Creating Conditions for Abuse

Creating Conditions for Abuse May 21, 2015

Christianpatriarchalwatchlistforparentsby Emily cross posted from her site Christian Patriarchal Watch List For Parents

“Bible-based groups that are authoritarian, legalistic, and sanction-oriented tend to create conditions for abuse within families.

Survivor blogs/netoworks address how to recognize it and deal with it, with links to outside help and resources, and document family abuse in the Geftakys Assembly. Additional resources on the effects of family abuse, and the proper roles of spouses and parents, can be found in the Biblical Perspectives and Recovery sections of the site.

The atmosphere that was created was a breeding ground for verbal abuse. The closed authoritarian Assembly system imposed an immature dependency on the members that prevented them from questioning this teaching. Normal listening and negotiating skills between spouses were extinguished. Husbands were being trained to imitate a narcissistic leader, with all that implies of self-importance, arrogance, lack of empathy, exploitation of others and feeling of entitlement.

The relationship between a man and a woman caught in an abusive relationship is very complex. The single most important factor, present in all such relationships, is one partner’s need to feel he or she absolutely controls the other . . .The structure of the marriage seems to be significant. Families in households where decision making is shared are less likely to be violent than those in which one partner makes all the decisions.”

Adapted from:

To keep on topic, I ask. Does Ephesians 5 instruct husbands to act as prophet, priest or king for their families? Not directly. It uses a metaphor that describes the priestly and prophetic role of Christ. Metaphors are tricky because they are so successful . . . the purpose of a metaphor is transfer the meaning of one phrase to another. But metaphors are not meant to be literal.  To understand what it means, we start by asking what it doesn’t mean. I think we all agree that husbands do not literally become Christ. Husbands  do not literally atone for their wives’ sin. Husbands  are not the voice of God to their wives.  Husbands do not have absolute authority over their wives’ lives. How do we know this? Because of clear passages elsewhere. So, attributing the roles of prophet, priest and king to husband is not accurate.

By removing the wife from a joint priesthood with her husband and making only the husband responsible for seeking God’s will in all family decisions, those who espouse the unbiblical position of the man as the sole priest in the home, relegate the wife’s participation to a secondary and subordinate position in the home. This dismantles the woman’s equality as joint-heir with her husband and threatens to limit her spiritual growth. (Cheryl Schatz)

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