15 July 2008

What a load of crap

I came across this article that just absolutely horrified me. Here's an exerpt:
What that means to the man, Ware said, is: "He will have to rule, and because he's a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive--and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that--but here's the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to the leader in the relationship and just say 'OK dear,' 'Whatever you say dear,' 'Fine dear' and become a passive husband, because of sin."
Did you catch that? According to this guy, Bruce Ware, men beat women because when a woman is in charge, she's sinning; and even though he's a sinner too, it's the lesser of two evils.

I'm sure battered women everywhere will find it a relief to know that God wants their husbands to beat them. Phew! Now they can stop wondering what they did to deserve it....


oren said...

Before you throw stones, listen to the context and don't form an opinion based on someone else's comments. Bruce Ware does not blame women for spousal abuse, he blames sin. All men are sinners (born in Adam - Gen. 1-3; Rom. 5) and therefore respond sinfully when women (who are also sinners) sin against them. Men either sin by being passive or by being authoritarian abusers, which are both sinful before God because it does not reflect the relationship between Christ and his bride, the church (Eph. 5).

How dare we build straw men and attack brothers and sisters in Christ when we speak in ignorance. The enemy loves when we turn against each other rather than allow the gospel to transform how we deal with one another. May our great God and Savior help us in this endeavor by his Spirit.

minako said...

Fair enough. I actually hadn't read the article that way, but I see what you're saying.

I suppose what I object to is the idea that women being strong in a marriage is somehow sinful. If man is the original sinner, maybe he should let a woman tell him what to do. :)

Except... oops: that's what got him in trouble in the first place.

Let me restate my position: men may be abusive because of sin, but they also have the choice not to sin. I don't believe that listening to a woman -- following her lead, taking her advice -- in a marriage is necessarily a sin. Adam's sin wasn't listening to Eve, it was doing so while ignoring a direct order from God.

Implying that men resort to one sin because of another sin begs the "two wrongs don't make a right" argument. It also assumes that the woman was "too strong" or over-aggressive in her own right, which is not necessarily the case in domestic abuse.

While the article is probably incomplete in regards to any of those arguments, I did make my comments based on it.

Thanks for your thoughts, oren.

Tricky said...

What i find interesting is that the group of Christians who believe that the man ought to rule the household tend to get it from Paul's letter to the Ephesians. However, this interpretation fails to take into account the context in which it was written. Paul was writing to a bunch of different churches all at the same time, all the while trying to stay under Rome's radar. Thus, he had different things to say to each church; and this is why it's easy to mistake Paul for being inconsistent.

Rome would let a lot of things fly within its borders, but one could be executed or have his entire group run out of Rome for having beliefs contrary to Rome. The paterfamilas, or the family priest was, in Rome, the father - the head of the household. In Rome's near gender apartheid it would have been imprudent to advise churches in Rome to buck the order and spread the word that men and women are equal in Christ. (Which he does, in fact, talk about in other sections to other churches).

So, this current belief; that the man is the spiritual leader of the household, the ruler, and its priest is, in fact, a Roman belief in orgin, and not neccesarily a Christian one.

This is the inherent problem when it comes to bible study; unless one has been properly trained in hermenutics, it's easy to draw conculsions based on one's own experiences, rather than the textual evidence.

I further think it's interesting that some people believe that a healthy marriage is based on some sort of power relation. A marriage is something that makes the two participants whole - the joining into one flesh. I fail to see where there's room for a power relation in a healthy union.

Further, simply because there was some passage that says there is a power relation in the marriage union does not mean that there still must be one - the onus is on people like oren and Bruce Ware to come up with an interpretation of those texts that supports that men ruling women is always the plan, and not just a temporary fix, as i just gave evidence for - Rome was by and large a gender apartheid - and the Christians were a vulnerable group within its borders.