Thank Yous
First of all, I want to say thank you to all who sent me messages of support and encouragement. To those who defended me publicly, you bore the reproach due me, and for that I am humbled and grateful. To whose who privately messaged me support and encouragement, I am grateful to and for you as well. The vast majority of those who privately messaged me words of support were women, which I find remarkable, but for reasons I don’t care to speculate about. More than a few of those women identified themselves as victims of abuse of various kinds. I don’t have a major observation about that, but I do find it interesting, and, in a way I hope you will understand, encouraging.

I want to especially thank those of you who objected to the post(s) and disagree with me on the matters at hand and yet reached out in kindness and encouragement. You awe me. I hope my personal responses to you have honored the mercy you’ve shown me.

Why I Haven’t Taken the Post Down Until Now

The original post and its follow-up are nowhere near worth all the mess they’ve caused. And yet, the truth is worth the mess. That is why I have not taken them down until now — not, as some suppose, to “dig in my heels,” but mainly because I did not want anyone to think I was trying to “cover myself,” or sweep the post under the rug, so to speak. I preferred to leave it up for the reader’s judgment and take my lumps if I needed to. This seemed a nobler course than giving the appearance I was trying to hide what I’d done. But secondly, and probably more importantly, as I said both in an email conversation with Rachel Held Evans and in a phone call with a trusted counselor, I was concerned about removing the “source text,” as it were. What I mean is, if I removed the original post(s), all that would remain would be the coverage and analysis of it, some of which was supportive, some of which was dissenting but irenic, but much of which ascribed to me beliefs that I not only reject but abhor. I don’t offer any of that as an excuse, but merely as my reason. My fear was that by taking down what I said, people could not be free to read it and make up their own minds, for good or ill. All that would be left was what others said I said.

And yet I’ve decided I can live with that. I deserve a lot of the chastisement I am receiving, and the rest I give up to God, who is more than able to sort out truth from lies, understanding from misunderstanding. He doesn’t need the help I’ve tried to pridefully offer him. I can trust him with my reputation.

What I First Did Wrong
My first foolishness in posting the original excerpt was not to heed Douglas Wilson’s disclaimer in the beginning of his book. He characterizes it as a “blunt instrument” and describes the particular audience he is writing for. That should have been my first indication either not to post the piece at all or to have at least posted it with a sufficient prefatory warning or more parsing of context. Either way, the blame for the insensitive bluntness of the blog post is not his, but totally mine.

One early Saturday morning my wife needed something from the grocery store. Like a good complementarian man, I went to get it for her. As I said, it was early, and I hadn’t had any coffee yet, so I was groggy, barely saved, and only borderline competent. As I staggered out of the store, a man stuck a microphone in my face and asked me a question about marijuana dispensaries. I didn’t even know what that was. “Like, a vending machine?” I asked. “No,” he said, and explained. He asked a general question about my thoughts on them. I took about five seconds to gather my idiotic thoughts and then shared my genius for his recording device. He was a reporter for the local paper and every week they run a “man on the street” segment on a hot potato issue. When he asked me for my name and occupation, my brain said, “Oh. no.” but my mouth complied. Then he took my picture. I felt worse and worse on the drive home. As soon as I got home, I called the newspaper, asked for the reporter, and kindly asked him not to run my opinion on the matter. I did not regret my opinion or retract it. I still don’t. I still believe now what I believed then on the matter, even after months of coffee. And yet, if my opinion had run the next morning, with my sleepy little face over it with the caption “Jared Wilson: Pastor, Middletown Springs,” I would then be known as “the pastor who talks about marijuana.” This is not the public face I want, and more importantly, it is not the public face my church deserves.

Apologies
I thought about that grocery store incident a lot in the last few days, and that’s why my first apology is due to my brothers and sisters in The Gospel Coalition and to my other complementarian brothers and sisters. I have brought ill repute upon you with my foolishness and rashness, and I ask your forgiveness.

But more importantly, my words hurt others whose pain runs deep and whose healing is difficult. I don’t want to load this apology up with words, because it is the most important part of this to me, and I want to be clear: For those offended or shamed, or otherwise and in any way burdened by my blog posts and my comments, your pain in this matter is totally my fault. Please forgive me.

Because I don’t believe a confessor should have the last word, the comments are open. And as before, you can still email me at jared AT gospeldrivenchurch DOT com.

Thanks for reading.

Christ is all.

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Comments:


411 thoughts on “Some Reflections, Just One Explanation, and Apologies”

  1. Darryl Dash says:

    Thank you, Jared.

  2. Clark says:

    Is there anyway to read the follow up post? I was halfway through and got disconnected.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      Clark, no, I’m sorry; it has been deleted.

      1. duane says:

        I just came across these blog entries by chance today.. I found them very interesting… including the response, which of course once posted to the Internet can never be removed or deleted. Google caches everything, pretty much forever. So… for those of you interested in still reading these posts… just google them, click on the faint arrows to the right that appear when you hover over the proper search result, then click the link that says “cached”.

  3. thank you, jared. this act of humility speaks volumes and is greatly appreciated.

  4. Dianna says:

    Thank you for this, Jared. I appreciate your humble consideration here, and though portions of this discussion were fumbled, I am glad for the humility and contrition that this post shows. While people may not be willing to forgive you or Doug (and that is their prerogative), being able to make a sincere, contrite apology is half the work.

    Thanks.

  5. Scott says:

    I had major problems with your original post and follow-up, but I never thought they should be removed. I did, however, think you should apologize for some of what it brought about.

    This post goes far beyond what I hoped you would do. It honors your fellow Christians and brings glory to God.

    Thank you.

    Christ is indeed all.

    1. James Wilder says:

      Well said, Scott.

    2. Ali J Griffiths says:

      Agreed. Thank you Jared.

  6. Paige says:

    Jared, I would still like some biblical answers. I would like to recommend that everyone still engage the topic and continue the dialogue: http://rachelheldevans.com/sex-submission-response

    1. taco says:

      Sadly, the excellent answers that were given to you and ignored by you are now deleted.

    2. Charity says:

      Dear Jared,

      I am so thankful for your post here – not only because it displays humility and strength of character, but also because it is a step toward continuing loving relationships with those with whom we strongly disagree. I believe that engaging gracefully and respectfully with those who believe differently – or see the world differently – from the way we see it is essential to our discipleship in Christ.

      With Paige, I would also like to hear a further explanation of your perspective. I am fully egalitarian myself and actually work for an egalitarian organization, but many of my family members are wise, Christian complementarians. In your post above, you seem to be suggesting that you’d rather not continue to talk about this, and that is certainly understandable. I am genuinely interested in a complementarian discussion of sex and a response to the questions Rachel Held Evans brought up, and I would guess that I’m not alone. Perhaps you are not the person to deliver that response, or this is not the venue.

      Is there anyone who would be interested in fleshing out, gracefully, humbly, and biblically, what sex would look like within the submission/authority model?

      Thank you for your courage, Jared.

  7. Bill says:

    I didn’t get a view of the comment brou-haha, though I did read your posts in my feed reader, but I’m proud of you, brother, for the way you’ve handled everything. God bless!

  8. This speaks volumes of your character. May all of us Christians continue to exam our words, our actions, and our hearts and respond in the way of humility.

  9. Sandra Glahn says:

    Thank you for this. It helps.

  10. Gordon says:

    Uhm…what’s this about. I think I missed the stuff that caused this apology.

  11. SM says:

    Though I saw its potential for harm and hurt, I don’t necessarily think it had to be taken down because that doesn’t answer the claims made in the post or the questions raised by the post. I agree that the topic should be engaged more.

    BTW, men who practice mutuality go to the stores for their wives and even buy tampons.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      men who practice mutuality go to the stores for their wives and even buy tampons

      I am totally confident that they do. I was trying to make a joke about complementarians, or the stereotype of them. I am sorry if it offended.

      1. SM says:

        It did not. It was an attempt at humor. I apologize that it did not come across as such.

        Peace.

  12. Jim Powell says:

    Thank you. That was refreshing to read. I hope the people who commented for and against your two previous posts can take a cue.

  13. Jared,

    I’ve admired your work and your writing. Your apology has only increased my admiration. I chose to defend you publicly because I was sure you didn’t mean what others said you said. I still believe that.

    You’re a good man and a beloved brother in Christ.

    1. Enoch Thomas says:

      Come on!

  14. Kristin says:

    So, basically, you felt this was a strategy misfire. A “blunt instrument” in a place where a more gentle defense of complementarianism would’ve sufficed. Apology fail.

      1. DM says:

        For real…

    1. I don’t think that is fair. He’s still a complementarian, obviously. The issue that offended was the language which communicated things Doug & Jared never intended. I don’t think it’s fair to expect him to throw his theological framework of male-female relationships and biblical authority out the window, but I think the apology he’s issued obviously demonstrates a contrite heart for the pain he’s caused his sisters in Christ.

      Jared, I think this apology is a deep gesture of peace & love from you. Thank you.

      1. EMSoliDeoGloria says:

        Agree with Elizabeth. Thank you for the apology. I wasn’t one who thought you necessarily needed to take the posts down but I was deeply concerned with your promoting that view of sexuality as biblical.

        Family disagreements – even ones that take place in public – can be real and serious without being malicious. Grace to you and your family.

    2. JaredF says:

      Grace fail.

    3. Matt says:

      Kristin,

      So you’re not giving Jared an inch, huh? So gracious of you. Like Dianna’s comment above where she indicated that some “might not be willing to forgive you or Doug.”

      Since when can a Christian refuse to forgive?

      Jewish Ellie Wiesel can forgive his Nazi tormentors but Rachel Held Evans (or whomever) cannot forgive Jared or Doug for their alleged insensitivity (granting the point for the moment)? And you’re not giving any ground, either, it seems. Why are you so offended, by the way? Who did something to you?

      It is so inconceivable to “evangelical” feminists that some Christian – somewhere – would actually believe about the marriage bed what everyone, women included, believed about the marriage bed for, like, forever?

      And, in a day with RHE posts a “prayer” from her lesbian-minister buddy (straight-out of that bastion of evangelicalism… the UCC, no less), the WILSONS are the pariahs?

      Please.

      1. Pam says:

        Matt, I don’t think your comments help, either.

      2. BKJ says:

        Uh, what does Kristin’s response to this post have to do with Rachel Held Evans? I think Kristin could read this more charitably, but your bitterness and generalizations make things worse.

        Jared, thank you for your apology. I hope christians can continue to have substantive discussions about this and related topics about which we disagree.

      3. Sandra Glahn says:

        Matt, Careful there, please, about misrepresenting people. Rachel Held Evans posted this tonight: “Thank you, Jared Wilson and The Gospel Coalition for this gesture of humility and strength.”

    4. Sarah Moon says:

      I have to agree with Kristin. Our problem was not with the words used. The words used just exposed a deeply venomous truth about complementarianism that this apology does not change. You can apologize for the hurt you caused and I will accept that as a small step toward change, but you are still causing hurt as long as you continue to conquer and colonize women (even if you stop using those exact words to describe your actions)

      1. Bekah M says:

        Sarah,

        I understand and appreciate your concern about the abuse of a theological doctrine for sinful intentions. But I would urge you to separate those who wrongly interpret a doctrine to justify sin from those who would seek to live it out rightly.

        I can assure you that men who are complementarians who genuinely seek to reflect Christ as the servant-leaders in their homes are as brokenhearted for women who suffer abuse in the name of “authority” as you are.

        Praying that this will be a small step in a journey toward healing that perhaps we can all walk together.

      2. Rachael Starke says:

        Sister, have mercy. You do your cause no good right now.

      3. Ryan says:

        Repugnant Sarah. It has grown beyond stale for your ilk to make accusations like this at people like Jared.

        How about the violence egalitarianism does to the development of men and the harm it causes women in denying them sacrificial servant-leading men? Will you answer for that? I’m done letting people like you frame this debate as one of freeing from oppression when that is exactly what you intend to do to the roles God has given to his image bearers.

        1. Sarah Moon says:

          I love that you call me repugnant for calling complementarianism inherently oppressive and then proceed to say the same of my belief system. It’s silly.

        2. Sarah Moon says:

          Also, as a survivor of abuse, it is not my obligation to uncritically accept a weak apology for words that only empower abusers and harm survivors. I’m sure that was not the intention of Jared (Douglas I’m not so convinced about), but intentions are irrelevant. That’s what such words do, and this apology is not enough. I want to see repentance (which involves, as you know, a turning-away-from). Jared has not given that.

        3. Sharyl says:

          Ryan,
          Disagree if you wish, but I’m not sure how you could call roles you deem unbiblical “violent.” There’s nothing violent about what you just described. I understand if you don’t agree, or even find egalitarianism harmful, but please do not cheapen the meaning of the word for those who need it to describe truly unspeakable acts.

        4. Lisa Robinson says:

          Sarah, Jared did not write the quote in question, only quoted it to make his point. While the imagery to describe sex in that manner was horrific and counter-productive, he apologized for using the quote. How about showing a little mercy.

      4. Becky says:

        Sarah, I’m curious as to who are these “women” that you assume Jared is taking any inappropriate sexual action toward? I am his wife. I am the only woman he has a sexual relationship with, and I can assure you he treats me with nothing but honor, respect and tenderness. It seems like that should matter.

        1. Sarah Moon says:

          I do not accuse Jared of inappropriate sexual action with women. I accuse him of silencing women’s voices, relegating them to positions of lesser leadership in the church, which is what complementarianism by its own definition does.

          1. Heather G says:

            Sarah,
            I understand you disagree with Jared’s complementarian stance. That said, it is a stance that he derives from scriptures that I think any reasonable person can see why he gets those conclusions, even if in the end run they do not come to the SAME conclusions. In other words, why hate Jared or “accuse” him simply because he honestly interprets the Bible differently than you? I’m sure his Biblical interpretation is not a stance he is holding because he is out to demean women. Even Peter said that Paul’s writings could be hard to understand – if you have a different understanding than Jared, try not to look down on him for it.

          2. Sarah Moon says:

            I neither “hate” Jared nor accuse him of things he does not admit to doing. I simply point out the harm his words and the philosophies behind them do to women and stand that I cannot accept his apology for his word choices when he continues to believe the harmful philosophies that they promote. I don’t see that as repentance, and therefore I must turn his apology down. I’m assuming he would respect that decision.

          3. Marty Duren says:

            Actually, Sarah, your refusal to forgive Jared for any reason is a sin in itself. When Peter asked Jesus how often he (Peter) should forgive (Matt. 18:22), Jesus did not base forgiveness on an apology or the repentance of the perpetrator. In fact, Jesus place the responsibility of forgiveness squarely on the shoulders of the offended: seventy times seven.

            That you refuse to forgive has nothing to do with what Jared wrote. This is shown in how you desire to parse his apology. It’s that you are disobedient to Christ in this matter. If you are a Christ follower you do not have the right to predicate your forgiveness on your opinion of his apology when you have been instructed to forgive in advance of it.

          4. Dan says:

            Sarah, you might read a post on grace someone wrote last fall.

            http://sarahoverthemoon.com/2011/11/11/throwing-the-grace-card/

    5. mel says:

      Well if you are a Christian then you behavior has failed also. If you aren’t then I doubt that anything he would have said would have made a difference.

      1. Ella says:

        Mel-

        You don’t have to be a Christian to be offended by what he said or to appreciate his apology. Thanks.

    6. Grace says:

      I agree with Kristin. I see nothing here beyond an acknowledgement that people were hurt by the post (which is rather obvious) and an admission of fault that the words were posted for the “wrong” audience (with an implication that those who objected aren’t capable of handling “bluntness”).

      Frankly, neither the bluntness of the passage nor the audience it was shared with were what critics of the post objected to, so to apologize for them is to apologize for issues no one has raised. What people objected to was the *meaning* of the passage and its implications for women in particular, and Jared has shown no indication that he grasps how both are dangerous and harmful.

      There are a lot of people I respect calling this post an act of humility. It disturbs me to see that phrase applied to a non-apology to women survivors of sexual violence prefaced with a comment that many other survivors sent supportive messages. What is the purpose of that statement? Who’s supposed to find it “encouraging?” I can’t imagine the people who found the original post triggering do. It looks to me to be a self-serving statement, not at all humble.

      1. Jared C. Wilson says:

        a comment that many other survivors sent supportive messages. What is the purpose of that statement?

        Grace, a couple of purposes. One, it is a way of thanking them publicly beyond what I could do privately. I have tried to respond to everyone who emailed me or “tweeted” at me, but it became too difficult to do so substantively. I received far too many messages to respond individually to them all. Secondly, it is a way for them to be at least acknowledged. A few indicated they didn’t feel comfortable commenting publicly. This was my way of getting everyone “heard,” even if in a small way. Everyone ought to have a voice at the table, I think.

        Thanks for your comment. I hear you saying that my apology cannot be believed or accepted by you, and I accept that.

        1. jane doe says:

          First you say: “The vast majority of those who privately messaged me words of support were women, which I find remarkable, but for reasons I don’t care to speculate about. More than a few of those women identified themselves as victims of abuse of various kinds. I don’t have a major observation about that, but I do find it interesting, and, in a way I hope you will understand, encouraging.”

          Then you say: “a couple of purposes. One, it is a way of thanking them publicly beyond what I could do privately. I have tried to respond to everyone who emailed me or “tweeted” at me, but it became too difficult to do so substantively. I received far too many messages to respond individually to them all. Secondly, it is a way for them to be at least acknowledged. A few indicated they didn’t feel comfortable commenting publicly. This was my way of getting everyone “heard,” even if in a small way. Everyone ought to have a voice at the table, I think.”

          um… those are two very different things you have said.

          Jared, you do a terrible job of understanding women who have been abused, raped. My HUSBAND (since pointing out the gender of the person is SO important) was raped (yep, happens to men too) and he threw up when reading your APOLOGY.

          You do not repent of HOW IMMENSELY AWFUL IT FEELS TO A MAN OR WOMAN who has been raped for you to use the language you did.

          Jesus didn’t “conquer” the church, as you FLAT OUT STATE men must do with women, and women must submit to, like… as you stated… Christ and the church.

          “CONQUER” is violent. How would YOU FEEL to be conqured sexually? What if it happened aganst your will… and you were traumatized by it… and then someone posts about how conquering you was biblical….

          YOU would feel like crap.

          You do not get it. I am SO SICK OF ABUSIVE CHRISTIANS WHO SEEK POWER AND CONTROL IN SO MANY WAYS.

        2. Kristin says:

          First, thank you. I do think this is a good step to take.

          Second, I find the first part of your apology troubling as well. “…To whose who privately messaged me support and encouragement, I am grateful to and for you as well.” You should have stopped there.

          I do not think it was important for anyone to know that they were women and/or abuse survivors; it seems to be a very self-serving statement, like Grace said. Not only that, you are (unintentionally?) using one group of victims to silence another…or at least minimize our hurt.
          In my head, I heard: “See, THESE woman/abuse survivors were totally fine with what I wrote…so you should be too! They’re just like you!”

          1. TMS says:

            From Grace: “It looks to me to be a self-serving statement, not at all humble.” <Agreed.

            From Kristin: “…To whose who privately messaged me support and encouragement, I am grateful to and for you as well.” You should have stopped there." < Agreed, again.

            I have read a number of apologies for various blog posts over the years and after I was done reading this one, I just had the sense that there wasn't authentic, true repentance happening. it came off as very weird and contrived.

        3. Grace says:

          I second what jane doe and Kristin said. You could have simply stopped at thanking people for their messages of support. Stating that many women survivors privately supported you, especially starting the post with that, completely undermines what you say later about the pain of survivors found your post triggering being your fault.

          Admitting “fault” for posting “blunt” words and sharing them with the wrong audience isn’t the same thing as admitting there was anything wrong with their content. Since nothing in this post materially addresses the objects I had with the original post (which were shared by many others), there’s no apology for me to accept or believe here.

          I also think it’s pretty appalling – though not surprising – that you have not addressed the issues of Doug Wilson’s handling of a confessed serial child molester in his congregation, of Nancy Wilson’s teaching that wives can never refuse their husbands’ sexual advances, or of Doug Wilson’s record of telling racist lies about American history.

        4. Doug says:

          Jared:

          So, I’m not a complementarian. I don’t think that people who are complementarians should have to apologize for being complementarians. However, you can be complementarian and not use words like “colonize” to describe sex.

          I have to say, I didn’t hear Kristin saying she doesn’t believe or accept your apology. I heard her saying she believes you’re sorry for the very limited range of stuff you apologized for, but that there is more to address. Further, the things left to address are more significant than the things you touched on.

          The marijuana example you cited is one of saying exactly what you meant to say, but realizing that it would be received wrongly. If that is to mean, along with your caution about D.W.’s “blunt instrument” preface, that you actually did mean those things, then while you may disagree, I hope you can understand why those of us who were hurt and offended by those words feel that you have yet to address them.

          It sounds like “I meant it. I shouldn’t have said it, but I meant it.” You meaning that women should be conquered and colonized (even if you somehow conceive of that as nonviolent, which is weird) is what’s at issue here. Further, your responding to Kristin by putting words in her mouth is exactly the problem. You act as if you have the right to define the realities of those around you. Please, muster all the humble language of this post and turn it on your actual problems here. Praying,

          Doug

          1. TMH says:

            Jared,

            apology accepted. I very much appreciate your words and the removal of the blogs. You made yourself vulnerable and took some lumps. I appreciate your bravery as well. It was the right thing to do.

            I would like to point out that I agree with Doug’s comment when he said that “you’re sorry for the very limited range of stuff you apologized for, but that there is more to address”. The issue that struck me the most was not the content of your original blog but rather your response, often condescending, to comments. At one point in your follow up post you had gone so far as recommending that a reader go back to “ESL” if they had a different interpretation of Douglas Wilson’s book than you did. Clearly you were feeling attacked which I am sure is what prompted the responses made in frustration rather than love. A large amount of Grace is in order from anyone believing in Christ. That being said, you will go a long way towards reconciliation by making a more complete apology. Please consider it … Even this can be used to Glorify God if you let it :).

          2. Jared C. Wilson says:

            TMH, thanks for your comment. Just to clarify, b/c I’ve seen this charge a few times already, it was not me who made the “ESL” comment, but Douglas Wilson.

          3. TMH says:

            Jared, you quoted Wilson in response to the comments made by others. Putting that one example aside, overall your responses to comments on both blogs were not done in love. To me, this was the greatest offense and one that is easily reconciled.

          4. Jared C. Wilson says:

            TMH, I see. I have seen those words attributed to me as the originator, so I was only trying to clarify.

            I did include my comments under the post in my apology (in the paragraph beginning “But more importantly”), but I understand if this apology is not deemed acceptable.

    7. Apologizing for harmful word choice vs. apologizing for harmful belief systems are two very different things. However, sometimes acknowledging hurtful words is a necessary first step and I, for one, appreciate Jared’s willingness to apologize, here.

      I still disagree with Jared Wilson’s belief system–I have first-hand experience with the horrific fallout of his theology– but I still have hope that our God of love can draw us together and help us overcome our divisions.

      As someone who has survived severe religious abuse, Jared’s original post triggered such a horrific wave of shame and fear in me that I could not respond to it for days. This apology is the first time I’ve been able to speak about it. And it was because I felt a moment of safety in the wake of Jared’s apology.

      I hope that this apology is the first step in reaching out to those of us who have been so wounded….

    8. Angel says:

      No, not apology fail. He has offered a clear, concise, sincere apology to those who were hurt by any of his words.

      Jared, you have demonstrated your true pastor’s heart. I imagine this whole ordeal has troubled you more than any us will ever know. Thank you for humbling apologizing, serving, and leading!

  15. Jason says:

    Strong work.

  16. Lindsay Tevebaugh says:

    Thank you

  17. Mike says:

    A lot of passion and outrage has been on display over here for a few days. Now that this issue is behind us and Jared has graciously apologized to any who were offended, let’s keep that outrage going. Let’s now direct that passion and indignation towards more things that matter.

    Let’s jump all over those bloggers and authors who deny Scriptural innerancy, substitutionary atonement, and the exclusivity of Christ. Let’s go after those who teach that justification comes by faith plus works. Let’s join together to defend the gospel from those who would attempt to pollute it with law.

    Will you RHE readers join us in this? Together we might could see a modern reformation take place.

    1. Wes Spears says:

      Mike, by making that sort of statement, you encourage what we all want to avoid. Not all of us believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. That word is historically new and doesn’t fit with the Bible I look at. Not all of us believe that substitutionary atonement accurately describes what happened on the Cross. Neither did many people until the Reformation. Before and since, there have been many ways to describe what happened. What you asked everyone to do is purposefully attack and exclude those who disagree with us. That’s the opposite spirit that Jared (I believe) is seeking to encourage by apologizing.

      1. Mike says:

        So we will go to battle over a complimentarian blog post that was too harsh, but we won’t go to battle over the defense of the substitutionary atonement of Christ because that would stir up division?

        I’ve only been a believer a few years, so maybe I am missing something here (I still have a lot to learn). But, how is that right?

        Are there really Christians here who will die on the hill of egalitarianism, but waive the white flag when it comes to crucial, orthodox doctrinal truths that are at the heart of Christianity?

        I am so confused.

        1. Mike,

          Yes, there are. Because substitutionary atonement is because but one model among seven or eight convincing and viable explanations of the work of Jesus on the cross. It wasn’t the first explanation offered and wasn’t the dominant explanation until the reformation or thereabouts. Jesus saves by his life as well as his death. Personally I’m happy with the substitutionary atonement model and it’s the main one I rely on, but it’s not the only one by any means.

          However, any model of human relationships that isn’t fully egalitarian is for me a rejection of one of the fundamental messages of the gospel – that in Christ Jesus, any cultural distinctions that are made on the basis of gender, social status and religious/ethnic heritage are worthless and utterly irrelevant because of the cross. To me, advocating anything other than egalitarianism undermines the atonement. I guess few would go that far, but there you go.

          1. Quick clarification – I should say, I wouldn’t for a moment ‘waive the white flag when it comes to crucial, orthodox doctrinal truths that are at the heart of Christianity’ but I don’t think substitutionary atonement is the only way of appreciating the undeniably essential truth that salvation is only found in Jesus.

          2. Mike says:

            Very interesting. Thanks for sharing Andrew.

          3. Bentley says:

            Andrew,

            Thank you for your level-headedness in responding to Mike. However, I do think some clarification is in order.

            Regarding the fact that the substitutionary theory is one of around 8 viable ways to explain what happened at the cross, while no doubt true is, I believe, to do injustice to the importance of the doctrine. And to suggest that it is something of a more recent development (reformation onward) is, in my opinion, to say Scripture didn’t say it when it was written and to play-down the earlier church’s understanding of what Christ did. You could say that it took the church going through it’s different understandings (some faulty) to get to the healthier and more robust understanding we have today. And I’m sure 500 years from now will have been further built upon our present understanding, if God allows. I must say that I do believe, as I’m sure you do, that what happened at the cross is indeed wonderfully multi-faceted. But I do think the doctrine of substitionary atonement is of central importance while at the same time not denying the multiple facets of Christ’s death.

            Take these quotes, for example, taken from the chapter on Atonement from the book Historical Theology stressing Christ’s substitionary death long before the reformation:

            “Because of the love he had for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, in accordance with God’s will, gave his blood for us, and his flesh for our flesh, and his life for our lives.” – Clement of Rome, Letter of the Romans to the Corinthians, 49, in Holmes, 85; ANF, 1:18.

            “Oh, the surpassing kindness and love of God! He did not hate us, or reject us, or bear a grudge against us. Instead, he was patient and forbearing; in his mercy he took upon himself our sins. He himself gave up his own Son as a ransom for us — the holy one for the lawless, the guiltless for the guilty, “the just for the unjust” [ 1 Pet. 3:18 ], the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal. For what else but his righteousness could have covered our sins? In whom was it possible for us, the lawless and ungodly, to be justified, except in the Son of God alone? O the sweet exchange! O the incomprehensible work of God! O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous man, while the righteousness of one should justify many sinners!” – The Epistle to Diognetus, 9, in Holmes, 547; ANF, 1:28. The text has been rendered clearer.

            “It was necessary that the debt owed by everyone should be paid, and this debt owed was that everyone should die. For this particular reason, Jesus Christ came among us…. He offered up his sacrifice on behalf of everyone, yielding his temple [i.e., his body] to death in the place of everyone…. And so it was that two wonderful things came to pass at once: the death of everyone was accomplished in the Lord’s body, and death and corruption were completely done away with by reason of the Word that was united with it. For death was necessary, and death must be suffered on behalf of everyone, so that the debt owed by everyone might be paid.” – Athanasius, On the Incarnation of the Word, 20, in NPNF2, 4:47. The text has been rendered clearer.

            “[W]e came to death through sin; he [Christ came to it] through righteousness: and, therefore, as our death is the punishment of sin, so his death was made a sacrifice for sin.” – Augustine, On the Trinity, 4.12.15, in NPNF1, 3:77. (italics added). The text has been rendered clearer.

            “If, therefore, … no one can pay except God, and no one ought to pay except man: it is necessary that a God-man should pay it.” – Anselm, Why God Became Man, 2.6, in Anselm, 319–20.

            And finally, regarding that egalitarianism is a must since it makes most sense of one of the fundamental messages of the gospel that all cultural distinctions are worthless, I would just say that while truly all are one in Christ Jesus, that idea is further nuanced by other Scriptures and can’t be allowed to render other passages meaningless. As an example, on the issue of husbands and wives and leadership and submission take the nuance Ephesians 5:22-28 adds:

            “22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
            25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

          4. Hi Bentley

            Thanks for that. Yes, I’m very happy to acknowledge that penal substitutionary atonement has strong biblical precedent and your quotes illustrate helpfully that it has been espoused in some forms throughout the history of the Church (though to be really pedantic, Anselm’s view is not generally seen as being PSA, and Athanasius too is often seen as arguing for the significance of the self-sacrifice of the son of God, not so much the outcome of a judicial process, if I recall, but that doesn’t undermine your key point, that the idea has been common through church history – yes, it has). But the recapitulation and so-called ‘ransom to Satan’ models were the dominant ones in the subapostolic era. I just wanted to point out to Mike that it is possible to believe Jesus saves and not be too happy with the most commonly-stated explanation of how he saves, and help him understand why people might not want to rally to that one particular cause as he narrowly defined it.

            And yes, clearly I know the biblical texts you cite and I have wrestled with them a number of times. For me, Gal. 3:28 is foundational, one of the key statements of Pauline theology, and I have to read everything else in that light. I consider it to be so significant and prioritise it over (for example) the Ephesians text because it is such a big brush, bold and comprehensive statement. The Timothy passages about women’s role in ministry and leadership, the Corinthians passages about headcoverings and women’s role in public worship and the passage you cite all read to me as important but contextually-restricted and culturally-conditioned statements when compared with the great eternal foundational truth of oneness in Christ Jesus, and so I couldn’t agree with any interpretation of these passages that compromised the bigger perspective I see in Galatians. I think it is much easier to say what I just said about Timothy and 1 Cor than Eph, though, to be really honest, but a) it is practical guidance and instruction about behaviour more than a clear theological statement IMHO and b) I’m not sure there’s a substantial difference between what Paul says to husbands and what he says to wives anyway in reality – how does ‘giving yourself up for her’ differ substantively from ‘submit to him’?

            It’s also worth pointing out that the Ephesians passage is talking about husbands and wives and not men and women in general, though I’d have to think through what practical difference that makes.

          5. Bentley says:

            Hi Andrew,

            While it is obvious that we disagree on some fundamental interpretation issues in this matter I certainly appreciate your tone and honest wrestling with what the Scriptures say. God bless my friend.

          6. Emily says:

            Like like like like like.

          7. jen says:

            nothing really to add here, other than I wish I were in the UK, so as to sit under Andrew’s teaching. Spot on, friend, spot on.

    2. Dawn says:

      Mike you really need to go do a VERY THOUROUGH study of church history and just exactly how we got the bible in it’s form today. Bart Erhman is a good start. What you say encourages violence and the subjugation of anothers will. That is not the way of peace!

      1. Mike says:

        I’m not talking about violence, I’m talking about directing our outrage (verbally or in print) towards more issues that are important. I think this can be done with grace.

      2. Ehrman is certainly an interesting chap to read but I wouldn’t suggest you think his views are considered mainstream. He’s definitely on the radical wing on the issue of Christian origins and the authorship of the NT, but he has some interesting angles on the issue. Just don’t assume he speaks for the whole of scholarship.

      3. Lee says:

        I’m not sure why a Gospel Coalition reader would suggest Ehrman. That’s sort of like a reader of a Roman Catholic blog suggesting reading Luther to best understand the correct view of justification.

  18. Abram says:

    Thank you for this, Jared.

  19. sam says:

    I find it ironic that people laud this as an act of humility when your lack of humility was on full display by the insults that you hurled at others in the previous comment sections. Where you questioned people’s intellect and projected an air of intelluctual superiority.

    For a man that advocates Gospel “centerness” you actions were anything but Gospel driven as you were unkind to those that you offended and you failed to take ownership of the words you wrote.

    I find this “apology” smacks of a forced apology of one with their proverbial hand in the cookie jar and now you begrudgingly feign an apology. This “apology” is too late in coming and therefore one has to question the intent of the “apology” now.

    Lastly, as a pastor, you failed to show the heart of a shepherd and you seemed to concerned with being right than concerned with the people that were hurt by your words and later wounded by your unkind prideful remarks.

    1. Paul says:

      You seem to know a lot about the hearts and motives of other people.

    2. Barbara says:

      “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
      (John 15:12 ESV)

      Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
      (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)

    3. Ryan says:

      Sad stuff Sam. Way to extend grace to someone.

    4. Ryan M. says:

      I have to agree with Sam. Jared, where is your apology to those who you were absolutely brutal and insulting to in the comment section of the original post? You acted as if anyone who disagreed with the views expressed by the now-infamous quote was simply too stupid to see your point of view. The shocking amount of hubris displayed by your comments questioning the “reading comprehension” abilities of the commenters belies the “humility” you’re being ascribed with by some here. Frankly, friend, if this is how you’re prone to react when brothers and sisters in Christ disagree with you, perhaps wisdom would dictate that you quit blogging altogether, rather than just removing one offending post.

      1. Jared C. Wilson says:

        Ryan M., I have edited the final apology to include the comments. I did not mean to leave those out but intended them to be included in “my words.” But you’re right that then saying “blog posts” excludes the comments underneath them. So I have added that phrase in to clarify that I mean to apologize for all of it, not just the posts. Thanks for pointing that out.

        1. Sharyl says:

          Thank you, Jared.

    5. David N says:

      Sam,

      Unless you are privy to some special communication from the Holy Spirit into Jared’s heart, you really can’t question the motives of an apology. When one asks for forgiveness, only a proud person refuses. I suspect that you simply don’t want to allow his apology to stand because it wouldn’t help the egalitarian cause to have humble complementarians rather than the angry, power-hungry caricatures that folk like Rachel Evans want us to be. Then again, I don’t even know that you are an egalitarian. You could simply be an ungracious person with some sort of axe to grind.

      1. Ali J Griffiths says:

        David N

        You criticise Sam for making assumptions and in the same breath try to caricature egalitarians, making wild assumptions about them and Sam? Hmmmm….

    6. Gordon says:

      Wow…what a gospel-centered response, Sam. #clearsthroat. When will we learn to do as Jesus did when he said, “…til 70 x 7″? I think you should reassess your attitude toward Jared’s apology. What have we become when we immediately judge someone’s motives instead of simply saying, “Okay…thank you. I accept your apology.” If my memory serves correctly…Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery…AND SHE DIDN’T EVEN APOLOGIZE!

    7. Abby says:

      Sam,

      According to your comment Jared was “anything but Gospel driven.”

      Refusing to accept an apology because it is “late in coming” is? Thanking God he didn’t think that way when he sent His son to atone for our sins, despite our meager, late in coming repentance.

    8. Laura says:

      I said some fairly harsh things on RHE’s website.

      But dang, the man said he was sorry. He’s sorry enough that he took down those posts even though that leaves other people’s possibly inaccurate characterizations of them in place. He acknowledged the pain his posts caused. And he explained it was open-mouth-engage-foot, and God knows I’ve been guilty of that before.

      I don’t know what else you could reasonably ask.

      1. Alison says:

        Well said.

    9. Ali J Griffiths says:

      Sam – it’s not for any of us to judge motives so let’s assume the absolute best of intentions.

  20. CG says:

    Though I thought your critics were being unfair and injudicious, this post moves me to tears. I thank God for you, brother, and your embrace of chastening for the sake of Christ, who though he was in the form of God did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, who humbled himself and endured punishment he did not deserve. I pray that the God of hope will fill you and your wife with all joy and peace, and that he will work in and through this whole mess for his glory and the benefit of his people.

  21. Sherry says:

    Jared, you are a Spirit-filled man, and you have taken the high road. I will “thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.”

  22. Jared,

    Thanks. You already know that I wasn’t among the ones offended, but thanks just the same for taking a humble, gracious stand here. Your apology isn’t the first I’ve seen in recent weeks from our camp for words spoken quickly and perhaps without the full ramifications considered. So instead of alienating at least one more person with this post, I am grateful for your humility, and trust more solidly your message (and means).

    I was reading Philippians earlier this morning (http://www.esvbible.org/Philippians+2/), mulling over the ways in which Christ became obedient, even to the most humiliating death possible, just asking, “Lord, make me like that. Help me to hardly count the cost.” There have been times in my faith when the cost has felt too much, and so I can’t help but count it constantly. But more and more the cross is worth any cost to me. Thank you for apologizing to those hurt, and thank you for extending it to TGC. This, to me, shows a man who considers nothing more highly than the cross.

  23. Denny Burk says:

    Jared,

    I appreciate your humility, brother. You are a man of God. It is difficult to trust the Lord with your reputation when you are being slandered, but praise the Lord for your setting the example for the rest of us. I pray for the grace to do the same when my time comes.

    “While being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23).

    For what it’s worth, I believe you to have acquitted yourself honorably through all of this. I am with you on all the reasons you cited for taking this post down. There’s so much wisdom in what you wrote. God bless you, brother!

    Denny

  24. Kathy Morgan says:

    Thank you for you words and taking the posts down.

  25. Kristin says:

    Thank you for your gracious response.

  26. John Gardner says:

    I am grateful for Gospel men who are brave enough to challenge us with difficult language (including what Doug Wilson calls a “Serrated Edge”), yet humble enough to express contrition when those words cause unintentional hurt.

  27. Roger Upton says:

    It seems to me that too many Christians bloggers (of which I am one, albeit not in the category of the TGC guys n gals) try to jump on any and all cultural phenomenons and hastily “formulate” a “gospel-centered” way of understanding them. (I put gospel-centered in quotes because, though I completely agree with being gospel-centered, it’s on its way to being reduced to another Christian buzzword, in my opinion.)

    Anywho, I think Wilson’s overall point of his controversial blog was that books like 50 Shades of Grey demonstrate men are failing women as being leaders of their homes (including the bedroom), therefore women are rebelling and reading trashy books. That’s about the gist of it, at least for me. And, if that was a correct summary of the original post, I agree with him. (I did think the Doug Wilson quote was creepy for a gospel-centered guy, especially the whole conquer and penetrate thing.)

    If I understand Jared Wilson’s reflections above, he’s genuinely contrite that he caused confusion and hurt. My advice is, DO NOT blog about something that you’re not completely comfortable with just to be the first on the “gospel-centered response” bandwagon, and when it comes to hot-button issues like sex, tread even more carefully and be even more gospel-centered.

    Satan’s had a field day with this one, fellas.

    1. Ali J Griffiths says:

      Why does the sin of women reading dodgy inappropriate books have to be attributed to men? Unfortunately we are quite capable of sinning in all kinds of ways without any contribution or help from men at all. Don’t take on more responsibility than you need to.

  28. Ryan Strieby says:

    Jared,

    I your apology shows a deep amount of grace and humility. In many ways I find it unnecessary however I understand that sometimes in defense of truth we can do more harm than good. I understand how you may feel that the content of the post may not have been wise given the venue and perhaps some of your responses may have been harsher than necessary or at least perceived that way. I however found the original post to have been a worthwhile endeavor. I understand some will see this as a win for their camp and will continue to paint both Jared and Doug Wilson with harsh and dark colors. The things that both Jared and Doug were accused of are sickening. Jared as you are aware God knows your reputation, he knows your heart (this is both comforting and frightening) and you are right to trust Him with the results of all that you do including every blog post and random interview. The Lord will uphold his servants. There is a place for sharp words, for a prophetic voice, even when it causes hurt to many. It is my hope that recent events would not silence you. We need more prophets.

  29. Bill Kinnon says:

    Well done, Jared.

  30. Vicki says:

    Thank you brother. I appreciate your humble and sincere apology. I am a complementarian – though not in the way most complementarians define it. I believe in the uniqueness of man and woman made in the image of God and complementary to one another, submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ. Sometimes I think egalitarians and complementarians are simply looking at this mystery from different viewpoints, and thus explaining and approaching it differently. We are after all, peering through a glass darkly – and love IS the more excellent way.

  31. Jared C. Wilson says:

    Folks, I’m stepping away from the computer for the night. I only mention that b/c if you’re a first-time commenter, your comment will go into moderation. Please be patient; this doesn’t mean it’s being rejected, only that it will be morning until I can approve it to appear.

    That’s just the way the comment system is set up; I’m not a techie guy so I don’t know how to fix it.
    If you’ve commented before, it should already recognize you as an “approved” commenter and your comment should just go straight through to appear.

    One of the stipulations of my comment policy is that you can say whatever you want about me, but I only ask that you please be respectful of each other. Thanks.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      Oh, also: I also request that you not use profanity. Not for my sake, but for your fellow commenters’. Any comments including profanity will be edited or deleted.

  32. Thank you so much for this, Jared.

  33. Chris Hubbs says:

    Jared, you are to be commended for your guts and humility in posting this apology. Thank you.

  34. Pam says:

    Thank you, Jared.

  35. J. Michael Matkin says:

    “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” James 1:19-20

    We ALL failed this one. Jared needed to apologize, but he’s not the only one.

    1. Hannah says:

      And all God’s people said, “Amen.”

  36. EstaAnn Ammerman says:

    Am I missing something? It sounds like you were saying that you still feel this way, but your sorry it got out and is causing the coalition and your church trouble. That you see this as a small issue and your church should be know for so much more then this. You made no apology to me. Unfortunately, I am one of those who did not have the opportunity to read your blog. You said you took it down. I’m wondering why you took it down. Was it so that you wouldn’t be known as the pastor who talks about women being submissive to men? I’m sorry, It is hard for me to hear much of anything else a pastor and the people who support you and this view say. This belief will always spill over into your other teachings. This is a fundamental principle of LOVING ANOTHER AS JESUS LOVED US which is part the Greatest Commandment Jesus gave. If you don’t get this one right, you can’t get much else right in HIS book. This only means that I vehemently disagree with you and I am glad we live in a free country. I’m sure you will not mind that I do not value you teachings as I do not mind you not valuing mine. You will get use to it and learn to continue to love, respect and have mercy and compassion for those who disagree with you. May the Lord always be with you. Peace, EstaAnn Ammerman

    1. Heather G says:

      EstaAnn,
      This is sorta interesting. We had that big discussion a year ago on your facebook wall about men and women in marriage, and you were really in agreement with husbands being the leaders and wives submitting to them. I wonder why you’re now giving Jared a hard time?

      1. EstaAnn says:

        Heather Goodman! That was a discussion with a privacy setting and one that was very complicated, but I am glad you did bring this up here. I tried to find that conversation and gave up. I may have deleted it. Anyway, from my response to Jared I see I have jumped the gun. Dan shared Rachel’s response to Jared and it cleared things up for me. I give you my sincere apologizes Jared. I must do better and not respond in such an offensively defensive way. I didn’t even read your blog. I was a victim of male dominance and sexually abused at the age of 18. It was a very violent experience. I am against male dominance physically as well as politically, socially and especially when it comes to my relationship with the LORD and doing what I believe is right. I will never tolerate anything less than equality when it comes to defending the Truth for the Lord. I will share this since Heather probably peaked your curiosity. “The truth is Heather and I both agree on when it comes to submission there is something very loving and natural about allowing oneself to be vunerable to your husband knowing he loves you and that you trust and respect him. It creates a bond so strong that nothing can seperate our love and commitment to each other. Another thing that is missing when it comes to the understanding of Authority is men in general have the ability to protect others. This is power and this is not the same as authority, but people get this confused. It is misunderstood that those who are physically strong have a right to be in charge even when they do not have the emotional maturity or intellect to be in charge. I retract my position. I will consider your teachings. Peace my brother in the Lord. EstaAnn

  37. JohnM says:

    Jared,

    To the point, I’m a bit disappointed you took it down. And apologized. Now the last thing you need is more criticism over that post, you do NOT deserve the chastisement you received, so I won’t overdue it here. However, I will say:
    1. The only part of your self-criticism that I can see as warranted is for not posting “with a sufficient prefatory (hey, at least I learned a new word) warning”.
    2. The post contained nothing justifying the pressure on you to take, it down and you had no obligation to anyone to do so.
    3. It looks like “they” got away with it once again.

    However – However, however, however – Let me hasten to add that by your humility, patience, and graciousness you do indeed set an example. Thank you. Perhaps too, as a pastor you have particular obligations and responsibilites that made a difference to your decision.

    Funny thing is, I only got wind of the whole thing on the blog of one of your critics. Well, we can both thank that source as I’ll confess I knew nothing about you or Douglas Wilson before. Now, to my edification, I do

    1. taco says:

      I think I have to agree completely with you JohnM.

    2. Bridget says:

      JohnM -

      “It looks like THEY got away with it once again.”

      Will there be a WE and THEY in heaven? What will you say to your Brother/Savior/Lord and brothers and sisters in Christ? Will you plead some other gospel? I pray you’ve been washed by the same blood as all the rest. We and they are all US?

      Bless you brother!

      1. JohnM says:

        Bridget,

        Yes, I have been washed in the blood. Not ALL the rest have – but perhaps that’s not what you meant, and please do understand that I don’t claim to know with certainty who has been and who has not – the reminder just needs to be there.

        No, there won’t be we and they and Heaven, but eyes will be opened, and there also won’t be any shouting down or false guilt-tripping brothers and sisters into giving way.

  38. Pingback: Thank You
  39. mel says:

    I’m not known for my reading comprehension skills and I completely understood what you were saying and Wilson in the first post. And I have trauma in my background. I thought the reaction was over the top and unnecessary.

  40. Rachael Starke says:

    Jared,

    This moved me to tears. I truly believe God is working many, many things for good in this. This is simply the beginning.

    Grace and peace to you.

  41. Desley says:

    Jared, I think that once you got past the initial shock of the “blunt” words, it was fairly easy to get the gist of what you were trying to express – and I really don’t think what you were intending to endorse was domination, rape, or the generally negative sense you get from the word “colonize.” I do think that some egalitarians reacted too quickly, too harshly, and unnecessarily polarized your position.

    For the carelessness of the post, I readily accept your apology and thank you for your humility. You have been a good example to us all.

    Could I just say, reading through the comments, I have to admit that I was really disappointed, not so much with the blunt (and reckless) words of Doug Wilson, or the carelessness of citing him in this instance, but more because of the manner in which you addressed those who disagreed with you. I feel like you came across very condescending and proud.
    I am certainly nobody to talk (I do the same all too often), but I think you might receive an even better reception, and foster an even deeper God-honoring unity from those people, if you speak to the way you responded to them. Not that they were all better in the way they voiced their disagreement with you, but it’s just the right and honorable thing to do.

    All that said, I was really hoping you wouldn’t mind if I shared some of the other concerns I have with the messages that were sent through that post which were not addressed in your apology.

    I am afraid that it was dangerous to make the claim that men might want to rape, and more importantly, women might want to be raped simply because of the absence of what you refer to as biblical authority and submission. I really do fear that this belief perpetuates the rape culture problem of rape seems to be escalating. Too many men already believe that women secretly desire to be raped, and this is destructive on so many levels.

    The only other thing I want to request is that the authors of the Gospel Coalition would be careful to distinguish between fact and speculation in their posts. (It is purely speculative – without any evidence to substantiate the claim – to suggest that the attraction to BDSM is the product of egalitarianism. I happen to know first hand that it is very frequently connected to ill-upbringings, familial relationships, etc. And I think it’s reasonable to deduce that the surge of people who are becoming titillated by books like these is more the result of the mainstreaming of the more ‘conventional’ porn; people are becoming bored and desensitized to it now and are seeking out darker and more shocking content to maintain the same high.

    I have confidence that you will sincerely consider my concerns. Thank you again for your apology.

    1. I agree 100% with this comment.

    2. Scottie says:

      Very lucid comment. I agree.

  42. Em says:

    Thank you. You can’t imagine the relief it is to know that those words and that language is no longer on TGC.

  43. andy says:

    Jared,

    thanks for the apology – it is a gracious act to seek forgiveness and to model that so well. I would that more bloggers, writers, leaders and teachers could choose the powerlessness of repentence when words ill timed and ill written cause unintentional and unnecessary pain.

    Thanks for standing in and for the gospel as you wrote this apology. You are right, Christ is All. thanks. praying for you and your family, after what must have been a harrowing few days.

  44. Dave says:

    I was one of the men who found your post to be horrible and grotesque. It upset me, though i didnt comment. Thank you so much for this apology and retraction. I consider it an important step toward peace in these hard times. Again let me say, most sincerely: thank you.

  45. Alyssa says:

    Egalitarian abuse survivor and foster parent to abuse survivors here saying THANK YOU. This is such a great step in listening. I have often said that the people in this world that know the least about abuse are often good men. Why? Because they could do something about it so the perpetrators don’t want them to know!

    I encourage you to make this the first step in a listening journey. Go to a women’s shelter, or ask for stories from women who have been abused, particularly by Christian men. At CBE (I know we’re probably not your favorite, but maybe we could agree on this?) we challenge pastors to preach on abuse once a year and post the hotline phone number in the women’s bathroom. It makes a difference.

    Again, THANK YOU.

    1. Great reminder, Alyssa!

    2. Victorious says:

      I worked in a woman’s shelter for 10 yrs. and know only too well the type of abuse the attitude of male-privilege and entitlement fosters. Christian or non, makes no difference when it comes to exerting power and control over others.

      God help us to repent of this erroneous teaching.

  46. Sarah Bowler says:

    Thank you for your apology and for removing the previous posts that caused this controversy.

  47. Henry imler says:

    On behalf of me, my community, my wife, my mother, my sisters, et cetera, we accept your apology. My Christ’s love be at work in restoring all of this.

  48. Jared,

    Well done, with class and character! It’s an honor to call you a brother in Christ.

  49. Garland says:

    Hello,
    I very much appreciate that you have acknowledged some of the issues here and retracted the post, and I appreciate the gumption it took to make an apology.
    I’m afraid I may have misjudged you in my earlier comments, in that you genuinely didn’t seem to see what was offensive about Doug’s quote. I still find your interpretation of the quote downright bizarre in relation to what words are used, and I wonder what it says about the Christian cultural bubble that you view them that way. But I’m very glad that you were not meaning to promote what the quote appears to say.

  50. You know how I know God answers prayer? This. He is faithful to me. Jared this weighed heavy on my heart. I was one of those hurt by the original post, I thought I reached out kindly (as opposed to others) and was essentially dismissed and ignored. I understood your defensiveness with all the piling on but your pride was showing and I just begged God to move in you to see that. I did not think you would come around, but I begged the Spirit to bring you around and this is the result. I certainly accept your apology and this brings tears to me because it brings glory to our Lord.

  51. Thank you for this apology, Jared. I’ve had to issue a few on my blog in the past, and I know it can be a really hard thing to do. I appreciate that you acknowledged the pain these words may have caused and that you took responsibility for them. Thanks also to the folks at the Gospel Coalition for your wisdom in listening to the concerns of your sisters.

    I hope our persistence in this matter will serve as a reminder to Christian women that we must be bold in speaking up when we encounter teachings that make us feel unsafe or disrespected.

    I, for one, accept this apology. May God be glorified as we seek reconciliation as brothers and sisters in Christ.

    The point, after all, is not to agree, but to love.

    (I’ll post some brief thanks on my blog tomorrow, but I wanted to acknowledge this right away.)

    1. DM says:

      Rachel,

      Please spare us the sanctimonious thanks for TGC’s “wisdom in listening to the concerns of your sisters.”

      You do not engage as a sister with the TGC folks. You engage as nothing more than a contrarian, demanding attention and acquiescence.

      You condemned Jared and Doug for standing by their positions and claiming that you and others failed in your “reading comprehension.” While Jared’s tone was perhaps inappropriate at times, his point is entirely well-taken. The following two paragraphs are excerpted from your blog this week:

      “Which brings me to my third point. Less troubling than their dismissive response, but equally frustrating, is the fact that neither Jared Wilson nor Doug Wilson have engaged the content of our criticism. They’ve focused their responses on how they feel attacked and unfairly accused, but neither of them have responded in depth to the questions many have raised or the biblical considerations we’ve addressed. How is male authority and female submission in sex compatible with 1 Corinthians 7? And what about Song of Songs? In my post, I pointed to the fact that Doug Wilson selectively quoted the poem, leaving out the fact that the Shulamite woman often initiated and took ‘authority’ over the couple’s sexual relationship. He has not explained how his position on male authority in sex is compatible with Song of Songs.

      And finally, amidst all the impassioned rhetoric on both sides, we seem to have lost the main point a bit. I have yet to receive a straight answer from Jared or Doug regarding what it means, practically, to preserve the complementarian ideal of male authority in sex? The two have insisted that they advocate mutuality in the bedroom, and yet, according to Doug, ‘the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party,’ but instead ‘a man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants’ while a woman ‘receives, surrenders, accepts.’ What does he mean by that?”

      This is a prime example of why Jared questioned your reading comprehension. You get so caught up in taking offense at the imagery used that you missed the whole point (or perhaps you really DON’T understand complementarianism at all?). Doug (and by implication, Jared) Wilson was describing the physiological realities of sex. He was not prescribing some kind of bedroom submission. If you read his statements in that context, all of your objections are answered. (In other words, there can/should be mutuality in the sex, but that doesn’t change the fundamental truths about men and women that are evident in the very mechanics of sex. Thus, sex can be mutual, but still not be “an egalitarian pleasure party” because sex itself testifies to the different natures of masculinity and femininity.)

      You said the other day: “Please know that I don’t enjoy conversations like these; I don’t relish the conflict.” To that, I simply say, then please show us you mean it.

      1. Jennifer says:

        Rachel has accepted the apology, and I accept that and appreciate her words. To me, they help bring closure to this controversy. Those who disagree with her on this issue need to try and forgive as well.

        1. DM says:

          I agree, and I think forgiving Rachel is appropriate when she apologizes for being divisive and stirring up controversy with statements like this: “This is such an overtly misogynistic post that I wouldn’t bother commenting on it had it not appeared on a mainstream complementarian site like The Gospel Coalition.”

          As I said, there is a “sisterly” way to say, “hey, Jared, just so you know, I understand your heart in this, but the imagery used could have unintended consequences” … And then there is Rachel’s way.

        2. DM says:

          But instead of any kind of contriteness over turning this into a huge firestorm, Rachel just assures Jared that “I’ve had to issue a few [apologies] in the past.”

          1. KF says:

            DM,

            I know nothing of your person or experiences thus far, so I will not speculate; however, I do care to say that if you had experienced the gender inequality that I have experienced in the church, then you’d appreciate a woman like Rachel using her platform to say that (the language used by Wilson) isn’t ok. She did it in an intelligent, fair way and I appreciate it. I appreciate her. (And the rest of my brothers and sisters who disagreed with the post)…As a female scientist, it’s incredible how much respect I get outside of the evangelical church and how little I receive inside it.

            The church should be a place of equality. A place to focus on the gospel. And place of peace. Not inequality. And Rachel’s right… the post hurt. It hurt (regardless of its original intent)… And we spoke up about it.

            Thanks Jared for your apology… I am praying for you as you go forth. I pray that you’ll get to hear more stories from women who have suffered abuse. I work with sex trafficking survivors and every story I hear changes me. Let the stories change you to become more competent, more caring, more peaceful. I pray the same for myself. From your sister, peace to you, my brother.

          2. nhe says:

            This notion that Jared needs to hear more stories from women who have suffered abuse (while well intended) seems condescending and completely out of touch with the intent of the threads in question.

            Reading through these comments feel like an adventure in talking past each other.

            It makes me wonder if many perhaps have not read the entirety of the posts, or at least have not read them with the intent to understand them.

          3. Akash says:

            Forget about Rachel , she needs to learn to control her tongue and actually love God and His word.

      2. jared dilley says:

        wow so jared apologizes and you accept it and someone says something and yo uattack them. Does not seem to be in the spirit of what jared was going for.

        another jared

      3. EMSoliDeoGloria says:

        She can challenge them on their ideas while still forgiving J Wilson.

        Love covers a multitude of sins. We all need soft hearts and engaged minds to deal wisely, humbly and lovingly with difference and sin.

        Sin in response to the disagreement and insensitivity in posting the original words of D Wilson has been recognized and apologized for. Difference need not be. There can be continued disagreement and discussion regarding the merits of positions, however.

  52. egalitarian Christ-follower says:

    Thank you very much for taking down those Christian-affirming-sexual-assault-to-females-language on TGC. as a Christian, I cannot tell you how much I cried feeling horrified, humiliated, violated and victimized because of your original posting.

    That I found your apology very comforting. this is an answered prayer.

    By the way, helping a family member get something from the grocery store is a simple act of love – a loving wife can do for her husband, a egalitarian husband can do it for his wife. Any Christian ought to perform such simple act toward others – regardless gender or complementarian or egalitarian.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      helping a family member get something from the grocery store is a simple act of love – a loving wife can do for her husband, a egalitarian husband can do it for his wife. Any Christian ought to perform such simple act toward others – regardless gender or complementarian or egalitarian.

      I totally agree. I was trying to make a joke about complementarians, or the stereotype of them. I’m sorry if it offended. (Was trying to poke fun at myself, not egalitarians, is what I mean.)

      1. Jennifer says:

        I thought that was obvious. It’s a shame some have become so jaded on this issue that they assume something like this is an attack on them.

        1. jen says:

          isn’t that what this is all about? when you’re of the same belief system, the intention, be it a joke or a specific reading of a metaphor, is simple and fairly obvious. However, on the internet (and in life) one must take into account how things are heard outside of their understanding- if the tables were turned (and egalitarian making a joke about what good egalitarians do) the same amount from the other side would be frustrated. especially if everyone was starting from a place of misunderstanding.

          I took it charitably and as a joke, but can definitely see how it feels like a dig in light of all the controversy.

  53. Matthew says:

    All I learned from this “controversy” is that egalitarians are less inclined to have theological discussions that present two opposing views and are more inclined to manipulate the discussion and portray themselves as victim. More than an approach to our modern sensibility of sexual equality, we should first desire to know God’s word for what it is, not what we wish it to be. The lack of grace, consistency, and respect such egalitarians have exemplified concerning this discussion continue to bear witness to their woeful and loose interpretation of Scripture and their reliance on individual experience.

    1. Wes Spears says:

      Matt,
      Things aren’t always so simple as just having two opposing viewpoints. Sometimes it is an issue of language or underlying, unexamined beliefs. To try and illuminate those causes of division is not manipulation but trying to shine light on what the real issue is. Also, in accusing others of anything, make sure to look back at yourself first and make sure you’re not doing the same.
      Also, God’s word is not so simple that it is what it is. It requires interpretation and wrestling. That’s not a loose interpretation of Scripture but one wrought in a furnace of our traditions, reason, and experience. No one reads the Bible in a vacuum and simply pronounces what is on the mind of God.
      Let’s show a bit more grace there.

      1. Kristin says:

        “That’s not a loose interpretation of Scripture but one wrought in a furnace of our traditions, reason, and experience.”

        Yes, amen! Beautiful.

      2. Matthew says:

        Wes:

        Anecdotal evidence is submitted in order to shift the context. The Wilson quote’s context is that of the marital bed, not general society. To perpetuate otherwise is manipulation and the litany of those in opposition to the piece weren’t satisfied with contrition, many desired shame and that’s to be despised.

        And certainly, Scripture requires interpretation and wrestling. However, interpretation of Scripture must be done in light of Scripture – exegesis. Isogesis is what you encounter when you interpret Scripture in light of tradition, experience, and limited reason.

    2. Kristen says:

      Sorry, you don’t have a monopoly on truth.

    3. Laura says:

      Matthew, I’m sorry this is all you learned. There’s more to be learned there, if you will look.

      A lot of women you see every day actually have been sexually assaulted. Raped. Molested. They aren’t telling you about it, but they may turn to Jesus for comfort. We want them to do that, right? And what they saw in the original post re-ignited those feelings of being helpless and used. When they tried to bring their concerns about that thoughtlessly worded post, you say they “portrayed” themselves as victims. Well, none of them chose that victim status for themselves, Matthew, but they were stuck with it. The least a Christian could do is try to refrain from causing them more pain.

      Suppose that a woman you know told you – as a female coworker told me recently – that her father had raped her all through her teen years until she moved out and lived on the street, until she finished high school and was old enough to go into the military so she could have some kind of home. And that she had cried for help but no one except her mother believed her, and her mother chose her father over her. And that she felt conflicted and guilty because when he later died of a heart attack she wasn’t sorry. Would you tell her that at all costs she was not to portray herself as a victim, and that her husband’s job was to … well, those things in the original post that I don’t want to pile on again. I hope that you wouldn’t, that you would try to show her Jesus’ face.

      1. Matthew says:

        I understand the pain and trauma that abuse causes, but we cannot allow our histories to shape our every perception in lieu of context. The original piece was provacative, insensitive, and deficient concerning emotional intelligence; however, so is the desire to assume the worst of people, especially when we are the Church.

        The discussion turned sour when explanations and further context were provided yet ignored. Rather than affirming intent, we are left deconstructing individual perception. This is not only inept hermeneutic, it is conversational obstruction.

        Rather than having a discussion concerning the dangers of prioritizing sexual identity and worshipping its various expressions, we’ve been detoured into a turnstile of semantics.

        1. Laura says:

          “The original piece was provacative, insensitive, and deficient concerning emotional intelligence” and this was pointed out to Jared repeatedly until he took it down and apologized. And you see this as a problem?

          1. Matthew says:

            No, the problem is that folks believed the worst-intention possible as their immediate response. In fact, their initial response remained concrete despite additional context and explanation.

          2. Laura says:

            Matthew, OK, but that is not what your first comment said.

          3. jen says:

            The reason that that the initial response remained concrete is because it was accurate, regardless of explanations of intention. one cannot use loaded metaphors and then explain them away by not intending them that way- regardless of intention they communicate specific things. I DO believe that Jared’s intentions were not ill- I also believe just as strongly that his words were hurtful and wrong, no matter how well intentioned, and that is why my initial response to the article didn’t change. I understand his intentions, his context and what he was trying to communicate. I also understand what he DID communicate.

        2. Tim Bushong says:

          Amen, Matt. Excellent commentary on this entire debacle.

        3. Eddie R. says:

          Matt has cut to the chase. When folks have emotional knee-jerk reactions to what they read in a public space, any discussion of the actual intent behind a discussion gets derailed while we address our own hurts by hurling insults at others.

          If you feel offended, perhaps you should spend some time reflecting on just why you think someone intended to offend you. You might realize that they did not and that might just cause you to take a breath before releasing your own spittle into the ether.

          1. Kristin says:

            Maybe the intention wasn’t there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t point it out and have them (the author, etc.) learn from it.

            If I accidentally said something racist, I would completely appreciate if someone brought it to my attention, so I could watch my words better next time…and not hurt people with them.
            I wouldn’t cry, “YOU MISUNDERSTOOD ME!” and say those weren’t my intentions, because it doesn’t matter if they weren’t my intentions. I still said a horrible, horrible thing.

            Also, I think a LOT of abuse/rape survivors have reflected PLENTY on what happened to them and why they feel “offended.” The moment we (as I am an abuse survivor) see something that may perpetrate abuse or rape, we sure as heck will CALL IT OUT, because it needs to stop.

          2. Lou says:

            Then let me start by saying: So and so is a jerk.
            Now please hear me out as I explain what my intent is when I use the word “jerk” …

            Intent doesn’t work in cases like these. Words have meanings before we use them. Period.

  54. Elderyl says:

    Thank you for removing the post and explaining why you left it up so long. I appreciate your humility and honesty. Btw, my good egalatarian husband often offers to pick up groceries, especially when I am busy doing the work I’ve been called to do as an elder in my church.

  55. Bridget says:

    Jared -

    Thank you for listening and apologizing!

    Your friend around the blog world,
    Bridget

    P.S. — I was trying to be helpful when I said you’d do better to use your own words and not the quote!

  56. Jen says:

    I love this. I think this whole conversation echoes the frame of mind that we should have as Christ followers. May we always speak passionately from our hearts and then listen to each other.

  57. Heather G says:

    Jared,
    I understood your original post, and liked it.
    I also understand your apology, and I like that too.
    I’m not so happy that you just “took it down.” I feel like you were bullied into it. You are right that 50 Shades of Grey represents something the culture is hungry for, something that is a perversion of something true found only in a complementarian understanding of sexuality and roles in marriage. I liked the post for what you were TRYING to say, even if the way you said it is apology-worthy. So thank you, Jared, for both.

    Heather

  58. Wes Spears says:

    As an egalitarian, thank you for your apology, Jared. It’s difficult to do something like that. What I think this situation has taught all of us is that words are very important and they can wound with more power than we expect. I hope we can keep that in mind in these comments, as well.

  59. Eddie R says:

    A few observations

    A nice, gracious apology. I suppose you could go on ad nauseum for everything you’ve ever done wrong, but even then some people still would find something to justify their indignation.

    I understood both the point of the post and the quote read round the world. While I agree that it was possible to anticipate the extreme reaction, that by itself is no reason to avoid posting it.

    The world would be a better place if folks would realize that they choose their reactions to things they read and they choose to put fingers to keys. Their reaction and their behaviors are all theirs. You were not to blame for that.

    If we are to avoid all potential offense we might as well shut down a few blogs. Are we to avoid mentioning the expectation of submitting to Catholic priests or college coaches simply because someone might recall a trauma?
    That quite frankly is preposterous and no amount of indignation will change that.

    I am fully aware that people have suffered at the hands of others. I am not convinced that that excuses their own responsibility to keep their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in check.

    I hope this apology sets this to rest because the dust up got old very quickly. I am very disappointed in those who continued their public righteous indignation and read into both the original post and your comments much more than they should have.

    We Christians did not acquit ourselves well over this and most of the blame for that is not yours.

  60. Clint says:

    Some thoughts that are loosely applicable…

    I think we all have a lot to learn about love and submission here (in all its colorful categories). And, I don’t think any of us, whether egalitarian or complementarian, are prepared to handle the implications of either.

    Love your enemy? Even a terrorist? Really? Do good to those who slander you? Nix the sarcastic retort? Defer to the brother or sister who is offended by your language? Submit to your husband even as to the Lord? Renounce all claims to power and serve? Sacrifice for your wife? Reckon others as more important than yourself? Hold the “patriotism” and honor President Obama?

    No one can walk away from any substantial part of Scripture without being jarred. The moment that stops happening should be quite terrifying.

    Just my thoughts. If you disagree, prepare for an epic backlash…kidding.

  61. Lisa Robinson says:

    I find it interesting that so many are making this about a comp vs egal issue and take his apology as a victory for egals. A number of complementarians, including myself, found the language of the quote offensive though we did get where Doug Wilson was coming from and using it as metaphor. In the end, the language was against human dignity not Egalitarianism. This is not the platform to keep driving the divide and taking up the cause for either Egalitarianism or Complementarianism. I am thankful for the apology of recognizing how the quote offended.

    I also regret that the initial intent of the post got entirely missed because of the quote. Whatever issues needed to be raised about 50 Shades of Gray have been overlooked.

    1. EMSoliDeoGloria says:

      Absolutely, Lisa. Both complementarians and egalitarians can and should stand up together and disagree with D. Wilson’s unbiblical views of human sexuality. And that can be done in a loving and level-headed way (which does not at all preclude survivors of abuse sharing how the words hurt them).

      As for the point about 50 shades being lost, I think it more fell by the wayside because most of us in the Christian blogsphere think it is trash and have no intentions of reading it.

      1. Laura says:

        Right. It’s not the first bit of garbage that got its fifteen minutes (remember “Bridges of Madison County”?) and it won’t be the last. And BDSM goes at least back to the 18th century and the Marquis de Sade, and no doubt before. This stupid novel isn’t worth all this.

  62. EmilyD says:

    Jared, thank you so much for apologizing! This apology was like a breath of fresh air. While we can agree to disagree on complementarianism vs. egalitarianism, we can do so with the love of Jesus in our hearts towards one another. I am reading knit-picky remarks about your apology, and I believe they have missed the point. The point is that you have shown great humility and compassion for the hurting by offering an apology to women who were wounded by your words. Arguments will probably last forever regarding gender roles in marriage and the church, but I think the stuff of Jesus is accomplished when we are able to love each other well despite our differences. Thank you for doing that and for taking care of our sisters in Christ in this act of humility. It is because of Jesus that, although I disagree with your stance on gender roles, I still admire you and can see plainly that you have a great deal to contribute to the Kingdom of God and have great respect for you! All glory to Him forever.

  63. Jared, I was quick to criticise you when I read your post and so I will be equally prompt in thanking you unreservedly for this sincere and heartfelt apology. At risk of being thought ungracious, which isn’t my intention – the controversy highlighted for me once again that this discussion is not only about abstract theological construction, but it makes a fundamental difference to the lives of millions of individual women and men every single day. We would not, happily, dream for a moment today of defining a person’s role in society on the basis of the colour of their skin or of a physical disability. We would rightly be horrified if someone suggested that Asians shouldn’t be allowed to preach, or that a soldier who lost his leg fighting for his country could not ever be considered a truly equal member of society, and it continues to astonish me that we think it is acceptable for women’s opportunities to be restricted on a theological whim which principally depends upon uninformed and uncritical reading of the Scriptures (and I speak as a committed Evangelical who happens to be a biblical studies professor at a British public university). I’m very much appreciative of your apology, which I feel was needed, but the whole controversy makes me realise how much the issue matters and challenges me to start to make my own contribution to the debate, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

    1. DM says:

      Hey, Jared, not to be ungracious or anything, but your complementarian beliefs just show how uninformed you are about scripture.

  64. Ian says:

    Thank you Jared for this – hopefully we can now all move on.

  65. James Petticrew says:

    Jaded we are probably poles apart on many theological issues but whatever our difference on the theology surrounding gender I recognise that it takes a man to say sorry and a Christian man to ask for grace. I deeply respect what you say in this post and the tone with which you say it.

  66. Sarah Dittman says:

    First of all, I must say that I am moved by this apology. I read true humility and contrition in this post.

    I am also so frustrated, so confused at this entire thing that happened. I read the original post, but was neither shocked nor offended; I understood the point. Doug Wilson’s word choices would not have been my own (I understand his explanation of them, but I simply don’t know how to shake them loose of the connotations that they carry), but that being said, I understood what he meant, I understood what was meant in quoting him.

    I was neither shocked nor offended, until I started reading the comments, and I read through all of them. I was so dismayed to see such anger, vitriol, judgement, pronounced upon two men from people claiming Christ as their savior. Fellow Christians, brothers and sisters. I saw very few sincere attempts to understand the post; mostly I saw accusations that these two men did not care about women, were for the subjugation of them, saw a woman’s role in the bedroom as only passive, and on and on.

    Complimentarianism, egalitarianism… I don’t even think every one has the same definition of these terms, and yet such loveless speech is spewed all over the place.

    And now rejections of the apology of a fellow Christian… too little too late? It wasn’t sincere enough? It was based only on a desire to appease and not because he was truly sorry for hurt that was caused? Because he has not “repented” of his doctrinal viewpoint?

    This has gone beyond the point of being hurt and offended at a word choice, and/or a different view on marriage roles.

    In a rare moment of boldness for me, I have to say that the comments posted in this manner are completely inappropriate, and downright shameful.

    I am disheartened by this whole affair. Disheartened, saddened, and frustrated.

    1. DM says:

      Agree completely. With all of this.

    2. Dan says:

      Sarah, yes. The take-no-prisoners approach of modern politics has infected too many in the church.

  67. Sue says:

    DM,

    You write,

    “This is a prime example of why Jared questioned your reading comprehension. You get so caught up in taking offense at the imagery used that you missed the whole point (or perhaps you really DON’T understand complementarianism at all?). Doug (and by implication, Jared) Wilson was describing the physiological realities of sex. He was not prescribing some kind of bedroom submission. If you read his statements in that context, all of your objections are answered. (In other words, there can/should be mutuality in the sex, but that doesn’t change the fundamental truths about men and women that are evident in the very mechanics of sex.”

    I am extremely concerned that there are leaders in the Christian community wo do not understand the very mechanics of sex. The female is not earth to be planted. The female generates the ovum and the male fertilizes it. She produces the seed. She is not planted with the seed.

    I am concerned that men who do not understand this basic biological fact are suggesting that in a male – female relationship the male should have leadership. This is a concern.

    Jared,

    I appreciate your dilemma. I believe the authority – submission paradigm is not upheld by biology, and is untenable, and it appears you don’t live by it. I am not sure why it is still preached. In contrast, the Bible presents a sacrifice-submission paradigm.

    1. DM says:

      Sue,

      I believe you are being unnecessarily nit-picky about the biology. “Planting seed” is metaphor (as are “conquer” and the rest). Surely you don’t deny that the man has to “plant” SOMETHING in the woman?

      The bigger point, though, is that even if you want to pick apart Doug Wilson’s metaphor, you can still engage him in terms of what he was trying to convey. Instead, you prefer to “discredit” him because his metaphor did not capture the biological nuance well enough for you.

  68. Marilyn says:

    I’m in complete agreement that sexual fantasies like 50 Shades reflect a perversion of a healthy, God-given desire that has been suppressed. I’m also in agreement that Christian egalitarian writing consistently suppresses healthy expressions of gender differences.

    What disappointed me about your apology was that it did not affirm mutuality in the bedroom. That – rather than the wording of your post – is the big issue for me. It’s possible to both affirm mutuality and gender differences in sexuality.

  69. Merks says:

    Jared,

    I feel in some way that I experienced this process with as much emotional turmoil as you. Seeing friends attack you hurt me. Watching vultures hovering over your every word to devour them, frightened me. I cannot even imagine how stressful this whole ordeal has been to your family, and I hope they have been somewhat sheltered from the criticism beyond the text.

    Now, even after you have attempted to move forward and demonstrate that this one post is, well, just one single post….others are trying to simplify and reduce you. Having read much more of your words, I still would not claim to understand all that God has created you to be.

    I love that you trust your reputation to the author of truth. I see that it is impossible to please man, but we must walk in the light that exposes our evil deeds.

    Jared, I appreciate that you seek to be faithful to what is illuminated to the eyes of your heart. I know that you will fail to communicate it with words, probably more often than not. I know we all fail to use our words solely for edification. But, somehow, we are all still compelled to do so.

    I love you and am praying for you earnestly.

  70. Alison says:

    Jared, I read your original post. While I didn’t completely agree with it, I wasn’t horribly offended by it either. I think a) one should not comment on something they’ve not read; and b) be extremely careful quoting others – they become your own words when you do that. As one who considers herself Arminian (egalitarian), let me just say that I appreciate your humility and while I’m certain you can’t possibly understand the feelings of those who were so hurt by the post, you listened to their hearts as much as you could. That is a true measure of integrity and grace. Thank you.

  71. jared dilley says:

    Jared and Others,
    I have no doubt accepting that you are sorry for the pain caused. My hope is that when someone with whom you disagree with does something to offend you and apologizes that you respond with the same grace that has been offered to Jared here. Too often we forgive and understand those we already love and agree with instead of doing the hard work of forgiving those whom we disagree with.

    another jared

  72. Clarice says:

    Jared, I emailed you personally so you know my support of your originals.

    I’ve been bothered by the spiritual bullying of those who say they hate spiritual bullying. And I’m not talking about Jared or Doug. I’m not sure you other folks see your own hypocrisy, but I’d like to gently point it out.

    Wrathful demands that Jared apologize OR emotionally manipulative appeals are a form of spiritual bullying. I’d suggest to those who have engaged in these things on this blog or in personal communication with Jared to examine your life to see if your beliefs and life are consistent and more importantly, consistent with the Word of God.

    I thought it worth pointing out that Jared has not retracted his beliefs or even the truths that he promoted in his original posts. An apology for not following D.Wilson’s own warnings about his book doesn’t mean he takes back supporting the content of the book. I’m not saying that the dissenters shouldn’t receive this apology–they absolutely should, with humility– but they should receive it for what it is, not a retraction of any kind, but a further display of humility, accommodation, service, and sensitivity by a godly pastor. I say this because of the tendency we all have at times to arrogantly triumph over someone when they apologize as if we’ve won something by their act of humility. That’s not it at all. If anything, Jared has “won”–He’s won because he’s resting in the favor of God himself through Jesus Christ. We’re more than conquerors through Christ. :)

    I also believe that those who responded with anger, hatred, willful word-twisting and slander should ask Jared’s forgiveness as well, not because he apologized to them, but because it’s what Christ asks of his people.

    Blessings, Jared.

    1. Barbara says:

      Well said. Jared is accountable to God, not to an angry horde of blog commenters, for his scripturally informed convictions and for his faithfulness to those convictions. Reading and observing over all this, I am reminded of the 40 years that I lived in egalitarianism and the carnage that was left – broken family, horrendous damage- because of it, and the gracious God who redeems and heals and brings us into joyful submission to Christ, who demonstrates for us what a joyful submission to a servant leader looks like – now, having been redeemed in Christ for only a few years, I have this tremendous hunger for that which I used to react against with the same vitriol – it was simply a matter of having never seen nor known such a thing until being brought into Christ’s church where it is demonstrated in such a beautiful way.

      What a tragedy it is that genuine complementarianism is so horrendously caricatured and misrepresented; but when you’ve just never known it, you can’t rightly see it. Much of it is fear and knee-jerk reaction, just a lot of sin that bubbles to the surface when we think someone has offended us – making it all about us instead of all about Jesus. I think that gets forgotten when posting in a public arena. Still, the beauty of the Messiah, one with and yet in submission to the Father who then highly exalted Him, will always be the fragrance of death to some; but the fragrance of life to others…and we, in Him, are the fragrance of Christ to God. Blessed Savior, who redeems us from ALL our sin.

      1. EMSoliDeoGloria says:

        Nobody should be arrogantly triumphing over a brothers apology (although I’m sure it’s a temptation and I’m sure some will). I’m humbly and gladly grateful to God that brothers and sisters who have different beliefs can still – in spite of initial sinful reactions – listen to and seek to serve each other.

        Jared is accountable to God. But we are all – in a lesser sense – each accountable to one another. To see and ignore a wrong done can be a tacit endorsement of it. There’s nothing wrong with calling a brother or sister on their errors or mistakes. A public wrong can be publicly addressed and should be publicly repented. When someone owns up and says, “my bad,” we should quickly and humbly forgive.

        This episode, concluded, does not leave me thinking less of the Gospel Coalition. I do not know Jared Wilson personally but it leaves me thinking more of him for showing himself a Christ-follower in public. Good on you, bro!

        1. Barbara says:

          I don’t disagree with you, but we cannot and must not submit to a human being who is loudly calling for a change in convictions when our convictions are Scripturally founded. Romans 14 comes to mind there. What I was referring to regarding that are those in this thread who are refusing to accept his apology and extend forgiveness solely because he is still a complementarian. Please don’t take my words out of context.

          Grace and Peace.

        2. Clarice says:

          EmSoli, you said “There’s nothing wrong with calling a brother or sister on their errors or mistakes. A public wrong can be publicly addressed and should be publicly repented.”

          There are so many qualifiers needed here, especially regarding this situation. Confrontation must be humility and grace saturated for it to be fruitful. I’d say that the vast majority of the response to this controversy has been riddled with sin. Indeed, I have seen very few “public” conflicts in my short life that have been truly characterized by grace.

          Spiritual bullying. I’ll say it again. It’s a huge problem. And the problem was never displayed more poignantly, in my opinion, than in the RHE crowd this week.

  73. ScottInOH says:

    Mr. Wilson: First, I appreciate your apology. Saying that the pain readers felt is “my fault” is pretty stark.

    Second, I’ve been trying to figure out where the misunderstanding lies, and I think it’s because a lot of things are blended together in your initial post and in Doug Wilson’s book. By my reading,

    1) You believe actual rape AND rape fantasies are wrong.

    2) You believe that the failure of some men to be sufficiently dominant (in a loving way) and/or the failure of some women to be sufficiently submissive causes some women and men to have rape fantasies (which, in turn, causes _50 Shades_ to be popular). (You may substitute whatever words you like for “dominant” and “submissive” in that sentence; the point is that too many men and women aren’t playing their appropriate roles.)

    3) You also believe that those failures cause actual rape, either because (I’m not sure which) those failures cause some men to snap and become rapists or because those failures make God angry, so he causes rape as a punishment for humanity.

    Many people who disagree with you (including me) don’t believe #1 is true (rape is wrong; consensual role play is not), don’t see evidence for #2 (I’ve seen other explanations for rape fantasies that DO provide evidence), and find #3 abhorrent whether they are Christians or not.

    Finally, I agree with those who didn’t see a need to take down the original posts or to shut down comments on them. They were a touchstone for a discussion that will continue with or without the posts, and I think deleting them weakens the discussion.

    Thanks.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      ScottinOH, thanks for your comment. I reply with much trepidation here, b/c I have not had a great track record of explaining my views in this discussion. But I will try one more time, hoping to be understood.

      You also believe that those failures cause actual rape, either because (I’m not sure which) those failures cause some men to snap and become rapists or because those failures make God angry, so he causes rape as a punishment for humanity.

      This is *not* what I believe. When rape or sexual abuse happens I believe it is because an offender is “getting off” on power, as it were — he (or she) is a self-idolatrous pervert, not just a sexual pervert — and because a victim is vulnerable. (To be ultra clear, by “vulnerable,” I do not mean culpable *in any way.* A victim of sexual assault is always innocent.) The connection between gender roles and sexual assault for me is not about egalitarianism causing men to “snap” or any such thing. The role of men, in my view related to this issue, is to cherish women and protect them — physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. When sexual assault occurs (specifically, men against women) it is evidence of a lack of safety, for which I charge those in authority positions with providing.

      This is why pastors and other church leaders need to make sure church facilities and church communities are safe spaces in a physical security sense but also in a “freedom to speak” sense, so that victims or those at risk are able to seek help from those in authority knowing that understanding from care-givers is available and that punishments/justice for offenders will happen.

      I also don’t believe that “God causes rape.”

      Thanks for the opportunity to clarify. I trust you understand my meaning.

      1. ScottInOH says:

        Thanks, Mr. Wilson. Your original post was mostly about #2 (which requires understanding #1), so I was least sure about my interpretation of #3.

        I agree completely that a rapist gets off on power and that a victim is blameless. Thank you for clarifying that.

        It also sounds like you don’t think there is any direct connection between what does or doesn’t happen in the marital bed and the problem of rape in society. If so, I agree with you there, too. I doubt I agree with you on the broader claim that there’s a link between egalitarianism in general and rape, but that’s a topic for a different discussion.

        The idea that God causes (or allows or doesn’t prevent or something along those lines) rape as a punishment is directly out of Doug Wilson’s work and your comments on the original post (or the follow up). You clarified that it was a punishment for humanity in general, rather than the individual victim, but it seemed pretty clear it was still a punishment.

        I still, of course, disagree with you on 1&2.

        Thanks again.

  74. Carol says:

    There is a universal issue behind all of our issues that needs to be recognized before healing dialogue can take place:

    http://www.goddirect.org/mindemtn/writings/january/toxshame.htm

    Toxic Shame
    by
    Leo Booth/John Bradshaw

    Abuse creates toxic shame – the feeling of being flawed and diminished and never measuring up. Toxic shame feels much worse than guilt. With guilt, you’ve done something wrong; but you can repair that – you can do something about it. With toxic shame there’s something wrong with you and there’s nothing you can do about it; you are inadequate and defective. Toxic shame is the core of the wounded child. This meditation sums up the ways that the wonderful child got wounded. The loss of your I AMness is spiritual bankruptcy. The wonder child is abandoned and all alone.
    My Name Is Toxic Shame
    I was there at your conception
    In the epinephrine of your mother’s shame
    You felt me in the fluid of your mother’s womb
    I came upon you before you could speak
    Before you understood
    Before you had any way of knowing
    I came upon you when you were learning to walk
    When you were unprotected and exposed
    When you were vulnerable and needy
    Before you had any boundaries
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I came upon you when you were magical
    Before you could know I was there
    I severed your soul
    I pierced you to the core
    I brought you feelings of being flawed and defective
    I brought you feelings of distrust, ugliness, stupidity, doubt
    worthlessness, inferiority, and unworthiness
    I made you feel different
    I told you there was something wrong with you
    I soiled your Godlikeness
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I existed before conscience
    Before guilt
    Before morality
    I am the master emotion
    I am the internal voice that whispers words of condemnation
    I am the internal shudder that courses through you without any
    mental preparation
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I live in secrecy
    In the deep moist banks of darkness
    depression and despair
    Always I sneak up on you I catch you off guard I come through
    the back door
    Uninvited unwanted
    The first to arrive
    I was there at the beginning of time
    With Father Adam, Mother Eve
    Brother Cain
    I was at the Tower of Babel the Slaughter of the Innocents
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I come from “shameless” caretakers, abandonment, ridicule,
    abuse, neglect – perfectionistic systems
    I am empowered by the shocking intensity of a parent’s rage
    The cruel remarks of siblings
    The jeering humiliation of other children
    The awkward reflection in the mirrors
    The touch that feels icky and frightening
    The slap, the pinch, the jerk that ruptures trust
    I am intensified by
    A racist, sexist culture
    The righteous condemnation of religious bigots
    The fears and pressures of schooling
    The hypocrisy of politicians
    The multigenerational shame of dysfunctional
    family systems
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I can transform a woman person, a Jewish person, a black
    person, a gay person, an oriental person, a precious child into
    A bitch, a kike, a nigger, a bull dyke, a faggot, a chink, a selfish
    little bastard
    I bring pain that is chronic
    A pain that will not go away
    I am the hunter that stalks you night and day
    Every day everywhere
    I have no boundaries
    You try to hide from me
    But you cannot
    Because I live inside of you
    I make you feel hopeless
    Like there is no way out
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    My pain is so unbearable that you must pass me on to others
    through control, perfectionism, contempt, criticism, blame,

    envy, judgment, power, and rage

    My pain is so intense
    You must cover me up with addictions, rigid roles, reenactment,
    and unconscious ego defenses.

    My pain is so intense
    That you must numb out and no longer feel me.
    I convinced you that I am gone – that I do not exist -
    you experience absence and emptiness.
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME
    I am the core of co-dependency
    I am spiritual bankruptcy
    The logic of absurdity
    The repetition compulsion
    I am crime, violence, incest, rape
    I am the voracious hole that fuels all addictions
    I am instability and lust
    I am Ahaverus the Wandering Jew, Wagner’s Flying Dutchman,
    Dostoyevski’s underground man, Kierkegaard’s seducer,
    Goethe’s Faust
    I twist who you are into what you do and have
    I murder your soul and you pass me on for generations
    MY NAME IS TOXIC SHAME

    1. BelovedH says:

      Wow, that is scarily accurate, it felt like a demon was talking to me. As a survivor, I know all about toxic shame and the damage it does. This is quite a helpful personalisation of it – it is something real that needs to be prayed against, cast out, fought with in the spiritual realms and recognised. Thank God that He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world and that perfect love casts out all fear. I pray that everyone who has been abused would get the healing that they need and that Jesus has provided by His stripes. I think I need a shower now.

  75. Dave says:

    Jared, thank you.

  76. Sue says:

    Carol,

    I agree. There is a universal issue which still needs to be addressed regarding authority and abuse. Men want democracy for a good reason, and they should offer it to women.

    There also needs to be a corrective in understanding who protects women. Men AND women working in tandem protect women. Women have had to demand the right not to be raped and beaten. It has not been freely offered.

    Read this essay by Susan Hunt.

    http://www.galaxie.com/article/9164

    It takes male AND female leadership to protect women. Sometimes women are completely protected by other women. To cast men as the sole protectors of women just adds to the misunderstanding.

  77. Sue says:

    “Women have had to demand the right not to be raped and beaten.”

    I am refering here to the fact that it has only very recently become a legal right to be free of rape and violence in marriage. This is in our lifetime and experience. This was not freely offered by men.

  78. Linda says:

    Thank you for taking the post down.

    With apologies, it is usually helpful to have an understanding between the parties of what the actual offense was. Based on my limited reading comprehension, your statement in the post of what you did was wrong was that you failed to include a prefatory warning.

    Is this the content of the apology?

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      Linda, that is one part of it, yes, but just the first part. Also:

      insensitive bluntness

      bringing ill repute upon my brothers and sisters

      posting foolishly and rashly

      hurting/shaming/burdening readers with the post and my comments beneath it

      Thanks for the opportunity to reiterate and clarify.

      1. Angel says:

        Seriously, Jared. Your repetitive humility is blowing me away. I pray that you will deeply experience God himself restoring you, making you strong, firm, and steadfast. I pray He has surrounded you with strong community to love and support you.

      2. JR says:

        Bro, thank you!! You have been the model of manhood in this and I am praying that I would have the courage to follow your example the next time I open mouth and insert foot. May Christ’s peace dwell with you richly.

  79. Jack says:

    If someone claims to want to talk about male-female roles in the Bible, and then all they actually do talk about is their own divorce (or someone else’s), or their own abuse (or someone else’s), or list the bizarre teachings of some foolish faux-complementarian like Debi Pearl, or whatever, I see either a narcissist, or a person who sincerely doesn’t know how to build a case, or I a dishonest person. The first is immaturity, the second is an innocent mistake, but the last is just as much abuse of the relationship as hitting someone.

    I hate manipulation. Anecdotes are a form of manipulation, On matters of doctrine, they don’t prove anything. Bill Gothard supports his false teachings with anecdotes, and so do feminists. They’re cut from the same cloth. But feminists abuse their spouses, too, and feminists have affairs. Does that refute a theology of feminism? No, not necessarily, since there are different species of feminism.

    The issue can only be solved by biblical exegesis, not anecdotes and apologies. Abuse anecdotes are intended to manipulate. They aren’t a reason, they are an attack on the other person — “if you disagree with me on this doctrinal topic, then you must be fine with how my ex-husband used to hit me!”

    When it comes to the question, “What does the Bible teach on this subject?”, it doesn’t matter what happened to you or me. I was raised by abusive parents. The Bible teaches that parents lead the home. My parents don’t prove an egalitarian family structure. They were just rotten parents. If we believe in honesty, then we should intellectually apply it in the ways we discuss a topic.

    1. Laura says:

      I disagree. Abuse anecdotes can be a powerful way of moving from theoretical to actual. A person who has never been abused, or doesn’t know of anyone he cares about having been abused, may only reach a point of empathy if he is confronted with an actual story of an actual person he finds himself caring about. And without empathy, there’s nothing to stop him from totally unrealistic theorizing like the quoted words that have been taken down, and denial that those words could possibly really hurt anyone.

      1. Jack says:

        Dear Laura,

        I want to point out that your response, though good, changes the subject. I wasn’t writing about empathy. I agree that stories are evocative. I wrote about “how do we know what the Bible says about (fill in the blank)”. If the question is, “Was Doug Wilson right or wrong?”, then anecdotes don’t clarify that. Someone could only answer that question by going to Scripture, and stories aren’t interpreting tools. If you don’t go to Scripture, then all we ened up with are dueling anecdotes.

        1. Laura says:

          I was reacting to your assertion that you hate manipulation and that abuse anecdotes are designed to manipulate. Of course they are not doctrine.

          But stories certainly are intepreting tools. Look at all of the parables Jesus told.

    2. Kristin says:

      Wow, no.
      I talk about my abuse not because I’m narcissist, not because I don’t know how to build a case, and not because I a dishonest person. NONE OF THE ABOVE.

      Do you know how SCARY it was to admit I had been abused? Especially since my abuser and I shared a church and had mutual friends? Do you know I had to accept that some people wouldn’t believe me because he was a leader in the church and a “good guy?”
      I’m so tired of hearing that I’m selfish or have a diminished mental capacity or that I’m a liar…all because I was abused.

      I don’t ever try to “manipulate” people with my story. Only instruct, protect…to stop the cycle of abuse. THAT IS ALL. (If it wasn’t for someone else telling me their abuse story, I would have NEVER KNOWN that something was wrong and that I was being abused as well. I am so thankful for those who share the hard stuff.)

    3. Eddie R. says:

      Anecdotes serve to illustrate. They do not definitively prove a point, nor establish overall reality, nor establish blame for someone’s feelings of offense. If someone takes offense at something you say, does that mean that what you said was wrong, or even insensitive?

      You may be a victim of Sandusky but that does not mean that others cannot say that student athletes should pay attention to their coaches, or that they should do what they’re told to do? Both of those are true even if we could point to an anecdote demonstrating that saying those things might make one of Sandusky’s victims sick.

      If we could move away from “you offended me” which places the locus of control within the other person (which presumably victims don’t want, but some continue to act like that’s where they live), to “I don’t like what you said” (which now means that I own my behavior and reaction), we could then actually have a discussion about the problems with 50 Shades of Gray rather than a Complementarian’s intellectual or moral stature as defined by victims and their presumed advocates.

      Personally, I find the insinuation (well, outright statements in some cases) that if I too wasn’t offended to an outrage(ous) degree, that there must be something morally wrong with me, to be considerably intellectually dishonest. You see, I understood the point of the post, and I am not an ogre who is out of touch with reality or who goes around poking people in the eye with sharp sticks. And yes, I am quite familiar with trauma. But I also know that trauma is not me, and it is not you. It is something that occured in the past even if its memory isn’t pleasant. My reactions to reminders are my reactions. You don’t cause them and I can’t hold you responsible for them.

      And so, while I understand some people took offense at what they read because of their own histories, or some felt need to defend someone else with a history (both anecdotal), neither of those address the primary purpose behind the post (substance) which was against a thought pattern, habits, and having come ungrounded in our persons to the degree that a book of such low caliber and questionable message could be so popular.

      THAT considerably more substantive discussion was snuffed out by unchecked emotion.

      1. PD says:

        Thank you Eddie,

        I appreciate your insight.

    4. Victoria says:

      Well said Jack.

  80. Sue says:

    Jared,

    You appear to be saying that your original post was accurate although too blunt, foolish, and shaming/burdening. It seems that you still maintain the accuracy of the original citation of D. Wilson, that men “plant, etc.” as well as the origin of BDSM in egalitarianism.

  81. Sue says:

    Jack,

    You surely can’t find what D. Wilson wrote in the Bible! One should note that the Greek word sperma, translated as seed, refers to both the male and the female. It is not the man only who has seed. There needs to be some clarity here. The women in Jesus genealogy seduced and invited, they were sometimes the conqueror and sometimes the conquered. You simply cannot derive anything at all in the original post from the Bible.

  82. Carrie Burnett says:

    what a lovely example of the body of Christ has played out. thank you for your bravery in posting this apology, for being able to hear the voice of God above all the chaos. What a display of courage and grace and humility. Let the rest of us join him in dropping this conversation and let grace and love cover our multitude of sins.

    1. Scottie says:

      Carrie,

      I daresay that this conversation has uncovered some finer points of sexuality, sexual violence, and male-female violence that need to be talked through & understood.

      It has been painful for all — but to drop this conversation is to cover it all up & perpetuate the us versus them, preferring angry stalemate.

      I think we can do better, don’t you?

  83. zKatherine says:

    Jared, your apology has been accepted completely. I understand in your heart that you are sorry for the hurt the words inflicted on so many women and men.

    I do hope and pray that this topic of women’s roles in marriage and in church will continue to be discussed, prayed about, and wrestled with. It’s one that is not going away but is unnecessarily dividing Christians and causing deep pain.

    A few years ago as I was wrestling with this issue myself, I asked my pastor if he had the book, “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” and if so, could I borrow it? He gladly handed it over to me and then I asked, “Have you read any books from the other perspective that I could borrow?” He responded by saying, “No, I haven’t read anything from the other perspective.” How can we begin to understand each other when we’re not even willing to listen to a different interpretation or experience?!

    Perhaps if we more fully understood each other, not necessarily accepting but *understanding*, then we’d know better to avoid using such words as “conquering and colonizing” in books and quotes. Being sensitive to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ is a way in which we can “love one another”, as we go through this life together.

    1. Christena says:

      Thanks for your comment, ZKatherine. I agree. I believe that building meaningful friendships with our fellow brothers and sisters with whom we disagree and seeking to *understand* them are essentially activities of the body of Christ.

      I wrote about this:
      http://www.christenacleveland.com/2012/07/female-fight-club-why-we-should-put-down-our-gloves/

  84. Jack says:

    Dear Sue,

    I only occasionally agree with Doug Wilson on a small handful of issues; not unlike how I might occasionally agree with something George Stephanopolis says. But I abhor Wilson’s views on race and slavery, and his ideas about baptismal regeneration are repugnant. I would never invite him into my pulpit. He is a proponent of Federal Vision theology, which is as bad an error on the Reformed side of the fence as the Prosperity Gospel.

    There is no way to redeem a rape illustration. Wilson makes an excuse for himself by calling his obnoxious original post a “blunt instrument”, as if the only problem with it is rhetorical. It’s like someone trying to use the example of the shooter from Aurora, CO as an illustration of “assertiveness gone astray.”

  85. Jack says:

    After reading Wilson’s original quotation, I have to say his thinking is totally bizarre. The Bible attributes sin to evil desires (the sarx) within us that are inflamed by devilish temptation. Sin doesn’t have a sociological root; Christ said that all evil thoughts and actions spring from the heart. Women aren’t reading 50 Shades of Gray because their husbands aren’t authoritative enough. They like pretending to be prostitutes (which is what the young woman in the story chooses to be, basically), and that desire is itself evil.

  86. Sue says:

    Jack,

    Jared apologizes for being too blunt and hurtful, but there seems to be the notion that if only men were the audience then the post would have been okay. It would have been acceptable to talk about sexual congress like this in private from women.

    The real issue is that it is not accurate or biblical in any detail or overall.

    There are several inaccurate views on women being held up

    Some say that men conquer in the sex act, but that is not reflected in any of the couplings in scripture other than David and Bathsheba, and other raped women. All other women invite and have agency in sexual activity.

    Some say that marriage is a relationship of authority and submission, but Jared provides an anecdote to gainsay this.

    I cannot find any statement in the original post that is accurate or biblical.

    And I don’t blame Jared for this. He has been influenced by a culture that has these characteristics not accurate on women. But we need clarity just the same.

    1. Jim says:

      Sue,

      From my observation the spirit of the age blows at hurricane force levels through other blogs. To posit that Jarid essentially can’t help it because he is influenced by a non biblical culture is an assessment that can be levied at all. We cannot come to agreement or have a meaningful dialogue as believers untill that happens.

    2. SM says:

      This is what I would like to see addressed because until this post I assumed hierarchical complementarians had mutual pleasuring parties and mutual authority and responsibility to give conjugal debt(1 Co 7), and I still suspect they do, but they feel obligated to retain the language of a unilateral authority-submission paradigm. Doing so, has great potential for confusion. Agency is necessary for both husband and wife in order to take, know, and love rather than solely being taken, known, and loved. The language of the original post and its claim that there is a lack of masculine authority and female submission in marital sex also has to be considered in the broader context of complementarian teaching on submission and authority. For example, the common refrain among complementarian teachers is that “agreement is not submission, it is agreement.” If only female submission is an “erotic necessity” in relationship to masculine authority, and if agreement is not submission, what does that look like in complementarian sex?

    3. Jack says:

      The only thing Wilson got right is that God ordained that the man is the overseer of the family. Feminism is cultic, illustrated by its deceitful twisting of Galatians 3:28. Jesus and the Church are not equal in authority to each other (Ephesians 5:22-24). But what Wilson does is build the entire marital relationship around an authority/submission principle, which is a reductionist fallacy. Jesus’ relationship to the Church, which is the paradigm for marriage, is a relationship of authority, contra feminism. Jesus’ relationship to the Church is not solely, or even primarily, a relationship of authority — it’s a relationship of love and commitment, contra the patriarchalists. But I presuppose that this new patriarchalist movement is cultic, and not a valid form of the Biblical teaching on masculinity.

  87. Dave says:

    This whole discussion shows the inability of American Christians to rightly divide scripture when dealing with sex and marriage. It shows the inability of American Christians to read, write and understand the English language. It is similar to saying that niggardly is racist.

    Christians are supposed to change their culture toward a Christian view point not the other way around. How many of those outraged read Cosmo or watch the TV for their sex advice? How many of those outraged Christians bothered to read the scripture concerning rape before they fired off for the moon in their outrage? Not many. Did you bother to look in the Old Testament?

    This discussion reminds me of a Christian husband and wife radio talk show where they were discussing a friend’s desire to have an affair. The wife was all in favor of this friend having an affair because it would liven up and enhance this friend’s married sex life. The husband was not in favor of the affair but did not take a strong stance against it. Most of the callers claiming to be Christians were in favor of having an affair. That shows the extremely mixed up American Christian view of sex and marriage.

  88. Eddie R. says:

    I wonder whether the folks who also have blogs, and whose blogs began and perpetuated the name calling and public indignation are going to take down their blogs and the offensive comments associated with them? Are they going to apologize not just for their own major part in this circus, but for allowing the continued availability of rude and accusative posts by their readers?

    I wonder.

    1. Bekah M. says:

      Eddie,

      Good point. I thought the same thing, and when Jared posted this last night and pulled his initial posts, I followed suit and removed a post from my site that was much less than beneficial or constructive. While I still believe firmly the statements I had made concerning reader interpretation and authorial intent, the context in which it was written was only adding to the noise of the conflict instead of encouraging resolution and peace.

      My knee-jerk reaction came from the immediate move from criticizing one man’s (D. Wilson) point of view to a wholesale attack on an entire theological spectrum. As a complementarian who, on the spectrum of gender role theology, is probably closer to Rachel than Doug, I was angry that an entire group of people was being attacked for the words of one.

      But then I turned around and did much the same thing in my hurried desire to defend myself. So I repented, which I understand means to change my mind and change my behavior. On the Internet, the only way to change your behavior is to remove a post, which is what I did and what Jared has done.

      Now it seems some (certainly not all) continue to be angry, though now it’s not with his insensitivity or pride or whatever else, it’s with the fact that he does not agree with them, and that’s simply unreasonable.

      So I’m to take my own advice and do the hard work of interacting with individuals rather than doing the easy thing of launching attacks on entire groups of people. Seems as though many of us have engaged in dropping philosophical atomic bombs when hand-to-hand combat would have been more than sufficient.

      As a whole, I believe we’ve abandoned sharpening as iron and edifying the body and have replaced it with politically charged talking head commentary. If diatribes against extremist stereotypes are going to continue as a part of our society, they should be reserved for Rachel Maddow’s rants against Tea Party conservatives and Rush Limbaugh’s rants against socialist Democrats. It has no place in the body of Christ, and hopefully removing offensive posts will serve as a small step in that direction.

  89. Matt says:

    Well done, Jared. You are demonstrating the love of Christ in this post, even when it is difficult. Although I disagree with your original claim, I greatly respect you now.

  90. Sue says:

    The problem is that we are dealing with something that is

    1) entirely non-biblical. Nothing in the original post can be derived from scripture.

    2) It is not accurate in that it portrays a view of women that denies their reality. It is damaging to women to have to live forever viewed in a way that does not match the way God made them.

    3) It is unkind, inconsiderate, not moderate, and painful

    I absolutely agree that D. Wilson is against rape.

    However, prortraying women as wanting to be the submissive, when only a few do, and some men want that also, is not at all helpful to the myriad women who have suffered. There is a core damage being done to women. There is always scrapping between blogs, that is to be expected, but when women are treated in ways that dismissed their agency and personhood, it is especially painful.

    Once again, I really don’t know how Jared, who seems to be a nice person, wrote all this. I don’t think he reflected on it.

    But now is the time to state that this view of women is not true and not according to the Bible, or to any reality we know.

  91. James Palmer says:

    Thank you Jared. This post will do a lot of healing.

  92. RN says:

    Hmmm, missed the original post thus missed the entire context of what this was all about.

  93. Mitch says:

    Personally, I am glad to see this whole dialog take place. I was raised as a Christian and until a few years ago I was a believing, serving, and praying follower of Christ. It was only after I sought to deepen my knowledge of the bible that I discovered many of the atrocities (and contraditions and ambiguity, but that’s a whole other discussion) in the Christian holy book. Had I performed a fact-bases analysis of Christianity rather than assuming it to be true because my parents and their parents believed, I would never have followed this doctrine.

    Therefore, I’m happy to see these guys sharing an unfiltered view of what they believe and why they believe it. If discussions like these can help to illuminate what the bible says – and I mean ALL of it, not just the cool, feel-good stuff – I think more people will be better armed to make rational decisions about what they choose to believe.

    1. Dave says:

      Mitch, which church did you attend? How did you deepen your knowledge of the Bible?

      1. Mitch says:

        Assembly of God and Baptist in my youth/young adult years, and more recently, a nondenominational church.

        How did I deepen my knowledge of the Bible? In short, I found the Old Testament. The story of Joshua’s army slaughtering an entire city. God killing a woman for the “sin” of looking back at her home, and killing a servant for daring to try to catch the falling ark of the covenant. I think the law of Deuteronomy 22:28-29 would sum up my disgust.

  94. Stephanie says:

    Jared–I was deeply troubled by your original post, and I thank you for this beautiful display of grace and humility. No matter how much some of my fellow commenters feel compelled to draw lines, there’s no “us” vs. “them” in the Church. (In fact, as far as I’m concerned, that should be the whole point of egalitarianism!) May they know we are Christians by our love…and our graciousness and patience with one another. May we be of one mind and spirit, even when we disagree. :)

  95. Don Johnson says:

    I would like Jared to take off his blue lenses and become egal, but I agree that this is a lot to ask for. God is a God that honors a small step of faith. I hope Jared continues.

    I would hope that Jared and any group that claims Christ reconsider the use of quotes of Doug Wilson, at least until he repents.

    1. PD says:

      Don,

      We would love for you to take off your feminist glasses and become biblical, but we are willing to wait and understand that this is a lot to ask for.

      I could go on, but I already know what lies ahead…

  96. Neil Bassingthwaighte says:

    Jared, thank you for your heart-felt apology. After reading the blog in question, I had promptly contacted GC and asked them for a public apology. I didn’t believe that I would hear anything. I thank you that you have taken the initiative and have done that yourself. Although I may not agree with all of your theology; I greatly respect you for stepping forward, admitting what you did wrong, and asking for forgiveness. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you continue to deal with the aftermath of this issue.

  97. Brenda says:

    Jared, I will admit I’d never heard of you until this whole thing blew up. And it was not a great first impression (pretty awful, actually). I don’t tend to engage much in online conflict because it so quickly escalates and gets out of hand (as many people have done on this issue). Thank you for taking time to reflect. Thank you for owning up to your mistakes and how they have impacted other people. Thank you for listening to the many people who were speaking out of a genuine place of hurt. I have to say that this apology has done much for my respect for you. This was a very honorable thing to do, and I wanted to let you know how glad I am that you made your conclusions as public as you did the initial posts.

  98. Katherine says:

    Thank you very much for this humble response. I do strongly disagree with what was said in your first post and follow up, but my greatest concern was how the Gospel mission might suffer in all this. Reading responses from non-Christians over the past few days has seriously grieved me. Your gracious apology will, I hope, go a long way toward repairing the serious hit the name of Jesus has taken in the eyes of many unbelievers the past few days.

  99. Lisa Ruzicka says:

    I agree with those who feel that the issue is not that Wilson’s writing was posted, but that it is supported in much of the christian community. I am so thankful that I left the church when my children were very young – in large part because of misogynist teachings. As a result, my daughters respect themselves, and my son respects women. And neither my father, husband, nor son feel emasculated by dealing with women as equals.

    I think insecurity is what drives the thinking of men like Wilson and his followers. That someone could even think that women need to be conquered and colonized is an appropriate metaphor for describing sexual relations is sick.

  100. John Z says:

    Jared,

    Thank you for this apology. I too apologize if any words in the few things I said did not serve to edify and build up one another.

  101. Debbie says:

    Gracious post. Well done. Thank you for listening and responding.

  102. Bird says:

    I’m proud of you.

  103. Eddie R. says:

    Kristen,
    Your response to me is a case study in just what I was observing. When people feel hurt and are incapable of or unwilling to control their emotional reactions, they spiral out of control.

    You missed my point by simply reading it superficially. The point of reflection is not to make sure you’re going to be justified in public name calling and accusation.

    It is in fact, quite the opposite. It is supposed to move you to realize that your feelings and thoughts are yours and may be very influenced by your own history; they may not be at all accurate or relevant to the primary point of the discussion. Given that, the reflection should help you restrict your comments to whatever you don’t like without adding ad hominem accusations.

    We discuss our disagreements like Christians, not polarized and reactive victims (even if we are).

  104. Eddie R. says:

    Well, Doug posts a response to the hullabaloo and RHE tweets about it, but says she’s not going to engage him nor does she want her supporters to engage him. Um..why tweet about it then?

    That’s not the end of it though. RHE then tweets again about it to Jared, making some comment about her hopes and desires.

    We aren’t going to engage (a nice militaristic term) him, but we will tweet about him and make snide comments. No, we won’t engage him, we will just talk about him.

    If you don’t want people to engage him, why not just let it pass? Apparently we don’t want to.

    For the record, RHE needs to go fix her air conditioner and then maybe a margarita.

    We would all be better off if she did.

    1. Bekah M. says:

      Eddie,

      I was thankful to be made aware of Doug’s latest post concerning this entire thing. Especially in light of the cooperative and respectful tone this post and comment threads have, for the most part, taken, his continued condescending attack served to draw some distinctions between Doug and the vast majority of people who hold to a complementarian understanding of Scripture.

      The arrogant, sarcastic and condescending tone with which he wrote represents nothing of what I know of Jared or anyone else associated with TGC, and I hope that bringing attention to this one last rant of his will create a bit of distance between his position and tone and that of most complementarians I know.

      I haven’t known much of Doug Wilson or his work before this week, but if all I knew of Reformed complementarianism was based upon the writings of him and his family this week, I woudn’t like us either.

      Continuing to be upset with Doug is not an indication of Rachel’s need for a margarita or a repaired AC, although both sound like a good plan at this point. His remarks were completely uncalled for, and I have no problem saying he doesn’t represent me as a Reformed complementarian anymore than Westboro represents me as Baptist.

      1. Eddie R. says:

        Bekah,

        My point was that her tweeting about the post rather than simply letting it pass, belied her real objective and appears to me to be simply more of the same.

        Rather than continuing to even read posts by either Wilson on this topic, my inbox and the Christian world would be better off if she would find something more productive to do.

        With her continued picking at the wound, she simply continues the entire sick exchange, regardless of what anyone else writes.

        1. Bekah M. says:

          Eddie,

          Point taken. Now that all the “major players” have issued final statements, I hope all wound picking and cleaning is complete and further conversation is more in the spirit of healing treatment. Further conversation may be challenging and difficult for some, but it is possible for that to be constructive pain more akin to physical therapy than to the pain of being attacked and beaten.

          Bekah

      2. Rachael Starke says:

        Totally agree. And in reverse, if Reformed complementarianism does ever need a representative / spokeswoman, my vote is for Bekah Mason.

  105. Shannon says:

    It takes a big man to apologize. I didn’t agree with the original post, but have found the hostile dialogue possibly even more offensive. Thank you for extending the olive branch. I admire your integrity.

  106. Don Johnson says:

    http://randomcolin.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/language-sex-and-submission/ is a linguistic analysis of what Doug wrote and I post the link here to increase the chance that Jared will read it and be better able to understand some of the concerns.

    1. Eddie R. says:

      Yes, words have multiple meanings and nuances.

      I still get to choose both how I take what you say, and my own reaction to it.

      If I choose to be “hurt,” that’s my call, regardless of which connotation I choose to go with in any particular moment.

      1. Scottie says:

        Eddie R,

        If i say some very rude things to you, perhaps about what you and your beloved look like & your intelligence and how you both smell, but mean them in a nice way, get ready to choose your reaction.

        1. Eddie R. says:

          OK. Over to you.

  107. Jonathan says:

    This is a gracious and very appropriate response. Thank you.

    And thank you for rising above the other Wilson in this matter.

    Blessings.

  108. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for this apology. Even though I am still unsure and concerned about your views on sex and Christian marriage, the main issue for me (the one that actually triggered my feelings of anxiety and shame that I experience due to sexual abuse) was the dogmatic, condescending,unmoving and seemingly uncaring attitude.

    It was that sort of disregard and lack of concern that led someone to harm me and it was the same disregard that upset me in this discussion.

    You have shown so much humility with this apology, and as someone else said, made this comments section a much safer and loving place, as it should be. Thank you again!

  109. KK says:

    Thank you for apologizing.

  110. Joseph Bayly says:

    Now that you’ve got people offended by your apology, I can’t help but asking, are you going to apologize for the previous apology?

    1. Eddie R. says:

      ROFL!!!

    2. Rachel B says:

      Amen!

    3. Jim says:

      Well played, Mr. Bayly, well played!

  111. SD Smith says:

    I love your blog, Jared. I admire your humility and appreciate your example in this and other matters. You are a gentleman, as the wise women in your life happily testify. You and men like you are central to the solution to the tragedy of abuse and devaluing of women, certainly not the problem. If I hate abuse of all kinds toward women (and I do with every last part of my being), then I say, More Jared Wilsons!

    Be strong and courageous, strong to serve and courageous to love. Bear the crown God has assigned you, for as our brother C.S. Lewis said, it is a crown of thorns.

    I would be astonished (and saddened) if this didn’t lead to scores of Christians more eager to hear from you.

    God be mighty on your behalf and give you joy!

  112. Laura Johnson says:

    You have won a good deal of respect in my eyes. Thank you.
    (A Rachel Held Evans reader)

  113. Bee says:

    I was one of the women who read your original post and was thrown back into memories of a time I would rather not revisit, so this apology was written, among many others, to me. I accept your apology, and I appreciate your willingness to take responsibility for your words.

    Also, “groggy, barely saved, and only borderline competent” is just about the best description of Chronic Morning Brain that I’ve ever heard, and I may use it myself in the future. :D

  114. Rebecca says:

    Thank you, Jared.

  115. Mihee says:

    “I agree with Kristin. I see nothing here beyond an acknowledgement that people were hurt by the post (which is rather obvious) and an admission of fault that the words were posted for the “wrong” audience (with an implication that those who objected aren’t capable of handling “bluntness”). Frankly, neither the bluntness of the passage nor the audience it was shared with were what critics of the post objected to, so to apologize for them is to apologize for issues no one has raised. What people objected to was the *meaning* of the passage and its implications for women in particular, and Jared has shown no indication that he grasps how both are dangerous.”

    I didn’t get a chance to read the original posts. I think I’m glad, in a way. So I feel a little funny commenting especially since it will likely get lost in the rest but I came across Jamie’s and Rachel’s and Sarah Bessey’s posts last night and tonight. These are gracious women. Sarah pointed me to this post, and while she seemed encouraged by it, my initial reaction – sorry, but, lame.

    I think if you call yourself a complementarian the bar is set pretty high. You should know better. We expect you to know better if you take on this kind of a label. Just the fact that you voiced such an extremely judgemental and almost flippant and condescending perspective (which again I only know as quoted in other blogs) just makes me wonder how far these “movements” (complementarian, egalitarian, feminist, blahblahblah) have really led us. I’ve grown tired and cynical but it makes me all the more determined to call out those inequities as anti-gospel and anti-God’s kingdom for the sake of my daughter(s?).

    I quoted the above because I felt she and Kristin resonated with me the most. I hope that you realize just how much work there is to be done and that you will be a genuine part of it.

    1. Jen says:

      Excuse me for butting in, but if you didn’t read the original posts, then I don’t think your criticism of the apology is either fair or warranted. If women whom you respect, who did read the posts and then posted their acceptance of Jared’s apology, then I think it’s only fair for you to accept it as well.

  116. Sparky8 says:

    Thank you, Jared for your apology. We can go on for weeks debating the sincerity of Jared’s apology but as Lecrae (who is an awesome rapper btw) once said, “Believe the best about people, pray for their short comings. You are not the standard, we all need grace.” For those of you still still deeply pained by Jared’s initial response and/or his views and abhorring hate and rage, I’d like you to remember that. Love above all else.

    God bless.

  117. Carol says:

    Re: Andrew’s comment on substitutionary atonement, there is a detailed article on that vs. the Christus victor theory online:

    Penal Substitution vs. Christus Victor

    http://therebelgod.com/cross_intro.shtml

    Understanding the Cross from the perspective of grace rather than legalism

    Introduction

    As a Christian I had always understood the cross on a heart level – I understood deep down in my guts that the cross screamed out how much God loved me. It was something beautiful that spoke of how valued I was in the eyes of God as expressed in the simple and profound statement “Jesus died for me”. Moreover, I experienced in the depths of who I am the power of the cross working in my life – the love of God opened up to me, bringing life into the dark and broken places. Yet while I knew this saving power and reality of the cross as an experiential reality in my life, at the same time I didn’t understand in my head how it worked. I was unable to communicate to others the radical love that I saw and experienced there at the foot of the cross, and found myself dissatisfied with the legalistic explanations I heard. Why did God need the cross to save us? How does it make anything better? These were the questions I asked myself.

    Back on subject: Biblical Revelation doesn’t change; but our understanding of it definitely does. Scripture has been used to justify all sorts of individual and collective social behavior that is abhorrent now, slavery being a primary case in point.

    Human sexuality is being rethought because, for the first time in history the unitive function unique to human sexuality, has become as important, or perhaps even more important, than the reproductive function which is shared by all biological life.

    It is on the basis of the unitive function of human sexuality that claims for the legitimacy of committed same-sex spousal relationships rest. Since Jesus stated in response to the Pharisees question of whose wife the widow who married several brothers would be in heaven was that there would be no marrying or giving in marriage in heaven, perhaps–from an Eternal perspective, this is not as important an issue as it has become in the minds of many. Personally, while I have no tolerance for predatory behavior, I am disposed to leave such matters to individual consciences in their relationship with God and others. In light of the suffering and stress on families that the present economic crisis is causing, I am much more concerned with what goes on in America’s boardrooms than I am with what goes on in America’s bedrooms.

  118. Matt Kennedy says:

    I do not agree with Doug Wilson’s sentiments expressed in the original quote…but wow. I think the commenter above who expressed dismay at the lack of ability to build and sustain a biblical argument among American evangelicals is right on target.

    “Your beliefs hurt my feelings. Therefore you must apologize and change them…” is not a biblical argument. It is, as someone commented above, a form of manipulation – a tyrannical yalp.

    Truth doesn’t always feel good. Error often feels awesome. We’re sinners and love what we ought to hate and hate what we ought to love so our emotions are horrifically bad discernment tools.

    The ability to assess a proposition with godly wisdom in light of biblical revelation and apart from our emotive reactions is indispensable.

    Biblically speaking, Doug Wilson’s view (at least as it was quoted) is substance-less. “Doug Wilson’s speculations on sex” would’ve been a better title for the original post since that was the core content. Perhaps there is a better argument in the book, but the quote itself has nothing to commend it.

    At the same time I certainly understand Doug Wilson’s latest response. He won’t be manipulated or bullied by those who “take offense” to force their views. Good for him.

  119. Laura says:

    To everyone who is talking about women who have been abused and their hurt feelings, or choosing their hurt feelings, I’d ask you to read up just a bit on post traumatic stress disorder.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_traumatic_stress_disorder

    If a man who had been in a terrible battle, seeing his friends die and wondering if he was going to die himself, dove under a table when he heard fireworks, would you tell him he chose his response? Would you set off firecrackers outside his house every July 4 and tell him to get over it if he asked you not to? No, of course you wouldn’t! Yet you complementarians who are saying these things to women completely set aside the “weaker vessel” thing you ought to be all over, and expect women to be stronger than men.

    1. Eddie R. says:

      The point is that people do set off firecrackers on the 4th, and it isn’t their fault if he jumps under the bed.

      Now, there’s a difference between specifically going to his house and setting them off, knowing that he suffers from PTSD.

      It’s an entirely different situation when he walks downtown and somebody sets off a firecracker on July 5th. They’re not wrong, and he cannot say that his reaction is their fault or that they shouldn’t have done it simply because he had an adverse reaction.

      That is nonsensical.

      And, by the way, I’m quite familiar with PTSD, its etiology, its course, and its treatment. That has nothing to do with a trauma survivor’s penchant for blaming someone for his reaction to a public forum.

      1. Laura says:

        Eddie, as I said, if your neighbor asked you not to set off firecrackers outside his house on July 4, I think you’d stop. I hope you would.

        Do you honestly doubt that women are raped, or that raped women might be distressed by talk of how they are supposed to be conquered and colonized by their husbands; or is it that you want these women to understand that at public forums that say they are proclaiming the gospel, they’re probably going to be hurt? You think they should stay away from sites with the word “Gospel” in the title because they’ll probably be re-traumatized? Is that what Jesus wants?

        What in the heck is so dadgum important about asserting that sex is something men do to women and insisting on using aggressive terms like “conquering” that are NOT BIBLICAL, that means that if women are driven away from the Cross, that’s a price you’re willing to pay? (The “planting” part is Muslim, though.)

        And finally, you say you know about PTSD. I am really appalled, then, that you would have the attitude that you do.

        1. Eddie R. says:

          I can’t keep you from being appalled; you’re quite allowed to be. But apparently, you have either not read my posts, or you already have decided what I said (even though I didn’t). In fact, your comments illustrate exactly what I have been observing in this whole affair.

          I have not said you should INTENTIONALLY set off fireworks.

          What I have said is that if you are walking round in public and someone set off a firework, your reaction is your reaction. They did not cause your reaction and cannot be blamed for it.

          People with trauma backgrounds are healthier if they own their trauma as something that happened to them; acknowledge that it has made them somewhat different; and then allow other people to live their lives without having to walk around on eggshells or feel bad about just living their lives.

          I am not at all sure how you have concluded that I am a complementarian, but at the same time, I’m not sure how that has any bearing on whether or not your reaction to a firecracker is my fault.

          I have not said anything about sex or conquering, or anything else sexual. What I have observed is that the reaction to the original post was over the top and irrational.

          What I have said is that if someone with a trauma history has an adverse reaction to something that occurs in public, they need to understand that their reaction is their reaction.

          They cannot blame someone else.

          1. Laura says:

            Eddie, we’re talking past each other.

            The neighbor walking downtown and finding fireworks on July 5 would be like the rape victim reading a random website and coming across something.

            The neighbor being distressed by you setting off fireworks outside his house after he explained his PTSD to you and you asked him to stop would be like the woman who read a website with the word “Gospel” in the title, expecting to find some, reading predatory garbage in it, expressing her distress about that, and then having herself and her concerns mocked.

            Well, it doesn’t matter, because any woman who in fact was distressed by this knows not to come to this website anymore looking for Jesus. So it’s all good. She wasn’t wanted here anyway.

  120. Tiarali says:

    So, what I’m reading here is that it’s perfectly ok for Jared to teach men to rape – sorry, conquer – their wives, but it isn’t ok to say that to actual abuse victims because then they’ll get mad?

    That’s not an apology. It really isn’t.

    I had a letter from a pastor once, which basically said, “I’ve done nothing wrong, but I’m sorry that you think you’ve been hurt by people other than myself…” his supporters consider that an apology. It is a non-apology, just like the post above.

  121. Jennifer J. says:

    Thank you, Jared. You’ve shown humility by posting this, and that is truly strong and honourable.

    Those who now continue to belligerently attack those who queried the original post are embracing – not dispelling – darkness.

    Thanks for letting (your) light shine by pursuing reconciliation.

  122. Benedict says:

    Hi all,

    Jesus is close to the brokenhearted and abused. He is a friend of sinners, whether you are the victim or the perpetuator. On the Cross, He bore the sins of both of them. Maybe the reason we are in too so much argument with each other is because we have failed to look at the Finished Work of Christ- what He has done! It is not what we do that will heal ourselves or what others do that will make the world a better place… it is what He has done that will supply all grace to our lives. The Gospel isn’t about us, it is about Him! His death on the cross is what makes bitter waters sweet. Let’s turn our ears and eyes from ourselves to Jesus- He who was found eating with the tax collectors and sinners, who gave the woman caught in adultery the gift of no condmenation and He who lived the perfect life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died. Amen.

  123. Carol says:

    Benedict posted:

    Jesus is close to the brokenhearted and abused. He is a friend of sinners, whether you are the victim or the perpetuator. On the Cross, He bore the sins of both of them. Maybe the reason we are in too so much argument with each other is because we have failed to look at the Finished Work of Christ- what He has done! It is not what we do that will heal ourselves or what others do that will make the world a better place… it is what He has done that will supply all grace to our lives. The Gospel isn’t about us, it is about Him! His death on the cross is what makes bitter waters sweet. Let’s turn our ears and eyes from ourselves to Jesus- He who was found eating with the tax collectors and sinners, who gave the woman caught in adultery the gift of no condmenation and He who lived the perfect life we should have lived, and died the death we should have died. Amen.

    So true! It was a very young 20-something, who had not received much love and nurturing from his parents, that impressed me with his insight that ” for a Christian it is not only a sin to give offense, it is also a sin to take offense.”

    Becoming a Christian is not so much inviting Christ into one’s life as getting oneself into Christ’s life.~Orthodox Study Bible

  124. Judah says:

    Word to the wise: stay away from Doug Wilson. I just wish John Piper had had enough sense not to write a book with him! http://www.amazon.com/Father-Hunger-Calls-Their-Families/dp/1595554769

  125. Kim says:

    Your humility is a much appreciated (and needed) additive in the conversation surrounding gender roles. Thank you for listening, and responding out of that listening. I truly appreciate what that must have taken from you. We can only work together and heal when we’re actually listening to each other and I thank you for engaging in this now.

    Please know that, at least for myself, I did not misunderstand your posts. I did not believe you to be advocating violence. And yet, I was still appalled. Sometimes these disagreements we have within the church come from not listening to each other, and sometimes they come from the variable that we are all operating within interpretation and our own experiences. Whenever we acknowledge this, we move the conversation forward AND reach out to each other in peace.

    Thank you for being a part of this reaching out.

  126. John Shore says:

    An apology for style and not substance is no apology at all. This isn’t an act of contrition; it’s damage control. Yawn.

  127. nhe says:

    Hi Jared,

    I apologize for not commenting till now.

    Though we’ve never met personally, I’ve read most of what you’ve written and been a fan of your blogs for going on a decade+ it seems. (I like to say back before anyone KNEW you, but then I’d be name-dropping).

    First, let me say, this really bums me out. I can’t think of any Christian leader of some renown out there currently who deserves to be misunderstood less than you do.

    Whether your posts/tweets be gospel-centered (which they always are) or just plain “my brand of humor” (which they so often are) you always lead with humility and respond to others in grace and truth.

    On the subject in question, you’ve just been flat misunderstood by many. People who have used words like rape, misogyny, abuse, etc (in response to these 3 threads) should be ashamed.

    So, anyway, as an ardent supporter, I just want to say that I put you right up there with Keller and Piper as people I have never met personally who have changed my life.

  128. Sue says:

    I agree that the content of the post was innappropriate and should be apologized for. It is not the bluntness, but I am surprpised that anyone would think these things about sex at all – ever. As I have said, this view of sex is not biblical and not true. So, why should anyone express it in a Christian arena. Surely survivors of trauma don’t have to put up with the fantasies that immature males might have about sex. We should all be protected from this.

    1. mel says:

      One would think that he had said that only the missionary position is biblical by the reactions he got.

      The whole conversation reminded me of the song “All I Want to Do Is Make Love to You” by Heart. A horrible song from a Christian point of view but obviously “planting” something is a pretty common thought no matter how much one would try to deny it.

  129. Joel Chan says:

    Christ is all, indeed. I commend you for this apology, and the humility and grace involved in it. A commenter I read on this exchange said that such grace in conversation (especially on hot-button issues of theological disagreement with very real practical implications, e.g., gender roles, abortion, homosexual marriage) in the blogosphere is like “gold dust” – unfortunately too rare.

    Thank you for glorifying Christ and raising the conversation out of the mud it was in.

    1. taco says:

      So glad Doug Wilson keeps his head up instead of caving in to the pressures of the culture.

  130. Steve D says:

    Jason, I appreciate your humility in apologizing. I would have really liked to hear YOUR observations about 50 Shades Of Gray instead of Doug’s book quotes.

    One of the things that has stuck out in my mind is not all of the other stuff that you quoted from Doug, but that Doug suggests that wives get permission from their husbands to read his book. My wife does not ask my permission on what books that she should read. She might ask my opinion, but not my permission. Frankly, if Doug needs to put a warning on his book, it might be well worth passing. Husband and wife should have NO secrets. That’s the type of relationship that the Bible calls for, a oneness with your spouse. Can’t have that if you read a book that you would not want to share.

    1. Jim says:

      Steve,

      Do you not agree that Men and Women struggle differently in the sexual realm? Wlisons intended audience was for men and boys. Think of it as a Trigger Alert. No where did he say the wife needed to ask permission (or suggested to get permission) to read the book. It amazes me how people who have such a strong opinion of Wilson continue to spin false narratives.

      Jim

      1. Steve D says:

        Jim

        From the Intro to Doug Wilson’s book:

        “This book was written for men and their sons. I suggest that wives read this only when their husbands give it to them, and not the other way around.”

        Maybe not permission per se, but not exactly an open invitation for wives to read.

        I’ve been married for over 29 years. We’re pretty much transparent with our marriage. I wouldn’t think about reading a book that purports to be about marriage that my wife would be uncomfortable reading.

        Men and women may very well struggle differently in the sexual realm. However, why wouldn’t I want my wife to be involved with that struggle? In essence, my wife is my accountability partner. According to scripture, that’s the way it should be.

        1. Jim says:

          Steve,

          I must respectfully ask you to stick to the plain meaning of the words in context. In this instance suggestion does not equal permission.

          What what was intended is that this is a book for men to work thorough with their sons. It is to be used to help the men teach their sons about how to best handle their sexuality in a God honoring fashion.

          I absolutely agree that a wife should be involved in her husband’s struggles..and he with hers. This is not an attempt to hide struggles, but a way to bluntly communicate and equip boys.

          1. Steve D says:

            Jim

            Let me use the blunt instrument…
            First, can we agree that Doug wants men to read his book? Oh and if your husband has read it and thinks it’s ok, you can read it if you’re his wife.

            I cannot fathom ANY book written by a Christian writer who would use this:
            “This book was written for men and their sons. I suggest that wives read this only when their husbands give it to them, and not the other way around.”
            in the Intro.

            I cannot conceive of anything that a Christian writer would write that would need that type of warning. Do you really think that most wives are unaware of what their husbands are thinking,even fantasizing about?

            I have been reading Doug Wilson’s blog for about a year on and off. I am not terribly impressed. Yup, he uses big words, but they are to obfuscate his meaning. Taking everything to reducto ad absurdum is a poor way to communicate. I haven’t read the Fidelity book, frankly I have no interest. I have seen this same subject covered better elsewhere without the snarky,insulting comments.

            I suspect that Doug doesn’t really want wives to read his book first since most thinking wives will throw the book across the room and possibly break glass.

  131. Elaine says:

    Thank you for your apology. It shows great courage, humility, and love. As one of those women who was offended, I completely forgive you.

  132. Tal says:

    I am dumbfounded that anyone would care what Rachel Held Evans thinks. It is sad that honest dialogue has to retreat from those who make a living undermining the Scriptures.

  133. Rachel says:

    A kind answer truly turns away wrath. I am truly grateful for this and am encouraged by your humble heart. I understood where you were coming from, but as a victim, it still stung. Thank you for this.

    Rachel

  134. Enoch Thomas says:

    Good job for doing the hard part of apologizing and clarifying. However, the retraction of the blog, I believe was uncalled for. A clarification blog should have been enough, but it seems that people read one thing that rubs them wrong and they begin to put on the “wounded knee” face, crying for justice against their supposed injustice. This was turned into something that it was not. But some people, (RHE), just can’t wait to cry out, “He hurt my feelings”.

  135. Matrix Lajon says:

    I did not get to see the post. By the time this came to my attention the post was deleted. I think this post was spot on though. Always good to apologize when it is needed.

  136. BelovedH says:

    Dear Jared, I was wondering if you had considered the possibility that the reason you got so many supportive messages from women, including ones who had been abused was because that in a heirarchy, humans will often display the same behaviour as that of animals, ie they know their place. Have you ever seen how the undominant animals act when the alpha male comes along roaring or beating his breast? They lie on the floor, stomach exposed, in a gesture of submission – they don’t want to anger the one who could tear them apart on a whim. Similarly, humans sense that if they passively curry favour with the powerful members of society, then they will avoid the hostility and derision that befalls more vocally assertive individuals. It is also a characteristic of Christian women who do not want to be “as rebellious as witches” in God’s view, others’ views or their own view, to side with the advocates of male authority. They want to be seen as “good” women. And if they’ve been abused, then this makes it even harder to recognise their own need for boundaries, if they have had them violated in the past, then that is their normality which makes abuse difficult to spot in the present and very threatening and scary to face up to. The effects of abuse is a complicated subject, which has been written about extensively, I am sure you are quite capable of educating yourself about it and I trust that you would be willing to do so in order to understand why your comments were so dangerous.

    1. Jared C. Wilson says:

      No, BelovedH, I hadn’t considered that possibility. In fact, I find it pretty offensive to women, as if women are not intelligent or strong enough to hold a particular view without it being a distortive weakness resulting from their victimization.

      1. BelovedH says:

        It has nothing to do with being not intelligent or not strong enough, quite the opposite in fact. It is an understandably instinctive response by people who want to survive in a patriarchal society where the balance of power is tipped in favour of men as husbands, leaders of churches and in positions of authority in government and society. And quite understandable given the level of vitriol that people like Rachel Held Evans incur whenever they have the courage to speak up for the truth. After all, she is only continuing the revolution in attitudes towards women that Jesus started by the way He related to the women in His life.

      2. BelovedH says:

        I think that often people’s responses are also due to their upbringing – our first experience of authority is that of our parents and when we are at our most receptive to influence. Was our unquestioning obedience rewarded with praise or favour? Were our anger and questions met with punishment or withdrawal of affection? Are we rebelling against our childhood, embracing it, denying it, repeating it or raging against it, for instance? In any discussion, there are more than two people involved – there is also a whole backlog of experiences with others, both positive and negative, which means that we are not really responding to each other, after all, we don’t know each other personally, but instead we are responding to our experiences. I think that people need to remember that and take it into account when reading all these responses. I also think that biblical interpretation is based less on objectivity and more on our influences, our personalities, our environment, our upbringing and whatever school of thought we are loyal to. If that was not so, then why are people so diametrically opposed to each other and so convinced that they are right and know what God is saying to us and that others are so wrong?

  137. John C. says:

    Jared,
    I want to thank you for your humility in your apology. I am so encouraged by it and I really respect you! I really love and respect the work that you do to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love that you have a passion and commitment to gospel centrality in your preaching and writing. I just want to encourage you during a seemingly turbulent time in your blog ministry, being that some people are upset at you. Keep doing what you are doing! People can see that Christ is elevated by and in your humility and ministry. In a day and culture where feminism invades all areas of life (including Christianity), people will be angry with a complementarian stance. I respect you Jared. Thanks!

  138. JH says:

    Very professionally done–thank you for it.

  139. anonymous says:

    Jared, the difference between your apology and Douglas Wilson’s “responses” over the past couple of days (most notably, this one: http://www.dougwils.com/Sex-and-Culture/the-politics-of-outrage.html) is day and night. You are the day.

    Thank you for caring more about the traumas and hurt of others than proving how “right” you are. It is a rare humility among pastors/theologians, I’m afraid.

    As a survivor, I appreciate your apology.

  140. Rachel says:

    Moral of the story:
    NEVER read the comments. They’re just depressing.

    1. a young'un says:

      honestly.
      (praying for you and your co-belligerents, Pastor Wilson)

      1. Jim says:

        Amen! Pastor Wilson and others that are faithfull are standing in the gap.

  141. leslie says:

    thank you so much for this gracious apology. it does my heart good. I really appreciate your self-reflection and humiltiy.

  142. Pingback: Gender mess
  143. Carol says:

    John writes:
    That last comment is problematic. We can’t get ourselves into Christ. He does that — puts us in the risen life of Christ — or it isn’t done. I’m hoping that you’re not getting teaching from the “Orthodox” church.

    While all religious Traditions contain a sectarian mix of authentic insight, half-truths and error and Eastern Orthdoxy has its own faults and failings, I agree with the criticism of the Orthodox Churches of the East that the Latin/Western Churches are excessively rationalistic and legalistic.

    The motto of the Roman Empire is Lex rex–law is king. Good motto for a secular democracy; but in the Kingdom of God Law isn’t king–Christ is!

    The typical moralist sees grace as a means to fulfill a commandment. He puts the commandment in the first place and sees the difference of Old and New Testaments in the observance of the Decalogue. In the Old Testament they did not have the grace to keep the commandments; now in the New Testament they have sufficient grace if they use all the means, the sacraments, and so on. This is an anthropocentric, moralistic approach which makes the grace of Christ and finally Christ Himself only the means for the law, for the commandments . But primacy is not the law, the commandments “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not”; the primacy is our Lord, who in his grace, his tremendous love, comes to encounter us. –Bernard Haering, C.Ss.R., Redemptorist Moral Theologian

    In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe , where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.–Richard Halverson, former chaplain of the United States Senate

    Over the last 20 years, God has taken me deeper and deeper into His own heart. He has transformed me (and has promised to continue that!) with revelation, by lavishing His Love, and sometimes by saying, “this one will now suffer for a season”. I know Him, trust Him, and love Him. So excuse me when I find it funny when some Facebook person questions my “salvation” because I don’t line up with their exact doctrine. ~ David Wilson

    I love Jesus, it’s his fan club that freaks me out!–Blog Post

    In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing.– Mark Twain

  144. BelovedH says:

    Maybe the problem is that there is a huge difference between worldly authority and Godly/biblical authority. The first is characterised by superiority, deference to and possibly, abuse of whereas the second is characterised by serving, self-sacrifice, care, love, responsibility for (see Ephesians 5:25-33) and by what Jesus did for us. Nobody wants to be “conquered” or “colonised” not countries and certainly not people (unless they have soul injuries). Just as staunch atheists are usually angry at the God they think they know rather than who God actually is, women get angry when biblical teachers (who will be judged more strictly than the rest of us, don’t forget), seem to be promoting worldly authority, which many of us have fallen foul of. I have little problem submitting to God’s authority because I know he will never abuse it. I have no such certainty when it comes to people. That they abuse their power is plain for all to see. Just a thought…

  145. Ray Ortlund says:

    It’s a privilege to be your friend, Jared.

  146. David says:

    Doug Wilson’s response was the right one. You don’t agree with Rachel, isn’t this tantamount to, “I’m sorry I made you feel that way?” Why is it your original post made her feel “that way”? Doug’s response answers this question. Just as Feminism may have little to do with true femininity, apologies may have little to do with true grace, especially when it concedes the position of ‘truth’. You alone know your heart, if your intent was loveless then that is a different matter. To be misunderstood requires no apology … just clarification.

    1. Lou says:

      I disagree. Jared is the one who comes out looking like the real man in this whole thing and I am grateful for him. He has proven that his intent was not as charged by those who misread him.

  147. BryAna says:

    Jared,
    Thank you so much for this apology. Sometimes, I am tempted to think that men never apologize, and never admit wrong. But here, you have apologized, even when I didn’t believe you were wrong. This is a beautiful display of Christ and of serving the bretheren here. Christ is the law and the example!

  148. Susan says:

    This comment may be out of place, and if so, please excuse me. I have loosely followed this web “conversation” since last week and while there are certainly genuine differences of opinion among Christians, I think there is also a lot of talking past one another.

    Here’s how I see it. There are basically four different views all claiming to be Biblically correct. Patriarchy, Complementarianism, Egalitarianism, and (Christian) Feminism. These are expressed in various degrees of purity, but it seems to me that each has a slightly different focus. Patriarchy highlights the authority of men and contrasts that to the submission of women (and children) and house plants. Complementarians add love to this mixture–men should lead and rule *in love* they say–and the woman should submit. Egalitarians focus on the inherent equality of the sexes–all should rule, all should love, all should submit. And feminists highlight not only the equality of the sexes, but also the power of women, though they tend to view the power of women as the same as the power of men.

    If you look at the focus of each group you can see why they talk past each other and why they conflict at various points–or have sympathies to other particular groups. An egalitarian will have affinity and sympathy for feminism because they both focus on equality at their base. This makes an egalitarian prone to accusations of being a feminist–though in reality she does differ because she is concerned with the power of her male counterparts more than feminism generally is. Egalitarians often make distinctions in forms of power as well, while Feminism more often homogenizes power as authority. And just as egalitarians get lumped in with feminists, so Complementarians get lumped in with those who hold to Patriarchy–because of the focus on authority and submission. It’s easy to miss the big focus that Complementarians have added–that of a man’s love.

    I find that I don’t fall cleanly into any of these groups, because I find them all to be skewed to one direction or another. I believe this is for two reasons: First, there is a huge piece of information missing in most conversations in the Patriarchy and Complementarian camps–the power of a woman. There is talk of the power of a man and (in the case of the Complementarians) the love of a man and there is talk of the submission of the woman–but where is the power of a woman? Why isn’t it named, defined, described and celebrated? Feminine power is a reality of creation and because we are equally created in the image of God, feminine power (which can be named in various ways, but for the sake of discussion here, I’ll call it influence) is EQUAL to a man’s authority. Until this power is brought into the discussion and is defined, described, and celebrated the same as a man’s power of authority we are not going to come to any peace on this issue. Women cannot be expected to submit to a man’s authority without having some understanding of and responsibility for their own power–at least not without feeling either ARE or are merely viewed as “less than.”

    Secondly, I believe that it’s false to juxtapose a man’s authority to a woman’s submission. A man’s authority is limited by the bounds of love. Beyond love, he has no authority. His authority, like all authority (or power of any kind), is derived, not primary. When authority is opposed to submission several things happen: You offend a lot of women, you limit a lot of other women unnecessarily and to the detriment of all, and you put some women in actual danger. That’s because there is no way to speak about these things consistently without coming across as domineering at best and misogynistic at worst because the language used in the details (such as the conquering and colonizing comment) is framed by the faulty context of authority opposed to submission. That comment, in and of itself, could have been describing healthy sex in any loving relationship or it could have described rape. How it was interpreted depended on the experience of the person reading as well as their understanding of the relationship between the sexes.

    Oppose masculine power to love.
    Oppose feminine power to submission.
    Show them as equal in all ways–because though they differ in form and function, they are equal in power and glory as reflections of a powerful and glorious Creator.
    Show love and submission as the forms of SELF-governance that they are so that men don’t hurt women with their power and women don’t hurt men with theirs.
    Show resistance to the abuse of power by either sex as a GOOD THING. Women ought to be resisting the power of men when they are outside the bounds of love–and she ought not to be shamed for doing so. And men ought to be resisting the power of women when they abuse their power–and they ought not to be considered cruel for doing so.

    That is the web-discussion that I would love to be part of.

    May the Lord of us all bring peace and reconciliation between the sexes and between the various views about power that we may all serve one another in powerS, love and submission.

  149. Matt says:

    Susan,

    I’m assuming that in drawing a distinction between patriarchs and merely complementarians you have something more that just your own hunch and/or conjecture in the background? If the latter group “adds love” to the recipe, I’m left to assume that the former believe it to be unnecessary or, perhaps, negligible?

    Do I read you correctly?

    If I do, whom do you have in mind? If, for example, you would have Pastor Wilson (or others like him), you could go to (literally) hundreds of places in his books, sermons, etc. where he has consistently and forcefully placed his understanding of a husband’s authority in the context of his responsibility to love his wife sacrifically. His short wedding homilies alone would give any objective reader sufficient proof… if the reader is willing to be persuaded.

    I’ve been in these circles for a long time and I’ve not seen any – as in ZERO – pastors, teachers, conference speakers, etc. who teach on the authority a husband bears (by divine command) over (yes, over) his wife in marriage without emphasizing the duty to love sacrificially.

    If you have, please provide some citations, links, etc. Men’s reputations are on the line.

    Finally, it’s curious that your entire email post bears the same “victimization” mentality that characterizes so much of evangelical “egalitarianism.” Men, in your mind, clearly have a responsibility to lead/exercise authority in love… sacrificing one’s good for the other. Fine. That’s as it should be.

    What I don’t see is any indication of what it might mean to “submit” to a husband “out of reverence for Christ.” As a rule, I see NOTHING – nada – coming out of the so-called ‘egalitarian-feminist’ camp concerning what godly submission to a Christ-honoring husband would look like. It’s as if everyone’s embarrassed Paul said THAT (What was he thinking?!), so let’s just run Galatians 3 up the flagpole again and hope no one asks about Ephesians 5, Colossians 3, or the creation order of Genesis.

    But perhaps you could point me to exceptions or examples?

    Jared’s pulling of his post and throwing the other Pastor Wilson under the bus is hailed as wisdom and compassion; some of us aren’t convinced it was anything other than cowardice under pressure. If Jared really doesn’t stand by the content of the post, then he needs to be much more careful to screen his theology before he posts deliberately cheeky posts. Apparently, his Jesus IS that safe.

    1. Susan says:

      Hi Matt,

      I was not, not, not referring to Doug Wilson or anyone else that you might be concerned about as far as reputation. I’ve had some intimate exposure (for about 10 years) to some who call themselves Reformed Presbyterians who are NOT part of any local church or denomination, and who are rather obscure, who hold what *I* would consider a view of authority that severely diminishes a man’s responsibility to use his authority in love. (You also see this in SOME home-schooling circles regardless of denomination.) They would give lip-service to the duty to love, but the emphasis in practice is HUGELY put upon the women to submit–even to the point of outright abuse. I consider these people fringe groups in general, but their reputation is notable and is spilling over onto men who would oppose the behavior that earned the reputation. I very much distinguish these kinds of folks from those who hold to Complimentarianism in practice. But because of the former group I think it would be good for the Complimentarians to distinguish themselves more clearly in the two ways that I mentioned–not just by focusing on love which they already do. Their message is getting lost on many who do truly desire to follow the Scriptures, but who squirm at the thought of “all submission, no power.” Have you ever noticed that women’s power (though almost never called power) is often presented as a consolation prize for accepting her lot as a

      It’s interesting that you think my post cries victim. I’m curious as to why you think so. I’m advocating responsibility in the use of power, both in love and in submission. My views are actually most aligned with those of the Complimentarians–though with the exceptions I noted. I very much believe that men are called to a specific focus on love and that women are called to a specific focus on submission, and that both are called to these as voluntary forms of self-goverance. Men are not called to ensure their wives submission nor are women called to force (by manipulation usually) their men to love.

      As for particular examples: you don’t see examples coming from the egalitarian or feminist camp because they don’t believe it exists as a special duty of women, but rather as a mutual duty of all. I disagree with them on that point.

      I think I answered your questions, but if not, let me know and I’ll try again. :)

  150. Amanda HH says:

    I appreciate, respect and thank you for your apology and for taking those posts down.
    I appreciate, respect and thank you for leaving the comment section open.
    I appreciate, respect and thank you for responding graciously to the criticism you have received in the comment section and elsewhere.
    I appreciate and respect your personal views and theology while they vary from mine.

    Good on ya, mate.

  151. Carol says:

    Men have traditionally been the provider/protectors of the family and women the nurturers. That is very much a decree of primal nature since males tend to be physically stronger and women have the equipment to nurse the children.

    The provider/protector should be the decider since the provider bears the greater responsibility for the welfare of the family and takes the greatest risks. However,in our contemporary socioeconomic context, the role of primary provider/protector is often the female. Our modern technology has greatly modified the demands of nature on both genders. The principle that the primary provider/protector should be the decider still holds since the welfare of the family rests more heavily on the ability of the person assuming that role; but the role of provider/protector is no longer gender-specific and “maleness” should no longer be given a preferential advantage over “femaleness” now that it no longer automatically contributes to the common good of the family in contemporary Western societies.

    “We exist in a bizarre combination of Stone Age emotions,
    medieval beliefs, and god-like technology.”
    —Edward O. Wilson, esteemed Harvard biologist

    The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. -Isaac Asimov, scientist and writer (1920-1992)

  152. Sue says:

    Carol,

    You raise a very valid point about the provider/protector making decisions. I don’t know where I stand on this, but I do think that complementarianism supports the provider/decision-maker link. In any case, I agree with the intent of your comment.

    However, in the New Testament, according to those who have done the counting, half of the providers are women. In the gospels, women provide for Jesus and the disciples, in Romans and the Acts women provide for Paul and the apostles. In the early church, women are the patrons for Jerome, Rufinus (through whose translations we know Origen) and for Chrysostom. We would not have had any writings from any of these men if it had not been for the providing of women.

    One cannot now say that man was the sole provider in the past. It is only in the mythological past that man was sole provider.

    The first responsibility on any blog should be an accountability for speaking the truth.

    Women are not rightly the objects of male conquest, and men are the only adult human beings who are providers. There needs to be a call to truth.

    1. Akash says:

      Regardless men are to be/try to be the primary providers

      why it is part of the curse on men in genesis just as a woman was cursed with pain in childbirth.
      Regardless of changes in society women have always had pain in childbirth, any women who has gone through it can confirm that!
      Why should men not be expected to provide and be held at a lower standard??

      Also husbands are called to NOURISH
      and the bible asks men to manage their home
      Never asks men ot be keepers at home

      Also being the provider does not equate power!!, if you think that you are saying power is equal to money and that is not true

      Also I know many couples where the wife is an unproductive housewife (not even doing anything for society)human while the husband slogs and basically does what his wife tells him-like always.

      You see men are supposed to provide (does not mean a woman cannot work-people who say this need to read their bible)
      And even if they are the soul breadwinner,if he uses this fact to threaten his wife the bible calls him worse than an unbeliever.

      Rather Husbands make take their task of provision /work hard and use whatever he earns for Gods glory, and if he has a wife it means using it for her and not for himself!(this is one reason egalitarian men exist- they want women to earn for them so they do not have to face the burden of provision)

      Also this shows that GOD knows the pains women go through in childbirth as he equates those pains to all the work a man does to provide for his family throughout his life

  153. Sue says:

    Oops – meant to write and men are NOT the only adult human beings who are providers. There needs to be a call to truth.

    1. Akash says:

      yup women can work and can provide

      but the primary burden has to be the husbands
      Any husband who does not provide (some can even if disabled or are studying to provide in the future, or some cannot because they were not created that way but God has a special plan for them!)
      should be ashamed of himself as he is depending on his wife to bear both the burdens that were the consequences of sin! that is not fair or even equal.

      Also a lot of women may work becasue they have lazy husbands or husbands who left them, what are they to do-she will try her best to feed herself and shame on the husband.

      Imagine the freedom a woman has when she does not have to bear the burden on provision.

      Again this is not to say that husband and wife cannot help each other.
      I am sure Godly husband like jared did his best to comfort,take care , listen and just be there for his wife when she was pregnant

      1. Laura says:

        Hold up. I’m the primary breadwinner in my household. I don’t want my husband to be shamed by you or anyone else. He’s the person I married 30 years ago. He was good enough then and he’s good enough now. His worth to me is not measured in dollars.

        1. Akash says:

          Christians do not go about shaming people- hopeully!

          But if someone is in the wrong it is our duty to lovingly correct/guide them

          Agreed no one should be measured in dollars, but the responsibility of financial provision lies with the man as seen by the DIFFERENT curses on man and woman

          And going by that a woman’s worth is not measured by the number of babies she produces.
          But this does not mean she does not experience pain when having the baby!

  154. Sue says:

    Akash,

    It is not part of the curse that only men shall work the ground. Gen 3 says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

    Women also return to dust, women also till the soil. More than half of all those who work the ground globally are women. All women die. Women are included in the words addressed to Adam. I can interpret it no other way.

    While it is true that women suffer in childbirth, there is an interpretation of this passage which says that the pain is that of having so many children die young. The father suffers also when the child dies.

    Why not accept partnership, and a fellowship of feeling between men and women?

    1. Akash says:

      Yes women do also return to the ground

      But the bible says that God spoke to the man here.

      He could have said and to both of you!!

      Also women are called to be keepers at home (homeward focus) this fits with men providing
      as well has in the verse 1 timothy 5:8

      And as I said provision is part of nourishing as used in ephesians
      and the bible has numerous examples of men providing and women homeward focused.(no one has a place the have a focus, like husbands who work from home are provision focused!)

      1. Akash says:

        Also I do not see how what the bible instructs is not a partnership

        From what I see men are made to depend on their wives and vice versa and that is definitely a partnership!

        I think you are equating earnings with power and sadly that is the way the world thinks.It is silly when men and women boast that becasue they provide they have power.

        Going by that argument, any mum who does not work is weak and that is not true.
        A women has to have real guts and love for the lord to be a complementarian! (same for men)

        I think another thing is the whole }”my career advancement will make me more fulfilled” that is a lie men and women need to stop believing-it does not

      2. Sue says:

        “Also women are called to be keepers at home (homeward focus) this fits with men providing as well has in the verse 1 timothy 5:8.”

        It is very sad that you do not have access to a gender accurate Bible. There is no masculine reference in the Greek. This verse applies equally to men and women. Please refer to the original language or obtain a gender accurate Bible like the NIV 2011, or NRSV. There is no excuse nowadays for churches to not equip the congregation with gender accurate Bibles!

        1. Akash says:

          Gender accurate bibles are an insult to GOD’S word!!

          I know this was perhaps directed to men and women
          But the reprehensibility for provision was with men!

          and I never said a women cannot provide,just that a man has to bear the main responsibility of provision

          1. Sue says:

            “I know this was perhaps directed to men and women
            But the reprehensibility for provision was with men!”

            But does the Bible say this? Not in 1 Tim 5:8. That refers equally to women.

          2. Sue says:

            Why would gender accuracy be an insult to God’s word? Does God not desire accuracy?

  155. Sue says:

    Akash,

    I like what you are saying. I think men need to feel a responsibility to provide. But I have some reservations about the emphasis put on this.

    First, one cannot find support for this in the scriptures. In Proverbs 31 the woman provides. In the New Testament, women provide. In the early church, wealthy women provide. This is a consistent historical reality. One can’t just argue it away.

    Second, today at least half of women in middle age are single. And of those married, some are the main providers. So the reality is that more than half of all women are the main providers for themselves and their families.

    Third, if we are to equate providing with decision-making (not sure about this yet but..) and decision-making with church leadership, then women should be represented in church leadership as FULL functional equals, in relation to the full equality of responsibiligy that women take on in providing.

    1. Akash says:

      God desires what he said to be on his word
      Yes The timothy verse may be better translated as anyone

      But so called “Gender accurate” texts are just a cover up for a whole lot of “putting words in God’s mouth” and that is a whole different discussion!!

      Also the fact that the old NIV cannot be purchased shows a forced agenda to corrupt God’s word- seems rather evil

      1. Sue says:

        I was trained rather rigorously in Greek and translation so I prefer a gender accurate translation. I don’t like Bibles that insert the word “men” and “man” and “he” here and there, where it does not reflect anything in the underlying original language.

  156. Sue says:

    Akash,

    I lived in complementarianism for 50 years – to my enormous regret.

    I don’t have any set ideas about who should work and how much. In my view, a man must take equal responsibility for the welfare of the family, and sometimes that means he works more hours to earn money, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    But please don’t load on me a bunch of opinions I have not expressed and don’t hold!!

    My major regret is that a mother breaks her heart over and over, when she is not an equal participant in household decisions, but lives under the yoke of obedience and non-mutual submission. She is deprived of being a fully adult parent to her own children.

    This is how my heart was broken by complementarianism.

  157. Sue says:

    “the bible has numerous examples of men providing and women homeward focused.”

    I should hope so! But that does not change the fact that it has numerous examples of women providing and men gospel-focused.

    1. Akash says:

      yes but it never has a role reversal

      where women are the main providers

      1. Sue says:

        The women were main providers all the time. For Jesus and his disciples, for Paul and the apostles, for Jerome, Chrysostom, Rufinus, and for the husband of the valiant woman. In all these cases women were the main (or equal) providers.

        1. Akash says:

          Women were the main providers for so many missions!

          Also the bible said women provided , you have no evidence of men providing less or more and that is not even the point

          In the family the husband has to bear the burden of provision, just like Eve bore the burden of childbirth!!

          I have no problem with my wife working because the bible has no problem with it.

          I have a problem with stay at home dads because they are not following God’s instuctions!!

          You may disagree that is fine,but it is in my firm belief that God has given the desire in each and every man to provide and work.(in the sense of provision work)Being a stay at home mom is work too! but I am not referring to that

          1. Sue says:

            Actually, yes we do know that the named providers were women. And no that is not the point. The point is that in the scriptures and in early church history women provided equally to men. So why not allow women to participate equally in decision-making.

            “I have a problem with stay at home dads because they are not following God’s instuctions!!”

            Where are these instructions? Are the in the Bible? I would be interested in knowing where.

  158. Akash says:

    I can see why complementarianism get whacked so much!!!
    But complementarianism is not about not allowing women to take part in household decisions!!
    Ask most complementarians like the pastors on this website
    They get counsel from their wives and make decisions ensuring that their wife will be happy- if they do not they need to repent!

    Sure lots of women are working now and that is a consequence that was caused by men who like in your situation equated money with power
    and abused it, that is not what a christian man should be like

    I do not know about the pastors here
    But John Macarthur in his sermons on feminism makes it clear that feminism would not have occurred to such a great extent if men actually were the main providers that did what they did for the interest of their wives.

    Christ provided for the church
    And the proverbs 31 woman was very homeward focused!
    and Sarah the example of submission was one who was very active in decision making!

    1. Sue says:

      Akash,

      It should not be about men making decisions for their wives to be happy. It should be about both mother and father making decisions together so their children will be healthy and safe. This is what is important. There is no way that men can be the final deision-makers AND women function as equals. These two are not possible. It is one way OR the other. Complementarianism is about men being final decision-makers for their wives and children. This was not a great success in my life.

      1. Akash says:

        “Final decision makers” ???

        Wayne Grudem needed to move town , he did that because the town he currently lived in was bad for his wife’s health

        His wife found him a job at Pheonix seminary!!

        Also a husband should not make any decisions without PRAYER and his wife knowing /praying about it.
        Sometimes he may have to
        Abraham went to sacrifice Isaac- I highly doubt Sarah knew!

      2. Akash says:

        In reply to your stay at home dad question

        Teach young women to be keepers at home- men never asked that
        Curse on man was provision cause the bible says God spoke to the man

        and there are manymore but it is of no use as
        you need to come to terms with the fact that just because the bible calls women to be homeward focused does not mean they are not too work contribute to missions.etc
        And it does not mean that they are inferior in anyway.No genuinly loving husband, like the pastors here would say that

        And just because one can provide does not qualify them to be church elders.MEN provide to and most of them are not qualified ot be elders (while provision is necessary it is not the main focus)

        By the way it was nice chatting/talking with you.I love defending God’s word
        Cause I believe in terms of how we live God does not want confusion
        He has laid out instructions we follow them

        1. Sue says:

          No, God does not want confusion. That is why women should live according to the way God made them, as equally equipped as men to provide and make decisions.

          Nice chatting. I too love defending God’s word!

          1. Akash says:

            Definitely women are equally equipped to provide and make decision!! like many women in the bible did

            God is awesome! He created women as the perfect support for Adam!!!, not and Animal.

            Something you seem to think that I think women are

            Anyways, I need to go now and I still hold that your interpretations are wrong and is just a cause for more confusions and further inaccurate interpretations as we can see in terms of homosexuality.etc

            I love the fact that God made Men and Women to be different!!
            and the fact that Men depend on women

            Egalitarians and feminists however will find it hard to accept that women depend on such “lowly creature as men”

            But I am Glad God loves men and women and inspite of whatever society says that women are superior………

            God is the final and clear authority!

          2. Sue says:

            I know you think that I am wrong. But at least, I perceive that you cannot find any biblical reason to support this notion. So all ends well. I won’t say anything unpleasant about complementarians. I hope you won’t say unpleasant things about women who are single, full providers and have to depend on themselves. It would be ungracious of you to speak ill of women who have no choice but to function as egalitarians. They must live as God created them, and within the circumstances that God gave them. It is so sad that some feel women need to be restricted.

  159. Sue says:

    “Wayne Grudem needed to move town , he did that because the town he currently lived in was bad for his wife’s health.”

    I think the story is a little more complicated than that. Discretion does not allow me to comment.

    Since you seem to think that women are not equal participants in making decisions for the household, there is not much more I have say. You do not believe that women should function with equal agency to men. But you recognize that women are often the main providers. So there is a disconnect.

    1. Akash says:

      All I am saying is that I do not see how decision making can occur without both parties agreeing eventually

      And in terms of family in the bible a lot of Godly men have led their families- and women then rebelled too ,just like men , it is no different to today!

      Godly women are not shown to lead their families

    2. Akash says:

      You thing complementarianism has no restrictions on men

      The instruction to men in Ephesians 5 is a whole lot of restrictions that I as a sinner will not like
      But that is too bad I need to try my best to adhere to it after all he died on the cross

  160. Sue says:

    “Godly women are not shown to lead their families.”

    But they are! Lydia did.

  161. Sue says:

    In fact, most significant women in the Bible went against their husband’s leading. This is how they gained God’s blessing. Hannah, Tamar, Abigail, Rebecca.

    1. Akash says:

      Your definition of leading if a bit weird

      Men are sinners, we make mistakes, does this mean a women shuts up if her Husband may be making the wrong choice??
      No
      Her husband is blessed if he has such a Godly watchfull wife!!

  162. Sue says:

    Akash,

    If men have more right to make decisions than their wives, then the Bible narratives simply do not reflect that this is a good thing. Neither does life. Globally, where men make family decisions, children do poorly.

    1. Akash says:

      Now your agenda is clear

      When men have a say in decision making or even make decisions children do poorly!!?

      Well my family must be an exception

      Your response further confirms my I guess you can call it prophesy “Egalitarianism and feminism will ultimately lead to the subjugation of men, BASED on reasoning like yours that whatever men do causes bad and evil”

      Remind you that Eve was deceived first (does not mean she is more likely to be deceived but refutes your argument that men are more sinful)

      Also many women have killed their babies, tortured their children!!and even their husbands.I guess in your view that would be a better society cause a woman is perceived to be incharged.
      I have to stop defending God’s word because you seem to be on the lines of Gnosticism and female superiority(I am sure that too will be justified in the future with your more”accurate bibles”!This is satanic .

  163. Sue says:

    It is not an agenda, but an observation. I wish it were not true. I don’t think men are more sinful than women. But the observation still stands. I don’t exactly understand why this is so, but I have been assured by global statistics that this is so.

    I have no interest in any of the things you accuse me of. I hope that I am not accusing you of anything at all. I am trying to stay well within what I think you want to be understood to be saying – that men are to make the decisions – with input of course.

    I don’t think the Bible in any way supports the notion that men have more responsibility or authority for their chidren than mothers do. I derive this belief from the Bible.

  164. Sue says:

    For the record, I believe that a translation should be accurate in its representation of gender. I am disappointed that you call this satanic.

  165. Carol says:

    I strongly suspect that what we have conceived as the distinction between “maleness” and “femaleness” is more of a personality difference between “alphas” and “betas.” Statistically, alphas are males and betas are females; but there have always been heterosexual “sissy” boys and “tomboy” girls.”

    It was hoped by many feminists that greater access to the job market and higher career positions would make the economic sector less aggressively competitive; but that certainly hasn’t happened. As anyone who has worked for an undersocialized alpha female boss can tell you, they are at least as aggressive as their male counterparts. In fact, female bosses have been known to sexually harass their male employees in much the same manner as male bosses have harassed their female employees.

    Every positive human trait whether possessed by males or females seems to have a negative shadow. The hero on the battlefield can become the abuser in the home and the nurturer can become an enabler rather than an empowerer.

    Truth be told, we all want the power to “have our own way” and what restrains aggression, whether it is overt (usually male) or passive (usually female) is an unwillingness to bear the relational consequences of selfishly pursuing our interests or passions at the expense of others.

    I have come to believe that there are no “white hats” in the battle between the sexes, only a different choice of weapons.

    1. BelovedH says:

      A good point. As an English woman it reminds me of the way that Margaret Thatcher governed our country. I don’t think she had much choice but to take on “masculine” characteristics in order to be respected. I believe that the biblical model of governing, ie serving, self-sacrifice, benevolence, mercy, protection of the weak etc., is what God wants us to model in order to bring His Kingdom on earth. That is something that is counter-cultural and not valued or respected by the world and it takes a brave human who is in a position of power to stand by their convictions and carry on being Christlike in their methods. I think that Jesus knew He had authority and power therefore he didn’t have to prove anything, He could have called upon an army of angels at any minute. People who are insecure and don’t really believe that they have inbuilt authority or that they deserve respect, try to hold onto their power by whatever means possible – coercion, manipulation, undermining others etc. which is what leads to an abuse of their power.

  166. Carol says:

    Akash writes:
    Regardless men are to be/try to be the primary providers

    why it is part of the curse on men in genesis just as a woman was cursed with pain in childbirth.
    Regardless of changes in society women have always had pain in childbirth, any women who has gone through it can confirm that!
    Why should men not be expected to provide and be held at a lower standard??

    Many people believe the “traditional family” is the domestic dynamic of the husband who leaves the home to work in the office or factory, while the wife remains in at home tending to domestic and child-rearing responsibilities. Actually the true traditional family is either an extended clan-family or one or more generation farm family. The family, not the workplace, was the basic building-block of society. Roles were not so rigidly defined. There was an interdependence reinforced by blood relationship that is not present in our modern work environment.

    Too often, the husband/father becomes little more than a wage slave in order to fulfill the provider role and the wife/mother becomes little more than a sex/domestic slave to fulfill her role. Children have become economic liabilities rather than assets since it takes adult mental skills to meet the work requirements in our sophisticated, highly developed technological society.

    We’ve paid a very high quality-of-life price for the material blessings of our post-industrialized/technological society.

    The moral challenge of our day is to put a human face on our technology.–Bernard Haering, C.Ss.R., Redemptorist Moral Theologian

    Anyone who has studied the history of technology knows that technological change is always a Faustian bargain: Technology giveth and technology taketh away, and not always in equal measure. A new technology sometimes creates more than it destroys. Sometimes, it destroys more than it creates. But it is never one-sided. The invention of the printing press is an excellent example.
    Printing fostered the modern idea of individuality but it destroyed the medieval sense of community and social integration. Printing created prose but made poetry into an exotic and elitist form of expression. Printing made modern science possible but transformed religious sensibility into an exercise in superstition. Printing assisted in the growth of the nation-state but, in so doing, made patriotism into a sordid if not a murderous
    emotion.–Neil Postman

    I don’t think any of us can do much about the rapid
    growth of new technology. However, it is possible for
    us to learn how to control our own uses of technology.
    The “forum” that I think is best suited for this is our
    educational system. If students get a sound education
    in the history, social effects and psychological biases
    of technology, they may grow to be adults who use
    technology rather than be used by it.-Neil Postman

  167. Lucient says:

    I think I read this post and half of the comments before I decided I wanted to say something. What I see here is the same thing I had to learn about sharing my testimony and my life. I do not come from a broken home. I have both parents. I was not the only child. My dad and mom, both became followers of Jesus after I was born. My father wasn’t perfect. He never abused, never hated me, and even gave me more grace than I deserved. He loved me, cared for me, supported me. When I was told that God was my Heavenly Father who loved me, I accepted that and I related to that. No “triggers” or horrific event or past. However, take that saying, “God is our Heavenly Father” and imagine those whose first impulse, reaction, and thought are the worst or negative of God because of their history, or lack there of, with their own father. This is what I saw. There has been controversy over the words picked and even the post itself “taken out of context” yet nothing (that I’ve seen) on the work itself and what it was talking about. I for one realize, now, because of this post and the comments to this post how unbiased most of us really are. Words used were insensitive and yet the certain books that were “leaked” out and they do model and the portray the very thing these words were insensitive to and all the focus is on the post and source of these words. Jared, apologizes. What does he apologize for? “… For those offended or shamed, or otherwise and in any way burdened by my blog posts and my comments, your pain in this matter is totally my fault. Please forgive me.” Not only does he apologizes, he asks for forgiveness yet that is not enough. Now, he must fit a particular lifestyle? I have seen both lifestyles and I have to say that both lifestyles need each other. This was never to be a “their right, we’re wrong” kinda life for God. If my view of God differs from another yet we agree we serve the same God then my response should be, “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” Yet there is division both before and after this. It’s great to see (or to believe since I don’t know anyone here save what I read) the apologies and accepting of those apologies. On the other hand, it saddens me to see the fights grow and the hostility continue (both sides).

  168. Carol says:

    Sue writes:

    Akash,

    I lived in complementarianism for 50 years – to my enormous regret.

    I don’t have any set ideas about who should work and how much. In my view, a man must take equal responsibility for the welfare of the family, and sometimes that means he works more hours to earn money, and sometimes it doesn’t.

    But please don’t load on me a bunch of opinions I have not expressed and don’t hold!!

    My major regret is that a mother breaks her heart over and over, when she is not an equal participant in household decisions, but lives under the yoke of obedience and non-mutual submission. She is deprived of being a fully adult parent to her own children.

    This is how my heart was broken by complementarianism.
    ******************************************************************

    Rigid role definitions tend to lead to pathological co-dependence, not healthy interdependence. When either partner is unwilling or unable to fulfill his or her prescribed responsibilities the other partner becomes resentful. This is not a good dynamic to support a covenantal spousal relationship in which unconditional faithfulness is pledged regardless of circumstances (richer or poorer, sickness or health, etc.) No wonder the divorce rate in the ecclesiastical sub-culture is equal to or greater than that in our mainstream secular culture! Marriage has become a commodified contract based on what each partner “brings to the table”, not an unconditional committment that reflects God’s unconditional faithfulness to his people.

    I fear that Evangelical Christianity is becoming a civil religion in America where the Holy Trinity is no longer Father, Son and Holy Spirit; but God, Church and Country and the civic virtues of the Protestant work ethic have replaced the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love.

    More and more American “christians” seem to be placing their faith in the political activism of a Political Party than in the sacred activism of the Holy Spirit. Conservative Evangelical christians hope in a 50′s political agenda and Liberal mainline christians hope in a 60′s political agenda rather than the eschatological Gospel promises of God.

    Although there will be much tragic suffering from our present economic crisis, one positive result will probably be the end of the health & wealth/prosperity Gospel as a substitute for the Gospel of the Cross of Christ.

    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it’s not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time. –Mahatma Gandhi

    Whoever shall introduce into public affairs the principles of primitive Christianity will change the face of the world. ~Benjamin Franklin

    As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed? — John Adams, letter to FA Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

    “When a Religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and, when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support [it], so that its Professors are oblig’d to call for help of the Civil Power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” –Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780

  169. Susan says:

    To the Complementarians here: I would like to know what power, if any, you ascribe to women particularly or primarily? Specifically, I am wondering what power, if any, you believe that God gave women that answers to “authority.”

    I have read a lot of Complementarian writing and while I agree with much of it, I still find myself asking with the late Anne Frank, “Why do people talk about the strength of men but not the force of women?”

    1. Akash says:

      first of all God ascribes not humans!

      second – just because one talks about the strength of men does not mean women have no strength
      http://cdn.desiringgod.org/pdf/books_bwtd/bwtd.pdf

      1. Susan says:

        Hi Akash,

        I was using the word “ascribe” in the sense of “credit” not in the sense of “assign.” I understand that all strength originates in God.

        Thank you for the link. I have read many of John Piper’s works, but if I had read this particular work I didn’t remember it. It was a good refresher on the Complementary view.

        As I have said in previous comments on this post, my bent is to the Complementary view. Still, I believe there is a lot of work to do in having this view more clearly threshed out, especially where it pertains to a woman’s power. And I believe when this work is done that ~some~ who are currently identifying with one of the other three views will change and become Complementarian.

        Perhaps things are different now, but a few years ago I spent quite a bit of time at, I think, the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood website (which now seems to be down?). At first I was thrilled and relieved to see so much writing done that was not feministic or egalitarian or patriarchal. But the longer I read, the more I began to feel squirmy. Please understand that my squirming was NOT so much because of what was being said, but because of what wasn’t being said.

        In our culture and with so much confusion about what is Biblical, and so much anger and hurt in both men and women regarding this subject I think it’s important that men and women are written about in proportion to the needs of our culture.

        I saw a LOT of writing that was pointed towards feminism and egalitarianism, but not very much pointed towards patriarchy. I would like to see more men and women writing about what is wrong with patriarchy.

        When I was reading at the CBMW I also noted that there seemed to be a striking lack of writing defining, describing, defending and celebrating the strengths of women compared to the amount of writing that was focused on defining, describing, defending and celebrating the strengths of men. When a woman’s strengths were discussed they were almost always in the context of married women in the home full time with children.

        The thing is though: Women are in every area of society just as men are. I don’t think this is a mistake or is always a result of someone’s sin. Women are in every area of society because we must be if we are going to fulfill our calling to mankind in general. We cannot use our strengths, we cannot influence men as we should and as men need where we do not have understanding and experience and where we are not present. Our help is needed as we are beings first and as beings in certain roles, second. Some work has been done in this vein, (cf the document you linked me to), but there is still MUCH work left to do for women to feel equally valued, loved, protected, led, and provided for.

        What I’m saying is that men are going to be more affirmed and trusted in their strengths ~as~ they communicate to women that they understand the full spectrum of a woman’s strengths and how those strengths are manifested in various roles. The seeds of the work are there, but they are not yet mature. As that work is matured I believe that men will find women more able to receive their strengths without suspicion or concern.

        Another thing I would like to see change is the opposing of authority and submission. I think this sets up a big problem which I have articulated here already so I won’t belabor it. Suffice it to say that authority is not answered by submission. A man’s Authority is answered by his love and a woman’s Influence. Her Influence is answered by her submission and his authority.

        Finally I would like to say this: Women are every bit as ambitious as men and that ambition is God-given as it is with men. Like men, simply in a different way and with a different form of self-goverance (“submission” vs “love”) we are ambitious to see life prosper. Where men find women opposing them in some way, it would benefit them, HELP them, to consider this same ambitious goal and therefore to listen without suspicion of rebellion at every turn (as is often the case). Men are not more sinful than women, but women are not more so than men either. As men desire their leadership to be heeded, so women, in equal measure and ambition desire their influence to be heeded.

        I pray that is the case with this comment.

        Also, if you happen to know of any good writing on the things that I have noted here as lacking then I would be grateful if you’d point me to them.

        Thank you.

        1. Akash says:

          yup men and women have ambition!!

          Elizabeth Eliot would not have continued her Husband’s work without God given ambition

          She is a complementarian.

          Do women have influence, yes, any woman who thinks complementarianism is about stitching a woman’s lips and destroying her brain needs to be corrected.
          So do any individuals who call this complementarianism!!!

          Also one tends to think that every time a wife disagrees with her husband she is not being submissive………

          This is not true, a Husband would be glad to have a wife that is able to question anything that she does not understand
          It also enables the husband to think about what he is doing

          1. Sue says:

            Akash,

            I lived in complementarianism for 50 years. I attended an exemplary complementarian church with Dr. J. Packer for 15 years. I am extremely well acquainted with the teaching of complementarianism.

            But I can find nothing biblical in any of this. A wife must take full responsibility for the well-being of her family or she is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Tim. 5:8. When I use the word “full” I do not mean that she takes over from the man, but that she has full responsibility along with him. Anything less reduces her to worse than an unbeliever.

            The notion that the man has more authority and therefore more responsibility cannot be maintained. We cannot morally teach that the wife has less authority and less responsibility.

            The problem is that we must stick to our moral and God-given responsibilities as adults. Just because there are people like Elizabeth Elliot who teach complementarianism does not make it true. That I disagree does not make it false. It is a moral and scriptural issue.

            The real point is that there is absolutely no moral cause to ever talk of a man doing the things that D. Wilson said. There is no biblical, logical, moral or any other kind of excuse for the use of that language for any audience at all. Men should never talk about women this way, EVER.

          2. Susan says:

            Akash,

            I did some more reading around the web yesterday–some on this site–and here’s what struck me: How absolute chaos in reigning regarding this subject. There is more confusion on this subject than clarity because there doesn’t even seem to be a consensus about what constitutes Complementariansim and how it is distinguished from Patriarchy both in principle and in practice. Some think there is no difference. Some think there is. I don’t see a cohesive or consistent explanation of the differences. What YOU call Compl. is NOT what I see others advocating with as much fervor as you–others defending a much more Patriarchy-based view where women are not really functionally equal (though different) to men.

            That’s a huge problem as it pertains to internet discussions. It renders them rather futile at best really. I could say I agree with Compl. but then… I’m not really sure I do because who’s definition of it am I agreeing with?

            Here’s one example. Someone (here I think?) said to me that Doug Wilson is a Complementarian. Wiki has him as a Patriachy advocate. Because of my personal experience I see these as very different.

            Which brings me to my last point. I spent about 10 years among some folks who would SAY they espoused a Complementarian view (though not sure they’d call it that), but in PRACTICE they were very Chauvinistic.

            They assent to authority and love in the husband, but the HEAVY HEAVY emphasis is on a man’s authority and that is always opposed to a woman’s submission (rather than her influence). A man’s love is spoken of when pressed, but submission is discussed spontaneously and at length.

            Women are not allowed to work out of the home. They wear head-covering at all times in public. Women wear only long skirts (and some even require their wives to wear long sleeves to the wrist all year round), must have long hair (some refuse to ever cut it, even for a trim–for, why would they cut their glory?), and they cannot wear any make up. Birth control is not allowed so babies abound–regardless of the mother’s capabilities or health. And homeschooling all of those children is also required–mostly by the mother of course. The women’s gifts, whatever they may be, are considered usable if they are used at home and only once all their other duties are performed. You can imagine how often any of them does anything other than homemaking and mothering and schooling–or even get to considering what other things they might do in the Kingdom. The list goes on… It’s oppressive just to talk about it, must less to see it in action and if these ways are questioned, they will be defended at first, but if that defense is questioned then the woman is considered rebellious and contentious. Yet, those people believe they view the sexes equally and would vehemently deny any form of Chauvinism. And of course they have a biblical argument for every one of their practices!

            See the problem?

            The devil is in the details as they say.

            Person A says “I hold this principle.”
            Person B will agree or disagree based NOT just on what the principle says, but how they believe that principle is to be practiced.
            Persons c-zzzz continue this pattern of interpretation and voila–chaos. Confusion on a mass scale. The people cannot test the spirits and hold to what is good when the information keeps changing or is not clear.

            This is why I say that more work needs to be done before these conversations can be fruitful. More work defining, describing, defending, and celebrating a woman’s power and more work showing WHEN and HOW EACH sex is to OPPOSE or RESIST the power of the other sex when they are wrong.

            For example: I know a large chunk of Christians who would agree that wives should submit to their husbands, but NOT if he asks her to sin. But where is this line?? The examples I see given are almost ridiculous in their clarity (though, sadly, needed, I know)–don’t lie for him, don’t watch porn with him, etc. To that I say, “Well, duh.”

            But what about the women I mentioned above? Are their husband’s asking them to outright SIN in any of these things? The men in those circles vehemently argue that they are not and therefore their wives should cheerfully submit. I believe these men are in fact sinning and these wives are sinning if they submit to that lifestyle as representing God’s will.

            If any view of gender relations is going to advance in a significant and lasting way then it must provide a clear and consistent statement of its principles, its practice and its meaning. Right now, none of the views are doing that.

            Chaos is weakness.

            Clarity is power.

            The devil is in the details, Akash. And he’s in the chaos too.

            I do believe there is a way to find clarity and cohesiveness, but I believe it’s at the philosophical level, not the biblical level. The bible always confirms good philosophy–always. And good philosophy is the means to finding the right presuppositions to begin the biblical interpretation.

  170. Akash says:

    Because God told the man his curse will be that it is harder for him to feed his family he has to be the provider for his family.

    It is not fair for a wife and is definitely not biblical to make her bear both the consequences of sin .

    If Eve were designed prefall to provide for the family God would have said to both of you and not only to the man.

    As for reponsibilities everyone has to fulfill their responsibilities , I am pretty sure I am talking about provision here and not responsibilities, sure they may be different but no responsibility is less than the other.

    Never used Elizabeth Elliot to prove that complementarianism is right

    I am using the bible.If we go by your intrepretation one might as well delete numerous versed of the bible

  171. Sue says:

    Don’t you delete certain passages of the Bible? Shouldn’t the husband of the woman in Proverbs 31 be working in the fields? Why is SHE doing all the work?

    I would guess that in the ancient farming culture, before the advent of the animal drawn plough, all women tilled the soil (or the servants) as they still do in many continents around the world today. Since women till the soil, and women provide, they should also be treated as those who function as equals to men. This is why many aid organizations today lend money to women – to help the family in the best way possible, so the chidren can get enough calories to live. Male headship is not sufficient or beneficial.

    Anyway, all of this is self evident – simply factual. It is also obvious that woman have ovaries, so all this language – talking about “planting” women is not biblical and not logical. I can’t think why anyone would ever say any of this, or think it. It is very unhealthy to talk about women in such unreal ways. It is disrespectful to pretend that women are different from the way God made them. That is the bottom line. God made women a certain way, and some want women to function in a way that is completely different, as incubators of male eggs. Can’t be done!

    1. Akash says:

      You have no evidence that the husband did not work, he definitely did unlike our culture culture it was expected of a man to provide!

      Well aid organizations need to realise that you can give all tthe money you want to women in Africa, they still get raped/harmed and tortured, why because the men are not raised to protect and provide for women and children.

      You also seem to equate a woman’s ability to work as a reason for why women should be elders and pastors.
      Even evil people can work
      even the devil works!

      And if you think women live more fulfilled lives by earning for their families
      Yes God made woman a certain way and how they should funtion is given in God’s word
      as it says in titus teach younger women to be keepers at home, something the proverbs 31 women, which is said to be a discription of Ruth was.

      Also If God created men and women to be same , he did not need to make men and women.
      He could have made more Adams and Adam would have had companionship.
      But it was always his plan to make men and women both with equal yet different roles.

      And if you think Paul did not face feminists your dead wrong.
      It is natural for sinful individuals to rebel against God’s order just like feminists and weak men

  172. Sue says:

    “Well aid organizations need to realise that you can give all tthe money you want to women in Africa, they still get raped/harmed and tortured, why because the men are not raised to protect and provide for women and children.”

    And teaching men that women are for penetaration, conquest, planting and colonization is supposed to be helpful????

    Don’t you realize that this is deep evil? This is not just unnecessarily blunt, this is complete, total and terrible evil.

    1. Akash says:

      Is the devil in the details yes!!

      Egalitarianism is counter to the Gospel and to God’s word.

      Egalitarianism can also be blamed for a host of things , like confusion on Gay marriage which is clearly wrong

      Women forced to work for their family by their husbands even though they do not want to, instead of her husband actually becoming a man and working for her.

      As for how I see it, clarity on this issue was lost with the introduction of feminism (I am not going to call it egalitarianism cause that what it is- its all about restricting men in practice and reducing their responsibility in society)

      They way I see it complementarianism at least treats all people as equals.

      And the equality of a person in complementarianism is not defined by their roles/job/occupation.

      most egalitarians seem to want to have more women ignore their families.

      Then people wonder why Children are born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs, why mothers murder their unborn children, or go back to work immediately after pregnancy basically ignoring their child.All in the name of trying to become a man, do what men do!!Egalitarian women must really be insecure and this is why they sat and developed alternate intrepretations.

      I FIRMLY beliece that this is driven by the belief that a woman who decided to not work for “money” is inferior and basically probably did bad In school.

      How Ironic that a large percent of women at Ivy league schools chose to devote their time to their children.

      Even countries like China realise it.

      They continually praise their moms as a reason for their nations success.
      In fact various women in China stated that western countries have worse performing children because of their mothers who are busy trying to become men!

      I am not American and you would be surprised at how educated women from various countries comment on how women in Western nations are so insecure ,they believe the best thing they can do is do what a man does!.

      Chaos was caused by egalitarianism and order and clarity is what the bible teaches and that is what complementarianism is about!

      1. Susan says:

        Well Akash,

        I think we’re having two different conversations so I’ll leave it there and hope that perhaps someone else was listening.

        Susan

  173. Sue says:

    This is inhumane, incredible. Not only unchristian, but worse than unbelievers.

    1. Carol says:

      Sue writes:
      This is inhumane, incredible. Not only unchristian, but worse than unbelievers.

      Sue, patriarchies (and matriarchies on the few occasions when they exist) unjustly advantage people on the sole basis of gender. Some fundamentalist Moslems pray a traditionist prayer thanking God for not making them a Jew, a dog or a woman.

      Unfortunately, it takes a lot of spiritual maturity acquired by Grace to realize that self-interest blinds even the most well-intentioned among us to justice.

      I fear you are wasting your time trying to establish a dialogue with Akash based on reason. The primary heresy of both post-Enlightenment secular humanism and the Western Church is that education/enlightenment alone can make us responsible/holy.

      Conversion/transformation is not limited to the healing of our disordered thinking; but must also heal our disordered passions and wills.

      Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace.–Simone Weil

      Hell hath no fury like an interest masquerading as a principle.
      –Anonymous

      All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.
      –Friedrich Nietzsche

      Not necessity, not desire – no, the love of power is the demon of men. Let them have everything – health, food, a place to live, entertainment – they are and remain unhappy and low-spirited: for the demon waits and waits and will be satisfied.–Friedrich Nietzsche

      We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace. –Gladstone

      “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”–Teilhard de Chardin

      1. Akash says:

        Anyone who thinks complementarianism is about benefiting one gender needs to read their bible

        And how about Quoting the bible rather than random God hating individuals.
        But I guess it is better you do not quote the bible as you will most likely twist verses to your benefit rather than take it as God’s word

        Mahatma Gandhi for all his glory used to sleep naked with 2 women by his side every single day.This is something all Indians know but just do not talk about!

        1. Carol says:

          Akash writes:
          Mahatma Gandhi for all his glory used to sleep naked with 2 women by his side every single day.This is something all Indians know but just do not talk about!

          Akash, I have no interest in Gandhi’s sex life and would certainly never presume to judge anyone’s personal behavior without knowing the context within which it was practiced.

          Sleeping naked in a non-spousal context is more common in non-Western cultures, so I would not assume the worst with so little information.

          Just because something is “in the Bible” doesn’t mean we automatically interpret it correctly. Satan quoted the Bible in his temptation of Christ, so I wouldn’t make biblical quotations the basis as the sole or even primary support for my personal convictions.

          All truth is God’s Truth and if God can speak through Balaam’s ass, God can speak through anyone, even those who are not bible-believing Christians!

          Scripture does reveal what God requires of us: To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). Dogmatic absolutism is hardly “walking humbly.” I am always amazed at how so many christians can wisely oppose the doctrine of papal infallibility and yet be so certain of their own infallibility.

          On sleeping naked with a woman, consider the story of King David and Abishag the Shunammite. The meaning of this revelation is does not readily lend itself to dogmatic formulation.

          Why was Abishag the Shunammite important?
          When we shift from Samuel to Kings, we start with this fairly benign story:

          King David was now old, advanced in years; and though they covered him with bedclothes, he never felt warm. His courtiers said to him, “Let a young virgin be sought for my lord the king, to wait upon Your Majesty and be his attendant; and let her lie in your bosom, and my lord the king will be warm.” So they looked for a beautiful girl throughout the territory of Israel. They found Abishag the Shunammite and brought her to the king. The girl was exceedingly beautiful. She became the king’s attendant and waited upon him; but the king was not intimate with her.—1st Kings 1:1-4 (NJPS)

          She is mentioned once more incidentally (1st Kings 1:15). In the next chapter, after David’s death, Adonijah asks Bathsheba to request Solomon to give him Abishag as a wife (1st Kings 2:13-18). She then delivers the request to Solomon:

          So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him about Adonijah. The king rose to greet her and bowed down to her. He sat on his throne; and he had a throne placed for the queen mother, and she sat on his right. She said, “I have one small request to make of you, do not refuse me.” He responded, “Ask, Mother; I shall not refuse you.” Then she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as wife.” The king replied to his mother, “Why request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Request the kingship for him! For he is my older brother, and the priest Abiathar and Joab son of Zeruiah are on his side.”—1st Kings 2:19-22 (NJPS)

          But why is asking for Abishag equivalent in Solomon’s eyes to asking for the kingship? I see two options (neither of which seem compelling):

          Abishag’s close relationship with David would link her (possible) husband to the throne.
          If Adonijah can manipulate Bathsheba, he could become the real power behind the throne.
          After this, the text (and all of Scripture) cease to mention the woman. So what was her importance?

          1 Answer

          According to the Talmud, certain things associated with a king (his horse, e.g.) are forbidden ever to be used by a commoner. Specifically, the widow of a king is forbidden to marry anyone but another king. And if the next king is his son, she can’t marry him either—the laws in Leviticus still apply.

          Avishag was not married to David, and so was not forbidden (by the laws of incest) from marrying any of David’s sons, but by the rules of kingship it was at least inappropriate for her, as David’s (literal) bed-warmer, to be married to anyone but another king. Had Solomon allowed the marriage, it would have seemed an implicit acknowledgement of Adonijah’s claim to the throne.

          answered Apr 12 at 2:38

          J. C. Salomon

          Interesting. So it sounds like my option #1 wasn’t as far from the mark as I had imagined. I suppose Abishag was important because she was neither fully David’s (so a more foolish heir than Solomon might have let her go) but still closely associate with him. This also gives insight into the question of David’s concubines who were violated by Absalom. – Jon Ericson♦ Apr 12 at 16:21

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Jared C. Wilson


Jared C. Wilson is the pastor of Middletown Springs Community Church in Middletown Springs, Vermont. You can follow him on Twitter.

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