Wilson, Lewis, and Pseudo-Christian Pedestalization Game

As I mentioned in my previous post, Pastor Doug Wilson’s reply to critics of his 21 Theses on Submission in Marriage is titled:

And Now a Brief Word for the Wife Beaters

Despite the title referring to wife beaters, the post is a response to all of his critics.  This includes Facebook users who objected to his comments about submission being an “erotic necessity”:

In the other peanut gallery, a discussion broke out on Facebook over my statement that submission was an erotic necessity, running along the “shades of 50 shades!” line. Maybe I had come out in favor of corporal kinky punishment for wives. Who’s to say?

Wilson assures his readers that he had no such thing in mind.  What he was thinking about was a pseudo-Christian (chivalric) pedestalization of women.  The offending phrase, he points out, is a quote from the man he says is his mentor on the subject.  It is from C.S. Lewis in That Hideous Strength. Wilson explains that the book demonstrates a sexual element to submission, and offers as the prime example a scene where Merlin kneels before another man (Ransom):

Life at Belbury is one extended orgy of biting and devouring. In contrast, life at St. Anne’s is a staggering hierarchy of masculinity and femininity running all the way up, and with a sexual element included where appropriate. There is one horrific scene between Wither and Frost which ends with them in a clinch driven by the lust of mutual animosity, each knowing that at some point a devouring must happen. The corresponding scene is between Ransom and Merlin, and ends with Merlin kneeling, rendering honor like a loyal king’s man. “Slowly, ponderously, yet not awkwardly, as though a mountain sank like a wave, he sank on one knee; and still his face was almost on a level with the Director’s.”[1] No devouring at all.

I had to read this several times to make sure I hadn’t missed something, but the quote above, including the part I have bolded, is exactly what Wilson wrote.  I have not read the book, but I’m fairly confident that Lewis wasn’t really pushing a homoerotic ethos with the scene.  I also suspect that Wilson didn’t really have that in mind either, but that he so desperately wanted to invoke the idea of Lancelot submitting to his Lady as Christian chivalrous eroticism he overlooked whom Merlin was kneeling to.

However, I strongly suspect that Wilson is on firmer footing when he suggests that Lewis was selling a form of Christian pedestalization (can I touch you there?) Game:

…the reconciliation between Mark and Jane is profoundly Christian. She has learned the humility of true submission. Her entire life had been driven by the desire not to be taken in, not to be possessed.

But this is not treated by Lewis as Mark Studdock’s standing permission to continue on as an oaf and a coarse rube, barging into her sexually, but now with impunity because she had become “submissive.” No, his frame of mind has been explicitly transformed.

Once she submitted, Wilson explains that Mark learned to stop approaching his wife like a rutting buck, and instead learned to place her on a pedestal.  Wilson quotes Lewis:

“This time at last he thought of his own clumsy importunity. And the thought would not go away. Inch by inch, all the lout and clown and clodhopper in him was revealed to his own reluctant inspection; the coarse, male boor with horny hands and hobnailed shoes and beefsteak jaw, not rushing in—for that can be carried off—but blundering, sauntering, stumping in where great lovers, knights and poets, would have feared to tread . . . How had he dared?”[3]

Forget about that earlier stuff where Wilson describes one man erotically kneeling to another.  This is what he was no doubt really getting at:

How had he dared? His wife, although a sinner, was a very great lady. He, though a very great sinner, was to return as her lord. But it is not the case that humility is required for a wife to assume her station, but pride will do for the husband. Mark now knew better than that.

Based on the specific quote he offers as well as what I can find on Lewis’ life story I think it is likely that Wilson has this part right.  This doesn’t mean that pedestalization is Christian, only that Wilson is likely right when he relates how Lewis got it wrong.  When Lewis wrote Hideous Strength he was a lifelong bachelor, and it would seem that his understanding of the relationship between husband and wife was gleaned from medieval poetry and popular culture (which was itself influenced by the same poetry).

Lewis, despite his genius, seems to have internalized the pedestalization in his otherwise insightful study of Courtly Love.  Eleven years after publishing That Hideous Strength, Lewis married a divorced single mother of two named Joy Davidman, in a romance that can best be described as a men’s sphere cliché.   Like Eat Pray Love and How Stella Got Her Grove back, it involves a marriage for the purpose of securing a visa.  From Infogalactic:

In 1956, Davidman’s visitor’s visa was not renewed by the Home Office, requiring that Davidman and her sons return to America. Lewis agreed to enter into a civil marriage contract with her so that she could continue to live in the UK, telling a friend that “the marriage was a pure matter of friendship and expediency.” The civil marriage took place at the register office, 42 St Giles’, Oxford, on 23 April 1956.[29][30]

The couple continued to live separately after the civil marriage.

Eventually Lewis discovered that he felt romantic love for her, and they decided to marry again (for real this time):

The relationship between Davidman and C. S. Lewis had developed to the point that they sought a Christian marriage. This was not straightforward in the Church of England at the time because she was divorced, but a friend and Anglican priest, Reverend Peter Bide,[33] performed the ceremony at Davidman’s hospital bed on 21 March 1957.[34] The marriage did not win wide approval among Lewis’s social circle, and some of his friends and colleagues avoided the new couple.

As the New York Times explains, part of the reason Lewis’ friends did not approve was Davidman’s lack of a submissive spirit:

The homely American, disliked by Lewis’s friends for her Hebraism and her pushiness

But no doubt at least some of his friends must also have been troubled by the impropriety of their relationship, which began with then married Davidman leaving her family in a bid to seduce Lewis*:

With their marriage in trouble, Davidman and Gresham together read Lewis’s Christian apologetics, and were converted. They joined a Presbyterian church, and she began corresponding with Lewis — even as, oddly, she and her husband dabbled in Scientology.

Through their letters, Davidman fell in love with Lewis, although at first he did not seem to reciprocate. Still, in 1952, she set sail for England, leaving behind her husband and sons, making no secret of her intentions.

As the Infogalactic article notes, Davidman was staying in Lewis’ home when her husband wrote her asking for a divorce:

After several lunch meetings and walks accompanying Davidman and his brother, Warren Lewis wrote in his diary that “a rapid friendship” had developed between his younger brother and Davidman, whom he described as “a Christian convert of Jewish race, medium height, good figure, horn rimmed specs, quite extraordinarily uninhibited.” She spent Christmas and a fortnight at The Kilns with the brothers and by this time was said to have fallen in love with C. S. Lewis, but he seemed to be oblivious to her feelings.[19]

She returned home in January 1953, having received a letter from Gresham that he and her cousin were having an affair and he wanted a divorce.

Wilson claims that Lewis was anchored in a much older (Christian) tradition, one wiser than modern men can understand:

And so I get a big kick out of moderns—we who do not even know which bathroom to use—learnedly discussing how Lewis was limited by the perspective of his times. Look. Lewis was an old Western man, standing on the other side of a vast chasm that separated him from his times. His erstwhile critics, meantime, have only managed to get about 20 millimeters away from the spirit of their times.

But the reality is that Lewis was painfully modern in this regard.  If anything Lewis was ahead of his time.  The circumstances leading up to his marriage would have made for an episode of the Jerry Springer Show.  The real chasm happened in the eleventh century, as Lewis himself explains in The Allegory of Love:

French poets, in the eleventh century, discovered or invented, or were the first to express, that romantic species of passion which English poets were still writing about in the nineteenth. They effected a change which has left no corner of our ethics, our imagination, or our daily life untouched, and they erected impassable barriers between us and the classical past or the Oriental present. Compared with this revolution the Renaissance is a mere ripple on the surface of literature.

This chasm is so great that nearly everyone today believes as Wilson does, that the morally twisted chivalric tradition of Courtly Love represents Christian values and teaching on marriage and sexual morality.  Even Milton made this same mistake.

*A Christianity Today post claims in her defense that when then married Davidman announced she was going to England to seduce Lewis, she was merely making a joke.

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122 Responses to Wilson, Lewis, and Pseudo-Christian Pedestalization Game

  1. Pingback: Wilson, Lewis, and Pseudo-Christian Pedestalization Game - Top

  2. The Question says:

    I had a pastor in college who refused to cite or quote anything outside of the Bible during sermons. I was discussing that with him one time, explaining that my hometown pastor loved to quote C.S. Lewis.

    His reply: I love C.S. Lewis, but those are his words, not God’s.

    So many bibilcal theological arguments made today rest on the presumed correctness or truth of what some Christian in the past said, and to disagree or call that into question is verboten. So-and-so said or did this, and therefore it must be the correct stance/position/opinion/vew/attitude.

  3. Pingback: Wilson, Lewis, and Pseudo-Christian Pedestalization Game | @the_arv

  4. earlthomas786 says:

    The homely American, disliked by Lewis’s friends for her Hebraism and her pushiness…

    And that was in the 50s. Lest we think those times were somehow more ideal than now. There’s always been ‘pushy’ women.

  5. earlthomas786 says:

    “a Christian convert of Jewish race, medium height, good figure, horn rimmed specs, quite extraordinarily uninhibited.”

    She he basically states she looks good and has a million red flags. Dang he was objective before he developed feelings for her.

  6. Gunner Q says:

    I’d wondered why Wilson cared more about C.S. Lewis references than whether he was following Scripture in his rebuttal. The latter is a thrown gauntlet to any Protestant theologian but he almost ignored it to talk about some Lewis book that I myself found illegible. (Expected sci-fi, got romance, was pussy the titular Hideous Strength?)

    Lewis married a frivorcer because she needed a green card? SIGH. I knew he married late in life but not that he’d screwed up that badly. Or that other people might be inspired to screw up because of it. This is why we preach sola scriptura, because even smart people do stupid things. Be like Christ, not Clive.

  7. earlthomas786 says:

    Just look at what Solomon did in the Bible that led to his downfall.

  8. Junkyard Dawg says:

    What I stands out to me the most is that Wilson addresses all who disagree with him as “wife beaters.” According to such persons, you’re either in one camp or the other. There’s no such thing as disagreement or reasonable contrary opinions.

  9. Dalrock says:

    @Gunner Q

    Lewis married a frivorcer because she needed a green card?

    I think her defenders would say she didn’t frivorce, she divorced a cheating husband after he asked for the divorce. Yet she received her husband’s request for a divorce after leaving her husband and kids to pursue Lewis, and she received the letter while living in Lewis’ home!

  10. Cane Caldo says:

    Lewis, despite his genius, seems to have internalized the pedestalization in his otherwise insightful study of Courtly Love […] the reality is that Lewis was painfully modern in this regard.

    That’s probably right. Lewis loved medieval Norse/Germanic Europe; even if he recognized their faults. Throughout his fiction he tries to rehabilitate and purify their ideals.

    Personally, I still find it tempting, too. It seems to me to be a test of mind over heart to see clearly.

  11. earlthomas786 says:

    Yet she received her husband’s request for a divorce after leaving her husband and kids to pursue Lewis, and she received the letter while living in Lewis’ home!

    That’s what ‘quite uninhibited’ women will do.

  12. SnapperTrx says:

    And that is a liberal tactic, right out of the playbook

  13. Caspar Reyes says:

    There is no rational discourse on the subject, only endless nonsense, a tweedle beetle puddle paddle bottle muddle. Remember the myth of women shouting questions across the room during church? Well, we essentially have that very situation here in internet church/bible study/blogging, the women and their disciples [including Wilson himself] blabbering on, darkening counsel by words without knowledge.

    Notice in the commentary how there’s no middle ground, between the little woman obediently baking cookies and you backhanding her. With every word they write, the [kind of ] girls [like Jane] that comment on Wilson’s blog [or any blog] reinforce the wisdom behind the Apostolic proscription of female teachers. Grasping truths and applying them is quite beyond their capacity. Women understand only one thing, and that’s hard boundaries.

  14. Junkyard Dawg says:

    Caspar Reyes said: “Notice in the commentary how there’s no middle ground…

    Aw, come on, aren’t we really being recruited and radicalized by manosphere blogs to commit random acts of wifebeatery? Actually, red pill knowledge helps me not to explode in suppressed passive-aggressive beta male rage and thus become a wife beater, but instead gives me the understanding of what’s really going on and tools to deal with it. Knowledge is power.

  15. Frank K says:

    “But the reality is that Lewis was painfully modern in this regard”

    Well, unless I’m mistaken, he was a convert to mid 20th century Anglicanism, so I guess that makes him rather modern, while draping himself in the ancient rubrics of the CofE. For whatever reason he was unable to follow Tolkien to Rome.

  16. bob k. mando says:

    Dalrock says: July 27, 2017 at 12:13 pm
    I think her defenders would say she didn’t frivorce, she divorced a cheating husband after he asked for the divorce. Yet she received her husband’s request for a divorce after leaving her husband and kids to pursue Lewis, and she received the letter while living in Lewis’ home!

    EVEN IF he was cheating before she abandoned him that’s rather irrelevant.

    there is no place in the Bible where the wife *ever* has authority to divorce.

    the Biblical instruction to the wife is contained in 1 Corinthians
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+corinthians+7%3A10-17&version=KJV
    10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
    11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
    12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
    13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
    14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.
    15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
    16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?
    17 But as God hath distributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches

    now, the interesting thing here is the message for the believing wife of the unbelieving ( that is, PAGAN ) husband.

    this was given when? ~50AD? certainly before 100AD.

    when pretty much all non-Hebrews/non-Christians would have been Roman? heck, Paul was a Jew and was still half Roman with full Roman citizenship.

    which means that the Husband, being a practicing Pagan, attending temples of the Roman pantheon and FREQUENTING TEMPLE PROSTITUTES as part of his RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES is ‘cheating’ as a matter of course in his everyday life. in fact, the Romans consider his ‘cheating’ to be the MORAL course of action and the *proper form of worship*.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prostitution_in_ancient_Rome#Prostitution_and_religion

    why does it not surprise me that Joy Goodman was Jewish? i watched the Anthony Hopkins ‘Shadowland’ once back in the day and i don’t remember that being made a point of.

  17. Tarl says:

    It is amazing that anyone could write such nauseating drivel.

  18. Everyone has their blind spots; no use pretending Lewis didn’t have his.

  19. Novaseeker says:

    I think her defenders would say she didn’t frivorce, she divorced a cheating husband after he asked for the divorce. Yet she received her husband’s request for a divorce after leaving her husband and kids to pursue Lewis, and she received the letter while living in Lewis’ home!

    Of course.

    But, then again, what the hell was CS Lewis doing having a married (to another man) woman living in his house? Uh … not ok.

  20. Gary Eden says:

    ‘What I stands out to me the most is that Wilson addresses all who disagree with him as “wife beaters.”’

    This is an important observation. His viewpoint then is essentially the same as Duluth in lumping everything to the extreme. Anything less than full submission to the wife is abusive.To quote a Bible verse to her on submission is as abusive as giving knocking her teeth out.

    This is a strong tell. And not just about how this is really about power and control. But that discipline (physical or otherwise) isn’t as bad as they make it out to be. Deep down they know it is necessary and sometimes even desirable (50 shades).

    This is also why a husband is to ‘take it to the church’ if he has a rebellious wife. We can’t have husbands exercising authority, so its best to let them vainly appeal to the church. Even if the church agrees with him, its tools are limited at best for dealing with rebellious women; being mainly geared toward protecting the body.

  21. Boxer says:

    Dear bob k mando,

    when pretty much all non-Hebrews/non-Christians would have been Roman?

    No.

    heck, Paul was a Jew and was still half Roman with full Roman citizenship.

    Hebrews were not selected out of citizenship. They were officially exempted from the duty to sacrifice on holidays. That’s more a privilege than a hindrance.

    Rav Saul was born in/established from Tarsus, which was a freely associated city with Rome. His father was a citizen, either through service or by birth (I don’t know which).

    Citizens had the right to sue in court, own property, and could not be summarily punished. There’s a quip in the New Testament someplace about this… Paul escaped being hassled by the authorities, because only a Roman judge could sentence him, and no judge would have done so, for whatever trifling bullshit the local cops were trying to say he was doing.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  22. Boxer says:

    ‘What I stands out to me the most is that Wilson addresses all who disagree with him as “wife beaters.”’

    You can safely ignore anyone who poisons the well this way. It’s not a convincing or effective way of making one’s point. If anything, it tends to cast shade on the character of the accuser to do this. (Pastor Wilson seems to be quite obsessed with the beating of wives… I wonder why this would be something he thinks is common? Perhaps because, in his life, it is…)

    Regards,

    Boxer

  23. Pingback: Wilson, Lewis, and Pseudo-Christian Pedestalization Game | Reaction Times

  24. AnonS says:

    Evangelicals seem trapped with one verse:

    “But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.”

    So this seems to be two conditions. But the following questions arise:

    How do you define unbelieving? If it is judged by fruit, what fruit does a rebellious wife have?

    How do you define depart? Is it always physically leaving or abandoning duties? What if the wife just wants to live rent free?

    What happens if a “believing” departs? Or is the act of departing only possible for an unbeliever / shows unbelief?

    If physical hitting isn’t morally acceptable, how much support can be withdrawn? If the man decides to stop paying rent until rebellion stops, how is that not an acceptable solution? If you consider support a male duty, wouldn’t submission be a female duty? The marriage contract isn’t unilateral on the man.

  25. squid_hunt says:

    @Gary Eden

    “But that discipline (physical or otherwise) isn’t as bad as they make it out to be.”

    I am skeptical that the Bible ever teaches a man to physically punish his wife. I would like a Bible verse or passage where this ever occurs or is instructed.

  26. Opus says:

    @Frank K

    I believe I can shed some light. Lewis had not been a believer. This seems to be entirely common in that rarified part of Academia known collectively as Oxbridge. I am particularly thinking of (though I can name plenty of others) Quentin Hogg and Enoch Powell, both politicians though in the case of Hogg a member of the Bar and in the case of Powell before WW2 an academic. They as well as Lewis found God: Hogg I recall discovered God whilst sitting an examination where he was writing an essay on the lack of a creator and said that his unbelief undermined his unbelief; Powell acquired faith on hearing the pealing of the bells from one of the city churches (in true Dick Whittington style) – a Damascus road-type revelation.

    My view is that they all became Anglicans because, in England, if you want to be part of the elite then you must perforce be Anglican and a belief in God obviously helps. I despair of the Anglicans, as they would be better named Marxists with presently large measures of Feminism and a dash of Islam added to the mix.

    I read the Chronicles of Narnia at an age-appropriate age. The 20th C Fox movie of Gresham’s Nightmare Alley is terrific – great performance from Tyrone Power in an atypical role. May I also take issue with Infogalactic: The quote suggests that the Lewis and Mrs Gresham had a marriage which was in some unspecified way not quite fully legal. That would not be so: a marriage in a Register Office officiated by one of the State’s Registrars (such as the Marriage between the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker-Bowles) is every bit as valid as one performed by a Minister of Religion in the Established Church – so I am having difficulty understanding how their later marriage might be said to improve on or make more valid the first.

  27. Boxer says:

    Dear Squid Hunt:

    I am skeptical that the Bible ever teaches a man to physically punish his wife. I would like a Bible verse or passage where this ever occurs or is instructed.

    I would second this request. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a thing in the text.

    As an aside, I find people who show up here claiming to be authorities, and speaking about such stuff, to be suspicious characters generally. No Dalrock regular ever talks about such nonsense. Even outside of Dalrock, the people who talk this stuff tend to be either trolls indulging in parody (Matt Forney had a funny site along these lines, years ago) or feminists who are indulging in black propaganda.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  28. SirHamster says:

    I am skeptical that the Bible ever teaches a man to physically punish his wife. I would like a Bible verse or passage where this ever occurs or is instructed.

    The post you replied to does not claim the Bible teaches a man to physically punish his wife.

  29. earl says:

    I am skeptical that the Bible ever teaches a man to physically punish his wife. I would like a Bible verse or passage where this ever occurs or is instructed.

    I couldn’t find it. I would also fail to see how physically punishing a wife would cause her to create submission to her husband. All I could see it creating is fear.

  30. Dalrock says:

    @Boxer

    I would second this request. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen such a thing in the text.

    As an aside, I find people who show up here claiming to be authorities, and speaking about such stuff, to be suspicious characters generally. No Dalrock regular ever talks about such nonsense. Even outside of Dalrock, the people who talk this stuff tend to be either trolls indulging in parody (Matt Forney had a funny site along these lines, years ago) or feminists who are indulging in black propaganda.

    It isn’t, and moreover as you point out this isn’t something Christian men would want, with some very rare exceptions. Only one commenter has argued for such (Artisinal Toad), and he has stopped doing so here after I asked him to stop. There was one other commenter (blue pill professor) who while not advocating for DV had a bizarre habit of changing the subject to DV. I finally banned him after multiple warnings.

    Not only is it not prescribed, and not only would nearly all Christian men be horrified at the thought of doing so, but it also isn’t needed. This is perhaps the best sold lie of the Duluth folks. Headship and domestic violence are two entirely separate things. However, feminists understand that they can use carefully crafted DV laws to declare the husband the default aggressor, and create a threat to husbands who don’t submit.

  31. Don Quixote says:

    Thanks for this post Dalrock.
    I had previously read Wilson’s reply and couldn’t make head nor tail of the quotes from Lewis.

  32. Gunner Q says:

    Opus @ 3:00 pm:
    “My view is that they all became Anglicans because, in England, if you want to be part of the elite then you must perforce be Anglican and a belief in God obviously helps.”

    Lewis was already established at Oxford, however, so he didn’t stand to benefit much. Certainly, whatever status boost he got from converting was undone by his dirty marriage. His theology is also too deep to be a mere affection. Judging by the fruit, he was a true believer whose big head listened to the little head. One sympathizes.

  33. Men need to keep their power. I dated a girl who was a mess, but she was funny and wanted a serious relationship, marriage and kids.

    I told her “if you want a ring you’ll have to learn to listen.”

    She said hell no. Shes still single and wistfully contacts me now and then.

  34. Skeptic says:

    I am not sure about lewis’ personal life, but his presentation of submission in That Hideous Strength was quite biblically sound and very offensive to modern feminists. It upsets the right people. I am sure the pastor in question is twisting things here however.

  35. John Q Public says:

    Lewis is great, but he’s no Martin Luther.

  36. BuenaVista says:

    Wilson’s derisive rhetoric (“you’ll be owned”, you’re a “wifebeater”, you jump up and down on a recliner in your man cave like a bonobo, look at this cute picture of Desi spanking Lucille) is that of a man ridiculing his congregation’s male cohort; obviously, this is designed to end the discussion before it starts, and to assure the women listening that he is very au courant and they needn’t fear any unpleasant discussions of female misbehavior, female obligation, or female discipline. He’s the family court judge who flirts with the divorcing wife and scowls at the husband before they even sit down. He’s advancing a social aim, not a theological one.

    This was part of Driscoll’s schtick, AMOGing the men of the congregation.

    Following suit, in the comments to Wilson’s blog piece a couple of women autotype repeated strawman arguments that women should not have to bear any burden of submission, and equate submission immediately to felony battery.

    I have no idea why a self-described Christian intellectual did this. Perhaps it’s more than bow to the people who are buttering his bread. Perhaps he has no interest in discussing “submission” except to associate it with “obedience and felony battery”, and to dismiss the who matter via caricature and strawman restatement. That’s certainly less work. And much less threatening than pointing out that Christianity burdens men and women with choices, both men and women can fail them — and if they do, they may be polishing a pew with their butts, but they’re no longer Christians.

    Contorted SJW justifications (again, because men cannot be trusted for being responsible for that which the wife and pastor say he’s accountable) for taking family disputes to the church elders are equally a cop-out, because obviously there is no practical way that policy can be implemented.

    Anyway, the whole thing sounds like his solution to never telling wives that they can can actions that ex-communicate them. It’s really not that complicated. Submission is not obedience, submission is not inequality under civil law, and submission is not imposing Afghani-style goat-raping domestic violence. It’s simply the embrace of the marriage covenant, properly understood. Don’t like it, join the Unitarians.

  37. earlthomas786 says:

    Christ and what He does and His church and what she does is the model for marriage. Introducing wife beating has nothing to do with what Scripture dictates how marriage is.

  38. Spike says:

    If the Davidman option were presented to me, I would definitely not do what Lewis did. Marriage, anthropologists tell us, was about property rights, as are many of the Old Testament laws. The trade is this: a man’s resources (labour, economic, prestige) for a woman’s sexuality and it’s products (children). The identity of the children is therefore understood: The children are HIS, because he PAID for them by means of marriage.

    As for Wilson, his whole premise is to wilt, backpeddle and sell out as soon as a little bit of feminist criticism comes his way. That isn’t the answer. The whole Leftist agenda can be confronted by NOT apologizing. No apologies, no backpeddles, no explanations, no qualifications. Nothing. That’s because things were better when marriages were intact, when we didn’t have a bunch of illiterate savages in our countries, and when women were kind, polite, didn’t abort their children and starved to death if they decided to declare themselves ”independent”.
    The Cultural Marxists have taken over the narrative of the best civilization the world has seen – Western Christian civilization – and ruined it. It is high time to stop pandering to them.

  39. info says:

    @BuenaVista
    ”Submission is not obedience”
    It is obedience plus more. I think 1 Peter 3 demonstrates how it is. Sarah being an example of submission by obeying her husband Abraham and calling him ”Lord” or “Master”

  40. Darwinian Arminian says:

    “This chasm is so great that nearly everyone today believes as Wilson does, that the morally twisted chivalric tradition of Courtly Love represents Christian values and teaching on marriage and sexual morality.”

    You are not wrong about this, particularly in the case of Lewis. Not only was Joy Davidman not the first woman he tried to play Captain Save-a-ho with, she was arguably a big improvement over one of his previous attempts:

    Then Lewis experienced another horror – trench warfare in World War I – but he rarely talked about the experience. Nor did he talk much about the promise he made during the war to his fellow soldier and friend Paddy Moore. Lewis assured Moore that he would take care of his mother if Paddy didn’t survive the war. Moore was killed, and Lewis fulfilled his vow after returning home. Lewis moved in with Paddy’s mother, Janie Moore, and helped raise her daughter, Maureen.

    Lewis’ relationship with Janie Moore is still mystery. Some scholars say they became lovers; others say she was more like his mother. Lewis, though, hid the relationship from his father and his colleagues at Oxford University. “There was an attraction between the two of them from the very beginning,” said Warren Rochelle, an English professor at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

    “When he first met her, she was 45, almost the exact age when Lewis’ mother died, and it’s clear from correspondence that they found each other attractive and engaging,” Rochelle said.

    Many a reader has benefitted from Lewis’ works on Christianity, and on most days I’d consider myself to be among them. But an episode like this should serve as a reminder that as good or persuasive as any writer might be, they never deserve to be considered gospel. All writers are human and all humans are sinners, and one of the tragedies of that is that they won’t be able to keep that part of their nature from trickling into their work. I think Dalrock’s dealt with St. Augustine here before, and he taught early Christians that for even married couples to engage in sex for the sake of pleasure was a moral hazard that should be avoided. That strikes me as being spectacularly bad advice as well as a direct contradiction of Scripture. But when you consider that Augustine spent his youth as a bronze-age PUA who acquired multiple lovers and knocked one of them up before breaking off a marriage betrothal to an heiress who was just 12 years old only because he’d recently converted to Christianity . . . then it might be a little easier to understand how he came into his errors. Take what you can get from their work, but when you’re dealing with books (or teachers) that aren’t in the scriptural canon I somehow doubt that picking and choosing what parts you want to apply to your life makes you a “Cafeteria Christian.”

    Link to the Lewis story is here: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/01/the-c-s-lewis-you-never-knew/

  41. Lewis’s phrase ‘erotic necessity’ is not from That Hideous Strength, but from his Spectator article ‘Equality’ in 1943, which is also included in the essay collection Present Concerns. That Hideous Strength is a dramatic presentation of themes Lewis explored in dozens of essays. In this case the point Lewis makes is that inequality is inevitable, necessary, and erotic. If Wilson couldn’t remember the citation for the actual phrase he quotes, a simple Google search would point him in the right direction.

    “the whole hierarchical dance and harmony of our deep and joyously accepted spiritual inequalities should be alive. It is there, of course, in our life as Christians: there, as laymen, we can obey—all the more because the priest has no authority over us on the political level. It is there in our rela- tion to parents and teachers—all the more because it is now a willed and wholly spiritual reverence. It should be there also in marriage.

    This last point needs a little plain speaking. Men have so horribly abused their power over women in the past that to wives, of all people, equality is in danger of appearing as an ideal. But Mrs. Naomi Mitchison has laid her finger on the real point. Have as much equality as’ you please—the more the better—in our marriage laws: but at some level consent to inequality, nay, delight in inequality, is an erotic necessity. Mrs. Mitchison speaks of women so fostered on a defiant idea of equality that the mere sensation of the male embrace rouses an undercurrent of resentment. Marriages are thus shipwrecked. This is the tragi-comedy of the modern woman; taught by Freud to consider the act of love the most important thing in life, and then inhibited by feminism from that internal surrender which alone can make it a complete emotional success. Merely for the sake of her own erotic pleasure, to go no further, some degree of obedience and humility seems to be (normally) necessary on the woman’s part.”

  42. Look up John Wesleys marriage. Great men have blind spots and undergo pressures and temptations that we can’t fathom.

    That being said, it’s not a common problem now, but a man is definitely capable of being a selfish asshole in his marriage. That’s basically how I view the passage. Being a lord is an awe inspiring responsibility. Women act like it’s some great privelege to be in leadership when for any man with a conscience it’s scary as hell. In a marriage especially, a woman’s model is proverbs 31. A mans model is Jesus Christ.

    In that context I wouldn’t say an unencumbered reading of the passage does Lewis much discredit.

  43. Lost Patrol says:

    @DA

    That’s good commentary and another interesting sidebar to the Lewis story.

    All writers are human and all humans are sinners, and one of the tragedies of that is that they won’t be able to keep that part of their nature from trickling into their work.

    And not just writers. Study enough history and one is likely to find that all the great men had feet of clay.

  44. Gary Eden says:

    “I am skeptical that the Bible ever teaches a man to physically punish his wife. I would like a Bible verse or passage where this ever occurs or is instructed.”

    The husband is the head of the wife and charged with her discipline. No where does it limit or require any particular methods excepting that teaching her the Word is clearly required. Corporal punishment is one such method of discipline and Proverbs 26:3 states the rod is effective (and arguably necessary) for correction of fools. Know any non-foolish women?

    But the more relevant question I ask you is, what Bible verse specifically prohibits that method?

    Whether it is advisable or necessary today is a different question. Clearly its socially beyond the pale and illegal; but then so is exercising any authority at all. Legally speaking your in hot water whether you spank her or quote Eph 5 in response to her bad behavior.

    But your statement would be an odd one to the first century Christian. It would be another 1600 years or more before physical discipline of the wife would fall out of favor completely. Even 60 years ago it wasn’t unheard of, even celebrated in popular culture.

    It would also be an odd statement to the Hebrews. The OT has penalties for causing permanent damage to a servant (eye, tooth, foot, hand, etc); implying it was ok to physically discipline servants otherwise. Doesn’t mention wives at all though either way.

    But this is all beyond the pale to modern ears. We’ll let our wives destroy our lives, our careers and our children without meeting out the slightest punishment of any kind. Women are our rulers.

  45. coloradomtnman says:

    @Dalrock

    Future content perhaps (although you appear to be overflowing with content and inspiration!)

    Pastor Glenn Packiam from New Life Church in Colorado Springs takes us through Ephesians Chapter 5. As you suspect he is such a COWARD that he covered up to verse 21 and then skipped verses 22-25 in their entirety. I was unimpressed – although not surprised – and we proceeded to walk out.

    You can hear it here: (he skips at around 13:30 into the sermon)

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/new-life-church-sunday-morning/id95091254?mt=2&i=1000385658248

  46. squid_hunt says:

    “The husband is the head of the wife and charged with her discipline. No where does it limit or require any particular methods excepting that teaching her the Word is clearly required.”

    Its very blatant exclusion as even an example would give any man with a bit of sense pause. Particularly when paired with the warning of I Peter 3:7.

  47. coloradomtnman says:

    It is the May 21, 2017 sermon on the podcast series in case it does not default to it with the url.

  48. Boxer says:

    Dear Dalrock:

    It isn’t, and moreover as you point out this isn’t something Christian men would want, with some very rare exceptions. Only one commenter has argued for such (Artisinal Toad), and he has stopped doing so here after I asked him to stop.

    lol – I was turned on to this subject on the Toad Hall blog recently. His obsession with plural wifery was (surprisingly, I guess) a lot less disturbing to me than the spank fetish. I guess his blog is a sort of dysfunction junction, where a variety of weird traits just pile up.

    Not only is it not prescribed, and not only would nearly all Christian men be horrified at the thought of doing so, but it also isn’t needed.

    This is an important point, and I think Earl was getting at something similar, above. Beating someone can force them to comply, temporarily, but it rarely engenders a lasting love or loyalty. It seems counterproductive in a marriage.

    Best,

    Boxer

  49. Gary Eden says:

    @squid_hunt

    The Bible doesn’t give us exhaustive examples to cover many situations in our walk in Christ. Corporal punishment is acceptable for some classes of people in scripture (fools and children in Proverbs to list two examples). Wives is the open question.

    You are very right that 1 Peter 3:7 is applicable here. But it may be surprising to you to know that there are at least some wives who actually DESIRE corporal punishment. Not in the moment sure (or it wouldn’t be punishment), but during times of introspection. How should husbands ‘dwell with understanding’ with such wives?

    Such women have perhaps the most frustrating situation. For those who can discuss it outright with hubby, many times he refuses to do it. Others cannot even bring it up directly, for to do so would be to give permission and destroy the power dynamic they feel they need.

  50. Gary Eden says:

    Boxer, beating your children can force them to comply, temporarily, but it rarely engenders a lasting love or loyalty. It seems counterproductive in parenting..

  51. J says:

    Mr. Dalrock, after reading your fantastic posts on the allegory of love I recently purchased it. half done reading it. I recommend the space trilogy, you really should read it before criticizing it or Wilson’s use of it. One theme that I am not sure you are understanding is that the submission by the weaker/lesser being to the greater i.e husband to wife, vassal to Lord, etc, ennobles the lower. This is ultimately based on Christ’s elevation of the believer. As we submit to him, we paradoxically are made free and incorporated into the ruler of the universe. I think you hurl the “pedestal” charge too freely, would you accuse the writer of Proverbs of putting his chapter 31 wife on a pedestal for honoring her at the city gates? Regards

  52. crevol says:

    Dalrock,

    Kindly read That Hideous Strength before you make an ass of yourself taking some passages taken completely out of context. CS Lewis’s wisdom is on a different level than the feminists or the MRAs. The whole novel is about marriage – how the wife learns the the erotic necessity of submission, and the husband learns the erotic necessity of chivalry.

    The bible teaches both – that the wife is to reverence and be subject to the husband – “as unto the Lord”, and how the husband is to self-sacrificially love and cherish his wife “as his own body”. The two go hand-in-hand. The feminists try to ignore the first part, and you manosphere/MRA’s ignore the second. Both are equally twisting the scriptures.

  53. Kristor says:

    Best to go ahead and read That Hideous Strength before stretching out too far on a limb with an interpretation of it, as Wilson does. Why react against his misconstruction of Lewis with another?

    The characterological arc of the plot for both Mark and Jane Studdock involves their discovery that their reductive modernist approach to life and especially to marriage – to things as they actually are in their fullness – is radically inadequate to the inherent richness of the created order – and thus, mistaken, wrong, inept – and so therefore, of course, deeply unsatisfactory even under their own purblind modernist terms.

    The passage quoted, where Mark realizes what a clod he has been, is not (as Wilson would wish) about his discovery that he ought to put Jane on a pedestal, but rather that he has been as it were traipsing up to the communion rail in a vast and glorious cathedral, and so risking the ruin of his immortal life should he anywise err thereat, with the same casual mercenary attitude he might have taken in sidling up to the counter of a fish and chips stand.

    It is about Mark’s realization that he ought to approach Jane as if he were Saint George approaching the dragon. Marriage ain’t only a business deal; it’s a mighty quest; it’s a version of the Grail quest (as are all adventures, when push comes to shove).

    Lewis is arguing that moderns mistake marriage (and sex more generally) as “nothing but” an economic exchange. It is that, of course, just as it is a biological transaction, and thus freighted with all the evo-psych stuff that sex realists (rightly) notice – the paucity of eggs / plenitude of sperm, and all that follows from that calculus. But to treat it as just that – which Mark and Jane had been doing, approaching their marriage as if it were a sort of vending machine (that ought under principles of fair economic dealing to have returned the desired happiness in exchange for the proffered inputs of value) – is to miss the point entirely.

    Marriage is a *sacrament.* It is ordered to the sacred ritual enactment of the whole order of being (including – *especially* including – heroic sacrifice and tragedy, grief, loss, disaster). It is a mysterium tremens. It is *not about the spouses.* On the contrary: the spouses are about the marriage (it’s right there in the vows: the spouses *give themselves away*!). Again, marriage is *not about what the spouses want for themselves.* It is *not about the happiness of the spouses* (this should be well understood in the androsphere). If they err in thinking that it is, they doom their marriage to profanity. Their marriage will not then be more painful, necessarily, than truly sacramental marriages (although that is not unlikely); but it will be less meaningful, less alive, less forceful – less actual, weaker, sicker, and thus more prone to the death of marriage.

    At the end of That Hideous Strength, Mark and Jane Studdock realize that they have been mistaken in approaching an altar of the Most High thinking, “what can I get out of this?” They realize instead that they ought to have been thinking something like, “how can I rise to meet this terrific adventure fitly?”

    Mark’s discovery is not that he ought to have been treating Jane like a princess, but rather that he ought to have been acting toward her as a doughty sagacious king – when instead he had been acting like a randy, disappointed, resentful stable boy.

  54. squid_hunt says:

    @Gary Eden

    Knowledge in the New Testament almost exclusively refers to knowledge of God himself. He is the avenger of the weak and the uplifter of the downtrodden. When you dwell with your wife according to knowledge, you do so with the understanding that she, assuming she is right with him, has God’s ear every bit as much as you do, possibly more so. If you abuse her, God will avenge her. Put the verse back in context.

    As I’ve said before, I believe a husband has absolute authority over his wife. I believe people are generally wrong to step in and meddle with the relationship. The husband is the head. But the husband has a head as well. You’d do well to remember that.

  55. Boxer says:

    Dear Gary Eden:

    It’s always nice to find myself called out. Please see inside text.

    Boxer, beating your children can force them to comply, temporarily, but it rarely engenders a lasting love or loyalty. It seems counterproductive in parenting..

    If you have the same relationship with your spouse that you have with a little child, then I offer up my condolences. (You obviously chose your wife very poorly, but I’ll still extend my sympathies for such a hellish relationship.)

    In any event, you were asked (and asked, and asked) to cite a source in the text to support your contention. Your best attempt is out of context stuff which talks about corporal punishment of little kids. I don’t really have anything further for you, other than the condolences, expressed above.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  56. Mandy says:

    I wonder how many of these men have only daughters. When you only have 2 kids at most, and they’re girls, I suppose this inspires some twisted logic that they can become the sons you never had.

    I see Wilson had a son. I’ll bet a lot of his supporters didn’t.

    Surely Lewis knew marrying her constituted adultery. Even the Anglicans still taught that. What was wrong with such a smart guy?

  57. squid_hunt says:

    @ Boxer

    I apologize for not getting back right away. I was curious to see if Gary would come right out and say what he was hinting out and didn’t want to scare him off. I don’t know what his angle is. He seems to be talking fetish domination, which I don’t consider in the same category as literal discipline.

  58. BuenaVista says:

    Info: “It is obedience plus more. I think 1 Peter 3 demonstrates how it is. Sarah being an example of submission by obeying her husband Abraham and calling him ”Lord” or “Master”.

    “Obedience”, in the context of this discussion with a rebellious/heretical wife, doesn’t mean that to her. It means she has the same standing as a lower-order animal, such as a poorly-trained dog who gets her ears boxed when she urinates in the kitchen. Saying, “You’re wrong because I say so and 1 Peter 3” is not effective communication — any more than Wilson ending this discussion in his opening, by calling anyone in disagreement a wife-beater.

  59. Trust says:

    It is very depressing how so many, normally the political left including feminists, and some enablers on the right, will corrupt terminology. They’ll take words and phrases universally acknowledged to be evil, then they will expand them for gain to the point where they all but become meaningless.

    Rape and domestic violence (i.e., wife beating) are two particularly nefarious examples.

    Saying the husband should be head of the family is no more sexist that saying a wife should be head of the family. However, the actual implementation of both is telling and depressing. A husband as head of the family is now synonymous with “wife beating.”

    On the other hand, however, a wife as head of the family in practice involves third party force to strip a husband of his home, children, assets, future incoming, banish him to a life of indentured servitude even as the wife he is supporting sleeps with another man, all enforced by men with guns who will ship you off to prison, and that is somehow synonymous with “equality.”

    Meanwhile, supposed “christian anti-feminists” will soon link to this post on her blog accusing us of being violent while endorsing our castration, but will not see the hypocrisy.

    Woe to those who call good evil and evil good.

  60. infowarrior1 says:

    @BuenaVista
    ”“Obedience”, in the context of this discussion with a rebellious/heretical wife, doesn’t mean that to her. It means she has the same standing as a lower-order animal, such as a poorly-trained dog who gets her ears boxed when she urinates in the kitchen. Saying, “You’re wrong because I say so and 1 Peter 3” is not effective communication — any more than Wilson ending this discussion in his opening, by calling anyone in disagreement a wife-beater.”

    I would have to agree with info on that one. Given that such a word is the truth and describes it accurately. The problem is her perception of the truth not the truth itself.

    I mean if people said: “Submission to Jesus is not obedience of Jesus ” would that make sense or would it be nonsensical?

  61. infowarrior1 says:

    @BuenaVista

    And plus if people equate any form of authority as abuse or tyranny. The solution is not giving in to rebellion. It is to correct the error that authority is abuse or tyranny. Whilst avoiding true tyranny.

  62. infowarrior1 says:

    @Gaius Marcius
    ”This last point needs a little plain speaking. Men have so horribly abused their power over women in the past that to wives, of all people, equality is in danger of appearing as an ideal.”

    Where is the evidence for that claim that it is widespread of historical Christendom? And if untrue isn’t it one of the many lies concocted by the wicked in order to lead to either true tyranny or rebellion?

  63. Pingback: The Obsession with Wife-Beating – v5k2c2

  64. Boxer says:

    Dear Squid Hunt:

    I apologize for not getting back right away. I was curious to see if Gary would come right out and say what he was hinting out and didn’t want to scare him off. I don’t know what his angle is. He seems to be talking fetish domination, which I don’t consider in the same category as literal discipline.

    My comments on such sexual stuff would clutter this blog up, but I’ve put some general remarks on my own site.

    https://v5k2c2.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/the-obsession-with-wife-beating/

    Like you, I refrain from passing judgment on what married bros do with their wives, and that’s probably all I should say on Dalrock. lol

    Best,

    Boxer

  65. Damn Crackers says:

    I understand dwelling on the fallen state of man, but do they really think all Christian men are tank-top wearing wife beaters? I don’t think Jewish feminists have that negative opinion of the Christian patriarchy.

  66. Gunner Q says:

    Damn Crackers 10:37 am:
    “I understand dwelling on the fallen state of man, but do they really think all Christian men are tank-top wearing wife beaters?”

    SJWs don’t care if the accusation is true. They care if the accusation sticks. Nobody thinks Christians as a group are wife-beaters but our enemies can’t be heroes unless we’re painted as villains.

  67. earlthomas786 says:

    I understand dwelling on the fallen state of man, but do they really think all Christian men are tank-top wearing wife beaters?

    No…but when you have no reasonable argument to a retort, they start throwing out the minority of men who do wife beat. Besides studies and stats show that the domestic abuse scenerio is more likely to happen when the couple isn’t married but living together…which is also sinful.

  68. Novaseeker says:

    Saying the husband should be head of the family is no more sexist that saying a wife should be head of the family.

    Well see that is the problem right there.

    Post-modern correctness says that only the oppressor class can be sexist/racist/phobic, etc. So a wife-led marriage isn’t sexist, because she is “fighting the power”, whereas a husband-led marriage exemplifies the power the oppressed (women) are fighting against.

    The whole system is about good and evil, it just defines evil this way: white, male, heterosexual, cisgendered. You get more “evil” points the more of those characteristics you touch. That is the new morality, and we are basically demon spawn according to it.

  69. Gary Eden says:

    @boxer I provided a verse citation and it was not specific to children. Go look up the comment thread if you missed it.

    @squid_hunt those are more wise words. But I’m not fully convinced yet that a husband has absolute authority. There is a strong argument for it to be sure, but its a hard thing to say she should sin if he tells her to (yes, I realize its mostly a red herring used to excuse rebellion). Fetish and discipline are different; yet they are also often intertwined. People are complicated.

    This isn’t my dead horse, I’m still trying to figure things out. There isn’t an epidemic of wife beating, women are as or more often the perpetrator,. Our main problem isn’t husbands going too far but husbands bending over and taking anything she’ll dish out. Most are doing little to nothing to lead their wives and leading doesn’t start with punishment.

  70. Boxer says:

    Gary Eden writes:

    @boxer I provided a verse citation and it was not specific to children. Go look up the comment thread if you missed it.

    You provided a few irrelevant verses in an attempt to support your argument. I read it the first time. You don’t have support in the text for your contention. End of.

    I’m not fully convinced yet that a husband has absolute authority. There is a strong argument for it to be sure, but its a hard thing to say she should sin if he tells her to (yes, I realize its mostly a red herring used to excuse rebellion). Fetish and discipline are different; yet they are also often intertwined. People are complicated.

    I have never seen any serious participant here suggest that wives ought to sin on behalf of their husbands. This strikes me as the same sort of feminist doubletalk you’re becoming known for.

    For the record: There are obvious ethical problems with ordering your wife to do something bad. It strikes me as similar to a scenario in which I would hire or pay someone to rob and kill for me. Not only have I not escaped culpability for the original offenses of robbing and killing, but I’ve compounded my guilt by tempting others to become a party to my crimes.

    There’s a loose analogy to modern military doctrine. Soldiers who get ordered to kill civilians, or torture prisoners, are expected to refuse those orders. I’d expect a spouse to have the self-discipline and awareness to refuse such requests for similar reasons.

    All that is sorta irrelevant, though, as these analogies presuppose Gary’s implicit contention, that Christian husbands have not only a duty to beat their wives, but a habit of ordering their wives to do bad stuff. This is not the case, and I don’t think it ever has been.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  71. earlthomas786 says:

    For the record: There are obvious ethical problems with ordering your wife to do something bad. It strikes me as similar to a scenario in which I would hire or pay someone to rob and kill for me. Not only have I not escaped culpability for the original offenses of robbing and killing, but I’ve compounded my guilt by tempting others to become a party to my crimes.

    From a morality standpoint ordering or influencing someone to sin is called scandal. And while that is immoral that still doesn’t change the fact the husband is the head of the marriage.

    Besides why is the reverse never brought up where the situation happens when a wife suggests something sinful to the husband?

    I know of a more common sinful suggestion than robbing a bank…when the topic of ‘open marriage’ comes up.

  72. Gunner Q says:

    Gary Eden @ 12:45 pm:
    “There is a strong argument for it to be sure, but its a hard thing to say she should sin if he tells her to”

    If the husband orders her to sin then he is responsible for her sin. There’s no free pass here. God gave Hubby both the power and the responsibility.

    Men don’t have a God-assigned hierarchy with respect to other men so our submission to each other usually has trade-offs and limits. But wifely obedience is unconditional.

    “Most are doing little to nothing to lead their wives and leading doesn’t start with punishment.”

    That’s what responsibility without power looks like. Husband gives order. Wife refuses. What then? Either husband punishes her or “does little to nothing”.

  73. Hose_B says:

    @Boxer
    There’s a loose analogy to modern military doctrine. Soldiers who get ordered to kill civilians, or torture prisoners, are expected to refuse those orders. I’d expect a spouse to have the self-discipline and awareness to refuse such requests for similar reasons.

    Even this is a new development. We got tired of hearing “Furher ordered us” after WWII. We decided that his Generals and top Officers were responsible for their actions and that their position as Officers called for a mutiny rather than obedience. We can do that because militaries are HUMAN organizations. And EVERY time a soldier refuses his superior……he is taking an enormous gamble. He is taking the responsibility onto himself completely. In the end, it weakens the chain of command if it is at all common or widespread.

    As for marriage, the model is Church to God/Christ = wife to husband. Some examples of “sinful requests” that were expected to be followed by the Church/Wife

    1. God tells Abram to sacrifice his son. Sacrificing children is sinful. Abram was expected to submit. He did and all is well.

    2. Abraham tells Sarah to lie about being married and enter the Pharoahs harem. I think we all agree that asking our wives to lie and sleep with another man is sinful. Sarah submits to his leadership and God brings them out of the situation with riches. It is unclear whether she has sex with pharoah or not.

    3. Abraham asks Sarah to do the SAME THING AGAIN. She submits to his leadership. God brings them out of the situation with more riches and WITHOUT Sarah sleeping with Abimelech.

    4. God routinely send the Israelites to COMPLETELY WIPE OUT another race of human beings. Man woman child and beast. He expected submission and obedience. He doled out punishment when they did not follow his command FULLY.

    The husband will be judged by God for his leadership. The wife will be judged on her submission. She will not be given credit for how many times she was “Right” while rebelling against her Husband.

  74. Hose_B says:

    The only exception to this I can really conceive is if he directs her to ABANDON God. If he has her worship Idols. But that only goes as far as holding tight to God, but still submitting to her unbelieving husband and winning him over with her chaste behavior. It still doesn’t allow the kind of rebellion we see encouraged by the modern church.

  75. earl says:

    The only exception to this I can really conceive is if he directs her to ABANDON God.

    I can’t even think of a Bible verse where this particular situation happens…however there are plenty of times where a wife influenced or tried to influence her husband to abandon God.

  76. BuenaVista says:

    Infowarrior1: you’re asserting perfect knowledge of the meaning of a single English word, which is itself the product of oral tradition and 500 years of translations; Scripture counsels against comparing oneself to Jesus and His perfect knowledge. The Bible is rife with ambiguity, and when ambiguous, counsels a reader’s humility.

    You do so here: “Given that such a word is the truth and describes it accurately.” Says who? Who says that the English word “submission” really means “obedience”? Do those two words translate identically to Mandarin, with the same effect?

    In any event, I wouldn’t want to be in a conversation with a spouse and have to say, “Submission means obedience because I say it does, and I will define what obedience means in this household.” This very issue came up in Sunday School last winter, and one of the stalwart wives indeed does view “submission” as a farm wife would: in terms of being an animal or chattel, and therefore there was no discussion. There is a way of discussing submission, which Wilson and this thread aren’t interested in, but it doesn’t involve unilateral, “because I said so” leadership.

    1 Corinthians 4:1-5

    We are “stewards of the mysteries of God. … Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.”

    At best we are imperfect stewards, who may not pronounce judgment and presume to know the “things now hidden in darkness.” Our knowledge, at best, extends only to a dim inkling that we do not know what we do not know. Blithe assertions of absolute insight — such as the talking points in my Lutheran catechism — worship the idea of perfect human insight.

    Footnote: My Sunday School uses the NASV, which I open, of course, but my primary Bible is the KJV. I always compare and contrast the two in class. On matters of current social interest (e.g., changing “sons” to “children”) the NASV departs from the much earlier KJV — debauches it occasionally, usually just shades and shaves. If there are different conditions set down in different Bibles, it may behoove us not to approach our preferred meanings with absolute confidence.

  77. Boxer says:

    Dear Fellas:

    The only exception to this I can really conceive is if he directs her to ABANDON God. If he has her worship Idols. But that only goes as far as holding tight to God, but still submitting to her unbelieving husband and winning him over with her chaste behavior. It still doesn’t allow the kind of rebellion we see encouraged by the modern church.

    We could come up with endless “what if” questions (idolatry, torturing one’s own kids to death, dealing dope, etc. ad infinitum.) All of them are easily dispelled by asking for real-world examples. There are very few documented cases we can point to, as the average married man loves his wife, and doesn’t want her to get into trouble.

    Honestly, all this speculation does is give ammo to our feminist enemies, who are always eager to point out that marriage is inherently oppressive, etc.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  78. BuenaVista says:

    Infowarrior1: “I mean if people said: “Submission to Jesus is not obedience of Jesus ” would that make sense or would it be nonsensical?”

    It would make zero sense if you are relating it to the problem of domestic headship.

    1) Jesus’ terms for Grace are plain, and punishment for our rejection equally plain. A husband is not Jesus, and indeed in his goodwill and faith, he will make mistakes in his interpretation of headship, submission, and whatever you mean by submission’s supposed synonym obedience (it is hardly that). You repeat your belief that you have unlocked a unique association of two words, one of which will drive any 21st century woman with any experience of the secular world absolutely around the bend. (This is why Wilson refuses to parse and interpret submission: it’s easier to take cheap shots at the men, and make the women chortle.)

    2) So it’s a strawman, and not a durable one at that.

    3) It ignores the fact that we could come up with 5 or 10 english words that equally relate to “submission” but are more articulate, and less culturally loaded. This is important if one wishes to proselytize for a preferred meaning.

    4) If someone said to me “Submission to Jesus is/is not obedience to Jesus” I’d have to ask what that means. For Jesus commands us to reason, reflect, humbly admit our ignorance (of the mysteries of God), suck it up and make choices.

  79. BuenaVista says:

    Inforwarrior1: “And plus if people equate any form of authority as abuse or tyranny. The solution is not giving in to rebellion.”

    So that’s a very overripe straw man — actually two of them. I never asserted that I was concerned with anyone who equates authority per se as abuse. Nor did anything I say that the “solution is to give in to rebellion.” These are just prejudices somebody else has, and they have nothing to do with me.

    I actually have very strong opinions about so-called rebellion (again, essentially a fighting word in the present day, so good luck) and the solution to it within a Christian context. But I haven’t discussed them here, in part because I’m not sure it’s possible.

  80. Heidi says:

    It certainly has been awhile since my husband’s commanded me to sacrifice any of our children to Satan.

  81. earl says:

    Honestly, all this speculation does is give ammo to our feminist enemies, who are always eager to point out that marriage is inherently oppressive, etc.

    In reality the feminist ethos is more likely to lead a woman to do vile things against God than a husband would. Things like ‘being their own goddess’, ‘exploring their sexuality’, and sometimes witchcraft or the occult.

  82. Darwinian Arminian says:

    *A Christianity Today post claims in her defense that when then married Davidman announced she was going to England to seduce Lewis, she was merely making a joke.

    Do you suppose this qualifies as yet another instance of the modern church’s willingness to excuse and rationalize sins that it would have otherwise punished with extreme prejudice if only the perpetrators had been men? I ask because on a few occasions I’ve been a first-time visitor to some megachurches, and I noticed that when people don’t recognize you, they’ll often break the ice by introducing themselves and asking, “So what brings you to our church?” I somehow suspect that if I had responded by saying, “I’m here to seduce your single women and corrupt them into fornication,” they wouldn’t have just nodded and chalked it up to me being ironic/sarcastic/facetious/etc. . . .

  83. BuenaVista says:

    Nova on the post-modern public square, and its values:

    “Post-modern correctness says that only the oppressor class can be sexist/racist/phobic, etc. So a wife-led marriage isn’t sexist, because she is “fighting the power”, whereas a husband-led marriage exemplifies the power the oppressed (women) are fighting against.”

    At its heart, post-modernism is about reducing experience and observation, art and faith, to linguistic constructions — each of which is fluid, ephemeral, and subjective. Critical feminist theory (above) is true because someone says it is, and she may change her mind tomorrow, and to a pomo, what could be more grand?

    Richard John Neuhaus was centrally focused on the problem of post-modern thinking in public and private life, and since we’re talking about C.S. Lewis, he quotes him from “The Abolition of Man”:

    “The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? It is no use trying to “see through” first principles. If you see through everything, then everything is transparent. But a wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see.”

    (Lewis means first principles, reality, truth exist. You cannot get a job in Big Academia, Big Media, Big Art, Big Government if you believe that and admit it.)

    Neuhaus continues with his own interpretation, in the context of post-modernism:

    “To which today’s clever academic says with patronizing glee, “Exactly, old man. Except for your last line, for to see through all things is to see precisely what is to be seen, precisely what is there, which is to say—nothing!” It is hard to know how seriously we should take the fashionable nihilism of our time.”

    (All quotes from “C.S. Lewis in the Public Square”, Richard John Neuhaus.

    Well, in the discussion of submission and its role in a Christian household, I think examinations of post-modernism and its discontents are relevant. My own view is that twisted re-interpretations of marriage by congregant-hungry pastors, that reflect the foundational bias Novo describes, are simply not Christian. Were I to be married under Christian assumptions, and my spouse said, “Your assertions of leadership are sexist and therefore invalid” I don’t think I would struggle to respond.

    “Baby, we discussed all this before we married.”

    “Well, I see more clearly now; you just want to dominate and control me, and I’m fed up! I want to go see Pastor; your will-to-power is sinful and I’m u-n-h-a-p-p-y.”

    “You go see him. It sounds like the People’s Court to me. We discussed how we were going to live together under covenant. I’m maintaining my commitments.”

    In short, there really isn’t much to talk about when the wife gets the Feelz and wants to discard the basic truths on which the marriage is constructed. God requires us to make choices and the hypothetical wife here is reversing hers. It is biblical to send away the heretic, and after a cooling-off period, that’s probably how this ends. Obviously I am not sanguine about being married again in our post-modern socio-sexual world.

    But I also don’t think the issue of headship/submission is all that complicated. The yelling, shaming, and confusion only seem to emerge when people like Wilson try to square the circle of Christian relations, with the post-modern sexual politics that govern the public square. They may suggest that they’re only positing a skinny repeal of one of Scripture’s central theses, but I suggest their “guidance” is worse than silence. (And I think Wilson knows it, given the unbalanced and prejudiced rhetoric he favors in this instance.)

  84. UK Fred says:

    I am presently reading “The Bible and Homosexuality: Text and Hermeneutics” by Professor Robert Gagnon, in anticipation of a debate that i expect to kick off in the Methodist Church in Britain next year. This is not a book to attempt to read without your Bible close by. I feel that I have learned more about what Christian marriage is from Professor Gagnon’s book and his Scriptural references than from Mr. Wilson’s postings. Certainly, I believe that the requirements of Jesus with regard to marriage leave much of the modern Church in error.

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  86. Dalrock says:

    On the topic of a husband instructing a wife to sin, Cane Caldo nailed it a few years back: https://canecaldo.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/you-bowed-up-when-you-should-have-bowed-down/

  87. @Dalrock
    ” Only one commenter has argued for such (Artisinal Toad), and he has stopped doing so here after I asked him to stop.”

    Nice of you to have noticed that I stopped, although I vehemently disagree with your characterization of any and all corporal punishment as domestic violence.

    @Boxer, et al.

    To answer the questions presented, it appears that the demand for a specific command or verse is to ignore the larger picture. The entire issue of the extent of the husband’s authority over his wife (“can he command her to sin?) is a straw-man argument that carefully sidesteps the extent of a husband’s authority. It begins with a reductio ad absurdum argument and immediately sidesteps to build the straw-man.

    The first judgment of God was to place the man in rulership over the woman (he shall rule over you”). This, in contradistinction to headship, because Adam was already the head of Eve with authority over her. This is implied by the order of Creation and the fact that Eve was specifically created from man, for man, to be used by man to help him accomplish his mission. God said she was to be his helper. That Eve was completely subordinate to Adam and under his headship is demonstrated by the fall. Eve ate the fruit first. That cannot be argued, but she was under the covering of Adam and sin did not enter the world until Adam disobeyed God and ate the forbidden fruit. In doing so, Adam received credit for the first sin.

    Following that act came God’s judgment. As I’ve written before, Eve was the greatest of all women, directly created by God without a sin nature, living in paradise with no job, no children to chase, no distractions and only one rule to follow. And under optimal conditions with no distractions she could not follow one simple rule she was well aware of (she quoted it to the serpent). What do we do with someone who, under the very best of circumstances with no impediments, cannot follow even one simple rule? They are declared incompetent and a guardian is appointed for them. Which is exactly what God did (“he shall rule over you”).

    From that perspective, suddenly Numbers 30 makes a great deal of sense as the requirements of how the guardian (father or husband) is to exercise his responsibilities. Indeed, notice the extent of the father and husband’s authority- they can annul a vow made even to the Lord. In other words, the daughter or wife cannot go “over his head” to the Lord because God placed the man in authority over his wife daughter. We also notice that the father has the authority to sell his daughter to be a concubine or the slave-wife of a man’s slave or to be the wife for his son (Exodus 21:7-10). We also see that the father can refuse to allow a marriage that his daughter wants, a position reinforced in the New Testament with Paul’s instruction to the fathers of virgins in 1st Corinthians 7.

    God does not change. From the very beginning all the way into the New Testament with the command the wife is to submit to her husband as unto the Lord, in everything. Thus, we see the fallacy of the strawman argument which places the wife in a position of deciding whether the husband’s command is a sin in some way (or as a recent commenter put it “in God’s will”) is to completely usurp the husbands position of authority and make it subservient to the judgment of the wife. Yet, obviously there is a problem with the idea a wife might be commanded to do that which she is not to do.

    This seeming dichotomy is not a problem because sometimes the wife is to exercise her judgment, in submission to her husband. Which brings us to the fine point that the wife was not commanded to obey her husband, she was commanded to submit to her husband. Submission is not the same as obedience. Obedience is following rules, directives and commands. Submission is accepting the accountability for one’s actions by someone in authority, which includes accepting both responsibility for their actions and obedience as well as any discipline that might result.

    A good example of this is Abagail and Nabal. Abigail knowingly went against her husband’s express wishes, but then she presented herself to her husband and confessed what she had done. She was in submission to her husband despite her disobedience and she made herself subject to his discipline for doing so.

    Which brings us to the issue of discipline of wives. Gosh. I’m sure some blood pressure went up just by reading the words “discipline of wives.”

    In general, it must be stated that the authority to command is likewise the authority to punish and this has been well-established in both theology and law for thousands of years. As already stated, submission (which is what is commanded of the wives) is the acceptance of the accountability of her husband, in everything. Meaning, he has the sole authority to judge her for her actions, attitudes and behavior. That authority must necessarily include the authority to punish when punishment is warranted.

    To test this assertion, we go to Scripture. Husbands are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves His church. There is a description in Ephesians 5 of what Christ has done (past tense) with His sacrifice on the cross. Does the Bible contain any further, ongoing examples of how Christ loves His church? In fact it does, two of them. Hebrews 12:6 and Revelation 3:19. I would hope no-one tries to argue that the use of the word “son” in Hebrews 12;6 means it only applies to men, because by the same token it would mean that only men can be saved.

    Revelation 3:19 is stated within the context of Christ’s rebuke to a disobedient church and He stated “Those whom I love, I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore and repent!”

    Hebrews 12:6 is stated within the context of the argument that the New Covenant is a superior covenant and says “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

    The three words translated as rebuke, discipline and scourge tell the story. All of them are part of Christ’s love for those whom He loves. Yet, the real take-away is laid out clearly by Revelation 3:19, Christ loves His people by holding them accountable. His people are to submit to Him, in return He holds them accountable as an expression of His love.

    Christians are commanded to submit themselves to Christ, their Master. Christ holds them accountable because He loves them, as an expression of His love, that they might one day be without spot or blemish.

    Wives are commanded to submit themselves to their husband, as unto the Lord, in everything. Husbands are commanded to love their wives in the same way that Christ loves His church. The only examples of Christ’s love for those whom He loves (which obviously means there are those He does not love) are examples of accountability. Both of those examples specifically included correction, training, discipline and punishment when warranted. Who gets to decided when punishment is warranted? The husband, because God gave him that authority.

    Therefore, any claim that husbands are not to hold their wives accountable (which includes the possibility of correction, training, discipline and punishment) is a claim that husbands are not to love their wives as Christ loves His church.

    Finally, the arguments that claim the wife is not a child and therefore are not subject to punishment are spurious and completely misplaced. On the surface that is true, a wife is not a child, but they both have the same capacity as wards over whom their father/husband is their guardian and both are subject to his accountability. However, on close examination, the women and feminist men are likewise making the claim that only children are to be punished for their disobedience, which is completely contrary to the specific statement that Christ made, that those whom He loves He rebukes and disciplines (without regard to their age).

    Logically, the claim that wives are exempt from punishment by their husband, regardless of their childish behavior, because they are adults… is to claim that adults are exempt from punishment by Christ when they are disobedient. Non sequitur.

  88. infowarrior1 says:

    @BuenaVista
    I am using Ephesians 23. To draw the example from. Given that the domestic headship reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church. As the church submits to Christ so the wife submits to her husband in everything. Why was this taught to imperfect men and women unless God wanted the marriage to reflect that despite the fact Husband is not Jesus. Yet the relationship is to reflect that.

    Does the Churches submission to Christ involve obedience?

  89. infowarrior1 says:

    @BuenaVista
    The 1st order of business and most important is if the person is saved. Otherwise the person is unlikely to come to knowledge of the truth of scripture.

    It really comes do to this.

  90. infowarrior1 says:

    ”You repeat your belief that you have unlocked a unique association of two words, one of which will drive any 21st century woman with any experience of the secular world absolutely around the bend”
    Given that the church is always against the age. I see no problem with that. We stand against the world and the spirit of the age. We seek not the approval of this world and of men/women but to speak the truth.

  91. infowarrior1 says:

    Also I do not believe they are synonyms but you cannot have one without the other.

  92. Gary Eden says:

    @boxer

    I was asked to provide a verse instructing a husband to use physical punishment for a wife.

    “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” Proverbs 26:3

    Do wives act foolish? Certainly. Do whips and bridles work to tame equines? Yes. Are they necessary even? Quite often.

    I asked in return where a husband was specifically prohibited from using this method. None provided. Was any reason offered why this verse doesn’t apply to wives? No.

  93. Gary Eden says:

    Within churchianity virtually all say she can disobey her husband if the command is sinful. Problem is, women commonly construe anything that causes feel-bads as sinful. And the church is quick to help them with that, even going so far as to teach that it is a sin to upset your wife.

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  95. They Call Me Tom says:

    I’ve read That Hideous Strength… and it’s quite the opposite of what Wilson suggests. One of the story arcs is about a wife who doesn’t know her place, who is undermining her husband, who needs to be honored by his wife to be the man he can be.

    The bit with Merlin has more to do with Lewis’s dive into comparative religion and in trying to find the common threads that could be called absolute good and absolute evil. He was trying to find an answer to moral relatavism. I read Lewis Space Trilogy about the same time I read The Abolition of Man, which included an essay on that. In THS I’m pretty sure Merlin was an allegory for pre-Christian paganism.

  96. RichardP says:

    AT – that was an excellent post. I agree with the basic thrust of your logic.

    I will, however, ask you again to consider the answers to the following rhetorical questions. And, again, rhetorical means they are offered for your private consideration, to inform your own thoughts; I’m not requesting a response. You’ve had trouble with that distinction in the past.

    1. When did Eve decide that there were benefits to be had from disobeying God? Before she moved to eat the forbidden fruit, or after.

    2. When did Eve decide to move toward the forbidden fruit and take it into her hand (thereby actually setting herself on the path to disobey God)? Before she ate the forbidden fruit, or after?

    3. When did God create the plan of salvation? Before Adam and Eve sinned, or after?

    4. When did God create the plan of salvation? Before he created Eve, or after?

    Eve demonstrated that she had both the inclination to disobey God (desire for the forbidden) and the actual ability to disobey God (physical movement toward the forbidden) before she actually ate the forbidden fruit. How is this inclination and ability BEFORE THE FALL different in any substantial way from our inclination and ability after the fall? Eve had a sinful nature, and demonstrated it, before she at the forbidden fruit. It was in fact this sinful nature that led her to eat the forbidden fruit. How was Eve’s seeking the benefits to be had from disobeying God any different from our seeking the benefits to be had from disobeying God?

    God demonstrated that he knew Eve was created with both the inclination and ability to disobey him. And he demonstrated that he knew this before he even created Adam and Eve. Notice that the plan of salvation was created before the creation of the world, as presented in the following verses.

    “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen [as the final sacrifice] before the creation of the world … “1 Peter 1:18-20 (NIV)

    (Being chosen before the foundation of the world is proof positive that God knew a Savior would be needed and knew this before the foundation of the world. He knew this before he created Adam and Eve. Why not create Adam and Eve to not need a Savior? He could have, but didn’t. If the plan of salvation was created before Adam and Eve were, then Adam and Eve were created to need the plan of salvation. They could have been created to not need it, but weren’t)

    “For he chose us in him [Christ, the final sacrifice] before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will …” Ephesians 1:4-5 (NIV)

    No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8 (Again, speaking of a Savior, whom God destined to come as the final sacrifice, to redeem man and bring him into the glory of God, before time began.)
    ———

    Finally, we have Genesis 5:2: “Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called THEIR name Adam, in the day when THEY were created” (kjv). References to sin coming into the world through Adam must be examined through the truth of Genesis 5:2. God called both of them Adam. I’m sure that Paul knew that. The Bible claims that ALL have sinned, there is not one righteous. That means Eve sinned. The Bible says that one day every knee shall bow and give account of what they did while in the body. ALL would include Eve.

    If sin is generically defined as “intentionally and knowingly disobeying God”, Eve sinned. First. And God called her Adam (see Genesis 5:2). Eve knew that God had said not to eat the forbidden fruit. She did it anyway. Eve intentionally and knowingly disobeyed God. First. Eve sinned. First. Eve will bow her knee before God one day and give account of that sin.

    Eve will not be excused by saying “that guy you gave me to was supposed to prevent me from eating the forbidden fruit and he didn’t. So he should be punished, not me.” Yeah. It’s the guy who did the wrong thing and should be punished. The girl did the wrong thing also, but she won’t be held accountable and punished?? Sounds an awful lot like the modern churchian logic.

  97. The Interpreter says:

    You are spot on, Dalrock, about Pastor Wilson’s misconception of Lewis as a Venerable Old European (an archetype far too readily seen from the distance of North America). He was very much in the cultural vanguard of the British mid-twentieth century as an Oxbridge Establishment man. His milieu was thoroughly permeated with Continental and modernist thinking, _especially_ among churchmen and humanities academics.

  98. squid_hunt says:

    @Gary Eden

    “Virtually all say she can disobey her husband if the command is sinful. Problem is, women commonly construe anything that causes feel-bads as sinful.”

    While this is true, I do not say it. So if this in reference to my questions, it is a moot point. My basis for such a statement is the fact that in the Old Testament a father and then a husband has the authority to make a woman break her oath. Even if he delays requiring it and the oath stands, the sin of breaking the oath is on him.

    We are to love as Christ loves the church. The absence of any example of a husband physically chastising his wife is more than significant because you see no example ever where Christ used physical abuse on his bride. And don’t throw Hebrews 12 chastisement at me, because the passage says “God dealeth with you as sons.” so it doesn’t fit the bill.

    A biblical fool is an individual that does not believe in God, has no fear of God. If your wife meets that definition, I would think that demonstrates fairly clearly the ineffectiveness of your discipline.

  99. infowarrior1 says:

    @Gary Eden
    Easy. If it doesn’t exists as a sin in scripture in the decalogue or mosaic law. Or the NT then its doesn’t exist as a sin.

  100. Boxer says:

    Dear Gary Eden:

    Thanks. You already posted this one, hence my condolences. I think I see where we specifically disagree.

    “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.” Proverbs 26:3

    Do wives act foolish? Certainly. Do whips and bridles work to tame equines? Yes. Are they necessary even? Quite often.

    Let’s disambiguate. An individual can “act foolish” without being a fool in need of a beatdown. Right? In context, that scenario is clearly describing something that’s far, far worse than the usual “women, what can you do?” complaint that nearly every man — married or not — has expressed at least two or three times in his life.

    While it’s possible that some men have married women who are so ridiculous that they need to be whipped, I doubt too many are that unfortunate. Despite my semi-sarcastic sympathy, I doubt you’ve married this poorly yourself (no offense – I don’t like to accuse people of dishonesty, but I just have to be frank). You seem like a smart fellow. I’m guessing that if your wife was that destructive, you’d have just gone down to the divorce court and filed those papers. (Me too.)

    I asked in return where a husband was specifically prohibited from using this method. None provided. Was any reason offered why this verse doesn’t apply to wives? No.

    Well, the famous (around here) bit in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, about loving one’s wife as Christ loved the church, comes to mind. Christ didn’t flog the church. He didn’t need to, really. The church isn’t a little kid or a beast of burden. Neither is your wife.

    Do me a favor and look at the things you’ve written, then tell me, with some measure of objectivity, how your view of marriage differs from that of the average radical feminist. They see marriage as “oppression” and such. Are beatings oppressive? (Yes, they are.) Do most men beat their wives? (No, they don’t.)

    Best,

    Boxer

  101. Boxer says:

    Dear Toad:

    I get the feeling that answering this in detail would skirt the rules of Dalrock a bit close – hence my earlier offer to host a debate over on my blog. I do have a minor point to make, which has nothing explicitly to do with the weird sexual fetish.

    You wrote:

    God does not change.

    In an effort to suggest that all manner of Old Testament laws are still applicable.

    I can’t disagree with the permanence of the creator, at least as he’s described in the text, but note the Gospel of Mark (10:5). The rules for malleable humans, and their ever-evolving social order, do seem to change. That’s why believers don’t need to eat Kosher beef, don’t need to be circumcised, and are required to stay married even if their spouses are a pain in the ass at times.

    Best,

    Boxer

  102. Barne says:

    “I am far from denying the biblical truth that a rod is for the back of fools (Prov. 26:3). Nor do I deny that a woman could be numbered among such fools. But such a woman would be far gone in her folly, and the only fool bigger than that would be the guy who married her. So before we beat her for her uppity rebellions, I would suggest we flog him for being such an idiot.”
    So you (Dalrock) are actually well to the egalitarian side of Wilson on this issue. He also hasn’t banned anyone for disagreeing with him one way or the other. Sure, its unspeakable in the current year but what isn’t?

  103. earlthomas786 says:

    When did God create the plan of salvation? Before he created Eve, or after?

    I know this was meant to be rhetorical…however if we go from Scripture it was clearly after the creation of Eve and the fall.

    The Lord God said to the serpent,

    “Because you have done this,
    Cursed are you more than all cattle,
    And more than every beast of the field;
    On your belly you will go,
    And dust you will eat
    All the days of your life;

    And I will put enmity
    Between you and the woman,
    And between your seed and her seed;
    He shall bruise you on the head,
    And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
    Gen 3:14-15

  104. @Boxer

    One of the central problems we bang up against in these discussions is that you are not a Christian, you are a natural man who does not have the Spirit of God. That, by your own admission, so unless something has changed I believe that to be correct. That is a fatal issue with respect to this discussion, for as it is written:

    “The natural man does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God. For they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

    We have the testimony of God as to His unchanging way

    “For I, the LORD, do not change”

    But we have to temper that with additional testimony of God as to His nature:

    “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
    Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

    “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    So are My ways higher than your ways
    And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

    In other words, there are some things that are comprehended only by the Spirit of God. At the same time, the tendencies of the flesh (the natural man) are at war with the Spirit of God and we see this time after time with Christians who are swayed by peer pressure and the doctrines of men. A good historical example is the arrogance of Augustine:

    In his treatise “Way Into The Will” he discusses the nature of good and evil.

    1.3.6–1.16.35 Main Argument: unde male faciamus
    1.3.6 To be answered in two steps:
    (i) What evil is
    (ii) Whence it arises

    Failing a definition, E. gives examples: adultery, murder, and sacrilege
    Augustine chooses adultery: why is adultery bad?
    The first reply of Evodius is because the law forbids it
    Augustine’s response is that is the wrong answer, because law (authority) is something we believe. We want understanding. This requires ratio, not regula

    After some back and forth, Augustine guides the “answer” to the reason: Adultery is bad because of the libido.

    This is pure arrogance because the original answer of Evodius was correct. Adultery is bad (wrong, immoral, contrary to God’s Will) because God stated it to be so. Therefore, a logical and rational explanation from the mind of man (even one as brilliant as Augustine) is completely unnecessary. Adultery is malum en se because God said so. Period.

    Augustine’s argument is a very enticing argument for those who are highly intelligent, because with that intelligence comes pride and the temptation to fall into the original sin:

    “But you said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
    I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
    And I will sit on the mount of assembly
    In the recesses of the north.
    I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.”

    Even though Scripture informs us with God’s own testimony that we are not capable of understanding God, likewise we are informed that while some parts of Scripture are so simple and pure that the natural man can comprehend them, God’s Word is designed to be spiritually discerned. Even so we can see that even Christians who have the Spirit of God can be lured astray by everything from established (wrong) doctrine to their own prideful arrogance and confidence in their intellectual abilities.

    When this is the case and we see that Christians have difficulty dealing with God’s Word, how can we have a discussion when the book we’re using as the standard for behavior clearly states that you can’t understand it?

  105. Boxer says:

    Dear Toad:

    Your endless attempts at diversion continue to disappoint, but that’s OK. Please see inside text…

    One of the central problems we bang up against in these discussions is that you are not a Christian, you are a natural man who does not have the Spirit of God. That, by your own admission, so unless something has changed I believe that to be correct. That is a fatal issue with respect to this discussion…

    Your principal argument for the mutability of the law, before and after the advent of Jesus, seems to be that you can’t argue in support of it, because I’m not worthy to receive the argument. Am I reading this correctly?

    You’re right. I’ve never had a Christian baptism. I do seem to be able to understand the book, though, and I’m pretty sure I could handle being wrong about it. Being proven wrong about the book is part of learning, which is the main reason I come to this digital sanhedrin we know and love – it won’t hurt my feelz. My ultimate goal is to know the book better. My ego is expendable.

    Your lack of response is all the more curious because you’re one of those guys here (Lyn87 is another) who has proven me wrong about the book before. I remember such things. Your reticence now is suspicious, in context. If I were wrong, I suspect you’d be able to show me my mistake with ease. Suddenly, Artisanal Toad doesn’t want to argue his case. Very, very interesting.

    Regards,

    Boxer

  106. Gunner Q says:

    Artisanal Toad @ 2:26 pm:
    “One of the central problems we bang up against in these discussions is that you are not a Christian, you are a natural man who does not have the Spirit of God.”

    To the contrary, unbelievers are often more aware and accepting of God than apparent believers. Look at Christ’s example in the Gospels. Non-Jews like Roman centurions and Samaritans respected Christ much more than the Jewish clergy did; the latter actually complained that Christ openly preferred the company of whores and tax collectors.

    Boxer doesn’t need to accept Christ’s salvation to be correct. Only to escape Hell. So long as he can support his arguments like everybody else here, his arguments are equally valid. “You aren’t qualified enough to be right” is a non-starter with us Protestants.

  107. @Boxer

    “Your principal argument for the mutability of the law”

    I made no argument for the mutability of the law, I was explaining the futility of trying to discuss something that (by its own testimony) can only be apprehended spiritually by someone who has the Spirit of God with someone who does not have the spirit of God.

    “You’re right. I’ve never had a Christian baptism.”

    Given that I don’t subscribe to the teachings of the magical book of medieval opinions (otherwise known as the teachings and traditions of the church), the idea that you would be a Christian because you were the subject of a baptismal ceremony (possibly as a child) is the equivalent of claiming you are a cage-fighter because you took a Tai Kwon Do class when you were a kid.

    Your presumptions are killing you. You wrote:

    “In an effort to suggest that all manner of Old Testament laws are still applicable.

    I can’t disagree with the permanence of the creator, at least as he’s described in the text, but note the Gospel of Mark (10:5). The rules for malleable humans, and their ever-evolving social order, do seem to change. That’s why believers don’t need to eat Kosher beef, don’t need to be circumcised, and are required to stay married even if their spouses are a pain in the ass at times.”

    God does not change and His Law is still applicable. This is completely true and cannot change, we know this because Roman’s 4:15 and 5:13 clearly state that sin is a violation of the Law and where there is no law there is no sin imputed. Of course, for those with the Spirit of God there is a new category, which are violations of the conscience (c.f. Romans 14:23 and James 4:17). This presents a serious dichotomy with the statement Paul made when he said that all things were lawful for him but not all things were beneficial.

    This goes back to the headship/authority point I previously made with respect to Adam and Eve and the first sin. RichardP doesn’t seem to get the point I was making. It was not God that changed, it was the status of individuals who become Christians. They were “purchased with a price” and became the slaves of the one who saved them. Because He paid that price the penalty for sin no longer applies to them and because they are His slaves there are some particular rules applicable to them that were not present under the law- such as no banging whores, no divorce for any reason and marriage only within the House of the Master (no non-Christians). At the same time because this is a New Covenant (the Old Covenant no longer being possible to fulfill) there are some other changes in terms of the things from the Old Covenant that no longer apply (Temple Worship requirements, dietary laws, Sabbath worship, etc) to the slaves within their Master’s House.

    The question then becomes, how does one discern what is to be obeyed/followed and what can things can be dismissed? The answer is there is some guidance to specific points in the New Testament and after that comes the leading and guidance of the Spirit. In general, however, there are certain things we are told not to do in the Law. Leviticus 18-20 is chock full of that stuff. That is part of God’s character and God does not change, so murder, adultery, idolatry, child sacrifice, incest, bestiality, male homosexuality and that sort of thing are always going to be wrong.

    OTOH, the commandments concerning how God is to be worshiped and cleanliness and purity… that’s the sort of thing that changed because there is now a New Covenant. So, because the non-Christian man’s status is as an individual under the Law, he can divorce his wife for adultery. The Christian, a slave of Christ, must obey the command of 1st Cor. 7:10-11 and cannot divorce his wife for any reason. No exceptions. Christians mostly can’t comprehend that and think the statements of Jesus to those under the Law (Matthew 19:3-9) apply to them.

    These points are spiritually apprehended. According to Scripture, it’s foolishness to someone who does not have the Spirit of God.

    Does that help answer your question?

  108. Chad says:

    This article made me think of dalrock and his site.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-28/why-you-re-being-invited-to-fewer-weddings

    The line I found really interesting is (as paraphrased) though marriage rates keep going down, the population keeps going up.

    Hmm, I wonder why that is.

  109. Gary Eden says:

    @boxer

    “Christ didn’t flog the church.”

    Have you read the New Testament? You might start with the little story about Ananias and Sapphira. Or maybe the time Jesus spent all afternoon braiding a whip just to clean out His church building. Multiple times Christ states He disciplines those who are His. Christ isn’t nice.

    “The church isn’t a little kid or a beast of burden. Neither is your wife.”

    Yet all three can learn from a little physical chastisement. Who cares if its not nice. Women destroying marriages and children’s lives isn’t nice either. Divorce isn’t the answer to a disobedient wife. God said He hates divorce. He never said that about corporal punishment. You seem to have an overinflated opinion of women.

  110. Boxer says:

    Dear Gary:

    Please see inside text

    Have you read the New Testament? You might start with the little story about Ananias and Sapphira. Or maybe the time Jesus spent all afternoon braiding a whip just to clean out His church building.

    That isn’t the church (the body of Christ) that St. Paul talked about, it’s the courtyard of the temple, which is full of pharisees.

    Note: If I’m able to win this argument so easily, then you aren’t trying very hard.

    Yet all three can learn from a little physical chastisement.

    You don’t beat your subordinates at work, do you? Why do you suppose they are able to learn without the whip and the rod?

    Who cares if its not nice.

    strawman

    I don’t care about appeals to emotion or being “nice”. I care about your mischaracterization of the New Testament. To clarify, I don’t think you’re being willfully dishonest. We all project ourselves into what we read, and we read through a biased lens. Even so, you continue to claim that it says things which it clearly doesn’t say.

    Women destroying marriages and children’s lives isn’t nice either. Divorce isn’t the answer to a disobedient wife. God said He hates divorce. He never said that about corporal punishment. You seem to have an overinflated opinion of women.

    I don’t care too much about women. I do care about an accurate reading of the text.

    Best,

    Boxer

  111. earlthomas786 says:

    Divorce isn’t the answer to a disobedient wife. God said He hates divorce.

    The majority of divorce instigators are women. Perhaps they missed that memo too.

  112. earlthomas786 says:

    The line I found really interesting is (as paraphrased) though marriage rates keep going down, the population keeps going up.

    Hmm, I wonder why that is.

    Yeah but if you slut shame or say anything negative about single mothers…they’ll call you a monster and probably a wife beater. Hopefully their projection makes them sleep well at night.

  113. Pingback: Conversation With Toad (No. 2) – v5k2c2

  114. Boxer says:

    Dear Toad:

    Thank you for this comprehensive answer. I note that we don’t actually disagree. Earlier, I wrote:

    I can’t disagree with the permanence of the creator, at least as he’s described in the text, but note the Gospel of Mark (10:5). The rules for malleable humans, and their ever-evolving social order, do seem to change.

    Then you replied:

    It was not God that changed, it was the status of individuals who become Christians. They were “purchased with a price” and became the slaves of the one who saved them. Because He paid that price the penalty for sin no longer applies to them and because they are His slaves there are some particular rules applicable to them that were not present under the law…

    The advent of Christianity was the change in the social order I was referring to.

    These points are spiritually apprehended. According to Scripture, it’s foolishness to someone who does not have the Spirit of God.

    Does that help answer your question?

    Yes, it does. I have put a response to this other point, about intuition, on my own blog. Now I need to hunt up a PDF of Augustine, to see what you’re talking about.

    Thanks again for an interesting discussion.

    Boxer

  115. Cane Caldo says:

    @Barne

    He [Wilson] also hasn’t banned anyone for disagreeing with him one way or the other.

    He deleted my comment instead of letting it through moderation. I thought it might be the case, so I copied it into a text file. Here it is:

    “In the meantime, my original 21 theses had apparently been responded to here, which I just now read in the writing of this post, and I am afraid my response to the corporal punishment aficionados was taken as an assertion on my part that any disagreement with me from my right must be coming from wife beaters. Such poisoning the well would be a bad thing, and so for any readers who were disappointed in what they considered charitably to be uncharacteristic squid ink, please know that I did not do this thing.”

    I gathered this from your post, and considered writing a correction in the comments of Dalrock’s post, but I chose not too because it was more trouble that it is worth. First, I would have had to straighten out what you made crooked (more of a swirl, really), then I would have had to explain why I still disagreed. Better to just let it alone.

    “This point could easily be misrepresented, so I will have to ask my critics to refrain until I get to a fuller treatment of [headship].”

    How many posts on the headship of the husband do you need to write to approach a full treatment? There are a dozen here already. How did it come to be that you have yet to write something in fullness?

    From this side of the screen, here are three bits of advice:

    1) Say plainly that to be in submission means to be obedient. There are hard cases that come along. Those hard cases aren’t fit for general instruction. That makes them poor topics for a public teaching blog; the nature of which is speaking of generalities, to a general public.

    2) Don’t talk around the subject of marital roles until you have spoken plainly on the roles. This post is a good example of the wrong way to do it. So is the Wife Beaters post. In both you point to your left and *imply* those people are bad, then point to your right and *imply* those people are bad, too. Then you talk about what you didn’t mean, and what they shouldn’t mean, and what does it mean if we reflect on this string of words over here… You generally fail to make a definitive statement. Altogether the tactics and deflections are supposed to imply that whatever remains is correct, at the sensible center; because you’re Sensible Centrist Doug. But we don’t need to know if Wilson is sensibly centrist, or even if he is ever confused with bad people. We need to know if Wilson is correct. Be actually bold on the topic for a change. Don’t waste time and effort differentiating yourself from “those Bad people over there”.

    3) This will really help you: When writing about women, resist the urge to talk about men screwing up. That is a different topic. This is a great temptation for men. He believes it will give him a sense of integrity and humility, and thereby save him some grief from women because they will see him as unbiased. It won’t, and they won’t. It will just encourage women to tell themselves that they are primarily victims of men’s sin rather than the owners of sinful hearts who do sin all on their own. Some days you might want to talk about men’s failings. By all means: Fire away on those days. But on days you write on women’s temptations to sin, do not pollute it with irrelevant comments about how men sin too, dontchaknow.

    (In the deleted comment I wrote “two bits of advice”, and proceeded to write three of them. Perhaps my arithmetic is what got the comment deleted.)

  116. Anon says:

    Always remember that the inversion of headship (as advocated by pastorbators like Wilson) is officially and appropriately referred to as ‘Buttship’

    Functional societies had Headship.

    Feminist police states/goddess cults have Buttship.

  117. Cane Caldo says:

    @Anon

    Feminist police states/goddess cults have Buttship.

    LOL!

    Welcome to the buttship, where women twerk hard and think deep thots.

  118. Cane Caldo says:

    Update: My comment was posted. First it was in moderation, then it disappeared for hours, now it’s approved.

  119. Lost Patrol says:

    Cane Caldo’s Checklist of Courage. An easy, three step process for clergy to evaluate their writings on marriage.

    1) Say plainly that to be in submission means to be obedient.

    2) Don’t talk around the subject of marital roles until you have spoken plainly on the roles.

    3) When writing about women, resist the urge to talk about men screwing up.

  120. earl says:

    @Cane…you nailed it with the biggest temptation for men when it comes to talking about women’s sinful nature.

  121. Pingback: Lead Women with Strength, White Men | Faith & Heritage

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