Letters are Better Than Fetters

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The Boz

Re: Denhollander and Boz I’d like to see you apply the principles of rules-of-evidence and due-process to your statements against Boz’s previous execution of his office (such as it is, and wherever he got it) and character. Qualifications: 1) We live in an age where I need to say that the above is not sarcastic or passive-aggressive in the slightest. I’d genuinely like to see it. 2) I don’t expect application of principles to be mirror-symmetrical. Something something mutatis? 3) My sins are such that I’m much more likely to hastily conclude against Boz than for him. 4) My sins are also such that I like to know much more about such things than I have a right to. That said, it seems that if a negative statement can be declared publicly, its supporting evidence can be as well. 5) I understand that something which can be declared is not necessarily something that should be declared. Thanks for your work, dear brother. Warmly,

Keith

Keith, when our controversy a few years ago “hotted up,” a number of random Internet warriors began declaiming against us, denouncing not only what they assumed had happened, but also against our character, etc. Boz was one of them; he joined right in with all of this. He was deaf to private entreaties, and as I said in the post, those efforts ended with us receiving the threat of a lawsuit.

Even if he says that his intention was to bring about an “objective investigation”—as he is currently saying about the SGC situation—this is not to the point. It is like saying that the “health department really ought to test the quality of the city pool, but in the meantime I might as well continue to pee in it.”

My concern is with the statement: “We cannot assume we live in a time when sexual abusers can simply be handed over to righteous civil authorities.” (Please note from the outset that I am not referring to anything that happened at Christ Church where I understand the civil authorities were told.) It is undeniable that there are miscarriages of justice where the innocent get put through the wringer. It’s also true that we can look askance at the moral integrity of the justice system. But I am not sure that there is a more cautious way to proceed that doesn’t expose victims to substantial risk, and that can adequately bring additional past offenses to light while preventing future ones. Things I learned from a ringside seat at the priest scandals have shaped my views. Sexual offenders, who are often sociopathic, are extremely plausible. It is extremely difficult for ordinarily nice people to see beyond the mask. Parents who have acted unwisely in allowing access to their children can fend off guilt by retreating into denial. People who have invested love and trust in one another in the most important part of their lives, their church, may be paralyzed with disbelief, or conversely, they may become fiercely partisan and add to the victim’s misery. I think it is a rare church where people are skilled in recognizing symptoms of abuse and the characteristic behavior of child victims—who may tell their stories in pieces, who may wait years to tell, and who may retract under pressure. The police and the DA may be far from perfect, but it is hard to see how a group of untrained but well-meaning amateurs will be more successful in stopping a child sexual predator in his tracks. Some of the stories I have read where victims were forced to offer forgiveness to their abusers in a face to face meeting were very disturbing—especially when the matter was deemed to be settled. No going to the police and no bringing up again. I can’t think of a surer way of emboldening an abuser to commit fresh crimes. Yes, the justice system can get it wrong. But that doesn’t deter us from reporting parishioners who may have committed other heinous offenses. If I saw my neighbor standing over her husband with a bloody knife, I would call the police before I told anyone else. If I had credible evidence that she was running a child sex trafficking ring, I wouldn’t feel I needed to approach the church before turning her in. I think there need to be penalties for people who file malicious and false reports. But when a major felony may have been committed against a child, I don’t think churches can responsibly decide to evade the police and the courts by handling it extra-judicially.

Jill

Jill, not only do I not differ with what you are saying here, but I sympathize with it deeply. You are exactly right about the scenarios you describe. But here is a hypothetical (but not far-fetched) different scenario—Family A discovers abuse of their five-year-old going on and they call me. I tell them to call the cops, which they do. The cops arrest Perpetrator A. CPS visits the family, and request an interview with the child in private. Despite misgivings, the family gives permission. CPS discovers that the parents discipline through spanking, and place the child in foster care. Family A is now in a pitched legal battle with CPS. In the meantime, because we warned the church about Perpetrator A, Family B discovers that he had done the same thing with their three-year-old. They also are a spanking family. They are trying to decide whether they can even risk telling me. Now what?

“I was being mature, so I held off from calling him the Wizard of Boz.” Apophasis much?

James

James, well, not a whole lot.

I have one issue with a statement made here: “Sometimes it means taking a pounding because a sexual predator has professed repentance and wants to attend your church.” The problem with this, is professed repentance is easy. 2 Cor. 7:10 shows there is a sorrow that leads to life, and a sorrow that leads to death (it may have the appearance to true repentance, but is not). 2 Cor. 7:11 continues on to show some of the ways we can identify true repentance: “See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.” I wish I could bold the “Readiness to see justice done.” [Did it for you, DJW] Here’s the thing. My son might cry and say he’s sorry for hitting his little sister, apologize to her and to God. But then he might get angry when I follow through with not letting him play video games for the next 24 hours (or what have you), I see his repentance is not genuine. He is not willing to see justice done Against Himself. If a sexual predator, someone you wouldn’t trust alone with your children, is unwilling to turn him/herself in and endure the consequences of his disturbing behavior, because of the crushing weight of guilt they are NOT experiencing, that is a sign the repentance is not genuine. If they want to quietly integrate into the church with no one the wiser aside from their ‘accountability partner,’ that is a sign of taking advantage of the system, of the cheap forgiveness they purchased, which could very well open the door for them to have access to more children. I knew a lady who was a druggie, who was saved. When she started to get her life together, debtors she had been dodging found her. And she was HAPPY. She was glad to face the consequences and start paying off her monetary debts. After seeing that, there was little doubt in my mind of her true salvation. Although the Secular Civil Authorities are corrupt in many ways, (like in the days of the Roman Empire when Paul appealed to Caesar, and Jesus when was unjustly killed for our sins) we as Christians should be willing to do what is right even when it is to our own hurt. And God is still Sovereign, and carries the government on his shoulders.

Cheryl

Cheryl, absolutely right. Paul says this: “For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar” (Acts 25:11). I would not receive anyone into membership who was trying to evade responsibility for anything he had done, even if the evasion techniques were perfectly legal.

Honest question from a minister on the ground. I generally take the approach that I will work as hard as possible to keep the children in our ministry safe, and also to keep my name above reproach. I hate child predators and will gladly toss them to the civil authorities, corrupt or not. But I have to say that if I am ever falsely accused of sexual impropriety, I am fully prepared to resign and walk away from the ministry that day. I am called to the ministry and will spend the rest of my life growing the kingdom of God in some form, but preserving my family and our reputation is far more important to me than any specific job. The current hostility to ministers by inside folk like Boz, and even by folk on this very board at times, combined with the fact that most churchmen are simply far too cowardly to face the secular forces against us makes me think that I would not have the support necessary. I have been told by at least 5 other ministers that they have the same attitude. Are we wrong for this approach? Sometimes I feel like this might be the cowardly way out, but at present far too many of our Christian elders are more concerned with placating secularists, who openly hate Western culture, than protecting innocent ministers. The fear of being accused of protecting predators by RHE and the leftist Nazis in the media for standing up for due process is too much for most of American Christianity. I would happily push back against something like if I thought it would be worthwhile. At present I don’t think it would be. Am I wrong for having this attitude?

BJ

BJ, I understand the attitude, and I think you are right about how the leadership of the modern church generally is more interested in peace and quiet than in biblical justice. But if we are in the battle, this is what the battle is like. And I am not sure about walking away “for the sake of your family.” I am not sure they would let you walk away, and besides, sometimes the best way to protect those you love is to turn and fight. There could be a way of walking away that demonstrates that our secular age found your breaking point, just like they found the breaking point of cowardly temporizers a lot earlier.

Darwin Stuff

Re “Who Wants to be Post Darwinian?” The statement “It is striking that postmodernists never want to be post-Darwinian” seems both untrue and unhelpful, in that it cuts Christians off from a large group of potential allies. There is a massive industry within the postmodern, cultural-Marxist, SJW movement devoted to hysterical denial of the basic scientific facts of human biology, heredity, and evolution, i.e. to the view that humans are magically exempt from the Darwinian processes observable in the rest of the animal kingdom: see especially the ruthless efforts to shut down any assertion (or even discussion) of the biological basis for human sexual differences (as rooted in some billion-odd years of evolution, from the Darwinian perspective) or the biological heredity of human intelligence and personality traits. During the current phase of our spiritual warfare, any honest Darwinian atheist and rationalist is going to find himself in the position of the character Angus MacPhee, from the C.S. Lewis novel That Hideous Strength: fighting alongside the followers of a God in whom he doesn’t himself believe, against a system of lies and indoctrination that is as fundamentally irrational, unscientific, and unnatural as it is unchristian. Best regards,

Jonathan

Jonathan, actually I agree with your analysis here, except for the part of how making my point in some way “cuts us off” from such allies. After all, Ransom’s views were absurd to MacPhee, but MacPhee was still with him. A modern example would be Jordan Peterson, who is a Darwinist (see below), but who is not hostile to Christians, and Christians are not hostile to him. We differ, but I think we understand the differences. And while I grant that the radical egalitarians are denying some of the consequences of Darwinism, they don’t deny the root. We need to challenge them to deny the root.

Inconsistent?

I read with interest your piece on Rachael Denhollander. Very good as usual. At one point you appealed to the Proverbs, “He that answereth a matter before he hearers it. . .” and “He that first in his own cause. . .” Very right and proper and important to remember in our current cultural climate. However, I think this is a thing you stumbled into yourself a few weeks back when the Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee released their memo. I intended to write you at the time. I was troubled for two reasons. That there are illegal and unethical goings on is to be expected. However, to pass judgement as you did before a response has been given and while so very many facts are still unknown to us seems the height of folly. In fact, Trump repeatedly blocked the Democratic response from release and when it was released, depending on the reader’s prior commitments, it could be understood as significantly undermining key claims of the Republican memo. So it seemed to me your hasty and strong response was wrongheaded on two counts: You answered before all the facts were known (which in this case may prevent us from ever commenting on the case). And you answered before hearing both sides, basing your conclusions on just one sides account. In spite of my differing opinion on this issue, I enjoy your writing and appreciate the why you help me think. Keep it up.

Martin

Martin, thanks. Let me first say that what you allege is an ever present possibility when talking about national controversies. I grant the principle applies even there, in other words. But I thought I knew enough from other sources to be able to say what I did, even though both memos had not been released. But had the Democratic memo contained a real surprise, it would have been my responsibility to retract and apologize.

Obamacare

Dear Doug: I don’t know if you’ve been following this, but Idaho appears to be at the forefront of fighting against ObamaCare. https://wp.me/p3Oxl5-sM Not everything the state is pushing is promoting liberty, but for the most part whatever y’all are putting in the water seems to be working.

Bill

Bill, the water is all natural and that is why it is so healthy.

Belated Response to the Wim Wams

I just sent “Woke With the Wim-Wams” to my mailing list with the following introduction: “This will make you shout. As powerful a presentation of the gospel as you will hear. It leaves today’s attacks upon it helplessly exposed and useless. This will not only break your chains, but set your feet a’dancing! Read, remember and believe.” Thanks, Doug,

Robert

Robert, thanks much.

Housekeeping

I share Seth’s website problem and I am on Chrome.

Matt

Matt, very sorry. Others . . . are there any Chrome users out there who don’t have a problem accessing the site?

“Check the Back Seat” My family and I were wondering what the joke was supposed to mean.

Anna

Anna, whenever there is a cartoon, make sure you click on it to open up the post. Sometimes the caption doesn’t show on the front page.

Trump Is Still the President

Keep Jehu in office as long as possible to keep the slaughter going. We can always elect a Solomon years down the line to build the temple with less, red-, er . . . blue-stained hands.

Patrick

Patrick, so to speak.

I thank you for this. From the beginning, the character in the Bible which Trump mirrors most has been Samson. Like Samson, Trump is morally compromised, not the kind of man you want your lovely Jewish daughter to marry. Like the Jewish leadership of that time, the Pubbies have been in cahoots with the Philistine Lords who rule the Democratic Party. Like Samson, Trump held out the hope that he would be a disruptor. And, so, he has been. And so he promises to continue to be a disruptor. He is running against the Republican party every bit as much as he is running against the Democrats. Our Heavenly Father, whose love of irony knows no limits, has given us (i.e. we orthodox Christians) a Samson to provide us some wiggle room. Will we recognize Samson for who he is and what he is doing? So far as I can see right now, the verdict has yet to appear.

Bill

Bill, right. We need to focus less on what Trump is doing with God, and more on what God is doing with Trump. This is not an ordinary situation.

On Plodcast last night you mentioned a little diddy about Trump being accused of being Hitler, but also being asked to take away all of our guns. You stated you couldn’t remember where you saw it. I believe you were referring to a Babylon Bee article.

Todd

Todd, thanks much.

Pastor Wilson, Examples of choosing the king via democratic process are not so plentiful in Scripture in contrast with, say, God hand selecting through one of His prophets. As such, so it is not obvious to me that we should always select our President based on our traditionally accepted conservative Christian parameters of evaluation (look where it’s gotten us). I am not big on the principle of voting for the lesser of two evils either. I much prefer to write in or not vote in protest of bad choices. But as I ponder the question you put forward (“would’ya vote to re-elect Trump?”) here is another evaluation principle worth considering: vote for the one that God seems to be presently using for His purposes. In other words, would a reasonable rationale for which a conscientious believer could vote for Trump be that against all odds, and much to our consternation, God seems to have placed Him in power and is using Him for His good purposes. In light of that, and without a compelling reason to believe things have changed, we should keep the ball rolling, and confirm God’s consternating choice. Thus, our vote is not, “I love this guy and want to re-elect him,” but rather, “I think God intends to keep using Him, even though it makes my skin crawl.” What do you think?

Joseph

Joseph, yes. I think that is precisely the question we should be posing. I haven’t answered it for myself yet, but I do think we know enough to see that it is the question.

Peter Leans In

“. . . the feminist mind starts by banning AR-15s, and ends by banning anything that might, in any possible world, remind them of one. The liberal mind starts by saying that it is ‘common sense’ to keep guns out of schools, but they always end by expelling the kid who ate his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun.” Wonderful clarity! Except for knowing something about the origin days of Pop Tart, one would think that that was a direct quote of GKC. Might one quibble ever so slightly with using the term “lean in?” The term occurs often in that specie of feminist cant that you regularly challenge. Hearing a man say “lean in” generates a cringe similar to that created by a reformed pastor mis-over-using (thank you Mrs. Malaprop) “gender” to avoid even an implication of antithesis, instead of the incisively correct word “sex.” “Lean in” is solemnly invoked by feminized oh-so-woke males these days. That may be redundant but woke-ness is one heck of a virtue signaling moving target. With or without the wim-wams. “Lean in” seems like another Trojan Horse Term with a surface semblance of straight-forward meaning. But once dragged inside the gates of our thinking, it empties its enemy occupants to pillage any law abiding ideas milling around unarmed in there. Forgive me if this is a “frivolous Friday” complaint, if the critique doesn’t pass Wordsmithy etymological review, or if the irony of pigs leaning in slipped right by. Keep up the enjoyable good work,

Peter

Peter, in my deep desire never to join all my Reformed brethren in becoming one woke sister, I promise that I will try to do better.

So am I to understand that good Christian men are cowards for following the bad teaching in the church and they need to have the courage to defy their wives, their pastors, and their culture? You have just made the ultimate argument for MGTOW, which I am sure was not your intent. How about you doing something courageous for a change. Start blaming women for becoming the tarts and harpies. They weren’t forced by society into this role. They need to be admonished to start exercising biblical submission in their marriages instead of being placated with all the things submission does NOT mean. Every pastor who preaches on Ephesians 5 these days is basically cowering before the women in the congregation, “Relax, ladies, submission doesn’t mean you are a doormat, it doesn’t mean your opinion doesn’t matter. Please don’t hurt me.” I am so tired of the celebrity pastors telling men to “man up.” I am so ready for them to “man up” and start confronting the tarts and harpies in their congregations to knock it off already.

Mitch

Mitch, cowering before the ladies is really bad. Running away from them is worse. The former call it servant leadership and the latter call it going their own way. And, just curious, how did the words tarts and harpies first get into this conversation? Who uses them, and words like them?

Men should be trained to ask their prospective wives if the prospective wives are willing to submit or not. The husband will agree to sacrifice for his wife and her children, and the wife will agree to respect her husband in all things, which includes his headship of the family. She will agree not to lecture him, and not to instruct him. If she is not willing, then the man in question should move on. He can go his own way in celibacy, maintaining his hard-won freedom, until such time as he finds a woman who is willing. That is extra hard these days given the disaster of feminism, but it is better to be celibate and free, than married and enchained.

Joseph

Joseph, there are more options than those two, but given those two options, you are exactly right.

As I live through the wreckage of this fatherless epidemic, both personally, as my dad left when I was 9 (I’m now 41), and as a teacher in the city where the vast majority of my students have no fathers in the home, I wonder if there’s any sort of precedent we can compare this to. Do you know if losing darn near 3% of the male population during the Civil War had any sort of similar ripple effects leading into the 1900s? As always, thanks for your faithfulness.

Andy

Andy, I think our situation is worse. It is not just the physical absence of a father that cripples boys. If his father died in battle, honorably, in a very real sense a boy still has his father. But if a father deserts his family because he found somebody cuter than his wife out on the east coast somewhere, the situation is devastating.

In the wake of the destruction of healthful relationships between the sexes, both sexes are pressed into worse behavior. Reacting to the “hookers or harpies” dilemma, a large and growing group of men have decided to just blow off the whole “building a cooperative relationship with women” idea. The MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) movement is the growing secular answer from men who won’t capitulate to the feminist trap. They point out, and in the absence of God are quite correct, that the current secular idea of marriage holds absolutely nothing to the benefit of men, so why exactly should they be interested in volunteering to be a doormat for women? With the abolition of real marriage, nobody gets what they need or want.

Justin

Justin, I agree that they are avoiding one feminist trap, but only by falling into another one.

In the circles I run in (PCA), servant leadership has consistently been defined identically to your definition of masculinity, that is “the glad assumption of the sacrificial responsibilities that God assigned to men.” What that means to me is clear leadership without lording it over my family or flock, no bluster or intimidation. That includes leading by example, not from behind.

Douglas

Douglas, I am glad it is presented that way in your circles. I am not concerned to quibble about words—servant leadership is great, provided a man really has a servant’s heart, and provided he really leads. But the phrase has (in circles other than yours) a phrase to cover for cowardice.

Re Masculinity: You have beaten this drum often, and I heartily agree. However— although you seem to acknowledge that Abigails exist—I have not seen your advice to them. By Abigails I mean the wives who fear the Lord, who gladly embrace Biblical womanhood / submission for themselves and Biblical manhood / leadership for their husbands. But their husbands are fools, perhaps not in every area, perhaps not to a degree that would serve as grounds for divorce, but nonetheless in crucial and heart-breaking areas. And these Abigails have sought the Lord, and searched their own hearts, and sought counsel from trustworthy individuals. What do you say to the Abigails among us?

Let me give some examples. Husband is in chronic pain but refuses to go to the doctor. Husband embitters children by harsh treatment, not enough to call child protective services, but enough to create significant relationship barriers and destroy the peace of the home. Neither of these is grounds for divorce, but should the wife just submit?

Laura

Laura, on some things she should just submit (e.g. the back pain scenario). On the harsh treatment issue, that is the kind of thing that should go to the church leadership. But with that said, you are right. I need to write more practical help for the long-suffering Abigails.

Jordan Peterson

How much are you paying attention to Jordan Peterson? Have you listened to any of his lectures, especially the psychological interpretation of the Bible ones? Do you plan on reading 12 Rules? I would be very interested in seeing you interact more with things he’s said.

David

David, I do plan to interact some more. I am listening to 12 Rules now.

Re: Masculinity without Permission That last paragraph about Peterson echoes something I’ve been thinking for the past few months. I like Peterson’s way of doing it better than the church’s way of not doing it. We should try and emulate his courage and obvious penchant for stating hard truths compassionately before poking holes. The article also reminds me of my own cowardice in several areas of my life. So thanks for that. I think :P As an aside, your “Kill the Dragon, Get the Girl” theme helped inspire my children’s book, so thank you for that and the first Wordsmithy that I had the pleasure to attend.

Matt

Matt, thanks.

Masculinity without Permission-possibly the best article of yours that I have ever read! BTW, I really enjoy Jordan Peterson. He speaks to this often. This exchange between him and my favorite lesbian/atheist Camille Paglia is really enlightening. Begins at 1:40 ish but the whole thing is good. Many Thanks,

Nat

Nat, thanks. There was no link though.

“Jordan Peterson is not a Christian. That’s right, he isn’t. So why is he sounding more biblical than you guys? The fact that he is not as Christian should not be the foundation of your argument. It should be the foundation of your embarrassment.” Dang. That’s good.

Chris

Chris, thanks very much.

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-BJ-
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-BJ-

sometimes the best way to protect those you love is to turn and fight.

Duly noted, and much appreciated. Thanks for the response.

adad0
Member

Hey BJ,

It does turn out, that if we are not picking up flak, we are not over the target:

Matthew 5:10-12
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

This happens to our host all the time. Right before our very eyes!

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I know it happens to Doug alot, and I also understand that being in the fight means, you know, fighting. But a soldier doesn’t take a hill alone, and if his fellow soldiers are more worried about offending the enemy, sometimes a strategic retreat is justified.

I agree with Doug, staying to fight in a case like that is probably best, but honestly I am not alone in feeling like the PC culture in so much of American Christianity makes us wonder how much support an innocent minister would have if he became a media lightning rod.

adad0
Member

BJ, when this type of thing “drops out of the sky” on you, the odds do look long. The odds looked long for Jeremiah, Jesus, Stephen, Paul and many other witnesses. My experience is, that you still offer your truthful witness, regardless of the odds! You also find out who your Lord is, and who your true friends are. As for friends, I am blessed with many! Quite likely even you BJ, if we ever happened to meet! ????

BillyS
Member

The problem I see is that he keeps taking pot shots at his own side while he runs up the hill. That makes it much harder to be fully supportive, especially if we are too busy ducking from his friendly fire.

Justin Parris
Member

“Justin, I agree that they are avoiding one feminist trap, but only by falling into another one.”

Oh, please don’t mistake me for endorsing the movement. I was trying to point to the feminist trap being lose-lose even for themselves.

JP Stewart
Member

One reason Jordan Peterson is popular is that he’s bold enough to take on anyone, including the most rabid, violent SJWs outside of Antifa:
https://www.dailywire.com/news/27891/watch-sjw-protesters-besiege-jordan-peterson-talk-james-barrett

Meanwhile, Christian leaders like Russell Moore and Al Mohler are busy #nevertrumping and softening their stances on homosexual orientation:
http://baylyblog.com/blog/2017/07/homosexual-orientation-just-time-gospel-coalition-and-al-mohler-arrive-wrong

I’ll stick with the guy who’s willing to go head-to-head with the barbarians.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
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The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

I’ll stick with the guy who’s willing to go head-to-head with the barbarians.

And that right there is THE reason why Trump, despite all his faults, was elected.

Justin Parris
Member

Or, at least, the perception of that is why he was elected. On some days, depending on his mood, he decides to help the barbarians. That’s the trouble of electing someone without a concrete ideology for themselves. They have no discernment for what a barbarian is.

JP Stewart
Member

The same is true for every other president or nominee for the last umpteen years:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/lgbt-opponent-advocate-mccain-stands-firm-defense-bill-n593036

Justin Parris
Member

Sure, the difference being McCain didn’t run as, and isn’t called, “the guy who’s willing to go head-to-head with the barbarians” as the basis for why he should be supported.

JP Stewart
Member

“Sure, the difference being McCain didn’t run as, and isn’t called, “the guy who’s willing to go head-to-head with the barbarians” as the basis for why he should be supported.”

Nor did Trump…until maybe an hour ago.

Trump and Peterson are very different, but both are hated by the PC/SJW crowd. Trump didn’t run on this idea per se, but the fact he didn’t kowtow to them (unlike most neocons) appealed to many people.
http://claremontindependent.com/social-justice-warriors-are-the-reason-donald-trump-exists/

Justin Parris
Member

Then someone ought to have told the significant number of Trump supporters I’ve spoken to since early in the primaries who made exactly that argument for why he was the best choice.

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
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The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Or, at least, the perception of that is why he was elected. Then why was he elected? Do tell. On some days, depending on his mood, he decides to help the barbarians. So? Even Reagan occasionally helped the barbarians — when he raised taxes in 1982, and when he signed the disastrous Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. You can’t deny the fact that Trump goes head-to-head against the barbarians far more than he helps them. How many times have we been told that Trump was finished, that he was done for, after some “gotcha” moment the barbarians thought… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“Then why was he elected? Do tell.” The sentence you’re asking this in response to is itself answering your question. I’d be happy to go into more detail in a way you would prefer, but I would need you to ask a more specific question. “So? Even Reagan occasionally helped the barbarians — when he raised taxes in 1982, and when he signed the disastrous Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.” And the hero worship of Reagan is also harmful. Though there was significantly less danger in throwing your support under Reagan as he was ideological. You could reasonably… Read more »

The Commenter Formerly Known As fp
Guest
The Commenter Formerly Known As fp

Justin, it might be a good idea to back up a bit here so that we understand each other. From what I understand, you’re not a Trump-supporter, and didn’t vote for him. Is that correct? Do you believe that conservative evangelicals should not have voted for Trump, primarily because he’s a) on his third marriage (adultery), b) some of the comments he’s made (“grab ’em by the pussy”), and c) he doesn’t appear to be a Christian? In other words, were evangelicals morally obligated to not vote for Trump? Is it your contention that we would have gotten better leadership… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“From what I understand, you’re not a Trump-supporter, and didn’t vote for him. Is that correct?” I didn’t vote for him, though whether or not I would be counted as a Trump supporter depends on your definitions. I end up defending him more than criticizing him, though the more die hard Trump supporters tend to think that I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. “Do you believe that conservative evangelicals should not have voted for Trump, primarily because he’s a) on his third marriage (adultery), b) some of the comments he’s made (“grab ’em by the pussy”),… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Good comment Justin. I would caution you on tarrifs though. While I in general favour free trade (in goods not IP), the situation is more complicated than many claim. China has done well by keeping its money low and bringing in cash even though the received wisdom is to have the dollar valued by the market. And conservatives like Buchanan favour a degree of protectionism. I don’t think that this can really be portrayed as anticonservative, especially when some of the wrong “conservatives” oppose Trump on this.

Justin Parris
Member

I think there are a variety of good reasons to impose economic penalties on China, just not the ones that are currently being given. Given the way China treats its people, I wouldn’t oppose a total embargo on China. The anti-conservative portion is when they argue that the government needs to interfere in the economy in order to get people jobs. A steel tariff isn’t going to invigorate the steel industry any more than a computer tariff would invigorate the typewriter industry. On international political grounds, there’s a great argument for putting pressure on China. That’s just not how it’s… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Justin, I don’t really want to talk about the specifics of tariffs. I am too ignorant. Currently I favour free-trade, and if it turns out that free-trade is better for the poorer country than the richer I am okay with that.

Some have argued that tariffs act like a tax, and as taxes go, tariffs may be better than income taxes (especially progressive taxes).

My point was merely that being protariff is not necessarily anticonservative. I wouldn’t use it in your arguments about Trump.

Justin Parris
Member

That depends on why it is that you’re protariff. My father wants to move to tariffs over income taxes. I find that to be conservative neutral. The most common argument in the last few years is that the government needs to provide you with a job. That I find to be about as anti-conservative as it gets.

bethyada
Member

Providing a job and facilitating the environment where jobs are likely to grow are distinct. I don’t think the government should provide jobs. But immoral laws that decrease jobs should be removed, and amoral laws that facilitate jobs can be considered.

But my larger point, it is not necessarily anticonservative.

Justin Parris
Member

” But immoral laws that decrease jobs should be removed, ” Immoral laws should be removed, but a law decreasing jobs does not in and of itself make it immoral. Though this rather cedes the premise that free trade reduces jobs at all. As is consistently discovered whenever protectionist tariffs are put in place, that’s not how it works. You don’t get a boom in related jobs, the market shrinks because they now can’t afford that product. You could use this rationale to claim almost any government interference policy is “conservative”. “Minimum wage laws only exist to remove immoral practices… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Agree with much of this. Laws to keep obsolete jobs in play is not conservative.

Though it is slightly more complicated. The rate of change also matters.

BillyS
Member

I take it you are referring to just about every politician in recent history, and a few back farther than that. We are not electing a pope here (and many would be repelled at that idea anyway), why do we expect them to act like that.

Jesus and Paul were both quite harsh in their day and writings as well. Modern Christians forget that at their own peril.

lndighost
Member

That second link reminded me of a bit in ‘The Brain That Changes Itself’ where the author says (very quickly so no one would notice) that human sexuality is not hardwired but plastic. That is, sexual preferences are not innate but shaped by experience. He glossed over it so quickly that I had the impression he’d rather not have put it in at all, but perhaps some feeling of duty to science made him include a mention of it.

Armin
Guest
Armin

Jordan Peterson resonates with young white men because 1) young white men are typically the product of broken families and indifferent or absent fathers who did not prepare them for adulthood, 2) young white men have grown up under a system that has hated them their entire lives, and 3) any sense of true belonging and community and nationhood for young white men has been pathologized by the cultural elite who see such perfectly natural human impulses as a threat to their power. It’s truly disheartening to see so many Christian white men gravitating to Peterson as a stand-in father… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Armin, I largely agree with your assessment, especially number 1. But I think Peterson is appealing to a more narrowly defined group than you assert. The boys and men to whom Peterson is appealing are those who do not have that sense of belonging and community (number 3). But there are many, many young white men who actually do have that, and much of it comes from their church community, though not all. I can point to three groups: young Mormon men, young men in conservative certain reformed/baptist communities, and young men in upper class white communities who find that… Read more »

Armin
Guest
Armin

I certainly agree that not all young white men are atomized, but the particular groups you are talking about are intentionally counter-cultural, that is to say, they see themselves as a tribe (though they would never use that word) pushing against the attitudes and norms of a hostile mainstream. Most people don’t possess the level of agency and contrarianism necessary to form and maintain such tribes in the face of the kind of subversion and corruption our nation has been subjected to. The fact is that the majority of white men do not belong to such tribes, and therefore, having… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Completely agree, especially this: “Most people don’t possess the level of agency and contrarianism necessary to form and maintain such tribes in the face of the kind of subversion and corruption our nation has been subjected to.”

That is where the hard work comes in.

Cane Caldo
Member

On “Masculinity without Permission” (Taken from my comment here [ https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2018/03/08/harkening-back-to-the-golden-age/#comment-261657 ] and repurposed here to give you a chance to respond. (I first mistakenly submitted this as a letter rather than a comment.) You did not have to write,“Now this is the point where, in normal times, if I were not writing in a culture that was not so well-advanced in its pathological condition, I would hasten to add that masculinity was not bluster, bullying, self-seeking aggrandizement, abusive behavior, and so forth. I would qualify against the counterfeits. All that is quite true, but I don’t want to emphasize… Read more »

princeasbel
Member

A-freaking-men. I second everything Cane Caldo has said, Doug Wilson.

I’d also like to know if you are willing to go on an Internet webcast like The Bible Thumping Wingnut to talk about the topic of servant leadership (or the general topic regarding the famine of masculinity in the church), but not just to talk about it, but to field questions about your position on servant leadership from callers?

Justin Parris
Member

“You did not have to write,“Now this is the point where, in normal times, …….”” Yes he did. It preemptively removes the rebuttal that he’s a defender of abusers, an unjust accusation from which he must defend himself perpetually. It seems most of your complaints revolve around not noticing *why* he’s including the text that he is. “You must at least take a swipe at “toxic males” on your way to talk about all those other bad preachers out there who preached the wrong servant leadership and not the good servant leadership you really meant all along.” Yes, he legitimately… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I agree with you, Justin. I’ve been on this board long enough to know that if Doug doesn’t explicitly tell husbands not to batter their wives, the Internet with light up with flashing banners: “Redpill pastor Doug Wilson advises men to use their fists to show who’s boss.”

mys
Guest
mys

Jill-
This is truly all pointless, though. We have to know that there are those who lie no matter what. Doug needs to speak the truth, and that’s it, and let the chips fall. Certainly a good Calvinist would do that! He doesn’t need to hedge his language to provide his enemies, who hate him and smear him anyway, evidence that he isn’t such a bad guy.
News flash to Pastor Wilson, and all here: You’re a conservative Christian. They hate you, and some of them wish you were dead. Literally dead. Proceed as appropriate after learning that.

Justin Parris
Member

” He doesn’t need to hedge his language to provide his enemies, who hate him and smear him anyway, evidence that he isn’t such a bad guy.”

As I’ve explained, he isn’t doing that. He’s providing evidence to the people who might hear the smearing, not those who speak it.

“Doug needs to speak the truth”

He is.

BillyS
Member

And they don’t now?

Cane Caldo
Member

Justin, You believe that these jukes, and jabs against bad men, are effective. They are not. They are nothing more than the evidence that someone has cleaned a pig. Doug Wilson wouldn’t still be seen as a troglodyte jerk by feminists if you were right. But he is, and so you’re wrong. Truly: You are just wrong. You don’t understand neither what drives, nor what confounds, feminists, lefties, sluts, commies, or any of the other ideological perverts and degenerates. Regardless, you might find this helpful. (Link is: https://dougwils.com/books-and-culture/s7-engaging-the-culture/113526.html#comment-202228 ) “From this side of the screen, here are three* bits of… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“You believe that these jukes, and jabs against bad men, are effective. They are not. ” How do you measure this? Do you have record of how Douglas Wilson would be perceived if he said things differently than he does? “But he is, and so you’re wrong. Truly: You are just wrong. ” Declaring a conclusion is not the same as making a coherent point. How are you measuring his success or failure? That he is still slandered? Of course he’s still slandered. The question is in how far reaching the effect of the slander extends. That’s not a data… Read more »

BillyS
Member

It preemptively removes the rebuttal that he’s a defender of abusers, an unjust accusation from which he must defend himself perpetually. How many charges has it stopped? I would bet none. Such disclaimers are ultimately useless. Those who still disagree will argue as if it was never said. Ignore the anklebiters and preach the truth. It isn’t that hard to understand. I have been working against the tendency I have to start with a disclaimer. It never gets heard and it just weakens the point. Those who dislike the point will dislike it no matter what I say. That is… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I understand your point, and I agree. I tend to weaken my own arguments with too many qualifiers and on-the-other-hands. But one thing I would bear in mind is that Doug is writing as a pastor, not merely as a blogging layman. He has a higher level of responsibility to try to ensure that his words are neither misconstrued nor used as justification for abhorrent behavior. Whether or not he succeeds in pre-emptively defending himself against accusations, I’m sure he cares even more that no one find permission in his words to conflate authority with abuse.

lndighost
Member

Interesting that ‘blaming men for everything’ is the pattern you find. We’ve had plenty of feminists here absolutely convinced on the basis of Doug’s writing that he hates and oppresses women. A problem I have with your desire to emphasise the culpability of wives is that it undermines your point about headship. God created Adam as the head of Eve but when she sinned, he didn’t stop her and even participated with her in disobedience. Eve was guilty of eating the forbidden fruit. Adam was guilty of eating the forbidden fruit, and he was also guilty of allowing his wife… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Or, as Shakespeare put it, “Women will fall when there’s no strength in men.”

lndighost
Member

Shakespeare puts it better, as usual!

Oh, she knew well / Thy love did read by rote, that could not spell.

Justin Parris
Member

As Stan Lee put it, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

BillyS
Member

Except men don’t have the power anymore, it has been given to women by almost everyone, including many “conservative Christian leaders.”

mys
Guest
mys

Jill-
That’s exactly what I mean. Women fall when there is no strength in men. Really? Women are never bad on their own. Ever?
If so, we need to reinstitute the Patriarchy. Strong fathers who marry their daughters off to strong husbands. We wouldn’t want the little dears to fall, you see.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Mys, that’s a good point, and I think Shakespeare meant it generally, not specifically. I think a culture of weak men produces a lot of pathology; so does a culture of unvirtuous women. Lack of strength and lack of virtue feed off each other. I believe that it is a rare circumstance in which a woman is truly not to blame for her unchaste behavior. I grew up in a time and in a religion that taught me explicitly that I am responsible for guarding my chastity, that men will want to have sex with me (back in the day),… Read more »

BillyS
Member

Glad you recognize that Jill. Tough to convince most though, even those in Christian circles. Many Christians want empowered women who are vulnerable to every little thing.

Fried ice is not possible, no matter how much it is desired.

Justin Parris
Member

Spot on. This is what I was alluding to with “Responsibility and authority go hand in hand”. If you’re in command of the house, you’re responsible for what happens in said house. When command is looking for who to blame for a ship going down, they look to the captain.

mys
Guest
mys

Except that often, the captain is not responsible for the ship going down. In fact, had he been listenend to, none of the ship going down would have happened. It’s double-speak, and we know it. If we really believed this, then we would remove the ability of women in society to vote and unilaterally divorce. I am being serious and not trolling. If we did those two things, women would really be depending on men. But these things I know are true: 1) If we did those things society would be better 2) These decisions are opposed by women 3)… Read more »

Justin Parris
Member

“Except that often, the captain is not responsible for the ship going down. ”

And on a case by case basis, this can be evaluated. The text in question wasn’t speaking on a specific case however, so the liability inherent in having authority gets acknowledged.

Not sure why you bring up women voting or divorcing, as it isn’t particularly germane, but my response would be that even if we took your conclusion that it would make society better as assumed, liking an outcome of a legal decision isn’t on its own a justification for making it.

mys
Guest
mys

My bringing up those other issues was totally germane.
If men and women all vote in an election, and women overwhelmingly vote in a certain candidate, who wins, then what? Men are responsible, except that women voted in someone else? No, the women voted in who they wanted to.
It’s about accountability. If in this world we are going to give women the same rights as men, and we do, we need to hold them to the same level of accountability, and we don’t.

Justin Parris
Member

“Men are responsible, except that women voted in someone else? No, the women voted in who they wanted to.” The authority structure of the family unit is not the same as the authority structure of the public at large. Further, your example twists my position from placing responsibility to the specific man in charge, to placing responsibility on “men” in general in a large and abstract way. Who, for example, is responsible for an adult unmarried woman who has moved out of her parents’ home? Obviously many such women vote and are included in your example, but are not at… Read more »

mys
Guest
mys

About unmarried adult women, sure.
But it comes down to this: If the husband is in authority as the captain of his home, and he has a rebellious first mate (wife) who won’t get in line, what is to be done? You know as well as I do. Nothing! If he does anything, he is abusive. If he doesn’t and she destroys the marriage, then it’s on him. He’s the captain, and accountable.

Justin Parris
Member

“f the husband is in authority as the captain of his home, and he has a rebellious first mate (wife) who won’t get in line, what is to be done? You know as well as I do. Nothing! ”

Which is covered under my answer when I said “on a case by case basis, this can be evaluated.”

mys
Guest
mys

Case-by-case.
Why, below, when I called a man leaving his wife for a thinner woman a “cultural lie” everyone got up in arms? There, we were willing to make blanket statements. Men do that, and we can’t question it.
Here, when I say that some men have rebellious wives, then you pull out “case-by-case basis.”
Do you see that? Do you see how when men are at fault it’s broad brush strokes, but women’s faults can be treated on an individual, case-by-case basis? Case-by-case, as in, it’s not the norm?

Justin Parris
Member

Are you asking me to defend an argument I didn’t make or endorse?

mys
Guest
mys

Nice side-step.
You didn’t endorse, but you didn’t condemn, either.
So am I drawing incorrect conclusions, in your view, or am I on target?

Justin Parris
Member

What side-step? I legitimately didn’t see what point you were trying to make. If that was my lack of understanding, I apologize.

I didn’t endorse or condemn because I wasn’t very interested in the topic. “Cultural lie” is such a difficult to quantify thing to begin with, arguing over it’s truthfulness seemed a waste of time. On the whole, I get the impression that you have the right of it in that conversation. Though I don’t like expressing an opinion with such a void of data I trust about infidelity in men.

Jane
Member

It’s not a cultural lie if no one claimed it is the only, or primary thing that happens, and it does in fact happen. No one made the former claim.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Could we find a middle ground? Can we go back to Leave it to Beaver? Mom votes in an intelligent and principled manner, thinking of what is best for society in general. Mom, like June Cleaver, could earn her own living if she had to, but is willingly staying home to care for her husband and children. If Dad leaves Mom for a prettier model, everyone will shame him and he will pay through the nose on support. If Mom walks out on Dad for any reason other than adultery or physical abuse, she doesn’t get spousal support and she… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

If only! Since it’s almost impossible to get Christians to think that way, much less behave that way, what hope is there for the rest?

Jane
Member

Maybe “almost” impossible, but not impossible. I could name quite a number of couples of my acquaintance who function just that way, with the occasional misstep to be expected in those in whom sin remains.

OKRickety
Member

Jane,

That’s good to hear. Knowing that I would have difficulty being a good husband and the beliefs of most women today, I’ll expect to find a unicorn sooner than I would find a woman I would be willing to marry.

BillyS
Member

Jill, We can never return to that world, partially because it never really existed and mostly because the world that was in that time led directly to the world we are in now. We would just repeat the cycle. I am stuck paying my exwife monthly Spousal Support (Texas doesn’t have alimony you see) for several more years just because she was married to me almost 30 years. She made up claims to many others (especially to her family and our church), but nothing with substance and nothing legal. She nukes things and gets paid for it. She thinks she… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m sorry you’ve had to go through all that. I grew up in the 1950s, and it was amazing how many couples seemed to muddle along fairly happily. I think they had lower expectations of personal happiness and of each other. My darling mother is 98. If I suggested to her that my father should have been more attuned to meeting her emotional needs, she would think I was crazy. She would say, “Dear, your father was a MAN.”

BillyS
Member

Mys,

Remove the right for a woman to blow up a marriage and benefit at the very least. Any woman walking from a marriage without strong proven adultery or abuse (not “allegations” or such, including “he yelled at me”) should get nothing. It would still be bad, but that alone would remove the incentive to nuke something to keep the benefits while ignoring the responsibilities.

It is easier to get out of a marriage than a car lease, and a woman can get rewarded for the former!

OKRickety
Member

BillyS, The church should also be teaching that all legal disagreements between Christian brothers should be dealt with by the church rather than the civil courts (1 Cor. 6:1-8). Assuming divorce requests are lawsuits (they are in my state), then the church leadership should be judging the divorce case first. If they agree with the divorce, then the civil courts can be involved but only as absolutely necessary. Some church denominations do, in fact, do this, at least in some cases. It is interesting that the majority, I think, of people want to be married in the church, but, when… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

The problem with this is that nothing would stop a woman who got an unfavorable ruling from her church from then appealing to the courts. And if she offered evidence that both her husband and her pastor were colluding to keep her in a marriage she claims is abusive, I expect the civil courts would take her side with a vengeance. Even a woman who wants out of a marriage but has no real desire to financially punish her husband may find that hard to avoid unless she can be self-supporting. If I had found myself in position where I… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

That’s true, of course. It would only work if the woman were willing to accept the church leaders’ ruling as binding, and I suspect that would be unlikely if she is willing to break her wedding vows. Now, in that fantasy you proposed earlier ….

Nate
Guest
Nate

Justin- “Spot on. This is what I was alluding to with “Responsibility and authority go hand in hand”. If you’re in command of the house, you’re responsible for what happens in said house. When command is looking for who to blame for a ship going down, they look to the captain.” If a husband is in command and all responsibility lies with him, including the acts of those underneath him, it follows that he should have the final say over everything as well as the ability to discipline as he sees fit those underneath him should they get out of… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I’m not Justin, but even if I agreed with you about whether it is legitimate for husbands to discipline their wives, I am not sure that the law of the land would be on board with anything more forceful than raised eyebrows, complaints, and reminders. If a wife doesn’t care about church discipline, the vows she made, or maintaining the sanctity of the home, a husband’s only genuine recourse is ending the marriage. Ultimately there is no legal way to compel compliance from a wife determined not to give it once she has reached the point of not caring what… Read more »

BillyS
Member

Where does it say Adam was guilty of his wife’s sin? God said he was guilty of listening to the voice of his wife, but nothing holds him accountable for her sin. That is a very serious difference from what is written and is really bad doctrine.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Let me assure you that ministers get an equal dose of bruised wives and drunken slob husbands wigged out on porn, as we do feminist usurpers of male headship.

Being on a blog or comments section allows you be blindly one-sided. Being in pastoral ministry doesn’t.

If you think Doug freakin Wilson is too soft on feminists, you need to recalibrate your scales.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

Churches have one-hundredth of a problem with blustery, bullying men than they do with wimps cowed by their wives. Do you actually have any evidence of this statistic? I can’t speak to the whole American church, but from a minister in an actual church doing actual ministry, this has not been my experience. I work in a largely white, semi-rural part of the country with predominately Trump supporters (including myself, for the record), so maybe this is a geography thing. But honestly, families in my part of the country are fairly screwed up due to opioid and alcohol use, infidelity,… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

BJ, “Do you actually have any evidence of this statistic? I can’t speak to the whole American church, but from a minister in an actual church doing actual ministry, this has not been my experience.” I suspect he has no evidence for the “statistic”. However, I don’t think you do either. Your response is purely anecdotal, and includes no claim regarding the “statistic” as you perceive it. From your experience, what do you estimate the “statistic” to be within the church? Is it possible that your “statistic” is skewed, because you base it on “what comes through your door”? On… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

OKRickety, I was intentionally being anecdotal. I never claimed to have any statistics beyond my own, but then again I am not making any claims about the church as whole, but simply about my experience. I even acknowledged that it could simply be a regional thing. I suspect churches in California and Oregon and New York have totally different problems with which to deal. I also never said anything about the definition of abuse, but I can say that I have made it clear to more than few wives that, no, they can’t leave their husbands for being a jerk… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

BJ, I am curious about these matters because of the claims that are made. For example, some Christian(?) women’s blogs blow up when this issue is raised. Reading these, one would suppose that at least 50% of women are being abused and, if some women weren’t afraid to tell the truth, we’d know the actual number is 90%. And this is all because all churches preach nothing but patriarchy and the leaders enforce it. I am a preacher’s kid and have asked both of my parents about their knowledge of abuse in Christian marriages. Their response was that it was… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I really don’t know about the prevalence of violence in the American church as a whole. Actual violence that I am aware of by active members of the church in good standing is pretty rare if mostly nonexistent in my church, but it does happen. Usually, folk who are domestic abusers won’t get that deep into a community for fear of being caught, so we sometimes get abuse victims who land in our office from outside the community. The bigger problems we have in marriages in the church are sexual sins (such as porn, infidelity, and involuntary celibacy), drug and… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

It’s nice to see you recognize involuntary celibacy (for one partner) as a sin. Few do.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

This is far more widespread than most people think. Men are usually too embarrassed to admit it to anyone. When I have marital counseling sessions, one of my first questions is how their life in the bedroom is going. Usually, by the time they get to my office, it isn’t, and I have never had a single example where the man stopped sleeping with his wife. It has always been the other way around. Anecdotal, yes, but it is still very lopsided. What is worse is that the man will often turn to porn in response. Untying that knot is… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

BJ, “This is far more widespread than most people think.” Yes, it is, but why? Firstly, because Christian leadership is extremely reluctant to recognize it as sin, secondly, because even if they do, they are seldom willing to publicly teach this truth, and, thirdly, because they almost never take action against the sinner. In short, it may be the biggest elephant in the room when Christian groups claim to deal with marriage problems. A non-elephant is the claim of how almost every Christian men uses porn. “When I have marital counseling sessions, one of my first questions is how their… Read more »

Adrian Nox
Guest
Adrian Nox

Would someone please care to explain how involuntary celibacy is a sin? I’d be very interested in seeing the Bible passage where God condemns a woman choosing not to have sex with her husband as sinful.

JP Stewart
Member

“What is worse is that the man will often turn to porn in response. Untying that knot is hard.”

Yes, the two issues are often related, but practically never hear about it from the man’s side. Instead, we get one-sided takes like this, where everything is the man’s fault:
https://gentlereformation.com/2017/07/20/a-high-view-of-marriage-includes-divorce/

Agree with him or not, it’s easy to see why guys like Cane Caldo call these things out.

OKRickety
Member

JP, That site has terrible formatting in Internet Explorer 11. And no site search. Technology is wasted on some. I notice that although the site lists its authors (all male), that article was written by a woman. As you say, this article is no exception to the usual one-sided approach to who is at fault in marriages. She only gives lip service to the idea that a woman might have fault. Since it had no site search, I tried using Google to see if I could find anything about withholding sex as a corresponding sin. I couldn’t find anything but… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Nothing about withholding sex. It does have gems like this, though “Deliberate and repeated porn use is at least (as bad as) adultery, regardless of whether there is repentance at some point.”

I’ll never defend porn–even for sexless husbands–but to imply it’s worse than adultery (because it involves more people and could possibly promote sex trafficking, etc.) is quite the stretch. It’s the old selective Sermon on the Mount interpretation. “Lust = adultery = get out of marriage free card”..but no, we won’t talk about “anger = murder” because I’m angry at my husband/ex-husband all the time!

bethyada
Member

This was a reason for divorce in Israel. The Rabbis did not like to grant divorce so they told the wife that they would remove (part of) her dowry. (This is what I have read).

I am not certain we have anything to address this other than tell women that Paul says that this is not acceptable (1Co).

Doug warns Christians not to have sex if they are out of sorts, which in general seems reasonable, but with a problematic marriage the couple can be out of sorts indefinitely.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

It is considered gravely sinful in Catholic moral teaching to deprive one’s spouse of “the marriage debt” without good reason. They could have found a nicer way of wording it.
I think that there are a lot of conditions that can make women lose interest in sex, especially as they age, and there needs to be a willingness to look for solutions. I don’t count “you bore me” as one of those conditions.

OKRickety
Member

BJ,

Thanks for the response. It fits with my perception that such abuse is far less common in churches than some claim. I suspect that many cases are marriages where Christian women have married non-Christians (note: some claim Christianity but are only checking a box). There are often consequences for sinning i.e. being unequally yoked, but the church should still help as much as possible.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think we would be stunned to discover the amount of physical violence initiated by women. Most men will not report it to the cops, and I am sure that many won’t report it even to their elders.

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

I would argue that physical violence is more prominent, in terms of numbers, from women. The reason we focus on male violence is the lopsided potential for serious harm by men. Peter calls them the weaker sex for a reason.

OKRickety
Member

BJ,

That doesn’t fit what I’ve seen from studies, but, again, thanks. I understand the difference in degree of potential harm, but that does not excuse those who refuse to admit the truth that women do this or, as is common, claiming they only do this because their husband did it first. It’s like saying it’s wrong to steal $1000 but it’s okay to steal $10.

BillyS
Member

How many of those men would ever read a site like this BJ? How many regularly attend church? I am betting the numbers are low on both. The woman knew that before hand as well and a woman who knowingly goes into trouble is far more responsible for her plight than otherwise. Why give any blame to men in general for such cases, especially those who read sites like this or who attend churches like the one Doug Wilson pastors? But the real question is whether you are actually doing anything in real people’s lives to fix these problems, or… Read more »

-BJ-
Guest
-BJ-

How have you helped a single man like me in your entire life? I bet never.

That is pretty presumptuous of you to assume something about a person you have never met. It is also egregious, because it is wrong.

mys
Guest
mys

Come on, Doug, the idea that men are leaving their wives for cuter women elsewhere is such a cultural lie. I expected you to know better.
I am a fatherless child/product of a broken home. My dad was not, and is still not, perfect. Guess who filed the papers? Guess who wanted out, and never wanted to be there? Not my dad.

bethyada
Member

It’s just an example. Doug needed an example of a man leaving his family to compare to a man dying (indirectly) for his family. He needs some example to use. Choose another example if you wish, the point is that derelict fathers can be worse than absent fathers.

Dave W
Guest
Dave W

Mys, Cultural Lie? What culture you living in, Holmes? Lots of us fatherless children are such because our dads left for thinner women. Get real.

JP Stewart
Member

And there are plenty of fatherless kids because mom took them along when she met a taller, wealthier guy…or just decided she wasn’t happy.

Jane
Member

Yes, there are. How does that make the other situation a “cultural lie”?

JP Stewart
Member

I didn’t claim either situation was or wasn’t a “cultural lie.” But we hear much more about the former than the situation I mentioned.

Jane
Member

OK, fair enough. You were responding on a thread that was started with the assertion that it is a cultural lie, seemingly backing up that side. But I accept your clarification.

mys
Guest
mys

Jane- I think you know why it’s a lie. It’s the frequency. Sports-time. The NCAA hoops tournament is this week. Upsets are always hyped up. Yet, rarely has a lower seed made the final four. Saying that a low-seed makes the final four sometimes, which is true, but then inflating that to mean every year, is a cultural lie. We know full well not all marriages end for a man leaving his wife for a thinner woman. In fact, few do. Pretending like that is a leading cause is a cultural lie. Cultural, because our entertainment is saturated with it.… Read more »

Jane
Member

The claim that all or most men leave their wives for a thinner model would be a lie, if anyone said it.

No one in this context said it. Allusion was made to that circumstance, that circumstance was not universalized. It might be a lie that is often uttered within the culture, but that does not mean that when it is said in reference to a real situation, the statement is necessarily “a cultural lie.”

OKRickety
Member

Jane,

Dave W said “Mys, Cultural Lie? What culture you living in, Holmes? Lots of us fatherless children are such because our dads left for thinner women. Get real.“. In the context, that was reasonably close to making that claim, but I agree he did not universalize it.

mys
Guest
mys

Jane-
Pretty much what OKR said…we all need to be accountable for what we say, and what’s implied by it.
If I say, “Women leaving good men blows up marriages.”
You could say, “Not all marriages end that way.”
And I would reply, “Tut, tut, I never said they ALL did.”

mys
Guest
mys

I just told you what culture. How dare you desecrate my childhood experience. *Triggered* In seriousness, I can think of, maybe 25, divorced couples. I tried to go through this. While acknowledging that there are some of those 25 where I just don’t know the score at all, I could think of 4 where the man left for some other woman. And incidentally, she wasn’t always thinner! Now, women who left for another man. Ah, thank you. I have…7, that I could get. Now, again, small sample size, blah blah. But what’s portrayed in our culture? What’s portrayed even in… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“While acknowledging that there are some of those 25 where I just don’t know the score at all, I could think of 4 where the man left for some other woman. And incidentally, she wasn’t always thinner!
Now, women who left for another man. Ah, thank you. I have…7”

Aw, c’mon…don’t mess up the cultural narrative like that! It’s always the man, leaving his family for the hot 25-year old secretary.

OKRickety
Member

Dave W, Did your dad leave the marriage for a thinner woman, or did he leave the marriage because of divorce and then marry a thinner woman? I think there may be a cultural misperception based on the fact that many divorced men later remarry women who are younger and more physically attractive than their first wife. That does not prove they left the marriage for a so-called newer model! What is the most common reason for divorce? In the article Women Initiate Divorce Much More Than Men, Here’s Why, Douglas LaBier says “it’s often the woman who expresses more… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

Nice post. In addition, when 200 men were interviewed about their adultery, 88% said the other woman was no more attractive than his wife. So “cultural lie” is starting to look like a pretty accurate term.
https://www.mantranslated.com/why-men-lose-interest/why-do-men-cheat.html

OKRickety
Member

JP,

Thank you. Nice find on the 88% statistic but you didn’t quote it and missed the most relevant part. It actually says (emphasis mine) “88 percent of men said the affair partner was no more physically attractive than their wife”. But I would bet he did find her more attractive overall than his wife meaning she met more of his other needs than his wife.

princeasbel
Member

Dude, I think you are a fanboy of the worst variety- but, I actually agree completely with this response. Maybe you’re not a lost cause after all! XD

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

One of the blows to my ego when my husband ended the marriage is that he left me for an older, not very pretty lady who was neither intelligent nor good-natured. Whenever they argued, she threw dinner plates at his head. When he contradicted her, she screamed at him. If he had left me for somebody younger, prettier, and nicer, I think it would have been easier to take! What he told me is that agreeableness is boring. I have often wondered if this is why men knowingly marry disagreeable women! I do not intend to remarry, but if I… Read more »

OKRickety
Member

Jill,

… lady who was neither intelligent …

I think you will remember the discussion about men’s valuation of women’s intelligence. Here you are providing anecdotal evidence for my position. :)

I suppose agreeableness could become boring, but it would be rare for a husband to experience that. Since you apparently succeeded, you should commend yourself for that agreeableness, even if your ex did not appreciate it.

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I remember finding it incredible how much weight men give to prettiness over intelligence, so I looked it up and it certainly seems to be the case, at least initially. I always remember, however, Prince Charles saying that he stopped noticing how gorgeous Diana was within a few months after the marriage! I don’t see academic intelligence as all that important unless you are the kind of man who really wants to share his academic interests with his wife. But I would argue that, with marriage the way it is today, intelligence is more important than it used to be.… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Agreeableness is not boring. The desire for drama is pathological.

adad0
Member

Hey Jilly! ; – ) FYI, when you say: “it is hard to see how a group of untrained but well-meaning amateurs will be more successful in stopping a child sexual predator in his tracks.” The problem is that some DAs are themselves “well-meaning amateurs”. Here in Massachusetts, we had the Fells Acres case, where a liberal democrat Harvard educated DA, Scott Harshbarger, convicted the Amirault family, (A Granny and her son and daughter) on false child abuse charges, based on the methods of a fake “expert”, in association with Federal grant money, used to buy the fake “expertise”. The… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

adadO, you make an excellent point, and it is one that I worry about a lot. The Amirault and McMartin pre-school cases show what happens when mass hysteria joins forces with naive (or worse) specialists and a justice system that gets totally seduced by a false narrative. I hope that there has been some progress since then. There are better protocols in place for interviewing children, and everyone now recognizes that it is fatally easy to implant false memories into a young child. I believe that the presumption of innocence for an accused child molester must be as high as… Read more »

adad0
Member

Amen Jilly!
I can only add that the “push for best Judicial practices “ you mentioned, is really hard, when my senator and congresseman are Lizzie Warren and carrot top Kennedy, and yours are likely Kamala Harris and Adam Schiff!????

????

RichardP
Guest
RichardP

1. God himself says to Eve: “he will rule over you” (Genesis 3:16) Not “rule her”, but “rule over her” – as a husbandman or king rules over his domain, cultivating the well-being of all within his boundaries and chasing away the bad stuff. The phrase “rule over” is used below only in the context with which God used it in Genesis 3:16. Do not equate “rule over” with abuse, and then argue that. 2. God says, through Paul: “so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” (Ephesians 5:24; NIV) 3. God says, through Paul: “as the church… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

I think I have followed your argument. You think that the husband’s self-sacrifice consists in his ruling over his wife. Because the wife’s sole purpose in this life is to help her husband, she cannot fulfill her God-give role unless he tells her exactly what help he requires. That seems reasonable. But I find it a little difficult to see where self-sacrifice enters into this except that it might be very boring for a husband to have to keep coming up with a to-do list to keep her busy. It might even cut into his TV time. I’m puzzled, however,… Read more »

Dave W
Guest
Dave W

Who says Doug is giving up the ruling? He obviously isn’t. And Ephesians 5 certainly offers a sacrificial view of being a husband. Maybe you haven’t read enough of what Doug writes? Christ rules us and gives himself for us. The husband rules his wife and gives himself for her. What’s the problem?

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

Absolutely, Dave. And it is all driven by love–love for God and love for each other. I am reminded of Shakespeare’s great defense of Christian marriage delivered by Katherina to her stubborn sisters: Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, Thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee, And for thy maintenance commits his body To painful labour both by sea and land, To watch the night in storms, the day in cold, Whilst thou liest warm at home, secure and safe; And craves no other tribute at thy hands But love, fair looks, and true obedience-… Read more »

Alysson
Guest
Alysson

I can’t quite agree with Shakespeare on this one. Obedience to Christ requires that we take up our cross and follow Him. Obedience is sacrifice. I say this as a wife and mother who incurred major physical damage and trauma during childbirth-that will continue to bring me pain for the rest of my life. I have risen from bed at least three times a night, every night, over the past year to feed and soothe my child. I say this as someone hoping for the joy of another pregnancy and child-while knowing it will also mean continued damage to my… Read more »

Jill Smith
Member
Jill Smith

You’re right but it is such glorious poetry that I had to use it! Shakespeare was clearly referring to men who are fighting naval battles while their upper class wives (in the context of the play) are lying on cushions in a warm house. It is hard to find a modern equivalent where the man may be comfortably crunching numbers in a nice office while the woman is struggling with morning sickness, toddlers, and broken plumbing. But one application that i can still see in a traditional marriage is that my former husband bore (cheerfully) the whole responsibility for the… Read more »

lndighost
Member

It is glorious poetry, and it resonated with me. I manage a large household in a small house; it is a lot of work, no doubt about it. But on the rare occasions I’m tempted to be discontent with my work, all I need to do is think about my husband’s. He is a tradesman-turned-company-director who has to manage clients, employees, subcontractors, suppliers and industry regulators. His phone starts ringing at 6:30 in the morning and continues long after dark. He’s under conflicting pressures all day. He’s also an elder in the church, is involved in a charity for street… Read more »

bethyada
Member

Doug, I have found your teaching on relationships in marriage helpful. I find it useful to consider that what God tells men and women to do he tells to them, and not to the spouse that they attempt to enforce it. I am also committed to authority being paired with accountability. You can’t have one without the other. I also think that authority is about doing what is best for those for whom you have a responsibility for. It seems to me that because you see the husband as being the leader he therefore has a greater degree of both… Read more »

mys
Guest
mys

The popularity of Jordan Peterson is easy. He tells it like it is and drops the nuance. We have a bunch of Christian leaders, as already noted in this thread, who snivel around about the gay and trans issues, and write overly-long, and extraordinarily-nuanced articles, where, at the end they say those acts are sins, but the pronouncement of sin is the secret ingredient that got lost while the baking bowl got stirred. Peterson calls it out boldly. He says that language-policing is a sign of totaltarianism. He says that the gays and trans want to impose their dictatorships on… Read more »

JP Stewart
Member

“He says that the gays and trans want to impose their dictatorships on people. ”

To be precise, his target (and worst enemies) are the radical LGBTQ crowd and non-gay, non-trans SJWs who push that agenda. He’s not an orthodox Christian and doesn’t necessarily believe homosexuality is sinful.

But as I said earlier, he has no fears locking horns with this crowd…while Reformed and Evangelical celebrities are MIA (and often too busy attacking/shaming fellow conservative Christians).

mys
Guest
mys

Right. He is popular because he takes the fight to the other side. He doesn’t sit around and nuance.

BillyS
Member

Doug Wilson, I don’t know if you will see/respond to this, but it is really hard to tell your comments apart from what you are responding to. It would be quite helpful to use [blockquote] at the start of someone’s letter/email and [/blockquote] at the end to make it inset and easier to differentiate. Substitute the less than symbol on the left and the greater than symbol on the right to make that work correctly. Or look at the source for this post. I assume you have full WordPress functionality. Example source text Example reply ==== That would make it… Read more »

princeasbel
Member

Agreed. Leaving aside my aggressive disagreements, Doug Wilson, re-formatting your article would be a good idea. It is kinda tricky to figure out when you’re talking and when you’re quoting someone else.

BillyS
Member

One general comment about asking a wife about authority: That assumes she will always tell the truth about that and that she will not change her views on it over time.

My wife claimed to believe that when we married and it took her almost 30 years to go against it, but saying such a thing didn’t bind her in the long run.

I have no idea how to guarantee such fidelity and asking would weed out those who are definitely not faithful, but it cannot be the only check. Believing it is sufficient ignores modern realities.

Jane
Member

I think the point is that a woman’s declaration that she believes in a biblical idea of authority is a necessary condition, not that it is a sufficient one.