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.