Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Different Rules for Men and Favorites (The IFB's Strange Woman)

This post is part of a series examining the “strange woman” doctrine.

The concept of a “strange woman” is an unofficial doctrine** held by some Independent Fundamental Baptists concerning sexually abused girls: They become human garbage and things to be used, to be dispensed with in whatever way is convenient to those who have charge over them. Note that many doctrines in a high demand group are not formally documented but become part of the oral tradition or the hidden curriculum** of their culture and are often more powerful rules than the formally stated ones.

Ron Williams of Hephzibah House offers a very lengthy sermon about this insidiously taught doctrine causing pastors confront occurrences of sexual abuse in their congregations and in educational settings. (Full sermon transcript available HERE. Audio available HERE.)

Jacob is Always Righteous

Men can behave corruptly but, paradoxically, they are declared righteous by God. (This does not appear to be true for women because of the sharp distinction he implies. His mother, Rebecca, designed deception and was responsible for his situation, but he steps away from the past with purity and the very name of Israel.)

QUOTE: Part I Jacob's History
The old heel grabber, the poacher, the conniver, the sneak. You could call him by many adjectives, couldn't you? And yet, Jacob was a righteous man. [. . .] Jacob had a lot of flesh in his life... But ultimately, he came to be called Israel.
[. . .] He lived up to his name, and in that sense, he conspired with his mother Rebbeca to do so.

QUOTE: Part I, The Unfortunate Picture of, Our Hero, Jacob
Even though he's a righteous man, he allowed his lower nature to control his life on too many occasions, and here's another example,

Double Standards for Williams' Favorite Women

QUOTE: Part I, Leah's Children Have Better Character
Then verse 21 of chapter 30, Dinah comes along and ominously Dinah means ‘judged’, kind of a cryptic expression for what we’re gonna see coming later.

Why is this presumed to be a judgement against Rachel as opposed to a judgement against Jacob for setting up a home in a foreign land full of pagans?

QUOTE: Part I, Rachel's Poor Character Results in Few Children
So here’s a girl who was willing to give her own husband a concubine in order to gain the children that she so desperately wanted, and unfortunately, Leah would follow her example, but Rachel did it first. And then Leah did, unfortunately, follow her example.

Leah does exactly the same thing that Rachel does, but when Leah does it, it isn't so bad. This is also what Abraham does willingly with Sarah. Were Abraham and Jacob both helpless and passive in this scenario? Williams takes what is not written and claims that the text supports his own ideas.

QUOTE: Part II, The Troubling Response of the Family
These sons come on the scene, verses 6 and 7, Jacob’s sons, and they realize this wasn’t God’s perfect plan. And you know I don’t see anything wrong with brothers trying to protect their sisters, in fact, I… I kinda like that idea. I kinda like the idea of brothers saying “hey boy, you better keep your hands off my sister. I’ll rearrange your face.”

Dinah is sinned against by a man who then agrees to do right by her, and her passionate brothers are so offended that they go out and murder all of the men in a city in retaliation. Yet Dinah is left to bear the shame for their actions as well as those of her rapist. Her family has to run yet again, and none of it has to do with her. Why does Williams think that it's a good thing that her brothers acted rashly, even if they did so out of what was a good motive at heart?