Don’t Fall for the OPC’s New Horizons Emphasis on Domestic Abuse

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church now has a New Horizons page on its website which offers articles from “experts” on domestic abuse in the church. Even though there is truth in the articles, I want to recommend to you that we do not let the OPC off the hook so easily by being just so glad that a church denomination is finally getting it right.

They aren’t getting it right and I will tell you why.

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Rudeness as a Sign of Evil

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  (5)  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

Do you see that little phrase here – “or rude”?  The very next quality of love that is named after it is “it does not insist on its own way.” I suspect the latter is an elaboration on rudeness.

Abusers and other evil characters are rude. This word means far more than mere failure to observe proper etiquette (although I suspect that many of you could share how being a slob or being gross was a quality of your abuser). Rudeness is not simply limited though to a failure to be polite. It is in fact, an insisting upon having its own way. It is a pressing and pressuring of someone else. It is a violating of proper boundaries. An inappropriate insistence that someone do something or yield to some demand. It is a rank lack of consideration for others.

Let me give you some examples. I tell you, evil people just keep giving me the examples!!  I suppose that’s one good thing about them. They provide lots of material for us to write about.

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This New Book on Domestic Abuse in the Church Looks Good…but…it isn’t

1 Thessalonians 4:9 ESV  Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another,

Hebrews 10:16 ESV  “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”

1 John 2:27 ESV  But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.

John 10:4 ESV  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

You must be born again. Every Christian, every true child of God, is born again. God’s Law is written on our hearts. His Spirit has made us new creations. We have been taught to love one another. The Spirit leads us and produces His fruit in us, enabling us by the Spirit to put to death the deeds of the flesh.

Kevin Giles’ new book, The Headship of Men and the Abuse of Women [Cascade Books, 2020] presents the thesis that the complementarian teaching of the headship of men and the submission of women to that headship promotes the abuse of women in the church, and really is a root cause of abuse particularly in conservative churches that teach it. Certainly complementarianism does this harm when men (and ironically many women) embrace its patriarchy and use it to justify oppressive, sinful abuse. Giles makes many correct points in this regard throughout his book.

However…

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