The State of the American Woman

I was grateful to be a guest on The Albert Mohler Program yesterday to discuss the recent TIME magazine cover story, “The State of the American Woman.”

Here’s a description of the show:

“Time Magazine has recently reported on the state of the American women. Though many modern women are more powerful and make more money than any generation previously, they are far less happy. As the family unit dissolves and the gift of motherhood is set aside for cultural achievement, women are losing a sense of sure footing and purpose in life. As Dr. Mohler notes today, women will find genuine happiness through the gospel, faithfulness to His Word, and love for the family of Christ.”

Dr. Mohler has an excellent article on the topic that you can read here. He writes:

“Feminism was never only about opening doors for women. In order to make the case for the vast social transformation that feminism has produced, the feminist movement aspired to nothing short of a total social, moral, and cultural revolution. Along the way, feminism redefined womanhood, marriage, motherhood, and the roles for both men and women.

“Nevertheless, it appears that most women are uncomfortable with this total package. Instead of producing a vast expansion of happiness among women, the feminist movement must now answer for the fact that women, by their own evaluation, appear to be less happy than before the revolution.”

370 Responses to The State of the American Woman

  1. Don Johnson October 23, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    The most obvious quote from Time: “Among the most confounding changes of all is the evidence, tracked by numerous surveys, that as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy.”

    A few points:
    1. Happiness is a byproduct, not a goal in the sense that if you simply seek happiness you will not find it. It is also transient, a life is filled with moments of happiness and sadness and many other emotions.

    2. With increased choices can come decreased moments of happiness, this is because one way to generate the potential for happiness is to be in bonded relationships, such as marriage or friendship. But these by their nature exclude some choices.

  2. Nathan October 23, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Don,

    I understand your points, but I’m not sure what you are driving at.

    Happiness is a byproduct, however the other large item in this seems to be satisfaction. Women, though empowered, seem less satisfied with the results of the revolution.

    Men, on the other hand, typically derive satisfaction by many of the things women now seemingly have, but aren’t sure they want. I think that is the other item the article didn’t speak to: Men will, typically, abducate responsibility if they are not expected to take it.

    That is where I see the feminist movement having an impact in the church as well. The effeminization of the church can be traced along the same lines as the feminist revolution. And boys are now being raised without expectations that previous generations took for granted.

    Basically: If the women want it, the men will give it to them, but at the end of the day, the women really don’t want to be treated like one of the boys.

  3. Don Johnson October 23, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    From what I have seen, both men and women simply want to be treated as human. And yes there are physical differences that need to be respected.

  4. Nathan October 23, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    Don,

    But that really doesn’t get to the heart of the article or the heart of society, does it? Of course men and women must be seen as “human” and therefore entitled to value and respect above anmials, but that is far too generic for this conversation.

    Not sure what you mean by physical differences that need to be respected if they simply want to be treated as human.

  5. Dave Dunbar October 23, 2009 at 11:32 am #

    Good program. Your quote (or near quote) of “we’re the most happy when we’re the most holy” summarized the issue the best. Sadly, many women have abrogated their God-given duties, and the fact that they’re less happy (less “blessed”) should be no surprise. To summarize what Israel should have learned in the OT: blessing for obedience, chastisement for disobedience. May the Lord raise up many young ladies in the next generation who will take seriously the task of being a “worker at home”.

    SDG,
    Dave

  6. Scott October 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    If only more women would stay in the kitchen, clean the home, and otherwise turn their brains off, then they might be happy!

    Could not disagree more Dave.

  7. Nathan October 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    Scott,

    Instead of your assumptions, perhaps you should have asked Dave to be specific about what he meant. He didn’t actually say any of the items you mentioned.

    A worker in the home could also imply: management of the household (perhaps a home business), teaching the children (home schooling), to name just two. Neither of those ask a mom to turn their brains off.

    So, you would rather a day-care-center or babysitter instill their beliefs and worldviews into your kids then your wife’s and yours (if you are married)?

    The devotion and love given to a husband and children by a wife who desires that the home be center of the nurture and admonition of the Lord in raising children and taking care of the family is not turning off one’s brain.

    Read Proverbs 31 for a better explanation.

  8. Scott October 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Nathan,

    What assumptions am I making? Dave explicitly equates a woman’s happiness with staying at home in the fulfillment of her “God given duties.”

    If your hermeneutic leads you to similar conclusions, then fine. But neither mine, nor my wife’s, lead to the same places. I’d say we’ve extensively studied the biblical evidence and have prayed for the Lord’s guidance throughout.

  9. Micah October 23, 2009 at 2:08 pm #

    Nathan – The problem i see with Dave’s comment is that it implies there is a Biblically right vocation for women (being a worker at home). I think Scott was responding to this claim and don’t really think he meant that if a woman chooses to stay at home that she is turning her brain off.

  10. Denny Burk October 23, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    Scott (#6),

    How would your view fit with Titus 2:4-5?

    “Young women [are] to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored.”

  11. Barry October 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    Scott’s point was crystal clear.

    Scott, your answers could not possibly be more offensive. You assume that staying at home means turning your brain off. If that’s not what you meant, then you should really rephrase and better state what you mean. My wife has college and graduate degrees, and her brain and her training in theology/bible, computer science and accounting, I assure you, is called upon every day. She has never been more happy than she is now as a traditional, stay at home wife and mom. As she’ll tell you, it’s much more demanding of her than the corporate america jobs she had in Houston, Dallas, and Louisville.

    Good piece, Denny. Thanks for posting.

  12. Scott October 23, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    Nathan,

    You are absolutely correct. Thanks for the clarification. I apologize if I implied that a stay-at-home mom necessarily “turns her brain off.” That’s a bad choice of words and a poor attempt to drive a point home.

    Denny,

    I’ll be happy to interact with your question. But, I’m afraid that answering it will necessarily lead down the well tread path that brings out the usual suspects & 100+ replies on kephale!

  13. John Holmberg October 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm #

    Denny,

    Should 2:4-5 be normative for today? What about 1 Cor. 11:5-6:

    5 but any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled disgraces her head — it is one and the same thing as having her head shaved.
    6 For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or to be shaved, she should wear a veil.

    It appears that it’s not as easy as quoting a couple of verses and implying “this is how it should be.” Does your wife prophesy? Does she pray? If she does pray, does she cover her head? 21st century America is different than the 1st century Mediterranean. Figuring out the spirit behind the text is what we should be doing, not superficially and woodenly “doing what the Bible says.”

  14. Scott October 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Barry,

    Then how is it any less offensive to imply that a working woman is analogous to Israel’s disobedience?

  15. Barry October 23, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    Scott, what are you talking about? First, I said nothing about Israel, and second, does one offense justify another?

  16. Scott October 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    Barry,

    I’m addressing the post Dave made, which was the point of my initial reply.

    No, two wrongs do not make a right. But, I was not implying that a stay-at-home mother has her “brain turned off.” Far from it. I was hoping my last post made that clear. Again, I’m very sorry for poorly articulating my thoughts.

  17. Don Johnson October 23, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    Titus 2 is Paul telling Titus in 1sr century Crete how all members of the body are to be taught. Yes there are different things to be taught to each of 4 groups of people in that culture.

    What I object to is the (seeming) automatic assumption that Titus 2 was written TO us today in the 21st century with a vastly different culture. Yes, it was written FOR us, but it was not written TO us, it was written to Titus in 1st century Crete. Just extracting some verses as if they were written TO us is not good exegesis or application.

  18. Denny Burk October 23, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Don (in #17),

    I pretty much agree with everything that you just said. So then, what significance does Paul’s words to Titus have for us? How do we apply these words in our context?

  19. Micah October 23, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    Barry – When you say:

    She has never been more happy than she is now as a traditional, stay at home wife and mom.

    What do you mean by ‘traditional’? Is this an American tradition or some other tradition? Are there other traditions that don’t include staying at home in which a woman can be happy or successful? Are there other traditions of which God approves?

    Denny – How does your view fit with 1 Cor. 11:5 or 1 Tim. 2:9-10? Does your wife wear jewelry or have her head uncovered in church?

    I realize this is a ridiculous question but it seems to be right in line with your question on Titus 2:4-5. Don is spot on…i don’t understand the impulse to use one verse to build a theology and in turn require a behavior across the board. If you’re going to do this, at least do it across the board.

  20. Jan D. October 23, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    A few things I noticed have NOT changed in spite of the Women’s Movement is the fact women are still exploited sexually in every media outlet, and the double-standard is alive and well. Guys are applauded for “scoring,” girls are labled ugly names for doing the same thing. That doesn’t say much for “female empowerment.”

    If a man is successful in politics or the business world he is revered and admired. So often if a woman achieves the same status, she is called a disrespectful word. Is that really “breaking the glass ceiling?”

    If a women gets pregnant out of wedlock, abortion is the man’s ticket out of “the problem,”yet she still bears the scars. This is the consequences of “choice.”

    In my opinion,in spite of “you’ve come a long way, baby,” or “I am Woman hear me roar,” this study is eye-opening proof that liberation has come at a price.

  21. Dave Dunbar October 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Women ought to work. Work hard. Mine does. She runs a restaurant that feeds 9 people 3 meals a day. She manages a cleaning service that takes care of a residence that has 7 kids. She educates 6 homeschooled children, and is the nanny and nurse for a 5-month-old. Her hours are 24×7, with some time off during the night whenever #7 sleeps. And she puts up with me. She is a true working woman. Her pay isn’t what the career-minded women make, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

    The Bible gives latitude in how this is implemented in each family’s life (Proverbs 31). Yet it doesn’t make it a free-for-all, catering to the whims and feelings of each person and culture and time. Clearly, the woman’s primary duties revolve around husband and (if so blessed) children. It is by Adam’s sweat (Gen. 3:19) that the income should be made.

    If we’re going to chuck Titus 2:3-5, let me know, because then women also won’t have to: love husband, love children, be sensible or pure, and of course the whole submission can be tossed as well. To remove “workers at home” and call it “cultural” is exegetical suicide. If we apply that hermeneutic to all the Scriptures, we’ll be in trouble indeed.

    Let’s face it — most women work outside the home because of money. And that gets us to the whole issue of lifestyle and materialism. I am not suggesting that every family with a “working wife” is materialistic, but many of them are. They are unwilling to live without the big home, the newer cars, the yearly vacation, the expensive clothes. How much better to be content with little (Prov. 15:16)!

    I’ve probably offended. That isn’t my purpose. But we do need a call in our day, not to return to traditional norms, but to return to biblical mandates. God’s plans and roles for men are different than for women, and that is good. We are wise to submit ourselves to them, no matter what our cultural may think of it, and no matter how it affects our pocketbooks. And with that, we’ll be blessed — and women will find godly happiness.

  22. Denny Burk October 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for the good word, Dave.

  23. John Holmberg October 23, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    So Dave, what about 1 Cor. 11:5-6? It would be exegetical suicide to not require your wife to wear a head covering. It would also be exegetical suicide if they wear any type of jewelry and would get us into trouble. Hermeneutically the key is finding what is timeless/universal and what is not. It is not blindly accepting everything as normative just because a couple of other aspects in the passage are. I’m almost certain you don’t consistently practice this hermeneutics. Nobody does (head coverings, jewelry, holy kiss, etc.).

    I appreciate your words and your honesty, but don’t make piety & orthodoxy out of your social circumstances. The “biblical” evidence is far too diverse to maintain any consistent ethic for the vocation of a woman. Is she supposed to take care of the kids & cook? Yes, but so am I as a husband. In some families the roles may be reversed.

    This study doesn’t prove anything about the “error” or “sin” of the liberation of women. What it proves is that our country still has a long way to go in terms of how women are treated & viewed. As long as we have dominant and oppressive men making them stay at home (note the use of the verb “making”) and home-school the kids & do all the house duties, they will never reach their true humanity.

  24. Barry October 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm #

    Micah: Insert “biblical” (see Pr.31; Titus 2 for OT and NT examples.) Women can work outside the home, I think P31 is clear. However, that’s not to be her

    As far as this hermeneutical discussion is going, Don, what makes any scripture applicable for today? What about “all have sinned”? “The just will live by faith”? Those are culturally bound too? Why or why not? As far as audience goes, not a single word of the Bible was written TO us, in a proper sense, since none of us are the original audience. Yet a text should be considered normative FOR us unless there is something in the context to suggest that it’s not.

  25. Jada October 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    “Let’s face it — most women work outside the home because of money. And that gets us to the whole issue of lifestyle and materialism. I am not suggesting that every family with a “working wife” is materialistic, but many of them are. They are unwilling to live without the big home, the newer cars, the yearly vacation, the expensive clothes. How much better to be content with little”

    This struck a nerve b/c I have just been in deep conversation with several hurting pastors’ wives, who don’t have a choice whether or not to work. And sadly, while I feel Dr. Mohler and Denny were gentle in conveying their message, many in the church are not. Far from it.

    Dave, yes, many women do work outside of the home because of money and it has nothing to do with materialism. Many of my friends, predominantly pastor’s wives, don’t have the option of NOT working. That or their pastor-husbands has to decide if he will work 2 or 3 jobs just to make ends meet, pay off seminary, pay for insurance b/c the church doesn’t provide it and it came with the wife’s full-time job that she gave up to be a SAHM, etc. And you know the couple of women I have spoken with in recent days live frugally, clip coupons, plan meals, and love being about the business of their home.

    When these sorts of discussions happen, I am constatnly met with questions from them b/c they feel as if they are being attacked or put down, or being told they are less spiritual or godly b/c they do work, out of necessity, not materialism. (Cost-of-living is far greater in ceratin areas of our country. Yet, churches base most pastors salaries on attendance, not cost-of-living. So a church of 200 in rural Louisiana pays the same salary as a church in Seattle/Denver/Los Angeles of the same attendance. House cost in rural La. well under $100,000. Modest housing cost in Seattle area, nothing less than $250,000, if that.)

    I think in the Christian community we often talk of women in general, but it would be interesting for the Christian community to take a survey of pastors wives of various denominations and see if they are working, why they are working, and how much they working. How are they handling this? Do their churches know? Do their churches care? How does this make them feel?

    I know for me, personally, as a pastor’s wife, I have been there. This is the first time in our married life where I am NOT working outside of the home out of necessity. (Not sure if this will always be the case, but I am enjoying it while I can.)I am blessed. Still I do work, teaching music lessons in our home several hours a week.

    Most of my pastors’ wives friends are not this fortunate. Yet, their working has nothing to do with materialism, rather putting food on the table, providing insurance, etc. Working so that their husbands get to see their kids once in a while, along with fulfilling all of the responsibilities of running a church or ministry area.

    I will, also, say that just because a woman stays at home, doesn’t mean she is productive at home, or has her interests at home. I know friends who work outside of their home, yet manage their homes much more effectively and efficiently than those who consider themselves SAHM’s. Why? Because many, who consider themsevles SAHM, are never home, never being about the business of managing their home, volunteering here and there, doing this or that, with their kids in every activity under the sun.

    Is this what SAHM means? Or even biblical mothering? Not to me. And I am not saying eveyrthing has to be Martha-Stewart-cooking, but many don’t even have meals together, even frozen ones. Yet, are still godly wives in the church’s eyes, merely b/c they don’t work outside of the home. REALLY?

    Should this not be a discussion of the heart of the woman, the intentions of the heart? What both husband and wife have discussed, prayed about, etc.?

    I know my husband is a very hands-on dad. He loves his kids (and me, too.) Yet, had I not worked all these years, and he had to get a second or third job, he would have never known our kids b/c he would have never seen them. Thankfully, when I did work, he was able to watch the kids, that or they were in our church’s preschool.

    I am thankful for the new season that I am in, of being home, yet still working to take some pressure off of him. However, the time may come (possibly in the very near future, since we are church planters) where I will be the one going to work outside of the home.

    And you know what, I still have a heart desiring to live in holiness, to follow Christ and with an intense devotion and love for my husband, my family and my home.

    Just a thought….

  26. C.V. Compton Shaw October 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm #

    The following is an appropriate and entertaining response to the article from William Shakespeare:

    . “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee,
    And for thy maintence commits his body To painful labor both by sea and land,To watch the night in storms, the day in cold,
    Whilst though liest warm at home, secure and safe,And craves no other tribute at thy hands
    But love, fair looks, and true obedience-Too little payment for so great a debt.
    Such duty as the subject owes the prince,Even such a woman oweth to her husband;And when she is froward, peevish, sullen, sour,
    And not obedient to his honest will,What is she but a foul contending rebel And graceless traitor to her loving lord?
    I am ashamed that women are so simple
    To offer war where they should kneel for peace,
    Or seek for rule, supremacy, and sway When they are bound to serve, love, and obey.”
    • Katherine giving her speech on what she has learned by being tamed by Petruchio.
    • Act 5, Sc. 2, 162-180 from William Shakespeare’s play, “The Taming of the Shrew”
    •

  27. Don Johnson October 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    Kenneth Bailey, who lived in the NE for many years, points out 2 things about Titus 2 that others miss.

    1. Why does Paul tell Titus to have the older women teach the younger, when Titus is to do all the other teaching himself? The reason is that it was not culturally appropriate, because it would just be assumed that sexual immorality would take place by the culture.

    2. The rationale for wives being in submission to their husbands is given, so that the word of God is not mocked. Who would it be mocked by? Certainly this is referring to pagans with their cultural expectations. The point is that the gospel goes out to cultures and ignoring the cultural expectations is not wise, rather, as far as possible, conform to them so as not to make a unnecessary stumbling block in that culture. This is NOT conforming to culture, rather it is attempting to make accepting Christ as appealing as possible in that culture.

  28. Ryan K. October 23, 2009 at 7:40 pm #

    Just finished to reading the article and was struck at how narrow it is.

    The majority of the article focused simply on pay and how women were doing in the workforce. It mentioned briefly that women were more unhappy now than 40 years ago but it quickly skated over the point as it seemed to lead away from the author’s preconceived ideology and agenda.

    So while we may rehash the same arguments on this blog I would challenge us to consider why are women more unhappy than 40 years ago and before the massive sucess of Feminism? And conversely recent studies have shown men are more happy than a generation ago. Why?

    I wish the article would have addressed that the feminist agenda of lowering the bar for men is a careful what you ask for situation. Men are now taught to treat women just like they do other men (not better or with chivalry). Men now believe that women should carry half the provision load and then still do the majority of the jobs around the house (another win for irresponsible men).

    And many of the men I interact with in corporate America every day are more than thrilled that women have embraced the idea to engage in casual sex with no commitment just like worldly men do. Men no longer have to take responsibility to have sex with a woman. There are no consequences to having sex because after all you just pay for the abortion; and if you do form a relationship she is not to be served like Jesus served the church but rather she needs to carry her load at all times. Also, each of these women live under tremendous pressure of continuously feeling they need to look like they did when they were 25 or their man will leave them for a woman that does. The pressure, stress, and fear that the modern woman lives with today is monumental and one all of us should realize comes out of a failed thesis that roles for men and women are bad. We reap what we sow.

    Gosh no wonder woman are so unhappy.

    Looks like Feminism got exactly what it wanted, and it was the greatest lie Satan could have ever told women.

  29. Sue October 23, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    I think it would be worth while if, instead of exagerating this out of all proportion, one could actually comment on the study.

    There is no study that shows that women are “far less happy.” This doesn’t exist. Otherwise I would expect a citation.

    There was a study gave these modest statistical results.

    “In the early 70s, women self-reported their happiness at levels somewhat higher than men did. Specifically, 5.1% more of the women reported themselves “Very happy”, while 1.5% fewer reported themselves “Not too happy”.

    30-odd years later, in the mid 00s, women’s self-reported happiness was closer to men’s, though it was still slightly higher. 1.4% more of the women reported themselves “Very happy”, while 0.1% fewer reported themselves “Not too happy”.”

    From here,

    http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=1753

    So basically all speculation on why women are “far less happy” is nonsense, because the basic premise is not even demonstrated to be true.

    Thank goodness a few women have commented to show that all canned and prepackaged opinions tend to be irrelevant and often disrespectful or real women.

  30. Ted October 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

    I think Ryan’s comment nailed it. The irony is that women were actually convinced that it was in their own best interests to tell men to just treat them like other men, rather than adore, love and die for them.

  31. Don Johnson October 24, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    If only it was simply men are to “adore, love and die” for women, but some men also get told they have a trump card AKA final decision. There’s the rub.

    So when a woman does not agree, she is told she is not following Christ, not sticking to her role. And in many cases but not all, her spirit gets crushed. And I oppose that crushing.

  32. Ryan K. October 24, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    I would agree with you Don Chauvinism is just as horrific and idea as Feminism. Neither are what God intended for us.

    But I do not know of anyone on this blog advocating chauvinism but rather servant leadership, like Jesus and his bride.

  33. Mrs. Webfoot October 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    Dr. Mohler said:
    “Nevertheless, it appears that most women are uncomfortable with this total package. Instead of producing a vast expansion of happiness among women, the feminist movement must now answer for the fact that women, by their own evaluation, appear to be less happy than before the revolution.”

    I agree with Dr. Mohler.

    Here are some things that I think make women unhappy in our day. IMO, the following are some of the consequences of the feminist movement.: easy-access abortion, “shacking up”, “hooking up”, using foul language, no-fault divorce, feminists telling women that they are abused and unhappy, teaching women to be sexually aggressive,
    just to name a few.

    Thank you for this great post, Dr. Burk. In the comment section, I especially appreciated Nathan’s comment #7, which is a response to Scott. I find it shocking that Scott would equate women staying at home and caring for their husbands and children with turning their brains off. (Scott comment #6). Scott, you need to talk to more women who are actually caring for their homes to see how wrong you are, my dear brother. Listen to Nathan, too. Maybe he can help orient you.

    Then, the Christian feminists’ responses always amaze me. I have wasted many hours trying to figure out what drives them, and I have pretty much given up. At least the secularists are willing to do some self-analysis as we see in the Time magazine article.

    Thank you for this lively and important discussion, Dr. Burk.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  34. Ryan K. October 24, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    Sue I hesitate to engage with you because I find your posts to be a bit bombastic and polemic for fruitful discourse.

    I would point out Al Mohler’s recent column on the matter that chronicles numerous studies showing that women are more unhappy than decades past. Even avowed feminist Maureen Dowd acknowledges this point, making it highly unlikely that is is simply “nonsense.”

    I would challenge you to move past your locked in ideology and considered the objective data and evidence, even when it does not fit your settled ideas.

  35. Scott October 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    Please read the posts where I attempted, but apparently failed, to clarify my comments.I never equated women staying at home with “turning their brains off.” Again, I’m sorry to have even implied such.

  36. Sue October 24, 2009 at 6:48 pm #

    Ryan,

    I have read the evidence and the post I linked to provides access to the database. It makes a nice controversial talking point for a secular magazine, and modern life has its challenges for men as well as women, but the evidence does not support the notion that women are far less happy now than they were 40 years ago.

    In fact, the only hard facts are that women are less than half as likely to be killed by their partner now, than in the 1970′s.

    If we extrapolate from this and assume that women are half as likely to suffer violence in the home, as they used to be, then I think, for those women at least, their life is happier.

    Yes, its true that those women might now be single, and not overhwelmingly happy, but at least they are alive and free from bruises.

    Being able to work, being able to own propery, being able to vote, being able to get a divorce, believing in one’s own right and ability to make decisions – all these things are fundamental to becoming free from dehumanizing servitude and violence of the person in the home.

    Even if only this portion of women are happier, and the rest are about the same – isn’t it worth it? I feel that the violated woman, the honestly violated, are put on an altar as a sacrfice, so the rest of the Christian community can pretend that the traditional arrangements between men and women are good.

    I linked to statistics to support my point of view, and I can link to statistics on partner violence as well.

    Can Dr. Mohler link to statistics to support the view that women are “far less happy” now than in the 1970′w?

    Why doesn’t he?

    If you find me bombastic, try to imagine your personality after half a lifetime of the teaching of silence for women in church and obedience in the home. Then imagine routine violence for every tiny infraction, even going to the bathroom without permission, as John Piper attests to. How did he answer that woman? What if his life had been like that. Would he submit his bodily functions to a partner’s whim for the glory of God?

    Women are stripped of human dignity completely and then told that this is their cross to bear for Christ. And men think nothing of this, it is no big deal that some women live without the normal human liberty that a man assumes is his right.

    The church has no answer for these women and it is time to admit it.

    The farther behind this experience is for me, the more I am outraged that the church did not help, had no response, no answer, not a word of useful counsel.

  37. Marilyn October 24, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    There is a middle position.

    I believe that Titus 2 is normative for today, and I work outside the home. Why don’t I see this as a contradiction? The Industrial Revolution. My husband and I have two children. Now that the kids are in school, managing my household is simply not a full-time job. There are other women for whom it is a full-time job. They fall into one or more of four categories: a) they have more kids than my husband and I have; b) their husbands work far more than 40 hours a week; c) they’re homeschooling or their kids aren’t yet in school; and/or d) their houses require significantly more upkeep than ours, often because the houses are very large.

    I know of no happier women than my friends whose husbands’ work hours and personal preferences are consistent with their holding outside professional employment. All of us freely acknowledge that we view work differently than our husbands do. We don’t have the God-given drive to provide for our families that our husbands have. As a result, we believe that our husbands’ jobs should come first, and our careers are to fit around our husbands’ jobs, our husbands’ preferences, and the needs of our families. We value the option to choose to work, subject to our husbands’ preferences and the needs of our families.

    We’re very happy. But, we’re aware that we’re also very privileged.

  38. Mrs. Webfoot October 24, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    Scott:
    Please read the posts where I attempted, but apparently failed, to clarify my comments.I never equated women staying at home with “turning their brains off.” Again, I’m sorry to have even implied such.>>>>

    Scott, are you apologizing to all the stay at home moms and happy home makers, or are you making a lame attempt to defend yourself? I am having a hard time telling what you wish to acomplish.

    Maybe you need to go to the chalk board and write 100 times, “Home makers and stay at home mothers have not turned their brains off.”

    I know. With women these days, you just can’t win.

  39. Sue October 24, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    We value the option to choose to work, subject to our husbands’ preferences

    Marilyn,

    That’s just it. Some women have been allowed the opportunity to work or do some other thing, and other women are not given permission by their husbands.

    But what I notice is that women who have been given permission by their husbands to work, appear to have no interest or feeling for those women who are denied the normal things by their husband.

    There seems to be a feeling by women whose husbands are lenient, that women whose husbands are harsh and unfeeling have brought this on themselves, and don’t deserve the freesom to work or have any other rights. It is as if the suffering of these women somehow glorifies God. It doesn’t.

  40. Scott October 24, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    Well, I’m trying to say that I never said stay at home mothers turn their brains off!

    I absolutely do not believe that! Far from it.

  41. ex-preacher October 25, 2009 at 4:35 pm #

    Dr. Mohler’s contention that feminism is responsible for the decline in happiness among American women in the last 30 years is unsupported by the data. First, it must be emphasized that the decline is very small and is only statistically significant because men’s happiness has slightly increased.

    Second, the statistics used by Mohler don’t indicate what exactly is responsible for the decline. The researchers go to great lengths to demonstrate that there is no satisfactory explanation at this time. One might as well blame the rise of the religious right as feminism. There is simply is no known causal link.

    Some things we do know. From the Time poll:

    “Forty years ago, one-third of all workers were women; now nearly half are. Rather than increasing conflict or competition between the sexes, more than three-quarters of Americans (76% of men, 80% of women) view this as positive for society; only 19% say it’s negative. And that view holds regardless of age, race or political ideology: 81% of African Americans view it as a positive change, along with 84% of Latinos, 88% of Democrats and 68% of Republicans.”

    The detailed article from the American Economic Journal cited in Mohler’s article again provides no support for his thesis. The article is entitled “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness” and is worth reading in its entirety. Here are some of the relevant parts:

    “If there are particular changes in men’s and women’s lives that explain the decline in subjective well-being for women, then one might expect to see differences based on the time period in life that we examine. For example, if female unhappiness is rising due to the extra pressures of combining home and market work then one would suspect that the decline in female happiness would be particularly large among women in their peak childrearing years or among women with young children in the home.” [pp. 207-208]

    . . .

    “Thus, trends in the gender happiness gap by age offer no evidence of particularly large declines for prime-age women (or any other group of women) relative to that of men. . . . This finding provides suggestive evidence that the decline in happiness cannot be explained by the peaking optimism of those participating in the women’s movement in the 1970s.” [p. 209]

    . . .

    “If the burdens of entering the workforce are playing a role in declining female happiness, then, perhaps, the decline in happiness will be concentrated among women who are employed. Panel B shows the results of an ordered probit of happiness on female × (Year − 1972)/100 and male × (Year − 1972)/100 each interacted with two employment status variables. This regression shows that employed and nonemployed women have experienced roughly similar declines in subjective wellbeing in the main specification shown in column 1 and when controls are added in column 4. Similarly, there are no differences by employment in the trend for males or the difference between women and men in the trends. There have been large compositional shifts in employment for women, but there are neither trend nor level differences (results not shown) in happiness by employment for women throughout the 35-year period.” [p. 209]

    . . .

    “A common suspect for the source of women’s declining happiness is the burden of balancing children and a career. In panel D, we first run regressions for the total population, in which we estimate female and male time trends separately for those with and without children. There are no statistically significant differences in the trends for women with and without children nor are there differences between these groups in the trend in happiness for men (or the subsequent trend in the happiness gap). Along with the decline in marriage has come a rise in single parenthood, both through growth in out-of-wedlock births and through divorce.17 Thus, we disaggregate the fertility results to consider trends in happiness separately among single parents and married parents, and between employed parents and nonemployed parents, to account for the dual burden of working parents. Once again, we see similar trends in happiness across these groups, casting doubt on the hypothesis that trends in marriage and divorce, single parenthood, or work-family balance are at the root of the happiness declines among women.” [pp. 209-210]

  42. Sue October 25, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Thanks, Ex-preacher,

    I understood the data to say that a) there is a 5% decline in women who state that they are “very happy”

    b) no difference in how many women say that they are “not happy”

    c) 62% decrease in women killed by their partners, and a similar decrease in violent assaults in the home.

  43. DennyReader October 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Let’s examine some things we do know about “things we do know”.

    EP: Some things we do know. From the Time poll:
    “more than three-quarters of Americans (76% of men, 80% of women) view this as positive for society; only 19% say it’s negative.” … “If there are particular changes in men’s and women’s lives that explain the decline in subjective well-being for women, then one might expect to see differences based on the time period in life that we examine. … the decline in happiness cannot be explained by the peaking optimism of those participating in the women’s movement in the 1970s

    Positive, in what way? IMO, the problem with this type of survey is rife with variables. While there might be a positive aspect but there are also negatives.

    Time: Women no longer view matrimony as a necessary station on the road to financial security or parenthood. The percentage of children born to single women has leaped from 12% to 39%. … Among the most confounding changes of all is the evidence, tracked by numerous surveys, that as women have gained more freedom, more education and more economic power, they have become less happy. No tidy theory explains the trend, notes University of Pennsylvania economist Justin Wolfers, a co-author of The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. “We looked across all sectors — young vs. old, kids or no kids, married or not married, education, no education, working or not working — and it stayed the same,” he says of the data. “But there are a few ways to look at it,” he adds. “As Susan Faludi said, the women’s movement wasn’t about happiness.” It may be that women have become more honest about what ails them. Or that they are now free to wrestle with the same pressures and conflicts that once accounted for greater male unhappiness. Or that modern life in a global economy is simply more stressful for everyone but especially for women, who are working longer hours while playing quarterback at home. “Some of the other social changes that have happened over the last 35 years — changes in family, in the workplace — may have affected men differently than women,” Wolfers says. “So maybe we’re not learning about changes due to the women’s movement but changes in society.”

    Being a single mother, trying to work and raise a child is a positive? Just 30 years ago the majority of children were raised by a stay at home parent, most likely the mom. 66% of people think this change is a bad thing. Why the paradox? IMO, this is a result of atheistic materialism. While it is true that the lust for materialism is a sin and a flaw in human nature, atheism is unapologetically materialistic. It is also apparent that in the last 30 years Americans have become more secular and irreligious, hence more of a drive toward materialism. In the pursuit of greater wealth and material gratification, the next generation and the family unit must be sacrificed on the altar of atheistic materialism. To paraphrase Malcolm Muggeridge, when you remove God out of a person’s life that void must be filled, either with megalomania or erotomania.

  44. Mrs. Webfoot October 25, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    Scott:
    Well, I’m trying to say that I never said stay at home mothers turn their brains off!

    I absolutely do not believe that! Far from it.>>>>

    Okay, Scott, I believe you. Thank you for clarifying. We all say things sometimes that come out backwards from what we really think, so I’m glad that you made it clear that you don’t believe
    that women who stay at home, caring for their homes and families, have turned off their brains.

    This is a difficult topic to sort out. I think that it is safe to say that all of us are growing in our understanding of just what it means to be male and female made in the image of God for His glory.

    Hey, take care, okay? Have a good week.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  45. Sue October 25, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    I work beside many single mothers who are teachers and this enables them to work part time, and have better hours for child-rearing.

    For some, the father moved out and remarried a younger woman.

    For others, the father was violent. I know of not one woman among those single who chose to be single. Not one has some “materialistic” reason for being single.

    But I know for sure, that since we all have jobs and are comfortable working, that our children have not suffered a dramatic drop in lifestyle, or lack of basic needs.

    How much better this than all the children in the poor house and orphanages a hundred years ago. Many children died at home, on the street and in orphanages from hunger and lack of basic care.

    I wonder at the hardness of the Christian heart, that anyone would rather women and children live in violence or with a lack of basic needs, rather than promote an attitude which would prepare women to act with the self-sufficiency demonstrated by women in the Bible, ready to produce, provide and protect.

  46. Ryan K. October 25, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    Sue I am not sure if you have been hurt by a man at sometime in your life and if you have am deeply am sorry.

    Yet your comments are entirely extreme and unsupported for someone who poses to love data so much.

    Your last reply to me was simply an unsupported diatribe in a false dichotomy between chauvinistic wife beating and feminism. To postulate that these are the two options we have is at best false and at worst manipulative.

    I would sincerely advise you to refrain from engaging in discussions on the complementarian discussion until you are capable of explaining, communicating the position in a way that someone who holds to it would agree with. Until then you will simply be engaging straw men.

  47. Mrs. Webfoot October 25, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Ryan, have you read Mary Kassian’s books, especially her Feminist Gospel. We are having our consciousness raised by Sue – or at least she is trying to raise our conscience about the plight of oppressed women.

    Sue is a sincere, but radical, Christian feminist. According to her testimony – which she has given in many places on the internet, – she lived with an abusive, Christian husband. It was liberal Christian feminists who helped her see the bondage that she was in.

    She is now “free” and wants to free all women.

    The problem with radical feminism, even of the Christian kind, is that many of us women don’t want to be liberated. We are quite happy, actually. That is frustrating for a real feminist such as Sue. Even Marilyn’s middle of the road stance is too uncaring for Sue, it seems.

    We cannot possibly think of being happy until all women are free.

    This is the attitude of many radical feminists and, IMO, one of the reasons why many women are afraid to say that they are happy even if they are. If we women are not living up to some version of the feminist ideal then we have no right to say that we are happy.

    We are supposed to be free, but not free to be irresponsibly, unashamedly happy.

  48. DennyReader October 25, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    I know of not one woman among those single who chose to be single. Not one has some “materialistic” reason for being single.

    I stand corrected. You apparently know every woman in the country, how they think and their circumstances from your personal experience. It is unfortunate that those women from the Time survey lied when it found “Women no longer view matrimony as a necessary station on the road to financial security or parenthood.”.

    For others, the father was violent.

    I am also sure that in every one of these cases if the father was not violent, these women would not be single.

    But I know for sure, that since we all have jobs and are comfortable working, that our children have not suffered a dramatic drop in lifestyle, or lack of basic needs.

    Strange, I thought you said “materialistic” reason was not a factor. I don’t know but a ”drop in lifestyle” sounds an awful lot like materialism to me. I guess having that large screen TV, designer jeans, fancy car, beauty treatment, etc, is more important than spending time or nurturing the moral and ethical development of a child.

    How much better this than all the children in the poor house and orphanages a hundred years ago. Many children died at home, on the street and in orphanages from hunger and lack of basic care.

    And this is because…..?

    I wonder at the hardness of the Christian heart, that anyone would rather women and children live in violence or with a lack of basic needs

    I am amazed at your power of omniscience. This describes exactly what Christians are like. I was just wondering wouldn’t it be nice that some guy is beating his wife right now?

    One of the strange consequences of QM is the multiverse interpretation. I wonder if this interpretation is true, if it is possible that some times these universes can intersect.

  49. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    Mrs, Webfoot? “My dear Bagginses and Boffins, Tooks and Brandybucks, Grubbs, Chubbs, Hornblowers, Bolgers, Bracegirdles and Proudfoots.” :D
    I think you make some good points and thanks for filling me in on Sue.

    She is now “free” and wants to free all women.

    I think this is the problem I have with feminism. What does free mean? Free from what? I am just curious. Do feminists view every housewife as an oppressed slave? Are complementary Christian women unhappy in denial and their husbands are sadistic wife beaters? I don’t know but some of us complementarian Christians actually believe and try to live in obedience to the Bible, Eph 5:25, Col 3:19 .

  50. Sue October 26, 2009 at 2:02 am #

    I guess having that large screen TV, designer jeans, fancy car, beauty treatment, etc, is more important than spending time or nurturing the moral and ethical development of a child.

    That is disgusting! Absolutely disgusting! I have none of those things and I do not aspire to ever having them. I was drop dead shocked at Mary Kassian’s photoshoot.

    No, I mean things like the girl and the boy not having to share a room when they are teenagers, having a bicycle perhaps and things like that, dental appointments also.

    I abhore those things you mention and consider such things the domain of those who spend their money on themselves. I am talking about taking children away from violence and despair into a life where they have a roof and food and no violence.

    Clearly you have no idea that this is something that some women have always needed to be able to do. Women need a salary to pay rent and buy food. Can’t you imagine that?

    I begged Mary Kassian to write even one post about women in this situation but she was too busy styling her nair and making sure her boots match her outfit. I can’t even imagine the world of the biblical man and woman, where strategic clickery of the remote is taught by CJ and nairstyling is modeled by Kassian.

    I came out of this culture but I cannot fathom it.

    But there are many other women now blogging about their broken lives. Who is going to pay for these women to get trained, find a job, raise their children and so on. Is someone out there renovating church basements for these families, or do these women need the dignity of work and providing for their family.

    You still supply no statistics that women are far less happy now.

    And what makes me a feminist – that I do to work and pay the bills? Do I ever say that staying home is not the role of women? Do I ever criticize a woman for obeying her husband and for working or not working outside the home?

    No, I do not criticize other women for their lifestyle except Kassian who mortifies me because most Canaadian women are not like that, but no, I just want other women to understand, those women who told me to submit – that there words supported a criminal offense for many long years.

    It is not only me, but the women who blog at submission tyranny, emotional abuse, women submit, and many other blogs. I see those women coming out with their story too. It is not just one, it is the shame of the church.

  51. Sue October 26, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    I want to know – is there someone here who thinks I am a radical feminist for escaping violence and providing for my children? Speak up.

  52. Sue October 26, 2009 at 2:11 am #

    Many children died at home, on the street and in orphanages from hunger and lack of basic care.

    This was because their father was either dead, unemployed, drunk, ill, absent or whatever and the mother could not support the family.

    But I get the impression that some people think that these women and chldren are worthy sacrifices on the altar of gender role religion.

  53. Sue October 26, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    Ryan,

    I apologize. I realize now that the culture gap between us, after you mentioned designer jeans, and all that – is far too great to ever be bridged.

    I am saddened that it was CBMW who supported my pastor in preaching submission, but did not advise him to offer shelter to the abused at the same time. I believe this kind of thing is criminally negligent.

    We know that at least 10% of homes are in some way violent. A pastor of 1000 people should not be encouraged to deny the existance of violence in the home.

    It is only the laws of the last few years, very recent ones, that enabled me to escape. I could never have gone to someone for help.

    No, Mrs. Webfoot, those who helped me were a few friends and neighbours, women, who had not attended church in a long time. Some Christians I confided in felt that my escape was clandestine and therefore not righteous.

    You may have confused me with someone else, as I remember you once did before. But I bear you know ill will and hope that you some day realize that the battered woman is usually silent about her plight until afterward, and that is why one must realize that there is always a risk that submission is being preached to the violated.

  54. Sue October 26, 2009 at 2:36 am #

    So, what I did was plan my escape myself, but a few friends helped me carry it out. I was able to take a few books with me.

  55. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 9:58 am #

    Sue, I sympathize with what you must have gone through. Believe me when I tell you that I understand how difficult it must have been to break free of a situation that you have been conditioned in for years. John 8:36

    I think we have more in agreement than we thought. I agree with you that those who told you to submit to an abusive relationship were wrong, that is not what the Bible teaches. I am happy for you that you are freed from that relationship and is now self sufficient. I also agree with you that you are not the only one in this type of relationship.

    However, I hope you do not extrapolate from your own personal experience to generalize that your circumstances is an accurate representation of society and the Church as a whole. Finally, do not allow bitterness to linger in your heart. Bitterness can cloud your judgment and harden your heart against what God can give you. Your experience has taught you that sinful human beings will let you down. I know God can make things right. Joel 2:25

  56. Sue October 26, 2009 at 10:43 am #

    Thank you, Dennyreader,

    No, I don’t think all of society is like this. I struggle with this. Domestic violence occurs at the same rate in the church as in society as a whole. Since many women die in the abusive situation, statistics are hard to evaluate. My sense is that perhaps 10% of women, – among my personal Christian friends, it is more like 20% – and some men, live in intolerable conditions.

    The problem is that most women cannot reveal what is happening until they have planned their escape, because it is so dangerous to say a word while still with the abuser. That is why it is a silent crime, and the pastor should never preach submission of women, without offering shelter and physical protection as well. One woman should never tell another woman to submit – it can contribute to a crime. I say this as my experience. I don`t mean it always will, but that the risk is there – the probability is there.

    I never experienced any help from Christians, so I can’t share what that would be like. I found the police to be exemplary and non-Christian friends had a non-judgmental way of pitching in to help.

  57. Sue October 26, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    I feel that CBMW shaped the discourse in our church, along with the teaching of Ware and Grudem. Since there is no way to comment on the CBMW site, I protest here. Sorry for taking your time, but 10% of women sacrificed to the hell I lived through is way too many.

  58. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 11:23 am #

    You are right. Christians can do more and should do more to help women who are in these abusive relationships. If a woman tells me that she is being beaten by her husband I would report that creep to the police and find her some place to hide out until the situation is resolved. Christian should be judgmental with respect to the abuser not the person being abused.

    However, I think you might be unfairly conflating what CBMW espouses, which is intended for a healthy Biblical relationship for marriage and ecclesiastical function with the aberrant sanction of spousal abuse.

  59. Don Johnson October 26, 2009 at 11:40 am #

    CBMW teaches masculinism (males on top) and what the Bible teaches on gender is part of the debate between egals and non-egals.

    Even tho I am egal, I do think a non-egal marriage can be Godly, but it depends greatly on how mature the husband is and how much he declines to use the very power that CBMW teaches he has.

  60. ex-preacher October 26, 2009 at 1:20 pm #

    DennyReader suggests that the decline in women’s happiness is the result of “atheistic materialism.” He presents no data to support this and seems to be conflating two very different meanings of “materialism.” Further, this flies in the face of the study’s conclusion that happiness among both men and women in secular Europe has increased in the last 30 years. “However, while US women also experienced an absolute decline in well-being, the subjective well-being of European women has risen in an absolute sense.”

    In international surveys of happiness, Iceland usually ranks at the very top. Iceland also has the world’s highest percentage of women who work outside the home, elected the world’s first female president, have very little religion, and boast a very generous welfare system.

  61. Nathan October 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    ex-preacher,

    Considering the scope of the article was the “American Woman” what constitutes satisfaction or happiness in Europe or Iceland is irrelevant to the discussion. America is a highly religious country and always has been, even as Europe has moved toward a more secular state.

    Although, based on your glowing statements, it sounds like you should move to Iceland!

  62. Mrs. Webfoot October 26, 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    Sue:
    You may have confused me with someone else, as I remember you once did before. But I bear you know ill will and hope that you some day realize that the battered woman is usually silent about her plight until afterward, and that is why one must realize that there is always a risk that submission is being preached to the violated.>>>>

    No, Sue, I don’t have you confused with anyone.

    What do you think about the CBE’s refusal to sign on with the CBMW to a joint statement against domestic violence? Are you in agreement with the CBE on that?

  63. Mrs. Webfoot October 26, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Sue:
    And what makes me a feminist – that I do to work and pay the bills? Do I ever say that staying home is not the role of women? Do I ever criticize a woman for obeying her husband and for working or not working outside the home? >>>>>

    Sue, in other places you are a self-defined Christian feminist. That’s what makes you a feminist. Why do you call yourself a feminist in some places, and dodge the moniker in other places?

    If I were a feminist, I would wear that title like a badge of honor, yet the Christian feminists avoid the term like the plague. Why is that? I can’t figure that out myself.

    Sue:
    I begged Mary Kassian to write even one post about women in this situation but she was too busy styling her nair and making sure her boots match her outfit. I can’t even imagine the world of the biblical man and woman, where strategic clickery of the remote is taught by CJ and nairstyling is modeled by Kassian. >>>>>

    Sue, here you are engaging in a kind of ad hominum. IOW, because Mary dresses well, we should not take her seriously.

    Then, Mary has addressed the issue of abuse. Here is just a small sampling of what she has said on the subject.

    http://www.marykassian.com/index.php?s=abuse

    You know what breaks my heart about the egalitarians? It is their almost complete refusal to address female on female or female on male violence – not to mention the subject of mothers who abuse their children.

    Sue, you have a right to express the concerns that you have. I’m just not all that convinced that you care about all aspects of abusive behavior. I know that you care about women who are being abused by their Christian husbands. Are you concerned about children who are being abused by their Christian mothers? Are you concerned about husbands who are being abused by their Christian wives?

    I have begged egalitarians to look at all sides of the domestic violence issue, and so far there has been very little interest in the dark side of female behavior. So, I quit taking the egalitarians seriously on the subject of abuse and domestic violence. It seems to be one-sided and decidedly agenda-driven to me.

    Some have called “abuse” the feminist stalking horse.

    You see, Sue, as a woman I do believe in equality. I believe that women are just as sinful as men and just as prone to violent reactions and actions as men are. Since we are smaller, we express ourselves differently, but the human heart is just as depraved in the female model as in the male.

    Besides, I believe the statistics of Family Life Today. They have stated that something like 15% of all couples experience violence some time during their relationship. That stat would include all kinds of couples, not just the married. Abuse is more prevalent among those who “shack up.”

    Female on male and female on female violence is on the rise, too. If we include such things as relational aggression – which is the form of bullying that girls and women are most likely to engage in – then the picture changes.

    I agree that it is a topic that the church should address. I don’t agree that it is not doing its job. Can we do better? Yes.

    Is it as bad as you, Sue, portray? No way.

  64. Sue October 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm #

    No, I do not ignore female on male violence and I referred to it above. It exists and I would never recommend the submission of the male to female in marriage. That would be a good reason for not doing so.

    Please site where I self-identify as a radical feminist.

  65. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 3:56 pm #

    DennyReader suggests that the decline in women’s happiness is the result of “atheistic materialism.” He presents no data to support this

    Duh, did I say that I had some sort of data to support this? Did you not read my qualifiers in the beginning of my comment? I said, IMO(in my opinion), the problem with this type of survey is rife with variables. Causal conclusion drawn from these studies are specious at best.

    As far as my assertion that “atheistic materialism” is the cause for decline in unhappiness, it is at least as valid as your comment “One might as well blame the rise of the religious right”. The difference is that I think I do have a better case. Notice that in these surveys I didn’t see anything about people trying to pursuit holiness and trying to live out a Biblical way of life. On the contrary, every measuring criterion was based on the mundane and materialistic fulfillment.

    Do you not realize that philosophical materialism ultimately leads to the pursuit of material gratification? Atheists, like Bart Ehrman implies this in his book “God’s Problem”, Steven Weinberg and your soul mate John Loftus have suggested this when he said this life is all that there is, make the most of it. Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. From an atheist point of view you are nothing, you come from nothing. Is it not your goal to make the most of your meaningless existence? How do people like Hitler and Hugh Hefner live out their atheistic material belief? Is it not through megalomania and erotomania?

    Let me remind you once again that Europe is very religious, but if you will once again acquiesce that not everyone who call themselves Christian is truly Christian, then I will file this claim to be use at a future time against your arguments. In terms of secular Europe, I don’t know how happy they are or the details of any study to support this. For the sake of argument, I will take your word that this is true. This however proves nothing. Happiness and unhappiness both can be the result of atheistic materialism. This just means that atheist happiness and unhappiness is predicated on the attainment or deprivation of materialism.

    Contrast this to Christianity our happiness is not based on external circumstances, but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, we belong to Christ Jesus. Our peace and joy come from the fact that we will spend eternity with our God and Savior who created and loves us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. This beats Iceland any day.

  66. Sue October 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    However, I think you might be unfairly conflating what CBMW espouses, which is intended for a healthy Biblical relationship for marriage and ecclesiastical function with the aberrant sanction of spousal abuse.

    I think that up to 20% of marriages have a significant abuse of either a physical or emotional nature.

    What I don’t understand is this – if we know that preaching submission keeps a woman in an abusive situation longer, because it discourages her from developing independance, it restricts her communication with others who might help her, it deprives her of the training and experience she needs to survive in the workplace, why does no one ever confront these issues with practical advice? Why preach submission of women for those few marriages that can benefit from greater submission of women, and not preach escape to the women who need that?

    I would be very interested to see if Mary Kassian will ever discuss abuse in marriage on her blog. So far, I have not seen it, although I have read the posts linked to.

    I was very upset at her revealing personal information about a girl who phoned her son. A girl phoned my son once too. She is the daughter of a contributor to the ESV Study Bible. She is a lovely and intelligent young woman who I would be proud to know. (At this point, I know longer have contact with her, so I am sure she won’t recognise herself.) Where is Kassian’s human touch?

  67. Matthew Staton October 26, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    I scanned some of the articles you linked but did not read all of them.

    Typical advice to a woman in an abusive situation is to have an emergency plan – car, cash, important documents, someone to call with perhaps a code word, etc. Does Kassian ever give any advice about an escape? I saw comments to the effect of “I know it’s hard but God can redeem even the worst situations” but I did not see where she says something like “if you are physically in danger, here is some practical advice…” Would you happen to have a link directly to an article where she fills in that sort of advice?

  68. Sue October 26, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Dennyreader,

    Being told that you are being abused because your prayers for release from abuse are not effective since you lack faith and also cannot demonstrate perfect and total submission, also leads away from happiness. Throw in the accusation that the person is a rebellious and radical feminist, and this is why she is being abused, and then blame her for her lack of contentment in the Lord.

  69. Sue October 26, 2009 at 4:14 pm #

    Matthew,

    Tears come to my eyes. If only some had said those words to me when I was younger. I did develop a plan over the years in total isolation, without a word to anyone. The emotional deprivation is severe when the church, when everyone around you, denies that what is happening to you, can happen, does happen. It is a kind of solitary confinement of the mind.

  70. Mrs. Webfoot October 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    Hi, Sue,
    No, you haven’t self identified as a radical feminist. I call you that. this is the dictionary usage that I am employing in your case.:

    “3. favoring major changes: favoring or making economic, political, or social changes of a sweeping or extreme nature”

    http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861697732/radical.html

    You have self-identified as a Christian feminist. There’s no law against either form of feminism.

    You can call yourself what you want, and in other places, you have idientified yourself with the Christian feminism label.

    I think it’s good to know where someone is coming from. It helps one to interpret what they are saying and why. I “outed” you, as if you needed to be “outed.”

    I am a staunch Complementarian. If you call me a “patrio”, I won’t cry.

    God bless, Sue, and take care,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  71. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Being told that you are being abused because your prayers for release from abuse are not effective since you lack faith and also cannot demonstrate perfect and total submission

    LOL, I am not in the word faith camp. When Peter cried for help he lacked faith but Jesus saved him. Maybe you are being facetious but you’ve got to learn to separate “abuse” from feminism or Christian sanctification. For that matter it doesn’t even matter if you are not a Christian. Abuse is an unbiblical behavior and it doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or not.

  72. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Another reason why EP’s beloved secular Iceland is not where you want to be.

    A Big Mac in Reykjavik already retails for 650 krona ($5.29). But the 20 percent increase needed to make a decent profit would have pushed that to 780 krona ($6.36), he said.

    I guess to really foul things up you need a secularist according to EP. Iceland’s de facto bankruptcy

  73. Sue October 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    So then women should not be told that if they are submissive enough or pray hard enough, or believe enough, then the abuse will stop. It will not stop.

    They need to be told, simply this – you that are rude and obnoxious women, you need to submit, and you that are being belittled and abused, you need to get up and find a safe house. Then someone needs to immediately put themselves or the police between the woman and her abuser, or the husband and his abuser, and make sure that she or he never sees their abuser alone again in their life.

    That would make a good sermon.

  74. Mrs. Webfoot October 26, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    Matthew, I am not Mary Kassian, but you are free to ask her whatever you wish to ask her and to read all of her articles and books. Skimming her articles will not give you a very clear picture.

    I can tell you what I do. I can tell you what an attorney from Doug Wilson’s church told me when I asked him what his church would do. I can tell you what our church does. I can tell you what Mark Driscoll says.

    I can tell you about one man my husband worked with whose wife was beating him. He had a hard time convincing people, since he was kind of a big guy. Many men will not hit a woman, and will allow themselves to be beaten. Also, what does a little boy do when his mother is demeaning him verbally and beating him?

    I still don’t know what a Christian feminist would tell a child or a man who was being abused and threatened by a woman. Sue’s answer was pretty lame, IMO. I would like to hear greater compassion for all who are abused coming from the feminist side if I am to take their alleged concerns about abuse seriously.

    I’m not convinced myself.

    Denny is right. Abuse is sinful. It is not a gener-specific behavior in and of itself, but men and women tend to abuse in different ways.

    Even so, most people are not abusive, and most people are not being abused. It’s still a pretty small minority of people who are either victims or perpetrators of abuse. Does that make their suffering any less? No, it doesn’t, but it certainly doesn’t make Complementarians abusive people by definition – as some egalitarians would have us believe. Hey, I know of egalitarians who have gotten into trouble for being over-bearing and arrogant in their ministries.

    No one has a corner on the sin market.

    The abused first line of defense is God Himself. The story of Hagar who was driven out into the wilderness is an example. God took care of her and her son. Remember Hagar?

    Genesis 16:13 (English Standard Version)

    13 So she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

    Then, Matthew, Sue doesn’t need to be rescued. She’s playing you like a piano.

  75. Matthew Staton October 26, 2009 at 10:26 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    Some complaints of the abuse victims I have known in church are:
    - when they speak up, the church attacks THEM instead of confronting the abuser and helping to break the cycle of abuse,
    - the church minimizes and ignores abuse,
    - church leadership offers counsel that makes the situation worse, not better,
    - church fails to offer practical advice to those who are in dangerous situations.

    Your answer, unfortunately, illustrates some of these very problems. In the 400 words of your response, no practical suggestions for someone in danger. You don’t need to attack Sue or feminists, tell me I’m being played, or minimize the reality of abuse in order to give a practical suggestion for what victims of abuse in a dangerous situation should do. I have seen the reality and damage of abuse. Answers like the one you gave here made the situations of which I speak worse, not better (these situations had nothing to do with Sue).

    I was not trying to attack you. I was following up on the link you offered; I had hoped it would have practical advice for victims of abuse. I was disappointed when I didn’t see any so I asked you to help me fill in the blanks.

    Mrs. Webfoot, I would urge you to develop a pastoral answer that will help make abusive situations better or, failing that, help to rescue victims. It may well be the difference between making someone else’ life worse or making it better.

  76. Matthew Staton October 26, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    I can tell you about one man my husband worked with whose wife was beating him. He had a hard time convincing people, since he was kind of a big guy. Many men will not hit a woman, and will allow themselves to be beaten. Also, what does a little boy do when his mother is demeaning him verbally and beating him?

    These scenarios happen and they are terrible. So what should the church’s response be? Sadly, church leadership often has an instinct to cover up the problem or blame the victim. This site has some good stuff: http://www.recoveryfromabuse.com/wordpress/

    I am curious to know what resources others would recommend?

  77. Sue October 26, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    In the sidebar of your blog you cite the Danvers ststement responding to –

    “the upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family.”

    In fact, domestic violence has decreased significantly with the increase in laws supporting women and the increased ability of women to earn a living. The sad thing is that for the victims, half of 5 million (or whatever the exact number was) is still 2.5 million. For those that are of that number, it is still too high.

    Rather than turn back the clock, the church should assess what changes in society have reduced the violence, and then seek to emulate that.

  78. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    I had hoped it would have practical advice for victims of abuse.

    So Matthew, what is your practical advice for victims of abuse?

  79. DennyReader October 26, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    In fact, domestic violence has decreased significantly with the increase in laws supporting women and the increased ability of women to earn a living.

    Sue, do we still need more laws? Would you answer Matthew’s question for practical advice be every woman needs to be earning a living? Is earning a living the guarantee for women to not get abused?

  80. Sue October 26, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    Dennyreader,

    No, earning a living is not the one right answer. But having a sense of oneself as a provider and protector of one’s family, as a self-sufficient individual in terms of basic needs, is essential.

    Some women have a vision for being able to retrain and enter the marketplace. Other women have contributed to their husband’s successful career and have legal right to benefit from this.

    Some women need to enter the workplace while they are still married, since their husband’s work status is not secure. Other women may never need to work outside the home.

    The laws I am thinking of are no fault divorce, and the ability of the police to issue a warning of criminal harassment charge rather than simply invoke a restraint order. It is less confrontational and offers more protection from violence.

    Essentially, it is a retraining of the mind that protects from abuse. It is the belief in the inviolable nature of one’s human dignity. There needs to be teaching that man is not entitled to female submission. This creates a hunger in some men for total submission. They think that this is their right. This attutude is fostered by wrong teaching in the church, and on TV both.

    If submission of the female is not qualified with a set of law books the length of a room, setting out the female right to access to the toilet, to access to the telephone, access to some privacy, then some women lose all.

    But what about the women who are gifted in some area that is best experienced outside the home, like Marilyn. Why is it that the husband can decide eacb one for his wife if she is allowed to further her education, use birth control, and work outide the home.

    Why should this not be negotiated. Since it is clear that divorce is not more prevalent among egalitarians, why not admit that egalitarians function very well and are able to manage their lives without male overall leadership. It is not necessary, but is often a deterrent to the woman getting the help and support she needs in trouble.

    I have no set vision of how a woman should live her life, except that she has been given by God, equal responsibility for her famly, equal potential to care for and provide, and therefore must have equal authority, equal liberty to be responsible – for her own safety and for that of her family.

  81. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 12:40 am #

    having a sense of oneself as a provider and protector of one’s family, as a self-sufficient individual in terms of basic needs, is essential.

    You said family, so in order for a woman to have a sense as the protector of her husband and children, she must be self-sufficient and be able to provide for their basic needs, is that right?

    Other women have contributed to their husband’s successful career and have legal right to benefit from this.

    So if she didn’t contribute to her husband’s success then she does not have a legal right to benefit from it, is that right?

    Some women need to enter the workplace while they are still married, since their husband’s work status is not secure. Other women may never need to work outside the home.

    So by following these advice that you gave will guarantee that women will not get abuse?

    The laws I am thinking of are no fault divorce, and the ability of the police to issue a warning of criminal harassment charge rather than simply invoke a restraint order. It is less confrontational and offers more protection from violence.

    And this will eliminate spousal abuse?

    Essentially, it is a retraining of the mind that protects from abuse.

    I can agree with this.

    There needs to be teaching that man is not entitled to female submission. This creates a hunger in some men for total submission.

    Are all submission evil?

    But what about the women who are gifted in some area that is best experienced outside the home, like Marilyn. Why is it that the husband can decide eacb one for his wife if she is allowed to further her education, use birth control, and work outide the home.

    Do you think that a woman is any less gifted because she is a housewife? Do you think you have the right or the ability to judge the decision of someone else’s husband?

    Why should this not be negotiated. Since it is clear that divorce is not more prevalent among egalitarians, why not admit that egalitarians function very well and are able to manage their lives without male overall leadership. It is not necessary, but is often a deterrent to the woman getting the help and support she needs in trouble.

    Sure, you can function as an egalitarian. It is not Biblical but if that doesn’t matter to you then go for it.

    So far you’ve said nothing that could guarantee the elimination of spousal abuse. All I seen is your promotion of feminist power piggybacked on the guise of spousal abuse. IOW, you should be ashamed of yourself for using these tragedies to promote your feminist ideology.

  82. Sue October 27, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    I am not guranteeing anything. But submission to abuse, reinforces abuse. You can’t guarantee that a spouse will not be abused and I can’t either. Does that make it wrong to try to reduce the incidence of abuse?

    Do you think that a woman is any less gifted because she is a housewife? Do you think you have the right or the ability to judge the decision of someone else’s husband?

    I have not even come close to insinuating any such thing. I can tell you that the women my age are not “housewives” period. Some work in the home, and some work outside the home. Some are artists and authors, teachers and administrators, some are musicians.

    I have a great deal of respect for a dear friend who was not allowed to go to university by her father, and never allowed to work outside the home by her husband. Her artwork is stunning.

    But does she look down on me for working outside the home? Not at all. I am not a judge of how other women live. And I do not know why others set themselves up as judges of other women.

    Yes, every adult must see themselves both as someone who is ultimately responsible for self and family and someone who is ultimately interconnected with others. I don’t know how that will work out for the individual but thinking that a man will “protect” you is going to prove false for many women, through illness, financial downturn, or marital failure.

    There are many women in the Bible who took on the provider role. There is nothing wrong with that. I am not saying a woman must have the financial provider role, but I am saying that she must consider in some way, that the role of provider is hers as an adult.

  83. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 1:28 am #

    I did not see where she says something like “if you are physically in danger, here is some practical advice…” Would you happen to have a link directly to an article where she fills in that sort of advice?

    I don’t think she gave any advice for a person who received a imminent death threat. I don’t think she gave any advice to the person whose house is burning down either. What sort of practical advice would you give to these two persons? Maybe she should have some practical advice on her website for these people to have a car, cash, important documents, so they can leave at a moments notice.

    I mean really Matthew, do you think that a woman is not smart enough to make the kind of preparations that you’ve advised if she believes her life is in danger?

    Answers like the one you gave here made the situations of which I speak worse, not better

    How? What specifically did Webfoot said that would make which specific situation you spoke of worse?

  84. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 1:28 am #

    But submission to abuse, reinforces abuse.

    Where do you come up with this stuff? Who believes in submitting to abuse?

    I have not even come close to insinuating any such thing.

    Good then you won’t have a problem with the women who are gifted in some area decides to submit to their husband and stay at home. That certainly does not diminish their gifts nor their human dignity does it?

    I actually don’t have a problem with much of what you said after that. The problem only comes when a woman tries to usurp her authority over what God has ordained as the roles for men and women and in the context of the church. That unfortunately would lead us into the complementarian and egalitarian debate.

  85. Sue October 27, 2009 at 1:35 am #

    Good then you won’t have a problem with the women who are gifted in some area decides to submit to their husband and stay at home. That certainly does not diminish their gifts nor their human dignity does it?

    I have never even thought any such thing.

    The problem only comes when a woman tries to usurp her authority over what God has ordained as the roles for men and women and in the context of the church.

    I am far more concerned with what happens in the home. It is Susan Hunt who wrote so eloquently that male church leaders do not support women who live in abusive situations. I think she has a grip on the severity of the situation, but I don’t see any complementarians blogging about how women can release themselves from the “final say” of their husband in order to go to counselling or have private phone calls or whatever it takes to plan a bail. Its not that easy.

  86. Sue October 27, 2009 at 1:40 am #

    The CBMW blog is accurate in saying that 10 out of 10 men are selfish – as are women also. But then, every husband is selfish, and in some way abusive, at some time. Everyone will demand of the other something that is not in the interests of the other, but treads on their well-being. It is in human nature to do this.

    So, submitting to that behaviour increases it. Of course, we all submit to a certain amount of abuse, of some kind. The question is this. Does a woman have the right to decide when she will submit and when she will not? Does she have veto power, or does her husband? If the husband has veto and final say, then some women are deprived of all rights of their person, bit by bit. Some are deprived by belittlement, some by violence, and some by lies.

    A man who suffered this from his wife would be counselled to take on personal authority. I believe that the same is true for women. Preachers should preach submission and assertiveness, side by side. They should never ever preach the final say, and veto power of the husband.

  87. Sue October 27, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    This is an abrogation of basic human rights. Some men curtail their wives telephone privileges, some require that the wife asks permission to leave the house, others that she recounts the content of all conversations with the children, and others that she only vote for the candidate of his choice. Some men get two votes and their wife none at all.

  88. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 2:41 am #

    It is Susan Hunt who wrote so eloquently that male church leaders do not support women who live in abusive situations.

    Is Hunt a complementarian or a member of the CBMW? Can you actually find something from CBMW or some accepted representative voice from complementarians that espouses your jaundice view? You continue to shamelessly use abuse to malign complementarians and promote your ideology.

    The CBMW blog is accurate in saying that 10 out of 10 men are selfish – as are women also. But then, every husband is selfish, and in some way abusive, at some time.

    First, every husband needs to be reminded that his authority in marriage comes from God, is defined by the Word of God, and is to be modeled after the sacrificial, loving relationship of Christ to the church. In no way is this authority a license for selfish tyranny or boorish abuse.

    I am beginning to wonder if you are being deliberately deceptive or willfully ignorant.

  89. Sue October 27, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    Selfishness is a problem for 10 out of 10 people, Tripp said, which obviously has an adverse affect on marriage. In contrast, 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 teaches that Christ died for people so that they might no longer live for themselves but for Him, Tripp noted. To work through a self-focused perspective toward a Christ-honoring approach to life and marriage, Tripp said, spouses must uncover and be honest about their selfishness.

    Sorry, can’t link directly to gender blog at this moment.

    Here is Susan Hunt’s article. She seems to be a well-known complemnentarian. Women need to take on initiative and leadership, instead of filling the gender role of “receiving and responding.”

  90. Matthew Staton October 27, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    DennyReader #78,
    So Matthew, what is your practical advice for victims of abuse?

    I alluded to some in #67 about having an emergency plan. I linked to some in #76.

    I think it is critical to understand the cycle of violence. Many abusive homes tend to cycle from explosion to honeymoon to walking on eggshells and then explosion again. Victims stuck in this cycle easily blame themselves. The abusers and victims tend to act like nothing ever happened in the quieter phases and the victims tend to feel if they just do this or that differently, for example, if they just submit better, then the explosion won’t happen this time. But the pattern is a part of the abuser’s lifestyle – it is how the abuser operates. He/she is going to repeat this regardless of how well you submit or how hard you try to please him or her.

    I don’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Honestly, a part of me wonders how sincere you are in asking me. But I feel it is important that church leadership understand this cycle and the instinct that the whole family has to cover it up and how easy it is for a home to appear to be a good home on the outside yet in actuality be a power structure that is inflicting wounds and damage behind closed doors. Same as enabling an addict, enabling an abuser is not loving to either abuser or victims. The right thing to do is call the police if it’s physical or sexual. If it is verbal and mental but not physical then other interventions are needed. Bottom line: truth in love. Don’t enable. Don’t cover up. Don’t accept excuses. Don’t hold victims down. Do help victims realize they are important, significant, loved, supported and it isn’t their fault. Do help abusers change. Do help redeem relationships. Do understand the cycle of violence (applies to verbal as well as physical) and deal with it proactively.

    DennyReader – here are some questions for you. What is your practical advice to victims of abuse? Do you think abuse happens under-cover in homes that look good on the oustide? Do you think “abuse” is just a tempest in a teapot? Are you prepared to help victims stop blaming themselves and actually step out and make a change?

  91. Marilyn October 27, 2009 at 7:52 am #

    Matthew,

    Re abuse: For good materials from a complementarian perspective, I recommend Dr. Steve and Celestia Tracy at http://www.mendingthesoul.org.

  92. Matthew Staton October 27, 2009 at 8:11 am #

    FWIW, there are some passages in the NT that apply to abusive homes. From 1 Tim 3, a church leader should not be an alcoholic nor should he be quarrelsome or violent. He should be above reproach. Every verbal/physical abuser I’ve known and every sexual abuser I’ve known of would fail these tests. Matthew 18 and 1 Corinthians speak to confronting and dealing with sin in the church. Galatians 6 speaks to gently restoring someone who stumbles. I could add passages to each of these categories but these give the idea.

    Here is a bottom-line, bare minimum consideration: a church that is prepared to exercise church discipline against homosexuals or couples living together before marriage must also be prepared confront and deal with the sin of physical or verbal/emotional abuse in the homes of its leaders. If a church leader is found to be someone who cycles through a pattern of tension building up and then exploding and spewing hurtful, damaging words at his family, the church must deal with this in some fashion. Hopefully, change and restoration will occur but if not, church discipline must at least be considered here if it is exercised in the area of sexual sins previously named.

    Here is an inadequate response: “well, by definition, no true complementarian abuses his wife or family. By definition we complementarian husbands pursue loving our wives as Christ loved the church. Anyone who does differently may claim to be in the club but by definition they are not one of us.” Defining abusers out of our circle is a nice word game but it doesn’t deal with the real problem that abuse really does exist and it really does happen. It happens in liberal and conservative churches alike and churches need to be prepared to deal with it, not define it away, ignore it, blame the victim, or other enabling responses.

    Sorry if this comes off as preachy. It is a subject near and dear to my heart. I believe that this is part of what God has in mind when he tells his people to defend the fatherless and widow – that is, I believe God wants us to speak up for victims who are powerless. I am not trying to escalate any war of words with these thoughts. I am hoping that these thoughts will spark people’s own thinking about dealing with this ugly problem.

  93. Matthew Staton October 27, 2009 at 8:29 am #

    Marilyn,

    Thank you very much! I was not familiar with Dr. Steve and Celestia Tracy and am glad to know about them. The article here http://www.mendingthesoul.org/2007/04/clergy-responses-to-domestic-violence/ looks like a great resource.

    What other sites and ministries like this are out there?

  94. Don Johnson October 27, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    I do recall that CBMW did come out with something that claimed that if someone was an abuser they were not a comp. This puts the cart before the horse and is like saying that if someone is a sinner they are not a believer, yet we are all sinners.

    CBMW would serve its constiuents better by admitting that some of its adherents abuse and then working to prevent that.

  95. Matthew Staton October 27, 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Kudos to JBMW for printing the great essay that Sue linked to in #90. Also available here: http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-13-No-2/Defenders-of-Women

    I encourage people to stop what they are doing and go read this essay by Hunt and the article linked in #94.

  96. Sue October 27, 2009 at 10:23 am #

    I think Steven Tracy has been officially disowned by the CBMW.

    http://johnploughman.wordpress.com/2009/05/

    I find everything Tracy says is very true to reality. However, he does not address the long process of taking the crime from silent and invisible to some kind of action. What can a pastor say even when he is not aware of any domestic violence, and how can the pastor get a woman who has been brainwashed into submission, whose veins are coursing with the chemicals of fear, to take the first step?

  97. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 11:12 am #

    The CBMW blog is accurate in saying that 10 out of 10 men are selfish – as are women also. But then, every husband is selfish, and in some way abusive, at some time. Everyone will demand of the other something that is not in the interests of the other, but treads on their well-being. It is in human nature to do this.

    Here is what that JBMW article did not say.

    1. 10 out of 10 men are selfish
    2. every husband is selfish
    3. every husband is in some way abusive, at some time
    4. everyone will demand of the other something that is not in the other’s interests
    5. everyone will tread on the other’s well-being

    Preachers should preach submission and assertiveness, side by side. They should never ever preach the final say, and veto power of the husband.

    I have an idea. How about Sue you write a book and every Christian buy one and throw the Bible out and use your book as the Divine Text.

  98. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    I think it is critical to understand the cycle of violence. Many abusive homes tend to cycle from explosion to honeymoon to walking on eggshells and then explosion again.

    I understand the psychology of abuse. I came out of an abusive church. The problem with what you and Sue is promoting is nothing short of propaganda. Who do you think you are preaching to? Do you think complementarians are completely tone deaf to the problem of abuse? Even CBMW published the article Sue linked to educate the church on this issue. Unfortunately Sue has completely distorted what she read into an attack on men and to promote her feminist ideology.

    Seriously, Matthew do you consider what Sue is doing a form of abuse? She is constantly blaming all men and good Christian leaders with a broad brush as contributing to the culture of abuse. This sort of maligning innocent people, do you consider that a form of verbal and mental abuse?

    WRT your questions, I’ve said very early on that I believe and understand that there are real abuses. I have no tolerance for any form of abuse, but more importantly the Bible does not tolerate abuse. Am I prepared to help? I lived through it my friend.

    What you and Sue need to do is detached your egalitarian agenda with the issue of abuse and stop using it as a straw man to beat the complementarians with it. I could just as easily replace the word complementarian with egalitarian in your “Here is an inadequate response:” routine. It proves nothing and solves nothing. If you want to talk about abuse, talk about abuse. If you want to talk about Biblical roles of men and women, then talk about their roles. But stop trying to conflate the two and mischaracterize what the other side is saying.

  99. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    It is incomprehensible to me that a modern woman would care to follow a God who has over and over demonstrated such a low regard for women. You can re-interpret and massage the texts all you want, but the God of the Bible is a blatant and unrepentent misogynist. Ponder this lovely text from God’s perfect law on the punishment of rapists as commanded in Deuteronomy 22:

    28 “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

    Please show me the text in the OT where a woman may leave or divorce her husband if he abuses her. There are whole chapters dealing with mold and mildew, but none on dealing with an abusive spouse. Even Jesus allowed only adultery as an acceptable reason for divorce – not abuse or abandonment.

    Another indication of the low regard for women is that adultery in the OT is essentially a property crime. A sin is committed when a married woman has sex with a man who is not her husband. But if a married man has sex with a woman who is not his wife, it is not adultery unless she is married. If she is married, then the sin is against her husband for the man has “stolen” another man’s wife.

    This is why it was a sin for David to have sex with Bathsheba. Not because David was already married (to multiple wives), but because Bathsheba was already married to Uriah. The sin was against Uriah.

    Nathan said to David:
    “I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own.”

    It was perfectly fine for David to have multiple wives and have sex with unmarried women, but a married woman could only have sex with one man.

  100. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    “Ponder this lovely text from God’s perfect law on the punishment of rapists as commanded in Deuteronomy 22:

    28 “If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay the girl’s father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.”

    Hmm, what’s your point? This is actually a GOOD thing for the woman, considering the fact that the culture at the time (just as it still is in most Muslim areas) made that woman unfit for marriage. This makes it so that she is provided for. Not all of God’s laws in the OT are “perfect,” but rather pragmatic. Look at what Jesus said about the divorce laws… He said that they were put in place because God knew that people were hard-hearted and needed some compromise to keep the peace.

  101. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    “It was perfectly fine for David to have multiple wives and have sex with unmarried women, but a married woman could only have sex with one man.”

    You read too much into the text. See my comment above.

  102. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Because something happens in the Bible doesn’t mean that God views it as good and proper, particularly in the Old Testament. He allowed for compromise on some issues because He knew that otherwise, people wouldn’t even try to live up to His standards.

  103. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    That is a complete cop-out. There are plenty of things in the OT law that were counter-cultural and difficult to follow. You are now going to explain away the disgusting elements by saying, “Well, God had to compromise with the culture of the time.” Baloney. Why couldn’t God have said that a virgin who had been raped would be purified and that no one could hold it against her? Instead, he ordained procedures for determining if a woman was a virgin. If she wasn’t, she was to be stoned at the town gate. No rules for men being virgins.

    David in the Psalms calls the law perfect over and over. Was he wrong?

  104. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm #

    “No rules for men being virgins.”

    How exactly does one prove that a man is a virgin? Pretty easy to do so with a woman, not so much with a man.

    The culture around the Israelites held the woman responsible for a rape… God said the man was responsible, not the woman.

  105. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    Complete cop-out? This is a phrase that is thrown around to carelessly and to often.

    All of the Bible needs to be interpreted in its proper context and just because someone does so does not mean they are guilty of a “cop-out.” The work of understanding the Bible is difficult and just because it does not immediately square with our modern sensibilities does not mean its what we think it is.

    In addition, if it is now incomprehensible to follow the God of the Bible than on what grounds should we even care about the treatment of women and being abusive toward them?

    I am just curious how your grounding your moral outrage toward the mistreatment of women.

  106. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    “I am just curious how your grounding your moral outrage toward the mistreatment of women.”

    Brilliant comment, Ryan.

  107. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

    Except that “your” should be “you’re”… :) otherwise, it was brilliant.

  108. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 2:24 pm #

    “interpreted in its proper context” = have the repugnant parts explained away

    My moral outrage comes from the use of reason. Reason is a much better tool than an ancient book of tales and fables written by semi-literate Middle Eastern sheep-herders thousands of years ago.

  109. Nathan October 27, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    ex-preacher,

    Why do you even care? You have already said that God should not be followed, so why are you following a blog that is devoted to God and His Son Jesus Christ?

    Your comments on this blog are often malicious and are not curious. Your name alone gives away your vindictiveness to the gospel. If you are truly an ex-preacher, then quit preaching. It is one thing to argue with the opinion of Denny on his posts, but you are only desirious of arguing with God.

    We get it! You hate God!

  110. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 2:31 pm #

    How exactly does “reason” lead you to believe that we should treat women (or anyone, for that matter) “nicely”? It’s equally valid to reason that the best way to treat another person in this meaningless life is to do whatever gets you the most happiness in the moment and helps you out the most. So for many men, logically that would mean treating women like crap and sleeping around. To what standard to you want to force others to live by? Yours? Why? Who made you god?

  111. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 2:34 pm #

    “We get it! You hate God!”

    Speaking of which, why exactly do you hate God? You probably said this before, but what led to your unbelief (in human terms, at least)? It’s fine and dandy to not be keen on some Mosaic Law, but most people need something much more personal to make them reassess their belief system than some ancient law that doesn’t even apply to them.

  112. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    It is incomprehensible to me that a modern woman would care to follow a God who has over and over demonstrated such a low regard for women.

    It is much better to be an atheist who has no regards for women. They are nothing more than a weaker animal that can be dominated. Human dignity is nonexistent. You can do anything to anyone as long as you feel good about it. I can’t imagine a worse scenario than falling into the hands of an amoral atheist “survival of the fittest” jungle.

  113. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Reason? Such a tricky term and so subjective.

    The Nazi’s had pretty good reasoning (based on their worldview) to commit genocide, eugenics, and abuse others.

    Darwinism would reason that I should subscribe to survival of the fittest and that if a woman is weaker than me then there is no valid reason for me not to exploit her for my gain. My only obligation is to survive and procreate so why should I be outraged if women are abused?

    My question still stands to you ex-preacher.

  114. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    My moral outrage comes from the use of reason. Reason is a much better tool than an ancient book of tales and fables written by semi-literate Middle Eastern sheep-herders thousands of years ago.

    If that was only true. With an open minded skeptic you can productively answer their questions and reason with them. EP is not interested in seeking truth. An atheist mind like EP’s is like a black hole, you can shine light on it but no light will come out.

  115. Sue October 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    It is much better to be an atheist who has no regards for women. They are nothing more than a weaker animal that can be dominated. Human dignity is nonexistent. You can do anything to anyone as long as you feel good about it. I can’t imagine a worse scenario than falling into the hands of an amoral atheist “survival of the fittest” jungle.

    I used to think this also. But now I know that it is a jungle inside the church as well. Every human being is selfish, male or female. But some have more aggression. Why give a blanket rule for the male to have power over the female.

    I was in a major “soft comp” church, and there was absolutely not one word spoken about abuse, no resources, total denial. I am not maing this up. 1000 people and not even one tiny mention of the possibility of abuse by the submission preaching pastor. This is two or three years ago, and major famous theologians in this congregation.

  116. Sue October 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm #

    I felt like a throwaway. Much better to preach submission for that stray female who doesn’t know to submit. But let’s not preach about the possibility of abuse. Oh right – once they did and it was only to mock and make fun of any woman who could be abused. My daughter was there and the pastor said, “oh, no one has walked out yet.” But she stumbled out in tears and got a ride home from one of the elder’s wives. This woman had quit this church some years before in disgust. A few elders wives were voting with their feet but I wasn’t even aware of the extent of that since the congregation is so large.

  117. Mrs. Webfoot October 27, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Well, I can tell you what makes me the happiest – staying away from feminists! They “tax my gig.”

    So, I’m going to work on my personal happiness and let the discussion go on without me. Please excuse me for not responding to comments directed towards me. It’s not that I don’t love you. I do love you and pray God’s best for you. I pray that we will seek God and grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I also hope that all of you good folks will look at the abuse subject in a more global and a less gender-specific way. I hope, too, that you won’t allow yourselves to be manipulated emotionally by those who are pushing a very specific agenda.

    Denny, you are a brave soul. God bless you, brother. You have a fine blog. I plan to go back to lurk mode.

  118. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Atheism is neither a philosophy nor a worldview. It is simply the lack of a belief in a god. To lump all materialists or all atheists together when it comes to worldview, would be like lumping together everyone who doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy as holding the same worldview.

    Within the broad grouping of materialists and atheists, you will find a huge variety of views with regard to life philosophy, ethics, worldview, morality.

    I think it is very irresponsible and shortsighted to suggest that all materialists are immoral or amoral. Certainly, some materialists and/or atheists are very immoral. It does not follow that their lack of morality stems directly from their materialism. There are also immoral people who call themselves Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish.

    In terms of worldview, I would classify myself as a humanist. I would guess that the vast majority of atheists today also consider themselves humanists. There are also completely selfish jerks who are atheists.

    I believe that humans can find and have found general agreement among themselves on ethical behavior. There is not 100% agreement, but there is an amazing amount of consensus. I would go so far as to say that humanists have as much agreement on ethics among themselves as you would find among Catholics or just about any Christian denomination. How is it that humanists can find so much common ground despite differences in culture and history and without a common holy book? We use reason and experience. One of the foundations is the principle of doing unto others as we would wish done to ourselves. While Christians recognize that as the “Golden Rule” spoken by Jesus (Matthew 7:12), they may not be aware that very similar formulations occurred among teachers before Jesus, including the Rabbi Hillel, Confucius, the Buddha, Greek philosophers, and various other great teachers.

    I would point to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (easily found at the UN website) as an example of the common wisdom of people representing all major religions and philosophies. Notice, if you will, how much further advanced and civilized it is than the Old Testament or even the New Testament. Where the OT, Jesus, and Paul allowed for slavery, the Declaration does not. Where the OT allows for situations where genocide might be appropriate, the Declaration does not. While the NT calls for the eternal torture of some based on religious beliefs, the Declaration does not.

    What about all the evil done in the 20th century by what has been called “Darwinist-inspired materialists”?

    First off, I don’t think we can blame Darwin entirely. Darwin and others simply observed the “what” of nature, not the “ought” of morality. Just because the strong eat the weak in the jungle does not mean that strong humans ought to eat weak humans. Let’s remember that the law of jungle was in effect long before Darwin came on the scene. Yes, some people, notably Herbert Spencer, promoted “Social Darwinism” as an ethical system. This was embraced by many people who were already oppressing the weak and liked that this philosophy could justify their behavior. (Side note: interesting that most conservative Christians today have fully embraced the economic Darwinism of the free market system.)

  119. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm #

    Nathan,

    Believe it or not, I’m here to try to help you. This may be difficult for you to accept, but if the scales ever fall from your eyes I think you will thank me. In the meantime, I don’t really care if you hate me. It’s pretty difficult for me to hate a nonexistent being. I do hate what millenia of superstition have done to human beings. You could say that I hate the Christianity, but love the Christians.

  120. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    I used to think this also. But now I know that it is a jungle inside the church as well.

    Sue, as a feminist why do you hate women so much. Why must you tell them that they are worthless and have no dignity?

    Every human being is selfish, male or female. But some have more aggression. Why give a blanket rule for the male to have power over the female.

    You won’t understand if you don’t have God in your heart. You see, Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
    1 Corinthians 13:4-7

    I am not maing this up. 1000 people and not even one tiny mention of the possibility of abuse by the submission preaching pastor.

    This might be true, but why did you lied about what CBMW said or are you so twisted with hate for men and women that you saw what was not there?

    I felt like a throwaway. Much better to preach submission for that stray female who doesn’t know to submit. But let’s not preach about the possibility of abuse.

    I know what you mean, it is much easier to lie about what others believe and said than to face the truth.

  121. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    I have to add that you guys have an amazing ability to turn a blind eye to the atrocities and inanities of the Bible and focus your attack on me. I would probably have done the same when I was a Christian since that is far easier than actually defending the absurd teachings of the Bible.

  122. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Believe it or not, I’m here to try to help you.

    LOL! Seriously this is so funny. What is the next line? “To Serve Man”?

  123. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    “I believe that humans can find and have found general agreement among themselves on ethical behavior. There is not 100% agreement, but there is an amazing amount of consensus.”

    Yep, because God has written His law on our hearts. If you don’t have a standard outside of yourself or your society, then you have no right to tell another that they can’t do something. By what standard can you tell David that he was wrong for sleeping with Bathsheba or think Solomon was immoral for having 1000 whores for his personal use or Joshua for killing all those Canaanites? If man is his own god and his conscience and reasoning his own moral standard, then one can’t tell another that he is wrong. You can’t go to that remote cannibalistic tribe and tell them to stop eating people. To them, that may be the highest form of morality.

    You don’t recognize the self-defeating nature of your worldview as it pertains to morality… which means you have deceived yourself MORE than the postmodern multicult fools who think no culture is better than another. At least they recognize the logical end to believing that man chooses his own moral standards.

  124. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    “I have to add that you guys have an amazing ability to turn a blind eye to the atrocities and inanities of the Bible…”

    I haven’t turned a blind eye to any of it. You continue to be intellectually dishonest about slavery in the Bible (the slavery of that day was NOT the same as the slavery America is familiar with). I’ve addressed all of the other issues. That you have no good reply to my explanations is not my problem, it’s yours.

    Also, if you want a deeper explanation of the holy war in the OT, read this: http://www.amazon.com/Show-Them-No-Mercy-Canaanite/dp/0310245680/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256674642&sr=8-1

  125. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

    The argument that the slavery referenced in the Bible and practiced in ancient times was somehow “kinder and gentler” than slavery in the American South has been refuted repeatedly, but many Bible defenders still cling to it. Slavery in ancient times was often far more cruel than typical 19th century Southern slavery, and Southern slave owners were often kinder than typical slaveowners in ancient days. The fact is that slavery is slavery and the Bible endorses it over and over.

    Southern pro-slavery apologists routinely used Genesis 9 (the condemnation of Ham’s descendants to slavery since he had seen Noah naked) to defend racialized slavery. Race-based slavery is clearly endorsed in Leviticus 25:44-46

    44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

    For a moment, let’s suppose that the Bible did not endorse race-based slavery. Are you saying that you’re ok with non-race-based slavery? Is slavery fine with you as long as all races are enslaved on an equal basis?

    You are an ethical relativist on slavery, while I am an absolutist. I’m not okay with slavery ever for anyone. Slavery is wrong now, was wrong in America from 1619 to 1865 and was wrong in biblical times. With regard to daughters, the Bible even provides a mechanism for Israelites to sell their daughters into slavery (see verse 7) in Exodus 21:

    2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

    5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life. ”

    7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.”

  126. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    You have a very poor understanding of ethics. There are many ethical systems that rely on reason, experience and common sense apart from any divine revelation. Read up on Immanuel Kant for starters.

    Reason is not subjective, anymore than math is subjective.

  127. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    Fine, since I have to spell it out… in most cases, the slavery discussed in the Bible refers to mutually agreed bondservitude. In other words, a poor person recognized that the only way that they could make a living and feed himself or his family was to offer his services (or those of a family member, like his daughter or son) to a wealthier person. What’s so wrong about this? It wasn’t race based, and it wasn’t done without compensation, and there were rules that kept the “owner” from abusing the contractual agreement. No one’s freedoms were violated, and everyone got cared for. Without the slavery laws as put forth in the OT, you had either mass starvation or mass forced enslavement.

  128. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    “There are many ethical systems that rely on reason, experience and common sense apart from any divine revelation.”

    Actually, not really. We live in a Judeo-Christian world, and your sense of right and wrong is significantly informed by the Judeo-Christian ethic. You don’t appreciate or realize this, apparently, but without Christianity, you would be vastly more immoral (by your own standards, much less God’s) in your conduct toward others. You can’t divorce your reason so easily from the Judeo-Christian context in which you live.

    “Reason is not subjective, anymore than math is subjective.”

    Math follows rules created by God, just like reason does. Reason doesn’t work outside of those rules and a proper understanding of the Rule Giver.

  129. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    Utter nonsense, Darius. Please provide references for you claims.

  130. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    The “utter nonsense” was a reference to your claims about biblical slavery, but it could also apply to your other post. What proof do you offer for your latest assertions?

  131. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    How is it that so many non-Christian societies (take Japan for instance) have higher moral standards and lower crime that the US? Why does largely secular Europe have lower crime rates than the US? Why do the highly secular parts of the US have lower crime rates than the Bible Belt?

  132. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm #

    EP, this is common knowledge about Biblical slavery. I am sure if you do a little Googling, you find plenty of links to better inform you. I’d start with something as simple as Wikipedia… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_slavery

  133. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 4:59 pm #

    “How is it that so many non-Christian societies (take Japan for instance) have higher moral standards and lower crime that the US?”

    Seriously, THAT’s your argument? I have to laugh if it is. A lower crime rate means better morals??? First of all, “crime rate” is a complex term. A country or city could have a zero crime rate if they don’t have any police (or their police don’t do anything about crime). This is currently a big problem in the UK, where police are rewarded for lower crime rates, so they just don’t bother with most “small crime” like burglary and assault. Having a higher crime rate in a country many times means that crime is taken more seriously there rather than that there are more immoral people living there. As renowned British author Theodore Dalrymple recently said, “For me, the high imprisonment rate in the United States is a sign of social health, not of social disease.”

  134. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 5:06 pm #

    That’s your proof? If you think the streets of highly religious Washington DC or any other US city at night are safer than the streets of Tokyo or Paris, you’re smoking something mighty powerful.

  135. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 5:10 pm #

    I was merely pointing out the absurdity behind your use of crime rates.

    You connected crime rates to moral standards… I don’t think one follows the other. Just because a society is built around certain moral views doesn’t mean it follows them down to the man.

  136. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Atheism is neither a philosophy nor a worldview. It is simply the lack of a belief in a god. To lump all materialists or all atheists together when it comes to worldview, would be like lumping together everyone who doesn’t believe in the tooth fairy as holding the same worldview.

    This is the reason I scoff at the EP when he said his “use of reason”. When Christians try to explain something to him, that is just “interpreted in its proper context” = have the repugnant parts explained away, but when he does it then it is fine.

    Within the broad grouping of materialists and atheists, you will find a huge variety of views with regard to life philosophy, ethics, worldview, morality.
    I think it is very irresponsible and shortsighted to suggest that all materialists are immoral or amoral. Certainly, some materialists and/or atheists are very immoral. It does not follow that their lack of morality stems directly from their materialism. There are also immoral people who call themselves Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish.

    This is complete deception. This is what an atheist will tell you when he tries to build a veneer of neutrality to lure you into his confidence. But it has been demonstrated EP has repeatedly equated individual behaviors to the system as a whole. But he is the only one who is allow to do that, you of course cannot equate blatant atheist behavior to his system of belief. He is not like those other bad atheists, he is the good atheist. No, don’t lump him with tooth fairies.

    In terms of worldview, I would classify myself as a humanist. I would guess that the vast majority of atheists today also consider themselves humanists. There are also completely selfish jerks who are atheists.

    Humanists sound so much better doesn’t it? It is just an invented term to further obfuscate their atrocities and baseless foundation for morality, purpose and meaning. Don’t believe it. Sh…, I’ll let you in on a secret, other atheist don’t believe it either.

    Tom Flynn is Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Editor of Free Inquiry magazine. … He criticizes the impulse among some secularist activists to avoid the term “atheism,” because secular humanism presumes atheism, and he argues that secular humanists should “come out” as atheists. He explains why secularist or science activists in the political arena who strategically avoid the term “atheist” may appear to be disingenuous

    I would go so far as to say that humanists have as much agreement on ethics among themselves as you would find among Catholics or just about any Christian denomination.

    Yet with all that brain power, not a single atheist/humanist have been able to explain how he is more than a subspecies of catarrhines made from the mindless collection of star dust. There is no difference in the creation process or essence between pieces of rock, a cockroach, or a walking and talking primate. EP had plenty of chances to make his case. I certainly have given him enough opportunity to do so. To their credit there are some atheists honest enough to admit that they are amoral. Their existence is meaningless and without purpose. Unfortunately this doesn’t sell very well, hence let’s change the name and call ourselves humanists, and let’s not ever talk about the foundation of our belief system. An atheist can always create a set of codes or morals to try and live by, but that code has no relevance beyond the nose that created it. No one is obligated to live by anything you or an atheist conjures up.

  137. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    I looked at the wikipedia article. Do you seriously think that helps your case? Southern slaveowners were almost all Christians and they claimed to obey everything the Bible taught about slavery. All the Bible would have had to say is, “Do not practice slavery.” Did God/Jesus know that southern slaveholders would use the BIble to justify their practice? Did he care?

  138. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    I haven’t turned a blind eye to any of it.

    No Darius, you got to remember it is a black hole. I am serious, EP is a proselytizing atheist. He is not interested in seeking the truth. His hope is to throw as many attacks out there and hope some of it will stick.

  139. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    I have been through all this with you DennyReader and demonstrated – very convincingly in my view – that reason is the only possible source of ethics. As I recall though, you never offered a single iota of evidence to back up the legitimacy of your “morality.” Not one shred of proof. You seem to think that making your blind assertions and insulting me is a good substitute for actual arguments and evidence. It’s not. Is your case that feeble?

  140. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    No Darius, you [have] got to remember it is a black hole. I am serious, DennyReader is a proselytizing Christian. He is not interested in seeking the truth. His hope is to throw as many attacks out there and hope some of it will stick.

  141. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm #

    Are you serious EP? Just declaring that you use reason is “very convincing”? This is not even rational. I have been the only rational one in our discussion. It’s been a one way street. Go ahead keep repeating it that is very convincing. Let me just give you a clue. Everyone can reason but they can come to a very, very different moral value.

    If you don’t know the foundation of my morality, I will be happy to explain it all to you, but I suspect you are only interested for the sake of avoided to explain yours. So when you answer my question then I will answer yours, since I asked you first.

    Please support your claim that I made blind assertions. And do not have such a thin skin and claim that I’ve insulted you. I’ve told you the truth and you don’t like it so you think is an insult. My arguments against you have been sound, if it was not so you would have given a rational defense of it by now.

  142. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 5:36 pm #

    Cute EP, but I have not the one who claims to have reason but uses a double standard.

  143. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Let me just recap what EP calls his “very convincing” argument for a foundation of atheistic morality, purpose and meaning. Everyone will be able to see that EP never even got close to where that foundation is.

    I still don’t see why you need my moral foundation to accept that I can see logical contradictions in Christianity. At any rate, I’ve already told you that the foundation is reason and experience. Using those as a foundation, one can develop moral responses to any situation.

    You don’t see why, well let me try to explain it to you again. If you are going to question my moral values and judgments then it is only reasonable to see if you are capable of moral judgments yourself. If you are incapable of moral judgments as I have postulated then your inquiry is irrelevant. And as a man/woman who claims to base your foundation on reason, it seems to me you might be a poor practitioner of reasoning. Just stating that you would use reason and experience is not sufficient to support that foundation. You need to provide the how and why they are capable of creating that foundation.

    But again I want to be helpful so let me start the ball rolling and summarize what some of the great atheists from your past have said about your belief system. Human beings are nothing than the random collection of star stuff. We are formed by the random collision of atoms, without purpose and without meaning. Life is absurd and the fundamental question is should we commit suicide. “Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.” – Bertrand Russell. So let’s get started and build that solid atheistic foundation of morality, meaning and purpose based on these wisdoms from your forerunners.

  144. Lucas Knisely October 27, 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    To say your foundation is reason and experience is circular. How did you arrive at the conclusion that reason and experience are a valid foundation? Through reason and experience. Circular.

  145. Sue October 27, 2009 at 6:28 pm #

    Dennyreader,

    Could you provide evidence for your attacks on me. Lacking that, I shall have to assume that they are meaningless. I can’t make any sense out of them.

    I have been convinced by the statement of concern about the TNIV that Christians have few standards of truth and fairplay.

    I really can’t believe what has been said on that score. I interviewed Jim Packer and found out that he can’t remember the statement, and hasn’t read the book by Poythress and Grudem, but he signed the statement and endorsed the book anyway.

    He seemed quite shocked that I thought he had read the book. Truly surprised that I thought he would read a book by those two men.

    I finally realized the whole thing is propaganda with not a true statement in the lot. My complementarian pastor asked me if I could convince Dr. Packer to remove his name so our church wouldn’t look so silly perhaps. When I heard how people talk about these things behind the scenes, my eyes were opened.

    All this stuff about autheneteo meaning “to have authority with a positive overtone,” as Carson says, is not supported by any evidence at all. There is no evidence either that Junia was only well-known to the apostles. It is all a game.

    The Bible may not be terribly kind to women at some points, but just to make sure that women are in submission the translators putty up any possible loopholes and think that no one will notice.

    Not much morality in the way the study of Junia has been done. I think that taught me a lot about exegesis. It was in some way my final lesson.

  146. Sue October 27, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    The new post by Carson about how “submit to one another” REALLY means “some among you are to submit to others among you” has demonstrated that exegesis is simply a way to make anything in the Bible mean the opposite of what everyone always thought it meant, whenever this is deemed necessary.

  147. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Sue and ex-preacher you both have made the same mistake when it comes to morality.

    My claim was not that an atheist cannot act moral, its just that he or she has no good reason or obligation to do so.

    Appealing to human consensus is well..a cop-out. What if the Nazis win WWII and human consensus becomes that killing Jews and experimenting on babies is morally good, does that make it right? Well under the consensus model it does. What if a society decides that it is okay not to let women vote or that certain races should be enslaved? Well if consensus says its okay than it must not actually be wrong.

    This is classic moral subjectivism you fall into here ex-preacher; as your grounding for morality has become human agreement.

    But still even human consensus cannot be supported under the worldview of atheism. I am after all just a cosmic accident of atoms who is biologically wired to survive and reproduce, just like any other animal. There is no such thing as caring about the death or exploitation of others. In fact Alexander the Great was the most faithful to the atheistic moral implications when he said “might makes right.”

    So please before you go on arguing against atrocities in the Bible or treating women poorly you must ground this objective “ought” you are demanding.

  148. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    It’s funny that you are all using reason to try to disprove the validity of reason in determining what is right.

    Humanism does not teach that “might makes right.” That’s the theist’s position.

    I do not appeal to consensus, but to reason.

    A question for Bible followers: If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

  149. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 7:06 pm #

    Still dodging ex-preacher.

    What do you mean by reason? And why am I obligated to follow it? The Nazis used their reason to carry out their actions and believed them to be moral.

    What if my reasoning leads me to different moral conclusions or even utilitarianism in which we should experiment on some humans to save many more? Sounds reasonable. No?

    Plus as an atheist you have to explain why I am any different than any other animal and should not just act in a Darwinian fashion of survival at any cost.

    And stating that “might makes right” is the position of the theist is just nonsense. It indicates to me you are grasping here and have not really thought these things through.

  150. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    I’ll tell you what, Ryan. Answer my question and I’ll answer yours.

  151. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    It’s funny that you are all using reason to try to disprove the validity of reason in determining what is right.

    That would be a problem if that indeed is what we said. What you’ve either failed to grasp or deliberately trying to avoid, is that reason and experience alone in and of itself can not be a foundation for morality, meaning and purpose. It does not tell us why and how something is moral or meaningful when everything is a random purposeless collection of atoms. I know you don’t like it and tries to ignore what I am telling you but this is as much for the benefit of the lurkers as it is for you. In order to create an atheist foundation of morality and meaning you must make sense of the fact that the random, meaningless, and purpose universe that created you and don’t care if you live or die actually has moral values and meaning. Otherwise your morality is nothing more than a random biochemical interaction that is inside a meaningless shell. I realize it is tempting for you to create and knock down a straw man than to face the cold hard facts, but that is the reality of atheism.

    75. Sep 28, 2009—9:10 pm | Permalink

    I do not accept “might makes right” or “popularity makes right.” Reason makes right. Even if everyone in a society favors doing something irrational, that does not make it rational. Likewise, if everyone in a society thought that 2 + 2 = 9, that does not make it so.

    You proved once again why atheism is contradictory and untenable. You’ve said before that morality is when you have decided yourself, without benefits or threats, that this is the right thing to do. But now you are saying someone like Hitler who has decided for himself that killing other is a good and moral thing is unacceptable. As a matter of fact you go so far as saying even if everyone believes differently than you do, they are still wrong and you are the sole guardian of truth. This is the height of pompous and arrogant.

    As an atheist: I have no problem to butcher the Canaanite women and children, because I have no moral construct to make me feel guilty by plunging my sword into the belly of a pregnant woman. Survival of the fittest. Their death is a gain to my tribe. It isn’t any different than a lion tearing into the flesh of an antelope mother. As a matter of fact that beast is actually a cousin of mine.

  152. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm #

    Your question is irrelevant unless there is such thing as right or wrong. So you have to tell me first how you could even be outraged at such a thing.

    I have posed multiple questions to you multiple times and you keep ducking them. I understand why though, because all of your outrage and indignation collapses when you face the truth that atheism does not even allow for such a thing as moral outrage. Ironic.

  153. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    Don’t feel bad Ryan, EP has been ducking my questions for over a month.

  154. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 8:18 pm #

    EP, you have yet to answer our question about how you can base your morality on reason. I’ve answered plenty of yours… the ball’s in your court, if you ever bother to return serve.

    I have a feeling you don’t understand what we’re talking about, so that’s why you keep ignoring my questions. “I use reason to find my morality” is not an answer to “How can you base your morality on reason and consensus?”

  155. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 8:25 pm #

    Wow, three swings and three misses. No big surprise there.

  156. Sue October 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Darius,

    Perhaps you have an answer for this. Do you think that Eph. 5:21 means that a) Christians should submit to each other, or b) that some Christians are supposed to submit to other Christians? This was Carson’s topic yesterday on the gender blog, I think.

    If you pick a) then you are in tune with Calvin and the early church fathes as well. If you pick b) you are in tune with Carson, Grudem and Burk.

    How do you decide which? Do you use reason, or some other faculty to make this decision?

  157. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    Correction: none of you actually took a swing. You just closed your eyes, stuck your fingers in your ears and started humming loudly as the ball whizzed by.

  158. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 8:41 pm #

    Sue, I have no problem with using reason, just like I have no problem doing math. But only if they are both based on a standard outside of ourselves. In and of themselves, they have their limits. When it comes to morality, one can’t truly reason oneself to a universal standard. You can claim that treating women or blacks as equals is a good thing, but you have no basis to enforce that claim onto others.

    What EP doesn’t recognize is the inherent prejudices that he has based on his life as an American raised in a Judeo-Christian society (albeit one that is rapidly self-destructing). He wants to use some of the morality that he has received without acknowledging the standard from which it came. “Reason” is not enough to make him feel moral outrage if all we are is a bunch of cells that survive as best fits our needs. The moral outrage he feels is given from God via his conscience (even if it is warped in some areas, as everyone’s is to some degree before they come to Christ). An atheist LOGICALLY can’t have honest moral outrage except at something done against himself. He can feel moral outrage, but he has no explanation for it.

    Christians don’t have a problem with evil, atheists do. Christians explain evil pretty easily, atheists cannot. Of all animals, why do only humans show a propensity for sadism and evil behavior? Why, if this is merely a survival-of-the-fittest universe, do humans do things that are so opposed to such an idea purely to enjoy the suffering of another? Why did the terrorists in India spend so much time torturing that Jewish couple when they could have spent it much more “productively” killing mass amounts of people to further their political goals? Why do humans have emotions, when they tend to be fickle and decrease our chances of survival? Why do we think some things are beautiful?

  159. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 8:43 pm #

    “You just closed your eyes, stuck your fingers in your ears and started humming loudly as the ball whizzed by.”

    Like you’ve been doing from the beginning? I’ve shown you the courtesy of answering many of your questions, correcting you on quite a few spots. You have not shown me the same courtesy, choosing instead to avoid TRULY answering my main question (which others have also posed): What is your standard? Reason itself is not a valid answer. Even some of your fellow atheists recognize that.

  160. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Sue, regarding your question about Carson: I am not sure about the answer cause I don’t really care about this issue. I know that no matter what anyone says, you won’t overlook your past experiences, so why do I bother? You’re merely hear to stir up disunity in the Body. I’m sorry you’ve had bad experiences, but it’s time to move on and get over yourself. Plenty of people have had bad experiences with churches, but that doesn’t mean they turn bitter and borderline heretical in their theology.

    PEOPLE ABUSE THE BIBLE! That’s a fact of life… understand that and you’ll stop doing likewise.

  161. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    This should get you started.

    - – - – -

    From “Objective Morality
    Based on Scientific and Rational Reasoning”
    written by Eugene Khutoryansky
    http://ar.vegnews.org/morals.html

    My purpose in writing this is to argue for the existence of an objective morality based entirely on rational and scientific reasoning. By “objective morality” I do not simply mean that morality exists in the sense that various societies consider various actions to be immoral. What I mean is that certain actions are inherently right or wrong regardless of what any society thinks about them. In other words, I mean that there is an “objective morality” which exists independently of human beliefs and human civilization.

    There are many people who have the opinion that it is not possible to believe in such an objective morality without also believing in concepts such as God or an eternal soul. I believe that they are wrong. I will attempt to show that an objective morality exists and that this morality is the same regardless of which religion, if any, is correct.

    Many people believe that without a religious framework, the only possible conclusion is that all morality is nothing more than a human construct without any objective existence. In other words, what morality a person or a culture accepts is like picking a favorite flavor of ice cream. Some individuals prefer strawberry ice cream, other individuals prefer chocolate, and no person’s preference is “more correct” than another’s. In a similar manner, they argue, different individuals and different societies have various favorite moral belief systems, and just as with ice cream, no particular set of moral beliefs is “more correct” than any other.

    A common argument for this type of thinking is the following. Throughout history, different cultures have had vastly different moral systems. In fact, on almost any moral issue, it appears that there is absolutely no agreement or consensus shared by even a majority of the cultures throughout history. In addition to this, there appears to be no way to prove the superiority of one moral system over another using logic alone. So the only way in which one moral system can actually be the correct one is if religion is the tie breaker. That is, whichever value system the “correct religion” advocates is the correct value system. Otherwise, there is no way to decide between them.

    I believe that this type of argument is easily refuted. In order to argue for the existence of an objective morality, I will have to do more than just point out the flaws in lines of reasoning such as this. I will have to provide my own arguments that an objective morality does exist, and I will have to discuss where this morality “comes from”. I will also have to explain a process by which we can attempt to determine what it is. This is what I intend to do. I would first, though, like to take some time to point out some of the errors in the reasoning above. There are two points that the argument above makes. The first regards the lack of consensus regarding morality. The second involves the inability to prove the superiority of one moral system over another using logic alone.

    continue reading here:
    http://ar.vegnews.org/part1.html

  162. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    Let me second what Darius T said. Sue I am truly sorry for what happened to you. It was wrong, inexcusable, and evil.

    I pointed out earlier that I think you have yet to grasp what Biblical complementarianism really is. I would recommend you read Dr. Craig Blomberg on this subject as he clearly articulates the self-sacrificing nature of male servant leadership. And when you can actually speak of complementarianism in a manner in which someone who subscribes to it would agree with, then you might be more ready to engage in fruitful dialogue on the topic.

    @EP
    I answer your question and instead of answering the mound of questions I have posed to you I get a silly and banal baseball analogy. Lame.

  163. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Ryan,

    Where did you answer this question:
    “If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?”

  164. Don Johnson October 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Just drop the leadership part and I would agree with you.

  165. Sue October 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    Sue, regarding your question about Carson: I am not sure about the answer cause I don’t really care about this issue.

    You don’t regard this as a moral issue that Christians should be concerned about? I am afraid I can’t idenfify what kind of Christian doesn’t care about basic moral issues like this.

    I watched Denny Burk, Jim Hamilton and John Starke discuss how women were more honoured way back when. And I thought of how the aggravated assault and rape statistics have dropped by two thirds along with the domestic homicide rate.

    Steven Tracy claims that now 10% of women are abused phycically. And this is a significant drop. Just think of how many rapes, assaults and homicides the Hamilton-Starke-Burk coalition are referring to when they talk about how women were more “honoured” in the good old days. How honouring is rape, assault and homicide?

    I really cannot imagine how anyone could be as callous and disregrading of the physical well being of women as was demonstrated in that discussion. Exactly whose mother, wife, sister or daughter should be put out on the streets in remembrance of the good old days.

    I started commenting here before I left the violence of my life. I dragged everyone through the nonsense about authenteo and many other things. Slowly it all came together. There are no answers to these exegetical questions, it is all a mirage. No one ever answered any of my exegetical questions. John Starke blogged about how wrong I was on the creeds but now he admits he has no idea of the answer, and is not interested in finding out either. More important to reinstate the good old days when women were honoured by a heightened rate of all those good and women-honouring activities.

    I hope no one here really believes that these crimes honour women.

  166. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    EP instead of making read through another article that I suspect will once again lead us nowhere, why don’t you highlight the specific parts that answer our questions? Or do you think that just by throwing out an article without any specifics is an answer.
    I am pretty sure that this guy is clueless just by reading this statement.

    The first regards the lack of consensus regarding morality. The second involves the inability to prove the superiority of one moral system over another using logic alone.

    In case you might have ADD, let me remind you what the question is for the umpteenth time. Tell us why and how something is moral or meaningful when everything is a random purposeless collection of atoms. In order to create an atheist foundation of morality and meaning you must make sense of the fact that the random, meaningless, and purpose universe that created you and don’t care if you live or die actually has moral values and meaning. Otherwise your morality is nothing more than a random biochemical interaction that is inside a meaningless shell.

  167. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    How about you answer my question?

    If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

  168. DennyReader October 27, 2009 at 9:54 pm #

    Where did you answer this question:

    I don’t see the point in answering any morally related question to an atheist who is by definition amoral. You have no way of determining if the answer was good or bad beyond your own nose. This is why I’ve been trying to help you build that long awaited viable atheistic foundation to judge what is moral or immoral. So far you have none. All I am hearing from you is just some random noise from a random accidental collection of molecules from a meaningless shell. I am sure someone with the ability to reason can understand our hesitation to answer just some random noise.

  169. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    Since DennyReader seems to have forgotten much of our previous exchange, let me refresh his memory.

    DennyReader wrote:
    Do you not agree as an atheist that the modern Homo sapiens are the result of a random purposeless and meaningless interaction between matters?

    MrAtheist wrote:
    Yes. But it is the genetic fallacy to assume that we cannot have meaningful lives because our biological origins did not have meaning. That is an inference that makes no sense.

    MrAtheist writes:
    That is a textbook example of the fallacy of composition. You are claiming that the worldview of the atheist cannot have properties (such as meaning) that individual components (the physical matter) lack. This is false. For example, I am a father, but none of my atoms are fathers. I am a teacher, but none of my internal organs are teachers. As a whole, I can have properties that my components lack. So pointing out that atoms are “meaningless” or that human bodies are “objects” does absolutely nothing to show that atheists can’t have meaningful lives. Yes, I can be composed of meaningless atoms, but that does not mean that my life must be meaningless. That is just a fallacious inference.

    (After DennyReader falsely claimed that You say that John Loftus “admits that there is no reason for the atheist to be good.”)

    Loftus argues that atheists do have a reason to be good. He advocates an ethic that he calls “rational self-interest.” He distinguishes this from selfishness and argues that all moral codes are based on self-interest, including Christianity. Indeed, he says, Christian theology contains the greatest reward (heaven) and threat (hell) system ever devised. Christians are encouraged to be good to gain heaven and avoid hell – even if being good means the genocidal killing of babies (as in the book of Joshua).

    One more point – from the beginning of this discussion, you have been comitting the fallacy of consequences – This “is an argument that concludes a premise (typically a belief) to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences. This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise.” (wikipedia)

    You say that atheism leads to bad morals, therefore atheism must be false. Your premise is false, but even if it weren’t, your logic is faulty. By this reasoning, a religion that produces an even higher level of moral behavior – says Mormonism or Buddhism – must be true. I would rather know the truth, even if it is uncomfortable, than believe a comfortable myth.

    Let’s go over the fallacy of consequence again. You say that atheism is amoral. You further postulate that in a society where everyone is an atheist, there would be essentially moral anarchy(sort of like Switzerland or Japan, I suppose). Please don’t get hung up on the exact words. You and I know that this is your basic argument. Besides your false premise, you are wrongly stating that the desirability of the consequence dictates the truth of the belief.

    You say that “No one is obligated to live by anything you or an atheist conjures up.” This might have some validity to it, except that “rational self-interest” is universal. The job then becomes to convince others to act in their own self-interest and to create a set of laws that reflect this. Certainly, there will be some who refuse to do this, but that is why laws are set up to deter and/or apprehend such individuals. Rationality is a far better basis for law than creating laws because your deity said to. The problem there is that not everyone agrees on whose deity is the real one. Furthermore, vast numbers of people who agree on which deity, can’t agree on exactly what laws this deity wants.

    Alan Dershowitz said “Morality based on religion is often no morality at all. If you do it because of heaven or hell, or because an instruction book told you to, it’s not morality. It’s morality when you have decided yourself, without benefits or threats, that this is the right thing to do.”

    One of the most basic principles that emerges from rational self-interest is that one should treat others the way one wants to be treated. We immediately recognize this as the Golden Rule from Matthew 7:12, but this principle predates Jesus.

    Some examples:

    “When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.”
    – Euripides

    “All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.”
    – Aristotle

    “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
    – Confucius, The Confucian Analects 15:23

    Hinduism: “This is the sum of the Dharma (duty): do naught to others which would cause pain if done to you.” Mahabharata 5:1517.

    Islam: “Not one of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself.” The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi.

    Jainism: “One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.” Mahavira, Sutrakitanga 1.11.33.

    Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Go and learn it.” Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

    Sikhism: “I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.” Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299.

    Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.” Lao T’zu, T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien.

    Zoroastrianism: “Do not to others whatever is injurious to yourself.” Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29.

    Native American Spirituality: “We are as much alive as keep the Earth alive.” Chief Daniel George.

    Baha’i Faith: “Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you and desire not for anyone the things you would desire for yourself.” Baha’u’llah.

    Buddhism: “…Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.” The Buddha, Udana-Varga, 5.18.

    DennyReader writes:
    Atheist morality is totally subjective and vacuous. Which is why if you want to kill millions of unborn babies, this is perfectly acceptable to most atheists because no one else have the right to tell the other person what to do, right?

    MrAtheist writes:
    On utilitarianism, Kant’s categorical imperative, John Rawls’s contractarianism, and other nontheistic moral theories, one can most definitely tell others what to do. Because you are not familiar with nontheistic ethical theories, you make the typical mistake of thinking that all nontheistic moral theories are subjective moral theories. There are nontheistic, subjective moral theories, but the most popular ones in the field of ethics, the “major players” in the field, are not subjective.

    Hitler was irrational. Genocide is never in one’s self-interest for a rational person. This why a rational person can condemn all genocide – whether ordered by Hitler against Jews or by Yahweh against the Canaanites.

    I do not accept “might makes right” or “popularity makes right.” Reason makes right. Even if everyone in a society favors doing something irrational, that does not make it rational. Likewise, if everyone in a society thought that 2 + 2 = 9, that does not make it so.

    You are troubled that there is no outside force to say what morality should be. That’s true. All we have to make a good society is reason and experience. I’m sorry if that’s enough for you. That’s what was used to write the Constitution and what we use to make new laws. That’s what was used to write the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document far superior to the “perfect law” of the Old Testament.

    Again, every great thinker and most religions and philosophies have concluded that treating others as we wish to be treated is the only rational foundation for society. The fact that it is universal is not what makes it true. It is rather the fact that it is true that makes it universal.

    [Towards the end of that thread, DennyReader does make a statement that I pretty much agree with]

    DennyReader: “I am not able to prove atheism false just as atheists cannot prove that theism is false.”

  170. Ryan K. October 27, 2009 at 10:12 pm #

    Read the article EP and he makes the same errors you do.

    He mistakes the argument of the theist as being about the existence of morality, which simply is not the case. We are arguing about the obligation, the duty, the binding command of morality. Not if morality exists.

    The article confuses the “is” of morality with the “ought.” What makes the truth that rape is evil wrong for everyone? Notice I am not arguing for is it wrong, but if the atheist tells me that raping is wrong for everyone he must explain how it is binding for everyone. His own reasoning and cultural consensus is insufficient.

    So the question still stands to you: in a Darwinian worldview in which we are just animals what makes anything I do wrong, when all I am compelled to do by my biology is survive?

    So if I ought not to kill babies for fun you can not tell me why. To say the universe says its wrong and morality is like gravity; it just is (what your article argues for) is silly. The universe and its physical laws are impersonal and do not issue imperative commands to cosmic accidents who will soon enough suffer heat death and all that they did be deemed mute. Commands require commanders.

    Ohh and I did answer your question and the irony still remains.

    “Your question is irrelevant unless there is such thing as right or wrong. So you have to tell me first how you could even be outraged at such a thing.”

    Darwinism does not allow for right and wrong, only survival.

  171. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    What Ryan just said… the writer of that article doesn’t have a clue.

    “Genocide is never in one’s self-interest for a rational person.”

    Clearly, you haven’t read about the Rwandan genocide. I have read a couple books about it, and it was all couched in the idea that killing the Tutsis would be economically beneficial to the Hutus, since they would inherent the Tutsi land and livestock. A lot of “rational” people killed their neighbors and best friends while acting out a Darwinian morality play.

  172. Darius T October 27, 2009 at 10:52 pm #

    Morality is like gravity? That is silly argument coming from an atheist. As a Christian, I agree, because the same God made them both. Gravity wouldn’t exist without God, nor would morality.

  173. ex-preacher October 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    That’s not an answer, Ryan. It’s an excuse for not giving an answer.

    Interersting that Rwanda is considered the world’s most Christian nation. Ask them now if they still think they acted rationally. They actually were acting out a biblical morality play.

    Darwin explained the “is.” We have evolved to the point of understanding rationality, so we can go beyond the “is” to the “ought.”

    And still, not one of you will answer my question. I wonder why.

  174. Matt Svoboda October 27, 2009 at 11:18 pm #

    I just wasted a lot of time reading this thread… Shame on me.

    But I have one comment:

    The most telling thing in this entire thread is that Don Johnson never directly answered Denny’s last question directed to him.

    And I think I know why…

  175. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 2:31 am #

    (My comment got filtered out because of too many links. Sorry I have to take out the links so hopefully it won’t be too confusing.)
    Before I start on EP’s giant list of straw man arguments, let me demonstrate that EP is a liar and a deceiver. I don’t say this lightly.

    (After DennyReader falsely claimed that You say that John Loftus “admits that there is no reason for the atheist to be good.”)

    Now I can excuse EP for making a mistake if this was the first time he accuse me of with this false claim, but this is not the first time. I responded and showed him the exact time index of an audio where John Loftus admits that there is no reason for an atheist to be good. Look at this exchange.

    I first linked to this Loftus audio on “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52566″>62. Sep 26, 2009—2:57 am
    EP then replied with this comment on “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52583″>63. Sep 26, 2009—8:31 pm

    Re: John Loftus. You say that Loftus “admits that there is no reason for the atheist to be good.” I found his website
    http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/
    and book on amazon
    http://tiny.cc/hz6XC
    and learned that, once again, you have completely misrepresented an atheist’s view on ethics (surprise, I know).

    I then responded with the exact time index to support my claim. “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52587″>64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am

    once again, you have completely misrepresented an atheist’s view on ethics (surprise, I know).

    Surprising? Yes, each time you have accuse me of this you have been proven wrong, which leads me to conclude that you do not want to be confused by the facts. Listen to the audio again starting at time index 10mins and 45secs.

    You might say, maybe EP didn’t read your comment where you gave him the time index. But he did read that comment because he quoted from that same comment where I gave him the time index.

    You say that “No one is obligated to live by anything you or an atheist conjures up.”

    This quote comes straight out of the comment with the time index where Loftus admits that there is no reason for an atheist to be good. Now by bringing this up again and accuse me of making false claim against Loftus when he knows full well that is not true, I can only conclude that EP is a liar and a deceiver.

    Now on to debunking EP’s giant straw man. The story of David and Goliath comes to mind except I am not at the level of David and his straw man is a house of cards, so maybe the analogy is not as apropos.

    Before I dig in let me remind EP and others what my position is, so when you see EP’s smoke and mirror you can contrast it back to what I’ve really said. I will use a quote from comment “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52587″>64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am as my reference. It is about as concise as any that I’ve stated.

    I said atheists can try to create a set of codes to live by, but even that code which have no relevance beyond the nose that created it, has to be created outside the framework of atheism. An atheist can claim that he wants to live morally, his life have meaning and purpose because of his family, but that is outside of the context of a random, meaningless and purposeless materialism. The entire human race could be wiped out tomorrow and it would have no meaning as far as the material universe is concerned. An atheist can claim to have purpose and morality but he is just an object. An object composed by the accidental collision of atoms. Even the very thought of morality is merely the result of an interaction of mindless, purposeless, and meaningless atoms.

    What atheists have done is to build a facade, a house of straw on top of an amoral and absurd foundation. And everyone knows that the house is only as strong as its foundation.

    Let me make one more clarification. An atheist denies that there is a god, no creator, no one created matter it just exist. The consequence of this belief is that from the big bang to matters on earth, it is nothing more than the product of a mindless, meaningless, purposeless, amoral process. This is an atheist fact and well accepted by atheists themselves. This is the landscape that EP has to build on. Let’s start.

    DennyReader wrote:
    Do you not agree as an atheist that the modern Homo sapiens are the result of a random purposeless and meaningless interaction between matters?

    MrAtheist wrote:
    Yes. But it is the genetic fallacy to assume that we cannot have meaningful lives because our biological origins did not have meaning. That is an inference that makes no sense.

    EP thinks that by creating a term “genetic fallacy” he would be able to solve the problem. Did I say an atheist cannot have a meaningful life? No. Of course an atheist can have a meaningful life, but any meaning that he has is outside of his atheistic landscape. This is exactly what he is doing when he detaches meaning from his “biological origins”. The atheist is saying it doesn’t matter where, why or how we got here, we are here and we will create our own meaning.

    MrAtheist writes:
    That is a textbook example of the fallacy of composition. You are claiming that the worldview of the atheist cannot have properties (such as meaning) that individual components (the physical matter) lack. This is false. For example, I am a father, but none of my atoms are fathers. I am a teacher, but none of my internal organs are teachers. As a whole, I can have properties that my components lack. So pointing out that atoms are “meaningless” or that human bodies are “objects” does absolutely nothing to show that atheists can’t have meaningful lives. Yes, I can be composed of meaningless atoms, but that does not mean that my life must be meaningless. That is just a fallacious inference.

    Again with his terms. Let me try one myself, EP has cognitive dissonance. The only way he can claim any sort of meaning is to disconnect himself from the fact that he is nothing more than a random collection of atoms, that clumped together for no purpose whatsoever. The concept he calls meaning is nothing more than random biochemical interaction inside a meaningless shell. Does a rock have meaning? A rock is more than the constituents that makes it up? What about a cockroach? It is also a lot more than just a collection of atoms? Does it have meaning? If you squash a cockroach did you smash all the meaning out of it? The same creator that created that cockroach, created the atheist. If a giant asteroid hits Earth and destroys every living creature on it, does that have meaning? Will the Sun shed a tear? Will the universe stop expanding? If you reconnect atheism with its creator and back into its landscape then you’ve sucked all meaning, purpose and morality out of it.

    One more point – from the beginning of this discussion, you have been comitting the fallacy of consequences … You say that atheism leads to bad morals, therefore atheism must be false.

    EP is being very deceptive. Why didn’t you include my responses to your droning if you claim to be refreshing my memory of our exchange? Let me refresh your memory. You brought this up on comment “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52583″>63. Sep 26, 2009—8:31 pm I then responded with this comment “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52587″>64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am

    You say that atheism leads to bad morals, therefore atheism must be false.

    In fact you are the one with a bad habit of misquoting and misrepresenting what others say. I’ve never said that atheism leads to bad morals. Atheism is amoral. I’ve said as much in my last post. Atheism is not false. Atheism is so untenable is not even wrong.

    You then use a long comment to repeat yourself in “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52593″>65. Sep 27, 2009—12:27 pm and again in “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52610″>71. Sep 28, 2009—2:48 pm After repeatedly insisting that I’ve committed this fallacy, you are the one that actually stepped into it.

    This why a rational person can condemn all genocide – whether ordered by Hitler against Jews or by Yahweh against the Canaanites.

    I tried one more time to correct your misrepresentation in comment “www.dennyburk.com/?p=5340#comment-52616″>75. Sep 28, 2009—9:10 pm .

    Well if you would stop misrepresenting what I’ve said, then I would not have to tell you that you’ve missed it.
    Let’s try it your way.
    1. Atheism is amoral, meaningless and purposeless
    2. Atheists believe atheism have morality and meaningful.
    3. Atheism is internally contradictory and untenable and atheists are in a state of cognitive dissonance.

    DennyReader: “I am not able to prove atheism false just as atheists cannot prove that theism is false.”

    Wow, you must be desperate if you think this is some great victory for you. I assume you did understand that I was referring to proof in the scientific sense. And you do know that in science there is no such thing as absolute truth, right? In any case I did not set out to prove that atheism is false. I’ve only wanted to prove that if atheism is true then atheists are amoral, meaningless and purposeless. I think I’ve accomplish that.

  176. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 2:38 am #

    (My comment got filtered out because of too many links. Sorry I have to take out the links so hopefully it won’t be too confusing.)
    Before I start on EP’s giant list of straw man arguments, let me demonstrate that EP is a liar and a deceiver. I don’t say this lightly.

    (After DennyReader falsely claimed that You say that John Loftus “admits that there is no reason for the atheist to be good.”)

    Now I can excuse EP for making a mistake if this was the first time he accuse me of with this false claim, but this is not the first time. I responded and showed him the exact time index of an audio where John Loftus admits that there is no reason for an atheist to be good. Look at this exchange.

    I first linked to this Loftus audio on post=5340#comment-52566 #62. Sep 26, 2009—2:57 am
    EP then replied with this comment on post=5340#comment-52583 #63. Sep 26, 2009—8:31 pm

    Re: John Loftus. You say that Loftus “admits that there is no reason for the atheist to be good.” I found his website

    and learned that, once again, you have completely misrepresented an atheist’s view on ethics (surprise, I know).

    I then responded with the exact time index to support my claim. post=5340#comment-52587 #64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am

    once again, you have completely misrepresented an atheist’s view on ethics (surprise, I know).

    Surprising? Yes, each time you have accuse me of this you have been proven wrong, which leads me to conclude that you do not want to be confused by the facts. Listen to the audio again starting at time index 10mins and 45secs.

    You might say, maybe EP didn’t read your comment where you gave him the time index. But he did read that comment because he quoted from that same comment where I gave him the time index.

    You say that “No one is obligated to live by anything you or an atheist conjures up.”

    This quote comes straight out of the comment with the time index where Loftus admits that there is no reason for an atheist to be good. Now by bringing this up again and accuse me of making false claim against Loftus when he knows full well that is not true, I can only conclude that EP is a liar and a deceiver.

    Now on to debunking EP’s giant straw man. The story of David and Goliath comes to mind except I am not at the level of David and his straw man is a house of cards, so maybe the analogy is not as apropos.

    Before I dig in let me remind EP and others what my position is, so when you see EP’s smoke and mirror you can contrast it back to what I’ve really said. I will use a quote from comment post=5340#comment-52587 #64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am as my reference. It is about as concise as any that I’ve stated.

    I said atheists can try to create a set of codes to live by, but even that code which have no relevance beyond the nose that created it, has to be created outside the framework of atheism. An atheist can claim that he wants to live morally, his life have meaning and purpose because of his family, but that is outside of the context of a random, meaningless and purposeless materialism. The entire human race could be wiped out tomorrow and it would have no meaning as far as the material universe is concerned. An atheist can claim to have purpose and morality but he is just an object. An object composed by the accidental collision of atoms. Even the very thought of morality is merely the result of an interaction of mindless, purposeless, and meaningless atoms.

    What atheists have done is to build a facade, a house of straw on top of an amoral and absurd foundation. And everyone knows that the house is only as strong as its foundation.

    Let me make one more clarification. An atheist denies that there is a god, no creator, no one created matter it just exist. The consequence of this belief is that from the big bang to matters on earth, it is nothing more than the product of a mindless, meaningless, purposeless, amoral process. This is an atheist fact and well accepted by atheists themselves. This is the landscape that EP has to build on. Let’s start.

    DennyReader wrote:
    Do you not agree as an atheist that the modern Homo sapiens are the result of a random purposeless and meaningless interaction between matters?

    MrAtheist wrote:
    Yes. But it is the genetic fallacy to assume that we cannot have meaningful lives because our biological origins did not have meaning. That is an inference that makes no sense.

    EP thinks that by creating a term “genetic fallacy” he would be able to solve the problem. Did I say an atheist cannot have a meaningful life? No. Of course an atheist can have a meaningful life, but any meaning that he has is outside of his atheistic landscape. This is exactly what he is doing when he detaches meaning from his “biological origins”. The atheist is saying it doesn’t matter where, why or how we got here, we are here and we will create our own meaning.

    MrAtheist writes:
    That is a textbook example of the fallacy of composition. You are claiming that the worldview of the atheist cannot have properties (such as meaning) that individual components (the physical matter) lack. This is false. For example, I am a father, but none of my atoms are fathers. I am a teacher, but none of my internal organs are teachers. As a whole, I can have properties that my components lack. So pointing out that atoms are “meaningless” or that human bodies are “objects” does absolutely nothing to show that atheists can’t have meaningful lives. Yes, I can be composed of meaningless atoms, but that does not mean that my life must be meaningless. That is just a fallacious inference.

    Again with his terms. Let me try one myself, EP has cognitive dissonance. The only way he can claim any sort of meaning is to disconnect himself from the fact that he is nothing more than a random collection of atoms, that clumped together for no purpose whatsoever. The concept he calls meaning is nothing more than random biochemical interaction inside a meaningless shell. Does a rock have meaning? A rock is more than the constituents that makes it up? What about a cockroach? It is also a lot more than just a collection of atoms? Does it have meaning? If you squash a cockroach did you smash all the meaning out of it? The same creator that created that cockroach, created the atheist. If a giant asteroid hits Earth and destroys every living creature on it, does that have meaning? Will the Sun shed a tear? Will the universe stop expanding? If you reconnect atheism with its creator and back into its landscape then you’ve sucked all meaning, purpose and morality out of it.

    One more point – from the beginning of this discussion, you have been comitting the fallacy of consequences … You say that atheism leads to bad morals, therefore atheism must be false.

    EP is being very deceptive. Why didn’t you include my responses to your droning if you claim to be refreshing my memory of our exchange? Let me refresh your memory. You brought this up on comment post=5340#comment-52583 #63. Sep 26, 2009—8:31 pm I then responded with this comment post=5340#comment-52587 #64. Sep 27, 2009—1:13 am

    You say that atheism leads to bad morals, therefore atheism must be false.

    In fact you are the one with a bad habit of misquoting and misrepresenting what others say. I’ve never said that atheism leads to bad morals. Atheism is amoral. I’ve said as much in my last post. Atheism is not false. Atheism is so untenable is not even wrong.

    You then use a long comment to repeat yourself in post=5340#comment-52593 #65. Sep 27, 2009—12:27 pm and again in post=5340#comment-52610 #71. Sep 28, 2009—2:48 pm After repeatedly insisting that I’ve committed this fallacy, you are the one that actually stepped into it.

    This why a rational person can condemn all genocide – whether ordered by Hitler against Jews or by Yahweh against the Canaanites.

    I tried one more time to correct your misrepresentation in comment post=5340#comment-52616 #75. Sep 28, 2009—9:10 pm .

    Well if you would stop misrepresenting what I’ve said, then I would not have to tell you that you’ve missed it.
    Let’s try it your way.
    1. Atheism is amoral, meaningless and purposeless
    2. Atheists believe atheism have morality and meaningful.
    3. Atheism is internally contradictory and untenable and atheists are in a state of cognitive dissonance.

    DennyReader: “I am not able to prove atheism false just as atheists cannot prove that theism is false.”

    Wow, you must be desperate if you think this is some great victory for you. I assume you did understand that I was referring to proof in the scientific sense. And you do know that in science there is no such thing as absolute truth, right? In any case I did not set out to prove that atheism is false. I’ve only wanted to prove that if atheism is true then atheists are amoral, meaningless and purposeless. I think I’ve accomplish that.

  177. Sue October 28, 2009 at 2:49 am #

    Dennyreader,

    No display of illogicality can change for me the fact that CBMW wants to turn back the clock to the days when women were three times more likely to be raped, beaten and killed.

    It just doesn’t make any sense at all. Who would feel that way about women and why?

    I just don’t see Christians as moral agents any more.

  178. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    Darwin explained the “is.” We have evolved to the point of understanding rationality, so we can go beyond the “is” to the “ought.”

    Oh please this is such jibberish. How can you still claim that you use reason? You’ve evolved to the point to go beyond the “is” to the “ought”? How? What evidence do you have that this is true? There is not a single shred of scientific evidence that the “ought” is a product of biological evolution. There is not a single shred of evidence from logic and reason that the “ought” is from an atheistic framework. You should be ashamed of yourself to even dare to make that kind of statement.

  179. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 2:59 am #

    I just don’t see Christians as moral agents any more.

    I realize that several comments ago. I wish you all the best. I sincerely hope you will enjoy your life. At least thank God that you live in the U.S. where no one can force you to submit to anyone.

  180. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:18 am #

    Yes, I do thank God for the laws that make my life possible. I remember clearly when my church protested no fault divorce. I remember then how grateful I was that it was passed as a law, because I knew I would need it.

  181. Ryan K. October 28, 2009 at 8:50 am #

    Sue I think many of us have tried to be kind to you, but you really should be give up the posture of operating out of constant bitterness and anger.

    To accuse the CBMW of wanting to turn back clocks to where women are more likely to be beaten, abused, raped, and killed, steals all credibility you have on writing on this subject.

    It is just another example of you writing on a subject or about others in a way they would not recognize or agree with. Your conversations will be lonely, unfruitful, and polemic until you learn to be more charitable.

    I think this thread has run its course. EP, I would only ask you you go back and think through the MANY questions that have been posed to you and gone glaringly unanswered. I am fine if you want to be an atheist but spare us the moral outrage that imposes a self-made ought, upon others.

  182. Sue October 28, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    What must have happened is that Denny, John Starke and Jim Hamilton have no idea that violent crime against women had decreased and women are safer today in many ways, although there is still huge room for improvement.

    The laws regarding rape and domestic violence have changed enormously making life safer and better for women in many ways. This must be acknowledged. Did Christians make these changes? I don’t think so.

    We should celebrate these improvemnets and thank God for them. I do.

  183. Darius T October 28, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    “The laws regarding rape and domestic violence have changed enormously making life safer and better for women in many ways. This must be acknowledged.”

    Are you kidding me? Women have it much worse now in the West than they ever did before.

  184. ex-preacher October 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    Wow, all that verbiage and yet my simple question goes unanswered.

    Does any Christian have the guts to answer?

    If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

    Maybe you’re waiting for my answer to that question. Here it is: I would not obey such an order. Furthermore, I would do everything possible to keep others from following this order. That’s just how I roll, morally.

  185. ex-preacher October 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Darius: “Are you kidding me? Women have it much worse now in the West than they ever did before.”

    According to the Bureau of Justice statistics, the rate of rape has dropped from 2.8 per 1,000 in 1979 to .8 per 1,000 in 2008. Still, the incidence of rape in the U.S. is far higher than in Western Europe or Japan.

  186. Sue October 28, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    Since I am one of those statistics, I feel this as if my life and personal safety were considered a throwaway so that people can argue that women are safer under submission.

    The facts, however, demonstrate that women are in more danger from their intimate partner than from any other danger in their life. It is many times safer than in the past, but there is much room for improvement.

    Clearly there are many factors that make women safer, but going back to the good old days is not one of them.

  187. Nathan October 28, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    ex-preacher,

    The answer to your question (without the butcher statement) in it is: yes.

    The Israelites were commanded by God to serve judgment on a people who refused to repent though given 400 years. If I were one of the Israelite men in Joshua’s army, I would have destroyed the Canaanites.

    However, remember that Jesus, our brother and Savior, who came to share the gospel with us in order for us to avoid the same calamity, will also bring judgment one day to the world that is refusing to repent and will destroy them and send them to hell.

    So you think because I affirm that there are only two categories of people (those forgiven by God’s grace and the cross of Christ) and those awaiting judgment that that makes me a butcher?

    Or… it could mean that I have the antidote to everlasting judgment, but I can’t force people to receive a vaccine they don’t want.

  188. Brian Krieger October 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm #

    If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

    No, but I would have followed the commands of God given through Joshua (which was to slay the city, yes). Don’t recall a command to “your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman”. I’m not sure how the spirit moved back then to know, but marching around a city that then spontaneously crashes to the ground might have been a clue, I suppose.

    And EP, no, you would have followed the orders. It was the consensus of all of those people. That’s how reasoned atheist-based tendencies go. Atheistic reason would have been an arbitrary group consensus (actually, arbitrary isn’t fair. It would have been a man-based set of criteria to better that group). While I don’t understand why or really even how it was enacted, God worked to demonstrate it was He giving the command (the walls falling) that was to be followed. I don’t necessarily enjoy the thought of it, and, to be 100% honest, I can’t explain how or why it worked out the way it did.

    And I’m with Lucas. I wasted a lot of time catching up on this. Shame on me.

  189. Brian Krieger October 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I just don’t see Christians as moral agents any more.

    Very telling. As is the thought that somehow no-fault divorce is good. It may have some beneficial side effects (such as the ability to more easily get out of an abusive situation), but hey, pagan sacrifices also fed many people.

    I think it’s also interesting that you levee an accusation against someone who likely can’t defend themselves.

    I do second (or, at this point third/fourth) Darius and Ryan in that any abuse against you was unbiblical and sinful as was anyone who tried to explain it away. My heart and my prayers go out to you. I’m sure a little too late, you might say, but, still, they are extended.

  190. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    No fault divorce clearly has its problems. However financial issues should be dealt with under the law.

    In fact, no fault divorce has been linked to reduced domestic homicide and assault as well as possibly reduced female suicide.

    Since even a complementarian like Steven Tracy considers that 10% of women are in this kind of situation, why is it just me? Why don’t you think of the 10% of women that are similar to me? Is our life and safety to be sacrificed on the altar of biblical womanhood and the submission of women?

  191. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    PS Who have I attacked that can’t defend themselves?

  192. Marilyn October 28, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    If the topic is gender and theology, Sue and I typically disagree.

    But, I share Sue’s concerns about CBMW’s stance on domestic abuse.

    Here is the problematic sentence in CBMW’s statement on abuse:

    “In instances where abusers are unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change, we believe that the Christian community must respond with firm discipline of the abuser and advocacy, support and protection of the abused.”

    In other words, an abused wife will receive NO protection and NO support from her church unless the church leadership has made a determination that her husband is “unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change”.

    In other words, if a woman arrives on a church’s doorstep showing visible signs that she has been abused, nothing will be done to help her if, when her husband is approached by the church, he appears contrite.

    This is why Sue is angry and asserts that Christians are not moral agents.

  193. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    Marilyn,

    It is more than that. I attended the 1000 people congregation with many exemplary complementarian leaders. They preached submission of women.

    They never once mentioned abuse – not once. I went and asked the minister’s wife, “for a friend” if there was a booklist of titles on abuse that I could put on my blog, and she said that this church had no resources because there were no abused women in the church.

    These people knew me and my family well. You have no idea how well and how long this can be kept a secret.

    What I am saying is that there should be preventive preaching, not of the kind where Driscoll yells at abusive men, but rather, it should be direct teaching, more like Boundaries, where women are told how to set personal boundaries, and how to take over authority and control of their own lives.

    Women need to be told directly and openly that they have all personal rights over their own body, to not get pregnant, to be able to go to a gym, to leave the house to work, to go to the doctor, to undertake normal life sustaining tasks, without needing permission from a husband.

    I know this sounds crazy but the “submission in all things” does in fact reduce some women to not having bathroom rights.

    This is NOT a joke.

    But, instead, after the pastor knew what happened to me, he associated with Bruce Ware, and the youth pastor shortly after that preached on total submission and openly in his sermon, mentioned abuse of wives, and in a laughing and mocking tone, he said that all women with a husband like his wife were happy, and that any wives without such a husband as him could line up after the service for “therapy.” This was said as a joke, and everyone laughted, but my daughter stumbled out in tears.

    I feel that Dr. Packer and Dr. Ware have deeply influenced this congregation.

    Women need to be taught personal authority in the home. This is a must.

    As Susan Hunt says, women MUST be involved in the teaching about domestic abuse.

    Women must be told they have the same rights that Marilyn has to work. Her husband gives her this permission but the next husband does not. I had permission to work, but I could only leave the house at a certain time, and I could never work late. I had to be home at a certain time.

    While my husband was allowed to skip being home for supper whenever he needed to, I was never allowed to be away at mealtime. I was not allowed to go to the gym or to do many of the things that other women think are normal I couldn’t get my hair cut or take the children to have their haircut.

    But I had a good job and no one thought that I was being controlled and abused.

  194. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    I meant that the youth minister said that if a woman had a husband like the husband his wife had, then she must be happy, and then he laughed at the possibility that some women might be abused – ha, ha.

    These men are younger than me, not as well educated, don’t know Greek and Hebrew as well as me.

    I lived the life of slave, and of a prisoner, often in terror – in true physical indignity and violence – controlled always so that the bruises would not show in public.

    Do you know what it is like to not have a body free from bruises for 20 years. I don’t know how to make this real, but for MANY women it is real.

  195. Sue October 28, 2009 at 3:59 pm #

    Of the violent men that I know, they are missionaries, missionary kids, ministers, professionals, etc. and often have many good aspects and are often contrite. But eventually if they feel entitled to obedience, this takes over, and then they controll and hide the abuse.

    Some of them belittle and lie, or just manipulate women and demand or expect obedience and submission without violence. This is just as bad, or even worse, because of course who would not feel sorry for someone who was beat up every week or two for 20 years, and wore long sleeved shirts and couldn’t swim in public.

  196. Darius T October 28, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Sue, you lived in a cultish home, not a Christian one. That is pretty safe to say. Unfortunately, you now believe that your experience is true of many women in the Church. It may be true of many women in churches, but not in THE Church. My church is strongly complementarian, but abuse would never be allowed. We work closely with women’s shelters and would immediately come to the defense of an abused woman. THAT is what Christians do. Yet we also recognize the FACT that men are designed and meant by God to lead.

  197. Marilyn October 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    Sue,

    You were the victim of horrific abuse at the hands of your husband. Your church should have helped you seek protection, but did not.

    I disagree, however, that complementarian teaching supports abuse.

    It is a fact that the average husband is physically stronger than the average wife.

    Complementarian teaching calls on husbands to use their greater strength to protect women. You disagree.

    I’m going to bow out of the conversation now…..we’re at a point where we’ll just end up repeating our lines, to no one’s benefit and at the possible cost of an acrimonious interchange that is unbecoming to Christians.

  198. Don Johnson October 28, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    Men were not designed to lead without women, but they believe that after the fall.

  199. Sue October 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    I am trying to explain that the church is not at all “cultish.” It is a large mainline church where Dr. Jim Packer attends.

    The problem is that preventing abuse has to be taught even when you don’t know the abuse is happening. It has to be taught to everyone.

    In this present day, in North America the single highest cause of injury to woman is from her intimate partner. Police are good protection.

    Half of women live as single parents and are able to protect their children. Women are capable as providers and protectors. It is in the head. Women, both Christian and non-Christian, need to be given the mental attitude to protect them from abuse. They need to learn that a man is not a basic life necessity. A woman must leave a man if he is harming her or the children.

    This needs to be taught.

    I am surprised, given the significance of this crime, that CBMW does not blog about it more often, and get formerly abused women to share some of their experience.

    The Tracy’s have a lot of good material too.

    A woman I knew well had been raped in front of her children by her husband. He was not attending church at the time. But she was. She went to the elders for help.

    They told her to bake his favourite pie and nurture him. When she went to the doctor later, he reported the crime to the police and testified in court for her.

    At first she was afraid to go to court, because one of the elders was also a judge.

    There are not bizarre lone cases. This is just life, as it is.

    No one should preach about marriage or ever mention submission without having advertised available resources for escaping abuse first. A library, a counsellor, a safehouse, a fund for rehabilitation and support for the family.

    If the church cannot afford this, then they should not preach submission. The churches should be accountable for the unusual and cruel suffering of members of the congregation. Remember the woman who came to John Piper and said that her husband learned from him that he could control when she went to the bathroom. Who has helped that woman?

  200. Mrs. Webfoot October 28, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    Sue:
    There are not bizarre lone cases. This is just life, as it is.>>>>

    The churches that I am familiar with do address the problem of abuse, so I have trouble relating to what you are saying, Sue. The church we attend is a very traditional kind of church.

    What bothers me about the CBE – since we are throwing alphabet groups into the discussion – is their seeming lack of concern for children who are being abused by their mothers and men who are abused by their wives or girlfriends – not to mention sisters who abuse their brothers. Can you point me to articles at the CBE site or on the CBE blog where these issues are addressed in a serious way? By serious I don’t mean showing how men make women do bad things.

    Whenever I have brought up the subject of mothers who abuse their children I have been told by egalitarian apologists something like, “sure, mothers abuse their children more, but if fathers spent more time with their children, they would abuse the children more than the mothers do.”

    That is an intolerable, disgusting answer.

    Whenever the subject of female on female or female on male abuse comes up – and I have brought it up numerous times in discussion with egalitarians – the feminists either refuse to acknowledge it or rush to brush it off as women being pushed to the brink by some male in their lives, or some such nonsense.

    So, Sue, when the Christian feminists begin to address the subject of human on human abuse, without pretty much always presenting women as the innocent victims of abusive males, then maybe I’ll take your complaints more seriously. Until then, not so much.

    Then, the Christian feminists’ either tacit or open support of Margaret Sanger makes me almost physically ill. It’s fine to go on and on about this or that person or teacher either tolerating abuse or even promoting racisism, but what about the very serious denial and myopia that the Christian feminists suffer from in relation to Planned Parenthood and Ms. Sanger?

    Sue, I know that there are women who are abused by their husbands. I don’t doubt it for a moment. I don’t doubt that some of those husbands are Christians.

    What I have puzzled over for years now is the Christian feminists seeming total lack of concern for those who are abused or are being abused by their mothers, girl friends, or wives – or even other women who are being tormented by sisters or “friends.” I don’t get it at all. Can you explain that to me?

    I have looked at the CBE site in the past for articles about such things, but the silence is deafening.

    I did find one quite good article at the EEWC about female bullying. That’s about it.

    What gives? That is just one
    strike against Christian feminism, IMO.

    Yes, I promised to stay out of it, but the hypocricy of this just “frosts” me.

  201. Don Johnson October 28, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Webfoot,

    You are making false accusations and I wish you would stop.

  202. Don Johnson October 28, 2009 at 8:09 pm #

    http://www.peaceandsafety.com/

  203. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 8:15 pm #

    Wow, all that verbiage and yet my simple question goes unanswered.
    Does any Christian have the guts to answer?
    If you were a soldier in Joshua’s army and were commanded to butcher the Canaanite women and children, would you obey the order to plunge your sword into the belly of a pregnant woman?

    First all that verbiage demonstrated you are a liar. Second it showed that atheism is bankrupt. Third, I’ve answered your question but you either don’t understand it or refuse to accept the truth. Here it is again.
    I don’t see the point in answering any morally related question to an atheist who is by definition amoral. You have no way of determining if the answer was good or bad beyond your own nose.
    As an atheist: I have no problem to butcher the Canaanite women and children, because I have no moral construct to make me feel guilty by plunging my sword into the belly of a pregnant woman. Survival of the fittest. Their death is a gain to my tribe. It isn’t any different than a lion tearing into the flesh of an antelope mother. As a matter of fact that beast is actually a cousin of mine.

  204. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    Of the violent men that I know, they are missionaries, missionary kids, ministers, professionals, etc.

    Sue, could you give a list the names of these men, phone numbers and how they can be located? We might be able to have them arrested or put away. Would you be willing to protect other women from these men by providing the above information? Thanks.

  205. Ted October 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm #

    Don,

    Sue has been manipulating, distorting, and fabricating problems throughout this entire thread and you have not called on her to cease? What gives? As long as the lies go with your perspective.

    The constant misrepresentation on the part of Sue shows she is blinded by hatred and has little credibility to speak on the topic anymore.

    As the old saying goes; hurt people hurt people. That is exactly what Sue has demonstrated by her false extrapolating, and nasty insinuations about anyone who is complementarian.

  206. Don Johnson October 28, 2009 at 10:00 pm #

    I do not think Sue is lying on her experience. I do think Christians in general (including non-egals) that spousal abuse needs to be admitted as a problem and discussed, and protection offered to the abused.

  207. Sue October 28, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Ted,

    Denny Burk gets a gold star in my book for not stifling freedom of speech. However, I have to comment here giving access to my full legal name. I am not aware that Denny requires this of others.

    What exactly do you think that I have said that is not true?

    Dennyreader,

    Almost all the men I mentioned have been arrested and spent at least a night in jail – that is the usual.

    Mrs. W,

    The laws which helped me are completely gender neutral. They are designed to help people suffering any kind of violence.

    I am not a member of CBE and have no association with it. This site here is associated with CBMW. I can’t speak for CBE, but I note that Denny speaks for CBMW.

    If you want to know personally what I am involved in regarding violence against children then I can only say that I follow the usual social services, recommend family mental health clinics, go to my administrator who intervenes at times, and we have a program in all our schools called “roots of empathy” which is used to train the next generation in nurturing and care of children. I would like to think that we can do more.

    I am fairly recently out of my own situation and would like eventually to explore ways of helping others with their situations, whether they are men, women or children.

    I do know that most female on male violence does not cause aggravated bodily harm and does not cause the sequelae of physical illness that is typical in a female abuse victim. Typically a female cannot use violence to control every movement of an adult male. Female on male violence occurs more often in a mutually violent situation and does not create fear and terror. See Steven Tracy’s article.

    Although I do not think that women are any less sinful than men, typically men suffer from loss of intimacy, and financial loss, also being controlled through mockery or other ways. Elder abuse is perhaps another very worrisome area.

    In some ways all abuse is the same, and in other ways it is not. I don’t know all the details.

    However, I would never preach the submission of the male to the female so I don’t feel responsible for providing financially for the retirement pension of the male who is forced to obey his wife, and is not allowed to plan his own retirement.

    Many women who have been obedient and submissive have a lot of difficulties approaching retirement – difficulties that not of their own making.

  208. DennyReader October 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    Almost all the men I mentioned have been arrested and spent at least a night in jail – that is the usual.

    Give us the list of their names. There is no reason to protect these unbiblical misogynous men, is there? So other women are the rest of us can condemn them and guard against them. Sue you have a responsibility to protect other women.

  209. ex-preacher October 28, 2009 at 11:38 pm #

    I am glad that Brian and Nathan were honest in answering my question, but yet thoroughly disgusted that they would choose to murder a defenceless person. I regard the murder of innocent, unarmed women and children as among the most cowardly acts a human being can commit. Your views are no different from those of Islamist terrorists who murder civilians in obedience to their religious beliefs.

    Your answers are line with the saying:
    Morality is doing the right thing no matter what you are told.
    Religion is doing what you are told no matter what the right thing is.

    It is a sign of your arrogance and ignorance that you claim to know an atheist would murder an innocent person. You have shown that you know very little about such things.

    I am not all surprised that the Three Amigos – DennyReader, Darius T and Ryan K. – refuse to answer. The dilemma hey face is clear. To say they would disobey the command to murder would put them in disobedience to their god, yet they have enough reason (morality) to realize that to slaughter an innocent person is wrong. The fact that you recognize this gives me some hope for you. I encourage you to nurture that spark or morality and help it grow.

    I do sincerely hope that you all live long enough and use the intelligence you have to think, to question and to doubt. The truth has nothing to fear from sincere questions.

    The fact, Ryan, that the god of the Pentateuch, as bloodthirsty and vengeful as he was, is outdone by the god of the Revelation, who promises to eternally torture those who believe the wrong thing is nothing to be proud of.

    It is astonishing that many of you who are so prolific at spitting out vitriol against others have demonstrated no ability to explain your own basis of moral reasoning. I and many others have demonstrated the basis for a universal and objective morality based on reason. I am convinced tht immorality is irrational. Since you reject reason as a tool for testing moral values, you have no problem with a god who tortures babies, sends plagues, orders murder and robbery, has rapists marry their victims, treats women as property at worst and second-class people at best, drowns children and tortures believe eternally because they don’t love him as much as he “loves” them.

    I’m taking an out of town trip so will take the opportunity to exit this thread and allow you each to have the last word, as I’m sure you would insist on anyway.

    I hope you all have a safe and Happy Halloween!

  210. Sue October 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm #

    Dennyreader,

    I would like to draw your attention to the fact that you are commenting here in direct contradiction to the wishes of the site owner, that all commenters be known to him at least by their legal names.

    How do I know that you are not one of these men taunting me into talking about it in public.

  211. DennyReader October 29, 2009 at 12:08 am #

    How do I know that you are not one of these men taunting me into talking about it in public.

    Sue, Burk has my real name from my email. You’ve never had a problem about this before I started asking you to protect other women. Do you hate women so much that you won’t help them? Even women complementarians deserve to be protected don’t you think? It is your responsibility to give us the names of these evil men, living like wolf among sheep as missionaries, missionary kids, ministers, professionals, etc. If you don’t expose these people you become an enabler for women abuse.

  212. DennyReader October 29, 2009 at 12:36 am #

    Your answers are line with the saying:
    Morality is doing the right thing no matter what you are told.
    Religion is doing what you are told no matter what the right thing is.

    What is disgusting is that your atheistic system would allow the killing of 80 million people. I don’t hear EP make a peep about the millions of babies that are slaughtered. Talking about morality with an atheist is like talking morality to a cockroach. He has no understanding of morality. His morality is as whimsical as the wind. Today he said murder is wrong. Tomorrow he will say murder is right. Will he feel guilty about it? Not in the least bit because EP answers to no one except his own nose. Yet he has the pompous arrogance to tell everyone else how wrong they are. Why should anyone give a whit what a bombastic and self delusional atheist like EP has to say about morality. EP is a hypocrite.

  213. DennyReader October 29, 2009 at 12:39 am #

    I am not all surprised that the Three Amigos – DennyReader, Darius T and Ryan K. – refuse to answer.

    Well, EP when are you going to apologize for being a liar?

  214. Ted October 29, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Well Sue,

    As Ryan pointed out earlier you have been manipulative of the views of complementarians and describe them in the most unfair, uncharitable manner possible. In fact so much so, that one who says they are a complementarian would not even recognize what you are talking about. This can be seen by Darius earlier saying that you were part of a cultish home not a Christian home.

    It is terribly unscientific to extrapolate your one experience onto the whole.

    And as it has already been pointed out to you, your abuser was not operating out of a complementarian view of living servant leadership in which he put the good of his family above his own. No, what you experienced had nothing to do with what complementarians are talking about. Rather you went through chauvinistic abuse that is the result of unrepentant sin.

    As was recommended to you earlier why don’t you go read some of the writings by Dr. Blomberg on the topic before you continue to draw you manipulative link between complementarianism and abuse.

  215. Ryan K. October 29, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Okay EP I will give this one more go.

    I did answer your question you just did not like my answer. Maybe because it did not fit with your gotcha game.

    But even in your last post you once again went on with a litany of moral language. I just had to skim right over it though because I am still not sure on what grounds your worldview allows you to do so.

    I even read your silly article told you why it was bunk, and how you still are faced with the problem of grounding your morality in a Darwinian worldview that only compels us to survival. Your moral outrage is white noise until you can explain how something is objectively right or wrong for everyone at all times and in all places.

    Let me also just ask why are you outraged at God killing the Canaanites? I hear this atheist argument often and once again am perplexed. Just as a judge in our culture is rightfully and legally allowed to sentence criminals to punishment in our society, so is God allowed to judge that which is under his rule and law (which all of the world is).

    Your question presupposes that the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth is not allowed to judge humans. That he somehow lacks jurisdiction over this earth. It equates murder as if I went over and stabbed the guy sitting across from me at Starbucks. Yet this is not the case. You might have missed the big “E” on the eye chart here EP, but God is God, therefore giving him JUST authority to carry out punishment to sinful humanity. In fact not one person in this world deserves any different than death, outside of God’s great mercy in Jesus Christ.

    So your hypothetical really is a question of what right does God have to be God? And for that I can only ask you, what right do you have to judge God’s right to judge? How arrogant.

  216. Darius T October 29, 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Fine, here’s your bone, EP. If I lived back then and God had said to kill all the baby-sacrificing Canaanites, I would have done so in a heartbeat.

    Now answer my question!

  217. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    Don:
    You are making false accusations and I wish you would stop.>>>>>

    Don, I would have to start making false accusations in order to stop.

    Just show me the articles if you wish to prove me wrong.

  218. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Sue:
    However, I would never preach the submission of the male to the female so I don’t feel responsible for providing financially for the retirement pension of the male who is forced to obey his wife, and is not allowed to plan his own retirement. >>>>>

    Would you tell children to obey their parents? Would you tell school children to do what their teachers say?

  219. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    ex-preacher:
    Maybe you’re waiting for my answer to that question. Here it is: I would not obey such an order. Furthermore, I would do everything possible to keep others from following this order. That’s just how I roll, morally.>>>>>>>

    ex-preacher, I’m glad that you are pro life.

  220. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Note to Sue,

    Sue, what I would like to see from you is an article, a blog post, a comment or anything from you and from the other very vocal egalitarians that address the very real issues of female on female violence, female on male violence, female on child violence, relational aggression, and so forth. You have written extensively about your own experiences. You have written extensively against the CBMW, insinuating that all Complementarians are either abusive or victims of abuse. You have written extensively about the problem of men abusing women.

    Not even one little post or article about the broader issue of domestic violence and female bullying? Yes, when pushed for your views you throw out a sentence or two, but what about some articles?

    Your reaction is pretty typical of the Christian feminists, and I wonder what gives. Maybe for you the abuse topic is only a stalking horse for feminism. It seems that way.

    Otherwise, you come across sounding unbalanced as far as your views go and you open yourself to the charge of being bitter. You actually undermine your own arguments that way, IMO.

    This myopic view of abuse is one of the things that really, really turned me off from the egalitarian position. I don’t like women being presented as victims and weak. Why would I want to follow an idealogy that uses women’s victimhood in order to advance the agenda? It makes no sense to me.

    That’s just my opinion.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  221. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 11:56 am #

    Marilyn:
    Here is the problematic sentence in CBMW’s statement on abuse:

    “In instances where abusers are unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change, we believe that the Christian community must respond with firm discipline of the abuser and advocacy, support and protection of the abused.”

    In other words, an abused wife will receive NO protection and NO support from her church unless the church leadership has made a determination that her husband is “unrepentant and/or unwilling to make significant steps toward change”.>>>>>>

    Marilyn, where did you get the full quote? Why does the last paragraph have quotation marks around it?

    I don’t read the CBMW statement that way at all. I know that in our church if a woman comes for help because she is being abused, the pastor first helps her apply for a restraining order. Then he deals with the guy if it’s safe.

    Marilyn:
    In other words, if a woman arrives on a church’s doorstep showing visible signs that she has been abused, nothing will be done to help her if, when her husband is approached by the church, he appears contrite.>>>>>>

    Nonsense!

    Then, Sue, I noticed that you claim your experience to be fairly recent. How many years has it been?

    I do not doubt your story, Sue. It might be good, though, for you to take a little break in order to think through the whole subject of domestic violence and abuse in all its forms. It would do you good, IMO. Some of your conclusions are skewed, IMO.

    Yes, now I’ll try to keep silent, but this is a subject that affects all of us.

    As far as women’s happiness goes, I am much happier when I stay out of these gender debates. I am sure that others will say a hearty “amen.”

    God bless us all as we seek the truth. May His gracious Holy Spirit lead us into all truth, as Christ promised. May our focus be on Him and His glory.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  222. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    PS
    My real name is Donna L. Carlaw. I don’t mind revealing my name, but you might call my using a nickname part of my “strategy” for keeping myself safe online.

    My husband believes that is best since I have been the recipient of some harassment. I now take the measure necessary to keep myself safe online. I now have a strategy.

  223. Sue October 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    Thanks Donna – I do know your name, of course.

    I only write blog posts about Greek but no more. I have found that it is irrelevant. I know now for a certainty the following –

    1) there is no lexical evidence that authenteo means “to have authority” with a positive overtone. Kostenberger agrees with this.

    2) there is no argument for Junia being “known to the apostles.” For example, the NET Bible says,

    “Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.”

    However, there is no “word of perception” in this verse at all. Wallace and Burer have slipped into the notes something which does not exist. They are like magicians creating the impression that they are doing exegesis but they aren’t. It is amazing actually.

    Ask Denny Burk some day to identify the “word of perception” in this verse. He won’t be able to.

    Denny knows and I know that this is all a charade. It’s a game.

    3) There is no historic tradition in the church for intepreting Eph. 5:21 as “some Christians are to submit to other Christians.”

    This interpretation was invented in the last few decades.

    Ask Denny to cite even one theologian (not alive now) who thought that Eph. 5:21 means that some submit to others.

    4) There is no rational explanation for why Christ is equal to God in power, but not equal to God in authority. Both of these words, power and authority, were used to translate exousia in Greek.

    There is no explanation for how Denny can affirm the doctrinal statement of the ETS and still claim that Christ is unequal to God in other ways.

    This is all what I used to write about. But now I know that no one really cares about finding answers to these things. So I don’t post any more. Why bother.

  224. Mrs. Webfoot October 29, 2009 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey, Sue, thank you for your response. Sue, you have the right to believe what you believe, associate with anyone you wish to associate with, hold to any idealogy that you choose – as long as it doesn’t involve illegal activity – and express your sincerely held religious convictions. I respect that.

    I regularly visit people who do not have those rights guaranteed to them by their nation’s constitution. Even though I heartily disagree with you on these gender issues, I suspect we may find points of agreement on other subjects.

    I am very concerned about those who are being abused. I put my money and my life where my mouth is, too. :-)

    Of course, it may be worth only 2c anyway. FWIW, I do care about finding answers to these things. it’s just that I am satisfied with the Complementarian answers, and not so much with the egalitarian ones. I do have some favorite egalitarian writers and speakers, though, but I have found that does not matter in how I am characterized online.

    That’s just the way it is.

    God bless you, Sue, as you seek Him and His glory,

    Mrs. Webfoot

  225. Sue October 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    I am sure we would have a lot in common and I am glad that we have not come to saying unkind things to each other on the internet after all this time.

  226. Marilyn October 30, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Mrs. Webfoot/Donna:

    My earlier quotes were from the following document:

    http://www.cbmw.org/Resources/Articles/Statement-on-Abuse

    The sentence about protection of abused women is clearly a conditional statement.

    CBMW also argues that in marriage, the husband reflects Christ as Lord who reigns, while the wife reflects Christ as the Savior who submits to the Father’s will [which was that Christ suffer on earth for our salvation]. (See CBMW’s February 22, 2008 gender blog entry for the details of this argument.)

    Sue puts these two together and sees CBMW as espousing the view that in marriage, it is the wife’s role to submit to suffering.

    I don’t believe for a minute that this is CBMW’s position, but in light of CBMW’s conditional statement about protection of abused women, defending CBMW against Sue’s interpretation is difficult.

  227. Sue October 30, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    Thank you Marilyn,

    I am not alone. There are many blogs, not of feminists, but of former complementarian women, blogging the unfortunate circumstances of their former situation –

    Submission Tyranny
    Emotional Abuse and your faith
    Because it matters
    No longer quivering
    Adventures in mercy
    Woman submit

    There are also many books being published on this problem. I don’t think it will go away.

  228. Mrs. Webfoot October 31, 2009 at 4:12 am #

    Sue and Marilyn, I don’t deny that there can be abuse in relationships. I just have a broader understanding of the breadth and depth of the problem based on where I have been, what I have seen, and what I have experienced myself. I don’t see it as being gender specific at all, or age specific.

    I definitely see abuse as a human heart, sin issue.

    Otherwise there would never be egalitarians who abuse their power, but I KNOW that is not true. I have egalitarians friends who were fired from their pastorate because they were too arrogant and heavy-handed for the congregation’s liking.

    I could also talk about egalitarian political systems, but that would get ugly. People don’t want to hear it.

    The problems that I have brought up will not go away, either.

    Hey, again, it’s nice to talk with you good folks, and God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  229. Sue October 31, 2009 at 4:53 am #

    I don’t see it as being gender specific at all, or age specific.

    I whole heartedly agree with you. Male or female, comp or egal, Christian or non-Christian, we all have potential to abuse.

    What I cannot understand is, given this fact, why create an imbalance of power with women on the bottom.

    Here is C.S. Lewis,

    “I am a democrat [believer in democracy] because I believe in the Fall of Man. I think most people are democrats for the opposite reason. A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that every one deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost. Much less a nation. . . . The real reason for democracy is just the reverse. Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.”

    C. S. Lewis, 1943
    (“Equality,” in C. S. Lewis: Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces, ed. by Lesley Walmsley [London: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000,] p. 666)

    How can anyone read that and give a husband unchecked power over his wife. What a tragedy.

  230. Mrs. Webfoot October 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot:
    I don’t see it as being gender specific at all, or age specific.>>>>>

    Sue:
    I whole heartedly agree with you. Male or female, comp or egal, Christian or non-Christian, we all have potential to abuse.>>>>>

    Wow, Sue! It does my heart good to have you say this. See, we do agree about a lot of things.

    Sue:
    What I cannot understand is, given this fact, why create an imbalance of power with women on the bottom.>>>>

    Well, for one thing, putting men on top and women on the bottom, or men and women on equal footing – if that is how you wish to look at relationships – has no influence over the human heart.

    A position of power can be used as a springboard for abuse. A position of equality can be used as a springboard for abuse.

    Besides, God is always on top, and people are always on the bottom as far as power goes. God does not abuse His authority, does He? We are never on an equal footing with God, but are always under His rule. Surely you do not call that an imbalance of power.

    Then, in Christian marriage, the picture is not one of power, but rather of love, submission, and self-sacrifice. None of those are “power” words. They are words of kindness and equilibrium.

    The husband leads his wife as her servant. The wife submits to her husband as his suitable helper and dearest companion. Each one loves and serves the other, but each in his or her own way – as male and female complements.

    Many men and women fail to grasp the implications of their roles as husband and wife, but the roles are Biblical just the same.

    They are a picture of Christ and His church after all.

  231. Mrs. Webfoot October 31, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    PS
    I am sorry that your marriage was not what it was supposed to be and that you suffered because of it.

  232. Don Johnson October 31, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    Lead is a power word, and CBMW teaches such by claiming the decision making authority.

    Serve is not a power word. A husband is called to serve his wife.

  233. Ted October 31, 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    Lead is a power word? Don this is just nonsense and subjective. Jesus shows us servant leadership in Mark 10:45 and the way he gave himself up for his bride, the church.

    In the world lead may be a power word, but I think your failing to account for the radical nature of the Gospel and the ethic which the New Testament writers were teaching. While the world leads with power, the Christian leads with service and love. Jesus, husband, elder, pastor all lead by serving those who they lead and sacrificing themselves for the good of those they lead.

    So please lets stop with the unsupported notion that lead is a power word.

  234. Don Johnson October 31, 2009 at 7:11 pm #

    OK, if it is not a power word, then they is no problem not going along with the (supposed) leader. This is where the rubber meets the road, despite the cloaking of the situation by the non-egals.

  235. Sue October 31, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Authority is, by definition, a power word. Authority and power are both translations of exousia in the Greek New Testament. Our concepts of authority and power in the church come from the King James Version which used both power and authority interchangeably for exousia.

    My issue is that the manhood teaching gives authority (power) to the male specifically and explicitly. The manhood teaching is that “submission” ALWAYS means submission to authority (power.)

    This power, this greater power of the male, is what is wrong. It is not true to say that one can abuse equally from a position of equality as one can from a position of power.

    It is better understood that one can abuse much more from a position of power, but the power may be gotten in many different ways. Assigning authority to the male is one way that men get power. They have power from greater physical and financial resources already.

    Women may have other ways to get power. But, when power (authority) is explicitly assigned to the male, with the understanding that wives who resist this power will be told they are going to hell, then men have an extreme form of spiritually controlling power which they can and do abuse. They destroy both body and soul.

    And yes, we all abuse power. This is why we need to live in communites with many relationships, with our siblings, parents, neighbours, and fellows.

    But when husbands get too much power, they restrict phone calls and social interaction and bind women in unhealthy ways. No one should be given too much power.

    Ted,

    The scriptures never say that men lead women, so I don’t know what that is about.

    The scriptures never say that men or husbands have authority over women either. But the church says that men have authority over their wives.

    Here is Tim Keller on this subject,

    “Christians are for democracy because we believe in sin. Many folk believe in it for the opposite reason. Rousseau believed in democracy because he thought that people were so wise and good that no one is fit to be a slave. Of course, Christians wish for no one to be a slave, but we believe democracy is good because no one is fit to be a master!

    Because of sin, people misuse absolute authority. Thus it is clear that monarchy, wise and good kings, would be a form of government that very much fits the Trinitarian pattern. God is a King, not a President, and our spiritual lives are based on monarchy. So why don’t we have Kings? The answer is that we have to abolish monarchy due to sin. We have to treat all people as equal. …

    In summary, the pattern of rule-and-submission is greatly muted in society because of sin. People abuse authority, so politically, all authority must be elected authority—and all individuals must have access to places of authority.”

    From The Role of Women in the Church by Tim Kellter.

    Why does Keller say that individuals must have access to places of authority to prevent abuse against authority. Why does he say that authority must be elected, and presumably also unelected as well. Why does Keller not want people to be abused in society, but he has no concern about women being abused in marriage.

    Why prevent abuse in society by democratic structures, and not do so in the home? Are women not deserving of the same consideration as men. Clearly they are not, according to Tim Keller.

    Keller writes about women,

    “When we come to Scriptural teaching on women-in-the-church, we discover again a different pattern. Unlike in marriage, all women do not submit to all men. But unlike society, there is a Trinitarian pattern. It is not muted.”

    Where did hearts get so hard baked. I am in agony at the sheer indifference to suffering which is under your eyes every day. What are women worth?

    Why is authority muted for men in society, but not for women in marriage? Are men so fragile that they cannot take being under authority, but this is suitable for women?

    Why is Keller concerned for men to have access to places of authority but not for women in the home?

    I tell you that I cannot fathom the sheer cruelty of this kind of thinking. It boggles my mind that women must suffer what men fought a revolution to escape.

    Somebody explain to me the cruelty of this teaching! Please!

  236. Mrs. Webfoot October 31, 2009 at 7:18 pm #

    Don:
    Serve is not a power word. A husband is called to serve his wife.>>>>>

    Servanthood in the Bible involves the inner attitude one has while fulfilling his or her role. A leader rules as one who serves.

    Of course, against all logic, hermeneutics, and historical understanding of the word, “kephale” is stripped of all its true meaning, making a husband only the source of his wife and not her leader.

    You need to read Chrysostom to see that even in 4th century Greek, “kephale” indeed did imply “superority of rank.”

    Egalitarians generally take one quote from his sermon On the Veiling of Women and try to point out the he, a patriarchalist, would support the egalitarian understanding of the word “kephale.” That in itself is highly suspect and doubtful in the extreme.

    If you read the whole sermon, he actually uses the word “kephale” to show that the woman had the inferior rank since her husband is her “head.” I have told you that before, but I don’t expect you to modify your understanding.

    You have the right to hold to your errors. It is still a free country.

    Taking quotes out of context is one of the egalitarians favorite exercises. Don, the truth is the truth, and you cannot make it go away. “Kephale” means “the one who rules because of his higher rank and the source from which all authority and power flow.”

    Now we can all be happy that we have finally brought the topic of why feminism has not been able to deliver on the happiness goods around to the all-consuming subject of the meaning of “kephale.” ;-)

    My dear egalitarian friends, keep trying to reduce the meaning of that word to “source.” Your efforts are entertaining if nothing else.

    Take care, Don,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  237. Sue October 31, 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    Donna,

    Then you do agree with the superior rank of the male – isn’t this giving more power to the male?

    Isn’t it wrong in your country for sexual relations to take place between someone of higher rank and someone under their leadership? It certainly is here.

    It is always wrong for sexual relations to be between someone in authority and someone under that authority. It is the greatest sin in the world, the violation of all that is intimate and sacred and a destruction of every trusting feeling in the body.

  238. Sue October 31, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Okay, it isn’t the “greatest sin :0 but it is abhorrent in its own way.

  239. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    Sue, there is One who has been entrusted with all authority.

    All human authority is derived.

    You are thinking in secular terms, not Biblical. I cannot relate to your way of thinking, since it is syncretistic – a combination of Biblical-sounding language with the feminist worldview. You are presenting a version of what is rightly called ” feminist liberation theology.”

    Much has been written on this subject. Personally, I reject anything that has a Marxist view of power struggle as its point of reference.

    I, Sue, can indeed fathom the horrors of Marxism in all its forms, since I have had such direct involvement with those suffering under its jack-booted “egalitarianism.”

    So, I guess that’s where the discussion always breaks down. It is a clash of worldviews. Only one of them is truly Christian, though I do not doubt that many real Christians have been duped into swallowing the poison.

    God bless, and have a blessed Lord’s Day,
    Mrs. Webfoot

    For anyone interested, I would point them to the works of Mary Kassian who has done a masterful job of exposing the true nature of feminist theology, even in its “Evangelical” forms.

  240. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 12:34 am #

    PS
    Sue, Don, and any other egalitarians here, I want to say that I don’t think that you are deliberately misrepresenting the truth. You believe what you are saying and believe it to be true.

    Also, I am not in any way, shape or form judging your relationship with the Lord. I would not have trouble believing that you are far better Christians than I am or ever will be.

    I am not saying what I said as a personal attack. I hope you understand that.

    I cannot change what I have seen, experienced, observed, studied, and lived through. Neither can you.

    Again, may God’s gracious Spirit lead us into all truth. I wish you all the best.

  241. Sue November 1, 2009 at 1:59 am #

    Donna,

    This is the first time I have seen a quote from Tim Keller labeled Marxist, but there is a first for everything.

    Keller claims we should not have a monarchy because of sin. He says that everyone needs access to the places of power – except women when in church and in marriage.

    Does he somehow see men as being less sinful in church and in the home? We don’t have to look far to see how wrong that is.

  242. Don Johnson November 1, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    kephale is not REQUIRED to be seen as authority, one needs to discern the metaphor whatever it is, where ever it is used.

    Because CBMW wants so much that kephale MUST mean authority, it ends up with many of its adherents believing in ESS, which leads to tritheism.

    Of course the solution is that kephale need not mean authority.

  243. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    Sue, nice try, but I did not label Keller Marxist. I do label feminist theology as part of what is properly called “liberation theology.”

    It is your theology, Sue, and that of Don and the CBE, that I label liberation theology. It is a perversion of the Gospel.

  244. Sue November 1, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    Donna,

    You misunderstand the way I came to my present understanding. It was mainly through discussion here and finding out that there is no exegetical foundation to the notion that a husband has authority over his wife, or that women shall not have authority over a man, and so on,

    One of the major turning points in my belief came through reading Dan Wallace’s article on Junia. This caused a major shift in my belief. I realized then that exegesis was often the reading into scripture of male attitudes toward women, because there is no doubt at all that the Greek says Junia was among the apostles.

    I haven’t read “feminist theology” and I don’t really know what it is. I realize that some women did women’s studies at university, women like Mary Kassian, but not me.

    I started to cry as I read Tim Keller, the protection of the individual from the abuse of the state, and the submission of women to the husband without protection.

    I cry at the cruelty of those Christians who lay a woman on the altar of male fallibility without a conscience.

    It is from the inside of Christianity that I see the hardenss and callousness and the constant willful promotion of male priority and male will. I can only say that it is the epitome of sin to me.

    Perhaps because I use the word power, it makes you think of some kind of liberation theology or feminist theology.

    But it is because power is the translation of exousia in the KJV that I use this word. It is an exegetical choice that I use this word.

    You can replace it with authority if you like every time. My experience is that gender based authority is the opposite of morality based authority. I don’t think, as far as I know, that these conclusions come from any feminist theology. I would have no idea, perhaps you can cite some known feminist to demonstrate this to me.

    You don’t understand the life of someone who had her reading material controlled and censored for thirty years, and read no feminist books of any kind. You really don’t get the picture of my life.

    Yes, I was allowed to read Aristotle and I realized that Christians now teach the teachings of Aristotle regarding women, and not the teaching of Christ. But no feminist book taught me this.

  245. Sue November 1, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    PS It wasn’t CBE either that taught me the sin of gender based authority. No, it was Wayne Grudem and Dan Wallace.

  246. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Sue, you are not telling the whole story that you have told other places.

    I know what theology you are promoting, and it has a name.

    Then, Don, with all due respects, egalitarians have been asked to give even one Greek quote where “kephale” is used to mean “source” where it doesn’t also refer to the one with the highest rank.

    The usage of “kephale” as “source” beggs the question. Source of what?

    It doesn’t really matter, since all the arguments about “kephale” and “abuse” and even Tim Keller are just red herrings. The real agenda has to do with introducing Evangelicals to feminist liberation theology – something most of us would reject outright if we knew up front what it was.

    I agree with Kassian that it is a different Gospel. What I can’t figure out is why some who are extremely concerned about Patrios introducing a different Gospel utter narry a word about the dangers of feminist liberation theology.

    I have to wonder why, since I get no answers – real or otherwise – from the anti-patrio brigade. What I have gotten are numerous angry emails, comments at my blogs, general harassment, and even intimidating phone calls. I have to wonder why.

    No, I do not think that all egalitarians are up to their necks in feminist liberation theology and are therefore distorting the Gospel. I still like, even love Dorothy Sayers and the Briscoes.

    You good folks are presenting a different Gospel – one that you believe to be the truth. I just wish that you would be less sneaky about it.

  247. Sue November 1, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    Donna,

    I don’t know what you mean by “you folks” and why I am sneaky. I don’t think that I have any more connection to CBE than you do. I have commented there a few times.

    My writing on kephale as source are derived from my classical training which I received in the orthodox manner by studying classical, Hellenistic and Koine Greek every day of my life from the age of 14 to 21. I assure you that Christians for Biblical Equality were on the periphery of my experience. I had heard of them, I do admit that.

    Read my post today on my blog and see what I refer to. Have I ever read a book by an egalitarian, yes a few, here and there, but many more by complementarians.

    People keep asking why I don’t critique feminist liberation theology. But I have to ask what you are refering to? I really don’t know.

    Have I sent you angry emails? No, and I don’t know anyone who has. I don’t know anything about this, but nobody is better than anyone else. Egalitarians are not better people. Perhaps more realistic. Since they accept that everyone is sinful, they do not put a woman under her husband’s authority.

  248. Sue November 1, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Donna,

    I would like to take this opportunity to clear something up.

    Three years ago, apparently, according to something that you said on the internet, someone called you “Madame McCarthy.” When this happened it seems that you thought that I had something to do with this, or perhaps someone was comparing you to me.

    I really have no idea what happened or where. However, I do know that you lit into me something fierce and I was terribly upset about being attacked by you – someone I had never heard of.

    I have no idea what happened, but I must assume that by now, you know this wasn’t me, and that I don’t know anything about it.

    I do know that people have said a great many things about me that are not true. I suppose this is par for the course.

    I am sorry if this has happened to you also.

    I always try to provide a citation if I critique someone. I don’t want to make things up.

  249. Don Johnson November 1, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    I do not see kephale as a metaphor always as source, in Eph 5 I see it as a head/body metaphor of unity, just like the unity of the body of Christ is supposed to be.

    Sue has some great resources on kephale as source, I recommend them. The CBMW position depends on the kephale metaphor ALWAYS implying authority and this is simply not the case.

    Jesus came to set the captives free, of which I was one and still am to a certain extent, that is the extent of my knowledge of “liberation” theology. I believe that Paul taught the individual’s need for salvation first, but that this would result in social changes AKA the Kingdom of God advancing. That is, as people treat each other as God intends, it is a given that society will become more just, etc.

  250. Ted November 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    The charade has grown rather stale to keep saying that Kephale can, or does mean source in its Biblical context. There have been exhaustive studies done on this now that demonstrate that Kephale simply does not function in the manner egals want it to. One can only assume their unwillingness to concede this point has more to do with their preferences than faithfulness to the text.

    When you have to stretch, and mold the text to such great lengths you might want to consider the agenda you are so bent on serving to make the text fit around it. Its like those who spend such extravagent efforts to explain away the atonement and the propitiation it involves.

    Sadly this is just another example in church history of trying to mold Scripture rather than being molded to it.

    And the non-response by Sue now has grown equally tiresome as it has been pointed out to her by countless commenters what true complementarianism is and the servant nature of it. Yet she keeps persisting in her gross caricatures of it.

    Mrs. Webfoot hit it on the head in saying that Don and Sue seem to think constantly in worldly terms when it comes to matters like “power, servant, lead, and roles.” Importing dominance when its just not in the Bible or what the Bible means by them.

  251. Sue November 1, 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    Ted,

    I have read the exhaustive studies. Is there some particular detail you would like me to address. I have blogged about this topic today. Choose anything at all. I am not avoiding the studies – believe me.

    When I use the term “power” I think of it as a synonym of “authority” since it is a translation of exousia, as is authority.

    If you are arguing that the husband is the servant of the wife, and does not have authority over the wife, then I am glad to hear it. But I am not sure what you are saying. Perhaps you would clarify what you mean. Thanks.

  252. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 6:04 pm #

    Ted:
    Mrs. Webfoot hit it on the head in saying that Don and Sue seem to think constantly in worldly terms when it comes to matters like “power, servant, lead, and roles.” Importing dominance when its just not in the Bible or what the Bible means by them.>>>>>>

    Thank you, Ted. I would like to know what Sue and Don think of penal substitutionary atonement, too. That would reveal what Gospel they are preaching.

  253. Sue November 1, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    Ted,

    Let’s look at the Greek. We are only going around in circles in English. Here it is, Luke 22:25-26,

    ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· οἱ βασιλεῖς τῶν ἐθνῶν κυριεύουσιν αὐτῶν καὶ οἱ ἐξουσιάζοντες αὐτῶν εὐεργέται καλοῦνται.

    ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐχ οὕτως, ἀλλ’ ὁ μείζων ἐν ὑμῖν γινέσθω ὡς ὁ νεώτερος καὶ ὁ ἡγούμενος ὡς ὁ διακονῶν.

    Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. NIV

    And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. 26 But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. ESV

    In this verse, the word for “the one who rules” is also translated as “the leader.” This is because the word can have both meanings, or the meaning is the same.

    In my reading, these are synonyms,

    - the one who rules and
    - the one who leads

    And these also

    - exercise authority (not the word used in 1 Tim. 2:12 BTW)

    means the same as “have power over”

    The point Christ is making is not that “being a leader” is different from “having authority” but rather that the follower of Christ who is a leader, must be a servant.

    But what does this mean that the leader has no authority? Good question. What do you think?

    In any case, Christ does not say that the husband must have authority over the wife. In law, at that time, a husband did have authority, but I don’t see Christ affirming this.

    Did the author of Ephesians? I am not sure about this, but if he did, he also affirmed the authority of the master over the slaves. Slaves were denied the right to marry, so some could read Ephesians as being a letter which denies the right of slaves to marry and therefore negates the value of marriage.

    I think Ephesians is using certain images to communicate certain things, and asks a Christian to remain in the condition in which he or she is found at the time.

    You have to take it within its context and understand that the author does not provide any means by which slaves can marry and therefore is not making permanent and universal statemenst regarding the state of marriage.

  254. Don Johnson November 1, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    If the husband gets the last word, then he has the power and when he has this it can even distort the conversation before any final decision is reached. Those with power can deny they have power which makes it even more powerful, so beware such people.

    Jesus paid a debt he did not owe to save me from my sins and death.

    Sue has addressed the so-called exhaustive studies on kephale that claim it means authority. Everyone should be diligent and study both sides on this issue to discover the truth.

  255. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    The “head” of the wife has the highest rank not because he is better than the wife whom he rules, but because God has set it up that way.

    Christ is the head over the husband, and the Father the head over Christ.

    The word “kephale” cannot be divorced from its meaning of “highest rank.” Thinking of “kephale” in terms of “source” leads to a nonsensical and even heretical understanding of Christ as Lord of His bride, the church. Christ is diminished, and that is intolerable.

    That is where the worst errors of egalitarianism pour into their Christology and their Gospel.

    All the talk about “abuse” is just the side show. The real problems are in many egalitarians’ Christology and soteriology. The CBE is especially guilty of redefining Christ in feminist terms – not to mention their understanding of the person of the Father.

    So, I would like to know what our egal friends’ views of penal substitutionary atonement are.

    Pretty much all that they have said can be properly called red herring arguments. What about the nuts and bolts of the Gospel?

    Did Jesus have to be born a Man? Do we have to think of God as our Father? Is “penal substitutionary atonement” a form of “divine child abuse”? …and so forth…

  256. Sue November 1, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    >>The word “kephale” cannot be divorced from its meaning of “highest rank.” Thinking of “kephale” in terms of “source” leads to a nonsensical and even heretical understanding of Christ as Lord of His bride, the church. Christ is diminished, and that is intolerable.

    Lots of people say that Christ is diminished if we cannot pray to him, since the Father is sovereign over him. I don’t think that egalitarians have an edge on diminishing Christ.

    IMO, the word kephale is used in a different sense in 1 Corinthians and in Eph.

    I won’t be discussing substitutionary atonement in this thread.

  257. Sue November 1, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    The ways to disassociate kephale from superior rank is to understand that it was used for those who did not have superior rank. Philadelphus did not have superior rank in his line of kings. He was not the authority over his father. He was kephale because he was most famous.

    Adam did not have superior rank over the human race. One gets the impression that he did not keep his children in line either.

    There are so few people ever called kephale that this is a little tricky to discuss. I suppose Jephthah had superior rank over his army.

  258. Sue November 1, 2009 at 6:40 pm #

    Can you think of any other examples?

  259. Don Johnson November 1, 2009 at 6:56 pm #

    The Bible uses metaphors to explain God to us and uses both male and female metaphors, including father and mother.

  260. Ted November 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Sue read your post and still think my previous comments stand about your vigorous attempts to fit a square into a round hole. The calories you burn trying to justify the obscure unlikely reading is incredible and violates the very basic rules of hermeneutics.

    Of the 2,336 uses of Kephale from the wide range of ancient Greek there are none where Kephale indisputably means source. So you are trying to argue that Paul clearly means something that the word never otherwise meant, odd.

    In addition those who have set out to plug their ears and cover their eyes about Kephale meaning authority have had to reject evidence from the Septuagint, Apostolic Fathers, evidence from the Plutarch, and all of Church history.

    And what is the basis for all of this? Two disputed ancient writings that have little warrant to be accepted as a general source, rather referring to the head of the river.

    Sue I know you are aware of all of this, but why not just ask yourself why you spend so much effort in trying to make the Bible say something other than what it clearly does. I know you have experienced abuse, but this does not give us license to abuse the text.

  261. Sue November 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    Ted,

    I am not burning calories. I already learned to read Greek long ago. There are passages where it indisputably means origin. This is what I claim.

    Of the 2 thousand whatever occurrences you refer to, how many indisputable mean authority? Can you cite one of them? Do you know what any of them refer to? Do you think any of them even bear citing?

    Find one passage that used the word kephale to refer to a person who is the leader of his house, family, tribe or nation. I think you will see how difficult this is. Not impossible, but difficult.

    My pastor made this same statement to me, and I didn’t argue at the time. I thought that he was right – then I started looking up the references for kephale meaning a person who was an authority – and it all fell apart.

    But what do you say to the abused? Do you have some standard, some rule where a wife can tell when to no longer regard her husband as an authority? The first hit, the first swear word, the first time a voice is raised? The first time he takes her car keys, her visa card? Adultery, gambling, abandonment, unkindness?

    What do you advise?

  262. Sue November 1, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    PS Thank you Ted for reading my post. I was specifically refering to the use of kephale in 1 Corinthians where it makes much more sense to say that man is the origin of woman, because woman is from man, however, man is also from woman.

    In fact, I would read 1 Corinthians as saying that man shares his nature with woman, Christ shares his nature with man, and God shares his nature with Christ.

  263. Ted November 1, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    Sue, I have yet to see a definitive case, nor do the majority of scholars, where Kephale absolutely means source.

    I think your question about counseling an abused woman, which I have done in pastoral ministry, is of vital importance. As I have stated repeatedly here I do not think the gross caricature of men dominating women is what complementarianism is or what the Bible teaches.

    I would never counsel, nor would any complementarian I know, for a woman who is being abused to remain in that situation and take it. A man’s role is to lovingly die to himself for the good and service of his wife and family. That is the confines of his leadership. Jesus would never beat his bride, and any man who would do so to his deserves to be dealt with harshly as the church rallies around the victim to care for her.

    Women are never to submit to sinful behavior of their husband and to suggest this is what complementarians teach just simply is not true. The husband does not have the authority/right to sin against his wife and call it leadership. Rather his leadership is ALWAYS for her good.

    My wife is first and foremost a follower of Christ. I am to wash her in the word and present her blameless to Jesus on the day of judgment. For any man who thinks he has the right to dominate his wife for his own selfishness or sin will be held accountable by Jesus at the final judgment and ideally by the Church community presently.

  264. Sue November 1, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    Ted,

    >>Sue, I have yet to see a definitive case, nor do the majority of scholars, where Kephale absolutely means source.

    I can say the same about authority. I note that you do not seem to disagree with this. It is equal then. Both source and authority are interpretations of kephale.

    Why do some insist on intepreting kephale as authority, and therefore disadvantaging the woman in terms of authority?

    I am sure you are an exemplary husband. How do you know that other men are also?

    I don’t think most complementarians would advise a woman to stay in an abusive situation. Some have, but most would not.

    However, the problem is that it is almost impossible for a woman to negotiate help and her own resistance to abuse when she is denied personal authority. It is very difficult. Her husband does not allow her to attend counselling, to phone her friends without recounting the content of her phone calls, etc.

    What I see most often is that complementarians teach that a woman has to have as many children as her husband says, often to the detriment of her own body, she has to only work when and where he allows, go to church where he says, and save money when and how he says, and so on.

    All of this is terrible abuse for some women.

  265. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Sue, “kephale” is the transliteration into English of the Greek word. No, we have not been going around in linguistic circles.

    And, Sue, don’t worry about your guilty conscience. No problem. I let that go long ago. I like you, even though I disagree on pretty much everything you say.

    Why do I bring up my online treatment at the hands of egals or those sympathetic to the egal position? It’s because of all the egal bragging about how they don’t abuse people, and that they want their groups to be safe places for all sides, and other such nonsense. It’s just not true.

    Don’t worry. I am healed. In fact, I now have a strategy. It involves not looking kindly on any email and telephoning sprees in the future. No, you never did that sort of thing and I can’t imagine that you would.

    Take care, Sue, and “gang”, and have a good week. I seem to be coming down with the flu, but I hope that all the rest of you stay well.

    My Mexican friends tell me that the Swine Flu is not nearly as bad as Dengue, so I’m banking on those words.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  266. Mrs. Webfoot November 1, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    PS
    Sue, it is admirable that you have studied Greek. It is admirable that I have studied Greek. I’m sure that many of the guys here have studied a LOT of Greek.

    I have also studied Latin and I am fluent in Spanish and English – sometimes. Our family is literate and I am living with 2 polyglots – one of them a native speaker of Spanish. So, Sue, it’s not like the rest of us are language idiots.

  267. Sue November 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm #

    Wow – that’s funny. I don’t have a guilty conscience but I somehow thought you might. Guess I misjudged that.

    No, I don’t know anything about what you are talking about except that something happened at some time, and I hear about it but I don’t know about it.

    Have a good week.

  268. Larry S November 1, 2009 at 11:31 pm #

    Ted wrote (post 265)

    My wife is first and foremost a follower of Christ. [b]I am to wash her in the word and present her blameless to Jesus on the day of judgment.[/b]

    Ted, I’m sure you mean well. But, I think you are reading way, way too much into the Eph 5 text. Take another look at the text. I truly doubt you are going to be ‘handing over’ (like the father of the bride in wedding in pat society) your bride to the King of Kings.

    I truly think my comp friends need to pay a bit more attention to v.32 of the Eph-5 text.

    I realize I’m jumping into this conversation way too late. But that sentence of Ted’s just jumped out at me. Is this a standard comp reading or interpretation of the text?

  269. Mrs. Webfoot November 2, 2009 at 12:24 am #

    Sue, we’re even. No guilty consciences here – just friendly dialogue. I want it to make sure that it stays that way.

    Larry, you bring up an important point, one that I always ask my egal friends to pay a bit more attention to be before they strip the word “kephale” its real meaning of “authority over.”

    Are you willing to diminish Christ in order to empower women?

    …and now I gotta’ go take care of my flu…

    …and, no, I don’t think it’s sin to pray to Jesus or the Holy Spirit, FWIW. It’s just not exactly proper form.

  270. Larry S November 2, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    Ms. Webfoot
    metaphors are just that metaphors – they can be pushed out of shape.

  271. Sue November 2, 2009 at 1:22 am #

    Take care of your flu. Good night.

  272. Mrs. Webfoot November 2, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    Thank you, Sue. So far I’ve not gotten worse.

    I was thinking of you this morning, Sue. You may be interested in this Ron Rhodes series on feminist liberation theology. I think that he did a great job. I’m surprised that you don’t know what feminist liberation theology is, but maybe…

    http://home.earthlink.net/~ronrhodes/Liberation.html

    Have a good day, and stay well. The flu is no fun at all.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

    PS
    Larry, so for you, the verse has no real meaning? What’s your point?

  273. Larry S November 2, 2009 at 4:28 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,
    From my perspective, the sentence I copied from Ted’s post indicates he is pushing the metaphor ‘Head’ too far in his reading of the Eph-5 text by him speaking of a husband presenting his wife washed in the Word and purified to Jesus. This sounds like the husband somehow takes on the salvific, sanctifying work of Jesus or the Spirit. That’s why I asked if Ted’s understanding of the text is a standard comp interpretation (I’m still wondering).
    My posts are merely a request asking if Ted’s interpretation is considered normative for comps.

  274. Mrs. Webfoot November 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Thanks, Larry. In the Danver’s Statement, there is nothing that would put the husband in the position of “the salvific, sanctifying work of Jesus or the Spirit.”

    I have seen where Dr. Ware has been accused of teaching that women are saved – as in eternally saved – through childbirth. I wrote a blog post about that, pointing out that those who were making that accusation were severly distorting the actual words of Dr. Ware in what I believe to be an attempt to discredit a fine man of God.

    I may or may not be in complete agreement with Dr. Ware, but one thing I do know. He does not teach that childbearing has anything to do with a woman’s justification.

    Does that help?

  275. Larry S November 2, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    Not really Mrs. Webfoot in terms of the language used by Ted in his post (265) ‘I am to wash her in the word and present her blameless to Jesus on the day of judgment.’

    Do comps believe, based on their reading of Eph-5, that the husband will do what Ted suggests. Do you (and any other comp who cares to post) agree with the way Ted has worded his ‘eschatological’ role in terms of somehow presenting his wife to Jesus?

  276. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 2:40 am #

    Larry, if they don’t they should. I’m glad that you pointed out Ted’s post. Would that all Christian husbands took their role that seriously and that lovingly!

    Note that Ted is not saying that he is to wash his wife with his own words, but with the Word – the Word of God. That is, with the Gospel and with the whole counsel of God. A woman so washed will certainly be made ready to meet her Savior, unless she is dead spiritually and hostile in mind to that Word.

    I am always amazed at what egalitarians will find offensive and spiritually dangerous. Do you think that a husband who bathes his wife in the Word of God is somehow a threat to her?

    I don’t think so.

  277. Larry S November 3, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    You havn’t spoken to the explicit eschatological aspect or role in Ted’s comments.

    I can see where a comp might see the notion of ‘washing in the word’ as an extrapolation of his ‘leadership’ role. But what of this notion of ‘presenting her blameless to the Lord?’

    I’m also wondering if this eschatological understanding of Eph-5 (relative to the husband) has any other i) biblical warrant or ii) is there any other human relationship where one party is somehow viewed as presenting the other party ‘blameless to the Lord on the day of judgement?’

  278. Sue November 3, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    Would that Paul had said that slaves had the right to marry, or the right to raise their own children. I do not see Eph. 5 as affirming marriage in a universal way, but only using the image of marriage as a metaphor for Christ.

    Paul does not speak to the importance of marriage in general but rather says that the husband, for those that are legal husbands, they must follow the law of providing support for their wives.

    Slaves must just make do, and one hopes that the Christian master would not make frequent use of his female slaves. Nevertheless, the children belong to the master, regardless of who fathered them.

  279. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    I get it, Larry. This is one of those “gotcha’” questions. You are trying to establish the “fact” that Complementarians teach that a wife is dependent on a husband for her salvation. Am I right?

  280. Larry S November 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    Nope.

    I consider myself a respectful visitor to this site. Truly trying to understand the comp view.

    I’m hoping what Ted is expressing is considered an error by most comps.

  281. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Okay, Larry.

    Can you put what you explain more fully what you understand to be an error?

    Complementarians do not teach that any other person is able to save or sanctify any other person. God uses means, but it is God who saves an individual and the Holy Spirit who sanctifies any individual believer.

    One of the means that God uses is the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. A husband has a special responsibility to his wife to make sure that she is receiving good spiritual food, since he is her leader.

    He and his wife have a similar responsibility towards their children, but they cannot force their children to believe.

    How do you understand the husband’s responsibility to wash his wife with the Word? Will Jesus ask him how he executed his ministry to his wife?

    I think that He will. Why wouldn’t He? We are justified for all eternity when we believe in Christ. Even so, there comes a day when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ. I think it’s pretty serious stuff, and I don’t think all Christians take the judgment very seriously.

    Romans 14:10
    You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.

    2 Corinthians 5:10
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

    4.Hebrews 13:17
    Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.

    5.1 Peter 4:5
    But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.

    3.Hebrews 4:13
    Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

  282. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm #

    Sue, I’m a little surprised at your low view of Scripture. What is all this junk about Paul and slaves?

  283. Ted November 3, 2009 at 3:13 pm #

    Larry I think you are majoring on the minors and getting lost in over analyzing.

    This may be the fault of blogs in general as one tends to just pick a phrase or word and then parse it into oblivion.

    I simply meant that I have a spiritual responsibility to lead my family and pastor them.

    I tremble at reality I will one day stand before Jesus and give an account of all the God has entrusted to me, including my family, and have to speak to how I cared for them.

    I was thinking more here about how the egals continue to get a brain freeze at this idea of leadership being a power word and being a position of dominating another. Last night I was reading and was reminded of how Jesus told his disciples as they grappled over being the “greatest” (certainly a power grab on their parts) that the first shall be last and and that if they really wanted to be great they would take the lowest position possible and serve.

    Just like how it has already been covered, Mark 10:45 gives us the rubric that Biblical leadership is actually servant leadership. Leadership that postures itself to die to self, and always put the betterment and care of that which it leads above itself.

  284. Sue November 3, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    I am just explaining what the scriptures do and do not do.

    The letter of Ephesians does not enable slaves to solmenize their marriages or have authority over their children. A male slave has no authority over or formal relationship with his female partner.

    This is not a pro-marriage document but rather, it supports the present social arrangement for better or worse, and by teaching mutual submission, introduces the notion of improving these arrangements.

  285. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Okay, so the Church is in a relationship of mutual submission, right? The Chruch has equal authority with Christ. He doesn’t have a higher rank than her. They are on the same level and He would no more tell her what to do than a real Christian husband would tell his wife what to to. If the Chruch doesn’t feel right about anything Jesus tells her to do, she doesn’t have to do it. Jesus would never “pull rank” on His bride. That would be a form of slavery.

    Right?

  286. Sue November 3, 2009 at 7:31 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    There is no need to get upset about this. I am not forcing you to believe that Christ gives himself for the church. He has done this.

    It is not a shame that Christians have lifted slaves up to an equal footing. It would not be a shame either if men treated women as equals. Treating others as you would like to be treated is not a shameful thing to do.

    It stings yes, sometimes, when a woman realizes that she has never been treated as an equal and doesn`t know what that feels like. This awareness if very painful.

  287. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    Sue, not to worry. I am not upset. If I came across that way, I didn’t mean to.

    I just wonder what you do with Christ’s authority over His bride, the Church. The logical conclusion would have to be that Christ and His bride are also in a relationship of mutual submission. One does not rule over the other, but the two are on an equal footing.

    I agree that Christ raises His Church with Him, to His side, but He is still Lord. He is still the One she is to obey.

  288. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm #

    It must be painful to be treated as less than human. I sorry that a man who called himself a Christian did that to you, FWIW.

  289. Don Johnson November 3, 2009 at 9:42 pm #

    The point is while Jesus is MANY things including Lord, rabbi, prophet, shepherd, etc. none of those other things are being discussed in Eph 5, just serving functions.

    That is, the 1st century culture taught and assumed that a husband rules his wife and a wife obeys her husband, but Paul does not even mention anything like that. Instead, he calls on the husband to love and serve his wife. And uses Christ as a model for this serving.

  290. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 10:15 pm #

    Sue, that is because you insist that “kephale” does not mean “authority over.” You are using an inaccurate definition, so your exegesis of the passage is all wrong.

    Here we are back at the main bone of contention – the meaning of the word “kephale.”

  291. Mrs. Webfoot November 3, 2009 at 10:24 pm #

    Larry, you are probably bored to tears by now, but I was thinking of something. I have read commentators – and if you press me, I would not mind looking up the sources for you – who say that the beginning of Adam’s sin, the beginning of his failure was when he just sat there and allowed his dear, sweet, bride to eat the forbidden fruit, knowing what would happen to her.

    He was there with her, after all.

    Whether that interpretation is true or not, we do know that the last Adam, the Bridegroom and Redeemer of the Church, did not just sit there and allow His bride to suffer the full consequences of her sin against Him. He effectively laid down His life for her, purchasing her with His blood, raising her spiritually into the heavenly places, and that He will present His bride spotless before the Father.

    A human husband is just a little metaphor, a little parable if you will, of who Christ, our Bridegroom Redeemer has done for us. A human husband does not take the place of Christ, he is just to model Christlikeness to his bride, even in the care of her spiritual state. A good husband will not sit back and allow his dear wife to stray into sin.

    The OT examples of the redemption of a bride include Ruth and Gomer. Ruth needed rescuing from her helpless position in society. Gomer from her prostitution.

    I think it’s a beautiful picture, myself, even though husbands do often fail to live up to the standard. Very few of them are actually abusive, though.

    PS
    Sorry, Don, for mistaking you for Sue.

  292. Larry S November 3, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    Mrs Webfoot (responding to your post #283)

    U wrote: “Can you put what you explain more fully what you understand to be an error?”

    Ted in 265 wrote, referring to the understanding of his ‘role’ as a husband towards his wife: “I am to wash her in the word and present her blameless to Jesus on the day of judgment”

    I continue to be curious and would like to know if what Ted is expressing is considered a comp understanding, application of Eph-5. I truly would like an answer.

    I understand that comps believe husbands will somehow be held ‘accountable’ for the way they have discharged their duties as leader of their wives. I agree, to the extent that I believe all believers will be judged accountable on how they interact with others. Mrs. Webfoot I appreciated the list of biblical references you supplied (#283). I note the Hebrew 13.17 text (‘regular church people’ to church leaders) says nothing about the leader’s eschatological responsibility to present ‘regular’ church people blameless, holy, without spot or wrinkle to Jesus.

    To cut to the chase: it’s the eschatological aspect where I see an error: the husband is to ‘present her (wife) blameless to Jesus on the day of judgment.’ IMO, this appears to be quite a unique understanding of the text. I think importing v. 26 + 27 onto the husband ignores v. 32 and ignores the direct eschatological reference to Jesus presenting the church to himself.

    I hope I have been able to communicate. Perhaps this will help: what if Ted had written ‘I am to wash her in the word and present her blameless and holy to Jesus on the day of judgment?’ Would a comp be comfortable with the word ‘holy’ being used in this context?

    Again, I am truly trying to understand and am striving for respectful communication.

  293. Larry S November 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm #

    by the way, Mrs Webfoot we both posted at the same time – my post doesn’t deal with your #292.

    I’m more interested in the way Ted moves into an eschatological function.

  294. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 12:12 am #

    Larry, thank you for your kind comments. I think that your question is very interesting. I gave you what I understand to be standard Comp teaching.

    So, we are back at square one, but it has been interesting. Have a wonderful evening.

    BTW, I don’t think that Comps have a corner on all the gender truth. I am just the most satisfied with their answers.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  295. Sue November 4, 2009 at 12:44 am #

    If this is the case, Mrs. Webfoot, then I think you must see how problematic it is when a certain complementarian framework is taught as the gospel, with the implication that those who do not hold to it will go to hell.

    It is very distressing to be told to either submit or go to hell. Eventually the choice gets easier, but at first it does seem distressing.

    I fault those who preach the submission of women as part of the gospel.

  296. Larry S November 4, 2009 at 12:49 am #

    Ted thanks for your response #285 (in the busyness of my day, I didn’t read it until just now). IMO you should not have imported yourself into verses 26, 27 which discuss the work of Jesus. The implications of your sentence imo deserved challenge.

    Mrs. Webfoot, way back in Comment #63 you ‘pushed back at egals for, in your view, our failure to address all forms of abuse. I supervise persons bound by criminal court Orders, many of whom have been involved in domestic physical violence. As part of my responsibilities, I facilitate domestic violence groups for violent men. As I understand the statistics physical violence of male upon female result are simply far more serious than physical violence of women upon men. Again, statistically far more females end up in the hospital after an assault by a male than male who are assaulted by females.

    Personally, (and I don’t presume to speak for all Egals) I take all domestic violence seriously. I work with it every day. I have women and men as offenders. The men far outnumber the woman and the male on female violence that I deal with is far more serious than female on male.

    As an aside, I think church leaders should immediately report domestic violence to the police. Specially, since in most cases (again statistically) by the time the victim reports violence there has been a history of violence within the relationship. As I watched commentators on this thread, it seemed to me that involving police and the Courts not the first step posters mentioned. It almost sounded like posters thought churches could or should handle domestic violence ‘in house’. (I could be wrong that was the impression).

  297. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    Thanks, Larry.

    I think that it’s pretty much standard operating procedure for those in pastoral ministry to advise one who is in a life-threatening situation to call 911. It may even be the law. I’m not a pastor, of course. I know it is required of children’s workers and pastors to report all evidence they observe of child abuse.

    After calling 911, the restraining order is obtained. Our former pastor took more than one woman to get such an order. No, they weren’t all church members, but at least one was that I know of.

    Then, counselling if at all possible would be the next step. The marriage often cannot be saved at that point.

    Doug Wilson’s church attorney told me when I wrote to them that he would tell the woman to call 911 – or he would do it himself for her. Then church authorities would be brought in after the civil authorities were involved.

    I agree that it is generally much more serious when a man is physically violent towards a woman. It is also very dangerous for a child who has a violent mother.

    Bigger people have the advantage over smaller people.

    You are wrong in my case and in the case of our church. We take abuse very seriously, and not just an issue of church discipline.

    A few years back, so many egalitarians were telling me that Comp churches allow women to be abused that I began to do a little investigation on my own. I know what my church does. I know what Family Life Today – a Complementarian group – says.

    One abused woman is too many, but churches are addressing this issue. For many egalitarians, I have gotten the impression that any man who is abused by his wife or girl friend either deserved it or doesn’t really exist.

    It may be a smaller number, but isn’t each one important?

    Then, why not just acknowledge that mothers commit more acts of violence against their children than fathers do? I don’t buy the answers I have gotten from egals. That is one of the main reasons I am not one.

    Too many questions are left unanswered. Often the egal answer boils down to, “quit asking and just shut up.” …or “you haven’t made the paradigm shift, so of course you don’t get it.” I don’t deal very well with that kind of answer.

    Personally, I got more of that kind of thing from the egals than from the Comps. That’s part of my “story”, though. Others may have had other experiences.

  298. Larry S November 4, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    Mrs. Webfoot, probably the one tweak i would want in your post it the phrase pastoral staff advising anyone in a ‘life-threatening situation to call 911′ (which is a little like advising someone whose house is on fire to call the fire department :) – of course.)

    I would push this to ANY physical violence – which can include: open hand slapping, confinement (not allowing the victim to leave), pushing etc. etc. I take that view since there is usually a history of similar behaviour.

    Your comments about mom violence on children are interesting: “Then, why not just acknowledge that mothers commit more acts of violence against their children than fathers do? I don’t buy the answers I have gotten from egals. That is one of the main reasons I am not one.”

    I have no knowledge of those stats. I’d include sexual offending of fathers against their children as an act of violence and that stat might put a twist into your into your arguement. as i think about it, I’ve dealt with both mom’s and dad’s for assaulting thier children. and many dad’s for sex charges against their children.

    But if, as you say, you’ve met egals who argue that that an egal mom may not have anger issues when dealing with a child – I’d say the egal is over-arguing their case.

    blessings on your day

  299. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    Larry, I haven’t looked it up in a few years, since for me, the whole abuse subject is a dead end issue. It is not the real issue.

    The stats I read maybe 4 years ago was that mothers were responsible for about 60% of all cases of child abuse and were much more likely to kill their children than were fathers, who were responsible for about 40% of the child abuse cases.

    Then, you are making the assumption, it seems to me, that a mother cannot or would not sexually abuser her children.
    She doesn’t leave sperm.

    The egal answer I got was something like, “if fathers spent more time with their children, then the stats would change.”

    IOW, a red herring.

    Then, I don’t think that a person being abused or threatened needs to always call 911. A restraining order can be obtained at the local courthouse.

    The civil authorities – who are also God’s ministers – are or should be the first line of defense for any person being abused.

    Like I said, reporting is mandatory for anyone working with children. I am not sure, but I suspect that mandatory reporting of abuse is also required of pastors. We are talking about criminal behavior and the proper authority level is civil, not ecclesiastical.

    I had in the past made a false assumption about egalitarianism. I believed it to be about equality. The form of egalitarianism we encounter on the Internet is more about feminism than it is about equality. Their silence on the subject of females who abuse is deafening, at least for me.

    When I recommend egalitarians, I would much rather go to someone like Dorothy L. Sayers who really did believe in equality.

  300. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    God bless, Larry, and please excuse me if I have spoken too harshly.

    The church has not always known how to deal with abusers among us. I believe that has changed. I KNOW that egalitarians are not immune, since they are also human. Their solutions and advice, IMO, do not address the whole subject adequately.

  301. Sue November 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    All humans have the potential to abuse. Why give men more power than women? Why? Why was my life made a sacrifice on the altar of unholy male priority? Who is the church to lay women on the altar of irresponsibility and violence?

  302. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    Sue, it doesn’t.

    I certainly don’t wish to see feminism given more power. It has enough already.

  303. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    Sue, I think you’re laying it on a little thick, actually. I don’t think that you actually believe the Bible anymore – at least as Evangelicals understand it. You have to know that the “kephale” debate was lost long ago. You are an intelligent women.

    I think that you hope enough people will believe you that they will be led into the new feminist paradigm. A lot of us just don’t want to go there.

  304. Sue November 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    I am not ashamed to ask that women have equal authority over their own bodies. I am ashamed that I once did not understand this.

    If you know the kephale debate so well, then you will be easily able to tell me the name of one man in Greek literature who was called the kephale of his family, tribe, nation or whatever. Even one example. I know there are a few but they are rarely cited as evidence.

    That men get up in public and teach the primacy and the priority of the male, the greater authority of the male – is self-seeking. It would be a little more credible if men put someone else other than themselves at the top.

  305. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    Sue, you are entitled to your own opinion. You are entitled to believe and promote what you wish. You are free to do that.

    I wish you well. If you are presenting the truth, then your side will win. If you are not presenting the truth, then you are opposing God, not Complementarians or me.

    Good luck.

  306. Mrs. Webfoot November 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    Check out this article.

    http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-14-No-1/Personal-Reflections-on-the-History-of-CBMW-and-the-State-of-the-Gender-Debate

    Here are Grudem’s conclusions on the state of the gender debate. I believe that this sentence is especially true.:

    “In the near future, I expect that this controversy increasingly will become the focal point of the larger realignment in the entire evangelical world between those for whom the Bible is still the ultimate authority and those for whom it is not.”

    - Grudem

    I think that we have reached that point, and that Sue – no matter how sincere and passionate she may be – has abandoned Biblical authority and all that is left is a kind feminist mysticism. It is telling that egalitarians will tell us that we have not made the paradigm shift yet.

    The shift involves the abandonment of the truth of the Word of God.

    “Conclusion

    I am surprised that this controversy has gone on so long. In the late 80s and early 90s when we began this, I expected that this would probably be over in ten years. By force of argument, by use of facts, by careful exegesis, by the power of the clear word of God, by the truth, I expected the entire church would be persuaded, the battle for the purity of the church would be won, and egalitarian advocates would be marginalized and have no significant influence. But it has not completely happened yet!

    I still believe it will happen. Jesus Christ is building and purifying his church that he might present it to himself without spot or wrinkle. But on this issue Christ’s purification process is taking much longer than I expected!

    The issue of manhood and womanhood has become one of the focal points of a much larger controversy over whether the Bible will reign supreme over cultural pressures in the church, the home, and the academy. In fact, I think it is now the largest of several issues and it has implications for all of them. In the near future, I expect that this controversy increasingly will become the focal point of the larger realignment in the entire evangelical world between those for whom the Bible is still the ultimate authority and those for whom it is not.

    Finally, my testimony after nearly thirty years in this controversy is that faithfulness to the Lord always carries a price, but it’s always worth the price. Whatever you spend, God will richly repay with his presence, his favor, his blessing on you and those you love, and in the end he will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21).”

    - Wayne Grudem

  307. Sue November 4, 2009 at 9:39 pm #

    It is telling that not once has anyone provided a citation of kephale used to say that a person is the authority over another person, a family, a tribe or nation.

    Even Grudem himself does not do this. He famously provides non examples. For instance, he cites David as head of the nation, when the text says “David, head of nations (gentiles),” and Philadelphus, head of the nation, when it says, “head of the kings” referring to his own family line, that he was the most illustrious, but not that he was the authority over his father, the founder of the family line.

    Grudem falls short of providing a Greek example of kephale in the phrase “head of ________” meaning authority over a person, family, tribe or nation.

    These examples exist, but Grudem doesn’t use them because they don’t seem helpful to his cause. Better to invent some non exmaples, and then trumpet those.

  308. Mrs. Webfoot November 5, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    Sue, why don’t you write an article, get it published in a peer reviewed journal of some kind, and then maybe your arguments will have equal weight to those of Grudem. Better yet, get dozens of such articles about the meaning of “kephale” published, and then maybe you will reach his big toe as far as true scholarship goes.

    I don’t question your scholarship. I just put it at the level it belongs.

    Grudem’s arguments bear much greater weight because of the great number of articles he has actually had published. What do you have published? You and I, Sue, no matter how passionately we feel about this, are just observers and amateurs at best.

    Why do you try to make your scholarship equal to that of a real one?

    I can play a song on the piano, but I sure would never compare myself to Rubenstein or Arrau! I don’t even admit to being able to play a song on the piano – and I mean song, not real music.

    Maybe a little more perspective needs to be seen, here, Sue?

    That’s the trouble with egalitarianism. All scholarship somehow becomes equal. It’s just not.

    Grudem has responded to and demolished all egalitarian arguments if egalitarians dare to use the Bible as their authority. They lose on the key passages. This is so obvious that even Dr. John Stackhouse in his book Finally Feminist conceded that point to the Complementarians. We have won the egegetical arguments. I appreciated Dr. Stackhouse’s honesty on that.

    Egalitarian scholars appeal to trajectory hermeneutics or redemptive movement hermeneutics. You interjected that into one of your comments. It’s all you have left, Sue, and that’s not much to hang your hat on.

    check out this one paper written by Wayne Grudem. It’s enough for me.

    Does Kefalh (“Head”) Mean “Source” Or
    “Authority Over” in Greek Literature?
    A Survey of 2,336 Examples*
    Wayne Grudem
    Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

    http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/tj/kephale_grudem.pdf

    Then, to try to get inside Grudem’s mind, telling us why he does or does not make or not make this or that argument is purely speculative.

    Basically, you are arguing from silence. You do not establish the meaning of a word from how it is not used. You look at how it is used, and a “kephale” is always someone who has authority over another. That is Grudem’s argument. That is what he has proven and that is what he has had published over, and over again.

    Again, more red herrings from Sue.

    Check out this article, too.

    http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-14-No-1/Personal-Reflections-on-the-History-of-CBMW-and-the-State-of-the-Gender-Debate

  309. Sue November 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    I have read all these articles. The truth is that Grudem’s article on kephale has been destroyed so many times it is no longer worth it.

    I know Satckhouse personally and the argument from the Greek is not his interest.

    I agree with him that we don’t promote slavery and we don’t promote the subordination of women. It is that simple.

    Have you seen Abusing Scripture by Manfred Brauch. He has an excellent chapter on kephale.

    I interviewed Jim Packer, as you may know, to find out if anyone on the ESV team had studied classical and Hellenistic Greek as a language. He conceded that two of them had. This does not include Grudem.

  310. Don Johnson November 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    One should check out BOTH sides on kephale. For Grudem to be correct, it MUST ALWAYS imply authority when used as a metaphor and this is simply not the case.

  311. Don Johnson November 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Sue,

    Thanks for the book recommend, I have added it to my wish list, it just came out this year.

  312. Brian Krieger November 5, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    Sue:

    I am interested to listen to the interview with Packer where he says he doesn’t remember the statement against the TNIV, didn’t read “The Gender Neutral Bible Controversy” and conceded that (in essence) Grudem hadn’t studied Koine Greek.

    Thanks!

  313. Darius T November 5, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Don, let’s look at all the uses of kephale (not including where it refers to a literal, physical head).

    1 Cor. 11:3 – “… God is the head of Christ…”

    Clearly, this means authority, since source makes no sense.

    Eph. 5:23 – “… as also Christ is the head of the Church”

    It’s possible that this could mean source, but it makes way more sense to read it as meaning authority. Christ leads the Body, giving us the power to live as His Body.

    Mark 12:10 – “[Jesus] has become the cornerstone [head]”

    Considering what is in view here, a cornerstone, source makes no sense.

  314. Don Johnson November 5, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    On 1 Cor 11, it is NOT stated in a hierarchy chain of authority, which Paul certainly could have done if he wished, so that is a clue that it AIN’T authority that Paul is discussing. Do not rearrange Scripture to make it say something it does not.

    God IS the source of Messiah.

    On Eph 5, Messiah is exactly the source of the church, however, it is a head/body metaphor of unity that is being discussed.

    One needs to discern the metaphor is each verse it is used.

  315. Gimbo November 5, 2009 at 7:45 pm #

    Sue how silly and flippant to say that Grudem’s article has been “destroyed” so many times its not “worth” your time. This is a sorry way to dodge without engagement.

    I have ready as widely on this matter as anyone and have not come across these countless rebuttals to Grudem that you claim destroy his article. In fact Grudem has taken the time and effort to respond quite forcefully to Cervin and his failed attempts to explain away Kephale.

    Don, you would do well to read Grudem’s article as well as it shows your exegetical work of those verses is quite dubious.

  316. Mrs. Webfoot November 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    The key, though, is to study what those who have published in peer reviewed journals have written.

    There is pleanty of information out there for all of us to be able to make informed decisions.

    I look at it like this. Some of us are kind of discussion junkies who enjoy talking about these topics and others. Some know more than others. Some know less.

    It’s kind of like sandlot baseball in a way.

    If you want to see how the game is really played, you watch the pros and you root for your team. However, at the end of the World Series, there was a winner and there was a loser.

    Egalitarians lost the “kephale” battle.

  317. Mrs. Webfoot November 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    I think that we can all agree on one thing – to pray for those who lost loved ones today at Ft. Hood, TX and to pray for those who were wounded. We can pray for our brave men and women who lay their lives on the line so that we can sit here and discuss these issues in peace. We can thank God for those who give their last full measure of devotion.

    I am deeply moved by what happened today. Pray for our Commander in Chief. Pray for our men and women in uniform. Pray for their families.

    God bless us, every one.

  318. Sue November 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm #

    I am very sorry about the shootings.

    Brian,

    Here is an excerpt from my interview with Dr. Packer in Feb. 2006. This was the beginning of the end for me.

    “Suzanne: I just wondered if there were people on the ESV translation team who would be familiar with classical Greek, Aristotle, for example, and know that aner was used as a generic. Did you have people on the team who particularly specialized in that?

    Dr. Packer: We had two people on the team, of whom I confess I was one, who had had a classical education and knew their way around Greek literature. We didn’t make, what I think would have been a mistake, of supposing that the gospels and epistles represent Greek on the model of any particular Greek author that I can remember.

    The two of us did occasionally have to talk to the people who had only learned Greek in order to do the New Testament, you know, who didn’t know it as a language.

    Suzanne: Who was the other person?

    Dr. Packer: Bruce Winter, warden of Tyndale House, the library at Cambridge.”

    I don’t think that complementarians have won the kephale debate anymore than the Junia debate and the authenteo debate. Many egalitarians have simply given up the argument on these things.

    Junia is an example. The NET Bible notes actually say,

    “Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients.”

    It is only a tiny point that there is no word of perception in the expression episemos en tois apostolois.

  319. Sue November 5, 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    Gimbo,

    Can you provide one example then of a person who was the kephale of his family, tribe or nation? Can you explain why the Liddell Scott Lexicon does not list “authority over” as a meaning of kephale.

    Those who have published are the Mickelsons, Philip Payne, Manfred Brauch, as well as Richard Cervin, and Catherine Kroeger.

    The difficulty is that an article is supposed to present new material. It is very difficult to find anything to add to the work of the Mickelsen’s and Cervin.

    Here is the problem. Most egalitarians believe that kephale has a variety of meanings, but “authority over” is not one of them. I don’t have anything to say, because there really is not much to argue against.

    It is hard to think of some way of finding something new and interesting to say in an article on this topic.

    I did blog about it the other day.

  320. Brian Krieger November 6, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Hmm. Odd question and an odd quote by Packer given that Wallace was on the ESV translation team (who, I believe, is schooled in such) and Packer wasn’t (I believe). I’m very interested in hearing what else he said. Post a link to the interview, I’d be interested in hearing it.

    BK

  321. Brian Krieger November 6, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    That should be Packer wasn’t on the translation team (I don’t believe he was, anyway). D’oh!

    BK

  322. Don Johnson November 6, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    There is a bit of an “Alice in Wonderland” aspect to the discussion of what the Bible teaches on gender. When I was a non-egal (as that was all I had been taught by various people I respected a lot) I thought the idea of something else being even possible was totally crazy, after all it seemed so obvious and God was certainly not trying to trick me in what the Bible said.

    Then I learned I could take some Bible text out of context and doing so treated it as Playdoh, that is, disrespectfully, even though I did not know I was doing this. The Bible was inspired by God, but I could screw up in interpreting it. And not only me, but people I respected could make mistakes also.

    This is why I see it as essential for a Berean to study both sides on the gender question.

  323. Sue November 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    I don’t think that Wallace was on the team. The interview is no longer on the internet as a whole but if you email me I can send it to you.

    I think the gist of what Dr. Packer said is that both he and I had studied Greek as a classical language, with no reference to the New Testament first and then studied the NT later.

    Apart from Winter, likely no one else on the ESV team had done that. This means that we simply studied the language without the theological freighting and then studied exegesis later.

    Even Wallace and Mounce have not done this.

  324. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Don, the egalitarians introduce an “Alice in Wonderland” aspect to this discussion by using language like “paradigm shift.” You had a kind of egalitarian awakening.

    I’m not willing to take the pill.

    Then, of course egalitarians have wasted a tremendous amount of bandwidth and paper “refuting” men like Grudem. There are people who say that we did not go to the moon, that the US government was behind the 911 attacks on America, that Oswald did not kill Kennedy, and so forth.

    There are those who would argue that the Yankies are not the greatest ballteam ever, too.

    People can spend their time and efforts promoting and “refuting” whatever they wish.

  325. Don Johnson November 6, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    It IS a paradigm shift to go from non-egal to egal or vice versa. Changing worldviews is difficult, it takes a certain number of anomalies, very few change a worldview because of just one thing they cannot explain, they tend to just ignore it. All of us have many ways to trick ourselves, there are good books on the subject.

    It is also a paradigm shift to go from non-believer to believer.

  326. Sue November 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm #

    I think the blessing of Grudem for me is that he is so patently and openly nonsensical. For example, egalitarian women do not take on masculine features as he suggests.

    It was this kind of talk that made me think the whole thing was a hoax.

    Then I found that many of the accusations against the TNIV were not true. For example, adelphoi does actually mean “brothers and sisters” but Grudem was not aware of this when he drafted the Colorado Springs guidelines. He later changed this.

    Over and over, I found that statements that were false. Another example is that the Luther Bible only uses the term “children of God” and never “sons of God.” To suggest that using the term “children of God” represents a feminist agenda is simply farcical.

    Then I found out that the main piece of evidence that authentein meant “to exercise authority” does not exist, but was a simple error.

    And finally I read the Junia paper by Wallace and Burer. By that time, I realized that some theologians are doing exegesis working from English to Greek, and weaving in the threads they want as they like.

    It now makes me ill to read that Wallace teaches biblical gynecology. I was unable to ascertain his training in this area, but evidently it has lead him to establish that women are receivers and men are iniatators. This does not exactly explain the pregnancies of Rachel, Hannah, Tamar, Ruth and so on.

    But it does create a vivid picture of how childbearing is symbolic of the submission of the woman to the man. I have a certain picture in my head now of the required gynecological position. I just can’t associate it with the Bible.

    Thank goodness I read all this stuff and had my eyes opened to the essential maleness of all this writing.

  327. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    Sue, Don, and my other egalitarian friends,

    Your testimonies are just that – testimonies. They are not hard evidence.

    Egalitarianism lost on the hard, cold facts.

    You know what make me completely turned off the egal position? It was when you, Sue, tried to use Chrysostom to support an egalitarian understanding of “kephale.”

    Here is what the dear old patriarch in a patriarchal age in a patriarchal church said about the word. He never heard of Grudem, but he was actually a native speaker of an ancient Greek dialect.

    “Ver. 9. “For neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man.”

    This is again a second superiority, nay, rather also a third, and a fourth, the first being, that Christ is the head of us, and we of the woman; a second, that we are the glory of God, but the woman of us; a third, that we are not of the woman, but she of us; a fourth, that we are not for her, but she for us.”

    http://www.covenanter.org/Attire/Headcoverings/chrysostom.htm

    Note St. John’s reference to “head” and “superiority.” Superiority of what? Superiority of rank. He also argues in this homily that the man is not ontologically superior to the woman. However, as her head, he is superior to her.

  328. Don Johnson November 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Chrysostom wrote some very misogynist things and some very non-misogynist things, like pointing out that Junia was an apostle. Thank goodness I do not need to believe he was infallible.

  329. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    Let’s talk about Liddell-Scott and the meaning that the egalitarians like to pour into the word “head.” Here is some evidence to refute that claim.

    “Their one piece of evidence from Greek dictionaries (lexicons) was found in the Greek-English Lexicon edited by H. G. Liddell, Robert Scott, and revised by Henry Stuart Jones (ninth edition: Oxford: Clarendon, 1968, pg. 945). Part of the entry in the Liddell-Scott-Jones lexicon (LSJ or simply Liddell-Scott) reads as follows (with examples given for each section):

    II. 1. Of things, extremity

    a. In Botany

    b. In Anatomy

    c. Generally, top, brim of a vessel…capital of a column

    d. In plural, source of a river, Herodotus 4.91 (but singular, mouth); generally, source, origin, Orphic Fragments 21a; starting point [examples: the head of time; the head of a month].

    Even this entry did not prove the egalitarian claim that a person could be called the “source” of something by using kephalÄ“, because the major category for this lexicon entry had to do with the end-point of “things,” not with persons (persons are in view in Ephesians 5:23, with Christ and a husband being called “head”).”

    http://www.cbmw.org/Journal/Vol-2-No-5/The-Meaning-Source-Does-Not-Exist

    Then, no wonder you are not crazy about Grudem. Here is another quote. Of course, you folks know all of this. What you are really defending is feminism, not the Bible. You lost interest in defending the Bible long ago, and now all you have left is the feminism. You are busy, busy, busy deconstructing the ancient texts as many good post modernists do.

    It is actually the meaning of “source” for “head” that does not seem to exist, at least for the lexicon in question.


    Conlusion

    By Wayne Grudem

    Where does this leave us with regard to the dispute over kephalÄ“ in the ancient world? Up to this time, Liddell-Scott was the only lexicon that even mentioned the possibility of the meaning “source” for kephalÄ“. All the other lexicons for the New Testament gave meanings such as “leader, ruler, person in authority” and made no mention of the meaning “source” (see Bauer-Arndt-Gingrich-Danker, p. 430; Louw-Nida, 1:739; the older lexicons by Thayer, p. 345, and Craemer, p. 354; also TDNT, 3:363-372; the sixth German edition of Walter Bauer, Griechisch-deutsches Wrterbuch [1988], p. 874-875; and most recently A Greek-English Lexicon of the Septuagint edited by J. Lust, E. Eynikel, and K. Hauspie [Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1996], p. 254.)

    But now the editor of the only lexicon that mentioned the meaning “source” in any connection says that the supposed sense “source” for kephalÄ“ “of course, does not exist,” and says that it was “at least unwise” for Liddell and Scott to mention the word source. (If it was “at least unwise,” we may conclude that it was perhaps more than unwise.) Moreover, he agrees that the meaning “leader or chief ” is clearly attested for kephalÄ“.

    This letter therefore seems to indicate that there is no “battle of the lexicons” over the meaning of kephalÄ“, but that the authors and editors of all the lexicons for ancient Greek now agree (1) that the meaning “leader, chief, person in authority” clearly exists for kephalÄ“, and (2) that the meaning “source” simply does not exist. ”

    https://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/The-True-Meaning-of-Headship-Part-Three

    Let’s see, Sue on the internet says that Grudem is wrong. Grudem has published many, many articles in peer-reviewed theological journals, has written huge books on theology, has spent his life accumulating degrees in the material in question. Which authority has more weight?

    I think that it is clear whose scholarship should be listened to, unless one wishes to abandon the authority of Scripture and become a mystical feminist.

    You can try a different hermeneutic to see if you can get to Bible to speak Femspeak.

  330. Sue November 6, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

    But Chrysostom also said that the relationship between God and Christ is not the same as the relationship between man and woman. He argues that it is evident that the woman is subject to the man, but interesting that this does not apply to Christ in relation to God.

    It is a complex discourse on kephale in which he concludes that God is the aitia of Christ, the first principle, and that overall we know that kephale means that the one has like passions with the other, that is what is discernible across all three pairs.

    I don’t claim that I have fully understood Chrysostom, but he puts Christ in the position of counsellor to God. Does this mean the one who decides, the one who is beside God as his cousellor.

    I would be interested if someone took up this passage.

    What is certain for Chrysostom is that man cannot be the head of animals, as Bruce Ware claims.

  331. Don Johnson November 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm #

    Grudem’s conclusions are disputed by scholars. Do not make the mistake of listening to just one side of this argument. One also needs to realize that Grudem’s papers are carefully crafted, wording things to advance his masculinist agenda. In some cases, he is misleading in the sense of declining to discuss something that does not advance his agenda, yet it is clear he knows it as he walks all around it. It is very difficult to follow the mores of scholarship if one has already decided what the answer is.

  332. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    Well, Don, and Sue, each one needs to make informed decisions, and not just shift along with the crowd.

    Grudems’ conclusions are disputed by scholars. Those scholars have failed to refute Grudem’s arguments. Everything is disputed by everyone. In the world of scholarship, it has the polite-sounding moniker of “peer review.”

    They’re throwing spit wads at a battle ship, IMO.

    Don, I appreciate your concern, but I have probably spent more time bickering with egalitarians and trying to understand their worldview than I have with Complementarians, believe it or not.

    I have considered both sides, and have made an informed decision. Maybe it involved a paradigm shift, even – from a form of ideosyncratic, amorphous egalitarianism to pretty strong traditionalist Complementarianism.

    I am not technically a patriarchalist, though I like some of their writings.

    If someone does not want to embrace full-blown Complementarianism, I suggest Beth Moore. She loves women, the Word of God, and is at least semi-comp in her understanding of Scripture. She “talks turky” to women, too, and doesn’t peddle the feminist line of poor abused women, weak victims of patriarchal abuse. I HATE having women portrayed in that way. I love Beth, as do many women.

    I also really like Mark Driscoll, especially his series on the book of Ruth.

    Hey, have a good afternnoon, okay?

  333. Brian Krieger November 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    Sue:

    bkrieger@kriegeritaville.com

    Love to hear it. Don’t know why you couldn’t post it for all if you can e-mail it, but OK.

  334. Don Johnson November 6, 2009 at 6:23 pm #

    People do not often change their worldview if it is working for them. If/When it does not, then they start looking for a better explanation.

    Egal scholars have addressed Grudem’s etc. conclusions and many readers agree with them and find Grudem wanting. Egal is growing and I see it as Kingdom expansion.

    If you ever need us, at least you know where to look.

  335. Sue November 6, 2009 at 7:12 pm #

    doesn’t peddle the feminist line of poor abused women, weak victims of patriarchal abuse. I HATE having women portrayed in that way. I love Beth, as do many women.

    So do I, but I hate it far more when this reality is shoved under the carpet.

    It is always so painful when a woman who is obviously in a dominant position teaches subordination to her sisters. Many women do this. Many women who like to preach claim that they are complementarian because they are submissive to their husbands and teach that other women ought to be as well. This is a death knell. Here is a woman preacher, preaching subordination. I wonder if a man has ever walked up to her and swatted her to the ground. Then what would she say.

    Sure, it is all the fault of the woman herself for making a bad decision. But really once this violence is established the threat of hell for being rebellious is rather a bad joke.

    I don’t think anyone really knows how dark, how truly dark this kind of life is. The underside of violence condoned or at least in no way dealt with by the church.

    I feel that some women suffer terribly and other women organize it all to their own advantage. Some women are not damaged by the church telling them to submit – and other women are.

    Brian, I had published the interview in segments several years ago on the Better Bibles blog. It is still up there but it is hard to access because the URL has changed and the page automatically switches over to the new URL.

    Later tonight or tomorrow morning I will email it.

    It is a bit long for a blog post and I don’t have anywhere else to post it right now.

  336. Sue November 6, 2009 at 7:15 pm #

    It was at one point posted, and it is no secret, but people seemed to have generally lost interest. Especially now the TNIV is in limbo. Frankly the whole affair of the TNIV is a disgusting affair and makes me ashamed of Christianity.

  337. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 8:42 pm #

    Sue:
    I feel that some women suffer terribly and other women organize it all to their own advantage. Some women are not damaged by the church telling them to submit – and other women are. >>>>>>

    Some men suffer terribly under the feminist paradigm. Others don’t. Others are happy to move over and let women take the lead. Others have had their lives destroyed by such women on their way to empowerment.

    Neither your scenario nor mine determines what is true Biblically speaking. If the Bible would allow women to push men out of the way in order to gain greater power, then let women roar.

    Don, not all people leave a paradigm because it no longer works for them. Not everyone makes decisions solely based on pragmatism. It would have been better in many ways if I had allowed myself to be absorbed into the egalitarian feminist worldview. I just don’t believe it to be true.

    Not all people fit into your categories.

  338. Larry S November 6, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    Mrs. Webfoot,

    perhaps it depends on our perspective. but when u write about men: ‘Others are happy to move over and let women take the lead.’ IMO, that doesn’t reflect the reality of mutuality (aka egal).

    blessings.

  339. Sue November 6, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Mrs. W,

    The complementarian argues for the greater power of the male. I gives men more power than women.

    Feminism argues that women have the same authority that men have.

    When your child is dying, it is no fun to have the father pull rank and shut you down in the hospital.

    It is truly a terrible thing and this has been the state of women forever. But now feminism says that a mother has the same right as a father. Is that so sinful?

  340. Mrs. Webfoot November 6, 2009 at 10:21 pm #

    Actually, coming back to the subject of the lead article, feminism is not making women happy.

    So, many have changed paradigms, but for what? One of my favorite books on the subject is called To Hell With all That – Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Kaitlin Flannagan. It’s a good read.

    Then, Sue, it is the feminist who make the zero sum power struggle arguments – not Complementarians. It is comps who talk about how men and women complement one another without competing with one another.

    Comps do not talk about how much power each one has. Comps talk about something called servant leadership and Christlikeness – not power.

  341. Sue November 6, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    Mrs. W,

    Comps talk about who has “authority.” If you wish to disregard the fact that power and authority are the same word in Greek, you may do so. However, you cannot expect me to. All talk by complementarians establishes that men have authority and women have submission.

    ALL talk by complementarians is about ascribing greater power to men. There is no other essential teaching of complementarianism that differs from egalitarianism.

  342. Sue November 6, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    If course, complmentarians don’t talk about competition between men and women. How could there be? Do rulers compete with the peasants, or slave owners with the slaves?

    If the man always has final say, competition is eliminated. So is the authority of the female – totally destroyed unless she wangles some personal space in some other way.

  343. Mrs. Webfoot November 7, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    One more, and then I think I’ve talked myself to death.

    Larry, I think I know what you are saying. I didn’t mean that egalitarian men are weak by definition.

    Is that what you were worried about? I think that many egalitarian men and women are trying to model Christlikeness to their spouses and families, and that’s fine with me.

  344. Brian Krieger November 9, 2009 at 11:46 am #

    Re: The Packer interview, not that it matters, but I must say I’m quite skeptical still. My observations (which could be misguided):

    The quote about not having read Polythress and Grudem is lumped into a block that simply says it wasn’t recorded and there isn’t a quotation.
    There are other he-said-a-bunch-of-stuff-here blocks.
    I believe the classical Greek comment is in context of the general editors (oversight?), not the translation team (given there are other prominent classical greek students on the translation team).
    Packer specifically commented on the statement against the TNIV. He said he didn’t remember who drafted the statement.
    It is set against the backdrop that you have an admitted axe to grind with the interview (which, btw provides a bit of amusement given the questioning method that sounds similar to how the Pharisees asked questions.) .
    All this compounded by the mysteriousness of “well, I don’t really know where the recording is.”

    While I stop well short of fabrication, I am still quite dubious. But, like I said, not that it matters.

    I did enjoy the quote from Packer, when asked if the ESV translation may be upsetting to some pointed out that with translating the bible:

    “…we are not talking about cultural expectations, are we?”

  345. Sue November 9, 2009 at 7:32 pm #

    I don’t have a format to post this interview in. The transcription is accurate. I don’t remember his exact words about not reading the book that he endorsed but it was emphatic. He said that he did not have the time to read it. He then tried to distance himself from the Americans and their way of expressing themselves.

    He distnced himself from the statement and the book.

    Yes, he was referring to the Oversight Committee of 12-14 scholars, when he made the remark about knowing Greek as a language. I was totally shocked at many things he said. I had no anticipation that he would say these things.

    Yes, I have an axe to grind. A group of men came into a church in Canada where the Anglican Church of Canada ordains women since women preached in many of the churches in British Columbia in the early part of this century.

    The most well known preacher in BC is a woman televangelist, very respected more than Packer. (she is now dead.)

    But in the time of Packer in what was my church, women were slowly removed from the pulpit. Under the guise of honouring women, women are reduced in function and told to submit.

    Yes, I have an axe to grind. These men did not declare to the bishop when they came to Canada that they were intending to oppose the church in which they worked.

    The TNIV statement would also be a disgrace among non-Christians. I believe that this group has besmirched the honour of Christianity.

  346. Sue November 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    I can honestly say that I had no idea he would say some of the things he said. And I had no sense that I would need to be able to post it. I just grabbed a little tape recorder at the last moment and ran.

    I had never conducted a taped interview before. However, the information given to me, regarding the disrespect for the TNIV translators, the disregard for concern about Greek scholarship was all completely unexpected.

    I wish that Christians would make some attempt to have at least the same morality as non-Christians.

  347. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 2:53 am #

    Sue, what are your feelings about Packer’s views of homosexual ordination and same sex marriage? That got him into trouble with the Anglicans in Canada, I understand.

  348. Sue November 10, 2009 at 3:29 am #

    I don’t know that it got him into trouble. The fact is that he was already at odds because of the ordination of women.

    It is true that we have had a very messy business here of the same sex blessing, with things done on both sides that I am uncomfortable with. But Packer and the others joined the Southern Cone and then later the new diocese. I was at the ceremony and saw that enormous crowds of the bishops flown in from all over the world.

    But when Packer was cited in the local newspaper in this way,

    “Opening his English Standard Version of the Bible, of which he was chief editor, Packer read out passages from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, in which the apostle Paul compares “men who lie with men” to drunkards, thieves, slanderers and adulterers, none of whom will enter the kingdom of heaven.”

    Then I basically gave up because he knows and I know, and he knows that I know, that his treatment of the translators of the TNIV is slander of his fellow Christians.

    Frankly, I didn’t know any homosexuals in our church, but I did know Dr. Packer, so I left.

  349. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 4:20 am #

    So, let me get this straight. You know a lot about Packer but didn’t know that his problem with his diocese had to do with homosexual ordination and same sex marriage. Am I correct?

    Here is a link to Packer’s CT article from 2002 where he explains why he left the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/january/6.46.html

    Here is a quote from the introduction to that article.

    “In June 2002, the synod of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster authorized its bishop to produce a service for blessing same-sex unions, to be used in any parish of the diocese that requests it. A number of synod members walked out to protest the decision. They declared themselves out of communion with the bishop and the synod, and they appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Anglican primates and bishops for help.”

    If you were there for all of these goings on, why didn’t you know this? I am not Anglican, and I knew about it, and have known about it for a long time.

    Are you saying that the real reason was the ordination of women? The ordination of women is obviously not Biblical. Of course Packer would also oppose the ordination of women to the priesthood or pastorate.

    I am missing the point of your attempts to slander J.I. Packer.
    It looks to me like hearsay.

    If you have such a low regard for Packer, then it was appropriate that you leave the church where he participates. You made the right choice.

  350. Sue November 10, 2009 at 10:49 am #

    i was there. Oroginally I was highly supportive of the movement against same sex blessing. I was at the vote. I wrote a letter to the archbishop supporting the position of our church on same sex blessing. I was told that my letter was highly valued by the pastor.

    But then I realized that the statement against the TNIV was slander. It is no less trustworthy a translation than the ESV. The ESV contains errors, and no translation is perfect.

    The pastor agreed that the TNIV was not untrustworthy. But he decided that he could not publically disagree with Packer. Packer would not say privately that the TNIV was not trustworthy. He gave me to believe that he did not necessarily agree with the details of the statement against the TNIV but he signed the statement anyway.

    It was always known that Dr. Packer wanted to do away with ordination of women since he had written a paper on that. However, he taught women who were candidates for ordination and then supported them in seeking placement elsewhere outside our church.

    The leadership of women has been a strong factor in Christianity in our province.

    To top it all off, our church denied the existence of spousal abuse, and preached submission of women with increasing intensity, finally associating with the teaching of Bruce Ware on women.

    The denial of personal authority to women has caused some women, like myself, a life of being treated as a human being.

    This is just a by product of what was all around a rotten situation.

    Why make such a fuss about same sex blessing, when our church would never be asked to perform such a ceremony, since it was entirely optional and voluntary, but completely ignore that some women were suffering living hell.

    It just stopped making any sense to me. Nothing was consistent or God honouring.

    Of course, our congregation had its component of slanderers, philanderers, drunks, and defrauders, like any other congregation.

  351. Sue November 10, 2009 at 10:52 am #

    The denial of personal authority to women has caused some women, like myself, a life of being treated as a human being.

    I meant that I was NOT treated like a human being. I was denied authority over my own being. I was living in subhuman conditions. And basically nobody cared about things like that.

  352. Sue November 10, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Of course, Dr. Packer’s wife does not agree with his position on women, so he is able to preach the submission of women and support Ware’s position, but he does not live this way. It is just a theory to him, to subjugate a women. He does not realize that some men actually do this, and live like animals.

  353. Sue November 10, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    This has been published in a book already. It is public knowledge. What is not discussed publically is that men are not worthy of having authority over a woman. No man is worthy of this.

  354. Sue November 10, 2009 at 10:57 am #

    He does not realize that some men actually do this, and live like animals.

    No, the wife lives like an animal, that is what I mean. Always having the chemicals of fear coursing through her veins. There is no such thing as morality any more, it is all about being hit, how hard and when.

  355. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    So, Sue, how do you justify your slander of your former church and Dr. Packer? Do you consider them to not be Christians?

    Then, what are your present views on same sex marriage and the ordination of homosexuals?

  356. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    Keep in mind, Sue, that what the Bible calls slander is not necessarily what the law calls slander or even the dictionary.

    I have seen some very viscious, even unsubstantiated attacks levelled at Complementarians, and the women doing it claiming that they were not slandering anyone.

    Don is correct in saying that there is a kind of Alice in Wonderland element in these kinds of discussions.

    Besides, I notice that egalitarians are more than willing to dehumanize their opponents. Is that a kind of revenge? You were so mistreated by Complementarians that anything done to or said about Comps is justified?
    The dehumanized have the right to dehumanize their oppressors, and the oppressors have no right to voice a complaint.

    Compism and all its defenders must be destroyed at all costs.

    This is the kind of thing that I label “jack booted egalitarianism.” If the power of persuasion does not work, then the persuasion of power is what is used next. No rules, just the will to power.

    Get out the guillotine. Libert̩, Egalit̩, Fraternit̩, ou la Mort Рwell, figuratively speaking, that is.

  357. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Sue, I am concerned for you. It seems to me that you have found a “Christian” movement that will allow you to not only keep, but will also put a high value your bitterness. It will also give you what you want the most – sweet revenge.

    Bitterness and revenge are not Christian values, at least in traditional Christianity.

    Your soul is in grave danger, of course. If you do not forgive from the heart, the Father will not forgive you.

    I know women who have suffered terrible abuse, – and men – but God has graciously given them the ability to forgive. They share their testimonies, but the focus is on God’s power to heal the broken-hearted.

    You have been led away from Christ, Sue, into a different Gospel. I don’t mean that Complementarians are the only ones who preach the Gospel. I just mean that whoever you have been listening to is not preaching the Gospel.

    I even know many egalitarians who preach the Gospel. Something has gone very wrong with your theology, Sue. I am sorry about that. Forgiveness is just a “sick ‘em” principle of Christianity.

  358. Sue November 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm #

    I am telling you the human story. Given the history of CBMW and the TNIV, this is a story that needs to be told. I believe the truth needs to be told one way or another. Call it what you like, but it can’t be a good thing to cover up the facts.

  359. Sue November 10, 2009 at 4:51 pm #

    The dehumanized have the right to dehumanize their oppressors, and the oppressors have no right to voice a complaint.

    I don’t see the oppressors asking for forgiveness. There is no acknowledgement of the truth. The truth is that the TNIV is as respectable a Bible as the ESV. What was done to the translators of the TNIV is simply wrong, spiritually and in my view legally. They were false accusations and very unsavoury. Christianity has taken on a very different flavour for me since this attack. I see now it not personal against me, but a broad attack against anyone, or any group that does not give in to CBMW.

  360. Sue November 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    I voted with Dr. Packer and the church against same sex blessing. And then it all began to unravel. I started to read the ESV and the things in their just made my blood run cold.

    How did the ESV team decide that if leadership or teaching were involved, then they must translate anthropoi as “men” but if salvation was in view, then they translated anthropoi as “people” and then they claim to have produced a concordant translation. How could they wish to bring women down like that. What man wants to reduce and exclude women and bring women down. What kind of Christianity is that??

    Also consider that the view that Junia was known the the apostles is based on an article that is nonsensical. I would say that the ESV team need to take the beam out of their own eye before the speck out of the eye of the TNIV.

    In my view, the ESV supporters have won the day, and this demonstrates to me that sometimes the truth does not win out. It is a sad mess.

  361. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Sue, forgiveness doesn’t have to do with what those who you say have offended you do. It is a heart attitude.

    You are coming across as bitter and unforgiving. Much of what you say against these people seems to be of a very personal, even vindictive nature.

    Just FYI.

  362. Sue November 10, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I am not sure that we should always forgive without some accounting.

    Are we to simply ignore slander in our midst but not ignore homosexuality, for example. This affects the whole Christian community.

    I said what I did about Dr. Packer to say that he is not himself someone who understands what men do who subjugate women. This is not something that he seems to be aware of. But we cannot let violence and subjugation have free rein in the church.

  363. Sue November 10, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    As I also said, this is published in a book. Dr. Packer has himself published the fact that his wife does not agree with him on the position of women. This is not something I say out of bitterness, but admiration.

  364. Sue November 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    I also don’t think you have any idea of the personal damage done to the translators of the TNIV. Just recounting all this reminds me of how distasteful it is. I will have to stop but this kind of religion leaves a very bad taste in the mouth all around.

  365. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    Sue, I appreciate your concerns. I think that I overstated my case, actually. You know, honestly, I don’t think that you are an unforgiving, unloving kind of a person.

    Sorry to have accused you of that.

    I think I understand what you are saying, even though I think that you are overstating your case.

    Yes, it is a serious thing when a person is abused in a church setting. I do take it seriously.

    I have been mistreated online by people I had trusted, so I tend to overstate my case. It is something that still bothers me, but less now.

    Hey, have a good evening, Sue, and maybe we’ll go at it again one day.

    God bless,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  366. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    You know, I understand. I have been mistreated by people I had cared about and trusted, and those people wish to silence me and cover up what they did – in effecting telling me that I caused my own abuse.

    So, I get it, Sue. Maybe there will be some healing come out of this. I’m not sure what’s going on with the CBMW and the TNIV “thing”, but something’s afoot.

    Hey, take care,
    Mrs. Webfoot

  367. Sue November 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm #

    Thank you, Mrs. W and I appreciate very much that you have taken care to close on such a kind note. Thank you. See you later.

  368. Mrs. Webfoot November 10, 2009 at 8:54 pm #

    Tootiloo, or threetiloo…

    :-)

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