CoE IV: Leave

For a long time I maintained that men should continue to go to church. I still believe that for men in churches that aren’t hostile to men, who support and encourage him to take authority over his family, and who encourage wives and children to obey their husbands and fathers. Churches and pastors are bound to do and say silly things now and then. They will say things that you won’t like, or give different interpretations to Biblical text than you see.

But undermining a father’s authority–his right and responsibility to lead–by deed (example) and by voice (command)–is destructive of the whole organization.

You can’t fight the leadership of an organization. Even if you win, the organization will probably die when its leaders are gone. You see this in families. After a divorce families altogether fall apart. That’s why so many parents tell the lie to their kids that “The divorce isn’t about them (the children), and that Mommy and Daddy both still love them very much.” Children discover the lie when Mommy and/or Daddy remarry and have new children with their new spouse. The children of the new marriage are loved more. There’s simply more love to give because that fountain still flows. Or when the new couple go off to have fun together without the children from the old marriage. Or when unknown and untrusted adults are brought into the home of children to go off and make strange noises in the parent’s bedroom, and later sit, frighteningly, at the breakfast table. That is, if they don’t come and go in the night like a thief.

It can be a good thing for an organization to die, but you don’t want to be in it when it happens. And you don’t want to be a traitor. Treason hurts the traitor as much or more than the betrayed in the long run. No one should trust a traitor even if he claims to have acted for the right cause. It’s a worse thing to act in bad faith than it is make a wrong choice. That is disrespect and contempt for yourself, those around you, and those above you; for everyone. Those who make bad decisions can be convinced and even repent. They can change their minds and heal their souls. Those who act in bad faith lose both.

So if you find yourself at odds with the leadership, and they undermine your authority, and they don’t defend you as you carry out your God-appointed duty to have charge over your family: Leave.

[Edit: Edited to fix an editing error. Edit.]

7 thoughts on “CoE IV: Leave

  1. I’ve thought about this a lot, without yet sorting those thoughts into something I can articulate clearly.

    I can’t see where there is anywhere else to go for starters. I know men of many faith traditions if I count RCC and various Protestant denominations as faith traditions. Whatever they do “at church”, they almost invariably subscribe at home to some version of the happy-wife-happy-life theology.

    I’m interested in what any readers would think about fighting the leadership, being at odds with the leadership, and being a traitor. What might that look like in practical terms? Do I have to subscribe to everything they say, and anything else is being a traitor or fighting the leadership? Certainly it might be “at odds”, at a minimum.

    Yet when I challenge something said about biblical relationships of husbands and wives (I get all my counterpoints from the Men’s Sphere), I am not scolded or shunned. On the contrary, I am encouraged to keep asking questions and examining the system. The leadership doesn’t change it’s mind, I don’t change my mind, everybody knows what the other team thinks; and everyone remains friends.

    The whole thing is hard to figure.

  2. @LP

    Do I have to subscribe to everything they say, and anything else is being a traitor or fighting the leadership?

    I don’t think so. My wife doesn’t have to believe everything I believe. She just has to do what I say. If she doesn’t, she better have a good reason. Sometimes she does have a good reason, and then I say, “Good work!” She wasn’t fighting my leadership; she simply had more information on the ground. But if I found out that she told the kids to disregard what I say, that would be a whole different matter. That’s defiance. Even I don’t tell the kids to disregard their mother when I disagree with her decision because she is their leader, too. I take it up with her away from them. In front of them, or when they complain to me, I remind them that she is their mother, she loves them, and they are to obey her.

    Do you get the same treatment from your authority?

    It doesn’t sound to me as if you and the leadership are “at odds”. (By “at odds”) I meant opposed, not just unaligned.) It also doesn’t sound like you have come to a crisis moment where you must make a decision. It is one thing for a pastor to be milquetoast. That’s undesirable, but not critical. It’s another if the pastor preaches rebellion from the pulpit, you point this out, and he keeps doing it. Or if he amiably banters back and forth with you about family roles, but later undermines you to your wife and kids.

    The whole thing is hard to figure.


  3. Cane … thank’s for the post. About time someone stood up and admitted the truth. I walked away about 5 yrs ago now. Was having second thoughts about the church and the leadership I was in, anyway. Heard the Mother’s Day sermon … was nothing but Vagina worship and men are garbage … women do everything … WANNA SEE A HERO … HAVE A VAGINA !!! I walked away for awhile and went back right before Father’s Day … only to get hit with a sermon that men are scum, do nothing but watch porn, get drunk, play video games, and make women do everything .. AND THEN GET HIT WITH … SO MAN UP !!!!

    I walked out. Haven’t been back. Won’t be back. I will return when churches … treat me with respect. TREAT MEN WITH RESPECT. Why would any man … show up in church to be disrespected and treated like crap ? Its about time for someone to stand up and tell men … LEAVE !!!! If your church is treating disrespecting men … how long until your wife understands that’s ok and starts doing it too ? How long til you are divorced raped like so many men ? So what men … ALL MEN … should do is … go to church … if they repeat societies mantra of shit on men … then leave. JUST GET UP AND WALK OUT.


  4. @CC

    Thanks for the clarifications. I’m still in a developing situation. I’ve never been exposed to anything along the lines of what mega had, nor any of the more egregious things Dalrock brings to the fore with some of those celebrated pastors.

    Nevertheless the leadership crew here is foursquare in the servant leader camp, and they all have a “better half”, “better answer this call it’s the boss” mentality. Women aren’t (yet) allowed any formal roles as elder, deacon, or teacher (except when it’s children), but they clearly pull strings in the background. I think they like it that way because it provides for a lot of control, influence, and praise; without ever being called out as the responsible party when things go sideways. You know the drill.

    The Sunday preaching is expository through Bible books, and does not get modified for Mother’s Day or any of that. Consequently it is not often that the subject of headship or lack thereof is addressed. When it has been, wives have the verses about submission read to them unmodified – then husbands get a whole sermon about what they ought to be doing to make that easier on her, or something like that. If the subject comes up during any men’s group, the default position is TradCon White Knight.

  5. I’m an Anglican in an ethnically Chinese Southern Baptist church. I appreciate that the pastor, who was also my childhood pastor before he took a call in Hong Kong, doesn’t teach the feminist rubbish I’ve seen elsewhere.

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