The Dangers of Feminism!

I wonder how the "Complementarians" and supporters of "Male Headship" who don't like my campaigning against Male Headship teaching in Churches such as Newfrontiers will respond to this: Women of Christian Modesty: The Dangers of Feminism! By David J. Stewart

Some choice quotes:

  • "Feminism is a deadly evil, responsible for most divorces today, especially in America! Feminism is so prevalent that many Christian families have been infiltrated with this destructive menace–virtually undetected."
  • "Weigand, a lecturer at Smith College, shows that modern feminism is a direct outgrowth of American Communism."
  • "Christ-honoring Christians will eventually be arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for "terrorizing" homosexuals."
  • "Feminism is anti-God, anti-marriage, and anti-family."
  • "There are few things worse in my opinion, than a woman who takes on the disposition of an authoritative man."
  • "Feminism is rebellion against the Word of God. Feminism is impatient, and seeks immediate divorce from a husband who exercises his authority over his wife."
  • "Women today have been brainwashed by domestic violence literature to seek divorce at the first sign of abuse."
  • "You probably won't like this; but a husband has a God-given RIGHT to decide who his wife associates with, where she goes, when she goes there, when she has sex with him, how she dresses, etc. Now a loving husband will be fair, and desire for his wife to have a happy life; but the husband should have veto power in a marriage."
  • " I am not advocating domestic violence; but a husband who tracks his wife's time, whereabouts, and associations is NOT being abusive–he is RULING over his wife as God expects him to."
  • "Today, a woman living in America can CRUCIFY her husband if he tries to control her, which is his Biblical right. Feminism forbids a husband from controlling his wife in any manner; but God says the husband should have total control."
  • "Please don't misunderstand what I am saying; I'm not against helping a legitimately battered woman getting on her feet. However, many of the women claiming spousal abusive are shiftless, lazy, irresponsible, cut-throat women who simply exploit the system to leave their husband. They're looking for an easy way out. The system is often a "way out" for careless and irresponsible women who leave their husbands holding the bag–the job, the mortgage, the kids, the problems, the debts, etc."
Jane and I celebrated our 23rd Wedding anniversary this weekend. Not too bad for a pair of feminists, now I just need to join the Communist Party for my life to be complete.
I belueve those who support Male Headship or it's marketing friendly cousin Complementarianism need to
  • show clearly how their teaching cannot be understood in this way and how their view of submission is not a slippery slope to this hateful treatment of women
  • clearly reject this understanding with clear teaching on why the Bible does not support this view.
  • demonstrate through the way they include and support women in their Churches that the treatment suggested in this article will not be tolerated

Note that in this instance I am not asking you to renounce Male Headship but to agree that this is a gross mis-representationship of your understanding of Male Headship.

Don't you hate it when those "Communist New World Order" feminists tell you your husband can't rape you? http://bit.ly/oLHfvC

21 thoughts on “The Dangers of Feminism!

  1. Hannah

    Agreed. I was reading an excerpt from an interview with John Piper the other day where even he said that one of the problems with male headship is that it is very open to misinterpretation and abuse, as we can see from the points made in that blog post. The idea that husbands have the right to ‘control’ every aspect of their wife’s life has nothing to do with any Christian teaching; as the comment above says it’s well on the way to hate speech. You get the impression that the author really doesn’t like women much, at any rate. I do think that there needs to be more widespread denouncement of distortion and hatred like this from mainstream complementarians. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.
    PS – I love how there’s ALWAYS a reference to Communism in these sort of posts. And then there’ll always be a comment from a reader saying ‘Wow! I didn’t know feminism was a result of Communism! Thanks for sharing!’ Seems rewriting history also happens when male headship goes too far.

    Reply
  2. Gavin

    Hi Dave, I have been following your views being expressed for a little while and I must say you seem to be pre-occupied with newfrontiers in general, and headship in particular and the odd suggestion of sexual impropriety without any foundation for saying so.
    The quotes you have researched and noted in the above posting is a good example of atrocious abuse I would say. I doubt anyone with a reasoned mind and a true love for God would ever agree with these abuses and viewpoints – but it doesn’t stop people spouting them. In the same way that just because a certain Norwegian puts that he is fundamentalist Christian on facebook it would not be be accepted by you as being an accurate portrayal of what being a Christian is ?
    I am sure we can all find articles and books that express the very worst or extreme of any viewpoint on any subject – if we look hard enough. The danger could be that we then hold these extremes up as general examples, perhaps hoping it would shock people into agreeing with you perhaps? So just finding these kind of passages does nothing except to highlight that you perhaps feel you need to ridicule others to make a point? I am not convinced that a combative tone or ridicule is a good foundation for reasoned discussion with those who think differently from you If it’s wrong for Mark Driscoll to do it, surely it wrong for anyone to do it.
    Someone once said “the answer to abuse is not non-use but proper use” I don’t know who said it (perhaps you do Dave?, if so could you let me know who said it please) but it is useful to counter the “because of abuse the whole principle is wrong” school of interpretation and thinking – perhaps.
    It saddens me greatly that SO much time is given being against something and against people. Surely there is more that could be posted that actually builds up and encourages – like we encouraged to do in scripture. It is so very easy to criticise and tear down – and besides doesn’t Jesus say that if you have a problem that you should take to that person privately? I will assume you have made the opportunity to go and chat through issues with Terry Virgo, Dave Stroud, or Mark Driscoll or CJ Mahaney etc before you went public so as not to go against Jesus’ teaching on dealing with correction and conflict.
    Not sure mocking or slamming everyone in blogs is quite the spirit of correction that Jesus was encouraging. I say “everyone”, although you seem to predominantly home in on newfrontiers quite a bit.
    I am now convicted by my own post and shall cease being critical – unless we bump into each other, then you can correct me face to face.

    Reply
  3. Robert

    Feminism was around long before Communism became popular, though it didn’t acquire the name until later. The first women ministers, for instance, were ordained by the Holiness churches, in the US, in the mid 19th Century. The idea of giving women the vote was first floated in the UK, by a man, in 1865. The Russian Revolution didn’t take place till 1917.

    Reply
  4. Dave

    Gavin,
    Google is your friend. It appears that the phrase comes from Plato (so probably neither of us heard it 1st hand):
    Plato noted in The Laws that ‘an abuse does not nullify a proper use.’
    Thanks to Christianity Today

    Reply
  5. Gavin

    Dave, Thanks for locating the source. I searched it out too a few years back and I have seen the quote used in many different places, in different contexts – even (apparently) Augustine regarding spiritual gifts? But wherever it comes from it is a useful balance that reminds me not to throw out something just because some crazy takes it to an outrageous extreme that is far from the original purpose. The answer is to get it right, in the right spirit, right motive etc not self-seeking or for manipulative or controlling motives but for genuine, selfless and (in Christian-living contexts) God glorifying purposes. There is always someone, somewhere who displays all the worst attributes. I won’t take my marker from them, and am saddened to be lumped in with them – as I am sure you are too. I will continue to seek proper use of all that God gives, and endeavour to draw the extremists in both directions (abuse and non-use) back to the original.
    All the best. Gavin

    Reply
  6. Gavin

    Hi Dave, Following your link to CT where Plato is noted I found it interesting note the following sentence.
    “If we judged any segment of society by its worst examples, who could stand? Nevertheless, to legislate against the bad uses in a way that prevents valid uses is itself an abuse”
    A thought provoking insight to dealing with extremes ?
    (sorry this also got posted in another thread by mistake)

    Reply
  7. PamBG

    However, many of the women claiming spousal abusive are shiftless, lazy, irresponsible, cut-throat women who simply exploit the system to leave their husband. They’re looking for an easy way out.
    This is upside-down crazy.
    Let’s assume you’ve got a real harridan on your hands. Genuinely nasty, crazy, lazy, selfish women DO exist, of course.
    So, you got one of these women and what you WANT her to do is to stay with you, guys? What on earth!?!? (as they say).
    Thank you lucky stars that this crazy person wants to “exploit the system” that allows her out of your marriage and tell her good riddance.

    Reply
  8. Dave

    Gavin,

    “If we judged any segment of society by its worst examples, who could stand? Nevertheless, to legislate against the bad uses in a way that prevents valid uses is itself an abuse”

    I am against legislation in terms of Church rules etc.
    What I want is to make that unnecessary, that is why I want those who support male Headship to make it clear that teaching such as I linked to is incompatible with their understanding.
    I understand Male Headship as a very slippery slope. We see teaching a long way down that slope in the post I link to.
    However, many of the people that British supporters of Male Headship look to (Mark Driscoll, John Piper etc) have made statements, preached & taught stuff that is also a long way down the slope.
    Supporters of Male Headship use the same Bible texts but with different interpretations.
    If we are not going to have to resort to legislation then those who support Male Headship need to make clear how far down the slope is acceptable:
    - John Piper teaches that wives should accept abuse for a season. Where do British Churches that teach Male Headship stand on this?
    - Mark Driscoll teaches that Pastors should tell wives to give their husbands oral sex to bring them into the Church. Is this considered sound teaching?
    - Mark Driscoll says wives “who let themselves go” are to blame if their husbands wander. Is that a position that Churches that accept Mark Driscolls teaching agree with?
    Personally I think all 3 of these are completely unacceptable. I do not think that most people who teach Male Headship in the UK think they are acceptable. But where is the guidance?
    Newfrontiers clearly state they believe in Male Headship with female submission in the home. Here are 3 examples of teaching by people that are often quoted by Newfrontiers. I am asking Newfrontiers to say whether they believe this teaching is compatible with their view of Male Headship.

    Reply
  9. Priest

    It must really annoy you that none of the higher ups in new frontiers reply to any of your posts. Even Adrian Warnock (who has a lot to say!) seems to ignore you.
    You need to be pressing on harder mate

    Reply
  10. Priest

    No mate, I find you really fascinating! But I’d love to see a significant debate between you and a key protagonist of ‘male headship’. You’re smart and your arguments are structured. Yes sometimes you do rant but often it comes across as if you’ve thought things thru. Respect

    Reply
  11. Dave

    priest,
    If they were interested in a debate, there are many many people who are much better qualified for that than me. Happy to recommend some, but the thing is they are women which as far as the “key protagonists of male headship” are concerned rules them out.
    One of the reasons I blog is that simply because I am male I get some people to listen who would never listen to a woman.
    When people really want to know about egalitarian thinking at the cutting edge, they don’t come to a man – should be obvious shouldn’t it!

    Reply
  12. Dave

    Priest,
    Oh and if you want some good rants try reading the Gospels! Jesus has some excellent rants against religious authorities. Seems like a good example to follow!!!!!

    Reply
  13. Priest

    I read in one of your posts or comments that you believe your fight for egalitarianism is akin to the ‘freedom of slaves’ struggle. The key advocators for their freedom weren’t slaves right? So I think there’s so much value in you being a voice for suppressed women.
    I’ve read some of the blogs by some of the women who regularly comment on your blog and I’m not sure whether their approach is the best way to bring about change. Or even be heard..
    But you on the other hand, you can be a lot more objective and focused.
    Keep it up brother!

    Reply
  14. Hannah

    Would you like to expand on that, Priest? I’m quite interested as to what you feel is the ‘best’ way to be a voice for women in the church and address gender issues.

    Reply
  15. Priest

    Sure! I’m all for equality so I’m not going to give you the ‘best’ way to be a voice for women..
    I think the right question is ‘what is the best way to be a voice.’?
    So you want to address an issue with dignity and grace, not attacking people etc. If you have people who shut you down without listening to you or not bothering to respond then that’s their problem. If it’s a church leader then you should read Isaiah 56 to him!
    But, if a leader in good conscience is convinced by what the Bible teaches then I guess its best to respect that. If it’s an issue which you just can’t see eye to eye on, then find another church and leave good men like Dave Warnock to fight your cause?
    I may not like the way communion is done in my church but I prefer unity rather than disharmony. I’ve been/am a leader of people so I know what it is to tackle issues. Even within my home, we deal with issues graciously. I’ve realised that verbally attacking and belittling my wife is the worst way to bring about change!
    I hate that women would be trampled upon especially in Church. I don’t think that reflects God’s desire for creation. I don’t want my wife to walk in to church and feel second rate. Fortunately I go to a church where that doesn’t happen.

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  16. Hannah

    FYI, I don’t have any problem with my own church’s approach to gender issues; there are no arguments there so it’s not a case of finding another church. That is actually what I did in the past in response to teaching that I didn’t agree with, though. My concern is not with a single church or group of churches – it’s more wide-ranging than that.

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  17. Dave

    Priest,
    Thanks for your response.
    My key problem is that men who believe in Male Headship use different standards of what “dignity and grace” means for men and women.
    It ends up that the women can’t win. They get ignored or they get attacked for their language (when the language is nothing compared to what some of the men use).
    I feel it is one of the more insidious forms of male domination.

    Reply
  18. ייעוץ זוגי

    This post displays about a lady existing in The united states her partner if he tries to management her, which is his spiritual right. Feminism courage a partner from managing his spouse in any manner.

    Reply

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