As I explained in my last post, there are powerful incentives for Christian men to turn a blind eye to the sins of women. As we saw previously, Glenn Stanton of FotF explains that wives usurping headship is not a sin, but part of God’s design, something required for civilization:
We have America, one of the greatest nations, the greatest nation in the world. Why? Because women showed up, and got men doing what men are supposed to do. That is what marriage does.
This embrace of wives usurping headship is a very common theme in modern Christianity. But it doesn’t stop there. Stanton also makes the outrageous claim (H/T Hermes) that women’s sexuality does not require social control:
While there have been rare examples – such as the Flapper of the Roaring Twenties – female sexuality remains largely stable from culture to culture and age to age, requiring little cultural control. This is not true of the human male. His requires consistent control.
It is ironic that Stanton would point to the Flapper era, because modern women would (as a group) make Flappers look like prudes. Yet despite being surrounded by proof of women’s sinful nature, Stanton chooses not to see it. All he can see is the sinful nature of men.
We can see the same blindness in more traditional Christian groups as well. I hesitate to bring up Doug Phillips and his Vision Forum, because there has already been so much piling on after his affair became public. See Cane Caldo’s excellent posts here and here for background on Phillips and the scandal. You can also see an example of how Phillips’ personal sins are being used to discredit the idea of biblical patriarchy here. My intent isn’t to pile on further. As Cane Caldo explains the man has repented. Part of his repentance appears to be the removal of his vision forum from the web. Not only is the site no longer active, but more than a decades worth of writing by Phillips and others has been removed. Fortunately the content is still available on the internet archive.
I mention Phillips and Vision Forum, not to pile on, but because one day another Christian leader will hopefully pick up the mantle and defend biblical patriarchy. When they do, the temptation to turn a blind eye to the sins of women will be as strong as ever. Phillips wrote passionately about headship and the biblical structure of the family. But in his writing on the importance of following the biblical structure of the family, he tended to overlook the elephant in the middle of the room. The articles on Vision Forum focused on the need for men to accept their role as head of the family, but the articles didn’t focus on the widespread usurpation of this role by Christian wives. Likewise, the tools of usurpation were left out of the discussion almost entirely.
Back in October of 2012 I did some research on Vision Forum at the request of Sunshine Mary. As I’ve explained in detail, divorce and threats of divorce are one of the primary tools in a rebellious wife’s arsenal. Modern Christians actually celebrate the power of wives threatening divorce to assume headship, which is most visible in the movie Fireproof. In the search I did of Vision Forum back in 2012, only 16 articles referenced the word divorce in the previous ten years. Nearly all of these were generic references to divorce as a social problem, with only one that I could find referencing divorce as a tool of feminism.
For comparison, in the same search I found 318 articles on Vision Forum with the word “military”. In fact, women in the military was an area of primary focus for the Vision Forum. But even here, the sins of women were largely if not entirely ignored. Here is one of the easiest issues to see women usurping the position of men. Women are acting out of envy for the position of men, demanding to be allowed to usurp men’s role as protector. Yet Vision Forum framed this not as women sinning by usurping men’s roles, but men forcing women to become protectors due to men abdicating their role. The description of the issue on the Vision Forum issues page sums this perspective up:
Women in the Military
It is biblically impermissible for men to abdicate their role as protectors and warriors by perpetuating the practice of women in the military.
The page devoted to women in the military re emphasized this perspective:
If certain federal lawmakers have their way, your eighteen-year-old daughters will be registered for selective service and drafted for combat by the next war. Many women’s rights advocates claim that Christians have long since abandoned the issue of women in the military. Sadly, far too many pastors and politicians were embarrassingly silent on this issue in the days leading up to the war against Iraq. In this special forum of key theologians and Christian thinkers, we throw down the gauntlet of God’s Holy Word, to proclaim that it is biblically impermissible and a profound judgment upon our nation for men to abdicate their role as protectors and warriors by permitting and perpetuating the practice of women in the military.
Women aren’t trying to usurp men’s roles (no matter how plainly they tell us they are), men are failing to protect women. As a result of the bad actions of men unwilling to fight for their country, women are at risk of being drafted.
Not surprisingly the same tone permiates the articles on the subject as well. America the Barbarous: New Pentagon Policy Sanctions Women in Combat brushes close to calling out women’s rebellion and usurpation with:
It represents an abolition of womanhood and the perversion of God’s design. It represents a deeply-rooted rebellion against the natural roles and functions by which God has distinguished manhood from womanhood.
But having come so close to calling out the usurpation, the article quickly recovers and reframes the issue back to men forcing women to usurp men’s roles:
Women are to be cherished as the weaker sex, not exploited to fill the roster of an army. Combat is the province of men, and God calls on men to protect women and children. Men fight when their homes and communities are threatened by wicked regimes and lawless rogues who would despoil their loved ones. When necessary, men carry weapons into battle and give their lives to preserve the liberty and sanctity of those they hold dear.
It is barbarians who place their women in the midst of war’s brutalities to fight as men.
The article closes with a call to action:
It is high time that we as a people repent of our barbarism — that we cherish our women as women, and call on our men to act as men.
What is so noteworthy in this denial of the very obvious feminist usurpation of men’s roles is that this should have been an extremely easy group of women for Vision Forum to call out. The target audience is a very traditional group of Christian families. Calling out wives using threats of divorce, denial of sex, emotional outbursts, etc. to usurp (de facto) headship would no doubt have created the kind of extended emotional outburst we see elsewhere. But women joining the military is an overt feminist act, something that one would expect would be safe to call out in such a traditional space. That Vision Forum feared calling out even this is very telling.
This isn’t an easy question. Calling out the sins of women has no doubt always been harder than calling out the sins of men. But now that we have gone so far down this road, despite the most obvious feminist rebellion all around us, calling it out will be harder than ever. Yet this needs to be done. There is no kindness in denying reality, and by failing to call out the sins of women we abdicate our role as leaders. It will take great courage to turn this around, but I have faith that there are Christian leaders out there who are up to such a difficult task.