Are Complementarians Tough on Abuse?

Complementarianism, Desiring God, Domestic Abuse

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-by Kathi

Desiring God featured a guest article by Rebecca McLaughlin titled, “Complementarians Should Be Toughest on Abuse.” I appreciate Dr. McLaughlin’s words and I think her intent is honorable. She addresses pastors and men to call out abuse, warns Christians to not be naive about abusers, and emphasizes that abused women need support and assistance.

Because this article is posted by Desiring God, I want to address the author’s thoughts according to how John Piper addresses marriage and focus on dynamics within domestic abuse. Why John Piper? Because Desiring God was founded by Piper and he is considered the lead teacher for the site. Any guest posts should be compared to what Piper has set as precedent for the site.

1. God calls husbands to sacrificial love:

McLaughlin says:

Some summarize complementarian theology as “husbands lead, wives submit,” but this is not what the Bible says. God calls wives to submit (Ephesians 5:22; Colossians 3:18; 1 Peter 3:1). But the primary command to husbands is not lead. It is love (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33; Colossians 3:19).

Her point does not fit the Desiring God narrative on complementarian relationships. John Piper defines headship and submission as:

Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.

Let’s not forget Piper’s, “Should Women Be Police Officers?” :

On the other hand, husband and wife, very personal and, hence, the clear teaching of the New Testament that the man should give, give leadership in the home and she give glad partnership in supporting and helping that leadership uh come, come into its own.

There is no way to work around complementarian’s view of the husband as the leader, especially when the wife’s role is to honor, affirm, and support her husband’s leadership. The “primary command” may be to love, but he is definitely the leader.

2. Strength is for honoring, not control:

Why is McLaughlin solely focusing on physical strength?

From a biblical perspective, the relative physical strength of men is not a tool for power play, but a motivation for empathy and honor.

Physical strength is not the only tool used in abuse.  She neglects addressing how words and manipulation are used in verbal and emotional abuse. A man may never use physical strength against his wife, but is still able to show power and convey his strength through his words, intimidation, and manipulation.

Strength is important in the complementarian view of man. Piper’s definition of headship includes protection. He used the following illustration as a definition of manhood:

Suppose, I said, a couple of you students, Jason and Sarah, were walking to McDonald’s after dark. And suppose a man with a knife jumped out of the bushes and threatened you. And suppose Jason knows that Sarah has a black belt in karate and could probably disarm the assailant better than he could. Should he step back and tell her to do it? No. He should step in front of her and be ready to lay down his life to protect her, irrespective of competency. It is written on his soul. That is what manhood does.

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The article where Piper states this addresses women in combat roles. He opines how men are naturally not able to follow a woman’s direct orders. Why did he even need to address this? Is a complementarian man that afraid that his manhood is being compromised if he has a woman with some type of authority over him?

The driving force behind abuse is power and control. While abuse may happen in any type of marriage, complementarianism provides structure to a marriage which allows power and control to exist. As long as men and women are different in roles and responsibility, there will always be a power differential.

3. Spousal abuse is gospel-denying sin:

For the most part I like what McLaughlin is saying here. I think she could do without the “gospel-denying” bit. The gospel is about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Sin is sin. She does call pastors to hold abusers accountable and support victims.

**Side note: Is she teaching men here? Does McLaughlin writing  this article go against complementarian doctrine of the role of women in the church?

But what about the victim? How should she respond to her abuser? Let’s not forget John Piper’s words in 2009 (from video below):

If it’s not requiring her to sin, but simply hurting her, then I think she endures verbal abuse for a season, she endures perhaps being smacked one night, and then she seeks help from the church.

 

**I will never stop referencing this video. I hope he is held accountable one day for his callous remarks about women affected by abuse.

Piper followed up with a post four years later to “clarify” his statement. His clarification only added bringing in civil authorities:

This legitimate recourse to civil protection may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband, for a wife may take this recourse with a heavy and humble heart that longs for her husband’s repentance and the restoration of his nurturing leadership.

While he did state in this clarification post that abuse is wrong, he neglected to state that what he said was wrong. He continued to reiterate the view that women must submit, whether it be to civil or church authorities or to her husband. At what point do complementarians think that it is dangerous for a woman to submit? How many women continued to endure abuse because John Piper says that a wife’s role is to submit to her husband?

4. Jesus teaches vulnerability and protection:

From McLaughlin:

Due to its distortions and misuses, some believe complementarian theology must be abandoned to keep women safe. But imagine Paul and Peter had said nothing about wives. An unthoughtful pastor might use Jesus’s own words to justify sending a woman back into a dangerous situation. “Do not resist the one who is evil,” says our Lord. “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:39). In Christ, we all enter the world with a posture of vulnerability.

With this I reference back to unthougthful Piper and his words: “she endures perhaps being smacked one night.” Remember, he never said that he provided wrong advice.

5. You’re twice as safe with a Christian man:

In McLaughlin’s final thought she says:

No woman wants to acknowledge spousal abuse. Many will suffer in silence, while their husbands maintain a godly pretense. We need you to work with your wives and sisters in Christ to ensure that no one in your sphere is issuing scars or hiding them. We need you to be like Christ to your wives, and to be like Christ in your church, speaking up with courage, standing up for women, and hating abuse in all its forms. Twice as safe is not enough — let’s make women a hundred times safer with Christian men.

What I struggle with most about this article is that even though I think the author’s intent is to bring awareness about domestic abuse and accountability toward abusers, she holds on to the premise that a complementarian marriage should be the answer for abuse. The words are good, but the fact remains that there is a hierarchy in marriage and the church. Remember Piper’s definition of submission for a wife. The wife’s role is to “honor and affirm her husband’s leadership.” Why does she not have any autonomy on her own? The husband’s headship is to be the leader of the home. Why does the weight of this fall solely on the husband’s shoulders? Why can’t the two work as one?

Are there good, non-abusive complementarian marriages out there? Of course there are. And for those people I say, “I wish you well.” Even though the good exists doesn’t mean the bad marriages do not. It is for this reason that I have a problem with a non-essential gospel doctrine that enables power and control to an abusive spouse.

243 comments on “Are Complementarians Tough on Abuse?

  1. Pertinent link:
    _First Woman To Accuse Nassar Says Church Can Be One Of ‘Worst Places’ To Go For Help_

    Snippets:

    Denhollander, an evangelical Christian, saw that Biblical teachings about grace and repentance were being weaponized against victims, pressuring them into offering an easy forgiveness to their abusers.

    ….Ashley Easter, an advocate for abuse victims, told HuffPost she agrees the church is not always a safe place for victims to disclose abuse.

    “Many churches hold poor interpretations of Scripture that imply the victim is somehow at fault for dressing or acting a certain way ‘immodestly,’ that speaking up about abuse is ‘gossip’ or ‘slander,’ and that forgiveness is moving on without demanding justice for the victims,” Easter told HuffPost. “These stances are a stark contrast from Jesus’ ministry to the marginalized.”

    Many of these views about women are steeped in patriarchal biases.

    Christa Brown, an expert on church abuse scandals, told HuffPost that in evangelical communities, patriarchy is often seen as part of God’s plan.

    Some churches emphasize female submissiveness and male “headship,” the idea that men have final authority over women in the church, community and home.

    These teachings aren’t always inherently destructive. But they can create an unequal power dynamic ― such as when a female survivor of assault brings her case to the male elders of a local church.

    …Meanwhile, other aspects of evangelical Christian theology, such as the emphasis on forgiveness of sin, can enable covering up sexual abuse. …

    The toxicity of this combination ― a lack of accountability structures and a patriarchal theology ― taints evangelical culture at its very core,” Brown told HuffPost.

    …“For the church to become a safe place for abuse survivors, it must repent of its sin of shielding perpetrators in their ranks,” she said.
    “The church needs to reevaluate its patriarchal shaming and silencing of victims and create an environment where abuse disclosure is encouraged and met with belief and compassion.”

    Complementarianis are not tough on abuse, far from it: their biblical interpretations and their teachings often enable and worsen abuse.

    There’s a history of this. Just check out “A Cry For Justice” blog for yet more examples of it.

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  2. Mark said to KAS,

    In this instance there is, whether we like it or not, a difference in authority, submit (with the idea of coming into rank) to head (meaning at least some measure of authority). All of this under Christ’s authority.

    Depending on how “rank” is used, most of us would probably understand it in a military like context, so that someone who “out-ranks” another is expected to submit to their superior officer, which entails obeying that officer (not merely showing “respect”)… because the officer is invested with authority.

    Complementarians use that analogy and ones similar to it quite often, which does not work for their purposes, and which I pointed out to KAS on the last thread about this stuff, but,

    KAS distorted my comments to suggest I was saying that there is a “rank” in marriage, that I somehow agree with some argument he was making (no, I was not).

    No, I don’t believe there is a rank, hierarchy, or authority figure in a marriage between a husband and a wife.

    In that previous thread, I was refuting the complementarian analogy that uses military personnel to try to prove that there is supposedly nothing sexist, disrespectful, unfair, or wrong, with a woman being compared to a Private in the Army who must take orders from a General in the Army (with the General in the example being a husband).

    I explained what that Military (General Vs. Private) analogy, (and ones like it), does not work in this post at my Daisy blog:
    _Christian Gender Complementarian Analogies Do Not Work_

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  3. KAS has waffled so much for so long at this point, but my understanding of his views so far is:

    KAS thinks that a (complementarian Christain) husband is like a General in the Army, his wife is like a Private in the Army, but the wife should not have to “obey” her husband, but she must “submit’ to her husband, with submit meaning “shows respect to.”

    (I have no idea how “submit” means the same thing as “respect,” or why one cannot show respect without submitting to another).

    But in the KAS definitions of things, the “General” in his army may only have connotations of authority in his role, and the General cannot or should not (physically) force the Private to submit (show respect?) to him or obey his orders and commands.

    (None of this is consistent or makes any sense. I guess the Male Headship role in KAS view is Symbolic only(?), the Complementarian Christian Husband is a Figure Head, has no real power (?).

    If that is his view, there are other complementarians who would totally disagree, to the point they teach that the husband is vested in “final decision making” in a marriage, a wife must cave in to what the husband wants, even if she disagrees, etc)

    But militaries would say that a General is invested with authority due to his rank, and that a Private must follow the directives of the General.

    A General out-ranks a Private, hence, a Private answers to a General, but not vice-versa.

    KAS, as I explained elsewhere, is fine and dandy with a husband expecting or demanding sex in spite of the wife’s wishes (i.e., marital rape is peachy keen), so long as the husband uses spiritual abuse, guilt tripping, shaming, and manipulation to get it – but the husband should not use physical force.

    Anyway, I don’t think the Bible teaches that submission is a unilateral female- to- male practice (Eph 5.21 says all are to submit to all, husbands are not excluded),

    And, “head” in the NT, when discussing husbands, does not mean “authority” figure, or boss, or one who is in charge of, one who gets the final decision or tie-breaking vote in a disagreement, nor does it mean one who is held responsible for another by God.

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  4. (part 1)
    I saw this months ago but had forgotten about it:
    _Is Complementarian Theology Abusive to Women?_ by K. DuMez

    Snippets:

    One of the most outspoken critics of Princeton’s decision to honor Keller has been Carol Howard Merritt.

    At her Christian Century blog she denounced Keller’s complementarian theology as “toxic,” and castigated Keller as “one of the loudest, most read, and most adhered-to proponents of male headship in the home.”

    And she raised a provocative question: Does teaching submission encourage abuse?

    In other words, what is the “relationship between domestic violence and the Christian teaching that wives must submit?”

    “Biblical womanhood, headship, and male authority,” Merritt wrote, “teaches women that they have no right to choose…well…anything.”

    From where they go to how they school their children to when they have sex to how she looks, a man is in charge.

    “And if a woman questions that authority, the full force of the church community, their social connections, and their Christian doctrine backs him up.” This, according to Merritt, is nothing short of abuse.

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  5. (part 2)
    _Is Complementarian Theology Abusive to Women?_ by K DuMez

    Snippets:

    … In listening in on this conversation, I couldn’t help but think of a woman who reached much the same conclusion, over a century before Merritt waded into these waters.

    Katharine Bushnell [a devout Methodist] reached the same conclusion as Merritt.

    …Yes, she [Katharine Bushnell] concluded. Christianity itself, as it had been practiced and preached, did in fact condone the abuse of women.

    In her reading of the Bible, she had to concede that the Scriptures appeared to teach that “the sexual abuse of wife by husband was ordained by God at the fall of Eve.”

    …Anticipating objections she defended her use of the term “abuse,” insisting that subordination was abuse.

    In my book on Bushnell, I recount how she came to this conclusion:….

    …Male headship, she insisted, was simply the notion through which men claimed for themselves all sorts of privileges, effectively giving free reign to their own egotism…

    …After a careful study of the scriptures, however, she became convinced that patriarchy was not God’s will for humankind.

    Rather, misogynistic translators and interpreters had skewed the gospel message. Rightly translated and interpreted, she argued, the Bible offered a revolutionary message for women: a rejection of patriarchy, and a path to true liberation.

    Please use the link I provided above to read the rest of that page.

    No, complementarians are not tough on abuse.
    Their complementarianism perpetuates and encourages the abuse of girls and women, especially by men.

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  6. Sorry for yet another post.
    (I was actually done posting here for the day, but I came across another applicable post for this thread when researching something else for my own blog).

    Mark,
    you may want to skim this page below over by K. Wordgazer (it’s pretty long, if you’d prefer to skim rather read word- for- word, that would work) – what the blogger describes about “9Marks” fits KAS.

    The blogger talks about how a complementarian author at “9Marks” (Jonathan Leeman) re-defines meanings of words in an essay he wrote about complementarianism and male headship:

    _A Close Look at a Complementarian Argument_

    Here are some quotes from that page:

    by K. Wordgazer

    He [Leeman] argues that having authority is not actually any different than being under authority, and he does this by seemingly redefining authority.

    …[snip Leeman’s commentary about authority]

    Here is where Leeman appears to redefine authority (but without actually succeeding in doing so).

    He says, truly enough, that the New Testament calls those in authority, and particularly husbands in Ephesians 5 (remember that in first-century Ephesus men culturally already had this authority), to lay down their lives, to self-sacrifice, and to raise up those under them.

    But what he seems to lose track of is that what this actually involves, as described in Ephesians 5, is a surrender of the authority itself.

    …. Also, in Matthew 23:11 Jesus did not say, “the greatest among you shall become your servant-leader.” He said, “The greatest among you shall be your servant.”

    If Leeman believes that those in authority are to empower those under them, the best way to empower someone is to raise them out of subordination to be your equal, not to keep them in subordination to you.

    Leeman glosses over the subordination of the one under authority, as if it no longer existed in a Christian concept of authority. But if the subordination no longer exists, then in what sense does the authority even exist?

    Authority cannot simply be redefined so it no longer means authority — and indeed, his emphasis on the danger of wanting to be “over God” makes it clear that this is not what Leeman really means.

    To Leeman, a wife desiring to be equal in authority to her husband is the same sort of thing as wanting to usurp and depose God.

    Christians who believe Jesus taught that the family of God consists of equal brothers and sisters, all under one Father and one Elder Brother who are the sole authorities,* are idolators in Leeman’s book.

    But if “redeemed authority” is still hierarchical human authority, and those under it are still under it, then there is a real difference, and the one in authority is superior in power and agency to the subordinate.
    That is simply what the words mean, and glossing over those meanings doesn’t make them go away.

    The rest of that blog page is really good, too.

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  7. Katy – The author partially points out comp doctrine well in her article – a husband should love his wife like Christ loved the church. It’s a sacrificial love. This is her argument for why comp marriages should be safest from abuse. It sounds good, but that’s not all that the husband is in a comp marriage.

    The husband is viewed with God-given authority for his role to be the leader and headship of his household. This translates into the church as well as men are the leaders of the church. The wife’s God-given duty is to submit to and support the husband’s leadership. There is no autonomy for the wife according to comp doctrine. Piper takes comp doctrine further to blur the line of how women associate with men outside of church and home – at times he thinks that women bruise men’s ego and spirit when they have authority.

    They will say that men and women are equal because they are made in the image of God, but distinct in their roles. It’s the last stronghold for comps — men maintaining leadership in home and church.

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  8. Daisy, working through the article… So far, I found this one intriguing (from the comp.)

    The trouble with egalitarianism is that it continues to measure “advantage” and “authority” and “over/under” with the tape measures of this fallen world. It’s stuck believing that, even if there are occasional advantages to being under authority for training purposes, in the final analysis it is always better to be over. … The true danger is that of believing it’s always better to be over. If that were true, its logic would apply to God. Happiness will finally elude us until we are over God, as someone intimated a very long time ago.

    response:

    Leeman glosses over the subordination of the one under authority, as if it no longer existed in a Christian concept of authority.

    Which is very intriguing indeed. It appears that this is a gigantic bait-and-switch. That is, authority becomes sacrifice and being under authority means being lifted up. But, that only works until someone is in that relationship and the equation gets flipped back over. The key word is submit. Why is accepting submission the key to complementarian relationships? Why even talk about submission if the key to complementarianism is the selflessness of the authority?

    To his “proof” – interestingly, Atheists use this “If that were true, its logic would apply to God” to cast doubt one of the proofs of God. Christians say that every action must have a cause, and every cause must have a cause. That is until we get back to the “first” cause. Atheists say, why do we have to stop at the “first” cause? If every cause must have a cause, then God must have a cause. Who created God?

    Also intriguing about his shunning of “individualism”. Individualism grows out of the concept that we are each, individually, image-bearers of God, and as image-bearers of God deserving of certain things. We call those “rights”. So, in arguing that our modern definition of individual justice (i.e. our “rights”) is somehow morally bankrupt, he is also rejecting much of what the Reformation and Evangelicalism brought.

    Another great argument by the author is that, if men have all the “rights” of women and women have those “rights”, minus the right to have authority, then one cannot argue that women are not inferior. In other words, what “rights” do women have that men do not?

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  9. Mark-So, submission means what? until we are required to disobey God. Hmmm I can easily fill in the blank. OBEDIENCE.

    Right? I mean, when they start talking, that’s always where it leads. All they ever do is put an occasional qualification on it, that doesn’t make it better.

    The trouble with egalitarianism is that it continues to measure “advantage” and “authority” and “over/under” with the tape measures of this fallen world. It’s stuck believing that, even if there are occasional advantages to being under authority for training purposes, in the final analysis it is always better to be over. … The true danger is that of believing it’s always better to be over

    Oh man, Mark, I have SO LITTLE PATIENCE for this argument I can’t even began.
    These arguments always start with someone, usually a woman, saying they get an actual say in their own lives, with someone else, usually a dudebropastorspiritualguyperson, coming along all ‘you are just like the WORLD for not understanding that this is not a bad thing’. But they are always coming from a place of power, telling a person who they would put into a place of less power, that they should accept having no power and trying to shame them spiritually for calling it out. So gross.

    Also, tired of the military analogies. I called someone out on a blog one time who used one, badly, and he apparently was so abusive the blog guy deleted his comment.

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  10. Katy,

    That was a really interesting point. Thank you for that.

    Continuing on that same thought, think about how Jesus taught us to be proactive.

    “Ask, seek, knock and the door will be opened….”

    That requires us to move forward and do something.

    Yet Comp theology teaches us to be passive. To wait for someone else to do it for us or give us the green light to do it. That’s what makes Comp theology so painful.
    It’s requiring us to sit there helpless when the Bible warns us about passiveness. (James 4:17)

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  11. Avid,

    Yea! Right on….ready to do a square dance of just one person here……yes, it’s okay to dance before the LORD….Psalm 150!

    The last time I checked God’s two great commands for all believers, He evidently forgot to put the gender thing in because the more I understand comp theism, the more I understand that woman was not created with a mind, heart, and soul the same as man…..and thus, it would be impossible to love God and serve Him…..and also, that would eliminate loving your neighbor as yourself…..because women are not capable of making a decision on their own unless you have a man lording over them. And thus, Jesus came to save only a man, and not a woman, for her faith rests in the covering of a male figure…….and that would render the Gospel of our LORD Jesus Christ….powerless.

    So in retrospect, the whole comp ideology and Scripture twisting game that we see played out in the religious culture (and especially with a few comp men and women posting here at SSB), is basically rooted in pride……the pride of this life (1 John 2:16), for it is so incredibly easy to tell someone else how to live. And here again, you brought up a very important point, Avid Reader, concerning passiveness verses activeness. When a man is active, we are to sing his praises with a major chord of appreciation….and when a woman is active in her faith, comp men become envious, jealous, complain, and roll their proverbial eyeballs to show their disdain…….and many secretly work behind the scenes to eliminate faithful women from serving Christ to their full gifting from the Holy Spirit.

    It is as if the comp folks really don’t like to see women believers in Jesus Christ, actually enjoying their lives (you know, the life that God literally breathed into every human being) and serving Him, without the permission of a man.

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  12. To: Katy. Greeting!

    Let’s have something positive! My eldest daughter was finally baptised on Saturday in the local river, and at her request dad was allowed to help! Fortunately it wasn’t cold, though I wouldn’t want to swallow any of it.

    She gave a moving testimony, how she has changed, and how she came to realise with all the questions the Christian faith throws up that God is God and she isn’t. There are plenty of Christians twice her age who haven’t yet realised that! She has wisdom beyond her years, and a great deal of discernment. What I particularly liked was that once in the river, it became personal just between her and God, almost private even though a good crowd came along to cheer her and three others on. Far enough out for depth, but without getting caught in the weeds!

    She is halfway through her master’s degree, and goes to a church – male elders only!! – with a strong student contingent, majority female. So just where are all these women who are told to be passive and not develop a strong faith of their own, let alone not to pursue higher education? I’m not sure I know any, at least not any where ‘comp’ could be held responsible. Which only goes to show that ‘comp’ encompasses a range of opinion and practice, just as not all egalitarians are on their way to apostacy like RHE.

    There is stacks of room for women to exercise gifts and ministries if the structure of the church allows this, and male elders does not of itself stop this. Every member ministry is thwarted much more by a one-man band ministry in the traditional mold.

    My middle one was there as a surprise. Now I know that I do not hold to a doctrine that oppresses women, nor have I seen this as a rule amongst the varied believers I have encountered over the years, but from your post above you obviously do think this. One size fits all comp. Hence my gratitude even more for you having the grace (along with SKIP) in praying for the middle one in her current afflictions. We are not out of the woods yet on this one. The influence of modern feminist ideology including in the church really isn’t helping, in fact it is doing positive harm (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms).

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  13. On the one hand you exalt the baptism of your daughter who goes to a church which has male elders only and on the other you state that there is “stacks of room for women to exercise gifts and ministries if the structure of the church allows this”. Ummm. . . With all male elders, how are women supposed to get out of traditional roles? Just an observation here, but it seems to me that you endorse women doing what they want as long as they do what men expect them to do .
    How noble of you.

    I’m sure others (including Katy, to whom your comment was directed) are curious as to the problem of your other daughter. Since you’ve made several oblique references to ‘the influence of modern feminist ideology’ I am wondering just what this poor young woman has done to raise your ire. Could it be that she wants to be treated as an equal? (Your god forbid!) Or are you blaming ‘feminist ideology’ for something outside your understanding and comprehension?

    Also, please remember (Daisy has reminded you several times already) that this post is dealing with complementarianism specifically, and the question of whether or not fundamentalist churches are dealing sensibly with the associated problems.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ummm. . . With all male elders, how are women supposed to get out of traditional roles? Just an observation here, but it seems to me that you endorse women doing what they want as long as they do what men expect them to do .

    Hi Carmen, I think I agree with you except I see it more as ‘as long as whatever men happen to be there endorse this particular thing a woman wants to do’. And that varies WILDLY between men, and churches. And sometimes it varies at the same church, with the same men! My friend left the pentacostals after her preacher suddenly decided jean skirts were evil and preached a sermon on it, when they weren’t the week before eyeroll. It made them question. There is too much of man’s rules here. If women cede control of their lives to men, as all comps wish no matter which flavor, they are subject to these swings of fancy. Take advice from people you trust and respect, male and female, but if that advice is bad there is no reason to take it. Your life is ultimately that, your life. No one can make all your decisions for you.

    And you can’t always tell from the outside which men will be reasonable and which will have hidden biases and opinions that would never be in the newsletter – although I would take all male elders as a negative sign at this point.

    I do hope, KAS, that your daughters are well, as I hope for everyone here and family.

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  15. KAS,

    Congrats on the baptism and family togetherness.

    I’d love to write something about how Jesus taught women’s rights that the church is refusing to accept, but we’ve already gone around in circles on this for months now.

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  16. KAS, congrats!

    Not going to argue, but just three examples in addition to the one I already mentioned about a homeschool/comp church that changed its mind on women attending college.

    My wife says that she thinks her mom invited me over a lot because I was one of the few (maybe only?) men at church who was willing to talk theology with her.

    I have a friend who was in college when I was in grad school. She said when I graduated there was no one to talk to – the guys at the church (keep in mind this is a college town) would stop talking about theology when she joined the conversation.

    For my touchpoint, elder/member… There was a semi-controversial conference speaker one year. A friend of mine overheard two elders talking about the message. They were wondering why the speaker was teaching ‘the people’ and that it should b discussed at an elder conference.

    So, the pattern I’ve seen more strongly in comp churches is a general cultural restriction based on position in church. Maybe super-reactionary comp churches will say ‘women should not pursue higher education’, but mostly it is a logical conclusion of ‘if women belong at home, then why spend $100k+ on a highly-educated stay-at-home-mom and bring that debt into a marriage?’. In the same way, I’m sure that super-reactionary comp churches (the ones where wives refuse to listen to correction unless both husbands are involved) are going to say that women shouldn’t learn theology, but in the standard comp churches, it’s more that there’s no point in trying to explain why… just give the list of conclusions. It’s really just the domain of the pastors and elders to wrestle through the why.

    In my case, it was fine for me to engage in all sorts of educational pursuits, as long as that never conflicted with the cultural understanding that I was somehow inferior in every way to the church leaders. As soon as the “I’m the elder and this is what you must believe” trump card came out (which it often did) it was a problem if I didn’t immediately assent to their superiority.

    Because it’s a dysfunctional cultural issue, in general no one is going to take a verbal or written stand on it. It’s an unwritten rule. It was an unwritten rule at one church not to disagree with an elder. When I did, people got really uncomfortable. Would they preach that from the pulpit? NEVER! Did the church where women didn’t attend college preach that from the pulpit? Of course not, but somehow the vast majority of families got the hint and didn’t send their daughters to college. Would a church say that women should never talk about theology? I doubt it, but why do women who are interested in theology find no one wants to talk to them about it? Unwritten rules.

    Like

  17. @ KAS

    “Now I know that I do not hold to a doctrine that oppresses women, ”

    My father and the man who sexually abused me as a child would say the same things about themselves. They also blamed feminism for everything and trash talked feminist. The opinions of selfish, lying, know-nothing. misogynistic, bottom of the barrel men. One, a little girl rapist and the other a wife beater who said rape is not that big of a deal. Oh, how they hated feminism and thought anyone who was not comp deserved to go to hell.

    Comp men are spoiled selfish brats. When a person is spoiled they often do not know anything about another person’s pain and troubles or care. They are too spoiled to think about or care about anything but themselves.

    KAS you have been consistently insulting, heartless, and misogynistic towards women here and sexual abuse victims here. People who were sexually abused as toddlers!

    “The influence of modern feminist ideology including in the church really isn’t helping, in fact it is doing positive harm (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms).”

    There you go again KAS telling women their business and pretending something you want to be true is true. Comp men excel at pretending things they want to be true is true and things they don’t want to be true isn’t true.

    Feminism saved me. It is the only good thing and the first good thing that ever happened to me. Feminist taught me that there are a few people on the planet that think I have a right to say no. and there are a few people on the planet that hates rape, and hates wife beaters. They taught me the opposite of what I was taught in comp. Comp taught me if a man is hurting me and gets pleasure out of hurting me I can not tell him no, hurt his feelings, or kick him out of my life.

    I was once a brainwashed girl trapped in the male worshipping cult that is comp and only said and did things that flattered my perverted wife beating evil comp father’s ego. But now I have left the cult and see the brainwashing of comp/misogyny for what it is. It is slop, cooked up by selfish, sexually abusive, pro wife beaters rights, pro-child rapist rights, unattractive, insecure, extremely awful men who have much in common with Islamist.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Basically just dropped by to leave a link or two.

    (CH said) KAS said this,

    “Now I know that I do not hold to a doctrine that oppresses women”

    But you do.

    Your denial of this face does not the fact un-true.

    CH and I have told you many times how complementarianism has personally harmed us.

    We’ve told you this and explained it for weeks and weeks now.

    Complementarianism taught me that to be a “godly, biblical woman” meant to hold codependent traits, to take abuse and mistreatment off of others, to not defend myself, to lack boundaries, etc. etc.

    And this was taught to me under the “kinder” and “gentler” form of complementarianism that you seem to think is safer. You have never addressed that.

    I’ve already noted in a few posts in this thread and the older one that you are excusing marital rape. You have quoted a bible verse to suggest that a woman cannot and should never say “no” to her husband if he wants to have sex and she does not.

    You are saying marital sex does not have to be consensual, that a husband has a right to take sex from his wife, by guilt- tripping her, shaming her, quoting Bible verses at her about “not denying each other for a season” – it’s spiritual abuse.

    CH says KAS says,

    “The influence of modern feminist ideology including in the church really isn’t helping, in fact it is doing positive harm (if that isn’t a contradiction in terms).”

    But I was not influenced by “modern feminist ideology.”

    I used to be a complementarian and saw by my late 20s for myself that the complementarian interpretation of the Bible makes the Bible appear as though it’s contradicting itself.

    I also came to see how complementarians practices eisegesis quite a bit – they see things in the OT and NT that the BIble itself simply does not say, or they make assumptions.

    For example, the text says Adam named the animals, as if to say, this is “proof” that God intended for Adam to rule Eve, but the text itself does not make this statement or even imply it!

    Anyway, I think you are an abusive person and are harmful and I do wish you would get banned or blocked from this blog, or forced to post about comp in a thread for that purpose.

    It’s troubling to me that you are permitted to drop by this blog once a week or more to keep denying the experiences of women such as myself or CH, to tell us that “comp doesn’t hurt women” etc, when you have live, actual women telling you that is not so, that it does hurt women.

    By the way, complementarian views, KAS, are not Bible-based – they are maintained and upheld by complementarians who have allowed their secular culture and personal views of women color how they read the Bible.

    Comp is also a reaction against secular feminism. It’s not biblical. It’s not based on the Bible alone, but based on sexist assumptions and sexist interpretations, and verses ripped from their cultural contexts.

    I dropped by to leave some links and stuff such as,

    By Scot McKnight, <blockquote.I was raised complementarian. More importantly, I was raised in something of a theological echo chamber where my complementarian convictions went undisputed. Source:
    _Do Egalitarians Take The Bible Seriously_

    I, too, was raised complementarian – not as a feminist – and I rejected comp years ago because I could see that the Bible does not teach male hierarchy and permanent, all-over, female subordination.

    Like

  19. One also has to dig how KAS just keeps ignoring the mountain of links I have provided on this site over the past few weeks in this thread and the previous ones, from abuse survivors and abuse advocates, who say that the church (especially comp churches) are the LEAST helpful places abuse victims can receive help.

    There’s a link just like that around the top of this very comment page. LOL.

    But no, let’s just come on to the thread to say, “But gosh, the complementarianism I believe in does not harm women”

    None is so blind as he who refuses to see – and though he’s been shown multiple times by more than one woman, with many links to many articles that explain things like the correlation between traditional (complementarian) gender role teachings and domestic violence of women by men.

    Like

  20. Link below recently shared by Jocelyn A. (on Twitter), who said,

    Al Mohler tweeted that he thought we [non-complementarians] were confused.

    We were not confused.

    Complementarianism is on trial right now and we are still waiting for their apology –8 years since

    Christians demand apology for anti-women teaching

    Snippets:

    A group of women and men calling themselves the “Freedom for Christian Women Coalition” has demanded an apology for religious teaching they say is harmful to women.

    Shirley Taylor, founder of “Baptist Women for Equality”, presented the Demand for an Apology from the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood at a July 24 meeting in Orlando, Fla.

    “At a time in our church history that the main focus should be on winning lost souls and spreading the gospel to a hurting world, we fear for the future because the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood has placed a greater priority on women’s submissive role rather than on the gospel of Jesus Christ,” the statement read in part.

    The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood is an organization with offices on the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. It was formed in 1987 to oppose “the growing movement of feminist egalitarianism” in churches. …

    The Freedom for Christian Women Coalition claimed that wifely submission “is more about power and control than about love or obeying the Word of God.”

    It called on the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to denounce the “Danvers Statement”– the group’s statement of core beliefs — and to acknowledge the harm it has done to churches and “confess it as sin.”

    The coalition said the theology behind the Danvers Statement assigns a “god-like” status to males, while relegating women to a lower class that opens the door to abuse.

    “We are concerned about wife abuse, girlfriend abuse and abuse to female children that takes place in many homes where evangelical men are taught that they have earthly and spiritual authority over women,” the statement said.

    Complementarians deny their views on gender roles promote abuse. But Cindy Kunsman, a blogger who writes about spiritual abuse and one of the speakers at Saturday’s conference, said that is naïve.

    “Many women suffer as a result of the ‘evil woman theology’ perpetuated by CBMW because their sub-Christian view of the nature of women scapegoats women as the root cause of all problems within both marriage and the family,” Kunsman said. “Therefore, daughters raised within such systems suffer as well, because they [girls and women, under complementarian beliefs] are seen as merely objects of use to men of all ages.”

    “I believe that young men who have been raised to believe that women are objects — beings who are lesser then men — and who are also taught to blame women as the ultimate cause of sinfulness have been given tacit permission to resort to mistreatment of women,” Kunsman added.

    Another speaker, Jocelyn Andersen, said no one is claiming that all complementarian men are physically abusive, but studies abound connecting rigid gender roles with abuse and physical violence.

    Andersen described her own experience as a former battered wife in a 2007 book titled “Woman Submit! Christians and Domestic Violence”.

    Like

  21. Does KAS really want to tell Ruth Tucker that complementarianism is not harmful?

    Even though Tucker wrote a book explaining how complementarianism personally harmed her, in that it enabled her husband’s abuse of her?

    REVIEW: “BLACK AND WHITE BIBLE, BLACK AND BLUE WIFE” BY RUTH TUCKER

    Black And White Bible, Black And Blue Wife (By Ruth A. Tucker)

    A key ingredient in my story is black and white Bible.

    My ex-husband repeatedly referenced Ephesians 5 and hissed at me that the passage orders wives to submit to their husbands.

    Male headship was to be enforced at all costs.

    I do not say in the book that husbands who hold to mutuality in marriage never beat their wives.

    But they have no biblical basis to punish a wife for not obeying, and biblical justification is one rationale for domestic violence. It certainly was in my case.

    In Chapter 9, titled “Fifty Shades of Rape,” I discuss one particularly deplorable incident, again based on wives submit. It was “a scene of soiled stinking air— an ugly episode of hateful ‘God-ordained’ domination and supremacy,” one that occurred only weeks before escaping the marriage… [she describes or mentions that her husband raped her]

    Like

  22. More links.

    Does KAS really want to tell Ruth Tucker that complementarianism is not harmful?

    Even though Tucker wrote a book explaining how complementarianism personally harmed her, in that it enabled her husband’s abuse of her?

    _Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife_

    …However, she states unequivocally that she does “not believe it [complementarianism] is the most faithful interpretation [of the Bible], particularly in light of the central themes of Scripture” (p. 23).

    Tucker’s ex-husband repeatedly insisted, as he threw her to the floor or against kitchen cabinets, that she acknowledge him as head of the household.

    Tucker’s hermeneutics are thoughtful and thought provoking.

    She questions why a husband would beat and terrorize his wife, and answers, regarding her ex-husband, “his perspective on male supremacy and on female submission was front and center” (p. 22).

    She exegetes the most often referred to verses on headship from Ephesians 5, pointing out that the phrase, “‘wives, to your own husbands’ has no verb in the original Greek” and thus “cannot be read without the topic sentence of mutual submission” (p. 46).

    In fact, considering the number of words addressed to husbands, she suggests that the greater burden of submission is placed on the husband (p. 47).

    ….The author also addresses, within a modern cultural context, the curses laid on Adam and Eve as they are ordered out of Eden that are often used to support male headship.

    She says that complementarians have assumed that the curse placed on Eve and her descendants is for all time. Adam’s curse has been alleviated by modern farming methods.

    The corollary is that modern legal statutes have relieved the gender inequality of Eve’s curse (pp. 43–44). The implication is that our current context may influence how we interpret the passages in Genesis.

    As Tucker points out so powerfully, “the most profound way we exegete Scripture is through our lives” (p. 26).

    Black & White Bible, Black & Blue Wife: Ruth Tucker’s Story

    Snippets:

    [Quote by complementarian Bruce Ware, 2008 TGC conference]:
    Women victims of domestic violence [are] often to blame for their own abuse because they [fail] to submit to their husbands’ authority. – Bruce Ware, complementarian

    “Someone reading this book might easily imagine I was married to a mentally disturbed man who could easily be identified as an abuser. But that was not the case. My ex-husband’s only outwardly identifiable trait was his strong opposition to women in ministry and equal partnerships in marriage and the accompanying misogyny, though well disguised in public.” – Ruth Tucker

    Always, he [Tucker’s then-husband] justified himself [and his abuse of her] with “biblical” reasoning:

    During his violent rages, my ex-husband often hurled biblical texts at me, as though the principal tenet of Scripture was, “Wives, submit to your husbands.”
    He spit the words out, repeatedly beating me over the head, at least figuratively, with his black-and-white Bible.

    His hitting and punching and slamming me against doors and furniture, however, were anything but figurative. Nor were his terror-loaded threats. I felt trapped and feared for my life, while outwardly disguising bruises with long sleeves and clever excuses, pretending that ours was a happy marriage.

    …. Ruth Tucker’s story provides a strong warning about the way bad theology can provoke and inflame our worst impulses.

    In light of information like this, it sure does not sound to me as though complementarians are tough on abuse.

    As a matter of fact, when complementarians began running reviews of Tucker’s book online, they were not dealing seriously with it and even coaching their complementarian readers to avoid the book, they said don’t bother reading it.

    Like

  23. Lea said,

    Hi Carmen, I think I agree with you except I see it more as ‘as long as whatever men happen to be there endorse this particular thing a woman wants to do’. And that varies WILDLY between men, and churches.

    And sometimes it varies at the same church, with the same men!

    My friend left the pentacostals after her preacher suddenly decided jean skirts were evil and preached a sermon on it, when they weren’t the week before eyeroll. It made them question.

    There is too much of man’s rules here.

    If women cede control of their lives to men, as all comps wish no matter which flavor, they are subject to these swings of fancy.

    Take advice from people you trust and respect, male and female, but if that advice is bad there is no reason to take it. Your life is ultimately that, your life. No one can make all your decisions for you.

    I’ve mentioned this at the TWW blog before, but it’s pretty funny and shows how arbitrary (not biblical) complementarianism is.

    I don’t remember which site on saw this on, but this young lady wrote a blog post explaining what it was that caused her to leave complementarianism.

    Contra KAS, it was not “feminist ideology” that caused this woman to reject complementarianism, but complementarians and complementarian teachings, LOL! * – wiping tears from eyes – *

    She said she went to a Christian university that espoused complementarian teachings. Every week, she and other students were forced to attend a chapel service.

    They normally had male speakers at the services, but one week, they had a famous Christian woman author or theologian.

    The lady who wrote the post said, they had been taught that no woman was allowed to speak in front of a mixed gender audience, not during a chapel service, and not authoritatively, but…

    When this famous lady showed up, they merely switched out the usual heavy and wooden lecturn / pulpit piece of furniture and swapped it for a smaller, light, daintier piece of furniture that had a floral design on it.

    So, she said, I guess complementarians are fine with bending and breaking their own rules, and that they invest sticks of furniture with authority, not with the Bible or the person giving the speech / sermon.

    That inconsistency by complementarians was when, she said, the scales fell from her eyes.

    I too noticed many real-life scenarios like that, and I also noticed that the comp interpretation doesn’t fit the Bible, which is why I left complementarianism.

    Really, KAS (if you are reading this), some women (and men) reject complementarianism not due to secular views or due to “feminist ideology” but due to complementarianism or the Bible itself. LOL.

    Re this (by Lea):

    Take advice from people you trust and respect, male and female, but if that advice is bad there is no reason to take it. Your life is ultimately that, your life. No one can make all your decisions for you

    Kind of reminds me of this story:

    _The Parable of the Old Man, The Boy, and The Donkey_

    Like

  24. Daisy,

    The famous lady speaker that they moved the pulpit for was Elizabeth Elliott. I remember reading that blog article before it disappeared from the Internet. The writer described how the whole time Mrs. Elliott was speaking, all she could think about was the double standards. What was it about Mrs. Elliott that made her so special that she was allowed to break the rules?

    Well, the answer is simple. Mrs. Elliott was teaching what they wanted to hear. For those that don’t know, she wrote a whole chapter in the book edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper that is considered the go to manual for explaining Comp theology.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Avid Reader,

    Daisy,

    The famous lady speaker that they moved the pulpit for was Elizabeth Elliott. I remember reading that blog article before it disappeared from the Internet. The writer described how the whole time Mrs. Elliott was speaking, all she could think about was the double standards. What was it about Mrs. Elliott that made her so special that she was allowed to break the rules?

    Well, the answer is simple. Mrs. Elliott was teaching what they wanted to hear. For those that don’t know, she wrote a whole chapter in the book edited by Wayne Grudem and John Piper that is considered the go to manual for explaining Comp theology.

    A-ha!! That must be it. Thank you.

    I didn’t remember the name. Thank you so much for mentioning this.

    (Though I could’ve sworn the version I read mentioned them replacing the heavier piece of pulpit furniture with a smaller, more feminine-looking table Or, maybe the blog post I read was of another situation but one very much like it)

    I plugged it into Google and found a few other sites that were carrying the story, or one similar to the one I read about a couple or more years ago:

    (Pay attention to this, KAS. It was not “feminist ideology” that caused this student to reject complementarianism, but the inconsistency / hypocrisy / absurdityof complementarian beliefs and practices that brought it about):

    _The Hole in Our Complementarianism*_

    Snippets from that page:

    Yes, it [allowing a woman to preach / speak in a church / chapel service] was acceptable, I realized, it was okay with my sage male [complementarian] Bible professors (one female, who was single and only taught women—naturally) and the rest of the faculty [who normally taught it was in violation of the Bible to allow any woman to preach / lecture in a chapel], because the pulpit had been removed and Ms. Elliot was— perhaps— telling more stories than the average preacher who came our way in a school known for expository Bible teaching.

    But, you see, this was not okay with me.

    Where others might have seen a gracious exception to the rules for a stately woman of faith whose story has almost become legendary in Christendom, I saw a glaring hypocrisy.

    Because she was clearly being given an opportunity I’d never be given.

    And what made it so? The fact that her husband was martyred? Her age? The fact that she had authored many popular books? What made her spiritual authority worthy of the exception? Why not my mother or your mother? Who decided this, that it was okay to make exceptions, and how did they decide it?

    The fact that she had authored many popular books? What made her spiritual authority worthy of the exception? Why not my mother or your mother? Who decided this, that it was okay to make exceptions, and how did they decide it?

    After that, after the hole was exposed, I noticed a lot of picking and choosing. A lot of “removing the pulpit” line-drawing/hole-patching to make things that were simply arbitrary exceptions feel more legitimate.

    For example, I couldn’t take Sermon Prep [class]. I had to take Message Prep for Women. Was there any difference between the two? Not that I could tell from any conversation with those in the opposite gendered class.

    In Message Prep we had a female teacher. And there were just a handful of students. And we didn’t preach, we gave messages. And the class was much smaller. That was the difference.

    Or maybe this was the original post where I first read about this?-
    _Elisabeth Elliot Can’t Use a Pulpit to Preach, But She Can Share from the Music Stand_

    This is the perfect example of what made me begin to seriously move away from complementarianism and toward egalitarianism/mutuality.

    Right down to the exceptions made for women like Elisabeth Elliot and Beth Moore.

    The incredible inconsistencies and finagling that is done that makes no sense.

    -Exceptions Made For Elisabeth Elliot Teaching-
    Tamara Rice absolutely nails it in “The Hole in Our Complementarianism”

    I can’t say I noticed it immediately, but at some point I realized that the large wooden pulpit usually adorning the stage had been replaced with a small music stand off to Ms. Elliot’s side.

    At approximately the same moment I took note of this, it occurred to me that this woman, Ms. Elliot, was in fact preaching to us.

    Preaching in chapel. And a sharp little nagging began in the back of my mind.

    She’s preaching.

    – She’s a woman and she is preaching.

    – And this is somehow okay.

    – Even though we’d never dream of letting any other woman do this in chapel.

    This is okay, because we removed the pulpit. And only because we moved the pulpit …

    I used to notice stuff like that too, when I was a complementarian, and that played a part in my doubts of comp.

    All the little rules that were bent in some situations, or how comps in one church would do things like let women teach 12 year old boys in Sunday School classes, but not in another church – there was no rhyme or reason among comps in how they carried out comp.

    Like

  26. Daisy, thanks for listing all the experiences. One thing my eyes were opened to was that our experience was a lens through which we interpret scripture. So, when I started looking at the people I interacted with growing up, it was the “liberals” that were kind and understanding and the “conservatives” that were abusive and mean. Even the popular conservatives who preached wonderful sermons ended up being abusive when I dealt with them personally, save a very limited few.

    So, then I started asking the question… if complementarianism is the right theology and egalitarianism is wrong, then why do I feel valued when I engage with egalitarians and worthless when I engage with complementarians?

    So, then I take this back to scripture – if it’s a misunderstanding of scripture that leads to complementarianism and that sort of abusive system, then what is the true understanding?

    I think what you said about Theonomy is key – it’s more than Theonomy – it’s looking to the Bible as a rulebook rather than a system or pattern book. In that, we gloss over the ‘love’, ‘do what is right’, ‘leaders wash each others’ feet’ and focus on the specific advice to specific people in a specific situation and make that normative.

    So, we gloss over what worldly leadership looks like vs what godly leadership looks like. We gloss over leadership as service and enabling. We gloss over leadership as care and feeding of the sheep, and instead we find a very specific verse ‘obey your leaders’ as if that is the only thing the Bible has to say about leadership, and then we work backwards to what leadership should look like if the primary characteristic is about enforcing ‘obey your leaders’, by, not surprisingly, looking at what worldly leadership looks like.

    That’s why sermons about leadership, by default, contain references to business leadership or military leadership (i.e. worldly leadership that is generally domineering)

    Liked by 2 people

  27. but mostly it is a logical conclusion of ‘if women belong at home, then why spend $100k+ on a highly-educated stay-at-home-mom and bring that debt into a marriage?’.

    What’s crazy to me Mark, is that there seems to be a big correlation between the ‘don’t send your girls to college’ crowd and the ‘have your wives homeschool all the children’ crowd. Wouldn’t you want your wife to be well education, possibly with a degree in education, if she was going to be expected to teach children???? I don’t get that at all.

    Like

  28. Who decided this, that it was okay to make exceptions, and how did they decide it?

    Daisy, the exceptions and the silly surface things and title differences that were used to try to pretend that this system made any kind of sense are basically the reason I ditched comp (although I never heard the term itself) years ago. This man is a ‘pastor’ and this woman is a ‘director’ and if their jobs were swapped the only thing that would be changed is the title. Utter nonsense.

    These stupid things are required because the system itself is stupid. And if you try to enforce the system in total you end up doing stupid things and making it obvious. Hence all these little hedges.

    Yeah. I’ll pass on that thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. So, then I started asking the question… if complementarianism is the right theology and egalitarianism is wrong, then why do I feel valued when I engage with egalitarians and worthless when I engage with complementarians?

    Mark, I love this.

    Like

  30. From Daisy’s link:

    A significant discovery was made in relation to marital satisfaction and role relationships. It discovered that (81%) of equalitarian (egalitarian) couples were happily married, while (82%) of couples where both spouses perceived their relationship as traditional (hierarchical) were mainly unhappy.

    This means that only 18% of traditional marriages were reported as happy. In relation to intimacy 98% of happy couples feel very close to each other, while only 27% of unhappy couples felt the same. The inability to share leadership equally (couple inflexibility) was the top stumbling block to a happy marriage.

    Drs. David H. Olson and Shuji G. Asai of the University of Minnesota, published a survey on spouse abuse in 2003. This study examined spousal abuse dynamics using data from a national sample of 20,951 married couples that took the ENRICH couple inventory during 1998-1999. A clear association was found between the marital health of the couples and the level of abuse. For example, vitalized couples, that is, couples with the highest level of satisfaction, had the lowest incidence of abuse at 5%.

    Traditional couple types experienced spousal abuse in 21% of marriages, a rate more than four times higher than in vitalized marriages.[18] This study confirms what has been known by many marriage and family therapy professionals. That higher marital abuse exists in traditional marriages in comparison to equal or egalitarian marriages.

    Dr. Diana R. Garland, Professor and Chair of the School of Social Work and Director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries at Baylor University, discusses marriage relationships in her book, Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide. She points out that research conducted in the mid-twentieth century revealed the following:

    Wives, in traditional marriages, suffered significantly more depression and other mental disorders than men, working married women and unmarried women (Bernard 1982).

    In traditional marriages, wives had been beaten at “a rate of more than 300 percent higher than for egalitarian marriages (Straus, Gelles and Steinmetz 1980).”

    Violence is more likely to occur in homes where the husband has all the power and makes all the decisions than in home where spouses share decision making (L. Walker 1979).

    Garland cites numerous research studies since the 1950s that have “consistently revealed that egalitarian couples have more satisfying marriages than traditional marriages (Bean, Curtis and Marcum 1977; Blood and Wolfe 1960; Centers, Raven and Rodrigues 1971; Locke and Karlsson 1952; Michel 1967).”

    Like

  31. @ Daisy

    “Does KAS really want to tell Ruth Tucker that complementarianism is not harmful?”

    KAS has made it abundantly clear that he does not give a tiny d*mn how much emotional, physical, spiritual, or sexual pain his beloved misogyny/comp caused abused women or sexually abused children.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I’m not familiar with that research Daisy, but if true it is quite compelling!

    It discovered that (81%) of equalitarian (egalitarian) couples were happily married, while (82%) of couples where both spouses perceived their relationship as traditional (hierarchical) were mainly unhappy.

    I guess that’s why people like Gary Thomas bang on about marriage making you ‘holy’ and not ‘happy’. Wow.

    Like

  33. @ Mark

    I could never believe any survey asked of conservative Christian women or girls trapped in that misery. I have heard my grandmothers, mother, and many other girls and women in my family lie about how great everything is for them in conservative Christianity.

    My mother would have never told anyone how vile and abusive my father was to her and I would have never told anybody the grossness I was living in. We would have been condemned by God and have to answer to my father and other men in our church.

    My sister and I were brainwashed to tell people homeschool and getting whippings was the best for us. We said this when we were not getting an education at all and we got whippings for things we knew nothing about that our cousins did.

    The fakeness and lying is rampant.

    Like

  34. Lea – “I guess that’s why people like Gary Thomas bang on about marriage making you ‘holy’ and not ‘happy’. Wow.”

    True! Those who teach comp doctrine will say it’s more about being biblical – about God’s ordained view of marriage. They somehow manage to weave it into the gospel message – which it has no business being in there. Happiness doesn’t enter the picture because we’re all wretched sinners anyways.

    Like

  35. “Happiness doesn’t enter the picture because we’re all wretched sinners anyways.”
    Now there’s a doctrine which deserves to be completely demolished. How awful. Anyone who is preaching this to children ought to be ashamed of themselves – in my books, it’s emotional abuse of children. 😦

    Like

  36. Those who teach comp doctrine will say it’s more about being biblical – about God’s ordained view of marriage.

    Right, Kathi? How could you teach a belief in a marriage that will make you unhappy, and expect people not to remain single? (of course, they also tell you not to have sex unless you’re married, so I guess that’s the carrot? But that sex is not making them happy it appears so…)

    Like

  37. @CH, that was my experience as well. My family was pretty dysfunctional, but we knew to be on our best behavior whenever we were around church people. But… it wasn’t just that. I probed within our church community about what was okay and what was not and the feedback I got was confirmation that whether or not my experience was typical that I was going to get zero support in trying to make my family life better.

    Even as an adult, there are specific instances I remember that I know to be abusive that I’ve floated as test cases, and within the comp church the response has always been “father knows best” – complete unwillingness to validate my experiences.

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  38. Kathi, “I guess that’s why people like Gary Thomas bang on about marriage making you ‘holy’ and not ‘happy’. Wow.”

    Yeah, you definitely anticipate that response, but what is the draw to the world? Evangelism is about living a life with integrity and those around us saying “I want that”. If living out our faith is about suffering, misery, sacrifice, guilt, etc., then what do we have to offer? What does that say about our God?

    And… I think that dichotomy is seen a lot in comp churches – we market our smiling masks to the outside, but when people join, they get burdened with these messages of sin and guilt and works. It should be the other way, right? We don’t sugar coat the Christian life, but we live a life free of guilt and shame and live with each other in love.

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  39. Carmen – I reviewed a children’s book by Children Desiring God, a ministry partner of Desiring God, called “God’s Design.” It’s all about teaching children complementarianism and God’s design for marriage and the roles of women and men. Start teaching them young and they’ll never depart. Right?

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2016/08/08/vaccinating-children-with-complementarian-series-introduction-review-of-gods-design-gender-role-book-for-children/

    Like

  40. _Wives Submit . . . To Whom? A Look at 1 Peter 3_

    Some snippets:

    If one is going to assert that these verses mean all women submitting to their husband for all time, then we’re forced to also assume all slaves are to obey their masters for all time, because this group of three was not meant to be divided.

    The same verb is used for all because all three groups (commoners, slaves, and wives) were legal underdogs in Rome.

    …People tried to claim Peter’s biblical submission regarding American slaves in the 1800’s, but the public found this a reprehensible application of Scripture. Strangely, many Christians do not find the same argument regarding wives at all reprehensible, but they embrace it as a statute for all time. This doesn’t preserve the integrity of Peter’s argument or grammar.

    … Was submission of slaves to masters a temporary state until Christianity permeated enough of the world with its salty tang that the institution of slavery no longer existed? If so, then why not the submission of wives to their legal owners, their husbands, until the same thing happened with the institution of marriage?

    We get a hint of that, in fact, in following verse [(1 Peter 3:7.)]. …

    …Peter drops a revolutionary bomb here. Husbands, love your wives, because you are equals. First, Roman culture didn’t consider loving one’s wife a necessity. They actually considered it a downright inconvenience. Second, equals? LOL.

    Lots more on that page.

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  41. Lea said,

    I’m not familiar with that research Daisy, but if true it is quite compelling!

    / / / /
    “It discovered that (81%) of equalitarian (egalitarian) couples were happily married, while (82%) of couples where both spouses perceived their relationship as traditional (hierarchical) were mainly unhappy.”

    / / /
    I guess that’s why people like Gary Thomas bang on about marriage making you ‘holy’ and not ‘happy’. Wow.

    On a somewhat related note:
    There have been studies and articles in the last few years that say _marriages where the husband carries an equal work load in house hold chores make for happier marriages_.

    As for the “it’s supposed to make you holy, not happy” stuff some Christians spout off: I honestly do not remember the Bible saying anything like that.

    I assume this is an inference some Christians are making from the text, even though the text itself does not say this.

    It’s annoying. And it’s not just in regards to marriage, but some Christians seem to make this applicable to other things in life.

    So, God wants people miserable, depressed, and in pain – not happy? (The opposite of “un-happy” is not “holy,” it’s “sad”.)

    Why then does the NT say things such as-

    “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

    The Bible does teach you can and may expect painful things to happen to you during your life, but, where does it say God doesn’t want people to be happy?

    (Not expecting Lea specifically to answer this, I’m directing this rather at all the Christian authors, marriage counselors, etc, who always bring this up.)

    Like

  42. I shared this at the other blog. Thought you guys here might want to see it too

    Much of the page is very interesting, but I don’t want to copy 90% of it to JA’s blog here.

    There seems to be some new trend among Christian patriarchal gender role advocates:

    The Future of Complementarity: When Newfrontiers became accidentally feminist

    This was part of a three-day event I attended run by Think Theology, an offshoot of the Newfrontiers network of churches, entitled The Future of Complementarity.

    Andrew Wilson, arguably evangelical Christianity’s most well-known complementarian, organised this conference to move ideologically away from US conservatives who want to return to the 1950s (John Piper et al).

    We are to no longer call it complementarianism, it is complementarity, which presumably makes Andrew Wilson a complementarityist.

    …So how exactly did Andrew Wilson achieve this sleight of hand, swapping out complementarianism for 1980s romantic feminism? He simply called it complementarity, told everyone one of his main speakers was a genius, and nobody mentioned the F word, feminism.

    … When Andrew Wilson told the conference that Junia was a female apostle and that Paul mentions Priscilla before her husband Aquila in 2 Timothy, he did not tell them that feminist scholars fought for years for the integrity of Scripture to be valued over patriarchal interpretations.

    When Alastair Roberts critiqued capitalism, mass production, liberalism, and the separating of the public and private spheres, he neglected to mention it was men who formulated all of these systems, the same creatures that all the delegates still agree should remain in charge, regardless of their horrendous track record. The work of feminists and egalitarians remained unacknowledged for the most part, as the delegates were awed by Alastair Roberts, who I concluded was not as clever as they all thought he was.

    … Based on all the speakers’ contributions, I can say with confidence that Andrew Wilson’s complementarity is a repackaged version of 1980s romantic feminism, which is different enough from 2018 modern feminism to lull delegates into believing they are maintaining their complementarian convictions, even though they’re actually embracing something very different from Grudem and Piper.

    Like

  43. I did want to add a bit more from that link I just gave.

    _The Future of Complementarity: When Newfrontiers became accidentally feminist_

    The author mentions that those at this new complementarianist conference are defining femininity or womanhood to mean “motherhood,” and as the author points out, this excludes women who cannot have children (infertile) or who simply do not want to have children.

    She also notes:

    The speakers tried to present this new ‘complementarity’ idea as an evolution of complementarianism, which lets complementarians off the hook in acknowledging the huge harm their theology has caused. The last person to speak at the conference was a woman on the final panel.

    And will complementarians please, please come up with some other word to describe themselves, besides these too-long, pain- in- the -neck words to type?

    I hate the words “complementarian” and “complementarianist,” or whatever to-long, convoluted code word they’re going by now to try to sugar coat their sexism.

    (Those are not even an accurate word, because they believe in Male Hierarchy, not merely that the sexes “complement” one another.)

    Like

  44. Dear KAS,
    I am so thankful that your daughters are believers, fully knowing the Jesus of our Scriptures, the only One Who saves, for in knowing that, it gives us parents great peace and joy……”Jesus” restores our souls……and He guides us in His path of righteousness (our own righteousness is futile as He is the author of righteousness) per Psalm 23.

    Apologize for not reading the updated comments here (will get to that), as I have been on a much needed vacation, worshiping our LORD in His wilderness (literally), away from the controversies surrounding the visible c’hurch. And it has been refreshing to say the least……to honestly and completely worship our LORD in spirit and truth beside still waters……no hierarchal individuals telling me I need to join a small group and to quit eating pork…..no authoritarians around telling me that I need to give ten percent of my income or else I’m going to hell…..no comp elder board around telling me that I need to quit working on Sundays (this actually happeneded) and sit and worship their lofty knowledge (?) and their great wisdom (?), after all, elders do not have little kingdoms on earth if people are not following and worshiping them :)…..and I didn’t even shake a pastor’s hand upon getting up off of the rock and walking away from the small lake (so he could give me a little “verbal punch” of correction on me way out.

    Nope. No comp theology required to worship our LORD, KAS. All you need is a Bible, indwelled with the Holy Spirit, to teach and guide you, and there you have it…..and our LORD will send true believers in your path to minister, encourage, and build up thy soul at precisely the right time, not at a certain “scheduled” time.

    I believe we give our Great and Glorious LORD very little credit, considering His Might and His Power, as defined by feeble human standards. The comp men that surround me sure have a difficult time understanding that I do not worship the ground they walk on….and for the record……they also pray for themselves when standing in the assembly, expounding great words to build themselves up, rather than coming alongside of the lower laity sheep, whom they deem worthless.

    Still in prayer for your amazing daughter KAS, because I love and empathize with her from afar. I am in a restricted comp marriage and will never, ever again be indoctrinated into a theology that does not look nor live by Christ; and yet I know that my freedom and liberty is found, is defined, and is lived in Christ alone for my final authority. And I cling to the very words of John 3:16-17, for we have that peace that passes all understanding found in Jesus, the Living Christ.

    Blessings to you KAS, and your family that you care so deeply for.

    Like

  45. Interest article, Daisy. I’m not familiar with newfrontiers, but this bit is just silly:

    However, every speaker constantly referred to women as biological mothers. When questioned on where women without children fit, Hannah Anderson informed us that, ‘Not every woman can be a mother, but every woman has a mother’ which she explained made all women embodied feminine creatures.

    What even…Defining adults by their children or parents solely, or their ability to be parents, is so strange to me. It takes away anything unique about a person and reduce them to this one, temporary biological state.

    And then you have Jordan Peterson laughably telling people that women are angry because they don’t have enough time to hold babies??? As if, even for women with children, even for women with many children, ‘baby’ is not a temporary state.

    Like

  46. In Pastor Jill Richardson’s piece, why does she arbitrarily take all the ‘submit’ verses to be culturally time-bound to the first century, only to assume without argument that 1 Peter 3 : 7 is for all time? Why is it suddenly applicable to both spouses? Because she likes it?

    She writes Peter drops a revolutionary bomb here. Husbands, love your wives, because you are equals. Peter doesn’t instruct husbands to love their wives (although Paul does) – unless she means the ‘consideration and honouring’, and does not say they are equals (although they are future joint heirs). On the contrary, husbands should ‘bestow honour on the wife as the weaker sex’ (vessel). You cannot make this mutual, or you have to read the wife must likewise ‘bestow honour on the husband as the weaker sex’. Doesn’t make sense.

    Why is the wife’s submission rooted in an old testament example (Sarah) and not the culture of the dispersed Jews of the first century?

    Marriage is a divine institution based on the beginning of Genesis, family is derivative from it, but slavery (in various forms) is a human institution that was regulated by the Law of Moses, and to some extent by the apostles to ensure as fair treatment as possible for servants/slaves. So it is possible for the human institution to wither on the vine, but the divine institution to remain.

    Similarly, I don’t see where we are entitled to rebel against the divine institution of government. Paul is also very clear on this.

    There is some truth in what she says, but overall it is not terribly convincing.

    Like

  47. Lea – I helped lead a New Frontiers church a very long time ago, and am still reasonably familiar with the system. I don’t think it has changed very much in the meatime. But I did leave that constituency what feels like a lifetime ago and at the time pretty disillusioned.

    I always retained respect for Terry Virgo as the chief ‘apostle’ of the outfit, he was generally thoughtful and sound, and a gifted teacher. What I liked was the fact they did not want to ditch parts of the bible as ‘not being for today’. Possibly a tad unfair, but many NF fellowships ended up as charismatically souped-up baptist churches, but often with effective rates of growth, and very generous with money for those in need. Exemplary in fact.

    I would imagine what is happening in the UK is the retention of the basic complementarian framework (such as no women elders), but distancing from the superstructure some American evangelicals have built with too little NT justification. Some of Piper’s increasingly bizarre views may partly account this, but the ESS debate was a major rift if Carl Trueman’s comments are anything to go by, calling it silliness.

    I think Collins is too partisan for a very objective assessment of the conference.

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  48. KAS,

    and does not say they are equals (although they are future joint heirs). On the contrary, husbands should ‘bestow honour on the wife as the weaker sex’ (vessel).

    You’re equivocating again. You’re suggesting weaker means more than physically weaker. And you are suggesting that equal must somehow mean equal to some arbitrary standard that you define to mean equal.

    As for cultural time bounding, both sides arbitrarily pick and choose what things are culturally bound, for example, anointing with oil and greeting with a holy kiss. So, it is not a sufficient argument that she “picks and chooses”, but you must actually demonstrates that she picks and chooses in a way that is contradictory. For example, you simultaneously say that Jesus allows no exceptions for divorce, but then allow Paul to provide an exception. That’s contradictory.

    There are reasonable arguments why Biblical teaching would be culturally bound. Paul says, “I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,”

    The writer to Hebrews says,

    Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    So, it is certainly possible that the Apostles, speaking in the Holy Spirit were strongly hinting at a non-patriarchal economy, but that the church at that time was not ready to hear that truth. Just as the person and work of Christ were hinted at in many many ways, and yet when he came, the vast majority did not recognize him. So, we see the NT authors strongly hint that domineering of any form should not be seen in the church, yet, it seems that the church continues to lust after strong, domineering (abusive?) leaders, just like the Gentiles.

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  49. KAS said,

    … why does she arbitararily take all the “submit” verses to be culturally bounds to the first century, only to assume without argument that 1 Pet 3.7 is for all time?…

    1. Why do complementarians do the opposite?

    See also:
    _Complementarianism, the Bible, and Identity Mapping_

    2. Christians in the 19th century used to use the Bible to defend white people owning black people – Christians now realize that the Bible mentioning slavery does not mean slavery was God’s intent, so nobody these days defends slavery, Bible or no.

    You’re doing the same with gender role views and the Bible that Christians of yester-year did with slavery and racism.

    The NT was written for a foreign culture of 2,000 years ago, trying to apply it like a rule book for all time for all people today for each and every situation is mistaken. It’s a very ignorant way of understanding the Bible and its purpose.

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  50. I’m always highly skeptical when a complementarian tells me they’ve widely read egalitarian (or other non-complementarian) works but only respond to actual quotes by egalitarian (or other non-comps) when those quotes are pasted directly into a comment thread, which KAS frequently does.

    KAS, do you even click on the links I provide and read the articles in full, or are you ONLY reading the blurbs I post to this blog?
    I get the feeling you only read the blurbs.

    I don’t think you have read egal / non-comp literature.

    I’ve had other comps pull this on me before, lying about it.

    Even to the point I mailed one complementarian friend a non-comp book that argued against comp, I suspected he did not read it, he later admitted to me that he LIED about reading it.
    (He initially told me he did read it, but when I called him out on i because I suspected he had not, he finally admitted he had not.)

    I used to be a complementarian. Complementarianism produced bad and dangerous fruit in my life.
    -That is one of THE biggest arguments against comp, one you can never, ever refute.

    My lived experience and bad experiences due to complementarianism will always trump and out-weigh your distorted interpretations of the Bible.

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  51. To return to the original topic:
    No, complementarians are NOT tough on abuse.

    I would guess that this woman’s church (mentioned below) is complementarian.

    Most comp churches will never give a woman permission to divorce, even in cases of abuse.

    (By the way, to the women in these marriages: you are an adult woman: you don’t need God’s permission, the Bible’s permission, a pastor or church’s permission to divorce, or do anything else!
    If you want to divorce your husband, then divorce him; it’s your life, it’s your right to choose for yourself; do what you believe is best and right for you! Your pastor telling you that you “must” stay married to the abuser you married is not the one who has to live with and put up with all the garbage from the abuser – you do.)

    _Church Kicked Woman Out For Divorcing Her Abusive Husband_

    Miles, author of the upcoming book, “I Am Rahab,” explained that she ended up marrying him [her high school boyfriend], but eventually took her husband’s abuse to their church.

    Miles feared for her safety – and her life – so she filed for divorce. Her church responded by kicking her out

    -and there are many, many more examples like that on the Christian domestic violence blog “A Cry for Justice,.”

    Further, some of the women on that blog leaving their testimonies say that their churches were Complementarian, and due to “permanency of marriage” and complementarian “male headship” and “wifely submission” views, etc, the churches punished the women from divorcing over abuse, or they told them not to divorce, etc.

    Complementarians are usually protective and defensive of abusive husbands but treat the husbands’ targets (their wives) as the guilty party! This is frequent, not irregular. So no, they are not “tough on abuse.”

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  52. _Identity Mapping _

    On Treating Modern Women as Ancient Greco-Roman Wives

    Snippets:

    <

    blockquote> by Roy E. Ciampa, Ph.D.

    One of the most unfortunate habits of biblical interpretation in the past several centuries, in my opinion, is that of assuming that the teachings of biblical texts are directly transferable to other cultures, including those that are quite different from those to which they were originally addressed.

    It is sometimes an unspoken assumption that “inspired” means “non-contextualized” and thus directly applicable to people of all times and cultures.

    This has had disastrous results for many marginalized people, including modern slaves, Jews and women.

    Of course, a crucial part of the problem is that modern readers are usually not fully aware of the extent to which their context differs from that being addressed by the biblical texts. One result of this lack of awareness is what I call the “mapping of identities.”

    The “mapping of identities” takes place when people or groups in the biblical text are identified with people or groups in the culture and context of the modern reader, with one identity being mapped onto another.

    This takes place, for instance, when modern readers directly apply labels for social or demographic groups (e.g., “Jews,” “slaves,” or “wives”) to people they believe fit those labels in their own society.

    They tend to assume cultural similarities between the group in the biblical world and those in their own world and tend to overlook crucial differences.

    This has played out with horrible consequences for Jews and slaves, among others, in the modern era, but the focus here will (naturally) be on the consequences for women.

    <

    blockquote> And that is merely the opening!

    Please click the link I provided (_Identity Mapping _) to read the rest of the page. Thank you.

    Like

  53. Interesting that “employees” are now identity mapped to “slaves”, which has very bad repercussions. I was an intern on a college project whose leader was a member of my denomination. Not only was he a micromanager from hell, but he told me that he was going to try and get the college to let me take a few credits of classes for free and provide housing for the next school year so that I could continue to work on the project. I couldn’t finish my college in one year, so I decided that it was worth taking a couple of classes while I worked on this project. However, what he didn’t tell me was that he had asked the school and they had said “NO”, so on the last day of the summer semester, after I had made arrangements to get a ride to a church camp (also the church camp he would have attended if he went to them) and back, he informed me that I would have to pay out of pocket for the classes and housing.

    I was pretty upset and since his pastor and a few of his leaders were at the camp, I asked to talk with them. Their response was basically, “well, he’s the boss.” He apparently had no obligation to inform me in a timely manner that instead of a financial arrangement that we had agreed on initially, I was going to be paying out of pocket to work on the team, money I did not have. Keep in mind that he probably knew this within weeks of me joining the team and chose to keep it under his hat for months – when I could have returned home and at least gotten minimum wage.

    So, I’m not surprised in the least when a wife/slave/inferior/whatever goes to the church to complain about abusive treatment at the hands of her husband that the comp response is…. “well, he’s the boss.”

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Mark said,

    I was an intern on a college project whose leader was a member of my denomination. Not only was he a micromanager from hell, but he told me that he was going to try and get the college to let me take a few credits of classes for free and provide housing for the next school year so that I could continue to work on the project.

    I’m very sorry about that.

    I was harassed badly over a couple of years by one lady boss. She was also a micro-manager-

    -which was bad enough but what really grated on my nerves is how she said in front of me one day, to another boss of mine,
    “Can you believe the new manager Mary down in the blah blah department? Her underlings hate her because she is such a micro-manager!”

    I sat there silent, but thinking, “Pot, meet the kettle. You too are a total micro- manger.”

    I’ve said several times over at TWW site that the dynamics between workplace bullying, school yard bullying, spiritual abuse / abuse at churches / complementarianism, and domestic violence are all quite similar (I’ve done a lot of reading on most of those topics).

    One similarity they all have:
    The victim almost always gets blamed for having been abused, while the perp, the abuser, gets off scot-free.

    Like

  55. KAS said,

    … why does she arbitararily take all the “submit” verses to be culturally bounds to the first century, only to assume without argument that 1 Pet 3.7 is for all time?…

    The reason I came back t this blog today was to post the following.
    (Then I got side-tracked with the other thread about complementarianism. But here I am again.)

    I could be wrong, but I bet KAS doesn’t think all Christian women today should wear head-coverings, because the passages in the Bible that talk about head coverings are cultural, not timeless.

    Which brings me to this video I found by this pro- Head- Covering- complementarian kook on You Tube.

    This complementarian guy believes that Christian women today (just the married ones I think?) must wear head-coverings, because there is a NT verse that says something about women wearing head-coverings.

    Now, this guy’s video is called “Inconsistent Complementarianism” and he says in the video that he himself is a complementarianism.

    But he’s telling other complementarians if they don’t teach or believe that Christian women today should wear head-coverings, they are in error. LOL!

    He says too many complementarians view those head-covering passages as being culturally bound, but he’s trying to argue that they are timeless.

    By the way, he brings up how Paul references the “creation order” in Genesis to argue that some of these rules are timeless. If you look at the creation order itself, it does not teach stuff about male hierarchy…

    I think the big point is that non-comps are saying Paul was addressing problems in another culture, a different cultural context of whatever era and locale he was in – that he may or may not have pointed back to Genesis does not mean those particular teachings (meant to tackle whatever problem) was to be binding on all believers down through the ages.

    Anyhoo. I find it so, so funny that a complementarian guy is lecturing other complementarians that they’re not being consistent enough with their comp.

    BTW, to a point, I agree – most comps today are “soft” comps.

    While I deplore both soft and “hard” comp, at least the hard-liners are generally more consistent with application of their horrid sexist understandings of the Bible than soft comps.

    Assuming, again, that KAS doesn’t believe head-coverings are for all Christian women today, the guy in this video wants to correct you KAS – he says you’re not consistently interpreting the Bible, you’re making timeless directive cultural-bound, shame on you, he says:
    _Inconsistent Complementarianism_

    In this video we compare 1 Corinthians 11 with 1 Timothy 2 to show that both headcovering and male eldership are grounded in the creation order. We also show how Complementarians who hold to the cultural view of head covering inconsistently interpret these two Scriptures. We share our concern of how this undermines Biblical manhood and womanhood.

    Palette cleanser:
    _Primary Problems with Complementarianism_

    Like

  56. Well, since the topic of 1Cor 11 and headcoverings just popped up, maybe its time to mention that the Apostle Paul was actually arguing AGAINST the whole concept of headcoverings when he wrote those famous words.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. My question is…. If this is a creation ordinance, what head covering did Eve wear? Or, did the Bible lie that she was “naked and without shame”.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Lea,

    I’m not familiar with newfrontiers, but this bit is just silly:

    I’m reminded of a funny poster I saw a few years ago (designed in a style similar to that used by Despair.com). I featured a picture of a guy in a Darth Vader costume, standing in the water just off the beach, and pouring sea water in between two pitchers. The caption read, “SENSE: This Picture Makes None.”

    Moving on to my point:

    When questioned on where women without children fit, Hannah Anderson informed us that, ‘Not every woman can be a mother, but every woman has a mother’ which she explained made all women embodied feminine creatures.

    Sense: This statement makes none. B)

    Like

  59. which she explained made all women embodied feminine creatures

    Embodied: 1.be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling).

    feminine: 1.having qualities or an appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.

    creature: an animal, as distinct from a human being.

    I concur. Sense: This statement makes none. lol

    Like

  60. Mark said For example, you simultaneously say that Jesus allows no exceptions for divorce, but then allow Paul to provide an exception. That’s contradictory.

    You don’t read what people write very well. What about the ‘exception clause’ that appears in the divorce sayings in Matthew’s gospel?

    Like

  61. Daisy – I don’t think you have read egal / non-comp literature.

    I recently read a whole book on the subject by an egalitarian SA member. She has a lot to do with helping abused women.

    The bit on what the bible says about it was standard egalitarian fayre. Junia was female and was an apostle – no hint that is debatable, both as to gender, whether she was an apostle at all, and if so of what type. Kephale means origin or source rather than head. Fact. There are egalitarian scholars who do not believe this on account of the absence of evidence. Finally of course submission in marriage is mutual, iirc based on the partial quotation of one verse. Now she wasn’t engaging in a defence of these interpretations, but the sheer dogmatic belief with which they were held was indicative of a desire to believe what she wanted to believe.

    Why do you think that going to links you provide will simply determine this issue?

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  62. KAS, “You don’t read what people write very well.”

    I did read what you wrote, I don’t think inventing another means of salvation “the church” as a means of differentiating “pre-church” divorce from “post-church” divorce by which Paul can now add “post-church” exceptions to Jesus’s “pre-church” instruction.

    You seem to be claiming that desertion only became a justification for divorce because “unbelieving spouse” can only be defined post-Pentecost. It is then surprising to me that you can completely ignore all sorts of passages, like… “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” that were said before Pentecost. And, logically speaking, someone who did not believe in the gospel was “unbelieving” and if he was married to a believer, he was an “unbelieving spouse” – the same sort of person that Paul was giving instruction about.

    For all your claim of knowing the Bible, do you not understand that Hebrews (and, in fact, much of the New Testament) was written to first century Jews to explain the continuity between the Jewish faith and Christianity, and the parallels between the OT signs and ceremonies and their fulfillment in the NT? For example, we are children of Abraham, not because we are genetically Jewish, but because we, like him, are believers in Christ.

    Like

  63. Just to resurrect the faulty logic:

    Hardly. Jesus did give the exception clause for immorality as a ground for divorce, but when he taught this the church didn’t yet exist.

    Once the church came into existence, post resurrection and post Pentecost, you then had the problem of believers being married to unbelievers – one converted and one not.

    So… somehow Jesus, speaking in the Holy Spirit about divorce, did not foresee the problem of believers marrying unbelievers (ahem, Abigail and Nabal), and forgot to add a second exception for divorce beyond his “[sexual] immorality” exception clause. And because it wasn’t until Pentecost that there was a possibility of believers intermarrying with unbelievers, it was okay for Paul to subsequently, and again, in the Holy Spirit, add an exception clause for “desertion by an unbelieving spouse”.

    And, Occam’s Razor, that is the most simple explanation for why it is okay to interpret Jesus’s teaching on divorce as binding for all without exception, but also logical for Paul to “add to Jesus’s commandment” an additional exception (while still rendering Jesus’s teaching binding for all without exception).

    Or… maybe Jesus wasn’t trying to speak absolutely?

    Like

  64. Is there joy in male headship?

    According to the research of Jack and Judy Balswick at Fuller Theological Seminary and the findings of Prepare and Enrich, couples who share responsibility for decision-making are the happiest, whereas relationships that allow for partner dominance and avoidance are most likely to be abusive.

    Male rule fuels not human flourishing but human suffering. This is why most NGOs have incorporated gender equality into their long term goals. Gender equality is arguably the quickest path to ending the blight of disease, starvation, abuse, illiteracy, and war.

    This data evokes most clearly the teachings of Genesis. God created man and woman in God’s image for shared governance.

    The only “not good” in a perfect world was Adam’s aloneness—the absence of a strong and equal partner in Eve. Male rule is a consequence of sin and not part of God’s original design.

    Piper believes those who support male rule will be persecuted. He attributes the sufferings of complementarians to their righteousness. But not all who suffer, suffer because of their righteousness.

    Perhaps the marginalization of complementarians, which cannot be compared to the sufferings of women abused by these teachings, points to the growing acceptance of better interpretations of Scripture and a pushback against complementarian ideas.

    Source

    Like

  65. KAS said

    Why do you think that going to links you provide will simply determine this issue?

    The information I am pointing to is more thoughtful than the complementarian cliches and contradictory atitudes you offer.

    The links I provide may help someone else.

    I also don’t want to reinvent the wheel – others out there have already refuted your comp arguments, so why should I re-build what they have already done?

    You also continue to brush off the real-life ramifications comp has had on my life, or on Christianity Hurt’s life.
    Even complementarianism practiced the way you think it should be results in harm.

    Repeatedly quoting at me or othres, “but if a man loves his wife the way headship says he must, there won’t be abuse!,” is problematic on several levels.

    In such a marriage, the couple is usually comp in name only and are living an egalitarian marriage, which makes comp male headship a moot point.

    Secondly, my father was a comp who did NOT hit or rape my comp mother BUT his (and her parenting) under comp type guidelines pushed me to become codependent, which hindered my over my life and left me an easy mark for abusers and manipulators.

    I really wish you would get lost, KAS. You do nothing to help heal the men and women on this blog who have been spiritually abused or hurt by complementarianism.

    I really think JA should have blocked you months ago. I do recognize it’s her blog to run as she sees fit, but your presence here is not, I believe, in accord with one of the purposes of this blog (helping people recover from spiritual wounds and related issues).
    I also now feel this way about a certain other individual who keeps posting here – her motivations for posting here are now suspect to me. (I don’t think she posts here to help hurting people.)

    Like

  66. Mark said,

    So… somehow Jesus, speaking in the Holy Spirit about divorce, did not foresee the problem of believers marrying unbelievers (ahem, Abigail and Nabal), and forgot to add a second exception for divorce beyond his “[sexual] immorality” exception clause.

    Speaking of which.

    The Christian “equally yoked” rule for marriage is unnecessarily keeping a lot of Christian singles who want to get married single over a lifetime.

    This blog post by an atheist makes a billion times more sense on this topic than anything Christians have to say about marriage to non-believers:
    _The One Thing Evangelical Leaders Don’t Want Christians to Know about Mixed-Faith Marriages_

    If my choices were between marrying a condescending, un-compassionate, sexist, judgmental person – such as KAS (who claims to be a Christian) – and a loving, sweet, supportive man who identifies as atheist (or Hindu or whatever), I’d rather go with the Non-Christian guy every time.

    And, why would anyone want to care what KAS, or any other Christian, has to say about their opinion about what the Bible says about divorce or re-marriage, and live their lives according to those opinions, which may be very wrong?

    I left this link in another thread on this blog a few days ago, because some poor Christian guy is saying he’s trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage, but he doesn’t feel he has a “biblical” right to divorce the wife and/or remarry should he leave her.

    And I think he believes that way at least due in part to indoctrination he’s heard over his life from various pastors and Christian authors he’s listened to.

    I wrote this partly for that guy, and for Christians like him:
    _Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?_

    Like

  67. P.S.
    KAS said,

    Why do you think that going to links you provide will simply determine this issue?

    I’ve also noticed that KAS does not deal with the links I provide. So why is he complaining about them?

    The only time KAS has has bothered to respond to any information I provide (on about two occasions) is when I pasted in excerpts from the links to this blog.

    But is he actually clicking on and reading any of the pages I’ve linked to? I don’t get the feeling he has.

    _Identity Mapping – On Treating Modern Women as Ancient Greco-Roman Wives_

    One of the most unfortunate habits of biblical interpretation in the past several centuries, in my opinion, is that of assuming that the teachings of biblical texts are directly transferable to other cultures, including those that are quite different from those to which they were originally addressed.

    It is sometimes an unspoken assumption that “inspired” means “non-contextualized” and thus directly applicable to people of all times and cultures.

    This has had disastrous results for many marginalized people, including modern slaves, Jews and women.

    Like

  68. If my choices were between marrying a condescending, un-compassionate, sexist, judgmental person – such as KAS …

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Like

  69. Daisy – thank you for you best wishes about the weekend. It’s over now, but was good apart from the on-going heatwave. I did my 1 hours keep fit cycle tour in about 38°C a couple of days ago!

    Hope you had a good weekend as well.

    I think there are two pieces of unintended humour going on here. Your reply above almost sounds like I should reflect on marrying you …. which I know is not what you meant. Would cause ripples round here though, wouldn’t it!

    The other unintended humour was you statement a condescending, un-compassionate, sexist, judgmental person – such as KAS. You are doing the very thing – judging – that you accuse me of! No, I wasn’t angry but I was amused.

    I’ve had this before in discussions with atheists and gays who trot out all sorts of clichéed derogatory adjectives about religious people in general and evangelicals (“fundamentalists”) in particular. I then gather them up and reply with the same colourful epithets but ending with the words ‘I wish these bigotted etc etc etc religious people wouldn’t be so judgmental. Add a smiley or two, and they usually give you a like for pointing out they are doing the very same thing they criticise religious people for, but hadn’t realised. (You may or may not be surprised how often double standards apply in this regard.)

    Incidentally, when I said elsewhere about you or any one else ‘wanting the benefit of my wisdom on coping with being single’, you do know I was being ironic, don’t you? This is not something someone who has never experienced can say much, if anything, about, but the same is true of singles discussing the practicalities of marriage. A bit like a maiden aunt holding forth on how to bring up children. I have some experience of this(!), and it is not as though you can give children orders and they will obey. Doesn’t work like that, if only it were that simple. Mine would blow a raspberry at me if I tried it!

    Like

  70. Kas seems to think single people can have no opinion on what might make marriage not work despite reading stories and books and witnessing failed and successful marriages in life and being in relationships ourselves…

    However he feels free to state that he knows comp cannot be bad for a woman despite having never been a woman. Funny that.

    Liked by 1 person

  71. @ Lea

    As if someone has to try being married to Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, or Harvey Weinstein before they can know for sure they would hate it.

    Like

  72. Yes.

    My point is one does not have to literally be married to entitled, selfish, perverts like Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, or Harvey Weinstein to know it would be no good.

    Or be married to entitled, selfish, misogynist such as Islamist or complementarians to know it would be no good.

    These groups of men are not really into the idea that women have the right to say no to sex. They are all entitled.

    Like

  73. Lea said

    Kas seems to think single people can have no opinion on what might make marriage not work despite reading stories and books and witnessing failed and successful marriages in life and being in relationships ourselves…

    However he feels free to state that he knows comp cannot be bad for a woman despite having never been a woman. Funny that.

    Someone brought to my attention the other day a Tweet by a complementarian guy whose name escapes me at the moment.

    He made a Tweet that read something like (I don’t recall off hand the exact wording),

    Male Headship is not demeaning to women (or women should not find it demeaning). Male headship is clearly biblical.

    I left him a polite response.

    I don’t remember how I worded it, but I essentially told him it’s really quite presumptuous or arrogant for him, a man, to tell women what they can or cannot or should or should not find “demeaning.”

    Another guy below him in that thread left a similar remark.

    I left a polite response to that guy telling him it’s easy for him to say that, since he’s a man and is therefore not bound to the same longer list of insulting restrictions to his life choices, interests, or pursuits based on his biological sex alone, as Christian women are under complementarianism.

    I really do not appreciate MEN lecturing me, a woman, on how I should view their awful sexist doctrine.

    Like

  74. Another observation.

    Lea said

    Kas seems to think single people can have no opinion on what might make marriage not work despite reading stories and books and witnessing failed and successful marriages in life and being in relationships ourselves…

    However he feels free to state that he knows comp cannot be bad for a woman despite having never been a woman. Funny that.

    And in spite of having sat through 50 billion pro-complementarian marriage sermons by complementarian pastors over my life, from the time I was a child.

    And in spite of the fact that most of those lame-o, gross sermons are prefaced with comments by the pastor such as –

    “Now, you may think this marriage sermon is non-applicable to you, singles, but it is not! Because you will one day need the information in this sermons for YOUR future marriage”

    I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but a few years ago, when I started leaving comments about this on various blogs, etc, how I’m over 35 and still not married so that these endless streams of marriage sermons are irrelevant, stupid, etc,

    …some of these pastors started giving this preface to their complementarian marriage sermons:

    “Now, you may think this marriage sermon is non-applicable to you, singles, but it is not! Because you will one day need the information in this sermons for YOUR future marriage, or, you can apply my sermon’s principles to your relationships in your workplace or with your friends.”

    I brought some of this up before. I asked KAS, are you saying all these complementarian marriage sermons we single adults are subjected to over our lives, starting when we were kids, were meaningless?

    if single adults cannot learn anything about marriage from marriage sermons, why should singles bother listening to them?

    Also, (sorry to be a broken record, but), I was in a long term, serious relationship with a dude, we were engaged for the last few years… so I have a pretty good idea what marriage is like.

    I used to lurk at the “married people forum” at one big Christian discussion board, and the things I would read about marriage. It was very educating.

    Sometimes, one thing that puts me off to marriage, by the way, is reading what Christian married people have to say about their marriages, how awful marriage is, how un-fulfilling.

    And of course the testimonies by all the Christian women who talk about their abusive (almost always complementarian) Christian marriages on web sites such as “A Cry For Justice.”

    I’ve also read scores of marriage articles and books, many by complementarian Christian authors.

    I watched the marriages of my sister fall apart, and I’ve watched my brother struggle in his marriage.

    Like

  75. I said,

    I don’t remember how I worded it, but I essentially told him it’s really quite presumptuous or arrogant for him, a man, to tell women what they can or cannot or should or should not find “demeaning.”

    To clarify:
    I meant in the context of these gender role / complementarian discussions.

    (It’s somewhat like a white KKK member telling a black person why the black person should not find the KKK itself, white hooded robes, or burning crosses on their front lawns demeaning.)

    Like

  76. “Now, you may think this marriage sermon is non-applicable to you, singles, but it is not! Because you will one day need the information in this sermons for YOUR future marriage”

    This is pretty much verbatim what they said at Gateway last time I was there.

    Like

  77. Lea said,

    This is pretty much verbatim what they said at Gateway last time I was there.

    At least, off hand, I’ve only personally been subjected to “one-off” marriage sermons when visiting churches in – person, but, some churches go one step worse (so I’ve heard other singles discuss) in that some churches have a weeks-long marriage series!

    Some churches will have sermons that feature marriage for four or more weeks.

    There is a certain TV preacher who I have tuned in to watch every week for I don’t know how many years now (I sometimes immediately flip the channel right after he announces the sermon topic for that episode, sometimes I stay and watch)…

    And I swear about 90% of this guy’s sermons are about MARRIAGE. How to have a better marriage. How to have healthier arguments with your spouse. Etc. etc.

    Would any married person want to sit through four weeks worth of singles-only-related sermons? Probably not.

    But 99% of Christians expect single adults to find this junk useful or edifying.

    Like

  78. “Male Headship is not demeaning to women (or women should not find it demeaning).”

    Ariel Castro, Phillip Garrido, and men like them believe in male headship also. All men deserve to have at least one trapped woman who can’t tell him no to sex, can’t hurt his feelings, and can never cut him out of her life.

    Male headship helped convince me the bible was not written by any good smart God and was written by unwanted, loser, bottom of the barrel men for unwanted, loser, bottom of the barrel men.

    The attractive cool guys in books and movies are always confident, independent, and can take no for an answer. Men who do not need comp and would feel like the dumb jerks they are for trying to peddle it.

    The obnoxious men in books and movies are needy, obnoxious, harass, won’t leave the girl alone, and will not take no for an answer. Men who need comp and want to condemn women for not agreeing to be their self-hating slaves.

    Like

  79. KAS, “This is not something someone who has never experienced can say much, if anything, about, but the same is true of singles discussing the practicalities of marriage.”

    Yet you hold the marital advice of Jesus and Paul, men who are single, to be absolute. So, obviously singleness is not in and of itself a disqualification to you of giving marital advice, but simply something that you hypocritically and arbitrarily wave over the heads of the people you want to silence. And, I presume the single youth pastor is also qualified to give dating and relationship advice having not been married, etc.

    And, yes, I had stupid ideas about marriage and children when I was single and childless, but that could have been as much being young and naive. In fact, much of my stupidity of marriage and children was due to taking the sermons and teachings of my comp. church as the gospel truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  80. _Is a Husband Supposed to be in Charge of His Wife?_

    Snippet:

    … This may be nowhere more evident than in the assumptions we make about the non-literal meaning of the word “head” (kephalē in Greek). We read that a husband is the head of his wife and Christ is the head of the church, and we assume the point is that those two guys are in charge of their brides.

    We instinctively do this because that’s what the metaphor would mean in English. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the figurative meaning for head in this type of expression as “the person in charge of something; a director or leader.”[1] The same holds true for numerous other languages, including Latin, Hebrew, Spanish and German.

    But that’s not necessarily the case with Greek. In fact, one old but significant study states that “in normal Greek usage, classical or contemporary, kephalē does not signify ‘head’ in the sense of ruler, or chieftain, of a community.”[2]

    This is why Greek lexicons that focus on how kephalē was used before the New Testament was written do not contain a single meaning that implies leader or authority.

    Liddell and Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon lists “forty-eight English equivalents of figurative meanings of kephalē,” yet not one that implies “leader, authority, first or supreme.”[3]

    It’s also why the Jewish scribes who translated the Old Testament into the Greek version Paul would have been familiar with avoided kephalē like the plague when the Hebrew ro’sh (head) meant “ruler” or “leader.”[4]

    And it’s not because they weren’t familiar with the word. Of 239 cases where ro’sh refers to a literal head, translators used kephalē 226 times. Of the 180 occurrences where ro’sh is used figuratively of a leader or ruler, however, they only used kephalē about 12 times.[5]

    Like

  81. KAS said,

    “This is not something someone who has never experienced can say much, if anything, about, but the same is true of singles discussing the practicalities of marriage.”

    Well, well, well, well.
    About this link below I am copying.

    I was in a serious, committed relationship for several years, the last few we were engaged to be married. Here’s a bit of a run down of what I went through with my ex:

    This relationship I had with this guy involved me spending overnights at the ex’s apartments or homes he lived in while we were together.

    This relationship involved things such as my ex financially exploiting me, not paying me back, being horrible or lazy about budgeting, paying his bills late then coming to me to loan him money to pay all his bills and/or just the huge late fees.

    My ex kept choosing his mother over me, even when she treated me like garbage for no reason (this would be back when I was 99.9% codependent and did not have self esteem, so I sure did not pick fights with her.)

    This involved him keeping a messy, sloppy kitchen, with a huge build up of dirty dishes in the sink (on days I was not there, he was all alone), and him brushing crumbs off his counter on to the floor so that the floor in his kitchen by the counters was gross.

    I would constantly ask him to clean this stuff up. I usually ended up cleaning up his mess at his homes because he would not do it, and I do not want to live in filth.

    This involved many stupid fights over many stupid things, like me wanting to stay in and order pizza and him insisting, no, we get in a car and drive to a Tex Mex restaurant.

    I could go on with other examples.

    All of that will become relevant in a moment.

    Here is the link:
    _25 Tweets We Definitely Don’t Need To Explain To Married People
    _

    Example tweet from that page:

    Words I could either be saying to my dog or my husband:
    You ate ALL of that?!?

    Yeah. When I was a kid and my big brother was a teen, he would inhale an entire bag of “family size” potato chips in one sitting.

    This one:

    My wife bought a rice cooker today. I guess we’re going to eat a ton of rice over the next few days and then never again.

    Yeah, when I was a college student, someone gave my Mom a “curly fry” maker.

    She used it exactly once and never again. She ended up stuffing it in some hard- to- reach cabinet in the kitchen with all the other rarely- used cooking stuff.

    (I love curly fries and always secretly hoped my Mom would drag it out and make more, but alas, it was not to be.)

    by some other guy on the page:

    I loaded the dishwasher my way and ran it and the world didn’t end and everything was fine.

    Just kidding.
    My wife found out and now we’re in counseling.

    Oh that would totally be my father. His way is the only correct way of cleaning dishes by hand in the sink or stacking dishes in the washer – or doing anything else in life.

    As a never-married person, I related to most of those 25 married people tweets listed on that page, because I went through the same (or similar) scenarios with my ex fiance.

    Hells bells, I even went through some of the same (or similar) situations listed on that “married people’s tweets” page with siblings, co-workers, and platonic friends of mine.

    I do not think being married is so incredibly mysterious and alien to un-married people that we don’t “get it.” We do.

    Like

  82. Mark – So, obviously singleness is not in and of itself a disqualification to you of giving marital advice, but simply something that you hypocritically and arbitrarily wave over the heads of the people you want to silence

    The teachings of Jesus and Paul are in inspired scripture, having their origin in God. So of course they are wiser than the wisdom of men. The creator knows his design for the creature.

    There is a reason why, as a rule, teaching elders ought to be married.

    I’m not trying to silence anyone. Single people, by definition, cannot know about the practicalities of marriage, that is, what it is like actually being married, any more than married men can tell a woman who wanted to marry and has not found a spouse how to cope with this, especially when the chance of children has passed. I have some idea of this from my own sister, but I have never had to deal with it for myself.

    Is it really necessary to make such an issue of this?

    Like

  83. KAS, “There is a reason why, as a rule, teaching elders ought to be married.”

    And old.

    “The teachings of Jesus and Paul are in inspired scripture, having their origin in God.”

    Sure, but do you really think that God would put a person that everyone should reject out of hand and make them an inspired teacher? For example, what Jesus said his entire life was inspired, but it wasn’t until he was ~30 years old that he began his public ministry. He chose disciples for himself because no one could dispute his status as a Rabbi having disciples. In the same manner, Paul, who was presumably a member of the Sanhedrin, had impeccable qualifications which gave him access to synagogues everywhere.

    I think our problem is that we lay hands too hastily on men who check the seminary box – and this partly due to a complete misunderstanding how the ministerial gifts in Paul and Jesus were developed.

    That said, dismissing a person’s words out-of-hand simply because they have not experienced something is well demonstrated to be fallacious. Does someone need to be an addict to speak towards addiction? Does someone need to be promiscuous to talk to promiscuity? Does someone need to be abusive to speak towards abuse? Does someone need to be aged to talk to the issues of age?

    Fallacious again meaning that you choose repeatedly to evade dealing with the argument and instead attempt to disqualify the person.

    Like

  84. KAS said,

    I’m not trying to silence anyone. Single people, by definition, cannot know about the practicalities of marriage, that is, what it is like actually being married, any more than married men can tell a woman who wanted to marry and has not found a spouse how to cope with this, especially when the chance of children has passed. I have some idea of this from my own sister, but I have never had to deal with it for myself.

    My response:
    _Single People Understand Marriage Better than Married People Understand Singleness_

    Like

  85. Not only are the majority of complementarians not “tough on abuse,” but they often make abuse worse by keeping women stuck in abusive marriages, and one way they do this is tell them that divorce is sinful and wrong, even in cases of abuse!

    _Divorce is never mentioned in lists of sins or vices in any New Testament letter_

    Here is just but a small quote from that page:

    Paul’s words on divorce in 1 Corinthians 7 apply to a spouse or couple who have renounced sex (1 Cor. 7:10-16; cf. 7:39f).[4] It doesn’t make sense to apply his words to the situation of a spouse who wants to leave an abusive marriage.

    Abuse is an acceptable reason for leaving a spouse. Physical abuse and neglect were acceptable reasons for divorce in ancient Israelite society (e.g., Exod. 21:10-11). They were practically a given, which is perhaps one reason why the Bible barely mentions abuse as a reason for divorce.

    I’d also like to add: abuse is not just physical: it can also be verbal, emotional, sexual, relational, and financial, and none of it is acceptable.

    Like

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