What current?

In the comments to my last post TFH pointed out that Donald Sensing has his own blog.  From a quick glance it looks as I would expect for a Traditional Conservative, with a focus on his military past, second amendment issues, etc.  I was however interested in his background as a preacher since he was so adamant that there is no hesitancy by modern Christians to preach biblical marriage roles to women:

Well, I have preached on that a number of times!

Maybe the author needs to get out more.

According to his Bio, he is a United Methodist pastor:

I retired in August 1995, answering my call to ordained ministry. I began classes at Vanderbilt Divinity School the same month. I was awarded a Master of Divinity in 1999 and have served full time as a United Methodist pastor since 1997. I was ordained an elder in full membership of the Tennessee Conference of the UMC in June 2002.

Knowing this helps us understand exactly what Sensing hasn’t noticed as a United Methodist pastor, leading him to dismiss Spike by saying he needs to get out more if he thinks the church is shying away from teaching biblical roles for women.  Just what is going on in the United Methodist Church that Pastor Sensing hasn’t noticed?  For just one example, see the UMC’s “What We Believe” section of their website, including Every Barrier Down: Toward Full Embrace of All Women in Church and Society.  Here the United Methodist Church explains that Christ was a product of His times, and that only modern feminist women could correct His deficiencies:

As the Church of Jesus Christ enters its third millennium, women continue to heed the call to transform the Church and the world in the name of the One who names us and claims us all for witness, mission and earth-shaking transformation.

As much as he was a product of his era-one admittedly marked by gender, class, religious, and community exclusion — Jesus Christ brought to us a ministry of transformational invitation. The Living Christ invited — and still invites — to a common table of grace, justice, and power, people who had never before been invited to the religious power tables, including women, cultural and religious minorities, social outcasts, and disreputable community sinners.1 And women, in claiming their voice in the new faith movement ignited by the Messiah, became leaders in expanding that movement and in pushing further for inclusion of Gentiles in what was then viewed as Jesus’ renewal of Judaism.

Women, in fact, advocated for and sought to protect the inclusive equality of discipleship called forth by Jesus. In this way, they challenged the Jesus movement to remain true to the new vision of human relationship that Jesus initiated by extending its table fellowship, sharing the message of the coming Reign of God and inviting Gentiles (non-Jews) to share in that Reign.1 Jesus treated women with dignity and respect, challenged the conventional sexism of his day, and forever redefined the role of women in the church and society.

As with many expressions of the Christian faith, it took The United Methodist Church and its forebears a while to capture Christ’s vision…

Since that time, however, God’s call to women as preachers, teachers, administrators, mission workers, treasurers, lay leaders, trustees, peace-with-justice advocates, voting rights’ workers, Christian educators, and evangelists has blown a fresh breath across the globe and throughout the Church on the wings of the Holy Spirit, despite the rise and fall of our denominational enthusiasm for addressing sexism, gender bias, prejudice, and bad theology. God has done great things with us and, sometimes, in spite of us.  Among the victories celebrated throughout our denomination’s history:

Read the whole thing to see their list of feminist victories, along with complaints that the church members aren’t progressing fast enough.  Most of this could have easily been penned by your local college’s Women’s Studies department, including:

  • a number of United Methodist congregations in 2007 still flatly refuse to accept a woman as senior pastor and are especially opposed to receiving a woman in a cross-racial clergy appointment. In 2006, a racial-ethnic clergywoman assigned to an Anglo church was allegedly menaced by members to dissuade her acceptance of the appointment. In another instance, laity threatened to leave the congregation unless the woman pastor wore a dress instead of slacks to prove she was “a real lady”;
  • in a 2007 survey of local United Methodist congregations, 18 percent said they do not have women serving as ushers (an increase over 2004), and local church chairpersons of the Church Council, Finance, and Trustees are still overwhelmingly men and not women;
  • United Methodist membership in the US is declining among young women (and men) and people of color, particularly among those in low-income communities. According to a Wesley Theological Seminary survey, women under 35 comprise less than 2 percent of elders in our denomination;
Posted in Attacking headship, Denial, Feminists, Social Justice Warriors, Traditional Conservatives | 83 Comments

If you can’t feel the current, you have already been swept away.

Instapundit kindly linked to my post They aren’t talking about headship.

LIFE AMONG THE CHURCHIANS: “My problem is that no church I know makes it clear what the wife’s obligation to her husband is.” In contemporary society, men have obligations. Women have entitlements.

This brought out all of the standard denials in the comment section.  We live in an age where feminist rebellion is considered the highest virtue.  Modern Christians have bought into feminism but deny this by denying the very rebellion.  Feminism doesn’t feel like rebellion because it feels normal.  Donald Sensing explained that there can’t be a problem in modern Christian culture, because he personally has made sure there is no problem:

Well, I have preached on that a number of times!

Maybe the author needs to get out more.

Certainly some pastors do fight our feminist culture, but they more than anyone else understand the amount of effort this takes, and the amount of crying and wailing this creates from the women in the congregation.  A few of these pastors have even managed to develop a culture in their congregation contrary to the modern Christian culture surrounding them, and for them the amount of crying and wailing is greatly reduced.  But even here, these pastors know the constant effort which is required to keep the modern Christian view that feminist rebellion is virtue from seeping in and taking over.  Pastors who are actively fighting our feminist culture don’t minimize the problem because they understand how serious it is.  Meanwhile, others like Sensing first deny that feminism has overtaken our culture before explaining that the real problem is that husbands aren’t minding their own business:

The main part of his serious error is that the New Testament spends a lot more time instructing husbands on their duties that wives on theirs. Maybe if he learned and practiced his obligations first he wouldn’t be worrying so much about hers.

His claim that the NT focuses much more time on the duties of husbands than wives is a bizarre one, but aside from that he is also encouraging rebellion by suggesting that there is no problem of feminist rebellion, but instead husbands who aren’t minding their own business.

Commenter Noah D carries on with the same denial;  if you only went to Noah’s church it would be obvious that there is no problem at all:

Well, there’s this little organization called the Catholic Church, that a few people belong to, and as been preaching about and thinking about that sort of thing for at least a little while. Might want to check them out – just sayin’.

It is true that formal RCC teaching on headship and the roles of men and women is quite good.  However, faithful Catholics understand that just like everyone else they have to fight against the current of modern Christian culture.  Because modern Christian culture is thoroughly saturated with feminist thinking, there is a profound difference between RCC teaching and what one is likely to be taught at the local church.  Bonald of Throne and Altar recently described the constant vigilance he and other faithful Catholics have to exercise in his post Youth mentorship in a Catholic parish:

I’m thinking I’d like to involve myself in the religious education program at whatever parish I end up in.  (It seemed silly to bother infiltrating my current one when I don’t have tenure.)  I have no relevant expertise to teach, but I can volunteer to make copies and babysit.  The point is to be able to follow what’s going on in the program and check material for orthodoxy.  My oldest girl will soon be old enough for religion class, which they usually make children take if they want to receive the sacraments (otherwise I wouldn’t even consider accepting the spiritual dangers of a post-Vatican II religion class), and I’ll definitely want to be able to spy on them.

Bonald knows the powerful current exists because he is anchored in the rock, but Noah can’t feel it because he was swept away long ago.  Noah is in fact now part of the current.

Men who are part of the current rationalize feminist rebellion without a second thought.  There is no malice or calculation here;  this is what you do when you are part of the current.  Commenter Creative Dude explains that when the Bible tells wives to submit to their husbands even if their husband doesn’t obey the word, this really means his own wife’s submission is contingent upon him obeying the word:

She is to Love, Honor and Obey me to the same extent I Love, Honor and Obey our Lord.

Moreover, when the Bible calls on husbands to wash their wives in the water of the word, this means that husbands should mind their own business:

Our Lord is not a boss. He sets the example, teaches truth and invites us to obey.

He did not tell me to tell others what they should do, he told me what I need to do.

Note: Those who have this blog in their reader feed will have received a version of this post which I accidentally published while still editing. Please disregard that incomplete version.

Posted in Attacking headship, Denial, Headship, Instapundit, Marriage, Rebellion, Submission | 136 Comments

Stepping away for a while.

I’m going to turn on comment moderation now.  I’ll be back in a week or two.

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments

A bit of data on Black children living with their fathers.

As I explained in Black Fathers [Don’t] Matter, the official data on intact families is problematic because both HHS and the US Census are all too eager to count any man mom is shacking up with as the father.  Because of this, official data is overstating the percentage of children of all races who are growing up with both their mother and their father.  Even when fudging the numbers however, a disturbingly small percentage of Black children live with both parents.  I thought I would share what I was able to find with a bit of searching, with the caveat that not all “fathers” counted in the official data are fathers by any reasonable stretch of the term.

The US Census has time series data broken out by race, including this chart:


I’ve also previously shared a snapshot of custody by race for 2012:


However, in addition to counting non existent fathers, the data above also averages children of all ages.  As a result it doesn’t tell us what percent of adolescents still have dad in the home.  With a bit more digging I found Census data from 2006 which breaks living arrangement data down by race and age.  Since this data also comes from the US Census, the problem of identifying random men passing through mom’s bedroom as “dad” likely impacts this data set as well.  


Posted in Child Custody, Data, Fatherhood, Illegitimacy | 132 Comments

They aren’t talking about headship.

Spike writes:

Dalrock: It’s Sunday in Australia. I just got a sermon about “servant leadership”, plus how there is an obligation for men to be faithful and be “The husband of only one wife”, which is fine. My problem is that no church I know makes it clear what the wife’s obligation to her husband is.

The problem unfortunately is much worse than Spike states.  When modern Christians refer to servant leadership they aren’t talking about headship.  Servant leader is a term one uses when one wishes to obliterate and deny headship.  Individually the words are right, but the term servant leader has no more to do with biblical headship than the term free love has to do with 1 Cor 13.  Yes, the Apostle Paul is writing about love, and no, this isn’t something we should be stingy with or charge for.  So free is right, and love is right, but free love means something entirely different.  Likewise servant is right, and leader is right, but servant leader in our culture means something entirely different than headship.

For those who disagree, show an example of a modern Christian using the term servant leader who isn’t using it in the context of denying or explaining away headship.

Posted in Attacking headship, Denial, Headship, Servant Leader | 291 Comments