Late stage complementarianism.

Commenter 7817 noted:

TBayly on Twitter has begun posting #manup beatdowns on a daily basis.

I pulled up Pastor Bayly’s twitter page to see what he was talking about, and it struck me that Bayly doesn’t have his heart in his man up rants anymore:

The magic is clearly gone for him, and he is reduced to phoning it in.  A bit further down there is perhaps a spark, although not much of one:

It is possible this is just a short term bout of complementarian blues, and one day soon Bayly will once again be able to deliver full throated man up rants.  But it would be understandable if he finds he can’t snap out of his late stage complementarian funk.  All of the doublespeak is exhausting.  It is supposed to be exhausting for the listener.  That is the point, to wear would be critics out not with scripture and reason, but with sheer volume of traditional-but-not-traditional doublespeak.  Yet it has to eventually become exhausting for the double-speaker as well.

In November of last year Bayly boldly tweeted that husbands need to exercise their headship muscles.  Prince Asbel asked for concrete examples of how a husband might do this.  When distraction failed Bayly was forced to backtrack, laughably explaining that husbands “exercised authority muscles” by lots of pleading:

After that embarrassment Bayly can be forgiven for being gun-shy when it comes to bold man up rants.  Even his tepid taunt of men who don’t marry comes with the risk of being soundly called out.  Imagine for example that Bayly’s man up tweet is just what it takes to convince a man in Bayly’s congregation to marry.  He marries and then his fear, the fear Bayly says is justified, comes true.  His wife rebels.  He tries pleading, and more pleading, and then yet more pleading.  But somehow this makes him seem weak.  So he follow’s Bayly’s other advice and goes to Bayly and the elders (the session), asking for help admonishing his wife.  Bayly’s response is going to be that it isn’t his problem, and (adding insult to injury) he will suggest that the husband was foolish to marry a woman who might rebel!

If you were the husband asking me this question in my office, I’d say to you, “Don’t ask me—she’s your wife!” and we’d both laugh a little nervously. This precise exchange has happened before in my work as a pastor and one of the reasons I’ve responded this way is to reassure the brother he’s not alone in his problems, but also that they are his problems—not mine.

…I’d suggest you not haul your wife before the session. This counsel may surprise some, but it’s my experience most domestic problems involving the sin of women are best handled quietly by the Titus 2 “older women” of the Church, not the elders and pastors…

Sadly, the sort of husband who demands his pastor or elders reduce his wife to submission to him is the sort of man who is generally pathetic. Often he can’t face his own failures in leadership, so he drops his wife on the pastors and elders demanding they do what he couldn’t or wouldn’t.

Don’t let him manipulate you into feeling responsible for his dilemma. You can pity him. You can sympathize with him. You can help him. But don’t let him place the responsibility for his wife’s conduct in his home on you. He married her.

The thing is, the doublespeak mostly works. The intended audience will mostly give up trying to follow and simply assume Bayly really is being traditional.  They will stop thinking about it because the doublespeak makes their heads hurt. But the longer the complementarian ruse goes on, the more doublespeak it requires.  At the very least, since it is fundamentally a delaying tactic the need for more doublespeak never goes away. The quote I shared above comes from an 8 part series of doublespeak Bayly wrote on the subject of a husband’s authority in marriage.

Not long before his 8 story tall wall of doublespeak text around the authority of husbands, he wrote another post explaining that good Christian husbands should follow Martin Luther’s example and call their wives lord:

First, let it be said that Martin and Katie’s home was not Martin’s fiefdom, but Katie’s. Luther was a wise man who didn’t patronize women. He saw the division of authority God had decreed between man and woman and he didn’t infringe on Katie’s turf. She presided over the home and its domesticity, and he presided over the church and its instruction. Katie was the minister of internal affairs and Martin the minister of external affairs.

Is this heinous to our twenty-first century ears? If so, read on while asking yourself if any woman you know today has as much breadth of leadership, strength of influence, and personal authority as did Martin’s dear Katie?

Did Martin respect Katie’s authority over the home?

Yes. Martin affectionately referred to his wife as “My Lord Katie.”

Bayly delights in the thought of Lord Katie putting her husband in his place in front of guests:

After the evening meal, Martin retired to the living room with a small group of friends—and one woman, Katie. Here was the place where Luther’s “table talk” was recorded. Being the only woman present, Katie was no shrinking wallflower. She didn’t hesitate to express her disapproval of the talk—Martin’s in particular.

In fact, Bayly explains that the problem with modern Christian marriage is that it lacks this chivalrous bit of gender bending:

What John and these other reformed celebrities lack is “My Lord Katie.” She’d quickly put them in their place, and what a blessing it would be to the church of our time.

Bayly demonstrates in a note at the end of the post that he and his wife “My Lord Mary Lee” play the very same chivalrous game (emphasis mine) *:

Originally, I included the names of reformed celebrities in each of these particulars, but My Lord Mary Lee told me to take them out

I won’t try to sum up all of Bayly’s reversals in his complementarian doublespeak, because it is as it is intended to be, exhausting.  But eventually the sheer weight of decades of duplicity will become too much for even the most energetic complementarian to bear.  Eventually the cuteness wears off, and we are left with only exhaustion.  Even worse, all of the cool complementarians have moved on from selling traditional-seeming-feminism to selling traditional-seeming-homosexuality.  At least they get to move on to a new fresh form of doublespeak, something they can practice for decades before it becomes as wearisome as the feminist form Bayly and a handful of others like Pastor Wilson restrict themselves to.

*Moderator’s Note:  As I asked in a previous post, please keep the focus away from Pastor Bayly’s wife.  Any comments that are unkind to his wife will be deleted and the commenter will be placed in moderation status for future comments.  As disturbing as it is that a pastor would play such games with his wife, the much larger harm comes from him virtue signaling and modeling this role inversion via Warhorn media.

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Posted in Attacking headship, Chivalry, Complementarian, Courtly Love, Crossdressing Theology, Headship, Marriage, Pastor Tim Bayly, The only real man in the room, The Real Feminists, Too traditional to be traditional, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye, Warhorn Media | 199 Comments

Secular feminists are more honest than conservative Christians.

Lori Gottlieb writes a weekly series called Dear Therapist for The Atlantic.  This week’s letter is from a single woman who is tired of her married friends coming to her with petty grievances about their husbands.  The article is titled Dear Therapist: It’s Hard to Accept Being Single

They assume that because things are going well in other aspects of my life, I am okay with my nonexistent romantic life, and therefore free to listen to them complain. I am not. It’s the reason I have been in and out of therapy for the past few years—the inability to accept and deal with the fact that I am single, with no real prospects on the horizon.

I want to be a good friend, but I just don’t think I can hear another story about how he forgot to take out the trash or call right back so the marriage/relationship is over!

Gottlieb’s response is markedly different than what we would see from a conservative Christian.  She makes no disparaging remarks about men, either the loser men who don’t take out the trash, or the loser men who aren’t showing up to ask the letter writer out on paid dates and propose marriage.  She also doesn’t tell the letter writer to embrace her “season of singleness”, tell her to find meaning in “the wait”, doesn’t warn her to “never settle”, and doesn’t tell her that she is the pearl of great price, a prize to be won, etc.  Instead, Gottlieb acknowledges that the letter writer has something real to grieve:

What your friends might not realize is that many single people who long for a partner experience something called ambiguous loss or ambiguous grief. It’s a type of grieving, but it’s different from the grieving someone might do after a concrete loss like the death of a spouse from, say, cancer.

Gottlieb even obliquely acknowledges the pettiness of the wives complaining about their husbands when framing possible responses the letter writer can employ:

When you complain about your partner, it’s like telling me that your meal at a nice restaurant was disappointing at a time when I’m hungry and not sure there will ever be enough food for me.

When you’re upset with your partner and make offhand comments like “Don’t get married!” or “You’re so lucky you’re single!,” please remember that I’m often very lonely. When you say “I wish I had your free time!,” remember that a lot of my time and emotional energy involves trying to find a partner, which can be demoralizing and exhausting. I’d rather spend my supposedly glamorous “free” time doing something as unglamorous as sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a significant other.

Imagine how I feel when you complain that your husband, who adores and desires you, wants to have sex with you at an inopportune time—while my choices are sex with strangers or no sex at all.

I think it is fair to say that implicit in Gottlieb’s response is an assumption that the letter writer is in her late thirties or older.  I think this is a fair assumption about her age, given the fact that the letter writer reads The Atlantic and her friends are all married or in something like a marriage.  If the letter writer were under 25 I would expect Gottlieb to assure her that she is too young to marry.  If the letter writer were in her late twenties or early thirties, I would expect Gottlieb to give the letter writer advice in line with Gottlieb’s famous Atlantic article and book, and encourage her to stop being so picky and settle for a good enough man.

Posted in Aging Feminists, Complementarian, Lori Gottlieb, Status of marriage, The Atlantic, Traditional Conservatives | 118 Comments

She wasn’t God’s best.

Adam Piggott makes an astute observation about Wendy Griffith’s claim that God doesn’t want women to settle in Are you special enough for women like Wendy?

…when it comes to selecting their future spouse apparently God purposely made a great number indeed of very average men who are entirely beneath consideration just so that women like Wendy could test their faith by rejecting them. How is it even remotely statistically possible for God to supposedly want all of us to wait for His very best?

Implicit in this delusion is that Griffiths herself is one of these very best from God. Why else would she be holding out for the very best if she were not also one of the highly anointed?

Griffith has overlooked the fact that she wasn’t the only person involved in her relationships.  For surely God wouldn’t create a puzzle that couldn’t possibly fit together.  For the countless men Wendy decided weren’t God’s best for her in the roughly four decades she would have hooked up with, dated, or rejected before marrying at 54, Wendy wasn’t God’s best.

She simply wasn’t good enough, and God was sparing these men the misfortune of marrying her so they could marry someone immensely better.   Chances are we are talking hundreds of men, really millions, even billions of men if you think about it.  For even if Wendy never crossed a man’s path, she still wasn’t God’s best for that man, as God had a better woman in mind for him than Wendy Griffith.  To marry her would have been to (in Wendy’s words) settle for crumbs.  Moreover, if billions of men deserve better, and God is faithful to what Wendy claims He promises, that means that billions of women are better than her.  Getting picked last sucks under any circumstance, but in this view it is especially brutal.  At age 54, God finally found a man who didn’t deserve a better woman than Wendy.

I’ll clarify that this is the implication of Wendy Griffith’s feminist friendly view of Christian marriage, not my own perspective.  But the conclusion is logically inescapable if you accept her claim that God has chosen His very best for all of us, and so long as we are faithful and wait, and don’t settle for someone who isn’t good enough, He will ultimately send us His best.

Griffith: If we don’t know [our value], again we’ll settle for much less. You know it breaks God’s heart when we settle. And that’s the other thing that the Lord taught me through the heartbreak was God hates compromise! He hates it when we settle, because He’s a good daddy, he wants to give his daughters – and his sons – His very best. And He’ll let us settle if we ignore all the red flags and if we keep going He’ll say ok but He desperately doesn’t want us to settle. He want’s us to hold out for His best.

Posted in Adam Piggott, Aging Feminists, Finding a Spouse, Solipsism, Wendy Griffith | 168 Comments

Worth the wait?

I see from a CBN youtube video titled Worth the wait from March 8, 2019 that Wendy Griffith is now married:

CBN’s newly married Wendy Griffith and author of You Are a Prize to be Won! says it’s possible to live an abundant single life while you’re waiting for the right one.

In the video (below) she holds her long time frame, that God’s plan was for her to remain unmarried until her mid fifties, and that other women should follow her lead and never settle.  This reinforces the fact that conservative Christian feminism outdoes even secular feminism, as secular feminist women are warning marriage delaying women to settle in their thirties, when the settling is good.

Still, I think if most of the women reading her book understood how long Wendy actually ended up waiting they would be horrified.  As pleased as Wendy no doubt is to finally marry (and as pleased as I am for her), I don’t think many young women would be comforted in their season of singleness to hear that they will marry a 59 year old man when they are 54*.

Either way, while this new feminist life model allowed Wendy to focus her youth on having an exciting high powered career, it rules out having children and goes against the Apostle Paul’s clear instruction in 1 Cor 7.  Moreover, very few women will remain as attractive as Wendy has into their 50s.  Modern conservative Christians are selling an absolutely poisonous life script to young women, and outside of the Christian Men’s Sphere and Lori Alexander I can find no pushback against it.  To the contrary, what we see instead is hand wringing that weak men are screwing feminism up when the effects of the poison become noticeable.

Surprisingly, I don’t see any reference to her being married either in her CBN bio or her self description on Twitter.

Jesus Follower, Kilimanjaro Summiter, Co-Host of the 700 Club, News Anchor for the Christian Broadcasting Network & Author of You Are a Prize to be Won!

With that said, obviously it isn’t a secret that she is married, but she isn’t broadcasting his name so I’ll avoid further speculation on who he might be.  As promised above, here is the video:

*Assuming she married “Bill” that she referenced in this podcast.  Note that I originally had the ages incorrect in my last post at 55 and 60, instead of 54 and 59.

Related: Devouring a lifetime of courtship.

Posted in Aging Feminists, CBN, Finding a Spouse, Too traditional to be traditional, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye, Weak men screwing feminism up, Wendy Griffith | 106 Comments

Taking things too far.

What is so striking about the modern Christian rationalization of the feminist life script is how much further Christians take it than secular feminists.  This seems to be an artifact of claiming that the results of feminism and the sexual revolution are actually God’s will.  For example, Christian women have adopted the same “never settle” mantra in their twenties that secular women have, but Christian women claim God is telling them to never settle.  Wendy Griffith literally wrote the book on this, but you can see her making the same claim in this video:

Griffith:  If we don’t know that, again we’ll settle for much less. You know it breaks God’s heart when we settle. And that’s the other thing that the Lord taught me through the heartbreak was God hates compromise! He hates it when we settle, because He’s a good daddy, he wants to give his daughters – and his sons – His very best. And He’ll let us settle if we ignore all the red flags and if we keep going He’ll say ok but He desperately doesn’t want us to settle. He want’s us to hold out for His best.

More recently Griffith described God’s direct instruction to her to follow the feminist life script.  Unlike secular feminists who focus on marrying by their mid thirties (late thirties at worst), Griffith has taken this into her 50s.

Now, God had told me in my late thirties … I had a very clear word from the Lord that I would have to wait for my husband. And I was having a great time. I didn’t even want to get married then because I was traveling all over the world, and doing exciting stories for CBN, and my TV career was taking off. But when I turned 40, I remember driving down the road and screaming. And it wasn’t necessarily a good scream. It was sort of like, “Okay, God, where is he?” But it wasn’t time. I was rushing it. Little did I know, you know, that I would be, you know, well into my fifties.

Griffith then explains that God has finally provided the man He told her to wait for:

But, I’m telling you, Joel 2, Doug, God restores the years. I wouldn’t trade anything. You know, Bill, my boyfriend now, is 5 years older than me. Well, he’s 4-1/2 and, I don’t know, it’s perfect.

That was a year ago, making them 54 and 59 now!*  Contrast that with the secular feminist warning to young women not to ride the carousel too long, and to settle in their thirties, when the settling is good.  Also keep in mind that Griffith isn’t claiming God had a fairly unique life script in mind for her by having her delay marriage until (it would appear) her late 50s.  Griffith is selling “God hates it when you settle” to Christian women across the board.

Christian women have also adopted the same empowerment message that goes along with the feminist life script.  The more empowered a Christian woman is in her “season of singleness”, the better her Christian marriage will ultimately be!  See never married Wendy Griffith (now 54) and never married Mandy Hale (now 40) discussing how to be successful in marriage at the 700 Club:

Hale:  As long as you’re in this moment, as a single woman, loving yourself, thriving where you are at, deciding to live as big and bold and brave of a life as you can, regardless of whether you are flying solo or not.

Griffith: Now, how is being happily single a precursor to being happily taken?

Hale: I think it’s all about realizing that your self worth and your value is really based on what’s inside you and not in who is standing beside you. And I think, I’ve heard quotes that talk about, your married life can only be as successful as your single life. And so I think you really just work on as a single person becoming all the things you hope to attract in another person, you can’t go wrong.

Griffith: And Mandy I love what you said, you said “Stop looking for a hero and become your own hero.” How do you do that?

You can see the exchange between Griffith and Hale here:

You also see all of the same kind of vacuous social media messages aimed at women, but these are presented as Christian, if not God’s will.

As a sign of just how far Christian women are taking this, note that the last tweet by Hale points to an article she wrote for the AARP:  Party Of One: Learning To Be Alone And To Like It

*Correction:  I originally had the ages of Wendy and Bill as 55 and 60, instead of 54 and 59.

Posted in Aging Feminists, CBN, Death of courtship, Finding a Spouse, Having it all, Mandy Hale, Too traditional to be traditional, Wendy Griffith, You can't make this stuff up | 181 Comments