A letter to Frank Schaeffer:
I’m sure that you would appreciate some corrective feedback. Perhaps you haven’t received any in a long time and realize that we all need some correction. So let me just focus on one little statement you just posted in your blog:
- With the acceptance of paradox came a new and blessed uncertainty that began to heal the mental illness called certainty, the kind of certainty that told me that my job was to be head of the home and to order around my wife and children because “the Bible says so.”
Perhaps most obviously, although you claim to bask in “blessed uncertainty,” you seem to be quite certain about what the Bible teaches about marriage. (I guess certainty is that “mental illness” from which none of us can entirely free ourselves.) Although you are correct that the Bible does teach that a wife must serve her husband, it seems that you have totally ignored the husband’s duties towards his wife. Let me just supply a few verses that you might consider:
- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself… each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)
- Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. (1 Peter 3:7)
- Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. (Col. 3:19)
I’m sure that you are already familiar with these teachings. However, in the hustle-and-bustle of promoting our own agendas, it is so easy to forget about them.
I don’t think that it’s an accident that women of the Christian West have experienced that greatest measure of freedom and protection. The “why” becomes obvious when we compare the biblical teachings with those found in other religions. Take the Koran, for example:
- [2.223] Your wives are a tilth [cultivated land] for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves…
- [2.228] And the divorced women should keep themselves in waiting for three courses; and it is not lawful for them that they should conceal what Allah has created in their wombs, if they believe in Allah and the last day; and their husbands have a better right to take them back in the meanwhile if they wish for reconciliation; and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and the men are a degree above them, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
- [2.282] …call in to witness from among your men two witnesses; but if there are not two men, then one man and two women from among those whom you choose to be witnesses…
- [4:34] Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them…
I will not even cite Koranic verses regarding the permissibility of rape, lest your righteous indignation be aroused and you literally lose your head in the process.
No need to thank me. Instead, it’s a pleasure to serve an atheist who believes.