ABUSE & VIOLENCE IN THE CHURCH, Biblical Manhood, Christian Marriage, Complementarianism, Desiring God, Domestic Violence, Gender Roles, John Piper, Marriage, Women and the Church

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 thoughts on “Are Complementarians Tough on Abuse?”

  1. KAS, “dismantling Piper’s ideas here feelings must be put to one side, lest the critique simply end up being or appearing to be a personal attack.”

    You don’t get to come here and decide what the debate rules are. YOU ARE BEING ABUSIVE. Do you get that? You are coming here to a blog for those who have been badly hurt by complementarian abuse and then telling them that their feelings must be shoved in a box in order for them to be able to judge whether complementarianism is okay or not. That is the very same thing my abusers did. That is the very same thing that the people that supported my abusers did. They told me my pain didn’t matter, and that being angry was a sign that I was wrong and my abusers were right. They told me that they would not listen to me when I was emotional.

    YOU are enough evidence that complementarianism is wrong because all you can do when logic and rationality are shoved in your face is to start tone policing. You’ve lost the argument.

    “personal attack”… You don’t understand your own words. You accuse Daisy of engaging in personal attack… yet… your accusation OF Daisy is a personal attack. So your very statement is self-contradictory and hypocritical. You are saying that others cannot resort to personal attack in the very same paragraph where you are doing that very thing.

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  2. @KAS

    If you want to know what KAS thinks (though or course you may not), best to read KAS. Second-hand reports are not always terribly accurate.

    Actually, I did go back and read your posts that Daisy linked to, and indeed the entire thread. I wrote the medieval canon lawyer thing after I read all that.

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  3. Mark: Criticising or discerning what somebody writes is not the same as a personal attack on them.

    You are remarkably judgmental for someone who is upbraiding me for being judgmental.

    John Piper’s answer under scrutiny here deserves criticism. My sole point ever in taking the way this is done to task (F-word is a good example in this instance, and JA has quite rightly put her foot down, her blog, her rules) is that badly needed criticism will fall on deaf ears with those who follow his advice. It’s how best to counteract naff advice on abuse to adoring fans.

    A brilliantly argued article can be rendered useless by thoughtless or even outright vile commenting, I’ve seen this done many a time. Breeds scepticism.

    I’m not interested in disputes about words, nor spending time in pointless clarifications. To echo Hays, you have your stereotypical complementarian into which you fit everything, including me, you only hear what you want to hear, what you expect to hear.

    This thread is not about me, so this is all I am going to say about this. Call time on ‘what KAS says’ comments. Nor is it about you and what your abusers did (which you seem to project onto me), it is about Piper and the potential damage his bad advice might cause.

    I really have got more important things to be concerned about, both uplifitng and encouraging, and suffering and discouraging.

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  4. KAS, “Criticising or discerning what somebody writes is not the same as a personal attack on them.”

    “If I wanted to deflect criticism of Piper by attacking the credibility of his critics (which I don’t), all I would need to do is to go to the most prolific poster on this theme here who supplies a veritable goldmine of quotations showing the critic is in no position to judge Piper whatsoever. ”

    You’ve been reading articles on how Trump argues? “I’m not going to say Hillary is a crook, but…” It’s a back handed personal attack. You are not “Criticising or discerning” what Daisy is writing, since you are NOT DEALING WITH HER WRITING. You are simply poisoning the well. You can read that one. Poisoning the well is another ad homimem attack which is by definition a personal attack.

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  5. KAS – “I had wondered about slightly reformulating Kathi’s sentence…” Curious to hear how you would have reformulated the sentence. Or, would have have restated it? Not sure what you mean there.

    I do mean when I said, “I wish you well.” I do not agree with comp doctrine and I will never be convinced that it does not enable an abuser due to the power and control dynamic. If a couple determines that this is the best way for their marriage and they have a healthy relationship, then so be it. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop challenging comp doctrine.

    I’m concerned when abuse crosses the line in a relationship no matter how it is lived out.

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  6. Kathi – if we can drop the egal/comp trench warfare for a moment, a lot depends on what you have experienced and where you come from. I find it difficult to believe that if I visited your average complementarian church in the States, all I would find would be suppressed women meekly following their husbands in everything. I don’t have that low a view of what evangelical men in the States are all like, though maybe I have got this wrong. Some, I grant you, do have some very weird ideas!

    Try this if you will for a UK version of the idea. Only a few minutes to read, and I would be interested in your opinion of it. For the conference, note how the word ‘complementarian’ has been dropped for the word ‘complementarity’, I suspect to get away from the submit/head dynamic that dominates the issue when it shouldn’t, that is not what it is all about. US cultural baggage? Note too the absence of abuse associated with the idea as though they go together like love and marriage. And women speakers too!!

    https://thinktheology.co.uk/blog/article/the_future_is_bright_the_future_is_complementary

    I think Piper’s views on the subject in general would find limited and critical acceptance in the UK at best.

    The saddest thing is both the US and the UK have the most messed up family life in the advanced industrial world, and we all argue about nuances of a Greek word rather than the church being salt and light in such darkness.

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  7. KAS said: “I find it difficult to believe that if I visited your average complementarian church in the States, all I would find would be suppressed women meekly following their husbands in everything”

    Enough said. An unworthy, ridiculously sweeping statement.

    So, since you personally can’t determine that suppression (abuse) is happening 24/7 to 100% of the females that step foot in an average complementarian-style church, then you don’t need to contemplate that Complementarianism is destructive to women.

    How could you possibly know about the private suffering and endangerment of women at an average church, unless you witnessed it, or they testified to you? Well, some have testified to you, and you are shutting your ears to that. So you don’t get to claim that “you find it difficult to believe…”, you’re not listening anyway.

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  8. @KAS

    “I don’t have that low a view of what evangelical men in the States are all like,”

    Because you are a misogynistic man who is turned on by American complementarian thugs. You are not a woman or little girl so you are not the one who has to be the trapped, used, degraded slave.

    C.J. Mahaney and his army of pro-child rape thugs obstructed justice for multiple RAPED children. He and his army of pro-child rape thugs are complementarian.

    Matt Chandler protected a pedophile and got p*ssed that a woman would not want to be married to a pedophile. Matt Chandler is complementarian.

    Doug Phillips trapped, brainwashed, and manipulated a naive girl in his care to be his sex doll. Doug Phillips is complementarian.

    Doug Wilson arranged for a pedophile to have a baby and once the newborn baby boy arrived his own pedo father was sexually aroused by him. Doug Wilson arranged that sickness for the baby. Doug Wilson also protected and advocated for a man who sexually abused a young girl trapped in his cult. Doug Wilson also has a fetish with slavery and RAPE. Doug Wilson is a complementarian.

    Josh Duggar sexually abused FIVE little girls. Four of his own little sisters.
    Josh Duggar was raised by two pervert complementarian parents.

    Bill Gothard sexually harassed many young women. Bill Gothard is complementarian.

    The list of abusive complementarians goes on and on. Jack Schaap, Paul Pressler, Paige Patterson, Mark Driscoll, RC Sproul Jr, Andy Savage, Tom Chantry, Chuck O’Neal, my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and the wifely submission obsessed, child raping, pro comp vomit who sexually abused me as a child.

    “The saddest thing is both the US and the UK have the most messed up family life in the advanced industrial world,”

    That is your misogynistic opinion and the opinion of a selfish man who tries to hurt and insult people who were sexually abused as toddlers.

    My cousins who go to church treat their kids like second class minions. My cousins who do not go to church listen to their kids, are worried about their kid’s feelings, and talk with their kids and not at them. Their kids can tell them the truth.

    Most churchmen I know make their families miserable. Their wives and kids have to pretend to be fake happy. They are not about to get over themselves for their children’s sake.

    “and we all argue about nuances of a Greek word rather than the church being salt and light in such darkness.”

    Every time you post here you prove you are the darkness. Every time an article is about abused or degraded women you come on and say hurtful, disrespectful, insulting, dismissive, misogynistic things.

    You come on a website that is for victims of spiritual abuse and insult and belittle the victims and promote what has hurt them.

    If you worshipped Jesus Christ and not comp ideology you would be ashamed of your self and feel guilty.

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  9. How complementarian promoting KAS talks to and treats victims of childhood sexual abuse.

    Quote from Dash. A man who was raised in the Bill Gothard cult and was sexually abused by his own mother when he was a baby.

    “My mother sexually molested me when I was two. The mere idea of sex makes me physically sick.”

    Quote from KAS.

    “What had gone through my mind was that I have met and heard on two occasions men who have suffered very much more that you have – by a long way. ”

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/04/20/victim-of-bill-gothards-teachings-shares-emotional-aftermath/

    Of course, a comp man has decided there is something much worse than baby sexual abuse. I have never known a comp man or woman who hated sexual abuse even if the victim was a child.

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  10. @ Mark

    I sincerely do not believe KAS’s brain receives dopamine unless he is acting like a jerk towards people at Spiritual Sounding Board.

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  11. @ insanitybytes22

    Who called you a liar? I have not seen anyone call you a liar, but maybe I missed it. I am dyslexic.

    “I will not bother you again”

    No one said you were bothering them. You just got scared of the questions and ran off. I was hoping you would be the good comp teacher you present yourself to be at your blog and answer the questions a survivor of comp asked you. If you really care about women wouldn’t you want to explain that your ideology isn’t abusive? You have that opportunity here.

    The Taliban, ISIS, Boko Haram, and complementarians believe a woman can not divorce her husband if he beats her, they believe a woman cannot deny her husband sex, they all have a pornographic, sadomasochistic, obsession with female submission towards men.

    After September 11 I saw a fourteen-year-old girl on the news saying she wanted to be a flight attendant but her father said, no, she has to be wife and mother. That is the same thing my mother and me were told by our selfish heartless misognstic creepy scum bag fathers.

    Girls in Aghaniststan set themselves on fire were they will not have to get married. When I was sixteen I decided I would rather die and go to hell then be married to a Christian man.

    Complementarian men want the same things for their daughters as Islamists do. To be trapped, used, degraded slaves that have no choices. I wish I never knew my comp father. He did not love me and did not deserve to have anything comp served up to him.

    Shouldn’t a promoter of complementarian have the confidence and capability to answer these questions?

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  12. Song of Joy – you have spectacularly missed the point of what I was saying. Try reading the bit you quoted again.

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  13. CH quoted me: “What had gone through my mind was that I have met and heard on two occasions men who have suffered very much more that you have – by a long way.”

    I’ll repeat what followed that sentence:

    “If the grace of God was available to them – one was a holocaust survivor – to change them, then there is hope for everyone else not to let what evil others did to them become the dominating influence over the rest of their life and ruin it. Hope is a positive thing. I would like to try and offer it to you. The god you rail against I don’t believe in either, nor the revolting caricature of Christianity false teachers impart.

    The real God seen in Jesus wants to give you a hope and a future, to do you good and not ill, but you won’t ever get to see this let alone experience it unless you have a change of mind and a change of heart. The God of the bible is compassionate and merciful and will one day right all the wrongs and injustice, but cannot simply let anyone off for their own wrong-doing, something true of everyone. You can be reconciled to this God. He doesn’t need to be reconciled to you.

    I hope you will at least think this over rather than dismiss it as crap.”

    CH – you don’t know the circumstances in which I first encountered Dash.

    If you think I was trying to minimise anyone’s suffering, then you have misunderstood what I was getting at. I was rather trying to say whatever the suffering, there is a God who can cope with it.

    Now you might be right that saying the above was not my place, (and the two sentences you quote does look like insensitivity on my part when put together), but I cannot see anything in it that is untrue, let alone hateful. What is wrong with trying to offer hope? Others did so there, and I would be happy to join them in that.

    There is a certain irony to that thread. I saw myself saying to Mark that I have no problem with people expressing anger – he still doesn’t get it.

    Also the spirit of criticism of John Piper there – bordering on malice in some cases.

    And Velour of course. You know what happened to her. Ironic given her criticism of Piper.

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  14. “Now you might be right that saying the above was not my place,”

    As someone who was repeatedly sexually abused as a child, it isn’t my place either. I would never tell a Holocaust survivor or someone who was sexually abused as a child I know someone who has suffered more than them; no semi-decent person would. I was never sexually abused by a parent and I do not think anything could be worse. Dash had to look at that woman’s face his whole childhood and depend on someone sick enough to sexually abuse a baby, her own baby.

    It is mean-spirited, selfish, arrogant, and ignorant of you to tell people who have been hurt you believe someone else was hurt more. I believe Dash was hurt much more than me because it was his own mother. What happened to Dash is unimaginable.
    A mother sexually abusing her baby; most people comprehend there is nothing more bizarre or evil.

    That was the first post I ever read by you. Every time you posted to Dash you sounded like you hated him, hated his testimony against Bill Gothard, and wanted him to shut up. If you are not pro Bill Gothard I don’t know why you hated Dash so much.

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  15. KAS, I’m currently reading “The Power of Habit” – a great read so far. In this book the author describes organizational habits. His case in point is a hospital in Rhode Island where there was a toxic relationship between doctors and nurses. The hospital had policies and it was everyone’s job to raise concerns when the policies were violated, but when the doctors violated policies and the nurses complained, the nurses got reprimanded and disciplined, because although the policies were written in an egalitarian sense – that all the medical personnel in the operating theater had equal right to raise concerns, the culture was complementarian – the doctors’ opinions were weighed more heavily.

    So, nurses had to band together. They color-coded the doctor’s names on the whiteboards based on how toxic their interactions had been. Black was the worst. So, not surprisingly, a patient comes in with a critical brain injury and the paperwork is not completed correctly. The nurse tries to hold the operation so that they can confirm what is supposed to be done, but his concerns are rejected by the doctor who feels that operating quickly is their only hope. End result, the doctor drills a hole in the wrong side of the patient’s brain, and with complications, the patient dies. The hospital did damage control, fired the doctor and declared that everything was okay, until two more operations were botched spectacularly for similar reasons, at which point there was a media circus surrounding the hospital for something like the next year. The end result was that the hospital had to change the culture (including the firing of many department heads) to empower the nurses to make the hospital safer.

    Now, to your point, I doubt that anyone walking into this hospital would somehow recognize the level of toxicity, even by watching the interactions between the nurses and doctors. I doubt anyone would recognize that the doctors’ names were color-coded based on their level of toxicity, but the nurses had to learn these habits in order to protect themselves (and their patients!).

    In the same way you walk into a comp. church and nothing necessarily seems amiss. Having experienced this sort of abuse, there are some pretty significant red flags that I now recognize in my former church. What about the elder’s children who sit attentively through the sermon? Do you notice that when they wiggle or do developmentally appropriate things like lean into their parents or try to sit on their laps that they are taken out of the service and come back with red faces and puffy eyes? Do you notice that in a discussion class, nearly all the comments are in agreement with what is being taught? Do you notice that whenever someone disagrees with what is said that people start shifting, coughing, looking away and the tone of the leader changes to some sort of combination of patronization and scorn?

    For the most part, I can walk into a church now and listen to a sermon or observe things and figure out whether the church is abusive. I think the dynamics are changing, though – Coral Ridge or Willow Creek probably wouldn’t have had huge red flags for me, but a local mega-church did, so I don’t know.

    When I was in business school, we listened to a great presentation by a sponsor company on how they were championing diversity. Next day, the professor asked us, “what did you think about the presentation”. The response was unanimously positive – they had done a great job! Then he said, “what were they wearing?” Eventually we pieced together that they were wearing navy or charcoal suits with white dress shirts and a red tie. He said, “what do you think that means about their diversity?” At that point, it was obvious to everyone that the company’s pitch was a fraud.

    Which is why I come back to what Piper says – he says he is against abuse and he says he treats women as first-class citizens. He’s a recognized complementarian expert on marriage, having written multiple books on gender roles and marriage. Yet, after he retired as a pastor, his church had to bring in outside consultants to teach them how to handle domestic violence in the church – the implication being that they were neglecting their duty to protect wives from abusive husbands. So, maybe you have a quibble here and there with Piper’s theology, but the point remains. The complementarian expert on marriage did not protect abused wives, and that is a theology problem. Piper was not tough on abuse. Piper was tough on wives who came to the church for help with their abusive husbands. And… that was theologically justified by his complementarian views, of which he is a world-recognized expert.

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  16. “There is a certain irony to that thread. I saw myself saying to Mark that I have no problem with people expressing anger – he still doesn’t get it.”

    This statement suggests otherwise: “Feelings run high with those who have been abused or know someone who has been abused, but in dismantling Piper’s ideas here feelings must be put to one side, lest the critique simply end up being or appearing to be a personal attack.”

    I still don’t accept you as the tone judge. It seems that you are “okay” with people expressing anger, as long as the do so in a completely emotionless way, or as long as their anger is somehow in a separate box from the argument they are trying to make. Yet… our example, Jesus was angry. He overturned the money changers’ tables, and, in the midst of his anger-driven frenzy was able to explain why. I doubt it was a monotone exegetical sermon.

    There’s nothing to get. You simply refuse to accept the consequences of your arguments. When anyone tries, you ad hominem or red herring or simply throw up your hands and say you are being misunderstood.

    As Daisy said, you use “submit” and “obey” interchangeably, and when someone dares to claim that you believe that wives must obey their husbands, you say you are being misunderstood. You use “head” and “authority” interchangeably and “authority” and “leader” interchangeably, but when someone dares to claim that you believe that husbands are the leaders of their wives, you say you are being misunderstood.

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  17. “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.”

    This reminds me of C.J. Mahaney evil church forcing a three-year-old baby to kiss up to her rapist and make him feel better about raping her. She was so scared she hid under a chair.

    Here is John Piper telling a woman who is being abused by her husband to kiss his @ss and make him feel better about being a wife beater. I wish my mother had maced my father, kicked him between the legs, put me in the car and drive us to another state where we would never have to see his face again or hear his self-serving putrid complementarian voice again.

    Both of these cases are examples of how comp does not protect women and children and does protect wife beaters and child rapist.

    We are expected to kiss our abusers butts and make them feel better for abusing us.

    Women and children are in very dangerous situations when they have comp husbands, comp fathers, and go to comp churches. Complementarian men coddle, pamper, pity, baby, dote on, and elevate child rapist and wife beaters. Obviously, because something about raping children and wife beating resonates with them.

    No women or child should ever be submissive to a child rapist or wife beater. A woman who is being abused by her husband should not be told to be humble. No woman or child should ever be lead by a man who would beat or sexually abuse another human being.

    50 percent of my atheism was incited because of the Islamist idea that a woman should stay married to her husband when he abuses her. And all these evil selfish men sitting around wanting women to stay married to their abusive husbands are sick, selfish, primitive, and misogynist.

    No man should have ever been misogynistic enough to encourage my mother to stay married to her abuser and I will always find that man to be odious POS.

    I believe all men who want women to stay married to their abusive husbands deserve to be wife of my father. See how they like it.

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  18. CH, “may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband”

    I guess Piper and KAS both like tone policing!

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  19. @ Mark

    CH, “may be done in a spirit that does not contradict the spirit of love and submission to her husband”

    I would be so bored with my husband if he had to kiss my @ss. If what he says is fake then why even listen to him?
    If he thought I was being selfish and unthoughtful I would want him to say so.
    If he needed or wanted something from me I would want him to say so.
    If he was mad at me I would want him to tell me the WHOLE truth about it immediately. Of course, if I thought he was wrong I could say so. But I would want to know what he really thought, what he really wanted, and how he really feels.

    Everything sounds fake in complementarian relationships. Because the wife does not have any choices it looks like the wife is doing these things against her will.

    A wife does not have sex with her comp husband because she wants to. She does it because she has to.

    A comp wife is not nice to her husband because she really cares for him, she is nice to him because she has to be.

    A comp wife is not married to her comp husband because she wants to be married to him, it is because she has to be.

    I would be so embarrassed if my husband was married to me against his will and had sex with me against his will.

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  20. KAS — “if we can drop the egal/comp trench warfare for a moment, a lot depends on what you have experienced and where you come from.”

    This is a discussion on complementarianism and why I don’t think they are necessarily tough on abuse. Again, I will never agree with comp doctrine because the structure leads to enabling those with power and control. We have many here who have experienced abuse at the hands of comp doctrine. And, the stories aren’t limited to here alone, there are plenty out there by women who have been told to stay in their abusive relationships because they must submit to their husbands.

    As Mark said earlier, I do often wonder if those who say they are comp are truly not following comp doctrine. Piper, CBMW, and others has set the definitions of comp doctrine. How many truly follow the definitions? I think there are more people out there who say they are comp but really operate as egal.

    Regarding the article, honestly, I don’t find it any different than anything else that I’ve read out there. The author clearly states that the women she knows are treated with dignity and respect even though they have different roles. And, here is where I cannot agree — I don’t think the Bible lays out specific roles for men and women.

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  21. I see this thread has been rolling while I’ve been on vacation!

    let’s make women a hundred times safer with Christian men.

    Comp will never be safe for women, because it teaches, fundamentally, two things:

    Men deserve POWER over women and
    Women can not be TRUSTED.

    So, it encourages men to use power which leads to abuse. It encourages men to disbelieve women when they report said abuse. It tells women they are not allowed to react to abuse without a man’s say so. Shockingly that this hurts women, isn’t it?

    Leaving aside the fact that women are fully equal to men, and anything less than that is unacceptable. I think I’ll stick with men who feel the same way, thanks.

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  22. Maybe to expand the discussion, the popular connotation of abuse is essentially a form of assault. The definition, however, includes another concept of abuse that I have never read complementarian commentary on.

    That concept of abuse is overstepping one’s bounds. For example, the Egyptian midwives disobeyed a direct order from Pharoah to kill the Israelite babies. One argument as to why that was morally okay is that Pharoah did not have the “authority” to command that. Another example is the search warrant. Generally, a policeman does not have the “authority” to search a home or car without consent, unless he has a search warrant.

    So, another avenue of abuse within complementarian theology is that they fail to describe the authority of the husband. That is, beside the limit of “commanding the wife/children to sin” can the husband command everything? Can an angry husband tell his wife (or child) to wear an embarrassing sign at a busy street corner? Can he tell her to wear a hot dress to impress his friends?

    My wife reminded me about Queen Vashti – the woman who was dethroned to make room for Esther. She refused to dance for the king’s drunk friends at a party. Comps everywhere seem to heap on their disgust for Vashti and refusing her “authority”, but is he really her authority in that regard?

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  23. A-women, Mark.

    LOL @ Carmen.

    KAS posted a link upthread he thought was just wonderful. I read it and it seems to be a bunch of abuse justifying nonsense to me but oh well. Particularly about verbal abuse, which I think a lot of people minimize and I don’t think I truly understood until I really read up on the subject. It’s not just being mean one time. I cannot imagine being married to, and staying married to, someone who berated and demeaned me on a regular basis. To try to defend staying in that kind of place that with the bible (or ‘for the kids’ as that guy did!) is monstrous.

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  24. I also completely agree with people upthread who mentioned that financial abuse does not get nearly enough attention. When you tell women to stay at home, and/or refuse to educate them properly or support additional education and job training, you make it more difficult for them to earn a proper living if they need to leave. That enables financial abuse, whether it is meant to or not.

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  25. Not to mention the fact that many women are living in – and certainly headed for – abject poverty because of the lack of pension plans. 😦

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  26. And when the un-comp wife asked the comp husband point blank, “Why on earth didn’t you get that bat out of our home?”, the response was, “Those things carry rabies and I didn’t want to get infected.”

    Katy, bless you. If I knew how to do a heart on here I would!

    When a man’s attitude towards his wife and family is rooted in selfishness, it will not be protective. Flaw in the comp argument here.

    Carmen, you’re right. There are rules related to when you get your spouse or ex-spouse pension, or half pension, or SS, but I’m not close enough to all of that to have researched any of it yet. It may vary wildly based on circumstance (length of marriage, remarriage, death, etc)

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  27. Lea, “KAS posted a link upthread he thought was just wonderful.”

    To be precise, because I know KAS will, KAS mentioned that he felt it was fair, but didn’t put himself in a position where he necessarily agreed or disagreed with it. I felt it wasn’t worth trying to deal with the content of the paper because it was another can of worms.

    The popular “fair” tactic these days is to find one or two quibbles with an argument that one overwhelmingly agrees with, and then, of course, the assessment must be fair because it wasn’t 100% in favor.

    So, if I say, “Trump is doing a great job, but he could probably tone down the tweets.” That somehow must be taken as a fair review of Trump. If someone starts to challenge me for being a Trump fanboy, I just resort to, “well, I did call him out on the tweets!” Somehow I’m being objective if I find something to criticize.

    I’ll just keep on harping on the fact that Piper, who essentially defined complementarian theology, and is a recognized expert on marriage and roles, was the pastor of a church that, admittedly, had enough issues in their dealing with domestic violence that they had to bring in an outside expert to help them shore up their weaknesses. I think that speaks volumes as to how inadequately complementarian theology handles spousal abuse. c.f. https://cryingoutforjustice.com/2015/04/30/john-pipers-old-church-is-admitting-to-fault-in-how-it-has-addressed-domestic-abuse-and-making-changes/

    And, not only that, there are still credible allegations that they remain deluded on spousal abuse (linked from ACFJ) https://www.facebook.com/notes/visionary-womanhood/my-defense-against-the-public-attack-by-bethlehem-baptist-church/1490874330926757

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  28. Are you saying that someone who uses profanity when they are angry is in no position to judge someone who calmly and coolly tells women that God commands them to submit to abuse? – Mark upthread

    I’d rather here true empathy and kindness wrapped in harsh language than evil wrapped in soft clothing.

    To be precise, because I know KAS will, KAS mentioned that he felt it was fair, but didn’t put himself in a position where he necessarily agreed or disagreed with it.

    Honestly Mark, that’s still weasily. He liked it enough to post it and call it ‘fair’. It’s not fair, it’s ignorant and unsympathetic towards victims of abuse. It defends Piper where he shouldn’t be defended. I don’t feel like addressing it point by point and of course I’m using different language than KAS used, but he’s still approvingly pointing it out. He agrees with much of it, as seen from his previous posts. I disagree. Simple.

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  29. It’s hard enough to debate KAS on his own words, I can guarantee that it will be much more difficult to try and debate KAS through the proxy of another person’s writing simply because it just takes one statement – “well I don’t agree with that 100%” to waste hours of work.

    I used to debate with a narcissist on theological issues. Even the seemingly agreed-upon definitions would be abandoned when backed into a corner. There was always a lot of goalpost moving, equivocation, backpedalling and other posturing that attempted to reframe the debate as the noose tightened. So, personally, I’m not going to go down a line of argumentation that is so easy to weasel out of.

    If I were pressing into the debate, I would tighten the noose on submit vs obey and head vs lead. In both cases, KAS was called to the table for protesting when we believed he equated those terms, then proceeding to use the words synonymously. As I said, that is a posturing technique (equivocation) that complementarians love to use. Lack of submission is something like how a judge described pornography – I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. So, when is a wife being unsubmissive? When she is disobeying her husband.

    But, like the narcissist I argued with, there was never a directionality to the debate. I would “prove” a point, which would cause the N to take a different approach, but that was temporary. As soon as it was convenient, the very point I had proven came back on the table. I see a lot of similarities here.

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  30. Lea, “Honestly Mark, that’s still weasily. ”

    Maybe the point is that it’s useless to argue with weasels?

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  31. Mark said,

    Even the seemingly agreed-upon definitions would be abandoned when backed into a corner. There was always a lot of goalpost moving, equivocation, backpedalling and other posturing that attempted to reframe the debate as the noose tightened. So, personally, I’m not going to go down a line of argumentation that is so easy to weasel out of.

    That describes KAS perfectly.

    He is not honest in how he discusses these topics with any of us here.

    I think I prefer an honest angry or cussing type of person to a Lying McLiar who states his lies and duplicity in G-rated, clean, goody-goody approved language and behavior.

    Not only Kas in particular, but complementarians generally, operate in the same manner. I wrote a blog post about it here (with links to essays by other people pointing out the same thing):
    _The Shifting Goal Posts of Complementarianism Show How Bankrupt It Is_

    I think Kas should’ve been put on slow mod, or banned altogether, or relegated to posting about complementarianism in only one designated comp thread (as opposed to being permitted to post about it on other threads, such as this one), but it’s not my blog.

    Mark, you might find this post interesting. It raises some of the points you’ve mentioned on other threads.
    This post discusses in passing how complementarianism ruins churches, and how it contributes to bullying, and it discusses how some pastors or church cultures are authoritarian in general terms:
    Mars Hill Remixed: Preventing the Past from Becoming the Present – via Christians For Biblical Equality site

    Aaand. This is the first time I’ve re-visited this thread since I was last here, about, four some odd days ago.
    So I’ve not read every single post since then. I’ve only seen a small number that are the most recent, like this post from Mark I quoted above.

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  32. Maybe the point is that it’s useless to argue with weasels?

    We concur!

    Eh, when I just someone is talking in circles or not truly engaging, I might point out what I disagree with but I really stop trying to debate them in any meaningful way. I only enjoy arguing with people when there is a give and take and I feel people are speaking in good faith. If not, the only reason to point things out is for other people who might wander along. So I’m not really fussed about it, I guess.

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  33. to a Lying McLiar who states his lies and duplicity in G-rated, clean, goody-goody approved language and behavior.

    Heh. Daisy, I’m southern. I know perfectly well how easy it is to be totally cutting and totally polite and well mannered. Polite and kind are totally different things.

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  34. Lea said,

    Heh. Daisy, I’m southern. I know perfectly well how easy it is to be totally cutting and totally polite and well mannered. Polite and kind are totally different things.

    Me too.

    Yes, I know someone can state something that is rude but use polite language to do so. I used to be quite good at it, since my mother forbid me from stating rude stuff rudely or using crass language.

    My family is from the south.
    But due to my father’s career field, I’ve lived all over the country, including up north, but I spent much of my childhood and a good chunk of my adult years in the south (especially states that are along the Gulf Coast).

    My mother was big into Southern manners. She believed that appearances mattered a lot. She was always fretting about, “What will the neighbors think?”

    As a kid it drove me nuts, and it didn’t make sense to me why we should care so deeply about what other people think about us, but by my late teens, Mom brain-washed me to be like that, too.

    So I went around up until my early 40s caring way, way too much about what other people thought about me, to the degree I did not know who I was, or what I wanted in life.
    To the degree I was a huge doormat that co-workers, friends, and my ex fiance exploited.

    And all that Southern Culture, “what will the neighbors think / Nice Girls don’t do X” thinking it plays into codependent habits (and is present within Gender Complementarianism for women as well), e.g., thinking it’s selfish to have personal boundaries, to be assertive, you are to be more concerned with how other people perceive you than in how you perceive yourself.

    Additionally, my father was into shaming, and he was very critical. To this day my father thinks it’s embarrassing, shameful, or inappropriate, for a person to be vulnerable, to admit to making mistakes, to show emotion openly, etc

    At this stage in my life, I become greatly annoyed or infuriated by guys such as Kas or “D” who post to this blog and who lecture the rest of us on this blog to…

    Watch our language, to play nice, who wag their index fingers in our face to lecture us on how they think we “should” behave, who play Tone Police, who indicate it’s wrong to have or show emotion (especially anger – and yes, KAS is anti- demonstrating- anger, or he’s pro- showing- anger- in- only- KAS- approved ways, his weaselly back-pedaling on the subject at a later point to Mark with-standing).

    And I resent it.

    I resent anyone telling me to behave nice, to calm down, monitoring how or when I show emotion (especially anger).
    And sexist men out there can cram it with their “women are more emotional than men” type garbage, so if you as a woman do show anger in the midst of a discussion, they discount the substance of your points by saying, “See, see, you’re not rational or logical like a man, so your opinions don’t count”

    I had that sort of thinking crammed down my throat over my life, starting when I was a kid, from my parents and in churches we went to.

    I spent my whole life caring way too much about what other people think, policing myself (i.e., not stating my views at all, or not directly and openly, lest it hurt or offend another person present), stifling my true views, stifling my emotions. And I am so done with it.

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  35. RE: the Mars Hill article… there is a fundamental issue. When the Phillippian jailer asked Paul, “what must I do to be saved?” there was a simple answer. I believe the question has remained to this day, but “Believe in Jesus” is no longer acceptable as an answer. Instead it is a hotly contested and ever-changing set of do’s and don’t’s, and the arbitrators of that list are the church leaders.

    Now combine that with the natural tendency of leaders to domineer. Domineering (lording it over) comes from a belief that the leader is superior in a way where trust in the leader is equated with trust in God. Even though the question has not really changed over time, the answer has. Instead of believe it is believe and do what we tell you.

    But, oddly when it comes to authority, (we see this with our government) it is hard to get the authority to submit to accountability measures. I once asked to record a disciplinary hearing and the response was, “why don’t you trust us?” Seemingly wanting to be able to hold someone accountable is considered a lack of trust. Even denominationally, church leader minutes are supposed to be open to congregational members, yet… if you ask for a copy of the minutes, first of all expect to be rebuffed, then expect that you will not get the REAL minutes. In fact, my former church has consistently rolled back accountability measures enacted by previous generations.

    And… that becomes the fundamental message of complementarian theology – trust authority. At work, it’s the brown nosers that get put into authority, but at church, only those who are truly godly ever get past the gauntlet of the elder board. A husband is someone God has approved to be an authority over his wife, and should generally not need any accountability. So, then it’s no surprise that the church is often deceived. horribly, evilly, wickedly deceived by authorities that use the blank check to do what authorities naturally do – domineer while avoiding accountability. The best at this, like Driscoll, create a circle of sycophants underneath them, and work to build a network of deceived or like-minded pastors who vouch for each other based on, perhaps reading their books, at best, and maybe running to each other on the conference circuit. Others figure out the power brokers and make sure they agree enough theologically to springboard off their approval.

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  36. Mark said: I would tighten the noose on submit vs obey … and you use “submit” and “obey” interchangeably

    I checked this for my own benefit from the other thread. I made the following statements:

    “Submit is not obey, notwithstanding traditional wedding vows….” Clear differentiation.

    “Children and slaves/servants obey, but wives submit”. Clear differentiation.

    Let me spell this out. Wives submit, hupotasso, to their husband as head, a one-flesh unity. Children obey parents, not a one-flesh relationship and a different Greek word (to hear and therefore obey). Similarly, with masters and servants, not one flesh, nor family, but with the same Greek word as for children obeying. The confusion has come from Daisy who cannot make this distinction, with I believe SKIJ following in her wake.

    Whilst hupotasso can include obey in its range of meanings (Vine’s Dictionary for example), the translators of Eph 5 are careful to keep the distinction between wives and the other relationships mentioned (except church and Christ). It’s lexicon and context, a good translation rule.

    “A husband could sinfully enforce obedience (doing what he says), but submission (an attitude of respect) could only come from the wife herself”. Clear differentiation between obedience and submission and respect.

    “We must obey God rather than man”. The context of this was the apostles obeying God rather than the authority of the religious leaders. Not wives and husbands. Not one flesh. Not family. Not work. And yet another Greek word for obey to boot! Daisy’s reply is strange and rather disturbing:

    Women are not dogs that they should “obey” a husband the way a person may expect a pet dog to obey them.

    Completely irrelevant. Daisy then said There you conflate submission with obeying, as she does elsewhere when I talk of obeying apostolic doctrine meaning that concerning wives and husbands, and tries to make this into me saying wives must obey husbands. The doctrine yes, but submit to husbands. In the obeying God rather than man post I made a distinction between submitting to lesser authorities and obeying God. Obedience to him overrides submission to others where a conflict occurs. A very important distinction.

    Daisy quite correctly pointed out Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters where Peter uses hupotasso with reference to slaves amongst others.

    Mark too has been putting words in my mouth: … interpreting submit to mean obey as complementarians do … submit and obey … (lumped together because he thinks because some complementarians think this way, all do).

    Mark: By what authority do you define “submission” to mean obedience to every command where one is not being told to sin?

    To which I replied: “I don’t think I have ever given a definition of what submit means, let alone claiming it is obedience to commands”.

    I have believed the distinction between submit and obey for years, and could not find an example of where I might have inadvertently confused the two.

    I think there is a similar botch up over the head v source or authority or lead stuff, but I haven’t got time to rake over all this.

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  37. Re: KAS at JULY 18, 2018 @ 3:34 PM above.

    KAS, you are dishonest.

    Anyone who wants to see what you have said can check out this link, which is a collection of your quotes, directly copied from YOUR post on the last thread or so:

    _KAS quotes from Thread “”Discuss: What Can Men Do to Help Remove Misogyny from the Church? Inquiring Elder Wants to Know.”_

    You flip flop.

    You do things like deny that ‘headship’ means “authority,” but you later admit that headship supposedly has connotations of authority.

    You also impute “submit” with the meaning of “obey” when you say wives “must submit” to the headship of their husbands.

    It’s not your place to tell, coerce, guilt trip, or shame, or instruct married women to submit or obey to a spouse.

    Also, should I marry, I will not “submit’ or “obey” whomever my spouse is.

    And I refuse to marry a complementarian man, given your behavior on these threads about these topics:
    you invest headship with authority, and a master / slave meaning.

    Wives are free in Jesus Christ, as their is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus (Gal 4.28); they are not slaves to their husbands, or under a husband’s authority.

    You are advocating sin as virtue.
    God said males seeking to rule over women was a RESULT of the fall, and it was not his intent, plan or design for marriage (book of Genesis).
    Jesus Christ set women free from the fall.

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  38. Pardon.
    “Wives are free in Jesus Christ, as their is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus (Gal 4.28)”

    Gal 3. 28 and “there” not “their.”

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  39. (part 1)
    KAS said

    To which I replied: “I don’t think I have ever given a definition of what submit means, let alone claiming it is obedience to commands”.

    If you are not going to define your terms, why are you running around on sites lecturing other people to submit?

    You also said,

    Let me spell this out.

    Wives submit, hupotasso, to their husband as head, a one-flesh unity.

    Children obey parents, not a one-flesh relationship and a different Greek word (to hear and therefore obey). Similarly, with masters and servants, not one flesh, nor family, but with the same Greek word as for children obeying.

    The confusion has come from Daisy who cannot make this distinction, with I believe SKIJ following in her wake.

    I can make distinctions just fine – but you muddle things.

    Here is how an English language dictionary defines “Submit,”

    accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.

    synonyms:
    give in/way, yield, back down, cave in, capitulate; surrender, knuckle under
    “she submitted under duress”

    be governed by, abide by, be regulated by, comply with, accept, adhere to, be subject to, agree to, consent to, conform to

    You have admitted on a previous thread that in your opinion the word “head” in Ephesians, and in other martial related NT passages, has a connotation of authority to it. Which begs the question:

    What do people under a person in authority usually have to do to that person in authority? They have to obey that person or that office. This is what your view point is hinting at.

    I’ve also asked you several times questions (that go unanswered) like, what do you do when a wife refuses to submit to her husband, in the way comps like you teach?

    Should I marry, I will not be “submitting” to any spouse of mine.
    What do you do then, advise my husband to beat me into submission, either physically, or by using spritiual abuse tactics, such as repeatedly saying,
    “Now dear, the Bible does say in Ephesians you are to submit to me.”

    The word “submission” is not a synonym for the word “respect,” by the way.
    A person can respect another person without submitting to that person.

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  40. (part 2)
    KAS said,

    “A husband could sinfully enforce obedience (doing what he says), but submission (an attitude of respect) could only come from the wife herself”. Clear differentiation between obedience and submission and respect.

    Why does the husband supposedly have “authority” if it is not inferred that the wife is to obey him, whether that is done respectfully or not?

    It makes having authority or being in authority a moot point.

    And “submit” does not mean “respect.”

    Also, if the Bible was merely calling for wives to respect husbands, why does the Bible not just say, “Wives, respect your husbands.”

    I would assume there was a koine Greek word that meant “respect” that the author(s) could have used.

    KAS said,

    “We must obey God rather than man”. The context of this was the apostles obeying God rather than the authority of the religious leaders.
    Not wives and husbands. Not one flesh. Not family. Not work. And yet another Greek word for obey to boot!
    Daisy’s reply is strange and rather disturbing

    You’re only willing to apply some of your definitions to some groups but not to others.

    Your use of language is not consistent …. but you refer to my views or replies as “strange” or “disturbing.”
    (You endorse marital rape, which is far more strange and disturbing. More on that below or in the next post of mine below).

    You associate submitting with the meanings of ‘obey’ and ‘obedience’ with humans- to- God, but then turn around and say suddenly, that ‘submit’ has no connotations of ‘obey’ in a marriage context.

    From what I’ve seen of you across a few threads now, the definitions of these words change on how YOU, KAS, personally view a topic, or whatever your opinion is.

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  41. (part 3)
    My next point.
    You, KAS, enjoy nit-picking and debating particular Bible verses, but you have a strong aversion, until really, really pressed, to respond to how complementarianism plays out in real life.

    Other posters had to ask you repeatedly over a course of several comment pages to answer a set of questions that you only reluctantly attempted to answer much later.

    Complementarian teachings had very negative ramifications in my life, as well as that of poster “Christianity Hurts,” but you continue to gloss right over that, as though it’s nothing.

    Complementarianism, male headship, and all this other sexist Christian crap, is not a mere intellectual pursuit of debate for me. It harmed me as I was growing up, and has ramifications into my adulthood.

    But no, real-life outcomes on real people don’t matter in your world.

    Just like the Pharisees you place rule- following and doctrine above actual living and breathing people.

    And on a spiritual abuse blog, no less, and on threads about how complementarianism causes or enables the abuse of women.
    Why you are still permitted to post here or have not been put on slow mod I will never understand.

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  42. (part 4)
    KAS said regarding a point I made earlier,
    “Completely irrelevant.”

    Nope, because your complementarian Male Headship view, which is authoritative (as you even admitted on a previous thread), treats wives as though they are dogs and their husbands are masters whom they must submit to and obey, but respectfully.
    And per your view, a husband cannot physically beat that obedience out of the wife, but a husband can spiritually and emotionally abuse that out of their wives, if they so choose.

    You say the husbands cannot ‘force’ the wives to respectfully submit and obey their spouse, but you are all for lecturing women up and down these threads into telling us we must do so.

    (By the way, any man who abuses his wife, is inconsiderate of her needs or feelings, or uses psychologically- manipulative methods to coerce, shame or guilt trip, her into having sex she does not want to have – is not worthy or deserving of respect.)

    You also…
    Defended Marital Rape on a previous thread (_link_):

    You only object to physical use being carried out (husbands should not ‘force’ wives to have sex, physical force implied), but you are fine with Christian husbands shaming, guilt tripping, and using other forms or emotional or spiritual abuse, to psychologically coerce a wife into having sex.

    When asked if a wife can ever say ‘No’ to her husband’s request for sex, rather than just saying,
    “Well of course she can say No!,” KAS replied like this:

    What about 1 Cor 7 : 5 “Do not refuse one another except perhaps by agreement for a season, that you may devote yourselves to prayer …”

    You are stripping that passage of its cultural context.

    It was meant to address marriages where one partner thought it was more godly to remain celibate over the duration of a marriage, but the other spouse did not agree to this.

    To summarize (by Marg Mowczko, link below.):

    My understanding of Paul’s teaching here is that a wife or husband cannot make a vow of celibacy and permanently withhold sex.
    Conversely, a wife or husband cannot have sex with whoever they want, because their spouse has an exclusive right of having sexual relations with them.

    This scenario, KAS, is not the same thing where a married couple more or less is already having regular sex, but on some occasions, the wife (or the husband) may not want to have sex that particular day because they are sick or whatever.

    1 Cor 7 is not a blank check for husbands to demand, get, and insist upon getting sex whenever and however they want, even if the wife is not in the mood or is too sick or tired or stressed to have sex here or there. But you implied otherwise with your quotation of 1 Cor 7.

    You are using the Bible as a weapon and in a legalistic fashion, as the Pharisees did, that Jesus taught was incorrect.

    So, KAS is saying a wife cannot say No to a request for sex, because if she did so she would, in his odd interpretation, be in sin, or violating some biblical command (his interpretation there – of).

    Consent is an aspect of a healthy sexual relationship.
    Minus consent, we have rape.

    If the wife is un-willing to have sex but the husband pressures her or shames her into having sex… he is raping his wife. That is the end result, even if no force is involved.

    (I’ve even seen some wives defend this sort of thing, but for you ladies who do this – if you are caving in just to avoid an argument with the honey, or to avoid hurting his feelings, so you don’t have to listen to him whine or gripe, or whatever, it’s still rape because it’s not fully consensual nor fully wanted.
    If your husband wants sex that badly, he can go pleasure himself with some tissue and a bottle of lotion.)

    A wife absolutely has a right to turn down sex with her husband if she is not in the mood, is sick, too tired or is stressed out, but you see how KAS’s implication by quoting 1 Cor 7 : 5 suggests that a husband has a right to brow-beat and harangue his sick or tired wife into having sex.

    Notice that the Bible says that the wife has control over her husband’s body:

    The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. (1 Corinthians 7:4)

    Note how un- Male Headship this is, but how reciprocal this is.

    Additional commentary:
    _A WIFE HAS NO AUTHORITY OF HER OWN BODY? (1 COR. 7:4)_

    Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 7:4 sounds harsh in most English translations, and it is frequently misunderstood. Sometimes this verse is even used to coerce and “guilt” a reluctant spouse into having sex, but this was never Paul’s intention.[1]

    It is noteworthy that Paul’s instructions throughout chapter 7 are framed by the concept of mutuality and equity: wives and husbands, women and men, have identical instructions and are to live by the same standards. There are no double standards here, or a gender hierarchy. Power plays have no part in Christian marriage.

    … A husband and wife should give themselves, their bodies, to each other, and only to each other, in an exclusive relationship (cf. 1 Cor. 7:2, 3).

    [Historical Context that KAS ignores]
    However, some Christian wives and husbands in Corinth were making vows of celibacy as a demonstration of ascetic piety; some were making this vow without the mutual consent of their spouse (cf. 1 Cor. 7:5-7).

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  43. And all the following will likely fall on deaf ears if KAS reads this –
    No matter how nicely your complementarianism is taught, or no matter how sweetly men practice comp, these are some of the other real-world consequences of how comp plays out in the lives of many girls and women:
    = = =
    Complementarianism is not tough on abuse. (part 1)

    Complementarianism discourages girls and women from having boundaries or from being assertive, and it teaches them that God put men in charge or control of women.

    (In the process, sometimes complementarians teach or imply things like women and girls are not as intelligent, wise, or capable as boys or men, that girls and women are “easily deceived,” or are not as capable at leadership, and/or girls and women are somehow defective and shameful.

    All these complementarian teachings can have the cumulative negative affect of lowering a girl’s or woman’s self esteem, and makes her feel as though God does not love girls and women as much as he loves boys and men.

    And that stupid complementarian motto of, “women equal in value to men, just not in role” does not disguise, erase, or mitigate the messages females receive from complementarian interpretations of the Bible that God loves and values men far more than women)

    Girls and women are sometimes told by some complementarians to be submissive to all men generally, and to treat all men as authority figures, not just a husband, once they marry (it would depend on the variety of complementarianism).

    Complementarianism actively discourages women from having healthy boundaries, which leaves them vulnerable to being abused, or staying in, abusive or unhealthy relationships (whether those relationships be romantic, work-related, and / or friendships).

    See, this “Male Headship / Women Submit / Women Are To Be Passive” complementarian stuff doesn’t neatly stay wrapped up in the category of Marriage only, but also floods into other areas of life, of how women navigate OTHER relationships in life.
    (So even though I’ve never married, this complementarian trash messed up friendships and jobs I had.)

    Complementarians teach girls and women unhelpful and dangerous things like (but not limited to) that getting their own needs met is selfish (they should only, always put the welfare of others before themselves),
    and that they do not have a right, or any justification, to defend themselves if being mistreated (not even politely, and not verbally or physically).

    Like

  44. Here are some of the real-life consequences of complementarianism for some women, KAS.

    Complementarianism is not tough on abuse. (part 2)

    Complementarianism endorses an un-equal authority or un-equal power dynamic in relationships, says this power differential is God-designed (and anything else is supposedly evil, un-biblical, selfish, and feminist), so that Christian women who have been taught this is all good and Biblical, try to live with this mindset if they consider themselves devout Christians.

    All of that complementarian teaching leaves girls and women vulnerable to being abused, mistreated, or exploited.

    (Read a copy of the book ‘The Gift of Fear’ to see how such teachings also affect girls in secular society, making girls vulnerable to being raped, ending up married to an abuser, etc – Christian complementarian teachings quite often mirror secular beliefs and teachings about gender roles.)

    Abusers and predators often seek out these very types of girls and women complementarianism conditions them to be (passive, un-assertive, etc), to take advantage of or to abuse.

    Secular culture also does the same thing – there are two different criteria in secular culture: men and boys are encouraged to be independent, out-spoken, assertive, and bold, but not girls and women.

    Women who display what are considered in culture to be “masculine” traits will be ostracized or said to be “bossy” and so on.

    Complementarianism fosters the very behaviors in girls and women that some abusers and predators actively seek to have in a relationship.

    Complementarianism is all about sexist Christians trying to offer a biblical – sounding justification for why they are practicing sexism in marriage and in churches.

    Complementarianism is not about valuing, helping, or defending women and girls.

    One does not need a complementarian doctrine to do show that God values girls and women: Jesus already said to, “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” Galatians 3.28 already says ‘there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.’

    The Bible already contains teachings about loving and respecting other people… a codified method for doing so vis a vis biological sex is unnecessary and redundant.
    (But again, that is not the real goal of complementarians anyway: it is to keep the sexist status quo of society and church intact)

    If complementarians were serious about stamping out abuse of girls and women in and out of church, they’d do things like teach girls and women
    -how to defend themselves,
    -stop insisting it’s always wrong or selfish for them to have boundaries or get their own needs met;
    -to know it’s okay to tell people “no” when they ask for time, money, or favors
    -how to spot a predator, what to do and say if they encounter an abuser or predator,
    t-o have life skills (such as being assertive) that would help them navigate out of abusive situations or to spot them early on…

    Instead, complementarians do the opposite:
    They teach women to remain naive about men, dating, and relationships, to stay and “submit to” their abuser, don’t leave the marriage (if it’s a marital relationship), do not practice boundaries, never put yourself first, never say “no” to someone else’s request of you, etc. all of which leaves girls and women wide open to being easy targets for abusers, the selfish, or the dishonest.

    If a comp woman is LUCKY, she ends up marrying a decent guy who won’t abuse her. Failing that, she’ll either stay single and be taken advantage (and I don’t mean sexual) of by bosses, co workers, friends, or she may marry an abusive man.

    And complementarianism does not equip women on how and what to do about how to handle conflict. Comp encourages women to be conflict avoidant.

    Like

  45. Perhaps, for those of you who read the article Daisy linked, you’ll understand why I have such disdain for Insanity Bytes. She pushes the patriarch (seeing herself as such a ‘godly’ woman for doing so) and if you want to see what she gets out of it, check out her blog — she gets regular comments from men every day. THEY are the ones who benefit most from the patriarchal system and it will come as no surprise that the sycophants can’t praise her enough. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  46. KAS, I’ll just refer you back to your own words:

    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.

    Regarding the other cases where we are told to submit, such as govt or church elders, God has the highest authority and we are to submit to these lesser, though God ordained authorities, until this means disobeying God himself (‘we must obey God rather than man’) or they exceed their authority meaning interfere where they have no right to.

    Maybe zoom in a bit for emphasis… “we are to submit to these lesser, though God ordained authorities, until this means disobeying God himself (‘we must obey God rather than man’)”

    We must submit until this means disobeying God himself with the prooftext being we must obey God rather than man.

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

    You are, as Daisy has already said, conflating submission and obedience. When Daisy and I called you out on it, you equivocated – tried to deflect and assert that they are not the same. However you have used them to mean the same thing.

    “We must obey God rather than man”. The context of this was the apostles obeying God rather than the authority of the religious leaders. Not wives and husbands.

    No, the context of this was explaining how submission works as the quote above says. This is, again, backpedaling and equivocation. In this case, when challenged on your word submit, you explain the word submit in the context of civil authorities as an example of a “difference of authority” (note that you use the word “_head” which means it is directly applicable to the headship of the husband) and conflate it with obedience. Now you say that submit has a different meaning vis-a-vis civil authorities and husband/wife. This then begs the question. If submit means something different regarding civil authorities and husband/wife, why would you ever bring the concept of submission to civil authorities into the debate. Your prelude to bringing in civil authorities is:

    As I’ve already said, it’s pointless to try and debate someone who is evasive, equivocates and resorts to red herrings and ad hominem attacks. It’s pointless for you to cherry pick your quotes when other quotes say the opposite.

    I’m not going to go off on you like Daisy, I’m just going to say YOU LOSE. If you can’t make a case for complementarianism without resorting to deception, then perhaps you are working for the wrong team. Like the darkness team.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Great commentary here via Kathi, Mark, Daisy, Lea, and yes, I enjoy Carmen too.

    Learning volumes and yet I have one simple question……..does complementarianism line up with the humility Christ calls us to exhibit, or does it reflect the pride that satan promotes the soul to exhibit in order to be “like God?”

    Because frankly, I do not see the likeness of humility exhibited in the likes of those whom call themselves “leaders” within the “evangelical Christian subculture.”

    And just a side note……Insanybytes may be in need of a lesson learned the hard way……please come and farm with me for a season and you will learn quickly that your mind, your heart, and tongue that can speak a “yes” when appropriate, and a “no” when needed, will keep you safe, at peace with our LORD, productive, and at best, will save your soul at the end of the day. For the teachings of complementarianism are alive and well within evangelical subculture…….and patriarchy never saved one single soul.

    Been there, done that, and was miserable……never, ever, ever going back to the apostasy of comp theology/patriarchy…..for it replaces Jesus, the Living Christ, with the worship of man.

    Never met one comp that was humble, thus the question above.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. 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_

    Like

  50. 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.

    Like

  51. (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.

    Like

  52. (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.

    Like

  53. 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.

    Like

  54. 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.

    Like

  55. 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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  56. 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.

    Like

  57. 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)

    Like

  58. 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.

    Like

  59. 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).

    Like

  60. 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

  61. 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.

    Like

  62. 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.

    Like

  63. 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

  64. @ 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

  65. 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

  66. 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

  67. 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

  68. 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

  69. 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

  70. 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

  71. 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

  72. 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

  73. 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

  74. 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

  75. 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

  76. 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

  77. 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

  78. @ 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

  79. 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

  80. @ 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.

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  81. 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.

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  82. “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. 😦

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  83. 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…)

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  84. @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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  85. 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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  86. 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/

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  87. _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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  88. 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.)

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  89. 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.

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  90. 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.)

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  91. 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.

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  92. 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.

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  93. 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.

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  94. 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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  95. 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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