A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

Why I think Wayne Grudem is unwilling to accord full respect to women (ERAS part 4)

In his book Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanood Wayne Grudem argues that complementarianism is fair, that it’s obedient to the Bible, and that is best for us as human beings since it truly honors men and women because it honours both their equality and their differences — their equal value to God and their differences in roles. He maintains that complementarianism does not lead to abuse but guards against it because it holds that both men and women are equal in value before God.  (52-3)

He thinks that he’s fighting a righteous and vital battle: “the question of biblical manhood and womanhood is the focal point in a tremendous battle of worldviews.” (ibid 60)  He believes that he espouses the Biblically honouring middle which is the right balance between two worldviews, both of which violate the Bible but in opposite ways.

He presents this in the table below. At one extreme there is the No Differences view which says that “all is one” (paganism) and since there are no differences, sexuality is plastic and homosexuality and androgyny are fully accepted. At the opposite extreme is the No Equality view which says “might makes right” so males brutally dominate and women are dehumanised. Here is the first page of his 2-page table about the spectrum of world views (ibid, 62). Click on the table to enlarge it.

Grudem's chart, effem left, comp middle,, violent right

In the middle column in above table, Grudem diagrams his belief that (eternally) the Father has authority over the Son, and the Father and the Son have authority over the Holy Spirit.

ERAS in the Godhead diagram

And he diagrams his belief that the husband has authority over the wife because male leadership is evident in the biblical account of creation, Ephesians 5 talks about the husband being head of the wife, and 1 Corinthians 11:3 says “I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”

Grudem's diagram Husband authority over wife

Grudem’s doctrine of Eternal Relations of Authority and Submission has been challenged by many people (links at the bottom of this post). But Grudem is holding fast to his views. Some influential people (e.g. Denny Burk, Al Mohler) are  happy to tolerate ERAS and allow Grudem and his ilk to remain within the camp of ‘evangelicalism’  (what does that word mean anymore?).  But thankfully, some influential people are dismayed —

in his wildly popular Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem writes that the Trinity is analogous to husband (the Father), wife (the Son), and child (the Holy Spirit).

It boggles my mind that so many well-known men within the broader reformed(ish) world are unwilling to refute such nonsense. (Todd Pruitt, link)

I’m sure Grudem thinks that he respects women as much as men, and that none of his teaching is bad for women. But I think Grudem has been focusing so much on resisting and rebutting egalitarianism that he isn’t seeing that his doctrines are not actually at the balanced middle, but are some degrees over on the ‘no equality’ side.  ERAS is heretical. It’s outside Nicene orthodoxy.  And as Todd Pruitt says, “CBMW has deliberately and repeatedly built its theological support for the complementary roles of men and women upon this deeply flawed doctrine of the Trinity.”

ERAS is not Arianism, but it’s penumbral to Arianism. So I would put Grudem’s views not in the center column but somewhere to the right of centre. Here is how I would draw up that table. (this is just what I’ve thought so far—I’m open to feedback and suggestions on this table). Click on each image to enlarge it.

Biblical Middle table first page

Biblical Middle Table p2

You can also view my table as a PDF by clicking this link:

The Biblical Middle between Equality, Authority & Differences

Grudem emphasises AUTHORITY and SUBMISSION

Grudem has put a lot of effort into arguing for Eternal Relations of Authority and Submission in the Trinity. As Rachel Miller has shown, he argued for it in his Systematic Theology. And in his book Evangelical Feminism & Biblical Truth, he asserted that authority and submission are fundamental to interpersonal relationships:

the idea of authority and submission has always existed in the eternal relationship between the Father and the Son in the Trinity. And this means that the idea of authority and submission in interpersonal relationships never began – it has always existed in the eternal relationship between the Father and Son. The doctrine of the Trinity thus indicates that equality of being together with authority and submission to authority are perhaps the most fundamental aspects of interpersonal relationship in the entire universe. (p 429) (link, italics mine)

 In the Appendix of Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Wayne Grudem wrote:

At this point we must object and insist that authority and submission to authority are not pagan concepts. They are truly divine concepts, rooted in the eternal nature of the Trinity for all eternity and represented in the eternal submission of the Son to the Father and of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son.(464) (source, italics mine)

In his book Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood (link), he said

Submission to a rightful authority is a good and noble and wonderful thing, because it reflects the interpersonal relationships within God Himself. (51) 

When we begin to dislike the very idea of authority and submission—not distortions and abuses, but the very idea—we are tampering with something very deep. We are beginning to dislike God Himself. (52)

Rachel Miller recently drew attention to a message Wayne Grudem gave that was published at Revive Our Hearts (italics mine):

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: As we pick up with today’s segment of Dr. Grudem’s message, he is going to help us understand that this thing of headship and submission in the marriage relationship is not a negative concept. This is not a concept that changes with the culture. This is something that is rooted in the very nature of God. It’s rooted in the Trinity, and the relationship that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit have with each other. If we dislike or reject the concept of authority and submission, we are actually rejecting something very precious that’s a reflection of God Himself.

Dr. Wayne Grudem: … The idea of headship and submission never began. It has existed eternally in the relationship between the Father and Son in the Trinity….

And in this most basic of all relationships, authority is not based on gifts or ability. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equal in all attributes and perfections, but authority is just there. Authority belongs to the Father, not because He is wiser or a more skillful leader, but just because He is Father. Authority and submission is the fundamental difference between the persons of the Trinity.

So according to Grudem, authority and submission are:

  • divine
  • intrinsic to the eternal relations between the Father and the Son
  • the fundamental difference between the persons of the Trinity.
  • fundamental to interpersonal relationships

And according to Grudem, submission to a rightful authority is:

  • a good and noble and wonderful thing
  • not based on the gifts or abilities of the one in authority
  • something we must not dislike, since to dislike the idea of authority and submission means we are beginning to dislike God himself

What does this amount to for women? It draws the knot pretty tight. As Nancy DeMoss said to Grudem, “When wives don’t submit they are actually rejecting something very precious that’s a reflection of God Himself.”  

Grudem’s messages will have the effect of coercively controlling women victims of abuse so they will try even harder to submit to their (anti-)husbands. Recommended article: What is coercive control?

I want to be fair to Grudem and not make any straw man arguments here, so let us look carefully at Grudem’s words I quoted above—

When we begin to dislike the very idea of authority and submission—not distortions and abuses, but the very idea—we are tampering with something very deep. We are beginning to dislike God Himself. (link 52)

Grudem is implying that it is OKAY to dislike the distortions and abuses of authority and submission. And that if we dislike the distortions and abuses of authority and submission, that doesn’t mean we dislike God himself.

Whew! That’s a relief!

But how small that drop of water is to the parched victim of abuse! And how many victims of abuse will even notice it? Very few. In fact, I only noticed it as I was working on this post —and it’s taking me days of intense thought to write this post. Grudem’s caveat will pass most readers by, especially the ones who are being abused by their husbands and are already feeling crushed and straight-jacketed by Grudem’s teaching that authority and submission are divine, eternal, the fundamental difference between the persons of the Trinity, fundamental to interpersonal relationships; and submission to a rightful authority is a good and noble and wonderful thing, not based on the gifts or abilities of the one in authority, and we must not dislike the idea of authority and submission…   And if that sentence was long, I intended it to be so, to give you a sense of how heavy this load of precepts is to women, especially women who are being abused at home or at church.

Grudem’s caveat is like a tiny opening in the thick stone wall of the cell in which her abuser and Grudem’s teaching has imprisoned her. It is an opening to fresh air and justice. If the woman still has strength enough in her legs, she can stand on tip toe and breathe in the fresh air. This fresh air, this lungful of truth, allows the abused woman to dislike the distortions of abuse and submission.

But who judges when authority and submission are being distorted? The wife? The abusive husband? The pastor and elders? No prizes for guessing the answer… it’s the men who will judge. The leaders.

And remember, the leaders teach that “submission to a rightful authority is a good and noble and wonderful thing, not based on the gifts or abilities of the one in authority.” And they usually see abuse as only physical violence.  So they’ve handed the man a plea-bargaining card on a silver divine platter. The woman will usually be told, “It’s not really abuse. You need to look to yourself and your own sin too. Aren’t you being bitter? Vindictive? A resentful gossip? Aren’t you running your husband down? Tut tut. You need to forgive. Be more submissive. Have more faith. By being submissive you will be showing him the gospel without a word. We will pray for you… ”

How can Grudem be treating women as “equal in value to men” when so much of his teaching has the effect of coercively controlling wives to submit to their husbands? How can he be treating women as “equal in value to men” when his teaching gives that plea-bargaining card to men?

***

 Previous posts in this ERAS series:

Part 1 It’s vital to talk about motivation in the debate about ‘Eternal Relations of Authority and Submission’

Part 2 The ceiling came down, so it’s time to inspect the whole building

Part 3 Bruce Ware teaches that a wife’s lack of submission threatens her husband’s authority, and he responds to this threat by abusing her (ERAS part 3)

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76 Comments

  1. joepote01

    Several semi-related thoughts as I read this post…

    First, Grudem is making an awful lot of assumptions about both the nature of God and the nature of mankind, with precious little supporting evidence…then peddling his assumptions as gospel truth. It appears to be a house of cards with each assumption supported by another assumption.

    Second, I have never considered myself Egalitarian…and still don’t…but reading Grudem’s table at face value, it appears the Egalitarians have it more right than the other options he lists.

    Third, I cannot be made to fit into tabular columns. My theology, my thoughts, my personality, my understanding of God, my understanding of mankind…these do not fit into nice neat tabular columns…and I refuse to be forced to choose between column headings.

    Fourth, if I, a simple man of limited education, am to complex to fit into nice neat tabular columns…how much more is God in His eternality, His omnipotence, His omnipresence, His divine nature…as creator and sustainer of all…how could God possibly fit into nice neat tabular columns? To even attempt such a thing seems sacrilegious and irreverent!

    • BetterEquipped

      Joepote01 – luv your response. And what you articulated, in my opinion, can also be translated into every realm of theology. Mankind has this need to ‘conclude’, chart, and box all things ‘God’ because we generally are uncomfortable with open-ended ideas and unresolved mysteries. So man has to go beyond scripture to clean things up. The problem with tidying up certain theology, as we all know, is that it eventually leads to legalism and burden, which always leads to abuse in one way or another.

      • joepote01

        Yes, I agree. We tend to like nice neat theories…and those can help our understanding. However, we must be careful to realize our theories (theologies) always fall short of explaining or describing God. Otherwise, we can start to expect God to conform to our theology, rather than revising our theology to include a growing understanding of God.

  2. Song of Joy

    Wayne Grudem says “…authority and submission…authority and submission…authority and submission…”

    Grudem’s extreme obsession with “authority and submission” puts him in direct opposition to Jesus.

    Where, I ask, is WG’s submission to the Lord Jesus Christ? Does WG believe in the authority of Jesus? I don’t see evidence of it!

    For Jesus Christ explicitly commanded in Matthew 20:25-28 (NIV):

    Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise AUTHORITY over them. NOT SO WITH YOU. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    ***
    I added the caps for emphasis. Sorry for the rant, but I’m just so angered about this.

    • BetterEquipped

      Song of Joy – 👍 – what you just described is true husband-headship! If submission is ‘willingly yielding oneself to a person or thing or circumstance’ then who would have a problem submitting to someone you/Jesus just described? That’s why we all can EASILY submit to the Lord, because he doesn’t lord his lordship over anyone. No one is ever forced by Him to follow him, He allows us to choose to yield to Him.

  3. Song of Joy

    Hey Wayne Grudem, your “authority and submission” mania will get you nowhere in the Kingdom.

    Matthew 20:16 (NIV)
    “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

    Matthew 5:5 (NIV)
    “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”

    Jeremiah 5:31 (NIV)
    The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?

  4. Seeing Clearly

    I pause to wonder if the Trinity weeps as Gruden, a tiny spec of dust in the universe, claims to know the Trinity well enough to overly simplify their relationship and apply inappropriate human attributes to a sinless God. It seems to be bordering on blasphemy.

    Joe, your fourth comment greatly resonates with me.

    • bright sunshinin' day

      Yes — “…Grudem…bordering on blasphemy.”

  5. Gothard Survivor

    The idea that you can dislike the distortions is just that — an idea. What I found out is that when the counseling is over and everyone in the group decides (after several years) that you are telling the truth and being mistreated, the answer they give is that you need to stay and pray for your husband to see his mistakes and change. If you have to you can leave (or leave temporarily) but you are never to stop hoping and praying and submitting.

    Personally, I feel like the 30 years with my husband has been a worse sentence than any criminal received. I would gladly accept the death penalty at this point.

    • Mandy

      I get what you’re saying. Really. [ I suggest you] pray for an obvious way out. You might be surprised.

  6. donaldbyronjohnson

    I reject the premise of the chart, that somehow the items found in the middle is what is taught in Scripture.

    So what do I see taught in Scripture? There is SOMETHING (for now let’s leave it unspecified as to detail for discussion purposes). And there is SOMETHING+ which ADDS to Scripture and which can result in legalism and bondage when it negates Scripture (per Jesus) and there is SOMETHING- which SUBTRACTS from Scripture and results in license. A teaching by a human, being imperfect, may have a mixture of all three, that is, it might contain a portion of God’s truth, an addition in another area and a subtraction in yet another area. All of us see thru a glass darkly, the best we can do is do the best we can to try to be faithful interpreters of Scripture. For the record, I fully expect when I sit at the feet of Messiah I will learn where I added and where I subtracted.

    Does this mean that all possible interpretations are equally valid? Not by a long shot. But the question is then to try one’s best to figure out what the SOMETHING that is taught in Scripture really is.

    • BetterEquipped

      And in addition in interpretation – does the interpretation make heavy the yoke or lighten the burden?

  7. Gothard Survivor

    Also, adding to my pain is my son-in-law, the Doug Wilson follower, who wants me to obey his every suggestion or not see my daughter and grandchild. My daughter is not even able to e-mail me — all communication must come through the husband.

    All of my life in the church has been marked by the “authority” card. It was the reason my sister and I experienced horrible treatment as kids, the reason I got married (my parents set up the wedding and I couldn’t defy their authority), the reason I raised the kids alone (a husband doesn’t have to take responsibility for anything if he decides not to — he is the decider!), the reason my daughters ended up lawless and lawful — both trying to find ways to be safe as women and not experience what I have.

    I honestly don’t know what to do with authority now. How should we look at authority in our life? Who is an authority in our life?

    • Avid Reader

      Dear Gothard Survivor,

      I can hear the deep pain in your words here and in several other comments you’ve made on this blog. As painful as it is to share your experiences, we appreciate your courage in opening up about these very personal things because there are so many other people out there suffering under the same craziness.

      I was one of those kids who grew up getting taught Bill Gothard principles in Sunday School and you can imagine what that did to my thinking. It puts you under such a heavy agony that I can totally understand all the people who have walked away from the Lord because of it.

      The fact that even after your heart has been brutally crushed under this freight train of legalism, yet each piece of your heart has still held on to God shows how deep your love for God is even through all the deep pain you’ve experienced. I believe that God has a scrapbook in Heaven that records all the good you’ve done even when people were mistreating you. (Malachi 3:16)

      If you don’t mind me saying this, what helped me deal with all that crazy theology was when I took some time to stop reading everything. For a while, I stopped reading Christian books, stopped even reading the Old Testament and New Testament and read nothing but Jesus’ red letters. That’s when the lightbulb started going on in my head and I was able to sort out the rest.

      It sounds like you may be feeling like you’re in a dark place in life right now. Just know that you’re not alone. You have all of us standing with you.

      ((Hugs))

      • Gothard Survivor

        Avid Reader, Thank you so much for your kind words.

      • Mandy

        Avid Reader and all Gothard Survivors….I know you probably all know this….just in case somebody hasn’t thought of it lately…..It’s not only Gothard who has messed up so many people, there are others, even in our own churches, and we need to be SO very discerning and careful to be sure we’re not being sheeple and following the crowd. We always need to check out chapter, verse, and context as good Bereans who search the Scriptures.

        For example, my own pastor who normally has his head screwed on very straight, preached that wives were ‘subservient’ to their husbands. Not only should they submit, but they were subservient. Said twice in the same message. That’s an extremely strong word, right? My husband approached him on this in a friendly, casual way. He stood firm. Yep, subservient. I was so hurt and stunned that I could hardly contain my tears until I rushed outside the doors after the service. He is gone now (not because of this issue), and I am anxious about who will be next. It’s for sure we won’t stay if the church goes this direction again.

      • Avid Reader

        Mandy,

        I’m sorry to hear that.

        The tears you felt were coming from the heart of God grieving over more of His people getting hurt.

        Kudos to your husband for confronting the pastor. How can that pastor tell the church to violate the very first commandment?

        Thank you for sharing. The more people that stand for the truth the quicker things will change in the body of Christ as a whole.

  8. Lea

    I love how a wife doesn’t just have to submit she has to ‘intelligently, joyfully submit’.

    There are obviously a million things wrong with this chart, but that’s the one is so irritating.

    • In the comp world, you cannot merely be a Stepford wife, you must also be an intelligent and joyful Stepford wife! OR ELSE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG and then it can be pointed out to you as yet another way you fall short, forgive me for shouting. This way it is always, always, always at least partially the woman’s fault, there is something she can improve and have hope for a better life.

      • In the comp world, you cannot merely be a Stepford wife, you must also be an intelligent and joyful Stepford wife! OR ELSE YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG and then it can be pointed out to you as yet another way you fall short,

        Yes. Well said, Donald. And it’s that final twist of the screw that makes the whole thing so coercive.

      • Lea

        Yes. It’s not good enough that they control your actions, they have to control your thoughts too. Creepy.

  9. BetterEquipped

    Now that Nancy Demoss is finally married, I wonder how her determined hard-core views will hold up. As I saw the little video testimony of her life, it was a little sickening to see how perfect and honorable her whole life is projected; from being raised idyllically to the idyllic ministry vocation to the ideal husband. Forgive me if I come across as negating …

    I remember early on reading her books about marriage, and struggling with the over-simplicity of it (because my life was falling apart due to an abusive marriage) only to discover later that she had never even been married! I was angry, the book made life worse for me, and on top of that I felt condemnation before the lLord – something foreign to me in my walk with God. How can someone comfort with the comfort they never received? I have grown to understand how pain and suffering evolves and shapes our theology (not essential doctrines) about life. This is how we grow up into all things in Christ; we learn obedience through suffering, included in that obedience is the understanding and experience of seeing God make beauty from ashes. I see grace in this, not in the flamboyant overemphasized exhortations of man-induced marriage rules.

    • In great measure, the life of Nancy Leigh DeMoss (now called Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth since she married Mr Wolgemuth) has been ‘idyllic’ because she inherited millions of $$ from her father. This is an important factor, which only the Lord knows the full in and outs of. The Wartburg Watch has published some good posts about Nancy’s wealth and its influence in conservative churches and parachurch groups.

      • BetterEquipped

        Barbara – thank you! I did do a little research on Nancy … what I found absolutely stunned me. It’s easy to rabbit trail and get lost in blog comments, but it was mostly here where I found the worst of her agenda-pushing evil, which is how damaging and destructive Nancy’s agenda ‘against’ women is: I was confounded to read testimony after testimony of Christian women who not only left the church but left God – as in choosing atheism – because of her deluded gospel of feminism and oppression. Of course we are called by God to study to show OURSELVES approved, testing all things, however the majority of sheep are biblically illiterate and do the next thing – follow leaders and believe everything they say. James warns teachers/leaders about this type of power they have that defines the lives of their hearers, for good or bad. Nancy & cohorts have dimished, abused, and de-converted many of the sheep. There is a funeral in my heart over this!

        Amazingly in contrast, is Jesus. How was it that he could approach the ‘wicked sinners’ and somehow by the end of their conversations, their hearts are resuscitated to life and desiring to follow after God? The obvious answer is that He never imposed burden upon them, he removed it. As Jesus poured out the nature of the Father’s heart toward them, the shackles of burden that the Pharisees had bound upon them fell off. As a result, they were FREE to love God back!

        The modern day Pharisees Nancy, Piper, and the whole comp crew, in the name of ‘evangelizing?’ (not really sure what they call it), have had the opposite effect. Burdening the weak while establishing for themselves, their voices, their books, their (expensive) conferences, an exalted position – they are self exalted Messiahs, rich messiahs. Because if they are right, the rest of christiandom must be wrong.

    • Mandy

      I hear y’all. I was stunned as well when I realized long ago that Nancy DeMoss was never married and never had children, yet she spoke on marriage/family and/or facilitated programs discussing marriage/family/teenagers, etc. I think she is Life Action’s token woman (assuming she is still employed there), and she’s there to keep women in line. I had my connection with Life Action many years ago, and when my current church (of 8 years ago) announced their visit for a week, I literally got stomach cramps. I talked candidly to the pastor. It did no good. Some crazy confess-all things happened during that week. Long story short: I kept my original opinion even more strongly that I still don’t condone Life Action or Nancy DeMoss in any way, even if she is now married and, one would think, she has put all her teachings into a perfect and idyllic order and harmony in the home.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Nancy and big money. DeMoss foundation you know. It’s a case of the church giving preference to the rich gal while the lower class is told to sit in the back on the floor.

  10. Lea

    I want to say I dislike that they conflate the political stuff relating to homosexuality and transgender issues with the relationship between a married man and wife. They do this constantly.

    They are also so focused on authority they cannot conceive of a couple making decisions in which no one is lesser, as a person or in ‘roles’, which is why they have to list wife as ‘usurper’ and husband as ‘wimp’, when that is not at all what mutual decision making implies!!

    The sex stuff is completely left field. If anything a woman who is respected by her husband may be more interested in him in that way, as opposed to one who has been treated as a child.

  11. Gothard Survivor

    BetterEquipped, thank you for noting that when we box things up it leads to legalism and burden. I think that is why Jesus said to love our neighbor — and he didn’t define “love.” Love can be different in different situations and there is not a formula to follow to love someone.

  12. That table of Wayne Grudem’s is filled with false assumptions, loaded words, manipulative statements and frank untruths. It’s offensive on so many levels and it says a great deal about the character of the person who made all that stuff up.

  13. To Joe and all here who have said that you’re uncomfortable being boxed in to a chart. I want to be fair to Grudem so I need to point out that at the bottom of the second page of his chart (I didn’t show that page in this post), Grudem says:

    Here is Grudem’s wording so that you can read it if the font in the image is too small:

    Please note: This chart contains many generalizations and is only meant to show tendencies. Most people and many religious systems hold mixed views and have inconsistencies in thinking. Moreover, conscience, social pressure, and the Bible often restrain people from adoptions all aspects of non-biblical views. Therefore this chart certainly does not imply that every person or religious system within each column holds to everything in that column.”

    • I have great respect for Wayne Grudem’s credentials as a theologian, but in the chart I feel he has stepped out of his field and made subjective judgments about social behavior and culture. His personal prejudices do show through. I don’t have enough evidence to be convinced that those statements are valid assessments of social behavior, even of tendencies.

    • joepote01

      I think I find the table footnote even more offensive!

      So, per this footnote, anyone who does not fit into Grudem’s nice neat little table has “mixed views” with “inconsistencies in thinking.” And anyone who does not perfectly align with Grudem’s center column of ‘acceptability’ yet agrees with him on some points is merely ‘restrained’ “from adopting all aspects of non-biblical views” due to “conscience, social pressure, and the Bible.”

      What arrogance!

      I suppose when Grudem someday discovers that God does not fit into his neat little table, he will say social pressure restrained God from adopting all aspects of non-biblical views!!!???

      Here is what God says to that:

      You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”? (Isaiah‬ ‭29:16‬ ‭NIV)

      • Avid Reader

        Thank you, Joe! That is such a great point!

        Honestly—reading through hundreds of pages of Wayne Grudem’s writings was deeply disturbing because he keeps saying so many hurtful things about women that you start to wonder how he can say that he cares about women while disrespecting them right and left.

        In his book Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth (EFBT) Grudem actually “RESTRICTS” women from having “public recognition or visibility” in the church. (p. 84)

        On pages 232-235, he FORBIDS women from questioning theology or prophecy in church because “it involves assuming the possession of SUPERIOR authority in matters of doctrinal or ethical instruction.” (p. 233)

        Now why wouldn’t he want the women using their discernment/critical thinking skills in church?

        Grudem goes even farther saying that because Eve was deceived therefore every born again female believer will automatically be more easily deceived because this is a “characteristic of Eve……relevant for ALL WOMEN IN ALL CULTURES.” (p. 296)

        Then he suggests “that a woman’s kinder, gentler nature makes her less likely to draw a hard line when close friends are teaching doctrinal error.” (p. 296)

        And if anyone wants evidence of how Grudem treats women—here’s the quote. Some of you have seen this quote before—but since this is the page on Grudem—I’m reposting this for the newer blog readers and all those who will want more evidence.

        Grudem literally ranks:
        “teaching a high school Sunday School class”
        WAY ABOVE
        “teaching a college-age Sunday school class”
        which is way ABOVE
        “teaching a women’s Sunday school class”

        Then he ranks:
        “counseling one man”
        as ABOVE
        “counseling a couple together”
        which is ABOVE
        “counseling one woman.” (p. 88)

        What’s even more disturbing is how he deals with the issue of abuse.

        When he co-wrote the book Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood with John Piper they said,

        We believe that wife abuse have some deep roots in the failure of parents to impart to their sons and daughters the meaning of true masculinity and true femininity. The confusions and frustrations of sexual identity often explode in harmful behaviors. The solution to this is not to minimize gender differences — which will then break out in menacing ways — but to teach in the home and the church how true manhood and womanhood express themselves in the loving complementary roles of marriage. (p. 62)

        That’s it — that’s all the help they give to victims of abuse in that book! So after people complained that they had only devoted one paragraph to this issue — over a decade later Grudem again addresses the topic of abuse when he writes EFBT.

        But what’s really disturbing is that when you read that book you feel like the whole reason he even addresses the issue is because he wants to prove that “statistics claiming to connect male headship with abuse of women are misleading.” (p. 495) He devotes four pages to rebuking people like James and Phyllis Alsdurf who wrote the book Battered Into Submission to confront the church on how “the inherent logic of patriarchy says that since men have the right to dominance and control—they also have the right to enforce that control.”

        Grudem responds to the Alsdufs by giving “explanations of methodological errors in studies that connect violence to belief in male headship.” (p. 495)

        Then he writes, “Tragically the Alsdurfs report case after case where an abused woman went to her pastor for help, only to have the pastor tell her he would not do anything to confront the husband and that the wife should stay and submit to the abuse. This is a terrible misuse of Scripture.” (p. 492)

        He writes, “It is cruel to tell wives who are being physically abused simply to stay and endure the suffering. Such advice will often lead to more violence and harm against them and their children.” (p. 492)

        “Therefore when we become aware of a situation where a wife is being abused by her husband we should take whatever steps we can to bring about personal confrontation and accountability for the abuser, church discipline, police protection and civil penalties in the court system, physical removal of the wife and children from the house for their protection and other appropriate means in order to protect the abused and bring an end to the VIOLENCE.” (p. 493)

        That’s a great point until you realize that he completely ignores the reality of emotional abuse and carefully sidesteps the topic of divorce by recommending separation and the ambiguous “appropriate means.”

        Joe — you’re right — I wonder what will happen when Grudem finds out that God cares more about people than fitting into those neat little theological charts!

      • joepote01

        Avid Reader –

        That is some sick stuff!

        No wonder Grudem is so vehemently against women teaching or even questioning theology. It must be a lot easier to teach misogynist perspectives without having to deal with such things as a wise woman’s perspective on the subject. SMH!

      • Here is a link to a pdf of the first 61 pages of Wayne Grudem’s Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth. I’ve put the link into Avid Reader’s comment above, as well.

        http://www.wtsbooks.com/common/pdf_links/9781433532610.pdf

      • Thanks Joe. 🙂 🙂

      • Lea

        >Then he suggests “that a woman’s kinder, gentler nature makes her less likely to draw a hard line when close friends are teaching doctrinal error.” (p. 296)

        Funny. I have no difficulty drawing a line at basically everything he says about women!

      • joepote01

        Hah! Good point, Lea!

        And that leaves me wondering about his apparent contradictory concerns. First he forbids women from questioning theology or prophecy…then he expresses concern that women may have a hard time drawing a hard line on friends teaching doctrinal error.

        So which is it? Is he concerned she might speak out against doctrinal error (which he forbids) or is he concerned she may fail to speak out against doctrinal error (which he assumes may be an issue due to her gentler nature)?

        I guess if he never allows women to speak on theological topics, then he’ll never know if they have a problem speaking up, will he? Maybe….just maybe…the reason they’re not speaking up has nothing to do with their ‘gentler nature’ and everything to do with the church rules.

        It appears he mostly wants to make sure women don’t speak up and that if they do speak up their expressed view is discredited in advance. Otherwise, some wise woman of God might actually expose his misogynist teachings as the heresy they are.

        SMH!

      • It’s a Catch 22, no matter what she does, she ends up breaking one of Grudem’s man-made rules. For shame. As far as I can tell, the solution is to walk away and keep walking until you find a congregation that does not believe this nonsense.

      • Lea

        >Is he concerned she might speak out against doctrinal error (which he forbids) or is he concerned she may fail to speak out against doctrinal error (which he assumes may be an issue due to her gentler nature)?

        She can’t speak because she won’t speak. Clear as mud.

        Excellent points. Their logic is…not logical.

  14. Update to my chart. I decided to remove a few words from my centre column in the God row. In that box I originally had the words:
    “Nicene orthodoxy, to try to convey it in a diagram would be to misrepresent it, because it is so wonderful and simple and complex at the same time.”

    I have changed that to:
    “Nicene orthodoxy, to try to convey it in a diagram would be to misrepresent it.”

    Thank-you to Liam Goligher for his input on this. As he pointed out, using the word ‘complex’ to describe the eternal Trinity is problematic, so I decided to simply remove it.

    • Cassandra Wright

      Someone referred to Piper’s quote from the Bible, “Grudem goes even farther saying that because Eve was deceived therefore every born again female believer will automatically be more easily deceived because this is a “characteristic of Eve……relevant for ALL WOMEN IN ALL CULTURES.” (p. 296)

      I do NOT for the life of me how men can say that women are easily deceived without recognizing that the Man deliberately choose to do the wrong thing. Somehow she is disqualified but he is not????? MAKE NO SENSE!!

      • Actually, I’ve heard Grudem say that he thinks that Adam must have been deceived in order to eat the forbidden fruit. Grudem can’t imagine how Adam did that unless he was deceived. I’ll try to find the link and put it into this thread.

  15. NutMeg

    These are the exact charts we were given in my family life class! My school said they were complementarian and saw woman as equals and then proceeded to put us down all the time. I had no idea where the charts came from. The professor acted like he made them! But after reading this it all makes sense. Scary…

    • I’m so glad I have helped you join the dots, Nutmeg.

      Yes, it’s scary.

  16. NutMeg

    Okay I’m going to be honest and share something that’s hard for me to share. Although I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to get attention. Because this issue is really tiny compared to what most women on this blog have gone though. This teaching is the main reason why I got married.

    Growing up I never wanted to get married so young. I wanted to get away from my abusive parents and find out who I was without them. But when I got to the christian college they started to teach this. “Women are to submit” and they believed that if a woman had people who admired her but she didn’t date them she was being prideful. We were encouraged to get married as soon as we could and then to produce many children. They told us we needed to have kids and right away. And if we chose not to have kids we weren’t really doing what we should. We were being “selfish”. And I even had one of my professors basically tell me that I couldn’t care for myself even though I thought I could. So obviously I had to get married and let the man take care of me.

    I really wasn’t sold on the idea of being married at 22 at all but they had all beat me up with the message of women submitting to men because it’s what God wants that I just went with it. My husband is a good guy but I realized that if I had to do it all over again I wouldn’t. I felt so worthless. And I was afraid because I saw how they treated the single girls at school. And they hated women who chose not to date or marry.

    I am definitely going to teach my daughter (if I have children) about how her worth is in Christ and not in her husband. I wouldn’t be angry with her for staying single. I hope her motivation for marriage is based on love instead of the self-hate and guilt my marriage has been based on so far…

    • joepote01

      Nutmeg –

      “…if a woman had people who admired her but she didn’t date them she was being prideful.”

      That is horrible!

      So, basically, they taught that women were created solely for the purpose of submitting to a husband…so if you didn’t have a husband you better find one quick so you could submit to him!!!??? And if you’re not sure of God’s plans any interested guy will do for a husband!!!???

      That is atrocious! And SO unbiblical!

      So what did they do with 1 Corinthians 7 and the various other passages where the Apostle Paul so clearly advises singleness as being better than marriage? Just pretend those passages aren’t in the Bible, because it didn’t fit their theological model?

      I’m appalled!

      Thank you for sharing your story! I am so thankful for the insight God has given you…and thankful for your possible future daughter…

      Thank you!

      • Nutmeg, I second everything that Joe said.

        What they taught you was awful.

      • NutMeg

        They ignored that passage completely. I was reading the Bible a few months ago and I came across that. And I realized that the last time I had read that passage was BEFORE college. I had spent years in college studying the word and not once did we talk about that.

        And yes, they taught that basically ANY christian man will do just fine. We are all sinners. There is no such things as a “soulmate” all Christians are the same. So stop being selfish and picky and just choose one already. And they shared stories and shamed people who didn’t do this. They believed that in order to stop homosexuality and other things we had to be an army of godly families. It was weird. And it’s caused so many problems for me and my husband. We have had so many meltdowns because we cannot live up to those standards. So we are seriously trying to start all over and we are finally able to get to know one another. The real version of each other. Not the lies we told each other when we first started dating to sound godly. It’s so weird!

      • joepote01

        “So we are seriously trying to start all over and we are finally able to get to know one another. The real version of each other. Not the lies we told each other when we first started dating to sound godly.”

        I smiled reading this part of your comment…and thanking God for the work of the Holy Spirit! Blessings to you and your husband on this journey!

      • Lea

        >they believed that if a woman had people who admired her but she didn’t date them she was being prideful.

        In addition to this being awful, it is also a really bad idea. If you have a bad vibe about someone, you should not date them. They could be dangerous.

        I’m glad you and your husband are working things out now! I think there are some practical reasons to get married in your early 20’s if you find someone, but it’s not because the bible says you have to!

    • BetterEquipped

      “…if a woman had people who admired her but she didn’t date them she was being prideful.”

      Does that also mean that if a person DIDNT admire you that THEY were being too prideful??

      It saddens me to hear that this pivoting point in your life manipulated and controlled the direction of your future. This was also my case. I grew up with a Muslim father (he still is one) and I see no difference between a Muslim and Grudem’s mindset, accept that maybe the latter knows how to impose evil in less obvious, even ‘kinder’ ways. But both blame it on God.

      Growing up under a mindset, which also means that you actually ‘grow into a mindset’ (brainwashing) that devalues women, causes such a strange and wounding inner breakdown of the soul. So that even when I became a Christian, these mindsets did not automatically disappear. They still controlled every disrespectful way I viewed myself; I didn’t recognize this self-disrespect till years later. Yes, I was in Christ, but it took me years to realize that my functioning identity was still Muslim. Much like the Israelites in the wilderness still had Egypt in them.

      At the age of 20 I married a ‘good’ Christian man (we liked each other but didn’t love each other) who would take care of me provisionally – which I liked because I feared the world (because of the mindset issue). I went to a church that propagated authority/submission in marriages, so I fell naturally into the idea of it being biblical, as I had grown up in this mindset – but hey, at least in this case I would be glorifying the Lord, right? Plus being the good stay-at-home housewife that church encouraged justified me not having to grow up into personal identity, or from losing my fear and intimidation of the world. Having three children kept me from having to face this growth as well. So at many levels I felt like I was stuck in arrested development. Over time as I began maturing in these matters, the marriage dissolved because I was no longer okay with the domination, lack of affection, and being treated like my distinct role and purpose in life was raising kids and keeping house – my husband actually told me this! That was my wake-up call, I knew I either left or died. I left.

      I enjoyed freedom for five years before I fell into another Christian relationship. We married, my kids were elementary age at this time, and I was able once again to be a stay at home mom. It didn’t take long for my husband’s mask to come off and for me to see that he was way more dangerous emotionally than my first husband. I was obviously still oblivious to the blind and destructive nature of abuse. Matter of fact, I didn’t even know to call it that till years into the marriage. I began despising myself for falling into the same trap! I was depressed for a long time. We did counseling off and on throughout the years of our marriage, but my husband refused to hear his faults. He is great in so many ways, but his attitudes of superiority really affected me. My situation was not half as severe as most abuse cases I read but the emotional torment within me was an escalation of a lifetime of being controlled and manipulated and disrespected. And it was killing me. I didn’t want to get another divorce because I was older in life at this point and I have it good financially, and the stress of undergoing a second divorce would undo me.

      As I sought the Lords wisdom, He began introducing me to people and resources that taught me how to respect and value myself (is that pathetic or is that pathetic?? But what a blessing!). My brokenness and battle was not merely a result of my current marriage but over-reached all those years since childhood, and the Lord showed me that. I learned right theology, which meant having a right view of God, which meant I began understanding the importance from God’s perspective what wholeness looks like.

      This new integrity dissolved my critical and judgmental attitude I held toward others. I learned how to be assertive, to voice my opinions at the risk of being verbally punished for it, I learned to recognize when I’m being controlled and manipulated (which was not easy) and didn’t permit it. As I changed, as I began standing up for myself and showing self-respect, it literally caused my husband to adjust his attitude toward me. Our relationship upgraded. He began seeing his own hostility through God’s conviction. And although he hasn’t really done personal work on his own issues per se, my being emotionally healthier gave me the wherewithal to detach from my husbands unhealthiness. I finally have personal peace, no longer depressed, no longer stuck in my life, and have moved forward with joy and anticipation for my future.

      I know many have not found a measure of success in their abusive situations, nevertheless, I believe there is power in growing strong in ones personal identity in Christ, and being willing to overcome the fears that bind us to abuse. That is who God is and what He does. His arm is never so short that he cannot save. I encourage you in that promise!

      • Better Equipped, thank you so much for this comment. 🙂

        From what you’ve described about how you have changed in recent years, it sounds similar to some of the things that Dr George Simon Jr talks about in his book How Did We End Up Here? (— which I’m still to review on this blog).

      • NutMeg

        Better Equipped I am so sorry that you went through all of that! I’m glad that you were able to get out of it. And it does encourage me because lately I have been pretty depressed over how I view myself. I feel so stupid for allowing myself to be brainwashed. But I have to remind myself that it came from all sides. My roommates would frequently make comments about how I was too weak to care for myself. And on the first day of school Freshman year the housing director told us that most of the girls would be engaged before senior year. And people would know more about my relationship than I did. They would gossip about us and how perfect we were together. I would have totally strangers ask me about him! And if I went anywhere without him people would ask if we were having problems and where he was! It was so dehumanizing. So by the time my husband proposed I just decided to go with it.

        And the worst part is that all of this could be avoided if we just talk to our children about their sexuality in a godly way and then explain what abuse is. But instead the church taught me to submit to men which my parents built on so my dad wouldn’t have to worry about me questioning him and then the school built upon it to marry us off. It’s a vicious cycle.

    • Avid Reader

      NutMeg,

      Thank you for sharing that. I totally understand where you’re coming from on this.
      What happened to you is NOT your fault — while you’re already thinking of this too right now — we have to keep reminding the church that those leaders will have to answer to God for what they taught you. And I’m with you on knowing that thankfully your future children will never have to suffer through that.

      You touched on a really big issue in the church. Way too much Christian theology teaches women that desire for educational goals and having a career or basically desiring anything other than motherhood is sinful.

      That even being proactive itself is sinful. That passiveness is a Godly virtue. That since initiative is a male characteristic, if women take initiative they are trying to become male. Years and years of absorbing of sermons and books that pressure women into being passive result in people making honest mistakes — trying to please God the way they’ve been taught. No wonder there’s so much difficulty in trying to recognize and develop the non-motherhood gifts and talents inside of us!

      The painful irony is that after years of teaching women to please God by being passive — then the church has the arrogance to turn around and blame women for not dealing with situations. That’s a total catch-22! So first they hinder the ability to confront issues and then they blame us for not doing anything! That’s the kind of false guilt burdens that I’m learning to reject.

      While we all have our regrets in life – lately what the Lord’s been telling me is that nothing in our lives is wasted. What I was just reading today was this:

      “But I will pay you back for those years of trouble.” Joel 2:25b (ERV)

      “I will make you better off than ever before. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
      Eze 36:11b (GW)

      NutMeg — thank you for opening up and sharing some really painful things. Just know that your thoughts are helping the rest of us sort through our experiences too.

      • NutMeg

        That since initiative is a male characteristic, if women take initiative they are trying to become male

        Yes! This is exactly what they believed! But the most annoying part was if you tried to call them out on it they wouldn’t admit to it! Because they taught it in such subtle ways where if you weren’t looking for it you might miss it. If you confronted my school they would just show you how many women graduated with a degree from their school in their defense. But a lot of those women have been made to feel guilty for needing that degree in the first place. Or they get married to a man who doesn’t allow them to use their degree. Usually the man they were dating while they were students at the college. We had so many misogynist statements slipped into our lectures that I sometimes wonder if they would have told women to drop out of school and just get married altogether if they didn’t want their money so badly. Most of the students were women.

        I even had a professor give an example of how people were like duct tape. And if we dated too many people before we got married we would lose our stickiness and become useless. But he was saying that this is what his mother taught his daughters when they hit puberty and that it was wise and we need to just pick someone already. But even as he was saying all of this I noticed he was looking more to the women in the class than the men. They try to hide it but they just can’t because it’s a huge part of them!

      • joepote01

        Yes! This is exactly what they believed! But the most annoying part was if you tried to call them out on it they wouldn’t admit to it! Because they taught it in such subtle ways where if you weren’t looking for it you might miss it.

        That is so frustrating! And since they subtly implied these things without actually saying it, not only do they hold plausible deniability, but they also strengthen the lie. Lies out in the open can be more readily identified and confronted. Lies hidden in subtle language tend to creep deeper into our psyche without our being aware of them.

        I dealt with something similar in learning to see past the church mythologies on divorce that were taught in the churches I was raised in. Here is a post on my blog, talking about that: http://josephjpote.com/2014/01/divorce-mythology/

      • …even as he was saying all of this I noticed he was looking more to the women in the class than the men. They try to hide it but they just can’t because it’s a huge part of them!

        Bingo! Yes! I’ve seen that kind of thing too.

      • Lea

        >I even had a professor give an example of how people were like duct tape. And if we dated too many people before we got married we would lose our stickiness and become useless.

        That is just…so so awful! The idea of any human person being useless in and of itself is bad and wrong.

      • MarkQ

        I don’t know if it originated with her, but the initiative thing is from Elisabeth Elliot.I think it’s in Passion and Purity. She even claims the shape of the genitalia suggests initiative in men and passiveness in women.

      • Avid Reader

        Mark,

        Thanks for the tip. I’ll go look that up.

        What blows my mind about how these people keep teaching women that taking initiative is sinful is that they are actually disobeying Jesus’ direct command to all of us to be proactively “asking, seeking, knocking!”

        No wonder 2Cor 10:5 (NIV) warned us

        “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it OBEDIENT to CHRIST.”

      • medfen21

        “That since initiative is a male characteristic, if women take initiative they are trying to become male”

        Jael took initiative and saved the nation of Israel! (Judges 4)
        Nothing passive about what this heroine did!

        We live as pleasers of God, not of men. If “the engrafted Word is able to save our souls (Ja 1:21)”, then that also means the Lord will cleanse and save our thinking from all manner of lies and indoctrination – and passivity. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again (yield to) to a yoke of slavery” Ga 5:1. Is god’s freedom instant? Or is freedom taught?

        Prostitution, I’d think, would cause much loss of ‘duct-tape-stickiness’ … and yet our Lord and Saviour didn’t think His great grandmother unqualified for messianic lineage. True, Eve was the first woman to bring sin into the world … but equally true is that a woman was the firstfirst witness of the resurrected, restoring Lord. We take these gold nuggets of scripture and treasure them in our hearts, because THEY are our stronghold and defense against modern day Phariseeism.

  17. Patsy Rae Dawson

    Barbara, just want to say I really appreciate all the work and thought you put into your chart. It clarifies a lot of things.

    • Thanks Patsy 🙂

    • BetterEquipped

      Barbara –
      I second that. I also appreciate your devotion to the oppressed. This is exactly a reflection of God’s own heart. This website extends healing and hope through Truth, and that is everything!! ❤️

      • Thanks Better Eqipped, since my non-Christian family think I’m nuts to keep working on this blog when I could be doing other things like earning money in a job or whatever, it helps to be reminded that the oppressed who come to this blog are being helped by my ‘nutty’ devotion. 🙂

  18. Kay

    The Biblical Middle: What about the fact that Christ, in His sacrificial love, not only laid down his life, but also laid down His power and authority in order that His bride, the Church, might be raised up with Him and seated with Him in heavenly places? He descended that His bride might ascend with Him. Her position, that was lost in the Garden of Eden, is being restored. What about the fact that He is our Savior and Liberator? What about the fact that the Church is no longer subject to a harsh external law, but is now subject to a law of love? What is the implication here to husbands and especially husbands of the first century where wives were legally little more than slaves? Submission is a hard word for me to swallow in any context as it brought so much pain and humiliation into my life. I have never seen a one-sided submission work in a good way. It has only ever been a license for men to do what they want and brings hardship to women.

    • Christ, in His sacrificial love, not only laid down his life, but also laid down His power and authority in order that His bride, the Church, might be raised up with Him and seated with Him in heavenly places? He descended that His bride might ascend with Him.

      I think Grudem might completely agree with that statement if you took out the word ‘authority’. It’s a statement about the Son’s redemptive work in his incarnation and atoning death. And I also think Grudem would proclaim that complementarianism urges husbands to lay down their lives for their wives. But I think Grudem is unwilling to face up to how much his teaching coerces wives into submission.

      Grudem might say that Christ did not lay down his authority in his incarnation and work of redemption. But I don’t think we would say that either. It’s more nuanced. Did Christ lay down his authority in his incarnation? Not entirely. He used his authority to heal, to cast out demons, to quiet a fierce storm, to denounce the Pharisees, to prophesy over Jerusalem, etc. But he never used his authority for selfish purposes. He refused to make the stones into bread when he was hungry after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness. He refused to jump off the temple roof when Satan tempted him with that idea. He refused to call for legions of angels to come and rescue him from the Cross.

      The problem with Grudem’s concept of the Son is that he claims ETERNAL relations of authority and submission within the Trinity.

      Re the position of women in the first century, I’m not an expert on first century laws and social customs but from what I’ve read, the legal position of wives could vary quite a lot, so I’m hesitant to go along with the commonly spread notion that ‘in the first century wives were legally little more than slaves.’ While that was probably true for some wives, it wasn’t true across the board.

      The countries within the Roman empire was not culturally and legally homogenous. And the legal position of individuals varied very much in relation to not only their marital status but whether they were slaves, freed slaves, free-born, Roman citizens, Romans citizens, residents of certain states, cities, etc. The law could vary from one city to another and one state to another.

    • Kay, you said

      I have never seen a one-sided submission work in a good way. It has only ever been a license for men to do what they want and brings hardship to women.

      I am not sure I have ever seen one-sided submission work in a good way either. I have read about a few such couples, but I am not sure I know any closely. The couples who say their marriages work like that and are happy and love each other, seem to be couples who actually practice something fairly close to mutual submission. Steve and Celestia Tracy have contributed to a book about that; their marriage would be an example. They say they are complementarian, but would probably be soft-comp rather than firm comp. I can respect that. 🙂

      But thinking about situations that are not marriage: I know that Jeff and I co-lead this blog and while we defer to each other, and while we each have different strengths and weaknesses which complement the other person’s, I do check with him and I want to follow his lead if there is a difficult or tricky decision to make.

  19. Karen

    I also agree that Grudem is one sick man and is in desperate need of hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in context. He has strayed away from Jesus’ teachings and is hinging his whole doctrine of Christ on a few misconstrued verses that basically teach a form of Sharia disguised as Christianity. The view that women cannot learn God’s Word unless it is taught to them by a male figure, I believe blasphemes the Work of the Holy Spirit in the individual believers lives as well as disregarding all of the “lord it over” Scriptures.

    Grudem’s worldview is one of dominance which has never left the false church system since the beginning of its inception. In the early New Testament assemblies, the Apostles were calling out those wolves in sheep’s clothing who came into their congregations desiring fame and power for themselves. This has always been a problem for men who secretly desire to be first and foremost within any religious system, including visible Christianity. And personally, with the strict teachings of Grudem and others who are constantly pounding the gavel of leadership, rulership, headship, and dominionism, I see no difference between Sharia and their view of Christianity. They are one and the same, and as we see this doctrine being promoted more and more within the visible church, more than the Gospel and Jesus’ teachings, it is easy to see how the anti-Christ spirit is bringing all of the religions into one religious worldview.

    According to the Scriptures, this one world figure is described as ‘the man of perdition,’ not the ‘woman of perdition.’ I have no doubt considering the foolishness of man within visible Christianity, that “great men of the cloth so to speak” will blame women for the rising and worshiping of this false christlike figure, for I had seen this same wickedness exhibited within many denominational ‘christian’ churches. When their is failure/sin/wickedness and evil called out, many a woman is thrown under the religious bus as their ‘scapesheep’ because at the end of the day, someone must take the heat so the attention is diverted from the true evil source, which is usually someone in a ‘leadership’ type of position.

    Please take note here religious leaders, the Word of God says “man of perdition,” not “woman of perdition.” So let’s begin a wise conversation concerning God’s Prophetic Word and get back to what we are called to do, and that is share the Gospel with unbelievers, and yes, women are qualified to do that too. Praise Jesus!

  20. MarkQ

    Insightful commentary on abuse. Not only do they see abuse only as physical violence, it has to be some horrific incident, or recurring bad incidents. I’ve pretty much had to stop telling my story because everyone in that tradition is so conditioned this way. Either it wasn’t as bad as I remember, or I only remember the few bad incidents, and probably everything else was just fine, or everyone sins, or haven’t you gotten over it yet, or the best yet: Your patterns of sin are your own problem. Blaming your parents for your sinful patterns is not okay because each man’s sin is his own.

    Been thinking about that. If one of my parents broke my knee and I limped for life, I doubt someone would say, “blaming your parents for your limp is not okay”, yet whatever spiritual and emotional limps I have that were a result of abuse somehow are because of my own sinful reaction to that abuse and not a consequence of the abuse itself. I guess if that knee were “perfect”, it wouldn’t have broken, or it would have healed instantaneously?

    • If one of my parents broke my knee and I limped for life, I doubt someone would say, “blaming your parents for your limp is not okay”, yet whatever spiritual and emotional limps I have that were a result of abuse somehow are because of my own sinful reaction to that abuse and not a consequence of the abuse itself.

      well said, MarkQ 🙂

  21. Dear commenters thank you so much for interacting and supporting each other at this blog, and at this post in particular.

    I sometimes feel quite despondent that CBMW keeps giving me the cold shoulder, and also that my articles seem to hardly ever get linked to from other bloggers who are challenging CBMW’s views of women and the ERAS doctrine.

    But when I see how well our little ACFJ family support and interact with each other, it gives me heart to keep going.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Barbara – They know you are there…and wish you would go away. Ha! You aren’t going away:)

      And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.'”
      (Luk 18:1-5)

  22. Ron Maness

    I found your chart very helpful. But I had a question about the comments in the “Grudem and CBMW column”, on the “Sex” line. What is the basis for implication that Grudem and CBMW would support “use of porn, sexualized abuse, adultery, rape by coercion”? Thanks for your valuable work.

    • Ron, I put “use of porn, sexualized abuse, adultery, rape by coercion” into that column of the chart because that is what happens quite commmonly when the ERAS type of mindset prevails. I did not mean to imply that Grudem and CBMW would support such behaviours. I was only saying that those behaviours often occur when the ERAS mindset prevails.

      I know those behaviours often occur when the ERAS mindset prevails, because of all the testimonies we hear at this blog from our readers. And what our readers testify here is confirmed by what domestic abuse workers and counselors report hearing from their Christian clients who have suffered domestic abuse.

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