Smash the Complementarity

Before smashing the patriarchy becomes mandatory, may we take a few moments to ask what it is? The current push is to get reasonable Christians to back away from it because they reject what is done in the name of it by the outliers. But however carefully reasonable Christians distance or distinguish themselves from the doings down at the patriarchy compound, it will not work. We have to learn how to distinguish tools and targets. Elijah One-Tooth and his admiring females are the tool. The target is the husband who loves his wife like Christ loved the church. Reasonable Christians (the ones who are most frequently gulled) cannot escape the fact that when feminists say they want to smash the patriarchy, their nuanced complementarianism is most certainly included.  Smash Patriarchy

Patriarchy means father rule, not stupid father rule, or ignorant father rule, or evil father rule. Now in a false and corrupting world, it is obvious that father rule — with attendant verses, to be referred to in a moment — can be applied badly. Not only can it be applied badly, it will be. This is a sinful world, and even when you seek to do something right, someone is going to do it wrong.

Something can be a good thing to do and still turn out badly. Some forms of feminism began as an understandable protest against the misbehavior of men, but because it was just understandable and not biblical, the whole thing rapidly became blank check permission for the misbehavior of women. And just as the misbehavior of men could not be effectively rebuked in its time of strength, so also misbehavior of women is off limits now. If you rebuke bad behavior in feminists, an easy target, this is immediately translated into an attack on all women.

But this shaping of men and women into political parties is one of the most destructive things we could do, not to mention one of the dumbest. Wisdom and folly deliver their respective invitations to men and women alike, and men and women both head off in opposite directions.

It is no picnic to live under the brittle pride of an ignorant man. Let us grant it. So we chafe under patriarchy if that man is the patriarch. But what about matriarchy? Are no women fools? Well, yes, they are, quite a few, and we are living in a time when that characteristic is one of the central qualifications to cultivate if she is ambitious and wants to become whatever she can be. If she wants preferment, she can achieve the same ninja levels of the non sequitur that chauvinist ad execs used to to achieve back in the fifties. Some of the ad copy back then was written, not by sexists, but by the bluest of the blue bores. But the ad copy today has a grip on the laws of thought that are every bit as tenuous, with the only difference being the gender of the fool being flattered.Blame the Men

So feminism — smash the patriarchy feminism — wants us to be ruled by harridans, termagants, harpies and crones. That sets the tone, and the pestering is then made complete by small-breasted biddies who want to make sure nobody is using too much hot water in the shower, and that we are all getting plenty of fiber. And if anyone reads these words and believes that I am attacking all women by them, that would provide great example of why we should not entrust our cultural future to people who can’t read.

The apostle Peter requires Christian women to be subordinate to their husbands (1 Pet. 3:1). Christian wives are told to subject themselves to their husbands (Eph. 5:22). Older Christian women are to teach the younger wives how to be obedient to their husbands (Titus 2:5). These are the words of God. As long as anyone is foolish enough to want to smash the patriarchy, passages such as these will be at the very center of what they want to smash. No sense in backing away from them, and those who do back away from them are sidling away from Jesus, not from Elijah One-Tooth.

Simple question. I have nothing to do with the erratic tribalists of patriarchy. But in every wedding ceremony where I am the officiant, the bride vows to obey her husband. After the patriarchy is smashed, will it be okay with everybody if we keep doing that?

118
Leave a Reply

avatar
 
117 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
28 Comment authors
MatttimbushongArwen BMatt Petersenbethyada Recent comment authors

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas
Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

I had to look up 5 words in this one.

How do you produce such feisty feasts in such abundance?
I thought you had a day job.

Barnabas
Guest
D Glover
Guest

Thanks Doug. The third paragraph, second sentence could use a “was” inserted between “it” and “just”.

Matt
Guest
Matt

But in every wedding ceremony where I am the officiant, the bride vows to obey her husband. After the patriarchy is smashed, will it be okay with everybody if we keep doing that?

Yes

Philip
Guest

Matt:
Doug didn’t mean it would be okay to say “obey your husband” in the ceremony. He actually meant she was to do so in the marriage.

Matt
Guest
Matt

She can obey anything she wants. People might not like it and might say so, but it’s a free country and you can ensconce yourself in such an arrangement if you wish. What you can’t do is force her to obey if she doesn’t want to, or stay if she wants out. You also can’t force everyone else to abide by these rules.

David Anderson
Guest

Matt: Depends what you mean. Elders can set boundaries for their flock, and apply discipline outside of those boundaries. They can teach that patriarchy is God’s will for the human race universally, and treat those who reject it as dangers to the flock, when such people come near their flocks or arise amongst them. They can also say “if you think this vow is not for you, then marriage is not for you, and we will not marry you”.

mikebull1
Member

Like a hot knife through butter… Thanks for your continued discernment.

Rachel Shubin
Guest
Rachel Shubin

Doug, perhaps the women you are referring to would simply like to be seen and treated as more than their breast size. Perhaps they would like their ambitions to not be conflated with foolishness. Perhaps they would like their husbands to see them and treat them as more than their breast size and their ideas and talents and ambitions as things to be encouraged and encouraged as opposed to denigrated and ignored. If their husbands treated them this way (at which point the women would be fulfilling both her own design purpose and obeying her husband), perhaps you would see… Read more »

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

And here I thought that C.S. Lewis was talking about men that had no literal chest when he made that famous statement….

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

David says above that perhaps elders may choose not to marry together what they consider wayfaring sheeps.

Do elders have the power to marry folks?

valerieab
Member

Patriarchy means father rule, not stupid father rule, or ignorant father rule, or evil father rule.

Yea, verily, amen. I consider it a great gift from God that I’ve managed not to throw out that particular baby with the very filthy bathwater I’ve been half drowned in numerous times.

How do you produce such feisty feasts in such abundance?
I thought you had a day job.

Don’t be silly, Eric. He’s a pastor, and you know they only work one day a week. ;^)

Matt
Guest
Matt

Elders can set boundaries for their flock, and apply discipline outside of those boundaries. They can also say “if you think this vow is not for you, then marriage is not for you, and we will not marry you”. But that’s only true so long as we’re talking about a subculture enforcing some membership rules. An elder can say “I won’t marry you if you don’t say this” but they can’t say “You can’t get married if you don’t say this”. The person must always have the ability to leave the subculture and live their lives as they wish. As… Read more »

delurking
Guest

“So feminism — smash the patriarchy feminism — wants us to be ruled by harridans, termagants, harpies and crones. That sets the tone, and the pestering is then made complete by small-breasted biddies who want to make sure nobody is using too much hot water in the shower, and that we are all getting plenty of fiber.” I have to say I do not recognize this straw feminism you have described here. Surely if an honest man had an actual case he could do better than this? It makes me wonder whether Mr. Wilson has any real stones to throw… Read more »

Jane
Member

The person must always have the ability to leave the subculture and live their lives as they wish. I believe it’s implicit than when we’re talking about leaving the subculture of the Church, the ability to leave it is roughly like the ability to walk off a cliff. Sure, you can do it, but it’s not what you’d call a real alternative. So the authority of the elders to determine what can be done while remaining in the church is essentially the same as their ability to determine what can be done, for anyone who limits the alternatives to what… Read more »

Jane
Member

Matt, I don’t think you’ve gotten around enough. There are plenty of people in the world for whom the concept of a woman obeying — that is, choosing to submit her actions to the will of another — would not be “okay.” It’s only okay up to the point where her desires are coincidentally the same as the wishes of her husband, and you’d better make sure that even that isn’t being somehow perniciously influenced against her interest. Any subjection of her own will to someone else’s is definitely not “okay.” This hatred of obedience as such isn’t limited to… Read more »

Jane
Member

Do elders have the power to marry folks?

Pastors are elders. And bodies of elders have the authority to rule over who is allowed to marry within the church.

Moor
Guest
Moor

@Delurking: you may not recognize that brand of feminism, but it certainly exists, and while it does not constitute the entirety of the movement, it is representative of its most vocal contingent.

Curt Day
Guest

So what we might be witnessing is a pendulum swing with regard to patriarchy and the reason why the pendulum never stops in an acceptable middle range is that those at each end externalize faults and evil. That is both want a hierarchy but not under the control of the incompetent and/or evil other group. But there is another point here. Yes, the Scriptures command a certain form of patriarchy in the home and church, but should we insist on patriarchy throughout all of society because of that? That is, are there times that we should turn off the Patriarchy… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

There are plenty of people in the world for whom the concept of a woman obeying — that is, choosing to submit her actions to the will of another — would not be “okay.” I think you’re misreading, as I acknowledged precisely this. Many people won’t like your vows, and some might even say so. Free country and all that. But they aren’t going to outlaw the saying of those vows or the keeping of them. But in turn, women who change their minds or don’t wish to be part of this subculture cannot be forcibly kept there. That’s the… Read more »

Rachel Shubin
Guest
Rachel Shubin

Thanks for the clarification, but…. not buying it. Calling a cowardly man a pencil neck is a metaphor, yes. There are zero people wandering around with quarter-inch wide necks, so clearly this is meant to conjure up a mental image of a scrawny man. But small-breasts are so common as to be unremarkable, so what is the metaphor here? You are using something statistically normal (and generally not a voluntarily changeable feature at that) to illustrate something you clearly dislike. Here, how about if I give you an example, and we can see if this explains it better. A better… Read more »

Jane
Member

And what of the idea of how, for a woman, foolishness is a central qualification to cultivate if she is ambitious and wishes to be whatever she can be? The Proverbs 31 woman does not really fit this assertion. You left out where Doug inserts “we are living in a time when….” before “foolishness is a central qualification.” He is not saying that foolishness is a central qualification to ambition, but that in our time, the kind of ambition that is being promoted requires foolishness to chase it. He is not speaking of the kind of success promoted in Proverbs… Read more »

Jane
Member

Also, we aren’t talking about the subculture “of the Church”. It’s extremely presumptuous to think that a religion which spans 2000 years and some 2 billion members is entirely defined by a tiny subset of it. Yeah, I was actually thinking of the whole thing for all of those 2000 years up until about 50 years ago, not the tiny subset that goes the other way. And why “nobody’s trying to make a law about this” a rejoinder to what any of Doug or I aid? Nobody said they were. There are still cultural forces hard at work that need… Read more »

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

We all must submit to God: as a child, I was required to submit to my parents; in school, I had to submit to my teachers; as a citizen, I must submit to Lawful laws, etc. Sometimes I’m okay with it, sometimes I’m not. When I’m not, it’s sometimes due to the abuse of authority I’ve seen and experienced personally; more often than not, though, it’s simply inherent to my sin nature. Look, do all of the hermeneutical and exegetical contortions you want, Ephesians 5:22 is clear: wives are to submit to their husbands! Is that an absolute standard of… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

The tiny subset is you.

As for your cultural forces, they are people writing things on blogs and newspapers. It has as much power over you as you let it, which in this case appears to be a lot. Some Christians seem as though they will never be happy until everyone opposing them is silenced forever.

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

Matt wrote: “But that’s only true so long as we’re talking about a subculture enforcing some membership rules. An elder can say “I won’t marry you if you don’t say this” but they can’t say “You can’t get married if you don’t say this”. The person must always have the ability to leave the subculture and live their lives as they wish.” Really? I’m not clear here. You seem to be heavily implying that there’s this “Spanish Inquisition” (Reformed Version) of sorts consisting of church officials intent on smashing into people’s homes and forcing them to comply. Who’s saying that,… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

From Jane: “elders have the authority to rule over who is allowed to marry within the church

Does Gor or His Bible get any say in that matter?

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

Gor is old Gaelic for God, probably

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

Hi David Smith,

Since when did we get the idea that an elder or chaplain’s words could create a marriage?

“I now pronounce you man & wife” does not make “man & wife” come into being.
It just recognizes the fact.

Recognition is not production.

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

Mr. Stampler wrote: “Since when did we get the idea that an elder or chaplain’s words could create a marriage? “I now pronounce you man & wife” does not make “man & wife” come into being. It just recognizes the fact. Recognition is not production.” With all due respect, what’s your point? So, does that mean that the church has no role to play in the this orderly recognition or that it is now forced to recognize all “marriages”, regardless whether they meet biblical standards or not? Again, if a “marriage” does not meet biblical standards, couples are free to… Read more »

Jane
Member

No, Matt, in that worldwide 2000 year old church you’re talking about, the tiny subset is those who deny that a woman’s obedience to her husband is a duty of marriage — even tinier if you look at it corporately rather than individually, as church bodies ceasing to hold that position is an extremely recent development.

Jane
Member

Yes, God in His Bible says that elders rule the church.

Whom the church will recognize as married in obedience to God comes within the rule of the church.

Granting that churches recognize rather than create a marriage, that’s immaterial. The point is that the elders of the church rule over whether that marriage ceremony can *rightly* be conducted under the auspices of the church by the pastor of the church. They can’t prevent two people from being married, but they can prevent it happening without the sanction of the church, and they can discipline those who insist upon doing so.

Jane
Member

Sorry, I meant they can prevent it happening with the sanction of the church.

Jane
Member

Matt, do you really not believe there’s such a thing as a common culture, in which we all have to live, and in which the dominant cultural mores affect everyone who lives in that culture? Do you really think that people advocating things that we believe are objectively destructive to that culture should be no big deal to us? Is “people writing things in blogs and newspapers” really so irrelevant? Is rhetoric really pointless, and advocacy, truly impotent? Is the pen not only weaker than the sword, but completely without effect upon that upon which it’s used? “No man is… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

David, “no role to play in the this orderly recognition“? — yes the church has a role “forced to recognize all “marriages”” — yes, the church has a duty to recognize all marriages — the ones without the scary quotes “regardless whether they meet biblical standards or not?” — If you mean that some marriages (no quotes = real marriage), then it is an erroneous question — there is no such thing as a biblical standard for the existence of a real marriage. That is to say, if it is a marriage, by definition it is a biblical marriage. “couples… Read more »

Eric Stampher
Guest
Eric Stampher

Hi Jane, Are you making up these church marriages rules as you go along? How about some biblical back-up for your ideas? “Whom the church will recognize as married in obedience to God comes within the rule of the church.” — says Jane only, or do you know of any Bible you’ve derived this from? “elders of the church rule over whether that marriage ceremony can *rightly* be conducted under the auspices of the church by the pastor of the church” — Granted. — Elders have the right to manage the assembly ceremonies. So what? Who says that ceremony should… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

No, Matt, in that worldwide 2000 year old church you’re talking about, the tiny subset is those who deny that a woman’s obedience to her husband is a duty of marriage Good attempt to gloss over the details, but rather it’s a tiny minority alive today who hold to the conservative american christian view of what those verses mean. I don’t begrudge anyone their ethnic identity, but recognize it for what it is. Is “people writing things in blogs and newspapers” really so irrelevant? Absolutely. Fun but pointless. Is rhetoric really pointless, and advocacy, truly impotent? Yes, and yes. People… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Who’s saying that, exactly? No one right now. Put the Christians in charge and you will hear another tune. You could say the same for the feminists. All groups have their members who feel as though if everyone just behaved the way we think they should, all problems would be solved. And then they go and try to make that happen. But the original question was whether or not Christians will be able to have their own wedding ceremonies, and the answer is yes. Sure, people won’t like it, but if there aren’t any laws forbidding it then who cares… Read more »

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

Patriarchy is of course the biblical state of marriage and society but it is certainly not exclusive to Christianity. Every society without patriarchy is either a mud hut stone age tribe or a decadent society spiraling into dysfunction and decay. It is only the progressive, end of history mentality that demands that this massive Chesterton fence be ripped up with no regard of the consequences.

Barnabas
Guest
Barnabas

An in-depth analysis of the feminist project to undermine patriarchy.
http://fisheaters.com/garbagegeneration.html

David Smith
Guest
David Smith

Mr. Stampler:

What are you arguing with me about exactly?

Marriage = Marriage.

So we agree.

Jane
Member

I didn’t realize I needed biblical backup for “wives, obey your husbands,” “be not unequally yoked,” baseline stuff like that that all biblically literate people (my assumed audience here) know. Look, I’m not talking about holding a court for every couple that comes along. I’m saying God has made rules for marriage, like wives obeying husbands, and marrying only within the faith, and not committing incest, and not permitting “open marriage, and stuff like that. The rulers of the church, by definition as “those who rule the church,” rule over what the church calls good and the church calls sin.… Read more »

Jane
Member

But, Eric, if you know biblically -based churches where it’s common practice to allow a full church wedding to couples who announce that they have no intention of 1) making the vows the church requires in the weddings conducted within the church or 2) keeping them, then I’d be interested to hear about it. The fact that other churches have standards about how they conduct church weddings really shouldn’t be so mysterious to you. Also, if you know of churches who don’t conduct any form of discipline when members announce they have no intention of abiding by biblical teaching in… Read more »

Jane
Member

Oh, and if you think that I’m assuming that how the elders rule is in any way a different thing from leading the church in discerning what the Bible calls good and evil, except insofar as they are prone to error in their judgment at times, you’re making an unwarranted assumption about what I mean when I discuss elders ruling a church, and one that is particularly unwarranted in the context of Blog and Mablog.

Jane
Member

But the original question was whether or not Christians will be able to have their own wedding ceremonies, and the answer is yes. It was? I thought it was if it would be okay with everybody if we did, which is what I was addressing. At least, that’s what Doug SAID. If you know that he meant something different, well, then maybe you do. Whether you and he and I all agree on how much it matters whether it will be okay with others, is another question — but I daresay the way that question was phrased was more of… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

If there is no anticipation of anything beyond disagreement regarding your cultural practices, then what is with this “culture war”? It seems quite pointless, to war against other people not liking what you do and sometimes saying so.

Jane
Member

It’s only pointless on your assumption that people aren’t actually influenced by what they see and hear around them, which most people don’t share.

RFB
Guest
RFB

Matt,

“…Good attempt to gloss over the details, but rather it’s a tiny minority alive today

In Ms. Dunsworth’s argument she asserted a matter of time, not an index of quantity of subscribers. (“Yeah, I was actually thinking of the whole thing for all of those 2000 years up until about 50 years ago, not the tiny subset that goes the other way.)

She, it seems to me, was arguing for what was the common understanding until relatively recently, not how many concur with that position now.