Christian Marriage, Council for Bibl. Manhood & Womanhood, Owen Strachan, Patriarchal-Complementarian Movement, Women and the Church

Owen Strachan of CBMW Misses the Point Entirely – It’s Not about the Missing Article, but the False Teaching


Council of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’s Executive Director Owen Strachan Corrects the Record with Associated Baptist Press Regarding the Missing Article on Biblical Gender Roles in the New Creation


Last week I posted about an article, Is the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Drinking Mormon-Flavored Koolaid?.  My post was about an article which was located at the CBMW site, which subsequently disappeared.  CBMW’s article vanished within 24 hours of my article which had spread pretty quickly via social media. In the past week, social media has been abuzz discussing both the shocking content of the article, and the fact that the original article disappeared.

Yesterday, Bob Allen, of American Baptist Press, also published a story on the CBMW article, first discussing the content of the article on gender roles in the new creation, and then, in three paragraphs, mentioned that the original article was no longer posted at the CBMW site. Here are those three paragraphs:

A 7,000-word article titled “Relationships and Roles in the New Creation” apparently was taken down after the Spiritual Sounding Board blog posted a critique March 12 querying “Is the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Drinking Mormon-Flavored Koolaid?”

Further in the article:

The CBMW website includes no mention of why the reposted article was taken down, but the group’s executive director said in a blog post that opponents sometimes “try to paint us into a corner” by linking the council “to figures that most complementarians don’t even know about.”

“When this happens, we have to shake our head and laugh,” wrote Owen Strachan, who also serves as an assistant professor at Boyce College in Louisville, Ky. “But we know that when you stand for something definitive, you always risk being targeted. The body of work in our journal and on our website shows that we publish one piece after another on how biblical complementarity, powered by the gospel of Jesus Christ, transforms us, critiques us and blesses us.”  [JA note:  please note that this entire paragraph is a quote from Strachan.]

Today, the day after Allen’s article was published, CBMW Executive Director Owen Strachan published an article to publicly correct Allen that CBMW did NOT pull the article – saying it must have been a computer glitch (which happened to have occurred within 24 hours of my article posting and going viral).  I tell ya, these pesky computers and technology!  Who can control it?

The issue of the missing article was such a big deal to Strachan that he posted an entire article snubbing reporter, Bob Allen, and his journalism etiquette.  Hmmmm

Here’s the beginning of Strachan’s article:

Yesterday, an Associated Baptist Press story by Bob Allen alleged that the Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood had taken down an article on gender roles in the new creation after online pushback. As Executive Director of CBMW, I feel compelled to respond due to the article’s numerous inaccuracies, all of which could have been immediately cleared up with a phone call to me or to Denny Burk, editor of the Journal on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood.  (Source)

Strachan then goes on to list four problems he has with Allen’s article.

Ok, here’s my commentary.  Strachan criticizes Allen for not contacting him or Denny Burk ahead of time for clarification about the removal of the article. While Strachan criticizes Allen about not calling him, why didn’t Strachan follow his own criticism and call Allen to let him know that CBMW didn’t pull the article?  Why does he have to make a public ordeal of that?

I said, I said,

Why does he have to make a public ordeal of that?


Please hit play. You know you want to – 5 seconds – that’s it.


Because it’s a diversion to the real issue.  They don’t want you to know that they reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllllllly DO believe that gender roles continue into the New Creation.

Take note that Bob Allen’s article is 16 paragraphs long.  As mentioned earlier, three paragraphs were about missing post/pushback CBMW receives, and the final three paragraphs are background info on CBMW.

So, let’s think this through here.  What was the primary focus of Allen’s article?  The primary focus was regarding gender roles in the new creation – TEN paragraphs were dedicated to that primary topic.  

All this brouhaha is a great diversion tactic to shift the focus off the real topic of very bad teaching onto those meanies who are accusing CBMW of yanking their article down (Allen, me, etc.).

Okay, so let’s give Strachan what he wants.  Let’s say there was a computer glitch and amazingly and coincidently the article disappeared within 24 hours.  That still confirms my point.   The fact that Strachan said that if they had meant to remove the article, they would have removed the pdf as well proves that:

   they still believe the article to be appropriate and valid, and endorse it the ideology.

Just to check, I tweeted Strachan right after he posted this tweet – 6 minutes after the original tweet:




No surprise – – I did not get a response from Strachan.

Going back to Strachan’s article, he states:

I have a responsibility to speak up, however, when CBMW is the subject of misinformation and public projection of a motive.


It’s interesting that he got his widdle feelings hurt about the misunderstanding about the missing post, yet seems to be perfectly fine with very bad teaching. It seems that he, of all people, should be exercising some Biblical Manhood and calling out this trash as heresy.

But, no . . . . . instead he blames Allen for getting it wrong and then at the end of the article gets all yippy skippy  about this marvelous work the CBMW site is doing and proves it by disclosing the number of clicks on their webpage:

I am excited about seeing men and women, homes and churches, transformed by the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s what CBMW is after; that’s what well over 1 million pageviews of in 2013 shows us tons of folks all over the world want from us;

(Maybe he didn’t consider that some of those page views were from people like me wanting to see what these guys are up to.  Shhhhhh…….)     Oh, and apparently those 1 million page views is not amounting to much $$ based on info in this article: Is CBMW the Bellwether for the Complementarian Movement?

Okay, but wait – – -he’s getting very confused again.  He talks about glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.  No, the agenda of CBMW and Biblical gender roles is NOT the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.  But that is how strongly they believe this stuff.  Their thought is that if you don’t get the gender thang right (their gender thang), then you obviously don’t have the right gospel. They make their complementarian message into a primary doctrinal issue – – as in Gospel-level importance.

The saddest part for me is that these are men in leadership positions who have an agenda to promote Complementarianism at all costs – even to stretch Scripture to make it fit their agenda.  Look at this amazing work he believes is going on at CBMW:

It is life-giving to work with a pulsing, dynamic, international movement that stands for a rich body of doctrine.

Yes, it’s doctrine alright, but whose doctrine?

67 thoughts on “Owen Strachan of CBMW Misses the Point Entirely – It’s Not about the Missing Article, but the False Teaching”

  1. I’m not going to a heaven where my role is assigned by any man (or woman for that matter). God knows what He wants me to be, now and forever.


  2. They didn’t pull the PDF? Then why were we working off a PDF printout of the screenshot all week? I want the real PDF for my archive. Link please.


  3. From Strachan’s article: “To be honest, in full disclosure, I’m not sure why the HTML version of the article went offline. Website editors know that small technical glitches are no respecter of persons and know no theological bounds. No story here; nothing worth posting about.”


  4. I’m glad no one was sleeping, BTDT. I would have awaken them with my laughter. I haven’t seen that in so many years! Oh, and I’m with you on that.


  5. Julie Anne said,

    “Okay, but wait – – -he’s getting very confused again. He talks about glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. No, the agenda of CBMW and Biblical gender roles is NOT the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. But that is how strongly they believe this stuff.”

    I agree. I don’t see what gender role teachings have to do with the Gospel, and if he’s equating the two, that is false teaching.

    The Gospel has to do with God restoring a lost relationship with humanity over humanity’s sin, via God’s sinless son, Jesus.

    I think these groups toss the word “Gospel” around too often, and in so many wrong contexts, that it cheapens the word.

    Owen Strachan’s CBMW group is not about “the Gospel,” it’s about bludgeoning people with their opinions of what is appropriate behavior for women, and saying it’s “biblical,” all because they distrust or hate liberalism and feminism.

    (And for the record, I am right wing, conservative, and don’t agree with secular feminists on everything, so I don’t say these things with an anti-conservative / pro- secular feminist agenda or mindset.)

    I agree, it’s most telling that Strachan did not distance himself or CBMW away from the substance of the page, which said that women will have to submit to males for all eternity. That is the main issue, not if, when, or why the page about it was pulled (though the page being yanked is somewhat important and suspicious, IMO).

    I would love to hear the CBMW guys explain how never-married adult women are to submit to a husband in heaven, or to whom a divorced/widowed and then re-married women on earth is to submit to in the here-after.


  6. 🙂
    I started to type the words out, but when I googled them there was a YouTube video for that. It was Providence, I tell ya!

    I’ve seen the word obfuscate used on these blogs. I had a general understanding of the meaning given the context in which it was used. My dictionary says: 1.To render indistinct or dim; darken, 2. To confuse or becloud.
    I don’t really believe Strachan missed the point. Given his response to JA’s tweet, I believe he’s deliberately obfuscating. The exposure of that article was embarrassing enough to take it down. Unfortunately, they couldn’t really make it disappear. Then THAT became embarrassing, hence the latest ambiguous article. And he STILL won’t say if they endorse it or not.


  7. That’s exactly right. He doesn’t mention it, but he does blame Allen, but in the article he makes a big deal about the pdf file still being there, so obviously it’s there for a reason – – because they endorse it. The pressure is on and so they don’t want to acknowledge that they really do believe it. Once again, I find myself wanting to say “man up” to a man who by his very position at CBMW should know what that means.


  8. I would love to hear the CBMW guys explain how never-married adult women are to submit to a husband in heaven, or to whom a divorced/widowed and then re-married women on earth is to submit to in the here-after.

    Well, that probably won’t happen. That’s not a “real” family – – – or at least how they present things. If you aren’t married, the message I get is there’s a problem.


  9. I must ask; why are we assuming that the CBMW necessarily supports this idea because they have/had this article attached? I mean, they have a lot of varying opinions there on their site, why should we assume that because they published this one article, that this is their opinion? Is it possible that there are contrary takes on the issue of Male Headship in Heaven in past journals or articles?


  10. Thanks for the PDF. I notice the link to the original article still doesn’t work, and I can’t find it on the CBMW site.

    I think it was a big story when they appeared to have deleted the article after being criticized for its outrageousness. It’s an even bigger story that Owen says they stand behind it.

    But if they do, when will it go back up? I want it up there.


  11. I agree, Greg, they should put the article back up and make it more accessible (aside from the pdf that you have to dig through and wait to load).

    I couldn’t even find it on the Wayback Machine, but it does come up in the old site’s format on Google cache. I also have a screenshot of the original article when it was live at the CBMW site.


  12. Chris,
    I’ve taken a quick look at the CBMW website, and don’t see any disclaimers up front. Some websites will have some notice that they don’t endorse every article since their contributors vary on some viewpoints, etc.


  13. BeenthereDonethat, sure; but many sites don’t post disclaimers either despite having contrary views on the same site. I also think I remember something that expresses a contrary view, but I need to dig through the archives to find out.


  14. *snort* “Rich” body of doctrine, is it? Yes, but the problem is that it smells exactly like what it’s “rich” with.


  15. Regarding women who have never married: oughtn’t they be rejoicing because they won’t have to submit to a husband in heaven?

    But no, goodness me, I’m forgetting. . . if a woman has a brother, she’ll have *him* to submit to, so all is well, she can submit eternally just like all the women who were married. And if she never had a brother, well never mind, Jesus is her brother so she can submit to him!

    Did I just go through a revolving door and get back where I started? Who spiked my drink?


  16. “It is life-giving to work with a pulsing, dynamic, international movement that stands for a rich body of doctrine.”

    When will he just come out with it and say he and his mates are penis-focused. Just like the Freemasons — it all boils down to the phallic member and its pulsing power.

    Not that I’m endorsing CBE, but can you imagine CBE describing themselves as ‘pulsing’?


  17. When confronted with their sins and idiocy, wicked people and abusers characteristically throw out red herrings to distract people from the fact that the wicked person has not changed.

    One way of doing this is to tell off the confronter: “You didn’t confront me in the right way! You should have contacted me first, or used a different tone of voice, or different words! Or come to me after dinner not before. . . ” This is a tactic of bullies and character disordered people. Let’s be clear. Owen Strachan used this tactic.

    And as for his claim about the number of page-views CBMW gets, I wonder if his job contract has a clause giving him bonus payments if he gets lots of page-views.


  18. Well, add another page view to CBMW, Owen. I checked out your facebook site. Oh, I wish I hadn’t done that Owen. “Friendship is war because friendships are hard!” Why are they hard? The title of the article “Some Things Are Worth Dying For” The subject…male friendships, of course.

    There you go, Julie Anne…another “war” item for you.


  19. There is another article in a CBMW journal from 2004 by the same author, Mark Walton, called “What We Shall Be: A Look at Gender and the New Creation.”
    In it he makes the argument that we will indeed remain male and female in heaven.

    I looked at the table of contents for the journals dating back to 1995. As far as I can tell (I could have missed something), there are no other articles that discuss gender differences or roles in heaven.


  20. I hate to say it again, but CBMW used to host some mighty weird stuff in the early days — the Bayly days. Bill Mouser used to teach this same doctrine about eternal marriage in heaven, if I recall correctly. There used to be old archives to their cafe forum site which contained at least one of them — similar to Walton’s here. It is no longer online, and I don’t have any copies, so I can’t substantiate this. It was a forum, so it’s not on the archive. It ran in tandem to the CCC Forum. If you can find some old cronies who hung out there, they might have saved some of this stuff. It’s not original to Walton at CBMW. But it was taught at one time. The question remains now as to whether they are going to support this doctrine. Are they going to distance themselves from Walton? They may have already distanced themselves from Mouser.


  21. You know, I wonder if it’s going to be like so many other things we see going on; i.e., my former pastor gets a pass because he’s Calvinist and evangelizes the “right way” – – they must say “oopsy” about the lawsuit. And CJ gets a free pass because he’s on the complementarian bandwagon – – oopsy daisy about those sex abuse coverups. Ya know – – got to have the important thing, the important thing and with this group it is complementarianism.


  22. Julie Anne,

    Ya know – – got to have the important thing, the important thing and with this group it is complementarianism.

    That’s how cults operate. There are rules for the bourgeoisie, and there are rules for the proletariat. The ruling class gets to let the end justify the means. The working class must suffer to achieve purity as defined by the ruling class.

    Lifton called this the Sacred Science. The doctrine and the leaders are never wrong and it doesn’t matter what ends you must go to in order to achieve the lofty desirable end. This is at the heart of spiritual abuse — the leader and the cause benefit, and the followers pay the price for that benefit. Sometimes those leaders profiteer from followers. Sometimes, they just pull the wool over the eyes of the followers, playing them for fools.

    Frankly, the real challenge of leadership for the Christian isn’t achieving great things. Lots of people can do great things. The hard part for Christians involves doing mighty things in the right spirit, at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons — without causing others to suffer. There is equitable benefit and equitable work/pain/investment shared by all. The end point and the process both should glorify God.

    Some of this is a matter of maturity and experience, and it’s not the result of a cultic system. There’s a difference between a young buck and an old pro. There’s an art to learning how to juggle all of these good things. But that’s not what’s happening here. This is a miserable doctrine, and their behavior has been childish and rude.


  23. Correction of sentence in second paragraph — the one that starts with “Lifton”:

    “it doesn’t matter what MEANS you must USE to achieve the lofty, desirable end.”

    (i’m up past my bedtime again.)


  24. Web pages don’t just ‘air’ and then disappear once they get criticized. Besides, by this time their issue with the page should have been fixed. It should be up and running again, but I would bet it will never see the light of day again on that site. What a bunch of horse pucky!

    Maybe someone needs to check out if they use the same company that did the healthcare site did here in the USA. Since they got majorly hacked a while ago? Sounds like its still not fixed.

    His diversion isn’t going to work. The ‘gossip’ started over the content of the article, and not the disappearance.


  25. One of the things it took me a while to wrap my head around is how deceptive these guys are. People won’t pick up on it unless they are following close, had personal interactions with them on disagreements OR fact checking their words. This is especially a problem at SBTS which is YRR ground zero and where CJ Mahaney fled to be “near the seminary” and his doctrinal partner in T4G, Al Mohler.

    One example of this came from Strachan’s father in law, Bruce Ware, who is a prof at SBTS where Strachan works. Ware literally edited quotes from Anthanasius to try and prove ESS which they map to comp doctrine.

    Who would think to check on something like that? Wouldn’t one think a professor at SBTS could be trusted on such things? (Such is the state of “higher ed” at SBTS)

    Well, Kevin Giles caught it and wrote about it in a book refuting ESS. I was pretty stunned Ware could be so cheeky so I check it out myself.

    These are men who will play deceptive games to prop up their image or their doctrinal positions. There are many more such examples but beware believing anything they write or teach.


  26. I don’t know that anyone has said this yet, as it might be too obvious.

    They had that HTML version of the article on their website for seven years, according to the data on the internet archive. That article is linked into their search engine on their site (and also on other search engines). The article in their Journal is not. If you’re searching for the article using a search engine, you cannot find it.

    If you want to find it and knew little about it apart from the general subject matter, you can’t find it. You must know which issue of the Journal to look for. I have a pdf copy of it that I downloaded in 2009. I knew the author’s name and the exact title of the post. Those allowed me to find the right issue of the journal using a search engine, and I didn’t need to pull out my old backup of the article that I have on a CD. Far fewer people had that information when they pulled the HTML (and have still not restored it)? If we (critics) had not had screenshots, the author’s name, and if we didn’t already know that this article was actually published in the Journal, for most people, it would be completely inaccessible.

    This is not the only HTML article they’ve pulled, and this other one is harder to find. Go and look to see if you can pull up the HTML of Wayne Grudem’s article about what women can do in the church. The Wartburg Watch called it something like Wayne’s 83 rules for women. That HTML is gone as well. I have a few copies of the pdf from the journal, but I downloaded them round about seven years ago.


  27. I repeat:

    CBMW also removed Wayne Grudem’s article about what women can do in the church after The Wartburg Watch drew attention to it, calling it WG’s 83 rules for women or some such thing.

    Let me find it:

    Ah, CBMW removed it before the 2012 attention to it, and the First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Mississippi has also removed it. I wonder if they were asked to remove it? Either way, it is gone. How convenient that these boys have remapped all the links to content so that finding specific articles on the internet archive becomes much more difficult….


  28. Here is link to the Grudem article. Download it before they pull it, too. It was in “CBMW News,” not JBMW.


  29. My husband is thrilled that he can provide well enough for us to allow me to deal with these things. I’m “serving his vision” by doing so. He was happy to pick up some fantastic NYC style pizza last night, and he’s taking me out to dinner tonight as a reward.

    I must admit that I’d have more ironing done if I didn’t stop to do this kind of thing, but my husband feels that the sacrifice is worth it. We both owe it to the Body of Christ to expose these heresies. As he wrote on the petition to demand an apology for CBMW this weekend, this is important work. Why?

    Gary Kunsman, PhD
    To support a group of advocates who are working to point out gross heresies as they relate to the role and identity of women in the church.

    Now, JA, what I don’t understand is how you can do this with kids? I only get interrupted by the cat trying to walk across my keyboard as my avatar notes. 😉


  30. Well, I’m used to multi-tasking. I used to have a houseful of kids at home with me during the day. Now I have 2 off at high school and only 2 at home with me. It kind of looks like this: write a comment, check a math program, say a spelling word, respond to an e-mail, make a tuna sandwich, send a tweet 🙂


  31. FWIW, I would have no problems being married to my husband forever, if that was true. (Jesus expressly said that it wasn’t which is why I deny CBMW’s celestial marriage tripe.) He is a fine, upright, loving, amazing, hard working man. And I have learned so much from him, though he is humble and happy to learn from me, too. I talk everything over with him, and he peer reviews quite a bit for me. If he had the opportunity and the patience, he would love to have the leisure to write and speak and teach. He says that by providing for me to free me to do this apologetics type of work concerning aberrant Christianity is rewarding for him because he is so involved in it, too. I’d be lost without him in this type of work.

    Glory and thanks to God. He has blessed me greatly.


  32. “Now, JA, what I don’t understand is how you can do this with kids? I only get interrupted by the cat trying to walk across my keyboard as my avatar notes. 😉 ”

    Cindy, that made me smile. My kids’ curriculum is an online program. This morning I took a pic of the cat sitting on my nine-year-old’s keyboard. I think she was enjoying the warmth. 🙂 Good thing my son happened to be doing a math worksheet at the time.


  33. Driscoll was able to keep the focus on a dropped phone call but Owen hasn’t been able to keep the story focused on scrubbing the article. Bob Allen keeps the focus on the article itself. Good job.


  34. BTDT, I”m glad you smiled. You have to get them when you can when discussing this stuff.

    I used to have a button on my blog that said that the cats really wrote my posts. People should write and complain to them.



  35. Dear Cindy,

    I admire all the effort and dedication you’ve put into researching this topic. And thank you for sharing about your husband and his loving support for you. It was inspiring for me to read. I hope that one day, I can be that kind of “helpmeet” to a special woman.

    As far as Owen Strachan goes, I don’t think he even knows the time of day. He lost most of my respect when he criticized the notion of Baby Bear playing with dolls on Sesame Street.

    I haven’t read all the related articles on this thread yet, but it looks like Strachan is about to lose even more of my respect.


  36. Correction to my 3/12 9:06 and 9:12 AM comments. BIG GOOF! That CBMW article by Wayne Grudem was deleted before TWW did their blog post on it, but I recall that it was there in 2011. That’s what I get for talking on the phone and typing, with cats walking around! I goofed up and got my wires crossed about the links. The link is still up there, and it used to work.


  37. Serving Kids in Japan,

    Look, I only ever wanted for these guys to be the Christians they know that they should be and perhaps even want to be, but they will not engage fellow Christians who believe differently. They just resort to name calling. I really wouldn’t care much about their doctrine. There are plenty of churches out there today, and a person can just pick another one. The biggest problem here is the abuse of women that they deny and ignore. I saw too many people suffer under this mindset.

    I’ve been beating this drum for more than a decade. I’m just thrilled that people are listening.


  38. I have now been blocked on Twitter by both Owen Strachan’s Twitter account and the CBMW Twitter account (@Ostrachan and @CBMWorg)

    These guys can’t stand the heat, but I still know how to Tweet 🙂


  39. The three monkeys (CBMW, Strachan, and any others who fit the bill) have another name:
    See no truth
    Hear no truth
    Speak no truth

    Okay, admittedly that’s too broad brush. They speak bits of truth from time to time (mixed in with their false doctrine, to make the false doctrine easier to swallow). I know that. But I couldn’t resist the ditty.


  40. “I used to have a button on my blog that said that the cats really wrote my posts. People should write and complain to them”.

    This fellow cat person loves it!! Once, when my computer was brand new, I
    dropped into the place I got it, & said, “I need another computer mouse, just like the one I had”. We all laughed when I explained that mine had been “killed” in the night.
    Yes, really.


  41. “I have now been blocked on Twitter by both Owen Strachan’s Twitter account and the CBMW Twitter account (@Ostrachan and @CBMWorg)

    These guys can’t stand the heat, but I still know how to Tweet 🙂

    Me too. But False Wayne Grudem blocked me, too. Lots of oversensitive young men out there who cannot seem to fathom common sense. It seems to be on both dies way too often.


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