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

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.

Jesus Christ: The Example to Wives of Submission

July 19th, 2012

In almost every aspect of life, Jesus Christ and His work on the cross give us our ultimate examples.  Even when trying to understand the idea of a wife’s submission to her husband, we can look to the cross.  Ephesians 5:22 commands wives to submit to their husbands.  However, throughout the passage Paul compares husbands to Christ in their headship and in how they should love.  People even talk of the importance of husbands being examples of Christ to their wives.  This comparison of husbands in their headship to Christ makes some women wonder how they can be Christ like in their submission, or even worse if they are somehow inferior because headship is more Christlike.

However, when we turn a couple pages over to Philippians 2 we see Christ set forth as an example of submission.  Philippians 2:5-11 displays the submission of Jesus Christ to God the Father.  This describes Jesus Christ choosing to humble Himself to the point of death in obedience to the father, and then His great exaltation which resulted from His submission.  Even though Christ was never a wife, He remains a “High Priest who can sympathize with us in all points” including with women as they understand the idea of submission.  His submission cost Him greatly.  This was also a submission of His own choosing, and of one equal to another.  The doctrine of the trinity teaches that all three members of the Trinity posses “equal power and glory”. (Westminster Catechism Q. 9) While there is order and authority within the trinity, no member is inferior to another.  Philippians also emphasizes that Christ chose to enter into a relationship of submission.  Christ was the one who took on the form of a bondservant, humbled Himself, and was obedient.  Jesus Christ shows that He is not commanding any wife to do more than He has done in the call to submission.  Submission is also something women choose to do when they become wives, and is a submission of an equal to another equal.  It is not a submission based out of inferiority.

Willie Deutsch.com

Religion and Politics from a Young Christian in Northern Virginia