99% servant, 1% leader.

In Exactly What Does it Mean for the Wife to Submit to Her Husband, pastor and Christian life coach Dr. Raymond Force explains that the reason women bristle at the New Testament verses on submission is that they mistakenly think the verses mean they are to submit to their husband, who is the head of the marriage.  Force assures them that the husband’s job is serve his wife, and only in the most rare occasions should he try to lead:

Some have an Unbiblical View of these Biblical Verses

In other articles, I talk about what biblical headship actually means, and I accentuate that headship is 99% service and 1% decision making. However, some seem to assume that headship means that the husband lords over the wife. I do not find that to be the spirit of these teachings at all.

This has always been my impression of the term Servant Leader.  While it sounds biblical, in practice it is a term used to deny headship.  However, I’ve never seen a complementarian put numbers to it like this before.  Note that 1% is the absolute smallest number he could assign to leadership without adding a decimal point, and this is what he is really communicating.  From this perspective, he could have just as well said headship is 99.99% service and .01% leadership, or 99.999% service and .001% leadership, etc.  No one is going to actually do the math, as the point is that leadership is to be portrayed as insignificant as possible while still claiming headship includes leadership.

This 1%, or .01%, or .001%  leadership (in theory) is what distinguishes complementarians from egalitarians, so it is extremely important to complementarians on a philosophical level.  But from a practical perspective, for complemetarians headship is always suspect and guilty until proven innocent of being abuse just as Force has framed it above.  In Force’s framing above, if you believe that headship is from a real and practical perspective about leadership, you are one of those people who thinks headship means lording over your wife.  Force reinforces this frame later in the post:

Religious Abusers

Everyone has met religious abusers that use the Word of God as a form of control over people. Because of the presence of people as such in the world, some have thrown the baby out with the bath water and followed their own ways and feelings rather than the Word of God.

When it comes to the above mentioned verses, we all know men that have abused these teachings. However, this does not mean that we should refrain from following these biblical precepts.

Having set the table to deny that headship means leadership/decision making in practice, Force can then explain that in theory it means the husband leads without risk of his words actually resulting in leadership.   At some point, in theory, after weeks, months, or even years of discussion, a wife should ultimately let her husband make a decision:

I see couples that will fight for weeks, months, and even years about where to move, financial decisions, what to purchase, et cetera. At some point, someone will have to pull the lever, and, from a biblical perspective, it should be the husband.

This in turn frees Force to present himself as the only real man/pastor in the room:

I know the temptation to play it safe, but, as a teacher of the Word, I am not called to keep the ship afloat. My responsibility is to please the Father. Though I preach to the masses, I still have an Audience of One, God the Father.

When it comes to verses on headship, I do believe that pastors are often afraid of teaching on these verses. Maybe it is because they are afraid of women (this is a consideration), or it is possible that they do not know how to articulate the true meaning of these verses. However, these verses are just as inspired as John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:8-9. And, if pastors are going to be true to their calling, they should be careful of conveniently omitting their responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God.

See Also: 

Posted in Attacking headship, Complementarian, Disrespecting Respectability, Dr. Raymond Force, Frame, Headship, Servant Leader, The only real man in the room, Turning a blind eye | 47 Comments

Does God want us to complain?

anonymous_ng linked to a post by pastor and Christian life coach Dr. Raymond Force, titled Where Men Blow It.  Force explains that Scripture teaches us that God doesn’t mind it when we complain, and therefore Christian husbands shouldn’t discourage their wives from grumbling (emphasis mine):

On many occasions in the scriptures, especially Numbers 11:11-15, God’s men offered their complaint before the Lord.

[Quotes Psalm 77:3 and Numbers 11:11-15]

What I love about scriptures as such is they teach us that it is okay to reverentially offer our concerns, fears, worries, and even complaints before the Lord. What I also feel is fascinating is that one never finds God taking these complaints as though they are an attack against his person, nor do they find God getting defensive or taking things personally.

A woman needs a place to express, complain, vent, et cetera without condemnation. But, if a man is too wrapped up in his own sensitivities, he will fail to provide that which Christ offers to him on a daily basis.

The emphasized part is a bold claim, but very easily disproved.  In fact, the very chapter Force quotes in Numbers as proof that God doesn’t mind when we grumble is all about God’s anger when we grumble.  Numbers 11 opens with God’s fiery anger with the Israelites for complaining.  This isn’t just metaphorical fiery anger, but God’s anger in the form of actual flames (Num 11:1, KJV):

11 And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the Lord burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

God was so angry with the Israelites for complaining about the food that he provided them, that He chose to punish them by feeding them (Num 11:18-20, KJV):

18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the Lord, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the Lord will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the Lord which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

The same chapter ends with God killing some of the Israelites because of his anger at their complaining (Num 11:33-34, KJV):

33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people, and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague.

34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

Even the part that Force quotes where Moses complains to God is about the evil of people complaining to their leaders.  Force left this out by starting at verse 11 instead of 10, which provides the context.  Moses was complaining about the burden the complainers were to him as a leader*:

10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the Lord was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

11 And Moses said unto the Lord, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

Later, in chapter 14, God becomes so angry that the Israelites are still complaining that He tells Moses that He is going to smite them and start over with a new people (Num 14:11-12, KJV):

11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they.

After Moses intervenes on their behalf, God agrees to forgive them.  However, none of the complainers will be permitted to enter the promised land.  Instead, the entire tribe must wander the desert for 40 years until the complainers are all dead (Num 11:33-34, KJV):

20 And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word:

21 But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.

22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;

23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:

So given the clarity of the Scripture Force is quoting, why does he assert that:

..one never finds [in Scripture] God taking these complaints as though they are an attack against his person, nor do they find God getting defensive or taking things personally.

Why does Force make such a laughable statement, one so easy to completely disprove?  The answer is, Force wants to excuse the sin of wives by making it a sin for husband to teach his wife what Scripture says about complaining, or to in any way discourage her from complaining:

A woman needs a place to express, complain, vent, et cetera without condemnation. But, if a man is too wrapped up in his own sensitivities, he will fail to provide that which Christ offers to him on a daily basis.

Note:  I plan on writing a follow up post on the rest of the claims Force makes in Where Men Blow It.

*See also Hebrews 13:17.

Posted in Attacking headship, Complementarian, Dr. Raymond Force, Nagging, Rebellion, Turning a blind eye | 83 Comments

Erasing “fathers” from Scripture.

When I looked up the quote of Malachi 4:5-6 for Turning the hearts of children from their fathers. I noticed that the NIV translation has replaced “fathers” with “parents”.

5 “See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”

This is in line with Honor Your Father Today providing a sermon to honor fathers on Father’s Day that advised Christians to not refer to God as the Father, but to call him a “Best Friend”.

It is worth noting that Dr. Douglass Moo, the Chairman of the Committee on Bible Translation that produced the new father free translation of the verse above, is the same man John Piper and Wayne Grudem turned to when they wanted to make the case for women preaching to women.  However, to Wayne Grudem’s credit, the translation Grudem edits (ESV) has not feminised the passage, and has actually made recent changes that are sure to offend egalitarians.

Related:  It is all about clarity


Posted in Complementarian, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Disrespecting Respectability, Dr. Douglass Moo, Dr. John Piper, Dr. Wayne Grudem, Fatherhood, Feminist Territory Marking | 91 Comments

Prager’s next lesson?


Background here and here.

H/T Red Pill Latecomer.

Posted in Dennis Prager, Satire, Traditional Conservatives | 76 Comments

How things work.

One of Cane Caldo’s readers suggested that feminists are likely to complain that he hasn’t made his case regarding the term bastard with sufficient detail.  Cane responded:

I can live with that and refuse to explain things to Feminists anyways. Explaining the realities of civilization to Feminists is like explaining the internal combustion engine to Feminists: You will talk about the need for a proper mixture of fuel, air, and spark and they will come back with a demand for a bigger pink key because everyone knows its keys that make cars go.

They don’t lack explanations. That’s not their problem.

Posted in Cane Caldo, Feminists, Illegitimacy, Men's Sphere Humor | 88 Comments