Category Archives: The Husband’s Authority

No. Your Wife Doesn’t Believe in Headship/Submission

The following is an exchange I had with several women, most of whom are Christians, who say they believe in the husband’s authority over the wife. This is not the case. As you will see, you will hear them repeating the same nonsense they’ve gleaned from Doug Wilson, Mary Kassian, Nancy Wolgemuth, and the list goes on. Read and take note- this is what Christian women in the Christian church really believe about submission. They will never debate it or argue like this in person, but behind a keyboard, this is where you get to see what they truly think.

All of their names were censored to preserve their anonymity.*

Woman #1: Shares an image wherein a pastor promotes replacing an occasional Sunday service with a symposium addressing domestic abuse.*

FullMetal Patriarch: If all this is is a men bad, women victims symposium, then that’s not the kind of thing the church needs. It’s just going to be another event demonizing husbands and fathers for the human scum they are. Another warning to men not to impose their authority over their wives. Because that’s abusive, supposedly.

Woman #2: Any assumption that only women can be victims is sexist. We absolutely need all resources and education to be inclusive.

FMP: But who is going to vet these advocates or specialists to ensure they’re not going to tear down the authority of husbands and fathers when teaching on this subject? Nobody will, because Christians believe that that authority is inherently evil and must be torn down. Even though it’s biblical.

Woman #1: I know plenty of Christians who believe in biblical authority. I think the main difference is application. Is the authority being applied in love and a desire to build others up and keep them on the right path or is it being abused by someone on a power trip? A lot of people, men and women who are in an abusive situation are at their wits end by the time they seek this kind of resource. Any wise counselor or organization will of course vet their counselors.

FMP: Except that this vetting isn’t so easily done. Anyone can pay lip service to authority, but that’s not the same thing as holding to that and filtering out what counsel you will offer to a suffering marriage. For one, let’s say the husband is in the habit of quoting the Bible and demanding his wife submit to him when she tries to do things her own way. Many Christians will say that’s abusive, and they’re all wrong to do so. Most Christians will say a wife should only respect and obey her husband when he’s being nice, but not when he is sinning. They’re wrong about that too. Those sorts of Christians ought not to be brought in to adjudicate over difficult marriage situations. The first thing they’ll do is tell the wife they’re going to take their husband down in some intervention, because the last thing they want to be accused of is telling an “abused” wife to say in an abusive situation.

Woman #1: The godly men I know who lead their homes don’t have to “demand” anything. That sounds awful, neither spouse should be demanding things in order to get their way. That will never end in a solid happy home. The husband leads his home in love not law. The same way Christ leads us as believers and loves us through our faults and failings.

FMP: Which is why Christians just casually throw out the abuse label. A person in authority is in a perfect position to make demands, and Christians hate that. That means the husband is in charge, not the wife. We can’t have that, so let’s just call it “abusive”. Even though the Bible never teaches that.

Woman #3:
*FullMetal Patriarch Gospel*

Jesus: you’re a good dude except you love money to much, go, sell what you have and give to the poor.

Rich young Ruler: Nah fam… I think I’ll keep my money.

*Morgan Freeman voice*

“So Jesus demanded him to submit and had 4 disciples grab different limbs until he said he would do what Jesus asked. Then Jesus spoke the people and said”

Jesus: this is how the Gospel of my Kingdom is spread, go and do likewise.

FMP: Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. ” That’s a demand. If you don’t do what Christ says, you don’t love him, and you are not a Christian. This idea that it’s evil for husbands or God to make demands is not biblical.

Woman #4: demanding your wife’s obedience isn’t Biblical anyway.

Woman #4: early the use of the ‘if’ makes it a choice of the listener and to equate a husband to the authority of Christ would be highly sacrilegious

FMP: Except that if you don’t choose to love Christ, you get sent to hell. It’s not optional. And it’s the Bible that tells wives to obey their husbands just like Christians obey God. Ephesians 5:22-24: “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.”

Woman #4: It is optional, it just is clear that to live a sinful life means hell. Not the same thing at all. It is still a choice whether to obey God. Jesus explaining the path or salvation is not a demand, but a love explanation of the wages of sin and the way to life eternal. To equate the message of Christ as the exact same as whatever demand a man may require of his wife is nowhere in the bible and is your interpretation. A wife is to obey her husband, but he is not to demand her obedience, but to earn it by living a Christ like life and loving her as Christ loves the church and gave himself for it. That does not speak of demanding

FMP: Nothing you just said is biblical. There is no verse that says husbands are prohibited from demanding their wife’s obedience. If you’re going to say husbands can’t do that, you better have some Scripture to back it up.

FMP: Not to mention that what you wrote ignores the ultimatum God has given to man. You obey him, and if you don’t, you suffer in hell for eternity. That’s a demand, no matter how you slice it.

Woman #4: you have no verse that says a man may demand either. And since there is no verse to say either way, then it is open to the case by case situations that occur in marrige

Woman #4: it is not a demand, it is explanation. You live or you die, but he cannot force you to love or obey him.

FMP: That’s not true. If you’re in authority over someone, you’re entitled to tell them what to do. Parents, for example, don’t need a simplistic word-for-word sentence that says they can make demands of their children. That just comes with being in authority over them. Same with husbands. They have the right to make demands by default, not case by case, and certainly not before their wife has decided he has earned it. God has given that right to him.

Woman #4: Untrue, a parent relationship is not the same as a marriage relationship. They are helps to each other with the husband as leader, not dictator.

FMP: The point is that neither category of authority figures needs an explicit verse that authorizes them to make demands. Besides, Scripture doesn’t compare husbands to dictators. It compares husbands to God himself, who has far MORE authority than a dictator.

Woman #4: No, it says to obey your husband as to the Lord, not your husband like perfect and without question like God

FMP: Except it says submit to him because the husband is like God. Ephesians 5:23.

Woman #5: Submission is a choice to follow ones authority. If a man is living a life against the scriptures a women is not called by God to submit herself to ungodly acts. The fruit of the spirit and the virtues listed by Peter are clear how we as Christian’s are to live and women are not called to submit or be silent in the face of unbiblical behavior. If a man is rude, nasty, foolish with time money etc, demanding his wife commit sins, and not loving his wife as Christ loved the church he doesn’t get to demand his wife accept his behavior and acts. A truly Godly man who lives biblically will have no problem with a Godly women in the issue of submission.

Woman #4: Lol, that is only pointing out that the husband is an authority figure over a home as God is over the church, not saying that husbands are God-like. They do not and cannot have the same position as sinful men. It is establishing an institution, a structure or authority not attributing God-like expectations to a human man

FMP: Not the point. It’s talking about why the wife should submit to him, and the reason why is because he is the head like Christ is our head.

FMP: False. 1 Peter 3:1-2 “Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” You say wives aren’t called to submit to a sinful husband, but the Scripture says the exact opposite. Wives must submit, even to evil husbands.

Woman #4: but it is not saying that you must obey your husband as you obey Christ because a man is not Christ and may ask for a sinful thing. Unquestioning obedience belongs to God alone and not to men. Hence, God instructions to render to Caeser what is Caesar’s (earthly obedience) and the things of God unto God (Godly obedience)

Woman #5: That does not mean a wife has to submit to sinful behavior. God does not say “be kind, but if you husband says to be unkind to others better obey!”

FMP: But it does mean wives must submit even to an evil husband. This idea that a wife doesn’t have to submit because he hasn’t earned it, or he isn’t being loving, or that there’s no simplistic word-for-word verse telling him he can make demands is all extra-biblical nonsense.

Woman #5: It’s not a “if he hasn’t earned it” a unsaved husband is capable of asking perfect biblical things in a marriage. But if he asked his wife to behave in an unbiblical sinful way she is not obligated to follow that in Gods eyes.

FMP: Ephesians 5:22-24 literally says to submit to your husbands as to the Lord. You just said the opposite, and that’s been the problem all along. The Bible says one thing, but you say the opposite. And besides, it’s not sinful for a husband to demand his wife’s obedience, so that’s irrelevant.

Woman #5: If an unsaved husband tells his wife to steal, lie, not go to church, not instruct her children, not care for the sick etc that would be wrong in the sight of God and she doesn’t have to submit

FMP: It is absolutely biblical to demand your wife’s obedience, so that point is irrelevant.

Woman #5: As to the Lord! I obey God first and my husband second. If my husband asked me to sin against God I would say no to my husband. Because the Bible doesn’t require me to submit to the point of sinful unbiblical behavior

Woman #5: God doesn’t call us to sin against him to make sinful men happy.

Woman #5: Do you really believe that a women if told by her husband, can break all commands in the Bible and sin against God so to obey her husband? No, that isn’t biblical and you’re putting a husband’s authority over God

FMP: This whole debate erupted over the prospect of husbands simply demanding their wives submit to them. That’s evil, supposedly, but now you’re all backing up and saying, well, a husband can’t command his wife to commit an evil act! No one said he could. But he can demand she do as he says. Ephesians 5:24 – wives must submit to their husbands in “everything”.

At this point the conversation was censored by Woman #1.

He Was Just… So Angry!

Earlier today, @DalrockQuotes on Twitter tweeted this article that was also published earlier today:

The wakeup call narrative is alive and well

The author is Jennifer Buck, wife of Tom Buck, a man whom I’ve interacted with before (see here). In her article, she tells her readers up front that she’s going to relay a story of the difficult years of her marriage to Tom. This is a story they both have shared in public as far back as 2018. It has a happy ending, but she warns us that she’s going to discuss some difficult subject matter.

Continue reading

Discouraging Husbands From Reading The Bible

Mike Winger runs the Bible Thinker ministry. In their very brief About Us section, they say,

BibleThinker is a ministry dedicated to helping you learn to think biblically about everything.

This title is very ironic considering how Mike has chosen to preach on marriage. In his Bible study titled “How To Be A Husband” – The LOST art of biblical manliness!, Mike does what most preachers today are want to do. This is a sermon absolutely swarming with insufferable “cute” moments wherein Mike tells an unfunny self-deprecating story, mocks men in general, sucks up to women, the usual fare. He does at least pretend to be preaching from the Scripture, but then dropped this little gem at 28:45:

This video was uploaded on December 10th, 2015.

But, this is our calling: To nourish and to cherish her, so I, I tried to remind myself of these words, and I encourage husbands to do the same. To learn and study Ephesians, ignoring the part about what your wife is supposed to do, and focusing on the part about what we’re supposed to do. Because, I can’t be the evaluator of her, it’s- her is unto the Lord. I’m not her evaluator, I’m not her boss, I’m not that. I’m an authority in the marriage, but I’m not, I’m not, the boss. That’s, gosh, if your boss followed you home, *laughs* and tried to be the boss of everything you did, you wouldn’t have a good relationship with him. *laughs*

I can imagine one of Mike’s peers scolding him: “Mike! Dude, you’re not supposed to tell them that!” Talk about letting the mask slip!

Telling men to mind their own business about wifely submission is mainstream in Christian churches, but Mike has taken it to a whole new level. This is a man whose ministry motto is to help people think biblically, and as part of his strategy, he is straight up telling husbands to ignore what the Bible says. He’s afraid that if husbands were to start reading those dreaded passages about wifely submission, they might commit the dreaded sin of quoting those passages to their wives, and that’s ABUSE. I’m not joking in the slightest:

This video was uploaded on December 5th, 2015.

I memorize the Scriptures to the husband, I don’t memorize the ones to my wife because that wouldn’t be healthy for me. *laughs* It’s not about me making sure, you know, in fact, I’ve never opened the Bible, went to my wife, and said, “You know, it says, here you’re supposed to submit.” I’ve never done that cuz I do consider that to be abuse. I don’t think that that’s, um, I don’t think that’s what I’m called to do. I’m not saying there’s never any scenario where you could do that, but I haven’t found one yet, um, where I’ve done that to my bride. Um, even, even if I felt she was not in submission to me in some way I just was like, it’s not my job. She’s not my child, she’s my bride.

Because of statements like this, these videos are intensely difficult to listen to, so I haven’t listened to them from beginning to end. It’s likely Mike examined Ephesians 5:25-27 at some point, but whether he did or not, we need to recognize that there is a mandate here that commands husbands to teach their wives what the Bible says.

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

By Mike Winger’s definition of abuse, God himself was commanding husbands to abuse their wives. This is complementarian hatred for husbands epitomized. What may shock you even more, however, is that as recently as September of this year, Mike Winger revealed that he still hasn’t even got out of the infancy stages of his studies of the subject.

Streamed live on September 24th, 2021

What are some good books for important topics like systematic theology, hermeneutics, complementarianism? Well, complementarianism, I’m just gonna have to say, I’m working on it. *laughs* Let me, lemme, I’ll make some book recommendations on that one when I teach on that in, however long it’s gonna take. I’m still in the beginning stages of the research there.

Complementarian hatred for the authority of the husband is so widespread that even Christian pastors like Mike Winger can harbor it without even being aware that his mentality has a doctrinal name. He won’t need to read many books written by complementarians before he discovers they’re his allies in his feminist crusade. The primary difference between them and Mike is that none of the best complementarians would be caught dead telling husbands to ignore what the Bible says. They may agree with just about everything else he says, but even for them, that’s going too far.

I’ll do it because I want to, not because you told me too!

If you are (were) a regular reader of Dalrock, then you’re familiar with a particular claim made by complementarians- namely, that husbands are forbidden from demanding submission from their wives. Even the authors that affirm that husbands’ have authority over their wives feel a compulsion to discourage those husbands from ever demanding their wives submit to them. Either they tell the husband to mind his own business (see Dalrock’s article here), or they simply assert that because a wife’s submission should be voluntary, then the husband can’t demand it from her.

Kevin DeYoung is one of the latest authors to fall into this pattern. This past April he released a book titled Men and Women in the Church. He, like most complementarians, understand that husbands having headship over their wives means that he has authority over her.

Likewise, in Ephesians 5 Paul says wives are to submit to their husbands, for the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church (5:22–23). Citing the headship of the husband as a reason for the wife’s submission makes little sense if headship implies only source or origin without any reference to male leadership. Kephale, in at least these two instances in Ephesians, must mean “authority over.”

DeYoung, Kevin. Men and Women in the Church (p. 44). Crossway. Kindle Edition.

But because he is a complementarian, Kevin can’t leave it at that. He must undermine headship in some manner:

Because of these two realities—the headship of the husband in the created order and the analogy of Christ and the church—the wife should freely submit to her husband.

And don’t miss that word freely. The command is for the wife, not the husband. The man is never told to submit the wife unto himself. Instead, the woman is told to submit herself unto her husband. It is a submission freely given, never forcibly taken.

Kevin DeYoung, Page 66 of Men and Women in the Church Paperback – April 6, 2021

One might simply reply with, “Says who?” This passive-aggressive warning to husbands is never backed up with Scripture. Let’s say a husband wants to, in Kevin’s words, forcibly take his wife’s submission? If that’s a sin, then why is there no verse in the Bible that teaches that?

This should strike complementarians as very odd, considering that men living in ancient times had all kinds of legal justification to compel their wives to do things. Add to that the frequent New Testament emphases on wives submitting to their husbands, and you have a recipe for utter disaster- assuming DeYoung’s perspective is correct. The men from such a sexist culture would certainly latch onto these teachings and run wild with it! They might assume that they had the right to do that very thing that Kevin DeYoung decries- namely, forcing their wives to submit to them. Paul and other NT writers would have been aware of this, right? Surely they would have made sure to warn these ancient brutes that to force their wives to submit would be to sin against God! But they never did.

Now, Kevin DeYoung is technically correct when he says that husbands are, “…never told to submit the wife unto himself.” However, he is only correct in the strict sense that there is no verse in the Bible that contains such a simplistic, word-for-word command. In a debate, such a statement would be eviscerated for being utterly irrelevant. If that kind of statement carried any weight, then one could just as easily refute it by pointing out that husbands are, “…never told NOT to submit the wife unto himself.” Now what?

However, let’s set that issue aside for a moment and examine Kevin’s claim that, “…the woman is told to submit herself unto her husband. It is a submission freely given, never forcibly taken.” Let’s try and parse out what’s wrong with this carefully.

Let’s say we lived in a society where we legally enforced God’s command for wives to submit to their husbands. Let’s also assume that if a married woman broke this law, her husband could punish her for doing so. Let’s say he has the liberty to bring his wife before a judge and subject her to punishments such as monetary fines, beatings, jail-time, etc. This could reasonably be an example of a husband “forcibly taking” submission” from his wife. You might even call it slavery!

Where Kevin DeYoung goes wrong is in assuming that if submission is forcibly taken, then it can’t be freely given. I’ve gone into this in detail in I’m not going to submit like those lousy slaves! and The Greek Says My Husband Can’t Demand Submission From Me!. Very briefly, there is this errant assumption Christians keep making wherein we assume that if a person can be compelled to do something by another, then they cannot obey that other person in a voluntary or meaningfully respectful manner. This is a common assumption, but it is a false assumption. The Bible contradicts it clearly in Ephesians 6:5-6 and 1 Peter 2:18-20 when it commands slaves to do that very thing to their masters. These slaves/bondservants were compelled by law and by force to obey their masters, and yet, the Bible still commands them to obey sincerely, respectfully, and in a willing manner.

Now let’s get back to wives. Let’s say a husband does “forcibly take” his wife’s submission. Does that prevent his wife from giving it voluntarily? Of course not.

If Kevin DeYoung’s assumption had merit, then surely Paul and Peter left many a born-again slave befuddled as to how they would obey those commands. After all, if they had no choice but to obey their masters, then submission could not be freely given! This is absurd, of course, and it’s just as absurd for Kevin DeYoung to come to such a wrong-headed conclusion about husbands and wives. Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands whether they are being forced to or not.

In fact, when DeYoung claims that wives should submit entirely of their own volition, then he’s teaching a Christianized version of the protests of rebellious children. We’ve all heard young kids say, “I’ll do it because I want to, not because you tell me too!” Wives certainly should not speak that way to their husbands, but when it comes down to it, that’s what complementarians believe. They would not advocate a wife speak in that manner, but when it comes to how they see wifely submission, they think that’s exactly right. Submission MUST be freely given, and hence, wives can, in a theologically sophisticated manner, disobey their husband on the grounds that he tried to forcibly take that which must only be freely given.

It’s unbiblical, and it’s irrational. Imagine trying to defend this kind of teaching in a debate. One of my readers suggested that Kevin DeYoung might be open to debating his views. Given how flawed his thinking is, I very seriously doubt that he will ever leave himself open to such scrutiny. I know I wouldn’t if I were him.

Doug Wilson Plays the Motte and Bailey

Last Friday, Doug Wilson came onto The Gospel Truth to discuss his book Reforming Marriage.

At 30:15, the host, Marlon Wilson, brought up a question I’d typed in the form of two chat messages. Unfortunately, he brought them up in the wrong order. Here’s what I said:

After reading the question, Marlon first asks Doug if what I said was true. I think it’s interesting that Marlon first asked to confirm if Doug really did write what I said he wrote. The easy answer should have been, yes, that’s true.

Instead, Doug answered thusly at 30:50 (I’ve tried to cut out extraneous words, ums, uhs, stammering, and other things to make it more reader-friendly):

The word “despot” there is the word that Paul uses, “despotes”. And so, those statements from “Reforming Marriage” and from “How To Exasperate Your Wife”, harmonize. And they harmonize this way: The wife is the executive of the home. Alright. So, when I was in the navy, I served in the submarine service. The captain was the captain of the ship, but every ship had an executive officer, the XO. And the captain was the final authority in the home, but the executive officer was like, in a company, you’ve got the CEO, and then you’ve got the chief operating officer, the COO. My understanding is that God’s pattern in marriage is that the husband is the protector and provider for the home, and he’s the captain, the head of the house. But, when it comes to the management of the house, like, what goes in the dishwasher when. “Don’t put paper plates in the dishwasher,” Mom says, right. Or, since Mom is the one keeping everything clean, she says, “I really want everybody (to) kick your shoes off by the door, by the front door.” You know, things like that. She’s the executive of the home, and she’s running the home. And that can happen without the husband relinquishing his headship or his authority. So, if she says, let’s say it’s a rinky-dink kind of thing, where she’s the one that does the grocery shopping, she stocks the fridge. I remember when our kids were teenagers, and Nate was moving into the age where he would drink lots and lots of milk, Nancy’s impulse was to, “I just went to the store yesterday, I just bought that! Limit the milk!” And I said, “No, our kids can drink as much milk as they want.” So, I make an occasional decision as the head of the home, this is what we’re going to do. But when it comes to the running of the house, that’s her area of expertise. That’s what she does. Now, if she thinks that I would have any question about something, Nancy runs it by me, but I believe that… Wifely submission is something we believe and practice, but, in 43, coming up on 44 years of marriage, actually, we’re coming on 45. 45 Years of marriage(…)So, um, coming up on decades of marriage, the instances where Nancy and I differed about something, and I made a decision and she needed to submit to it, has probably happened less than ten times. Everything else is just ordinary (lack?) together, talk-it-thorough, that sort of thing. Submission is assumed in everything we do. Headship and submission is assumed. But, if you are having a showdown every other day, and you’re pointing to the Bible verse in Ephesians 5, and you’ve got bigger problems. You’ve need to go get counseling.

Doug said that the word despot is the word used by Paul, which is despostes. In How To Exasperate Your Wife, he didn’t say Paul used despotes. He said oikodespotein. Here’s the quote (bolding is mine):

As the apostle Paul is urging young women to marry, he lets a very interesting comment fall in passing. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully” (1 Tim. 5:14). The word translated here as “guide the house” is oikodespotein. The wife is to be the ruler or despot of the home. This means that when she tells you to take your shoes off at the door, you will take your shoes off—and cheerfully.

How To Exasperate Your Wife (Page 11)

Perhaps Doug has argued for the word “despotes” in another book or article. Or maybe he was thinking of “oikodespotes“.

That aside, my assertion was more than that Doug used the word despot to describe the wife’s authority. I made sure to mention that he meant the wife, as despot, could order her husband around. The obvious point being that Doug, in the book this episode was named after (Reforming Marriage), condemns bossiness on the husband’s part, but allows the wife to do just that in another book (How To Exasperate Your Wife). Doug asserted that the two statements harmonize. But if you look at his answer, he harmonized nothing at all.

Remember, there’s two conflicts asserted by me in my chats. One is hypocrisy when it comes to allowing bossiness for the wife but not the husband. The second is a challenge to Doug to explain how he can allow the wife to order her husband around when he knows full-well that wives are to submit to their husbands. Keep that in mind, and now look over Doug’s entire response. Listen to it in the video. Despite speaking at great length in response, he never even tried to show how he resolved either of the issues I raised.

Instead of harmonizing what he wrote, Doug resorted to professing a completely different view. In How To Exasperate Your Wife, he didn’t write all this nonsense about XO’s and COO’s. He wrote that a wife is a “despot” and proceeded to grant to wives the authority that a despot would naturally have. Several pages later in the same book, Doug Wilson only fortified his belief:

A wife therefore has true authority over her home which no one, including her husband, can take away from her. She must be obedient to him, as this verse states, but this is a clearly delimited obedience.(…)In a certain sense, a husband (as the head of his wife) is an honored and permanent guest, but he should learn to see himself as a guest. He wipes his feet at the door, he eats what is served to him, and he seeks to conform to the pattern established by her

How To Exasperate Your Wife (Pages 17-18)

A husband is a guest in his own home? His wife has authority to tell him to stop in his tracks and remove his shoes? She decides what he eats? He conforms to her pattern? And he better do it with a smile on his face? Wow. It sounds like the wife is ruling over him. Sounds pretty bossy if you ask me. One might even call it despotic, which is exactly why Doug would shrink away from defending it.

However, he doesn’t have to defend what he wrote in How To Exasperate Your Wife. He could always just renounce what he’s written, but he can’t do that. His whole scheme as a feminist-in-patriarchal-clothing relies upon him playing the motte and bailey. In person, he’ll assure you that a wife should submit to her husband, and any authority she has over his household is, of course, subject to his veto. Then you buy How To Exasperate Your Wife expecting to find the same biblical model being proclaimed there, and you find this bizarre monstrosity has taken its place.

But honestly, what else is Wilson to do? Well, if you’re familiar with his work, he talks about masculinity being the glad acceptance of responsibility. If what he wrote is indefensible, then he could just withdraw the book from sale, say that he was wrong in this area, you know, basic stuff a man would do if he were gladly accepting the responsibility for correcting his error. But Wilson simply cannot do that, so the game must go on.

The Greek Says My Husband Can’t Demand Submission From Me!

In their book True Woman 201: Interior Design – Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood Mary Kassian & Nancy Leigh DeMoss, they make a textual argument for their position that when it comes to wifely submission, wives are only required to submit to their husbands of their own volition. Husbands are forbidden from demanding submission from their wives, and in this book, Kassian/DeMoss make an argument from the Greek text (Page 189):

The Greek word translated “submissive” is the word hupotassō from hupo “under, beneath” and tassō “to place in order, arrange, or line up.” The word is an old military term. It means to arrange under in an orderly fashion—to place in the proper position under rank. In this case, it indicates that the Lord wants a wife to voluntarily line herself up under the headship of her husband.

It’s important to note that the word for submission used for the wife’s desired attitude differs from the one used for the child’s behavior toward his parents and the bondservant’s response toward his master. In the case of children and servants, the word is hupakouō, from hupo “under, beneath” and akouō “to hearken, obey.” Hupakouō means to yield to a superior command or force without necessarily being willing, whereas when Paul tells a wife to hupotassō herself, it means to willingly put herself in the proper position.3

Although this book was co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, I assume Mary Kassian is the one responsible for the content of this portion of the book. As we proceed, I’m going to refer to Kassian alone for ease of reference. Continue reading

The DWC Files #1: Oscar’s Terrifying Questions

Websites get remodeled all the time. Content is often lost in the transition, and that can include comments by the users. For the sake of preserving proof that there are Christians out there fighting against feminism and complimentarianism within the church, I’ve decided to collect some of the comments from Doug Wilson’s blog articles. Douglas Wilson’s comment sections used to be more accessible and less moderated only a couple of years back, and it used to be much easier for critics to scrutinize his material.

Oscar is one user who had the persistence to ask Wilson and his fans for a clear delineation between a husband’s authority and responsibility in marriage, and which of the two does he have? Does he have the power to enforce his authority upon his wife, and if so, how? He asked these questions repeatedly, quoted Wilson thoroughly, and never got a response back from him or his fans. You will see just how insufferable they could be, but Oscar didn’t let up at all. He kept up asking the scary, uncomfortable questions that no one, including the bold, brash, bite-back Wilson himself, has the guts to answer. No doubt his persistence disturbed the minds of the people there, so God-willing, they started to see their incoherent views for what they were. If you want to find these comments, they’re still on Wilson’s website here. (Archive Here.) I included more comments besides his when I found them relevant to the discussion. This is a VERY long post, but I hope you enjoy it.

Oscar #216964

Authority and responsibility are two different things that are supposed to go together.

au·thor·i·ty əˈTHôrədē/Submit
1. the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.

2. a person or organization having power or control in a particular, typically political or administrative, sphere.

Note that authority INCLUDES enforcement. A person who cannot enforce obedience has zero authority.

re·spon·si·bil·i·ty rəˌspänsəˈbilədē/Submit
1. the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something or of having control over someone.

2. the state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something.

3. the opportunity or ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization.

If you give a leader (a married father) responsibility for (a duty do deal with) a group of people (wife and children), but deny him the authority to enforce obedience to his orders and decisions, you set him up for failure.

That’s the situation in which Christian husbands find themselves today: all the responsibility, zero authority. Set up for failure. Continue reading