Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: When Did “Roles” Become a Primary Doctrinal Issue?

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One of the more troubling trends I see in Christiandom is making what I understand to be secondary issues as primary doctrinal issues.  Sometimes church leaders will say certain issues are “gospel” issues, that the whole gospel message depends on adhering to whatever bandwagon said church leader is on.  This is what I believe is happening with the folks at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).  They are making the complementarian issue to be of primary importance.

A side issue, but one that continually presses on my mind as I deal with people who have been harmed by abuse in church, is while the leaders of this group are putting so much emphasis on pushing their complementarian ideas, they are notably silent and ignoring the abuse issues with one of their own.   Both fellow CBMW council member, C.J. Mahaney, President of Sovereign Grace Ministries and “Sovereign Grace Ministries” are named on the church abuse lawsuit, the largest evangelical case we’ve seen.   (Please be sure to see recent articles on the SGM lawsuit at the bottom of this post).  Do the CBMW folks not realize what kind of gospel witness they are when they fail to address this issue?  The world is watching their silence and you can be sure this is not helping to convince the world of the gospel-saving message of Christ.  Who wants to be part of a group who fails to protect defenseless children?

Going back to the complementarian topic, the gospel message is simple and clear and a child can understand the message.  I do not believe the gospel message is about gender roles within a marriage, but these men appear to be making it so, causing this emphasis to become a distraction to me.  Here is a screen shot taken last week of the CBMW home page showing highlight the word “roles” in their current articles/publications:

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Screen shot 2013-03-17 at 9.27.35 AM

I searched for the word “roles” on the home page of Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood and you can see the word highlighted in the titles of three articles.

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As many know, I do not have my mind made up on this complementarian/egalitarian issue.  Right now, I am unable to call myself “egalitarian,” yet, I am very confused by complementarianism, most likely influenced by negative feelings when I see church leaders who have been spending an exorbitant amount of time and energy pushing this topic, making it a primary doctrinal issue.   This push makes me want to run from it.  I don’t want to react based on my emotions, but respond within reason and using biblical discernment (is it okay to say discernment anymore?  And is that a positive or negative connotation? – LOL)

I want to share a couple of interesting and thoughtful articles I have read recently.    The first one is from a study of complementarian literature and the use of the word “role.”  I, too, had been noticing the word “role” in the verbiage of the CBMW folks this past year and so the article, The Misuse of the Word “Role” really intrigued me.  Here are a few paragraphs from the article:

Kevin Giles, a Biblical Theologian well known for his carefully researched books on Paul and Gender and the Trinity, has kindly authorized me to post his insightful study, “The word ‘role’ in complementarian literature”:
In post 1970s ‘complementarian’ literature the term ‘role’ plays a fundamental part.  If honest communication is to take part between ‘complementarians’ and egalitarians the use of this word must be put on the table and carefully examined.

The word ‘role,’ taken from the French language, originally was used of a part an actor played on stage. It only became widely used in English after the Second World War when it became an important technical term in humanistic functional sociology.  It is not a biblical word and the Bible knows nothing of people assuming differing ‘roles’ in a sociological sense. What is more, the word is not found in the theological tradition. If the word is to be introduced into theological discourse in reference to the man-woman and divine Father-Son relationships as a technical term it demands careful definition.

In dictionary usage and in sociological texts the word ‘role’ and its synonym, ‘function’ speak of routine behaviour or acts and so we ask for example, who in the home has the ‘role’ in the home of gardening, washing clothes, doing the shopping, managing the finances, etc? In contrast, in ‘complementarian literature the word ‘role’ has nothing to do with routine behaviour. Rather it speaks of authority, who rules over who. The man and God the Father have the ‘role’ or ‘function’ of leading (headship); the woman and the  Son of God have the ‘role’ of obeying – and this can never change. What indelibly differentiates men and women and the Father and the Son is not what they distinctively do, their works, but rather who commands and who obeys. What this means is that for ‘complementarians’ the word ‘role’ is given a meaning not found in dictionaries or sociological texts.  It would seem to be a word chosen because it sounds acceptable to the modern ear and obfuscates what is really being argued, namely that women are permanently subordinated to men, the divine Son to the Father.

This was very revealing to me when looking deeper into the meaning of “role.”  The main difference between the complementarian vs egalitarian issue seems to be the hierarchal structure of complementarianism, the headship position of the husband over his wife.  Egalitarians do not hold to a hierarchal structure within a marriage, but mutual submission.  If we agree with Giles’ interpretation of the definition of “role,” it makes no sense to accept the hierarchal part the complementarians are adding to the definition of “role”.

The conclusion is obvious. To use the word ‘role’ in a way not given in any dictionary of sociological text, with the aim of obfuscating what is being said simply to further ones political agenda is inexcusable.  To do this excludes the possibility of honest and open communication.

Giles touches on the behavior I find which discredits these folks.   Let me give you an example.  Kevin Swanson is a prominent church leader who has a strong opinion on birth control in how it relates with his doctrinal beliefs.  His opinion on birth control is so strong that he went to extremes and told untruths publicly in a radio broadcast, failed to provide credible sources when asked, and then ignored repeated attempts to set things straight, yet quietly removed the radio broadcast from his website.  Hmm, I wonder why?  When someone uses fabrication in order to push their agenda, they lose credibility with me.  Because of that, I will test what he says.  Yes, I will be discerning.  And because I have seen these CBMW guys say some things that I find to be extreme and questionable (including their failure to speak up about abuse as mentioned above), I will be discerning of their words as well.  Hmm, I guess that makes me a discernment blogger.  Oh well.

Let’s be clear –  agendas, that include falsehoods, from church leaders can equate to false teaching, lead people astray and causes spiritual confusion.   This is a topic of importance within the realm of spiritual abuse because these are church leaders – leaders in positions of trust,  representing the gospel and Christ.  It is imperative that church leaders be true to the gospel instead of their personal agendas.

I admit that it seems like I am picking on complementarians.  That is because their tweets are showing up in my Twitter feed (BTW, this is also part of the CBMW agenda, to infiltrate social media and I have a quote on that filed somewhere).  To be fair, if you find questionable agenda from the egalitarian side, please send them to me.  This is an equal opportunity blog 🙂   Let’s explore this topic from both sides.

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Updates on Sovereign Grace Ministry Lawsuit

It’s been a while since I’ve given SGM lawsuit updates.  Here are some recent updates.  By the way, if you  follow me on Facebook, you will get a heads-up on some of these stories.

Peter Lumpkins has written an excellent article covering a few of the topics we have been discussing:  church leaders who fail to speak out against abuse, Tim Challies, Sovereign Grace Ministries lawsuit.   Trouble continues to mount for C.J. Mahaney and SGM:

Pardon me, but this is not about one brother sinning against another or a situation in which Christians who cannot agree, disagree agreeably even if it means going separate ways. Rather this is about judicial litigation alleging breach of public trust, covering up criminal behavior, and criminal behavior allegedly committed against the most vulnerable citizens of our society–little children. Over 140 legal complaints have been filed and more are reportedly coming. Already, this is the largest litigation of this kind against an evangelical organization in our lifetime. And, Challies wants to frame it as “disrupting unity” or like a disagreement on missions strategy leading to a split in missionary teams? Is this what Challies has in mind about “thinking biblically” about this situation?

JA stood up from her comfy couch and waved her white hanky in agreement:  GO PETER!!!

Brent Detwiler reported in his article,  New Information in Motions to Oppose Dismissal of Lawsuit, which includes potentially damaging information here:

John is necessarily under criminal investigation.  The alleged physical and sexual abuse of a child compels an investigation by law enforcement.  The ramifications are far reaching if John is found liable in a civil court and guilty in a criminal court.  As a Board Member and Chairman, no one has done more to enable and promote C.J.  John has repeatedly lied, deceived, and covered up for C.J. over the past 21 months. 

There are numerous investigations of a similar nature being conducted that are unrelated to John’s alleged crimes.  Arrests should follow and key leaders will be implicated in the cover up criminal activity.  The arrest of Nate Morales on ten counts in December was the tip of the iceberg. 

And finally, The Wartburg Watch has followed up with compiled highlights on former SGM pastor John Loftness and his SGM history and personal background in their article, A Closer Look at SGM’s John Loftness, including this very disturbing information:

We have learned from an extremely reliable source that John Loftness was present at the reconciliation meeting described in #78 and that his expectation was that the toddler would forgive her abuser.  How sick is that?  Shame on you John Loftness!  Those words you wrote in Why Small Groups about ‘a good local church’ and ‘good families’ are a sham in light of how you traumatized a little three year old girl.  How despicable!

I am so thankful for those discerning East Coast bloggers who dare to defend victims who have no voice.   They do so at the risk of getting in the crosshairs of church leaders/bloggers who choose to remain silent and then whine about it.

And last, but not least, we have a response to yesterday’s blog post from reader, “scared” who penned this poem.  I thought it deserved a little more front and center attention.  Thank you, scared!  You certainly seem brave to me!

O Challies

Some sheep ain’t as dumb as you’d like them to be,
especially the wounded ones,
they have ears to hear & eyes to see.

Looks to me that someone got under your skin,
by shining the light on a abusers sin.

And it seems as clear as day,
that you are having a temper tantrum
and you want your way,
and any who disagrees hit the highway.

Well, I got some news that you are not going to like,
these bloggers you accuse are bringing SIN into the light.
They stand up for the wounded & expose certain leaders,
& some of us who have been abused are their faithful readers.

See, those of us who have been crushed by your friends
are becoming a small army due to these bloggers honest pens.

You can try & shut them up by scolding them with your words,
but what you don’t understand is these blogs are a safe place for victims to be heard.

And you just might want to take that log that is protruding out of your eye,
before you deal with the speck in them, because they stand up for the little guy.
Kinda like Jesus-duh.

by scared

 

43 comments on “Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: When Did “Roles” Become a Primary Doctrinal Issue?

  1. Julie Anne, short answer: when the church bought into the misguided teaching that the Bible is infallible, wholly the Word of God, and to be submitted to, with little or no consideration for historical and cultural context and original language. The NT is twenty-plus separate historical documents that do not claim to be corporately an infallible rulebook for every generation. That is read into texts, not derived from them. As a rulebook, the church feels compelled to follow each sexist verse, even those that contradict others, such as “There is no male or female in Christ,” the most radical egalitarian statement for its day. Second answer: when the church bought into the belief that the whole NT was 100% preserved and accurately copied from the original documents. Historical evidence points to the fact that the sexist verses in I Corinthians 14 were not written by Paul, and that Paul probably didn’t write I, II Timothy (which has another sexist passage). See my blog post here: http://deepthoughtpub.blogspot.com/2009/06/paul-egalitarian.html

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  2. You are right that this is a secondary issue, which I and others I know echoed in the comments of a previous post. As I’ve mentioned before, I still identify as a complementarian (if I MUST use a label at all). Not all of us view headship as an authority position over our wife, but as a position of leadership and responsibility, where the best way to lead is by serving, holding up our wives, and encouraging them, as we believe Christ would do. I talked at length in previous comments about what I believe that means, so I won’t bother to say it all again.

    Thank you for bringing issues like those in this and other articles to light though JA!

    As an aside, if anybody is interested in reading more on essential vs. non-essential doctrines, C. Michael Patton runs a great blog devoted to theology and making it accessible to the every day believer over at Parchment and Pen. He recently wrote two blog posts dealing with the idea of essentials vs. non-essentials, and what is or isn’t make-or-break to the gospel message of salvation. You can find them at:

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/03/eight-issues-that-do-not-make-or-break-christianity/

    http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/03/chart-to-help-distinguish-between-essentials-and-non-essentials/

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  3. JoeJoe – Thanks for those links. I just checked out the 2nd one and recognized the site from my “surfing” yesterday (who knows what rabbit trail led me there). I think I’ll bookmark it now. BTW, I think I could live with the style of complementarianism you describe above.

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  4. Julie Anne
    what a wonderful article- well done.
    I think when it comes to husband and wife roles and issues is a example of this:
    “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”

    All we have to do is read Scripture to get an understanding of how we are to treat each other- the roles I feel take care of themselves and I am more complementarian then egalitarian. However, I do not call myself a name in any way shape or form, I just want to live like Christ even if it looks messy at times and I am just in this race called life. I have noticed when my husband and I just respect and love each other and are willing to ask and receive forgiveness, the Holy Spirit does an amazing job of renovation! Christ’s main commandment was what? to love Him and one another.
    Where’s the love church pastors?

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  5. When it comes to the topic of the state of the church and some of the things that grieve those of us who have been wounded by the church, whether men or women, some of us might identify with the innovative sentiments of Patricia Gundry.

    “We have all too easily beaten ourselves bloody knocking at the closed doors of the institutional church asking to be allowed into the established avenues of ministry, thinking all the while that this is the way to do it. . . . Actually, if we think about it, many of us will admit that we always thought some of those avenues were too stylized and rigid and outdated anyway. We really would like to improve things, to innovate some, and refurbish the place a bit. Why keep knocking to get in? Why not circumvent the obstacles entirely and re-invent the church along more vital, even more biblical lines?”

    “When people with ability are shut out of an established way of doing things, they tend to generate new ways of doing things. And those ways frequently turn out to be better—not because the people who generate them are necessarily superior in ability, but because, over time, institutional structures decay. . . . When a new idea is put into practice, a new idea for ministry, or a way of thinking about ministry, . . . a change that may have been small begins to generate other changes.”

    I just discovered that Patricia Gundry’s book: ‘Woman Be Free’ was named by Christianity Today as one of the most influential books for Evangelicals in the last 40 years.

    This book happens to be Free online at: http://noodlefactory.typepad.com/woman_be_free/

    The book: ‘Heirs Together: Applying the Biblical Principle of Mutual Submission in Your Marriage’. This book was named by Eternity Magazine as one of the Top 25 books of the year.
    It is also Free online at: http://www.heirstogether.com/

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  6. I’m reading up on the complementation vs. egalitarian issue. I know their are abuses on the C side from years of experience, but I am firm on obeying what I can understand from Scripture. I knew I was stuck reading my proof-texts with the same old narrative in my head and wanted to know how much did I really know from Scripture vs. how much had I simply absorbed on this subject from others?

    Just found some helps in reexamining my old proof-texts from a new perspective. I’ll read if first, pay close attention to see if hermeneutics are applied appropriately or not, before I tell you about it. But I’ll let you know as soon as I can what I find.

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  7. The questions I’ve been asking lately is: “What are our expectations when we look to our men to lead?”

    The list I get is usually:

    Initiate daily Bible reading & prayer
    Initiate family night once a week
    Initiate date night once a week
    Initiate date time with each kid each week
    Decide where we are headed
    Decide what God is telling us
    Think for me, the wife
    Decide what we are going to do this week
    Speak for both of us
    If I, the wife, am in a difficult situation, stand between me and my difficulty and defend me
    If I don’t want to do something, be my excuse and tell me I can’t go so I can get out of it.

    I keep watching most men slink back and shy away from this list. Most don’t really know how to lead a devotion and really don’t want to. Most aren’t really sure what God is saying if they are honest and don’t get how a few seem to hear from Him all the time? They pull away from this overwhelming list and lean into something they are good at … maybe work, maybe a hobby, maybe a sport, maybe whatever …. just not this list of ideals that seem impossible in light of time and ability.

    Where is it exactly that our men are supposed to lead us? I read on some blog (sorry can’t remember where) about the tremendous guilt that is heaped upon the men. And how sometimes the most publicly submissive women are in fact the most manipulative behind the scenes. The article I read mentioned how we have such a dim view of men (was this written by Rachel Held Evans?) that we think we have to stroke their paper thin egos, falsely build them up, in order to suggest something and get our way. Why treat our men like buffoons?

    Aren’t two heads better than one? Can’t we each bring what we think to the table and put together the best plan? Can’t we each be strong in different areas and be a stronger team by using one another’s strong points, regardless of what it is or who has it?

    Again, I need to restudy the Bible on this subject. I just have a sneaky suspicion that I was proof texting and ignoring context the first time I looked at this as a new believer may moons ago. I know I was heavily influenced by my surroundings in Fundagelical land.

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  8. One of the more troubling trends I see in Christiandom is making what I understand to be secondary issues as primary doctrinal issues. Sometimes church leaders will say certain issues are “gospel” issues, that the whole gospel message depends on adhering to whatever bandwagon said church leader is on. This is what I believe is happening with the folks at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). They are making the complementarian issue to be of primary importance.

    Similar to the way Ken Ham makes Young Earth Creationism to be of primary importance.

    What happens when two different primary-importance “gospel” issues meet? The universe cannot have two centers…

    Here is a screen shot taken last week of the CBMW home page showing highlight the word “roles” in their current articles/publications:

    I noticed the word “edifying” there. In my experience with Christianese, “edifying” was a meaningless buzzword similar to “gospelly”. What meaning it had was usually the second half of “All but X (Scripture, Witnessing, etc) is Forbidden, and what is not Forbidden is Absolutely Compulsory.”

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  9. Katie,
    You are so right. The question is, where does that list come from? I don’t remember reading, “Thou shalt initiate daily Bible reading & prayer and family night once a week.” It’s a man-made rule. How about just setting a good example of love, forgiveness (forgiving and asking for forgiveness), and time with the family however he sees fit, not how the church sees it? You’re spot on with the tendency for “submissive women” to resort to manipulation and condescension. It comes off self-righteous. I heartily agree with “two heads are better than one.” My contention is equality is biblical not complementarionism. “Submit to one another” and “there is no male or female,” it says, and we must decide by the Spirit how to implement that in our modern culture. To be a slave to first century documents, that never claim to be instructive for all time (Paul’s letters are situation specific), to the letter on this issue just reinforces legalism.

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  10. Katie, I love your list. It is very thoughtful and speaks to this dilemma. It is also a challenge in the reality dept. for a husband to ‘measure up’. It certainly puts high expectations on the husband and minimizes any thoughtful insights by the wife.

    When the spiritual task is equally honored and shared by both, how rich is that couple and how blessed are the kids. 🙂

    Michael, You make a good point about the culture at the time of the Early Church. I agree with your contention that “equality is biblical.”

    To quote Fee and Stuart: “How is it that in many evangelical churches women are forbidden to speak in church on the basis of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, yet in many of the same churches everything else in chapter 14 is argued against as not belonging to the twentieth century? How is it that verses 34-35 belong to all times and cultures, while verses 1-5, or 26-33, and 39-40, which give regulations for prophesying and speaking in tongues, belong only to the first-century church?”

    It sure makes ya wonder!!

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  11. You guys won’t take offense when I laugh at the irony of Katie saying in her post, “Aren’t two heads better than one?” immediately followed by a post written by someone called Headless Unicorn Guy.

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  12. The leaden list Katie tends to get cut-n-pasted and my response (and Katie, is there any way I can repost some of this on my blog (requesting consent from Julie Anne as well.) Anyway,

    The list I get is usually:

    Initiate daily Bible reading & prayer

    So, if I initiate a Bible reading, something is amiss?

    Initiate family night once a week

    See first point.

    Initiate date night once a week

    I’m sure men like pleasant surprises why does it fall on men?

    Initiate date time with each kid each week

    There is a tendency for the men to grow in the habit of this one-to-one time and end up at daddy daughter chastity balls and other events that are dad and child events. Where is the mother? Oftentimes holding down the fort with the other kids.

    Decide where we are headed
    Unilaterally? What about a multitude of council?

    Decide what God is telling us

    How does he get to decide what God is telling another person?

    Think for me, the wife

    Most people have difficulty thinking for themselves, thinking for two? Please.
    Decide what we are going to do this week
    Is this the Royal we, the condescending we that we throw at children?

    Speak for both of us

    Honestly rolling my eyes to exhaustion.

    If I, the wife, am in a difficult situation, stand between me and my difficulty and defend me
    If I don’t want to do something, be my excuse and tell me I can’t go so I can get out of it.

    Making infants of women, Nice touch.

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  13. I am like this: you both like to have regular Bible study then go for it. There are no rules to this- These guys have been concocting rules for years and then claiming it is Biblical. I demanded my own husband to be like these men- he never could. The HS taught me to accept and love him like he is; sure I do get a little tifted at times (human nature gets a little self-centered don’t ya think?) when he does not “fit” my desire for a quote “spiritual leader”. Although, I know this i my own wishes- but what about Christs wishes for my husband? Did I ever think about what the Lord Jesus wants to do in him? Did I ever consider that God works differently in each and every individual? Now yes, He is never changing on the foundationals, but like you guys have so eloquently put the fact that these secondary issues are completely destroying the unity of the body and between husband/wife and children.
    I have seen nothing but angst, abuse and division coming from the Church today and these pastors may rant and rave about bloggers and discernment sites, but people will still leave.
    We can, however, DECIDE to be different – we do have that choice and this is where the change occurs. I am so glad to be a part of the growing number of those who love Jesus Christ, but will stand proud not to have to bow and bend to the wishes of men anymore- hallelujah!

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  14. opinemine, Thanks for the hearty Laugh! Also thanks for the delightful commentary regarding ‘THE list’ that Katie shared with us. That was a winner. You both made some points by bringing ‘life’ to an exhausting way of doing things. Keep rockin’!

    trust4, you also contributed in a way that tapped into a thoughtful way of looking at this issue from a caring wife’s perspective.

    Yes, there can be people who ‘see’ and ‘live’ differently for Christ because of the new found joy and peace that they have found in the simplicity of faith in Him.

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  15. Katie and opinemine, that list is exactly what I am seeing in the my college friends’ marriages. You can find versions of it all over their blogs. One pastor’s wife has written on her blog that wives need to be careful not to lead too much or the husbands will feel that he doesn’t need to lead. In other words, if you do too much then your husband can’t be a biblical husband and lead. And yes, it centers around things like leading family devotions, planning date nights, deciding on the social calendar, etc… Oh and the best one from the pastor’s wife is that a wife should never turn down the intimacy that her spouse desires because its a form of leadership for him/ submission for her.

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  16. Openmine
    Your list is a good one. I use to pine over the fact that my husband did not initiate dates- I started resenting. I do now ask him out and we go have a good time. I realize he is not an initiator and my talent is usually getting him to do things. On the other hand he is a good balance and anchor to my wild, impulsive ways :).

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  17. t4ho,
    My dh was in a rut and didn’t take me out for awhile and I felt like I was so (fill in the blank with negative qualities) that he was embarassed to be seen with me.

    Reality was the poor man was busy and time just slipped by quickly so he wanted to take me out at least once/month so he, wait for it…….put it in his outlook thing to be an alarm that went off to remind him to have dinner with me.

    At first, I thought it was sort of cold but the more I thought about the more endearing it was because that was his way of being loving because he is uber structured while I am sort of organic and my orderedness is well hidden.

    See, that’s what I thought complementarianism was when I first saw the word. Were it to mean that, that every couple God puts together is a good fit and we complement the other even if we don’t look like what the patriarchalists want to see.

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  18. Blog interruption: kitty drama at the Smith house: Our 1-wk old little kitty is refusing to nurse despite my best human lactation consultant experience. She’s a little one and I think the other three have been knocking her off the nipple. We just got kitty formula and I’ve been feeding her with a bottle/dropper thing. Poor kitty! There are a couple drops of formula on my thumb – I was testing to see how much milk came out. It was only coming out one drop at a time if I squeezed the bottle like crazy. I think we’ve enlarged the hole a bit now.

    sick kitty

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  19. Julie Anne, if the kitten is struggling with swallowing while feeding, you can gently massage its throat – that creates an instant swallow reflex. And if Mama Kitty tolerates it, you can pull the other 3 away after a feeding session and let Little Bits have some uninterrupted nursing time.

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  20. I’ll definitely try that, Mandy, when she gets enough energy back to suckle. Right now, she won’t even suck – she’s that weak. Good idea. Thanks!

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  21. Im gonna say it again – these men promoting complementarianism,/ patriarchy/ or any leadership of any kind NEED to be promoting correct leadership – Servant Leadership. Anything else is anti-biblical. ,

    I also dislike how all of these various arguments (secondary issues), make us all question scripture. It’s classic Satan tactics – Did God really say…………..??

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  22. JA
    We nursed our weak kittie (now a two year old cat) with homemade milk made with

    Formula #4
    • You ca12oz of water
    • 1 envelope Knox Gelatin
    • 1 12oz can of whole evaporated milk (not skim)
    • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
    • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, not nonfat

    Also, we used an eye dropper instead of a bottle- it seemed to work better because we could get it into the back side of his mouth and deliver milk in drops instead of a stream that would be too fast.
    Our Chi is now a healthy sweet male nuisance.

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  23. Opinemine
    I can identify with that totally- I am a free spirit and not as structured myself. I also felt that mine could be as spontaneous too. Funny thing is, is that once you let go of the expectations the less you feel the obligations.
    Our country so demands expectations and perfection, that we don’t even realize that all over the world people can’t even afford these expectations. They have to live life just to survive. We have the next conference, the next book and look at us- people in America are still a mess. So How come these pastors and speakers are so gungho about marketing the next new thing or staging the next conference? Because they know we will buy into it hook, line, and sinker thinking all along it is going to provide the magic bullet that will fulfill those expectations.

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  24. Faith – – Kitty died about 30 min. ago. That bottle thing only put out a drop at a time. It’s sad because for a while there was marked improvement. She was moving around, lifted her head, opened her mouth and meowed loudly. It’s so sad. We have 3 adorable kitties left. They are very healthy, fat, and lively.

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  25. Pingback: The problem with complementarianism (an extension of a conversation over at Julie Anne Smith’s blog) | Opineaway

  26. Katie, I did like that article by Jennie. This is true- stop giving these guys in the Christian marketplace the money and use it elsewhere. I think we are a lot smarter in knowing how to deal with our spouses and marriage; in fact, I will concede that maybe these books and conferences have done more harm then good by raising our expectations of our spouses and ourselves. I know when there is some injustice in our our marriage I will stand up and I expect my husband to do the same- we are two capable adults. The greatest thing too is that we have an awesome God who is far greater able to work in our lives then the average “joe Christian” out there!
    pssst……this is the secret THEY don’t want you to know that though.

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  27. trust4himonly, I was one of those new wives who didn’t have a clue and so I looked desperately for advice when we ran into difficulties. I would have been one of those paying for the conferences and trying what they told me … 20+ years ago, anyway. Now I see what you are saying.

    Basically, I often see people who naturally operate as an egalitarian couple (regardless of what they label themselves,) meaning they collaborate and make decisions together. No one carries the power, both mutually submit and each gravitates towards their areas of strength … that is until there is some push to teach male headship in the women’s group. This is where I was negatively influenced.

    It’s often in the women’s group where one is taught to wait till one’s husband leads. So we wait … tap, tap, tap … and we begin to feel a great impatience as to why our husbands are not leading. Leading where? What is that supposed to look like? This is when we come up with lists and compare them. It is at this point that all the husbands are put under unnecessary pressure.

    I think I caused harm by waiting on my husband to “lead” in areas that were my strengths and not his. The teaching set me up to disrespect my husband and -as Jenny Armstrong put so well- “treat him as if he were a toddler.” It also made me lazy in that it was his job to think, lead, make the decisions, and answer to God. That was destructive, in my opinion.

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  28. I should add that my husband didn’t want me to stop thinking. He didn’t want me to stop doing the things that are my strengths and not his.

    Neither of us trusts what we learned about this subject in our early years as Christians. We recognize some of the real disconnects on this subject and are currently restudying the Scripture to see what we can actually know, as opposed to what we just accepted as normal interpretations of the regular proof-texts used to teach Complementarianism.

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  29. Julie Anne – So sorry to hear about the kitten. I’m sure that will be hard for the kids, and it’s such a hard lesson to learn – life and death.

    I’ll be reviewing what TOG has to say about complementarianism soon. I just haven’t had to the time to sit and read and make notes. I can’t wait!

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  30. Julie Anne ~ sorry to hear about Kitty 😦

    On another note, why do we even need these labels? When someone says they’re “complementarian” I don’t know what to think. It really doesn’t mean anything to me right now since it’s defined so differently among those that use that label. When you use that term with a definition that’s so hard to pin down, you can conjure up all sorts of meanings behind those words. Why muddy the waters with these labels which can cause such division?

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  31. Kathi – Since CJ is the fanboy of everything complementarian – I heard an audio where the group gave him and SGM accolades how they model comp so well, I’m sure it will line up clearly on the comp side (and since the authors are connected with SGM).

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  32. Just another thought on Monique’s comment (or frustration) about labels and how people define terms. When we talk in person or communicate online with others, when it comes to meanings of terms or labels, we have to work at it. Even when using the word: ‘Christian’ or any words ‘Christianese’, it is of huge help to know how folks define the words that they are using.

    It may surprise us that everyone doesn’t have the same definitions for all things Christian. We may even get clearer and better definitions ourselves along the way. 🙂 We have to work at the challenges involved in communication, beginning with removing any assumptions, and then working with the actual understanding of meanings held.

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  33. Pingback: CBMW, John Piper, Women Drill Sergeants, and Biblical Roles | Spiritual Sounding Board

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