Thursday, June 21, 2007

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Here are some questions I get asked quite frequently:

Q: Do you think the doctrine of submission is responsible for some of the domestic violence that is taking place in the church?

A: Yes I do

Q: Why do you feel this is true?

A: Nowhere in scripture do we find even a hint that husbands are commanded or even permitted by God to demand submission from their wives. Yet we do find in the Bible where ruling over their wives will be a sinful inclination that husbands will naturally lean towards. Ruling over his wife was not a command given to Adam in Genesis chapter 3, but rather a very negative "consequence" of the fall.

I believe unscriptural preaching and teaching on the subject which stresses wifely submission as the answer to all or most marital problems naturally leads to abuses on the part of husbands as they attempt to assert a sinful authority over their wives that the scriptures simply do not permit.

In times past, scripture passages dealing with wifely submission were interpreted so literally, and enforced to such extremes, that laws were passed which gave a husband the right to beat his wife with a rod “no bigger than his thumb.”

Also, the fact that wife-beaters within the church are rarely subjected to church discipline, while in some congregations women who divorce due to the abuse are subjected to church discipline, sends a subliminal message to husbands that wife-beating or abuse is really not all that bad.

Q: Why did you stay and tolerate the abuse?

A: Ah, there it is, the question of the century! I devoted an entire chapter of my book to that question. In fact, the question of “Why She Stays” is the number one question asked of women in abusive situations.

I found, during the course of my research, that I reacted quite typically to the abuse in my marriage. There is really no simple answer to that question, except the one the Bible gives in Genesis Chapter 3 where God tells Eve that her husband will rule over her and her desire will be for him. The ruling part was a consequence to both Adam and Eve—not a blessing for him and a curse for her. And the desire for her husband part explains why she puts up with it.

In my own case, there were many separations and reconciliations along the way as I attempted to resolve the problems within my marriage. It was just part of the process. And if we believe what the Bible says, it should not come as a surprise to anyone that the abused/battered wife, especially the evangelical Christian wife, does not find leaving an easy thing to do.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Male Supremist Attitudes Among Christian Leaders

A recent radio interview with a well-known Pastor was about as interesting, revealing and extreme as they come concerning male supremist attitudes from a Christian perspective.

I was asked to field questions and comments ranging from, "Are you submitted to your husband?" Do you agree with the Bible that he is your head?", "Most woman are angered by the fact [that their men are weak and possessed by them] and they end up destroying men--even their own sons..." to "Women tend to control men, and men become violent because they do not know how to handle this..."

Whew! All I can say is Thank God for his grace in giving me complete peace and composure throughout that interview.

That interview absolutely validated observations I made in Woman Submit!, in the chapter entitled "The Eve Syndrome" concerning the fact that abusive men can be traced back to the Garden of Eden where we see Adam behaving abusively towards his wife with no inclination whatsoever to take personal responsibility for his own actions.

It also validates my conclusion that the scripture in Genesis that says, "...and he shall rule over thee," does not teach that Adam was given authority over his wife as a reward for his sin, but rather was merely stating the fact that one of the consequences of his sin would be that his behavior would change in the fact that he would become very dominating towards his wife--even abusively so in some instances.

The centuries have proven this to be true .

About the Author: Jocelyn Andersen is a survivor of many years of
spousal abuse and domestic violence and is passionate about sharing the God-given insights that brought her out of a lifestyle of tolerating abuse into the blessed place of peace and victorious Christian living she enjoys today.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Church Is Battering Battered Women

Instead of asking me "Why I Stayed?" Why aren't leading evangelicals being asked why they are advising battered women to return to violent marriages!

As a formerly battered wife and the author of
Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence, I am asked -- without fail -- every time I am interviewed, "why didn't you just leave?"

My question is this, why aren't the people who are so incredulous that I stayed after being battered asking prominent evangelical leaders why they are advising women to return to violent homes?

Prominent Christian leaders who are advising women to try and change violent husbands--not divorce them, advising women to get away while the heat is on--but with the intention of going back into the home when "the heat is off", are not being called into account for doling out this very dangerous counsel. while the women who follow their advice are being battered twice--once by their husbands, and then again by the church at large which berates them for not abandoning their violent marriages in spite of the fact that they are following the advice of well known and highly respected, and trusted, Christian leaders.

These evangelical leaders are very prominent, Have huge ministries and are frequently interviewed on radio and television. Their best selling books are reviewed and generally touted as excellent.

If anyone wonders who some of these leaders are, take look into the archives of any Christian Radio show. I guarentee there will be at least one maybe more interiviews with them found there.

If you are still having trouble, read
my book, where I name a few of them.