Patriarchy Preacher Means What He Says (but won’t admit it)

In 2009 Bruce Ware spoke at a conference held by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW). His talk concerned what he thinks the Bible requires from men and woman, particularly in the context of marriage and what happens when a woman threatens her husband’s authority by failing to obey him:

“And husbands on their parts, because they’re sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged … .”

and,

“He will have to rule, and because he’s a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen … through ruling that is abusive and oppressive – and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that – … .”

These two quotes from the conference are taken from a post on Kathryn Joyce’s blog, where she concluded:

Ware said that women victims of domestic violence were often to blame for their own abuse because they were failing to submit to their husbands’ authority. (Kathryn Joyce, “Biblical Manhood” Conference Espouses Male Authority.)

The conference was held over seven years ago, so why bring it up now? Because Ware was given the opportunity this week to repudiate or at least back away from his 2009 presentation and refused to do so.

Given a Chance, but Can’t Recant

It came up on Aimee Byrd’s review of Ruth Tucker’s book Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife, where Tucker had relied on Joyce’s blog post. Ware contacted Byrd to point out Joyce’s conclusion about his comments were her words, not his. Byrd agreed, and then asked him about the quotes themselves.

I did ask Ware if he would repudiate those statements, as the inference is clearly one that a man’s abuse is the result or effect of the woman challenging his authority by not submitting. He denies that is the inference. He also said that men bear full responsibility for the sin of abuse. (Aimee Byrd, Black and White Reviews, Black and Blue Complementarianism.)

This response from Ware is chilling. He refuses to acknowledge that a reasonable reading of the quotes is:

Wives, your husband wouldn’t have abused you if you hadn’t disobeyed him in the first place.

The False Premises of Patriarchal Teaching on Abuse

There are two false premises in his quotes. One is that women are to obey their husbands because the Bible says they have to. It doesn’t. (See Don’t Lose Your Head Over Doctrine.)

The second false premise is that one spouse’s threat to the other spouse’s authority (whatever that means) is the cause of the other spouse’s abusive actions. It’s not.

Ware makes these mistakes because he is actually close to the truth and doesn’t know it. The truth is that when one person’s “authority is threatened” (as Ware puts it) the threat is often met by an assertion of power. That’s how abuse arises. It is about power and control. Pose a threat and the power and control become more overt. Pose enough of a threat and the response by the oppressor might be to seek to eliminate the threat altogether. That means exactly what you think it means.

He also makes these mistakes because CBMW has an agenda. Leaders at CBMW have taught that all women must submit to all men whether they are married to them or not. They think this is what the Bible requires. They’re wrong, but it’s what they think. (See Ben Irwin’s This is what the tortured, twisted logic of patriarchy looks like.)

Ware’s words mean what they say: Womenif you want your husband to stop abusing you then stop disobeying him and threatening his authority over you. That’s what led to the abuse in the first place.

Yes, I characterized his words from his quotes above. But admit it, Mr. Ware. That’s a fair reading of what you said about cause and effect. As Aimee Byrd put it, “the inference is clearly one that a man’s abuse is the result or effect of the woman challenging his authority by not submitting.”

If that’s not what you mean, Mr. Ware, disavow your words and start over.

***

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71 Responses to Patriarchy Preacher Means What He Says (but won’t admit it)

  1. Courtney says:

    Wow, that is a truly disturbing line of thought, to blame the wife for being abused. Not right and definitely not Biblical.

  2. FW Rez says:

    CBMW seems to be constantly explaining itself as “what you think I said and what I said are two different things”. The problem is, however, that what people are restating them to have said is totally consistent with their words. This came up in the previous post on ESS as well.

    When reading your paragraph on abuse and authority, I appreciate your perspective as I suspect you see a lot more real life examples in your profession that most of us do.

    These quotes above from Bruce Ware should warn the Christian community away from CBMW. What more evidence do we need that this organization should not be given any credibility.

    • Tim says:

      You would think that if enough people say they took your words a certain way, you’d look to change the way you say things even if you don’t agree with those people. Words are about communication, and Mr. Ware’s words clearly communicate his position.

    • Jennifer says:

      FW Rez — yes. Gaslighting is what I call it. “What you say I said can’t be what I said because I never said that. Not that exactly.” In other words, doubt me and you’re nuts or rebellious.

  3. James Williams says:

    Hi Tim – Here is a fair reading of what Ware said: “When women sin against their husbands, husbands can respond in two ways. One is sinful, and the other…[has been conveniently ignored in order to ridiculously contort what Ware said.]” Nothing in the quotations from Ware comes remotely close to the proposition “if X in some way sins against Y, then X is causally responsible if Y sins against X.” Nor does it even come close to blaming wives for being abused by their husbands, and nor is it possible to reasonably infer that from what he said. The premises you assign to him are entirely absent in the text cited. Spend as much time and spill as much ink as you want on the biblical case against the notion that husbands have authority over their wives, but lay aside this painfully obvious twisting of what Ware said. I would have thought a judge would be more careful to observe the requirements of logic, never mind avoid slander.

    • Tim says:

      James, there are more people than just me who read his words this way, including complementarian writer Aimee Byrd whom I cite in the post as well as the other commenters above.

    • FW Rez says:

      James,

      1. Your premise that the wife is sinning because she is not obeying the husband is alarming, disconcerting, troubling, and symptomatic of much that is wrong with CBMW.

      2. The first quote from Ware directly connects the woman’s actions with the husband’s abuse.

      3. You may disagree that Ware is implying a causal relationship between the X and Y, but that doesn’t account for the fact that that is the way he is being understood. Even when the words are not as specific as you require, the implications (at least to a lot of use) are clear.

      4. Context matters. CBMW members have been known to take some very unacceptable positions on submission and abuse (Piper and Patterson).

      5. I always chuckle when people assign variables to gender and use X and Y since they are not only our defaults when using ordered pairs in math but also are associated with the gender determining chromosomes.

      • Tim says:

        Well said, Rez. And on the issue of context, the full quote from Mr. Ware says that the husband will respond either abusively or by abdicating his God-given responsibility to lead the family. In both cases Mr. Ware is saying these are the husband’s responses to the wife’s threat to the husband’s authority.

      • Muff Potter says:

        “5. I always chuckle when people assign variables to gender and use X and Y since they are not only our defaults when using ordered pairs in math but also are associated with the gender determining chromosomes.

        It’s even more dismaying that the same people have no concept of domain and range when trying to use math in their glib pronouncements.

    • Lisa says:

      James,

      It’s not slander when it’s written, it’s libel. Except when it’s true.

      The approval is implicit in these words: “[physical abuse] is of course one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged.”

      Let’s say you have just obtained a shiny new supervisory position at a new firm. You show up for the employee training. The head of Personnel stands at the podium and says, “If an employee doesn’t respect your authority, physical abuse is of course one of the ways you can respond when your authority is challenged.” Would that startle you? Would you believe it?

      Let’s call “physical abuse” what it really is, beating.

      The executive continues: “If an employee talks back to you, beating is of course one of the ways you can respond when your authority is challenged.” Would you think that is legal? Would you find it morally acceptable? After all, you have been put in this position of authority, and you are responsible for your employee’s actions. Is beating “of course” one way you can handle your employees? “If an employee doesn’t do things the way you tell him to, beating is of course one of the ways you can respond.” Yes?

      So why would this be acceptable in a marriage? Many spouse beaters are in positions of authority at work. They are supervisors, judges, business owners. Yet, they don’t respond to employee “disrespect” by beating them. They don’t lose their tempers (99.9% of the time) and beat the employee, and have the firm owners say, “Well, what did you expect? He couldn’t possibly have put up with that. And the Bible does say, ‘Slaves, submit to your masters.'” (At one corporation I worked at, we were told at the training that if our supervisor even raised their voice at us, it was grounds for termination for that supervisor at that firm.) So how is it that they are not able to conduct themselves accordingly at home?

      Spouse beaters *know* what they are doing is wrong. They *can* control themselves. That’s why they don’t beat people to whom they are not married. They know it’s illegal and they don’t want to suffer the shame of arrest or incarceration. And a man standing in a pulpit saying “of course it’s one way you can respond” is culpable as well.

      • Tim says:

        thanks, Lisa. I’d add that while Mr. Ware is saying one follows the other, he is not saying one should follow the other. But then again, his statement is such that he is also saying that if the woman had not challenged the man’s authority the man would have had no cause to abuse. That’s how a lot of people read his words, and if he wants to say something else he should do more to clarify what he really means than merely say that’s not what he meant.

      • Retha says:

        Lisa, to make your analogy even more apt, we could use more of Ware’s words:

        ““If an employee talks back to you, beating is of course one of the ways you can respond when your authority is challenged. The other is to abdicate the responsibility this company gave you.”

        Because this is the real, full quote: “He will have to rule, and because he’s a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive–and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that–but here’s the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to the leader in the relationship and just say ‘OK dear,’ ‘Whatever you say dear,’ ‘Fine dear’ and become a passive husband, because of sin.”

        • Lisa says:

          Whoa, Retha–that’s even worse. The only two choices a “disrespected” man has is beating or being passive? That seems even clearer than “and the other [alternative to physically beating]…[has been conveniently ignored in order to ridiculously contort what Ware said.]” Well, given those two options, who would choose “Yes, dear”?

      • Velour says:

        So honest push back to Bruce Ware’s bizarre beliefs now constitutes “slander” (and as Lisa correctly noted “libel” if it’s printed) according to John Williams? They are a thin-skinned, immature bunch.

        The proponents of submission – Bruce Ware, Wayne Grudem, Owen Strachan, Al Mohler, John Piper, Mark Dever, Matt Chandler, Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood, Acts 29, 9Marks, Southern Baptist Convention, and others – used the public square (First Amendment) to advance their beliefs and heresies and demand their usual blind submission from everybody else. Will they ever grow up?

        Here’s Harvard University’s Digital Media Law Project on Libel/Slander/Defamation
        since John is unclear about it: http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/proving-fault-actual-malice-and-negligence

        • Tim says:

          Velour, please refrain from name calling phrases such as “thin-skinned, immature bunch.” My comment policy doesn’t allow such phrases here on my blog, thanks.

        • Velour says:

          Sure enough, Tim.

          I’ll guess I’ll get to the real point of my anger about CBMW. My former NeoCalvinist church’s pastors/elders subscribed to the Council on Biblical Womanhood beliefs, unbeknownst to sincere Christians who joined the church. The “submission” teachings destroyed marriages and families. There were depressed wives, women (singles) and daughters – cowed by these oppressive teachings and commands from the pastors/elders that they “obey” and “submit”.

          Godly women who wanted to leave the church for a saner church were “outted before all” — hundreds of church members, their names were unfairly dragged through the mud, the senior pastor would say that the wife hadn’t “obeyed” her husband, and ordered that hundreds of church members make the wife “repent” of her “sin”.

          It was so awful and so painful to watch. The pastors were so blinded by these CBMW beliefs, they didn’t care who they crushed in the process to get “obedience”. One wife who left our church disconnected her cell phone, her email, and moved out of the family home to an undisclosed location to even her husband so that she could have peace. She and her husband almost divorced over CBMW and the NeoCalvinist pastors insistence that it be practiced.

          Many young church couples (including Stanford University graduates) who married have had the heavy yoke of CBMW’s beliefs placed upon them and I don’t know if their marriages and their families will survive.

          I’ll take a break from reading and posting and have a good cry. CBMW destroyed lives and reputations at my ex-church.

          P.S. Southern Baptists who promoted it now have the highest divorce rate in the nation, when the nation’s divorce rate has been plummeting. (Barna study.)

          Thanks.

      • Jennifer says:

        Wow, Lisa! Way to hit it out of the park! Thank you!

  4. Leah says:

    Hi Tim, CBMW’s rhetoric is becoming more and more dangerous and troubling. Their pride and ego are a real concern.

    • Tim says:

      It’s the language they’ve used for years and despite being shown how it can lead to problems they get more and more entrenched in it. Sad. I’m praying for them.

  5. April Fiet says:

    The place where Mr. Ware and his ilk are mistaken is in their understanding of the husband as ruler. Yes, Genesis says “and he will rule over you,” but it has to be understood that this is a consequence of the fall. This isn’t God’s design. This is what happens when we sin – we try to make ourselves better than others, where the greatest commandment is the opposite.

    • Tim says:

      And in our efforts to make ourselves better we in turn try to make others less. No one actually becomes better by tearing down someone else.

  6. JYJames says:

    From your post: “The second false premise is that one spouse’s threat to the other spouse’s authority (whatever that means) is the cause of the other spouse’s abusive actions. It’s not.”

    So, a woman has a voice and a brain (i.e., poses a “threat” to “authority”) and she may deserve abusive actions.

    Likewise a woman has a body (i.e., may be seen as provocative or immodest), and consequently she may be assaulted or raped.

    The underlying premise of both is that her very personhood is in jeopardy.

    Perhaps women should wear the niqab of abaya and never speak. I just was with such women in the Middle East and actually their eyes were very expressive and very beautiful, so that, too, is a problem.

  7. JYJames says:

    Seen on a post of TWW today:
    “Unlimited power in the hands of limited people always leads to cruelty.”
    — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn —

    Perhaps this quote applies to this discussion, also.

  8. James Williams says:

    To FW Rez:

    It is not my premise that a wife sins by disobeying her husband. It is a fair reading of Ware’s premise, one I disagree with, but still in an entirely different league from blaming wives for being abused by their husbands. We must not let theological disagreement rob us of all sense of proportion.

    Perhaps the implications of Ware’s statements seem clear to you because you failed to read it carefully, as you failed to read mine. There’s an great deal of confirmation bias going on here. To those of you who are persuaded that CBMW is deeply in error: if you ever want to persuade anyone who does not already agree with you, try to avoid reading CBMW statements in the worst possible light.

    • FW Rez says:

      @James:

      Same song, second verse: “I know you think you understood what I think you said….”. You are placing the entire burden of understanding on the listener and not holding the speaker accountable for clear communication. I’m glad that you disagree with the premise that a wife sins by disobeying her husband.

      I have no idea what you mean by this statement “We must not let theological disagreement rob us of all sense of proportion.” I will, however, say that I think creating a special interest group within the evangelical community to promote a specific understanding of Biblical gender roles is in itself a dis-proportional response to whatever issues they have a felt need to respond to. My opinion is that the Church needs to focus on the complete concept of one-anothering rather than spending so much spin on gender roles. My best guess, pardon my cynicism, is that someone figured out that this was another way to have conferences, sell books, etc.

    • Velour says:

      @James Williams,

      The Council on Biblical Manhood Womanhood has had a long-standing policy of blocking any Christian (man or woman) who asks any questions. They don’t engage. They rule. They expect blind obedience.

      Their organization has done a horrific amount of damage to marriages, families, churches, friendships, and our witness to unbelievers (who rightfully are’t having any of this Dark Ages nonsense).

  9. dpersson7 says:

    James, I am going to approach this from a different angle. The statements presented may be misunderstood and may not be what this man intended. However, from my 20 + years of listening to and reading material from CBMW they seem to lack understanding of the mindset of abuse victims. He may not of intended to blame the victim, but that is exactly what a victim would hear regardless of the intention. Children and spouses of abusers spend all of their time trying to prevent their parent or spouse from getting angry. They learn to walk on eggshells and take responsibility for others’ actions as a way to protect themselves. It becomes ingrained in them so when someone in authority makes a statement like (I’m using your quote to be fair), “When women sin against their husbands, husbands can respond in two ways. One is sinful, and the other…[has been conveniently ignored in order to ridiculously contort what Ware said.]” an abuse victim would blame themselves. They would try harder to be perfect, but it would never be enough because the problem is with the abuser. Their need to dominate and control. I get the whole we are all sinners thing, but it does not take away from the damage a person in “authority” can do to someone who is dependent on them. That is what anyone in “authority” should consider before addressing abuse.

    • Tim says:

      “They would try harder to be perfect, but it would never be enough because the problem is with the abuser.” They could even be perfect and an abuser would still find a reason to abuse.

      • Barb says:

        You’re absolutely right, Tim. I tried for 32 years to be perfect, obedient, subservient (pretty nearly succeeded, too LOL), and my ex still was ugly toward me. It was never enough. But he found an employee who must have been more perfect than I was, and now they have been happily married ever after for 20+ years. Good for them.

  10. roscuro says:

    Ware’s comments are reminiscent of similar statements that a wife can trigger her husband’s porn addiction or adulterous affairs by not giving him what he needs. Both kinds of statements are reminiscent of a certain plaintive whine in Genesis 3, “the woman whom you gave me, she gave to me and I ate.” All such statements are non-sequitors. It does not follow that Adam had to eat the fruit because Eve ate of it. It does not follow that the man who indulges in porn or adultery has a wife who will not have relations with him. It does not follow that because a man is abusive, therefore his wife tried to control him.

  11. Christiane Smith says:

    “and lead us not into temptation” . . . . and if a teaching leads men to be tempted ‘punish’ their wives for failure to ‘submit’ to them, then perhaps it’s time to take another look at the teaching

    “but deliver us from evil” . . . . . and if a teaching leads men to do that which is evil, then we know the teaching is not from Our Lord.

    Take a look at what a strong Christian marriage looks like from early Christianity:
    From a letter by Tertullian, an Early Church Father, to his wife, ca. 202 A.D.

    ” How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in hope, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice.
    They are as brother and sister, both servants of the same Master. Nothing divides them, either in flesh or in Spirit. They are in very truth, two in one flesh; and where there is but one flesh there is also but one spirit.
    They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another.
    Side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another, they never shun each other’s company; they never bring sorrow to each other’s hearts… Psalms and hymns they sing to one another.
    Hearing and seeing this, Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present, and where He is, there evil is not.”

    • Tim says:

      So much togetherness and not one word about how only if the man’s in charge is God glorified. What could he have been thinking?!

      /sarcasm off 😉

  12. JYJames says:

    From the post: “Pose enough of a threat and the response by the oppressor might be to seek to eliminate the threat altogether. That means exactly what you think it means.”

    Yes. Just watch reporting on the episodes of NBC’s “Dateline”. Thank God for the legality of divorce, because marital issues should never lead to elimination. Yet this happens, too frequently. The ultimate control of taking a life. The final submission of succumbing to the hands of a ruling oppressor who has the final word, the final blow. The decider.

  13. Shy1 says:

    I have been reading these complementarian guys for a little while now. One of their programs for men came into our church and my husband and I watched the videos and examined them carefully. We found that pretty much every argument was based on a logical fallacy. Most often, a black/white (or false dilemma). You are given two choices as if those are the only possibilities and you must choose one. Usually, one of the choices will be something heinous and the other will be what they want you to do. We lost count of how many times they used this tactic in the men’s series.

    This statement of Ware’s is a false dilemma based on the false premise that the man “must be in authority.” Supposedly, the man can either abuse or he can become passive. There is a third way and it is the right way- he can be a human being in partnership with his wife and they can both take active roles to work together so that both are loved and respected.

    I was trained years ago in therapeutic foster care. One of the things you learn is that children who have been abused/neglected often find love a very difficult thing to experience or relate to. Until they experience love, they tend to see everything as power/control related. They see relationships in terms of who is in control of who, as continual power struggles. These comp men come across to me in the same way. They do not seem to see a whole world of relating that is possible between human beings. To them, relationships are all about control, authority, submission, obedience… Who would want to live this way? They love the couple verses that on simple reading *appear* to support their view if you don’t look to close, but they seem to ignore the rest of scripture. What do they do with all the other teachings of Christ?

    What are they so afraid of? Why do they feel they must have control or it will be the end of the world? This isn’t the attitude Jesus displayed.

    • Tim says:

      That false dichotomy shows up repeatedly. “You don’t want your family to fail, do you? Then you better make sure you’re in charge and everyone obeys you!”

      How about a marriage where no one’s in charge of everything. That’s how mine has worked since 1987 and we have kids who prove we did ok.

      • Shy1 says:

        Same here, Tim, since ’74 and my husband and I are still best friends. You don’t have to follow a formula, you just have to follow the golden rule.

    • FW Rez says:

      Shy1,

      Your comments from the therapeutic foster care perspective are an eye opener for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lea says:

      I think it very strange that none of these guys seem to consider ‘having an adult conversation’ a possibly decision making process.

      It is all authority/control or automatic submission with them. That is not how good relationships work.

      • Tim says:

        Right, Talking things through until you can come to agreement may seem like too much work to some people, perhaps, but it’s the way real relationships work best.

  14. Shy1 says:

    James Williams, looking at their statements in the best possible light, I find them to be useless, unnecessary and a source of confusion to those who are sincerely trying to follow Christ.

  15. Great post, Tim.

    I learned a long time ago that an abuser (be that of women, alcohol, etc.) will always try to find an excuse for their actions. “She didn’t clean the house or she didn’t obey me.” “I was under too much stress.” In the end, people abuse because they are abusive.

    • Tim says:

      Which goes to the false premises that Mr. Ware’s teachings are based on. If he would listen to people who have lived through this he could learn a lot. For crying out loud he wouldn’t even listen to Aimee Byrd, one of the most reasonable and wise people I know.

  16. Jennifer says:

    These “Christian” men find the church appealing. I have encountered many. I believe that they are self-serving narcissists who love to prey upon devout women, manipulating these women’s desires to please God. Perhaps it’s one manifestation of II Tim 3:6. Lusts, of course, don’t always mean sexual hunger.

    I “became” a Christian as a teen in the early 1980s. ‘Met a few comps over the years. I would say that most of them were “soft” comps who sought spouses with the same outlook, rather than trying to convert a non-complementarian into the mold. One guy I dated in my mid-20s was the painful and very damaging exception.

    In the last five years, I have encountered the die-hard ones. It seems to have metastasized alongside Calvinistic influence. (Note — not all Calvinists seem to be so extreme, and so I want to clarify this so I don’t lump all together.) A few years ago, I was appalled to witness several women who expressed this errant belief as you mention above, Tim:

    “Leaders at CBMW have taught that all women must submit to all men whether they are married to them or not. They think this is what the Bible requires. ”

    It has popped up in traditional churches and contemporary ones I have attended. (My experience is that these folks use the Bible to exclusively blame the “Jews” for Christ’s crucifixion, taking their own sin out of the equation).

    Is it to extreme for me to believe that folks like this would easily switch over to Islamic extremism were (please, God forbid this) the country overrun by the latter?! Simply replace the cross on the church with the star and crescent moon? I sincerely hope that I am wrong. The way some are going, the switch to another religious extreme would not be needed. It could even be a whole new religion or philosophy. (I emphasize here as above that I refer to extremism).

    God, help us.

    • Jennifer says:

      Tim: I sincerely hope that I didn’t violate your comment guidelines. I feel pretty passionate about the topic.

      Also again, I refer to the folks who are on the extreme ends of any of these religions.

      • Tim says:

        It seems like power-seekers tend toward extremism. That type of thinking can hurt people badly.

        I hope for extremism of another kind: to be so extremely devoted to Jesus that the only power I have is the power of God in me as I love the people around me.

    • Wow! I have had the same exact thoughts. The anti-Christ is said to have no regard for women and and seems the CBMW is rearing is ugly head in the same direction. I like you I have wondered how hard would it be for the these two theologies to merge.

  17. JYJames says:

    Regarding submission: Today in the Huffington Post is the story of a woman who participated in a prison Bible study program and learned submission, only to be assaulted by the chaplain:

    “[Chaplain] Dewitt would give daily lectures on topics such as personal responsibility, curing impure thoughts and the importance of submitting to authority ― both within a family structure, meaning a wife should submit to her husband, and inside the prison where they were all stuck.”

    http://huff.to/29WE71E

    Where is the teaching to counter the dangers of this submission doctrine? The train has left the rails…and the Christian community doesn’t seem to care about the welfare of women who are subjected to this, while theologians argue over the Trinity. This is insane.

    • Tim says:

      I think the argument over Trinitarian doctrine is worth our time. Knowing God rightly is wise and good. In the discussion presently going on it also pertains to the submission issue: people are trying to rewrite Trinitarian doctrine to support subjugation of women as eternally in submission to men.

      • Dee says:

        Tim
        In a could of articles that I have read on the subject, the Bruce Ware affiliates claim this discussion did not arise out of the gender debate. Deb and I have been watching this over years. We totally disagree. The two have emerged together and go hand and hand. That was not the case with the original Nicene Council.

        • Tim says:

          “Gender agenda? What gender agenda? We’ve just discovered a connection between the Trinity and marriage that no one else has seen in 2000 years, that’s all.”

        • JYJames says:

          Thanks, Dee, and thanks, Tim, for providing this forum and your wise post with equal opportunity comments.
          This is why discussions need to equally include both genders.
          Brings to mind when Judge RBG explained to her cohorts what it meant for a middle school girl to be strip-searched by male officers.
          My cousin is a judge. When he first was assigned to family court, he confided that he was seeing surreal things before him, what he didn’t know existed in families. Eye opener. Mind bender. Heart wrenching.
          Our experiences may limit us until relationships broaden our world and deepen our hearts/understanding with God’s love. Empathetic relationships, that is, and not using then deposing others.
          (Sidebar: our kids at 5 & 7, taught us the value of relationships when their dad had a life-saving renal transplant one November. No more tree, presents, decor for the holidays, they said. They had their #1 relationship – their dad and that was enough. We learned what Christmas was all about – relationship, and that has stuck as our tradition, at their request.)

        • Tim says:

          It sounds like you are raising some wise and wonderful kids, JYJ. Blessings on them and on their parents!

        • JYJames says:

          Clearly by the grace of God. Ever grateful.

    • Sandra says:

      I don’t want to derail this topic, but I think it’s worth pointing out the following quote from the above article. The program Chaplian Dewitt used was “Principles and Applications for Life, or PAL, program ― a religious initiative for inmates that’s based on the teachings of disgraced evangelical fundamentalist Bill Gothard.”
      Gothard taught strict submission and gender roles and he used his position to allegedly molest underage girls.
      Submission teaching such as this bears horrible fruit.

      • JYJames says:

        I noticed that in the article, too; it’s another strict submission teaching administrated by a perpetrator leaving a trail of victims.

  18. Pastor Bob says:

    Who “leads” in a marriage. Skip some of the comments against his idea, but what ever the two decide to do and make work with mutual respect.

    If he or she chooses to follow the GUIDANCE of the other, specific situation or long term, let it be the decision that the they have mutually agreed upon.

    BUT for this “person” to insinuate that his model not being followed equates to a justification to spousal abuse (domestic violence) turns my stomach.

    Maybe the women exposed to this “leader” should also be aware of this:

    http://timetofly.org/

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