Courtship, Doug Wilson, Marriage, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement

David Bayly’s Ideas on Courtship and Marriage as a Battle until His Bride Surrenders


David Bayly’s ideas on courtship and marriage as a battle and raging war of a man against his virgin bride to be conquered until she surrenders, similar to Doug Wilson


This men-conquering-women-thang really gets my goat.  What is up with that?  Ok, thanks to Cindy, I found an old blog post by Bayly Brothers and it sure seems they are in bed with Doug Wilson as far as conquering women goes.

Ok, first the title:

Wooing as warfare, part 1…


photo credit: [martin] via photopin cc


First, a question to the single ladies who want to be married:  does this title sound appealing to you?  ::::gag::::

Do these guys think their words are palatable to common mankind?  Do they even care?

David Bayly begins the article with a quote from Proverbs 30:18-19 using the ESV translation, no surprises there.  This is the complementarian-preferred translation.  Beneath the ESV excerpt, I have included the last line of Verse 19 in other translations for comparison.


Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand:
19 the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.


Other translations:

and the way of a man with a maid. (KJV, special for Ed)

And the way of a man with a maid. (NAS)

And the way of a man with a virgin. (NKJV)

how a man loves a woman. (NLT)

and the way of a man with a young woman. (NIV)


The gist of the article is:  wooing as warfare.  The proverb talks about three wonderful things and another of which the writer does not understand.  I am not clear that the Proverb’s focus on the wooing of a man with a virgin/made/young woman is war or battle, yet this is the focus of David Bayly’s article.

(David) The way of a man with a woman is one of life’s great mysteries. From every perspective the process is mysterious, resembling a blindfolded sabre dance on uneven ground.


Did he just say Sabre Dance?



“Uneven ground”  – beside the obvious that uneven ground implies there is going to be a battle of sorts as one tries to get equal footing, I also wondered if the “uneven” words also refers to the uneven roles as in complementarianism/patriarchy?  Continuing. . .

The young man who pursues marriage enters a foreign land where he wages war. On the hinges of that battle lie happiness or shame.

Holy cow.  I’m sending my daughters the following text right now to warn them about men who think like this:


To My Dear Daughters:  Be on the look out for weapons on your prospective suitors.  While you are looking for love, some men are looking for war.  Check all pockets for concealed weapons.  

love, Yo Mama (yes, that’s the lingo we use)


There’s more:

But though a potential bride may be deeply loved, she’s also at some level the foe. To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home.  (woof, woof, ja adds)

Folks, there’s nothing gentle, kind, and loving about the relationship he’s describing.  As he himself says:

There’s little that’s tender about it. At funerals we cloak harsh reality in kind words and soft colors. So too, at weddings soft words and vibrant colors disguise a bloody truth. The wedding ceremony is really a mini-Versailles, an Appomattox-in-a-nutshell of capitulation and triumph, the surrender of one woman to one man, the victory song of groom over both bride and family.

Holy Moly – – marrieds, was your wedding like this?  I know there can be family feuds, but wow – this guy is over the top (OTT).  And there’s that surrender (Doug Wilson lingo) word.  ick

Interestingly, Mr. Bayly does not seem keen on modern courtship as it pertains to this “wooing war.”  He implies that it’s too safe and controlled and will likely cause problems:

The modern courtship movement is in many ways a doomed attempt to render the wooing process conflict free. It seeks to keep temptation at bay. It seeks to manage the relationship of potential groom to potential bride. It provides forms which guide the man’s approach not only to his potential bride, but to her family. It is, in a word, safe.

And then he goes on to discuss why courtship is not so good.  Please note the similar language that both he and Doug Wilson use:

And for that very reason it is ultimately dangerous, because marriage is not safe, and the wooing which leads to marriage is not safe. It is war, and the quicker our children understand this the better. It is war against sin. It is the breaking of families and established orders. It is secession and union all in one, penetration and insemination, not merely lacy ruffles and Pachelbel canons but velvet-gloved violence. All this courtship conceals. But it will out—in marriage if not before.

As I was going over warrior pictures, I found one that made me consider that ladies might re-question that whole warrior battle idea.  I don’t want to ever come across in a way that doesn’t allow people to see both sides, so here ya go:


photo credit: SiamEye via photopin cc

This might work for some.  (Just thinking out loud here . . . of course.)


152 thoughts on “David Bayly’s Ideas on Courtship and Marriage as a Battle until His Bride Surrenders”

  1. There is already a form of “surrender of woman to man” in warfare:
    Mass RAPE as part of pillaging a defeated enemy.


  2. This is just so incredibly sad. Is this man married? if so, he is just missing so much with this attitude. My husband and I are just so happy to be together. Our marriage is a partnership and a safe homecoming. No families were put asunder! He moved to my state to help me take care of my mother who was dying of cancer. His adult daughter lives with us. She considers me a second mother. His sister is moving here. He considers my grandson to be his grandson. My daughter loves him. No one has lost anything, let alone been defeated by this marriage, we have all gained immeasurably. The terminology Bayley uses is alien to me and disturbing.


  3. That is a really scary mentality. Especially that he wants to break her from her family? Don’t you just become a part of the girl’s family, as she becomes a part of yours?


  4. @Trust4himOnly:

    Wow!! I have to tell you these guys must fantasize about being characters in some Harlequin romance novel. Me man, you woman!!

    More like a character in a “Gunpowder Jerkoff”, AKA those Men’s Adventure Genre series that were common during the Late Cold War. Sort of like a devolution of Pulp Adventure.


  5. Sigh. It’s been around a long time….even in the early Roman church. I believe the Latin term, Vagina, actually means “a scabbard or sheath” for a sword. The gift of patriarchy that just keeps on giving.


  6. As the great philosopher Bugs Bunny once put it, “What a maroon! What an ignoranimus!”

    And “velvet-gloved violence”…. That sounds like an indie rock band.


  7. It really is profound sexual perversion – actual sadism. Rather a contrast with the biblical idea that a man lays his life down for his wife.

    People should have read Mein Kampf and understood that the man meant what he said, and people ought to read these guys and realize that they mean what they say.


  8. JA asks, “marrieds, was your wedding like this?”

    Well, not between my husband and I. But, the rehearsal dinner was the first time my parents had been in the same room together since divorcing five years earlier. Their relationship isn’t err . . . amicable. Does that count? 🙂

    Does this remind anyone else of SSM?


  9. This sounds like a apologetic for Men’s Rights Activists.

    Men’s Rights Activism might sound like a noble cause, seeking social justice wherever men are being discriminated against (unfair child custody and child support), but that’s not what it really is.

    MRAs are misogynists who seeks to keep women down (or “keep them in their place”). A lot of Christians contribute to MRA attitudes. It sounds like the Bayly boys are part of that.

    I knew their dad. I wonder what he would have said. His boys have lost their way. They follow a formula rather than Jesus.

    Joe Bayly would have put this nonsense in the same category as the Gospel Blimp.


  10. Julie Anne,

    You’ve got to point out that this is not all that different from certain aspects of the Vision Forumesque concept of Multigenerational Faithfulness.

    Bill Einwechter is a Reformed Baptist pastor (and Theonomist a la Chalcedon) in Pennsylvania who was once on Doug Phillips’ list of favorites. He used to speak at Doug’s Witherspoon School quite often, but I suspect that in recent years, he probably had some falling out with Doug. He was suddenly absent from photos of events and the lists of speakers at VF.

    Sons and daughters differ according to Einwechter and the “continuity of history” of name and family extends only through sons. Einwechter states that multigenerational faithfulness works differently for daughters because a daughter no longer carries on her own family’s heritage or work within her new marriage. She serves her new husband’s family name and “his covenant,” so their marriage allows the husband to “extend his influence into other families.” Daughters are the “dynamic means” whereby men extend their name and heritage “into other covenantal family units,” or more specifically as Einwechter implies, into her own family of origin. The man “extends the covenant” of his own fathers through marriage. “Daughters are not dead ends . . . Faithful families must work together to give their sons and daughters to one another in marriage.” He also explains that multigenerational faithfulness cannot be limited to simply training our children but should include “the goal of giving them in marriage to other well-trained children from godly homes.”

    There are links to the audio of this sermon in this blog post:

    Divide and conquer, folks, so you can spread your seed and sphere of influence. That’s the beauty of marriage. (???)


  11. Tim Bayly was on the ground floor of CBMW (The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood). He actually left the group because he didn’t think that they were hard enough on the evils of feminism and were catering to feminists too much.

    He along with others like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Bruce Ware, etc, decided to take George Knight III’s idea that the Trinity was a hierarchy and that marriage was analogous to the concept that they created and advanced. They did this so that they could say that all doctrines, particularly that of gender hierarchy, flowed directly from the Doctrine of God.

    In the process, along with Jesus, women are classified as the indirect image of God. She is a “derivative” of man, and many argue that this defines them of lesser essence. She isn’t fully deserving of the consideration that man receive, and she needs a spiritual intercessor to fully experience a relationship with God. It is designed to elevate men above women so that men can do whatever they want and can call it Biblical. In the process, they also blame the fall of man on women, making all women for all time morally flawed by nature and deserving of the stigma of sin — more so than men. They are the eternal scapegoats, and some demonize them.

    To ensure the scapegoating and to set the paradigm in stone, CBMW reinterprets Genesis 3 and then teach that women are man’s natural enemy. Because of the fall of man and Adam’s failure to lord it over his wife, letting her fall into sin and baiting him into it, God put a desire to usurp male authority into the heart of every woman. Instead of loving a wife as a helper and companion, she was redifined as man’s greatest adversary. I don’t know how these men sleep at night. I’d have one eye open all the time if I were them.

    I guess if this is how you view women, violence becomes the logical conclusion.


  12. Wow. Here’s a little gem from the second link Cindy posted:
    “It’s ashamed of Biblical language. Instead of using the natural biblical term for the principle of father-rule, ‘patriarch’ (from the Greek, patria or father, plus arche or rule), CBMW manufactured the term of equivocation, ‘complementarian.’ How much better it had been if CBMW’s patriarchs had not rejected the Biblical term, ‘patriarch.'”
    These ideas are not innocuous. The Baylys see patriarchal and complementarian as the same.


  13. BTDT, so does Russell Moore. He repeats this all the time — that he prefers the term “patriarchy.” But some knew that they could never sell it.


  14. A mutual marriage, entered into by mutual choice (not by the bride’s father’s order), with mutuality in decision-making, effort, work, and, of course, in the bed, is a wonderful experience. Sad that most men and women who listen to those idiots will miss out on it. After 35 years it is still great to be married to a woman who chose and chooses to love me.


  15. You know, I’ve read this bit from the Baylys before, and no matter how long I look at it, I still can’t figure out where the hey they got it.

    Never mind that this…

    To achieve victory the young man must not only win her, he must defeat her and her family, snatching her from their bosom, converting her to himself, breaking her natural bonds with father and mother, brother and sister, nurse and friend, dog and home.

    …also happens to be the exact same isolating process used by an abusive man to make sure no one in his wife’s family knows what he’s doing to her.

    Why do all her bonds with her family need to be “broken”? A broken bond to me, suggests a falling out, separation, fight, etc. As in she won’t be seeing her family anymore. Alternatively, it could also suggest a pretty messed up family, who is so controlling and overprotective of their daughter that they require this kind of warlike treatment. So either the suitor is scary, the family is scary, or both. No matter what, the girl loses, and the situation is unhealthy.

    Also, refresh my memory, is this in the same post where they went off on that whole thing about the penetrator in the sex act being the “conquering” or dominant one (which is why gay sex is wrong in Baylyland), and said that it was wrong for a man to “sheathe” his “sword” by using a condom?

    And because I know everyone else is thinking it, I might as well say it: how long before we find out the Baylys are practicing domestic discipline on the sly?


  16. BREAKING NEWS: “Warren Cole Smith for WORLD stated this evening that Gothard will be on leave “while the board investigates claims that he years ago engaged in sexual harassment and other misconduct.” Allegations and evidence have surfaced recently about how Bill Gothard has sexually harassed and molested over 30 young woman, including children, for decades.” h/t Homeschoolers Anonymous (

    The World Magazine site must be having problems, I cannot access it after many tries, but here’s the link:


  17. Daughters are the “dynamic means” whereby men extend their name and heritage “into other covenantal family units,” or more specifically as Einwechter implies, into her own family of origin.

    Ya know, this spread-your-own-genes-as-far-as-possible thing is part of instinctive animal evolutionary behavior. I wonder if they understand that they’re actually riding in Darwin’s back pocket here? 😉


  18. The link worked for me, JA. [Yes, it’s finally working for me, too ~ja]
    Recovering Grace’s hard word has paid off!


  19. Actually sounds like what my former fiancé attempted to do to me. First he told me that my sister spoke down to me (maybe she does; I don’t really care – I love her anyway), and eventually he said HORRIBLE things about her and her marriage (all from a patriarchal point of view). At first I just thought he was crazy, but now I believe he’s familiar with all these teachings and it was a strategy to see where my loyalties were. They were with my family, and he was sent packing (literally) in less than 24 hours. Love me, love my family. My late husband did…


  20. I am speechless. I am so grateful that my fiance is nothing like this. He is a sweet, gentle, patient man who would never dream of treating any woman this way much less me. In fact, he would have asked me to marry him a lot sooner but he was determined to receive my mother’s blessing first. Thank goodness she finally gave it! I cannot wait for our wedding in the mountains in just over a hundred days. 🙂


  21. Oh, sorry, Julie Ann. I didn’t see your earlier link. Just too excited to share the good news!

    Actually, this text plus that awesome photo makes me think of a very bad profile for online dating. Don’t laugh — some of them really ARE that scary!


  22. No problem. My comment was already buried a bit.

    Which photo are you referring to, the top one or the bottom one? I was just talking to someone who met her husband on EHarmony. She mentioned that her husband met quite a few people from EHarmony who looked completely different than their online photo. Can you imagine?

    Here’s a new article I just tweeted (the links are clickable). It has far more information than the World article:


  23. Julie Ann, I was thinking of the bottom photo. But the top one would work, too.

    Better than all the men who post pictures of themselves with the dead animal carcasses they just shot and skinned. Because THAT really make my heart go pitter-pat! /sarcasm


  24. I guess Bayly ripped Genesis 2:24 (which was reiterated by Christ in Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:7).

    “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (KJV)

    Notice, the man leaves HIS father and mother. There’s no mention that his wife does anything of the sort!


  25. “Better than all the men who post pictures of themselves with the dead animal carcasses they just shot and skinned. Because THAT really make my heart go pitter-pat! /sarcasm”

    I’d like to shoot and skin some of these people myslef, honestly. (Just saying…..).

    Blecch!! Bunch of sick puppies that lot.


  26. I thought someone upthread quoted the scripture “for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother,” but I can’t find it. My MIL quoted that scripture to me several times when my husband and I were engaged. It wasn’t my husband who saw me as some kind of conquest (he was just over-the-moon that he’d finally gotten permission from church leadership to marry me), but my in-laws most certainly saw me as an extension of their family– not in a normal healthy way. My FIL once told me,”When you married my son you became my daughter.” They not only expected their son to continue to submit to them, but now me as well. Our children became their property.
    Patriarchy is a selfish ideology– selfish to the core.


  27. This is just one more reason I am leaving the PCA. Unless I’m mistaken, they are PCA pastors and they spout this harmful junk and I have yet to see any other PCA pastors speak out on their nonsense. These guys are out of control and should be reigned in.


  28. JA, I LOVE that video! My husband showed it to me a couple of days ago, and I pinned it. It’s beautiful.


  29. Ok, long time lurker, first time commenter. Just to clarify, the Bayly brothers are no longer in the PCA. When I heard they had left a few years ago to start their own microdenomination, my reaction was “good riddance”. We recently had to switch PCA churches; one reason was that these guys had some degree of influence on the pastor and some of the elders (along with certain federal vision guys like Wilson). In years past I’ve read some nutty and disturbing stuff on their blog, but this just about takes the cake.

    David Bayly is correct about some of the problems cropping up in the modern courtship movement-all you have to do is check out some of the stuff at homeschoolers anonymous for verification on how it screws up relationships. He doesn’t seem to have any solution though, except for this wholly unbiblical, adversarial stance on the part of the young man. The only other model I’ve ever seen advocated anywhere is betrothal; I wonder if these guys are on board with that idea.

    Finally, JA, you might want to consider some screenshots. I’ve seen links to that blog mysteriously disappear before.


  30. Nj – Thanks for the comment. I will grab a screen shot. Good idea. I’m so thankful for Cindy who must have an amazing organizational system to keep track of all the whackadoo links/articles. At least with having links, we are able to find long-lost articles on Wayback Machine.


  31. Thanks, NJ, for correcting me on that. I am glad to hear, though I still wonder if any pastor, elder, whatnot from the PCA ever publicly spoke out on their nonsense.


  32. It strikes me that Subordinationism is heretical. Do the Baylys not confess the Athanasian Creed? Do most Presbyterian and reformed reject it?

    I always thought that Complementarianism was the view that men and women are of equal spiritual worth, but have different roles. Is this Complementarianism actually a soft Patriarchy?

    Does anyone else notice the tendency of many “Patriarchs” to be overly concerned with sexual matters? Is this a Boomer thing?

    Why does he disparage Pachelbel? Is it because he was a Lutheran? Pachelbel had five or six children. Not enough for the Baylys?


  33. Oh Keith!

    You sound like me before I gave this presentation and then was run out of counter cult apologetics on a rail for challenging this idea at a Baptist seminary. I thought that only a few oddballs could believe this stuff. An editor of a Baptist journal told me that I wandered into a war zone without knowing that a war was waging by challenging the belief system.
    (The only thing not current as of election day 2008 was that Doug Phillips followers didn’t practice what they preached. They deleted everything on their site about their policy that it was sinful for a woman to vote and just did a 180 on their previous policy without explanation.)

    Kevin Giles has written a few books about it, and Millard Erickson also condemned it, but the Southern Baptist Convention ratified the Danvers Statement in 2000 (CBMW’s core belief statement about gender).

    Dorothy Patterson, the wife of the president of SW Baptist Theological Seminary says that if your husband wants you do do something that you have an issue with, you’re supposed to do it because submission is more important. God won’t hold it against you. Her husband Paige teaches that women should let their husbands beat them, and they will get saved. Women should kneel and pray when their husband comes after them to beat them. I had seminary students argue with me that they would answer for the sins of their wives before God one day and would intercede for them. Women are supposed to be domestic help and perpetual sex kittens, for this is the reason they were created.


  34. Let me be more specific: Complementarianism thinks that if they make the “equal but different” disclaimer enough that it will wipe out the rest of what they say. Apart from the disclaimers, they redefine women as more sinful and less than man in essence (ontological subordination). John MacAruthr even says that women are ineffective when they share the Gospel. It should be done by a man.

    Complementarianism is hard patriarchy.


  35. This is just really sick and it’s a concern if there are very many ” men ” within Christianity so poorly grounded in the scriptures that they listen to an idiot like that guy. I get the idea he is encouraging RAPE. The Lord’s command to love your wife more than your own body just doesn’t reconcile with this warfare/ conquer/ implant ideology being tossed about by these bogus perverters of God’s word. It’s false teaching, pure and simple. When marital relations are reduced to this it is SIN. We are not called to conquer our wives. This is just sick and our pulpits better get their act together and start grounding people in the Word so this stops. All this bogus, perverted teaching is going to distort evangelism efforts and eventually destroy the church if not stopped.

    I’m giving my 21 year old niece one of my H&K 9mms for graduation from college. Reading stuff like this and the assaults/rapes that have occurred on the campus of her Christian university made that decision easy.


  36. JA, That video has rendered me a blubbering mess! Now there is a REAL man! Vietnam Vet, serious teacher and cuddler of sick babies.


  37. Here, Julie Anne,

    Cheryl Schatz features an audio clip of MacArthur in her video series, and he actually says (of women sharing the Gospel when men are around): “What good is that?”

    This post of hers also has some imbedded audio clips of MacArthur discussing aspects of the ontological subordination of women.

    I gave my copy of the video away, or I’d hunt it up. (Hannah Thomas has it!) This blog post will give you the same type of info, though.


  38. Hey Cindy: I was watching you on YouTube last night as I was working my through the comment thread here. I saw that video where you show Doug Wilson’s picture and the cameraman gradually zooms in on it. I laughed so hard I spilled my tea.


  39. “He along with others like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Bruce Ware, etc, decided to take George Knight III’s idea that the Trinity was a hierarchy and that marriage was analogous to the concept that they created and advanced. They did this so that they could say that all doctrines, particularly that of gender hierarchy, flowed directly from the Doctrine of God.”

    Thanks Cindy for going into some of the history. I can remember tracing comp doctrine back to it’s roots and stunned at how “manufactured” it is. And the twisting they had to do with proof texts was astounding. They can make salvic doctrine out of anything. Yep and it was a movement based on the culture war of it’s time mainly fall out from the 60’s and 70’s. . Many professing comps have NO idea who George Knight is either.

    It is an interesting study in how something can go so far with proof texting become so ingrained that has very little foundational basis. A lesson for us all in many areas of our lives. It is good to respectfully question perceived authority and learn to think independently of the perceived authorities in all areas of life.. Teach your kids that, too.


  40. Lydia – – To spend as much time as I do with disgusting stuff as abuse on this blog and behind the scenes would do me in if I could not:

    -see/hear heartwarming videos/stories of love, compassion and kindness

    -experience God’s creativity through music (singing, playing the piano, working with choral students)

    -allow myself to enjoy fits of laughter

    So, feel free to post stuff like this here. The interruptions are good. We need the balance (or brain bleach).


  41. “Cheryl Schatz features an audio clip of MacArthur in her video series, and he actually says (of women sharing the Gospel when men are around): “What good is that?””

    She also has a clip on her DVD series of MacArthur claiming it is a sin for men to have long hair as he “exegetes” 1 Corin 11. . I kid you not. I mean how ignorant can MacArthur be? Paul took a Nazarite vow which requires long hair on men to complete! I so wonder if he thinks Jesus had short hair?

    It is truly amazing what these guys can pull out of 1 Corin 11.


  42. I’ve told my four daughters’ suitors that my daughters always have a home to come back to. My daughters also know this. There is nothing that mom won’t do to help them start a new life if necessary. The Bayly brothers rank right up there on the scale of evil with Gothard, Wilson, Pearl and Phillips…and the others whose names escape me right now.


  43. I did find this, but it doesn’t have the clip of MacArthur saying that women can share the Gospel, but if there’s a man around, the woman sharing the Gospel cannot do it justice.


  44. “So, feel free to post stuff like this here. The interruptions are good. We need the balance (or brain bleach).”

    You are right!!! I am extremely moved by basic things like justice, love and mercy these days. And I usually find them outside the Christianese institutions.


  45. When you hear guys like MacArthur teaching what he is teaching on that video clip, do you ever wonder how the women in Philippi knew the rules? How about the women in Colosse? And it had to confuse the women in Galatia who were told they were FULL heirs of everything.

    It seems to me something this serious, as MacArthur claims, would have to have been laid out (the same way) in every single letter. I find that very curious.


  46. “Hey Cindy: I was watching you on YouTube last night as I was working my through the comment thread here. I saw that video where you show Doug Wilson’s picture and the cameraman gradually zooms in on it. I laughed so hard I spilled my tea.”

    I remember that! Boy did Cindy get run through the grist mill even after that presentation. She has some courage folks. . It will scare the pants off you guys to find out what these seminary boys are being taught. Think of it, Many of these guys teach and believe that husbands will stand before God for the wife and answer for her. No Holy Spirit for you! (the soup Nazi)


  47. SGM,

    I’m glad that someone got a laugh.

    The guy who did that video is a fine apologist. Gwen Shamblin sued him twice, and he was exonerated in court twice. Shamblin also teaches hierarchy in the Trinity as well as discipline of children with extra long hot glue sticks, her answer to Michael Pearl’s plumbing supply line.


  48. Hey Cindy: I was watching you on YouTube last night as I was working my through the comment thread here. I saw that video where you show Doug Wilson’s picture and the cameraman gradually zooms in on it. I laughed so hard I spilled my tea.

    Sergius – which video is this? I cannot keep up. Too much stuff. I want to spill my tea, too.


  49. When we were at a former church that stunk of legalism we (women) were told it was never okay to deny your husband sex and we were also told that sharing the gospel with men was not appropriate. I remember I wanted to share Christ with my grandpa and I was so worried that I might be doing something wrong. Someone finally said that witnessing to my grandpa was fine and didn’t count. Hmmmm. How do you have a generalized rule and then say there are exceptions? The same with sex. I had major surgeries, hospitalizations, etc and could not possibly have sex. Was I in sin for not being able to meet my husband’s needs? Black and white rules always lead to condemnation and take people away from the gospel and Jesus’ grace.


  50. John MacArthur’s sermon “The Subordination And Equality Of Women”

    “If woman does not submit to man in the family, the family is shattered and society wrecked.”

    “I think Satan is feverishly involved in upsetting the divine order any way he possibly can. It’s clear, as you study the Bible, that God has a divine order in society related to man and woman. Of course, that is manifest in marriage. It’s manifest in the church. It’s manifest in every dimension of human life. God’s basic pattern is there are two factors in society—authority and submission. God has designed that men be given the position of authority and women the position of submission.”

    “It is generally then true that a man, whether he be married or single, must think of himself as someone who has been given by God a responsibility for authority in one sense or another. A woman, whether she be married or single, must recognize the fact that in general, as a woman, she must have the spirit of submission to ALL MEN.”

    “The head of the woman is the man.” Man has authority over woman. He’s not just speaking of marriage, people. He is speaking of every dimension of living in general.

    MacArthur says that if you don’t agree with this….IF you are saved, you are carnal.


  51. A spirit of submission to all men ? FALSE teaching ! John MacArthur is flat out lying by saying this. No where in scripture are women commanded to submit to men in general but to their husbands. Their husbands are required to protect them from other MEN that think all women must submit to them.


  52. Scott, my friend dealt with this in the John MacArthur church that I went to. She was single and they (the elders) wanted to set her up with a guy; they expected her to start dating him. She thought that since she was not under her dad anymore that she was suppose to listen and obey the elders. She did not like the guy (well he was kind of creepy- asked her how many guns she had in her home).
    I told her “no way”- don’t date. I found this “asking the elders thing” very foreign and it was one of the contributing factors of my family leaving the Reformed church. Thankfully her dad encouraged her to get out of that church and she left.


  53. Trust4himonly: Many of these controlling wackadoos that are promoting all this crazy teaching target singles. Entire cults like Maranatha campus ministries, Every Nation ministries, Lion of Judah for example are 100% focused on singles. I know a woman that was dating this guy for 5 years and planning on marriage when the pinhead elders of her Maranatha cell approached her with this “word from God” that she was to end the relationship. It just crushed her and the gentleman she was dating but she obeyed the leaders and ended the relationship. He waited a year for her to snap out of it and leave the cult but eventually he started dating and within a few years married and started a family. Then about 5 years after she was told of this message from God telling her to break up the relationship the entire MARANATHA scam church/ cult disbanded and fell apart. Today she is still single and grieving the loss of the only man she ever loved.

    Unfortunate that is not the only case I personally know about. I have seen great distruction in people’s lives that far out weighs the benefits of being affiliated with, or committed to a church or religious organization. We must all trust our own judgment and are spouses’s judgment / opinion MORE than any pastor, elder,teacher, conference speaker, para-church leader etc. In order to protect ourselves, families or future families we must hold all of the above in low esteem. Test everything they say against GOD’s word, ask yourself is this verse they are using to support Courtship, women having a submissive attitude towards all men or other BOGUS teaching really speaking to that topic ? There isn’t a single verse in the Word talking about either of these topics yet we hear these clowns calling courtship “a more Biblical methoed”. Well for it to be more biblical there needs to be at least one verse saying so. Recently I heard this idiot minister boldly claiming their isn’t one verse in the bible supporting dating. Well there are none supporting courting either because people didn’t court or date back then. Marriages were arranged by the parents, often before you were born. That was NOT a command or ever biblical but rather by way of tradition.


  54. This discussion and the teachings by popular church leaders has left me thoroughly disgusted today. I am really upset about all of this. I just cannot believe that this is the environment in which so many women are held captive – – – that men condone it and enforce it and then tell women they are rebellious by challenging it. No wonder I am so hated by these guys.


  55. SMG,

    Sure! Pick that clip! (I was accused of calling Ware, in particular, a heretic for quoting Kevin Giles.)

    I didn’t realize this until recently, I guess because I was so dumbfounded that I was gaslighted about what I did in advance to be gracious concerning that talk, and that I offered to drop the names of the people who were teaching certain doctrines. It was actually my husband who called Bruce Ware a heretic in a conversation with an irritated ENMR Board member. My husband says that “I’m WAAAAY too nice” and will not go as far as he will in voicing an opinion about some of this stuff. This guy on the board was so steamed that he couldn’t differentiate that talk from my husband’s attempt to defend me privately.

    I guess that the moral of the story is that if you are a wife, you will be punished and held accountable for the things that your husband says, even if you disagree with his view. Perhaps this is a corollary of what seems to be their new teaching — that a husband will intercede before God for the sins of his wife, since she only experiences God indirectly. She apparently will also take punishment for the actions of her husband when he’s in error. 😉


  56. **JA removed incorrect info here.

    David Bayly wrote a list of 10 Failures of CBMW (

    He quibbles about them using the word complementarianism rather than Patriarchy. And this is very revealing: #4 “CBMW refuses to see this as a battle for the souls of men and women. ”

    This is the same salvic language we read from so many others about male headship (Piper, Moore, Mahaney, Stinson, Dever).


  57. Actually, Julie Anne, what you wrote isn’t quite accurate.

    The Bayly’s published that blog piece before Tim told Randy Stinson that he was resigning. They put that online before they contacted CBMW. It was a friend of mine who contacted them to ask them what happened, and Stinson knew nothing about it.


  58. Actually, Julie Anne, what you wrote isn’t quite accurate.

    Ah – – I took that info from the first paragraph where he says his brother was “former” executive director:

    Several days ago I sent a copy of the following to my brother Tim, co-author of this blog and former executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW).

    I missed the more detailed timeline in the 2nd paragraph because of skimming. Thanks, Cindy. I’ll remove the wrong part above.

    Your additional information really gives more insight. Wow – Can you imagine posting that online before having officially resigned? That’s just not cool whatsoever. Where is common courtesy shown among these grown men?


  59. JA,

    It was just an interesting thing — any reasonable person would have assumed the same. It just shows another dimension of their arrogance.


  60. I was curious and looked up Sabre dancing. The male lead gives the female lead one of his 2 identical swords and they dance off in beautiful symmetry (like egalitarianism??). But instead they are blindfolded and on uneven ground so … true marriage is when to people get down and bloody maiming each other?? I choose pretty dancing over BDSM any day thank you. WWJD.


  61. One of the issues that has been highlighted here is not so much the difference between the Pat/Comp. and Egalitarian worldviews, but to go behind the scenes and discern the difference between the Traditional view, which was around for eons, and the Complementarian view, which has been more recently “manufactured”. In one article, Kevin Giles goes a superior job of laying out the Trad,, Comp,. and Egal. views so that people can see the obvious differences.

    There is an article in the Lausanne Forum 2004 which addresses this. There are a number of excellent articles which can be found at the following link. This paper is entitled: Empowering Women and Men to Use Their Gifts Together in Advancing the Gospel. A welcome addition for one’s file.



  62. @Lydia:

    I kid you not. I mean how ignorant can MacArthur be? Paul took a Nazarite vow which requires long hair on men to complete! I so wonder if he thinks Jesus had short hair?

    Don’t laugh, Lydia. Back in The Sixties, I actually came across that exact claim in some sort of church magazine. There was actually quite a knock-down-drag-out back then about the subject of “long hair on men”, and the “Crewcut Christ” claim was one of the smackdowns. (I think they retained Jesus’ beard…)


  63. @CindyK:

    Divide and conquer, folks, so you can spread your seed and sphere of influence. That’s the beauty of marriage. (???)

    And the beauty of FLDS-style plural marriage is you spread your seed even further and faster through more wombs than one.

    P.S. Do you think these guys still hold to the ancient belief that ALL the offspring comes from the male’s Seed(TM) and the female is only an interchangable incubator?


  64. Here is an excerpt regarding Kevin Giles’ overview summary of the hierarchical-complementary position in contrast with an egalitarian-complementary position.

    “The Post 60’s Revolution
    In the late sixties a social revolution erupted–the emancipation of women. Under the impact of this revolution all Christians have reformulated their theology of the sexes. It is hard to imagine that a theologian today would publicly argue that women are inherently inferior to men and more prone to sin and error. As a consequence, evangelicals have developed two novel competing and opposing theologies of the
    sexes. Both reject the central tenets of the historic position, yet their conclusions are very different. They both endorse the complementarity of the sexes but one sets men over women in a permanently fixed hierarchical order (the hierarchical-complementary position), the other places them side by side as social equals (the egalitarian-complementary position).

    (ii) The Contemporary Hierarchical Interpretation of What the Bible Says
    on Women
    In response to this huge social change, conservative evangelicals committed to upholding male leadership in the church and the home, which they think is God-given, developed a totally new reading of what the Bible says about women. They called this at first the “traditional” or “historic” position and later, more euphemistically, the “complementarian” position. However, this interpretation of the Bible is completely novel. It is a break with what Christians for at least eighteen
    centuries had claimed the scriptures taught. In this post 70’s reading of the Bible, the key texts are interpreted as follows.

    Continued . . .


  65. Continued.
    1. Man and woman are both made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27). Genesis chapter 2 explains how they are differentiated. The man is made by God as the leader of the woman, indicated by the fact man is made first. He names the animals and she is made as his helper. The narrative of the fall in chapter 3 tells how the woman, who was to obey the man as her “head,” usurped her subordinate “role” and acted independently. As a result, man’s godly leadership of her becomes a burden and her distinctive womanly “role” is marred by painful consequences (Genesis 3:16).

    2. Jesus treated women well, as all Christian men should treat women well, but he made it clear that only men could be leaders among God’s people, as his appointment of twelve male apostles illustrates.

    3. Paul teaches that the man is the “head” of the woman (1 Cor. 11:3) and the husband the “head” of the wife (Ephesians 5:23). Paul and Peter also exhort women to be subordinate to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18, 1 Peter 3:1). This is based on the unchanging created order. These texts clearly show that different “roles” have been given to men and women. The “role” of “headship” (in
    plain speak, leadership) is given to men alone.

    4. Because the headship role has been given to men and men alone, husbands should lead in the home and men should lead in the church. Women in particular should not teach men (1 Corinthians 14:34-35, 1 Timothy 2:11-12).

    5. What the Bible says on the leadership of men in the home and the church is based on one of the constitutive creation orders given before sin entered the world. This means that before the fall, God gave to men and women “different roles”; the man is to command, the woman to obey. This teaching is universally binding and transcultural. The coming of Christ in no way annuls this creation order – it is the ideal.

    6. None of the passing comments in the New Testament about women in ministry are of any great significance. All the cases cited speak only of women in subordinate ministries. Prophecy is totally distinct from teaching. It is not an authoritative proclamation, so the mention of women prophesying does not suggest a tension with 1Timothy 2:11 that forbids women to teach.

    7. The doctrine of the Trinity indicates that just as the Father rules over the Son, so men are to rule over women. The Trinity shows that personal equality and subordination in “role” can be reconciled. A subordinate “role” does not imply the inferiority of the Son of God or that of women.

    8. To reject this Biblical teaching on “the role differentiation” of men and women is to reject the authority of the Bible. Those who argue for the equality of the sexes have assumed the non-Christian values of our age. In this developed theology of the sexes, the biblical word “subordination” is avoided wherever possible and it is denied emphatically that this position implies any inferiority in women. When the word subordination is used, we are told all that is demanded is functional or role subordination; women’s inherent equality with men before God is not being questioned.

    This interpretation of the Bible’s teaching on the sexes is novel in concept and wording; only the outcome is much the same. Never before in the history of the church has anyone suggested this is what the Bible teaches. It directly contradicts the historic or traditional interpretation of the Bible which concludes that men are “superior,” women “inferior” and that women are more prone to sin and deception. Also contrary to historic position this post 1970’s view interprets the Bible’s teaching on sexual differentiation in terms of “role differentiation,” not one’s sexual identity given by God (Genesis 1:27-28), the story of the Fall (Genesis 3)
    as the sin of “role reversal”, not disobedience to God’s command and the fact that woman is created chronologically second as indicating the existence of a permanently binding social order that gives pre-eminence to men.

    Continued . . .


  66. Continued.
    Let me spell some of this out in more detail.
    1. Women are subordinated by a prescriptive social order given in creation. In the historic argument, there is no mention of a constitutive and prescriptive order of creation. Women are “inferior” because they were created second (chronological order). The whole idea that there are “orders of creation,” social norms given by God, was first suggested in the 19th century. In this construct “orders of creation”
    covered the whole creation and were binding on all people, believers or otherwise (i.e. marriage and the state). They were contrasted with “orders of redemption” that applied only to Christians in the church and the home. How then can modern hierarchalists restrict women’s subordination only to the home and the church, if they are claiming women are subordinated in a supposed order of creation? Are they not
    being inconsistent in applying their own theology? No answer is ever given to this question.

    However, we must also ask, what in scripture suggests that in creation God established an unchanging and unchangeable social order in which men rule over women? If anything, the Bible suggests that in making men and women in his image, God gave them both incredible potential for leadership and change. In the Old Testament and in the history of the world, we see human beings changing social orders as history unfolds. How society is structured is always a human construct
    and as such, humans can change it, given the will to do so. There is no such thing as a God-given and unchanging social order. This idea is always brought forward by those in power in order to resist change. As far as the New Testament is concerned, the coming of Christ inaugurated a “new creation,” which transcends the old or first creation (2 Cor. 5:17).

    2. Women are equal with men: they simply have different roles. In the pre 1970’s theological texts and commentaries, the word “role” or “function” is not mentioned. Women are in themselves “inferior” to men. Can you have permanently fixed roles that do not imply inferiority? If the roles are based on gifting or training and they
    can change, equality is not called into question, but if the roles are fixed and gender specific, then the perception of inferiority would seem inevitable. What is in fact being implied is that women are the subordinate sex. Their subordinate status is what defines who they are.

    The idea that men and women are differentiated primarily by roles is unbiblical. God creates us as men and women (Genesis 1:27). Our sexual identity is not determined by what we do (lead or not lead) but by who we are. This is, I am sorry to say, a fallacy. Hierarchalists are not arguing that men and women have different “roles” in the dictionary meaning of this word, so as to suggest women do certain things like cook and sew and men do other things. Only one issue is always in mind: who leads and who obeys in the home and the church. The true issue is gender relations (who exercises power) rather than gender roles (who should do the cooking, mow the lawns, pay the bills etc.)

    Possibly the greatest problem this position raises is that it is unjust. It demeans women. They are excluded from sharing responsibility for the life of their church and their home simply because they are women – and it is claimed this is God’s idea. Modern hermeneutics has raised the question of the morality of any interpretation. Who benefits and who is discriminated against by a particular interpretation?


  67. Three things are too wonderful for me;
    four I do not understand:
    the way of an eagle in the sky,
    the way of a serpent on a rock,
    the way of a ship on the high seas,
    and the way of a man with a virgin.

    Amazing that anyone can take use this section of scripture to support a “warfare” dating mentality.

    “an eagle in the sky” — the eagle cooperates with the physics of air and flight
    “a serpent on a rock” — the serpent’s method of movement is unique in the animal world
    “a ship on the high seas” — I know something of sailing on the high seas having sailed from California, to Canada, south again down to Mexico and across the Pacific to New Zealand. “Gasp!” My husband and I did it in partnership with each other and working with the forces of wind and sea. No sailor forces their will on the high seas. Attempting to do so will get one smacked down and possibly killed at some point.

    So we have an eagle, a serpent, and a ship. All of these three must work within the physical laws and limitations God has ordained. But the way of a man with a woman? Obviously that last line is a complete departure from the rest of the verse. Warfare guys! Think of all those Sabine women! They were sobbin’ as they become wives.

    I’d like to set the Bayly brother’s on a small sailboat in a big sea as a squall bears down on them. Heck, let’s throw in some corral reefs, too. Then tell them to meditate on this verse while they figure out how to safely handle the situation.


  68. Barb Orlowski mentions the order of creation argument for the supposed subordination of women to men. In the interests of logical consistency, it must then be observed that, since Adam was created after them, he (and all men) must be subordinate to livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth — not to mention every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. The reality is that, according to ESV, God gave man “dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    If the order of creation argument carries any weight at all, woman should exercise dominion over men. In that case, the fault of woman following the so-called fall, per Genesis 3:16, is not that women now tend to seek dominion over men, as argued by the patriarchist/complementarian crowd. Rather, her sinful tendency is that, due to their desire for men, women will FAIL to exert dominion over man.

    On the other hand again, again, maybe the order of creation argument is simply bogus.


  69. Gary W, maybe the sun-worshippers had it correct after all. I’d prefer to defer to a ball of fire than this bunch of human males lol


  70. “He quibbles about them using the word complementarianism rather than Patriarchy. And this is very revealing: #4 “CBMW refuses to see this as a battle for the souls of men and women. ”

    JA, they have actually gone full circle. The comp language was supposed to make it more palatable. But over time guys like Russ Moore (Now the ERLC president for the SBC and former dean at SBTS) says that comps are wimps and we need more patriarchy. Others quickly fell in line and are becoming more patriarchal. It is one reason guys like Doug Wilson were fully accepted by TGC and Piper.He never left the patriarchy camp. Truth is, the Bayly brothers were simply more honest all along. Jerks but honest jerks.

    The Pipers, Pattersons, Mohlers, etc were the deceivers. They played a bait a switch game making up a “third way” which was basically Patriarchy with fake name. In fact, this idea of a third way of “comp” brought even more problems. They need a Talmud of sorts to keep up with all the new “laws” and explanations for how it works in real life. How to give driving directions to a man. At what age do women have to stop teaching boys? Is a woman reading scripture in worship teaching men? And so on. It became ridiculous and their great comp following started dwindling. CBMW started to go broke. Donations are not pouring in as they used to. They even moved it to SBTS so the SBC could pay for the overhead.


  71. One more thing, If you look at the history of CBMW, the names are interesting. Denny Burke was the editor of the Journal when he was at Criswell but is now a dean at SBTS, Boyce college.

    Now the CBMW leader is the young and diminutive Owen Strachen who is the diminutive Bruce Ware’s (SBTS prof) son in law. (JA, you like patterns)

    Bruce Ware is the one who teaches that women were made in the “indirect image of God….a derivative” he calls it. He also taught that “unsubmissive wives trigger abuse”. So, the patriarchal nepotistic dynasty continues. You see a lot of this in those circles.

    Nice guys, eh?


  72. “On the other hand again, again, maybe the order of creation argument is simply bogus.”

    yes, it is. but the ONLY reason they get by with it is because of a horrible understanding of 1 Tim where Paul mentions that Eve was not created first. He is correcting faulty teaching from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus where they taught just that.

    He is not teaching created order but many believe he is because they do not see cultural context as important to interpretation.

    So, without cultural context being important, surely they are greeting their brothers with a Holy Kiss? :o)


  73. “Great. Back to unsheathed swords.”

    Or, the more post modern terminology: Phallocentristic Christianity.

    “When the penis enters the room, the woman is to submit”

    Very spiritual.



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