Friday, October 15, 2010

God Said it; You Just Don't Like It

A common refrain of complementarians is “God said it; you just don't like it.” They are usually quoting their favorite women submit and women keep silent verses. These same people are silent about the 'husbands love your wives' and 'husbands be considerate to your wives' verses, and have nothing to say about all the women in Paul's day who were prophetesses and leaders in the Christian churches. When they do quote those pro-women and husbands treat your wives right verses they don't talk in depth of what that means. Instead, they breeze over them to focus on the woman be in subjection and silent verses.

Having lived with an abuser and having facilitated a men's batterers group, and having read books pointing to this very behavior, I recognize the tactic the speakers are using. They are switching truth, attributing the other person's innocent or righteous behavior as their own, and projecting their own behavior/attitude onto the innocent party.

In other words, these speakers do not like that husbands are to love their wives so much that it is the same as submitting, so they focus instead on the wife submit verses. The “God said it, you just don't like it” speaker does not like that husbands are never told to take authority over their wives, because that is not the way they want it to be. The speaker also does not like that women in Paul's day as well as in the Old Testament and in Jesus's circle were also leaders, thereby showing that the prohibition to women was for specific cases. These complementarians do not like that truth, so they brush it off and put the focus and weight of their argument on the verses they do like.

Sometimes a woman, who claims to be submissive to her husband, says “God said it; you just don't like it” to a woman who is explaining that the “woman submit” doctrine is one-sided and as such is not biblical. Usually the women who claim to be so submissive sound smug. They are impressed with themselves for “getting it right.” They seem completely unaware that they are self-righteous. They are unaware that their self-righteousness is sin, and that it will not earn them a way into heaven. They also are unaware that they have not truly listened to the statement of the person who is explaining that the woman subject yourself doctrine is one-sided and encourages both husband and wife to sin.

Frankly, I don't like that people are maligning God, giving Him a bad name, by claiming He says such belittling things about women and that He made the women to be an underclass who are beneath men and who have the sole purpose of being the personal slaves of their husbands. That He made them a class He will never call into service, except to as invisibly and silently as possible serve the all-important male gender. I don't like it that they lie and call this one-sided servitude "equality." I don't like that so many women have turned away from the “church” because it has become a den of thieves that robs women of their dignity and worth. I don't like that their are so many atheists, who became atheists because of the sin of organized "Christianity" against women and their children. I don't like that “church men” are doing to women like white men did to American Indians. They are taking from women their property of value, which is their God-given dignity, worth, equality and whatever God has actually called them to do, and replaced it with worthless pretty beads, which is this so-called “glorious subjection,” which they themselves wouldn't be caught dead wearing because it is so demeaning. They are persuading women to give up their high worth in exchange for groveling in the dung-heap.

And the reason they manipulate and deceive women into this exchange? Because they themselves do NOT like what God has told them to do—to sacrifice for their wives and to love their wives as they love their own bodies.

How do they love their own bodies? They insist on freedom—freedom to choose whatever they want to choose. But they deny this freedom to their wives.

Complementarian men have claimed the Declaration of Independence for themselves, but denied it to their wives. Wives who are married to complementarian husbands are in the same class with slaves who only have whatever rights their masters choose to allow them, rights that can be taken away at the whim of their masters. And all because their masters do not like what God said.

Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.


  1. God said it; you just don't like it.

    That is such a childlike response. It shows such humility, consideration, grace, and embodies everything Christ would have them show in response doesn't it?

    To me it shows an 'emotional and immature' response, and yet they seem to be okay with it. It meant to shut off communication. They are taught to parrot things so that questioning isn't encouraged. Understanding should just be a given.

    They try to use that passage in 1 Cor. 11 about "the head of Christ is God, and the head of the woman is man," to map man to God and woman to Christ-- but this doesn't really work because they have to leave out "the head of man is Christ." This passage was not intended to metaphorically map anything to anything else.

    And then they teach the woman that she is the one who is supposed to be sacrificing herself for the man, because she's supposed to be as Christ to his being as God. So the woman gets to be the church in submission and also Christ in sacrifice-- but not in authority. They only want to map man to Christ in terms of authority -- not in terms of self-sacrifice.

  2. Hannah,
    You are so right. Your observations are so on target. They try to have it both ways. Apparently, it takes 2 people to play Christ's role; 1 to do the submitting and sacrificing, and 1 to be the authority. What is so odd, is that husbands are commanded to do the sacrificing, but they shift that role to wives. And then they have Christ forever submitting to the Father to support their husband authority doctrine. When Christ's role is submission, the wives are to do that. When Christ's role is authority, the husbands are to do that. Doesn't it seem odd that both genders are to copy the same person, Christ, but do totally opposite things?

    The truth is, it's odd, but not surprising. Since scripture doesn't tell husbands to take authority over their wives, complementarians have to twist scripture like a pretzel to get it to say what they want it to say.

  3. Off-Topic.

    Just wanted to let you know I appreciate having your blog as a resource.

    I went all the way back to June of 2009 to get info I needed to make comment on another blog.

    Thanks for being here and writing.