Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What Does the Danvers Statement REALLY Mean? Part I of II: The Rationales

I love how Shirley Taylor comes right out and speaks the truth about these lofty, vague, and ambiguous statements made by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood!  I had not heard of her or her organization before about a month ago when I agreed to speak at the Seneca Falls 2 Evangelical Women’s Rights Convention.  I'm blessed and honored to know her now.  I wish I had read this two years ago!

Shirley astutely notes the use of propaganda technique and tricks of rhetoric in the Danvers Statement, and she boldy tells the truth about what people understand about what the statement means.  If people understood plainly what the Council meant in terms of everyday life and function and if the Council stated their ideas clearly, openly, and directly in the Danvers Statement, I believe that most people would reject their ideas outright.  They certainly would not have accepted the statement without asking far more questions about the foundational doctrines which must be searched out and studied because they are not clear in the organization's position statement.

Russell Moore states on a 9 Marks interview from some time ago (Feminism in Your Church and Home with Russell Moore, Randy Stinson, and C.J. Mahaney) that he prefers the term “patriarchy” over "complementarian" because it is more appropriate.  I'm glad that he tells the truth about the term.  The contrived term “complementarianism” itself was designed to sugar coat the truth about their teachings in order to bypass scrutiny, hoping that people would be taken in by the pleasant veneer alone.  Waneta Dawn commented to the speakers of the Seneca Falls 2 Convention this weekend that she thinks the term and concept was actually hijacked from descriptions offered by egalitarianism.  I don't know enough about egalitarianism to state whether that it true or not.  I do think that the Seneca Falls 2 participants do agree that the Danver's Statement is disingenuous.

I’ve put the text from Shirley’s document in a table to make the comparison easier to read.

From What the Danver’s Statement on Biblical Manhood and Biblical Womanhood REALLY Says (on the bWe Baptist Women for Equality website):
They could have written it in plain English, but they didn’t.  My interpretations of their Statement is in Bold, along with my comments.  Their document is anti-woman, and anti-Christian.  They should be ashamed of it instead of promoting it.

Danvers Statement


We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern:

What It REALLY Means

(but cannot be directly stated)

What Shirley Taylor at bWe Baptist Women for Equality understands from the unwritten rules in social context and according to the “full counsel” of all of the teachings of CBMW which must be studied over time:

1.  The widespread uncertainty and confusion in our culture regarding the complementary differences between masculinity and femininity

They are afraid that the Equality for women movement is gaining ground and they must stop it.

2.  The tragic effects of this confusion in unraveling the fabric of marriage woven by God out of the beautiful and diverse strands of manhood and womanhood

They say women are ruining marriages, according to this.

3.  The increasing promotion given to feminist egalitarianism with accompanying distortions or neglect of the glad harmony portrayed in Scripture between the loving, humble leadership of redeemed husbands and the intelligent, willing support of that leadership by redeemed wives

They are afraid that women are tired of hearing about submission and are beginning to speak up.

4.  The widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women

They say women’s place is in the home and not in the workplace or church leadership.

5.  The growing claims of legitimacy for sexual relationships which have Biblically and historically been considered illicit or perverse, and the increase in pornographic portrayal of human sexuality

They say equality for women will lead to homosexuality.

6.  The upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family

They say women are being abused because they are not graciously submitting.  Which is another way of saying women ask for abuse.  If only women would submit, their husband would not have to abuse her.  They give husbands the OK to abuse his wife.

7.  The emergence of roles for men and women in church leadership that do not conform to Biblical teaching but backfire in the crippling of Biblically faithful witness

They say women can’t have authority over men. The rest of the sentence doesn’t make sense, but women are to blame, anyway.

8.  The increasing prevalence and acceptance of hermeneutical oddities devised to reinterpret apparently plain meanings of Biblical texts

Those scriptures may not mean what the plain reading of them says it does, but we must ignore other possible meanings of these favorite scriptures.

9.  The consequent threat to Biblical authority as the clarity of Scripture is jeopardized and the accessibility of its meaning to ordinary people is withdrawn into the restricted realm of technical ingenuity

When ordinary people see “husband of one wife” they immediately think that a woman can’t be a husband, so this eliminates a woman from serving as a deacon or Pastor.  Actually this scripture states a moral standard for the leaders and their families and doesn’t address gender at all.  But they don’t want you to know that.

10.  And behind all this the apparent accommodation of some within the church to the spirit of the age at the expense of winsome, radical Biblical authenticity which in the power of the Holy Spirit may reform rather than reflect our ailing culture.  

Say what?

(Blog host note/My ideas, not Shriley Taylor’s:  This is a subtle declaration of their radical gender war.  It is wrong to be kind to the sinner, or worse yet, to those Christians who do not agree with you on all points of doctrine becasue “winsome” Christians have capitulated to the culture and have thus been overtaken by it.  I think that those who crafted the Danvers Statement are reading the Bible through a grid of what Chip Berlet calls “Right Wing Populism.”)

Read more in the next post about Shirley's understanding about what the Danvers Statement's Affirmations REALLY Mean.