Author Archives: illuvitus

The Gospel Coalition Guide to Undermining Christian Marriage

(h/t to bdash 77 over at Dalrock’s blog)

The Gospel Coalition has published a step-by-step guide on how to reject the Biblical rules for marriage and then, to throw off anyone orthodox enough to try and stop you, they demonstrate how to hide your tracks with bombast and exaggeration. There’s an epidemic of men locking their wives in closets! (pay no attention to the conspicuous lack of lawsuits)

“A Hidden Epidemic God Hates”, written by one Steve Hoppe on May 11th of this year, begins with what appears to be a horror movie still and this quote, which is also meant to scare you:

Tom micromanages his wife Sarah’s physical appearance to fit his personal tastes. He picks out her clothes, tells her how she can do her hair, and restricts her diet so she remains thin. When Sarah confronts him on his controlling behavior, he cites Ephesians 5:22: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.”

The word “submit” appears only once in this article, and it’s in this opening paragraph. Steve never addresses Ephesians 5:22. In fact, he never cites a single passage in the Bible regarding marriage to make his case.

Sarah, if she is a real person, doesn’t want to submit to her husband when it comes to her physical appearance or her diet. Whatever it is that constitutes her diet, it apparently keeps her healthy, though she is described as “thin” so we don’t accidentally misread this attempt at a horror story. Sarah obeys her husband, as she is commanded in Scripture. This obedience is framed as victimhood.

A real Sarah – Abraham’s wife – was praised by the Apostle Paul himself for her obedience. She planned to commit adultery at the request of her husband (it’s the only example of her obedience we have). Paul apparently doesn’t have the insights of The Gospel Coalition. Had he known what they know, he would have condemned Abraham for his spiritual abuse, rather than praise Sarah for her obedience. As we’ll soon see, Steve condemns husbands who ask for sex even for themselves, so this isn’t a stretch.

Miranda is an overprotective mother. She homeschools her 17-year-old daughter, Kate, to prevent her from being exposed to rebellious teenagers. She won’t allow her to play sports, attend dances, or get her driver’s license. She cites 1 Corinthians 15:33 as her justification for parenting this way: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

The only thing noteworthy in this story is the use of the term “overprotective mother”. I presume Steve had to include the term “overprotective”, else readers would scratch their heads wondering what was wrong here.

Bill forces his wife Angie to have sex against her will. He’s rough in bed and occasionally strikes her when they’re being intimate. He cites 1 Corinthians 7:4 as his allowance for doing so: “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does.”

“Force” is an interesting term in a relationship in which sex is pledged at the start. Steve has decided, for whatever reason, not to use the clearest passage in Scripture regarding sexual duties, that being the next verse: “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”

I suppose if he included the full context, then a wife who had to be forced against her will to have sex would clearly be a wife rebelling against her husband and God.

All three of these stories are attempts by the author to illustrate “spiritual abuse”. What are his specific examples of spiritual abuse? If nothing else, they are revealing. Here are some of the more interesting selections:


Physically harming you.

There’s no limits on this one. Spanking a child or slapping a face are both “spiritual abuse” here. Forget about the rod of Proverbs.

Pressuring you to engage in sexual activity.

A wife can apparently deny her husband sexual activity for the duration of their marriage, and not be guilty of spiritual abuse. After all, as Steve explicitly states, spiritual abuse can only occur when someone is in spiritual authority over someone else. That would always be husbands. Wives are not even capable of spiritual abuse. They can disobey every command regarding sex and remain innocent here, while their husbands can ask just one time too many and be condemned.

Insulting you or calling you names.

Insulting or calling names seems fair enough, until you consider that both are easy accusations for anything you don’t like to hear. “You called me fat!” is an insult and a name, and an obvious accusation to make when your husband suggests you go on a diet. Speaking of…

Forcing you to diet or exercise.

Heaven forbid. Steve has a particular problem with evil husbands demanding that their wives stay healthy.

Threatening you.

This makes most of Scripture a form of spiritual abuse. God threatens people all the time. God’s prophets make threats. Christ’s Apostles make threats. If you are forbidden from making threats, you cannot exercise spiritual authority. You can only passively wait for people to listen to you if they choose to, which puts the authority in those who are commanded to submit. This role-reversal is a common feminist Christian tactic.

Restricting your ability to access financial information.

I’ve known several marriages that have ended when the husband or the wife (almost always the wife) has spent money behind her husband’s back and bankrupted the family. Apparently, a husband who seeks real safeguards to this is abusive.

 

Preventing you from working.

Are you noticing a theme here? Any time a husband wants his wife to do something, any time a husband expects his wife to submit to him about something, it is a form of spiritual abuse. Steve doesn’t provide a single meaningful example of a husband who has spiritual authority over his wife acting in a practical way.

Telling you what you can and cannot say in small groups, church, or other social settings.

This is too all-encompassing. Are we really to presume that parents can’t tell their children what to say when they are around other adults?

Locking you in rooms, closets, or basements.

This one is meant to shock you. It’s meant to catch you off guard in case you’ve been questioning this list.

Taking away your access to transportation.

Grounding your child is a form of spiritual abuse.

Blocking your contact with counselors, mentors, or other spiritual figures.

Does this include Imams? How about psychologists who advise your wife to divorce you because she is unhappy?

Punishing you for your sins.

Remember the book of Proverbs? Every time it provides instructions for disciplining your children, it’s actually teaching you how to spiritually abuse them.


 

It became apparent to me, as I read through this article, that Steve wasn’t sure if he was writing against husbands who exercise their spiritual authority or for parents who exercise authority over their children. I suspect he came up with his definition and realized it applied to parents, so he tossed in a story about an overprotective mother and then forgot that near half of his examples of spiritual abuse are actually things that are commanded for parents when dealing with their children.

It goes further, though. Wives are commanded to submit to their husbands in the same way children are. A wife is not a child and isn’t to be treated as a child, but she is in the same position of spiritual submission. Many of these supposed forms of spiritual abuse, then, are simply real acts that a spiritual authority can use over those he oversees.

Steve hates these things, but Steve hating these things isn’t very profound. He needs to find a way to say that God hates these things. So what does he do?

In Titus 1, Paul rebukes Jewish Christians who were teaching heresy for selfish gain (sounds a lot like spiritual abuse, doesn’t it?):

For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. . . . They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work. (Titus 1:10–11,16)

God detests spiritual abuse.

He finds a passage that has nothing to do with marriage or parenting and claims it applies to the home. Condemning heresy is framed as an equivalent to condemning patriarchal family structures and the acts which enforce that structure. This doesn’t work, though.

He should have chosen a different passage for another reason. Part of Paul’s condemnation of these heretics is that they are “insubordinate”. They refuse to submit. This passage is the condemnation of insubordination to real spiritual authorities, not of spiritual authority wielded for selfish gain.

Pastors and church leaders, it’s long past time we stand up against all forms of abuse. This includes spiritual abuse in the church and the home. Domestic spiritual abuse is far more common than you think. It hurts innocent sheep daily. It destroys the fabric of families and churches.

Steve ends his post against the role of husbands in marriage by calling pastors to help him bring down the patriarchy. Having established that spiritual abuse just is that set of acts which give teeth to spiritual authority, his condemnation of spiritual abuse and his call to arms is an inquisition into any real forms of spiritual hierarchy in the churches of his readers. Since only men can be spiritual abusers in marriage, only wives can be the victims of spiritual abuse. In this way, Steve has found the ultimate Christianesque form of a get-out-of-marriage-free card. Wives need only identify a single example of their husbands attempting to exercise spiritual authority and BAM, spiritual abuse.

Without even feigning respect for the passages of Scripture that describe how Christian husbands and wives are to live together, he condemns them all. After all, who cares about Paul when we have these millions of women locked up in cages?

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Is Marriage Possible?

For Christians, marriage involves a husband who loves his wife as Christ loves the church and a wife who submits to her husband as the church submits to Christ. The husband is to love his wife even unto death, and a wife is to submit to her husband in everything. There are no exceptions.

These are impossible standards for mere humans to live up to, but that’s the nature of perfect moral standards. It isn’t a defect in them.

Husbands are also to teach their wives about spiritual things. They are to “wash [their] wives with the word [of God]”. Paul says that only men are to preach because Eve was deceived; naturally then, this role falls to men.

I’m convinced Christian marriage doesn’t exist in the West. Christian marriage isn’t just difficult today. It is actually impossible. We have only clumsy attempts, and can get nothing more.

In the military and in other hierarchies where real submission to authority takes place, there are safeguards to enforce the structure. Punishments exist for those who disobey orders. The mere fact of these consequences is enough to deter the majority of those who might be tempted to disregard their superiors.

In Western marriages, there have also been safeguards against disobedience. Husbands had tremendous control over their wives. While the modern mind might be tempted to think of physical violence, there were more effective ways to accomplish the goal. Women needed husbands to have any political voice, as only men would qualify to vote, serve in officer corps of the military, or in the court of a king. Christian civilization had mercy for widows, but none for adulteresses. It had roles for women who abstained from marriage, but disdain for women who abandoned their vows. Husbands could rely on all of these things to get the job done so they could focus on Christ’s command for them: to love their wives as Christ loves the church.

None of these things exist today. There are no negative social consequences for women who divorce their husbands, who sleep around while married or not. In fact, women who unilaterally divorce their husbands are often rewarded by courts stacked in their favor. Women don’t have to break their family apart on the outside to rebel, though. With universal suffrage, a house can be divided on the inside; husbands and wives can vote against each other, bringing the government into their home like some totalitarian’s dream.

There are no social restraints to keep a wife submissive toward her husband. And there are no legal actions available to men to do so on their own. In fact, a man who tries to enforce his authority in any way will bring only scorn.

Submission is impossible to enforce, so we are required to trust that women will simply submit out of their own good nature. But women are sinners, just like men. And women, as Paul says, were the first to be deceived, being more likely than men to be manipulated. Our fundamentally feminist culture has honed its skill in manipulation.

Since submission is impossible to enforce, and impossible to produce without enforcement, and since submission is fully half of what makes a Christian marriage, I posit that Christian marriage is not simply difficult in 2018. It is impossible.

STD’s and How We Could Quickly Eradicate Them

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The cause of sexually transmitted disease is almost exclusively sexual acts. Therefore, if those acts were banned, stigmatized, or simply avoided for a single generation, STD’s would be nearly wiped out. The few cases of STD’s being transferred through drug use or other means wouldn’t keep up enough to make a difference.

But try and present this as a possible solution and you’ll be condemned as an unloving, bigoted, hate-mongering sociopath. “Love is love”, man, or something. For the Left, and increasingly their decade-old clones that are called conservatives, the obvious solution to the problem of sexually-transmitted diseases is unacceptable.

Some of this is tied to the secular humanist notion that we are simply material animals and our instincts and desires serve no higher authority. An even larger part is a misuse of the term “love” to mean “pleasure”. If anyone infected with an STD loved their sexual partners, those partners wouldn’t be sexual.

The great irony in this age of “love is love” is how little love there really is. There’s selfish desire for pleasure in abundance. Just a single generation of men and women who really understood love would result in the extinction of STD’s. We have no such generation. If anything, we’re farther from that sort of thing than we’ve been in centuries.

JK Rowling and the Biblically Iliterate Bible Quotation

The biblically illiterate author of the Harry Potter series, a woman with no experience in foreign policy or the United States government and constitutional law, recently decided to talk about US immigration policy by using Bible quotes:

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This was in response to a tweet from Mike Pence a couple of years ago:

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As Matt Walsh has already put it, brilliantly, anyone who pretends that Trump’s immigration orders were bans on Muslims is a shameless liar. Even if you disagree with the order, that’s not what it is or what it does.

Rowling’s own post, despite making other biblically illiterate liberals happy (by supposedly bashing Pence with his own religion), is so out of context as to be laughable. Here’s the full context, out of Matthew 16:

… Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Rowling apparently thinks the phrase “gain the whole world” is referring to anything she finds distasteful. This is a common liberal mistake when reading Scripture called eisegesis. The text always means whatever they want it to mean, context be damned.

Of course, the context is the whole point. Jesus isn’t telling His disciples that if they don’t share JK Rowling’s view on a short pause on mass immigration to the United States from a small handful of nations which generate 99.999% of the world’s terrorists that they are trading their soul’s for the whole world. It sounds pretty bizarre when it’s laid out so starkly.

Rowling wasn’t the only one on Twitter who was excited as could be to demonstrate her illiteracy:

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Leviticus, for those who have ever studied it, is a book of law written by Moses under God’s direction for the nation of Israel. This fact often eludes those who want to ignore it’s moral precepts and jump all over it’s specific legal statements (as those in the “God approves of same-sex sexual acts” debate often do).

But the verse itself provides enough context to know that the person who posted it is a dishonest hack. United States citizens were not foreigners in Egypt. The immigration pause from a small set of countries is not mistreating or oppressing foreigners living in the United States.

The context of the verse within the verse itself is enough to reveal that it is not being used properly. As Matt Walsh said, these people are shameless liars.

There’s No Such Thing as Free

This image has been popping up on social media frequently the past few days. I thought I’d critique the hell out of it, because its content is as foul as the language it uses:

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Let’s take this emotional-tirade-pretending-to-be-an-argument one falsehood at a time so as not to cause ourselves permanent brain damage.

What .. is wrong with Americans who aren’t on board with free healthcare.

  1. You’ve already committed the fallacy of equivocation.
  2. There is no such thing as free healthcare.
  3. Presuming you are actually referring to a system where the government taxes its citizens and pays hospitals directly or funds universal health insurance, there are economic, moral, and practical reasons to oppose.

I’m Canadian and I don’t care that I pay extra taxes…

  1. Is this an argument?
  2. Why do your preferences constitute objective moral law for everyone?
  3. You probably don’t pay taxes in the first place. If you did, you’d probably care.

… so a little boy in Alberta can have open heart surgery or an elderly man in Nova Scotia can get the heart medication he desperately needs.

  1. This is sentimentalism, which is not an argument. Feelings do not constitute an argument.
  2. I bet heart surgery is covered by private insurance. So is heart medication.
  3. Government subsidized college in the US has increased in cost by magnitudes in only a couple decades. Do you suppose medical costs might parallel this? Do you simply not care about these implications, or have you never taken a course in basic economics?
  4. Even if it is noble for these people to receive money to cover their needs, why is it noble to take that money from people by a government backed by military force? Charity is one thing. Taking money by force and redistributing it is not charity.
  5. Do you donate money to such causes?
  6. Are you aware that scarcity exists whether the state pays for something or not? A market can easily get goods and services to where they are needed most by price increases and decreases. Your system devolves into rationing to people the government picks. They probably won’t pick that elderly guy in Nova Scotia.

It’s called taking care of people.

  1. It’s called socialized medicine. Whether it more effectively “cares for people” than a free market is a dubious claim.
  2. Your tax dollars being whisked away by an unseen government, put into a giant pot, and then that same government spending money on drugs or surgery is not “care” any more than a machine “cares” when you press buttons on it and it makes you coffee.

I’m glad I pay so that people can have a good quality of life.

  1. You probably don’t pay. I suspect you are a leech on the system. What you mean to say is that it makes you feel good that other people are forced to pay because you vote for liberals to take their money.
  2. Did people not have good quality of life before bleeding edge medicine? If not, how can you make bleeding edge medicine a prerequisite for good quality of life?
  3. Are you sure the system increases quality of life in the first place? Are you sure everyone’s quality of life might not be enhanced without government theft?

It’s called being a decent *** human being.

  1. It’s called socialized medicine.
  2. Your childish moral superiority complex does not constitute an objective moral standard by which you can bash everyone else.
  3. People who oppose socialized medicine have good reasons for it. You don’t have good reasons to ignore them.
  4. You’ve equated being a decent human being with being a socialist. Are you sure you want to do that? Are you really really sure? Because I can think of some people you might not consider decent who were socialist demagogues and who maybe, just maybe, murdered hundreds of millions of people. It was for a good cause, though.
  5. You are a pompous ass, not a decent human being.

The most irritating thing about all of this that you know the woman who wrote it is convinced she is better than you because she votes to take away people’s money to give to others. She’s never thought about any potential flaws in the system (rationing, cost increases, inefficiencies causing death because of no market corrections to fix them). But it doesn’t matter.

On second thought, the most irritating thing about it all is that her vote is equal to the vote of an economic scholar.

We Need More Guns

I have a terrible habit of reading the comment sections of local news sites, looking for opportunities to have my intelligence or conscience insulted. Today, I indulged the habit once more.

The article was about the recent attempt of a homicidal maniac to shoot a bunch of civilians for the fun of it. The particular event isn’t important, because what caught my attention in the dreary comment section was a shot of sarcasm: “The answer is definitely more guns.” I think he’s right and his sarcasm was misplaced.

Think back to the last few years’ worth of psychotic mass shooters (or anyone who has attempted to become one but failed). Get a clear picture in your mind of the sorts of people we are dealing with. Every single one of them is either demonically evil, clinically insane, or drugged up to resemble one of those two things. Some are a combination of all three.

Gun control laws follow a basic form: You are not allowed to use possess certain firearms in certain locations. Most would not have a hard time with this, even if it is frustrating or inconvenient. But what sort of people would have a hard time with it? What sort of people would ignore it? The people who commit the crimes that motivate the laws in the first place.

An average person isn’t going to break the law intentionally. But the average homicidal maniac isn’t concerned with laws. If he were, he wouldn’t be a homicidal maniac.

It’s could be worded as a syllogism. Gun restrictions would only effectively protect people from firearms if the people who would follow such restrictions are the same people who would harm others with firearms. But the people who would harm others with firearms don’t follow even fundamental moral laws like “Do not murder”, so they certainly won’t follow gun restrictions. Therefore, gun restrictions are not effective.

Taking a Joke

I’m reading through a book on philosophy at the moment and the male author of the book does not hesitate from making jokes at the expense of men in general. This is all well and good. Being able to make fun of yourself is a big part of levity; of not taking yourself too seriously.

Western women, in general, don’t have this sort of levity. Feminists in particular seem to have none of it. They are gravely serious when the topic is themselves. While men frequently use self-deprecating humor to lighten a mood, feminists affirm what they say and then talk themselves up.

I’ve seen a man say “women must be better than men, because they have to put up with us!” only to have a woman respond with “that’s right we are, and don’t you forget it!” or something similar. While there may be some cases where both sides understand the humor and don’t take what they are saying with any seriousness, these cases are rare. It is far more likely that this sort of exchange results in awkward silence.

If you don’t think this phenomenon takes place, you may want to pay more attention.

Feminism hasn’t simply drained the joy out of marriage and motherhood by sterilizing both and making husbands and children into burdens. It has literally drained the joy out of being a woman because it has made levity impossible. Feminism has made it an act of betrayal for a woman to not take herself with grave seriousness. The effect isn’t women who need to be taken seriously, but women who are too serious altogether. Do feminists believe women aren’t capable of anything else? More likely, feminists are afraid their fraud would be exposed.

The best way to handle the grave seriousness of feminism is for women to use self-deprecating humor.