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.

 

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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.

Treading While Muzzled

Superorganism’s page on Wikipedia[1] has this quote from 17 year old Japanese lead singer Orono Noguchi:

“Ever since I was little I had two big goals,” says Noguchi, “One of them was to be a musician or an artist of some sort, and the other was to go to college in the States. That’s why I made the decision to go to Maine by myself when I was fourteen.”

Pretty impressive, right? I thought so.

I mean: A nation whose men made themselves so safe that girls from countries on its periphery can move here alone as children to do pretty much whatever they want unmolested. That’s who you thought were impressive, right? Especially when you consider that they did it for no profit to themselves.


[1] Infogalactic has no page on the band Superorganism.

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.

For Larry, Nathan, and Nebraska

One of the slogans that, until recently, would trip me up and sprawl me back down into false liberal modes thought was “equality before the law”. This is because it had been explained to me by well-meaning people who loved me that the Bible teaches us “God is no respecter of persons” , and that as Christians–imitators of Christ–we ought to do the same, and therefore such verses were support for the ideal of equality before the law. I’ve wrongly repeated the same myself.

It is true that there are at least nineteen warnings and condemnations of partiality throughout the Bible. Here is one in the middle:

These also are sayings of the wise.

Partiality in judging is not good.
Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
    will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
    and a good blessing will come upon them.
Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.

What is not true is that words “You shall not show partiality” mean the same thing as “equality before the law”. The former is a command to a judge (including each of us, as circumstances demand) on how to judge. The latter is a statement about those under judgment. “Equality before the law” is literally a prejudiced statement. It’s also false because at least one of the people before a judge has been wronged! In truth it is the job of a good and proper judge to discover as best he can the inequalities of those under his judgment–especially as they concern the law–and then judge them impartially; as if he had no part–no gain or loss–in the matter.

A Circumstance Beyond Our Control, Oh Oh Oh Oh

There is a significant slave population in the United States today. We call them prisoners. The difference of a (pre-modern) slave from a (modern) prisoner, is that prisoners are not much good to anyone at all; including themselves. Some readers might be inclined to equivocate and draw lines between prisoners and slaves to separate them. The reality is that a prisoners are a subset of slaves. All the descriptors of slavery apply to prisoners.

Because I’m not insane, I’m in favor of prisons and jails. Making slaves of criminals (for a time)–i.e., to put them under the legal authority of another more competent, temperate, and law-abiding person to control them–is a superior choice over the alternatives to either execute all criminals or allow them to wander around. It would be superior still to control them to good purposes.

There are also other kinds of slaves, in other institutions, and with varying degrees of personal freedom and worth: juvenile delinquents, the elderly in nursing homes and hospices, those under power of attorney, military personnel, and the mentally ill.

Just as with my contemplation on what fatherhood is (especially from the Biblical perspective): Once I recognized with horror that I was actually in favor of slavery[1] …all grounds for liberalism within my mind were harrowed. An add-on effect is that I understood slavery in the Bible better. It was no longer an unconsidered evil tolerated by benighted desert nomads.


[1] Under certain circumstances and for certain people and only for certain periods of time.

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.

The New Woke President from Hipsterville, NC

I’ve been following the recent events in the SBC since Paige Patterson’s ouster (for his efforts to be faithful to Scripture’s instruction). Yesterday ended the SBC’s annual convention. There they elected a new President, JD Greear from a church group in North Carolina called “The Summit”. If you’ve heard of that church before, it may be because they’re a super-hip church in super-hip Raleigh-Durham.

Or it may be because you read this post and looked at this spreadsheet and noticed that 80 of the 331 (24%) NC signatures were from one of Greear’s churches.

Name Church City State
Julie Rougeux Summit Church Apex NC
Caroline Barnhill The Summit Church Apex NC
Stephanie Creasman The Summit Church Apex NC
Elizabeth Carter Summit Church Cary NC
Glynis Moinet Sumitt Durham NC
Michelle Key Summit Durham NC
Yolanda Reed Summit Durham NC
Elizabeth Ashford Summit Church Durham NC
Bryce Batts Summit Church Durham NC
Kellan Dickens Summit Church Durham NC
Lauren Ellis Summit Church Durham NC
Jennifer Falco Summit church Durham NC
Eva Leung Summit church Durham NC
Samantha Linton Summit church Durham NC
Melissa Mosby Summit Church Durham NC
Jessica Thommarson Summit Church Durham NC
Stephanie Oyler The Summit Durham NC
Amber Pearson The Summit Durham NC
Lori AdamsBrown The Summit Church Durham NC
Nan Beaty The Summit Church Durham NC
Sharon Beavers The Summit Church Durham NC
Katie Berger The Summit Church Durham NC
Jillian Boland The Summit Church Durham NC
Daniel Bonar The Summit Church Durham NC
Emily Bonar The Summit Church Durham NC
Ashley Dickens The Summit Church Durham NC
Jonathan Dickerson The Summit Church Durham NC
Allison Dolbeer The Summit Church Durham NC
Ginger Gooch The Summit Church Durham NC
Rebecca Hankins The Summit Church Durham NC
Audra Hodges The Summit Church Durham NC
Scott Hodges The Summit Church Durham NC
Jordan Kohman The Summit Church Durham NC
Parker McGoldrick The Summit Church Durham NC
Reema Nasrallah The Summit Church Durham NC
Matt Oettinger The Summit Church Durham NC
Tiffany Oettinger The Summit Church Durham NC
Landon Pauley The Summit Church Durham NC
Kat Robertson The Summit Church Durham NC
Rebecca Shrader The Summit Church Durham NC
Alexis Sponaugle The Summit Church Durham NC
Haley Warren The Summit Church Durham NC
Kate Williams The Summit Church Durham NC
Amanda Winter The Summit Church Durham NC
Justin Winter The Summit Church Durham NC
Aaron Coalson The Summit Church Durham NC
Stefanie Golden The Summit Church Durham NC
Christina Kelly The Summit Church Durham NC
Cindy Peterson The Summit Church Durham NC
Sarah Weddle The Summit Church Durham NC
Taylor Weddle The Summit Church Durham NC
Danielle Wilson Summit Raleigh NC
Jason Adams-Brown Summit Church Raleigh NC
Amanda Brown Summit Church Raleigh NC
Laura Brown Summit Church Raleigh NC
Debbie Derbyshire Summit Church Raleigh NC
Yolanda Finney Summit Church Raleigh NC
Kate Hughes Summit Church Raleigh NC
Sarah Davidson The Summit Raleigh NC
Patti Taylor The Summit Raleigh NC
Becca DeLucia The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Kelsey Hamilton The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Caitlin Hooks The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Morgan Jeffreys The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Sarah Krivsky The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Alex Lewis The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Jessica Locklear The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Zack Locklear The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Scott McWhirter The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Mackenzie Morris The Summit Church RALEIGH NC
Doug Porter The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Kristen Porter The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Makayla Riggs The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Nicole Shields The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Amanda Springer The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Katelyn Watkins The Summit Church Raleigh NC
Jeremy Robertson The Summit Church Raleigh Durham NC
Gardner Pippin The Summit Church RDU NC
Hillary Pippin The Summit Church RDU NC
Ray Gardestig The Summit NC

The next largest batch of signatures from one church organization in NC is from Imago Dei, with 30.[1] Between these groups, that’s almost exactly 1/3rd (110/331) of all the NC signatures.

Why did JD Greear stand for nomination? He writes:

  1. Keep the gospel above all as the foundation of our unity and the focus of our mission
  2. Continue growing in cultural and racial diversity
  3. Turn up the temperature in our churches with more intentional, personal evangelism
  4. Plant and revitalize hundreds of churches
  5. Mobilize college students and recent graduates into the mission, and
  6. Engage the next generation in cooperative mission.

The correct way to read this list is to recognize that the first point is The Given. It’s the thing you must say to unite or avoid alienating your constituents right off the bat, as he says. These are Southern Baptists Protestants so he leads with “the gospel above all”.[2] If you were in consideration for janitor at Second Baptist Church Nowhere, your application should start with, “The foundation of clean toilets is The Gospel above all.”

It’s the second point which reveals a candidates actual priority and passion, and which will be forwarded under the cover of The Given: “Continue growing in cultural and racial diversity”. This is where Paige Patterson posed a problem as president; not because he had been racist, but because his anti-racism had got tangled up with sexual predation when–way back in the benighted late 80s and early 90s–he defended Darrell Gilyard, a black pastor who had committed several acts of adultery and later was convicted of molesting teenage girls from one of his several churches.

For the moment I count on the reader’s Google-Fu to combat his possible ignorance on that debacle, but from what I have read it seems that Patterson initially took the radical stance that “no charge should be admitted against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses”; not even charges admitted by a woman! The scoundrel!

I have more to say about Patterson and Gilyard in a future post, but for now I’ll just close by passing on the understanding that Patterson’s early defense of his former student Gilyard is some seriously convoluted history from which to virtue signal about the gospel of multiculturalism, and that’s what the new SBC leadership desperately wants to do.

[1] Hilarious and illuminating text from Imago Dei’s bulletin: “Please note that our Lord’s Supper elements are all gluten-free.”

[2] I note that he does not capitalize Gospel. Which gospel does Greear have in mind? I think he wants us to assume that he means The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it fits the Southern Baptist tradition so we’ll go with that for now.