Monday, April 24, 2017

Headship is not going to go away.

The growing incidence of domestic violence by men has brought into sharp relief the question of whether the teaching of the major religions about headship is a bad thing- I mean a thoroughly bad thing.
 Most significantly,  there is increasing evidence in our day that drives people to say that religion is  poison and encourages violence with such things as suicide bombings inspired by the teachings of Islam.   .
The Believers dilemma  - My faith?
Believers have  to face the fact that revealed religious dogma can drive people to do strange things ; to prevent them from weighing up the real tensions in a situation and deal with them - to think . Believers have to accept that, within their congregations there are always those for whom the values system is a reason to justify anything they do and to not think deeply about what they do .

The unbelievers dilemma-- Your faith ?
“Non believers” have to realize that all of us have a faith of some sort and that that faith( whatever it is)  will drive some of our adherents to excuse their totally unacceptable violence on some dogmas of order and value in the words of your faith .  For eg Determinists don’t want to be held responsible for genocide movements in our generation even though the doctrines of that religion are clearly used by the major tyrants of last century .

The point – motivation

The point is then that religion is not poison,  but it is critical for motivating and its very dangerous. How do we limit the damage done by those in our own church?  Is the solution, as our confused leaders keep implying , for everyone to adopt a mild infection of the disease ?    Don’t become radical. Take everything in the values field half seriously.  Keep playing reactionary – it’s still a popular pastime

The growing problem of religion denial –a lack of motivation and direction is the result of such a policy.
eg: When the leadership are in a woosy mood  a bullying problem  can easily develop if the natural pushing pressure from below is not resisted from above. Like to make list of the cuurent examples where small but noisy people get the floor, These imbalances are not because of releigion but denial of ones religion or general self centredness ( not much help to anyone)

Surely the idea of "centre safe" ignores the power plant nature of religion – that if we take our religion only half seriously we teach apathy complacency and niceness – we teach lack of motivation as the lifestyle of reason . Worse , because reason has huge limits ( see Neiman) we could spend our days in cynicism and criticism of those who are not just like us ---flexible , adaptable and if the truth be really known highly  reactionary -  the myth that we act only when we reason things out is very real .
Have we just stumbled on the problem in the West? – we are sitting there like stunned mullets  As nature dictates[JM1] ,  if your mind in not engaged ( in how to live and discipline your hormones ) then your feelings will motivate you . We become the compliant community ready to be motivated by cleverly worded nuances --really clever ads  feelings . "I didn't think of that at the time " .
As the arrival of President Trump shows, we need sometime to think about this because just living on our feelings is only going to fill up our leadership positions with people who feel rather than use their brains : God may even be kind in allowing Trump to be there to remind us of this fact .
When full reason is missing. ( fairly normal)  
So lets come back to our feelings for a moment . Nothing more offends our feelings than someone taking away our freedom. ie  Slavery . yet Marriage is a form of slavery . So why in the world does everyone now want it ?
When feeings dominate over reason ,minority groupsand big noises ( .....u list them)  use subtle but quite unsound combinations of high feelings and overly simple moral principles of things like " equity" to get their own way . The denial by many modern intellectuals of the ineffectiveness of " reason alone" is staggering - the testimony  we experience of  wave after wave frrm the tsunamis such perfect storms create (Perfect Motivating Storms PMS)
 Clearly some choices we make are deep down combinations of motivation//thoughts feelings and faith ( incl trust of others) . Whether the complete rationalists want to accept it of not – most people have  a religion . If we relied completely on reason alone (rational thought) no one would get married . U fill out the details
The evidence 
To cut to the chase, has the concept of headship served the major religions of the world well overall or not. Before I try to answer that question,  I ask you to think of all the children in our Western jails  who lacked a strong father figure in their lives ; all the failed marriages and families you know where the father blames the mother for being too strong ( "my role is to mother_ - another presummed headship role)  . Where headship for one didn’t operate,  but fighting it out did - every single time ( even just as a preliminary)

How headship works

Headship doesn’t make sense if you want to assert the idea of complete freedom, but then,  as I said neither does marriage. Headship (not domination) works in helping resolve conflict which is the reason why we are told it is needed. Genesis 3:16 .   Not ideal but necessary.
The man ( or one mature person)  is responsible for making the final judgement after due consideration of all the parties.
We still have the idea of headship in all our institutions, SO why are we suddenly convinced we don’t need it in our families?
So many talk of evidence. The evidence is all before us. Most of our antecedents had happier marriages than our generation and they accepted headship.   It may not be useful to keep arguing  in the hope of proving anything,  because "man/someone in charge and marriage" is not a proposition that is entirely reasonable.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Yes headship logic can be used to abuse, but that’s no reason to not have any logic ;  Some will still want to throw the fire cracker of "my freedom and my rights" into the cauldron of crap that flows so freely around us . To do that around the kitchen table is to risk escalating the violence. Headship for a man implies accountability in the bedroom if not in the kitchen . Headship in the kitchen is a woman’s privilege.The concept is worth working with because it can work well .

Headship is not going to go away (just because it is abused ) because it works to help resolve tensions that can easily get out of anyone individuals control .
( And if you want to chase alternatives  fine – let us advise you of the time and cost ( should not be at our families expense ) it takes to test things and that previous generations have already tried lots of alternatives.

While we all struggle to understand violence this “ I am in charge “ justification in words is a least one connection that correlates with headship doctrines.  As for the popular pastime of solving other people’s problems, a man who hits his wife for no reason is harder to criticize on facebook than one who has a reason.

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Blogger journeymanj said...

There are even popular Christian theologians who can't bring themselves to believe in sound principle because they follow this simple behavioral determinism that a technology is inherently a bad idea .Where is Ellul when we really need him? Headship is not a thoroughly bad idea because we still assume it in lots of places. I don't how these simple minded hypocrites run meetings .
A good practice like headship doesn't have to be perfect . Infact the better the idea ( like motherhood) the more abuse seem to occur.
To hold the tension between a good idea and its bad use tests the intellectual patience of many simpletons.
Gen 3 says men will tend to dominate women and disengage from their children , as presumably their children will from them ;The idea of headship in is not to reinforce this terrible tendency but to moderate the impact of sin in BOTH males and females ( the desire for both to dominate)
Very clearly the very old book says male headship has really bad consequences but like democracy its the best way of resolving domestic tensions that has been tried so far ( not needed outside marriage)

3:27 PM  

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