Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Look What Happens When you don't submit

did you know this little known fact-

one of the main reasons men abuse their wives is because they try to usurp the man's God given authority?

13 comments:

murf said...

I will try and assume the best about Mr. Ware and not accuse him of total nitwittery. I hope! his position was more nuanced than it came out sounding in the paper. However, I would take him to task for not realizing the implications of whatever he was trying to say.

Men abuse their wives for any number of reasons, not the least of which is that they are sinners. Appearing to give men an "excuse" to abuse their wives? Tone-deaf, idiotic, sad, pathetic, etc. etc.

Alex F said...

I don't think he's providing an "excuse" for spousal abuse at all - he's saying it's an ugly result of sin in a man. Nor is he saying it's anyone's fault other than his own. Of course, it's more fun to rip a comment out of context to make it sound nasty, especially when you disagree with the larger point being made.

The article continues:
"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."

I know Dr. Ware very well and you'd be hard pressed to find a kinder, more gracious and godly guy. You can disagree with him all you want to, but surely you can't suspect that he's sitting there trying to excuse or condone spousal abuse. Please, you're better than that.

Rick said...

Alex,

I am going to give you a hard time because you reprimanded me a bit hard even though I gave no commentary and let the article stand on its one. I don't think I ever used the word "excuse" I simply linked to an article which quoted a guy.

So, because you know him and know these things about him, you know he cannot make a stupid, wrongheaded or incorrect statement. he can never do something like that because he is gracious, kind and godly?

Do you believe this?

Listen, I have heard all kinds of people slam things Brian has said. I can say the same thing. In fact, I know Brian, Doug and Tony as close friends. However, if they say something stupid, I am not going to try to justify it. I will let it stand and say they did not mean it or hopefully they can explain it better.

What Ware said was, at its best, (as Murf said) tonedeaf.

I understand what he was "trying" to say. However, I think he blew it and said something dumb- that is not something that should be said in a public forum- even if he (and the SBC and Acts 29) is terribly wrong in his theological presupposition, which all of them have turned into one of the fundamentals of the faith, as important to their denomination as truly important theological matters (showing their cultural, political and misogynist leanings as tantamount).

I read the entire context and in trying to explain, he stepped farther than he should have. I cannot tell you how wrong he is on this.

Plus, I said nothing, made no judgment. I I said, look what happens. I said this is one of the reasons for abuse. Ware said the same thing.

Understand, everyone says something dumb, even the holy trinity of Mohler, Ware and Moore. You have to admit that, don't you?

Alex F said...

Hey Rick - Part of my response was also in light of the previous comment, where the word "excuse" comes from. But, and here I'll chide with a smile on my face, you know that the way you set up the post implied something that was not what Ware was saying.

I'll grant that I was a bit hard because of our relationship with the Wares - Keri was his admin. for the last couple years we were up there. And I'm sick and a bit cranky today. :)

Everyone says dumb things, and I wish Dr. Ware had been a bit more careful here. We'll just agree to disagree on the broader issue.

You might be surprised if we were to discuss that "trinity" you mentioned. And I'm not SBC so it has nothing to do with a party line. Cheers!

mike said...

hmm. just reading the comments along with the article what i find most disturbing is the point he WAS trying to make. namely that the man is the head and that a womans sinful nature causes her to usurp that role.

how f***ed up is that? i am inclined to believe that this attitude is what leads to some (not all) cases of abuse. not that all homes that practice this anachronistic-patriarchal model are abusive. but i don't see it as a very large leap to think that when you tell a man that he is the boss and the woman that she is to submit to his leadership because it was "woman who tempted Adam" and all that other nonsense that abuse can occur.

why isn't anyone upset by this line of thinking? that god put men in charge? how back assward is that?

this quote about the abuse is a result of that kind of theology and that is what i find offensive and sad.

Alex F said...

And Rick, holding the complementarian position does not make one a de facto misogynist. And I would argue that cultural leanings could be just as prominent (if not more) in holding the egalitarian position. I suppose the real issue is hermeneutical. But look, I doubt we'll change each other's minds. I like that friends can disagree.

Rick said...

I agree that is fun to disagree. In fact, I don't know where most of my friends stand on this issue. They probably have a nuanced approach and find it a minor issue at best.

Also, I would agree that those holding the "complimentarian" view are not always misogynist. You can hold lightly to such a position and still be a good husband, etc.

But, how one holds it and how tightly they hold it matters, since it is a relatively minor point and Scripturally rife with controversy- so much so that I believe it is not a hill to die on (and it is killing the conservative church).

However, those touting it as of utmost importance, writing large theses on a relatively minor Scriptural presence, making sure it is highlighted in a belief statement, etc. are betraying such a view. At least they are betraying that they are possibly scared of women or have serious cultural or personal baggage (i.e. Mark Driscoll).

I must ask Why would anyone want to lead or go to a conference on Biblical manhood and womanhood when their are matters of actual importance in the world today?

I would say that the issue is not completely hermeneutical because those that think they hold to a foundational approach are terribly inconsistent (just like the other side) with what is contextual, cultural, clear. The literalist still pick and choose (and I do think they screw up as much as, if not more than those with a nuanced approach to Biblical interpretation). Just ask any literalist SBCer, like Ware why the clarity of Scripture on issues like poverty and peace is unimportant and nuanced when compared to issues such as abortion, homosexuality and gender roles. The Bible seems to care much more about poverty or peace than the other 3 combined (and it is not because such behavior was not happening).

The joke is that either side things they are theologically correct with the Bible all the time.

How one lives this belief out tells us a lot. What I would like to see is studies of domestic violence and belief systems, along with stats on geography, etc. That would be interesting to me.

Is there more domestic violence where people believe that a woman is to submit to her husband? That would be interesting to see. I would rather have a sociologist comment on spousal abuse than a theologian.

What I think is interesting is that 2 people can hold 2 different views on a subject and still hold tightly to the inspiration of Scripture. They can either understand that it is not as simple as they have been taught or think they have "the mind of Christ" while the other is either dumb, not as committed, culturally bound, not enlightened or something else.

i think we should hold all such views with a grain of salt and humility, esp. this one.

peace (which matters a lot to me) my friend (which also matters a lot).

murf said...

For what it's worth, I am complimentarian.

I would hazard a guess that most of the spousal abuse that goes on does not come from Christ-followers (no matter what their philosophy of marriage).

I agree, Rick, that one's view of marriage is probably not a hill to die on (though I think it is more important than you). I do not agree that it is a "killing the conservative church." I would also say that simply the statement - "I would agree that those holding the "complimentarian" view are not always misogynist" - is pretty much like saying, "Obama is not a Muslim...as far as I know."

I am around complimentarians day in and day out, have been for pretty much my whole life and seen only one or two instances of what I considered full-fledged "spousal abuse" and the abuse was related more to pride and sin then it was to the specific person's understanding of the role of men and women in marriage.

What I mean to say about Ware's comments was that, it opened the door for a man to say, "see, the abuse is not my fault, it is really my wife's fault."

james said...

Rick Said:

"What I think is interesting is that 2 people can hold 2 different views on a subject and still hold tightly to the inspiration of Scripture. They can either understand that it is not as simple as they have been taught or think they have "the mind of Christ" while the other is either dumb, not as committed, culturally bound, not enlightened or something else."

Well spoken friend. Perhaps what is driving the issue from it's core is not merely their view of Biblical inspiration, but more that God's word must be inerrant. Such a view forces one to operate as though the text is bulletproof and cannot be hermenutically altered to mean anything other than what it states.

Unapologetically egalitarian. And I'm with those far more brilliant than I when they note how close complimentarianism really is to patriarchy.

Awesome work here Rick.

murf said...

James said: "how close complimentarianism really is to patriarchy."

Emphatically, do not agree. Since the relationship of a man and wife is to reflect the relationship between Christ and the church this is tantamount to accusing Christ of "patriarchy" when the marriage relationship is practiced biblically.

In 24+ years of great marriage, my wife and I have disagreed about a lot of things, but never to the point of me saying, "too bad woman, I'll make the decision." Indeed, I think if I were reduced to saying that, I'd think long and hard about it before I made the decision because my wife is much more perceptive than I am.

And yes, I believe the wife is most fulfilled and satisfied when the husband leads.

james said...

Murf,

Very glad that you and your wife have made your marriage work for 24 years plus, and that complimentarianism is a good thing for you both. Congrats man! :)

I wish to disagree with the execution of logic in your argument however. Your premise couches marriage as "biblical" based solely on one interpretation from a single verse in Ephesians 5. I could similarly thrown down verse 21 and in like fashion call this "biblical."

Seeing that Christ was never married and that we have only one written account of Jesus addressing marriage a (on the topic of divorce no less) i don't think anyone can truly accuse Christ of partiarchy, even when attempting to wedge a person into one's solitary perspective of biblical interpretation as you've done here. (Don't worry though, no offense taken ;)

In short, I think complementarianism is short-sighted and fails to properly account for the cultural elements of apostolic times in terms of gender roles, and how to properly employ the radical message of being the "husband of but one wife"

Lastly, as you stated "but never to the point of me saying, "too bad woman, I'll make the decision." Indeed, I think if I were reduced to saying that, I'd think long and hard about it before I made the decision because my wife is much more perceptive than I am...

...And yes, I believe the wife is most fulfilled and satisfied when the husband leads.


This by definition affirms complementarianism as Patriarchy. It may be gentle, loving and excercised with great affection and care. But it is patriarchy no less. And in my humble opinion, this practice does better at supporting the "curse" than it does the redepemption.

Cheers mate. best to you and your wife and hope you are well.

murf said...

Ah...I think I see what the problem is James, our definition of Patriarchy is different.

I am interested though in your interpretation of "Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."

What does it mean (in practice) for the church to submit to Christ?

Brandon said...

I've been up for 36 hours and my wife just gave birth this afternoon so forgive me if this is a little muddled, but I couldn't help but chime in before I hit the hay.

I think there is clear evidence of all three terms in the Bible.

I think they all just apply to different situations.

Take the following two for example...

Clearly there is egalitarian sentiment in the words "neither Jew nor Greek, man nor woman, slave nor free for we are all one in Christ Jesus."

At the same time there is patriarchal sentiment in "so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."

I don't think we need to act as though they are mutually exclusive. Rather I think we should seek the Lord for wisdom on how they intertwine different aspects of our lives.

Even in our culture we accept "equality" and "submission to authority" in different circumstances and in different roles. My rights as a web designing American are equal to that of an American police officer but in certain situations it would be wise for me to submit to his authority.

I think the same holds true in the wide variety of relationships we have within the church - i.e. equality and submission can and often do go hand in hand with each other.

I hope that makes sense. Good night, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite (as my boys would say).