A blog for Christian men "going their own way."

Friday, June 20, 2008

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'

This is a follow-up on my last post. Check out the latest Boundless podcast. At roughly 11 min, 45 sec. into the program, Steve Watters and Motte Brown apply their headship theology (a concept that I have challenged in the past) to the matter of sexual sin. The conclusion? Men are more culpable. Yes, I'm not surprised.


Blue Sky, Autumn Leaves said...

MEN have been given the charge of WOMEN.

No, women are far from innocent.

But, while we women have been commanded to TRUST fallible and often (not all the time) untrustable men, men have been given the responsibility of us and all our pathetically sinful habits, leanings, and failings.

You are the leader, and with that comes certain responsibility.

I am the submitter, and with that comes certain sacrifice.

We both are giving up something that we don't want to give up to make this work.

Yes, women, in general, have thrown off the authority of men. Wrongfully, I might add. But two wrongs don't make a right.

You're free to dismiss what scripture says about biblical leadership, sacrifice, and loving your wife as Christ loved the Church (which isn't by any means easy).

I'm free to dismiss what scripture says about biblical submission, sacrifice, and giving myself up to my husband the way the church gives herself up to Christ (which isn't by any means easy).

Tell me, you think that because a woman messes up, you shouldn't take the responsibility for it. You are not responsible (as motte and watters tend to interpret it as), but are you willing to take the responsibility regardless of your role in the act?

As I recall, Jesus was the innocent one in the relationship between Christ and church. Does that mean the church gets off scott free? Absolutely not. We obviously still deal with a lot of the consequences of our sin. BUT, there is one consequence that we will NEVER experience, because the headship, the innocent one, loved his bride so much he was willing to take the responsibility that was rightfully hers onto himself and REDEEM her.

You can say that's unbiblical and all that, but there's no denying that to love your wife as Christ loved the church means taking responsibility for actions that may not have been your fault.

How much responsibility, I have absolutely no clue. But I don't think you HAVE to do it - afterall, just like I can throw off you as my authority, you can throw off your role as leader. I think its an act of love. And if you truly love your wife as if she were a part of you, I'd think that you would have no problem doing just this (minus the whole being human part).

Yeah, I realize that that's not what Motte and Watters are exactly saying. Rather, they're saying it IS your fault everytime a woman messes up. Yeah, there is a difference. But be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is a truth in the foundation that they are building their leaning tower on.

Anakin Niceguy said...


Some points I like to make.

1. You talk about "what the scripture says about biblical, sacrifice, and loving your wife as Christ loved the Church". I am glad to discuss what the Scriptures say. I linked to another post where I criticized Motte's headship theology. I quoted Scriptures that contradict Steve and Motte's understanding of headeship. Did you see that post? How do you deal with ...

Genesis 3:16 (see also 1 Timothy 2:14)
Ezekiel 18:19-20
Proverbs 14:1

Look at that passage in Ezekiel, BSOL. Especially the part about "neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son." Surely the father had headship over his child, and yet God declares that headship does not translate into greater culpability for the father. I think that takes care of those who want fob off the sins of women on men in the name of "headship".

2. What about male headship?

I look in the New Testament and I see specific directives for the sexes in the church and in the home. But Steve and Motte want men to act like they have the responsibilities of husbands BEFORE they are even married. Where is the Scriptures for this? On the contrary, just as a girlfriend is not bound to obey me or have sex me as a wife would, I am not bound to undertake the responsibilities of a husband before marriage (including paying for all the dates, ladies). In this case, there can be no headship without covenant.

3. For the sake of argument - Regarding Christ and the Church. Yes, Christ paid the penalty for Christians ( and "not for ours only, but also for the whole world's." - 1 John 2:2). So, when do we avail ourselves of this sacrifice? Is it not when we respond to the Gospel? In this case, you can't have the benefit of Jesus' headship until you enter into a covenant with him.

4. The Scriptures clearly teach that women can have influence over their husbands without violating headship (1 Peter 3:1), but the theology of Steve and Motte and their peculiar understanding of headship would logically discount this.

5. Jesus paid the penalty for us, but he didn't take on the guilt of our sins. Jesus is God. God cannot lie, and there is no darkness in him. He cannot pretend that he is guilty, when he is perfect and spotless. He cannot change the fact of who is the judge and who is the convict.

6. Suppose my wife gets into a car accident and it's technically her fault. She may come home sobbing and say, "I didn't mean to do it!" I may do the loving thing and say, "It's alright hon. I'll pay the insurance deductible, etc." I may bail her out of the consequences, but she is still the one who messed up. She needs to (wo)man up to what she did.

7. I believe many in the Evangelical community are committing an error when they superimpose a typological understanding on Ephesians 5:25ff. There is not a one-for-one correspondence between Christ/church and man/woman. Ephesians has a metaphor with a limited context. Responsible hermeneutics means looking at the context and not reading beyond it. If the Christ/church passage is typological, do I get to destroy the woman that rejects me? Of course not.

Yes, I have a greater responsibility as a husband, just leaders in a local have a greater responsibility. But I do not have that responsibility BEFORE the fact of marriage, just as elders do not have responsibility to pastor those in other churches not in their authority. If a woman rejects my headship, then she alone is at fault. Remember, if women are not responsible, then why does the Bible command them to dress modestly? Christian women are just as responsible for the souls of their brothers as vice versa.

Amir Larijani said...

I hate to say it, but Motte & Co. are in danger of embracing a "husband-as-redeemer" mindset, which is latent misogyny if not outright heresy.

I had a discussion about that with Valerie, on Debbie Maken's blog. It's crazy how many Christian women are starting to buy into that.

On one level, I can see where it can be attractive to the women: it relieves them of some of their responsibilities. On another level, it is telling them: "We know you are feeble and incompetent, so you need a husband to really lead you and intercede with God on your behalf."

I don't see that message in Scripture.

wombatty said...

I've posted this several times on Anakin's other blog & once on this one, but it bears repeating. So, at the risk of beating a dead horse:

I think that we are starting to see the fruit of the headship interpretation espoused by Doug Wilson, Motte Brown, et. al.

Emmerson Eggerichs, in his book Love and Respect notes on pages 233-234:

What I see happening in some marriages is that the wife believes - or appears to believe - that she does not sin. In many other marriages the only sin that a wife will readily admit to is her negative reaction to her husbands failure to be loving or for losing patience with the children. beyond these areas, women do not see themselves as sinning, even though they readily admit bad habits and wrong attitudes. They write these off to chemical imbalance, hormonal problems, or dysfunction due to family of origin.


...it's easy for a wife to discount or disparage a husband's suggestion that she has some problem that need's correcting. Even if he is gently and diplomatic in suggesting that she needs to make a correction to avoid hurting herself or others, he is quickly silenced. She is offended, wonded, and angered by his assessment. He is accused of being without understanding and compassion. He has no right to speak. And he will often wind up being shown contempt.

When I speak on this topic at a Love and Respect Conference, I often get feedback, not all of it positive.

The headship interpretation of Motte & co. make it more likely that whatever fault the wife does bear for marriage problems will instead be transferred to the husband, freeing her from taking personal responsibility. Needless to say, problems dealt with, or rather evaded, in this way will remain to fester and do further damage – damage that will, again, be laid at the feet of the husband. I don't see how this can lead to a healthy marriage.

Amir Larijani said...

Very good points, Wombatty.

Anonymous said...


wombatty said...

...more sarcasm ahead...

Here is a recent piece of news:

Woman has sex with student, 15, plus 7 friends.

A female special education teacher and sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club at a middle school in Alabama has been charged with having sex with at least eight high school students between the ages of 15 and 19.

Then, the reporting goes of the rails:

"It takes such a long time and so much effort to become a teacher," Christian said. "It is very difficult to understand that someone would waste all of that by such actions. It sounds like she has some serious issues to work through, but that will never excuse what she has done."

How dare they blame her! There is some wiggle-room however, perhaps even enough for the likes of Wilson & Brown. No doubt those 'issues' of hers are are the doing of some man - her father perhaps.

It goes on:

Christian said Pritchett then began having sex with a 15-year-old boy, and later had sex with at least seven of his friends. All of the incidents were initiated by the former teacher and several happened on school grounds. Other sex acts took place at victims' homes.

There they go again. When will these reporters understand that women simply do not initiate such behavior - they are above that. These young men were clearly involved in an elaborate plot to 'lead her down the path of fornication'. The poor dear probably didn't know which end was up.

Pritchett is just the latest instructor to make WND's big list of American teachers accused or convicted of having sexual relations with students.

Just look at that list! When will the men behind this travesty be held accountable?!?

Justice will probably prevail, however. She'll likely get a slap on the wrist.

Amir Larijani said...

Come on, Wombatty...how dare you blame that innocent teacher. Those boys led her down the path to promiscuity! You heretic! LOL