While we are newly respecting women, why not newly respect men too?


The thing about western individualism is it is just so individualistic. If I remember my ethics properly, there is an underlying ‘ethical egoism’—that is, ‘I’ (the ‘ego’ in ‘ego-ism’) make my moral decisions on the basis of what is best for me.

Apparently, if Australian men (with footballers as the focus and pinnacle of that group) learned to respect women, then they would have better sexual behaviour. I’m not sure of the connection between those two things myself, but, as I mentioned in the last post, it is certainly difficult to object to.

But perhaps there is another way out of my confusion. Rather than objecting to it, why not adopt it, and then demand some of the same treatment?

I must confess to being similarly confused with the local Labour member’s pamphlet that came through the mail this week. Apparently the Labour Party is mounting a national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children. That’s a relief; apparently violence against husbands and fathers, or perhaps just any old random male on the streets, is still okay.

I thought we were supposed to be equal. If so, then why can’t men learn to respect men too? If that happened, then that would also change their sexual behaviour.

Take the poor husbands who send their wives off to work (in a very liberated sense, of course), only to have them become the victim of some office sexual predator at the Christmas party, or the willing accomplice of a tordid (sordid + torrid) office affair. When the second job seemed a good idea for the family budget, did this husband ever calculate on the family being ruined by another male, showing absolutely no respect for his female fellow worker’s unseen husband?

Or, let’s take it back earlier in life: what about the young single gad-about philanderer who is ‘sowing his wild oats’, engaging in what so many seem to regard as ‘normal sexual experimentation’ with one or two (but hopefully more, he says) random females as part of his growing up process? What, you are just practising on a girl who will one day become someone else’s wife??? A little respect for other men might actually put a curb on such good old-fashioned immorality—immorality that is now just called ‘normal’.

Then there is the lustful male, who plays the field, seeking the next sexual conquest—Sex in the City before it became a female domain. Sure, the fun is there in the conquest itself, but remember, conquests were once about one male beating another male, and the spirit of machismos past are easily transferred from the battlefield to the bedroom. The goal of the conquest is clear: to conquer ‘this woman’ before ‘that man’ manages to do so. Where would masculine rivalry fought through sexual conquest go if men showed a little more respect for other men?

Anyone who knows the fear of the Lord knows that there is a fine line between respect and fear. Once upon a time, if one man took another man’s woman, then he would be killed for such a crime. Even in today’s world, where everyone turns a blind eye, no woman belongs to any man and fornication is another word for recreation, men still kill for the same reason. There seems to be something deeply primal here.

Or perhaps it is God-given. Once again, it seems so easy: one man, one woman. She is only given to you if God has given her to you. If he hasn’t, then she is not yours, but she is God’s gift to another man. To take a woman who is not yours is to take another man’s gift from the Lord.

Okay, let’s launch ourselves into this next stage of respect for women. But while we are at it, perhaps we can launch ourselves into a newfound respect for men too. Perhaps sexual behaviour might indeed be changed. That would certainly be a new world. Perhaps we could call it ‘ethical he-goism’.

34 thoughts on “While we are newly respecting women, why not newly respect men too?

  1. In the States, there is something that women are trying to push through our Congress called the ERA – Equal Rights Amendment – which would be put into the American Constitution.

    Something like 45% of women oppose this, and I’m actually one of them.  In my mind the ERA, in legal jargon, basically states that women are equals to men.  So why am I against this?  If it becomes law, it would suggest that I am not equal now.  That somehow I am less of a citizen than men today.  There are other amendments that already state this, so why must we be redundant?

    In that vein, I’m also against harsher punishments for crimes committed against women.  (Children are another matter).  Why should the gender of a victim dictate the sentence of the criminal?  Why should I, as a woman, get special treatment over a man?  If we are equal, let us be equal.  If we are not, then there’s the real problem.  If you murder, rape or steal from a person where does their gender come into play?  Its still murder.  Its still rape.  Its still theft.

    I think the problem lies in the lack of moral absolutes in today’s society.  Seventy-five years ago, it was seen as morally wrong to have sex with multiple partners at the same time.  Today, this is just recreation and people expressing themselves – consensual sex.  Fifty years ago, it was seen as morally wrong to take advantage, sexually or otherwise, of someone who had too much to drink.  Today – “She/He didn’t say no.”  I don’t even know what moral absolutes are left today.

    But I do believe part of it, is a world fallen away from God and His Word.  Recently, in a local church, a representative to Synod returned and announced that the Church Council had put forth a new effort initiative to be more accepting of diversity.  They want to be more open of those that might be different than us.  Now, this can be a good thing.  Accept someone who might look different or talk different.  Diversity is good.  But I’m starting to feel that more and more churches want to “fit in with the cool crowd.”  They seem to forget that the real “cool crowd” is only three people – Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  While I can understand that churches need to change with the times, this should not mean sacrificing everything to please the crowd.  Sacrificing that the wages of sin is death.  Sacrificing the belief that Jesus is the only way to Heaven.  Sacrificing the belief that He did live, die and come back to life.  (Romans 6:23, John 14:6, John 3:16, and more)

    There are absolutes in the world, and I believe the Church should stop apologizing for them.  It just might infuse the world with some absolutes again.

  2. I’m not sure what’s more disturbing here, the condescending tone, bizarre statements like:
    <i>I must confess to being similarly confused with the local Labour member’s pamphlet that came through the mail this week. Apparently the Labour Party is mounting a national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children. That’s a relief; apparently violence against husbands and fathers, or perhaps just any old random male on the streets, is still okay.</i>
    (Really? This confused you? It’s “Labor” btw.)
    or the idea that women are the property of men, so your ethics should be defined about respecting the future property of another man.

    Take your pick, I guess.

  3. Thank-you for those comments Luke, I wondered if it was just me…. but really is it any wonder the church has a reputation for misogyny with blogs like this.

    Liz, the unbblical notion of a woman being the property of her husband was all over Peter’s post, from the primal urge of a man to kill if another man takes his woman to men sending their women to work to a man taking a woman that’s not his. Take another read, it’s pretty unavoidable.

    I understand from the Gospel that husband and wife are one flesh, that is a completely diffent notion from a wife belonging to her husband.
    Not sure where Peter gets that idea from, apart from some out of context OT verses but maybe he just means to be provacative…

  4. I understand from the Gospel that husband and wife are one flesh, that is a completely diffent notion from a wife belonging to her husband.

    Ephesians 5:22-31
    22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
    25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

  5. Yes indeed, thanks for supplying the biblical quotes to support my point Kate.

  6. Kate, I think the sense of “belonging” and sumbission in that passage is not the same as ownership like Luke and Melinda were talking about.  I belong to my husband and he belongs to me, but I am not owned by my husband, even as a submissive wife.

    Melinda, on second reading I understand better what you’re getting at although I didn’t read it that way.  And while I am pretty sure that Peter Bolt doesn’t think of his wife (assuming he has one) as one of his possessions I can see how the wording and the progression of paragraphs could give that impression which then leaves me confused as to what he did mean…

    Biblically I believe wives are required to submit to their husbands, as a God-given authority in their lives.  However, that is very different to ownership (as in being a possession) and is certainly not servitude either.

  7. In Kate’s post there is a html tag not closed so all our posts are coming up bold… can this be </strong> fixed?  Or did I just fix it?

  8. The bold didn’t show up in my preview and I didn’t use a bold HTML, so I don’t know why that happened.

    RE: Submission vs belonging

    I think to some degree this has to do with the problems that arise when things are translated from one language to another.  I’m not a Biblical scholar, so I don’t know what the original Greek word was or what it really translates into.  I put that whole verse in there because it is unfair to take tiny snipets out of context.  But I was more focused on the beginning of the verses.

    Christ is the head of the Church, and the Church must submit to Christ.  This verse is saying that just as the Church submits to Christ, a wife must submit to her husband.  Just as the Church belongs to Christ, a wife belongs to her husband.

    Now I’m not married and I already struggle with this notion a lot.  Why should I submit anything to someone?  Especially humans, who are sinful.  But that’s why the rest of that verse is so important.  The Church submits to Christ because He provides for her and takes care of her.  Just in the same way a husband must provide for his wife and take care of her.

    Now, I don’t think this means the man must “bring home the bacon” while the woman stays PBIK (pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen).  But the man is the head of the household, according to this Scripture.  If providing for his wife and family, he stays at home while his wife goes out – that is fine.  Its a two-way street.  Just like its a two-way street with God.  We submit to Him because we know He will take care of us and provide for us.

    I don’t believe this means “possession” or “ownership.”  Those words are pretty taboo in the States because of the connotation that arises concerning slaves.  You can’t own another human being.

    So like I said, its a language thing.  I don’t know the Greek word that Paul used when he wrote that letter.  But I’m willing to bet the word “submit” has nothing to do with “owning”.  Its just how it seems to be translated and taken.

  9. I’m glad you cleared that up Kate.  When you first posted those verses I wasn’t sure if you were trying to say “well here is where the Bible says women are possessions” or whether you were saying that women are not possessions!  The only thing in the Bible I can find to support the notion of a wife being owned by her husband is this:
    “1 Corinthians 7:3-5 (New International Version)

    3The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. 5Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”  But there is a sense of mutuality.  The woman’s body belongs to her husband… but the husband’s body belongs to her… So it’s not “ownership” but part of that mutual, intimate relationship of marriage.

    I’d really like if Peter could weigh in on the discussion here and let us know what he was getting at!

  10. I’m completely confused by Kate’s last post, and thus I’m now confused also about the point in the previous post. I’ve got no idea of what she’s getting at.

  11. Sorry for the late weigh in, but better late than never. When Paul says (in either passage quoted in the string [or is that thread?]) ‘your’ husband, ‘your’ wife, is that a statement of ‘belonging’? When someone has a home where they ‘belong’ does that mean that the home possesses them like property? Do someone’s children ‘belong’ to them? But they aren’t property, they are people. There is a relational belonging, that is not at all like possessing a piece of property. Is someone’s wife a ‘gift from the Lord’, but she is not a possession nor a piece of property—she is far more valuable than that: she is a person who has been given to her husband by the loving God; and, vice versa (for the mutuality), the husband has been given to her—but he is not a piece of property or a possession. I am sure this is not really rocket surgery, but once again, a faulty ideology has tried to blackmail ordinary language into sounding like something it is not.
    SO, back to the point: if a woman has not been given to a man by the living God, then she is not ‘his’ (in a relational sense) and so he needs to consider her as ‘belonging to’ (if God should so give her) another man. It is not respectful of her, certainly; but, the point of the post, neither is it respectful of him to whom she (in a relational, delightful, gift of the lord kind of way) ‘belongs’, to fornicate with her (to use the word that we really ought to be getting upset about because of its horrendous consequences in this life and the next). Does that muddy the waters at all any better?

  12. <i>“Apparently the Labour Party is mounting a national campaign to reduce violence against women and their children. That’s a relief; apparently violence against husbands and fathers, or perhaps just any old random male on the streets, is still okay.”<i>

    Not sure if you were serious or not with this, Peter, but it doesn’t really make sense to me. Eg we hear an awful lot in the media about breast cancer and not a lot about testicular cancer. Why? Because testicular cancer is ok by us? No, because breast cancer kills 5 times more people. Do we conclude from a campaign to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research that testicular cancer is unimportant?

    That said, I can see your point (through the hysteria above) about men respecting (the unseen) men – a line of thought that would definitely be of value to unmarried Christian men in particular.

  13. Peter, I think what you’re getting at is this…

    Most men wouldn’t fornicate with someone else’s wife.  However, as unmarried men they are willing to fornicate with unmarried women. 

    The likelihood is that this woman will marry at some point in the future and so in all likelihood this man has now slept with someone else’s (future) wife.

    So I think I understand that part.

    Now, how does it relate to “newly respect(ing) men too”?

  14. Thanks Liz, it is great to have an interpreter!! As for your question, it is not respectful of another man to sleep with his wife. It is not respectful of an as-yet-undisclosed-future husband to sleep with his (future) wife.
    Sexual activity needs to be thought of in an entire network of relationships. Individualistic Ethics is poverty stricken. We need to think about morality relationally—after all, isn’t it all about how we behave as social beings, who are to love God and so love our neighbours as ourselves? And we need to think in terms of long-term view (rather than just the ‘existential moment’), because every action I take ‘now’ is building something for ‘then’ (its called consequences!), and so moral choices need to think about future consequences. Action towards this person in front of me now, needs to take account of the effects on their potential relationships in the future.

    I’d best stop there before you need to interpret further!

  15. So men newly respect men by not fornicating with their (future) wives.

    And women newly respect men by not fornicating with other men who are not their (future) husband.

    Our ego-centric culture that defines morals by consent, negates the other parties that may be involved (albeit silently).  Our morals don’t take into consideration our future spouses, who have a genuine “stake” in our moral/sexual purity and bear the burden of our “misdeeds”.  While the woman concerned may consent to sexual relations her future husband almost certainly would not consent to her engaging in such an act, and as her husband her body will belong to him.  Same goes for men whose future wives would not condone their fornication.

    We also forget other people who are effected by this.  A child born to a single mother is disadvantaged in our society, as much as it is politically incorrect to say so.  No matter how “careful” a philanderer thinks they are being, sexual relations lead to procreation.  What about the extended families?  The families whose loved ones die from sexually transmitted diseases or grandparents finding themselves in the role of primary caregiver for a young child, whose single parent is working.

    So really, what you’re saying is to respect our society as a whole by respecting its foundational unit – the family and the marriage covenant – rather than just respecting women by men keeping their sexual impulses under control?

  16. Sorry Nick, missed your comment until just now.

    Ahh, the old tongue in cheek just doesn’t seem to work well any more! (there must be an emoticon for it, anyone know??)

    But all tongue in cheek does not leave ‘seriousness’ completely behind. My comment is really saying: why aren’t we against violence full stop? Even if the numbers are imbalanced, aren’t we still concerned about the violence against boys and men too? Don’t we want to stop that? If it just a question of the Labor Party targetting the major strand of the problem, then we can ask our local member: okay, when are we going to target the other strand, and how is that going to happen?

    Perhaps a solidarity of men and women against violence towards men and women might actually present a united front against a common evil, rather than dividing the forces down the middle?

  17. Melinda, Liz made the same point in ther last comment that I was attempting in my first point to make about the lack of moral absolutes in the world today.  Without any standard of “This is right and this is wrong” the world spirals into a place where the events in Christchurch (for the US, it was Kobe Bryant) take place.

    And Peter hit exactly the other point I was making (in agreement with what he had written).  Why aren’t we against violence full stop?

    My point with the language thing is that Greek cannot translate directly into English.  There is something lost in the translation.  For example, when the Europeans came to the Americas and began communicating with the natives, they discovered some problems.  For example, the natives did not have a word for ownership or any of its variants (own, owning, to own).  They had a word for belong, but it did not mean the same as the Europeans definition of ownership.  This became more apparent as the Europeans wanted to know who owned the land, in an attempt to buy it and own for themselves.  The natives did not understand this concept of ownership.

    The same thing can happen between any two languages, especially when they span the ages.  The translation and version of Ephesians that I quoted uses the word “submit”, but I’ve also seen it used as “belong”.  Its difficult to translate exactly as it was meant to be.  But I do not think our modern definition of ownership (as suggested by you and LUke) and even our modern definition of submissive can always really encompass what that is supposed ot mean.  Which is why its important to look at the whole passge, and note the comparison Paul draws between a marriage and the relationship Christ has with his Church.

  18. Peter,

    Ah, I see, whoops!

    Yes, a united front against violence would be ideal for sure, although I can see merit (from the perspective of social research) in focusing on the dominant side of a disproportionate problem (since men and women ARE equal, why is gender-based violence so one-sided and how can we counter that?).


  19. Kate,

    Just on submission, I understand that the word used in Ephesians 5:22 is the same word found in 1 Peter 3:1 which is explicitly linked to the prior passage talking about submission to authorities (1 Peter 2:13, 18 – same word). I am confident that submission is the correct translation. smile

  20. Just to chip in on submission, the Greek word (upotasso) is very fairly translated submission. Some other NT references include Jesus’ submission to his parents (Luke 2:51), the submission of the demons to the power of the 72 evangelists sent out by Jesus (Luke 10:17), and as Nick pointed out, both submission to the ruling authorities and the submission of slaves to masters (1Peter 2).

  21. although ‘submit’ is the way to translate, i sort of like the paraphrase Kate alludes to which uses ‘belong’ cos it catches something of the relational nuance of the passage.

    Wives are to submit to their husbands. As they put this into practice, this is (from their side) an acknowledgement that they have given themselves to this man (and no other) and so (without being a possession or property at all) they have been given by God to, and so chosen to ‘belong’ to, this man. It may also defuse some of the heat from the word when we realise that this is part of the woman’s discipleship/duty/choice/privilege; ie it is how she views herself and acts out of that self-perception; not something that is foisted upon her (the husband is not commanded to make her submit; or to force her to belong, etc etc.). Similarly, she is not to submit as a slave, or a child, but as a wife—and this is, of course, completely different from the other two relational contexts.

    The 1 cor 7 passage is also very interesting,for here there is a mutuality of giving and receiving, in which both husband and wife are to view their God-given bodies, which will be raised to life again at the last day, as if they do ‘not have authority over their own body’ but their spouse does (this is pretty close to ‘ownership’ language, but it should still be understood in terms of having been given by God to another, ie the realm of God-given relationships) . This is, once again, a recognition from the side of the giver, that they are acknowledging that they have the delight and privilege of ‘belonging’ to their spouse, and no other, for all the joy and delight that will bring for the good of both.

  22. My 2c:

    My comment is really saying: why aren’t we against violence full stop?

    Wait, you were serious? You really think there’s a question about that, because the flyer didn’t say “We’re against all violence”? What if they only mentioned violence – you could as easily say “Why aren’t we against all bad thing?” I mean, why stop at violence – why not put out a flyer that says “We’re against all bad things ever for all time” just to cover their bases, so these absurd questions don’t come up?

    I think that’s by the by vs the specific ethics issues here, but it doesn’t bode well.

    Individualistic Ethics is poverty stricken

    Any ethics were you arbitrarily split the individual and relational is poverty stricken, as is your ethics described here.

    I think you’re on very shaky ground, particularly when arguing from consequence. There’s several cases were the consequence you’ve used either don’t eventuate or are irrelevant.

    Your argument seems to be framed around the person either being married in the present, or being married in the future, and any sexual activity outside of marriage disrespects that person’s future partner. Leaving aside, for a moment, the irony of framing a bit about ‘true’ equality in such a male-centric way (though I’m glad you finally mentioned what’s true for men is true for women too), this argument doesn’t stand up in several scenarios:

    – Those that will never be married.
    – Those that have been married, sexually active, lost their partner, and remarried.
    – Those that have been married, lost their partner, and are not going to remarry (eg, the elderly!)

    In these cases future marriage may not happen, or is irrelevant (already been married).

    Therefore, you have to fall back to what is good (or not) for the individual. I don’t think you would describe this as “poverty stricken”, it’s a simple reality and starting point.

    Sure, in other cases your ethics can take into account the impact of potential future relationships, but these are speculative at the time. Instead, in *all* cases, you have to consider an individual. Seems sensible to me.

    Finally, for a piece that says sarcastically “I thought we were supposed to be equal,” running with gender stereotypes (men always pursuing helpless, presumably weak-willed women) seems, well, odd. By doing so, you highlight why treating the sexes equally is actually the appropriate thing to do.

    I understand you were focusing on Australian men, but borrowing ownership language in the context of men owning women (“Even in today’s world […] no woman belongs to any man”) seemed very strange, especially as the language of ‘belonging’ is mutual between a man and woman.

    Or perhaps it is God-given. Once again, it seems so easy: one man, one woman. She is only given to you if God has given her to you. If he hasn’t, then she is not yours, but she is God’s gift to another man. To take a woman who is not yours is to take another man’s gift from the Lord.

    Except when she’s not, or already has been.

  23. Your argument seems to be framed around the person either being married in the present, or being married in the future……In these cases future marriage may not happen, or is irrelevant (already been married).

    This argument seems to be framed by the assumption the person knowing their future.  No one knows the plans the Lord has set out for us, only Him.  Who are we to tell him “its okay, I’m not going to get married and neither will she.”

    Therefore, you have to fall back to what is good (or not) for the individual. I don’t think you would describe this as “poverty stricken”, it’s a simple reality and starting point.

    Its a big problem, this doing what is good for the individual.  As children of God, shouldn’t we put aside our personal needs and strive to do what God wants us to do?  Aren’t we supposed to be pleasing Him?

  24. Hmm, so many tangents have developed it’s hard to know where to start.

    I’ll take the “belonging” to issue under advisement.  Maybe we should be saying “belong with” rather than “belong to” if I’ve read Peter’s last comment correctly.

    My comment is really saying: why aren’t we against violence full stop?

    The assumption underlying antidomestic violence campaigns is that that everybody knows society IS against violence full stop.

    Many men who bash their wives, justify it as acceptable behaviour and don’t believe it is criminal violence.

    The campaign is designed to counter abusing your wife and kids by saying-bashing your wife or your kids IS violence. Violence is unacceptable and criminal behaviour therefore it’s unacceptable to bash your wife and as a society we condemn it.  Really it’s a pretty basic concept to get your head around.

    In relation to discussion of morals, on this thread and Peter’s previous one, if we’re all just here to agree that Christian morals are good, well that’s a pretty pointless exercise in preaching to the choir.

    The secular outrage about this incident gives me some hope that many Australians hear the faint echo of Jesus words in their conscience and I hope that rather than mocking them, we might use this to engage constructively with them.

    One of the main things that I think many non-Christians, and Christians (apart from those on this blog it seems) find morally objectionable in this incident is that a group of men have colluded to treat a human being as nothing more than an object for the gratification of their own desires.

    The terminology about lack of respect, can be seen as a secular attempt to articulate Jesus’ command to do unto others as you would have done unto you.

    Nobody thinks that they would like to be treated the way those footballers treated that woman and Christian or not that’s a significant part of the feeling of moral outrage (I”m sure there are others but this is a key one which hasn’t been picked up amongst all the mocking of secular ethics).  That’s not a bad thing surely?

  25. Yes, I’ve never understood the formula of:

    ‘Oh, silly secular morals, they’re so… secular! But the bible makes everything so simple… <insert trite answer to complex issue>’

    Holding the secular world to your own (flawed, in this case) version of Christian ethics and then knocking down the strawman you’ve just created seems like a fairly pointless exercise to me.

    To do so with the condescending ‘See how right we are?’ attitude just makes it nauseating. 

    That said, it does seem like the preferred past time of many Sydney Anglican writers.

    Time to get a new formula guys. Ideally one with a bit of humility and compassion.

  26. Luke, you’ve done plenty of criticising.  Can you give us something constructive?  How would you approach this morally/ethically/Biblically?

  27. Biblically?

    1 Corinthians 6:18

    Done. :p

    Seriously though, I have always thought there is little point in trying to win non-christians over to christian morals. Instead we ought to share the news that they are sinful and in need of Jesus.

  28. @Liz, well, indeed. What do the Sola Panel writers want? Do they want society to become 100% Christian, and is this suppose to help in that regard? Or do they want society to wind back feminism and sexual mores to the 1950s or thereabouts? Or do they want to create some new secular pseudo-Christian culture? Which is it? They’re obviously unhappy with the current one, so what do they intend to replace it with?

    If it’s any of those, fine, make your case, argue away for it and do something about it.

    But to sit back and sneer at ‘the world’ seems like an exercise in futile self-righteousness to me.

    I mean, if you can’t grasp that society takes ‘violence is a bad thing’ as a given, then really perhaps you need to spend more time out there, and less time in the Sydney Anglican echo chamber commenting on media hearsay.

    Sure it’s nice to be rhetorically cute about mixed social standards, but what does it achieve? What is the Sola Panel, including posts like this, actually arguing for?

  29. I think this post is trying to make some points that I sometimes make myself – how ‘feminism’ is often a cover for individualism, and that focussing on particular inequities can be problematic when broader problems are ignored (although I can’t see how this is the case in the example given).

    The point that the impacts of sexual behaviour are greater than suggested by a catchcry of respect for the other person(s) involved at the time is also a good one. However, dressing it up with comments like “If he hasn’t, then she is not yours, but she is God’s gift to another man.” really only illustrate what has pushed so many people to feminist individualism in the first place.

  30. What is the Sola Panel, including posts like this, actually arguing for?

    Good question.
    While we can look back to the “good old days” where sexual promiscuity was frowned upon, those days weren’t so good either.  And sexual promiscuity is not an invention of the noughties or even the last fifty year, hundred years, or thousand years. 

    Peter has said that men should respect women and their potential future husbands by not fornicating with them.  Fair enough.  What then shall we do about that?  I think it’s fair to say that most of the people who disregard the standard of sex being reserved for inside marriage are not likely to be reading this blog.

    So, based on Sola Scriptura and Sola Christura and whatever the other three “solas” are, what do we, as Christians do about this?

    We can’t impose our morals on each other.  Firstly, in our society it would only turn others away from Christ, since our society is all about relativism and beliefs are “fine for you but don’t impose them on me”.  I think there should be basic Judeo-Christian ethics held up in the law of the land (Thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal etc) but we can’t impose our morality on those who don’t share our framework.  I can’t even impose my morals on another Christian.  Some are clear and Biblical – you shall not commit adultery – which I should encourage every Christian to uphold.  Some are hazy and personal – how much we give to the Church and to God’s work is between us and God, for example.  How I parent my kids is between God and our family.  As long as I don’t break any clear Scriptural mandates, it is not for anyone else to impose their moral framework on me.

    And yes I think that “look at this big bad world and how depraved it has become” does little to help.  It can make the “speaker” self-righteous and takes the focus away from our own sin.  I’m not accusing Peter of self-righteousness, but speaking in generalities, criticising the world does little to uplift anyone and I don’t think it works in convicting others either.  So what purpose does it serve?  I think the only other purpose left (maybe I’m thinking to narrowly) is to motivate us to action.  So… what do we do with this information?

    Also, to those who criticise the perspective of this blog (And not all who read or comment or even support selected posts necessarily agree with everything that has been said) need to remember that this blog is

    unashamedly Reformed and Evangelical


  31. Hi All,

    I think the discussion has become a little heated. Let me suggest we take some time to calm down and think. I’m going to close comments (at least for the time being).


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