Splashing into it again!

Good morning, good morning! I thought I’d just cruise by this whole thing one more time, and then perhaps we can let it dwindle into extinction. Sound good? Here’s the thing. There are obviously many, many feathers in the air, and the likelihood of this post calming everyone down may be slim to none. But – there are clearly several groups of people following along on this, and so I’ll parcel out my responses and address the groups individually.

Group 1: People who agreed with me, and who get it

Hello there. Cheery wave.

Group 2: Rachel Held Evans fans, who found this blog accidentally and who were passionately offended by my remarks

Hello there. Cheery wave. Actually, we’re in completely different camps – and one or two very controversial blog posts are probably not enough to clearly understand where we at Femina are coming from. But suffice it to say that we’re not the oppressed, trodden-upon women that we’ve been caricatured as being. Submission doesn’t have to look like slavery . . . true submission never does. And to be perfectly honest, this is a much more fun place to stand than over in the camp where there’s a lot of indignation and hurt feelings. Seriously – things are a lot more cheerful over here. Come by and hang out for a while and I think you’ll see what I mean.

Group 3: “I’m totally confused. I’d like to be on your side here, but why on earth did you hit that bee’s nest, why on earth did you hit it so hard, and I have a pit in my stomach about the whole thing.”

OK – you’re the group I really wanted to talk to. My guess is that you’re probably 80% of the crowd, and you’re the ones not commenting. Am I right? So here’s the deal. Let’s walk through this a bit more slowly. Rachel Held Evans is a feminist egalitarian who, among other things, refers to God in the feminine, is defensive of homosexuality, and whose forthcoming book involves her taking all the biblical commands to women, following them as literally as possible and then showing how ridiculous they all are. She’s a woman who has made her name by being a bit of a shock-jock. She talks rough and tough, and gets all crass on the guys she’s going after. But here’s the thing. She also makes her living by professionally getting her feelings hurt. Most of the tag lines for her posts could be, “They’re being mean to us women” or, “They’re being mean to them and I’m the gutsy one who will stick up for the underdog.” But she always plays the underdog card. She’s become a pro at grabbing her knee and falling down in front of the ref – but usually on behalf of someone else. She manages to achieve a “don’t mess with me” attitude along with a “you’re hurting my feelings” message. In case you missed the irony, that’s really funny. It’s also really hard to argue with.

Some people thought I was being incredibly demeaning to women in my post – objecting to all the stereotypical imagery I used. “Stamping her little foot,” “Smelling salts,” “Squeaky voice,” etc. But here’s the thing – I was actually making a point with that. If she doesn’t like the stereotypical “little woman” thing . . . then she should stop being the stereotypical little woman. She’s ready to cry and get her feelings hurt at the drop of a hat, and she does so because it’s very hard for a man to argue with a woman who’s pulling that trick. It’s effective. (But it’s also doing the very thing that she objects to men saying about women.) Then she’s ready to flip-flop into a “how dare you” mood as soon as that suits her purpose. Also hard for a man to argue with. She’s perfected the art of seizing the moral high ground by falling down and acting wounded. If she truly was a weak little woman – well, of course I wouldn’t have gone after her the way I did. But to be honest, she’s not a weak little woman. Her tactics are incredibly conniving, and honestly I think she’s doing an amazing disservice to women by acting like this.

So why go after her at all? Like I said, she makes her living by getting her feelings hurt – usually on behalf of someone else. In this case she chose my dad as the target. She was full-on in wounded mode . . . on behalf of women who are used and abused by men like him and by his teachings. So who would be the biggest victims in her opinion? Well clearly, if her accusations were true, the biggest victims of Dad’s evil misogynist ways would be me, my sister, and my mom. And to be honest, her tactics make it very hard for a man to go after her – she’s very good at flipping things around and making him look like a bully. So I thought I’d have a go. I have no problem giving the Russian arm bar to a woman who’s spent the last decade rolling on the floor grabbing her knee, and is now claiming that it was my dad who knocked her down.

If what she said about Dad were true, then the women influenced by his teachings would be weak, downtrodden victims, desperately needing her champion voice to come along and liberate us. My post was intended to show that’s not the case, and that no matter how much she rolls around on the floor, I’m not buying it.

Lastly – a number of you pointed out that I didn’t interact with her actual arguments. True. That wasn’t my point. My dad has very ably done that here, here, and here. Jared Wilson has very ably done that here. They didn’t need me to come along and add my two cents. The only thing I wanted to accomplish was to have someone out there loudly point out what this woman is doing. That’s not something a man can easily do – she’ll spin it to make him look like a big meany. And people are trying to make it out that I’m the big meany . . . but that’s fine. I’m a big girl. I can take it. And I promise I won’t fall down and cry.

One more thing. I posted this in the comments yesterday, but in case you missed it I’m cut and pasting it here!

Aloha to the great swirling internet world! I can’t respond to everyone’s thoughts, so I won’t even try . . . but let me toss out a general footnote or two to the conversation.

First – to all the people who feel that I’m wounded, hurt, angry, bitter, or in pain: I appreciate your concern (to those who were concerned)- but I’m awfully afraid you have the wrong takeaway. Try re-reading the post, but this time read it with an overlay of “funny”.

Second – To the people who thought I was bragging about learning formal logic etc. That wasn’t my intention at all. Not bragging – pointing out that my father wasn’t the oppressive ogre that some people are imagining him to be. I’ve heard men say that women don’t need an education because they only need to be able to have babies and mop floors . . . but my dad isn’t one of them.

Third – I enjoy it that people are actually trying to paint me as a misogynist. Good one guys.

Fourth – and I repeat myself, I haven’t been angry or had my feelings hurt all day. Jolly as can be over here. I’ve been the daughter of Doug Wilson long enough to hear him accused of pretty much everything under the sun. I’m pretty used to it now. Once, I was solemnly informed that he forced our whole congregation to make their own toothbrushes. (Not true – but a rather awesome thing to accuse him of.) A ripe little story circulated a while back that he charged my husband $70,000 to marry me. (Not true.) I’ve been informed that he’s a racist. (Not true.) I’ve been told he is a drunk, who spends his weekends down at the bars. (Not true.) I’ve been told he’s a misogynist, a perjurer, a Neo-Nazi, and a skunk. (Not true on all counts.)

But just because it doesn’t make me cry and get wounded when I hear those things doesn’t make them ok to say. And when I hear a woman accusing him of being misogynist, and one who promotes rape at that, I don’t mind stepping out and saying what I think about it. But again, do re-read it and realize that I’m as chirpy as the day is long over here. Let’s remember that RHE was the one who specifically stated that everyone’s first step in responding to Doug Wilson should be to “get angry.” That was her approach, not mine.

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104 Responses to “Splashing into it again!”


  • Wait–what? Does this mean I should return my Dainty Dames Toothbrush-Making Kit?

    But seriously…nice work here.

  • Amen again.
    The world needs more big girls.

  • Bekah – incredible posts with insight and charm. I mean this with great seriousness: I’m the Dad of a young daughter; what are the best resources (hopefully some things from Canon Press) for me to get some insight on the practicals of how your Dad parented his daughters?

    I’d like to raise a few like you!

  • Bekah –
    I was one who read and didn’t comment, but not one of the 80%.

    I think your dad has an excellent view of gender roles, sometimes uses language that can be (purposefully and genuinely) misunderstood, and he has loved his wife and daughters well.

    I appreciated you taking on the role of highlighting the knee-grabbing game at which Evans is playing, because, as you pointed out in this follow up, men will have a hard time getting away with that.

    Keep preachin’, sister. Show the world (including and especially the backwards, patriarchal-in-the-mean-sense folks and the backwards, egalitarians-in-the-bad-sense folks) what submissive, bright, strong, biblical womanhood actually looks like. You femina girls are a big encouragement to my husband and me, especially as we endeavor to raise our children with chirpy, honorable, humorous and devout takes on life, sex and family.

    Also, folks should study the use of satire over the course of (Christian) history.

    Blessings!

  • Has your dad ever considered adopting another daughter?? I think I would fit right in. Well done, Bekah. It’s encouraging to know that I’m not the only one of our kind infiltrating the unsuspecting masses.

  • Very well said, Bekah. Sadly, Rachel is what I term an ‘offence troll’, seeking to heighten and set off her readers’ triggers in order to encourage outrage.

  • Well said Bekah! I appreciate all the Wilsons involved in this fray. This coming from the subset of the 80% who got it, but didn’t say anything because though we’re smart enough to understand and appreciate, we’re not quick-witted enough to join in. So to you I offer an un-oppressed and cheery wave back as well as a ‘woohoo!’.

  • thanks and well said

    when I read rachel’s blog I thought we were dealing only with hysteria in the worst female sense, in the sense or, rather reason we used to name hurricaines in the female strictly…it seemed that rachel’s “thinking” was irrational, illogical, unpredictable…IOW, hysterical…

    thankyou for pointing out and uncovering her modus operandi

  • Go. Fight. Win.

  • Great stuff, thanks.

  • “Submission doesn’t have to look like slavery . . . true submission never does. And to be perfectly honest, this is a much more fun place to stand than over in the camp where there’s a lot of indignation and hurt feelings. Seriously – things are a lot more cheerful over here. Come by and hang out for a while and I think you’ll see what I mean.”

    I loved this bit!

  • Hi Bekah,

    I’m an occasional RHE reader, though rarely find myself in agreement with her. I also occasionally follow The Gospel Coalition, and have generally assumed their material is solid if only because of the bigger names associated with them. I self-identify vaguely with complementarianism, and am uncomfortable with the more liberal leanings of the egalitarian crowd. All that to say, if I had a dog in this fight, it should be for Jared Wilson.

    I don’t think either man is espousing rape, marital or otherwise (and indeed, neither does Rachel, per her clarification this morning: http://rachelheldevans.com/sex-submission-response)

    But with respect, I’ve also invested a lot of time, energy, counseling, and care with women who have suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse at hands of spouses, boyfriends, older family members, or family friends. And it bothered me that both Jared and Douglas Wilson were so dismissive. They didn’t care that their aggressive language caused pain to their sisters in Christ. They responded with accusations of low reading comprehension.

    A comment posted on another blog (one that I was unaware of until yesterday) characterizes a heart-break that should not have been ignored and dismissed by Jared and the TGC:

    “Using the negatively powerful words of “penetrates. conquers, colonizes, and plants” with negatively passive and submissive words like “receives, surrenders, and accepts” does not in any way show love, gentleness, and true respect. I have experienced when I was raped as a child in 4th grade. It was awful, powerful, painful, and truly ugly. I have not and do not talk about this often. Reading the words of the men of the Gospel Coalition brought back the experience…”

    source: http://diannaeanderson.net/?p=1332&cpage=1#comment-2044

    And that’s the real tragedy here. Mud-slinging aside, representatives of Jesus Christ did not demonstrate care for the true “least of these.” Rachel Held Evans did.

  • Bekah, I was one who vacillated between camps 1 & 3, so thank you for this clarifying post. I’m now firmly in the first group. Happy to be here, sir!

  • You’re missing group 4 – those who generally agree with your way of thinking but feel like your post was off the mark.

  • Clear, insightful, intelligent. Thank you!

  • I’m a group 2 person, but what can I say…I love your snark. I’ve been looking for a counterbalance to RHE for awhile so consider me a new subscriber. (Just don’t scare me away or anything…I’m still on the fence with this whole complementarian/egalitarian thing.)

  • Sorry but I’m one of those who don’t really get what the whole fuss is about as I don’t read many other christian blogs and am not American. I have no idea what you’re on about but I wasn’t sure about the tone and wondered if it would have been wiser to either ignore the whole furore (I’m sure your Dad is well able to defend himself) or to have raised some of your valid comments about submission etc in a less pointed at a particular person way. I don’t know this lady and she may well be all the things you say, but it does come across as less than gracious as a response. I’m not sure where the teaching of kindness comes across in these posts, which is not to say these subjects shouldn’t be discussed.

    I stumbled upon your blog and have been trying to gauge how “sound” you are, as I don’t know anything about you or your family (in a nice way, just your books haven’t made it across here much and your Dad doesn’t seem to be on the “circuit of soundness” in the UK in the same way as say DA Carson or Dale Ralph Davis, although he may well believe the same things as them, as may you, well I hope you do!) I have found your blog helpful and stimulating for thinking through issues in a Godly manner but I have to say these recent posts have left me wondering whether my initial assessment was correct. I don’t mean to offend but just thought I’d offer my tuppence worth.

  • Thanks for clearing things up! I’m definitely siding with you here :)

  • “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23

    “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” Proverbs 10:19

    There is a way to correct errors and defend your father that honours God and this young woman. Perhaps you could have simply stated that there was a woman at RHE with some serious issues with your father and could we all uphold her in prayer.

  • To Jessi,

    A few things I would like to point out, not to diminishes your feelings but to add a new perspective.

    1) I easily see how conquer, penetrate, colonize, etc can conjure up horrific images, especially for victims of sexual abuse. But, the passage pulled and under such scrutiny is a mere few paragraphs in the entire book. So much is lost when context is not considered. Sometimes that context is gleaned from reading the ENTIRE book to completely and accurately understand the attitude and stance of the author. This is a very simplistic example, but let me offer it anyway. If I overheard the comment “She’s my bitch” I would be very offended and insulted that a man should hold a woman in such low esteem. However, if I realized that the man was in fact a dog breeder and he was in fact referring to his female dog that he breeds, I would not at all be offended by his use of correct vernacular of is trade. I reiterate, I am not dismissing the hurtful imagery those particular words can conjure, but taken within the context of the entire work, and considering the attitude and intent of the author, those words may not be viewed as harshly as initially thought.

    2) RHE says that the Wilsons have not addressed the concerns of the women who were hurt by such language. I have reviewed the comment threads on both her blog and Jared’s blog, and in fact, they have… multiple times and with gentleness and grace. They did challenge the reading comprehension of commenters who continually refused to acknolwledge (I’m not saying agree, but they refused to hear their explanations it seems) their clarifying comments as well as those commenters who came to rash judgements (did you see some of the name calling going on? Holy Toledo!). To the people that posed question and concerns in a respectfully, genuiinely interested attitude, the two did respond quite politely and lovingly. Many commenters, though, we’re militant and unwillingly to engage in intelligent, respectful dialogue resulting in some (justifiably so, IMO) snarky retorts from the two.

    3) I think we are very similar in that I’m an occasional reader of RHE, I rarely agree with her about anything theologically, and I lean towards complementarianism (though I don’t wholly embrace it yet only because I’m still learning about it and working through many preconceived and incorrect notions I had about it). What burns me up the most is that she still, even after today’s post, refuses to considered the two points I have already made, despite multiple people encouraging her to do so. If we get down to the brass tax, she is in disagreement with both Wilsons’ stances on marriage. The only thing I can figure is that she does feel the need to play the victim or champion or whatever, because every concern she has still (as posted today) has been addressed. Maybe she just didn’t read through the comments or something? Regardless, whether or not Jared’s post was intentionally hurtful and Douglas Wilsom actually does believe in “male authority in the bedroom”, this is American and the can believe and say what they want! She certainly does. On more occasions than I can count she has spoken out against anti-homosexual politicies and their supporters, the narrow-mindedness of science refuting creationists, pro-life activists and women subduing patriarchy disguised as complementarianism admonishing them to be more love centered, grace filled, and open minded with those Christians who embrace differing beliefs. She says she believes we should respond to those who are different with gentleness, not anger, yet what does she want her readers to do? She says she desires to bridge the chasm, but here she is widening the gap. Despising disagreeing with her mostly, I haven’t ever been angry. I can’t help but get angry in the face of blatant hypocrisy under the guise of “social justice”.

    Sorry for getting carried away, Jessi and Bekha. I’ll get off my soapbox, now. I’ve been quiet kn this so it feels good to get it off my chest, And Jessi, again, please don’t take offense to any of this! :)

  • Oh. My. Goodness. Please, please excuse the typos and grammatical errors. Typing on an iPad is not conducive when writing a mini dissertation.

  • When I think of some of the ways Paul corrected people and wrote about his detractors and addressed those who were in error, I just can’t be persuaded that we can’t honor God unless we act like Elsie Dinsmore. I’m not trying to be a smart aleck; this really concerns me. Heroes in the Bible fought. It can be appropriate.

  • If you have to clarify that you are indeed funny and not a misogynist, you come off like someone saying “I’m not racist, but the thing about black people…” who then is indignant and insists it was just a joke.

    You can call insults jokes all you want but that doesn’t mean you aren’t insulting someone.

    Oh, but I forgot, you will know His followers by the way they get defensive and insult one another.

  • Reading how “She’s a woman who has made her name by being a bit of a shock-jock” but also “ready to cry and get her feelings hurt at the drop of a hat, I paused over the “formal logic” and laughed a little for the “shocking” Rachel Held Evans. I can only imagine that egalitarian gender roles may be “shocking” to some! Yet, as a man, my masculinity is not remotely threated by equality for women or anyone else. Just to emphasise–I am not remotely threated by equality or Douglas Wilson’s views–I know which is the stronger argument.

  • Kirsten, incase your comment was directed at my comment. Thank you for highlighting that I perhaps didn’t fully explain my comment. I was not at all suggesting that we do not fight for truth or defend others against unjust and unfounded attack. My concerns with the post are entirely with the manner of delivery and personal remarks about RHE, not with the central issue. Hope that clears it up some and I thank you again for your concerns. God bless.

  • You’re the only stereotypical female in this exchange, Bekah….you know–the type that you decided to go off about in terms of getting knickers in twists based off of nothing but emotion and whatnot (me paraphrasing you).

  • I admit to being a solid #3 when I read this yesterday. Thanks for clearing that right up, Bekah! I love this blog and appreciate the wisdom within. Firmly planted #1 now. Cheery wave back. :)

  • Sara, I was actually trying to draw attention to Paul’s manner of delivery and the personal remarks he made. Can we imitate the Apostle Paul’s fighting style or not? I think we lose a lot when we hold up a certain Evangelically-correct standard for discourse and rhetoric that doesn’t faithfully reflect the Bible’s standards. It has the appearance of being high-minded, humble, and spiritual, but does it remind you of Paul, Moses, David, Elijah, or if you think carefully about it, Jesus?

  • Oh, Rebekah! Will you be my new best cyber friend? I was beginning to think the inter-webs were all but devoid of women who can think critically and comport themselves biblically… and then I found you! The first time I read a Rachel Held Evans post hoped it would also be the last time. I thought, “Here’s trouble with cult following trying to do us a favor- I hope she doesn’t insist on lobotomizing er..um liberating anyone I know.”

    I am not nearly as nice as you when it comes to tolerating ridiculousness in women. I expect more and you have not disappointed. I took your first post as a challenge. “Are we playing chess? My queen to your king and checkmate.”

    If I were an egalitarian, which I am not, I would be embarrassed to have Ms.Evans carrying my standard. Surely she has more in her arsenal than playing victim and launching ad hominem attacks. What’s next? A spiral into Goodwin’s Law? Well done.

  • I don’t think I’ve ever taken the moment to comment before — I’m a long time reader and now I simply must say something: positively fantastic! Brava, brava, brava!

  • I have just posted the first part of a two or three part series on this whole brouhaha.

  • Cheery wave from Australia.

  • “And to be perfectly honest, this is a much more fun place to stand than over in the camp where there’s a lot of indignation and hurt feelings. Seriously – things are a lot more cheerful over here. Come by and hang out for a while and I think you’ll see what I mean.”

    Did you know that a lot of people, women inparticular, who are now egalitarian actually grew up in the complimentarian side of things and ended up being abused and hurt and stifled by it? Constantly feeling like they weren’t valued because they didn’t have an extra appendage between their legs? I think it’s really dismissive and unChristlike of you to presume that everyone who is egal is miserable and bitter all the time and they aren’t as happy as you oh-so-awesome comps. I have a very egaliarian and dare I say feminist outlook on life and my relationship with my partner reflects that. And we’ve been together for 8 years and things are still going strong. So I guess if I wanted to mirror what you seem to be arguing, I guess I should invite you to come over to MY side of the fence because it is pretty cheerful too! See what happens wehn you generalize? Might wanna cut that out.

    Also, calling Rachel Held Evans a shock-jock? I almost spit out my tea! I do not think that word means what you think it means.

  • Also, since you seem to think Mrs. Evans is Satan Incarnate, I wonder what you’d have to say about this critique of your father’s words. Now THEM’S fightin’ words! Though, I have to say, I find myself agreeing with her more often than not. Your dad is not a nice man. And you are not a nice woman.

    http://arewomenhuman.me/2012/07/18/doug-wilson-gospel-coalition-rape/

  • Looks like Pastor Wilson is having to deal with the ready, fire, aim crowd again. It’s a shame, because it’s not like he has nothing else to do.

  • Emma,
    I am Rebekah’s cousin and live in the UK. Definitely “sound”. But you should be aware that this is not the tiny box of soundness that I sometimes notice is the only category respected by English conservative Christians. For what it is worth though, John Piper, who is typically trusted around this island as sound, is friend to the Femina ladies and Doug Wilson. Also, if you are worried about tone remember that Jesus didn’t always sound kind, but he was perfect. Where do you live by the way? We are in Cambridge.

  • Brian Scarborough

    Love your posts on this. You might be the most articulate and funny blogger in the world. Keep up the scathing humor against those like Evans.

  • “she’ll spin it to make him look like a big meany”

    See, this is your problem.

    Did you ever consider the possibility that he she really think he is a big meany?

    So do you believe that she knows Doug is not a meany and is purposefully “spinning” things to make him look like one?

    I don’t get that at all. I think she just reached the wrong conclusions and should be corrected with some grace.

  • Let’s not forget–Bekah is not poking fun at hurting women, here. She’s using irony and sarcasm to expose a wolf in sheep’s clothing, an intellectual scoffer. Rachel Held Evans has chosen a passive aggressive approach to scoff at God’s truth, and her “compassion” for hurting women is a thinly-disguised rebellion against the framework God established in the order of Creation. She is consumed with bitterness.

    Remember, the abuse of something does not negate its proper use. Every establishment in history has been twisted. Every power bestowed has been wielded as a weapon to oppress those under its authority. There is only Father who is blameless of this perversion, and that Father is God. Many pastors, priests, teachers, mentors, and COACHES (Sandusky, anyone?) have abused their position of authority to injure, corrupt, molest, rape, and otherwise harm those entrusted to their care. This does not mean that we must abolish these offices, but rather, as Doug Wilson does tirelessly, we must call those in authority to faithfulness and righteousness in their work.

    As another young woman who has often heard her own father slandered by embittered men and women, I commend Bekah for keeping her sense of humor about it all. Sometimes it’s easier to just keep quiet and stand on the sidelines, silently wishing your dad would quit drawing attention to himself and your family by being so provocative. But this family is simply standing in the gap, staring down a woman attempting to tear down the walls from the inside out. The Bible is provocative, not Doug Wilson. If you’re ashamed of the Gospel, don’t claim it.

  • Hi,

    I found your blog through triablogue, and I’m glad I did. I thought your posts on this issue are brilliant. Here’s the really weird thing, though: I agree 100% with your assessment of Rachel Held Evans, and also with the objections that have been raised to your dad’s statements quoted on the Gospel Coalition website. Strange, huh?

    Thanks,
    AA

  • Hi Bekah,

    I grew up watching movies and TV shows with Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Mae West, Katherine Hepburn, Joan Blondell, Barbara Stanwyck, &c. These are strong-willed, self-made women who succeeded in a man’s world long before women’s lib. It’s odd to see feminists like Rachel Evans act like fainting violets.

    Steve Hays

  • If your aim was to show how to be nasty you achieved it in both your blogs. What is sad about that is that not only does it grieve the Spirit, it actually harms who God wants you to become.

  • Why are some defenders of Rachel Evans trying to put Bekah in her place? Why is it praiseworthy for Evans to be so outspoken, but blameworthy when another woman is outspoken in response to Evans? Why, in the name of feminism and egalitarianism, are some commenters faulting Bekah for not being more dainty, demur, and docile?

    Reminds me of the double standard in the media, where it’s okay for liberal women (e.g. Rachel Maddow, Ellen DeGeneres, Janeane Garofalo, Roseanne Barr, Kathy Griffin, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg, Rosie O’Donnell) to speak out, but if a conservative woman (e.g. Sarah Palin) speaks out, she’s demonized.

  • Steve Hays, my guess is because Bekah hasn’t actually brought anything constructive to the table. There’s being an outspoken woman, and then there is just being an asshole. Rachel Held Evans is speaking out against abuse (and as much as complimentarians like to sweep it under the rug, tons of women have been abused in complimentarian marriages and have left that lifestyle for that very reason) and she never attacked anyone personally. She attacked their words and ideas. All I see here are defensive, childish rants that really add nothing at all to the dialogue.

  • I guess I fall into another category…someone who follows both you and RHE and has done so without a problem for quite some time.

    I have to say that you are unfair to RHE in the way you categorize her – as a shock jock, theologically unsound feminist crying foul for everything she can. If you follow her blog, you know many of her posts in the past have been more focused on spirituality and less on gender issues. It’s only been in the past few months building up to her book release that she’s become more focused on egalitarian issues. Of course, it’s always been there, but it’s definitely taken on more spotlight than before, especially since her “Week of Mutuality”.

    You have posted a blatantly untrue and viciously uncharitable image of RHE who is your sister in Christ. She never even came close to the level of condescension, mockery, and vitriol that you display here – at least, not in her blog posts. She does not “make her living by getting her feelings hurt”, nor does she “fall down and act wounded”. She’s presented biblical arguments and sound reasoning for her beliefs and her reactions.

    Her beef was on a level of theological and academic disagreement with your father. Your beef was on a personal level, which was highlighted by your reaction. You said your point was to tell people what RHE was doing, when in reality you drew an false, hurtful, uncharitable caricature of her to draw support for your family and lash out to damage her reputation.

    I know terrible things are being said about your father, things people should never say especially when they are untrue! I feel for your family and I hope you will draw closer to each other and to God throughout this. I’m sorry for any turmoil this may have caused, although you all sound pretty rock solid throughout. God bless you all, the situation is in my prayers.

  • Mary,
    So when a strong, complementarian woman uses irony to make a point, it’s a “childish rant”? You seem to be proving Steve’s point.

    On the other hand, my chief problem with Douglas Wilson’s statements about submission and sex are exactly the ones you and others might raise. Even if he’s right, the Fall has affected both how we see gender roles in sex and how they are abused. Complementarians ought to make better rhetorical choices when faced with the fact that their audiences do include victims of abuse.

    Incidentally, I’m also straining my soft-complementarian mind to try to find any exegetical support for the statements of Wilson that Held Evans took exception to. It’s not that they absolutely cannot be true; it’s that they’re not necessary inferences as far as I can tell. That being the case, they’re more than just offensive (who cares if they’re offensive?!); they’re potentially painful enough that they ought to be more carefully couched in language recognizing the distinction that I know Wilson would draw between what he considers Biblical submission and abuse. YOU know he knows the difference, Mary, and so do I.

    I think Rebekah’s rhetorical choices in the first post were smart and dripping with irony that made her points indirectly. The problem with such indirect argumentation is that some folks will fail to see that any argument was made at all. So, for instance, you see it as an “attack” and being an “asshole”. Strangely, Rebekah never said anything of the sort about the folks who called her dad a racist, sexist, neo-nazi, et cetera. She painted a picture of Held Evans worth seeing for what it was – a picture – and it’s your responsibility to determine whether it was fair. Note: NOT whether it was the incontrovertible truth, but whether it was FAIR. I say it was. I also happen to think it’s true. Painting a picture of her father as a misogynist isn’t fair or true, but perhaps painting him as an intelligent dinosaur would be FAIR (even if untrue).

  • Elizabeth,

    It wasn’t uncharitable or vicious. It was funny and ironic. Note that your characterization focuses on Rebekah’s motivations (how do you know them?) and mine focuses on the posts’ content.

  • We must have read two different posts, A. Adams because it didn’t come off ironic or funny to me at all. I like to think I have a pretty good sense of humour (even for a supposedly humourless feminist) and I really just thought Bekah’s post was in poor taste. I thought Rachel’s post was tasteful, intelligent, articulate and really got to the point of the problematic aspects of this type of theology, without personally attacking anyone in the process.

    I know that people like Doug Wilson and other complimentarian types don’t actively promote abuse, but there teachings can and often are used to excuse and promote abuse, regardless of their intent. That’s why it’s extremely, extremely important to be mindful of the language you use when you talk about submission. Doug’s words were careless and hurtful to many, both men and women alike and he dismissed them and was rude to them, even when they were not rude to him. That’s the key here. If some people are calling him a Nazi or whatever then yes, that is wrong. But he (and Bekah) are responding in a vitrolic way to people who are bringing up VALID CRITICISM of their views.

  • Mary:

    “Rachel Held Evans is speaking out against abuse (and as much as complimentarians [sic] like to sweep it under the rug, tons of women have been abused in complimentarian [sic] marriages and have left that lifestyle for that very reason) and she never attacked anyone personally.”

    No doubt that’s the back-patting role she’s cast herself in. The dauntless superheroine, speaking up on behalf of the voiceless and oppressed.

    In the course of which she indulges in a lot of stereotyping. That’s the problem with identity politics. You only care about your special interest group.

    For instance, there’s also a war against boys in this country, and that has casualties too. But you and Rachel turn a blind eye to that.

    It’s the one-sidedness I object to.

  • A war against boys? What pray tell, is that? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that every group of people, regardless of gender or race or anything is bound to face struggles, but I think in a patriarchal society in which men are the ruling class, it’s hard to say that there is a “war on boys.”

  • Mary,

    Let’s grant for the sake of argument that you and I both live “in a patriarchal society in which men are the ruling class.”

    You’ve never heard of a guerrilla war?

    That said, as a stay-at-home dad in this particular day and age, it’s pretty laughable to think of myself as part of any ruling class.

  • Stay at home dads are still pretty rare, A. Adams. I understand that you probably don’t feel like you’re “ruling” anything from you position at home, but I would hope that that gives you more empathy for the struggles of women? We’ve long been told that our places is in the home and as much as some women do enjoy being a homemaker, it can also be quite stifling for others. It is important work, but not everyone is cut out for it, ya know? For what it’s worth, I think you’re doing a really amazing thing by staying at home with your kids! I happen to think it takes a pretty strong man to do something like that, especially in a culture when you’re told that you’re less of man for not “bringing home the bacon.”

  • Mary

    “A war against boys? What pray tell, is that?”

    Thanks for illustrating my point to perfection. Because you practice identity politics, you only know about the grievances of your own special interest group. You’re oblivious to anyone outside your bubble.

    The war against boys is the title of a well-known book, written by Christina Hoff Sommers.

    “…but I think in a patriarchal society in which men are the ruling class…”

    That’s an example of how your feminist bigotry blinds you to the facts. Women can run for public office. And female voters outnumber male voters, so there’s nothing to prevent women from “ruling.”

    Do you think men are the ruling class in WA state, where both the governor and two senators are women?

    In CA, both senators are women. CA voters also had a chance to elect a women to the governorship, but chose an old white guy instead. Why did a blue state like CA pass over a qualified female candidate? You can’t rationally chalk that up to California’s “patriarchal society.”

    And it wasn’t so very long ago that the Speaker of the House was a woman, until her party took a drubbing in the last Congressional election cycle.

    We currently have three women on the Supreme Court. Women can and do hold top jobs in academia.

    But that doesn’t play into your feminist narrative.

  • Steve Hays, I’m familiar with all those arguements and like I said, every group faces struggles based on their gender but men do have privileges that women don’t. Women are still told that their “proper place” is in the home and women definitely have to work harder to get to the top than their male counterparts. I do no have any “feminist bigotry”, I do not hate men in any way, I am just aware of the fact that men have an advantage over women. Lets have this conversation again when there is a female president of the United States or when 1 in 5 women is not a victim of rape and sexual assault or when women stop being told that the only way they can be truly succeed in life is by “submitting” to a man.

  • Mary

    “Steve Hays, I’m familiar with all those arguements and like I said, every group faces struggles based on their gender…”

    Since there are only two genders, that’s nonsensical.

    “…men do have privileges that women don’t.”

    No, men in 21C America don’t have any unique “privileges.” The privileged class reflects social class, not gender.

    “Women are still told that their ‘proper place’ is in the home…”

    Is that what they’re told in blue states?

    “Lets have this conversation again when there is a female president of the United States…”

    Well, Hillary narrowly lost the nomination. Had she been nominated, she’d probably be president. It was a bad year for Republicans.

    Why didn’t Democrats nominate her? Is that because the Democrat party is a patriarchal party?

    “…or when 1 in 5 women is not a victim of rape and sexual assault.”

    Let’s not forget false charges of rape (e.g. the Duke Lacrosse case). Likewise, as Dorothy Rabinowitz has documented, accusing the ex of incest is the weapon of choice in custody battles.

    Likewise, women can also be sexually abusive. Take the Nazareth House scandal.

    You keep stereotyping men. Bigots never recognize their own bigotry.

    “…or when women stop being told that the only way they can be truly succeed in life is by ‘submitting’ to a man.”

    Many men have to submit to women to succeed in our society. Many women hold positions of power over many men.

  • Again, you are not telling me anything I don’t already know. But abuse of women is definitely more stystematic than abuse of men. I’m not saying that these things can never happen to men or that a man has never submitted to a woman or anything like that. You’re making a lot of assumptions. But there is definitely a power imbalance here. This very blog and everything that the complimentarian movement stands for and promotes just upholds that power imblance. It tells women to stay in the background and let the men be the leaders. That is not a good thing. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

  • You’re obsessed with power. But power is not a priority in Christian piety. Christians don’t live for power.

  • Oh, I am really, really glad you clarified this. Especially the part about that bride price story, ’cause I had heard that your dad made your husband pay him 70,000 goats. ;)

  • Okay, then why does the complimentarian movement spend so much time telling women that power and leadership is only for men? If it’s not about power, then why can’t men and women share it? Why do we have to say that leadership is for men only, and submission is for women only?

  • Mary,

    1) Do you believe that, along with the Holy Spirit, God the Son and God the Father are One–co-equal and co-eternal? (“I and the Father are One.” “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.”)

    2) Do you believe that God has three distinct persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and that the Son willingly submits to the authority of God the Father? (God SENT his only begotten Son. Jesus prayed that the cup might be removed from Him, but ended with, “Nevertheless, not my will, but YOURS, be done.” “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been GIVEN to me.” *CAPS MINE

    If you believe what the Bible says, you will have answered “yes” to both of the above questions. So, why is it so difficult for you to understand that headship and submission aren’t about power? That they are a wonderful part of God’s perfect design, of which the bride of Christ is a part, and of which marriage is a marvelous picture?

    Christ came to serve, not to be served; but He is without a doubt our Lord and Master. And we rest securely in His bosom.

  • I’m not a Christian, though I suppose I have a great amount of respect for all world religions and spiritualities. I believe there is more to life than what we see but organized religion is way to confining and dogmatic for me a lot of the time. All I know is, I’m a woman trying to stay true to myself in this world and it’s discouraging when people say I’m apparently immoral or sinful because I am not submissive. That’s just not what my personality is and if people believe that God will send me to hell for that then so be it. I don’t believe that though. It seems to be that God made a very diverse world and I don’t think we’re all supposed to be the same or that everything is black and white.

  • Mary,

    God is loving, kind, good and patient–not wishing that any should perish. But He is holy and we are all sinful and in need of a way to bridge that gap. Jesus is the way. He is the truth.

    Submission is one part of it, but a big part of it because we all want to be our own gods.

    I agree with you that God made a wonderfully diverse world and we’re not all supposed to be the same. Not everything is black and white, but some things are.

    I’m glad you’re seeking the truth because God promises that if you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. I wish you the peace that comes from having a relationship with Him, and I will pray for you. But regardless, I am glad that our paths have crossed. I don’t believe in coincidences and I value all of the details of each day.

    Lori

  • I do not need you to pray for me, nor am I going to ever become the kind of woman that people like you say I should be. If God wanted me to be that way then he should have made me that way. But he didn’t. He made me independent. He made me strong-willed. He made me a critical thinker. He made me someone who seeks adventure rather than a domesticated life. If God will punish me for being any of those things then, well, that is not the kind of God that is worthy of my praise and worship and love anyway. If the only way I can make God happy is by pretending to be something I’m not, then I want no part of that. I’m sure you pity me and think that I’m misguided, but truly, I think the same of you.

  • Rebekah, I’ve read it all: your Dad, Jared, RHE, and all the comment streams. My work lunches have been most interesting the last few days–and most likely not particularly good for my digestion! :) Never comment anywhere; I’m always at work. Home now, and I have to say re: both of your posts—SCORE! You made me laugh, clap my hands and darn near sent me into a happy dance. High fives all around, and a cheery wave back at you from Minnesota. (Hi to your mom, too.)

  • Mary

    Okay, then why does the complimentarian movement spend so much time telling women that power and leadership is only for men? If it’s not about power, then why can’t men and women share it? Why do we have to say that leadership is for men only, and submission is for women only?

    i) For starters, you need to learn the correct term. The term is complementarian, not complimentarian. It’s based on “complete,” not “compliment.” Men are incomplete without women, and vice versa.

    ii) It’s not about power. It’s about responsibility.

    iii) Both men and women must be in submission to the word of God.

    iv) Most pastors are remarkably powerless. The congregation holds all the high cards.

  • I’m not incomplete without a man, Steve. And the spelling was a typo on my part. I have not gotten much sleep as of late. Working too hard. Guess I wouldn’t have that problem if I let a man provide for me, eh?

  • thanks Bekah….I was in the 80% and late to the party and missed all the fun!

  • Mary,

    If you are into adventure, I’d check out the archives of this blog! To be honest, your self-description sounds a lot like most of the ladies I know, and definitely like the ones posting on this blog. Every personality trait is like a coin–there’s a good side and a bad one. What we do with the personality God has given us makes all the difference. Submission, as I’m sure should be obvious from Bekah’s uproarious posting, doesn’t look like a good little girl who keeps quiet and never makes a peep above a whisper.

    Here are a few particularly side-splitting adventures I couldn’t resist trying to get people to go read about:

    http://www.feminagirls.com/2009/03/15/rome-or-bust/
    http://www.feminagirls.com/2009/03/18/720/

  • Thanks Megan but I’m still not interested. I see no need for a woman to be submissive simply because she is a woman and in the end that is what this kind of theology teaches. That’s just not a word I would ever use to describe myself and I don’t want to support a system that continues to tell women they must play second fiddle to a man or else God will punish them.

  • Also, not really sure what you were trying to prove with those links. I’ve already done a bunch of traveling and I didn’t need to define myself as a submissive woman to do it.

  • Mary

    “I’m not a Christian, though I suppose I have a great amount of respect for all world religions and spiritualities. I believe there is more to life than what we see but organized religion is way to confining and dogmatic for me a lot of the time.”

    If woman are just a byproduct of biological evolution, then women have no intrinsic value (or men, for that matter). On that view, women are just animals with a built-in expiration date. They exist to incubate and raise their replacements.

    Likewise, on that view, women have no genuine freedom. They are slaves to their genetics, hormones, and social conditioning.

    It’s only if Christianity is true that women have inherent worth. Indeed, eternal worth.

  • Steve I pretty much disagree with everything just said. Everybody has inherent worth, whether they are Christian or not. How on earth can you suggest that people don’t have worth if they don’t belong to a particular religion? Do you realize how many people that you just called worthless? And I don’t even know what that has to do with anything I said. I never said anything about biological evolution. I just said that I’m not into organized religion, but that I also do see value in the spiritual side of life and then you start spouting about how people don’t have worth unless they’re Christian. Like, what?

    This is why Christianity turns me off. I actually think Ghandi said it best:

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  • I suppose you think Ghandi is burning in hell because he was a Hindu though. Ugh.

  • Mary

    “I’m not incomplete without a man, Steve.”

    Of course you are. Men and women were made for each other.

    “…and I don’t want to support a system that continues to tell women they must play second fiddle to a man or else God will punish them.”

    Historically, most men have been in subjection to women. And that’s because, historically, most cultures have been hierarchical. At the tippy top of the pyramid were monarchs and aristocrats.

    As a result, male commoners were subject to queens, queen mothers, empresses, and noblewomen.

  • Thanks for telling me I’m incomplete without a man, Steve! Gosh, you just get more charming with each comment. You’re really endearing me to Christianity. Bless you, good sir.

    /sarcasm

  • Mary,

    Those are links to hilarious adventures. As a person who likes adventures and a bit of mayhem myself, I thought you would find those stories as amusing, and reminiscent, as I did.

    Not everything that every Christian says is a catchphrase, or moment to make a point.

  • And you are aware that there were kings too, right? So all those male commonors were subject to other men as well? And female commonors were also subject to the kings and queens?

  • I admit that I am on guard, Megan. I have been to these types of blogs before and people have tried tirelessly to convert me by making their lives and beliefs seem like non-stop action and adventure. As if that would be enough to persuade me. If that’s not what you are doing, I apologise.

  • Mary

    “Steve I pretty much disagree with everything just said. Everybody has inherent worth, whether they are Christian or not. How on earth can you suggest that people don’t have worth if they don’t belong to a particular religion?”

    It’s all a matter of whether a particular religion corresponds to reality. And the alternative to reality is fantasy.

    “Do you realize how many people that you just called worthless?”

    No, it’s evolution that implicitly calls them worthless.

    “And I don’t even know what that has to do with anything I said. I never said anything about biological evolution.”

    Don’t be evasive. You said you’re not a Christian, and you said you reject organized religion. So you’re logical alternative is secularism. Which, in turn, dovetails with naturalistic evolution.

    “I just said that I’m not into organized religion, but that I also do see value in the spiritual side of life and then you start spouting about how people don’t have worth unless they’re Christian. Like, what?”

    You value religion for humanistic reasons, not religious reason. You don’t value it because you think it’s true. So that leaves you with secularism.

    “This is why Christianity turns me off.”

    Well, that’s a purely emotional reaction. And, ironically, that plays into a stereotype of women which I think you’d be at pains to avoid.

    “I actually think Ghandi said it best: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.’”

    But, of course, that’s utterly disingenuous. Gandhi didn’t believe in the Christ of the Gospels.

  • I believe in God, Steve. I just consider myself more of a universalist. I don’t think any one particular religion as all the answers, though I thinkt here are some good moral lessons embedded through out them. But hey, way to make assumptions about someone you’ve never met! I think everyone on this planet has worth and that God, whoever or whatever Gods, loves them all. Even you with your smug, self-righteous attitude.

  • *whoever or whatever God is

    Stupid typos.

  • Well, it’s always a bit silly to pretend that people who are Christians, and excited about their lives, don’t want other people to believe it. Sure, I think that would be lovely and perfect. Do I believe that I’ve got the exact words to convince anyone of belief in Christ? Not a bit. I’ve always been the reluctant to hand out tracts on missions trips, cringing at the supposed numbers of converted people announced (but we don’t care about numbers!) in the evenings, girl. So….as much as I would love to see you, or anyone to be honest, trust Christ and turn from sin, I don’t think it’s my job to make that happen. There is no pressure on me, or my performance, or pressure on relationships I have with people. My goal and hope is that the life I live says enough, and if the right opportunity arises I’ll know it’s time to open my big mouth and hope I say the right thing. ;)

    The way God brought me from a non-Christian life to the one I have now is so inexplicable and odd, though–you never can say never. I would have definitely said never. And scoffed. A lot.

  • Mary

    “I believe in God, Steve. I just consider myself more of a universalist. I don’t think any one particular religion as all the answers, though I thinkt here are some good moral lessons embedded through out them.”

    That makes you just as dogmatic as any organized religion.

    “I think everyone on this planet has worth and that God, whoever or whatever Gods, loves them all.”

    If you don’t know whether it’s God or Gods or whoever or whatever, then you’re in no position to know if it/he/she/they love everyone or anyone.

    You call yourself a critical thinker, but you’re emoting rather than reasoning.

    “Even you with your smug, self-righteous attitude.”

    That’s not the response of a critical thinker. Rather, that’s just an emotional, defensive reaction.

  • Did you not see that the “Gods” was a typo?

    I’m not sure what grounds you think I’m being emotional, I’ve been rather calm through this whole thing. I’m not screaming and crying and throwing a fit. I’m just telling you what I believe and you’re acting like everything I say is stupid and illogical. It’s a little bit hard for me to cintinue to be civil with you because you keep taking jabs at me around every corner. I don’t know if you’re doing it to work me up so you can feel good about sticking it to a woman who doesn’t fit into your mold of what you think a woman should be, but you know what? I’m done playing your little game. You’ve done nothing but push me further away from ever wanting to be a part of Christianity. I wouldn’t want to surround myself with people like you.

  • Megan, as long as you’ve got people like Steve Hays (and Doug Wilson and Bekah) on your side, you can best assure that I will stay far away from Christianity. Too bad because I actually have a lot of respect for the teachings of Christ. It’s just his followers that make me want to go screaming for the hills. i see no warmth, or love, or compassion in them at all. Only distain for the Other.

  • Mary

    “I’m just telling you what I believe…”

    It doesn’t matter what you believe unless your beliefs are true.

    “I don’t know if you’re doing it to work me up so you can feel good about sticking it to a woman who doesn’t fit into your mold of what you think a woman should be, but you know what? I’m done playing your little game.”

    Actually, I’m talking to you the same way I talk to other men. You keep saying women are fully the equal of any man. Well then…why are you so resentful when I take you up on the offer? You can’t be a feminist on a pedestal.

    “You’ve done nothing but push me further away from ever wanting to be a part of Christianity. I wouldn’t want to surround myself with people like you.”

    So much for being a critical thinker.

  • What makes you so sure that your beliefs are true? I happen to see a lot of flaws with Christianity, which leads me to believe that it isn’t entirely true. I’m willing to admit that I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have all the secrets to the universe. Life is sometimes a mystery and so is God. And I’m okay with that.

    and what does my distaste for people who are self-righteous and rude(which you are) have anything to do with my critical thinking abilities?

    Does the Bible not say “they will know us by our love.” Where’s the love, Steve? Haven’t felt anything even remotely like love from you this whole damn time.

  • I honestly can’t imagine Jesus behaving this way towards a non-believer. Might wanna consider an attitude adjustment, Steve.

  • steve hays

    “You’ve done nothing but push me further away from ever wanting to be a part of Christianity. I wouldn’t want to surround myself with people like you.”

    That’s emotional blackmail. And that plays into another stereotype.

    “What makes you so sure that your beliefs are true?”

    I’ve given my reasons in different venues.

    “Does the Bible not say they will know us by our love.’ Where’s the love, Steve?”

    You’re alluding to 1 John, which, in context, has reference to Christian love for fellow Christians.

    “Haven’t felt anything even remotely like love from you this whole damn time.”

    You’re resorting to emotional manipulation. That’s a transparent ploy.

    It’s also phony to recast the issue in terms of “love” when all I’ve done is to treat you as an intellectual equal. Do you or don’t you wish to be treated as an intellectual equal? If yes, then stop acting hurt when I take you up on the challenge. If you want to be a feminist you need to get off that pedestal.

    “I honestly can’t imagine Jesus behaving this way towards a non-believer.”

    Which Jesus would that be? The domesticated Jesus of a religious pluralist, or the real Jesus of the Gospels and Revelation?

  • Hmm, the Jesus I remember reading about was kind and compassionate towards everyone and really only had harsh words for the religious leaders and hypocrites of his day. I see a lot of those types of people around these parts.

    You’re not treaing me like an equal. You are being condescending and rude. If this is how you treat your equals then damn, I’d hate to see how you treat people who you think are beneath you. I know what it’s like to be treated like an equal and you are failing big time, buddy.

  • Mary

    “Hmm, the Jesus I remember reading about was kind and compassionate towards everyone and really only had harsh words for the religious leaders and hypocrites of his day.”

    That’s a popular cliche. In actually, Jesus came down hard on anyone who refused to bow the knee to him. That includes you.

    “I see a lot of those types of people around these parts.”

    The hypocrisy I’m seeing is feminists who keep a bottle of artificial tears handy to daub their eyes when they can’t defend their position by honest means.

    “You’re not treaing me like an equal. You are being condescending and rude. If this is how you treat your equals then damn, I’d hate to see how you treat people who you think are beneath you. I know what it’s like to be treated like an equal and you are failing big time, buddy.”

    All you’ve been doing for the last few comments is threatening to hold your breath until you turn blue unless we cave. That doesn’t work on me.

  • But see, people listened and wanted to follow Jesus because he wasn’t rude, self-righteous and condescending towards them. My favourite story is the of of the woman at the well. Yes, he told her to “go and sin no more” but he also saved her from all the people who wished to do her harm because she was a sinner. She decided to “straigtened up and fnly right” because Jesus treated her with respect when no one else did. That, to me, is what I think Christians should be striving for. And unfortunately, many don’t.

    Sorry that you think I’m being dishonest. I see it as pointing out your hypocisy. You claim to follow the Savior and yet you are nothing like him. Sad.

  • Hooo boy, I really can’t type today. Hopefully that wasn’t too indecipherable. Sigh.

  • While I think we could all do with a little more love and grace for each other, especially considering that this world is going to judge us and how we treat each other in the midst of these “discussions”, there is something I’d like to say about the matter as a whole.

    Why is it that we are not searching the scriptures? And why is it that they can be ignored if they don’t suit us? Truth be known, I’m a huge fan of the Wilson family. If you’ve ever read any of Douglas or Nancy’s books, you will see that the authority of scripture is held in high regard. While, by the same token, if you read any of RHE’s writing, she tends to chuck what she’s uncomfortable with or whatever doesn’t suit her. If you believe in an infallible God, the authority of scripture is going to be important to you.

    In the end, submission/ egalitarianism/ complementarianism…. these are all just terms. People who are offended by a comp family likely had a family that did not function in the proper way. In other words, they were a bunch of sinners. We are all sinners and the idea that families who are more egal are less likely to produce problems is just not the case. I’d venture to say that most of our modern marriages are more egal than comp and we’re producing an awfully high divorce rate these days. Furthermore, if the idea of submission is disgusting to you, perhaps you might consider being an atheist. Submission is kind of a requirement for disciples. ;)

    It could be likened to my Baptist friends who think one sip of alcohol is going to doom you for the rest of your days. It’s not the glass of wine that is evil. It’s the sinner who downs a bottle by himself/herself. The person is the sin, not the bottle. In the same way, the overbearing and demeaning husband is the sin, not submission. The disrespectful wife is the sin, not respect.

    Why does this have to be so hard?

    One final note, while I do enjoy reading all the Wilson writings, I do agree that his particular choice of words might have lit a fire he never intended. And if you read Wilson and have heard him speak, you would know that while he is not afraid of offending those who cling to wrong thinking, he is not the monster that RHE has painted by clipping a couple of paragraphs from a book.

    Let’s all pray for kinder words and soft hearts. We are suppose to be brothers and sisters, right? ;)

  • Mary

    “But see, people listened and wanted to follow Jesus because he wasn’t rude, self-righteous and condescending towards them.”

    That’s another purely emotional reaction. People ought to follow Jesus because he is who he says he is. It’s about reality, not feelings.

    BTW, I imagine the religious leaders felt Jesus was being pretty “rude, self-righteous and condescending towards them” in Mt 23.

    And it’s not as if you were polite in your response to Bekah.

  • Hi, this is to Mary,
    I’ve just read through your various posts and exchanges, I just wanted to say that I,m a Christian, and 8′ve been shocked by huge amounts of things I’ve read on here the last few days! Please don’t judge Jesus Christ on the words of his followers on here, I don’t know what hs happened to people but as you say, love is so lacking. We are all sinners very very far from who we should be. I love the story of the woman by the well too, it was when I read that, ten years ago that I trusted in Jesus. I have never heard of complementarians or egalitarians before, I just read the bible and go to church, so I don’t really know what all that stuff means. But the important thing is your relationship with God, all the other stuff comes after I think. I realise that me saying that won’t change your mind :) but just to say look tot he bible and not to this stuff for the real Jesus xxx

  • Love this post. So many women do this today (play victim to manipulate) and let emotions dictate whether they are right or wrong. So glad you called her out on it.

  • Why are Christians so convinced that we should all feel and talk like silk?
    It kills me every time I read a Christian throw out the verses on kindness and “a soft answer turns away wrath” as if God has said nothing else. Yes, we should be these things in some situations, and these truths need to guide us in other truths. Yet the fact is, there are other truths to consider.

    In Matt.23 Jesus makes fun of the Pharisees for the way they dress, he rips them down for all their pomp and show. He cuts to the evil of their heavy handedness and hypocrisy, in front of all the people, and shows the people the wickedness of the Pharisees with mocking and fierce language. Is someone going to say Jesus should have been more humble, more gentle? I doubt it.

    Please stop throwing these verses out there like Bekah is wrong because she is not being gentle. Everything takes wisdom and has a context. This is a context similar to that of Jesus and the pharisees.
    So let’s consider our whole Bible and not just the verses that make us feel good and holy.

  • Wow, should’ve subscribed to the feed, huh?

    A. Adams, I just wanted to stop by and address what you said. Certainly there were some turn of phrases that were funny in these posts, but a funny lie is still a lie. RHE is not what she was made out to be in this post. It was uncharitable, because it exaggerated the “worst” characteristics of RHE’s writings beyond the role they actually take on her blog. As far as irony goes, I really don’t see any of that. It could be my blindness of course.

    Rebekah stated her motivations and intentions in the content of the post: “The only thing I wanted to accomplish was to have someone out there loudly point out what this woman is doing. ” The intent is explicitly stated within the contents of the post, so I believe I am justified in addressing them.

  • A quick observation to those who clearly don’t have a full grasp of biblical complimentarianism is…

    Complimentarians do not downplay the serious evil of abuse committed by weak, wicked men. Doug Wilson himself has several videos in which he talks about how a woman should respond to abuse: essentially, that she should get out. He does not dismiss this issue. Also, I have seen my staunchly complimentarian pastor in angry tears in the pulpit as he spoke out against men misusing their strength and position to abuse and hurt women. A situation he had seen over and over in counseling families in our city which is largely military and also happens to have a very high crime rate. Hardly dismissive.

    There is actually a middle ground between women living in complete subservience to the men around them and women living “liberated” lives of the self-promoting feminist. It really makes me laugh when people dismiss the testimony of women like Rebekah and myself who were raised by strong, loving fathers who were very clearly the heads of their households but who also taught their daughters to, while submitting to BIBLICAL authority, be strong in standing up for the truth, serving the church, and “laughing at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31) Let me tell you, it’s a beautiful life of protection AND fulfillment. But I understand that if you have never seen it and your worldview doesn’t make sense of such a thing, it would be very difficult to imagine.

    Also, Jesus knew when to use harsh words to expose lies. Did he still have love for those people? Clearly. It can be done, my friends. In our day tolerance is the highest virtue, and even we Christians fall into the trap of thinking that every sharp corner should be padded. We get miffed at each other so easily.

    It’s very clear from the comments that this gets under people’s skin. Well, Doug Wilson and Rebekah and their families will just trot along in the joyful truth of the life they knows. Other people’s harsh responses (they have a right to be harsh if they wish) won’t really effect them, I think. It’s not like they expect being pilgrims and strangers to involve everyone in the world thinking they’re the normal, well-adjusted, and nice people.

    I hope I can learn to speak the truth as I find it, wanting people to understand but not particularly effected by people consequently thinking I’m the devil incarnate. I think the example of the early church shows this spirit and I hope the Lord gives me courage to do the same. Thank you for all you do, Wilson family, and Rebekah in particular today.

  • Elizabeth Erazo,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to me. I think some of us read irony in the post, and Bekah certainly seems to have affirmed that reading above in this post, under “Group 3.” I think those of us who already hold Rachel Held Evans in low esteem were probably more predisposed to see the post this way than those more positively inclined towards her.

    On the charge that the post was uncharitable because it exaggerated something, I can only say that based on my limited reading of Rachel Held Evans’ blog, she’s said enough for me to disagree with you on that point. Thanks for your charitable treatment of me :-)

    Mary,

    I appreciate your comments regarding my vocation as stay-at-home dad. I hope you’ll consider the issues steve hays brings up without simply casting them aside because they offend you – he has raised considerable objections to your points.

  • Bravo. I laughed at the first post BTW. I hope, under God, to raise my three girls 6, 2 and nearly due [rhyme alert] to be as educated, complimentarian and clever as you. Like your dad, I’ve been called horrible things and had horrible accusations made against me (yep they tried to split my wife from me by telling her I was a secret drunk. She is smarter than that, but they killed the marriages of previous pastors). Unlike your dad I had a bishop, who let the others hold their knees and play wounded and sooked them when they did! They did it to pastors before me, and will continue to do it. The collateral damage is many ministries terminated. But I digress: good on you for pointing out a bully who cries “bully!” while holding their knee and pointing at their intended victim.

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