mercredi 2 mai 2007

Complementarianism + discipleship = abuse

The (not) "banned Mark Driscoll video" blogpost here continues to have unfavourable comments modded off.

Charity has been trying to highlight the possible links between complementarianism, discipleship and abuse there. Since Charity's latest comments don't seem to have made it through the moderation, I thought I'd add my take, as heard and experienced in a "new church" setting.

In a leaders' "man-to-man" discipleship setting, leaders are encouraged to be accountable to their seniors in every aspect of their lives (as we hear Driscoll explaining in the video). They are also encouraged, under a variety of guises (including "headship"), not to tell their wives everything (I don't know if that's how it works in Driscoll's setup, but I have first-hand experience of other related settings where it does take place). One practical upshot of this is that a leader may confess a problem with, say, pornography or other sexual misdemeanour to his senior leader and be encouraged not to discuss it with his wife. The result of that is that the leadership end up knowing more about the guy than his wife does - and if things turn nasty, they can 'out' this information with results for the hapless couple that you can imagine. While I've first-hand evidence of this kind of thing happening, it doesn't actually need to take place for this implicit threat to foster loyalty to the leadership over and above loyalty to one's spouse.

One of the things that led to me parting company with the complementarian new church setting I was in was a realisation that I was married to my wife, not the church.

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