Worse than fear. Worse than malice.

In the discussion of my last post Gunner Q suggested that the reason modern Christians don’t support biblical marriage is due to fear:

Perhaps the answer is that modern Christians just can’t accept the consequences of fighting no-fault divorce. Bucking the divorce trend would require binding standards of conduct, public excommunication of rebellious women, pressuring fathers to get their Princesses married instead of college-educated, political activism to restore traditional laws… seriously counter-cultural stuff.

I explained that it is far worse than this, and the lie that Christians are fighting the good fight (if only in their heads) is part of the apparatus which protects the status quo.  The truth is that modern Christians are deeply invested in the new model of marriage.  Fireproof took the teaching in 1 Pet 3 and switched the sexes, and Christians couldn’t find words suitable to express how delighted they were with this cross dressed version of Scripture. As I’ve shown in countless examples, modern Christians really like the new model, what I’ve dubbed the wakeup-call model of marriage. I have no doubt they wish that it didn’t result in as many divorces as it does, but credible threats of divorce are key to this new improved model of marriage. So an argument which claims that actual divorce isn’t required very often to keep wives in a position of headship will go over extremely well with modern Christians.

My explanation resonated with Gunner Q, but for obvious reasons it also troubled him:

Can this be true? Not just the inevitable top evil-doers but the majority of priests, pastors and chaplains are acting out of malice, not ignorance and fear?

Hmm. I left my most recent church in January when it began having women openly teaching men. I’d invested in the church and had the sympathetic ear of the leadership. I had talked repeatedly to them about female submission in church and their response was believing that the relevant passages of the Bible only applied to the first-century Christians Paul wrote his letters to, and so all other Christians were allowed to do the exact opposite. None of those people struck me as evil but I never understood how educated pastors could believe that, or not realize the consequences of “that was then, this is now” thinking.

To think that they were inventing lies to justify disobedience… well, Occam’s Razor. It fits. They would have at least considered my words, otherwise. Nobody would believe those ridiculous false statements… unless they wanted to… not ignorant… Oh, God. This is bad.

While he is right that it isn’t about ignorance and fear, I disagree that it is about malice.  Malice would require that they knew that biblical marriage is a profound blessing, and that they wanted to deprive others of this blessing.  The truth is worse;  they don’t believe that what God has given us is good.

They believe that God has made a terrible mistake, and somehow gotten the instructions for something He created for His creation backwards.  This is the source of the badly concealed embarrassment you will notice when you discuss the clear biblical teaching on divorce and to a much larger degree on headship and submission.  They are embarrassed for God, and embarrassed that they had to fix something which in their minds He has gotten so terribly wrong.

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385 Responses to Worse than fear. Worse than malice.

  1. Pingback: Worse than fear. Worse than malice. | Manosphere.com

  2. AdVader says:

    one has to distinguish ‘modern’ as being ‘postmodern’, postmodernism is ‘normalizing’ abnormalities, we should regard the devastating sickening&maddening postmodern pseudological lies femini$$m-samesexuality-atheism secular.

  3. The discussion that my friends and I keep coming back to is that we went into the world to convert it, but the primary consequence seems to be that it converted us instead. We can’t reject the system because we depend on it. The consequences of living the way we ought seem unacceptable to the modern flock.

    We’re comfortable and we like being comfortable. To tell hard truths brings discomfort. The slow ache of our dying society is something we’ve consigned ourselves to. We’d rather die of infection over weeks than feel the bite of disinfectant and the tedium of caring for the wound.

    Possibly the worst part of this entire farce is that the unbiblical marriage position is adopted by self-styled conservative christians when attempting to combat homosexual unions. They’ll accept the level of perversion of marriage they are comfortable with and refuse to budge an inch further and wonder why their argumentation fails to impress anybody after they’ve already accepted the terms the other side is arguing based on. And what is the cost for saying all willful divorce is sin and must be treated as such? Friends and family will likely reject us as we’ve rejected their commitment to sin. We might be fired for the fact that our views make coworkers uncomfortable. The rest of the sinking world would either shriek in hysterics and indignation or chortle and point in derision as they march sedated to their own societal demise that they carved out for themselves. We want to keep our cars, our houses, our jobs, our friends, and our comfortable lives. The real tragedy of the Threatpoint Marriage supporters is that they are committed to comfort while operating under the delusion that they are the ones making great sacrifices and suffering slings to do it.

  4. deti says:

    Right. It’s worse than fear, worse than malice.

    It’s hubris.

    It’s a belief that they know better than God.

    It’s “doing what is right in their own eyes”.

    It’s a belief that they, that WE, ARE God.

  5. jf12 says:

    Possibly the only real solution to pollution is isolation. Incorporating the world little by little, making converts, is a good thing, but being too diluted in the world doesn’t work. Setting up communes and compounds may be the way to go.

  6. mustardnine says:

    Dalrock says:

    They believe that God has made a terrible mistake, and somehow gotten the instructions for something He created for His creation backwards. This is the source of the badly concealed embarrassment you will notice when you discuss the clear biblical teaching on divorce and to a much larger degree on headship and submission. They are embarrassed for God, and embarrassed that they had to fix something which in their minds He has gotten so terribly wrong.

    Mustard suggests:

    Dalrock, if your thesis is basically correct, and it may well be, then the church — or a significant part of it — is in a tragic situation:

    The leadership, being in a conscious or subconscious estrangement from God Himself, we can expect the followership, moved by influence, predispostion, and perhaps simple unawareness, to tend toward the same thing, en masse.

    Is it not time to suggest SCTOW — Serious Christians Going Their Own Way? At least in their hearts and minds (sanctify in your hearts Christ Jesus as Lord). Whether they have to break off fellowship with other Christians, and how they seek out each other for fellowship, is a matter requiring individual reliance on the Lord the Holy Spirit.

    And perhaps, men first?

    CMGTOW.

    I think that this is beginning to occur to many good men. May the Lord truly bless them.

  7. Fear again. I am firmly rooted in the belief that it is fear and lift chasing that motivate church leaders.

    I have too much affirmation of same to ignore it. I’ve done too much direct inquiry and found fear and lift chasing (usually in the same person) to ignore it. Lest this seem like solipsism of merely the frequent forensic mistake where anecdote is mistaken for trend indicator, this is somehow different.

    Sure to have study worthy evidence it would require far more than my meanderings over the past 10 years and what Ive turned up with my bold questioning of church leaders, but how much is enough? I have dozens of these encounters. Some established systematically, some spontaneously, some strategically, and universally fear and/or lift chasing (a variety of white knighting) are present.

    Some say its profit, dollars. Even that falls under fear when it is present.

    Malice is a stretch. If anyone has seen the movie Gods not Dead there is a main character motivated by malice in his take on Christianity in general. Something like that could motivate a church leader. A pastor who, when he was a child, watched his mother beaten, he may be driven by malice. That is not so frequent a case.

    Hubris…..eh…….sure I can see that. I can really see it if i looked at just a high view , sermons and books by those men, quotes and stories. But think on it, and go talk to a few of them. if you were a leader of a group, and you feared something, is hubris not a logical veneer to cover fear with? Its perfect. is it not the case that we see overbearing people outed as insecure and compensating? Same dynamic.

    The only addition i see to fear and lift chasing is a flavor of ignorance where conventional wisdom is taken on board because like I always say it is a comfy chair. Its laziness, but I could argue that even this is fear.

  8. Factory says:

    I started paying attention to this stuff as part of my love of conspiracy theory. I have also been an MRA for about 2 decades, which gives me a certain perspective on willful ignorance. Strangely, the path has led me to being a christian through interest in Revelation.

    When I was a kid, I was dumbfounded at the idea that all the things foretold in Revelation could come to pass (this was back when heavy metal and dungeons and dragons were blamed for certain violence), that satanism would become the default religion, that Christians would be persecuted and murdered for their beliefs. Global war was easy enough to fathom, it was after all the height of the cold war, but apostasy? Not so much.

    I am of the view that Anton LaVey was semi serious when he said Satanism was merely play acting, mocking Christians, because there is no God. I view atheism as similar to a non-practicing christian, only for satanism. In that light, Satanism truly is official policy throughout the west. Hmmm.

    Anyway, others are far more qualified than me on the subject, but I found if you tie all of the issues the manosphere addresses together, and view it through the lens of ‘its foretold to be this way, the people in power are getting what they want, and they will never change’ prophetic filter, it simplifies life considerably.

    Here’s what I got out of it: confirmation there is a God; explanation as to why politicians seem so ‘stupid’ even while showing the smarts to rise to that much power; reasons why there seems to be no rush to fix obvious problems, and concomitant rush to ‘fix’ problems that do not exist. I learned there is no point trying to change the system, better to focus on ‘saving’ as many individuals as possible.

    Do I think its the End Times? Frankly, I think its highly likely. But there’s no sandwich boards in my future. But as explanation for why what is going on is going on (right down to Christianity itself being hopelessly corrupted), Revelations pretty much fits to a T. I’m just sayin’.

  9. And what is the cost for saying all willful divorce is sin and must be treated as such? Friends and family will likely reject us as we’ve rejected their commitment to sin. We might be fired for the fact that our views make coworkers uncomfortable. The rest of the sinking world would either shriek in hysterics and indignation or chortle and point in derision as they march sedated to their own societal demise that they carved out for themselves. We want to keep our cars, our houses, our jobs, our friends, and our comfortable lives. The real tragedy of the Threatpoint Marriage supporters is that they are committed to comfort while operating under the delusion that they are the ones making great sacrifices and suffering slings to do it.

    Yes……fear. Good comment.

  10. Ras Al Ghul says:

    There is a long tradition in Western Culture that women are naturally moral superior to men, but their will is weak, while men are morally inferior but their will is strong.

    A belief that because of “natural law” women are intrinsically good mothers, they are intrinsically better caregivers, and the only reason they go bad is because of a man’s greater will.

    This is the well spring of feminism, it is the well spring of modern marriage and the christain preference for the threat point, because it is using the power of the state to give women the “will” to control the less moral men.

  11. Ras Al Ghul says:

    And as men flee the church more and more, they’re belief men are less moral is confirmed.

  12. Zippy says:

    Great post. The image of the modern ‘threatpoint’ view of marriage as transvestite theology is especially good, as is the observation about how embarrassed we modern Christians tend to be when it comes to the things God ‘got wrong’.

    I’m still mulling over your contention in the other thread that devout Christians don’t care what happens to the non-devout w.r.t. marriage. I’m not sure that is a good read of the situation. I expect the point of view you are criticizing is that if you aren’t devout all is in vain, so becoming devout is really the only thing that matters until it has been achieved.

    But I do think you are pointing out something real about ‘catacomb Christians’, even if the characterization isn’t entirely accurate.

  13. Dalrock says:

    Empath,

    Do the men in question believe they are depriving their followers of something wonderful when they don’t faithfully teach headship and submission? If so, then yes it is fear. Do they secretly despise the message in fireproof and mourn the fact that it is depriving Christian men and women of something divinely bueatiful, or are they genuinely delighted at the movie for teaching the world how marriage should be done? If the former, you are right it is fear. If the latter, it is fear masking hubris, not the other way around.

  14. Dalrock, I agree with you that Christian churches MUST start by investigation and holding people accountable. Although I’m not happy with EVERYTHING my current church teaches on the topic of divorce, I was happy to see that my pastor insisted on meeting with my ex and I, and I was shocked to find that both times I asked for prayer in a way that mentioned me going through a divorce he would stand up and point out that I was an innocent party.

    My link is to a web page where, in addition to many others, some of my pastor’s teaching on counseling is posted (free).

    It’s a start. It’s a major improvement over the old convention, simply pretending that both parties to the divorce are completely guilty — and usually transitioning from that to pretending that nothing happened (since there’s nothing you can do).

    [D: Thanks. Welcome.]

  15. TFH says:

    Dalrock said,

    They are embarrassed for God, and embarrassed that they had to fix something which in their minds He has gotten so terribly wrong.

    This is also why the Islamic Fundamentalists were fools to use indiscriminate terrorism to express disapproval of this sort of thing.

    Had they instead done a slick PR campaign and kept violence to a minimum, their core disagreement with what the West has become, might get a lot more traction among more conservative Westerners…

    Of course, they are not that smart as to strategize this way.

  16. desiderian says:

    Dalrock,

    “While he is right that it isn’t about ignorance and fear, I disagree that it is about malice. Malice would require that they knew that biblical marriage is a profound blessing, and that they wanted to deprive others of this blessing. The truth is worse; they don’t believe that what God has given us is good.”

    This is exactly it. The sin involved is Pride. It’s not limited to biblical teaching on sexual relations, but that is one area where the error resulting from their sin has become most manifest.This is blindingly obvious to anyone who has been in the SMP the last 15-20 years. Unfortunately, those with the power to hold those pastors to account are not in that group, so its far from manifest to them.

  17. desiderian says:

    Elspeth,

    “But think on it, and go talk to a few of them. if you were a leader of a group, and you feared something, is hubris not a logical veneer to cover fear with? Its perfect. is it not the case that we see overbearing people outed as insecure and compensating? Same dynamic.”

    No, Most of them see themselves like people who enjoy rehabbing old houses. They really do appreciate the craftsmanship, and go to great lengths to keep things as “original” as possible, but of course there is always work for the rehabber to do to spruce things up, and modern conveniences that are indispensable…

    There may be some common ground there if a paradigm can be established that the scriptural teaching itself is akin to the original features of the house which drew them to it to begin with, while how it is taught preserves room for the rehabbing, which of course in the church has been going on for 2,000 years. Reformed and always reforming.

  18. desiderian says:

    Mustardnine,

    “Is it not time to suggest SCTOW — Serious Christians Going Their Own Way?”

    We already have been for awhile. The problem is that that too is Pride, and sinfully so.

    The earliest Christians were not known as Christians, but as “followers of The Way.”

    Whose Way?

    His.

    Not Your Own. Not Mine. Not the Church’s.

  19. desiderian says:

    Dalrock,

    “They are embarrassed for God, and embarrassed that they had to fix something which in their minds He has gotten so terribly wrong.”

    Sadly, I think this would be an improvement. I don’t see much evidence of capacity for embarrassment about anything – it’s full-speed ahead, total (self-) con(fidence) game at all times. Likewise, few expect the scriptures to get everything right in the first place, so they necessarily imagine a fallible God, or have abandoned the belief that the Holy Spirit inspires all scripture directly (the Spirit could inspire a writer, but the writer being a fallen human could err).

    Most imagine that there are all sorts of things in scripture that would be indefensible to modern/postmodern mores, including those mores they themselves have adopted, or even to Natural Law, the writers of scripture being fallen humans. Believing that, they take a Jeffersonian/cafeteria approach to scripture and only pick and choose that which appeals to them. If you look at how the lectionary texts have been expurgated over time, this process is obvious.

    The fact is, that if one starts by taking scripture seriously, there are far fewer passages that wrankle than one would think (one example is God’s command to genocide of the Amalekites). The fact that the teaching on headship seemed so difficult 30-40 years ago, but that consequent experience has borne that teaching out, creates an opening to re-examine scriptural teaching on its own terms.

    There exist examples of that done well that are extraordinarily difficult to refute, even for the most ingenuous minds.

  20. Highwasp says:

    “The truth is worse;  they don’t believe that what God has given us is good.”

    (well… God is Male and Male is Bad; Female is Good! – one small step further and Female is God!
    Rewritings, reinterpretations and new teachings complete with false prophets are here. Next will be a Queen James version of the Bible for the 22nd century. It’s not like this hasn’t been done before… but this time it’s the big one. I wouldn’t have guessed women would be the false prophets and anti christ of the end times… I always thought they’d be male for some reason.)

  21. Oscar says:

    Zippy says:
    June 7, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    “But I do think you are pointing out something real about ‘catacomb Christians’, even if the characterization isn’t entirely accurate.”

    Please elaborate. First, what do you mean by “catacomb Christians”?

  22. Robert in Arabia says:

    If God commanded the extermination of the Amalekite, he is evil. If God did not order the extermination of the Amalekite, your book is evil.

  23. desiderian says:

    Robert,

    “If God commanded the extermination of the Amalekite, he is evil. If God did not order the extermination of the Amalekite, your book is evil.”

    It’s a useful out for those seeking one.

    Enjoy hell.

  24. TFH says:

    Literal Sunday Morning Nightclubs.

    This makes logistical sense, given what churches have become.

    Why can’t a slut be in the same place from 11 PM to 11 AM, and get sampled by two sets of men, rather than one. It helps women who have to worry about cabs or parking, and the interim time wasted by them.

  25. Highwasp says:

    …and besides – now that the institution of marriage is reworked to ensure female headship, wouldn’t feminism benefit greatly from the dissolution of ‘Original Sin’? A Queen Jamie version of the Bible where Eve didn’t actually go against God… oh wait – this is already in motion with the assertion that Adam couldn’t effectively lead Eve away from the serpent…

    Man fault divorce and whimpy leadership abilities, going all the way back the Adam – Christian men have seen better days. Watch for the new and improved Queen Jamie version available soon in e-book, PDF and hard back – there’s a lot of feminist Bible re-vising to be officially documented before ‘the womenz’ officially and triumphantly declare the religion of the Evil Male Patriarchy as dead.

  26. Anonymous age 72 says:

    Man fault.

  27. JDG says:

    If God commanded the extermination of the Amalekite, he is evil. If God did not order the extermination of the Amalekite, your book is evil.

    Says who? Are you equal with God?

    When God returns to judge the world, what do you think he is going to do to those who are opposed to Him? If He can bring judgement on peoples and nations when He returns, why would any one be so foolish as to think He couldn’t do so in the past?

    And why are the people so adamantly opposed to God having power over life and death usually the same ones defending a womans right to end the life of the child in her womb?

  28. Scott says:

    The bottom line is, Christ’s church is already, in many ways, underground. At least Christian marriage is. I think Jf12 essentially has the right idea. Communes, small communities of like minded folks. Regardless of the reasons church leaders won’t/can’t/don’t believe it/don’t preach it, this is not going to get better in our lifetimes. It may, many years from now. But those who believe in Christian marriage need to identify their footing correctly. It is a defensive one.

  29. desiderian says:

    “small communities of like minded folks”

    Agreed. That’s always been the church at its best.

    “Regardless of the reasons church leaders won’t/can’t/don’t believe it/don’t preach it, this is not going to get better in our lifetimes.”

    The timing is in God’s hands. He’s surprised us before. It’s useful to try to get an accurate handle on the (ir)reasons, in the event those (ir)reasons lose their appeal, which I believe is happening. We need to keep our lamp lit for the opportunity that creates.

    “But those who believe in Christian marriage need to identify their footing correctly. It is a defensive one.”

    Playing defense in the current environment is just putting blood in the water. Better not to play at all, and just keep on keeping on. That, or recognize that Christ has already won the victory over sin, and to act accordingly. Nothing like true confidence based on firm foundations to outshine the con artists.

  30. Scott says:

    Desiderian–you make a lot of sense. I wish folks with this kind of thought process would come over to my site and lend a hand. I know there are people who have some pretty original thoughts about where to go next.

  31. mustardnine says:

    This might or might not be off-topic, but if you have 2.5 minutes, listen to this from Johnny:

  32. Oscar says:

    Scott says:
    June 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    “Communes, small communities of like minded folks.”

    Agreed.

    “Regardless of the reasons church leaders won’t/can’t/don’t believe it/don’t preach it, this is not going to get better in our lifetimes.”

    Who are these Church leaders? Can’t every Godly man lead within his sphere of influence in the Church? Can’t we…

    “6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:6-8)

    …even if we are not ordained?

  33. Do the men in question believe they are depriving their followers of something wonderful when they don’t faithfully teach headship and submission? If so, then yes it is fear.

    This is not a locked in if/then, the hypothesis is flawed. They can both NOT believe they are depriving their followers of something wonderful when they don’t faithfully teach headship and submission and still be motivated by fear. These cannot be linked absolutely as you suggest.

    Do they secretly despise the message in fireproof and mourn the fact that it is depriving Christian men and women of something divinely bueatiful, or are they genuinely delighted at the movie for teaching the world how marriage should be done? If the former, you are right it is fear. If the latter, it is fear masking hubris, not the other way around.

    Again, no linked absolutely.

  34. Chris says:

    In the end, one should approach marriage with Godly fear. You should search the scriptures, not the current manuals designed to turn you into some kind of de-balled wimp, not a man. You should both talk about headship and obedience.
    And the elders should be counselling the young women that if you leave him you will be excommunicated: that the only two justifiable reasons are adultery and it’s cousin abandonment, that one of you has flouted their vows and are now with another.
    Otherwise you will be counselled to stay together, and if you disobey you are no longer welcome.
    _________
    The trouble is that most mainstream churches don’t follow this lead, and are more afraid of lawyers than God Almighty. Scott is right, the true church is underground.

    Given that, you should approach marrige with Godly fear. Because she can pull the plug at any time, for any reason, and you will be blamed and shunned, no matter how righteous you are. Because putting any demands on the feminist apostate is now called “abuse”.

  35. Scott says:

    “Who are these Church leaders? Can’t every Godly man lead within his sphere of influence in the Church? Can’t we…

    “6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us” (Titus 2:6-8)

    …even if we are not ordained?”

    Yes sir, absolutely.

    Ever so often I run the risk of alienating/pissing off the blog host(s) where this topic gets under my skin. This is precisely what the point of the courtship pledge is. We are trying to subvert the entire system of state-run, culture-reinforced marriage and marital norms by use of the internet.

    We don’t want there to have to be small communes and compounds. Every time I explain it rationally to someone they say “yep. that is a great idea. We need that.”

    Right now, I have about 2000 registered followers–receiving updates every time there is a new post or change to the site. I love that. But only a tiny nucleus of actual participants. Either my content sucks or I am a terrible marketer.

  36. Pingback: The threat point is essential for the feminist apostasy. | Dark Brightness

  37. Dalrock says:

    Empath,

    I think we may be getting closer on this. Would you agree that it is not merely fear. That they do fear the reaction, but they also think the new form of marriage is better. I agree that there is fear there, as well as lift chasing, but after teaching and thinking the new way long enough their beliefs have followed their words and actions. I offer as an example the theologian who believes that Corinthians means women should cover their heads in church as a sign of submission, but that it would be cruel to tell women to do so now. I have no question that he believes this, that expecting submission from women is cruel.

    I’ll edit with a link to the post I’m thinking of.

  38. enrique432 says:

    TFH says:

    June 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    “This is also why the Islamic Fundamentalists were fools to use indiscriminate terrorism to express disapproval of this sort of thing.

    Had they instead done a slick PR campaign and kept violence to a minimum, their core disagreement with what the West has become, might get a lot more traction among more conservative Westerners…

    Of course, they are not that smart as to strategize this way.”

    TFH: I am Muslim (follow the Sufi path) and I can tell you, Christianity is dying, nation by nation, and Islam is growing. The women who take the shahada, want leadership, the kind our Prophet (saws) gave, not the weak Papal stuff of liberalism. They want and expect, Alpha males…not bitch ass manginas like Mark Driscoll.

    The message of Jesus (Issa, pbuh) is of more value and respect to US, as a prophet, than he is to 75 percent of the so-called Christians. You couldn’t get even 10 percent of Christians to fast for one week, let alone a whole month. There is ZERO commitment and ZERO reliance on the scriptures (esp the OT).

  39. jack says:

    That’s probably why same sex marriage is such a great distraction for so many pseudo-evangelicals.

    It provides them with what appears to be a legitimate “cause”. For the “Christians” who support same sex marriage, they are already embarrassed about the entire Bible. For the traditionalist Gilligans, they feel good about supporting hetero-only marriage:

    I.e. – “Hetero-only, no matter how seldom it is done or how frivolously it may be treated”.

  40. jack says:

    Also, many dads in the pews know that their daughters are promiscuous, and would rather turn their back on God’s word rather than make princess feel bad.

  41. Oscar says:

    Scott says:
    June 7, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    “We are trying to subvert the entire system of state-run, culture-reinforced marriage and marital norms by use of the internet.”

    I’m on board. I think the right way to approach the problem is to begin by calling the Church to repentance, and – God willing – the positive effects of revival within the Church will radiate out to the greater society as we honor God with our lives.

    Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

    Even if it doesn’t – even if we’re living in Judah in the time of Zedekiah – then we honor God with our lives as we go off into exile. Either way, we honor God.

    So, how do we do that?

  42. Oscar says:

    jack says:
    June 7, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    “That’s probably why same sex marriage is such a great distraction for so many pseudo-evangelicals.”

    Fighting same-sex “marriage” is like giving antibiotics to an AIDS patient. Sure the patient might have pneumonia, but antibiotic do nothing to kill the virus. And unless you kill the virus, even if you “cure” the patient’s pneumonia, something else will kill the patient.

  43. tz2026 says:

    Note that I personally agree with you on both Headship and Divorce, but a good result doesn’t save a bad argument, or worse ad-hominem.

    The truth is worse;  they don’t believe that what God has given us is good.

    They believe that God has made a terrible mistake, and somehow gotten the instructions for something He created for His creation backwards.  This is the source of the badly concealed embarrassment you will notice when you discuss the clear biblical teaching on divorce and to a much larger degree on headship and submission. 

    I have to disagree with your tack here. They simply don’t believe in your interpretation of scripture. They consider the interpretation on headship as much of an anachronism as that on contraception (which was far more unanimous – did God make a mistake with Onan?) Note that Luther and Henry 8 / Anglicans took the “modern” view on divorce – and the biblical teaching was even clear as they had the novel interpretation.

    They don’t think that God made any mistakes, only that various cultural practices over the centuries failed to be discarded, and consider gender to be like race – there was anti-miscegany theology (as recent as Bob Jones in the 1980s IIRC) as well as actual laws earlier. And slavery. They are discarding gender just as racism was discarded.

    I take their position seriously though I disagree with it. “You must think God was stupid” isn’t exactly charitable. You and they are both trying to do good. They are like the mistaken physicians who bled feverish patients – often because they were suffering and they wanted to do “something” over letting it take its course.

    There is also another irony. The idea of headship involves not divorcing and even showing submission when the “head” is stupid or wrong (I would say as long as it doesn’t command an overt sinful act, some go farther). Yet the men “divorce” the churches and pastors when they don’t like the teaching or music or for other trivia. I don’t know enough details for the above instance, but Christ is the ultimate head, but the Church is intermediate. If you aren’t a pastor, theologian, or otherwise spend hours daily in study and prayer, someone who does should command your respect, and possibly obedience. The Centurion who had more faith than the Jews in the Gospel said he was both in authority and under authority. A husband who rejects authority and refuses to submit is an example to his wife.

    (As a Catholic, especially one who travels a lot, I’ve been subjected to far worse, yet I’m commanded not to forsake the gathering together; but I must submit to the Church, the bride of Christ, the successors of the Apostles, as a wife is to submit to her husband – when disobedience would be the greater sin; perhaps the lack of patience today explains the lack of saints).

  44. R7 Rocket says:

    They are holier than thou. Even holier than God Himself. James Donald explains this on his blog http://blog.jim.com/tag/left-singularity

  45. desiderian says:

    mustardnine,

    “this from Johnny”

    If you hear Jesus speaking with that voice, it goes a long way to curing an emasculating upbringing.

    Likewise the voice of the Father (and His angels) World Wide Web Organizationhere.

  46. desiderian says:

    link works, tagging off.

    Scott,

    “you make a lot of sense”

    Thank you. Your site looks promising.

    The wife and I are just starting a family, so it will be awhile before I’d be able to offer much in the way direct experience to aid in your work. Likewise, my courting days are behind me. All the best.

  47. desiderian says:

    Oscar,

    “I’m on board. I think the right way to approach the problem is to begin by calling the Church to repentance, and – God willing – the positive effects of revival within the Church will radiate out to the greater society as we honor God with our lives.”

    Likewise.

    Enrique,

    “I am Muslim (follow the Sufi path) and I can tell you, Christianity is dying”

    That’s kind of our thing. We also don’t stay dead too well, so don’t get cocky.

    “The women who take the shahada, want leadership, the kind our Prophet (saws) gave, not the weak Papal stuff of liberalism. They want and expect, Alpha males…not bitch ass manginas like Mark Driscoll.”

    Very true. That’s why they’re choosing husbands and raising their sons that way as we speak. When those men turn to scripture, they will find no shortage of instruction on how to provide that leadership in a way that has proven itself vastly more effective than the teaching of your Prophet. You can repent and join them, or continue in error. Your choice.

    “The message of Jesus (Issa, pbuh) is of more value and respect to US, as a prophet, than he is to 75 percent of the so-called Christians. You couldn’t get even 10 percent of Christians to fast for one week, let alone a whole month.”

    True, again. It seems intrinsic to human nature that prosperity breeds indolence. Muslim history itself does not lack for examples.

    “There is ZERO commitment and ZERO reliance on the scriptures (esp the OT).”

    No, not quite zero, Enrique, not quite zero.

  48. desiderian says:

    “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight—indeed, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?

    For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the Lord in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

    Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be swift to bear witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.

    For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, have not perished. Ever since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of hosts. But you say, “How shall we return?”

    Will anyone rob God? Yet you are robbing me! But you say, “How are we robbing you?” In your tithes and offerings! You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me—the whole nation of you! Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. I will rebuke the locust for you, so that it will not destroy the produce of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not be barren, says the Lord of hosts. Then all nations will count you happy, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

    You have spoken harsh words against me, says the Lord. Yet you say, “How have we spoken against you?” You have said, “It is vain to serve God. What do we profit by keeping his command or by going about as mourners before the Lord of hosts? Now we count the arrogant happy; evildoers not only prosper, but when they put God to the test they escape.”

    Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”

    - Malachi 3

    Not zero.

  49. Mark says:

    @Dalrock

    Good Post!

    “”I left my most recent church in January when it began having women openly teaching men””

    I agree with this.We now have “wimmin Rabbis” within the Synagogue.Not the Synagogue that I attend.If we ever did obtain a womyn Rabbi I know that I would leave as well as a great many other male Jewish colleagues.I would consider this to be an apostasy or abomination.This is where I agree with the Roman Catholic Church on this issue.No wimmin Priests!

  50. Steve H says:

    I don’t think that your median mainstream elders and deacons are even seriously pondering whether Biblical marriage is a wonderful gift as explicitly scripturally commanded, nor do I think these folks are seriously debating the notion that feminized machinations of ‘Christian’ marriage are perhaps better.

    I just think they aren’t even getting past one very base component of fear: cowardice.

  51. Boxer says:

    We now have “wimmin Rabbis” within the Synagogue.Not the Synagogue that I attend.If we ever did obtain a womyn Rabbi I know that I would leave as well as a great many other male Jewish colleagues.I would consider this to be an apostasy or abomination.This is where I agree with the Roman Catholic Church on this issue.No wimmin Priests!

    One of my close friends in high school got married to a hot little orthodox (not chasid, but close) girl. I found it a little puzzling until I saw her, as he was about as religious as I was. Anyway, off he goes and marries the chick and I don’t hear from him for a long spell.

    Out of the blue, on the interwebz, just a couple years ago, he finds me and we compare notes. He has lived the standard life that so many other men live when they get married: indentured servitude with the wife calling all the shots (this isn’t just a Christian phenomenon, if you guys didn’t know). Eventually, his hot wife who loved him so much in university announces that she is dumping him — for a big ugly bull dyke of a lesbian, and he gets his ass kicked by the North American divorce machine as so many other brothers around here have unfortunately done.

    I found this a bit hard to believe (maybe he’s exaggerating, I thought…). So I hunt her up on facebook. I couldn’t help but laugh. There she is, posing sweetly in a professional looking “couples” portrait, and still quite cute, with her “partner” who looks like a human-donkey hybrid: the other woman is all butched out, in her dyke costume as ugly bitch in a leather jacket.

    It’s odd how lesbians have to overcompensate in the masculinity department, with buzz cut, scowling, as though to show the world she’s her “man”. They can never just be normal women who just coincidentally like chicks. They have to overdo the theatrics until they become totally ridiculous.

    In any event, there on facebook profile of hot Jewish chickie there was a wedding announcement, and about fifty giddy comments on the upcoming nuptials. Apparently there are rebbes in the orthodox community who will marry two bulldykes together, after one destroys a good family man no less. There is at least one, because they claimed to have him all scheduled.

    The one upside on this is that (I assume) after their dyke marriage (which I assume may be legal), my brother is off the hook for maintenance and paying the skank he married for her house payments and such. Even so, it’s pretty sad to see what the cultural steamroller of feminism is doing to all the ancient manly traditions.

  52. Buepillprofessor says:

    ” They are embarrassed for God, and embarrassed that they had to fix something which in their minds He has gotten so terribly wrong.”

    To be fair, 1st Century rules and standards are no longer in effect so the entire meaning of marriage is completely changed. In the 1st Century a man could have more than 1 wife. If his wife became unpleasant he could set her up in a small room of his house and go get another one. Women now have the vote and are equal under law and courts, often even more than “equal.” Women can initiate divorces. A good portion of the power in marriage has been taken from men and the ability to control a badly behaving wife is limited.

    Inevitably the hordes of broken, blended, and reformed families sitting in the pews needed to be accommodated. Mrs. Jackie Wilson Smith-Johnson, Mr. Johnson, and “their” 4 kids- John Wilson, Gail Wilson, Bobby Smith, and (the baby) Karen Johnson- doesn’t want to be told “if a man divorces his wife and remarries another then he causes her to commit adultery.”

    It IS worse than “fear.” It is heretical and ungodly greed.

  53. MattinLA says:

    I still don’t get it. Why do these leaders, pastors etc (the male ones) believe the new marriage is better than the old Biblical one? After all, the new form of marriage leaves them just as vulnerable to divorce, family disruption as the rest of us. Why do they support it then?

  54. BradA says:

    I would tend to agree with tz. You are asserting big things Dalbo when simple stupidity is a much easier explanation. How else could we have so many idiotic things outside this area taught as truth when they are not Scriptural? Compare Roman Catholicism to Protestantism as and example. You can rent for one side or the other, but clearly people of integrity are on both sides.

    I don’t know enough about formal logic, but it seems like you are making a core error here.

    MPAI -most people are idiots – is a simpler, though perhaps less emotionally satisfying, explanation.

    How many people black eye God for making Christians sick, even though Jesup never did that in His earthly ministry? Some of you probably even hold to that, in spite of the lack of evidence. Are we shocked that people follow other trends of the day?

  55. Luke says:

    Boxer says:
    June 8, 2014 at 12:28 am

    “In any event, there on facebook profile of hot Jewish chickie there was a wedding announcement, and about fifty giddy comments on the upcoming nuptials. Apparently there are rebbes in the orthodox community who will marry two bulldykes together, after one destroys a good family man no less. There is at least one, because they claimed to have him all scheduled.”

    That seems highly unlikely, that an Orthodox rabbi would “marry” two women. Now, a Reform rabbi? Wouldn’t surprise me that much.

    From
    http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/07/religious-groups-official-positions-on-same-sex-marriage/

    “The Reform and Reconstructionist Jewish movements have supported gay and lesbian rights, including same-sex marriage, since the mid-1990s. In June 2012, the Conservative Jewish movement approved a ceremony to allow same-sex couples to marry. All three movements also allow individual rabbis to choose not to officiate at the weddings of gay and lesbian couples. Orthodox Judaism does not accept same-sex marriage, and its highest governing body, the Orthodox Union, has lobbied against gay marriage nationally and in various states.”

  56. Shimshon says:

    As an observant Jew who grew up in a non-observant home, I find the Jewish approach fascinating.

  57. Luke says:

    Dalrock, I suspect you might find this news article of some interest. It contains some figures on birth rates in the U.S. with some some believed relation to marriage rates.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/women-are-having-fewer-kids-and-demographers-dont-know-why/article/2549445

    “For several decades, high Hispanic childbearing has been driving U.S. population growth. White fertility has been under the 2.1 replacement rate for decades, and ranged from 1.7 to 1.9 in the 2000s. The TFR for black Americans first fell below 2.1 in the early 2000s.

    But the number of children per Hispanic-American woman has plummeted from just under three in 1990 and 2.7 as recently as 2008 to 2.19 in 2012, just above the replacement rate.”

    ——————————————————————————————————-

    “While birth rates for women in their teens and early 20s have fallen to record lows, the corresponding rates for women in their 30s and 40s have continued to rise, uninterrupted, throughout the recession. The average age of women at their first birth has risen for four straight decades.

    Mark Mather, an associate vice president at the Population Reference Bureau, explained that the shift to older childbearing largely reflects young adults waiting to get married. That entails fewer children overall, Mather noted, because “it does get more difficult as people wait until they’re older to start families.”

  58. Scott says:

    Desiderian-

    “The wife and I are just starting a family”

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. And I will make a final plea– the family that is just getting starting is exactly who the site is focused on. It takes a very long view approach to this problem. (One whole generation) Get the littlest ones thinking differently about mate selection. The closer they are to teen years, the less likely it is to work.

  59. Luke says:

    Hi, Scott. Good for you on your family formation. I have one (young kids), and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Over and over I hear that people wish they’d had at least one more child than they did. If you and your wife are on the fence about that last one, odds are you’ll be happier that you had the kid, than if you didn’t.

  60. Shimshon says:

    The Orthodox Union is not in any way a “highest governing body.”

    Orthodox Judaism is not immune to Blue Pill thinking, by a long shot. However, in certain groups (and the ones that are probably the largest and growing the fastest and have the highest retention rates), Red Pill attitudes remain dominant regardless.

    Living in Israel, the Rabbinate, however controversial it is, or corrupt, or whatever, does have ultimate authority over Jewish marriages and divorces. There are secular courts, where divorce settlements can be adjudicated, but the actual divorce is always done in a beis din (religious court). In Jewish law, only the husband can grant divorce.

    Also, it may or may not be universally held, but normative Jewish law is that resorting to the secular courts, anywhere, is a very grave sin (there are nuances here, but this is the general rule). This doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I have read of some prominent and unfortunate examples in the last year. But in the community I am part of, it is pretty uncommon.

  61. desiderian says:

    “Get the littlest ones thinking differently about mate selection.”

    Different? I doubt they’ll seriously consider that you’re working to be different from. The young I work with aren’t exactly minding their feminist masters on their own…

    Let Christ be your guide, and soon enough they’ll be wondering why they’re different from you.

    I’ll read along.

  62. desiderian says:

    Luke,

    “That seems highly unlikely, that an Orthodox rabbi would “marry” two women.”

    It’s not entirely accurate to call a bull-dyke a woman. He’s filling the void emasculated men have failed to.

  63. Dalrock says:

    Robert in Arabia,

    You’ve mistaken my graciousness as a host for weakness. Go mock God and Christianity somewhere else.

  64. enrique432 says:

    desiderian: I’m pretty much a universalist Muslim (as Sufism and to a degree, Bahai tend to lead to), so I respect all the Abrahamic religions and their followers, to the degree that they at least have the intent to do so (Allah, swt, knows our intentions). But I don’t see 99 percent of the Christians in this country, the US (where I grew up), following even the basic 10 commandments, starting with honoring one’s parents. Feminism is all ABOUT dishonor and about idolatry (of money, big houses, “things”), and coveting, and it is rampant throughout the Christian world and even WAY more so in Judaism (non-Orthodox).

    So what’s the solution?
    (NOTE: You do know that as a Muslim we believe Jesus (pbuh) is the Messiah and will come back on the day of Judgment. We have more in common than you think!)

  65. think we may be getting closer on this. Would you agree that it is not merely fear. That they do fear the reaction, but they also think the new form of marriage is better. I agree that there is fear there, as well as lift chasing, but after teaching and thinking the new way long enough their beliefs have followed their words and actions. I offer as an example the theologian who believes that Corinthians means women should cover their heads in church as a sign of submission, but that it would be cruel to tell women to do so now. I have no question that he believes this, that expecting submission from women is cruel.

    In an effort to get even closer (and really because I think this modification is better than simply saying “fear), sure…fear is not a sole motivator. That would be true even without the rest of what I have written here because something, over time, actually built up to a point where it could elicit fear. But fear is perhaps too strong a descriptor.

    Lets say a man has a jealous wife. Not insanely jealous, but annoyingly so. The minor bickering her jealousy causes is simply exhausting after years of it. Say this man travels for business and occasionally dinners with client companies are involved. On occasion there will be a female in attendance, but because of the industry, its maybe 20% of the time. He knows when his wife asks, What’d you do last evening?” “Dinner with ACME” “Who all was there?” “Jim the VP, Roger the Manager, etc etc. “Any women?” ………………………………….Right here is the thing Im calling fear. he may be so fed up with the annoying tedium of 20 questions, even though they are asked not unkindly, no edge, no threat, its just tedious and annoying, so, this kind of “fear” may have him answer “no”, even if a woman was present.

    That’s what I’m describing here. He may not literally fear the reprisals, he may just be sick and tired of them and find not clearly teaching, or peppering weasel words in on Sundays, makes his Mondays better. I have had a pastor to two actually suggest fear of their own wife’s reaction as a motivator. But the other thing I just described is more common.

    Add, laziness. (so, correct, not merely fear)The church follows (sadly) the culture, but with a lag. Like new house of representative members , freshmen, who carry zeal and ideologically pure intent to Washington only to, a few terms later, have been conformed out of anything that would be called zealous, some pastors may begin with a fire for true scriptural teaching on marriage and get worn down as they see the whole gamut of negativity he receives on any but those acceptable moral issues he preaches on (those are porn, gay marriage, and abortion), so he gravitates to those because, you know, why ruffle folk’s feathers.

    Even in the example you gave, however, fear is clearly the chief motivator. he fears reprisal for asking women to do something so outlandish. That he has created a rationale for it doesn’t explain his deep core motive, which is the type of fear I described by example.

    One way to look at this is to ask, what would you say to a group of pastors if you were speaking in front of them? As you wrote your speech and evaluated your audience, having chosen a topic that is designed to get them back on Biblical marriage teaching, how would you do it? Would you grab some study guides, a concordance and some translations, and try to redo their exegesis? Would you think the majority of them just do not understand scripture and a sound rooted teaching would help the majority? Or would the speech be more of a , well, man up type speech and start preaching these truths regardless the fallout? Or some third thing? Whatever the thing is, could it be rooted in the kind of fear/avoidance/laziness I am describing?

    You’d have your ego maniacs who see their growth numbers as proof they neednt adjust. Easy to say they are not driven by fear. But not so fast. If they were to be impeached by the truth of Gods word, and stay the present course using growth numbers as basis, they are indeed being driven by fear, fear of upsetting the applecart of growth.

    Could go on and on, but regardless what you add to this sauce, its reduction has a high concentration of fear (with the caveat as Ive described)

  66. wow, no closed block quotes

    [D: Did that fix it?]

  67. Dalrock says:

    @tz2026

    I have to disagree with your tack here. They simply don’t believe in your interpretation of scripture. They consider the interpretation on headship as much of an anachronism as that on contraception (which was far more unanimous – did God make a mistake with Onan?) Note that Luther and Henry 8 / Anglicans took the “modern” view on divorce – and the biblical teaching was even clear as they had the novel interpretation.

    They don’t think that God made any mistakes, only that various cultural practices over the centuries failed to be discarded, and consider gender to be like race – there was anti-miscegany theology (as recent as Bob Jones in the 1980s IIRC) as well as actual laws earlier. And slavery. They are discarding gender just as racism was discarded.

    I take their position seriously though I disagree with it. “You must think God was stupid” isn’t exactly charitable. You and they are both trying to do good. They are like the mistaken physicians who bled feverish patients – often because they were suffering and they wanted to do “something” over letting it take its course.

    I know there are many Christians who believe that the Bible is a relic of the past, and therefore embrace everything from “mutual submission” in marriage, to gay marriage, to women as pastors and even gay “married” pastors. If you haven’t figured out that I’m not focused on them I’m not sure what I can say for you. Moreover, why are you so offended on their behalf by my post? I also am baffled that you would make such an argument while putting in your usual RCC digs at me. Are you saying you encounter this kind of heresy on a regular basis in the RCC, while trying to recruit me? You really need to work on your pitch. It isn’t just tedious, it is wildly ineffective.

    I’m not talking about the groups who overtly jettison traditional Christian marriage and sexual morality. What I’m talking about are groups who on the surface claim to believe what the Bible says is true, but then in practice always find a way to turn it around. Think the folks over at Catholic Answers Forum. In theory the RCC doesn’t allow divorce, but you would never know from the way pretty much every marital problem involving an unhaaapy wife is handled there. Think also the target audience for the Fireproof/Courageous/Moms Night Out movies. These aren’t the Gene Robinson crowd, they are “conservative” Bible belt Christians. I’m talking about the very pastors Empath has met with so many times over the years. He isn’t trying to talk sense into the radical gay and overtly feminist pastors and their congregations; he is talking to ostensibly conservative ones, who would be mortified to be called a feminist yet somehow in practice always manage to not just nuke headship and traditional marriage, but reverse the roles of headship and submission. Think Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, and the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

  68. seeker says:

    “You do know that as a Muslim we believe Jesus (pbuh) is the Messiah and will come back on the day of Judgment. We have more in common than you think!)”

    I am also a Muslim. FYI. not all muslims believe that Jesus (pbuh) will return. Particularly the ones who make religious judgements based on the Scripture (Quran) only.

    quransmessage.com/pdfs/Second%20Coming.pdf

  69. Steve H says:

    Ifthese men in positions of modern-day Christian church leadership do honestly believe that this ‘new version of marriage’ is indeed better (and that is a big ‘if’ which I wouldn’t necessarily conceded) – perhaps it because they are taking a cold, stark look at the legions of wimpy, feminized men in their pews and at their potluck dinners and making the rather pragmatic assessment that in light of such writ-large male spinelessness, the old (and ideally preferable) model of marriage simply can not work any longer.

  70. Bee says:

    @Scott,

    “Either my content sucks or I am a terrible marketer.”

    Neither is the case.

    You are not getting much participation because almost all western Christians hate/despise courtship and/or arranged marriages. I don’t think you have understood how much of an uphill battle you and your wife have undertaken.

  71. Dalrock says:

    @Empath

    That’s what I’m describing here. He may not literally fear the reprisals, he may just be sick and tired of them and find not clearly teaching, or peppering weasel words in on Sundays, makes his Mondays better. I have had a pastor to two actually suggest fear of their own wife’s reaction as a motivator. But the other thing I just described is more common.

    Yes. I think you’ve done a good job describing this. But this only goes so far. It explains the silence and to some degree the wishy washy pandering to individual cases of frivorce, etc. But it doesn’t explain the full picture. As you wrote above:

    I can really see it if i looked at just a high view , sermons and books by those men, quotes and stories.

    They don’t just shy away at the crucial moments, as you say what they say and write is designed to reverse headship and submission. Many of these men have spent a lifetime doing this. A normal man can’t do this without it changing his own beliefs. At some point unless they are flat out hucksters they start to buy what they are selling. For many of them they bought it before they sold it.

    One way to look at this is to ask, what would you say to a group of pastors if you were speaking in front of them? As you wrote your speech and evaluated your audience, having chosen a topic that is designed to get them back on Biblical marriage teaching, how would you do it? Would you grab some study guides, a concordance and some translations, and try to redo their exegesis? Would you think the majority of them just do not understand scripture and a sound rooted teaching would help the majority? Or would the speech be more of a , well, man up type speech and start preaching these truths regardless the fallout? Or some third thing? Whatever the thing is, could it be rooted in the kind of fear/avoidance/laziness I am describing?

    What I’m saying is before we can deal with their fear, we need to deal with the full reality of what they believe. They aren’t just lying to us, they are lying to themselves. This is much like a mother who spoils her child. If you ask her she will explain that she is just so terrified that little Billy will throw a fit and hate her if she doesn’t constantly give in. But if you offer her a solution which doesn’t involve Billy throwing a fit, nine times out of ten she will resist, because when it comes down to it she thinks saying no to Billy is mean. The fear of the fit while not untrue is masking something deeper. Until we deal with the deeper issue, we are only spinning our wheels. The issue isn’t that she doesn’t love little Billy enough to do what she knows is best for him. The issue is she has adopted little Billy’s view of what is good for him.

  72. Steve H

    There may be some cause and effect issues with what you have written. Picture cause and effect like a chemical reaction for a moment. It will move left to right until it reaches an equilibrium under a set of conditions…temperature/pressure etc.

    Like this:

    To understand a reaction, we need to know the mechanism: the step-by-step pathway from reactants to products. To know how well the reaction goes to products, we study its thermodynamics: the energetics of the reaction at equilibrium. To understand how quickly it produces products or by-products, we study its kinetics: the variation of reaction rates with different conditions and concentrations of reagents. Studying the kinetics also helps to suggest possible reaction mechanisms.

    Effect/CauseCause/Effect

    ManBadWomanGood Teaching WIMPY MEN

    If XXX is equilibrium under certain conditions (culture, etc), that some men have been emasulated by the teaching, and some teaching has come to be because of the presence of emasculated men, then think about the church body, its composition male/female/age, its bent liberal/conservative theologically, etc,, change those things (like changing temperature and pressure in a chemical reaction) and XXX moves left or right.

  73. Should have looked like this

    Effect/Cause —————————XXXXX—————————–Cause/Effect

    ManBadWomanGoodteaching——————————XXXXX————————-wimpy men

  74. Steve H says:

    Empath – yes – both the cause and effect are indeed weighted on opposing scales. The skepticism I would have, however, is with regard to how many men will allow their own paradigms to be fundamentally altered by the presence of a particular pastor (who’s preaching a consistently emasculating message), rather than getting a few sermons-full of this sort of rhetoric before drawing his own conclusion about how that message jives with scripture and consequently saying to his wife, “Honey, next Sunday we’re going to try visiting another church.”

  75. Steve H says:

    ^^Above comment premised upon accepting for the sake of argument that the majority of modern Christian men we were discussing aren’t necessarily ‘wimpy and emasculated’ – but rather legitimately, thoughtfully open-minded to being swayed by a particular pastor’s worldview. I see a glaring contradiction there, unless we’re talking about some kind of excusable ignorance on the part of these men.

  76. Borepatch says:

    This might be the Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action. The Iron Law says that in any organization there will be two types of people: the ones who are devoted to the goals of the organization, and the ones who are devoted to the organization itself. Given long enough, the second group assumes all leadership positions in the organization.

    We see this pretty much everywhere: teachers vs. teacher’s unions, NASA scientists overridden by managers (leading to the Challenger disaster), etc. And so why not with, say, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? (note: that church was picked entirely at random).

    If the organization’s leaders are convinced that they will get more women in the pews on Sunday by taking position X, then we would expect to see position X. The leaders will figure out a way to convince themselves in their hearts of hearts that X is Good and True, because that will be the way to get ahead in the organization. It’s a natural dynamic of large organizations – which all the churches are.

    If this is the case, then there very well may be something to the idea of small communities of like-minded Christians, because the only way out of the trap is to eliminate the organization structure and incentives.

  77. Tarrou says:

    An outsider’s view, for what it is worth. I am an atheist who was raised in a very strict sect of charismatic christianity. One of the common criticisms of other christians when I was young was that they really didn’t believe, if they did they would act differently. As I’ve matured, I’ve come to see that this is true of virtually everyone. The only believers of any religion who really, truly believe are the psychotic violent fringe. The rest are just telling stories to justify their prejudices (which to be fair is what everyone does, atheists included). American christians don’t believe the bible any more than Greeks believed the myths they told each other. Sure, they might claim to, they might even execute someone periodically for impiety, but at the core of it all, they don’t buy it. If they did, they’d act differently.

  78. Boxer says:

    American christians don’t believe the bible any more than Greeks believed the myths they told each other. Sure, they might claim to, they might even execute someone periodically for impiety, but at the core of it all, they don’t buy it. If they did, they’d act differently.

    If you examine the history and historiography of the time and place, you’ll find that no one believed in “the gods” in Classical Greece or Rome, aside from little kids and the mentally deficient — and no one was expected to. There are an almost infinite number of artifacts describing this. These stories were valuable as metaphor, not history.

    (I mean literal “meta-for” – as a bridge or jumping off point)

    So, you sorta contradict yourself with this example. Sure, lots of contemporary Christians take their religious texts on faith, rather than a childish “true belief”. This is the nature of adult life. The text gives good advice for people in various situations. That’s reason enough to find them valuable and identify with them, no?

    Regards, Boxer

  79. earl says:

    “The text gives good advice for people in various situations. That’s reason enough to find them valuable and identify with them, no?”

    I’d say so. Combine that with faith and you got a winning combo.

    And even if you don’t have faith…it does give you a good idea on the spectrum of human behavior and how to handle it. Where else will you get the truth about the nature of man?

  80. greyghost says:

    And even if you don’t have faith…it does give you a good idea on the spectrum of human behavior and how to handle it. Where else will you get the truth about the nature of man?

    This is the power of the bible and Christianity. The foundation of “common sense” and sustainability. That is why having a foundation in Christianity is cool.

  81. greyghost says:

    What I’m saying is before we can deal with their fear, we need to deal with the full reality of what they believe. They aren’t just lying to us, they are lying to themselves. This is much like a mother who spoils her child. If you ask her she will explain that she is just so terrified that little Billy will throw a fit and hate her if she doesn’t constantly give in. But if you offer her a solution which doesn’t involve Billy throwing a fit, nine times out of ten she will resist, because when it comes down to it she thinks saying no to Billy is mean. The fear of the fit while not untrue is masking something deeper. Until we deal with the deeper issue, we are only spinning our wheels. The issue isn’t that she doesn’t love little Billy enough to do what she knows is best for him. The issue is she has adopted little Billy’s view of what is good for him.

    Dalrock
    It looks to me it is a classic and very simple case of those men seeking female approval. Seems to me we would be much better off with PUA, pimps and ex-husbands going to seminary school than the righteous nice guys we have now. It is the original sin repeated over and over again. Pleasing a woman will get you no where

  82. Matamoros says:

    I left my most recent church in January when it began having women openly teaching men.

    This is the only way to hurt them – in the pocketbook. Otherwise they don’t care. You should tell them how much you contributed in the past year(s) and why you are leaving. Then leave.

    the relevant passages of the Bible only applied to the first-century Christians Paul wrote his letters to

    The is typically Protestant. Why don’t they have priests and bishops, apostolic succession, union with Rome, confession, etc.? Because that only applied to first century Christians — or so they say, as they deny God’s revelation and Church. It is all in the Bible, but they reject it because they don’t want to be bound by it. Same thing going on here.

  83. Dalrock

    That Ive identified this quirky type if fear as the primary motivation (or deterrent from truth), that doesnt mean im suggesting that the solution is to get them to be unafraid. In this you are correct when you say they have taken their own avoiding language on board as the correct language. They do that part because they get the lift as positive reinforcement.

    The mom analogy fits too. She gets Billy quiet and momentarily content with her too. that’s her lift analog. The thing is the analogy falls apart in this way though. You say the preacher has adopted the wrong beliefs and compare that to the mom thinking its mean to deny Billy. The right comparison would be her saying she believes that the thing Billy wants to do….have a cooie, get the toy, whatever is actually GOOD for Billy. the thing Billy wants is the right analogy to the things the preacher teaches.

    Fear and the lift. Positive and negative reinforcement.

    You wont convince them of another view…..rather you wont convince them sufficiently of another view no matter how methodical and forensically sound the presentation you/we make. Scripture will not do it. Its so deeply rooted that divine intervention is essential.

    So, finding alternatives, like Voddie, and dare I say the young man where we’ve settled, and supporting them so that the fear (combined with positive reinforcement via the lift) doesn’t corrupt them. Get men to rush to those places. Grow those places. Create critical mass sufficient where even fear can be overcome by strength of numbers. SHOW what a community looks like where people live these roles. One household seems to not be very convincing, meaning yours, mine, Canes, whoever, yet I have stories of a few men greatly impacted by seeing just one man standing on principle.

    I’m not trying to be Pollyanna or pie in sky when i say things like that that sound like calls to action. That’s not and has never been my thing to lay out big things. Im saying it for its value as further illustration

  84. Tarrou says:

    @ Boxer,

    You see the dilemma, I hope? Either christianity is “rational”, subject to secular criticism and not to be taken literally, in which case Dalrock’s whole thesis is null. The option is that the Bible is True, literally and in every single instance, in which case I must ask to check your clothing for mixed fibers.

    Alternatively, we can take the Penn Jillette “Abraham” test of belief. By whatever standard of belief you hold, you believe that God has personally told you to kill your child. Do you do it? If not, you don’t really believe, and the whole charade tumbles. If so, you are a dangerous and malignant psychopath.

    Those who claim to be able to distinguish the True bits of the Bible from the “metaphorical” bits that we need not pay attention to are literally claiming to know the mind of God. One should be cautious when making this claim. The question remains, just how much do you actually believe? Enough to kill and die for? Or just enough to be mildly unpopular at dinner parties?

    Best,
    Tarrou

  85. embracing reality says:

    The churchian leadership is clearly embarrassed at what they consider antiquated roles of male headship and female submission in marriage as designed by their biblical God. Their fear comes from the fact that teaching male headship and female submission in marriage will displease their true gods, women.

  86. Dalrock says:

    @Empath

    That Ive identified this quirky type if fear as the primary motivation (or deterrent from truth), that doesnt mean im suggesting that the solution is to get them to be unafraid. In this you are correct when you say they have taken their own avoiding language on board as the correct language. They do that part because they get the lift as positive reinforcement.

    Agreed.

    The mom analogy fits too. She gets Billy quiet and momentarily content with her too. that’s her lift analog. The thing is the analogy falls apart in this way though. You say the preacher has adopted the wrong beliefs and compare that to the mom thinking its mean to deny Billy. The right comparison would be her saying she believes that the thing Billy wants to do….have a cooie, get the toy, whatever is actually GOOD for Billy. the thing Billy wants is the right analogy to the things the preacher teaches.

    What I’m saying is she doesn’t come out and say that what Billy wants is what is good for him, but this is what is below the surface. This is similar to what we see with Christian fathers encouraging their daughters to delay marriage. They generally won’t say that the carousel is good for their daughters, but the idea of her marrying the first man she has sex with would mortify him.

    You wont convince them of another view…..rather you wont convince them sufficiently of another view no matter how methodical and forensically sound the presentation you/we make. Scripture will not do it. Its so deeply rooted that divine intervention is essential.

    Scripture won’t do it because the problem isn’t that they haven’t read the Scripture, or that they actually disagree with the plain interpretation of it. It won’t work because this isn’t where they went wrong. They know the Scripture means what it says, and this is the source of their embarrassment. Unlike those TF tz2026 is referring to above who openly flaunt Scripture, they know what it says and that it is timeless (because God does not change), they just don’t believe that it is good. So much so that they will go to great lengths to fashion marriage into the opposite while being careful to not overtly state as much.

    So, finding alternatives, like Voddie, and dare I say the young man where we’ve settled, and supporting them so that the fear (combined with positive reinforcement via the lift) doesn’t corrupt them. Get men to rush to those places. Grow those places. Create critical mass sufficient where even fear can be overcome by strength of numbers. SHOW what a community looks like where people live these roles. One household seems to not be very convincing, meaning yours, mine, Canes, whoever, yet I have stories of a few men greatly impacted by seeing just one man standing on principle.

    Yes, show them that it actually is good, and their fear becomes a non issue. This is my point. It isn’t that they don’t have fear, but that trying to deal with the fear is a distraction. Show them that their error is not in how they have interpreted Scripture, but that what they know Scripture to say is in fact good, and there is no reason for embarrassment.

  87. greyghost says:

    their true gods, women

    Yup

  88. embracing reality says:

    In the millenniums since the beginning man is still right back where he started.

    1 Timothy 2:14 “And it was not Adam who was deceived by Satan. The woman was deceived, and sin was the result.”

    So if Adam was not deceived why was he thrown out of the paradise?

    Genesis 3:17 “And unto Adam he said,

    **Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,** …

    …cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.”

    Nothing has changed, men are still putting the value of women, women’s words, women’s approval above God’s. The world fell because of it. Nothing has changed.

  89. What I’m saying is she doesn’t come out and say that what Billy wants is what is good for him, but this is what is below the surface. This is similar to what we see with Christian fathers encouraging their daughters to delay marriage.

    This is a strain and a tangent. The tangent works for that point about dads and daughters. It works, but it is strained to say that preachers generally think that female headed homes, lack of submission, call it whatever, is good for marriage. Yes there are myriad books and some actually do buy this bunk. Others have ground their molars to nubs as they sell that snake oil. Im speaking on submission only here. Many other aspects of wrong headed teachings are what define the Driscolls of this world, and having mentioned that, I start to see your point more clearly. He is certainly not afraid, he is however subject to the lift. But all in all he is bought into what he teaches.

    OK then, only three back and forth iterations and we have a consensus. Eureka

  90. Opus says:

    I take a very different view from Tarrou and Boxer: so far as I can see, everyone, whether Jew or Atheist believes The Bible- both New and Old – to be factually true, indeed suggesting otherwise gets Atheists very hot under the collar and I would guess Jews likewise. What Christians think may however be another matter – because they may be prone to think about it. I maintain of course thereby that most Atheists (and perhaps Jews too) are really Christians.

  91. Cane Caldo says:

    Yes, show them that it actually is good, and their fear becomes a non issue. This is my point. It isn’t that they don’t have fear, but that trying to deal with the fear is a distraction. Show them that their error is not in how they have interpreted Scripture, but that what they know Scripture to say is in fact good, and there is no reason for embarrassment.

    Heartily agree.

    Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, then with some men you have to surmount their envy and hatred.

    You tell them God’s plan, they say, “That’s just theory. It doesn’t actually work.” You show them that it works for others, and they say “Oh yeah? What about you, tough guy? Are you Mr. Perfect” You tell them your own story of trusting God’s plan, and they say “Well, I did enough right that it should have worked, so it’s just theory.”

  92. feeriker says:

    Borepatch says:
    June 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Yep, you’re right. The ILoB is a major factor in this, along with the inevitable institutional inertia that is a by-product of it. The fact that churches are not immune to it (heck, we’ve had nearly 1,700 years worth of evidence that churches are a primary vector) drives a large part of my belief that Establishment is the worst thing that ever happened to Christianity (in fact, it has all but destroyed it).

  93. Once you’ve cleared that hurdle, then with some men you have to surmount their envy and hatred.

    Why would they, upon merely hearing and accepting right teaching, have envy or hatred for you? This makes no sense unless you include some comment about your own specific life example in the statement. No one would have a reason to envy or hate ME/YOU because weve convinced them of the truth, unless we used our own example as part of the convincing.

    They may hate you, I guess, but envy is personal

  94. Boxer says:

    Dear Tarrou:

    Those who claim to be able to distinguish the True bits of the Bible from the “metaphorical” bits that we need not pay attention to are literally claiming to know the mind of God. One should be cautious when making this claim. The question remains, just how much do you actually believe? Enough to kill and die for? Or just enough to be mildly unpopular at dinner parties?

    I realize that your response is rhetorical, but can’t help but add my usual disclaimer. I’m not a Christian, so for me the bible is 100 percent rhetorical. It’s still “true” in that there’s enough truth in my reading to make it worthwhile.

    Re: your mixed fibers analogy (another metaphor); we can, I hope, recognize the value of an ideal while acknowledging the impossibility of its attainment. I doubt I’ve lived a day in all my life when I was 100 percent in tune with prvdentia, ivstitia, temperantia et fortitvdo. I’m also not a true believer in the virtus (pagan masculine spirituality of Classical Rome), though I recognize these as useful and worthwhile ideals, and I’ll continue to strive for them, without reasonably expecting perfection.

    I’m also dirty after a morning in the garden. I’ll take a shower this evening, even though I’ll surely get dirty again. I’ll take a shower again tomorrow, and again the day after, etc. I’ll always get dirty, but I’ll always keep showering, and I’ll never just “give up and quit showering” despite the fact that I’ll never be clean. That would be the same as tossing out the religious texts, for a Christian, just because he isn’t completely in tune with them.

    Cleanliness, like faith, or masculinity, is a process toward unattainable perfection, rather than an unattainable destination which we should all give up on.

    Best, Boxer

  95. My point is buried, Cane…..unintentionally. I see your developed sequence of events there where you do share personal info to the hypothetical person. If we are talking about pastors Ive a tough time seeing that unfold as such.

    I also see a case where one would be better served to not claim “look at this truth it worked in my life” without explaining what “it worked” means. If there is a picture of pure submission and order in your marriage included in whats said, that is for sure going to draw fire and it should.

    If, however the picture is of a man walking steadfastly regardless, there should be nothing to envy or hate.

  96. I promise to not say another thing after this, on this. But Tarrou, there are far far better gotcha’s for us Christians to have to wrestle with than the mixed fiber one or the Abraham’s sacrifice one. There are more compelling arguments for non literal bible reading (I would generally disagree with them anyway) and even for atheism than those you’ve chosen. You have picked from the most pedestrian of them demonstrating it would be pointless to engage. Ive had my say, wont say more

  97. Boxer says:

    Empath:

    I promise to not say another thing after this, on this. But Tarrou, there are far far better gotcha’s for us Christians to have to wrestle with than the mixed fiber one or the Abraham’s sacrifice one. There are more compelling arguments for non literal bible reading (I would generally disagree with them anyway) and even for atheism than those you’ve chosen. You have picked from the most pedestrian of them demonstrating it would be pointless to engage. Ive had my say, wont say more

    You would probably like this work…

    http://sorenkierkegaard.org/works-of-love.html

  98. Opus says:

    Boxer says that for him the Bible is ’100%’ rhetorical. I think that a very rhetorical thing to say, and I don’t believe a word of it. He may be (in my view) confusing disbelief with dismissing, though I am sure if I were to ask him ‘what about X?’ he will say he does not believe it – but can he explain why? As Boxer (I seem to recall) believes that America flew to the Moon seven times I would say that Boxer is more than capable of swallowing whole as much as that Jonah-swallowing Whale.

  99. Boxer says:

    Opus:

    LOL! Good catch. 100% Metaphor(ical?) is what I meant(ed).

    Boxer

  100. Cane Caldo says:

    @Empath

    I also see a case where one would be better served to not claim “look at this truth it worked in my life” without explaining what “it worked” means.

    You’re trying to pull a fast one. My statement had an order to it, and there were responses from the men that were being replied to. People want the personal story. Even if they don’t want to believe it, they want to hear it; especially in intimate matters like marriage, sex, etc. How many times have I read someone criticizing an argument for being too theoretical; too much wrangling over definitions; too much that doesn’t have the stink of real world choices on it?

    If there is a picture of pure submission and order in your marriage included in whats said, that is for sure going to draw fire and it should.

    Well, there you go. That’s not right. We ought to be encouraged by beautiful truths. Like I said: Under all that fear and lifting is envy and hate. Some people aren’t satisfied until they see the bad, and that is exactly why they persist to ask for the personal experience and will not accept the bare truth on faith. They’re not really looking for the truth to be shown true. They want to see where it failed. They won’t believe anything except ugliness.

  101. Cane Caldo says:

    @Empath

    (Forgot to address this)

    Why would they, upon merely hearing and accepting right teaching, have envy or hatred for you? This makes no sense unless you include some comment about your own specific life example in the statement. No one would have a reason to envy or hate ME/YOU because weve convinced them of the truth, unless we used our own example as part of the convincing.

    C’mon, man. The envy and hatred is against beauty and truth anywhere they find it. It’s not particular to you, me, etc. They are ready to hate anywhere they find it.

    And, yes, you can reveal the truth to someone and have them hate you for it. Unquestionably. That’s exactly the sort of thing that can get in a person’s nostrils and make them livid.

  102. Exfernal says:

    Opus says:
    June 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm
    I take a very different view from Tarrou and Boxer: so far as I can see, everyone, whether Jew or Atheist believes The Bible- both New and Old – to be factually true, indeed suggesting otherwise gets Atheists very hot under the collar and I would guess Jews likewise. What Christians think may however be another matter – because they may be prone to think about it. I maintain of course thereby that most Atheists (and perhaps Jews too) are really Christians.

    How many atheists claim this passage to be factually true?

  103. Opus says:

    @Exfernal

    I obviously cannot speak for all professed Atheists (though as you see I think that most are Christians) but having now (for the first time) read the passage in Joshua, I would say that it is probably true – provided the earth goes round the Sun rather than the other way round. Certainly when I look at the Sun it does not appear to move. Movement is only relative to other objects. If all the space in the Universe were entirely filled with Matter there would and could be no movement. Of course I wasn’t there at the time. The Lord works in mysterious ways, or so I am told.

    I can say, however, that the Moon moves, for at night it seems to follow you as you pass by houses and sometimes it looks bigger and sometimes smaller.

  104. JDG says:

    Dalrock says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:46 am

    You nailed it here Dalrock. I think I’m going to borrow this last paragraph if it’s okay with you.

    [D: Thanks. Borrow as you see fit.]

  105. I pulled a fast one Cane. I like playing whack a mole with you.

  106. the Moon moves

    Yes. Occasionally from a school bus, often out a frat house window, and there is the yearly sports illustrated swim suit cover. The moon moves in mysterious-er ways

  107. bluedog says:

    @Tarrou re: June 8, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The next time I respond to one of Jerry Coyne’s interminably athy-mythi-istically-perfect-cosmic-knowledge-of-all-things articles in The New Republic, I will want to quote you on this:

    “The only believers of any religion who really, truly believe are the psychotic violent fringe. The rest are just telling stories to justify their prejudices (which to be fair is what everyone does, atheists included).”

    Unfortunately that probably won’t be soon as Coyne’s articles are so utterly predictable that lately I haven’t been able to trouble myself to read them. It’s as if you could give me the title of a Coyne article and I could write it myself and match sentence 9 for 10.

    Anyway – then as relates the Tarrou, Empath, Boxer follow up on “true bits of Bible”, I’d like to relate a story.

    It so happened that not a long time back I was discussing schooling choices with my sister who sends her kids to a private school but had to find a new one. She related to me the expressed philosophy of one school she was considering, which is an old philosophy – that their method of pedagogy is to take students to the door, but leave it to the student to walk through the door.

    That was interesting because not a week later I sat through a discussion led by a rabbi who was trying to teach parents how to talk with their children about God. At some point in the discussion the rabbi mentioned this exact same idea – we take people to the door, but it is up to them, to walk through it.

    Later on in the discussion he related a story. I will bastardize the details but my paraphrase should still do justice to the essence of it.

    There was an observant hasid who received a message from God indicating that he was to be visited by God shortly at a specific day and time and that God was going to reprimand him on everything that he had done wrong the previous year.

    Alarmed at this the hasid discussed his predicament with his friends and family and puzzled over what to do. Finally it hit him and he got to work drawing up his own list.

    Later, on the time and day specified, God came to the home of the hasid. Before God could start on his reprimands though the hasid stopped him saying, “God, we can go over everything I’ve done wrong, but first I have compiled a list of everything you did wrong.”

    At this, God looked rather shocked, and immediately disappeared.

    When the hasid reported on this later to a friend his friend was aghast, saying, “You fool! You had him and you let him get away!”

    Later in the discussion still, the rabbi related that whatever our sense of belief is about the Biblical stories, we remember, discuss and wrestle with them because doing so has a value – and here I will fail any way I try to remember how he described what the value is, other than that it is very important.

    Me – I think there are at least two doors to pass through by way of the parable and a goodly number make it through the first door, but it’s a rare chap who finds it through the second.

  108. Scott says:

    Steve H–

    “I don’t think that your median mainstream elders and deacons are even seriously pondering whether Biblical marriage is a wonderful gift as explicitly scripturally commanded, nor do I think these folks are seriously debating the notion that feminized machinations of ‘Christian’ marriage are perhaps better.

    I just think they aren’t even getting past one very base component of fear: cowardice.”

    When we went to Marriage Enrichment (RCC) before our convalidation, the deacon who taught the portion on vows was falling all over himself to undermine and invalidate Eph 5:23. The slide show had 5:22 in larger, bright red letters indicating that everything that follows is incorrect. This was accompanied by boiler plate, “servant leader” crap.

    I would have stood up and explained the entire passage as being out of context when 5:22 is added to what follows but I didn’t. Quite frankly, because of weakness and cowardice. I am getting better though, and finding that the sting of those leering looks by other men’s obnoxious wives just doesn’t bother me that much anymore.

    All the men sat quietly while their wives or wives to be nodded in approval.

  109. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dalrock, as various men have observed in various ways, it is clear to me that many men – especially the Boomer men, as well as GenX men – have a tremendous emotional investment in the standard feminist interpretation of the Bible. Now, for men in the androsphere, the notion that “I’ve been doing this all wrong for years! I need to do this differently!” is not all that alarming or threatening (well, maybe at first), because we’ve been through it.

    We wear the glasses. We see women as they are, not as some pink, fluffy drugged-dream would tell us they are.

    It is not easy to admit error for any human, and the more emotional investment a man has in a given way of thinking, the more difficult it will be to change that way of thinking in any substantial way. Some men simply won’t be up to it, for whatever reason.

    Example from science: for generations, doctors “knew” that ulcers of the stomache were caused by stress, too much acid, and so forth. Marshall and Warren discovered the H. Pylori bacteria in 1982, and found that a bacterial infection was the cause of the vast majority of ulcers. There was tremendous doubt, criticism, even death threats. Only when the infection / ulcer / antibiotic / cure cycle was shown over and over again was this new idea accepted.

    Note the resistance to this idea, even though one of the researchers actually infected himself, developed stomache ulcers, took a course of antibiotics and cleared the ulcers up. An experiment that could be done anywhere. Because of the emotional investment in the previous, incorrect explanation. This could be done with no confounding variables.

    In any marriage there are always confounding variables. So it is easy for a naysayer to attribute success in marriage to some side issue, some irrelevancy, “Oh, well, you’re 6 inches taller than she is, so no wonder she submits to you” for example.

    As I’ve pointed out in several places, we swim in a sea of feminism. Gynocentrism applies in many areas of life. And that leads to a testable hypothesis, although I dunno how to do it:

    Hypothesis: the more strictly a denomination hews to Bible precepts of marriage and church leadership, the fewer divorces will be seen.

    Null: Divorce numbers from different denominations would show no difference, for example the number of divorced Episcopalians per 100,000 would be no different than the number of divorced Church of Christ per 100,000. Repeat for multiple denominations.

    How do partition the set of churches into “Bible following” and “not so much”? Start with women as pastors/teachers/leaders/elders/bishops/deacons/etc. Any church that allows women to lead and/or teach men is liberal, under this partition. Any church that bars women from preaching, from leadership positions, etc. is not liberal.

    Problems: many. First of all, it’s a moving target. As the mainline Protestant churches crash in numbers, congregations either move to other denominations or form new ones. Some are tinkering with changes – such as allowing individual churches to have some women as officers, on their on decision – as I write this. So a denomination that was not liberal 40 years ago is now sliding rapidly. Others are shifting differently, there are Episcopal churches that have removed themselves from the US leadership and placed themselves under the authority of bishops in Africa, in order to shield themselves from the whole homosexual marriate / priest / bishop issue. Thus a congregation might have been part of a liberal church 5 years ago, and now is not.

    Second of all, some of the most conservative denominations are small, on the order of 50,000 people in toto. That denominator will make them more sensitive to even a handful of divorces, and thus could skew results.

    And this is just for the Protestant churches. The RCC and the Orthodox have the same problems, but they tend to be more difficult to see due to organizational structure. Latin Mass churches might have fewer divorces than the 100-guitar-african-drum-Buddhist-gong mass churches, for example.

    Then there is the “boiling off” problem. Consider Jenny Erickson, who was kicked out of an obviously conservative Protestant church for good reason. How many women left that church afterwards, in a huff over “misogyny”, I wonder? And where did they go, to a storefront, a mega, or something else? There’s obviously going to be self-selection that would tend to push divorce-prone out of conservative churches, and towards more liberal ones.

    However, with all the caveats above, this would be a worthwhile study to do, except that I fear no denomination – not one – actually keeps the stats. There’s not much to be gained in doing so, and a fair amount to lose.

    If one denomination would lead the way, as you, Dalrock, have championed: “We, the Strict Bible Church, have the lowest divorce rate of ANY denomination”, perhaps the challenge would lure other conservative churches to follow. And the silence of the mainlines would speak for itself.

  110. desiderian says:

    Dalrock,

    “You nailed it here Dalrock.”

    Yes he did. You have a rare gift as a pathologist, Dal. You’re up there with Walker Percy.

    Borepatch’s comment at 10:18 is also right on the money.

    “I’m not talking about the groups who overtly jettison traditional Christian marriage and sexual morality.”

    In the (gorgeous) local PCUSA church building, where one can worship at 11:00am in the sanctuary led by an all-female (and all over-60) worship team, with an aging congregation of much wealth but few children, excellent music (with paid professional ringers of dubious if any faith), which as you noted has jettisoned traditional Christian teaching – on marriage, sexual morality, and many other matters.

    One can alternatively worship at 10 am in the chapel with a new church plant of the Reformed Church USA led by a 31-year-old male, orthodox (he actually used the word “inerrant” to describe scripture this morning, and means it) preacher who leaves out no scripture, catechizes directly from the Confessions, with a congregation now larger than the one that meets at 11 am, overflowing with children and capable men and women under 40, who far from jettisoning, embody traditional Christian marriage and sexual morality.

    As a socioeconomic/cultural matter, the people who make up the vast bulk of your target audience (the tradcons) have been following the lead (at a 10-20 year lag, while telling themselves they’re doing nothing of the sort, in a thousand ways) of the sort of people who make up the mainline (and now, perhaps temporarily, post-mainline) for going on all of American history (and back to English history before that). This strong undercurrent is why movements that go against that trend (from Fundamentalism to the Tea Party) tend to be mysteriously unpopular across the entire population.

    I’d strongly encourage you not to be overly narrow in considering the soil in which you sow your seed.

  111. desiderian says:

    Scott,

    “I would have stood up and explained the entire passage as being out of context when 5:22 is added to what follows but I didn’t. Quite frankly, because of weakness and cowardice. I am getting better though, and finding that the sting of those leering looks by other men’s obnoxious wives just doesn’t bother me that much anymore.”

    Good. There is power in the blood of the Lamb.

    “All the men sat quietly while their wives or wives to be nodded in approval.”

    No, most of the men weren’t there in the first place. When churches teach the gospel, then they come.

  112. Luke says:

    Opus says:
    June 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    “Boxer says that for him the Bible is ’100%’ rhetorical.”

    This is what is referred to as a nonChristian. If someone denies the Triune God, that Jesus His Son was born, lived as a man, was crucified, dead 3 days, resurrected, ascended to Heaven, and that faith in God and repentance, accepting the above, is untrue, he is outside Christian belief, and literally has nothing to say to Christians about their theology.

  113. desiderian says:

    Boxer,

    “The text gives good advice for people in various situations. That’s reason enough to find them valuable and identify with them, no?”

    No.

    Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we have confidence in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also have confidence in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

    For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we have confidence in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

  114. Boxer says:

    Dear Luke:

    This is what is referred to as a nonChristian. If someone denies the Triune God, that Jesus His Son was born, lived as a man, was crucified, dead 3 days, resurrected, ascended to Heaven, and that faith in God and repentance, accepting the above, is untrue, he is outside Christian belief, and literally has nothing to say to Christians about their theology.

    That’s correct. I have never been baptized in a Christian church and my parents were not Christians either (nor were my grandparents, nor were my great-grandparents).

    That aside, plenty of Christians take such things on faith, rather than pretending to have some sure knowledge of something that supposedly happened thousands of years ago…

    Regards, Boxer

  115. Don Quixote says:

    Because so many churches have dangerously given the option for wives to divorce their husbands [aka Threatpoint marriage], and the ranks of said churches are full of re-married women, the churches are bound by this sin. They cannot escape without *massive* damage. They will not turn about and say we were wrong with our divorce apologetics.
    For a critique of divorce apologetics please consider Once Married Always Married, or if you like Twice Married Always Married:
    http://oncemarried.net

  116. Tarrou says:

    @Luke,

    Nonchristians are perfectly able to understand and discuss theology (though precious few ever do). You can ignore what we say if you like, but it only exposes the weakness of your own faith if it cannot stand scrutiny. I’m not here to argue people out of their faith. I respect faith, even if I disagree with it. I’m just trying to point out the flaws in this argument.

    As to the rest, I did not choose my examples for their power, but for the ease of use. Dalrock’s thesis is that christian churches have strayed far from the biblical ideal of marriage, and I think he is right. However, christian churches have strayed far from virtually every part of the Bible and its instructions, and have for millenia. Marriage is only one part of a very long list. And if you want to make the argument that THIS commandment (as opposed to the silly ones about clothing, diet and tattoos) should be followed, you have a high hill to climb. I’m just saying that I haven’t seen the christian principled enough to follow the whole book, and I hope I never do.

  117. Luke says:

    Tarrou, nonChristians don’t get to give input on what constitutes valid aspects of Christian theology, any more than nonAmerican citizens (who don’t speak our language, have never lived here, never sworn loyalty to the U.S., who don’t identify with our culture and values, etc.) have a right to vote in our elections.

  118. desiderian says:

    “That aside, plenty of Christians take such things on faith, rather than pretending to have some sure knowledge of something that supposedly happened thousands of years ago…”

    False dichotomy. Not pretense.

    Your slanders are empty and without effect.

  119. Boxer says:

    Dear Luke:

    Tarrou, nonChristians don’t get to give input on what constitutes valid aspects of Christian theology

    We’re doing so now, and I imagine we’ll continue to do so until (a) it ceases to interest us, or (b) the dude(s) who own this blog throw us out.

    False dichotomy. Not pretense. Your slanders are empty and without effect.

    Clearly, you don’t know what such big words mean.

    “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”

    Happy to help you, today.

    Boxer

  120. @Deside-I-argue-because-I-am-ian

    Sheesh man. Back off on the androgel

    Scott says, “All the men sat quietly while their wives or wives to be nodded in approval.”

    You say, “No, most of the men weren’t there in the first place. When churches teach the gospel, then they come”

    Seriously, It is clear to everyone who is not in the throws of roid rage that he meant the men who WERE present.

  121. Robin Munn says:

    @Tarrou -

    The problem with arguing theology with non-Christians is that most of them have never studied Christian theology in any depth (after all, why would they?) and therefore don’t know enough to make good arguments. Case in point: you appear not to know the easy answers to the “mixed fibers” argument, though I’d be happy to be proven wrong. If you’re familiar with chapters 10, 11, and 15 of the book of Acts and can explain why they refute the “mixed fibers” argument (or why, though you understand the principles behind the refutation, you don’t believe in those principles for reasons X, Y and Z), then it may be worth engaging with you on the subject. But if you aren’t, may I suggest that you come back when you know enough about Christian theology to make a good case against it, instead of the easy-but-invalid case? (Though I have to give you credit for not going the “shellfish” route; you’re doing better than most atheists I’ve seen trying to argue the details a theology they don’t believe in and haven’t studied.)

  122. Gunner Q says:

    Thinking on it over the weekend, I have trouble distinguishing between malice and hubris. Either way, it’s better to obey none of the Bible than 99%. None means you think the Bible isn’t true. That’s respectable. 99% Means you’re picking and choosing what truth is. 99% Means you think God makes mistakes and needs your help to lead you properly. Looks like solipsism is not an exclusively female problem.

    Dalrock @ 1:04pm:
    “Show them that their error is not in how they have interpreted Scripture, but that what they know Scripture to say is in fact good, and there is no reason for embarrassment.”

    Worth a try. If nothing else, we’ll make God look good in the process.

    Tarrou @ 10:44 am:
    “The only believers of any religion who really, truly believe are the psychotic violent fringe.”

    No, the true believers of any religion are the ones who keep the faith when it becomes inconvenient. Our Churchian leaders are following all the parts of the Bible they like but not the parts they don’t. They are false Christians.

    Meanwhile, the guys on this blog your comments are ridiculing are true believers– all our lives would be easier if we took advantage of our modern culture instead of clinging to the Bible. Notice how none of us are violently psychotic even when provoked. Y’know, you aren’t the only guy on this blog who’s been burned by a poor church. Have you thought about returning to Christ? The Master is not his drunken lazy servant… you’ve found His loyal retainers and there’s room for you here.

  123. Oscar says:

    Cane Caldo says:
    June 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm

    “You tell them God’s plan, they say, “That’s just theory. It doesn’t actually work.” You show them that it works for others, and they say “Oh yeah? What about you, tough guy? Are you Mr. Perfect” You tell them your own story of trusting God’s plan, and they say “Well, I did enough right that it should have worked, so it’s just theory.””

    That sounds remarkably like some conversations on this very blog!

    Cane Caldo says:
    June 8, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    “And, yes, you can reveal the truth to someone and have them hate you for it. Unquestionably. That’s exactly the sort of thing that can get in a person’s nostrils and make them livid.”

    I seem to recall that kind of thing got someone crucified once.

  124. Tam the Bam says:

    Used to bother me too, Gunner old man. A very great deal.
    ” I never understood how educated pastors could believe that, or not realize the consequences of “that was then, this is now” thinking.”

    Then I discovered historical relativism. Yay result!
    “Sacrifice them to Odin!!!” is the ideal retort.
    Best done in a silly opera hat.

    Did you know that the ‘First Statistical Account’ has sober-sided presbyterian ministers, graduated from some of Europe’s oldest and soundest universities, dutifully recording the rustic habits of their parishioners hereabouts with the usual Enlightenment excitement?
    Up to, and including marriages being more soundly contracted by “handfasting” (via an opening in a late neolithic megalith known then as the Stone of Odin, soon thereafter to be broken up for grindstones and door-hinges, in a very swords-to-ploughshares fashion) than the established rites of the Kirk? Plus the customary oaths to said obnoxious teutonic deity (and his Asgardian homies) by both parties, and much drink taken.
    But not dancing, thank goodness. Definitely not dancing. Or fiddle-music.

    All part of the scenery, along with “customary marriage” (not too different from swinging, or whatever the Child Support Agency of evil memory decreed to be the done and decent thing these days), ritual murder, and blood-feud.
    Not a lot of people know that.

    ” We are here, and they are gone”.
    Er, yes … up to a point, Lord Copper.

  125. Scott says:

    “Those who claim to be able to distinguish the True bits of the Bible from the “metaphorical” bits that we need not pay attention to are literally claiming to know the mind of God. One should be cautious when making this claim. The question remains, just how much do you actually believe? Enough to kill and die for? Or just enough to be mildly unpopular at dinner parties?”

    This is an interesting comment and I am not sure about it. It is pretty common knowledge that there is, found within the text, allegories, parables, extensive genealogies, literal historical events, prose, wisdom literature, and so on. I’m not sure people who make those distinctions and apply them accordingly (based on ages of traditional, scholarly hermeneutic principles) are usurping anything or claiming to know God’s mind.

    As it pertains to the present conversation, I think it’s a pretty important piece of data to recognize that the “servant leader” and “mutual submission” stuff is pretty new in the previously mentioned ages of traditional understanding of the text–with predictable consequences.

    Maybe I am not catching what you meant though.

  126. Eliezer ben-Yehuda says:

    re: un-restrained hypergamy and alpha-widowhood

    Those who keep up with the Hebrew tabloids know that famous model Bar Rafaeli, after a few years of filling the billet of service-vagina harem-member for Leonardo DiCaprio, then COMPLETELY ran out of calls for “fashion” shots, thern started doing soft porn shots.

    Then she ran out of work completely, and had to return to Israel for MUCH smaller paychecks.

    Was quoted saying that she had trouble getting invited out on dates.

    Now, here she is in the news again. Age 29, had latched onto a MR Beta Bucks – and pissed THAT away.

    To “dirty dance” with Mick Jagger – who is her GREAT-grandfather’s age.

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4527893,00.html

    note: In Israel, she is famous for having faked a marriage at age 18 to scam her way out of conscription….. chickens coming home to roost? Maybe there ==is== justice in this world…

  127. Luke says:

    Boxer says:
    June 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Dear Luke:

    Tarrou, nonChristians don’t get to give input on what constitutes valid aspects of Christian theology

    “We’re doing so now, and I imagine we’ll continue to do so until (a) it ceases to interest us, or (b) the dude(s) who own this blog throw us out.”

    Think and talk all you want. NonChristians get no more vote on what Christians get to believe than post-wall obese unpleasant hairy-legged buzzcut-scalp feminists get to decide what men find attractive.

    Re the “better 0% of the Bible than 99%”: aside from the preceding paragraph (totally applicable here), there is this concept called human fallibility. No one on this Earth has been perfect since Jesus. It’s a feature of Marxism to believe that humans are fully perfectible in this life, NOT part of the wisdom of the West. Besides, would you refuse to cash your paycheck if it were 1% short IYO? That’s comparable to all the women who want marriage and family, but if a man they meet is ONE item short of fulfilling her 673-point checklist, she passes them by without hesitation, as her looks and life expectancy continue to decline.

  128. Boxer says:

    As it pertains to the present conversation, I think it’s a pretty important piece of data to recognize that the “servant leader” and “mutual submission” stuff is pretty new in the previously mentioned ages of traditional understanding of the text–with predictable consequences.

    “Servant Leader” and “Mutual Submission” are self-contradictory phrases which have no actual meaning to any rational person (regardless of the faith he holds, if any). They conjure up images of two people who never go anywhere, because nobody is empowered to call any plays. My opinion is that they are a funky shorthand to get men to submit to their wives, while preserving all the imaginary vectors in ego-space which the subject needs to believe he’s in charge.

    “Husband!” she barks “Get out the checkbook! We’re going to spend the weekend at my mother’s house! She needs new cabinets and we’ll be helping her out”

    “OK dear,” husband replies meekly, thinking all the while What a wonderful “servant leader” I am, acting as a utility to my superior wife!

    If he didn’t have all that psychic framework built up, his sense of self would collapse immediately.

    Regards, Boxer

  129. BradA says:

    That would be my point Oscar. Though the question of love did make me think of a good question:

    What exactly does it mean “to love”? What bullet points would indicate a man is loving? Which would indicate a woman is loving?

    That could be the key point here and could be that we are arguing different points, a quite likely thing.

  130. enrique432 says:

    Eliezer ben-Yehuda says:

    “note: In Israel, she is famous for having faked a marriage at age 18 to scam her way out of conscription….. chickens coming home to roost? Maybe there ==is== justice in this world…”

    Well, she sounds pretty…how do you say it? Clever.

  131. Scott says:

    ““Servant Leader” and “Mutual Submission” are self-contradictory phrases which have no actual meaning to any rational person (regardless of the faith he holds, if any). They conjure up images of two people who never go anywhere, because nobody is empowered to call any plays. My opinion is that they are a funky shorthand to get men to submit to their wives, while preserving all the imaginary vectors in ego-space which the subject needs to believe he’s in charge.”

    Excellent–better than I said it. And of course, it is one of the most salient and driven-home points of the host here that the church (to the extent that it can be said is speaking with one loud thunderous voice) has declared “we will make the scripture conform to feminist precepts to the point of preaching an entirely new and foreign marriage from the pulpit if we have to.”

  132. desiderian says:

    empath,

    “Seriously, It is clear to everyone who is not in the throws of roid rage that he meant the men who WERE present.”

    Yes, that’s why I pointed out the importance of the men who weren’t there. In other generations they would have been, and would have had his back and/or have dominated themselves instead of cowering before the women.

    Those men will return, are returning. But not to churches that mistake straightforward manliness for ‘roids’.

    When they do, the women welcome them like Penelope did Odysseus.

  133. desiderian says:

    Brad,

    “What exactly does it mean ‘to love’?”

    As God so loved the world. Forsaking wrath, not justice or truth, and only in the service of mercy and redemption together in Christ.

    “What bullet points would indicate a man is loving? Which would indicate a woman is loving?”

    We share one love in Christ expressed according to our distinct gifts of the Spirit.

  134. BradA says:

    Anon72,

    I thought this was a Biblically-focused board, not an MRA one. But don’t let me get in the way of your points….

    > “Fight; fight; quarrel; call names, bicker over every trivial thing. And, always attack any visible leader.”

    You seem awfully quick at the name calling yourself. Is it fine when you do it? Your replies, especially targeting me have been the “you are scum since you don’t agree with me” line. I just disagree with your ideas, but you are certainly not high in my esteem as a man either due to your behavior. (Not that you or I much care how high or low you are in that. I only note it since you are claiming I am one of the worst enemies of MRA. I am a proponent of the Truth. I am glad to be considered scum for opposing anything else.)

    greyghost, I am not sure I follow your point. Is it that women can fall short in those areas? I would fully agree with that. I still think the stuff men have a harder time loving, which is why it is the command. I don’t think God spends as much time telling us to do what is easy. What “love” means to a man and a woman can vary though, and that may be the root of the disagreement.

    As to the Egyptians, keep in mind that they also worshiped the dung beetle.

    > “The point is, culture is what drives these things, which is essentially what you said.”

    I missed commenting on this and I may be missing the original context, but I fully agree with this statement in many different areas.

    ====

    I don’t completely buy the idea of inherent genetic differences as I believe we are all descended from the same 2 humans. I do think cultures can have huge value differences though and modern culture has been trashed in the War on Poverty and other such efforts. I actually agree with Anon72 on that point.

  135. BradA says:

    Note that the culture comment was probably not greyghost and I should have made that clearer.

  136. BradA says:

    The last two comments seem to be in the wrong thread. Sorry about that.

  137. desiderian says:

    Scott,

    “It is pretty common knowledge that there is, found within the text, allegories, parables, extensive genealogies, literal historical events, prose, wisdom literature, and so on. I’m not sure people who make those distinctions and apply them accordingly (based on ages of traditional, scholarly hermeneutic principles) are usurping anything or claiming to know God’s mind.”

    If they are operating under the Rule of Faith, and faithfully reading the texts as they were intended, then they are not.

    That is not what Boxer and Tarrou and most Churchians are doing, however.

  138. desiderian says:

    Luke,

    “Re the “better 0% of the Bible than 99%”: aside from the preceding paragraph (totally applicable here), there is this concept called human fallibility.”

    The fallibility lies in the interpreter, including this one, not the text itself.

  139. BradA says:

    Certainly desiderian, but I am asking for practical examples, not the theoretical underpinnings. The things you note get carried out in very different manners in different situations and by different individuals. That is why I asked the question I did.

  140. Boxer says:

    Dear Scott:

    Excellent–better than I said it. And of course, it is one of the most salient and driven-home points of the host here that the church (to the extent that it can be said is speaking with one loud thunderous voice) has declared “we will make the scripture conform to feminist precepts to the point of preaching an entirely new and foreign marriage from the pulpit if we have to.”

    I’ve been waiting for a clever, determined group of men to quietly take over one of these big-name, big-money liberal churches. Get a few brothers active, don’t make any waves at first, get a couple of seats on the board, and then fire the mangina priest, and start moving the corporate assets in our direction.

    Of course this would take a while (a year or more is not unreasonable) and it’d take maximum dedication to do it, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

    At the end, you’d see a few red pill types with a huge amount of money for social reprogramming. There are some Episcopal diocese in the USA which sold off hospitals and real estate in the 1980s, for example, that have eight figure endowments.

    Best, Boxer

  141. desiderian says:

    Robin,

    “The problem with arguing theology with non-Christians is that most of them have never studied Christian theology in any depth (after all, why would they?) and therefore don’t know enough to make good arguments.”

    there are many ex-Christians who do. If one is attempting to interpret scripture without faith, one is wasting one’s time, and ours.

  142. Scott says:

    “If they are operating under the Rule of Faith, and faithfully reading the texts as they were intended, then they are not.”

    Yep, that was kind of my point. Intent, context, style, type of literature, dialect, culture, audience, authoritative scholars, prayer and reverence when approaching the text, are all necessary for discernment of it’s meaning. The current gymnastics being done with all that to make biblical marriage fit into the culture is bizarre (and brand new in the grand scheme of things).

  143. desiderian says:

    “I’ve been waiting for a clever, determined group of men to quietly take over one of these big-name, big-money liberal churches.”

    Because James and Paul were rolling in the dough. Case in point of the futility of faithlessness.

  144. desiderian says:

    “brand new in the grand scheme of things”

    False prophets are as old as Christianity itself. Discernment is a manly duty.

  145. desiderian says:

    Brad,

    “I am asking for practical examples”

    I think that once one is liberated to consider distinctive gifts for men and women, the practical examples are already known. Its the false doctrine of equalism that suppresses the knowledge.

  146. desiderian says:

    Oscar,

    “‘And, yes, you can reveal the truth to someone and have them hate you for it. Unquestionably. That’s exactly the sort of thing that can get in a person’s nostrils and make them livid.’”

    I seem to recall that kind of thing got someone crucified once.”

    Well said.

    Just saw the move Chef with my wife, and would recommend it. This dynamic plays out exactly as described in the movie. That truth was just what the main character needed to rediscover his manhood, and to pass it on to his son.

  147. JDG says:

    Marriage is only one part of a very long list. And if you want to make the argument that THIS commandment (as opposed to the silly ones about clothing, diet and tattoos) should be followed, you have a high hill to climb. I’m just saying that I haven’t seen the christian principled enough to follow the whole book, and I hope I never do.

    This is akin to the “If you think homosexuality is wrong, then you shouldn’t eat shellfish” argument. You are missing a big part of the picture. There were two covenants.

    Hebrews 8:6 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

    This was given to the children of Israel under the old Covenant:
    Leviticus 11:10 But anything in the seas or the rivers that has not fins and scales, of the swarming creatures in the waters and of the living creatures that are in the waters, is detestable to you.

    And here Jesus is quoted during His earthly ministry while fulfilling the Law and preparing to establish the new covenant.
    Mark 7:18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

    The 1st covenant was done away with when Jesus came, fulfilled the law, died on the cross, and rose from the grave. Now there is a new covenant which is not the same as the old one.

    I have to agree that non-Christians really don’t understand what is happening in the heart of the believer.

    1 Cor 2:11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

    14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

  148. Boxer says:

    Dear JDG:

    I have to agree that non-Christians really don’t understand what is happening in the heart of the believer.

    I’m sure that’s true, but in my opinion, that’s not really why many of us (I doubt I’m the only one) are here. I don’t really care what’s in your heart. I’m interested in social trends, and I’d like to keep more kids from becoming divorce orphans, and I think that a lot of the content here would accomplish the improvement of the former and the decrease of the latter.

    If you guys wanted to start a hardcore redpill branch of Christianity (or, for that matter, Judaism) I’d probably convert, just to have men to network with. Until then, this blog is the best option for a bit of sanity in an otherwise crazy world.

    Best, Boxer

  149. desiderian says:

    Boxer,

    “the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.”

    So you’re saying pretentiousness is a virtue? or just morally neutral?

    Our knowledge is well-grounded, as is our faith. The two are inseparable.

    “If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

    Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”

    - Philippians 3

  150. Luke says:

    desiderian says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Luke,

    ““Re the “better 0% of the Bible than 99%”: aside from the preceding paragraph (totally applicable here), there is this concept called human fallibility.”

    The fallibility lies in the interpreter, including this one, not the text itself.”

    Absolutely agreed (including me as well). I meant to convey that in my OP, but did not word it perfectly. Thank you for the catch.

  151. JDG says:

    Boxer

    I’m interested in social trends, and I’d like to keep more kids from becoming divorce orphans,

    Warning: A short glimpse into the heart of a believer ahead.

    Having been a divorce orphan myself (the term really is appropriate), I too have a special place for this in my heart. I hated growing up with out my father. However, I also believe that it’s because of my faith in Christ that I want to see this and all other perceived wrongs righted.

    That’s not to say only Christians want to end wrong doing. I am saying that in my case I fear that, without Christ, I probably would have ended up a drug laden rock star wanna be half immersed in “blue pill” thinking spending my time trying to get high and wandering in and out of jail. I’m not even sure I would have realized that I was just another one of many casualties in the move away from biblical principles that our society has undergone. So for me the goal is Christ 1st. Then because of the 1st goal, I strive for the rest.

  152. jack says:

    Is there any way to keep men focused on God and not pedastalizing women when society is structured to keep most men deprived of female affection/sex? I suppose yes, but it will be difficult.

    Imagine trying to keep a church together in a time of severe famine. Same principle, just more obvious.

    That said, I’m not sure what God was thinking when He created woman as he did. If it is “not good for man to be alone”, God seems to have designed man’s helpmate to be anything but. Also, woman seems to come from the factory pre-tuned to the serpent’s wavelength.

    The best outcome is to just wait for age and wisdom to remove the deep desire for female attention. Yeah, it never goes away, but it is nowhere near as bad as it once was. And then comes the entertaining part of watching them get old, wrinkled, and ugly, and rubbing their egos in it.

  153. Anonymous Reader says:

    Don Quixote
    Because so many churches have dangerously given the option for wives to divorce their husbands [aka Threatpoint marriage], and the ranks of said churches are full of re-married women, the churches are bound by this sin. They cannot escape without *massive* damage.

    That reminds me of a discussion from a few weeks back with a man who is an officer in a conservative (no women leaders) church. He had been reading about churches leaving the mainline PC-USA and joining something called the ECO.

    To save on people’s fingers:
    One example, apparently there are many PC-USA churches in Texas leaving that denomination:
    http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2014-05-30/westminster-presbyterian-votes-leave-its-flock
    More generally
    http://www.christianpost.com/news/pcusa-decline-in-churches-members-continued-in-2013-120725/

    Here is where many of them are going:
    http://eco-pres.org/

    Back to my discussion. I asked if there wasn’t some other denomination that PC-USA churches could join. He replies, yes, but they won’t. Huh? They could apply to some of the more conservative denominations, but … “Those churches are leaving over homosexual pastors. But they don’t wanna give up their lady pastors”. The discussion wandered off from there.

    Here is the point: once a church or denomination accepts women into the main chain of authority, to leadership over men, to preaching over men, they have walked into a cul de sac. There is no easy way out, because with women embedded in making decisions, at the very least all the men on any given board will have to not only be totally unified on the issue, but convince at least one or more women as well.

    Given the known 4:1 ingroup preference women have for other women, that is not possible in a practical sense. Therefore, a church or denomination that accepts women as ministers, pastors, leaders, etc. has stepped onto a one-way escalator. There will be no turning back.

    And that is why, in my testable hypothesis above, I chose to bifurcate churches along the line “women as preachers /leaders”. It’s clear, it’s easy to determine, the effects are permanent.

  154. Goodkid43 says:

    Tarrou, June 8, 12:57 pm
    Alternatively, we can take the Penn Jillette “Abraham” test of belief. By whatever standard of belief you hold, you believe that God has personally told you to kill your child. Do you do it? If not, you don’t really believe, and the whole charade tumbles. If so, you are a dangerous and malignant psychopath.
    No, actually if so, then your are not a dangerous and malignant psychopath but are pro choice and one who espouses (Boxer) enlightened self interest. Actually Rodger Elliot is a perfect example of enlightened self interest. Also, Boxer despises those woman who “turn on a dIme” and destroy their marriages. These women are logically living out the consequences of rational self interest. and finally, all that Boxer hates about feminism, including his mother’s callous attitude toward his father, is justified by Boxer’s FAITH in “rational self-interest”.

  155. Woman isn’t the only one that’s pre-tuned to the serpent’s wavelength — so are we. (And that ain’t pedestalization.)

  156. Boxer says:

    Dear JDG:

    Please see inside text…

    Warning: A short glimpse into the heart of a believer ahead.

    Having been a divorce orphan myself (the term really is appropriate), I too have a special place for this in my heart. I hated growing up with out my father. However, I also believe that it’s because of my faith in Christ that I want to see this and all other perceived wrongs righted.

    Minor point: I don’t think fatherlessness is a perception of wrong. It’s a serious collective shortcoming in the moral sense, for any society to be stripped of fathers. It indicates a faulty underlying structure. On the upside, it may be largely self-correcting (that bit of history is being played out now).

    That’s not to say only Christians want to end wrong doing. I am saying that in my case I fear that, without Christ, I probably would have ended up a drug laden rock star wanna be half immersed in “blue pill” thinking spending my time trying to get high and wandering in and out of jail. I’m not even sure I would have realized that I was just another one of many casualties in the move away from biblical principles that our society has undergone. So for me the goal is Christ 1st. Then because of the 1st goal, I strive for the rest.

    Well, I grew up without Christ, and I didn’t end up a crackhead; but I do see what you’re saying, and agree with it. It’s not just some cosmetic changes that need to occur (i.e. shared parenting in the family court, with the abolition of alimony, etc.) The structure of society needs to be scrapped and repaired, and that’s a rather deep operation.

    I think Christianity has the potential to effect this (though it’s certainly not the only model for a healthy society, it’s one of the two or three that is the least foreign, in North America).

    In any event, let Christ continue to motivate you. The way I see it, it’s up to men like us to agitate for change. The feminists certainly aren’t going to end all their excesses on their own.

    Best, Boxer.

  157. feeriker says:

    Don Quixote said:

    Because so many churches have dangerously given the option for wives to divorce their husbands [aka Threatpoint marriage], and the ranks of said churches are full of re-married women, the churches are bound by this sin. They cannot escape without *massive* damage. They will not turn about and say we were wrong with our divorce apologetics.

    Yes, and once again, this is the problem with established, incorporated churches with paid executive leaders that rely on subscriptions (i.e., full collection plates) to keep them in operation. Preaching the Gospel, no matter what it says and however much it will upset the sensibilities of the subscribers (and MUCH of the Gospel will inevitably do so) simply isn’t an option for that reason. Any established churchian franchise that preaches the sinfulness of divorce and that makes its congregants know that it won’t be tolerated will soon find itself empty on Sunday mornings, or very nearly so. There is a reason that those who post here who describe their church as “intolerant of divorce” also almost always make it clear that their church is a ‘small church.’ Of course it is (and there’s no shame in that whatsoever, by the way). Any church that takes a hard line, both verbally and in practice, about what the Scriptures say, especially on something as ingrained in the churchian culture as divorce, will inevitably be a small one.

    Robin Munn said:

    The problem with arguing theology with non-Christians is that most of them have never studied Christian theology in any depth (after all, why would they?) and therefore don’t know enough to make good arguments.

    Well, let’s be honest: most self-described “Christians” haven’t/don’t either.

  158. Boxer says:

    Dear Free Riker:

    Yes, and once again, this is the problem with established, incorporated churches with paid executive leaders that rely on subscriptions (i.e., full collection plates) to keep them in operation. Preaching the Gospel, no matter what it says and however much it will upset the sensibilities of the subscribers (and MUCH of the Gospel will inevitably do so) simply isn’t an option for that reason.

    All a church is, is an incorporated entity, often with an elected board. I foresee a day when a small group (4 or 5 men, tops) infiltrate and take over a few of these. I’m sure the press will make it out to be the end of the world, and an imminent slide into the dark ages, etc..

    Any established churchian franchise that preaches the sinfulness of divorce and that makes its congregants know that it won’t be tolerated will soon find itself empty on Sunday mornings, or very nearly so.

    Most of the more whacky churches already are empty on Sunday mornings, or nearly so (a couple old ladies in big hats and that’s it). Many of these churches have tens of millions of dollars, and so don’t need to worry about filling the collection plates at all. For these businesses, it’s just a big tax-free money making scam. Take over one of these churches, fire the priest, and immediately hire the dude who is officiating at the small church to come in and start raising hell. I’ll come join you. :)

    Best, Boxer

  159. Anonymous Reader says:

    Brad A:
    Anon72,

    I thought this was a Biblically-focused board, not an MRA one. But don’t let me get in the way of your points….

    Perhaps in addition to paying attention to which comment thread you are posting in, you could also read this:

    https://dalrock.wordpress.com/about/

    You may want to make this into the Kool Kidz Kristian Klub, but until Dalrock says “make it so”, I ain’t gonna buy it.

    Now then, Anon Aged 72 was involved in attempting to defend men against anti family court for over a decade. He’s seen men he counseled go off and kill themselves, and a lot of other things.
    I suspect his experience in contesting anti Family court and dealing with mule headed legislators is one of the reasons he expated some years back to Mexico, but he can correct me if that’s not accurate. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I respect him for what he did, or at least tried to do. Suggest you consider doing the same.

    Right now, you are coming off as a self-righteous jackass. That’s all I have to say for now.

  160. MarcusD says:

    Marriage… Help me !!
    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=888450

    Catholic Answers Forum
    Free divorce prep since 2004

  161. Don Quixote says:

    There is a widely held belief amongst protestant christians that adultery is grounds for divorce and remarriage because Jesus said so [Matt 5:23 and Matt 19:9]. But I would like to challenge that belief.
    Jesus only said that ‘fornication’ [pre-marital sex] is grounds for divorce, not post nuptial adultery.
    This is a reference to the Jewish tradition / law that if a man paid for [dowry] a virgin he is entitled to a virgin, if after the marriage ceremony he discovered his bride is not a virgin he has recourse under the law for release from his commitment. Deut.22:13

    Check out: http://oncemarried.net

  162. Don Quixote says:

    Anonymous Reader says:

    “Here is the point: once a church or denomination accepts women into the main chain of authority, to leadership over men, to preaching over men, they have walked into a cul de sac. There is no easy way out, because with women embedded in making decisions, at the very least all the men on any given board will have to not only be totally unified on the issue, but convince at least one or more women as well.
    Given the known 4:1 ingroup preference women have for other women, that is not possible in a practical sense. Therefore, a church or denomination that accepts women as ministers, pastors, leaders, etc. has stepped onto a one-way escalator. There will be no turning back.”

    Well said. Leadership is male, be wary of any church that has any kind of female authority. Keep them at ‘arms-lengh’.

  163. jf12 says:

    @Scott, re: ““Those who claim to be able to distinguish the True bits of the Bible from the “metaphorical” bits that we need not pay attention to are literally claiming to know the mind of God.”

    My pastor calls out this, semi-facetiously, as those claiming to be “rightly subtracting”.

  164. jf12 says:

    @jack, re: “That said, I’m not sure what God was thinking when He created woman as he did. If it is “not good for man to be alone”, God seems to have designed man’s helpmate to be anything but. Also, woman seems to come from the factory pre-tuned to the serpent’s wavelength.”

    And here I was all rested from a nice Sunday with the wife. But I have to agree. It seems like it would have been so much better for, um, me at least, in this life if women had been created to have been trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Instead, I’m welded to a ball-and-chain who obstructs and defies and delays every thing I try to do. But maybe, just maybe, because I’m not sure, she is fulfilling God’s purpose, even though I can’t stand it.

  165. jf12 says:

    Difficult to judge this since the stats are not available
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2652465/Why-half-todays-20-year-olds-never-married-How-young-couples-likely-cohabit-tie-knot.html

    But apparently only half of 40 yr olds have been married, and only 61% are expected to be married.

  166. BradA says:

    AR,

    > “You may want to make this into the Kool Kidz Kristian Klub, but until Dalrock says “make it so”, I ain’t gonna buy it.”

    Dalrock clearly bases his posts here, at some level, on the Scriptures, not just MRA. Perhaps I really am wrong. I can live with that. Wouldn’t be the first time, nor would it be the last.

    Though you do attack a straw man you made. I never claimed it to be a Christian club, just that it was not a pure MRA. Big difference.

  167. BrainyOne says:

    New to this site but I’m glad some Christians have grown wise to the fraud perpetrated on the flocks in the name of “protecting Christian (i.e. biblical) marriage”. (For the record, I’m a divorced ex-Christian.) I’m not sure however that a return to Marriage 1.0 is the only possible outcome of a rejection of Marriage 2.0. Where I live, Marriage 3.0 is under development; the alpha version to be released soon.

    To be sure, the churches have rejected “biblical marriage”. They’ve also rejected “biblical slavery” and biblical other things, like a geocentric universe or a 6,000 year old earth (most denominations, anyway). (And please don’t tell me these aren’t “really” biblical, or were just interpreted in the underlying social context of the time; the exact same argument can be and is made for “biblical” marriage. And many, many, many Christians defended these things at the time on the basis they were “biblical”.)

    Of course, what we “manosphere” types have done is attack the assumptions on which the pseudo-”biblical” new Christian marriage is based: first among these, that a woman is naturally (intrinsically) morally superior to a man; second among these, that she is nevertheless “weak” and needing “protection” (read: men do all the heavy lifting). That a man’s calling is “so much higher” (read: lots more obligations) than a woman’s? BS.

  168. AnonS says:

    “To be sure, the churches have rejected “biblical marriage”. They’ve also rejected “biblical slavery” and biblical other things, like a geocentric universe or a 6,000 year old earth (most denominations, anyway). (And please don’t tell me these aren’t “really” biblical, or were just interpreted in the underlying social context of the time; the exact same argument can be and is made for “biblical” marriage. And many, many, many Christians defended these things at the time on the basis they were “biblical”.)”

    When was “at the time”? ““biblical slavery” (as opposed to kidnapping and selling into bondage which carried the death penatly in the OT), geocentric universe or a 6,000 year old earth” were not considered “bibical” in the first century till the 1800s.

    Augstine and other church fathers wrote about these issues, these aren’t new discussions.

  169. feeriker says:

    And here I was all rested from a nice Sunday with the wife. But I have to agree. It seems like it would have been so much better for, um, me at least, in this life if women had been created to have been trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. Instead, I’m welded to a ball-and-chain who obstructs and defies and delays every thing I try to do. But maybe, just maybe, because I’m not sure, she is fulfilling God’s purpose, even though I can’t stand it.

    Cosigned. It occurs to me to exclaim “Great is the Lord God, for He hath a sense of humor as dark as mine own!”

    As far as the “purpose” that contentious ball-and-chain wives serve, I would contend that it’s probably part of the man’s punishment for original sin.

  170. Dalrock says:

    @jf12

    Difficult to judge this since the stats are not available
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2652465/Why-half-todays-20-year-olds-never-married-How-young-couples-likely-cohabit-tie-knot.html

    But apparently only half of 40 yr olds have been married, and only 61% are expected to be married.

    I haven’t looked at the report, but you can see the original press release with a link to the report here. For cross reference, see also Table A1 in the appendix of this paper (the one I used the data from in my recent douchebag post). It will be interesting to see if the data lines up. The most recent data in the second paper is from 2004-2007, so it could be that things have changed a fair bit in the meantime.

    Edit: I should note that the press release/paper the Daily Mail article is based on is from the UK Marriage Project, the same group which wrote the paper I referenced in my recent Doublethink post.

  171. AnonS says:

    “Is there any way to keep men focused on God and not pedastalizing women when society is structured to keep most men deprived of female affection/sex? I suppose yes, but it will be difficult.

    Imagine trying to keep a church together in a time of severe famine. Same principle, just more obvious.”

    That is the crux of the problem isn’t it. It seems like it is time to experiment with structural changes to solve these problems.

    1. Decouple monetary incentives.

    Full time employment is for full time evangelists which would be missionaries, church planters, and apologists.

    So all Church staff should be part-time once setup.

    Grow from house to use mixed-use development. There is something to be said for sacred architecture but if the facilities could be used for something to pay the rent it would relieve the pressure. Monasteries operated as beer breweries.

    The house church movement is doing some of this already.

    1. Members only service and gender segregated service

    Start with a 30 minute service that is affirmed only. This would include music (masculine music), communion, and common prayer. Those that haven’t read the classical creeds and agreed with them in the presence of an elder/deacon are kicked out. You don’t have a priest/pastor who is also the teacher.

    Then have a public teaching service which is setup like a workshop or classroom that focuses on doctrine and apologetics. Most of this can be canned material from national teachers.

    Gender segregated section. Separate instruction here between men / women / children with an initiation ritual to join the men’s group.

    2. Refuse money from women.

    Have collections either anonymous online or collect from the male service only. Single women simply don’t have a say and can’t give money directly.

    Since there is no central person in charge, teaching is rotated, and male services aren’t public there is no email or tweeter that people can complain to about sexist views. If women want to complain just don’t have any email they can complain to and never meet with them. If leadership gives the impression they are operating in secret so be it.

    Women can win if they can point to a face, they lose if they are forced to deal with the ideas.

  172. Don Quixote said that fornication (pre-marital sex) and not adultery is grounds for divorce.

    First, your translation is absolutely nutty. Fornication is the broad category including any immoral sexual behavior, in or out or beside marriage, including using sacred whores. Adultery is a broad category that includes some acts of fornication and some non-sexual things — adultery, moicheia, is (to use Paul’s word) to _defile_. Even in English it retains that meaning (as in how one can “adulterate” food or medication to render it harmful), and it’s had it since the earliest days (as we see in the Law that a woman married to a second husband is defiled for the first, and remarriage would defile the land). Not all porneia is moicheia, and vice versa — but all porneia within marriage is moicheia.

    The penalty for a proven case of marital fraud (in the case of a false claim to be a virgin) isn’t divorce; it’s stoning. That’s the exact same penalty given for legally proven fornication beside marriage (I mean, the real word, not the made-up one); death by divine poison is the “remedy” for suspected adultery.

  173. Martian Bachelor says:

    I’ll just leave this right here…

    “One of the many burdens of the person professing Christianity has always been the odium likely to be heaped upon him by fellow Christians quick to smell out, denounce and punish fraud, hypocrisy and general unworthiness among those who assert the faith. In ruder days, disputes about what constituted a fully qualified Christian often led to sordid quarrels in which the disputants tortured, burned and hanged each other in the conviction that torture, burning, and hanging were Christian things to do…”
    – Russell Baker

  174. Escoffier says:

    I want to add a supplementary / alternative reason to explain this embarrassment over the text of the Bible. It’s been touched on but not really fleshed out.

    That is, that these nominal Christians under discussion are all moderns first and Christians second (if second). Worse, they don’t even know they are moderns, or what it means to be a modern, or what modernity is.

    Modernity, to say the least, conflicts with the Bible. It was designed to, on purpose. Yet it has been so successful in taking over nearly all conscious and sub-conscious thought that hardly anyone any more recognizes it for what it is. That includes most contemporary Christians, to whom “modernity” is simply synonymous with “reality” or even “morality.”

    There’s a particular strand of modernity that’s particularly relevant here, namely historicism, and specifically rational historicism (as opposed to radical or irrational historicism). This is the idea of “progress.” “Progress” is cooked into the original conception of modernity, but it came to take on a different meaning much later. Originally, it more or less just meant “We can improve the material condition of man on earth; human beings have a lot more power than either the Bible or classical philosophy will admit.”

    Rational historicism takes this idea much further and posits a unidirectional progress, which is worked out through impersonal forces (the so-called historical dialectic) over which man may be an unwitting instrument, but which he didn’t design, doesn’t direct, and can’t control. “History” is nonetheless rational, moving “forward” (with occasional, necessary steps back) to ever-“better” states and eventually to an end state in which all dialectical conflicts are resolved, all moral and political problems solved, and final wisdom achieved (if not necessarily accessible to all). In pop-culture terms, the Star Trek universe is basically the cartoon version of this end state.

    Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better. And the future will be inevitably more enlightened than the present.

    The source of this impression is ultimately perverted or corrupted or mistaken philosophy, but one does not need to have studied philosophy at all to have been affected, even “convinced.” The astounding success of modern natural science and its offspring, technology, serves to “prove” to such people that “progress” is real and that the present is superior to the past. Technological progress is assumed to be coeval with moral and political progress.

    But it is never explained why this should be so. Actually, certain modern philosophers did try to make such a case, but they hardly proved it and their case is open to serious theoretical difficulties which have been pointed out by other philosophers. However, that whole dialogue may as well never have happened as far as the average modern person is concerned. He is simply unaware of it and takes on faith that the present is morally superior to the past.

    This, then, is a significant source of the embarrassment. The modern Christian (modern first, Christian second) is embarrassed by the evident conflicts between his nominal faith and his actual, if unconscious, modernity. Modernity trumps. So the offending Scriptures have to be dealt with one way or another. There are many possible ways: insist that it doesn’t say what it seems to say, come up with Rube Goldberg interpretations to square it with modernity, call it “metaphoric,” say that it was right for that time but not our time, and so on. The latter is a kind of “Living Constitution” framework for the Bible. It assumes that God has left to us the task of “updating” Scripture as the “times change.” The changing of the times is held to be the true constant, and really the true God, but only implicitly.

  175. jf12 says:

    @Dalrock, that report says “All data for this analysis is taken from ‘Marriage statistics, Cohabitation and Cohort analyses’ from Office for National Statistics (June, 2013)”.

  176. desiderian says:

    AnonS,

    “Augustine and other church fathers wrote about these issues, these aren’t new discussions.”

    And they were fallen humans, as are we, and prone to err.

    If one is so inclined, it is not at all difficult to interpret the appropriate texts as not necessarily mandating a geocentric universe or a young earth. One has to be an awful lot more determined to get around scriptural teaching on headship and sexual relations. In addition, empirical evidence produced in the last 15-20 years is now firmly on the side of that teaching, as is the first-hand experience of millions of members of the rising generation, male and female.

    Your argument relies a general ignorance of scripture, exegesis, and church history for its seeming plausibility. But plausible arguments rely on those seeking to find them plausible. The rising generation’s experiences are unlikely to incline their thoughts in that direction.

  177. Lyn87 says:

    Late to this thread – I’ve been on the road and what little time I’ve had to linger has been spent getting sucked back into the “Why are modern Christians so delighted with current divorce rates?” thread.

    I had an interesting (and topical) conversation with my parents this morning. My brother, who is older than I am and has two grown children, disowned his daughter a few years ago for becoming an unrepentant slut. The biggest mistake he ever made was in trying to turn a whore into a housewife, which is why he has kids and an ex-wife, and his daughter seems determined to follow in her mother’s footsteps, despite seeing the carnage she caused in her life and the lives of everyone around her… including in her own (my niece’s) life.

    He is a functional MGTOW by default, although he wouldn’t mind finding someone at this point in his life. What I discovered from my conversation earlier today is that some of the “Christian” women he has met consider the fact that he disowned his slut daughter (unless and until she repents, of course) to be a deal-breaker. I find that both unsurprising and depressing, since that is the only correct action for him to take (neither my wife nor I have spoken to the little tramp since then either).

    My brother was always the “charmer” of the two of us – and I frankly envied the ease with which he attracted females while we were growing up – an attribute I didn’t pick up until much later. He’s a good guy, in good condition, has no baggage to speak of, and is financially stable. Think of it: a guy in his situation could be swimming in a pool of women 10-15 years his junior if he wanted to, but he has discovered that adherence to something that would not even have been controversial a few generations ago is both radical and deal-breaking today. I said that he was better off knowing that early rather than late – the kind of woman who would object to such an action (to say nothing of considering it a deal-breaker) is not wife material anyway. Knowing what I know now, I would consider that a good gateway into a woman’s mind – tell her about that situation and gauge her reaction. If she thinks it is “unloving” then it’s time to “Next!” her, while if she agrees with it, she may be a “keeper.”

    I wonder how many churchian men toe that diabolical line from fear, from malice, from cowardice, from ignorance, from something else… My guess is that it’s mostly churchian assimilation into the secular culture, which thoroughly embraces the F.I.

  178. Escoffier says:

    Des,

    Beyond what you have written above, one must also wonder why—even if one were to grant that the Bible posits a geo-centric universe which modern science has proved to be false—that would necessarily also invalidate the Bible’s moral teachings. What does one necessarily have to do with the other?

  179. desiderian says:

    “Decouple monetary incentives.”

    This. Tentmaking.

    A majority of the sins I’ve seen on the inside grow from this seed, and not just in the church.

    Many churches are now glorified ministers unions, schools teacher (and increasingly non-teaching staff) unions, government civil servant (increasingly master) unions. It’s in effect a guild system, with the interest of the guild warping the perception of the commonweal.

  180. “Women can win if they can point to a face, they lose if they are forced to deal with the ideas.”

    I like many of your ideas — but not this. Church ministry is absolutely not anonymous, nor can churchmen be cowards. Not only are they not anonymous, they are recognized as the face of the church not only by the members of the church, but also by the public at large — which is why an elder must be blameless. They are also held accountable, so an accusation witnessed by two people may be tried against them.

    Building an institution for the purpose of anonymity… I don’t know if it’s expressly feminine, but it certainly doesn’t resemble the church. It seems more like a bureaucracy.

  181. desiderian says:

    “What I discovered from my conversation earlier today is that some of the ‘Christian’ women he has met consider the fact that he disowned his slut daughter (unless and until she repents, of course) to be a deal-breaker.”

    Deal-breakers only exist when she’s looking for a reason to break the deal.

    If he had generated sufficient attraction, the rationalization would have reversed polarity.

  182. Luke says:

    Some of the recent posts on this thread are highly worthy IMO of assembling into a permanently-posted article:

    AnonS says:
    June 9, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    June 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    And Anonymous Reader says:

    “Here is the point: once a church or denomination accepts women into the main chain of authority, to leadership over men, to preaching over men, they have walked into a cul de sac. There is no easy way out, because with women embedded in making decisions, at the very least all the men on any given board will have to not only be totally unified on the issue, but convince at least one or more women as well.
    Given the known 4:1 ingroup preference women have for other women, that is not possible in a practical sense. Therefore, a church or denomination that accepts women as ministers, pastors, leaders, etc. has stepped onto a one-way escalator. There will be no turning back.”

    These 3 posts in particular are absolute gold in their wisdom.

    Likewise, the observation that Biblical comments on cosmology can be explained away by translation and cultural issues, but its position on relations between the sexes, hardly, is perfectly on-target IMO. (I’m a scientist and a Christian, as the majority of scientists have been historically, and see no contradiction.)

    Lastly, re “Biblical slavery”, we have rampant unBiblical slavery now. Just ask any unwillingly divorced man deprived of his family (yet forced to pay horrendous chilamony), or any productive person about their income taxes. Even the formal, de jure polygamy the ancients practiced was better for women than is the carousel, where they’re not generally supported by the bad-boy alpha while being bedded, let alone later when with child and/or when aged off it. Now, imagine when the welfare, child support, and affirmative-action enforcement end; think the post-40 unmarried female former carousel riders are going to have a good time, when all the make-work paperwork jobs for women are gone? Me neither.

  183. Boxer says:

    Knowing what I know now, I would consider that a good gateway into a woman’s mind – tell her about that situation and gauge her reaction. If she thinks it is “unloving” then it’s time to “Next!” her, while if she agrees with it, she may be a “keeper.”

    Your brother is being a straight-up father to that young woman, and ought to be commended. Most of what keeps women in check is the father figure, and disowning a whore (until she repairs her life, at least) is probably the most loving thing one can do to a wayward daughter.

    As for the other women, it’s none of their business. Why would he even discuss this with women he is dating? She is his daughter (i.e. a blood relation) and these are just candidates for a possible social relationship until there’s a ring. He shouldn’t even be giving these bitches her name, in my opinion.

    Regards, Boxer

  184. Boxer says:

    Dear Escoffier:

    Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better. And the future will be inevitably more enlightened than the present.

    That isn’t really true. About half of any random sample will believe that, and the other half will believe that the past was so much better, simpler, etc, than the present. Reification of “the good old days” has been going on since classical antiquity, and I’m sure it’ll remain for as long as humans exist.

    In any event, you would probably like the work of Marc Augé, Paul Virilio and Jean Baudrillard. These guys are usually called (as opposed to postmodernists). There’s a current in their work calling for a revisitation to traditionalism (specifically Christianity and Judaism) in order to counter the sort of nihilistic capitalist mass stupefaction.

    Gianni Vattimo comes from an entirely different place to the same conclusions, in *After Christianity*, and you might like him too.

    Best, Boxer

  185. Dalrock says:

    @jf12

    Dalrock, that report says “All data for this analysis is taken from ‘Marriage statistics, Cohabitation and Cohort analyses’ from Office for National Statistics (June, 2013)”.

    I saw that. At least you can see the numbers in the report and the context they are being shared. From what I’ve found the ONS is better than the US government at making raw data available. The data referenced is available in spreadsheet form from this page.

    But apparently only half of 40 yr olds have been married, and only 61% are expected to be married.

    The specific quote from the report is somewhat different, which is why I always want to get as close to the original as possible:

    Amongst those now aged 40 – born in 1974 – over half have already married. However I predict that the final proportion of this cohort will be 61% of men and 68% of women.

    It is worth noting that this prediction is much lower than what we already see for those who are five years older.

    …until as recently as 1994 for men and 2002 for women, it was the case that over 90% of 45 year olds either were or had been married. Today these proportions are still a relatively healthy 70% for men and 80% for women. They will decline further.

    He may be right in his prediction, but it is at the very least a bold prediction, not a solid number.

  186. Escoffier says:

    Re: the good old days, the identification of the good with the old or ancestral is, one may say, the default state of humanity and held true until the rise of modernity. It even finds support in the Bible, which after all tells the story of a perfect beginning followed by a fall.

    Today, a lament for the good old days is almost always nothing more than an expression of personal nostalgia. Apart from self-conscious reactionaries, of whom there are very, very few, nobody today believes the past was morally superior to the present. At most you might get some to wax poetic about a “simpler time.” But as soon as you start to ask about specific issues, especially so-called “social issues,” they will all immediately correct themselves to say, as quickly as possible, that yes, today is morally better than the past. Not to insist on that is to side with segregation—or worse. That’s what people think anyway.

    Reminds me of a thing that happened in New York many years ago. Sen. Moynihan gave a speech famous for introducing the phrase “defining deviancy down” in which he said (more or less) that in the good old days, “deviancy” meant spitting on the sidewalk, whereas today (this was around 1990) nobody blinks at that. True deviancy begins with armed robbery. Mayor Dinkins angrily said that back in those days he had to sit at the back of the bus (nonsense, in his case personally, as he grew up in NJ and NY). Game, set and match Dinkins. The whole intelligentsia sided with the mayor with a small conservative rump defending Moynihan.

    This is the, or a, root of Christian shame over the submission language. They “know” in their hearts that such ideas are immoral. Which is to say, they know they are incompatible with modernity, which in their minds amounts to the same thing.

  187. Boxer says:

    Off Topic: Return of Kings discusses the correlation of c**k-count to pair-bonding impairment in women.

    http://www.returnofkings.com/37345/new-york-city-cougars-fly-to-san-francisco-to-meet-rich-beta-nerds

    Great article, but somewhat crass. Enjoy.

  188. Deposed says:

    Even in the most conservative denominations the prime directive is “do not upset the women while calling men to repentance”. This prime directive or feminine directive calls for men are to be shamed and called out in front of their wives and children as abusers, lazy, selfish, passive and sexual predators. Women are to be praised as overworked and abused by men and everyone of them as beautiful as a model even if they look like Jaba the Hut and act like Athaliah . Then just like in Fireproof the women who never ever do wrong (except dress immodestly and that only due to the lack of men’s self-control) will follow the men like a water-skier follows the boat if only the men will lead correctly. Leading correctly according to the feminine directive means that women feel good about it. The women it seems have no moral agency, they are only victims of the malfeasance of men. If Adam had been a strong leader Eve would have never gone near that fruit, if you were only a good husband your wife would never deny you sex, if only you were a better provided your wife would never be discontent, if only you were a better protector we would never need so much government to protect women … if only ad nausem.

    Focus on the female and female life today set a strong and swift current that is near impossible to oppose directly. If a pastor dares to preach on authority flowing from Christ Matt 28:18 he is likely to be disciplined, maybe even lose his pulpit and be deposed.

    How do I know? Been there and got the t-shirt. 1 Peter 3 was more than the church could take. If you can’t win the exegesis win the ad hominem. Lost my pulpit, 15 years of training and work gone, the church disbanded and I am persona non-grata. This is the third rail for a minister of the Word and sacrament. Only those who are compelled to build the church of Jesus Christ according to the scripture will take the risk, the others are too busy building their own church, chicks dig that!

  189. jf12 says:

    @Dalrock re: marriagefoundation report. The June 2014 report by Benson illustrates the model he is using on page 3. The odds graphs for the 1994 birth cohort are assumed to have *the same* out-year tails as the 1974 cohort, with a simple move-out of the peak to account for the delay in marriage. I submit his model may in fact be overly conservative, with perhaps lesser odds of out-year marriage.

  190. Dalrock says:

    @Escoffier

    I want to add a supplementary / alternative reason to explain this embarrassment over the text of the Bible. It’s been touched on but not really fleshed out.

    I see it as more supplementary than alternative. Especially this:

    Modernity, to say the least, conflicts with the Bible. It was designed to, on purpose. Yet it has been so successful in taking over nearly all conscious and sub-conscious thought that hardly anyone any more recognizes it for what it is. That includes most contemporary Christians, to whom “modernity” is simply synonymous with “reality” or even “morality.”

    And this:

    Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better.

    This is why it is so problematic to assume that the issue is merely fear, that modern Christians would overturn this new family structure if only they could. This is the much more important issue we have to address; they believe the new model is superior to God’s model, but very few are aware of it because as you point out these ideas are accepted without conscious thought.

  191. desiderian says:

    “Building an institution for the purpose of anonymity… I don’t know if it’s expressly feminine, but it certainly doesn’t resemble the church.”

    So do you imagine they gathered in the catacombs because of their love of rats?

  192. desiderian says:

    Dalrock,

    “they believe the new model is superior to God’s model”

    If by “they” you mean over-45s and blue-pillers of all ages, then sure. I don’t see much enthusiasm for blue-pillery among the under-45s, except as a means to other ends.

    That doesn’t mean they’re interested in turning back any clocks. But timeless wisdom? good old-fashioned craftsmanship? That’s their bread-and-butter.

    The postmodern gets an (often justified) bad rap, but it has no more love for the modern than you or I or Escoffier does.

  193. Dalrock says:

    Escoffier I think your first comment on modernity above is worth dropping into a post of its own. Would you consider doing so at Novaseekers? Or, would you mind if I did so here?

  194. Dalrock says:

    @Desiderian

    “they believe the new model is superior to God’s model”

    If by “they” you mean over-45s and blue-pillers of all ages, then sure. I don’t see much enthusiasm for blue-pillery among the under-45s, except as a means to other ends.

    Millennials have very much bought into the idea of moral progress, especially when it comes to sexual morality.

  195. JDG says:

    What I discovered from my conversation earlier today is that some of the “Christian” women he has met consider the fact that he disowned his slut daughter (unless and until she repents, of course) to be a deal-breaker.

    This is a sad state of affairs indeed. The churchian has a whole different outlook on biblical morality then that of our Christian forefathers. That being said, I also have to agree with this:

    Deal-breakers only exist when she’s looking for a reason to break the deal.
    If he had generated sufficient attraction, the rationalization would have reversed polarity.

    especially when it comes to a modern woman attending church.

  196. desiderian says:

    Escoffier,

    “nobody today believes the past was morally superior to the present”

    Ironically, I believe you’re behind the times in a way, for once, you wouldn’t want to be. We’re now well into a generation that is experiencing a life unambiguously inferior to their parents. That has a way to deflate one’s faith in progress. We just bought a house built in 1940 and all our trendy friends adore it (many have similar ones) because everyone knows craftsmanship was so much better back then.

    These aren’t faithful remnant reactionaries. They’re trendy prog respectable hipsters.

  197. JDG says:

    I guess my next question is: How much attraction needs to be generated in order to overcome the browbeating of the herd?

  198. desiderian says:

    “Millennials have very much bought into the idea of moral progress, especially when it comes to sexual morality.”

    One has to distinguish between pre-crash and post-crash, as well as breaking it out by race. The racial divides are sharp, due to the successful efforts of the D’s to stoke raw tribalism, and the inadvertently submissive reaction of the R’s. The D’s mouth the party line, but their actions often tell another story.

  199. desiderian says:

    Dalrock,

    Likewise, what one sees in raw numbers is the virus of modernism passing from the opinion leaders to the bulk of the population (your target audience), which is ostensibly conservative but in fact often follows the lead of those opinion leaders at a 10-20 year lag. For what its worth, I believe that is driven by the hypergamy of “conservative” wives.

  200. Dalrock says:

    @Desiderian

    One has to distinguish between pre-crash and post-crash, as well as breaking it out by race. The racial divides are sharp, due to the successful efforts of the D’s to stoke raw tribalism, and the inadvertently submissive reaction of the R’s. The D’s mouth the party line, but their actions often tell another story.

    I showed you mine (stats). You show me yours.

  201. donalgraeme says:

    This is why it is so problematic to assume that the issue is merely fear, that modern Christians would overturn this new family structure if only they could. This is the much more important issue we have to address; they believe the new model is superior to God’s model, but very few are aware of it because as you point out these ideas are accepted without conscious thought.

    I haven’t weighed in until now, and may write a post later in response, but I think Dalrock is correct that much more is going on than fear. Fear is definitely part of what is going on, but not the whole thing. One word that deserves repetition is the word shame. A lot of Christians are ashamed of what the Bible says (and for Catholics/Orthodox, what Tradition says and the fathers of the church say) about marriage, among other things. They aren’t afraid to say the truth because they are ashamed that it is truth. They wish it wasn’t in scripture because it is just so… [insert whatever you like here: outdated, misogynistic, oppressive, unfair, etc.]. As a result, it doesn’t take much prompting for them to look for some way to mitigate, to obscure, the truth of what Scripture actually says.

  202. Don Quixote says:

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    June 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm
    “First, your translation is absolutely nutty. Fornication is the broad category including any immoral sexual behavior, in or out or beside marriage, including using sacred whores. Adultery is a broad category that includes some acts of fornication and some non-sexual things — adultery, moicheia, is (to use Paul’s word) to _defile_. Even in English it retains that meaning (as in how one can “adulterate” food or medication to render it harmful), and it’s had it since the earliest days (as we see in the Law that a woman married to a second husband is defiled for the first, and remarriage would defile the land). Not all porneia is moicheia, and vice versa — but all porneia within marriage is moicheia.”

    I agree with your interpretation of the Greek, but I think you have overlooked the point made by the Pharisees when Jesus was asked the question: Is it lawful to put away your wife for any reason? And the cultural context, please consider:

    1) If you interpret porniea [as above] you have put Jesus between rabbi Hillel and rabbi Shammai. But if you read Matt.19 you will notice that Jesus distanced Himself from their argument and set a much higher standard. This shows strongly that your interpretation is wrong.

    2) If a girl had lost her virginity she was considered ‘damaged goods’ and therefore unfit for marriage with dowry etc etc. Joseph thought to ‘put away’ Mary because he assumed she had been fornicating. He didn’t get her pregnant.

  203. jf12 says:

    OT. This *would* have been an example of feminism if the record hadn’t shown that the woman was at fault.
    http://thoughtcatalog.com/james-b-barnes/2014/06/crusading-woman-beats-up-drone-hobbyist-but-only-this-video-saved-him-from-jail/

    I submit, however, it is feminism which is worse than fear, worse than malice.

  204. jf12 says:

    Re: what the Bible has to say. Most Christians are perfectly fine doing things that aren’t in Scripture and/or not doing things that are in Scripture, and are perfectly fine conceding that they know that. For example, in the formula for Baptism.
    http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4066.htm#article6
    Reply to Objection 1. It was by a special revelation from Christ that in the primitive Church the apostles baptized in the name of Christ; in order that the name of Christ, which was hateful to Jews and Gentiles, might become an object of veneration, in that the Holy Ghost was given in Baptism at the invocation of that Name.

  205. JDG says:

    They wish it wasn’t in scripture because it is just so… [insert whatever you like here: outdated, misogynistic, oppressive, unfair, etc.]. As a result, it doesn’t take much prompting for them to look for some way to mitigate, to obscure, the truth of what Scripture actually says.

    I have witnessed this first hand, and that with folks who should know better. I’ve heard something like: “I know the Bible says a woman shouldn’t teach or exercise authority over a man, but I wish it didn’t.”

    We have been immersed in feminist ideology for so long that people have forgotten or never knew what it was like to live in a male led society, and even life long Bible reading church goers have been deceived into believing egalitarian teachings.

  206. AnonS says:

    “Church ministry is absolutely not anonymous, nor can churchmen be cowards. Not only are they not anonymous, they are recognized as the face of the church not only by the members of the church, but also by the public at large — which is why an elder must be blameless. They are also held accountable, so an accusation witnessed by two people may be tried against them.

    Building an institution for the purpose of anonymity… I don’t know if it’s expressly feminine, but it certainly doesn’t resemble the church. It seems more like a bureaucracy.”

    I get where you are coming from but it seems to be like a stituation in which a church leader is captured in North Korea and asked to name those below and above him. A hostile culture requires wise discretion for the protection of others and the mission.

    And I guess this is assuming a seperation of operations and theology. That the elders only guard against heretical teaching. Spending money (which should be minimum) and activities on behalf of the church should be people that can be held responsible. But pressure on them to compromise can be redirected to the elders, “I’m just following our mission statement ma’am, you have to leave”.

    Two ways around it I can think of:

    1. Have elders meet but a random subset vote on anything. This way if pressured they can start with “its private church business” but follow with “I didn’t vote on that, talk to someone else”.

    2. Put your local church under the authority of a bishop in Africa or South America so when pressured you say “we don’t make the rules here, fly to Africa and talk to them.”

  207. Boxer says:

    Re: what the Bible has to say. Most Christians are perfectly fine doing things that aren’t in Scripture and/or not doing things that are in Scripture, and are perfectly fine conceding that they know that.

    To be fair, some things in the New Testament are outright commandments from the divine monarch himself, and some things are merely hinted at. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” versus, for example, the epistle to Philemon, which was commonly used to justify slavery in North America. A careful reading of that will suggest that St. Paul was sending back a slave with a letter, urging his master to receive him as “your brother”, but whether that means “put your bro back into the work crew” or “set him free” is for us to ponder (I’m strongly of the latter opinion, but I have no more evidence to back that up than the Dixiecrats who used it, circa 1855, to back their own orthogonal positions).

    Specifically, to escoffier, I don’t know how any reasonable person would imagine that life in the Marriage 2.0 world is better for kids (and thus more sufficiently moral) than life in a more reasonable time, when marital roles were well defined by sex, and divorce was a very costly and difficult procedure. Certainly, things are better now for many women (specifically the slutty and psychopathic ones) but society is exponentially worse for everyone else.

    Regards, Boxer

  208. “So do you imagine they gathered in the catacombs because of their love of rats?”

    Meeting in the catacombs didn’t make the church internally anonymous (in fact we don’t know much about the internal organization of the church at that time; all we can do is guess); nor did it wipe out Paul’s exhortations on how and why to select elders, which is the foundation of my argument.

    But the early church didn’t meet in the catacombs until fairly late, and then only near urban centers and where there was a special necessity. I was referring to the Biblical instructions for the church, not to the extremes the turn of the century church was driven by Nero, Diocletian, and Julian. Consistent empire-wide external persecution changed where the church gathered. Prior to that they met in synagogues, then in large houses owned by wealthy people, then (apparently) in specially structured houses (mentioned by some surviving letters from Jewish persecutors). The time in catacombs was comparatively brief and limited to the worst cities; in most places you could get away with a lot more.

    Isn’t there something … special … about someone with my handle accusing people of cowardice, though? I don’t intend it THAT way; my point is that elders have qualifications, and one of them is being above reproach. You can’t do that anonymously.

  209. jf12 says:

    @Slightly Anonymous, at risk of being called kneejerk, I will kneejerk and call you a Donatist.

  210. Oscar says:

    desiderian says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    “When they do, the women welcome them like Penelope did Odysseus.”

    The ending of the Odyssey is one of my favorite manhood/womanhood/familyhood (yes, I just made that up) stories.

    A husband and father (Odysseus) is going off to war. Knowing he’ll be gone for years and may never return, he entrusts the upbringing of his toddler son (Telemacus) to a wise older man (Mentor). Finally returning 20 years later, father and son vanquish their enemies together. His wife (Penelope), who remained faithful to him all those years, as you said, welcomes him back.

    Is ignorance of the classics a primary cause of our culture’s current lack of masculinity and femininity, or a result of it?

    BradA says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    “Certainly desiderian, but I am asking for practical examples, not the theoretical underpinnings.”

    I think desiderian got it right when he quoted John 3:16, though. Love, when distilled to its essence, is voluntarily providing for another’s needs, even at great personal cost, not expecting payment in return.

    God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, because our greatest need is to be reconciled to our maker, but we are completely incapable of meeting that need ourselves, so he provided what we needed at great personal cost.

    When a man provides for his family (often at a job he hates), he demonstrates love for them by filling their need for provision.

    When woman has a hot, tasty meal ready for her man when he comes home from that job he hates, she demonstrates love for him by filling his needs, and not just the obvious physical need for food.

    desiderian says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    “Just saw the move Chef with my wife, and would recommend it. This dynamic plays out exactly as described in the movie. That truth was just what the main character needed to rediscover his manhood, and to pass it on to his son.”

    Sounds good. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.

  211. Opus says:

    Of course at the end of The Odyssey, Penelope fitness tests Odysseus and thus makes him court her all over again – a bit like Fireproof then. :( Should have stayed with Calypso.

  212. I don’t know what you mean by calling me a Donatist. Do you mean that I refuse to accept the baptism of people baptised by bishops who are repentant traditores? Or do you mean I surround churches run by such bishops and threaten to burn them down?
    I’m being goofy, but I really have no idea why you think that’s a knee-jerk reaction. Or a reaction. Maybe I’m not taking you literally enough — maybe you have a keyboard macro and accidentally hit it?

  213. “I agree with your interpretation of the Greek, but I think you have overlooked the point made by the Pharisees when Jesus was asked the question: Is it lawful to put away your wife for any reason?”

    Great point. I actually didn’t try to get into interpreting Jesus there, although I do have an opinion; I just wanted to rule out what seems to me to be an impossible one.

    You’re also right that Jesus is not placing His teaching on a continuum with them. He answers their question about whether no-fault divorce is permitted (by a grammatical irregularity in the divorce law) by pointing at a passage that undercuts the debate.

    “1) If you interpret porniea [as above] you have put Jesus between rabbi Hillel and rabbi Shammai.”

    In some senses, I think He is between them. In other senses He’s not visible from their position. But what if I do? If I read Greek the way Greek is written, and if that’s the conclusion I reach, how is that bad?

    “But if you read Matt.19 you will notice that Jesus distanced Himself from their argument and set a much higher standard. This shows strongly that your interpretation is wrong.”

    Your interpretation being correct is not the only possible reason why Jesus might have avoided their argument.

    A simpler explanation for avoiding their argument is that there was nothing more to be said — they were literally arguing over the meaning of a few _letters_. Actually, they were arguing over the meaning of a few letters in a divorce law that didn’t clear explain when divorce is right or wrong; it simply MENTIONS a very specific instance of divorce that actually includes as many as two sequential divorces.

    And yet God gives a few examples of legitimate divorces (two passages mention Him as the initiating ex-husband), but only one general rule where a divorce is mandatory (when an owner frees a married male slave but not the wife, the slave is automatically forced to divorce). It appears that a slave-wife could force her master to divorce her if she was undersupplied with clothing, food, or (something else not translatable) — in which case she was not only divorced, but also free of slavery without payment. (Is that a general principle? Arguable.)

  214. jf12 says:

    @Slightly Anonymous, the specific heresy of Donatism is precisely this: that cowardice is disqualifying for church leadership.

  215. Cane Caldo says:

    @Escoffier

    This, then, is a significant source of the embarrassment. The modern Christian (modern first, Christian second) is embarrassed by the evident conflicts between his nominal faith and his actual, if unconscious, modernity. Modernity trumps. So the offending Scriptures have to be dealt with one way or another. There are many possible ways: insist that it doesn’t say what it seems to say, come up with Rube Goldberg interpretations to square it with modernity, call it “metaphoric,” say that it was right for that time but not our time, and so on. The latter is a kind of “Living Constitution” framework for the Bible. It assumes that God has left to us the task of “updating” Scripture as the “times change.” The changing of the times is held to be the true constant, and really the true God, but only implicitly.

    Superb.

  216. donalgraeme says:

    I don’t know how I missed Escoffier’s comment. That is pure gold, and worth a post in reply.

  217. Pingback: Article Round Up — courtshippledge.com

  218. BrainyOne says:

    @desiderian:

    “If one is so inclined, it is not at all difficult to interpret the appropriate texts as not necessarily mandating a geocentric universe or a young earth. One has to be an awful lot more determined to get around scriptural teaching on headship and sexual relations. ”

    But if one is so inclined, one can do it, now can’t one? That is the point of this site, as far as I can make out. While we’re on the topic, virtually all denominations “biblically” condemned contraception (based on the Onan passage) until the 20th century; now all denominations permit it, except for very few, the RCC being the big exception (however, this is more in theory than in practice). More on this later.

    Look, everyone wants to talk about “biblical” marriage but very few want to actually talk about what it takes to put it into practice. Yeah, there’s lots of talk about “sacrificial love” and “servant leadership” of husbands but is anyone really willing to tell prospective wives that:

    You don’t have a “right” to a job outside the home, if your husband doesn’t want you to and it’s not financially necessary (this does NOT mean not being able to afford a Lexus, a maid, au pair, or nanny). If it’s not your primary responsibility to support the family financially, then it isn’t your absolute right either. So even if you have an advanced science degree and he is just an auto worker, or whatever, forget about living in the ‘burbs, even though you worked very hard through graduate school so you could live in the ‘burbs. You don’t have the “right” to determine how many children you will have. Your husband will make the call. You don’t have the “right” to refuse sexual relations even if you’re dog-tired from household and child-rearing chores your husband refuses to help with. You don’t help him with the bills so he doesn’t help you with this (division of labor). This is “biblical” marriage. Preach it from the housetops, brother. Then wonder why there are no more marriages in your parish and hence no more children (except via “sluts”) and the average age gets older and older. Oh, husbands really ought to behave better than this? Oh, yeah? Where’s the “biblical” basis for it?

    “In addition, empirical evidence produced in the last 15-20 years is now firmly on the side of that teaching, as is the first-hand experience of millions of members of the rising generation, male and female.”

    Empirical evidence shows only this: female-headed households where children rarely or never see their fathers are very bad. The remedy for this lies in changing the expectation of sole maternal custody (and, may I ask, just where were the “biblical” Christians when “tender years” was being enacted into law and subsequent jurisprudence way back when). That’s it. It doesn’t mean the entire rolling back of the sexual revolution or some of the other changes wrought by feminism.

    “Your argument relies a general ignorance of scripture, exegesis, and church history for its seeming plausibility. But plausible arguments rely on those seeking to find them plausible. ”

    Yeah, yeah. Everyone else was wrong about scripture, exegesis, and church history when they (including Luther, Calvin, and Bellarmine) condemned Galileo and geocentrism in the strongest terms precisely based upon scripture, exegesis, and church history; and everyone else was wrong about scripture, exegesis, and church history when they condemned contraception in the strongest terms, but now we’ve got it right. Aren’t we lucky to be living when we do?

    “The rising generation’s experiences are unlikely to incline their thoughts in that direction.”

    They’re also unlikely to incline their thoughts in yours.

  219. Elspeth says:

    You don’t have a “right” to a job outside the home, if your husband doesn’t want you to and it’s not financially necessary (this does NOT mean not being able to afford a Lexus, a maid, au pair, or nanny). If it’s not your primary responsibility to support the family financially, then it isn’t your absolute right either. So even if you have an advanced science degree and he is just an auto worker, or whatever, forget about living in the ‘burbs, even though you worked very hard through graduate school so you could live in the ‘burbs. You don’t have the “right” to determine how many children you will have. Your husband will make the call. You don’t have the “right” to refuse sexual relations even if you’re dog-tired from household and child-rearing chores your husband refuses to help with. You don’t help him with the bills so he doesn’t help you with this (division of labor). This is “biblical” marriage. Preach it from the housetops, brother. Then wonder why there are no more marriages in your parish and hence no more children (except via “sluts”) and the average age gets older and older. Oh, husbands really ought to behave better than this? Oh, yeah? Where’s the “biblical” basis for it?

    Co-sign. Of course the average college educated woman with an advanced degree will fill a house with cats before she marries “just” an auto worker.

    While auto workers still remain.

  220. Scott says:

    Brainyone-

    It will be interesting to see where your comment takes the discussion. As you can see, Elspeth (a protestant) “co signs” your remarks, even with all the pejorative and sarcastic rhetoric in it.

    You will find that a large majority of posters (protestant and Catholic) here actually do believe that “we” got it wrong on contraception, abortion, divorce, tender years, etc. They tend to be intellectually consistent and honest that way. I am Byzantine Catholic, so “we” barely applies.

  221. JDG says:

    You will find that a large majority of posters (protestant and Catholic) here actually do believe that “we” got it wrong on contraception, abortion, divorce, tender years,

    Count me in.

  222. infowarrior1 says:

    The moderns do not consider headship the way that we do here. Consider this sophistry:

    [i]Now, even though the passage SUPPORTS women’s speaking roles and ‘authoritative speaking’ roles, some have seen in the reference to ‘headship’ a basic male-over-female hierarchical subordination structure, as being ordained of God. Let me be quick to point out that EVEN IF THIS WERE SO, it would IN NO WAY negate the obvious fact that women were allowed (indeed, encouraged, when done in proper fashion) to function in worship. That fact remains unchanged in our text.

    But what about the ‘head’ thing? Perhaps another digression is warranted, given the controversy surrounding it.

    Some of the basic points first:

    “head” does NOT mean the same thing we mean by it in Western culture. From the standpoint of anatomical function, in Paul’s day it was the ‘heart’ that made the decisions, guided life, etc. “Head” was much more the ‘adornment department’ of the body! In other words, when people wanted to make decisions, they used their heart; when they wanted to get all “gussied up” ["dressed up", for you colloquially-deprived readers ;>) ], they used their head (e.g. hair, makeup, jewelry). So, in the literature, the word translated ‘head’ here often shows up as ‘crown’ or ‘excellence’. [Hence, its usefulness in the passage of I Cor 11.]

    The root notion was that of ‘source’, and from this usage it was applied to people–Zeus, Pharoah, the progenitors of the Twelve Tribes, Christ-with reference to the Church, man (Adam)–with reference to woman (Eve)….

    If an author wanted to make a point about AUTHORITY, he would use two specific words–exousia (“authority”; Matt 28.18, Rom 13.1-3) and/or archon (“ruler”; Rom 13.3). He only used ‘head’ when dealing with issues of origination, completion, consummation.

    In the passage under discussion, the only mention of the word ‘authority’ is in verse 10–and it is the women who possesses it!

    NONE of the SCORES of published lexicographers of ancient Greek even LIST “authority, ruler” as a meaning for this word (WS:WAB:97-110, 118-132). It only begins to show up with those minor usages after Constantine!

    Recent attempts to argue that the “source”-meanings PRESUPPOSE the “authority” meaning (a la Grundem) by restricting the locus of study to SPECIFIC persons, literally “exempt” this passage from the force of their arguments!

    For example, when it is argued that in thousands of cases in Greek literature, when ‘head’ is applied to a person (as opposed to river or something inanimate), it is only applied to a ruler; then I Cor 11 disappears from consideration–because the term in question is the generic noun ‘man’–NOT a specific man! (And, if we agree that the man is Adam–agreeing for sake of argument that he had some authority over Eve–then the passage ONLY extends to the First Couple, and becomes only an illustration for Paul).

    A second problem is that, strictly speaking, it CANNOT mean ‘authority’ when applied to God and Christ in the passage–at the time Paul writes this. While that COULD have been a meaning during the Pre-Cross Incarnation, after the Exaltation Paul is clear that Christ has been given all authority, and that He will sometime in the future , ‘give it back’ to the Father (I Cor 15.24-28):

    Then the end will come, when he (Christ) hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

    [Also, it is not clear from the I Cor 11 passage that God the Father is in view--the more inclusive term 'God' may indicate that a source relationship is VERY intentional here. In other words, a 'source' motif--similar to adam-eve--would be more correct if it ran like this: "Godhead was the source of an enfleshed-Godperson".]

    Needless to say, the relationship between the Father’s authority and the Son’s authority is exceedingly complex(!), but we MUST proceed on the basis on the force of these passages.

    Additionally, it should be noted that, linguistically, one simply cannot move from an author’s intention (e.g. using a word with a central meaning of ‘source of origin, source of completion’ AS OPPOSED TO a word with a central meaning of ‘authority, ruler’), to some theoretical ‘conclusion’ that the author was consciously intending BOTH MEANINGS at the same time. This is certainly counter-intuitive (without an indication of a play on meanings–like physical-head and source-head in I Cor 11), and one that would require a large number of passages that made that linkage of concepts EXPLICIT and PART OF THE SEMANTIC substructure of the language. That the majority of cases in which a author used ‘source’ to describe a person who ALSO had ‘authority’ is oblique at best and irrelevant at worst, to the issue. What must be shown is that the preponderance of authors used the word ‘head’ without using the word ‘authority, ruler’ and DREW DIRECT IMPLICATIONS in the ‘authority’ sphere–NOT the spheres of honor, respect, similarity, continuity, homage, etc (spheres that would be implications of ‘source or origin’).[i]

    Source:
    http://www.christianthinktank.com/fem09.html

  223. infowarrior1 says:

    A bit more:

    And, when you have a semantic distance as great as between “source” and “authority” you MUST show how the literal meaning ‘stretches’ to the metaphorical meaning. “Fork in the road” can be derived from a physical fork, as can most other metaphorical extensions. In some cases, we know we can ‘lose’ the literal in favor of the metaphorical, but in this case BOTH USAGES co-exist in the literary data. It is incumbent, then, for someone to show how ‘authority’ can be an extension (in such a vast array of situations!) of “source” or “one who completes”. It is not enough to cite statistical correlation.

    And finally, from a methodological standpoint, we could see this from the ‘headship’ passage in Ephesians. In linguistic studies, when you have a word which you do NOT know the meaning of, you try to decide from the invariable redundancy clues in the passage. If we didn’t know what ‘head’ meant in Ephesians 5, and tried to figure out from the clues, we would decide that it meant something like ‘servant’–one who saves, grooms, cleans, dresses, completes, protects, etc. We would NEVER come up with ‘authority’ from the actions and attributes of Christ in THAT passage! (He obviously has authority over His Bride, but it is not remotely in view in that passage.) But the literal notion of “that which completes” or “a major source of change” (i.e. “head”!) makes quite a lot of sense here. Simple inductive Bible study–without starting with a loaded meaning of ‘head’–would yield something much more akin to ‘active change agent’ than ‘ordained authority’…

    Thus, I have to conclude that ‘head’ does NOT entail authority, but rather is used to focus on organic union (e.g. Christ/Church, Husband/Wife) and source/completion (e.g Christ/New Creation) motifs. The lexical data is simply too overwhelming at this point AGAINST the equation of the two.

    So, I may not know what I Cor 11 means–relative to women wearing headgear other than hair at church, but I can tell from the passage what it does NOT mean! Women were obviously allowed to pray and prophesy in church, and were not commanded to ‘be silent’ at all. There is absolutely no restriction on women’s roles (in worship at least) in this passage.

  224. infowarrior1 says:

    @Dalrock
    Forgot to put in quotation marks. A little help here.

  225. Boxer says:

    “head” does NOT mean the same thing we mean by it in Western culture.

    Saul of Tarsus was a rabbi, a Roman citizen, who spoke several languages. The New Testament is a part of the literary corpus of Western culture.

    From the standpoint of anatomical function, in Paul’s day it was the ‘heart’ that made the decisions, guided life, etc. “Head” was much more the ‘adornment department’ of the body! In other words, when people wanted to make decisions, they used their heart; when they wanted to get all “gussied up” ["dressed up", for you colloquially-deprived readers ;>) ], they used their head (e.g. hair, makeup, jewelry). So, in the literature, the word translated ‘head’ here often shows up as ‘crown’ or ‘excellence’. [Hence, its usefulness in the passage of I Cor 11.]

    The Latin for head is capvt. It’s where we get the words: “capo”, “capital”, “decapitate” etc. from. The underlying meanings of those words have been consistent, in that it describes the seat of intentionality (either in an individual, or in a collective — hence the “capitol” of a specific nation). Find out the word in the vulgate bible in the verse on wives and husbands. I’m guessing it’s capvt, and its meaning is easy to derive.

    Snip the rest, cuz, really, (laughing) no one needs me to tell them that this is bullshit. Any half-literate person ought to be able to see through this nonsense, and it’s amazing to note that so many seem to go along with it (including a lot of people who are much brighter than I am).

    Boxer

  226. fringed says:

    sorry about being off topic: does anybody know what happened to Joseph of Jackson’s blog?

  227. JDG says:

    I posted this last month, but I’ll post it again here as I think it might be useful.

    A survey was made of 2,336 instances of κεφαλή (head) in 36 authors from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D. In each case listed, all the extant writings of an author were searched and every instance of κεφαλή was examined and tabulated with the exception of fragmentary texts and a few other minor works that were unavailable.

    The great majority of instances of κεφαλή refer to an actual physical head of a man or animal. The other uses are all metaphorical in some sense or other.

    It is significant to note that the sense “ruler” or “person of superior authority or rank” occurs 49 times, which is 16.2 percent of the instances in which κεφαλή is used in a metaphorical sense. Of those, 12 are from the New Testament, 13 from the Septuagint, 5 from other Greek translations of the Old Testament, 2 from Herodotus, 1 from Plato, 1 from the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, 7 from Plutarch, 5 from Philo, 1 from the Apostolic Fathers, 1 from the Greek Anthology, and 1 from Libanius. That makes it very difficult to accept anyone’s claim that head in Greek could not mean “ruler” or “authority over.”

    It should also be noted that out of those 2,336 instances the word κεφαλή meant “source” exactly zero times.

    http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/tj/kephale_grudem.pdf [pp 48 - 53]

  228. desiderian says:

    “I don’t know how I missed Escoffier’s comment. That is pure gold, and worth a post in reply.”

    Yes. I’m so glad you stopped by, Escoffier. There are few things more enjoyable to a good man than the company of a superior one*. It’s the principal thing that draws me to the great writers.

    * – present company includes more than one. I fear I have abused the hospitality of another, the host, in this thread, so I hope to cut back somewhat on my commenting, but I’ll be around and looking forward to your thoughts. I’ll be reading, and learning.

  229. desiderian says:

    Brainyone,

    “But if one is so inclined, one can do it, now can’t one?”

    No, not with sound exegesis. But that is beside the larger point, which is that your assumption that people will be inclined to do so is no longer in evidence.

    “It doesn’t mean the entire rolling back of the sexual revolution or some of the other changes wrought by feminism.”

    Lewis covers “reasoning by the clock” better than I ever could, if you were interested in being intelligent rather than merely brainy, you’d do well to google it. The idea that no error can ever be corrected lest one commit the cardinal sin of “rolling back the clock” is profoundly anti-progressive. Anyone who ever made any actual progress can tell you it is inherently five steps forward, four back.

    The sexual revolution is being rolled back whether you, or I, want it to be or not. That’s what the rape culture hysteria is about. The changes wrought by feminism are part of a natural cycle of sex role differentiation identified by Strauss and Howe in 1992. The swing back has gone somewhat underground due to the Boomers solipsistic mania to stop it in its tracks.

    Again, anti-progressive.

    Scott,

    “You will find that a large majority of posters (protestant and Catholic) here actually do believe that ‘we’ got it wrong on contraception, abortion, divorce, tender years, etc.”

    Oh, I’m not so sure how large it is. The irony is they are now, given the empirical evidence, on the wrong side of “progress”.

  230. Thank you for the explanation. “Cowardice is a disqualifier for church leadership” is a total misunderstanding of what I’ve said (it’s also a complete confusion regarding the problem with Donatism). Mind you that I affirm it strongly, but it has nothing to do with my point.

    The problem with this arrangement is its utter gutless cowardice, yes. But I’m not disqualifying any person because they’re a coward; I don’t see any cowards here. I’m pointing out that you’re trying to arrange a church structure that overcomes femininity (a good goal, and I praise you for it), and you’re lining up something as passive-aggressive and effeminate as it’s possible to imagine. “Please don’t yell at me, I didn’t vote for it.” You’re doing that under the assumption that women will attack directly any man they know takes action, and avoid confronting a man who avoids responsibility. It’s a completely upside down view of the human impulse — people despise leaders who lie about their responsibility and authority, especially using im-plausible denial.

    This has nothing to do with the error of the Donatists, which was to treat people baptised by and loyal to putatively invalid bishops as worse than heretics, as lying false confessors who needed rebaptism at best. It’s a perfectly respectable position to doubt the worthiness of a former bishop who not only recanted, but gave over the lectionaries and the Scriptures — surely he can repent, but it’s worth arguing over whether he can be a bishop. But if he’s given a bisphoric, don’t punish the people he baptises. It’s not their fault.

  231. JDG says:

    The irony is they are now, given the empirical evidence, on the wrong side of “progress”.

    In the words of Maxwell Smart: “And loving it.”

  232. desiderian says:

    “In the words of Maxwell Smart: ‘And loving it.’”

    Perhaps I mistook Scott’s meaning.

    I’m saying the “we” who got it wrong, including my younger self, thought that the traditional teaching against female headship was not only wrong but groundless. In my case, it wasn’t embarrassing so much as requiring a non-literal method of exegesis, even when the sense of the text itself was literal.

    I was mistaken not only in employing that method, but also in the original belief that motivated me to employ it. There are legitimate grounds for male headship to be the norm. As in the case of Elizabeth I (and as it happens, the minister that married my wife and I), I’m open to exceptions, but they must be just that, exceptions.

  233. BradA says:

    Oscar,

    When a man provides for his family (often at a job he hates), he demonstrates love for them by filling their need for provision.

    When woman has a hot, tasty meal ready for her man when he comes home from that job he hates, she demonstrates love for him by filling his needs, and not just the obvious physical need for food.

    That was what I was looking for. I see minimal overlap in that list. A wife doing the man’s steps, providing for her husband would not be required to show love (nor expected per a Biblical standard) and a man should not regularly focus on cooking his wife’s meals (in my thinking at least). Those are two very different things, yet both show “love”. They differ by sex.

    What examples would be the same for each sex?

  234. BradA says:

    I am not longer in favor of modern birth control, but I do not believe the Onan passage refers to birth control. It was a matter of him not fulfilling his obligation (at his father’s command) to raise up seed to his brother. I have heard it argued that he could have refused, but that the fact he had the sex without the possibility of the seed was the sin. I am not sure I buy that, but I don’t see this as a birth control method as the story is described.

  235. BrainyOne says:

    @Scott:

    “You will find that a large majority of posters (protestant and Catholic) here actually do believe that “we” got it wrong on contraception, abortion, divorce, tender years, etc. They tend to be intellectually consistent and honest that way. I am Byzantine Catholic, so “we” barely applies.”

    If that is the case, then I will certainly be posting at this site and reading posts and OPs for quite some time. Because this is extremely rare. Diogenes, after all, searched the entire planet just to find a single honest man. Let’s see if “wives working outside the home without their husband’s permission” or “husbands determining family size” or “no right to refuse marital sexual relations” go in the same category. Elspeth concurs that they do. You? and “We”?

    @desiderian:
    “No, not with sound exegesis. ”

    Ah yes, the definition of “sound” mysteriously correlating (R = 1.0) with the conclusions you would like to be brought from the text, and mysteriously not correlating (R = 0.0) with those you don’t. Even though, exegetes in prior centuries would have felt “sound” exegesis (R = 1.0) would mean accepting a geocentric universe. Isn’t No True Scotsman so nice? (“Exegesis has resulted in conclusions we now know to be false.” “Ah yes, well no sound exegesis could possibly result in error.”)

    “The idea that no error can ever be corrected lest one commit the cardinal sin of “rolling back the clock” is profoundly anti-progressive. ”

    Ah yes, the lazy man’s retort when faced with the task of actually discerning which, specifically, “Modern” errors are bad. Much easier to just say, Modernity = Bad. Disagree? Why, you’re “anti-progressive”.

  236. Great post. This is the reversal of divine order of YHVH – Yshua – Man – Woman – Children.
    This carries serious consequences and has destroyed mankind from the point of the Garden of Eden to date.
    ~Shalom

  237. JDG says:

    It was a matter of him not fulfilling his obligation (at his father’s command) to raise up seed to his brother.

    Agreed. I understand it to mean that even had he refused to lay with her he would have been in trouble.

  238. JDG says:

    Nevertheless, I believe birth control is wrong. It is not our place to play God.

  239. JDG says:

    Ah yes, the lazy man’s retort when faced with the task of actually discerning which, specifically, “Modern” errors are bad.

    Haven’t we been commenting on some of those errors? Okay I’ll say it, “Modernity = bad.”

    And if I may, “Biblical patriarchy = good.”

    Boy now I’m in trouble.

  240. Goodkid43 says:

    Worse than fear, worse than malice…. From my observation living in a strong Christian community with a Christian liberal arts college and seminary for the last 22 years, I assert that it is fear. One of my best friends, a Christian and possessing a doctorate from M.I.T. stated that our Christian beliefs are politically incorrect but he has chosen, sadly, to remain silent. Why? Because of the cost and rejection involved from family and friends.
    Recent personal experience. He called me this past Saturday morning asking if it was ok for him and his wife (who treats him horribly and she claims to be a Christian) to go to my ex’s wedding that same morning. I was busy with a client and inadvertently said yes. But when I had a chance to ponder, I sent him a text saying I was not ok with it (also, my 28th anniversary with my ex was June 1). He calls me again after the wedding saying that since they married in church, she may be returning to the church and implying that everything is wonderful!! Now here is the shocker. The very next morning after the wedding and celebration that evening, which occurred on June 7, my ex sends me a text letting me know that “Ken and I were married yesterday”!!!!!! Needless to say I did not respond. It is as if everyone was wanting my approval in order that everyone is haaaaaaapy!! See, divorce is necessary etc. etc. See, me divorcing you after over a quarter century of marriage has worked out for both of us…..

    To end on a positive note: Thanks to Dalrock’s site, exclusively, my application of the principles of headship that I have culled over the last four months of “lurking” (I despise the term “game”), my relationship with my girlfriend of eleven months is solid with no fear, my daughter has responded by wanting to go hiking multiple times and talking about spiritual realities. And at the office where there are 32 woman and 2 men, I am highly respected even though the feminism was subtle. I was shocked at the change of attitude ranging from dismissal to outright hatred to one of respect. But, I know for certain, thanks to Anonymous 72, that the opposite may have happened. And this, is the essence of Christianity…doing what is right regardless of the consequences knowing that there is ultimate justice in the next life.

    P.S. Are there ways to donate to this site?

  241. Lyn87 says:

    “You will find that a large majority of posters (protestant and Catholic) here actually do believe that ‘we’ got it wrong on contraception, abortion, divorce, tender years, etc.”

    Not so fast…

    Divorce is pretty clear-cut in the Bible – only allowed in very specific cases in Matthew 18. Almost all P’s & C’s here take a strict view of it.

    Abortion is not directly mentioned in scripture, but the humanity of the unborn is affirmed, so that’s pretty clear-cut as well. Almost all P’s and C’s here are generally against it, especially as the sole purview of the woman. (I would exempt cases where the life of the mother is in danger, on the grounds that killing is generally considered to be justified in self-defense.)

    Tender Years is also not directly mentioned in scripture, but the Bible is pretty clear that legitimate children are under the authority of their fathers. Most P’s and C’s here probably favor some sort of rebuttable presumption of father-custody, but I suspect that is held less universality than the previous two.

    Contraception is not mentioned in the Bible at all, and the earliest known reference to it in Egypt dates back to the time of Abraham, so it is likely that the Israelites knew about it from the very first days that there were Israelites. Moreover, the story of Onan* is not even close to what most people say – his crime was neither masturbation (which is not even alluded to in scripture even once), nor having sex without the possibility of pregnancy (several men in the Bible had sex with infertile wives without angering God) – his crime was disobeying a command to “raise up seed” to his dead brother (a son from that union would be the heir – in this case that child would receive the inheritance due to Judah’s firstborn son, rather than Onan himself as the eldest surviving son). A lot of C’s disapprove of contraception because various Popes have made pronouncements against it, but the opinions of popes are not actually binding on Christians. A few P’s come out against it, but if there’s any reason to think that it’s sinful, I have yet to hear the argument.

    * For the record, the story of Onan is here in it’s entirety (Gen 38: 1-11) [Emphasis added]:

    And it came to pass at that time, that Judah went down from his brethren, and turned in to a certain Adullamite, whose name was Hirah. And Judah saw there a daughter of a certain Canaanite, whose name was Shuah; and he took her, and went in unto her. And she conceived, and bare a son; and he called his name Er. And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she called his name Onan. And she yet again conceived, and bare a son; and called his name Shelah: and he was at Chezib, when she bare him. And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. Then said Judah to Tamar his daughter in law, Remain a widow at thy father’s house, till Shelah my son be grown: for he said, Lest peradventure he die also, as his brethren did. And Tamar went and dwelt in her father’s house.

  242. Boxer says:

    A few P’s come out against it, but if there’s any reason to think that it’s sinful, I have yet to hear the argument.

    I can roughly recite it. It has to do with the purpose of the conjugal act, which Catholic philosophers have always held as primarily procreative. Using sex for recreation while blocking the possibility of procreation is a misuse of the purpose. Sex is, of course, fun, but it is fun as a side-effect of making new Roman Catholics. To use it primarily as recreation is to slip back into one’s lower (animal) nature, and is in some sense giving up one’s humanity.

    See John VI’s “Humanae Vitae” (1968) for a more authoritative take than my loose retelling.

    Also, This is, of course, an idea that predates Christianity. Saul of Tarsus liked Greek philosophy and this is a stoic (and perhaps cynic) ideal. I don’t think it was explicitly talked about in the New Testament, though.

    Best, Boxer

  243. Lyn87 says:

    Boxer,

    I’m aware of the Catholic position, but the Catholic position is utterly extra-Biblical. My rhetorical point was that there is no reason to think of contraceptive use as being sinful – only God gets to define sin, and he left contraception off the list of particulars. The fact that coitus interruptus probably existed since the dawn of time, and a crude form of chemical contraception existed in Egypt from the time of Abraham onward, leads one to think that it was not a mere oversight on God’s part.

  244. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    Tender Years is also not directly mentioned in scripture, but the Bible is pretty clear that legitimate children are under the authority of their fathers.

    Not direct, but: “The best of the firstfruits of your ground you shall bring to the house of the Lord your God. You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”

  245. MarcusD says:

    “Nearly everyone today believes in this “arc” at least in a simplified way. The present is believed to be inherently more enlightened that the past. We Don’t Do That Anymore Because We Know Better. And the future will be inevitably more enlightened than the present.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_of_history

    The article mentions More’s Utopia (it’s important to note that ‘utopia’ means ‘no place’).

    Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End-of-history_illusion (this is true on a cultural level, I think)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pessimistic_induction

  246. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    I’m aware of the Catholic position, but the Catholic position is utterly extra-Biblical. My rhetorical point was that there is no reason to think of contraceptive use as being sinful – only God gets to define sin, and he left contraception off the list of particulars. The fact that coitus interruptus probably existed since the dawn of time, and a crude form of chemical contraception existed in Egypt from the time of Abraham onward, leads one to think that it was not a mere oversight on God’s part.

    I’m not a Roman Catholic, but I think you’re on dangerous ground here. Onan’s story is a story about a multitude of sins. He took the sex, but did not marry her, denied his sister-in-law a provider (her son would have been her means of survival; her fruit to eat), denied his brother an heir because he hated his brother (an already dead brother he didn’t have to deal with and whose wife he was pilfering in her desperation!), and in addition he was frustrating the conjugal act. Onan’s sin might not be masturbation, but he was a real jerk.

    Deliberately frustrating the conjugal act is not “utterly extra-Biblical” because the Bible’s messages favor good things done in good faith, and warns against everything else. Contraception is overwhelmingly done in bad faith. (I can imagine a dispensational use of NFP in the case where a wife risks real physical danger, but otherwise it is literally counter-productive.) That is a form of fraud. One’s children do not belong just to the parents, but to God, themselves, their families, and their neighbors. In addition, we are never related any sort of contraception story in the Bible except Onan’s in the Bible, even though it has been around forever.

    Finally, every chemical contraceptive I’m aware of is also an abortifacient. Many chemically-prevented pregnancies were actually chemical abortions. Encouraging or excusing recreational use in such instances would be scandal.

  247. MarcusD says:

    The International Symposium on Maternal Health in 2012 stated the following:

    We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.

    “The symposium clarifies that direct abortion is never medically necessary to save the life of a woman, and that’s good news for mothers and their babies,” said Professor O’Dwyer.

    The professor’s comments allude to the difference recognized in Christian morality between a direct abortion, and the unintended though foreseen death of the child as a secondary consequence of certain treatments.

    Dr Eoghan de Faoite of the organizing committee for the symposium said that the research presented provided clear evidence that best practice medical care for pregnant women does not involve abortion.

    “It was fascinating to learn about new therapies involving the safe delivery of chemotherapy during pregnancy and the exciting field of in-utero fetal surgery” he said. “When discussing matters of pregnancy and medicine it is vital that the voices of the real experts, those that actually care for pregnant women, be heard.”

    “This Symposium puts an end to the false argument that Ireland needs abortion to treat women, and it was encouraging to hear the international speakers commend Ireland’s high standards of maternal healthcare and low rates of maternal mortality,” he added.

    “The Dublin Declaration stating that abortion is not medically necessary was a statement of fact agreed by medical experts and reflecting best medical practice in maternal healthcare,” stated the medical advisor to the Life Institute, Dr Seán Ó Domhnaill.

    “This is a globally significant outcome, which shows abortion has no place in treating women and their unborn children,” he affirmed.

  248. JDG says:

    Finally, every chemical contraceptive I’m aware of is also an abortifacient. Many chemically-prevented pregnancies were actually chemical abortions.

    I’d like to add that every woman I knew who used pharmaceutical contraception was either borderline nutty or full on psychotic. The mood swings were incredible. The same goes for the other mood altering “meds” that get handed out like candy by professionals in the “Health Care” industry.

  249. greyghost says:

    Take her out of the loop Gandarusa

  250. Lyn87 says:

    Cane Caldo writes,

    Onan’s story is a story about a multitude of sins.

    Maybe so… maybe not – but the text does not justify your confidence in your position, and the text is all we have to go on.

    Contraception is overwhelmingly done in bad faith.

    I’ll need to see some sourcing for that – actually, contraception is overwhelming done to prevent pregnancy, but if you’re suggesting that sex without the possibility of procreation is sinful, you’ll need to prove it. You and I both know you can’t, since, as we both noted, the Bible is silent on the matter, and nobody but God gets a vote on what qualifies as being a sin.

    every chemical contraceptive I’m aware of is also an abortifacient.

    Then you don’t much about it – and certainly not enough about it to attempt a rebuttal. Spermicides are common, non-hormonal chemical contraceptives that prevent fertilization, and are frequently used in conjunction with barrier methods such as IUDs, sponges, condoms, etc.

    Look, I know that a lot of people are looking for an excuse to declare non-procreative sex to be bad, but I’m not buying it. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled…” Sex between a husband and wife is always okay, and no papists or puritans going beyond the clear wording of the Bible are likely to convince me otherwise.

  251. Oscar says:

    BradA says:
    June 9, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    “What examples would be the same for each sex?”

    The first need that comes to mind is sex. Both sexes need it, and only the opposite sex can provide it (morally). In marriage, it’s an act of love.

  252. Lyn87 says:

    Oops, Greyghost beat me to it…

    The gendarussa plant contains a chemical which seems to seriously impair sperm motility (the swimmers never reach the finish line). It is non-hormonal and Phase 2 trials in Indonesia have produced results as good as, or better than, female hormonal contraception.
    _____________________________________________

    Back to Cane… something I messed earlier:

    I can imagine a dispensational use of NFP in the case where a wife risks real physical danger, but otherwise it is literally counter-productive.

    Why would anyone need a “dispensation” for NFP? And who is qualified to give one? And who put you in charge of deciding what conditions are acceptable for sex within marriages?

  253. BradA says:

    True Oscar, but it is different things even then! Though I will grant that. Any other ideas?

    Cane,

    Going with what is written as Lyn87 notes is much more effective. It says the sin was not raising up seed for his brother.

    ====

    I do greatly question the wisdom of using things like hormonal birth control. I think they mess the body up too much. I suspect we didn’t give birth to children for other reasons, but 3 months on HBC could have played a role as well.

  254. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    Easy stuff first: I did not consider spermicides when I wrote about chemical contraceptives. My bad.

    I don’t think I’m a Puritan, and I’m certainly not a Papist, so you’re still within my grasp.

    I’ll need to see some sourcing for that – actually, contraception is overwhelming done to prevent pregnancy, but if you’re suggesting that sex without the possibility of procreation is sinful, you’ll need to prove it. You and I both know you can’t, since, as we both noted, the Bible is silent on the matter, and nobody but God gets a vote on what qualifies as being a sin.

    No, I said preventing conception is an act of bad faith. That is not an incrimination of the old or the sterile; which you seem to be trying to force my words to have said.

    The Bible is not silent on procreation. It’s filled with people having sex and being blessed with children. It’s filled with sowing and reaping. It’s filled with legitimate reward coupled with responsibility, and legitimate responsibility with reward. The one story about contraception is negative.

    This is a textbook case of straining a gnat and swallowing a camel by ignoring the whole message of what sex is for. He grows the seed or He does not. Our job is to plant and caretake. Sex is not for pleasure, OR procreation, OR pair-bonding, OR consummating a marriage, OR etc., so that each time you pick the goal, or combination of goals of sex for that session. It’s for pleasure AND procreation, AND pair-bonding, AND consummation, AND etc.; each time, every time. Treating sex as your personal toy to do with as you want–even if you and your wife agree–is a gross mistreatment of a serious gift and responsibility. It’s a dissection of the whole gift into dead parts. It’s adulterating the act for hedonism, and it’s bad faith that God doesn’t know what He is doing.

    This is all in clear wording in the Bible. I suspect what you’re looking for is a particular sentence that meets your particular requirements of sufficiency and succinctness. That’s not the way to read the Bible, and I bet you don’t read it that way with other sins of which you are not so overly fond.

    Speaking of taking verses out of context and ignoring context in favor of man-pleasing law: It would equally foolish to say that Hebrews 13:4 covers suicide pacts between a husband and wife; since suicide is never overtly proscribed either. It says:

    13 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say,

    “The Lord is my helper;
    I will not fear;
    what can man do to me?”

    The context is HOW to remain holy by relying on God. What you have done is excise verse 4 to say that it means whatever a husband and wife want to do is fine; that as long as they are in agreement the marriage bed is not defiled. That’s wrong. It says DON’T defile the marriage bed (the obvious implication is that we can) because if we do we do not have the Lord as our helper and we are keeping marriage from being held in honor, i.e., scandalizing other.

    It is a two-pronged imperative* in the midst of other related imperatives all on the topic of how we are to treat one another; to keep sexual relations pure, and that fornication and adultery are bad. The first prong is the responsibility of the whole congregation (“Let marriage be held in honor among all”) and the second is to those who would or are engaging in sex (“Let the marriage bed be undefiled”).

    I’ve heard your interpretation many times from many preachers and teachers, and it’s wrong. It’s obviously wrong because otherwise verse 4 is a non sequitur indicative* about sex in the midst of otherwise related and imperative verses about how we are to behave in a manner towards each other that shows our faith in God rather than fear of men.

    *For the Feminine Imperative folks: An imperative is an instruction or command. An indicative is a description of what it looks like; how it is expressed; as in an indication

  255. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    Why would anyone need a “dispensation” for NFP?

    I said I can imagine, but to answer your question: Because “sex is not for pleasure, OR procreation, OR pair-bonding, OR consummating a marriage, OR etc., so that each time you pick the goal, or combination of goals of sex for that session. It’s for pleasure AND procreation, AND pair-bonding, AND consummation, AND etc.; each time, every time.”

    Otherwise, you’d need a dispensation from somebody.

    And who is qualified to give one?

    Of course God is, and does through His body. “There is wisdom in the counsel of many”, and “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls” (Just re-read that one!). It seems there are quite a lot of people who are qualified to give these.

    And who put you in charge of deciding what conditions are acceptable for sex within marriages?

    If I am obedient then the charge is not from me, but from the authority. You might as well ask who put me in charge of deciding what conditions are acceptable for killing someone. As Baucham says: I don’t write the mail; I just deliver it. You’re not going to answer to me.

    But, I’m purposefully missing your point. Your point is that no one should ever say anything about the sins you hold dear. It’s a long-winded version of “You don’t know me!” and “Mind ya bi’ness!” And I feel you because I’ve been there; with contraception and many other things. Now I know better, and now you can’t say you never heard the truth from a non-papist or a non-puritan.

    The gendarussa plant contains a chemical which seems to seriously impair sperm motility (the swimmers never reach the finish line). It is non-hormonal and Phase 2 trials in Indonesia have produced results as good as, or better than, female hormonal contraception.

    Haha! “Hold my beer and watch this!”

  256. Don Quixote says:

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    June 9, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    “In some senses, I think He is between them. In other senses He’s not visible from their position. But what if I do? If I read Greek the way Greek is written, and if that’s the conclusion I reach, how is that bad?”

    Yes I understand your position, I also was of the same opinion many years ago.

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “Your interpretation being correct is not the only possible reason why Jesus might have avoided their argument.
    A simpler explanation for avoiding their argument is that there was nothing more to be said — they were literally arguing over the meaning of a few _letters_. Actually, they were arguing over the meaning of a few letters in a divorce law that didn’t clear explain when divorce is right or wrong; it simply MENTIONS a very specific instance of divorce that actually includes as many as two sequential divorces.”

    But if Jesus took a position in-between rabbi Hillel and rabbi Shammai then Jesus joins the debate almost in alignment with Shammai. And it doesn’t explain the reaction of the disciples. When the disciples heard the exception clause they were so shocked they said you’re better off not getting married!
    The only logical conclusion [in my opinion] is that Jesus’ position on the subject was very different from what the Pharisees were discussing. Meaning premarital sex was the only reason to divorce, as in deception regarding the marriage Deut.22:13
    Previously you mentioned that the penalty for the fornicating fiancee was death by stoning, on this we agree. Its the same penalty for the adulterous wife. And yet when confronted with a woman caught in the very act Jesus said “he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Is it not therefore plausible that when Jesus discussed divorce with the Pharisees He changed the penalty from death to divorce? aka the exception clause Matt.5:32 and Matt:19:9. This is not as crazy as it sounds. If you are interested please have a look at Once Married Always Married http://oncemarried.net

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “And yet God gives a few examples of legitimate divorces (two passages mention Him as the initiating ex-husband), but only one general rule where a divorce is mandatory (when an owner frees a married male slave but not the wife, the slave is automatically forced to divorce). It appears that a slave-wife could force her master to divorce her if she was undersupplied with clothing, food, or (something else not translatable) — in which case she was not only divorced, but also free of slavery without payment. (Is that a general principle? Arguable.)”

    Interesting points. Firstly the example in Jermiah chapter 3 where God divorces Israel for adultery is interesting for 2 reasons because in verse 8 He said she committed adultery and He put her away and gave her a bill of divorce, but then in verse 14 He said’ ‘turn, O backsliding children [Israel] for I am married to you…’
    The marriage continued after the divorce, and if you are pre millennialist you probably believe that Jesus will reign in Jerusalem as King of Israel [my views are premill, and I understand that many Presbyterians are postmill]
    Secondly I haven’t studied the example of married slaves, I need to do some homework…

  257. In addition to contraception preventing procreation, it’s also riddled with estrogen, a female hormonal chemical, and it’s apparently dumped in water supplies from bathroom use around the U.S.A. that might explain why male generational sperm count there has been dropping.

    If anything, excessive use of female hormones tend to cause hysteria, impulsive/out of control ghetto behavior and bossy behavior. It also drastically increases the like hood of a woman bearing a female child, which is why in more liberal American families I see more daughters than sons.

    Couple that with the explosion of single motherhood, and it’s another ingredient in the recipe for disaster (other ingredients in the disaster recipe include: modernism/post-modernism, big nationalized federal state government intrusions, no-fault divorce, default mother custody, affirmative action, presence of big international/multinational corporations, bad entertainment influence, liberal educational propaganda, etc.).

  258. In other words, it’s technically illegal to be a man in the USA, but somehow it’s already to be a transvestite or suffer castration –> http://mattforney.com/2014/06/06/why-you-need-to-increase-your-testosterone/

  259. JDG says:

    June 10, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Finally, every chemical contraceptive I’m aware of is also an abortifacient. Many chemically-prevented pregnancies were actually chemical abortions.

    I’d like to add that every woman I knew who used pharmaceutical contraception was either borderline nutty or full on psychotic. The mood swings were incredible. The same goes for the other mood altering “meds” that get handed out like candy by professionals in the “Health Care” industry.

    It’s basically an abortifacient for women and chemical castration for men.

  260. Luke says:

    Thought-provoking writing by a long-dead thinker, Matheiu of Bologne:

    http://polk-high.blogspot.com/2014/04/termination-of-female-sex-mathieu-of.html

    “Yet whatever one might say about us men, who are in a position to be saved, I do not believe that you can have or save the soul of a woman. For you know and have clear proof of the fact that she was the cause of our fall and the reason for your death. Therefore you should not strive at all for her salvation. And when, on judgement day, Adam is resurrected and his body becomes whole again, then the whole female sex, which, as I have said, is full of venom, will revert to nothingness and will thus disappear. For otherwise Adam could not be whole again: if his rib were not replaced in its rightful spot (from which it was taken, and with which you created woman many years ago in your earthly paradise and then forbade her entry into it), Adam would not be complete. However, once his rib has been replaced, woman will be no more. Thus she will not be saved or resurrected.”

  261. Lyn87 says:

    Cane,

    I originally wrote a long response to you, but it didn’t post – probably for the best. I’ll post this much shorter one instead.

    1) Just because you’re not Catholic doesn’t mean that your denomination has purged itself of all the papist heresies – some Protestant denominations still accept the extremely Catholic “Doctrine of Transubstantiation,” for example. Your group seems to have retained the Augustinian view about sex within marriage.

    2) Your quote about obedience to authority only applies here if there is a higher Earthly authority to obey, but since the Bible unambiguous declares that the husband is the leader within the marriage, you are telling the legitimate leaders (Christian husbands) that they are obligated to subordinate the conduct of their sex lives to other men who lack such authority.

    3) You wrote, “Sex is not for pleasure, OR procreation, OR pair-bonding, OR consummating a marriage, OR etc., so that each time you pick the goal, or combination of goals of sex for that session. It’s for pleasure AND procreation, AND pair-bonding, AND consummation, AND etc.; each time, every time.” Soooooo close: I highlighted the part where you went beyond what the scriptures support. If you care to respond, respond to that – with scripture, please.

  262. craig says:

    First, Lyn87′s claim that contraception-as-sin is utterly extra-Biblical is wishful thinking. The story of Onan is at least plausible as a direct condemnation of deliberately preventing conception, and it’s the only passage addressing the issue.

    Second, arguments from silence ignore the entire apostolic tradition. This is the “Jesus never said anything about X” tactic which can be used with creativity to ‘bless’ arson, bestiality, self-mutilation, or just about anything. To argue for something that Augustine and other Church Fathers argued against, you’d better bring your best game. If your argument at bottom is ‘we know now what the Apostles didn’t know then’, then recognize that you are merely following the zeitgeist, only microscopically more slowly than the gender-studies department at your local university.

    Third, where is it written that the Bible is to stand alone, utterly sufficient, without any binding interpretive tradition to guard against reading one’s wishes into the text? Everything in the New Testament declares exactly the opposite, to hold fast to the tradition and to accept the corrections of those with apostolic authority.

    I once believed exactly as Lyn87 did. I’m not Catholic; I struggle with the claim that the Holy Spirit will prevent the Church from ever repudiating the Gospel, given how Catholic bishops seem to be daily leading the charge to deliver the faithful over to the State and the Zeitgeist. But at the very least I’m inclined to think the bishop of Rome is destined to be the last holdout: ‘in the end, if all else is conquered, [Peter] will fall, Last as he was First; and then Night will come.’

    In any case, the bishop of Rome in 1930 wrote this: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_31121930_casti-connubii_en.html (cf. paragraphs 53-56).

  263. Gunner Q says:

    Did a lot of thinking over the weekend. The malice I referred to would be directed at God rather than men. Whatever his motivation might be, a Christian leader who reads the Bible, understands it, rejects it, invents an excuse to reject it with and teaches other to follow suit is an enemy of Christ. But then I see many of these same leaders work hard for Christ in other ways. First I thought they were skewed by modern culture, then I thought they were frightened. Now I don’t have any explanation, only the sad acceptance that it’s intentional.

    Dalrock @ June 8, 1:04pm:
    “Show them that their error is not in how they have interpreted Scripture, but that what they know Scripture to say is in fact good, and there is no reason for embarrassment.”

    Worth a try. If nothing else we’ll make God look good in the process. An alternative tactic I’ve been considering is emphasizing how marriage is supposed to be a symbol of the relationship between Christ and his Church. If we can get the Churchians to accept that then the logical followup is that part of Christ’s love for the Church involves giving us commands like the Great Commission. The problem, however, is that Churchians are doing exactly that– acting towards Christ the same rebellious way they think wives should be allowed to act towards their husbands. “You can lead me if I think it’s a good idea.”

    Maybe it’s like atheism. A lot of people believe there’s no objective morality yet are horrified when they see the inevitable, Darwinian result of that belief.

  264. BradA says:

    craig,

    The RCC is not the Christian Church (capital C). It may contain some who are part of that, but it is not that, though some are likely to disagree. True believers in Jesus make up His Church.

    GunnerQ, I have been thinking a lot lately with the aspect “as Christ loves the Church” and I think that is a key many overlook. We focus (rightly so at times) on His sacrifice and death, but that is not the entire picture. Reading chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation shows Him chastising and encouraging His Church. I would argue that this is as much part of loving our wives as laying down our lives for them is. We must both sacrifice and lead them. Doing one and not the other is not fulfilling the command to love as He did.

  265. desiderian says:

    “Now I don’t have any explanation”

    We’re all enemies of Christ. That’s why grace is amazing.

  266. Lyn87 says:

    Craig,

    You don’t seem to understand how debate works: the person making a claim has to support it with evidence. The person who questions it “wins” if the person making the claim cannot support it. In other words, the burden of proof is on the maker of the claim.

    Brad made a claim – he claims that sex within marriage is sinful if any attempt is made to lessen the chances of pregnancy (except when pregnancy is physically dangerous). Brad graciously “allows” other men to practice NFP (also known as “Vatican Roulette”) in such cases. Quick joke: what do you call women who use the rhythm method? Mothers.

    I asked for proof of his claim, and none has been forthcoming from either of you. Either of you can offer your opinions about why it’s desirable or not, but the word “sin” has a very precise definition – something that GOD declares to be wrong. “Some Catholic dude says so” doesn’t cut it.

    Ergo, since the maker of the claim cannot support it, he is obliged to withdraw it.

    And your second paragraph is so silly it’s barely worth a response – for you to suggest that I am “merely following the zeitgeist, only microscopically more slowly than the gender-studies department at [my] local university,” means that either you’re an idiot or you’re not arguing in good faith – there’s just no nice way to respond to such slander. You owe me a retraction.

    As for the Bishop of Rome being the last holdout for the truth of the Gospel… you must be joking. He would have to get his theology right to begin with, and that means cutting through centuries of accumulated heresy with a chainsaw – a scalpel won’t do.

  267. Skarnkai says:

    Adding my two cents to the contraceptive debate, I suppose. I think the general ban/opposition to contraception comes not from the Onan story, but from the command to “be fruitful and multiply” from Genesis 1:28. Of course, one can find arguments against this as well (such as eunuchs being blessed more than the blessing of children, the “gift” of Paul, and so forth). Additionally, some would consider the Earth full at this point, and man certainly has dominion, as far as I can tell.

  268. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    1) Just because you’re not Catholic doesn’t mean that your denomination has purged itself of all the papist heresies – some Protestant denominations still accept the extremely Catholic “Doctrine of Transubstantiation,” for example. Your group seems to have retained the Augustinian view about sex within marriage.

    You don’t like the Pope. I get it. That has nothing to do with this topic except to show that your prejudice against Catholics (whether right or wrong) clouds your judgment.

    2) Your quote about obedience to authority only applies here if there is a higher Earthly authority to obey, but since the Bible unambiguous declares that the husband is the leader within the marriage, you are telling the legitimate leaders (Christian husbands) that they are obligated to subordinate the conduct of their sex lives to other men who lack such authority.

    There are higher earthly authorities to be obeyed, and the father is not king of his family, but the immediate steward. Perhaps it would be better understood if I said that authority runs from the top down, through even earthly leaders. Does a sergeant’s authority start with himself? No, it runs down from the commander-in-chief through generals, captains, lieutenants, and even into grunts.

    Hebrews 13:17 was directed at folks in the Early Church who thought they could disregard civilian leaders as irrelevant because they were secular. That reminder was given after that author had to remind them that they needed to listen to their spiritual leaders (“7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”). Basically, we have an image of a congregation that, as us, did not like to recognize any authority but their own.

    Basically, as Craig said above, “If your argument at bottom is ‘we know now what the Apostles didn’t know then’, then recognize that you are merely following the zeitgeist, only microscopically more slowly than the gender-studies department at your local university.” Some people call this modernity, but it’s been there since the Garden of Eden. It’s rebellion of sin nature. Taking the fruit is a kind of illicit technology to usurp, thwart, and avoid God’s rule over our lives; to make ourselves tyrants by our own hands instead of stewards by God’s grace.

    Your rejection here of any legitimate authority over your marriage and family except your own is of a piece with that. Not only does that authority exist, it exists in many people, and across multiple arenas…but you don’t even recognize that they exist.

    3) You wrote, “Sex is not for pleasure, OR procreation, OR pair-bonding, OR consummating a marriage, OR etc., so that each time you pick the goal, or combination of goals of sex for that session. It’s for pleasure AND procreation, AND pair-bonding, AND consummation, AND etc.; each time, every time.” Soooooo close: I highlighted the part where you went beyond what the scriptures support. If you care to respond, respond to that – with scripture, please.

    You’ve already ceded the field by admitting that my “AND” statements about sex are correct (to wit: “Soooooo close”) are correct; for which I am glad. The rest follows from the word “and”; as in “along with”, or “together”. You’re not in need a Bible lesson, but rather more disciplined thought.

    Nevertheless: “What God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” God joined those things together in sex; which is in marriage. You’ve been told that the joined together command is strictly and only about divorce (and often that He didn’t really mean it), but you have been lied to. I know you recognize at least some of those lies. This is just a little more.

    Because “what God hath joined” is more than just marriage. It’s an “AND” statement. Whatever God has joined together should not be put asunder. We really are our brother’s keeper, and we really do have to love our neighbors as ourselves; even though it’s not our fault they’re our brothers or neighbors. Why? Because it’s God’s doing! He has put us here. He has put us together. These things (marriage, brothers, neighbors, etc. ) all have the onus of love running through them, just as the onus of authority also runs down through each of us.

    So, we should “Let the marriage bed be undefiled.”; which is–when we have sex–to use sex fully and properly; each time, every time.

  269. Lyn87 says:

    By the way, Craig, arson, bestiality, self-mutilation are all unambiguously condemned in scripture, unlike contraception.

    Arson: Leviticus 6:2 lists the destruction of another’s property as being a sin.
    Bestiality: Leviticus 18:23 explicitly condemns it.
    Self-mutilation: Leviticus 19:28 deals with this.

  270. Lyn87 says:

    Cane,

    Once again, you haven’t told me anything about scripture that I didn’t already know. What I’m still waiting for is an argument from scripture that a married Christian man/couple is committing a sin as defined by God if they use any method to prevent pregnancy, each time, every time. I am still waiting for you to support that claim with something more than vague inferences and Catholic teachings.

    Are you going to do that or not?

  271. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    What I’m still waiting for is an argument from scripture that a married Christian man/couple is committing a sin as defined by God if they use any method to prevent pregnancy, each time, every time. I am still waiting for you to support that claim with something more than vague inferences and Catholic teachings.

    You’ve been given what you ask for, but you won’t see it anymore than the pharisees would see what had been ordained with marriage from the beginning. Your problem isn’t a lack of verses; your problem is hardness of the heart. It’s willful blindness.

  272. jf12 says:

    It is permissible in Scripture, even recommended, to have sex with a woman known to be barren.

    Clearly we must all agree there is no restriction to ONLY having sex when conception is most likely. The question at hand is whether the unlikelihood of conception itself ever makes sex impermissible Scripturally, and the answer is no. Even the ritual impurity of menstruation for Jewish women is explained Scripturally by blood, and impregnation is never mentioned.

  273. greyghost says:

    I use the pull out technique with my wife like they do in the movies. I must be on my way to hell.

  274. Oscar says:

    BradA says:
    June 10, 2014 at 1:31 am

    “True Oscar, but it is different things even then! Though I will grant that. Any other ideas?”

    Companionship is another common need the sexes meet for each other, but again, in different ways. So, yeah, you’re right. Men and women love differently. That shouldn’t surprise anyone, but weirdly, some people are shocked by that fact and others refuse to even see it.

  275. greyghost says:

    Tough as hell no pun intended being righteous as a living man on this earth. Jesus was a bad mo fo to pull it off.

  276. greyghost says:

    Stay hard Oscar you will be the preacher of a church one day

  277. Cane Caldo says:

    @jf12

    It is permissible in Scripture, even recommended, to have sex with a woman known to be barren.

    Barrenness would be the result of something that God has not joined together. That is different than a person using contraception to avoid pregnancy.

    Clearly we must all agree there is no restriction to ONLY having sex when conception is most likely.

    Agreed.

    The question at hand is whether the unlikelihood of conception itself ever makes sex impermissible Scripturally, and the answer is no.

    No, the question at hand is: “Should we pervert, dissect, mutilate, or frustrate an inherently good act to make it suit our penchants?”

  278. Escoffier says:

    Dalrock,

    You can ask Nova or I can (but I have to wait a few hours, I don’t have his address handy). Or, it’s fine with me if you want to post it yourself.

  279. craig says:

    BradA, the Catholic Church does not disavow Christians that are not Catholic, nor assert that non-Catholics cannot be saved. The Church certainly believes her doctrines are true, and that it matters — rejecting true doctrine makes it harder even for a true believer in Jesus to keep to the right path — but the Church believes that God judges justly and mercifully, according to the individual’s particular life and faith.

    The Church’s claim to authority is founded upon handing down the same continuous body of apostolic teaching through generations, by means of saintly and wicked people alike. The claim is that Christ set it up that way and the Holy Spirit protects the whole thing. .

    Lyn87, our host Dalrock has previously noted the parallels between men’s rejection of the authority placed over them in spiritual matters, and wives’ rejection of their husbands’ authority in temporal matters. “He would have to get his theology right to begin with” in the one sphere is essentially identical to “he must lead according to my wishes and then I’ll submit” in the other sphere.

    Obviously you don’t respect the Pope as having authority in the first place. Fine, is there another whom you can point to as a spiritual authority you respect (such that you would reconsider a belief if that authority told you yours was in error)? If not, then the point stands. If you say the Bible is your authority, well, so do the feminist churchians who were the subject of Dalrock’s original post. Luke 16:31.

    There is no one explicit command against contraception “every single time” in Scripture. The entire Old Testament, from the Torah to the kosher laws to the condemnations of Canaanite Moloch-worship, teaches that life is always a good and unearned gift of God. Everywhere barrenness is mentioned in the Scriptures, it is as a negative. The only time it is mentioned in the context of a blessing, it is Jesus on the cross saying that in the future point things will get so bad that the Jews will reject life:

    “28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’”

    Sounds like we’re about there.

    (cf. ‘I don’t want them punished with a baby.’)

  280. Escoffier says:

    Des,

    So, this is marred by selection bias, so take with a grain of salt, etc.

    Re: “regress,” I certainly know what you mean, but first we have to separate out two different subjects. The thrust of your comment seems to focus on, loosely termed, material things: purchasing power, job prospects and the like. In the old sense of part of the American dream being that one’s children will do better than oneself did.

    My comment was directed less at material and more at “moral progress” the sense that We Today Know Better. It’s the tendency to look at the past as inherently benighted because, well, because it was the past and owing to “progress,” the present always knows more than the past. Knowledge, not to say wisdom, is cumulative and the longer the human race “evolves,” the smarter we become, the more knowledgeable, the more sophisticated, etc. This applies no less to moral and political things than to technology and science. In the past there was ignorance and superstition. The present knows better.

    As to the first, I know you are right. BUT—I don’t detect a great awareness of it among the younger generation or anyone else. Now, the young people I am around are basically already “winners”, hence selection bias. They have their prestige educations and have jobs and have begun careers and so they don’t see any reason to fret. But, also, a few times a year I teach seminars to young kids either just of out of undergrad or going through grad school. The show the same level of imperturbable confidence that it’s all going to be fine for them when, by the numbers, that can’t be true for all of them. The ones who want to go into academia, my friends and I actively try to knock some fear/sense into, since it’s almost certainly not going to work out for most of them. But they all seem to think “I’m the exception.”

    As to the second point, from what I can tell, the entire millennial generation, and even Gen Y and probably Gen X, all believe that our time is morally superior to the past. To them the past is just a garbage heap of homophobia, racism, misogyny, colonialism, jingoism, superstition, the whole litany. In all these respects and many others we have—they firmly believe—made “progress.” So, even if the economy is bad right now, well, what’s that compared to progress and justice?

    This is explains, at least in part, why the younger generation—even with the sky-high public and private debt and dismal job prospects and all the rest—is so solidly liberal. The “Rat Choice” conceit that people always vote their narrow economic interests is patently false. Younger people today vote “social issues” as a way of signaling that they are not losers (no matter their jobless status) but that they are part of the in-crowd because they think like the in-crowd. They are “with it.”

  281. craig says:

    Second paragraph was supposed to read:

    The Church’s claim to authority is founded upon handing down the same continuous body of apostolic teaching through generations, by means of saintly and wicked people alike. The claim is that Christ set it up that way and the Holy Spirit protects the whole thing. If true, then the Church can’t change, or else there never really was a Church to begin with.

  282. Cane Caldo says:

    @Craig

    Great comments.

    Everywhere barrenness is mentioned in the Scriptures, it is as a negative.

    Yes. I would not say it is always negative (quibbling about what you mean by negative), but it is certainly something that has to be endured.

  283. Escoffier says:

    Boxer,

    Well, a lot hinges on that word “reasonable.” I think marriage 2.0 is inherently unreasonable and that anyone who supports it must—on that issue and to that extent—must also be unreasonable.

    But I also know a great many people who are reasonable by virtually every other sense of the word who nonetheless support marriage as it is, to the extent that they have thought about it. At least, if ever they are challenged on the subject, the response typically is twofold: first, deny that marriage has changed all that much, second, admit the changes but say that they were all necessary and to the good, even if sometimes they are abused by bad people. What you won’t find are a lot of people who will say “That’s terrible and needs to be wholly reformed.”

    Again, these are “reasonable” people in the way they live their personal lives, and even in most of their political opinions, which are at least moderate if not necessarily sound or profound. In truth it’s actually a very small minority who even recognizes, in the first place, that marriage has fundamentally changed and, in the second place, realize that it has changed for the worse and want to see it fixed.

  284. Anonymous age 72 says:

    BradA says:
    June 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    >>Anon72,

    >>I thought this was a Biblically-focused board, not an MRA one. But don’t let me get in the way of your points….

    Then you need to actually stop and read the blog. Dalrock has had dozens perhaps hundreds of graphs on marriage and divorce issues over the years. Dalrock is considered the best blogger on the manosphere.

  285. Lyn87 says:

    I asked Cane,

    “Once again, you haven’t told me anything about scripture that I didn’t already know. What I’m still waiting for is an argument from scripture that a married Christian man/couple is committing a sin as defined by God if they use any method to prevent pregnancy, each time, every time. I am still waiting for you to support that claim with something more than vague inferences and Catholic teachings.

    Are you going to do that or not?”

    Given his answer at June 10, 2014 at 11:27 am, I must conclude that the answer is, “No.” Even Craig admits that I’m right while complaining that I won’t bow to the pope. From Craig, “There is no one explicit command against contraception “every single time” in Scripture.”

    Frankly, I’m not sure why this is so hard. But the desire to bow to men is strong. Speaking of which, Craig asks me:

    Obviously you don’t respect the Pope as having authority in the first place. Fine, is there another whom you can point to as a spiritual authority you respect (such that you would reconsider a belief if that authority told you yours was in error)?

    First of all, I don’t accept the authority of the pope because he has none. The doctrine of the papacy is heretical – root and branch. As for another to whom I could point as having spiritual authority over me… no one mortal individual. Why? Because all Christians are members of the priesthood (see 1 Peter Chapter 2). There are people whose opinions on theology I deeply respect, and would gladly weigh what they say heavily – even to the point of assuming they were correct in matters where their knowledge is deeper than mine… pending further study on my part. So of course I am willing to admit that I may be in error, but that does not include substituting their understanding for mine in a blanket manner. Changing my view on a topic where I knew what the Bible says would require someone being able to show me from scripture where I was interpreting it incorrectly, or for God to reveal it to me Himself. Nobody has yet done so on this topic, except by inference from unrelated or tangentially-related passages, and the pronouncements of papists. Who knows? I may be wrong here: but until someone shows me, or God prompts me, I can have little confidence that that is so.

    I can’t say it any more clearly than that – so I’m dropping out of this discussion. Feel free to have the last word.

  286. “Yes I understand your position, I also was of the same opinion many years ago.”

    I haven’t given my position, so you don’t understand it. I’m still a slightly “Anonymous Coward”. Honestly, I didn’t expect to keep posting — otherwise I’d be using my real name.

    “But if Jesus took a position in-between rabbi Hillel and rabbi Shammai then Jesus joins the debate almost in alignment with Shammai.”

    That’s pretty much what your claim implies, yes. Ancient Christianity made a single dispute between two rabbis over the meaning of a single word into an entire divorce law, as though the only possible positions were defined by that one dispute. But the Bible contains a _lot_ more.

    In fact, the only way to actually support your claim in depth is to teach that when Jesus said “Moses permitted you to divorce, but in the beginning it was not so” was teaching that Moses was in error — something Jesus says in other places is impossible, and in a specific Law that God used twice to illustrate His own relationship. If you can’t teach that, then Jesus’ statement “Moses permitted you to divorce” actually means what it says — the Law that tutored Israel in God’s most holy character _permitted divorce_. Rather than the permission for divorce being “not so”, then, it must be that divorce is “not so” — that is, God’s did not create or intend divorce.

    “And it doesn’t explain the reaction of the disciples. When the disciples heard the exception clause they were so shocked they said you’re better off not getting married!”

    Almost all divorces at that time were “any-cause”. We have a single surviving divorce petition based on an actual accusation of adultery; it failed in court. (Also, BTW, aside from mob rule, it looks like execution for adultery was not done any more as of the 1st century.) Again, though, this is speculation. You’re looking at indirect evidence — that the apostles considered Jesus’ teaching hard — and assuming you know the reason why they thought that. Better to go to clear texts.

    I don’t contest, BTW, that the Christian position on marriage and divorce SHOULD be way, way harder than any our culture has seen in a long time.

    //Interesting points. Firstly the example in Jeremiah chapter 3 where God divorces Israel for adultery is interesting for 2 reasons because in verse 8 He said she committed adultery and He put her away and gave her a bill of divorce, but then in verse 14 He said’ ‘turn, O backsliding children [Israel] for I am married to you…’//

    That’s another KJV error, not possible in context. The term He uses is “I over-master you.” (The verb “master” is “ba’al”, which is a term of lordship used to indicate submission appropriate toward a husband, but not actually requiring that specific position.) It would be absurd for God to give a certificate of divorce and then claim to be married to the same person — that violates every purpose of the certificate. Also, look at what he promises to do in the same verse — not restore the country so He can keep her as a bride, but rather to pick out one or two people from every clan and let them emigrate to Zion to be under new leaders.

    //The marriage continued after the divorce,//

    Again, not possible. Someone who is divorced is, according to Paul, “unmarried.”

    “and if you are pre millennialist you probably believe that Jesus will reign in Jerusalem as King of Israel [my views are premill, and I understand that many Presbyterians are postmill]”

    Millennial views don’t enter into it — if you’re Christian you believe in the resurrection and the glorification of creation, and that Christ will reign forever and ever (I think that will be on Earth from Jerusalem, fulfilling the promise to David), with the resurrected OT and NT saints as His glorified church-bride. Does that mean Israel will be remarried to God before the End? Dunno. It doesn’t seem likely, but some exegetes have suggested some ways it might be possible even within the framework of Jer 3 — if, for example, the marriage to the Ba’alim were not real, or if Israel were totally destroyed and rebuilt from repentant individuals. The former seems unlikely to me, though; it suggests that God didn’t mean anything He said at the beginning. The latter indicates that Israelites were being called to flee out of their society. Maybe, I don’t know.

    “Secondly I haven’t studied the example of married slaves, I need to do some homework…”

    I recommend two resources: Jay Adam’s “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible” and Instone-Brewer’s “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context” (the latter of which I recommend only with extreme caution, as it pulls in historical details that may well be only accidental; and the conclusions he reaches seem to go too far).

    “The only logical conclusion [in my opinion] is that Jesus’ position on the subject was very different from what the Pharisees were discussing.” “Meaning premarital sex was the only reason to divorce, as in deception regarding the marriage Deut.22:13″

    I agree with the first quote, but I’m having a really hard time convincing you that the second quote does not follow. You’re jumping from “the Pharisees were wrong” to “only non-virginal marriage is cause for divorce” without ANY reasoning shown. I’ve already shown that your invocation of the Greek is insupportable.

    “Previously you mentioned that the penalty for the fornicating fiancee was death by stoning, on this we agree. Its the same penalty for the adulterous wife.”

    Yes — and yet you claim that one had a remedy under the Law while the other did not. They both actually had the same remedy. This suggests that there’s no distinction in the divorce law between them either.

    //And yet when confronted with a woman caught in the very act Jesus said “he who is without sin cast the first stone”.//

    That case was irregular in a number of ways, as many commentators have pointed out. One of the problems was the lack of a man being accused.

    //Is it not therefore plausible that when Jesus discussed divorce with the Pharisees He changed the penalty from death to divorce? aka the exception clause Matt.5:32 and Matt:19:9. This is not as crazy as it sounds. If you are interested please have a look at Once Married Always Married //

    Divorce was already a recognized penalty; that wouldn’t have been an actual change. Death was actually almost unheard of except by mob violence, and was a very risky thing to play with in front of the Romans. So what “change” did Jesus institute?

    I would suggest that the change is to make divorce something to be avoided at all costs — not something impossible, but something that marks a profound and deliberate break in God’s design.

  287. Scott says:

    Wow. I haven’t seen the Name Jay Adams since I was in graduate school. I went to a Baptist Seminary and learned “nouthetic” counseling.

  288. jf12 says:

    @Cane Caldo, re: “the question at hand is: “Should we pervert, dissect, mutilate, or frustrate an inherently good act to make it suit our penchants?””

    That is indeed a question, and if phrased as “Is contraception for the purpose of perverting, dissecting, mutilating, or frustrating the inherently good act of conception?” then the answer is yes, of course. But that answer, I believe, does NOT preclude using contraception IF conception is being used as an excuse not to have sex.

  289. desiderian says:

    Cane,

    “You’ve been given what you ask for, but you won’t see it anymore than the pharisees would see what had been ordained with marriage from the beginning. Your problem isn’t a lack of verses; your problem is hardness of the heart. It’s willful blindness.”

    He is living under the old covenant (alone). The new transcends (i.e. fulfills, not abandons – see the six antitheses) the old. It asks not only “is it wrong?” but also “is it right enough/perfect?”. The answer I discern for artificial contraception on the first is “unlikely”, but on the second “no”, on the basis of the compelling arguments put forward by Wojtyla and my own personal experience interrogated by scripture.

  290. Scott says:

    Interesting reading all the comments since last night.

    I am wondering out loud here–I made the statement that a majority of folks who post here (Catholics and non-Catholics alike) are against contraception. I think that is probably true.

    However, is there utility in making the distinction between two related affirmations:

    1.Believing contraception is a sin
    2.Believing it is a bad idea for society for it to be so readily available

    For example, the Orthodox do not teach that it is “always a sin” and use a pretty sophisticated framework for making the case that it really is between a husband and wife. They also incorporate the same scriptures and teachings quoted so far. In other words, they acknowledge, for example, the commandment to be fruitful and multiply. However, they also teach that if a couple say, has four kids, and they feel after consulting each other, their finances, their priest, and all other sources of data that they want to stop. They have clearly shown an “openness to life” as the Catholics strictly teach.

    I guess what I am wondering is, shifting away from the strictly religious/bibilcal arguments for a moment, and looking at it from a public policy standpoint, why wouldn’t it make sense (and I realize this is a fantasy world I am living in with this suggestion) to only allow pills and other forms to be prescribed to married couples? After all, they are the only people who should be having sex anyway.

  291. jf12 says:

    The only problem with saying you are seeking to be perfect is if you USE that as an excuse not to do good enough.

  292. Lyn87 says:

    Since we’ve veered onto another topic:

    Desiderian writes, “He is living under the old covenant (alone).”

    Whereas I have clearly identified myself as a Christian, and thus under Grace. I note, however, that the story of Onan occurs in the 38th Chapter of Genesis – it’s hard to get more “old covenant” than that.

  293. jf12 says:

    @Scott, I agree. One conceptual difficulty about it being restricted to a “couple” is that this means “woman” in practice, especially when the man and woman are not on the same page.

  294. desiderian says:

    Escoffier,

    Thank you for the reply. Such is life among the Sadducees and Pharisees. Among the children of divorce and disenfranchisement, things are considerably different. My instinct is to take the commitment to progress as a given, even to argue that it is inherent in the new covenant, and the gradual sanctification produced by a life of faithful spiritual discipline. I’m much less sanguine about even the possibility of fighting progress, let alone the advisability.

    That said, in the present context, that seems beside the point, as marriage 2.0 is not in fact progress by any conceivable metric and even those, especially those, most committed to actual progress seem to be seeking an alternative, if they can find a way to conceptualize it that does not cast them (especially in their own eyes) as somehow regressive.

    Of course that’s about social positioning. But so was fidelity to marriage 1.0. These things are not set in stone.

  295. desiderian says:

    “Whereas I have clearly identified myself as a Christian, and thus under Grace.”

    Then repent.

  296. jf12 says:

    It is better to marry than to burn. It’s worst to marry and to burn.

    “I might get pregnant” is possibly the world’s worst reason to not have sex.

  297. desiderian says:

    Brainyone,

    “Ah yes, the definition of “sound” mysteriously correlating (R = 1.0) with the conclusions you would like to be brought from the text, and mysteriously not correlating (R = 0.0) with those you don’t.”

    That certainly happens more than I would like or God commands. The issue in question, however, is a strong counterexample. I would instinctively prefer for the church to function just as well with women leaders as with men* – in the case of the church that raised me, they’d likely be doing better under the associate pastor (female) than the current head (a male). Such is the power of faith.

    Being trained by some of the best exegetes who ever walked the earth (who themselves harbored a wide variety of ideological commitments) led me to recognize I could no longer dismiss the intended meaning of texts that contradicted my own personal preferences, that in fact it was a function of scripture to interrogate those preferences, to test whether they were in accord with reality.

    I’ve found in this case that reality matches the text more than my instinctive preferences, so I’m compelled to transcend my instincts. This is called learning. It’s how one passes from brainy to intelligent. Add in some failure and suffering, and wisdom is not always too much to hope for.

    * – likewise with marriage

  298. Lyn87 says:

    Of what?

  299. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    As for another to whom I could point as having spiritual authority over me… no one mortal individual. Why? Because all Christians are members of the priesthood (see 1 Peter Chapter 2). There are people whose opinions on theology I deeply respect, and would gladly weigh what they say heavily – even to the point of assuming they were correct in matters where their knowledge is deeper than mine… pending further study on my part.

    Haha!

    I understand that this is the standard excuse, but I thought you’d have a better reason than Laquita’s “Ain’t no man is gon’ tell me what ta do! Ya huuurd meh?” At least she’s brief. Yours was too long-winded.

    It’s sad to read a man channeling bell hooks. If you change your mind on this basic error of assuming that a man is charge is necessarily a bad thing, then I hope the rest of what I said can be helpful to you.

  300. desiderian says:

    Escoffier,

    Of course the need to perceive progress where none exists is pathological.

    The belief is not as firm as it appears on the surface.

  301. Lyn87 says:

    If you change your mind on this basic error of assuming that a man is charge is necessarily a bad thing, then I hope the rest of what I said can be helpful to you.

    Now you’re just putting words in my mouth – I neither said nor implied anything of the sort, and you know it (or ought to). I have written plenty of times about the qualifications for elders and deacons, so stop playing at gotcha’ – there’s no target where you’re aiming. Accepting ecclesiastical authority does not mean that I must – or even should – suspend my judgement. You wish to bow to men – you’re probably not as “non-Catholic” as you think you are. I don’t.

  302. greyghost says:

    Scott
    That sounded well thought out. Not because I agree with you on that one. A man can practice contraception with his wife with out her permission. I crassly suggested pulling out and it is a very reliable method. No trust involved in technology or the women. Very manly. Lyn87 you are getting to be a very common sense worldly Christian. You used to be an ass, I remember the early Spearhead days. I ‘m glad there are dudes like you out there.

  303. Boxer says:

    Desiderian sez:

    Then repent.

    Snark-o-rama!

    Boxer

  304. Boxer says:

    Lyn87:

    I hope you and Cane can continue this fruitful discussion without being distracted by others. It’s actually one of the best illustrations of the ethical issues surrounding birth control I’ve yet to see.

    More generally, my hat’s off to those men who can debate the issues without stooping to feminine personal attacks and catty shitslinging. Discussions like these (honorable disagreements between brothers, who make salient points and rational arguments) are the reason I enjoy this blog.

    Best, Boxer

  305. desiderian says:

    “Snark-o-rama!”

    No. It’s no fun being stuck in the old covenant. Been there.

    The gain is not without pain.

  306. Pingback: Praise you will not get. | Dark Brightness

  307. Lyn87 says:

    Re: Ecclesiastical Authority

    Since I keep having to explain myself in answer to parodies of my actual position:

    I used to go to a church of a certain denomination. The pastor asked me to put myself up for election to the board. Personally, I’m not a big fan of church-wide elections, but since I felt that God wanted me in that church, and such elections are not prohibited in scripture, I subordinated myself to the authority of the pastor and the by-laws of the church and stood for election.

    I was elected to the board. In this particular denomination, the pastor heads the board, but the board has certain authorities that the pastor lacks. I’m not a big fan of “leadership by committee” either, but those were the rules and I submitted to them. However, I made it clear that I viewed my position on the board as similar to that of a staff officer in the military – to make recommendations, etc, but then to use my position to carry out the decisions of the pastor (not my own), since it is the pastor who wields the ecclesiastical authority that I was under as long as I was there.

    I carried out my duties as best as I could – some of my recommendations were put into place, others were not. That was not my concern.

    But then the pastor conducted a series of actions that rendered him unfit for his position. Really bad stuff, and he should have stepped down. The board went “churchian” and turned a blind eye, so I tendered my resignation immediately. I could no longer accept his right to wield ecclesiastical authority, regardless of what anyone else did or did not do.

    I went to another church, and had a long talk with the pastor about the situation I had come from. He agreed that the other pastor’s actions rendered him unfit to serve as pastor in accordance with 2 Timothy and Titus, and we ended up talking about doctrine for quote some time. He’s an extremely learned man – more so than I – and we found that we agreed on most everything. When he speaks, I listen, and if he says something and I don’t know it’s wrong I assume he’s correct. In those few areas where I think he has not “rightly divided” I retain the view I believe most correctly comports with scripture. Call me a Berean if you like – they got a good review from Luke because they compared the teachings of Paul and Silas to what was written in scriptures to see if they were correct:

    Act 17: 10-11 – And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. [Emphasis added.]

  308. Boxer says:

    But I also know a great many people who are reasonable by virtually every other sense of the word who nonetheless support marriage as it is, to the extent that they have thought about it. At least, if ever they are challenged on the subject, the response typically is twofold: first, deny that marriage has changed all that much, second, admit the changes but say that they were all necessary and to the good, even if sometimes they are abused by bad people. What you won’t find are a lot of people who will say “That’s terrible and needs to be wholly reformed.”

    I’ve been thinking on the roots of this phenomenon. I think part of the motivation for such people is in their own marriages, or perhaps the marriages of close family members.

    Noting that marriage, as it exists today, is a fundamentally different institution than the one that existed 50 years ago, is equivalent to claiming that a brother is not really married, and that his wife is a whore. We’re not saying that, of course, but that’s how it’s taken at a hindbrain level.

    Anyway, it’s a pretty easy argument to win, if you don’t mind losing friends… lol

    Boxer

  309. craig says:

    Lyn87, perhaps you missed the part where I said I’m not Catholic. I’m not trying to argue you into papism per se. My point in favor of tradition was simply warning that anyone can read into, or out of, the text whatever they wish, if not bounded within a tradition. Just as a man who serves as his own lawyer has a fool for a client, a man who serves as his own pope eventually has a heretic for a flock.

    Your cites from Leviticus against my examples (well done, btw; they were chosen at random) only underscore the point: how many times have we heard lately that sodomy is OK because Leviticus is so old-covenant and we eat shellfish now? Someone could just as easily do the same switcheroo with arson or bestiality or self-mutilation. As Dalrock wrote, it’s not that the people who reject Ephesians 5 can’t read, and it’s not that they’re cowardly or malicious; they simply think the literal meaning is faulty and inferior to modern opinion, and so they pretend it means the opposite of what it says.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  310. Escoffier says:

    Des,

    Not to get all Socratic but … what is progress? What do we mean by progress? What is genuine progress and what is apparent or even phony progress?

    Staying with the common sense, commonly understood meaning of the term, it is indisputable that in matters of natural science and technology, man has made tremendous progress since (and because of) modernity. No question.

    The harder question is whether we have made commensurate moral and political progress. Are we not merely more knowledgeable and more adept but also wiser? This answer is more open to dispute, but I unhesitatingly say “no.” “Progress” as conceived by modernity is eventually meant to replace “the good.” A sounder view of the world sees that good and bad are permanent possibilities and that one can give way to the other in all times and places. There is no ratchet determining that all “progress” is good, that is, that all change is for the better.

    So, to that extent, opposing “progress” is nothing more (or less) than the attempt to stay sane. It begins with the intellectual fortitude to see and accept that much of what is called “progress” is in truth merely “change” and much else actually is “regress.” That’s a kind of one man opposition of the mind—though it encompasses both thought and action, but not necessarily action in the sense of public opposition. I don’t think it’s futile—far from it. It’s the only hope.

    As for more public opposition, well, at the moment, yes, that’s a recipe for ostracization and career suicide. Maybe the tide will turn. Maybe a collapse and reset is inevitable. Whatever the case, the more people who grasp the essential points, whenever what is going to happen actually happens, the better position we will be in to make things better. So understanding is always good, even if it’s only possible for a few at a time.

  311. Lyn87 says:

    Craig,

    Okay… now we’re getting somewhere. I’m a big fan of tradition – as a means of informing my study. I’ve read shelves of books of commentaries, and I use them as aides to guide me to God’s truth. But that’s the ticket, no? God’s truth.

    I cannot – and will not – suspend my judgement for any one man, or even group of men, though, because every single one of us wrong about something (some more than others), including me. When I teach I tell my students that they ought not take my word for anything, either, since I am fallible, but rather to compare it to scripture. And if they discover an error I want them to tell me so I can correct it in front of the class.

    For every pastor or teacher who believes one thing there is another who believes the opposite. Some are easy to spot as false (women-as-pastors, for example). Others are not as clear-cut (under what precise circumstances a Christian wife should disobey the directives of an unbelieving husband, for example). It seems to me that choosing a single tradition as being authoritative in all things is simply to agree to accept a set of errors, while submitting to a different tradition is to agree to submit to a different set of errors. Both may be correct in all major and most minor areas, but nobody is right all the time. It is up to us be as the Bereans in Acts 17, and to obey 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

  312. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    You said you were done and I could have the last word. Can you not abide even by your own commands, or at least beg pardon?

    Now you’re just putting words in my mouth – I neither said nor implied anything of the sort, and you know it (or ought to). I have written plenty of times about the qualifications for elders and deacons, so stop playing at gotcha’ – there’s no target where you’re aiming. Accepting ecclesiastical authority does not mean that I must – or even should – suspend my judgement.

    Yes, you have written plenty of times about the qualifications for elders and deacons, but we see here now a fuller revelation of your thoughts: That you believe those elders have no actual authority over you; that you have no obligation to submit to their leadership.

    Indeed, by the law of the land they do not. This puts you in the position of a modern wife and her husband. You are (like those wives we excoriate) a subordinate who says he will obey each and every directive only after he has decided for himself that the directive is good in each particular case. On principle you reject any real authority over you to produce an obligation of which you do not approve in both the particular and yet even more-so in the general.

    You’re practicing Church 2.0.

    You wish to bow to men

    You’re damned right I do! Jesus was fully God, but He was fully man, too. I cannot wait for His return! In my every day life I seek out men under whose authority I can stand, and I feel blessed when I find them. My father who gave me life; my grandfathers who gave them life, my priests who feed my soul, my bishops who keep them feeding my soul, my employer who feeds me food…on and on. Sometimes circumstances force them upon me (cops, for example, whom I do not approve), and if I do well it is because I bow before them. They say jump and I ask how high, and I am all the better for it.

    – you’re probably not as “non-Catholic” as you think you are.

    And as you have rightly surmised: I am most definitely a small-c catholic. There is no other body of Christ except for the Body of Christ. There are several serious things about which the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching are in error, but that is not my concern as I was born into a different family; a different part of the Body. That does not keep me from acknowledging what they are doing right.

    I don’t.

    You’ve got it in your head that bowing down to authority is a sign of disrespect towards the self. That’s the misunderstanding of submission and authority from a malcontent; a shrew or a slave. A loyal son or soldier does not feel contempt for themselves when honoring and obeying authority. You’re expressing disloyalty. Again, you’re a practitioner of Church 2.0.

  313. Lyn87 says:

    Cane,

    I did leave the discussion – we were talking about birth control – but then I was dragged into a different discussion – ecclesiastical authority. Reading what you just wrote to me at 3:53 P.M.. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you were writing and did not see my explanation at 3:13 P.M., otherwise you would not have argued against a parody of my position (again).

    And stop being obtuse, by the way, you know good and well that when I noted your desire to bow to men that I was not referring to the fact that Christ came to Earth as a man, but rather your desire for other men to tell you what to believe – men of your choosing… funny, that.

    I try to practice Church 1.0 – the church of the Bereans and 2 Timothy 2:15 – I often fail. You try to practice Church 2.0 – the heresy that began when Constantine welded church to pagan state and created the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th Century – a church where priests act as conduits between God and His children, nullifying the work of Christ.

    The temple veil is torn, stop trying to sew it back together.

  314. Don Quixote says:

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    June 10, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    [remove previously agreed comments]
    “In fact, the only way to actually support your claim in depth is to teach that when Jesus said “Moses permitted you to divorce, but in the beginning it was not so” was teaching that Moses was in error — something Jesus says in other places is impossible, and in a specific Law that God used twice to illustrate His own relationship. If you can’t teach that, then Jesus’ statement “Moses permitted you to divorce” actually means what it says — the Law that tutored Israel in God’s most holy character _permitted divorce_. Rather than the permission for divorce being “not so”, then, it must be that divorce is “not so” — that is, God’s did not create or intend divorce.”

    Moses gave that clause for the hardness of their hearts, I’m sure we agree on this. But with a new covenant and a new heart there was no such permission, except it be for fornication.

    [remove previous comments]

    Slightly Anonymous continues:
    “That’s another KJV error, not possible in context. The term He uses is “I over-master you.” (The verb “master” is “ba’al”, which is a term of lordship used to indicate submission appropriate toward a husband, but not actually requiring that specific position.) It would be absurd for God to give a certificate of divorce and then claim to be married to the same person — that violates every purpose of the certificate. Also, look at what he promises to do in the same verse — not restore the country so He can keep her as a bride, but rather to pick out one or two people from every clan and let them emigrate to Zion to be under new leaders.”

    Don says:
    Both words [husband and master] are applicable in my view.

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    //The marriage continued after the divorce,//
    Again, not possible. Someone who is divorced is, according to Paul, “unmarried.”

    Don says:
    Perhaps ‘previously married’ would be a better choice of words? Unmarried implies eligible for re-marriage, certainly not the case for women, but possibly the case for some men. Check out Twice Married Always Married
    http://oncemarried.net/index.php?id=4

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    Millennial views don’t enter into it — if you’re Christian you believe in the resurrection and the glorification of creation, and that Christ will reign forever and ever (I think that will be on Earth from Jerusalem, fulfilling the promise to David), with the resurrected OT and NT saints as His glorified church-bride. Does that mean Israel will be remarried to God before the End? Dunno. It doesn’t seem likely, but some exegetes have suggested some ways it might be possible even within the framework of Jer 3 — if, for example, the marriage to the Ba’alim were not real, or if Israel were totally destroyed and rebuilt from repentant individuals. The former seems unlikely to me, though; it suggests that God didn’t mean anything He said at the beginning. The latter indicates that Israelites were being called to flee out of their society. Maybe, I don’t know.”

    Don says:
    At the risk of wondering off into another topic here goes…
    God married Israel. Jesus is only engaged [betrothed] to the Church, this engagement can be broken if the bride [church] is fornicating. [aka exception clause]
    Marriage is used a metaphor throughout the Bible. And I believe there will be a national repentance for Israel, in the same way Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. And Jesus will reign in Israel as King of the Jews.

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “I recommend two resources: Jay Adam’s “Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible” and Instone-Brewer’s “Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context” (the latter of which I recommend only with extreme caution, as it pulls in historical details that may well be only accidental; and the conclusions he reaches seem to go too far).”

    Don says:
    I have read Jay Adam’s book on Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage, and I didn’t like it. Here are my notes from reading this book 12 years ago, I should re-read it but Im busy at present. On page 55 he dismisses the betrothal view with 7 [read 6] points.
    Point 1. He thinks that the betrothal view doesn’t apply to husbands and wives and therefore rejects it. He is simply wrong.
    Point 2. Moot
    Point 3. He insists porniea can mean adultery. Good point we have already covered this.
    Point 4. He tries to build his position [re: betrothal view] on Paul’s words in 1Cor.7:15 This is a mistake in my opinion.
    Point 5. Because divorce was permitted in the OT it must therefore be permitted in the New testament, on this we agree. But it doesn’t refute the view that Jesus said it was because of pre-marital sex, not post nuptial adultery.
    Point 6 He claims that because adultery & fornication were the sins listed in Ezekiel 23 before and after the marriage, therefore the betrothal view must be wrong. I would say that Jesus never commanded divorce He only allowed it because of fornication.
    Point 7. He uses the exact same point about Jermiah chapter 3 that you have. It is a compelling argument, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that Jesus wasn’t referring to premarital sex in Matt’s gospel.
    I have not read the other book you recommended, I will keep an eye out for it.

    [remove previous comments]
    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “I agree with the first quote, but I’m having a really hard time convincing you that the second quote does not follow. You’re jumping from “the Pharisees were wrong” to “only non-virginal marriage is cause for divorce” without ANY reasoning shown. I’ve already shown that your invocation of the Greek is insupportable.”

    Don says:
    We agree upon more than we disagree. So the disagreement comes down to the meaning of the exception clause. This is an old argument. Did Jesus refer to any type of sexual misconduct, or did Jesus refer only to premarital sex? I would again cite the example of Joseph and Mary. This is the New Testament example, it needs little explanation. Joseph knew he was not responsible for Mary’s pregnancy therefore he sought to put her away privately. He assumed she had been fornicating with another man, then God intervened. This is a perfect example of the ‘betrothal view’ sometimes called the ‘fornication view’. We both agree that Jesus set very high standards for His church and yet you seem to be setting the bar low on this point.
    I have to go to work now, just one more shameless plug for my home page. Thanks for your response, I really appreciate it.
    Once Married Always Married
    http://oncemarried.net

  315. MarcusD says:

    “Progress means getting nearer to the place you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.”

    ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

  316. JDG says:

    Marcus – I need to give Mere Christianity another read.

  317. desiderian says:

    Escoffier,

    “The harder question is whether we have made commensurate moral and political progress.”

    Commensurate? Good luck with the metric. Any at all? I have. You have, you’ve said it yourself. Perhaps the collective is more difficult than the individual. He’s convincing. Experience is convincing. I’d be hard pressed to prove that it is necessarily impossible, however.

    If so, wouldn’t it be an extraordinary mystery? I guess its so counter-intuitive that I wonder whether it’s a hill worth dying on. I’m see no contradiction between upholding eternal truths and wisdom and adopting new insights tested by those truths. After all, the scriptures themselves were not penned at the beginning of time.

    So I guess the answer is yes. We have made moral and political progress during the time period 1000BC-2014AD. In Christ we are a new creation. That Aristotle fellow taught us a thing or two. The progress, or lack thereof, we’re making today likely won’t be apparent for a good long while. Certainly there is regress passed off as progress for all sorts of nefarious irreasons. But none at all? I’m unable to say that.

    I am able to say that Marriage 2.0 is not progress, and that one can, indeed should, oppose it without even getting to the question of progress itself. That question too may be ripe, but another test case may prove a better one.

    “Whatever the case, the more people who grasp the essential points, whenever what is going to happen actually happens, the better position we will be in to make things better. So understanding is always good, even if it’s only possible for a few at a time.”

    Yes. Ever and always.

  318. desiderian says:

    I’m reminded, perhaps too often, of my favorite poem. As a side note, I gave this passage from his The Buried Life during my wedding vows:

    Only—but this is rare—
    When a belovèd hand is laid in ours,
    When, jaded with the rush and glare
    Of the interminable hours,
    Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear,
    When our world-deafen’d ear
    Is by the tones of a loved voice caress’d—
    A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast,
    And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again.
    The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain,
    And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know.
    A man becomes aware of his life’s flow,
    And hears its winding murmur; and he sees
    The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.

    And there arrives a lull in the hot race
    Wherein he doth for ever chase
    That flying and elusive shadow, rest.
    An air of coolness plays upon his face,
    And an unwonted calm pervades his breast.
    And then he thinks he knows
    The hills where his life rose,
    And the sea where it goes.

  319. desiderian says:

    MarcusD,

    Heh. As I said. better than I.

    What oft as thot, but ne’er so well express’d.

  320. Oscar says:

    greyghost says:
    June 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    “Stay hard Oscar you will be the preacher of a church one day”

    Ha! No chance. Not my calling.

  321. Oscar says:

    MarcusD says:

    “Fecundophobia: The Growing Fear Of Children And Fertile Women
    http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/22/fecundophobia-growing-fear-children-fertile-women/

    As parents of eight, my wife and I see a lot of that.

  322. Goodkid43 says:

    To Desiderian and Escoffer,
    Christopher Dawson, an early twentieth century historian wrote a book called, “Progress and Religion” that details the history of the idea of progress. Basically, progress is a Christian idea not found in other great cultures. When progress became divorced from its source i.e. Christianity, post French Revolution, it became a ruthless progress, survival of the fittest type. Excellent read based on history. Warning: when you read the book you will want to possess all his writings; Ask me how I know!!

  323. Gunner Q says:

    JDG says @ June 9, 2014 at 10:42 pm
    “Nevertheless, I believe birth control is wrong. It is not our place to play God.”

    It is EXACTLY our place to play God. I can make no sense of reality except that God WANTS us to play God. Souls are saved when we Christians carry out the Great Commission. Children are created when two people carry out a physical act. God could do these things alone if He wanted to, and He certainly works behinds the scenes, but we are the primary actors and this is His will. The words we speak, actions we take and lives we live are INTENDED to have eternal consequences–otherwise there would be no Judgment Day. God would simply wipe the slate clean and start over.

    This puts birth control squarely in the hands of would-be parents. There are no direct commands in the Bible to have kids. If a young Christian man wants to enjoy a wife without the burden of children, he is free to do so… and with the economy in shambles and a predatory government thirsting to use kids as weapons against their fathers, I think he is prudent to do so. Contraception was never addressed in the Bible because it didn’t exist, with the exception of eunuchs. And the Bible never shamed eunuchs or treated them as lesser people.

    It is evolution that values humans by their reproductive success, not Christ.

  324. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    I did leave the discussion – we were talking about birth control – but then I was dragged into a different discussion – ecclesiastical authority

    The latter came from the former. You dismissed the authority of any man to say, authoritatively, what is good in another man’s marriage bed. It was your last hope as the other argument had been dealt with. It is still the same conversation.

    otherwise you would not have argued against a parody of my position (again)

    What you’re referring to as a parody is actually the essence of your position. That essence is rebellion; self-reliance; Go Your Own Way while dragging a wife behind who now has no place or honor in the grand order; only her husband’s little fiefdom. You don’t recognize that about your argument, so you think it must be a parody. This is the willful blindness I referred to above.

    And stop being obtuse, by the way, you know good and well that when I noted your desire to bow to men that I was not referring to the fact that Christ came to Earth as a man

    No, actually I don’t know that, and from what you have said it’s my belief that you don’t realize that that Christ will come again as a fully God and fully man person; just as He was assumed into Heaven. There will be a real hierarchy in the New Earth.

    but rather your desire for other men to tell you what to believe – men of your choosing… funny, that.

    1. Does anyone choose their father or grandfathers? Even if we choose our places of employment (far from a free choice, but even so), do we choose our superiors? Sure we pick churches, but do we choose our priests/pastors or our bishops if they change?

    2. The fact that choice is involved once at the beginning of a relationship is a poor reason to say that therefore we get to choose differently at any moment if we are unhaaaaappy with what our superiors do. There is a way to be both studious and good, and also obedient to authorities. We don’t like it because it doesn’t sate our pride, but it’s not even that difficult.

    the heresy that began when Constantine welded church to pagan state and created the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th Century – a church where priests act as conduits between God and His children, nullifying the work of Christ.

    You’re confusing two different things here. I agree with the gist of your criticism of the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on our access to God; our ability to render our own sacrifice, among other things. That is beside the current topic that there are civil and spiritual authorities to whom we are to submit, and the fact that the manifestation of submission is obedience. Those authorities absolutely do have authority to say what can or cannot occur in our marriages and even our marital beds.

    The temple veil is torn, stop trying to sew it back together.

    This is another anti-Roman Catholic swing, but it has nothing to do with the topic, or me. And you’re making a very convoluted argument here. Essentially, you’re saying that in the old days, the priests authority derived from their ability to offer sacrifice for the people. (That’s what happened behind the curtain.) Now, that The Sacrifice has been made, and we as members of the Body of Christ are sacrificed with Him and therefore make our own sacrifice of our lives to God–that the priests real authority has been removed along with those sacrifices.

    There’s a hole there that is just waiting for some modern to drive an truck through with a payload that we no longer need to be obedient to Christ’s authority. Like the one that just went by. Oh, and that one too. There goes another.

    I think you’re misunderstanding what the role of the priest/pastor is; both in the ancient days, and in modern times. You realize that pastor is a shepherd, right? The authority over the flock is right there in the title. We know there is nothing to fear since God is our bulwark, our protector.

    This hostility towards pastors (and authority that is not subject to your judgment generally) is not motivated by fear, but by hate and envy; just like moderns with the Bible and church, and wives with their husbands, and humanity with God.

  325. Luke says:

    Escoffier says:
    June 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    “Now, the young people I am around are basically already “winners”, hence selection bias. They have their prestige educations and have jobs and have begun careers and so they don’t see any reason to fret. But, also, a few times a year I teach seminars to young kids either just of out of undergrad or going through grad school. The show the same level of imperturbable confidence that it’s all going to be fine for them when, by the numbers, that can’t be true for all of them. The ones who want to go into academia, my friends and I actively try to knock some fear/sense into, since it’s almost certainly not going to work out for most of them. But they all seem to think “I’m the exception.””

    It’s even more true than that phrasing, that now choosing college academia as a career is a horrid choice. I suggest passing the following along to anyone not already in a tenured (NOT “tenure-track”) university position:

    http://archive.lewrockwell.com/north/north427.html

    Link to article referred to in the above: http://www.nber.org/chapters/c4488.pdf

  326. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    Pay attention to GunnerQ, Lyn87. Don’t be that guy.

    There is more than one way to arrive at a works-based heresy, and that is the path you’ve advocated here.

  327. desiderian says:

    Goodkid43,

    Thanks for the tip. Troeltsch’s Protestantism and Progress is also a good read.

  328. Luke says:

    craig says:
    June 10, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    “the Catholic Church does not disavow Christians that are not Catholic, nor assert that non-Catholics cannot be saved. The Church certainly believes her doctrines are true, and that it matters — rejecting true doctrine makes it harder even for a true believer in Jesus to keep to the right path — but the Church believes that God judges justly and mercifully, according to the individual’s particular life and faith.”

    Less than a year ago, I attended a Catholic wedding. At the reception, a uniformed Catholic priest and I chatted. I asked him specifically if he considered the rites and ceremonies performed by a Protestant church to be invalid. He said yes. Not wanting to cause a scene, I told him “I see” and moved away. Were I not a guest, I would have told him that previously I was willing to accept Catholics as fellow Christians. But, if they did not consider me to be a Christian, then I would return the favor.

    =================================================================

    desiderian says:
    June 10, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    “I would instinctively prefer for the church to function just as well with women leaders as with men* – in the case of the church that raised me, they’d likely be doing better under the associate pastor (female) than the current head (a male).”

    Impossible that they’d do well under a false pastor (which any woman “minister” is in Christianity); an evil vine does not bear good fruit.
    That a male pastor could do a lousy job as well, agreed; human fallibility, and all that.

    ======================================================================

    Lyn87 says:
    June 10, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    “I cannot – and will not – suspend my judgement for any one man, or even group of men, though, because every single one of us wrong about something (some more than others), including me. When I teach I tell my students that they ought not take my word for anything, either, since I am fallible, but rather to compare it to scripture. And if they discover an error I want them to tell me so I can correct it in front of the class.

    For every pastor or teacher who believes one thing there is another who believes the opposite. Some are easy to spot as false (women-as-pastors, for example). Others are not as clear-cut (under what precise circumstances a Christian wife should disobey the directives of an unbelieving husband, for example). It seems to me that choosing a single tradition as being authoritative in all things is simply to agree to accept a set of errors, while submitting to a different tradition is to agree to submit to a different set of errors. Both may be correct in all major and most minor areas, but nobody is right all the time. It is up to us be as the Bereans in Acts 17, and to obey 2 Timothy 2:15 to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.””

    THIS. This is the essence of valid, Protestant Christianity. The other kinds “worked” to the extent they did only before literacy and access to the Bible became a commonplace. We can get closer to God’s will now that there is not a barrier (a fallible, human barrier) between his Word, the expression of his Will, and His believers, who constitute His Church.

  329. Cane Caldo says:

    @Luke

    We can get closer to God’s will now that there is not a barrier (a fallible, human barrier) between his Word, the expression of his Will, and His believers, who constitute His Church.

    Then, likewise, wives can get closer to God on their own if there is not a fallible human barrier (husband) between His word, the expression of His will, and His believers, who constitute the household.

    Heaven help you confused creatures.

  330. desiderian says:

    Luke,

    “All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principles of resistance: it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.”

    - Burke, Second Speech on Conciliation with America, The Thirteen Resolutions

    “For what is specific in the Catholic religion is immortalization and not justification, in the Protestant sense. Rather is this latter ethical. It is from Kant, in spite of what orthodox Protestants may think of him, that Protestantism derived its penultimate conclusions — namely, that religion rests upon morality, and not morality upon religion, as in Catholicism.

    - Unamuno The Tragic Sense of Life (1913) IV : The Essence of Catholicism

    These statements are true. In both cases Protestantism has erred and lost its way. We pay the wages of that sin. Modernity is its offspring.

  331. MarcusD says:

    Marcus – I need to give Mere Christianity another read.

    It simply is one of the best books of its kind. There’s a pdf copy of the book here, for any and all interested: http://www.truthaccordingtoscripture.com/documents/apologetics/mere-christianity/Mere-Christianity.pdf

  332. Luke says:

    desiderian says:
    June 10, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    “Luke,

    “All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principles of resistance: it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.”

    - Burke, Second Speech on Conciliation with America, The Thirteen Resolutions

    “For what is specific in the Catholic religion is immortalization and not justification, in the Protestant sense. Rather is this latter ethical. It is from Kant, in spite of what orthodox Protestants may think of him, that Protestantism derived its penultimate conclusions — namely, that religion rests upon morality, and not morality upon religion, as in Catholicism.

    - Unamuno The Tragic Sense of Life (1913) IV : The Essence of Catholicism

    These statements are true. In both cases Protestantism has erred and lost its way. We pay the wages of that sin. Modernity is its offspring.”

    Desiderian, had you quoted Scripture, rather than a Catholic or two who were offended that their temporal empire was smaller than it once was, it would have a far better chance of being persuasive.

  333. Luke says:

    Cane Caldo says:
    June 10, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    “@Luke

    We can get closer to God’s will now that there is not a barrier (a fallible, human barrier) between his Word, the expression of his Will, and His believers, who constitute His Church.

    Then, likewise, wives can get closer to God on their own if there is not a fallible human barrier (husband) between His word, the expression of His will, and His believers, who constitute the household.

    Heaven help you confused creatures.”

    Where the heck do you get THAT from?!? The Bible is quite clear that a husband is to have authority over his wife; that there should be a Pope, not so much. (If someone rejects the core commandments in the Bible, it’s pretty hard to make a case that they’re Christian.)

  334. Lyn87 says:

    Luke,

    You are correct of course – the idea that a pastor is the head of a male parishioner – in the same way that a husband is the head of his wife – runs afoul of all sorts of scripture, including the aforementioned Acts Chapter 17 and 2 Timothy Chapter 2. But that never stops inveterate kneelers-before-men and veil-repairmen from wishing it were not so. I served as a military officer for more than 20 years – I understand lawful and unlawful authority pretty well, and have extensive experience dealing with both superiors and subordinates. I do fine in either role. I also grew up as a preacher’s kid, and have served as deacon, elder, and Sunday-school teacher, so I understand ecclesiastical authority. But… I’ve known plenty of people who just want someone to tell them what to think and do. (However, most of them have been women.)

    Anyway, since my critics steadfastly refuse to provide the scripture references I’ve asked them for to support their assertions (still waiting on that), OR argue against any point I’ve actually made, AND still prefer to rail against wildly fanciful parodies of my position that were birthed in their own imaginations… AND it seems that others have taken up the cudgel against the idea of elevating mere men to the place of gods, I will watch a little t.v. and go to bed.

  335. BradA says:

    Cane,

    The Scriptures clearly note the leadership of a man over his family, they do not do the same for the leadership of a pope or such over a Christian.

  336. JDG says:

    Gunner Q says:
    June 10, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Contraception did exist in ancient times, so it’s not to great a leap to assume that Hebrews and Christians in ancient times were aware of it. There also were concoctions that women drank to induce menstruation if a pregnancy was unwanted (inducing a miscarriage). It would appear that there is nothing new under the sun.

    Nevertheless, I can’t find where permission is given for Christians to decide who lives and who dies, not in what you wrote and not in the Bible (and I’m not talking about a judicial process when I say this).

    MarcusD – Thank you for the link. I’ve just downloaded it.

  337. JDG says:

    Perhaps I should have worded it: “I can’t find where permission is given for Christians to decide whether or not a person lives or dies,”

    But you get the gist of it.

  338. Cane Caldo says:

    @Lyn87

    I served as a military officer for more than 20 years – I understand lawful and unlawful authority pretty well, and have extensive experience dealing with both superiors and subordinates. I do fine in either role. I also grew up as a preacher’s kid, and have served as deacon, elder, and Sunday-school teacher, so I understand ecclesiastical authority.

    Can we all just pause for a moment to reflect upon the great military success of the US in the last 50 years? I can’t count the number of decisive victories we’ve won. Seriously: You can’t count a goose egg as a victory.

    Perhaps we should move on to churches. Now, there we’ve seen some real gains. Let’s give a round of applause for the great state of our American churches: Marriage is down and divorce is up… Shit, that’s not any good, either.

    The great majority of churches are run and filled by men and women who think the way you do. Lyn87, what are you so proud of?

    @Luke

    The Bible is quite clear that a husband is to have authority over his wife; that there should be a Pope, not so much.

    What does the Pope have to do with the price of rice in China? Nothing.

    @BradA

    The Scriptures clearly note the leadership of a man over his family, they do not do the same for the leadership of a pope

    What does the Pope have to do with the price of rice in China? Nothing.

    or such over a Christian.

    Except that leaders are called shepherds; the Church was built on Peter; the epistles (letters from the leaders) are instructions (authoritative!) for the church; the fact that since the Garden of Eden God has worked through men by putting some men in authority over other men; the fact that we are born into the stewardship of our parents; the fact that no organization succeeds without clear leadership and devoted subordinates; the fact that parents teach by modeling behavior for their children and if they do not model proper submission to proper authority then they will never accept it…nothing, I guess.

    I know, I know…you all believe you have progressed beyond the need for all that ancient hierarchy and obedience now.

    I’m done for today.

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  340. desiderian says:

    Cane,

    “I’m done for today.”

    A good day’s work.

  341. desiderian says:

    Luke,

    “Desiderian, had you quoted Scripture, rather than a Catholic or two who were offended that their temporal empire was smaller than it once was, it would have a far better chance of being persuasive.”

    Well, brother, I’m a child of Athens and Jerusalem, and always will be. Scripture is not a secret only the two of us share. Better men than you or I have read it and read it well. Those are the men who have authority over me, Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox.

    As for the quotes, no one knows one’s flaws better than one’s rivals. The question is, do they speak the truth?

    Cane, as I’ve learned more about masculinity, I’ve learned that it does seek it’s rightful place within legitimate hierarchy. There is a drive to lead men, and be led by better ones. Could it be that the protestant allergy to hierarchy/authority has contributed to the emasculation of American men?

  342. Mr. Teebs says:

    Since we are on the topic of whether fear is the primary motive behind a refusal to contrast biblical marriage with marriage 2.0, I have observed an even more puzzling behavior: the seemingly endless willingness of modern clergy to bless any and all heterosexual unions by conducting the ceremony even when one party is a believer and the other is not. What ever happened to refusal to unequally yoke a believer to an unbeliever? Are we now so desperate to “endorse” any marriage as being superior to shacking up that the only criteria left is whether the parties are willing? If so, Las Vegas and the church are now fully interchangeable. I am hard pressed to identify even a single instance of a pastor refusing to marry Miss Spiritual to Mr. he-really-has-a-tender-heart-and-I-know-I’ll-just-turn-him-around. And by the way, I think the opposite is rare – Mr. Spiritual compromising to marry Miss Hottie. Seems like pastors would be more inclined to “man up” with a stern word to the believing guy than the believing gal. I have to even wonder about the authenticity of belief if one is compromising on whether a marriage candidate even needs to be a believer.

  343. Luke says:

    desiderian says:
    June 11, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Luke,

    “Desiderian, had you quoted Scripture, rather than a Catholic or two who were offended that their temporal empire was smaller than it once was, it would have a far better chance of being persuasive.”

    “Well, brother, I’m a child of Athens and Jerusalem, and always will be. Scripture is not a secret only the two of us share. Better men than you or I have read it and read it well.”

    Those “better men” logically then would have made fricking LISTS of those places in Scripture that support their positions. You could save everyone a lot of time (and increase your credibility to more noticeable levels) had you simply posted those lists, or links to them.

  344. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda says:

    >> Except that leaders are called shepherds

    I have been a shepherd. Shepherds don’t love their flock. Shepherds fatten their flock, then slaughter them.

  345. JDG says:

    The Bible makes clear the distinction between the good shepherd and the bad shepherd.

  346. desiderian says:

    Luke,

    “Those ‘better men’ logically then would have made fricking LISTS of those places in Scripture that support their positions.”

    Scripture is necessarily silent on factual claims regarding phenomena that occurred after their writing. Such as the advent of protestantism and the sins thereof.

    Answer the question.

    “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love…”

  347. jf12 says:

    re: “Scripture is necessarily silent on factual claims regarding phenomena that occurred after their writing.”

    Notwithstanding your profession of disbelief, up to about a third of Scripture is prophetic making factual claims about the future.

  348. jf12 says:

    The only principle to be invoked when Scripture is silent is that doctrine should not be built on what Scripture doesn’t say.

  349. Cane Caldo says:

    @Desi

    Thanks.

    @Eliezer & JGD

    I have been a shepherd. Shepherds don’t love their flock. Shepherds fatten their flock, then slaughter them.

    By fattening and slaughter Abraham’s faith was confirmed and Jesus reconciles us to God. We are God’s. He can do with us as He wills, and I have faith that the Lord of life and death is faithful to see me through both.

    It’s sickly-sweet to read your put-down of shepherds and sacrifice alongside Lyn87, Luke, and Brad’s ongoing denigration of authority and submission to men. Imagine if that was wide-spread. It would look like…well, it would look very much like today!

  350. Opus says:

    @Marcus D

    The photo at your first link looks very FagHag.

  351. Luke says:

    desiderian says:
    June 11, 2014 at 7:53 am

    “Scripture is necessarily silent on factual claims regarding phenomena that occurred after their writing.

    Such as the innumerable prophesies about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth? That sounds like never having been aware of the Book of Revelation.

  352. desiderian says:

    Luke and jf12,

    “Notwithstanding your profession of disbelief”

    I made no such profession. Let me correct the oversight.

    Lord, help me in my unbelief.

    “up to about a third of Scripture is prophetic making factual claims about the future.”

    Factual claims are about fact, not about factual claims.

    “The only principle to be invoked when Scripture is silent is that doctrine should not be built on what Scripture doesn’t say.”

    If you recognize no authority other than scripture, how is the building of doctrine (teaching) upon it even possible? Teaching itself is an act of authority.

    Regardless, the question at hand has nothing to do with doctrine. Have we so sinned or not?

    “Such as the innumerable prophesies about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth? That sounds like never having been aware of the Book of Revelation.”

    Factual claims are about fact, not about factual claims.

    Your obtuse evasions are fooling no one, least of all yourselves. Now answer the question.

    Has American protestantism practiced dissent for its own rebellious sake, in violation of the manly unity commanded by God? does its religion in practice rest upon morality, rather than its morality upon religion?

    If we can’t be bothered to practice our own godforsaken religion, how can we expect anyone else to?

    Let go your foolish pride and repent!

  353. jf12 says:

    Re: the blamelessness of bishops and other church leaders. Scripture does not indicate a higher level of blamelessness for bishops than for deacons, or for that matter for ordinary saints (in the Protestant sense). The bishop’s blamelessness (e.g. Titus 1:6-7) is a bare minimum standard, of a piece along with not being a brawling drunkard or thief. This blamelessness simply means he is at least as blameless as an ordinary member of the church in good standing “them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord”. The fact that this qualification is repeated probably indicates that his sanctity should be determined with somewhat greater scrutiny.

    Anyway, the point being that nobody gets to Scripturally disqualify a bishop or other leader from leading for not exhibiting *greater* sanctity than themselves.

  354. jf12 says:

    @desiderian, re: “If you recognize no authority other than scripture”

    I said no such thing. I have a pastor, and a bishop, and a confessor, and a teacher. But me quoting any of them to you would have no force. Nor would you quoting any of your authorities to me, necessarily.

  355. Cane Caldo says:

    @jf12

    I have a pastor, and a bishop, and a confessor, and a teacher. But me quoting any of them to you would have no force. Nor would you quoting any of your authorities to me, necessarily.

    You’re assuming others would not care, but that’s not true.

  356. jf12 says:

    @Cane Caldo, re: “You’re assuming others would not care, but that’s not true.”

    Well, I have explicitly quoted or referenced something my pastor or evangelists’ sermons several times in making some comments, usually either to illuminate reasons for my state of mind about a topic or for illustration or amusement. But never here, I can confidently say, as a matter of authority “You should believe such and such because my pastor says so.”

  357. BradA says:

    Cane,

    > “What does the Pope have to do with the price of rice in China? Nothing.”

    Your post indicated that the Christians were required to be faithful to a man as much as wives were to their husbands. You could substitute other leaders for “pope” for the same effect. Individual Christians may have those in the local church in leadership, but it is not the same as the man being the head of his household. The only comparison of that is Christ and the Church.

    And Peter was not the head of the Church. Read the Scriptures a bit more closely. He only wrote a few epistles as well. He was a leader, but not the founding member. (Peter was a little stone, not The Rock.)

  358. Both translations may be applicable in your view, but they’re not applicable to the text; Ba’al as a verb does not mean to be a husband, but to overlord; as a secondary implication it could mean to act as a husband, but that idea is utterly destroyed by the context. Your view is impossible in the text.

    And so it goes with your view; it’s a hodgepodge of an ancient and respectable Christian view, that divorce is simply forbidden, plus the more recent (but still old), but _not_ respectable view that second marriages are illegitimate, plus your own innovative arguments based on invented technical uses of language that are so far as I’ve seen completely without historical merit.

    I do not agree with you; I cannot express that strongly enough to convince you of it. You’ve completely disregarded my arguments (and Adams’, by the way), dismissing serious exegesis based on him not considering your unheard-of argument as (in your words) “He insists porniea can mean adultery.”

    Porneia may not MEAN “adultery”, but porneia is one of the ways adultery can be committed. In that sense, for a married person committing porneia DOES “mean” committing adultery.

  359. BradA says:

    I would also firmly stand for the idea that Scripture is the ultimate authority. Putting men in that role is a very dangerous heresy practiced by far too many Christians and others who claim to be such. Men can and will be wrong. The Scriptures never will be. We may have to wrestle with them to make sure we are personally aligned with them, but I will take the risks that come with that any day over a blind obedience to others who tell us what they mean.

    [Act 17:10-11 KJV] 10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

    Note that they were more noble because they searched the Scriptures, not because they believed Paul.

  360. feeriker says:

    @ Mr. Teebs

    You bring up a good point. In my own experience, “evangelical” churchian franchises tend to be fairly strict about marriage ceremonies in the church between believers and non-believers (puzzling in its hypocrisy, given their overall cavalier attitudes toward marriage and divorce). I assume from what friends and acquaintences tell me thst the RCC is even stricter *.

    On the other hand, the more traditional Protestant denominations tend not to make it an issue. Put some cash in the franchise CEO’s hand or in the collection plate, or go through a “pre-marital counseling” session or two (more of a formality than anything else), and down the aisle the two of you march.

    (* Fifteen years ago my wife and I attended the wedding of one of her coworkers at a historic Catholic college chapel in western Maryland. It was a strange ceremony. The bride, my wife’s coworker, was raised Catholic. I had assumed, based on his ethnicity (Italian) that the groom was too, but apparently he and his family were either apostate or non-practicing. The ceremony was performed by a layman rather than a priest, something that struck me as bizarre. I also did not observe any Catholic rituals performed during the ceremony [I'm under the impression that holy communion is part of Catholic marriage ceremonies?]. Oh, and FWIW, according to the wife’s FB page, she and her husband have been divorced for five years now, after cranking out two kids.)

  361. JDG says:

    Cane I agree God can do with us as he wills. Did you somehow mistakenly lump me in the same camp as Eliezer?

  362. Cane Caldo says:

    @JDG

    No,sorry. You were in the discussion, though. I was just keeping you in the loop.

    @Brad

    I would also firmly stand for the idea that Scripture is the ultimate authority.

    Well, that’s dumb thing to say. God the Father is the ultimate authority and He has handed all authority to His son Jesus Christ.

    Before you attempt a caveat: Don’t miss my whole criticism. You all keep saying nonsense things, and then saying you did not mean it that way and that of course you meant this other thing. After so long, it is foolish for me to assume you know anything about what you are saying. For the most part, you guys don’t even display the common courtesy to ask pardon on small mistakes of speech.

    Note that they [Bereans] were more noble because they searched the Scriptures, not because they believed Paul.

    See what I mean?

    What that passage actually shows is that their nobility in searching the scriptures was confirmed by Paul. They go together. Likewise, Paul, who studied the scriptures himself for over 20 years, met Christ after He was assumed into heaven, was submitted to lay persons to be healed. Then all manner of things were revealed to Paul as he traveled around. (This is before his missionary work.) Then what does he do? He submits himself to Peter and the other apostles for inspection and confirmation.

    The scriptures were authored by God through men. Said another way: God authored those men to author what we now call the Bible. The New Testamant was birthed by the Church; which was founded by Christ (on Peter); Who was testified in the Old Testament; which was written by the Israelites; who had heard from God directly, and saw His wonders.

    The whole argument is really stupid. No one here speaks ancient Greek or Hebrew except that they learned from generations upon generations of folks who have never heard it spoken by a native; not for over a thousand years. Hell, we don’t even know English except that someone taught it to us; on faith in that person. Confirmation with and under authority is how we know literally anything.

  363. desiderian says:

    jf12,

    “I said no such thing. I have a pastor, and a bishop, and a confessor, and a teacher. But me quoting any of them to you would have no force. Nor would you quoting any of your authorities to me, necessarily.”

    I apologize for mischaracterizing your position.

    The authority of Burke and Unamuno is public as it is based on the quality of their authorship and the breadth and depth, especially in Burke’s case, of their influence. The latter of course is no measure of goodness, but it is authority nonetheless, as authority can be employed for good or ill.

    I would be derelict in my manly duty were I willfully ignorant of such influence, akin to a doctor determined to remain ignorant of cancer. That’s Christian Science territory. Luke’s evasions are unmanly. A simple “no” would suffice. Burke and I have both been mistaken many times before.

    The authority of those you mention is private regarding you and I, save for your own personal testimony and their own office, neither of which is forceless.

  364. jf12 says:

    re: “their own office”?

    I’m truly puzzled. What weight or glory or force that Burke’s or Unamuno’s writings have is based strictly on their content. For example Burke’s writings aren’t admired because he occupied the Office of Great Man, but he is admired greatly because of his writing.

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  366. desiderian says:

    That’s what I said.

    The authority of your pastor is based on his office, as that is all I know of him.

  367. jf12 says:

    Ah, yes, you’re right, my mistake regarding “those you mention”.

  368. Don Quixote says:

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    June 11, 2014 at 11:15 am
    “Both translations may be applicable in your view, but they’re not applicable to the text; Ba’al as a verb does not mean to be a husband, but to overlord; as a secondary implication it could mean to act as a husband, but that idea is utterly destroyed by the context. Your view is impossible in the text.”

    Don says:
    The text does use Baal [master] to mean married, just as in Exod, Deut, Proverbs, Isaiah, and Malachi. It is not an error as you have previously claimed because Jeremiah chapter 3 uses marriage as a metaphor to describe the covenant between God and Israel. Or do you take exception to a husband being a master of his wife?

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “And so it goes with your view; it’s a hodgepodge of an ancient and respectable Christian view, that divorce is simply forbidden, plus the more recent (but still old), but _not_ respectable view that second marriages are illegitimate, plus your own innovative arguments based on invented technical uses of language that are so far as I’ve seen completely without historical merit.”

    Don says:
    We both agree that divorce is permitted in the New Testament ‘except it be for fornication’. But you don’t like my interpretation of the same texts. You have called my view “nutty” and “hodgepodge” and yet you claim that Jesus aligned Himself with rabbi Shammai.

    Slightly Anonymous says:
    “I do not agree with you; I cannot express that strongly enough to convince you of it. You’ve completely disregarded my arguments (and Adams’, by the way), dismissing serious exegesis based on him not considering your unheard-of argument as (in your words) “He insists porniea can mean adultery.”
    Porneia may not MEAN “adultery”, but porneia is one of the ways adultery can be committed. In that sense, for a married person committing porneia DOES “mean” committing adultery.”

    Don says:

    I have already agreed with you on the interpretation of the Greek. When the Pharisees set out to trap Jesus in their argument [Matt. chapter 19] you claim that Jesus fell right into their trap and yet somehow ‘dodged-the-bullet’, and offer no explanation as to how that happened. Can you elaborate?

  369. Escoffier says:

    Des,

    Badly phrased on my part. I meant more the following:

    Has there been moral and political progress since the advent of modernity (1517 is as good a date as any) that is comparable to modernity’s genuine achievements in science and technology?

    There has been some (the abolition of slavery in the West being perhaps the most important example) but much regress in others. Also, it’s clear that the “cycle of regimes” broadly understood is still in place. That is, morality can wax and wane in a given country over time. E.g., England going from Puritanism to the Restoration to the tranquil 18th Century to the Regency to Victorianism. The overall cycle typically runs from rusticity up through civilization and then down through decadence, like that first big hill on a roller coaster, but it can also be bumpy as well.

    What’s plainly evident, however, is that there is not an upward arc of moral progress—either one tied to modernity or not. If you, for instance, take those “moral” or :”social” questions about which the vanguard of 2014 is most proud of itself over, as proof of their cutting edge moral sophistication, it’s hardly clear at all that these represent genuine improvements, and in fact may we be fads that appear embarrassing to later generations. And they might be something worse.

    The point you raise about Christ is interesting and points to one of the … exploitable points that the moderns found to hammer away at. This would be a long post, but basically Christ is taken to be the fons et origo of “History” and the “Historical sense” and so of progress, but not in the sense meant by the Bible, but in a new sense antithetical to the meaning of the Bible.

  370. Don Quixote, It may be that we cannot communicate — what you claim I said is the opposite of what I said. I’m going to call it a day.

  371. Luke says:

    desiderian says:
    June 11, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Luke and jf12,

    “Let go your foolish pride and repent!”

    That is what I did when I asked Jesus to come into my heart, for God to make my life an instrument of His will, and thanked Him for everything. In the face of the meaningless mortality with total finality that otherwise, but for His grace, would be my lot, being snubbed by some text on a computer screen is nothing.

  372. Lyn87 says:

    The only principle to be invoked when Scripture is silent is that doctrine should not be built on what Scripture doesn’t say.

    Well said, JF12.

  373. BradA says:

    You are full of it Cane. It never said they stopped searching once they validated the initial message, yet that is what you are calling for.

    An the Scriptures are God’s Word to us on this earth. Go ahead and play semantic games if you want, but the Scriptures are the closest we can come to certainty on this earth. Pretending otherwise won’t change the facts. Individual men have to walk out an individual salvation. We should do this as part of a group of believers, but no one will accept the “blame my superiors” cop out on the Judgment Day.

  374. BradA says:

    > “He submits himself to Peter and the other apostles for inspection and confirmation.”

    You are very naive if you think Paul would have stopped his ministry and message if they had disagreed. He did bring it before those in authority, but that does not mean he would compromise it for them. Key important difference.

    Are you really arguing we should be servants of men now? Exactly how do you decide if a specific message from a leader is to be obeyed and followed or when it is not? When does their teaching diverge enough (from what?) to no longer put them in the place to be followed?

    I see no basis for that other than the Scriptures, but perhaps you can enlighten me on what I am overlooking.

  375. Luke says:

    Desiderian, Cane, a previously-respected writer/authority on theological matters must reestablish his credibility with every act, with every writing, with every decision. The facts as based on Scripture should be fully laid out in the open. It’s like in science; there is no valid “Because I said so” among adults. That is, the raw data must be presented, and the experiment must be reproducible as applicable. BISS tends to mean a fraud, or at the very least, a lazy or insulting man for whom his further words need no reading, and his acts are allowed no defense.

  376. Luke says:

    Between adult free men, I mean, re no BISS.

  377. Pingback: Escoffier on Modernity and the Embarrassment of Christians

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  380. Mark says:

    In reference to the Amalekites discussion above, this is very poignantly refuted by William Lane Craig in justifying that what God did was just in every single way.
    1) God cannot do anything unjust anyway. This is as logical as a square circle, so there has to be an explanation even if not obvious
    2) The explanation IS obvious. The Amalekites were heathen, violent idolaters no different from other nations in the Levant. They indulged in sins most foul before God. Clearly God knew they were irredeemable and had them exterminated.
    3) The common whining about ‘women and children’ is foolish, since there is no evidence that women and children were harmed at all, even though God commanded it. Yes, Saul claimed to have killed everyone but the Amalekite king Agag (1 Samuel 15:20), but this is obviously an aggrandized lie since just a couple of decades later there were enough Amalekites to take David and his men’s families captive (1 Samuel 30:1-2). Saul failed to follow God’s commands, and was good at it.
    4) The unbeliever cannot claim that the genocide was categorically evil, since he is a temporal being with a very limited view of time. He has no idea what course history would have taken should the Amalekites have been allowed to live. Suppose it caused more bloodshed in the long run. We know these people routinely engaged in child sacrifice.

    These people are very easy to refute so long as you fully comprehend the Lord as the entitity He is. A being with unlimited power, vision, intelligence, and moral purity.

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