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

Honoring God in a City Full of Needy Children Rather than a Quiverfull of Separatist Children: Exposing the Biblical Holes in Quiverfull Theology

There is within my heart an affinity for those who "exalt Jesus Christ as Lord, and acknowledge His headship in all areas of our lives." This is the confession of the writers over at QuiverFull.com. For this reason, there is always a check in my spirit before anything critical is ever written about the practice or teaching of a fellow brother or sister in Christ who acknowledge our Savior as Lord. Yet, if correction is ever needed within the evangelical, conservative portion of the family of God, it should come from other evangelical, conservatives since most other types of correction will be considered as coming from "enemies." This post is written by no enemy of those who name Christ as Lord, but it is written to demonstrate the theological error of quiverfull theology.

Quiverfull theology advocates are almost universally conservative, evangelical Christians. They seek to convince people that "God alone" should determine the size of one's family, since having a "quiverfull" of children is a "blessing" from God (Psalm 127:3-5). For this reason, they will tell you that any kind of contraception or any desire to prevent the conception of a child during the coital act is a sin against God. In 1985, Mary Pride wrote a foundational text for quiverfull theology entitled The Way Home: Beyond Feminism, Back to Reality. Mrs. Pride argued that family planning leads to a slide toward the acceptability of abortion and feminism, two things incompatible with Christianity. Pride wrote that Christians should reject women's liberation in exchange for the principles of submissive wifehood and prolific stay-at-home motherhood - thus the modern birth of quiverfull living.

Since the mid-1980's, quiverfull theology has expanded exponentially within the Southern Baptist Convention and conservative evangelicalism at large. Many members of my extended family, really fine people who love Christ, live lives that are based upon this contra-contraception philosophy. Many leading Southern Baptists and conservative theologians advocate quiverfull theology including Paige and Dorothy Patterson, Al and Mary Mohler, and a host of Southern Baptists who follow home-school leader Mary Pride's philosophy. Dr. Mohler has stated publicly that intentional childlessness is "moral rebellion" against God. It's not my desire to chronicle the growing number of quiverfull advocates in conservative Christianity--that has already been professionally and impassionately done by New York City author Kathryn Joyce, whose 2009 book Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement is a must read. One of the reviews, written by Vickie Garrison, sums up my opinion of the importance of Joyce's book:"Quiverfull puts the whole movement on display all at once. The reason this is important is that for most families, getting into this lifestyle is a step-by-step process — a progression from ‘peculiar’ to seriously bizarre which takes place incrementally over a period of many years. Once a family takes that first step — if they’re living it logically and consistently — they’ll eventually find themselves living out pretty much the whole program — the ‘Vision’ which, in its entirety ~ as clearly depicted in Quiverfull--turns out, in practicality, to be a very real, living nightmare."

Not all who advocate quiverfull theology have yet experienced the nightmare portion. Sleep has just set in. It will take a while for the logical consistencies of a theological fallacy to eventually corrupt the entire home. It is for the reason of future mental and spiritual health that anyone even remotely considering the possibility of adopting a quiverfull theology ought to read Joyce's book.

My recommendation doesn't mean I agree with everything she has written. Kathryn Joyce seems to have never met, or spoken with, a conservative, Bible-believing, evangelical Calvinist who does not adhere to quiverfull theology. She writes several pages of her book attempting to prove that Calvinism is the culprit for the rapid growth of quiverfull theology. Joyce even defines for her readers the acrostic TULIP to help them understand Calvinism. I find her conclusion, at least in this area, misplaced. The progress of "quiverfull" theology among the rank and file within conservative Christianity due to the expansion of Calvinism is not true for two very simple reasons:
(1). There are thousands of quiverfull advocates that are NOT Calvinistic in their theology (i.e. Paige and Dorothy Patterson, Mary Pride, etc.), and
(2). There are a number of evangelical Calvinists, like this author, who believe quiverfull theology to be foreign to the New Testament teaching of Christ.

A better understanding of the source of the rapidly expanding "quiverfull" theology within conservative evangelical Christianity is the growing effort to make the Christian male dominant over the female. Patriarchy is the mother (pardon the pun) of quiverfull theology, not Calvinism. Patriarchy transcends soteriology (one's view of Calvinism). But even this disagreement with Joyce's conclusion of the source of the quiverfull theology in no way minimizes my wholehearted endorsement of her Quiverfull book.

Eight Holes in the Quiver of Quiverfulls

To help authors like Kathryn Joyce, and others know that there are evangelical, conservative Christians who reject quiverfull theology, I offer the following eight holes in the theological position of quiverfulls from a conservative, evangelical (Calvinistic) Christian point of view. A fuller fleshing out of these arguments will come on a later post.

(1). Quiverfull theology is based on an Old Covenant that also had other precepts, commandments and laws from God that we Christians no longer abide by. The Old Covenant laws were "shadows" or "types" to teach us of Christ, and when Jesus came, He fulfilled and abolished the Old Covenant with her types. The Old Covenant command was to "go, be fruitful and multiply." The New Covenant command, under which we live, is "go and make disciples."

(2). The notion that anyone "prevents" God from naming the number of kids a family has is anti-biblical, anti-logical, and anti-God at its core. Contraception no more "prevents" God from creating a baby who "could have cured AIDS" or "been the President of the United States," etc. than a man shouting at the sun can keep it from shining. God ordains the creation of each human soul, and nobody prevents Him from accomplishing His plans. The sheath of a condom, or the dissolution of a pill, is no more an obstacle to God in the creation of a human being than the lack of matter was an obstacle to God in creating the universe.

(3). Holiness or righteousness is obtained by faith in Christ alone. We are declared perfectly righteous (justified) by a holy God. The woman with faith in Christ who tries her entire life to have ONE child, and cannot for physical reasons, compared to the woman with faith in Christ who could have MULTIPLE children, but does not for contraception reasons, compared to the woman with faith in Christ who DOES HAVE TWENTY CHILDREN because of her quiverfull theology and refusal to use contraception-- are ALL equally holy, equally blessed, equally loved by God, and equally honored. To say anything less is a denial of the gospel itself.

(4). There are cities full of children who are abused, abandoned, in need. The November 20, 2009 major motion picture release The Blind Side will demonstrate for the country what happens when an evangelical Christian family adopts a needy inner city child. It is as Christ-honoring to be naturally childless and help the needy children in the city as it is to have a dozen of your own naturally born children.

(5). The idea that Christians should have more children because we are losing the "culture" wars, and by having more and more kids one day we will "out-populate" the Muslims, the cults and other pagans is to lose absolute sight of the New Testament truth that entrance into the kingdom of God is not based on flesh and blood (or culture, color or creed), but faith in the good news that is proclaimed about the unique Son of God. We do not need an army of Christian children separate from the world; we need an army of Christian witnesses as salt and light in the middle of a decaying and dark world, leading lost children to a knowledge of Jesus Christ.

(6). It is true that a woman who marries, stays at home, bears children, and nurtures them in the ways of the Lord is to be honored. But it is also true that the woman who marries, but doesn't stay at home (she works outside the home), and doesn't have children, is to be HONORED just as much. Christian honor should be given for who a PERSON IS, not what a person does or doesn't do. We are always cautioned in the New Covenant Scriptures against honoring people based upon the amount of their "blessings" or the "size" of their wealth. We are to honor people because they are people. Period.

(7). We Christians are "pro-life"--that is we believe in the sacredness and sanctity of every human life. Our "pro-life" arguments, however, ring hollow when we remove our churches from inner city neighborhoods where our presence could help those with poor qualities of life; when we leave our states backlogged with tens of thousands of foster children on the rolls, forcing states to often give multiple foster children to unfit foster parents; and when we do little or nothing for those lives that are trapped in hospitals, prisons and community centers. The blessings of a culture and a community might soar more when God's people put more money, more focus, and more energy in caring for the lives already born than talking about those lives yet to be born.

(8). Quiverfull theology, if followed logically and consistently, leads a husband and a wife to confusion of one's true and eternal identity in Christ. Confusion about who we are on earth is not good preparation for eternity. There will be no marriage in heaven. There will be no procreation in heaven. It is the individual's relationship with God that is preeminent, and the notion that a male is to be "the covering" for the female, and the female's role is to simply procreate the progeny of the male as a helpful subordinate to the male, is to abdicate the New Testament teaching that EVERY believer in Jesus Christ (male or female) is a "priest" unto God. Only when full equality of males and females is comprehrended and experienced on earth will we ever have a taste of what human relationships will be like in heaven.

More, later.

In His Grace,

Wade

108 comments:

Darby Livingston said...

Good post Wade, in my opinion. But I wonder (with hesitance) if your reason for the spread of quiverfull theology comes closer to the truth than Calvinism.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to prove the assertion that Ware, Mohler, Patterson, etc. just want men to dominate females. They just think they're being faithful to the biblical texts.

So I wonder if patriarchy is the reason for the spread, OR if your number one point isn't the closest reason, namely a mixing of the covenants that refuses to see the radical nature of the New Covenant. Perhaps they haven't allowed the heavenly, church-centered vision of everything (Eph. 3:9-11) to apply to the "culture war." This would also explain other parts of their overall theology that seem legalistic and sub-Christian.

Wade Burleson said...

Could be Darby. Also, domination may be too harsh of a word. Partriarchy does nicely, but too few understand the practical misfortunes of patriarchy, but the word "domination" conjures up the visual image that best represents the functional superiority of the husband or male held by patriarchists.

Blessings,

Wade

Corrie said...

Wade,

Excellent post! Thank you for tackling this issue. As a woman who got deep into patriarchy and the whole quiverfull theology/Vision right after becoming a believer, your post resonated with me on a personal level. All I ever wanted to do was please the Lord and this system was peddled to me as the ONLY way to do it.

I now have 10 children (plus 8 miscarriages including a stillbirth) and while I couldn't imagine life without each one of them, I have experienced the stage where "sleep has just set in" and then I lived through the "nightmare" and consequences of trying to live under a system that mixes the Old and New Covenant as if they can be heirs together (Gal 4) and I am now trying to get to a place of health but it is and has not been easy. Many times I find myself floundering and feeling lost and overwhelmed. At times I tell myself it would be much easier to go back under that system, especially since I went as far as I did but then God's word gets a hold of me and Truth takes over.

Gal 4 tells us to cast out the bondwoman and her son because her son (which represents the Law- works of the flesh) will NOT be an heir with the son of the free woman (New Covenant/Law of Liberty/Promise of the Spirit). The Law is a ministry of death and condemnation and all those who place themselves back under that system will eventually come to realize this fact sooner or later.

When I finally cast out the bondwoman- patriarchy, quiverfull theology, etc- I was able to start the healing process.

2 Cor 2:17 talks about those who peddle (corrupt, adulterate) God's word for monetary gain. QF and Patriarchy have become big business, especially among homeschoolers and many depend on this deadly mix of law/grace to support the lifestyles they have come to enjoy.

Wade Burleson said...

Corrie,

If you get a chance and feel led to do so, I would love to read your story in greater detail. You may email me at wwburleson@hotmail.com. I really admire how you graciously discuss an errant theological past while maintaining the dignity and honor of your present circumstances.

Good for you.

wade

Brent Hobbs said...

Wade, I'd also like to point out that its possible to deny this "quiverfull" teaching while still advocating larger families.

I think it goes too far to call birth control wrong/sin; but I do think we are more influenced by a culture that says children are a hindrance to self-actualization, rather than the blessing the Bible teaches they are.

Thy Peace said...

Amen. Excellent post and points.

Christiane said...

What are the known connections between the SBC leaders (Ware, Patterson, Mohler)
and the organization called 'Vision Forum'?

Wade Burleson said...

Brent Hobbs,

Amen.

Thanks for the reminder. I too honor those families, including my own kin, who have large numbers of children-- while not advocating the theology of quiverfullism.

Thy Peace said...

L's:

A good place to find some information on your question is here:

Under Much Grace Blog [Cindy Kunsman] > Showing posts with label "Vision Forum".

Christiane said...

Thank you, THY PEACE

I found this, which is interesting concerning 'Vision Forum':

"Though I think the potential for Vision Forum followers to meet the same end as the followers of this other leader I have in mind is reasonably low, Americans that follow the Botkins to New Zealand will be easier to manipulate in a new environment and will suffer if cut off from their families in the US. If they do not have ample finances to return home, these families could find themselves in a foreign land, beautiful though it may be, and be subject to this same type of cruel discipline, manipulation of fear through patriarchal ecclesiocentricity and the Gothard-style cursing for having exited out from under the church’s “umbrella of protection” if found wanting."

This is not Christianity. It reminds me of the cult of Jim Jones. Very disturbing reading, and a 'red light' for anyone who cares to venture into patriarchy. The comparisons to FLDS are striking, also.

Corrie said...

Thank you, Wade, for your kind words. I will see what I can type up and send you.

We can't forget about the "militant fecundity" that QFrs such as Vision Forum and others promote. Look into that and that will be eye-opening.

Also, the Bayly brothers once posted, on their blog, that Jesus is going to call men into account for "sheathing their sword" when they enter their wife's womb (or some such wording).

There is nothing wrong with having big families but the reality is that there are a lot of patriarchal/QF families that are on welfare and still claiming that they can't limit their family size. There are children being neglected because of finances and because of the sheer volume of work that is placed squarely on the woman's shoulders. Also, educationally these children suffer and girls are being kept from any opportunity for college and instead they are mini-mothers to their mother's children. I am most concerned about the daughters in the QF movement and the effect that will have on their futures and the fallout from all of this.

The Duggars present it as a cake-walk but they have vast resources at their disposal. I fear for all the families who are trying to keep up with the Duggars who don't have these resources. I fear for their children.

As a mother of 10, I feel guilty for not spending the quality time I would like with each one of them. I can't imagine doubling that amount of children. And, I refuse to use my older daughters as surrogate mothers.

Kevin in Manila said...

Great work--I'm going to link this over at SingleChristian.org

Benji Ramsaur said...

I do think one's theology of the covenants or the supposed covenant of grace is going to determine where one comes out on this.

I think the second paragraph of Brent Hobbs comment is pretty much where I come out personally.

I do think there can be selfishness in one's attitude towards the idea of having children, but I also believe the new covenant really is a new covenant.

And the New Testament [which reveals the ethics of the New Covenant] does not make a big deal concerning having lots of children.

It makes a big deal out of the new commmandment that is based on the sacrificial example of Christ *and* which was the command that believers learned *in the beginning* of their Christian walk according to 1 John.

Lydia said...

"(6). It is true that a woman who marries, stays at home, bears children, and nurtures them in the ways of the Lord is to be honored. But it is also true that the woman who marries, but doesn't stay at home (she works outside the home), and doesn't have children, is to be HONORED just as much. Christian honor should be given for who a PERSON IS, not what a person does or doesn't do. We are always cautioned in the New Covenant Scriptures against honoring people based upon the amount of their "blessings" or the "size" of their wealth. We are to honor people because they are people. Period."

I can remember reading in one of Carolyn Custis James' book how disappointed she was in a friend of hers who went to work after having, I think, a second child.

She was judging her based on a belief system she had been taught. And could not understand why this woman would want to neglect her family.

But as she learned more, she realized this woman was FIGHTING for her family. A true Ezer. Finances were desperate as her husband was not making enough for them to make it but she could earn a good living with her education and get them through this.

Lydia said...

"They just think they're being faithful to the biblical texts."

To the degree that Dr. Klouda had to be ruined?

It has gone much further than what you are suggesting. Have you been reading over at CBMW? The gymnastics they have to employ to come up with their Talmudic teaching on roles and rules is extra biblical.

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

Whether one agrees with their interpretation or not, the men that Wade brought up would say they're trying to be faithful to the texts, not pursue a preconceived agenda requiring mental gymnastics.

If one believes the texts do not allow for a woman Hebrew professor, than yes, Dr. Klouda would be sacrificed on the altar of the texts. I'm not saying I agree with it. I'm just saying that's how they see it. That's also why they see the issue as biblical faithfulness rather than discrimination.

Lydia said...

If one believes the texts do not allow for a woman Hebrew professor, than yes, Dr. Klouda would be sacrificed on the altar of the texts. I'm not saying I agree with it. I'm just saying that's how they see it. That's also why they see the issue as biblical faithfulness rather than discrimination.

Wed Nov 04, 11:18:00 PM 2009

Hmm. So one has to 'sin' to be true to the biblical text? One never has to 'ruin' another Christian to be true to the Biblical text.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Lydia and Darby,

I'm kind of wrestling with what you two are saying concerning Klouda.

It seems to me that Christ was faulting the religious leaders for failing to understand the Scriptures correctly in John 5.

And it seems to me that some folks did not get it when it came to applying John 13:34-35 to Klouda.

Even though I believe in the different functions concerning gender, I don't see how the New Testament speaks *clearly* concerning a woman teaching Hebrew in a seminary setting.

Therefore, I think the clear new commandment of Christ [if one simply follows His logic] should have been followed toward Klouda, but I do not believe it was.

Christiane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darby Livingston said...

"One never has to 'ruin' another Christian to be true to the Biblical text."

Lydia, you're insightful so I know you won't twist what I'm about to write to make it say something I'm not.

The Bible requires all sorts of sacrifices from all sorts of people, so I'm guessing that those who treated Dr. Klouda that way don't see it as 'ruining' her any more than it would be 'ruining' a Christian man to demand he only marry a Christian woman. Again, not saying I agree with how Dr. Klouda was treated, only that I think they were trying to cover their behinds because they weren't consistent in what they thought the Bible taught and by the time they got consistent, Dr. Kouda and they were seriously invested, which is what caused the blow up.

Lydia said...

Sort of off topic but not really:

Suzanne's post on Kephale

http://powerscourt.blogspot.com/

Lydia said...

The Bible requires all sorts of sacrifices from all sorts of people, so I'm guessing that those who treated Dr. Klouda that way don't see it as 'ruining' her any more than it would be 'ruining' a Christian man to demand he only marry a Christian woman. Again, not saying I agree with how Dr. Klouda was treated, only that I think they were trying to cover their behinds because they weren't consistent in what they thought the Bible taught and by the time they got consistent, Dr. Kouda and they were seriously invested, which is what caused the blow up.

Wed Nov 04, 11:38:00 PM 2009

Darby, you scare me more than the Pattersons and Mohlers out there because you go to lengths to explain cruel behavior toward a sister in Christ, as biblical.

It reminds me of the Priest that walked by the beaten man. After all, helping him would mean he would become unclean. That was 'scriptural'. And I am sure many Jews would have agreed he did the right 'scriptural' thing.

I say this to beg you to see it as it really is. We cannot make evil behavior good by saying it is just how they interpret the scripture and therefore they thought it was good. What difference does it make if their 'intentions' were biblical? The behavior employed and outcome were evil, cruel and ruinous.

If we do not condemn such acts they will continue as 'scriptural'.

Darby Livingston said...

"Darby, you scare me more than the Pattersons and Mohlers out there because you go to lengths to explain cruel behavior toward a sister in Christ, as biblical."

How many ways can I say I don't agree with what they did? I agree it was cruel. I never said how she was treated was biblical. I'm saying I think that the ones who did it genuinely think it's biblical. Surely you can see the difference. I have absolutely no problem with Dr. Klouda teaching me, my sons, my congregation, or every Christian in the world Hebrew.

Darby Livingston said...

The original point I was responding to was that quiverfull theology isn't so much a desire for male societal dominance as a misinterpretation of Scripture. That's all I'm saying. And that makes all the difference in condemning it because if we can't find the source of the problem, we can't cut it off.

Thy Peace said...

Suzanne's Bookshelf > Orphism and κεφαλή.

A commenter on my post on Kephale as "source" asks,
---------
Hi Suzanne,

Does it concern you that the strongest evidence for kephale to mean 'source' is actually from a source with variant readings and is dated to 500BC approx?

I ask because many people dismiss the LXX examples that it has a leader overtone on the basis of variant readings. If the LXX cases are considered illegitimate, should we not also consider the Orphic Fragment illegitimate?
--------
My answer is no, not at all. Let's look at the citation supporting the interpretation of "source" or "beginning." I would like to point out that this argument depends on demonstrating that κεφαλή is a variant of ἀρχή, meaning "beginning" or "source." One cannot easily disentangle the two.

Christiane said...

Hi DARBY,

There is a problem, if these leaders felt that they had to violate the Law of Christ in order to honor some 'Biblical text'.

Here is the reasoning:

In the matter of hierarchy or priority of the 'words' of Holy Scripture and of the Eternal Living Word, there is this to remember:

from St. John, Chapt. 6

". . . Jesus asked the twelve,
‘Do you also wish to go away?’
68 Simon Peter answered Him,
‘Lord, to whom can we go?
You have the words of eternal life. "

The Words of Christ are 'spirit and life'.

We are taught that man shall not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The words of the Apostles in Scripture are inspired by God, this is true.
But the Words of Lord Christ ARE the Words of God.

Do not raise the words of the creature to the same honor as the Words of his Creator.
To do so give the impression of being blasphemous and idolatrous.

People may manipulate the words of others in Scripture much more freely than they can twist the Words of Christ.
There is something about the Words of the Lord Christ that carry within them that which will not be profaned.

The brutal treatment of Sheri Klouda violated the Laws of Christ, which He spoke Himself, and which cannot be laid aside by any man.
The perpetrators are accountable to the Lord for their vicious treatment of Dr. Klouda. If they are the great theologians they claim to be, then they know the truth of this.

Caritas Christi,
L's

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

I think I probably agree with you more than anyone else in the blogsophere.

However, I don't understand the comparison between Klouda and the only marrying a believer restriction.

Klouda lost a lot by losing her job. The guy who can only marry a Christian girl is not losing in my opinion. In fact, he might be spared from a lot of heartache.

I don't think Klouda was spared heartache.

Christiane said...

Christians are Christ-followers: it was said by St. Gregory
"Let us see whither He is going . . . and let us find our way by following His Footsteps."



"“Let us seek from the Lord, not deceiving riches, not earthly gifts, not fleeting honors, but light. . . .
If we have been enlightened after our blindness, seeing now that light by our understanding,
Jesus whom we see in our soul, we follow . . . .
Let us see whither He is going, and let us find our way by following His footsteps.”

From St. Gregory’s Writings based on Gospel of St. Mark

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Darby, you scare me more than the Pattersons and Mohlers out there because you go to lengths to explain cruel behavior toward a sister in Christ, as biblical."

Lydia, I think you are better than this. I think Darby is a good guy.

I don't think I have ever seen a comment from him to make me think otherwise.

Darby Livingston said...

Benji,

Again, I'm only giving what I believe is THEIR rationale for what they believe about gender roles, which eventually can end up in quieverfull theology if not careful.

I'm not saying I think Dr. Klouda and marrying a nonbeliever is the same. I'm saying I think those who treated Dr. Klouda the way they did think they're only being faithful to the text, like someone telling a believer he can't marry a non-believer. They don't think it's cruel to say it because they think it's biblical. I personally think they're wrong. But I think they're wrong in interpretation, not wrong in the sense they're trying to dominate women and don't care what the Bible says.

I'm am praying God will help me be understood, because I'm obviously not explaining myself well.

Thy Peace said...

If Dr. Sheri Klouda was married to a Mega-Church Pastor or a Seminary President, she would have been allowed to teach to men, not only Hebrew, but even Theology.

In the worst case, the least they [SWBTS] could have done to Dr. Sheri Klouda was give back her money spent on her PhD and possibly 2 to 3 years of pay for reneging their promise to her as given by PP at the beginning of his tenure there.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Darby,

I understand that you are saying that you think it is their rational. However, if the kind of comparison you gave is their rational, then I don't think their rational makes any sense.

But, I think the big picture idea is that you are saying that they believed they were being simply biblical.

I understand that, but I guess I am connecting this with Christ's faulting of religious leaders in John 5 for not understanding the Scriptures correctly. I am wondering if Christ has the same view towards those who would justify the treatment of Klouda.

In other words, I wonder if this is a "moral thing" and not merely an innocent misinterpretation of the Scriptures.

Darby Livingston said...

"In other words, I wonder if this is a "moral thing" and not merely an innocent misinterpretation of the Scriptures."

Ah, now I get it. I don't for one minute believe how Dr. Klouda was treated was an innocent misinterpretation. No. They were wrong. Period. And I don't think the quiverfull folks' radical interpretations are innocent. I think they (and we) will be held accountable for misinterpretations. This is why not many should have the audacity to teach others the Scriptures.

I've actually taught my children that errant mathematics is morally wrong, so I'm not trying to excuse these people's behavior by saying they just see things differently.

Chris Ryan said...

Darby,

I understand that you disagree with what they did. But do you really think the "Don Quixote" defense is worth anything? Their perceptions of their actions doesn't change the fact that their actions were wrong. Nor should we allow their perceptions to excuse their actions. Criminals, even mentally unstable ones, are still placed where they can do no more harm. Instead, we promote them.

Darby Livingston said...

What would anyone suggest we do with these kinds of errors? Wade's post is about exposing the BIBLICAL holes in quiverfull theology. I'm saying I think the biggest hole is not Calvinism and it isn't a desire to be dominant over others (although this can be intoxicating in itself). I think its that folks don't understand the progression of Scripture and interpret New Covenant realities by Old Covenant standards rather than the other way around.

Benji Ramsaur said...

"I'm saying I think the biggest hole is not Calvinism and it isn't a desire to be dominant over others (although this can be intoxicating in itself). I think its that folks don't understand the progression of Scripture and interpret New Covenant realities by Old Covenant standards rather than the other way around."

I think I agree with this.

Pege` said...

Wade, I should have died after having my first child Bekah, from serious life threatening complications When I found out I was pregnant with #2 I was counseled my my Doctor to protect my life and to abort Nathan. Hannah and Annika were also not supposed to be born. You are correct in saying that nothing will prevent God from bringing life but there are many ways people can hinder or prevent children from being born. My faith and life were put to the test when I did not agree to abort Nathan and walked by Faith in this area of my life. IT WAS DIFFICULT!!Some times God does call some women and men to trust in the area of birth control/non birth control as he did me and Jeff. It was our decision alone before God. I did read all of Mary Prides writings and teachings in 1990+ right before my last 2 girls were born. she is a very strong and determined writer and believer. She had me hooked. Like anything, unless you balance it out with prayer, the whole counsel of God, thought of both spouses and deep consideration it is easy to become legalistic and judgmental of others decisions in this or any other area. Mary Pride is very convincing. She states a woman should have a heart willing to die so she can have children If God so chooses. I bit into that one because of my situation. I was willing to die to be obedient to what God had called me to. I became immersed in her teachings and lost my ability to think this out on my own and seek God's will on my own. After Annika was born God began to reach my heart again...I had no more faith to have another child. I could not do it. I felt so guilty because of All I read from Mary Pride... I was a looser..a failure because I could not...did not want to go through another c-section and the pain.... After much prayer and counsel...Jeff and I made the decision with the Peace of God to stop having children. After that decision God called us on another journey where he allowed Post partum depression to come into my life. With out you and Rachelle and Emmanuel Baptist church I would not have recovered and understand God grace the way I do now. All things work together for good. Lesson learned...I cannot follow anothers convictions of what God has called them to nor can I tell another what they can and cannot do. God calls us all to out own journeys and to place my convictions that God has called me to onto another is sin. I cannot tell another husband or wife what God wants them to do in this area, they need to seek his face and make decisions together. TOGETHER!!!
Blessings,
Pege'

Molly Aley said...

Wade,
This is such a great post. It is frightening to me to see these fringe groups grow in popularity and mainstream acceptance. Having lived the QF life (My oldest was 6 when baby #5 was born) and the "biblical patriarchy" one, count me as one who's stumbled out of it, broken and battered and hoping that her small voice can help others avoid this pit.

Do I love my five children? More than absolutely. There aren't words for how much I adore these wacky wiggly people! Do I think it was wise to have five children so close together? Not at all. Not at all. I have had two surgeries to try and correct things that "broke" because of the too-close pregnancies (no, ahem, nursing doesn't work to space kids, at least not for me)...

There is so much to be concerned about with this rising tide of militantism and extremism within the Christian borders, not the least of which is the destruction in its wake, and I am so thankful you are using your voice to speak out.

Corrie said...

I am not so sure that dominating others, especially women, isn't at the heart of motivation for the QF/patriarchal theology espoused today. I am not so quick to give these teachers a "pass" and say that they really are being sincere and trying to stick to biblical texts.

Could we say that the main motivation for owning slaves was to be true to the biblical text? Or was it something else? Personal gain? Power? Control over another human being?

I believe that patriarchy is of the flesh and it is driven by fleshly desires. If it was driven by the Spirit we wouldn't have the focus on who is first in the kingdom and who gets to be in charge. Instead we would have the focus on TRUE service, not the lip-service of "servant leaders" that we get from patriocentricity.

It seems to me that a lot of patriarchalists are finding new ways and great lengths to keep women subordinate. CBMW recently had an article talking about how women will be eternally subordinate to men. I can't help wonder what is driving this insatiable need to be in charge, even in heaven?

Lydia said...

Lydia, I think you are better than this. I think Darby is a good guy.

I don't think I have ever seen a comment from him to make me think otherwise.

Thu Nov 05, 12:09:00 AM 2009

I think he is a good guy, too! That is my point! And why it makes me so very sad.

When the good guys start defending those who do cruel acts as having biblical intentions, where do the victims go?

History is replete with such examples done in the Name of our Lord's Word.

Think about it. The slavers used this same arguement and even those who did not own slaves defended it as biblical instead of standing up to them. How many preachers who did not own slaves defended the institution as biblical? Lots. (It is why we have an SBC!)


My point is that it matters not whether Patterson or others think it was biblical. He could only do what he did because of his 'position'. And now many other young minds full of mush who revere him as a role model will think such things are biblical. Where does it end?

Darby, I understand where you are coming from, I really do. But...

I would certainly like to hear why you think it matters that Patterson thought what he was doing was biblical.

Lydia said...

I've actually taught my children that errant mathematics is morally wrong, so I'm not trying to excuse these people's behavior by saying they just see things differently.

Thu Nov 05, 12:33:00 AM 2009

This is interesting. Can you expound on this? I know it is off topic a bit but I seem to be facing something similar. I also believe fuzzy math is morally wrong. Is that what you mean? Or am I way off base.

Paul Burleson said...

Corrie,

I agree with your comment which I believe gets to the crux of it all.

Especially this..."I believe that patriarchy is of the flesh and it is driven by fleshly desires. If it was driven by the Spirit we wouldn't have the focus on who is first in the kingdom and who gets to be in charge. Instead we would have the focus on TRUE service, not the lip-service of "servant leaders" that we get from patriocentricity.

It seems to me that a lot of patriarchalists are finding new ways and great lengths to keep women subordinate. CBMW recently had an article talking about how women will be eternally subordinate to men. I can't help wonder what is driving this insatiable need to be in charge, even in heaven?"

Your final statement is the unfortunate inevitability of such, namely, the heretical view of the eternal subordination of women AS JESUS IS. As I said unfortunate and inevitable in that theology.

Lydia said...

"I believe that patriarchy is of the flesh and it is driven by fleshly desires. If it was driven by the Spirit we wouldn't have the focus on who is first in the kingdom and who gets to be in charge. Instead we would have the focus on TRUE service, not the lip-service of "servant leaders" that we get from patriocentricity. "

Corrie, You nailed it. It is driven by the flesh.

ezekiel said...

Corrie,

You already know the answer to that.

Gal 4:29 Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. [Gen. 21:9.]

In one form or another, this is what religion is today. The bond woman's decendents persecute the children of the free. This works all the way from the extremes of Afganistan to the carpeted sacntuarys of our SBC churches today. It manifests itself in all sorts of forms, this is just one other. Paul fought the judaizers and they are alive and well amongst us today.

It is a search for leagalistic self righteousness, a form of godliness based on adherance to the law (written letter) rather than the freedom of the real gospel.

Some folks just don't get the freedom that the Gospel is all about. I know I have struggled with it as well. To some it is just another written letter that doesn't differ that much from the old one.

Righteousness either comes from Jesus Christ and Him alone, His perfect obedience to the Law that is imputed to us through faith or it is something that can be gained by observing rituals or obeying the Law.

Most church going folks today may even admit or agree that it is imputed righteousness that is all that counts but then turn right around and insist on observance of law and rituals all the while demanding we do the same.

Most every church has bond-servants, sons and daughters in them. That is why we all get along so well together.....

Grace and Peace!

Darby Livingston said...

Wow, I just read the article that Corrie referred to. I think the author, Mark David Walton, is playing pretty loosely with the biblical texts, not just twisting some, but yanking them clean out of their context. He also makes assertions from inference that can't possibly be defended from any text. I can't agree with that article.

You know he is stretching when he has to start off the article defending why the notion of eternal submission even matters and is worth all the ink.

I'm sure Corrie is right and knows far more than me about this issue. But I'm not sure we can lump every complementarian into the quiverfull camp though.

Lydia,

I don't think it matters in order to excuse him in some way. What he did was inexcusable. I think it matters because we need to know how to respond to error. Or we can end up with an error that's worse than the original error.

Illustration: A car hits a "Do Not Enter" sign on the corner of a one way street. It matters how we think about that. At first, it might seem easiest to just take the stupid sign down so people won't ever hit it again. Over time the folly will be apparent when people are hitting cars instead of signs.

If it weren't important, there wouldn't have been a need for Wade to write this post, because his post starts with an assertion as to where the error starts.

Darby Livingston said...

Lydia,

2+2=4

Not just a math problem, but a statement of fact. Now, if one comes to the errant position that 2+2=5, is that a morally wrong notion? I say yes. It's not just academic. It may be an "honest" mistake to say 2+2=5, but that doesn't take away the moral weight of the error. Just ask the people in the cars that fall into an abyss of water when a poorly engineered bridge collapses into the ocean. Even math is moral. There will be no sin in Heaven, neither will there be any errant math.

Joe Blackmon said...

But I'm not sure we can lump every complementarian into the quiverfull camp though.

Nope, you can't. I'm as complementarian as the day is long and I don't have any problem with birth control that prevents sperm from fertilizing an egg. If you only want a few kids--fine. If you want a bunch--that's jake with me. I'm not going to tell someone that they're sinning if they decide to have no kids but I have to admit I do think it's a little weird.

So, no, all comps are not quiverfull.

Lydia said...

"I think it matters because we need to know how to respond to error. Or we can end up with an error that's worse than the original error."

This is an excellent point! And why the progression of the CR unchecked went from serious salvic doctrines being questioned to ruining Dr. Klouda for simply being a woman.

Darby Livingston said...

I agree with that one hundred per cent.

Corrie said...

Hi!

Just wanted to clarify since there seems to be some confusion. I do not lump all complementarians into the QF camp. I know there are many comps who are not QF. I would venture to say that the vast majority of those who call themselves patriarchalists ARE QF.

BUT, for CBMW to put that article and others up on their website causes me to really mistrust them as far as their understanding of Scripture.

Also, Nancy Leigh DeMoss wrote in her book, Lies Women Believe, that birth control is basically wrong and the number of children should be left in the hands of God.

There are more and more high profile comps coming out making very QF statements. I am concerned about the people who look up to these teachers and who will take their statements at face value and find their way on the path to the extremism found in full-blown patriarchy/QF.

I find it ironic that most of them are past the years of child bearing and DeMoss isn't even married.

So, no, not all comps or even most comps are QF but there are quite a few high profile ones who espouse the QF doctrines.

Corrie said...

Darby,

"Wow, I just read the article that Corrie referred to. I think the author, Mark David Walton, is playing pretty loosely with the biblical texts, not just twisting some, but yanking them clean out of their context. He also makes assertions from inference that can't possibly be defended from any text. I can't agree with that article."

And this truly scares me! When I first read that article, I was mortified to see such "scholarship" even posted on CBMW's site! And to see it is still there is even more telling, imho. Where are the shepherds who are guarding the sheep from such false teaching? Not a peep.

I have made several "peeps" about that article since it was posted but........

Benji Ramsaur said...

Carrie,

You said "I am concerned about the people who look up to these teachers and who will take their statements at face value..."

I understand what you are saying here and this is another reaon why I think folks need to become "self-conscious" concerning their "method" of interpretation.

If folks use a good method and they are self-conscious about it, then I think this will "save" them from merely following the interpretations of another. No matter who the other is.

Benji Ramsaur said...

Corrie,

I'm sorry about sticking an "a" in your name:)

Lydia said...

"Not just a math problem, but a statement of fact. Now, if one comes to the errant position that 2+2=5, is that a morally wrong notion?"

What if I say we are 'estimating' the same problem. The answer would then be 2. Is that moral or immoral? Is that even math?

(Sorry everyone for being off topic)

Darby Livingston said...

Estimation has its place as long as it's not argued as a fact. And as long as one isn't using it to design bridges. :)

Lydia said...

Estimation has its place as long as it's not argued as a fact. And as long as one isn't using it to design bridges. :)

Thu Nov 05, 12:09:00 PM 2009

Or the cost of government programs? :o)

Amy said...

1). Quiverfull theology is based on an Old Covenant that also had other precepts, commandments and laws from God that we Christians no longer abide by. The Old Covenant laws were "shadows" or "types" to teach us of Christ, and when Jesus came, He fulfilled and abolished the Old Covenant with her types. The Old Covenant command was to "go, be fruitful and multiply." The New Covenant command, under which we live, is "go and make disciples."

Wade -- there is an error in your understanding of "Old" Covenant theology ... unless there is some dispensationalism in you somewhere. The commandment to Israel was to be a light to the nations (i.e., go and make disciples). Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant was to Israel the nation/people. We have so connotatized old and new that we lose what Scripture actually teaches. Old/New is more about fulfillment. Therefore, the commandment to realize to be a light to the nations is no diferent than Matthew 28:18-20. The fulfillment is now possible because of the Jewish Messiah Jesus who came first in priority and time to His people.

Benji Ramsaur said...

"Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant was to Israel the nation/people."

If one "only" reads Jeremiah 31 in its Old Testament context, then that is likely what one will think.

However, if Jeremiah is read in the light of the New Testament, then it is clear that believing Gentiles [and not merely believing Jews] are a part of the New Covenant.

Darby Livingston said...

"Wade -- there is an error in your understanding of "Old" Covenant theology ... unless there is some dispensationalism in you somewhere. The commandment to Israel was to be a light to the nations (i.e., go and make disciples). Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant was to Israel the nation/people."

How can one accuse Wade of error due to some 'dispensationalism in you somewhere' and then give a dispensational argument to make the point. 'Jeremiah 31 about the new covenant was to Israel the nation/people' is the classic dispensational argument.

linda said...

Perhaps this is just natural "pendulum swing" in action.

While feminism HAS produced much good not only for women, but also for children and men, if we are honest it has also produced much bad.

It is just possible that some, in rejecting that bad, are going tooooo far the other direction.

Perhaps we need some balance.

And just an aside: advising Christian families that want large families to adopt is not always a viable alternative.

BTDT with adopting a hard to place child, victim of abuse and fetal alchohol syndrome. Learned the hard way that inherited mental illness sometimes is the cause of the child's relinquishment.

Honestly, if you want to raise children in a "normal" Christian home I have to say tread carefully and prayerfully. You may not be able to do that through adoption.

If God calls you to the task, as He did us, He will see you through it!

But He may call some to parent large families without the challenges of abnormal brains. If that is the case, He just might gift them with Duggarlike fecundity. In that case, they do no wrong by not practicing birth control and adopting.

So do not judge the childless for being childless. Do not judge those using birth control methods that do not kill a conceived baby for using them. Do not judge those called to raise large families for producing them rather than adopting. Do not judge adoptive parents either.

Darby Livingston said...

"Therefore, the commandment to realize to be a light to the nations is no diferent than Matthew 28:18-20."

This is simply not true, and much has been written to refute such an idea.

Thy Peace said...

Estimation has its place as long as it's not argued as a fact. And as long as one isn't using it to design bridges.

I beg to disagree.

In engineering and mathematics, there is a place for fuzzy logic. Though it is not universally agreed upon by ALL mathematicians and engineers, it has proved used in signal/image processing and pattern recognition applications and in control theory.

Wiki > Fuzzy logic.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy > Fuzzy Logic.

Wiki > Fuzzy mathematics.

Amy said...

Darby,

Here are your comments.

"Therefore, the commandment to realize to be a light to the nations is no diferent than Matthew 28:18-20."

This is simply not true, and much has been written to refute such an idea.

Could you show me what has been written. And yes, I am a dispensationalist but not a classical one. And the point I am making is that his argument of be fruitful and multiply was the command to Adam in the Adamic Covenant. The command to Israel (througout Isaiah and Leviticus) was to be holy and to be a light to the nations.

I am making a statement as to the inconsistency and theological error of his argument on point #1. I agree with some of his other arguments and disagree with some of his generalizations about people and situations. Am I not allowed to make those here?

Darby Livingston said...

Thy peace,

Do you think fuzzy logic is inherently fuzzy to God (as it pertains to truth) or just the result of man's ignorance?

Wade Burleson said...

Amy,

I am fully aware I am capable of all kinds of error regarding my view of the Old Covenant, and your point is well taken. However, Benji (who in my opinion has one of the best understandings of the differences betwen the Old and the New Covenants) has provided the answer I would have given to your question to me. Thanks, both of you, for your comments.

Wade Burleson said...

Corrie,

You are one sharp lady. Any time you would like to teach from the pulpit at Emmanuel, just let me know!

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

You, sir, are a wealth of information.

Wade Burleson said...

Darby, ironically, I thought the same thing you wrote about Amy's question. Thanks for articulating for me what I was thinking but was not quite sure how to craft my thoughts.

Darby Livingston said...

Amy, thanks for the interaction. I think the first thing to note is that the Old Testament 'light to the nations' type texts without exception are looking ahead to the coming of God's Messiah. And the gospels make this clear when they describe Jesus as the Light who comes. Again, I think this is accurate, but am open to correction.

It can be argued that Israel was to be a blessing to the nations and had a distinct purpose in the mission of God. But I don't think that blessing can be "flattened out" to be the same as the worldwide spread of the Gospel. IOW, redemptive history has progressed. There is no call for Israel to go to the nations. They bless the nations by being a picture of consecration to God in the midst of rampant idolatry. That's the light they shone on the world (or were supposed to).

Read any of Graeme Goldsworthy's books to see it explained. Christopher Wright's 'The Mission of God' deals with it as well. There are many others, but I don't want to entirely hijack Wade's post.

I understand your point about "be fruitful and multiply' being Adamic rather than Mosaic, which is why many take it to transcend both old and new covenants.

I will be happy to discuss this further, but have an appointment.

Pege` said...

Wade, I have to admit that I was the one who sought out the teachings of Mary Pride and the others who teach as she does because of my back round. I was raised a feminist from the ground up and when I became a believer as strong capable independent woman was not tolerated. I was a christian freak when I was a young believer. Many tried to put me into submission of one thing or another. When Jeff and I were engaged many men came to him wondering how he was going to get me into submission. I was not rebellious, I looked to be obedient to the Lord....our first 6 months of marriage was hell... Jeff was taught wrong too!!I felt so inadequate as a christian woman
I painted, wallpapered,shoveled snow, road motor cycles, changed oil in a car could change a tire, lived in Europe on my own, was not afraid to travel,could help build houses, played all sorts of sports, competitive and capable. Then I entered Christianity and that was all poo-pooed. I was lost on what and who I should be. I was ripe to find Mary Prides teachings...I picked them so I could finally measure up to Christian woman hood. It was foolish I know now...but proverbs 31 was the standard for me even though I misinterpreted it. Now after much pain, I am free to be who I am and free to do what I enjoy. I do not think I will ride a motorcycle any time soon I have lost my edge but I am no longer a freak in my eyes and others are free to judge me as they will. Its not all about the men.

Wade Burleson said...

Pege,

Your testimony is gripping, and one that would be extraordinarily helpful to a number of women. As the Lord leads, I would encourage you to write it out - and if possible, I think it should be published, either on the Internet (here) or in book form.

Wade

Native Arkansan said...

Corrie,

You are one sharp lady. Any time you would like to teach from the pulpit at Emmanuel, just let me know!


Better watch it thar, Wade. Joe Blackberry'll be callin' fer yer church's disfellershipment.

Joe Blackmon said...

NA

Considering that the church I go to now isn't even affiliated with the SBC, that would rather difficult. Haa

I realized after it took for-ev-er to kick Broadway out that no international association of churches was ever going to have the level of agreement on doctrine that a local fellowship could so we got out of the SBC. I am looking forward to watching the Mainstream Resurrgence [(c) 2008 Joe Blackmon] from outside the SBC.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

What do you believe to be the long range effect of this belief on the SBC?

Lydia said...

Pege, Molly and Corrie,

Thank you for your testimonies here and for having the courage to speak up. This will help more women and men than you know.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I think, if the SBC is not careful, more and more of those churches (both large and small) which disagree with the narrowing and often radical philosophies being espoused, will leave.

The long term effect, unless corrected, is a slow death of the SBC.

Corrie said...

Amy,

Jeremiah 31 contains a promise of the Holy Spirit that was fulfilled on Pentecost where, for the first time, the Holy Spirit lived withIN a believer. Jesus also told the Gentiles that they were to wait in Jerusalem for the Spirit of promise.

Wade's understanding of Old/New Covenant is spot on, imho.

The Law, given through Moses, was added because of transgressions. The Abrahamic covenant was not just for Israel because all nations would be blessed through his seed (which is Christ). The Law did not invalidate the Abrahamic covenant that was previously ratified.

Wade is speaking about the Law and not the promise to all the nations made to Abraham, the believer, before there was the nation of Israel.

Yes, Israel was to be a light to all the nations. Jesus reviewed that sentiment when He told His disciples to go out and make disciples of all the nations.

But, the Law, which Wade was referring to, we are no longer under.

Christiane said...

What laws are 'abolished' specifically?

I know there are several different 'sets' of 'laws' in the OT, like the Noahide Laws, and the Mosaic Laws, but then we find this in Matthew 5:

"17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter,* not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks* one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

The verses in Matthew 5 which follow, appear to be 'upgrades' of OT teaching, as though the previous teaching had been a preparation for the coming of enlightened revelation from Christ which is often shows us how to be increasingly more humane.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

Jesus is the fulfillment. "Heaven and earth" passing away is apocalyptic language to speak of the end of one age (the Old Covenant), and the inauguration of a different age (the New Covenant). John Owen and John Gill both do a great job illustrating this use of apocalyptic language in their respective commentaries on II Peter 3.

You may not understand the above explanation because of my inadequate abilities, so I'm going to answer your question directly:

Unless there is a specific repetition of an Old Covenant commandment from the lips of our Lord or the writings of His apostles, it is safe to assume that there is no obligation upon the follower of Christ to obey. Examples would be:

The Sabbath day observance (which is Saturday). If the Old Covenant were still in effect, then the 7th Day Adventists are right, and we are all in rebellion to "the law" for worshipping on Saturday.

New moon observances, holy days, etc. which Paul directly prohibits any Christian from judging another Christian for NOT observing. Whereas in the Old Covenant, failure to observe these holy days brought capital punishment, in the New, there is not even to be a judgmental thought for not observing them.

dietary laws in the Old Covenant one was forbidden to eat the very things God told Peter in the New Covenant to eat.

tithing in the New Covenant, we are to be grace givers, not law givers.

etc...

Hope this at least helps in a small way answer your question.

Wade

P.S. 9 of the 10 Commandments are repeated in the New Testament and even INTERNALIZED (i.e. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" vs. "I say to you do not lust after another woman"). Only the Sabbath commandment is not part of the New Covenant from the decalogue because "every day for the believer is a day of rest in the righteousness of Jesus Christ."

Wanda said...

The Wartburg Watch did a series on the Quiverfull Movement back in the summer. It's definitely worth checking out.

Here's the link to the first installment:

http://www.thewartburgwatch.com/tww/blog/Entries/2009/7/9_%C2%A0_____________________________BE_FRUITFUL_AND_MULTIPLY%C2%A0__________________THE_MANTRA_OF_THE_QUIVERFULL_MOVEMENT.html

Sorry, I'm not good at hyperlinking, so I hope this link works.

Christiane said...

Thank you, Wade.
Yes it does help. And your efforts are far from inadequate. and are much appreciated.

BTW, thanks for the trailer of the up-coming movie 'The Blind Side'. It looks promising. I have November 20th circled on my calendar, and will see the film with my daughter.
I think two things: that this country needs to see how positively evangelicals can be portrayed in the media for their active Christianity; and I think that there may be some fundamentalists who thirst to see the Christian loving-kindness in the film that is so movingly high-lighted in the trailer.
This film may be bigger than The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia).
Very positive, and very, very Christian. A cause for rejoicing. :) Thanks again.

Pax Christi,
L's

Thy Peace said...

The Wartburg Watch > Be Fruitful and Multiply - The Mantra of The Quiverfull Movement.

Travis Schenk said...

Wade,
I've never posted but I do read your blog often. I'm Shawn S's brother, grandson to the VanScyoc's. Anyway, I totally agree with your post and am living out my faith by doing some of the things you speak of. My wife and I are expecting our second little one but have been praying about the timing to start adopting. We have also relocated to the intercity as we were drawn to a small, mixed race, intercity church who's goal is to reach the lost and spread hope to the community surrounding it. My point is not to gloat of course because I know I am not doing this on my own but through God's Son who strengthens me.

I think I once saw that you endorsed this book, but I'm not sure: Love & Respect. While I do believe that the New Covenant speaks of equality amoung all people I believe that this book really states how we are to live out our relationships as husband and wife, male and female. I guess I would use some caution in talking about our roles as male and female. I really think this is a hot topic right now that alot of people are thinking about, and unfortunately arguing about.

From my experience as a husband, our relationship works very well when I am submitting myself to Christ. It is only when I'm doing this that my wife can fully feel comfortable to follow my lead, as this is when I am the most loving and the most wise. This is not patriarchy or dominance but rather humility. I humbly submit myself to Christ and she knows that there is no place she would rather be than with a man who knows how to love her and has her best interest in mind. When I read your post I just felt that should be clarified a bit more about what the Bible teaches concerning the husband and wife.

I do think that our society is leaning a bit towards looking down on "housewives" and Christians sometimes revolt agaist that by going the other way and making more of it than is really necessary. I think you really hit the nail on the head in terms of grace being served equally to us all. It has nothing to do with being a working mom, not a mom, a housewife with 20 kids or two. Grace is unmerrited favor from God.

In terms of punching holes in the Quiverfull Theology, I think you did that quite nicely. I hope that more and more Christians will begin to have a more eternal outlook on life and filling their "quivers" by making disciples of the people they come in contact with, whomever that may be.

In His grace, Travis

Sarah said...

"Quiverfull theology, if followed logically and consistently, leads a husband and a wife to confusion of one's true and eternal identity in Christ."

I really enjoyed this post. I found it via the NLQ blog, so my apologies if I a saying something you've already blogged about! Not all of it is unique to the quiverfull movement. The submissive wife, even in small doses, can wreak havoc on someone's spiritual and emotional life. Have you read any of Redhedad Skeptic's blog? Her husband was a Baptist minister, but she became an atheist after what he did to her. Really sad.

Benjamin Family said...

Thanks Pastor Wade. I really enjoy reading your posts.

gengwall said...

Great post Wade. I look forward to the more detailed analysis.

This has come up recently on other blogs as well. I thought I would add my two cents. I dusted off an old post and commentary I had done on Christian Forums and have posted the result on my own blog. I take a stab at rebutting one specific plank of the quiverfull (and Catholic, amongst others) platform - that contraception is sin. If I can be so bold - here is a link Is Contraception Sin?

Christiane said...

Good Morning Everyone,

I thought a long, long time about the title of Wade's post which includes these words:
"Honoring God in a City Full of Needy Children . . . "

I share this poem. I don't know the author. But the author speaks for anyone who has every worked in the inner city and whose life has been changed for the better by its beautiful children:


“A PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN

We pray for the Children who sneak Popsicle's before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks, who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places where we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus, who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those who never get dessert,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food, who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed, who never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy, who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church and scream in the phone, whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried and for those who must,
who we never give up on and for those who don't get a second chance.

For those we smother
and . . . for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it. “

Ray said...

Wade, I am not sure if, or how much, you may be aware of the Duggars lives. My wife and I watch the show occasionally and we are amazed at how well behaved the children are (of course it could just be editing). But on a theological note. It appears that Jim Bob has declared his home a Church. with himself as the head or Pastor. I am not sure if this is connected in anyway to the "Quiverfull" movement or not. But this struck me as problematic when I heard it.

Lydia said...

I am not sure if this is connected in anyway to the "Quiverfull" movement or not. But this struck me as problematic when I heard it.

Sat Nov 07, 03:29:00 PM 2009

You have not been reading CBMW site, have you? This is taught in the SBC by CBMW which is housed at SBTS.

Check out this reference:

"The book is called “Building Strong Families” by Dennis Rainey (Dennis is on CBMW’s board of reference) and we are focusing on chapter 4 of this book called “The Husband as Prophet, Priest and King” this chapter authored by Bob Lepine."


HT:http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/01/22/the-husband-as-king-over-the-wife/

Wade Burleson said...

Lydia,

Everytime you write a comment a I get inspired to write a new post!

:)

Wade

Wade Burleson said...

My wife and I watch the show occasionally and we are amazed at how well behaved the children are...

Rex, behavior's bent is best observed when the cap that suppresses pressure is removed.

The true test of the kids' behavior patterns is coming in the next few years.

Lydia said...

"Everytime you write a comment a I get inspired to write a new post!"

Now that outta scare a few folks! :o)

Darby Livingston said...

Actually, I wish Lydia would quit with the links because my head is spinning. I haven't realized how far some in comp. circles have been progressing. Most of what I'm reading is inference for their position from the texts, which means, of course, that someone else could infer the opposite from the text with just as much claim to validity.

Thy Peace said...

Ethics Daily > Missing the Mark: Eight Flaws in Quiverfull Theology
By: Wade Burleson
.

Rex Ray said...

Wade,
Been busy. I haven’t read the comments but started at the bottom and saw you mention my name.

You replied to “Ray said…”, but that’s not me. :)

BTW Good post.

Wade Burleson said...

Thanks Rex! Must be the cataracts.

:)

Gene S said...

H.L. Menken described Conservatives as "MY contemporary ancestors!"

How this subject proves it!!!!!

Does anyone interested in this subject realize that the Quiver Full stuff was hatched in a day of high infant mortality and no contraception? Also, a day in which a woman was considered as a possession--sometimes less valuable than a good donkey!

It is hard to believe anyone in this day and age of supposed intelligence would ever advocate such garbage! With children protected from death by modern medicine, think about the result of "Cheaper by the dozen" thinking.

Who can really afford so many children--especially on the average preacher's salary. Now, a mega-church pastor/entertainer could easily do it, but not the average pastor. Is his church going to put in a special budget item called, "The Preacher Litter Fund?"

Worldwide we see the results of such an approach in India, for example: open sewers, dread diseases, starving children, pestilence and ignorance.

One of the first things any modern wise culture does is find a way to limit child production to match the number brought to adulthood protected by healthy living preventing child mortality. I thought we were supposed to be God's helpers in maintaining this good earth given mankind as a gift.

Over population is one of the great contributors to a war mentality! The Chinese entered the Viet Nam conflict because they had plenty of cannon fodder and didn't care that getting killed on the battlefield was just another form of population control. Now, they are setting limits on children to promote modern living!

Another aspect of this is the low place typically given to girls. By and large Quiver Full thinking goes alongside male honoring / female demeaning activities. Only the males can inherit family property. The oldest boy is treated as a god with all the rest unable to compete on any level.

It all boils down to horse manure, in my opinion. When Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is within you," I think he meant the ability to think and reason. To love God, and your neighbor as yourself, should mean to not put so many hungry mouths at the table one cannot properly care for them on an emotional level.

Why put a woman in a marriage as a "baby factory" while hubby goes about hunting and fishing to his heart's content. Wear that one out and just pick up another "baby factory!" I know a woman now who is following the "no birth control" Catholic teaching---her uterus has collapsed and she must have a histerectomy.

Is God telling us something about his design to keep us from polluting this earth with too many environment consuming humans????

Our "contemporary ancesters" are thinking (or not comprehending) that we still live in caves, it seems!

Give me a break!!!!!

Lydia said...

"Who can really afford so many children--especially on the average preacher's salary. Now, a mega-church pastor/entertainer could easily do it, but not the average pastor. Is his church going to put in a special budget item called, "The Preacher Litter Fund?"

I know a mega church associate pastor who went to the elders and told them he needed a significant raise becaue his wife was pregnant with their 4th child. He was already making a nice 6 figures with most expenses paid.

Since he had always worked in ministry and been taken care of since age 26 in a mega church venue, he had no concept of reality when it came to pay/work.

He got his raise. He is now the senior pastor.

Kevin M. Crowder said...

8 points of observation on this Lord's Day.

1. The concept known here as Quiverfull Theology is nothing more nothing less than a misinterpretation of the text by Bible believing, God honoring brothers and sisters in Christ. (my opinion)

2. Most of the folks I know and love who are associated with CBMW and SBTS do NOT hold to Quiverfull Theology.

3. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. and his wife have 2 children, hardly a quiverfull from the theological perspective of those who hold to the Quiverfull Theology discussed here by Wade and this comment stream.

4. All complementaians do not hold to the beliefs of Quiverfull Theology. (At least this one does not)

5. To hold to and teach Quiverfull Theology as something to be practiced by all Christians is a sin. (my opinion). Yet, for a husband and wife to MUTUALLY agree to abstain from birth control and to allow the Lord to give "arrows in abundance" is neither harmful to the Church nor contrary to Scripture providing the Lord's will has been rightly sought after.

6. The use of birth control or the lack thereof in no way helps nor hinders the Lord's sovereignty over the size of the family quiver.

7. God calls more Christian families to adopt than actually do. (or at the very least visit the orphans, which will undoubtedly increase the number of adoptions in Christian homes)

8. Above all, children are a treasure form the Lord.


K

Gene S said...

A-a-m-m-e-e-u-u-n-n-n Sister!

The "new Pharisees" make rules which they, themselves, cannot live by. Who with a 6-figure income needs more money for another child?????

Lydia said...

Read this article

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=22327

And tell me IF the couples Mohler is speaking about are professing Christians or not? He never says. So what is the point in rebuking the secular culture on this issue? Will having children makes these couples Christian?

Darby Livingston said...

"So what is the point in rebuking the secular culture on this issue? Will having children makes these couples Christian?"

Interesting questions. I think there is a misguided effort by many Christian thinkers to moralize the culture rather than save people out of it. So they speak in grand platitudes under the delusion that if their theories were implemented, the world would be a better place. They seem to forget that the world is uninhabitable because of a curse that can't be lifted by morality.
The curse is the primary problem with the world, and the curse can't be lifted by human hands. The gospel is the only hope, but there seems to be a misguided notion that we can replicate Heaven on earth if we can just conform every society to the image of Old Testament Israel with Jesus the center of our cult rather than the temple. How's that working?

Christiane said...

Darby, I think sin is its own curse. The Earth would cease to exist, if the Lord removed His Hand from it.


The New Testament reveals that God created everything by the Eternal Word, his beloved Son, the Lord Christ, who is the Alpha and the Omega.

In Him "all things were created, in heaven and on earth.. . all things were created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

"Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened His Hand." Thomas Aquinas

thatmom said...

I am just trying to get up to speed on this article and am so thankful that you have addressed it, Wade.

Having been inside this movement and surrounded by their teachings for the past 25 years, I can attest to the fact that it is becoming more militant and dangerous.

In the spring of 2008, Vision Forum's Doug Phillips announced that he would not be in any way associated with people or organizations who did not completely agree with his position on abortion, which includes his teaching that ending a pregnancy because of an ectopic pregnancy is a sin. I was stunned and contacted Samaritan Ministries, a Christian medical needs sharing ministry that has been highly supportive of Vision Forum and closely associated with them. I wanted to know what their policy would be. Since I had known SMI's president for over 25 years and have personally known everyone on their board of directors, I believed I would get a straight answer. I received one e-mail from the president asking me what I thought about the issue and asking for links to Doug's writings, which I had already sent in the initial correspondence. I wrote a second time and received no answer whatsoever. I wrote a third time and still didn't receive an answer. Two months later, the Samaritan Ministries newsletter came out (July 2008) with their position....it was a reprint of Doug Phillips' article! Outrageous!

I am horrified to think that being pro-life means ONLY being concerned about the life of the child. Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening situation and to lay a trip on women that they are to die right along with their babies when the baby is going to die no matter what is irresponsible and anything but pro-life.

I recorded a series of podcasts on the topic of militant fecundity vs seeing children as a blessing if anyone is interested in an insider's perspective on the teachings from this group.

http://www.thatmom.com/?page_id=2663

Mara Reid said...

Thank you thatmom for pointing out Phillips's blatant disregard for the health and safety of women... wives and mothers.

It is shocking that others are following behind his folly and his dangerous position.

Pege` said...

Wade, WHEW!! We all have so many thoughts on this issue. It is such a personal decision that a husband and wife have to make together in their marriage before the Lord as I have said before. Like anything in a Christian marriage , we seek together to honor the Lord.To be mature enough in the word and in relationship with God that we seek the Lords guidance for not only this but so many parts of our life as couples.
I read this from John Calvin and he put what is in my heart better than I ever could...I will not be bound by traditions of men/women again but strive to walk in obedience to God's word through the spirit. Legalism keeps us a children, under men's control...I am not a child any more.We are adopted in Jesus Christ, we are God's children and consequently the inheritance of the world is ours because we are joint heirs with Jesus, we get all of the blessings that God made in Jesus Christ. It is faith that must cleanse us. Then will all things be clean to us, that is we may use them freely with out wavering. If men enjoin spiritual laws upon us, we need not observe them, being assured that such obedience cannot please God, for in so doing, we set up rulers to govern us making themselves equal with God, who reserves all power to himself. Thus the government of the soul must be kept safe in the sound hands of God. Therefore, if we allow much superiority to men that we suffer them to en wrap our souls in their own bands, we so much lessen and diminish the power and empire that God has over us.
And thus the humbleness that we might have in obeying the traditions of men would be worse that all of the rebellion of the world, because it is robbing God of his honor, and giving spoil to mortal men.
It is God who set us at liberty.God would have us governed as men of discretion, which have no need for instruction suitable for children. Shall it be then lawful to observe what men have framed in their own wisdom? Do we not see that matter goes directly against God? Seeing God will be served wit Obedience, let us beware and keep ourselves within those bounds which God has set and not suffer men to add any thing to it of their own.
We must be faithful and stand in our liberty. we must follow the rule which is given us in the word of God and not suffer our souls to be brought into slavery by new laws forged by men.
Consider how precious a privilege it is to give thanks to God with quietness of conscience , being assured it is His will and pleasure that we should enjoy his blessings. And that we may do so, let us not entangle ourselves with the superstitions of men, but be content with what is contained in the pure simplicity of the gospel.
Wade, I believe so many believers are babies...listening to men/women and their teachings instead of stepping up before their God and working out their beliefs with fear and trembling. Digging and struggling in the word and prayer doing the hard work.God wants us to THINK. REASON, CONSIDER...to LIVE in the SPIRIT not under the law of men/women and I think this teaching is infecting Christianity because we have advocated our ability to seek the Lord on our own. Folks are free in Christ to live this out having as many children as they want...but not to condemn those who the Lord has lead to do other wise. Jesus' yoke is easy and His burden is light.

joannebethel said...

I'm new to your site, and am finding much to resonate with. Thank you for bringing out the fallacies of the quiverfull movemen. As I was reading your eight points to my husband, he kept waiting to hear about why getting into the quiverfull movement would be living a nightmare (that really caught his attention, from the review that included).

What is the "nightmare" part of this (I can well imagine what would seem like a nightmare, to me, but I would like to hear what has already been said).

Vaughn Ohlman said...

I have written a response to the version of this post that was posted to ethics daily:
http://truelovedoesntwait.com/general-marriage-issues/purposes-of-marriage/the-blessing-of-children/eight-leaps-of-illogic/