The End Could Be Near

Aimee and Tim Agree

I wonder if it's a sign that the end is near. The Scriptures speak of mercy and truth meeting together and righteousness and peace kissing each other (Psalm 85:10). On a more limited scale Aimee Byrd and Tim Bayly have met together at Hugh Hefner's grave and exchanged the holy kiss of connecting Hugh and complementarianism. 

Both have read and disdained Ben
Domenech's Federalist piece, Hugh Hefner's Legacy Is About More Than Sex, which defends Hefner as at least celebrating the differences between the sexes that draws man and woman to one another (or, to use the pure and Biblical phraseology, "the way of a man with a maid (Proverbs 30:19). In addition Aimee has read and commends (and it's commendable) Ashleen Menchaca-Bagnulo's The Playboy and the Death of Sexual Complementarity published by the Witherspoon Institute. 

Tim is his "I told you so" self with his objection that The Federalist has reduced complemtarianism to the matching of body parts:
I’ve warned souls that The Federalist is politics and morals stripped of God and His Law and Word. A friend passes on this paean to Hugh Heffner as Exhibit A.
Here’s a eulogy that tells readers to look past Heffner’s moral degradation so we can stop and give thanks for his complementarianism. Stop and give thanks that his brand of moral degradation honors natural theology (meaning the right use of body parts). Of Heffner, The Federalist says:
…his work celebrates the sexual complementarity that has bound men and women together since the dawn of time.
This is what complementarianism has become and we have only ourselves to blame.
But for Tim it is more than the reductionist complementarianism of The Federalist piece. The problem is with complementarianism itself, the compromising complementarianism of the Biblical Council on Manhood and Womanhood, which must inevitably lead to Domenesch's celebration of Hefner's complementarity of bodies and worse:
First, we all jumped on board with the Danvers Statement and began to do something unheard of across church history. We denied that father-rule is a universal law established by God when He created Adam first, then Eve. Instead, we reassured Christians that male authority is only a private Christian thing limited to the Christian church and home. Joining the compromisers of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, we too trotted out the lie that father-rule is not established by God’s order of creation—and thus father-rule has no application to the billions living without God and without hope in this world.1 
Next, we all jumped on the same-sex attracted, gay Christian bandwagon and began repeating their talking points perfectly matched to CBMW’s talking points before them. Manhood and womanhood are not callings given us by God. A gender identity contrary to the sex God made us is no sin. It’s fine to be an effeminate as long as you promise not to copulate wrongly. Godliness is not heterosexuality. Godliness is merely the avoidance of wrongful use of body parts. Some of my best friends are gay same-sex attracted Christians living out on 
So now America’s playboy Hugh Heffner has died and The Federalist is telling readers that, despite his lechery, we should celebrate the fact that his lechery celebrated “sexual complementarity.” 
Evangelical reformed men stripped the public square of any faithful witness to the Edenic meaning of man and woman, so now they’re left grasping Hugh Heffner’s “sexual complementarity.” This is their legacy.
With Tim it is easy to know how he wants to correct the deviance of complementarianism. It is a return to what he is certain the Bible teaches beginning with creation - patriarchy, father-rule of the household including wife and children and male rule of church and society.  

Aimee, no less than Tim, hates Hefner and the praise of his "legacy" of the complementarity of male and female bodies, and she joins Tim in to some extent blaming it on Christian complementarianism. But the church's complementarianism is both more subtle male domination and better mannered "hyper-masculinity" than Hefner's or Bayly's:
Most churches would never endorse Hefner’s lifestyle. We are disgusted by the sexual revolution and the damage it has done. And yet, some echo this nostalgic brand of complementarity. Menchaca-Bagnulo turns to churches promoting the same view of complementarity as Hefner, which she calls an “intellectualization of domination and dehumanization.” I’ve seen this polished, Christianized version of complementarity with all its hyper-masculine teaching for men and “complementary” femininity taught as subordination. It’s all so one-dimensional and dangerous. 
The problem with Aimee's problem with complementarianism is that it is impossible to know what she would offer as its substitute that in some fashion manages to take seriously the Scriptures and their description of the relation of man and woman in both creation and redemption, both pre-fall and post-redemption. 

What did God intend to say to us by Moses' account of the creation of woman?
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,    
             “This at last is bone of my bones 
               and flesh of my flesh;      
         she shall be called Woman,
              because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:18-25).
 What did St. Paul mean to teach as he drew out the implications of both creation and fall for life in the community of redemption?
Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
Since I have quoted them recently, I will not here copy and paste them. But in 1 Corinthians 11 what does Paul mean by "head"? Does it mean only "source" or does it mean "headship"? What does Paul mean In Ephesians 5:22-33 when he describes the relationship of husband and wife in terms of both Christ's sacrificial love and the church's universal submission to him? What does St. Peter mean to teach Christian wives in 1 Peter 3:1-7 about how to live with unbelieving husbands who may be both harsh toward and lacking in understanding of their wives?

I keep getting the impression that there are some Reformed women who are not comfortable with this that I believe would not that long ago have been unobjectionable: 
Man and woman are both made in the image of God and share equally in the blessings of redemption. Consistent with this is that by both the order of creation and the nature of Christ's redemption of his church, God calls men to headship in their homes, loving their wives as reflexively as they love their own bodies and as sacrificially as Christ loved the church. He also calls wives to submit to their husbands' leadership, including deferring to their husbands in what should be the rare cases when either there is an intractable disagreement or the husband finds that he cannot out of  love defer to his wife's wishes and will. In the church the relationship between husbands and wives is the same as in the home. Moreover, God sets apart and calls some men, but only men, to serve by leading and teaching. Those men who are called to lead the church should do so with humility and gentleness, and those who are called to teach should be skilled in the handling of the Scriptures and with understanding of the sheep whom they feed, whether male or female, children or adults. At the same time the people of the church should live at peace with one another, respect their leaders, and receive the word with meekness from their teachers."
I am happy to see Tim and Aimee come together at the grave of Hugh Hefner. If, however, their substantial disagreements should turn into a beauty contest, Tim ain't got a chance. 

But, my worst nightmare is that both, one on the platform of Out of Our Minds and the other on the platform of The Mortification of Spin, will turn their big artillery pieces on me, when I hope I shall be able to count on Mrs. Smith's protection. If not, my departure is soon at hand. 


  1. Oh, dear Brother -- but that we war for men's souls! Creation Ewerder™! Creation Ewerder™!

    1. I have no idea what you're talking about.

    2. I guess you haven't been following TB for as long or as closely as I would have supposed.


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