Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women?

Posted by Hannah at 6:00 AM

pastor versus feminist
Pastor Versus Feminist
Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.

This one small sentence sure does pack a punch doesn’t it?

Do I buy that 100%?  No.  I do think at times patriarchy can be a contributing factor to abuse towards… WELL anyone!

I have family, and I have known families that tend to live by the ‘father rule’.  If the sentence, ‘patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women’ you would see it in every instance of patriarchy.

You don’t find that to be the case, because not all people view patriarchy as authority and power based.

I’m talking a heart and attitude issue here more than anything.  My uncle for example would NEVER use the trump card, ‘I have the last word’ type of thing.  He respected and loved his wife to much to even condone such a stand.  

I realize some people would think their decision making within their household would come to standstill.  Guess what? It didn’t.  Matter of fact I’m sure he would scratch his head, and wonder why that even needs to be factor.

When you have an abusive person I do believe there are many issues at work.  I don’t believe when we get up close and personal that everyone has the same backgrounds and issues involved.  I have mentioned so many times that people are custom, and I do believe when it comes to abusive people?  Its no different.

‘Never the twain shall meet’

Have you ever heard that term before? Its Defined as: something that you say when two things or people are so different that they can never exist together or agree with each other.

A great example of this would be feminists, and complementarians.  Can you imagine?

One group telling the other they are responsible for the fall of society and are man haters.  

Then you have the other side the coined the phrase: Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.

I mean WHEN have you ever seen them ‘admit’ they agree on anything?!  The extremists in both camps would rather be put to death it seems like.

I guess I seem to get more angry at the complementarians, because of their bull headedness towards being right.  I’m not saying the feminist’s don’t do that, but complementarians should know better.   

Whether or not they like the feminists they are to be Christ like towards them, and they have just as much fun throwing out myths and downright lies about the group overall.

Both groups I have seen use scare tactics, and it personally seems to me Christians are called to be above that.  

Since complementarians love the word ‘worldly’?  Their behavior shows they are projecting it, and please don’t use the excuse ‘we are all sinners’ okay?  Its been going on long enough they should have grasped a clue a while ago and stopped.

There are VOLUMES written on authority and submission – biblical roles for the genders, etc.  When it comes to family violence, or domestic violence very little is mentioned at all.  Have I seen even a small approach to address this?  Yes. 

What is sad is then you see video’s like John Piper and Wife submission, and you sit there wondering if they actually believe what they say.  Why?  It tends to go against the ‘stand on abuse’ that they wrote prior.

Things everyone has to admit

If we look at history, and the treatment of women from the past to the present?  No one can deny the abuse that has gone on, and is still present even today.  The children suffered as well, because they were at the bottom of the totem pole.  I honestly don’t understand why people get defensive about that fact.

We have removed laws that made beating of wives legal, and we have even had past church leaders such as Augustine blame the women if they were being beat.  The extremes of the past?  We all know there were abuses.  

Extreme form today?  Look at the middle east.  The misogynist attitude has always been around, and its amazing that people wish to deny it.

In the Christian context?  How often do we hear if women would do their part properly:  Submission, modesty, roles, etc. they wouldn’t get raped, abused and mistreated.

Too often you hear pastors, and female mouth pieces telling women they are to take it with humility.  On the other hand, excuses about how people can only take it so long before they lash out with justification.

Steven Tracy, author of Mending the Soul reminds us that:
So for many abusive men, in order to maintain their fragile sense of masculinity, they use physical force to keep their wives in their “proper place” and to squelch all threats to their limited male potency. This dynamic of insecure, powerless men using force to control their wives helps to explain why assault and homicide rates are highest when a woman separates or threatens to separate from an abusive husband or boyfriend. In other words, abusive men must be in control, and threats to their control of the relationship must be dealt with by force if necessary. Physical abusers also tend to employ many other forms of control (verbal threats, control of the finances, control of her relationships, etc.) to dominate and subjugate their

The fragile sense of self isn’t just based in gender, because women can be dangerous as well when they feel powerless.

No More Justifications

You often read about how its selfish to proclaim your ‘rights’, etc.  I firmly believe that is a diversion, because everyone needs a healthy sense of self.  Normally, those that are quick to call you selfish are also quick to remind you of others ‘God Ordained’ role, position, etc.  It’s a spiritual pixie dust way of proclaiming their ‘rights’.

There is no doubt in my mind that faith in Jesus Christ has moved men and women to be more kind, compassionate, grace filled, and in short transformed their lifes!  My uncle I mentioned above was a missionary, and it was clear how Jesus was a primary role in how he lived and treated others.

What seems to be lost on the complementarians is that certain men will use their teachings as justification of power and enforcement.  I have seen too many use the excuse that God will transform them, and all will be well with the world!  Sadly, after that they encourage their family members to act in ways that would enable the sinful behavior. 

I was truly taken back when Shirley Taylor quoted Dorothy Patterson:
Dr. Dorothy Patterson said “Whenever my husband tells me to do something, and even though I know it is wrong, I just have to do it, and he stands accountable before God.” (used by permission Christianity Today 1998)

It seems to me that complementarians have a real problem noting the limits of what they see as men’s authority, and headship.  Jesus noted:

Matthew 20:25-28 ISV  But Jesus called the disciples and said, "You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them and their superiors act like tyrants over them.  (26)  That's not the way it should be among you. Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant,  (27)  and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave.  (28)  That's the way it is with the Son of Man. He did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people."

The above scripture doesn’t say that no one can have authority, but it does place limits or boundaries upon the role – even a biblical role.

How often do we hear that truly abusive circumstances are few and far between?  Phyllis Schlafly decided since she has never dealt with domestic violence, or know someone involved with domestic violence?  If you run into a friend like that – get new FRIENDS!

John Piper attempted to deal with submission and domestic violence, and his example of it?  Group sex. 
Now how to apply realistic forms of domestic violence in the church when well known pastors aren’t even comfortable talking about it?  Seriously. How.

Learn to deal properly with the least of these

It is much more realistic that a wife will face the dilemma of how to respond to a husband’s verbal abuse, harsh punishment of the children, or demeaning treatment.  Its all well and good to say you should NOT submit to sin, but at what point does biblical submission allow a wife to go against her husband’s decisions?

John Piper encourages you to come to the church for help, but his ‘example’ using group sex to show how he understands domestic violence in the church?  It shows he doesn’t, and people will be afraid to come to the church.

Bruce Ware got into a lot of hot water with his comment:
and their husbands on their part, because they are sinners, now respond to that threat to their authority either by being abusive, which is, of course, one of the ways men can respond when their authority is challenged,
Now if you look at the above quote?  Does it show the boundaries of authority, headship, or his biblical role?  No.  It puts men in a box as well.  Bruce Ware decided that if you don’t treat men in the fashion he sees as biblical he will either get abusive or act feminine (laid back).

Keep in mind some complementarians are softer in their beliefs.  There are men that truly understand the serving of others. 

When you look at history that shows the domination, control, and abuse towards women and children JUST due to gender or position?  Then you have silly examples of how the church claims they understand domestic violence in the church by using things like:  Group Sex, men get aggressive when a threat to their authority is present, get new friends if know victims, etc?

Why they can’t grasp that the impression that their form of patriarchy can encourage abusive men to take their teachings and run with it?  Back off the hatred of feminists, and think about it.

While I don’t agree with, ‘Patriarchy is the ultimate cause of all abuse against women.’ I can certainly understand WHY they get that impression.

They need to point out the boundaries clearly, and speak against those with a low sense of self – that take the teachings and use them as competition.  It doesn’t mean I’m on top and you are below me.  I’m in control and you are to follow me.  You are to do as I say, when I say and how I say – or else I have the biblical justification as HEAD to make you remember WHO is in charge!

If complementarians can’t admit that happens?  Which sadly, they seem to think NOT so much – the fear will remain towards them as NOT being safe.

Formulating lies and scare tactics towards feminism is just going to cement that fear even more firmly.

The bible does state how to deal with the ‘least of these’, and so far?  They have completely missed the target.

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Anonymous said...

Patriarchy certainly contributes to the demeaning of women, particularly in churches. But a person doesn't have to be a typical patriarchal complementarian to abuse his wife - he could simply be a psychopath or a selfish atheist.

What I don't get is why people buy the lie that feminists are the culprits. Since when has feminism infiltrated the church? Of all my Christian friends who are divorced, none were influenced by feminists! I read a blogpost where CBE was used as an illustration that there are people in churches intending to usurp male authority.

The other telling distortion among Christian leaders is how they emphasize "God hates divorce" but downplay God hating violence or hating evil. There is one verse implying that God hates divorce, and if you google "I hate divorce" you find 16 pages dedicated to doctrine on divorce not being allowed. There are many verses about God hating evil. Yet if you google "I hate evil" you get 2 pages about how God hates evil. And if you google "I hate violence"? None.

Hannah on 3:18 PM said...

I agree. Abusive people can come from all backgrounds, issues, etc.

At times I think some are to 'me' focused as far as the feminist, authority, etc. They are threatened by what they 'say' is some God given role, and how people are trying to take it from them. Its quite amazing how powerful they think humans are in that aspect.

When your focus is purely 'marriage stays together at all costs' you tend to miss the big picture. No doubt there is a huge amount of tunnel vision going on.

Sadly, if you try to point any of that out? I know I get attacked. I think it is that way with loads of other issues as well.

Thank you for your comment. You had some good things to add!

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