Wednesday, July 26, 2006

When is a Doctrine a Fruedian Slip?

There is a major problem with the Evangelical world today. It's all fine and good to stick up for the Bible and to hang on to the truth of the tradition, but when we start to put our own temporal view in the way of love and the understanding of Salvation in Jesus Christ alone, we strat to make idols of pet doctrines. This is what has happened to the Christian Complementerian Coalition. They have gone off the deep end, led their by the extremist Episcapal Priest Bill Mouser, who enshrine's sex as "cosmic" and his own views as idenitical with the faith to a degree that disagreement with him results in loss of salvation.

Consider the table of contents to his forthcoming book about Sex in Scripture:

Mouser (Rvililian)CCC


1 The Beginning of the Story of Sex 1

Backdrop: Why God is Masculine 7

2 What Went Wrong with Sex and Everything Else 19

Backdrop: Man's Headship and Woman's "Desire" 24

3 God Builds Himself A Wife But It Doesn't Work Out 35

Backdrop: Are we like God or is He like us? 42

4 How Things Develop with Earthly Sex 45

5 The Climax of the Story 61

Backdrop: Marriage, the Great Mystery 69

Living the Great Mystery

Why Sexual Sin is Wrong

6 The Consummation of the Story 79

Backdrop: Sexuality is Fundamental to Christianity 93

Conclusion: 97

Why Sexuality is the Best Frame

Masculine Men in a Feminine Creation

Feminine Women and a Masculine God

Finally, It's Not About Us

Notice that he just throws away Galations 3:28 "there neither male nor female in Christ Jesus," Not to mention a vast aray of images in both Testaments where God is female, and asserts that God is male. God might seem male if one slectively takes certain veres and leaves certain other verses out. But he has to ignore this list to do that:

Deu 32:11 "As an eagle stirs up her nest, and hovers over her young, and spreads her wings, takes them up, and bears them on her wings.

Deu 32 :18 "Of the Rock that bore you, you were unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you." (that one may be hard to get, baring children--female image).

Job 38:8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb."

Job 38:29 "From whose womb did the ice come forth, and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven."

Isa 45 9-10 Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter. Does the clay say to the one who fashions it: What are you making, or Your work has no handles? Woe to anyone who says to a father: What are you begetting? or to a woman: With what are you in labour?

Isa 49:15 "Can a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. (comparing God's attitude toward Israel with a woman's attitude toward her children).

Isa 66:13 As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

Hosea 13:8 "I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs, and will tear open the covering of their heart";

Mat 23:37 and Luk 13:34 Jerusalem, "Jerusalem, the city that kills its prophets and stones those who are sent to it. How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing."

God transcends either gender. Gender is a matter of culture, sex is a matter of biology, and God is a product of neither. We can, however, learn a lot from the fact that God is compared with both mother and father. This sets the basis in equality; neither gender is set on top by imaging God.

God's attitude is compared to that of a mother as well as a father. God is not only fatherly, but also motherly. Moreover, the word used of God which is most often translated as "Lord" in the Old Testament, the word "El Shaddi," comes form the Hebrew Shodine which means "a woman's breast." God is mother-like as well as Father-like. That's because the divine is beyond your understanding. All we can do is relate God to things we do understand.

We can also see from the contents he sort of expalins everything in universe by means of sex.Even Freud was not that extreme.

Mouser goes on state in Preface:

This book is about sexuality in the fullest sense. It contains a story with characters, a plot, and a point. However, the characters are not merely individual men and women; they are, rather, masculinity and femininity themselves, both cosmic and earthly, divine and human, good and evil.

Apparently he has magnified gender roles, and sexuality to the status of Platonic forms. They are not just biological and cultural constructs they are "cosmic," they are now, for him, ontological and metaphysical norms.

This story follows the plot of Scripture. The overture is taken from Genesis where the key characters and themes are introduced. The development comes from the Old Testament, the climax from the Gospels, and the conclusion from John's Apocalypse. Each chapter begins with a "story" presentation of key historical events. The "backdrop" section which follows examines crucial doctrines and controversies pertinent to the topics of each chapter.

O sure,I remember all those verses about cosmic sex. We used to hide in the bathroom hamper with flash lights and National Geographic and titer about cosmic sex, and about Plato's notion of the One.

Mouser goes on:

Sexuality counts for much more than mere personal morality—whether one sleeps with Steve or Eve, or keeps or kills the baby. Rather, one's sexual framework determines the nature of one's God, one's view of ultimate meaning and purpose, and the nature of salvation, if any is needed.

Indeed! that is a very illuminating paragraph. Let's examine that first sentence. Sexuality counts for more than mere personal morality. Why would one began a discussion about the meaning of sex by linking it just to morality? I get the feeling that Mouser is ill at ease with the concept of sex, perhaps he considers it dirty, but then why would it be enshrined at the top f the metaphysical hierarchy if it was dirty? He does go on to say regardless of oreintation sexual framework determines one's God. So he doesn't even imagine that all have the same God. What kind of God do we get if our framework for sexuality excludes half the human race form any kind of importance and religates them to s serving role? Finally he connets the view of sex to even salvation, meaning and purose. So he's got all figured out, this is the go to guy for meaning and truth. So ready to sum it all up, so blind and unwilling to be self critical.

"The Bible provides what the world does not have: an authoritative and credible revelation of the origin and destiny of masculinity and femininity," he tells us. It does not! That is nothing more than an attempt to put his obession front and center. The Bible says nothing about the origin of masculinity or femininity. God never says in Genesis "be fruitful and multiply, and avoid gender confusion." I'm sure Mouser would the amazed to know that the days of Abraham men probably wore eye shadow and vailed their faces. I say this because the Burber blue men do so (as a practical measure against the desert). But masculine and feminine are concepts of culture and they evolve with culture. When Mouser sees the terms "male" and "female" he equates this with "masculine" and "feminine" and that's fine. But it is not the result of God giving commands about what is masculine, and that concept has certainly changed over time. The most manly men of the Elisabethian age dressed in a style we would find efeminate and they used perfume. Gender folkways are matters of culture they are not mandated in the Bible, this is part of elivating one's obsession to a cosmic level.

As part of the preface Mouser offers definitions, and this is where he uses his cosmic hieararchy to attack groups to his pet obessive doctrines.

Patriarchy: This term names a familial, social, political, and ecclesiastical ordering of human relationships in which "fathers rule." In other words, the responsibility for leadership, protection, provision, and governance is laid on the shoulders of men, particularly familial heads. This pattern of human relationships is pervasive in the Bible, and those who embrace or reject patriarchy acknowledge this. They disagree sharply about whether Biblical patriarchy is good or evil. The authors of this book confess that patriarchy is God's very good and original design for human relationships.

Of course he defines Patriacrch as good, but he also extends the divine ordience of Patriarchy to all of scoiety. One gets the notion that Mousers world would contian no secualr speace. Patriarchy and (his version) of divine mandate would be all encupassing. Mouser's world is a one possiblity thing with no room for disent or counter views. Then of course it's time to lambast his oppoents:

Feminism: The social and political theory that men and women are interchangeable and that no gender-based difference in role, privilege, or responsibility should be recognized or sustained by the state or society.

Of course with this definition we see the true phsychological fear against which Mouser struggles. Apparently he fears being reduced in status from "Mascluine" to some interchangeable state where he might be plugged in as feminine. In defining his major oppoents as those who peddle the interchangeability he is teling us his great fear. The fact of it is, of cousre, feminissm has nothing to do with this. He says nothing in his defition about freedom or eqaulity. So this is his idea of equality, equality is equalizing and equalizing is interchangeablity that would threaten his manhood. Those of us in the liberal camp are not so uncertain of our manhoods.

Complementarianism: This term names a body of doctrines and practices which holds that men are by God's creation and mandate responsible to lead the human race with the help, nurture, and counsel of women. The sexes are equal insofar as they equally bear the image of God. They are also equal in their respective spiritual worth. However, they are distinct in sexual nature and roles. Though marred by the sins of both men and women, the patriarchal and complementary relationship of the sexes is restored, not abolished, by the redemptive work of Christ.

Another "whoray for our side" sort of statment. Here we find the major aspect of complamentarian double talk. We are eual but some are more equal than others. You and I are equal, except my role is to lead and your role is to shut up and follow. So be equal and silent. The stench of hypocracy is stifeling. These little spirtual bullies who enshirine their obesscessions no the cosmic face of creation and yet deny veryone ealse the right to any sort of self expression. Here difference of gender inequality disguissed as equality is equated wtih the work of Christ and seen as part of the transformative power of God, thus making a mockery of the Gospel.

So at this point we are told God is male, which means female is the aline other. The universe is about sex at it's deepest ontological level, the whole point of being "saved" is to deepen the inequality and put men more firmly in charge. What fear must lurk in the heart of this poor obsessed preist.But wait, it gets more puzzelling.

Egalitarianism: This is a movement of religious feminists in the Church; the body of doctrines and practices which holds that men and women are not only equal in essence and spiritual worth, but that they are also interchangeable in function and roles.

So he is trying to make a douplicate defition for egalitarianism which lumps it in as feminism. Both, in his fear crazed mind, are about "interchangeablity" (his great fear, being exchanged for the feminine). Again, egalitariansm has nothing to do with "interchangeablity," but it is the enemy camp so of course he must make it a subset of feminism.

Egalitarians advocate female headship (ordination of women as pastors, elders, bishops), "mutual submission," and partnership without headship in marriage and ministry. Egalitarians view patriarchy as an antiquity to outgrow or as an evil to be overturned. Passages in the Scripture which support or endorse patriarchy are dismissed as "culturally relative" or are reinterpreted to have meanings unknown in previous centuries of the Church.

Of course that is a generalized satment which ignores a great deal of specialized treatment on particualr passages. While Mouser reels in horror at the loss of his manufactured doctrine of "headship" (a word never used in the Bible) he totally ignores the basic substance of egalitarianism, which is found in the literal defition of the word, equality! Egalitariansim is about equality between the sexes, not the kind of equality that says "you are and I are equal, except for you, so shut up and let me lead" but the kind of equality that really gives everyone a chance to do wthat God has called that person to do.

Now here's where it gets funcky:

Sex: From what has already been said here, it should be obvious that we use the term "sex" to name things far more diverse than what happens conjugally in a bedroom or in the back seat of a car in a darkened park. In modern discourse, the word sex has been evacuated of all meaning except the animal and exclusively biological senses of the term. We refuse to follow this course.

There is a spirutal dimension to sex, and a sexual relationship that is right with God is a relationship between three eneties, a man, a woman, and God. So far, so good. But wait:

What may be new for some readers is our contention that sex in its broadest meaning for humans is derivative of a fundamentally cosmic relationship – the relationship between the Creator and the created.

But this would mean placing a male in a role of a female in relation to God as metaphorically God assumes the husband's role (I presume he will draw upon a Catholic reading of Song of Songs). I thought he was so worried about being interchangeable? He seems to be allowing for a degree of interchangeablity, at least in a metaphorical and spiritaul sense.This seems to be a bit of convolution and hypocraocy. What is truely disturbing is the extent to which Mouser and the CCC are willing to play mind games and bully women in order to ensure that their pet doctrines go unoppossed. We see this form of Bullying in the following story related on the Badge of Honor board:

GR's story


I spent about three weeks posting to the Complementarian Christian Coalition forum before I was banned from participation. I joined the forum with the idea that I would agree with the group on basic Christian doctrine, but would differ somewhat regarding the issue of gender roles. In fair play to the people on that forum, it is their group for the purpose of discussing their particular viewpoint. However, I stated outright when joining that I tend toward the egalitarian side of the debate, and they let me on.

Within a week, it became obvious that they consider even moderate egalitarians to be raving feminists, heretics and, in the case of one lady, communist sympathizers. Throughout the discussion, there were various comments about my ignorance and lack of theological knowledge. I was accused of twisting scripture, and twisting the statements of the forum members. I was told I was selfish and should take up pole dancing. Then someone said this to me:

“Indeed, to portray the values, virtues, and blessings of male headship and female submission to it as evils comes very close to what Jesus describedas the unpardonable sin: to credit to the devil what is, in fact, the work of the Holy Spirit. It is here where I warn you again that your soul is in peril of irrevocable damnation. For your own sake, back up and rethink things, if you are still able.”

So they are willing to make this not only a matter of salvation but to disagree is to blasepheme the Holy Spirit! That is the ultiamte bully move. Of course any doctrien, including egaltarianism could make the same calim. If any women are truely called to pastor chruches than to say that they are wron to do so is deying the Holy Spirit and possibly opening one up to the unpradonable sin, depending upon the brazen nature of the calim. In othe words, if one says "women as pastors is the work of the devil" and it just happens to be work of God, then that person is committing the unpardonable sin. Any doctrine can make this calim. In fact it is nothing moer than a bully tactic.

What the public does't see is the charade behind the scenes where Mouser tries to play bully boy and control the content even on other boards, by theatening to sue them for disagreeing with him on doctrine! One can only marvel at the idotic sense of self improtance attached to such a move. The heavy handed moderation on Comprlamentarian boards and their fascistic and hypocritical interpritation of their rules, their start raving fear of anything to do with woemn and the secular all lead one to conclude that they have raised their pet peaves to the level of idolotry.

I have challenged Mouser to debate. So for he reuses. I think it can't be he's afraid? No, it must be that he feels he has nothing to gain by beating little old me. Still, one wonders


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J.L. Hinman said...

Hey, metarock, I'll discuss this with you, after I read the book. Are you planning to get it? I am, and I am planning to read it.

>>>Hi Donna. I am going to recieve a review copy fromt he publisher, or at least ask for one. I will read it.

I'm not sure that I will be able to defend Bill M.'s position, since I am not even sure I agree with all of it. I am interested in what he has to say, though.

>>>>what do you like about it?

What I have actually read of him is pretty sound, but you guys seem to twist it all around. He seems philosophical and poetic to me - kind of like Lewis and Tolkien in a way. In fact, a lot of his ideas are very Lewisian.

>>>>He says God is male. It never ceases to amaze me how hese comp guys can violate the asic doctirnes of Christaintiy and yet no one seems to care. O he reinds me of C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lews would never say that God was male. Though Lewis had his sexist side, I'm sure he would be drummed out of Mousers chruch immediately because he was basically liberal.

Anyone who drives you guys on the other side of the aisle so crazy can't be all bad, I say - tongue in cheek, of course.

>>>ahahahaha why is it "the other side?" why are you a comp? Why would you want to be part of group that says you were created to be second place?

Let's do it, okay? However, I don't think that I can handle an all-out egalitarian offensive. Just you and me?

>>>My challenge to Mouser still holds. I'm not letting him off the hook.

You will win easily, I am sure,

I will beat Mouser easily too.

but it might be fun if we don't shout and break things. I am a nobody, that's for sure. I will probably end up crying in a corner, I'm such a sissy. I have not studied logic and all that either, so this should be a piece of cake for you.

>>>>I am not going to debate you and I'm no going to try to "win" arguments with you. I would like to know your views, and I'm willing to discuss if you want to hear my views. But that will not take the place of debating Mouser.

I also get posts mixed up and sometimes I can't even figure out what I meant!

>>>>ahahhahaha I used to do that. that's why I started posting in blue font. That was on CARM,now they have that shaded text box or quotes of the other guy so I don't need the blue anymore.

It would be good, too, if no hate mail is generated? I have had some really bad experiences along those lines, as I am sure you have.

>>>why would you think I would do that? I was a bit aggressive in my challenge to Mouser, but he's a guy and he prodies himself on the holiness of being masculine, so I thought he would stand up to me and debate.

By hate mail I mean intense personal attacks, such as

"you are sick",

"you need help",

"you are crazy",

"God will judge between you and me",

"you are bitter",

"you are sick",

"you are ungodly",

"you are a hypocirte",

"I feel sorry for the people you work with",

and my personal favorite - "you act nice in person, but I'll bet that when no one is looking, you trip little children."

>>>I don't say stuff like that. People never look crticially at what is said. If you have seen my posts on message boards I never attack anything about a person that can't be changed.I might say "you are unread." I never say "you are stupid" (unless I'm really angry and the thing has gotten out of hand). But you can fix being unread, you can't fix being no good. SO don't say things to impliy that people are no good.

No phone calls, either. I have had that happen, too. No, I don't need to be called on the phone by women or pastors to try to "talk some sense into me." That is a severe invasion of my privacy (unless it's a friendly call to get to know one another in a non-judgmental way. I'm old and married, so it's not that kind of invitation.:)

>>>why would you think I would do that? I wouldn't even know what state to start in.

If we can keep it "nice" it may be mutually beneficial. We can keep the sarcasm to a minimum, and the veiled threats, and all that.

>>>sarcastic, moi? perish the thought? when have I ever been sarckie?

I think that you can do it. I have read some of your stuff, and you are very sharp. I think that I can do it. I would probably gain more from it than you, so it may not be worth your time arguing with some whacko woman out in Washington.

Washington state? Have you seen bigfoot? I'm not being sarcastic. I am really into bigfoot research too.

Let's say that the winner is the one who can reach 100 posts of 100 words or more, first. ;-)

God bless you, metarock, and I hope we can do this.
Donna L. Carlaw

>>>let's don't and say we did. But you are welcome to discuss anytime. I also have a message board.

Just follow the link on my blog.

I still want that debate with Mouser! He's a fellow Texan, so I thought he would stand right up and asnwer the challenge. He must have moved here form the north in the 70s.

J.L. Hinman said...

Can this be our little secret? I really would like to talk to a knowledgable egalitarian - maybe even one who can correctly spell "knowledgable".

5:34 PM

>>>did I mispell it? that's one of the few words I can spell.

J. said...

"Gender is a matter of culture, sex is a matter of biology, and God is a product of neither."

Eloquently stated. It's amazing to me Mouser continues to find publishers and readers for this kind of tripe. OTOH, it gives me hope as an aspiring author. Now I believe that ANYONE can publish!

believer333 said...

Can this be our little secret? I really would like to talk to a knowledgable egalitarian - maybe even one who can correctly spell "knowledgable"."

Hello Donna, I'll talk to you as I have time. But you will need to shorten your posts, get to the topic, and stay on it. My time is scarce.


Psalmist in TX said...

ICGS publishes their own materials. They're located in Waxahachie, Texas, which is where Bill Mouser's church is. "The story of sex in scripture" (if I remember the title correctly) may, or possibly may not, be essentially a self-published book. Nothing wrong with that (self-publishing, I mean).

But this makes me wonder, Meta, if you'll be able to get that review copy.

J.L. Hinman said...

Well J. thanks for your concrete concerns. I think we can safely assume he's self published.

Anonymous said...

>>By hate mail I mean intense personal attacks, such as : "you are sick", "you need help", "you are crazy", "God will judge between you and me", "you are bitter", "you are sick", "you are ungodly", "you are a hypocirte", "I feel sorry for the people you work with",
and my personal favorite - "you act nice in person, but I'll bet that when no one is looking, you trip little children." <<

For the record, Meta, Donna constantly says people say things like this to her but she takes them out of context and she twists what was actually said. In fact, just a quick reading of her posts will show how many times she, herself, calls other people horrible things and falsely accuses them and treats them uncharitably.

I can give you the exact reference where Donna says that someone accused her of tripping little children. Never happened.

I agree with you that it is highly unscriptural to say that God is male. I have made this same assertion concerning Bill Mouser's false teachings many times. Bill Mouser is NOT C.S. Lewis and you are very correct that C.S. Lewis would have been kicked out of Mouser's church and he would have been kicked off of the CCC list in no time flat. CS Lewis' writings are nothing like Mouser's writings. I am disturbed that the two were even equated in one of the comments made by Donna.

Anonymous said...

Boy oh boy oh boy. This is bazarre stuff. And this guy is a minister?? Something is amiss. Seriously off. I hope he will show up, but am not counting on it.

Anonymous said...

I think Bill has something in the wrong order in is outline of the book. Doesn't consumation come before climax?

Is his book really comparing the sex act to the creation act and the birth of Christ?

Has anyone read it yet?