The Ministry of Transvestism?

Tim CurryFor the Christian the goal of counselors and ministries ought to be to help people live according to the Word of God.  To those who are in Christ, they work to help them understand and apply the law of God as a response to the authority of the creator while they concomitantly help the Christian to apprehend grace found in Christ.   A ministry is in the business of equipping the saints in pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)    A life of joy is a fruit which is the result of the knowledge of pleasing the Father, honoring the Son and walking in the Spirit.  Happiness is not the purpose of ministry, that is not say one cannot be happy in ministry, but the great men of the faith and the apostles lived with severe trials of discomfort, persecution and conflict.  A counselor that seeks to suppress the law for the expediency of the illusion of peace is not a shepherd of Christ, but of the world.  This is way so many marriage ministries are loved by non-Christians and nominal Christians, because they are of the world.   I make a most serious accusation for consider 1 John 4:5: They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.   Those who claim to be Christians who teach/advocate worldly wisdom should take head to the damage they are doing to the bride of Christ. 2 Peter 2:20  For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  They bear the burden described by James, James 3:1  …let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.  So I do not make this accusation lightly but with all due gravity, for it is a serious thing.  Now, just because one’s ministry is valued by those of the world, doesn’t not necessarily mean that one is of the world.  One is of the world if they teach and think in a manner contrary to scripture and especially when they compromise to appeal to itching ears.[i]

The word “world” as used in 2 Peter and 1 John is the Greek word cosmos.  It does not refer to the matter and space, but to an order or arrangement.  The opposite of a cosmos is chaos or a lack of order and a purely random happenstance of muddle.  The apostles contrast the Biblical ordering or arranging of truth, reality and ethics with the arranging of the natural and rebellious man’s commitments to truth, reality and ethics.  The whole of this order can rightly be called a philosophy.   James tells us the source of the philosophy, which he styles under the heading of wisdom, is crucial to discerning of which order it belongs; either from above, ie the infallible Word of God, or earthy sensual and devilish.  Philosophy that is arrived at by our senses is sensual, from fallen thoughts is earthly and even arrived at the suggestions of devils.  Again I repeat the warning of the apostle:

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.  Colossians 2:8

So that brings me to Christian marriage ministries.  Remember their objective is to influence others to live according to the ordering of Christ as revealed in the scriptures.  They are to be concerned with holiness not happiness. (Joy is a fruit of the spirit and will follow as an outgrowth of holiness.)  So when I observe that what they are teaching is antithetical to the scriptures it is necessary to expose them.[ii]   One such ministry that has come onto my radar is Marriage Builders, a site run by best-selling author Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr..   You might be familiar with his book “His needs – Her Needs”.  He writes a piece entitled   Why Women Leave Men in which he writes that the reason why women file for divorce is they are unhappy, and he seems to validate wives actions for being unhappy.  Harley does not present his practice as overtly christian, but he is venerated by many pastors, he speaks at Christian conferences and his books and programs are staples of marriage ministries, so whether he makes himself out to be a christian counselor, others in the church respect him as such.   But if he is a christian my analysis is fitting and if not the same charge is leveled against those Christians that advocate his work.

Men’s perceived failure to satisfy their wives is punctuated by the fact that women file for divorce twice as often as men. In other words, their unhappiness with marriage often results in divorce.

The most common reason women give for leaving their husbands is “mental cruelty.” When legal grounds for divorce are stated, about half report they have been emotionally abused. But the mental cruelty they describe is rarely the result of their husband’s efforts to drive them crazy. It is usually husbands being indifferent, failing to communicate and demonstrating other forms of neglect.

….Surprisingly few women divorce because of physical abuse, infidelity, alcoholism, criminal behavior, fraud, or other serious grounds.

Harley’s solution is not to exhort women to pursue a meek and quite spirit, but for husbands to get with her program and make her happy or she will destroy the family. Harley wants to neutralize this threat by submission; that is a husband is to abandon his headship and authority to his wife’s feelings so as to avoid the calamity of a frivorce.  He has a little gimmick he calls a Policy of Joint Agreement, wherein the husband submits to his wife and in particular her feelings.

This policy helps men take their wives’ feelings into account whenever they make a decision. They avoid thoughtless habits, learn to meet emotional needs with mutual enjoyment and resolve their conflicts.”

By take into account, he means make her feelings the primary factor in every decision thereby “meeting her needs” so she will take her hand of the handle of the guillotine. Harley wants men to live in fear of their wives, who if not sufficiently placated, will file for divorce and destroy the home. I searched but I found no such article or reference on his web site that advocated wives fear their husbands or submit to them or even try to make thier husbands happy, but I did glance an article entitled “How to Make your Wife Happy“.  (I do get the feeling that if a wife did fear her husband he would be accused of abuse at least according to the Duluth model)  This is contrary to the scriptures in which wives are to fear their husbands Eph 5:33.  Your translation may substitute a euphemism for “fear”, such as respect of reverence.  The word in the Greek is phobos and is translated in every other instance as fear.  It is the same word that phobia comes from and used by Paul in Romans 13:4

For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Pretty scary stuff and it is clear that Paul does not mean respect but that his use of phobos means fear or even terror.  An accurately rendered of Eph 5:33 is

… “but also, every one in particular — each so love his own wife as himself, and the wife — that she may reverence the husband.”

The Bible says wives are to fear their husbands and not the other way around.  Harley is advocating that men act like women and women act like men, and hence Transvestism.

Transvestism (also called transvestitism) is the practice of dressing and acting in a style or manner traditionally associated with the other sex.[iii]  –wiki

His egalitarian Policy of Joint Agreement has no basis in scripture and fails to call for the wife to be subject to her husband in all things.[iv]  He fails to call women to repentance for frivolous divorce and covenant fraud.  He fails to tell husbands to teach their own wives[v] using Bible’s instructions to her, to sanctify her unto holiness. [vi]  Harley also fails to point out that Paul says the order of authority in marriage is part of God’s created order and reflects the order of authority established by God, [vii] with the women under man, man under Christ and Christ under the Father.

If he were interested in aligning a marriage with the Word of God, certainly he would tell men to rule their households well, [viii]  warning them to listen to God and not their wives [ix] and he would tell wives to learn the discipline of contentment and the joy of being a helpmate.  But he seems far more interested in validating the discontent in women, who buy his books and will feel all tingly as he tells them to suppress the wisdom of scripture and make their man her servant to her happiness.   I found his website and his ministry to be worldly according to the scriptures.  If this is what passes for christian counsel we are all in desperate need of real shepherds.  The Christian family is endangered because of  divorce and the shepherds are watching and applauding the slaughter of the sheep.

My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray; They have turned them away on the mountains. They have gone from mountain to hill; They have forgotten their resting place.  All who found them have devoured them;   Jeremiah 50:6-7

[i] 2 Tim 4:3

[ii] Eph 5:11


[iv] Eph 5:24

[v] 1 Cor 14:35

[vi] Eph 25-27

[vii] 1 Cor 11:3

[viii] 1 Tim 3:4

[ix] Gen 3:17


A Few Thoughts on Christian Counseling and Marriage Ministries.

tug-of-warCounseling is the Christian equivalent of a therapy, it is often a synthesis of Bible teaching with modern psychology.  Marriage counseling in particular has become a growth industry for both the secularist and the Christian in part because of the dismal state of marriage in North America.   It is common to hear well-meaning Christians and especially family ministries recommend Christian counseling.  The New Testament knows nothing of a professional counselor; the Old Testament refers to counselors, but probably not like the counseling center at the local mega-church.  The Old Testament and especially the book of Proverbs refers to counsel or counselors, not as a profession but in advocating that a mark of being a wise man is that he is humble enough to receive advice from others.  Advice is helpful if the advice is helpful; much advice given today is not helpful, but harmful.  My position is that advice is only helpful if it is in harmony with the infallible and inerrant Word of God.

Willard Harley, the author of the best seller “his needs her needs” once lamented that his practice had the same divorce rate as couples that did not attend his counseling.  We further writes:

In my effort to overcome failure, I made a crucial discovery: I wasn’t the only one failing to help couples. Almost everyone else working with me in the clinic was failing as well! My supervisor was failing, the director of the clinic was failing, and so were the other marriage counselors that worked with me.

And then I made the most astonishing discovery of all: Most of the marital experts in America were also failing. It was very difficult to find anyone willing to admit their failure, but when I had access to actual cases, I couldn’t find any therapist who could prove their own success or train others to be successful in saving marriages.

In fact, I learned that marital therapy had the lowest success rate of any form of therapy – in one study, I read that less than 25% of those surveyed felt that marriage counseling had helped. A higher percentage felt that counseling had done more harm than good.”

One of the many objections I have with the methods of “Christian Marriage counseling” is the disregard of the household jurisdiction and the order of authority and responsibility with in the household.  When a couple shows up for counseling the counselor becomes the arbitrator of conflict and uses his position to referee the session.  A counselor becomes the head of the marriage, even if temporarily, usurping the God ordained covenant head of the family. Christ does not command wives to be subject to counselors, nor does he command elders to rule the home. It is a jurisdictional encroachment that supplants rightful authority.  I frankly doubt that most “Christian counselors” actually respect the Biblical doctrine of authority and many even demean it.  The egalitarian cancer has metastasized and infected all parts of the body of Christ.

Most men are raised to respect chivalry and have an inherent and holy instinct to protect the less able to protect themselves.  The instinct often manifests itself in the counselor, when he has a predisposition to protect the weaker vessel; thus he/she has a bias against men as a potential threat to women. This impulse lodges a bias of women as victims, not because of any circumstance other than she is weaker.  The predisposition dismisses the possibility that she, as the weaker one, might be guilty of wrongful actions against the stronger including neglect or fraud. The treatment is full blown prejudice against the male, who is presumed as an abuser to some degree and negligent to the “needs” of the weaker vessel. Thus a husband is presumed to be either ignorant of how to love his wife or malevolent toward her. The prejudice is antithetical to the idea that the husband has authority over the wife and is to sanctify her by the washing and watering of the Word, that is if he uses the Word according to the uses in 1 Tim 3:16, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.  For many counselors who have been affected by the Duluth model, a husband using the scriptures in this manner is to manipulate (repentance and sanctification are manipulation according to these white-knights) and to Lord it over the wife.  It is, according to them, not servant leadership to use the Word for correction, simply because she doesn’t like it, therefore she does not feel loved, therefore it must not be loving.    If it were loving she would feel all tingly and not rebel; so she cannot be corrected from rebellion, because to lead her to repentance only provokes bad feeling in her which is unloving and manipulative.  This reasoning confounds love as a committed action to the provocation of feelings.

A source of the prejudice proceeds from the erroneous notion that women are only responders and men are initiators.  If a woman is responding poorly it is because her husband is initiating incorrectly.  A consequence of this view is that women lack moral agency or at least not as much as men.  In practice this works out such that the husband is responsible for his own sin and those of his wife.  But if he is responsible he is certainly not allowed to correct her, that is abuse whether emotional, spiritual, or intellectual abuse.  The deck is stacked against the expression of Biblical marriage.  Because the relationship of husband and wife and Christ and the church are strong parallels according to Eph 5:31-32, the prejudicial view would also accuse Christ of being unloving in His correction and discipline of the church.   To be consistent, one would also have to assert that the reason more people do not respond to the call of the Gospel is that God as the initiator is doing it wrong.  I for one do not want to charge Christ with not being loving or not initiating in the correct manner; it would be far wiser to recognize His authority, fear Him and keep His commandments.

If the counselor desires to uphold the scriptures then the counselor should have a strong inclination to see to that a woman fears her husband (Eph 5:33), that she be subject to him in all things, (Col 3:18, Titus 2:5), that she refrain from complaining (1 Peter 3:1-4) and that the husband also be in subject to elders who rule in the ecclesial jurisdiction. That in husbands submitting to elders over matters of the church and wives submitting to husbands in matters of the family, both are subjecting themselves to Christ (Heb 12:9).

When a couple walks into counseling for “relationship issues” the counselor’s first line of questioning is to elicit why are they here?  Some of the likely possibilities include:

1) A husband’s complaint.  The wife is not cheerfully submitting to her husband.  The remedy: admonish her to submit to her husband in all things even as church is in submission to Christ and as Christ our example is in submission to His father (Eph 5:22-24).

2) A wife’s complaint.  The wife has a complaint against her husband’s treatment of her.  The remedy: admonish her to win him over without a word and act in such a manner that he will observe her behavior characterized by respect and purity. (1 Pe 3:1-2)  The counselor should under no circumstances become an arbiter of a conflict or representative of the wife’s complaint, it is not his home, his job is to reestablish Biblical order.  The temptation is to convict the husband of not loving the wife as Christ loved the Church, but Church’s feeling are not the gage for the love of Christ.

3) Sexual sin in the relationship – remedy first forgive as Christ has forgiven you, then stop defrauding and step up your game in bed so that the other will not burn in lust but enraptured with the love of the other. (Matt 18:21-35, 1 Cor 7:5, Prov 5:19)  “Accountability” is all the rage in Christian spheres, while it may be wise for one to have some safety fences is certainly not commanded and it is most unwise to give power of a wife over her husband.  Counselors need to tread lightly here and act cautiously lest they make law where God has not.

4) Bona fide medical complications that require prayer and perhaps fasting. Remedy: pray with them, suggest a fast to the Lord, and work with the deacons to help them in various difficulties.  There may be any number of complications and a couple may just need a friend so that they do not bear the burden alone.  Some circumstances may require some additional education so they know what to expect.

In no instance should a counselor cast doubt or aspersions on the manner in which the husband runs his house. That is between God and him, even if the counselor thinks he is ham-handed in his approach he must not hint at such in the presence of the wife as this will only feed her discontent.  A wife’s discontent is one of the great drivers of divorce in America, it is a sin and should neither be countenanced nor provoked.  The counselor must not receive an accusation against the husband except for cases of proven adultery or verified physical abuse that required medical treatment. Any such discussion where a husband’s obvious sin is not present, the counselor must tread lightly with all humility knowing that there is always more to the picture than meets the eye. While it is good to encourage men to improve themselves including how to manage their households, it is wrongheaded to assume a best practice for all situations and it is foolhardy to confound love (actions) with feelings that are provoked. After all God is love, but he still disciplines His own.

Hebrews 12:6-11 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Ironically it is the husband who submits to his wife, who serves her feelings that, is the most likely candidate to find himself receiving papers from his wife’s divorce attorney.  Between 70 and 80 percent of all divorces are filled by women, and most of them for no other reason that she is unhappy.  A man fails when he makes the decision to make his wife happiness the controlling concern in his leadership, thereby transferring his leadership to her emotional state.  This is a paradox, that when a husband does what God commands and what he knows is best for the good of the family, the wife respects him more; when he listens to his wife and not God he gets her contempt.  In the end she is happier when he does not focus on her happiness, but on her holiness.  Adam listened to his wife and not God, men should be encouraged to learn from Adam’s failure and obey God and not their wife. The counsel that turns men into supplicating wimps is an abomination and a cancer to the family, yet is the most common approach for marriage ministries and Christian counselors.

In short the counselor’s task is not to make the marriage happy, their task is to make it holy.  To lead the couple toward the goal of holiness, the counselor needs to reorder the marriage according to scripture.  The women complain and men comply approach must be disposed for a Biblical model of the home.

Men ought to be encouraged to lovingly lead: to take the reins and sanctify their wives with the washing and watering of the Word, including teaching, rebuking and admonishing them.  The counselor should speak to the husband, while not in the presence of the wife, to examine his motives to make sure that his leadership is for the Kingdom and not his own.  Resources to areas that the man might need some guidance might also be given, but again not in the presence of his wife, nor should such discussion ever be revealed to her.  To breach this principle is to undercut the husband’s position in the home and validate a wife’s discontent by creating an expectation in the wife that she and the counselor are ganging up on him to change.

The wife should be admonished to subject herself to her husband in all things and the only exception is if he is requiring her to clearly violate the law of God.   If he asks her to make sammiches and does so coarsely, she is to not voice her objection, but by her meek and quite spirit persuade him to love as Christ loves us.  Both must freely and passionately give and enjoy regular intimate activities.  How often is regularly? The answer is as often as either one desires, your body is not your own.  The counselor should resist the temptation validate her feelings.  If he engages her with questions of her feelings it should be only to help discover areas where she is resisting to submit or giving in to her anxiety and fear.

Unfortunately counseling like I describe would most likely fail, because wives would avoid such Biblical correction and they would object to losing the shift of power and control that they have come to expect from making their hubby go to counseling.  With no divorce threat, no advocate to force him to change she might lose her status as the victim of patriarchy.  Those that listened to the Biblical advice would not need to keep coming back and so the counselor would lose revenue from their return customers.  Those who disliked what the Bible has to say would find some other “expert” that would help the wife make her husband submit to her and give justification for the role reversal by labeling it love.


The Gospel Centered Marriage!

Gospel marriageOn a prior post I asked the question “what is the Gospel?” While it is true that Jesus saves all His elect the gospel is not as much about the elect as it is about the glory of Christ. The effect of the gospel is the atonement of the elect and their union with Christ. This is the effect of the gospel not the gospel itself. The effect of the gospel to me is that my sin is imputed to Christ in his death and His righteousness is imputed to me in His judgement. Further I am adopted into the household of faith a son of the living God and become a member of the bride of Christ. This effect is good news for me, but the good news that transcends me is that Christ is victorious to all who oppose His rule.

In this post I will attempt to demonstrate how the gospel changes marriage. I firmly believe that the gospel changes everything, but marriage itself is a type of the relationship of Christ to the Church. The Apostle Paul intentional conflates the relationship of husband and wife in marriage with the relationship of Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:22-33 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

The gospel is first and primarily about Christ, so also marriage is first and primarily about Christ. It is not first and primarily about us it, is not primarily about the bride, the wedding or the sex. It is a type or a living picture of redemption, union and worship. Paul makes it clear that both these relationships have an element of mystery. How is the church united to Christ is similar to how a husband and wife are made one; both are mysterious and beautiful.  Paul also reveals that the roles in marriage are to mirror those of Christ and His bride the church.

One parallel is the church is to submit to Christ as her head, so wives are to submit to their husbands. Because that submission is absolute to Christ, so it is to her husband in “everything”.   The statement of Paul is absolute;by logic the only exception to her submission is if submitting to her husband means not submitting to Christ. This exception is rare and should only be employed when she is absolutely certain of the situation and the law of God. This submission follows a chain of command with the Father at the top then Christ who has been given all authority in heaven and earth 1 , then the husband followed by the wife 2. The submission reflects the chain of command and the flow of authority that even the Son is subject to. There is no fear of being a doormat or envy of the head in this model. The son does not complain about how unfair it is that He is stuck with the task of dying to redeem the elect, he does not worry about being subjugated. The modern wife who worries about such things is rebelling against her head and his head, Christ. As she is in full submission to her husband she is concomitantly in submission to Christ (Eph 5:22).

The Church has largely failed in this teaching. Consider what many consider to be the best book on the subject of a response to feminism in the evangelical church, Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood : A Response to Evangelical Feminism by Wayne Grudem and John Piper. I have been thinking for some time about writing on many of the troubling claims in this work, but over at the Society of Phineas he has uncovered this gem on pg 29.


*The book has the definition in all caps, the underlining is mine.

The word “only” is not in the text, but is implicit as a modifier of worthy.  It is also not Biblical!   Christ is the worthy lamb who commands a wife to submit to the husband that God united her to. She is not commanded to submit to just any man no matter his worth, but her own husband, who is Christ’s representative head. Likewise she is commanded to submit to her father, simply because he is her father and has authority over her, not because of her evaluation of his worth. Grudem and Piper would have a woman judging the worthiness of her husband to be her head, as a condition of her submission.  The implication is this evaluation of worthiness is ongoing even after the wedding. This idea is found nowhere in the bible. The Bible states emphatically that the husband is the head, not that he conditionally is.  This teaching of conditional submission is fueling the divorce epidemic of our day.  (The best  current data suggests that 75-80% of divorces are filed by women who find their husbands wanting.)

Going back to the typology of marriage to Christ and the church, the parallel of Grudem and Piper is that the church submits to Christ only when the church is satisfied that He has earned her submission. This is made more explicit by another champion in evangelicalism Al Mohler. He writes: “when I say that a husband must regularlyearn” privileged access to the marital bed, I mean that a husband owes his wife.…the fact that his wife will freely give herself to him sexually only when he presents himself as worthy of her attention and desire.” 3  Mohler agrees with Piper and Grudem, the wife submits sexually only when she has judged her husband to be worthy.

The gospel centered marriage has husbands in full submission to Christ the victor, and wives in full submission to their husbands. For the wife to require more of her husband than being Christ’s envoy is to require Christ to be more worthy of our fear, and worship. The gospel involves fear and worship, and gospel centered marriage involves fear and worship as well. A man worships with his head uncovered to honor Christ, for the man is the glory of Christ and the woman covers her head to honor her husband for she is the glory of her husband4.

The evangelical disconnect between the gospel and marriage is astounding. If the church treated Christ like they instruct wives to treat husbands no doubt there would be fewer lampstands in heaven5. Yet I can’t help but wonder if this is exactly the problem. The popular notion that the gospel is about me and for me is mirrored in the idea that marriage is for me and about me. If a wife is to continually judge her husband’s worthiness, than he must submit to her standards if he is to “earn” her submission and sex.  If he fails to make her happy she can defraud him in bed and chose to not submit to him everywhere else. Likewise the church decides to stop worshipping and submitting to Christ when they feel they have not been blessed enough and are not happy. They sing about themselves and preach about how they can overcome and be blessed and happy.  It is eerie how a self-centered marriage and a self-worshiping church reflect the same pitiable condition.  Is Christ to submit to the church’s standards for Him, of is the church to submit to her LORD?

The Gospel centered marriage, like the gospel centered church, fears the Lord, glorifies Christ in His victory, and worships Him.  Both the Church and the wife submit to their respective head.  The husband submits to Christ and reflects His love of His bride.  He sacrifices for her sanctification, not necessarily her feelings, He protects her from enemies,  He instructs her in the Word and rebukes her in her sin.   The husband loves the wife, because he has been first loved by Christ 6.   This is how the gospel of victory is lived out.  The gospel is vandalized by contentions for power and control, by judging the worthiness of the head and by withholding love, honor and submission.

1 Matthew 28:18 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
2 1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
4 1 Corinthians 11:7 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.
5 Revelation 2:5 “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent.

Feminism is Apostasy or How God is an Abuser!

This is an amazingly brazen piece detailing the justification for a woman’s wanton destruction of her family and blasphemy against God.  The piece entitled How Playing Good Christian Wife Almost Killed Me, by former Christian wife turned  apostate Vyckie Garrison is finding wide appeal on the internet, being carried on is the unofficial site of the Christian apostasy, and many are using this feminist betrayal to strike a blow against biblical patriarchy.

One such attack against Biblical patirarcy is the The Aquila report.  It featured a 4 part piece against patriarchy, featuring  a response to Vyckie Garrisons apostasy entitled The Soul-numbing Dangers of Patriarchy  by Rachel Miller.   Rachel dedicates some ink to the lack of Vyckie’s true spiritual conversion, but in her view it is patriarchy not feminism is to blame for provoking Vyckie’s bad feelings.   Patriarchy for Rachel is not God’s design that has produced the modern world’s technical innovation, protected women and children for millenia and provided the best environment for raising children, but abuse and the repression of females.   From where I sit that slander is meant to portray Biblical patriarchy as something it is not, but rather what it is imagined to be by it opponents or at least something that feminists imagine they can use to  successfully liable and stir up opposition to Biblical patriarchy.  Much like the article by Mz Garrison, reality is but a technicality; it is imaginations and feelings that guide the decisions and opinions of the discontented feminists.

Now I must begin with a disclaimer, lest I be defamed as condoning real violence against women.  I do not condone physical abuse for even a wayward wife, although I do enjoy watching John Wayne in McLintock from time to time.  I view the role of the husband in part as the provider of physical subsistence and safety; as one who spiritually leads his wife even correcting her by the application God’s Word.  So when a man fails to protect his wife from physical violence and even is a threat to her I get a little rankled.  However when a man fails to use the Word to reprove, correct and admonish his wife, but enables her error, I also get a little chaffed, but that discussion is for another time.

In today’s blue pill world where the feminist directive is operationally and in force, abuse has been redefined to be just about anything that may cause discontent.  I wish I was overstating the case but as many men find out, they are between a rock and hard place, if they do not correct their wives they fail as spiritual protectors and are disobedient to God, but if they do correct their wives they might be on their way to divorce court where a wife is incentivized to call her husband abusive.  Such atrocities are unappetizing when seen in plain light, thus for the discontented wife it is expedient to paint her own rebellion as a reaction to the even greater problem of abuse.

This tail of Apostasy is taken largely from a speech given by Vyckie Garrison at the American Atheist Convention in Salt Lake City.  As I read the article I was looking carefully for the abuse that would support her charge enough to make the destruction of the family so urgent.  If she was truly harmed, my protective and chivalrous side was ready to condemn her husband.  But,  as I read the article, I could not find abuse by her husband; I found examples of her narcissistic discontent, I found her rebellion against God and I found in her the hubris of someone who thinks they know better than God and thinks they are morally better than God.  Spousal abuse by her husband – Not found.

I at first took notice of the title, How Playing Good Christian Wife Almost Killed Me.  If indeed her husband was threatening murder this was serious indeed, if she was attempting suicide, but incompetent this too might be significant.  Was the title hyperbole ? “…almost killed me”.  How so?  It is evident from the article that Vyckie’s physical life was not in danger, so how was she almost killed?   Was it her spirit, or maybe her flesh (the rebelliousness in the fallen creature) that was dying?  If it was her spirit how does denying the atonement and rule of Christ keep her from this death?  The truth is that what was dying was sinful flesh, but what will die is her eternal spirit, barring the work of the Holy Spirit to bring Vyckie to faith.

I searched the article to find what was the source of suffering that almost killed her and the abuse that she endured.  At the beginning of the piece Vyckie is at a woman’s shelter, filling for a restraining order against her husband, but why?  Is he threatening her? No? She is having in her words a “complete mental and physical breakdown”.  What does this mean?  Was she hospitalized for her “complete” physical breakdown, what were the symptoms?   What was the nature of her complete mental breakdown, was she insane or a danger to those around her, could she do math, think rationally, was she psychotic, did she loose moral restraint?  We are not told and it is becoming apparent to me that she is simply making a scene, pinning for attention.  She is a drama queen who plays the victim and needs to have the spot light shine on her to feed her super enlarged ego. The anti-family feminists are all too happy to cheer her on to the destruction.

But, she did have an axe to grind, her complaint against her husband is “He had taken 6 of our 7 children to a town three hours from our home and was preventing me from having any contact with them unless I agreed to his terms for our “reconciliation.”  If she was having a complete mental and physical break down, isn’t providing her a break a good thing?  Isn’t protecting the children against a sociopath a good thing? If it had been a woman that had taken her children from a man in the midst of a “mental breakdown” the world would be applauding her bravery, but men do not earn the accolades of the world when they protect their children especially from their psychotic mothers.  His demand for reconciliation is also a noble christian act.  Reconciliation used to be a good thing, it was what Christ did for the church and he did it according to His terms not ours.   The charge of insisting on reconciliation is on its face the farthest thing from abuse and instead love.  But as you will discover for this twisted and perverted mind love is abuse when it is not according to Vyckie’s terms.

At the woman’s shelter where she is seeking a restraining order against her loving husband she is informed by the worker there,  “The judge will not grant you a protection order unless you actually accuse your husband of abuse.”  But there is a problem, what abuse?  As Vyckie tells there is no “technical abuse” : I didn’t really think my husband was “technically” abusive, and in fact, I had no doubt that he truly loved me and the kids. He always put us first … he basically centered his entire life around us!

No technical abuse, but who wants to get technical there is a discontent woman and a family to destroy.  Even if there is not “technical abuse” certainly there is imagined abuse and the counselor is just the person to help discover or create that imagined abuse. What she needs is some values clarification to help Vyckie recognize the abuse that is present, but technically is not present.

“So,” the woman at the domestic violence shelter asked me, “if he’s such a great, loving husband and father, what are you doing here? Why do you need a protection order?”

I tried to explain that, for some reason, despite how hard we were both trying to live according to Christian principles, our home had become an oppressive, miserable place in which none of us were happy, and it felt like we were all losing our minds.

Wait Vyckie is losing her mind i.e. going crazy, so its abuse?   Does mental illness ever happen without abuse?  She also  claims both (husband and wife) were losing their minds, but would the hubby say he was losing his mind, was his sanity on a hiatus, was mental illness causing him to have a complete mental breakdown?  If so would he like Vyckie say it was the result of being abused by Vyckie?  Is Vyckie an abuser? Heavens no, she is not a man.

Mental instability is not necessarily the result of abuse, there are other causes, so this case has no merit and Vyckie will not get the restraining order she feels she deserves if she cannot escalate the charge.  So the worker at the woman’s shelter heroically steps in to help put this case against the husband who is not “technically abusive”.  The shelter worker helps her to weave a fiction of abuse using the “power and control wheel”, a device to help those who are not technically victims claim their birthright, join the sisterhood of the subjugated and embrace their inner victimhood.

The first stop on the wheel: Love is control.   Vyckie  responds with “…we had chapter and verse to teach us that power and control is actually good and godly. We called it “Agape Love” .  You may want to re-read that last quote because she says agape is about power and control.   This is hamster rationalization at it very most absurd.  Try to follow the hamster running on the wheel of rationalization as she justifies her claim of abuse: her husband loved her, love is control, control is abuse therefore he abused her and she needs to break her vow and shatter her family.    As she recounts her tale of so called abuse; Vyckie often confuses God with her husband; ultimately rationalizing (irrationally) that God is abusing her and her husband is also because he is the servant of God.

The next stop on the wheel is emotional abuse which “include(s) put downs, shaming, and guilt-tripping. “Well, this is something my husband would never do …”   But he is still guilty just don’t ask me how.  It might be the theology that God is God and we are not that is so controlling and abusive.  She finds the reality of her sin and sinful nature a put down and not as uplifting as she feels she wants.  At this point the hamster is running harder than even I would have thought possible, she denies that her husband does this and yet will find that he is guilty.  The distinction between “technical abuse” and “felt” or imagined abuse that does not technically take place except in the mind of those who are losing their mind is irrelevant to Vyckie.   Her feelings must be validated  and given primacy if she is to rationalize her actions against her husband and God.  She felt inferior so she must be abused; she felt the guilt of her sin so God must be shaming her.   This detachment from reality and into self is part of the existential journey to pure narcissism.

The third stop on the wheel is technically intimidation, but our drama queen finds respect or phobos  in the Greek to be close enough: … but how can fear be a bad thing when, “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom?” Was I afraid of my husband? Not in a physical sense, but I was always hesitant to contradict or “disrespect” him because God had placed him in authority over me, and God-given authorities can be considered “umbrellas of protection.”

Got it giving respect and honor are forms of being intimidated and intimidation is abuse.  This is a key to understanding her blasphemy against God as an abuser; His sovereignty, love, power and authority are defined at the woman’s shelter as the traits of abuse.  It is an irrational emotion.  Similar feelings about gravity could be observed.  It is controlling, one cannot innately fly, it is intimidating when standing on the precipice, it is guilt invoking to those who exert a force on the scale greater than they feel like they want.  The reality of God infers that we are finite and His creatures, but for Vyckie that is so controlling, intimidating and controlling.  Her counselor with words of wormwood and gall is provoking the charge against God, her husband and any that would dethrone Vyckie as potentate of Vyckie.

The next stop on the power and control wheel of abuse is isolation which she writes.. My husband didn’t intentionally isolate me and the children … it just kind of happened as a logical progression of our decision to live radically for Jesus.   That whole be holy is such a downer.   This is the whine of a child who can’t play with all the cool kids, her own family is too boring and nobody wants to play with such a malcontent.  Isolation from God is what she wants; isolation from her husband is what she seeks.

Next on the wheel comes Minimizing, denying, and blaming …Not hers of course don’t be silly.  Hers is on display for the world to see, the counselor means to accuse the husband of this.  I must confess I cannot keep up with the hamster rationalization here, I simply cannot follow her train of thought because it is one continuous stream of non-sequiter .  Having children and lots of them is her evidence for the, abuse of something or another.  Oh and taking dominion in politics by raising political minded children is also an idea she apparently finds abusive.   I wonder which of her children she wishes to kill or at least wishes were not with the living having never been born?  Why does she want custody of all those children she wishes she did not have to give birth to and raise?  Wait I’m being rational and technical with an emotional drama queen, there can be no answer to such questions only feelings.  She is using her children to illicit feelings, they are supporting actors in the drama queen’s tragedy.

Next she engages is some feminist speak: I wouldn’t say that my husband used male privilege to control and dominate me and the kids. Male privilege was his rightful position.  Yep, all that working by the sweat of your brow, dying for the defense and servant leadership is really just male privilege.  She understands this as she writes…”We believed that while men were “privileged” with greater authority, they also were burdened with ultimate responsibility … so a woman’s absolute dependence was really more of a hardship for the man than for the ones over whom he held God-ordained dominion.”   But why split hairs, she was an abused woman who lacked make privilege that her own husband had but did not use for control more as a burden to him.

Further along the wheel of power and control we come to Economic abuse?  To which she writes “Well sure, money was always tight, but hey, finances were no picnic for my husband either, and besides, we had these promises …My God will supply all my needs,” and “I have never seen a righteous man forsaken or his children begging for bread” … It was really just a matter of trust, plus careful money management….. God always provided for us financially…”   So you see she was abused because she was provided for and God was faithful.

Back to the power and control wheel we come to Coercion and threats … “No,” I told Deb, “he never threatened me.”

So follow along, he did not “technically abuse” her, no physical violence, in fact he was loving, he lived his life with his family at the center, he did not threaten her, never put her down, did not fail to meet her physical needs for sex, food, clothes and shelter, he did not try to isolate her, he did not force male privilege on her as a means to get her to obey but saw his leadership as a burden.  It is a testament to the new feminist-speak that such things constitutes abuse, but understand abuse is not an action to a feminist, but a feeling.  All that must take place to substantiate the charge of abuse is feelings of discontent or unmet emotional “needs”.

After going through all the points on the Power and Control wheel, I was ready to admit that, yes, I was in an abusive relationship. I told my counselor, “I want out!”

But the abuse she imagines does not technically come from the relationship with her husband, but with God.  She accuses God of abuse through and through.  She finds His ways distasteful and listens to the counsel of the wicked, as her counselor, Deb, said to her,“You have to protect yourself and your children! You need to divorce this man!”  So she divorces Christ after listening to the cunning serpent that God’s sovereign power, justice love and providence is abuse.

But Deb meant the other man in her life… She was talking about my husband, and I was thinking, “Well, yeah … him, too.”…for me, the primary break up was with Jesus. You see, being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a set up for dysfunctional game-playing and crazy-making head trips….  I could not say that my husband’s patriarchal behavior was abusive so long as I was committed to a relationship with “The Big Guy” who exemplifies the abusive bully, and who commands his followers to imitate His very warped and twisted idea of “love.”

This tale illustrates the feminist road to apostasy.  Discontentment, disillusionment and a disjointing from reality are the motivators to dishonor, disobedience and divorce, from husbands and God.  The cavil of the abuse of patriarchy is stripped of its pretension and revealed for what it is ; defiance of God’s authority.

The naked truth is that egalitarianism is a desire to be as God, equal to him, redesigning reality to suit the feelings and desires of the creature, imaginations of suppressing the sovereignty of God over that reality in favor of one’s choice, and autonomy.  Feminism is but one name of many for the rebellion against God; it is the discontent of being a creature and the desire to be as god, to know and be the arbiter of good and evil, to judge the righteousness of God according to an individual’s feelings of right or wrong to think oneself wiser than God.

Vyckie does not dispute the meaning of Biblical passages, to her credit she is not ignorant, she rather accuses the author of the Book of life of abuse.  She finds God in His holiness and justice an evil vindictive creature and she is not all that amazed at His grace. I feel sorrow for Vyckie’s husband.  Finally Vyckie ought to be applauded for her consistency.  She realizes that the Word of God provides a system of ethics and rule that is patriarchal, she must either submit to God and by extension her husband or she must abandon God and her husband for the feminist ethic.  There is no middle ground.  Vychie understands this truth better than the christo-feminists that dominate the church today.