more complementarian schitzophrenia, this time from Tim Challies

 

Earlier this week, popular Christian blogger Tim Challies examined and reviewed Created to be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. I am glad he has done so because it demonstrates the alarming fact that these books have moved from homeschool convention halls onto the bookshelves of evangelical, Bible-teaching churches. Indeed, to the horror of some of my friends, one of the stalwart standard-bearing churches in our area has offered “Bible” studies for their ladies with this book featuring and promoting the Pearl method of “heavenly marriage.”  And one cult awareness group I am familiar with regularly hears from pastors whose members have introduced Pearl’s teachings, causing not only division in the ranks but an added marriage counseling load to pastoral staff.  No longer can the Pearls be dismissed as “right wing fanatics” or “fringe.”

But, as insightful as Tim’s thoughts on Debi Pearl might be, I was chagrinned to see his list of recommended reading at the bottom of his second Pearl article include writers who also promote extra biblical agendas resulting in even more confusion for husbands and wives, men and women in the body of Christ. Here are a just a few thoughts:

Nancy Leigh DeMoss, who is recommended by Challies, has said the following:

“There is no greater measure of a woman’s worth or success than the extent to which she serves as the heart of her home.”  (Really?  Let’s run that up Glady Alyward’s flag pole and see who salutes.)

“Anything that hinders or discouraged women from fulfilling their God given calling to be bearers and nurturers of life furthers Satan’s schedule and aids his efforts.”  (same mantra found all throughout Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by patriocentric leaders Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald.)

“God created man to be the initiator and woman to be the responder.” (Hello, Margaret Thatcher, what think ye?)

Ms. DeMoss also recommends the following books:

Me? Obey Him? by Elizabeth Rice Handford which is an extreme fundamentalist version of patriarchy and has the distinction of being the second book I read in my early years of marriage that was a true patriarchal threat to the great mojo we had going during those years. (The first one was The Total Woman, which I read while in labor, a discussion I’ll save for another day.) Handford, by the way, is the daughter of John R. Rice, fundy evangelist whose book Bobbed Hair, Bossy Wives, and Women Preachers features centerfolds of his wife and daughters, including Elizabeth, with hair that reaches their mid-calves.

 

Full Quiver by Rick and Jan Hess, which is the most radical quiver full book on the market that assures couples that using birth control for any reason, even if a woman’s life is at risk, is certainly not God’s will.

 

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp, the leading adversarial parenting book among evangelicals that says choosing to not spank a child is disobedience to Scripture (sin).

 

And then there are the myriad of patriocentrists that Challies has promoted on his website through the years. Currently, scrolling down from the Pearl articles, you find a recommendation for Voddie Baucham. Perhaps he is a bit more refined that the Pearls but he is squarely in the center of patriocentric dogma with his insistence that daughters are to stay home until given in marriage and that men need the attention of younger women so that is why God gave them daughters.

I could go on and on but let me say I am glad Tim Challies has brought up Debi Pearl. Challies was recently named #1 Christian blogger and because of that alone, he needs to figure out what is complementarian and what is not. As long as he defends and even promotes other patriocentrists, no one can take his own claims of rational complementarity seriously. No one believes Tim’s own definition.

 

Following up this post  Will the Real Complementarian Please Stand Up

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Comments

  1. says

    “There is no greater measure of a woman’s worth or success than the extent to which she serves as the heart of her home.”

    There is no greater measure of my worth than the fact that Jesus died for me.

  2. M. Joy says

    that mom said: “There is no greater measure of a woman’s worth or success than the extent to which she serves as the heart of her home.” (Really? Let’s run that up Glady Alyward’s flag pole and see who salutes.)
    —————————————————————
    Add to that the flag pole of Amy Carmichael, Mary Slessor and several single women missionaries I know who are on the mission field right now. One of them is 55 years old and has been serving faithfully in Uganda for years.

    I’ve always wondered how Nancy Leigh DeMoss can make such statements, since she has never married or had children. A single woman can certainly have a God honoring life and ministry, but advice on marriage should come from those who have lived through the “for better or worse” years with a spouse.

    I am pleased Tim Challies decided to review CTBHHM. I am glad to see he finished the review with “I would recommend avoiding this book at all costs.” Although, I too disagree with his recommendation of DeMoss and Baucham.

  3. Susan T says

    “There is no greater measure of my worth than the fact that Jesus died for me.” Love this, Laura!

  4. says

    Well, it does, and Jesus himself said so:

    As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

    “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

  5. says

    Laura, I love your comment and I love this story of Mary and Martha.

    A number of years ago I read the blog of a pastor I knew in passing and he said that “the true Marys are the Marthas” meaning that women who are homemakers are really the ones who are most pleasing to the Lord.

    I honestly think some within this movement believe this is true, that the greatest way to please God is to be a mother. Motherhood has become an idol.

    I am still shaking my head as to why people who should know better don’t, ie Nancy Leigh DeMoss and, by default, Tim Challies.

    And this coming from me, a person who thinks motherhood is the bomb! 😉

  6. says

    M. Joy, many years ago when my older children were young, we hosted a missionary lady in our home for a week. She had never married and had just come home from Kenya where she had served for over 50 years. That week she shared not only her pictures and slides and let my kids touch and hold various treasures, she shared who she had become while serving the Lord in this way. It was a bittersweet time for her. She was physically ready to retire but her heart was still in Africa. Her stories were powerful and convicting and left me in awe of God’s providence. It reminded me of Paul saying that those who remain single are able to attend to things of the Lord while those who marry and have children must think of their families. Why is this service no longer valuable?

    One thing I have noticed among many homeschooled girls is the near obsession many of them have with marrying and having babies. While it is a wonderful desire, one I thankfully encouraged my daughter to nurture, I am appalled at the lack of interest in other things among some of these girls. And out of frustration, I see some of them as just boy crazy and obviously overly anxious to marry, some even in their mid teen years. These sorts of teachings are producing some scary fruit among many young girls rather than encouraging using the various gifts the Lord as given them to be shared during their single years. Such a pity.

  7. says

    “The true Marys are the Marthas.” That is a direct contradition to what Jesus said. How is this not actual heresy?

    I think motherhood is the bomb too. I would have gone out of my mind if I hadn’t been able to be a mommy. But lots of women don’t get there, and some of them have a real struggle coming to terms with either infertility or just never finding a partner. Some actually have life-destroying depression because they can’t have children, and I can actually see myself there if I hadn’t had my girl. If those women are able to find peace in God’s love and care, they are doing it in spite of garbage like these things you are quoting. I hate for anybody to have an uphill path trying to get to the Cross.

  8. says

    “I hate for anybody to have an uphill path trying to get to the Cross.”

    Oh, Laura, that says it all. Thank you for this!

  9. says

    How can DeMoss say such things when she isn’t even married or have kids? Has she missed God’s best for her?

  10. says

    Even Mary, Jesus’ Mother, was more blessed by being His disciple than by being His mother. Since being Jesus’ disciple is what we were made for, what makes us complete, it is the only necessary thing in our lives. If we have Him, our lives are complete whatever our state.

    Luke 11:27-28 “While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” 28 But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

    Matt 12:47-49; 10:37; “Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.” 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Behold My mother and My brothers!…. 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”

    Luke 14:26 “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”

  11. says

    @Laura — “I would have gone out of my mind if I hadn’t been able to be a mommy.”

    WIth all due respect, I would venture to say that God would have supported and sustained you, just as He does for me even though my dream of being a mommy hasn’t yet come true.

  12. says

    I loved listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss until some things started appearing in her talks and her newsletters. One, namely, was something about how her mother was a godly woman because she was furthering her husband’s vision. I see patriocentry invading Nancy’s ministry and it makes me sad.

    Mr. Challies is unfortunately part of the evangelical mainstream that is succumbing to extra-Biblical thought by popular speakers and authors.

  13. Anthea says

    Karen, you are way way better than Tim Challies. He’s a bit cliquey.

    Gladys Alyward came from Enfield/Edmonton. Just like me!!

  14. says

    “I loved listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss until some things started appearing in her talks and her newsletters. One, namely, was something about how her mother was a godly woman because she was furthering her husband’s vision. I see patriocentry invading Nancy’s ministry and it makes me sad.”

    Yes, that is right out of the patriocentric playbook.

  15. Arlene says

    “One thing I have noticed among many homeschooled girls is the near obsession many of them have with marrying and having babies. While it is a wonderful desire, one I thankfully encouraged my daughter to nurture, I am appalled at the lack of interest in other things among some of these girls. And out of frustration, I see some of them as just boy crazy and obviously overly anxious to marry, some even in their mid teen years.”

    As a church librarian, I try to be aware of what’s available for Christian readers, and it seems there are a lot of fiction books these days that portray an Amish or similar type culture. I have no idea if there’s any connection, but I could imagine people being influenced by these type of books, (though there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with them), because of stories that often deal with courting starting in the middle teens, and the general expectation that wife and mother is the destination of most girls. There can be a strong appeal generated for a simple life with well-defined rules, without the hassles of higher education and employment.

    (I actually came here to find a recipe I’d seen previously and found this post I hadn’t read. 🙂 Thanks for your interesting podcasts and writings.)

  16. says

    Arlene, somehow I missed responding to your comment…..

    It is interesting to me that many patriocentrists actually do not allow their daughters to read the Amish romances (or other “Christian” romances) because they do not want to have their daughters thinking romantically until after betrothal. (I still don’t get how that works.) BUT, they are obsessed with Jane Austin and insist that those are NOT romances. Crazy.

  17. says

    Lisa, I read Tim Challies from time to time but not on a regular basis. He is widely popular, though, among the young, restless, and reformed crowd and it sort of a patrio light in my book.

  18. Aimee says

    Gina, thank you for saying that in response to Laura’s comment. Though I am sure she didn’t intend it, I found her statement extremely rude, ignorant, and insensitive toward all of the single or infertile women who read this blog. The Bible talks about speaking words that edify, uplift, and heal, and I think Laura’s comment could easily tear down an already hurting person even more. I know she did not mean to come across this way, but I do hope next time she will choose her words a bit more carefully (or come to the understanding that just because you think something in your heart, doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to share it with others).

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