Russell and Duenes

Scriptures that Christians are “Cool Shamed” About

with 3 comments

fonzDouglas Wilson coined a term: “Cool shamed.” Being “cool shamed” is when a Christian person is made to feel embarrassed for being “out of touch” with modern coolness, when the Christian is “shamed” into going along with the smart set so that he or she can feel respectable. This jibes with my experience, for all too often I seek respect from the intellectual elites and mavens, rather than faithfulness to God and His Word, which might get me “cool shamed.”

Yet I wonder which Scriptures might prove most shameful or embarrassing to Christians today, you know, the kinds of Scriptures you can’t bring up in polite conversation, and you can’t bring up at all in any context without offering twenty caveats to explain why such a Scripture doesn’t mean what it seems to mean, and why instead it fits right in with our modern, liberal, autonomous, idolatrous world. Would it be the Scriptures on slavery? They’d certainly vie for top place. Or how about the war passages of the Old Testament, or Jesus’ sayings about money? Good candidates for sure. But I wonder if we’d be most embarrassed about Scriptures that we never talk about (probably because we find them so embarrassing). I’m talking about these:

“Yet [the woman] will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.” (1 Tim. 2:15)

“So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.” (1 Tim. 5:14)

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life…She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens…She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” (Prov. 31:10-12, 15, 27-28)

No, no, this is all prudish, Victorian, stereotypical nonsense. It was just for uneducated women “back then.” The idea that God might actually have unique roles for men and women to play has become quite embarrassing to us. The notion that women, given the blessing of children-bearing, ought also to have a unique role in nurturing and raising those children, has been turned on its head by the likes of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who says:

Heading the list of arbitrary barriers that have plagued women seeking equal opportunity is disadvantaged treatment based on their
unique childbearing function. Until very recent years, jurists have regarded any discrimination in the treatment of pregnant women and mothers as “benignly in their favor.” But in fact, restrictive rules, and particularly discharge for pregnancy rules, operate as “built-in headwinds” that drastically curtail women’s opportunities. Decisions of this Court that span a century have contributed to this anomaly: presumably well-meaning exaltation of woman’s unique role in bearing children has, in effect, restrained women from developing their individual talents and capacities and has impelled them to accept a dependent, subordinate status in society.

The “unique childbearing function” is now a hindrance, a disadvantage, a punishment and impediment to “women’s opportunities” (which are always strangely defined in men’s terms. Where are the men who are screaming about gender stereotyping because society will not let stay at home?) So we fall all over ourselves in our attempts to flee from the biblical text, trying a hundred different ways to say that we’re not against women’s achievement and success in the non-domestic sphere. And we’re not against this. But we certainly can’t be caught talking poppycock like: “bear children, work at home, and manage the household.” Only the priggish, cold and slightly misogynistic St. Paul would say stuff like that.



Written by Michael Duenes

December 12, 2012 at 7:57 pm

3 Responses

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  1. I found this honest & relatable. Yet and still, God has more to say than this pertaining to women. In his mention of our duties in submission, he also speaks of men and their duties in love. In the end, it’s all about the respective ways in which both parties are ordained to demonstrate commitment, which is the common denominator through Christ. And this is what the word has to say:

    “22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

    23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.

    24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

    26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

    27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

    28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

    29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

    30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

    31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

    32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

    33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
    ~ Eph 5:22-33, KJV

    Now remember that Christ loved us (the church/world) so much that he was willing to die for us. A husband is called to love a wife that much. And in the event that a husband is to lead as God leads him, a wife who trusts such leadership should be able to commit to submission in the biblical sense of the word. Why would a woman not follow the lead of a man who follows Christ and is willing to lay down his life for her if necessary, just as Christ did. Some food for though. And thanks again for this post. God bless. 🙂

    Keisha L. Clarke

    December 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    • K – I couldn’t agree with you more, and I appreciate your gracious comment. Husbands are indeed called to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and they are called to lead in gracious, humble servanthood. I highlighted the texts I did only to point up the fact that God has ordained both women and men, and He has done so with a beautiful and wondrous purpose in mind, namely, that we might image-forth His glory and His relationship with His people. He has granted to women the precious gift of being human-bearers, to pass on, in unique ways, a godly heritage and culture to their children, in full partnership with their husbands. But this gift has been denigrated and disclaimed today, all in the name of “equality” and “self-actualization.” To say what God has said is to touch the Golden Calf of sexual liberation, and it is little tolerated, just as it was little tolerated in ancient Israel. One must not mess with the unquestioned goodness of the sexual revolution.


      russell and duenes

      December 17, 2012 at 4:08 am

      • Wow, your wording is deep! But I hear you. In the end, it’s about balance. You can be the woman God created you to be as a wife and mother while being who he gifted you to be as an individual. But over time, people have been fighting to feel “equal” in the sense that one does not want to be inferior to the other. And it’s caused a lot of harm. But God knows what he’s doing. He said all things work together for God for those of us who love him, so my prayer is just that more and more people grow to love him & trust that when they do, the rest will follow. 🙂

        Keisha L. Clarke

        December 17, 2012 at 7:33 pm

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