How long do you expect limp-wristed, feminist-infected complementarianism to be the norm in evangelicalism? Those who’ve been in this thing a while, what’s the forecast?
In the past I was hopeful that as the evangelifish church collapsed and disappeared that the remaining church would be faithful.
However, looking at what is left of the church in Europe, and seeing that it is still largely feminist, I’m less hopeful.
Here’s my largely-historically-uninformed gut feeling: the church in general will collapse, a remnant will remain in pockets like Clearnote, then society will collapse to some significant degree under feminism/socialism, the remnant will preach into that situation the gospel of God’s father-rule, people will finally be broken enough to turn their hearts to God (i.e., the judgment of God’s strong delusion will finally be lifted), and they will begin working to establish a new social order explicitly aligned with his word.
Personally, I do not find it useful to speculate. Threads like this usually only serve to be self-congratulatory. Let’s try to be faithful in whatever context God places us, and trust in this:
”. . . I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
I don’t have anything to my name to congratulate. The motivation was seeing yet another institution capitulating on sexuality. And the natural response is, “How long?”
The question seems innocent enough until we start contemplating the answers…it serves as little more than a fantasy exercise whereby the fantasy that most resonates with a given crowd gets the most congratulations.
But the reality will not submit to that fantasy, and the Lord will work how he chooses. Ask the question…but not to us toilers and spinners; How Long oh LORD? And wait upon Him.
I’m still asking the question. I trust the forecasting of geezers who’ve been grafting even back when I was an effeminate communist.
If it helps, “but by the grace of God…”
“We’re all turds. The world is a turd muffin. Anybody have a guess about when it goes blueberry muffin?”
Personally I think much of the West (especially Europe & the UK) is heading towards civil war. In that situation even the pagans will see the value in men being men & women women.
I agree with you, but I don’t want to like a comment predicting civil war…
Complementarianism is a strain of the virus, but not the virus itself. Look at the similar evasive techniques employed by Wayne Grudem and friends in CBMW and Al Mohler and friends in LivingOUT. The virus itself is cowardice in the face of a culture in rebellion against God. That cowardice produces half-measures scholars and celebrity churchmen teach their students and pastors and elders and wives. Those half-measures contain much truth and seem to be protecting the church at critical fissures. “We ourselves have the husband the head in our marriages and we ourselves have men voting on church discipline in our churches and you, world, are free to go on your merry way. You see? We’re no threat.” Similarly, “we ourselves have no same-sex copulation allowed. Explicitly, that is. And we won’t officiate your gay marriages, but don’t let that stop you from coming to your own conclusions, dear world. We join you in opposing that abuse known as reparative therapy and we join you in affirming the truth of homosexual identity. You see? We’re no threat.”
You can find this cowardice at every place where the world is in rebellion against God. “You hate authority? Don’t worry, we do too. Only Jesus has authority; we have none. Not me. Not the preacher. Not the elders. And especially not the Pope. That’s why we’re Protestants. The Reformation was the rejection of church authority. Not civil authority—that’s the Anabaptists and their pitchforks, you know. But church authority? No. Haven’t you listened to our great preachers? Can’t you see they’re no threat to you or anyone else? They have helpful thoughts for you that you can take or leave. They don’t badger you. You see? We’re no threat. Our Gospel is a kinder and gentler one.”
Across the church today, it is exceedingly rare for church officers to have any sense of their responsibilty to guard the sheep, so they spend their time and money making themselves likeable to worldlings and finding pastors who know just exactly precisely where the sweet spot of plausible deniability is in each area of rebellion. Which means they demand masters degrees and the rich ones are able to afford men with the terminal degree. And at least in theology and divinity, higher education is the learning of sophisticated evasions. You become acculturated to the effeminate world of scholarship (certainly in the humanities), and then they award your degree.
Until the church wrenches back to Herself the training of Her shepherds, there is no hope. And I’m in an exceedingly good mood as I write this. Plain fact. Love,
Warhorn's exposure of Revoice: response to a critic
Not intending to argue, but how is the world of scholarship effeminate? What are the particular characteristics that you see?
Risk avoidance, passive-aggressiveness, denial of the objectivity of truths other than (sometimes) those argued for in one’s own thesis, utter incapacity to speak without nuance, parading of small-laws virtue, incorrigible humble-bragging, vanity of appearance, inability to confess straightforward Christian faith to one’s colleagues, paralysis in the fear of man, pride on one’s own intellect and knowledge, condescension towards those who lack the terminal degree… I’m speaking of men, of course.
Someone might want to argue that these things have nothing to do with sexual faithfulness, but for men, they do. Love,
If I could use multiple likes on a post, I would…
The academy has become a temple for idolatry of lower-case-logos. You only have to read a scholarly journal to see how effeminate it is. Imagine a man who speaks like a research paper, and you cannot help but imagine a twee mince dumpling. I say this as someone aware full well of the temptation in myself, and who, having spent a lot of time working in apologetics, has witnessed it take hold of others.
Can this please be bound on every pastor’s and elder’s forehead as a phylactery?
How do you feel about tattoos?
In my house we used to have a coffee cup with the fruit of the Spirit displayed in Precious Moments style. That was the favorite cup of my girls when they were little, and to show their love and honor, they always put it at Daddy’s place when setting the table (and I drank from that cup with gratitude). But why are the fruit of the Spirit so commonly associated with femininity among Christians? I think it is because we have lost the masculine foundation on which the Apostle Paul was building. The Jews had the example of the Old Testament heroes, and the Gentiles had pagan virtues, but we have lost both.
Awhile back at one of our men’s meetings, I taught on the pagan virtues – justice, temperance, prudence, and fortitude – and advocated living according to them as the common grace foundation for being a man (though of course in a biblical framework). Feel free to criticize me regarding that, but my reasoning was that those virtues were the baseline expectation for what a man should be in the society in which Paul preached and the context in which we should read Paul’s letters.
And maybe I am digging myself in deeper – feel free to criticize me – but I think nothing has helped my marital relationship more than governing as a husband according to justice and reason – that is, having a firm understanding of and living out what obligations each person owes to the other in each particular context (all defined by God’s moral law, of course). I found that justice and reason were a firm foundation upon which grace and gentleness could be added but that starting out by trying to “love my wife as Christ loves the church” was vague and unstable. Living by justice and reason sets my marriage relationship in a definite masculine frame (as opposed to the feminist “ethics of caring”), but it seems my wife is generally much happier to conform to my masculine frame than if I were to conform to the typical Evangelical feminine marriage frame.
So be a man – cultivate justice, temperance, prudence, and fortitude. And then add the fruit of the Spirit.
I think there’s a lot of value in teaching men the pagan virtues, because they are certainly part of the thought-world in which Scripture was penned. But it’s probably more helpful to cast masculine virtue in more explicitly biblical terms.
For instance, when you talk about ruling according to justice and reason, living out obligations, that just sounds like covenant. The Bible presents covenant as the rule-structure for love, which in turn is the perfect bond of unity; so when it instructs us to love our wives as Jesus loved the congregation, it’s really instructing us to order our marital relationship according to God’s rules, for the purpose of establishing and upholding unity.
Prudence and fortitude are really just fancy terms for the simple words that Scripture uses: wisdom and strength. These are paradigmatically masculine virtues in the Bible; a man who lacks them is deficient as a man. There’s also another: what you might call workmanship or industry. A man who will not work to provide for his family is worse than unbeliever.
So without disagreeing with your approach, perhaps a more biblically-framed version would be to say that a man will love his wife well when he rules (orders their lives) with strength, wisdom, and workmanship.
I also think it’s wise to encourage men not just to cultivate virtue, but to do it by pursuing masculine duties. That’s usually the how of cultivating virtue in the first place. There are obviously a lot of duties a man can have, but one useful way of breaking them down is to broadly relate them to the main virtues—to rule well requires:
- Wisdom, which correlates to planning/creating a vision/defining the mission;
- Workmanship, which correlates to building/providing/making the mission happen;
- Strength, which correlates to guarding/shepherding/leading to secure the mission and maintain order.
This latter one is what we are typically lacking in evangelicalism. As Tim recently pointed out, our failings are failings of strength; we are cowards. Who among us would run a fornicating couple through with a spear to preserve the holiness of the covenant community? Who among us would run ourselves through to preserve our own holiness (cf. Mt 5:30)?
Excellent summary, Joel. Like it all. This is what I mean when I say the essence of fatherhood, and thus manhood, is responsibility. Interestingly, spent an hour with a law school student yesterday who we had counselled to go to law school before the pastors college (here at Clearnote) because we wanted him to learn to do the hard work of pursuing truth and justice through conflict. Law school would acclimate him to conflict, we’d told him, and teach him how to defend truth without apologizing for it. Could say more, but I’ll leave it for now ending by pointing out when you have Calvin’s pastoral heart attached to his legal training and humanism, you get what we got. Love,
In connection with the Ancient World, it may be helpful to shame men today both within and without the Church by teaching them Rome’s understanding of manhood. They were sexually decadent like we are, yet somehow kept some semblance of the knowledge of manhood. Of men acting rather than being acted upon, which is the reason a free man who allowed himself to be buggered was so despised whereas buggering was fine. To simpletons, it’s a double standard. But study their view of manhood and it’s logical. Whereas in sex or anywhere else, for that matter, we have abandoned male initiative. Love,