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December 05, 2005

Comments

Caitriona

I'm equally convinced that one can thoughtfully reject traditional teaching about both sexual behavior and gender roles while living humbly as a disciple of Christ within His church.

But what if those to whom you are reaching out feel that there is nothing wrong with traditional teaching about sexual behavior and gender roles? What makes your POV right and the PsOV of others wrong?

Hugo

Well, as I think we would all agree, Cait, one's comfort is not an indication of one's correctness! All of us do well to be confronted -- winsomely, mind you -- with alternative ways of viewing the world. We need to weigh and assess different faiths and ideologies so that we can either be renewed in our original convictions or modify them as a consequence of what we've learned. We are all called to evangelize folks around us -- spiritually and politically and culturally, as kindly and gently as we can.

Caitriona

But, Hugo, that still doesn't tell us why your POV on these issues is the correct POV and why everyone else's PsOV are wrong. What makes your POV more right than, say, that of Michael and Debi Pearl, who've been married for 34 years. (They are the authors of _To_Train_Up_a_Child_ and of _Created_To_Be_His_Help_Meet_.)

Caitriona

Let me put this another way: What makes you so absolutely certain that your way is the correct way and the myriad traditional ways aren't.

Hugo

Oh heavens, I'm not "certain." I'm arguing for dialogue and exploration, not forcible conversion.

Can Dance

Commenting strictly on the Pearls and "by their fruits you shall know them", they advocate beating your 6 month old child with a switch. They have been arrested for child abuse. oh yes, and their grown children don't speak to them.
As for "helpmeet" book, her exegesis is incredibly poor, as she takes "helpmeet" to mean "subordinate assistant" when in the text there is nothing of the sort. Basically her theolgoy is a bit of a joke. even most "mainstream" traditionalists would have to agree her heurmanutics stink. they must find other ways to defend their odious notions. notice how they can't use Jesus?

evil_fizz

I find it somewhat curious, because my parent's own relationship definitely falls into the "traditional" side of the equation. My own relationship falls very squarely on the secular side. (I use these as examples because they're the ones I know the best.) My own parents have been married for decades and are still some of the happiest, most content people I know. I can also look at their relationship and be wholly convinced that it isn't for me. Their choices are not ones which I wish to make for myself. At the same time, I'd never tell them that their relationship somehow doesn't work or that my system is better.

However, I don't have the same confidence about people who make choices not consciously but rather by rote, inertia, or out of some blind acceptance that the church (or secular philosophy) has the "right" answer. I think my parents (and if I may be so bold as to speculate, you too, Cait) have looked at the choices, thought about them, thought about what God calls you to, and acted accordingly. My own worries are focused on blind acceptance rather than a healthy embrace of a particular way of life.

westcoast2

Hugo wrote:

"I am convinced that feminism and faith are not irreconcilable."

Really? You have asked this question in deifferent ways several times recently. Are you trying to convince yourself?

Feminism is whatever you define it to be, isn't it? Therefore you can reconcile them. Maybe, the idea of femenism being indivdually definable (and perhaps changing as a result) causes a problem?

More Hugo...

"My secular feminist friends want me to work with them but keep my religious opinions to myself. "

Ah Jesus, keep your relegious opinions to yourself. Oh Peter (Mark 14:69-72)

And then Hugo wrote:
"My conservative Christian friends welcome me in worship, but would rather I not challenge many of their traditional beliefs about sex roles. "

Do they, or do you not like the answers they give?

Then Catriona wrote:
" What makes you so absolutely certain that your way is the correct way and the myriad traditional ways aren't."

Nice question. Yet the answer from Hugo:
"Oh heavens, I'm not "certain." I'm arguing for dialogue and exploration, not forcible conversion."

Asks for dialogue and side steps. Are you suggesting a gentle conversion to your PoV? Why is certain in quotes?

evil_fizz commented:
"Their [ref parents] choices are not ones which I wish to make for myself."

Yes, though given their example, this is one of many choices you now know you are able to make isn't it? The more choices the better? (well sometimes)

evil_fizz continues...
"My own worries are focused on blind acceptance rather than a healthy embrace of a particular way of life."

Blind acceptance is needed in some instances. Sometimes others are aware of a bigger picture than you are. For example in a war situation the General can see more than the private. The private has to blindly accept this and act accordingly.

Isn't trust and possibly faith involved here?

be well
west

[on the football post, maybe a trip to Chelsea v Millwall would be an eye opener! :) ]

Caitriona

evil_fizz, I agree that it must be looked at by each individual. IMO, traditionalism is a *very* valid way of life, for those who are called to it. But too often, things that are written by feminists are very ANTI-traditionalism.

Can Dance, have you read the Pearl's writings? I hadn't until recently, when a local women's group was doing a study of Created to Be His Help Meet. I purchased the book, and I've spent the past 6 months or so periodically reading (and arguing with) it. But they do make some good points, even amidst the things with which I disagree. I find that by reading such things, I am prompted to further my own Biblical studies, if for no other reason than to determine for myself how close/far off the author's writings are. (You should hear the discussions my husband and I have after I've read postings here.)

As for their To Train Up a Child, I've not read it. My youngest is 15yo. But when you posted what you did, I did a search and found an excerpt online. Thank you for prompting me to look for it. What is in the excerpt is actually quite good parenting advice, with absolutely *nothing* advocating beating a child. I may have to purchase it to read more in-depth, to see if what you've accused them of advocating is indeed there. If the rest of the book is as the excerpt, I'll send it to my brother and SIL, who have a wonderful, sweet, but very strong-willed little boy whom I wish to see *remain* a wonderful boy. Of course, if their book is such as Stop the Rod (the only place thus far I've found indication of the child abuse charges you mentioned) says it is, then I'll change my opinion of the Pearls. But nowhere in any of their writings I've read thus far have I see *ANY* promotion of violence. AAMOF, everything I've read thus far is very much NON-violent.

sjb

Caitriona, if you read all of the Stop the Rod page you linked to there is a link to the full text of To Train Up a Child towards the bottom. It links to this site: http://city.hokkai.or.jp/%7Erepent/EnglishPages/TrainUp.html. I browsed the first chapter or two and there is mention of parents whapping a 4 month old with a switch and pulling an infant's hair, which sounds pretty iffy in terms of child abuse.

Caitriona

sjb, in searching, I found this page, which links to those particular topics on the Pearls' website. It seems that they are *not* advocates of punishment. And the "pulling an infant's hair" is mentioned as a "gentle tugging" in response to the infant biting the mother while breastfeeding, in order to get the infant to release and not to bite. They are cited as saying, "Even seven-month-olds are too young to spank."

Phil

I've been remiss in not putting up my own link to HollabackNYC, a site that offers a safe way for women to "fight back" against street harassment in our nation's largest city. Check it out -- it's stern stuff.

It's stupid vigilantism by female thug wannabes.

And what's "remiss" about your failure to put up a link to the street vigilante grrrlz? You mean you really do have to go along with every knee-jerk feminist activity that you see online?

Hugo

Phil, don't be ridiculous. It's no more "thug vigilantism" than CCTV cameras. No one is physically assaulted; men who abuse women verbally have their pictures taken so that, perhaps, they can be "outed" to their families who can hold them accountable. It seems a deeply appropriate response to a serious problem.

Can Dance

All right, I found a few websites that deal with yor question Cait. here they are:

http://www.kjsl.com/~lindav/notrain.htm
Here is a good blog about the topic: http://razorbackmama.blogspot.com/2005/05/created-to-be-his-help-meet-chapter-1.html

This is just chapter 1, she does the whole book.
If you want more I can get more.

Phil

Phil, don't be ridiculous. It's no more "thug vigilantism" than CCTV cameras. No one is physically assaulted; men who abuse women verbally have their pictures taken so that, perhaps, they can be "outed" to their families who can hold them accountable. It seems a deeply appropriate response to a serious problem.

Hugo, don't be ridiculous. It's most certainly thug vigilantism and, in some cases, it may even be a form of blackmail, not to mention defamation.

First, you're saying that it's alright for women to abuse men photographically because those men allegedly "abused women verbally." You're fine with making strange women on the street the prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of men who have not been formally, legally accused of any wrongdoing whatsoever?

Second, there you go again with your double standard concerning "accountability." It's OK for women to demand accountability from men, but heaven help the man at this blog who has the balls to dare that men should demand accountability from women. You're a total sell-out, Hugo.

Finally, to what "serious problem" are you referring? A man can pay a compliment to a woman in public and she may claim "harassment." I guess you're perfectly OK with that. Again, you're a sell-out.

evil_fizz

A man can pay a compliment to a woman in public and she may claim "harassment."

As a point of clarification "I wanna lick your p***y!" is not a compliment. Neither is "I hate chauvinism. I just like women to do what they're told."

Hugo

If "selling out" means rejecting traditional manhood with its code of silence, its deification of the brutal and inarticulate, and its penchant for harassing the vulnerable -- then yes, I'm a sell-out.

Where do I pick up my check?

Caitriona

Can Dance, RazorbackMama seems to find Created to Be His Help Meet to be a book with advice that is not surprising and that is fairly decent. Of course, time has only permitted me to get through her reviews of chapters 1 and 2.

Can Dance

For the second link, I guess I was kind of thinking it was self explanatory, KWIM? the stuff she quotes from the book and its glaring one sidedness seem kind of pathetic to me. but, I am kind of assuming that you have a pretty good understanding of evangelical feminism here, no? if you are familiar with the arguments, I thought you would be able to "get" where the logic fails, that's all.at least from that POV.
Here is another one, I don't think she is a feminist, though I haven't spent enough time on her blog. she doesn't sound like one in many areas: regards.http://spunkyhomeschool.blogspot.com/2005/07/created-to-be-his-help-meet-part-1.html

mythago

You're fine with making strange women on the street the prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of men

They're shooting the men they take pictures of?!

Caitriona

Can Dance, I'm not a feminist, either. Most self-avowed feminists I read/meet these days aren't made of the same stuff as Julia Ward Howe or Mother Jones. They don't hold a candle to Carrie Bushyhead or to Jeannette Rankin.

Not that I agree with everything that Mrs. Pearl writes. That's why I wrote that I have spent some bit of the past 6 months reading and arguing with what she has written. But there are some bits of wisdom in what she writes. As RazorbackMama (or someone responding to her comments) said, her advice is often too simplistic and written in a way that implies a "one size fits all" application. Life being what it is, one size does *not* fit all.

But there are things about relationships that can be gleaned from her book, such as the admonition to wives to intentionally be more positive in how they deal with life and more cheerful in their relationships with their husbands. IME, intentionally moving toward a more positive outlook on life results in improved relationships all around and in a better ability to deal with life's difficulties.

I will probably spend more time, off and on, over the next year re-reading Mrs. Pearl's book. I will probably continue to pick through it and argue with it. I will definitely continue discussing it with my husband and picking his brain about it. And I'll positively continue to review her Biblical cites as I try to figure out just where in the world she came up with the interpretations with which I disagree the most. Through it all, I hope to continue to glean the good bits of advice from amidst that which does not fit my marriage.

Can Dance

Okay, I guess I assumed that you were of the feminist sort posting on this blog. that makes a bit more sense now. do you define yourself as a feminist in any sense? I certainly do not like to identify myself with the above poster and their anonymous rant condemning all feminism, and lumping it all in one category. I just think of myself as an equal partner with my dh, no head of the "house" stuff here, equally responsible for myself and children for their spiritual well being, etc. I don't think that I need a "spritiual leader" by defacto bc I am a woman and I appreciate that modern feminism has created an opportunity for me to work with protection against potential sexual harassment and being held back because of my gender. as an evangelical (though in this society I cringe at the political images it has conjured up)I do hold the scriptures to be truth in and of themselves. and I do think that in the NT there was a pretty radical shift, though subtle, toward mutuality of the sexes as it was before the Fall (whether or not that was "literal"). and I do SAH with my child (almost children) because I think its important, though I struggle with it because its not like I am one of those career woman who made a very conscience choice to leave the work place. this is all I have done with my life so far. not that its bad or anything. so that is the headspace I post from.
And to me, there is perhaps some good things you could derive from the Pearls. but to me, its like having to wade through a lot of notsonice stuff to get to the good. including their child rearing advice which is based on behaviouralism and has no basis in the Bible. children are not animals, and I think the underlying methodology of Pearlism is their idea that bx can be modified like animals. that is very distasteful to me and insulting of a child's humanity. I just can't view hitting a 6 month old with a switch as a positive thing. nor can I view Debi pearls advice to stay with your husband, even if he beats and sexually abuses your children as a good thing.*shrug*

Caitriona

Can Dance,

Sorry I didn't get back to this sooner. It's been rather busy around here. I'll intersperse my comments, but this may take a while. I've got teens running in and out and dinner cooking.

Okay, I guess I assumed that you were of the feminist sort posting on this blog. that makes a bit more sense now. do you define yourself as a feminist in any sense?


You're not the first to make that assumption. I find it interesting that people tend to assume that I'm a feminist because I post to Hugo's blog, but they don't assume that stanton et al are pro-feminists.

I don't define myself as a feminist. Most modern feminists I read/hear aren't the same type of feminist as Julia Ward Howe, Mother Jones, Jeanette Rankin, nor Mary Chase Smith. Their principles encompassed far more than what I read of the modern feminists movement.


I certainly do not like to identify myself with the above poster and their anonymous rant condemning all feminism, and lumping it all in one category.


Would that all who post in such manners learn to listen to the other side more and to rant less.


I just think of myself as an equal partner with my dh, no head of the "house" stuff here, equally responsible for myself and children for their spiritual well being, etc. I don't think that I need a "spritiual leader" by defacto bc I am a woman and I appreciate that modern feminism has created an opportunity for me to work with protection against potential sexual harassment and being held back because of my gender. as an evangelical (though in this society I cringe at the political images it has conjured up) I do hold the scriptures to be truth in and of themselves.


How do you balance the two statements I've placed in bold?


and I do think that in the NT there was a pretty radical shift, though subtle,


I don't feel that the shift is all that subtle. I think that's why I often hear things like, "It's too hard to live my life as Jesus taught!"


toward mutuality of the sexes as it was before the Fall (whether or not that was "literal").


How do you see mutuality of the sexes before the fall?


and I do SAH with my child (almost children) because I think its important,


I agree! It's very important for children to have someone (a parent, grandparent, or someone close who cares for them deeply) available at all times. I now think it's even more important when they are teenagers.


though I struggle with it because its not like I am one of those career woman who made a very conscience choice to leave the work place. this is all I have done with my life so far.


Why do you say, "This is all I have done with my life so far?" What you are doing is a wonderful gift to your children and to society at large. It is extremely important!


not that its bad or anything. so that is the headspace I post from.0


:-)

It's not a bad "headspace," IMO, except for your feeling that "this is all I have done." What you are doing is wonderful. Never forget that.


And to me, there is perhaps some good things you could derive from the Pearls. but to me, its like having to wade through a lot of notsonice stuff to get to the good.


Have you read their books? I'm finding that there's not so much of the not-so-nice stuff in Created to Be His Help Meet as some websites would have you believe. It's true that I don't agree with everything Mrs. Pearl has written in the book. But it gives me something to think about and makes me ponder through what I *do* think and feel, makes me analyze my own thoughts and feelings. That's a good thing, IMO.


including their child rearing advice which is based on behaviouralism and has no basis in the Bible. children are not animals, and I think the underlying methodology of Pearlism is their idea that bx can be modified like animals. that is very distasteful to me and insulting of a child's humanity.


That's an interesting concept to me. Why do you find it insulting to a child's humanity to acknowledge that positive and negative rewards work in teaching a child acceptable and unacceptable behavior?

If my children do the things they are supposed to do, they are rewarded with positive attention - a movie night, lots of gratitude, more trust and privileges, etc. If they do things they aren't supposed to do, they are rewarded with negative attention - loss of privileges, grounding, lectures (sometimes they'd rather that I was a parent who would spank them soundly and get it over with).

My children aren't animals, and I expect them to behave accordingly. My animals are treated well, but they aren't allowed in the house (except for our 9yo family dog who has us all well-trained) and they don't get the same privileges (or responsibilities) the children have. But no matter what, we all teach our children with various behavior training, whether for good behavior or for bad.

I'd much rather teach an infant not to bite by giving a gentle tugging of a single hair when that infant first starts to bite while nursing than wait until I have a toddler on my hands who can do some major damage to people. (I've seen that happen.) I'd rather use positive reinforcement to teach manners at a young age than to deal with a rude child I'd not want to take anywhere. As far as I can see, there's nothing insulting nor dehumanizing about that.

I *do* however, have a major problems with parents like the one who told the vice-principal of a school where I taught, "You are *not* to punish my daughter. She is a free spirit, and she will remain a free spirit. You will do nothing to discipline her." This particular "free spirit" had been unruly and disrespectful in classes and refused to do as instructed by her teachers. I think that particular parent needed some "behavioral modification" herself.


I just can't view hitting a 6 month old with a switch as a positive thing. nor can I view Debi pearls advice to stay with your husband, even if he beats and sexually abuses your children as a good thing.*shrug*


I went to the link posted that has the child-rearing book. I saw one or two statements about *tapping* a young child with a switch in order to get the child's attention when you tell the child, "No." Nowhere did I read anything advocating switchings such as I remember kids getting when I was a child.

As for her advocating wives staying with their husbands, it wasn't written as you've insinuated in your statement above. Both Debi and Michael Perl advocate a wife turning her husband in to the authorities if he's done anything illegal (abuse, theft, etc). But they also advocate that the wife remain married to her husband, visit him in jail, minister to him, be a good witness of Christian fidelity to him, pray for him, and be there for him when he is released from jail.

That would not be an easy thing to do. But it may well be the Christ-like thing to do. Thankfully, I'm not in a position to have to pray about that one to determine God's leading in such circumstances.

mythago

I saw one or two statements about *tapping* a young child with a switch in order to get the child's attention when you tell the child, "No.

Yeah, no implied there there or anything.

Caitriona

mythago, there's a HUGE difference between a tap and a beating. I prefer firmly *holding* a little one's hand and giving a firm "no," but a light tap isn't abusive by a long shot, IME.

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