Tag Archives: sacraments

Violence & Submission: Domestic Violence IS ALWAYS OUT Of God's Will

Cover of "The Politics of Jesus"

Cover of The Politics of Jesus

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.

Sue has left this comment on T.C. Robinson’s post (a response to my post on Julia J.A. Foote:

“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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday Amens: Scared of the Eucharist?

So, the first Sunday of each month is Communion Sunday at the local United Methodist congregation where I work.  Nothing out of the ordinary usually happens.  Well, this week, something extraordinary did happen.

So, normally there are two lower elementary aged (kindergarten to second grade) children [a brother and sister]   who attend Sunday School, but are unable to attend worship.  The last time we had communion Sunday, however, they partook in the Eucharist for the first time.  It was a heartening thing to witness, and a moment to be proud.  Today, they slipped in early enough that I decided to abandon my duties on the projector slides for a second to encourage them to take Communion again, by going in the sanctuary before going to their classroom where they usually play games. The Brother, M1 was more than eager to take communion, as he skipped his way in through the hallways and into the sanctuary.  The sister, the youngest of the two, however, was quite reluctant, and at first I did not know why.  Then, as I watched her reactions as the pastor was addressing the church, I noticed something.  The pastor said, this is Jesus’ body, broken for us.  The sister gave a squeamish look, closing her eyes and twisting her mouth in disgust.  Then, the pastor said, this is Jesus’ blood, shed for us.  Again, she gave a look in horror, and then I realized why she did not want to join us in the sanctuary.  As we were in line for communion, she whispered to me, “I do not want to drink anyone’s blood.”

There you have it.  A reminder from a five year-old child.  Sometimes, we as Christians like to forget how horrendous our Lord’s being tortured and executed was.  In the mind of a child so young, the taking of the pastor’s words literally may seem funny to adults, but on another level, the girl’s comment may represent a few questions that normally go unasked by your average congregant. Does salvation have to be so violent and bloody? Is the death of anyone necessary so that others may live?  What does our partaking of the Lord’s Supper mean for those who suffer torment in the here and now, anyways?

I think this girl raises some good concerns, concerns that many feminist and womanist theologians have been asking for years, pertaining to the violent nature of atonement.  What would a liturgy look like that included a nonviolent approach to the crucifixion (the cross as an anti-torture/anti-terror event)?