From time to time, I have had my differences with The Gospel Coalition. Most of the differences have been adjectival, but they have been real nonetheless. But with that said, I do want to take an occasion that has recently presented itself to make a point that underscores how much we are on the same team, wearing the same jersey.
Rachel Held Evans just recently tweeted something that needs to be mentioned in order to make the point, and then we need to take a moment to trace the source of her allegation upstream a bit.
Here’s her tweet:
|Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans)|
Let us begin by looking closely at her sentence. She says that I say that unsubmissive women deserve to be raped. For some reason, she maintains that because I think that women should be protected, women who refuse the protection should be punished. And what better punishment for something like that than rape?
And of course, I say (and think) nothing of the kind. The wispy support for this allegation is said to be found on page 13 of Her Hand in Marriage, where I said this:
“But women who genuinely insist on ‘no masculine protection’ are really women who tacitly agree on the propriety of rape. Whenever someone sets himself to go against God’s design, horrible problems will always result.”
So then, I do not say that women who are unsubmissive deserve to be raped. Why would I say that when I don’t believe anything like that? I say that women who reject the protection of men will find themselves, at the end of the day, unprotected by men. This is not what they thought they were signing up for, but the results are destructive just the same. They will find, when their world comes crashing down around their ears, that it is easier to get many men to stop being protective than it is to stop many other men from being predatory. This is not what they thought they were doing (I said “tacitly agree”), but they have helped create a world in which it is easier for unscrupulous men to get what they want than for honorable men to do what they ought.
To turn this into my supposed approval of punishment-rape as something “deserved” is all you need to know about RHE’s mastery of the logical arts. I feel like somebody signed me up to debate both Wile E. Coyote and his anvil.
So then, what do I think unsubmissive women deserve to get? I am willing to say that women who are unsubmissive deserve to have received a better education in reading comprehension than they apparently got.
Now I removed from her tweet her link to an unnamed blogger who is in the grip of an advanced case of clicklust. He offered an open letter to The Gospel Coalition, calling on everybody to fix things pronto. I am not going to link to it, but those who need to know about this probably already do, or can find it easily enough. In this post, he calls upon the members of the Gospel Coalition to form a circular firing squad, and methodically take care of one another, one by one.
In this post of his, an array of men associated with The Gospel Coalition are accused of a long list of dirty deeds. The list includes John Piper, Matt Chandler, Al Mohler, Voddie Baucham, CJ Mahaney, Denny Burk, and of course, me.
What I would like to do here is turn for a moment to address the leadership of the Gospel Coalition, and then take another moment to speak to those who admire these men.
I began by saying that I am on the same team with Gospel Coalition complementarianism. I say that even though I don’t generally use the terminology of complementarianism because it seems to me too much of another -ism. As a friend said to me recently, why can’t we just call it common sense? When men are men, faithful women like it, and when women are women, faithful men like that. Anyhow . . .
In our corner of the Reformed interwebs, one of the points that has been made more than once is that I draw the animus of the egalitarian intoleristas because of the exuberance of my writing. If I would only tone it down, it would become evident that complementarians are thoughtful, engaging people, and that they do not use flamethrowers in debate. But please note. I have been making the point repeatedly that the thing that makes us the enemy is any kind of principled resistance to the sexual revolution. If you do anything other than offer full-throated support, you will be demonized. You can write with as many pastel adjectives as you like, and you will still find yourself in the same cattle car with me, being bundled off to the sensitivity camps. Now I do not mind different styles of opposition to the sexual revolution, and in fact welcome it. But never make the mistake of thinking that our enemies do nuance. In this post that RHE draws her inspiration from, no distinction whatever is made between those who are soft-spoken in their opposition to What Must Come to Pass and those who are flamboyant. What matters to them is simply this — are you effectively in the way? If you are in the way, they will try to take you out of the way, by whatever means necessary.
Second, I would say this to those who love and admire the men on that list. You may be more thoroughly acquainted with some more than others, but here is the takeaway lesson. When you read slanderous accusations against someone whose ministry you know, this should help inform how you weigh that same source when they make accusations against someone you don’t know. The post in question, if you find it, contains a farrago of slanderous nonsense directed against me. Check what you don’t know against what you do. I know how these people treat evidence when it comes to situations I know about, and so that helps us understand what is likely happening when CJ Mahaney gets “the treatment.”