The Fourth Way

In light of our last two episodes, I thought it would be good to have some women come on and help me understand how to work through I Peter's call for the oppressed to submit even through oppression.

0:00 - Intro
2:30 - Recap
6:00 - Guest Intros
11:10 - What is submission and obedience?
31:00 - What does it mean to remain in our position? Is divorce a viable option?
43:45 - How can we ask those being oppressed to be nonviolent and longsuffering?
55:20 - How is the church doing with our handling of abuse and what steps can we take to do better?
1:24:30 - How do we handle material put out by abusers and oppressors?
1:32:30 - Closing
1:39:10 - Aftershow: venting about complementarianism

Show Notes

  • Abusive Behavior Chart:, Meekness, and Nonviolence in Gender Theology: An Introduction: 
  • Chris Moles and the Peace Works Podcast:
  • Domestic Abuse Intervention Programs:
  • Domestic Abuse Resources:
  • The Sexually Healthy Man:
  • Divorce in the Old Testament:
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree (how the black has modeled the true church, and shows us Jesus through their suffering): 
  • Prophetic Lament:
  • Learning to Lament with the Psalms:
  • Icons of Christ (the best book I think you'll find pushing back against complementarianism):

Foundational Questions & Defining Terms: 
  • What does biblical submission mean? Ought we to distinguish submission from obedience?
  • Is there a distinction between the types of submissions referenced in Peter? Do citizens have a deeper call to submission than slaves to masters or wives to husbands (spouse to spouse)? If citizens should biblically submit to a tyrannical and abusive government, and slaves to abusive masters, why shouldn’t one spouse submit to another abusive one?

Cultural/Hermeneutical Questions: 
  • Do you think there are cultural considerations here? For example, slavery is illegal in the United States, so if someone took you as a slave, my guess is you wouldn’t say we have a biblical obligation to submit to our slave masters. Do you think the call to submission in marriage is cultural, like slavery may be, or do you think the call is free of cultural considerations?
  • From what I’ve read of the early church on divorce, a big part of why they don’t like divorce at all is because they view it as a cutting off of the opportunity for restoration and forgiveness. It’s one of the main reasons we advocate nonviolence, as killing cuts off opportunity for restoration. Is it possible to think that we shouldn’t ever kill even to protect our family, yet divorce to protect our family is fine - or are those two positions logically connected?

Practical Questions: 
  • Submission in bad situations is hard. What do you think the church could/should do to make biblical submission easier to walk through, especially submission of a spouse in a bad marriage?
  • How would you counsel a woman in an abusive situation in regard to staying with her husband? Would that change if she has children?
  • [Origen quote about husbands not divorcing wife even if she tries to poison him or kills their child]. Do you agree with Origen here? Do you think if there was more stuff like this holding men’s feet to the fire for accountability, that this conversation would be a lot easier and not feel like this is just a tool for women’s oppression?
“Our Savior does not at all permit the dissolution of marriages for any other sin than fornication alone, when detected in the wife….But someone might ask if He allows a man to put away a wife for any other reasons besides her being caught in fornication. For example, what about poisoning [her husband]?Or what if, during the absence of her husband from the home, she destroys an infant born to them? Or what about any form of murder whatever?...Sins of such heinousness seem to be worse than adultery or fornication. To endure them would appear to be irrational. However, on the other hand, to act contrary to the design of the teaching of the Savior, everyone would acknowledge to be impious.” 

Questions About Sensitivities and Considerations:
  • This isn’t directly related to the topic, but I was speaking with Rebekah about using John Howard Yoder as a resource , despite his sexual assaults. How do you feel about using Yoder’s work, or the works of those who have committed sexual assault?
  • Would you say the same thing about someone who committed other heinous crimes?
  • If all truth is God’s truth, and if Yoder taught some things that are right, and taught them insightfully and maybe taught stuff that others didn’t grasp, do you think it’s possible to glean truth out of the chaff of evil action?
  • If you’d use Yoder, what caveats or guidelines would you give?
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What is The Fourth Way?

A podcast focusing on issues related to nonviolence, and a member of the Kingdom Outpost.