Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Unconditional Respect?

I started writing this comment in the Practical Theology for Women thread Love and Respect but Mostly Respect but it got long. So instead, I'm going to post it here. I somewhat disagree with her and the book she's talking about "Love and Respect" by Eggrichs.

I have used unconditional respect in my work with troubled teens. In most situations it really works.

It is different than respect that you give an authority figure. But it is still unconditional.

The teens I have worked with have been terribly disrespected all their lives. They have been abused on so many levels. And they have little respect for anyone including themselves.

But they respond to me giving them basic, human-dignity respect, regardless of their behavior. They then in turn give me respect that they didn't give to the other 'staff' that is disrespectful.

All human beings respond to unconditional respect. But how do you define respect? There are levels. All women can give husbands basic, human-dignity respect. Even bad-behaving, abusive husbands.

HOWEVER.

There is a level of respect, an authority respect that is reserved for those who deserve it, who act like leaders.

In other words, sure, give husbands unconditional respect. Don't belittle, don't name call, don't roll the eyes etc... Even when they engage in behavior that deserves a huge eye roll. A woman can mostly train herself to be respectful even in difficult situations.

But respect beyond common courtesy that is reserved for those in authority, this respect can be lost. I'm not saying that when a man in authority behaves badly on occasion that all that respect should fly out the window. I'm talking about situations where the one in authority consistently engages in behavior that is demeaning, disrespectful, dangerous and/or abusive (physically, emotionally, spiritually), that man is setting himself in position to lose respect. From God, men, and women, including their own wives. And it is the man's fault for losing it not the woman's fault for withholding it.

A biblical example would be the story of Abigail and Nabal found in First Samuel 25. Nabal acted the fool and nearly got his entire household killed. Abigail did not respect him or his authority when she went to David and called her husband a fool. But Abigail is not held up as a bad wife. She is looked upon as wise, saving many lives, and David's integrity. As a result, she married a man who became a king.

So while I agree with, believe in, and have personal experience with the power of unconditional respect, I know there are limits.

IN ADDITION (another However)

Unconditional respect should not be reserved for husbands.

I know of more than one relationship where it is the man who is the disrespectful one. I know husbands who withhold basic human-dignity respect from their wives. It is the husband who name calls, demeans, and does the eye rolling over minor and even imagined infractions.

I understand that Eggrich says that both men and women need both love and respect. But there is a problem with making the lines between 'respect' and 'love' so thick and so gender specific. It gives men who have issues with respecting women a loophole or excuse. It makes disrespecting their wives easier and acceptable all the while they claim to love their wives.

So, yes. I believe in unconditional respect and unconditional love for both sexes. I also believe that over emphasizing the gender differences in needs concerning love and respect can be disastrous for marriages that suffer from disrespectful and abusive husbands. It can direct men away from meeting their wives basic human need for a little respect.

IN ADDITION (a third However)

One should probably define the word 'need' along with 'respect'.

I believe all people need basic, human-dignity respect just as they need love.

But there are men who believe they 'need' a level of respect that not only goes higher than basic, human-dignity respect. It goes beyond leadership  respect and on into worship.

There are men, and I have met them, who believe that they need 'respect' but their definition looks more like 'worship'. They not only behave badly and crave leadership respect, they abuse and demand a sort of 'worship' respect and honor from their 'underlings'. And they know that they are right and everybody who denies them this worship is wrong. And they use books like "Love and Respect" to support their position.

This is why books like "Love and Respect" that harp on "Respect" while poorly defining the limits of respect give me the heebie-jeebies. These books are gasoline to the fires of personality disorders and emotionally unbalanced people.

Basic human-dignity respect should be enough for all humans, even and especially those in leadership in the Body of Christ. Craving more than that is wrong and leads to destruction.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Patriarchy: a false Gospel

Yes, Patriarchy being promoted as "God's Design" or "God's Intention" is a perverted form of the Gospel and far removed from the actual words of Jesus recorded in the books of the Gospels.

I've said this for a long time. I get tired of saying.

But I don't get tired of seeing others say it. So here is a link to TWW's

Patriarchy and Abuse: Twisted Scriptures


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hero Mom

Move over Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Found this link on Thatmom. And I agree with her. This is my kind of mom.

Dorothy Baker, Punches and Runs Over Man Who Threatened Her and Her Kids.

And why do I bring this up?

Because I am soooooooooo tired of the John Pipers and Mark Driscolls and Tim Challieses*** of the world who hold up their ridiculous ideals of womanhood as soft and weak. I get tired of these men who think women can't defend themselves and must always be defended by a man.

Well, what do you do if there is no man to defend you, and in fact, the one man in the whole story is the one threatening you and your children.

I guess you are just supposed to put tilt your head back, put the back of your hand to your forehead and say, "Woe is me. God made me a soft, weak, defenseless female. Therefore I must submit to the all-powerful male in every situation. After all, this is what my clueless, misogynic, neo-Calvinist preacher has taught me. He has declared unto me that this is God's intention, will, role, and purpose for my life. To deviate from it would be to sin against the essence of manhood and womanhood and by so doing, rebel against the Gospel. Did I say, 'Woe is me'?"

(Forgive the snark. Please understand that it is better for me to do this than to cuss clueless preachers out on what is supposed to be a Christian blog. But believe me, they deserve to be cussed out or snarked out when they teach the crap they do and call it the Word of God.)

(Tim Challies is author of the infamous "Soft, Effeminate Christianity" post I wrote against some time back.)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Resolution Writing. Persuasive but Wrong, III

Page 14 of The Resolution for Men has this paragraph.

"If your wife has been calling the shots in the family and has had her hands on the wheel, then very likely it's because you have not. Regardless of what she does, God has intentionally placed you in the driver's seat and wants you to lead. You need her deeply; but leading is your God-ordained responsibility."
(emphasis theirs)

On page 13 it says, "God's Word commands husbands and fathers to lovingly lead their homes."
(emphasis mine)

Really?
God's word commands husbands to lead their wives?

I'm amazed at how much some men assume what God has commanded, what God intended, and what God has ordained with so little biblical support. Anyone who has been around this argument has, I'm sure, heard this challenge. "Please give me chapter and verse where God commands men to lead their wives/families."

No one had been able to produce that verse. They somehow think that the words of Paul to Ephesian wives concerning submission contains that command to men. The problem is, Paul (and God) are not talking to men there. When Paul talks to men, he uses a four letter word that starts with "L". But it's not "lead". It's "love". Yet this is all it takes for them to jump to the conclusion of God's intention, what God has ordained, and what God has commanded. It is quite a leap. It is a leap these men make with great vigor and enthusiasm, as though they speak the very oracles of God.

Also, according to them, men are commanded to lead and therefore women are not to lead. They are not supposed to be calling the shots, ever. And if they are, that's because men are disobeying God's commands. This is crazy when there is plenty of evidence in the Bible of women leading and God blessing them for it. These women leaders are held up as shining examples of biblical womanhood. But groups that support male-only leadership sweep those examples of biblical womanhood under the rug. They either ignore their example or worse, undercut it and call it a curse (even though God never says this.)

You see, someone reading here might think that I'm opposed to men leading. I'm not. I'm opposed to it being an exclusively male 'gifting'. Good leadership is needed, in homes, in churches. The problem is with how you define leadership and with who is allowed to lead.

I could go on about this, and stumble about trying to make my point on what God and the Bible really teach about leadership as opposed to what The Resolution Guys (TRG) claim. But I've been busy lately and am in need of short-cuts. So I'll leave it to Wade Burleson who has done a wonderful, scholarly teaching on what Christian leadership really is. When you have 27 minutes and 45 seconds, give Pastor Wades sermon a view. You won't regret it.

Only Servants and No Masters

(I hope this video goes viral)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Resolution Writing. Persuasive but Wrong, II

Okay, back to what's wrong with pages 11-13 of the book The Resolution for Men.

As mentioned, they start with a fictional story that is supposed to illustrate an eternal truth, the story of a guy falling asleep at the wheel, the chaos it causes, and the inability for his wife to be a true help meet, at least being able to hold it together until he's awake enough to do what (they think) he's supposed to be doing all the time.

I want to look at this short, inadequate story again.

First off...

Marriage is (or should be) a long trip.

I don't know about you all, but my family takes long road trips. And guess what. One person doesn't do all the driving all the time. We all take turns. This allows people to rest up for their next turn at the wheel.

What The Resolution Guys [TRG] seem to be saying is that the only person qualified to drive/lead is the husband/father. That when he gets tired, that's too darn bad. He's just going to have to suck it up, with no help from his helpmeet and stay awake 24/7.

Now, I understand that this is not what TRG are trying to say. But in essence, this is what they ARE saying. They are saying that only men can lead. If a woman interferes, even by default, it not only doesn't help, it has the potential to make things far worse. And (by God's design according to TRG)the woman can never, ever be in the driver's seat, no matter how long the trip will be. And as we had said before, marriage should be a long trip.

TRG are setting up an either/or, "All or Nothing" as the only possibility for marriage. EITHER the husband is in charge OR the wife is in charge (by default of otherwise). They can not be in agreement and take turns driving, sharing the burden and responsibility. Not according to TRG. According to TRG, Almighty God has placed the man in the driver's seat, never to be relieved when he's tired, never, ever learning how to trust the helpmeet God made for him to take the wheel for one leg of the trip so he can get some much needed shut-eye. The husband/father is denied any Sabbath Rest because he's too busy having the dickens scared out of him over whether or not he is properly leading his family or whether they are headed for disaster because he's fallen asleep from shear exhaustion.

I realize TRG don't mean to be saying this. But they are.

They are saying that the only cure for exhausted wives is for them to dump everything onto their husbands so that their husbands can be overburdened and exhausted instead. They can't share the load. The husband can't come in and take on some/half/a lot of the responsibility and authority. He has to come in and TAKE IT ALL. All or nothing. That kind of thinking can kill a person and can kill a marriage.

And yet, this is what TRG claim that God commands men to do. God commands this of all husbands/fathers. There is no meeting half way, no meeting 40/60 even. It's all or nothing because TRG have made in it into that.

And here I go again, over ten paragraphs. So much for keeping things brief. I think I'll stop here and give a little more homework for those who like that sort of thing.

The Single Story and Structure

You Have Heard It Said Today
In which we look at a familiar "All or Nothing" view of marriage that is common today.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Resolution Writing. Persuasive but Wrong

This conversation actually started on Shirley's blog under one of her posts. I said a few things there but want to say more, perhaps more of the same, perhaps from a different approach, I don't know. I just know that reading a few pages from the book The Resolution for Men has ticked me off again.

In reading pages 11-13 from the Resolution for Men which can be viewed using Amazon's "click to look inside" feature, I'm both impressed with how hard the authors worked to be respectful towards women while persuading men and (possible) female readers of their pet doctrine. If you get a chance to read it, do so, so you will understand what I'm talking about.

I'm equally impressed with the massive amount of assuming they make concerning women and God in those few pages.

First, they tell a story about a guy who fell asleep at the wheel and about how his wife is screaming and can't manage to steer the car long enough for him to wake up and fix the problem he created by falling asleep. They have taken one possible scenario, of one woman who can't steer from the passenger seat, who overcompensates for him and causes the car to swerve off the other way. They make this the single story of all women. Not all women are this incompetent, not even most women. Yet this is a persuasion tactic they use to make their "All or Nothing" case for their pet doctrine.

Speaking the of "All or Nothing" case. Let's take a look at "All or Nothing" thinking which causes some men to come up with such faulty conclusions. One form of "All or Nothing" is the fight or flight reactions to conflict. They have recently learned that this is a masculine response where as a feminine response is more along the lines of "Tend and Befriend".

Gosh, darn it. I didn't mean to get into all of this. I really only wanted to deal with those few pages in the Resolution for Men. I give those writers "A"s for persuasive writing, but "F"s for understanding women and what they need, and "F"s for understanding what God's Word teaches and "Commands".

I guess I'll have to make this a two-parter (or three, depending on how it goes.)

Anyway, back to the woman in their fictional story who can't steer and who is representative of all women to the Resolution writers. They believe that women can't steer, or at least they can't do so in a crisis situation from the passenger seat when there is a man around who is supposed to be in charge. I'm sure they didn't mean to be insulting. But they were insulting by boxing all women in the same package and using this false package as persuasion for the doctrine they are pushing, the doctrine that says as long as men are in charge and stay awake and on duty, everything will be fine. As soon as women get involved in any leadership situation, by default or otherwise, it can only end in disaster. This disaster can only be diverted if men wake up and do their job of being the boss.

There, now see, I've done it. I've barely scratched the surface of what is wrong with pages 11-13 of The Resolution for Men and I have over eight paragraphs with four links.

Tell you what.
If you are interested in what I have to say, I'll give you homework that you can read that will bring you up to speed. First, read the four different links I've given, the one to Shirley's blog and pages 11-13 of the Resolution which can be found here. Then listen to and watch The Single Story on youtube. Then read my reflections ONE and TWO  on the Single Story and how the Single Story affects Marriage and Womanhood.

I know this is a lot of homework and I definitely don't require it of anyone. But those who are interested in this, the homework will make more sense of the things I say and plan to say . Some of it will be review for some of my long time readers who chose to look back over some of this stuff. But if you look at it all and get an overview, you can get a better grasp on what is going on here and how wrong those few pages of The Resolution for Men really is. They really have gone to a lot of trouble trying to respectfully convince people of their doctrine. Too bad it is assuming so much that is just plain wrong and not Biblically supported.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Remember the Movie Tootsie?

No?

Am I exposing my age when I confess that I saw it in theaters? (I was still a kid/preteen/teen? My mom took me.)

Oh well, what does it matter? "A Woman's Freedom in Christ" has an interesting clip of Dustin Hoffman talking about it:

Dustin Hoffman on Tootsie and Society's Expectation of Women

Take a peek when you get a chance. He had an epiphany that helped lead to the making of this movie.

Friday, July 5, 2013

WTH Critiques Driscolls' Sex/Marriage Book

Actually, it's not a full critique.

As he mentioned, there have been plenty of overview critiques and much of what was said doesn't need repeating.

However, detail man that WTH is, he has stumbled upon an oversight of sorts that has been missed by some of the overview critiques. It may not seem like much. But in light of what Mars Hill wants to be, what it actually is, and what it has done in order to put forward the fa├žade that it presently has... this sort of thing is good to be aware of for Driscoll watchers and critiquers everywhere.

Real Marriage, Chapter 7-- Grace and Disgrace

Good Catch WTH (that's short for Wenatchee The Hatchet, not WHAT THE H***!?, which is what I usually say when looking at the latest shenanigans from the Driscoll camp.)

As has been said before, The Saga Continues.


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Trust Her or Control Her?

Partnership or Possession?

Kristen from Wordgazer's Words has left a comment under my last post that I don't want people to miss. So I'm going to copy and paste it here for you all.

"Good link there, and good points. I have become convinced that possibly the most foundational motive and driving force in male-female relations throughout history has been the desire of the man for certainty that he is the father of the child the woman bears. Since a woman's biology guarantees certainty of what children are hers, and a man has no such certainty, he has two choices-- trust her, or control her. Culturally men have overwhelmingly chosen the latter. The easiest way is to make the woman the property of the man and to enforce the strictest possible regulations to keep her womb exclusive to him. When Jesus came living and acting as if women were people and not property, He upended the whole system. Institutional Christianity has done its best ever since to regain and hold the cultural status quo."

I added the bold type to certain words.

Another phrase from the Bible, "Perfect Love casts out fear".

The love that humans have for one another is flawed and full of fear. Men who cannot trust women will either abandon them or try to control them.

Jesus did neither. He simply loved them.