Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia

Pat Robertson is “Just Wrong on Every Level”

August 17th, 2012

Pat Robertson joined Joe Biden this week as part of the “Old White Guys Saying Crazy things” Club.  Sadly what Pat Robertson said was much worse because it was a tragic distortion of the gospel.  The following video is a shocking response to a single woman who is raising three children she adopted internationally.

Instead of commending this woman for her love and compassion, he essentially belittles her, while still justifying that he believes in supporting orphans.  Because the background of internationally adopted children can be uncertain and can include “brain damage, sexual abuse, cruelty, and food deprivation” Pat Robertson believes people should be careful of adopting internationally.  He goes on to say “You don’t have to take on someone elses problems.” He concludes by saying that he believes in caring for orphans around the world, but “That doesn’t necessrily mean I have to take all the orphans around the world into my home.”

This negative view of adoption displays a tragic lack of understanding of the gospel and Christ’s work on the cross.  Because of the cross, and God’s great love and mercy every single Christian has been adopted into God’s family and are children of God, our heavenly Father.  God adopted into His family people who did things so horrific that He was forced to sacrifice His Son on the cross.  We rebelled against God and spat in His face, “but God being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved… So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are members of the household of God.”  (Ephesians 2:4-5, 19)  One of the great beautiful truths of the gospel is that God brought all those He saved into His house as children, not grudgingly in anyway but welcoming them with open arms.  God loves us regardless of our past.  He is a “father to the fatherless.”  The “friend of tax collectors and sinners.”  He is the father of the rape victim, the abused, the poor and homeless, and even the brain damaged, starved, and those who are cruelly treated.  God loves us sacrificially and unconditionally, and this is the love Christians need to exude to the world because it is the love with which we have been loved.    Tragically Pat Robertson does not understand how central adoption is to the Christianity and the gospel and has distorted Christianity to the world as a result.

The heart of the gospel is that God adopted as His own children people who were worse than “weird,” people who rebelled directly against Him and whose sins required the crucifixion of His son, and people who have the most messed up lives ever. If the gospel and the cross don’t encourage and inspire someone to adopt or at least appreciate people who adopt needy children, then he clearly has a very twisted view of the gospel and what God has done.

When Christian leaders teach a twisted view of the gospel it is crucial that Christians stand up and respond.  While the silence was deafening during the Doug Wilson controversy, thankfully Christian leaders are very quickly responding in this instance.  One of the first to respond was Russell Moore whose response is well worth the read.  This is yet another time where Christians need to stand up and defend Christianity by saying unequivocably, “That man does not speak for us.”  To quote Pat Robertson’s cohost on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson’s comments were #JustWrongonEveryLevel. 

For more priceless Pat Robertson comments enjoy the following

Are Women Created in the Image of God?

July 26th, 2012

Sadly whether implicitly or explicitly, many people’s view on the roles of men and women force them to argue that women aren’t made in the image of God in the same way as men.  My good friend EMSoliDeoGloria who writes blog posts for comments cites a number of current Christian authors in making this point.  The following is the text of a comment she posted on my last blog article.  As she asks in the end, is this belief true?  If it isn’t are there some assumptions that are related that need to be rethought?

______________________________________________________________________________

Yes, Carolyn Mahaney also teaches (women, of course) here: ”That is why God created Eve from Adam. She was created to be a helper suitable to him, to complement him, to nourish him and to help him in the task that God had given him.”

And, likewise Doug Wilson: ”He needs a companion suitable for him in the work to which God has called him. He is called to the work and must receive help from her. She is called to the work through ministering to him. He is oriented to the task, and she is oriented to him.”

Bruce Ware seeks to explain 1 Cor 11:8-9 (but without considering verses 11-12):
”His point, I believe, is this: because man was created by God in his image first, man alone was created in a direct and unmediated fashion as the image of God, manifesting, then, the glory of God. But in regard to the woman, taken as she was from or out of man and made for the purpose of being a helper suitable to him, her created glory is a reflection of the man’s.[20] Just as the man, created directly by God is the image and glory of God, so the woman, created out of the man, has her glory through the man. Now, what Paul does not also here explicitly say but does seem to imply is this: in being created as the glory of the man, the woman likewise, in being formed through the man, is thereby created in the image and glory of God. At least this much is clear: as God chose to create her, the woman was not formed to be the human that she is apart from the man but only through the man. Does it not stand to reason, then, that her humanity, including her being the image of God, occurs as God forms her from the man as ”the glory of the man”?”

I don’t read any of that in the Scriptures, where man and woman are given dominion over all of creation, to steward it and cultivate it on God’s behalf.

Genesis 1:26-28
”Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let THEM rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created THEM.
God blessed THEM and said to THEM, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” ”

I do read it in Milton, who describes in Paradise Lost the created woman as “resembl[ing] less His image who made both” The man is like the sun and the woman like the moon – ”He for God and she for God in him,” says the author. For Milton, sin began with the ”effeminate slackness” of man, rather than with the rebellious decision of woman, then man, to eat what God had forbidden.

It’s not a new concept. It’s not a rare concept. But is it a TRUE concept?

Doug Wilson and the Danger of Male Authoritarianism

July 20th, 2012

Wednesday night I published an article on how women could look to Christ as an example of submission just as men can look to Christ as their example of headship.  The following morning I woke up and watched a firestorm erupt over a long quote from Douglas Wilson published in a prominent blog on the topic of wives submitting to husbands.  Much of the discussion focused on the opening lines.

“In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts. This is of course offensive to all egalitarians, and so our culture has rebelled against the concept of authority and submission in marriage. This means that we have sought to suppress the concepts of authority and submission as they relate to the marriage bed.”

Wilson’s defenders argue that people are simply getting bent out of shape by the colorful language in the second two sentences of this paragraph.  However, there is a more dangerous concept which lead Wilson to pen those two sentences.  It is the concept found in the last sentence of this paragraph and which blossoms in the final paragraphs of the passage.  Authority and submission run through the fabric of the universe, and men should be in authority while women should be in submission.  He believes this concept applies to the bedroom.  Excluding the marital rape discussion, Wilson advocates extending male dominance and female submission into the bedroom as if that were God’s will when scripture actually focuses on mutuality and unity there.

While others like Quivering Daughters have been exposing what male authoritarianism cloaked in Christianity has done to daughters in terms of spiritual and emotional abuse,  Wilson shows us the twisted view of sexuality this idea leads to.

The passage begins with “A final aspect of rape that should be briefly mentioned is perhaps closer to home. Because we have forgotten the biblical concepts of true authority and submission, or more accurately, have rebelled against them, we have created a climate in which caricatures of authority and submission intrude upon our lives with violence.”  The conclusion of this passage, and the conclusion of a very insensitive chapter 7 on Rape in his book Fidelity reads,

“True authority and true submission are therefore an erotic necessity. When authority is honored according to the word of God it serves and protects — and gives enormous pleasure. When it is denied, the result is not “no authority,” but an authority which devours.”

Here he  takes the Ephesians 5 analogy of marriage representing Christ’s headship over the church and stretches it to say that men have authority in everything and women should be submissive in everything.  Making an analogy an overarching principle is dangerous.  Stretching this analogy into the bedroom robs the most intimate act of marriage of the mutual love and enjoyment it is supposed to contain.

This brings us to a crucial passage in the Bible for understanding the how and purpose of sexual union, I Corinthians 7.  Internet Monk succinctly and accurately applies this passage to the Wilson controversy.

“The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (1Cor 7:4, NASB)
Even if we were to grant the point that God’s design is for husbands to be the authorities in the home, and women are to submit to their leadership, nowhere, nowhere does Scripture link the sexual relationship to these concepts. From the beginning, Genesis 2:22-25, the sexual relationship is about complete mutuality, about cleaving together, about two becoming one, evidencing that a man and woman are “bone of bone and flesh of flesh.”

The Song of Songs, an entire book of erotic love poetry, bears this out. Those who’ve commented on the TGC post have pointed out that there is no “authority and submission” in Song of Songs, but two people who take turns initiating and responding to the other with passionate sexual feeling.

No clearer statement of this can be found than Paul’s words in 1Corinthians 7:4 — “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

The Wilsons are simply wrong in stating otherwise.

Sadly when Wilson deals with this passage we see how his authoritarianism impacts his hermeneutics.  Chapter 12 entitled “Sexual Solutions” serves as his commentary on the passage.  His view of sexuality keeps him from seeing the plain meaning of the text which is that both husband and wife possess equal authority and the focus should be on serving and pleasing each other.  The husband does not have more of a right to be fulfilled than the wife.  Instead out of love, their deepest desire should be to delight and please each other.

His view of headship and responsibility keep him so focused on the word “authority” that he misses the word “llikewise.”  This leads him to make interesting statements in exploring the passage like “He is responsible for his authority over her, but he is also responsible for hers over him.” (p.128)  Later he makes an extremely self centered statement by saying, “This means he must love her sexually as he wishes.” (p.134)  In between these comments he speaks of the man’s authority being one of teaching her how to be creative in the bedroom to please and serve him sexually.  Her “authority” means he must tell her if he looks at porn or has an affair.  There is no mention of serving and pleasing his wife, and no idea that she should or could take initiative or authority and lead in the bedroom to enjoy her husband and lead him in delighting her.

Paul clearly equivocates between the authority a husband has over his wife’s body and the authority a wife has over her husband’s body.  Missing the equality and mutuality that should mark a couple’s lovemaking misses the point of the passage.  Sadly Doug Wilson’s authoritarianism permeates his book Fidelity and leads him to impose his view on scripture rather than let scripture speak to him.

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia