Tungtide

Rationalizing Abuse

Posted by tungtide on July 7, 2008, 8:52 am

I’ve seen comments and blog posts on this story for about a week now. Essentially Bruce Ware is claiming a biblical rationale for beating his wife. I don’t see any excuse for such an action, let alone one out of a fictional book.

Because it’s early and I’m still tired from my weekend I’ll leave the ranting on the subject to Evolved Rationalist instead. Her thoughts on the subject are clearer (and angrier) than I’m capable of right now.

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5 Responses to “Rationalizing Abuse”

  1. Oren Martin said

    The most loving and gracious (i.e., Christian) thing we can do is to listen (firsthand) to the context of a brother or sister’s lecture before throwing stones. Bruce Ware is not “essentially claiming a biblical rationale for beating his wife.” Rather, he (“essentially”) stated that men and women are sinful (since both are descendants of Adam) and as a result their God-designed roles have been distorted. Thus, men sin against women and women sin against men, and this repeats itself in a vicious cycle. The only thing that can reverse this is the life-transforming work of the glorious gospel. I urge you to listen to his sermon, examine the Scriptures, and ask the Lord to give you understanding so that we can live in accordance with God’s Word by his Spirit for his glory and our good. Blessings to you in Christ.

  2. Janelle said

    I have a question for you, Oren Martin. First, read this quote from the article.

    “He will have to rule, and because he’s a sinner, this can happen in one of two ways. It can happen either through ruling that is abusive and oppressive–and of course we all know the horrors of that and the ugliness of that–but here’s the other way in which he can respond when his authority is threatened. He can acquiesce. He can become passive. He can give up any responsibility that he thought he had to the leader in the relationship and just say ‘OK dear,’ ‘Whatever you say dear,’ ‘Fine dear’ and become a passive husband, because of sin.”

    Based on this quote, he believes men have a responsibility to be the leader in a marriage. Ok, fine…I’ll put aside my disagreement with women being subservient. But he only gives men two options: being abusive and being passive. If a man is giving up responsibility when being passive, that is obviously discouraged. So the only options left is being abusive. So here comes the question: how is that not rationalizing abuse? Am I misunderstanding the message here?

  3. tungtide said

    Thanks for the assist Janelle.

    Oren: I have studied the bible and read it cover-to-cover on more than one occasion. I find it to be an interesting collection of stories from a period of the world’s history, nothing more.

    Your argument revolves around the belief that we are all descendants of Adam and thus inherently sinful. I don’t believe any of that. If humans are given free will we have the ability to choose to behave in an acceptable manner in spite of what may be said in the bible. Sinning against each other is hardly an excuse for irrational behavior and does not justify beating another person.

    I also refuse to believe that women are meant to be subservient to men. The bible is not an authority as far as I am concerned and based upon Ware’s quotations in the story I linked above it seems pretty clear that he believes women inferior.

    Then, as Janelle pointed out, Ware believes the only two options for a man are to become passive or abusive. Entirely unacceptable by any standards.

  4. tungtide said

    Interestingly, Oren is also a seminary student based on the email address included with his comment.

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