Sunday, April 26, 2009

When Rob Rufus Gets It Right!!

There have been some really awesome comments on my previous post; "When John MacArthur Gets It Right!" - which I'm so grateful for. I think we all appreciated my non-Christian friend's input and frankness! All Christian husbands need to never, ever forget that sexual intimacy means that wives should be enjoying it too! But I carried the conversation on at home with my mum and dad when I met them for coffee yesterday. It's something I really love and appreciate about Mum and Dad - they are willing to listen to whatever's on my heart. The benefit of discussing this Driscoll/Song of Solomon thing is that I've come to appreciate how important Christian married couples long for some Biblical teaching and input on their intimate lives.

But I think Sheila makes a vital point too - we don't need schoolboy toilet (or bathroom) humour or language to get that point across. And while I am sure Mark Driscoll is an incredibly unique person - his behaviour doesn't necessarily have to be prescriptive to try and emulate the kind of success God is giving him at the moment. My heart still is for Christian women - sisters in Christ. And so I was thrilled driving back from Bristol to be reminded of something Rob Rufus said in a prayer at "Glory and Grace" when I was there in 2007.

Here's what he said - and it's absolutely on-topic. One might have thought he knew of the debate!

"The Bible in Song of Solomon and many other places talks about us being the Bride and being loved and ravished by heavenly romance with a Bridegroom that is so in love with us! Your love is better than wine. Come away with Me, My beloved!

Forgive us for taking the culture of the world as men - Lord! So afraid of intimacy. So afraid of closeness. So afraid of emotion. We thank You for the example of David - Lord. A real man, a masculine man, a warrior, a mighty warrior! A man who killed many people in battle, a great warrior in the army of Israel! A king! Yet a sensative, tender poet. A romantic. A lover! A tender-hearted man!

Oh give us men like that in the world today! Warriors who will stand up and fight yet know tenderness and intimacy! Jesus the Son of God who stood against the most evil force on the planet - religious demons behind Pharisees - and He stood against them alone and would not buckle under their intimidation or pressure. What a man! Yet He could stand before Lazarus's tomb and weep and shed tears and say "Let the little children come to Me for such is the Kingdom of heaven".

Jesus who could look at a woman caught in adultery and say "Woman where are your accusers? Neither do I accuse you". Such tenderness in this Man! Jesus of Nazareth! Fully God and fully Man! Weeping with compassion! Showing such kindness! But even on the Cross and dying for our sins, He looks down at John and said; "John behold your mother" - pointing at Mary. Thinking about His MOTHER! While He is on the Cross He is still wanting to make sure His earthly mother is looked after by His disciple John - the man He loved!

What kind of Man is this?! So full of masculinity and male authority yet so tender and intimate. He let John the apostle put his head on His chest at the Last Supper and was not embarressed by the contact of a physical man touching His chest in public - so innocent and pure. What happened to the church? This Bridegroom does not need our love but He desires it with a passion!".

I think that last point for me answers one of Driscoll's most distressing comments where he mocks those who see certain allegories in the Song of Solomon and says;

"Well the allegorical interpretation, it's not between a husband and a wife, Song of Solomon, love and romance and intimacy; what it is, it's about us and Jesus." Really? I hope not. [Laughter from crowd] If I get to heaven and this goes down, I don't know what I'm gonna do. I mean it's gonna be a bad day. Right? I mean seriously. You dudes know what I'm talking about. You're like, "No, I'm not doing that. You know I'm not doing that. I love Him [Jesus] but not like that." [Laughter from crowd]"

Whether it was meant as a joke or not (and an extremely bad one if it was) - the fact remains that Jesus Christ the Man had absolutely no problem in loving one of His disciples and welcoming His disciple's love and longing for closeness in absolute innocence and purity. I must confess one of the thoughts that has most often gone through my head when I first lay eyes on the Risen and Exalted Lord Jesus Christ for the first time is a longing that I will be able to run into His arms and do the same thing. Let's recover that innocence and purity. As Rob Rufus said;

"What's happened to the Church?".


joyfullydia said...

What the #@$@%$#%$#^ is Mark Driscoll saying? It just proves he equates intimacy with sex. Grrrr.....

As for Rob's thoughts on becoming like real men, I am SO grateful that a man is bringing this up and using the example of David, a man after God's own heart, and Jesus himself!! Oh how the church world (especially certain ones) needs to hear this!!

Nick Cameron said...

Dan - I have really appreciated you blogging on the seriously taboo subject that sex is in the Christian world! We were reminded in the sermon at Lansdowne tonight that sex is a gift from God. In my experience, being in a Christian marriage for nearly 14 years, the more major arguments or misunderstandings seem to boil down to 2 key issues - money and sex. So it is vital that these things are discussed!

Looking at your quote from Driscoll (which I know isn't given in context so I can't comment on all he says) but what I don't get is that in my Bible it talks of the Church being the bride of Christ and surely as the bride of the Christ it means our relationship with Him is intimate.
My relationship with God is not based on aloof contact, He is interested in every detail, He is passionate about me (hard to believe but true according to the Bible!), I can't wait to be face to face 'the Lover and the Loved!'

lydia joy said...

Nick, I must say I appreciate your most gracious response and thoughts on this very much.

I have to say it is vital that these issues are discussed and it is interesting that this subject has been coming up quite a bit lately. I must admit that Mark Driscoll's quote, whether in the full context or not, is offensive to me. It reminds me of years ago, shortly after I was first married, and attending a 'marriage' conference, all on the very subject of sex. CJ Mahaney very clearly shared his views on the Song of Songs and he rather mockingly, and I remember this VERY clearly, declared that the book was in no way to refer to us and God, it was purely a book on married sex. I was honestly confused, as I had grown up singing the lovely song, "His banner over me is love." I did not understand the implications this teaching had on my life until many years later. I think it is very harmful for many reasons.
It is true that we are indeed the bride of Christ and that most wonderful status, means relationship, intimate relationship. Not the act of physical sex, but initmacy. Unfortunately Mark and CJ, don't seem to be able to differentiate between the 2, sex is just a fruit of intimacy. I also feel that it is NOT necessary to 'teach' on the actual sex act in marriage from the pulpit. Sex is a gift and a fruit of a good marriage, and good communication and full on relationship that is brimming with life, it's not the other way around. Which is what I recall being taught, and it really truly felt as though sex was turned into a mandate, a law. So, unfortunately this area of my life was turned into a law from the very start of my marriage. Very harmful!!
I think we need to understand as husbands and as wives, what God thinks about us, who we really are in Him and how madly in love with us He really is. I think that the marriage is a picture of Christ and the church, Christ is the head, and the man is the head. Christ is the wooer, he initiates and we respond. If the husband is to be the picture of Christ in the relationship, is it not his 'role' (I hate to use that term, don't hear it as a law or a must or anything) - to lay down his life and love his wife, as Christ did for the church. And isn't there way more we could talk about on how exactly Christ does this. It's vast and beautiful! It's out of this understanding that we can begin to see what a married life can look like.
I tell you what, when I began to see the love of God for me and began to get revelation on his love and that he is not angry with me, and that he so intimately loves me and wants to lavish me in so many ways, he knows me SO well, like Nick said, so interested in every detail of my life, so happy with how he created me, I began to open up and really respond to Him, with ease and freedom and passion. Is this not a picture of what can happen in a marriage?
Words are very powerful, they can either bless or curse. I think CJ's words about the Song robbed me of true initmacy with God, as will Mark's words here. There simply was no need for them, whether I am gettting the whole context or not!!!
Also, is not the WHOLE Bible to point us to Christ? Are there not types and shadows throughout the Old Testament. So married sex is just a shadow, a picture of an even greater thing - intimacy with Jesus.
I can recall Rob sharing from the pulpit on a healthy sex life, not going into detail, just discussing that it is a blessing. But he also said, as great as that is, it does not compare to our intimate relationship with God. In fact it pales in comparison. I think this is true because we are spirit beings, our spirits cry out for that intimacy with God. Our marriage relationship is now, and temporal. And one day we will be in union with Him apart from our mortal bodies. We can taste of that union and intimacy now as we live on this earth!!! Thank goodness!!! I am glad Jesus is real and alive to me now!!!
Anyway, I have a lot more thoughts on all of this and could keep going........I suppose I wanted to further explain my first comment, which off the cuff could seem rather angry, and it is indeed, not at the people, but at what they are implying and teaching to God's precious people from the pulpit.

And Peter, I just remembered you started a blog awhile back to address just these types of issues on masculinity and such.............just curious, no pressure, but any chance you may be writing on there in light of all of this???

Dan Bowen said...

Wonderful comment Lydia!

I have to say something rather shocking that I first said to my mum and dad and have been thinking about. But the more I think about it, the more I think it's true.

I don't think Mark Driscoll or C J Mahaney are seeing the finished work of the Cross clearly enough.

And I am not standing in judgement because I certainly don't still see it clearly enough otherwise I wouldn't be struggling with guilt or condemnation in my life!

But those two gentlemen have built their ministries and celebrity status's on the fact that they DO see the Cross more clearly than most. Both have written books on the Cross - and so therefore they are assuming "expert" status on this subject - even if they don't mean it.

Why do I think that? Because I think the root problem of both Driscoll and Mahaney with the Song of Solomon is that they can't cope with the fact that the Father wants to love them this intimately, and they certainly can't cope with the idea of responding in such intimacy to a loving God.

Song of Songs is THE book that so colourfully and vividly demonstrates that love in the middle of the Old Covenant, and so it's a problem to men who pride themselves on being "men's men". What do you do? You ignore it - as much of the Church has done.

Or you change it's meaning and it's theology to suit your distaste for relating to God in that way. Which is what they've both done.

And I'm interested Lydia that Mahaney was coming out with this stuff a while back. I first heard him say it at a John Piper Conference on "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ".

And for men who pride themselves on being "Reformed" and "Word" men I don't think that's really very acceptable. Surely we adapt our experience and our very lives to the standards of the Word of God! Not vice versa.

lydia joy said...

Amen Dan!! I think you nailed it! It's so true when we don't SEE the finished work of the cross, we will create doctrines and teachings based on our experience. But our experiences don't dictate now do they!! Could it also be true that those who do not accept the Song as intimacy with God aren't realizing that God is not angry with them or judging them or counting their sins against them? Which is a part of the Gospel that will set you free to be in open communion with God like never before. Therefore able to embrace a loving God, who loves us freely and always has, not based on our efforts or behaviour, but simply because he adores us lavishly.
If one is teaching on how wicked and depraved they are and they are so sin conscious they obviously have not seen the finished work. I sure didn't!! This could be a part of why they cannot cope with the Song as being a picture of Christ and His bride.
By the way that teaching was hot off the press in 2000, as far as I know that is when CJ first started teaching on the Song.

Peter Day said...


Yes, I did start a blog on manhood and womanhood over a year ago. Then I got "distracted" (in the best possible way) with the grace of God. I have spend much of the time in the last 18 months getting more and more built up on grace. I had put that blog on hold because some of the material that I had prepared for it was too much about "roles" and "duties" and there was too much law in the potential posts.

They need to be revisited; I haven't forgotten, but I want to make sure that what is published is full of grace. So, bear with me; I will get to it eventually; there is lots to say on grace-filled manhood and womanhood.

I find myself shying away from the phrase "Biblical Manhood and Womanhood" now - not that I am throwing the Bible out (far from it) - it is just that so much of the teaching can become a new law. Whereas grace frees us to fully enjoy our potential in Jesus. So, when I am ready, the blog will continue and will be about grace-filled manhood and womanhood.

Btw - this is a great post and an excellent discussion.

lydia joy said...

Thanks for the update Peter! I am glad you got 'distracted' with grace. And I so agree on shying away from using the term 'biblical'. That could mean a whole lot of things, including have many wives :) So yes I am eager to read what you will share when the time comes on grace filled masculinity and feminity. Christ centered marriages, that sounds good to me!!

Dan Bowen said...

Just to throw Dr Stanley Jebb's opinion on humour/crude jokes etc into the discussion!

"It does not help the cause of the Gospel if the man of God is just one of the lads, always telling jokes and fooling about. That is not to say that a minister will never tell a funny story. There is great value in humour in the right place and at the right time. But if that is what he is mainly known for there is something wrong. Incidentally it goes without saying that a minister should never tell shady or off-colour jokes, nor should he enjoy them when others tell them!"

lydia joy said...

You know I have been thinking a bit more on this whole masculine/feminine issue. I do not want to be identified by my 'role' as a woman, wife or mother. I want to be identified in Christ! That is my truest identity! That said, I realized what SGM taught on male/female roles was what defined a man or a woman. In other words, they taught that your identity is wrapped up in your 'role'. Now they may or may not agree with me on this, but essentially that is what was taught based on the emphasis they put upon those roles. And I never recall being taught who I really am in Christ. Apart from understanding that, everything else turns into law in my opinion. I truly think that they were trying to portray the image of Christ and the church through their strong teachings and emphasis on marriage and the roles of husband and wife. Instead of realizing that out of our relationship with Christ and seeing His accomplishments for His bride, the marriage relationship can be walked out. It's out of being so intimate with Him and walking by His Spirit and letting Him live in you as you, that any picture will be portrayed as it should. Am I making sense?
Anyway, this led me to think, perhaps this is partly why you were so rejected by your SGM leaders Dan, in regards to you revealing your struggles. They saw you as a threat to their own version of masculinity as they define it. Because that is all they know, and how they identify themselves, and do not find their true identity in Christ. Obviously the law mentality caused judgement toward you, but I just saw this issue as a part of the big picture of why men like Mark Driscoll can't stand homosexuality at all!! It's quite sad actually.
All that said, to say, we cannot approach any area of life apart from understanding our true new nature in Christ! So I can let Jesus be my all in all to lead me as I walk out my day to day in Him and fulfill my motherly role and my wifely role, naturally. It's out of a place of rest and relationship with Him, trusting that He will indeed cause me to walk in His ways for my life!!!!

Peter Day said...

It is very interesting what Lydia says here:

"...we cannot approach any area of life apart from understanding our true new nature in Christ!"Years ago (before I started learning about grace) I used a marriage book called "The Christ-Centred Marriage" by Neil T Anderson. While I wouldn't necessarily endorse everything in it, the central point that he made is key - it is very difficult for a marriage to be successful without both husband and wife knowing their identity in Christ.

It is so true. Without knowing your identity in Christ, you are being moulded into someone else's image, and that is a recipe for being tied up by legalism.

Dan Bowen said...


Pete and I have said exactly the same thing recently. Traditionally we've both been in the Piper/Grudem camp re; manhood and womanhood and I know I shocked some when I read some egalitarian books! I am so ashamed to say that even when I first came across City Church International in 2006, it was a while before I brought myself to listen to Glenda Rufus.

And when I did God in His humour impacted me probably at that point more powerfully than ANYTHING I'd heard from Rob upto date!!

I think Ryan in his sermon got it so "right". We need to make our primary focus God and His glory, and who He is and what He does and then these other "issues" just slot into place.

I just can't agree with Mohler, Duncan, Dever and the other bloke about manhood and womanhood being of "prime imporance". Isolating it as an "issue" in and of itself just isn't right! And yet they have no problem leaving the Holy Spirit, His Person, work and ministry as a "secondary issue"!! Outrageous!

Yes of course I am not denying the fact that God made us man and woman, different and yet equal. But I think the primary focus as you said so rightly is our IDENTITY in Christ. We have HIS righteousness on us. End of!

Therefore you as a woman am just as equipped and just as anointed to minister in power as a man! Be free to!! What angers me so incredibly is that some women within these sort of complimentarian circles are actually being quenched and suffocated because they are women! What a robbery to the body of Christ!

As for your comments on my personal struggles - yere I think you have got it spot on again. Something I have always suspected. But never given voice to. The senior pastor who threw me out is actually a few months younger than me. And sort of reminds me of a ginger Mark Driscoll!

So the horror on his poor face when I shared what's being going on in my life (!!!!!).

But in all seriousness I really do worry about how exactly the church is going to reach out to the gay population of the world when you've got Driscoll having his "man's manly" "cool" effect on pastors around the world.

I know I for one wouldn't go near his church. I would be scared he would punch me or something.

Dan Bowen said...

And amen Pete! Commenting at same time!!

Nick Cameron said...

(Sorry this comes after a whole pile of comments!!!)

Lydia - Just want to clear up that in no way do I agree with the comment that Driscoll made - I am just quite careful not to judge someones standing when I haven't really read their stuff for myself. I experienced this from the other side a number of years ago when I was drip fed that Terry Virgo was teaching heretical stuff but in fact he was teaching grace and once I experienced that teaching for myself realised how liberating it is! So now I have a 'policy' that unless I hear or read someone in depth for myself that I am just careful what I say......
At the end of the day I can comment on what I do know and what I have read and I have read Song of Songs and I have been staggered that the Lord would ever love me with such passion - that He would leap over hills and mountains to be with me that He would be that thrilled and that intimate with me, that He would love me to that level, to that extent - I know what I am like, I know the depths of my wretchedness, that I know all my failings and all my shortcomings, that I don't have any problems with finding my faults BUT He loves me despite all these things - now that is awesome! The lover of my soul - the great romance! WOW oh WOW oh WOW!

lydia joy said...

Nick ~ I think you are very wise!! And I did not see it that you were agreeing with Mark or approving what he said.

jul said...

The interesting thing about the 'biblical manhood/womanhood' thing is that their main argument is that if we distort the biblical 'roles' of men and women we are then distorting the character of God. I find it incredibly ironic that in their teaching they are (imho) more guilty of this than most of the world who essentially don't pay much attention to 'roles'. In the teaching in SGM and similar circles they actually DIVIDE men and women, focusing on differences and performance thereby destroying intimacy and unity, when it is only in complete one-flesh unity (within marriage) that the true character of God shines forth, as God man in his image MALE AND FEMALE, not only MALE. (not saying that God's image doesn't shine out from individuals, but that within marriage this element which is most beautiful is destroyed when unity and initmacy is destroyed) If you pay close attention to much of the teaching, there is a serious misinterpretation about this going on. That is, that man was created in God's image and woman was created in man's image (thereby making woman below man)or at least this is the impression you're left with when being taught headship. The true teaching is that woman was taken out of man, but still created in God's image. Has anyone else noticed this?

lydia joy said...

Dan - Not JUST His righteousness on us, but His very life within us!!! It's Christ in us, our hope of glory!! He is our very life and identity. I just love that! Why oh why, is the church not marveling at this truth, and talking about it endlessly!!! His life is being formed in cool is that!!
Yeah and it is ashame that women have been so held back by the teachings in the church, the traditons of man. I could see women squelched at my old church, their giftings may not have been fully benefitted from other than for teaching women, about some practical thing, or if they were administrative they found a place to use their gifting. But many women lost themselves in the midst of trying so hard to be the perfect wife and mother, because that was all they were allowed to be. I even think that women would have more children to feel fulfilled, because that was their main calling to be a wife and mother, so if they were to be fulfilled in that, why not have some more kids to raise. Ya know!!
I have so many more thoughts on this and I could keep on writing and never stop, but the deal is, I think the church is awakening to this now. Some parts of it, anyways.
Dan the gay community is very keen as you have mentioned before that the church is judging them and that is a crying shame! However, there are many who are rising up in this time to know their full acceptance and inheritance in Christ, and these SONS OF GOD, are not afraid of sin, and weakness because they know that God is not counting mens sins against them. It's these believers that can spread the good news to those who are truly hurting and starving for acceptance and love. If you feel it on your heart brother, you are most definitely equipped for the job. You have such a heart of compassion and understanding for those who struggle in that way!!

Pete - it is so true that is very difficult when in a marriage if both partners aren't understanding WHO THEY REALLY ARE!!!

Dan Bowen said...

Yes exactly Julie! And I can't quite remember the exact sermon, but Rob takes some time too talking about the fact that although God indeed is referred to as "He" and "Father", yet if women are created in His image then there must be a glorious true complimenting of both sexes in His glory - Who He is!

Where this ridiculous notion came that man is somehow "superior" to woman beats me ....

Women are my role models in pioneering the way forward into the glory cloud. They have no inhibitions to allow God to touch them, manifest Himself through them, do what He likes to them!

And I repeat again, the insistance that wives "submit" to your husbands, FOLLOWS the instruction, "Husbands love your wives AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER".

There won't be any marriage in heaven! Christ and His Bride is the supreme marriage! The supreme union! Christian marriages are but pictures.

lydia joy said...

Wow, yes I SO agree, that the division of roles does indeed create malfunction for sure. So then when you bring up issues like housekeeping or such, you may have a fight over it, because it's the wife's role, not the man's or something of that nature. And worse even!
But what I don't get is how we get beyond the truth of how we are BOTH, male and female made in HIS IMAGE. And that there is no partiality with God. NONE. He doesn't view us based on gender or roles. He sees us as HIS children, and see us in Christ, PERIOD!!!
It's interesting what you pointed out, about how they teach women was created in man's image. I have heard it taught recently, elsewhere, that when God created woman out of man, he was taking what was already within the man and making a whole new person with those qualities. I found that interesting. Adam must have been made complete that way for God to be able to take woman out of him.
And another thing that confounds me is the whole 'helpmeet' issue. As if we were made to serve them hand and foot or something. No no no, we were made to compliment each other and to be in union, relationship. And if you look at the Hebrew of 'helpmeet' or 'helper suitable' it actuallys means, God is with you!! How cool is that!!!

Peter Day said...

...and if we see the phrase "helpmeet" in the wider context of Genesis, it doesn't mean washer-upper, house-cleaner, child-carer etc...

The context is to subdue the whole earth, to rule over God's creation TOGETHER as equal partners. That glorious commission was renewed by Jesus Christ when He said "go and make disciples of all nations."

So men and women stand together shoulder to shoulder in that awesome commission; and they need each other - it was impossible for Adam to fulfil God's commission for his life without Eve. And the church cannot fulfil its commission without men and women standing together in unity.

Dan Bowen said...

So does "helpmeet" actually mean more of a mutual dependence on each other then? And the church have perverted it into it applying to the women? Wow!

Peter Day said...

I don't know if it means mutual dependence, although that is implied in male AND female being made in God's image.

But it does mean partnership. And it is does mean an awesome purpose TOGETHER. This roles thing ties men AND women in knots. While it has been used to falsely bind women, it actually binds men.

We have this terrible limited view of a woman chained to the sink (and the bed) and a man chained to the office and the TV. It is rubbish. We have a destiny!! A glorious one!! A world to win, in partnership together. That partnership means being in the presence of God together, drinking of the glory together, ministering together, stirring up each others gifts (whatever they may be); and because of the different gifts, it means flexibility in who does what in terms of running the home.

We need to break free from the ties of culturally conditioned legalism in the home, and for husbands and wives to see their glorious joint destiny in Christ. And go for it!

jul said...

This is where I strongly disagree with Piper's teaching that "man is oriented to the task and woman is oriented to the man". To me this is much more reflective of the curse than of God's original design. Man and woman (or more specifically husband and wife) are oriented to each other, to God, and together toward the same task (s). Man's task cannot be completed apart from woman, and specifically a husband's task cannot be completed without his wife. This does not mean that the man needs someone to do all the dirty or menial work of the home and children so that he can do the 'important' stuff. He needs an equal partner and friend, someone he can trust and rely on to share responsiblity and vision, the joys and pains of forging ahead into God's glorious calling . The two are one flesh, joined together in such a way that dividing the two in order to put one above the other or confine one or the other should be impossible and unthinkable.

Are men and women different? Is my had different from my foot? Which is more important? If in the body of Christ one should not be valued or lifted above another, shouldn't the same be true in marriage?

And the focus in this whole marriage thing should not be on performance, on who does what etc...but on being. My husband can't be who he was designed by God to be without me, and I can't be the person I'm designed to be apart from him. We are forever joined until death seperates us, and if you were to know us well, you would see that the lines of distinction as seperate people grow fuzzier and fuzzier the longer we're together. We learn to love the other and how they are diffent than us more and more, but strangely we begin to take on the other's strengths and this begins to neutralize many of our individual weaknesses. This beautiful joining is the mystery I think, and what most reflects what the similarity God wants us to see between marriage and the relationship of Christ to his Bride. Why do we insist on focusing on how we are different and how we must behave as a man as opposed to a woman? In the the gospel we don't focus on these things, we just learn to live in freedom and mature naturally, just learning to be who we are in Jesus.

So sometime the wife may do the dishes, sometimes the husbands, because Jesus said to a bunch of men "if you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be servants of all". Of course that includes women, and wives to their families, (and in Jesus' eyes most complimentarian women must be infinitely greater than men ha) but it includes men. And this serving was in the context of menial labor, washing feet, dirty work, not work that looked like it had any dignity. Not meaning serving by going out every day to get the money (though that is important and I'm thankful my husband does that too) to come home and be the pampered and revered king of his castle.

Anyway, I know I go on and on, but it's very helpful for me in processing all this and my changing views with all of you. As I write (and read what you're all writing) sometimes things get clearer.

lydia joy said...

Oh Julie, you had to remind me of that phrase, I hadn't heard it in SO long, and I had no idea it was Piper who it originated from, I can only hear it in my head in Carolyn Mahaney's voice (God bless her!). It makes sense then, based on this that they would teach the women then to make sure they ask their husbands what they should be doing at home, and ask him to check over your schedule and ask him what his priorities for you are. This smacks of an employer/employee relationship, not a partnership. When you are a partner in a company, you are equal with each other and have equal say in matters. That is NOT what we were taught at SGM. And you know what, now that I am outside of it all, it really does sicken me. This is SO SO SO, crushing to women.
It's true, relationship has nothing to do with performance, nuh uh. We are not to regard one another after the flesh either. Pure loving relationship doesn't do that, that's why I love the Shack, it helps us to 'picture' the organic relationship between the trinity.

janelle said...

This conversation bothers me a sounds like an SGM bash. I've heard a lot of the same teaching as you all have. I just don't see how the "equal in value, different in roles" suddenly translates to women being subdued, etc. etc. That's what's so great about complementarianism. We can be comfortable with who God created us to be; men as leaders, women as followers. That doesn't mean we submit to what is not biblical. It doesn't mean that we can only say "yes" to our husbands. It means that when it comes down to it we can serve him and follow him knowing that God has specifically placed us with him, and that he will NOT be perfect, and neither will we!

We get in trouble when the roles are reversed, or clouded, or there are no distinctions between them. One of the curses of the fall was that Eve would desire to rule over her husband. That's a CURSE. We see all around us what happens when the biblical model is not followed in marriage. We see what happens when men don't love their wives, when they don't consider her as more important than themselves. We see what happens when wives take on the role of provider, or leader. It simply doesn't work.

It's an important distinction, I think, that men AND women are created in the image of God (as specifically cited in Genesis). It's also an important distinction that Eve was taken from Adam, as Paul made clear, as an illustration of why the women is to have the role of "helper". Just my thoughts:-) Love you guys, you make me think. :-D

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Janelle,

Please don't see it as an SGM-bash. It's just a coincidence that the majority having the discussion have a history in SGM. I think all of us would agree that there is much positive about SGM and certainly what I've learnt from you guys and your church - I'm sure women are treated so well.

Unfortunately there are abuses in complimentarianism - not exclusive to SGM by any means. And my concern is that if women are created to be protected by men, then they ARE protected and not dominated over but loved and released into their own ministries that God has for them.

I think there is a balance here - it's a fine one. But talk of "ruling over" makes it become an unhealthy competition. Man AND woman were instructed originally to "rule over the earth and subdue IT". So women were originally instructed and had ruling anointing in them!

We can discuss and get into the Greek on various verses - and no one is beter at Grudem and Piper than that! But I still maintain that if we would learn from the picture of Christ and His Bride, then the balance would fall into place. And men would not domineer women, and women would not resent that.

Your thoughts are always good and always welcome and we love and appreciate you too!

PS: By the way in the previous post, I am sorry if you thought I was lumping Mahaney in with Driscoll. For the record - despite any issue I may have with Mahaney - I have NEVER had any issue with his language in preaching. I loved Mahaney's preaching style when I first heard him. It's very similar to my background.

And nothing like Driscoll whatsoever! So sorry for any misunderstanding.

janelle said...


Great thoughts. I think the only abuse in complementarianism is when its taken to the extreme, which is an unfortunate biproduct of any scriptural teaching!

The only thing with the "subduing the earth" verse is that it was meant we should subdue and rule creation, which is completely true. We should. But I don't think it can by applied to the man/woman role subject here, because these are distinct from the "earth" subduing we are called to. I do agree that women are gifted with doubt there. I personally know several women with that gift. The trick comes when these women take on leadership roles that aren't biblical, such as taking on a pastor role, or a "teacher" role in the church. I would even argue a worship leader role, but that is certainly less clear than the pastor role.

So I see what you are saying, I definitely do. I love the way you continue to deal patiently with me. I think its your protectiveness that all of us women appreciate about you! Keep it up, brother.

Dan Bowen said...

That's a very good point! And really do appreciate you expressing your points, it's so helpful for me thinking through these arguments and to the ultimate end God's glory!

I think you are right that excess is indeed a bi-product of abuse of any biblical teaching! Unfortunately I think many react to excess and abuse in complimentarianism (resulting in chauvanism, selfishness in the marital bed and worse domestic and emotional abuse towards women) could be the more radical feminism.

And absolutely - we mustn't command "no use" just because of "wrong use" - such as many cessationists who got disillusioned with charismatic excess did!

On the other hand, you mentioned "leadership roles" - and thats surely a key here? Does the Bible lay down "leadership roles" for New Testament life? There are of course Ephesians 4 Minstries, which are actually serving roles given to bring the church to maturity. And as you rightly said - there aren't any definite "worship leaders" seen in the Bible (Miriam in the Old Testament of course led out the singers).

Or is the issue one of authority in the church? I think .... and that "think" is in italics (I don't know how to do it in comments!) but I think the only area of authority where the Bible does suggest is a male role is that of eldership.

Just a few thoughts before I head to bed - ready to take this further in the morning! It's very interesting!

And I am so amazed by how protective I feel towards all of you amazing guys (I mean girls!) - many of you I haven't met! Lydia, Julie, Janelle, Sheila, Nick and so on.

I'm so glad I am not married! Because I think if I was at the moment then my wife would have issues with how much I think, pray and talk about you guys and love and appreciate our interactions!

Scott's a great flatmate - he shares my interest and love and affection for you all! ;)

The idea of you being hurt or abused by husbands or church elders .... just really hurts. Really. And I think it does God too. And my prayer is that it NEVER EVER happens.

Anonymous said...


Have you heard Kisses of your mouth by Heather Clark based on Song of Songs. Hopefully this is a link;

I think it is a fantastic worship song.


Peter Day said...

Hi Mad

This is a wonderful song. Thanks for posting about it. Here it is as a link for those who want to hear it.

When you get to the page click "Kisses of Your Mouth" and listen and worship!