Owen Strachan speaks against Fifty Shades of Grey and attempts to show how complementarians do not abuse their wives, and says that Christianity disciplines abusive men
Owen Strachan, President and Editor-in-Chief of Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) released an article last night, How “50 Shades of Grey” Harms Women & Jesus Saves Them, after seeing an ad about the upcoming movie during the Super Bowl. He wrote four reasons why the movie is abusive to women, but also seemed to say that if spouses would hold to the “Biblical” roles as defined by complementarianism, we wouldn’t be seeing these kinds of abuses, as his title concludes, “Jesus Saves Them.”
Now, I can understand the problems he has with Fifty Shades of Grey, and I certainly have a problem with any kind of situation where a woman is being forced to do something against her will, and especially sexually, but Strachan defends what he deems as Biblical male and female roles as the solution to abuse saying that those who challenge complementarianism are the problem:
We commonly hear today, from a secular culture and also from many voices of progressive Christianity (so-called), that the Bible is oppressive to women. Men are called to be heads of their home, goes the line, and women are called to submit, and that makes the Bible hugely problematic.
Ok, notice he says “progressive Christianity (so-called).” So, those Christians who do not hold to CBMW’s views of male headship are now “so-called” Christians? Is he questioning the salvation of those who don’t hold to his secondary doctrinal beliefs? If so, this kind of talk is spiritual bullying. It’s inappropriate and wrong.
Strachan begins by addressing the “sham accusation” that the Bible is oppressive to women:
1. This is a sham accusation, of course. Men are called to be heads, but in the image of Christ. They’re called to lay their lives down for their wives (see Eph. 5:22-33).
What we typically notice from this group is a verse they conveniently leave out right before Ephesians 5:22, and so I sent out a tweet asking why he left it out. So far there has been no response:
But what, pray tell, is verse 21, you might ask? I’ll even quote from the complementarian-approved Bible translation, ESV:
submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21)
This is the verse that is most often absent from those who want to hold to a male headship model of marriage. Isn’t it interesting they forget that THEY – husbands – are also to submit to their wives? I wonder why they leave it out so frequently? Hmmm
And then Mr. Strachan says this:
2. Christianity disciplines abusive men. As I just wrote in a “Three Views” piece for the January 2015 edition of Christianity Today, a man who sexually uses and abuses women will be excommunicated from the church, reported to the police, and opposed with the full force of biblical righteousness.
I’m not going on to the 3rd and 4th point, but just camp here at his Point 2 and you will see why.
I’m glad to see Mr. Strachan saying this, Christianity disciplines abusive men, but this is not the pattern we have seen in the church of late. Has Bill Gothard been excommunicated? How about Doug Phillips? Bill Gothard is working on his Total Success Power teams, and Doug Phillips is at his new non-family-integrated church and has become a member in good standing. Whoa, swallow that pill.
Another staunch complementarian (you know, the ones who endorses “Biblical” roles for men and women), Pastor Mark Driscoll, told women to repent for not serving their husbands oral sex. Let me remind you of that teaching from Driscoll:
She [the wife] says, “I’ve never performed oral sex on my husband. I’ve refused to.” I said, “You need to go home and tell your husband that you’ve met Jesus and you’ve been studying the Bible, and that you’re convicted of a terrible sin in your life. And then you need to drop his trousers, and you need to serve your husband. And when he asks why, say, ‘Because I’m a repentant woman. God has changed my heart and I’m supposed to be a biblical wife.’” She says, “Really?” I said, “Yeah. First Peter 3 says if your husband is an unbeliever to serve him with deeds of kindness.” [Laughter from audience] How many men would agree, that is a deed of kindness. He doesn’t want tracts. Those won’t do anything. What we’re talking about here could really help. (Source)
Why had the wife refused to perform oral sex on her husband? Could she have been sexually abused in the past? Perhaps that act was not her cup of tea. So now a pastoral authority tells her how she is wrong Biblically and she must serve her husband oral sex, and she must repent for not performing it. There is no command in scripture about oral sex. Is this not a woman being forced to perform a sexual act and coerced because a trusted pastor twisted scripture to make it sound Biblical? So, I hear Fifty Shades of Grey has to do with bondage and sex without consent. Is this not the same – a wife being forced to perform oral sex on her husband because it’s Biblical? By the way, this was taught before a mixed audience.
It’s interesting that Strachan has strong words to say about Fifty Shades of Grey, but I don’t remember any church leader going after Driscoll for essentially doing the same thing – – forcing women to do sexual acts against their will. Isn’t this sexual abuse? By the way, coercing a woman to believe that performing oral sex on their husband is Biblical is also spiritual abuse – it’s not in the Bible. At least in the secular world, it’s only sexual abuse, but in Christianity, we now have secondary abuse occurring when the Bible is used to control.
What did Strachan say? Oh yea, “Christianity disciplines abusive men.”
And now let’s talk about a big promoter of complementarianism, C.J. Mahaney and Sovereign Grace Ministries, and how they failed to report sex abuse cases. The Washington Post has this to say very recently about former SGM Pastor Joshua Harris and the sex abuse cases which were part of a very public civil lawsuit:
In an interview, Harris said the isolation of Covenant Life, and of a small cluster of churches of which it was a part, may have fed leadership mistakes, including the decision of pastors — himself among them — to handle a child sexual abuse case internally instead of going to police.
A former Covenant Life member who helped with the youth group was convicted last year of molesting three boys in the 1980s. Trial testimony showed that the victims or their families had gone to church leaders for help and that the church officials did not call police. Harris said the thinking of the church was that such allegations should be handled as an internal, spiritual issue, though church spokesman Don Nalle noted that Covenant Life has contacted civil authorities in other abuse cases in the past.
This is new. If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time we’ve seen Harris publicly accept responsibility for not reporting sex abuse. This is what the SGM civil lawsuit was about – – the fact that they did not report. It is only because of the Statute of Limitations that the case was dismissed. Where are all of the church leaders who were staunchly defending CJ Mahaney and SGM pastors now? Why are they not demanding public apologies from their buddies they so fiercely defended and even wrote statements on CJ Mahaney’s behalf to show support?
Let’s not lose sight of Strachan’s claim: Christianity disciplines abusive men.
Why is it that I continually hear from several ladies each week about their complementarian churches excommunicating THEM because the church leaders (men) have sided with their abusive husbands who have put on a “Christian” facade and convinced them that the problem is his “unsubmissive wife?” Why is it that certain church denominations have court processes which do not allow women to testify on their behalf? Tell me, whose side will the men be on?
Meanwhile, the wife, who often was a stay-at-home mom has no recourse but to separate/divorce without support from the church, and she and the children are often left in dire housing/financial situations. A typical situation I read is the ex-husband remains at the church under good graces and eventually remarries with full blessing from the church. I lost track of how many times I have read this story.
Mr. Strachan continues:
Those who work against biblical manhood and womanhood, who fight the Scripture’s teaching as marginalizing, are in fact undermining the last cultural defense that still stands against male predation and sexual suffering.
This is where Strachan has it wrong. The Bible is very clear on how to take care of abusers. However, those who have been church leaders have dropped the ball and have NOT followed Biblical rules on ridding abusers from churches and keeping victims and the oppressed safe. Not only that, they have allowed abusing and corrupt pastors to remain in pulpits.
I see that women are marginalized, ignored, and left to defend themselves in their abusive marriages in churches which wear the complementarian banner. Complementarianism/Patriarchy is no safe haven for an abused woman. I do not see that a woman’s personhood is honored, valued, respected when the leaders of these so-called Biblical gender distinctions can’t even use all the Bible verses as they define their roles.
The “my-wife-is-unsbmissive” claim is the security blanket abusers use to convince church leaders of their innocence.
The more I hear stories of spousal abuse and spiritual abuse in churches, the more I am convinced that this bad interpretation of male headship and enforcing it so strongly within the church is pushing men into roles in which they take control of their wives and call it “Biblical.” And because of how men’s roles are labeled in these churches ie, “spiritual head” of the family, and the hierarchical structure of authority, church leaders tend to defer to men FIRST and women often do not get a fair hearing. Their words/testimonies are dismissed as soon as the husband makes the “my-wife-is-unsubmissive” claim.
As long as CBMW continues to perpetuate unbiblical roles of men and women, women will be kept in harm’s way. The leaders connected with CBMW have NOT done a good job speaking out against pastors who abuse their authority over women. Sadly, I don’t think we will have any success in keeping women safe from abuse until men stop assuming an authority that dominates and rules over women. If a man refuses to submit to his wife as she submits to him, there is no Biblical marriage.
And furthermore, while Strachan seems to say that the church saves women, frankly, I’d say that I’m hearing much more outrage about abuse in the secular world about abuse than in the church. I hear of Christian women with no place to go except PUBLIC shelters. Where are the churches who are housing and financially supporting/defending abused wives?
You tell me, does Christianity discipline abusive men? Are women safer in church?
266 thoughts on “Owen Strachan Speaks out against Fifty Shades of Grey and Says that Christianity Disciplines Abusive Men”
Brenda, I haven’t read the book either, but from what I’ve heard form those who have I think the dialog in the satire video I linked above is far superior writing.
Missdaisyflower, I’d argue that the meaning of slavery in the Bible matters for a very simple reason; it allows responsible people to understand and apply what the word really means. Now you are correct that many in the past used the word carelessly and without proper understanding of the historic and Biblical context. However, that doesn’t mean that the proper understanding of the historic and Biblical context is of no value. Take a look at Mark’s comment; he struggles with Paul’s tacit permission for slavery because the word is to modern ears linked inextricably with the experiences of Frederick Douglas. An understanding of history and Scripture helps there.
The same applies with ‘ezer. It is used for Eve, for God’s help (this is the predominant use), and sometimes for the nonexistent help of pagan gods. So it can refer to one’s wife, one vastly superior, and one nonexistent or demonic/vastly inferior, but not for a person equal in rank in the eyes of the ancients helping another. If I were to argue from the usage of the word for a particular arrangement of authority among the sexes, I’d have to argue that the helper is superior, not equal or inferior.
Of course, you can’t get out of Genesis 3 without realizing that such an understanding would have been completely implausible to the ancients, and it runs into a buzz saw of law in the Torah as well. And so we have to assume that Moses was simply using ‘ezer as “helper” without any particular indication of relative status.
Sorry, but the evangelical feminists have left a stink bomb in the room with that one. There are reasonable arguments for egalitarianism, but that is not one of them.
Even assuming Mark and others of his persuasion are correct in reading Paul as requiring that wives subjugate themselves to husbands, where is it written that Paul became the new Moses? We may be wise to learn from Paul, particularly if we limit our application of his teaching to the same factual circumstances he was addressing. However, the circumstances in which we live are not the same as the circumstances to which Paul addressed himself. It may be that we can apply Paul to circumstances he does not specifically address, but we can do so only by noting the principles upon which his specific prescriptions are based. We cannot woodenly apply Paul’s instructions with regard to a specific circumstance, the full facts of which we often do no have, to any and every situation where we believe we can identify the most tenuous of logical links.
I will go further. Jesus, not Paul, is our authority. Just as a state court trial judge is bound by the pronouncements of the Supreme Court of his or her state, so also we are bound by the pronouncements of Jesus. However, just as the pronouncements of another state’s Supreme Court are at best persuasive, so also we may look to Paul as somebody who speaks persuasively, but without the binding authority of, say, the Old Testament Prophets.
If Paul actually meant to teach what some are ascribing to him, then I personally afford the same persuasive authority to him as the U.S. Supreme Court might afford to some traffic court judge sitting in (fill in the most remote and insignificant county and state you can think of).
Still, inasmuch as it is possible to reconcile Paul to Jesus, I will grant a large degree of deference to Paul. I am only left wondering, why even look to Paul when we have Jesus? Why do we need the Law of Paul when we have access to the Law of Love Himself written on our hearts.
Gary, Paul’s epistles are in the Bible. Now you can try and parse things out and say you’ll believe the Gospels but not Paul or Peter, but do know that you’re departing from the historic understanding of all orthodox churches since Christ, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant.
Besides, Peter, who is believed to be the main source for the information in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, endorses Paul’s writings in 2 Peter 3. It all goes together, really. Christ quotes the Torah, the books of poetry, the Prophets, and refers implicitly to the books of history as he points out Israel’s historic abuse of God’s prophets. God gave us all of this for a reason and binds it together. Why would we want to ignore any of it?
Please allow a final rant on this book/film. A mention of the film showed up on my FB feed a while ago. I expressed my objection to it, but noticed the film had been liked by a woman who is a public school teacher, Duggar fan, fan of the duck call people etc.
My wife made sense. Her words: I would not let my child alone with someone who likes that crap. I love my wife, God, and my family. I dislike comp, egal, BDSM and most of this century. Thank you for letting me rant.
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Keith Blankenship your wife is cool, I like her.
Guest: Yep she is wonderful!
You say I am departing from the historic understanding of all orthodox churches since Christ, Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant. Well not, all historic churches since Jesus. The Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches all came along some decades and centuries after the Resurrection. I would contend that the fellowships Paul established had no hint of an inclination he was authoring Scripture.
I view the traditions of the Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant Churches as being even less authoritative than Paul. I’m not so familiar with the Orthodox church, but I deem the Catholic and Protestant traditions to have been quite corrupt since at least the time of Augustine of Hippo.
Besides, I’m not really rejecting Paul. I’m just rejecting the historic and, to my mind, corrupt, interpretations of Paul. I definitely reject the conservative evangelical hermeneutic that, in effect, substitutes a Law of Paul for the Law of Moses. I find it fairly astonishing that, though few still turn to Paul to defend the practice of slavery, they see no problem with reading him as mandating roles for women which are subordinate to those of men.
Gary, perhaps you’d like to name a few churches that selected a narrower canon than they did at Nicea and tell us how it worked out for them. I would personally argue that there are churches that effectively eliminate portions of Scripture from their canon, and also churches that effectively or officially add documents/persons to the canon of Scripture. However, you’ll not find too many who officially count books as outside the canon of Scripture. When you find them, I’m pretty sure you will also find some pretty repulsive parts of their theology that would have been contradicted by…..the Scripture they eliminated, or in the case of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, modified. (they add “a” to John 1:1, suggesting that they’re in effect polytheistic, to eliminate the clear witness of that verse to the Deity of Christ)
Moreover, there are clear indications that ancient churches felt that the apostles were being extremely authoritative and their word was treated as coming from God in some cases. For example, the council of Acts 15 set a precedent that many hold to this day, and there is the case of the Bereans carefully checking Paul’s speech to compare it with the OT.
For that matter, there are numerous cases where Paul asserts very plainly that what he is saying is expressly the will of God–and those churches preserved those letters as indicative of the same. So for you to argue that they really don’t belong in Scripture betrays on your part (a) a lack of awareness of what’s in them and what it means and (b) a lack of awareness of the cultural context.
Now I don’t discourage reading the Gospels, but instead of bad-mouthing the epistles and such, maybe try to….understand them?
“maybe try to….understand them.” Well, exactly. Those who would substitute a Law of Paul for the Law of Moses are quite mistaken, and I reject the misogynistic understanding that flows from their application of a mistaken hermeneutic to the Pauline corpus.
How does one rebut the idea that the popularity of 50 Shades amongst women proves the Patriarchalists right?
“How does one rebut the idea that the popularity of 50 Shades amongst women proves the Patriarchalists right?”
Easy. It’s non sequitur. Makes no more logical sense than to say that the popularity of pornography among men proves that radical, man-hating feminism is right.
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Re Bike Bubba’s post.
Bike Bubba, I don’t think it’s up to Christian egalitarians to necessarily make a case for the “help meet” or “ezer” word or whatever it was. The problem is gender complementarians define and teach that the “help meet” / ezer word means God designed women to be lower to men and to be their servants.
The egalitarians are just pointing out that “ezer” does not support the compelemtentarian position.
I think the onus is on the gender comps to prove their case about “ezer,” not for egals to prove some case about it.
Keith B said
Proves them right about what?
I can guess… they probably claim that women secretly want strong men and to be dominated. I would assume that’s one of their points.
The reply above you got from Gary W was good.
A few thoughts I have about it.
I’m a woman. I do not have strong feelings either way about 50 SOG or about bondage kink.
I have no desire to get into bondage themed sex, but my view is if a married couple is into that, and it’s consensual, that is just their way of getting turned on, for another couple, a turn on might be expressed by rubbing whipped cream all over their partner’s body. I don’t think consensual bondage is any different from whipped cream foreplay.
Just because some women may be turned on by 50SOG does not mean all or most women are. As I said, I have no desire to experiment with it.
Nor does it mean that because those particular women may find consensual kinky sex a turn on mean they want it to turn real and to actually be controlled or raped by a man. Part of the appeal in the kinky sex from what I have read is that the submissive one (which can be a MAN in these relatinships), can say “No” at any time, and when they do, all acts must stop.
In some of these relationships, the man wants to be the submissive and the women to play the dominant.
But even in cases where the woman is the S, she gets to decide how far the couple goes and the D man is supposed to respect it. So the woman S is still in charge of all bedroom activity – not the man. This runs contrary to what some of the sexist patriarchy guys teach, because they say the woman WANTS the man to be in control at all times and/or that the man should only have the power, and none for the woman.
(Daisy above is me, missdaisyflower. I changed my screen name in my Word Press profile, which I did not know I could do until today. I saw the option listed on my WP profile settings page.)
Gary W: I agree, but it seems women are the target audience, and the only people I know who are going to see the swill are women. I can see this phenomenon as supporting the idea that women are weaker, less discerning, etc.
I think the target audience is young women. Everyone that I know says–nope, not reading or going to see the movie. My daughters have both said they will not see it..
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Well, as I said before, Sadism puts the “S” in BSDM. I don’t think any Christian should support sadism. But I can see this easily being used to support a variety of “Patriarchal” views.
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I left you a reply a few posts above (it was previously in moderation because I changed my screen name, which made the blog think I am a new person, here but I’ve posted here as Miss Daisy Flower).
“But I can see this easily being used to support a variety of “Patriarchal” views.”
I would assume that most Christian patriarchalists are sola scriptura?
How does pointing to what they believe is evidence of women wanting to be conquered by men, which is a Hollywood film based upon a secular book, honoring to the principle of sola scriptura?
It seems strange, off, and inconsistent to me for a group of “Bible believing” Christians to point to trends insecular culture to make claim makes some kind of support for a view they consider “biblical.”
Does the Bible teach that all or most women want to be sexually dominated by men or controlled by men? No, it does not. They just assume it does, and at that, because they are taking secular trends and views about women and reading them back into the Bible. They are not sola scriptura but probably claim to be.
Where in Genesis it states that a woman shall turn to and “desire her husband,” that is a result of the fall (it is not a virtue) and means that women will seek to replace God with a husband
That is, rather than look to God to meet their emotional, financial, and physical needs, women will have a tendency to put a human man in that place and many men are all too happy to exploit that neediness in a woman.
Secular culture is happy to bolster this neediness in a woman by Prince Charming and Fairy Princess type books, movies, and things like “50 Shades” where the man is in charge, rescues a woman, makes all the choices for the woman, and takes away the woman’s agency.
Women are told they should want and seek after this sort of situation, they are encouraged to seek a Prince Charming who will honor them, take care of them and protect them, rather than being taught to fend for themselves and make decisions for themselves…. women such as myself who don’t buy into this anymore get told we are hags, man hating feminists, etc.
Christian culture fosters women to believe, further, that this sort of thing is God’s intent and purpose, that a woman should want and allow a man to lead her and be in charge of her.
And that was not God’s intent for women at all but was a result of the fall.
So, if a woman like me says, “Nope, not buying this anymore, I see right through it, and the Bible does not support it” we get shamed and lectured by main stream conservative Christian culture that we are going against God’s design for us, and they accuse us of being brain washed by secular feminists.
If it is true that it is primarily women who are drawn to 50 Shades, and I’m not disputing the assertion, it may be that what we are seeing is evidence that ours is, in fact, a female hating, female destroying culture. Here’s how it works:
We hunger and thirst for love. We are created that way. If true love is withheld, we form a bent or disordered understanding of the nature of love wherein all attention is perceived as being good attention. If the only attention we receive is of a negative character, then that negative attention, which is not love, may nevertheless come to be perceived at a deep heart level as love.
Thus, if the primary attention a young girl receives from her father is when he is ordering her around, criticizing her, spanking her and generally, may I say it, DISCIPLINING her, it will be deeply written on her unconscious heart that this is what love looks and feels like. This experienced normal will become her identification of love.
Having had such a disordered view of love written on their hearts, should we be surprised that women who have been so-victimized and so-traumatized would be attracted to a book or movie that draws them into fantasies of the only experience of perceived love they have known?
If my thesis is correct, then we should not be surprised to discover that large numbers of women who were raised under “Christian” patriarchy are flocking to 50 Shades. I personally would be surprised if this is not the case. It may also be that the dynamic I describe helps to explain why it can be so difficult for many women to walk away from abusive spouses and boyfriends. I don’t suppose we shall ever really know–at least not this side of eternity.
If patriarchists justify their domination and subjugation of women on the basis that women are weaker, less discerning, etc., is that not tantamount to a rapist blaming his target on the basis that she dressed too provocatively? Worse, where it is the Patriarchists themselves that teach women to tolerate dishonoring and dishonorable mistreatment, are they not in the same moral position as a man who promises positive attention to his girlfriend if only she will dress and behave provocatively, and who then, after raping her, blames her for having engaged in the very behaviors he had insisted upon?
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Hahaha so when men watch porn all christians bash them
when women watch porn you blame their father?!!!!
when will women learn to take responsibility for their own actions…
typical christian, women can do no wrong nonsense.
Jonathan Bee, you are a troll.
You were just trolling at the other blog today or yesterday.
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Actually, JB, I expect men who have been taught by their fathers to dishonor women, to treat them as objects, are more likely to fall prey to the temptation to view pornography than would be the case had their fathers taught them to honor and respect women. I further suggest that fathers who are “Christian” Patriarchists do worse damage than unbelievers. At least unbelievers aren’t communication the idea that their misogyny is the very Will of God.
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pointing holes in your ideology equals troll…
typical women are always right.
Regarding Troll’s comment of:
“Hahaha so when men watch porn all christians bash them!”
I’m going to treat that seriously, despite the source of the comment.
In my reading – and I’ve read a lot of Christian blogs and books and listened to various Christian pod-casts about dating, porn, sex, marriage, and such topics – Christian men do not get “bashed” over pornography usage.
On the contrary, the majority of commentary I see from famous preachers or average talking Christian heads on blogs is to express sympathy for Christian men who use porn.
When Pat Robertson (Christian host of Christian TV show) discusses male porn use, he always feels sorry for the men in question. Robertson frequently likens porn use to alcohol addiction.
He often says, “Pity the poor American man, who is surrounded by scantily clad women all around him, on bill boards and magazines.”
-As if such men are helpless and cannot control their thought lives.
We women see scantily clad males in Calvin Klein ads on the street, but we don’t always lust after them.
Christian sociologist Mark Regnerus wrote an editorial about two or three months ago – one dripping with apologies for Christian male porn users – saying that single Christian women should give up biblical sexual ethics and go ahead and marry a male Christian porn addict.
When some of the women left comments saying they disagreed and found Regnerus’ comments unbiblical and so on, some of the males (porn users themselves, I take it), cried and whined about not “receiving grace” from women about their porn habits.
Well, I don’t see many male Christians extending “grace” to Christian women who are into books like “50 Shades.”
I do however see a lot of Christian media persons condemning and criticizing Christian women who have read 50SG, or who plan on seeing the film.
There is actually what appears to me to be a double standard, where most Christians express pity or sorrow for male Christian porn addicts and stress out the yin yang how there is hope for breaking the addiction…
But, Christian women who like romance or erotica novels get shamed and scolded up the wazoo for having sexual desire or getting turned on by sexy novels.
I once saw a televised sermon where the man preacher did tut tut Christian men for looking at dirty magazines and say “stop that, men” but that lasted for about a minute and a half.
After that, this same preacher spent about what seemed like 10 or 15 minutes lambasting Christian women for liking Harlequin romance novels.
Clearly, there was much more outrage from this male preacher for women reading romance books than there was for men who wank off to “Playboy” sites or magazines.
Christians seem fine with the stereotype that all men are visually oriented and want sex, but, they feel very uncomfortable acknowledging and accepting that women are also “visually oriented” and also want and like sex.
Matter of fact, I just saw a woman Christian writer who was interviewed on the Christian program “700 Club” the other day who had written a book about ’50 Shades of Grey’. She did some research and wrote a book about it.
The author was saying one of the very reasons 50SOG has become somewhat popular with some Christian women is that most Christians / churches ignore female sexuality (and most Christian churches are controlled by men).
Most Christians do not want to discuss that most women, like most men, also like sex, have sex drives, and experience sexual desire.
Nothing is said or taught on the topic of female sexuality by Christians (or very rarely).
Therefore,Christian woman (some of them) may turn to erotica books to learn about sex or to get their jollies.
At the end of the day, the way this author summarized, conservative Christian churches (and which are male controlled – remember, men in churches do not allow women to preach, teach, or lead) are contributing to the very popularity of the 50 Shades book most of them are now protesting. Irony.
all the feminist men i know think porn is fine…
and the patriarchalists or whatever believe in honouring women…
I cannot imagine going into a marriage knowing that the man I would vow to spend my life with was already addicted to anything, much less porn. Someone telling Christian women to take pity on them, OH NO. Run, run as fast as you can in the opposite direction, it will only get worse.
Yea, I’m sure a lot of men who are into patriarchy believe in honoring women, but do they do that in practice? How do they?
Julie Anne, at best, the family patriarch will “honor” his wife by treating her like a child. Which means he ends up treating his daughters like his wife, complete with, e.g., daughter-shaving-daddy’s-beard sessions. It’s all very twisted.
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last i checked its women encouraging women to warch porn not men…
men like cbmw etc crtique men for porn…
and none of them pretend femalevsexuality does not exist because they actually read the bible properly
So long as I’m being a blog hog anyway, let me suggest that there may be a reason many pastors and prominent Christian men give pornography a relative pass, at least where men are concerned. It may well be that when it comes to the issue of men (as opposed to women) availing themselves of aids to auto-erotic stimulation, there is a line of hypocrisy they have the decency not to cross.
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“and none of them pretend femalev sexuality does not exist because they actually read the bible properly”
Christian gender complementarians in particular do not discuss female sexuality, especially not in adult females, or or only in very narrowly defined contexts when it is discussed.
The only thing Christian ladies are told in complementarian circles is when they are teens to stay virgins until marriage.
Also, Christian complementarians wrongly teach that single adult women are sexual temptresses who must be avoided (but they conversely teach that married adult women are frigid).
Other than that, female sexual desire is ignored by Christians, especially the majority of the conservative ones, and most especially by the CBMW (complementarian) variety.
One of the reasons CBMW and other complementarian groups teach skewed views about female sexuality is that they construct or buy into current secular views about female and male sexuality, such as, men supposedly want sex but women want emotional closeness. They think all women prefer knitting scarves to wanting sex, because women supposedly only want “emotional closeness.”
They get these views from secular culture, not from the Bible.
Ergo, most conservative Christian sermons and blogs I’ve seen:
1. (To Men)
browbeat and guilt wives into having sex more often with their husbands.
One never hears a male pastor telling his male listeners to “put out” more for their wives. It’s just assumed by many conservative Christians and complementarians that women hate sex, don’t want it, and that men want it and women refuse to have it, or regard having sex as an awful chore they must perform.
(One example: preacher Mark Driscoll, who tells women that the Bible commands them to perform oral sex on their husbands.
When will I ever read about Driscoll telling husbands to perform oral sex on their wives, or do whatever activity the wife enjoys in the bedroom? Never, that’s when, because this does not fit their stereotype of women and sex.)
And, ergo, most conservative Christians and blogs I have seen:
2. (To Women)
Will tell the husbands to serve their wife by cleaning dirty dishes once a year without being told, read love poetry to the wife, and listen to her talk for hours (ie, meet the wife’s emotional needs)
Sex is never part of the equation in part 2, only in part 1.
last i checked its women encouraging women to warch porn not men…
It depends on what type of woman. Many contemporary secular feminists will encourage other women to have casual sex often and view porn, but a lot of other women disagree with this.
I have not yet seen a. Christian women or b. women egalitarians condone porn or advise women to use it. (Many in groups a. and b. actually argue against pornography as being degrading to women and in contributing to human sex trafficking.)
I do, however, fairly often see male Christians want a pass for their porn usage, and they constantly shame women for reading romance novels.
Now how is that suppose to work. As single women we are the evil sexual temptress then after the I do’s suddenly become anti-sexual beings. That is a scratch my head way of thinking. Since I am divorced, does that put me back in the evil sexual temptress category again? lol
“the patriarchalists or whatever believe in honouring women”
Actually, patriarchalists by definition believe they are above women and women are below them in a hierarchy. That is not honouring towards women. Whether the view is correct or not I discuss on my blog, but to regard someone as permanently, 24 hours a day below you is not honouring.
They also have plenty of clauses to which women they will honour even by their limited definition. They exclude women from other religions, women who have slept around, women who are Christians but don’t believe exactly as they do, women who believe exactly as they do but have slipped up living it (disobeyed a father or husband)… In the end, they give their you-are-less-than-me-but-I-will-“honor”-you-anyway” honor to no or almost no women, while “we honour women” actually mean to treat women, in general, with at least equal respect..
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“Men like cbmw etc crtique men for porn…”
Where? If CBMW has one anti-porn article for men, I would love to see it.
Also, I’d like everyone in this discussion to please remember that there is a difference between a man and a woman watching porn, much like there is a difference between a black and white person defending a work-reserved-for-whites-only policy.
The majority of porn shows women being degraded and abused, and having to accept violence. What happens to porn actresses during scenes is actually violence, in which mostly very young women get into not knowing how rough it will be. (So rough, that most of the get addicted to drugs, and most of them don’t last 3 years.)
Women hardly ever watch how men get degraded, and porn statistically does not have remotely the same effect on a woman’s view on other women, or her effect on men, as it has on a man’s. If it was only about “stuff women get sexually excited over” versus “stuff men get sexually excited over” then we could treat women’s erotica and men’s the same. But the mere fact that women’s erotic books are written without abusing someone – unlike the average porn video – and contains actual relationships makes the two different.
Note: I do not call women’s erotica okay, but it is not nearly as cruel and entitled as male pornography. I will not read erotica, but have seen pornography that allegedly turns men on as a way to understand sources of misogyny.
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Here’s an article from CBMW on porn:
Click to access 06-Lambert-Article.pdf
Regarding 50 shades, I am probably repeating myself, but it strikes me that beating the tar out of my wife a la Mr. Grey probably ain’t the best way of washing her in the Word a la Ephesians 5. Just sayin’.
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Daisy, regarding evangelical feminism and the word ‘ezer, the problem with your argument is that the evangelical feminist argument is not that it’s not a good argument for complementarianism. They were claiming it’s a good argument for egalitarianism, and if you look at its usage, it’s clearly not.
Now there are arguments on both sides that do hold some water, but this ain’t one of them.
Bike Bubba, you say, “Now there are arguments on both sides that do hold some water, but this ain’t one of them.”
Well, O.K., but it’s not like you get to issue such decrees. Even if this were a court of law, only the judge gets to make binding determinations (subject to appeal of course). You are in the role of a litigator who gets to try to persuade, but you do not get to bind others with your assertions.
Or so I assert.
Gary, take a look for yourself. Here’s a word search.
I see the CBMW article on porn is very inadequate. It does not tell men what to do, it preaches only at single women about to marry. It says: “Don’t marry a porn addict, because he is an adulterer.”
I would call “adultery” the most counter-able and limited idea in porn criticism. There are way bigger reasons to critique porn. Religious sources with a lesser commitment to man-as-the-boss see that porn treats women like objects, actions in porn are often hateful towards women, and this inclines men to treat real women less well. There are also non-religious sources that notices the same thing – radical feminism makes better anti-porn afguments than CBMW, too.
Combine that with the way CBMW preaches “submission”, and what submission means in porn, and I believe a half-way useful CBMW article on porn should tell married wives of a porn user husband how to think about submission to degradation. The comp preacher that comes the closes to handling submission to pornographic acts is Driscoll, with his advice on how women should “minister” to husbands, allegedly by 1 Peter 3…
A woman has the right to do what she wants, view porn or take part in it…
It is her freedom.
Good to know you support radical feminism.
Women stars also earn more than male ones, thus the porn industry is anti male as they don’t pay genders equally for the work…
Thus you clearly also support treating men as lesser….
Oh, jonathan bee, don’t you have anything else to do besides come here and troll?
Lol pointing out the anti God nature of feminism = troll.
Retha, whether you view it as adequate or not, it is worth noting that it took me only a few minutes to demonstrate that your original contention–that CBMW does not interact with the topic of porn–was false. In other words, you were throwing out some rather reckless allegations in your earlier comment.
Maybe instead of doing that, you might do well to acquaint yourself with what CBMW actually says instead of proceeding to shred that straw man. I’m no huge backer or detractor of CBMW, by the way. I just think we ought to address the issues honestly and fairly.
I view Strongs as being an authority on how words GOT translated, not as an authority on how they OUGHT to have been translated. Even when it comes to the question of the acceptability of the various translations, we do well to heed the admonition to test everything, hold on to what is good. The treatment of “ezer” appears to be one of those words that maybe got translated to fit the theology, which is backwards.
Gary, Strong’s is neither an authority on how God’s Word got translated, or how it should be. While some do add linguistic commentary to the concordance, Strong’s is strictly speaking simply a way of tracking the usage of a given Hebrew, Greek, or Elizabethan English word in the Scriptures.
Honestly, Gary, you fancy yourself a scholar, and cannot bring yourself to admit that Strong’s is simply a listing of words and where they are used?
The question is really simple; is the usage of ‘ezer, which is mostly in reference to God’s help, consistent with the argument that the word implies an egalitarian relationship?
Unless I want to simultaneously elevate myself to God’s position while lowering myself to that of a demon or idol, I can’t do that without completely ignoring how the word is used in Scripture. I might as well claim that “Pit bull” means “Maltese.”
“Strong’s is strictly speaking simply a way of tracking the usage of a given Hebrew, Greek, or Elizabethan English word in the Scriptures,” and “Strong’s is simply a listing of words and where they are used?”
Um, how is that different than my assertion that Strongs is an authority on how God’s word GOT translated, as opposed to being an authority on how they OUGHT to have been translated?
Either way, as to the question of the infallibility of Scripture, I certainly do not deem any translation to be infallible.
But, let me test your scholarship. The word “office” appears in several places in the English translations of the New Testament. I readily admit that I am not a good enough scholar to figure out what the Greek word for office is. Can you help? If you can identify the Greek word for office, I will concede that you are a more accomplished scholar than myself.
Gary, the difference is simply that an authority on how things got translated ought properly to be a dictionary of the original languages a la Kittel or BDB, not just a listing of what is.
And if you want to find out what words are translated “office” you need merely follow the link I provided, choose your preferred translation, and look it up. Just like I did, and I found that in the context in which the word is used, the hypothesis that it refers specifically to an equal is completely implausible.
Put simply, if you want to be considered intellectually honest, you have some homework to do, and I’m not going to do it for you.
Good, you were able to use a secondary resource to figure out that there is no Greek word that is, as you put it, specifically equal to the English word office. Now, let me see if you can tell me how we can possibly justify using the word office to translate the following inerrant and infallible text:
τὴν ἐπισκοπὴν αὐτοῦ λαβέτω ἕτερος.
πιστὸς ὁ λόγος. Εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ.
Should you be able to rise to the challenge, then also explain to me why the word office would be used instead of say, task or ministry. I will expect a complete parsing of the relevant term or terms. You will receive extra credit for grammatical analysis, double extra credit if you can do it without referring to lexical aids or other secondary resources.
To whomever it is that is commenting about porn (I can’t remember his name and I’m very busy right now), Christian programs such as “Family Life Today”, “Focus on the Family” and other Christian ministries have done in-depth programming about the extensive amount of porn use in the conservative Christian church, including among pastors, elders, deacons and other church workers and church members. This is a really serious sin problem and should not be taken lightly.
“And if you want to find out what words are translated “office” you need merely follow the link I provided, choose your preferred translation, and look it up. Just like I did, and I found that in the context in which the word is used, the hypothesis that it refers specifically to an equal is completely implausible. ”
I used to hang around some bible translation blogs and I learned so much. One thing I learned from the interactions there is that linguists make much better translators than theologians who studied the language.
Ancient languages are tricky. And many Lexicons do not even include the “secular” meaning of words…this is especially true for the NT. Koine Greek has much fewer words than English, btw.
There are some very wicked translations that are now viewed as the normal. These actually ADD words that are not there, were never there. Addding “Office” is one of them. When the truth is these are functions within the Body of Christ. Church state translators had to have “office” for obvious reasons. Power is everything in that venue. It should not be. That is why there is such a tension and we make up words like servant leader. Or my favorite: Ruling Elder.
Another one that glaringly changes the meaning of the text is “symbol of” in 1 Corin 11. Not there. Nada, Zip. Was added by translators because it was unheard of for women to have authority over their own head. But that is actually what Paul wrote.
Another word added in Eph 5:22 as “submit” was added again after 5:21. Why? The point was already made that we are to submit to ONE ANOTHER and then relationships are addressed.
All of these translator additions are about an agenda. However, I do believe that those who know the Lord and have the indwelling Holy Spirit see past them for the real meaning which has nothing to do with power over others, position, etc. Things our Lord said the Gentiles do and is very wrong for those in the Body.
I would not want to be these translators standing before the Lord one day.
Another example in Hebrew is the word “desire” in Gen 3. Teshuqa. Every single Lexicon, etc, will focus on desire. And that is usually where the scholarship stops. The real meaning of the idiom changes the verse to the point it can no longer be used as a club. Teshuqa was translated as “turning” up until around the 1300’s when a Monk named Pagnino changed it to desire.
Eve ‘was turning” to Adam (instead of God) and because of that…he would rule over her. That Changes everything the “traditional” translation communicates about women. No longer should we believe that Eve’s desire was to rule Adam and because of that he ruled over here. It is exactly the opposite. Eve made a horrible choice and sought her relationship with God through Adam.
Lydia, your point about trusting the linguists more than theologian/translators is so good. The theologians have so much at stake they simply cannot be objective, even if they should be able to get beyond the deficiencies inherent in their areas of expertise. They simply cannot risk being excluded from what C. S. Lewis describes refers to as the Inner Ring, what we Americans might call the Inner Circle (tip of the hat to Tim). See http://www.lewissociety.org/innerring.php. See also Lewis’ book “That Hideous Strength.” For anybody who has not already done so, I recommend reading Lewis’ Space Trilogy in the following order: That Hideous Strength, Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and then That Hideous Strength again.
Really, I begin to suspect that, as translation is driven by theology, theology is driven by a perilous drive to be in with the in crowd. Indeed, everything about the way “church” is done is driven by the allure of the Inner Ring.
“Really, I begin to suspect that, as translation is driven by theology, theology is driven by a perilous drive to be in with the in crowd. Indeed, everything about the way “church” is done is driven by the allure of the Inner Ring.
And as far as older translations like KJV (which is pretty good considering) you don’t just want to be in the inner ring, you want to be able to live in peace and perhaps not loose everything. Translations were political in many ways. King James desperately need to prove his Protestant bonafides and saw a new translation as a way.
I read the long preface to the KJV and you get the feeling they were following orders and were concerned about that. But can you imagine not using “office” in that translation when the King was titlted “Defender of the Faith” and a king of the church…his bishops were “princes” of the church. And that is just one example. We assume there was total freedom in translation when we should not assume any such thing. The “theologians” are usually the worst offenders. I would rather have a secular linguist with no agenda except historical accuracy.
It took a scholarly linguist to point out the Hebrew scribe (jot and tittle) problems in Isaiah 3:12.
But the grand narrative in scripture is there….we are never to seek to be above others in the Body. We do not pretend power and position are simply “responsiblity” when they are really self serving. Have learned nothing from the historical kings of the church?
Bike Bubba said: “Retha, whether you view it as adequate or not, it is worth noting that it took me only a few minutes to demonstrate that your original contention–that CBMW does not interact with the topic of porn–was false. In other words, you were throwing out some rather reckless allegations in your earlier comment.”
BB, read my words again. I never said they do not address porn, I asked where they do. You are correct – they do. I also believe many do it better.
I realize that Jonathan Bee is trolling. (Anyone who thinks “a woman has the right to view porn and act in it = radical feminism = the view of the people here” is not worth answering.) But he said something that could be answered – not for his sake but for the sake of others anyway.
He mentioned men and women are not paid the same in porn. Anti-porn feminists (radical feminists are much more likely to be anti-porn than liberal feminists, and although radfems have other views I don’t share at all, I find them sensible on pornography and BDSM) say the reason men and women are paid differently in porn is that men are mostly paid to orgasm, women to be abused, tortured and degraded. That is not the same job.
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Here’s Tim Fall’s blog article about human trafficking in the porn industry.
Sad and bad. Very informative. (Many of those people in those films are victims of felony crimes and the perpetrators should be in prison.)
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From Tim Falls article to which Michaela links:
Trafficking in persons has three constituent elements:
The Act (What is done) Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons
The Means (How it is done) Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim
The Purpose (Why it is done) For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.
It does not take much imagination to identify ways in which this applies to women who are under the influence of “Christian” patriarchy. Is it not trafficking to compel daughters to stay at home to serve their fathers until such time as they are handed off to another man in an arranged marriage, after which they are essentially expected to become baby factories? As Tim points out, we are not innocent when we stand by, watching this happen, without doing what we can to intervene. Yet where are the churches that are speaking out?
I just saw the definitive meme about Fifty Shades on Facebook, so I had to pop back and share it here. “Fifty Shades of Gray is only romantic because the guy is a billionaire. If he was living in a trailer, it would be an episode of Criminal Minds.”
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I believe that is true. That is the part that women are flocking to. Good looks and lots of money–an evil combination for manipulation and control. The spider gets the fly.
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Does Christ submit to the church? He owed her nothing but freely allowed Himself to be crucified on her behalf. Many abusive, blasphemous husbands abdicate the crown of thorns, happy to force their wives to wear it if unwilling. Then they crucify her! And say, “I’m Jesus Christ! Why won’t you worship me?”
Not all Complementarian husbands act this way. John Piper says some ridiculous stuff–like many others. But he has never defended wife beating. Not sure the “no true Scotsman” fallacy would apply to him. I’m a Republican, but not a racist; a Christian, but not selfish and stingy; a pro-lifer, but not into pipe bombs or shooting abortionist doctors. Every large movements draws its share of kooks and extremists.
In many ways I’m more of a Complementarian than an Egalitarian. Definitely not a feminist. A leader in the feminist movement defines radical support of abortion as the litmus test for being part of the feminist movement. So Rush Limbaugh (not a Complementarian) is right–they are feminazis. I want no part of such wickedness. Maiming and killing others is wrong when “good Christian” husbands do it to their families and it’s wrong when nasty, screaming harpies do it to their kids.
Is owen just obsessed with this series? Cause he wrote another article on it that sounds like he didn’t even read it…or watch a movie…or see a summary somewhere. I’m so tired of hearing these guys act like all women are fond of this and drawing incorrect conclusions from an incorrect assumption about a series they know nothing about.
In he knew article he tries to tie it to me too with a wave of the hand about consent not being the important thing. Madness.