SSB Readers Discuss D. Scott Meadows’ “A Christian Wife’s Catechism” and Addendums

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I’m opening this thread for discussion on the recent article by D. Scott Meadows, Addenda, Part 2: Clarification of “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism” posted at Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog.

 

Jeff Crippen, Pastor D. Scott Meadows, Domestic Violence, Abuse, A Cry for Justice, small__4254697416D. Scott Meadows has had quite a response on social media about his recent article, “A Christian Wife’s Catechism.”  The first article received a lot of comments and several blog posts discussing how dangerous this article is for women who may be abusive marriages.  I posted an article about this situation here:  A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands.

I noticed there were some great comments that really should be seen to those searching for information on this particular article, so I copied all of the comments that were posted in the comments of the previous,  unrelated article into this post so that those who may be using internet search engines to find more info about this article will be able to read your great comments.  There is a method to my madness.  🙂

 

A couple of highlights:

  • Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture; we must not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind(Rom 12.2).
  • Beware of twisting another’s words and then cursing your pretzel.
  • Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.
  • Rather than sustaining online debate, I ought to give priority to loving and leading my beloved wife and my precious congregation at Exeter, New Hampshire.

photo credit: ♥KatB Photography♥ via photopin cc

60 comments on “SSB Readers Discuss D. Scott Meadows’ “A Christian Wife’s Catechism” and Addendums

  1. Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture; we must not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind

    I don’t understand where this came from. Why is he even talking about egalitarian feminism? This came out of left field. The comments were talking about abused wives. So, instead of dealing with abused wives, he pulls the feminism/egalitarian card as if that is what is causing the problem? huh?????

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  2. Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.

    He thanks people for the comments, yet what has he done about them? Has he altered or retracted anything? If not, then he obviously believes his original catechism should remain as is.

    Who has this man checked for accuracy? Does this pastor have accountability with other pastors? Does anyone know?

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  3. I really liked this bit at the bottom of his post, “Moderators of the RBF blog [not Pastor Meadows] have decided that readers have now had sufficient time and opportunity to offer their comments, so they are closed.” There were only 2 replies, and both looked spammy!

    I am discovering more and more just how popular the “Reformed” version of Christianity is, and it disturbs me. This is a blog post I just wrote about the Reformed teaching of complementarianism when it comes to the “Biblical” roles of men and women: http://llawrenceauthor.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/women-should-be-seen-but-not-heard-in-church/

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  4. @Julie Anne,

    You are right, he never apologizes because he is sure he is right. Everyone who has commented negatively is obviously unloving, un-Biblical, has twisted his words out of context, has too much time on their hands (the implication that they are unspiritual since their time could be “better” spent praying, preaching, feeding the poor), etc. etc.

    I will give him some credit that he emphasized several times abuse is not Godly, God hates it, and He won’t tolerate it forever.

    Still, this line kind of cinches his whole philosophy, “The abuse of truth is no excuse for rejecting it.” I can’t tell you how many times people have told me not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” in regards to Bible teaching, which is the complete opposite of what the Bible teaches, “A little leaven leavens the whole batch.” (Gal. 5:9; 1 Cor. 5:6).

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  5. I’m going to start copying the comments here, separated by asterisks:

    IAmMyBeloved’s:

    Just so you know, the Part 2 Addenda to the Wife’s Catechism is up over at Reformed Baptist Fellowship.

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

    Tim:

    The moderators at Reformed Baptist fellowship have also closed comments: http://reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/15/addenda-part-2-clarification-of-a-christian-wifes-marriage-catechism/

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

    Brenda R:

    IAm,
    I’m not even sure I want to read any more of this, but here it goes!!

    *****

    IAmMyBeloved’s:

    I say don’t waste your precious time and don’t comment on it at all. Just leave them to their blindness, shake the dust and move on. That is just one camp we can cross off our list of wanting to know truth. They closed the comments at the Wife’s Catechism.

    *************
    Bridget:

    Tim
    JULY 15, 2014 @ 12:38 PM
    The moderators at Reformed Baptist fellowship have also closed comments.

    That’s brave of them.

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

    Tim:

    Actually, the moderators there allowed hundreds of comments on the catechism posts. I don’t blame them for wanting to move to new topics now.

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

    Brenda R:

    IAm.
    I did read it. It was not what I expected in any way. It was definitely a mix of thoughts. Mr. Meadows admits being fallible. Angela reblogged the post on her site with comment of course. I will not be reading her comments. I have heard enough of what she has to say.

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

    IAmMyBeloved’s:

    I do think that the comments are still open on the other posts, but I could be mistaking – I will not be commenting there anymore either. I just don’t see any real answers, more just shoving it back at us. Indecisive, I guess may be the word, I don’t know. Sometimes people want to remain ignorant, so they can think they won’t have to give an answer to God. These men seem to draw a confidence in not addressing abuse and divorce, because they think they will not have to answer to God for giving a wrong answer. But perhaps they should really fear God asking them, “Why oh why did you ever tell that woman to stay?” They will still be held accountable, either way.

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

    Brenda R:

    IAm, Completely true. It was exhausting dealing with them. I caved long before you did. Barb Roberts made me feel much better though when she told me how many other blogs had picked up the story and word was getting out there. That made everything else worthwhile, even the words from AW.

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

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  6. IAmMyBeloved’s:

    They honestly, just exposed themselves for who they really are. You can pick the word-

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    IAmMyBeloved’s:

    Just one more note on that. Power and control are obviously what is being sought by those men over there and one way to note that, is by their closing the comments and not allowing anyone to share an opinion on this final catastrophe that was published. There is truly an enormous amount of arrogance in the writing. I was not personally intending to comment, but others may have wanted to.

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    Gary W.

    On the recent, no-comments-allowed post by preacher Meadows, he states, “Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture.” Well which is it? If a male is not egalitarian, doesn’t that make him, by definition, a chauvinist? One can either be chauvinist or egalitarian. Both cannot pervert the plain sense of Scripture. Although he would not admit it, Meadows’ catechism for wives embraces an interpretation of Scripture that makes the Bible chauvinistic.

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

    Brenda R.

    Gary W,
    That’s why no comments attached to this final saga. They didn’t want thinkers to get things like that and get everyone else speaking out anymore than they wanted anyone disagreeing with them in the first place. They will now go quietly on their way and destroy as many lives as they can. I am thankful not to be a member or even an attender of this church.

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

    Gary W.

    It’s instructive that Meadows starts his no-comments-allowed post with this:

    “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.” Proverbs 10.19.

    This comes across to me as an attempt at moral coercion, as an attempt to manipulate his critics into silence with guilt and shame. It makes me suspect that he may “pastor” a church in which a do-not-talk rule is strictly enforced on congregants who might have questions or concerns. It must be very disconcerting to him to be held accountable by people who have access to platforms he does not control.

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

    Gary W.

    It cannot be doubted that Meadow’s catechism for wives will encourage his male congregants to establish and enforce their supposed authority. A list of women’s shelters near Exeter, New Hampshire, where Meadows is a “Pastor” can be found at http://www.womenshelters.org/cit/nh-exeter. Maybe somebody should notify them.

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

    Persephone:

    My family was part of a high-control church for several years awhile back, in the vein of Mars Hill (our pastor was a HUGE MD fanboy, and used to travel to Seattle regularly to sit at his feet).

    Anyhoo, when I confronted my husband about his problem drinking one day while he was having coffee with this pastor, I got nothing but, “How much do you feel comfortable allowing him to drink?” (Um, none.) “Husband, do you agree with none?” (Nod. Being a fanboy himself, husband was not about to argue)…then nothing. No follow up, no accountability for husband, no moral support. I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when husband started the drinking back up a month or few later.

    There were, however, no lack of sermons on appropriate femininity (respond, look hot) and masculinity (initiate, get your own way). I can’t even read stuff like that manifesto out of New Hampshire. Too triggery.

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

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  7. IAmMyBeloved’s

    Gary W. – Well, I would share here, (that I took this opening line to mean that because we had left so many comments on his post, there HAD to be sin in there, because of the word count and I felt he was praising himself for refraining from answering anyone), but I don’t want to be accused of presuming false motives to him, as we have been accused of doing. ; )

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

    Gary W.

    “I don’t want to be accused of presuming false motives.” Well, I say if Meadows would deign to actually respond to legitimate concerns, rather than making himself look guilty by trying to justify his failure to engage, there wouldn’t be any need for anybody to assume anything. And really, I don’t think Meadows’ detractors are assuming anything. They’re discerning the obvious. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck. . .

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

    Lydia:

    “On the recent, no-comments-allowed post by preacher Meadows, he states, “Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture.” Well which is it? If a male is not egalitarian, doesn’t that make him, by definition, a chauvinist? One can either be chauvinist or egalitarian. Both cannot pervert the plain sense of Scripture”

    Their view does not sell as well after the internet became so prolific. They used to be able to convince most that egalitarian meant matriarchal/radical feminism. They basically redefined words for an entire generation that is now not buying into it as much because it is exhausting to keep up with the rules, roles and formulas in every day life application.

    “It cannot be doubted that Meadow’s catechism for wives will encourage his male congregants to establish and enforce their supposed authority. A list of women’s shelters near Exeter, New Hampshire, where Meadows is a “Pastor” can be found at http://www.womenshelters.org/cit/nh-exeter. Maybe somebody should notify them.”

    Yes! Gary this is exactly the way to approach this. We all should know from history that power corrupts even in the smallest venue.

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

    Lydia:

    “– I will not be commenting there anymore either. ”

    I don’t like for those types to have my IP addy. I have had threats in the past. And IP anony software is slow.

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

    MissDaisyFlower:

    I’ve heard gender complementarians argue that women should not be allowed to be in combat positions. It looks like some women in some parts of the world already are (and Deborah and Jael in the Old Testament did).

    Iraq crisis: Kurdistan’s female fighters take on Isis
    15 July 2014
    Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have moved into parts of northern Iraq abandoned by the army in the face of an advance by jihadist-led rebels. The BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil met members of an elite female unit as they prepared to go to the frontline.
    … The unit commander, Col Nahida Ahmed Rashid, says the unit was formed in 1996 to fight loyalists of former President Saddam Hussein.

    It is made up of several hundred fighters, all volunteers. Few have seen combat, but many have been telling their commander they want to fight since Isis captured large swathes of northern and western Iraq last month.

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

    MissDaisyFlower:

    Lydia quoting someone else,
    “Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture….”

    I’ve never heard the term “egalitarianism feminism.”

    Most Christian egalitarians I’ve come across online (and I’ve read a book or two by them) take great pains to differentiate what they believe from what left wing, secular feminists typically believe.

    It’s intellectually dishonest to conflate “egalitarian” with “feminist” to poison the well.

    (And, btw, I don’t mean any insult to anyone here who identifies as a secular feminist and/or left wing. I’m a right winger, but I am willing to “agree to disagree” on a lot of issues.)

    One of my points in mentioning this at all is that Christian men and women who identify as “egalitarian” quite often have very conservative, ordinary views on the faith, they believe that the Bible is the word of God without error, they believe the Bible is to be taken literally, and many of them are socially conservative.

    Gender complementarians either conflate secular feminism with egalitarianism to smear egalitarianism, or, they argue it’s a slippery slope, that if a Christian accepts gender egalitarianism, that he or she will become a full scale left wing, atheistic, pro-choice, pro homosexual marriage liberal type of person, or a total man-hating, bra-burning feminist.

    (Gender comps muddying the water between Christian gender egalitarianism and secular feminism is a way of scaring other conservative Christians away from even considering the egalitarian perspective and giving it a fair shake.)

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

    BrendaR:

    Gary W,
    His coercion goes beyond attempts to stop responses that are contrary to his writings. They are not permitted. I suppose he can’t stop us from writing letters.

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  8. IAmMyBeloved’s:

    “And really, I don’t think Meadows’ detractors are assuming anything. They’re discerning the obvious. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Remaining silent, simply let us all know, that he either could not address the questions and comments, or simply was going to remain in power over the situation and retain his unbiblical stance.

    *****************
    Gary W.:

    I.A.M. Beloved’s,

    Back to the question of discerning motives. In his no-comments-allowed post Meadows appeals to the Golden Rule as recorded in Matthew. One possibility is that Meadows picked up on and is rather obliquely recognizing the legitimacy of the comment I left on his prior post to the effect that the Golden Rule precludes men from writing a catechism for women unless it is their desire that a woman write a catechism for men. Maybe he is acknowledging my comment where I said “it would please me greatly to see others applying the Golden Rule to the pronouncements of those who would read Paul as making women/wives subordinate to the authority of males/husbands.”

    The other possibility I can think of is that Meadows is indicting his critics for inappropriately challenging him, inasmuch as we surely would not wish to be so challenged by him. Well, this doesn’t work since we would like nothing more than for Meadows to come down off his pedestal, to “condescend” to engage us, to challenge our thinking, to participate in a process of iron sharpening iron.

    My own suspicion is that Meadows didn’t even read my comments since he would then be able to see that his own appeal to the Golden Rule makes him a hypocrite. Whether or not he read my comments, Meadows’ appeal to the Golden Rule makes him out to be a hypocrite–unless, of course, it is his desire that a woman write a catechism for men and that he, personally, be submitted to the authority of his wife.

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

    IAmMyBeloved’s:

    Gary W. – “The abuse of truth is no reason for rejecting it.” I felt what Meadows was saying here, was that he had brought us the truth, we had abused it and rejected his truth. But, who can figure these guys out.

    I agree, that they love women like Angela, who eat up their words like they were the words of Christ Himself. What women like that don’t know, is that the words of spiritual abusers go down like honey but turn bitter and poisonous, once they get into the depths of who you are.

    “They hold on to their traditions because it is too challenging and frightening to abandon old beliefs and adopt new ones.”

    OR it is because they have put themselves in the place of God, presume to know all truth, have become unteachable, and are quite content to remain in the place of their presumed power over the people. Anyone who will not bow to them or questions them and their teachings, they call names and belittle to try to shut them up and keep them in their small place in life. You can read all about it in the book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by Johnson & Van Vonderen.

    I just keep picturing that final frame in Les Mis.

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

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  9. L. Lawrence:

    You are right, he never apologizes because he is sure he is right. Everyone who has commented negatively is obviously unloving, un-Biblical, has twisted his words out of context, has too much time on their hands (the implication that they are unspiritual since their time could be “better” spent praying, preaching, feeding the poor), etc. etc.

    It is the height of arrogance to post something like that – – that he encourages women to memorize – – and then when he gets that much push back, dismisses all of the challenging points. Now he says he’s too busy? Yea, whatever.

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  10. Thank you, Brenda.

    I know – so when your husband mistreats you, just recite the catechism that you memorized because you are being treated better than you deserve. Yea, that will save you. blech!

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  11. When I went over and read this the other day, it irked me.

    “Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture; we must not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind(Rom 12.2)”.

    1) Male chauvinism, egalitarianism, and feminism are distinctly different things. Egalitarianism and feminism (not radical) are similar. The latter two are seeking equality (look them up). Male chauvinism is entirely different than the other two. To frame them all in the same breath and claim that they pervert the plain sense of Scripture is, well, wrong.

    2) The plain sense of Scripture doesn’t exist in most cases. Men and women who appeal to this concept are either foolish or naive or both.

    3) Then to appeal to Rom. 12:2. for our minds to be renewed is a travesty. What does he want our minds renewed to? He appears to want us to renew our minds to HIS previous statement (not biblical BTW) that male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism (whatever he claims that IS) pervert the “plain sense of Scripture” (which isn’t an actual thing to conform to).

    Some of the other points may deserve a rant as well. I didn’t read them very closely.

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  12. Yes, that should be “read.” [mod note: Got it :)]

    Male chauvinism –

    male prejudice against women; the belief that men are superior in terms of ability, intelligence, etc.

    Egalitarian –

    of, relating to, or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

    feminism –

    the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities

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  13. Now, someone please tell me how the three ideas above all pervert the plain sense of Scripture.

    Seems to me that, in the plain sense of things, only male chauvinism would fit that category 🙂

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  14. Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.

    Man, that sounds like a guy who’s very full of himself, switching into pat-pat-pat on the head condescending at the end.

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  15. Julie Anne – the photo caption you included with this posting really speaks volumes. I would love to have it enlarged and placed in church lobbies.

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  16. healingInHim – I found the photo to be very powerful, too. I hope churches will start understanding what some wives who are sitting in their pews face.

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  17. It seems like many Christian pastors these days are afraid of women and afraid of sexuality. So much is being written about the subordination of women and condemning of homosexuality. It makes me wonder what they think would happen if all women were treated as equal to men and if the civil rights of homosexuals were recognized.

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  18. Meadows’ errors can be very subtle. He says “Pastors and husbands ought to love and lead like Jesus without lording it over their charge (1 Pet 5.3).” No, assuming all else is acceptable (which is questionable) this should read, “Pastors and husbands ought to love and *serve* like Jesus without lording it over their charges.” Jesus Himself said “. . . the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve . . .” (Matthew 20:28 ESV).

    Meadows’ use of the word “lead” is dangerous even to Pastors and husbands because Jesus specifically commanded “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. **It shall not be so among you.* But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,” (Matthew 20:25-27 ESV). Any husband or pastor who follows Meadows’ admonition to lead rather than serve is thereby deprived of any possibility of achieving greatness.

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  19. “Who has this man checked for accuracy? Does this pastor have accountability with other pastors? Does anyone know?”

    JA~

    I asked that in the other thread. Is he a lone ranger at his church or are their other elders that teach/preach? I see he has some sermons posted at sermonaudio from his church, but I did not see any sermons by others from that church.

    I could not find a church website either, I was hoping someone who knew would post it…if there is one to be found.

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  20. Arguing with this type of personality is like hitting the proverbial wall – they have to be right, no matter the cost they must win – and their arguments make no sense to people who think rationally, fairly or honestly. Meadows won’t allow himself to be called out by anyone……. familiar story for so many of us to be sure.
    He will eventually come face to face.

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  21. As I said in that other comment, I don’t blame them for closing comments – but I meant that for those posts that had hundreds of comments already. To post the final article from Scott Meadows and not allow comments there is a poor decision, especially since he starts that article with Proverbs 10:19 – “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.”

    It’s like he’s saying that he gets the last word and anyone who would want to comment on it is sinning by multiplying words. He not only never addresses the parts of his earlier posts that received criticism for fostering abuse (except to say he didn’t mean it that way), he also doesn’t address his failure to live up to his own Reformed tradition’s doctrine on sin, salvation and godliness.

    I hope people reading his posts will also read the comments and the links in them to blogs that have carefully and adequately shown the awful problems with his “catechisms”.

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  22. I hope so, too, Tim. The catechism has serious problems and could cause harm to women in abusive relationships. That is precisely why I made a new article and tagged it. We must speak out when someone could be in harm’s way by following bad teaching. We absolutely must.

    And I’m very disappointed to see so few pastors willing to speak out against this catechism.

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  23. I would have liked to see more speak out as well, but am grateful for those who did at my place when I wrote about it. Yay for them!

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  24. “Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.”

    {Ryan dramatically puts palm in face}

    This sentence is akin to reading a passage from the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, with all of its pomposity and spiritual arrogance. After hearing these so-called men more and more, I’m thankful for my egalitarian marriage.

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  25. “even when it is unjustified”

    Ryan, the man is positively unrepentant for any of the hurtful parts of his “catechisms”. He’s right, the critics are wrong, end of story.

    Yes, a very sad end to that story.

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  26. After reading stories on several blogs I’m wondering, are there any good stories of abused woman being offered real help from their church or pastor???

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  27. Very few, if any. Most often, abuse is swept under the rug, with a “don’t talk” rule.

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  28. Yes, it would give hope to so many of us who have been down this path. Wish other pastors would speak up. Seems like Jeff Crippen stands alone. I am so thankful for his book and his courage to speak the truth.

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  29. The bit that got me was the proclamation of his “innocence” at the very start of the article. It is clear that his ears are closed and he will dismiss anything that doesn’t agree with his views.

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  30. “The bit that got me was the proclamation of his “innocence” at the very start of the article.”

    Yes, well, isn’t he just a special little soul. He alone, from out of all creation is innocent. Ummmm…….Isn’t that how Lucifer fell??? Through spiritual pride, he attempted to raise himself to godhood??? Does Meadows really want to go THERE????

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  31. Closing his ears, eyes and mouth and proclaiming, “I hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil” does not mean that he is not doing evil. It actually means for Meadows, that he is condoning that which he is actually supposed to be hearing, seeing and speaking about (dealing with abuse) as a leader in Christ’s Church. It means he has told God, “not going there – find someone else”, because he is too afraid to stick his neck out in front of his peers. He is too busy with his comfortable life, to get down in the muck and lay down his life and actually be a servant to the oppressed people of God, like God has commanded him to be, if he wants a place in leadership.

    To not deal with this issue and to purposely turn it off and walk away, is to endorse and condone evil. He may think he is remaining silent, but he has spoken volumes.

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  32. I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again:

    IF I WAS A WIFE-BEATER, I’D WANT THIS GUY AS MY PASTOR.
    “WOMAN, SUBMIT!!!!!”

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  33. Yes, well, isn’t he just a special little soul. He alone, from out of all creation is innocent. Ummmm…….Isn’t that how Lucifer fell??? Through spiritual pride, he attempted to raise himself to godhood??? Does Meadows really want to go THERE????

    Don’t you know?
    This time We WILL Achieve True Communism!

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  34. I”t’s like he’s saying that he gets the last word and anyone who would want to comment on it is sinning by multiplying words”

    Their jobs and positions do not work well when there is free exchange and interaction. They can rarely afford it as he is learning. So they make up some reason why comments are causing sin or something like that.

    And when you see the well known gurus taking questions, be assured they have been vetted. If folks knew how staged most of it really is when it comes to the celeb gurus, they would not be so gullible. They speak. We are to listen and believe them.

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  35. Here is what I wrote at ACFJ on the Addenda Part 2 —

    On his Addenda Part 2, Meadows said (in part):

    “My pastoral messages are fallible and should be received only insofar as they are consistent with Scripture. My errors should be rejected with a clear conscience, while biblical truth ought to be received gratefully, however poorly it is presented.

    “Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.

    “The divorce question is both complex and controversial, even among very discerning Christians, and no one needs me to make a pronouncement about it.”

    In my view, this is a typical politician’s answer that is no answer.

    He tried to portray himself as a humble man of God who is willing to listen to criticism; but he would not say whether our criticism led to him changing his thinking.

    It’s fence-sitting par excellence. And therefore it is a most certain betrayal of victims and survivors.

    Pastor Meadows, it is with much joy that I reject your errors with a clear conscience!
    [Not that I needed your permission to reject them. 🙂 ]

    But there’s a wee problem with your assertion that “biblical truth ought to be received gratefully, however poorly it is presented.” The problem is, biblical truth is often presented so poorly — with such bias and disregard for full counsel of God and the heart of God for the oppressed — that it becomes NON-truth, as I explained at http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/07/13/the-perspicuity-of-scripture-and-how-some-put-a-grille-on-the-view/

    Meadows refuses to state his position on divorce for abuse.
    He asserts that “no one needs me to make a pronouncement on divorce” — but that is untrue and a complete denial of what we said in the threads on his posts.

    We asked him to state his position on divorce. We expressly made this request more than once. We passionately indicated that we needed him to state his position on divorce. But he CHOSE to ignore our need, and he CHOSE to slam us into the concrete, to reduce us to a less-than-human status by condescendingly stating “no one needs me to state my position.” Are we less than ‘no-one’ Pastor Meadows? What would you class us as then, if we are not even anyone? Are we vermin? Fungi? Bacteria? Viruses? Flotsam and jetsam?

    And lastly, Ps Meadows, victim-survivors are sick and tired of being patronized with the velvet-glove brush off like this: “I thank God for all the comments He has sent me through you.”

    We don’t want you to thank God for our comments unless you also listen to our comments with an open heart and mind. In fact, your ‘thanking God’ makes us want to vomit. It is the typical supercilious, haughty, holier-than-thou response of a stiff-necked Pharisee (cf Luke 18:11).

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  36. Forrest’s comment on the Addenda part 2 is worth repeating here:

    This ‘addendum’ is nothing more that man’s pride. They have appearance of being closed to the truth. Thankfully there were some participants who got it. The bit that tells us where they really stand is this:

    “Wisdom and my innocence require brevity in this statement of clarification.”

    “My innocence”… Wow!

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  37. Well I do like the turn of phrase about cursing your pretzel…but to denounce all egalitarians as feminists is to do exactly that. To prove the point, I could direct Meadows to a (male) egalitarian scholar-blogger who is pretty disillusioned with feminism and thinks it has outlived its usefulness. I disagree with that position, but that’s not the point. The point is that it only takes one person to disprove a blanket generalization put forth as fact.

    Male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of Scripture

    Somehow I get the feeling he doesn’t understand what feminism is. If by “feminism” he means the belief that women are superior to men, then I agree with him. Trouble is, I’ve never encountered a single feminist who actually believed that. Granted, I’ve only been exposed to feminist bloggers, but most of them are left-wing and secular (i.e., the “evil” variety). So if left-wing secular feminists supposedly believe women are superior to men, why are they not saying it on their own blogs? Why do none of their commenters say it? If they “all” believe it, they’d get nothing but resounding cheers from their man-hating friends, so why the silence?

    Mostly, what I hear feminists talking about are things Christians should (at least to my mind) be able to agree with them about. Everything that follows “no” is rape. Neither sex should be boxed into silly, arbitrary and contradictory gender stereotypes. Both sexes should understand how their own bodies work and be given accurate information about them. There are a few exceptions, of course (for instance, secular feminists and the abortion issue), but overall I’m not sure how Meadows could disagree with the good parts. If he does, then we probably need to be having a different conversation entirely.

    (Then of course there’s the sticky wicket that is first wave feminism, i.e., what gave women the right to vote. I suspect Meadows didn’t intend to condemn that, but he inadvertently did by slamming “feminism” so broadly.)

    And by condemning “egalitarianism,” is he seriously claiming that men and women aren’t equal in value, etc.? Even a normal run-of-the-mill comp believes that. Even patriocentrists believe that (at least according to them). This, of course, reveals the horrible terminology at the heart of this debate: egalitarians believe men and women are complementary, and complementarians believe men and women are equal. Crappy terminology = badly framed debates = misunderstandings = one reason why Meadows is talking like this in the first place.

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  38. As a lifelong attender (26 yrs.) of Reformed Baptist churches, can I weigh in? (I do not know Pastor Meadows, or his church, or anyone who attends there.) (Disclaimers: I do not know other churches and their beliefs very well. This is something I would like to change. I certainly believe that Christians of any denomination should endeavor to fellowship together despite differing views.)

    I thought the original catechism had some good points for a ‘typical’ marriage. I think a typical marriage is one in which the husband and wife are both acting in general good will toward each other. I appreciated especially the first 3 questions. I understand that he addressed difficult marriages, and I agreed with many commenters who explained how his advice could wrongly influence those in abusive situations. (sidenote: I wonder…are there instances where advice that would be normally good for minor marriage disputes in a ‘typical’ marriage would be devastating in an abusive one? It seems that giving marriage advice out of context is a dangerous activity.)

    I do find the questions referring to what I ‘deserve’ really surprising. I would never tell someone that their husband or wife treats them better or worse than what they deserve. The question of merit, in my mind, should not even enter into the marriage relationship. It’s not about what my husband deserves but what I have promised to do for him. This sounds foreign to me, and we went through pre-marital counseling with RB pastors!

    Please don’t label us all with the same brush. We’re not a denomination, and not all of the churches that call themselves Reformed Baptist have the same beliefs in everything. Also, often these churches are smaller. In the church where I grew up, I was unaware of any abuse situations. (That doesn’t mean that they didn’t exist, but I would be surprised. It’s a small church.)

    One unconnected thought: I think it would have been wiser for the moderators to post these articles during the week, instead of on a weekend. If Pastor Meadows is pastoring a small church, likely he is carrying the burden of the majority of the preaching and teaching. Probably his Saturdays and Sundays are full, busy days that do not allow much internet time, and possibly for that reason he was unable to respond to the comments immediately. (I was disappointed that he chose not to respond clearly to the questions in his Addenda Part 2.)

    I’ve learned quite a bit from reading the comments on these articles, and find myself agreeing with many points, or at least better understanding other points of view! Thanks to those who kept their comments gracious while firmly speaking what they believe!

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  39. Welcome to SSB, Steph.

    I appreciated your thoughtful comment. You have a very good point about painting all Reformed Baptist with the same brush. That is true.

    (I wonder…are there instances where advice that would be normally good for minor marriage disputes in a ‘typical’ marriage would be devastating in an abusive one? It seems that giving marriage advice out of context is a dangerous activity.)

    Great question. Yes, if a pastor discovers that a man is abusing his wife, they should never be counseling together. It is his sin that needs to be dealt with.

    As far as the moderators and Pastor Meadows commenting. If he wanted to comment on the thread, he could have – even days later. You can tell he read the comments; however, because he wrote 2 followup articles (which I found completely unhelpful).

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  40. “Beware of twisting another’s words and then cursing your pretzel.”

    I don’t think this guy (or several of his friends in the comments section who were acting as his cheer leading section) ever figure out what we were trying to tell him. (I left a post or two at his blog).

    He seemed to be operating under the illusion that because he personally would never condone physical spousal abuse or advocate it, and that his post was not specifically addressing that issue, that anyone who had anything less than glowing to say in the comments was misrepresenting him or his position.

    Nobody that I recall accused him of endorsing spousal abuse or saying he does it himself or advises it, but that this view and teaching indirectly supports it whether he realizes it or not.

    As HUG said on here, if he, HUG, were an abusive husband, he would totally dig and enjoy have that preacher as his preacher, because the preacher seems oblivious to the fact that he is unwittingly supporting men who are already abusive towards their wives with his teachings on marriage and views on gender roles.

    The preacher’s marital list acts as a rationale or base of justification for a man to abuse his wife and keep doing so. That may not have been the preacher’s intent, but what is the expression about the road to Hell again?

    The preacher needs to read books about domestic abuse to understand how his list of marriage advice would be perceived by abusive husbands and by wives who are being abused.

    My impression of the preacher and his approach to his marriage list is he thinks of “difficult” and “ungodly” as being “run- of- the mill” marital spats where nobody gets seriously physically or emotionally injured, such as, where the wife gets upset over stuff like her husband keeps forgetting to take the trash out on trash day and snaps at him about it, or where the husband nags the wife to stop leaving the lid off the toothpaste tube.

    The preacher (and some of his hard core fans) do not seem open or willing to hear opposing views or to be educated on something they obviously know nothing about, though.

    And I hold out little hope for the one guy in the comments on one post who kept saying (after Jeff C advise them to read books about domestic violence), “All we need is the Bible! People should not have to read any books other than the Bible to deal with life.”

    Yeah, well, if you ever go in for heart or brain surgery, I sure hope your doctor read medical books in med school, and not only the Bible.

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  41. The preacher:
    “Rather than sustaining online debate, I ought to give priority to loving and leading my beloved wife and my precious congregation at Exeter, New Hampshire.”

    And his other comments – this guy sounds like an insufferable, smug, arrogant weenie. How does his wife stay with him?

    He has to go “lead” his wife? I presume she is an adult. She does not need to “be led.” Same can be said for his congregation.

    Julie Anne asked,

    So, instead of dealing with abused wives, he pulls the feminism/egalitarian card as if that is what is causing the problem? huh?????

    I think, yes, it’s easier for men like this to blame women and/or feminism, than to maybe consider that sometimes some men are to blame for some things.

    Any time a woman exercises her boundaries (which is entirely healthy and proper for a woman to do), some men construe that as being “feminist.”

    Some men expect women to sit, be passive, stay quiet, and never disagree with a man.

    Any time a woman speaks her mind at all, pushes back, no matter how politely, the man (the one with old fashioned ideas about gender roles) will construe her as being uppity or brash, and some men (ie, the severe gender complementarians) automatically assume, “this uppity woman must have been influenced by left wing, secular feminism.”

    Their idea of biblical femininity, or appropriate behavior for a woman, is for a woman to always be very meek, mild, quiet, passive, compliant, and agreeable, especially around men.

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  42. Preacher quote:
    “Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified”

    “….even when it is unjustified”

    Nope, it was entirely justified.

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  43. L. Lawrence wrote,

    This is a blog post I just wrote about the Reformed teaching of complementarianism when it comes to the “Biblical” roles of men and women:

    Some Reformed churches are not the only ones who teach complementarianism (sexism as biblical).

    Others who teach it or support it, though they may not use the term “complementarianism,” are IFBs (Independent Fundamentalist Baptists), Southern Baptists, and maybe some other conservative, evangelical, non-denominational churches.

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  44. Hi Steph, I appreciate your comment.

    You might like to know that I do not tar all Reformed Baptists with the same brush. My problems are with what Meadows and his defenders were writing, but I don’t think they represent all Reformed Baptists by any means. On the contrary, from what I understand they represent a sub-set of Reformed Bapists that have been taught/influenced by Trinity Academy. That academy seems to have spawned a lot of very prideful pastors.

    My colleague and co-blogger, Ps Jeff Crippen, is a Reformed Baptist and his church is a member of ARBCA (Assoc of Reformed Baptist Churches of America). And I myself, while not currently attending a Ref Bap church, am Reformed Baptist in my theology as I subscribe to the London Confession of 1689. Therefore, I know for sure that not all Reformed Baptists have views like we saw expressed on that blog where Meadow’s catechisms were published.

    Also, Ps David Dykstra, who is well known in Reformed Baptist circles in America, has preached a sermon series about how the Bible fully permits divorce for domestic abuse. We have a post about that here:
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/06/17/pastor-david-dykstra-on-marriage-and-divorce-he-gets-it/

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  45. Hi Steph,

    It is getting harder and harder for me to not label churches that label themselves. :o)

    As to the advice being good for minor marriage problems, I don’t see that at all. That has been one of my pet peeves with much of the Reformed/Seeker movements. They broad brush teach then have plausible deniability if cornerned on it with specific scenerios. I can remember Piper teaching on how a woman should respond submitfully to her husband asking her to engage in three way sex. NOT ONCE did Piper mention if the husband was a professing believer or not. Nor was he concerned with the husbands sin. ONLY her submitting carefully to his leadership while saying no.

    My problem is I have been around both the seeker and reformed worlds too much and see the patterns. So I am back to broadbrushing because I have seen where such thinking leads over time. Here is a tip: The fact he has a gendered catechism is the bigger problem. Is there really a pink and blue Christianity? Even in marriage? Do all the 58 ‘one anothers’ in NT scripture apply to a marriage situation, too? Are the one anothers, gendered?

    I have learned to never accept their foundational premises. That would be going in their black hole of control. And I include the words “Reformed” in that. The Reformation was to reform the Catholic church/. It was still tyrannical and a bloody evil mess making the “pastor” center stage instead of the sacraments. It kept the peasants the peasants. And creeds tend to keep us in spiritual boxes, IMO, which does not count for much, I admit. :o)

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  46. Well said, Lydia. In the 3-way example Mr. Piper addressed, I’d advise something different. Whether it’s a pair of believers married to each other, or non-married Christian friends, or a Christian and a non-Christian, the appropriate response when someone asks you to engage in something contrary to God’s word is a polite but firm “Not on your life!” If they are being jerks about it, the politeness gives way to tossing temple tables.

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  47. Tim,
    I like the “Not on your life!” answer far more than the “Oh, I would love to submit to you” garbage.

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  48. Thanks, Brenda. The Bible tells us to resist the devil and he will flee, not politely decline and hope he respects our decision.

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  49. Re Lydia’s comment,

    “As to the advice being good for minor marriage problems, I don’t see that at all.”

    If that was spurred by my comment above.

    Just to be clear, I was not trying to argue that the preacher’s advice is any good.

    What I was saying is my take on the tone of his piece is that HE was thinking that an “ungodly” marriage is one with run- of- the- mill marital problems that even non-abusive ones faces, such as a husband who gets angry because the wife keeps leaving the cap off the toothpaste.

    Whether his advice would be any good for a “normal” marriage or not is debatable, IMO.
    But ultimately, what I was trying to get at, is that he failed to realize there are marriages where the “ungodly” husband gives the wife a black eye, broken nose, or bruise ribs for leaving the cap off the toothpaste tube.

    In a normal (non abusive, stable) marriage, a husband may say to his wife over this scenario, “Honey, it really bugs the ever loving crud out of me, stop leaving the lid off, would you please remember to put it back on?,” but he won’t verbally berate her for hours over it, telling her she’s a piece of trash, or, he won’t punch her or slap her over it, or make threats against her health or safety.

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  50. Tim, If my husband seriously suggested such a thing I would conclude I never really knew him and get out. That thinking comes from a dark and evil place and I would never think it was just a passing fancy or something “to work through”. It is too vile and it would say a lot about him: He can no longer be my husband. I mean what wife would not have dread feelings about him after that no matter what? Trust? I think not.

    The fact that Piper was talking about a wife’s proper submission in responding to that scenerio only shows what a wacked out nutcase he really is. What scares me even more than one wacked out nutcase celeb pastor are all the young men (Many are pastors as that is Piper’s market niche) who think he is brilliant and spiritual as they idolize him. They are in pulpits all across America.

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  51. “Rather than sustaining online debate, I ought to give priority to loving and leading my beloved wife and my precious congregation at Exeter, New Hampshire.”

    Sad he is telling the internet world his wife is incapable. I hope nothing happens to him. Who will lead her?

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  52. What scares me even more than one wacked out nutcase celeb pastor are all the young men (Many are pastors as that is Piper’s market niche) who think he is brilliant and spiritual as they idolize him. They are in pulpits all across America.

    PIPERJUGEND.
    Starry-eyed, True Believer PIPERJUGEND.

    Like

  53. Pingback: Good men: please denounce the Permanence View of Marriage that denies any reason for divorce. | A Cry For Justice

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