Censorship, Stewardship and the 9th commandment

posted by Pc3

We are quite vocal and unapologetic in our support of Vision Forum in our family. Kim has, at my direction, over the course of the last year posted on issues relevant to the patriarchy versus feminism debate and even links to relevant documents as Vision Forum and others have made them available.

After Kim’s recent post on patriarchy, and again on Doug Phillips article on gossip we attracted a little attention from patriarchy’s detractors that led to my having her turn on comment moderation. Over the last month or so Kim and I have had many discussions about our editorial policy, censoring comments and how to apply a biblical ethic to blog writing and to comment moderation. Yesterday I came across this short but brilliant explanation by Tim Bayly that puts the matter ever so much better than I could.

Here are some relevant quotes from the comment (I encourage everyone to read the article and the comments when you have time )

“… I’ve explained it often enough, but once more for the record: when men attack the word of God on this blog, directly contradicting the Holy Spirit , my choices are limited….
I can remove their attack and lies from our blog. …And that is not censorship, but faithful guarding of the good deposit which has been passed on to us.
This blog is not now, nor has it ever been, a forum for the free exchange of ideas. It’s an extension of the ministry of two pastors who are brothers and who have vowed to honor the Word of God. We have no obligation to provide a forum for heretics and rebels against God who seek to devour souls by feeding those souls lies. In fact, we have an obligation given us by the Holy Spirit to silence such men.
On the other hand, egalitarian feminists (Perry’s note: I would add to this list slanderers, and those who believe excommunicants over God’s people and elders) directly oppose God our Father, and His Word. Constantly, they twist Scripture making it say the very opposite of its plain meaning; and constantly they lead God’s little ones astray. Many think they should be allowed to do so because not allowing it will produce the fruit of women like you accusing them of censorship. Or because not allowing it will cause them to appear to be lacking in the collegiality deportment…Other times, we’ve removed comments–almost always for lying and almost never for disagreement with us. Sure, people may see removal for lying as removal for disagreement, but honest souls will know the truth.”

You see, if you own a blog or a website you will not only stand before God for the things you write, but you are also accountable for what you allow others to write and publish on your site. The Baylys understand this very well and as our family has come to understand it I have tightened our editorial control over our site. This is why, in part, we will be moving our blog to wordpress soon. -keep an eye out for the announcement- WordPress give us the ability to not only approve or reject comments like blogger but also to edit the content of them as we see fit. This way we might be able to interact with critics of our views, Vision Forum, Doug Phillips, the Botkin family or Patriarchy in context without letting them devour souls by feeding their lies to God’s children.

(parenthetical note: I owe the Baylys a giant hat tip for helping me to clarify my thinking and the terminology surrounding the blog trolls who are slandering my friends and the teachers of biblical family roles.)

This brings me to my final point, which is the reason we link to and promote those pieces of information, articles, and evidences as they become available. We have a duty to protect the good name of our neighbors. That extends a fair bit beyond not allowing slander but lay burdens upon us to promote and protect the good name of our neighbors insofar as we have the power to.

Question 144 of the Westminster Larger Catechism is helpful here:

Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are, the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own; appearing and standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things: Whatsoever; a charitable esteem of our neighbors; loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name; sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities; freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency; a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them; discouraging talebearers, flatterers, and slanderers; love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requires; keeping of lawful promises; studying and practicing of: Whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

In light of the above we actively promote and spread the antidote to the lies, slander, and mischaracterization whenever we can. One of the apparent strategies of the blog trolls in question has been to create a series of links and websites that will rise in the search engine rankings so that whenever an innocent gets wind of the rumors and googles Vision Forum or someone attached to them they are fairly certain to see the lies. This is why they put up several sites each, this is why they link proficiently to one another, and this is why they delight in using the names of people or repetitiously in their writing. The ONLY way I know to combat these vicious attempts to destroy innocent names is to link to the truth.

It’s really that simple. Just link to God-honoring commentary, letters and proofs that help to protect the good name of the people I love and repect. The 9th commandment requires it of me and it requires it of you.

In closing I will leave you with a number of links I think are relevent to current issues surrounding accusations against Doug Phillips, Brian Abshire, Patriarchy and the Biblical family.

I hope you will take time to read them and link to them to help in “the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man” and “ standing for the truth; and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully” while “discouraging talebearers” and defending the innocent.

Perry C


Vision Forum Responds to Don Veinot

Part one

Part two (NEW)

Brian Abshire’s gracious response to Don Veinot

Round 1

Round 2

Vision Forum Responds to the Epsteins and their coloaboraters

Doug Phillips teaches on high tech dishonor

Vision Forum article on Tale Bearing by Alexander Strauch

Vision Forum Ministries article on De-feminizing your family

Doug Phillips and Voddie Baucham cook up some “sacred cows”

Doug Phillips and Geoff Botkin teach us about using the “C” word

Doug Phillips writes about tearing down strawmen

More links and commentary:

Marx’s feminism

Cultural Marxism [footnote]
The goal of Marx’s feminism was to Marxize the thinking of women, then men, then the entire culture. Notice how women were first on their list? Recall that Satan targeted a woman first, too. God’s enemies have recognized that women are not only the weaker vessels, and consequently more easily led, but they are incredibly influential over their husbands (think of Eve again) and children, and they make excellent and loyal helpers.
“Unless millions of women are with us,” stated Lenin, “we cannot exercise the proletarian dictatorship, cannot construct on communist lines. We must find our way to them, we must study and try to find that way.”[footnote] He insisted, “There can be no real mass movement without women.”[footnote]
So Much More, pg. 65

Patriarchy is not a bad word

From Wikipedia:

Patriarchy describes the structuring of society on the basis of family units, in which fathers have primary responsibility for the welfare of these units. In some cultures slaves were included as part of such households. The concept of patriarchy is often used, by extension, to refer to the expectation that men take primary responsibility for the welfare of the community as a whole, acting as representatives via public office (in anthropology and feminism, for example).

Patriarchy has been dubbed a movement, primarily by opponents within the Church. I’m not sure why they object to the idea that a wife ought to submit to her husband, since the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the Church. The idea is not exactly a new one and Paul, being inspired, said some pretty smart stuff.

Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

Apparently they see dangers in Paul’s position. Do they think God took a break from inspiration here and Paul kept right on talking? Do they think it was a temporary plan, until we were ready for a more egalitarian system?
At any rate, many say that obeying God in this case obeying one’s husband is a bad idea because a husband might abuse his authority, taking it as an excuse to act like a jerk.
But wives are clearly commanded several times in Scripture to obey their husbands (Eph. 5:22, Col. 3:18, Tit. 2:4,5, I Pet. 3:1). There is no doubt as to the meaning of the Greek word. It is used many times in reference to angels and demons under Christ, Christians under civil magistrates, and servants under their masters.

hupotasso: hoop-ot-as’-so
be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

In her excellent post, Patriarchs, Feminists, Complementarians, Oh My! Stacy McDonald debunks several common myths about patriarchy. I think that much of the misunderstanding comes back to three basic issues: personal responsibility in light of the failure of others, the servanthood of leadership, and the origin of authority.

Personal responsibility in light of the failure of others
The first is easily dealt with: the failure of another person to discharge their duty does not relieve us of our own duty. I tell my children frequently not to blame their sins on the sins of others. “I didn’t clean the bedroom because she wouldn’t help” is not a valid excuse for a 7yo, nor is it for an adult. “I’m not obeying him; he’ll take advantage of my obedience and act like a selfish jerk.” Wives are commanded to obey even unbelieving husbands.

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;

If a Christian wife must obey even an unbelieving husband, how much more should a wife obey a Christian husband, imperfect though he may be?

The servanthood of leadership
The husband is not the unquestioned and all powerful despot in the Christian home.
From above:

…For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…

and again:

Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. 1Co 7:3-4

Christ came as a humble servant, working and sacrificing for the Church, and this too is the duty of the husband to his wife. He is commanded to love his wife as his own body; to cleave to her; to honor her;

Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh. Eph 5:28-31

Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered. 1Pe 3:7

A husband’s authority over his wife is not license to act as an absolute dictator; his authority has limits, guidelines, and a purpose. But the fear that he might abuse that authority is not license for Christians to disregard a husband’s God-given authority.

The origin of authority
All authority comes from God. We do not obey those in authority because they demand or deserve our obedience or respect. We obey them to honor God, the source of all authority.
Our children should not obey us because we are bigger and stronger, but because God has commanded it. Our authority over our children comes from God’s command for them to obey us and from His command for us to raise them in His fear and admonition.
Likewise, we obey the civil magistrates not because we’ll get jail time if we don’t, but because God has set them in authority over us.
And a wife must obey her husband not because he is really smart and strong; not because he brings home the bacon; not because he helps with dishes and diapers. She must obey him because God has set him in a position of authority over her. She honors God by obeying her husband, regardless of whether or not her husband helps with dishes and diapers. (A little tip for the guys: helping with dishes and diapers makes it much easier and more pleasant for your wife to obey you.)

The husband and wife relationship presents a beautiful image of Christ and the Church. Many want to pity the wife and criticize the pattern that God has laid out, but to do so questions His own goodness and reduces Him to a petty tyrannical god fashioned after our own fallen nature.
Rather than judging God’s plan based upon our own shortcomings, we need to see the relationship for what it is designed to reflect, however imperfect that reflection may be. We must strive for perfection, not give up without trying because others are imperfect.
We are created in God’s image, and we must obey God. Rather than fretting or arguing about what might go wrong with His plan, we should obey Him in faith, trusting Him for the outcome.

The Botkins are a lovely family and we are very like-minded in many ways. As a result, I quickly skimmed So Much More and decided that I already knew and agreed with what I would find inside.
I set it back on the shelf and recommended it heartily without even having read the entire book. I recommend it primarily to young daughters in their fathers’ homes and to families who are newly interested in the idea that daughters ought to stay under their father’s authority until marriage.
I’m afraid I sold this book short.
I had the privilege of spending some time with the Botkins this weekend, and today I found myself idly paging through the book, trying to remember which bits I had skimmed. I have now decided that I need to read this book from cover to cover now, including the appendices. Thanks to their father’s influence (and their lovely mother, whom I am glad to count a friend), young Anna Sophia and Elizabeth are wise beyond their years. It’s no wonder So Much More has been #5 among top sellers at Vision Forum since it was released.
I found this insightful quote on pg.21-22:

Every woman’s life is built around men and men’s role and leadership in some way…
Women who don’t know this usually – unwittingly – spend their lives helping the wrong men…
Take a look back in history for a moment, at all the women we think of as being “independent” of men. You will discover something fascinating. Take Betty Friedan, America’s premier feminist. Even she couldn’t escape from her own inherent nature as a helpmeet. She spent her whole professional life advancing the agenda of Karl Marx and his disciples.

I’ve never thought of the issue in these terms. What do you think?


Botkin girls’ workshop for young ladies

I’m in the Vision Forum warehouse, near the back row (oh, how I love wireless internet!) looking out over a small sea of heads. Some of them belong to my own children in the row ahead of me, but many are strangers who have come to listen and learn from these wise young ladies, the authors of So Much More.
Anna Sophia and Elizabeth have much to say about how girls and single young ladies can prepare for marriage by supporting and strengthening the household as they learn to help their father and aid their mother in her role as a helpmeet.
They provide very practical answers to questions about what a daughter can and should do to serve her family.
hmmm. I guess I’d better make sure my daughters are listening…

added notes:

In speaking about the tools that their parents have provided to aid them, Anna Sophia listed musical intruments, a family media business, and an enormous family library (“We have learned from history that great families always have great libraries.”). But the most important tool: the dining room table.

From Elizabeth: Man was created first, and woman was created for man. Femininity which puts self-interest first is not true femininity – it is feminism. Daughters who stay home only because they “like this way of life” are doing so from the wrong motivation.

The object of education for daughters is twofold: to equip us to be helpers and mothers. There is far more to being a helper than just cleaning a house (read Proverbs 31).
Writing and communication

The purpose of Christian education is not academic. It is religious and practical (R. J. Rushdoony).

Elizabeth also talked a bit about how girls can encourage their brothers to act as manly young men: never make fun of them for being manly, even (or esp.) when they are very young. Let them carry items for you, with your thanks – even if you don’t need the help.

I am thankful for this reminder! This applies outside the family as well. I can encourage manly behavior by letting the clerk at the store help with my bags; by waiting for the elderly man at the bank who wants to get the door for me even though I could do it more easily myself; by asking a little boy at church to get the door for me. All done with a sweet smile and sincere thanks, of course!

My question to Mr. Botkin:

Are there any marked differences in the way you educate your boys vs. girls?

When they are younger, the education of boys and girls is much the same so that girls can grow into wives who are able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their husbands, helping, supporting and praying for them.
As they get older, we strive to train sons as leaders and risk-takers in business, to deal w/institutions around them, to become dominion-takers…

By the way, I noticed earlier that visitors today can buy the History of the World or Entrepreneurial Bootcamp conferences for just $25 each in mp3 format. Both are amazing!

Concerns about chess

Our 8yo Megan learned to play chess yesterday. She caught on right away and loves the game, but she does have one concern.
She’s not quite comfortable with the fact that the queen is the most powerful piece on the board, and frequently rescues the practically helpless king.
She suspects the game was made up by feminists.

Feminism in a Nutshell:

  1. Men are jerks.
  2. Women should be more like men.