Do you smell that?

In The Death of Christian Britain Callum Brown explains that the evangelical narrative in Britain in from the 1800s until the collapse in the 1960s was that if a woman’s husband was godly she was sure to be in love and happy (emphasis mine):

In featuring women’s relationships with men, the evangelical narrative was invariably drawn into romance…

Romance was a test for all manner of virtues…

Finding the right Christian husband was the uppermost consideration rather than the age of engagement.  The ending, as in all evangelical stories, was always happy — as in Love’s Healing in the 1920s which concludes with the heroine marrying ‘a splendid Christian man.  She is fortunate indeed and will be a happy wife.’  By the 1930s and 1940s, scores of paperback religious novels appeared, aimed almost exclusively at teenage girls and young women.  Love was the dominant theme, following a format familiar to Mills & Boon readers, but with a Christian ‘spin’, ending with lines like:  ‘What are you thinking of, darling?’ whispered her husband.  ‘I was thinking how good God is.  I’ve never been so happy in my life.’  Romance was set within a tough system of moral values, but it was invariably the man’s moral values that were the criteria, making the women’s issue the arrival at the right judgment on the man’s worthiness.

Readers of this blog may recall that Pastor Douglas Wilson teaches this same theology in his book Reforming Marriage.  Wilson explains in the introduction that this is in fact the foundation of the message of the book.  Moreover, if the husband failed to make the wife happy by doing as the book instructed, Wilson explains that this is God’s sign that the man is a hypocrite and is not a Godly man (emphasis mine):

In other words, keeping God’s law with a whole heart (which is really what love is) is not only seen in overt acts of obedience. The collateral effect of obedience is the aroma of love. This aroma is out of reach for those who have a hypocritical desire to be known by others as a keeper of God’s law. Many can fake an attempt at keeping God’s standards in some external way. What we cannot fake is the resulting, distinctive aroma of pleasure to God…

Christ has loved the Church in the same the way He wants men to love their wives. He has done so as an example. The love and affection of Christ has been set upon His people alone. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives alone. This is the duty I hope to explain and amplify throughout the course of this small book.

But we should already know from all of this that such obedience is not exhausted by the external conformity to God’s requirements. Godly obedience will always bring in its train a host of intangibles. These intangibles constitute the aroma of obedience, and this aspect of true obedience frustrates the paint-by-numbers approach to marriage enhancement. This is why I am afraid that this book will be of little use to those who simply want a “formula” to follow that will build them a happy marriage. When it comes to the externals, the mere copyist can always say of himself what the unregenerate Saul could say, “concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Phil. 3:6). However hard the externalist tries, he cannot produce the aroma of godliness.

…In the same way, the love of the Christian husband does not proceed from reading the “right books,” including this one, or going to the right seminars. God will not patch His grace onto some humanistic psychological nonsense—even if that nonsense is couched and buried in Christian terminology. It proceeds from an obedient heart, and the greatest desire of an obedient heart is the glory of God…

…When a husband seeks to glorify God in his home, he will be equipped to love his wife as he is commanded. And if he loves his wife as commanded, the aroma of his home will be pleasant indeed.

This silly game must have seemed so harmless in the 1800s and early 1900s.  But following the advent of second wave feminism and the divorce revolution we can see how immensely evil this game really is.  In the era of “the problem with no name”, and divorce made moral by the death of women’s romantic feelings, telling women that if they aren’t happy, if they aren’t feeling the tingle, that these things are God’s message that their husband is to blame for their discontentment is truly, profoundly, evil.

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This entry was posted in Attacking headship, Callum Brown, Chivalry, Courtly Love, Disrespecting Respectability, Divorce, Pastor Doug Wilson, Reforming Marriage, Romantic Love, selling divorce, The Death of Christian Britain, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye. Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to Do you smell that?

  1. Pingback: Do you smell that? | @the_arv

  2. Sharkly says:

    …When a husband seeks to glorify God in his home, he will be equipped to love his wife as he is commanded. And if he loves his wife as commanded, the aroma of his home will be pleasant indeed.
    The prophet Hosea was the only man besides Jesus(who was also God) who was specifically selected to be the example of God’s love. No doubt, Hosea was a most loving man to have been chosen by God to illustrate God’s own love. Unfortunately, if you read his story, Hosea’s wife Gomer was completely unfaithful, and disrespectful. In short, God wanted us to see, that you can love like God, and still be treated horribly. I’m sick of these false teachers who don’t care to teach what is really in the Bible.

  3. earl says:

    Hosea’s wife Gomer was completely unfaithful, and disrespectful. In short, God wanted us to see, that you can love like God, and still be treated horribly.

    I just started reading Hosea…I thought the point God was trying to show how Israel was treating Him when it was departing.

    I mean He told Hosea to name his daughter ‘Not-loved’ and his second son ‘Not-My-People’.

  4. earl says:

    Romance was a test for all manner of virtues…

    Funny how it went from obedience to romance.

  5. David J. says:

    Let me know if I’m missing any relevant scriptures on this subject, but it occurs to me that the only time God ever says that one spouse’s biblical behavior will or may result in the other spouse’s biblical behavior, He is speaking to wives of disobedient husbands: “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. . . . Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” (1 Pet. 3:5-6)

    I can’t recall any corresponding promise to husbands that if they love their wives as Christ loves the church, their wives will respond with biblical respect and submission, let alone happiness. So the trope that most or all Christian women will respond positively to their husbands’ love — and that if she’s not happy/respectful/submissive, it’s because he doesn’t love her like he should — is directly contrary to explicit scripture regarding marriage. Scripture teaches that husbands will respond positively to their wives’ submission, respect, pure conduct, a gentle and quiet spirit, obedience, and doing good. It does not teach that wives will respond positively to their husbands’ love.

    Is that accurate?

  6. earl says:

    I can’t recall any corresponding promise to husbands that if they love their wives as Christ loves the church, their wives will respond with biblical respect and submission, let alone happiness.

    I believe the verse says husbands are to do that for their wife’s sanctification…and that a husband loves his wife like his own body. Nowhere does it say this directly results in her submitting from what I can read. In fact the submitting verses actually come before the instruction to the husband…so perhaps there’s a reason for that order.

  7. Sharkly says:

    Earl,
    I just started reading Hosea…I thought the point God was trying to show how Israel was treating Him when it was departing.

    Yes, That was part of the reason for Hosea to do what he was commanded to do, in front of the nation of Israel. But there are more reasons for why that book was written before the foundation of the world, and included in the Bible for us today. Refuting crap like the idea that a loving husband will cause his home to be happy, is an important part of it. Just like the book of Job shows that being the most righteous and wise man, does not insure success, happiness, or stability.
    Ultimately God does not want us to love, and be righteous, because we are guaranteed to benefit from it in this life. God wants us to love, and be righteous in spite of the fact that we are not guaranteed anything in this life, because we fear God, and have the faith to know that regardless of what happens to us in this life, fearing God, fleeing from evil, and loving God and our neighbor, and making peace with God’s son and worshipping Him as God, will put us on the correct side of our eternal judge, who is able to destroy both the body and soul, of those who show contempt for God, in eternal fire.
    I’m convinced that I’d be happier in this life if I just made friends with the world, which causes enmity with God. But, I’m choosing, by faith, to make friends with God, which makes me an enemy of the world, and their worldly churches.

  8. Sharkly says:

    In fact the submitting verses actually come before the instruction to the husband…so perhaps there’s a reason for that order.
    Amen!
    It always occurs in that order in the Bible. See Ephesians 5 also. The loving response to disobedience, is discipline. Our churches have no church discipline, because they don’t love enough to do what is best for the sinner, because there is a perceived cost to the church in the form of lost contributions and reduced attendance. They’re more interested in appeasing the worldly, than obeying God.

  9. Luke says:

    There are so many simple, fairly reliable tests to see if a woman is potentially sufficiently submissive to make a legitimate wife, I daily kick myself I used few to none of them before my marriages. My favorites remain finding out:
    1) what she says about (and willingness to associate with) women who frivorce;
    2) if she believes that transient changes in blood chemical composition are more definitive than legal contracts and sacred vows re who a woman is to have sex with;
    3) which (sadly NWIH could “none” be possible) books of the Bible the version she goes by lacks.
    (Just put Ephesians, Corinthians, Peter, Titus, or Timothy in front of >95% of Western women now, and watch them do their best imitation of “Wicked Witch of the West meets bucket of water”.)

  10. earl says:

    (Just put Ephesians, Corinthians, Peter, Titus, or Timothy in front of >95% of Western women now, and watch them do their best imitation of “Wicked Witch of the West meets bucket of water”.)

    That’s the fruits of rebellion, man.

  11. patriarchal landmine says:

    yea I smell that.

  12. Hmm says:

    Doug Wilson clarifies (??) his blog post on wives separating from their husbands:
    https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/books/i-not-the-lord.html

  13. Swanny River says:

    Wilson’s messages really make wonder what he really thinks. I focus on two possibilities: knowingly twists the scripture for money or just has an unfocused and unexamined mind. His defenders here offer a third choice, that is, that Wilson is a solid brother who doesn’t explain himself well and is in error in a couple of spots, but the errors are small compared with the great good-teaching he carries out.
    Since I am looking at the unknowable motivations of a person, I say to you Sharkly that we don’t have any idea if the leaders are trying to appease the worldly or trying to build bridges with them, in obedience to God to share the gospel. They always throw the word “winsome” in my face when I discuss it with elders I know.

  14. Swanny River says:

    Hmm,
    Good link. I thought that was clarifying and a solid explanation. So why doesn’t he do the same for his stinky writing about aroma?

  15. Pingback: Do you smell that? | Reaction Times

  16. Sharkly says:

    Apparently sometimes standing up to false teachers like Doug Wilson, does get them to back up a bit. Doug had thrown the door wide open for an Unhaaapy woman to frivorce. And now he backs up and says What he wrote was just unclear. LOL Things are always unclear when Doug writes. Clarity is not the point for this false teacher. Ambiguity creates a world of Grey where Doug’s flock need to personally get his interpretation of their situation to feel sure about what is right. He is making himself necessary, by making things confusing where God wrote clearly.

  17. Jack Russell says:

    “Spineless men are always threatened by “strong” women.

  18. earl says:

    OT but relevant:

    ‘ The Deadly Disease Infecting Christianity In America ‘

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/33488/walsh-cowards-matt-walsh

    ‘It is useful, then, to compare his attitude to that of the spineless, gutless jellyfish who call themselves “Christian” in the West today. While he (John the Baptist) died for his defense of sexual morality and marriage, polls show that the church in America has abandoned its defenses on both fronts. A majority of Christians endorse same sex marriage, divorce, and fornication. It would be one thing if a majority struggled personally with those issues. The problem is actually the opposite: there isn’t any struggle. We have simply declared that these things are not sins and carry no consequence. We believe that sexual immorality, as a category, has drifted outside the realm of moral scrutiny.This has been the general trend for most of the popular sins in our society. Even abortion is enjoying approval among wide swaths of self-identifying Christians.’

  19. earl says:

    Heck when people (yes I’m talking about the Toad) are rationalizing fornication as marriage…you know he’s not far off.

  20. Spike says:

    Romance is still defining marriage, Dalrock. That’s due to what you called inversion: Romantic love being a environment to evaluate sex and marriage, rather than marriage being a forum to evaluate sex and love.
    ”Romantic Love” is a thread of Greek / pagan / polytheistic thought that has hitch-hiked it’s way into the modern world via the literary devices described above. It is not Biblical.
    That ”Romantic Love” is practically non-existent in the Bible with the exception of Song of Songs, people were nonetheless married. The difference is that the institution of binding vows before God created the scaffold for (women’s) romantic love to work and because it is a feeling that flitted in and out of relationships, it is not alluded to. It is the partnerships that count: Sarah and Abraham,Ruth and Boaz, Joseph and Mary.
    The trouble with Marriage 2.0 is that the scaffold has been dismantled, so all that his present is m’lady’s feelings.
    ”If she’s unhappy, she should divorce…”.

  21. Dalrock says:

    @Swanny River

    I thought that was clarifying and a solid explanation. So why doesn’t he do the same for his stinky writing about aroma?

    Really? It was more squid ink. In your own words, what did he say?

  22. Rick says:

    ‘What are you thinking of, darling?’ whispered her husband. ‘I was thinking how good God is. I’ve never been so happy in my life.’
    A relationship with God predicated only on feelings is a sure path to a dead faith. Obedience rarely feels good in the onset, which is why is probably never preached to women.

  23. feeriker says:

    And now [Doug Wilson] backs up and says What he wrote was just unclear.

    Dougie appears to make that claim with rather alarming frequency, which leads to the obvious question of why anyone listens to him at all. (What used to be known as) common sense normally discourages people from paying any serious attention to anyone who can’t communicate clearly.

    Then again, we’re talking about American churchians here (P.T. Barnum would have had a field day …)

  24. Dale says:

    keeping God’s law with a whole heart… is not only seen in overt acts of obedience. The collateral effect of obedience is the aroma of love. This aroma is out of reach…

    So we should either ignore, or treat as less important, the acts of obedience, in favour of a subjective assessment of whether the man has the “aroma” of love. Hmm… what verses told about how God wants us to show obedience and love?
    John 14:21-24 if you love God, you will obey his commands
    Matt 21:28-32 Parble of the Two Sons. The obedience was shown by the good acts, not the good words.
    Matt 5:13-48, all of chapter 6 and all of chapter 7 (sermon on the mount)

    It is frustrating that religious hirelings care not for the sheep. Oh, wait a minute… I am not supposed to be surprised about that.

  25. ray says:

    ‘Pastor’ Wilson — “But regarding these new situations, these mixed marriages, that Jesus did not address directly, I will speak to them as the Lord’s apostle. If any brother has an unbelieving wife, and she is pleased to live with him, then he must not divorce her.”

    Rong. Antipodally rong. It’s nothing to do with ‘being pleased’ with each other. The Bible does NOT accept this as a premise for divorce. Ever.

    I am unsurprised that Duggles has elevated himself from Pastor to the “Lord’s Apostle.” Filling-in for Jesus while He is away. As the Lord’s Voice, as such, no need for pesky archangels and riffraff. Deigning. stooping down to ‘speak’ to all the Little People attendant upon the Apostle’s Word as conduit to Jesus.

    You will learn humility young man before you leave here. You better pray both happen soon.

  26. Paul says:

    The Doug Wilson article was written in response to a well written critique on Wilson. It is worth the read: https://bnonn.com/straddling-the-stallion-and-the-mare/

  27. Opus says:

    Mills and Boon romances (I believe in the United States they are published as Harlequin) were the staple of a certain type of woman and the genre is still very popular, not that any man has ever read one or any woman will admit to reading them but I was thus surprised to learn that there was a sub-genre of the type that Dalrock above describes. It all goes back to Jane Austen, Jane Eyre and Richardson’s Pamela of the 1740s.

    May I also as my mind is still on the previous thread and it is not unrelated say how Blue Pill so many of the lyrics of popular music were and for all I know still are – not that the lyrics that Schumann and Schubert and the other classical composers set were any better.

  28. c0l0nelp0pc0rn says:

    I believe that the insinuation is that they weren’t actually his children, but legitimized bastards.

  29. Hmm says:

    @Paul,

    Thanks for the link. One thing that I always admired about Wilson was his insistence on standing up for the plain meaning of Scripture, even (and especially) when it went against the cultural grain. But the Bible’s counsel for wives to stay with abusive, unbelieving husbands as long as the husbands wish to stay is part of what got Paige Patterson fired, and to stand up for the Bible here is a very tough thing in the #MeToo culture.

    One interesting question in the case of an abusive husband is, is there a “how much more” argument (“If this is true of a wife with her unbelieving husband, how much more is it true of a woman married to a believing husband”)? Or is there a turnabout argument (“This is what you will face with an unbeliever, and your staying with him might lead to his conversion – but such behavior should not be tolerated in a Christian marriage, since there are other means to bring him to repentance”)?

  30. Sharkly says:

    Hmm,
    is there a “how much more” argument?
    Yes, and the Bible clearly states in the passage below, that any man or woman should be willing to suffer unjust buffeting right on up to death, and that we are in fact called to suffer, and Christ was our example. It specifically says that wives are to likewise be in subjection to their husbands, just as we are subject to capital punishment from the government, and being wrongly beaten by a cruel master. It is not a complicated message, just unpopular.
    For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

    1 peter 2:19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23 Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
    3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.

  31. Paul says:

    @Hmm

    I think Bnonn makes a concise and clear observation :

    “when Paul goes on to talk about unbelieving spouses in vv 12–16, the initial principle of vv. 10–11 is the explicit context of those attenuating remarks. And the attenuating remarks are: you must observe the principle of marital fidelity in obedience to the Lord (vv. 12–13), but if your unbelieving spouse will not—as is possible because he is disobedient to the Lord in general—then let him separate, and you are free from the marriage (v. 15).”

    Notice that Douglas Wilson is actually giving a concrete advice to a woman to separate from her husband: “And so, given what you have described, my counsel would be for you to go.”

    Bnonn: “But is separation being forced on the woman in Doug’s example? No, absolutely not. This is about her wanting to separate from him, not vice versa. And the command there is explicitly the precise opposite of Doug’s council: she should NOT do it.”

  32. Swanny River says:

    What I took from the Wilson response was that he is making it clear that he isn’t saying that the scripture isn’t authoritative because Paul says, “I, not the Lord.” That helps weak women deal with the text directly. Second, he doesn’t give them an out by saying anything about their feelings as being an authority either. He squashes that by saying no relationships if you are separated, you must reconcile. That implies, “regardless of your tingles or discontent.”
    Lastly, I never heard a pastor say that “the Lord, not I” refers to Jesus’s marriage statements, so that was interesting to me.
    How I understood Wilson, was that he was saying, using Sharkly’s situation as an example, “Mrs. Sharkly, if you separate from your believing husband, then there is no divorce allowed or new dudes allowed, you must reconcile.”
    Now, unfortunately, Sharkly doesn’t have a fellowship that is echoing and whispering for his wife to reconcile. But I don’t see what Wilson wrote as strengthening women’s rebellious nature, so that is why I liked the post that Hmm linked to.

    I probably need to read it again, and I thank you for giving me a different opinion about it.

  33. Swanny River says:

    Yikes, the preceding posts about Bnonn weren’t up before I started writing my comment.
    I need to read his critique. But in the post Hmm linked to, Wilson was silent about saying he advocated for a wife to leave, maybe I should have assumed it based on the original column.

  34. Sharkly says:

    As this godly martyr [Robert Samuel] was going to the fire, there came a certain maid to him, which took him about the neck, and kissed him, who, being marked by them that were present, was sought for the next day after, to be had to prison and burned, as the very party herself informed me: howbeit, as God of His goodness would have it, she escaped their fiery hands, keeping herself secret in the town a good while after.
    But as this maid, called Rose Nottingham, was marvellously preserved by the providence of God, so there were other two honest women who did fall into the rage and fury of that time. The one was a brewer’s wife, the other was a shoemaker’s wife, but both together now espoused to a new husband, Christ.
    With these two was this maid aforesaid very familiar and well acquainted, who, on a time giving counsel to the one of them, that she should convey herself away while she had time and space, had this answer at her hand again: “I know well,” saith she, “that it is lawful enough to fly away; which remedy you may use, if you list. But my case standeth otherwise. I am tied to a husband, and have besides young children at home; therefore I am minded, for the love of Christ and His truth, to stand to the extremity of the matter.”
    And so the next day after Samuel suffered, these two godly wives, the one called Anne Potten, the other called Joan Trunchfield, the wife of Michael Trunchfield, shoemaker, of Ipswich, were apprehended, and had both into one prison together. As they were both by sex and nature somewhat tender, so were they at first less able to endure the straitness of the prison; …
    For that morning
    [of the burning] … had she put on a smock, that she had prepared only for that purpose. And also having a child, a little young infant sucking on her, whom she kept with her tenderly all the time that she was in prison, against that day likewise did she send away to another nurse, and prepared herself presently to give herself for the testimony of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. … In a short time came a writ from London for the burning, which according to the effect thereof, was executed.

    From: Fox’s Book of Martyrs ~ The Vision of Three Ladders

  35. thedeti says:

    Hmm:

    Re Douglas Wilson:

    A pastor/preacher who is constantly having to respond, counterreply, clarify, explain, backtrack, and refine the messages he’s putting out there, might not be on very theologically sound footing.

    If a pastor can’t get it correct and clear the first or second time, maybe he should think about, review, and ruminate over, his posts/writings before hitting “publish”.

    If people with little to no theological training are pointing out glaring errors in a pastor’s theological pronouncements, Houston, we have a problem.

  36. Swanny River says:

    Yes Sharkly, the story helps illuminate how far we have fsllen. So in one absolute way, yes, it’s ridiculous to ask about what justifies a wife separating from a Godly husband.
    But these are different, and sicker, times. I’ve seen ( unbeliever) a family member kill herself via alcoholism ( only took about 10 years) because she couldn’t deal with a special needs kid, even though she had a good husband. And your wife should stay with you, regardless of her feelings, but the choices she sees are freedom and divorce, wait and see separation, or untenable stress of marriage. She is dumb, blind, and weak, but I can see a strategy that says, you’ll get your space, but you still have to go back and still have to repent of your choice-driven behaviors. I thought Wilson was aiming at the latter, more than saying her feelings are king and that she should separate because of her feelings.

  37. thedeti says:

    With Pastor Doug Wilson, it seems that every third one of his posts are explanations, refinements, responses, or “clarifications” to a prior post, because someone pointed out a theological hole big enough to drive a truck through; or a theological error that even a cursory reading of Scripture (the original source material) reveals.

  38. Damn Crackers says:

    @Spike – Plato (through the voice of Socrates) even considers the worship of one woman (like in Courtly Love or Oneitis) as the lowest form of love, even lower than promiscuity. Remember Socrates telling of the story of Diotima in the Symposium about the ladder of love:

    Lowest Rung of Love: Love of one specific beautiful body (lust of ONE lady/man)
    Next Highest: Love of all beautiful bodies (lusting after any beautiful lady/man)
    Highest Love: Love of the True Good/Beauty (Christians would say this is the Love of God)

    My point is many of the ancients realized the problems with obsessing over one woman like in Courtly Love. I also think this is what Jesus was meaning also when he was talking about lusting over a woman is like adultery (in Matt 5:28).

  39. Dalrock says:

    @Swanny River

    Yikes, the preceding posts about Bnonn weren’t up before I started writing my comment.
    I need to read his critique. But in the post Hmm linked to, Wilson was silent about saying he advocated for a wife to leave, maybe I should have assumed it based on the original column.

    Wilson linked to Bnonn’s post in the beginning, since the post is a response to Bnonn’s criticism. Don’t let Wilson distract you with BS. In his original post Wilson referred to 1 Cor 7:10:

    10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.

    First Wilson contradicted the first half of verse 10 by saying that later in the verse Paul is speaking in his capacity as a pastor, even though Paul immediately prefaces his charge by clarifying that it comes from God. Then Wilson claimed that Paul is telling wives they are free to separate if they feel that Paul’s “advice” to not separate doesn’t apply to them. Here is what Wilson wrote in the original post regarding 1 Cor 7:10

    It is interesting here that Paul advises a woman not to leave if she can help it—“the wife should not separate from her husband.” That is his apostolic counsel, but it is clear from the context that it is merely advice. If she sees that his generally good advice is not pertinent to her situation, she is left free to leave without being hassled about it by the apostle. So if he would leave you alone in this decision, then so should the elders of your church.

    With this in mind, after reading Wilson’s most recent post:
    1) Did Wilson repent of the false teaching?
    2) Did Wilson convince you that when Paul wrote “Not I but the Lord” that he meant the opposite, and that when Paul wrote “A wife must not separate from her husband.” he meant “A wife is free to separate from her husband if she wants to”.

    For bonus points, how did Wilson address Bnonn’s point that Wilson ignored 1 Pet 3 in counseling this wife on how to respond to a sinning husband?

  40. Scott says:

    I completely reject the make her happy school of thought but what then is the Red Pill scriptural interpretation of “…love your wife as Christ loved the Church.”? Dalrock have you dealt with this and I missed it?

  41. Jeff Strand says:

    This would also make some heads explode today, in FrancisChurch:

    “PRESERVE, then, O husbands, a tender, constant and cordial love towards your wives, for the woman was drawn from that side of the first man which was nearest to his heart, to the end that she might be loved by him cordially and tenderly. The weaknesses and infirmities, whether bodily or spiritual, of your wives, ought not to provoke you to any sort of disdain, but rather to a sweet and loving compassion, for God has created them such, so that, since they are dependent upon you, you may receive more honour and respect thereby, and may have them as companions in such sort that you may be nevertheless their heads and superiors in authority.”
    —- St. Francis de Sales

  42. Jeff Strand says:

    And of course, the classic take on this question comes from Pope Pius XI in his encyclical on Christian marriage “Casti Connubii”. Here’s an excerpt for your perusal, but note that while this encyclical is not that old (my still-living mother was a child at the time of its issuance), it’s very different than what you’ll hear from today’s FrancisChurch:

    “With great wisdom Our predecessor Leo XIII, of happy memory, in the Encyclical on Christian marriage which We have already mentioned, speaking of this order to be maintained between man and wife, teaches: “The man is the ruler of the family, and the head of the woman; but because she is flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone, let her be subject and obedient to the man, not as a servant but as a companion, so that nothing be lacking of honor or of dignity in the obedience which she pays. Let divine charity be the constant guide of their mutual relations, both in him who rules and in her who obeys, since each bears the image, the one of Christ, the other of the Church.”

    This subjection, however, does not deny or take away the liberty which fully belongs to the woman both in view of her dignity as a human person, and in view of her most noble office as wife and mother and companion; nor does it bid her obey her husband’s every request if not in harmony with right reason or with the dignity due to wife; nor, in fine, does it imply that the wife should be put on a level with those persons who in law are called minors.… For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.”

  43. Opus says:

    The East of England is where Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins (so memorably performed by your Vincent Price) sought heretics: The Ipswich Heretics were martyred at The Cornhill. There is now a memorial to the Martyrs in Christchurch Park on the west of the town which Memorial I paid little attention to in the days when I ‘walked out’ with a certain young lady of the said town in that very Park (I have a photo of the event which I took at the time) and indeed watched her at The Cornhill when she was part of a choir singing Xmas Carols. Ipswich always struck me as even more Anti-Catholic than most places and perhaps for obvious reasons. It is worth recalling that Cardinal Wolsey who failed to obtain the Divorce from Catherine that his master Henry required was arrested for Treason and might himself have lost his head had he not first died of natural causes.

  44. Opus says:

    … came form Ipswich where he attended the Grammar School.

  45. freebird says:

    Newspeak
    Godly=meek=doormat husbands

    The idea that a Godly man is strong assertive and confident MUST be quelched for the gynocracy to assert it’s dominion.

    Only women can be strong and assertive,a man with these traits is “abusive” and must be brought under Police State gyno-centrism control.

    Obey or be destroyed.

    God be damned.

  46. BillyS says:

    Swanny River,

    I doubt any fellowship would ever encourage my wife to reconcile. All she has to do to cut that off (if they even said anything that way) would be to bring out the “abuse card” (not true, but they will believe it) and such advice would almost certainly cease in the rare even when it starts

  47. Jeff Strand says:

    Opus: “Ipswich always struck me as even more Anti-Catholic than most places and perhaps for obvious reasons.”

    Just curious as to what those “obvious” reasons are. The subject matter of your post (Witch-finder General Matthew Hopkins) can’t have anything to do with it, surely. For Hopkins was active for only a few years in the 1640’s (he died quite young, while still in his 20’s). By then, all England had been Protestant for a century,

    Hopkins himself was raised by his father, a Puritan minister. And for determining guilt of witchery, Hopkins relied heavily on the book “Daemonologie”, authored by the strongly anti-Catholic King James I. You may recall that this King was so oppressive of the struggling, persecuted, remnant of Catholics in his realm, that, as backlash against such persecution, he triggered the desperate act of Robin Catesby and Guy Fawkes that is famously known as The Gunpowder Plot.

    So you got me scratching my head, wondering how the activities of Matthew Hopkins have anything whatsoever to do with Catholicism, or why those victimized by Hopkins would connect their experience at the hands of this Puritan in any way to the Catholic Church.

    I’m at a loss here.

  48. feeriker says:

    If a pastor can’t get it correct and clear the first or second time, maybe he should think about, review, and ruminate over, his posts/writings before hitting “publish”.

    If people with little to no theological training are pointing out glaring errors in a pastor’s theological pronouncements, Houston, we have a problem.

    Churchian CEOs who are in the business of ear tickling don’t really care what Scripture says. Doug Wilson is no exception. Their customers are perfectly happy to be deluded and ignorant. In fact, that’s what they pay these ear ticklers to do.

    The only reason they make even half-hearted attempts to rebutt criticsm of their scriptural butchery is because conditions haven’t quite yet deteriorated to the point where they can say “f*** the Bible” without experiencing serious blowback. Give it a couple of more years, though, and they won’t even have to pretend to be true to Scripture anymore.

  49. Boxer says:

    Churchian CEOs who are in the business of ear tickling don’t really care what Scripture says. Doug Wilson is no exception. Their customers are perfectly happy to be deluded and ignorant. In fact, that’s what they pay these ear ticklers to do.

    You guys need to quit whining and take some responsibility. These people only operate because Christians in general are such dishonest, immoral cucks. That means all of you, who sit quietly while your brothers donate money to these faggots, lie for them, and attack anyone who raises even the slightest concern about their looney ideology.

    Never forget that these idiots would quit tomorrow, if their audience wasn’t so eagerly supportive.

    Boxer

  50. Eidolon says:

    @Scott

    Not sure about Dalrock, but my understanding is that love in the Christian sense is about action, not emotion. To love someone is to desire their good and work to do what’s best for them. Thus we are told that a man who loves his son will discipline the son, and God disciplines us, sometimes harshly, for our ultimate good.

    Loving a wife as Christ loves the Church is much different than the way women generally interpret it. Making the best decisions for her and the family, enforcing discipline for her actions, leading her properly, and teaching her and helping her interpret the Word are what this love is all about.

    Making your wife “feel loved,” as most wives think “love your wife as Christ loved the Church” means, while it may be good at times, is not a requirement. A son will generally not feel loved while he is being strictly disciplined, but we know this is loving behavior. The Hebrews/Israelites probably did not feel loved during the periods where God let them be enslaved and up to 90% of them were killed, but we know that since God is love, this was loving as well.

  51. Dalrock says:

    @Scott

    I completely reject the make her happy school of thought but what then is the Red Pill scriptural interpretation of “…love your wife as Christ loved the Church.”? Dalrock have you dealt with this and I missed it?

    @Eidolon

    Not sure about Dalrock, but my understanding is that love in the Christian sense is about action, not emotion….

    Making your wife “feel loved,” as most wives think “love your wife as Christ loved the Church” means, while it may be good at times, is not a requirement.

    Morphing the husband’s command to love into the wife “feeling loved” is indeed the problem. I wrote about this six years ago: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/reframing-christian-marriage/

  52. Caspar Reyes says:

    Athol Kay’s Married Man Sex Life brought me a dawning of red-pill awareness. Dalrock’s Reframing Christian Marriage was the red-pill alarm that a thief was looting my house, which caused me to sit bolt upright in blue-pill bed wide awake.

  53. feeriker says:

    You guys need to quit whining and take some responsibility. These people only operate because Christians in general are such dishonest, immoral cucks. That means all of you, who sit quietly while your brothers donate money to these faggots, lie for them, and attack anyone who raises even the slightest concern about their looney ideology.

    Never forget that these idiots would quit tomorrow, if their audience wasn’t so eagerly supportive.

    All we red-pill Christians can do is offer red-pill truth (whether in candy or rectal suppository form) to those who are deceived and attack the sources of their delusion by exposing them for the frauds and wolves that they are (which Dalrock does so effectively here). That still doesn’t guarantee that they will choose to see the light, stop enabling the false teachers, or fight for the truth. Worldly delusions, like addictions, are frightfully difficult to let go of.

    Even Jesus limited His responses to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees to rebuking them and instructing them (and those they had deceived). So listened to Him and changed their ways, many others didn’t. He didn’t slaughter them all, or force the Temple to shut down with a wave of His hand in order to stop the work of the devil.

  54. Opus says:

    @Jeff Strand

    You are quite right. Not sure how I conflated the two centuries. The reason for the Ipswich anti-Catholicism is the Martyrs but the degree of anti-Catholicism was just my impression. My bad.

  55. BillyS says:

    Scott,

    I completely reject the make her happy school of thought but what then is the Red Pill scriptural interpretation of “…love your wife as Christ loved the Church.”? Dalrock have you dealt with this and I missed it?

    Where does that require the wife (or the Church) to be happy? A lot of what Jesus requires of the church definitely does not keep us happy. And that is the wrong goal. The joy of the Lord is our strength, not the happiness of the Lord.

    Happiness is largely driven from contentment, and that lies in the individual, the wife in this case. That is why Paul noted that he found contentment in whatever state he found himself.

    (A joke: Paul must not have been a Texan since he could be content in any state….)

  56. Emperor Constantine says:

    Sorry O/T:

    You know things are grim when you can’t tell the difference between Wicca and Lutheran pastors.

    I did not know that the only purpose of the clitoris was pleasure therefore the only purpose of sex is pleasure. Missed that in Scripture.

    Awesome tattoos!!!

  57. Burner Prime says:

    If it smells anything like those hot farts, she is free to go.

  58. Paul says:

    @Jeff: “For if the man is the head, the woman is the heart, and as he occupies the chief place in ruling, so she may and ought to claim for herself the chief place in love.”

    So apparently the woman is still pedestalized as if her heart has a special place in the relationship and love is her chief place. It is put against the (right) image of the mean as head, that is as ruler. This imagery is of course a fabrication and does not correspond to the biblical language. As if love is not something both should excel in.

  59. Frank K says:

    The only reason they make even half-hearted attempts to rebutt criticsm of their scriptural butchery is because conditions haven’t quite yet deteriorated to the point where they can say “f*** the Bible” without experiencing serious blowback. Give it a couple of more years, though, and they won’t even have to pretend to be true to Scripture anymore.

    In other words, the eventually become Unitarians.

  60. seventiesjason says:

    Emperro C….

    Give her a bullhorn and she will sound like Chairman Mao’s wife…….she minds me of the Methodist pastor at my undergrad back in Vermont (the methodist church founded my college). She had buzzed and clipped hair, didn’t wear the proper vestments was more concerned about being “equitable” and I never once heard her invoke the name of Jesus whole time there. Yes, she was a lesbian as well.

  61. earl says:

    So apparently the woman is still pedestalized as if her heart has a special place in the relationship and love is her chief place.

    Then I’ll ask you…if her heart has no special place in the relationship, then’s what the point of discerning a potential wife? Just man up and marry any ole slut. It’s not like a bad heart will ever torpedo a marriage & family.

    Besides, is this pedestalizing?

    ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’
    Proverbs 31:30

  62. Sharkly says:

    earl,
    You are reading things into Paul’s statement. “No special place”, means that her heart has a similar place to the man’s. She is to love God, her mate, and her neighbor as herself, just like he is to do the same. However love is more of a choice than an emotion. Our relationship should not rest on our emotions. So really, our marriages should daily flow from commitments of the mind, not fickle emotions of the heart. And a mind set on God should then cause us to love the Lord with all our heart. If wives would set their mind on pleasing their God and their husband, as God commands her to be subject to her husband as unto the Lord in everything, and if she would daily pray with her head covered for the grace to respect her husband’s position over her, and if she believed that men and not women were in the image and glory of God, and that she was instead to be the glory of her husband, then I don’t doubt that she would also find it a joy to love her husband heartily if he was a decent man, and find it possible to love him deeply even if he was a cruel man.

  63. BillyS says:

    That picture makes her look as ugly on the outside as I am sure she is on the inside. (I can’t handle these videos as much anymore, so I didn’t even try for this one.)

  64. Scott says:

    @ Dalrock
    Morphing the husband’s command to love into the wife “feeling loved” is indeed the problem. I wrote about this six years ago: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/reframing-christian-marriage/

    Thanks for pointing me to your previous post. I had read that one and it ably covers how the doctrine has bee corrupted and what it is not. I guess what I’m really looking for is moreso what IS the doctrine in a positive sense.

  65. Emperor Constantine says:

    BillyS Said:
    “That picture makes her look as ugly on the outside as I am sure she is on the inside. (I can’t handle these videos as much anymore, so I didn’t even try for this one.)”

    You are right, she’s very creepy. Seriously, I think she is demonically possessed: there is something very odd about how she speaks, her mannerisms, etc. Something not quite right in an eerie way. Think how pleased Satan is with her, misleading Christians from the pulpit is clearly the best strategy for him.

  66. PokeSalad says:

    “A thankful woman raises up glory to her husband,
    but a throne of dishonor is a woman who hates righteousness.”

  67. Paul says:

    @earl: “Then I’ll ask you…if her heart has no special place in the relationship, then’s what the point of discerning a potential wife? ”

    Sharkly clarified my point, but I’ll add that the point indeed is that “love” and “heart” are NOT special properties of women in a relationship; BOTH men and women should put their heart and their love into the relationship.

    If anything, I think a woman brings warmth and social cohesion into a family, more than a man typically does. Women tend to be more emotionally and socially driven. Men tend to excel at shaping things outside the house/home, women tend to excel at shaping things inside the house/home.

  68. feeriker says:

    If wives would set their mind on pleasing their God and their husband, as God commands her to be subject to her husband as unto the Lord in everything, and if she would daily pray with her head covered for the grace to respect her husband’s position over her, and if she believed that men and not women were in the image and glory of God, and that she was instead to be the glory of her husband, then I don’t doubt that she would also find it a joy to love her husband heartily if he was a decent man, and find it possible to love him deeply even if he was a cruel man.

    Imagine if this was a test for a woman to determine whether or not she was a true Christian. The total number of Christian women in ihe West would probably fit inside of a single Greyhound bus, with plenty of room to spare.

    Seriously, I think she is demonically possessed: there is something very odd about how she speaks, her mannerisms, etc. Something not quite right in an eerie way. Think how pleased Satan is with her, misleading Christians from the pulpit is clearly the best strategy for him.

    Given that women in the pulpits flies directly in the face of Scripture and is thus unchristian, why wouldn’t she be possessed by the one she serves?

  69. The notion of the ladies’ happiness or perceived domestic bliss being proof of the relationship’s “rightness” is all over our culture, secular and “Christian” alike. Example A is country music: pick any five songs at random and you’ll find the primacy of “love” and/or feelings repeated, even emphasized, in one or more of them. I’ve always liked Johnny Cash, and “I Walk the Line” is a good ol’ classic, but dang it, Johnny! The happiness you’ve known don’t PROVE anything! Let me rap you with a frypan here and explain this little thing called “proof” so’s you’ll understand it. But so it goes.

  70. Swanny River says:

    I finally have time to address the previous questions. In order,
    1. Not a full repentance bit much of actual turning away in regards to the content that he did address in the latest post. For example, I thought his original post made it sound like he didn’t think Paul’s advice had the authority of scripture, but the follow-up made it clear that he does consider it Scripture. Not repentance but making it clear he wasn’t removing jots, titles, and sentences from the Bible.
    2. I read into this a bit, but I give him the benefit of the doubt that if she does separate, then Wilson would say she needs to be reconciled to him. Like another poster here said, “but if she does” means at least, she shouldn’t make it worse by moving on. He says they won’t excommunicate a women who separates from her husband, but that she must be reconciled to him. I don’t think women should separate but his example is of a batterer(?). Maybe a side issue, besides Wilson’s writing, is whether I am ok with separation. If I was leading a church, I could see myself saying what Wilson said in the follow-up post. If a women is being battered and leaves, I am not going to excommunicate her. Is he saying something different than that?
    3. Bonus points: Wilson failed to respond to Bnonn’s I Peter criticism. I will read Bnonn’s post now, but the excerpts were great and Wilson missed out on an opportunity for his own growth and understanding by blowing that off.
    I had read just Wilson’s post and not Bnonns, but from what others pasted of it here, it is persuasive. And pointing out he is straddling two horses seems spot on.
    But I commented on just his follow-up, and I still maintain that as a stand-alone post, it strikes me as solid.
    Perhaps it is why he is popular and why it is productive of you to examine his writings comprehensively like you do.
    Your writing in the comments and the fellow commenters making insightful points and giving great links provide more Godly growth and examination than much of my church time, and I thank you for it.

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