Monday, May 16, 2016

The Shame Game vs. Inner Transformation

Preachers sometimes use shame to motivate and manipulate people to give more, serve more, and do more. Christians will often find themselves being worn out over being worn out.

Those who know me understand my message is one of God's grace through Christ Jesus. I attempt to lead people to freedom that comes from knowing the truth that is in Christ. I believe shame is no motivation for the believer of the Good News. The passive obedience of Christ, His death, forever removes our sin. The active obedience of Christ,  His life, forever becomes our righteousness. "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (II Cor. 5:21). The favor of God is forever ours because of His grace to us in His Son.

Christians do what we do in this life because of our joy in knowing Christ. We serve God and others because we are awakened to Christ's sacrificial service for us. We love God and other people because we've been captivated by God's unconditional love for us. We are never motivated to do good because of our shame over sin, but rather, we do good because of the joy that comes from our full and free forgiveness and our radical and real righteousness (e.g. His righteousness) which becomes ours through our faith in Him! (Philippians 3:7-11)
Man of sorrows what a name
for the Son of God, who came
ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
in my place condemned He stood,
sealed my pardon with His blood:
Hallelujah, what a Savior!
He bore my sin and my shame. It's gone.

Personal shame is defined as "a belief that I am defective." The struggle of every believer in Christ is coming to the place of living out on earth what is true of him or her in before God.  In Christ, we are counted perfectly righteous. That's who we are. The intense struggle Christians face in getting rid of personal shame is only enhanced when Christian leaders use language that is designed to convey Christians are defective.  Showers of shame are often more frequent than showers of blessing in evangelical churches.

Again, I'm convinced there's no room for shame after coming to faith in Christ. The Good News changes the dynamics of who I am and what I've done. The testimony of every believer should go something like this:  I realize I was defective, but grace changed my perspective, and now I see God's eternal objective.

God takes me, a shame-filled sinner, and radically transforms me into a grace-filled son. There is no longer any place for regret in my life, nor is there any room for shame in Christ. God is "at work" transforming me into the image of His Son and working all things for my good (see I1 Cor. 3:18 and Romans 8:28)

But there are two verses that seemingly go against this teaching that "shame" (e.g. grief over who I am) and "regret" (e.g. sorrow over what I've done) are gone in Christ. In the Corinthian church there were Christians suing other Christians over "everyday matters" and standing before civil judges who had no relationship with Christ. Paul writes: 
"I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren?" (I Corinthians 6:5)
In I Corinthians 15:34 the Apostle Paul seems to say something similar:
"Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame."
These are the only two verses in the entire New Testament that use this particular Greek word translated "shame. What does Paul mean by these two verses? Are Christians supposed to "feel bad about themselves" and shrink back into a state of self-condemnation and shame because of what we have done?

No, not at all.

The word wrongly translated "shame" in I Corinthians 6:5 and I Corinthians 15:34 is the Greek word entrope, which means “a turning in upon oneself" or literally en - "inner"   trope - "transformation."  Paul is writing for "the inner transformation" of these Corinthian Christians, not their "shame."

A 19th century physicist coined the English word entropy - taken directly from this biblical Greek word - to describe "transformation energy between two states."  Using the better and more literal English translation for the Greek word entrope, let's look again at the two places this word is used in the New Testament:
"I say this for your inner transformation. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren?" (I Corinthians 6:5)
"Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this for your inner transformation." (I Corinthians 15:4).
Why did the King James Translators use the word "shame?" Why do most modern Bible translations follow the same pattern?

I don't know. There are other Greek words used in the New Testament that are properly translated shame, but they are never used to describe how a Christian ought to feel about himself!

For example, one of those Greek words is epaisxynomai. It means embarrassment, disgrace, or "shame."  Paul uses it when he writes to young Timothy:
“Do not be ashamed (Gk. epaisxynomai) about the testimony of the Lord or my chains as a prisoner, but share in the suffering for the gospel by the power of God.” (II Timothy 1:8).
In other words, "don't be embarrassed or in shame about the fact One you call Savior and Lord has a testimony of dying a criminal's death on the cross or that I'm in prison." Paul says the same thing in Romans 1:16. We are not to be "embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated" with the gospel of Jesus Christ, for "it is the power of God unto salvation."

No shame for the gospel. No shame for the believer.

Effective, grace-filled leadership in churches and families will always seek to persuade Christians to "turn within" and see the "transformational power" of Jesus Christ at work within our hearts and lives. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27). "The Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you" (Romans 8:11).

If you start getting flustered with your circumstances, and if you feel compelled to take matters into your own hands to try to control the people and/or circumstances around you, take a deep breath and look within to the "inner transformation" that is happening by the power of God's grace.

God is at work in you. If the King of Kings and Lord of Creation has chosen to take up His residence within you and to transfer the same power that raised Christ from the dead into you (entrope), then you need to simply "turn within and see His power" and re-think what you are doing.  You have the power to love others when their unlovely. You have the power to forgive others when they are unforgiving. You have the power to be at peace when all around you is war. You have the power of Christ in you.

Thinking about who you are by the grace of God, and the transformational energy inside you is enough motivation to be different than the world.


Dr. Steve Davis said...

Thanks for the post. I have spent years deprogramming myself of shame and reprogramming myself to trust in the finished work of Christ to not only justify me and glorify me but to sanctify me as well.

Bob Cleveland said...

I must admit I was one of those shame-siders until you started writing about freedom in Christ. Since I woke up to my freedom, I have noticed that a lot of people seem to be uncomfortable without that walls of shame to bounce off, to know where they are.

Thanks for writing what you do, my friend. You're probably not going to know how much good it has done me, this side of eternity.

Anonymous said...

Would you agree then that a certain mega preacher in Memphis that uses shame in order to get the people to give more money ro his church is preaching heresy? While at Gardendale this same pompass ass preacher put us all under the same shame used in Memphis. Accusing congregants of driving stolen cars,wearing stolen jewelry and you get the idea. We were all a bunch of criminals in Gods sight if we weren't "tithers" to this particular 501c.Just one example of this manipulation used regularly by this guy.

Ramesh said...

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

The above makes perfect sense with the theme of this post. Sadly all the world sees is the burden of shame being preached by Christians for Christians and they want nothing to do with this BS.

Victorious said...

As time goes on and I look back at my life, I am keenly aware of and sincerely regret many of the choices and decisions I made, words I spoke, and actions taken that I wish I could take back. Is this shame or simply the conviction of the Holy Spirit? I try not to dwell on them, but they do surface often and make me sad. Basically, I often vacillate between those feelings and the joy of knowing I am forgiven.

Mary Ann

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post!

When I realized a little over a year ago the church I attended was all shame and blame along the lines anonymous above mentions, plus constantly blaming "the church" for all the sins of the unsaved, I fled.

Now I'm in a place that celebrates God's grace and mercy, even while calling the lost to salvation and the saved to growth. Night and day difference, and I refuse anymore to be part of

trashing His Bride. Simply do not want to answer for that someday. No Way!


Rex Ray said...

Mary Ann,

It’s too bad we cannot do as God does. “I—yes, I ALONE—will blot our your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.” (Isaiah 43:25 NLT)

It’s been said ‘A clear conscious may be the result of a poor memory. That’s one thing I’m getting better at every day…my forgetter. :)

“…forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. (Matthew 6:12 NLT)

Mary Ann, does that mean our sins are forgiven in accordance as we have forgiven Hitler?

Last week a man died and this link had this to say.

Mark Lane (February 24, 1927 – May 10, 2016) was an American attorney and former New York state legislator, civil rights activist, and Vietnam war-crimes investigator. He is best known as a leading researcher, author, and conspiracy theorist[2] on the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy. From his 1966 number-one bestselling critique of the Warren Commission, Rush to Judgment,[3] to Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK, published in 2011, Lane wrote at least four major works on the JFK assassination and no fewer than ten books overall.;_ylc=X3oDMTFiaHBhMnJmBF9TAzIwMjM1MzgwNzUEaXRjAzEEc2VjA3NyY2hfcWEEc2xrA3NyY2hhc3Q-?p=james+t.+tague&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

James T. Tague was my friend that was wounded when JFK was killed. He wrote the book, “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing” published October 2013. Sixteen people attended his funeral four months later.

I still want to change the Dallas, Tx. "LBJ Freeway" to JFK.

Anonymous said...

To Linda. My post is probably just the tip of the iceberg as far as the level of spiritual abuse present in the church. In my younger days I put up with that pompass ass preacher and his abuse but as an older fellow I would not listen to this type of so called preaching for one minute. Show these guys the door folks and let them live in the real world like the rest of us. They are no better than the rest of us.

Paul Burleson said...


I've heard you speak over the years and I've read what you've written over the years. Both have ALWAYS been helpful insightful, and understandable. BUT THIS, this may very well be, while being simple, sound and scriptural as usual, as desperately needed as any subject about which you've spoken or written. This doesn't speak to it's comparison of IMPORTANCE with other truths as much as to it being needed for bringing mercy and healing to people who are hurting. So, I wanted to say,"Son, that's plumb good."

Wade Burleson said...

Dad - thanks! :)

Rex, really sad that only "16" people showed up at James' funeral. I read the book you sent me (Thank You!) - it was an eye-opener! I love history, and James' book was well-written, well-documented and startling.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous above who isn't Linda:

We were in church search mode and about to join that church when the pastor left suddenly and they called this new one. Seemed good for a couple of weeks, then went into the shame and blame mode.

The idea of teaching from the pulpit that if you receive housing aid, Medicaid, food stamps, etc, you are a thief if you don't find a way to find the cash to pay the church 10% of those benefits seemed ridiculous to us. We watched elderly widows do without trying to meet those expectations, when the church should have been helping them instead of receiving from them.

We live in a town that sadly has chosen to make vice its' industry. Many of us have fought that long and hard. So to start blaming us for every addict, every act of promiscuity, every act of abuse anyone does to anyone else made no sense. When it reached the point that "if your neighbor is a crack addict the blame lies squarely at your feet. Obviously you haven't loved your neighbor as yourself" we beat feet.

Jesus has freed me from carrying around the guilt of my own sins, has graciously begun the process of freeing me from them, and invites me to sweet fellowship with Him daily. I refuse to bear the burden of guilt and blame for the choices others make.

I can, will, and do try to fight systemic evil through the various systems in place--church, school, govt, etc. I can and do try to reach, love, minister to, and take the gospel to others including those caught in addictions and sin.

But I will not be tied up in knots of guilt by some petty puritan tyrant.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Can't get em down the aisle without putting the old guilt trip on em first.Ever go to a revival and notice the people getting re saved?Somehow I just don't think this is the way it was meant to be originally. We all live with our own sins and demons.The modern day concept of the invitation at the end of the service is interesting to study.I think it is a man made concept probably only a hundred years or so old.Clearly the New Testament states if we confess our sins He will forgive us. Nothing about going forward in a church service. I merely need to confess my sin to Christ and seek forgiveness and he will forgive. I can quite simply do that sitting right here in my chair at home.Yea I know repentance is also included in the plan. Knowing we are forgiven is really a difficult concept for some of us to accept and listening to some so called professional preacher give us the guilt trip makes it impossible for some of us to accept.

Bob Cleveland said...

There's also the thought that many preachers had said for years, that we can "win the world", and stuff like the reason for the prevalence of lostness world is that the church has done a lousy job at this or that. Well, my answer is that blaming Christians for lostness is like blaming well people for sickness.

It just doesn't wash, from the standpoint of common sense in the world, and certainly not from the standpoint of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Good comments and let's face it.We are never going to win the world or "take back this country" for God. Reminds me of Franklin Graham's current city by city prayer rallies currently on tour. Forgive me folks but I see this as nothing but a opportunity for Graham to make a few extra bucks and add a few more names to his mailing list. Hope I am wrong and ask for forgiveness if I am but that is just the way I see this. Graham also seems never to pass up an opportunity to appear with the pink haired lady on TBN. I think sister Ann also has a new book out that coincides with our discussion here.

Ramesh said...

You have the power to love others when their unlovely. You have the power to forgive others when they are unforgiving. You have the power to be at peace when all around you is war. You have the power of Christ in you.

The above to me at least, is more potent this way when directed at one self:

You have the power to love yourself when you are unlovely. You have the power to forgive yourself when you are unforgiving. You have the power to be at peace when all around inside you is war. You have the power of Christ in you.

All via Christ.

Seems illogical and contradictory but not so. Mind is not a coherent entity. It can hold all the hells and heavens one's self conjures. The way of coherence and peace is via Christ.

Ramesh said...

Today is Bertrand Russell's birthday. I like him and enjoy reading his works even when critical of religion. I was pleasantly surprised to read this after reading Wade's above post. Makes lot of difference while elucidating why Bertrand Russell was right and off the mark in his essay.

Via Bob Felton : Bertrand Russell, b. 1872-May-18 ... Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?

A long read. Will probably be painful to some. With INNER TRANSFORMATION it becomes different!

Ramesh said...

I wanted to add that with new covenant perspective one is not under pressure or perturbed as by the above essay. It's OK to have different views. And still appreciate majority of the essay and other works of Bertrand Russell. More of an objective reading.

Wade Burleson said...


"With the new covenant perspective one is not under pressure or perturbed by the above essay. It's okay to have different views."


Borrowing that from you Ramesh. Excelent.

Rex Ray said...


I’ve said “thanks” to you many times, but this THANKS tops them all for what you said about James Teague’s book: “LBJ and the Kennedy Killing”.

I took James to a bait shop near Lake Texoma to talk to a person who claimed he knew who killed Officer Tippit since the bullets did not match Oswald’s gun. We didn’t talk to him because he had died.

Teague died before a movie and a video tells of James Files, a hit man for the Mafia, explained why Tippit was shot. Another Mafia person’s job was to kill Oswald, but he matched the description of Oswald and Tippit tried to arrest him. He told Files, “I had to waste a cop.”

Files also confessed of shooting JFK from the front while behind the wooden fence after JFK was shot in the back and a split second after a bullet from the “sniper’s window” knocked his head forward. Files bit the bullet casing and left it as his usual ‘calling card’. It was found many years later.;_ylc=X3oDMTFiaHBhMnJmBF9TAzIwMjM1MzgwNzUEaXRjAzEEc2VjA3NyY2hfcWEEc2xrA3NyY2hhc3Q-?p=i+shot+jfk+on+newsmax&fr=yfp-t-s&fp=1&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

Dota said...


I truly feel sorry for any man that follows your 'preaching'. Why even bother with Christianity? Why not become a full time practicing feminist instead?

Rex Ray said...


I first wrote: “Spoken like a true male chauvinist”, but now I’m quoting you saying:

"Indian society does a fantastic job constraining female hyper-gamy and Afghanistan would never tolerate blue haired feminists running amok and defecating over their culture and religion. My Dad is currently visiting and requested that I join him for Friday prayers at the local mosque. As a non practicing Muslim, I hadn’t visited the mosque in years and generally keep my distance from wahabis (for their safety not mine). However, this visit proved to be rather illuminating. The khutbah (sermon) was centered around the usual emphasis on ritual piety (especially since Ramadan is around the corner) but concluded with a warning that Muslims must insulate themselves from the damaging effects of society around them.”

Dota, maybe society needs to insulate themselves from…

Dota said...

...lunatics like you.

Western civilization is rotting from within and it's thanks to people like you and this pastor that you idolize. When I compare people like you to some of the local Anabaptists I can't believe you share the same religion. They are strong, patriarchal, and willing to stand up for their faith. They might be pacifists but they have more spine than you I'll wager. Their wives are feminine and respectful, their kids are well behaved and raised in scripture.

If western civilization has a future it's with people like them. You and your ilk will be swept away and cast into the dustbin of history where you so rightfully belong.

Wade Burleson said...


Not that it's a big deal, but my wife is the most feminine and respectful woman you'd probably ever meet. Further, my four grown children were - and still are - polite, well-behaved, and God-honoring adults. I raised them according to Scripture. Granted, I interpret the Scriptures in light of the love of God in Christ, and the inauguration of a new agreement through the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, but nevertheless, Scripture is my guide.

I don't believe anecdotal evidence is the determining factor of whether or not someone "believes" the gospel. We believe the love and grace of God in Christ Jesus is our only hope, and that we are to love others as He has loved us.

That being said, I recognize that you are patriarchal, believe my belief in the equality of women is lunacy, and consider yourself the bearer of truth for the survival of western civilization.

I believe you'd find we'd share a cup of coffee, find commonality in many things, and you'd find yourself warmly received - even though I disagree with your views. "By this will all know you are my disciples, if you have love one for another" (John 13:35).



Anonymous said...

Pastor Wade,

I hope you will continue visiting at Dalrock's post "Fitting", where you commented a couple of days ago. The commenters there are incisive and erudite and have lived what they write when it comes to their main sticking point with your writing, namely, the nature of women, both according to Scripture and in reality. While you take your experience as normative, yet for men who are not pastors naturally admired by virtue of their status, equality is the fast-track to relational disaster. If you would help men, you would step back and look at the wider evidence more objectively, and Dalrock's blog provides much evidence. I comment there occasionally, under a royally spectral nom de guerre, the option for which I don't have here, so I post as Anonymous.

I observe that your degree is in business. I wonder, did you start in engineering? I don’t know a lot of people who started off their undergraduate career in business except as a sort of default, the choice-that’s-not-a-choice. And in engineering school we sometimes called engineering “pre-business”, as business seemed the most common fallback position for those who decided engineering was not their cup o’ tea. It is to take nothing away from anyone’s accomplishments to observe that a business degree is not a course of study renowned for rigorous or logical thinking. It is, rather, a renowned escape hatch from those things.

And such a background would seem to be betrayed in a certain lack of care regarding spelling, grammar or usage, and especially analysis that is rapidly evident from your comments on Dalrock’s and from your own blog writing. Some rigor and careful study would go a long way toward eliminating questions about whether your background is conducive to teaching Scripture to others. I have seen non-degreed individuals with more common sense and logic than are conveyed by some of your statements.


From this post: “You have the power to love others when their unlovely.” Third-grade grammar error.

From this post: your study on the word “entrope”, where “shame” becomes “transformation”. This is novelty in pursuit of a foregone conclusion, designed for good feelings at the expense of truth. You should tell Thayer that he left a definition out of his lexicon. You’ll find him rolling in his grave, I guess in Boston somewhere.

From Dalrock’s: taking Feminist Hater’s “Go away” as being from Dalrock. Failure to do simple reading and to exercise basic situational awareness.

From Dalrock’s: you use “e.g.” when you mean “i.e.” Either ignorance or carelessness.

From Dalrock’s: you conclude that his “definition of feminist is one who rejects God." What he actually wrote was, "the feminist fish/bicycle slogan...has its roots in a rejection of God." One characteristic of one utterance by one adherent doesn’t constitute a definition. Careless.

On Dalrock’s: you comment that, "Either my interpretation of the equality of all men and women (husbands and wives) in Christ is New Testament, OR your interpretation that the man is the head (e.g. authority) over the woman is New Testament."

Both the equality of men and women in Christ AND husband as head of wife are explicitly affirmed in the New Testament. You are a teacher in the assembly, yet you do not know these things?

In addition, your concepts of "equality" differ from one side of your OR to the other. Equivocation is a term I wouldn’t expect you to know but that I would expect you to look up and study, until you understand how you are equivocating in that comment. There’s also confusion between “men” and “husbands” and between “women” and “wives”. Suffice to say, is slippery stuff.

You have potential. Keep studying, to show thyself approved, and to rightly divide the Word.

Christiane said...

" ... come
And re-create me. . . . .
that new-fashioned,
I may rise up from death
before I'm dead. "

(John Donne,
from his work 'The Litany')

Dota said...

Pastor Wade

There is a difference between your (Marxist) definition of "equality" and the definition of equality as commonly understood in traditional western culture. The traditional definition of equality as articulated by Edmund Burke (the father of classical conservatism) is that humans are equal in worth before God but not in ability.

The Marxist definition of equality is that humans are interchangeable cogs because equality equates to sameness. Men and women may be equal in the eyes of God insofar as their worth as human beings, but they have different roles to perform here on Earth.

You claim you are guided by scripture yet you openly rebel against the patriarchal practices prescribed by the Old and New Testaments.

"No one can serve two masters..." (Matthew 6:24) You either server Cultural Marxism (Liberalism, "equality", feminism, ect) or you serve the word of God. That you and others like you try so hard to make Christianity fit the Marxist 'egalitarian' paradigm indicates to me that you are ashamed of traditional Christianity. Jesus anticipated people like you 2000 years ago:

"For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory" (Luke 9:26)

I believe you'd find we'd share a cup of coffee, find commonality in many things,

We are both humans equal in worth before God. The commonality ends there.

Christiane said...


just a thought about what you wrote, this: "We are both humans equal in worth before God. The commonality ends there."

I believe that our human commonality BEGINS with our human equality before God, and IN Christ since the event of the Incarnation. My Church teaches that the dignity of the human person is rooted in their creation in the image and likeness of God . . . the divine image is present in every man.
It is in Christ, "the image of the invisible God,"3 that man has been created "in the image and likeness" of the Creator. It is in Christ, Redeemer and Savior, that the divine image, disfigured in man by the first sin, has been restored to its original beauty and ennobled by the grace of God.

When my Down Syndrome child who can walk selects a toy from a shelf and gently lays it into the hands of a stretcher-bound resident of his group home, I see the beauty of the dignity of God's image in my son. Abilities? If given differently to us, they are for our use in service to one another, as modeled by Our Lord Himself who freely gave of Himself that we should be redeemed.

Submission? Dominance? Authority? . . . or maybe our leaders should be servants of the servants of God? Look to Christ for your answers. They are found there, not elsewhere.

Wade Burleson said...


Thank you for your erudite comment. In regard to my grammar errors, they are more typographical than grammatical. "They're unlovely" is often autocorrected to "their unlovely." It's not ignorant grammar as much as swift and incomplete typing. Nevertheless, I receive your criticism and would gently rebut your assumption my theology would change with greater formal education, and remain steadfast that my theology is New Testament and biblically sound. Thanks for commenting.

Dota said...

or maybe our leaders should be servants of the servants of God?

Where do you get this stuff? Christ washing the feet of his disciples does not equate to a Carte blanche to disobey your husband! It's downright insidious to use that example to incite rebellion, infact, it's downright shameless! You seem to be so averse to authority that you are cloaking your feminist rebellion in a biblical veneer.

Perhaps you need to put down the feminine mystique and turn to scripture. Ask yourself why submitting to your husband makes you so uncomfortable. Quell your rebellious spirit if you can.

Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.

That verse isn't going away, try as you might to pretend it doesn't exist, or rationalize its true meaning into oblivion.

I say again, it's ok if you choose the religion of feminism over Christianity, lots of women do because ultimately women will always choose self interest over ideals. All I ask is that you be honest with yourself and stop pretending that Christianity and feminism are interchangeable.

Christiane said...


If you want to know where I get 'this stuff', ie 'servum servorus Dei', the idea comes from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Matthew, chapter 20, verses 25 to 27:

"25. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
27. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant."

As for the term 'servant of the servants of God', as a title, currently in my Church it belongs to Pope Francis who does get down on his knees and washes the feet of people . . . all kinds of people, prisoners, women, Muslims, it doesn't matter to him . . . I suspect he can quote from St. Matthew's words, if he were asked 'why'?

I hope to live always in the friendship of Our Lord. Rather than 'obey' my husband, who has now grown frail with illness, I find I want to protect him and care for him as I know he would do the same for me if our situations were reversed. I think that is called 'love' in most marriages that are Christian. Sacramental marital 'love' is a Christian commitment so far above 'submission' to authority, that I hesitate to use the two terms in the same sentence.

You and I see things differently. My view of sacred Scripture is seen through the lens of Our Lord.

Dota said...

None of the scripture you've quoted justifies feminist disobedience. Jesus was referring to the relations that Christians must have with each other and the outside world. This has nothing to do with wives disobeying husbands. You are injecting your own ideology and an interpretation based on that ideology. You seem to think that love abrogates submission. Jesus never pronounced any such injunction. When Jesus issued an abrogation, he was pretty clear about it (It has been said to you...but I say to you...)

Perhaps a Jesus imagined by a feminist would say: "It has been said to you that your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you, but I say to you disobey your husbands, deny him sex, and threaten to divorce rape him until you get your way!"

Jokes aside, I don't see why the word 'obey' is such a dirty word unless you view scripture from the lens of feminism instead of the Lord. Dalrock is right, it's absurd that people like you think Christians had it wrong for 2000 years until Betty Friedan and her gang of fruitcakes 'enlightened' society in the 60s

Rex Ray said...

Christiane, Christiane,

I don’t understand why you and Wade keep treating Dota like he is a fellow Christian when by clicking on his name you can read:

“I am Indian by ethnicity, a Muslim by religion…As a non practicing Muslim; I hadn’t visited the mosque in years…”

He sounds like a very educated Muslim that would know: “The Quran contains at least 109 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Some are quite graphic, with commands to chop off heads and fingers and kill infidels.”

All Dota is trying to do is show how wrong Christians are. In his confused mind he is using our treatment of women as an example.

You and Wade are practicing (Proverbs 15:1): “A soft answer turns away wrath.”, but I believe (Mathew 7:6) is more appropriate: “Don’t waste what is holy on people who are unholy.”

This came from a person Dota called a lunatic; imagine what a smart person could say.

Rex Ray said...

Paul Burleson nails it in his latest post with “Proverbs 16:28, “A perverse man stirs up dissension.”

Example: STOP PULLING THE CAT’S TAIL.” “I’m not pulling, momma, I’m just holding on.”

I still think Jesus said it best (rest of Mathew 7:6 NLT) “Don’t throw your pearls to pigs! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.”

Dota said...


I suspected you were a dimwit earlier on and now you've irrevocably proven it. Your attempt at misdirection by rousing populist resentment against my religious background is clumsy, and ultimately damaging to your own credibility.

Since you were quoting my "About us" page, you missed this part:

We categorically reject the anti-foundationalist ontology that serves as the base for most modern left wing perspectives in favour of a strong European and Christian identity for the west.

Turns out you're illiterate too.

Anonymous said...


“I’ve been happily married for 33-year years to a wonderful Christian woman who is my equal in every way.”

If I may I would like to ask you another question regarding equality. Do you believe that because Christian men and women are of equal worth to Christ means that He made them equal in function?


Christiane said...

this newcomer reminds one of Joe B. of old, I think . . . a 'reincarnation' perhaps?

mud-slinging, name-calling, and innuendo are not usually the marks of an educated Muslim person, so I suspect that 'website' was set up to slam more than one faith, yes . . . and more than one race also

don't worry about 'insults', REX . . . they reflect on the source(s) in this case and have no effect on people who are knowledgeable about the ways of bullies and hate-mongers

I think Wade has allowed people to express themselves here, within reason, and he can take care of his blog with wisdom and with good judgement. Be peaceful, REX. No worries, here. BTW, I LOVE your stories. They are the best!

Dota said...

don't worry about 'insults', REX . . . they reflect on the source(s)

Nobody was a bigger flamer than Christ himself ('Hypocrites!', 'Brood of vipers', 'serpents!' 'fools!' ect)

Jesus reminds me of me. He had little tolerance for charlatans and neither do I. He never put on kid gloves when dealing with said charlatans and neither do I. He always had an insult at the ready and so do I. If I live to witness the second coming, I'd love to have a beer with the son of man. I think we'd get along swimmingly.

Ramesh said...

Going back to the theme of this post, I wanted to add that THIS inner transformation always takes place at the unconscious rather than of conscious level of the mind. And whatever ones views on god, rest, shame, acceptance, forgiveness and theology in general works outside the bounds of logic and rationality and the decisions we make in life always bubble up from the unconscious to conscious and from then we fit logic, reason and rationalize our decisions.

The end result is we exhibit these results or fruits in our thinking and actions. And it impacts us and everyone around us.

The Interesting Part Is What Is Not Conscious: An Interview with Noam Chomsky (PDF)

I was wondering about a point we talked about in Cologne, because externalization prevents you from expressing certain thoughts, and as long as you talk to yourself internally, you are still using the externalized language, and that would mean that in that context it would be the same.29 What about unconscious thoughts? Would that remove the barriers to these thoughts?

Well, when we do what we call ‘talking to ourselves’—this is not investigated, but it could be investigated and it should be, but if you just introspect about it carefully, when you think you’re talking to yourself, what’s actually happening is [that] fragments are passing through your consciousness, not sentences.


What’s hitting consciousness is bits and pieces, and then you can formulate an expression, using them, and that’s talking to yourself, but the real thinking is beyond the level of consciousness. It’s something that’s going on in there using this whole system; occasionally, bits and pieces of it hit the level of consciousness, and that’s what people study, what’s conscious, but the interesting part is what’s not conscious. In fact, there’s other information—there are other studies now showing something similar. For example, it’s been demonstrated that if you carry out an action, you know, willed action, a tiny time before the action is—you think you’re deciding to do it, there is already neural activity in the motor areas, which means that the actual decision is unconscious.

Yes, we talked about it in Cologne, and the absurd fact that people used that as an argument against free will.30

Free will, well, no, it’s not—

It makes no sense.

It makes no sense, and it’s kind of interesting [that] in the history of thought, the concept of unconsciousness has barely entered. I mean, even in Freud, he talks about the unconscious, but you can bring it to consciousness—

Wade Burleson said...

"If I may I would like to ask you another question regarding equality. Do you believe that because Christian men and women are of equal worth to Christ means that He made them equal in function?"

Of course not, Linx. God doesn't even make all MEN equal in function PHYSICALLY! Some men are stronger than others. Some men can function at various jobs better than others. It should go without saying that women are not equal with men in physical function (e.g. "women give birth, men don't...," "women aren't typically as strong and athletic as men..," etc...).

When I speak of "equality," I am referring to "the equality of personhood in terms of significance, worth, value and honor." In the New Covenant that Christ inaugurated, worth is found "in Him" and not due to race, gender, or socioeconomic status (Galatians 3:28).

In other words, in the church and the family, a differentiation comes from gifts, not gender; calling, not class; abilities, not authority - for we are all "co-heirs with Christ" and thus are all "priests unto God" in a world without knowledge of Christ.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for replying.

“I’ve been happily - married - for 33-year years to a wonderful Christian woman who is my equal in every way.”

My question regarding function was not with regard to physical attributes nor with regard to socio/economic standing. The function I was referring to was within a marriage.


Rex Ray said...


Nice of you to care. I’m not worried about Dota’s insults. In fact, I’m wondering what revelation he’s learned from me that he’s upgraded my status from “lunatic” to “nitwit”. Maybe this reply will graduate me to ignorant.

Right now I’m trying to refute his claim that I’m “illiterate” because I didn’t understand his writing of:

“We categorically reject the anti-foundationalist ontology that serves as the base for most modern left wing perspectivesin favour of a strong European and Christian identity for the west.”


In the first place I never read it because I grew tired of reading garbage.

There's a space missing between “perspectives” and “in”. The word “favour” was changed in America to “favor” around 1840.

In general, I’d say it’s a lot of big words that don’t mean anything.

You said, “I'd love to have a beer with the son of man.”

Unless you accept him as your Lord, you’ll be asking God for Lazarus to give you a drop of water.

Ramesh said...

Continuing from my last comment, my thinking is SIMPLE or words/ideas that are luminous, coherent and alive penetrate deep, deep into unconscious and leavens the entire psyche and bubbles up as new shoots in spring. We believe Christ lives in us. THIS is what lives and animates us. So whatever your interpretations are of the Bible, they impact yours and other lives through you. I am not so much concerned about next life or after life. Whatever has to happen will happen. But in this life these words matter. And to the world around you.

Just some thoughts. :-)

Ramesh said...

There is lot of evidence of mind working on its own unconsciously solving problems, creating understanding of text read or being pondered when conscious and also in a negative way of gloom, brooding and so on. Or maybe these are from the surface areas of the mind that are active when conscious that are also plugging along when unconscious. These might be different from the deep unconscious.

I am trying to make sense of what science or logic points to when we say Christ lives in us and the Spirit within us guides us and so on.

In all this shame vs inner transformation matters in how we are being made alive in a bad or good way.

My 2c.

Dota said...

In general, I’d say it’s a lot of big words that don’t mean anything.

Not to someone with a third grade education.

I’m not worried about Dota’s insults

I'm going to stop insulting you since there is no point, mother nature beat me to it.

Rex Ray said...


You’re going to stop insulting?? Awe, come-on! That’ll take the fun out! That was my badge of honor.

My “third grade education” happens to be six years of college and I was the tool designer on the Space Shuttle nose cone.

At 84, I’ve probably forgotten more than you’ll ever understand; starting with being saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus as my Savior when I was ten.

I think that “drop of water” got to you.

Dota said...

Well done rex, would you like a cookie?

Rex Ray said...

I like cookies but I got on the 'sugar wagon'almost 40 years ago. Oh, not "six years of college" only 5 1/2...felt like ten. My worst experience was chewing a professor out and slamming the door as I left; only to find myself in a very dark closet.

Wade Burleson said...


If it is not physical function (e.g. physical attributes, genitalia, child-bearing, etc...) then I'm not sure I comprehend what you mean by "The function I was referring to was within a marriage."

I know men who stay at home and take care of the kids while the wife works; I know women who are excellent stay at home parents while dad works; I know men who balance the checkbook at home; I know women who balance the checkbook at home; I know women who are excellent bed-time story tellers to the kids; I know men who are excellent bed-time story tellers to the kids. Exactly "what function in the marriage" should be different in your mind?

Anonymous said...

"Exactly "what function in the marriage" should be different in your mind?"

Ephesians 5:22,23 says. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body”

Does a marriage have two heads?


Wade Burleson said...


My best response to your question "does a marriage have two heads" is here:

In short - the marriage has only ONE head - Jesus Christ.

Christiane said...

Christiane said...

I thought you needed encouragement.
Do you remember a while back, we had a commenter here that signed on as a "."

Yes, a 'dot'. It was likely a person named 'Paula' who liked to exercise her put-downs, name-calling, and otherwise total negativity. Maybe 'dot a' is a rebirth of that commenter. I have no clue. But the 'method of operation' is much the same and we could speculate all day.

Best to leave the person to their misery and avoid inter-acting with this poor soul. People have 'needs' and sometimes those needs are to be negative towards others to build up their own self-esteem, which is a sign of emotional sickness and bullying, more indicative of a need for our prayers than our condemnation. I would NOT 'encourage' the negativity in this person by responding to it. I can pray for this person to find peace as I am sure that is the right course in this case.

I will take your original advice, and no longer interact directly with this individual on Wade's blog. Wade would probably prefer that also, although I cannot speak for him. People like Joe and 'dot' need prayer. We can help them best that way, yes.

Anonymous said...

"In short - the marriage has only ONE head - Jesus Christ."
“I’ve been happily married for 33-year years to a wonderful Christian woman who is my – equal - in every way.”

"The first time that the word equal is used in the Bible is in Job 28:17. The word is used 21 times in the Bible.

The only time that the word equal is used in talking about men and women being equal, is not in comparison to each other, but in comparison to the angels, after man and woman are resurrected. Luke 20:34-36 says, "And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are EQUAL UNTO THE ANGELS; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.This is an important point in the Scripture, and we are told why in II Corinthians 10:12, "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and COMPARING THEMSELVES AMONG THEMSELVES, ARE NOT WISE."

It is foolish to compare ourselves with anyone else upon earth. Whether we are comparing ourselves to another man and how well he has done in his occupation; or whether a woman is comparing herself to another woman and her children; or whether a man and woman are comparing themselves to each other — all such comparisons are foolish. Such comparisons either fill us with pride (if we think that we have done better than the person to which we are comparing ourselves), or such comparisons depress us (if we think that we have miserably failed in comparison with the person in mind)."

So does being equal with your wife fill you with pride?


Rex Ray said...


I hear your good advice. Paul Burleson was telling me the other day if you’re wrestling with a pig in his mud pen, you’re bound to get dirty. I told him if I was doing that, I’d want to be on top. :)

Christiane said...

Paul Burleson is a VERY wise man.

BTW, I didn't know you mud-wrestled. :)

Curious Thinker said...

I loved what you wrote about shaming people to give and serve more in Christ as it is so true. I have read comments from others about how their pastors have shamed, guilt-gripped or scared them into forgiving, repenting etc telling them that they won't go to heaven or God won't love them if they don't. Now on my second book by Pastor Joseph Prince, I'm learning quite a lot about the difference between law and grace. From what I gather no person should give themselves to Christ or forgive repent out of fear and shame that they will be rejected by the Lord bu they should do it because of their faith and desire to give themselves to Christ. To honor and be a glory to Him. It has to come from the heart not fear, shame or guilt. I don't know how this topic became a debate about the equality of the sexes but I do agree with argument you made on that area. God Bless.

Rex Ray said...


Hey! Did you not see me and Dota in the mud? :)

Ramesh said...

We are all in various stages of disfigurement. Coming to Christ creates a process of undoing the disfigurement. Shame game instead of undoing, exacerbates the disfigurement. Inner transformation helps in undoing the disfigurement.

So when we are in heaven in various stages of disfigurement either decreasing or increasing, how would the people who cause the shame game be received in heaven? In shame they will be.

Anonymous said...

Wade, Do you not believe there is anything over which Christians should be ashamed? 1 Cor 5 seems to indicate that the church at Corinth (believers) should be ashamed for tolerating the sin of sexual immorality. In fact, that is a common theme today, that churches and Christians are not ashamed to tolerate sexual sin and abuse. Eph 5 speaks of the shame of speaking of the works of darkness.

I think that doing a word search is not a good way to study shame. There is legitimate shame and illegitimate shame. It is usually called guilt. There is real guilt and false guilt. We need to distinguish. But it seems to me that the attempt to remove shame is unbiblical in that God says we should be ashamed of certain things and unhelpful in that shame is one of the ways that God transforms us.

When people feel bad about themselves, we should explore that with them. They might feel bad about themselves for good reason--they have done bad things. And we should turn them to the cross to deal with that shame through forgiveness of Christ and then turn them to others to deal with shame through asking forgiveness and making restitution where possible.

Florence in KY said...

Wade, it has been a joy to read your columns for several years and to note how you have "grown in God's grace." A lesson for us all. At age 92 I still want to grow in my walk with him until till "He fits me for heaven to live with him there."

Christiane said...

there is a huge difference between trying to shame others, and the transforming process of looking upon Him Whom we have slain with our sins and being heart-broken with grief . . . the former is pure Pharisee,
but the latter is the realization that our sins were the nails that held Christ to the Cross, and we are convicted and ‘mortified’ of what we have done, He has drawn the misery of our sin upon Himself out of His infinite mercy, and we are in great grief for having pained Him . . . which in sacred Scripture is compared to the searing grief a parent feels for the loss of a first-born son, a grief that pierces the heart and opens us to the grace of the Holy Spirit’s working in us.

we have a word in my Church: misericordia, a word that expresses the transforming repentance of looking upon Him Whom we have slain, and mourning Him with a broken heart opened to His merciful grace