Another Excellent Perspective on Bruce Ware Abuse Pandering

I’d like to highly recommend the perspective of this article by “Hannah” at Emotional Abuse and Your Faith as she addresses Bruce Ware’s sermon which blames an unsubmissive wife for her husband’s abuse. She points out that an abusive husband does not require lack of submission as an excuse – though that is probably his most commonly used cop-out. As anyone who has lived with an abusive partner knows, any reason, and no reason at all, is reason enough. If there is not a handy semi-justifiable excuse, an abuser will manufacture one from thin air.

But if a pastor believes lack of submission can motivate a husband to abuse his wife, you can bet that pastor will believe every word of that abuser as he excuses himself and blames his wife. This SBC seminary professor, and all the others who share his beliefs (for he is definitely not alone in his perspective) are as guilty as the abusers they protect with their error and bumbling. When a woman goes to her pastor for help and he puts her in further danger by going to her husband “for the other side of the story” that pastor bears the weight of guilt because he has a responsibility to those he is shepherding. A shepherd who throws his sheep to the wolves is deserving of the discipline of the sheep owner – or God, in this case.

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6 Responses

  1. In thinking about what was said in this speech and what Genesis 3 says… It would seem to me that men have been trying to blame their sin on women from the beginning. God did not buy it then and He is not buying it now. I’ve often wondered which was the greater offense, sinning through being deceived or sinning without being deceived. (1 Timothy 2 says Adam was not deceived.) There is a lot here – I may need to do a blog post of my own. 😉

  2. Yes, this is a rich one. I am seeing it raise red flags all across internet land — literally the hottest news bit to hit our segment of blogland in the past six months. He may have preached this one to an appreciative audience, but a huge audience outside that church’s doors has picked it up and is picking it apart.

    The thing that bothers me most is that the theologians who are entrenched in this theology will cry martyrdom — they just claim they are being attacked for standing up for righteousness. Sad, sad, sad.

    “…woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!” Mt. 18:7

    — Danni

  3. I have to say that I have been reading all the articles that this has caused within the last couple of days.

    One thing that people say is that Ware and his followers only believe the ‘literal’ interruptation of the bible. At least that is has been the opinion I have been reading.

    One comment I loved was:

    “you can also logically conclude from Genesis 3 that men are naturallly inclined to blame GOd and their wives for their sin!”

    I’m sorry but that did make me giggle a little!

  4. Yes, I noticed that, too. Funny, that’s exactly what Adam did and God didn’t let him get away with. Not then, and not now.

    Re: interpreting the Bible literally — don’t get me started! Interpreting the Bible literally is not quite as black and white as they would have us believe. You can take verses out of context, and literally interpret them to mean practically whatever you want them to say. But if you literally interpret them in concert with the whole of the Word and the heart of God, you cannot get such idiotic misinterpretations as the one that women cause their husbands’ to abuse them. I love the one that women are saved through childbearing. That’s a prime example of literal interpretation gone badly astray.

    What is particularly appalling about this issue, is that these men are supposed to be scholars who have the training to go back to the original languages and study this on a deeper level. They also have the education to know that interpreting an ancient, and far richer and more complex language, into the simpler language of English leaves a lot of room for “maybe this” “maybe that” which must be interpreted in light of the whole Word and the heart of God. You can’t just sit down with a Greek lexicon, the Textus Receptus, do a word-by-word translation and voila! have an accurate English translation of God’s Word. And seminary professors know better.

    When a seminary professor says they are offering a literal interpretation of Scripture it begs us to look closer at their motives – what sleight of hand are they attempting to pull? Perhaps none, but that line is a great “let’s fool the ignorant common man who doesn’t know any better” ploy.

    — Danni

  5. And yet another obvious thought – why do Ware and the others who teach male domination of women applaud male “rule” of women when Adam’s “rule” of Eve was a bad thing, not a good one? And just to make sure that the “literal interpretation” crowd doesn’t excuse it as something women deserve that it is something God requires to keep wives in line since the Fall, the New Testament very clearly states leadership among Christians and even specifically by husbands in relationship to their wives, is not to follow the model of the world which uses domination and “rule.”

    — Danni

  6. And lest anyone think I do not believe in literal interpretation, let me be perfectly clear that I believe literal interpretation is to be used where the Bible clearly intends literal interpretation to be used. God also intends us to use the intelligence He gave us and interpret all of the Bible in light of the whole. God isn’t schizophrenic. He doesn’t say one thing in one place and something utterly contradictory someplace else. He doesn’t tell men to rule their wives in one place and not to rule them somewhere else. Yes, He leaves us with some mysteries – the mind of man can never completely understand the mind of God. But this is not one of those mysteries.

    — Danni

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