“Don’t Judge Me!” and Other Musings

jsr asked about addressing the issue of people proclaiming they are judged when you talk with them about different things. It seems in this day of almost total Biblical illiteracy on the part of even professing Churchians (How can you do Christ’s commandments if you don’t even know what they are?), almost everyone knows Matthew 7:1:

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)

However, they don’t know the full meaning of the text, nor can even place it within context with the rest of Scripture. It could be argued that this is one of the major contributors behind the lack of admonition for sin in the current environment. The rest of this post will cover how to deal with such things in people.

1. Remember that this Scripture is not given in context. (Matt 7:1-2; Luke 6:37-38)

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matthew 7:1-2)

The Scripture involved is an admonition to mercy and grace in what we do towards others, not that we do not make determinations about others in light of the Scripture and the Spirit. We should take care to not condemn others in what we do, but realize that we salt the things we do with mercy and grace.

2. Remember to be watchful of yourself and your state. (Matthew 7:3-5; Galatians 6:1-2; Romans 2:1-3; 1 Cor. 11:27-31)

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)

These things aren’t saying that we should be silent if we are involved in the same sin ourselves in the past or are in sin at all. Scripture tells us that Paul was not without sin (Rom. 7:14; 1 Cor. 9:27; Phil. 3:12), yet he still called out the fornicator in the Corinthian church (1 Cor 5:3). They’re saying that we need to be watchful of our own ways and the temptations involved if we place ourselves in the position to speak. Those that point out that you, or others have done that sin are doing it out of self-righteousness (holier than thou) if they are sinning the same way.

3. Remember to not judge based on outward appearance. (1 Sam 16:7; James 2:1-4; Ecc 9:1; John 9:1-3)

It can be easy to look towards outward appearance, even as a measure of holiness, but God doesn’t do that:

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

It can be easy for man to stick into his fallen state and look at money, power, influence (worldly or a member of the clergy/priesthood), or other reasons. He can even assign these things as indicators that God is favoring them – they’re rich so they must be doing right before Him. But Scripture is clear that we all stand equally before Christ no matter the things we have or the health we have. Hence, James rebukes people as such:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (James 2:1-4)

4. Remember that judging is not inherently evil. (Heb. 12:23; Acts 10:42; 2 Tim. 4:8)

It can be easy to think that when someone says something about judging that you are doing something evil. Both God and Christ judge and they are inherently good of nature. This leads into…

5. Remember that the expectation of the Church is admonition and encouragement towards holiness. Therefore pointing out sin is acceptable. (Galatians 6:1-2; 1 Cor. 5:12-13; Rom. 16:17; 2 Thes 3:6; Matthew 18:15-18)

If there isn’t a concern in walking towards Christ within a Church environment between “professing Christians”, there’s a fundamental problem because their goal is not discipleship to Christ. There is even a process set out in dealing with sin in the ranks:

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 18:15-18)

6. Remember that there is a judgment for silence or aiding people in their sin. Or that the chief duty of love is to keep one another from harm. (Ezekiel 3:17-21; 2 John 10-11)

Jesus came and sacrificed Himself not just to justify us despite our sin, but to remove us from our sin. The process of discipleship is for this purpose. No one would think much about not allowing a drug addict to continue in their addiction. But with sin, plenty would remain silent, consent to it, and even aid in it happening. If we believe that the wages of sin are death (that is eternal death), how much is it a reflection of Godly love to warn others of their destruction! This goes for admonition of sin in the Church, but also for spreading the message of the true Gospel of Christ to those that need to accept Him!

7. Remember in this gynocentric culture, that many people (especially women) are driven by feelings.

Therefore, when most are expressing such things, they are only seeking agreement or confirmation for the path they have already decided to take via the guidance of the personal Jesus. For example, the husband who got a “word from the Lord” to divorce his wife. They are not looking for an objective assessment of what they have written or said in light of the Holy Spirit, they are looking for someone to bolster their emotions and ego and prime the empathy pump.

8. Remember to pray for the person involved. (James 5:16; Ephesians 6:10-13; Matthew 5:43-45)

We battle not against flesh and bone but against spirits and spiritual wickedness. Therefore, the person involved will not repent in their sin unless they are convicted by the Holy Spirit to repent. This might not happen for a while, but prayer is a necessary thing for both the heart of the sinner and the hearts of those who were sinned against.

It will take discernment for the person who encounters this to see where it comes from and how to deal with it. Hopefully this will present some good guidelines when confronted with “Don’t Judge Me”.

The Complementarian Contradiction

I usually try not to get too personal, by keeping it to the expression of truth and keeping myself out of the way. But things I’ve recently read makes me to desire to step out this time. In writing this blog, I’ve noticed a couple of dynamics:

1. Most of the men who are aware of what feminism is usually stay away from what I write because I’m a professing follower of Jesus, therefore I must be a tradcon feminist.
2. The ones who are professing “traditionalist” Christians, however, usually stay away because I’ve completely and unequivocally declared myself as anti-feminist. In other words, I’m not a traditionalist (tradcon) feminist.

I don’t know how true that assessment is, but what leads me into what I have to write about today stems from that second statement. As I wrote before, there are two schools of thought that are postulated in current Churchianity when it comes to men and women and their roles in society.

Egalitarianism is the idea that men and women are exactly identical before God in both role and value. This mode of thought was born out of the secular feminist influence within Churchianity. This was addressed in the other post.

Complementarianism is the other mode of thought that is expressed within Churchianity. It’s generally expressed in the idea that men and women are different, have different things to bring to the table, and have different roles. I have brought the Biblical view of this out for husbands and wives before, and it should be clear where my position is on this matter.

However, I did not endorse complementarianism in my other post, for reasons that this post will get into now. The reason is this, as described in the other post: Scripture professes an equality of value between men and women in the sight of Christ Jesus:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

What all too often comes out in the writings of “traditionalist Christians” is that men were not created by God for the purposes of His glory, but were created for the purposes of woman’s glory. That is, the only value that men hold in “traditionalist Christian” circles is directly related to his utility to the woman. In other words, their view is that the only value men hold in society is in their service to women, and any man that is not under the personal rule of a woman is seen as dangerous.

This view comes out in the expression of men only in terms of husbands and fathers. This view comes out in the man-up rants. This view comes out in the non-Biblical support of chivalry, where a man’s sole and only purpose in life is to the service of women even to the cost of his own life (and if that isn’t proof that a woman’s life is valued more highly than a man’s, I don’t know what is). This even comes out in treating every woman as her own god, treating every word out of her mouth and every feeling she has as if they came from the Lord God Himself.

This inequality of value or worth of the existence of men and women comes out with tradcon feminists, especially when assessments of the rights of men or the MRA/MRM comes out. In reading the latest examples of tradcon feminism I’ve encountered, Sis writes (wb, btw), in her assessment of men in self-identifying as a traditionalist feminist:

I love men, they are awesome warriors, intimidating captains, fearless leaders, amazing lovers. I believe in chivalry, men are at their finest when their purpose is something bigger than maximizing their wealth and prosperity. I think women are at their finest when they are creating beauty and admiring the men around them. Women are designed to nurture, care and be patient with children and men. Men are designed to be strong and conquer the world. I don’t believe in equal rights for men and women, I don’t think women should be drafted just like men because we serve a greater purpose at home.

She is welcome to clarify, but note that she describes men only in terms that befit their utility to women or others, and also denies that men should have the same rights as women in society. Commenter Robyn in the same thread writes:

I’ve thought long and hard (and for many years) about this statement: “I don’t believe in equal rights for men and women …” -and I believe I finally have my head around it! It’s not that men and women are NOT equal – it’s that ‘equality’ shouldn’t come into the comparison.

Dipping into the numerous threads that now exist on chivalry in different places will produce a number of similar comments painting the life, liberty, and dignity of men to be lesser than women, insignificant, or even worthless compared to women. As well, it is not hard to find other expressions of such views. This is not the Biblical roles of men and women being expressed, this is tradcon feminism being expressed by “professing Christians”.

What do they get wrong when it comes to men and the call for equal rights? Egalitarianists confuse the God-given role women have as a lack of diminished value of life before God. Complementarians see the God-given roles men and women have, but have a lack of diminished value of men in the sight of God. Traditional feminism has lasted much longer than the secular variety, so they are evidently blind to it. The ham-handed handling of some parties to slide a H into the MRA acronym is an attempt to illustrate the nature of this problem: Men do not have the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as women do today.

The chart summarizes the arguments above. God-given rights are those things which moved the signatories of the Declaration of Independence to action, and include all things they saw essential to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. God-given attributes are the genuine (not tradfem defined) qualities that makes a man what he is, along with the proper roles that God expects man to play both in society and in His Church.

christfem_chart
(Note: Tradcon feminists acceptance of “masculinity” as a God-given attribute is defined as it being such to serve women. Hence, the very essence of “masculinity” is defined by women to be of utility to women. This is unacceptable.)

The problem that any form of mens rights advocacy addresses isn’t that they are wanting man to have equivalent roles to women – in other words, MRAs have little to no concern with the last column. Personally, as a Christian, as long as the roles and attributes are proper, I have no concern with the last column. It is fully concerned with the second column, and that’s where my concern lies with this form of feminism. Feminism in all its forms have determined to erode and destroy what is proper in both columns.

Feminism doesn’t solely concern itself with Biblical roles in marriage. It has concerned itself with devaluing men in society. It has concerned itself with either the subjugation of men both legally and within the Church (via Marriage 2.0 and other methods) or the elimination of men in society. This goes not only for the secular variety, but the religious one as well.

The idea of complementarianism as expressed sounds like a good one when it comes to Biblical roles, but it’s all too often a cover for a complementarian view of the value of life of men and women. Women are the valuable ones, while the only value for men is to compliment women as their servants. This is as much feminism as the other kind of feminism. This is as much misandry, as the other kind of misandry. Feminism is feminism, no matter what appearance it takes.

BD #8 – Ruled By Feelings And Emotions.

This is the last post in a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” – (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.

dobson_book

In this final post detailing the final section of interest in “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”, Dobson addresses the issue of emotions and feelings. What he writes is very relevant given the current gynocentric culture. The perspective the current culture gives feelings is evident in the opposition to post #6 of the series. Dobson writes on this current perspective (1, 2):

It is likely that what you feel, right or wrong, is a powerful force in determining your behavior day by day. Emotional experience in the Western world has become the primary motivation of values and actions and even spiritual beliefs. Furthermore (and this is the point), we are living in a day when we are being encouraged to release our emotions . . . to grant them even greater power in ruling our destinies. We are told, “If it feels good, do it!”

The reader of this series might be surprised, but I agree with Dobson 100% on this (and the other sections in this post). He is right on track that given the gynocentric (and hedonistic) focus in culture, that feelings and emotions have come to rule over facts, values, actions, and spiritual beliefs. The general drive of discontentment that most women feel is based on the assessment of emotion as more valuable than fact, faith, or reason. This attitude, unfortunately, is so pervasive that most people now are immune to seeing this, and are indeed following it out and pushing back when anyone pushes against it. The Feminine Imperative has taken hold.

The emphasis has gone from whether something is factually true or right, or produces the proper results, or is spiritually effectual, to whether the practice feels right or wrong. This is the predominant reason why most preachers do not effectually preach Scripture. The emphasis is not on getting out the message of God present in Scripture, but on using Scripture for a veneer of spirituality in a message that is fully calculated on sending people away feeling good about themselves (or as the Churchians would say, “meeting their felt needs”). This produces a different message, which only pushes people into their own personal Jesuses and gives them cover to deny their sin before an objective and absolute God.

Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. (Proverbs 27:5-6)

This drive on feelings over substance has contributed to much of the sin problem that is present in churches and wider society as well. While the view of true love warns of dangers and is concerned for the dangers people are in, the rebuking of others for their sin is considered taboo. While it doesn’t feel good to have to deal with anyone regarding anything they do that is destructive, the prideful person who is the target of such things tends to reject it because it doesn’t feel good to them.

This drive for feelings over faith has also driven the preaching of the Gospel. A gospel based around that personal Jesus has been derived in order to push them away from any hurt feelings. Hearing that you’re a depraved wicked sinner who deserves to be cast into hell and the only hope is to throw away all your own ways and thoughts and even your life and follow after Jesus, as well as hearing about any sin you are doing just doesn’t feel good. It feels terrible. But it’s loving and right to be concerned about the welfare of others, especially before the Lord. Most people wouldn’t question arranging an intervention for a drug-addicted person. It shows a lack of faith and even aids a sinner in the Church when the Christian sees sin and is silent.

The perspective of holding feelings over substance has even made it into marriages. Dobson writes (1, 2):

Most love songs, in fact, make it clear that a commitment to one another is based on the excitement the couple shares. Thus, when the thrill evaporates, so does the relationship. By contrast, the greatest piece of literature ever written on the subject of love, the 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians, includes not a single reference to feelings: (He quotes 1 Cor 13:4-5, TLB)

The unfortunate part of Dobson’s assessment is that his teachings have contributed to the predominance of Marriage 2.0 within Churchianity, and in exactly this way. The wife’s feelings, thoughts, desires, and whims are not only held as important as fact, faith, and reason. The wife’s feelings have come to rule the marriage, to the point that she is treated as deity. Dobson’s heretical teachings that the imperative of the husband is to make his wife happy by being unconditionally responsive to her feelings by submitting to her, and to make his wife feel loved (as opposed to loving his wife) has contributed greatly to the destruction of marriage we are seeing today. Dobson writes (2):

I have no desire to return our culture to the formality of yesterday, when father was a marble statue and mother couldn’t smile because her corset was too tight. But if our grandparents represented one extreme of emotional repression, today’s Americans have become temperamental yo-yos at the other. We live and breathe by the vicissitudes of our feelings, and for many, the depression of the “lows” is significantly more prevalent than the elation of the “highs.” Reason is now dominated by feelings, rather than the reverse, as God intended. (Galatians 5:22, TLB quoted)

I don’t know how accurate Dobson’s assessment is of the generations prior to him. However, he is right in his final assessment. Reason is consistently discarded in favor of feelings. As it goes with marriage, what is being demanded of husbands now in Churchianity and the Marriage 2.0 paradigm is completely impossible. Given what has been written, Dobson should have known better.

Feelings are a part of the human existence, and part of maturation is learning to deal with them by putting them in the proper perspective. There is no way to make a person feel happy, or feel anything. Feelings and emotions are solely up to the person having them to control. The person involved needs to be able to see these things for what they are and then evaluate them based on fact, faith, and reason.

Now where the issue of feelings come into the topic of marriage can be where a husband can function as a check against the wife’s feelings (it seems this is a vital component of a husband “mastering” his wife). Given the gynocentric culture and the demands of women, feelings can most certainly be given undue relevancy or importance in the face of the prevailing objective evidence. Dobson started the chapter, entitled “A Man and His Emotions” with several stories of where emotion clouds good wisdom and judgment. Dobson started the paragraph I pulled the text from the first quote with these two sentences (1):

Let me personalize the issue at hand. What imaginary fears are you supporting with contrived evidence? What role do rampant, uncontrolled emotions play in your life?

A husband, or other men in general rejecting any of a woman’s feelings as invalid, irrelevant, or unsubstantiated to the case at hand given objective evidence can most certainly cause a woman to be upset and up in arms. Given the power that women have gotten in society today (along with men following after the feelings bandwagon), the destructive results of giving feelings primacy over objective evidence and reason are all around us.


Takeaways from doing this:

1. I don’t know how well this experiment has ended up working out. But it was interesting to go through some older material and see what the teachings on marriage were. This is what drew me to the book in the first place as blogging material. That said.
2. It’s interesting how clearly the common Marriage 2.0 doctrine we talk about today on these blogs was expressed in 1980. I have to wonder if these doctrines were such clever deceptions that no one has protested against them until the manosphere got hold of them? It makes me wonder, since the church has so widely and completely accepted the materials of Focus On The Family to be as much gospel as the Scriptures when it comes to marriage and family. Or was there others out there protesting against these doctrines long before we came along?

(1) “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 185. (2) ibid page 186.

BD #7 – The Basic Concept Behind The Man-Up Rant.

This continues a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” – (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.

dobson_book

In reading this book on Husbands and Wives, it should be unthinkable that we would get away without Dobson getting a man-up and marry the single chaste wonderful women sluts rant in. As those who frequent sites that advocate against these teachings know, man-up rants are sermons or blog articles or other things where different evangelical figures rant against men because they aren’t running right out and signing up to be a slave to marry the first available woman irrespective of choice to marry or quality of the women available. They come so frequently these days that it’s almost tiring to address them as they come since they are so frequent. The dynamics behind the current decision of men to not sign up for Marriage 2.0 have been addressed here several times (to the point that I’m not even sure this is anywhere near an exhaustive list). Needless to say, it would be a small research project to find all the examples of man-up rants that have been linked to in this site and others such as the ones on the blog roll.

This brings us to what Dobson had to write. Given that this is 1980, I doubt there were single women flooding his office crying about the alphas that they wanted (they don’t see the other quite available men due to their hypergamy) not committing to marriage with them on the exact timetable that they desire. But it was enough of a concern to Dobson that he addressed it. While it’s not a typical man-up rant, it is valuable in revealing the thought processes behind them. Dobson refers to a book that George Gilder wrote called “Sexual Suicide” (later retitled “Men and Marriage”) in writing (1):

Gilder’s point is that the single male is often a threat to society. His aggressive tendencies are largely unbridled and potentially destructive. By contrast, a woman is naturally more motivated to achieve long-term stability. Her maternal inclinations (they do exist and are evident in every culture throughout the world) influence her to desire a home and a steady source of income. She wants security for herself and her children.

Seen plainly is the misandric hate speech and thought towards men that is unfortunately all too common when it comes to Christianity. To Dobson, Mohler, Driscoll, and just about everyone else, single men are dangerous to society, other women, himself, and basically everything good and right in the world. The sole purpose of a man is defined solely in his provision to a woman and her children. The rest of this paragraph should (again) be familiar to followers of this site and others. Focus On The Family representative Glenn Stanton said something similar to it:

…women left to themselves will develop into good women, more responsible women, just naturally, for various reasons and we could talk about that. But men have to be taught how to lead. They have to be encouraged how to lead. They have to be welcomed into leadership. And I don’t think we’re doing that today. We’re not taking young boys and saying, “OK, we need to make men out of you.” And I think that’s the large reason for the man problem today, is that we have to be very intentional about man-making, man-creating. And I can hear all the women saying, “Absolutely!” It doesn’t just naturally happen. It happens more naturally with women than it does with men.

Gilder, Dobson, Stanton, and the others are parroting common feminist doctrine which was originally postulated by Valerie Saiving Goldstein. A common feminist thread in both secular and theological doctrine is that men are destructive and need to be brought under control by women for the good of society.

If anyone reading this doubts me that this post is wrong, tell me about the actions of Mary Winkler and Andrea Yates, along with the average reaction that their deeds have gotten. Let’s see if you can be honest in the sight of God using His standards . . . Yeah thought so (society couldn’t pass this test either when it came to directly dealing with these women). Dobson continues to write, confirming his adherence to the false feminist doctrine (1):

Suddenly, we see the beauty of the divine plan. When a man falls in love with a woman, dedicating himself to care for her and protect her and support her, he suddenly becomes the mainstay of social order. Instead of using his energies to pursue his own lusts and desires, he sweats to build a home and save for the future and seek the best job available. His selfish impulses are inhibited. His sexual passions are channeled. He discovers a sense of pride–yes, masculine pride–because he is needed by his wife and children. Everyone benefits from the relationship.

Instead of a man finding fulfillment in his own life by his own choice, man’s sole purpose in life if he is a “good man” is painted by Dobson to solely be slaving to support a woman. In Dobson’s eyes, a bad evil despicable single man suddenly becomes good and righteous when he is under the thumb of a woman in Marriage 2.0. A man, including his choice of marriage (Dobson is not Biblical in this regard), has a God-given right to direct his own path by the guidance of God. In other words, being single is not a sin! Dobson continues (1):

When a society is composed of millions of individual families that are established on this plan, then the nation is strong and stable. It is the great contribution marriage makes to a civilization. But in its absence, ruination is inevitable. When men have no reason to harness their energies in support of the home, then drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual intrigue, job instability, and aggressive behavior can be expected to run unchecked throughout the culture. And that is the beginning of the end.

Horror of horrors! Society is meeting its downfall because men won’t man up and marry the sluts! All the social ills of the world are simply because men just won’t take the first woman they find and run down to the courthouse and sign up for marriage! Men just can’t make a good life outside of being married to a woman and being tied to her children in the eyes of most all Christian evangelicals. However, we never have the observation that the women are the ones causing the unstability in families and not wanting to channel their energies into marriage, divorcing 70-90% of the time for “marital unsatisfaction”. But it’s the men that pushed them into it, so it’s not their fault. But the fact is, women are the ones that abandoned the nuclear family in society, not men!

The fact that men can have good lives outside of marriage to a woman should be thoroughly evident in the Men Going Their Own Way movement which says that men do not need marriage in order to be fulfilled, especially in this current environment. This is a gynocentrist feminist society at all levels even in most “Christians”. In the eyes of most everyone, the only value that men can have in society and towards others is as a husband or father, or towards the service of women, including his absolute disposability. Consequently, most all women don’t love or respect men or their husbands at all, they only love what their husbands can do for them. These women are incapable of seeing a man as another person who has their own hopes, dreams, thoughts, and desires. Dobson changing the doctrine from “husbands love your wives” to “husbands make your wives feel loved” only feeds the fire of this dynamic. This is misandry against men. It needs to stop. Period.

(barbarossaaaa – some NSFW words present, I don’t agree with 100% of this but it’s very good for this topic)

Whether you believe in abortion or contraception or not is irrelevant to whether you are a feminist or not. If you buy into the feminist principles (and value men only in what they can do for women, including being just as disposable as Kleenex for the purpose of women) you are a feminist, no matter what the packaging might be. Feminism is feminism, whether it’s packaged in the secular form or in traditionalist Christian wrappings. All of it needs to be opposed and all of it needs to end, no matter where it comes from.

(1) “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 157.

BD #6 – Making Sure The Wife Feels Loved.

This continues a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” –(1)(2)(3)(4)(5) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.

(warning, this talks about suicide because Dobson went there in his text, so you might pass on this post if that is a touchy subject for you) In continuing on this text describing Dobson’s attempts to undermine the authority of husbands, I encounter something that is so almost nonsensical on the face of it that I didn’t even know what to do with it originally when I read the book and copied text – to the point that I’m winging this post as I read the text. It’s also one of those things of the feminist movement (and specifically the traditional feminist movement) that angers me immensely. It’s the idea that somehow the man is completely responsible for the woman’s emotions, mental state, well being, and actions. Consequently the woman has no moral responsibility, duty, or actions required of herself to maintain her own spiritual, mental, and physical state. This is part of the new Marriage 2.0 responsibility for husbands, not that husbands love their wives sacrificially, but that their husbands make their wives feel loved.

Dobson seeks the acceptance of this false doctrine by equating the job satisfaction of men with the satisfaction of marriage in women. Statistically and logically, we should be able to see that this is an apples and oranges comparison. That Dobson would dare make this comparison also brings to mind the typical feminist rant about women not being valued as homemakers because they are not being paid for what they do. He then summarizes his view with a graph which is included in this post.

Dobson's graph: Straight Talk To Men and Their Wives page 99.
Dobson’s graph: (2).

While the comparison might have made more sense in a world where women didn’t work at all, Dobson makes it clear that he sees the two identical (1):

The chart on page 99 will illustrate this contrasting job satisfaction by men and women. Obviously the point of greatest danger occurs in the late thirties and forties, when the wife is most dissatisfied with her assignment and the husband is most enthralled with his. That combination is built for trouble, especially if the man feels no responsibility to help meet his wife’s needs and longings.

As was talked about before, Dobson feels the husband is wholly responsible for “listening” (submitting) to the wife and deal with all the wife’s emotions, wants, desires, and so on. By submitting to his wife faithfully, the husband is supposed to make his wife feel loved. This is not inconsistent with what others have expressed about Marriage 2.0. Evidently, satisfying every desire of his wife is what “stepping up and leading your family” means to Dobson.

Dobson then proceeds to tell us how women will cope in the “absence of strong and loving support from husbands” (1). To summarize those, which Dobson deems as non-exclusive, meaning a woman can take any or all of these actions (2, 3):

1. Go to work outside the home.
2. Be angry at men and society (e.g. hatred of men), adopting feminism.
3. Depression.
4. Have an affair.
5. Take up alcohol and drugs. (this was/is common enough for the Youtube song I linked to get written, I suppose?)
6. Attempt suicide. This is Dobson’s subsequent (repugnant and disgusting) example (3, 4) to drive the point home. Dobson painted the husband at fault for his wife’s attempted suicide because he didn’t make her feel loved enough.
7. Abdicate her responsibilities or run away.
8. Get a divorce. As Dobson writes (3): “Today, more than ever, this final alternative looms as the accepted method of coping with marital frustration.”

Instead of addressing the hardwired sin nature of women, like her rebellion before God in refusing to submit to her husband, the husband passing her fitness tests, dealing with his wife for her purposeful discontentment and creation of drama, admonishing women to find contentment in their own lives before God as well as admonishing them that men aren’t mind-readers, and so on, Dobson fails to see any contributing behavior of these women in doing what they have done, and places the blame of all of these things squarely at the feet of the husbands. “Step up and lead your family by submitting to your wife and making her feel loved.” is instead the order of the day with Marriage 2.0.

Dobson also does everything short of screaming “Do it! Do it!” when it comes to the topic of frivolous divorce for the wife’s “marital frustration”. The culture might not have allowed the free avocation of frivolous divorce in 1980, he definitely is paving the way for the common acceptance of divorce within the church.

dobson_book

Seeing this line of thinking expressed in this book explains a whole lot, now that I’ve worked my way through it in the deeper way that is required of blog posts. It’s not anything that I haven’t already picked up on reading countless manosphere sites, but to see it expressed in print (and back in 1980 no less!) in this way is almost incredible since it depicts a number of the more far out-there things that would almost be absurdity if there wasn’t numerous proofs floating about that people actually think this way. While Dobson has plenty of adversarial words for the feminists (or “women’s liberation movement” as he puts it), it’s especially interesting to see Dobson’s own feminism depicted in black and white. It is almost a perfect illustration of the blindness that the traditional feminists have to the fact that they ARE feminists. Especially to see the dynamic of Marriage 2.0 expressed repeatedly in this chapter, outside of manosphere posts was particularly interesting.

(There are 2 or 3 more of these left, which may or may not have anything to do with marriage. Be sure to check the comments here, as a lot of those are good for this text too.)

(1)“Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 98. (2) ibid page 99. (3) ibid page 100. (4) ibid page 101.

BD #5 – It’s All Your Fault For Not Submitting To Your Wife.

This continues a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” – (1)(2)(3)(4) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.

Once upon a time he didn't have white hair...
Once upon a time he didn’t have white hair…

In the course of the series, which describes some of the “interesting” parts of Dr. Dobson’s book, it was discussed about how husbands are called to step up and lead their families. However, the husbands are disenfranchised of their authority. The wife is then set up as the authority holder (head) of the marriage. The rest of the book involves examples of means used to accomplish this goal. Those who follow the religious feminist sphere regularly will recognize these as global trends in the church today (establishing Marriage 2.0), because Dobson has been a leader in this respect.

Dobson begins (in this chapter called “A Man And His Wife”) with a statement on divorce, which hardly is interesting: (1)

Perhaps you know that the divorce rate in America is now higher than in any other civilized nation in the world, and it is steadily increasing. That is tragic. Even more distressing to me is the knowledge that the divorce rate for Christians is only slightly lower than the population at large. How could that possibly be true? Jesus taught his followers to be loving, giving, moral, responsible, self-disciplined, honest, and respectful. He also explicitly prohibited divorce except for radical circumstances of infidelity. With these instructions, He provided an unshakable foundation for a stable and loving relationship between husband and wife. How can it be, then, that those who claim to have accepted Jesus’ teaching and devoted their lives to Christian principles are hardly more successful in maintaining harmonious families than those who profess nothing? There’s an enormous contradiction tucked within those words.

The part that becomes interesting is that it reminds me of a quote by Focus On The Family representative Glenn Stanton, who performs the same role in the group today that Dr. Dobson is doing with this book. In that quote, instead of lamenting it like Dr. Dobson, he has celebrated it (H/T Dalrock):

The divorce rates of Christian believers are not identical to the general population — not even close. Being a committed, faithful believer makes a measurable difference in marriage.

Dalrock provides good commentary on this, so I’ll refer you to there, since this isn’t the primary interest of this post. Suffice it to say, it’s not good to lament the results of their Marriage 2.0 experiment, especially today. Dobson continues to write, telling us the reason that all these marriages are being blown up in divorce (1):

The truth is, the same circumstances that destroy non-Christian marriages can also be deadly in the homes of believers. I’m not referring to alcoholism or infidelity or compulsive gambling. The most common marriage killer is much more subtle and insidious. Let me explain.

Suppose I have a counseling appointment at four o’clock tomorrow afternoon with a person whom I’ve never met. Who is that person and what will be the complaint that brings them to me? First, the patient will probably be Mrs. Jones, not her husband. A man is seldom the first to seek marriage counseling, and when he does, it is for a different motive than his wife seeks it. She comes because her marriage is driving her crazy. He comes because his wife is driving him crazy.

I’m not aware enough of marriage counseling (even Christian) or how it works specifically beyond what I’ve read on Gregoire’s site and this post (which is the only one that came up describing the results of it after an exhaustive search), but I notice the pattern is as Dobson writes:

It’s always the man’s fault, because he won’t submit to her and be like a woman.

It could be argued that the whole purpose of marriage counseling is to strong-arm the man into submitting to his wife and later give her justification for the inevitable frivolous divorce that is to come. Dobson goes on to give three “letters” as examples to this point in bold and neglects to explain his points any further. He probably meant something by them, but they are nonsense logically, and one of the handful of statements in the book I really can’t do anything with because it’s so nonsensical. To break up the statements:

1. She comes to counseling because her marriage is driving her crazy.
2. He comes to counseling because his wife is driving him crazy.

We logically know that the wife asks for marriage counseling because she has some problem with her husband that is driving her crazy (same as the husband’s reasons). The only conclusion I can make out of this given the rest of the text is that Dobson is making this subtle reframe in order to push the point that the husband isn’t submitting to her desires in the marriage, which makes the marriage drive the wife crazy. Meanwhile the husband’s views on how the marriage is driving him crazy are dismissed as out-of-hand because they are about his wife and do not focus on the marriage, i.e. fulfilling her thoughts, wishes, desires, etc. Dobson gives us his conclusion about “Mrs. Jones” (2):

Mrs. Jones speaks as though she were the only woman in the world who has ever experienced this pattern of needs. But she is not alone. It is my guess that 90 percent of the divorces that occur each year involve at least some of the elements she described–an extremely busy husband who is in love with his work and who tends to be somewhat insensitive, unromantic, and noncommunicative, married to a lonely, vulnerable, romantic woman who has severe doubts about her worth as a human being. They become a matched team: he works like a horse and she nags.

Note the nature of these qualities – Dobson is in effect making a call to men to be more feminized in their marriages, and put aside the work of providing for his family via his job. Dobson is saying if men would just listen to their wives and submit to their wishes, these marriages wouldn’t be blowing up. Hence, we have the common teaching that supplicating to the wife is the answer if the marriage is on the rocks. But when job security becomes an issue if the husband isn’t “dependable” (as Dr. Dobson should well have known as a professor at the USC School of Medicine and a practicing pediatrician), and isn’t working the load his bosses demand of him for being at his wife’s beck and call, the wife won’t be thankful. Especially if the hours he works less for pleasing his wife enables him to provide less of a standard of living than before.

But this would all be possible if the husbands would just hear (submit to) their wives, as Dobson tells us (3):

I can hear masculine readers saying, “If women want a slower lifestyle, less materialism, and more romantic activities with their husbands, why don’t they just tell them so?” They do tell them so, in fact. But men find it very difficult to “hear” this message for some reason.

(Dobson then tells the story of his preacher father stepping on a cat’s tail in an open-air revival while he was preaching and it struggling and crying until he took a step.)

This story typifies many twenty century marriages. The wife is screaming and clawing the air and writhing in pain, but the husband is oblivious to her panic. He is preoccupied with his own thoughts, not realizing that a single step to the right or left could alleviate the crisis. I never cease to be amazed at just how deaf a man can become under these circumstances.

Dobson tells me something I for sure didn’t know. Marriage in the 20th century (and I’m sure the 21st) for a woman is extremely painful and panic ridden, when a man steps up and leads the family and doesn’t submit to his wife. Like a cat whose tail is being stepped on. If he would just only submit to her, that pain of hers would go away and she would have a happy marriage with no complaints from her end and no thoughts of divorce. Such is the dream of Marriage 2.0.

Now, why should I be the constant source of pain for a woman if I marry her?

(1)“Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 92. (2) ibid page 94. (3) ibid page 95-96.

BD #4 – Coronating Her Personal Jesus

This continues a series I’ve called “Blogging Dobson” – (1)(2)(3) – on some comments in the Dobson book “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives”. I pull out some “interesting statements” which illustrate the fallacy that these kinds of ministries perpetrate of being “godly” or “family-affirming”.

Hey look, it's 70's fashion!  A Baby Blue suit coat!
Hey look, it’s 70’s fashion! A Baby Blue suit coat!

In writing before, it’s been described that the pattern with feminist commentators in Churchianity such as those of Focus On The Family (and most all others) is to continually push and place a call for men to “step up and lead their families”. As mentioned there, this call is coupled with efforts to undermine and ultimately eliminate any authority the man has over his family. This is intentional as the feminist goal of Marriage 2.0 is to have an arrangement where the wife is head of the family and the husband submits to her as god, placing himself under her as her personal slave.

This moves us to Dobson. For this quote, we need to keep in mind that the book was written in 1980, when the toleration of wickedness in marriage was much lesser. Several things were considered self-evident and it was required to wedge different thoughts into people’s minds to give them the freedom to choose against God’s ways and push them further down the path to seeing evil as good and good as evil. We see this much in the so-called “ministry” of Sheila Gregoire, who aims to further Marriage 2.0. Her pattern is to take a situation that is so obvious to most (at least from an emotional appeal) and then uses appeals to man’s wisdom and the flesh in order to garner acceptance of the non-Godly path (point #3 in my list here). Dobson writes in a chapter which has sample “questions” (emphasis added by me, 1):

1. I agree with your belief that the father should be the spiritual leader in the family, but it just doesn’t happen that way at our house. If the kids go to church on Sunday, its’ because I wake them up and see that they get ready. If we have family devotions, it’s done at my insistence, and I’m the one who prays with the children at bedtime. If I didn’t do these things, our kids would have no spiritual training. Nevertheless, people keep saying that I should wait for my husband to accept spiritual leadership in our family. What do you advise in my situation?

That’s an extremely important question, and a subject of controversy right now. As you indicated, some Christian leaders instruct women to wait passively for their husbands to assume spiritual responsibility. Until that leadership is accepted, they recommend that wives stay out of the way and let God put pressure on the husband to assume the role that He’s given to men. I strongly disagree with that view when small children are involved. If the issue focused only on the spiritual welfare of a husband and wife, then a woman could afford to bide her time. However, the presence of boys and girls changes the picture dramatically. Every day that goes by without spiritual training for them is a day that can never be recaptured.

Therefore, if your husband is not going to accept the role of spiritual leadership that God has given him, then I believe you must do it. You have no time to lose. You should continue taking the family to church on Sunday. You should pray with the children and teach them to read the Bible. Furthermore, you must continue your private devotions and maintain your own relationship with God. In short, I feel that the spiritual life of children (and adults) is simply too important for a woman to postpone for two or four or six years, hoping her husband will eventually awaken. Jesus made it clear that members of our own family can erect the greatest barriers to our faith, but must not be permitted to do so. He says, (quoting Matthew 10:34-38 RSV).

This is Dobson’s pattern as well. He presented a scenario that most people will find reasonable and even can find a few examples in Scripture to uphold themselves on. The scenario itself isn’t important, but what Dobson is giving wives license to do is important. He can’t be as non-subtle as Gregoire is at times, but he has a bigger mission, which has represented his entire organization, that requires it. He must disenfranchise the authority of men in marriage, and then establish a new authority in the marriage. He can not establish the wife directly (no one ever can, since it’s SO fundamental that most still *say* that husbands are to be the head) as the head of the marriage. So what does it take? As 1 Corinthians 11:3 states:

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

So he uses the recent established idea (in 1980, though I’ve heard old preachings as far back as the late 1960’s against it) of a “personal relationship with Jesus” (also of feminist background) and gets the woman to buy in that if the husband isn’t living up to his proper role of “leadership” in Christ, that she gets to step in and lead the family. But who is making the judgment? Not Christ, not the husband, HER! It’s by her standards and her thoughts and her ways. By virtue of the personal Jesus, she gets to lead the marriage, irrespective of the Scriptural standards of Christ. So it is not her talking, but Christ talking through her. But it’s not really Christ, it’s her personal Jesus.

We have the advantage of time and the expansion of this doctrine for ever wider things to be evident. This doctrine has been so insidious and so accepted that it’s taken some pretty outrageous things (as well as the advent of the manosphere) for any people to wake up and see it. I’ve chronicled these things before as well as many others such as Dalrock and empathologism (whose description of dressing up in robes and doing paper cutouts of Jesus or some such thing to please the wife’s personal Jesus on spiritual leadership still cracks me up). As I wrote here regarding Albert Mohler’s twisting of Scripture to carve out a right of the wife to condition her sexual access (and submission) on how well her husband pleases her personal Jesus (i.e. her):

So we are taught by Mohler, if the man pleases her by following her direction, making her feel good, saying the right things to her, spending enough money on her desires, and generally doing everything she says, imagines, or desires (giving the perfect personal Jesus to her here on earth), then he is rewarded by sexual access from her.

The reason I fastened onto the comment here is that it describes the fully ripened fruit of the doctrine of the personal Jesus perfectly that we see today. While I could have commented on it there, this post happened to turn into a perfect commentary of it. The personal Jesus is self over God. The personal Jesus is the rebellion against God. The personal Jesus is the vehicle that has been used to accomplish the feminist goals within church in a way that sounds religious. Dobson finally writes (2):

Returning to the question, I would like to caution women not to become “self-righteous” and critical of their husbands. Let everything be done in a spirit of love.

This is almost laughable if what has been done hasn’t been accomplished. In other words, Dobson says “I’ve now given you ownership over your husbands, ladies. You rule now. Use your rule benevolently.”

(1) “Straight Talk to Men and Their Wives” by Dr. James C. Dobson p 70-72. (2) ibid page 73.