Mama ain’t happy.

Shiela Gregoire and her fellow Christian Feminists are putting complementarians on notice. Recently she retweeted a call for male allies to fight the patriarchy:

The specific context is a thread Sheila started in response to a number of people writing mean comments about her daughter’s histrionic reaction to a post by Lori Alexander:

Sheila was especially offended that some of the commenters quoted 1-Tim 2:11-12:

This is where it gets interesting.  Sheila blames complementarians for the existence of mean comments on the internet.  Specifically, she blames Dr. John Piper’s Desiring God website.

Sheila has to know that Piper was one of a handful of men who spearheaded the movement to invent a new meaning for 1-Tim 2:14, and to thereby legitimize women like Sheila and her daughter taking on preaching roles contrary to 1-Tim 2:11-12.  As Piper and Grudem wrote in their 1991 book  Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism, they wanted to create a new reading of 1 Tim 2:14 that assumed that when the Apostle Paul wrote “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor” he did not mean that women were more easily deceived than men (emphasis mine):

28. Do you think women are more gullible than men?

First Timothy 2:14 says, “Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.” Paul gives this as one of the reasons why he does not permit women “to teach or have authority over a man.” Historically this has usually been taken to mean that women are more gullible or deceivable than men and therefore less fit for the doctrinal oversight of the church. This may be true (see question 29). However, we are attracted to another understanding of Paul’s argument.

Later in the same book Dr. Douglass Moo explained why it is so important for complementarians to adopt this new feminist reading of 1-Tim 2:14.  Without this new interpretation, complementarians can’t justify rewriting 1-Tim 2:11-12 (emphasis mine):

If the issue, then, is deception, it may be that Paul wants to imply that all women are, like Eve, more susceptible to being deceived than are men, and that this is why they should not be teaching men!

[But this] would have a serious and strange implication. After all, does Paul care only that the women not teach men false doctrines? Does he not care that they not teach them to other women?

Sheila is repaying Dr. Piper’s favor by calling him a sexist.  This has immense power, because fear of being called a sexist is what drove Piper, Grudem, and the other men to make up a new meaning of 1 Tim 2:14 in the first place!

Sheila knows that after complementarian feminists took out Dr. Paige Patterson earlier this year, she and women like her are the new locus of power in the complementarian world:

This brings us to the core of Sheila’s message.  She and other women like her are now in charge, and the male leaders of the church had better recognize this and start obeying (mama ain’t happy):

This of course fits with the overall SJW revolution.  But what makes it noteworthy is Sheila and her SJW allies are now the force to be reckoned with within conservative/evangelical Christianity.

As commenter Emperor Constantine pointed out, we know where this will eventually lead complementarians.  It is merely a matter of how quickly they get there:

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Posted in Complementarian, Dr. Douglass Moo, Dr. John Piper, Dr. Paige Patterson, Dr. Wayne Grudem, Lori Alexander, Sheila Gregoire, Social Justice Warriors, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye, Ugly Feminists | 76 Comments

Pastor Wilson doubles down.

Back in July Pastor Doug Wilson published a post titled:  On a Wife Deciding to Leave Her Husband.  In this post Wilson referred to 1 Cor 7:10 (NIV):

10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

Wilson explained that the verse meant the opposite of what the Apostle Paul wrote:

It is interesting here that Paul advises a woman not to leave if she can help it—“the wife should not separate from her husband.” That is his apostolic counsel, but it is clear from the context that it is merely advice. If she sees that his generally good advice is not pertinent to her situation, she is left free to leave without being hassled about it by the apostle. So if he would leave you alone in this decision, then so should the elders of your church.

I noted Wilson’s reversal of Scripture here, and another blogger (Bnonn) did the same in a post titled Straddling the stallion and the mare:

While I agree with Doug that there comes a time when a wife is justified in leaving her husband, I don’t believe he describes that time in this article. In fact, this piece straightforwardly reverses what God actually says. Doug’s counsel here is false teaching, because the very scriptures he appeals to say precisely the opposite of what he claims. This is brazen enough that it really gobsmacks me.

The verse literally starts with an explicit statement that this is not Paul’s opinion, but the Lord’s. That is the immediate context of the words Doug quotes—words whose context, he says, make it clear this is “merely advice.”

Pastor Wilson responded to Bnonn’s thoughtful post, doubling down on the same absurd claim (emphasis mine):

When I say that Paul is giving advice here, I am not referring to the restriction placed on any other relationship. That is not advice. The advice part is the where he says not to separate, but in the same breath does not require church discipline if she does separate. When Paul says “don’t do x, but if you do x, then you absolutely must not do y,” we are free to assume that the church would not intervene with discipline at point x, but would intervene at point y.

Wilson then tries to sneak this by:

This is why we would allow a woman in our congregation, if married to (an extraordinarily) difficult man, to separate from him.

Wilson’s whole point in the original post was that the elders of a church are prohibited from questioning a wife who decides to leave her husband.  According to Wilson, the choice is hers alone, and the elders can’t tell her she is wrong for doing so.  Yet Wilson asserts that in his church they only allow women to leave their husbands if the woman is leaving an extraordinarily difficult man.  From Wilson’s original post:

But let me include something else here that really needs to be emphasized. Because I am saying that a wife in your position can simply “go,” then it follows that all any woman needs to do is just say she is in your position (whether she is or not), and there she has her automatic “get out jail free card.” What is to prevent a woman from applying this principle in a way that grotesquely wrongs an innocent husband?

This is a fallen world, which means we must take risks. This is one of them.

…It is far better to let one lying wife go free without penalty than to keep an innocent wife in the penalty of living in a terrible situation. In the worst case scenario, an innocent man loses a wife, but keep in mind it was a lying wife.

Wilson is pretending in his follow up post that he didn’t claim in the original that elders need to mind their own business when wives separate from their husbands!  As I already quoted in the beginning (emphasis mine):

If she sees that his generally good advice is not pertinent to her situation, she is left free to leave without being hassled about it by the apostle. So if he would leave you alone in this decision, then so should the elders of your church.

Bnonn also asked why Wilson avoided 1 Pet 3 altogether in his discussion of how a wife should respond to a sinning husband:

What is especially puzzling is that Doug goes only to 1 Corinthians 7, but studiously avoids 1 Peter 3, which explicitly covers this kind of situation, down to the bad behavior of the husband. Indeed, it even deals with examples of sexually degrading behavior, and of treating the wife like a slave; surely these apply to Sarah also, yet Scripture commends her for trusting God and remaining with Abraham through such trials.

Doug’s failure to even mention this more relevant passage makes me think he is not dealing forthrightly and boldly with a difficult situation for which Scripture has hard advice. He is trying to straddle two horses: the word of God, and the feelings of women. And when that gets too hard, he seems to prefer leading the former from the saddle of the latter.

Wilson quoted from the second paragraph in his response to Bnonn, but shrewdly continued to studiously avoid any reference to 1 Pet 3.

H/ T Hmm.

Posted in Bnonn, Pastor Doug Wilson | 197 Comments

Do you smell that?

In The Death of Christian Britain Callum Brown explains that the evangelical narrative in Britain in from the 1800s until the collapse in the 1960s was that if a woman’s husband was godly she was sure to be in love and happy (emphasis mine):

In featuring women’s relationships with men, the evangelical narrative was invariably drawn into romance…

Romance was a test for all manner of virtues…

Finding the right Christian husband was the uppermost consideration rather than the age of engagement.  The ending, as in all evangelical stories, was always happy — as in Love’s Healing in the 1920s which concludes with the heroine marrying ‘a splendid Christian man.  She is fortunate indeed and will be a happy wife.’  By the 1930s and 1940s, scores of paperback religious novels appeared, aimed almost exclusively at teenage girls and young women.  Love was the dominant theme, following a format familiar to Mills & Boon readers, but with a Christian ‘spin’, ending with lines like:  ‘What are you thinking of, darling?’ whispered her husband.  ‘I was thinking how good God is.  I’ve never been so happy in my life.’  Romance was set within a tough system of moral values, but it was invariably the man’s moral values that were the criteria, making the women’s issue the arrival at the right judgment on the man’s worthiness.

Readers of this blog may recall that Pastor Douglas Wilson teaches this same theology in his book Reforming Marriage.  Wilson explains in the introduction that this is in fact the foundation of the message of the book.  Moreover, if the husband failed to make the wife happy by doing as the book instructed, Wilson explains that this is God’s sign that the man is a hypocrite and is not a Godly man (emphasis mine):

In other words, keeping God’s law with a whole heart (which is really what love is) is not only seen in overt acts of obedience. The collateral effect of obedience is the aroma of love. This aroma is out of reach for those who have a hypocritical desire to be known by others as a keeper of God’s law. Many can fake an attempt at keeping God’s standards in some external way. What we cannot fake is the resulting, distinctive aroma of pleasure to God…

Christ has loved the Church in the same the way He wants men to love their wives. He has done so as an example. The love and affection of Christ has been set upon His people alone. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives alone. This is the duty I hope to explain and amplify throughout the course of this small book.

But we should already know from all of this that such obedience is not exhausted by the external conformity to God’s requirements. Godly obedience will always bring in its train a host of intangibles. These intangibles constitute the aroma of obedience, and this aspect of true obedience frustrates the paint-by-numbers approach to marriage enhancement. This is why I am afraid that this book will be of little use to those who simply want a “formula” to follow that will build them a happy marriage. When it comes to the externals, the mere copyist can always say of himself what the unregenerate Saul could say, “concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:6). However hard the externalist tries, he cannot produce the aroma of godliness.

…In the same way, the love of the Christian husband does not proceed from reading the “right books,” including this one, or going to the right seminars. God will not patch His grace onto some humanistic psychological nonsense—even if that nonsense is couched and buried in Christian terminology. It proceeds from an obedient heart, and the greatest desire of an obedient heart is the glory of God…

…When a husband seeks to glorify God in his home, he will be equipped to love his wife as he is commanded. And if he loves his wife as commanded, the aroma of his home will be pleasant indeed.

This silly game must have seemed so harmless in the 1800s and early 1900s.  But following the advent of second wave feminism and the divorce revolution we can see how immensely evil this game really is.  In the era of “the problem with no name”, and divorce made moral by the death of women’s romantic feelings, telling women that if they aren’t happy, if they aren’t feeling the tingle, that these things are God’s message that their husband is to blame for their discontentment is truly, profoundly, evil.

Related:

Posted in Attacking headship, Callum Brown, Chivalry, Courtly Love, Disrespecting Respectability, Divorce, Pastor Doug Wilson, Reforming Marriage, Romantic Love, selling divorce, The Death of Christian Britain, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye | 70 Comments

How Lancelot vanquished British Christianity.

In The Death of Christian Britain Callum Brown argues that contrary to the accepted narrative Christianity did not steadily decline in Britain as a result of urbanization and industrialization, but instead suddenly collapsed in the 1960s.

 …women, rather than cities or social class, emerge as the principal source of explanation for the patterns of religiosity that were observable in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Most importantly, two other things will emerge. First, women were the bulwark to popular support for organized Christianity between 1800 and 1963, and second it was they who broke their relationship to Christian piety in the 1960s and thereby caused secularization.

Brown traces the collapse to a two stage phenomenon.  First, British Christianity morphed into a veneration of women, viewing them as “the angel in the house”, and the earthly source of Christian virtue.  Brown found that British literature of the 1800s contained a consistent theme of coarse, rough, sinful men being eventually tamed and brought to God by naturally good women.

…women’s spiritual destiny was virtually never portrayed as a battle with temptation or real sin; fallen women did not appear as central characters, and none of the usual temptations like drink or gambling ever seemed to be an issue with them. The problem is the man, sometimes the father, but more commonly the boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, who is a drinker, a gambler, keeps the ‘bad company’ of ‘rough lads’ and is commonly a womanizer. The man is the agency of the virtuous woman’s downfall; he does not make her bad, but does make her suffer and poor. She is not always portrayed as having undergone a major conversion experience, but to have emerged from childhood into a disciplined and natural ‘goodness.’

Second, in the 1960s women in Britain lost interest in playing the role of angel in the house, and the entire structure suddenly collapsed.

Women had previously been the heart of family piety, the moral restraint upon men and children.  By the mid 1960s, domestic ideology was assailed on many fronts, putting the cultural revolution in collision with not just the Christian churches but with Christianity as a whole.  The loss of domestic ideology to youth culture from c. 1958 meant that piety ‘lost’ its discursive home within femininity.  Its last redoubt, the ‘angel in the house’ to use an historians cliché, was now negotiable and challenged discursive terrain…

The discursive death of pious femininity destroyed the evangelical narrative.

Brown doesn’t draw this connection in the book, but it is obvious that the view of women as beacons of natural virtue itself comes from the British literary tradition of Courtly Love (chivalry).  As C.S. Lewis explains in  The Allegory of Love, Courtly Love teaches that men must look to women for moral guidance (emphasis mine):

The love which is to be the source of all that is beautiful in life and manners must be the reward freely given by the lady, and only our superiors can reward. But a wife is not a superior.81 As the wife of another, above all as the wife of a great lord, she may be queen of beauty and of love, the distributor of favours, the inspiration of all knightly virtues, and the bridle of ‘villany’;82 but as your own wife, for whom you have bargained with her father, she sinks at once from lady into mere woman. How can a woman, whose duty is to obey you, be the midons whose grace is the goal of all striving and whose displeasure is the restraining influence upon all uncourtly vices?

Courtly Love was created as a mockery of Christianity, but Christians were so tempted by the idea that eventually most Christians couldn’t distinguish between the two.  This is certainly true in the US today.  It shouldn’t be surprising that once the real deal had been replaced with an enticing substitute the stage was set for the whole facade to eventually come crashing down all at once.  What isn’t clear is why the sudden collapse in Christian belief happened in Britain when it did, but not (yet?) in the US.

Posted in C.S. Lewis, Callum Brown, Chivalry, Courtly Love, The Death of Christian Britain, Wife worship | 95 Comments

She’s in love with a bad boy.

Secular historian Callum Brown investigated British Christian literature and found that around 1700 a new narrative appeared, where women were “the angel of the house”.   As he explained in The Death of Christian Britain

…women’s spiritual destiny was virtually never portrayed as a battle with temptation or real sin; fallen women did not appear as central characters, and none of the usual temptations like drink or gambling ever seemed to be an issue with them. The problem is the man, sometimes the father, but more commonly the boyfriend, fiancé, or husband, who is a drinker, a gambler, keeps the ‘bad company’ of ‘rough lads’ and is commonly a womanizer. The man is the agency of the virtuous woman’s downfall; he does not make her bad, but does make her suffer and poor. She is not always portrayed as having undergone a major conversion experience, but to have emerged from childhood into a disciplined and natural ‘goodness.’

Brown explains that one of the most common literary structures regarding men was what he called “The Husband Structure”:

A. Husband lives with virtuous wife
B. Husband is a drunkard/gambler/wife-beater
C. Wife and children suffer in poverty
D. Chance event (often an accident to husband)
E. Wife nurses husband in Christian way.
F. Husband converts
G. Family happier, if not richer

This is of course the plot-line of pretty much all Kendrick brothers movies.  But we can also see a modified version of this structure in movies that add on the fantasy of Christian women piously chasing after sexy bad boys:

 

Related:

H/T Nick Mgtow

Posted in Callum Brown, Christian Films, Kendrick Brothers, Movies, Rationalization Hamster, The Death of Christian Britain, Turning a blind eye, Wife worship | 105 Comments