Watch this video.
Who is to blame for this woman’s troubles? Well, I agree with Driscoll that her family, the church and other Christians were to blame for not telling her the truth about sex. On that we all agree. Christians do a lousy job of explaining sex to young people, because they don’t want to talk about “dirty” stuff, and they don’t want to use arguments and evidence, and they don’t want to go outside the Bible to give real reasons and evidence. But thumping the Bible is a poor response to peer pressure and pop culture.
But she and Mark Driscoll also seem to think the man is to blame. Is the man to blame?
Well, the man certainly did bad things, but I think that none of these bad things could have happened to this woman in particular if this woman had not first chosen this man from all the other men that she knew, and then given him the opportunity to do these bad things. Without her own free choices, she would never have been harmed. So her own bad choices played a part in her suffering but she didn’t mention her own choices at all. So, let me take a look at how she could have made better choices below.
Can women expect a non-Christian man to act like a Christian man?
Women need to be careful to realize that they should avoid being alone with non-Christian men, especially when they are not even old enough to be dating men at all. That’s what courting is designed to prevent, by the way – the man has to go through the father to get to the woman, and they need to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. And in any case, a woman can get love without touching a man just by listening to the man’s words, reading his writings, letting him serve her, washing a car together, and accepting gifts from him.
Women: you don’t go to a deserted beach with a non-Christian man. Don’t take risks like that. Especially when you have probably already done a lot with the guy. And don’t drink alcohol, it impairs your judgment. The purpose of men is to marry them, not to have a good time with them. No alcohol is allowed!
Paul says that you cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians, which is exactly what many Christian women do.
1 Cor 5:9-13:
9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—
10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
And, 2 Cor 6:14-16:
14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Christians should not pursue non-Christians romantically – it’s disrespectful to God to leave him out of your romantic operations.
Women can stop a lot of the bad behavior of men just by choosing authentic Christian men by using rigorous objective criteria to evaluate men. If a woman chooses a non-Christian man, then she cannot complain if he acts like a non-Christian man. And there is more to a man being a Christian than just saying that he is, memorizing Bible verses and singing praise hymns in church. Christianity is a worldview. It has to be applied across the board. Christian women need to study to develop a Christian worldview of their own so they know how to evaluate the worldviews of candidate men.
What else can we learn from the video?
Here are a few more things that stood out to me in the video:
- She should take more responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others
- She should study these things (not just the Bible!) on her own before she starts dating, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
- Her parents should have studied these things (not just the Bible!) more, and helped her more by being more convincing, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
- The church she grew up in should provide her with extra-biblical arguments and evidence from the objective external world so that she could resist ideologies like atheism, postmodernism, liberalism, feminism, etc. – she can’t act morally unless she believes that God exists and that morality is real
Women should also know that the decision to have sex before marriage with a man who isn’t a Christian doesn’t magically change him into a Christian. Sex isn’t magic. It doesn’t cause a man to like a woman, or to fall under her control.
Women go to school for 4 years to learn a trade and they need to put some effort into studying courtship rules so they can be wise about their own choices with men. Jumping into a car and trying to drive it without lessons is a good way to get killed. And emotions, intuitions, peer-pressure and pop-culture don’t help you to know how to drive a car. Be careful, think for yourself.
I also recommend that young, unmarried women become informed about anti-family, anti-father policies. If women don’t want to be hurt by men, then vote for stronger families, lower taxes, and policies that promote good husbands and good fathers. Girls need to see love modeled between a husband and wife as they grow up, and they need to have fathers in the home. Good public policies encourage men to marry and stay married.
Women need to get better criteria for choosing men
A while back, I posted on some of the criteria women have for choosing men, and here are a few:
- Being tall
- Being aloof and disinterested
- Playing a musical instrument
- Stylish shoes
- A deep voice
- Handsome face
What do women expect when they choose men based on criteria like that? It makes no sense to blame a bad man for being bad. He’s BAD! Don’t go near him, he’ll be bad to you, too!
Shouldn’t women judge themselves first, before judging a man?
Shouldn’t women begin by removing the plank in their own eye before removing the speck from the man’s eye?
I think an excellent first step would be for Christian women to take a good look at the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and also what they read. Are they listening to Melissa Etheridge, watching “Thelma & Louise”, and reading Margaret Atwood? Are they informing themselves about truth in many areas, like economics and cosmology, so that they can make informed choices of men? Are they building resistance to cultural trends?
What is wrong with the woman in that video?
Shouldn’t this woman have put some effort into testing out the claims of her parents and the church by reading the Bible itself? I mentioned reading extra-biblical stuff but even the Bible doesn’t ground anything that she was doing or anything the church was telling her to do that was wrong. Driscoll seems to think that women are not obligated to read the Bible, and that if someone in the church tells them a lie, then the church is to blame. But shouldn’t we expect people who attend church to test these things out for themselves? I realize that she wasn’t a Christian, but in order to take responsibility, she could have said “I should have checked things in my Bible and so I share the blame”. She doesn’t say that because she doesn’t blame herself at all for anything that happened. Well, probably she went to church for the singing and never read what the Bible had to say – or didn’t take it as an authority. But she never blames herself for either one of those.
I noticed that she claims that if the church tells her something and she does it, then the church is to blame. Well, the church (or at least her parents) undoubtedly told her not to have sex before she was married, but she didn’t mention that in the video. Why not? Well, she only mentions things that other people tell her to blame them. When they tell her the right thing and she doesn’t do it, she doesn’t mention what they told her. Because she won’t blame herself for any reason. And Driscoll has nothing to say about that, either. Any time the church tells her something bad and she does it… it’s the church’s fault. Any time the church tells her something good and she DOESN’T do it… she just doesn’t mention it because she isn’t responsible for anything she does – it’s always the fault of someone else.
I don’t mind if she explains the circumstances surrounding WHY she made bad choices. I don’t even mind the bad choices, because I make bad choices. I just don’t like her blaming other people, I especially don’t like her blaming bad men. Bad men are bad. Don’t blame them for not being good – it’s your fault for choosing them. There are other men who are good who get no attention from women at all.
We need to learn from Theodore Dalrymple
Remember this post?
With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments.
Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.
This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.
Read the whole thing, you young women. And judge men hard. It’s good to judge them beforehand so that you don’t have to condemn them for being bad later.