A few very short years ago, the homosexual movement began to claim that homosexual relationships were at a financial disadvantage from the standpoint of healthcare benefits, taxes and especially wealth transfer. The argument was that their relationships were being discriminated against financially and otherwise because certain benefits and tax advantages were extended to the husband-wife relationship that were not extended to them. As one quick example, the unlimited marital deduction in the estate tax code allows for one spouse to leave everything to another spouse without the value of those assets being subjected to any taxation. Well, for the same-sex arrangement, this was not the case. That is unfair, the argument went. However, some of us saw right through this argument and realized this was not really about the financial disadvantages of the same-sex arrangement. There was much more to it than that. And for what it’s worth, for all sorts of reasons I shall not go into, American culture bought the argument hook, line, and sinker. And now we know that the issue was something else entirely. And we are living that nightmare across this country as I write this post.
The homosexual movement started with one issue that really wasn’t the issue they wanted to address. Along the way, they employed a lot of tactics in their arguments until their final goal was achieved. If you are on the wrong end of the homosexual argument, the typical American thinks you are an outdated, narrow-minded, ignorant, hateful bigot. The same is true where the abortion argument is concerned. That issue is transformed into a woman’s health issue or a woman’s rights issue and instantly, you have abortion on demand for the most part.
Currently brewing in the evangelical community, especially among SBC churches, and to some degree, the PCA, is the racial reconciliation movement. The idea is that racism is bad and must be stopped, not just in the church, but in society. The claim is that it is the duty of the church to do all it can to end racism, both individual and institutional in society. But is it racism when a LEO shoots a black man because the man refuses to cooperate with them and engages in behavior that threatens their lives? Is it racism to vote for Donald Trump? Is it racism to acknowledge that MLK Jr. was both a heretic and an immoral man who showed no evidence of genuine conversion? Is it racism to criticize over-privileged NFL players who refuse to stand during the playing of the national anthem? If you listen to some, the answer is yes, it is racism to support the GOP, Trump, LEO, and to criticize MLK and NFL players for their antics. Setting aside the issue of race as a category, what is going on here? The people behind the racial reconciliation movement have an agenda, an agenda that seems to be hidden for all intents and purposes. I say that because every time I ask what the end game is, what I receive in return is silence or blank stares. They apparently do not want us to know what the end game is. You see, one of the first things I do for a work project is to establish clear goals, objectives. How can you possibly know the direction you should take if you don’t really know where you are going? But the racial reconciliation movement has neglected to specifically disclose its objectives to this day. But that isn’t really my focus as much as it is the tactics in which this movement engages. If you oppose these people or disagree with their argument, then you aren’t “woke,” and you are in fact part of the problem; you are racist. The only thing for you to do is to confess your racism or your complicity in racism and repent.
Racism is evil. Don’t be a racist. If you disagree with our argument, you are a racist. It is the same strategy that abortionists and homosexuals employ. And there are a ton of Christian leaders who are being seduced by it. They are buying in hook, line, and sinker.
One prominent denomination, the SBC, has apologized for its racism ad nauseam. It has become much like the annual high priestly sacrifice. Every year at Passover the high priest offers up the Passover lamb for the atonement of the sin of the people. And it seems that every year the powers that be in the SBC get together and offer up another apology to some group that their teachings or actions in years past or even present have somehow offended them. The SBC leaders have done this several times in the past over the issue of slavery and racism. This year, they will do it again, but they will add an apology to women. Why? Well, because the next group in this absurdly narcissistic culture that will be holding out its hands is the women.
Recently, Page Patterson said some things about divorce that many people are talking about and just as many are taking issue with. The first thing you should not do is consider this a defense of Patterson. I do not know the man. This isn’t an apologetic for Patterson. The point of this post is to point out the deceptive practices being employed by groups within evangelicalism in order to reach certain objectives. I am convinced that public agendas are more or less a cover for private agendas. If you raise the hood, I am convinced that the same women who are making this noise about physical abuse are the same women who will advocate for divorce based on any sort of abuse and who will also advocate women teaching men, leading men, and serving as pastors. That is what this post is about. I know there are exceptions but I am talking about the majority, not the few who really are only concerned about the safety of women in physically abusive relationships. Homosexuals wanted to be accepted and celebrated by all. They never stated that in their arguments until the end. Abortionists wanted unrestricted abortion, but that is not how they argued, and it isn’t where they started. The Racial Recon movement has an agenda that remains hidden mostly, but you can bet there is more to it than we are being told. All you need to do is watch. I am sure that the goals that are implied are not the actual objectives. I believe the proponents of this argument are far more calculated than that.
Couple Patterson’s comments with Beth Moore’s comments about abusive men and place them within the context of the #MeToo movement. Patterson has said that he never advises a Christian woman to pursue a divorce. He does advise them to remove themselves from harm. But he stops short of advising divorce because he hopes for repentance and reconciliation. Image that. Repentance and reconciliation. How unchristian such advice is! Seriously? Now, the world along with many evangelical leaders, to include SBC leaders have come out with a condemnatory tone against Patterson. It is as if this position is ipso facto hateful toward women or uncaring and insensitive toward domestic violence. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is pure rhetoric and propaganda and American Christians seem too brain-dead to see that. I don’t care about the politics that may be motivating these remarks. I am not interested in the stench that is evangelical and SBC politics. I find such behavior repugnant and I think God does as well. My interest is the bigger picture. My interest is Christian truth, teaching, sound doctrine. You see, I don’t think this is about domestic violence in the church. I think it is about something far more significant than that. Just like the homosexuals, the abortionists, and the racial recon movements have one agenda that is public and another one that is private, I think this movement does as well.
As I have experimented with some exchanges on Twitter, I have discovered exactly what I suspected: this movement seeks to expand the grounds for divorce in the church. As a Christian, you need to ask those who think abuse is grounds for divorce if they believe its physical abuse or any abuse. They are going to tell you that it’s any abuse in most cases. And then you need to understand what they mean by abuse. Say something that is hurtful and that is abuse in their world. And since its abuse, its grounds for divorce. And of course, what do you mean by hurtful. Well, that’s up to the one who is hurt and that’s all that matters. If “I” am hurt by what you said, then it’s abuse. And if it’s abuse, then that is grounds for divorce. The logical end of this argument is that divorce can be had for just about any reason. Moreover, it should not be missed that this argument is also grounded in American narcissism. It’s all about me, my desires, my wishes, my wants, my expectations, my needs. Everything centers around my happiness. Take away my happiness and you are abusing me.
However, it doesn’t stop here. This isn’t just about empowering women to divorce their husbands as they wish, placing them in complete control of their own lives. It’s also about empowering them for other things, like leadership. Just ask Beth Moore. You see, to refuse to allow women to teach, lead, and pastor is also abusive because it oppresses women. It is hurtful to women to say that they are not qualified to pastor, to teach, or to lead men. The reason men abuse women physically and otherwise is borne out of this kind of patriarchal mentality. This is the core problem. You see, if the church begins to acknowledge women pastors, teachers, and leaders of men, then and only then will we be in a position to finally end the domestic violence, or so the argument goes. Men will look at women much differently if women are leading them.
Before you jump on this #MeToo bandwagon and buy into this argument, you had better qualify everything you hear and define the terms as clearly as you can. Of course, the church provides safety for abused women, children, and men. Of course, no pastor worth his salt would counsel a woman to remain in a dangerous situation. But how he advises her depends on the nuances of the situation. And regardless of those nuances, he has to help every woman trust the sovereignty of God and submit to Scripture as her final authority. As it stands, modern men and women are looking to culture as their final authority for ethics and beliefs. How one views Scripture and understands the doctrine of sovereignty has real-world consequences.
What is at stake? Peter says, “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives.” (1 Peter 3:1) In this case, the salvation of the unbelieving husband could be a stake. Paul told Titus to encourage the young women to be subject to their own husbands so that the word of God would not be dishonored (slandered/blasphemed. (Titus 2:5) So the very honor of God is also at stake. That is a lot.
It is easy to make sweeping generalizations regarding this issue if one does not take into consideration all that Scripture teaches on the issue of legitimate divorce and the husband-wife relationship. Female submission to male leadership is intellectually repugnant to American society. Moreover, restrictions on divorce are even more intolerable to American society than restrictions on abortion. The truth cuts like the sharpest of knives in conversations like this. This is the hard stuff. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you can distinguish the hireling from the shepherd in a hurry. And it is here, precisely here, that you find out who is willing to stand for God and who is more interested in the approval and praise of the culture.
God said to the ancient Israelites, “Watch yourself that you make no covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are going, or it will become a snare in your midst.” (Ex. 34:12) Paul said the same thing to Timothy a little differently, “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Tim. 4:16)