• Gender Complementarian Trinitarian Analogies Do Not Work

Gender Complementarian Trinitarian Analogies Do Not Work

Blogger and author Scot McKnight made a series of posts about complementarianism and the Trinity this past week. I tweeted links to some of these blog posts earlier. The other night, blog Wartburg Watch made a post about these McKnight posts.

In that comment thread at TWW blog, I made a few comments, which I’ll get to in a moment.

For now, here are links to the McKnight posts (on his “Jesus Creed” blog):

Complementarianism’s Trinity: The Story Now Told – Aug 14

The Rise of the Complementarian Hypothesis of the Trinity – Aug 15

Civil War Among The Complementarians – Aug 16

Why Did It Take So Long? – Aug 17

The Trinity: Not from the Bible Alone – Aug 22

Some complementarians use a doctrine called E.S.S. (Eternal Subordination of the Son) to ground the subordination of wives to husbands in their very being (they use ESS as an ontological device).

They argue that because (in their view) that Jesus Christ is supposedly eternally subordinate to God the Father, in the same way, married women are subordinate to their husbands.

(I am unclear if the complementarians arguing ESS mean to say all women, regardless of marital status, are to be subordinate to all men or not. In all the cases I’ve seen of complementarians arguing ESS, it’s generally been on the basis of marital submission.)

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• Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

 Man Copes With the Death of His Wife By Hiking

What may become my standard opener for posts about death and grief:

My mother died a little bit before the year 2010 (yes, I am being intentionally sketchy about specifics because I would like to remain anonymous).
I discovered the hard way after my mother’s passing, and I was shocked and deeply saddened and disappointed to find, that most Christians are terrible at helping someone who is in grief.
Many Christians do not even want to try to be there for someone who has experienced loss, whether out of laziness, selfishness, or feeling uncomfortable with open expressions of emotional pain.
Whatever the reason, most Christians do not want to weep with the one who weeps and therefore leaves them to cope with the loss completely alone, which I feel is terrible and insensitive.


I watched a Christian program that involved a man whose wife died of breast cancer. He started hiking to cope with the loss.

Before I get to the link and his story, I wanted to use his story as a reminder: conservative Christians keep offering this fairy tale story that marriage will solve all a person’s problems.

The conservative church portrays singleness after the age of 25 as being second class or merely a waiting period until one eventually marries (what if one never marries? they never address this possibility).

Getting married is not a solution to loneliness, financial problems, or about anything else problematic, as so many Christians like to portray it.

Should you marry, your spouse may turn out to be abusive (whether physically, emotionally, verbally, or financially), your spouse may announce one day that he’s not in love with you any longer and wants to divorce you to marry another; or, your spouse may come down with a mental health problem or get into a car wreck and become paralyzed.

And, of course, as this post shows, should you marry, your spouse may die from a physical cause.

Hiking Through – One Man’s Great Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

Snippets:

Each year thousands of people attempt to hike the entire Appalachian Trail from start to finish. Only one in four completes it. When then 58-year-old Paul Stutzman took his first steps on the 2,176 mile journey, he wanted more than a great adventure. He was looking for an encounter with God.

Years before, Paul was busy living life. He was happily married, had three children and a great job managing a large restaurant in Ohio’s Amish country.  Then in 2002, doctors diagnosed his beloved wife Mary with breast cancer. Although they did everything they could and believed God would heal her, Mary passed away four years later.

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• A Critique of the Seneca Griggs Blog ‘Wartburg Whiners’ (Part 2)

A Critique of the Seneca Griggs Blog ‘Wartburg Whiners’ (Part 2)

Part One 


I never meant for this to be a series of posts. I initially wanted to make a single post critiquing one Griggs did in regards to TWW’s post about pastor Todd Wagner’s teaching about working mothers. But here we are at Part 2.

Seneca Griggs, also known as James Brown or Megs48 or Buzz English, is proprietor of the horribly named and horrible blog Wartburg Whiners, where he criticizes TWW (The Wartburg Watch) blog, its owners Deb and Dee, and their commentators (which has included me) and anyone who is less than thrilled over any and all doctrines or practices of conservative evangelicalism.

In Griggs’ world, you are to be a mindless automaton who unquestioningly goes along with any false doctrine, or dishonest or perverted pastor, and must attend a church, no matter how spiritually, financially, or sexually abusive its members are to you.

In the purview of Griggs, criticism or questioning of any church or pastor or conservative doctrine is verboten. If you dare to question or criticize as such, you are automatically assumed to be a feminist or a liberal.

Jesus Christ Commits a Big Seneca Griggs No-No

Jesus, who I take it Griggs would claim to respect, would be in for a scolding by Griggs, because Jesus is fine with criticizing the church.

See, for instance, how Jesus criticizes various churches:

Revelation 2

Here are some excerpts from Rev. 2, where Jesus is doing what Seneca Griggs believes nobody should do: criticize any church ever!

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• A Critique of the Seneca Griggs Blog ‘Wartburg Whiners’ (Part 1)

A Critique of the Seneca Griggs Blog ‘Wartburg Whiners’ (Part 1)

Part Two


I am mystified at Seneca Griggs’ on-going obsession with, and hatred and venom at, TWW (The Wartburg Watch) blog.

Judging from Griggs’ Archives section, his blog was started in 2014, and he continues to post there as of 2017.

Griggs, also known as James Brown or Megs48 or Buzz English, has a blog, called “Wartburg Whiners,” where he regularly criticizes or nit picks almost every post Deb or Dee publish on their blog, TWW.

I have had my differences with TWW myself.  I don’t see eye to eye with the blog owners or all of the regular commentators there on every topic.

I’ve written before that, to my displeasure, the general flavor at that blog, and at ones like it, leans liberal, left wing, at least in the comment section. (You can read my thoughts about that here if you’d like.)

But how is it that anyone can so vehemently resent and object to a blog by people that are seeking to protect the vulnerable, the hurting, and the wounded, or to call churches to start preventing child molesters from victimizing church children?

“WHINERS”?

Why is a group of people, (some Christian, some not), who are concerned with aiding victims and seeing justice done, being characterized by Griggs as being “Whiners”?

Is it really charitable to call a group of people who want to help the marginalized and the abused, “whiners”? Or could Griggs simply not come up with a snazzier name for his blog, and that was all he could think up?

Not only do many of the participants at TWW blog speak up on behalf of the victims, but many of them have also been hurt by pastors, churches, some Christian doctrines, or by other Christians.

I guess Grigg’s blog title of “Whiners” would include me as well, since I was a regular participant there for a few years, and I still drop by on occasion. Thanks so much, Griggs, for casting me as nothing but a “whiner.”

Do you know how Jesus referred to the same types of people who Griggs is calling “Whiners” on his Whiners blog?

Jesus called them, or compared them to people or things such as, Prodigal Sons, Lost Coins, or, he said he would leave the 99 sheep to go in search of the One Lost Lamb.

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• When Your Spouse is Mentally Ill, from Christianity Today

When Your Spouse is Mentally Ill, from Christianity Today

I was just saying in another post on gender complementarianism a few days ago that out of all the complementarianism coverage I’ve ever seen manufactured by complementarians, they never factor in situations where a woman’s husband dies, or develops dementia, becomes mentally unstable, becomes physically incapacitated so that he can no longer be the “head of the household,” and of course, they rarely discuss what to do with or about women who never marry or who divorce.

Here we see a post where a woman’s husband developed severe mental health issues to the point she had to divorce him. She had to learn to take care of herself and her children on her own.

When Your Spouse is Mentally Ill, from Christianity Today

Snippets:

by Anonymous

My husband’s schizoaffective disorder devastated our family. Here’s what I’ve learned in the years since he was first diagnosed.

[Her husband began exhibiting signs of mental illness. He was hospitalized.]

…My pastor, to whom I turned for counsel, didn’t have answers either, but he and his wife listened and loved my family well. I looked for secular resources for spouses of the mentally ill.

…A delusional partner

My husband and I had been true partners in our home. We parented together and shared the weight of responsibilities. I was dependent on him financially but also in a thousand other ways.

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• Gender Complementarianism Does Not Adequately Address, or Address At All, Incompetent, Loser, Or Incapacitated Men

Gender Complementarianism Does Not Adequately Address, or Address At All, Incompetent, Loser, Or Incapacitated Men

That gender complementarianism plays a role in domestic violence and cannot effectively deal with it should be beyond dispute at this point, but arguing on those grounds would require another post or two all on its own (or visit A Cry For Justice blog to see numerous examples, and at least one former post of mine for more).

That gender complementarianism is meaningless to divorced, never married, and widowed women, as well as to childless and child-free women (and perhaps to single men as well), should be quite obvious, but is, also, I feel, deserving of a post all on its own, possibly some day.

For now, I want to direct your attention to cases that don’t pertain to domestic violence.

IRRESPONSIBLE, STUPID, OR PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY INCAPACITATED MEN

I, Daisy, was engaged to a few years to a guy I shall call “Burt” (which was not his real name).

Burt managed to get a high school diploma but never went on to college.

In the first few months when we first began dating, Burt did tell me that he had been tested in school and it was determined that he could not read past a junior high school level.

At the time, I didn’t quite know what that meant, or did not fully appreciate what it meant.

I had gone to college once with a guy who had dyslexia, and though that guy was a slower reader than I was, he was of average intellect. So, I thought, my ex was maybe just telling me he was slower at reading than most people. Did I ever under-estimate things.

Turns out that my ex, Burt, was as dumb as a box of rocks and pretty laissez faire about paying bills on time.

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• ‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

‘Submit to Your Husbands’: Women Told To Endure Domestic Violence In The Name of God (via ABC Aussie news)

The article in question:

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson, via Aussie ABC news

My introductory comments:

Complementarians like to insist that their gender theology has nothing to do with domestic violence, but funny, isn’t it, how so many Christian wives who divorced their abusive Christian husbands remark how their husband would sometimes cite male headship or “wife submit” type Bible verses or complementarian concepts to justify their abuse?

I think it’s very deceitful for complementarians, on the one hand, to prop up this view that says it’s God’s (God’s! – talk about taking God’s name in vein) design for a husband to be in a boss-like or deity-like position of authority over a wife, but then feign ignorance at being able to connect the dots at seeing how such a sexist view could of course be used and misused by a husband to abuse his wife physically, emotionally, financially, or by some other means.

Most of the complementarian husbands who are not abusing their wives are not living out complementarianism proper, or taking to its logical conclusions or abusing its inherent unfairness to women, but are living out egalitarian marriages in practice (their marriages are complementarian in name only, which even complementarian Russell Moore pretty much recognized).

For complementarians who like to proclaim the “no true complementarian” fallacy (“no true complementarian husband would ever abuse his wife”), especially in regards to the correlation between domestic violence and complementarianism, I point you to this page on another blog:

John Piper and the No True Complementarian Fallacy

For those complementarians who like to say complementarianism properly carried out and practiced is acceptable and not violent or sexist, I point you to this post on my blog:

Even Warm and Fuzzy, True, Correctly-Implemented Gender Complementarianism is Harmful to Women, and It’s Still Sexism – Yes All Comps (Refuting “Not All Comps”)

Here again is a link to the Aussie ABC news article, with portions of the article reproduced below (in my view, all of this, or about all of this, is applicable to American complementarianism and American Christianity):

‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God by Julia Baird,  Hayley Gleeson

Snippets:

Research shows that the men most likely to abuse their wives are evangelical Christians who attend church sporadically. Church leaders in Australia say they abhor abuse of any kind. But advocates say the church is not just failing to sufficiently address domestic violence, it is both enabling and concealing it.

This is the second instalment of an ABC News and 7.30 investigation into domestic violence and religion. You can read part one in the series — on domestic violence and Islamhere.

….”Your problem is you won’t obey me. The Bible says you must obey me and you refuse,” he [Peter] yelled [at his wife Sally]. “You are a failure as a wife, as a Christian, as a mother. You are an insubordinate piece of s**t.”

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