Between Fear and Worship

is reverence.

Related.


Edited to point to the correct post. 

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The Movements are Subject to the Spirits

Transcribed (as best I could) from the audiobook  “Resolute Determination: Napoleon and the French Empire”, by Prof. Donald M.G. Sutherland and from Recorded Books.

The (ed: French) Church was reconstructed as a largely royalist church. The church had split in the early years of the (ed: French) Revolution, and in the schism there is a pro-revolutionary and an anti-revolutionary faction. Because of vicissitudes of revolutionary politics, the pro-revolutionary church was purged and largely destroyed in what’s called the Dechristianization Campaign.

When the church was reordered in 1802 the personnel they had to draw on were clergy who had gone underground, or who had been expelled; indeed as far away as Baltimore or Quebec. They came back, but they came back often bitter, highly politicized, and royalist. Napoleon was well-aware of how potentially dangerous this could be and thus the necessity of subjecting the church to political tutelage.

The Church was a church in crisis almost from the beginning. There had been no creation of clerics for an entire decade; perhaps close to a generation. It was very hard to get seminaries up and running again. The clergy was aging, and the clergy of the restoration church–the Concordat Church–was much smaller than the old regime church had been.

The result was Catholicism itself changed. That kind of Catholicism was a traditionalist Catholicism with a spectacular (what historians of the Church call) “Feminization of Catholicism”[1] in the 19th Century that survived Napoleon’s fall in 1815. There’s a spectacular growth of female religious orders; hospitals, teaching orders, even some contemplative orders. There were probably more female nuns in the 19th Century than there had been in the golden age of the church in the 13th Century. There was also the revival of poor-relief and a Christianization of poor-relief institutions, medical care, and education for small children.

Priests themselves began to change their recruitment patterns. In the old regime priests had been highly educated, middle class, endowed by their fathers to study in the seminary, largely urban. In the course of the 19th Century, and under Napoleon, a ruralization of the Catholic clergy began. Thus, the clergy acquired a lot of peasant attitudes; dislike of towns, superstition, emotionalism. There’s a huge cult of saints and a very emotional kind of Catholicism emerges in the course of the 19th Century; what historians call a “Feminized Piety”.

Popular piety was very difficult to control because the church was so small and the clergy was aging. Popular piety was always a suspicious matter to the clergy, but in the early part of the empire and beyond there’s nothing they could do about ordinary people reviving suppressed feast days, for taking initiatives in the liturgy, for the laity insisting that the clergy authenticate relics which the clergy resisted, or miracle cures that curates were expected to authenticate and things of that sort; where the clergy simply felt overwhelmed by the revival of piety among the laity.

The civil code which we referred to earlier, also had some interesting developments; especially with regard to the status of women. As we have seen, it authorized divorce, and introduced a double-standard in divorce which made it easier for a man to divorce his wife than vice-versa. On the other hand, divorce was extremely rare under this period and becoming more rare as time went on. The overwhelming number of plaintiffs in divorce cases were not men, in fact, but women who were suing for divorce in order to complain about their husbands who deserted them and the purpose was to reclaim the property that they had brought to the marriage in the marriage contract.

That last paragraph is somewhat confusing out of context. What Sutherland said is that even though women did not have the right to divorce, they were still suing for divorce (asking a judge to make the divorce); and women did this more often than men who actually had the right to divorce.

He goes on to say that the response of society under the “liberty” provided by the Revolution and Napoleon was for marriage to be delayed, and also that France was one of the first countries in Europe to adopt the use of birth control despite the fact that birth control was banned by the Catholic Church; including the Concordat Church.

What Enlightenment and revolution promised was relief from harsh rulers and injustice. What it delivered was a dictator and disorder in families and churches. If Sutherland’s account is correct: The fascinating part is that Traditionalists were not even a speedbump to Liberalism. In fact women from the now disordered families and churches remade Traditionalism in their own image. It is still with us.


[1] Emphasis not in original.

 

Though, the Best Retort is to Live It

Doc H. asks:

“How could I respond to someones claims that the sanctifying work in Eph 5:26-27 is exclusively the work of Christ towards the church AND towards the wife and that the only action of the husband is to love? Wouldn’t the So (“houtos”) in 28 imply that 26-27 show what type of love the husband is supposed to show?”

I’ve never heard this “interpretation” of Ephesians 5:26-27 before, but it does not surprise me that some hold it. People will twist the Scriptures in all sorts of ways to destroy men’s headship when they can, and obfuscate it when they can’t. The good news is we are blessed with all of Scripture.

Colossians 3:18-19

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:1-7

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.

Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Titus 2:3-5

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.

1 Timothy 2:8-15

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness.12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35

33 For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

As in all the churches of the saints, 34 the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. 35 If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.

There are, in Scripture, few points of so much agreement compared to the order of Christian households. Not to put too fine a point on it, but: There is significantly less instruction on baptism, or administration of the Lord’s Supper, than there is for wives to be in submission to their husbands, and for husbands to love and manage (not quite the same thing as “lead”) their wives.

The last thing I would point out is: So what? So what does that mean to say the husband is called “only to love” while Christ performs the sanctifying work on the husband’s wife? Ephesians 5:22-24 is explicit:

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

This goes back to the very post which prompted Doc H.’s question: Husbands are not called to ALWAYS lead, but wives are called to ALWAYS obey. Sometimes the head may give a subordinate the lead because that is the prudent thing to do. He does not give up the rule. He may take back the lead at his pleasure, and the subordinate is only right if she gives it up in submission. A wife is to submit and obey her husband.

CoE V: I Am Not Called to “Lead” in the Bible

Our age’s focus on a husband’s leadership is a clever redirect away from the Biblical command for wives to submit and obey. Every instance of Biblical instruction to husbands and wives say the same thing: Wives submit to and obey your husbands. Husbands love and care for your wives. That’s the instruction in 1 Peter 3, Titus 2, Ephesians 5, and Colossians 3; in every instance where the Christian home life is addressed.

The wisdom here is simple, but deep and powerful. If she follows then she is able to fulfill her God-given design. Through Christ she is empowered to be godly even if her husband is a fool; even if he tries to lose her. Likewise, a husband cannot be thwarted from loving his wife. Even if she does not obey him that is no bar to his God-given ability to love and care her despite her wickedness. If he loves and cares for her, and she refuses to obey he is clean. He did not fail to lead.

I’ve written many posts and comments about a husband leading his wife, and I was fundamentally wrong. Over the years it has come to be that the liberal progressives proclaim the right thing for the wrong reasons and the traditionalists fight back with nonsense, and I fell into it also. Christian Feminists (both overt and those undeclared and unwitting) are quick to point out that it is a wife’s duty to obey and not a husbands right to force her to submit. Traditionalists have tried to fight this by demanding husbands lead better, and by stealing the glory of obedient women for themselves; such as when a man says his wife follows him because of his good leadership.

And all of it–the progressive tactics and the traditionalist response–is meant to tangle us up so that a wife’s temptation to rebel and abandon is never the topic of discussion; so that no one says, “Wives, obey your husbands.”


Of course there are times where a spouse’s behavior is so wicked and odious that individuals should take prudential action under the guidance of secular and religious authorities. That’s not the topic today.

They Know How to Follow

In a comment on Dalrock’s post “Feminine Wiles” I wrote:

A woman who is strongly attracted to a man will look for ways to please him; without any prompting on his part, and no matter what the consequences.

What I should have wrote was: A woman who has set her mind on a man will look for ways to please him; without any prompting on his part, and no matter what the consequences.

It is often the case that a woman chooses a man to whom she is not “strongly” attracted, but for unattractive reasons: wealth, security, etc.; in other words for the Beta Bucks. Either way to get what she wants she will follow him around…often literally.

This is what a man wants from a wife. It is what a wife is. That is why a woman is tempted to stop following and rebel after she marries.

The Cuckoo’s Egg of Courtly Love

In English, the only word for “marriage sorting and arranging ritual” we have is courtship; even though the act is as old as people. That’s because the cuckoo’s egg of Courtly Love has hatched, and the nest of Christianity is overtaken with its progeny; the assumption of women’s moral superiority, Feminism, egalitarianism, and complementarianism.

Blinded by Rose-Colored Glasses

The lives of Jacob and Leah and Rachel are fascinating because we are blinded by Courtly Love when we read their story.[1]

Leah is not pretty, but she is a virtuous wife. She uses everything her power to get Jacob’s attention, and to serve him. She produced the line of priests in Levi and the line of kings in Judah, through which came the Christ. She is jealous of Jacob and his affections even though she wis hated by Jacob. There is no mention of Leah causing Jacob any grief, or reproaching him for anything. Leah just wants to be pleasing to Jacob and the Lord.

Rachel is beautiful. That is her one virtue. Otherwise: Rachel is a complainer and will harass Jacob. She steals her father’s false idols and then hides them under her vagina while feigning menstruation. She’s fickle and lets her father marry Leah to her betrothed (under subterfuge) without complaint, and is fine for Leah to sleep with Jacob right up until Leah is honored above her because of Leah’s children. Rachel wants children not so that Jacob will love her, but because she is jealous of her sister (that was probably the first time in her life for that experience) AND she blames Jacob for her barrenness.

The difference in character is stark when you compare what Leah and Rachel uttered when they named their children. Leah is joyful, and she praises Jacob and the Lord. Rachel complains and loves herself. The exception to Rachel’s pattern of selfishness is Joseph, who goes on to save the people of Israel.

The Sons of Leah (including through the servant Zilpah)

  • Reuben: “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.”
  • Simeon: “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.”
  • Levi: “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.”
  • Judah: “This time I will praise the Lord.”
  • Gad: “Good fortune has come!”
  • Asher: “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.”
  • Issachar: “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.”
  • Zebulun: “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.”

The Sons of Rachel (including through the servant Bilhah)

  • Dan: “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.”
  • Naphtali: “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.”
  • Joseph: “God has taken away my reproach.”
  • Ben-oni: “son of my sorrow”, or “son of my strength”. [2]

If you read about Jacob Rachel and Leah and see an aspirational love story: I pity you.


[1]Repurposed from a comment at Dalrock’s.

[2] Jacob changes it to Benjamin: “son of the right hand”.

In for a Penny, In for a Pound

 

MKT pointed out a video celebration of J.D. Greear’s election as president of the SBC.

In his comment, MKT noted Russell Moore’s cameo, but Beth Moore is in there as well. If you watch both videos you’ll see that it’s a who’s-who of the SBC’s ascendant politburo.

But today I want to talk about the animating spirit behind J.D. Greear’s ascendence, and I want to do that by examining the message put out by one of his biggest fans, the producer of this video. Her name is Ashley Unzicker. [1] She is a member of The Summit Churches in NC where her husband Todd Unzicker [1] is a sort of pastor of the 10,000 plus church, according to this McClatchy article about how evil Trump is.

It turns out that the celebration video is a follow-up to this video from March 14, 2016 in which she pimps big for Greear to be president. [2]

The lyrics point out that Greear is accomplished, smart, well-travelled, has a full head of greying hair, runs a successful and growing corporation, pushes diversity, and handles loads of cash. She literally puts her whole being into service to joyfully sing and dance Greear’s praises.

Two and a half months after (May 30, 2016) “J.D. Greear for SBC President Rap”, Ashley released another video.

The video is titled “Husbands say ‘No’ to Cleaning”, but in the song it’s the wife saying no to her husband. It mocks her husband as a slobby and irresponsible man-child who isn’t allowed to go play until he finishes his chores, or else she will shame him on Facebook.

Her husband Todd helped her make the video by starring as one pathetic boob representative of all husbands. (It’s called “HusbandS say ‘No’ to Cleaning”.) Perhaps that’s not a fair reading of her intent. After all, this is a diversity-loving woman. Maybe she meant Todd to only represent boring, unsexy, white husbands.

With whom should we assume Ashley is infatuated?  J.D. Greear at whose feet Ashley devotes herself body and soul, or Todd whom she mothers, dominates, and shames online?


[1] Check out Ashley and Todd’s profile tags. 

Hers: Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

His: Follower of One, husband of one @AshleyUnzicker , dad of three, sender of many @Summitrdu

[2] Here’s a video of J.D. Greear withdrawing his 2016 candidacy for SBC president.  If that looks familiar, it might be because you read Greear’s January 30, 2018 post “Why I’m Accepting the Nomination for SBC’s president”. The post’s header image is taken from that 2016 withdrawal announcement. It was posted five months previous to the SBC women’s letter which led to the ignoble ouster of Paige Patterson; a political assassination which would frighten the sheep right into Greear’s woman-shaped arms. Spooky? Nah. That’s just good plans.

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.]

You Can Drive When I’m Dead

Driving Miss Crazy demonstrates (I hope) the unfairness of our situation. A woman does sometimes try to grab the wheel of the car we’re to drive; yet it is his car, and he is in the driver’s seat. When that happens, the only wise thing to do is stop the car, right then, and tell her that his car goes where he wants and it is literally in his hands. She is welcome to come along. She is encouraged to come along. But she should never try to steer the car.

Sometimes he might ask her to hold the wheel on course for moment while he digs something out of his pocket, but that it will never happen while he needs to make a change in direction.

A wise man won’t give up the wheel too often because his wife will being to wonder who is driving this thing? And if she can do it well this far, maybe better progress will be made. Why, if she’s competent to steer with one hand for a moment, how much better could the trip go if she used both as much as she wanted?

If that happens: Stop the car. Don’t wrestle over control. Don’t try to fight her. Don’t wait until the car crashes to prove you were right. Stop the damn car. You go no further until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

What do I mean by “stop the car”? It means nothing else gets done before the steering conflict is resolved. It means don’t talk about anything else until the conflict is resolved: No bills, no budget, no extra-curricular activities, no lawn, no trash, no in-laws, no Daddy Time with the kids. All those things are “driving the car” of a father’s life, and none of them are safe while the wrong person thinks she’s driving the car.

She may get out. Tell her she should get back in. Do not start driving until she agrees to keep her hands off the wheel.

She may not get back in. Roll on, slowly at first, but after a time she either will or won’t and you have to keep moving.

If she grabs the wheel again, stop the damn car again. Never allow the car to go while she fights for control of the car. After you die, then she can drive.