"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Do Southern Baptists Set Women Up for Abuse?

A Southern Baptist woman by the name of Mary Gruben (pictured here) wrote a guest editorial in the Abilene newspaper, which was published in the Sunday edition earlier this month. Lest someone dismiss Mary as a liberal, it would be wise to note what she wrote in the comment section that follows her editorial, " I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God. The Bible is the Word of God and without error." This inerrantist had some rather interesting things to say about her beloved convention. Her editorial appears in full below:

___________________________________________

"I love my Southern Baptist denomination, but may I tell you how very discouraging, disgusting and frustrating it is to be a woman in the Southern Baptist denomination? For two reasons, I believe that I have earned the right to be heard.

I was married to a violent and abusive man. When I talked to my pastor about the physical abuse, he asked me if I was "willing to give my life for my husband." When I could no longer follow that kind of warped thinking, I got a divorce. I began to realize that the God I know and serve loved my children and me more than that. After the divorce, I was told I should have tried harder and prayed harder.

Currently, I am a nontraditional college student at a local seminary, wondering what God may want me to do. I have already been told that my choices may be somewhat limited because (you guessed it) I am a woman. The Southern Baptist view of women is demeaning, to say the least. I am both shocked and saddened at the radical and desperate approach of banning books in an effort to silence those women who have broken rank and become pastors.

For many years, I have been rethinking the way the Southern Baptists treat women. It is wrong, and it is based on an old, traditional grave clothes kind of thinking. Old grave clothes stink!

Southern Baptists' "prominent" decision-makers' (whoever they are) view of women is like a two-legged chair. It just doesn't hold up. One of their favorite verses in Ephesians 5:22 does say, "Wives submit to your husbands graciously." The prominent Southern Baptist thinkers enforce that verse as meaning, "Wives obey your second daddy, and do it graciously." No place in the Scripture can I find where it says women are to have two dads. Do they not see verse 21 of that same chapter that says "Submit to one another." It seems to me that a lot of our "prominent" thinkers may be controlling and insecure. But as long as the wife can cook and sew, he just might keep her around.

Our Southern Baptist system sets women and children up to be abused. The "prominent" Southern Baptist thinkers have no idea the jeopardy their view places women and children in. They have given husbands carte blanche to do what they want to. It also gives the impression that the men are perfect and the women are flawed. It is a closed system when it comes to the woman's place at home and in ministry.

Since I've already blown it by speaking out like this, I might as well go ahead and say what else I've been thinking. Get over yourselves! And please, don't tell me that stupid joke anymore about, "If God can speak through a donkey, he can speak through a woman." It isn't funny.

In the Old Testament book of Esther, God gave us the story of a courageous young woman who saved the Jews from being annihilated. The end of the story might have changed if she had been a Southern Baptist woman.

If you'll excuse me now, I have to run. I am going to contact one of my FDLS (Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints) sisters to see if I can borrow a pattern to make myself a prairie dress."

352 comments:

1 – 200 of 352   Newer›   Newest»
Bob Cleveland said...

One really sad point to me is this: what I don't hear is the admonition that the husband's "headship" is likened scripturally to the Headship of Jesus, of the church, and that was 100% sacrificial.

I do think the Bible places enormous responsibility on the husband, which can only be fulfilled by the Holy Ghost's empowering. My wife is to be honored as a fellow heir of the grace of God, and (thankfully) God has been very forthright in dealing with me, when I fail to do that.

To me, the solution to the question your title hints at can only be discovered by the whole counsel of God, on the subject, and I don't recall hearing it much dealt with in church.

I don't wonder it's a problem.

Alyce Faulkner said...

I understand what she had to say and her frustrations. I've meet many women who have suffered (and continue) to suffer abuse from their husbands and have received the same council. However I would like to encourage her concerning her future. Trust God, He opens doors and closes them. No man (or denomination) can withstand God's plans or purposes.

jasonk said...

Same story as my friend who is an associate pastor of one of the most evangelical, Bible-based church in the state of Oklahoma--Asbury United Methodist Church. She was a Southern Baptist, the wife of an abusive alcoholic. She was told the same thing as the woman in your post--stick it out, work harder, pray harder. She was also told that whatever the feeling she had in her heart, God was not calling her into the ministry.
Ultimately, she left the SBC, divorced her sorry excuse for a husband, went to seminary, and today can preach circles around the best we have in the SBC. She is a loving and compassionate servant of the Lord, and I love her ministry. How sad that the SBC missed out on it.

Anonymous said...

It is VERY important that pastors become aware that it harms young children to witness their father physically abusing their mother.

The thing about 'sin' is that it radiates outwards and touches more than those at the center.

A very young son, witnessing his father's behavior, may imprint this on his own personality and 'act out' as an adult, keeping the cycle of abuse going into the next generation.

How much training and education are pastors given about couseling a woman who is being abused?
Certainly, most pastors show compassion, at least, for these hurting people.

Then there is the husband to consider: he is 'in trouble' big-time emotionally if he is capable of physically harming his wife.
Then, there is the 'acceleration effect' of abuse, as it progressing gets worse . . . .

The pastor is on the front-lines.
What training is he given, if any?
What training should he be given?

Anonymous said...

WHY DOES THE DENOMINATION DETERMINE THE AMOUNT OF SPOUSAL ABUSE TOLERATED?


"the conservative, fundamentalist Protestant church has been singled out in sociological analyses as the denomination most likely to have higher rates of spousal abuse. In particular, it examines the premise that social scientific analyses of religion and wife battering target conservative Protestantism largely due to the denomination's profile as an institution that firmly and steadfastly clings to patriarchal modes of thought and being."



Conservative Protestant ideology and wife abuse: Reflections on the discrepancy between theory and data
/ Author(s)
JEANNE BATTAGLIA Lisa (1) ;
/ Author(s) Affiliation(s)
(1) Vanderbilt University,/ Abstract
This paper examines violence against women in the domestic sphere and its relationship to conservative Protestant ideology. / Journal Title
Journal of religion & abuse
ISSN 1521-1037
/ Source
2001, vol. 2, no4, pp. 31-45 (20 ref.)

Les Puryear said...

Women do not have to stay married to a man who is using her as a punching bag. Any man who hits a woman is not a true follower of Christ and thus cannot live out Eph. 5:25. Also, 1 Cor. 7:15 is in view here as well because a man who physically, mentally, emotionally, or in any other form, abuses his wife, is an unbeliever who has violated the marriage vows and thus, has left her. She is no longer in bondage in such cases.

Any pastor who recommends that a woman stay with a man who is physically abusing her is not able to rightly divide the Word of God and has no business being in professional ministry.

Les

Pamela said...

I remember hearing Elizabeth Eliot giving advice to wives. I do not know if she is or as Southern Baptist or not but she is saying the same madness it appears that some in the SBC leadership is stating. Basically wives must submit to anything her husband dishes out. If not it is her fault for the problems in the marriage. I will never forget when she revealed a question about what a woman should do if her husband asked her to do something that was against the word of God. She had the nerve to say that a man who had a wife that was submitted to him would not ask her to do anything against the word of God. That was the last broadcast of hers that I listened to. That to me was a setup for the woman to 'give her life for her husband' in a literal sense. Some pompous fool of a man would use that to convince a victimized woman to continue the victimization, even unto death because it was supposedly God's will.

I have spoken with women that went to churches that told abused wives that they needed to be more submissive to their husbands and things would get better. I'm glad to say that they all wised up and ran for their lives. To say that it is one to the woman to do right so the man can is hogwash.

I'm with Bob Cleveland. In the different messages I have heard, except for one recently from Michael Yossef, there is maybe five minutes on the husband being the head (ruler over the wife, not as the headship of Christ is described in Ephesians). Another 30-40 minutes is on the wife and how she is supposed to submit. I truly feel bad for my fellow sisters in the Lord that are trapped in prison because of this madness. Trapped because she is usually solely blamed for the problem because she is supposedly rebellious.

I do not blame women at all for leaving groups that treat women as second class citizens, not even a full member of the body of Christ. Jesus never did that to women. It is a poor representation of the gospel of Christ. If you look at how Jesus treated women it is NOT like what you see in too many Christian groups. It is stuff like this that causes a lot of the overreaction in some groups where they have swung to the opposite extreme outside of the Bible.

As least some women are getting free from the abusive teachings of these groups and have some real peace with the Lord according to the scriptures. Some lives were probably saved when they left.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

A couple things:

1. There are 2 sides to every coin.
2. Men should never beat women and women should never beat men.
3. Pastoral advice which seeks restoration in ANY circumstance is not necessarily bad advice.
4. Some women are simply too head strong to be in a Christ-Centered relationship with some men, especially if the man is on the other hand NOT head strong.
5. This lady who wrote the Letter to the Editor obviously has an ax to grind. Though I do not doubt her story, I question her motive for writing it. The SBC has done nothing to her. Her pastor's advice was not the SBC's advice.

She is angry. And an angry woman out to get a theological education to stick it to the men is a dangerous woman.

Oh, and Bob Cleveland,

Jesus' 'headship' of the church is not 100% sacrificial. Where do you get that? That is not even good theology if I may be perfectly blunt. "All Authority..."??? Jesus made "a" sacrifice. The perfect sacrifice. But he is not eternally subservient to the church. He is our head, our mediator, our God and King and Sovereign, and glorious Lord. We bow at HIS feet. We serve HIM.

Modern hymnology wants us to think of Jesus as "my friend" or "my helper"

Poppycock!

He is God!





Sorry for the rant. I do enjoy your wisdom Bob.


K

Alyce Faulkner said...

KEVIN, you amaze me.
That list leaves me and I suspect most women, wanting

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Eph 5:21 is one of my favorite verses in the BIble. I'm so sick of hearing wedding ceremonies start quoting at 5:22. Makes me wanna puke everytime.

The SBC has done nothing to her. Her pastor's advice was not the SBC's advice.

But most often the difference is nill to negligible. Let's be honest.

If I was her I might be a little ticked off too!

Chris said...

Kevin,

Our recognition of Christ's authority flows from His sacrifice. It is because we recognize the sacrifice of Christ that we recognize the authority of Christ. If a man is not willing to sacrifice for his wife, he has no reason to demand her submission.

As one of my professors put it when we were discussing Ephesians, "Men, if you are willing to sacrifice for your wife she will love you so much you will never have to ask her to submit. Women, if you honor your husband he will love you so much he will sacrifice for you without question. The husband/wife relationship is reciprocal, not hierarchical."

Anonymous said...

Aw, man. Just when I was starting to warm up to KMC a little... comes that. He's baaaaack!

KevinB said...

Are you asking, "Does the southern baptist system (whatever that is) set up women for abuse?" OR are you asking,
'Do southern baptists (people in general who are southern baptists), set up women for abuse?"

I think clarification is called for. I guess what I'm wanting to know is who else or what else exactly is being indicted (perhaps by association) for the sins of Mary's husband and pastor?

Did her husband abuse her because of SBC System or because women can't be pastors or because pastor haven't presented Eph. 5 in a balanced way or is it because he is an unregenerate scumbag?

For the record, the pastor and any pastor who fails to act to protect an abused sheep is not worthy of the position and will answer to God.
That pastor should have been on the doorstep of that husband with his deacons/elders and called him to repentance. If necessary, they could have a cop with them.
While Church Discipline gets a lot of flack for being "mean", it (done right) could be a great asset in protecting women from abuse.

Hashman

Jack Maddox said...

I started to respond to the premise of the OP...but frankly I am speechless. The rhetoric on this blog gets more bizarre with almost every post. I am not sure why i continue to read it, the only thing that comes to mind is the proverbial train wreck!

J

Jack Maddox said...

Kevin B

AMEN!!!!

J

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Les,

Wow. So what you are saying is that after salvation, sin no longer remains? Or is it just that some sins are impossible for true believers to commit?

You quote these 2 verse with an absolute and dogmatic theology yet I am afraid dear brother that your presuppositions--which could include but is likely not limited to, a strong disdain for abusive men--have clouded your interpretation of these verses. Don't get me wrong, I hold no fondness of the abuser save that which Christ would that I have, but it pains me to see so many in the church castigate the abuser instead of attempting reconciliation and restoration. I am confident that there are troubled men out there who deeply believe in the Lord but are deeply troubled. They take their pains out on their family and their church shuns them.

I wish you would have read a bit further in 1 cor. Les.....say vv. 17-24.

Also, the word in v. 15 for "leave" (HCSB) or "separate" is chorizo. Only used once in Corinthians but 10 times in Genesis of all places. All have to do with physical separation of location. God separated... Abraham and Lot separated...

Not: the unbelieving husband beat his wife, separating from her emotionally, therefore cause her great distress.

I find a big difference.

I find stretching verse 15 to justify a broad range of divorces is not "rightly dividing the Word."


Btw, you can put me on your list of pastors who will ALWAYS seek reconciliation first.

May the women who would ever seek my counsel always be upfront with the level of abuse, and may the Spirit give me wisdom in each case. And May God be glorified through changed lives and restored marriages.

K (Of course I reserve the right revise or extend my opinions in the future as the Lord leads through experience.) ;)

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"KEVIN, you amaze me.
That list leaves me and I suspect most women, wanting"


Awe Gee Alice....I am 33 and single. I have left alot of women wanting. :)

I hope you have a Happy New Year. I appreciate women more than you would assume as you limit the value of my opinion. But I believe I am being true to the Word with said opinion non-the-less.

K

debbiekaufman said...

Jack: There was a story concerning a Southern Baptist minister arrested for spousal abuse just a few months ago. There are the Ted Haggards, and others I could name. That too is abuse. It's a marriage and woman soul killer. Yet you continue to say this is rhetoric. Open your eyes Jack. It's true. It needs to be addressed. I've known to many women who have been told the same thing in Southern Baptist churches and Baptist churches to know this is anything but rhetoric.

debbiekaufman said...

Actually thank you Kevin for your comment. It goes to further give credence to the mindset toward women who dare to speak up. And if you do respect women, your comment sure didn't back that statement up.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"The husband/wife relationship is reciprocal, not hierarchical."

Exactly, but the reciprocation is the obedience to the Lord in the roles in which He has places us. If the woman or the man reciprocates with the characteristics or attributes of the wrong role, then he or she is not being obedient to the Lord.

Chris, I need to unpack the following statement:

"Our recognition of Christ's authority flows from His sacrifice."

Something about that statement bothers me, but honestly I cannot figure it out tonight. I think it might be the word "flows."

K

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie

I would please beg your pardon and ask you to please not lecture me concerning the reality of spousal abuse. You have no idea of my background with this issue. You assume to much when it comes to me and thousands of other SBC Pastors who live with this issue with to many church families. And for you to throw Ted Haggard's name my way is quite frankly insulting my dear sister. Are conservative Southern Baptists now to blame for his infidelity? I am frankly tired of the continues labeling, innuendo, blatant attacks of character and the motives of the majority of Southern Baptists that come from this blog. The OP is ridiculous in its insinuations and inflammatory in its scope. PLEASE do not accuse me of being insensitive to the issue of spousal abuse. You judge me in doing so. The insinuation that somehow a complimentarian approach to the role of women in ministry leads to this kind of behavior is absurd. The dear ladies editorial is silly at best and inflammatory and insulting at worse. That was the scope of my comment...not the reality of spousal abuse and sexual misconduct in ministry. The rhetoric I am referring to is the constant attack of all things Southern Baptist by this blog. It is quite frankly somewhat of a spectacle. I feel very sorry for you Debbie and your jaded view and judgmental attitude towards all things Southern Baptist. It seems you have in many ways become that which you claim to detest.

J

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Debbie,

Thanks so much for the reply. Always a pleasure to hear from you, especially when I get invited to have a piece of condescending pie. Anyway, you are totally correct that my post did not excentuate my respect for women. Nor did it bring to light my lust for green depression glass, Beetles Records, and Calvinistic Theology. It did however do what it was intended to do which was set out a few points which feel are necessary in the discussion of an issue which will never be settled here, nor with all the wisdom of all the pastors of the SBC combined.

But, I promise you this. If I ever get an itch to write about my respect for women, it will most certainly address that issue.

Bonne Année!


K

Elisabeth said...

Quite frankly, as a woman who has been abused by a Southern Baptist pastor, I do think that the convention's view of women does leave too many openings for women to be abused. Do I think that in itself causes the abuse? No, I think the man who abuses acts on his own. Where I think the Southern Baptist view of women comes in is the fact that women are told to stay in abusive relationships. Women are not always looked at as being equal to men, so abuse against women is not looked upon as being the grievous sin it is. Women are looked down upon as being sinners when they are the victims, and they are particularly looked down on if they leave the abuser. And how many times do you hear of a pastor turning a man in for spouse abuse? No many.

Jack Maddox said...

For the record, the SBC does not tell women to stay in abusive relationships

J

debbiekaufman said...

Jack: I'm sure you don't like to be lectured. I'm saying what I have observed for years. We have too many things that need to be cleaned up Jack. Elisabeth answered your questions quite well.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the short length of time this post had been up and that there were already 25 comments, I figured KMC must have commented. :)

To me, this story is another example of the dire straits the church will continue to find itself in unless we get our act together when it comes to demanding regenerate church membership and biblical church discipline of it's members.

Tom Ascol was and still is on target here. Way to go Tom!

Before I go, don't forget to give to LMCO to support YOUR missionaries. These funds do not go to anyone else, including unregenerate church members that beat their wives, head strong wives that rule their husbands, or perverted pastors that abuse others.

Lest we forget, Lottie was a woman also. :) Give freely and be blessed abundantly.

SL1M

John said...

Lots of anger in these comments; perhaps lots of wounds. As a pastor, I've not always confronted spousal abusers as firmly as I should have. For this I'm deeply grieved. I don't think it was Complementarian theology that caused me hesitation; I think it was just fear and insecurity. There are a few women who have a right to be angry with me, as well as a few men.

As I get older, I find myself more grieved by the bitterness many Christians exhibit because of disrespect they have endured from members of the opposite sex, including, but not limited to, their spouses. I think it's a mistake to assume that Christians who act righteously towards their spouses will necessarily receive righteousness in kind. Though there are two sides to a story, there are also real victims. Perhaps our first response should be compassion, not skepticism. Perhaps this will mollify some of the bitterness.

NativeVermonter said...

Stories such as this cause me to focus more upon my own marriage and to not take anything for granted.

And just so we're clear, and I will make this point as many times as these posts keep coming up:

Madam President: You bet! And I can't wait until that day arrives.

Madam Pastor: No, not now...not ever.

Brent Hobbs said...

So, the lady is a committed inerrantist Southern Baptist, and the first time she heard her 'choices' would be limited (ie. she probably wouldn't be called as a senior pastor) was when she got to a seminary campus? That stretches credibility.

Anonymous said...

The quote about the "prairie dress" shows this woman to be hurt and bitter about many things. While we must show commpassion and empathy for her hurt this next comment is totally irresponsible. "Our Southern Baptist system sets women and children up to be abused." It looks like she is throwing grenades around and others are helping her launch them.

Anonymous said...

Alyce, men (and women) like Kevin is exactly where this woman is coming from! The great "men and their lists" claiming them to be biblical. It amazes me that most of the responses have only heard her on the "abuse issue." The WHOLE REST OF HER SB LIFE has to put up with the demeaning way she and many other women in our churches are viewed. The "view and interpretation of the male becomes 'God's word' for all." M'am, I hear you and say AMEN. Find a good SB (or other) church that has a Biblical view of women. Start by checking out the leaders.

Joe White... said...

Wade, can you help me out here? I understand that this is a sad story, and that this lady received some very bad advice from her Pastor, but how exactly are "Southern Baptists" setting up women for abuse? From what I can find, this is the official position of the SBC on abuse.

Resolution On Domestic Violence
June 1979

WHEREAS, In this country it is now estimated that as many as 2,000 children die each year as a result of domestic violence and as many as two million suffer from abuse and neglect, and

WHEREAS, Children in one of ten American families hit, beat, stab, or shoot their parents, and

WHEREAS, Spouse battering, violent acts by either husband or wife, occur in more than 20 percent of American homes, and

WHEREAS, More police die as a result of answering domestic violence calls than any other aspect of their work, and

WHEREAS, Studies indicate that once domestic violence occurs, there is a higher chance of its occurring again and then continuing through several generations,

Therefore be it RESOLVED, That we recognize domestic violence as one of the serious moral issues of our time, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage local churches to be involved in local programs of ministry for those involved in domestic violence, and that we encourage pastors to utilize available resources such as public and voluntary organizations which can aid them in ministering to families touch by domestic violence, and

Be it further RESOLVED, That we encourage the establishment of clear and responsible public policy related to domestic violence, which policy should be effective at the local, state, and national levels.

Houston, Texas

John said...

Among some SBC pastors, there seems to be a general skepticism toward women who claim to be abused by their spouses, particularly when the alleged abuser is a leader in the church and the woman is attempting to justify separation. I've met pastors who always seem to ask, "what is she doing wrong." While I would not want to blame a denomination for the actions of one person, I can understand the comment, "Our Southern Baptist system sets women and children up to be abused." It's entirely plausible that this has been her experience.

Scott Shaffer said...

Joe,

How dare you bring facts into the blogosphere?

Bob Cleveland said...

Kevin,

With reference to Jesus' sacrificial Headship of His church, I cannot think of one thing Jesus did out of pure personal preference. I don't know what His favorite anything was, as He was always tending to the needs and concerns of others, over His own.

My opinion on the matter is pretty well laid out here.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning KEVIN,

When you wrote this: "Don't get me wrong, I hold no fondness of the abuser save that which Christ would that I have, but it pains me to see so many in the church castigate the abuser instead of attempting reconciliation and restoration. I am confident that there are troubled men out there who deeply believe in the Lord but are deeply troubled. They take their pains out on their family and their church shuns them."

when you wrote this, I was thinking that if a pastor witnessed a husband trying to throw acid in his wife's face, or set her on fire, would the pastor not intervene immediately?

Why must it be that abuse, in its 'earlier' stages is not recognized for what it actually is: the attempt to destroy the will and the spirit and, maybe even eventually, the life of another? And the method: CONTROL, THE EXERCISE OF POWER OVER ANOTHER PERSON.
Kevin, what I am saying is that you are not simply dealing here with a man who is 'troubled' and 'sinning'; you are dealing with an 'out-of-control' very sick individual who may not be able to get a grip on his own behavior and who is putting at risk those people he feels he has a 'right' to abuse.
Question: Why not IMMEDIATELY counsel the woman to seek shelter for herself and her children, and THEN, try interventions to 'help' the sick husband?
I know you want to see the husband helped in a situation like this. We all do. It's just that he needs immediate help or 'emergency' help from all involved to remove his victims from his control.
And, Kevin, no matter how you feel, or any pastor feels about the best way to handle this kind of situation, NO ONE has the right to allow children to be exposed to the nightmare of spousal abuse. The psychological damage to the children, alone, should be reason for their immediate removal from the father's supervision, until the father can be helped.

Your motives in wanting to help are good, of course. I suggest that you re-think your priorities as to how best to do it.
My priorities would be the following: I vote for the safety of the wife and the psychological protection of young children from having to witness the nightmares that come in the daytime. Once the wife and children are protected, then the husband and eventually the family can be helped. L's

Anonymous said...

" The SBC has done nothing to her. Her pastor's advice was not the SBC's advice. "

Bruce Ware is SBC (A woman triggers abuse by being unsubmissive)

Russell Moore is SBC (Comps are wimps and we need more Patriarchy)

Paige Patterson is SBC (Dr. Klouda and he also proudly told a woman to go back and submit more to her abuser)

Lifeway is SBC (Hiding magazine with women preachers on the cover)

There is an SBC theme about women.

Lydia

BTW: Kevin, I hope you do not find a proper doormat to marry.

Scott Shaffer said...

1. I thought the SBC was not a denomination, but just a convention? Member churches aren’t require to affirm a creed and Baptists loudly proclaim the autonomy of the local church. All this to say, how is it that the SBC has so much sway over the local churches? Or, maybe they don’t? Is it through the SBC seminaries? I'd be interested in other's thoughts on this.


2. The BFM revision regarding godly submission of wives to husbands or holding to a complementarian view aren’t the causes of spousal abuse and lousy pastoral advice. Domestic violence is sin that comes from a rotten heart. I can imagine the situation where an abusive spouse is enabled by a pastor when 1) the pastor ignores the abuse, 2) doesn’t suggest the woman remove herself from the dangerous environment, 3) doesn’t practice church discipline, 4) allows unregenerate people to stay on the membership roles, and 5) teaches a wrong view of godly submission.

simplegifts3 said...

I'm glad to see the SBC official position on spousal abuse. What I had heard was from Paige Patterson on the subject. It does not appear to me that Patterson, who was an SBC president and here may only be speaking for himself, fully embraces this SBC resolution. The quotes from the audio clip below have circulated on the net already, but I think this clip ought to be juxtaposed with the above SBC resolution.

I say this because Patterson claims that a wife should tolerate low levels of abuse before leaving her husband, and from the anecdote he gives at the end of this audio clip, having both eyes blackened is still not "serious" enough in his mind to counsel to separate. The only counsel he appears to give for women who are being bruised from hitting (and nothing more "serious") is that they should pray for their husbands. No counsel to get the church involved in discipline, no counsel to call the police. No, the only counsel he gave was just put up with being a low level of battery that only bruises, and keep on praying.

If you look at the fifth "WHEREAS" in that recent comment, which states that once abuse starts it is likely to escalate and become generational, that this knowledge is not a factor in Patterson's remarks.

My point is it is pretty easy for me, an outsider to the SBC, to believe that the SBC has a very ignorant position on spousal abuse, when one of its presidents makes these kinds of remarks, and I wouldn't blame people for being confused:

Patterson on Advice to Victims of Domestic Violence


When I compare what former SBC President Patterson said with the SBC resolution, I see a pretty glaring disparity. Thanks for posting the resolution

Darby Livingston said...

"Our recognition of Christ's authority flows from His sacrifice. It is because we recognize the sacrifice of Christ that we recognize the authority of Christ. If a man is not willing to sacrifice for his wife, he has no reason to demand her submission."

I think the above words get right to the disagreement between the two sides in this post and comment stream. There are some Christians who have a problem with authority in general. Our recognition of Christ's authority certainly does not flow from our recognition of his sacrifice. He is KING. Period. He is king whether we agree or whether we like it or whether it benefits us or doesn't. I agree that a man should sacrifice for his wife, but the husband isn't the one calling the husband the head of the wife. The Christ who sacrificed for us is the one who says that. I see a lot of feeling when it comes to this issue and not a lot of thinking.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lydia,

Your "btw" comment is offensive to me and needs to be removed.


K

Btw: I am about one quarter click to the left of Drs. Moore and Ware on the subject, that said, you should provide sources if you are gonna quote people. (or paraphrase their remarks parenthetically.)


I am off for the rest of the day.

Bob,

I read your linked blog post, good thoughts, I still need to think about this headship vs. 100% sacrifice dichotomy.


Happy Tuesday!

K

Anonymous said...

IS PATTERSON A 'SECONDARY' ABUSER OF WOMEN?

IS HE NOT ALSO 'GUILTY' BY USING HIS 'AUTHORITY' TO COUNSEL THE VICTIM TO ALLOW THE ABUSE TO CONTINUE?

PATTERSON MAY BE AS 'SICK' AS THE ABUSING HUSBAND IF THIS IS TRUE:

"I say this because Patterson claims that a wife should tolerate low levels of abuse before leaving her husband, and from the anecdote he gives at the end of this audio clip, having both eyes blackened is still not "serious" enough in his mind to counsel to separate. The only counsel he appears to give for women who are being bruised from hitting (and nothing more "serious") is that they should pray for their husbands. No counsel to get the church involved in discipline, no counsel to call the police. No, the only counsel he gave was just put up with being a low level of battery that only bruises, and keep on praying."

VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY SICK.
This is not Christianity.

Scott Shaffer said...

The advice Patterson gives is misguided. In the beginning he says something to the effect of, temporary physical separation is warranted only in the most severe cases. I just don't get this type of counsel. If my daughter came to my house with a broken arm or bruises from being hit by her husband, the last thing I can imagine doing is telling her she needs to go home. Doesn't brotherly love constrain us to protect the abused person? What about calling the police? What about telling her to move out?

Darby Livingston said...

I totally agree that women are too precious for abuse. It's amazing the sympathy we have for someone attacked in the street, but in the home there doesn't seem to be the sense of justice.

simplegifts3 said...

Anonymous who said "SICK" in all caps:

You said "if this is true" and quoted me.

I urge you to go to the link I provided and listen to the whole audio clip. It is not long, and you can see for yourself if I represented Patterson correctly.

And I do agree that what he said was very very, very unwise. More to the point, it does not reflect the SBC resolution well, and that is very confusing in and of itself.

But my heart goes out to women who are in trouble and may hear that clip and take it to heart. God doesn't always work in the same way in each situation. That much is axiomatic. So to take an anecdote like that and imply this is what should happen in all cases is very bad counsel indeed.

Anonymous said...

Joe, the resolution on domestic violence did nothing for young Kevin who cannot understand why we castigate the abuser. It did nothing for Patterson who told a woman to return to her abuser.

(We have never been able to verify Patterson's claim about that story and we know he is the master storyteller)

Could be the problem be deeper in how certain folks view women as we see by Jack's comments:

"The insinuation that somehow a complimentarian approach to the role of women in ministry leads to this kind of behavior is absurd."

Not at all. When an abuser hears the teaching focused on a woman's "role" (where is that in scripture?) that is what HE focuses on. When he hears Bruce Ware teach that a wife's unsubmissiveness triggers abuse, he hears that his abuse is her fault. He already believed that but now he has a big SBC professor to affirm his view.

The comp view is extremely confusing and inconsistent. First they say that woman are equal. But then they go into all kinds of mental gymnastics to prove that she is unequal in 'roles' (like pretending in a play). The comps would have been better off to keep the pre-1960's view that women were just inferior...period. but that would not play anymore so they had to change with the 'culture'. Now they just teach: Equal but unequal. And they use lots of adjectives and adverbs with extremely long articles to try and prove this. The latest bizarre teaching is that Palin could be VP (Even as a Christian wife and mother) but could not lead a bible study with her male staff. (shaking head)


"The dear ladies editorial is silly at best and inflammatory and insulting at worse. "

Note the high standard demanded in how the victim communicates. If she communicates how he thinks is proper then he will listen to her? This is nothing less than the typical bully response. And it simply just heaps more abuse. ONce again, we see anger pointed at the victim instead of the abuser. It is very typical to blame the victim, it happens all the time. It is almost a form of Darwinian Christianity. They disrespect victims because they do not respect anyone who allows themselves to be a victim even though their teaching sets up the perfect environment for abusers and victims!

Did it ever occur to you that her demeanor in this situation is exactly because of the lack of compassion she encountered among her fellow 'brothers'?

As a pastor, you 'should' know better than to fan the flames but you don't. You just blame the victim more. Which is exactly what she knows and experienced.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

What I find very ironic is that when Wade had a glass of wine with a dinner host, and wound up leading a couple to Christ he was blasted all over the internet. Patterson councils a woman to stay in an abusive relationship - she gets two eyes blackened (could have wound up dead)and he is proud of himself because the man comes to Christ. Of course we dont hear the rest of the story, did the man stop his abuse or just suspend it for a week or two...

Jim Champion

Anonymous said...

SCOTT said, 'The advice Patterson gives is misguided."

It is worse than 'misguided', it is collusive.
Patterson becomes a party to the abuse with the 'advice' he gives.
He is playing the manipulation game of 'Hey, let's you and him go fight'.
Only, it's more like: 'Let's you allow him to continue his abuse. Then, you can come back and describe to me what he does next.'

Do some pastors get a second-hand thrill from doing this to women?
What is going on here?

Anonymous said...

"Your "btw" comment is offensive to me and needs to be removed."

If the shoe fits. I am hoping as your senior to give you food for thought. Do NOT marry a doormat. It makes life very boring, you will never be challenged and will stagnate. You WANT an intelligent wife who could be independent if need be but instead chose YOU.


"Btw: I am about one quarter click to the left of Drs. Moore and Ware on the subject, that said, you should provide sources if you are gonna quote people. (or paraphrase their remarks parenthetically.)"

Have you been living in a blog cave? Denny Burke has a 1700 comment post on Ware's bizarre teaching. It caused a blog storm all over the internet a while back.

Ware was even teaching a work for women to be saved/sanctified: Through childbearing. You can go to Burke's blog and see.

As to Moore, read his stuff at the Henry Institute.

This is NOT a big secret.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

It seems as though the thrust of this discussion to answer Wade's question is based on anecdotal evidence. Perhaps some solid research on the counsel and attitudes of Southern Baptist pastors and laity could give a better answer.

Kevin in Manila said...

Here's my two cents:

1. Wade began this post with a question. I don't think he's asserting that the SBC sets up women for abuse: he's simply asking the question.

2. I have many pastor friends. I doubt any of them would advice a woman to stay in an abusive relationship.

KuyaKevin.com

Kevin in Manila said...

Advise, I mean.

Anonymous said...

PATRIARCHY AT FAULT?

""the conservative, fundamentalist Protestant church has been singled out in sociological analyses as the denomination most likely to have higher rates of spousal abuse. In particular, it examines the premise that social scientific analyses of religion and wife battering target conservative Protestantism largely due to the denomination's profile as an institution that firmly and steadfastly clings to patriarchal modes of thought and being."

What 'impact' does patriarchy have on an abused wife? I'd say, a very 'heavy-handed' impact indeed.

Anonymous said...

If my daughter came to my house with a broken arm or bruises from being hit by her husband, the last thing I can imagine doing is telling her she needs to go home. Doesn't brotherly love constrain us to protect the abused person? What about calling the police? What about telling her to move out?

Tue Dec 30, 10:43:00 AM 2008

Scott, you bring up a very important aspect of this. If you saw a Christian sister being abused by strangers, you would step in. You would not walk by or ignore it.

If you heard that she was beat up by strangers, you would stand by her side as she pressed charges and even sought to forgive her attackers (not the consequences)

But when a husband abuses, these normal reactions go out the window and somehow, we think he has a right or it is private. But in reality she is MORE STUCK in an abusive marriage. And if she does leave, she has more abuse heaped on her by the likes of those like Patterson.

When I volunteered in a woman's abuse shelter, we would groan when we saw the pastors coming. They would always tell her she should be with her husband and that he said 'sorry' and it won't happen again. It amazes me how many pastors believe that tripe. So the abuser goes unpunished again until next time when the abuse is even worse and may even be the kids next time.

I saw it too many times, pastors can be an abused woman's worst enemy.

Ironically, the secular world system (government) protects women and kids much better than the church does.

Lydia

Bob Cleveland said...

Incidentally, for the record, I'll say the same thing about what ought to happen the instant a husband physically abuses a wife, that I have always said:

911

simplegifts3 said...

Another problem with Patterson's advice is it strikes me as too "name it and claim it."

He has a very pastoral sounding voice, very assuring in the tone of his voice.

If you are giving out mass advice to people, you need to cover all the bases, and nearly instantaneous transformations in abusers are NOT guaranteed by God, and certainly don't cover all the bases. God answers prayer, but he does not operate by some other situation's timetable. And to neglect to bring up a wife's leeway to separate, file charges, ask the church elders to confront and discipline the man is a pretty glaring omission. Bringing up all these other things would have covered all the bases.

Furthermore, God sometimes heals people, and sometimes it is simply their time to die and go be with HIm, or to endure their afflictions with patience. Think of Joni Tada and how much she prayed and was prayed for. The standard answer from people who see only the Scriptures they want to see to prove their point is people like Joni and many others don't have enough faith.

I don't know about you all, but I can make a trajectory off Patterson's remarks about abuse which lands up hitting the ground with the "You just didn't have enough faith" remarks at women who do wind up separating from their abusive husbands. I see no difference between an abuser who keeps on abusing, eve when there is concerted prayer for him, and people who have to wait for heaven to be healed.

simplegifts3 said...

That being said, I do have a problem with the article bringing up the complementarian view that men only are to be elders/overseers of churches, and seeming to equate that with abuse.

I have read Tim Keller (PCA) and his views on women in the church, and although I'm not PCA either, I agree with him on allowing women deacons, and making as large a space as he thinks is biblically warranted for women to exercise their giftings within the local body of believers, including teaching, which would mostly be directed at women, but not always exclusively.

I don't know what the SBC as a whole thinks about women serving in the church. Do they leave these matters up to individual congregations? All I know about is women here and there who teach an adult SS class (mixed), and that Klouda was fired for teaching Hebrew to seminary men. It seems there is a wide range of competing beliefs on this between Southern Baptist churches. Does the SBC say anything about this?

Jack Maddox said...

Here are some thoughts that we can all perhaps agree?

1) Spousal abuse is wrong, it is sin, and it is illegal! Pastor's have a holy and a legal obligation to deal with it in the most stringent ways, which should include removing the abused from the reach of the abuser, using any means necessary, even utilizing local law enforcement if necessary.

2) Christ died for and loves the abuser as well as the abused. He also would see healing in the relationship. Once the abused is safely in a place where the abuse cannot continue, the Pastor should reach out t both the abused and the abuser in seeking biblical reconciliation for their relationship and marriage. Often times this involves regeneration in the life of the abuser.

3) The reality that the majority of SBC church's and their pastors hold to a comp view and theology of ministry does not contribute to spousal abuse. To say this is to assume that there is less spousal abuse in church's where the comp view is not held. There is no statistical evidence t back this up one way or the other. If one believes this to be true it is simply an opinion more than likely based upon a anti comp viewpoint at best and a anti SBC stance at worse.

4) To impy that those of us who disagree with the "evil Empire" view of the SBC and hold to a comp view are insensitive to this issue, mishandle it, and our actually contributing to it is a cruel and intellectually dishonest position. It is based upon a predisposition which is ANTI SBC and ANTI Comp.

5) Dr.Pattersons advise was certainly not in the best interest of the lady in the story and was irresponsible. It is not the advice that the majority of Pastors would or at least should give. Thankfully it worked out this time, God help if it wold have gone down a more tragic road.

6) Florida will defeat Oklahoma soundly in the BCS championship game thus deflating Sooner nation. (Just trying to see if Wade is still in the mix here)

Jack

simplegifts3 said...

I've re-read Mary's editorial. I'm very sorry for her particular situation. I don't know the exact particulars of Mary's story, but for any woman who lives for very long with a violent man who beats her, I do not fault her in the least for leaving him.

However, I do wonder how much she represents all Southern Baptist churches, with her remarks about it being a denomination. It certainly was "discouraging, disgusting and frustrating" -- FOR HER -- to be in ONE Southern Baptist church.

"I love my Southern Baptist denomination, but may I tell you how very discouraging, disgusting and frustrating it is to be a woman in the Southern Baptist denomination? For two reasons, I believe that I have earned the right to be heard."


Mary took her situation, and the bad pastoral counseling she received, and now is making what appears to be pretty categorical remarks against all Southern Baptist churches.

As I do not think Patterson's remarks about abuse were balanced, so I do not think Mary's remarks were balanced.

She goes on to make a lot of accusations, but doesn't support them. I am sure some of what she says is true. I've heard women jokes similar to the talking donkey "joke" she spoke of. I've also heard plenty of pastors and husbands being bashed, verbally, though.

She brought up her personal situation and extrapoated that to the whole SBC, which she called a denomination. To be fair, I want to point out this is not much different from Patterson's one and only anecdote in that interview I linked to.

It is NEVER right to bring up your one and only situation and hold it up to either make a blanket assertion about the whole enchilada, unless your one example is representative of the vast majority of said enchilada. If it's not right for Patterson to do it, it isn't right for Mary to do the same thing.

While I don't believe Mary's situation is unique by any means, it flies in the face of the resolution that was posted, and since the Baptist churches are more autonomous than being part of a "denomination," my guess is there are some pretty good Southern Baptist churches who would adhere to the SBC resolution on domestic violence and deal with it properly, and respect and allow women to use their gifts in the churches in a wide variety of ways, even if they do reserve the office of elder/overseer to men.

As an outsider, this is just my general perspective:

There are a lot of the "old guard" out there who are slowly passing off the scene. Those are men, for the most part, who view the pastor as "head pastor" or "senior pastor" of a church, and who hold to the old standard of denying and covering up of these social ills and sins. In the 1940s and 50s and earlier, women were much more expected to just put up with ill treatment. You add to that men like Bill Gothard and his views on submission to authority infiltrating this mindset, and submission and prayer becomes the answer to everything, and all other practical solutions (and biblical ones) are not "of faith."

These ideas have infiltrated churches of all stripes. You see this w/respect to healing and prosperity in many Pentecostal churches, for example.

Wanda said...

The SBC is in a downward spiral, and its treatment of women is a HUGE reason why.

My husband was raised Southern Baptist, and he absolutely insists that we fulfill Ephesians 5:21 by mutually submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21). After 20 years of wedded bliss, we continue to have one of the best marriages on the planet! We are not about to change it now, even though Russell Moore would say we are in a "same-sex marriage".

May God have mercy on the SBC as the seeds it has sown in recent decades take root and bear contaminated fruit.

Anonymous said...

I guess most of you are cessationists. Some may not. But most all think that Bible knowledge, even correct exegesis of the text of Eph 5 is it.

Without the control of the mind in the present continuous fashion by The Holy Spirit (Eps 5:18) the correct knowledge is not enough to prevent the abuse from the ultimate source of sin nature.

I feel most you all are right intellectually dan theologically at the level of academic knowledge; but unless there is the 'mystical' 'miraculous' control of the mind/soul by means of applying wisdom or Bible teaching of love there is no solution to wife beating pastors; whether he is from SBC of even seminary presidents.

Doug said...

Yes - that is exactly how most people both within the SBC and outside of it, including nonattenders (which, come to think of it, would describe most SBC'ers!) think and feel, though most never put it as honestly and bluntly. I know that this comment stream will now overflow with male SBC "theologians" prasing the familiar Scriptures with frantic attempts to "keep women in their place." The truth is, these same men will be talking to each other, as Americans continue to leave, by-pass or completly ignore the SBC. Can they not already hear the "echo"!

Jack Maddox said...

Wanda

Although it seems to bring you some sort joy or a sense of accomplishment I will assure the SBC is not in a "Downward Spiral" I had the privilege of observing many brave and wonderful spirit filled young men and women being commissioned to the mission field this past November in Houston. As long as God is calling, His people are responding, and lives are being changed, the SBC is far from a downward spiral! God is still using the SBC, along with many other groups of committed believes, He is using us, Warts and all! Sorry if that disappoints you.

J

Jack Maddox said...

sorry, should have read 'committed believers'

j

Anonymous said...

Wife beaters and sexual predators etc are imbedded in the sinful nature of the wife beaters and predators long before they become pastors.

Adding respectable role and office to the natural born wife beaters and predators does not change their sinful nature.

To my knowledge the seminaries teach expertise--of all kinds but no SBC seminary has serious spiritual formation theology. Seminaries can teach and polish born orators such as Gilyard to become 'stars' but none train these born predators to live by means of the Holy Spirit thru the instruments of Bible teaching implanted in the soul (in the brain alone does not help). A wife beater and sexual predator can pass Bible knowledge and theological tests with all 100 but fail in applying Bible doctrine in life. Because knowledge is only skin deep. Sinful nature is stronger than academic knowledge; and I don't know of one SBC Seminary that excells in systematic spiritual living.

As long as SBC keeps producing performers we will see only politicians in the pulpits and predators in the closets

Tony

Jack Maddox said...

Tony

Can you tell us what qualifies you to speak so dogmatically concerning SBC seminaries? Your statement is is woefully weal in generalities and pot full of specificity.

Jack

Anonymous said...

Jack,

I know from personal experience and personal friendship with many in the group--I am 50 and I have known them for 30 years. I have sat in many class rooms too--though not for any degree programs. Especially funny is the chapels--most are braggamonies. Don't you agree that most all of the SBC pulpits preach salvation every single Sunday? That shows something seriously lacking in the SBC system of religion. And all the politics like circus. Vatican pope's election is civil compare to SBC president's election .

I am a Baptist still

Tony

Lindon said...

K (Of course I reserve the right revise or extend my opinions in the future as the Lord leads through experience.) ;)

Tue Dec 30, 01:51:00 AM 2008

Hi Kevin, You may want to check out David Instone-Brewer to better understand biblical teaching on divorce. Instone-Brewer is a Senior Research Fellow in Rabbinics and the New Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge.

There is a lot of misunderstanding and very bad teaching about this subject.

He has about 24 short video's that touch on the major points of what scripture teaches in both the OT and NT on divorce. Here is the first one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFp4JQAnybA&feature=related

Jack Maddox said...

Tony

Then your opinion is highly subjective at best. You do not seem to think much of the SBC according to this and other posts. One would wonder what your 'groups' opinion of the SBC would be since birds of a feather. I do not mean that in a demeaning way, just to say that we generally run with those we hold things in common with. I do not know how you could have 'sat' in enough SBC seminary class rooms to speak so dogmatically. I am a by product of a SBC Seminary and during my time there it was not common at all to just have folks 'sit' in on class. As far a chapels...I strongly disagree. I would challenge you to reassess your opinion on this. Most chapel services I attended and still listen to are chalk full of biblical truth and treasure. Most are designed with spiritual and ministerial preparation in mind. As far as 'most of all' the SBC Pulpits. My Lord man, there are thousands upon thousands of them> I wold never seek to judge these men of God nor their sermonic material. I would doubt very seriously that the majority of the messages are 'salvation' only. Thats a tired old horse that you folk need to stop whipping! However, if we are in the spiritual condition that most of you on this blog believe us to be in, you know beating our wives, molesting our children, trying to take over the world, subjugating our women, putting on a show in the name of Jesus, you know all that SBC stuff, then maybe we need more salvation messages! ;)

Jack

Wanda said...

Jack Maddox said:

I will assure the SBC is not in a "Downward Spiral"

Jack,

SBC statistics on baptisms during the last three years indicate otherwise. I assure you I am not overjoyed by what is going on within the SBC. It grieves my heart!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Jack: I disagree with you on point number 2. The man has broken the marriage covenant when he hit his wife. I don't think she should go back. Abusers are also terrific actors. The cost to the wife going back may be too much. More beatings eventually or murder is usually the end result. I don't think that is a chance a woman should take.

Anonymous said...

Jack,

Why would so many SBC churches wiped out the word Baptist out of their buildings?

Tony

Anonymous said...

"Although it seems to bring you some sort joy or a sense of accomplishment I will assure the SBC is not in a "Downward Spiral" I had the privilege of observing many brave and wonderful spirit filled young men and women being commissioned to the mission field this past November in Houston."

Jack, You can commission all the folks you want to UNLESS the money dries up. Or it is embezzeled because they want to save face and not press charges.

Folks are waking up that they are susidizing a lot of celebrities and bureaucrats who live quite nicely off our tithe dollars. Some of us have decided there is more honesty and accountability other places and now give our mission dollars to Heartcry and other less bureaucratic entities. I also believe our missions model is outdated for a global economy. We simply do not need all the layers for money to pass through.

BTW: Believe it or not, God can accomplish His purposes without the SBC. It is not about the number of people we send but if we are sending truth. I find it ironic that we cannot even uphold and live out truth in our organization (embezzlers, etc) but we think we can send truth to other nations. Perhaps we should clean up our own house first. But it seems to have become the norm for the SBC.

Lydia

Darby Livingston said...

Debbie,

Are you saying you categorically disagree with Jack's point # 2? IOW, do you not believe the abusing husband should be reached out to? And do you not believe that the blood of Christ is strong enough to grant repentance and reconciliation? And do you not believe the willingness of a wife to humbly return if that's what she chooses to do for the sake of Christ can be the instrument of that man's salvation? You really disagree with these things?

Anonymous said...

As long as women are considered inferior to men (which is what current SBC doctrine seems to be, for example, the BF&M2000) they will be treated like it. Their concerns will be seen as lesser, and they can be ignored if convenient. Why is anyone surprised that this happens.

Susie

Jack Maddox said...

These are some good questions and I am glad to see we are dialoging. I will respond after lunch. Blessings to all

Jack

Anonymous said...

Are you saying you categorically disagree with Jack's point # 2? IOW, do you not believe the abusing husband should be reached out to? And do you not believe that the blood of Christ is strong enough to grant repentance and reconciliation? And do you not believe the willingness of a wife to humbly return if that's what she chooses to do for the sake of Christ can be the instrument of that man's salvation? You really disagree with these things?

Tue Dec 30, 02:18:00 PM 2008

Darby, what you are missing is that many abusers in these situations proclaim Christ as their Savior. Many attend church and some may even be in leadership as deacons, teachers etc.

Think of that in terms of your questions above. Was that person ever really saved at all? Was that person allowed to stay in any leadership function within the church? In this situation would you expect the wife to continue taking beatings for a professing Christian to be truly saved?

IT really boils down to whether the wife is believed or not by her fellow brothers and sisters in most cases. If her abusive husband is known as a nice guy at church, this could be a problem. As we have seen here, most are not compassionate toward victims.

What if you, as a church staffer, went to work and were expected to frequently take a beating from your boss when he was angry about anything. Would it sound normal for folks to tell you to continue taking the beating so that he might be saved? Or would we think we need to deal with the boss firsthand and right away?

Remember, when Bruce Ware taught about unsubmissive wives triggering abuse, he was speaking to the Denton Bible church. He was speaking to professing Christians.

That makes it even scarier that he thought that was a normal response to an unsubmissive wife. Of course, he said abuse is wrong but he also made the point that the WIFE triggers it by her lack of submission. She doesn't. Truth be told, an abuser cannot have enough submission. It can be anything. Even burning dinner. She is just convenient and she can't fire him from his job.

If the abuser is a professing Christian, start there. He broke the marriage vow. Divorce is NOT the breaking of the marriage vow..it is just a piece of paper the government gives. The breaking of the marriage vows happens much earlier than that piece of paper. I wish more pastors would teach that fact. But they focus on the evils of divorce, the piece of paper, instead.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

If your life revolves around the bad in the SBC, then the SBC is on a downward spiral. If your life revolves around the good in the SBC, then the SBC is doing AWESOME.

I'm not saying there is no bad in it. And I'm not saying that it is all good either.

I'm just talking about the direction of my spiral. It's spiraling out of control with joy here on the mission field due to the gracious giving of Southern Baptists to the LMCO.

Please don't ignore the bad in the SBC, but also please don't let the bad cause you to spiral downward and miss the "spiral" that is moving UP!

While your at it, give to the LMCO! :)

SL1M

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

Thanks for your thoughts, but I'm not sure you answered one of the questions I asked of Debbie. I'm afraid you lumped me in with a bunch of people who cover up and justify abuse. I can assure you that our church does not take such a position and has directly confronted with church discipline a man who'd hit his wife. So I don't think I'm "missing" the point. You came up with a bunch of possible scenarios that I'm not even talking about.

I also want to truly encourage you to read the Bible concerning divorce. You said, "Divorce is NOT the breaking of the marriage vow..it is just a piece of paper the government gives. The breaking of the marriage vows happens much earlier than that piece of paper. I wish more pastors would teach that fact. But they focus on the evils of divorce, the piece of paper, instead."

That is simply misguided and I do pray that no pastor takes your advice in that area. Like I pointed to earlier in this stream, it seems that people have certain views about authority, God, man, etc. and the issue of abuse is just fuel used to fry bigger fish.

Anonymous said...

I also want to truly encourage you to read the Bible concerning divorce. You said, "Divorce is NOT the breaking of the marriage vow..it is just a piece of paper the government gives. The breaking of the marriage vows happens much earlier than that piece of paper. I wish more pastors would teach that fact. But they focus on the evils of divorce, the piece of paper, instead."

That is simply misguided and I do pray that no pastor takes your advice in that area. Like I pointed to earlier in this stream, it seems that people have certain views about authority, God, man, etc. and the issue of abuse is just fuel used to fry bigger fish.

Tue Dec 30, 03:14:00 PM 2008

You are right. I did not word it well. The 'divorce' happens much earlier than the piece of paper given by the state that dissolves the civil marriage. The divorce is the breaking of the marriage covenant. As believers our vows are much more important than a paper given by the state.

I am not sure what you mean about folks having issues with authority. What authority? The state? What authority is there in the Body except for Jesus Christ and His Word. Are you saying there are some that are elevated above others in the Body because they have a title conferred by men? Where does the Holy Priesthood fit into this thinking?

What does 'authority' have to do with spouse abuse? I am sincerely curious.

Your comment leaves more questions than it does answers.

Lydia

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

Thanks for the humble response and clarification. I agree that the headwaters of divorce begin in the heart long before the papers are signed.

As to your questions, my point is this: It doesn't seem from some comments that there is a disgust for wrongful use of authority as much as a disdain for authority all together. It seems to me that some people hate the notion that God has ordained authority. And it seems like some think this is the first generation to question how we're to deal with such issues. The whole letter of 1 Peter and much of Paul's writing tells specifically how people are to respond to both good and bad uses of authority.

Man does not confer the title husband. God does. And my point has been proven in this stream because Wade's original post was about a misuse of authority, first by a husband, then by pastors who cowed away from doing the right thing. But at some point, the discussion shifted from abuse to God not having any authority structures at all.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

I've thought that if I would wave a magic wand to get all Christians to accept they are in the New Covenant, then I could unite all Christians on every issue...

But gender.

Even in the New Covenant camp [where there is so much spiritually healthy doctrine being taught and people are not whackin' each other over the head with errant confessions of faith] brothers "Jon and John" do not agree on this divisive issue.

Much [NC] Grace brother,

Benji

P.S. Yeah, it was an overstatement, but still a cool thought:)

Anonymous said...

Are you saying you categorically disagree with Jack's point # 2? IOW, do you not believe the abusing husband should be reached out to? And do you not believe that the blood of Christ is strong enough to grant repentance and reconciliation? And do you not believe the willingness of a wife to humbly return if that's what she chooses to do for the sake of Christ can be the instrument of that man's salvation? You really disagree with these things?

Tue Dec 30, 02:18:00 PM 2008

Ok, back to your original questions since you think I missed the point.

1. Of course the abuser should be reached out to. There is a difference though, if he professes Christ.

2. Of course God can grant repentance and reconciliation. But I take the Jonathon Edwards view that time can only tell. It would be foolish for her to go right back because he 'said' he was repentant. Repentance is not just about words. But many think it is.

3. Instead of advising or even encouraging her to return too quickly, why don't you offer to take her place for the beatings and YOU be the instrument of his salvation. That way the kids don't have to be affected, too. You could tell the abuser you would willingly lay down your life for her, your sister in Christ.

Lydia

Anonymous said...

Dear DARBY LIVINGSTON

who wrote this to Debbie: "And do you not believe the willingness of a wife to humbly return if that's what she chooses to do for the sake of Christ can be the instrument of that man's salvation? You really disagree with these things?"

I can't answer for Debbie, of course, but I disagree.
Any woman in an abusive relationship who remains or returns to it is a 'codependent' of sorts. The abuser 'needs' his target.
Chances are, she has been so beaten down psychologically that good decision-making may not be something she can handle well, until she gets some real help.

Darby, did you ever consider this: if a woman 'goes back humbly' for more abuse, is she not then an unwitting agent for her husband's damnation as he continues to harm her?

She needs to get out of the toxic situation, and THEN try to get some real help for her husband and for her marriage.

That 'humbly' part gives me the creeps. Humility has nothing to do with allowing someone to beat the heck of you. Humility has more to do with accepting that you are in 'over your head' and need the help and support of others: legal, social services, family services, police protection, psychological family counseling or psychiatric professional services, pastoral counseling, and the support of the victim's extended family and her Christian community.

WORST THING to do is to offer yourself up to 'martyrdom' at the hands of your spouses' out-of-control sickness. I think that is absolutely tragic for both the husband and the wife.

The intervention of Christians should always be one of compassion for ALL involved. Sorry, Paige Patterson, but that includes the abused wife too. L's

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

Ceasefire! Ceasefire! My legs are blown off and I repent in dust and ashes. We are not in disagreement when it comes to issues of abuse. It is wrong. Always. And it should be confronted. The first time. With resolve. And though your third point sounds funny, that just might be the closest thing to Christianity you could come up with.

Benji,

I agree with you completely. Somehow, my theology is radically NCT and I always get misplaced in the fundie camp. :)

Darby Livingston said...

"Humility has nothing to do with allowing someone to beat the heck of you."

Jesus would disagree. And so would his apostles. And every dear brother and sister that Voice of the Martyrs parades before us every month. But we in America don't have the stomach for it. Which is why when the real persecution comes, we'll be too busy crying foul to suffer strongly.

Anonymous said...

"It seems to me that some people hate the notion that God has ordained authority."

Yes, for the state. Not for the Body of Christ or Christian marriage. We are to mutually submit to one another. There are NO offices. That was added by translators. There are only functions. If you want to see what a true elder looks like study Matthew 5. A true elder does not have to teach authority or even discuss it. Because a true elder knows it is the Word that has the authority. Not the person.

And you are right...there are many wrong views of God ordained authority. There is a history of its abuse in Christendom because of wrong teaching on the matter.

But your view seems to be to teach the husband his "proper" authority and not to misuse it. When in reality, he is a servant just like she is if they are truly saved. Just as a pastor/elder is a servant.

BTW: Does Eph 5:21 not mean voluntary submission for ALL believers? Does it exclude believing husbands, pastors and elders?

Lydia

Anonymous said...

"Ceasefire! Ceasefire! My legs are blown off and I repent in dust and ashes. We are not in disagreement when it comes to issues of abuse. It is wrong. Always. And it should be confronted. The first time. With resolve. And though your third point sounds funny, that just might be the closest thing to Christianity you could come up with."

Sorry, Darby. I did not put down my Howitzer before I saw this comment and fired it again. I am now moving it into storage. :o)

Lydia

Darby Livingston said...

"But your view seems to be to teach the husband his "proper" authority and not to misuse it."

Sounds right to me.

Darby Livingston said...

All,

I just had a little free time this afternoon. I'm in no way trying to be provocative.

Anonymous said...

Dear DARBY,

I repeat: 'humility has nothing to do with allowing someone to beat the heck out of you'

Think about it.
When grown men and pastors send the message to an abused wife that it is a holy and sacred duty to go home and gp back into the middle of hell: who's being humble here?

The poor woman can't even think straight: she's humiliated already and terrified, feeling that she has no control over what is happening to her, so the word
'humbly' is inappropriate.
She TRIED to reach out for help and THIS is the church's answer?

Let's try the word 'coerced'.
Or maybe 'pressured'.
Or possibly just 'pushed' back into the hell she tried to escape from.

Something VERY wrong about 'Christian' men who advocate the torment of women as a tool for the salvation of other men.
What's wrong with this picture?
L's

Anonymous said...

Darby, if the man is beating up his wife, he needs more than just a little 'teaching'

Debbie Kaufman said...

Darby: Lydia has done a good job answering and yes I completely disagree with Jack's number 2 point. The husband broke the convenant when he abused her. The wife has every right to keep herself and her children, if there is any, safe. To compare a wife in an abusive marriage to a missionary and Voice of the martyrs is ludicrous. I won't go any further than that in my response because I would frankly be less than charitable to the rest of your comments. Lydia outshines me in the charity department and think she has done a good job. But thank you for your comments because this is the exact point that I think Mary Gruben was making that is wrong in our counseling.

You may truly believe abuse to be wrong, but it seems you are not seeing it for what it is. Henious is too light a word for abuse, let alone just simply wrong. I've had too many friends that I have helped leave their husbands or boyfriends due to physical and emotional abuse. The promises to change by these guys getting pretty old when it didn't happen. And one claimed to be a "Christian" while repeatedly doing the same things when my friend came back to him. I would never recommend reconilialtion in the case of abuse. Adultry yes, abuse no.

Anonymous said...

Lydia, don't put the Howitzer away just yet. We might be needing it. :)

Darby Livingston said...

Repeating a bad point doesn't make it a good one the second time around. :)

I've nowhere said I send women into abusive situations. Where are you getting this? I even said I disciplined a man for hitting his wife. I did it immediately, forcefully and unconditionally. I feel like the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz - a name filled with straw for angry women to throw torches at. I think I'm done being burned for things other people let happen. Have a blessed New Year.

msvoboda said...

"In the Old Testament book of Esther, God gave us the story of a courageous young woman who saved the Jews from being annihilated. The end of the story might have changed if she had been a Southern Baptist woman."

That is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever read... Who are our missions offerings named after? Oh yeah, two women. The complimentarian position is only demeaning to women when it is misunderstood. The Southern Baptist Convention honors women more than most because of its appropriate, biblical view of women and their roles.

Anonymous said...

LADIES, LET'S EDUCATE DARBY:

Stats on spousal abuse:


Women with a DISABILITY or a disabling health problem were at greater risk of being abused.


Twenty-one per cent of women abused by a marital partner were assaulted DURING PREGNANCY.
Forty per cent of these women said the abuse began during pregnancy.

CHILDREN witnessed violence against their mothers in almost 40 per cent of cases.

In a majority of violent episodes the abuse of ALCOHOL was a factor.

One-third of women who were assaulted FEARED FOR THEIR LIVES at some point during the abusive relationship.

Almost one-half of cases resulted in PHYSICAL INJURY to the woman.

Eighty-five per cent of women who had been assaulted said they experienced negative emotional effects like anger, fear, becoming less trusting, lowered self-esteem.


And the 'beat' goes on . . . .

Anonymous said...

WANT TO KNOW WHAT SPOUSAL ABUSE IS ALL ABOUT?

The victim of spousal abuse generally lives in fear, intimidation and humiliation. Her abuser makes her a captive in her own home and in her own life as the abuser exerts power and control over her. Because of his manipulation and her isolation and lack of emotional support, the female becomes dependent on the abuser for everything, including her identity. Statistics on spousal abuse indicate that once a victim is isolated from her friends and family, the domestic violence becomes more intense. Types of domestic violence include: physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and economic deprivation.

Many victims of domestic violence find themselves isolated from family and friends and humiliated by their situation. It stands to reason that many cases of domestic violence go unreported. Statistics on spousal abuse demonstrate that the majority of women who are victims of abuse do not report these occurrences to either their physician or anyone else. Some of the injuries are so severe that hospital admission or serious treatment is required. In addition, the vast majority of these incidences are never reported to the police. Abuse such as verbal and emotional abuse are not considered criminal acts, but these types of abuses can, and many times do, lead to criminal behaviors, such as assault.

The common response to an issue of domestic violence is to wonder why the woman just does not leave the abuser. As with any other relationship, there are many factors that affect a female’s decision to stay with her abuser. Some of the most cited reasons that a female stays with an abusive spouse are:

• Fear and shame

• Lack of resources (financial, support, etc)

• Children

• Feelings of guilt

• Promises of reform by abuser

• Love for her spouse

Spousal abuse is cyclical, and there are distinct phases to spousal abuse. The abuse begins as the male’s frustrations and stresses build. According to spousal abuse statistics, more likely than not, the female will continue to face abuse as long as she is with the abusive partner regardless of his promises to change. Spousal abuse goes underreported by female victims, and when the victim seeks medical help only a small percentage of cases are reported as domestic violence cases. Spousal abuse is a persistent, silent epidemic that affects millions of women each year.

Anonymous said...

'I feel like the scarecrow in Wizard of Oz - a name filled with straw for angry women to throw torches at."

I think you are taking Jack and Kevin's beatings, too. They owe you now. :o)

BTW: Why is it that women are 'angry' when they disagree but men aren't? Hmmmm. I am not angry at all. I think you have been a fine sparring partner. I like your name, too. It sounds like a British Novelist or something. I picture you wearing a smoking jacket sitting in a leather chair in your library, blogging.

Anonymous said...

oops, the last one to Darby was me, Lydia

Anonymous said...

Spousal abuse: In the name of submission?

In the area of relationships and marriage, there cannot be a more explosive and divisive issue than that of the headship of men and the submission of women. Sometime in the late 1990’s, the Southern Baptist Convention issued an official statement asking women to “graciously submit” to their husbands. Needless to say, that statement was greeted with controversy, scorn and ridicule from different sectors and even from within the Convention itself. Feminist groups have been saying all these time that the Biblical injunction for women to submit to their husbands is an open invitation for spousal abuse.

If you want a thorough discussion of the Biblical doctrines of the headship of men and the submission of women, the following are recommended:

[1] “Strike the Original match” by Chuck Swindoll; Multnomah Press © 1980; specifically the chapters entitled “Let’s Repair the Foundation” and “Bricks that Build a Marriage.”

[2] “The Grace Awakening” also by Chuck Swindoll; Word Publishing, ©1996; specifically the chapter entitled “A Marriage Oiled by Grace”

[3] “Together Forever” by Anne Kristin Caroll; Zondervan, © 1982 by Barbara J. Denis); specifically the chapter entitled “Who Wears the Pants?”

[4] “Rocking the Roles” by Robert Lewis and William Hendricks; NavPress, ©1991; specifically the chapters entitled “The ‘S’ Word” and “The Masculine Counterpart to the ‘S’ Word.”
In a previous article entitled “The Myth of Mutual Submission part 2” , there is the true story of Lucy Tisland who, like Marivic Genosa, killed her husband after enduring years of abuse. The question is, “How should individual Christians, pastors and churches respond to the issue of spousal abuse?”

Tony Galacio's article is entitled “Hope and help for the battered woman :
Biblical response to spousal abuse” to re-state here some of the main points of that article:

[1] Spousal abuse is a sin, and as such, must be dealt with in keeping with Matthew 18, in situations where the spouses concerned are members of the church.

[2] Spousal abuse is not only a sin, but also a crime punishable under RA 9262. Since Romans 13 commands us to be subject to the higher powers, pastors and church counselors cannot close their eyes, send the abused woman back into the abusive situation, and simply hope for the best. God’s miracle and protection for the abused woman have already been provided for in laws such as RA 9262. Pastors and counselors should therefore be familiar with the provisions of this law in order to ably counsel abused women on their rights.

msvoboda said...

Some of you women on here are acting like the SBC has a public policy that is light on male abusers or even condone the abuse. Obviously abuse is a big deal, one that the church must address.

Scott Shaffer said...

Debbie,

You wrote, "I would never recommend reconilialtion [sic] in the case of abuse."

I understand your sentiment, and perhaps could find myself sympathetic to it under certain circumstances; however, I think we would have a difficult time defending it with Scripture. For example, the whole point of church discipline is restoration. And, as you have stated in the past, God still performs miracles. True change of the heart, mind, and will is what is needed. God can, and has done this in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

I have to respond to your last comment, but this is it. You are too funny. I am in my library. I'm not wearing a smoking jacket, but I am wearing Doc Martins. I have a candy cigar in my mouth and I'm sipping a Welch's on the rocks because what's left of the SBC in me won't let me enjoy the things Spurgeon did. I have written a non-fiction book and a novel, but I'm not British. And I don't just think women get angry. I've seen lots of angry men comment as well, and be downright disagreeable and difficult to reason with.

Anonymous said...

"But we in America don't have the stomach for it. Which is why when the real persecution comes, we'll be too busy crying foul to suffer strongly."

Darby - Thank you so much for saying this. So many ladies and men here are brave and bold and mighty on this blog sitting in their living rooms in America, but you have summed them up nicely with one fell swoop.

I don't know Darby, but I am certain he is NOT advocating wife beating...even by a non-Christian.

Just because some of you are ladies and you have access to the internet so you can look up a lot of stats and make yourself look informed does NOT mean you despise spousal abuse more than Darby.

If someone doesn't make it clear right away that that women are never wrong and men are idiots, they have no hope are sharing thoughts and ideas with most of you.

Sorry for the rant, but I do feel better.

Anonymous said...

Scott said 'True change of the heart, mind, and will is what is needed. God can, and has done this in the past and will continue to do so in the future.'

IN THE MEAN-TIME, GET THE WOMAN TO SAFETY.

QUICKLY.

LIKE, NOW.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "Sorry for the rant, but I do feel better."

Go ahead and rant.
It doesn't change the stats.

The only thing worse than a wife-beater are those men who stand on the sidelines and
A. do nothing
B. blame the victim
C. tell the victim to 'keep
suffering so that it
will make your husband
a Christian' (?)

These guys are
'Wife-Beater Voyeurs" which might be just as SICK as wife-beaters.

Anonymous said...

All this wife-beating is going to turn Southern Baptist Women into raving, left-wing Zen Gonzo Witches (and who can blame them?)

Mark my words.

What are you guys trying to do?

Put down women long enough, and they will begin to believe you.
People rise to the level of expectations, which for women in the Baptist World, ain't sayin too much.
Once women lose their self-respect, what else is there left to lose?

Steve said...

I have been reminded today that the SBC is definitely a "prairie dress" kind of place. Back when our old church had a solid pew full of pre-ten-year-old excited girls, every week brought another reminder of how limited their hunger for service to Jesus would be tempered, limited, and disregarded by our "grave clothes" denomination/club. Thanks, Kev!

Benji Ramsaur said...

I realize that there is strong disagreement in this comment thread.

However, I was wondering if both sides could agree with these statements:

1. Both sides agree that abuse is wrong.

2. Both sides agree that the fundamental disagreement is over whether or not a husband has authority over his wife in the first place.

3. One side believes that to say husbands do have authority is to set women up for abuse [and thus reasons from this premise].

4. The other side believes that husbands do have authority but should not abuse their authority by abusing their wives [and thus reasons from this premise].

5. One side believes Ephesians 5:21 refers to all believers [period] and the other side believes it is a general statement that is explained in some detail in the verses that follow it [and thus see it as not referring to all believers].

Are these the "Five points of Genderism"?

Anonymous said...

Is a man beating his wife a worse sin than a woman neglecting his sexual needs?

msvoboda said...

haha... now I know whoever left that last comment was kidding, but that is just wrong!

Debbie Kaufman said...

Matt: You are right that was wrong. Abuse of women is not funny. But again, it shows some of the mindset of SB's on this subject, so you have just supported what we have been saying and for that I thank you for laughing and anonymous for the insensitive comment. God has a lot to do within the SBC.

I don't think the women who are or have been in abusive marriages are laughing however. They are too busy healing and crying.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Just because some of you are ladies and you have access to the internet so you can look up a lot of stats and make yourself look informed does NOT mean you despise spousal abuse more than Darby.

If someone doesn't make it clear right away that that women are never wrong and men are idiots, they have no hope are sharing thoughts and ideas with most of you.

Sorry for the rant, but I do feel better.


Now to those who believe that this attitude is not in the SB, read the last few comments along with this one and tell me again it's rhetoric to say so.

I usually bypass anonymous comments as cowards for not standing by their comments and signing their names, but this was kind of hard to bypass. Now if we could make the abused women who make up the statistics feel better.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Scott: I believe in the book of Matthew God does allow divorce, and salvation is not a quick fix nor an answer. Yes, God can do miracles, but in this case I wouldn't want to bet the women's life on it nor the children's. God also gave us common sense and a sense of preservation and divorce is not at all inappropriate in the case of adultery or abuse. The man broke the marriage covenant when he cheated or beat his wife. The wife is not sinning by getting a divorce. This is much too serious to warrant going back into a dangerous situation. As I said, abusers are terrific actors. They've been acting all their lives. I personally have never recommended nor will I ever, reconciling with an abuser.

Anonymous said...

ANONYMOUS said 'Is a man beating his wife a worse sin than a woman neglecting his sexual needs?'

LIKE, YES, IT IS WORSE.

Maybe, Anonymous, that's why so many men think women 'deserve' to be beaten while they are pregnant? (wink,wink)

fishformen said...

Me thinks a simple statistical analysis should be commissioned. Perhaps Bro. Stetzer could assist in this. It could analyze the spousal abuse (male and female –to be fair) from both complementarian and egalitarian SBC churches. Then analyze it across the general populace of the Sbc and society at large. Perhaps then it would lay all doubt aside for Wade and us commentors, that the answer to Wade’s question is, NO.

Seems much ink has been spilt on a problem that is not nearly as tragic as the rhetoric around it.

Certainly not as tragic as the fact that 85% of the consumers of Rap music, particularly the gangster type, are white middle class teens and young men. The kind that sit in our churches. It’s your sons who will be the next abusers, unless you think that the SBC is more dangerous than rap music.

Anonymous said...

Yes. You can make that Prarie dress and join the local WMU circle! Proving that cultural backwardness exists in many corners.

Part of this woman's message is right on, and part of it is way off.



Louis

Anonymous said...

"ALL THAT IS ESSENTIAL

FOR THE TRIUMPH OF EVIL

IS THAT GOOD MEN DO NOTHING."

Edmunde Burke



LARRY: "This would make a good motto for the future clean-up of the SBC by the Baptist people."

MOE: "The Baptist People ???????"

CURLY JOE: "Yes. Why not?
Someone's got to do it."

Anonymous said...

Do Southern Baptists set women up for abuse?

Without even thinking about it, they do set women up for abuse.

Without even thinking about it . . . .
That's the problem.

Jack Maddox said...

Debbie

I am amazed that you would disagree with #2! are you saying that you do not believe that Christ loves the abuser. Do you not believe in the power of the gospel to transform lives? I stated clearly that the wife should be removed to a place of safety, however to disagree with the premise of reconcilliation and transformation through the gospel is to disagree with the Word of God. How sad that you feel that way debbie

Anonymous said...

Hands-down, the two best "student-preachers" I heard on-campus while attending SWBTS during the '90's both were women earning their MDiv degrees and participating in the preaching class/lab required at the time. Thank goodness there were no home-making classes at Southwestern then; I would have missed the blessing experienced while listening to those two young women.

Elisabeth said...

I have a question for everybody who looks for reconciliation in abusive relationships after the abuser has transformed and repented.

How do you truly know that he has truly transformed and repented? And how do you know that reconciliation will not send the woman back for more abuse or to even be killed?

Elisabeth said...

Here's a slightly different abuse story.

My husband's brother was married for about three years to this one woman. At first their marriage was going well. Then she started doing meth. And she would get out of control. She would scream at my brother in law. She would hit him. She would call the cops on him saying he threatened her. The neighbors would call the cops because of the screaming, thinking that he must be abusing her. Twice she scratched herself, telling the cops he did it. One time, only one time, did he hit her, and that wasn't fully intentional; it was more to block her punch. One time she told the cops he was following her & threatening her with a gun. He didn't even own a gun. Twice he spent the night in jail; the time he bruised her blocking her punch and one time when she had scratched herself telling the cops it was him. Eventually, finally, she left him, but she did break some things in the house, smash the car back window, etc. before leaving. Not long after she left she was dead from a drug overdose.

Tell me, was my brother in law to blame for this abuse? And is there any way kindness can break through the drug addled mind of a meth addict? And women who are in an abusive relationship are in this same kind of craziness, and they can not make their husbands change no matter what kindness they show.

Anonymous said...

I've officiated at a lot of wedding ceremonies following even more pre-wedding counseling sessions. During the counseling times, the happy couple and I discussed the terms under which married couples agree to live with each other, and during the ceremony the couple publicly agreed to live together as husband and wife under those terms--which, of course, did not include any type of abuse.

At times, an abused spouse (99.5% of the time, the wife) has sat in my church office telling her story--the same story each time, just different tear-stained faces. I always remind the person, "The two of you agreed to terms. I hear you saying that you still want to live by those terms--though you're describing how your spouse is living now outside the terms. Do this: arrange for a baby sitter, and possibly for long-term child care; then, sit down one more time with your spouse with all the personal integrity you can muster--knowing you'll one day stand alone before the Lord at judgment and need that integrity--and tell him that you want to abide by the terms of your marriage but need to hear from him that he sincerely does too. If he can't tell you that he intends to live again by the same terms as before, then I advise a strategic separation to permit him time to decide what he really wants--to live miserably alone for the rest of his life and THEN face God with his errors, or to seek help finding the life that his heart really wants." Some have followed that advice, others have not--but, as Gary Chapman says, the best odds for the kind of love-relationship we're really seeking is in the relationship we currently have (5 Love Languages).

No man can justify abusing his wife in any way at any time. I doubt that Fundamentalists believe otherwise, even if some of them conduct their marriage counseling in truly stupid ways.


David

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Lindon,

Thank you. I will look into it. But for the record I should state that I most certainly believe that their is in actuality a difference between God's Revealed Will and His Decreed Will. He in His Mercy and Goodness allows for our sinfulness. Knowing that however does not recuse me from the awesome responsibility of holding precious every single covenant which God made and sealed. Every marriage is worth the effort. God is not glorified when we just give up at "first beating." On the other hand, He is not glorified when men of the cloth do not take seriously their duties both legally and biblically. I like Bob's answer: 911 Some on here would find it hard to believe that I could make such a call. I would indeed, but it would be the second call I would make. The first being to a member of the church who could give the abused a bed for the night and a meal.

Oh wait, now I have just put my family at risk, my church at risk, stuck my nose in the middle of a hornet's nest, have a woman and possibly children to tend to and then I am supposed to fit marriage counseling, abuse counseling, family counseling, just through legal hoops (if the abuser is not cooperative), all the while prepare 3 sermons for the week, preach a funeral (hopefully not the abused) visit my dear old friends at the nursing home who look forward to their pastor's weekly visit, maintain 13 hours at school this coming semester (my final--YIPPIE!) and some pewwarmer on this blog wants to criticize me???????????


Fine. Divorce sound a whole lot easier!!!

I shall however take the road less traveled. And that sweet friends, will make all the difference.


While I am on a rant tonight, let me tell you fine folks the real problem. The problem is the preaching in the SBC. How can an abusive husband attend church and not be compelled to throw himself at the alter or the cross and weep profusely for his sins? It is because of fancy feel good sermons. No one today needs to leave church feeling good. Our country, out families, our lives are in too bad a shape. Sin needs to be exposed through the soul mirror of the Word of God. God love Rick Warren but his style of preaching is leading thousands of preachers and congregants into biblical ignorance and stupidity.

Exposit the Word, or leave it alone.

My prayer daily is that God would grant me wisdom to exposit His truth to His people. Straight from the text. Raw, uncensored truth.

Poor exposition is liken to Moses telling God, "no way man, those rocks will hurt my feet."


I am firmly convinced that every divorce for any reason where at least one person is a believer is entirely avoidable.

The problem is not unsatisfied needs, it is that the believer (every time) is unsatisfied with God.



Thank you for your time, please consider a much needed year end gift to the Kevin Crowder Theological Education Fund. :)



K :)

Scott Shaffer said...

Elisabeth,

To answer your question, you won't know whether the abuser has genuinely changed or not. Consequently, you would have to be extremely cautious about moving back in with that person. I think you just have to look at each situation on its own merits. I just have a difficult time categorically saying that restoration is never a consideration.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Elisabeth,

How do we really know that you have repented of your evil ways and truly turned to Christ and made Him Lord of your life in more than just easyspeak?

You act as if the actions, indeed the very salvation of any one member of the flock is the direct responsibility of the Pastor. Dissemination of the Word is my job. Pastoral Care is my job. Preaching the Gospel is my job. I let the Spirit do the rest. And I will wash my hands of yours, or the abusers sins.

What other burdens must your pastor bare?


I am very curious.

K

Bob Cleveland said...

Kevin,

In truth, it wasn't the preacher I was thinking of, re: calling 911. It was the abused spouse.

I realize that would put me in an awkward position were it my own family. But I would just have to sacrifice personal comfort for principle.

Say .. that may be a whole 'nuther topic in itself.

Anonymous said...

The "SBC Not in Downward Spiral" thing:


". . . It’s been written that not a single county in the United States had in 1995 a percentage of churched persons greater than it did a decade before in 1985. That news was alarming at the time it was reported. Has another dozen years of orthodox biblical theology held firmly by conservative Christian congregations—-and especially by wrangling Baptists ones—-made a significant positive difference in church membership and attendance across America? Reports now indicate that church attendance in the U.S. appears to have risen since 1996, but only in Hawaii have increases in attendance at church services outpaced state population growth (during 2000 to 2004). Recent statistics from LifeWay Research show that, during the past ten consecutive years, only twenty-two of the 44,000 congregations affiliating with the Southern Baptist Convention were able to minister to their communities in such a way as to maintain both annual worship service increases and baptism rates of at least 26 new Christians (with congregant-to-convert baptism ratios of no more than 20-to-1). Over 27,000 SBC congregations reported only 0-5 baptisms during the year 2006—-more than 10,000 of those churches recorded no baptisms at all. In Texas, where approximately one-half of the state’s twenty-three million residents is unchurched, 5700 Baptist congregations indicated baptizing almost 55,000 new Christians in 2006 (BGCT: 42,000 of the total).

"In 2008, when relatively few leaders of American evangelical Protestant churches asked concede that telling the gospel is the top priority of either their congregations’ small groups or Sunday School classes [. . . Bible study is the top priority of their groups: 64% of Sunday School churches and 41% of small group churches; outreach/evangelism is the top priority: 5% of Sunday School churches and 6% of small group churches . . .], news of the Church’s growth in the United States isn’t great yet . . ."


In this sense, yes: the SBC is in a downward spiral (jon.randles@bgct.org for both articles with references).


David

Anonymous said...

There are professional programs for spousal abusers.
These programs take time and effort and commitment on the part of the participants.
Most of these programs accept a sliding scale fee for therapy. Some insurances cover the costs under 'mental health'.

The complexities of spousal abuse are overwhelming for the victims.
In religion, MOST JUDEO-CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATIONS HAVE ADOPTED THE ROLE OF ADVOCACY FOR ABUSED WOMEN, because it is considered to be a work of mercy.
If Dr. Patterson and Dr. Ware are influential examples of SBC response to the problem, I don't see the SBC joining the Judeo-Christian community in advocacy for abuse victims.
I wish I was wrong about this.

If someone needs help and doesn't know where to get help: ask the local hospital social worker, or call the local mental health clinic. Catholic and Jewish Family Services can provide references that are professional.

The strangest thing of all for me to understand is the 'detachment' of some of the male bloggers here from the idea that the victims are suffering human beings who DESERVE their compassion.

BTW, the 'level' of therapy needed by most abusers is much more advanced than can be provided by a minister, priest, or a rabbi.
Clergy are 'front-line' in-take workers, in a sense, referring the ill person to the care of properly educated, trained, and certified mental-health professionals.

The help is there.
It isn't exactly a 'luxury' to seek help when people's lives are so in need of healing.
L's

Anonymous said...

. . . But CHRISTIANITY is on an up-swing elsewhere in the world; see here:


". . . Still, listed below are ten recent statements from church growth experts about conditions of the world and the nation to which Baptist General Convention of Texas churches seek to minister evangelistically in the name of Christ. Read the list for the view its gives of Great Commission efforts being made now:

• One in 10 people in the world is an active Christian (in 6 million Christian churches)
• 90,000 people become Christians daily worldwide (20,000 in Africa; 15,000 in India)
• 35% of Korea’s population is Christian (56% of Russia’s and 15% of Indonesian’s)
• Largest English-speaking mission field in the world: United States of America
• 100 million Americans are unchurched (in no religious services during last 6 months)
• American churches on average: need 85 members to win one soul for Jesus Christ
• Each day, 411 Americans convert to Islam, 872 become Mormons (Buddhism growing)
• 69% of all SBC congregations were plateaued/declining numerically in 2006 (30,470)
• 2006: 27,521 of 44,223 SBC congregations reported 0-5 baptisms (274 reported 100+)
• 11 million Texans are unchurched, but one in 10 Texans is a BGCT Texas Baptist1

"It’s true that the list above doesn’t tell the whole evangelism story in the world today, but the message seems clear anyway that: (1) a great harvest is being reaped outside of the United States because non-Christians in other countries are responding in incredible numbers with repentance toward God and faith in Christ as the good news about Jesus is shared intentionally by missionaries or other believers in relevant and relational ways; (2) similar potential for spiritual awakening exists in the U.S. among its tens of millions who also are unsaved but curious; and, (3) the average American Christian and church functions far less intentionally, relationally, and relevantly in evangelism than do believers living for the Lord Jesus elsewhere in the world. The info above suggests, too, that future generations of lost Americans will be won by some gospel even if that 'good news' has nothing at all to do with Jesus Christ—and that prospect simply isn’t acceptable to any serious follower of Him . . ."


Again: jon.randles@bgct.org for entire article.


David ;~]

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"BTW, the 'level' of therapy needed by most abusers is much more advanced than can be provided by a minister, priest, or a rabbi.
Clergy are 'front-line' in-take workers, in a sense, referring the ill person to the care of properly educated, trained, and certified mental-health professionals."

No. (with respect of course)



The Bible is sufficient for ALL things. True Salvation IS the cure-all. Dr. Psychotropia is clueless as to this point.

The saddest thing a minister can do is to push off the spiritually deficient to the hands of Satan's Mind Minions.


K

Anonymous said...

Hi, it's me again, L's

I realized that the religion remark was not phrased in a way that honored those in the Southern Baptist faith who are trying very hard to find a solution THROUGH THEIR FAITH to the problem of spousal abuse.

I can see that so many are counting on the intervention of God to save the abuser from his sins, and I understand that.

I'm afraid that I see the abuser more as a person with deep emotional and/or mental problems who needs professional care.

What is right for a person of faith?

Think about if you were physically ill.
Would you not pray to Our Father will all your might for help?
Of course you would. But you would still go to the doctor.
Our local hospital has a sign: We bandage the wound; God heals it.

Same with a mental or emotional illness. The suffering is intense for the abuser and he (or she) acts out this pain on the abused. The abuser needs the care of professionals as well as the prayers of those who love him.
And, yes, in the end, after help is given by the professionals, it is still the Good Lord's doing as the person receives God's healing. L's

Anonymous said...

Dear KEVIN,

If you had a daughter who needed her appendix removed in emergency surgery, would you allow the school nurse to do it?

Nope. You would want someone with the appropriate professional training to help your child.
It would be YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to see that your daughter received appropriate care.

As far as the concept of 'abuse' as sickness or sin, why does it have to be a dichotomy?

Mental health is much misunderstood still.
If you are in the ministry, you need to get some counselor training quickly.
In this training, you will be taught:
you never attempt to treat a problem that you don't have the credentials to deal with.
Levels of mental health professionals range from:
Lowest to highest:
Guidance Counselors
Counselors
Mental Health Social Workers
Family Therapists
Psychologists
Psychiatrists

I probably have 'truncated' the list, but you get the idea: there is a range of professional preparation for each of these levels. (for example, a psychiatrist is a medical doctor who is also a psychologist.)

A guidance counselor KNOWS not to do 'therapy' with someone who needs a professional who istrained to do it.

A counselor KNOWS not to treat a psychotic individual who needs medication and psychotherapy.

The professional mantra is always:
at least do no harm.
And the ETHICS of the mental health profession require the person treating the abuser to be fully qualified to do so.

Where does a minister fit in?
I can't answer that for you.
But I hope you will think about it.
Behaving responsibly is NOT a sign of lack of faith: it is a sign that we are hopeful that God leads us to where He wants us to be.
Our Father wants the best for people who are suffering mentally and emotionally.

Kevin, my brother is a doctor.
He works fourteen hours a day, easily.
He is a person of deep faith.
I just don't see the conflict between professional help and faith. The two are so beautifully blended in my brother's care for his patients. L's

Anonymous said...

True salvation is the BEGINNING of the cure for ALL things ill on this side of Heaven. Positionally, the matter is settled at the moment of salvation; practically, it may not be so for each person at that moment--many have a LONG way to go, as evidenced by several frequent bloggers at this site. ;-))

The gospel is objectively true--and not more true if it's believed or less true if it isn't; the gospel isn't more true if I stand on the street corner and yell it out at the top of my lungs. The gospel is just true. I must apply the gospel to my life, with the help of the Holy Spirit, after Christ has entered my heart at salvation and given to me a want-to matching His.

The marriage counseling I mentioned above: many times I've had to tell a fellow what a knothead he's been to his wife for what he's done to her, then had to go home to apologize to my wife for doing the same thing to her! I know the truth, but must be changed enough to do the truth I know.

Applying the Bible is the cure-all. Until then, we're the same ol' spiritually/emotionally/intellectually dysfuntional people we've always been practically speaking.


David

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Same with a mental or emotional illness. "

I disagree.

Where sin is the problem,
drugs cannot win.
They can mask and cover,
But to God they won't spin--
The mind that is suffering Ol' Satan holds tight,
While the Bible on the coffee table sits in plain sight.
Its Words leap from the pages by the Sprit in flight.
But the mind with the problem attached to that soul is given 2 pills by a man in a robe.
One red and blue but neither true white, like the robe of the Savior passed over in flight--
to the Doctor who says that his way is right...

"come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden..."


K

Greg Alford said...

“Individual doctrines are but single threads woven into the fabric of our collective theology…”

Taken by themselves each thread can seam an insignificant thing… Yet each thread impacts the pattern of the weave so that the whole is changed by every single thread that is woven into the fabric.

There are many threads that make up the fabric of SBC theology (and traditions) that taken by themselves appear quite insignificant, yet when woven together they can become a deadly snare and the downfall of many.

Case in point – Can there be any doubt that there is a strong relationship between the reluctance of many Southern Baptist Pastors to recommend divorce for any reason (including abuse) because a divorced man, regardless of the reason, is treaded like a “Leper” in the SBC. Is this the reason why so many Southern Baptist Pastors are reluctant to believe the woman in cases of abuse; for fear that if he is ever divorced, regardless of the reason, he will be disqualified from ministry in most churches and agencies in the SBC?

Interesting that the abuse of men by the SBC (disqualifying a man from service when God has not disqualified him is indeed abuse) might just be a significant contributing factor in the abuse of women in the SBC. You see how the enemy of the soul does not discriminate between men and women… he seeks to destroy the faith of all God’s children.

How many rotten threads have been woven into the fabric of our collective theology that needs now to be carefully removed? Can they be removed without the total unraveling of the cloth? I am hopeful that in time and with God’s grace they can, but I am under no illusion as to the danger and difficulty of the task.

Grace Always,

RM said...

I get so tired of everyone saying that every problem in the SBC is the fault of the pastors. I do not know of a single pastor that advocates abuse or staying in an abusive relationship. I do know plenty of them who believe in God's power to put a marriage back together in spite of anything that has come to destroy it.

After 43 years of pastoring, I have seen more abuse cases than you can imagine in which the abused spouse will go right back to the abuser as soon as they can. Then all of the counseling is out the window because you're their pastor and you know too much about their home situation.

Its time to lighten up on pastors a bit because its an unwarranted indictment. I am NOT a Paige Patterson fan but don't throw his name up in my face and say that proves that all SBC pastors are soft on abuse. It just ain't so.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"Where does a minister fit in?
I can't answer that for you."


Yes you can. You just did.


You told me a minister has no business teaching someone who has let sin control them that Christ is the way the truth and the life.

The mental health community imo is a sad substitute for God's Word. Now they don't know it. They can certainly have good intentions but they lack the Word of God.

One must even be careful of certain "Christian Counselors." Who blend Bible and Psychology.


The Bible: For the believer.

Psychology: for those who reject Christ.


And for the record, I have had some training in Biblical Counseling and plan on continuing this line of study to some degree or another throughout my graduate career.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, I baptized a mom and two of her three children. The woman's husband wasn't a Christian, but I asked him to help me on the men's side of the baptistry on the Sunday I baptized his family; he was only an arm's length from the action, but didn't get saved even on that wonderful day.

A few months later at suppertime, someone knocked on the parsonage front door where my family and I lived. I opened the door--it was the lost man who helped me while I baptized his family. The guy told me that he and his wife had had ANOTHER fight, and that he'd walked out of the house--to get in the car, drive to the parsonage, and ask me how to get saved so that their fights would stop! I explained God's plan of salvation, led him in praying a sinner's prayer, and then told him not to expect miracles when he got home. I believe the fellow really meant it--he wanted to be like he saw his wife being as a Christian, but apparently couldn't help himself as a lost man without Christ's values or the character of Jesus as a saved person. On the parsonage front porch, much of that changed--but, still, he'd insulted his wife and abused her emotionally before he left the house AND he had for years. I told the guy that his wife would be incredibly happy about his becoming a Christian, but he'd better apologize for treating her like he did.

Things improved between that man and his wife A LOT faster than I expected they would; the last time I saw them, all was a well as I imagine they are between Kevin and his wife.

Again, it's applying the powerful Written Word of God that we know or hear, with the Spirit's help.


David

Anonymous said...

IS the GEORGIA BAPTIST CONVENTION A POSSIBLE MODEL FOR THE SBC?

Found this after googling:
'ministers who are also professional counselors'

Counseling/Psychotherapy and Family Therapy
Elaine Hoffman, Clinical Director of Pastoral Counseling
Donna Reed, Administrator

Georgia Baptist Ministers are encouraged to utilize these counseling services for REFERRALS.

The Georgia Baptist Convention provides supplemental funding for GBC ministers / employees and their immediate family members for services rendered by counselors / psychotherapists and family therapists on the list below."

What follows the above is a listing, on their website, of approved counseling services recommended by the GBC.
If they can do this, so can the SBC.

It is the year 2008.
We are not in the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages anymore.
Too many people are suffering.
Responsibility falls on all of us to help them.

Anonymous said...

KEVIN, how much do you know about mental health?

You come across as someone who doesn't know very much about it.

What is your ministerial training about these matters?

Is it part of the Baptist faith that mental and emotional illnesses and their treatment is
'not Christian'?

I don't understand.

My family includes a cousin who is a child psychiatrist. Her name is Kim and she is a very Christian person, who does much pro-bono work in her city of Boston.
Kim completed fourteen years of graduate professional training to qualify for her profession. (She is also, of course, a medical doctor.)

KEVIN, where do you see the harm in people being helped with an illness?
Sin is 'voluntary'.
Sickness is not.
I just don't understand you. L's

Anonymous said...

. . . And a link found at the Missouri Baptist Convention website (its ministry resources page): http://www.smalleyonline.com/aboutus/beliefs.html (Christian professional counseling)

Jack Maddox said...

l's

There is a reason you don't understand what Kevin is saying. You say sin is a choice "voluntary" what you fail to understand is that sin is not 'voluntary'. Sinful acts can be controlled to some extent by the power of the will, yet sin in itself is ingrained in our nature. It is the power of Christ and the sanctifying work of His Spirit which changes a man or a woman, from the inside out. What Kevin is trying to say simply is that psychology treats the symptoms, Christ heals the disease!

J

Robert I Masters said...

L,s
You might find this interesting reading concerning your question.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouthetic_Counseling


From the Southern Baptist Geneva
Robert I Masters


For Wade the Magic Pastor

Lindon said...

"How can an abusive husband attend church and not be compelled to throw himself at the alter or the cross and weep profusely for his sins? It is because of fancy feel good sermons. No one today needs to leave church feeling good. Our country, out families, our lives are in too bad a shape. Sin needs to be exposed through the soul mirror of the Word of God."

Kevin, I could not agree more! I personally know two unrepentent abusers who are in court ordered seperation from their wives who regularly attend the local seeker mega church modeled after Willow Creek and Saddleback.

Neither one has one bit of remorse and both still blame their wives for 'ruining' the family. Unfortuantly, they can be quite comfortable at the church and very involved. Sin is much like having a bad hair day there.

How many of our churches are sending folks to hell because they do not teach sanctification?

"I am firmly convinced that every divorce for any reason where at least one person is a believer is entirely avoidable."

This is a bit unfair. AFter all, our country has no fault divorce. I know another poor guy whose wife left him while they were church planting. She got a no fault divorce against his wishes. He wanted to work it out. She didn't. He had to leave ministry over it. He had no choice in the matter.

"The problem is not unsatisfied needs, it is that the believer (every time) is unsatisfied with God."

Not true and this view could be very cruel to those who have suffered much abuse and sought the Lord in their decisions. I do not think we can understand the abuse situation well enough. Ingrid Schlueter wrote about her abuse situation and it was chilling. To think that anyone would recommend someone stay in that environment or even go back to it is incredible to me. Especially if they have children. It is not unsatisfied with God that has anything to do with taking abuse.

There are also divorced Christians who never remarry because of concerns for violating scripture.

But then again, you and I disgree on scriptural divorce. Divorce is bad. God hates it but permits it for several reasons.

Anonymous said...

In reading the counseling entries, I would not dare say that psychology is for those that reject God's word. Did not Luther state at his hearing that unless he would be confronted by the Scriptures and sound reason that he would not reject his works? Then why do some that have written their works off the backs of men like Gary Collins don't see the good that some integrationist have done. I almost fell into rejecting a lot of good insight from those into the integrational field until I thought this through. The error is not psychology unless you start to define your theology from it. They are needed to be kept in their separate distinctions. Understanding the language differences on subject matter is important. Actually, political correctness is a far more foe than any psychology.

Anonymous said...

This some oversight that nouthetic counseling does not solve very well. It comes in knowing something about visual motor training development that is fundamental in the formal years of human development and also discipleship. This also establishes that mentoring is much more needed than counseling in some cases.

Elisabeth said...

Kevin Crowder,

You misunderstood me a little. I wasn't saying that it's your responsibility for the salvation or making sure that the person is saved. What I was getting at was you can't tell for sure an abuser has truly changed and repented, so any reconciliation in that situation has to be done extremely cautiously. I would say that professional help in this is a must.

As Debbie rightly pointed out, the risk of re-abuse is too high.

Glen Alan Woods said...

Just for the record, unless you are using the Greek Septuagint, Koridzo (separate) from 1 Cor 7:15 is not also found in the OT. After all, the majority of the OT is written in Hebrew. But yes, it does occur ten times in some form in the Septuagint. Just a friendly aside. :) It is advisable to access the original language for text when conducting an exegesis.

Elisabeth said...

So the word is koridzo! I didn't think it would be chorizo. Chorizo is a type of Mexican sausage! (I did think it was funny when I read it though!)

Elisabeth said...

I was reading the comments about psychiatrists and psychologists with much interest. I know a fair amount about mental illness. I know that depression can be caused by physical illness, certain medications, chemical imbalances in the brain, etc. I know that in people with obsessive - compulsive disorders, they have proven that certain areas of their brain are more active than others. I know that my grandfather, who usually would not hurt a fly, whapped my grandmother a good one when some medication he was given reacted badly with his diabetes.
In other words, I know enough to know that the mind and body work together to the point that mental illness can be, and often is, caused by the same processes physical illnesses are, and psychiatrists are needed to help these people. I also know that counselors and psychologists do not work against pastors and the church; in fact, they often encourage people to rely on God and talk to their pastors, but they have much training in areas of how the brain itself works.

Glen Alan Woods said...

Well choridzo would work as well. :) The greek character is chi, which looks like an English x. :)

Steve said...

I can tell that many of you pastors have had to deal with these abuse issues and have devoted much time to considering the different facets of the problem.

Allow me to root the loudest for those who would hurry to get the woman and her kids out of these situations, usually for good. People do not change habits often, and while it is great for a sinner and abuser to see what he has done, there is too much at risk to leave any room for error in reconciliations.

SBCers and Fundamentalists look more hypocritical to the non-religious world with the issues of abuse of women and children than with other things that religion can get wrong. Money? Power? Doctrine? We worry about those things, but the world at large does NOT trust people like us with abuse issues.

I have spoken with psychologists about this sort of thing, and I would urge you all to try the same. We come out looking too weak on safety and too lenient on abusers.

As far the role of women goes, the SBC has got MILES to go before it can look credible to those living in our secular culture.

Anonymous said...

"I love my Southern Baptist denomination, but may I tell you how very discouraging, disgusting and frustrating it is to be a woman in the Southern Baptist denomination?"

"The Southern Baptist view of women is demeaning, to say the least."

Where is "The Southern Baptist Handbook" that this lady apparently keeps referencing? I missed getting mine.

I'm surprised she left out the part about hitting women over the head with a club and dragging them around by their hair.

I won't dismiss Mary Gruben as a liberal (cause she believes the Bible is "without error"). I'll dismiss her as a drama queen who succeeded in getting her spurious views on Southern Baptists and women published in an Abilene newspaper.

The issue deserves more serious treatment than she gave it in her editorial. Actually, it would be more interesting to hear from her former husband and former pastor. After getting blamed as the initial cause of her ills they deserve an equal chance to tell their side of the story.

Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous.

Personally, I'm much more prone to "dismiss" people who hide behind anonymity. At least Ms. Gruben had the fortitude to sign her name to what she wrote.

Wanda said...

Greg Alford said:
"Interesting that the abuse of men by the SBC (disqualifying a man from service when God has not disqualified him is indeed abuse) might just be a significant contributing factor in the abuse of women in the SBC."

I found this comment to be profound. Is divorce the unpardonable sin according to the SBC?

Anonymous said...

This blog is way off track...not unlike the SBC. If you will all read the original article this lady wrote, it was not about "abuse" it is about the view of women in our SB churches...mostly among our leaders. It seems much easier to come out "against some no brainer like abuse" than to discuss the real issue. Come on...

Jack Maddox said...

Stave

it is not the goal of the believer to 'look credible to this secular world" Trust me, we never will! Can't happen. God help us if we do.

Jack

Anonymous said...

Steve probably already knows that. It also is the objective of Christians not to appear to be stupid. While we can stand firm on what we believe is the truth contained in the Bible about mankind (no sexism intended by use of that term) and its sin (by nature and by choice), we should stand firm as helpfully as possible to those around us; in the end, it's every person for himself in the sense of deciding for Christ, but Christians shouldn't be responsible for driving the lost away by appearing--or actually being--stupid people.


David

Philip Miller said...

Greg Alford:
As someone who is undesirably divorced, I nevertheless hold to the biblical understanding that, while I am NOT hindered from ministering to people, I am nevertheless disqualified from the offices of deacon and elder/pastor. The thing that strikes me about your post is that you label this understanding as the "killer of souls". Is this not the position/teaching of the Church throughout its' history. Have we just now, in a age where anything goes, discovered that the Church was wrong in its' doctrine throughout our history? Have we just now discovered that Biblical Theology is a "killer of souls"?

Anonymous said...

Good Morning everyone,

It's me, L's

I did a lot of posting about the mental and emotional health aspects of spousal abuse.

To the dear ones who think I don't understand 'sin', well, I understand 'evil' and that we are all capable and vulnerable to give give in to the darker side of our natures ESPECIALLY DURING TIMES OF EXHAUSTION AND STRESS.
I don't think we can avoid open debate anymore about the need for good mental health practices in our country.

Elisabeth is right about the connection between our physical health and our mental health. The leading psychologist in our area is a renown expert in neurological functions and brain chemistry.
We, each of us, will someday have some experience of emotional and/or mental difficulty due to changes in our physical health or simply due to the massive stresses of our lives.
At these times: WE NEED THE SUPPORT OF THOSE AROUND US TO SEE THAT WE GET THE PROPER CARE. Blaming an abuser as simply a 'sinner' is probably the most archaic, least compassionate, least Christian way to react. The abuser is in over his head. He (or she) needs us.
For those who believe that mental and emotional professional help is NOT NECESSARY or 'unbiblical', just remember:

the goal of therapy is a healing one:
to help the person to regain control over themselves,
to find healthier ways to handle stress, to help them overcome substance abuse that may have contributed to spousal abuse,
to teach them about 'healthy boundaries' within relationships,
to teach them about the roles they play in a relationship (here's where the church can help :);
and to teach them healthier ways to communicate their pain to others than by lashing out destructively;

It takes time.
It requires commitment.
It costs money.

But in the end,
MARRIAGES CAN BE SAVED FOR SOME.
CHILDREN CAN SEE THEIR PARENTS CARE FOR EACH OTHER LOVINGLY AGAIN.

Is this not what the Church also wants for abusers and their families?

God, the Great Physician, is also the God of the natural world. He gives us the gifts that we use to help each other.
He has made it so that we need each other and MUST reach out.
When we are humbled and frightened by our weaknesses, IT IS WITH HIS BLESSING that we can turn to each other for help. L's

Kevin M. Crowder said...

"How many of our churches are sending folks to hell because they do not teach sanctification?"

Lindon, I love this question. Sadly, more than we know. "Depart from me...I never knew you."

Btw, I do believe God permits divorce for a variety of reasons. But divorce is sin for any reason. We as brothers and sisters in positions to help, but make divorce a "last resort."

I really wish watching "Fireproof" was a cure all. I am not married and I bawled through the whole thing.

k

Chris said...

Darby,

Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I didn't have internet access yesterday.

I have no problem with authority. When I say that Christ's authority flows from our recognition, what I mean is this: it is because we recognize Christ's sacrificial Kingship that we recongize His authority. If we rejected Christ, we would not consider Him our authority.

Christianity is a (correct) way of understanding reality. We understand the reality that Christ is authoritative only after we have understood the reality that Christ sacrificed for us.

Wade Burleson said...

To all:

Kevin C. is right.

I only asked a question in this post. I have no research, nor know of any, that would give a definitive answer to the question. However, all your comments are excellent in terms of dialogue on the subject.

wade

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Glen Alan Woods:

χωρίζω

The word is corizo

Transliterated: chirozo

If it helps you to add the "d" to the zeta to help you remember the phonetics (as we think we know it) then be my guest. But do not come on this blog and attempt to correct me in such a condescending way. Additionally, do you not think that some of the NT writers actually read the LXX????????? In fact my friend, they quoted it.

Because chorizo is used only once in 1 Cor. and few additional times in the NT, looking at the use of the word in the OT, or extra-biblical literature is quite helpful in determining the parameters of its meaning.

I am not a Hebrew Scholar. I am studying Greek. I am hardly a master at the language, but it is clear to me that your knowledge is less than rudimentary.

Pick on someone your own size. and have a sincerely blessed day!


K

Wanda said...

Kevin M. Crowder said:
"I do believe God permits divorce for a variety of reasons. But divorce is sin for any reason."

Kevin,

I was hoping you could clarify the above generality. If a divorce occurs due to infidelity or abuse (as God permits), who is guilty of sin? Is it only the one who had the affair or abused his/her spouse?

I enjoy reading your comments, though I don't always agree with them.

Happy New Year to everyone!

Blessings,

Wanda

Stephen Pruett said...

An SBC church I attended recently showed an SBC promotional video for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Of course, it highlighted the sacrifice that she made, literally starving herself to death to give her beloved Chinese friends more food. It also indicated that she preached and was the leader of the mission efforts in which she participated. There is something deeply and profoundly wrong when current policies would not permit Lottie Moon, if she was alive today, to perform these functions.

No one has adequately explained why certain SBC leaders are right in interpreting 1 Tim. 2 to be literal and universally applicable but interpreting other very similar passages as being representative and culturally influenced (1 Corinthians 11). There is no compelling reason for this difference. This demonstrates that both of these passages (as well as others) are being interpreted under the influence of preconceptions. It also indicates that the role of women in ministry should be a decision for local congregations only with no "advice" from the SBC as a whole. We of all people should know the hazards of expressing absolute support for a disputable interpretation of scripture (e.g., regarding slavery).

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wade Burleson said...

Kevin and all,

As one often spoken to in a condescending manner, I find it helps to just simply reply with grace to one who you feel has written to you in a condescending manner. Readers are smart. They need little coaching.

But when you respond in a harsh, or pugnacious manner, it has a tendency to lesson the impact of your argument and make the reader wonder why you feel the need to defend yourself.

When you also respond graciously, it removes the temptation for a blog comment section to become personal, and helps everyone focus on the issue, and not the personalities.

Just food for thought. Take it or leave it. It's worth what you paid for it.

:)

Chris said...

Having read the sin v mental health debate, I am slightly surprised. I see Kevin arguing only for pastoral care and L's arguing for mental care. Is it not the case that both are needed? I don't think that psychology is always an answer, and I agree that it is never the ultimate answer. But nor can it be totally dismissed. I know that Christ is the answer to every problem we have, yet there are those who can manifest Christ in different ways and therefore help in ways that other cannot.

Greg Alford said...

Wanda,

For many churches in the SBC and the IMB, not sure about the other agencies and state conventions, divorce for any reason is a disqualifier for ministry. They don’t care when it happened (before salvation, after salvation) or why it happened (abuse, abandonment, your wife running off with the milk man)… Nope, doesn’t matter… You are now “unclean” for life.

Grace Always,

Wade Burleson said...

Stephen Pruett,

If people paid attention and understood what you just said in your last comment a great deal of misunderstanding and conflict in the SBC would go away.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

The advice that you gave about blogging and responding to comments is excellent.

If I could conduct myself in that way on this blog and everywhere I go, life would be much better.

Happy New Year.

Louis

Anonymous said...

SOME THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

What does 'Patriarchy' set women up for?

What are the responsibilites of women trapped in a abusive relationship?

What are the key causes of spousal abuse?

What are the triggers for an episode of spousal abuse?

What is known about how couples handle an initial bout of spousal abuse?

What is known about the way the Southern Baptist Faith professes as the proper way to handle spousal abuse within the church?

What are the Christian responsibilities of the extended family, friends, co-workers, ministers, to the couple who is in trouble?

If a woman is caught within an abusive relationship: what are her options?

How does spousal abuse affect children and how does this impact on the responsibility of the Church to intervene as a Christian entity?

What is the obligation of a seminary to train ministers to counsel spousal abusers and victims?

What are the LEGAL responsibilites of a minister who is aware of a spouse in danger from the abuser?

What are the ethics involved in Christian ministry that guide the couseling of church members trapped in the spousal abuse cycle?

What is the Christian response to the abuser, the abused, and the most vulnerable victims: the children?

If the initial bout of spousal abuse is an 'acted out' cry for help: is there a greater chance to save the marriage, if intervention is done in a timely and appropriate manner?


How is the SBC different from mainline Judeo-Christian religions in its response to the problem of spousal abuse?
If there is a notable difference, why does it exist and is it a beneficial difference or not?

Greg Alford said...

Philip Miller,

You make the following comments:

1. - As someone who is undesirably divorced, I nevertheless hold to the biblical understanding that, while I am NOT hindered from ministering to people, I am nevertheless disqualified from the offices of deacon and elder/pastor.

2. - The thing that strikes me about your post is that you label this understanding as the "killer of souls".

3. - Is this not the position/teaching of the Church throughout its' history. Have we just now, in a age where anything goes, discovered that the Church was wrong in its' doctrine throughout our history?

4. - Have we just now discovered that Biblical Theology is a "killer of souls"?


First of all, I respect you personal convections in this matter and your personal choice not to seek the office of a deacon, elder, or pastor because of these convictions.

Now my answers:

1. – You say your position is “the biblical understanding” Can you give me the scriptures that support you position… that says if a man is undesirably divorced he is disqualified from the offices of deacon and elder/pastor?

2. – I don’t think I actually said “killer of souls”… what I said was “the enemy of the soul does not discriminate between men and women… he seeks to destroy the faith of all God’s children.” Do you not know of anyone who’s faith was greatly damaged because of the way the church or the convention treated them after an unwanted divorce? I think if we ask people on this Blog we would be surprised by the number reported.

3. – I think you are reaching just a little bit here… can you document this? I am curious as to your sources for this statement. Are you referring to Southern Baptist tradition or are you referring to the Church throughout history? I am going to be doing some research on this myself today and I would like to know what you find as well.

4. – It is my conviction that viewing all divorced men as disqualified form ministry is NOT “Biblical Theology”, it is my conviction that it is “Bad Theology”. Therefore I would say NO --- Biblical Theology is not the “killer of souls”, and where doctrines are found to be destructive to the faith of faithful men in the ministry it should be a warning that perhaps we need to very carefully examine once again what the Scriptures actually teach, even if our conclusions puts us at odds with our Baptist tradition.

Grace Always,

Wanda said...

Greg Alford,

Thanks for your response! Sounds like divorce is often treated as the unpardonable sin in the SBC. I hate divorce; however, sin is sin in my ever to be humble opinion.

Blessings to you,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

Dear CHRIS,

Hi, it's me, L's

I do not feel that pastoral counseling is in opposition or works against professional counseling at all. In many cases, BOTH are needed for long-term care of the troubled person and family.

Some ministers have couseling degrees and are certified to practice family counseling.
Some rabbis also.
Some priests are also medical doctors and psychiatrists.

I do not see the two approaches being opposed to each other at all:
I think that God gives us the gifts we need in the Body of Christ to benefit each other
and that these gifts
are His Blessings and His Tender Mercies to us.
There are four physicians and a child psychiatrist in my family.
They have developed the talents God gave them and are using those talents, in many cases, to help in pro-bono ways. They are people of deep faith.
Everyone has something special to give and some special way to help another. People just need to reach out and people need to respond and they need to do it in His Name. :) L's

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Wanda,

To address my plank first: I will sin at least 5 more times today of that I am certain.

Now to the speck: Breaking a covenant is sin. Period. But then we could say that at least half of God's decreed will involves sin on the part of His creation. Just because God allows it, or "decrees" it does not mean it is not still sin.

He has revealed His Standard of Righteousness. But before He "revealed it" He provided a redemptive plan through which the standard could be upheld. That plan of course was to send His son to die an atoning death to complete and fulfill all righteousness.

The formula for the redemptive plan?

The Christ + The Cross + The Church= the Glory of the Father's Redemptive Plan.





Final thoughts. No one wants to blame the abused. Certainly not I. But can we honestly say that any marriage covenanted together in Christ which ends in divorce is inline with God's Revealed will?

Of course not.

Therefore the divorce--or, and listen to this: the marriage in the first place--is sin.

Happy New Year Wanda,

Kevin

Anonymous said...

Divorce is not a 'sin', it's a tragedy. So much can be done to salvage marriages. So little is done. That's part of the tragedy.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

Glen Alan Woods,

My response was not proportionate to yours and thus went beyond the bounds of good Christian love for a brother. The fact that you were able to respond to the subject is indeed encouraging as it shows you have a deep respect for God's Word and sound exegesis. My response killed the debate and reeked of arrogance and for that I am truly sorry.

I have posted in error more times than I can count. I have and still will continue to make myself the fool through my “off-the-cuff” words. Though I try, my critics are my greatest teacher. Please continue to read and respond to Wade's blog. I am certain he would agree an experienced blogger such as yourself could from time to time provide great insight into a variety of topics as you are a unique and valuable part of the Body.

Have a Happy (and dry) Baptist New Year!


Kevin :)

debbiekaufman said...

Kevin: In the case of divorce for the reason of abuse or adultry, it is the adulterer or the abuser who broke the marriage covenant, not the one who leaves them. There are consequences to sin.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Alot of interesting comments in this stream but this one takes the cake:

No one today needs to leave church feeling good.

I agree with KMC that not enough repentance and righteousness is preached, but seriously? No one? Ever? Under any circumstances?

Please tell me that was hyperbole.

"Encourage each other with these words."

Stephen Pruett said...

KMC,

I wonder what are your thoughts about several comments raising concern about your position with regard to medical treatment for mental illness? This is a concern of mine, because I have heard more than one pastor preach to the effect that people should be able to overcome things like anxiety or depression by repentance and relying on God's Word alone. In reality, these (and many other mental illnesses) are physical medical problems. They cannot be controlled by the will of the person affected. Would you advise someone with pneumonia to only seek a spiritual solution to the problem? It also does not make sense to advise people to seek only spiritual solutions to mental illness.

This issue does become complicated, because there is no easy way to determine whether sinful behavior is caused by a simple desire and decision to sin or is influenced by true mental illness. Of course, spiritual health influences every aspect of life and should be our primary concern as Christians. However, advising only spiritual solutions is dangerous. Imagine the effect on a clinically depressed person who hears from the pulpit that they should be able to just shake it off and that drugs are not the answer and that they would be OK if their relationship to God was better (I have heard all of these statements made by SBC pastors). This adds guilt to their depression and could potentially lead to suicide.

By the way, I appreciate you apology for a previous post. I have been in the same position and have also learned from other commenters. I think this is one of the reasons blogging is such a useful means of interaction.

Anonymous said...

Did any figure out by the visual motor developmental statement made earlier that perhaps abused children might incur visual tracking cue problems in recognizing the good and safe?

Elisabeth said...

Chris and L's:
In my view, about pastoral counseling / the church vs. psychology, you are both so right. Both are needed. We do not say "We have Jesus, we don't need any doctors to fix our physical ailments." Why should it be any different with mental ailments? Since we are in an age where we understand something about mental illness, why not treat what we can? So many times people with depression or bipolar disorder are treated like their faith is weak. It's not a faith problem.

Elisabeth said...

I didn't see Stephen Pruitt's post until after I posted. Very true, Stephen, very true. Depression loads a person down anyway, and having unnecessary guilt laid upon them for being depressed loads them down more. I went through severe clinical depression, and it was discovered that a good part of the problem was a medicine I was taking. So I understand how much depression loads a person down. And I understand what it means to cry out to God, but not be able to find any relief for the depression. And, yes, some were making me feel guilty for being depressed, and more depressed for being depressed. And it is so stinking unnecessary. Psychology is not an enemy to the church! And people who are struggling through an illness need the compassion of others in the church.

Wanda said...

Kevin,

Thanks for attempting to answer my question regarding divorce. Your response sounds like Greek to me, and I have never learned Greek!

If this is the way pastors explain this topic, it's no wonder the SBC has such a high divorce rate among its congregants. Sorry I didn't understand at all what you were trying to explain.

Happy New Year to you as well.

Blessings,

Wanda

Anonymous said...

"Divorce is not a 'sin', it's a tragedy."

Huh? Breaking a covenant with God is not a sin?

Ugh!

These no nicknamed anonymous comments from one issue driven commenters with a one issue axe to grind really crack up my one issue behind.

KMC, you make some very good points about the state of the church. It is so weak with feel good theology it is practically powerless. I am also glad to see you have had an apparent change of heart regarding Warren.

To repeat, here is the root of the problem to me. This lady and her story is another example of the dire straits the church will continue to find itself in unless we get our act together when it comes to demanding regenerate church membership and biblical church discipline of it's members.

Tom Ascol was and still is on target here. Way to go Tom!

Just imagine a church filled with nothing but truly regenerated members. Not only would this divorce / spousal abuse issue be a virtual NON-issue in the church and the SBC (much to the dismay of these no nicknamed ridiculous commenters) but the church would actually have time and resources to have an impact on the world and it's divorce problems.

As it is, we have our hands full with the so called "christians" inside our church.

SL1M

Elisabeth said...

One thing that's interesting to me is I am married to a man who's very good to me, doesn't go to church very often, and has occasionally struggled with marijuana. Some times I have felt very "sidelined" in churches because my hubby doesn't come with me. I have had a couple of pastors even suggest separation to "wake him up." I have felt several times that Baptists are pro marriage only to certain types of marriage; ie when both spouses go to church. Yet in other cases, such as with this woman, women have been told to stay in marriages where their spouse beats them. I think that people need to show first and foremost compassion in all things, and use common sense!

Anonymous said...

Hi Elisabeth,

I, too, experienced a severe depression, although it was post-partum after the birth of my third child. It was due to hormonal changes, but quickly went into a clinical depression for about a six-month duration.

I can tell you I was TERRIFIED.
And yes, I got down on my knees in my kitchen and cried out to God not to forget me and leave me to suffer.

I did see a mental-health counselor for therapy on the advice of my obstetrician and he also prescribed medication which I took 'sparingly' as I was afraid of an addiction or a dependence on it.

No one can understand the feeling of isolation and the depths of suffering in a depression unless they have gone through it.

I have so much compassion for anyone who has ever suffered or is suffering from this terrible affliction: but I do know that there is much known about how to treat mental and emotional illness, to which we are all vulnerable at some point in our lifetime.

And from our faith, we have the peace that surpasses all understanding. For a depressed person, for a while, it is hard to feel God's peace. But it is there.
He doesn't leave us when we are suffering. Not for a moment. L's

Elisabeth said...

Divorce and spousal abuse will still be issues, even with only regenerate church members, for there will always be couples where one is a Christian and one is not. That causes difficulties in the marriage. If there's no spousal abuse or adultery in the marriage, there should not be a divorce. But if other church members sideline the Christian at church because the spouse isn't there - and it's been my experience that it happens often; not only in my case but in other Christians that go to other churches - then the difficulties can lead to separation / divorce.

Elisabeth said...

L's:

Love it, love it, love it! That is so beautiful! :-)

Jack said...

I don’t think the question is WHETHER Southern Baptists set women up for abuse but WHY Southern Baptists set women up for abuse.

The disgraceful treatment of Sister Sheri Klouda and her family by a prominent SBC leader who boasts of sending another woman back to an abusive husband should be proof enough.

The complaints from women about sexual abusers who are allowed to move from one SBC pulpit to another leaving a path of victims behind should be proof enough.

The fact that the same prominent SBC leader is a central figure in enabling one of those serial sex offenders to continue in ministry – and continue his abuses should be proof enough.

The fact that this same prominent SBC leader once publicly joked that every man should “own at least one” woman should be proof enough.

The fact that this same prominent SBC leader played a key role in writing the current SBC “Faith & Message” which commands wives to submit to their husbands – but purposefully omits the biblical model of mutual submission should be proof enough.

The fact that entire boards of SBC trustees, heads of other SBC agencies, SBC presidents and majorities of Southern Baptists meeting at annual conventions have approved of these actions should be proof enough that our problems extend far beyond one man.

The question is not whether this is happening; the question is why this is happening.

And beyond that are the most frightening questions of all:

Why do we allow these abuses to occur in the name of the SBC?

Why do we allow these abuses to occur in the name of God?

- jack -

Benji Ramsaur said...

Stephen Pruett,

I agree that counseling issues can become complex.

However, we all have to realize that whether someone is a historian, scientist, theologian etc., they bring underlying presuppositions to the table that “determines" how they interpret the facts.

No one comes to the table with a "blank slate" objectivity. People come to the table with God/no God, sin/no sin, etc type foundational beliefs.

When it comes to counseling issues one must be discerning if the philosophy of naturalism is being presupposed.

Of course, if naturalism is pressed to its logical conclusion, it shows itself to be absurd.

For example, the government could not justifiably punish a murderer if the murderer does not have a mind/heart/spirit. After all, it was just his biological makeup that "caused" him to murder. It's his genes. If you go far enough back, you probably will find this type of behavior in his genealogy, etc.

Anyway, if people bring a naturalistic presupposition to counseling, then legitimate moral issues will be explained away as biological.

And just because someone has "Dr." in front of their name will never justify this. Again, even those perceived to be experts have presuppositions.

Sure one’s biological state can make one more susceptible to giving into something. For example, if someone struggles with ____________, then that person might be more susceptible to falling into that temptation if they are not getting enough sleep [maybe combined with life stressors] and thus are running on fumes.

However, when it comes to the "fundamental" cause of this sin, it will always be the moral failure that comes from the heart [according to Scripture].

Anyway, I'll try to be concise. Yes, the brain or any other physical part of the body might be flawed since we live in a fallen world. However, whatever the Bible calls sin [drunkenness, unbelief--which leads to despair, greed--which takes many forms like slavery to drugs, etc.] will always be fundamentally a heart problem [even though biological factors can come into play as well] since this word comes from the God who knows all things [including our biology].

Grace

Benji

Wayne Smith said...

For those that are Born from Above,

Jesus wants people to understand and obey truth and thereby find life in him. Failure to care whether or not loved ones understand the truth is failure to care about their abundant and eternal lives. People are judged and go to hell because they fail to love and obey God's truth (2 Thess. 2:11–13; cf. Rom. 1:18, 21, 25; James 1:18; 1 Pet. 1:23).


Sanctification
sanc·ti·fy

sanc·ti·fy [sángktə f]
(past sanc·ti·fied, past participle sanc·ti·fied, present participle sanc·ti·fy·ing, 3rd person present singular sanc·ti·fies)
vt
1. religion bless something: to make something holy
2. religion free somebody from sin: to free somebody from sin, for example, by a ritual act of purification
3. religion bless something through religious vow: to give a religious blessing to something, for example, a marriage, usually through an oath or vow
4. officially approve something: to give social, moral, or official approval to something
5. religion make something route to holiness: to make something a means of achieving holiness or a source of grace
6. cause something to be revered: to designate something an object of reverence (archaic)
reserved.


Wayne

Bob Cleveland said...

It seems to me that one of the lingering after-effects, willed to us by Adam, is the feeling that we can "get on top" of things.

Specifically: that there is a "good" answer to the results of our sin. To the results of demeaning women (or use your own verb there) .. to the results of wife-beating .. to the results of any other sin. Well, there isn't.

The eternal penalty for sin? There's a great answer for that. But even the wife-beater (or other form of woman-abuser) who reforms, gets saved, spends his life in Godly service, treating his wife well, can never ever undo what happened before.

All we're left with is the eternal struggle with the flesh, characterized by divorce, errant leaders saying insensitive things, and a bunch of unlikely saints stumbling around on earth, trying to get it right.

Anonymous said...

Jack, your comment needs to be read by everyone because you have hit the nail on the head. We allow this from our leaders. What you wrote is true yet so many will defend this man and explain each one of these things away!

When we allow reprobate leaders, what do we expect as a convention? Many complain that we always make it about Patterson. But he is the poster boy for what is wrong with the SBC!

Jack wrote:

I don’t think the question is WHETHER Southern Baptists set women up for abuse but WHY Southern Baptists set women up for abuse.

The disgraceful treatment of Sister Sheri Klouda and her family by a prominent SBC leader who boasts of sending another woman back to an abusive husband should be proof enough.

The complaints from women about sexual abusers who are allowed to move from one SBC pulpit to another leaving a path of victims behind should be proof enough.

The fact that the same prominent SBC leader is a central figure in enabling one of those serial sex offenders to continue in ministry – and continue his abuses should be proof enough.

The fact that this same prominent SBC leader once publicly joked that every man should “own at least one” woman should be proof enough.

The fact that this same prominent SBC leader played a key role in writing the current SBC “Faith & Message” which commands wives to submit to their husbands – but purposefully omits the biblical model of mutual submission should be proof enough.

The fact that entire boards of SBC trustees, heads of other SBC agencies, SBC presidents and majorities of Southern Baptists meeting at annual conventions have approved of these actions should be proof enough that our problems extend far beyond one man.

The question is not whether this is happening; the question is why this is happening.

And beyond that are the most frightening questions of all:

Why do we allow these abuses to occur in the name of the SBC?

Why do we allow these abuses to occur in the name of God?

- jack -

Wed Dec 31, 02:56:00 PM 2008

Lydia

Anonymous said...

."As a recent study by George Barna showed, the percentage of born-again Christians who have been divorced (27) actually beats the national average by 2 points. "While it may be alarming to discover that born-again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce," says Barna, "that pattern has been in place for quite some time."

QUESTION: what is it about being a 'born-again' Christian that puts you at higher risk for divorce?

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