Tuesday, June 3, 2014

CTNAHM-Obey Indeed? Part 4 (Love never enslaves!)

p 177-178

Today we're distinguishing between women being subservient to their husbands, and women being subservient to all men everywhere. Oh, and the fact that Michael thinks women and children deserve dignity. Cuz that was news to me.

Text is in purple.

Domestic Subjection Only
In the Christian world there exists a general concept that women are privates walking among an equal number of generals, all of whom must be saluted and obeyed. The curse did not place women into the position of surrendering to the rule of men in general-only their own husbands. Peter addresses wives, telling them to be in subjection to their "own husbands"-not to every husband and not to every man, just their husband. Just in case we missed it, he repeats the phrase in verse 5, "their own husbands". (Emphasis his)
   I must be in a snarky mood, because I giggled when I first read that the Christian concept of women seems to be privates walking about. Because that sure seems like what Michael and his ilk advocate. But then I get confused. Is Michael saying women and men are of equal rank? Because his book would indicate otherwise. Is he saying that women are privates, but the only general they salute to is their husband? This seems more likely.
   Speaking of privates and generals, did you know that private is the lowest ranked soldier? People just entering the military, or graduating basic training are usually privates. And check out this snazzy page on military ranks (see the ARMY section) to see how far above private a general really is.
   Here's where I get disturbed. Either Michael didn't bother Googling military ranks, and just subconsciously put women so far beneath men, or he knew what he was talking about and honestly does think women rate that low.
1 Peter 3:1,5 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands"
Paul also emphasizes the fact that wives should be subject to "their own husbands" and not to men in general.
Ephesisans 5:24 "therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything."
   Ugh. I despise these verses. Especially the undertone of "convert/change your sinning husband by your joyful submission". Not only is that unhealthy, but it's probably not accurate, either. In my experience, people stop being trodden upon when they stop insisting that they are a doormat. Providing no incentive to change is a good indicator that change is likely not going to happen.
It is quite clear. The Holy Spirit did not want any misunderstanding on the issue. Knowing the propensity of men to rule over everything, and the vulnerability of women-the "weaker vessel"-he inserted the world own after their in every text where he commands a wife to submit. I know of many churches that assume a general policy of women being in subjection to men in general. It reminds me of the old European class system where the lower class should "know their place." Likewise, in the Old South, blacks were told to "know their place." Old social customs also dictated that children "know their place." In each case it is an attempt to protect elitists in their privileged positions. It is fear that creates and perpetuates layered social order. The top of the food chain fears loss of prestige and control, and the subjugated fear the hands that feed them. The system loses its cultish powers when all believe in individual dignity and equal worth before God.
   Holy cow. He really doesn't get it, does he? The very act of repeating "weaker vessel" when talking about women is an attempt to put them in their place (under man). And anyone who has even a passing knowledge of his child-rearing book knows that the point is to put the children in their places, and not control the adult by screaming, crying, arguing, or rebelling. I'm trying to figure out how Michael's teachings (that women are spotted, wrinkled, blemished, full of lady hormones that make them gullible and sensitive) is NOT putting women in their places. How is saying "find your wife a productive hobby, but one that doesn't make her leave the home" not telling men that their wive's place is in the home? Or insisting that women put out on demand, and encouraging men to keep their wives pregnant to avoid that PMS stuff?
  Though he hit the nail on the head with his fear sermon. It really does seem like men in this culture are afraid of what a woman could do if she were given the chance. Why else would they preach "Women are nurturers in the home"? What if a woman found a job that she was good at and felt validated at work? Would she want to come home and cook, clean, and raise kids-because those jobs offer little to no validation or support. How would a man in Michael's culture react if his wife made more than he did? I'm guessing not well.
   The point of this tangent is to show that Michael, while sitting on top of the food chain, is claiming that he's not really on top, because everyone hs dignity through Christ. I wonder if he realises that he himself is stripping away the dignity of women and children through his teachings.
   Yeah. Probably not.
Love never enslaves; rather it seeks liberty and free expression for all. If God gives worth and dignity to men, women, and children, by what right does another human being take that dignity away? Again I say, marriage is a corporation requiring a hierarchy of authority, and God has designated the man as the head, but his headship is limited to his family alone.
   Love might not enslave, but apparently it can: guilt, manipulate, punish, threaten, force, and control. All under the "hierarchy of God". I'm once again struck by the thought that Michael doesn't think words mean what everyone else thinks they mean. I'd be curious to learn how Michael defines "dignity". Because, while he says everyone deserves it, why does he spend half this book telling men that their wives are flawed and need to be changed? Or his other book where he insists that all children want to be beaten. News flash: that's not dignity, or benevolent hierarchy. That's abuse.
A woman may chose to obey God and therefore her husband, as did Abraham's wife Sarah, but there is no connection between the political structure of a marriage and the population in general.
   Oh sure. Women aren't subservient to EVERY man. Want to know why? Because they aren't allowed to talk to men. Women can't speak in church, can't venture out on their own, need "accountability" buddies when shopping, and umbrellas of protection/authority from the moment they are born. Women in this culture aren't interacting with very many other men. It's easy to say "See? My system works!" whenever that system suppresses an entire demographic. Of course it works! Because women aren't given many other options.

Urgh. I was going to keep going, but I've forgotten how ticked off Michael makes me. Next installment is over the section called "Not Created to Serve". I'm sure it will be full of the fabulous logic Michael is famous for.
   

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