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.