Into the manosphere

New Warhorn Media post by Nathan Alberson:

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I’ve got to ask. What’s the beef with the term “complimentarian”? I agree with the vast majority of what you guys say, as do people in the Christian circles I’m in, and would call myself a complimentarian. What’s the difference between your position and complimentarianism?

Might be helpful to have a definition. I’ve always heard complimentarianism used to mean something like: “men and women have different, complimentary, God-given roles and responsibilities”. Are we just using the same word to mean different things?

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I think I missed his definition of chivalry and why he thinks it’s wrong, does anyone understand this and think they can explain?

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I’m just going to insert myself here, mate, even though I am not part of the group to whom you put the question. I just want to express my thoughts and join in.

Complementarianism, to my mind, limits the doctrine of gender to the most explicit verses found in the New Testament, leaving them with two articles of belief:

  • eldership in the Church is male and,
  • men are the head of their wives.

Everything else is up for grabs, even the definition of those two articles.

Missing are the foundational structures of society resting firmly on the Fatherhood of God. Gone are the truths in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. And there is no fully developed theology of gender extending throughout all creation - if there ever was one.

There are good things in the complementarian camp, but it’s a huge umbrella. The main benefit of claiming the term seems to be the ability to say, “We are not patriarchal”.


Hi Jamie,

I had to dig in a little to find the answer boiled down answer to this question. Basically as I understand it, the major objection is that complimentarianism in seeking to not offend the world has created a defense of male leadership in the home and in the church, but completely rolls over like a happy puppy in any other context. In other words, if submission by a women is not a creation mandate than Paul’s words didn’t necessarily mean that women couldn’t rule men outside of the church, but only inside of the church. Complimentarianism largely ignores the order of creation, and that the principle taught about the normative behavior of women is universal and not limited to just a church context.

Here’s a couple blogs I found.


It depends on how you use the term. Some people might call us “broad” (as opposed to “narrow”) complimentarians because we believe God’s design for sexuality applies to all of life (and not just to the precepts about marriage and the church).

However, for many of us, the term has become synonymous with the narrow variety. And with the pandering done by pastors and theologians who want to reduce male authority to a tie-breaking vote in marriage at best. To a weird fluke of God’s character (“somebody has to make the ultimate decision and for whatever reason God made it the husband”), a design bug that more or less came from the Fall.

We don’t believe sexuality is a design bug. We believe it’s a feature. We believe God made men and women differently. We believe it’s cool and beautiful. And we believe it has ramifications, one way or another, in every realm of life.

Here’s where it gets a little confusing. Many people who call themselves complimentarians believe these things too. But enough people have co-opted the term to mean “a non-ordained woman can do anything a man can do, and a husband should only exercise authority as a last resort necessary evil” … that many of us have decided to move away from the term.

What term do we use instead, you ask? Luckily nobody died and put me in charge of that committee. Personally I don’t mind the term “patriarchalist” since that’s really what I am. One who believes in father rule. But I dunno. If the patriarchalist bums some people out for whatever reason, I might be willing to meet them half-way, with some other term. If I’m in a circle where “broad complimentarian” tells people most of what they need to know, I’m happy to start there.


Natalie, Dalrock defines chivalry as a view of romantic love and woman worship that arose in the Middle Ages and infected our understanding of love and marriage ever after. He thinks it’s everything wrong with the world.

I define it as “opening doors for ladies” and am totally fine with it. :innocent:

To be perfectly clear, however: Dalrock is bad news and we recommend you stay away from him. We seriously considered canning this episode because it might inspire a greater interest in Dalrockian writing and philosophy. If it does, frankly I’ll be sorry we did it.


My problem with complimentarianism is that flattery is not a strong enough basis for relationships between the sexes. A woman needs more than to hear, “You’re so pretty! Love that dress! Tasty cupcakes!” And a man needs more than to hear, “You’re so strong! Nice car! Way to mow that lawn!”

Oh, wait…y’all mean “complEmentarianism”? Never mind…carry on…



totally understood!! just trying to follow his arguments.

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One problem with conventional chivalry these days is that our society (and most of the church) no longer places reciprocal obligations on women.

While I don’t endorse Dalrock or the manosphere, I think it would be a big mistake to dismiss it out of hand. Here’s why. From a young man onward I tried following conventional Evangelical teaching on how men and women should relate to one another, but things never quite turned out as I was led to expect, and it confused me. When I came across the manosphere a few years ago, some of what I read provided the key for understanding my past interactions in the male-female arena. Picking through the bad baggage, I had finally come across something that made sense of my on-the-ground experience as a man. I think the manosphere has identified some key issues that are missing from conventional Christian teaching on men and women, whether egalitarian, complementarian, or patriarchal, and rather than have this discovered outside the church, it would be better to remedy the deficiencies of teaching inside the church.

Edited to add: I read the interview but have not yet listened to the podcast.


Occasional Dalrock reader here. Seems like he anticipated about half of the epidsode right off the bat: "I won’t put my family at risk to show Bnonn I’m a “real man”, but if there is a serious argument as to why I should put my family at (greater) risk I’d love to hear it. " How much time did you guys spend discussing how he’s not a real man or that he’s dark and dangerous for staying psuedonymous? I’d say roughly 50%.

In total you spent like 3 or 4 minutes discussing his ideas sort of, but in that you were mainly just defending the honor of your pastor and others. The rest of the time you were denigrating Dalrock’s character (which im not offended by btw, I dont have any strong devotion to him). But why don’t you just plainly discuss the nature of the feminist rebellion or whatever you want to call it? Why not discuss plainly the rights of men and duties of women?

Honestly the whole episode with all the high pitch voices and tittering seems like he might have offended you personally or something. I doubt he ever meant to do that.

Also that was a bizarre tangent on the ad hominem fallacy. The actual definition is to attempt to win an argument by attacking a man’s character rather than refuting his arguments. For the most part this whole episode is text book ad hominem (with the possible exception of the few minutes you spent defending Doug Wilson and your pastor, though that was too obscure for me to follow). The example you gave of a sexual predator not being a reliable teacher or someone to rely on period, while true, is not relevant to the true or false nature of any particular argument. You could have done an episode denouncing Dalrock as unreliable without his involvment at all. So what was the point of this? Granted, you initially wanted a phone interview, which would have been different. Anyway, i think Dalrock is right, and the reason he stays psuedonymous is probably the same reason you guys wont actually engage his arguments.

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Dalrock responded exactly like we knew he would. He lived down to our worst characterization of him. He and his followers are exactly as cartoonish as the sketch character we created to parody them. It would be funny if it wasn’t sad.

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Why do Chip and Lance spend so much time with Stone? That guy seems like a weirdo. But I like Chip and Lance.


I read the transcript of the interview, and as someone who is not a follower of Dalrock, I have to say the War Horn team has not acquitted themselves well in this instance. Many of his points were cogent and have been left unaddressed. He also in no way appears to have been rude in the correspondence (at least what was presented in the transcript.)

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People keep assuming the transcript is of a debate. It is not. We never attempted to address all of Dalrock’s points in the interview. We just wanted him to state his point of view. We responded in the podcast.

All will be answered in time.

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In what way has his response been uncongenial? I must be missing something.

Edit: Apparently there is a lot of history of interactions with Dalrock that isn’t presented in the post above, so I’ll assume the bad blood as attributed to that. Still, looking at the interaction in the transcript doesn’t indicate any dis-ingenuousness on his part.

You say you responded to his point of view in the podcast, but you didn’t. You didn’t respond to any of his points, some of which were valid. You simply attacked him for being pseudonymous, and went after his character based on his commentators.

Offering up politically incorrect ideas anonymously is the smartest thing a person can do when they fall to the right of the respectable right wing ideologues. Have you guys been watching what’s happening in this country? I’m a nobody and I protect my anonymity online for similar reasons. All it takes is for one nut job to be offended and your life can turned upside down.

People who have jobs in the marketplace, outside of churches and ministries have to be far more careful than you for the sake of feeding their children. Right wingers -including Christians- are far less supportive of our people than left wingers, by the way.

Regardless of your disdain for this guy’s website, you should honestly dissect his arguments. Feminists masquerading as traditional Christian women are wreaking havoc in homes and churches, and to pretend that this is all because men bad women good is simply to help them wreak more havoc.


After putting up three posts and a tweet about Nadia Bolz-Weber and Glorian Steinem, I come to Sanity to see if there are any questiions directed to me and find this thread. Which leads me to go to the podcast itself and read the stuff between Nathan and Mr. Anonymous Dalrock. Let me say here that I never knew Mr. Anonymous would be addressed, let alone interviewed on Warhorn, and when I found out I was not pleased. This for a number of reasons I won’t go into here, but not in one iota because I think Mr. Anonymous is right or has drawn blood with his critique of me or what I’ve written. I like good back-and-forth, but not ever anonymously—particularly when for fifteen years I have suffered much for the Name of the Lord Jesus and His Words and know how privileged I am for doing so and how much strength it lends to the work to which all believers are called.

But just a couple comments about Mr. Anonymous’s arguments, such as they are. Reports of a General Assembly are all written with an eye to getting the majority to sign on. That Mr. Anonymous is ignorant of this is excusable, but now he knows and needs to stop repeating himself that the report is worded and argued by Tim Bayly. I was its principle author, and I wrote in such a way to win the majority of the committee and to give the report the greatest possibility of being approved, some or all, by the Assembly. Which they did and they did.

That said, at the same time as I was writing, a student at IU decided to go into the Navy as an officer responsible for nuclear reactors. I loved her and told her she should not do so. We’re still friends and she’s always known I think she was not obeying God in this. Full stop.

This is just one of many, many examples of my fulfilling my responsibility as husband, father, and pastor to say “no” to women, and rebuke them. That Mr. Anonymous spreads his false accusations otherwise is disgusting to me. False charge after false charge after false charge. Long ago I decided not to answer him, and then I find out Warhorn is providing him a platform, so now I’m having to do what I determined wasn’t worthwhile, or even right.

One last thing: for fifteen years I’ve been online saying that the only thing the feminists have given men is the right to cry, and Jesus already gave us this right. For fifteen years I’ve also been saying that feminists’ chief gift to women has been removing any moral agency from them, most especially their moral agency in the slaughter of their unborn children. Look at my Warhorn posts the past three days alone and see if it isn’t true that Mr. Anonymous bears false witness against me and us. Look at my tweet yesterday about the stories of unborn children being “ripped apart” by their mothers. Does that sound like a man who denies women moral agency and places all the blame on men?


And yet.

It is true that it is man’s responsibility to discipline this rebellion of woman. This is no threat at all to woman’s moral agency, but rather maximizes it. As the Apostle Paul did when he wrote “I do not allow woman to…”

Signed, Tim Bayly


Pastor Bayly,

I have had positive interactions with you in the past under my own name, but for valid reasons cannot discuss this subject in public under my own name.

Mr. Pseudonymous “Dalrock” quoted you on what you’ve publicly written. He couldn’t know about your private counsel to a woman not to go in the Navy. Have you ever publicly made the biblical case that it is always immoral and sinful for women to serve in the military? Does your church take this position? I would be quite interested to read it.

There is cognitive dissonance between Nathan, who dismisses Dalrock out of hand as so ridiculous he doesn’t need to answer, and Pastor Bayly who indignantly argues that of course he is hard on women too.

Your passionate denouncement of Dalrock here seems to be conceding that his basic argument is valid, that women have moral agency, and are just as prone to sin as men, but that he has slandered you by misrepresenting you as someone who puts women on a pedestal. If that is what you really mean, then rather than being indignant at Dalrock, it might make more sense to go on the record on this point.

Part of your passionate defense is that you condemn unborn children being ripped apart by their mothers, as you should. Have you ever spoken to the question of appropriate punishment by the State to women who kill their own children?

It was interesting in early 2016 when Trump decided to be “pro-life” in order to win the election, he made a statement that women should be punished for killing their unborn babies. Very quickly he had to walk that one back, because nobody in the pro-life movement actually believes that women who abort their children should be prosecuted by the magistrate for murder. How naive of Mr. Trump to think we actually meant the logical conclusion of our arguments.

We place all the blame on the abortionists and the bad bad men who deceived those poor innocent women into killing their own children. This is the kind of double standard that Dalrock has repeatedly pointed out. It’s quite different to the way Moses dealt with the women of Midian in Numbers 31. “Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.” Moses then ordered them all executed.

Dalrock’s point is the same one that Moses made. Woman have moral agency and are fully liable for their sins and crimes, particularly in the area of sexual immorality.

It is interesting that both Nathan, and now you, have denounced Dalrock as Mr. Anonymous, a very bad man. But neither of you have actually answered any of his arguments. And you haven’t given us any arguments why he is a bad man, other than the fact that he has chosen to write under a Pseudonym.

There are several books of the Bible which many believe to have been written under pseudonyms, including Ecclesiastes, two of Peter’s epistles, and Jude. The Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms.

The reason someone like Dalrock might choose to do that today is the same reason people did it in the past - persecution. A pastor has to answer to the people of his own congregation and presbytery, and a few trolls who might make his life miserable. But a man who is not a pastor probably has a job with a company. In today’s environment discussing such controversial subjects under your own name online is very likely to get one fired. Should all Christian men be silent because we need to support our families? A pseudonym can be used to debate ideas, though it does not come with the weight of spiritual authority that an elder or pastor of the church does.

I recognize and admire that Tim Bayly has courageously taught and written in his own name. That is admirable. But it is not the only lawful path. Thank you for your years of service and teaching, Pastor Bayly.

You and Nathan would better serve your own reputations by either dealing with Dalrock’s actual arguments on the basis of their merits, or not dealing with him at all. Nathan’s heavy use of the ad hominem argument signals that he has no real argument.

I have been in the reformed faith my entire life, and I’m not a young man. I don’t agree with everything Dalrock writes, but his message is definitely one that needs to be heard and discussed. He is representing the Biblical antithesis in an area where the church is failing to resist the depravity of the culture. He is reading to us the parts of the Bible that we simply don’t want to listen to. His words deserve to be taken seriously.

“Nereus” - also a pseudonym, and not Dalrock