Thanks to Carson Clark for the heads up.
Check out this video of John Piper discussing the issue of women’s submission and the issue of domestic violence.
When I first saw this video, my face was shocked with horror, but not surprised given the fatalist g*d that Piper preaches about.
“First, from my perspective, subordination is terrible, like being a slave but with better clothes. Not all of those who say they are complementarians subordinate their wives, probably very few. I never said that they did, so we can leave that to one side. I have already said that many women are not subordinated in spite of those that teach that they should be.
I am simply saying that a theology which allows women to preach, and teaches that women should be subordinated in the home is excruciating for those women who don’t preach. There is one woman whose husband allows her to preach, but the next women doesn’t get to leave the house without permission. These things happen, and John Piper has been quite open about the woman who spent years not being able to go from one room in the house to another without permission.”
Please take note of the last line: Piper has openly discussed women needing permission to go from room to room in houses. In the video, Piper says that women should endure the beating for a season (how long is this, in the first instance? A year? a few months? a decade?) and in the second, he insists that women should go to churches to discipline domestic abusers (what is to guarantee the church will take action? what is to stop the congregation from covering up the abuse?). The answers to all these questions I put forth to Piper’s answers (cuz, you know, his people like to hear answers to their questions, rather than asking questions–another time, another place) are not going to be simple or black and white, but let me deal with the elephant in the room: the notion of subordination.
In New Testament terms, submission is to be mutual, between husband and wife, for the husband takes the example of Christ the sacrificial lamb in self-giving and his wife responds in kind. This is how I understand Ephesians 5, since it does begin with a discussion of Christ’s sacrifice, and it clearly says, in Ephesian 5:21, TO SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER, but in some particular versions of the bible, verse 21 gets separated from the “household codes.” Isn’t that interesting? Agenda in translation anyone? So the notion of subordination is about ordering our lives under the ordering of God, more of a sub-ORD-ination (I am borrowing from John Howard Yoder’s The Politics of Jesus). As such, this order of God calls for Christians to sub-ORDER their freedom to the civil government that God has allowed. This is what Romans 12-13 is about, and as such, the dagger Paul discusses in these chapters is about JUDICIAL authority, and not executive. This is key to understanding the passage. John Piper’s solution is not about mutual sub-Ordination, but about the unbalanced submission of women meeting every demand of men, but he excluded sub-ordering to the judicial authorities in these instances. His solution is unbiblical on these Pauline grounds.
Sub-Ordering our lives to the Way of the Cross & Resurrection should mean a concrete intolerance of all violence, this includes domestic violence. So some Christian advice for anyone going through a domestic violence situation: Please get out, as soon as you can, and seek the proper legal authorities. It is not God’s will for you to endure violence against your body, for your body is a sacred temple, the Holy of Holies of the God YHWH.