The intersection of Christianity and Churchianity is r(w)ife with problems

Some recent posts delve, again, into churchianity. This time it is as chronicled in the book Mere Churchianity. Society of Phineas has a good review of the book here.

We rightly denigrate churchianity as is deserving of a faux version of the single most important truth that exists. Churchianity, it can be said, has precluded the actual salvation of multitudes especially in the U.S. Churchianity is a religion without a relationship. I dislike that expression because the expression itself has become a part of the very thing I’m using it to condemn. It is there, at the point of intersection of authentic Christianity and churchianity that another great danger resides.

Churchianity affords itself many manifestations. Churchians can be utterly ignorant of scripture yet subscribe to the particularly refined task list of a given churchian church and appear to be overtly pious. Conversely, churchians can be encyclopedic regarding scripture, also having the appearance of piety, because scriptural literacy is a tenet of their particular churchianity. But here I am more interested in how churchianity has impacted the values that should be inherent to Christianity, specifically as it relates to men, women, sex, marriage, and divorce. At the intersection of Christianity and churchianity there is a mushroom cloud of hypocrisy. It is so big, so roiling, that only blinders created by the father of lies can prevent seeing the sociological post apocalyptic wasteland sweeping outward from the point of impact.

Provoked by an example, I commented on this in the comments section of the last post.

My in laws are sincere followers of Christ. I have zero doubt of their authenticity. To the highest degree one person can know the spiritual condition of another, I rate them 10 on a 1-10 scale of authenticity. Recall my mention of an extended family member who, at 30, jettisoned her husband and immediately married a 19 year old boy. Her and her husband had met in bible college, maintained sexual purity, married young, both had been home schooled and raised grounded in Christian values. Appearances suggest that they were (and are) sincere in their faith as well. But there was one problem. She is stunningly beautiful, and he ain’t. BIG margin. So, she married a young great looking stud and sent her crushed ex back to his state of origin, likely to wallow in his own mucus for months.

My in laws, visiting now for week two, brought up the new happy couple yesterday. They gushed that the boy works at a retail store and the girl manages a department at a store at the mall and they are doing just marvelous. After a week of holding my tongue,  and all things that would provoke my tongue, I could not not help but ask, “anyone know what happened to Mr. Ex?” The answer, dismissively, “not really I suppose he went back to XXXXX.” FIL added, “I didn’t really like him anyway”.

To be honest, neither did I. But it was a generational thing, not a testament to the young man’s character. “That’s so unfortunate, I hope he is OK”, I added, “he got a bad deal in that situation”.

“How so?”, they asked…and here I was finally shocked. I was not just shocked because of what happened to Ex, but because of the rush of memories built over 25 years that all started fitting into little randomly shaped boxes perfectly.

Let’s juxtapose.

Over the course of the previous week a few things had been said. Seemingly innocent things but dots to connect.

On Tuesday when I had a business dinner, my MIL asked, “will there be women there?”. No other comment. I asked, “why do you ask?” That was that. They hint at the immorality of a man having to take a business trip. They miss the irony contained in the fact that mine is one of the only households in the whole group that have sufficient resources for even the basics of life.

Watching the movie God’s Not Dead, when a woman buys a bottle of wine to take home for dinner with her fiance, they both agreed, “he must be an alcoholic”.

And throughout the week there were the expected references to hahmaseksyuls and pornography .

I could go on. But the point is evident. The nature of the things they find objectionable fit one of two criteria. They are church-safe things to oppose, like gay marriage, or they are the things women like to keep in the forefront of moral discourse, like male infidelity, male workaholism, pornography, men not “being nice” to their wives or meeting the emotional needs. Like that. But it still gets worse.

I still blame my generation for the ground swell of support for liberal marriage and divorce policies in the public domain, and the practice of family destruction in the private domain. However, something was happening before then, especially in southern conservative churches. They had the veneer of being patriarchal. Men, after all could divorce more easily than women therefore is it not only natural that men would take advantage of that power?

Not really. Churchianity was still in its primordial muck pool. The pool was for years not coed and it was the equivalent of a puddle. It was girls only, but they had no way to grow the pool beyond the women already in it. So, they set about usurping male influence in daily life by carrot and stick. Suddenly these little pools were popping up in every back yard and men, women, and children were splashing around in them…because it seemed to make the women happy. Once the men got in the pool, the gals had’em where they wanted them. The men let it all slip away for the desire to make momma happy. And the men ended up miserable and old like I witness with my guests. My FIL barely speaks, when he does his wife contradicts him, corrects him, interrupts him, talks incessantly, and rejects his innocent 80 year old affections like a Liberian health worker would reject a kiss from an Ebola patient.

So, he takes naps. he goes to bed at night by 7PM, and emerges at 8AM. he naps 2-3 hours several times a day. And the females present think he is tired. Oh, he is tired alright but even he could not explain why he does what he does because such is the insidiousness of the deception at the intersection of churchianity and Christianity.

There, each of the four corners is occupied by an edifice built by bricks kilned of female primacy. Female primacy in scripture understanding, in what is right and what is wrong for men to do and not do, and of an utter inability to even process the concept of female sin and responsibility for same.

I’m not usually willing to lay out the dirty linens like this but I have no other way to illustrate that there are churchian Christians. I won’t claim that I am not somehow tainted by this, as much as I may like to think I sit over it and judge it. This kind of deception is of a nature and complexity that one of the only things that can so deceive is a willful clever manipulative woman. Even my young colleague, today, was quick to respond, after I’d vented a bit, “that guy has clearly allowed that to blossom over decades of marriage”.

How nice it is that there are bright shoots of understanding in the generations that came of age in this century. They may have to work tirelessly through all this to reach half a block’s distance from the intersection, but I see them moving into places with addresses that are uniquely Christian, leaving those on the churchian route, and those at the intersection there to die off, some dying well, some ending up gnashing.

Its obvious and credits me with no special insight that this, to me, is just a very large forbidden apple that women are still salivating over. And because she wants it, men are willing to slice and peel it, make a cobbler or pie, cover it with chocolate, whatever she wants. Because in doing so he may be bestowed the biggest of kindnesses. A moment with the woman he loves where she, for a fleeting second, is sated.

50 thoughts on “The intersection of Christianity and Churchianity is r(w)ife with problems

  1. They are hypocrites plain and simple. Your SIL should have been excommunicated form the church and family. In fact your MIL and FIL respectively should have given her a tongue lashing. The bible said something about older women teaching the younger ones after all. But as we know scripture is often “selectively” forgotten.

    There is inherent white knightery in Church going men. Every man must struggle with it. Mostly due to indoctrination to “protect” our daughters when in many case these girls need a need spanking on their.

    I have gotten onto the recent habit of calling out hypocrisy publicly. Same thing happened to me except I was the spurned husband. Ex didn’t cheat (as far as I know) but the family sided with her and expected me to “man up” and just sacrifice for the kids. I essentially told them all to piss off. Needless to say I no longer go to family functions, which my ex still attends. Disgusting!

  2. Monkeywerks said:

    “The bible said something about older women teaching the younger ones after all. But as we know scripture is often “selectively” forgotten.”

    This is clearly forgotten but what can you expect from people that don’t attend to scripture.


    Good post. I’m surprised you held you tongue.

  3. I’ve read this twice. It’s stunning even though it’s familiar.

    This kind of thing (Christians supporting adulteress women, Christians excusing shrewish behavior on the part of wives, because they “never liked” the husband) is one of the things that keeps me from even bothering to offer the requisite balance I am accused of lacking with regard to what wives need.

    The church has followed the culture wholesale into absolving women (wives in particular) of responsibility for anything. Whatever we do wrong, whatever our sin, some man’s sin was the impetus. Even if it’s just the “sin” of being unlikable.


  4. One more thought:

    As for the older women teaching the younger, I have mixed feelings. As I am moving into that phase of life where some could consider me older, I look forward to opportunities I have to help women coming behind me.

    But in truth, if I had taken to heart the advice of 90% of the older Christian married women who offered me advice as a young wife, I would have been on the completely wrong path and would have a marriage at this point that is well on the way to looking like your in-laws. This of course, is assuming that I was still married, and not because I left.

    Because of that I am very careful to advise women that I interact with to listen to their husbands. They cannot go wrong if they take their cues from him and they are acting in accordance with Scripture. And even then I get a whole lot of, “Yeah, but…”

    Then they go find another Christian woman, usually more spiritual than me because I don’t speak Christianese nor make a point of interjecting “The Spirit led me” at the front on every sentence I utter. And that woman almost invariably advises them not to listen to me because I am a doormat.

    That said, there is at least one woman in real life who has attested that when she gets angry with her husband, she asks herself, “How would [El] handle this?” And I send her to the Scriptures because I have those days when I get it wrong too.


  5. Female Imperative clearly at work. Since the FI is the default setting for any relationship between the sexes, either a man or a woman is actively resisting, pushing back against, the FI or passively going along with it.

    I’ve seen my own version of what you describe between your in laws, Empath. It isn’t new, really, I saw it in aged relatives decades ago. The old man who wants to show something to a young boy, the wife who chides him with “Oh, you don’t want to do that, they don’t want to see those old things!” until he sighs and backs down, the young boy who hears this conversation in the next room, and wonders what all that was about but doesn’t dare to talk about it.

    Or the retired man down the block from me who one day last year observed that his wife is getting bossier as his health declines. “Same things happening to [neighbor] even though he gets around better than his wife. I dunno…”. Not sure how to go about sharing Game and Glasses with a man in his mid 70’s, though. I bet my neighbors would understand why your aging relative naps so much…

    It’s not new. It’s inherent in the female. In Bible terms, it’s the sin of Eve. In evo-bio terms, it’s the desire to control the environment by controlling the nearest man. Rollo would say it’s the Female Imperative. All same-same.

    Channeling my inner Barney Fife, it’s something a man needs to nip. Nip it!
    Nip it in the bud. But since many men as individuals, and most men as a group, did not do that, now we have to take the hard way back. For some that willl mean just not talking with certain former friends, or talking with certain relations only in very general terms. For others, it will mean hard Game on a wife / LTR in order to create a little breathing room; she may or may not come to the point of changing on her own, but at least she can be managed, a bit.

    Sooner or later, a man will leave that situation. He may walk out. He may mentally check out. He may just up and die. But he won’t stick around, forever, where he’s being slowly tortured nerve by nerve. This is, IMO, one reason for the difference between male and female lifespan in Western culture.

    Empath, do what you can where you are, that’s all I can suggest to you on that family visit. Maybe your careful remarks could plant a seed in someone’s brain.

  6. Elspeth
    But in truth, if I had taken to heart the advice of 90% of the older Christian married women who offered me advice as a young wife, I would have been on the completely wrong path and would have a marriage at this point that is well on the way to looking like your in-laws. This of course, is assuming that I was still married, and not because I left.

    Yeah, that’s very likely, given the fact that those “Older Christian Married Women” are likely all Boomers. There surely are Boomer women who fit that Proverbs 31 definition. A whole lot more of them are also described in Proverbs — the text about ditches, wells, eating stolen bread and so forth. Difficult to take any advice from them seriously.

    Like the church I once visited years ago on travel that had a single mother – not widowed, nope, never married – teaching the mid-high girls Sunday school. Even if she was on the up and up (no idea, frankly) merely by putting her in charge that church was sending a real clear message to their young women, a message that no ‘purity ball” would totally counteract.

    Still, Elspeth, you’re as good an object lesson as many women will ever see. Too bad you won’t ever be on a tabloid in the checkout line, or on an OWC special, though.

  7. ,,,“The Spirit led me” ….

    Gack. Back in the 90’s I was tired of that. Time has not improved it. Mysterious how often “The Spirit” seems to ratify the bad decisions of some people.

    Jimmy Swaggart swore that “The Spirit” led him, too…might have been 90 proof Spirit, though.

  8. At the moment I’m grieving for those men I know who are at the mercy of vindictive omen when it comes to their kids and their lives. The feminist narrative is always just about neglected, abused, taken advantage of women. Men need to man up, suck it up, if they were not doing a bad job of it, if they were not unlikable they would not suffer.

    Apparently we can only treat one sex justly at a time.

  9. “”Then they go find another Christian woman, usually more spiritual than me because I don’t speak Christianese nor make a point of interjecting “The Spirit led me” at the front on every sentence I utter. And that woman almost invariably advises them not to listen to me because I am a doormat.””

    Oh my your getting old Elspeth. Your a rare breed the church is so convoluted today that I am not surprised that women will shop for advice. The astonishing thing is I can probably bet you have a happier and more stable marriage than the whisperers.

  10. One example from the Wintery knight blog:
    became a Christian at 24 after a cancer diagnosis. I had been an atheist for 10 years but came to God in desperation. I left Capitol Hill (and politics altogether) to learn about Christianity. I attended what many believed was a conservative seminary but had slowly slipped into liberalism by the time I arrived in 1999. I was sold on “higher criticism” (or a skeptical approach to the historicity and inerrency of Scripture) and joined the then growing “Emergent Church” movement. Within a few years, I was where Rob Bell is now–a soft universalist with a condescending attitude toward conservatives. Yet, I was also spiritually dead and was struggling with depression. I was quickly headed back to the atheism I had thought I had left behind while praying for my life.

    During this time of personal struggle, my wife and I were helping a small church in Charleston, West Virginia. When an elder learned my wife had a degree in micro-biology and had helped overseen a science program at Cornell, he asked her to meet with the youth group and answer their questions about science and the faith. In preparation, she picked up the book The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel (Zondervan 2005). She devoured the book and went on and on about wonderful it was and how I had to read it. I resisted as the cover struck me as “fundamentalist nonsense.” [b]Yet, she persisted and it became clear that either I was going to read the book or spend a few nights on the couch![b/]

  11. “So she married a young looking stud and sent her crushed ex back to his state of origin.”

    Surprise, surprise. Actually, he didn’t go back to his ‘state of origin’; he came out of it worse than when he went in. Crushing men is, unfortunately, what women do for sport.

    “She is stunningly beautiful…”

    And we all know how attracted to ‘manly Alpha leaders’ such women tend to be…

    Juxtapose links like the above against the broken spirit of the 80 y/o FIL and it’s obvious why men see no hope today.

  12. Elspeth:
    Considering the rates of divorce and abortion among women in your age group, I would hope instead that they would NOT try to mentor younger women.

  13. My sample size of one is admittedly small, but I suspect the female response to reading this is entirely predictable and much like that of my wife when I asked for her take: “MIL behaves that way because FIL is not loving her as Christ loved the church. She would be respectful and flirty at 78 if he had but sowed the right seeds during their decades together. Empath isn’t giving us the whole picture here because a woman would never carry on in that manner without good reason.”

    Me: Uh, yeah. It’s exactly like that, except that it’s not like that at all.

    And so ensued 45 minutes of lively discussion around Mr. And Mrs. Teeb’s coffee table on Sunday afternoon.

    Ironically, I partially agree with the above, but not in the sense a female might expect or in the sense Mrs. Teebs presumed. More romance and thoughtfulness and chivalry is not the problem here.

    Something along these lines seems called for instead, in the same spirit as when the disciples were rebuked for their lack of faith, the Pharisees for their hypocrisy, and the money changers for their extortion: “It is unacceptable to interrupt me incessantly, to criticize and disrespect me continually, to argue over the trivial in front of our children and grandchildren, to constantly rebuff my gestures of physical affection, to withhold sexual congress EXCEPT BY MUTUAL AGREEMENT and even then only if we have truly been fasting and praying for 25 years, and then to presume to be even the least bit qualified to model Titus 2 for younger women inside and outside of this family on how to love their husbands. Yes, I am going to bed early — not because I want to, for I would much rather spend time with my family – but because the alternative is to spend the next 90 minutes subjected to various and sundry displays of disrespect both large and small. That I would conclude it is better to dwell in that corner of the house with a modicum of peace might tell you something about how non-trivial this problem has become, and provide a clue as to where you might find yourself modeled in scripture. Hint: it is not Proverbs 31.”

    Yeah, I know, back to reality. But it was fun imagining that conversation nevertheless.

    On a much less sarcastic note, I feel very little other than deep sadness for what MIL and FIL have “settled for” in their relationship, and not a small amount of concern that this is what constitutes “pillars in the church” for many.


  14. And I have no illusions that had such a fictional conversation actually occurred, MIL would have been reduced to tears of joy, exclaiming, “how I have prayed for this man-up moment when you would wash me with the water of the Word, loving me enough to tell me the truth and being willing to endure even an emotional ice age from me. This is true love.”

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

  15. “My in laws are sincere followers of Christ…I rate them 10 on a 1-10 scale of authenticity”

    Surely if this were true, you would not hesitate to point out their error? Maybe you had Proverbs 23:9 in mind.

    Believers perhaps, but not followers. To follow would first require knowing the Lord’s commands.

  16. To Mr. Teebs wife:

    Not an unexpected bit of rationalization. It originates, among Christians, at that same intersection of Christianity and churchianity. But it is all very incorrect.

    Let me dispel something that may have come through inadvertently. If I used the words or hinted at her seeming bitter or overtly angry when she does these things, its not the case. She would seem the “sweet old woman”, complete with a wobbly voice (which she has had since I met her when she was in low 50’s), a matronly demeanor, and endless expressions of love and empathy for select groups…..any family member no matter what, and anyone else who is not a violation of the tenets , so drink, no gay, no porn. Those folks, not so much lovingkindness.

    Her demeanor is from even to that of correcting a small child. SA touch of impatience maybe but not outright vitriol.

    With 4 daughters and a son, its telling that the daughters all universally agree with what I am saying. I do not make a spot observation and extrapolate to truth. Ive known them 26 years, been in the family for 25. The daughters sometimes correct their mother. That’s an unusual dynamic because they will correct, but conversationally not acknowledge there is a problem if its discussed away from MIL and FIL. They would tell you that the man has been nothing if not a husband , father, and they will rave endlessly about his spiritual leadership of the home. Ironically some of them are taking on her traits as they reach middle age and are , as per typical, blissfully unaware that they are even doing it.

    When I was tossed aside at year 15 of marriage, though there was no reason for acrimony, I was cleaved cleanly. I will not share details aside from the fact that there is deep irony in that one too. At reconciliation (her initiative) 18 months later, and again, with details I choose not to share, I’ll just say that everyone who knows us, even the very best friends of my wife, reached out to me to tell me that I was doing something that was so profoundly good and above and beyond the call, and they wanted to tell me they see that. Didn’t come from in the family. No matter, yes, sour grapes. But it is driven by the matriarchy and the same type of thinking that would ostracize the young man who was thrown to the curb by the grand daughter.

    MIL has been this way as long as Ive known her. The girls all say she has always been openly rejecting of his innocent affections. INNOCENT affections… arm across the back of the couch, a hand holding or a hand on the knee, a sideways delivered cheek kiss. Yet when the man sat at lunch last week and glowingly spoke of the wonder of their 54 year marriage his wife, once he’d paused his speaking, immediately referred to how good the okra was at the place we were eating.

    Mrs Teeb, you are correct women wont carry on like that without a reason. Two things….

    1. reasons are not excuses, her imperative from God to her, not presented as conditional n whether the man is a horses rear end or a saint among men, does not include this behavior. Women do not get conditional imperatives despite that being the churchian and Christian norm.
    2. Indeed that man meets all the criteria and far more of what the churchian and Christian churchians would call the perfect spiritual leader. He literally does every single thing that men are recommended to do as a spiritual head that is supposed to be the bees knees for the Christian woman. he goes beyond every churchian task list I have ever seen.

    And now, with a touch of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer manifesting by day (diagnosed and medicated), much of her correction is to gripe at him for what are physically caused shortcomings in his speech, and his mobility.

    The thing is, there is a dynamic at work that is more universal than him and her. She, and I find to some degree almost all married women, does not listen not only to her husband, but to others, to newsreaders, to movies, to preachers or teachers, offering up a fraction of their mind that is not dedicated to either empathy seeking or to solipsistic musings as a way of forming opinions about everything in their environment. The product is a person who is quietly, covertly disrespectful. As they have conversations she gets only a fraction of what he says, because she isn’t listening. She does this with any external input. So when she repeats something back it is most often wrong. Not an age thing….always been this way. He could be frustrated. When my wife does this I get very flustered, and only that my adult kids chime in saying that i had 60 seconds ago just told her that, after enough times my wife admitted the problem and now when it occurs I can safely make a joke or ask her to try harder. My FIL, when he has attempted to do similar gets a truly overt bitter angry insistence that she had not missed anything. He never tries anymore.

    So, when talking to her, she doesnt listen, then creates arguments from her not hearing. When he talks to others in her presence she endlessly contradicts him and takes over the narrative.

    I am sorry you are so steeped in man bad woman good thinking that a woman’s bad behavior must be a man’s fault in your mind. This is blocking you from your true potential as a woman of God, replacing that with a self-righteous-because-I-am-woman way of thinking that is no different than their cheerful recounting of the granddaughters new wonderful life as if the girl didn’t cruelly eject a decent young man for no good reason other than a boy with a military bearing and a six pack on his waist.

  17. YouHaveMyPermission

    I’m not sure where the idea came that I have never pointed out their error. Im better than I once was when, a decade ago, if my wife and I were squabbling over some small thing and the MIL would try and speak some balanced advice into the situation I ruined some family moments by saying things like “if the way you treat him is the goal, i believe I’ll stay with this little disagreement her and I are having”

    The kids rebuke her routinely.

    She is totally unchecked in every behavior that one would say is a bad typical behavior for a Christian woman. These things are not big things, not infidelity etc. But utter and complete bouncing from feeling to feeling, making statements that have zero basis in reality but strike a certain emotion, a woe is me lack of joy, often, with the added, “but praise the Lord anyway”, inability to simply not speak for more than a few seconds, persistence at getting someone to do something by nagging….all these things are on steroids and at 78 I simply do not believe that corrective scripture matters.

  18. Both couples are sad and disappointing.

    Why did the 30 year old frivorcer marry hubby 1?

    At Bible School were the other guys even lower status and less confident than him?

    Did she marry him because her much higher SMV meant she could dominate and manipulate him?

    Does hubby 2 claim to be a Christian?

  19. FotF did an interview with the authors of “Pulling Back the Shades” yesterday. If you can stomach listening to it you will here how women reading ’50 Shades’ are “victims” of pornography (that they themselves are partaking of willingly). You can also hear them complain at one point of how the attraction of women to this kind of thing points to a lack in the “Church” because they have a longing in their hearts that is not being addressed. Anyone that has been around here long would realize that this would be called down quickly as defending pornography. yet somehow they cannot make an even handed appraisal in how they treat and minister to male vs. female porn addicts. It’s a sight to behold.

    Oh, and to hear them talk about how they are SHOCKED, (shocked I say) that “Christian” women are being drawn into this “sin” is beyond irony. They themselves couldn’t even begin to get past the victim status of the sinners to call them what they really are. Special ministry for women, excommunication for men.

  20. I see that constant low level of regard/ constant disrespect from wives all the time. I no longer do very many things when couples will be involved

  21. Bee

    Hubby one was a known entity by her family, and she by his. I think they entered the university as BF GF. I have no idea about other guys.
    One thing I will add is that there was a time it seemed she truly was unaware of her looks. She is a little bit Sandra Bullock ish with the ability to put hair in a plain shape, wear some glasses and shapeless cloths, and massively tone herself down.

    But she must have realized after moving to a major southern city where hubby worked for a large church as full time vocation that MEN LOOKED. She is a ton better looking that Sandra Bullock, I used her for the chameleon example only.

    If she was overbearing by nature early on it was exceptionally well hidden. She was one who carried great looks and an unassuming natural pleasantness. Keep in mind, home schooled for k-12, one of 7 kids, an anecdote about home….when she was 13 or 14 and babysitting the others (she is oldest), another sister maybe 5 or 6 yrs old called 911. She told the dispatcher she was calling because her older sister had non Christian music playing. True story and not meant to do anything but convey they were raised in a real Christian home with no exceptions or allowances. Daddy didn’t spoil princesses either, not his style at all. That BIL and I are very close.

    I dont know about hubby 2. My guess is no. he was in the southern state we all lived in because he was attending basic training for a military branch along side one of the girls younger brothers. the brother brought him home post boot camp because the boy is from the northeast near NYC. I can attest to the fact that he is strikingly handsome, and charming even among us men who met him at the big reunion being held. I dont know but I think the boy could have cut a path through any of the girls there and was holding back respectfully. I therefore suspect she initiated it.

  22. Prov. 27:15

    A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.

    Another one of those “Proverbial” women passages.

  23. @empathologism,

    Thanks for the answers.

    I am not doubting the authenticity of her parents faith or her grandparents faith.

    My theory, based on my own anecdotes/observations, is that the unsubmissive and disrespectful nature of her grandmothers marriage damaged granddaughter a lot. If grandpa is flexible, accommodating, and holding to marriage permanence then their marriage can maintain and look good to outsiders at church. BUT the kids and grandkids are damaged from the perversion of the roles and authority in that marriage. Therefore, it does not surprise me that 30 year old frivorcer is their granddaughter.

    I am not saying that all the kids and grandkids will divorce, but damage will still be done. I’ll say that the damage spreads out through the family tree but the damage does not spread evenly or manifest the same.

  24. @ Empathologism

    I guess it was my mistake to assume. However the story does end just with you being shocked at their reaction to your comment.

  25. Empath,

    Our 45 minute discussion went something like this…

    Me: Do you really believe that women must be pushed off of true north and will not drift badly off course without any external influences?

    Mrs. Teebs: I think you are ignoring the influence of bad leaders and male authority figures.

    Me: No honey, I’m not. We both know plenty of women who get pushed off course, but we know an equal number of women who drift of their own volition.

    Mrs. Teeb’s: It just seems like you have become so negative towards females lately.

    Me: It only seems that way because we never hear these the things I am talking about anymore in our culture. Women get endless passes and are generally victims of their own unrealistic expectations. The negativity comes from within, not without. Men, on the other hand get no passes. Not in church, not in the culture.

    Mrs. Teebs: It just seems like you are unbalanced.

    Me: Restoring balance requires offsetting imbalance. Let me ask you a question based on reading through the Bible chronologically this year and spending a few weeks in the major and minor prophets.

    Mrs Teebs: OK.

    Me: What is the dominant recurring pattern in Old Testament Israel and Judah?

    Mrs. Teebs: unfaithfulness?

    Me: Yup. And what made them serially unfaithful? Was God anything less than the perfect husband/leader/lover/provider?

    Mrs. Teebs: No.

    Me: So if God is the perfect husband, to what do you attribute his wife’s bad behavior?

    Mrs. Teebs: I see where you’re going…

    Me: There are plenty of men who have messed up big time and the females in their lives suffer as a result — but so do the other males in their lives — I might add. But why is it that the very first place it is safe and comfortable to go is exactly the opposite of the biblical pattern of where unfaithfulness comes from — from within ourselves?

    Mrs. Teebs: Well, I just wish you would be a little more balanced. If I didn’t know better, I would think you didn’t like women.

    Me: But you do know better (wink).

    Mrs. Teebs: (smile)

    Me: Honey, one more thought on this. I have heard more than a few Christians blame Adam for Eve’s sin. A smug, “Well, if Adam was Eve’s spiritual covering, where was he when the serpent beguiled her? I don’t read that implication anywhere in the Bible. In fact, it is exactly 180 degrees out of phase with the Biblical account. It means Adam sinned first – by neglecting to shield his wife and cover her if we’re going full boat with this thing. But we know from 1 Tim 2:13 and 14 that the woman was deceived and fell into transgression first. Adam followed in her footsteps, but he was not deceived. He knew he was choosing his wife above God. As such, his sin was greater perhaps, but both acted of their own volition and both fell individually, not corporately. There was no corrupting influence or neglect on Adam’s part to blunt her accountability. These “it’s his fault” proponents apparently have torn those pages out of the old and new testaments because it is an inconvenient truth. I’m asking you to be a little more balanced in your auto-immune response to the purse-lipped women we know without instantly assuming they are the product of some man’s failure somewhere along her flight path.

  26. Mr Teebs

    I frequently get that from my spouse as well. She can see individual instances of females going off the rails, for example the one I wrote about that married the younger guy, my wife in no way has anything bad to say about her ex. In another case my wife talked a friend off the brink of filing divorce. When she did it, though, it was the first time she had EVER held a woman to account, and she agonized over every word she wrote, worried sick it would spoil their friendship. I chalk her doing that up to my openly expressed positions. However, she can easily slip into “the man has way more responsibility than the woman clearly in scripture”.

    Recently we had an interesting exchange that she attempted to shut down with “you just hate women”. Fortunately, she recently took a course in statistics and engaged my help throughout. Two things about it, first, now with some understanding of stats she is not flippantly evading things that are empirically provable. Second, though she knew I was well trained as an engineer, the fact that I helped her throughout, I was able to assist in every category she had, made her truly unable to dismiss me as ignorant of them.

    So we were discussing a text a friend of hers had sent to her years ago after we reconciled from our separation. That friend said something like, “are you sure you didn’t LET HIM HAVE HIS FAMILY BACK, too soon?”, and Ive avoided that woman since. There are enormous ironies in it. Its a stupid comment so illustrative of female primacy. Wife said “you just hate women, men do this and that etc.” I told her that not only is that woman toxic, but women are toxic to each other when they do this. The very worst thing a woman can do is yak about marital issues with other women. Its almost always toxic empathy soup.

    I quoted some stats, gave her some links, addressed her minor but at least logical challenges to them. It cornered her because I was not letting her slap me down with -I hate woman-.

    She ended up on the most precarious place she could find that was still somehow helpful to her view. First she attempted to focus on how men indeed need admonishment for xyz, porn etc. Ive always said “I fully agree, I agree those things represent male proclivities, our sin nature specific to gender….but where can we find women being told they have a sin nature”. Harping that point enough cornered her further.

    Finally she said its not men’s place to teach women about these things, women ought to do it. I asked her why then is it not happening? Why anytime it flares up it gets shut down either by voting with feet and going elsewhere or by vitriol.

    I turned her gender specific teaching idea around on her with example after example of women speaking forcefully into men’s proclivities. I asked for an example of men doing likewise to women. her answer… blog and others like it, which I quickly explained is mainly men reading and writing.

    I think she clings to her last points, men need to be admonished by men, and women by women, and she has a queasy feeling that I may actually have a point.

    There are tons of statistics that are hard and fast that can be shared. But they usually do not move women. Women will generally ask, “wonder what he did?” when they learn of a new divorce

    This is, in my opinion, important:

    I have found that the argument re who sinned first, Adam or Eve, is wholly unproductive, and frankly its not relevant. The issue is more, who was deceived and by whom. That they were deceived to the point of sin action is in this case not important. It can come in later in discourse.

    How can ANYONE argue, Eve was deceived by the serpent (as proxy), and Adam deceived by Eve. This is impossible to equivocate though there is likely an evangelical feminist obfuscation. there are snares in it though, where, if they still persist in blaming Adam even for her deception, and they blame Adam for her sin, they are endorsing male headship. I digress.

    Today the acrimony in relationship, the toxicity in female to female communication regarding men and marriage, in other words the predictable mantra taken by your wife and most wives including mine to one degree or another, they may want to consider…..deception. Its peel the face off your skull frustrating that the familial world has been flushed and passed through the water treatment plant infinite times and the quality of the amalgam goes down with each pass….kids of divorce, social pathologies, like that, that it is anathema for them to even consider, hmmm, Eve had a perfect place, and God with her, and was deceived…..but her views on how things are today???? Above reproach. The notion of who sinned first may well be relevant, but it will skip through her mind like a smooth flat pebble across a pond at the park.

  27. There’s another aspect to the “Adam didn’t lead her right” rabbit trail. Now, I’ve demonstrated at Dalrock’s a time or two that I’m no scholar of the Bible. So correct me if I’m wrong.

    “Adam didn’t lead right” speaks directly to the spiritual guidance of Eve. But it skips right by the fact that both humans “walked with God”. So who was the spiritual advisor, leader, teacher of both Adam and Eve? It was God, right?

    So when Eve’s actions are blamed on her insufficient spiritual guidance, what that really says is this: “God wasn’t enough for Eve. He wasn’t Alpha enough. He didn’t wash her in his own word enough. He didn’t teach her clearly enough”.

    So it’s all the fault of God. If only he had mannedUP so that he could have been enough of a leader for Eve…

    This little example should leave the average contentious woman (but I repeat myself) with an open mouth and no words.

    Ok, men, critique me.

  28. “Finally she said its not men’s place to teach women about these things, women ought to do it.”

    Yeah, then they complain about the lack of “Godly” male leadership. So this is instantly inverted into I can criticize you for your lack of leadership even when I’m demanding NOT to be lead. Or “I’ll follow your leadership as long as your leading where I want to follow. My following or lack thereof doesn’t in any way impugn ME, it solely speak to your lack of leadership.” Thusly all women’s failings are attributable to a lack in leadership, not in a word that they will not even acknowledge exists……(submission).

  29. Yeah, AR. But Adam is in no position to teach a woman about spiritual submission, “women ought to do it”. God isn’t sufficient either. If only we had a “Goddess” then surely Eve would never have been deceived.

  30. “I’ll follow your leadership as long as your leading where I want to follow.

    Yeah, there’s a word that describes the man’s role in that case: chauffeur.

    It is the “Driving Miss Daisy” model of “leadership” or in Bible terms “headship”…

    If only we had a “Goddess” then surely Eve would never have been deceived.

    Oh, fer sure, fer sure.

  31. Finally she said its not men’s place to teach women about these things, women ought to do it. I asked her why then is it not happening? Why anytime it flares up it gets shut down either by voting with feet and going elsewhere or by vitriol.

    According to Scripture, your wife is right. Women should be teaching these things to other women, but pastors (who should be male) should also be preaching and teaching the truth so that the older women in their ranks can teach the younger.

    However, what we have now is a situation where almost no one is willing to speak the truth without flinching and caveats and qualifiers to make women comfortable. So then, when those of us who have by virtue of long reasonably successful marriages pipe up to say, “I got here by obeying God by obeying my husband, getting over myself, and not thinking that he has to be ‘likable’ to earn what is his by right”, we get nothing but what you said: shut down, shouted down, vitriol.

    As I read this I thought about something Mr teebs said about the things women think they want to be happy. And how in reality most of us don’t know what we want. Anecdote alert:

    Not often, but every once and again my husband who is a more spontaneous guy by nature, gets it in his head that he wants to take me out. I am a planner but when he decides these things I don’t usually have time to plan or make a lot of arrangements. I used to hate that but I’ve learned to go with the flow and have some fun. He has a couple of times even cut my objections off at the pass (“I have nothing to wear, what about dinner, the kids,” etc) by handling all of that before he gets home from work. Which is all kinds of cool. But anyway…

    A guy he works with said that his wife complains that he never takes her out, no spontaneity, blah, blah, blah so my husband told him, ‘Well take her out tonight. You can knock off early. I approve it.” The guy thought that might work, and the surprise might be good. But, “Let’s double. She might enjoy herself more if [El] is there to talk to.” *sigh* Defeats the purpose, no?

    So SAM does his thing: buys me a dress, figures out where we’re going to meet, tells work friend and he calls his wife and says, “We’re going out. Fix yourself up because we’re going someplace nice.”

    We meet at the place and had a nice time. At least I did, and she was pleasant enough, as usual.

    The next day my husband asks this guy how she enjoyed herself. She was full of complaints. If he had told her ahead of time she could have gotten her hair done and if she wouldn’t have worn pants if she’d known he was ACTUALLY taking her some place nice for a change and blah, blah, blah. But overall she had a good enough time.

    Didn’t sound like his effort netted any reward. Just more complaints. And the dinner at that place wasn’t cheap, LOL.

    So the notion that a guy can make his wife happy simply by doing all this stuff to make her feel special is bunk. Happiness is something we choose. Being satisfied is something we choose.

  32. So, Elspeth. Dissecting your post, she complains about no spontaneity then complains that she wasn’t given enough time to plan. Her position is ludicrous but who is in a position to point it out? The husband? Yeah, right. Women can behave this way precisely because they have preempted ANY form of correction. Once that happens these fickle little tyrants are unstoppable, their sin nature is unchecked. OF COURSE they are going to be unhappy. What’s eating the soul is a deep desire for someone who loves them enough to correct them with an even deeper desire to be affirmed in everything that they do no matter how self-contradictory or nonsensical.

    All they want is a perfectly prepared golden brown and delicious deep fried ice. And they’ll shout down anyone who says that it’s impossible.

  33. GIL:
    “What’s eating their soul is a deep desire for someone who loves them enough to correct them.”

    No they don’t. What they want to push a man over the edge so they can validate to themselves that ‘all men are pigs’. If they push him far enough they can line up a good divorce lawyer for the ‘abuse’ he’s put her through.

    Make no mistake about it: western women’s primary motive is misandry.

  34. AR:
    I tend to think the story is an allegory. Eve set the archetype for most women: given the choice between a devil and a man, they usually pick the former and drag the latter down with them. This is more of a story to teach men about the nature of women and the consequences of female sexual liberty.

  35. I beg to differ Eric. I believe that they want masculine approval and that is why they are invading male spaces and it’s what fuels the misandry. It’s a civilization level fit test, they are demanding the emasculated men of the West to set things in order but refusing to give him his balls back. He has to earn them along with sex and whatever else she can leverage to get what she want’s (approval for her misandry).

    I see that in the unhappy bearer of the princess virus a strong desire to have exactly what they want, and since that is categorically impossible (and there is no satisfying them) then they have been taught by feminism to blame men for this inadequacy in reality. From which flows the hatred. The hatred flows from the dissatisfaction, not the men.

  36. GIL:
    I doubt they care about masculine approval at all. I think they invade male spaces to prove to themselves that men are unnecessary and expendable.

    The emasculated Western men don’t need their permission to assert themselves. A gynocentric culture like ours actually elevates and favors emasculated men. In a patriarchal society, those men would be the losers; but in our culture they’re treated as heroes while the real men are marginalized.

  37. Eric, I think that proving that men are “unnecessary and expendable” is way too meta to explain the phenomenon. In my opinion, they have a selfish motivation to invade male spaces rooted in their sin nature. They are not the evil overmind, they just act as his agents and receive their pay. Their pay, by in large is not, to prove anything about men.

    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
    (Gen 3:16)

  38. Thanks, monkey. I knew this was translated that way in one of the verses. It’s a desire, I believe to control masculine power. They used to call it “penis envy” but it is clearly more than that. By means of the State they can control male power, either by proxy with the police or via the police imposing their will on the husband/boyfriend/boss/co-worker/fellow student.

  39. “My FIL barely speaks, when he does his wife contradicts him, corrects him, interrupts him, talks incessantly, and rejects his innocent 80 year old affections like a Liberian health worker would reject a kiss from an Ebola patient.”

    Empathologism’s MIL is a data point revealing that MARRIED women that decline to submit to their husbands and talk to and of them respectfully gain very little spiritual growth and wisdom. Submission to a husband is a life journey, not a one time decision. Married women that refuse to begin that journey miss out on important Christian lessons in trust, faith, humility, authority, and obedience.

    In declining to learn the Christian lessons of submission and respect, a married woman will not gain much growth or wisdom from years of church, Sunday school, Beth Moore studies, short term mission trips, etc.

  40. @God art laughing

    Isn’t weasely behaviour a sign that a person is unsaved? David when confronted with his sin was repentant but with the description of the wives behaviour on the part of empath and your own wife. I have doubts about their salvation. Where’s their conscience?

  41. Infowarrior, weasely behavior? Unsaved? Your fixing to open up a big can of doctrinal worms there. Peter tells us that our salvation comes at the END of our faith. We’re all in “corruption” and subject to deception, sin and error. In Christ we don’t HAVE to do those things anymore, but that is clearly a work in progress. The fact that my wife doesn’t necessarily see all the ways that she has been affected by the culture doesn’t make her weasely (I know that I have been affected too and am probably just as unaware). When compared with a Holy God I defy anyone to be non-weasel.

  42. @Godartlaughing

    Apologies. But it is frustrating to see people in denial over sin in spite of scriptural evidence. Since the spirit grants us a conscience with which we are convicted of sin. If a person is unconvicted of sin in spite of God’s word then my point stands. Will a person not find sin sickening if saved? Would a person never feel comfortable in sin?

    You are right perhaps I overstepped my bounds.

  43. No offense taken. And you are right too. God tells us to be holy as He is Holy. But that process takes a lifetime. We make no progress at all if we refuse to walk the path with Him and become separated from the world (sanctified to Him). My wife has a distinctly different faith than I do. She helped me understand that God loved me and was instrumental in me accepting Him as Lord (and not just Savior). Women are wired different, and for that I am glad. I just pray that the world wouldn’t steal them from us. It’s ubiquitous.

  44. Pingback: Doug Phillips of VF and Biblical Vision: On Lenses | Things that We have Heard and Known

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