Does romantic love sanctify married sex?

Hence Xystus in his Sentences tells us that “He who too ardently loves his own wife is an adulterer.” It is disgraceful to love another man’s wife at all, or one’s own too much. A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not with passion. Let a man govern his voluptuous impulses, and not rush headlong into intercourse. There is nothing blacker than to love a wife as if she were an adulteress.

— St Jerome, Against Jovinianus (Book I)

I’ve written before about the difficulty Christians past and present have had with the Apostle Paul’s instruction regarding sex in marriage in 1 Cor 7:1-5 (ESV):

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

In the fourth century St. Jerome was convinced that the Apostle Paul was saying sex within marriage was something dirty but better than the alternative:

“It is good,” he says, “for a man not to touch a woman.” If it is good not to touch a woman, it is bad to touch one: for there is no opposite to goodness but badness. But if it be bad and the evil is pardoned, the reason for the concession is to prevent worse evil. But surely a thing which is only allowed because there may be something worse has only a slight degree of goodness.

St. Augustine was more generous to married Christians, and allowed that it wasn’t a sin to have sex in marriage so long as it was passionless duty sex.  Sex with the goal of conceiving a child, or sex to pay the marital debt Paul describes were not sinful in St. Augustine’s view.

But because that Continence is of larger desert, but to pay the due of marriage is no crime, but to demand it beyond the necessity of begetting is a venial fault, but to commit fornication or adultery is a crime to be punished…

But both Augustine and Jerome were in agreement that passionate sex in marriage was a disgrace.

Later Christians took this in the opposite direction, replacing biblical teaching with the courtly love idea that romantic love sanctified sex.  The Puritan poet John Milton wrote in Tetrachordon (1645) that sex without romantic love in marriage was brutish, the act of animals, and therefore sinful:

And although copulation be considered among the ends of marriage, yet the act thereof in a right esteem can no longer be matrimonial, than it is an effect of conjugal love.  When love finds itself utterly unmatched, and justly vanishes, nay rather cannot but vanish, the fleshly act indeed may continue, but not holy, not pure, not beseeming the sacred bond of marriage; being at best but an animal excretion…

Recently Pastor Tim Bayly wrote a post titled Authority and submission: muscles needing exercise.  Shortly after he published the post he wrote a clarifying note at his wife’s request (emphasis mine):

ADDED AFTER POSTING:

At dinner tonight, Mary Lee suggested I add the note that this is not a post on loving your wife or living with her in an understanding way. This post is not inimical to those things, but don’t expect this post specifically to address those seperate, but related, questions.

In that connection, one person tweeted in response to this post, “What do you suggest when a husband exercises his authority muscles and commands his wife to do X (put the kids to bed on time, get ready to have sex) and she disobeys him? How does a Christian husband proceed?”

I responded: “Sex is a matter of love—not command. If your wife doesn’t want to love you, that’s a fundamental problem unlikely to yield to command without becoming brutish and degraded. As for command in other areas, it’s an art—not a science. Any counsel coming from a stranger is useless.”

I add here that sex is the one case in Scripture that actually qualifies as mutual submission in that the Bible speaks explicitly of the authority the husband has over his wife’s body and the authority the wife has over her husband’s body (1Corinthians 7:4). So although I abhor the talk of “marital rape,” sex that is not mutual is not sex as God designed and commands it. As Mary Lee and I agreed when we discussed it a few minutes ago, that means an awful lot of sex down through history has not risen to the level of true intimacy and love, and therefore violated God’s design, sexually.

Note that according to Pastor Bayly’s argument the only married sex that St. Augustine considered truly sinless is sinful because it lacks the sanctification of romantic love.  According to Bayly’s rules, a married couple that doesn’t feel romantic love or sexual attraction is violating God’s sexual design if they have sex with the goal of conceiving a child!  Likewise, if a couple doesn’t feel mutual romantic love but has sex to be faithful to the Apostle Peter’s instruction in 1 Cor 7:1-5 they are sinning!

Both sets of teachings are wrong, and you won’t find them in the Bible:

  1. That sex with passion in marriage is a sin. (Jerome and Augustine)
  2. That sex without romantic passion in marriage is a sin. (Milton and Bayly)

For as Augustine notes, 1 Cor 7 instructs husbands and wives not to deny (defraud) the other of sex.  Interestingly the Apostle Paul describes sex not as “romantic”, but physical:

4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

But this does not mean that passion in marriage is sinful.  Husbands are encouraged in Proverbs 5 to be intoxicated with desire for their wives.  This is not the romantic love that Milton and Bayly argue sanctifies married sex though.  This is a passion like a rutting buck has for a doe in heat:

19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
    may her breasts satisfy you always,
    may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
20 Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?
    Why embrace the bosom of a wayward woman?

This isn’t to say that romantic love in marriage is bad.  To the contrary, it is truly wonderful!  But it isn’t sanctifying.  It is marriage that sanctifies romantic love and sex, but in our modern rebellion we have twisted this around and assert that romantic love sanctifies marriage and sex.

Pastor Bayly has much company in his assertion that romantic love sanctifies sex.  This is the overwhelming consensus in the secular world, and is the moral basis for both gay marriage and no fault divorce.  Moreover, this perversion is the overwhelming consensus in the complementarian Christian world as well, even as they deny the logical conclusions of the perversion.

Moderator’s Note:  Feel free to vigorously disagree with either me or Pastor Bayly.  However, any comments that are unkind to his wife will be deleted and the commenter will be placed in moderation status for future comments.

See Also:

H/T: PrinceAsbel

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This entry was posted in Chivalry, Complementarian, Courtly Love, John Milton, New Morality, Non burning bush, Pastor Tim Bayly, Romantic Love, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, Traditional Conservatives. Bookmark the permalink.

244 Responses to Does romantic love sanctify married sex?

  1. It’s kinda sad how pastors preach strongly that marriage does not “entitle you” to sex… Then they wonder in amazement why young guys have no interest in marriage.

  2. Lexet Blog says:

    A question most don’t ask is: was Augustine qualified to speak for the faith in his writings 1 year after conversion, and his perversions, and was becoming a bishop five years later appropriate?

  3. Lexet Blog says:

    Yep. “Men need to be men, and do everything, and take the blame, and get no reward for it, and must also submit to the woman, and become a doormat” is 90% of theology on marriage today.

  4. Heidi says:

    Funny how the Bible seems free of all these hangups. It lays out a fairly simple process:

    1) Don’t have sex until marriage.
    2) Get married if you want sex.
    3) Continue having sex while married, with the person to whom you are married.

    Voila. No further elaboration needed. Sex is not then converted into some dirty, nasty thing, but it is placed in a context that allows spiritual health (and physical health–imagine the STD rate if no one fornicated).

  5. white says:

    “However, any comments that are unkind to his wife will be deleted and the commenter will be placed in moderation status for future comments.”

    That’s not like you. Why the specific prohibition of ‘unkind’ comments towards the wife? What about unkind comments towards Pastor Bayly himself? And there will be a lot of unkind comments towards Bayly himself, we all know that

  6. earl says:

    I’m okay with Augustine’s & Jerome’s thoughts about sexual immorality…I’m not sure if they went hyperbolic with the marital act to point out how evil it is to do it outside of marriage.

    But I’m curious…is it implied they think passion in marital sex is a sin because I couldn’t see it overtly? Couldn’t even duty sex or sex that brings about procreation be just as passionate as the fruitless perverted contracepted type?

  7. earl says:

    Or does duty/procreative sex with your spouse in your marriage suddenly lose the passion, excitement, pleasure, and bonding aspects because you are doing it in the licit manner?

    I guess I don’t understand why doing it correctly would suddenly make it vanilla.

  8. NotaBene says:

    Sorry Mr. Jerome, but I think recreational love is one of the highest callings in marriage. “Do not deprive each other…” It’s also one of the main reasons men get married. Reducing something with the capacity of so much enjoyment over a lifetime to a sober duty one should feel guilty deriving the least bit of pleasure from is just a form of forced asceticism directed at men. On the surface it looks “holy” but:

    “Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with… their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.” -Colossians 2

    “Romance” doesn’t sanctify anything. I’m not even sure how we all define “romantic love” here, but you can’t base anything permanent on it.

    I believe sex in marriage can sometimes be considered a “duty”, just like faithfulness is a duty. But it’s a pity when that’s ALL it is.

  9. Dalrock says:

    @White

    That’s not like you. Why the specific prohibition of ‘unkind’ comments towards the wife? What about unkind comments towards Pastor Bayly himself? And there will be a lot of unkind comments towards Bayly himself, we all know that

    I would prefer that commenters not be unkind to Pastor Bayly also, and ask this as a personal favor. If someone gets out of line in this regard as well I will likewise engage in moderation. I want to discuss the teaching, not the man. But his wife is out of bounds, period.

  10. Dalrock says:

    Earl,
    See the following posts for more detail on St. Jerome’s and St. Augustine’s writing on the topic (links pending via edit):

    St. Jerome on marriage
    St. Augustine on sex and marriage.

    Interestingly, St. Jerome’s writing on the topic has been mistaken for the puritan view by moderns who view the world through the moral lens of courtly love.

  11. Joe Ego says:

    @white – I believe unkind comments toward the wife are not constructive. They also distract from the pastor’s argument as the topic for discussion. And, I will try to avoid being unkind, because any teaching she proffers should be disregarded and she is his wife i.e. his problem.

    As for the actual topic: I think a lot of people are hung up on the “not his, but the wife’s” & “not hers, but the husband’s”. I take that to mean we each have a duty when the other insists. Others appear to take it to mean that nothing should happen unless both insist.

    Maybe my perspective is colored by the regular frustration of being the one frequently insisting, but the other option would seem designed to result in dead bedrooms and wandering spouses. Which seems rather diabolical if the point of marriage was to be the joining of two into one.

  12. earl says:

    I suppose after reading those I’m curious as to their reasoning or reward for that type of attitude in marriage. Is it supposed to help you get closer to God or temper the flesh from those minor sins?

    But yes I don’t think either of their writings have been adopted as offical Catholic doctrine. It regards the marital act as uniting the spouses with the possibility of procreation…the sins start when you deviate from that.

  13. Cane Caldo says:

    true intimacy and love”

    This is effeminate and sentimental nonsense. Sex is the act which occurs when a man sticks his dick in a woman’s pussy. When done within a marriage, as sex should be, there is nothing false or removed about the act.

    Why does Bayly tell us that his wife suggested he add a footnote that this isn’t *really* about a husband and wife, but is kinda-sorta related if you squint real hard? If it had been left out the message would have lost nothing except the implication that Bayly wants us to know that he is attentive to his wife’s concerns and is certainly not resorting to caveman tendencies!

  14. Anonymous Reader says:

    The “Warhorn”, really? Warhorn on a website of nice, middle class people…hype much? Anyone here https://warhornmedia.com/authors/ look like they are ready to actually go to war?

    Clearly I am not the target market; I have read way too much history. I’m already skeptical and haven’t even gotten to the essay in question yet. Because a name like “Warhorn media” just grates.

  15. Scott says:

    I hate this entire subject to be honest, because it feels like you have to thread a tiny needle to get it just right.

    Luckily there is no consensus of the saints on the “passionate sex within marriage” issue so (for those of us in the confessional faith traditions) it is an open question for debate.

    I have Orthodox and Catholic friends who tell me they think I am selling a false hope to Christians when I speak of the passion Mychael and I have still have for each other. When I describe it like two teenagers who can’t keep our hands off each other they say “after 12 years and 4 kids? That is an unrealistic standard and people will be hurt when they cannot achieve it.”

    They say that if you devour your spouse in the bedroom like a bull seeing red, you are violating Jerome and Augustines teachings.

    I say I would be depressed without that.

    From a purely logical standpoint, why would God create such a thing and then give man absolutely no moral way to experience it?

  16. Lexet Blog says:

    Who knows, but Augustine was a depraved man, engaged to a 12 year old in his 30s

  17. Lexet Blog says:

    Herein lies the problem: Catholics experience deep guilt, and by claiming joyful sex is guilty sex, sets up all married couples for failure and continual guilt. Which requires confession, and penance. Which means they have reeled in a victim who is enslaved to the church for life.

  18. ray says:

    “I would prefer that commenters not be unkind to Pastor Bayly also, and ask this as a personal favor. If someone gets out of line in this regard as well I will likewise engage in moderation. I want to discuss the teaching, not the man. But his wife is out of bounds, period.”

    This individual calls himself a pastor (anyone can, and does, nowadays), composes a sermon for online publication, and then consults his wife for amendments to the sermon, which then are added.

    Aren’t you the guy who constantly champions females NOT ‘speaking up in church’ or intervening in the business of the church, particularly as regards sermons/biblical interpretation and practice?

    Aren’t these conflicting conditions? Or, it’s ok this one time? Why is it ‘out of bounds’ to point this out? The truth constitutes unkindness?

  19. vfm7916 says:

    @scott Logic is not applicable when you’re using their assumptions, as “interpretation” has twisted ordinary biology into a mechanism of control through guilt.

    One may choose to wonder how an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being could have missed the events that created original sin. That would be logical. At that point you’d have to question the basic assumptions being made about the event, including the nature of the sin, or what was being taught. I leave that to the reader.

    This basic biology question about sex is no different. Question the assumptions, especially those of the interpretations, as Dalrock is pointing out here. As he noted, they’re quite invalid.

  20. DA GBFM lzzzlzloozozozlzlzoz says:

    Jordan Peterson teaches that Adam was a pathetic weasel in the Old Testament:

    Jordan Peterson teaches that human evolution was always based on love and gina tingles, and never ever arranged marriages, nor fathers giving their daughters away in marriage and choosing their husbands.

  21. Scott says:

    Reblogged this on American Dad and commented:
    This is an issue that riddles many good, faithful Christians with unnecessary guilt.

    Enjoy your wife or husband.

  22. Scott says:

    To expand a little on my original point. The topic, as presented by church authorities suggests that there is some amount of enjoyment or pleasure that can be quantified and experienced at precisely the amount allowed–no more, no less.

    And when I read such needle-threading commentary, I think, has this person ever had sex before?

  23. Anonymous Reader says:

    The actual essay is pretty good on the issue of authority / submission and exercise thereof. In particular I find the very gentle takedown of Keller a real surprise:

    Consider how squeamish and dainty Tim Keller is speaking about authority in marriage.

    More of that, please. The suggestions for “exercise of authority” are reasonable, although for some they will just set off a lot of contention. He notes that also in a logically sound paragraph:

    Muscles never exercised or used lose their resilience and strength, and it’s this way with authority and submission, also. They are muscles that must be flexed, and if you are ashamed to think of them this way or exercise them, you have only yourself to blame for the blowup that is inevitable when you do finally, regretfully, with great hesitation and trepidation find yourself in the unenviable position of saying “no” to those under your authority.

    In other places some of these actions are called “compliance testing”, this is ironic. There is nothing to really object to in this essay. Doug Wilson could learn something from Bayly’s very clear and unambiguous writing style, by the way.

    But as Dalrock notes, Bayly gives with one hand then takes back with the other in his addendum. I speculate he did not think through that part nearly as carefully as the original essay, and frankly it’s one of the pernicious side effects of tools such as Twitter: the demand for instant reassessment of a thoughtful writing. (It is not an accident that SJW’s use Twitter mobs to go after the target du jour).

    From Bayly’s image and indirect bio (Wiki has a brief entry on his father, also a pastor) it sure looks like he’s of the Baby Boom generation, and probably married to a pleasantly compliant woman. It could well be that he’s never experienced serious contentionousness around married sex, or seen marital sex used as a tool, a doggy-treat, a weapon, and so forth.

    There’s more than a whiff of pedestalization in his addendum, and that’s what is a big red flag to me.

    Heidi’s comment near the top of the thread is simple and to the point. More women should be like that. But for sure not all of them are…

    PS: I think I know why Bayly included an image of what looks like a SWAT raid in his article; the context of “authority”. However it implies some other things. Bayly probably doesn’t know of any cases where the cops were used by a vindictive woman as part of a divorce fight to punish their soon-to-be-ex (and maybe kill him). But other men do know of such things. It’s suggestive of a blind spot that is quite common in the traditional, conservative worldview.

  24. feministhater says:

    I have Orthodox and Catholic friends who tell me they think I am selling a false hope to Christians when I speak of the passion Mychael and I have still have for each other. When I describe it like two teenagers who can’t keep our hands off each other they say “after 12 years and 4 kids? That is an unrealistic standard and people will be hurt when they cannot achieve it.”

    I would agree with them. I wouldn’t say you’re ‘selling false hope’ but the idealism in your passion will not be found for most people. It is an unrealistic standard.

  25. Proyecta says:

    “any comments that are unkind to his wife will be deleted and the commenter will be placed in moderation status for future comments.”

    Dalrock 2018 translation: Please don’t shut down my blog, SJWs. I’ll punish those mean men who say mean things about women for you, if it helps!

    [D: That isn’t the point at all.]

    Understandable why Dalrock would carry out this policy. I question why he would announce it. Seems like favor-currying to me.

  26. feministhater says:

    To expand a little on my original point. The topic, as presented by church authorities suggests that there is some amount of enjoyment or pleasure that can be quantified and experienced at precisely the amount allowed–no more, no less.

    You’ve expanded less, not more. I don’t think they’re saying that at all. That you might find passion in your marriage, many or most will not, thus they need to focus on other things to keep the marriage whole. In other words, don’t make ‘passion’ the whole of the marriage. Idealizing it is folly.

  27. white says:

    “I would prefer that commenters not be unkind to Pastor Bayly also”
    “But his wife is out of bounds, period.”

    We all still have some unintentionally chivalrous moments from time to time. I do. I hope you see yours’.

  28. ozanark says:

    Bayly’s doctrine is erroneous. In marriage, sex is clearly commanded and this sanctifies it. The sex may not be done in a loving way, but that depends on how one is using and defines the word “love”. It appears he rejects the concept of “marital rape” though, and that’s refreshing to hear as it’s a contradiction of terms.

    As for the answer to the opening question, “Does romantic love sanctify married sex” — since the husband and wife are already sanctified in marriage (1 Cor. 7:14), I’d have to say the answer is no. Rather, marriage sanctifies sex; which, when engaged in, should be a part of romantic love.

    As usual, the world has taken the truth and turned it into a lie.

  29. Scott says:

    In other words, don’t make ‘passion’ the whole of the marriage. Idealizing it is folly.

    I’m not sure I would characterize it as the whole of marriage. But without it, its roomates who also have kids.

    It is actually the things that brings me to such despair for the men of the men’s sphere.

    Because I agree with Rollos assertion about men loving idealistically, I can think of no worse approximation of Hell on earth than to live with a woman–walking around your house in her underwear, naked, whatever, who you still pine for, still feel intense romantic, sexual attraction for and she basically treats like a beta orbiter.

  30. Novaseeker says:

    I have Orthodox and Catholic friends who tell me they think I am selling a false hope to Christians when I speak of the passion Mychael and I have still have for each other. When I describe it like two teenagers who can’t keep our hands off each other they say “after 12 years and 4 kids? That is an unrealistic standard and people will be hurt when they cannot achieve it.”

    They say that if you devour your spouse in the bedroom like a bull seeing red, you are violating Jerome and Augustines teachings.

    I guess I see those as two different things. Jerome and Augustine are selling an extreme view that passionate sex in marriage is actually bad — that seems clearly wrong and seems to arise more from contemporary Greco-Roman ideas than Christianity.

    The other point about most marriages cooling off really is just a factual reality. I do think that if couples think that if they aren’t super-passionate for each other like you two are after 12 years, they are failing, and therefore they either need to get super-passionate again, or leave. That I think is harmful to people — most people will have middling marriages where they love their spouse but the passion has cooled. A smaller number of people will have marriages which are super-passionate over the long term, and they are quite blessed for that — it’s a great thing, and certainly not a bad thing! But it also can’t be seen as the norm for most marriages, I think.

    —–
    Pastory Bayly has much company in his assertion that romantic love sanctifies sex. This is the overwhelming consensus in the secular world, and is the moral basis for both gay marriage and no fault divorce.

    Very true. It’s also the basis, though, for the decline of marriage and the rise in cohabitation — people generally view “committed cohabitation” relationships as being legitimized, socially, by the presence of a committed romantic relationship, whether the couple is married or not … although in the US marriage still has more social cachet, this is much less the case in many European countries. And the basis for it is that the key is committed romantic love, that is the core value.

  31. feministhater says:

    I’m not sure I would characterize it as the whole of marriage. But without it, its roomates who also have kids.

    Welcome to humanity. This has been most marriages since the institution began.

  32. Dalrock says:

    @Ray

    This individual calls himself a pastor (anyone can, and does, nowadays), composes a sermon for online publication, and then consults his wife for amendments to the sermon, which then are added.

    Aren’t you the guy who constantly champions females NOT ‘speaking up in church’ or intervening in the business of the church, particularly as regards sermons/biblical interpretation and practice?

    Aren’t these conflicting conditions? Or, it’s ok this one time? Why is it ‘out of bounds’ to point this out? The truth constitutes unkindness?

    You are pointing out a problem with Pastor Bayly’s teaching. This isn’t unkind to his wife.

  33. Anonymous Reader says:

    Let’s take one of the key passages:

    Sex is a matter of love—not command. If your wife doesn’t want to love you, that’s a fundamental problem unlikely to yield to command without becoming brutish and degraded. As for command in other areas, it’s an art—not a science. Any counsel coming from a stranger is useless.”

    and rewrite it:

    “Cooking food is a matter of love–not command. If your wife doesn’t want to cook food for you, that’s a fundamental problem unlikely to yield to command without becoming brutish and degraded.

    Sure, a man can go to the kitchen and fix sandwich from cold bologna himself, and maybe sometimes in certain situations that is appropriate. But if a wife were to cook only when his behavior has been “good enough” (jump high! No, higher! Not high enough, jump again!), or when she’s in a good mood, or when enough items on the “honeydo” list have been checked off, even a TradCon might find that a bit odd. More than a little bit bossy or controlling.

    Even conservative feminists who go to church might roll their eyes at using the kitchen as a lever / tool / weapon. Well, some of them anyway. Because that’s the real issue here: control.

    In other words, Proverbs 14:1 all the way down to the ground.

  34. feministhater says:

    Because I agree with Rollos assertion about men loving idealistically, I can think of no worse approximation of Hell on earth than to live with a woman–walking around your house in her underwear, naked, whatever, who you still pine for, still feel intense romantic, sexual attraction for and she basically treats like a beta orbiter.

    Don’t worry, most of these women back on the pounds so don’t look good wearing underwear or naked.

    Most people are simply not attractive enough into their old age to keep the fires of passion burning. It is an unrealistic standard.

  35. Anonymous Reader says:

    Great Books For Men
    Jordan Peterson teaches

    No one cares. Perhaps you could try to address the actual topic for once?

  36. Gary Eden says:

    people generally view “committed cohabitation” relationships as being legitimized, socially, by the presence of a committed romantic relationship, whether the couple is married or not

    It’s the commitment that matters, not the romance. If you look at scripture:romance was not a pre-requirement, but love was commanded after. But commitment was part and parcel to marriage. What isn’t in scripture are the things we use to distinguish cohab from ‘marriage’: government licenses and ceremonies.

  37. Gary Eden says:

    This

    A wise man ought to love his wife with judgment, not with passion.

    is at least understandable, even if they take it too far by prohibiting passion. Men who take love into women worship are in error. But this…

    Sex is a matter of love—not command. If your wife doesn’t want to love you, that’s a fundamental problem unlikely to yield to command without becoming brutish and degraded…sex that is not mutual is not sex as God designed and commands it

    is just plain devilish. It has no good foundation but is rotten to the core. It is nothing more than giving women complete control of sex (and hence power over the husband in marriage) under the veil of love.

  38. Dalrock says:

    @Scott

    To expand a little on my original point. The topic, as presented by church authorities suggests that there is some amount of enjoyment or pleasure that can be quantified and experienced at precisely the amount allowed–no more, no less.

    And when I read such needle-threading commentary, I think, has this person ever had sex before?

    Exactly. In addition to the Scripture I cited in the OP, we learn in Ecclesiastes that enjoying love/sex/life with our wives, like food and wine, are a man’s earthly portion/reward. This is light years away from the both the courtly love/Bayly view and the Augustine/Jerome view. If we applied the same logic to food we would teach that we should only eat to sustain our very lives, and take great care to avoid enjoying the flavor (Augustine/Jerome), or that we should only eat the most delicious meals (courtly love/Bayly), because to eat to satisfy hunger is against God’s purpose for food. This would be what makes eating moral! Both are equally absurd, and not biblical.

  39. NotaBene says:

    @Scott

    I agree with your posts entirely. I’ve been married about 18 years and we have the same enthusiastic physical life that I couldn’t imagine marriage without. It also grieves me when men are made to settle for less when promised something so great. It’s one of the main reasons I got married in the first place. In fact I think men not “getting any” in marriages or having sex dangled in front of them like a carrot to manipulate them is as sad as people having sex outside marriage.

    “The other point about most marriages cooling off really is just a factual reality. I do think that if couples think that if they aren’t super-passionate for each other like you two are after 12 years, they are failing”

    I see your point. In general I think a healthy sex life goes hand in hand with a healthy marriage, so it’s quite possible to be enjoying sex for an entire marriage. Of course as you get older your drive goes down, and of course there are sometimes unrealistic expectations of what “passion” means.

    This is one reason innocence/virginity is so important before marriage. I am the best sex my wife has ever had, and we both knew so little back then, and so were easily impressed and satisfied. Ignorance is bliss in this regard 🙂 This is also why porn is so damaging (unless it’s wife porn, which I firmly believe every married man should have).

  40. Anonymous Reader says:

    @Dalroc
    The food analogy works very well. Not every meal should necessarily be a feast, but trying to sustain life on 1500 calories of textured vegetable protein per day and nothing else is only suitable in an emergency. Nobody would suggest that a man should be “fed” solely via I.V. drip in terms of nutrition….

    Re-reading Bayly’s addendum I’m seeing a possible misunderstanding of female sexuality, a whiff of “women are just like men so if she doesn’t respond like a man you are Doing It Wrong”. But that could just be me & my reading.

  41. Scott says:

    Of course as you get older your drive goes down, and of course there are sometimes unrealistic expectations of what “passion” means.

    This has actually come up in my situation and manifests not so much as a drive going down thing as a timing thing. With 4 at home under 10, the spontaneity (which is absolutely essential) part becomes more difficult. All 4 of them either need to be somewhere else, or asleep first. Then there is “what time do I need to get up tomorrow” and a whole bunch of other considerations. My MIL lives nearby (and actually part time “with” us) so that is a great resource.

    So how to reconcile the need for spontaneity and the problem of almost having to plan it out several hours in advance is the main issue. Because when you plan it out, its usually kind of lame. When you surprise her with no warning, its almost always passionate (sorry complimentarians and other wrong-headed “experts”–women are not “slow cookers.” They can be just a microwavable as any man).

    This is why the “default yes” policy must be in place, otherwise there will always be some reason NOT to have sex. You configure the whole proposition around the idea that unless there is some show stopper, you will. And show stoppers tend to be self-evident mood killers anyway.

  42. PokeSalad says:

    But his wife is out of bounds, period.

    Personal friend?

  43. Robert What? says:

    In modern American marriage men have a huge amount of responsibilities to their wives. Maybe not in the legal sense but certainly implied in society’s view (both Christian and secular). But do wives have any responsibilities to their husbands? It doesn’t seem like they do.

  44. Anonymous Reader says:

    Food analogy continued. From the 1960’s movie Tom Jones, a meal by candlelight…

    Jerome / Augustine: “If you ever dine with your wife like this it’s BAD SIN!”
    Bayly and other Trad Cons: “Every meal with your wife must be like this, or it is BAD SIN!”

  45. feministhater says:

    It is actually the things that brings me to such despair for the men of the men’s sphere.

    Why? How many of the men in the Manosphere do you think could have passion filled marriages anyway? The whole point is to be truthful, not to love idealistically.

    Out of all the people in the world, what percentage do you think could find a willing partner to get married to that they are passionately attracted to that is also passionately attracted to them to the point that both have a sexually stimulating marriage for the rest of their lives?

    Be honest. Your idealism is absurd.

  46. GW says:

    It’s a shame Bayly included his addendum, because the rest of his article was worthwhile. Men in authority should caution against passivity during “good times” so that when lean times come and they have to put their feet down, it won’t seem arbitrary and tyrannical. I wonder how many fathers who’ve allowed the local church to primarily teach their kids, only to see their children grow disinterested in church as teenagers, have overcorrected and made the problem worse. How much better would it have been if the home was also a center of Bible teaching and hymn singing? One can be too laissez-faire; I know I’m guilty of this as well.

    To this specific post, Dalrock this was one of your best. The food analogy was also very illuminating. The modern desire to sanctify experience–in this case sexual activity–is so pernicious that it has infiltrated the minds of even the most conservative of evangelical Christians.

  47. David says:

    Intetesting that the church as a whole ignores the remaining part of 1 Corithians 7:6-7. Single/Celibate is often more a choice and not a gift. The gift is actually the same word as grace
    1 Corithians 7:17. Whatever situation you are in the grace of God is avaiable.
    1 Corithians 7:36-37. People made fun of me for not fornicating in my teens and 20s and this was in a evagelical christian school and then church. Now as a 50 year old celibate here and Pauls teachings are 100% correct. It is a powerful and free life.

  48. feministhater says:

    It also grieves me when men are made to settle for less when promised something so great.

    What were they promised? Made by whom?

  49. Dalrock says:

    @Anon Reader

    The actual essay is pretty good on the issue of authority / submission and exercise thereof. In particular I find the very gentle takedown of Keller a real surprise:

    Agreed. Although his takedown of Keller isn’t surprising. He is consistent in this regard, and in this regard I consistently agree with him. I previously wrote about Bayly’s takedown of the fruity dance Keller included in his services. See also this post.

    In other places some of these actions are called “compliance testing”, this is ironic. There is nothing to really object to in this essay. Doug Wilson could learn something from Bayly’s very clear and unambiguous writing style, by the way.

    Agreed, with the exception of the bolded part. It is overall quite good, and much less timid than other complementarian writing on the topic. My only criticism of the post itself would be (relatively) slight frame of “the only real man in the room”. Specifically, when he writes:

    They are muscles that must be flexed, and if you are ashamed to think of them this way or exercise them, you have only yourself to blame for the blowup that is inevitable when you do finally, regretfully, with great hesitation and trepidation find yourself in the unenviable position of saying “no” to those under your authority.

    Blaming men for women’s sins is rampant in our age, and Bayly falls squarely in this trap. The title of the post is a faux manliness about flexing muscles, but if you look at his twitter exchange with PrinceAsbel, he is writing about men flexing their pleading muscles.

    Bayly suffers from the same problem he puts down other husbands for; he overly fears telling women no. I can understand this, but I wish he had more compassion both for Christian husbands and wives. For he does wives no favors when he tells them their husbands can only blame themselves for her impulse to rebel. It is hard enough for Christian wives to resist the urge to rebel, without Bayly telling them their husband is weak and responsible for their own temptation.

  50. earl says:

    Who knows, but Augustine was a depraved man, engaged to a 12 year old in his 30s

    He certainly was a libertine cad before his conversion. I wondered if he went that hardcore the opposite way because he realized how close he was to falling into a life of idol worship versus worshiping the true God. In fact I don’t think he was ever married so I’m not sure if his expertise and reasoning came from being previously sexually immoral with his mistress.

  51. Ernst Schreiber says:

    But I’m curious…is it implied they think passion in marital sex is a sin because I couldn’t see it overtly? Couldn’t even duty sex or sex that brings about procreation be just as passionate as the fruitless perverted contracepted type?

    You have to think about like an upperclass Roman man. Passion disorders reason and makes the baser instincts the master of the intellect. A possible analogy would be to the difference between enjoying liquor while being able to hold it, so to speak, and a sloppy, falling down, puking drunk.

  52. Joe says:

    NotaBene says:
    November 20, 2018 at 1:25 pm
    @Scott

    I agree with your posts entirely. I’ve been married about 18 years and we have the same enthusiastic physical life that I couldn’t imagine marriage without. It also grieves me when men are made to settle for less when promised something so great. It’s one of the main reasons I got married in the first place. In fact I think men not “getting any” in marriages or having sex dangled in front of them like a carrot to manipulate them is as sad as people having sex outside marriage.

    “The other point about most marriages cooling off really is just a factual reality. I do think that if couples think that if they aren’t super-passionate for each other like you two are after 12 years, they are failing”

    I see your point. In general I think a healthy sex life goes hand in hand with a healthy marriage, so it’s quite possible to be enjoying sex for an entire marriage. Of course as you get older your drive goes down, and of course there are sometimes unrealistic expectations of what “passion” means.

    This is one reason innocence/virginity is so important before marriage. I am the best sex my wife has ever had, and we both knew so little back then, and so were easily impressed and satisfied. Ignorance is bliss in this regard 🙂 This is also why porn is so damaging (unless it’s wife porn, which I firmly believe every married man should have).
    *******************************
    I also agree. Even after 30 years (we’re both 58), we still have it for each other. Can’t keep our hands to ourselves. We are very physical. But, she stays slim. And I maintain sub 10% bodyfat and also stay muscular by lifting weights and doing pushups and pullups. There’s no reason whatsoever for me not to stay lean and muscular. My wife should not have to look at a slob. Honestly, it’s not hard, it’s really not.
    I got married for 2 reasons:
    1. Sex
    2. Companion/friend/helper
    Our sex drive is not down, and in fact is honestly higher that it was when we got married, and I thought it was through the roof then. I don’t know why that is, and I didn’t know it could do that at age 58, except we take very good care of ourselves.
    One thing that we’ve recognized is that we just like each other. Sometimes we spend the evening listening to music and playing games, just us two. Just like it was when we were dating and the first 2 years of marriage before kids. Part of our house has no technology that existed after the 1930’s or so. It’s like stepping back to a 1930’s dining room and parlor. Low stress.

    Maybe that’s part of it. The kids are both 100% launched, and are debt free and very successful. So we are happy with the job we did and don’t really have much stress in our lives.
    (And yeah, wife porn is the best!)

  53. Scott says:

    Passion disorders reason and makes the baser instincts the master of the intellect.

    In the east, there is not such a bright line of distinction between passion and intellect.

    I do not need my intellect to be 100 percent intact when I am alone with my wife enjoying each other.

    I don’t need it when I am praying. Or playing an instrument. Or any number of things that are enjoyable and God-honoring.

  54. thedeti says:

    Lexet:

    Augustine WAS a depraved man. He was engaged to a child while in his 30s. And did worse.

    But he repented and became a Saint in the church. And therefore was no longer depraved, but redeemed, and then exalted.

    If it’s not possible to redeem a degenerate, then there’s no hope.

  55. Dalrock says:

    @Anon Reader

    The food analogy works very well. Not every meal should necessarily be a feast, but trying to sustain life on 1500 calories of textured vegetable protein per day and nothing else is only suitable in an emergency. Nobody would suggest that a man should be “fed” solely via I.V. drip in terms of nutrition….

    Thank you. I see now that you actually beat me to the punch here. I hadn’t read your original comment with the analogy to food when I wrote my own in response to Scott’s comment.

  56. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Pretty sure both Augustine & Jerome are using passion in the sense of “suffering” (e.g. The Passion of the Christ) rather than in the modern sense of “longing/desire;” although both senses are obviously related in that too much of the latter leads to the former –think oneitis.

  57. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dalrock

    Blaming men for women’s sins is rampant in our age, and Bayly falls squarely in this trap. The title of the post is a faux manliness about flexing muscles, but if you look at his twitter exchange with PrinceAsbel, he is writing about men flexing their pleading muscles.

    That exchange with PrinceAsbel is illuminating. I read the paragraph in question more along the lines of, oh, reminding a friend to keep up his dryfire: “Say, if you do not maintain the muscle memory involved, your presentation and sight alignment will degrade. You’ll be too slow and not accurate enough”, but as that little Twitter exchange makes clear, Bayly doesn’t really mean what he says, unfortunately. Zero follow through of substance.

    It is ironic that Bayly (probably unconsciously) suggests a basic Game technique like “compliance testing” but cannot follow through even one step further.

  58. okrahead says:

    As noted above, Augustine was a libertine and a cad who never married. He did have one son, who died young. Jerome was a homosexual and possibly a pederast as well, who never married and apparently never had any intimate relations with any woman. That these two are taken as authorities on marital sex is plainly ridiculous. A never married libertine and a never married pervert putting themselves forward as experts on marital love proves that unwise instruction wreaking havoc on Christian marriages is nothing new.
    Now one might argue that Paul was unmarried as well, but in I Corinthians 7 Paul is explicit that he is speaking the utterances of the Holy Spirit, so his personal experience is immaterial.
    Proverbs and Song of Solomon are both written by a man who was inspired, had great wisdom, and had a vast experience with women; hence the advice of Solomon should be more used than A & J.

  59. Oscar says:

    @ Anonymous Reader

    The “Warhorn”, really? Warhorn on a website of nice, middle class people…hype much? Anyone here https://warhornmedia.com/authors/ look like they are ready to actually go to war?

    They look like a bunch of ordinary dudes, like most of us who’ve actually been to war. Besides, the “war” they refer to is spiritual.

  60. okrahead says:

    A bit more on Jerome… prior to his conversion he was a filthy pervert, and good and well knew it. Rather than simply acknowledge this, he projected his guilt onto those who were living godly lives in sanctified marriage. Beware of the reformed homosexual/pederast who condemns those in sanctified marriage for actually enjoying the benefits of marriage.

  61. thedeti says:

    sex that is not mutual is not sex as God designed and commands it.

    With very, very few exceptions, married couples can, and do, have sex any way they wish to. And they have sex with varying degrees of frequency, skill, passion, interest, etc. The problem arises not necessarily with the above things, but with the refusal to have sex at all unless conditions are met.

    If one really wants to but the other doesn’t, you still have sex.

    If one is really into the sex but the other isn’t, you still have sex.

    If one is more attracted to the other than the other is to the one, you still have sex.

    If one partner really doesn’t feel like it but the other is really wanting it, you still have sex.

    If one partner doesn’t orgasm every time, you still have sex.

    If you’re having sex to conceive a child, it’s ok that that process also felt really really good.

    Married couples have sex for all kinds of reasons. To conceive children. To bind the two of them together. As an expression of love. Because they’re sexually attracted to each other and are really “hot” for each other. To consummate a marriage. To reaffirm and renew and reinforce marital consummation. To have fun. Because it feels good. Because you’re horny and you just need an orgasm. To scratch an itch. Because your spouse wants to. Because your spouse is horny and needs an orgasm.

    But Tim Bayly apparently tells us that the only appropriate sex is “expression of love”. All other sex is “bad”, or at least not fully appropriate, even in marriage. It’s quite odd to suggest that sex between a husband and wife purely for procreation is “bad” or “does not rise to true intimacy and love”.

    And how is sex because of unbridled attraction “bad”? One of the major points of sex in marriage for men is to provide an appropriate, safe place and context for the full expression of a man’s sexual passion for a woman. See, e.g., Song of Solomon.

    And having sex with your spouse when you don’t want to (i.e. “nonmutual” sex) is not “bad” either. OK, so you don’t want to. Your spouse does. Therefore, you need to have sex anyway, because that’s what God commands.

    St. Paul makes clear that what IS bad in marriage is NOT having sex except when you don’t have sex by agreement. He’s not concerned with WHY married couples do have sex. By all means, have sex for whatever reasons you want and that work for your marriage: Because it feels good, because you’re having kids, because it’s fun, because one of you really really wants it, etc. He doesn’t concern himself with how good the sex is or how often or that you’re both really into it or that you are or are not sexually attracted. Paul concerns himself with married couples NOT having sex, because that’s what leads to discord, disagreement, resentment, adultery, fornication, and all the rest of it.

  62. Joe2 says:

    7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.”

    What’s missing are the questions or matters specifically written by the Corinthian church to Paul. We are reading his response, but we don’t know the context of his response. Since prostitution was common in ancient Greece, its highly probable the temple prostitutes had STD’s which were spread to the general public. Who knows, Paul’s teaching may simply have been offered as a means to avoid contracting an STD.

  63. They Call Me Tom says:

    Isn’t a wife not consenting to sex with her husband (and vice versa) the equivalent of leading someone to sin, given both Paul and Solomon’s commentary on sex in marriage?

    Call it brutish, that’s fair enough, but it doesn’t make one spouse a victim. It makes them a party to brutishness, that could have been avoided simply by setting aside one’s vanity.

  64. Caspar Reyes says:

    @Dalrock

    fruity dance

    I’ve been trying to unsee that faggotry for more than a year. Thanks for bring it back up.

    Your friend,
    Caspar

  65. Oscar says:

    @ vfm7916

    One may choose to wonder how an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent being could have missed the events that created original sin. That would be logical.

    It would be logical if, and only if you first prove that He missed said events. Have you?

  66. thedeti says:

    The food analogy works very well. Not every meal should necessarily be a feast, but trying to sustain life on 1500 calories of textured vegetable protein per day and nothing else is only suitable in an emergency. Nobody would suggest that a man should be “fed” solely via I.V. drip in terms of nutrition….

    Yes. As a practical matter, sex in marriage has varying intensity, duration, and appeal.

    Like food, married couples need a steady and varying diet of sex to keep their bodies (and the marital body) healthy.

    Like food, sometimes you fast from sex for a time, but only when both of you agree to it and only for a limited time. Because without food, the body will starve. Without marital congress, the marriage will starve.

    Some of the food you’ll eat is extravagant, expensive, and tastes really really good. Some of the sex you’ll have is extravagant, time consuming, and feels really really good.

    Sometimes you’ll go out for food. Not all the sex you have will take place in the bedroom.

    Sometimes you try different foods and find things you like. Married couples have a lifetime to try new and different sexual things.

    Some people like certain foods and don’t like others. Married couples find through time, trial and error, the things they like and don’t like, the things that work for them, and the things that sustain them.

    Sometimes you need to get a quick bite to eat. Married couples sometimes need quickies, and need to do it fast.

    Sometimes one is hungry and the other is not. The one who is hungry still needs to eat even if the other who is not hungry does not need to eat. Similarly, the one partner in a marriage who needs the sex still needs to have it, even if the other has less of a need. And it is the other partner with less of a need, whose duty it is to “feed” the one who does need it, for no reason other than to prevent him/her from going outside the marriage to get that need met.

  67. thedeti says:

    Some of the food you eat is really good. Some of it’s really crappy. But both kinds of foods keep you alive. Similarly, some of the sex you’ll have is great. Some of it’s not so great, and some of it can be awkward and uninteresting. But it will still keep your marriage alive.

  68. Gary Eden says:

    In watching the beta behavior of the average churchian, I’d certainly believe they’ve never had passionate sex.

    But I think there is more too it than that. Most of the longer married folks at work have settled into infrequent pationlessness. They find it hard to believe the level of activity and passion we engage in. Like, they didn’t even conceive that was an option; much less put work into cultivating it.

    And yes, I think most people can have this. At least if they marry a virgin woman. But in an AF/BB model? No.

    One more reason to guard your daughters.

  69. thedeti says:

    Joe2:

    Paul’s writing about it “not being good to touch a woman” is written in the context of his speaking at least in part about himself. Tradition and the context of his writings tell us Paul was unmarried at the time he began his public ministry. Perhaps he had never married; perhaps he was a widower later in life after his conversion. He makes clear that if it were possible, he would that “all men are as I am”, i.e., single and not married, because then men would have more time to devote to God. Paul made clear from his writings that being unmarried made it possible for him to serve God with all he had, all the time and money and labor he could muster. A wife would divert Paul’s efforts and time away from ministry.

  70. thedeti says:

    Or “being good not to touch a woman”. Poor proofreading.

  71. Caspar Reyes says:

    unkind comments toward the wife

    We should rather exhort our brother to quit dishonoring himself by allowing his wife to teach in the assembly.

    As Cane Caldo points out above, when you allow it, you get effeminate and sentimental nonsense. When a woman’s sensibilities rule the marriage bed, all you get is jumping through hoops to earn sex, but never sex. “Jam every other day”, but not today.

  72. Pingback: Does romantic love sanctify married sex? | Reaction Times

  73. OKRickety says:

    Tim Bayly wrote: “… an awful lot of sex down through history has not risen to the level of true intimacy and love, and therefore violated God’s design, sexually.”

    You can add Sheila Wray Gregoire (My Wife Says We Never Make Love) to the list of those who consider sex without emotional and spiritual intimacy to be far short of God’s desire for us. When pressed to explain, my ex-wife couldn’t explain how to achieve such intimacy. I doubt most wives can provide more than a nebulous explanation.

    Sheila says (thankfully I realized I can listen to the video without watching it), in effect: I don’t think we really understand the difference between having sex and making love. Making love means that you are encompassing all aspects of intimacy into one act. It’s not just the physical act. It’s also feeling emotionally and spiritually connected. That’s what’s supposed to happen.

    Not surprisingly, Sheila takes the well-worn path that the husbands are failing to first provide the emotional connection the wives need to be willing to sexually connect. Maybe women should learn this early in life and refuse to be sexual until the relationship has the emotional connection needed as the foundation for a committed marriage.

  74. thedeti says:

    Sheila takes the well-worn path that the husbands are failing to first provide the emotional connection the wives need to be willing to sexually connect. Maybe women should learn this early in life and refuse to be sexual until the relationship has the emotional connection needed as the foundation for a committed marriage.

    I’d believe that women need that “emotional connection” if women always had that emotional connection before having sex. But as we men well know, that’s not the case.

    Women don’t need an emotional connection before having sex. If she’s sexually attracted enough, she doesn’t even need to know his name. All she needs is sufficient comfort. Women have sex with men whose names they don’t even know. It seems kind of difficult to have an emotional connection to someone whose name you don’t know. Women have sex with these men, and when asked about it years later, will tell you they don’t remember the man’s name or anything about him, or the sex, or the circumstances. There was no “emotional connection” there.

    Women have sex with men they just met two or three hours previously. That’s not even close to enough time to “make an emotional connection”. It is, however, enough time for her to generate really hard attraction and minimal comfort, which to her has the appearance of emotional connection.

  75. Oscar says:

    @ Lexet Blog

    A question most don’t ask is: was Augustine qualified to speak for the faith in his writings 1 year after conversion, and his perversions, and was becoming a bishop five years later appropriate?

    What do the Scriptures say?

    1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be… 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

  76. NotaBene says:

    “One thing that we’ve recognized is that we just like each other. Sometimes we spend the evening listening to music and playing games, just us two. Just like it was when we were dating and the first 2 years of marriage before kids. Part of our house has no technology that existed after the 1930’s or so. It’s like stepping back to a 1930’s dining room and parlor. Low stress.”

    This is all key stuff. Totally agree. We structure our lives around being low stress. At one point I forbade my family from going out more than once in a day so we didn’t get too busy 🙂

    I sincerely hope you’re mentoring some young bucks on this stuff. This is the dream, quiet enjoyment through the years with your spouse, and something so few in our culture ever arrive at.

  77. DA GBFM lzzzlzloozozozlzlzoz says:

    Jordan Peterson again teaches that Adam was a pathetic weasel:

    Jordan Peterson states that human evolution was guided by women’s gina tingles, as woman’s gina tingles always trumped and triumphed and ruled over the patriarchy.

    According to Peterson, when the Founding Fathers got married, their wives chose them bases on how much the Founding Fathers gamed them and made their ginas tingle.

  78. Lost Patrol says:

    I don’t know what Tim Bayly’s current stance is with regard to the CBMW and Complementatians, but I think I recall from a previous post that Bayly was a plank owner and the first director of the CBMW. He was in the mix when they crafted their foundational documents, but changed his mind later. He wrote this with his brother in 2005:

    It’s Time for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to Close Up Shop…

    http://baylyblog.com/blog/2005/09/its-time-council-biblical-manhood-and-womanhood-close-shop

    There is a ten point list of “failures” of the CBMW ending with this:

    “CBMW has no doctrine of sexuality. It has many exegetical defenses of specific passages having to do with sexuality.”

    It looks to me like Tim Bayly is still grappling with the instilled legacy of being a Complementarian, while trying to adhere to a more Biblically accurate path regarding marriage in his current work. Some new ideas (or at least new for a pastor to write out loud), some legacy, and ever sensitive to a woman’s point of view. In men’s sphere parlance, he’s purple pill.

  79. Anonymous Reader says:

    Up the thread Dalrock links to the Twitter exchange that prompted Bayly’s addendum. It is worth looking through, not only for reference to Dalrocks’ OP but for clear seeing.

    PrinceAsbel asked this:

    I’m not asking about any particular couple though. What means of exercising authority muscles are generally available to a man who needs to enforce his authority over a disobedient wife?

    Bayly replied:

    Pleas. More pleas. Removal of every obstacle possible (not enough income in home). Enlisting help of relatives on her side. Maybe your side? Rebuke. Enlisting help of pastors and elders wives. Help of pastor. Help of Session admonition…

    Fail.
    Complete failure of a fail. Because not only will this advice fail it will make things worse. The deadbedrooms reddit is full of men who tried pleading with their wives, only to find that merely stoked up wifely contempt, and contempt smashes relationships as we all know.

    Ditto relatives. Ditto pastors. Elders wives? That might work, because of women’s known 4:1 ingroup preference if a senior woman of the group advised a wife to tone down the contempt / fight picking / whatever. Or it might not, depending on the social dynamics, but if it’s resorted to after a man has been pleading with his wife, it will likely fail.

    This is blue pill, woman-centric, mushy bad advice.

    “Help of Session admonition”….
    I will deal with this in a second comment.

  80. Anonymous Reader says:

    OKRickety

    Sheila Wray Gregoire

    No. Just say no to that. Huge waste of time and energy. Like talking to a wall only worse.

  81. Anonymous Reader says:

    From Tim Bayly’s tweet:

    Help of Session admonition…

    Let’s just walk through this. Not with an extreme example such as “Married churchgoing mother of two has abortion without telling husband” (which went unanswered in a previous thread…) but something much more prosaic.

    Assume a 35 year old man married for 5 years to a 32 year old woman. Their child is now a bit older than 3 years of age. She has a part time job of some sort because of money issues. She’s also become restless, discontented, contentious, sullen. He’s responded by withdrawing from her a bit because he’s conflict-avoidant; he does not like to fight, if he wanted to fight he would have married a different woman. She’s “too busy” to [cook / sexytime] now, what with her job and the child and the house that’s never really clean and her Bible study during the week and the Sunday school that she helps to teach.

    When he’s able to work a “date night” into their schedule, the only topic of conversation she’ll participate in is either about the child, or about her job, or about church. The last time he tried to get an overnight away it was a major effort; it took multiple tries to find someone from church who would take care of the child for 24 hours, she kept checking up via text, talked almost compulsively about the child at the romantic candlelight dinner, and was just “really, really tired” at bedtime.

    In fact she’s been “really, really tired” a lot lately. He’s taken up some of the cooking and house cleaning to help (as all mainstream sources advise) and she’s still “really, really tired” at bedtime. He feels kind of numb lately, as if no matter what he does, it will never be good enough, and sometimes when she starts in yelling at him he just wants to pack up and leave, but his conscience will not allow that.

    If “being married” includes committing a lot of energy and emotion, it seems to the man that his wife is “married” to her job in the daytime and “married” to their child at night, but hardly ever able to be actually married to him. Not for more than 15 minutes or so at a time, anyway.

    It’s grinding him down. It’s damaging his affection towards her, too. But all the advice in all the church-oriented books and blogs (“Do more chores! Tell her you love her more often! Buy flowers!”) is just not working. Her Facebook friends are on her side, not his, probably including the women in their church.

    Now, Tim Bayly would have this man take the situation to his pastor, or to the session (leadership board). Really? How many 30-something men would actually take a problem like “My wife won’t cook dinner / have sex anymore” to a group of 5 or 7 men, all over 50 and some pushing 70? Come on, seriously? What are they going to do, call her in to instruct her? Not likely.

    In the unlikely event that the pastor or leadership did call her in to discuss it, once she started sobbing about how hard her life is and how she feels pulled in so many directions and how she understood her husband is frustrated but she’s so busy and why can’t he just accept less attention just for a season and she doesn’t feel the love of God at home anymore and her problem has no name and then crying real tears WAAAAAH….in my opinion, those manly men would cave right in. Because they don’t have a pair of The Glasses and they are at best “purple” pill, but more likely just pale Blue. Married in a previous generation to more compliant women, they would have little to no experience with any of this in their personal life. So they’d pat her hand and tell him to try harder, and that would be that.

    In my opinion, based on actual people that I know who are involved in churches, that married man would just set himself up for embarrassment and more “contempt of wife” by taking his domestic issue to church leader(s). That’s why I find Tim Bayly’s advice “Help of Session” to be empty words. But I could be wrong, this could be workable.

    Can anyone give me an example of how this would actually work in real life?

  82. info says:

    ”Exactly. In addition to the Scripture I cited in the OP, we learn in Ecclesiastes that enjoying love/sex/life with our wives, like food and wine, are a man’s earthly portion/reward. This is light years away from the both the courtly love/Bayly view and the Augustine/Jerome view.”

    Which is why I take the Church Father’s writings with a grain of salt. I think Augustine especially with his past guilt with sexual sin went into the frigidity heresy. Condemning what is Good as Evil because of his wounded nature and thereby sinning against God in this manner(Isaiah 5:20)

  83. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    The subtext lurking under this topic is that if the wife isn’t into a sexual encounter and the episode is therefore “duty-sex” that it is due to a failure of the husband to properly seduce his wife rather than the wife’s failure to honor and love her husband. Wilson says the man has the aroma all wrong, FOTF says she is a crock pot and he is a micro wave, but both fail to consider that it might be her aroma that is foul and she keeps her crockpot is unplugged. Mohler insists that the husband did not “earn the marriage bed” or pay the price required by the prostitute and fails to condemn the wife’s prostitution. Wilson also wrote that Christian men are bad lovers like “an orangutan playing the cello” (I’m not sure how he know this), but fails to consider that perhaps some amount of culpability for sexual preparation and execution lies with the wife. Maybe it is more like a whale trying to move an iceberg?

    Paul does not put the burden of getting a wife in the mood on her husband, neither does the book of proverbs. “May her breast satisfy at all times” implies that her breast is available at all times to intoxicate her husband. Bottom line is that frigidity is generally a failure of a wife to honor and love her husband enough to prepare herself for her husband and should be called a sin. Frigidity might very well be the most common sin among wives and perhaps the most distructive to the family. Of course, that does not excuse brutish boorish husbands, but there might be far fewer of those if women were not encouraged to a posture of frigidity and to use sex to negotiate for control of their husbands.

  84. Swanny River says:

    Anon Reader,
    Great composite you created. That is so many Christian marriages and the church makes it worse. I am glad Dalrock is examining the sources of the errors.

  85. Sharkly says:

    1 Corinthians 7:2-5a But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, …

    The only reason given for getting married in the New Testament is; to avoid sexual immorality. And the temptation to sexual immorality is avoided by getting married and each partner letting the other have their sexual cravings met on demand. That is the basic direction God gives us. Satan really likes to screw that up, and consequently we’ve got a million different opinions in the “church”, and very few today hold an opinion that is not in some way opposed to God’s clear direction. And the vast majority run away from God’s standard towards satanic Feminism.

  86. Scott says:

    Sharkly-

    My only quibble is the while yes, the NT is silent on much of what marriage is “for” it’s original intent was to solve the problem of man’s loneliness

    “It is not good for man to be alone. Let us make a helpmeet for him”

    Creating a woman for that purpose flies in the face of several hundred years of psychological conventional wisdom because it makes man and woman “enmeshed” (a relationship with poor boundaries).

    It is very difficult to square Gods version of marriage with the modern one.

  87. Sharkly says:

    I want to discuss the teaching, not the man. But his wife is out of bounds, period.
    And so it begins…
    I must say, I’m disappointed in Dalrock for this unnecessary bit of White Knighting.

    Sex is the act which occurs when a man sticks his dick in a woman’s pussy.
    Thank God there are a few Christians left who get that it does not have to be some mystical act of flesh worship or provide all lacking emotional intimacy! Some times you just need it, and your partner needs to put out for God’s sake, to prevent you from falling to other temptations. Like the temptation to google “wife porn” and find out what you guys are talking about. /S ??? What are you guys talking about?

    I have Orthodox and Catholic friends who tell me they think I am selling a false hope to Christians when I speak of the passion Mychael and I have still have for each other.
    I believe every marriage should have and maintain that. I’m still wanting sex with my wife, like newlyweds, it just is only me though. (My wife, on the other hand, has filed for divorce in order to get her churchian required “love dare”, where I’m supposed to apologize for being born, and everything since, to earn back every part of her marriage vow which she has been failing to perform, while I have been consistently doing all my part.) It isn’t wrong to work towards the ideal, and I’d say that it is wrong to not work towards it.

    We are very physical. But, she stays slim. And I maintain sub 10% bodyfat and also stay muscular …
    Not only is gluttony a sin, but ‘real obesity’ is the evidence of an extended pattern of gluttony. Any excuses to the contrary are not accepted by me for one. I myself got out of shape, and messed my knees up to where I could hardly walk, but I did a lot of supplement research, and learned about eating healthier, and now(six years later) I can sprint again, and have visible abdominal muscles, and I carry enough muscle on my 6′ 1″ frame, that my weight for height BMI falsely claims I’m borderline obese. I enjoy being as muscular and strong as I can be for my age. And I believe it helps me in a lot more ways than just lifting heavy things, I believe strength training contributes to good health for the mind, outlook, and function of other bodily systems too.

    Wilson also wrote that Christian men are bad lovers like “an orangutan playing the cello”
    He is just belittling other men made in God’s image.(James 3:9) But for the sake of equality: [Most] Christian women are bad lovers like a spoiled child throwing a fit in a toy store over all the toys their heavenly Father didn’t give them. While stubbornly refusing to play with the one He got them, after they themselves even picked that one out.

    @Anonymous Reader,
    Churches that will side with a husband like the Bible does, and insist that the wife submit in every thing, are about nonexistent, as far as I can tell. Try getting a pastor to tell your wife to suck your dick like she did for many other men. I’ve only got a layperson to do it so far, and I had to drag him kicking and screaming over a field of broken glass, to get him to address that treachery which is evil in the sight of the Lord, and is a rebellious act of intentional distancing and disrespect. She’d have done it for me before we got married, if only to trap me, I’m certain. But the churchian hirelings try to cuckold me every time. “Why can’t you give up your “desire” [to be shown the same respect as fornicators whom she bowed herself down before] out of love for your wife?” To which I reply; why are you such a coward that you won’t ask her to submit to me in her treachery, when the Bible clearly says she should? To which they reply; Blah blah blah [muh Feminism].

    How long, Oh Lord, until you avenge this treachery, they partake in, upon their unrepentant souls? How long, Oh lord, until you throw them with the other False Teacher into the lake of fire? May the smoke of their torment rise up before you eternally, Holy God. May my wife repent of her wickedness, and may it still be imputed to their account. Add iniquity to their iniquity, And may they not come into Your righteousness. May they be blotted out of the book of life. And may they not be recorded with the righteous. Amen.

  88. Pingback: Pharisees and Weasels | Christianity and masculinity

  89. BillyS says:

    What exactly is the benefit of posting against the wife? Do Sharkly and white have so little solid arguments they can only attack the wife?

    Get real. Start your own blog if you don’t like this. Too many discussions lose the point for things like that.

    I don’t personally mind that he was open to his wife’s comments, what I disagree with is that he accepted what she had to say uncritically. That got Adam into trouble, as well as Abraham many years later.

    ====

    On the latter topic: Skip Heitzig said on a recent radio show that the answer to marital concerns was saying “yes ma’am” to your wife. He does quite a bit of woman worshiping, but this is completely ignorant since it is exactly that attitude that gave us Ishmael. His wife had an idea and he said yes to it. I am sure SH would find an excuse to blame Abraham anyway, but he is idiotic to think women are better than men. That is the same trend Dalrock has noted many times here in other posts.

  90. BillyS says:

    Good boasting Joe! You are still as sexually active at 58 that you were at 22, right….

    And neither you nor your wife hit the common aging issues. Gluttony may be a sin Sharkly, but all bodies don’t keep their thinness as easily. I look just like my grandfather, I am just a foot taller. I guess sin must still be my full problem and genetics plays no role at all, right. /s

  91. white says:

    @BillyS

    “What exactly is the benefit of posting against the wife? Do Sharkly and white have so little solid arguments they can only attack the wife?”

    As Sharkly mentioned, this is white knighting. Which should be troubling to all of us since Dalrock is the entire Christian world’s biggest hope against chivalry right now. We can only hope now that this trend doesn’t continue, or that Bayly’s wife is a friend/relative/acquaintance of Dalrock’s but Bayly isn’t…. otherwise this is 100% white knighting.

  92. white says:

    @BillyS

    Specifically, Dalrock white knighting for Bayly’s wife.

  93. Dylan Sexton says:

    >I want to discuss the teaching, not the man. But his wife is out of bounds, period.

    How chivalrous of you, Dalrock.

  94. NotaBene says:

    “Like the temptation to google ‘wife porn’ and find out what you guys are talking about.”

    Here’s my post from 2012: http://theholtsite.com/blog/?p=2162

    It’s kind of old by now, and my wife and I have changed a wee bit on some things, but the basic premise is still valid.

    “Good boasting Joe! You are still as sexually active at 58 that you were at 22, right….”

    I can believe this. It’s really less of a credit to Joe’s “drive” and more of a credit to his wife. Any wife of 58 that can be available, willing, in shape (for her age), and still get her husband excited after so many years is simply a treasure. Add to this their lifestyle of simplicity and low stress, and lots of time together, and years worth of memories and shared hobbies. It’s actually really not that surprising to me at all, since I am in a similar situation. Sex every three days or so for 18 years – ain’t no one gonna tell me I have to slow down at 40, or even 60.

  95. Opus says:

    During the second world war, after 1942, when American troops were first stationed in England it was said of them that they were over-paid, over-sexed, and over here. Doubtless that involved some envy on our part but, In short: Americans were and are unusually obsessed by sexuality and probably in inverse proportion to the number of offspring generated by all that sexual behaviour – and in the case of Homosexual promiscuity which I am convinced is largely an American invention that is so 100% of the time. My view is that sex is one of those subjects that it is better for Christians to avoid, as, mainly, they end up digging an ever larger hole for themselves in which to fall – and frankly it is embarrassing. I have listened (dozed through) more church sermons than I could count but I cannot recall hearing one which even came close to discussing sexual congress. Sex they told me at school is to be reserved for marriage; sex outside marriage leads to #metoo, and, criminalising sex within marriage is a negation of and an attack on matrimony: that I would suggest is all really that one needs to know.

  96. Lost Patrol says:

    AR,

    Can anyone give me an example of how this would actually work in real life?

    Based on all that I have seen and heard in real life to this point, I think you already gave the most likely scenario. I don’t have the imagination to picture it going any other way once the senior church men have been brought into it.

  97. Anybody remember Dalrock’s rutting buck post?

    Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and in all three of his books he seems to think passionate desire toward one’s own wife is fine, being ravished always with her love.

    Where Augustine gets a bit of a “pass” from me is that he went deep into unchastity and experienced so much guilt and shame, I think it’s a bit like some reformed alcoholics thinking that alcohol itself is evil.

    It’s one of the only “failings”, if I could be so bold and hope I’m not wrong, of Augustine, Aquinas, and others is that your reason can run away with you and the Bible is the perfect tether. If you start getting holier than God, you’re going wrong.

    That being said, I imagine if your marital love starts getting in the way of other duties, or expresses itself in ways or at times that are intrinsically disordered it’s a separate issue. Also if you love your wife more than God, you’ve just made Adam’s original sin all too real.

  98. Paul says:

    @Opus: “My view is that sex is one of those subjects that it is better for Christians to avoid”

    So we better not preach on Paul’s letter to the Corinthians then?
    Or do you suggest we should all go celibate?

  99. Opus says:

    @ Paul

    Your namesake is the exception and his wise words seem to me to be the only really intelligent, concise, prudent and practical words on the subject. Let me put it this way: when it comes to sex it is probably better not to raise the bar too high.

  100. Dalrock says:

    @White (Paraphrasing)

    You know what would make this discussion between men about theology better? If we brought the wives into it!

  101. Kid Charlemagne says:

    FWIW. Here’s how another Church Father (and close contemporary of Jerome and Augustine), St. John Chrysostom, described the ideal Christian marriage. In a homily he gave, he said husbands should speak thusly to their wives:

    “I have taken you in my arms, and I love you, and I prefer you to my life itself. For the present life is nothing, and my most ardent dream is to spend it with you in such a way that we may be assured of not being separated in the life reserved for us. . . . I place your love above all things, and nothing would be more bitter or painful to me than to be of a different mind than you.”

  102. THF says:

    “You know what would make this discussion between men about theology better? If we brought the wives into it!”

    Or we are simply surprised someone wants to censor the topic regarding another man’s wife.

  103. thedeti says:

    Guys….

    Know why Dalrock said “wife is out of bounds”? Because we’re here to discuss the issues, theology and arguments, not the individuals or personalities. Saying “wife is out of bounds” is not chivalry; it’s “focus your discussion on the concepts presented so we can get to the truth, because the personalities involved are irrelevant”.

  104. Damn Crackers says:

    @Opus – “Homosexual promiscuity which I am convinced is largely an American invention that is so 100% of the time.”

    Is the man who comes from the country of Oscar Wilde really claiming Yanks came up with homosexual promiscuity? Opus, I love you and your country. But, I believe sexual sin developed much earlier than the founding of the U.S.A.

  105. Dalrock says:

    Welcome THF

    Or we are simply surprised someone wants to censor the topic regarding another man’s wife.

    Both are true. 1) I want to discuss the issue. 2) I don’t want to tee up another man’s wife for unkindness.

    If she has questions, let her ask her husband. Meanwhile, let’s keep the disagreement on the subject between men.

  106. SJB says:

    About 3000 years ago a man transcribed: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body.”

    Since then it’s likely thousands of men, if not millions, have told other men: “You’re not clinging right.”

    Pretty funny those who presume to teach “Clinging 101”; where were they when the instruction set was encoded?

  107. Damn Crackers says:

    BTW, the invention of marital rape has made all Biblical marriage sex illegal. You can follow Scripture or the law of your country. Try pointing to Corinthians to get sex from your wife if you are married.

    Also from St. Augustine:

    12. For, whereas that natural use, when it pass beyond the compact of marriage, that is, beyond the necessity of begetting, is pardonable in the case of a wife, damnable in the case of an harlot; that which is against nature is execrable when done in the case of an harlot, but more execrable in the case of a wife.
    – Of the Good of Marriage, St. Augustine

    So, this probably was why the Church accepted and sometimes gained money from town brothels, Luther found more harlots than Cardinals at the Vatican when he was there, and many Mediterranean/Hispanic men get mistresses so they can do things to them that they wouldn’t dream of doing to their wife.

    I’m being tongue and cheek here, but you can see that the history of the Church gave a lot of leeway to simple fornication with harlots and saw it less of a sin than many modern Christians and non-Christian feminists today..

  108. white says:

    @Dalrock

    Perhaps I should ask you what your intention is behind not letting anyone make ‘unkind’ comments about Bayly’s wife?

    Was the intention to see others criticize only the theology, but not the people involved? If so, why would you only politely ask commentors not be unkind towards Bayly, as a favour, yet in the same breath demand that others not be unkind towards the wife?

    >”“I would PREFER that commenters not be unkind to Pastor Bayly also, and ask this as a personal favor.”
    >“But his wife is out of bounds, period.”

    Or are we all supposed to pretend Bayly’s wife isn’t involved in her husband presenting this faulty theology to the world? A belief which they both believe in, presented by Bayly to the world upon her demand, with her nodding approval?

    Or was the intention to keep the discussion between men, and about men? Like you are implying now?

    >”You know what would make this discussion between men about theology better?”

    If so, are you moderating comments here to make sure no women get to speak?

    Or perhaps… you were just being chivalrous? No shame in admitting that, we all make mistakes.

  109. feministhater says:

    I would say that a big problem is that neither men nor women are being prepared for a married life in today’s society and that this causes all manner of unrealistic expectations being flung about with wild abandon.

    The realities of marriage are not beds of roses with furry kittens and fluffy puppies, but the day to day drudgery of work, more work and endless hours of arguing over finances, cooking, feeding kids and maintaining house and home. A rather unhappy and boring state of affairs.

    I guess that’s the point of being able to enjoy the simple things in life, like food, wine, sex with the spouse, playing with kids and being with friends. If you could not do such, life would have minimal meaning.

    I get this, however, making it out to be more than it is, that one cannot keep ones hands off one another after 30 years of marriage and play footsies under the table like little kids, sends another unrealistic signal to future couples out there.

    Just my two cents.

  110. Joe says:

    BillyS says:
    November 20, 2018 at 11:22 pm
    Good boasting Joe! You are still as sexually active at 58 that you were at 22, right….

    And neither you nor your wife hit the common aging issues…
    *****************************
    I’m about to rant…

    We have not hit the “common aging issues” because we don’t buy the current medical model and the false dietary narrative of low fat and “everything in moderation”, and a pill for every ill.
    I was headed to the “common aging issues” by the time I was 40. Then I got diagnosed with pre-diabetes at 45 and had the usual big gut on me. I literally was in denial and didn’t look in the mirror because I hated what I saw. I looked 8 months pregnant, like many guys my age, and was weak. The diagnosis was a wake up call. I’m an RN, and I know what diabetes does to people. I should have never let myself get so out of shape, but I did. In my 20’s and 30’s I was considered to be a good looking and very confident guy. But after 2 kids and 12 years of marriage, I let myself go. I was 100% responsible for my declining body. Fat, weak, anxiety ridden, sleep apnea and on multiple prescriptions. While my wife still loved me, I hated what I let myself become.

    So overnight, I threw everything I was taught about diet and exercise out the window and did just what made sense.

    I stopped all processed foods. I stopped wheat, sugar and industrial seed oils and margarine. I ate only meat (mostly red meat) fish, butter, beef tallow that I taught myself to make, bone broth that I also taught myself to make and a few vegetables, (very little chicken). In 4 months I lost all of my gut and cured prediabetes permanently. I also cured my epilepsy that I’d had since I was 14 and was able to stop all meds that I had been taking for 35 years for that. The last thing to go was the sleep apnea, which was not due to weight. We never figured out why it was there. the doc thought it might have been central apnea (brain issues) But after having it for 3-4 years, it vanished overnight, never to return.
    I was “keto” long before it became a thing. That was 15 years ago. To stay in shape, I’ve done everything from Karate and Krav Maga to Crossfit (and all of it in my 50s). I lift weights at least 3 times a week on my back porch and use my jump rope and do pushups and pullups.
    It’s not luck or”good genes”. It’s eating mostly meat, a few vegetables, and lifting weights. It keeps me trim and strong. That also leads to healthy hormone levels. There’s a reason that in the last 15 years, the “normal” range for testosterone has been LOWERED 3 times. Testosterone (and other) lab values are adjusted to a bell curve, and not based on what’s optimal. Most people don’t know that. People eat crap and their testosterone drops into the basement and they get fat and chronic health issues. The “the common aging issues”.

    And no, I don’t take testosterone shots (the good food and weightlifting and sex keeps T levels up). But if you’ve done everything and your T is still low, there’s no shame in it.
    My wife eats like I do, which keeps her trim and healthy. We take no meds whatsoever.
    We keep our stress low, and have lots of physical contact, which is a stress reducer too.
    All this makes us a healthy and happy couple. And healthy people are attracted to each others bodies, can still act like they did when they were younger and can do what they did when they were younger.
    We all get old and die. But don’t do it sooner than you have to.

    Guys, if you are out of shape for goodness sakes do something about it. Stop the crap food. And start some resistance training. It’ll change your life.

    “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
    1 Cor 16:13

    OK. Rant over 🙂

  111. Dalrock says:

    @White

    See my reply to THF above.

    If so, are you moderating comments here to make sure no women get to speak?

    I do limit women’s participation for this reason, and have for some time. See the moderation policy linked at the top of the page.

    Or perhaps… you were just being chivalrous? No shame in admitting that, we all make mistakes.

    It is an act of respect for a fellow husband and father. I would do the same regarding his children.

  112. OKRickety says:

    Scott,

    ‘My only quibble is the while yes, the NT is silent on much of what marriage is “for” it’s original intent was to solve the problem of man’s loneliness

    “It is not good for man to be alone. Let us make a helpmeet for him”’

    I question your claim about the original intent of marriage. It seems to conflate loneliness (sadness because one is alone) with being alone. God said “It is not good for man to be alone”, not “It is not good for man to be lonely.” It is possible, but not ideal, for a man to be alone for lengthy periods of time, but never become lonely.

    I will also point out that Gen. 2:18 does not say “make a helpmeet for him”, but “make a help meet for him”. In the English of the King James Version, this means a helper suitable for him.

    Suppose a man decides to settle for a woman who is not willing to be his helper, thinking it will prevent the emotion of loneliness. I see this as similar to a woman seeking divorce because she has the emotion of unhappiness.

    On the other hand, a man who chooses a wife who is willing to be his helper will almost certainly avoid the emotion of loneliness.

  113. Dalrock says:

    @White

    Was the intention to see others criticize only the theology, but not the people involved? If so, why would you only politely ask commentors not be unkind towards Bayly, as a favour, yet in the same breath demand that others not be unkind towards the wife?

    There is a grey area here. Both Ray and Cane Caldo criticized Bayly for presenting his wife’s opinion as a way of adding weight to his theology of sex and marriage. They are criticizing him, but it is still very much on topic. Would you really prefer that I were more strict in this regard?

  114. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Damn Crackers: I’m being tongue and cheek here, but you can see that the history of the Church gave a lot of leeway to simple fornication with harlots and saw it less of a sin than many modern Christians and non-Christian feminists today..

    I think you’re interpreting Augustine’s quote the wrong way. When he said certain acts are execrable when done with harlots, but even more execrable when done with wives, notice that in BOTH cases, he was condemning the acts.

    It seems clear to me that he was referring to sexual acts that violate the Natural Law, e.g. oral sex, anal intercourse, etc. Not so long ago (within some of our lifetimes) virtually ALL Christian denominations taught that these acts are forbidden as part of the marital embrace, and are seriously sinful acts and seriously offensive to God. So it’s not just Augustine and Jerome – from our modern perspective, apparently ALL of Christianity was wrong for 1900 years. But modern man knows better.

    And while condemning such acts in all cases, you can see why Augustine says it’s worse in marriage. He was clearly thinking that the men he’s speaking to might be pressuring their wives into committing such illicit acts, thus corrupting them. Whereas the harlot is ALREADY corrupted. There’s a certain logic to his thinking, I don’t see it as anything overly Puritanical or prudish.

    He’s simply emphasizing that we are not to commit acts that are contrary to the Natural Law.

  115. Damn Crackers says:

    @Kid Charlemagne – Yes. I’ve interpreted the passage exactly how you described. Nevertheless, it never changed the actual practice of things in the Western world I mentioned.

    There is a scene in the goofy comedy “Analyze This” with Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro where the gangster mentions to his psychiatrist that he’s having problems with his mistress. The doctor asks him why he can’t just have sex with his wife, and DeNiro, offended, exclaims, “I can’t do those things to my wife! She’s the mother of my children. What’s the matter with you?”

    And you’re right, for most of the Church’s history oral sex with your wife was worse than fornication. I’ll leave it here to the married folk how they deal with their marital sins.

  116. Oscar says:

    @ Scott

    My only quibble is the while yes, the NT is silent on much of what marriage is “for” it’s original intent was to solve the problem of man’s loneliness

    “It is not good for man to be alone. Let us make a helpmeet for him”

    But the New Testament isn’t silent on that purpose of marriage. After all, Jesus quoted Genesis 2 when the pharisees asked him about divorce. What do we do when the New Testament quotes the Old Testament? We go back to the Old Testament and read the quote in context. By quoting Genesis 2, Jesus made it clear that the purpose for marriage in the creation story is valid and universal.

    Furthermore, if you read all the other instructions on marriage in the New Testament, you can see the purpose of companionship and completeness baked into those instructions.

  117. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Opus: and in the case of Homosexual promiscuity which I am convinced is largely an American invention

    When I was growing up in the 1970s, my friend and I thought Homosexuality was largely a British thing. I think we were influenced by Monty Python, which featured many homosexuals and cross dressers.

    I remember watching a TV news report with him, about a streaker dashing across the sports field. (Streaking — publicly running in the nude — was a thing in the 1970s). The newscaster described the streaker as “an Englishman.”

    Of course he’s English, we both thought. “What is wrong with the English”? my friend asked.

  118. white says:

    @Dalrock

    “Would you really prefer that I were more strict in this regard?”

    I was pointing out the special treatment (double standards) you have towards Bayly’s wife vs Bayly himself. Why are you asking me for my preference?

    Since Bayly presented this faulty theology to the world upon his wife’s suggestion (demand), with his wife’s approval, his wife is every bit as responsible for this faulty theology as her husband. If Bayly can be criticized here while “staying on topic”, why not the wife?

    But this isn’t about staying on topic. This is about making sure wives don’t get criticized, ‘period’:

    >”2) I don’t want to tee up another man’s wife for unkindness.”
    “It is an act of respect for a fellow husband and father.”
    “But his wife is out of bounds, period.”

    This is about pretending this blog runs like a church and doesn’t permit female involvement:

    >”If she has questions, let her ask her husband. Meanwhile, let’s keep the disagreement on the subject between men.”

    Except this is in stark contrast to your comment policy:

    >”I have welcomed female commenters from the beginning.”

    Please don’t ask me what I’d prefer your comment policy to be. I’m just pointing out contradictions (which I believe are covers for your chivalry) and this isn’t my blog.

  119. Sharkly says:

    It seems clear to me that he was referring to sexual acts that violate the Natural Law, e.g. oral sex …

    What natural law got broken? And who made it naturally outlawed? Is there a verse that says that in your Bible, or is that just a construction made by men? Like the Catholic peeve about how all sex must be an attempt to create a baby. Traditions of men!
    I’m not trying to stumble you, if you think oral sex is a sin, please don’t engage in it on my account.
    But I don’t see where it is outlawed between a husband and wife in the Bible. And it is hard enough to follow what is written, without adding in our own prohibitions.

  120. Opus says:

    @Red Pill Latecomer

    That is so sexist of you. Our most famous streaker was Erica Roe. Streaking seems to have died in that one never hears of it these days except of course when it is Femen which is interesting because Erica said she got a lot of flack from Feminists for going topless at a sporting in front of a lot of men, now Femen doing the same thing is empowering – another example of how Feminism is whatever you want it to be.

    Oscar Wilde was a married man with children.

  121. Opus says:

    I think I need to rewrite that: Oscar Wilde was a married man and father of two sons.

  122. earl says:

    I’m not trying to stumble you, if you think oral sex is a sin, please don’t engage in it on my account.
    But I don’t see where it is outlawed between a husband and wife in the Bible.

    Oral sex is under the definition of sodomy.

  123. Oscar says:

    @ Opus

    I think I need to rewrite that: Oscar Wilde was a married man and father of two sons.

    He was also a wildly promiscuous degenerate homosexual who made a habit of hiring male prostitutes in their early teens. What’s your point?

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/may/06/books.booksnews

  124. BillyS says:

    RPL and Opus,

    Read about the angels that visited Lot in Sodom. Homosexual promiscuity has been around for a very long time. It comes with the territory.

  125. Cane Caldo says:

    @White

    Since Bayly presented this faulty theology to the world upon his wife’s suggestion (demand), with his wife’s approval, his wife is every bit as responsible for this faulty theology as her husband.

    This is not what Christians should believe. We believe as the Bible says that men are more responsible than women because women are easily deceived. We also should believe husbands are the heads of their wives, and expect those husbands to handle their wives. To be fair to you, not all of Dalrock’s previous posts (nor mine) encourage belief in these truths. I am working on it, and I see loads of evidence that Dalrock is too.

    Now, to be fair to Dalrock, most of us wouldn’t even contemplate these truths without his leadership. Dalrock is a kind of founding father of the Christian Men’s Sphere. Not much to brag about to most people, I suppose; nevertheless I respect it. Because of that respect, if I had a problem with one small part of one small post among a sea of worthy posts, then I would try to see his perspective, and think of how it perhaps is not a hypocrisy, or how it is perhaps even a repentance from previous errors. And if I realized I don’t have the social graces to understand why reconsideration on my part is the better path, then I definitely would find something better to do than bitch for several comments about the teensiest of possible hypocrisies from one of our best Christian men writers.

  126. vandicus says:

    Catholic(and consequently derivative denominations) teachings have a lot of positions that were reasoned into. The Catholic church maintained and was influenced by Aristotle and his teachings(logic being amongst the most important). If you want to understand why they teach about natural law you have to start by learning a good bit about natural law.

    Rather unfortunately, apostolic teachings and things that reason was used to reach have become so mixed together its not often certain which is which.

    This is not to say that reasoning one’s way to an understanding of what God wants is a bad thing. There are descendants of Canaanites today, we don’t go around trying to wipe them out because we’ve variously reasoned our way(correctly I think) that wiping them out is no longer a standing order. Teachings on abortion have also been developed over time. At one point I understand masturbation was said to be murder of many tiny humans.

    Love and do what thou wilt reflects an understanding that the Bible doesn’t get into a lot of particulars(unlike say the Quran which governs minute details of life and is a legal code).

  127. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived and in all three of his books he seems to think passionate desire toward one’s own wife is fine, being ravished always with her love.

    Solomon’s story is also a cautionary tale of the dangers of loving your wife (wives, concubines) with excessive passion.

  128. vandicus says:

    It might be said that Catholic theology tries to tease out the principles behind certain instructions and parables so that they might be generally applied. Naturally there’s lots of debate and disagreement but that is what the ecumenical councils and church hierarchy exist to resolve.

  129. Oscar says:

    @ vandicus

    Teachings on abortion have also been developed over time.

    Actually, the Didache stated in the 1st Century, “thou shalt not procure abortion, nor commit infanticide”, both of which were common among the pagans of the time.

    http://www.thedidache.com/

  130. Sharkly says:

    It is an act of respect for a fellow husband and father. I would do the same regarding his children.
    I think it was the way you stated it, and that you felt you needed to state it.
    I want to discuss the teaching, not the man. But his wife is out of bounds, period.
    You didn’t initially state the same regarding his children, only his wife.

    Right now we need a Feminist to come along and lecture you on how demeaning it is that you think his wife needs your protection. /S LOL (White Knighting)

    (Paraphrasing) You know what would make this discussion between men about theology better? If we brought the wives into it!
    I think that is a self-serving and disingenuous paraphrase. I don’t think White or myself have any intention of libeling this woman, we just object to the cartoonish chivalry which you seem to be saying wasn’t your intent.

    A lot of crazy stuff gets said on the internet. God is blasphemed, His word is tortured, men created in God’s image are insulted and profaned. But you made a special point to say this guy’s wife is out of bounds. It just seemed strangely out of character.to a few of us.

    Inversely it almost makes me want to say something about her, elsewhere on the web. Just because you said I can’t. LOL And I don’t believe that was your intention.

    I think your prohibition would have been better left unstated, and dealt with as you normally handle comments you strongly object to, if and when somebody actually said something out of bounds regarding this woman, since you feel you must protect her, or honor her husband in this way, or whatever you were hoping to accomplish by all that. I understand that we should not stoop to mocking his wife and children, and I think most folks do also, without an added dose of cartoonish chivalry. At least it seemed over the top to me. We can mock each other and all sorts of people on here, but mock this guy’s wife, and you’re instantly in moderation! You can “Paraphrase” White in a way that makes him sound silly, but if anybody humorously speculates about how the conversation may have gone down between Pastor Bayly and his wife, before he felt compelled to publicly correct himself, then the ‘Ban Hammer’ drops. LOL it just seems askew. But I don’t need to belabor this further, we’re all human.

  131. vandicus says:

    @Oscar

    More particularly regarding the backing principle. Notions of ensoulment and why and when precisely abortion was wrong(what additionally would qualify as an abortion). Development of teachings has not been one directional, they sometimes move back and forth or to where they were initially. A more dramatic example would be understandings of revelations and the return of Christ(the when in particular for this latter one)

    As an aside, its worth noting that anyone who gets into heavan is asaint(those whom we have confirmed as doing so are Saints). Their writings in life are certainly not supposed to be inerrant, but are often influential.

  132. vandicus says:

    I think its obvious how St. Jerome reasoned himself into his position(and how easy it would be to do so).

    I will play Augustine’s advocate here however.

    There is some goodness in the enjoyment of wine, compay(of friends), and a wife. Is there not some point of indulgence where this makes a man a wastrel? Dilligence and frugality are virtues, though to excess does that not make one a miser? I have seen here attacks on the notion that there is some indefinite degree at which having marital sex can be sinful. Can we confidently assert there is no point at which a couple may be so intoxicated with one another that they disregard their responsibilities?(surely a rare concern but not neccessarily a nonexistent one)

    The point chosen may be excessively restrictive but does that mean there is none at all?

  133. white says:

    @Cane

    >His posts don’t always encourage the correct thinking. He’s working on it
    >He deserves more respect than you’re giving him.
    >Consider that he might have changed his views
    >Dude, why even talk about this?

    You’re beginning to sound a lot like Wilson’s defenders.

    True true, why even talk about this. Will be interesting to see which direction the Christian Manosphere heads down from here.

  134. Cane Caldo says:

    @Sharkly

    A lot of crazy stuff gets said on the internet. God is blasphemed, His word is tortured, men created in God’s image are insulted and profaned. But you made a special point to say this guy’s wife is out of bounds. It just seemed strangely out of character.to a few of us.

    Inversely it almost makes me want to say something about her, elsewhere on the web. Just because you said I can’t. LOL

    Some people thought this was a Safe Space, but then Dalrock said something that Triggered them and so now they want to become rebels anti-fascists.

    Dalrock can speak for himself, but when I make special rules I do so with those few in mind who have that inverse response to spasm. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t feel the impulse to.

    Personally, I work hard to suppress the urge to make rules for the sake of a few, but sometimes I decide I simply must. Sometimes it makes things worse in the short term, but my judgment has gotten better and over the long term it’s usually worth it. Those determined to be transgressive now won’t be improved later. If they are almost certainly not by me. It’s not dissimilar to dealing with unruly women or children: I’m bound to make a situation awkward for people who are inclined to awkwardness or rebellion. That’s because of them.

  135. THF says:

    Maybe there is a reason to bring into view his wife’s influence. Here are podcasts of them both talking (so his wife is very much a part of his views), about sexual abuse – 3rd one down from top.

    His quote on a pastor dealing with sexual abuse, “The church leader that wades into a case of sexual abuse without the insight, help, and wisdom of his wife is a fool. In this session Tim and Mary Lee talk about the integral role the wives of elders and pastors play in identifying and caring for victims of sexual abuse.”

    https://warhornmedia.com/conferences/the-enemy-within/

  136. THF says:

    So we’ve gone from “husbands are head of their wives… leading them,” and “wives, listen and ask your husbands at home,” to…

    Tim Bayly (and/or his wife?) shaming fellow male church leaders as “fools” for not listening to the “insight, help, and wisdom” of their wives when dealing with sexual abuse. Could it be because men just can’t understand sexual abuse without the perspective of a woman?

  137. NotaBene says:

    I would say that a big problem is that neither men nor women are being prepared for a married life in today’s society and that this causes all manner of unrealistic expectations being flung about with wild abandon.

    The realities of marriage are not beds of roses with furry kittens and fluffy puppies, but the day to day drudgery of work, more work and endless hours of arguing over finances, cooking, feeding kids and maintaining house and home. A rather unhappy and boring state of affairs.

    I guess that’s the point of being able to enjoy the simple things in life, like food, wine, sex with the spouse, playing with kids and being with friends. If you could not do such, life would have minimal meaning.

    I get this, however, making it out to be more than it is, that one cannot keep ones hands off one another after 30 years of marriage and play footsies under the table like little kids, sends another unrealistic signal to future couples out there.

    —————————————

    Who is “flinging around” unrealistic expectations? The church is full of couples who have screwed things up, and more often than not divorce is allowed, and they are allowed to remarry (which is adultery). Not sure they are the ones telling young couples that everything is great all the time.

    For genuinely happy couples not faking it (a rarity) I think paragraphs 3 and 4 are fairly realistic. Sure, we don’t want to lie to people, but we do want the bar set high and the dream to be there for the younger generations. Most people never get to be a professional athlete, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming when we’re younger.

    Now expectations from media/movies/music about sex, that I have an issue with, and would agree with you. That’s the secular idea that sex will fulfill you, it’s what life is all about. It’s always perfect for both people, and never wrong as long as they’re in love. Married sex always looks like porn. People who buy into these expectations are setting themselves up for failure.

    I do think we need a balanced approach when telling people what to expect in marriage, in that sense I agree with you. But I want to keep the dream of a great marriage alive!

  138. Cane Caldo says:

    @White

    @Cane

    >His posts don’t always encourage the correct thinking. He’s working on it
    >He deserves more respect than you’re giving him.
    >Consider that he might have changed his views
    >Dude, why even talk about this?

    You’re beginning to sound a lot like Wilson’s defenders.

    You ought to be able to see the difference between Wilson’s entrenchment into the false chivalric paradigm and Dalrock’s repentance from it. We can see how Dalrock has changed his views. For one thing, we don’t need to pretend, or obfuscate, or ignore any of what Dalrock wrote before; everything is moving in one direction, and it’s the right direction.

    For another, there are perfectly reasonable and Christian explanations for Dalrock’s motives that Bayly’s wife be left out of it: She’s Bayly’s problem not ours, and she’s weaker and more easily deceived so we shouldn’t expect any different.

    I mean c’mon: Even if you lived the dream, got Dalrock to rescind his rule, then convinced Bayly to remove his addendum, and then got an apology from Bayly’s wife she’d still be more subject to deception because of her sex and its weakness. It would last until the next temptation came along. All women need closer defense and leadership than men. So work on the husbands to work on their wives. This isn’t hard to understand, but I see no evidence you’ve thought this through.

    Either way, I’m content to let Wilson, his defenders, and you go on in your individual errors.

    True true, why even talk about this. Will be interesting to see which direction the Christian Manosphere heads down from here.

    Yes, but it’s somewhat less interesting to hear the observations of a mere pest. So don’t be one.

  139. Paul says:

    I think RCC theology on sexual ethics is a failure, mostly due to a flawed ‘natural law’ framework, combined with an unscriptural focus on procreation, inspired by the gnostic views on sexuality of Augustine.

    Consider this verse: “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

    Let me ask you, what kind of sex can a man have with another man, like he is having with a woman? This verse clearly condemns is between men, but specifically allows it between man and woman. That would include oral and anal sex, but exclude vaginal sex.

  140. feministhater says:

    Who is “flinging around” unrealistic expectations?

    Serious question?..

    Society, the Church, feminism, parents, blogs, magazines, movies…. the whispers of unrealistic expectations are all around.

    For genuinely happy couples not faking it (a rarity) I think paragraphs 3 and 4 are fairly realistic. Sure, we don’t want to lie to people, but we do want the bar set high and the dream to be there for the younger generations. Most people never get to be a professional athlete, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming when we’re younger.

    Really? The dream is dead, if ever there really was one. That is the reality for most people. That happy marriage, where both parties are highly attracted to each other, work well together, are not in competition, e.t.c.. are rare. A rarity is just that, a rarity. Not realistic for most. If you have such a marriage, thank God and praise him for it. However, pumping that as what others should hope for, is leading them to having expectations out of line and a life filled with never being content with what they have.

    Now expectations from media/movies/music about sex, that I have an issue with, and would agree with you.

    This is exactly what I was talking about. The unrealistic expectations thrust upon men and women from when they are young but it also includes fairy tales, Walt Disney princess stories and such. Song of Solomon is another one I consider unrealistic for most people. It also includes the ideals of perfection, the perfect height, perfect job, perfect physiques, perfect children, perfect and charismatic personalities that are loved by all. This is not real life, it is a fairy tale.

    Don’t sell people a dream.

  141. Ernst Schreiber says:

    That’s the same lazy sophistry John Boswell used to argue that the sin of Sodom was refusing hospitality to the stranger.

  142. Sharkly says:

    earl says: Oral sex is under the definition of sodomy.

    Not in my dictionary. I’d say that definition might possibly be understandable if it was between two dudes, but between a husband and wife I don’t see where in the Bible, the fun got outlawed. I think it is within our Christian liberty and that God has not declared it unclean for us.

    Acts 11:8 But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. 9 But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

    I’m not saying that those verses specifically refer to oral sex, but the general principle is not to make something unclean by custom, if God himself has not said it is unclean.

    Matthew 15:10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

    I’m not saying that this passage refers directly to oral sex either, but the general principle is that it is what comes out of your mouth that defiles you, not usually what goes into it.

    I just came up with those verses really quick. Let me hear some of your Bible verses, and we’ll reason together.

  143. earl says:

    Not in my dictionary. I’d say that definition might possibly be understandable if it was between two dudes, but between a husband and wife I don’t see where in the Bible, the fun got outlawed.

    What you don’t use Webster’s?

    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sodomy

    You don’t put reproductive organs in digestive organs…simple as that.

  144. white says:

    @Cane

    >”She’s Bayly’s problem not ours”
    “she’s weaker and more easily deceived”
    “got an apology from Bayly’s wife she’d still be more subject to deception… It would last until the next temptation came along”
    “So work on the husbands to work on their wives.”

    This is interesting. Are you actually suggesting now that Christians should not be confronting other married women on their bad theology? lol

  145. princeasbel says:

    I know I’m late to the party, but I would like to comment. It’s these statements in Tim Bayly’s article that raised red flags for me:

    You’re a wife? Give your husband the salad dressing he prefers.

    You’re a husband? Ask your wife to give you the salad dressing you prefer.

    I don’t think I was the only one who read that and was like… Huh?? What the heck does this have to do with authority? I’ve asked my own parents to pass me the salad dressing. Was I exercising my authority over them?? Were they developing muscles of submission when they just handed me the bottle?

    Men do need to be trained to properly exercise their authority, but I can guarantee you, they never needed Tim to tell them to ask their wives to pass the freaking salad dressing. We learned table manners when we were FIVE.

    I asked him about commanding your wife to put the kids to bed at a certain time, or commanding your wife to have sex. Two things that are WAY more relevant to men in general, especially husbands and fathers. How does a husband exercise his muscles over a wife who disobeys those commands?

    Now, I could have asked him about a wife who disobeys her husband’s command to give him the salad dressing. But we all know that’s not an authority or submission issue in the first place. So I asked a relevant question, and he dodged. Twice. Twice, before I finally asked him a less specific question- I asked for the general tools available to a husband who has a wife who disobeys him.

    The first thing he suggested? Pleading. The second? MORE pleading.

    Pleas. More pleas. Removal of every obstacle possible (not enough income in home). Enlisting help of relatives on her side. Maybe your side? Rebuke. Enlisting help of pastors and elders wives. Help of pastor. Help of Session admonition…
    — Tim Bayly (@tbayly) November 18, 2018

    That’s a response I could have conceived in my own mind if my goal were to mock him. It’s that bad. And yet, he wrote it all himself.

    I called out his response for what it was:

    A husband should exercise his authority by pleading?? Last I checked, you plead with someone when you LACK authority over her. I get why you need your peers on your side, and rebuke makes sense. Pleading? That’s not authority. That’s cuckoldry.
    — Prince Asbel (@PrinceAsbel) November 18, 2018

    And he blocked me the next day.

    My personal desire to ask him these questions had little to do with the topic of romantic love needing to sanctify sexual intercourse. But, I knew asking about sex would provoke a response that would force him to step outside of the safe and benign territory of table manners. I wasn’t surprised that he dodged- what surprised me was his adding an addendum that dragged up all this other nonsense unrelated to the basic question that I and many other unmarried men still need to have answered: How do we exercise authority over our wife when she disobeys us?

    How is this so hard? Has Tim never had to answer this questions before? Obviously he has, but he is terrified of doing so. Remember his statement that exercising authority over a disobedient wife is an art, not a science?

    Sex is a matter of love—not command. If your wife doesn’t want to love you, that’s a fundamental problem unlikely to yield to command without becoming brutish and degraded. As for command in other areas, it’s an art—not a science. Any counsel coming from a stranger is useless.
    — Tim Bayly (@tbayly) November 17, 2018

    That didn’t stop him from telling wives to give their husband the salad dressing he wants, or from telling husbands to ask their wives to do it. If he really believed this nonsense, he wouldn’t have even tried to offer examples of practical application. This is a smoke-screen- you might call it squid-ink. Something complementarians are VERY well known for doing when they need to escape the dreaded responsibility of teaching that which Tim Bayly set out to teach in his original article.

    Did I know Tim would melt down as badly as he did? No. Did I suspect something like that might happen? Yes. I can detect cuckoldry a mile away. When a man behaves as though he believes in authority over women, I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. The reason men like me don’t know how to exercise authority over women is not, I repeat, NOT because we don’t to learn how. It’s because Tim Bayly and others refuse to teach us.

    As far as his wife goes, she is fair game for criticism like Tim Bayly is. I strongly disagree with Dalrock’s prohibition against making her a target for criticism. However, I didn’t read Bayly’s addendum and become dismayed at what he said his wife told him. It’s nothing particular outrageous- The question is: Why did Tim feel the need to even mention her in the first place? He could have kept his private conversations private, but he didn’t. I could go on, but I suspect I would violate Dalrock’s rule, so I will close my comment here.

  146. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Honestly, I think the proscription of the Church Fathers (like Jerome and Augustine) not to treat your wife as a prostitute doesn’t mean you can’t have any passion or chemistry in the marital act. Taken to a logical conclusion, this would lead to the practice of some Othodox Jews, where you never touch your wife during the act, and intercourse is achieved through a hole cut into the sheet. I don’t think any of us believe this is what God wills for husband and wife.

    So I think the Church Fathers were products of their time. In Roman society at that time, women had no (and I mean NO) rights. They were simply the property of their husband. Same with children – I know for a fact that during the days of the Roman Republic, a father even had the legal right to murder his children if he chose to do so (I’m not totally sure if this was still the case in the later days of the Empire, at the time of Augustine).

    So the warning was against simply treating your wife as a f-ckhole, making her merely an object of your sexual lust, and de-personalizing her in the process. Treating her like a slave/concubine, if you will. Instead, you were to view her and treat her as a human being, with equal dignity and worth in the eyes of God as her husband or any man (though each had very different roles, of course…the wife being commanded to submit to her husband). It was the elevation of the humble Mary of Nazareth to Queen of Heaven and Mother of God in Catholic doctrine and theology that led to this radical reappraisal of the dignity, value, and worth of women….so different from the pagan view of women.

    Therefore, it seems to me this is what the warnings of the Fathers were about, when it comes to avoiding “excessive pleasure and passion” in the marital act…and thereby treating your wife as a mere concubine. It was an admonishment to grant your wife the dignity due to every baptized Christian, male OR female.

    Then as far as the specific admonishments of Augustine not to engage in “execrable”, shameful acts with your spouse…I think we already covered that. It was a warning that no one has a right to engage in acts of sodomy, since such acts violate even the Natural Law, to say nothing of the Law of God. Some examples of such sodomitcal acts include oral or anal sex. You don’t have a right to commit serious sins of this type, just because your accomplice in sin happens to be your lawful spouse.

    So, overall, I think the Church Fathers had a lot of wisdom. But of course, they weren’t always right – Augustine taught that deceased unbaptized babies (and children under the age of reason) go to the Hell of the damned, and suffer torments there for all eternity. I don’t know any denomination that believes that today. For example, the Catholic teaching is that such babies who die with the guilt of original sin only, while excluded from Heaven, go to a place of perfect natural happiness called Limbo. They suffer no torments of any kind. So Augustine was wrong on this point. (But, importantly, he was not heretical – the dogma of Limbo had not yet been defined by the Church, so various theological opinions could, quite legitimately, be proffered.)

  147. ray says:

    OP —

    What Augustine or Jerome said about spiritual practicalities means zilch. God did not assign them authority to guide the Church. Men did this in their desire for notoriety and control. To construct spiritual hierarchies outside heaven.

    Church Fathers, if you must look at it that way, are those noted in Scripture, and those only. Mostly, the prophets and apostles. I certainly don’t look at post-Jeshua Christians as fathers of the Church. Tho many of these were great — very big souls. The Father of the Church is Jeshua. The God of the Church is his Father.

    The ‘Jews’ play this game too, because it is innate to the human male — this obsession to stamp or mark each object and idea. In Babylon the dearies began formulating their OWN scriptures and systems, and that defecation produced the kabbalah, Talmud (Tall Mud) and ever so much more.

  148. vandicus says:

    @ Paul
    The Pharisees were taken to task for an overly legalistic and technically oriented interpretation.

    Christ came as a teacher, there is more to the lesson than just orders. Beyond thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not lay with a man as one does with a women, love thy enemy, there is a purpose. Seeking to understand the teachings of Christ goes beyond checking off a list of things we have specifically been instructed to do and not to do. Between seeking to know God’s intentions as to what we should do or not seeking to know, surely the former is superior.

    To attack natural law is to assert there is no divine order in nature(that which we call the various things that God has ordered). It would be one thing to assert that an interpretation of natural law(God’s particular chosen ordering) is in error, quite another to assert the universe is not in any sense ordered(with God having created various things for specific purposes). Could you elaborate on what you consider to be construction of the universe?

    Additionally, I don’t see why prior personal character is relevant to the logical argument being made(particularly in consideration of the history of St. Paul). Whether Augustine is right or wrong exists independently.

  149. vandicus says:

    @Ray
    In engaging in debate here you are engaging in precisely what Augustine, Jerome, and other famous Catholic thinkers did. Debating about the intentions of God. There is no special inerrant aspect(other than their thinking being highly regarded by at times by various groups) attached to them.

    The entire structure of the Catholic Church supports hashing out questions, details, meaning. We’re doing a similar thing right here. Why is it objectionable for the Catholic Church to have a ecumenical council(basically a grand debate followed by a vote) while its ok for us to discuss these questions? The very fact that the debate continues is acknowledgement of human fallibility(the only reason the Orthodox church are stuck in 8th century theological debates is that they believe they can’t hold a ecumenical council without the Catholic Church).

  150. ray says:

    Cane Caldo — “This is not what Christians should believe. We believe as the Bible says that men are more responsible than women because women are easily deceived.”

    Cane Caldo determines what Christians should believe? That was a quick ascent. Are you a Church Father now, also?

    You mix the true with the false. Although it’s true from Scripture that women are more easily deceived, it does NOT follow nor precede that ‘men are more responsible than women’. In fact, if ‘Christians’ will read the full text of 1 Tim. 2, they’ll discover NO mention of relative weighted responsibility falling on the male. There’s no apostolic direction that the male is MORE ‘responsible’ than the female in any primal or ongoing way, as you assert that ‘Christians should believe’.

    In fact, the passage underscores that the FEMALE WAS IN THE TRANSGRESSION.

    Now, ‘in the transgression’ would be a direct assignment of RESPONSIBILITY . . . to the woman. Primal responsibility, from which all such relation followed. Again, responsibility not to the man, who the apostle overtly and firmly cleared, right before your closed eyes — but to the woman.

    Your trad-con attempt to hijack apostle Timothy’s teaching to the eternal Church, and replace it with the exact opposite — that men are more responsible than women — is the essence of the feminist position, and certainly the position of satanic America, and those nations like-influenced. It’s a main reason there’s a vast disparity in the ‘justice’ meted out to male vs. female in the U.S.

    All responsibility, no authority.

    The error of the (tee-hee) pastor from the OP was the foundational error of the male: Bayleaf ‘listened to the voice of the woman’ and then revised what he’d written — which, as a ‘pastor’, is supposed to be derived from the Spirit — to please his wife, the woman, the American Idol, the boss. So if his original sermon came via the Spirit, then he placed the Word of the Woman over the promptings of the Spirit. Good luck there.

    Here’s the relevant last part of 1 Timothy 2:

    I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
    In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
    But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
    Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
    But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
    For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
    And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

  151. Dale U says:

    @Earl:
    >Oral sex is under the definition of sodomy.

    Thank you for sharing info about what the RCC teaches. Is that a current teaching? Fairly universally taught? (maybe not followed, but that is another matter)

    Vandicus wrote:
    >Rather unfortunately, apostolic teachings and things that reason was used to reach have become so mixed together its not often certain which is which.

    Not to you in particular Vandicus, but a general thought that your comment brings up:
    I suspect you may be struggling with the wrong question. Unless a person believes that the various religious leaders in the relevant religions are all true Prophets of God, then their apostolic teachings, and their teachings that reason was used to reach, are in fact the same thing. So they are already and always mixed; attempting to discern a delineation between them will cause no end of grief.

    A prophet, ONLY when he is relaying a message from God, is passing on a message/instruction/teaching from God. See Paul’s comments about revelation, or the following from 2 Peter 1:20-21:
    20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
    21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

    Any other time the (true) prophet speaks, he gives only his own views or perhaps the views of others.
    And any other person, who is not a prophet, at all times, gives only his own views or perhaps the views of others. I would fall into this category.

    And yes, I am aware that (some? in) the RCC and Othodox would happily claim that all of their sundry bishops, priests, Synod people, popes, ad nasium, all have the ability to give messages/teachings from God (aka prophecies), and are therefore able to give apostolic teaching.
    Since the Bible makes clear that true prophets of God were a very small fraction of the religious community of Isreal, any clear-minded person would therefore ask why God suddenly changed his mind, and decided that every person who manages to get himself a formal ecclesiastical position in a particular religious church must now be a prophet. (Regardless of the character of such a man or God’s wishes.) It is highly questionable that the decisions of men, regarding who gets to be bishop or pope, is able to FORCE the Holy Spirit to bequeath the gift of prophecy to that certain person. I believe God decides to whom to give the various gifts of the Spirit (Rom 12:3-8); it is obviously wrong to think we can boss God around, and order God to give the gift of prophecy to my favoured ecclesiastical candidate. Seems rather arrogant.

    And the punishment for claiming to give a prophecy from God (whether called a prophecy, apostolic teaching, or whatever), when God has not given one to him, is supposed to be death. Anyone claiming to give apostolic commands/teachings/prophecies may wish to keep that in mind.

  152. ray says:

    vandicus —

    I’m not a Catholic. So, don’t haffa whatever.

    Never said ole Jerry and Augie couldn’t debate Scripture. Or anything else their hearts desired. Go nuts!

    I said they were not Church Fathers. And I didn’t say it before, but will now, it’s an unprofitable use of time to endlessly rehash these guys’ moldy words. Would have been better buried with ’em.

    If you’d like to correct me, it might be a good idea to address something I wrote, instead of correcting something I didn’t. Or, you can continue arguing with yourself.

  153. Paul says:

    @vandicus : “To attack natural law is to assert there is no divine order in nature”

    No it is not. Natural Law is a philosophical construct extensively used in RCC theology. In my opinion it often fails.

    Of course there is divine order in creation (I refuse to call it ‘Nature’, as that is usually used to rob the creation of its divine origin). And Scripture itself talks about ‘according to nature’ and ‘against nature’, which points to aspects of the created order that can teach us. That is however different from the RCC theological constructs.

  154. Paul says:

    @vandicus : “The Pharisees were taken to task for an overly legalistic and technically oriented interpretation.”

    Does that mean you cannot answer my interpretation of Scripture, and resort to name calling?

  155. Paul says:

    @vandicus : “I don’t see why prior personal character is relevant to the logical argument being made”

    Because Augustine is not being logical at all in the core of his assertions on sexuality, and his gnostic influences can be clearly seen in his writings, which were more or less taken over by the RCC and still form the basis for its ethical teaching, condemning husbands and wives and heaping guilt upon their consciences (of which only the RCC can provide the cure, of course).

  156. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Paul,

    Natural Law has to do with what people can tell are right and wrong, even without divine revelation.

    For example, even savages living in a remote area, who create their own civilization from the ground up, can tell that murder is wrong. That stealing is wrong. That lying is wrong, That sodomy is wrong. That there must be a Creator. That love is better than hate. That parents should love their children, and children should obey their parents.

    These are all written on the hearts of men. They are all part of the Natural Law.

  157. Paul says:

    @KC “It was the elevation of the humble Mary of Nazareth to Queen of Heaven and Mother of God in Catholic doctrine and theology that led to this radical reappraisal of the dignity, value, and worth of women….so different from the pagan view of women.”

    Queen of Heaven? It certainly led to pedestalizing of women, nothing of which finds its basis in NT Scripture.The apostle Paul is being quite clear on the dangers of even redeemed women:

    I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.

    Eve is the pattern, even for redeemed women.

  158. Paul says:

    @KC : “Therefore, it seems to me this is what the warnings of the Fathers were about, when it comes to avoiding “excessive pleasure and passion” in the marital act”

    That’s a lot of hand-waving going on there. Augustine was shockingly clear on what he meant, but on critical points did err.

  159. Paul says:

    @KC: “Natural Law has to do with what people can tell are right and wrong”

    Wrong. It is a later philosophical framework, made famous by Thomas of Aquinas, and elevated to form the basis of RCC theology.

  160. info says:

    ”Although ostensibly, they are two totally opposed movements, Feminism and Social Conservatism both share a commonality which many fail to grasp. Both movements have a warped view of female sexuality; a warped view which ensures a synergy between the two streams of thought. Both feminism and social conservatism share an effectively similar conceptual understanding of woman which ignores her “flesh”; both are in essence ascetic movements.”

    The first thing that needs to be affirmed is that HYPERGAMY IS NOT A VICE, rather, it is the NATRUAL ORDER OF FEMALE SEXUAL DESIRE. Now hypergamy needs to be understood as not only as “mating up” in terms of resources and social status, but also as including mating with a sexually attractive mate. As Lady Hillingdon demonstrated, all the social and material resources in the world don’t matter if a man lacks the carnal nature of hypergamy. Hypergamy needs to be though of a socio-sexual concept, not a solely a materialist one.”

    ”On the other hand, the Social Conservative denial of hypergamy is more difficult to detect. Social Conservatives don’t deny that women want to “mate up”, but what they deny, or effectively downplay, is the sexual dimension of hypergamy: the importance of alpha. For a variety of reasons, Social Conservatives have a real problem in acknowledging female sexuality. Religious puritanism, historical paternalism and enforced female silence on the matter have engendered a conservative cultural conception of womanhood that paints a picture of the ideal woman as being relatively asexual. Sure there is much approving talk about beauty and love in the context of feminine identity, but as soon the subject of overt female sexuality becomes mentioned, the conservative approval is far more muted or outright critical.”

    ”If you look at it, pedastalisation, which is linked to the concept of romantic love, is really an expression of conservative anti-carnality. Women in mainstream conservative thought are are “above” the grubby desires of men, their purity and beauty as a sex, seems to disassociate them from any form of bodily function. It is a disconcerting thought to imagine the beautiful princess as moving her bowels or passing wind; and yet she does. Dante in his admiration of Beatrice never really raises the subject of tinea or body odour, because mention of such fleshy maladies brings Beatrice back to earth and out of the heavens. The flesh makes us real. So entrenched is the traditional conservative pedestalisation idealisation of women that that it shocks them when a woman’s “fleshiness” is made evident.

    Game, which is basically and understanding of female sexual desire, is attacked by Conservatives with pretty much the same language as used by its feminist critics, seeing it as some form of manipulation. It shocks the conservative that the pretty Taylor-Swift-like girl actually has desires of sexual ravishment.”

    https://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2011/11/feminist-in-every-social-conservative.html

  161. info says:

    Meanwhile the divine word acknowledges the goodness of female ravishment in the Song of Solomon. And in the Proverbs.

    A man as a rutting buck would ravish his wife.

  162. Paul says:

    @info

    interesting take

  163. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Interesting excerpt from the article:

    Therefore, according to the above Church condemnation, even if spouses or unmarried people do not consent to do anything more than the act of kissing itself and don’t commit any other sexual sin or act, it would still be considered as a mortal sin for them to be kissing “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight” even if “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded.” This, of course, is true both before, during, and after the marital act, and applies both to married and unmarried people alike. Thus, spouses may never kiss each other in a sensual way or in this way provoke themselves into sexual lust or “pollution,” either as an act that is separated completely from the marital act or as an act that is committed in relationship to the marital act (such as foreplay), even if pollution or ejaculation is excluded.

    Again, the condemned proposition specifically mentioned that kisses “for the sake of the carnal and sensible delight which arises from the kiss” is mortally sinful even though “danger of further consent and pollution [or ejaculation] is excluded” so that no one, whether married or unmarried, should get the idea that they would be allowed to kiss another person for sensual pleasure as long as they did not proceed any further than that.

    This point is important to mention since many lustful couples use all kinds of unnecessary acts before, during and after sexual relations. They try to excuse these shameful acts by claiming that they cannot complete the sexual act without them. However, their sinful excuse is condemned by this decree alone.

    Now, the main reason for why the act of kissing for the sake of venereal pleasure is mortally sinful according to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Saints and the Doctors of the Church is because it’s lust and serves no reasonable purpose other than wickedly arousing the selfish sexual desire of the spouses while not being able to effect the conception of a child. This fact then shows us that sensual kissing is a completely selfish and unnecessary act with no other purpose than to inflame a person’s shameful lust, which is contrary to virtue and the good of marriage. Again, unless husband or wife are totally degenerated, the mere thought of having sex with their spouse should be enough to inflame their lust and make them ready—at least on the part of the husband. And if this is true with mere thoughts, how much more with kisses and touches?

    There can be no doubt about the fact that many men who are ignorant about sex and women would be in danger of “pollution” by the mere thought of, or act of, sensual kissing or touching. It happens even today amongst some men, mostly in young men who are unlearned in the ways of lust—if one can call it that. That’s why the condemned proposition that tried to excuse this mortal sin even mentioned if “pollution is excluded,” as if wanting to argue that only ejaculation or climax (or pollution) was the mortal sin and not also the evil intention of seeking the pleasure. However, as we all could see above, whether pollution actually happens or not, sensual kisses was still condemned as a mortal sin according to God’s Holy Law.

    The fact that many men today have no danger of pollution from sensual kisses or touches does not make it lawful or right either. Because it is obvious that the act is not made lawful just because some men have hardened their hearts and become perverted. Simply said, all kisses and touches performed for the sake of sensual or fleshly pleasure is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church.

  164. Paul says:

    @KC

    “However, as we all could see above, whether pollution actually happens or not, sensual kisses was still condemned as a mortal sin according to God’s Holy Law.”

    Can you quote chapter and verse on that, so I can look it up in Scripture?

  165. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Sorry, I can’t seem to get the link to post. Anyway, that excerpt was from an article that claims it’s Catholic teaching that ALL sensual, lustful kissing and touching is ALWAYS seriously sinful. Including between spouses.

  166. Paul says:

    According to the RCC passionately kissing your wife will send you straight to hell, but being a pedophile and a homosexual child abuser will only get you sent to a different parish.

  167. ray says:

    Dalrock —

    Ok. You’re entitled to your motivations, privacy, and authority over your blog. My interest in the personal lives of these two is somewhat south of zero.

    That said, if I think it useful to comment on wife Bayley, I will. If I don’t oppose rebellion against Jeshua and the Scripture, whether by male, female, or angel, then the next thing I’ll hear from the King is What’s your problem today?

    If that’s outta bounds so be it let the chips fall. Based solely on the evidence you present in the OP, the wife replicated the primal rebellion of the Garden, by suggesting he ‘add a note’. Hm I can think of another really effective suggester . . . don’t mean to be unkind tho. :O)

    As for the, ah, pastor, he replicated the primal error of Ad-am. The woman told him to amend what (putatively) arrived from the Spirit, i.e., an element of God, and he instead listened to the woman, and mighta bettered Adam a chunk . . . Bayley ‘fixed’ his sermon at service of her will. Progress!

  168. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Paul: “Can you quote chapter and verse on that, so I can look it up in Scripture?”

    I’m not even sure the article is correct when it states this is the teaching of the RCC! Just thought it was interesting, and on topic for this discussion.

    For example, Pope Pius XII once said that the love between spouses is so strong that “nothing is shameful” when it comes to the marital acts they embrace, so long as it ends with the man depositing his seed in the woman (and with no artificial birth control involved, of course). This way the procreative act of the marriage bed is open to the generation of new life, as God intended.

    So it would certainly seem that Pius XII did not believe that passionate kissing and touching is forbidden to married couples. The only problem here is that his statement proves too much – he can’t have literally meant that “NOTHING is shameful”, because that would have included the spouses engaging in sodomitical acts that are contrary to even the Natural Law (such as oral or anal sex). And there’s no question that these acts constitute serious sin for a married couple to engage in…not only in Catholic teaching, but until the very recent, modern era, also in virtually all Prot. denominations.

    So it’s quite an interesting discussion, that’s for sure.

  169. Anonymous Reader says:

    I had forgotten Tim Bayly’s involvement in the CBMW, thanks to Dalrock and PrinceAsbel for reminding me. That organization has managed to demonstrate the futility of any compromise with feminism. If the conservative feminists take over your org and decide to grudgingly tolerate you, the more radical feminists will still castigate you as a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal wife beating patriarch. Near capitulation isn’t enough.

    “Complimentarian” is just another term for “conservative feminist”. Men are allowed to be in charge of some things, or at least to pretend to be in charge. But not everything…

    Tim Bayly’s addendum simply brings up the reliable manosphere truism: watch what they do, ignore what they say. Bayly talked big about aw-thor-it-ee but caved right in at the slightest challenge.

    @PrinceAsbel: don’t expect a man to teach what he doesn’t know.

  170. Anonymous Reader says:

    Kid Charlemagne
    So it’s quite an interesting discussion, that’s for sure.

    Maybe so, the first few times…

  171. Dale U says:

    Kid Charlemagne quoted an article:
    Simply said, all kisses and touches performed for the sake of sensual or fleshly pleasure is condemned as a mortal sin by the Catholic Church.

    Wow. Thanks for the quotes KC.
    I hope that article is wrong. Otherwise, the RCC has, as official dogma, the requirement that all Catholic wives (and husbands) be cold and frigid towards their spouse, except during events that could potential create a baby. Thus, “unless we are about to have sex, keep your hands off me.” This means the wife is required, by RCC policy, to reject her husband 23 hours of the day.
    Do we really think this is what God intends? Prov 5:18-19 gives the direct opposite teaching; see the word “always” therein. Or 1 Cor 7:1-5.

    As another poster recently posited however, creating new “sins”, for which their own religion is the only source of absolution, is great if you are looking to preserve and increase your cash-flow. As long as you don’t mind burning in hell for eternity. Does the RCC ever read Matt 23? Matt 5:20? Matt 15:1-9?

  172. Kid Charlemagne says:

    “Does the RCC ever read Matt 23? Matt 5:20? Matt 15:1-9?”

    Oh, I’m sure they do. It was the RCC that defined the canon of the N.T. at the Councils of Hippo and Carthage. Protestants use the same canon (in spite of Martin Luther’s desire to throw out the Book of Revelations, the Epistle of James, and change the words of St. Paul from “for we are saved by faith” to “for we are saved by faith ALONE.”)

    So the irony is that everytime they read the N.T., Protestants are affirming the authority of the RCC, whether they know it or not.

  173. info says:

    @Kid Charlemagne

    That is a whole can of worms. This body split into Eastern Orthodoxy and RCC with each claiming faithfulness to the Apostles. And mutually excommunicated each other.

    ”So the irony is that everytime they read the N.T., Protestants are affirming the authority of the RCC, whether they know it or not.”

    The fault of the RCC is allowing the Gnostic views of anti-sexuality of Augustine/Jerome to influence the attitudes towards sex. Resulting in the distortions highlighted by the Catholic Writer I have linked to above.

    The pleasurable Unitive aspect of Sexuality of Eros have been demonized as “Lust”

    Also it appears that the bond of marriage is primarily unitive and secondarily procreative.

    ”If we assume that God’s intention can be revealed through our “design”, then the period of fertility privation that occurs during the menstrual cycle would be a feature and not a bug of the system. In other words, did God intend sex to be infertile during a portion of a woman’s menstrual cycle? Because, if he did, the telos of sex during this period is not fecundity because by its very nature the act is sterile by divine design. This is at odds with the Church’s teaching. The only way you can square the circle between tradition and our understanding of physiology is to assume that the the infertile period of a woman’s menstrual cycle is some sort of privation. But that of course leads to the conclusion that God deliberately produced a faulty product. (There’s a whole host of theological problems with that.)

    Given the coitus is possible during all stages of the menstrual cycle, what the design of the cycle reveals is that coitus can only achieve its telos of conception during a small portion of it. The rest of the time coitus is intrinsically infertile by design. It would appear that the telos of coitus varies with the stages of the menstrual cycle and the Church’s insistence that the coitus is intrinsically orientated towards procreation would appear to be at odds with the findings of physiology.

    A sexual act performed during this infertile period is meant to be intrinsically infecund by design. The problem with the idea that sexual activity achieves it telos when conception occurs would mean that woman is intrinsically privated during her infertile period. This would mean that God either deliberately designed a fault (mistake)in women or that he deliberately intended sex to be infertile during this period. i.e. a sexual act performed during the infertile period is teleologically complete and not ordered towards procreation.

    Then again, there is the issue of menopause. Did God make a mistake? Is menopause a disease or a deliberate state intended by God? If it is intended by God, then intercourse during this period is teleologically complete and intrinsically not orientated towards children”

    ”Then there is the issue of the suppression of ovulation by lactation. Now, this is either an intended or unintended feature of the mechanism. If unintended, it means God made a mistake: if intended, it means coitus is not intrinsically fecund during this period by design. On the other hand, if we assume that coitus is meant to be intrinsically fertile, then the deliberate use of this method to suppress ovulation–a method approved by the Church–is deliberately of malign intent since it aims to private a woman’s fertility. The fact that the mechanism is endogenous in no way absolves it of its evil.

    The idea that a coitus is meant to be be intrinsically fecund is not just a statement of morals but of physiology as well. It implies that that an infertile woman (either temporarily or permanently) is a privated one. Or, to put it another way, the ideal, non-privated woman (with respect to traditional sexuality) is meant to be fertile all the time: something which our understanding of physiology refutes. The idea that sexual activity is meant to be intrinsically fecund is the “traditional” understanding of physiology being “front-loaded” into morals by Natural Law philosophy.*

    FWIW, my own view on the teleology of coitus is that the coital act achieves it telos when sperm is deposited in the vagina. This approach squares up with all the physiological findings and does not result in us thinking of menopause as a disease or the infertile periods of the menstrual cycle as being some form of privatory state. It also squares up with a lot of traditional morality.”

    https://socialpathology.blogspot.com/2018/09/the-teleology-of-coitusagain.html

  174. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Also it appears that the bond of marriage is primarily unitive and secondarily procreative.

    “Be fruitful and multiply.”

  175. vandicus says:

    @ Paul

    Aside from vague RCC bashing you simply defended anal sex with women. I didn’t take umbrage with the latter, although I disagree with your reasoning(it is reasoning by the way, the passage does not have to mean what you read it to mean). I’m not sure why you’d want to debate the merits of anal sex, but I was aiming to defend the notion of there being intentions behind God’s instructions, beyond the merely technical nature of them(don’t do this, do do that). Which I did cite Christ regarding, I’m sure you’re familiar with the specific passage. This in turn justifies the Catholic reasoning/debate cycle(similar to what is being done here) to figure out what we’re supposed to do.

    ————————————————————————————————–

    Seeing several confusions here.

    No, Augustine is not much of a model for RCC teaching(much of his original arguments form the basis of first wave Protestantism).

    Best reference for official RCC canon is the catechism(don’t think we’re debating that here though), we’re actually talking about a few very early writers on the topic. In general the writers make a more interesting topic than the catechism.

    Paul up there blatantly misrepresents the behavior as Catholic authorities as representative of Catholic doctrine. If the behavior of the Catholic authorities(or the Popes alone) was by definition sinless, everyone’s going to heaven cause there ain’t no sin.

    Natural law is Aristotelian in origin ultimately. So is the system of logical thought that underlies almost everything in the West. Catholics essentially hold that we can understand things through logic like what God wants us to do. What did God mean by love thy neighbor as thyself? Is it purely a technical requirement so that a person who doesn’t love them self very much should be less generous, or is there a deeper meaning than that? This eventually leads to answering very specific questions, for which logical can become tenuous. The answer to some things can be ambiguous but the RCC often tries to find specific answers. Just War theory in response to morality of wars for instance.

    Specifically the Catholic teaching on intercourse is that there must(assuming the possibility of such) be the possibility of procreation.

    Catholic position on the Virgin Mary, allegedly is Apostolic Tradition(as I mentioned before its impossible to disentangle some 1st century positions from the oral teachings of the Apostles).

    Lastly it should be mentioned that the Catholic Church is a body of churches and different groups. Central doctrine is established by debate and voting. Some groups, such as those led by St. Francis of Assasi, went for strongly ascetic routes, some were military orders. There is necessarily a great deal of divergence in perspective and leeway involved. At its worse this leads to syncretism and things like the US being the source of most of the world’s annulments, at its best comity between Christians of differing views.

    @ Dale U
    Apostolic Teaching/Tradition(as Catholics use the term) is oral tradition taught by 1st generation Apostles, usually considered very accurate in regards to the teachings of Christ. The Bible is essentially the written form of some(but not all) of these early teachings. They’re not latter divine revelations or the like. I would appreciate if the practices and rites taught by the Apostles were clear from those established in the following decades and early centuries, but there is no clear delineation. This is likely because the modern RCC is in fact unsure of which is which. I’m Catholic because I find its teachings to be most likely accurate or closest to the truth(not because of a belief the catechism is inerrant). Additionally its doctrines don’t have anything that I would consider to be grievously in error(denial of free will, abortion, free wheeling divorce, women priest, endorsement of homosexuality, etc.). I consider some debates, transubstantiation vs consubstantiation to be silly. Being composed of humans not taught directly be Christ, all churches will have errors. Some are worse than others. I understand the complaints of others(many Catholics included) about Church leadership.

    My preference is to try to support ethical factions over leaving. I don’t condemn those who leave or critique this or that leader(and I would not object to criminal trials for many), but I would appreciate if discussions about theology didn’t become all about personal attacks or attacking the Church as an alternative, which has little to do with the validity of the statements of Augustine and Jerome. Being wrong doesn’t make one a bad person, being a bad person doesn’t make one wrong.

    St. Jerome’s position I think is clearly refutable.

    St. Augustine’s position brings us I think to the more interesting question of whether there is a point beyond which the use of certain vital functions(sex, eating) becomes immoral. To clarify, I think his position is unreasonably restricted and people do probably quote him to justify modern BS that destroys marriage. The idea he was exploring I can see merit in though.

  176. Dale U says:

    So the irony is that everytime they read the N.T., Protestants are affirming the authority of the RCC, whether they know it or not.

    Further to what info wrote above, the Orthodox position is that the Catholics are a schism, or in error, and the Orthodox is the first/primary church.

    A second issue is that your statement requires that:
    – I have to be in submission to a person, in order to use their ideas or the results of their work. I.e.: “everytime they read the N.T., Protestants are affirming the authority…”
    – It is impossible for two groups to arrive at the same conclusion, or for a second group to agree enough with the results of the first group, to choose not to argue the differences
    – Protestants are so hateful toward the RCC, due to the RCC’s myriad errors, that they will disagree with EVERYthing the RCC says, merely on principle.

    I hope that, when you read the above, the absurdity of all three statements is immediately self-evident.
    The RCC does happen to get many ideas correct. Even Satan was partly right when speaking to Eve in Genesis 3. It would be difficult to go through life doing everything wrong…

    🙂

  177. Sharkly says:

    @Joe
    I agree that good diet and exercise are ways to keep our “temple” in shape, and good sex is helpful too. Those who disagree pay the price of greatly reduced function as they grow older. I believe everybody should make a decent effort to remain a sharp tool for God to use.

    @earl
    You don’t put reproductive organs in digestive organs…simple as that.
    But if the mouth and the anus are both part of the digestive tract then it follows that they should go together according to your method of organ system reasoning. And why is mouth to mouth kissing not forbidden if the digestive systems aren’t compatible. Or did we just hear that Catholics aren’t to be kissing anywhere? I’m going to have to hear more than dogmatic statements on which organ systems aren’t compatible and quibbling over the definitions of English words, when the Bible was not written in English, to become a sexual Catholic. Paul zinged your church good:
    According to the RCC passionately kissing your wife will send you straight to hell, but being a pedophile and a homosexual child abuser will only get you sent to a different parish.
    LOLOLOLOLOL

    @princeasbel
    Good on you, for cornering hireling Bayly. I wouldn’t be going to him for instruction though. The head of every man is Christ. Go to God’s word, not some cucked guy who is ashamed to tell men to demand anything more than salad dressing. Hopefully you weren’t really asking him for help, but were just testing him and trying to get him to see the folly of his cowardly inability to proudly stand on God’s all wise and eternal word, against satanic Feminism.

    @Kid Charlemagne
    Instead, you were to view her and treat her as a human being, with equal dignity and worth in the eyes of God …
    I don’t believe women have equal dignity. Men were created first in order in the image of God, and women were created later, for the man, and are to reverence their own husbands and submit to them as unto the Lord. I’m not even sure they have equal worth. We are told to show them respect as being heirs together of the grace of life. We are not told to show them the same respect as men, or that they have the same dignity or worth as men. The apostle Paul taught us of differences in apparent dignity:
    1 Corintians11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
    So the woman seems to be a later, lesser, being created as an assistant to the man, a weaker vessel. Who by the grace of God is an heir together of the grace of life. God says that He exalts the humble, and that some who are first shall be last, and some who are last shall be first in the kingdom to come, so who knows how things may be in the next life where we are not given in marriage and seem to be more equals, having then all been perfected and conformed to the likeness of Christ. I would suspect it is the most humble and submissive holy women who would call their husbands “Lord”, that might be elevated first in glory, and not the pride filled and usurping Feminists who refuse to accept their place in God’s creation, or accept the truth of God’s life giving words.

  178. Dale U says:

    @vandicus re comment at 9:15

    That was a great post. I appreciate your obvious efforts to be accurate and humble.

    >The Bible is essentially the written form of some(but not all) of these early teachings. They’re not latter divine revelations or the like.

    What term would you use, for a person in the RCC giving some new official teaching? Would that not be considered apostolic teaching? Or is “apostolic teaching” only those teachings that the RCC claims were originally said by Paul, Andrew, Jonh, Peter, and their buddies?
    Perhaps I have the wrong terms… or understandings. I thought RCC justified adding their various required dogma over the millennia with the claim of “apostolic succession”, and thus “apostolic teaching”.

    The claim of preserved oral teachings is similar to what the orthodox jews say, regarding… “talmud”? I think that is the correct term. Basically, the idea is that the various jewish religious leaders supposedly had, and perfectly preserved, but never bothered to write down until much later, a bunch of additional laws from God, which are not in the Bible. So when we see different practices from orthodox jews, at least some of these are due to this claimed oral tradition.
    What level of acceptance does a typical RCC person have for this jewish oral tradition, given their own church’s similar practices?

    >I would appreciate if the practices and rites taught by the Apostles were clear from those established in the following decades and early centuries, but there is no clear delineation.

    On the one hand, I would love to have a copy of every one of Paul and Peter’s sermons/speeches. What info would we find? Even if nothing “really important” was found, think of all the minor issues that could be cleared up… or merely give fodder for great discussions.
    But, on the other hand, maybe God deliberately did not allow those to survive. Even some of the letters that Paul wrote did not survive; 1st and 2nd Corinthians give clear hints about missing letters he wrote to churches. Perhaps God did not allow those letters to survive, given that Paul remained human and occasionally would have misunderstood. Or perhaps God decided the letters he chose to allow to be preserved were sufficient for us, despite lack of errors in others. You came close to the idea above that it is not necessary to have everything right, to live a good life in submission to God.

    I also would agree that many arguments can be unprofitable (2 Tim 2:22-26, Titus 3:9-11).

    Again, thanks for your post.

  179. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Sharkly,

    I think you are in a distinct minority in saying that women do not have equal worth and dignity before God. Again, that is not to say they have equal God-given roles while here on Earth; clearly they do not.

    Again, look at the example of the Virgin Mary. Even from a Protestant POV, wouldn’t you say she was the most perfect and sublime creature God ever created? Greater than an Abraham, or a Moses, or a David, or a Solomon? Also greater than a Peter or a Paul? Who would dare convict her – the new Ark of the Covenant – of sin? And it’s in the very Bible that Protestants believe in (the Book of Revelation, to be precise) that John refers to her as “the woman clothed with the sun” who crushes the head of the Serpent.

    And is she not a woman? This very much influenced (rightly, I think) the Church Fathers in their revolutionary (to pagan society) belief that women possess equal value, worth, and dignity as men, in the eyes of God. Even though the two have very different roles to play; the woman to be the follower while the man to be the leader.

  180. BillyS says:

    Joe,

    Giving up processed foods stops aging? I am impressed.

    Don’t hurt your arm too much with all that back patting in your rant though.

    I happen to agree with the idea to avoid processed foods, but it is a lot harder to change habits than you realize, especially if no one else is helping you along that path. You have support. Great. Quit being so stuck up though and be a bit more encouraging rather than AMOGing.

  181. Cane Caldo says:

    @Ray

    Although it’s true from Scripture that women are more easily deceived, it does NOT follow nor precede that ‘men are more responsible than women’

    I wrote a truth, not a step-by-step logical argument. It follows that whoever has more authority has more responsibility.

    But I suspect, as I have decided of White, you just want to argue on the Internet, and you don’t have an interest to reach a common understanding.

  182. Mountain Man says:

    Ray,

    One of your comments up-thread seemed to indicate that you think Timothy wrote the New Testament books named for him. Maybe it was just awkward wording which led to me reading it incorrectly. Please forgive me if I’m correcting you unnecessarily, but I think it’s important to know that First and Second Timothy where not written BY Timothy, but TO him, by Paul.

  183. Mountain Man says:

    To all those trying to claim oral sex is a sin,

    Perhaps you are unaware, but oral sex is described in the Song of Solomon, and is portrayed positively. It’s hard to see, though, due to intentional mistranslation when the bible was first being translated into English. Read the Song of Solomon, and look for any place where a woman’s navel is mentioned. The Hebrew word translated to “navel” actually refers to a part of female anatomy a bit south of the navel. When you read those passages and substitute in the correct word (vagina or vulva in modern English, not sure what the Brits called female genitalia 500 years ago), what you see is that Solomon is describing a man who really enjoys going down on his woman, even to the point of comparing her vaginal fluid to sweet wine.

  184. Sharkly says:

    @Kid Charlemagne
    1 Corinthians 11 clearly says that the man is the image and glory of God, While the woman is the glory of man. Clearly a lesser glory like how the moon is a lesser reflection of the glory of the sun. She was just not given the same dignity given unto man. I certainly am in a distinct minority. A remnant who have been shown that men and women are not equal creations. Every woman can marry up, and satisfy her hypergamy, by marrying the image and glory of God, a man. As to worth, we are never told that men and women are of equal value to God. It would have been an easy thing for God to have said in His word, if it were true. We aren’t told about relative worth. But some indicators point to men being worth more to God, like God making man in his own image, like little self portraits, your kids are more valuable to you than other children, partly because they are yours and partly because they are a reflection.
    Speaking of Mary in Revelation, assuming Mary was the greatest woman, Jesus was of course the greatest man, who alone was worthy to open the book and the seals thereof? Jesus alone was worthy to open what the Father had sealed up. Either women are worth less by their creation, or Mary wasn’t sinless, otherwise she’d be just as worthy to open that book. Am I right?

  185. Paul says:

    Oh boy. I’m not into RCC bashing, but have a passion for truth and a desire to expose error when I see it, for the greater good of Christ’s Church on earth (which does NOT coincide with the RCC), but I get a lot of triggers in the posts above defending some of the erroneous RCC positions. The problem is that according to RCC doctrine, it is sinful to even question RCC dogma, ultimately making a discussion on these topics with a devout RC almost impossible, of not useless. I will therefore only selectively reply, or merely repeat what I already stated before.

    For a start, let’s repost the sexual ethic of the Middle Ages, showing what the RCC taught at that time, and decide for yourself

    (Brundage “Law, Sex, and Christian Society in Medieval Europe, “)

  186. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Sharkly: “Speaking of Mary in Revelation, assuming Mary was the greatest woman, Jesus was of course the greatest man, who alone was worthy to open the book and the seals thereof? Jesus alone was worthy to open what the Father had sealed up. Either women are worth less by their creation, or Mary wasn’t sinless, otherwise she’d be just as worthy to open that book. Am I right?”

    I would say no, you’re wrong. You can’t compare Jesus to Mary – she is a created creature, while He is God Himself. That’s why you’ll notice I specifically compared her to people like Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, etc….and in the N.T. to Apostles like Peter and Paul.

    So again, restricting ourselves to created beings that do NOT possess a divine nature (so feel free to include Angels)…is the holy Mother of God not the most perfect, sinless, sublime, humble, obedient, loving being that God ever created? The apple of His eye, so to speak? Did not the very Archangel Gabriel address her with “Hail”, signifying her place as Queen even of the angels? (After all, for whom do you “hail”, but your leader? Think of the newsreels from the Nazi era…all the crowds shout Heil – which is Hail, in English – to Hitler precisely BECAUSE he is their fuehrer (leader). Or in Roman times – “Hail, Caesar!”)

    And yet, she’s a woman. With this in mind, it’s very difficult to conclude that women have less value, worth, and dignity in the eyes of God, as compared to a man. This was the thinking of the Church Fathers…and it was indeed revolutionary to their pagan audience at the time (that a woman has equal dignity and worth as a man, although very different roles to play in the family and in society).

    You can also see the supreme irony that today’s feminists bash the coming of Christianity as a disaster for women. The opposite is true! One of the common traditions in the Roman pagan world was to take unwanted newborn females and place them outside on a mountain to die of exposure or by wild beasts. The infant Church immediately put a stop to this atrocity. But you’ll never hear that from the mouth of a feminist!

  187. Pingback: Cause or Effect – Red Presbyterian

  188. Ernst Schreiber says:

    [W]ho alone was worthy to open the book and the seals thereof?

    It’s Jesus’s Divinity that makes him worthy to break the seals and open the book, not his humanity.

  189. Paul says:

    @KC:

    is the holy Mother of God not the most perfect, sinless, sublime, humble, obedient, loving being that God ever created?

    No, that would be Jesus Christ in his incarnation. And I of course disagree with the ‘sinless’, for which a subset of Christianity has no proof except by dogma.

    And I would like to add that calling Mary ‘Mother of God’ is actually a gross theological error. After the Church declared that Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, and NOT only God or only man, it is illogical to declare Mary to be ONLY the ‘Mother of God’. She would have to be called ‘Mother of God and man’. In that sense ‘Christotokos’ is more true to the nature of Christ, and to the motherhood of Mary.

  190. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Paul,

    So you’re saying Jesus Christ was a created being. My apologies, I thought you were a Christian.

    All my points stand, regarding the new religion of Christianity raising woman to a place of equal value, worth, and dignity as a man…in contradiction to the views of the existing pagan society, which viewed women chiefly as property and totally without rights. The honoring of the holy Virgin of Nazareth as the Queen of Heaven (as confirmed by St. John in his Apocalypse, where he sees her “clothed in the sun” in Heaven and wearing a crown of 12 stars) and Mother of God (and Spouse of the Holy Spirit) had much to do with this revolutionary new view of womankind.

    Clearly, humble Mary of Nazareth must be the greatest of all created beings – greater than any patriarch, prophet, or apostle. And even greater than the angels, since as I pointed out earlier, even Gabriel salutes her with “Hail Mary!”, thus implying she is greater than he. And yet she is a mere woman! This was a great mystery that the Church Fathers pondered. It led them to conclude that it cannot be correct to view women as less valuable and worthy in the eyes of God than men are, even though here on Earth wives are to assume a submissive role towards their husbands.

    So the coming of Christianity was a huge step forward for women. But don’t hold your breath waiting for modern feminists to point that out!

  191. earl says:

    For a start, let’s repost the sexual ethic of the Middle Ages, showing what the RCC taught at that time, and decide for yourself

    That’s not RCC dogma.

  192. buckyinky says:

    Kid Charlemagne, your views on women and rights are so clouded by muddled modern thinking. Many a question you beg, and I’m not sure you’d be able to comprehend that you be begging them.

  193. BillyS says:

    Ernst,

    It’s Jesus’s Divinity that makes him worthy to break the seals and open the book, not his humanity.

    You need to read it a bit closer. It says “no man” was able to open it, not that God was unable to open it. Jesus is forever man and forever God. He was a man who paid the price to be able to redeem us, which included opening the seals.

    Nothing in the Scriptures indicates Mary was sinless and she was certainly not a virgin later on, though I am sure those following RCC will wave their hands otherwise.

  194. Sharkly says:

    @Kid Charlemagne
    The English word translated as “hail”, “greetings”, or “rejoice” is:
    https://biblehub.com/greek/5463.htm
    I don’t see that it necessarily shows Gabriel is elevating Mary above himself. I find it seems he is trying to indicate she is the most favored woman.
    Luke 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
    The angel did not bow or say that he was not worthy to unlatch her shoe or give any sort of sign that she was queen above him.

  195. Ernst Schreiber says:

    @ Sparkly

    Note that “thou that art” is bracketed, which means its been supplied by the editor or translator. “Highly Favored/Full of Grace” is a name, like Abraham (Gen. 17:5) or Israel (Gen. 32:28).
    Luke 1:26-28 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” (RSV); or, Luke 1:28 28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Douay-Rheims)

    Note also that Mary, unlike nearly everybody else visited by angels in the Bible, doesn’t bow down to the ground before Gabriel (e.g., Gen. 18:2, Gen. 19:1, Num. 22:31, Jos. 5:14,), so clearly something special is happening here.

    Finally, Mary’s queenship is a function of her son’s kingship. The OT parallel is Solomon and Bathsheba. Thus: 1 Kings 2:19 (KJV) Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right hand. Or, (RSV) So Bathshe′ba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adoni′jah. And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king’s mother; and she sat on his right.

    @ BillyS

    Nothing in the Scriptures indicates Mary was sinless and she was certainly not a virgin later on[.]

    Nothing in Scriptures indicates she wasn’t either. Although, one might infer as much from the fact that she gave birth to the second person of the Trinity, who took his human nature from her and her alone.

  196. BillyS says:

    [Mat 1:25 NKJV] 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

    Note that it does not say Joseph never knew Mary (sexually). It explicitly said he did not know her until Jesus was born. The implication is clear there. Jesus also had brothers and sisters too. Absolutely no evidence Joseph already had those before marrying Mary.

  197. Kid Charlemagne says:

    BillyS,

    A Bible scholar you’re not. But it’s the arrogance that bugs me. You see, ALL the Church Fathers were unanimous in pronouncing Mary as “ever-Virgin”. Yet according to you, they never read the Gospels…because it’s right there in black and white that she had other children! Does that seriously sound right to you?

    This is why it’s so hard for me to take Protestantism seriously. You act like the Bible (or rather, Martin Luther’s mutilated form of it) just descended from Heaven, and we are left to decipher it as best we can. And that you are just as qualified to do so as the Church Fathers, and as Bible experts who are fluent in the original Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, etc and have spent careers studying this. I mean, it’s just absurd. You can’t expect an educated, intelligent person to take this kind of ridiculousness seriously.

    The fact is that the phrase “the brothers and sisters of the Lord” refers to relatives, not full-blooded siblings…as Aramaic doesn’t distinguish between the two. Or did you think the people in Jesus’ time spoke English? For example, James the Less, aka James the Just, who was the first bishop of Jerusalem and was later martyred, is often referred to as “the brother of the Lord”. Yet he was actually a first cousin – being the child of Joseph’s brother and sister-in-law (Mary of Clopas, who is specifically mentioned in the Gospel of John as being present at the foot of the cross on Good Friday).

    Likewise, in the language used at the time, saying that Joseph “never knew her until she had her first-born son” does NOT mean he necessarily knew her afterwards, even if it may seem to give this sense in the English translation. There are plenty of examples in the Bible, esp the O.T., where similar language is used when describing an act we KNOW did not occur again subsequently.

    Again, this is just more proof of the absurdity of Protestantism – that every believer, no matter how uneducated in ancient languages and idioms (and in the teachings and traditions of those who were taught by the apostles themselves), can read the Bible in English, from a clean slate, and just somehow know the correct interpretation. It’s crazy on its face.

    And this is why you have 30,000+ differing Prot. denominations, all claiming to have the truth, and all claiming the others are wrong. And new denominations being created every day. This situation is a scandal to all Christendom, and really to the whole world. And it is a direct insult to Our Lord Himself, who prayed, “Grant that they (Christians) may all be one, Father…even as You and I are one.”

  198. ray says:

    Cane Caldo — “I wrote a truth, not a step-by-step logical argument. It follows that whoever has more authority has more responsibility.”

    Changing the assertion now, eh? That was not what we were discussing and you know it.

    The new Church Father ‘wrote a truth’ and therefore, the command has gone out from On High, and all argument — especially that which is logical or based on Scripture — must stop. When Cane Caldo utters a truth, the words are set in eternal stone, and Creation scrambles to obey.

    You avoid any relevant and obvious point I made, and try to pawn off your ineptitude by bleating that . . . well, you WROTE A TRUTH.

    lol

    LOL!

    I proved Scripturally that your Received Truth that the Bible makes men more ‘responsible’ for error than women is crap, arising from your own bloated intellect. You respond that you ‘wrote a truth’.

    That is pathetic. You’re like Larry Kummer, Editor. You want to be a bigshot but not pay dues first. You want your friends to jigger the process for you, backscratching instead of honest effort. And you don’t even know how transparent you are.

  199. Dale U says:

    @Kid Charlemagne
    You see, ALL the Church Fathers were unanimous in pronouncing Mary as “ever-Virgin”. Yet according to you, they never read the Gospels…because it’s right there in black and white that she had other children! Does that seriously sound right to you?
    This is why it’s so hard for me to take Protestantism seriously

    You are kidding, right? Your claim of “ALL the Church Fathers” is absurd. For example, have you heard of the Orthodox? The guys from whom you are in schism? They claim to have been around since the beginning, same claim that the RCC gives.
    And the Orthodox people I talk with do not believe any of the following:
    – Mary was a selfish woman that sexually refused her husband for her entire life, or if you prefer
    – Mary stayed a virgin her entire life
    – Mary is any kind of “co-redeemer”; NO, “Jesus” is the only name under heaven by which we might be saved. Try reading the Bible instead of RCC propaganda.
    – Mary is any kind of authority in Christ’s church. A saint, sure, like any of hundreds of others. But the only “special” part of Mary is that she is an example for women/wives. A good example too. But not an authority; Col 3:18-21, 1 Tim 2, etc.

    The fact that the RCC has repeated the same claims for about 1500 years does nothing to make them correct.

    You are aware that “Queen of Heaven” was a title from the local pagan religion, for Diana, right? The guys running the religion that became the RCC used that term for Mary, to try to get more converts from the existing population. Easy to make changes when you are not concerned with the truth.

    The obvious non-sense like the above is why many people who read the Bible for themselves have problems taking RCC people seriously.

  200. white says:

    @ray
    With all respect to you and Cane (though he wouldn’t do me the same honor), all our opinions and beliefs stated here are, technically speaking, insignificant. Yours, mine, even Cane’s (big fan of your blog, still am). But Dalrock is the one who controls ~90% of the narrative in the Christian Manosphere, and so it is his beliefs that matters in the long run.

  201. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Dale U: “You are kidding, right? Your claim of “ALL the Church Fathers” is absurd. For example, have you heard of the Orthodox? The guys from whom you are in schism?”

    You need to take some history lessons. The Great Eastern Schism you are referencing did not happen till the 11th century, and has nothing to do with the early Church Fathers. ALL the early Church Fathers – including the Easten and Greek ones – accepted that Mary was “ever-Virgin.”

    If I’m wrong, should be easy to prove. Post some quotes from the early Church Fathers (including the Eastern and/or Greek Fathers) stating that the Virgin had more children after she gave birth to Our Lord. Spoiler alert: you won’t find any.

    And your claim that the Orthodox don’t believe Mary is a perpetual Virgin is absurd. Do you really want me to embarrass you with quotes from Orthodox patriarchs and leaders on this topic? Here’s a hint: until Protestantism came along, NO ONE in all Christendom (whether Catholic west or Orthodox east) questioned Mary’s perpetual virginity.

    To my knowledge, a slight difference of tradition DID develop between the two main branches of Christendom when it comes to St. Joseph…and this may be what you’re thinking of. The Catholic tradition being that he was a relatively young man when he married Mary, and that he too took a vow of perpetual virginity and died a virgin. The Orthodx tradition is that he was an older man, very possibly a widower with children from his first (deceased) wife, when he married Mary…though he never had marital relations with Mary herself. The Orthodox say this explains why St. Joseph is apparently already dead when Our Lord turns 30 and begins His public ministry – because he was already an older man when he married Mary and she gave birth to Christ.

    Also explains why St. Jospeh was content to never be intimate with Mary – he was kind of an old man anyway (plus, he wouldn’t dare to enter and pollute the womb where God Himself had dwelt). It also means some of the references in the Gospels to “the brothers and sisters of the Lord” may be referencing these children St. Jospeh had with his late, first wife…thus making them half-siblings to Our Lord (and thus, not actual blood relations…since Christ had no genetic relationship with his foster-father, St. Jospeh).

    To my knowledge, while Catholic and Orthodox have these differing traditions, neither claims their version is dogma. And thus, neither side condemns the other side’s version as heresy. You’re free to believe either tradition.

    But I want to emphasize, this difference in tradition between Catholic and Orthodox only pertains to whether ST. JOSEPH lived and died a virgin. It has NOTHING to do with whether the Mother of God has always remained a perpetual virgin – both sides have always agreed that she has.

    You need to do more research, my friend.

  202. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Dale U: “You are aware that “Queen of Heaven” was a title from the local pagan religion, for Diana, right? The guys running the religion that became the RCC used that term for Mary, to try to get more converts from the existing population. Easy to make changes when you are not concerned with the truth.”

    So you’ve never read the Book of Revelations. Got it.

    If you had, you’d know that St. John has a great vision of the Mother of God in Heaven. He describes her as “the woman clothed with the sun” and that she is crowned with a crown of 12 stars (representing the 12 tribes of Israel, thus signifying she is greater than any of the O.T. prophets, patriarchs, or kings)

    Sounds like a fair description of the “Queen of Heaven” to me!

    (And yes, we know that’s specifically Mary in John’s vision, as he describes her being close to “her time” to give birth to Christ, and he sees Satan (in the form of a dragon) waiting to consume the divine child as soon as He’s born)

  203. Kevin says:

    Among all the things I have read on this site this one remains one of the most profound – the identification of the worlds inversion from marriage sanctifying sex to love being sanctifying and then even extending that into marriage. It is a very important insight that makes sense for a Christian of lots of the way the world has gone wrong and many Christians have gone wrong.

  204. Dale U says:

    @Kid Chalemagne

    If you are going to be arrogant, you may wish to ensure your position has some intelligence.

    I wrote, “the Orthodox people I talk with do not believe any of the following”. You apparently thought that meant I was making claims for everyone you claim is Orthodox, or every belief you claim is official Orthodox teaching.

    As for Revelation 12, re the woman clothed with the brilliance of the sun, you are demonstrating the exact problem that many RCC people choose to have. These are some of the verses from Rev 12:
    5 She gave birth to a man-child who is about to rule and shepherd every nation with an iron scepter,[d] and her son was caught up to God and to his throne. 6 The woman fled into the wilderness, where God had already prepared a safe place for her, and there they nourished her for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

    13 Now, when the dragon realized that he had been cast down to the earth, he set off in pursuit of the woman who had given birth to the man-child.[i] 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman so that she could fly and escape into the wilderness to her own special place, where she was nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, away from the face of the dragon.

    Verse 6 “might” be referring to the flight to Egypt, by Joseph and Mary. But, when you add verse 14 into the mix, it is very obvious that “the woman” does not refer to Mary; a far more reasonable position is that it refers to the Jewish nation (and yes, Mary was a part of that nation). Unless you think Mary will be sent back down to earth to run and hide during the tribulation.
    This is the problem with many in the RCC. They pre-decide on what the required answer is, then go looking for verses that could mean what he has already decided he wants to believe. Yeah, he has to squint really hard, and pretend he does not see the obvious, alternative interpretation that does not fit their narrative.

    KD, did you bother to read Rev 12 before posting?
    If you did not: Try reading the Bible for yourself, instead of blindly believing what the RCC tells you the Bible says.
    If you did: You are too stupid to be on this ride. Come back in few years, after you gain intelligence or maturity. I prefer to treat people with respect, but combining stupidity with arrogance is a really bad combination. Try looking at Earl; I disagree with him often, but generally can respect his position (and him as an honourable man), even though we disagree.

    You are a great example of what is wrong with the RCC. And many protestant “churches” also, I might add.

  205. Dalrock says:

    Thank you Kevin.

  206. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Dale U:

    Yawn. Still waiting for you to quote any Church Father (including any of the Greek Fathers) that Mary died a non-virgin and/or gave birth to subsequent children. Get back to me when you have such a quote. Though I’ll be sure not to hold my breath (mainly because no such quotes exist).

    OTOH, I can give you plenty of quotes from the Church Fathers stating that she is “Mary, ever-Virgin”. Yet you claim, by reading the Gospels in English, to have found that it’s open and shut that Mary gave birth to subsequent children (the so-called “brethren of the Lord”). And therefore, obviously, COULD NOT BE “ever-virgin.” Because certainly no one claims there was more than one virgin birth!

    So for you to be right, then this can only mean that none of the Church Fathers EVER ACTUALLY READ THE GOSPELS. And they were all wrong…but you’re right.

    Such is Protestant “logic”.

  207. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Verse 6 “might” be referring to the flight to Egypt, by Joseph and Mary. But, when you add verse 14 into the mix, it is very obvious that “the woman” does not refer to Mary; a far more reasonable position is that it refers to the Jewish nation (and yes, Mary was a part of that nation). Unless you think Mary will be sent back down to earth to run and hide during the tribulation.

    Since verse 5 refers to Jesus (she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,) verse 6, like verses 1 & 2, refers to Mary. Furthermore, when you add into the mix Rev 12:17 (Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.), what seems more reasonable still is rather than referring just to the Jewish nation* Rev. 12:14 also refers to Mary as a typological figure for the Church.

    *I think that the woman of Rev. 12 can be understood as the Jewish nation, but that the symbology is richer than deeper than that. Mary is the Jewish maiden who carried in her womb the God-man, the Second Person of the Trinity incarnate, Jesus; hence the titles God-bearer (Theotokos) and Mother of God. She’s also the Mother of Church since the Church is understood both as the Mystical Body of Christ and the Bride of Christ.

  208. Paul says:

    KC: “[Joseph] wouldn’t dare to enter and pollute the womb where God Himself had dwelt”

    because …. sex pollutes the womb? Yet another gem of RCC teaching. It clearly shows how the gnostic view on sexuality (spirit=good, body=bad) has influenced the early Christians and became deeply embedded into their theology. Sex was created by God Himself, the Inventor of the orgasm, and the ejaculation, of sperm, and the womb. But the only sexual act (vaginal sex) that the RCC ethically allows, is here described as ‘pollution of the womb’. So much for consistency….

    These days, the RCC has maneuvered itself into such an untenable theological position, especially after introducing the dogma of the infallibility of the pope speaking ex-cathedra, it is never able to truly admit any dogmatic error. Any RC even doubting the theological position of Mary (especially with regard to such dogmas spoken ex-cathedra) quickly condemns himself to hell according to RCC teaching.

    I therefore don’t expect any possible real dialogue on some of these topics with a RC, which is frustrating. Any such dialogue is quickly seen as ‘an attack on the One True Church’. Even exposing genuine and serious issues within the RCC have been interpreted as an attack on the “Church”. Such an exposition is then quickly dismissed by stepping into a victim role and declaring such an attack will not succeed because “And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”, conveniently ignoring that God has declared both to the nation Israel and to the Church He will not tolerate sin to persist, and will judge it.

    Case in point: sexual child abuse by RC clergy, and the subsequent cover-up operations by the same RC clergy. The head of the RCC recently declared on that, that he “has more important things to attend to than sex abuse scandals, like climate change and immigration.”

  209. Paul says:

    Louis CK in 2007 in a very dark, even shockingly cynical sketch

    The heart-breaking part of it, is that it does show how the world looks at these sex scandals, and how it stains the spread of the gospel.

  210. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Since when is Blasé Cupich head of the Catholic Church?

  211. Paul says:

    @ES

    You’re mistaken. Cupich declared those were the words of the pope himself.

  212. Paul says:

    @earl “That’s not RCC dogma.”

    So what? It shows how the view of the RCC on sexuality was during that time. And current RCC dogma is not that far removed from the spirit of that chart.

  213. Paul says:

    Earl, maybe you can edit the chart and remove all points which are not according to RCC dogma anymore, and post it here?

  214. buckyinky says:

    @Paul

    because …. sex pollutes the womb?

    I’m pretty sure KC is using the word polluted in a different way than “introducing contaminants into an environment.” Catholic moral theology uses this word in reference to the marital act without any disparaging connotations.

    I would be interested in KC’s evidence that the Church Fathers intended to teach “elevation of the status of women.” I have my own spoiler alert however: pretty sure he’s not going to find any evidence of it without also demonstrating his own modern feminist confirmation bias.

  215. Kid Charlemagne says:

    “I have my own spoiler alert however: pretty sure he’s not going to find any evidence of it without also demonstrating his own modern feminist confirmation bias.”

    Bucky, then I guess you weren’t paying attention. I already gave an example where the early Church taught the “elevation of the status of women” – the Church’s banning of the accepted pagan practice of female infanticide.

    On another topic, perhaps I used injudicious lagnuauge in saying that St. Joseph wouldn’t dare to “pollute” the womb that carried God in the flesh. So forget the word “pollute”, and let me try to explain what I’m trying to say in a different way.

    Mary is not only the Mother of God, but also the Spouse of the Holy Spirit (obviously, since it was the Holy Ghost who impregnated her). If you have any kind of an appreciation of the holiness and (for lack of a better word) the “awesomeness” of God, which of you, poor sinner that you are, would dare to have sex with the Spouse of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity? Whether you were legally married to her or not?

    That was my point. When you think about it from this perspective, it would be ASTOUNDING if St, Joseph dared to have marital relations with the Blessed Virgin. After all, it was claimed that if anyone other than the High Priest dared enter the Holy of Holies in the Temple, he would be struck dead. So how much more would any mortal man shrink from sexual intersperse with (literally!) the Spouse of the Holy Ghost! (Again, the Holy Ghost being SO literally her Spouse, that He impregnated her!)

    And beyond even this, it is long standing oral tradition, dating back to the very early Church, that Mary had left the home of her parents (St. Anne and St. Joachim) while still a young girl and had taken a vow of perpetual virginity as a Temple virgin. She had her parents’ consent to do so, as they were well aware that their daughter was specially favored of God.

    This would explain Mary’s astonishment at Gabriel’s announcement that she is to bear a child, as she protests that she “does not know man”. Since she was already betrothed to Joseph at this time, and would soon be married to him, it should be no great surprise that she shall shortly be pregnant. Yet she is astonished at this news! As many of the early Church Fathers explained, this can only be explained if she intended to remain a virgin AFTER being wed. Which ties into the vow of perpetual virginity she made as a young girl, when she dedicated herself completely to God while serving as a Temple virgin. St. Jospeh knew of this pledge, and agreed to respect it when he betrothed himself to her.

    As you can see, Mary was no ordinary woman. Prots. make the mistake of thinking she was an ordinary wife, the same as their own wife. But was your wife a Temple virgin in her youth? Did she make a solemn, perpetual vow of virginity to God? Was it made clear to your wife’s parents that, even as a babe, your wife was specially favored of God? I think not.

  216. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Bucky,

    Here’s more on how the coming of Christianity elevated the status of women. Culled from the Web:

    Jesus loved women and treated them with great respect and dignity. The New Testament’s teaching on women developed His perspective even more. The value of women that permeates the New Testament isn’t found in the Greco-Roman culture or the cultures of other societies.

    In ancient Greece, a respectable woman was not allowed to leave the house unless she was accompanied by a trustworthy male escort. A wife was not permitted to eat or interact with male guests in her husband’s home; she had to retire to her woman’s quarters. Men kept their wives under lock and key, and women had the social status of a slave. Girls were not allowed to go to school, and when they grew up they were not allowed to speak in public. Women were considered inferior to men. The Greek poets equated women with evil. Remember Pandora and her box? Woman was responsible for unleashing evil on the world.

    The status of Roman women was also very low. Roman law placed a wife under the absolute control of her husband, who had ownership of her and all her possessions. He could divorce her if she went out in public without a veil. A husband had the power of life and death over his wife, just as he did his children. As with the Greeks, women were not allowed to speak in public.

    Jewish women, as well, were barred from public speaking. The oral law prohibited women from reading the Torah out loud. Synagogue worship was segregated, with women never allowed to be heard.

    Jesus and Women

    Jesus’ treatment of women was very different:

    The extremely low status that the Greek, Roman, and Jewish woman had for centuries was radically affected by the appearance of Jesus Christ. His actions and teachings raised the status of women to new heights, often to the consternation and dismay of his friends and enemies. By word and deed, he went against the ancient, taken-for-granted beliefs and practices that defined woman as socially, intellectually, and spiritually inferior.

    The humane and respectful way Jesus treated and responded to the Samaritan woman [at the well] (recorded in John 4) may not appear unusual to readers in today’s Western culture. Yet what he did was extremely unusual, even radical. He ignored the Jewish anti-Samaritan prejudices along with prevailing view that saw women as inferior beings.

    He started a conversation with her—a Samaritan, a woman—in public. The rabbinic oral law was quite explicit: “He who talks with a woman [in public] brings evil upon himself.” Another rabbinic teaching prominent in Jesus’ day taught, “One is not so much as to greet a woman.” So we can understand why his disciples were amazed to find him talking to a woman in public. Can we even imagine how it must have stunned this woman for the Messiah to reach out to her and offer her living water for her thirsty soul?

    Among Jesus’ closest friends were Mary, Martha and Lazarus, who entertained him at their home. “Martha assumed the traditional female role of preparing a meal for Jesus, her guest, while her sister Mary did what only men would do, namely, learn from Jesus’ teachings. Mary was the cultural deviant, but so was Jesus, because he violated the rabbinic law of his day [about speaking to women].” By teaching Mary spiritual truths, he violated another rabbinic law, which said, “Let the words of the Law [Torah] be burned rather than taught to women. . . . If a man teaches his daughter the law, it is as though he taught her lechery.”

    When Lazarus died, Jesus comforted Martha with this promise containing the heart of the Christian gospel: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) These remarkable words were spoken to a woman! “To teach a woman was bad enough, but Jesus did more than that. He called for a verbal response from Martha. Once more, he went against the socioreligious custom by teaching a woman and by having her publicly respond to him, a man.”

    “All three of the Synoptic Gospels note that women followed Jesus, a highly unusual phenomenon in first-century Palestine. . . . This behavior may not seem unusual today, but in Jesus’ day it was highly unusual. Scholars note that in the prevailing culture only prostitutes and women of very low repute would follow a man without a male escort.” These women were not groupies; some of them provided financial support for Jesus and the apostles (Luke 8:3).

    The first people Jesus chose to appear to after his resurrection were women; not only that, but he instructed them to tell his disciples that he was alive (Matt. 28, John 20). In a culture where a woman’s testimony was worthless because she was worthless, Jesus elevated the value of women beyond anything the world had seen.

  217. Paul says:

    @KC “would dare to have sex with the Spouse of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity? Whether you were legally married to her or not?”

    So Mary was married to two men? It’s getting weirder and weirder.

  218. Paul says:

    @KC “Mary had left the home of her parents (St. Anne and St. Joachim) while still a young girl and had taken a vow of perpetual virginity as a Temple virgin.”

    1. there is no historical evidence that Jewish “temple virgins” ever existed
    2. there is even less proof that Mary has taken such a vow

  219. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Paul,

    The “proof” that Mary was a Temple virgin and took a vow of perpetual virginity was a strong oral tradition in the early Church, that was handed down through the apostles and Church Fathers. You can choose to reject it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. On the contrary, in fact.

    Again, if Mary hadn’t taken a vow of perpetual virginity, then it makes absolutely no sense that she was so astounded when Gabriel told her “thou SHALL give birth to male child”. Remember, she was already betrothed to Joseph and would shortly be a married woman. What could be more natural than that she will have a child in the near future? (The angel used the future tense – you SHALL conceive and bear a son)

    Her astonishment that she will, at some point in the near future be pregnant, EVEN THOUGH she’s about to be married, cannot be explained any other way than by her having taken a vow of virginity. And that St. Joseph was aware of this and agreed to respect her vow.

    Lastly, are you really questioning that Mary is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit? This seems to me as beyond obvious – it is certainly taken for granted in the RCC, Orthodox, and Anglican spheres (so, by the vast majority of Christians). Do non-conformist Protestants really deny this?

  220. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Paul: “There is no historical evidence that Jewish “Temple virgins” ever existed.

    Wow. Just wow. You just make this stuff up as you go, don’t you? I’m going to disengage, because I now realize you have no interest in the truth, and are content to just spew lies. To say there is “no evidence” for Jewish temple virgins is a lie so big and so bold as to take one’s breath away.

    There’s a veritable MOUNTAIN of evidence. See here for just a taste of it, again culled from the Web:

    Previously we examined the tradition and biblical foundation for the Catholic teaching that Mary was consecrated as a Temple virgin at the age of three and lived in the temple precincts till the age of fourteen when she was married to Saint Joseph and there after virginally conceived the Son of God.*

    This school of Temple virgins in Jerusalem formed an altar guild that fulfilled the necessary tasks at the Temple. This included sewing and creating vestments, washing the vestments of the priests which would be stained regularly by animal blood, preparing liturgical linen, weaving the veil of the Temple, and most importantly, liturgical prayer. The Jewish and Catholic tradition holds that this school for Israelite virgins was completed by marrying age of about 14 and that they were dismissed at this time. There were also older women, perhaps widows such as the prophetess Anna, who served as teachers and governesses for the virgins under their care.

    There has been some doubt as to whether their were really consecrated Jewish virgins at the Temple. In my previous post I referenced the first-century Jewish historian Josephus in support of “Temple virgins” in Jerusalem, but I fear that this cannot be substantiated. Jimmy Akin asked me for the citation and I cannot find it. One would assume that it would be in Book 5 of the Jewish Wars of Josephus. There Josephus mentions cloisters, but he does not tell us who lived in them. That’s as close as Josephus gets.

    There are, however, three Scriptural accounts that are used by Catholics to demonstrate that there were special women who ministered at the Temple complex.

    Exodus 38:8 mentions women who “watch (צָבָא) at the door of the tabernacle.”

    The second is in 1 Samuel:

    “Now Heli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel: and how they lay with the women that waited (צָבָא) at the door of the tabernacle:” (1 Samuel 2:22, D-R)

    In both of the verses above, Hebrew verb for “watch” and “waited” is the same. It is the Hebrew word צָבָא, which is the same verb used to described the liturgical activity of the Levites (see Num 4:23; 8:24). This corresponds to the Latin translation in the Clementine Vulgate, which relates that these women “observabant” at the temple doors – another liturgical reading.

    So these women are not simply hanging out around the Temple, looking for men, gossiping, or chatting about the weather. These are pious women devoted to a liturgical function. In fact, the Court of Women might exist formally for these special “liturgical women.”

    The third and final reference to these liturgical females is in 2 Maccabees:

    And the virgins also that were shut up, came forth, some to {High Priest} Onias, and some to the walls, and others looked out of the windows. And all holding up their hands towards heaven, made supplication. (2 Macc 3:19-20)

    Here are virgins that are shut up. In the Greek it is “αἱ δὲ κατάκλειστοι τῶν παρθένων” or “the shut up ones of the virgins.” In this passage the Holy Spirit refers not to all the virgins of Jerusalem, but to a special set of virgins, that is, those virgins who had the privilege and right to be in the presence of the High Priest and address him. It’s rather ridiculous to think that young girls would have general access to the High Priest of Israel. However, if these virgins had a special liturgical role at the Temple, it becomes clear that they would both address the High Priest Onias and would also be featured as an essential part of the intense supplication in the Temple at this moment of crisis.

    There is further testimony of temple virgins in the traditions of the Jews. In the Mishnah, it is recorded that there were 82 consecrated virgins who wove the veil of the Temple:

    “The veil of the Temple was a palm-length in width. It was woven with seventy-two smooth stitches each made of twenty-four threads. The length was of forty cubits and the width of twenty cubits. Eighty-two virgins wove it. Two veils were made each year and three hundred priests were needed to carry it to the pool” (Mishna Shekalim 8, 5-6).

    We find another reference to the “women who made the veils for the Temple…baked the showbread…prepared the incense” (Babylonian Talmud Kethuboth 106a).

    Rabbinic Jewish sources also record how when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in AD 70, the Temple virgins leapt into the flames so as not to be abducted by the heathen soldiers: “the virgins who were weaving threw themselves in the flames” (Pesikta Rabbati 26, 6). Here we also learn that these virgins lived in the three-storey building inside the Temple area. However, it is difficult to find any other details about this structure. The visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich placed the cloisters of the Temple Virgins on the north side of the Temple (Emmerich’s Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary 3, 5).

    Even more, the first century document by the name of the Apocalypse of Baruch (sometimes called “2 Baruch”) describes the Temple virgins living in the Temple as weavers of the holy veil:

    “And you virgins who weave byssus and silk, and gold from Ophir, in haste pick it all up and throw it in the fire that it will return it to its Author, and that the flame will take it back to its Creator, from fear that the enemy might seize it” (2 Baruch 10:19).

    So then, there is ample evidence for the role of consecrated women, especially virgins at the Temple. If one were to accept the passages above, we have plenty of testimony for cultic women in the time of Moses’ tabernacle, in the time of David, in the Second Temple era, and in the first century of Our Lord.

    This substantiates the claims of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church who claim that the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented to the Temple and served there from the age of three until the age of fourteen. To claim that Temple virgins are a myth of celibacy-crazed Catholic bishops does not hold up. Scripture and Jewish tradition records that there were specially commissioned virgins associated with the Temple. We may not know much about them, but we know that they existed.

  221. buckyinky says:

    Kid Charlemagne,

    The New Testament’s teaching on women developed His perspective even more. The value of women that permeates the New Testament isn’t found in the Greco-Roman culture or the cultures of other societies.

    The New Testament’s teaching on the value of man, female and male, was something not to be found in many other previous human societies. Pretty sure the wholesale slaughter of the males in one tribe conquered by another, commonly practiced prior to Christianity, demonstrated not a very elevated view of the male human person.

    And yet, consistent with feminist sensibilities, you see and note only those items that have to do with women’s status. This singling out of women as eligible for, or needing, particular elevation is not Our Lord’s way, nor is it the way of the Church Fathers. It is only modern thinking that makes women out to be perpetually the oppressed victim, or at least in proximate danger of being made so.

    Your other examples show the confirmation bias I predicted. A cursory reading of the Old Testament, for example, or even much Greek literature, shows the matter to be, at the very least, much more complex than you are making it to be. Why would a culture that thinks women were “worthless” include so much about them in its literature? Why wage a war over, or at least write an epic poem about a war begun over, the capture of Helen of Troy, no better in status than a slave, as you say?

  222. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Bucky,

    We will agree to disagree.

    Cheers.

  223. BillyS says:

    Wow, you really like making stuff up Kid C. Mary was a Temple virgin? No evidence, but you sure do wave your hands a lot.

  224. Kid Charlemagne says:

    BillyS,

    Apparently you can’t read, so,I’ll repeat myself.

    The evidence that Mary was a Temple virgin is the oral tradition handed down to us from the apostles and Church Fathers. You can see it in their writings.

    This IS evidence, by anyone’s definition. So to say there is “no evidence” is not an opinion, but a lie. An opinion would be: “Because it’s not mentioned in Scripture, I refuse to believe it. I just don’t believe the oral traditions handed down to us by the Church Fathers.”

    Can you spot the difference? One statement is a flat-out lie (“there is NO evidence…”) while the other is a statement of your opinion (“I refuse to believe…” or “For me, the evidence is insufficient…”).

    You’re entitled to your own opinions. But not to your own facts. Stop lying.

  225. buckyinky says:

    KC,

    I don’t know what “agree to disagree” means, though I appreciate the (what I perceive as) goodwill you intend.

    I’m with you in your defenses of the Blessed Mother, but say it is imprudent to use this forum to demonstrate them. It is so far from the purpose of this blog that I believe it generally works against the truth to do it here.

  226. Dale U says:

    @Kid Charlemagne

    Yawn. Still waiting for you to quote any Church Father (including any of the Greek Fathers) that Mary died a non-virgin and/or gave birth to subsequent children. Get back to me when you have such a quote. Though I’ll be sure not to hold my breath (mainly because no such quotes exist).

    Again, I never made claims about official EO theology, nor do I care what a bunch of religious people said, apart from prophets and the Scriptures.
    I quoted you part of Rev 12, to attempt to point you back to the Bible, and you ignore it, instead wanting to talk about your church tradition.

    Shows where your problem is. I hope that one day you will be willing to focus on the correct place. It is far better to serve God than a religious organization.

    @Paul
    Any such dialogue is quickly seen as ‘an attack on the One True Church’

    What is even more annoying about that, is that the claim of equating the RCC or Orthodox church with the one and only true church, is that it ignores the following words of Jesus from Matt 18:20:
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Unfortunately, ignoring Jesus’ words, to focus on something else, whether that be “church fathers and church tradition” (see Col 2:8), or our own selfish desires (see Eve in Gen 3), is a very old tactic of Satan. It worked on Eve, and is still working on the RCC, Orthodox, Jehovah’s witness, Mormons and Protestants today.

    Kid again:
    When you think about it from this perspective, it would be ASTOUNDING if St, Joseph dared to have marital relations with the Blessed Virgin.

    Yes, because again, you would rather take your eyes off what is actually able to be found in Scripture, and instead think about your own ideas of what another person may or may not have done.
    See Gen 3. And Col 2:8. I doubt you will however. Hope I am wrong.

    Did she make a solemn, perpetual vow of virginity to God?
    Wow. The ability of RCC to give flat out, obvious lies is interesting. Since you like putting words into the mouth of a dead man (since he is not around to correct you), I am sure you have an excuse for why Joseph would marry a woman that had already committed to never having sex. Since that would put both of them in violation of the spirit of marriage; see 1 Cor 7 if you can.
    Plus with your claim about Mary having sex with the Holy Spirit, that would be adultery, since she was already betrothed to Joseph. God does not sin, just in case you missed the memo from 1 John 1:5-7.

    This school of Temple virgins in Jerusalem formed an altar guild that fulfilled the necessary tasks at the Temple.
    You have read the genealogy of Mary from Luke 3, right? It is about Mary, so you probably are willing to read that part.
    If you did, you would notice that she is from the tribe of Judah. You know, the same tribe as King David?
    Well, all temple service was done by the Levites. Check Numbers 1:51, 18:7, etc. She would have been killed, if trying to serve the temple.
    Any women, and men, who served at the temple came from the Levites. It is not like the free-for-all, in the Catholic and Orthodox priesthoods, where (almost?) anyone who wants can join.

    But nevermind. The Scripture passages I quoted above are from the Bible, and your RCC teachings supersede the Bible. Got it.

    For anyone who is genuinely interested in the question of which of (some) Protestants, or the Roman Catholic church religion, are more interested in genuinely following God, just consider from where the RCC and Protestants get their respective beliefs. From religious tradition, or from the Bible?

    As for KC: I shake the dust off my shoes and clothes.

  227. BillyS says:

    The evidence that Mary was a Temple virgin is the oral tradition handed down to us from the apostles and Church Fathers. You can see it in their writings.

    Some people made it up and you are agreeing with that. Nice Biblical stance you don’t have there.

    Though I still can’t see why Joseph would ever have been betrothed to a Temple Virgin. No sense in that. A Temple Virgin, by definition, would not be married.

    Mary was certainly blessed, but she is not a god, co-redemptress or any other such heresy. She was a godly woman who was willing to follow God’s plan. I honor her for that, but I will not take made up things to raise here to the standard found in other false religions.

  228. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Others who agreed with “some people” on the “made up” Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God:

    Martin Luther

    · Christ, our Savior, was the real and natural fruit of Mary’s virginal womb . . . This was without the cooperation of a man, and she remained a virgin after that.

    {Luther’s Works, eds. Jaroslav Pelikan (vols. 1-30) & Helmut T. Lehmann (vols. 31-55), St. Louis: Concordia Pub. House (vols. 1-30); Philadelphia: Fortress Press (vols. 31-55), 1955, v.22:23 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539) }

    · Christ . . . was the only Son of Mary, and the Virgin Mary bore no children besides Him . . . I am inclined to agree with those who declare that ‘brothers’ really mean ‘cousins’ here, for Holy Writ and the Jews always call cousins brothers.

    {Pelikan, ibid., v.22:214-15 / Sermons on John, chaps. 1-4 (1539) }

    · A new lie about me is being circulated. I am supposed to have preached and written that Mary, the mother of God, was not a virgin either before or after the birth of Christ . . .

    {Pelikan, ibid.,v.45:199 / That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew (1523) }

    · Scripture does not say or indicate that she later lost her virginity . . .

    · When Matthew [1:25] says that Joseph did not know Mary carnally until she had brought forth her son, it does not follow that he knew her subsequently; on the contrary, it means that he never did know her . . . This babble . . . is without justification . . . he has neither noticed nor paid any attention to either Scripture or the common idiom.

    {Pelikan, ibid.,v.45:206,212-3 / That Jesus Christ was Born a Jew (1523) }

    Editor Jaroslav Pelikan (Lutheran) adds:

    · Luther . . . does not even consider the possibility that Mary might have had other children than Jesus. This is consistent with his lifelong acceptance of the idea of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

    {Pelikan, ibid.,v.22:214-5}

    John Calvin

    · Helvidius displayed excessive ignorance in concluding that Mary must have had many sons, because Christ’s ‘brothers’ are sometimes mentioned.

    {Harmony of Matthew, Mark & Luke, sec. 39 (Geneva, 1562), vol. 2 / From Calvin’s Commentaries, tr. William Pringle, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1949, p.215; on Matthew 13:55}

    · [On Matt 1:25:] The inference he [Helvidius] drew from it was, that Mary remained a virgin no longer than till her first birth, and that afterwards she had other children by her husband . . . No just and well-grounded inference can be drawn from these words . . . as to what took place after the birth of Christ. He is called ‘first-born’; but it is for the sole purpose of informing us that he was born of a virgin . . . What took place afterwards the historian does not inform us . . . No man will obstinately keep up the argument, except from an extreme fondness for disputation.

    {Pringle, ibid., vol. I, p. 107}

    · Under the word ‘brethren’ the Hebrews include all cousins and other relations, whatever may be the degree of affinity.

    {Pringle, ibid., vol. I, p. 283 / Commentary on John, (7:3) }

    Huldreich Zwingli

    · He turns, in September 1522, to a lyrical defense of the perpetual virginity of the mother of Christ . . . To deny that Mary remained ‘inviolata’ before, during and after the birth of her Son, was to doubt the omnipotence of God . . . and it was right and profitable to repeat the angelic greeting – not prayer – ‘Hail Mary’ . . . God esteemed Mary above all creatures, including the saints and angels – it was her purity, innocence and invincible faith that mankind must follow. Prayer, however, must be . . . to God alone . . .

    · ‘Fidei expositio,’ the last pamphlet from his pen . . . There is a special insistence upon the perpetual virginity of Mary.

    {G. R. Potter, Zwingli, London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976, pp.88-9,395 / The Perpetual Virginity of Mary . . ., Sep. 17, 1522}

    · Zwingli had printed in 1524 a sermon on ‘Mary, ever virgin, mother of God.’

    {Max Thurian (Protestant), Mary: Mother of all Christians, tr. Neville B. Cryer, NY: Herder & Herder, 1963 (orig. 1962), p.76}

    · I have never thought, still less taught, or declared publicly, anything concerning the subject of the ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our salvation, which could be considered dishonourable, impious, unworthy or evil . . . I believe with all my heart according to the word of holy gospel that this pure virgin bore for us the Son of God and that she remained, in the birth and after it, a pure and unsullied virgin, for eternity.

    {Thurian, ibid., p.76 / same sermon}

    Heinrich Bullinger

    · Bullinger (d. 1575) . . . defends Mary’s perpetual virginity . . . and inveighs against the false Christians who defraud her of her rightful praise: ‘In Mary everything is extraordinary and all the more glorious as it has sprung from pure faith and burning love of God.’ She is ‘the most unique and the noblest member’ of the Christian community . . .

    · ‘The Virgin Mary . . . completely sanctified by the grace and blood of her only Son and abundantly endowed by the gift of the Holy Spirit and preferred to all . . . now lives happily with Christ in heaven and is called and remains ever-Virgin and Mother of God.’

    {In Hilda Graef, Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, combined ed. of vols. 1 & 2, London: Sheed & Ward, 1965, vol.2, pp.14-5}

    John Wesley (Founder of Methodism)

    · The Blessed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as when she brought him forth, continued a pure and unspotted virgin.

    {“Letter to a Roman Catholic” / In This Rock, Nov. 1990, p.25}

    bold emphasis added
    Source: https://www.catholicfidelity.com/apologetics-topics/mary/early-protestants-on-the-perpetual-virginty-of-mary-by-dave-armstrong/

  229. Ernst Schreiber says:

    Now,if we’re all done strutting and posturing over our various faith traditions, is there any interest in trying to understand why>/i> Jerome & Augustine wrote what they wrote, or do we want to keep on bashing women (Mary, Bayly’s wife –within Dalkrock’s limits)?

    Because I’m willing to break out Peter Brown’s Body & Society, but not if this thread has outlived it’s usefulness.

  230. BillyS says:

    Irrelevant Ernst. The Scriptures directly imply otherwise, including the fact that Joseph’s abstention was only until Jesus was born and the fact Jesus had brothers and sisters.

    Bzzt. Thanks for playing. Don’t try again. Start your own blog for that.

  231. Ernst Schreiber says:

    So Martin Luther, John Calvin, Huldrich Zwingli, John Wesley were all wrong and didn’t know how to read there Bibles? Not to mention all the other Biblical exegetes back to the mid-second century? (And to say nothing about the people who, you know, actually, knew the apostles and Mary!)

    Maybe you should start your own church. Your talents are obviously squandered commenting on a mere blog.

  232. Ernst Schreiber says:

    And in case anyone missed it, BillyS just blew up the whole Protestant Reformation.

    So, Thank You for playing BillyS!

  233. BillyS says:

    God uses flawed people all the time Ernest. He will even use you in spite of your trying to hijack Dalrock’s blog for your crusade.

  234. OKRickety says:

    Kid Charlemagne, Ernst Schreiber, Earl(?),

    Kid Charlemagne said: “(And yes, we know that’s specifically Mary in John’s vision, as he describes her being close to “her time” to give birth to Christ, and he sees Satan (in the form of a dragon) waiting to consume the divine child as soon as He’s born)”

    Ernst Schreiber said: “Since verse 5 refers to Jesus (she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,) verse 6, like verses 1 & 2, refers to Mary. “

    Having already responded to this claim from Earl on an earlier post (although I believe he may not have seen my response), I will try again, because I do not see with certainty that the woman is indeed Mary.

    Earl provided this link Revelation 12 [New American Bible (Revised Edition)] In this English translation by Roman Catholic scholars, the footnotes (sometimes they’re worth reading, too), say “The woman adorned with the sun, the moon, and the stars (images taken from Gn 37:9–10) symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament.”

    If the translators consider this woman to be Mary, I find it quite peculiar that they specifically say that the woman “symbolizes God’s people in the Old and the New Testament”, but never mention that the woman is indeed Mary (in fact, the name Mary is never mentioned on this web page). Possibly they consider it self-evident, but, if so, I think they should have stated the obvious for those of us who don’t.

    As for myself, this passage, like almost all of Revelation, is incredibly difficult to understand.

    I am quite certain that you will continue to believe what you do. I hope you realize that we Protestants are generally just as certain that your understanding of Christianity is as completely skewed as you consider ours to be.

  235. Ernst Schreiber says:

    First, thank you for your thoughtful comment. Now for the response.

    As I indicated in my previous comment, there’s nothing wrong per se in understanding The Woman Clothed with the Sun as a personification or symbol of the “Jewish nation” or “God’s people.” However, since symbols can represent more than one idea, it is also appropriate (and probably more appropriate) to understand John’s vision as referring to Mary. This is implied in the note you cite, which in full reads, “The woman adorned with the sun, the moon and the stars . . . symbolizes God’s people in the Old and New Testament. The Israel of old gave birth to the Messiah (5) and then became the new Israel, the church, which suffers persecution by the dragon (6.13-17)[.] This corresponds to a widespread myth throughout the ancient world that a goddess pregnant with a savior was pursued by a horrible monster; by a miraculous intervention, she bore a son who then killed the monster” [cross-references omitted].

    I have to confess, I’ve never heard of that widespread myth? Have you? But for our purposes, the important point is that the Son who killed the monster wasn’t born to a nation, but to a woman: Mary of Nazareth, a maiden of the old Israel who, by consenting to God’s will (be it done unto me according to thy Word) also gave birth, indirectly, to the new Israel, the church.

    I’m pretty sure I said as much above.

    As for the annotators of the NAB/NABRE, I agree with Jimmy Akin, “[First] [t]he notes, apparently, have been cleaned up somewhat since the 1970s, but there are still clunkers that will misinform, disturb, or even challenge the faith of readers. Second, the book introductions to the NAB rush willy-nilly to embrace modern higher critical theories that, while some may be tolerable or even correct, are by no means certain. These introductions present these higher critical theories as The Truth, when in fact many of these are speculative at best. (They also have a faith-undermining tendency for many who are not secure in their faith. “[The notes have the same effect for the same reason –E.S.])

    Finally, since we agree that footnotes are “sometimes . . . worth reading” and that “this passage, like almost all of Revelation, is incredibly difficult to understand[,]” let me offer you a different note from a different set of annotators: “The ‘woman clothed with the sun’ represents Mary, who gave birth to the child who will rule all nations. The crown of twelve stars indicates the Twelve Tribes of Israel as well as the Twelve Apostles of the Church, the New Israel. In sacred art, she is often depicted as having a crown of twelve stars. The woman also represents the Church, who, as a Mother, makes Christ present in the world by giving birth to the faithful through Baptism and whose members are persecuted by Satan. (C[atechism of the] C[atholic] C[hurch] [paragraphs] 169, 391-395, 501, 967-975, 1138)” [The Didache BIBLE with commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Ignatius [RSV] Bible Edition. There’s also a NABRE edition, presumably with the same commentary.]

    My sole interest here has been in refuting the misconception that the Catholic understanding of Christianity is just “Some people made it up and you are agreeing with that. Nice Biblical stance you don’t have there[,]” when there is scriptural warrant for everything the Catholic Church holds to be true. (However skewed Protestants think the Church’s “Biblical stance” to be.)

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  236. OKRickety says:

    Dalrock, I think I have a comment re. 30,000+ Protestant denominations stuck in limbo (pun intended) because it has 2 or 3 links in it. Please release it.

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