages.” Please note the word “difficult.”

However, after reading the article, it raised some very serious red flags. Barbara Roberts and Jeff Crippen who blog at A Cry for Justice  – a blog which deals with domestic violence within the church –  published back-to-back articles on Pastor Meadows’ article because they found it so troublesome:

This is BAD – Really, Really Bad – “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”, by Pastor Jeff Crippen

Here is a brief nutshell of Jeff’s concern:

This is one of the clearest examples of a pastor creating his own traditions and pawning them off onto God’s people as the Word of God. We need to protest this kind of thing loudly, and you can do so by going over to the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog and entering your comments.  ~Jeff Crippen

Barbara Roberts rebuts “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”, by Barbara Roberts

Barbara’s concern with Pastor Meadows’ article is posted below:

If the Catechism were not meant to be used as advice for women who are being abused by their husbands, that should have been stated RIGHT UP FRONT before the Catechism began. The fact that this caveat was not given means that the Catechism will do harm to any woman in a destructive/abusive marriage who is exposed to this post or the thinking it embodies.

It is not good enough to just say in the comments thread that the post was not meant for abusive marriages. That kind of after-mention is one of the reasons we victims of abuse have been so marginalized and trapped in spiritual / scriptural / marital bondage for so long! ~Barbara Roberts

Domestic violence is a serious issue, even in the church. A recent report was released in June of 2014 by Sojourners and IMA World Health: Protestant Pastors Survey on Sexual and Domestic Violence. Take a look at part of the summary of this important survey:

The Survey, perhaps the first of its kind in the U.S., reveals an unrealized potential within churches for the prevention of and response to sexual and domestic violence.

It begins with awareness: an overwhelming majority of the faith leaders surveyed (74%) underestimate the level of sexual and domestic violence experienced within their congregations, leading to infrequent discussions of the issue from the pulpit as well as a lack of appropriate support for victims. Additionally, only 56% of pastors are adequately familiar with local resources that specifically address sexual and domestic violence, creating missed opportunities for victims to access services. And distressingly, the survey also found that even pastors who have handled incidents of violence may not be offering appropriate advice to those who are suffering, potentially doing more harm than good.

It seems that Pastor Meadows meant for his article to apply to all Christian wives who are in difficult marriages.

My question is this:  what is difficult and what is abusive?

There was no indication if “difficult” meant abusive or if abuse was a different category not yet addressed, so the assumption by most women would be that his message was written for all women, even those in abusive marriages.

Let’s look at some more statistics:

35% of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

This statistic is refers to sexual and physical violence. Emotional and spiritual abuse is not mentioned, so that number would likely be increased if those factors were considered.

The next few points from the survey are important as they relate to church and pastoral response to abuse. I have broken the paragraph into bulleted formatting for easier reading and also bolded important points:

  • For many women who are religious, one of the first responses to abuse by an intimate partner is to seek help from their pastor or other faith leaders.
  • This first disclosure is critical; research consistently shows that the advice of the first person a victim tells will in large measure determine her next steps.
  • Women who are religious can be especially vulnerable when abused, because they are more likely to place high value on keeping a family intact or to consider separation and divorce as unsatisfactory (or unbiblical) option.
  • Religious women may also have difficulty getting the support they need from their local faith leaders.
  • According to one survey, 95% of church-going women report they have never heard a specific message on abuse preached from the pulpit of their church.

These are disturbing statistics. If you are a wife experiencing abuse, you will likely be very alone in your circumstance with very little practical and appropriate help at church. What a tragedy that the very place where oppressed women and children should be cared for and protected the most – the Body of Christ –  they are often rejected, shamed, and abandoned!

The position that Barbara and Jeff have taken with the article is that the chosen wording, when read by wives of abusers, seems to imply that wives in difficult or even abused marriages need to remain and trust God to take care of them. I applaud Jeff and Barbara for publicly addressing this issue directly where the article was published.  This is not something that should be taken privately when it was posted publicly. This affects too many people.

Before we get to the article,  first, let me show you a definition of abuse as stated at A Cry for Justice blog:

Abuse is fundamentally a mentality. It is a mindset of entitlement. The abuser sees himself* as entitled. He is the center of the world, and he demands that his victim make him the center of her world. His goal is power and control over others. For him, power and control are his natural right, and he feels quite justified in using whatever means are necessary to obtain that power and control. The abuser is not hampered in these efforts by the pangs of a healthy conscience and indeed often lacks a conscience.

While this mentality of power and control often expresses itself in various forms of physical abuse, it just as frequently employs tactics of verbal, emotional, financial, social, sexual and spiritual abuse. Thus, an abuser may never actually lay a hand on his wife and yet be very actively terrorizing her in incredibly damaging ways.

Abuse in any of its forms destroys the victim’s person. Abuse, in the end, is murder.

Ok, let’s get to the article. For clarity, I will quote from the article in green font. As you read the opening paragraph of the article in green font, try to put yourself in the shoes of a wife in a difficult or abusive marriage in which you see no hope:

Providentially, many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands. 

I have big issues with the very first word. Right off the bat, it looks as if Pastor Meadows is saying God is responsible for women marrying unbelieving husbands. To use the word “Providentially” implies this is God’s Sovereign plan. This is a very troublesome statement to those who have been abused. It does not depict a God who cares for the oppressed. There are no warm fuzzies here. This alone can cause one to abandon their faith – knowing that God has allowed and is allowing this difficult circumstance, and that it was in His plan to allow this abuse to continue.  This is heart-wrenching. It paints God to be an evil God.  Keep thinking this through with me.  If God ordained this, then He knows about it and is okay with it. So, who is she (the wife with a difficult husband) to question the lot God has prescribed for her?  Basically, this one sentence is saying to an abusive wife:  Ladies, it’s just a crying shame that God gave you this lot in life, so suck it up and put your big girl panties on.

This is a great trial for them, especially if the man is very ungodly.

We typically would not expect ungodly men to act godly. But imagine the great trial for those husbands who profess to be Believers, yet abuse. That indeed is a great trial.  But what if the man appears to be godly to people who are outside of the home who do not see what goes on behind closed doors?

Pastoral counseling discovers that many of these sisters in the Lord are perplexed about how God wants them to relate to their husbands in such a case.

A wife who is suffering from abuse is in survival mode. Getting through each day is a difficult task, yet this sentence puts burdens on the wife about how “God wants them to relate to their husbands.” If the wife is married to an abusive husband, the husband is the problem. The onus is on the abusive/difficult husband. He is the one needing counsel. The abused wife needs support and practical support.

I have prepared this brief catechism for some guidance, suggesting that she should memorize it and find supporting Scripture references for its counsel, with careful study of those passages.

Pastor Meadows, in his 13-point question and answer catechism, suggests that women memorize and find supporting Scripture references for its counsel. I have problems with this. Pastor Meadows who wrote the catechism, provides absolutely no Biblical references, and tells women to find scripture that back up his own points.  Hello?  When does a man make his own rules and then ask others to search for scripture to apply them to his own rules?  That’s not right.  I didn’t go to any seminary and I know that.

Secondly, he wants her to memorize his own personal catechism – catechism which quotes no scripture and includes no other references?

The article then goes on to list 13 catechisms. Here’s an example of one. I think many abuse victims would have nightmare having to memorize this:

Q11.    How good a husband is my husband to me?
A11.    Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

 

Does a rape survivor thank God for her rapist? Really? There are many more examples I could use, but that’s not the whole point of this post.  Please read all of the catechism for yourself. And weep.

We are at a crossroads here. Jeff Crippen and Barbara Roberts and others have expressed their alarm about this article both on their blog, and in the comments.  Here is an excellent comment by Pastor Crippen:

 

D. Scott Meadows, catechism, wife abuse, Capture Jeff Crippen comment

 

 

Pastor Meadows and others can dance around the idea that it wasn’t written for abused wives, but that doesn’t solve the problem that abused wives will suffer from the teaching and that abusers will use it to their advantage. Barbara reported in her article, and I read elsewhere, that women had left comments which were not approved. For a while, only comments from men were approved.  Later on this afternoon within about an hour timeframe, the comments jumped to 83. It was easy to tell which comments were in moderation because I had taken a screenshot. Why were the voices of women squelched at this blog site?  Why were abused women originally not allowed to tell their stories?  I understand that Pastor Meadows does not moderate the site, but these questions are important to ask.

There are at least a couple of pastors encouraging Pastor Meadows with his article, despite Jeff Crippen’s warnings.  Take a look at this abbreviated comment from Pastor Max Doner:

Pastor Meadows – Thank you for your Catechism. It was really well done, it was biblical, and I think it would be a great help to any married woman who was seeking to honor the Lord and His direction for her attitude and conduct in marriage.

Many despise the biblical teaching on the roles and conduct of men and women in marriage, and wish to substitute humanistic criteria in the place of it. I am glad you have not done so.

Your competence in rightly bringing biblical principles to bear on this subject is a credit to your wisdom and maturity in the scriptures. Thanks you for your faithfulness to them.

In this catechism, you only see how women should respond to difficult marriages. We don’t get to hear if the “difficult” husband is held accountable for his sins. But notice all the “biblical” talk in Pastor Doner’s response. CLUE:  There is not one Biblical reference in the whole of Pastor Meadows’ article.   Pastor Donor is praising the works of a MAN whose catechism does not show faithfulness, wisdom, and maturity, as he claims.

The most obvious ingredient missing in Pastor Meadows’ catechism is love:  love for her by God and love for her shown in action in truth by the Body of Christ for her horrible predicament.

Pastor Meadows has said in the comments that he will add an addendum to his article.  This, I believe, is a pivotal moment.  I’m glad to know that he is reading the comments. Right now he can choose to make a Biblical response in which abusers are held accountable for their sins and abused women and their children are protected and defended.  Many eyes will be on this new addendum.

You can be sure that we in the survivor community will be watching and reporting about pastors who decide to defend their friend/pastor because of their friendship, rather than standing on Biblical principles of defending and protecting the oppressed and abused. After scores and scores of people at Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) churches reached out to their church leaders about abuse, those leaders turned the other way. We saw how well-known prominent pastors and leaders publicly defended and protected SGM’s former president, C.J. Mahaney, because he was their friend. They protected a man who knew about sexual abuse in his church. One man under his watch has now been convicted for sexual offenses against children.

The church must do a better job when it comes to abuse, especially when an abused wife comes to her pastor for help. Pastors who have no training in domestic violence would do well to educate themselves and seek help from those who have expertise. God is a loving God. He wants oppressed and abused women to be defended and protected. Pastors should be leading the way in this:

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them.  With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.  For he has delivered me from every trouble, and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies. Ps 54:4-7

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.

photo credit: ♥KatB Photography♥ via photopin cc

153 comments on “A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands

  1. Julie Anne, Thanks for posting this on your site. The more others become aware of this travesty, the better! It’s been quite an interesting series of events to follow since Pastor Jeff Crippen first alerted followers on ACFJ about this: “This is BAD – Really, Really Bad – “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”” Barbara Roberts, Pastor Crippen and others have done an excellent task demanding accountability for such ‘teaching’.

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  2. Good article. On the topic of domestic abuse, I came across an article I think could be helpful to a lot of people just entering into a new relationship. I think some of the ideas could apply to evaluating a pastor or church for signs of spiritual abuse as well.

    The article is here:
    Warning Signs of abusive personalities

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  3. I read this earlier today and sat with my mouth open after reading questions 11 and 12. If I were in a “difficult marriage” and received this type of counseling from my pastor I would believe that everything was my fault.

    For the first time in my life I was asked last year during an interview if I thought religion influenced abuse, For the first time in my life I did not hesitate to answer yes. This article is just one example of that.

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  4. Isn’t it easy for a pastor to sit in their cozy office chair and tell women with “difficult” husbands these kinds of things? It just astounds me that this is the life they think God intends for women. The women are pressured to change how they respond and the abuser gets off scot-free.

    It’s important to note that this catechism is not far-fetched. You can see the attaboys in the comments from men (go figure – – men). I wonder how these same men would respond if their daughters were being abused by their spouses?

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  5. Most of the guy’s list seems to assume that the woman reading it is most likely married to a decent guy, and oddly, even though he uses the phrase “ungodly” man at some point.

    My mother subscribed to a lot of the views on his list, but since my father was minimally verbally / emotionally abusive towards her (but not overboard, and no physical abuse), their marriage was pretty much okay. So I can see how his list might not be too harmful if the guy in the equation is not a cruel, abusive jerk.

    If, however a woman is married to an abusive man, that list could be deadly. My impression is that a lot of preachers and average pew sitters are very ignorant about domestic abuse.

    I don’t mean to say I’m an expert, but I’ve read a few books and blogs on the topic to get brushed up on the basic dynamics to get an idea of how abusive men operate and hide their abuse from churches, etc.

    Also, some of what I read on domestic violence is very similar to stuff I read about bullying and workplace abuse (and I read a ton of books on workplace abuse because I was harassed at a previous job, and bullied a lot as a kid).

    There is a lot of overlap in these issues, how harassers, bullies, and abusers operate, how victims react, and there is lots of bad advice given to the targets, and a lot of victim blaming, too – whether we are talking about child on child playground bullying, husbands who beat their wives, or bosses who harass a worker at the job.

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  6. Daisy – These are his words. He wrote this for wives married to difficult husbands:

    May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages.

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  7. Hmm… so there is an implication there that he meant less than stellar marriages.

    It’s just so strange – he says that, he says it’s for “difficult’ marriages, but it still reads (to me anyway) like he is assuming that the type of marriage he is addressing is a stable one with a normal husband (as opposed to an abusive one).

    I have read books by therapists who describe some marriages as “troubled,” but “troubled” is not necessarily the same thing as an abusive marriage. It would help if the preacher who wrote the page qualified what he meant by “difficult.”

    BTW, I did not mean to give the impression above that I approve of his advice, I still think it’s bad even if the marriage in question is a good one and the husband is not a jerk or an abuser.

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  8. Quoting the OP:

    [the preacher guy wrote],
    “Providentially, many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands.”

    [JA's reply],
    “I have big issues with the very first word. Right off the bat, it looks as if Pastor Meadows is saying God is responsible for women marrying unbelieving husbands.”

    Not to totally derail the overall topic (which pertains to domestic abuse), but this has been an infuriating thing for me as a single woman who wanted to get married, and who was a Christian for many years:

    Christian preachers and famous Christian personalities (e.g., book authors etc), who say if you are still single at age 35 or 40, it is because God foreordained it, or your singleness is providential, it is the will of God for you to never marry, God wants to use your singleness for his purposes, God “gifted you with singleness,” etc.

    I’m not a supporter of “marriage mandaters,” but I think they raise a few good points, and one of them is a rejoinder to the “God willed you to be single” view that if Christian women who want marriage in their 30s and older are still single, it’s not the “will of God” that they are single.

    Their singleness is due to circumstances such as, there are not as many single Christian men in churches as there are women. That is one factor.

    I get tired of some Christians telling me that because I am single past 40, it’s because “God willed it” or it’s “God’s providence.” No, he didn’t will it. I’m not sure if the theology behind this thinking is Calvinism or what, but it’s insulting and annoying.

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  9. Another Tom, thanks for putting that link up to Hidden Hurt’s list. I have a lot of respect for that site. It’s been slogging away at this issue for years.

    Julie Anne, thanks for giving prominence to the Sojourners/ IMA World Health study. That study came out only recently and it was much needed. Please link to it, readers, and share it widely.

    * * *
    These are his words. He wrote this for wives married to difficult husbands:

    “May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages.”

    JA, with this you have put the spotlight exactly where it needs to be put on Meadows. He will find it hard to squirm out of that and say that his Catechism was not meant for women in difficult or abusive marriages.

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  10. While not all difficult marriages are abusive marriages, all abusive marriages are difficult marriages. So when Ps Meadows talks about difficult marriages, he needs to clarify what he means. Marriages that don’t involve abuse can sometimes be difficult, and certainly, everyone in close relationships would do well to remember some of those principles involving mutual submission, looking to the Lord, etc. However, the benefit of such an article for a person in a non-abusive relationship is far outweighed by the danger of this same article for a reader who is in an abusive relationship. It’s like encouraging children to eat a variety of foods, including nuts, without warning that some could be allergic and die from it. The danger outweighs the benefits.

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  11. One of the disturbing things about this also, is that several women from ACFJ, left comments over at Meadows’ blog regarding his catechism, but he only published the comments left by men. I tried to address this, but at last check, my comment was not published either. That alone, let me know that Mr. Meadows just has a problem with women in general.

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  12. The only “addendum” that will cut it with me or the rest of us watching is “I repent of my ignorance and the harm that I have caused abuse victims. I had no idea. Please forgive me. Help me find the resources I need to study so that I can begin to help the oppressed and not enable the wicked.” Somehow I don’t think we are going to see that, but we can hope. The fact is that this catechism could only have been written out of a mindset that has been programmed with false teaching for years. That is why we have seen at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog, among the loyal fans of Pastor Meadows and his catechism, such an attitude of “what is this? What is happening? Why, all of these people sending in comments are actually speaking AGAINST the words of Pastor Meadows. Surely they must be a bunch of atheistic, liberal, radicals who care nothing for God’s Word.” Well the world of abuse has broken in upon them now and they must choose to step into the light or regress back into the darkness.

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  13. So…he’s trying to be a Puritan or make a name for himself somehow by making up catechism or translating old works?

    Does this church have a website? I could not find one, Is he the only elder there? It seems he is the only one broadcasting the sermons on sermonaudio from his church.

    UGH…the below article by him is enlightening. Some snippets:

    “Even if she is the sweetest thing and her husband the meanest, she still has a duty to respect him. First, she must fix in her heart that her position is inferior to his, and then she will be able to fulfill all [that] respect implies with ease and delight. It is not fitting to set the rib above, or even on the same level with, the head.”

    “2. The Pattern of a Godly Wife’s Respect.

    A. The church’s respect for Christ. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). “Just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (5:24). Her submission is to be like the church’s ideal submission to Christ.
    1) In everything. In things great and small, agreeable and disagreeable to her. Only when he requires what God forbids or forbids what God requires is she to refuse submission. She may reason with him in things inconvenient to her, but if he will not be persuaded, and there is no sin in the case, she must submit to him.
    2) Free, willing, and cheerful. The service Christians do to the Lord is with goodwill (Eph. 6:7). So the wife should submit to her husband as if there were but one will in their two hearts. Leah and Rachel followed Jacob like his shadow (Gen. 31:16). Sarah’s reverence was sincere, as she called her husband “lord” (Gen. 18:12), and this is an example for Christian wives (1 Pet. 3:6). Therefore a grudging obedience is unacceptable, and usually springs from her unmortified pride and self-conceit. EVEN IF HE IS SEVERE, IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO DO YOUR DUTY, AND LEAVE HIS JUDGMENT TO GOD. (emphasis mine-Diane)

    ” B. The body’s respect for the head. “For the husband is the head of the wife” (Eph. 5:23). All members of the body realize the head is useful for their good. The hand will accept a wound to protect the head. Whatever the head decides to do, the body gets up and follows as long as it can. This is the way the wife should honor her husband, second only to God. It is ludicrous for the head to go one way and the rib another, for a soldier to command his general, or for the moon to pretend superiority over the sun. Only if the husband is insane is this altered. “The man has authority in his house unless he is verbum anomalum; that is, a fool” (Luther).”

    2) She speaks respectfully to him in his presence. Beware of
    a. interrupting him while he is speaking, or saying ten words to his one. Silence commends a woman’s wisdom more than speech. The wise woman uses words sparingly.
    b. using disrespectful words or tone. Strive for “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:4). Do not be afraid that this will make your husband worse, but trust in God’s wisdom (1 Pet. 3:1; Prov. 25:15). Remember God hears and will judge you for every idle word (Matt. 12:36). Ideally, both the husband and wife should be slow to passion, yet where one must yield, it is most reasonably expected of the wife. No woman gets honor by having the last word. Some women argue that their tongue is their only weapon, but the wise know that their tongue is set on fire by hell (Jas. 3:6). See how Rachel spoke rashly to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die” (Gen. 30:1), and as soon as she had two, she died (Gen. 35:18)! On the other hand, Abigail behaved prudently with a very bad husband, and was raised to honor. If respect will not prevail with him, anger never can. That is why the husband and wife ought to agree never to shout at one another.”

    http://www.peacemakers.net/unity/rsdutiesofhusbandsandwives.htm

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  14. I got some pushback on Twitter and I’m actually grateful for the conversation because once again, it let’s us see how others perceive us. We have a big job to do. We need to explain what it’s like from the abused woman’s perspective. We who have voices must speak for them and help them in this way.

    Here is what I just posted on the Facebook page:

    This morning I got a decent amount of pushback from Kevin regarding some tweets I sent out – tweets about the last article I posted and why people hare having such difficulty with Pastor Meadows’ catechism to women who are in difficult marriages.

    I typed up a much longer response to Kevin and took a screenshot because this is so important and I did not want there to be confusion. Anyway, in case there are some who may not get why there is such an outrage about this catechism, let’s see if this helps:

    *********************************************************************

    Kevin, one of my 1st tweets in the series was this: “These are frightening instructions to give to an abused/oppressed wife.” It doesn’t really matter if he was intentionally giving them to an audience with no abuse, the fact remains, his audience is filled with people who have been/or are abused. And the word “difficult” caused confusion.

    Did you go to the article and read the comments? Why did so many respond like that? Because they have lived through abuse. Why did Pastor Crippen and Barbara Roberts (and I) respond the way we did? Because we understand abuse.

    When a wife is abused, she comes to church looking for answers to help her get out of the situation. When she is sitting in the pew (or reading a blog article) that is discussing a “difficult” marriage, she will think he is talking about her marriage. Keep in mind, many wives in abusive marriages already minimize the abuse because their abuser is masterful at blame shifting. She will have automatically assumed her guilt in contributing to the abuse. This shaming, blame shifting, pressure to keep the marriage together at all costs, fear, will even keep her in an abusive marriage. This is also a reason why many abused wives will go back to their abuser after leaving. They are not in their right mind.

    So, the abused wife, who is not in her right mind (because an oppressed and abused person is always in “survival” mode), doesn’t hear things or see the things as you and I would. She’s desperate for answers. She wants her marriage to be fixed. She will read this catechism and say, “oh, that’s what I need to do.” “I finally have the answers.”

    So, while I agree with you, that Pastor Meadows may have not intended the audience to be for women who are abused, by saying “difficult” marriage, he did not clarify, nor did he rule out abuse.

    If pastors are speaking to an audience wherein 35% have experienced domestic, he needs to be aware of that when he speaks so that he will not cause confusion and create more difficulty for the abused wife.

    Again, the responsibility of a pastor is to be Christ-like. Christ defended the defenseless, and so the onus is on him to use words that will protect and defend especially people like her. When we fail to protect those who need defending, we are not acting like Christ.

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  15. Some miscellaneous thoughts:

    What Meadows writes is no catechism. It is a manifesto for the subjugation of women by men.

    The foundational precept of Meadows’ “catechism” is taken from the Westminister Shorter Catechism, which reads, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” The part about glorifying God makes Him into some sort of cosmic narcissistic/sociopathic tyrant, and it is blasphemous in the extreme. All that is built upon such a foundation must fail.

    The “catechism” is nothing more than an expression of the sin of which God warned Eve in Genesis 3:16, that “he [Adam] shall rule over thee.”

    The notion that it is up to Meadows’ detractors to prove him wrong is laughable. Were I to charge Meadows with rape, for example, it would be incumbent upon me to come forward with proof. Nobody would shift the burden of proof to Meadows to prove himself innocent. No, the proponent of a position has the burden of proof, whether in a court of law or in the court of public opinion.

    While I will not accuse Meadows of being a hater of women (I am not personally acquainted with him), I do charge that his doctrine is misogynistic. My proof? His catechism speaks for itself. It is Exhibit A. Also, there is the fact that Meadows’ doctrine impels him to lay burdens on only women, not at all on men.

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  16. Another question: if this guy is talking to women who are married to men who are not necessarily abusive, then shouldn’t a decent man go Christian? What I mean to say is, how does a good Christian woman end up married to a man who is not Christian? If this guy was doing his job, he’d make an attempt to bring in godly single men to the church. The pastor is a slacker! We definitely need more women counselor a in the church, hopefully with real life experiences to give good mature spiritually correct counseling. Oy!

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  17. His catechism is based on faulty doctrine, of course, but what makes it really interesting is he reveals his faulty doctrine in the opening lines where he talks of unbelieving husbands as sometimes being very ungodly. It’s odd that someone who touts a Reformed background like this pastor would take a different view of unbelievers and godliness. My understanding of Reformed doctrine is that it holds that anyone who does not believe in Jesus is completely ungodly.

    Thanks for the link to the husband catechism too, JA., where he repeats the same error on godliness. he also repeats the error found in questions 11 and 12. Contrary to his “catechism”, some people are married to spouses who treat them worse than they deserve. He’s philosophizing, not resting on scripture like true catechisms do.

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  18. Q4 (Wives). What is the most important thing about how I relate to my husband?

    A4 (Wives). That I love him with gracious gospel love, respect him for his position over me, and submit to him as unto the Lord.

    What in the world is “gospel love?” Is it for God so loved the world? How do we show “gospel” love?

    Q4 (Husbands). What is the most important thing about how I relate to my wife?

    A4 (Husbands). That I love her as Christ loves the church, living with her in an understanding way, with appropriate honor and respect for her.

    What is “living with her in an understanding way?” My mind immediately thinks that men must understand that women are the “weaker sex” and they must understand that we will not be rational. I don’t know if that is what he intended, but it is what my mind goes to.

    What is “appropriate honor?” How do you honor someone inappropriately?

    And now I need to look up scriptures to support these? Gesh!

    Like

  19. Wait a minute! He answers the “gospel love” question. Whew!

    Q5 (Wives). What is gracious, gospel love for my husband?

    A5 (Wives). A supernatural love from Christ that is large, constant, and free, and that does my husband good and not evil all the days of his life.

    But isn’t this similar to how husbands are to show Christ-like love?

    Q5 (Husbands). What is Christ-like love for my wife?

    A5 (Husbands). A supernatural love from Christ that makes me willing to give of myself for her good, seen and demonstrated in daily, practical acts, attitudes, and words of love.

    So is “gospel love” the same as “Christ-like” love? I think the verses may be the same for this one.

    Like

  20. It is not good enough to just say in the comments thread that the post was not meant for abusive marriages. That kind of after-mention is one of the reasons we victims of abuse have been so marginalized and trapped in spiritual / scriptural / marital bondage for so long! ~Barbara Roberts

    That anything like the “fruit extracts” sold during Prohibition with the “For Information Only” disclaimers including detailed instructions on how to ferment them into alcoholic homebrew?
    Or the similar after-mention disclaimers on the small-press Anarchist Cookbook-style how-to manuals that used to turn up at the weirder gun shows?

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  21. And I was correct in the department of husbands living with their wives in an “understanding way.”

    Q6 (Husbands). What is it to live with my wife in an understanding way?

    A6 (Husbands). It is to show her honor as the weaker vessel, being sensitive to her needs, fears, and feelings; to nourish and cherish her with the love and affection of Christ.

    *Sigh*

    Sorry, I’ve got both open and and reading them side-by-side. I guess I’m sort of making a running commentary here. I don’t mean to take over with the nit-picking, but….it’s just so easy.

    Like

  22. If I was a wife-beater, this guy would be my pastor.

    Total 1000% backup; Gawd Says no matter how much you smack her around, she has to come crawling back for more. “What is Thy Will, My Lord Husband? How Might I Better Submit?” (Which would reinforce the abuse; how can you have any respect for someone — no, someTHING — who comes crawling back for more?)

    Like

  23. You know, Kathi, because all wives are weak, needy and fearful.

    Even Fluttershy has an inner strength that can come out and strike back when she’s cornered.

    Like

  24. Okay…last one…for now!

    Q6 (Wives). What is respect for my husband?

    A6 (Wives). It is a conscious recognition of his special authority over me as my husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant I freely entered when I married him.

    I wonder if a woman acknowledging that her husband has “special authority” over her is a part of her marriage vows.

    Maybe he should add that she let her husband know when it is “her time of the month” so that if she is acting unusual or irrational he’ll have an idea why. That would be very respectful of her and would help him to be extra understanding.

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  25. HUG, if anyone called my wife weak, needy and fearful, they’d be the one in feeling fearfully weak and needy. Well, she’s actually quite gracious with such idiocy, but that’s just another sign of her strength in Christ.

    Like

  26. Keep in mind, Kathi, that Pastor Meadows is writing from a position of ignorance. Arrogance too, which only compounds the dangers of his ignorance.

    Like

  27. What in the world is “gospel love?” Is it for God so loved the world? How do we show “gospel” love?

    Kathi, if a pastor knows of ongoing abuse in a marriage perpetuated by the husband, gospel love is to boot his rear end out the door of the church. He doesn’t get to sit and “worship” acting like a Christian.

    Like

  28. Kathi said:

    Wait a minute! He answers the “gospel love” question. Whew!

    Q5 (Wives). What is gracious, gospel love for my husband?

    A5 (Wives). A supernatural love from Christ that is large, constant, and free, and that does my husband good and not evil all the days of his life.

    But isn’t this similar to how husbands are to show Christ-like love?

    I repeat – gospel love is to put him out. Seriously, would a church allow an unrepentant rapist to sit in the pew amongst the rest of the body? I propose that a man who is abusing wife is emotionally raping, spiritually raping and he actually could be physically raping her as well.

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  29. His catechism is based on faulty doctrine, of course, but what makes it really interesting is he reveals his faulty doctrine in the opening lines where he talks of unbelieving husbands as sometimes being very ungodly. It’s odd that someone who touts a Reformed background like this pastor would take a different view of unbelievers and godliness. My understanding of Reformed doctrine is that it holds that anyone who does not believe in Jesus is completely ungodly.

    Exactly, Tim. And I found it so odd that there was not one verse mentioned in his whole article. (I also found it odd that one guy was demanding that Jeff provide scripture to back up his words.) And also I love how all of the pastor-protectors come out of the woodworks telling Jeff that he should have gone privately to him (e-mail). Hellooooooo – – this was posted publicly. It must be dealt with publicly – especially because of the subject matter.

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  30. Julie Anne said: “if a pastor knows of ongoing abuse in a marriage perpetuated by the husband, gospel love is to boot his rear end out the door of the church. He doesn’t get to sit and “worship” acting like a Christian.”

    Agreed! Unfortunately, I think pastors either wish to maintain image or are fearful to confront on such a heavy issue. I think pastors are much quicker to confront on “lesser sins” because those are easy. But deal with the issue of domestic violence and they are overstepping their comfort zones. It’s the old mindset of not getting involved in someone else’s problems at home.

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  31. tim said:

    Keep in mind, Kathi, that Pastor Meadows is writing from a position of ignorance. Arrogance too, which only compounds the dangers of his ignorance.

    The sad part of this is that by the pastor’s own title, he is given credibility and respect – even when it is unmerited or undeserved. To have this man preaching/publicizing this kind of stuff is so, so dangerous.

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  32. Agreed! Unfortunately, I think pastors either wish to maintain image or are fearful to confront on such a heavy issue. I think pastors are much quicker to confront on “lesser sins” because those are easy. But deal with the issue of domestic violence and they are overstepping their comfort zones. It’s the old mindset of not getting involved in someone else’s problems at home.

    Yes, Kathi – it is very messy work. It’s a lot easier for pastors to send groups on missions trips to foreign countries and build homes for homeless than it is to work on broken down homes amongst their own church Body. When you go build a home on the mission field, you go, build it, and then leave. You don’t have to stay and see what happens inside the home.

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  33. Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?

    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?

    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

    To this pitiable twisting of the kindness of God I would add: You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. (Rev 3).

    This is a new catechism indeed; one that bludgeons and kills the frail, the poor, and the voiceless, and worse, within the church! Mr. Meadows, one day you will have to give account for the spiritual and physical death in which you participated, apparently to make a name for yourself.

    Like

  34. Diane quoting the preacher,

    Beware of
    a. interrupting him while he is speaking, or saying ten words to his one. Silence commends a woman’s wisdom more than speech. The wise woman uses words sparingly.

    It is a stereotype in American culture that women out-talk men. (American) Men actually talk more than women do and interrupt women more often.

    I posted a link about this in the last thread, “Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Adds Two New Board Members for a Total of 0% Female Board Members”,
    Ten Words Every Girl Should Learn

    Men interrupt women, speak over them, and discount their contributions to a discussion with surprising regularity.

    As I said on Tim’s blog about a month ago, when he blogged on a similar topic:

    My ex fiance’ talked ten times more than me. In the several years I was in a relationship with my ex, I hardly got a word in myself, because he talked non-stop, and he never talked about me, he never asked me about me.

    I sat and listened to him in person and over the phone (due to the ex’s job, some of our relationship was long distance), and he talked about his life, his job, his goals, etc, never took an interest in me. We never talked about me, my life, my career, my hopes, etc. I did all the listening, and he did all the talking, for years (literally).

    I can’t believe a preacher is supporting the myth that women talk too much or interrupt men too much, so he’s telling them to “hush up” in his advice. The opposite situation occurs, women don’t get to talk as much as men, and when they do, they either get interrupted or get “talked over” (by men).

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  35. I very much agree with this comment above:
    Gary W JULY 10, 2014 @ 7:18 AM,
    especially this,

    The “catechism” is nothing more than an expression of the sin of which God warned Eve in Genesis 3:16, that “he [Adam] shall rule over thee.”

    It’s sick and twisted that gender complementarian and patriarchy supporters take something God says is a result of sin, something that God never wanted or intended (i.e., men ruling over women, some men wanting to rule over women), and say it is a good thing, and what God wanted all along.

    Like

  36. @ Julie Anne,
    Regarding the preacher’s version for husbands, which is about identical for the one for wives, with only a few changes.

    He wrote to husbands,

    Teaching her the Word of God, praying for her, leading her with all love and humility in the way of righteousness, and setting a good example before her, without any bitterness in my heart or unkindness in my speech and conduct.

    Why does a woman need a husband to “teach her the Word of God?”

    I thought the classical Protestant position is that the Holy Spirit guides all believers in truth (which includes understanding Scripture), so that even a “plow boy can understand the scriptures” (or whatever the quote was)?

    Protestants are critical of the Roman Catholicism position on Bible reading and interpretation, and in having a magisterium, but these Protestants seem to have turned husbands into “mini-magisteriums.”

    What if you are a woman who has never married, or you don’t have a spouse because your husband died or divorced you? You have nobody to “teach you the Word of God.”

    The preacher wrote to husbands,

    Q12. How good a husband am I to my wife?

    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my wife as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the Christ-like husband that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my wife.

    All the articles and books I’ve read said that women are victims in greater numbers, but sometimes, some wives do abuse their husbands.

    I can see how a husband who is undergoing abuse by a wife would not be helped with this article for husbands. He might feel obligated to stay in an abusive marriage after reading this, and feel shamed for having negative feelings about being abused.

    Like

  37. @ VelvetVoice
    I hear you. But, I don’t know what the solution is.

    I had always wanted to get married, and for years, I was determined to only marry a Christian man, but every church I went to, there were no (as in zero) or next to no single adult Christian men… so I’m still single past 40.

    (I have now decided to ignore the “don’t be yoked to an unbeliever” stuff and include Non-Christian males on my dating site profiles, because if I keep holding out for a Christian spouse, I will die single. Not interested in being single and celibate until I die, no thanks.)

    I do think churches should do more to help singles get married (the ones who want the help that is, some singles want to be left alone), but… on the other hand…

    I’m wary of American churches who do go out of their way to attract single men, because what they usually do, in thinking it will attract single men, is assume the way to attract single men is to paint a picture of a stereotypical American, Hollywood ideal of a manly-man, to depict a “Macho, Tobacco- Chewing, Karate expert, Beer Swilling, Football Watching” Jesus Christ, and to hand out free rifles, free golfing tickets, or NASCAR or monster truck rally tickets in church services.

    I’m not hating on men who are into football, guns, golf, being macho, and beer drinking and such. If you’re a guy who is honestly interested in that stuff, that is great.

    I am just saying these churches who think that is the way to attract men tend to go nuts with it, to the point they make church look like a joke.

    (They also fail to acknowledge that not all men are “macho” types. Some men are quiet, artistic types who enjoy reading classical literature to watching football.)

    In their bid to make churches more stereotypically masculine, they either ignore the feminine (and hence women) or ridicule anything perceived as feminine, which ends up insulting and alienating women.

    If U.S. churches want to attract more men, they need to find a way that doesn’t make a caricature out of masculinity, or pigeon hole manhood to only mean “all real men like hunting, mixed martial arts, cigar smoking, and NFL,” or in a way that ignores women or mocks feminine things.
    See Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill for an example of that.

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  38. Kathi, you asked,

    What is “living with her in an understanding way?” My mind immediately thinks that men must understand that women are the “weaker sex” and they must understand that we will not be rational. I don’t know if that is what he intended, but it is what my mind goes to.

    If you see the page the same guy wrote for husbands, on how husbands are to treat their wives, he says,

    Q6. What is it to live with my wife in an understanding way?

    A6. It is to show her honor as the weaker vessel, being sensitive to her needs, fears, and feelings; to nourish and cherish her with the love and affection of Christ.

    He does seem to be suggesting there that women are irrational, dainty, overly emotional, fragile, china dolls.

    Also, like you, I didn’t understand what he meant that a wife should show her husband “Gospel like love.”

    I don’t know what “Gospel love” is, unless he’s just saying in a round about way to love people the way Jesus loved people?

    Like

  39. Headless Unicorn Guy said,

    If I was a wife-beater, this guy would be my pastor.

    Total 1000% backup; Gawd Says no matter how much you smack her around, she has to come crawling back for more. “What is Thy Will, My Lord Husband? How Might I Better Submit?” (Which would reinforce the abuse; how can you have any respect for someone — no, someTHING — who comes crawling back for more?)

    Yes, you hit the nail on the head.

    Even though the guy may have genuinely not intended for his article to be a support mechanism for abusive husbands, you dang skippy the ones who are abusive will point to his article, or the mindset in it, to justify their controlling and abusive natures.

    That he did not intend for it to be mis-used in such a manner does not mean dishonest, selfish, entitled, abusive men will not use it for their own selfish purposes. You know they will.

    Also, women who are in abusive relationships (and abuse can be emotional, financial, or a guy who controls your every facet of life – abuse is not only physical attacks), they will get the idea from his post that they must remain with an abuser no matter what, even at the sake of their physical or mental health, happiness, peace, self esteem, or finances.

    BTW, HUG, I hope your wrist is doing better. (You said on the other site it was broken?)

    Like

  40. Kathi (quoting the preacher),

    A6 (Wives). It is a conscious recognition of his special authority over me as my husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant I freely entered when I married him.

    That bothered me too.

    Some gender complementarian / patriarchy proponents deny that they, or their views on gender/marriage, are advocating for male authority over women, but yes, that is one of their main goals and motivations.

    The Bible does not say or teach that a husband has any kind of “special authority” over her husband.

    What the Bible does say is,
    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5)

    Jesus (from Luke Ch 22),

    And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26 “But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.…

    As to this preacher’s line that the woman walked into this as she “freely married” the man –

    This is like what Pat Robertson does (host of Christian TV show “700 Club”). I was commenting on this at the “Cry for Justice” blog a couple of days ago.

    Any time a woman writes to Robertson for advice on their bad marriages (ie, the husband is having numerous affairs, or is a dirty site addict, etc), sometimes he will chide the woman for it and say,

    “Darling, you knew what you were marrying when you married him. You are stuck with him. You must have the discernment of a slug to marry such a loser.”

    (Yes, he actually said women that marry selfish or mean men have “the discernment of a slug.” And yes, he will actually refer to grown women as “darling” or “dear”. In one or two other shows, he told divorced people they were “losers.”)

    What I don’t think Robertson grasps is that some men (who are addicts, controllers, or abusers) pretend to be “Mr. Nice Guy” until they have the woman fooled and on the hook (ie, marry them, and then they let the mask down and reveal who they really are. They keep their abusive natures in check during the early dating stages, until they feel they have the woman on the hook and trapped in marriage

    Instead of holding the men accountable for their bad deeds, Robertson will basically blame the woman for having been “foolish” enough to marry the guy to start with. (Not always… I have seen a few shows where Robertson has told women to divorce the guy they are with.)

    Like

  41. Tim said,

    HUG, if anyone called my wife weak, needy and fearful, they’d be the one in feeling fearfully weak and needy. Well, she’s actually quite gracious with such idiocy, but that’s just another sign of her strength in Christ.

    In a way, I’m fine with a preacher advising husbands to be sensitive to their wives, to their wife’s needs and fears and stuff – I’ve had an anxiety disorder myself for years (with panic attacks), and it’s nice when people are understanding about that.

    My problem is not so much a man telling other men to be sensitive to women, but the way the guy in this post explained it sounded very condescending.

    Women aren’t the only ones who can be afraid, needy, and insecure. I’ve known plenty of men (including my ex) who had or more of those characteristics.

    If you look at the Bible, God the Father (or Jesus or angelic messengers) seems to have spent more time telling men, “Fear not!” than he did women. Apparently a lot of men experience fear, too.

    Totally agreed with:
    Tim:
    “Keep in mind, Kathi, that Pastor Meadows is writing from a position of ignorance. Arrogance too, which only compounds the dangers of his ignorance.”

    And Julie Anne:
    “Kathi, if a pastor knows of ongoing abuse in a marriage perpetuated by the husband, gospel love is to boot his rear end out the door of the church. He doesn’t get to sit and “worship” acting like a Christian.”

    Like

  42. Julie Anne said,

    Yes, Kathi – it is very messy work. It’s a lot easier for pastors to send groups on missions trips to foreign countries and build homes for homeless than it is to work on broken down homes amongst their own church Body. When you go build a home on the mission field, you go, build it, and then leave. You don’t have to stay and see what happens inside the home.

    I totally agree with this, and it’s one of several pet peeves that has caused me to sort of leave the Christian faith a little bit, or wonder if any of it is true.

    Christians will do things like raise funds to send rice to orphans they will never meet who live in Africa – which is good, I’m not putting down efforts to help orphans – but – a lot of Christians won’t take the time or effort to help those already in the pews, or who live right next door to them, who may be suffering (whether from domestic abuse, mental health problems, in mourning for a deceased loved one, etc).

    I have really noticed in the years since my mother died, no Christians I approached for help and emotional support (extended family who are Christians, or people at local churches I went to) was willing to spend time with me. I needed someone to invest maybe two hours per month with me, to let me talk over the grief I was experiencing, but nobody wanted to do that.

    People will toss you quick advice, but nobody wants to roll up their sleeves and really get involved with (as in, spend time with) a wounded person, to sit and listen to that person, and to stay with them until they are okay. Some Christians find it so much easier to toss money at a person who’s in the middle of a problem, or brush them off with a cliche’.

    Like

  43. missdaisyflower said, “I needed someone to invest maybe two hours per month with me, to let me talk over the grief I was experiencing, but nobody wanted to do that.”

    Investing yourself in caring for someone takes time, energy, emotion and sometimes money. Sadly, many church goers are not willing to do this for each other. I am so sorry to hear that no one was willing to be there for you.

    Like

  44. “I can’t believe a preacher is supporting the myth that women talk too much or interrupt men too much, so he’s telling them to “hush up” in his advice. The opposite situation occurs, women don’t get to talk as much as men, and when they do, they either get interrupted or get “talked over” (by men).”

    That’s why I said is he trying to be a Puritan or what? I want to know about his church-how many elders preach besides him? Is he the only one there? How many members. Just curious. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with only one man preaching all the time, but, yes there is if it is this kind of preaching, imho.

    Like

  45. Miss Daisy said~

    “It’s sick and twisted that gender complementarian and patriarchy supporters take something God says is a result of sin, something that God never wanted or intended (i.e., men ruling over women, some men wanting to rule over women), and say it is a good thing, and what God wanted all along.”

    Yes and D,Scott Meadows says it right here: (from the above link in my 6:49 am.

    “This is her special qualification. If she has all beauty and learning but no respect for her husband, she is not a good wife. Creation suggests it. She was made after the man (1 Tim. 2:13), from the man (1 Cor. 11:8), and for the man (1 Cor. 11:9). This order was not by man’s doing, but God’s. Even after the fall the divine order stands: “He shall rule over you” (Gen. 3:16).”

    Like

  46. The horrifying advice for abused women was the first thing that struck me about this catechism. Making it clear to abused spouses that they do not deserve mistreatment and do not have to submit themselves to their abusers is the most critical response for us to make.

    But this catechism is all wrong from beginning to end! I don’t like anything about it. He says that my marriage cannot be a source of true happiness to me, only my relationship to God brings joy. Then why did God put us here? Why does food taste good, roses smell wonderful, and the earth and the sky and the birds look so beautiful? Isn’t this world full of gifts from God designed to bring us joy? Wasn’t marriage created for that reason as well?

    My husband doesn’t have or want a position over me. We are intelligent, educated, hard working people. We think two minds are better than one and by discussing our plans and decisions, we can get better results. We have each other’s back. In my first marriage, my husband developed a neurological disease. I had to be the adult because he became childlike (complete with toddler tantrums). It was not his fault but it was still a terrible way to live. I prefer marriage to an equal and I will never, never take him for granted.

    I am a child of God and so is my husband. Why don’t we each deserve to have a good spouse? Isn’t that what God wants for us? My husband says that I was a gift from God and I feel the same way about him. I feel like He has restored the years that the locust had eaten.

    This catechism is just ugly. How can people live like this?

    Like

  47. Did you all miss me ?
    Julie Anne,
    Your question re: how the outside sees you. I am from the outside.
    Here is how the outside sees you. Men are to blame. Women are victims.Men are to blame. Women are victims. Men are to blame. I’m henry the 8th I am, Henry the 8th I am I am. Especially pastors…they’re the worse, oh my..
    A pastor is not everything. He’s a human being doing his best.
    I tried to post some stuff that showed that women are equally as bad. Now, there is Equality for you. That went over like lead balloons.
    I’ve actually thought about you all a lot and yesterday prayed to God to give me some clarity on this site. What is it I see that they do not see.
    Because this is what I see, and what I tried to convey. I see the same stuff here on a Christian site as I see on Feminist sites, and all the LGBTQ comments about Phil Robertson, and anything else referring to MALE. It may be disguised as Christian, and Christ, but it is anything but. I said it was feminism. It is, but that is not what it really is. Feminism is just the language.
    I had to try to understand what is the common theme I am seeing here that transfers from Feminism to LGBTQ to the secular world, because what I read on here is exactly the same. God did give me that clarity I asked for.

    I actually have to thank you all very much for a few things. First, Julie Anne and Jim Carey. Yes, Jim Carey, from the Grinch movie. When I was blogging here the other night I saw Julie Anne write a statement about Owen Strachen, that he looked like he was 15 yrs old. Then I think it was Julie Anne that said, yah, he looks too young to be telling us what to do.
    The thought that came to mind was Jim Carey when he took everything from the Who’s, and they just wheeled out “more stuff”. The word that “The Gringe” used was, “they’re relentless”. It just keeps on coming. That’s what came to mind.
    They are relentless.
    That hit me right between the eyes and blogged right off.
    One thought that I had was Paul, commissioning Timothy regarding his age. Another thought I had was age discrimination. Another thought I had was, you are degrading him and his capabilities. He doesn’t get to have any opinions because he “looks 15 yrs old”. Appearances. I think he has a PhD. How would you take it if he said I have a PhD, you don’t, which makes you too stupid to have an opinion ?. I would take that to be downright nasty. Which is how I took that comment about him.
    How does this site look from the outside. Nasty, hateful man hating dialogue.

    Jesus says you will be hated for my sake. You don’t really know what hate is until you are hated. Satan hates mankind, and when hate comes, you realize that hate is really not your friend. When I thought about the hate on this site, and why they can’t see it, God showed me something. You’ve got to see hate to realize hate is not your friend. You don’t see the hate and venom you are spewing, just like feminism doesn’t, because hate is your friend.
    And it all comes down to submission. It’s not hatred of submission to the husband you are afraid of. It’s submission to God.
    Egalitarianism, or Mutualism, is about equality. What God showed me, is that you want equality, not submission, because you are still fighting for the rights to your own lives. You have not turned your life over to Christ. The same sin that is born of satan that wants equality with God. The right to myself. You have not submitted to God, given all the rights to your life to Him, and you hate his claim to authority over your lives. Satan wanted equality to God.
    In other words, you hate God. That is the common theme I see in this site, in Feminist dialogue, in LGBTQ dialogue. I was getting confused about that.

    I will pray for you all. Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.

    p.s. I see miss daisy is still lamenting on this string about her singleness and abandonment an how nobody snatched her up. Somebody here help her.

    Like

  48. Okay, so Mike Waters is over there now, writing against the use of secular psychology and on Jeff Crippen’s back about reading books on psychology and abuse. Interesting, so I addressed it with him. I noticed that he was not responding to the female portion of the comments, that were addressed to him, left late on the comments, so I checked it out a little bit. Answer: He pastors an FIC Church. There y’all. Have at that for awhile.

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  49. Hi Buck. I do in fact have a Ph.D. Does that mean I get to argue with you?

    Is your response to my post to you suggesting that you see a therapist, which I wrote out of compassion, to come back and say that God showed you that the people on this site hate men and hate God? That is simply not true (in fact it is silly) and so therefore it was not God who was speaking to you.

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  50. I am new to this site, so I don’t know who Buck Thornton is, but I am guessing the answer to his question “Did you all miss me?” is “no”.

    From an outsider looking in, who has been victimized for years, I am the furthest from being a feminist than anyone could possibly get. My deal, is that I hate abuse, whether it be by husbands, family, friends or pastors and their wives and church. I just plain hate it. And guess what! I am called by a holy God, to hate it. I am called by God to do whatever I can to gain justice for the weak and oppressed and the needy. It is loving. It is right. I think people have to remember, that no justice here on earth, means that for these abusers, justice in the end. That means, that when they get away with it here, we just have to know that God will give them justice in the end. Not pretty. So, when you know that is the case, it is actually loving them, to try to get them to realize their lost state and sin, while still here on earth and repent for it and own it.

    I am also exhausted from the false leaders/shepherds who tread down the weak and weary, those who are already torn down by days, months, years and decades of abuse. It is never right to sit on the sidelines and just throw fake love at the ones who are abusing nor abiding those condoning the abuse. How do we show love? We do our neighbor no harm. Telling the truth, is never harmful. It is a way to try to lead these people to the truth, which is Christ. Do not try to tell me, that these abusers know Christ – even if they hide behind the facade of a pastor. The Bible talks distinctly about false shepherds and there are plenty around today as well. One entire denomination is filled with men of rebellion. It is time to rid the Bride of the false teachers/leaders/pastors/elders. All those people should be held to the same standard that they have set for others.

    I see SSB and others that are now standing for what is right. They are no longer calling evil good and good evil. They are standing for truth and righteousness, and of course that means, that you will have those who are lost and confused, come and tell you that you are doing the wrong thing or doing it the wrong way. They will criticize and critique everything that is said or done by those trying to bring truth, yet they themselves will not do one thing to try to help bring the truth out. Anyone who would tell a Christian to sit down and shut up, saying that calling out the truth is “hating”, is a liar. Follow the trail. Anyone who is a liar, is born of their father, the chief liar of all time. So, if one is born of the liar, they cannot possibly be born of the true God. Simple as that.

    Keep up the good work Julie Anne. You have taken a horrific abuse by someone who should have been able to be trusted by you, and allowed God to turn it for good in your life. We will never be perfect here on this earth, nor do things absolutely perfectly while we are here, but what is important is that you have allowed God to use something that could have broken you for the rest of your life, to help and aid others. God has used it for good and will continue to do so.

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  51. I’m sosososososo grateful we didn’t wander down the path of the FICs about ten years ago, when many, many other homeschooling families around us did. I cannot imagine trying to find any semblance of support for healing from, or even recognition of, abuse if I were trapped in one of those churches. It does not surprise me in the least to hear that “Pastor” Meadows leads a FIC.

    Like

  52. Buck, women are abused more often than men are in marriages, I gave you a link to sites with stats about that on the last thread.
    Women in other nations are sold as sex slaves more often than males are.
    Women were not allowed to vote in America until around 1920.
    Up until the 1990s, in American, husbands were legally allowed to rape their wives.
    Up until was it late 19th cent men in USA were legally allowed to beat their wives within certain parameters.
    Women in Muslim nations are often killed in the name of “honor kilings” if they are raped or marry a Western man or a Christian. Muslims practice FGM, female genital mutilation.

    Women do have things tougher – and men are responsible for this. Men for centuries have held power over women. God predicted that would be the case in Genesis when he told Eve her desire would be for her husband (to protect and provide for her, rather than depend on God for these things) and her husband would lord it over her as a result – that is what you are wanting. You regret that women don’t put up with it. And you keep wanting to pin blame on women when your gender is responsible for that stuff.

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  53. Kathi,

    I am so sorry to hear that no one was willing to be there for you.

    Thank you for the concern.

    I had to deal with the grief totally alone, for years, and it was difficult. I did try to contact other people to get support, including people at a local church I attended for a few months, and some extended family who are Christian, and a sibling, but they either would not return calls, cut calls very short, or yelled at me and criticized me, or gave me platitudes. (And the majority of these folks are retired with lots of free time, I was not infringing on their time)

    Thank you for expressing concern, that does mean a lot to me. :)

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  54. IamMyBeloved’s,

    Buck T. was posting on the previous thread at this blog,
    Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Adds Two New Board Members for a Total of 0% Female Board Members

    Do you know the only group more obsessed with submission than Buck is? Militant Muslims. Maybe Buck is in the wrong religion.

    Doesn’t “Islam” mean “submission”?

    Buck is also saying on this thread he supports male authority over women (vis a vis his concern in the post above that women on this blog supposedly are not keen enough on submission to men enough for his taste), which totally contradicts posts he made on the previous thread, where he says he’s not into authority or submission.

    Also, there is no Biblical passage telling Christian single women, or Agnostic single women, that they have to submit to men.

    I have never married, so I can tell these guys to take a long walk off a short pier, the Bible does not command me, an un-married woman, to submit to men.

    Like

  55. IamMyBeloved’s said,

    Okay, so Mike Waters is over there now, writing against the use of secular psychology and on Jeff Crippen’s back about reading books on psychology and abuse. Interesting, so I addressed it with him.
    I noticed that he was not responding to the female portion of the comments, that were addressed to him, left late on the comments, so I checked it out a little bit. Answer: He pastors an FIC Church. There y’all. Have at that for awhile.

    There are some Christians, like Scientologists, who are paranoid about psychiatry and psychology.

    They often misinterpret verses and passages such as “Christ is sufficient to meet all your needs” to mean, for example, a person who has clinical depression should just pray and read the Bible to cope, and not see a psychiatrist for treatment or take anti-depressant medication.

    Rejecting any and all information from secular sources and to tell people to rely only on the Bible for all of life’s problems can be dangerous and is ignorant.

    Reading the Bible will not heal most people of depression, anxiety attacks, etc. And it certainly won’t tell you how to put an additional RAM card in your CPU, or how to code a web page with HTML and CSS.

    I agree if someone is a Christian, they ought to look to the Bible for information about God, but I don’t think God meant the Bible to be the end all, be all informative source for every health and relationship problem under the sun.

    I wouldn’t even trust most “Christian” counseling that is out there, depending on the type of counselor we are discussing. The guys who are into “Nouthetic” counseling are the naive types who believe you can help someone using the Bible alone, and by telling them their issues are caused by their personal sin.

    About these male moderators on other blogs not publishing or responding to comments by females: have any of you (ladies) considered signing up under gender neutral screen names? Or using initials? Instead of signing up for their blogs as “Jane Smith,” try “J. Smith,” or something that doesn’t give away gender, such as “Green Grass” or “Blue Ocean.”

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  56. Tim,
    Because guys like that have tunnel vision and only remember this verse from Ephesians Chapter 5,
    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

    But they always ignore this one also from Ephesians Ch 5,
    “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

    I take it that I too ignore, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,”
    because goodness knows men who harp on female submission ignore it. (I guess if you remind them that that verse exists, they will chalk that verse up to feminism?)

    I also feel comfortable ignoring that verse using the gender complementarian method of interpretation, due to the fact that there is no specific verse that says as follows:

    Unmarried women, submit yourselves to other women’s husbands [and to all other men] as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. “

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  57. Buck, you were getting confused, eh? OBVIOUSLY you still are. . but your convoluted diatribes are certainly entertaining! I agree with Marsha, if you are hearing voices, I doubt very much it’s God. . .:)

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  58. I submit this question, but I am not asking for a response. If the bible-believing churches, and reformed baptist churches, are such a mess ( and they are), why do people think the way to end abuse lies in “educating” pastors in the institutional church? Isn’t there a deeper reason for this mess? The first century church wasn’t an institution.

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  59. Let me clarify. My comment said that Mike Waters pastors an FIC Church, not Meadows. I do not know why type of Church Meadows pastors, but it might be interesting to know. Waters pastors at a Church listed on the NCFIC web site.

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  60. “One thought that I had was Paul, commissioning Timothy regarding his age. Another thought I had was age discrimination. Another thought I had was, you are degrading him and his capabilities. He doesn’t get to have any opinions because he “looks 15 yrs old”. Appearances. I think he has a PhD. How would you take it if he said I have a PhD, you don’t, which makes you too stupid to have an opinion ?. I would take that to be downright nasty. Which is how I took that comment about him.
    How does this site look from the outside. Nasty, hateful man hating dialogue. ”

    It was me. And he does look 15. Trotting out Timothy won’t work with me, Buck. Timothy had been IN THE TRENCHES for a while when he came to Ephesus. REAL trenches, Buck. Go study a timeline. It was no picnic. And Ephesus was big time Pagan with the Temple of Aretmis and worship of Diana. Go read Acts 19. Wild stuff going on there. So please stop with comparing ivory tower guys like Owen with Timothy who was in the pagan wilds.

    He has a PhD from an “indoctrination” center. Not much scholarship going on at SBTS. I live here.

    “Jesus says you will be hated for my sake. You don’t really know what hate is until you are hated. Satan hates mankind, and when hate comes, you realize that hate is really not your friend. When I thought about the hate on this site, and why they can’t see it, God showed me something.

    Oh Please. The refuge of Christian scoundrels is coming in swinging and when you get push back, claim you are hated for being a Christian. Right. Sigh.

    Let me tell what delights Satan. That Christians say it is a biblical thing to shut up over half of all believers from proclaiming the Good News as Mary did when she found the empty tomb. Now according to comp doctrine proclaiming the empty tomb is a sin for women to discuss with men

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  61. “I submit this question, but I am not asking for a response. If the bible-believing churches, and reformed baptist churches, are such a mess ( and they are), why do people think the way to end abuse lies in “educating” pastors in the institutional church? Isn’t there a deeper reason for this mess? The first century church wasn’t an institution.”

    BINGO. Not only ending abuse but ending their sweeping it under the rug because the “church should handle it”. They know better. It is just that when abuse gets out, it does not help the money flow which the “institution” runs on including the pastors income. churches will go for the “education” because many insurance companies demand it now.

    I hope no one is fooled. But for some reason, pastors seem to get a sin pass when it comes to reporting abuse.

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  62. “But this catechism is all wrong from beginning to end! I don’t like anything about it. He says that my marriage cannot be a source of true happiness to me, only my relationship to God brings joy. Then why did God put us here? Why does food taste good, roses smell wonderful, and the earth and the sky and the birds look so beautiful? Isn’t this world full of gifts from God designed to bring us joy? Wasn’t marriage created for that reason as well?”

    Marsha, it is a culture of death that pastor is promoting. It is dualism. But,

    I LOVE how you ask the right questions!!! Yes, they are precious gifts from God. And we are to live out the kingdom now reflecting Christ out to the world along with the flowers, good food, that HE gave us. We are to love justice, cure cancer, feed hungry children, help single moms, etc, etc, etc.

    Christianity in America is becoming a culture of loving death and rampent dualism. Not only that but bragging about what sinners they are as if that makes them pious. It just makes me not trust them. Where is integrity? Why wouldn’t that pastor, as a believer offer himself up to be beaten in place of an abused wife, for example?

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  63. “What Meadows writes is no catechism. It is a manifesto for the subjugation of women by men.”

    Bingo. If he thinks these women are precious, then help them get out from abuse. And what does watching abuse do for the kids?

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  64. Jeff Crippen said: “The fact is that this catechism could only have been written out of a mindset that has been programmed with false teaching for years”.
    Wow! This is so, so true. Thank you for saying it!!

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  65. Gary W said: “While I will not accuse Meadows of being a hater of women (I am not personally acquainted with him), I do charge that his doctrine is misogynistic. My proof? His catechism speaks for itself. It is Exhibit A”.

    I will quite cheerfully say that Meadows is a misogynist. You don’t put out that kind of poison in print if you have even just one itty-bitty iota of respect for women. He’s attacking women in front of the whole world; what can cause that, if not a deep-seated hatred of women?

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  66. Lydia said:” Where is integrity? Why wouldn’t that pastor, as a believer offer himself up to be beaten in place of an abused wife, for example?”
    Because it would hurt HIM, & HE wouldn’t like that. That abused wife is “only a woman” & so it doesn’t count to Meadows what she suffers. Only MEN count in his sick little dream world……Blecch!!

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  67. “Because it would hurt HIM, & HE wouldn’t like that. That abused wife is “only a woman” & so it doesn’t count to Meadows what she suffers. Only MEN count in his sick little dream world……Blecch!!”

    Yes, I call it a religion of Phallocentrism.

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  68. Buck T. said, “Egalitarianism, or Mutualism, is about equality. What God showed me, is that you want equality, not submission, because you are still fighting for the rights to your own lives. You have not turned your life over to Christ. The same sin that is born of satan that wants equality with God. The right to myself. You have not submitted to God, given all the rights to your life to Him, and you hate his claim to authority over your lives. Satan wanted equality to God.
    In other words, you hate God. That is the common theme I see in this site, in Feminist dialogue, in LGBTQ dialogue. I was getting confused about that.”

    Being a male, I view this statement as being pure crap. This entire thread is about a woman submitting to physical, sexual and verbal abuse. Why on earth should anyone have to submit to that life style. I would be willing to bet that the type of man that would abuse his wife is also abusing his children.
    I have a brother in law that destroyed his kids and first wife with just the family plan that he was in control and God told him to beat his kids with a belt until they bled and had welts. His sin has carried on now to the destruction of of the third generation. God has declared all to be equal. I would not nor could not be married to a woman that allowed herself to be a door mat. My wife is smart, and keeps me in check when I’m wrong and to harm her in any way, I can not even begin to comprehend. And you would declare me and others in this blog to having not turned our lives over to God and not submitting to Him.
    I have always believed that it was and is my role in the marriage to protect my wife, not to abuse her. In 49 years of marriage I have never so much as clenched my fist at her. Why would I want to hurt the one God has given me to protect.
    I think that anyone that would harm his wife or child is the one that needs to turn his life over to Christ and let Christ have authority over him. Love does not harm. He that loves not, knows not God.
    Jim

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  69. Someone here mentioned pastors who happily send off short or long term missionaries to foreign lands, but ignore abuse in their own churches.

    Yes indeedy deed.
    And furthermore, quite a few of those missionaries are domestic abusers. They get to abuse more easily than ever out on the mission field, where there is even less accountability than in their home church, and it’s harder for their victims to flee because they are so much more isolated. We hear stories on our blog from wives who were married (or still are married, stuck in it) to abusers on the mission field.

    And all the kudos they get for being missionaries. Gah.

    I also personally knew a man who had three wives, each of whom divorced him because of his abuse, and he is now ‘being a missionary’ in China with his fourth wife. She is Chinese, probably more easily biddable and less empowered than western women. I don’t know how he funds his ‘missionary’ work but it would not surprise me if some stupid pentecostal churches were supporting him. And feeling so *good* for doing so.

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  70. “I think that anyone that would harm his wife or child is the one that needs to turn his life over to Christ and let Christ have authority over him. Love does not harm. He that loves not, knows not God.”

    The sick twist here, Jim, is that the women that report abuse are usually the ones who end up being accused of not loving their husbands enough to stay and take the abuse and win them to Christ. I guess they have twisted the Word to say that women are now in charge of saving their abusive husbands, not Christ. Are they falsely believing that somehow the abusive husband will be saved through the shedding of the wife’s blood (“that will bring him to repentance” type of thinking) and that if that is the only way the abuser might be saved, then it is worth it? It is a counterfeit, wicked and false teaching.

    Let’s look at the outrage in TX over the execution style killing of that family, because the abuser came looking for his victim. What is it, that makes people in the Church of Jesus Christ, believe that women should stay with their abusers? You do not ever hear about a victim of abuse being killed by the abuser, where people say, “Oh, we knew THAT was going to happen” or “Saw THAT coming years ago”. No. What you do hear is, “We would have never guessed that would have ever happened” and things like “They were such a nice family” or “He was the gentlest man in the world”. This is exactly why the Church needs to open her eyes and look for truth. Some of them are so bent on catechisms and their religious doctrines that they are nothing more than Pharisees in today’s world. Blind.

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  71. Buck T said, “In other words, you hate God. That is the common theme I see in this site, in Feminist dialogue, in LGBTQ dialogue. I was getting confused about that.”

    I have a question for you Buck T. How do you know what is being said at the LGBTQ site? I had to Google LGBTQ to see what is was. I really can’t comprehend a strait guy going to that site for any reason. Just asking.
    Jim

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  72. Jimmydee, what you obviously have (and Buck doesn’t) is the core of what makes for a harmonious climate – RESPECT FOR WOMEN. What Julie Anne and most others who comment on here recognize is that, in many churches, respect for women is NOT paramount. Any doctrine which espouses ‘roles’ for males and females (complementarianism, for instance, is essentially a slave/master one) is ripe for abuses to happen.
    It’s deplorable that pastors are offering this kind of advice to women – but it’s as equally unacceptable to realize that there are men in the pews who are empowered by it. Honestly, some things just make me shake my head.

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  73. Are they falsely believing that somehow the abusive husband will be saved through the shedding of the wife’s blood (“that will bring him to repentance” type of thinking) and that if that is the only way the abuser might be saved, then it is worth it?

    Blood Atonement(TM).
    Call in the Danites, Brother Brigham.

    No. What you do hear is, “We would have never guessed that would have ever happened” and things like “They were such a nice family” or “He was the gentlest man in the world”.

    “Because Satan himself can transform himself to appear as an Angel of Light.”

    i.e. Successful sociopaths are masters of camouflage; if they weren’t, they’d have been exposed and caught long ago. We only hear about the ones dumb enough to blow their cover and get caught.

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  74. I have a question for you Buck T. How do you know what is being said at the LGBTQ site? I had to Google LGBTQ to see what is was.

    I just call them “The Unpronounceables”.

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  75. Not to minimize the potential for woman enduring abuse because of following the advice in this “catechism”, but on the whole, it is essentially depicting woman as nothing more than lowly, dirty worms. Questions 11 and 12 effectively illustrate my point and was the crux of my coming to view Meadows as a misogynistic church leader.

    I am exhausted and discouraged, because it seems that this will just be something that will never lessen in the church – which is ridiculous and just plain sad when one stops to think about it – until our Jesus comes back.

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  76. Then why did God put us here? Why does food taste good, roses smell wonderful, and the earth and the sky and the birds look so beautiful? Isn’t this world full of gifts from God designed to bring us joy?

    So you can turn your back on it all as the Devil’s Temptation and whip and scar yourself to Mortify your Flesh and become SPIRITUAL(TM) and HOLY(TM), gargling lye right alongside St Rose of Lima.

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  77. Because guys like that have tunnel vision and only remember this verse from Ephesians Chapter 5,
    “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

    Ah, yes. The wife-beater’s verse. The marital rapist’s verse. The “wife as sex doll for any kink that turns me on” verse.
    AKA “ME MAN! ME WANT FILL-IN-THE-BLANK! YOU WOMAN! YOU SHUT UP!”

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  78. There are some Christians, like Scientologists, who are paranoid about psychiatry and psychology.

    Possibly even for the same reason — psychiatry and psychology are unwanted competition for Dianetic Auditing and Biblical Nouthetic Counseling.

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  79. Do you know the only group more obsessed with submission than Buck is? Militant Muslims. Maybe Buck is in the wrong religion.

    Doesn’t “Islam” mean “submission”?

    Yes, it does. Officially, submission to the Omnipotent Will of God.

    Something about the structure of Semitic languages. All nouns with the same three-consonant root (“SLM” in this example) have related meanings; different nouns are formed by inserting different vowels into that three-consonant root:
    SALAAM = Peace.
    ISLAM = Submission.
    Does this mean it’s hardcoded into the Arabic language that “Peace = Submission”? That you only have Peace when the Weak Submit to the Strong?

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  80. He does seem to be suggesting there that women are irrational, dainty, overly emotional, fragile, china dolls.

    And what are “irrational, dainty, overly emotional, fragile, china dolls” but TOYS and DECORATIONS, nothing more? Not even TOYS, but DECORATIONS and/or COLLECTIBLES — china dolls are too fragile to use as toys.

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  81. I am just saying these churches who think that is the way to attract men tend to go nuts with it, to the point they make church look like a joke.

    “MMA Cage Fighting for JEESUS!”

    (They also fail to acknowledge that not all men are “macho” types. Some men are quiet, artistic types who enjoy reading classical literature to watching football.)

    Looking over at the headboard of my bed, I see a stack of FIVE My Little Pony:Friendship is Magic fanfic novels — one (Past Sins) a quality small-press hardback and three velo-bound novels that I co-wrote. With a Derpy Hooves figurine on top. That is NOT something you find in the bedroom of a Real Man(TM) whose world is entirely Football, Beer, and [mod removed slang female genitalia word removed here].

    P.S. I got slapped around a lot in high school by the Master Race of football jocks because I wasn’t a Football Jock. Instead, I was the “School FAG”. And my writing partner on the MLP:FIM fanfics had it worse; from the PTSD traits layered on top of his Aspergers’ symptoms, I suspect he was sexually assaulted in the gym showers. (“Make a Woman out of Him”, just like in prison; I was threatened with that too. Only the Penetrated is the [Mod removed rude gay term here]; the rapist becomes even More of a Man. Animal forced dominance display.)

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  82. I visited the preacher’s Catechism pages last night, the one for men and for women.

    I can’t remember which one it was, the catechism for husbands or wives, but one of the ladies there, Angela W., (I think is her name), told Brenda R. some very condescending stuff. I think she was basically saying if you don’t agree with Angela W. totally (and/or don’t agree with the Catechism pages at that blog), you are not a “real” Christian, and you don’t understand or respect the Bible, etc.

    She also seems to define being a “real” Christian with being a Reformed Baptist, or some particular specific sub-order of the Reformed Baptists, ie, Reformed Baptists of the Catechism of A.D. 1543 of the region of Geneva (not scandinavia), with churches being led by guys named Martin, not Bob.

    I mean, she (Angela W) is very, very particular about how she defines a “real” Christian, to the point anyone not a member of her particular denomination is, apparently, in her way of thinking, a heathen or liberal, godless pagan.

    You have to not only agree with her totally on the gender roles stuff and catechism page on that blog, but you also have to be a member of her particular denomination/church too.

    I thought Jesus had a larger tent than that, anyone who accepted him as Savior was “in.” I don’t recall Jesus teaching you had to be a member of a Reformed Baptist church to be a “real” Christian.

    Then, ironically, on another post she made below that, she accused the other people on that thread leaving comments who were critical of the post of that very thing. she was accusing them of being like “if you don’t agree with me 100% you are not biblical and are a fake Christian”… they were not being that way. She was.

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  83. Buck said: “Did you all miss me ?”

    Honest answer? No. The way you start out your post suggests to me that you are not here for discussion.

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  84. But this catechism is all wrong from beginning to end! I don’t like anything about it. He says that my marriage cannot be a source of true happiness to me, only my relationship to God brings joy.

    God must have made a mistake when he put the Song of Solomon in the Bible.

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  85. Keep up the good work Julie Anne. You have taken a horrific abuse by someone who should have been able to be trusted by you, and allowed God to turn it for good in your life.

    IamMyBeloved’s,

    Thank you so much.

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  86. I mean, she (Angela W) is very, very particular about how she defines a “real” Christian, to the point anyone not a member of her particular denomination is, apparently, in her way of thinking, a heathen or liberal, godless pagan.

    You have to not only agree with her totally on the gender roles stuff and catechism page on that blog, but you also have to be a member of her particular denomination/church too.

    Daisy, I saw that exchange and was saddened by it. At the same time, I thought it could be me. My former pastor was raising his church to behave just like this. When you are in the midst of it, you are blinded to what it really looks like on the outside and how it affects people. I pray that she will experience the love of God and not be chained to that kind of thinking.

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  87. Daisy and all. I just left a lengthy comment at A Cry For Justice, which is my main stomping grounds. Probably not published yet, but deals a little bit with this whole ordeal. Angela W. is just a really messed up woman who trusts in her theology, according to her own words, more than Christ. Big mistake. She asked me to quote and copy all of her negative remarks she had made to others during the course of the responses/comments, but I chose not to do that, as you cannot lead the blind, when they have dug their feet deep into the mud.

    You can read my comment at A Cry For Justice blog, under Barb Roberts post from Wednesday on the now infamous “CATECHISM FOR WIVES”.

    Julie Anne – you are welcome. We just continue the fight for justice. It’s all we can do.

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  88. Just saw this quote on Noseybook and it seemed appropriate to this discussion –

    “It is by standing up for the rights of girls and women that we truly measure up as men”
    – Desmond Tutu

    It seems that there are many (REAL) men who feel the same way all women do.

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  89. Indeed, there are real men who will and do fight for women and are absolutely disgusted by the way some men treat women – and quite a few read/post here. I’m so grateful for them.

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  90. Daisy, I have seen Angela W. reply on various pro-patriarchy articles and blog posts. She is generally “my way or the highway” and never gracious or loving. She was who I was 8 years ago. She is very much along the lines of that Kamilla woman.

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  91. Ahhhh. .. THAT Angela. .. I remember her commenting on here (DP fiasco). I’ll be blunt (am I ever any other way?). I thought she was batsh*t crazy.

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  92. I can really relate to the cartoon where someone is typing away on the computer, the spouse suggests going to bed and the writer says, “I can’t, someone is wrong on the Internet.” Thus happens a lot in our household and I am glad my husband is supportive ;-)

    It’s frustrating trying to interact with a Buck or an Angela because we never seem to make much headway. It is one thing to stand up to a false teacher and let him and other readers know we aren’t buying it; in and of itself our posts are valuable. We can tell the sociopaths, users, and abusers that we are onto them. We can let the victims know we stand with them. We can let other Christians and people who believe in the golden rule know that these people do not speak for us.

    I get the sense with some people though that they are desperately unhappy and clinging to ideas which are not true and not in Scripture and which trap them in their misery. I see their engagement with us as about more than telling us we are wrong. I could be mistaken but I sense some curiosity as well about how we manage to be strong, happy people who love and support others. Maybe the cumulative effect of this engagement will eventually help them. I just feel led to keep trying.

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  93. “Indeed, there are real men who will and do fight for women and are absolutely disgusted by the way some men treat women” – and by coincidence, this was the subject of my blog today.
    ;-)

    Like

  94. My ex-husband was very abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally). He would love the article “Pastor” Meadow’s wrote, more justification for him to abuse me. I could actually hear my ex-husband ranting and raving in my mind as I read “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”. I felt physically ill. It is an evil article.

    Sadly, I thought of the church I used to attend I wouldn’t have gotten any help from them. They would have told me to “submit” more, in other words it was all my fault. Those are horrible lies, it was not my fault.

    Thank you, Julie Anne for the wonderful work you do here.

    Cherry

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  95. cherelee,:

    I just read your first comment here at SSB and wanted to welcome you and strangely, I sighed as I hit “approve.” You see, it wasn’t that I was sighing about having a new person commenting, but it was the thought that here is another precious woman who has been hurt by abuse in her own home and has not received appropriate care at church. Ugh! I’m so sorry. But I am glad you are here and that you found this place where you are safe and free to share the good, bad, and ugly. Welcome to SSB :)

    Like

  96. I’m going through a period of time right now where I get easily triggered with each post/comment about abuse, anywhere I read in the interwebs. Especially sexual, physical, emotional or domestic (spousal, parent/child or sibling) because of my past abuses. I just came back after a short hiatus and find myself still getting triggered. I need help. :-(

    Like

  97. Waitingforthetrumpet, you have friends here who care about you and are praying for you. I am so sorry that you are going through a rough time and you will be in my thoughts.

    Like

  98. WFTT2 – I hear you. I’m feeling extremely exhausted after several days of following the different comments and attempting to move on. There are many triggers. Today, especially my physical health had me so tired. I think I’ll head over to where Julie Anne suggested you go.
    Marsha, thanks for reminding others of ‘friends’ … truly ministries like this are a great help for those who don’t have a local core group for support.

    Like

  99. WFTT2- Perhaps EMDR would help you. It is a form of therapy and no weirdness to it. Just helps put the memories into a long-term area of the brain, so you won’t experience the triggers so badly. Article on it over at A Cry For Justice Blog. I think it was posted around the 26th of June.

    It is hard even for those of us who are healing, not to get triggered by some of this stuff, so you are not alone. I still have really bad triggers. Just having Chapmaned say to me today “I owe you one”, triggered me. I hope Julie Anne’s connection for you brings great help to you as well.

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  100. WFTT2,

    Just read your story. Wow. What courage you have displayed in sharing it. I am very proud of you.

    I will echo beloved’s suggestion for EMDR if you can swing it. Not that I am an expert or anything but have read a lot of how it really helps with the PSTD.

    Like

  101. Thanks Lydia. Every time I think I’m finally healed, the PTSD and flashbacks rear their ugly heads again, along with the nightmares and panic attacks. I’m kinda leary about long-term memory stuff with treatments. You see, when I had those shock treatments, the doctor destroyed the wrong part of my memory function. Instead of destroying my long-term memory capabilities so I could heal from the traumas, he destroyed my short-term memory capability, so I’m very forgetful about daily life stuff…like eating, taking meds, keeping appointments.

    Like

  102. WFTT2 – Just make certain you get someone who has been specifically “trained” in EMDR. They have to have special training for it. Also, check with your local Center For Prevention of Abuse, because they usually have a licensed counselor who is trained in EMDR there and the counseling is free.

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  103. Just read the addenda and comment thread. Wowee…

    Barbara Roberts was hitting it out of the ballpark again and again. I especially liked how she pointed out Meadows’ confusing the vertical doctrine with the horizontal doctrine of human sin and what we deserve (or not). Jeff Crippen also did a good job pointing out the theological problems in this catechism.

    I would only add that what Mr. Meadows seems to think a Christian wife should put up with (perhaps for a season, a la John Piper?) includes things that are not just sins. They are CRIMES. I hope he is not in the camp of those who would tell such a wife to not avail herself of the civil authorities, as outlined in Romans 13, since the church should have first crack at it.

    Like

  104. I glanced over his post, “Addenda, Part 1: Biblical Support of “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism””

    He seems to me to imply – and I think as do one or two the the people in the comments – that if you don’t fully agree that the Bible teaches what he thinks it teaches, you must not be an actual Christian.

    He asks, “Does the catechism faithfully convey biblical teaching?”

    Is it in fact biblical teaching, or his interpretation of what the Bible teaches? Because there is more than one way to look at the verses he cited.

    I was not the least bit surprised to see this one quoted in his update:

    “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph 5.23).

    Or this:
    “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph 5.22).

    Those are the favored proof texts of men who assume those should be understood in a boss-subordinate manner, in which the husband is the supervisor and the wife must obey his bidding – which is not even what those verse are teaching.

    As to this (he quotes this on the page):

    ““Teach the young women . . . to love their husbands” (Tit 2.4).”

    Can someone please leave a comment on his page telling him he has no business quoting that because he is a man, and that verse is addressed to mature women? (If I am not mistaken). A man should not be using a verse directed AT WOMEN to defend the idea of MALE HIERARCHY, as he is doing.

    Mmm hmm, he is not teaching submissiveness as the Bible is conveying it, and which the Bible also directs all believers, including males to do (Ephesians 5:21), nor is he even teaching complementarianism (which would be that men and women “complement” one another), but he’s teaching unilateral male rule over women, and even if the male is being abusive, which is not in the Bible.

    But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. 26″It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,…(Matthew 20)

    This:
    “He hates the mistreatment that abused wives and many others suffer today. I adore and worship Him for this.”

    Yes, and? What do you intend on actually doing to help women (or men) who are in abusive relationships?

    In the Bible, Jesus told the story of the man beaten down on the street. I do believe in the story Jesus told, two or three people walked by the injured man, including a priest, and all shook their heads in sorrow at how awful it was the poor guy was banged up (one of them probably later wrote a blog post about how awful it was).

    But nobody actually stopped to help the guy, nobody poured oil on his wounds and got him further help and assistance, until the Good Samaritan showed up on the scene, bandaged the guy, and paid for some medical care and a hotel room.

    Later, he quotes a biblical commentary by Carson as,
    ““The wives, as free and responsible agents, are asked voluntarily to submit themselves…”

    Yeah, and if a wife chooses not to submit? Hmm?

    As per his citation here,
    ““Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,…”

    I can see how that type of witnessing might work if the husband is not an abusive jerkwad. If the lady is married to a mild manner, loving guy who dotes on her, but he just happens to be an agnostic, I can see how her “silent witness” could persuade the guy or open his mind to the faith, but if the guy is beating her up, or is emotionally abusive, no, that is not going to work.

    Based on the literature I’ve read about abusive people in general and bullies (including books by Christian psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as by Non Christians), backing down to abusers/ bullies, being passive, etc, actually invites more abuse; it guarantees the cycle will continue.

    Backing down, not fighting back, not leaving the house or room when the abuse starts, etc, is a form of enabling the abuser. It rewards them for their behavior.

    A couple of the books I read said that many abusers view their partner’s tendency to put up with the abuse (to stay with the guy, to never fight back or put consequences in place) is views as a “willingness” to be abused.

    Some of the abusers have no respect for their partner for taking crap off them (according to some of the material I’ve read)

    I also experienced this in my own life first hand. My mother raised me to be an old fashioned Christian girl, which meant be passive, being a doormat, etc.

    The few times in my life I went against my mother’s philosophy of “always be sweet even if the person is being mean to you” and I got angry and fed up enough with someone’s bullying or harassment and figuratively bit their head off?

    Then and only then is when the person backed down and left me alone. A few bullies told me later that they had a new-found respect for me. Some wanted to be friends with me after I chewed them out at last.

    Appeasing mean jerks, rude people, and abusers never ever stops their cruddy behavior. Never, ever. I found this out in my own life, and as I’ve said, the numerous books and blog posts I’ve read about bullying, domestic abuse, workplace harassment, all say this.

    “Submitting” more to a jerk, being even more lovey and nice to people who are abusive, will not halt the violence, it only guarantees it will continue.

    Anyhow. The guy did blurt out a bunch of Bible verses in his post, but he’s taking them out of context and/or misapplying or misinterpreting them, so I don’t know that asking him to provide the citations is going to help much.

    I haven’t read all the comments on the page yet, just a few. I see that Angela W. is on there saying how stupendously wonderful the advice is. I might read the rest of the comments tonight or some time tomorrow.

    Like

  105. Jesus said, “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.” (Luke 6:31 ESV)

    No man should attempt to impose a catechism on women unless it is his desire that a woman should likewise attempt to impose a catechism on him.

    Think I’ll go post this at the RBF blog. Wonder if anybody who could profit from this application of Scripture will be paying attention.

    Like

  106. “Thanks Lydia. Every time I think I’m finally healed, the PTSD and flashbacks rear their ugly heads again, along with the nightmares and panic attacks. I’m kinda leary about long-term memory stuff with treatments. You see, when I had those shock treatments, the doctor destroyed the wrong part of my memory function. Instead of destroying my long-term memory capabilities so I could heal from the traumas, he destroyed my short-term memory capability, so I’m very forgetful about daily life stuff…like eating, taking meds, keeping appointments.”

    I am so sorry.

    Please at least check EMDR out. There is a physical component to EMDR dealing with senses, nerves, etc, I was surprised about.

    Like

  107. “No man should attempt to impose a catechism on women unless it is his desire that a woman should likewise attempt to impose a catechism on him.”

    I am writing one in my head now……for this pastor

    He should make enough money so she can live in comfort and have servants. And he should get out of the way while she “considers a field and buys it” as she is using her skills and knowledge and he can call her blessed at the city gates.

    Any other thoughts?

    Like

  108. Lydia,

    That’s not in the Bible …is it? :-) Proverbs 31 Enterprises would be a great name for a company. Patriarchy is callus and cruel. If only people voted with their feet.

    I made mention of this before on the singles thread, but I forgot the last thing Mrs. Patty McClurg ( Covenant Eyes) said to me when I asked her how an over 50 year-old woman finds a husband. She said that biblically I did not find a husband. I was past child bearing age and the only thing left for me was teaching the younger women to love their husbands. If I served the church I would not have time to focus on loneliness. Also, God said it was not good for a man to be alone. He did NOT say it was not good for a woman to be alone, so send me a husband.

    Do you think she would be out looking for a husband if she was ever a widow?

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  109. Lydia,

    We’ll, we could simply take Meadows’ catechism for women, turn it around, reverse the gender references, and apply it in toto to Meadows. After all, if Meadows is the Godly man his followers hold him out to be, his catechism for women merely imposes on women that which he desires to have imposed on himself–including especially, I’m sure, the requirement that he be submitted to the authority of his spouse.

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  110. How long does it take for a comment to move out of moderation on RBF. Also, if a comment shows it WAS in moderation, but now has disappeared, will it be published? No, I did do a screenshot.

    Like

  111. Carmen S,

    I recall that my first comment was approved within maybe a couple of hours. While in moderation my comment remained visible on the computer from which I posted it, at least in the time immediately following the posting. I suppose one possibility is that the moderator doesn’t work on Sunday. Once my first comment was approved subsequent comments have payed immediately.

    Like

  112. After wading through all the posts my opinion remains the same. The best way to deal with a “difficult” husband is to obtain a restraining order and file for divorce. I spent my 35th birthday in divorce court. Best birthday gift ever.

    Like

  113. Pingback: Women are Needy, Fearful and Full of Feelings? Good Thing Men Are Around! | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

  114. Here is something I posted on the thread at Ps Meadow’s wife’s catechism. I’m just putting it here in case SSB readers find it helpful to sharpen their own swords in the ongoing battle against false teaching and spiritual abuse.
    Apologies for the length of this comment.

    1 Peter 2 & 3
    What about Peter’s instructions for slaves to be subject to even perverse masters? How do we construe the ‘likewise’ in the instructions to wives that follow immediately thereafter?

    Peter is instructing slaves to be subject to their masters even if the masters were harsh on them. Some translations say ’servants’ but in that era, servants were generally slaves owned by their masters, not wage workers as servants are today. If the master treated the slave harshly, the slave had no recourse, because he or she was owned by the master.

    There were no rights for slaves in the Roman empire. The Mosaic Law had contained some express laws that were designed to penalize brutal masters and restrain them from being excessively harsh to their slaves. But no such laws existed in the pagan Roman empire, in which the diaspora Jews to whom Peter was writing were living (1 Pet 1:1). Since slaves were not free to leave their masters, Peter gave them advice on the attitude to have if their master was brutal: “If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.” The mistreated slave could maintain an inner sense of personal dignity and self-respect by remembering that the way Christ suffered unjustly at the hands of brutal men was akin to the way he or she was being made to suffer unjustly.

    And while Peter is indeed telling slaves to submit, the tone of his message is not a harsh command — you MUST submit! Rather, it’s a tone of compassionate advice: Here a helpful attitude to have if your masters treat you harshly. This attitude will help you endure the mistreatment with inner dignity. Your master may treat you badly, but in your spirit you can have dignity and strength from knowing your fellowship with Christ.

    It was helpful and compassionate advice for slaves who, by law, could not leave their masters and had no recourse for any mistreatment they had to undergo at the hands of their masters.

    Slaves were owned by their masters. Wives were not (and still are not) owned by their husbands. It is quite wrong, both historically and morally, to say that the ‘likewise’ at the transition to chapter two means that wives MUST submit to mistreatment or abuse from harsh husbands. The socio-cultural situation of the wives Peter was addressing was different from that of the slaves.

    Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter gave guidance for slaves in their social-cultural situation, and he then gave advice to wives in their socio-cultural situation. The ‘likewise’ refers to the fact that each portion of advice is suited to the socio-cultural situation of the group of persons to whom it was directed. The likewise does not indicate that the advice to each group is the same. The advice to each group (slaves, wives, and later husbands) is clearly different!

    Compared to the situation of a slave to his/her master, a wife has more options when she is being mistreated by her husband. A wife may object to mistreatment, may resist or refuse to comply with harshness and abuse, she may leave an abusive husband. She may divorce him and marry another husband because is not enslaved to the marriage contract (~ not under bondage, 1 Cor. 7:15).

    Peter implicitly points to this when he says in 1 Peter 3:6 “you are Sarah’s daughters (an idiom for ‘faithful believers and followers of God’) if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

    What could be more frightening that standing up to an abuser and telling him to stop it! That is pretty scary stuff. It takes great courage to stand up to an abuser because when you tell an abuser to stop it, he escalates his abuse. Don’t believe me? Read all the stories on our blog.

    So Peter acknowledges that wives may sometimes be in situations where they are can (unlike slaves) chose between submitting compliantly/silently to harsh treatment, or standing up to it and refusing to comply with it. And that second option is often the scariest option — but it is the ‘good’ thing to do in some circumstances. By refusing to comply with abuse, the wife is doing good, being moral, trying to limit and curtail her husband’s sin. It is good to restrain sin and to try prevent it from running loose all over the world, is it not?

    Lastly, here is a clinching reason why the ‘likewise’ at the beginning of the wife’s passage does not mean that the wife must always submit without murmur to harshness, like slaves who have no option. The word ‘likewise’ occurs at the start of the husband’s passage as well. And there, it clearly does not import the idea that husbands are to submit to harsh or wicked treatment just because they are husbands! It carries on the meaning I have argued for: that Peter’s advice to husbands is suited to their socio-cultural situation.

    And in the socio-cultural situation of husbands, what they need to be advised about is the need to live with their wives in an understanding way. Not lording it over their wives. Not being harsh with them (cf Col 3:19) By reminding himself that his Christian wife will inherit the kingdom just as much as he will, a husband will be reminded to not to think of himself as superior to her.

    To make this point really crystal clear, allow me to re-order the passages in order of slaves, husbands, wives. This makes it clear that the ‘likewise’ is Peter’s way of saying “each of these instructions is similar in that each of them is appropriate to the class of people for whom they are intended.”

    Viz:

    “Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

    “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

    “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.”

    Go here to view this comment at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog:

    http://reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/11/addenda-part-1-biblical-support-of-a-christian-wifes-marriage-catechism/#comment-15051

    http://reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/11/addenda-part-1-biblical-support-of-a-christian-wifes-marriage-catechism/#comment-15051

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  115. Pingback: SSB Readers Discuss D. Scott Meadows’ “A Christian Wife’s Catechism” and Addendums | Spiritual Sounding Board

  116. HUG, if you really want to be entertained, you might want to read Buck T’s post on this older thread here:

    I did. His comments reminded me more of a foaming Conspiracy rant than anything else.

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  117. P.S. From his subsequent comments, Buck T sounds like a guy who got burned bad by the main woman in his life and has spent the rest of his life seeking revenge against anything female. One-man Grievance Culture.

    “Women have found complete freedom and are giving full and complete surrender to men.” — Buck T

    OK, Slave Girls of Gor time. I wonder if Buck has the entire Gor series on his shelves?

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  118. P.P.S. Had to stop with the Buck T comments when he pulled the blame-shift and starting angsting as Poor Poor Me the Poor Poor Victim.

    Isn’t one of the signs of a sociopath the ability to turn the tables and play Poor Poor Victim? And convince others of it?

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  119. Hi Julie Anne,

    Although I cannot agree with their support of complementarianism, which is female submission to male headship (which doctrine I believe is false and lies at the very root of the sense of male entitlement > which I am convinced is a direct cause of male on female abuse) I certainly applaud the work Barbara Roberts and Jeff Crippen have done in advocating for victims of abuse and domestic violence.

    That being said, I must add that in supporting a doctrine that even the Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood admits can lead to abuse, and then advocating for the victims of that abuse, reduces their work from advocating for a permanent end and solution to the crime and sin of domestic violence, to simply a temporary form of damage control.

    In order for any treatment to become a permanent cure, the cause of the problem must be rooted out and dealt with. I would love to see Jeff and Barbara acknowledge the root cause of domestic violence and advocate for functional equality between men and women as the first step in ending gender-based abuse.

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  120. Although I cannot agree with their support of complementarianism, which is female submission to male headship (which doctrine I believe is false and lies at the very root of the sense of male entitlement > which I am convinced is a direct cause of male on female abuse) I certainly applaud the work Barbara Roberts and Jeff Crippen have done in advocating for victims of abuse and domestic violence.

    I’ve been thinking about this. I know many people in complementarian marriages and it works for them, there is no abuse, there is no way they would look at scripture any other way than female submission to male headship – – – yet, they do not abuse. So, my question is this: is it the doctrine that is the heart of the issue, or is it a person’s sinful heart that twists this doctrine to abuse? Here’s the reason I ask – when I look at some of my friends’ marriages, they looks egalitarian to me except they admit that they are complementarian. Why do they look egalitarian? Because the husband is loving the wife as Christ loves the church and would never lord over her.

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  121. Julie Anne – Good question. What I also find interesting is that in our experience, just because an egalitarian position is embraced and taught does not mean abuse will be eradicated. We see abuse in egalitarian circles as well. Certainly abusers have more fertile ground to operate in places where headship/submission are taught in the typical careless, unbalanced, and even patriarchal manner (which is wicked), but I have to go with the theory that the heart of abuse is the evil heart of the abuser.

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  122. JA-

    I think the answer to your question is “both are sinful”. Here’s why: we know that anything done with care and in moderation can be good, but we humans can never do that well. A little wine may be good but where is the line that turns into alcoholism? For some total abstention is required, and for some a little is great medicine. But the problem is whe legalists turn it into a rule, and disdain others for not maintaining that rule. And for others there might be different things that require abstention, like television or meat. The line is different for every vice and every Christian. What a burden it would be for everyone to abstain on every single vice, and then add in things like long skirts and gentle voices. Living becomes a prison because you can never measure up to someone else’s standards, and because you and God can only know where your heart is.

    Okay, I’m not much for being a follower either, I am anti- authority by culture. I think all authority is heretical, and why do you need authority in a family? I usually end up the outsider, and at my old church Ed and I didn’t follow the pattern so we were outsiders. We’ve been very happy since we left. Not one disagreement (except for shoes).

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  123. Jeff,

    Were your ears burning? :) I’m glad to see your response.

    I completely understand where Jocelyn is going, though, with her thought. I think we most certainly will see more abuse in comp camps than egal camps because of the nature of having someone in authority. If a couple is going to say that they are egalitarian, then they both are saying their roles are equal and obviously there can’t be equal with hierarchy and/or abuse.

    It’s interesting – when I look at some of my friends with great complementarian marriages, I see the wife as taking over the home front, planning and orchestrating family and couple activities and the husband goes along for the ride and he likes it like that. He’d rather concern himself with his work and be free of that extra stuff.

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  124. “but I have to go with the theory that the heart of abuse is the evil heart of the abuser.”

    Very true, but it also occurs to me that complementarian dogma lends itself to the evil-hearted abuser as a tool for manipulation, coercion and control. It could even tempt those who are not predisposed to abuse, potentially leading to evil-heartedness. Egalitarianism, on the other hand, would perhaps work as something as a brake on the abuser, or at least have a neutral influence. Good fruit, good tree. Bad fruit, bad tree. Luke 6:43.

    Did I just manage to agree and disagree with both Jocelyn and Jeff?

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  125. Gary W.

    It could even tempt those who are not predisposed to abuse, potentially leading to evil-heartedness.

    Isn’t that still a heart issue, ultimately? But it’s the doctrine that more easily gives the groundwork to justify hierarchy which can lead to abuse.

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  126. @Julie Anne,

    “Isn’t that still a heart issue, ultimately?” Yes, and yet this verse comes to mind:

    Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Matthew 18:7 ESV)

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