Al Mohler: Misuse of complementarian theology 'can and has' led to the abuse of women in the church

"Sinful men will use anything in vanity and in anger, in sin of every form. Sinful men will distort anything and will take advantage of any argument that seems to their advantage, even to the abuse of women." - Christian Post

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Bert Perry's picture

First of all, it's not to "project it on every situation."  It's simply that the case we're discussing here is fairly analogous to that which Esther and Bathsheba's cases; one one hand, you can keep things quiet because you're almost certain not to get justice (and get a semblance of a normal life, possibly), and on the other, you can stand up to a wicked power and get your life ruined.  

And the question regarding Ananias and Sapphira is whether Acts 5:7-9 actually supports the idea she said what she did because she "had to obey" her husband.  Peter appears, in verse 9, to hold her personally accountable for what she did, noting she'd conspired with her husband to do this.  Context appears to say that no, she was in on it and a full participant, IMO.

No doubt that we are not bound to obey wicked men, but at the same time, the cases we're discussing here are not simple cases of sin vs. no sin.  Regarding the job loss example, most companies won't allow that firing/resignation to follow a person around because of legal liability--and as the TMC student would tell you, if only Christian colleges would follow suit.  Their 0.0GPA with expulsion was just a low blow.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Bert Perry's picture

I'm noticing, Tom, that you're leading each response to me with an insult, and the text is filled with more insults and precious little actual analysis of the texts I'm citing.  You want to talk about the need to repent?  Get started.

And then you can apologize for merely dismissing an argument instead of addressing it, of a straw man, and the like.  Really, the kind of thing you're doing is the same kind of thing that has a lot of otherwise complementarian people wondering why on earth they would bother with this theology, and it's precisely why Mohler calls out this approach.  

Put gently, I am at a loss, Tom, to figure out why pointing out the moral and practical difficulties of these decisions indicates I would think that "women are weak and witless."  It's worth noting that implicitly, you've just insulted hundreds of women who use these very difficulties to try to explain why most victims don't report.  

Tell ya what, Tom.  Get a Twitter account if you don't have one already, and go here and tell your hostess the kind of things you're telling me.  Tell us how it goes.  

Or maybe just get started on that repentance.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

T Howard's picture

Start honoring adult women, Bert, instead of framing them as incapable of making informed, consensual, self-directed decisions.

Stop comparing every situation to Bathsheba and Esther, as if that's the only thing the Bible says about dealing with hard choices in precarious situations.

Then, I'll actually take your arguments seriously.

Until then, you're a feminist shill.

I support real victims of sexual abuse and assault. Every godly man does.

T Howard's picture

This evening I've reviewed my interaction with Bert in this thread, and I need to admit that I've been overly harsh toward Bert.

Bert, I want to recognize and applaud your zeal to protect and defend women who are victims of sexual abuse and sexual assault. I want to recognize and applaud your desire to get churches, Christian colleges, and seminaries to take every accusation of sexual abuse and sexual assault seriously. I want to recognize and applaud your quest for justice in cases where a woman's accusations of sexual abuse and sexual assault have been ignored, belittled, or dismissed out of hand by people (particularly men) who are more concerned about protecting someone's or some institution's reputation than about seeking out the truth of the matter.

Bert, thank you. I believe you and I want the same things.

pvawter's picture

TylerR wrote:

Been a long since I've heard from good 'ole Michael and Debbie Pearl!

Not long enough, imo.

Bert Perry's picture

Apology accepted and much appreciated.

Regarding the Pearls, agreed that it's good they're fading from the scene.  That said, I think there is a reality that these things tend to take on a life of their own and pop up when you'd never expect.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

mmartin's picture

Several months ago I listened to season 1 of the "In The Dark" podcast series about the Jacob Wetterling abduction and murder.  In it Patty Wetterling expresses her regret that some of the laws related to sex offenders are being applied in ways that don't make sense.  See the link to the article below and a selected quote from it from a boy who wrote an article to Mrs. Wetterling.

My point is this, while I do believe true sex abuse must be handled seriously.  It must not be swept under the rug. 

That said, I also have a fear that a rush to make a report to the police based on a single word of accusation may not be always right.  Take the Duke lacrosse case for example.  The accusation turned out to be completely false.  In the boy's case below, he suffered the consequences of the girl's lies.

This is a quote from this article from a boy who wrote a letter to Mrs. Wetterling:

"One night, when I was only 16, I met a girl at a teen club who told me she was almost 16, and we hit it off. She and I dated for a few weeks, but because of some issues at home, she ran away. The friend she was staying with told her to tell the police we had sex, and that she was too scared to go home because she was pregnant. When questioned by the police, I told the truth, I said "yes we had sex twice." The police informed me she was only 13. I was charged with two felony counts of Sexual Abuse 3rd degree and tried as an adult. Now because of the laws regarding the age of consent I am a Registered Sex Offender. Things for me, as well as my family, have changed dramatically and our lives have been shattered."

Bert Perry's picture

Mmartin, keep in mind that the best way to protect the rights of the accused is to go through the legal system.   Good investigators (e.g. not Mike Nifong) have finely honed nonsense detectors, can compel testimony and provision of evidence through grand juries and subpoenas, can collect and analyze physical/circumstantial evidence, have immense resources available, and finally a host of protections for the accused.  It's a costly pain in the rear at times, but it's the best we got, and if we quietly refuse to provide evidence of crimes to the police, we deprive them of the data they need to do their job. 

For example, eight people reported Larry Nassar to MSU's Title IX offices; only one of those reports ever appears to have gotten to the MSU police.  When Rachael Denhollander reported in 2016, moreover, it was that sole report that got to the MSU police that matched Denhollander's report in character and got the investigation into high gear.  One detective asked another "what was the name of that guy?", and when it matched, that case's importance went way up.  You'll see the same thing with issues at Penn State, Ohio State, USC, and other schools.  

Regarding the cases you mention, yes, there are corrupt prosecutors like Mike Nifong, who failed to provide DNA evidence to the defense and did not interview the accuser.  He lost his law license and pension and spent time in jail (rightly) over that.   In the second case, what you've got is an alleged case (many inmates were "framed", if you believe them) where the "Romeo and Juliet" clauses in statutory rape did not exist in that state.

Are young lovers probably quite different from Larry Nassar and the like?  You bet.  However, you have no clue which category the young Romeo/Larry fits in unless you get the data.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.