What do you think about this? Good stuff for Christians? Good stuff for everyone? Anything in there to cause concern?:
Isn’t it good when “conservative” men will cheer for and click on and up vote pro-life feminists vs. those bad feminists?
I don’t think so. I said I would talk about the influence of feminism again at some point, and so here we go….
I see feminism as largely responsible for the fraying of the most precious bonds that hold us together — and I’m not just talking about the radical feminists.
What did you think about all of the hubbub caused by Tucker Carlson recently? He doesn’t tweet much. Here are his last 3:
1/3, 2/3, 3/3. I wonder if he could be trying to tell us something? Get something across? Communicate with us as other human beings?
Anyway, what I thought is what he thought.
So I’ve been a little bit more vocal about this kind of stuff on my Twitter feed recently.
Well, I’ve got a got a couple theses going on here. First:
If the father of a mother’s children does not look to provide for, treasure, and protect for his own, they must look to man.
And yes, I literally mean man. Men. Usually “the man” though, meaning those with political power.
Second: Basically everyone knows this, but all either suppress it or don’t talk about it, or talk around it endlessly. Marx certainly understood this. He saw capitalism destroying all the traditional bonds of society, particularly the natural family. There were definitely things about captialism that upset him, but this, to be sure, wasn’t one of them.
I wonder why?
I think I Cor. 11:3 is one of those “elephant in the room” passages that nobody wants to deal with. By the way, I thought it odd that even most of the modern translations are almost the same as the very literal NASB, while basically only the conservative ESV (based on the NRSV, from the original RSV) reads “…head of a wife is her husband…”
What does this mean?
I thought I’d take the plunge the other morning to see what the free old commentaries on Bible hub had to say about the passage.
People get ready. Lots of free old stuff.
Here’s a sampling of the kinds of things I found on this passage only from the main page (anyone who wants to find out where they are from can go to the page and press “control f” to find the phrases). Of course, I’ve deliberately chosen those quotes most offensive to our modern ears that I could find. Feel free to sample just a few and scroll down to what follows… :
- To feel bound to assert your liberty in every detail of social and political life is to cease to be free—the very liberty becomes a bondage.
- [he] lay[s] down the principles which are opposed to the principle of that absolute and essential equality…
- …As there is a subordination of the whole body to Christ, so there is in that body a subordination of woman to man.
- As the Head of the Church—e., as the man Christ Jesus—Christ is subordinate to the Father, and, indeed, perhaps the idea is carried farther into the mystery of the divine nature itself, as consisting of three Persons co-eternal and co-equal, yet being designated with an unvarying sequence as “first,” and “second,” and “third.”
- The woman was made subject to man, because made for his help and comfort.
- The Christian religion sanctions national customs wherever these are not against the great principles of truth and holiness.
- The word “head,” in the Scriptures, is designed often to denote “master, ruler, chief.” … In the New Testament the word is used in the sense of Lord, ruler, chief…
- Every Christian should recollect the relation in which he stands to him, as one that is suited to produce the strictest decorum, and a steady sense of subordination.
- …in her demeanor, her dress, her conversation, in public and in the family circle – should recognize her subordination to him.[i]
- their subjection in point of order, modesty, and seemliness, is to be maintained.[ii]
- “Jesus, therefore, must be of the same essence as God: for, since the man is the head of the woman, and since the head is of the same essence as the body, and God is the head of the Son, it follows the Son is of the same essence as the Father” [Chrysostom].
- “The woman is of the essence of the man, and not made by the man; so, too, the Son is not made by the Father, but of the essence of the Father” [Theodoret, t. 3, p. 171].
- …the woman in religious services ought to behave herself as a person in subjection to her husband, and accordingly to use such a gesture, as, according to the guise and custom of that country, testified such a subjection…
- the man is called the head of the woman, because by God’s ordinance he is to rule over her, Genesis 3:16; he hath an excellency above the woman, and a power over her.
- … God is the Head of Christ, not in respect of his essence and Divine nature, but in respect of his office as Mediator; as the man is the head of the woman, not in respect of a different and more excellent essence and nature, (for they are both of the same nature), but in respect of office and place, as God hath set him over the woman…
- Christ is the Head of his church, and every one that is a member of it; and man is the head of the woman, he to whom the woman ought to be subject.
- …he is also an economical head, or in such sense an head as an husband is the head of his wife, and as a parent is the head of his family, and as a master is the head of his servants; for all these relations Christ sustains
- And the head of the woman is the man, The man is first in order in being, was first formed, and the woman out of him, who was made for him, and not he for the woman, and therefore must be head and chief…[iii]
- … he declares that the woman is one degree beneath the man by the ordinance of God, and that the man is so subject to Christ, that the glory of God ought to appear in him for the preeminence of the sex.
- Such persons are here reminded that according to God’s word (Genesis 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:11; 1 Timothy 2:13) woman was designed to be in subjection, both in society and in the family.
- The relation indicated by ΚΕΦ. is that of organic subordination, even in the last clause: He to whom Christ is subordinate is God…
- … The indecorum in question offends against a foundation principle, viz., that of subordination under the Divine government; this the Cor, with all their knowledge, cannot “know,” or they would not have allowed their women to throw off the ἐξουσία ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς (1 Corinthians 11:10)….
- In the sight of God all men are equal; yet without distinctions of rank and office society could not exist. But equality and order are reconciled by the revelation of God in Christ.
- … Cf. Ephesians 5:23. “It appears that the Christian women at Corinth claimed for themselves equality with the male sex, to which the doctrine of Christian freedom and the removal of the distinction of sex in Christ (Galatians 3:28) gave occasion….[iv]
One of the passages I found most intriguing was the following one (maybe its because I am an LC-MS Lutheran, which is a rather congregationalist church body):
And the head of Christ is God – Christ, as Mediator, has consented to assume a subordinate rank, and to recognize God the Father as superior in office. Hence, he was obedient in all things as a Son; he submitted to the arrangement required in redemption; he always recognized his subordinate rank as Mediator, and always regarded God as the supreme Ruler, even in the matter of redemption. The sense is, that Christ, throughout his entire work, regarded himself as occupying a subordinate station to the Father; and that it was proper from his example to recognize the propriety of rank and station everywhere.[v]
In any case, what to do with this Word of God thing? As my pastor likes to say in Bible class, “Well, mark it out of your Bibles.”
In all seriousness, no. So how to start thinking about it? I am not entirely sure, given that there really do seem to be few models out there, at least when it comes to men who are both vocal and winsome (is that even possible?) on this issue.
This brings me to an email rant that I got the other day from one of the readers of my blog. This man is highly intelligent and socially conservative and his note is so “out of the box”–and yet, I think, so shockingly insightful–that I thought I should share it. I do so keeping this reader anonymous and changing some details with his blessing (its lengthy so if you want to skim see the parts I bold):
I made the mistake of checking social media and I see this making the rounds among the patriarchs of the LCMS: ‘Tucker Carlson Is Right About America’s Elites And Working Class’
Just for starters, the picture used as the header is literally two women jogging. And the author even uses the word “chivalrous” to describe how elites should conduct themselves [Nathan’s note: see here].
So a conversation that started out talking about MEN in America, the uncomfortable truth that women don’t want men who earn less than they do, all the pathologies and challenges facing (especially, but not only) poor, working and middle class men… that gets turned into… something about women jogging??? You go grrrrl! Win the race!
This is how ‘The Federalist’ is gonna lead the way and help [Christian leaders] and all the rest restore the family?
And if you read the piece you’ll see the author arguing against welfare that penalizes marriage! He claims to be about encouraging family formation. So what’s his proposal? More money for daycare. So women who get married (thereby increasing their household income) won’t lose out on subsidies for paying other women to care for their children while they go out and serve the market. Remember, this guy is one of the people arguing the market isn’t god. And supposedly standing up for social conservatism and against libertarianism and those who put the market above all. And his big idea, is to help families by giving women more money to make it easier to go work for the market.
And the women who take care of their own kids while their husband supports the family, what do they get? Shut up! We’re busy fighting against those evil elites who idolize capitalism. We don’t have time for questions like that.
Carlson started off denouncing the clowns at “overfunded think tanks”. He started off talking about “MEN in America”. He started off talking about how social conservatives have betrayed their supposed principles and priorities and beliefs. He started off challenging the system and opening the door to an important conversation. And this is what it turns into. More government money for daycare.
This is how the author, Willis Krumholz, holder of advanced degrees who works in financial services, thinks we should go about helping his struggling brothers he allegedly cares so much about. He’s a moral, caring, godly, Christian elitist. And that’s why he wants to give women more. That’s the way to help blue collar and middle class men! This fake populist, Dudley Do-Right, product of D.C. conservatism is showing how they never stop. They will twist anything. This is what these people do. And they will pat themselves on the back, and congratulate each other for serving the Kingdom.
Mr Krumholz also works with Defense Priorities, an outfit supposedly dedicated to foreign policy realism. So I guess I can assume the return of realism is another recent positive development on the Right that will be corrupted and twisted and used to sell B.S.
None of this is new.
Brad Wilcox and Robert George and the gang at AEI and all these other people who work for and hand around and were ushered into “Conservatism” by those “overfunded think tanks” Carlson denounced, all those out of touch, uncaring, unChristian, cosmopolitan elites that JD Vance and Rod Dreher and the gang are supposedly against… they’ve been working on this for years.
Don’t means test welfare. That’s it.
Not cut welfare so husbands become a necessity. Not support one-income families. Not disincentivize unwed motherhood. Not helping boys become providers, directing them toward the form of higher education they’re suited for, eliminating subsidies for B.S. degrees, calling out the absurd practice of educating and training women for important jobs just so they can drop out of the workforce (or work fewer hours than a man would have) once they get what they really wanted which was marrying a man with that level of education, not establishing a different “success sequence” for the two sexes.
Nope. Just stop means testing government subsidies for daycare. This is the populist, chivalrous, anti market idolization, Christian, super conservative, moral and caring response to the problems of the forgotten man. They care about real people more than market, you see!
It’s infuriating because this is so close to the truth. Arguing against libertarian utopianism. Great! Seeing real human beings instead of economic automatons. Fantastic! Seeing the role technological advancement has played and grappling how that interacts with our laws, our biology, and the institutions of civil society. How all these things interact, Wonderful! But it’s all a scam. It’s all the same people, the same phony “conservatives” coming up with new language, new talking points, new packaging, new manipulation to go about advancing their same gynocentric agenda.
Just like they manipulate the abortion issue to promote Republican feminists in a fake battle against Democrat feminists. And turn what should be genuine outrage and immediate action into money and jobs for the pro-life industry. But maybe when Ginsburg goes we’ll get Amy Coney Barrett to save us all. So we can… um… regulate abortion and give more money to women. Or something…
This is what these people do. This is what the system does. If you think the men of the LCMS can be about something else, start with convincing all the men around you who eat this garbage up, who are part of promoting it, who think this is some brilliant new way to save the family, and who jump at the chance to share this stuff but only post [Matthew] Cochran when he’s writing about immigration. Because they see the other stuff [that he writes, dealing with the problems of feminism and such,] as simply manipulation to draw in suckers like me. Have some personal conversations with your brothers and convince them.
I don’t think this reader is about to turn to Islam or something. At the same time, like it or not, he has a point. You can ignore him and crucify him if you like, but human nature is not going to go away. And Christianity means to get that human nature on the right track, not to abolish it completely.
By the way, when he says “they see the other stuff as simply manipulation to draw in suckers like me,” he is clearly talking about giving lip-service to doctrines while not putting them into practice in senses that are meaningful or significant. I got a similar reaction from a [not LC-MS] Lutheran after my article critical of Gerhard Forde in the new Concordia Theological Quarterly:
It surprises me that CTQ published it, as so many are Forde fans. I have an idea why though.
Sort of like when we talked about feminism being so pervasive in the LCMS, you can feel better about it or justify it by pointing out the gross error of the ELCA in the matter.
I wonder if pointing out Forde himself, gross Fordism, as error allows some self-justification of Forde-light. “At least we’re not that” so to speak.
This man, no doubt, is highly skeptical of the LC-MS and its internal going-ons (related — see the newest from Tom Lemke). Just like my friend above basically asking “do these folks really mean what they say?” This other non-LCMS Lutheran went on to say this:
“….if you have something to say or criticize, you should be prepared to say it to all and not in secret.”
None of this is easy.
I remember one of the most difficult questions my wife and I had before getting married centered around these very issues. I remember a very painful conversation, lasting for several hours into the morning. There are only one or two times before we got married when I wondered whether or not things could really work out between us, but that long conversation was definitely one of those times.
It is hard to have these difficult conversations. Especially when our culture has largely given up on the Bible as being the Word of God. Especially when our culture thinks it has little to nothing to learn from the ancients, or even our immediate ancestors for that matter.
Notes: portions of the above edited for clarity at 7:30am day of the post.
[i] It goes on: “The danger was, that those who were under the influence of inspiration would regard themselves as freed from the necessity of recognising that, and would lay aside the “veil,” the usual and appropriate symbol of their occupying a rank inferior to the man. This was often done in the temples of the pagan deities by the priestesses, and it would appear also that it had been done by Christian females in the churches.”
[ii] It goes on “Paul reproves here their unseemliness as to dress: in 1Co 14:34, as to the retiring modesty in public which becomes them. He grounds his reproof here on the subjection of woman to man in the order of creation.”
[iii] It goes on “as he is also with respect to his superior gifts and excellencies, as strength of body, and endowments of mind, whence the woman is called the weaker vessel; likewise with regard to pre-eminence or government, the man is the head; and as Christ is the head of the church, and the church is subject to him, so the husband is the head of the wife, and she is to be subject to him in everything natural, civil, and religious. Moreover, the man is the head of the woman to provide and care for her, to nourish and cherish her, and to protect and defend her against all insults and injuries.”
[iv] It goes on: “Christianity had indisputably done much for the emancipation of women, who in the East and among the Ionic Greeks (it was otherwise among the Dorians and the Romans) were in a position of unworthy dependence. But this was done in a quiet, not an over-hasty manner. In Corinth, on the contrary, they had apparently taken up the matter in a fashion somewhat too animated. The women overstepped due bounds by coming forward to pray and prophesy in the assemblies with uncovered head.”—De Wette
[v] A different commentary appears to have an opposing view: “The relation indicated by ΚΕΦ. is that of organic subordination, even in the last clause: He to whom Christ is subordinate is God (comp 1 Corinthians 3:23, 1 Corinthians 15:28, 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:15; Romans 9:5; and see Kahnis, Dogm. III. p. 208 ff.), where the dogmatic explanation resorted to, that Christ in His human nature only is meant (Theodoret, Estius, Calovius, al), is un-Pauline. Neither, again, is His voluntary subjection referred to (Billroth), but—which is exactly what the argument demands, and what the two first clauses give us—the objective and, notwithstanding His essential equality with God (Php 2:6), necessary subordination of the Son to the Father in the divine economy of redemption. Much polemic discussion as to the misuse of this passage by the Arians and others may be found in Chrysostom, Theodoret, and Theophylact.”