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BottleOfTears

Puritan Board Freshman
A lot of the things being discussed here- purity culture, dress- are symptoms of the church's move away from Biblical teaching on the distinctions which should be maintained between the sexes, on holiness, on sancitification. The purity culture was itself, ironically, obsessed with sex. It seemed to view the Christian life as a great battle specifically between sexual promiscuity and sexual abstinence, emphaising sex way beyond its proper proportion. Which only results in sexualising the culture of the church from the other direction. And, if reports on the sexual behaviour of "evangelical" teens were to be believed, certainly didnt result in keeping young people pure.
I think this is a very good point.

It's actually quite similar to some of the arguments Aimee makes in her book. She is concerned that we often make sexual relationships the ultimate form of relationship and therefore downplay friendship. And so the only meaningful friendship men and women can have is sexual.

Therefore a lot of the book is concerned with building a case for the positive ways in which Christian men and women's platonic friendships can and should benefit them.

Of course there is a need for wisdom, and practical application is where it gets controversial, but I think it's easy to miss the more interesting points she makes.

I don't think that relationships with the opposite sex can certainly function the same way, or that wisdom is not necessary, but I think we should be able to critique some negative aspects of purity culture (focus on sex, legalism) while taking some of the positive parts.

I think Aimee is trying to build a Christian view of male/female relationships without making everything about sex which she thinks both the world and purity culture do.

Now she may be incorrect or unwise in some of her ideas or advice, but I think what she is trying to do is commendable, and I don't think it can just be reduced to her being a undercover feminist.
 

BottleOfTears

Puritan Board Freshman
If a pretty 25-year old nurse starts coming to church, there's no reason for me to have a coffee with her or go for a walk together in the park. In fact, knowing my sinful heart, that's a terrible idea.
I've also seen people come up with exceptions to the Pence rule. For example, giving a woman a ride if her car breaks down. Or it's moving day for a single woman and you're the only guy who help her move heavy furniture. But these are rare events that should be handled case by case. That's a far cry from intentionally seeking one-on-one time with a woman who's not your wife.
I really don't see Aimee advocating this at all. It seems to me that she does understand that such inappropriate situations exist. Just because she says that men and women can be friends doesn't mean we should assume she is advocating feeding our sinful desires. I could understand a bit of push back on somethings she says, but I keep hearing examples like this as though they are the main point of the book or something.

Is there no ground between "Men and women can't be friends" and "intentionally culivate situations where you are likely to be tempted"?

As someone else has said, she " has appealed to our glorified state in the New Heavens and New Earth as the pattern for earthly friendships between sexes now."
The reason Aimee appeals to this is because if we reduce male/female relations to simply sexual ones, and there is no marriage in the new heavens and the new earth, then there seems to be a vacuum in male/female realationships left there.

Therefore there must be some form of platonic relationship of value here on earth.

Not that it will be the same as in the new creation of course, but she argues that there must be some continuity.
 

Spurgyon

Puritan Board Freshman
I really don't see Aimee advocating this at all. It seems to me that she does understand that such inappropriate situations exist. Just because she says that men and women can be friends doesn't mean we should assume she is advocating feeding our sinful desires. I could understand a bit of push back on somethings she says, but I keep hearing examples like this as though they are the main point of the book or something.

Is there no ground between "Men and women can't be friends" and "intentionally culivate situations where you are likely to be tempted"?

The reason Aimee appeals to this is because if we reduce male/female relations to simply sexual ones, and there is no marriage in the new heavens and the new earth, then there seems to be a vacuum in male/female realationships left there.

Therefore there must be some form of platonic relationship of value here on earth.

Not that it will be the same as in the new creation of course, but she argues that there must be some continuity.

No offense, but all I see from Byrd and her apologists are mental gymnastics for a non-issue in the church. "Not enough strong, one-on-one non-spousal relationships between men and women" doesn't even make my Top 500 Problems in the Modern Church list. If you're going to write a 250-page book, there are far more relevant and pressing topics. And again, where's the Biblical basis for it? Saying there's no marriage in the new heavens and earth doesn't necessitate that we build strong, sibling-like relationships with the opposite sex now. That doesn't follow from the premise at all.

We're simply told to treat younger women with absolute purity--the way we do our sisters. That doesn't mean our relationships with other women should be as close or intimate as they may be with our literal sisters.

As for this " I don't think it can just be reduced to her being a undercover feminist," I can't read her heart or motives. However, I notice she leans to the feminist/progressive side on virtually ever gender issue, whether it's supporting the APA's drivel, wearing bikinis, attacking men who write helpful articles on raising boys, etc. She always throws in a few careful caveats to remain orthodox, but she has a clear bias.
 
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Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I think this is a very good point.

It's actually quite similar to some of the arguments Aimee makes in her book. She is concerned that we often make sexual relationships the ultimate form of relationship and therefore downplay friendship. And so the only meaningful friendship men and women can have is sexual.

Therefore a lot of the book is concerned with building a case for the positive ways in which Christian men and women's platonic friendships can and should benefit them.

Of course there is a need for wisdom, and practical application is where it gets controversial, but I think it's easy to miss the more interesting points she makes.

I don't think that relationships with the opposite sex can certainly function the same way, or that wisdom is not necessary, but I think we should be able to critique some negative aspects of purity culture (focus on sex, legalism) while taking some of the positive parts.

I think Aimee is trying to build a Christian view of male/female relationships without making everything about sex which she thinks both the world and purity culture do.

Now she may be incorrect or unwise in some of her ideas or advice, but I think what she is trying to do is commendable, and I don't think it can just be reduced to her being a undercover feminist.
So she thinks that people who have objections to her pitch for platonic friendships between married men and women do so because it’s all about sex? What she is promoting is NOT commendable. I think her understanding of the sin nature in all of us is woefully inadequate. A wiser older woman needs to take her aside and talk to her about a number of things, actually. And I agree, she’s not an “undercover” feminist.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
So she thinks that people who have objections to her pitch for platonic friendships between married men and women do so because it’s all about sex? What she is promoting is NOT commendable. I think her understanding of the sin nature in all of us is woefully inadequate. A wiser older woman needs to take her aside and talk to her about a number of things, actually. And I agree, she’s not an “undercover” feminist.
She’s middle aged herself and I just don’t get her concern though. Unless you are mechanically avoiding women at church you’re going to make friends with them. Is there any man on this list that avoids mixed company?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
So she thinks that people who have objections to her pitch for platonic friendships between married men and women do so because it’s all about sex? What she is promoting is NOT commendable. I think her understanding of the sin nature in all of us is woefully inadequate. A wiser older woman needs to take her aside and talk to her about a number of things, actually. And I agree, she’s not an “undercover” feminist.

You wrote:
"A wiser older woman needs to take her aside and talk to her about a number of things..."

Yes, agree. But then this gets into the broader problem of podcasts and blogging. The wiser older women are too busy with their homes and taking care tending to their families than to be employed correcting men 40-60 hours a week on the internet. The whole nature of blogging and podcasts subverts authority and causes those who are most tech-savvy to be pushed to the forefront, while those tech-illiterate older folks who are actually the most wise remain unheard.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
That is all very vague. Can you give me examples of purity culture? My only knowledge of it is the weird purity rings that maybe were not very effective. And not letting kids "date" but chaperoning them (which seems like good sense).

Okay. My attempt with being less vague. :) Since this thread is suppose to be about Mrs Byrd I hope it isn't unwelcome. I've never knew any women personally with purity rings but have never disparaged them. My problem with them would be someone being judged and berated for NOT wearing one.

In that vein 20 years ago there was a purity culture that tried with some success to push back against the culture's crumbling sexual morality. Again, nothing wrong with that as far as it goes. I was Roman Catholic in those days but there was co-belligerence on these matters and I think this existed in the broader evangelical world. Some of the things, good and bad, that I noticed.

--Fundraisers would be held for months to pay for certain celebrity chastity speakers. Why? Do you have to raise money to pay someone to tell you to wait for marriage?
--Virginity and chastity would often be conflated. The former elevated above the latter causing despair among those who had missed keeping the former. Being a technical virgin and consuming p0rn won't get a girl pregnant but it isn't chaste either.
--Josh Harris was indeed on to something. He was endorsed and promoted by plenty of respected evangelicals from Elisabeth Elliot to James Dobson. Give the young JH a break. I found the book inspiring. The fact that some people want to blame their relationship failures on him is ridiculous. Harris's recent middle aged rethinking of the products of his young adulthood aside, latter day critics of his need to replace his ideas with something other than a swift pendulum swing back to the world's meat market methods.
--I was on the diocese's youth/young adult board in the late 1990s and I remember going to 'chastity conferences' where I'd see kids promoting purity speak to their parents with such vileness that I couldn't believe so few of us could see the contradiction. I looked at a priest after we both overheard such an incident and he just nodded and said, 'yep'.
--The other commandments also got short shrift.
--Parents then and now downplay the importance of chastity because of their own failures. This is silly and destructive. Thankfully most parents who turn to godliness don't take these reservations about promoting chastity to their logical conclusion in other areas. For example; let's say you boosted a car and beat up a kid within an inch of his life as a 17 year old and then turned to Christ in juvenile hall. Twenty years later you had a teenager of your own. You wouldn't fail to discourage the same behavior in your son. For some reason there is hesitancy in sexual matters out of fear of hypocrisy.
--Finally, the worst of purity culture can promote a disdain for unbelievers and judgment of those outside the church.
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Okay. My attempt with being less vague. :) Since this thread is suppose to be about Mrs Byrd I hope it isn't unwelcome. I've never knew any women personally with purity rings but have never disparaged them. My problem with them would be someone being judged and berated for NOT wearing one.

In that vein 20 years ago there was a purity culture that tried with some success to push back against the culture's crumbling sexual morality. Again, nothing wrong with that as far as it goes. I was Roman Catholic in those days but there was co-belligerence on these matters and I think this existed in the broader evangelical world. Some of the things, good and bad, that I noticed.

--Fundraisers would be held for months to pay for certain celebrity chastity speakers. Why? Do you have to raise money to pay someone to tell you to wait for marriage?
--Virginity and chastity would often be conflated. The former elevated above the latter causing despair among those who had missed keeping the former. Being a technical virgin and consuming p0rn won't get a girl pregnant but it isn't chaste either.
--Josh Harris was indeed on to something. He was endorsed and promoted by plenty of respected evangelicals from Elisabeth Elliot to James Dobson. Give the young JH a break. I found the book inspiring. The fact that some people want to blame their relationship failures on him is ridiculous. Harris's recent middle aged rethinking of the products of his young adulthood aside, latter day critics of his need to replace his ideas with something other than a swift pendulum swing back to the world's meat market methods.
--I was on the diocese's youth/young adult board in the late 1990s and I remember going to 'chastity conferences' where I'd see kids promoting purity speak to their parents with such vileness that I couldn't believe so few of us could see the contradiction. I looked at a priest after we both overheard such an incident and he just nodded and said, 'yep'.
--The other commandments also got short shrift.
--Parents then and now downplay the importance of chastity because of their own failures. This is silly and destructive. Thankfully most parents who turn to godliness don't take these reservations about promoting chastity to their logical conclusion in other areas. For example; let's say you boosted a car and beat up a kid within an inch of his life as a 17 year old and then turned to Christ in juvenile hall. Twenty years later you had a teenager of your own. You wouldn't fail to discourage the same behavior in your son. For some reason there is hesitancy in sexual matters out of fear of hypocrisy.
--Finally, the worst of purity culture can promote a disdain for unbelievers and judgment of those outside the church.
Thanks.
 

BottleOfTears

Puritan Board Freshman
No offense, but all I see from Byrd and her apologists are mental gymnastics for a non-issue in the church. "Not enough strong, one-on-one non-spousal relationships between men and women" doesn't even make my Top 500 Problems in the Modern Church list. If you're going to write a 250-page book, there are far more relevant and pressing topics. And again, where's the Biblical basis for it?
So she thinks that people who have objections to her pitch for platonic friendships between married men and women do so because it’s all about sex? What she is promoting is NOT commendable.
I think firstly what's important to remember is the title of her book. It's called Why can't we be friends?: Avoidance is not purity It's not We absolutely need to be friends!: Why the church needs more one-on-one relationships. Aimee isn't arguing we need more relationships like this, and certainly not ones in which no wisdom is exercised.

What is more important to her is how we view friendship between the sexes and therefore how we view men and women altogether. Take the Pence Rule as an example. A useful, practical bit of wisdom, especially for someone in Mike Pence's position. But remember what was said earlier in the thread about purity culture. It had a very weak view of sanctification and holiness, and mostly relied on piling on man-made rules. Rules are great, but if our only way of fighting sexual sin is just avoiding the other sex it communicates something very negative.

She is not saying avoidance is not needed. She's saying that if the only thing we think when we think of the other sex is "avoid them so I don't sin" we can have a distorted view of our brothers and sisters. If we view each other as sexual beings with no self-control, every little interaction becomes a potential temptation with sexual undertones and something forbidden. Which can in turn actually entice lust, as the failure of much of purity culture shows.

While it may seem safe to impose rules that separate us from ordinary encounters with the other sex, this isn't the virtue of purity. It is the oversexualizing of others. Rejecting impurity or sexual transgression should never lead to rejecting the value of another person. The virtue of purity rightly orients sensuality before God and others. It perceives and responds to the holistic value in human beings.

Our call to Christian love and fellowship as brothers and sisters doesn't call us to "the false modesty of the prude" but to a "humble sincerity". Of course we promote one another's holiness, take sin seriously, and realize that we can easily fall into it. We don't think of a bunch of reasons to be alone with the other sex, we don't naively assume that everyone is safe, and we don't overestimate our own virtue. But, rather than creating extrabiblical rules, we are to do the hard work of rightly orientating our affections and exercising wisdom and discernment with others. We live before God in every situation. And in this manner, we will be able to perform ordinary acts of kindness and business without scandal. -Why can't we be friends?: Avoidance is not purity- pg76

When Aimee joined Mortification of Spin, she says:

some listeners soon warned of the dangers of having a woman interacting with two respectable men. Some of the "warnings" were terribly demeaning: I was an affair waiting to happen, a possible career ender, perhaps Satan's strategy to bring down another pastor and church. Even if I was a positive addition to the podcast, it wasn't worth the risk.-Why can't we be friends?: Avoidance is not purity- pg7

Surely we can say that is ridiculous without throwing wisdom out the window?

I notice she leans to the feminist/progressive side on virtually ever gender issue
Honestly, apart from not being very keen on the Pence Rule (and for different reasons mind you) I'm not really seeing how anything she is saying here lines up with feminism at all.

"Jesus Christ is our great treasure. We don't need a movement with pledge cards, customized Bibles, and silver rings."

You can just hear the feminists screaming that from the rooftops can't you?
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Re: naming, I think it's beautiful that God speaks things into being, and Adam, his image-bearer, speaks in recognition and reception of those things. In recognition and reception of 'woman' (taken from man) he speaks in poetry. It is only after God speaks the promise of a deliverer that Adam names the woman 'Eve' -- in recognition of who she is through God's promise, in her relation to the Messiah. Eve's identity is expressed by Adam not in relation to himself but in relation to Jesus. I think this is an important point because otherwise the act of naming Eve seems to make Adam out to be a sort of manipulator of an identity which terminates on him. Women do often function with some idea that they need a stamp of authentication from a mere man, and with shame not to be approved by men, and try to reshape a God-given individuality for masculine approval. But fundamentally our identity is about our relationship to the second Adam, something the first Adam perceived and 'named' about his own wife.

I appreciate the more balanced points made by men in these discussions about women (imagine my surprise to find some snarky and emotional ones :gpl: ). It's one of the ironies to be aware of when there are loud voices on all sides, that women who have been trained to silence when other people are speaking loudly feel it mostly futile to try to qualify or engage.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Regarding naming we have another passage that illustrates how naming is related to authority. In Genesis 35:18 we read, “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” That final confirmation of the name was up to the husband.
 

Bill Duncan

Puritan Board Freshman
Regarding naming we have another passage that illustrates how naming is related to authority. In Genesis 35:18 we read, “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” That final confirmation of the name was up to the husband.
Even more than authority it is judgment. Jacob had the responsibility to make judgment upon right and wrong. The buck stopped with him. He determined that Rachel had been excessive in projecting her sorrow onto her son with the name. Ultimate judgment was mandated of Adam at the probation tree, where he failed his wife. Pretty heavy stuff for me.

I think this relates to Byrd's proposal in that the married man who has a personal relationship with a woman must simply judge rightly.
 

Tom Hart

Puritan Board Senior
Regarding naming we have another passage that illustrates how naming is related to authority. In Genesis 35:18 we read, “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.” That final confirmation of the name was up to the husband.

There wasn't a whole lot Rachel could have done at that point, though.
 

a mere housewife

Not your cup of tea
Pergs, I was thinking of how women share this image-bearing aspect of 'naming' in the Bible (ie, Genesis 29, 30). Please know I don't dispute that 'Adam was first formed, then Eve', etc. But I am not sure -- I just genuinely don't know -- if 'naming' pertains to a distinctly or predominantly masculine authority. And there are reasons to be wary about overstating that case.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I think Aimee is trying to build a Christian view of male/female relationships without making everything about sex which she thinks both the world and purity culture do.

Now she may be incorrect or unwise in some of her ideas or advice, but I think what she is trying to do is commendable, and I don't think it can just be reduced to her being a undercover feminist.

I'm certainly not saying men and women cannot have platonic friendships. But just thinking about it from my own experience: I have never had a female friend, in any area of my life, who was my closest friend. Almost all of my female friends were as part of a larger group of friends, both male and female. That seems to me to be the default setting for a male/female friendship. My issue with Byrd here is that she seems to ignore this and advocate that not only is it perfectly natural for men and woman to have close, intimate friendships but that Christian (men) are almost obligated to pursue such friendships to manifest the spiritual bond between brothers and sisters in Christ and if they don't they are devaluing and sexualising Christian women.

I would also say that my concerns over her feminist agenda are not primarily based on her views on this particular topic, but from what she says more generally.
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
A couple more thoughts:

1) Again, with the "Pence rule": clearly this does not prevent Vice-President, earlier Governor, Pence from interacting with women on a daily basis. The White House clearly is not a male-only zone. Furthermore, even if one could argue that superficially Byrd's criticisms of this rule might be fair, the very fact she made these criticisms is suspcious to me. At a time when our public morality is so wicked, and there are so many scandals in the secular and even Christian world, is the biggest issue to be criticising the "Pence rule"? People like Byrd might argue they are trying to maintain "balance" but we are so deep in the mire with public morality that these attempts at "balance" only serve to undermine any attempt to reform our moral conduct. Pence should have been applauded throughtout the Christian world for his stance. Instead we had this controlled opposition coming out and trying to undermine him. We need to ask why. We need to ask what their motivations are.

2) Clearly Byrd is not a feminist in the mould of those wretched creatures out in their pink hats, celebrating infanticide and the like. When I say she has a feminist agenda I mean she has adopted the basic tenets of feminism- its worldview, its language- and is adapting them to an orthdox, evangelical Christian context. There is overt, radical progressivism such as we see from some on the issue of race and there is a more subtle form of progressivism. It's the latter I see in Byrd and others like her. As Christopher said: it's a constant mental gymnastics with every issue to promote an insidious progressive ideology. Even on the Kavanaugh episode- surely one of the most obvious and appalling episodes of persecution and character assassination- she had to hedge and qualify. And what seemed to upset her the most was Esolen's (very accurate) assessment of the situation. Why didn't she write an article decrying the false accusations, the despicable conduct of the Democrats, the obvious and absurd lies of "Dr." Ford, the baying mobs who tried to storm the Supreme Court, the brainwashed protestors in the capitol building, the msm's spreading of lies and easily disprovable rumours? Why did she write an article that went out of its way to warn against the "objectionable" attitudes of some men when the whole fiasco was as clear an illustration as we could get of how it is men who are being demonised, subverted and bullied by our institutions and culture? Again, motivations.

And I just want to say that it's not that I consider Byrd to be the worst offender. I only brought up my concerns about her in the context of a discussion on podcasts and because her addition to MoS made it far less enjoyable for me. I don't read a lot of Christian blogs so I'm not aware of who else is out there- male and female- of a similar view as her. If I knew others to criticise I would, so she will just have to serve as a represenative.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
I'm certainly not saying men and women cannot have platonic friendships. But just thinking about it from my own experience: I have never had a female friend, in any area of my life, who was my closest friend. Almost all of my female friends were as part of a larger group of friends, both male and female. That seems to me to be the default setting for a male/female friendship. My issue with Byrd here is that she seems to ignore this and advocate that not only is it perfectly natural for men and woman to have close, intimate friendships but that Christian (men) are almost obligated to pursue such friendships to manifest the spiritual bond between brothers and sisters in Christ and if they don't they are devaluing and sexualising Christian women.

I would also say that my concerns over her feminist agenda are not primarily based on her views on this particular topic, but from what she says more generally.
Agree.
 

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
1) Again, with the "Pence rule": clearly this does not prevent Vice-President, earlier Governor, Pence from interacting with women on a daily basis. The White House clearly is not a male-only zone. Furthermore, even if one could argue that superficially Byrd's criticisms of this rule might be fair, the very fact she made these criticisms is suspcious to me. At a time when our public morality is so wicked, and there are so many scandals in the secular and even Christian world, is the biggest issue to be criticising the "Pence rule"? People like Byrd might argue they are trying to maintain "balance" but we are so deep in the mire with public morality that these attempts at "balance" only serve to undermine any attempt to reform our moral conduct. Pence should have been applauded throughtout the Christian world for his stance. Instead we had this controlled opposition coming out and trying to undermine him. We need to ask why. We need to ask what their motivations are.

I was thinking much the same thing in-between previously commenting on this thread and now. Moreover, is it really in keeping with the fifth commandment to publicly criticise the Vice-President of the United States for taking practical measures both to be faithful to his wife and to protect the dignity of his office? I think not.

2) Clearly Byrd is not a feminist in the mould of those wretched creatures out in their pink hats, celebrating infanticide and the like. When I say she has a feminist agenda I mean she has adopted the basic tenets of feminism- its worldview, its language- and is adapting them to an orthdox, evangelical Christian context. There is overt, radical progressivism such as we see from some on the issue of race and there is a more subtle form of progressivism. It's the latter I see in Byrd and others like her. As Christopher said: it's a constant mental gymnastics with every issue to promote an insidious progressive ideology. Even on the Kavanaugh episode- surely one of the most obvious and appalling episodes of persecution and character assassination- she had to hedge and qualify. And what seemed to upset her the most was Esolen's (very accurate) assessment of the situation. Why didn't she write an article decrying the false accusations, the despicable conduct of the Democrats, the obvious and absurd lies of "Dr." Ford, the baying mobs who tried to storm the Supreme Court, the brainwashed protestors in the capitol building, the msm's spreading of lies and easily disprovable rumours? Why did she write an article that went out of its way to warn against the "objectionable" attitudes of some men when the whole fiasco was as clear an illustration as we could get of how it is men who are being demonised, subverted and bullied by our institutions and culture? Again, motivations.

I believe that TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) manifests itself among the Bourgeoise Reformed by their not wanting to speak out against the gross injustice to which conservatives have been subjected to since 2016. I have noticed that they are often very quick to jump on policies with which they disagree (I saw numerous BRs denounce the Travel Ban, which was just a common sense security measure), but they say very little or nothing in praise of things, such as pro-life measures, which they should support. The craving for academic and social respectability probably means that they do not want to be lumped in with "The Basket of Deplorables." Hence, they remain silent when they should speak out, and speak when they should remain silent.
 

Spurgyon

Puritan Board Freshman
I appreciate the more balanced points made by men in these discussions about women (imagine my surprise to find some snarky and emotional ones :gpl: ). It's one of the ironies to be aware of when there are loud voices on all sides, that women who have been trained to silence when other people are speaking loudly feel it mostly futile to try to qualify or engage.

I'm not sure what snarky and emotional responses you're talking about. The only thing I can think of are lines like:

"If all we do is blast people as 'crazy evil feminists'"

"You can just hear the feminists screaming that from the rooftops can't you?"

No one said Byrd is part of an organized feminist conspiracy or she's on the same level as Nadia Bolz-Weber. Those are straw men (straw women?). However, as has been stated several times, she leans left on practically every male/female issue with a few caveats here and there. If she's "triggered" by a Desiring God article encouraging men to fulfill their Biblical roles in an age of gender confusion, does she really need to write a 1,600 word screed denouncing it? That's one of many examples.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
With respect to naming conventions, Scripture is far more diverse than monolithic. We frequently see fathers naming their children, and even renaming one in the case of Benjamin (which is a way of restoring both Rachel and the son from sorrow/tragedy). Some aspect of authority seems present in this. However, it would be easy to overread the significance of this fact, as the father's simple place as head of the family is just as frequently put for what is actually a more mutual commitment.

We see times when it appears to be a mutual decision, as in the cases of Esau and Jacob, and Perez and Zerah (and arguably Jesus, for he is named by the angel and God, and both Mary and Joseph agree). Some translations make the naming generic, "He was called...," while others use "they called him...." This we might call parental authority, or nearly effaces the question of authority altogether, just expressing that the person had the name from everyone.

The following are explicitly named by the wife: Cain, Seth, Moab, Ben-Ammi, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, Dinah, Joseph, Onan, Shelah, Moses, Peresh. Clearly, there is an "authority" matter asserted in the cases of those four sons born to concubines. Many of these names are quite prominent, among the most prominent in Scripture. We may agree that the fathers in these cases clearly did not object, or didn't object enough to assert any changes; which left the authority delegated to the mother (or the wife).

I would say that the diversity of these biblical expressions does not allow us to draw strong conclusions about a father's "rights" or normative assertions of his leading authority. Naming a child would appear to be quite the naturally "mutual" decision, given the mutual contribution to the making and care of the child.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
With respect to naming conventions, Scripture is far more diverse than monolithic. We frequently see fathers naming their children, and even renaming one in the case of Benjamin (which is a way of restoring both Rachel and the son from sorrow/tragedy). Some aspect of authority seems present in this. However, it would be easy to overread the significance of this fact, as the father's simple place as head of the family is just as frequently put for what is actually a more mutual commitment.

We see times when it appears to be a mutual decision, as in the cases of Esau and Jacob, and Perez and Zerah (and arguably Jesus, for he is named by the angel and God, and both Mary and Joseph agree). Some translations make the naming generic, "He was called...," while others use "they called him...." This we might call parental authority, or nearly effaces the question of authority altogether, just expressing that the person had the name from everyone.

The following are explicitly named by the wife: Cain, Seth, Moab, Ben-Ammi, Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, Dinah, Joseph, Onan, Shelah, Moses, Peresh. Clearly, there is an "authority" matter asserted in the cases of those four sons born to concubines. Many of these names are quite prominent, among the most prominent in Scripture. We may agree that the fathers in these cases clearly did not object, or didn't object enough to assert any changes; which left the authority delegated to the mother (or the wife).

I would say that the diversity of these biblical expressions does not allow us to draw strong conclusions about a father's "rights" or normative assertions of his leading authority. Naming a child would appear to be quite the naturally "mutual" decision, given the mutual contribution to the making and care of the child.
I have no problem with that, but the passage I gave shows who the final authority is.

I also delegate many task into the hands of my wife. She makes domestic decisions and I go with it.

But it is not as if we both have 1 vote and if we disagree then we are deadlocked. Or, if the husband doesn't go with the wife's choice he is somehow a bad husband or a dictator because woman bloggers would have us believe that to lead means to serve and therefore we should give into our wives whenever they have a strong opinion.

Benjamin's father was not somehow a boorish tyrant because he would have his son named Benjamin against the wishes of his depressed wife. But when I read women bloggers, I get the impression that anytime a man makes a unilateral decision such as this, then he sins.
 

Spurgyon

Puritan Board Freshman
I have no problem with that, but the passage I gave shows who the final authority is.

I also delegate many task into the hands of my wife. She makes domestic decisions and I go with it.

But it is not as if we both have 1 vote and if we disagree then we are deadlocked. Or, if the husband doesn't go with the wife's choice he is somehow a bad husband or a dictator because woman bloggers would have us believe that to lead means to serve and therefore we should give into our wives whenever they have a strong opinion.

Benjamin's father was not somehow a boorish tyrant because he would have his son named Benjamin against the wishes of his depressed wife. But when I read women bloggers, I get the impression that anytime a man makes a unilateral decision such as this, then he sins.

Aside from naming conventions, look at how God communicated with the OT patriarchs and pretty much all other married couples. He communicated with the husband about their mission: where to go, what to do, how to do deal with inhabitants of lands they settle in or travel through. With wives His communication was about their children--often these were women who were apparently barren. He did tell Hagar about Ishmaels's future but she had no husband with her. This is off the top of my head so there could be exceptions. But by and large, husbands and wives weren't treated as almost equivalent in every regard. They each had very different but important roles.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
I appreciate the more balanced points made by men in these discussions about women (imagine my surprise to find some snarky and emotional ones :gpl: ). It's one of the ironies to be aware of when there are loud voices on all sides, that women who have been trained to silence when other people are speaking loudly feel it mostly futile to try to qualify or engage.
Moderator Note:
A very good point is raised here. I am uncomfortable with a thread about another person, especially a believer, that contains not a few personalizations versus actual substantive argumentation that takes pains to dissect the views of another per reasoned discourse.

I have previously cautioned that opinions need to be substantiated by linked content enabling the context to be reviewed. Said opinions need to make substantive arguments based upon dissection of the actual content of another, not simply assertions. This is not a blog site. It is a long discussion site. Accordingly, opinions are to be made not by merely linking to content with broadly stated implications, e.g., "go read it for yourself," "as you will see,", etc. No one is a mind reader able to tease out the opinion of another. If you have an observation or a complaint, back it up with explicit evidence in support of your assertions.

Now if anyone is inclined to dispute the above, they are free to do so via private means or via the Report function. If the thread is to remain open, there must be no more public posts directly or obliquely questioning, reasoning, etc., an explicit moderation post (like this one).
End Moderator Note
 
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