And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
Commenter Robert very politely disagreed* with my previous post on Pastor Tim Bayly:
I do not know much about this guy, but I’ve clicked on a few links from this post. Links that are supposed to be the evidence against this guy that he is sometimes not excellent…like what can wives do for unemotionally available guys. I won’t quote but in the two paragraphs it says she should submit to him, be sweet to him, pray for him and make sure she and their children honor him. Remind me again why this guy is having a post written about him and this is the evidence against him?
We all have blindspots. This guy, myself and Dalrock also. I think you are looking for a fight, or at least undercutting a brother, in this case Dalrock from someone who is friendly to our cause and is inline with God’s Word.
I doubt you will find too many even here who disagree with the idea that there are many men who are also failing in their husbandly responsibilities. We all know cases of that, we are also not blind to them, either.
The jarring thing, however, is that the churches almost uniformly focus on these (and boy, do they) but almost never address what is happening on the other side of the sexual aisle. This is the overwhelming trend in the churches, and it is so ever-present that it can be hard even to notice it precisely because it is the default setting. There are many reasons for this, and Dalrock has discussed most of them on this blog at length. But the reason why he focuses as he does is because this is simply underfocused on the churches, and this blog is a kind of corrective to that overwhelmingly common tendency.
Novaseeker is right, but there is more that I would add. The problem isn’t merely that men’s sins are obsessed over while women’s sins are ignored. This would be bad enough, as it would only permit men the opportunity to repent while depriving women of the same. The much larger problem is that the mis characterization of feminist rebellion prevents both men and women from acknowledging what is really happening, and therefore prevents the opportunity of repentance for both sexes.
The general pattern of men’s and women’s sins goes back to Genesis, where Eve was easily primed to believe that something great was being unfairly withheld from her, and Adam chose to take the easy path and go along with her instead of putting his foot down.
This pattern is exactly what we see played out today. Women are filled with a spirit of resentment and rebellion (feminism), and men don’t address the issue because calling out women on their sins is extremely difficult and feels terrible. Instead, we find a way to call out another man, because that is easy and feels heroic. This pattern is so common we don’t even notice it, but perhaps the most ridiculous example is the complementarian response to women demanding to serve in combat. Instead of pointing out that women are rebelling and engaging in a form of cross-dressing, complementarians pretend that what is really happening is cowardly men are forcing innocent women into combat. As absurd as the claim is, it is widely popular because it avoids what is unpleasant and difficult, and elects instead to do what is easy and feels good. Note that both sexes are sinning in this dynamic; women are rebelling, and cowardly men are doing whatever it takes to avoid what would be the loving response.
Understanding this is critical if we hope to stop making the same mistake over and over again. For men, the problem is not that we are calling out their sins, but we are carefully avoiding calling out the sin enabling the recurring pattern.
For another example, this time I’ll share a post written by someone other than Pastor Bayly. This is a guest post by Pastor David Wegener on Bayly’s blog, and like Bayly’s writing, most of it is outstanding. The post is titled PCA debate over woman deacons: It’s about rebellion–not exegesis… and includes gems like:
Does anyone really think this issue is about what Scripture actually says? Would that it were true. Why is it that men all over the PCA are bringing up this topic at this particular moment in history? Might it have something to do with the air we breathe every day?
Our pastors preach through books like Ephesians and Colossians and sweat bullets as they approach Ephesians 5:22-24 and Colossians 3:18. And if they do preach on the topic, they talk mostly about what submission does not mean. So the final result is, “wives, be nice to your husbands.”
Afterwards, when they greet the congregation, their mouth shows the same expression as a dog cowed into submission by the pack’s alpha dog. The non-verbal communication is obvious.
I highly reccomend reading the whole post. I’ve only included a few snippets for brevity, but the post is brilliant until Pastor Wegener gets to his diagnosis of the root of the rebellion:
But the roots of this rebellion are not in exegesis, and so we must not fight this battle only on that level. The roots lie in our sin. We don’t love our wives and sometimes they become a seething cauldron of bitterness. We love pornography or commit adultery and so we refuse to call our wives to submit (in any area of their lives). Guilt over our compromised state eviscerates our authority. Fathers sexually molest their daughters and bring rebellion into the church for generations to come. Fathers hold their darling on their lap and tell her how she can become president someday. Mothers push their daughters to get the education she’ll need so that she can earn a good living after her husband divorces her and leaves her with three children. Single women, whose fathers and mothers have failed to teach feminine deference, whine about lacking a voice in the church.
Notice that every time a woman sins in the quote above, a man made her do it. Wives rebel because their husbands don’t love them. Women rebel in church because their fathers sexually molested them. Mothers push their daughters to be career women because her future husband will abandon her and her children. Also note that it is true that men can sin in all of the ways Wegener blames for feminist rebellion. Yet this technical truth is used to sell the lie that women aren’t capable of sinning all on their own. Pastor Wegener rightly points out that we need to understand the roots of the rebellion if we are to address the problem, but then goes on to obscure those very roots.
This is something much worse than obsessing over men’s sins and minimizing or denying women’s sins. It is refusing to address the prevailing sins of men and women.
*These are only small excerpts. See the comment thread for the full exchange.