Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Critique of the Danvers Statement, Part V of VI (Rationales 4 - 6)

Link HERE to a My Reponse to the Affirmations.

Responding to CBMW’s Danvers Statement Rationales:
  • CBMW’s statements are noted in DARK BLUE.

The Danvers Statement Rationales 4 - 6
We have been moved in our purpose by the following contemporary developments which we observe with deep concern:
  1. the widespread ambivalence regarding the values of motherhood, vocational homemaking, and the many ministries historically performed by women;
  2. 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;
  3. the upsurge of physical and emotional abuse in the family;

Rationale 4
I would agree that neglect of the home and duty to the home has contributed to the decay of our culture, but can that be traced back to Christians who are living rightfully according to the Bible and to all those who reject gender hierarchy / ontological equality of women?   Jocelyn Andersen calls this the “evil woman mantra,” an a priori assumption upon which most of CBMW’s presuppositions rest.  Those who are committed to living according to the Word of God and do so are not ambivalent about family and responsibility.  Again, if the issue is lack of concern for the Bible, that should be stated. The Danvers Statement makes many leaps in connection without justifying them and the presuppositions required to arrive at the conclusion.  Abandoning responsibility to care for family is a separate issue from the ideas about gender hierarchy, yet egalitarianism is blamed again, the scapegoat for all of the fault in the world, just like Adam’s response to God in Eden.  [“It’s the woman’s fault, and it’s Your fault for giving this woman to me”  (Gen. 3:12).]  The term “historically” would be more honestly stated as “traditionally,” as not all history confirms their claims, though certain traditions of bias do.

Rationale 5
Can homosexuality truly be blamed on women as Rationale 5 supports?  I believe this represents a Slippery Slope Logical Fallacy.  Because there is so little written establishing the details in support of the causal relationship between a non-hierarchical view of the nature of women and homosexuality, the argument is fallacious.  First, it presumes that a non-hierarchical view of women and an equal ontology is sinful and is clearly sinful in the Bible in the same manner that the Bible so clearly addresses the sin of homosexuality.  This is a presupposition that is not clear in Scripture but is one made and forced by CBMW, as if egalitarian behavior and homosexuality are varied degrees on a continuum describing sexual sin.

The strength of the argument derives from the connections between the presumption of causal relationship between an egalitarian view of women and homosexuality.  From my readings, CBMW ignores all references to Church history and looks only at the secular feminist movement to support this claim of causality.  The history of women teaching and preaching throughout the history of the Church weakens their claim, so it is excluded from the discussion.  This point is not presented at all in the Danvers Statement, and one must read through volumes of information to find support for the assertions made.

Rationale 6
Women and their failure to submit and obey the principles established by CBMW account for the rise in incidence of abuse in the home, according to the Danvers Statement, though the specifics about the principles must be studied and researched in order to discern what is truly meant by this statement.  Women are the obligate cause of all problems in the family, and churches who follow the ideology of CBMW focus on women’s behavior as the root cause.  If a husband starts looking at pornography, very little is said to men about this overt sin, but women are blamed for being inaccessible to their mates.  Women then pay the wages for their husband’s sin, and the husband is justified.  Whether this was intended by CBMW in the beginning, I do not know, but this is certainly what results. If there is any issue in the family regarding abuse or otherwise, the woman is always to blame.

The problem here comes from CBMW’s squeezing in of culture in place of the Bible, and the cultural ramifications come through brilliantly in CBMW’s true colors.  Abuse of women is supported by heathen culture, and it is the presumption of the Baal marriage over a Biblical model that predisoposes CBMW’s paradigm (complete with cultural pagan ideas) to the abuse tendency.  The New Testament establishes a separate ideal for marriage that CBMW tries to dilute with pagan cultural principles of the Baal marriage concept.

From the Encyclopedia of Religion:

In marriages under the system of male kinship in Arabia, the wife—whether obtained by capture or by contract—" who follows her husband and bears children who are of his blood has lost the right freely to dispose of her person ; her husband has authority over her and he alone has the right of divorce." Among the Arabians, Hebrews, and Aramaeans the husband in this kind of marriage was called ba‘al, " lord " or " owner." Robertson Smith therefore describes it as Baal-marriage (p. the term be`ulah of a subject wife, Isaiah lxii. 4). In this way such a marriage is distinguished from a Beena-marriage (q.v.). Robertson Smith contends that before the separation of the tribes Beenamarriage or matriarchy was the universal practice among the Semites. But Prof. Wellhausen has proved that Baal-marriage or patriarchy can be traced back to primitive Semitic times. 

Critique of Rationales 7 - 10 to follow.