I have just published a 7 part podcast series on Red Pill to BGRLearning.com. This is based upon my earlier 7 part series I wrote here on Biblicalgenderroles.com. I had a lot of feedback from readers about it and interest in me doing a podcast version of it so here it is!
You can click here to go to BGRLearning.com to subscribe and listen to this series and many other series as well.
Complementarianism is a counterfeit doctrine, an unbiblical compromise between the false doctrine of egalitarianism and the true doctrine of Biblical patriarchy. The sad truth is that in many ways’ complementarianism is more dangerous than egalitarianism, because complementarianism proports to uphold the biblical doctrines of male headship and woman’s submission where egalitarianism unequivocally denies these doctrines.
You have to look very close at the teachings of complementarianism and biblical patriarchy, like two bills, to really see the differences between the two teachings.
Origins of Complementarianism
Complementarianism was started as a reaction to the false teachings of egalitarianism. The term “Complementarian” was coined by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) in 1988.
According to John Piper, who was one of the council’s founding members, complementarianism was born out of an effort to address the error of “the negation of gender differences” by egalitarians.
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE), an egalitarian organization, lists these egalitarian principles on their website:
“We believe that women and men are equally created in God’s image and given equal authority and stewardship of God’s creation.
Patriarchy (male dominance) is not a biblical ideal but a result of sin.
Patriarchy is an abuse of power, taking from females what God has given them: their dignity, and freedom, their leadership, and often their very lives.
While the Bible reflects patriarchal culture, the Bible does not teach patriarchy in human relationships.
Christ’s redemptive work frees all people from patriarchy, calling women and men to share authority equally in service and leadership.
The unrestricted use of women’s gifts is integral to the work of the Holy Spirit and essential for the advancement of the gospel in the world.
Followers of Christ are to oppose injustice and patriarchal teachings and practices that marginalize and abuse females and males.”
So, as you can clearly see from the list of egalitarian doctrines above, egalitarianism was an all-out assault on the biblical practice and doctrines of patriarchy. Christian egalitarianism was simply a rebranding of feminism for Christian consumption.
While the CBE helped to organize and codify their doctrines in the late 80’s, these doctrines had already been spreading within churches long before that time and this is what prompted the formation of the CBMW.
The CBMW issued the famous “Danvers Statement” in 1987 which included the following key statements below in response to egalitarianism:
“Distinctions in masculine and feminine roles are ordained by God as part of the created order, and should find an echo in every human heart (Gen 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor 11:7-9; 1 Tim 2:12-14).
Adam’s headship in marriage was established by God before the Fall, and was not a result of sin (Gen 2:16-18, 21-24, 3:1-13; 1 Cor 11:7-9).
The Fall introduced distortions into the relationships between men and women (Gen 3:1-7, 12, 16).
In the home, the husband’s loving, humble headship tends to be replaced by domination or passivity; the wife’s intelligent, willing submission tends to be replaced by usurpation or servility.
In the church, sin inclines men toward a worldly love of power or an abdication of spiritual responsibility, and inclines women to resist limitations on their roles or to neglect the use of their gifts in appropriate ministries.”
So, if you look at the two statements above, it is very easy to see two primary differences between egalitarianism and complementarianism.
Egalitarianism completely denies the biblical concept of gender roles, while complementarianism appears to affirm it.
Egalitarianism completely denies the biblical concept of male headship while complementarianism appears to affirm it.
But while complementarianism proports to be the genuine article when it comes to the biblical view of gender roles, upon closer examination we will find that complementarianism is actually a counterfeit doctrine of biblical gender roles.
The Complementarian Abandonment of Patriarchy
Egalitarianism was not the only reason complementarianism was formed. In an article entitled “God Created Man Male and Female – What Does It Mean to Be Complementarian?”, John Piper explains that complementarianism was designed to take the “middle ground” between what he and other Christian leaders saw as “two kinds of errors” in the churches. The first error which we have already addressed was egalitarianism.
But then there was a second error that complementarianism was designed to address. And that error, from their point of view, was male domination of women in society, the church and the home. They believed the terms “traditional” and “patriarchy” were linked with male domination and “the history of abuses of women personally and systemically”. And it was because of this, that the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood decided that a new term must be coined to replace “traditional” and “patriarchy” in regard to the discussion of gender roles. So, they coined the term “complementarian”.
Complementarians Limit Male Headship to the Home and the Church
If you look closely at the Danvers Statement from the CBMW, you will notice that they only speak of “headship” in the home and “limitations” on women’s roles in the church. In other words, the Danvers Statement only recognizes male headship in the spheres of the home and the church but it does not recognize male headship in society.
“My convictions about the implications of manhood and womanhood for political life are nuanced and rooted in Scripture. They are also complex and controversial. So they don’t fit blogs well. But I’ll try. The gist is this:
I think that the Bible summons men to bear the burden of primary leadership, provision, and protection in the home (Ephesians 5:21–33) and in the church (1 Timothy 2:8–15). Add to this that these texts (and others, like Genesis 1–3) build their case not on the basis of culture (which changes) but on the basis of God’s design in creation (which does not change).
Therefore, I am not able to say that God only speaks to the role of men and women in home and church. If our roles are rooted in the way God created us as male and female, then these differences shape the way we live everywhere and all the time…
These and other teachings in Scripture incline me to believe that manhood and womanhood are not mere social constructs. They are rooted in God’s design for creation. They are meant to shape culture, not merely be shaped by culture…
And I certainly do not think all of my conclusions should be codified in law. It should not be illegal, in this fallen age, for a woman to be President of the United States. Christ does not implement his revealed will in this age with guns and fines. But all human government (rightly) enforces its laws with guns and fines. So law is not the way to deal with this issue. Christians should not crusade in this fallen age to pass laws to forbid women from the Presidency.”
As you can see from the statement above, complementarians while holding strong to the fact that male headship is God’s design for the home and the church, tend to get a lot more wishy-washy about male headship outside the home and the church.
Look at the way Piper couches his language as if he is sorry that it appears that God’s design might prohibit a woman from becoming President or Vice President. But then of course he quickly states that he does not believe God’s design of gender roles should be “codified in law”.
Complementarians Dismiss Patriarchy as a Cultural Rather than Biblical Concept
In the Numbers 30:3-5 we read the following:
Complementarians deny God’s design of the social classes of men, women and children and instead embrace the false humanist social classes of “adult” and “minor” that were invented by John Locke in the 17th century. They believe that once young women reach adulthood, they have the same autonomy as men to determine the course of their lives and that fathers have no right to override the decisions of their daughters once they reach the social class of “adult”.
Complementarians dismiss Numbers chapter 30 and its prescriptions regarding Patriarchal order with fathers being able to override their daughter’s life decisions and husbands being able to override their wife’s life decisions. They see the commands of Numbers 30 as well as other examples of Patriarchal order in the Old Testament as temporary and “cultural” and only specifically apply to the theocracy of Israel.
Complementarians Fail to See the Moral Law of God in the Civil Laws of Israel
Exodus 22:16-17 provides a good example of the blindness of complementarians to the moral law of God found in the civil laws of Israel.
Complementarians deny that the right given to a father in Exodus 22:16-17 to allow or refuse his daughter’s hand in marriage to a man was lasting moral law, but rather they teach that it was temporary civil law which was done away with in the New Covenant.
The reason their interpretation of this passage is flawed is because they fail to see that many civil laws in Israel also contained the moral law of God. In other words, many civil laws of Israel handled the punishment or reparations to be made for violating God’s moral law.
Below is a breakdown of the moral law and then civil reparations to be made for breaking God’s moral law in Exodus 22:16-17:
God’s Moral Law: “And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her”
God’s Civil Reparation for the theocracy of Israel: “he shall surely endow her to be his wife”
God’s Moral Law: “If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him”
God’s Civil Reparation for the theocracy of Israel: “he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins”
So, if we separate the moral law from the civil reparation for breaking that moral law, we can see there are two moral laws presented by God in Exodus 22:16-17.
The first moral law presented is that God does not allow sex outside of the covenant of marriage.
The second moral law we see in Exodus 22:16-17 is that of a father’s right to allow or refuse his daughter’s hand in marriage. When a man and woman have premarital sex, they have both sinned not just against God, but also against the woman’s father. The woman has sinned against her father by giving away that which was not hers to give and the man as well has sinned against her father by taking that which was not his to take.
Complementarians Teach That Male Domination Was A Result of the Fall
Complementarians actually agree with Egalitarians in their belief that male domination was a result of the fall. In his article “Manhood and Womanhood: Conflict and Confusion After the Fall” , John Piper wrote “And when sin has the upper hand in man, he will respond in like manner and with his strength subdue her, or rule over her”. And in another article entitled “Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 1“, Piper stated that a husband’s “headship is not a right to control” and a wife’s submission to her husband should not be “coerced” but that it must only be submission that is “free and willing”.
Complementarians and egalitarians say that the word “shall” in the phrase “he shall rule over thee” is not God’s command for husbands to rule over their wives, but rather God predicting that sin would cause men to dominate their wives.
But the complementarian position fails to take into account God’s command to Cain in Genesis 4:7:
The parallels between Genesis 3:16 and Genesis 4:7 cannot be denied. In both instances God commands that the person should rule over the other person who is trying to control them. In the case of Cain, God personifies his sin nature as a man that is trying to control Cain. But God commands that Cain should rule over that man. And in the same way God says in Genesis 3:16 because of the corruption sin wives would try to control their husbands, but that husbands must rule over their wives.
Complementarianism Teaches a Limited form of Submission for Women
“submission is not slavish or coerced or cowering. That’s not the way Christ wants the church to respond to his leadership and protection and provision. He wants the submission of the church to be free and willing and glad and refining and strengthening”
Piper uses three key words which he says are the opposite of Biblical submission and those are “slavish”, “coerced” and “cowering”. So, let’s look at each one.
Biblically speaking, wives and slaves are both owned by masters (Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 22:22, 1 Peter 3:6). Both slaves and wives are told to obey their masters in everything except if they are told to sin (Ephesians 5:24). Wives are told that their bodies are for their husband’s sexual satisfaction and use (Proverbs 5:18-19, Romans 1:27). A wife’s submission to her husband is to be even greater than that of slave to their master because her husband has the right to the sexual use of her body for his satisfaction.
So, if a wife’s submission to her husband as her master is to be greater than that of the typical master/slave relationship what is the difference between a wife and slave? The answer is found in the Biblical requirements for husbands in regard to the treatment of their wives.
A husband is required to love his wife as his own body, and to provide for her needs as he would his own body (Ephesians 5:28-29). He is to be willing to lay down his life to save his wife (Ephesians 5::25). A husband is responsible for the spiritual discipline and teaching of his wife. A husband is required to give his wife sexual access to his body (1 Corinthians 7:3-5). A husband is required to allow his wife to enjoy the fruit of her labors (Proverbs 31:31). None of these things were required of masters toward their slaves.
The Danvers Statement says a woman’s submission is not about “servility” and Piper said in the statement we are examining now that is not “slavish”. And both of those statements are completely wrong. Biblically speaking a wife’s submission to her husband is to surpass “slavish” or “servile” submission because unlike slaves, God has created wives to serve their husbands with their lives (1 Corinthians 11:9).
A Wife’s Submission Can Be in Response to Coercion
Piper’s assertion that a woman’s submission is to not come as a result of coercion from her husband is directly refuted by Christ’s statement to his churches in Revelation 3:19:
While it is true that Christ wants his church to freely submit to him, the fact is that Christ will receive submission from his church based on him using coercive means just as God used coercive means with his wife Israel to compel her submission.
And since we know that a husband is to model his love for his wife off Christ’s love for his church and that the wife is to model her submission toward her husband off the church’s submission to Christ – we can rightly say that complementarianism again is absolutely wrong on this. A wife’s submission can Biblically be coerced from her husband.
A Wife’s Submission is to be Cowering
Piper’s assertion that a wife’s submission does not involve cowering is again directly refuted by the Bible in 1 Peter 3:1-2:
Women should absolutely fear their husbands in both the sense of showing reverence toward them and also fearing discipline if they disobey. Cowering is a Biblical aspect of a woman’s submission to her husband.
No one would argue that there were not abuses committed against women both by individual husbands as well as systematically by various cultures. And even in post-feminist cultures like America today, some men still abuse their wives. But that does not mean we throw out the baby with the bathwater. We can as Bible believing Christians uphold God’s order of patriarchy and at the same time call out the abuses of patriarchy where they occur both at the individual family level as well as the larger cultural systematic level.
In regard to the term “traditional” as it relates to gender roles. We can uphold traditional and cultural values that do not conflict with the Word of God and especially those which match with the Bible and at the same time set aside some traditional values our culture may have that conflict with the Word of God.
Hebrews 9:1-10 shows us that only the civil prescriptions for punishments or reparations for breaking God’s moral law as well as the ceremonial laws are set aside in the New Covenant. But the moral law of God remains. That means we are still under the moral law found in both the Old and New Testaments.
And contrary to what complementarians and egalitarians teach, it is not a sin for a husband to dominate (rule over, control) his wife, but rather it is a sin for him NOT to dominate his wife.
In the complementarian view, a husband may only lead his wife by example or suggestions to her, but he may never lead her by commanding her or seeking to control her through coercive methods. And it is precisely because of the denial that male domination of woman is God’s command, that complementarianism teaches a hollow and weak form of male headship and female submission in the home.
When it comes to the doctrines of the Bible concerning gender roles, there is no “middle ground” and no room for compromise with egalitarianism. Complementarianism is a counterfeit doctrine of male headship and female submission.
Yesterday, on his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh said “I actually think that we’re trending toward secession… There cannot be a peaceful coexistence of two completely different theories of life, theories of government, theories of how we manage our affairs. We can’t be in this dire a conflict without something giving somewhere along the way.”
Last week I was contacted by a blogger and podcaster named YogiOabs. YogiOabs was exposed to the poisonous influences of feminism on our culture while he was still an unbeliever studying to be a doctor in Portland, Oregon. He then went on to become an entrepreneur and got involved with MGTOW and started a YouTube channel advocating for the MGTOW position because of his horrible experiences with women both in his education and in his dating life. He saw that because of feminism, most American and Western women had no respect, not for men and not for themselves.
What follows is an excerpt from YogiOabs’ testimony on his About page on Yogoabs.com where he shares how he left Leftism and then MGTOW and became a Christian and a firm believer in Biblical Patriarchy.
“I spoke about my new conviction in the MGTOW movement on YouTube and quickly gained 50,000 subscribers. Throughout the process, my awareness of the pain and discriminiation caused by feminism grew. I connected with men’s rights activists and other creators and realized there was a whole nother world out there. My ideas resonated with women too, and they started asking for more female-focused content. My YouTube channel was censored by YouTube shortly afterwards for hate speech, and there was also a lot of drama because I turned against my audience and criticized the MGTOW movement. That’s not smart for the YouTUbe algorithm, which I didn’t care about in the slightest at the time. My channel basically died, so I started a new channel where I aimed to be professional and focus on educating people on the harms of feminism. And that’s where I spend most of my time on YogiOabs today.
2019, The Year God Found Me
Jesus has known me ever since I was born in Pennsylvania. But in 2019, it seems as if he started pressing the gas on his efforts to find me in 2019. I started noticing Christian music on the radio, and strangely, it was the only music I liked! I started getting comments from Christians on my videos, and then I fell in love with one! I started going to church, and I really liked it. I started reading the Bible, and I opened my mind more. But I was not ready to accept Jesus into my life.
I grew up really logical and analytical. If I became Christian, I would be turning my back on everything that I stood for. I never associated Christianity with free-thinking or rationality, so it didn’t make sense. Yet, when I heard Christians speak in church or read the Bible, most of it did seem rational. Maybe I felt that way about Christianity because I was never taught a single Bible story that I could remember in public education. What a shame! I was taught that creationism was terrible and Christians were uneducated. Maybe this was its own religion. The religion of the secularists…
2020: The Year I Became Christian
This year, in the summer, I finally accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It might sound weird to some of you, but there’s a spiritual significance to saying it. In my early twenties, I liked yoga, meditation and Buddhism to a degree. That was my spirituality then. But now, my spirituality is understanding I’m one of God’s children. It’s understanding who Satan is and how he operates. And it’s understanding that my purpose is to do God’s work, with all the intellectual creativity he can give me.
I pray every single night, and I’m glad you’ve read this far. I’m excited to share more information with all of you, so don’t forget to get on my newsletter.”
I encourage you to read the rest of his testimony here.
My Interview with YogiOabs
YogiOabs reached out to me after finding my articles on domestic discipline. He invited me on his podcast yesterday morning to do an interview.
We actually covered a great deal of theological ground in the one hour I spent with him. He asked about my background, what I teach from the Bible about gender roles, my views on MGTOW and Red Pill, what I believed were Biblical definitions of masculinity and femininity, why I think men should not give up on marriage and how young people can go about finding a good Christian spouse. The last subject we talked about was domestic discipline and he and I both agreed that husbands are responsible being human instruments of sanctification in the lives of their wives and that God wants husbands to hold their wives accountable for their actions.
You can tell both in his testimony on his blog and on his YouTube channel that the Holy Spirit led Yogi through his Word ultimately to Christ. And now as newborn Christian, he is hungry to learn everything God says in his Word, especially about how he wants us to live including the doctrines of Biblical gender roles.
I am excited for this new journey in faith that Yogi has now begun. Many of his followers are still unbelievers and Yogi has a great opportunity to share the Gospel and the important truths of Biblical patriarchy and how both can positively affect Western culture.
I encourage all my readers to click on the YouTube link at the top of this article and listen to my interview with YogiOabs.
Evangelical Christians make up around 22 percent of the American population and over 80 percent of evangelical Christians voted for Trump in 2016. It would not be an understatement to say that evangelical Christians helped elect Donald Trump in his first election and they will be just as critical to electing him next week.
John Piper is one of the most respected evangelical pastors in America. He is the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist church in Minneapolis and the author of numerous Christian books. On October 22nd, he wrote an article entitled “Policies, Persons, and Paths to Ruin” where he outlined why he could not vote for either Trump or Biden.
I was going to write my own rebuttal of Piper’s views on the 2020 election as a fellow Baptist and evangelical but then I came across an excellent rebuttal of John Piper’s article by a close friend of his – Wayne Grudem.
In my article “Piper vs Grudem on Trump vs Biden” over on BiblicistReport.com, I give excerpts from both of these respected evangelical theologians. And Wayne Grudem does an excellent job of rebutting the position taken by Piper. This is a must read for evangelical Christians before next week’s election. You can read the full article here.
In this third article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at a few 19th century judicial decisions on the lawfulness of husbands practicing domestic discipline toward their wives. We will start with two cases which upheld the right of a husband to practice corporal chastisement on his wife and then move to a decision which overturned these precedents.
1834 – Calvin Bradley vs The State of Mississippi
In this case of a husband being charged with battery against his wife the Supreme Court of Mississippi referenced the ancient common law to affirm the right of “domestic discipline” by husbands:
“It is true, according to the old law, the husband might give his wife moderate correction, because he is answerable for her misbehaviour; hence it was thought reasonable, to intrust him, with a power, necessary to restrain the indiscretions of one, for whose conduct he was to be made responsible
I believe it was a case before Mr. Justice Raymond, when the same doctrine was recognised, with proper limitations and restrictions, well suited to the condition and feelings of those, who might think proper to use a whip or rattan, no bigger than my thumb, in order to inforce the salutary restraints of domestic discipline.
Family broils and dissentions cannot be investigated before the tribunals of the country… let the husband be permitted to exercise the right of moderate chastisement… without being subjected to vexatious prosecutions, resulting in the mutual discredit and shame of all parties concerned. Judgment affirmed.”
In the case of Calvin Bradley vs The State, the court affirmed what it called “the ancient common law” right of a husband to use “moderate chastisement” with his wife referring to this practice as “domestic discipline”. It also respected the limits of civil government interfering in the affairs of the family and stated husbands should not be subjected to prosecutions for exercising their right to domestic discipline as long as they did so in moderation.
1864 – State Of North Carolina vs Jesse Black
In this case the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled as follows:
“A husband is responsible for the acts of his wife, and he is required to govern his household, and for that purpose the law permits him to use towards his wife such a degree of force as is necessary to control an unruly temper and make her behave herself; and unless some permanent injury be inflicted, or there be an excess of violence, or such a degree of cruelty as shows that it is inflicted to gratify his own bad passions, the law will not invade the domestic forum or go behind the curtain.”
As in previous cases, the court affirmed that the husband’s right to chastise his wife flows from his responsibility to govern all in his household and his wife is part of his household. The court affirmed that it is improper for the civil government to “invade the domestic forum”.
In this decision, the court did recognize limits on the husband’s power to use corporal punishment to chastise his wife. They said that a husband’s chastisement of his wife should not cause any “permanent injury” or be excessively violent and that he should not discipline his wife for his own sadistic pleasure. The court’s view in this case aligns with the Scriptural command to husbands in Ephesians 5:28-29 that they are to care for and protect their wife’s bodies as they would their own.
1871 – The Year American Courts Invaded the Domestic Forum
It was in 1871, that a state court did what others had warned against decades earlier. The court invaded the domestic forum, the sphere of authority given to men as the heads of their households. It not only overturned decades of American court precedent, but invalidated ancient common law rights of husbands upon which those precedents were built.
In 1871 the case of Fulgham V. State, the Alabama Supreme court ruled as follows:
“Since then, however, learning, with its humanizing influences, has made great progress, and morals and religion have made some progress with it. Therefore, a rod which may be drawn through the wedding ring is not now deemed necessary to teach the wife her duty and subjection to the husband. The husband is therefore not justified or allowed by law to use such a weapon, or any other, for her moderate correction. The wife is not to be considered as the husband’s slave. And the privilege, ancient though it be, to beat her with a stick, to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor, or to inflict upon her like indignities, is not now acknowledged by our law”
Two key words stand out in the first sentence and those words are “humanizing” and “progress”.
What does it mean to “humanize” someone? And to what “progress” were they referring? To understand these concepts, we have to compare and contrast the social classes of the post enlightenment age with those that came before it.
When God created mankind, he ordained three core social classes and those were men, women and children. After sin entered the world, he allowed for a fourth social class of slaves (both male and female) because of poverty and war.
Humanists rejected these four social class structures and instead sought to bring about a new model of society that had only two social classes which we know today as “adults” and “children”. The abolitionist humanists first targeted the slave class for elimination. Then some female abolitionists broke off and organized the first womens rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.
When they talked about “humanizing” people, they were talking about making women and slaves equal with free men. In other words, they were seeking to eliminate the social classes of men, women and slaves and replace those classes with one new social class, that of a “human” or “adult” while leaving the child class intact.
This is why today if any adult is seen has having less rights than another adult, it is said that the person with less rights is being “dehumanized”.
The ultimate goal of humanists of the late 19th century was to build an “internationalist” or what we call today “globalist” society. No men, no women, no slaves, no rich, no poor, no Christians, no Muslims, no Jews, no Americans, no Mexicans, no British.
And it is this march toward a one world society with no nations, no religions, no genders, no rich and no poor that humanists refer to as “progress”. And this is why leftists today refer to themselves as “progressives”.
Humanists knew that their master plan would take decades and perhaps more than a century to bring about. And they knew they had to do it in small incremental pieces. This is why if you notice in this ruling, the court still acknowledged that a wife had a duty to be in subjection to her husband. It would have been too much for American society to accept all at once that a husband could not use corporal punishment on his wife and that a wife did not have a duty to obey her husband.
The court was simply taking away a primary means of him enforcing that subjection, his ability to use corporal chastisement on his wife. And by reducing the ability of husbands to enforce their rule over their wives, women were given more power.
In other words, taking away a husband’s right to use corporal discipline upon his wife was one of the first steps in dismantling patriarchy.
The court falsely equated a man using moderate correction with a rod to him having a right “to pull her hair, choke her, spit in her face or kick her about the floor”. This is what leftists do, they use extremes and abuses of authority, or this case chastisement, to get rid of all chastisement and in essence to get rid of an authority’s ability to chastise.
While Tennessee was the first state to outlaw “wife beating” in 1850, the vast majority of states did not do so until after this ruling in the 1870s.
But even though the courts and state legislatures had invaded the domestic forum by the late 19th century, local law enforcement officials rarely enforced these laws. In other words, most local police did not feel right about invading the domestic forum even though state laws and court decisions would allow it.
It would not be until more than a century after the first laws denying husbands’ rights to use corporal punishment on their wives, that a new “Domestic Violence” movement would arise in the early 1970s. It was then that new domestic violence laws were passed and edicts came down from state and local governments forcing police to invade the domestic forum.
We have shown here that early 19th century jurisprudence respected ancient common laws giving husbands the right to use corporal punishment as part of domestic discipline with their wives.
The courts showed great deference to the domestic forum, recognizing it was not right for civil authorities to intervene in domestic affairs, except under the gravest of circumstances, as husbands were to have supremacy in the affairs of their homes.
Later courts, following humanist philosophies, broke this sacred rule and launched a full-scale government invasion of the domestic forum with the attack on corporal punishment of wives being only one of the first battles in this invasion.
In this second article in our series on domestic discipline, we will be looking at the 19th century suffragette (feminist) view of domestic discipline. To do this we will look at two primary sources. The first is the Declaration of Sentiments which was issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York.
The second source we will be looking at is a book entitled “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861”, written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan Brownell Anthony and Matilda Joslyn Gage in 1881. This book is also a valuable resource in understanding the historical view of domestic discipline. Less than 20 years before this book was published, state courts in America were still upholding a man’s right to use corporal punishment with his wife. It was only in the 1870s that courts began striking down this common law right and later states would begin enacting laws against it.
The Declaration of Sentiments
The Declaration of Independence was America declaring its independence from England and the Declaration of Sentiments was women declaring their independence from men. Below is a portion of the Declaration of Sentiments issued from the first woman’s rights conference in 1848:
“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes, with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master – the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.”
As Bible believing Christians, we can and should recognize the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments for what it was and still is today. A declaration of war on God’s institution of patriarchy. And the sad truth is, that more than 170 years later that war has been mostly won by feminists. Those who still hold to God’s design of patriarchy have been forced into hiding, with their only option to fight a spiritual guerrilla warfare against those who seek to eradicate the last pockets of resistance to the reigning humanist regimes.
“In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband”
The common laws of the land in this case were strongly aligned with the Word of God as seen in Titus 2:4-5:
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, OBEDIENT to their own HUSBANDS, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
In fact, we can rightly say that the Declaration of Sentiments complaint against women being compelled by common law to be obedient to their husbands was blasphemy against the Word of God.
The Husband is “to all intents and purposes, her master”
Again, the Scriptures are crystal clear on this point calling women to regard their husband’s as their earthly lords (their masters) in 1 Peter 3:5-6:
“For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.”
The Greek word used in 1 Peter 3:6 is “kurios” which means master. It is used in reference to kings, governors, slave masters, husbands and to God himself in the Bible. All of these masters were authorities instituted by God over different spheres, but God is the LORD and master of all. The Hebrew equivalent of the Greek kurios is “baal” which means “owner, lord, master”.
In Deuteronomy 22:22 we see the following example showing the husband’s ownership over his wife:
“If a man be found lying with a woman married [‘baal’ used as verb] to an husband [‘baal’ used as noun] , then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”
The passage above demonstrates that under God’s law a married woman is an owned woman, and her owner is her husband.
The Husbands power “to administer chastisement”
The power to chastise is a critical element of authority. If a person can tell others what to do, but they have no means of enforcing what they have commanded then they really are not an authority. And this is why the early woman’s rights movement targeted the common law recognition of the husband’s right to chastise his wife. If they could remove his power to chastise her, they knew they were effectively removing his authority over her.
History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861
The women who wrote “History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861” lived in the era when wife spanking was still widely practiced and culturally accepted so their perspective is valuable in the historical sense, even with their moral position on the rights of women and husbands chastising their wives being completely unbiblical and wrong.
In pages 88-89 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“In those early days a husband’s supremacy was often enforced in the rural districts by corporeal chastisement, and it was considered by most people as quite right and proper – as much so as the correction of refractory children in like manner…The laws made it his privilege – and the Bible, as interpreted, made it is his duty.”
If you go to the average Christian today in the average Christian church, even most conservative evangelical churches, and you started talking about domestic discipline they would have no clue what you are talking about. I know if you would have mentioned it to me 7 or 8 years ago, I would have been one of those people with a blank look. And if you mentioned “wife spanking” they would look at you like you are crazy. I know I would have.
But I am happy to have been challenged on this subject. Because it caused me to really have to research this out. I already showed in my first article in this series on domestic discipline, “The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline”, that the Bible fully supports two important concepts.
First it supports the concept of corporal punishment for both children and adults. Secondly, it supports husband’s chastening their wives as we see God chastening his wife Israel in the Old Testament and Christ chastening his wife, the church, in the New Testament.
But then we come to the historical side of this. Before the 20th century, most Christians believed according the Bible that husbands had a right and duty to chasten their wives using corporal punishment. The common laws of the land supported this right. And except for the left-wing feminists of the 19th century, Christian women fully accepted this too.
Chastisement Was Seen as Good for A Wife’s Moral Development
On page 599 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“By the common law of England, the spirit of which has been but too faithfully incorporated into our statute law, a husband has a right to whip his wife with a rod not larger than his thumb, to shut her up in a room, and administer whatever moderate chastisement he may deem necessary to insure obedience to his wishes, and for her healthful moral development! He can forbid all persons harboring or trusting her on his account. He can deprive her of all social intercourse with her nearest and dearest friends. If by great economy she accumulates a small sum, which for future need she deposit, little by little, in a savings bank, the husband has a right to draw it out, at his option, to use it as he may see fit.”
A husband chastising his wife was seen as a healthy and moral thing for a marriage. But his powers of chastisement were not limited just to corporal punishment. But he could also literally ground his wife as a parent grounds their child and send her to her room. This was the normal accepted practice under common law.
Domestic Discipline Outlawed in the Late 19th Century
On page 792 the History of Woman Suffrage: 1848-1861 states:
“Wife-beating is still so common, even in America, that a number of States have of late introduced bills especially directed to the punishment of the wife-beater. Great surprise is frequently shown by these men when arrested. “Is she not my wife” is cried in tones proving the brutal husband had been trained to consider this relationship a sufficient justification for any abuse.”
“Chastisement” did not have enough sting to it. In fact, even in the late 19th century, the word “chastisement” in America was seen as a positive word. So then feminists went from speaking about husbands chastising their wives to calling men “wife-beaters”. That had a much better ring to it. And they declared that a husband chastising his wife in any form was “abuse”.
Now to be sure, there were some men who took their right to chastise their wives too far causing serious or permanent injuries to their wives. And this of course was the case throughout the history of mankind and was by no means unique to America. But the exact same thing could also be said for parents, whether they were fathers or mothers who chastised their children, that some abused their God given authority to administer corporal chastisement.
But that fact that some husbands abused their power to exercise corporal chastisement did not give civil governments the right to remove this God given power from husbands. What they should have done was deal with those extreme cases on a case by case basis.
In this second article we have shown that the early feminists declared war on Biblical patriarchy from the very beginning of their movement in 1848. They utterly rejected God’s design of male headship over women.
These early feminists or “suffragettes”, knew they had to play on the emotions of the American people to win their cause. And they did exactly that. They found the most extreme and outlandish cases of abuse they could find to bring before courts and state legislators to prove that all men were potential abusers or “wife-beaters” and the only way to protect women from the abuses of men was to completely strip men of their power of corporal chastisement over their wives.
But we also learned something else in this article. Something that husbands and wives of today needed to see. This idea of a husband using corporal punishment to chastise his wife is not some recently invented behavior by some far-right Christians. It is not just some kinky BDSM thing. But rather, before the late 19th century it was the protected law of the land and Christians believed husbands had a Biblical right and duty to exercise corporal chastisement on their wives for the good of their wife’s moral development and the health of their marriages.
What is the Biblical view of domestic discipline (aka wife-spanking)? What were cultural views of wife spanking in America before the modern era? These are two different questions that we will be answering in this new series.
There are many behaviors and teachings that were the norm from ancient civilizations to just before the modern age that we as Bible believing Christians would disagree with. I have written on my own disagreements with some of the teachings and practices of the early church fathers, the reformers and even traditions of my own church upbringing in Independent Fundamental Baptist churches.
In other words, I would be the first to say just because something was taught or practiced in past eras does not make it moral or right. On the other hand, just because our modern culture thinks something is moral or immoral does not make it so. The question then becomes how can we determine the morality of a given belief or practice?
Jesus Christ answered this question of how we can determine the morality of a belief or practice when he said in Matthew 4:4 “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God“.
And the Apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 2:13 “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe”.
The Word that God gave to the Prophets before Christ, the Word that Christ himself spoke and the Word of God given to the Apostles after Christ collectively form the Scriptures. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
The Scriptures then are what we are to build our beliefs and practices upon. However, does that mean history has no value? Of course not. We can learn from past civilizations and compare their behavior to moral standards found in the Word of God. We can then see how some past cultural practices which align with the teachings of the Bible helped to keep those cultures strong. And we can also see how past cultural practices which violated Biblical principles or commands ultimately led to the weakening and downfall of those earlier civilizations.
In this first article we will demonstrate how the practice of domestic discipline aligns perfectly with Biblical principles and commands regarding marriage. And then after that we will spend several articles looking at cultural views of domestic discipline in America before the modern age.
The Biblical Case for Domestic Discipline
Throughout the Bible, God pictures his relationship with us in one of two ways. As individuals God pictures his relationship to us as father to his children. But he pictures his relationship to his people as a group as that of a husband and wife.
In Isaiah 54:5 God said to Israel “For thy Maker is thine HUSBAND; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called”. And he consistently referred to the nation of Israel as his wife. When Israel was unfaithful to him, God stated in Jeremiah 3:20 “Surely as a WIFE treacherously departeth from her HUSBAND, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord”.
In Deuteronomy 8:3-5 God speaks of his humbling and chastening of his wife, the nation of Israel:
“And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God CHASTENETH thee.”
So, God shows us that a husband chastens his wife as he would his child. So how does God say a child is to be chastened in the following passages:
“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”
Proverbs 23:13 (KJV)
“Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”
Proverbs 19:18 (KJV)
And now let’s move from the Old Testament to New Testament.
In the Gospel of John we read the following account of Jesus Christ:
“13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables”
John 2:13-15 (KJV)
Jesus Christ showed that he had absolutely no problem with the Old Testament commands and practices regarding corporal (physical) punishment, aka beating someone with a whip or rod as a form of punishment.
Later in the New Testament, in Ephesians 5:25 the Bible states “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”. Most churches today stop at verse 25 and bastardize the Scriptural command to say God wants husbands to “give themselves up for their wife’s happiness”. This of course plays right into the false doctrine of feminism which so infects the churches today.
It is absolutely true at times that a husband must sacrifice himself for his wife. But his sacrifice is not for her happiness, but rather his sacrifice is for her holiness. See the full passage from Ephesians 5:25-27 that most churches today ignore:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
The Scriptures above are clear. Husbands are to model their love for their wives by how Christ demonstrates his love for his church. That means husbands are to wash their wives spiritual spots and wrinkles with the Word of God.
In Revelation 3:19 we see that this washing involves a husband rebuking and chastening his wife:
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
In the Old Testament, we read in Deuteronomy 8:5 that God said he chastened his wife, the nation of Israel, “as a man chasteneth his son”. And God tells parents to use corporal punishment on their children in Proverbs 19:18 & Proverbs 23:13.
In the New Testament, we read in Ephesians 5:25 that husbands are to love their wives “even as Christ also loved the church” and Christ says of his churches in Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent”.
The case could not be more clear that the practice of a man using corporal punishment on his wife, also known as wife-spanking or domestic discipline, very much aligns with the teachings of the Bible. A man using corporal punishment on his wife images God’s behavior as a husband to his wife, the people of God.
Because of the wicked post-feminist and humanist society we now live in, I must always give this warning when writing on the subject of a husband using corporal punishment to chasten his wife.
First, let me be clear that God’s law no more requires a husband to get his wife’s consent to chasten her than he does a parent to get their child’s consent to chasten to them.
But Jesus Christ also told us as Christians to be “wise as serpents” in Matthew 10:16. This means that we need to be careful in the exercise of our rights as husbands.
Applying this principle of being wise as serpents to domestic discipline means you first need to educate your wife on the Biblical command for husbands to chasten their wives as God chastens his. And only after your wife fully accepts this as part of the Christian faith, and by extension Christian marriage, and consents to you incorporating this into your marriage should you attempt to do this.
If you attempt to do this with a wife who rejects the principle of Christian domestic discipline, you could land in jail.
If you have a wife who rejects the Biblical allowance for a husband to use corporal punishment to chasten his wife, or even if she rejects all forms of chastening, I would refer you to my article “7 Ways To Discipline You Wife“. That article will teach you how to use non-physical means to fulfill your Biblical obligation as a husband to chasten your wife.
So apparently there has been a rumor going around on reddit and other places that says I, Larry Solomon (aka BGR), am actually Pastor Steven Anderson. Pastor Steven Anderson is the pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona. He also founded the New Independent Fundamental Baptist movement in 2017.
Do Pastor Anderson and I have many things in common? Yes. But we also have significant differences in our teachings as well.
Beliefs Steven Anderson and I have in Common
What follows are several similarities between my teachings and beliefs and those of Pastor Steven Anderson.
1 – We agree on the most important doctrine in the Bible
Pastor Steve Anderson and I both believe salvation is by faith alone, through Christ alone.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Romans 10:9 (KJV)
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
Acts 4:12 (KJV)
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV)
2 – We agree on the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy
The second most important thing Pastor Anderson and I have in common is that we both believe the Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God and we are to live our lives by it:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”
2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”
Matthew 4:4 (KJV)
3 – We both are Independent Fundamental Baptists (IFBs)
A third thing Pastor Anderson and I have in common is that we both come from IFB churches.
My parents raised me in IFB churches for most of my life. And as an adult I attended and raised my children in IFB churches. I attended and graduated from an IFB Christian school. Some of my class mates in high school went on to become IFB pastors or IFB missionaries.
4 – We agree on Biblical gender roles
Pastor Steven Anderson is one of the few preachers out there that is actually still preaching the neglected doctrines of Biblical gender roles.
In a sermon he preached on March 22, 2015, entitled “Women Working in Light of the Bible”, Pastor Anderson made the following statements which very much align with my teachings based on the Biblical doctrines concerning gender roles:
“The main thing that I want to preach about this morning is the subject of women working outside the home, and the husband not providing and being the breadwinner of the home, but rather both husband and wife working. This has become the norm in our society today. It’s not biblical. It’s not God’s will. It’s not something that is the standard that the word of God says…
What the Bible teaches is that it’s man’s responsibility to provide for his him, and to provide for they of his own house, and that the woman’s job is to be a keeper at home, to be good, to be obedient to her husband, and to raise the children and guide the house and keep the house. I’ll submit to you that that is a full-time job.”
I have said from the beginning of establishing this blog back in 2014, that God had called me to speak on a particular area where I saw a great gap in churches today. That gap exists even within many IFB churches today. And that gap is regarding the teaching of Biblical gender roles.
Most churches today have abandoned the basic Biblical doctrine that marriage was created by God to be a picture of the relationship between God and his people Israel in the Old Testament and between Christ and his church in the New Testament. We find this picture presented to us in the Scriptures below:
“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church
For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
Ephesians 5:22-33 (KJV)
The Scriptures above tell us that it is “for this cause”, the cause of picturing the relationship of God to his people, of Christ to his Church, that we as men and women are to seek out marriage.
In marriage, men are to picture God’s love through his leadership, provision, protection, teaching and discipline of his people. And conversely, women are to depend upon the leadership, teaching, provision and protection of their husbands and submit to and reverence their husbands as the people of God are to do these things toward God.
Certainly, God places within us the drive for human companionship, sexual pleasure and the drive to have children as well and those are some of the other purposes for which God created marriage. But we must never loose sight of the primary purpose for which God created marriage, and that was to picture the relationship between himself and his people.
The sad truth is that most churches today teach an abridged and bastardized version of what the Scriptures state about marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33 as well as many other passages. If they teach anything from the passage above, it is only to tell men that they are to “give themselves up” for and “cherish” their wives. They of course falsely interpret this as husbands needing to live to make their wives happy and worship the ground their wives walk on.
How many churches today teach that wives are to submit to their husbands “as unto the Lord”?
How many churches today teach “the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church”?
How many churches today teach “as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing”?
How many churches today teach wives to “reverence” their husbands?
The sad answer to all these questions above is very few. But Pastor Anderson is one of the few left still preaching these Biblical doctrines concerning gender roles.
5 – We agree that LGBTQ behavior is wicked and an abomination before God
Like Pastor Anderson, I too believe that the behaviors of LGBTQ persons are wicked and an abomination before God. The Scriptures are clear on this point:
“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”
Leviticus 18:22 (KJV)
“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”
Deuteronomy 22:5 (KJV)
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
Romans 1:26-27 (KJV)
Pastor Anderson and I also have in common that we both reject Dispensationalism and believe in a post tribulation rapture and we also both reject Calvinism.
On the political front we both are avid Second Amendment advocates.
So yes, Pastor Steven Anderson and I have a lot in common, probably more than most people. But we also have several major doctrinal disagreements.
Disagreements I Have with Steve Anderson
What follows are several disagreements I have with Steven Anderson what set me apart from him.
1 – I am not KJV Only and Steven Anderson is
The 1611 King James Bible was actually preceded by 9 English translations of the Bible before it. Those earlier editions were the Wycliffe Bible (1382-1395), the Tyndale Bible (1523), the Coverdale’s Bible (1535), the Matthew’s Bible (1537), the Taverner’s Bible (1539), the Great Bible (1539), the Geneva Bible (1560), the Bishop’s Bible (1568) and Douay-Rheims (1610).
In addition to that, there were several revisions of the KJV and one of most commonly used today is the 1873 Scrivener edition.
When Steven Anderson and I both state that we believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, we are basing that belief on different versions of the Bible. My belief is that the Bible is inerrant in its original writings in the Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic languages. While no two ancient manuscripts of the Bible agree word for word, I believe that by taking the sum total of those ancient manuscripts that we can arrive at the complete Word of God. And no doctrine of the Bible is lost based on the differences between these ancient manuscripts.
The position of Steven Anderson and those hold the “KJV Only” position is that the 1873 Scrivener edition of the KJV Bible is the inerrant and preserved Word of God by which all other translations whether in English or any other language before or after this edition must be judged as accurate. They even believe that if the KJV has wording not found in any ancient manuscript (majority or minority texts), that God providentially wanted it to be there.
In contrast with Steven Anderson, I hold the “KJV Preference” position. I quote from the KJV the majority of the time on my blog because I admire its literal translation and its historical value as a world-renowned version of the Bible. But I also use the NASB from time to time because it is the most literal modern translation of the Bible in English and sometimes it is actually more literal to the original texts of the Bible than the KJV.
To those outside the Biblicist community of Christians, this might seem like a silly difference. But I have seen many IFB churches split into different churches based on this KJV Only issue.
2 – The IFB church I attend is NOT part of the Steven Anderson’s New IFB church movement
IFB churches originated in the late 19th and early 20th century as a reaction to modernist views which had infiltrated many churches, including some Baptist churches in America. It was also a reaction to the overreach of Baptist conventions like the Northern and Southern Baptist conventions.
This is where the term “Independent Fundamental Baptist” came from. “Independent” meaning a church not part of a convention (i.e. Southern Baptist Convention). “Fundamental” as in a church that teaches the fundamentals of the faith such as the Trinity, salvation in Christ alone by faith alone, the inerrancy of the Bible, the reality of miracles and a belief in a literal 6-day creation account. Historically, IFBs have also been some of the strongest adherents to Biblical gender roles. And finally Baptist, in holding to the historic Baptist beliefs of believers baptism by immersion, the autonomy of the local church, the priesthood of the believer, communion and baptism being the two ordinances of the church, only two church officers those of pastor and deacon and membership in the church being only those who have been made public professions faith and have received baptism by immersion.
Another core tenant of the IFB movement was an utter rejection of all forms of ecumenicalism and that is why until the last decade or so you would never see any IFB church doing joint ministries with any church except another IFB church.
KJV Onlyism was also a core tenant held by most IFB churches.
Many IFB churches also had added some additional rules not found in the Bible including prohibitions against using play cards, attending movie theaters, mixed bathing (going swimming with members of opposite), women wearing pants or shorts, smoking, drinking alcohol and gambling. When rock and roll music came out, the IFB churches added prohibitions against their members listening to any music with a “rock beat”.
As of 2020, there are an estimated 6000 IFB churches in America.
The IFB churches I grew up in, as well as the IFB high school I attend, had all these rules.
As a teenager in my IFB Christian school, I had a great love of studying and discussing the Scriptures. My history teacher once said to someone who asked about me- “I predict that Larry is going to be either a pastor, a programmer or a politician”. He was referring to the passion he saw in me for the subjects of theology, computer programming and history. In the end I chose the programming route, but I was able to teach Sunday school in IFB churches over the years and then I was able to start this ministry 6 years ago to further use my God-given gifts for the kingdom of God. So, thanks to God and his providence, I have been able to pursue all three God given passions the Lord has laid on my heart since I was a young man.
But while I greatly admired the IFB legacy of a zeal for living by the Bible and its adherence to the fundamentals of the Christian faith, I came to reject some of the more traditional IFB beliefs which I found to be lacking in Scriptural support.
I started having some of these differences with my IFB upbringing as early as my late teens, while many others I came to in my early to mid-20s. Some I did not come to till much later in life well into my 30s.
I came to reject the IFB traditional rules against using play cards, attending movie theaters, mixed bathing (going swimming with members of opposite), women wearing pants or shorts, smoking, drinking alcohol, gambling and listening to music with rock beat. I found that all these rules lacked clear Scriptural support. And the biggest change for me was coming to reject KJV Onlyism after an extensive study I did on the history of the making of the Bible when I was in my early 20s.
Eventually I knew I had to leave the IFB church I attended and move to one that was closer to my position on these issues and I found that in the IFB church I have now attended for more than a decade. I still have some differences with my current Pastor, but far less than I would with some of these other IFB churches.
Just this last Sunday, my Pastor was telling me before the service that he found an old sermon that a previous pastor of our church had preached many decades ago against play cards. He actually did a whole series against playing cards! We both laughed.
My pastor and I agree that many of these older IFB rules are what Colossians 2:22 refers to as “the commandments and doctrines of men” rather than the commandments and doctrines of God.
When I first came out with my differences on these positions more than 20 years ago, some of my IFB friends called me “liberal” even though I still strongly believed in the fundamentals of the faith and Baptist church practices. Eventually though, during those same two decades, many of my IFB friends, as well as their churches, changed their positions on some or all of these issues.
And that brings us to Pastor Steven Anderson. Pastor Anderson did not agree with these moves away from traditional IFB rules of “holy living” and especially the move away from KJV Onlyism and this prompted him to create his “New IFB” church movement in 2017.
In 2020, there are about 30 IFB churches that have joined his movement.
3 – I don’t believe the government must have the death penalty for homosexuals, Steven Anderson does
Steven Anderson has said in so many words on more than one occasion that he would like to see gays put to death. I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he means the government doing it, and not Christians running in the streets randomly killing gays. He bases that belief on the following Old Testament passage:
“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them”.
Leviticus 20:13 (KJV)
When we look at the Old Testament, we must be careful to separate the moral law from the civil penalties imposed for breaking God’s law under the theocracy of Israel which God instituted. The New Testament church is not a physical nation, but rather a spiritual nation made up of believers from all physical nations of the world. The church has no civil authority to execute punishments like these imposed for the theocracy of Israel.
So no, the United States government is not Biblically obliged to execute homosexuals as Steven Anderson believes. But there is a difference between executing homosexuals, and approving of their behavior as the American government now does.
The Scriptures tell us the role of all civil governments:
“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well”.
1 Peter 2:13-14 (KJV)
All civil governments have a God ordained duty to condemn behavior which God condemns in his Word. God condemns activities like prostitution, premarital sex, incest, adultery, men having sexual relations with men and transgenderism. Therefore, the civil government by the command of God has an obligation to punish these “evildoers”.
The punishments of course are not defined for any civil government outside the theocracy of Israel which no longer exists, therefore the punishments are left by God to the discretion of the civil authorities.
Someone might ask “Ok, so Leviticus 20:13 does not mean all civil governments for all time must execute men who have sex with other men. But does it allow civil governments to do this if they wanted to?” The answer to that question is YES. Now to the humanists (Christian or atheist) reading this, they may see this as a distinction without a difference. But it is a very big difference between me and Steven Anderson. He believes the government is compelled to execute men who have sex with other men, while I believe the civil government is only compelled to condemn this action and may punish this behavior in other non-lethal ways.
4 – Steven Anderson and I would strongly disagree on Biblical sexology
If the people spreading rumors that I was Steve Anderson had really done their homework, and simply searched for “Steven Anderson” in the search bar of my blog, they would have found an article I wrote way back in 2015 refuting Steven Anderson’s position on what the Bible says about lust. The article is entitled “What is the Lust of the Eyes in I John 2:16?”. I had it slated for migrating over to my new blog BiblicalSexology.com, but I will leave it here for a while longer although I have turned off the comments for it.
I teach that Matthew 5:28’s prohibition against a man looking on a woman “to lust after her” can only be understood by the Biblical definition of lust. The Biblical definition of lust is given to us in Romans 7:7 when the Apostle Paul states “for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet”. After being told that lust is covetousness and a violation of the 10th commandment, we must then look to the 10th commandment. In Exodus 20:17 the Bible states “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s”.
So, this leads us to the following conclusions regarding lust. If lust was merely desire of any kind, then all real-estate transactions would be sinful. You don’t buy someone’s house without first finding it desirable, and then going through the process to purchase it.
What Exodus 20:17 teaches us is that covetousness (aka lust) is when we desire to use or take something or someone in an unlawful manner. In the context of sexual lust, that would mean a man desiring to entice a woman into having sexual relations with him outside of marriage.
Lust is not merely a man finding a woman sexually desirable. It is not a man enjoying the view of a woman’s body or even him having sexual fantasies about her. Lust is not normal heterosexual desire.
It is only when we desire to entice someone into having sexual relations outside of marriage that we have committed the Biblical sin of lust in the sexual sense of the word.
Also, Steven Anderson and I would disagree on the subject of Biblical polygamy. He does not see it as allowable for the New Testament age and I do.
For more on these topics regarding Biblical Sexology, please go to my new site BiblicalSexology.com. And if you want to discuss these topics on sexuality, I would ask that you comment over on that blog on the relevant topics which you can easily find right on the home page of that site.
I am not Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona.
Anderson would call me a “KJV denier” for not being KJV Only.
Anderson would call me a “worldly man” because I play Texas Holdem with my friends and family, because I love movies and have a massive DVD and Blu-ray collection of sci-fi, horror movies and action films. Because I let my daughter wear all kinds of pants and shorts and because I let my daughter go “mixed bathing” (aka swimming at beaches).
Anderson would also consider me an “ecumenical” because I associate online with other conservative Bible believing Christians of all denominations who embrace the Biblical doctrines of gender roles. Pentecostals, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics – Oh my!
And if he ever read my views on BiblicalSexology.com he would deny that I am even a Christian, let alone an IFB Christian.
So no, I am not Pastor Steven Anderson. Nor would I encourage any of my children, family or friends to join his church or any of the new IFB churches.
Last week when celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary, Candace Cameron Bure, with her husband’s approval, posted what was meant to be a fun and light hearted picture of her husband cupping her fully clothed breast. And right after she posted it, the Christian modesty mob came for her. The sight of a married man cupping his wife’s clothed breast was just too much for them to bear.
If you have read her writings for women and compared them with mine you will know that I am definitely to the right of Candace in many areas including her views of submission and careerism among women.
But I will give credit where credit is due. Candace may not be where she needs to be on these subjects, but she is FAR closer to the target than most of the Christian female authors and bloggers today.
And I love the statement she made in response to those who criticized her posting the picture of her husband cupping her breast:
“He can touch me anytime he wants, and I hope he does. This is what a healthy, good marriage and relationship is all about”.