The Problem Wasn’t the Necktie
“Then why is the spirit of the age standing on your necktie?” Hmmmmm. When was the last time I even wore a tie? Well, at any rate, it wasn’t at any stinking guilt fest! ; – )
Adad, yes, guilt-fests are a problem. I think we should start calling them fusstivals.
Thanks, Pastor. Much needed.
Dave, thankee. Could you loan Adad a necktie? He somehow got in here without one.
The Dalrock Deal
I’m not especially familiar with Dalrock, and don’t follow his blog, but I was particularly disappointed with his selective and preconceived treatment of Wilson. I left the following comment under his latest post, titled “Wilson deflects”:
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I was hoping for a more honest treatment of Wilson by Dalrock. Clearly Wilson isn’t perfect in his appeal to “moma’s happiness” when quotes are being cherry-picked from two different contexts, and from two different decades. However, if Dalrock has any sense of avoiding friendly fire, he should make some effort at a more gracious reading of Wilson’s actual points, rather than the worst possible reading. Dalrock wrote: “For any given claim Wilson makes putting women in charge, you can find another instance of him teaching that men are cowards for listening to just this kind of advice. But make no mistake; this doesn’t make Wilson stand out in the complementarian world. Teaching men that their wives are holy barometers of God’s approval while castigating men for failing to lead is exactly what complementarianism is all about.” Wilson is not “putting women in charge” of any sphere that Scripture doesn’t charge them with. However, the context in each case makes it very clear that Wilson is talking about two different kinds of unhappiness. One kind of unhappiness is that of a woman who wants to rule over her husband (to manipulate him), and Wilson is very clear that this kind of unhappiness is not the barometer of anything. The other kind of unhappiness is that of a woman whose husband really is foolish and unchristlike toward her, in ways that Scripture defines foolishness and Christlikeness. This is a real thing too, and a true barometer of a man’s obedience to God. The tagline to Dalrock’s blog is, “Thoughts from a happily married father on a post feminist world.” Why does Dalrock’s blog feature happiness in such a prominent way? If we wanted to create a plausible narrative, we might suppose that Dalrock wants to appeal to emotional states as justification for something. We could construct a dichotomy that Dalrock must either be referring to his individual happiness, regardless of his wife’s longsuffering agony in the relationship, or else Dalrock means to include his wife’s happiness in the declaration of his happy marriage. But if it is the latter, then Dalrock is conceding that he understands perfectly well what Wilson has referred to, and that his wife’s mutual happiness in the marriage is a powerful barometer of something. In fact, I would even go so far as to suggest that Dalrock makes use of the tagline precisely to avoid the charge that his blog can be dismissed as the bitter rantings of a broken, frustrated, alimony-paying, ex-husband. Even Dalrock recognizes the power of a happy marriage and happy family for the credibility and authority that such strong relationships can bring. Obviously there are a lot of compromising pastors out there, but I would invite Dalrock to take a step back and acknowledge where Wilson actually stands, and the punches that Wilson regularly lands against feminism. Dalrock needs to show some integrity and fairhandedness when critiquing and quoting Wilson, otherwise he’ll just hurt his own credibility.
Katecho, thanks. Much appreciated.
One area of confusion is that husbands are constantly exhorted to emulate Christ in His passive obedience using Eph 5:25 as if that sacrifice is the exclusive expression of Christ’s love. In holding to the exclusivity of sacrifice as the only expression of love, men are vilified for emulating Christ’s active obedience particularly in the execution of His authority and headship. On the one hand, husbands are accountable for the home, but the tools of responsibility (literally the ability to respond and affect change) have been deemed as unloving, selfish or tyrannical by the church and its incorporated parachurch partners. But you have shown the temerity to insist on passive obedience alone and then blame husbands for being passive. Christ loves His bride, He also disciplines all that He loves. The contemporary church inc. configuration is the husbands love their wives by being disciplined in the church because she is not feeling it. Her tingle is the holy sign your doing God’s will. Your work has not moved the church toward a Christ and the faithful church model, but rather continued to cheerlead the apostate church who wants a better less holy and demanding Lord. If you truly want to reform marriage stop bashing men in public, their wives are listening and eating it up. It stirs in them discontent and rebellion (although you might be giving some of them those holy tingles). Start rebutting the lies that are the group think of evangelicalism; like “submission doesn’t mean being a door-mat.” Being like Christ might mean being doormat and 1 Peter tells women this is the extent that they ought to submit, unto death or even being beaten unjustly. I could go on ad nauseam on the twisted lies from “conservative Christians,” but will keep the focus on your acquiescence. Pastor it is time to stop playing both sides of the fence hoping to win more women fans, the time for hard words is well past. Either support the authority and dutiful actions of husband, not just make him accountable, or at least stop giving aid and comfort to those of the usurpation. Fragging the officers while supporting the more traditional mutineers will cost the mission and decimate troop morale.
Dave, the problem with your analysis is that it is playing at identity politics. You are thinking in terms of husbands/wives. But there are four key variables, not two. There are husbands/wives and there are also people who are obedient to God/disobedient to God. This gives us multiple situations—a happy marriage is obedient husband/obedient wife. But we also have many other possibilities—the most miserable being disobedient husband/disobedient wife. But there is also the obedient husband/disobedient wife and disobedient husband/obedient wife. If you have some kind of a mess that you just heard about, but you already know whose side you are on because you happen to share their sex, then you have already been captured by the cultural Marxists. From the outside, a godly man’s sympathy should go to the godly partner in an unhappy marriage, whether that person is the husband or wife. The same goes for a godly woman. Her sympathy should go to the godly partner, not the one who happens to be part of the sisterhood.
A Plausible Theory
Re: Wut? I think Ken is referring to your posts that consist of quotes from Empires of Dirt as being like Twitter.
Jess, that makes sense. I see it all now.
Malachi Being Disruptive
I posted Nathan’s quote—“in any meeting that runs over twenty minutes, someone will propose something which, if implemented, will ruin everything”—on the door of my office conference room. Given the furor that broke out, it’s probably good that I didn’t sign it.
Malachi, well, now you know . . .
Spelling Privilege Right is a Sign of Privilege
Re: Woke with the Wim-Wams & Wasting Privilege I wholly and fully concede that privilege is not evil in and of itself, and that most “wokeness” is guilt-based in a way that is unbecoming of one covered by the blood of Christ. Yet, I am having trouble reconciling these facts with the simple observation that restitution is a thing that exists (someone would say is mandated) in Scripture. Exodus 22, Leviticus 6, etc. The obvious difference is that the OT Law is largely dealing with specific people and specific sins with specific, quantifiable losses to the victims. Privilege (if it is indeed caused by some historical evil) is much more amorphous. It may be the result of untold number of sins from untold number of individuals, and is literally impossible to quantify in any meaningful way. BUT. . . it being amorphous in nature doesn’t automatically make it exempt from principles of restitution, does it? If it doesn’t, what is to be done about it? If it does mean principles of restitution do not apply, then what? Certainly God will make all right on the last day, but honestly (rightly or wrongly) that feels like a cop-out. Maybe that’s my problem?
Gary, I agree with you completely. Real restitution is a real thing in Scripture, and it can cross generations. I would have no problem, for example, if the Federal Government paid restitution to the Nez Perce for all the double dealing. But in such a case, we can go back and read the treaties and then look at the performance of the parties relative to those treaties. It is objective and verifiable.
But the guilt-mongers of today hate the idea of objective verification. They hate it because objective guilt means there could be such a thing as objective innocence. Consequently, they want to raise the taxes of some white guy whose grandfather moved here from Poland in 1975, in order to make payments to another guy whose grandfather moved here from Bahama in 1976. It doesn’t have to make sense so long as it works.
Doug writes (in a 3/27 “Letters” response): What is the difference between “privilege” and “blessing”? I write (after thinking on this for a few days): First, privilege is one of those words I have a TERRIBLE time spelling. (Priviledge? Privelage? Privlege? the possibilities go on and on…) Second, and more importantly, I would say they are about the same thing. They are both benefits. But I think privilege could have a down-side, whereas I would have a hard time saying a blessing ever has a down-side. Being born into a wealthy family—Sir Thomas Bertram’s in Mansfield Park—would be a privilege, but being separated from hardships that might spur spiritual growth would take away from it. That would be a privilege with a down-side. But failing to consider God’s sovereignty over that situation may simply trivialize it to the point of uselessness. A tragedy or hardship can be accompanied by a blessing. A blessing can follow it and work a greater good, as it always does for the Christian (8:28). There’s Joseph’s being sold into slavery, Ruth’s husband dying young, Paul’s thorn. In that light, maybe the initial hardship should just be called a blessing, though that seems a stretch especially in Ruth’s case. But I’m not sure a blessing ever has a true down-side, the Grateful Dead notwithstanding (. . . every silver lining’s got a touch of grey . . .) This certainly requires more thought and especially precision in defining the terms— blessing, curse, tragedy, hardship and of course privilege. Third (and I think this point most important) I would say it is the source of the benefit. Rightly understood, God is the source of both. But let’s stop for a minute and consider the use of the words in our cultural moment. Our society doesn’t buy into this whole “God” idea. So in the society’s vernacular, there is no such thing as God, thus no such thing as blessing. Privilege remains, but it ends up being the product of men or dumb luck, depending on which came first (the chicken or the egg?). Was I merely born into a situation of privilege or were there men who created the privilege into which I was born? (Many would further say that privilege was built on the backs of slaves, which is partially true in some cultures, but completely misses the point for one who is born with or without privilege.) If one tosses out the Person of God, then one must simultaneously toss out the idea of objective morality or goodness. When one tosses that and is left looking at privilege, it could go either way. It could be good or bad. Or neither because there is no such thing; there is only guilt. So the privilege of having been read to as a child, or having Christ and the church involved in your family becomes just another variable that, while it may be good for the person who has it, is bad for all the people who don’t and therefore becomes a morally bad thing (if such a thing as morality, at that point, could even be said to exist). But there is always guilt. (It seems much easier to get rid of morality than guilt.) So without God, there is no such thing as a blessing and a privilege is a negative factor because it just leads to guilt. I’d be interested in your comment on it, with your training in philosophy and biblical theology.
Nathan, you touched the essential thing when your thought experiment excluded God. If there is no such thing as blessing, then I have a right to resent people who have privilege. And if there is no God, there is no blessing. But if there is a God, then I don’t see any way to distinguish blessings from privilege.
Dabney the Seer
What did Dabney see for him to make such an informed declaration while the Christian world scoffed at him?
And to add to my last comment, as wicked as the government schools are today, people don’t even have the capacity to see what is near let alone what is on the horizon. The pat answer is “not in our schools.”
Jeff, what Dabney saw was a vain attempt to create a neutral, objective place in the realm of education where the reality of God could be dismissed. Tolerating a little bit of that is like tolerating being a little bit pregnant.
For the benefit of those who find the Koala reference a striking bit of hyperbole, please consider the following: https://tinyurl.com/yaartzfa Here’s a blessing ceremony for rifles. https://tinyurl.com/ybt3ejml Here’s a blessing of the animals (and the UMC “reasoning” for it) https://tinyurl.com/y8sjoawu For those who wonder about a blessing for their motorcycles https://tinyurl.com/y8rc9e89 Blessing stuffed animals. Certainly there are more examples. This is simply an illustration to bolster Pastor Wilson’s seemingly hyperbolic reference to Koalas. Difficult to out “crazy” these folks.
Ron, thanks. These are indeed difficult days to be a satirist.
I’m interested to hear if the Silmarillion has influenced the way you understand the creation account in the OT. I know it’s not Scripture, I know it was written less than a hundred years ago, I know I’m a nerd . . . but for some reason it sticks in my brain as I seek to understand the OT. It’s given mental images to some of my theology, and caused me to have more affection for God. Have I gone off the reservation? Is there anyone else like me in this regard? Do I need to repent? Bonus question: Where would you rank the story of Beren and Luthien amongst the great stories contained within the Western tradition?
I believe that Tolkien was a great sub-creator, and a great writer. Reading The Lord of the Rings is like living in the house. The Silmarillion is for me (confession time) like the footings under the foundation wall. I don’t think Tolkien could have built the house in the magnificent way he did without doing something like what he revealed in The Silmarillion, so hats off to him. But I have read The Silmarillion just once, and that is all, I expect. But I anticipate returning to The Lord of the Rings periodically for the rest of my life.
As far as Beren and Luthien are concerned, the story is not enough to draw me back. I can acknowledge its high quality, coming from such a great writer, but for my taste it is too full of that trademark Tolkien sadness. But then again, Tolkien had the Grey Havens ability to make going to Heaven sad, and filled with autumn leaves and Celtic twilight.
Let the hate-fest begin . . .