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Family and Friends is my everyday journal. Captain's Log is where I pontificate on religion and politics.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Who's Number 1

Wade Burleson posted a quote by John Calvin concerning women:

"As far as the external connections and social propriety are concerned, the man takes his lead from Christ, and the woman from the man, so that they do not stand on the same level, but this inequality exists ... Because he is made subject to Christ and that includes the condition that he take first place in the control of the household and its affairs. For in his home the father of the family is like a king... The man is in authority, and the woman is in subjection to him ... In I Tim. 2:12 he debars women from speaking in church altogether ... because of the pre-eminence which God has given to the man, so that he might be superior to the woman ... The woman took her origin from the man, and that therefore she has a lower standing ... The woman was created for the express purpose of greatly enriching the man's life ... Paul looks higher, viz. to the eternal law of God, which had made the female sex subject to the authority of men. Therefore all women are born to submit to the pre-eminence of the male sex ... Let the man therefore carry out his function as the head, having supremacy over her; let the woman perform her function as the body, giving help to him ... Let the woman be content in her position for subjection, and not feel indignant because she has to play second fiddle to the superior sex"(translated by John W. Frazer, Eerdmans, 1996, pp. 229ff.).

Not surprising coming from a man who had Michael Servetus burned at the stake for disagreeing with him and set up a theological police state in Geneva he thought to be heaven on Earth.

The biggest problem with the Moral Mafia is that Calvin's Commentaries are how they interpret the Bible. Earlier versions of Calvinist's hanged and burned those who disagreed with them right here in the New World. Puritans were Calvinists, and their oppressive and repugnant behavior in the 1600 and 1700's led to the first amendment's two clauses prohibiting a state sponsored church and restrictions on worship.

The chosen frozen inserted this version of Calvin's doctrine into the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message Statement: Section XVIII The Family

The husband and wife are of equal worth before God, since both are created in God's image. The marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people. A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church. He has the God-given responsibility to provide for, to protect, and to lead his family. A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Bold face mine, used for emphasis.

At least in this day and age the Moral Mafia recognize equality of salvation, just not equality in marriage.

Charles Dickens had a take on this thought in his book Oliver Twist. When the orphanage director was told that he could go to jail for the theft of a locket his wife had taken, because he was by law to control his wife. The man replies: "Then the law is a bachelor."

The passive/aggressive response is: If Momma's not happy, nobody's happy.

There are only a couple of ways that Calvin's and the 2000 BFM view of a marriage can become a reality:

1. The man becomes a tyrant. There are many ways a spouse, as women can play this game too, exerts control over the other person: refusing to let the wife work outside the home, learning to drive, keeping her pregnant and raising numerous children, breaking all ties with family and friends, being jealous if she so much as looks at another person, constantly putting her down as ugly, stupid, incompetent and lastly sexual and physical abuse. If you follow Calvin and The BFM to its logical conclusion women are to be treated like children and kept dependent all their lives either by their father or husband. In essence they are property. Not all men use religion to justify being tyrants, but I don't believe God approves of this behavior because it deprives the woman of the one thing God has instilled in all humans: Free Will.

2. Brainwashing. Ever seen at the blank stare of the women taken out of polygamous cults? Homeschool young men and women to believe this is God's will, cocoon them from the rest of society and they won't know there is another way.

The Bible does have one word that describes marriage better than the dictates of Calvin. That word is "helpmeet." The couple, as single sex couples would apply here too, help meet each others needs. It's not top down in structure it's team work. Anyone who's been a parent and worked as a team with three o'clock feedings and changing diapers understands this. Someone in a marriage of men's work/women's work cannot understand first the joy of those feedings and bonding with the child while they are helpless and the love and respect a woman feels for the man helping her. If all the man's job is to bring home the bacon and her job is to take care of the kids; the love and respect is gone as she's just a servant and he's only a walking wallet.

Living with another person for forty or fifty years is bloody hard work. Making those years mostly happy and fulfilling instead of pure torture works if: The woman truly admires and respects her husband. The problem here is that this is not a "God given responsibility" it has to be earned, not demanded or taken. The only way in a long term relationship that a woman will admire and respect her husband is if he admires and respects her. It's reciprocal. Its equality not dominant/submissive or divinely imposed. They willingly meet each other's needs


Unknown said...

A good post, PM because it is thought provoking. My view on politics is "let the dead bury their own". However, if Calvin's view is that women should be subserviant and nothing more than a potted plant, we can take pity on him. I love and respect women as my equal. While I have not met Miss Right yet, I do feel that love must ultimately be beholden to one and where I see the most successful marriages is where Christ is at the center of that love between man and woman. Calvin was very short-sighted. While I do believe God gives each of us a free-will. He does so in the context of His unconditional love; that is, we can choose His way or Our Way. George Harrison's song from the "Let It Be" CD, "I Me Mine" speaks so well about the uncivilized and whacked culture we live in (and I say this regardless of who occupies the White House). For me, I am seeking arduaously to place Christ at the center of my own life and let the Holy Spirit guide me. The most amazing of women I personally see, do this also. A fine post here, indeed! :)

P M Prescott said...

I'm glad you appreciated this Michael. All relationships and especially marriage are constantly in flux. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to human interaction.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Well you know I am not as well versed in the Bible and theology as you are but I like the word "helpmeet." Marriage works best as a partnership, in my opinion, where both partners use their strengths and talents to raise a family and share in the hard work and celebrate each other.

P M Prescott said...

So true Yogi, isn's life too short to be constantly fighting over who's the boss?