A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

This is BAD – Really, Really Bad – “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”

Yes, it is Tuesday, our off day when we do not normally publish a blog post. However, this matter deserves some “emergency” attention. This is one of the clearest examples of a pastor creating his own traditions and pawning them off onto God’s people as the Word of God. We need to protest this kind of thing loudly, and you can do so by going over to the Reformed Baptist Fellowship blog and entering your comments.  Pastor Meadows, please, please, please stop counseling until you study and understand abuse.

I am reproducing the post here in case the original disappears.  The link is here –

A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism

And here is the post written by Pastor D. Scott Meadows, Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed), Exeter, New Hampshire USA. Meadow’s post was published at Reformed Baptist Fellowship [This link is broken and there is no replacement. Editors.] on 8 July 2014.

A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism

Providentially, many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands. This is a great trial for them, especially if the man is very ungodly. Pastoral counseling discovers that many of these sisters in the Lord are perplexed about how God wants them to relate to their husbands in such a case. I have prepared this brief catechism for some guidance, suggesting that she should memorize it and find supporting Scripture references for its counsel, with careful study of those passages.

I am convinced that even though these are basic biblical truths, many Christian wives would know more peace and confidence in their God-ordained role if they called them to mind every day for practical application in their marriages. Also, these truths should prove helpful even when the husband is a godly man.

May the Lord use this simple catechism to bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages.

D. Scott Meadows, Pastor
Calvary Baptist Church (Reformed)
Exeter, New Hampshire USA
http://cbcexeter.sermonaudio.com

————————————

Q1.      What is the main point of my marriage to my husband?

A1.      To glorify God and enjoy Him forever, the same point of my existence and all my circumstances.

Q2.      Can my marriage ever be a source of happiness to me?

A2.      No, at best it can become an occasion of happiness, but all my joy is bound up and will remain forever in knowing God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and therefore my blessedness does not depend on the state of my marriage.

Q3.      How can I glorify God and enjoy Him forever in my marriage?

A3.      By trusting God implicitly and doing His will in all things because I love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Q4.      What is the most important thing about how I relate to my husband?

A4.      That I love him with gracious gospel love, respect him for his position over me, and submit to him as unto the Lord.

Q5.      What is gracious, gospel love for my husband?

A5.      A supernatural love from Christ that is large, constant, and free, and that does my husband good and not evil all the days of his life.

Q6.      What is respect for my husband?

A6.      It is a conscious recognition of his special authority over me as my husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant I freely entered when I married him.

Q7.      What does it mean to submit to my husband as unto the Lord?

A7.      That I will cheerfully acquiesce to my husband in all things consistent with the revealed will of Christ, but no further, from a sincere desire to please my husband and Christ for my husband’s good and Christ’s glory.

Q8.      Will there be cases when I must obey Christ rather than my husband?

A8.      Yes, if ever my husband expects me to disobey any of Christ’s commands, but even then I must keep loving and respecting my husband as my husband while Christ always has my greatest love and loyalty.

Q9.      What is the primary means by which I can influence my husband toward greater faith and obedience to God?

A9.      Setting a good example before my husband, without a word of nagging or disrespectful rebuke.

Q10.    Does this absolutely forbid addressing my husband about his responsibility for faith and duty as a man, a husband, and a father?

A10.    No, but when it is right to address him about these things, I must speak the truth in love, with evident love and respect for him as my husband.

Q11.    How good a husband is my husband to me?

A11.    Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

Q12.    How good a wife am I to my husband?

A12.    Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

Q13.    How can I possibly love my husband so well, since he falls so short of the ideal husband, and I am such a sinful person?

A13.    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, even this, for I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.

164 Comments

  1. missdaisyflower

    Note from ACFJ Eds: We approved this comment by missdaisyflower but please understand that she is providing here an EXAMPLE of BAD teaching, not endorsing this no divorce for abuse nonsense. OK? This article she links to is BAD, not good.

    This is off topic for the particular thread but kind of fits in with your blog, I think.

    Probe recently tweeted a link to this page at their site:
    Divorce – A Biblical Christian Perspective, by Kerby Anderson

    Didn’t know if you all would want to weigh in on it or critique it.

    Excerpt:

    Based on the preceding verses, we can therefore conclude that a Christian can acquiesce to divorce in cases of marital infidelity by the other spouse or in cases of desertion by an unbelieving spouse.
    Yet even in these cases, the church should not encourage divorce. Certainly in very troubling cases which involve mental, sexual, and/or physical abuse, legal separation is available as a remedy to protect the abused spouse. God hates divorce; therefore Christians should never be in the position of encouraging or promoting divorce. Instead they should be encouraging reconciliation.

    • missdaisyflower

      Wanted to add:
      I’m not necessarily in agreement with all of that page. I was only giving you all the link so you could discuss it or whatever. I personally do not have a problem with women (or men) who are in a marriage who are being abused who divorce due to abuse.

      From the reading I’ve done about abusive men, a lot of abusers cannot be permanently healed. Even the ones who go through treatment will continue to abuse. It looks to me that a woman’s only choice is to permanently leave the abusive man (ie, divorce).

      I tire of the “just separate” line of thinking from Christians. You only get one life down here, and I don’t think it should be spent in a marriage where you are miserable or being hurt, even if that means you living in one home and the abuser in another. I think the ‘separation’ line (separate rather than divorce) is a mild case of putting the institution before the people.

      The guy who wrote the page repeats several time the Bible verse as found in some translations that God “hates divorce.”

      Well maybe so, but the Bible says God also hates lying, stealing, murder, and lots of other things. That doesn’t mean you have to live with a friend or family member who steals, murders, etc, I don’t see why it should be any different because it’s a marriage.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Thanks MDF. By the way, if you check out the Bible translations (see Barbara Roberts’ book, Not Under Bondage for this) you will be AMAZED how few actually have “God hates divorce.” The ESV doesn’t have it at all and if I am not mistaken not even the KJV does. Even in a translation that does, the context will show you that it is NOT divorce God hates, but VIOLENT covenant violation and unfaithfulness. This business today that is so ridiculous of saying that it is the act of filing divorce papers that God fundamentally hates is totally unbiblical. I say that when an abuse victim sees clearly and files divorce papers, the angels in heaven are rejoicing for her freedom, while God’s anger and hatred is set on the abuser.

    • Ellie

      I am surprised to see that from Probe. Anderson should know very well that where he is (TX) legal separation isn’t an option. There is no provision for legal separation in TX. Makes me wonder if he’s been hacked! Of course that’s not the least of my objections to his article, but it is alarming that he would present legal separation as an option when it isn’t one in the state with the second highest population in the US.

    • Annie

      MissDaisyflower,

      Kerby Anderson’s advice is typical. On the one hand, he concedes that mental, sexual and/or physical abuse is not to be tolerated. Yet, he insists Christians should not be encouraged to divorce. Why? Only because of that problematic verse – God hates divorce. Even if he didn’t know that the verse was translated incorrectly, the author should know that God equally hates violence (Psalm 11:5). So he could have written, “God hates violence; therefore Christians should never be in the position of encouraging or promoting violence. instead they should be encouraging separation.”

  2. Brenda R

    Thank you, Daisy. I will be going over to this site when I get home later. I think I may have some comments to leave.

  3. Went over and left a comment which is awaiting moderation. Somehow, I doubt it will get published but that’s okay. Maybe if they get enough feedback, they will rethink publishing such an article.

    Hopefully, this is just another case of folks being clueless about the danger to an abused spouse.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Ida Mae!

    • sue

      i also left a brief comment over there, along the lines that nobody seems to care one iota about the victim. i doubt it will be posted. have visited several of those types of sites & and what’s missing is empathy.

  4. Jeff,

    I think I agree with you, but let me be sure.

    I think you are saying that teaching such as this is dangerous where it is given without any cautions or disclaimers about abusive situations. I think you are suggesting that if this is said in the way he says it, it will – in some cases – encourage women to remain in abusive marriages. I think that your presumption (and it’s one I agree with) is that we cannot know where abusiveness is found, because it is often a well-hidden sin, and so we cannot say, “Well, I wouldn’t say this to a woman with an abusive husband.”

    Is that correct?

    Because much of what he says could be good advice to certain women in certain situations. Some unbelieving husbands are not abusive. Some are ‘upstanding fellows’ who love and protect their wives, raise their kids tenderly, and seek to do what is right by the light they have. In such a circumstance, a woman might well say the things that post says. Likewise, some Christian husbands are sincere and spiritual men, and their wives might say those things.

    To me, the danger comes in the lack of nuance. It comes in the building up of marriage as necessarily good.

    Am I understanding you correctly?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Tom – Certainly that is a big objection we have to this catechism, that it is given far too universally. Yes, it absolutely will encourage (I would use the word “guilt and shame”) abuse victims into doing the opposite of what is best – staying in that abuse. And I would go beyond saying that “in some cases it will encourage women to stay in the abusive situation” – and add that in my experience working with abuse victims who are godly, genuine Christians, it WILL guilt them into staying almost every time. Your point about the deceptive, hiddeness of this sin of abuse is very well taken, and I appreciate it. It takes study and experience to spot it (neither of which virtually none of us received in seminary).

      Now, as you know, I have a big problem with the patriarchy that is rampant in so many of our churches and that can lead into the whole debate of complementarian vs egalitarian and so on. It is remarkable how many pastors and churches embrace a “men are superior to women” mentality. In my opinion that is unbiblical and very damaging.

      Your last phrase is also very much appreciated. “…the danger comes in the lack of nuance. It comes in the building up of marriage as necessarily good.” And right there, Tom, you hit the nail on the head. Thank you very much.

      • Regarding patriarchy, my first thought on reading this was, “I wonder whether it will be followed in a day or two by a ‘husband’s catechism’ similarly expressing appreciation for and dedication to our wives.” Patriarchy doesn’t affirm the husband’s duty nearly so often as the wife’s. I don’t know the pastor in question well enough to speculate on that point.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Yes, indeed. I was thinking the same thing. I really hope that in cases like this the real problem is ignorance and naivete. But when you spend years every day, as I have now, dealing with and talking to abuse victims (most of whom are women and who love Christ), and you hear the horror stories over and over again about how they were treated by their fellow Christians, pastors, and churches, you come to see things like this catechism through the eyes and minds of the victim. And you feel the terrible damage and re-traumatization that it does. It is way, way, way past time for we pastors and elders to get it together in respect to this evil hiding in our churches, and learn how we can truly help these victims and not be duped by the abusers (many of whom are just plain narcissistic sociopaths, skilled at deception). In so doing we would learn vastly more truth about the nature of evil and the tactics of Satan as he attacks our churches, our people, and our ministries. Often, while this devastating evil hides among us, we are busying ourselves debating over nuances of doctrine – like are there 3 or 4 or 5 means of grace, and that sort of thing. I love theology and I love doctrinal studies, but the doctrine of hamartiology really needs some very practical and intensive tune up in our churches.

      • Barnabasintraining

        Regarding patriarchy, my first thought on reading this was, “I wonder whether it will be followed in a day or two by a ‘husband’s catechism’ similarly expressing appreciation for and dedication to our wives.”

        I had the same exact thought! 🙂

        (Except I was thinking that post should have come before this one, being the man has the priority due to his responsibility and headship.) I don’t know if perhaps there is one but I looked back several months at least and did not see one.

    • joepote01

      Tom, I think you’re being overly generous in assuming good intent. Perhaps the intentions may not be intentionally wrong or malicious, but the theology is very skewed…and skewed theology is a problem even if abuse is not directly involved.

      This catechism doesn’t just build up marriage as necessarily good…it builds up marriage as inherently good and places it on a higher level than it should be placed…giving eternal signficicance to a temporal relationship.

      Yes, marriage relationship is a very important relationship, and covenant vows are sacred vows which should be treated accordingly.

      However, to say that the primary purpose of marriage is “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever…” is just plain wrong. The Bible is very clear that the primary purpose of marriage is companionship (Gen 2:18), intimacy (Gen 2:24), and sexual purity (1 Cor7:8-9). Glorifying God is what we should seek to do in how we live our lives, and has nothing directly to do with marriage. And while I fully expect to glorify God forever, I aobsolutely will NOT glorify God forever in my marriage. My marriage will someday end, while my relationship with God will continue eternally.

      Likewise, to ask, “How can I glorify God and enjoy Him forever in my marriage?” is simply asking a wrong question. This should not be a goal, because it’s not going to happen. My relationship with God is eternal, while my marriage is temporal. Therefore, while I fully expect to enjoy God forever, I will NOT enjoy Him forever “in my marriage.”

      I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

      They have glorified the temporal marriage covenant as being quasi-equivalent (and somehow tied to) our eternal covenant with Christ. That’s very poor theology with no Biblical basis and results in skewed perceptions that will lead to relational issues both in the marriage and with Christ and the church.

      It’s idolatry.

      Add abuse and the situation gets even worse. But let’s be clear, it’s not just bad advice for abusive relationships. Rather, it is idolatrous false doctrine that leaves the door wide open for relational abuse. Even in a marriage with no patterns of abuse, the theology is still terribly wrong.

      • great comment Joe!

      • joepote01

        Thank you, Barbara! 🙂

  5. Forrest

    Reblogged this on Tùr Làidir and commented:
    More spiritual abuse …

  6. Suzanne

    Like Ida Mae i left a comment that I doubt will be approved. I was polite but the anger I felt at this “catechism” was likely palpable in my post. The term “doctrine of demons” came to mind as I read this familiar refrain about the duty of wives to submit in Christian marriage. That (submission) only works when husbands love their wives as Jesus loves the church. It most definitely doesn’t work where the husband is not a child of God but a child of the devil who spends his days and nights abusing those he should treat with love and respect. Another thing that really bothered me was the complete disregard for how abuse affects children. Doesn’t Meadows know how many people stumble into adulthood shattered by the abuse they were forced to endure and to watch as vulnerable young children? Where is his compassion for them? It seems his compassion for husbands of any stripe is unbounded but for their wives and children he has none. Bad doesn’t seem to be sufficient to describe this trash.

  7. Warning: long rant coming.

    I hate it when well-meaning people write things like this. For instance, last week I was exploring a Biblical scholar’s blog. Not a bad blog, overall – he was one of the folks who was involved in the Complegalitarian blog going a few years back, which was an effort at productive dialogue between complementarians and egalitarians – though reading the comps at that blog, frankly I was shocked that they even called themselves comps because they looked so profoundly liberal and relaxed compared to the CBMW folk. That blog ultimately crashed and burned which I think was unfortunate…but anyway, I digress.

    So I’m reading through this guy’s blog and I find a post about 1 Peter 3 and wives who chose to stay and try to save their abusive marriages. The guy wanted to make the point that it was not a sin for a woman to do this and we shouldn’t try and force them out of these marriages. He also brought up codependency as the reason people stay, and may have (can’t quite remember) made a comparison to staying being like martyrdom/Jesus suffering at the hands of his abusers. Predictably, commenters arrived recommending Lundy Bancroft and telling the author that he could be reasonably read as promoting something extremely dangerous to the woman’s health, sanity, etc. The guy’s only response? Basically to scold them for not being “open to other paradigms”! This guy is an egalitarian Methodist pastor who has done couples’ counseling. He didn’t seem to have actually advised any women to stay IRL, but all the same I couldn’t keep reading his otherwise okay blog after that, because it was clear that he was clueless.

    I’m sorry, but I will not be “open” to another “paradigm” that paints the picture that if a woman just stays, the abuser will change. It seems much safer, based on current research, to assume that he/she won’t. I’m also not convinced that 1 Peter 3 is about abusers, personally, because unbeliever does not necessarily = abuser. There’s also the fact that women at the time 1 Peter 3 was written probably had little or no legal right to divorce/leave their husbands, there was significant social shaming (much worse than today) that went on if they did, etc. We also didn’t have the psychological research we do today. And the comparison to martyrdom seems to me to completely misplaced, because I doubt most abused women are being abused for just being Christians.

    Who knows, maybe I’m not listening to God for not being “open to other paradigms.” But I just don’t believe God intends for us to willfully ignore rafts of research on the psychology of abusers, that tells us they almost never change and they’re (surprise, surprise) dangerous. How anybody involved in counseling can promote this idea, even in theory, is beyond me. It seems downright immoral to me.

    Off rant now.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks Hester

    • Hester thanks for your comment. What you’ve observed in that Methodist pastor is what I’ve observed elsewhere: that just because a person is egalitarian or liberal, does not mean they ‘get it’ about abuse. Some egals can be just as clueless about abuse (and therefore just as hurtful to victims as comps often are. By hurtful I mean they can give them poor advice, patronise them, imply they are to blame by calling them ‘co-dependent’, etc.

      The dividing line for me is not Egal / Comp. It is this:
      Do they get it about domestic abuse and other forms of abuse, or don’t they?

      • What I really didn’t get was his implication that the people who quoted Lundy Bancroft were somehow trying to “force” abused women to leave their husbands. As if there’s this huge population of abused women desperate to stay with their abusers who are being “discriminated against” or “silenced” by domestic violence workers. Boggles the mind. I mean, yeah, of course ultimately the decision to stay or leave lies with the abused party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t point out that this course of action has huge downsides and is likely extremely dangerous. That’s not “forcing” someone to leave, it’s honesty and making sure they understand the reality of their situation if they stay.

  8. Reblogged this on Speakingtruthinlove's Blog.

  9. Suzanne

    I had another thought about this. If an abuser refuses to repent and seek forgiveness and his wife still stays with him isn’t she giving him opportunity to continue in his sin? And if she stays because some so-called man of God tells her staying is God’s will doesn’t that man also give the abuser leave to continue to sin? Why is there no accountability for encouraging and enabling the sins of abusers?

    • Jeff Crippen

      Exacto, Suzanne!

    • StrongerNow

      Suzanne, that is the truth that I finally saw after enduring 20 years of every sort of abuse imaginable, short of actual beatings. Reading the horrible advice in this catechism makes me sick to my stomach.

    • BINGO, Suzanne!

    • Gracie71

      I have been trying to make that point with many in my circle also.

  10. Anonymous

    Pastor Crippen – Referencing the post by Pastor Meadows: Your title states it very well … “This is BAD – Really, Really Bad” … I want to believe that the leadership at Pastor Meadow’s church are just badly informed but after reading some of the comments at the original post, his supporters seem very much inclined to believe in what is written. Not one comment so far from them as alluded to the fact that maybe they should further study the issue.

    • Suzanne

      Shame, shame, shame on Meadows and his supporters. I pray that the women and children in his congregation will not suffer abuse as a result of this evil, ungodly “catechism”.

      • StrongerNow

        Sadly, it’s almost a certainty that they will.

  11. Song of Joy

    This “catechism” is a horror and essentially calls evil good and good evil.

    Isaiah 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    Keep in mind the context has been clearly stated:
    “…many Christian wives are married to unbelieving husbands. This is a great trial for them, especially if the man is very ungodly.”

    Now to the Q & A:
    Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?
    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Let that sink in. This Reformed Baptist blogpost is saying that an unbelieving, very ungodly man (evil/dark/bitter) is a good husband, and a much better one than a born-again, sanctified, precious Christian woman (good/light/sweet) deserves. And it’s also saying that she should THANK GOD for him every day. That is utterly twisted.

    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?
    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

    And to make sure we get the ‘evil is good, good is evil’ concept, this says that a born-again, sanctified, precious Christian woman is not good enough for an unbelieving, very ungodly man… and somehow as a wife she is a perpetual sinner before God and also her unbelieving, very ungodly husband.

    All I can say to this is woe, woe, woe.

    • StrongerNow

      So according to this catechism, when a woman is being beaten, raped, tortured, humiliated, belittled, and shamed, she is being treated better than she deserves.

      This so-called pastor is a sick, twisted man.

  12. Jeff Crippen

    The following comment is by Craig Brown, one of the elders here at Christ Reformation Church where I am the pastor. Craig, our other elder, Mack, and the faithful people in our church family have all seen first hand the evils and damage that this kind of false teaching brings with it into a church and into individual lives. Craig said:

    Contemplate question 11 as read by a Christian woman married to an ungodly abusive man — My husband who abuses me and does not love me is better than I deserve. Is that consistent with the gospel of Christ? Christ has set us free from sin and death and hell. He has poured out his love upon us through his redeeming blood and we are precious in his sight. Nothing will prevent Him from bringing us to glory where there is no more sin or pain. Is it biblical to say that a Christian woman deserves to be abused by her husband? Should she be thanking God for her wicked husband? As a Christian what she deserves is justice and brothers and sisters in Christ who will come alongside her and speak truth–You do not deserve to be in bondage to an ungodly, wicked man. You are precious in God’s sight. Christ does love you with an eternal love. And then move on to question 12. How good a wife is this abused woman to her husband…much worse than she ought to be. Under this teaching what will this woman think? She will think–I deserve what is happening to me. I am just as bad and worthless as my husband says. And in this bondage it is unlikey that she will ever experience the joy and freedom that are found in Christ, at least until she is set free in death.

    • Searcher

      It is unfortunate that a minister of the gospel would come up with such an obviously misogynistic passage to instruct women. I have found that many of the ministers that I have come in contact with hold such beliefs. The idea of a man ruling over his wife is actually counter productive. A man who fails to see his wife as his equal partner misses out on developing a relationship that has the potential of bringing him, his wife and entire family immense joy and fulfillment. Is a woman to submit to a man who claims to be a Christian but obviously refuses to yield to the spirit of Christ. Women have to protect themselves and their children from disruptive potentially destructive people in their lives. It is unfortunate when the husband becomes a threat to his wife and children. This does occur, unfortunately. Often times a divorce is a public announcement of what many have known. The marriage is damaged beyond repair. What does someone do when they are afraid of their spouse. Abuse breaks the covenant between the couple and Christ. I think that the clergy has an obligation to give compassionate advise to those in need of solice.

  13. Brenda R

    I just wrote my response on the RBF website. We’ll see if they allow it to get through the gate keeper.

  14. thepersistentwidow

    I think what is particularly frightening about this is the above Wife’s Marriage Catechism was prepared specifically for Christian women married to “very ungodly” men. This list dismisses all hope of self preservation, expectation of church discipline, or protection of children. Practically such directives would cause an abuse victim to think that she should just take whatever the “ungodly man” doles out to her as God is honored in marital abuse, which he is not. Once again, bad law/gospel distinction. The Christian gets the laws, the unbeliever gets grace and free reign to do what he wants. Bad theology=bad practice.

  15. StrongerNow

    I went to the blog and posted a comment. It is awaiting moderation.

    In particular, questions 11 and 12 perpetuate the lies being told to an abused woman on a daily basis by her wicked, abusive husband. My heart hurts just remembering the years I believed those exact lies, and wished for death to end my torment.

    This catechism is indeed, very very bad. I’m usually way too verbose. At this travesty, I am at a loss for words.

  16. rrprewett

    I posted the following on the original blog, and am curious if it will be posted. Unfortunately, I was in a hurry, so hopefully it makes sense and is not too typo-laden:
    ————————-

    “Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?

    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?

    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.”

    This “catechism” is intended to “bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages”…difficult marriages to ungodly men who are supposedly much better husbands than they deserve. No matter how cruelly and evilly the wife is being treated, she is to remind herself that she not only deserves such treatment, she actually deserves WORSE. One could argue that we all deserve hellfire and damnation — but that ignores the fact that Jesus paid our penalty, that we have been adopted, and that we are children of the Most High King.

    To be consistent, the answer to #12 should be “much better than he deserves”. Why does the unregenerate man deserve so much better than his godly wife? Who are we to condemn her and insist that she is “much worse than she ought to be”, when we do not even know her?

    The Bible tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For all we know, Jesus may be very well-pleased with some if the faithful wives reading this “catechism” and may be prepared to welcome them home with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” How dare we sit in judgment over wives in difficult marriages, insist they repent of unspecified sins, and tell them that they deserve even worse than what they may already be suffering?

    I see nothing of Jesus here. No love, no compassion, no tenderness towards the broken-hearted, no freedom, no mercy…only more bondage.

  17. rrprewett

    Forgive me if this is posting twice. I posted the following on the original blog, and my comment is awaiting moderation. I wrote it in haste and hope it makes my point clearly without too many typos.
    ———-
    “Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?

    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?

    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.”

    This “catechism” is intended to “bless His precious daughters in difficult marriages”…difficult marriages to ungodly men who are supposedly much better husbands than they deserve. No matter how cruelly and evilly the wife is being treated, she is to remind herself that she not only deserves such treatment, she actually deserves WORSE. One could argue that we all deserve hellfire and damnation — but that ignores the fact that Jesus paid our penalty, that we have been adopted, and that we are children of the Most High King.

    To be consistent, the answer to #12 should be “much better than he deserves”. Why does the unregenerate man deserve so much better than his godly wife? Who are we to condemn her and insist that she is “much worse than she ought to be”, when we do not even know her?

    The Bible tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For all we know, Jesus may be very well-pleased with some if the faithful wives reading this “catechism” and may be prepared to welcome them home with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” How dare we sit in judgment over wives in difficult marriages, insist they repent of unspecified sins, and tell them that they deserve even worse than what they may already be suffering?

    I see nothing of Jesus here. No love, no compassion, no tenderness towards the broken-hearted, no freedom, no mercy…only more bondage.

    • Barnabasintraining

      Yep. Great points.

      We are accepted in the Beloved. I’m not sure why what we deserve (as unregenerate condemned/before Christ/outside of Christ, I assume) is a factor under consideration for the believer. God does not reward us according to our iniquity. Rather, “The chastisement for our peace was upon Him…. And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” And so forth. So why would what the believing wife deserves be a consideration, and especially in such a condemning way? I thought He had taken all that out of the way.

  18. Song of Joy

    Interesting….the “Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism” has been up for over 9 hours now, and only comments made by men have been allowed to be posted so far. Hmmmmmm.

    • Suzanne

      Too bad the church doesn’t have a facebook page. We could use it to communicate with the church members and ask them to read the comments on this page. I wonder if anyone at that church other than the pastors and elders are aware of the firestorm Mr. Meadows has caused or that comments that disagree with his “catechism” are being censored.

    • StrongerNow

      I posted a comment, but it is still awaiting moderation. Presumably it will not be seen. Since the only comments allowed are those made by men, I think we can clearly see where this pastor is coming from.

      • Suzanne

        I can see my comment, but it is labeled “awaiting moderation”.

      • Brenda R

        StrongerNow,
        I just looked again. There are NO comments written by women that went through the gate keeper, including mine. I hit the like button on the ones written condemning this garbage. Still, no scriptural back up for anything written here. I am sure the women of this mans following are “brainwashed Stepford wives”. I believe that is one of the phrases I wrote in my post on his site. hmmmmm Maybe that is why it didn’t make it through. He only allows mens opinions and the ones who are against it are sharply condemned.

      • Anonymous

        http://en.gravatar.com/angelawittman
        http://en.gravatar.com/worldsbeforethedoor
        You’ll notice below the star ratings that as of now two women bloggers have joined the two men who “Like” this post. I would like to read a “comment” from them as to why they find this post so likeable?

      • I wrote a comment on the blog of this woman http://en.gravatar.com/worldsbeforethedoor
        Her blog is called Gentle and Quiet Spirit and you can see my comment if you click here:
        http://gentleandquiet.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-1969

        I strongly suggested she read this post of Jeff’s and my post which is the followup.

      • Suzanne

        Barbara, I clicked on the link you gave to a comment you left at Gentle and Quiet Spirit but didn’t find it. I think the roaches are running for cover from the light being shined on this.

      • Anonymous

        Barb … the link didn’t take me to your ‘comment’ http://gentleandquiet.com/contact-me/comment-page-1/#comment-1969
        Could she have maybe taken it down? Maybe I’ll write and ask her about it … I just found her Facebook page so maybe I’ll post the question there?

      • Anonymous

        https://www.facebook.com/gentleandquiet
        I also couldn’t connect to the link of Barb’s comment so I posted a question on the Facebook page as to whether there was a broken connection?? https://www.facebook.com/gentleandquiet?hc_location=timeline

    • Heather2

      Well, there you go. It’s purely Patriarchal! Abomination to God, I would suggest.

      This whole article was very upsetting.

  19. rrprewett

    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I am hesitant to jump at people with accusations of sexism. However, at the very least, the author of this “catechism” is lacking in wisdom and compassion. Doesn’t he realize that, whatever his intentions might have been, it comes across as problematic to tell all wives that they deserve whatever ill treatment an ungodly husband subjects them to, while he deserves much better? These words can all too easily be construed as, “Women deserve poor treatment and, no matter how hard they try, they can not possibly be the sort of excellent wife their husband deserves. Men are worthy; women aren’t.”

  20. This brings back memories… Of me sobbing and telling my ex husband that I “know I don’t deserve you because I am so worthless” after a particularly cruel episode of abuse from him.

    This “theology” that says born-again women are less than trash and deserve whatever abuse comes their way is from the pit of hell. I finally know my value.. but it has taken YEARS and YEARS for me to overcome this. Thanks for shining a spotlight on this common attitude from pastors Jeff. 😦

    • Jeff Crippen

      Remember everyone, Christ’s church still stands. He always preserves His remnant. You may find that remnant in some strange places, but it is always there. And one day it will be pure and spotless, sifted of all the chaff, gathered together to be with Christ and one another. Hey, I say Come, Lord Jesus!

  21. thepersistentwidow

    I suggest that we all go over to the original post and click on the stars (at the bottom of the article) to give it an appropriate rating. Since our comments aren’t posted, maybe someone will notice that.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Yes! Do it. Click on those stars. Well, on the ONE star!!

      • Brenda R

        Ps Jeff. Click on the unlikes too. We want a real accurate rating. None of the women’s comments are being allowed. I just responded to one of Andrew’s comments, but I am sure it won’t get through either and said so. Actually, I believe I said since I am a lowly worm of a woman it won’t get through the gate keeper.
        Road trip for protest anyone?

    • Brenda R

      Widow, been there, done that. Will go back later to check for more.

  22. Suzanne

    I just checked and my comment is still awaiting moderation. But the complimentary comment by a man posted 6 hours after mine has been approved.

  23. Not Too Late

    Q6. What is respect for my husband?

    A6. It is a conscious recognition of his special authority over me as my husband on the basis of God’s Word and the covenant I freely entered when I married him.

    What if I don’t believe he has special authority over me as my husband, because I don’t believe there is a basis of that in God’s Word?
    ********************************************************************************
    Q.8 Will there be cases when I must obey Christ rather than my husband?

    A8. Yes, if ever my husband expects me to disobey any of Christ’s commands, but even then I must keep loving and respecting my husband as my husband while Christ always has my greatest love and loyalty.

    In that case, abused spouses would be disobeying their husbands every day. Christ might be honored, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the husband would not appreciate the lack of obedience and he would not regard it as loving and respectful, and he’ll make sure that his minister knows it.
    ***********************************************************************************

    Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?

    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    How does Pastor Meadows know what I deserve?
    ***********************************************************************************
    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?

    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

    How does Pastor Meadows know that I am much worse than I ought to be? What if my own Pastor doesn’t think that? Who do I pay heed to? Oh, the confusion of being a wife!

    • Brenda R

      NTL,
      This man is the worst kind of abuser because he allows and condones other men’s abuse of women and probably their children.
      Without coming right out and saying so, he is saying that all men are better than women and all women are lowly and deserve whatever happens to them. He would take away any rights that women have and take us back centuries.

      St. Lucy comes to mind right now. Where is the banner when you need it? The suffragettes that were imprisoned standing up for our rights and against the tyranny that was merely a family problem and no one else should get involved. If our comments are not going to be allowed, keep marking those rating buttons. Our voice must be heard no matter how small.

  24. IamMyBeloved's

    *sigh* I just left a comment over there, stating that him not publishing any of the women’s comments that were left there (notice they are all male commenters) was sort of enough said. I said quite a bit more, but also noted that I hoped he would not be found guilty before God, for keeping his sisters in Christ in bondage, instead of helping them as Christ has commanded he do.

    I agree, it will be interesting to see the Husband’s Catechism, if it ever arrives.

    So sick of all of this unbiblical, made-up, oppressive, unnecessary, bull crapish, one-sided, sadistic, patriarchal jargon. Feeling a little triggered-

    • Jeff Crippen

      Thanks much, IAM

  25. missdaisyflower

    Robertson wavers about this stuff.

    I have heard him say on some broadcasts that he’s okay with women getting a divorce if the husband abandons her. But then, on other episodes, he blames women for marrying jerks.

    When he comments on these topics, it’s usually during a portion of the show called “Bring It On,” where he answers questions from the viewing audience.

    Let me see if I can find you at least one example (his people normally upload videos of his responses to their CBN site, and copies are uploaded to You Tube also).

    In this video below, Robertson talks about a woman who asks if she can divorce her husband because he was deceptive (portrayed himself as a Christian but repeatedly sinned after marriage, such as got DUIs, stole money from a church, etc)…

    And Robertson tells her that she has the (quote), “discernment of a slug.”

    (the letter from that woman comes at some point, around 2:47, after the question about Islam, and a letter from a woman who says she is living with her boyfriend, etc):
    Bring It On-Line: Christians and Islam

    I have seen Robertson be understanding and sympathetic in answering other women who write in to say their spouse is a dirty magazine addict or whatever (he usually tells those women to divorce the guy), but sometimes, he totally puts all the blame on the wife if the husband is a jerk of some sort.

    It’s odd how in some instances he’s compassionate towards women in trouble marriages, but with other women in similar situations, he’s very insensitive.

    One of his favorite refrains when he’s being insensitive to women who say their marriage is lousy is to say things like, “Well, you married him, dear. You’re stuck with him. You knew the kind of man he was before you married him. Deal with it.”

    I have heard him say comments like that on several occasions in the past few years.

  26. Q11. How good a husband is my husband to me?
    A11. Much better than I deserve, and therefore I will thank God for him every day.

    Q12. How good a wife am I to my husband?
    A12. Much worse than I ought to be, and therefore I will confess my sins to God every day, asking forgiveness, and to my husband as needed, and continue in prayer for grace to grow into the excellent wife that God wants me to be, and that would be such a blessing to my husband.

    Pastor Meadows seems to think he is clairvoyant. How else could he presume to know what every unsaved husband is like, and what every wife married to an unsaved man is like?
    Meadows has presumed too much, and that usually only happens when someone has fallen into the sin of pride.

    Psalm 19:13 —

    Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.

  27. Not Too Late

    It seems like Pastor Meadows is inferring that every wife has a husband that is better than what she deserves, and that every wife is not as a wife as she ought to be, and needs to confess her sins everyday. But how can she pray to grow into the excellent wife God wants her to be if she is always worse than she ought to be? How can she pray knowing her prayers will never be answered?

    If Pastor Meadows gives similar advice to husbands, then both husbands and wives get spouses better than what they deserve, and both husbands and wives are worse spouses than what they could be, and need to confess that sin every day. That doesn’t seem to make much sense either.

  28. Forrest

    Although the catechism is sickening, what is infinitely worse is the way that it is still being defended on that blog site even after the obvious problems with it have been pointed out! Such people are not open to the truth.

  29. Nicola Muir

    Jeff, thanks for alerting your blog subscribers to this Pastor Meadows’ ‘catechism for married women’. I responded with the below yesterday afternoon and for some reason it is still awaiting moderation, while other comments that were posted much later than mine are already up on the website. Just thought I would alert you to my comment in case it is helpful for anyone following your blog. I can’t see I have said anything offensive or that should delay publishing on their blog. Anyway, here it is:

    I am a Christian woman who was abused by a man claiming to also be a Christian and using a similar biblical interpretation of extreme submission to my husband regardless of his behaviour. This behaviour was ungodly, to the point where I look back now and realise that my ex-husband was not a believer but a man intent on evil deeds and using ideology such as is presented here in order to fuel his life with a perpetual victim. This ‘catechism’ does not seem helpful either to an abused woman, or a woman living even with a Christian husband who is completely wonderful to her, because for some reason this pastor asks the wife to indiscriminately put her husband’s behaviour above her own in terms of goodness and holiness. I find this idea really quite ridiculous and I’m not sure where in the bible I, as a wife, would be told to consider my husband worthy and myself unworthy, indiscriminately or otherwise.

    The marriage I was in threatened the life of me and my child and it did a significant amount of physical, psychological, spiritual, emotional, financial (and so on…) damage to us also. If a person was starving and close to death because they had no food or means of income, wouldn’t a Christian first offer them food and help to change this life threatening situation? The answer has to be yes, it is our Christian duty to do so. We would not counsel the starving individual to simply sit and pray more, be more holy, submit to starvation, and perhaps some food might just turn up – we would feed them ourselves and therein would lie God’s providence for that person. Therefore, if a woman is in a ‘difficult’ marriage to an ungodly man I think this pastor might be doing his own Christian duty better if he were to offer the woman (i.e. the victim) help instead of essentially asking her to stay silent, in submission to evil (because that is what you’re saying here, submit to the ungodly) AND accept a responsibility of her husband’s actions by being more prayerful. Essentially you are telling the wife that she has power over and responsibility for the husband’s deeds, but that she can alter the husband’s free will, something that even the Almighty Creator of the universe does not do or condone us trying ourselves. I understand perhaps you think this advice is helpful but it truly is bordering on dangerous and opposes Christianity.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Note from Barb: I added a paragraph break in this comment for ease of reading.

  30. annette621

    As I’m in counseling now without my husband, I see a horrible tool of option in this advice. I don’t see the scriptures to back this up. I would love to shake people that have never seen what it’s like to live in abuse. I have had to set hard line boundaries, that as anyone who’s live with the angry man will know it makes you harder than you wish to be. I have had to protect myself by removing family and friends because of his manipulation. It pains me to think of younger wives who will read this type of stuff and stay when they need to get out before they get entrapped in Satan’s net. This type of crap is what kept me ensnared for twenty-two years. It is possible to free your mind, but you lose the love that a wife should be able to have and freely show to her husband, because you can trust him in any way. You can only trust God. I did go to their FB page and comment on this.

    • Brenda R

      annette621. I am not a fb fan, but I would go there are comment if that is possible. Now I just need to know how.

    • For those who want to add comments at the FB page of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship, here is the link:

      • Brenda R

        Thanks Barb for that link. I think I feel a little better now. At least we women can voice our opinions to them somewhere without being blocked.

  31. Jeff C asked me to cut and paste a comment that I submitted in reply to the “catechism” we are talking about as the moderators have decided not to allow it to be published over there. Here is the text of my reply:

    “Questions 11 and 12 boggle my mind. How does this pastor know how good a husband the man is or how good a wife the woman is? He is taking a huge leap here! Please try telling the woman who is beaten viciously every day or destroyed emotionally on a regular basis through his words that she is getting better than she deserves! This is nothing more than cruelty masked in spiritual language!

    Tell me, what covenant is there when one side blatantly and repeatedly breaks that same covenant? Did the husband not also freely enter into the same covenant? Yet the entire burden is put on to the wife.

    If the husband was not a Christian in the first place, did he even have the ability to enter into a Scriptural covenant? If you are going to use the covenant theology on one side, you must use it on the other side as God never entered into covenant relationship with any people or nation who were not His, unless they were willing to forsake their former life and allegiances to become a part of His people. An abusing husband cannot be part of God’s family and thus is outside the covenant relationship with God and is not capable of making such a covenant with his wife. Even if there is a valid covenant, he has violated it through his abuse and some remedy or escape must be provided the wife as the aggrieved party.”

    • Brenda R

      Wendell G,
      Could you now cut and paste this to their FB page?

  32. For the record, my comment was not posted, either.

  33. HisEzer

    I understand this teaching stems from a brainwashing which has occurred from generation to generation… fathers modeling to sons what it means to be a father and husband… This piece demonstrates well how it is through subtleties that the brainwashing occurs, never through direct and obvious declarations. It is through innuendo type comments surrounding terms like “nagging,” “disrespect,” “submission,” etc. that the message is communicated clearly: men get to define (arbitrarily) what is considered nagging, what is considered disrespectful, what is considered unsubmissive, what is considered an inappropriate question, and on and on… what is considered ________ (fill in the blank with whatever label is desired for the given situation)… While there would never be an admission by these leaders that women are seen as subservient, it is clear that is the underlying mentality coming through in these writings. Trying to address this problem in the church is like trying to address a politician about his questionable motives. He will defend left and right that it is deep love and devotion for his country which is driving his efforts but the attitudes and choices revealed behind closed doors do not add up… They speak otherwise…

    It is becoming more and more evident that male pastor/teachers bent on defending Patriarchal tenants are bullies in Forrest Gump clothing… No offense to Forrest, just trying to paint the picture of the feigned innocence often projected when the truth finally comes out about a destructive marriage situation of which they were responsible to provide intervention but didn’t…. The typical response is a face-saving …”I didn’t know” … (while very unlike Forrest, no apology is offered…) Yes, they didn’t know because they didn’t follow up the wife’s imploring for help with a search for the facts. And why did they not search for facts? Because it can get messy and inconveniencing … Even more so they didn’t because searching for facts leads to… well… The Truth !! …. and, unfortunately, truth can sometimes get in the way of certain agendas, it can result in discomfort when not the preferred outcome, it can result in putting a blemish on church institutions, it can result in calling into question man-made (entitlement promoting) paradigms like Patriarchy… and we just can’t have that. In addition, a search for truth is also often deemed unnecessary by these leaders because somewhere in their seminary training the idea was engrained that with the position of pastor/elder comes an automatic God-granted Pope-like infallibility, so their discernment on matters could never possibly be wrong. In addition to all these reasons, there are still yet more for the adamant defending (or taking the route of silence…) of a husband charged with abuse / destructiveness: A) those are highly overused terms today, so they need to be ignored, B) the man is so friendly, humorous, knows the Bible inside and out, and is a good tither, so he couldn’t possibly be harming his wife/family…, C) “If you start considering the word of a woman over a man’s, the end result is, they (women) will take over the world!”
    ( an actual quote heard by one elder …)

    • Jeff Crippen

      HisEzer – I just put this Scripture on our FB page. It is exactly what you are talking about:

      Esther 1:15-18 “According to the law, what is to be done to Queen Vashti, because she has not performed the command of King Ahasuerus delivered by the eunuchs?” (16) Then Memucan said in the presence of the king and the officials, “Not only against the king has Queen Vashti done wrong, but also against all the officials and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus. (17) For the queen’s behavior will be made known to all women, causing them to look at their husbands with contempt, since they will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought before him, and she did not come.’ (18) This very day the noble women of Persia and Media who have heard of the queen’s behavior will say the same to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and wrath in plenty.

    • Brenda R

      HisEzer, They obviously think we are going to take over the world. Why else won’t they allow our comments to go past mediation stage? They are running scared if they have to silence us this way. I have even replied to Mark (whatever his last name is) Not even those responses are being displayed.

      • Suzanne

        I just want to remind everyone that you can post to the facebook page of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship.Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=769107329777990&id=331240613564666

      • Brenda R

        Suzanne, Been there, done that. The problem is the RBF is not coming to the FB page. There is one woman on there that thinks this is all scriptural. Probably related to this pastor or already drank the koolaid.

    • Barnabasintraining

      “If you start considering the word of a woman over a man’s, the end result is, they (women) will take over the world!”
      ( an actual quote heard by one elder …)

      That’s almost but not quite funny.

      Really, these idiots cannot conceive of mutuality. Someone has to dominate.

      (I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve been driven to use the word “idiot” on this blog.)

      • I bet Pontius Pilate wished he’d listened to his wife’s word about not crucifying Jesus! And he is STILL wishing that, from where is now, in eternity.

      • Brenda R

        I bet you are absolutely correct, Barb. He has all eternity to think about it.

  34. Friend of Victim

    My Achilles Heel has been & probably always be giving people the benefit of the doubt, but I am getting educated for and thru my friend. I can conclude nothing less than Pastor Meadows & the moderator (same person?) are abusers. What else can be concluded? Women will be blessed to serve, to be under the authority of evil men that are better than they deserve & they (the wives) aren’t as good as they ought to be? I’ve learned abuse is all about power & control. Let’s see what else can censoring all women & at least some of the men’s comments be other than all about power & control? Perhaps Pastor Crippen was let thru because he’s a fellow Reformed Baptist Pastor (more risky to censor?) & what’s the harm of letting him thru as the moderator can let others challenge Pastor Jeff?
    Pastor Jeff, I’m wondering if you can call him out on the censorship of all the women’s comments, Wendall’s comment & probably many others. You can illuminate those with the baffled comments on why they are getting so many dislikes (something that cannot be censored). Whether or not your comment gets posted, you can let him (them?) know that we are on to him (them?) about the censorship? Word is getting out by your web site, members’ sites, the Reformed Baptist FB page, etc. Can you out him (his censorship) somehow with the denominational leadership? (Along with the bad theology which you’ve already done thru your comments.)

    • Suzanne

      I thought the same thing, Friend of Victim. You were braver than me to actually say it but I came to the same conclusion.

      • Friend of Victim

        Thanks Suzanne.

    • zooey111

      I’m with you.
      The first thing I thought as I read this so-called “catechism” was that here we see another abusive husband giving aid & comfort to all the other abusers out there. (OK, the second thing; the first thing was to call the guy a rude name).

      • Brenda R

        zooey,
        I’m glad you were able to refrain from calling him a rude name. There was enough of that from their camp. We were accused of calling people names when in fact they were taking things out of context and only hearing a word from a sentence that was not in anyway calling them names, but pointing out what was inappropriate in their responses. A lot of meanness out there in Christian Land.

  35. Forrest
    • Brenda R

      Too little, too late.

  36. The Reformed Baptist Fellowship site has now published all (I think, –haven’t read the whole thread yet) of the comments that had been held in moderation. Ida Mae’s is there, Cindy Rapstad’s, Barb Hoekstras. Hooray!

    Please go back there and vote up all the comments you approve of, and add your own comments now they’ve opened the gate. 🙂

    • Brenda R

      Mine were published, but I added one on his lame catechism for husbands. Too little, too late. It is pretty much the same as for wives only reversing the rolls. Still no scripture to back up anything.

      • Brenda, your comment on the Husband’s Catechism has not been published yet. Seems like the moderators of that blog are slow learners!

      • Maybe I misunderstood you Brenda, and thought you’d submitted a comment at the Husband’s catechism post. They have now published my comment at that post, but I see none from Brenda there.
        So I withdraw my remark about the folk at RBF being maybe slow learners.

      • Brenda R

        Barb, I thought I was at the right place. I said that I didn’t see a lot of difference in the husbands and the wives catechism, just reversed. I don’t think any particular effort was made to distinguish the 2. There still is no Biblical reference for what he wrote. Writings of men are just that, they mean nothing. The husbands catechism is lip service. I’m sorry if I messed up. I also asked, the woman who continues to praise this dribble for scripture to support what is written, since she feels it is Biblical and we have a problem with the Lord and not the writer.

      • You didn’t mess up, Brenda, but perhaps I misunderstood a tad. Never mind. It’s no big deal. 🙂

  37. Mike Diffey

    God created man and woman in His image, therefore God cannot be less of Himself in a woman than He can be in a man. There is no reason for any woman to feel like she should be a subordinate to her husband.

    • Brenda R

      Amen, Mike. Amen.

    • Brenda R

      Mike, I added this to my quotes that I want to remember page.

      • Anonymous

        Excellent idea Brenda R.

  38. Kaylen

    It is very sad to read the catechisms and very hurtful to find out that “your church”, although may not have ever read them, have used these essences of what is in them to keep their pastor in such high regard (you see, he’s such a good teacher) and fail to realize at what expense they are expecting wife to pay to live to satisfy their legalistic values.

    I am the pastor’s wife and we have been married for over 26 years. Not many of those years were happy years, but I chose to stay for my five children. He has told me I was unattractive; he has told me I need to lose weight and work out so that I would be more appealing to him; he has told me that I was a mean woman; he has told me that I was an angry woman; he has told me “how could you even be a Christian?”. He has told my faults, which I admit have made mistakes in the marriage, to my children, but told me that I should never talk bad about him or demean him in front of the children, and I respected that, saying very little. If the kids did something wrong, it was not uncommon for him to come back to me and say that they received that flaw from me. He would say nice things about me outwardly to his co-workers and family about my nursing career, but when it came time to exercise any of my expertise at home, I was questioned or not allowed to do it…I wasn’t a nurse in that field (ie, care for a burn, dress a wound). I was not allowed to talk to my kids about biblical issues, or any other important talks you have with your children because he wanted to do them all. He would lecture for 45 minutes or longer, wanting me to only answer yes or no questions. I could have different opinion than him, he said, but if I did I was arguing or not supporting him. If I felt the answer needed more than a yes or no, he didn’t want me to say more…so I would go silent. Then I was being rude and mean. If I told him I was done “talking” about a situation and he wasn’t, he would follow me around the house, corner me, unlock the bathroom door, he wouldn’t let it stop.

    I was not blameless in all of this. I did and said things that I shouldn’t have, but I will say that many of the things that I did say, wouldn’t have been said if he wouldn’t have been cornering me or following me around when I said I was done with the conversation.

    So how does this tie in to this post…I left my husband after having lost 50 lbs. and having continuous stomach issues and also suffering from migraines. I had checked out as a wife and a mother ( I couldn’t do that right either). I was on the edge of cliff that I had to get off of. We tried to work on some issues, but he would not admit that he mentally and verbally abused me, nor would he tell the children that and that I had a legitimate (biblical) reason to leave. So none of my children are talking to me at this time. They have sided with him.

    I received a letter from “my church” asking me for my biblical reason for leaving. This after only one lady from there calling me. I tried to talk to the associate pastor, and he refused to talk to me on the phone. I sent a letter back with my reasons and examples of my living conditions and abuse. I received a second letter and here are some excerpts from the letter:

    “Regarding your assertion that your husband doesn’t love you as Christ loves the church, we as you if anyone can perfectly keep this commandment. Of course, no husband can love his wife as perfectly as Christ loves the church.”

    In reference to 1 Peter 2:18-3:1 “In this passage God tells servants to humbly subject themselves to those who may rule over them with a harsh hand, and to patiently suffer the unwarranted grief and pain they receive from them, ‘for this is acceptable to God.’, for Christ suffered wrongfully at our sinful hands to secure salvation for us. Notice the specific inclusion of the wife in this command–‘Likewise ye wives….'”

    :”God says by subjection the husband can be “won” by the wife.”

    “We hereby, as God’s church, and that sovereign agency that binds on earth what is also bound in Heaven, direct and instruct you to immediately return to your husband and to subject yourself to your place in the home as his wife. Leaving your husband, and thus your departure from ____________ Church, have been unscriptural actions on your part. This is your second (and last) admonition by the church. While we pray for your repentance and reconciliation to both your husband and your church, you will be unto us as a heathen and a publican according to the Scriptures until then.”

    So I remain to them, and them only…a publican and a heathen, because evidently they would follow guidelines like the catechisms. And the pastor at this church is such a good teacher… well it doesn’t really matter how he treats his wife, does it? We aren’t having to look at her or see her. My qualifications (Eds – maybe Kalen meant ‘obligations’?] as a wife are held in much higher regard than his qualifications as pastor and husband.

    Learning to live happy again,
    Kaylen

    • Jeff Crippen

      Kaylen – MANY, many blessings to you in our Lord Jesus Christ.

      And thank you very much for sharing this with us. We know it is not easy to even tell one’s story of abuse, and believe us when we say, you have been subjected all these years to the very worst kind – at the hands of the worst kind of abuser – one who claims to be an eminent “saint” in Christ’s church. The Lord will repay him on that Day.

      Christ has opened your eyes to His truth and He has led you out into freedom, though you continue to suffer for a time. You are not alone in being alienated from your children. This is the common tactic of the abuser – winning allies against the victim. Your “church” has also become such an ally in this evil and I very much encourage you to know that any discipline, including ex-communication, that they would exercise on you does not have any authority from our Lord Jesus Christ.

      To persecute the oppressed like they are doing is in no way the religion and will of Jesus, but is in fact evidence of the presence of the evil one. “You are of your father the devil,” Jesus told them. Why? Because their desire was to murder Him and that desire to destroy is the character of the devil.

      You, sister, are a daughter of Abraham. Have no fear of Jesus, but just as the woman with the ongoing hemorrhage did, boldly grab onto His garment and know that He will bless you, not curse you. Please stay in fellowship with us here at ACFJ and give us updates so that we can continue to pray for you and encourage you. If you would like to speak more specifically with us than you can in a comment, feel quite free to email us at swordtrowel@gmail.com (Jeff) or barbara@notunderbondage.com (Barbara)

    • Heather 2

      Oh my dear sister, I have prayed for the Father to surround you in His love. May the peace of Jesus flood your broken heart. Your story has familiar scenes to many of us. My marriage was decades long also. I finally had the courage to stop the madness but my ex got to my adult children with his lying sob story first. I had to fight to get their affection back by sharing the truth with them over time. One is still estranged from me to a large extent because I remarried.

      You have been brutally abused.
      And those who chose to crucify you will answer to God one day. In the meantime let healing come upon you. Be gentle with yourself. You did not deserve that treatment. I know we are far from perfect. We have all said things in our marriages that were wrong. But that doesn’t mean we should be abused and betrayed.

      Stay strong. Stay close to The Lord. Let Him punish the abusers in your life in His own time.

    • Kaylen thank you SO much for sharing your story.
      I have put a link to it on the Reformed Baptist Fellowship post where the Wife’s Catechism was first published.
      Here is my comment there, with the link back to yours.
      http://reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/08/a-christian-wifes-marriage-catechism/#comment-14869

    • Flo

      Dear, dear Sister! I signed up just to send you much love & hugs all the way from Asia. And you have my deepest respects. Your strength is admirable and I say a 1000 resounding amens to Pst Jeff’s pronouncement of many blessings on you dear Sister. Be blessed outside the camp of they who claim to be Christ’s but are none of His. “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.’
      II Timothy 2:9

  39. Brenda R

    Barbara,
    I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all of your posts from last night at the Reformed Baptist Fellowship site. It is so discouraging that this group of “Christians” has such a difficult time opening their hearts to all that has been said there by people who have lived through abuse and crying out for them to realize what damage the words that were posted there can and have done.

    I have found no comfort that anything we say will sink into the hard hearted individuals that I have encountered who support the woman’s or men’s catechism . Even those who claim to have lived through abuse don’t seem to understand it. They minimize any impact of abuse or their teachings that can lead to more of it.

    I do not believe their claims that the writer had no knowledge of the initial stifling of women’s comments to this post. One woman admitted that she and Mr. Meadows spoke about it behind the scenes and would suppress any negative comments on her own site. They claim that Mr. Meadows is going to write an additional piece on abuse, but I am hesitant to believe anything they claim at this point. All that is said seems to be a means to get us to just go away. They are comfortable with their heads buried in the sand with their rose colored glasses glued to their heads. All is well in their world.

    • Brenda, the wonderful thing is, they have published our comments! So I see it as a glass half full rather than half empty.

      And the fact that the Aquila Report has featured my post, and Spiritual Sounding Board, Hurt By Love, Persis’s blog, and others have all published posts criticising the Wife’s Catechism, are all very positive developments that will further the cry for justice.

      So I wouldn’t be too despondent about the stubbornness of the folk from Reformed Baptist Fellowship or the flip flops of Angela Wittman. They have shown what they believe. That’s fine. And we, praise God, have been able to show what we believe too.

      • Brenda R

        Thank you again, Barb,
        When you put it that way, it is uplifting. Good was done even though I feel emotionally drained. I did post a comment in my defense of being “disrespectful of Biblical Christianity” without addressing it to Angela. I still can’t believe she so arrogantly said to come to her site and see how quickly she deletes the post. I can’t remember who it was she said it to, but that was so arrogant. I really think the picture of her smiling face in her post picture is now put right there with the smug look of john Piper while he is discussing his lack of view on abuse.

        I meant no disrespect for anyone who adheres to any of the Confessionals. I have read them. Have no real problem with them. My church has a written “what we believe” pamphlet. I would not die for the pamphlet, but would hope that I would have strength enough to never deny Christ in any circumstance.

    • Heather 2

      Brenda, I agree. Barbara, you worked tirelessly and respectfully.

      It is tragic that so many refuse to be moved by compassion and are bound to hard hearted outlooks. I see them as immovable. Their god is their pride and ego. They lay heavy burdens on the people. They abuse the widows. Where have we read about them before? Ah yes, the Word of God! Jesus had much to say about them.

      I agree with you, Brenda. Like Pharoah, they are unwilling to let those in bondage go.

      I think it is time to dust our feet off. My prayer is that some have seen and have changed their views. Perhaps they will be able to come along side the victims. If just one person sees God will use that for good. The others… They will answer to The Lord one day….

      • You know, Heather2, I was very encouraged by Tim’s comments at the RB blog. He seems to be one of the regular readers there — and a pastor like the other men there. But he is very sympathetic to what we have been presenting. So we have reached one man. And who knows how many other lurkers we have reached. And how many survivors we have encouraged!

      • Heather 2

        That’s what I think too, Barb. It isn’t all a lost cause. I am grateful to Jeff for bringing it to our attention. Periodically, we see an article that affects us deeply and we are involved in a spiritual battle. We saw this with Dallas Theological also. They seem to take on a life of their own! I am impressed and proud of our men and women! The Lord empowers each one and the Holy Spirit gives His Words of Wisdom.

        For women who have stumbled upon the discussions and share their pain for the first time, they are given support and love. I am grateful that they find us.

        Yesterday The Lord brought me a blog while I was reading another blog. I have struggled for a long long time because my own experience wasn’t exactly what I saw with others. I could see some things but I was always looking for an exact match. Unfortunately, that keeps me spiralling down at times. But yesterday was the day! I found Chump Lady. She deals with cheaters. I will admit that she used inappropriate language which must be overlooked, but I I loved her site!!!!! She took psychological terms and renamed them with humor and compassion. I do recommend her. She calls adultery abuse and her insights pull in Narcissim and other character disturbances. George Simon was recommended.

        Abuse is insidious! Spiritual abuse has condemned us victims to a life of pain, shame, doubt and confusion while we are already being abused by the ones we have vowed to love. I am thankful for ACFJ and many others. We need each other!

        So, we continue and ask The Lord to care not only for the hurting, but to open the eyes of the blind.

        Blessings to all!

      • And the fact that so far the stiff necked men there have not been able to answer me with any decent arguments. They have just gone into their shells. That says something.

        Sometimes silence is a good sign. It means that arrogant people are pulling their heads in a bit. (to use an Aussie expression)

        Look it up on some Aussie slang site if you can’t guess what it means. Think tortoises.

      • Brenda R

        Heather 2,
        Yes, she did. Barb is a truly respectful warrior for the cause.

        Barb, I believe I have seen Tim on other blogs before. I think he has been a supporter of those fighting against abuse for a while. Getting this message passed on to other blogs is such a blessing. If I am ever in the area, I will not be worshipping at that church.

        The men there aren’t even trying to answer any questions. If they are they are having to scour their Bibles for answers. If they had answers, they would have already given them and not the lame men’s catechism that was posted. That was just an insult to our intelligence.

    • Barnabasintraining

      You nailed it Brenda. That is exactly how it is.

  40. Ps Sam Powell has written a very good post about why Qn 11 in the catechism is so bad.
    God’s grace as an excuse for cruelty

    • Brenda R

      Thank you again, Barb. Pastor Sam wrote a wonderful, loving, honest post. God blessed my heart as I read.

  41. Trigger warning. Here is an article called THE DUTIES OFHUSBANDS AND WIVES
    by Richard Steele, Puritan
    A Modern Abridgment and Paraphrase
    by D. Scott Meadows [that’s the same Meadows who wrote the wife’s catechism]

    Only read if you are feeling strong.

    http://www.peacemakers.net/unity/rsdutiesofhusbandsandwives.htm

    Some snippets:

    Even if she is the sweetest thing and her husband the meanest, she still has a duty to respect him. First, she must fix in her heart that her position is inferior to his, and then she will be able to fulfill all [that] respect implies with ease and delight. It is not fitting to set the rib above, or even on the same level with, the head.

    2. The Pattern of a Godly Wife’s Respect.

    A. The church’s respect for Christ. “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (Eph. 5:22). “Just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (5:24). Her submission is to be like the church’s ideal submission to Christ.
    1) In everything. In things great and small, agreeable and disagreeable to her. Only when he requires what God forbids or forbids what God requires is she to refuse submission. She may reason with him in things inconvenient to her, but if he will not be persuaded, and there is no sin in the case, she must submit to him.
    2) Free, willing, and cheerful. The service Christians do to the Lord is with goodwill (Eph. 6:7). So the wife should submit to her husband as if there were but one will in their two hearts. Leah and Rachel followed Jacob like his shadow (Gen. 31:16). Sarah’s reverence was sincere, as she called her husband “lord” (Gen. 18:12), and this is an example for Christian wives (1 Pet. 3:6). Therefore a grudging obedience is unacceptable, and usually springs from her unmortified pride and self-conceit. EVEN IF HE IS SEVERE, IT IS BETTER FOR YOU TO DO YOUR DUTY, AND LEAVE HIS JUDGMENT TO GOD. (emphasis added)

    B. The body’s respect for the head. “For the husband is the head of the wife” (Eph. 5:23). All members of the body realize the head is useful for their good. The hand will accept a wound to protect the head. Whatever the head decides to do, the body gets up and follows as long as it can. This is the way the wife should honor her husband, second only to God. It is ludicrous for the head to go one way and the rib another, for a soldier to command his general, or for the moon to pretend superiority over the sun. Only if the husband is insane is this altered. “The man has authority in his house unless he is verbum anomalum; that is, a fool” (Luther).

    2) She speaks respectfully to him in his presence. Beware of
    a. interrupting him while he is speaking, or saying ten words to his one. Silence commends a woman’s wisdom more than speech. The wise woman uses words sparingly.
    b. using disrespectful words or tone. Strive for “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Pet. 3:4). Do not be afraid that this will make your husband worse, but trust in God’s wisdom (1 Pet. 3:1; Prov. 25:15). Remember God hears and will judge you for every idle word (Matt. 12:36). Ideally, both the husband and wife should be slow to passion, yet where one must yield, it is most reasonably expected of the wife. No woman gets honor by having the last word. Some women argue that their tongue is their only weapon, but the wise know that their tongue is set on fire by hell (Jas. 3:6). See how Rachel spoke rashly to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die” (Gen. 30:1), and as soon as she had two, she died (Gen. 35:18)! On the other hand, Abigail behaved prudently with a very bad husband, and was raised to honor. If respect will not prevail with him, anger never can. That is why the husband and wife ought to agree never to shout at one another.

    • Brenda R

      I’ve only read your snippets so far and can just imagine what the rest of what the Puritan author has to say. I printed it off so I wouldn’t have to stare at the monitor that long.

      Whatever the head decides to do, the body gets up and follows as long as it can

      This body followed as long as it could. I’m sure by the writers standards until I was beaten into further submission or until I was completely crazy and institutionalized I should have kept right on following.

      It is ludicrous for the head to go one way and the rib another…Only if the husband is insane is this altered

      Unless the head is severed, the rib as well as the rest of the body goes together!! duh!! X is insane so that ends that dilemma. Perhaps not legally insane, but morally.

      “The man has authority in his house unless he is verbum anomalum; that is, a fool” (Luther).

      X definitely fits that description.

      I’m sure they will go on with other Puritan Religious Beliefs. Women are not to speak in church. If they have a question they should ask their husbands once they are home. X would have had a hard time with that one. I would have to explain it to him, so he could tell it back to me and then maybe not. I know I’ve told this story before, but……while traveling through Florida I saw a mossy substance throughout the trees and made the mistake of wondering about it outloud. He said that it was where ticks make their nests and to stay away from it. Having formerly lived in FL I knew that was a crock so I went to further examine while at a rest area. I grabbed some from a tree to really examine. You’d have thought I was a child who disobeyed her dad the way be behaved. He screamed at me in front of God and all at that park, because I did not believe what he said and I didn’t do what I was told. The entire thing was ludicrous. Following that man or even walking beside him became unbearable and humiliating. He wanted me to believe him so he could laugh at me later. I knew that was the original plan because he did it often to the children. This time he was going to try it on me.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Brenda – The incredible thing to me is that these kinds of guys even distort the Puritan writings. While I certainly don’t agree with the Puritans on everything, the fact is that as I understand it, they did not tolerate abuse and they permitted divorce. I am not an expert on this. Barbara probably knows more about it than I do. But these modern day patriarchal abuser types I highly suspect twist and distort Puritan writings.

      • Brenda R

        Ps Jeff,
        I think I will read up on this outside of this very possibly skewed document.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Brenda-

        Yes, as I said, check with Barbara on possible sources. And I think that her book Not Under Bondage contains some of those sources.

  42. cindyrapstad

    Barbara, still not over the ill feeling from the last post.

    • got it, Cindy. Wishing you a rapid recovery. 🙂

  43. Sunflower

    My ‘exodus’ happened about 20 years ago. I felt all the old feelings that you all know when this happens, but one thing stands out where I had a bit of courage. At the time I was angry and frustrated and felt trapped but now I see that it was a step of courage (and somewhat amusing). The pastor called me and said that I was scheduled to appear before the church board. I said no. He was so shocked (I was known as quiet and shy) and asked WHY? I said, “Five reasons: 1.I’m a woman 2. You are all men 3. I’m blonde 4. There’s one of me against 5 of you. 5. I just got out of the psych ward. I don’t stand a chance.” He said, “You’re right.” Gotta give him a point for honesty.
    Also, my ex was living at his (pastor’s) house where he knew when my children were with him (the x) and I was alone. Then he’d come over to ‘counsel’ me but was hitting on me. Cripes! What can I say? And do you think anyone would believe that?? God answered so many prayers, including having a friend over at those times, who didn’t have a car and so saw it was true because he didn’t know she was there.

    • Brenda R

      Sunfllower,
      Way to stand up for yourself. I’m surely glad your friend was there and unseen. God is always working.

    • Heather2

      There are so many things wrong there, Sunflower. That pastor was nothing but a male chauvinist pig! He was a predator!

      But I loved your courage and spunk. You made my day!

  44. Jaime

    I have really appreciated the heartfelt responses from ACFJ to “Pastor Meadow’s Catechism” for Women. The patience, resolve and grace needed to continue to educate the ignorant and blind Christian community is evidenced in your responses and efforts to give the pastor, and thru him, others, an opportunity to reflect on an area for needed growth in their understanding and actions.

    My observations about the Catechism:
    1. We have too many “good” teacher pastors who do not have a SHEPHERD’S heart. This leads to a mentality that deals with real life by giving “quick fix” answers to the sticky situations that defy understanding. Pastor Meadow’s Catechism for Women reflects a ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL cliché approach to people, which does not hold out much hope or caring supportive help for hurting people. The unfortunate evidence of pride that his catechism will resolve the real life problems that abused women face also reveals the absence of a LOVING shepherd’s heart. Jesus had something to say about the TRUE SHEPHERD, about shepherds that are only hirelings, and about the lost SHEEP.

    2. Pastor Meadow’s Catechism is another “proof” that male leadership will default to automatic first response to marriage and family related problems by addressing women. Pastors are quick to give DETAILED teaching regarding women and how they should respond in marriage and the home, but rarely do they address men, husbands, or fathers with detailed, biblical responsibility and how that looks in real life. Because of their imbalanced theological understanding; they demand women to submit, obey, acquiesce, bow and scrape, adjust, comply and endure suffering. Their “theology” has not been balanced by the example of the LORD JESUS and HIS SACRIFICIAL DEATH, HIS SERVANT ACTIONS, HIS SERVANT TEACHING. HE was and IS the MASTER EXAMPLE we need to follow. It is sad that there are too many Pastors and church leaders, who believe they are models of Christlikeness, but DO NOT have the HEART of JESUS. They hold up the church’s policies, positions and mottos that they SUPPORT FAMILY, MARRIAGE, reject DIVORCE and they will go to any lengths to “keep families and marriages” together. They are like the Pharisees who were so religiously “self-righteous” yet COMPLETELY WRONG in their actions and treatment of people.

    3. Pastor Meadow’s Catechism for women also demonstrates the subtle self-deception of a wrong understanding of the “authority” God gives to church leaders. The potential for “spiritually abusing” members of the flock by playing this card is very high. The church leader is hanging on to an ace up his sleeve and is saying that as a church leader “he knows best”…just trust him because God has given him authority. Rather than follow the example of Jesus’ compassion while here on earth, there is a strong tendency to be guided primarily by church stances and positions.

    It is a sad EVIL reality that some church leader’s positions on dealing with hurting people is to intentionally make examples out of those who choose to leave abusive marriages in order to “put the fear of God” into anyone else who would even think about divorce, separation etc.
    When a Psychiatrist strongly encouraged my daughter to leave a 15 year abusive marriage, she had to explain WHY she couldn’t just move out. She said the church leaders (shepherds) would excommunicate her if she did that! The Psychiatrist asked for the name of the church. I am sure that this church (whose motto is to be a friendly family oriented church that shines the gospel and the love of Christ to the community)… by totally failing to show the love of Christ to their own hurting member they left a STENCH in the mind of this professional who has dedicated her life to helping needy people. Sometimes God has to use the world to show His love and meet the needs of the hurting because the corporate church is failing.
    (Thank God that His church is not limited to the defined denominations. Praise God that His church is every single person who is a child of God by Faith in the Person and all sufficient Sacrifice and death of the LORD JESUS. Thank God for HIS LOVE and GRACE and MERCY and HOPE as shown through the ACFJ folks.)

    It is sad and wrong when those in Christian leadership, out of misplaced zeal and wrong biblical understanding, are oppressors and models of injustice. When the church’s theology is not supported by the example of Jesus the problem is not with HIM. The PROBLEM is that these leaders do not KNOW Him and don’t have a personal relationship with Him. They only have the theology, the church policy positions, and approved church works that are held up as proof of a relationship with Jesus. Somehow they fail to see the discrepancy between their own works and the works of Jesus. These cannot see that their treatment of the hurting and abused people within their flocks is a total opposite to the way Jesus treated the abused and hurt. SAD BUT TRUE.
    I believe that Christian leaders like pastor Meadows need to stop studying their doctrine manuals, commentaries and seminary notes and begin reading the Word of God with a prayer of supplication, “I just want to know YOU, JESUS. Show me Jesus! I don’t want to know what others say YOU are like, I want to know YOU. I want to understand YOUR LOVE for people; how YOU treat them. Help me to KNOW YOU so I can BE like YOU and treat others LIKE YOU treated them.”
    Put your commentaries aside, stop creating sermon outlines while you read the Word. Stop looking to someone else for an explanation of what the Bible says God says or what God is like. God has given us His Holy Spirit to teach us. He will show us Jesus.
    Ask yourself, “Does the real life example of Jesus dealing with people and living out true doctrine with people match what you teach about being “holy”? Do you treat the needy, the oppressed, and the abused like Jesus treated those people? OR does your theology and church policy and position look different in practice?
    The Better you KNOW JESUS personally, the better chance you will be empowered to BE LIKE HIM as you interact with hurting people in your congregations.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Jaime – There it is. You said it. Jesus is missing from a church or church leadership that oppresses the oppressed. Plain and simply yet not so plain it seems. When I was commenting over there at that blog and going back and forth with a couple of those men who supported Meadows’ catechism, I felt like I was talking to people with no empathy, no love, no humility, no desire to learn, and certainly no time for the likes of ME! Thank you!

    • Brenda R

      Jaime, Yes, Yes, Yes. Well said.

      Ps Jeff, You were talking to men with: no empathy, no love, no humility, no desire to learn, and certainly no time for the likes of you. They wanted you to just go away and take the rest of us with you. That was evident from the first response.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Brenda – and thus we shall “go away into the west.” Ha! Until the next time they want to publish something like that! The elves shall return.

      • Brenda R

        Amen, I am in. I see the Pastor Powell has posted on their site. Amen.

    • Barnabasintraining

      Jaime, yes. Spot on.

      I too know people who do not have any further interest in church due to the treatment an abuse victim received.

  45. thepersistentwidow

    Jamie, I agree with you totally. You are so right about what a bad witness the church becomes in these situations. I personally know of people who used the church’s mindless decisions in my abuse case as a reason to write off Christianity. These false shepherds are doing incalculable damage and still think they are lights to follow. Talk about self deceived!

  46. for those who want the links to the three posts by Ps Meadows at Reformed Baptist Fellowship, here they are, in the order they were published.
    1. A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism (this is the one Jeff C discusses in the post right here)
    2. A Christian Husband’s Marriage Catechism
    3. Addenda Part 1: Biblical Support of “A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”

    Ps Meadows says another one is coming, which will be the Addenda Part 2.

  47. Denise

    I was entrenched in this kind of teaching at a Titus 2 Bible study for years thinking if I did all of those things my marriage would improve and improve in piety, but in reality it enabled my husband’s bad behavior.

    My old T2 teacher would have loved this “Catechism”, but I’ll refrain from forwarding it to her. I realized after actually reading and understanding the grammar structure of Titus 2 in the Bible that the light bulb went on. How quickly we try to make it all about rule keeping and not about the freedom we have in Jesus whose yoke is easy and burden is light.

    The women in this T2 group and I was in were in similar circumstances of difficult marriages. We were either in pride because of our good works or in despair because of our failures. “That is why he hates me; no wonder it’s because I _________.” One time a few years back I was at the podium sharing my “testimony” saying, “He gave me a ring because I __________.”

    I have a friend who was in an abusive marriage and I watched her over a period of 15 years lose her sanity. She became irrational, unable to maintain normal daily living and she compulsively picked her own skin until it bled. No wonder, she has been in a POW camp as Jeff would plainly illustrate.

    By the grace of God her husband died, of natural causes, and she is now beginning to flourish slowly back to her old self living with her mother. She was a seemingly “faithful” wife who tried her best to do this type of list, but her husband NEVER changed. He was still a mean abusive alcoholic who claimed to know Christ.

    I’m amazed on how much is taken out of context when it comes to Titus 2, 1 Peter 3, and so forth. Thank you for this website. It is really helping me with so many things.

  48. Dito Joe.

    My mouth is hanging wide open in shock of what I just read from this author…

    I will make sure that all three of my daughter’s read, ‘A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism”

    so they will hear from their mother’s mouth that if any man they may be involved with, ever speaks any teaching remotely resembling this catechism, that they are in a dangerous place,

    and they will know to RUN!!!! and never look back…

    • Brenda R

      Mrs Mom,
      I already did that. lol I emailed them when I first read it and said beware. My older daughter who is getting married in October got on that blog and wrote her own response. She does not usually follow any of the blogs that I do, but that one got her riled.

  49. Dan

    It looks like he has posted the final entry. They have closed all comments, it looks, even on the older posts.

    • Jeff Crippen

      Dan- thank you. So in all of this interaction on that RBF blog and after all the comments pointing out the damage that catechism will do, did Pastor Meadows ever admit that he was wrong and offer to correct his errors?

      • Brenda R

        No, he did not. He only said that he was fallible. It did sound like he was saying that even though not perfectly worded that the catechism was correct.

      • Jeff Crippen

        And thus we have his answer.

      • Here is some of what Meadows said in his final post, the Addenda Part 2:

        My pastoral messages are fallible and should be received only insofar as they are consistent with Scripture. My errors should be rejected with a clear conscience, while biblical truth ought to be received gratefully, however poorly it is presented.

        Providence ordains that I should hear criticism, and even when it is unjustified, God uses it for my good and I should consider His purpose in it. I thank Him for all the comments He has sent me through you.

        The divorce question is both complex and controversial, even among very discerning Christians, and no one needs me to make a pronouncement about it.

        This is a typical politician’s answer that is no answer.

        He tried to portray himself as a humble man of God who is willing to listen to criticism; but he would not say whether our criticism led to him changing his thinking.

        It’s fence-sitting par excellence. And therefore it is a most certain betrayal of victims and survivors.

        Pastor Meadows, it is with much joy that I reject your errors with a clear conscience!
        [Not that I needed your permission to reject them. 🙂 ]

        But there’s a wee problem with your assertion that “biblical truth ought to be received gratefully, however poorly it is presented.” The problem is, biblical truth is often presented so poorly — with such bias and disregard for full counsel of God and the heart of God for the oppressed — that it becomes NON-truth, as I explained in this post last Sunday.

        Meadows refuses to state his position on divorce for abuse.
        He asserts that “no one needs me to make a pronouncement on divorce” — but that is untrue and a complete denial of what we said in the threads on his posts.

        We asked him to state his position on divorce. We expressly made this request more than once. We passionately indicated that we needed him to state his position on divorce. But he CHOSE to ignore our need, and he CHOSE to slam us into the concrete, to reduce us to a less-than-human status by condescendingly stating “no one needs me to state my position.” Are we less than ‘no-one’ Pastor Meadows? What would you class us as then, if we are not even anyone? Are we vermin? Fungi? Bacteria? Viruses? Flotsam and jetsam?

        And lastly, Ps Meadows, victim-survivors are sick and tired of being patronized with the velvet-glove brush off like this: “I thank God for all the comments He has sent me through you.”

        We don’t want you to thank God for our comments unless you also listen to our comments with an open heart and mind. In fact, your ‘thanking God’ makes us want to vomit. It is the typical supercilious, haughty, holier-than-thou response of a stiff-necked Pharisee (cf Luke 18:11).

      • Forrest

        This ‘addendum’ is nothing more that man’s pride. They have appearance of being closed to the truth. Thankfully there were some participants who got it. The bit that tells us where they really stand is this:

        “Wisdom and my innocence require brevity in this statement of clarification.”

        “My innocence”… Wow!

      • good pick-up, Forrest! I hadn’t noticed that!

      • Brenda R

        Barbara, My comfort in this entire situation is that this man is a teacher and it is an absolute that teachers will be judged more harshly for what they have taught and the error they have trained others to go. The second thing is what you said prior to this: these things have been reblogged to other sites, to more people and more people are seeing the light and coming out of the fog.

        On another blog I suggest that we “could” write letters in lieu of responses online. I almost said the “sh” word. There are lists of shelters in the surrounding area of this church that it could be profitable to alert to the situation. I doubt letters to the church would do much good, but I am open to others opinions. I am willing to do my part and have a 3 day weekend coming up with not much planned. I have a printer and stamps.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Which is really no answer at all, just a good game of dodge ball. They just proved who they really are over there. Hungry for power and control over the women they hate.

      • Annie

        IamMyBeloved’s, I don’t think they mind women who support them.

        I find his responses to date unsatisfactory. He says God hates oppression and injustice, and may God free all the abused from their abusers. Yet he won’t be part of that freeing. As they say, “There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.” To know that your teaching is being used to promote, condone and further abuse must cause some drastic and urgent response. Either he will not admit it that it causes abuse because he doesn’t believe the reports from evangelical churches all over the world, or he doesn’t agree with their interpretation of Scripture, or, God forbid, he may not care that it is problematic.

        Notwithstanding abusive people in the pews, most “neutral”, naive bystanders who are his supporters probably fall in the middle category. They hold on to their traditions because it is too challenging and frightening to abandon old beliefs and adopt new ones. They get frightened off by statements such as the one Meadows used in the latest post, “male chauvinism and egalitarian feminism alike pervert the plain sense of the Scriptures” – this is a statement made without any support. To pair “egalitarian” with “feminism” immediately tarnishes the notion of egalitarianism, and if you weren’t one, you certainly wouldn’t want to be one, not if you didn’t want to be associated with that evil thing, feminism, and not if you didn’t want to pervert the plain sense of the Scriptures. The point here is not to promote egalitarianism, but to suggest that bystanders often don’t get on board due to their fears. It has nothing to do with trying to hold on to Biblical principles, since they haven’t even seriously rebutted any of the arguments based on Biblical understanding.

        “The abuse of truth is no reason for rejecting it.” It seems like he didn’t really get the gist of the so-called detractors. Nobody is calling for a rejection of the truth. The problem is that the answers to some of the questions were not the truth, and reasons were given why we felt that way. Simply making new statements that don’t address what was raised is not listening with care and respect.

      • Barnabasintraining

        The divorce question is both complex and controversial, even among very discerning Christians, and no one needs me to make a pronouncement about it.

        I somehow suspect that this would change radically should a victim come to him for counsel regarding her situation. I strongly suspect she would not be given the freedom to make her own choice — though she would be right to think so, the way this statement is worded — but would in fact find herself face to face with a man of very strong opinion who suddenly isn’t shy about saying so.

      • Jeff Crippen

        Barnabas – I agree. This is a pious-appearing way of saying “I refuse to say clearly that abuse is grounds for divorce.” And that means, as you say, that when it comes right down to it and a victim comes to him for help, she is not going to get help. She is going to be told to go back and submit.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        “The abuse of truth is no reason for rejecting it.” I felt what Meadows was saying here, was that he had brought us the truth, we had abused it and rejected his truth. But, who can figure these guys out.

        I agree, that they love women like Angela, who eat up their words like they were the words of Christ Himself. What women like that don’t know, is that the words of spiritual abusers go down like honey but turn bitter and poisonous, once they get into the depths of who you are.

        “They hold on to their traditions because it is too challenging and frightening to abandon old beliefs and adopt new ones.”

        OR it is because they have put themselves in the place of God, presume to know all truth, have become unteachable, and are quite content to remain in the place of their presumed power over the people. Anyone who will not bow to them or questions them and their teachings, they call names and belittle to try to shut them up and keep them in their small place in life. You can read all about it in the book, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by Johnson & Van Vonderen.

        I just keep picturing that final frame in Les Mis.

      • newish readers: we have a couple of posts about Les Mis:

        Les Miserables as a Picture of Redemption from Abuse

        Cry for Justice Chorus (set to the tune of “Do you Hear the People Sing?”)

    • Here is the link to Meadow’s final entry:
      Addenda Part 2: Clarification of a Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism.

      And yes, comments are closed to all four posts on the catechism now. I have saved them all to Evernote in case they take down the comments.

      • IamMyBeloved's

        Good work, Barb. Never would have thought of that myself. You are always on top of things.

  50. Nicola

    The reply from this pastor Meadows guy has convinced me that he very likely an abuser himself. It is so characteristic of an abuser’s complete denial there is anything wrong going on.

    For example:
    — failure to take responsibility for their harmful words or actions (he actually says that he, a pastor, doesn’t need to make a comment on divorce, when everyone reading this I think would agree that he is the very person who does need to make a judgement on such issues)

    — he chastises the readers for not accepting biblical truth and thus shifts all blame off himself onto his critics

    — he even denies any responsibility that it might be ‘poorly presented’ and because of that, or because people aren’t smart enough to understand the truth he speaks, his genius is misunderstood – isn’t that a pastor’s main job, to present and communicate the scripture clearly to a congregational of varying intelligences and spiritual condition?

    — he even gets in a sleight that divorce is a complex issue even for very ‘discerning Christians’ i.e the people who agree with him, not anyone who has criticised him.

    I could go on and on taking it apart. It just completely smacks of a denial and covert insults that one would receive from an abuser when there are people listening.

    I have followed this post and read almost every comment and I am now more convinced than ever that there is serious abuse going on in this church and most probably this man’s home, all justified by disgusting lies about God’s incredibly loving and protective instructions on how men have a responsibility to protect women, with their lives! Thank you to A Cry for Justice for exposing these people and doing it so forthrightly. You’ll never change the abusers in charge of congregations but some woman in his church might have read all of this and have a chance of escaping now with your help.

    God bless you ACFJ.

    • healingInHim

      “You’ll never change the abusers in charge of congregations but some woman in his church might have read all of this and have a chance of escaping now with your help.
      God bless you ACFJ.”
      AMEN!

    • Suzanne

      Nicola, I do so hope and pray you are correct about this, that some women in his congregation (perhaps even in Meadows home) will have a chance to escape their abuser.

  51. Brenda R

    Meadows says he ‘doesn’t’ need to make a judgement on divorce. 🙂

    In a way he’s right. I’m sure he would give as bad of opinion as everything else he’s written.

  52. Here is the post at Spiritual Sounding Board devoted solely to Meadow’s Addenda.
    http://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2014/07/16/ssb-readers-discuss-d-scott-meadows-a-christian-wifes-catechism-and-addendums/

  53. twbtc

    Readers,
    We wanted to let everyone know that the comments that stemmed from Meadow’s Catechism posted at Reformed Baptist Fellowship have all been removed. Yes, every single comment is gone — and there were close to 200 of them. Oh, the catechism is still there, but no comments.

    Hmmm…as Shakespeare’s Marcellus would say, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

    • Suzanne

      While despicable this is not at all surprising,

  54. ForMyDaughtersSake

    Maybe everyone else already knows this…but, you can’t find this article (A Christian Wife’s Marriage Catechism) anymore on that link.

    http://www.reformedbaptistfellowship.org/2014/07/08/a-christian-wifes-marriage-catechism/?paged=2

Trackbacks

  1. A Pastor is Challenged after Releasing a Disturbing and Potentially Dangerous Article Directed to Wives of “Difficult” Husbands | Spiritual Sounding Board

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