So Deborah Cruz over at The Stir has read Ms. Evans’ latest, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Now, The Stir ain’t exactly John Piper’s Desiring God, which was not exactly crazy about Evans’s work, attacking it from the inerrancy angle. In fact, I’d say The Stir is probably as representative of a secular, feminist, progressive, postmodern, pick an adjective, worldview as anything else you’re going to read called The Stir. So you’d think Cruz would either be high-fiving Evans for laying waste to Bronze Age gender roles or chastising her for still believing in even a “liberal” form of religion.
But no. She takes the discussion in another direction:
Basically, she took the bible and made a mockery of the entire thing. Whether she meant to or not. Though, I don’t think you can make a complete joke of something without intent. I think her little “experiment” was total crap. …
Here’s my issue — isn’t it better to just be honest about your beliefs in the first place? I may not be living biblically, but I am living honestly. I’m not so sure the same can be said for Evans. She appears to be poking fun with her book, though she vehemently denies that she is. But you don’t make a spectacle, write a book, and make videos in a “poking fun” manner if you are taking a challenge seriously. Perhaps Mrs. Evans just sat on the roof and pitched tents during her period as an excuse to get away from her family — for some peace and quiet. Or maybe, I suspect, she really just did it for attention and to sell a book. Either way, it seems wrong to me.
I had that submissive language removed from my, vows because I am not a dog nor am I a maid and I don’t submit or serve anyone. I took them out because I don’t believe in it. Sure I could have left it in there and been all sarcastic when I took my wedding vows just to make the point — but then I would be lying.
Interesting that that’s how the book is being read by some, although Cruz is making the same mistake Evans is. Which is to say, by trying to follow Old Testament precepts only to show them up as unrealistic in 2012, Evans has succeeded in proving absolutely nothing. Like the people who demand that Christians endorse “X” because we no longer stone adulterers or forbid the eating of shellfish — and those things are in the Bible! So it’s all relative!
As if the “New” in “New Testament” really meant “Same Old.”
So even if Evans had succeeded in being the perfect patriarch’s wife, and found some newfound contentment in the process, she still would have proved nothing. Who was asking her to? Did Jacob son of Isaac pay for a profile in eHarmony? If so, he’s probably looking for more than one wife.
If someone out there has read Evans’s book, could you tell me whether polygamy was also part of her “experiment”?
As for the egalitarian vs. complementarian debate — my eyes just glaze over. You can slap any label you want on a marriage. The “egalitarian” husband can still be a brute who should be led out in handcuffs, while a complementarian husband can be just fine with his wife making all the big decisions, if for no other reason than she gets all the blame when the sheets get tangled up in the fan, and he can just sit back and gloat. Or he may just be a timid soul who wants to avoid conflict. In other words, personalities, family histories, communication or a lack thereof, and prudence — a recognition of each other’s strengths and weaknesses — will finally dictate how the marriage plays itself out. Not the latest in evangelical-speak. And not the equality-o-meter, guaranteed to produce a 50-50 marriage 90 percent of the time!
If you have to “assume” roles — whether you believe them to be biblically based or culturally normative for a 21st century couple — you sure as hell aren’t being you, something is being buried or ignored, and your marriage is doomed, I don’t care what you call it.
The New Testament prescription is the wife submits to the husband and the husband loves and gives himself up for his wife, as Christ did for the Church. In other words, a man is supposed to pour himself out in such a way that death is the only relief from the pain of such utter selflessness.
Maybe that’s why “Bible-believing” Christians have the divorce rates they do. This one is submitting here, the other one is bleeding himself dry there…who has time for a picnic?
Enough with the stupid labels.
“Oh, but in my church, if you don’t believe and affirm —”
THEN FIND ANOTHER CHURCH AND STOP LIVING YOUR LIFE ACCORDING TO FASHIONABLE SHIBBOLETHS. Stop worrying about what Celebrity Pastor of the Moment would say. He’s probably this close to a divorce himself. In five years, the egalitarian/complementarian debate will be oh-so-2010, and it’ll be something else that proves you’re a real traditional or progressive Christian, the next ticket for admission to “our” club, “our sect.” And Amazon will make another billion dollars. And more conference centers will be sold out.
What a racket, I swear. The world looks at the Christian churches and thinks My goodness, they have to be told who to vote for. The have to be told who’s the boss in their marriages. Are they told how many times to chew their food too?
I know the pastor is the shepherd and the congregation are the sheep. But do we have to be electric sheep?
Say the Creed, say your prayers, go to work, feed your face, and try and actually enjoy your life together.
And if you want to do something that you know will cause real pain to your spouse, here’s a clue, don’t do that thing.
And stay off the roof.