• The Marginalization of Single Women Via The Billy Graham Rule, Fleeing the Appearance of Evil, and James Dobson

The Marginalization of Single Women Via The Billy Graham Rule, Fleeing the Appearance of Evil, and James Dobson

There is much more I could say about the Billy Graham Rule (sometimes also referred to these days as “The Mike Pence Rule”) than what I am writing about here and now, but for this post, I wanted to narrow it down a little bit.

In the context of the Bill Hybels scandal discussion, news sites and abuse survivor blogs are mentioning how mega-church preacher Bill Hybels told one of his targets that under the advice of Focus On The Family’s James Dobson, he wanted to watch some pornography movies.

So, Hybels  – who was married – asked his target, an unmarried woman staffer at his church, a Pat Baranowski, to run out and buy or rent porn, then he watched it with her while wearing nothing but a bathrobe. Baranowski also lived with Hybels and his wife in their home for approximately two years.

One of the spiritual abuse survivor blogs covering this whole ordeal is The Wartburg Watch in this post, where one of the TWW bloggers, Dee, wrote this:

James Dobson was part of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography in the latter half of the 1980s. Note how Hybels cleverly used something that was true to give him plausible deniability.

Mr. Hybels told Ms. Baranowski that he had been told to educate himself on the issue by James Dobson, founder of the ministry Focus on the Family, who had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan to an anti-pornography commission.

Calling it research, Mr. Hybels once instructed Ms. Baranowski to go out and rent several pornographic videos, she said, to her great embarrassment. He insisted on watching them with her, she said, while he was dressed in a bathrobe.

I am opposed to the BGR (Billy Graham Rule), for a few reasons, one of which is because it (like a lot of complementarian teachings, though side note: I don’t believe Hybels was complementarian) assumes several obnoxious things and perpetuates sexist stereotypes: it assumes that men, all men, are unable (or maybe unwilling?) to control their libidos, that all single women are sexual temptresses who have loose sexual morals and are willing to have affairs with married men.

Because of these assumptions, some Christians believe that men and women should not be alone together, especially not married men with single women.

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• Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

Christians Cannot Agree on Christianity – Not Even the Essentials of The Faith – So Why Base All Life Choices on the Faith or the Bible?

If you are a Christian person, you should base your life decisions on what you believe and know to be best or right for you and your particular circumstances, rather than-

Relying on what you think God wants and prefers, or on what your church’s pastor thinks the Bible is conveying, or on what your interpretation of the Bible is, or on what your favorite Christian author is telling you on about any given topic.

Christians – even those whom say they adhere to Sola scriptura or Prima scriptura – do not agree with each other, or with other Christians, or with other Christian denominations, on many subjects.

Why would you subject major life choices, such as if to marry, whom to marry, when to marry, or whether to divorce or not, based on what you think the Bible (or your church) says on these issues, when your interpretation, or theirs, could be incorrect?

And when your church’s understanding conflicts with that of another ten churches on the same subject?

Your church or pastor or favorite preacher may say God never allows divorce for any reason at all, but at the same time, there are 500,000 other preachers, churches, and denominations which do say that it’s “biblical,” moral, fine, and acceptable, for one person to divorce another in cases of physical abuse-

And / or, in cases of adultery, and/or or perhaps in cases of neglect, emotional or verbal abuse, or in other scenarios.

So, does it really make sense to base your choice of what to do in life on what one church, one denomination, one flavor of theology, or one Christian says, when Christians themselves are not in consensus on what God thinks or prefers on these matters?

White American Christians at one time used to use the Bible to justify and defend the practice of 19th century whites owning black people as slaves.

Most of us today recognize slavery as being immoral, even though the Bible does contain passages addressing the treatment of slaves in the New Testament, and I believe in the Old, as well.

(That the Bible mentions something, or establishes rules for something already in place in a culture, such as slavery or polygamy, does not necessarily mean that the Bible, or the God of the Bible, agreed with whatever that practice was, or that it was ever God’s intent for humanity in the first place. This is a point that is often lost on critics of the Bible or of Christianity.)

If Christians misused the Bible to perpetuate the evil that was slavery – and they did in fact do so – that goes to show that Christians can misuse and misunderstand the Bible concerning other issues today, such as divorce or gender complementarianism (women’s roles).

Who says your church’s preacher’s interpretation is correct?

Or that John Piper’s is correct? or Al Mohler’s or J. D. Greear’s or Russell Moore’s? Or Mark Driscoll’s? Or that the Roman Catholic Pope’s  or Magisterium’s is correct?

Or who says the interpretation of the Bible by other Christian authors, theologians, or preachers, on these and other topics, is correct?

They could be absolutely and terribly and thoroughly in error on whatever topic they are addressing, whether they are appealing to biblical passages or not.

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• How Simply Acknowledging Another Person’s Pain Can Help Them More Than Telling Them to Cheer Up by Megan Devine, via Lori Dorn

How Simply Acknowledging Another Person’s Pain Can Help Them More Than Telling Them to Cheer Up by Megan Devine, via Lori Dorn

“How Simply Acknowledging Another Person’s Pain Can Help Them More Than Telling Them to Cheer Up”

Well, no kidding!

I’ve been saying this very thing forever at the Christian blogs I’ve been posting to for eons now.

Most Christians I went to for empathy after my mother died victim-blamed me, shamed me, offered unwanted and unsolicited advice, and tried to give me theology lessons.

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• Biblical Counselor Heath Lambert Believes that Publicizing Someone’s Unrepentant Sin Outweighs Keeping Their Counseling Information Confidential

Biblical Counselor Heath Lambert Believes that Publicizing Someone’s Unrepentant Sin Outweighs Keeping Their Counseling Information Confidential

Many Christians misuse the Bible – the Bible is not meant to be an exhaustive, end-all, be-all guide or rule book for Americans in the 21st century for every facet of life.

Thinking that it is leads to all sorts of harm to people, or potential harm.

As in the following example in the podcast linked to below.

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• Pastor Under Fire for Purging Members Who Attend Church Poorly

There seems to be two or three wide classes of churches in America:

Those who won’t let you go, even if you want to leave – if you quit for whatever reason, they will act like Terminators and as though you are Sarah Connor. They will keep harassing you and hounding you no matter what.

You have some churches who don’t care if you leave or not. Maybe you’re going through something painful in your life, so you stop attending, but nobody from the church seems to notice or care that you’ve not been showing up.

Then you have churches like the one I’m linking about here, who send you nasty-grams if you stopped attending, and threaten to kick you out, or who shame you, if you do not attend regularly.

If you are a member of a church, and one of your goals is to increase attendance, or keep it steady, the way NOT to do it is to send out these snotty letters to people, shaming them for having skipped church for however long.

This approach does nothing but offend or alienate people. This is a church I would make it a point to avoid, if I were church shopping and came across this article.

Pastor Under Fire for Purging Members Who Attend Church Poorly

Snippets:

By Leonardo Blair , Christian Post Reporter | Jul 19, 2018 10:15 AM

A Kentucky pastor who purged the rolls of his church of members who he says have been attending church poorly, is now coming under fire for how the now fuming ex-members say they were delisted.

Cave City Baptist Senior Pastor Ryan Broers told WBKO he was trying to send the delinquent members of his church a “wake-up call” when he sent them delisting letters this week.

…”I don’t ever want to go back to that church,” said Esters after receiving a letter informing her of her delisting that was sent out on July 16.

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• Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

Why Complementarian Women Are Complementarian – And: When Women Enforce Complementarianism

There are several reasons why a Christian woman might become a complementarian.

I will present a link much farther below (from Cult News site) that discusses how and why some Christian women pressure other Christian women to conform to sexist complementarian teachings.

I am an ex-complementarian.

Some women, such as myself, were born into complementarianism.

I was brought up in a Christian family that attended Southern Baptist churches, Southern Baptist churches endorse complementarianism, and my mother was always bringing in Christian-based magazines and other literature into the home, which stressed very traditional gender roles.

(When I was a kid growing up Southern Baptist, I don’t recall the Southern Baptists of the 1970s, or even the 1980s, being as nearly obsessed and insistent upon traditional gender roles as they started to become in the 1990s and later.)

If you become a Christian, and you love God, and you believe that God is your BFF (your bestie), you naturally want to live in such a way that is pleasing to God.

Your church and your parents are telling you that complementarianism is pleasing to God.

Furthermore, complementarianism is conflated with codependent attitudes and behavior by its adherents.

When you are a complementarian, you are taught by complementarians that your only alternative to complementarianism is to become an evil, icky, un-biblical, liberal secular feminist.

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• Southern Baptists Are Having To Defend Themselves Against the Accusation That They’re Becoming Feminists

Southern Baptists Are Having To Defend Themselves Against the Accusation That They’re Becoming Feminists

One of the mis-givings I have with being a conservative is sitting back and watching other conservatives automatically reject any and all grievances raised by secular or Christian feminists (and doing so without honestly weighing if the feminist points have merit or not), or to associate seeking justice and equality for women with extreme, militant feminism, and therefore rejecting it out-right.

There is nothing anti- conservative, or un-biblical, with conservatives, Republicans, Christians, or with anyone, noticing that sexism exists and seeking to rectify the situation and to ensure that girls and women are treated with respect, and given equality of opportunity.

The Southern Baptists Dumped a Predator or Two, but Let’s Hold Off on the F-word

Jul 16, 2018, 1:54pm Anne Linstatter

The #metoo and #churchtoo movements have put SBC leaders on the defensive, as earlier revelations of widespread child sexual abuse by priests did to the all-male Roman Catholic hierarchy. Yet both groups continue to deny that there could be any connection between all-male power and the sexual abuse of women and children.

What a hoot! Southern Baptists are having to defend themselves against the accusation that they’re becoming feminists.

What have they done to deserve this F-word? They’ve kicked out the president of a seminary for counseling victims of domestic violence to keep quiet, and for telling at least one rape victim to forgive her assailant and not report to police. They dethroned a few other predator pastors and confessed to past failures to protect the weak.

This counts as feminism?

I’d simply call it justice regardless of gender—which, by the way, actually is the definition of feminism.

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