Monday, February 21, 2011

Men Defining Sweet for Women

This blog is called from Bitter Waters to Sweet because one of its purposes is to deal with the bitter issues facing women and how they can move from a place of bitterness to a place of sweetness in the Lord.

There are many obstacles in the way, but I want to focus on one in particular.
One of the major obstacles is when women let certain men define what sweetness is for women.

We touched on it in the past in my dealing with the Song of Solomon and one man's determination to make a verse from a woman's point of view all about something that many men like, in particular what he thought would be sweet for a woman to do for him. Since it is pretty much R rated, we won't cover it again.

But now I've found another place where a man has decided to define 'sweet' for women. I mentioned this man in the previous post. His name is John Piper and there is a link to a video of him talking about what a woman's submission to an abusive man would look like.
Around the two minute mark of this video he begins to model a very sweet speech that he expects a woman to follow if her husband is pressuring her into gross sin. It goes like this.

Honey, I want so much to follow you as my leader. God calls me to do that and I would love to do that. It would be sweet to me if I could enjoy your leadership. But if you ask me to do this, require this of me, then I can't. I can't go there.

Rather than allowing a woman a natural, angry response to a man pushing her into gross sin, she has to detour and talk about wanting him as her leader, enjoying his leadership and even saying that it would be sweet for her to enjoy his leadership.

John Piper does not allow women to be human and react against men who are hurting them. They can't be honest and say, "You are hurting me. You are sinning against me and God. You are hurting yourself. You are being selfish and self-centered. Stop it! Stop it now! Get out of my house and out of my face until you repent from your wicked ways..." or any other of a number of normal, healthy, angry, human responses to blatant wickedness.

No, he doesn't allow a woman to do that. If she does that, she is going against God's plan of joyful submission. Instead, she is to tell him how sweet it would be if she could enjoy his leadership.

Is it sweet for women to enjoy the leadership of men?
Piper doesn't know. He's never lived it. He can't attest to it.
All he knows is how sweet it is for men to have submissive little wives who are trained on how NOT to be honest and open about their own pain and how NOT to confront blatant sin in a man who is abusing them.

I'm sure this is a very sweet deal for men.
But they should not make the mistake thinking that if something is sweet for them, this automatically makes it sweet for women. It doesn't work that way. No matter how much Piper wants it to work that way, it simply doesn't.

Let me tell you one thing that, as a woman, I have found to be sweet. It is sweet for women to have the freedom to be human and have healthy human responses to gross sin and abuse. What is sweet to women is having the freedom to be honest about their pain and how bitter things really are. Then once a woman has the chance to deal with her bitterness and with what is causing the bitterness rather than have to lie about it, bury it, and worst of all, call it sweet, she can sweep away male definitions of sweetness and male expectations and turn to God Who offers true sweetness.

Sorry Piper. You have no authority to define sweet for me or any other woman.
But my God is intimately acquainted with me. And as Jesus, He has experienced the oppression of men and has even died at their hands. He has known my bitterness and more. And He knows what true sweetness is and how to make my bitter waters sweet.
He has the authority in this, Piper. Not you.


Mara Reid said...

For people who like Piper visiting here, let me tell assure you that I know that not everything he says is evil.

In fact I stumbled on a video of him speaking about womanhood that I found to be quite encouraging so I'll put it here.

What he says in the above link, I have no problem with. But what I quote in the above post is really awful and I wish he would admit it, educate himself on abuse, and learn how to really help the oppressed women in the world.

I'm not holding my breath, but I can dream, can't I?

JaneDoeThreads said...

LOL you know I've not heard nor listened to Piper, I don't bother, reading what others have quoted verbatim is bad enough [or his quotes in writing], but coming from a secular view on this,

he reminds me far more of Larry Flint, so now that's what I'll term him, and other's like him,

the Larry Flint's of Christiandom with their house full of playboy bunnies, sweet and all cute like,


But seriously, that IS what it is, Islam does the same but with rape/violence,

the Flint boys of Christiandom, do it through brainwashing and drug indoctrination through chants and sweet sugar poison,

it's the same thing however, in the end

the female body is trashed, dumped in the mass grave of submissiville and the Flint boys are off to hunt for new prey.

Yep, that's about right,


Mara Reid said...

In this case, with Piper and Driscoll and the FLDS who are always telling their women to "keep sweet" it is more of the trashing of souls.
They want women's souls airbrushed and glossed up. That's the version of women they want to see.
They say they are all about truewomanhood but the truth is, they promote a false womanhood that has nothing to do with the truth.
And women everywhere need to wise up and realize that as long as they let men define them and what their emotions and reactions should look like, they will never escape the pretty facade/prison and they will never be real. They will be fake and nothing like what God created them to be.

Women need to be true to what their Creator made them to be. No man has the right to redefine after his own small vision or slanted understanding of the Bible.

JaneDoeThreads said...

Mara, it's the Bacchus cult, in these ultra patriarchal fundie APOSTATE churches, do some reading on the Bacchus rituals,

""It is possible that Dionysian mythology would later find its way into Christianity. There are many parallels between the legends of Dionysus and Jesus; both were said to have been born from a mortal woman but fathered by a god, to have returned from the dead, and to have transformed water into wine. The modern scholar Barry Powell also argues that Christian notions of eating and drinking the flesh and blood of Jesus in order for individual followers to feel Jesus within them was influenced by the cult of Dionysus.""

it gets worse, you know how churches use music to whip people into frenzy, check this out--esp in regards to Women

these teachings, e.g. Piper, are fertility cults, aka Rome style, well they go back to ancient B.C. too,

this is where, Discernment and a lot of prayer I think is direly necessary, and casting off, the things of world, being sober, this is where I am strongly advocating being earth centered, sober, how do Female plants/animals act and are treated? They do not self debase

there is Reason for why is it, the Churches, who claim God, are teaching self debasement sexually to Women? It's worship of the phallic, man as center, where does God fit into this? Life, females plants/animals give life/ with strength,

what is being advocated, is a temple whore persona, through pulpit pimps.


Mara Reid said...


I'm actually familiar with Dionysus, but admittedly not with any ritual associated with him.

I learn about the opposing forces in art, Apollonian and Dionysian.

And If I had applied it to what Piper was doing, I would have applied Apollonian because he was looked upon as the god of "dreams, reason, and plastic visual arts." And what I see Piper doing with women is turning them into plactic Christians or plastic art to be looked at, seen and rarely heard.

But like I said, this is an art philosophy and has nothing to do with ancient ritual.

Have to go, but it will be interesting to ponder this further.

Mara Reid said...

Made it to you Wiki link and the first thing that jumped out at me was the painting Bacchus by Caravaggio.

I did a paper on Caravaggio in my Asthetics class back in college.

But anyway, I did read both your links and plan on reading the Wiki one again following a few more of the links.

More below.

Mara Reid said...

As far as the rituals, part of me wonders if it has more to do with the fact that this cult passed through the Greek culture which was terribly misogynic, more than the cult itself.

Apollo, even though he's supposed to be the god of light and structure also tried to rape some woman who turned into a tree so she could avoid it.

Neither god could be held up as beneficial to women, but then, they were both Greek and both misogynic. They both put women in bondage on either end of the spectrum, through rigid structure or hedoistic, wine induced madness. And both sides try to give off the impression that they 'free' women, but they lie. They have no power to free women because they hate women. And as you point out, I see both creeping into Christianity giving women the worst of both views, rigid, boxing in structure that boxes up her femininity and wild, intoxicated self abasement that exploits her femininity.

Neither of these belong to Christ and should never have been given a foothold in the church.

JaneDoeThreads said...

still thinking on your last reply, some interesting theories as to Caesar and the creation of Christianity out there--anyway,

on this, just something that came to mind,

""Apollo, even though he's supposed to be the god of light and structure also tried to rape some woman who turned into a tree so she could avoid it.""

In Rome, during what was NT times [contrary to the myths we've been told] it was very common for any non-Roman woman to be raped repeatedly as slaves, if they resisted they were crucified,

I believe this punishment for slave class was also common in ancient Greece as well--as slaves/including women had zero rights to any human integrity and were raped at will of the Greek, master,

so, this story screams allegory to me, the rape of the gods [as they did deify the rulers of both Greece/Rome] and the tree representing 'preferring to resist/and be crucified' rather than be raped in temples or in homes, etc. This is why martyrdom, for women slaves,

was preferable, to a life of submitting to constant rape, eyes gouged out, hands cut off, numbers tattooed in forehead if they ran away, etc., and That is, historical FACT. So the whole women submit and be chaste and pure in Bible [Paul] is pure crap--that ONLY applied to Roman citizens of that time--women that is, any non-Roman woman was purely, nothing more, than a sex slave, who in no way, would be believing she was chaste and pure--hell she couldn't even Marry, that was LAW. [only in later Rome could slaves marry, in some areas, and then the children were still property of the Roman citizen house--this goes for Jerusalem as well, why the Jews hated them so much as did the rest of pagan slaves.]


Mara Reid said...

I'm also thinking about a lot of this. We are definitly coming at it differently.
This is not a bad thing.
We are seeing different views of the same things and how they are still influencing today.
I've got a post brewing on the Apollonian/Dionysian thought process, coping mechanisms and western thought.
You are going after the deeper roots. It's not the same, but it is related and they touch and overlap.

Mara Reid said...

Jane: "so, this story screams allegory to me, the rape of the gods [as they did deify the rulers of both Greece/Rome] and the tree representing 'preferring to resist/and be crucified' rather than be raped in temples or in homes, etc. This is why martyrdom, for women slaves,

was preferable, to a life of submitting to constant rape, eyes gouged out, hands cut off, numbers tattooed in forehead if they ran away, etc., and That is, historical FACT."

Was thinking about this last night.
You know, there is a scripture in Isaiah that says something along the lines of a people sitting in darkness will see a great light.

Sometimes with Bible stories, we make them more innocent than they are because the raw facts of them are too ugly to face, especially at first.

Like you said, the parts in Ephesians 5 that apply to wives does not apply to female slaves. It was so dark in a time and place of the deepest darkness, Greek influenced Roman culture.
And because our culture is so influenced by Greek and Roman, we don't want to see how dark it really was.

It could be very true that God choose one of the darkest times and places, ever, to send His Son. And Paul writing to slaves and masters was dealing with this evil and deep darkness, even in attitude.

Yes, the best thing for slaves was for them to be free. But the attitude against them was so deep and so dark, Paul had to deal with it, even among practicing Christians. They had to be retaught how to think about their fellow human being because they couldn't even see their fellow human being as just that, a fellow human being.
That is the deep darkness the God is fighting. And that is the darkness we still have to deal with today.

Mara Reid said...

I've been looking into Norse history and Mythology lately and it was noted that even though the Norse had slaves, they treated their female slaves pretty good in comparison. I wondered how that could be. A slave is a slave. But what you tell me about Roman slaves makes me see how this was, indeed, possible.

JaneDoeThreads said...

We have to remember Mara, the Bible as we have it was written by 'not even around documents' in 300 A.D., decades later, by men who were OF that same Roman Empire, who cleaned up a lot on one hand, and who also, took the resistance of the then in 60 A.D. Jewish Christians, who were what WE know historically, resisting Roman Empire, not embracing/it,

so, a lot of what is recorded [said to be] by Paul, I have to say I am in high doubt of, and I think it explains the wide gap of differences between OT and NT. However I'm finding that archeologists, many of whom are Jewish or Christian, are finding that the same use of 'revising' stories was done in OT as well, such as in Solomon and King David. History doesn't line up with the stories, it appears the Jews were the oppressed, slaves, not the rulers and kingdom, not on the size that the stories tell,

and I, wrestling with this, have only come to once conclusion, that This was the mystery, that these were allegories, that were Spiritual, though the reality was completely different, which yes would tend to align more with Gnosticism, however I think what we have of Gnosticism even [docs they have written in 100 A.D., again way later] were also polluted by Plato-Greek types,

so, you know there's just not enough Accurate history, that wasn't written by PTB of Empire, that was truly from Christians themselves. What we Do have, is so tampered, revised, forged, is just unreal, but Historically, in the time of 60-70 A.D. the ONLY women who would even be Literate or have Any rights to synagogue much less any temple, Greek or Roman, would have been the Noble Roman Citizen rich. the conquered slave, the Jew [slave] who women, were sex slaves IN CHRISTIAN HOMES, in Rome, Roman Christian men OWNED women slaves and they were sex slaves

so, yea, I don't know, I tend to take it with half and half, take what truths I can glean, and dump the rest...and I think, this is Really where, reliance on the Holy Spirit comes in, it is scary because it shakes the very foundations of our faith--these truths that are more and more coming out, and it's Possible, the Jews then, the Slaves, used stories, through passing of word, that were fictional, to spread a deeper message, I tend to think this is the case,

and why the Bible, historically has been proven on many points to be false--they were stories, allegories, that carried a much deeper meaning. the heart that Loves, Chooses to Love, I think, sees it, the literal, never

in fact, maybe that was the Tree of Knowledge as we know it--who knows, I don't know, just saying, there is enough reasonable Doubt, that begs to be seriously, questioned. This is why I don't follow any literal interpretations anymore...not only that, they simply do not work.



JaneDoeThreads said...

On about the dark times, I think the changes were already taking place, due to the creation of one world Empire under Rome, even prior to the teachings [said] of Jesus [many of which we know historically were also stories/parables of other pagan beliefs who were Also slaves of that region], the key is in the name Jes-US, JEWS-US, anyhow,

I'm studying the four gospels [not even written during life/time of Jesus, not only that, some of the towns didn't even Exist in Judea until After 300 A.D., historical fact] so anyway, I'm studying them, from a perspective of a subversive slave, [have to get into a lot of post-exile/history to do this, Judaic] and I see a LOT of parables that line up with the horrors of the Slavery of that era, which makes me wonder. I truly think, the letters of Paul [many forged, revised, by Jeromy] if they were even Truly letters of Paul, of which I highly doubt, were revisionist attempts to create a NEW Hellenist Empire of Rome after Constantine took hold. They needed to rid of division, and pull the various sects, both Christian [and they were numerous of themselves/many mixed with paganism] and the old, Babylonian, Egyptian, Druid, Greek, because Rome enslaved them all, and make them into One religion.

Rome was advancing some, in marital laws [the parable of adultery], you know Judaic/Mesopotamian laws all allowed polygamy just like in Islam today, in fact the laws of Islam WERE the laws of that region then--Rome, wanting to curb the number of slave babies born/in master houses, changed marital laws, disallowing Polygamy, that was Prior to Jesus. Historical FACT. This was to prevent another Spartacus revolt. that's just ONE example of hundred more,

so, yea, and I think Jewish influenced Christianity Does see this, a lot, where as Western does not--I lump it to being a being fed a very strong whitewashed version of Judaic-Rome history, under the con-spices of Roman Catholicism which was the Pagan religion of Rome, the worship of the sun [fact], the Egyptian influence, another fact.

This in no way however, means God isn't in this...I just think, it means that there is a mysticism that we tend to not believe in the West that they do tend to believe in more in the East--and maybe the East is right,

though I don't know like THE answers, but I will concur with you, that this I do believe was a type of Spiritual Evolutionary process, in KNOWING truth, eventually, what John called Revelation, would come about,

and that, I think, the war is really, what is Inside of ourselves. The kingdoms, heaven or hell, is what is INSIDE of us, by our actions, choices and desires...but, I'm still sifting through all of this, so,

for me, I like having Something literal to hang onto, for security, this is the part I do NOT like, about what I am finding in research, that and thousands of findings and views, there is one thing, that keeps me from chucking God altogether,

from being just a creation of 'man' and that is, the treatment of women, even the atheist, rule over women/misogyny, just like Genesis says. That, odd as it is, is what keeps me, believing--that Yes there is a God, and if there is a God, there is a Jesus

now I just wade through man's bunk--

Jane said...

"John Piper does not allow women to be human and react against men who are hurting them. They can't be honest and say, "You are hurting me. You are sinning against me and God. You are hurting yourself. You are being selfish and self-centered. Stop it! Stop it now! Get out of my house and out of my face until you repent from your wicked ways..." or any other of a number of normal, healthy, angry, human responses to blatant wickedness."

Mara, you've hit the nail on the head. Why do these same men not teach men how to be sweet?

They teach women to submit to tormentors like those pictured in Isaiah 51:21-23 NIV "Therefore hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine. This is what your Sovereign Lord says, your God, who defends his people: 'See, I have taken out of your hand the cup that made you stagger; from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, you will never drink again. I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, who said to you, 'Fall prostrate that we may walk over you.' And you made your back like the ground, like a street to be walked over.'"

This reminds me of the pastor I heard who told women to submit, but not be a doormat. Yet, the submission teaching requires women to be doormats, because anything else would not be "sweet."

Additionally, their insistence that women be sweet, ends up making them despise women for their weakness. So no matter what they do, women do it wrong. If they are sweet, they are despised for weakness and taken advantage of. If they stand up for themselves, they are labeled with various "sin" descriptions.

You are so right, Mara, for women sweet is the freedom to stand up and refuse to be defined, boxed in, deceived by men who want power and prestige for themselves--at the expense of women.