Saturday, August 23, 2014

No True Adulthood in Patriarchy (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.)

No True Concept of Adulthood: Ongoing, Cross-generational Submission to Parents

It's like a peripheral doctrine similar to spiritual covering, and it became very popular among Vision Forum followers. One never becomes old enough to make one's own decisions until your elder patriarch dies. You're not accountable to God in your own right. You ride into heaven on the coattails of the Covenant Community.

QUOTE: Part I Selecting Marriage Partners
And then, uh, even more important, I suppose, than any of those considerations is, “What do my parents say?” I hope that every single young heart here gets this indelibly etched in stone: “I will not marry anybody unless my parents give their enthusiastic consent.”
[. . .]
I will not marry anybody without my parents' enthusiastic consent as to the person, the timing and the circumstances.”

QUOTE: Part I, The Unfortunate Picture of, Our Hero, Jacob
[I]f parents allow that [your children to be sensual], then they've got no one to blame but themselves for what will take place between two young people.

QUOTE: Part I, Jacob Selects a Wife
Here’s a man at age 77 who got in trouble because he didn’t plan ahead and he didn’t have counsel from his parents. . . So it sounds like it’s wise to have help in doing this no matter what age you are.

There is absolutely no indication in Scripture that Jacob had rejected God or that he had rebelled against anyone. In fact, he submits to Laban for another seven years to earn the girl he loved. Had he not, he wouldn't have honored Leah and could well have rejected her. He could have sinned with Rachel during the wait and didn't. And he had Laban's full blessing for their marriage. They also discussed the good benefit of the match between their families because all spoke of the fact that they were kinsmen and served the God of Abraham.

QUOTE: Part II, The Significance of Shechem
And as our text tells us, he [Jacob] built booths here in Sukkoth. He was supposed to have a tent and an altar testimony, and that’s what Abraham had. Abraham had a tent and an altar testimony. . . . That’s what Jacob should have had; he should have had a tent and an altar testimony. But he built booths here. He put his roots down.

QUOTE: Part II, The Predatory Nature of Men
And by the way, if you’re a Dinah in this kind of a situation, the devil will put in your path peers, friends so-called, who will encourage you.
[. . .]
So girls, may I plead with you, stay under the protection of your mom and dad. Stay under the protection of those that God has placed over you. That’s the safest place in this world to be, if you’re under God’s authority you’re as safe as God wants you to be.

QUOTE: Part II, Proper Discipline of Children is Complicated by Wrong Marriages
Jacob failed as a protector. He allowed fraternization with this world; he allowed idolatry in his own house. And that’s because he in his own life emphasized the flesh instead of the spirit. And this produced a daughter who did the very same thing and she ended up acting like a strange woman.