Troubling Tweet: The Gospel Coalition Promotes Unbiblical “Gender Role” Teachings

The Gospel Coalition (TGC), Kathy Keller, Domestic Violence, Complementarian, Marriage, Headship


 

purple ribbons

So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body.  Ephesians 5:28-30

***

Today, I want to open up the discussion on the following tweet which was sent out by The Gospel Coalition (TGC).  I believe the author of the quote is Pastor Tim Keller’s wife, Kathy Keller.

TGC has made complementarian marriage to be a primary doctrinal issue so much that if you disagree with complementarianism, some will even go as far to suggest that you might not understand the real Gospel (another way of questioning your salvation without being blunt).

 

The Wartburg Watch recently posted an article, Do the Complementarian Mandates of Submission and Male Leadership Attract Domestic Abusers? I believe that the complementarian mandates do lay the groundwork for abusers. And then abusers also use their interpretation of the Bible to continue their domineering, abusive authority posture in the home. This sometimes can lead to violence, both physically, emotionally, verbally, and spiritually.

I cannot help but notice that out of all of the women who have contacted me about their destroyed marriages due to domestic violence, 100% of them were part of churches which taught complementarianism. I do not believe this is a coincidence.

 

 

At the bottom of this tweet, you can see my response:

 

 

 

 

These comments came from the SSB Facebook page and I thought they were really good.

When someone points out problems with the gender roles (aka. rules) it’s turned around to say that we “just don’t don’t trust enough.” But for survivors of abuse in complementarian marriages, that trust has been used against us. We trusted God, we trusted our spouses, we trusted the “rules”–all to our detriment. “Just submit” is an evil command if she is being hurt. “Love your wife” is a meaningless command if the abuser is allowed to define their own feelings. “Don’t be a gossip” is an isolating command because it silences a victim from talking out their situation (most cannot put the word “abuse” to their situation for quite a while). “Just trust” guilts a victim into remaining in a dangerous situation. If safeguards are not built into a system, then it is just a setup for abuse.

And the “character of God” allowed the crusades, the inquisition, the holocaust, and a host of wars, famines, plagues, and ethnic “cleansings.” How narcissistic to think that the God who allows such suffering throughout all of human history MUST spare you specifically, even if you follow teachings that leave you vulnerable. (Source)

 

TGC facilitates abuse because they are comp. Their name is also a total misnomer as they add to the gospel so it is not the gospel they preach and they are not a coalition as they exclude some believers. If they cannot even speak in a clear and straightforward way about their name, why should I trust them in anything?  ~Donald Johnson

 

122 comments on “Troubling Tweet: The Gospel Coalition Promotes Unbiblical “Gender Role” Teachings

  1. I don’t think comp doctrine is what Paul had in mind about the gospel when he said, “I determined to know nothing among you except Christ, and him crucified.

    TGC, if they want to keep using that name, need to ease off this stance they’re taking, big-time.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. “TGC has made complementarian marriage to be a primary doctrinal issue so much that if you disagree with complementarianism, some will even go as far to suggest that you might not understand the real Gospel (another way of questioning your salvation without being blunt)”.

    JA, the latter part of your quote is the consequence of Lordship Salvation.

    It is not the Gospel. LS is coercion using the threat of hell fire to get people Religious and Working to justify themselves. It is Rome Light, Phariseeism and is not the message of the NT.

    They should change the acronym to TFGC, because the news they are proclaiming is false false false.

    It appeals to the flesh.

    Only sinners need a Savior.

    “Yes, BUT…”

    “Yes, AND”.

    No.

    It is finished.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The only divinely created gender roles I can think of aren’t defined by the Bible. They’re defined by the biological exigencies of reproductive processes.

    Like

  4. Thank you for posting this. I’ve had all the “trust” and “submit” statements thrown at me. AND NOW the man I married claims to not be a Christian but he dissuades his lack of love by not taking any responsibility for his behaviour. He actually blames the pastors either locally or even via the internet for misleading him … so now he I am not privy to his spiritual life. Oh, and many ‘church’ people seem to condone his character??
    That’s why I am not in one of the local “c”hurches.

    Like

  5. I liked Donald Johnson’s comment re: how they are adding to the Gospel and making it no Gospel at all. Paul in Galatians speaks to this, and doesn’t mince words, and in verse 6 says that they were deserting Jesus and turning to something else. It really causes division and just complicates the Gospel. Some “good news” ☹

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The character of God, demonstrated through Jesus, involves things like compassion, provision, empathy, forgiveness…as well as blistering words of contempt for the hypocritical, hard-hearted, “Correct Doctrine” religious leaders.

    When the Comps convince you, you start to struggle with whether or not God really is loving. I had myself convinced that there was a good chance that I must be reprobate, since I couldn’t reconcile my idea of love with what was being taught. I began to think that it must be I who was wrong. It really messes with your head (not to mention your heart, soul, faith, etc).

    Like

  7. sorry folks, all I have seen in years and years of reading schlock from Christian women about submission and gender roles…are written by women who are loved and not abused. Usually their husband is a big name guy who probably treats the wife quite well, so for her…it works. I resent the words on this subject by N L deMoss as she has never even been married!! Seems to me…you can talk all you want about gender roles in the correct context, as I do believe there are differences, HOWEVER spell out CLEARLY how these concepts are misused in an abusive situation, and that abuse is real and needs different treatment. if you have never lived in an abusive marriage, pretty much keep your mouth shut on this issue.

    Liked by 6 people

  8. Persephone, thank you for sharing your experience. I think it is a common one. Once someone assumes a headship role and then uses Scripture as a weapon, you start challenging your own beliefs. This is really head-trippy stuff and sadly, the downward spiral of emotional and spiritual continues until the wife can get into a safe place and connect with her loving Abba Father who cares for her physically and for her soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. f you have never lived in an abusive marriage, pretty much keep your mouth shut on this issue.

    Yes! People have difficulty trying to understand what it’s like for a wife in an abusive marriage. They only want to “fix” it, not realizing that it won’t be fixed as long as husband thinks he gets to own his wife.

    BTW, Nancy Leigh DeMoss was recently married to Robert Wolgemuth. I think that was a surprise to many. It sounds like he is okay with her continuing with her ministry efforts. I wonder who is cooking dinner at the Wolgemuth home?

    Liked by 3 people

  10. “I wonder who is cooking dinner at the Wolgemuth home?”

    My guess would be and undocumented woman from Mexico or Central America.
    They’ll only have to pay her peanuts, she’ll keep her mouth shut, and maybe even get ‘saved’. Life is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. NLDMoss is kinda like the female version of BillG.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    “I’m not married but this is how you married folk need to do it”.

    hahahahahahaha

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What fundamentalists fail to realise is that women like NLDM are only able to have these careers oops I meant ‘ministries’ selling Jesus’ wisdom (I mean their own) I don’t know whose wisdom it is.

    ANYWAY… they would not have been able to write these books without an EDUCATION.

    Which means COLLEGE.

    Which means NOT STAYING AT HOME CLEANING UP FOR DADDY.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. abigail said,

    sorry folks, all I have seen in years and years of reading schlock from Christian women about submission and gender roles…are written by women who are loved and not abused.

    Usually their husband is a big name guy who probably treats the wife quite well, so for her…it works. I resent the words on this subject by N L deMoss as she has never even been married!!

    Seems to me…you can talk all you want about gender roles in the correct context, as I do believe there are differences, HOWEVER spell out CLEARLY how these concepts are misused in an abusive situation, and that abuse is real and needs different treatment.

    if you have never lived in an abusive marriage, pretty much keep your mouth shut on this issue.

    That is a very good point. Christian gender complementarianism only really works for ladies in non-abusive marriages.

    I’ve also read other critiques that it only works for middle class people in nations such as the United States.
    This page discusses it:
    _On Being a Woman After God’s Own Heart – Biblical womanhood, or cultural womanhood?_

    Gender complementarianism is also pretty meaningless to any woman who is not married, who does not have children. So if you are childless, child free, single, or divorced, or widowed, it’s not going to apply to you so much.

    Like

  14. I love the Twitter comments!
    TGC should be TMGC (The Men’s Gospel Coalition)!
    For all the married Christian ladies out there (myself included), here’s what it boils down to: When we stand before the Bema Seat of Judgement, who will hold us accountable, God or our husbands? If TGC, et al, could convince me that I will have to answer to my husband, then fine, I would submit to and obey him as my Lord and Master. But, uhhmmmm, they’ve got their work cut out for them!

    BTW, how do y’all feel about taking up collection to see if we can bribe NDLM’s new hubby into ordering her to abandon her career and devoting her life to serving him????

    Like

  15. “How narcissistic to think that the God who allows such suffering throughout all of human history MUST spare you specifically, even if you follow teachings that leave you vulnerable.”

    One of my biggest issues with churches today. Fantastic post, nailed it as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I suggest that every decade you are told you are not a ‘real’ christian if you don’t subscribe to the latest ‘fad’. In the 70s we had to be against proposed
    church unity (in case we protestants had to unite with, shock horror, catholics) In the 80s we had to be against demonic rock music, the 90s against ‘new age spirituality’…..etc etc. Sadly it’s sex now, you MUST be anti-LGBT and a slave to your hubby or you will BURN!

    Like

  17. This stuff sells. It works. Many people are gravitating to being governed instead of self governing. It is all across our culture not just religion. Islam is growing. Oligarchical government is growing. I now have to prove to the IRS I bought health insurance. People think this is a good thing. They don’t connect dots.

    CBMW has a lot of company albeit for different issues. But folks are fooling themselves that we are producing and affirming a self governing society. We are literally promoting dependent classes across the board.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Lydia00,

    I’ll bet you’re right about the prenupt. But in order to be a true comp, she probably said her father insisted on it. The Q&A I found online says that she plans to adjust her schedule and priorities to meet her biblical priorities. No specifics. No, of course not.

    And she’s keeping her own name. Ha.

    So the rules are different for rich celebrity comp wives. Why doesn’t that surprise us?

    Also, her husband, Robt Wolgemuth, is simply a Christian literary agent — that’s it. In my opinion they are trying to downplay that and grasping at straws to make him appear to be a major Christian leader.

    He lists himself as a former two-term (6 years total?) board chair of Evangelical Christian Publishers Association. That must have been more than 20 years ago and it was an unpaid volunteer board position that met a few times a year. I couldn’t find his name on an ECPA.org site search. Wolgemuth was never the president or executive director of ECPA. He didn’t lead the organization.

    Being on the board of ECPA is a bit higher than being an elder or presbyter in your church.

    Like

  19. Anonymous 2, Oh dear. Pitting daddy against husband/daddy? Surely there is something somewhere in scripture about that. Like leave and cleave? Opps, that is for women. They will tout her keeping her famous in Christendom name as “see… we are really not patriarchal”. The oligarchy always have a spin.

    I always cracked up that Eliz Elliot kept her original married name when she remarried. What is up with that one?. All the while she is promoting the whole gender roles shtick. Until the explosion of social media I did not even realize she remarried! He was one of her best kept secrets.

    I guess what is frightening is how much this stuff works. People are blind to the hypocrisy and selective application of the rules. I am so hoping this is changing in some areas…I am hopeful at least. But the money has to dry up first.

    Like

  20. @Daisy – Thank you for the three links.
    RE: “Control: The Reason The Gospel Coalition and CBMW Cannot Actually Condemn Spousal Abuse” — I started skimming this article and statements had me nodding because they described my life that others have a difficult time fathoming. — “Furthermore, it is entirely possible to be abusive without displaying rage. In fact, the very worst abusers I have ever encountered were never angry. The calm and collected man out to exact absolute control is the most dangerous, because he can toe the line between legal and illegal, between socially acceptable and unacceptable. He can always appear the good guy, while he calmly destroys the psyche of his victim.
    That is why, in order to address domestic abuse, we must address the issue of control. This should manifest itself in a few ways. First of all, we need to clearly understand that control is the issue, rather than anger.”

    All of my controller(s) are like this … oh, their anger pops up once in awhile but of course, I’m the only one to see it or the other controllers who are present at the time.

    Any this is condoned by ‘the church’ because …. there’s always Scripture to twist to back them up.

    Like

  21. “That is why, in order to address domestic abuse, we must address the issue of control. This should manifest itself in a few ways. First of all, we need to clearly understand that control is the issue, rather than anger.”

    Thank you for this. So very true. Often the abuser looks like Mr. Cool and calm to the world and the victim who is emotionally exhausted and has lived a double life of chaos and walking on egg shells look like a fruit cake to outsiders. (This happens all the time in court in front of a judge)

    Control can only happen when the victim is dependent for whatever reason….. So my first area of concern is to help with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. lydia00 — 😦 … I’m looking like a fruitcake, big time in this small community where I covered for all of my abusers. I don’t have many I can trust so I ask and covet prayers. I’m still at a place of ‘fog as to the next step?’ I’m exhausted.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. ” I don’t have many I can trust so I ask and covet prayers. I’m still at a place of ‘fog as to the next step?’ I’m exhausted.”
    Stay strong. My mom is very introverted, extremely shy. If she can get out of an abusive marriage, you can, too!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Nancy2 – Bless you for sharing and encouraging.
    Feeling, worn, used and cast aside. I know the Lord is faithful. He has sustained me all these years. If anything, my life is a testimony to the wickedness that prevails amongst ‘professing Christians’. So much deceitful pride lurking.
    Ministries like SSB and others have confirmed and enabled me to slowly come out ‘of the fog’.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. “I’m looking like a fruitcake, big time in this small community where I covered for all of my abusers. I don’t have many I can trust so I ask and covet prayers. I’m still at a place of ‘fog as to the next step?’ I’m exhausted.”

    Oh, I can relate. I had the entire Christian industrial complex of a mega in my town painting me as a fruitcake because I woke up and stopped going along. I was ASTONISHED at their reaction. I only disagreed with them in PRIVATE. Their response was OTT. I was so unprepared. I had figured out they were fakes but had no idea they were so deceptive and evil. As I look back I would have done many things differently. They were able to convince tons of people I was “emotionally unstable”. They used the tactics of Stalin who used that same method with dissenters. And that is what I was…a dissenter.

    You’ve got the prayers but do you mind any advice? Don’t talk about it with people but don’t go along either unless your life is in danger. Use stealth tactics of silent protest. It is really hard to control someone who looks like they are going along but aren’t. You are Ghandi…sort of thing. Be indifferent as this presents chaos to the abuser who wants to control and there is nothing to control. This will give you breathing space to allow the fog to clear a bit. Never take on a public fight you are not prepped for. When you are ready you can pick and choose your time to move on. This is about YOUR wellbeing. Not others. That is rule #1.

    Read the Art of War because that is who they are. I am serious. In the meantime, Jesus does not want this life for you. He wants you to know your value and worth, to live in peace, stand up for the oppressed and seek justice. When people do harm using His name as a shield, they are in for big trouble one day.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. “lydia00 — Thank you … your advice has confirmed what I have sensed and have been attempting to live out”

    At our house, we named this tactic: Cold grey rock. In the face of power and control we must deal with–which is abuse– we become cold grey rocks.It is more about ways to cope when you are in it.

    I hope naming it helps. :o) I will pray for your strength and composure and that you will have some peace.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you Daisy for this link:

    On Being a Woman After God’s Own Heart – Biblical womanhood, or cultural womanhood?
    by Jennie Rae Armstrong.

    I’ve thought this too, but could never articulate it so well as she does. She explains that she had lived most of her childhood in Liberia. It’s a great article. Here are just a few quotes that I love:

    “The women I had grown up with—strong women who loved Jesus and were certainly “women after God’s own heart”—had been forced to flee their concrete block houses and zinc shacks to take refuge in the jungle, or make the long, dangerous trek to Ghana seeking refuge and asylum. “

    “The gospel has to be good news for everyone willing to accept it, no matter their circumstances, or it isn’t good news at all.”

    “The dichotomy between what I was being taught about “biblical womanhood” in church and the reality of what my loved ones in Liberia were facing was grotesque, and the insinuation that the measure of a woman’s heart could be in any way related to the privileged frivolities of Western homemaking infuriated me.”

    “Most of our beliefs about what makes a “good woman” or a “good man” are derived from the culture or cultures we grew up in. “

    “When the experiences of people of color, the poor, and other marginalized groups are taken into account, the double-standards surrounding gender expectations become downright embarrassing,”

    It’s hard to believe that they can really honestly declare my ability to trust God’s character depends on whether or not I’m following their gender rules.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. I attended one of these conferences on “marriage” with my husband using the gender role theology (Ken Sande’s Peacemaker Studies). During the two day indoctrination series, we gathered together as husbands and wives part of the time with break women only/men only break out sessions. In the evening, we were given homework to do as a couple in ironing out our problems and the first thing that came out of my husband’s mouth was this:

    “Okay, let’s see how this study can fix YOU, so we can have a happy marriage.”

    By their words you shall know them……this statement my husband quoted is the true fruit of these gendered conferences…..the success of the marriage depends ONLY on the wife. It is pure evil and wicked.

    I learned the hard way the western church systems set up by man, support, worship, and idolize the male while pouring out hatred on the female. My husband hates it when women sign their maiden names to anything and calls them “feminists.” So according to his worldview, NLDM would be a horrible feminist! The word “feminist” seems to be hurled liberally at women who do not succumb to the male indoctrination of this world, especially by conservative churched men. Disagree with a man on any topic and I get the “feminist” label stamped on my forehead; another tool in the toolbox of theological abuse.

    And thank-you Lydia for that wise advise. Very good. I will be reading The Art of War in the future. You are a gem!

    Liked by 2 people

  29. “33 Strategies of War” by Robert Green might be a useful read, but be careful. He seems to be appealing to those who would read his book to gain an advantage, i.e. to abusers. Still, in the interest of knowing one’s enemies, and in the interest of self defense, I found the book valuable. (Yes, I have it-comes-with-the-territory, profession-related enemies.) I will confess that I have to a certain extent applied some of the strategies, including the passive-aggressive strategy of appearing to be friendly and understanding, while in fact yielding nothing.

    Machiavelli is criticized for advising how to attain power by amoral means. However, I think what he really does is describe how those who lust for power work–no advice required. In other words, Machiavelli’s, “The Prince” is useful to gain insight into how abuser’s minds work. The outworking of the power hungry man’s predispositions will be different in politics and war than in the home, but the mindsets are not that different.

    Still, even I have not been able to get into Nietzsche’s “Will to Power.”

    Like

  30. “Whether you’re able to see justice in divinely created gender roles depends largely on how much you trust God’s character.”

    Actually, that is true for me. When I thought that God, because he was right about everything, was the reason he was right about the subjugation of women, I did not trust the definition that God is good, or smart–certainly not capable of running the universe if he can’t make 2 + 2 = 4, because saying men and women are equal, just different, but on a whim decides men are the boss is as intelligent as 2 + 2 = whatever you want it to.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Regarding abuse in couples in non-complementarian settings, I can name a few examples, including my own parents. With female pastors since the sixties, the United Methodists hardly qualified as patriarchal or complementarian. It’s worth noting as well that the bulk of domestic abuse cases involve unwed couples and homosexuals, so it’s hard to pin that one on patriarchal explanations of domestic abuse per the Duluth Model.

    Which is a long way of saying that I’m guessing the experience of our gracious hostess may have a lot more to do with her generally egalitarian point of view than with the relative viciousness of one type of churches vs. another. “selection bias” in the social sciences, I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Bubba, that’s likely true about the outside world and I wouldn’t say anyone would deny that. I think the focus of this place is more on the institutional enabling of possibly destructive teachings in regard to domestic abuse. Abusive jerks are abusive jerks anywhere you go, but the last thing we want to do in our Christian communities is enable such tendencies with bad doctrine and power structures. Churches are supposed to be safe places and hospitals for this sort of thing, not more of the same with a dash of religious enabling.
    I’m speaking from a Baptist experience here – I’m not very familiar with Methodist history, etc. Perhaps i have a lot to learn there.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Pappy, I’d agree that some certainly use patriarchal and complementarian teachings to justify abuse, but on the flip side, many others would be deterred by the Bible’s curse (1 Peter 3:7, Colossians 3:19, etc..) on the man who mistreats his wife. I’ve personally been part of efforts to remind people of this.

    And we have to sort this out; a man or woman seeking to justify abusive behavior is going to grab whatever excuse they can get. You will then be stuck trying to sort out whether the stated reason is real, or just a convenient excuse. How much of the patriarchy “package deal” do they buy? If they buy “x” without “y” and “z”, I tend towards the “convenient excuse” theory for what even the perpetrator knows is sin.

    All in all, what I see is a lot of claims that a particular theology creates abuse, but not a terrible lot of data or serious parsing out of the categories. And that is, statistically speaking, a danger sign.

    Like

  34. Hi Gary W and other readers, you may be interested to know that ‘passive aggressive’ is a much mis-understood term. The correct meaning of the term in psychological profession is quite different from how most lay people use it. For myself, I prefer to use the term “covert aggressive” for what you are describing. I learned this from Dr George Simon Jr, a Christian who is a very experienced forensic psychologist.
    Here are some links about it if you want to read more:
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2013/01/30/covert-aggression-is-not-the-same-as-passive-aggression/
    http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/09/25/thursday-thought-17/

    Liked by 1 person

  35. TGC does not know God’s character. Their god is of their own making. Their “god of gender roles” declaims that women who are abused by their husbands need to trust the “god of gender roles” more. Animal farm, anyone?

    I love the suggestions of renaming them TOGC — the OTHER gospel coalition
    0r TMGC — the MEN’S gospel coalition.

    Kathy Keller, wake up!

    healinginhim, “fruitcake” was my husband’s favourite put-down of me. You are not alone. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  36. @ Bubba – “It’s worth noting as well that the bulk of domestic abuse cases involve unwed couples and homosexuals”

    HUH?? Where did you get THAT??

    Liked by 2 people

  37. I missed that, Carmen, thank you.

    And as far as domestic violence in the church goes, just by the nature of complementarian practice, women are taught to submit, sometimes taught to not ever question or complain. Because of this, I suspect that there are many, many cases of unreported domestic violence.

    Just today I got an email from a college student whose professor shared with the class that even in abuse, wives should remain in the marriage. So this is not outdated teaching.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. “When the experiences of people of color, the poor, and other marginalized groups are taken into account, the double-standards surrounding gender expectations become downright embarrassing,”.

    And to think our ‘missionaries’ are peddling this junk in His name overseas.

    I think of Matthew 23:15,

    “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves”.

    Yerp!

    Liked by 2 people

  39. To all above who thanked me for the last set of links you are most welcome!

    This guy wrote a 5 part series criticizing the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

    I am giving you a link to Part 1.
    There are links to like part 2 and part 4 at the bottom of his post.
    (I assume from Pt 2, you should be able to get to part 3, etc, or you can probably use some search box or tags on his blog to find the other posts)

    _Recovering FROM Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: Pt. 1 Housekeeping_

    Liked by 1 person

  40. As to BikeBubba’s post above, I agree with Gov. Pappy’s response.

    Bubba has brought this issue up before on older threads.

    Of course abuse can take place in non-comp marriages, but complementarianism makes it a bit easier for guys to justify to themselves, their church, and their wives why they are abusive.

    It’s a little harder for a guy in an egalitarian marriage to pull the “wife submit” garbage and get away with it.

    I find complementarian-based domestic abuse a little more concerning or troubling because it is being done in the name of God.

    An abusive man in secular culture is going to have a harder time defending how and why he is abusing his wife, and he’s not going to have an entire religious culture backing him up on it.

    The wives in the comp marriages are told to stay in these abusive marriages, where as in the secular or egal ones, they would likely be told to GET OUT. There would be no shame in them divorcing the abuser.

    In comp based churches, the women are conditioned to believe that divorce is always a sin, always a no-no, and that they bear the burden of sanctifying their husband and winning him back to God. You’re not going to see that so much in egal or secular abusive marriages.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Carmen quoting Bubba:

    @ Bubba – “It’s worth noting as well that the bulk of domestic abuse cases involve unwed couples and homosexuals”
    —————-
    Carmen said,
    HUH?? Where did you get THAT??

    This might be misleading anyway.

    There are now more single adults in the USA than married couples, as of 2014, according to a few surveys I saw in the media.

    More and more people are either opting out of marriage entirely, while some folks are shacking up (living together but not married), or not marrying until they are 35 yrs old.

    So, by sheer numbers alone, it would stand to reason that there would be more abusive relationships among non-marrieds than marrieds simply because there are more singles living together.

    I’m not sure what the percentages are, though.

    Out of X% of “shacked up” couples, how many have men who are abusing their live-in lover girl, vs. out of Z% of married couples, how many of the husbands are abusing their wives?

    That does not in any way shape or form mean that being single necessarily makes a man more abusive than were he married.

    Nor does the state of being single offer a handy-dandy, ready made rationale for why he is abusing his wife, like complementarianism does, since comps love to pull out the “wife submit” crud all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. “An abusive man in secular culture is going to have a harder time defending how and why he is abusing his wife, and he’s not going to have an entire religious culture backing him up on it”.

    And what a stumbling block ‘Comp Christianity’ is for the modern woman who doesn’t yet know about Jesus’ love for her.

    “Guess what you feminist. God loves you and wants you to shut up and put out”.

    That’s pretty much how it is, to put it in worldly terms.

    Or MD’s hahaha.

    How ‘relevant’ of me.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Sorry, I’m late in the game of commenting. I thought this was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever read. I don’t understand her view or use of the word justice. And, I don’t understand how God’s character comes into the picture since we all know that God created men and women in his image.

    Psssttt…that would mean that men and women are equal in his eyes since we are both created to be like him.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Hi Daisy, I’m an Australian so I am reasonably familiar with Muriel Porter who is the author of that article “Doctrine of headship linked to cases of domestic violence”
    which you linked to.

    Just a head’s up: Muriel Porter is very liberal in her theology. She may have said some reasonably good things in that article (I confess I didn’t read it when I saw who it was by), but I would be wary of her in general.

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  45. It’s worth noting as well that the bulk of domestic abuse cases involve unwed couples and homosexuals, so it’s hard to pin that one on patriarchal explanations of domestic abuse per the Duluth Model.

    Statistics, please.

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  46. @Barbara Roberts – Thank you for giving more background to Muriel Porter.
    I like to do background checks on authors but don’t always have the time and appreciate when others offer caution as I study the articles.

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  47. Well, Bubba. . .we’re waiting for those stats . . . you didn’t read that embarrassingly fact-devoid article in the Washington Post suggesting that the way for women to avoid being assaulted was to get married, did you? And then did you conclude, from the ‘beliefs’ of Wilcox and Wilson, that marriage is the ANSWER to all women’s problems, maybe?

    Here’s a suggestion to you, from professors in my early days at University. Every author has an agenda. Do some research to find out what it is.

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  48. Last night while I was trying to get to sleep, I thought about this comment the post if about. I found myself wanting to preach a sermon to her. I was raised in the Assemblies of God church in the 60’s thru the 80’s. No way were we taught the stuff this woman is saying. I am one strong woman of God and proud of it. I had to learn how to tone down my behavior because at times I came across very aggressive. I knew many women who were missionaries in their own right, w/o some man being her husband and she just being the wife who went along with him on the trips. In the scripture it says that God is no respecter of persons. I don’t know what the original meaning of that in the language it was written actually means, but to me, I am no different in his eyes to him than my husband, my son, my father or the male minister who is preaching at the church. In Christ I put my trust, not in some man made doctrine.

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  49. Speaking strictly from a political and strategic point of view, Kathy Keller has been tapped to try and revive the CBMW brand. The Kellers are viewed in that movement as intellectuals. When many were questioning Calvinism as it resurgence, they would be directed to the more liberal intellectual, Keller. He has written a ton of books. He is the face of nice Calvinism. Or, was. They are in NYC and have been on the periphery of the Reformed brand. They come off more cosmopolitan.

    Don’t think there isn’t money in this for them. This most likely is not out of goodness but high paying speaking gigs. I can imagine the contracts! Not long ago, those questioning gender roles were often recommended Kathy Keller for her more moderate views.

    This is an attempt at rebranding. The fact she equates gender roles with “Divine justice” puts to bed any reasonable moderate view on the issue. She is all in. The money must be good. She cannot possibly that poor of a thinker, can she?

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  50. @Barbara Roberts
    You linked to http://cryingoutforjustice.com/2014/09/25/thursday-thought-17/ where it says, “Passive-aggression is, as the term implies, aggressing through passivity,” and “When someone is being covertly aggressive, they’re using calculating, underhanded means to get what they want or manipulate the response of others while keeping their aggressive intentions under cover.”

    Thank you. I had conflated the concepts in my thinking. Probably I have used passive-aggression when merely resisting attacks, while using covert aggression when actually pushing back to defeat attackers. Truth is, I have used overt aggression, in self-defense, when it became obvious that the choice was between defeating, or being defeated by, an aggressor. (True confession: Not all instances in which I have engaged in aggression of whatever type have been in the prosecution of just causes.)

    While I feel perfectly at ease responding to aggression by whatever legal means may be necessary, I am given pause by Jesus’ admonitions to turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile. I note that there was an occasion when Jesus himself did not simply submit to being thrown off a cliff. In cases of spiritual abuse, domestic abuse, or domestic and spiritual abuse, the situation is tantamount to somebody attempting to throw their victim off a cliff.

    So, when somebody makes an absurd and offensive statement like “Whether you’re able to see justice in divinely created gender roles depends on how much you trust God’s character,” we may respond that God, in his justice, does not assign a role to wives whereby they are required to allow themselves to be thrown over the proverbial cliff, to their destruction. God, being just, can no more require that which is unjust than he can cause an unstoppable object to slam into an impenetrable wall.

    We may also respond that in every instance in which interpersonal relationships are defined, even in part, by authority, as opposed to love, the relationship is by its very nature abusive.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Hi Gary W, regarding Jesus’ admonitions to turn the other cheek and walk the extra mile — I think the best way of understanding those sayings is to see them in the cultural context of Israel under Roman rule, as it was in the first century AD.

    The Jews had no way of successfully getting out from under the thumb of Rome. They were a vassal state. Their position was rather similar to many third-world people groups today who are under the thumb of aristocracies, dictatators, chieftains of dominating clans (like The Taliban controlling regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan).

    In that kind of context, you cannot rely on the rule of law to protect you. The law is not just. And the officials who administer the law are often corrupt. There is no safe way to refuse to comply with all the extortions and random dictates of the officials. But it can be safe (and shrewd) to ‘turn the other cheek’ or ‘walk the extra mile’ when the tyrants abuse you and demand unreasonable things of you. If you not only comply with their demands but actually do MORE than they demand, you are slyly showing them that they cannot rob you of all your dignity. And therefore, they do they not have total power over you: they have not crushed you completely.

    Here is an illustration. I know a man who was unjustly sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a military prison. The guards gave him one blanket each night to keep him warm. The cell was cold. The ‘bed’ was a slab of concrete. He was cold. He decided to sleep every night WITHOUT using the blanket. He did that to show the guards that the prison regime had not totally crushed him.

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  52. Barbara, thanks for the above comment. I am committed to correcting teaching that benefits abusers by misunderstanding the context of Maathew 5-7. People have been taught to ignore the political context Jesus came into. And it matters greatly as a key to understanding. Jesus was not teaching the Jews they could mistreat each other and then consigned to be doormats.

    He was teaching them how to deal with living under foreign occupation.

    That place was a hot cauldron with some religious leaders playing both sides, zealots, foreign occupiers, etc. The Jews had to pay the Romans to upkeep the temple! And the religious leaders were intent on collecting that tax!

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  53. Here is the BJS on the matter. Domestic violence by the unwed outnumbers that by the wed by a significant margin.

    http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ndv0312.pdf

    And regarding same sex couples:

    http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2014/09/domestic-violence-likely-more-frequent-for-same-sex-couples.html

    Like I said, I won’t deny that patriarchal feelings are a motivation for some domestic abuse. I will, however, strongly dispute the notion that it’s the major driver–the data I’ve just presented indicates that non-traditional sexual relationships are strongly correlated with abuse, and it’s highly unlikely that most of the perpetrators (25% or so of which are female, according to the BJS) in those cases are motivated by patriarchy.

    Now if someone has some data indicating that complementarian theology drives abuse, let’s have it. But there are any number of hypotheses that can be made that really only sound compelling until subjected to a real, reasonably “blind” test.

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  54. You might also want to read this:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/06/should-women-get-married-to-avoid-violence/372954/

    There’s a difference between causal and correlation, as this article points out. The article you referenced is mostly about intimate partner violence, which includes husbands. The one thing you are ignoring – purposely – is that women who are married typically DO NOT report their husbands’ crimes.

    Julie Anne is identifying one powerful reason why – they’ve been indoctrinated to forgive and forge onwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. “It is Rome Light, Phariseeism and is not the message of the NT.”

    Can we please, please retire this myth WRT “Rome”? (Speaking of “Rome,” does this toga make my tush look fat?)

    Catholics believe in Sola Gratia. No, we do not believe in Sola Fide or Sola Scriptura, neither of which is actually found in the Bible. (But that’s a discussion for another time.) But we definitely believe in Grace Alone. As Saint Teresa of Avila put it, everything is Grace. And as Saint Augustine put it, when God “crowns our merits,” He is really just crowning His own Grace.

    Archbishop Fulton Sheen famously observed that not 100 Americans hate what the Catholic Church actually teaches. But millions hate what they think she teaches. In this age of the Internet, though, we can all easily find out what Catholics actually believe. Just Google the Catechism. Or Catholic Answers. You have nothing to lose but your misconceptions. 😉

    Thanks!

    Sincerely,

    Diane

    P.S. The Catholic Church also does not teach this “complementarian” rubbish about rigid gender roles. Just sayin’.

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  56. Along the line of the elite Christian women getting a pass….

    This reminds me of coverture in English Common Law prior to the 20th C. Upon marriage, women were required to give up their rights to owning private property. There were other rights that women also resigned which I won’t go into at the moment. Suffice it to say, the queens – the elite Monarchy – were exempt from the law of coverture. And in Evangelicalism – the Nancy DeMosses and Elizabeth Elliots are also exempt from the strict gender role that the plebeian Christian women must follow. Elizabeth Elliot who preached complete submission to her husband and that women should not teach men excluded herself from the same admonition. Just the other day I heard a recording of Elizabeth Elliot than still features her program. In her teaching, she began by saying that she was specifically addressing fathers. That’s right….she was preaching to men – not women. Any other woman in that comp. camp would have been rebuked for such behavior. But not Ms. Elliot. She could get away with it. As HUG likes to say: “Rank Hath Its Privileges!”

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  57. Carmen, I didn’t argue women should get married to avoid domestic violence. I simply argued that the BJS data don’t seem to indicate that those who are arrested for domestic violence are doing so because their thinking is patriarchal in the historic sense.

    Regarding your contention that the married are less likely to report, evidence, please. Keep in mind that the VAWA currently encourages reporting (“pro-arrest”) when a report of domestic abuse is made, and currently 21 states have mandatory arrest for domestic assault and 29 states have mandatory arrest for violation of a restraining order. So in many cases, the victim does not get to decide whether the abuser gets arrested.

    Again, the best correlation we’ve got indicates that non-traditional sexual relationships are linked to domestic abuse pretty strongly. I would suggest that this is in part because the person who is unwilling to wait to “put a ring on it” and risk their own resources for the relationship might have other character issues that would manifest themselves in abuse.

    Causal? Not proven yet, sure, but at least the correlation is right.

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  58. Now if someone has some data indicating that complementarian theology drives abuse, let’s have it.

    I don’t know how someone is going to obtain data like that. Yours truly was in a Patriarchal marriage and didn’t even realize it until blogging. I did not realize I was losing myself, that I was forfeiting my spirituality, individuality, emotions, and body to my “spiritual head.” I thought this was how marriage was supposed to be. Many in destructive and abusive marriages don’t realize it until they leave. How can you obtain numbers from people who can’t answer properly?

    You could take the same logic with abusive churches/cults. I didn’t I was in an abusive church/cult until the very end when I made the decision to leave. It became much more clear after leaving.

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  59. “Now if someone has some data indicating that complementarian theology drives abuse, let’s have it.”

    Who would collect such data and how? When someone reports, it is asked if they are legally married or not. Not their doctrinal beliefs on gender roles.

    Just as pedophiles gravitate to places where they can obtain easy trust with chidren and parents, you see the same idea with patriarchal doctrines in varying forms. What needs to be discussed is why either sex is attracted to such interpretations that make a mockery of the blessed alliance that was to subdue and dominate the earth together.

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  60. . . .because the person who is unwilling to wait to “put a ring on it” on it” and risk their own resources for the relationship might have other character issues that would manifest themselves in abuse.”

    Nice ‘blame the victim’ there, Bubba. Classic. Excuse my French but Jesus H. Christ.

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  61. “P.S. The Catholic Church also does not teach this “complementarian” rubbish about rigid gender roles. Just sayin’.”

    Do you think there will ever be a female pope or acceptance of female priests?

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  62. JA: I’d agree we might not find the evidence I asked for. However, since the claim is at the center of the Duluth Model, I would suggest that those data are very, very important. No? If the model gets the cause(s) wrong, then it is going to get the wrong solutions and end up hurting the victims even more. Again, as Deming noted, “In God we trust; all others must provide data.”

    In this case, we have a clear majority of abusers whose motivations can not clearly be described as patriarchal. The models need to be at least significantly modified.

    Carmen: I was referring primarily to the abuser’s unwillingness to wait to put a ring on it.

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  63. For reference, doing the statistical test should be really straightforward. You’ve got a city with known Census demographics–say Chicago–and you simply ask each person arrested/convicted of various crimes of domestic abuse about their religious affilation prior to arrest. General bins–he’s the PCA group, here’s the PCUSA and UMC groups, etc..–and you can at least get an idea of what theologies (or lack of theology) is linked to being arrested or convicted for the same.

    And really, it’s a study (or a few dozen studies really) that need to be done, as there is no more one definition for patriarchy than there is for feminism. Are we talking about the various brands of Christian complementarianism, Muslim patriarchy, machismo , or what?

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  64. Domestic violence by the unwed outnumbers that by the wed by a significant margin.

    Meh. Not necessarily.

    The results presented here suggest that previous family violence researchers may have been premature in attributing higher levels of violence among cohabiting couples to the failure of institutional controls. Our results may also have implications for other comparisons between married and cohabiting couples in which the dependent variable of interest—including other aspects of relationship quality, job stability, or household division of labor—is likely to be related to selection out of the relationship either to divorce or separation, or, for cohabitors, into marriage. Neither the population of married couples nor especially the population of cohabiting couples is closed. Accordingly, accounting for the effects of selection into and out of these populations on the characteristics of their members is a critical first step before attributing differences between the groups to institutional influences on behavior.

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.195.3719&rep=rep1&type=pdf

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  65. “I didn’t (know) I was in an abusive church/cult until the very end when I made the decision to leave. It became much more clear after leaving.”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    That’s exactly it. You generally don’t know, at the time you don’t have the mental and emotional wherewithal to know. A cult destroys your individuality, kills you emotionally, so you don’t have the capacity to see it for what it is. It’s typically only later that you get very depressed or angry when you realize what’s been done to you in the name of God.

    The biggest thing I remember about being in a cult was being very confused, I kept bending my brain into a pretzel to make sense of it and make reprehensible, hateful behavior into something acceptable, to try and see some pattern to it that made it acceptable–couldn’t understand why godly Christians would do that. All the time the obvious thing was slapping me in the face:they were neither godly nor probably even Christians.

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  66. Here’s an excellent paper that takes a balanced look at the issue while recognizing the abusive potential of “unbroken abuse of male power.” Essentially, it accepts that not all, if not most, complementarians will be abusive. Yet it maintains that

    A final line of evidence that patriarchy contributes to much physical abuse of women is found in the characteristics of male batterers. The literature on abusive men repeatedly notes that a primary characteristic of abusive men is a sense of entitlement and superiority over their wives and children, quite possibly because of their own insecurities and need for power and control.78 A husband’s sense of superiority over his wife will often lend itself to the development of rigid patriarchal views.

    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/50/50-3/JETS_50-3_573-594_Tracy.pdf

    It’s also interesting to note that

    For centuries, Anglo-American common law granted the husband the right as head of the household to beat his wife as long as he did not cause permanent damage.73 In a detailed analysis of the legal history of wife beating in the west, Yale law professor Reva Siegal notes, “As master of the household, a husband could command his wife’s obedience, and subject her to corporeal punishment or ‘chastisement’ if she defied his authority.”74

    Patriarchal much?

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  67. It’s always heartening when mansplaining makes it all so clear, eh Julie Anne?

    Exactly. I took a statistics class. I learned how people manipulate statistics to say what they want it to say. I also have my person experience. Those factors convince me that no matter what statistics show, there will always be many more women who remained silent and who need a voice. I’m not playing that game.

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  68. Diane, you might be a nice lady so this is not an attack against you personally.

    The Catholic “Church” is evil.

    Their doctrines bring bondage, not Liberty.

    There is nothing of my Jesus within the walls of a Catholic “Church”.

    My God, who is Gracious and Love and Light is not found in the Temples made with men’s hands.

    My God does not have ‘Archbishops’, nor ‘Senior Pastors’ for that matter.

    My reference to Rome is understood by those within the system. The fact you understand what I mean confirms it is a problem easily identified.

    The Catholics I know with a modern edge reads books by Lordship Salvationists.

    They are people who yell “grace! Grace!!” but in reality are all about law and works.

    I want none of your religion.

    Jesus is enough and I meet with him in quiet with a nice coffee and biscuit.

    No Archbishops, incense nor fairy dust required.

    Cheers 😝

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  69. lifewithporpoise wrote :
    “Diane, you might be a nice lady so this is not an attack against you personally.”

    Bull$hit. When you attack a person’s religion it’s the same as a personal attack. How would you like it if the things that define and give you meaning as a person were stomped and spit on? Would it feel good? Do you “get it” yet, the immense power of words to make a crueler world or to build a better world?

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  70. Hi Muff, you make an interesting point.

    “Bull$hit. When you attack a person’s religion it’s the same as a personal attack”.

    Is it then fair to criticise the religion of Bill Gothard, Doug Phillips and Doug Wilson?

    Maybe we might hurt their feelings so should stop critiquing their movement.

    Hypocrisy much?

    Why are you here? It’s a sounding board. This is not a love in for ecumenicals.

    The Catholic Church as well as much of what is called Evangelical Christianity makes profit from lording over people who are trying to seek God.

    I don’t know your motives for going to Church. But I’m not going to encourage people into bondage. You can think whatever you want about me and it won’t stop me speaking out against dirty, abominable religion done in Jesus’ name.

    You are deceived if you think that those in control of institutions called Churches care. They are in business and they remain in business by keeping people on seats every Sunday being told what to believe in order to make it to the sky party at the end.

    Phariseeism is alive, well and making a killing.

    Are you supporting it or speaking out against it?

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  71. lifewithporpoise: I’d say it’s easy to broad brush all churches into the “Church-is-Bad” category and therefore cast aspersions on those who attend church. It is your prerogative not to go to church and the prerogative of other Christian believers to attend church. One is not better or more holy than the other. Not all churches fall into the derogatory category that you placed them in your above comment. Further, one can separate the personal faith walk of a Christian and the church they attend, even if it be…gasp…Roman Catholic. I can say from having read this blog for a while now that you are going to get folks here to join with you in Catholic bashing. It just isn’t going to happen.

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  72. I meant to say: I can say from having read this blog for a while now that you are NOT going to get folks here to join with you in Catholic bashing. It just isn’t going to happen.

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  73. Darlene,

    I’m a bit confused how you have jumped to the conclusion that I am ‘Catholic bashing’.

    Do you think I am bashing individual Catholics or CatholicISM as a movement?

    Do you understand that there is a difference?

    Do you not come to this board and post criticisms regarding Fundamentalism?

    Does this make you a Fundamentalist basher?

    Should I be outraged that you are speaking out against something damaging?

    My issue is with traditions not founded in Scripture. I have no issues with believers, unless they expect me to call them Archbishop or Pastor. I’ll have none of it.

    Was Jesus all warm and fuzzy regarding Phariseeism?

    Did he encourage us to embrace false doctrine?

    No.

    There is nothing lovely about the Catholic religion. There is nothing lovely about Fundamentalist/Evangelical Christianity. It does not have anything to do with my Jesus.

    My Jesus hated religion, and he hated men who took titles, prayed to be seen of men and devoured widows houses.

    Why should we not speak out against these movements?

    If you had a friend going to a JW church wouldn’t you reach out to them and try to make them see sense?

    Do you think the Catholic Church teaches truth?

    Do you think Jesus would want people to join themselves to the RCC?

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  74. “. . . there will always be many more women who remained silent and who need a voice.”
    Here’s a suggestion for you, Bubba – Listen. To. Women.

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  75. @ Muff Porter – “Bull$hit. When you attack a person’s religion it’s the same as a personal attack.” – here’s a response to that –

    ‘I’m sorry if my insensitivity towards your beliefs offend you. But guess what – your religious wars, jihads, crusades, inquisitions, censoring of free speech, brainwashing of children, murdering of albinos, forcing girls into underage marriages, female genital mutilation, stoning, pederasty, homophobia and rejection of science and reason offend me. So I guess we’re even. – Anonymous”

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  76. P.S. Muff. I could have added, “Your expectation that women stay home and look after children – even school them – and then have no pension plan when they are older, guaranteeing a life of poverty, offends ME”
    ‘your’ meaning many religious men

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  77. Carmen; I’ve been listening to you, and trying to gently point out that you’re wrongly accusing me of blaming the victim, wrongly accusing me of citing a document I wasn’t citing, and the like. Maybe some reciprocation on your part would be in order.

    And yes, JA, one can lie with statistics. My own site deals with that often–it’s distressingly common. But that said, you’ve got to test your hypotheses. If you’re going to say that complementarian theology results in abuse, you’ve got to have some data out there.

    And to that, the link BTDT links (thank you) is valuable. Consistent attendance at conservative Protestant churches is linked to a reduction in the rate of domestic abuse/violence. It’s exactly what I’ve been saying here. Those who buy the whole package–consistent attendance, church membership, etc..–are being exposed to 1 Peter 3:7 and such. The risk is spotty attendance with someone grabbing one facet of the theology and running with it.

    And, ahem, non-traditional sexual relationships. Let’s not ignore the gorilla in the room; if we are working on the Duluth model, which uses the patriarchal accusation that BTDT’s link roundly rebukes, we are going to use the wrong approach with the strong majority of abusers and victims. We are going to make the problem worse.

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  78. I am direct and succinct, Bubba. Just what, exactly, are you trying to convey?

    Julie Anne – and many others, including me – has a problem with complementarianism. Abuse is about an imbalance of power, which others have mentioned. Complementarianism (according to CARM) is “. . . the view that males and females complement each other in their different roles and duties. In the context of Christianity, men are to be leaders in the church and the home where women are not. Likewise, women are to assist the husband in raising children and expanding the kingdom of God.” Now, how anyone can read that definition and say that it promotes equal opportunity for women and men is beyond me. Refusing to extend leadership because of a person’s sex is discrimination, plain and simple. Or, an imbalance of power, right off the top. Why you can’t see the correlation between complementarianism and the potential for abuse is also beyond my understanding. So please don’t try to come to this blog defending complementarianism or the people who promote it.

    Or, to be very blunt, you can take complementarianism and,. . .well. . ., finish the sentence. 🙂

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  79. Bubba, I’m following this conversation over email, and I’m just not sure what you’re arguing for or against here. I don’t think the SSB folks would ever say that what they cover is a comprehensive picture of abuse, or that patriarchy/comp doctrine leads to all DV or whatever. They don’t make those claims. But we cover/react against what we’re familiar with, and doctrine that potentially enables or directly enables abuse are widespread in the one place where abuse should not be a problem. Ever.

    I don’t understand the contention. It’s just weird to me. Let us do our part.

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  80. which uses the patriarchal accusation that BTDT’s link roundly rebukes,

    Did we read the same article? He’s not letting male headship off the hook.

    But the conservative evangelical emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and on the validity of male headship makes it very difficult for conservatives to acknowledge the historical prevalence of domestic violence and its con- nection with male headship.91 This accounts for the fact that many pastors resist the use of the phrase “wife abuse” and prefer to use “family abuse.”92 The failure to acknowledge the predominance of male abuse of power is also seen in instances in which complementarians address domestic violence, but put male physical abuse of women on a par with female physical abuse of men. This demonstrates the fact that many traditional complementarians still do not seem to accept the fact that male abuse of power is virtually universal, and that due to human depravity, the concept of male headship is often misused to promote the abuse of women and children. It is not enough for comple- mentarians to say they are against all abuse, unless they are willing to acknowledge the particular virulence of male abuse. Hence, I would go so far as to challenge complementarians that teaching male leadership/female submission without noting the reality and potential for male abuse of power is at best dangerous and at worst immoral.

    http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/50/50-3/JETS_50-3_573-594_Tracy.pdf

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  81. @ lifewithporpoise & carmen:
    “Maybe we might hurt their feelings so should stop critiquing their movement.
    Hypocrisy much?”

    False equivalence at best. Your anti-Catholic sentiment is about as disguised as an anti-Semite who swears up and down that he or she has “Jewish friends”. I am not a Catholic and I don’t go to any church, but I like to recognize goodness in all religions, and in all peoples.

    Carmen, I spent almost two decades under the lash of protestant fundagelicalism and I’m glad to be free and clear of it. I’m a free-thinker now and a feminist, so your tirade above does not apply to me.

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  82. Muff – WELL! If you are, indeed, a freethinker and a feminist, my ‘tirade’ should have made perfect sense to you. 🙂

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  83. BTDT, Pappy, from the article:

    ” Conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly are found to be the least likely group to engage in domestic violence, though conservative Protestant men who are irregular church attendees are the most likely to batter their wives.44 Thus current research disproves the feminist hypothesis that patriarchy is the single underlying cause of all abuse against women, though it strongly suggests that patriarchy plays some role in domestic violence.”

    In other words, I’m saying that while there are some patriarchs whose behavior leads to violence, conservative Protestantism seems (except for a few outliers) to be generally protective. For example, here’s an article that indicates that the Puritans banned wife beating in 1641 in Massachusetts.

    https://thehistoricpresent.wordpress.com/tag/puritan-laws-for-women/

    Here’s a little bit from Benjamin Wadsworth’s book The Well Ordered Family (1712) as well:

    If therefore the Husband is bitter against his wife, beating or striking of her (as some vile wretches do) or in any unkind carriage, ill language, hard words, morose, peevish….nay if he is not kind, loving, tender in his words and carriage to her, he then shames his profession of Christianity

    As Mr. Tracy notes in his paper, maybe some partnership with complementarians is in order instead of demonizing them. There is good stuff out there from old New England.

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  84. Bike Bubba,

    You fixated on one paragraph out of the entire article and ignored the rest of his information. How least likely are the “conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly” to beat their wives? 1%? 2%?

    The statics quoted by Christians who work in DV ministries are that “in the Christian community, one in every four women experiences family violence.”
    http://www.focusministries1.org/

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  85. “but I like to recognize goodness in all religions, and in all peoples”.

    How tolerant and inclusive of you. You are far more spiritual than me. You should feel very proud of yourself.

    perhaps you could tell me what goodness and beauty you find in the religion Islam, as practised by our friends Daesh/ISIS.

    They can’t be that bad right?

    A bit of child molestation here, abit of head lopping off over there…

    Nice boys just a tad confused right?

    haha. Please tell me the loveliness you see in ISIS.

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  86. First time commenter, long time lurker. I call myself the Wary Witness when discussing spousal abuse/domestic violence online because I have never experienced abuse from my own spouse, but I grew up watching my father abuse my mother, myself, and my siblings in various ways.

    Until recently, I had never heard of the terms “complementarianism” or “egalitarianism” in the context of describing Christian marriage. I just assumed all Christians were comp to some degree or another, because sadly that’s the only thing I was ever taught, although I’ve always had a hard time stomaching the concept. All of the “c”hristian books that I have ever read that try to describe the differences between men and women always made me feel like there was something wrong with my femininity. I’m as straight as they come, but have always been a “tomboy.” As far as I can tell, the only generalizable, non-cultural differences between men and women are biological/reproductive — for example, men can’t give birth or breastfeed the children.

    I think the question is still unanswered as to whether comp/patriarchal thinking actually causes domestic violence, or whether it simply attracts abusers and is used by them as as excuse. Even with really good observational or retrospective research, it would be hard to establish a cause-and-effect relationship (even if you could prove that patriarchal groups have higher rates of DV, the question still remains — does patriarchy cause DV, or are perpetrators of DV prone to join patriarchal groups? Or some of both?). The best way to establish a cause-and-effect relationship in research is to perform a randomized controlled clinical trial, which would be unethical and close to impossible for this issue. (You can’t take 100 young boys, randomly divide them into 2 groups, and teach 50 of them comp and 50 of the egalitarianism, all the while controlling for all outside influences, and then see which groups grows up to abuse their wives the most — nor could you do the same thing with 100 young girls and see which group was most likely to stay with abusive husbands vs which was most likely to leave — such a study would be infeasible and unethical). At the end of the day, I think the question of cause-and-effect is not the main issue. What we DO know is that abusers use patriarchal teachings to excuse their evil deeds, gain supporters, and trap their victims — in Christ’s name!! And that is despicable.

    The underlying issue for abusers is not anger, lust, insecurity, or a lack of self-control. It is about dominance, power, control, and entitlement. The abuser does not simply “fall” into temptation one day. It takes careful planning and forethought for an abuser to manipulate his wife, isolate her from her family, tear her self-esteem to shreds, control the finances, molest her children. And they feel entitled to behave that way. I should know. I lived with one for almost 2 decades.

    Abusers will use anything and everything to gain power, cover up their evil deeds, and if need be, excuse their evil deeds. Some use force, some use religion/ philosophy/ cultural background, some claim that they are superior on their own individual merit and therefore entitled to their abusive behavior.

    My own abuser was an atheist. Out of one side of his mouth, he declared Christianity unjust because of passages like Ephesians 5, and out of the other side of his mouth, he declared that men had evolved to conquer, dominate, and “spread their wild oats,” and that women had evolved to need men to take care of them — all the while he was treating the women and girls in his own life worse than the dirt under his feet. You don’t have to be religious to be a hypocrite. His excuse? He had a high IQ and good problem solving skills, so therefore he deserved to control everyone — for their own good. Ironically, my mother has good enough problem solving skills that she is managing her life just fine without him (and has not ended up penniless as he predicted), and his daughter has enough IQ to see through evil, self-serving hypocrisy.

    I grew up thinking Christian men were better, different than my father. And I have been blessed with an awesome Christian husband who has always treated me as an equal and has always treated me with dignity and respect (in spite of being exposed to comp teachings most of his life). But when I began researching issues like domestic violence and child abuse, I found that these evils are prevalent in “c”hristian circles, and frequently misunderstood, minimized, even excused and defended by many prominent “c”hristian leaders. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. Such a great comment, The Wary Witness. I’m so glad you shared your experience and knowledge. It’s very helpful to the conversation.

    My favorite quote: <At the end of the day, I think the question of cause-and-effect is not the main issue. What we DO know is that abusers use patriarchal teachings to excuse their evil deeds, gain supporters, and trap their victims — in Christ’s name!! And that is despicable. YES!!!!!

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  88. Great comment, Wary Witness. It might interest you to know that I grew up in the same kind of household as you – and my father went to church (I don’t know why the roof didn’t cave in). I also have a wonderful husband who has supported me 100%, is completely egalitarian in his thinking and a non-believer. I don’t happen to think religion makes one bit of difference as to how men treat women – it’s whether or not they have respect for women, religious or not. As I have tried to point out on this thread, complementarianism – at its core – is not a respectful way to treat women.

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  89. Gov. Pappy – I see you have a ‘new’ blog. . .methinks you’ve got fodder for another entry, here on this one. . 🙂

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  90. Excellent analysis, Wary Witness! I believe that at the core of domestic violence perpetrated against women is the belief that men have dominion over women. The atheist who abuses may very likely ascribe to the world view that history proves men are to be the stronger more dominant person. He may even use physiology as his defense, or evolution, i.e.: survival of the fittest, men being stronger than women. Aritstotle, who was no Christian, laid the groundwork for Western society’s views regarding gender roles, which viewed women as subservient to men. Sigmund Freud, who was no Christian and deemed as the Father of Modern Psychology, had sexist views about women, promoting the aberrant idea that women have “penis envy.” What history tells us is that over the course of many centuries, women have been subjugated to abusive systems that justify such ill treatment of women, whether it has been through philosophy, religion, medical science, or any number of categories. Hence, MRA’s (men’s rights activists), and many defenders of Complementarian and Patriarchal teachings bemoan the fact that society has changed, pining for the good old days before Feminism, when men dominated all spheres of society.

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  91. “The Catholic Church as well as much of what is called Evangelical Christianity makes profit from lording over people who are trying to seek God.”

    I hope it is not bashing to state a fact. After the Catholic scandal about Priests a ton of land here in town was put up for sale. People had NO idea how much land the Archdiocese owned. Shopping centers, hospitals, office parks –galore. They had owned that land forever and did quite well with developers for decades. I always wondered why that was normal. Can you imagine something similar on the other bank of the Tiber? I can’t but evangelicals are slower to organize on that scale or i bet they would. The sales helped to pay damages that did not even happen here. That is the long arm of Rome. It is part of the Christian industrial complex.

    Of course when it comes to profiting off Jesus, I am an equal opportunity offender. :o)

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  92. “But that said, you’ve got to test your hypotheses. If you’re going to say that complementarian theology results in abuse, you’ve got to have some data out there.”

    A while back I was on the board of a secular DV crisis center. We gathered information but did not ask religious affiliation. When one takes out a restraining order, they don’t ask, either. So where are the stats you demand going to come from?

    What we did know is that often pastors came to visit as emissaries for the abusers saying he was sorry and please drop the charges and come back. It worked more than you might think.

    Truth is, we make correlations all the time. We all know that we tend tend to take on the thinking of those we consistently associate with. At some point it becomes the normal. Those who are inclined that way take it to that level. It is, in some ways, akin to Islam when it comes to women. I am sure many Muslim men don’t abuse but their system teaches women are less than men and women are responsible for tempting men.

    Around 2009, Bruce Ware, a prof at SBTS, taught that unsubmissives wives trigger abuse. How is that any different in principle than Islam? Why would any Christian think that way? The argument at the time was that Ware was not condoning abuse. He was just explaining it. I say, the camel is in the tent!

    Piper taught wives should ‘Take abuse for a season’. I could go on and on.

    See the problem? Ware is pretty mainstream in evangelicalism and echoes the thinking in the comp world of CBMW. Piper is a beloved guru to millions. And there are many examples.

    When that thinking is the normal and accepted, I am not sure why anyone would be concerned about stats.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. BTDT said

    Bike Bubba,
    You fixated on one paragraph out of the entire article and ignored the rest of his information. How least likely are the “conservative Protestant men who attend church regularly” to beat their wives? 1%? 2%?

    The statics quoted by Christians who work in DV ministries are that “in the Christian community, one in every four women experiences family violence.”
    http://www.focusministries1.org/

    _A Deadly Formula for Violence By Barrington H. Brennen _

    Question: Dear Sir: Why are so many religious leaders telling us that to solve the problem of violence we must return to the “old family traditions and values?” They are telling us that we need “male leadership.” Do we really need male leadership?

    Answer: As a counseling psychologist and minister of the gospel I must say that your concerns are extremely valid.

    … There is a myth that the lack of male leadership in the home and society is the reason for the corruption in society. History will verify that domineering male leadership is one of the reasons for the prevalence of violence in the society and home.

    …Dr. James Alsdurf, in the book Battered Into Submission, cites author Karen Lindsay who challenges the myth “that if people would only stop worrying about their own personal fulfillment and return to the loving bosom of the patriarchal family, the world would be a happy place.”

    She indicates that the perspective that we need to return to the good old days before the breakdown of the nuclear family is a myth. It ignores the issue of intra-family abuse which has always been a reality.
    When was the golden age of the happy family? She indicates that in reality there has never been a golden age. History reveals abuses against women and children from the beginning of time.

    The Deadly Formula
    …. A violence that turns its head in denial, a refusal to admit that abuse exists, and that family abuse is a sin. Several years ago, while working as coordinator of a treatment program for abusive men, I keenly observed that almost thirty percent of the men I worked with indicated that they were active Christians.

    In my interview with these Christian men, it was shocking to discover that for all of them abuse began or escalated when they became Christians (when they were adults), or when their parents became Christians (when they were children). This brings me to the deadly formula. This deadly formula I have discovered through countless hours of counseling, interviews, and working with families in crisis is:

    When rigid traditional family values are combined with rigid traditional religious beliefs, there is always abuse.

    Like

  94. carmen said,

    Ummm. . .Darlene. I believe if you want to find misogynist views, there are plenty in the Bible.

    I don’t think that’s an entirely fair commentary on the Bible.

    There are one or two gender- related bits in the Old Testament I can’t quite grasp, but a lot of the Bible is describing how people of those times and cultures treated women; it was not to say that God approved of, or necessarily agreed with, all or most of it.

    Once we get into the New Testament, interpretation comes into play.

    I think sexist Christian men (gender complementarians) with an agenda definitely choose to interpret certain biblical passages in such a way as to discriminate against women.

    I’ve tried talking to some of these men on other sites, such as “Flag” Ken on T-W-W, and he is impervious to considering the impact of the culture of the surrounding cities on the content of Apostle Paul’s letters.

    That is, some of the comments Paul made about women were only intended for particular churches in particular cultures (because each church was facing problems with pagan religious practices infiltrating the local churches), not timeless commands for all women.

    However, guys like “Flag” Ken don’t to accept that explanation and study, because it takes away male privilege.

    “Flag” Ken actually refers to the use of extra-biblical material (ie, historical documents from that time, or other writings) to understand the cultures to whom Paul wrote as being a “liberal” practice (and hence suspect), though conservative Christian scholars frequently do this.

    I don’t think Apostle Paul was communicating what sexist gender complementarians THINK he was communicating, in other words. Comps are choosing to view the Bible through a sexist prism, even though there are perfectly valid, different, conservative interpretations of the same texts and verses.

    Comps just assume that the God of the Bible is a sexist. You may be making that same error, ironically.

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  95. Regarding all the talk about above stats and Gender Comp and Domestic Violence.

    Putting aside some of the argument – is comp more likely to produce an abuser – I’m interested in looking at it like this:

    You have a guy who is abusing his wife. They both go to a comp church. The wife eventually gets up the courage to go to Comp Preacher man and ask for his help or guidance about the abuse.

    Now, how to complementarians handle abuse? It seems to me that the vast majority of them give the same, stupid, ineffective advice, and they engage in the same unhelpful behavior, such as, but not limited to:

    -Blame the abuse on the wife. She must be doing or saying something to cheese the husband off. If she would just stop doing X, Y, and Z, her spouse would stop verbally and/or physically abusing her (supposedly)

    -She should submit more and submit harder to the husband. Golly gee, the Bible seems to say wives should submit to a husband, and a gentle submitting wife can possibly win a NonChristian man over to the Lord, so if she would just submit more, that must be the key.

    -She should pray for her husband and/or about the marriage (this is a view that was promoted in the “War Room” movie, about a woman who was being abused by her husband).

    -She should cook the spouse his favorite meals and wear sexy nightgowns to bed every night.

    Now, I have seen this advice doled out many times over the years in magazine articles by comp Christians to women in troubled marriages.

    I have seen divorced Christian women on blogs and forums say they tried most or all those proposed solutions at the recommendations of their gender comp church or Christian gender complementarian marriage advice books – and none of it worked.

    Gender complementarians do not understand domestic violence and do not care to do so. They will continue to give abused wives bogus, wrong-headed advice on how to navigate an abusive situation.

    Comps also tend to revere marriage WAY too much and erroneously believe any and all divorce is wrong, or that all divorce but for adultery is wrong, so they will shame or pressure women to stay with an abusive husband no matter what.

    You can sit here and quibble percentages all day long about how much gender comp, conservative Christianity does or does not cause or lead to abuse….

    But the fact remains comp does foster an environment, pre-built biblical-sounding justification, and mindset that perpetuates abuse, minimizes abuse (especially against women), because underlying its precepts are sexist ideas, including but not limited to,

    -that women are not as fully in God’s image as men are;
    -women are so stupid / evil / easily deceived, that they need a “male covering” (the need a male leader over them to make choices for them),
    -women ought to be sweet and passive no matter what (ie, proper females should lack boundaries, lack assertiveness, and hence permit men to abuse them), etc etc.

    Bike Bubba (and the other guy in this thread who was discussing holding controlled studies about abuse),
    none of those sexist beliefs I just outlined – which are in fact present in most any and all varieties of gender comp, conservative Christianity – is conducive to healthy, balanced male-female relationships (marriage or otherwise) and sure as heck does not HELP cases where there is abuse in a marriage.

    Like

  96. Lydia said,

    What we did know is that often pastors came to visit as emissaries for the abusers saying he was sorry and please drop the charges and come back. It worked more than you might think.

    Preachers, the ones who are believers of gender complementarianism, are some of the biggest enablers of domestic violence, or influencing women to think they should put up with being treated like dirt.

    I was reading a book by a counselor who filled her book with case studies of her patients. In one of them, she talked about a woman whose husband kept gambling her pay checks away.

    The wife had enough, dumped the guy (yay!!), but – the husband joined a church. He came back and plead with the wife to take him back. He had been going to church ever week for X number of months, he said he was reading his Bible daily, he had really turned over a new leaf. The wife was still fairly skeptical at this point.

    So, next thing that happens is the preacher of the church where the gambling addict spouse attends, shows up at her house to chat with her. The preacher droned on and on about showing compassion, mercy, second chances, and forgiveness to people. He talked this wife into taking the guy back.

    So, she takes him back. After X weeks of being together, the husband stopped going to church. She noticed, asked him about it, and he said he didn’t need it anymore.

    After so many more weeks go by, the wife noticed weird financial stuff going on, a used gambling ticket stub in her husband’s pants when she was doing laundry. It turned out her husband had gone back to gambling and was using cash forwards and stuff on her credit card to finance his habit.

    She really had enough at this stage and kicked his behind to the curb. He came back, pounding on the front door, begging for another chance. She refused to cave in. She started dating a new guy who treats her like a queen.

    This is just one example that springs to my mind of how preachers or other Christians encourage women to risk their own safety, ego, self esteem, bank accounts, etc. to put up with mistreatment by a louse of a man.

    Like

  97. I also put this in the thread about Domestic Violence:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Siteseer at T-W-W blog posted this in a thread that mentioned Doug Wilson:
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ~~~~~~~
    Further, his [Doug Wilson’s] teaching that patriarchy is safer for women is laughable. Patriarchal societies are the most dangerous for women.

    I also find it very strange, the concept that it is normal and expected for a man to rape.

    This page contains a good collection of sources for statistics on rape in patriarchal societies and other rape myths:
    http://thehathorlegacy.com/rape-statistics/

    Liked by 1 person

  98. Thank you, Daisy, for all the information! Adding to that sexist list: Intelligent women are to suspend their God-given gifts and their minds, and acquiesce to their husbands – even if their better judgment tells them differently. Somehow, fulfilling this role give glory to God in their view. But in reality, it strips the wife of her very person, in which she must resist her conscience and ignore the wisdom and knowledge God has given her. Here are some examples:

    If the the husband is intending to make an unwise financial decision which will cause the family to go in debt, the comp wife may give her suggestions or opinions, but the final say – no matter how damaging – is up to the husband and the wife must submit to his decision, even if the family goes into debt. By the way, I heard this very teaching from a comp teacher so I didn’t make it up.

    If the husband wants his wife to dress and wear her hair a certain way, but she is uncomfortable with the way her husband wants her to look and dress, she should still willingly submit – even if it is against her conscience or self-esteem. I knew a couple like this. The wife submitted to dressing the way the husband wanted her to dress: in short, sexy outfits with high heels. She hated it and felt very uncomfortable dressing that way.

    These are just two examples. I’m sure others could add to them. This is why I see red flags every time a Comp defender says that a wife does not have to submit if the husbands is trying to make her sin. But what does that mean exactly? Who is to determine what sin is? Sure, you’ll hear the extreme examples of wive shouldn’t watch pornography if the husband wants her to. Or she shouldn’t lie if he wants her to. But more than often, marriage doesn’t present these extreme examples. Who draws the line between what is sin and what is not? Where does one boundary begin and the other end? Well, I’d say that in comp marriages, since the wife agrees to suspend her wisdom, knowledge and better judgment to the husband – it is he who determines every time, i.e.- has the final say (as they say) what is sin and what is not. The wife effectively take the role of a child with her husband acting more like her father.

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  99. Daisy, just read your comment about the return to old family values.

    Regarding the corruption in society and the supposed link to a lack of male leadership…

    Who is saying this?

    How is society more corrupt today?

    I’m confused haha

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  100. Pingback: Was Jesus Really a Complementarian??? | The Beautiful Kingdom Warriors

  101. At one point I read somewhere along the line somewhere that Complementarian theology roles attract abusers.

    To be honest, I think its much larger than just that. Any Church that sets itself up as a “higher truth” than other churches (in a prideful way) tends to attract people that are controlling. And controlling people tend be more abusive.

    Don’t get me wrong I believe in the inerrant word of God… but the tone and posture of people can become abusive when we put ourselves on a “higher truth plane” than those around us and start looking down on them!

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  102. Pingback: 5 Reasons Not to Support New Calvinism – Sparking Conversation

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