Monday, May 15, 2017

Complementarianism: Women Saved Through Submission and Stockholm Syndrome

   "God has placed her husband in a place of leadership over her to protect, bless, and give her direction...Therefore the way she responds to her mate is indirectly the way she is responding to her Lord. As the wife is willing to let God use her husband in her life to empty her of self-centeredness, pride and unbelief, she will not only begin to enjoy a sweet oneness with her mate, but will be developing the necessary qualities for being part of Jesus bride (the Church) for eternity."
    Reluctant to  promote the pastor who penned and published the words quoted above, his name will not be used in this article (the fair use act protects us in using unattributed small quotes in the interest of education).
   The quote, above, is taken from a book written by a pastor and is given to every visitor to that pastor's church. Just that one passage, alone, contains numerous theological errors, all of which will be rebutted in this article.
   Beginning with the first sentence, "God has placed her husband in a place of leadership over her to protect, bless, and give her direction...," The scriptures tell us, in the book of Jeremiah, that it is not in any person to know the direction they themselves should take, but it is the Lord [only] who directs the steps. If a man cannot know himself the way he should go, how in the world can he claim to take the place of God in the life of his wife and know the way she should go? We understand from this fundamental male headship teaching, that complementarian men still follow the siren song of the serpent that promises they "shall be as God."
   If a wife is in need of physical protection and the husband is able to provide it, all is well and good. But complementarianism does not restrict women to occasionally needing the physical protection of men. Complementarianism teaches that women are intrinsically weak in their minds and spirits. Therefore, they require the physical and spiritual guidance of men throughout their lives to protect them primarily from themselves. We understand from this, that complementarianism is nothing less than a protection racket, in which danger is manufactured so that the oppressor can step up to the plate posing as protector.
   All Christians are commanded to be a blessing to one another. But there is ONE who blesses all who belong to Him, and that is God. 
   Under the Old Covenant, only priests could bestow the blessing recorded in Numbers 6:23-27, "THE LORD BLESS AND PROTECT YOU..." But the New Covenant Priesthood comprises all believers, not just the sons of Aaron. The New Covenant Priesthood include God's daughters. So, for complementarians to teach that husbands occupy special positions wherein they are empowered to bestow spiritual blessings wives could not otherwise receive from God Himself, is changing the biblical Priesthood of Believers into the pagan family cult of ancient Athens and Rome where the father was priest and mediator of every home and offered blood sacrifices to idols. 
  The way a woman responds to her mate is the way she is responding to her God? News Flash, the way all Christians respond to all persons is the way we respond to our God! All Christians are commanded to prefer others before themselves. Jesus said the entire Law and Prophets could be summed up in one saying: DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU--no more no less.
   The husband is the one who is responsible for emptying the wife of self-centeredness, pride, and unbelief???
   When did the fruit of the Spirit go the way of the dinosaur in Christian teaching? It is the Holy Spirit--not the husband--who, through the Word of God, who transforms the Christian. But complementarian teaching is rife with words which make clear they believe husbands replace the Holy Spirit in the lives of their mates. 
   Since the Holy Spirit is God, here is another example of men desiring to become God.
   The statement, at the beginning of this article, also contains the complementarian "Evil Woman," doctrine, which teaches that all women are filled with sin and rebellion against all men (self-centeredness, pride, and unbelief ), and therefore, must be brought under subjection to males (who are not filled with self-centeredness, pride, and unbelief?) This statement assumes, that the moment a man becomes a husband, all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are automatically evident in his life--i.e., that he is perfected spiritually, and can therefore, take the place of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit in the life of his wife. 
   Males do not have the corner on walking with God.
   The Bible says the hearts of all people are intrinsically self-centered and rebellious against God, and only belief in God through his risen Son, lifelong obedience to written Word of God (as led by the Spirit of God), can transform lives, produce the Fruit of the Spirit in any life on this earthly plane, and grant eternal life in the hereafter--which brings us to the most damning statement of all in the quote that introduced this article:
   "As the wife is willing to let God use her husband in her life to empty her of self-centeredness, pride and unbelief, she will not only begin to enjoy a sweet oneness with her mate, but will be developing the necessary qualities for being part of Jesus bride (the Church) for eternity."   
        Being born-again and translated into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit is what makes believers part of Jesus" Bride. All saved persons are part of Jesus' Bride. What complementarians teach is that women must earn their place in the Body of Christ (salvation) through obedience to husbands. 
   There is only one necessary quality required for being part of Jesus' Bride, and that is faith in his death on the cross and resurrection from the grave.
    Jesus died so all that believe on him could live. Husbands have no power to redeem or transform. There is only one mediator between God and all Christians, and that is Jesus Christ himself. The apostle, John, stated clearly that no Christian (not even female Christians) had need to be taught of any man, but that the Holy Spirit Himself would lead and guide
   One last point, there is nothing  "sweet" about the "oneness" that submissive wives experience with husbands who dominate them (if indeed they experience such a thing at all). What complementarian teachers describe as "sweet oneness" is not a godly unity brought by the Holy Spirit, but, rather, Stockholm Syndrome, where hostages identify with their captors and begin to feel they are actually protecting them. 
   It is survival pure and simple. A complementarian wife may, indeed, be deeply in love her misguided god-husband.  And since she's in it for life, she'd better find a way to survive.  

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