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Owen Strachan Speaks out against Fifty Shades of Grey and Says that Christianity Disciplines Abusive Men

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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

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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:

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owen strachan

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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)

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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.

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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.” 

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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. 

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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.

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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?

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266 thoughts on “Owen Strachan Speaks out against Fifty Shades of Grey and Says that Christianity Disciplines Abusive Men”

  1. Anonymous2 said,

    We’ve heard of “slut shaming,” now there’s “women’s porn shaming.”

    This touches on one of my pet peeves.

    While the number of Christian women viewing porn is on the rise, they are currently still out-numbered by Christian men on this front.

    I get irritated when I see this subject discussed on blogs, and invariably, some Christian man, who thinks he’s being clever, seeks to minimize the porn problem among the men by yelling, “But what about romance novels??? Those are the female version of porn.” You can always count on some man to raise that point on a Christian blog when this topic arises.

    But no, romance novels are not porn.

    Porn is porn. Porn almost always involves real, live human beings, sometimes forced against their will, into performing sex acts on camera.
    (I have read of cops trapping pedos by using computer generated kid smut. But most of the time, real live people are used.)

    Whereas your average historical bodice-ripper mentions sex via text on the page, leaving all the activity up to the imagination of the reader. (I have tried reading some of these romance novels before but did not enjoy them.)

    I think Christian men (or men in general) are threatened or intimidate to find out that women have standards for men that some men cannot meet and they are finding these men in romance novels (e.g., the guy should be sensitive, daring, romantic, wealthy AND have a great body), but women have been subjected to this comparison game for ages (some men compare women to air brushed 21 year old models in magazines). I don’t think men like having the tables turned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am still curious as to a defense for BDSM or ’50 Shades” from a Christian and Egalitarian perspective. Maybe the absence of it here means there is none, and it has no defenders among those holding such views. If this is the case, I am glad.

    I have repeatedly condemned toilet-mouth Driscoll.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bike Bubba said

    One possibility–something that ought to have something of an “ick” factor–is that our culture has so few examples of real masculinity or femininity, people go for anything that has even a hint of it.

    This is one of the very points raised by Christian gender complementarian groups such as CBMW.

    I don’t think people need to be taught how to be a man or how to be a woman, or that they need examples of manhood or womanhood. Christians are constantly putting on “How to Act Like A Man” conferences or sermon and so on.

    There is no one right way to be a man or a woman.

    The typical American Christian man (who attends a gender comp church) is going to assume that being a “biblical man” means things like loving NFL, NASCAR, crushing a beer can in one hand, flexing his biceps, chewing on chewing tobacco, and ordering his wife to make him a sammich, slapping her on the behind and saying to her in front of his pals, “Yer smokin hot, baby”.

    But you have men who are more sensitive, artistic, who have no interest in sports, who would rather play an acoustic guitar, watch the stars at night, or write poetry.

    One you insist that “being a man” must look like “X,” then all the men who don’t fit “X” are marginalized and left out. The same things happens when people try to define womanhood.

    Gender comps typically define biblical womanhood to mean, “Married person with kids who makes sammiches for her man, who weeps at pretty sun sets, loves the color pink, and who is very passive, unassertive, quiet, emotional and girly.”

    I’m a woman. I have never married or had a kid. I hate pink (no offense to those of you who like it). I have never been a girly girl. If I marry, I have little interest in making sammiches for my husband, but would want him to make ME a sammich a few times a week.
    I don’t fit the CBMW ideal of “biblical womanhood.”

    God said that a result of the fall, of sin, is that women would have a desire for their spouse (if they have one).
    That desire is partially the basis for the popularity of the Prince Charming stories. It’s not that women want to be abused, but they want a take-charge, competent, financially stable man to care and protect them from the scary world.

    Life is easier if you have a guy taking care of you, making all the decisions for you, and paying for everything, but this also leaves you, the woman, more vulnerable to being abused, if the guy you are looking to for protection/help is a jerk or self absorbed.

    Instead of looking to God and trusting God to get their needs met (which is what God wanted for women), God warned that women would gravitate to protection via a husband, and God was saying that is not a good thing – it is a result of the fall.

    But Christian gender comps say that is a good thing. (They are teaching that sin is a virtue.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. @ missdaisyflower:

    Maybe all the ladies reading 50SoG are checking it out only because everyone else keeps talking about it?

    Well, I do know that a friend of mine read it for this reason – but she didn’t like it, in fact she made fun of how horrible the writing was afterwards. (And all the excerpts I’ve read – yeah, it’s pretty laughably bad.) I read Twilight solely for the purpose of making fun of it. But I think it would be overly optimistic to say that all the people who read it are doing it for this reason, though I’m sure some of them are.

    Like

  5. “Keith Blankenship said

    FEBRUARY 3, 2015 @ 1:09 PM
    I am still curious as to a defense for BDSM or ’50 Shades” from a Christian and Egalitarian perspective. Maybe the absence of it here means there is none, and it has no defenders among those holding such views. If this is the case, I am glad.”

    Why do you feel that Christian gender egals would want to defend BDSM?

    So far as I remain Christian, I am an egalitarian.

    I don’t necessarily support BDSM, and I can’t say as though I am opposed. It may depend on several factors.

    Why do you assume being an egalitarian amounts to having to support or defend sexual deviancy, or various forms of sexual expression?

    Like

  6. Bike Bubba said

    What I will argue is that those who repeatedly select alcoholic/abusive/mentally ill partners (and I know some people who have, unfortunately) may have personal preferences (height, weight, hair color, personality traits, chest, legs, tuckus, etc..) that correlate really well with abuse of various kinds. Hence they inadvertently select their next abuser because

    There are books and blogs out there that explain all this.
    You might want to try the following books:

    -“Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft
    -“The Nice Girl Syndrome” by by Beverly Engel
    -“The Gift of Fear” by DeBecker

    These books (and others) explain why and how some women keep ending up with men who are abusive. I’ve already touched on one of the several reasons in a post I made above.

    Like

  7. missdaisyflower: I don’t think that being egalitarian would necessarily mean one would support BDSM. I would assume the opposite. I don’t know what Christian Lib/Progs would say. Maybe Tony Jones could tell us.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Keith Blankenship, said,
    I cannot see how one can make a Christian, Christian Humanist or Egalitarian case for these practices.

    I don’t understand why you keep bringing this up. Why are you expecting Christian egalitarians to defend or support kinky sexual stuff, like bondage and so on?

    As I said above, there are conservative Christian and Christian gender complementarian men who get caught dabbling in S&M sex and other things (child molestation, affairs, etc), so being a gender comp does not keep men from participating in such actions.

    Should we be asking how would a conservative Christian or Christian gender comp defend S&M?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keith Blankenship said,

    Maybe Tony Jones could tell us.

    I don’t know what Jones would say about it, but I will guess he probably thinks it is wonderful.

    Jones wrote a post saying “Christians should celebrate pre marital sex.” Yes, he sure did.
    _Is It Time for Christians to Celebrate Pre-Marital Sex?_ (by Tony Jones, on Patheos site)

    If Jones is peachy with fornication, I’d guess he’s fine with S&M too.

    Jones also had a “spiritual wife,” if the online reports I’ve seen are true. So adultery appears to be on his plate too.

    Various sites say he was having an affair on his wife, left the wife, moved in with the mistress, and calls her his “spiritual wife.” Jones’ compass in regards to sexual mores seems pretty skewed to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. missdaidyflower: I sensed a little sympathy for ’50 shades” much earlier in the thread. It must have been a misperception on my part, as there have been no takers.
    I find BDSM repugnant, and marvel at its acceptance. I assume from the responses here that egalitarians are not rushing out to see this film, which is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ‘Spiritual Wife” that one is a real hoot. Does he think anyone who is not a full-fledged sycophant believes him or accepts his explanations?

    Like

  12. I wonder it the Emergents have a flannelgraph presentation regarding “wives’ v. “spiritual wives” to help all the rest of us to understand it?

    Like

  13. Bike Bubba said

    Daisy, I think the point Patterson is trying to make is that the man’s wife’s audible prayers for him after the husband was a total jackass shames the husband into repentance.

    I know that point Patterson was trying to make and don’t need it explained.

    What he did is awful, and there is no justification or excuse for it. I have all the facts of the story I need to know to arrive at a conclusion.

    All of what you said above does not excuse Patterson’s actions or the husband beating the wife.

    At the end of the day Patterson did not get this woman help, get her to a shelter, advise her to to go to one, but he is conveying the notion that it’s AWESOME when men beat up women, because maybe just maybe the man will feel remorse later (especially if he hears his wife crying or praying) and run down a church aisle to accept Jesus.

    Not to mention this plays into fantasies of abused women. In the majority of cases, women hope “if I just pray enough, my man will stop hitting me.”

    In reality, most abusive men do not change, hence, they are often encouraged by counselors to get away from the punk and divorce, and go to a woman’s shelter for a while.

    You said,

    “And, for reference, I do know of a situation in my life where my forbearance in a tough situation did bring a young man to repentance. So it’s not entirely preposterous”

    I never said it never happens.

    I am sure you can find examples where a man comes to his senses after he sees his wife cry, but most of the time, it does NOT happen. Stories like that keep women trapped in abusive marriages.

    You said,

    but let’s be fair to his argument, K?

    You are really missing the point and acting as a domestic abuse apologist.

    There is nothing “fair” about his view that a woman should sit about in a marriage, enduring abuse, because maybe the husband will feel bad. Most abusers are very entitled and do not care about the woman’s feelings.

    Read the book,
    -“Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Keith Blankenship

    I sensed a little sympathy for ’50 shades” much earlier in the thread.

    There was one person who said she has friends who are into S and M life, and Julie Anne said she doesn’t see the issue if both persons in a marriage consent to it.

    I don’t have strong feelings either way on the issue.

    If I’m being asked to provide a defense of it.

    I don’t see what the problem is if a couple chooses together to do it together.

    I read about a couple where the man likes to dress up as Bat Man and his wife likes to dress up as a circus clown. I find that weird, but that is their idea of sexual foreplay.

    They are not hurting anyone else, or each other in doing so. I’d imagine it’s the same with the tying each other up with ropes stuff. It’s not something I’d want to do, but if other people (who are consenting) want to do it, I don’t see the problem.

    Like

  15. Re: The Patterson story, I think God does certainly change hearts, but this sounds like one of those revival tent stories to me. Also, I can’t see a a good argument for submission to physical abuse as evangelism, but I am not an evangelical as the term is commonly used. I am also a little bit of a cynic.

    Like

  16. missdaisyflower: You found the post that got me started on my tiresome request for a Biblical/Egalitarian defense. Thank you, as I was beginning to think i was just mistaken. My question is even in the presence of consent, how does one justify bondage, domination etc. from a Christian perspective. I think JA’s response was that she did not know much about BDSM. What would really surprise me is if anyone who has been an abuse victim thought this was OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Keith Blankenship said,

    Re: The Patterson story, I think God does certainly change hearts, but this sounds like one of those revival tent stories to me

    Keith, 99% of the time, a woman staying with an abusive man and praying for him, submitting to him more, simply does not work.

    Julie Anne has a link on the side of this blog to “A Cry For Justice.” In addition to reading the books I gave the titles to above, I’d recommend you spend some time there, just reading the dozens upon dozens of stories by Christian women who have been coached to stick out an abusive marriage.

    Christian wives who are in abusive marriage are often told by other Christians to remain in the marriage because people just like Bike Bubba, Paige Patterson, and whomever, fill their head with the false hope and false teaching that love, prayer, faith, lots of patience, and more submission, can change their husband and make the man shape up and turn to God. But it rarely, rarely does.

    And Christians who support this will cite the one or two anecdotal stories they know where a woman’s love changed a beastly man – but this rarely happens, and this thinking is the basis for a lot of Hollywood movies and books where a woman’s love is shown to change a harsh man.

    As I said above, the Bible said it’s God’s goodness that causes a person to repent, not them allowing themselves to be abused for months or years by someone else. Some Christians could also make a biblical case that convicting an abuser with the Law is the way to point them to repentance.

    Non-Christian women in abusive marriages fall for the same thinking. They think if they can just love their husband enough, the husband will be shamed or moved to tears to change and stop the abuse, but it hardly ever happens. And these women waste years of their lives on these abusers.

    Like

  18. Keith Blankenship said,

    “My question is even in the presence of consent, how does one justify bondage, domination etc. from a Christian perspective.”

    The Bible does not clearly define what sex acts a hetero, married couple may or may not do.

    If a couple is into using tie up games, wearing masks, and such, I don’t see how the Bible prohibits it.

    It sounds as though you are wanting a “Christian Talmud Of Permissible Sex Acts,” and there is no such thing. God is pretty silent about these subjects.

    So you get a doofus like preacher Mark Driscoll who wrote a book called “Real Marriage,” where he tells Christians if anal sex and the like is biblical or not.

    Driscoll claims he gets questions on a frequent basis from couples wanting to know “is thus- and- so a sex act okay.”

    The Bible is pretty quiet on this stuff.
    You’re an adult. Your spouse is an adult. You decide together what you want to do and what you prefer sexually. You don’t need a Mark Driscoll or someone else to delineate this stuff for you.

    The Bible gets into this in that some topics are not black and white but grey (no pun intended). In such situations, Paul said you are to make up your own mind, and if you do not feel conflicted, it is not a sin FOR YOU to participate in whatever it is.

    Like with eating meat sacrificed to idols, Paul said, if that does not disturb you, God is FINE with you eating it, but if it causes you to squirm, it becomes a sin for you so, do not do it. I would guess this kinky, S and M stuff is the same.

    Like

  19. missdaisyflower: The difference is that BDSM ritualises abuse. It is analogous to one party to intercourse asking the other party to pretend to be a child.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Keith said: “The difference is that BDSM ritualises abuse. It is analogous to one party to intercourse asking the other party to pretend to be a child.”

    @keith Blankenship – I wholeheartedly disagree with you. You may want to talk to people who actually practice BDSM to see what their thoughts are. Maybe to you it would ritualize abuse. For many people it’s healing. It’s a way of processing, or just a new way to experience their body and its limits in a safe and loving environment. This woman wrote a blog post about it – you may want to check it out. Trigger warning – sex, rape, bdsm, etc

    https://defeatingthedragons.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/on-being-a-kinky-christian-feminist/

    Like

  21. “The point is that Patterson should have referred that wife to a battered women’s shelter or offered her other means of seeking help. The wife could have prayed for her husband from a safe distance if she chose to. And, I’m sorry, but there’s something skewed about “rejoicing at repentance” at the expense of that woman’s two black eyes. He should have been horrified not happy. It’s as if the husband had more value than the wife.”

    I think he should have gone to the husband and insisted he beat him instead of the wife. (lay your life down for another) He needed to make it clear it is to be taken out on him instead of a woman. (in the meantime, call the authorities….but the point is made)

    Liked by 2 people

  22. “Re: The Patterson story, I think God does certainly change hearts, but this sounds like one of those revival tent stories to me”

    Exactly. Patterson is somewhat famous for them. This story made the internet rounds years back and one blogger, who worked for Patterson at one time. had it on audio. That blogger is gone to DC and works for a senator last time I looked but not before he blogged on quite a few of Patterson shenanigans and privilege at Pecan Manor and even before. Including the seminary paying for a very nice tombstone for his dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Phoenix: I will respectfully decline your invitation to view the site. I see too much rape, DV and sexual assault in my line of work to want to go to a BDSM site.

    Like

  24. @keith – it’s not a BDSM site. It’s a blog of a Christian woman who is into BDSM. I’ll quote a couple paragraphs of it:

    “What I love about kink is how it exposes us as a couple. It puts the amount of love we have for each other and how deeply we trust each other fully on display in a way that more vanilla sex just doesn’t. For me, when I’m subbing, there’s an unbelievable amount of anticipation that is almost joyful. I don’t know what he’s about to do, or where this is about to go, but I know that I’m going to love it.

    The best part is that I have complete and total control over what happens. As a rape victim, I cannot overstate how much that means to me. When Handsome and I are in a scene, I know that if he attempts something that makes me uncomfortable I can put an instant stop to it– but that hasn’t even happened yet. While we’re playing, we’re attentive to each other in a way that we don’t quite attain when we’re having a missionary quickie. Whoever is on top is watching every single breath and twitch, and we’re communicating with each other more than any other time we have sex. And because I know he is watching me incredibly carefully, I’m free to let go; he’s pushed me in ways I didn’t think was possible, and that’s happened because I trust him and I know he loves me.”

    Like

  25. Phoenix: I am sorry i cannot read it. Thank you for your efforts but it troubles me deeply. I just read the first line. I am going to listen to some nice music now. Bye.

    Like

  26. @Keith – I wasn’t trying to trigger or annoy you. I noticed you had asked this earlier though and was trying to get an answer for: “I don’t think that being egalitarian would necessarily mean one would support BDSM. I would assume the opposite. I don’t know what Christian Lib/Progs would say.”

    Like

  27. Keith Blankenship said,

    missdaisyflower: The difference is that BDSM ritualises abuse. It is analogous to one party to intercourse asking the other party to pretend to be a child.

    That is only your take on it, though.

    Surely there are married couples who practice it but it does not become abusive.

    Like

  28. In regards to Bike Bubba agreeing with Paige Patterson’s twisted evangelism of spouse- abuse- as- conversion strategy, please see, Appendix B of this book, starts on page 217:
    _No More Christian Nice Girl_,
    link is to Google Books site, please see, Appendix B, page 217, “Abusive Marriages”

    Note that the advice the book gives (one of the authors of the two is a psychologist or psychiatrist, I believe) is to get out NOW (“If you are in a physically abusive relationship or feel at all endangered…”). The book is saying do not stay in the marriage and keep hoping and praying that God will change the abuser.

    Unfortunately, page 218 is omitted from that free chapter preview.
    Here are the pertinent parts of page 218…
    —–
    When abused Christian Nice Wives finally recognize what’s going on in their marriages, their next question is often, “But don’t you believe in the power of God to change him?”

    The answer is yes, God is powerful enough to change him, but in the Bible, neither God nor Jesus went around healing people willy-nilly. Whoever wanted to be changed had to cooperate in the process, and many times had to ask directly for what they wanted.

    …. So many Christian Nice Girls date, marry, and stay with emotionally damaged, abusive men because these women are holding on to the false belief that someday God is going to “get a hold of” and magically change him. Sometimes women look at the apostle Paul’s Damascus Road experience that Jesus will do that for their man; however…
    (the Google books link above continues on page 219)

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  29. Phoenix: I have just listened to some nice music and cleared my head. I still have not looked at what you posted because of some experiences long ago. I did not want to go to the site, but rather sought a statement of e.g. the egalitarian argument in favour of whips, chains, bondage, domination etc. I shall not look at the site.

    Like

  30. In my opinion for Owen Strachan to make such a sweeping statement that ‘Christianity disciplines abusive men’ is in itself a form of abuse and is an insult to anyone who has suffered this form of abuse. I gather if he said that ‘Christianity disciplines abusive men’ we are to believe it and that is the end of the argument.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Re: Patterson’s repentant abuser story

    Still waiting to hear from the actual couple in question that this really happened.

    Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock….

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I want to be sensitive to the fact that there may be those here triggered by abuse issues and see that BDSM falls into that category. I’m not sure this is the place to debate whether it is abuse or not because of the triggering effects. Thanks, all.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. I’d join you in asking Mr. Strachan to clarify how he thinks the church currently disciplines men (actual examples of discipline, not theory based on doctrine), but he’s blocked me from his Twitter account so I’ll have to be content watching your efforts from the sidelines. Go forth and fight the good fight, Julie Anne!

    Liked by 2 people

  34. There is a photo on this page of a teddy bear in a business suit holding a mask and a small pair of handcuffs (he’s supposed to be the main male character from the 50 SOG book).

    _Fifty Shades of Grey sex toys hit stores like Target_
    (link is to the business section of CNN news site)

    Hot Top is a store that markets to teens and college kids. From the CNN page:

    Fashion retailer Hot Topic sells tights with the Christian Grey’s signature sign off “Laters, baby,” written on them. And on Etsy, you can find plenty of t-shirts that say things like “Property of Mr. Grey.”

    Like

  35. I read about a couple where the man likes to dress up as Bat Man and his wife likes to dress up as a circus clown. I find that weird, but that is their idea of sexual foreplay.

    Daisy, Ewwwwww. that is weird. But, what people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, living room floor (while the kids are asleep or your my age and the kids are grown), kitchen table, back yard, wherever is their own business—IF they are in agreement. Violence is never appropriate and if one of the parties wants that they need to be referred to a professional for counseling.

    I did just think of the Friends episode when Monica and Chandler had an experience with a sock monkey. Whatever trips your trigger. If married folks got a little more creative, minus any violence, it would keep the romance going and maybe a better marriage. Violence and abuse are never a part of it.

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  36. Well, Tim, you can still tag him, you just can’t see what he tweets 🙂 Ask me how I know? If you tweet something to that effect, tag me in it and I will be sure to RT. haha

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  37. To: Keith Blankenship – Re: Yours of February 3, 2015 @ 4:28 AM

    You’ll need to read my comment “women’s porn shaming” in context. Go back to my comment of February 2, 2015 @ 4:50 PM.

    I am laughing at the crazy Christian publishing company that wants women to turn in their copy of 50SOG in exchange for a book about how awful 50SOG is. My guess is that only insecure husbands will take the publisher up on the offer. To me the publisher is just shaming women and doesn’t seem to understand that they are.

    Like

  38. JA, I tried to leave this tweet for him, but I don’t know if it went through. Feel free to RT if you think that will get it to him.

    Like

  39. Tim, it went through just fine and I retweeted it (which you should see because I haven’t blocked you). I’m sitting here laughing at the idea that a grown man is blocking you. What did you do to deserve that?

    BTW, Tim, Tony Miano has blocked me again. Remember a while back he unblocked me saying that seeing me on Twitter reminded him to pray for my salvation? I wonder – – – does he now think I’m a Believer? Or has he decided to stop praying for me? I just don’t know what to think about this. I hope I don’t lose sleep over this. haha

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thanks for checking the tweet status, JA. I think Owen might have chosen to block me because I wrote that guest post for The Wartburg Watch that pointed out how his proposal (pun intended) to replace dating and courtship with “Dateship” (his word) was a bad idea for women and men both.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Tim & Julie Anne,

    For every off-base celebrity Christian pastor out there, there are many influential Christians lurking on your sites, secretly cheering you on. Thank you for all you do to expose toxic thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. And, no, complementarians are incapable of protecting women, because they don’t think that women deserve respect. When I was a comp, I threw women under the bus all the time and thought I was doing the right thing.

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Anonymous2 said,

    And, no, complementarians are incapable of protecting women, because they don’t think that women deserve respect. When I was a comp, I threw women under the bus all the time and thought I was doing the right thing.

    Their views on what they assume the Bible teaches about women means they don’t really protect women.

    Due to their traditional views of gender, that men are supposed to be strong, Prince Charmings and protect women (who are dainty, helpless things) from fire breathing dragons, they like to think they are chivalrous.

    They have quaint, romanticized, old fashioned notions about the genders and how they think the genders are supposed to relate to each other (I think they get these ideas from secular culture, not the Bible).

    But when push comes to shove, and a woman comes to them saying she is having some kind of problem, especially if she is a wife who is being abused by her husband, they almost always will give her the same advice, which they believe is biblical: Go back to the husband and submit even more.

    Because, they think, your love, faith, prayer and/or patience can change your husband. (See my conversations above with Bike Bubba Re Paige Patterson to see examples of this).

    Complementarian views of women – that women must submit, be obedient like a dog to a master, that they are more easily deceived, are weaker, need a man’s covering, etc, causes complementarians to give lots of bad advice to women, and to uphold lots of bad expectations of them.

    Complementarians say they believe women are equal to men in worth, not in role, but how they actually treat women sends the message that they don’t even regard women as being equal in worth. The “equal in worth not in role” shtick is empty, a meaningless platitude, and paying nothing but lip service to equality.

    I wonder how many more decades before Christian gender complementarianism dies out? I don’t see how it’s sustainable anymore in this day and age.

    Like

  44. Strachan’s blog post, in a nutshell:
    “When I saw the 50 Shades trailer, I thought how so-called progressive Christianity believes the Bible is oppressive towards women, and how they dislike the Bible.
    1) It is not oppressive because men should follow the perfect example of Jesus.
    2) Christianity disciplines abusive men.
    3) 50 Shades of Grey, despite seeming exciting, is degrading.
    4) The gospel is the only hope for man-woman relationships.”

    My answer:
    Opening thought) I hardly met anyone who believe the Bible is oppressive towards women, and who call himself or herself a Christian, progressive or otherwise. Owen, please admit the existence of a multitude who do not find the Bible oppressive, they find your interpretation oppressive, and belief what the text really say is unoppressive and not what you claim.
    1) Your views are oppressive, because your ilk don’t tell women to only submit to perfection. Since no man is perfect like Jesus, it means wives sometimes have to submit to oppressive behaviour. The best of men have stupid and selfish moments when opposing them will be wiser than submitting, the worst of men are more abusive than you could imagine.
    2) See this blog entry that we are on. A hundred examples are given how Christians™ of your ilk do not protect women, how you choose the side of abusers.
    3) I agree. And however much the BDSM community want to disown it and pretend to the outside world that what they do is safe and sane and consensual, when they speak among themselves it is a story of predators and consent violations: https://christianrethinker.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/bdsm-is-not-safe-it-is-full-of-predators-and-cover-ups-for-predators/ (Note: This link has a trigger warning for descriptions of rape and graphic violence. It is not to a BDSM blog, but a blog entry in which I collected quotes from BDSM participants. Links from said blog entry are to where the BDSM community actually say these things. Following links from there is probably NSFW.)
    4) Why, Owen, is that your shortest and least fleshed out point? I’d say it is the most important. But you link it to ending with a sentence which, in your context but not the Bible’s, is arguably insulting of women. In a way you have plausible deniability, of course: In an article on how guys not like your group allegedly victimize women, and your group are claimed to be protectors, you end with an image of Jesus as the self-sacrificing husband of his wandering sinner of a wife. Wives are not, as a class, more likely to go astray than husbands, so why would women and not men need to submit to another sinner? For protection? No ways.
    If complementarianism clearly told women to only submit to a husband’s decision when they are 100% sure it is totally wise and from God, then I could say that it is about the best interest of women. But then, if a man is sure his wife’s will is totally wise and from God, he should submit too. And then we have egalitarianism.

    Liked by 5 people

  45. I am laughing at the crazy Christian publishing company that wants women to turn in their copy of 50SOG in exchange for a book about how awful 50SOG is.

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

    Not that it surprises me. Usual Christianese day-late-and-dollar-short dumb response. Though I was expecting a “Just like 50SOG, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” knockoff at some point — “50 Shades of Grace” or something. (Maybe for the Christian Domestic Discipline(TM) crowd?)

    Liked by 1 person

  46. And however much the BDSM community want to disown it and pretend to the outside world that what they do is safe and sane and consensual, when they speak among themselves it is a story of predators and consent violations

    Does the BDSM community remind anyone of the various Abusive Christianese communities in this respect? As in lashing back at any criticism with justifications of their own Righteousness? Except what do BDSMers use in their response barrage in lieu of Bible Bullets?

    Like

  47. Retha said,

    1) Your views are oppressive, because your ilk don’t tell women to only submit to perfection. Since no man is perfect like Jesus, it means wives sometimes have to submit to oppressive behaviour. The best of men have stupid and selfish moments when opposing them will be wiser than submitting, the worst of men are more abusive than you could imagine.

    I agree. Please see this for similar thoughts:
    _John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy_

    Liked by 1 person

  48. HUG said,

    Not that it surprises me. Usual Christianese day-late-and-dollar-short dumb response. Though I was expecting a “Just like 50SOG, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” knockoff at some point — “50 Shades of Grace” or something. (Maybe for the Christian Domestic Discipline(TM) crowd?)

    HUG, the irony is, 50SOG is already Christian in a manner of speaking, in the gender complementarian vein.

    I have not read the 50SOG book but have read reviews of it, and it talks about a woman submitting to a man in the relationship and the bedroom.

    Which is PRECISELY what many Christian complementarians already teach in their blogs, books, conferences, and sermons, that women should submit to their man, even so far as participating in sexual actions they don’t like, or even if they are not in the mood for any sex.

    For examples, scroll back up the page, to page 1 of the thread to see examples of Christian complementarians Mark Driscoll, Paige Patterson, CJ Mahaney, who think women should put out sex whenever and however the man wants it, and/or a woman should put up with abuse because it might win the abusive husband to Jesus.

    If you think about it, 50SOG book/movie is presenting the same views as Christian gender complementarianism. Both share the same element, the man as boss in the relationship and woman as obedient, submissive doormat, suffering the man’s abuse in the name of Love.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Retha: I agree. I wouldn’t class myself as comp or egal, but the actual implementation is what is important. The idea that one should submit to abuse for evangelistic reasons makes no sense.

    I like your idea of the 100% test. It provides an objective standard for decision-making. It also reduces the total field of decisions which are based on scripture, and is thus a deterrent to spiritual abuse.

    Thanks also for your BDSM analysis without putting the content of the link in your post.

    Like

  50. 4) Why, Owen, is that your shortest and least fleshed out point? I’d say it is the most important. But you link it to ending with a sentence which, in your context but not the Bible’s, is arguably insulting of women. In a way you have plausible deniability, of course: In an article on how guys not like your group allegedly victimize women, and your group are claimed to be protectors, you end with an image of Jesus as the self-sacrificing husband of his wandering sinner of a wife. Wives are not, as a class, more likely to go astray than husbands, so why would women and not men need to submit to another sinner? For protection? No ways.
    If complementarianism clearly told women to only submit to a husband’s decision when they are 100% sure it is totally wise and from God, then I could say that it is about the best interest of women. But then, if a man is sure his wife’s will is totally wise and from God, he should submit too. And then we have egalitarianism.

    Your whole comment is excellent, Retha. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  51. @Daisy:

    For examples, scroll back up the page, to page 1 of the thread to see examples of Christian complementarians Mark Driscoll, Paige Patterson, CJ Mahaney, who think women should put out sex whenever and however the man wants it…

    Remember when Chuckling Cee Jay did that pulpit story about demanding sex from his wifey while she was racked up with morning sickness? Like she always had to put out on demand, no matter what her health or condition?

    There was some speculation as to “Where did Chuckles get that idea?”

    My answer: PORN. Because in pornography the woman is always hot to trot and service the reader/viewer self-insert 24/7/365, no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. I think it was this thread (back on page 1 of the comments) where Bike Bubba basically says he is okay with the Paige Patterson spousal-abuse-as-evangelization tool, and he did not get that much push back from anyone on that, other than myself and one other person.

    A wife’s prayers, faith, being submissive, cannot change an abusive man, so it is irresponsible for Paige Patterson and other Christians to promote this idea that a wife’s actions can or will change an abuser.

    It’s like with drug addicts: the drug addict has to want to get better; a spouse praying that the addict give up the drugs is not effective. The addict’s behavior is not the responsibility of the spouse, anymore than it is in a case of abuse.

    I found this the other day when looking up pages to send to a friend of mine:

    _Paige Patterson on Domestic Violence_

    Quotes:

    Since pastors believe God can and will do things like that [heal a man from being abusive because the wife prayed for him etc], they can get a little generous with their “true” stories.

    The fact is, this type of miraculous transformation does not happen. There’s a reason. The problem with an abuser is not just a matter of getting “saved.”

    There are deep-rooted issues behind and underneath the behavior.

    While accepting Christ might motivate a man to find out why he is making the choices he is and might open his eyes to see the value of his wife, it’s going to take a lot more than a single spiritual experience to transform an abuser. Not maybe; definitely.

    Another problem is that this story demonstrates a commonly taught mistaken belief that God will force an abuser to change his behavior because you prayed about it (see my article “God Answers Prayer in Abusive Marriages” for more on this subject). If Patterson told this woman to do this, he was operating on erroneous theology and should be held accountable for the physical abuse she received.

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  53. missdaistflower; God does change people’s hearts, but just as with physical healing, he ordinarily uses means. In the case of DV, counseling can sometimes help people to stop. The Patterson story, as i wrote earlier, seems to be one of those tent revival miracle stories. I am not accusing him of lying, but it certainly has not been my experience/observation over the years that people change these behaviours overnight.

    Like

  54. I just read in Daily Mail that the movie was banned in Malaysia. It has been deemed sadistic.

    Like

  55. Keith Blankenship said,
    missdaistflower; God does change people’s hearts, but just as with physical healing, he ordinarily uses means.
    ——-
    God can change people, but the person has to cooperate with it, which is why Jesus asked sick people “Do you want to be healed” he did not usually just instantly heal them.

    Teaching that a woman can help a man to change is a fallacy and very dangerous and keeps women trapped in abusive marriages.

    If a man is abusive, it is not up to the woman to “change” him, in any way shape or form, not by using faith, prayer, whatever.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Just for the record, I have never participated in any BDSM activity.

    Not even fuzzy handcuffs and a feather?

    Like

  57. Brenda R: Nope. I wrote that because I post under my real name. I am not implying anyone else should, by the way. I got somewhat triggered by what another poster did, but it was not because of BDSM per se. We did have a young woman not far from here who died in a BDSM photo session. Strikes me as nasty, hateful, oppressive stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Keith,
    I am sorry to here of this young woman’s passing. I was mostly kidding with you. I was in quite a joyous mood yesterday, having seen God’s work in progress hits me that way and I was seeing it first hand. I did assume from your previous comments that you were not in favor of or a partaker in BDSM. I do not approve of or partake in willingly the kind of thing that would have brought anyone even to slight pain or oppression and don’t understand those who would want to give or receive such things. Sex was meant to be a beautiful pleasure between a man and woman who truly love each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Brenda R: Thanks for a little humor! As regards the young woman, the photographer had somewhat of a national reputation, while the victim had had a fair amount of trouble in her life. In my job I see so many people who seem to have been “thrown away” by society. I know I don’t seem like a sensitive person from my posts, but it breaks my heart to see a young person die as a crime victim, or commit a really serious crime at a young age. The victims of the crime are my first concern, but my Christian faith also makes me concerned with the perpetrators.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. The only shelter I’ve seen a male patriarch offer to an abused woman is Kevin Swanson’s Basement.

    Like

  61. lol Christian women and their hypocrisy…

    men are not allowed to watch porn etc, BUT how dare a man say we should not watch porn!!
    and our husband should support his ( sacrificial love)

    I hope young men leave this sick and anti-male religion.

    Like

  62. My former pastors/elders who shoved the comp doctrine down our throats failed to tell all of us that it’s the doctrines of men and specifically the doctrines of “Christian” leaders who have been accused left and write of sex crimes. As always, “Consider the source.”

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Julie Ann, you posted this question on Twitter, “@ostrachan @DennyBurk Why is it that you guys focus so much on wife submission w/o acknowledge husbands also submit to wives Eph 5:21?”

    Paul’s section on addressing relationships, as you stated starts in Ephesians 5:21, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Paul then talks about the application of “being subject to one another in Ephesians 5:22-6:9, in marriage relationships (wives be subject to husbands), parent/child relationships (children obey your parents) and master/slave relationships (slaves obey your masters).

    BTW – I’m not hereby arguing for the continuation of slavery (I’m staunchly against it) but if you are wanting to appeal to the text of Ephesians and what Paul is actually saying, then you need to stick to what Paul is saying.

    Paul’s application of being subject to “one-another” depends on one’s vocation/life-situation (marriage, child, slave). He is consistent with this application elsewhere (Col 3:18-19; Tit 2:5; 1 Pet 3:1-7).

    As a result, I don’t believe that given the textual evidence within the Pauline corpus, we can assert that Paul believed in mutual submission in marriage.

    Here is something else to consider, if you are going to be consistent with your approach of taking the statement “be subject to one another” over-literally by applying it woodenly across all contexts, then you would need to apply this to the parent/child relationship as well.

    Last, since Paul asserts that the marriage relationship between husbands and wives is patterned after Christ’s relationship to the church, you would need to assert that Paul is teaching in Ephesians 5:21 that Christ should mutually submit to the Church.

    The arguments for Egalitarianism versus Complementarianism ultimately are decided by one’s views on hermeneutics and how that intersects with one’s view of the inspiration of Scripture.

    I certainly think that people on both sides of the issue are believers and are loved by God and are a part of Christ’s kingdom.

    Like

  64. Dear Mark,

    Here is something else to consider, if you are going to be consistent with your approach of taking the statement “be subject to one another” over-literally by applying it woodenly across all contexts, then you would need to apply this to the parent/child relationship as well.

    As my own opinion, I think that parents should (to some extent) submit to their children. Paul seems to say as much, as I read him, when he tells fathers to be reasonable towards them, and not exasperate them.

    Certainly, parents need to have authority over their kids, while giving them more and more autonomy and responsibility as they grow up. But even when those children are small and utterly dependant, parents need to realize that their children still have rights, which they shouldn’t violate if they want adult offspring who are healthy, fully fledged persons.

    Last, since Paul asserts that the marriage relationship between husbands and wives is patterned after Christ’s relationship to the church, you would need to assert that Paul is teaching in Ephesians 5:21 that Christ should mutually submit to the Church.

    I don’t think that any of our earthly relationships will be exactly like that between believers and Jesus. While I realize that Christian marriage mirrors that relationship (in whatever sense that means), I don’t see how it’s necessary to map our obedience, or Christ’s authority, so strictly to the way to that husbands and wives relate. Or to map our mutual submission to Jesus submitting to us.

    Like

  65. “since Paul asserts that the marriage relationship between husbands and wives is patterned after Christ’s relationship to the church,
    That is your interpretation. Paul could not have meant that. Husband/ wife relationships began at creation. Christ and the church was only possible after humans sinned, after a Saviour lived on earth, died and rose.

    Paul repeats a group of “therefore a man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife” words that do not, in any of its other mentions (it is mentioned 4 times in Scripture) can be interpreted as talking of how the marriage is patterned after Christ and the church.

    And your assertion that submission is for slaves, not masters – Eph 6:9 say “Masters, do the same things unto them.” What things? The exact things the slaves were asked to do!

    Liked by 3 people

  66. Retha, take a look at Ephesians 5 for what is being referred to, as well as passages in John’s Revelation that indicate the Church as the Bride of Christ. You are correct that in our time frame, marriage seems to predate Christ, but keep in mind that John 1 and 1 John 1 indicate Christ being involved in creation. So it’s not as contradictory as you might think.

    I would agree with you that it is nonsense that submission is not for masters–Paul specifically gives commands to masters to remember that they, too, have a Master in Heaven.

    One other thought–hopefully that I’m not repeating too badly here–is that this reality speaks to the “50 shades” phenomenon specifically and BDSM in general. Lessee….if how I treat my wife models how Christ loves the Church, it would seem that tying her up and beating her would be right out.

    Yeah, another one of those “remember you too have a Master in Heaven” things, and I would further posit that if church leadership doesn’t get this, time to move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  67. Serving Kids in Japan,

    “As my own opinion, I think that parents should (to some extent) submit to their children. Paul seems to say as much, as I read him, when he tells fathers to be reasonable towards them, and not exasperate them.”

    That’s a logical leap to correspond Paul’s admonition to fathers in Ephesians 6:4, “do not provoke your children to anger” to essentially mean “be subject to”. How does “not provoking” equal “be subject to”. This is not a logical correspondence. This is eisegesis, whereby you are reading your own meaning into the text versus reading the text in its own context and letting it speak for itself.

    “Certainly, parents need to have authority over their kids, while giving them more and more autonomy and responsibility as they grow up. But even when those children are small and utterly dependent, parents need to realize that their children still have rights, which they shouldn’t violate if they want adult offspring who are healthy, fully fledged persons.”

    I agree with theses two sentences but while I agree with you, I don’t believe this is what Paul is talking about here. I think a lot of the time we try and get too much out of Scripture unnecessarily. All truth is God’s truth but not all things that are true are contained in Scripture. Sometimes I think people get themselves in trouble because they feel they have to support any and all truth from chapter and verse in Scripture, when in many situations this is unneeded. Something can be true but not be in Scripture. So let’s not feel like we always have to find justification for a position
    we hold from the text of Scripture. I certainly think if something is true it won’t be contradicted by Scripture but this is a lot different from saying we must always be able to argue for it’s truthfulness from Scripture.

    Back to what you said though regarding how parents relate to children,

    “parents need to have authority over their kids, while giving them more and more autonomy and responsibility as they grow up” & “children have rights”.

    That is certainly true and what’s interesting is that you still preserved the leadership structure of parents in your description of the dynamic. Why can’t you also preserve the leadership that the man (obviously the leadership dynamic is different than a parent/child relationship) has in the marriage as well? Why preserve it in one context but not the other when Paul so clearly shows that the man has a leadership role in the marriage. If there isn’t a leadership role that is uniquely for the man why would Paul repeatedly address wives to be subject to their husbands but never stating “husbands be subject to your wives”? Why did he feel the need to be so explicit in his addressing the wives in this specific context? Why would Paul feel the need to repeatedly tell husbands to love and serve their wives if there wasn’t a danger for them to abuse their leadership in the marriage for their own self-serving ends when (in your view) they weren’t leaders at all!?

    “I don’t think that any of our earthly relationships will be exactly like that between believers and Jesus. While I realize that Christian marriage mirrors that relationship (in whatever sense that means), I don’t see how it’s necessary to map our obedience, or Christ’s authority, so strictly to the way to that husbands and wives relate. Or to map our mutual submission to Jesus submitting to us.”

    While it’s not an exact 1-1 correlation, in Paul’s mind there is more of a direct correlation than not and because of that he drew the analogy. To put it another way, if there was so much discontinuity in the correlation then why use it? Why risk confusing everyone? Right now you are protesting the analogy (in how much it corresponds) to the point that the relationship/correspondence that Paul has made has virtually lost its meaning.

    Also I must vigorously disagree with you regarding Christ being “mutually subject” to the Church. This is impossible because of the meaning of the word “subject” or hypotassō (to place, or arrange under; to subordinate, to bring under influence). In what way is Christ to “voluntarily bring himself under influence” of our leadership? In what way is Christ to “place or arrange under” the Church when He is the head?

    You have to interpret Paul’s ideas in how he builds his argument and what he is basing it on. Paul is basing his admonitions on who to be “subject to” based on who is in a leadership role. Within the context of marriage, he argues from the Jewish tradition that the husband is head of his wife based on the Creation Order. 1 Corinthians 11:8, “Indeed, man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for the sake of woman, but woman for the sake of man.” This is why he argues in Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church.” He states the same thing in I Corinthians 11:3, “But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the husband[a] is the head of his wife.”

    Let me ask you a question. Christ is the head of the church. The church is not the head of Christ. Paul then uses that analogy and says that the husband is the head of his wife. There can only be one head (head of course has to be defined and is often debated). So whatever “head” (kephale) is, the husband is the “head” and the wife is not.

    So Christ obviously has a leadership role in relationship to the church and correspondingly the husband has a leadership role in relationship to the wife. It is in this context that Paul is asking all people to be hypotassō to those who are in leadership over them. Who exactly is in leadership over them depends on their vocation or situation they find themselves. Paul exhorts Roman citizens to be hypotassō to the Roman government because it was instituted by God, in the same way that he argues that the wife should be hypotassō to her husband because that (husband is the “head” based on Created Order) was instituted by God. Paul then calls children to be hypotassō to their parents because God created the institution of the family.

    So looking back on Ephesians 5:22 where Paul says, “Be subject to one another” it cannot mean to LITERALLY every single person otherwise his point is absolutely meaningless because hypotassō is a word that is always associated with leadership. What Paul is doing in 5:22 is introducing the idea that we are all called to be hypotassō in some form or fashion depending on our circumstances. If you are a husband you are called to hypotassō to the government, your church elders and Christ (and if you were a slave, though Paul said to gain your freedom if you could, you were called to hypotassō to your master as well). If you are a wife Paul is saying to hypotassō to your husband, the government and the elders. If you are a child you are called to hypotassō to your elders, your parents and the government.

    Paul does add another important nuance to the husband’s leadership by introducing the one-flesh partnership that existsn in marriage when he says in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, “Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God.” Let me flesh this out a bit further to see what you think (I’m borrowing from a doctrinal statement I wrote up years ago):

    Women and men were both created ontologically and spiritually equal because they were both made in God’s image and equally given the responsibility to have dominion over God’s creation (Genesis 1:26-28; Galatians 3:28; I Peter 3:7). God has also creatively and beautifully made man and woman to be different in their makeup, function, responsibilities and specific life purposes in order to glorify God and further His Kingdom while here on earth. We affirm these differences with the Apostle Paul when he said that “the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God” (1 Corinthians 11:3) because man “is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” Scripture while affirming that the husband is to be the loving servant-leader denies any superiority or inferiority whatsoever in the husband/wife relationship.

    The wife is of equal worth and talent with the man (Genesis 2:20, “I will make a helper suitable for him.” – Hebrew for “helper suitable”: ezer kenegdo meaning an equally corresponding help); is spiritually equal with man (I Peter 3:7, “a fellow heir of the grace of life”), is in a one-flesh union with him in marriage (Genesis 2:24, “and they will become one flesh”) and co-interdependent with the man (Genesis 2:18, “It is not good for man to be alone”) for, “In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God” (I Corinthians 11:11-12) and “the wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” (I Corinthians 7:4).

    The husband is not called to coerce his wife to follow his leadership but is to leave this in God’s hands and avoid all manipulation, threatening and any other method of coercing her to follow his leadership. Righteous men are to rise up and call their righteous wives blessed (Proverbs 31:28), they are to cherish them and honor them and are to treat them with all gentleness and tenderness.

    Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 2:25), husbands are to even “love their own wives as their own bodies” and are to “nourish and cherish” them “as Christ also does the church” (Ephesians 5:28-29). Husbands are to live with their wives “according to knowledge” (I Peter 3:7) “so that nothing will hinder your prayers”. Living “according to knowledge” is to act in a way to help meet her needs, promote her well-being, and to encourage the development of her own skills and strengths to reach her full potential for the furtherance of the family and Christ’s kingdom (Proverbs 31:10-31).

    A husband is called to regard his wife’s happiness and well being as part of his goal in leadership and view his wife’s needs as important as his own. Thus, the Godly husband is to avoid all suppression and repression of his wife emotionally, smothering micromanagement and constant unilateral decision-making. Decision-making in a Godly marriage should be a pattern of interaction between the wife and husband that rests on the fact that greater wisdom can be found in the two working together. The wife husband will in fact even encourages his wife to take initiative, by dividing up responsibility and delegating authority to her.

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  68. “And your assertion that submission is for slaves, not masters – Eph 6:9 say “Masters, do the same things unto them.” What things? The exact things the slaves were asked to do!”

    Once again, before commenting, I must emphasize that I think that the institution of slavery is heinous. Having said that, let’s look at Paul’s exhortation to slaves/masters in Ephesians 6:5-9,

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.”

    In verse 5 Paul says, “obey your earthly masters”. Now if according to you, Paul is saying that masters must obey their slaves when Paul says, “masters, do the same to them”, the master would no longer be a master and the slave would no longer be a slave. The authority a master held is precisely what makes him the master. If the authority is gone then he is no longer a master. Paul’s point would be meaningless if there is no leadership to submit to since everyone is on an equal playing field regarding leadership. If everyone has the same authority then there isn’t anything or anyone to submit to because we are all equal in leadership.

    Looking back at the text once again Paul’s transitional sentence between addressing slaves and masters is here, “knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. And, masters, do the same to them.” Paul is saying that we are to do good precisely because we are trying to please the LORD and not men. He goes on to say that whether you are a slave (under authority) or free (in authority/autonomous) you will receive a reward from the LORD for doing good. There is a parallel passage to this in Colossians 3:22-24 & 4:1 where Paul argues from the same basis.

    “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only while being watched and in order to please them, but wholeheartedly, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters, since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve[l] the Lord Christ. Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, for you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”

    Again, Paul doesn’t argue for the abolishment of the authority/leadership role that the master has in relationship to the slave, instead he admonishes to treat each other with respect and love while still operating in the authority structure that exists.

    Let me be transparent with you though, why Paul didn’t more directly call for the abolishment of the institution of slavery and why slave-owners in the church were not called to repent for owning slaves is something that bothers me and something that I am still trying to “process”. I will never come to the conclusion that slavery is not sinful so I’m still working through on how to reconcile all of this.

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  69. “Why can’t you also preserve the leadership that the man (obviously the leadership dynamic is different than a parent/child relationship) has in the marriage as well? ”

    Because as you said, the “dynamic” is different. Ezer kegnado is not “jr assistant”. It is co-leader, partner, comparible, etc. Ezer even has warrior connotations to it if you study it very deeply. God is referred to as an “Ezer”. And He is YOUR leader so how can He be an ezer?. You guys take the word “help” and translate it as “the help”.

    Your wife is not your daughter. It is creepy how some think of the marriage relationship. You are not diminished when your wife is equal.

    Liked by 2 people

  70. Mark, keep in mind that ancient slavery was not like the peculiar institution of the U.S. There were three ways ancient people became slaves; man-stealing (Joseph’s case), losing a war, and a debtor could sell himself into slavery. Note that the Torah (Exodus 21:16) and 1 Timothy 1:10 condemn kidnapping/man-stealing.

    So the slavery that Paul condones is not the inherited condition of having ancestors who were kidnapped from Africa, but rather a “safety valve” by which the poor could stay alive without resorting to crime or prostitution. Tempered by the prohibitions against adding to one’s slaves by force, allowing slaves to gain their freedom (1 Cor. 7:21), and prohibiting cruelty to slaves seem to point to a system that, at least among Christians obeying the Word, seems to be far more gentle on the poor than modern welfare systems.

    Not ideal, mind you, nor my desire for myself or anyone, but possibly less nasty than what we have today for the poor.

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  71. Mark, the problem with your interpretation of slaves/masters is that you do not live in the 1st Century. What Paul is writing there to “obey” is ILLEGAL now. Ask yourself why it is now illegal? Do you think “Christians” should want to go back to those sorts of caste system relationships that are PAGAN so they can follow scripture admonitions to that time and place? REmember, Gentiles love to “lord it over” as in the Greek chain of being….the structrure of their society. 1st Century Christians had to live within that culture and be the light of the world at the same time. Any Christian in the 21st century that wants other adults to obey them does not really know Jesus Christ or understand Him at all.

    So how would that passage work for us today? Would you go along with your boss at work if she wanted you to do something dishonest? After all, the bible says OBEY your earhtly masters. How about we live at peace with everyone to the extent we can?

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  72. Lydia, be careful with the evangelical feminist understanding of ‘ezer. First of all, no Hebrew word has two or more roots. They all have one, the root of ‘ezer being ‘azar, to help or succor. Moreover, the word does not necessarily point to any particular level of help. It is used both for help from the Lord (obviously a superior), and for “help” from idols–obviously nonexistent and inferior, being represented as demons. So to argue it specifically points to the help of an equal is foreign to the word’s usage. It simply means to help, regardless of the relative status of the helper.

    Moreover, it’s also contrary to portions of the Torah which portray the husband as having headship, including the provision that an oath by a wife could be approved or rejected by her husband.

    Put gently, there are portions of Scripture which can be reasonably interpreted as supporting evangelical feminism and egalitarianism. Any sober analysis of Strong’s 5828 and 5826, however, does not.

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  73. haha
    it is safe to question one’s belief if the idea of helping someone in authority offends them…
    they must also hate to want to serve God who is also in authority…

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  74. @ Jonathan Bee

    Go read _this page (about the Bible’s use of the word helper)_

    Yes, the view you mention is offensive – it’s sexism. You support sexism? And you support it under the guise it is supposedly biblical?

    I’m kind of agnostic these days myself. Used to be a Christian 100% but am only somewhat a Christian these days.

    God does not command or force anyone to serve him, it is not demanded of them. Comps, however, wish to force servitude on to women and shame them if they choose to not go along.

    Further, the complementarian position is such that women are told to be slaves to men by sheer virtue of their birth – women are born women, they cannot really change their gender. They have no opportunity to advance, not even by way of their talents and skill.

    Women are not given a choice to rise up and out of whatever position Christian men assign them.

    Your comment would be like telling a black American Christian, “How can you object to black people in the American past serving a white man on a plantation? You must also hate to want to serve God who is in authority, LOLOLOLOL.”

    Gal 3.28 says there is neither Greek nor Jew, male or female in Jesus, but complementarians keep wanting to make these distinctions and limit people based upon them.

    Liked by 1 person

  75. no because black people were neverbmentioned of having a different role.
    We are not supposed to serve God… read your bible if u think that…
    yeah by your rules God is A sexist if he was not one he would not have come down as a man…
    meh this should not surprising feminism is just pride…

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  76. @ Mark Hanson.

    I was repeatedly raped as a little girl and I never want a man being head over me again. I grew up in conservative Christianity and wanted to kill myself rather then be married to a female slave wanting Christian man.

    Yes, peddling the wife being submissive to husbands bible verses makes Christian men feel really good, but it makes many women and little girls feel extremely hurt, demeaned, and sick at their stomachs. It is slavery! You are not the one who has to do it!

    If your husband beats you, kiss his @ss, be submissive to him.
    If your husband wants sex and you don’t, have sex against your will, kiss his @ss, be submissive to him. The things that Christian men want from the female race are nothing the Arial Castro’s and Phillip Garrido’s of the world cant get on board with.

    And from what I saw in my own sicko family it is loser wife beating, little girl raping men who love Christianity because of the massively hurtful female submission bible verses. It doesn’t matter that it hurts women, it is women’s job to be hurt, to make Christian men feel good, that is why god put us here. I felt as a little girl like god was my pimp, and he liked me to hurt to make men feel good.

    My rapist really loved quoting his favorite book, the bible, his favorite bible verses were the female submission ones. My father, son of southern Baptist preacher and wife beater, his favorite bible verses were the female submission ones. In my thorough experience growing up in Christianity, it is men who want female slaves that love the female submission bible verses.

    Christian men don’t have to do it, but they love for women to have to. I cried so much as a little girl and teenager over what Christian men said to me, what christian men wanted me to do, and what the bible says about me. I wish Christian men would cry in shame of themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  77. @ Jonathan Bee

    no because black people were never mentioned of having a different role.
    We are not supposed to serve God… read your bible if u think that…
    yeah by your rules God is A sexist if he was not one he would not have come down as a man…
    meh this should not surprising feminism is just pride…

    Women are not told to have a “different role” in the Bible, that is something you read into it- but – my point is the same: people like you are assigning roles to people based on an in-born, and hence un-changeable trait – as in my example, it was dark skin, with you, it is female genitalia.

    Christians in America used the Bible to defend the practice of white owning black people as slaves, because slavery is not out-right condemned in the Bible, and there are passages that tell slaves to obey their masters. It’s the same concept. You’re using the Bible and distorting it to justify keeping women in slavery to men.

    I’m not a feminist, by the way.

    Gender complementarianism is just pride and male ego coupled with an unbiblical desire to control women, something Jesus said believers are not to do.

    Jesus being a man in human form was irrelevant. The point is he became a human being. The gender in which the incarnation took was not the major issue.

    Jonathan Bee, why do you want women to be in servitude to you and other men? Why the hubris, ego, and selfishness? The Bible tells you to avoid “lording authority” over others, but here you are advocating that. Why are you in conflict with the Scriptures?

    Matthew 20:25, 26
    But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
    26 “It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant…
    ——-
    The funniest thing to me is that
    1. as a single woman and a
    2. partial agnostic
    the Bible -and whatever it may say about the “roles of women” -does not apply to me in particular anyhow.

    But I feel sorry for the 100% Christian women who allow themselves to be limited or in some cases abused because they are taught that this sexist dreck is God’s design or that it’s “biblical”

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  78. bike bubba said,

    FEBRUARY 11, 2015 @ 3:27 PM
    Mark, keep in mind that ancient slavery was not like the peculiar institution of the U.S.

    Does the distinction really matter, since some white Christians in the latter 19th century were using verses that referred to slavery to defend its form in 19th cent. USA?

    This reminds me of an article I saw broadcast by some left leaning online paper saying that the radical Islamic group “ISIS” is not “real” Islam. I asked someone at their site what difference it made or not because I bet you that the members of ISIS consider themselves the only “true” representatives of Islam on earth.

    IIRC, ISIS has been killing other Muslims who are not the ISIS preferred brand of Islam? I know in the past that Sunni and Shiite Muslims have murdered each other.

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  79. MissDaisyFlower

    My grandfather actually thought black people were meant to be slaves, and quoted the bible for it. He also thought white women were smarter then black men.

    My grandfather (southern Baptist preacher) hated black MEN with a bloody passion.

    They were cursed to be black and slaves because of idolatry.

    We are from Louisiana.

    Like

  80. keep pretending the verse woman was made for man andvman not forvwoman does not exist…
    typical anti love attitude of feminazi’s

    Like

  81. jonathan bee said,

    FEBRUARY 11, 2015 @ 9:35 PM
    keep pretending the verse woman was made for man andvman not forvwoman does not exist…
    typical anti love attitude of feminazi’s

    Julie Anne, I suspected that his last post or two was trolling, this one clinches it for me.

    I’m not a feminist, Jonathan Bee. (I mentioned that in my last post.)

    Are you typing while inebriated? It sure looks like it.

    You said,

    “keep pretending the verse woman was made for man andvman not forvwoman does not exist…”

    That verse just means that God did not want the male gender to be lonely, that God created humans to be in need of companionship. It has nothing to do with a man being a boss or in charge over a woman.

    Even if you wish that verse to mean what you think it means (and I’m assuming I know what you think it means), it does not apply to never-married women.

    The Bible does not have all women unilaterally submitted to men, it only says both genders are to submit to one another (Ephesians 5.21), and later asks wives to submit to their husbands, not to all men… note it asks wives to submit, it does not say, “Married men, you may command your wife to submit to you.”

    I just saw a good web page that discusses that verse recently.
    _1 Corinthians 11:9, in a Nutshell by Marg Mowczko _

    Excerpt from that page:

    Some Christians believe that this verse teaches that women were made solely to serve men, and not vice versa. They hold this belief despite the fact that Jesus taught and demonstrated service and sacrifice (Mark 10:45), and that Paul specifically told husbands that they should act sacrificially towards their wives (Eph. 5:25, 28-29).

    ….Service and submission is not the sole responsibility of women. All of us, women and men, are to serve one another, submit to one another, and rescue one another from being alone. Mutuality, not hierarchy, is the New Creation paradigm.

    Liked by 3 people

  82. Jonathan Bee wrote – “typical anti love attitude of feminazi’s”

    Looks like someone forgot what Thumper learned from his father: “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

    Liked by 2 people

  83. Ewwwwww!!, Tim. That was funny. My daughter did tell me that she read “50 Shades” to see what all the hype was about. Everyone she speaks to online was gaga over the book. She said it was the worst book that she had ever read and wasn’t even well written. She also said that she didn’t read 2 or 3 because she wasn’t putting herself through any more torture reading them. So I can say that the theater’s won’t get either of our money.

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  84. Mark Hanson says, “I must emphasize that I think that the institution of slavery is heinous.” Yet he subscribes to an interpretation of Paul that subjects wives to involuntary servitude, however benevolent. I submit that the problem is that people Mark and those whose teachings he adopts read authority into scriptures where they should be interpreting everything in light of the commandment to love.

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