I know this makes many people uncomfortable. I know there are those who believe I am shaming the church and bringing harm to the name of Jesus. I’m confident that Jesus wants us to shine light in the dark places and bring truth and critical thinking to the table. More than this; I’m confident that Jesus is sovereignly secure in who He is. I believe I’m faithfully living out what scripture teaches. “You should defend those who cannot help themselves. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” Proverbs 31:809 (TLB)
So, I’ll continue…
First, allow me to share what I wrote on Facebook when the #MeToo, #Church Too movement began. I wanted to put it in terms our male brothers could understand.
You’re in prison with a 300 pound gang leader who stares, heckles, stalks, isolates, gropes, objectifies, overpowers, rapes you. No one cares. The guards allow it. If you want to keep your job, eat, or live you’ll have to tolerate it.
In Part 1 I said, “Let me begin by stating my disagreement with Piper’s recent teaching in his article: Sex abuse allegations and the egalitarian myth.” Egalitarianism teaches all people are equal in fundamental worth and social status and deserve equal rights and opportunities. Piper’s argument that sexual abuse is a recent problem resulting from egalitarianism marriages doesn’t mesh with studies, counselors, abuse cases in the media, my limited experience, or Biblical accounts of abuse.
I highly disagree with his reasoning. Abuse is not a theological/doctrinal or marriage problem. It is an abuse problem. I find absolutely no scripture to back this claim. Jesus calls sin; sin.
Abusers have bad character, or a duplicitous personality.
Character traits have nothing to do with doctrinal believes.
But let’s humor that idea for a moment and take a closer look at the suggestion that the complementarian Biblical view is the way out of abusive marriages. How has that worked for the following complementarian and/or patriarchal participants? Click on name to link to story.
Josh Duggar was raised in a complementarian home and embraced those ideals in his marriage. Yet he molested his sisters and a babysitter while growing up in their family home, joined Ashley Madison “Life is short. Have an affair” while married with children, and carried on illicit sexual affairs.
Doug Phillips is a Christian author, speaker, attorney, and homeschooling advocate of the patriarchal movement. He was the “ president of the now-defunct Vision Forum Ministries until he resigned due to an inappropriate relationship and grooming of an underage teen, then using his position of authority as clergy, boss, and mentor to continue the relationship after she became an adult.”
Saeed Abidni purchased his license to be a pastor over the internet. His wife, Naghmeh Panahi, left him for proven allegations of domestic abuse, and unfaithfulness. He was recently arrested for violating a no-contact order.
Correspondence I receive from pastor’s wives and missionary’s wives around the world who tell of abuse they suffer in their complementarian or patriarchal marriages.
I’ve ministered to around 25 women in my area, the Christian homeschool community, who are living through or leaving severe abuse in their complementarian or patriarchal marriages.
Biblical examples of domestic abuse: King Saul giving his daughter, David’s wife, to another man. King David and Bathsheba. Nabal and Abigail. Amnon violated his sister, Tamar. Judah (father-in-law) and Tamar (daughter-in-law). Judges 19 gives an example of serious domestic abuse from a patriarchal household. Polygamy throughout the Old Testament.
These examples nullify the possibility of egalitarianism being the cause of marital, sexual, and domestic abuse.
Controlling behavior, explosive anger, sexual addictions, and constant negativity, are signs you’re likely dealing with a domestic abuser. But if the person constantly denies, justifies, minimizes, or spiritualizes their treatment of others then you know the person is an abuser. It has been my experience the majority of, if not all, abusers have untreated mental health issues, addictions, and/or a personality disorder.
Of course, the man people at church see is always on his best behavior so they would never guess he has the capability to act as two different people. Church activities bring out his best public behavior; not the same as the private behavior in his home. (Again, I know there are men who suffer from abuse, but my ministry is to women.) I want women, and our church family, to understand sexual and domestic abuse have nothing to do with gender roles. If you are abused, please tenderly hear this: The abuse has nothing to do with you. You can be nearly perfect in every way and it still won’t be enough to stop the abuse. Why? It’s about the abuser and his deep need for power over you. Even sexual abuse has nothing to do with lust or desire. It’s also about power and control.
To be continued…
Painting Pictures of Egypt
I don’t want to leave here
I don’t want to stay
It feels like pinching to me
And the places I long for the most
Are the places where I’ve been
They are calling out to me
Like a long lost friend
It’s not about losing faith
It’s not about trust
It’s all about comfortable
When you move so much
And the place I was wasn’t perfect
But I had found a way to live
And it wasn’t milk or honey
But then neither is this
Chorus: I’ve been painting pictures of Egypt
Leaving out what it lacks
And the future feels so hard
And I want to go back
But the places they used to fit me
Cannot hold the things I’ve learned
Those roads were closed off to me
While my back was turned
The past is so tangible
I know it by heart
Familiar things are never easy
I was dying for some freedom
But now I hesitate to go
I am caught between the Promise
And the things I know
Bridge: If it comes to quick
I may not appreciate it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?
And if it comes to quick
I may not recognise it
Is that the reason behind all this time and sand?