Saturday, August 30, 2014

Loud and Stubborn (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.)

Rachel, Jacob's Beloved, is a Strange Woman

QUOTE: Part I, Leah's Good and Quiet Character Results in Many Children
As you look at the book of Proverbs we discover that the strange woman is not quiet. ‘Where’s the strange woman? Oh, just be quiet and listen.’ That’s all you have to do. If you wonder where the strange woman is in any crowd just be quiet and listen for a moment. Because she’ll usually sound louder than the other women. She’s loud. The strange woman is loud, and stubborn, by the way. Loud and stubborn.

QUOTE: Part II, Jacob's Spiritual Low Point at Shechem
Genesis 30: “And Ruben went in the days of wheat harvest and found mandrakes in the field and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, ‘Give me I pray thee, of thy son’s mandrakes.’ And she said unto her,” and you can just hear the pent up anger and bitterness in this response “’is it a small matter that though has taken my husband and wouldst though take away my son’s mandrakes also.’ And Rachel said, ‘therefor he shall lie with thee tonight for thy son’s mandrakes.’ And Jacob came out of the field in the evening and Leah went out to meet him and said ‘thou must come in unto me for surely I’ve hired thee with my son’s mandrakes’ and he lay with her and he erected there an altar and called it ‘El Elohe Israel’.'

Rachel is cast as resorting to superstition and this is suggestive of witchcraft. Williams actually draws from a patriarchal Jewish commentary that draw upon obscure writings in the apocrypha to develop this thesis. Why does Williams recognize extra-Biblical texts that Protestants do not recognize as God-breathed or even King James Version truths?