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Monday, October 09, 2006

Be Submissive...Be Be Submissive!!!

According to a new study by the Church of England, bad theology concerning the roles of men and women may contribute to domestic abuse.

Bob Allen of EthicsDaily.com covers the report HERE.

"Domestic abuse is not simply an isolated series of events between a perpetrator and a victim but reflects the wider factors influencing their relationship," says a lengthy report titled Responding to Domestic Abuse. "It is a tragic fact that bad theology, in this case a faulty understanding of God and human beings in relationship, can have the effect--whether intended or not--of betraying victims of domestic abuse and encouraging the actions of perpetrators," it says.

The report draws attention to "misguided or distorted versions of Christian belief" which it says "have contributed to the problem of domestic abuse." Anglican leaders in particular fault theology that views gender roles primarily in terms of dominance and submission. The report suggests dropping the bride's promise to "obey" her husband from the wedding vow, saying it is a vestige from a time when society did not view men and women as equal.

Perhaps, ALL denominations which view gender roles in terms of "dominance and submission" could learn a thing or two from this Anglican study...


Blogger Dr. Danny Chisholm said...

You hear more about women being submissive to their husbands but seldom about husbands loving their wives. In fact, the 2000 BFM says wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands. I can't find the word "graciously" in the text. Can't find "submit" either, it's in the preceding verse referring to mutual submission.

6:50 PM

Blogger posttinebraelux said...

While debate over the Biblical doctrine of 'line of authority' in a spousal relationship may be an interesting debate, citing the doctrine of wifely (is that a word?) submission as the cause of spousal abuse is akin to citing alcohol as the cause of drunk driving accidents. The cause of spousal abuse is abusive husbands - period. There are countless thousands of Christian relationships where the wife willingly submits to her husband's loving authority and the husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church - as there are countless thousands of people who understand teh difference between enjoying a glass of wine and getting plastered. Please do not confuse the issue dear brother. Spousal abuse is due to abusive spouses. To promote the article you've posted is to take responsibility away from the abuser. He abuses his wife not because he is a 'victim' of a culture that espouses wifely submission, but because he CHOOSES to abuse his wife.

Grace and peace brother,


7:16 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

I'm merely citing a study which is both interesting and convincing. Did you read any of it?

The results suggest that "bad theology" or a theology of "dominance and submission" MAY CONTRIBUTE to Domestic Abuse. The thesis does not take responsibility away from the potential abuser.

These findings are not new or ground-breaking. Other studies have been done in years past which reached more or less the exact same conclusions. Any Psych 101 class will teach you that human behavior is influenced by MULTIPLE outside factors. In fact, human behavior is defined as the collection of activities PERFORMED by human beings and influenced by factors such as culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, and authority.

Again, I stress the words MAY CONTRIBUTE...

Your example is about as silly as "Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People."

It's hard to deny that alcohol plays a role in drunk driving accidents....

Perhaps you would agree that drinking an absurd amount of alcohol MAY CONTRIBUTE to potential reckless behavior....

8:39 AM

Blogger posttinebraelux said...

You're exactly right - guns don't kill people - people kill people, even though they often use guns to do so. They also use cars, knives, bows and arrows, poison, clubs, fists, etc. (you get the point, I'm sure).
I certainly would agree that any dogma that espouses the abuse of another, be it spousal domination or racial violence, not only may contribute to someone feeling the 'freedom' to abuse another, but probably is a major contributing factor. I would issue two caveats, however. First, the doctrine of Biblical authority/submission is diametrically opposite the doctrine of 'dominance'. Second, whatever culture one is raised in, that individual is still accountable for his/her actions. I simply do not believe in a 'victim' defense for perpetrators - and, based on your response, I believe you share this opinion with me.
I further agree with you that drinking an absurd amount of alcohol not only 'may' contribute to reckless behaviour, but often does contribute to such. Again, the alcohol is not the responsible party - it is the individual who drank the alcohol who is responsible for the behaviour.

Grace and peace brother,


10:40 AM

Blogger posttinebraelux said...


BTW, I did read the article. Is the writer trying to imply that Christ really isn't the head of the church? That's one pill I just can't swallow.

grace and peace,


10:51 AM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

"Head" in Greek meant not "authority," but "source," as in "head of the river." Of course, Christ is ALSO the supreme authority in the Church, but when the NT calls him the Head, it is making a claim that the church owes its life to Christ. The ref. to men as head of women is a ref. to the order of creation in the biblical story. It says NOTHING about men or husbands having authority over their wives.

4:50 PM

Blogger D.R. said...

First, let me say that in my wedding vows my wife delared she would "joyful submit" to my leadership over the home and so far I haven't beaten her and don't plan on doing so. If anything it has caused her to remind me very often that I ought to be leading and not expecting her to make all the decisions. So I think changing the vows is absolutely ridiculous.

As for what Michael said about "head", he is wrong. Check out this article by Wayne Grudem on the word "head" in Greek. He has studied this subject for over 3 years now and pretty much surpasses any word study by any other scholar on the subject. To date, I don't believe he has been successfully refuted formally. Maybe Michael would like to give it a go?

9:38 PM

Blogger posttinebraelux said...

If I may ask for clarification on your philosophy of the marital relationship, are you implying that you do not believe the husband to have any 'final' authority in the relationship? If so, then may I also postulate that you do not believe the marital relationship to be a 'picture' of Christ's relationship with the church?
I know that I am taking a very unpopular stance (at least in this blog), but there is clear evidence in Scripture that husbands had a position of authority in the familial relationship. Having said that, I would offer two points of note: (1) I do not believe we can eradicate that evidence based simply on a 'cultural context' interpretation of Scripture, and (2) I do not believe that the wife's role as 'helpmate' is demeaning 'per se' any more than my role as employee is demeaning in relation to my manager. They are simply different roles. Neither is more 'important'; they are just different. Can authority be abused? ABSOLUTELY! If, however, the roles are accepted and fulfilled in the manner which Christ commanded (give your lives one for another), then I believe there would be much less to discuss here.
Back to the original post, however, it is misleading to insinuate that environments within which the role of authority is held by the husband 'may contribute' to spousal abuse. Rather, it is environments that foster bigotry, hatred, and violence that contribute to spousal abuse.

Grace and peace brother Michael,


6:07 AM

Blogger posttinebraelux said...

Wow! Great article - and convincing refutation. Thanks for the reference brother.

Grace and peace to you,


6:12 AM


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