Friday, September 08, 2006

Submission, sacrifice, and more

I've dropped by "BaylyBlog" a few times lately, either by following someone else's link or because a particular post came up for discussion elsewhere. Thus I discovered the interesting comments on their August 29th post. They seem to be no longer permitting comments to that post, which I find very telling.

The discussion began with someone posting an interesting question regarding the difference between sacrificial love and submission in a marriage. The question gave specific examples worded in a gender-neutral way, without giving a hint as to whether it was the husband or wife who was doing the sacrificing/submitting. During the ongoing discussion, once it became clear that this comment poster was a woman, things became a bit...well, downright weird. All of a sudden Tim Bayly felt compelled to comment:

No, I'm not suggesting women should be silent on this blog. But deferential to our office and teaching authority? Yes. And characterized by a certain modesty when addressing men here? Also, yes. If you watch, you will see such godliness among some of our sisters here, praise God.

Anyhow, if any of you have any suggestions in these matters, please send them to me. I'd be grateful.

And for the record, the rebellious false witness, Mrs. Light Morton, has only once (so far in this discussion) had any part of her false witness removed--a quite short phrase, at that. So don't be bamboozled into pitying her because the big bad blog bully is keeping her from making her case from Scripture. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's Scripture itself, and its Author, the Holy Spirit, that denies her this opportunity.

Of course, I might be convinced to change my tactics in dealing with her impiety and silence her completely. But to this point, Light has been given almost complete freedom to express her rebellion and darkness.

This little tirade was symptomatic of a number of things, most of which I'd rather not write about, in part because they are so obvious as not to merit mention. But what isn't so obvious is the idea that Tim Bayly has that his position of teaching elder in his local church gives him some sort of authority over women outside his church --- that they should defer to him. I strongly recommend that readers follow the link above and read the discussion in its entirety. Has the woman Mr. Bayly describes as a rebellious false witness given any reason to be attacked publicly with such accusations? Is Mr. Bayly the sort of man you would want on the elder board of your church?

Back to the substance of the question posted...I have found it amusing that many teachers will describe the same actions as either sacrificial love or submission depending on whether or not the person doing the act is a husband or wife. This often seems like hair-splitting to me, especially when they stridently insist that a husband never, ever submits and that a wife never, ever loves sacrificially. Thus, when a wife gives up all her time, interests, energy, and sleep to devotedly care for her ill husband because she loves him so deeply, this is submission. It is not sacrificial love, according to these folks. When a husband does so, however, it is sacrificial love. When a wife always lets her husband pick where they go on vacation and, out of love, cheerfully goes along with plans that she finds unpleasant at best, she is being submissive. When a husband decides, "Hey, I've insisted on my way about vacations for the past 37 years. Maybe I should submit myself to my wife's desires just this once" --- he is mistaken about submitting, because he is really loving her sacrificially. When a wife donates part of her liver to her husband, even though he would never ask for such a thing and weeps over the fact that her loving sacrifice (his words) overwhelms him, she is really submitting, because that is what wives do---according to these teachers. A husband who does this is, of course, loving sacrificially.

And, also according to them, loving sacrificially is the more honorable and noble thing, the higher thing, the thing that men do. Submission is merely what is required of women. And, as one Bayly fan commented, "a husband is superior in wisdom, logic, and the ways of the world, which is why he is the final decision maker".

By the way, the post that provoked Tim Bayly's accusations read, in part:

As regards submission vs sacrificial love, reread all the comments about it. We're talking about submission and sacrificial love in marriage. Apparently nobody can tell unless they know what the sex of the person is. The exact same response to a situation suddenly becomes a head-scratcher because we don't know what word to use to describe it? I postulate that it's because they are interchangeable. I would give up my life for my husband, as he would give up his life for me. I daily submit myself to his needs, preferences, and desires, as he does mine. Some would call that rebellious and unbiblical. I call it Christlike.

It's Mrs, by the way. Light is my first name.


  1. wow, these guys seem easily riled and not people I would like to have in leadership in my church!

    Whether they are correct in any of their assertions is now overshadowed by the tone of their posts and the strong accusations slung at Mrs M. The fact that they allowed another commenter to post "..She's just a woman, nothing to be afraid of!.." speaks volumes.

    I see no mandate for female commenters to 'submit' to these men as if they were married to them, or as if they were under their pastoral oversight. That's not to say that men and women shouldn't be courteous of course. It looks to me like they simply don't like Mrs M's line of argument and don't want to interact with her. I see no malice or discourtesy on her part, though I don't agree with her positon theologically.

    There's a lot of control freakery going on over there. I think they have gotten a wee bit too big for their boots and have forgotten that they are the editors of a blog, not the New York Times.

  2. Wowsers...remind me to never read over there...

    Methinks they have missed Ephesians 5, in which men and women were told to submit to each other....

    Yep, if you can't beat 'em, just call them a name....

  3. Or, if you can't beat 'em just falsely accusing them of trying to post something that was "particularly evil in its opposition to Scripture- not in its opposition to me." and then don't bother being honest and also posting the allegedly offending phrase that was particularly evil in its opposition to scripture.

    Me thinks he doth protest too much. The post that was deleted and tampered with contained much pertinent info that was in direct opposition to him and his gossipy pals and would have shown his accusations to be utter rubbish. After all, he already had his mind made up and has made his judgment of "feminist" and then I have to go and screw it up by writing about how I agree with the Danvers statement and a lot of things written on the CBMW website and I named names of other complementarians I agreed with. How could he allow that post to go through to his blog! :-)

    It only gets better over on that blog. After you are done reading the comments under the mutual submission thread, make sure to go to the math joke thread and read the comments there.

    It truly scares me that men like this are elders in churches. Men who could care less about the truth or making sure they support anything they say with the truth but men who enjoy making being mean to another man's wife a sport.

    I may not agree with Light on all that she believes but the point she made was a very good one and one that could have been answered if it were not for the sloppy scholarship exhibited on that blog. Not to mention that she was blatantly falsely accused of saying something she clearly did NOT say.

    But, who needs scholarship when you can fling out some big words and stinging pronouncements and throw around your credentials and scare people into believing they need to submit to your "authority".

    It is very telling that not one of those guys with the big words and the higher knowledge of biblical things came out against some of those very mysoginistic comments made by Martin.

    BTW, I believe that Martin was posting those things as bait and it seems like he succeeded in proving what he set out to prove. No one corrected his statements concerning women. Too bad that the blog owner and his buddies didn't catch on. They were too busy sentencing the accused without a fair trial.

  4. I found that post from Chewymom's blog, and then when I was scrolling thru my Bloglines, I came across yours. THANK YOU for addressing this guy thinking he has authority over women on the internet just b/c he's an elder in a church. Of course, the rest of it is disturbing as well, but for some reason, that really riled me.

  5. Oh, your post is excellent, excellent.

    BTW, if you can read Greek, you can see that the Greek says, "Everyone submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ, wives to their own husband." I did a paper on that at Dallas Seminary. The two phrases are linked together. It doesn't say "Wives submit." It just lets the words "submit" be supplied from the previous verse.