Revolting Attitudes Towards Abused Wives From a Southern Baptist Seminary Student – Southern Baptists Don’t Make Marriage Sound Appealing / Christian Singles: Dump the Equally Yoked Teaching

Revolting Attitudes Towards Abused Wives From a Southern Baptist Seminary Student – Southern Baptists Don’t Make Marriage Sound Appealing / Christian Singles: Dump the Equally Yoked Teaching

Please consider that if you found this blog post from someone else sharing it on Twitter or Facebook, that the person (especially if a Christian) may not necessarily agree with all my statements and opinions in this post! They might only agree with portions of this message.


Earlier today, Christian Janeway (whom I follow on Twitter) re-tweeted someone else’s post about this guy’s post on Facebook, and awhile after that, Amy Smith (WatchKeep on Twitter) also shared screen caps of this guy’s Facebook posts.

You can see the guy’s post here (mobile Facebook page): (Link): Wife Beating

Here is the link to the regular (non mobile) version: (Link): Wife Beating

This “wife beating” post is in a group called “Friends of Biblical Counseling.”

I have warned readers of my blog before to stay away from Biblical Counseling (sometimes called “Nouthetic Counseling”) in a previous post, when I was giving Christian singles reading this blog this message:

(Link):  Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages

I think the screen name of guy who posted this is named ‘Corriell Savannah Brotherwood,’ and his Facebook bio says he studies theology at SBTS (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary).

God help us all, or any abused woman this joker may counsel, should he become a pastor or counselor.

Wiki description of SBTS:

 The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville, Kentucky, is the oldest of the six seminaries affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention.

This Brotherwood individual states in his post that he does not believe that a husband hitting his wife is sin, nor does he think the Bible permits an abused wife to divorce her husband.

The Facebook post I referenced above (link again) excerpts a book from the 1980s

(“… from Paul G. Hiebert and Frances F. Hiebert, eds., Case Studies in Missions (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1987), 57–58”)

-about missionaries in a foreign country who are approached by a woman who was physically beaten by her pastor husband, named Trombo, because she left their daughter alone for a while while she went to buy a new dress (the daughter got into a box of rat poison in the mother’s absence).

The pastor husband, Trombo, was so irate over this, he beat his wife. The wife ran to the Christian missionaries for help.

Eventually, the entire scenario was handed over to “the Pastor’s Disciplinary Committee of the Zion Churches of the South Pacific Islands.” This group was conflicted and waffled on what to do, if anything.

Here is  Corriell Savannah Brotherwood’s comments on this matter (from his Facebook post):

Ok, I am dead serious, I do not think that abuse is grounds for divorce based on the context of 1 Peter 3:1-7 it seems that suffering abuse is part of the christian life and that would apply to marriage. I do not think that all that is called abuse today is sinful behavior.

I think our ideas on this matter seem to be more informed by the world than the bible or church history (for example physically disciplining ones wife is normative in most cultures through out most of history).

I think the US legal system does a horrible job of handling domestic violence by creating criminal records that handicap couples abilities to be fruitful and does nothing to prevent domestic violence.

I think the male abuser female victim model is a great evil pushed on the church by psychology.

I think there is a rise in female aggregation in domestic violence in the US. I think the never hit a girl advice is dumb and unbiblical.

All that to ask, how do we minister to people in domestic violent relationships???

I am not looking for any of the errors mentioned above as advice. I want biblical counsel to confront sin and called to repentance and examples of how you have done this.

look this is not an attempt to advocate or justify hitting women.

I just want better ways to deal with DV than “man abuser, women victim, leave him” like “sinner v sinner “yes she hit you in selfish anger and that was wrong but you used your words to cut at her by calling her sinful names and that is wrong. now both of you are going to live this older couple in our church for a month and the will show you how to handle conflict biblically.”

In the comments under this Facebook post, Corriell Savannah Brotherwood made these remarks to others who left him responses:

thanks again but I think it is wrong to call something sin that the bible does not call sin, hitting is not sin. while it is the sin in ones heart that often leads one to hit that does not have to be the case nor am i sure it is the case in the example giving

More:

note in my research on this topic I found that some rabbis taught that there was such a thing as educational beatings and non-educational beatings the former was ok the latter was forbidden

I have read enough about the topic of domestic violence to say this Brotherwood guy is part of the problem – he helps to perpetuate Christian spousal abuse by maintaining the myth that divorce for Christians is always sin or forbidden, even in cases of violence.

Brotherwood is extremely ignorant of the dynamics of domestic abuse.

Brotherwood asks a time or two for specific Bible verses that condemn one adult hitting another. He maintains that hitting another person is “not a sin.”

I don’t recall the Bible stating specifically that a person viewing pornography, robbing a bank, stealing a car, or pedophilia are sins, and yet, I think a case can be made that those actions are prohibited, based on general biblical principles – such as loving your neighbor as yourself, or doing unto others as you’d have done unto you.

I mean really, if you owned a bank, would you want someone robbing it? No.

If you were a woman, would you really want to be hit, or stay married to an abuser? No.

If you were a child, would you appreciate being raped by someone else? No, no, no to all those things.

I find it odd how this person appeals to Jewish rabbis about domestic violence. I thought, as a Christian that Brotherwood (assuming this person is a Christian), that his primary or maybe only consideration would be to investigate what Jesus of Nazareth would likely think about a husband hitting his wife?

Brotherwood’s comment about rabbis, and how he says some of them apparently approved of domestic abuse, at least in some cases, or for some purposes, reminds me of how frequently I have seen Islamic imams say that there are legitimate causes for a husband to sometimes beat his wife.

As in these example (off site links – just Google “imam wife beating” and you will find a million more such pages):

(Link):  Top imam says beating wives is the only way to control them

(Link):   Pakistani men can beat wives ‘lightly,’ Islamic council says

(Link):   Muslim leader’s wife-beating tips provoke outrage

Now, why on earth would a person studying Christian theology at a Christian seminary think it okay to look for guidance or approve on wife beating via Jewish rabbis who sound a lot like Islamic imams too?

Regarding this comment by Brotherwood:

(for example physically disciplining ones wife is normative in most cultures through out most of history).

Something being normative for a culture or for a time period does not necessarily make it correct or moral. I hope that was not what Brotherwood was alluding to or suggesting.

Some of the ancient cultures the God of the Old Testament condemned practiced child sacrifice, some by burning the babies alive (see this link (off site) for more information about that – note I do not always agree with all other views expressed on that site).

Would Brotherwood argue that it is morally acceptable for adults today in the USA to burn children alive, whether as sacrifices to deities, or for some other reason? Probably not.

So why would he argue that because husbands beating wives in some eras or cultures was normative it is therefore supposedly acceptable or moral for American husbands in the year 2016 to do so? It does not follow.

Brotherwood said,

thanks again but I think it is wrong to call something sin that the bible does not call sin, hitting is not sin.

Yes, using violence against someone else, outside of the context of practicing authority by secular authorities to keep societal order (such as police officers or soldiers in time of war), is considered sin by the Bible.

Would Brentwood be fine with me slapping him or punching him? Probably not. By his reasoning, though, I could say he has no biblical grounds to object, since according to his interpretation, the Bible does not forbid women from slapping or punching men.

As I stated above, hitting someone else is in violation of the Golden Rule, and it is not treating one’s neighbor as one wishes to be treated.

The Bible does not specifically tell me that me sticking Brentwood’s hand into a meat-grinder and pulverizing his hand is a sin. Would that lack of specificity in the Bible about sticking hands into meat-grinders make it ethical and permissible for me to turn Brotherwood’s hand to ground-meat, by churning it in a meat-grinder?

I cannot figure out these Christians who insist on seeing a verse spell out specifically what they can and cannot do, when Paul himself made comments such as these:

One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. (Romans 14:5)

 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23)

Even the Bible itself says you won’t be able to find God spelling out every single scenario you may face in life, nor listing every conceivable sin or type of sin that may happen. But Brotherwood wants to see a BCV (Book, Chapter, Verse) that spells out in one sentence, in black and white, “Thus saith the Lord: a husband shall not physically assault his wife.” Unbelieverable, and a very naive approach to the Bible.

Brotherwood said:

I think the male abuser female victim model is a great evil pushed on the church by psychology.

It’s not a “great evil” – it’s a reality. A lot of wives are in fact abused by their husbands.

Brotherwood said:

I do not think that abuse is grounds for divorce based on the context of 1 Peter 3:1-7 it seems that suffering abuse is part of the christian life and that would apply to marriage.

I know that Southern Baptists are officially “gender complementarians.” They approved of the Danvers Statement, which asks wives to “graciously submit” to their husbands. I would assume that Brotherwood is also a gender complementarian.

The Bible (Link): does not prohibit divorce (and see the (Link): follow up post to that one) in cases of physical or other types of abuse (which may include verbal, financial, and social abuse).

The Bible nowhere teaches that suffering is to be a part of marriage and must be endured.

The Bible does not teach that God wants Christians to suffer, or that he does not care about their happiness.  (I have addressed this topic in one or two posts in the past: no where does the Bible state that God does not want us to be happy, or that the purpose of marriage is to ‘make people holy, not happy.’ These are assumptions that some Christians bring to the text, it is not what the text says.)

I find it funny when some complementarians notice the declining marriage rates in American society and complain about it, but then they write these hideous posts, as Brotherwood does, telling women if they do marry an abuser, what they have to look forward to is more abuse and no support from the church.

Complementarians and Southern Baptists, by way of their teachings and attitudes, do not make marriage sound appealing.

They are telling me, a single woman, that should I marry, and my husband turns out to be abusive, a pedophile, or some other kind of loser or pervert, that they forbid me from divorcing him.

Considering such awful teachings about marriage and the treatment of women, why on earth would I want to marry? I would rather stay single.

I’d rather marry a kind-hearted atheist who treats me with respect rather than an abusive, gender complementarian Southern Baptist man.

Complementarians and Southern Baptists are not giving single women such as myself an incentive to marry – certainly not an incentive to marry Southern Baptist men – with such attitudes and teachings.

I have zippo, zero, no desire to marry a man who feels he is my “head,” my boss, is in authority over me, gets final tie-breaking votes in major decisions, who thinks beating me physically (or verbally) is not a sin and is his right.

I’d rather stay single or marry a decent Non-Christian who views me as his equal, not as his whipping boy.

Adults today, especially women, are delaying marriage or not marrying at all, but I can tell you one reason of several some are avoiding it: attitudes such as Brotherwood’s.

Why would any Christian woman want to get married (especially to a male believers in gender complementarianism), knowing that if her spouse turns abusive, that she will be told she must stay with him, can never leave him, and must put up with the abuse indefinitely?

Why would she want to marry a Christian man, knowing that if he turns abusive, and she turns to a Southern Baptist preacher for help (especially in leaving or divorcing the abuser), she will instead by shamed or scolded and instructed to go back and stay?

I cannot see how any of these teachings or views make marriage sound appealing.

All of this male headship nonsense sounds like great reasons to NOT marry, or for a Christian single woman to marry outside the faith.

Regarding this comment by Brotherwood:

I want biblical counsel to confront sin and called to repentance and examples of how you have done this.

He is making a mistake by looking to “biblical” solutions to this.

As I’ve blogged on before, Christians – even conservative Christians who have a high view of Scriptures, who believe in the literal, plain reading of Scriptures, who are sola scriptura, often disagree with each other on what the Bible means, or disagree with one another on how some Biblical concept or another should be applied to real-life situations.

Christians used to use and interpret the Bible incorrectly on the slavery topic, for example (via CBE’s site) –

(Link):  Justifying Injustice with the Bible: Slavery

  • and yet Christians today are using the very same rationalizations, and similar to same he to practice sexism against women (under the ‘gender complementarian’ label).

You would would think that Christians of the past misinterpreting the Bible to uphold the slavery of blacks by whites (most Christians these days agree that such slavery is sin and evil), would be much more open to considering their interpretation of the Bible may be flawed; would be much more humble about things in this area; and would be much more cautious about wanting to find so-called “biblical” solutions to life’s problems.

But such is not the case.

So many Christians, such as Brotherwood, continue to alarmingly, arrogantly, and naively believe with certainty that they can, and are, interpreting the Bible correctly on such important and serious subjects, ones that can have various long- lasting or dangerous impacts on real life flesh and blood people, who come to them for help or advice.

I no longer filter all my life choices through the Bible, and my life has been made much easier as a result (I wrote of that in a (Link): previous post).

Regarding Brotherwood’s comment:

Ok, I am dead serious, I do not think that abuse is grounds for divorce based on the context of 1 Peter 3:1-7

See, when you chuck the Bible aside as your one and only or primarily prism through which you feel you MUST base all your life choices, whether or not some passage from 1 Peter may say about marriage and divorce becomes irrelevant.

There are advantages to having one foot outside of Christianity and not giving much of a fiddle sticks what “the Bible says” about when or how to divorce. You are free to make your life choices based on what YOUR needs are, and what suits you best. And who cares what Brotherwood thinks – why would you, if you are an adult woman, give two cents what this guy thinks about you or your life? Why would you allow this yea-hoo to dictate your life choices to you?

I write blogs posts like this one to vent, and hopefully, maybe a post like this can help some Christian woman out there who is stuck in a horrible marriage realize she does not have to listen to the Brotherwoods of the world.

I also write posts like these to say, “Whew, I am glad I left that behind and no longer practice that or believe in it.”

It’s also another example of how some aspects of Christianity is so very sexist. There is really something wrong with a man, when he thinks the Bible or God is accepting of a woman having to stay trapped in a marriage where she is being verbally or physically abused.

If this Brotherwood guy ever become a pastor or a counselor, I beg anyone out there, especially women, do NOT go to this guy for advice or counseling.

Brotherwood said,

All that to ask, how do we minister to people in domestic violent relationships???

Whatever you do, do NOT tell them to see Brotherwood, or guys like him, for assistance, counseling, or input.

Why not? Because a guy like Brotherwood will not offer a practical solution: he will only tell them things that will keep them stuck in an abusive marriage (such as: submit more to your abusive spouse; pray for the abuser; never divorce the abuser).

Minister to people in abusive marriages by letting them know that divorce is in fact an option, that you or your church will provide them the funds to help them relocate, or put them up in an apartment or hotel for awhile, if they decide to go that route.

Maybe give them the phone number to a domestic violence shelter in their area.

Tell people in abusive relationships to read books such as:

“Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft ((Link): read sample chapters on Google books)

No More Christian Nice Girl: When Just Being Nice–Instead of Good–Hurts You, Your Family, and Your Friends ((Link): read sample chapters on Google books)

I am just absolutely appalled and dumbfounded that a guy who apparently identifies as Christian, whose Facebook bio says he is a seminary student, would honestly believe that a husband hitting a wife is “not a sin.”

Christian single women: these are the sorts of entitled, sexist men you are liable to date and marry if you continue to insist on eliminating any and all Non-Christian men from your dating pool.

If you marry a complementarian, sexist- pig Christian, and you decide you want out of that marriage, do not count on the church to help you, should you need help.

Supposing your abusive husband is the ‘breadwinner’ in the marriage, and you are unemployed – you would need the finances to be able to leave such a man. You’d need money to pay for gas, pay hotel or apartment fees, etc.

Most churches you go to will not fund you in this. They won’t even offer you emotional support, never mind financial support, because they have theological reasons as to why they oppose you divorcing your spouse.

Most Christians are programmed, as though they are robots, to tell abused Christian wives that the abuse is YOUR fault, you need to submit more, you should never leave your abuser.

If you’re single, I don’t think it is wife to seek single men to date in churches who adhere to these sexist mindsets.

I don’t think it would be safe for your mental or physical health to marry a Christian, especially not one who agrees with complementarian (“male headship”) beliefs.

It’s teachings and opinions such as Brotherwood’s that makes me even more assured of my decision to throw the Christian “equally yoked” teaching into the trash can. Non-Christian men look more and more attractive to me with each horribly sexist domestic violence apologetic post I see by Christian men.

Southern Baptists, other conservative Christians, and complementarians just keep giving women more and more reasons to quit the faith, or quit attending church, to dump complementarian views, and/or to date and marry Non-Christian men.


For Further reading – Off site links:

(Link): The Silent Epidemic -Countless Christian women are battered every day

(Link): Woman Submit! Christians & Domestic Violence

(Link): Domestic Violence: The Christian Woman Battered and Abused?

(Link): Biblical Battered Wife Syndrome: Christian Women and Domestic Violence


Related Posts (on this blog):

(Link):  Forget About Being ‘Equally Yoked’ – Article: ‘My Abusive ‘Christian’ Marriage’

(Link):  The Holy Spirit Sanctifies a Person Not A Spouse – Weekly Christian Marriage Advice Column Pokes Holes in Christian Stereotype that Marriage Automatically Sanctifies People

(Link):  Consider The Source: Christians Who Give Singles Dating Advice Also Regularly Coach Wives to Stay in Abusive Marriages

(Link): Southern Baptist’s New Sexist “Biblical Woman” Site – Attitudes in Total Face Palm of a Site One Reason Among Many This Unmarried and Childless Woman Is Saying Toodle-Oo to Christianity

(Link): Why I Now Reject “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching – and on Becoming More Agnostic

(Link): The Irrelevancy To Single or Childless or Childfree Christian Women of Biblical Gender Complementarian Roles / Biblical Womanhood Teachings

(Link): The “Feminization” of the Church by K R Wordgazer

(Link):  Pro-Rape Pastor Defends Church’s Hiring of Child Rapist – Adult Singles: Dump the Equally Yoked Teaching

(Link): Pedophiles Seeking Christian Wives in Churches – Another Reason to be Leery of the “Equally Yoked” Idea and Reconsider Church as a Place to Meet Singles

(Link): Christians Advise Singles To Follow Certain Dating Advice But Then Shame, Criticize, or Punish Singles When That Advice Does Not Work

(Link):  Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage

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